Friday, June 24, 2011

Dear Banes and Noble,

As a military wife, I try to only use military friendly businesses. It's just not smart to use any other kind, because if someone is not willing to work with me even though things might be difficult because my husband is deployed that's fine, because there is a different business out there that will be more than helpful and understanding of my situation. All military spouses know the murphy's law of deployment: anything bad that can happen, WILL happen while your spouse isn't here to help with it. So, it shouldn't come as a shock to anyone that I have spent my share of HOURS on the phone with different customer service representatives throughout these past 10 or so months of deployment. I have discovered that Apple will bend over backwards to help you troubleshoot a device that you don't have in your hands or even have a serial number for because it's in Iraq/Kuwait with your husband. The Apple people were so incredibly helpful and understanding of my situation, even though they weren't able to actually fix the problem, they did everything they could, and they did so respectfully. On the other hand I have learned that Barnes and Noble is NOT military friendly. Before you go thinking that I'm just slandering a business here, let me explain the entire situation, and then you can logically see how I came to this conclusion.
     Jake and I both have nooks, we LOVE (well loved) them! We are actually personally responsible for at least 5 or 6 other people purchasing nooks over kindles. When we first got them we talked them up, and showed them off, and were just so in love them that we tried to convince EVERYONE we knew that they needed one as well. Jake was so glad to have the nook to bring with him on this deployment, he loves to read, and planned on bringing his nook with him everywhere he went to take up his downtime. This was a huge morale booster for him, this is one of the comforts of home that he was able to have with him, and I was so thankful for that. However, Jake got into theater to discover that Barnes and Noble does not support internet from outside of the United States. So even though he is able to get on their website, and look at all the books he could get, he is not able to purchase a single ebook off of their website, for the simple fact that he is not using US internet. Though this was extremely annoying, we set up a system so that I would purchase it for him and then it would get sent to his email and he would download it (but remember, Barnes and Noble doesn't support outside internet so he couldn't just go to the internet cafe hop on the wifi on his nook and download it, he had to use the cord to download it from the computer and then it was in PDF format and not ebook format, and the page numbers were all messed up, it was formatted all wrong, and wasn't a simple or enjoyable reading experience). We have thousands of servicemen and women overseas right now, Barnes and Noble. Don't you think that they would be a really good source of income for you? While over there, my husband goes through books 2 or 3 times as fast as he does while he's home. So why are you making it so that he has to jump through hoops just to GIVE YOU MONEY for a book. Doesn't seem like a smart business choice to me, also doesn't seem like a wise PR choice either, because you are making it abundantly clear that our servicemen and women, the ones risking their lives for you, are not a priority, or even a thought to your company.
     On top of the fact that their set up is not military friendly, their customer service is also not understanding of military situations. This winter my husband's nook broke, there were lines and weird boxes all over the screen, so I called Barnes and Noble to ask if there is anything I could tell him to do to troubleshoot before attempting to exchange it, because honestly, I just wanted him to have a working nook in the fastest way possible. They flat out said there was nothing that could help with this particular problem, and that it needed to be replaced. So Jake mailed the nook home, to me, which took about a week. I then called to get the return process started and they refused to help me because I am not Jake, I was one underscore off on his old email address, and did not have his credit card number (it was his wallet in Iraq). I understand that these are security measures, however I had the password, the serial number, and was holding the nook, which I have since found out has the email address in it, so they could have directed me to find it instead of refusing to help me at all (the man i spoke to was rude and not at all understanding of the fact that this was a unique situation). So we had to wait until I was able to talk to my husband again and get the correct info, I called back and they were still sketchy about letting me do it, but they did let me in at that point. They then refused to just replace it, and made me go through all these troubleshooting steps (you know the ones I specifically called and asked for and they said wouldn't help at all) like taking out the battery and charging it over night. So there is another day wasted. I then finally call back and after much persuasion convinced them to just replace it. I chose not to do the rapid replacement (they send you a new one but if they don't get the old one back in 14 days they charge you close to $200 for it) because I did not trust them one bit at this point and did not want them to charge me for something I should have gotten for free. So I sent them the nook. 10 days later I had heard nothing so I called and they said it could take up to 14 days so be patient. I called back on the 15th day, this time really frustrated and they claim that they have never received it, however the UPS tracking number claims that it was delivered over a week ago. After finally snapping and making it perfectly clear that they weren't getting off the phone with me till there was a new nook on the way to me they "discovered" the nook I had sent them, and it had just been placed in the wrong pile or something. who knows how long it sat there, or what really happened. I finally was shipped a new nook and was able to send it to Jake, so a good MONTH after it broke he got a new one. I have heard that soldiers, specifically in jake's unit, that have had problems with their kindle have been able to contact Amazon themselves and get replacements in less than a week. To be fair I ended up having the exact same problem with my nook a few weeks ago, and had no problems replacing it, I went into the Portage, MI store and had Josh (the nicest Barnes and Noble person I have ever met) call customer service for me, because I just simply had had enough with it. But, because my replacement wasn't difficult or unique in any way there were no problems. What kind of message does that send to our troops Barnes and Noble? You are more than willing to help other people but because it might be a little more complicated or requires you to be a tiny bit flexible you aren't going to go out of your way to help the men and women that fight for your freedoms? Well that says quite a bit about your business, and makes it extremely clear to me that you are not a military friendly company.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thursday song Link up!

It's Thursday again! that's amazing! I'm hoping I can get through the last little bit of this deployment with at least a little bit of sanity left! Head over to Good Night Moon and link up with your song (have I mentioned this is my favorite ever?) 

 I've got 2 songs today. The first one is Selena Gomez's "A Year without rain" She is pretty fabulous, I love her, and this song says it all (even though It's obviously been longer than a day.. but you get the idea) also that dress is GORGEOUS! I could do without the random arm thing, but the dress is very pretty!

My second song is called "dinosaur" by Kisschasey this song defines Jake and I, it's serious in that it's about missing each other, but the video gives it a good hint of silliness which is what we are all about! I hope you all enjoy my songs this week!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Williams!!

My bestie, Allie got married on Saturday, and I was Matron Of Honor. She was a beautiful bride, and I am so glad that she has found her prince charming! The wedding was gorgeous, and the reception a ton of fun!  I was a little sad because it was kind of awkward to not have Jake there, and have no one to dance with, but I still had a lot of fun. I didn't get any pictures because I was too focused on MOH duties (my one track mind) but here are some pictures that some friends took!

Allie and her dad, Larry, walking down the isle

Allie and her HUSBAND, Matt!

Wow somebody did a great job tying that dress up right? ;)

Allie and I with a friend of ours from High school, Caitlyn (these are her pictures)

Allie and I :)

Congrats Allie and Matt!! I hope you have a lifetime of happiness together!

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I was blessed with an amazing daddy! He has stood by my mother's side even through all the difficulties of her disease. He is a strong, and gentle man. I love him so much. I have always been a daddy's girl, and I couldn't have gotten a better daddy for me had I picked him out myself. Thank you so much for all that you do, I love being your "brown eyed girl."

I now have another father to thank as well, my Father-in-law Jim. He has been so helpful and supportive of Jake and I. He raised Jake and his brother alone from ages 6 and 3. Thank you Dad Grimm for all that you did to mold your son into the amazing man he is today. The respect and love that you taught him is so evident in the way he treats me now. Thank you so much for being a great father-in law, I don't know what I would do if I had awful in-laws like some people... Man am I blessed!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

it's thursday again!

I really love this link up! I feel like thursday snuck up on me this week, and that's AWESOME! that's one more week closer to the hubs coming home! YAY! So, Head on over to Good Night Moon and share your song for this week!

(she has a beautiful button, but I can't seem to get it to work.. maybe next week)

Mine is an oldie, but I love it. and it defines how much I am in Love with Jake. This week he has worked so hard at supporting me, and making sure I know just how loved and respected I am. he honors me, and speaks to me with respect, kindness, and love. He knows whats best for me, and helps me discover those things on my own. He truly is an amazing husband, and even though he is far away, he is here for me 100% I love him so much!

I totally wrote this and posted it, then got distracted and never linked up or anything... but here is my song :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

headaches, pjs and iphones

So I have been waking up with killer headaches lately, for no reason. I used to get headaches so bad that I couldn't function. I would even get severe migraines on a regular basis. Thankfully these have not escalated to migraines yet, but they are still awful. That would be why I haven't made many posts lately, and those I have made are short sweet and to the point. Today was another headache day, but I went a got a new phone anyways, because I had been waiting till pay day to get my iphone. I am so excited about it! I have been downloading apps all day. if you have any suggestions on apps that i just have to have, please tell me! anyways, after I got home from verizon it was straight into my jammies, and I have had a jammie party for the rest of the day.. with a  few baths thrown in for good measure (with bath tea to try and help the headache). Professor finnigan (my teddy) and I have been watching the show Jeremiah and snuggling on the couch all day. It's days like today that I wish Jake was here to snuggle with me. Oh well, soon enough. I think I will forgo the healthy cooking tonight, and eat Velveta Rotini with broccoli and cheese... comfort food for the head.. I hope you guys all have a good snuggley evening even though it's so crummy outside

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Steam packets

So I have been trying very hard to lose weight, but so far it is not working. I would very much like to get back to the weight I was at our wedding. Clearly the deployment has been rough on my body, but I am trying to change that. I have been working out in the gym everyday and been trying to eat healthy. I have just started making foil packets to steam on the grill, hopefully these will be a healthier choice than what i have been eating, and will help me start losing the weight. They are very delicious, and I thought that I should share with you guys how to make them! You just pick a meat (lean because the fat will drip off and stay in the packet and the rest of your food will cook in it, so stay away from anything fatty) a veggie and a starch. My favorite so far has been chicken, asparagus and potatoes. Then, you season your food however you want it, but remember that the flavors will mingle so pick a seasoning that would be okay on all the things in the packet. Then you place them all together in a long piece of foil folded them in half and pinch the sides together, if you have rice or are worried about there being enough moisture to steam it, add a 1/4 cup of water or broth into the packet then seal it up. Throw it on the grill on high for 10-20 mins until the packet is fully puffed up, then cut it open and enjoy! (steam will come out when you cut it, so be careful!)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thursday song Link up!

This time I will get my song in early enough to link up :) so head over to Goodnight Moon and link up the song that defines your mood this week. For me, this week, with all the soldier's deaths in Baghdad this is my song. Big and Rich "I pray for you." Sometimes the only thing that gets me through those hard nights where you hear of something scary on the news and haven't heard from him yet is praying.

I also added a "deployment playlist" page this week, and will continue to add songs that help me through this, or explain how I feel when I remember them, or com across them.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The next person that says "well at least he's not in Afghanistan" might get punched in the face. My husband is in a war zone. He is not at a pizza party, he is at war. Yes, it is a different war than that in Afghanistan, but IT IS STILL A WAR! No, I will not live a life of fear, but I will tell you, that I know what it's like to lie awake at night, worried that those deaths you heard about on the news just might be your worst fear coming to reality. I know what it's like, I am a wife of deployed soldier. It doesn't matter where he is, I will worry about him until he come home to me. You jerks that try to tell me I should be thankful he isn't in Afghanistan should be thankful I haven't broken your nose yet.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Countdown blues

I think I have figured out what is making this part of the deployment so much harder than the first part was.  For the first part of the deployment I had a really hard time until I got pretty solid R&R dates, then I had a fabulous count down. I had something to look forward to, I had pretty accurate numbers, I had a reason to keep my calendar up to date, I had a vacation to plan. I had a driving force getting me through to the next time I was to see my husband. But this time, I have tried really hard to keep the one year mark as my count down (I strongly believe the army won't pay the extra cash to keep them there for over a year) even though I've heard several rumors suggesting that they will be home early. I just cannot believe these very desirable dates, the Army is notorious for giving you dates that are weeks, or months off. Nothing is set in stone with the Army, I won't believe they are coming home early until he is in my arms. but, because of this, I have this struggle to keep myself from getting my hopes up, but to keep a positive attitude also. I feel like I keep seeing other people from the unit's "countdowns" and they are basically confusing me. I don't want my hopes up, but my number next to their numbers is just incredibly depressing. So I have the countdown on my phone, but I haven't really gotten into it, haven't put in on my calendar, haven't started doing anything special for any milestones (for R&R a bought a special treat for Mexico every 10 days I made it through) because I feel stupid and incredibly depressed that I haven't hit double digits yet and everyone else did weeks ago... I know that the reason I am doing this is because I am trying to protect myself from getting hurt, but am I hurting myself more by not letting myself get excited about when they are coming home? I need to figure out a way to get excited and keep the year mark as my dates, I just need to ignore when other people's count downs sound way more exciting... but that is easier said than done

Sunday, June 5, 2011

One year ago today

One year ago today Jake and I stood in front of God and all of our family and friends and vowed to love cherish and honor each other for the rest of our lives. Today is our one year anniversary. We have been married for a whole year. Marriage has been a wonderful, and crazy ride. I love being a wife, I love being Jake's wife. I could not have asked for a better husband, this past year has been amazing. It has been really hard but it has also been amazing. Jake has shown me so much more respect, love, and honor than I ever thought that I would have, or deserve. I have never been happier with my life, I couldn't imagine what my life would be like without him.
June 5th, 2010 was the happiest day of my life. The weather was crappy but thanks to some fervant prayers the rain cleared up and it was perfectly beautiful for the outdoor ceromny. I have never felt more beautiful in my life, and I have never felt more cared for. People made sure my day was relaxing and amaing. My only problem with the day was that I had too much waiting time on my hands haha I am not a very patient woman (as I'm sure you have learned with my past posts). I loved everything about our wedding, and everything about that day... Even though I won't be able to celebrate with my husband I know how much he appreciates me, and how happy he is to be my husband. As an early anniversary gift, he sent me my favorite cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory (raspberry lemon cream) man is it yummy! he knows that cheesecake is better than flowers! I do hope we will get to talk today, but we will see what the army's plans are for that. I miss him a lot today, because I am reminded of how amazing our love, and relationship is, but I am going to try and stay positive.

now for some wedding pictures!!!
All taken by Jenna Rose Photography!!!! (best photographer ever!)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

How do you do it?

This is a question that I get a lot when I explain that Jake is deployed and I am home alone for our first year of marriage. I don't usually know what to say, because the truth is I have no idea how I do it. I am not super woman, I am nothing special, I do it because I have to. I do it because I have no choice. I can only do it through the Grace of God, I can only do it because when I'm worried or lonely I have prayer. I can only do it because I have complete faith in my relationship with my husband, because my husband is the most amazing man in the world, because my husband knows exactly what I need, and when I need it. I don't get through this because I have any special abilities. I get through this because love gets me through this. I survive because that's my only choice. Yes it's hard, but it's worth it. My husband and I have a stronger relationship than we did before he left. In this past year our relationship has been through trials that others have never had to deal with, in years and years of marriage. Is this the hardest thing I've ever done? yes, but I wouldn't trade my marriage for an easier one. my marriage is what it is because of the trials we have been through as couple, even if we've only been married a year (tomorrow)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

What's your song? link up

So i've been posting a lot of songs lately, for whatever reason that's where I've been finding my solace. well i found this awesome link up at GoodNight Moon where every thursday she has people link up and post a song that describes how they're feeling that week. I think this is my favorite link up I've found yet. so here is the song that describes my emotions this week (except for the whole you gave up on us part.. clearly Jake still loves me) I discovered this song from a friend who was leaving the country and posted a few lines of it on her husband's wall, and I kind of got hooked, I listen to it all the time now.

The part that really does it for me in this song is "don't count the miles, count the "I love you"s" that sums up exactly how i feel about this whole deployment.