I have often heard that deployment is a time in your life when you really find out who your true friends are. I have to admit, God has more than blessed me and I undoubtedly have a million angels surrounding me. Thank you already, to all of my friends and family, as well as those of you who barely know me, but have already shown me your support. At this point, it is hard for me to imagine loosing friends in a time like this, as I have already gained so much. To all of you...My sincerest THANK YOU! I am truely blessed~
Mom: My rock, my laughter, my talks, my hugs, my butt kicking when I need to get my act together :)
Daddy: The loving arms that hold me and calm my tears, since day one
Corey: My best friend, my strength, my caring big brother
Amanda: The sister I always prayed for. My Top Gun and Snuggie buddy
Maddi: My long talks and daily encouraging words
Chels: The contagious giggles that turn saddness into laughter
V: My shoulder to cry on when I'm sad, her should to cry on when I'm strong
Jo: For being there...since 3rd grade
Erin: For always loving me
Erin Flanagan: Cassie Cercy I freakin love you!!! And Bryan : )Wed at 10:51pm
Steff: For Happy Hour
Steff McNulty: I am serious... I know I am not in NY but let me know if there is anything I can do to help this go smoother.Yesterday at 1:23pm
Nicole: The beautiful mommy to be, my first friend as an "Army Girlfriend" and best friend as an "Army Wife"
April: My role model in finding faith and trusting the Lord. You are a selfless friend and Bryan and I look up to you and Shawn in faith and your marriage. You are my strength
Martha: For margarita nights, and for blessing my with a wonderful husband, and amazing sister. I care for you and will be here for you, as I know you will be here for me too.
Jeffrey: For never pushing Bryan one way or another, and never failing to be proud of any path he chooses. And for your kindness and outpouring of love that has been felt since day one
Bryan: For being brave, so we don't have to be. For being strong so we can be weak. For having loving arms to be wrapped up in. For having gentle words to find courage in. For having playful laughter to get lost in. For having quiet moments to create memories in. "Undeniable, so incredible::Simply wonderful, you're beautiful::Unmistakable, the way you make me feel::Unbelievable."
Deployment. It's getting closer and I feel like PMS on steroids. I'm not a very emotional person when it comes to crying. I tend to keep it in until it just bursts out. That's not the case this time. Time up here has been amazing and I feel so blessed to have been able to spend the past three months with my husband. On the down side, we thought he was going to deploy around the 6th of April. Wednesday night he was told that it would be the 1st instead. Not that 5 days makes a huge difference, but when it comes to deployment, it can make a world of a difference. It was one more full week and one more weekend together. I think the initial shock hit me hard on Wednesday as the reality of the situation fianlly set in. I cried off and on Wednesday night into Thursday morning and afternoon. After laying in bed until noon I finally got up, looked at myself in the mirror and got it together. I showered, curled my hair and got dressed. Simple things that happen everyday that sometimes are tough to do, but they are the first steps to continuing on with living through deployment. I promised Bryan and myself that even though he would be gone, I would continue living. It wouldn't be fair to anyone if I decided to stop living just because I'm sad that he is gone. So now it's time to enjoy every last second with Bryan and to pray that this week slows down and that the time away while he is deployed speeds up. Say your prayers for my husband and 1-87...as well as for all of the soldiers continually fighting for our freedom. "Home of the free, because of the brave." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_p2EW3yBqSk&feature=related
After much persuasion (Maddi) I have decided to update everyone with our life in a blog. I know that everyone has their fair share of “first year of marriage” stories, and ours only compliments those experiences. After living in Dexter, New York (30 miles south of Canada) for the past few months with my wonderful hubby, we have learned that life most certainly does not always go the way you would like it too, and that the hurdles are never ending. However, we have chosen to embrace this fact and instead of getting really mad about everything that is happening, we have decided to view our life/living situation as more of a joke. I’ll take this time to update you on what has been happening in our lives the past 2 ½ months. So…where do I begin?
Ok, ok, hold your horses! It’s not what you think, not even remotely! Typically when people hear the word, “baby” they get all giddy and excited. That was not my reaction when I heard that word. Let’s play a little game. What do you get when you mix the smell of sulfur with a skunk? I actually can’t answer that question. My response would lack the justice that this rancid smell deserves. So yep, you guessed it, we have skunks! YAY!!! In the middle of the night last Thursday (March 4th) I woke up to a nasty smell. At first I didn’t know if it was Bryan, or something else. Friday morning we woke up and the smell was still there. We began cleaning the house and I feared finding a dead animal in a cupboard, corner, or behind a couch. After cleaning the house we headed out to the airport to pick up Amanda and Martha, who were visiting this past weekend. Upon getting in the car Amanda stated, “It smells like a skunk!” Apparently the odor stuck to our clothes and soaked into the car seats. When we welcomed the family into our home, they were expecting our sulfur scented house, but the smell that hit them was even worse! The smell would come and go and we weren’t 100% sure what exactly the smell was. It could be a dead animal, it could be a skunk. We found little holes around the outside of the house, but we couldn’t find the source of the stink. They endured the smell for the rest of the weekend, but after they left the smell began to get worse.
Around midnight Tuesday night, I felt Bryan poking me. I woke up and both of us were suffocated by the awful stench. He left for work at 5:30am (the usual) and I received a text message at 6:20am saying, “Everyone at the office thinks I smell like a skunk.” Needless to say, the skunk smell started to overpower the sulfur smell. Bryan was evidently let off work early to “take care of the skunk problem at home.” I think it was because they just wanted him out of the office. About an hour before he got off work, I decided to walk around the house and see if I could find anything. It didn’t take long for me to find a skunk, dying at the bottom of our front porch steps. It was dead by 8 o’clock last night and we left it out there since the pest control guy came this morning. Which leads me to babies. Upon searching around the outside of the house for holes, the pest control guy made the statement to me that it was the end of mating season and a lot of times the male skunks get in fights and let off their wonderful smell in the process. He then said those dreadful words, “I think you have a female skunk under there, she is probably pregnant and the babies should be born in about a week.” Baby skunks? Are you kidding me? More? It gets even better as he proceeded to tell me that the mother won’t leave her hiding spot under our house until after she has the babies, and the babies won’t leave until they are old enough to go out on their own, which will be around June. He also enticed me with the lovely fact that baby skunks don’t know how to control when they release their stink. So basically, we will have stinky, baby skunks wandering around underneath our house until we leave. Our house smells better everyday!
Since we had our “mini wedding” we decided to take a “mini honeymoon.” Because of certain restrictions, like the fact that we couldn’t leave the country because of Bryan’s upcoming deployment, and the fact that it takes all day to travel from upstate New York to anywhere, we settled on Orlando, Florida. We only had four days to celebrate our marriage so we chose an early flight on Friday morning. And so it begins… Bryan and I went to bed early Thursday night, he even commented to me at about 9:45 that we were actually in bed before 10pm! Yeah, well, so much for that. You see, when you are a Platoon Leader and one of your soldiers gets a DUI, you have to go in and do a bunch of paperwork and work out legal issues. So at 11pm when Bryan heard the wonderful news, he had to get out of bed and rush into work. He made it home be 3am, laid down for about 45 minutes while I showered, and we left the house by 4am. We made it to Orlando around 10am and we were thrilled to hear that Nana and Grandpa (Bryan’s grandparents) were also in Orlando. They graciously picked us up from the airport and we had lunch at an amazing seafood place. It was SO wonderful seeing them, and we decided we should just randomly meet up in other states “for lunch” more often! Once they dropped us off at the Omni Hotel at Champions Gate (amazing golf hotel), Bryan and I went up to our room and crashed. We woke up around dinner time, asked the concierge where we should eat, enjoyed a $90 “cab ride” in an Excursion and instead of settling for an upscale restaurant, we walked down the street to the Ale House. Nothing beats a long day like a pitcher of beer and some burgers.
Saturday we decided to go to SeaWorld. Even though it was freezing, it was still a blast. We went to the “Shamu Show” were we drank hot chocolate and watched Tilikum and Dawn dance in the water together about one week before her tragic death. We saw sharks and dolphins, parrots and penguins and even went on a rollercoaster ride. This time, Bryan made me sit in the front seat! I was terrified at first, especially on our first drop. Once I opened my eyes however, I realized all of the exciting things that I could see. It whoops and whirls over the water and from the top of the steep hills I could see all of SeaWorld to my right and Orlando to my left. This thrilling, awesome ride made me realize that even when life is speeding by at a million mile per hour, it should never go by fast enough for me not to open up my eyes and take in everything around me. I thanked Bryan after we were safely stopped. I was scared and he made me take a chance. The beauty of it all surpassed the terror.
On Sunday, Valentine’s Day, Bryan and I woke up with a couple’s massage (I highly recommend doing this) with chocolate covered strawberries, champagne, a sauna, and other spa services that we soaked up the afternoon with. We then went back to our room, showered and changed and went to dinner. We didn’t make a reservation in advance, and as it ended out, most places were completely booked (silly us, it was Valentine’s Day). We ended up at Olive Garden (no complaints there) and had a romantic meal next to their fireplace. We then went and saw the movie, “Valentine’s Day,” and ended up at a dueling piano bar, “Howl at the Moon,” to top the night off. This was by far was the coolest bar I have ever been to. We had an amazing time there and ventured back to our hotel in the early morning hours.
Monday was our last day, and we had a late flight home. Luckily, the weather finally cleared up on Sunday and we were able to lay out by the pool all day long. We even went around the lazy river and caught some rays…Bryan had a bit of a burn to prove it! We were sad to go home; even though the weather wasn’t the greatest the whole time and we paid ridiculous amounts for cab rides. Though the highlights of our trip were not the ones we were expecting to have prior to going, we embraced new adventures and created memories that will last a lifetime!
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, Bryan spends a minimum of 12 hours at work on a daily basis. He continually avoids showering here and freezing here. This brings us to the day that our landlord tried fixing our water, once again. God bless him for all the money and effort he has put into trying to fix the sulfur smell. We really do have the most amazing landlords ever (they actually gave us a wedding present…whose landlords do that)? Anyways, the water guy came out and put bleach in our water in an attempt to get rid of the smell. Problem number one: He told me not to wash me clothes for a few days because of the amount of bleach in the water. Why I thought it was ok to wash my body in the same water the next day still boggles my mind. I came out reeking of a freshly chlorinated swimming pool. And in case you have never been to a swimming pool, the smell lingers for hours, or until you take a shower in fresh water. Which is clearly impossible to do at La Casa de Dexter. Problem number two: The bleach definitely got rid of the sulfur smell for a few days, but then we obviously had the smell of bleach in our water. I have come to the conclusion that our water will never smell normal, and I may never smell normal, and I will never take for granted fresh, clean water ever again. Oh, and that water bottles are undoubtedly put on a pedestal in our house hold.
Oh the joy of being married! You get to do everything together. We make breakfast together, we eat dinner together, we play Wii together, we have Nerf gun fights together, we read together, and we pay bills together. There are some things people tell you about marriage, like how great it is to live with your best friend and all of the vacations and hikes and bike rides you can go on together. Though they occasionally mention that yes there will be fights (but what’s new, those happen before your married too), they somehow forget to mention that gut wrenching, twisted knot in your stomach feeling that you get when you open your first EXTREMELY expensive bill. That was a happy moment in our marriage! For the Time Warner lady on the other end of the phone, well, we either made her bad day worse, or made her good day bad. The anger and frustration that came from both Bryan and I was settled by giving the poor lady the Cercy wrath. At least we didn’t take it out on each other?! Upon receiving our $1200 electric bill, we decided that in order to save money when it came to heating our ice box, we would invest in a space heater. It was like a miniature fireplace that lit the family room (because now lights are only on when they absolutely need to be). This happy little heat emitter was wonderful, until we received our next bill. So we shaved about $300 off from the last bill, but our decrease in electricity did not come with a complimentary decrease in our new bill. Apparently, space heaters can make your bill sky rocket, obviously. So note to self, God gave us sticks and matches to make fires. Oh yeah, that’s right though. We have a propane fireplace and the people who install it stop installing in the beginning of December, and don’t start up again until after winter. That’s great isn’t it?! Sooo back to my Snuggie. Can I just express again how grateful I am for my Snuggie? The thermometer remains around 50 degrees, the space heater is off, and as if Bryan and I didn’t cuddle enough before, we are now permanently attached to each other’s hips. Well, at least until the next bill comes. We might need some distance upon opening the envelope.
People in upstate New York, like bears, go into hibernation around October/November and come out again around May…possibly June, basically whenever winter decides to become summer. There is a lot of snow here, especially since we live right on the lake. It’s not like Colorado. The snow doesn’t dump one day and melt the next. No, no, the snow here stays on the ground and continues to come down. It’s not even fun to play in the snow because the temperatures reach an uncomfortable -30+. It hurts to breathe when you walk outside and no amount of clothing can keep your bones from chilling on the dreadful walk from your car to the front door. Now it may seem as though I am exaggerating when I say how cold it is. But I’m a person who likes proof so I will entertain you with first hand stories of “The Tundra.”
Upon waking up one morning, I quickly scurried downstairs to the bathroom in hope of turning on a nice, hot, egg shower. I quickly realized that water would not come out of the shower head, or the bathroom sink, or the kitchen sink, or any type of water spout in our house. Realizing that the pipes were evidently frozen, I called Bill, our landlord and he quickly came over. We spent the afternoon blow-drying our pipes. And yes, I’m serious. We actually used blow-dryers to thaw out our pipes. Cosmetic tools can come in handy! After this, Bill suggested we leave the water dripping so that they wouldn’t freeze again. I knew we had to as it is the common cure for frozen pipes but naturally, the thought of eggs continually pouring out of our pipes gave me nightmares. More than the awful stench however, I wanted a hot shower, so I gave in. You see, the shower is really the only warm place in our house. We were blessed with a lack of insulation and floorboard heaters; one in the kitchen, two in the bathroom, two in the dining room, and zero in the family room. Needless to say, heat does not flow through our house gracefully, if at all. So like I said, I let the pipes drip, curled up in my Snuggie (best present ever, thank you Jeffrey) and waited for our pipes to warm up. The next morning, I raced from my snuggly warm bed to the bathroom in hopes of taking a hot shower. Instead, I found an ice bath. Being an athlete, I am used to ice baths. Even though they are painful, they are also rewarding in the end. This ice bath, not so much. Because we had let the pipes drip (like we wee supposed too) and because our house heats up to below freezing temperatures, the water that was dripping out of the spout created a solid sheet of ice on the bottom of our bathtub. Painful, and unrewarding. To continue with this freezing rant, I soon discovered that Olive Oil cannot sit in our pantry, as it too freezes into a solid block of oily ice. But since our refrigerator was and still is broken (the freezer works just fine by the way) the pantry has been a cool place to store food that we wouldn’t want to go bad. In essence, Mother Nature in the North is no joke. Cold can always be colder and you haven’t really experienced arctic living until your bathtub freezes.
Our beautiful homestead was built well over 100 years ago. It sits about 50 meters away from the Black River (part of Lake Ontario). Rightfully so, our little house used to be the boat house where people would go in order to get from Pillar Point (our side of the river) to Sackets Harbor (directly across the river). Later, our house evolved into a post office and eventually Bill and Susan bought this house and renovated it. The stairways are narrow, as are the stairs. The ceilings are uneven and depending on the temperature outside, our floors create hills and pot holes in the most random places. Wasps weasel their way into our bedroom every single day, as do flies, spiders and lady bugs! The majority of our doors are fit for people under five-feet tall. This is obviously a problem when your husband is 6’3. Hence the hole in one of the closet doors…Bryan smacked his head so hard on the door frame walking into our bedroom that he ended up with a gash on the top of his forehead. To make the pain go away, he did the man thing and punched the closet door. A normal closet door would undoubtedly withstand the blow. However, when your closet door is thinner than cardboard, a punch tends to go right through (Sorry Bill, we will take care of that)!
As for the aroma of our house, you know the distinct smell that separates one home from the next? The one that reminds you of apple pie on Christmas, fresh flowers in the Spring, or scented candles to keep everyone cozy? Well, we don’t exactly have that. Our water comes from a well. That water comes from the lake. When fish and other creatures die in that lake they give off a sulfuric scent. Every time we turn on the water, we are blasted with the smell of rotten eggs. Luckily, the potent smell evaporates into the air after a few minutes. That’s not to say that the rotten egg smell does not linger however, it just isn’t as strong. So, Beware of: flushing the toilet, washing your hands, doing laundry, starting the dishwasher, SHOWERING, and brushing your teeth. And for all of you who have a house that smells like home, count your blessings, light your candles, bake your pies and enjoy not having an egg scented house.
First off, I would like to thank God for siblings. There is a reason why we have them, and why others are given to us through marriage. If it weren’t for Corey and Amanda, saying good-bye would have been much for painful…for us anyways. You see, we set out for New York New Year’s Day. We decided to have a “good-bye” breakfast at my mother and father-in-laws house the morning that we left. Both sets of parents were there, and the siblings, well…they barely made it. It felt like a scene from the “Hangover” as bits and pieces of stories from the night before were reminisced (hence their “pain”). The hours and minutes that were left out of these stories only made me wish that they had been followed all night with a camera crew. Again, I want to thank the Lord for my family! If it wasn’t for the laughter, we would have been harping on the sadness of good-byes. It made it that much easier, and reminded me again of how blessed I am to have the family that I have (both old and new)!
Bryan and I set out around 11am, leaving life as we knew it in the past, and looking onward into the future together. We have taken our fair share of road trips in the past few years: Boulder to Orlando, Littleton to Ft. Lewis, Washington, Georgia to OBX, North Carolina, Georgia to New York, and finally our final destination from Denver to Dexter. This road trip went quite well, solely for the fact that I actually participated in driving since it was my car. You see, my wonderful husband has a truck with a stick shift (ok, so he bought it before we were married, but still) so I could never participate in the driving across the country because I’m stick shift impaired. I tried once. On our road trip from Colorado to Ft. Lewis, Bryan made me try. He pulled over at a gas station in Idaho, got out of the front seat and told me it was my turn. I started the truck ok and shifted into first, then second, and the next thing I know Bryan is telling me to start driving. Approximately 20 minutes after I left the gas station, red and blue lights started flashing in my rearview mirror. Yes, I got a speeding ticket. Yes, I did not speak to Bryan for two whole hours and a pouted and stared out of the passenger window. Yes, he did feel bad. And yes, it didn’t take long before he pulled over into a Red Robin, ordered me a chocolate milkshake, and gladly paid for my speeding ticket. And on that note, yes, I do know how wonderful of a husband I have!
So back to our drive together. It wasn’t nearly as exciting as the speeding ticket, but we are goofballs when we are together and sang obnoxious songs, danced, and told ridiculous stories as we rode on long stretches of highways past cornfields and dirt, small towns, and big cities. We made it to Chicago around 4am and stayed with Jeff (my father-in-law) at his apartment in the city. I have to give a shout out to Jeffrey for his impressive taste in decoration. I’m not gonna lie, I was amazed by his taste. Anyways, we slept for about 3 ½ hours, had some cereal and coffee and began the last stretch of our drive towards our home. The weather was great up until we left Chicago. The snow started to hit pretty hard that afternoon and continued all the way home.