Am I CRAZY?! I believe I am.

Let me just start off by saying that I am literally exhausted!! I apologize ahead of time for any misspelled words or anything that may make ZERO sense. I have now been up for roughly 22 hours. I, my dear ones, am not sleeping for another 10 or so either. Why? Oh because I am crazy. CRAZY IN LOVE!! Ha ha okay that was ridiculously cheesy but I mean really, when it comes down to it, it's true. I am forcing myself to stay up all night (well I already have haven't I?) AND all day so I can go to sleep at about 3 pm this afternoon. I plan on sleeping from then until about 11 pm then loading up my car with goods. When I say goods I am referring to a case of 36 Dasani water bottles, some fabulously delicious Gardettos & sunflower seeds, some ridiculously organized and meticulously packed luggage, and this woman right here.

Then it is of to Texas!! What's in Texas? Oh just the most amazing man ever!! Him!!

So like I said, it all comes down to love. Without love, I would not be awake so I could sleep later to avoid sleep on my drive to see him. Love is what will keep me running I am sure. We will arrive in Texas at our hotel around 3 or 4 pm on Wednesday afternoon. Upon arriving we (Erin & I) have plans of settling in, eating, showering, and going to sleep. We have to wake up at 4:30 am on Thursday (which just so kindly happens to be 2:30 AZ time) to be on base in time for the orientation we have to attend. YAY!!

The time has FINALLY arrived to see my loverface aka my adoring and loveable husband. He has done amazing and just from his letters and phone calls I can tell he is a completely different person now. I am so nervous and I have huge butterflies when I think of seeing him but I am so utterly excited. Hopefully this weekend goes as slowly as the last two months have. Wish me luck dear ones and pray for me on the road to Texas!!


Cody & Chelle Photoshoot June 2009

My friend Millie is an amazing, self-taught photographer. Before Cody left for Basic, we did a shoot with her and I got the pictures from her the other day. I can't wait to take more when he gets home now that we've both lost lots of weight. Ha ha she made us look good anyways. Here they are!!

Note: Click blog title to see Millie's photo blog or go to www.photosbymillie.com

Also I had like 10 more really good ones I was going to post but Blogger is being fickle and extremely aggravating so I gave up. Maybe later. Enjoy!!


Cody's Letters August 8th-August 15th

One week from today I get to see and kiss his cute face!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

"You've gotta love the weekends in BMT. We get to sleep in until 0545 and stay up until 2200 and do lots of fun stuff. By fun I mean we practiced Drill for a few hours and spent the rest of the day up in the dorm doing homework, folding clothes, perfecting beds, and shining our low quarters (dress shoes). Now we're just chilling up here kind of pretending to be busy. Unfortunately I have Entry Controller Duty tonight from 2030 to 2230 so I can't go to be early but I am certainly enjoying my down time."

Sunday, August 9, 2009

"So today was a super hectic day, especially for Sunday. We had to pack for BEAST (BTW: BEAST stands for Basic Expeditionary Airmen Skills Training), clean the dorm thoroughly, and do some practice for BEAST. We ran 4 different classes for our practice and I was in charge of teaching one of them. I taught a 30 minute class 4 times on all sorts of information to include security measures, chemical warnings and actions, IED recognition and all sorts of stuff. Needless to say, church was a welcome relief. Well I'm tired and its BEAST tomorrow so goodnight."

Monday, August 10, 2009

"Holy cow today was a long day in the sun and I am exhausted. We got to the BEAST site at 0630 and began right away. We were issued gear, given a general briefing, and started setting up the zone. Luckily the tents were set up but we did have to set up sandbag bunkers, some smaller tents, and chemical detection points. We also did some first aid refresher courses. It sounds easy enough. Except the 100 degree heat and 65 lbs. of gear we wore all day to include helmet, flak jacket, and rucksack full of chemical gear. Tomorrow should be just as fun."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"I am pleased to announce that day 2 of BEAST is over. My surprise for the morning was being promoted to a Tactical Deployment Leader or TDL. That means that I am in command of 10 other people and I'm in the 3rd tier of the chain of command. We have a Zone Leader over all 200 people in our zone, BEAST Monitors over 50 people and TDL's over 10. I got moved up because our BEAST Monitor got moved up to ZL and my TDL got moved up to BM. So I had to learn a lot and really hustle today. It was another hot sticky day and one of our exercises was chemical gear which is like wearing a parka over my ABU's. In 20 minutes in chem gear and battle rattle (flak vest, helmet, etc) I easily soaked through my ABU's. We have to monitor our water intake like crazy. We have tape on our helmets and make a tally every time we finish a canteen. People are still falling out at a ridiculous pace. We spent most of the day practicing base defense and first aid and ran a practice exercise involving a ground attack and then clearing the zone of casualties and UXO's (unexploded ordinances). Well I suppose that about sums up my day. I bet yours was more fun."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"I suppose that hot is a good word to sum up the day. We hit 100 degrees by 10:00 this morning. Definitely not fun. This morning we performed a mock Tactical Deployment Mission where we traveled to a different site while on the lookout for enemy troops and IED's. My group got through this with ease. Part of the march was a mini obstacle course with plenty of crawls and rolls and all sorts of stuff, all going uphill. Once we got to the site we had to set up a mini camp complete with tents and sandbag cover. After we got back to our camp we did plenty of attack drills and practice. Currently we are in the middle of a thunderstorm so we're just chillin' in the tent waiting for the lightning to life so that we can go shower. At least it's cooler!!"

Friday, August 14, 2009

"So yesterday was absolutely crazy hence the lack of journal entry. We got up at 0330 and were out doing security drills by 0500. We had our eval on everything today to determine which zone would get BEAST Excellence. We were graded on security, first aid, IED's, unexploded ordinance and chemical warfare drills. We spent the whole day in Mopp suits and boots which is the chemical gear as well as full battle rattle. When we did chem drills we were in full gear, mask and all for well over an hour.

This morning we got to find out who won and guess what? We did! Our zone got 133 out of 138 points. We beat the 2nd place zone by 2 points. Now we get a red streamer to hang from our Guidon (flag) to announce to the world that we got BEAST Excellence. We are also now 1 of 4 flights eligible for Warrior Flight which is the best flight in our week of training. It was awesome to get back to the squadron today and experience a good long shower and a hot meal. I am however, completely exhausted so goodnight."

Saturday, August 15, 2009

"Today we got Base Liberty as a reward for returning with BEAST Excellence. I got to experience Popeye's Chicken, some ice cream and lots of time on the phone and computer with my wife, Together that makes a great day."


I am sitting hear laughing hysterically because I just ran across an old video from when I lived in Safford going to EAC. It was in 2006 and Cody and I had just met when 3 of my best buddies from high school drove up and surprised me for the weekend. Davey, James, and Grubbs (Mike) are so funny and this video proves it. They found the toilet in my backyard and enjoyed my bowling lane hallway for scootering and skateboarding in outrageously short shorts. There's also a clip from a dance off with the infamous Christy Dobbs who lives in Thatcher and is mentally handicapped but such a sweet girl. Everyone whose ever lived or visited there knows who she is. Enjoy!!


HOLY CROW!! I got chills.

I have resolved that I will NOT be in the midnight showings so I can actually enjoy movies. This one is tempting me but I am resolved. I think they learned a ton from the first one and that this one is going to be a whole lot better. Can you say Jacob is hot? I can. I just did. This is gonna be good.


Ode to my love!

I can't help it. I have to dedicate a post to my loverface. Cody David Steele is his name. He loves me with a love that I don't deserve. He is so giving, understanding, forgiving, selfless, serving, caring, loving, kind, the list could go on and on. I'll spare you the endlessness of his amazingness. I got to talk to him today. He survived BEAST week. More than survived by the sounds of it. He was in charge of 25 guys and in his own words, his flight "killed it & dominated". It is funny because in his letters and then now today on the phone and online chatting with him, he uses a few words he's picked up. It makes me laugh. I was talking to him though, and being the amazing and humble guy that he is kept brushing off everything I was saying. I know he's had it rougher than me. He's had to deal with not only the emotional stress but he's had to comply with an entirely new and extreme set of standards topped offf with mental and physical stress. He wakes up at 3 in the morning and works all day long. Today I said, "You are so tough. You are so strong and amazing. Everything you do. You are so selfless." His response? The usual. "I just do what I have to do for you and for us to make it." I of course, cried. From the time that I met him, he has always been so understanding. We've had to deal with a lot together and this has been a rough year. I think rough is putting it mildly but we've made it. The only reason being is Cody's strength. When I didn't want to get out of bed, when I couldn't eat, when I didn't want to talk or see anybody, when I was in the hospital, when we lost our jobs, when I felt like I couldn't get through one more day, Cody was there. He was the one pushing through, cleaning the house, taking care of me, doing the laundry, working 10 hour days, making excuses for me, and doing everything he could to make me happy again, and just loving me. He was there. He has the most amazing sense of humor. I think that's one of the reasons we get along so well. People are always saying he doesn't talk much but he does. I love our conversations. We always have the best time together and there is nothing better than hearing his laugh. He really is my very best friend. He has become such an integral part of my identity that there is no me without him. I thank God for him every night. I cannot wait to see him again. This whole, "not seeing him or hearing from him or being anywhere near him" situation has gotten quite old. I'm ready for our new life to start. I just gotta get to the middle of October. I can do it. I can do it because I have Cody.

This is before I met Cody. I call this his downs-syndrome picture.

This was the very first picture we ever took as a couple.

Halloween 2006. Cody as Paul Wall. "Nuff said.

Oh heavens he loves his otter-pops!!

This picture cracks me up. He looks like a wild man all scruffy and hairy.

I love looking back at our engagement photos. Cody looks like a baby!!

He did so well with my ring. Its a rock!!

Cody is such a good friend. Many of his friends are some of my very best friends now and he willingly shares them with me.

He loves my friends too. That means the world to me.

We love to go places together and he spoils me so!!

On our honeymoon, I had pneumonia and I passed it on to Cody. Even though we were so sick, he was the one taking care of me.

He loves all my nieces and nephews so much and is so good with them. He is going to be such an amazing dad. Just another trait to add to the list eh?

He is always making me laugh.

He has the BEST facial expressions.

He's stuck with me through major hair dilemnas.

Now he is off working like a mad man, becoming an Airman so we can get ahead and have a new life. He's perfect :)


Cody's Letters August 2nd-August 8th


Sunday, August 2, 2009

"Well it's been another wonderful Sunday. We did have to drill a bit but we spent most of the day deep cleaning the dorm and we had a pre-inspection on our Blues set up in our lockers. Testimony meeting at church was really nice. There were some very wonderful thoughts from many people. I also had quite a bit of time to read my scriptures and that is always uplifting. there's nothing better than being on a spiritual high here at BMT."

Monday, August 3, 2009

"So it's Monday. I got up at 0230 for KP Duty and washed dishes and took out trash until 2000. Nuff said."

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

"So today was easy but it just seemed to really drag. We took pictures in the morning both as a flight and individually. Then we spent the rest of the day in the classroom learning some really boring stuff you just have to get through. But I made it and it should be more fun tomorrow. Oh as a note, someone in our brother flight, which is the flight next door whose in the same week as us and who we do EVERYTHING with, ya someone over there was diagnosed with the Swine Flu today. So we just finished deep cleaning and cleansing the dorm. Hopefully that will keep it from jumping to our flight."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

"Today was certainly productive. This morning we had a CPR class. We did everything we had to do to get certified except take the test. We practiced on dummies and learned to use a defibrulator (sp?) It was fun to have a good hands on class. We also learned how to assemble our giant tents for BEAST next week. We learned the basics and then had races to put up sections. Our flight won every time out of the 4 flights that were there. Finally we had our real inspection on our Blues and I'm proud to say that mine was perfect. What can I say, it's just what I do."

Thursday, August 6, 2009

"Today was awesomely chill, especially for BMT. Today we had CATM training which stands for Combat Arms Training and Maintenance. It really means that we trained and qualified on the M16. We got to take a bus to a Lackland Annex which means we actually left base and were driving through the real world for the space of like 3 minutes. It was amazing. When we got there we were in a Tech School classroom which had amazingly comfortable chairs and our instructor (who was not a TI) was really relaxed and made class fun. We didn't exactly learn anything in class because we practice all the time with the dummy M16's in the dorm but we had about 3 hours of class. After lunch we went out and sighted the rifle and then practiced in all of the positions we would be evaluated in. The positions were prone supported (on our stomach's with the rifle on a sandbag), prone unsupported (on our stomach's with our elbow's as the ground support), prone supprted with a gas mask (same as #1 but with our gas mask on, this one sucked), kneeling, and standing. For our evaluation we had 50 shots, 10 in each position. We had 3 magazines with 4 shots, 3 shots, and 3 shots. We had to shoot and reload within a set time (50-90 seconds). We had 10 different sized targets on our paper and had to hit each one for every position. To qualify, you had to hit 25 out of 50 and for expert you had to get 43. My score was 40. I'm not too disappointed but it would have been nice to get expert. All but 2 in our flight of 51 qualified so we did awesome as a whole. I think we had 18 experts. Gotta love our Special Ops flight. Apparently the whole base has heard about our flight, that we kick butt at everything. We did CPR with 2 flights from all the way on the other side of the base and they were talking about us before they realized we were next to them. What can I say, we're the best. Anyways, today was a great, relaxed, fun day."

Friday, August 7, 2009

"Today had potential to be fun but to be honest it feel quite short. Reason being is that we had Pugil Stick Training today but I did not get to participate. Just to explain, pugil sticks are like giant q-tips you beat each other with. We got to fight against our Brother flight but apparently we had some issues with shots to the head and our instructor (who happened to be female) got mad and shut everything down. Since we were going by size, shortest to tallest, I was one of about 10 who got shafted and didn't get to fight. Needless to say I was quite disappointed. After that we had 5 classes, 4 of which were horribly boring. But now its relaxation time and I'm going to enjoy it."

Saturday, August 8, 2009

"So today was by far the best day of Basic so far. Why is that you ask? Two words, Base Liberty. We spent the morning doing drill practice and as soon as 1300 rolled around we were set free to roam the base until 1930. The freedom was like a sugar rush, I almost didn't know what to do with myself. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time on the phone with my lovely wife. I enjoyed real life Burger King, I went to the library and encountered the internet where I chatted with my wife, and then I called my amazing wife again. Today was just what the doctor ordered. I couldn't have asked for a better day."


Open mouth, insert foot

A friend found this little gem and shared it. Here's a "miserably failing" metaphor from our oh so beloved President BO. I think it'll speak for itself. Can you say major foot in the mouth? Its things like this that make me pray like crazy that the American public wake up soon.

Just a little tid-bit of information: We pay the head honcho postmaster a 800,000 thousand a year salary with BONUSES on top of that while at the same time USPS is constantly in the red. Last year alone, the USPS reported a 2.8 billion dollar loss! I bet he's thinking, "Oh tele-prompter, where art thou?" I know where it was, he sent it via-USPS.


Cody's Letters July 24th-July 31st

Friday, July 24, 2009

"Not much to report today. I found out about Rachelle's health crisis last night so I've been real down and out today. My mind's been elsewhere today. So today we practiced drill in the morning and had a career appointment in the afternoon. Just more paperwork stuff. Other than that its been a slow day."

Saturday, July 25, 2009

"Again not much to report. I did have the opportunity to talk to my amazing wife and find out she's okay. I know she's not out of the woods yet, but it was a load off of my shoulders. Other than that we practiced drill in the heat for 4 hours straight. Needless to say, I'm drained."

Sunday, July 26, 2009

So today again started with 90 minutes of drill but we did pretty good. I enjoyed my 3 hours of quiet time while most of the flight was at church. Then at Sacrament we got to listen to the High Priest group leader speak which was wonderful. We just got back from dinner so now I am full and content."

Monday, July 27, 2009

"So we hit some big milestones today. We got our Blues AND we got our name tags sewn onto our ABU's! I feel all grown up now. It's like we're the upperclassmen at BMT. We had to spend the whole day at clothing issue though but it's all good because all of our Blues are custom tailored. So it was a lot of sitting around but we got a lot out of it."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"So today started out kind of rough. I felt really sick this morning so I went to the dispensary and found out that I was one degree away from going to the fever wing. Definitely not good news. But I got a bunch of medicine and I've been feeling better all day. Today all we had was classes. Five of them to be exact. Our instructor was really cool and upbeat and super funny. He made it easy to stay awake even though most of the classes were super boring."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Holy cow today has pooped me out. We got to go to the obstacle course this morning which was fun but kicked everyone's butt. It was a 1.5 mile course and took about an hour to complete. Oh, did I mention it was a 3 mile march there and back and we had to carry a 30 lb pack? But I survived and made it through every obstacle all before 11 AM. After lunch we had a weapons evaluation which we got perfect as a flight. We had to breakdown and reassemble the M16 in 2 minutes and name all the pieces. AND we had an open ranks inspection which means we lined up and a TI came through and checked for proper uniform, shaving, and asked questions about classes we've had. At least its over."

Thursday, July 30, 2009

"Well I've got nothing big to report today other than we did get haircuts finally. My hair had gotten longer here at BMT than it did in the civilian world. Not many people can say that. Also, they didn't cut it as short as I like today. Oh well. Our next cut in 7th week, we get to tell them what we want. Other than haircuts we just drilled and did laundry today."

Friday, July 31, 2009

"So today was a fun and interesting day except for about 30 minutes that sucked and 5 minutes that really really sucked. Today we had the gas chamber. We had to learn and practice how to use and wear our gas mask and all our protective gear. The protective suit is like wearing a snowsuit. pants jacket, over boots, gloves, and the hood pulled tight. All of this is over our full ABU uniform. Did I mention that it rained last night and was over 100 degrees today? Not fun. Then after we had put on and taken off our gear 3 times, they took 20 people at a time into the gas chamber. They filled it with tear gas, made us do jumping jacks, and then we took off our hoods. I could immediately feel a burn on my head and neck, especially where I had shaved. Then one by one we took off our mask, attempted to give a reporting statement and once given approval we walked SLOWLY over to the far side of the room and outside. Needless to say it was rough. Everything just burned horribly. I couldn't breathe or see. We had to walk around for 5 minutes to decontaminate. It took quite a while before my eyes stopped burning. It was fun but I wouldn't want to do it anytime soon. We spent the rest of the day learning about IED's and ho to spot them. We got to march in the wilderness here along a dirt road and try to find IED's and if we missed it, they would explode like a firework and give off smoke. They were tough to spot too. It really gives perspective on what's out there and what the troops deal with. so like I said, it was fun and interesting but also quite sobering."

Robby sent this to me yesterday and it put me in the BEST mood ever! Isn't my man just so cute and scrawny?! This was long before I even knew him! I just had to share the love my lovelies.


Count my Many Blessings...

Oh heavens!! I am so blessed. I don't think I could stay conscious long enough to say thank you to everyone or to list the small yet monumental blessings I have been the recipient of in the last week. Most of you know how sad and torn up I have been over not having heard from Cody in what felt like a very long time. After my surgery on Thursday, my mom brought me not one but two letters I had gotten from him that day! What a glorious thing it was to read his words. I held back my tears of joy and love for him and those letters at the time because my mama, sister, Erin, and Robby were all there but once they left I re-read them 3 times and bawled my eyes out. THEN, having been home all day yesterday but also drugged up for much of it, I didn't have too much time to ponder how very much I miss him. Today however started out extremely rough. I had the most intensely painful migraine I have ever experienced along with increased difficulty with breathing. Everything was just so much more focused and intense. I threw up and it was just an altogether rough morning. I got up to use the bathroom at about 10:30 and I hear my phone start ringing. I don't even know how I knew but I yelled for my mom to grab it because, somehow, I KNEW it was Cody. His flight has been doing amazing so they had almost a full day of base liberty. I got to speak with him on the phone, then he had to go but then he called an hour later and we finished up his calling card. Then we chatted online in two different sessions on Facebook and then I got one more phone call. It was such a huge relief/blessing/exactly what my heart needed. This next week is BEAST week so I won't get to hear from him at all but hopefully he'll get another phone call next weekend. He also found out I had had surgery so that was such a huge relief for me knowing that now when he gets those letters, he already knows I'm okay. He had wanted to see a picture of my abdomen so I sent him a picture and he said," It looks like you lost horribly in a knife fight." That made me laugh because that's what Aaron and Erin had told me to say to people who ask if they ever see my scars is that I got in a knife fight. Here's the pictures of Erin hanging out with sickly me and my grotesque yucky tummy.


I'm Alive!!

Well, I am alive!! I had my surgery yesterday and all went exceptionally well. I got to the hospital about 7:30 AM yesterday and went in for surgery at about 11:15 AM. I had an EGD done which is where they stick a camera down my throat and check out my stomach and my intestines. Both looked good which was a HUGE weight off of my shoulders. I also had an exploratory laparoscopy, a laparoscopic appendectomy, and a laparoscopic colesysectomy. Those are big fancy words for getting both my gall bladder and my appendix removed. I was really calm going in and don't even remember anything until late afternoon yesterday. I guess I entertained everyone though. My mom was with me at the hospital then later Erin came to stay with me while my mom took off for a bit. Davey came by for about an hour then when he left, my mom and Amber came by along with Robby. It was so much better having people to visit with. They all took off around 10 PM and then began my rough night. I only vomited once after surgery which was good and then I was able to hold down some Jello and tons of ice chips. All the nurses and aids were amazing and didn't mind helping me get up to pee or go on walks every hour. My doctor did find a small hernia on my right side but he left it because it looked so minute. If i end up having to get it taken care of down the road, it won't even compare to now so I'm not worried.

I got home today around 9:30'ish and was worn out just from the car ride. My pain is pretty bad not only because I had three procedures done and I have 6 open incisions on my abdomen, but also because I have several bruised ribs and one cracked rib. Oh my heavens I had no idea it would be this excruciating to have messed up ribs. It makes breathing a little difficult and I can't straighten up but I'll get there. Another tender mercy from my Heavenly Father was that I got two long letters from Cody yesterday. FINALLY!! I'll be sure to type up those letters sometime soon. Here are just a few camera phone pictures from yesterday.

I also have received a few cards and knick-knacks from my MIL and also some beautiful daisies which brightened my day. Thanks Robyn, Matt and girls!!

These are more gorgeous flowers Miss Erin bestowed upon me just now.

I have the best family and friends in the entire world!! I only have a few good friends but they are seriously the best.