Oh, By The Way...

I had a training/prep session for the Pilgrimage retreat this weekend at Camp Bethel, and Zach had Friday/Saturday off for MLK Day (he has to work tomorrow), so he drove up from Jacksonville, picked me up at Duke, and we roadtripped up to Martinsville together :)

As I've said before, roadtrips with Zach are my absolute favorite. Once we hit the road, he put in a fun oldies mix CD that I made a long time ago and we sang our little hearts out. Needless to say, my stomach hurt from laughing so hard by the time we arrived in Virginia.

Zach stayed at home for the weekend while I continued onto camp. Training was absolutely wonderful; it's amazing to see God working already. There are still LOTS of openings for anyone ages 18+ at the retreat. The ever-so-lovely David Jamison and Alison Stultz have already registered, and if that's not enough to convince you, the fact that you'll be spending the weekend here should:

Yeah, that's what I thought.

I woke up without an alarm at 6AM on Saturday morning (I've been doing that a lot lately!), so I bundled up & explored camp. After watching the sunrise by the Grandmother Oak and having a lovely discussion with the four cows (one of whom I think is pregnant, but I apologized in case she was just really fat...), I wandered over to the shaky bridge (which is not-so-shaky when it's frozen) and had some quiet time :)

After training, I went back to Zach's house for dinner and got to see his family's new puppy! They're not actually keeping it; they just got a puppy about six months ago that is already the size of a small horse. But this little cutie didn't have the best living conditions, so they rescued it and are looking for a nice home.

I should note that I've never had a dog, nor do I really like them (sorry), but she was just so tiny & precious & absolutely stole my heart. When she bends down to eat, her back paws lift up into the air because her head clearly weighs more. She's also an excellent cuddler & was simply adorable when she nestled herself into Zach's coat pocket. Gah!

We left his house & began the drive back to Durham. Since pre-deployment training begins in less than a month & everything will be full speed ahead once that starts, Zach and I discussed all the stuff that 21-year-olds should never have to discuss---such as power of attorney and wills and all the emergency "just-in-case" scenarios. We talked about taxes and insurance payments and whatnot. Then we finally got down to the lighter topics, such as cell phone deactivation.
Zach: I just call and tell them I'm going overseas for seven months and they'll temporarily suspend my account.

Me: You mean ten months.

Zach: No, I mean seven.

Me: No, ten.

Zach: No, seven.

Me: Zach, you're deploying for ten months.

Zach: They've decided not to extend us. We're deploying for seven... :)


OH. MY. GOODNESS. I started crying and laughing and shrieking all at the same time---I can't even explain what I sounded like. Typical Marine Corps deployments are seven months, but Zach's unit was supposed to extend and be in Afghanistan for ten. And let's be honest---the USMC can't make up its mind about anything and I fully expect the plans to be changed another 17 times between now and then. If it does end up getting changed back to ten months, I know we'll get through it just fine. But seven months sounds SO much better!

I woke up this morning and was honestly convinced the entire thing was a dream. All day long, I've been texting him "seven months?" and he keeps telling me "yes, for real!" I don't know when it's gonna sink in. Definitely not any time soon! He'll be back with plenty of time to see me graduate---eeek! God is so good and we are so blessed :)

This week is going to be rather uneventful & full of boring things like internship applications, so I'll definitely be using my formspring to generate blog topic ideas. Some people were having trouble with the page before---hopefully it works now! Although it's anonymous, I know everyone who has submitted up to this point because they all want me to talk about them. Haha---such wonderful family and friends I have :) Maybe if I choose your topic or question, I'll send you some cute/crafty Beffie creation...