It seems strange to abruptly start writing, so I thought I'd add a salutation. Hope you like the touch. Anyway, it's been pretty busy around these parts--that, and they seem to have blocked this website from access from government computers, so I can't update from work. Darn! They must have been monitoring my computer...
The 173rd has lost a few men in the past weeks as well, which has put everyone in a more somber mood and raised stress levels. Nathan knew several of them, including one who was in his company when he first got here. Memorial services have been an almost-weekly occurrance recently.
On a lighter note, Stella has gone to stay with a friend for a while--if she behaves, hopefully until I can go up & down stairs easily. It's an incredible relief--I can finally start using my few spare minutes and little spare energy to clean up my house. Or update our blog...
Tara & Talia were here for about 18 days in July. They were an incredible help--driving me around, cooking for me, doing my dishes, taking Stella outside--and I hear that they actually got to see some of Italy as well! Tara got the true Italian experience, as the contents of her purse were stolen in Rome, and she "learned the local driving culture" as the euphemizers on post like to say. As my Walking in Italy book points out, it takes skill and bravado to drive here, and she possessed both while behind the wheel of the Teal Terror.
In more recent news, I turned 23 on Friday. It was a very nice birthday. Presents and activities included: an early birthday dinner from Vanessa & Kumiko (complete with Marzemino and cupcakes), birthday packages from Kitty & Tara, a cake from my boss Elaine, surprises at work: 2 birthday balloons (one a toucan!) and a coke from Gina, Amber, Lizz, & Helen (though sorry I ruined the surprise girls!) and a visit from Sarah, a Pampered Chef party that night (not for me, but I did buy myself presents there), a trip to the pool Saturday, The Bourne Ultimatum Saturday night then dinner at La Vecchia Fattoria, and a pair of fancy boots from my honey. And I hear things are still on the way from my family! Thank you all so very much.
Another nice touch to the week was that I got to start putting weight on my foot. It's healing normally and I should be off the crutches in one month. I swam some laps Saturday, which was great. And the swelling is staying down enough that I can now wear flip-flops on BOTH feet!
Nathan and I have been blessed with talking frequently recently. It's something that most of my friends don't get--they can go weeks without talking to their husbands. He's as awesome as always, and I'll let him update you on his activities.