So, we have been in El Paso for about 3 1/2 weeks now, and it's starting to feel a little more like home! The boxes are almost unpacked; what remains is the guest room; this is the room that I stored everything in that I didn't know what I wanted to do with. Hence the reason half of it is still boxed up or the boxes have been opened, sifted through, and left for a later time. But, my goal for tomorrow is to complete that room! You would think that before you move, you would go through your house and find things that you don't really need/use, and donate them. Well, I did that at Benning. But I now have about 2 more large boxes of things that don't need to live in our house any more...Amazing what a lack of storage space will do to your "I need this" list...Actually, I'm thankful for it; I can tend to hold onto things a little too long, so this is a good thing for me!
In the past week, I have done a lot of social activities. Which seems strange, since we know a total of 4 people here. But last week I met up with one of the wives from our battalion, and we went hiking in the mountains right behind our apartment! It was a lot of fun and she helped me feel so at home here. Last Thursday I went to a coffee with some of the other wives from our battalion. Now, you must know that a coffee does not mean that coffee is always served...traditionally, it was, but nowadays it means going out to dinner, having a get-together at someone's house, or something along those lines. I had dinner with that group of women and it was a lot of fun! There are girls my age and then women who are older than us, which I really like because they know how this Army life is and are so welcoming and encouraging! I did have a slight panic attack though...you see, El Paso is a large city. And I know this, therefore I usually allot at least 30 minutes to get somewhere. I did just that the night of the coffee, except I got lost (typical of me trying to figure out a new city...). Thankfully, I had left the map up on the computer and my sweet husband calmly guided me to the correct restaurant. I also have this thing about being late...I typically like to be somewhere at least 15 minutes early. If this means I sit in my car for 5-8 minutes acting busy and like I didn't mean to be that early, that's fine by me! Thankfully, a lot of the women were "fashionably late", so I didn't stick out too bad =)
On Monday, my friend Ashley and I went to a "Step/Dance" class. In my mind, I figured this was a step aerobics class with fun, dancy music. WRONG. Well, we had a step, but only used it for about 5 minutes. The rest of the time we held light weights and danced around with moves like the salsa, meringue, and moves that reminded me of bellydancers. I basically laughed throughout the entire class because I felt like a goob! But it was fun!
This past Wednesday I went to PWOC, which stands for Protestant Women of the Chapel. Can I tell you how much I loved this? It felt so great to walk into a place knowing that we already had a connection: knowing Christ. The women were so welcoming and I've gotten into a Bible study on marriage--should be good!
And yesterday, I went to another class at the gym, but this one was quite serious...I basically can't move today. Or laugh...it hurts to laugh! And I think I'm still getting used to the elevation/dry air here...we ran some in class and I can't tell you how bad my throat hurts! Yes, this Southerner is not used to 0% humidity...I need to feel like I'm running through thick, semi-melted butter while in a sauna. But, the 0% humidity does mean one thing: MY HAIR WORKS EVERYDAY. Typically in the South I look like a kindergartner who told her mom she wanted to fix her own hair that day...you know, a cross between the hairstyles of the 80's and a lion. It was super attractive. And you wondered why I always put my hair in a ponytail for about 9 months out of the year...
Brian has being doing training this week for EIB: Expert Infantryman Badge. He begins the real evaluation next week, but it's basically a compilation of activities that an infantryman must know, and to get the EIB, he's gotta be really good at them! He feels pretty confident, so we'll see how it goes! I mean, he's been shooting big guns all this week--at least he'll have fun while he's being evaluated!
When not unpacking/cleaning/rearranging furniture, I've been in the process of applying for jobs. I'm sending out my transcripts/resumes/cover letters next week, so here we go!
Finally, here's a little "breakdown" of the Army structure. This totally isn't an "Army-official" website, but it gives definitions...which I like! I know I mention words like platoon, battalion, and brigade a lot, so this shows you how it builds up. I was looking for a graphic organizer, but couldn't find one...maybe I'll make one for you! This list starts with the smallest unit (a squad) and builds its way up.
Pictures are coming soon-promise!