Well I hope this finds everyone well, I am now on my second stop in the Mediterranean Sea and it's a lot more relaxed then the last one. The underway to get here was my own personal Hell though. We had a big piece of gear break that had to get fixed. We had to make a special tool to take a strange lock nut off. The first tool we made bent at 480 pounds of torque, the second one was way beefier and did the job, either way it made for an underway of very little sleep.
The deployment so far is going as good as it can. I have a note from Sam for every day that I am underway so it's like a little slice of home. This port we got our first mail call. I want to thank Cindy and Ray for the things the sent, Ray the pink sticky notes were funny as Hell- you know what I mean. Thank you also for the food and the other things. My wife sent me a package too that had a bunch of great stuff; a cool Teddy bear, food, cards and more puzzles, which are loads of fun to do.
I also remember why I love it in Europe so much, the Siesta. Where else is it expected that everything closes in the middle of day and it's time to take a nap. It's a great way to live, you stay out late get up eat breakfast then call the wife. Then take a nap and go get some food and see the sights then come back to boat and call the wife again. Stay up late. Rinse and repeat.
So I hope to get into town today and do some shopping. I remember something from the last time I was here that I am sure Sam will love so I have to find that. Hope all is well with everyone and I will call when I can.
EDIT: I added some pictures from the NAVY website of them pulling into Crete!
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Posted by Joe and Samantha at 1:37 AM
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Ah. Kisses and I love you's all the way from GREECE!
He woke me up early this morning. I had my skype ALL ready. Nothing like waking up to the skype ring ( knowing is was him ). And hearing....Good Morning Monkey- you there? He's in his uniform beause he has duty but was able to sneak away.
Posted by Joe and Samantha at 8:00 AM
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Thought this would be of interest to some people.
This was a swim call my husbands sub did on their underway in June:
Neat little video.
My husband has a white and maroon(flower) board shorts on- I can't find him anywhere. But I know he's there- jumping off and having a few moments of fun...... they can be so far and few between on the sub.
Posted by Joe and Samantha at 11:39 AM
Monday, July 28, 2008
Get an e-mail from your husband that says this at the end:
....know that I love you and I cant wait to get to spend some quality time with you even if its only pictures and in my dreams, you mean the world to me and you are the only reason that I am doing this right now, if it were just me I would have given up on this job long ago. I have to get back to work now thank you again for all your hard work and the tough times you have to go through when I am gone. I love you lots monkey.....
*sigh* I mean the world to him..... how great does that sound? Sometimes they say exactly what you need to hear. When you are constantly having one way conversations (emails) it can be frustrating and lonely. And then *pop* one of these emails come through. Relief!
Sometimes I wonder if I make things worse/harder for him. That it may have been easier for him when he didn't have "home" to come home to. I think with or without me he would have stayed in. He told me before we got married that we wanted to stay in. He wanted me to support it. SO I do. But...gosh..... it can be so hard.
Oh man do I miss him. But I just cherish e-mails like that.
Posted by Joe and Samantha at 5:47 PM
OK- So this is SO me! I had JUST had to buy it. It goes with my un born childs crib and twin bed submarine pattern that I have already bought. I know I am crazy- but "Daddy" is going to be my kids hero. Because he's mine. The poor kid will have submarine everything. In fact. My cedar closet is full of submarine clothes already. I have sizes 6 months- 4T. In fact I just found really cute submarine pajammies from GAP on ebay that I ordered yesterday.
*shrug* Can't help it. I'm a proud submarine wife.
You can get ONE OF A KIND items for you as well at http://shaywilliams.blogspot.com/.
:) Samantha the submarine wife. The proud one. The one whos submarine husband has a purse ( see below ).
Posted by Joe and Samantha at 6:04 AM
Sunday, July 27, 2008
A paragraph of Joe's e-mail:
I do have a funny story that only makes sense while in Europe and with a bunch of guys from a submarine, so I bet you never thought that we would ever go purse shopping, let me set the stage for you: we are all out on liberity and we notice that there are lots of men in france wearing a man purse. Now on the outside this seems a little strange to a red blooded hetro american male, but I am not going to knock it until I try it...so Scotty, Byrd, Mark, Tony and I go man purse shopping. We go to small shops, open air venders and the europian version of a mall in search of the perfect man bag. The bag must hold the kindle, cigars, passport, wallet, change (since most of the euro is change not bills it seems) and any other items that we have to carry, and it has to look good and not cost much. Well after much searching and talking about what colors go with whos eyes, we all find one, best of all it's cheap and now I understand why you like your purse so much. It's so handy and you never have anything in your pockets. Best of all for a submariner - when you get to the boat you just put the whole thing away. You never have to go hunting in the foot locker again to find change, and wallet, and cell phone. It's great. So please go get a new purse for yourself... now that I know how nice they are I understand the 300 dollar womans purses, sort of. Can't wait to get home and show it off to you. I will so rock that in the states too.
Had to share. Hilarious.
I don't write back to tell him Coach ( my preferred brand ) has had "man" purses for a long time because I think my husband will want one.
Posted by Joe and Samantha at 1:54 PM
Friday, July 25, 2008
I did ask Joe- Is this sort of fun? I mean - it's like a guys extended weekend. Guy jokes- Guy everything. None of us around to tell you what to do and/or nag you to do something (Let's face it: we only nag because our way is better). There must be a small part of it that's fun. Joe's reply, " It used to be- now I just want to be home. " I wanted to laugh and say - Good Answer. They can be trained! But I knew from the look on his face- He was serious. *Insert MORE Samantha sniffles here*
Posted by Joe and Samantha at 4:47 AM
Thursday, July 24, 2008
What is better then Joey's sweet voice?
Posted by Joe and Samantha at 11:01 AM
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
It's just inevitable.... that when they go.... major things happen - things that you just NEEEED to talk to them about.... things you need to share/have to share.... things that you WANT to share...
I've had a bunch already this deployment; financial decisions, special project for speaking, a sad ending to an important friendship etc.... but you learn to express emotion in emails and share situations/feelings in sub time- rather then 'real time'(one on one conversations).
It's not easy.....
And then.... the phone rings and it's a crazy phone number..... and you KNOW it's your husband.... Of course- this is Samantha land... so it went more like this:
Get in the car to go to RI for a Mommy/Sammy day - turn on the phone to a VM. Listen to it - and..... it goes like this.... Hey baby. Thank Tony for getting this call through... I almost killed this darn phone machine-but I'm just calling to say I looooove you...I misssssssssssssss you and I want to have your babies.. ( this is where I laugh hysterically ) And why aren't you answering the phone -you're killing me. Call you later. Love you.
That's my Joey. Just the way I love him.
All day I wait... when does he call??- When I'm smack in the middle of 'Sex in the City' with my mom at the theatre. I leave ( of course ) to 17 minutes and thirty four seconds of bliss. Where I forgot all the things I needed to tell him... and just listen to his sweet voice. sweet. sweet voice. I don't cry until the end. Until I know I can't hear him anymore. Until I don't want him to hang up. Until my stomach hurts. He knows how to make it better..... " Monkey don't cry- I'll see you next time I call. " ( we skype- web cam style when possible ). I manage to get out- "OK". But he knows it's not and he tries to make me laugh by telling me he loves me thiiiiiiis much but he can't stretch his arms out because he's in a phone booth- so I have to imagine. We end the phone call giggling. I cry for the next twenty minutes while I try to catch back on to the movie. He doesn't have to know that part though.
And he'll never understand the ache my heart feels today. Or everyday when I crawl into our big empty bed with his brown sweatshirt. He doesn't get to see me as I try to find my spot. The one I rub with my thumb over and over and over until I'm calm. He doesn't see those tears. I know though.... that I don't see his either. It's something we don't talk about. Deep down we both know. It's that connection. The best friend thing. The ultimate soul mate lover thing. It's pretty amazing. And that's always my very last thought before bed.
Posted by Joe and Samantha at 9:40 PM
Saturday, July 19, 2008
I love getting e-mail. I really do. And I feel like I get a fair amount- and the length is decent - not award winning but decent. And I appreciate that he sacrifices his free time/sleep time to write me emails. I appreciate that he sees my sacrifice. That he supports me. That he does his best with e-mail.
I am a stay positive kind of girl- but whew- The email thing throws me for a loop. I read the emails I receive over and over again until I could recite them to you word for word. I truly enjoy them. I smile at the crazy things his division does(or the people in it). I laugh when he teases me. I feel tears when he's being sweet or sharing his feelings(monumental occurrences only)..... then when I have sucked all the emotion out of the e-mail.... I feel empty. I want more. I'm longing for more. And it's not his fault. I know his time is limited...there isn't much to say... he can't print my emails to refer to.. sailor mail doesn't always work...... It's just part of the game - I suppose. I just don't want to feel sad. I don't want to feel empty.
I have to find a coping skill to truly enjoy his e-mails (not just a moment of joy) instead of letting them be in control of my feelings. I know I am in complete control of this entire deployment. How upset/sad I get is completely up to me. I feel very confident and strong. I know that everything will go well- I know it will fly by. I know it will be fine. I made a promise to Joe- for the rest of my life and that included at least 11 more years of "our sub life" until he retires- maybe 21 if we decide to do 30. I promised. With that promise comes understanding, support and love. I HAVE to keep it together...so that he can keep it together. E-mail will not rule this deployment...
E-mail will not rule this deployment. That includes caring when other people get e-mail and you don't. Not a possibility- so stop it right now......
I feel much better after getting that out.
Email will not rule this deployment... WILL NOT
Missing my husband....
Bless those who serve beneath the deep,
Through lonely hours their vigil keep.
May peace their mission ever be,
Protect each one we ask of Thee.
Bless those at home who wait and pray,
For their return by night and day.
Posted by Joe and Samantha at 12:40 PM
Friday, July 18, 2008
I wake up some early mornings ( when it's still dark ) thinking about Joey. I think it's because we switch pillows when he's away and I think my pillow is more comfortable. Maybe it's because I sleep with the hood of my favorite hoodie of his draped over my nose. Or that he's all I can think about when I finally get into bed. Anyway- Sometimes I wake up. Most times I 'will' myself to go back to sleep. This time... I just "knew" I had e-mail. This is quite hilarious because I checked it right until midnight. I just "knew". ( Of course I have "knew" before and had nothing.. )
Posted by Joe and Samantha at 4:05 AM
Monday, July 14, 2008
Your husband deploys- A Wedding....not the first place you want to be. Weekend Destination Wedding? Further down the list..... Surprisingly it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I went to college with all of the bridesmaids who were wonderful, supportive and kind to me all weekend long. Special thank you to Nancy and Tim for being my roomie buddies.
CONGRATS to Ms Rebecca Horton ( Now Mrs. Rebecca Henderson ) and Mr. Shawn Henderson. They are on their honeymoon in Jamaica.
Posted by Joe and Samantha at 6:38 PM
Saturday, July 12, 2008
I wanted to share the letter we got from the captain with all of you.
I was so touched by it- I thought it was important to share ( with a few changes for security reasons ):
Dear Mrs Samantha LaCouture,
I wanted to let you know that your husband Joseph is preparing to deploy to the front lines of the Global War on Terrorism.
You should feel justifiably proud of Joseph. He is a valuable member of a dedicated team of professional submariners whose duties contribute to a variety of missions . Joseph and shipmates will employ our submarines state of art engineering, navigation, communication, fire control and sensor systems to ensure the security of our great nation.
I know deployments can be very hard. I must admit I am already missing my wife and daughter. It is important for you to know that what we will be doing is vital to the security of the United States. We go and do what others cannot. Our combined stealth, strength, endurance and firepower make us a unique platform that no one else can duplicate.
The most difficult thing that I have ever had to do in our military career is spend long periods of time away from my family. Family members never take an oath of office- but their sacrifices are every bit as great as the Sailor's. By the time we return, your Sailor will have sailed thousands of miles and spent weeks on end without contact with anyone other then his shipmates. How is this possible? How can the men keep functioning in this way? The answer is simple - YOU. The family is the single most important driving force keeping us going.
In closing, I wish to formally thank you for your contributions to our ship and our Nation and remind you to drop an e-mail or a letter to your sailor every now and then - it does wonders for morale.
CDR Gene Doyle
Posted by Joe and Samantha at 9:46 AM
They are gone. I'm surprisingly relieved. I knew that I would be happy to have his warm body next to me for as many extra nights as possible- but I also knew that every additional night would make the next goodbye harder and more emotional.
I have lots of cards for different times. Joe indicated on the envelope when I should open them. The first one ( open when I'm gone ) was really long and sweet.
Joe and I always say- We can do anything - WE ARE superheros. So I have my super woman cape ( imagination please ).....a really strong marriage and a great support system....
Here we go....
Posted by Joe and Samantha at 8:47 AM
Friday, July 11, 2008
I would just like to edit the below post to say- I can do it. I'm just frusrated and annoyed. I think(for me) one of the hardest part of this lifestyle is that I'm a planner/list maker.... And you just can't plan on anything. Even though I know this about the submarine world and "our sub life" - I still can't help but get upset.
In addition- I have started the deployment newsletter. If anyone would like to get on this list- please email me/call me/text me - and I will add you on and forward any that have gone out already.
Posted by Joe and Samantha at 8:29 AM
See... I prepared for this.
I WAS READY for this deployment.
I spent the last few months ( as Joe mentioned ) writing 200 or so cards ( facts of the day, jokes of the day, riddles of the day, question of the day.....on one side and then my letter/note on the other ) Writing those cards ( although it was wonderful for him to have little packets for each month ) REALLY helped me get ready. It brought me through the months, the special occasions- life without him for all of that.
I WAS READY.
We say our tearful goodbye in the morning. Phone calls from both my mom and dad and the wonderful people I work for. An invite on Sunday for dinner(email) from my best friend. I FELT even better. Look at my wonderful support system.... SO....then.....I join the other fantastic wives on the pier for a picnic with our sailors. Joe and I promised that there would be no tears at the picnic- just a fun/relaxing hour or so together. We accomplished that. I left for work. Text messages from other wives that the tugs have gone away( can't leave without them ) Phone call from Joe around 6pm. Something broke. They're home tonight.
No..No..No..No This I can't do. Too much. Emotional rollarcoaster. I can't. I can't. I can't.
Everyone is wishing ( I am sure ) that they come home again... maybe even for the whole weekend. Me? None of those wishes. Just leave. I wanted to get up today and say - " One day down.." - Instead I dropped him and our best friend Eric off at the pier. No tears, I'm too angry. I'm still angry. At no one in particular. Just in general.
To top this whole story off -I'm in a weekend wedding this weekend. My college friend Rebecca Horton will become Rebecca Henderson. I'm working this morning - and then I have the rehersal dinner this evening- over night stay - Wedding tomorrow - over night stay - Send off brunch. Come home. There is no phone reception at wedding spot and it's a half hour away. Making this weekend ( If he's even home - complicated ) - Hopes of him attending the wedding with me if he's home this weekend? That would be no. He has duty on Sat. Of course no one will switch with him. Did I mention the love of my life is pulling away and I'll be with couples trying to rejoice at a wedding???? I was fine with all of this up until them came back home.
Just leave already.
I need you to leave. I need them to leave.
But in reality- they could already be gone right now- and I don't know. They have NO idea what is going on. They have no idea when they will leave. It's very frusrating.
Call me crazy, selfish- whatever. I can't do this. All of the other stuff, fine - Not this though.
P.S I do love the ring :)
Posted by Joe and Samantha at 4:53 AM
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Posted by Joe and Samantha at 7:28 PM
Friday, July 4, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Posted by Joe and Samantha at 10:03 AM