Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Come What May

Jordan recently returned home from an 8 month deployment.  Those 8 months seemed like forever.  The only thing that got me through those 8 months was knowing that this was going to be the last deployment he was going to have to do.  I was able to stay busy and dedicate my self to school.  As April came around I had to decide when I was going to finish the last two semesters of school.  Jordan and I decided that it was best for me to stay in Utah and enroll in classes during the first block of summer.  It was a hard decision to make but in big picture another two months apart from each other was nothing.

I often felt selfish for prolonging the distance between us to pursue my educational goals.  I even had a professor ask me what I was still doing in Utah and to go be with my husband.  I felt like I had my priorities in the wrong order.  I told myself staying an extra two months was going to allow less time away from Jordan in the long run.  

Well the two months went by quickly and I was even able to spend two weekends with Jordan since his return home.  I moved back to California and was looking forward to a somewhat normal life.  Jordan planned to VERP (volunteer early enlisted release program).  He filled out all of the paperwork and he was waiting for  it to be approved.  If it was approved he would been out March 2015.  This meant that he wouldn't have to train for the next deployment and his days would be comparable to a normal 9-5 job.  For the first time in our three years of marriage I felt like we had control of our life, not the Marine Corps.  I should have known better.

A few weeks ago Jordan found out he has orders to 2/7 (a new unit).  This means that we have to pack up our belongings and move to 29 Palms a.k.a. Hell.  This alone was enough for me to lose control of my emotions.  The story gets better though, 2/7 is getting ready to deploy for 7 months within the next 2 months.  I immediately regreted my decision to continue school through the summer.  I was feeling cheated.  I will only have spent a little over 2 months with my husband before he must leave again.  The thing is the Marine Corps doesn't care about the time you have/have not spent with your family.  They don't care about the way this affects the marine or those that care about him/her.  They just expect you to deal with it and go on with life.  

So here I am with two and half weeks left with my husband before he has to report to 29 Palms.  I have two options: I can sit down and think about all of the reason's why I resent the Marine Corps or I can go forward knowing that Jordan and I get 7 more months to better ourselves and strengthen our marriage.  I choose the latter.  I will use this time to learn more about my strengths and weaknesses.  I will lovingly support Jordan from across the world.  I will put a smile on my face and be grateful for the loving family and friends that we have.  Here's to another deployment that will help us become better people and strengthen our the unbreakable bond between Jordan and I.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Veteran's Day

It's a day after Veterans Day, but it's never too late to express gratitude.  This day is one that I am learning to appreciate more each year.  Growing up I never understood what this day is all about.  Thinking back to elementary school the word veteran = Lt. Dan from the movie Forrest Gump.  I was smart enough to know that Lt. Dan was a fictional character and since he wasn't real veterans probably weren't real either (little naive me).  I didn't come from a family with a rich military background.  I do have extended family member that have military experience, but regretfully, I have yet to take the time to learn of their service.

Jordan with Pedersen at boot camp graduation

I know now that veterans are very real people.  They might not look like Lt. Dan although some may.  Most veterans are the average Joe.  It's almost impossible to be in a place where someone isn't a veteran or doesn't know a veteran.  Looking back to my freshman year of college my best friend, Brittany, and I took an Army ROTC class together.  Being associated with ROTC is committing social suicide but I wouldn't give back the experiences I had or the people I met.  Below are a few of the experiences that allowed me to increase my appreciation for our service men and women.
  • Fire watch in the dark and freezing temperatures.
  • "Sleeping" on the ground covered in frost. 
  • Early morning PT (I may have skipped out more than once)
  • Smelling MREs (I didn't need to taste it to know it was a waste of calories)
  • Participating in color guard
  • Wearing camo pajamas one too many times
  • Attending a dining-out (Those events are full of tradition!)

ROTC FTX Brit and I only survived because Jefferson took us under his wing.

The nastiest panty-hos at the dining-out

I couldn't end without sharing a little of my very own personal veteran (I am aware that I don't own him).  Jordan is an Active Duty Marine.  He has served for 3 years and is currently on his second deployment.  He is a grunt and a badass.  He will out hike most in his platoon while carrying others gear.  He has a sharp eye and excels in his duties.  You might think I am being bias but I am not.  That is all fact.  I am honored and proud to support him.  Being married to an Active Duty Marine, I have first-hand experience in making sacrifices that are necessary to protect this country.  Jordan shared with me a part of an email that he received from another Marine.  There was a line that read, "we sacrifice our lives, family time, birthdays, holidays, funerals, births, and first bike rides for our country." The list could go on, but when I read those words I was overwhelmed with gratitude that Jordan and so many are willing to put this country before their families, education, and personal goals.  I hope that all Americans feel an obligation to help this country stand strong so that our military men and women do not feel their sacrifices were made in vain.  When you encounter a veteran make sure you thank them for their service.  I know it means a whole lot to each of them.

My favorite picture of J in his Blues.

USMC 237th Birthday Ball

Just before J's first deployment

Saying goodbye to the pup before his second deployment

J's new bed for 8 months

J's new home.  He hardly fits at 6' 5"

Come home soon!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Gone Fishin'

This weekend Jordan and I went fishing on the open ocean.  We were so happy that our good Friends the McCubbins(Madi and Aaron) came along.  We woke up super early to make sure were didn't miss our boat.  As you can see the sun is just starting to make its appearance in the first picture.  It was a rough day of fishing. The water was too cold and the fish just weren't biting.  Madi was lucky enough to catch a little fish and Aaron caught a lobster cage.  Jordan and I and pretty much everyone else on the boat got skunked. 

Even though we didn't catch anything we had the opportunity to see a lot of marine life.  That alone was worth the trip.  We saw a huge pod of dolphins, lots of sea lions, and a ton of pelicans.  The boys were lucky enough to see a whale.  I'm sad I missed it while I was inside warming up my fingers. 

I really can't wait to go again.  We learned that next time before we go out to check the fish count.  Seriously, if you are ever in the area check out Dana Wharf they will make sure you have a good time.    

6 am smiles
J was nice enough to bait my hook.
 I really didn't feel like touching squid and sardines.
Our irreplaceable friends the McCubbins

This little guy swam by the boat a few times.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Newly Discovered Truths

I feel like every so often I have few ah-ha moments.  Then a new day comes along and I forget that ah-ha moment.  Those moments that the light bulb goes off in your head or the wheels make a complete circle are supposed to in someway change something in your life.  Most of these moments are really insignificant, but if I remembered them I could have less arguments with myself about things that need to be done.

Here are a few moments that I have had recently:
  • Eating a salad for lunch does NOT make it ok to eat a whole box of Girl Scout Cookies for dinner.
  • If your dog goes for a swim in the ocean it does NOT count as a bath... the stink will still be there if not worse.
  • Running the same distance every time you run will NOT help you progress.  You need to push yourself to run farther.
  • J can finally pull off a surprise without spilling the beans so do NOT try and get him to.
  • When J is gone the pup will try and take his place on the bed... and some. Enforce the NO dog on bed rule.
  • When I have a grocery list... Stick to it. NO cookie dough, mini pizza's, or other junk I don't need.
  • Talking about goals is NOT the same as working towards them.
Hopefully writing these thoughts down will help me remember them in the morning. Most importantly I need to start working on the last thing. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My Old Man

I have noticed that most of my posts are pretty generic.  I will share what going on in life, but rarely do I share feelings or things that I have been thinking about.  Maybe I am trying to practice voicing my opinions and sharing my thoughts.  

Lately, I have been thinking about my old man.  It could have to do with it coming up on seven years since his passing.  I can pinpoint a few things that have sparked all of these thoughts and memories of my dad.  This last weekend my whole family traveled to New Mexico to celebrate my Grandma Brown's 90th Birthday.  A the day before I was on the road I swear every corner I turned I saw my dad's favorite flower, Birds of Paradise.  This sounds silly but every time that I see that flower I feel like its a reminder that he is watching over me and loves me.  

As we came closer to our destination I couldn't help but feel like my dad was right there with my sister and I.  I just felt peaceful and knew that my dad was so happy that all of his kids would be together.

On Saturday when we arrived at the party I was able to spend sometime with my uncles and my aunt.  Being surrounded by my dads siblings was such a sweet experience.  Each one of them has a quality that reminds me of my dad.  Their hugs, their smiles, the twinkle in their eyes, their humor, their chubby hands, their thick black fluffy hair, their kind hearts, and their love for story telling.  It makes me feel like heaven isn't too far away.

I always have such a hard time leaving my family because of the special feelings that I have when I am with them.  I treasure every moment that I get to spend with them.  I know how much they care for me.  I am truly grateful to be part of a family that is so loving.  Sometimes I feel sad that my dad hasn't met Jordan or that my future kids won't know their grandpa but its these sweet little reminders that help me know that he is still around.  I love you Daddy.