Thursday, June 30, 2011

1 more day

We have made it to Chicago.  After a number of unexpected plane delays & Brad's mom's later-than-expected arrival to Albany, we got on the road first thing yesterday morning {and it worked out PERFECTLY having to leave a day late... a blessing in disguise}.
I was one bound and determined girl yesterday.  I was on a mission, with my husband on my mind, the entire way.
I am not a long distance driver.  The 4 1/2 hours to Pennsylvania was always my limit, but not yesterday...
I drove the entire 15 hour trip from Albany to Chicago!!!  Yes, I even shocked myself.  I'm paying for it today with a stiff upper body, but it was worth it.
The trip was enjoyable.  One straight shot across I-90 & we were there in no time...  Mom did such a good job at keeping me distracted from the passing time & kept me focused on the goal.  I couldn't have done it alone, that is for sure!  I am so grateful to have had her company!
Damon was a blessing, too.  We couldn't have a better car dog.  He may need training in other places, but he has car rides down to a science.  I would forget he was even there until, every so often, his ears would peak up in my rear view mirror.  He's so patient in the car!  I have Brad to thank for that!

We arrived in Chicago around 10pm & once we were checked in, & while I was unpacking, Damon got comfy.  He's been snoozing the time away & is LOVING the bed!  He will be so excited when he sees Brad tomorrow & I know Brad cannot wait to see him!!  
Hopefully Damon will stay this calm for the second leg of the trip.
In less than a day Brad and I will be reunited!  I can't wait to see him, wrap my arms around him & to have a husband again!  What a strange feeling it is to be apart so long.  I've missed him!  We have waited two long months for this & it's hard to believe it's finally here!  I hope the next 4 days last forever!!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

so proud


He did it!!!  I received the call tonight that my hubster is officially a United States Sailor!!
This has been his life long dream & I'm so happy that he gets to live it!  I couldn't be any prouder.
He has worked so hard to get to where he is.  Many many months of blood, sweat & tears have gone into fulfilling this dream.  I never thought we would see this day.  I cannot wait to celebrate with him on Friday!!

On a bittersweet note, tonight is my last night as a New Englander!  After 11 years of living in Vermont, I am finally saying goodbye to the Green Mountains and the Berkshires of Massachusetts.  Brad and I have made some amazing friends over the years & I will be the first to say that we will miss them all dearly!
I have found an amazing friend in Brenda {even more so over the past 9 weeks}.  She has taken me under her wing & made sure the separation from Brad has been as painless as possible.
She has entertained me & supported me every step of the way.  I know Brad is equally as grateful for the friend she has been to me; having one less thing to worry about knowing that I was safe & comfortable staying with her.  Brenda, I owe you!  I hope I can be half the friend that you have been to me!  I'm going to miss you & our 6-8 mile walks!  Thanks for always offering a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen.
Tomorrow I begin the loooong trek across country with Brad's parents!  I am beyond excited for Friday & that first sighting of Brad.  He will look so handsome in his uniform & I cannot wait for that first hug in 2 months!
I am one lucky girl.  Not a week went by that he didn't tell me how much he loved me & missed me!  I would have never made it through the past two months without his loving words!  He really knows how to make a lady feel like a million bucks!  What could I have possibly done in life to deserve him???  Eventually we will be sitting on a beach & I just can't wait.  It won't happen as quickly as I would like, but I will keep the image in my mind & know that we won't be apart forever.
In the meantime, the car is packed & ready to go.  Come next week, I'm going to wish I never had to see the inside of a car again, but I will try to enjoy it.  Not everyone can say they had the opportunity to drive across country & it's something I've always wanted to do.  I wish Brad could join us on the adventure, but having to do it again isn't out of the question {the beauties of military life}.  I pray the next 3 days fly by & the weekend drags on.  I will cherish every second of our time together & can't wait to start our new life together in our new location!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

June 23rd


58 years ago today, the world was blessed with the most amazing woman.
Sadly, we lost her at the age of 53.
My mom was the most generous and caring person I've ever known 
{and I'm not just saying that because she's my mom}
So many would agree with me on this.
She has taken so many into her home when they had nowhere else to go.
She would listen to everyone when they had struggles or joys to share, no matter what was going on in her life at that time.
She would lend a helping hand even to her biggest enemy {if she even had one}.
She knew she wouldn't be here forever & she lived every day to its fullest!

She raised all three of us to be strong and independent individuals.  Although, always giving us a shoulder to lean on and a helping hand when needed, we learned our lessons "the hard way."
She taught us to put others before ourselves & always reach out to those in need no matter how big or small.
We learned to work hard for the things we care most about & that those things that matter most, never come easy.
She showed us when the going gets tough... be a little stronger & push a little harder.  We will make it through.
And most significantly, that love was the most important "thing" to have in life.

I am so blessed to be able to call her Mom!  
I have so much more to learn from her & even without her here, physically, I see her everyday in the actions of others!  She will always be in our most cherished memories!

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

making a difference

Let me start out by saying that today isn't turning out to be an easy day for me.
I feel like the day is draaaagggging on & I'm missing my husband more than ever.
I'm fearing the next two weeks will be the most challenging because I can feel how close we are to graduation, but I just can't get there fast enough.

I was perusing the internet today & just happened to come across this:
  That swim-a-thon feels like it took place ages ago!  It's hard to believe it was just this past winter!
Brad has come so far since the first day he started training for the Navy {check out that form... and those pasty white Vermont legs... hehe}.

Brad has always wanted to make a difference in the world since the first day I met him.  He has come a long way over the years!  I couldn't be a prouder wife if I tried & I'm so excited to be able to spend the rest of my life with him!  He amazes me everyday!!!  Now, if we could get these last two weeks over with so we can get back to "normal" married life again, I would be one happy girly!


Friday, June 17, 2011

nuptials

It is another summer filled with weddings!  
Before we moved out of our house the refrigerator was covered in Save the Dates {and we hadn't even received all of the expected invitations yet}.
Sadly, Brad and I won't be able to attend most of them this year... actually, Brad won't have the opportunity to attend any of them.  But, when his best friend, Mike, asked Brad to be in his wedding last year, Brad was so excited!  They have stayed so close over the years & we couldn't agree on a better fit for Mike than Carly.  Brad agreed to stand at the alter to support Mike & Carly on their big day on the condition that he would be home for it.  Sadly, {and this is a BIG sadly according to Brad} he would still be in boot camp for the big day.... but, the show must go on & I made sure that one of us would be there to witness their "I dos."
The wedding was BEAUTIFUL!  I couldn't believe I walked in that church without my camera to show you just how gorgeous it all was.
I was so distracted by the thought of being there without Brad & making sure I was going to the right place that it didn't even hit me until 5 minutes before the start that I didn't have it with me.
Even my pictures from the reception were slim to none... but, what I did get to shoot will put a big smile on Brad's face when he gets them in the mail!

It was WONDERFUL to see so many faces that I haven't seen since college.  It's a shame it has been so long since Brad and I have been able to get together with the old crowd.  He would have loved to see you all, too!







*************************************************************************************************************************

We are two weeks away... TWO WEEKS!
I'm having a really hard time wrapping my head around that.
His division has been very successful & he seems pleased with how everyone is coming together!  That was a relief to hear!!  
They have won quite a few flags for excelled work!
He is healthy {right now} and very much looking forward to graduation. 
Battlestations {his final exam} will take place sometime within the next two weeks.  See the video here for an idea of what the recruits go through in order to pass boot camp:




I am anxiously awaiting his "I'm a sailor" call that will arrive after they pass!

I'm getting antsy.  I'm ready for graduation {I've been ready for quite some time}.
The next two weeks will fly by in many ways, but I just don't feel I will see my husband soon enough.
Have any of you come across a time machine recently?  I'd love to borrow it! :-)
In the meantime I will try to enjoy every second of my last couple of work days & enjoy the company I have known & loved over the past 7 years!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

play ball

We're down to the last 3 weeks until Brad graduates!
He sends me so much love & support from 898.77 miles away!
Let me just say that I couldn't do any of this without his letters & few phone calls.
With every letter I receive, the more I can hear that Brad is getting down to the exciting moments of boot camp & will be busy from now until the end.  That just means that things will begin to wind down and graduation is right around the corner.
This weekend, Brad's best friend from high school got married so I took the liberty of taking another trip to PA to celebrate Mike & Carly's big day!
While I was home, my nephew had his last baseball game of the season before play-offs.  I have been looking forward to seeing him play for weeks!!!
The weather was touch & go on Saturday.  We woke up to showers & were expecting Coach Jason to call the game.  I was one sad Aunt until the sun decided to peak through the clouds 5 minutes before game time.

GAME ON!!!






















Friday, June 3, 2011

land of the free

Today I changed the countdown to 4 weeks!  WOO HOO!
We are half way there!!!
I have a good feeling about the next 4 weeks.  I think they will go by quickly.
So much to do... so little time & that's the way I like it {for now, anyway}.

I had the opportunity to take a trip home to Pennsylvania last weekend.  I took full advantage of the 3 day weekend & loved every waking moment of it!  It was wonderful to get to spend more time with family & meet new people!
My brother & sister-in-law kept me super busy all weekend & it is bittersweet that it flew by.


 Everything was decked out in Red, White, & Blue!
I loved it!  Check out those cupcakes!  I've seen the most creative cupcakes come out of Whole Foods.
These were equally as beautiful as all of the others!





Bryn flew a flag for her Uncle Brad & we all spent the weekend talking all about him & how proud we all are of him for the sacrifices he is making for our country!  Everyday so many people tell me to thank him for his service.  I would like to thank everyone for your support!

We spent our day Sunday hanging out with some wonderful people.  I had the opportunity to meet people from all over the country & I hope I have the chance to see them again someday!  There were games, tire swings, even a live jam session & most importantly... RITA'S!!!  That alone made my entire weekend worth the trip! :-)

It is hot, hot, hot in Pennsylvania right now {it does not make straightening my hair worth the effort... haha}, but I loved the sunshine & I enjoyed driving around all weekend in Pam's Jeep & most excitedly, going for my very first motorcycle ride on my brother's bike!



I cannot wait for my trip to Pennsylvania next weekend!  Although there will be little time with family, every second with them is going to be priceless!  I'm really going to miss them when we finally make it to the west coast!  I miss them already!!!


I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend!!!