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Thank You to all who have served! Veteran’s Day

Veteran’s Day

I have to admit I was a bit upset when I realized the kid’s school wasn’t closed for Veteran’s Day.  All the other schools around are, but our kids go to a Charter School and they make their own schedule.  However, I have been so pleased to find out that each class is doing something special for our Veterans.

Kaylee’s class (1st Grade) has been working hard all week preparing special cards and letters to send to Veterans.  They have done a lot of discussing what the holiday stands for and honoring our Soldiers.  Allyssa’s class (4th Grade), has been making cards to send to CA that will be sent oversees to Soldiers deployed.  In addition, they have a guest coming on Friday who is a Veteran.  Everyone keeps asking Allyssa, if its her dad.

Beyond my kids, and family, there are two things that I am passionate about.  Most importantly is my Christian faith, and being more than a sideline Christian.  I don’t want to just go to church on Sundays and that be it.  I pour every ounce of my time into making sure we are LIVING what we preach.  While I fail daily, I’m not perfect, but I/we try very hard to raise our girls knowing WHY we believe in God.  Our life on this earth is temporary and we know what awaits us in Heaven.

Secondly, is my passion for our military.  I have uncles, aunts, and grandparents who served our country.  I was raised to give the utmost respect to our military.  Never in my wildest dreams, would I have thought I would actually marry a Solider, but that is what God had planned for me.  Now, I couldn’t imagine my life any other way.

Thank You

There are a lot of men and women who join for the benefits, to serve their 4 years and get out.  There is nothing wrong with that, it is honorable.  Then there are those like my husband, who may have joined under the same pretense but it became something so much more.   He is so humble about his military career, but he has worked his butt off to get to where he is.  God has opened doors, and done things through his time in service, that we could never have imagined possible.  He will become a commissioned Warrant Officer in February and a Chief a few months after.

We have been very fortunate and only had to endure one deployment (14 months) so far.  He now has almost 16 years in and we are very much counting down and looking forward to him retiring from the military in about 8 years.  I wish I could get him to write a post, and maybe one day he will.

When you join the military, it’s not just some job.  You sign your life over to the government.  You go where they say go, when they say to do it, and you don’t get the option of turning it down.  We have the benefit of being active with the National Guard so we don’t have to move outside of the state and do have a little more say in actual orders.  However, there is always the possibility of deployments.  Then there is training and commitments that require being gone weeks at a time.

They miss Anniversaries, Birthdays, Holidays, and any other special events/occasions.  Jeremy was deployed when his sister graduated High School, missed our first Christmas married, came home for R&R for our first Anniversary.  This year was the first year he has ever missed our Anniversary, in addition to Kaylee’s Birthday, away at training.  

This doesn’t even touch on the danger factor and all they face and see in their line of duty.  However, MOST do it with the understanding that the sacrifice they are making is for a greater good.  They do it with great honor.  

There is a special place in my heart for our military men and women.  Not just my husband, but all those who serve.  If you are reading this and are or have served, I THANK you, from the bottom of my heart.  There are more people who are proud/grateful for you, than you will ever personally know.  

Missed Daddy
His pillow during training
Tent they slept in 90+ Degree Days

 

Veteran
Iraq 2005
Other Military Related Post:

http://tannahsjourney.com/2017/09/25/i-stand/

http://tannahsjourney.com/2017/07/20/missing-hubby/

http://tannahsjourney.com/2017/08/12/belated-anniversary-dinner/

http://tannahsjourney.com/2017/09/18/promotions-come-from-the-lord/

 

 

I Proudly…….STAND

I really want to keep my blog mostly politically free.  However, this is an issue I must speak about.  If you have been reading any of my blog, you probably know by now that my husband is military.  I am so very proud of him.  I completely support our military, veterans, and all those who died to give us the freedoms our country takes for granted.  I STAND for our National Anthem.

This old song says it beautifully.  I understand that some are saying its a way to show peaceful protest.  However, there are so many young people who look up to these players.  Worship them, everything they do, say, and speak about.  This “peaceful protest” is actually teaching these kids that our National Anthem means nothing. 

The whole thing started in protest for police shooting and injustice to black americans.  However, what about all the black americans who have served their country proudly.  All the ones I know, are enraged at the dis-respect being shown. 

I think about what our kids are being taught these days, and when it doesn’t make me mad, it makes me incredibly sad. 
  • I remember….. going to my first Durham Bulls Game as a kid, everyone standing, and singing in unison together with pride and dignity about this great land we live in.
  • I remember……. being taught by my parents to stand up, be still, and show respect while the National Anthem played.  Pretty sure i was popped upside the back of the head for not paying attention a time or two, and given the “look.”
  • I remember….. hating watching sports growing up, but I always wanted to listen to and hear the singers singing the National Anthem and being filled with pride.
  • I remember…. when the terrorist attack happened on 911.  Our whole country came together, songs came out saluting our troops, firefighters, paramedics, and all those who put their own lives at risk to try to save others.
  • I remember….. right after I got married my husband deployed to Iraq for a year.  When I went to the going away ceremony and they had the National Anthem played beautifully, not a dry eye in the crowd.  It meant something all new at that point.
  • I remember… my husband coming home from Iraq, watching the plane land with all the troops returning. 
  • I remember…. all the hundreds of men, women, and children holding flags, gathered in celebration of FINALLY being re-united with our families. 
  • I remember…. taking our daughter to her first Durham Bulls Game where my husband was the military soldier honored at the game.  They had us come down and take our picture on the field and then showed it on the big screen during the 1st inning to honor our military.  It was an incredible moment I will never forget.

So, I am NOT sympathetic with those who are being so incredibly stupid and dis-respectful for something that should have an incredible meaning to ALL Americans.  If you think you are being oppressed how about taking a few minutes to search the internet about ALL other countries and the horrible things that happen day in and out.  You live in an incredible country.  We are not perfect, there are many things that need to be worked on, improved, and equality for all.  However, you need to understand who REAL heroes do day and night for this country.

USA National Anthem:

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro’ the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watch’d, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro’ the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen thro’ the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov’d homes and the war’s desolation;
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Read it, re-read it, study it, and understand that this isn’t about you trying to get attention.  You should be ashamed of yourself!  I know I am ashamed of you and those that feel it is okay.  I can’t stop anyone from watching the non sense but I most certainly will not.  I will continue to teach my kids that we live in a great country and thousands of men and women of different nationalities died to give us the freedoms we have.
2013
2013 Christmas Celebration at the National Guard Headquarters

Update:  It has now come out…yet another reason for these players and owners to be held accountable.

The specific rule pertaining to the National Anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the NFL League Rulebook. It states:

“The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem.”
“During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American Flag is in good condition…

Promotions Come from the Lord-Warrant Officer

“For not from the east nor from the west nor from the south come promotion and lifting up. But God is the Judge! He puts down one and lifts up another.”  (Psalm 75:6–7, AMP)

Back in July, we asked for prayers, for Jeremy, as he went in for a big interview. We found out right after he got to JROTC, that he did get the job. However, I have not wanted to say much until now, waiting on the official orders, and him to get into his new position.  He is full time with the Guard (AGR).

Anyone who knows my husband knows he has always wanted to be an officer of some sort. With some persuasion from fellow co-workers, and friends, he finally applied, and was accepted to become a warrant officer over a year ago.

In the National Guard, those positions are limited. Unlike regular Officers who they place anywhere, a Warrant Officer is a more specialist field, so it has to be an opening in the same MOS(Job type). An opening finally become available, that he qualified for.  He did the interview, and thank the Lord, he was offered the job. This means he will NOT have to deploy in April, as he has now transferred to a new unit. I could not be more happy about that little fact. I know with the beef up in the military, and him still having 8 years left before retirement, that its still could be in our future. I’m just glad we have a little longer.

Jeremy works extremely hard at what he does, he has more than earned this position. I am so incredibly proud of him, and I thankful that this dream will become a reality for someone so deserving. He is a great example of a true hero, and will also be a hero to all his girls.

Last Christmas so Old but good.

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The Second side of the story…more of a testament

 Jeremy switched units back in January from the headquarters unit to a field unit. This year has had a ton of challenges, with the fast-paced, and overwhelming job responsibilities of a unit about to deploy. I have been as supportive as possible, however, Satan has done his fair share of attacking me. You see, Satan knows that he can get in my heart, put doubt, fear, and worry. The last time Jeremy deployed was right after we got married. It has been a long time, and we did not have kids then.

Back in December when we started talking about Jeremy switching units, knowing this unit would probably be deployed, it was to Iraq.  Jeremy and I prayed about the decision, talked about it, and prayed more. We consulted faithful friends, asked for their prayers, and ultimately, felt God was leading him to change units. I had peace with that decision, and really felt God was telling me, he would take care of us.

Then in March, a position we thought would be opened to new warrant officers, turned out to not be open to him. I really had in my heart he would get promoted to a warrant officer, and that made me doubt. I continued praying, but at the same time, the reality was setting in, that a deployment was in our future. How would we tell the kids, how would they react, what would I do with him being gone, and handling a home with 3 kids for a year. I know people do it all the time, but worry set in. However, when I prayed, I still felt God giving me a peace in my heart.

While everything was set in stone for a deployment to now Afghanistan, with dates, training leading up to, and everything in motion, when I prayed, I still felt a peace come over me. Then Satan would get in my head, I’d start doubting, and getting anxious. However, God is faithful and true. He had it all planned out a year ago before we ever knew anything about his current job or the new one. I don’t begin to understand His timing, but I do trust Him and know that everything happens for a reason.

8 He sets the time for love and the time for hate, the time for war and the time for peace. 9 What do we gain from all our work? 10 I know the heavy burdens that God has laid on us. 11 He has set the right time for everything. He has given us a desire to know the future, but never gives us the satisfaction of fully understanding what he does. 12 So I realized that all we can do is be happy and do the best we can while we are still alive. (Ecclesiastes 3: 8-12)

 

Now he will get set up in his new role, go off to officer candidacy school, then hopefully by early spring he can get enrolled in W02 where he will be for a few years.  I can not begin to tell you how proud I am of this man, his accomplishments, and reaching for his goals/dreams.

You will see more post from me going through the above mentioned things.  He is enrolling in the Warrant Officer Candidacy School now.  I was not with Jeremy when he went through Basic so I have no idea what to expect.  We know there will be a formal the day prior to his graduation ceremony.  However for the graduation itself, what am I supposed to wear?  Silly question, but one that has me truly concerned.  😀

PS. This is the big thing I was talking about a few weeks ago.

Belated Anniversary Dinner

Last night, we were fortunate enough, to be able to have a belated Anniversary dinner.  With 3 kids, getting out is near impossible.  At least, for us it seems to be.  We went to the Outback Steakhouse, then to Dunkin Donuts for some coffee.  It was so nice to be able to sit and talk and have each others undivided attention for a while. 

As we were about to pay and leave the Outback, it dawned on me, how amazing it was to be able to sit and enjoy a hot meal, without getting up 5 times to take the kids to the bathroom.  Am I the only one, that kids seem to think going to the bathroom is a must before, during, and after a meal??  It never fails!  So inevitably, I get a few bites, before the little one usually all the sudden has to potty BAD!

Anyhow, after dinner we went to Dunkin Donuts (I’m one of those boycotting Starbucks) for some coffee.  I am a huge coffee drinker, and we weren’t ready to end our date night, so we went and sat and enjoyed conversation together.  My hubby likes to be a funny boy.  The feature photo I have posted, is literally the best I could get.  The others he is being a complete clown, making funny faces, and determined not to let me take a picture of us.  It is rare to get a picture together.

After 13 years of marriage, I am so happy with where we are.  We started our lives together, young, and dumb.  We have struggled, and learned together.  We are finally financially sound, and more than being content, we are happy with the life we have.  We may not have all the fancy things, that most people are age are wanting, but we have so much to be thankful for.   Our kids, our home, our animals, and most importantly our faith, and family are what make us happy.  We reflected over all these things on our date last night. 

My husband makes me laugh, every single day.  He works so hard, giving his all to his military career, then comes home and gives his all to us.  I am very fortunate, and blessed, and not a day goes by that I don’t give thanks for the man God brought in my life.  I know without a doubt, God brought us together, and will keep us.  This has been an unusually hard year for our family, because of the unit hubby is currently with and upcoming deployment.  Jeremy has been gone weeks at a time non stop, and when he is home, he is stressed because of work.  I am so thankful for Jeremy, and thankful for our faith in God to take care of us when life seems uncertain. 

HE IS FINALLY HOME!

Praise the Lord, Thank you Jesus, Hallelujah, hubby made it home!  Being gone half of the summer has been rough.  I am so glad to have him home, and the kids went crazy.  Isabelle would not leave his side, and kept saying, “daddy, pick me up.”  She was all about daddy holding her.

   

Bad picture but the only one I have with me in it.

 

He missed all of his girls so much.  After a 20 hour drive home on a charter bus, he was tired, but happy to be home.  He tried stopping on the way home to get a haircut, but they had a long wait list and only one person working.  He opted to come on home, and I helped him cut it. 

Tickling, and wrestling with Isabelle.

Towards the end of his time at JROTC, he kept saying he couldn’t wait to get a home cooked meal.  I made hotdogs, and hamburgers, with broccoli slaw, and baked beans for lunch.  Then for dinner made one of his favorite, chicken Alfredo, with broccoli, and rolls.  We sat at the dinner table and used real plates.  Something we haven’t done but a few times, while he was away (laughing).

After dinner, we all went outside.  The girls couldn’t wait for daddy to see and play with the goats.  They were so impatient, they brought the goats to him.  LOL.

As much as I tried to have the house cleaned, and everything perfect, so he wouldn’t have to come home and do anything, he still managed to find things to do.  He went around and blew off the walkway, garage, and back deck area.  I went down to help get the goats up and clean out their pen so I’m not really sure what all he got into, but he stayed busy.  It was a beautiful day, gorgeous weather, and a perfect day for him to come home and spend with us girlies.

This morning, he woke up and made the kids breakfast before heading into the office.  He has to work today, tomorrow and has drill this weekend, so not much time off.  We are just thankful he is home,and we can see him in the evenings. 

We are fortunate, and blessed to have this awesome man.  Anytime he goes away for a few weeks, it builds, and restores our relationship.  It helps each of us to appreciate each other, that much more, and reminds us to not take the time we have together for granted. 

Are we done yet?

I am FINALLY able to hear from the hubby.  He has done a phenomenal job trying to contact me as much as he could.  It has been so hard not being able to talk to him daily.  We are both ready for this to be done with. 

The feature photo is hard to interpret.  The girls wanted to see daddy’s cot, and area he was sleeping in so he sent us a few photos.  This is what he was using as a pillow.  Allyssa, saw it and immediately said, “Oh no, that wont do.”  They all agreed that it was totally unacceptable pillow for daddy.  They then went into a frenzy planning what to send with daddy next time that would be small enough for him to pack, yet comfortable.  Jeremy and I both got a good laugh out of this whole thing. 

The kids have been very interested in where daddy is, what he is doing, and for some reason his sleeping arrangement.  The first few days he was there he slept in barracks.  Then when the rest of the group met up they moved out to a permanent like tent on the airfield.  This was huge tents that they pumped air conditioning into and he said would freeze you out by morning.  They slept about 30 soldiers to a tent, I think he said.  Then they moved out to the sucky part.  The first camp he was set up at Verizon did not pick up so it while communication was to be limited anyways, it made it even more difficult.  The last 2 days they moved out to a different camp site where he at-least was able to get better reception. 

I have said it in an earlier post but the last two weeks he has been sleeping in tents with no A/C, they have been rationing the water so no showers or being able to even gather a bucket of water to hand wash anything.  He said he is throwing away the one uniform as soon as he gets back to post.  Apparently it is black and he is determined you would never get the dirt and smell out. 

When we were texting and asking him questions he said he hasn’t had coffee in 3 weeks (I would die).  He has been eating mostly MRE’s and the only drink was water they had brought in on a large truck.  He all the sudden misses my home-cooked meals.  I asked what he wanted me to make when he got home and he said he would be thrilled with anything.  He usually picks on me for making chicken all the time, so I jokingly asked what about chicken?  Even chicken would be a welcome change to what he has been getting. 

We have scheduled a late anniversary dinner when he gets home.  He wants a steak and cold beer.  I think I can handle that!  It will be about a month late, but considering we seldom get a date night, I am thrilled to be going out. 

We also have some big news to announce in the coming week or two.  Stay tuned to find out more on where God is opening doors and the next adventure we will be headed on.

Busy life, busy wife!

The last couple days have been a roller-coaster ride.  I am pretty strong, and able to handle a lot.  Everyone gets to their breaking point though, and Thursday was it for me.  It was Kaylee’s birthday, and while I believe it was a good day for her, it was an extremely emotional day for me.  I’m sure not going to bed until after 1am that morning, and not sleeping much did not help.  However, mostly because Jeremy was not here, I missed his call, and after 3 weeks I am over this whole thing. 

He has been gone for weeks at a time before.  This time is much different.  Its summer break, which means all 3 kids 24/7.  When he has been gone before, the kids were in school and dance.  We kept busy on our usual routines, and were out of the house every day.  I’m also working more hours for work so my evenings are spent on the company after they go to bed, and not much down time.

Friday, was much better.  Jeremy was able to call in the afternoon and talk to me for a good while.  Verizon doesn’t pick up signal good there, so he had to find a spot in the woods that would get some reception.  He said if he moved or turned he lost signal.  I think, if the wind blew it went out.  I can’t count the number of times he had to call me back.  I really don’t care about all that, I was able to hear his voice, and that made everything all better.

Today, was Kaylee’s birthday party.  We went to the gymnastics academy where the kids are in a summer training camp.  It was great.  The kids had the whole place to themselves, and had so much fun.  Isabelle fell asleep right before we got home, and slept for 2 hours.  As soon as we were pulling in the driveway, I received a text from Jeremy.  He was flying onto the post for a little while.  We were able to text back and forth the rest of the afternoon.  Nothing makes me feel better than to hear from him, and know we are missed, and he is okay. 

He sent the girls some pictures which I’m including below.  They are so interested in photos of where he is right now.  It helps them relate and see what daddy is doing.  He said to tell them daddy was sleeping in the woods, under the stars, on a cot, in his uniform.  He said he was working under a pop up tent and it was extremely hot.  He got on the helicopter to fly back and said he would probably lose signal in a few minutes.  I asked what the chances were that he would get back to post and text or call me, he said, “probably not, sweetie.”  A girl can hope.

 

One tired momma

It has been another busy day around here.  This morning after breakfast the kids and I went out to hang out with our goats.  The kids get creative and come up with new obstacle courses and things for the goats to do almost every day.  I love that they are using their energy in a positive and creative way but I also can’t help but feel sorry for the goats sometimes.  😀

The feature photo today is of the kids and what they named, “The Goat Express.”  The goats kept jumping out of the red wagon when the girls tried to pull them in it (I wonder why), so they decided to put the top of a dog house upside down to keep the goats in.  They played for a solid hour riding the goats, our little Malti-Poo dog, and even Isabelle in their contraption.  If you like seeing our goats be sure to check out the video I posted on my Instagram account of this in action.  I can’t seem to get the videos to load on this blog.

We also let the goats out to play, cleaned Riley up really good, and cleaned out their pen.  We staid down there most the morning.  In case anyone is wondering, Riley is doing wonderful.  She seems to be healing nicely.  I am done having to give her shots of Penicillin and can now let her wounds heal up.  She is walking and moving about fine so praise the Lord, something that could have been so much worse, turned out okay.  Thank you for those who prayed for her.

After lunch we went to Grandma’s, who has been gone a month, and had a nice visit with our extended/adopted family.  Left her house and went straight to gymnastics.  Isabelle did not get a nap today so she gave a new meaning to, cling on.  They literally had to pry her off of me.  She had her hands wrapped around my neck, her little legs around my waist and was putting up quite the battle.  Ultimately I tickled her, until she let go and they grabbed her quickly.  As much drama as it sounds like, she did fine when I walked off. 

Following Gymnastics we grabbed dinner to go and came home long enough for the kids to change and back out the door to VBS.  I am one tired momma tonight.  I just got the kids in bed and wanted to write a quick post before I start doing my work for the night.

For those who have asked about my husband, he is doing okay.  He is in the field training now, so I haven’t been able to talk to him in a few days but did get a quick email the other day.  This is the part of his training he was dreading.  Its hot there, rains every evening, he has to wear full body gear, helmet, weapon, and boots.  They do not have showers during this phase, and are sleeping in tents with no air conditioning or basic commodities.  As you can imagine, no one really looks forward to this training.  It is long, hot days, and I can not wait for him to be done.  I am missing him more each day.  Rather than get easier, it has been harder, because of lack of communication.

So, as I wrap this up, I wanted to say a quick thank you.  My page has been “live” less than 2 weeks and I have already had about 500 page views.  For a small, personal blog I think that is great.  Especially, since I do not know what I’m doing.  😀

I would love to get some comments, likes, and subscriptions before my one month mark.  Hint, Hint!!

Missing Hubby

Today I am missing my hubby. We are a team and as such we depend on each other.  While I am used to caring for the kids myself, I deeply miss being able to talk to him.  I miss how he makes me laugh when I’ve had a stressful day.  I miss the sounds of the kids running and laughing and calling for daddy when he walks in the door.  I miss how annoyingly clean he is, because now I am having to do it all.  I miss how he takes care of us in all the big and small ways and mostly I miss being able to talk to him in the evenings after we put the kids to bed.

The military has been great to us but he has had to do a lot of training this year.  He did 5 separate weeks in 3 different states back in April/May.  Now he is gone for a month doing heavy training.  This means sleeping in tents, war games, eating MRE’S, limited showers, 18 hour days and limited communication.  So while I complain about missing him, he is in 100 degree weather, working his butt off to provide and take care of us.  He is bettering himself for his job and career in the military.

When you hear National Guard, people think one weekend a month and 2 weeks a year.  I am here to tell you it is so much more than that for a lot of soldiers like mine.  He works full time with the Guard so thats 5 days a week wearing the uniform, PT atleast 3 times a week, drill every month.  That means on drill weekend he works 12 days straight.  Then there are training’s they have to do and go to.  Weeks on end away and working incredibly long hours and sometimes in extreme conditions.  Not to mention always being up for a possible deployment where they are gone MONTHS on end to dangerous combat situations.  Yes, we get incredible benefits such as free healthcare, housing allowance, and college tuition but that is well earned.

I cant speak for all soldiers but I can say from personal experience that mine does it with pride and dignity.  He wears the uniform proudly.  He does it because he believes in what he represents but also because he wants to serve in hopes his daughters will grow up in a country that offers them freedom and opportunities.  I could not be more proud of my husband.  My kids do not understand the significance of daddy in uniform, because they see it everyday.  I hope as they grow older that they will understand and realize that their daddy is a real life HERO.

 

Our Love Story

Today marks our 13th wedding anniversary.  I have debated what to post on this topic.  I decided to give you the back ground of “us”.

During my Junior or Senior year of Highschool my mom switched churchs.  She had asked me to go with her often but I did not want to leave my HOME church where I was teaching the little kids Sunday School.  Some things happened within the church and a certain group that had already ran others off got the best of me and I left the church.  That is not how a church should operate and most certainly not Christ like.  It was a few months after I graduated highschool that I began going to church with my mom regularly.  I remember seeing Jeremy from the very beginning and thinking he was cute but out of my league.  I was always a “good girl” and he was more of the popular type.

Shortly I began going there, the church decided to start a Young Adults Group because of all the college age students we had coming.  After my breakup with my highschool sweetheart, I had decided to focus on my relationship with God and getting through college.  This would be a good opportunity to do that.  I should probably also mention here, that I went to a Christian school from 4th grade through graduation.

Jeremy had been talked into coming to the small group and thats where we officially met.  A few weeks after the small group began the movie “The Gospel of John” came out and they decided it would be a good thing to go as a group to see.  Everyone seemed to come with a friend or date except Jeremy and I.  So, we were sort of paired together.  I remember eating at the Remington Grill and sitting at the same table which is where began simple chat then when we got in the movies we sat beside each other.  Unlike me, Jeremy was a new believer and had questions.  He would lean over and ask me a few things through the movie and that even he asked for my number.  Thats pretty much where it started and never stopped.

On Valentine’s Day of 2004, Jeremy proposed at my favorite restaurant Olive Garden.  He was super romantic, funny, handsome, kind, and treated me like I was his whole world.  I was totally in love in a way I had never imagined and of course said yes.  We had talked about getting married the following summer to give plenty of time to plan our dream wedding.  Shortly after we were engaged he got put on alert status with the National Guard for deployment.  He was very adamant that he wanted to be married before he got deployed.  All our plans quickly changed and we moved the wedding date to July 2004. By the time we made this decision, we had 3 months to plan a wedding.  I wanted a beach wedding but that was just not possible on the short time frame.

We began planning our wedding to be in my parents back yard.  Mom and Dad agreed to pay for everything if we did it at home and we were young and broke so gladly accepted.  Mom made sure it was beautiful.  We did yard work, rented some items, reserved an indoor reception venue, ordered bridesmaid dresses, got a wedding gown and pulled all the many details together.  I could not have and would not have wanted to do it without my mom.  I look back and am blown away by how naive I was and how I really did not appreciate it all at that time.  We also kept Jeremys mom in the know about everything going on and all the planning.  Her love and support of us always, will be cherished forever.

The wedding day came and it was a HOT July day.  We planned a morning wedding to try and beat the heat.  I wanted something simple, country, and intimate with our closest friends and family.  It turned out beautifully.  My favorite feature from the wedding was a fan mom had made for the program.  It really was a creative and beautiful gesture.  The reception did not go as planned.  I had put all my time into all the details of the wedding ceremony itself and failed to realize how much needed to be done at the reception.  Our DJ didn’t show up, the cake did not turn out like it was supposed to, and I don’t think I had ever even been to a wedding at that point so really didnt know what to do or expect.  If I had a do-over this is the area I would have planned a lot better.  The food turned out great and the bottom fell out on the way to the reception so I’m glad we did do an indoor reception.

We got married July 17, 2004 and Jeremy was deployed in October, left the country on Thanksgiving day 2004 and did not get home for good until November 2005.  It was a long year, communication sucked, we mainly emailed and Instant Messaged each other.  If there was Skype we didn’t know about it.  He called me most Sundays and on special occasions or when he could.  Usually he would call at like 5am our time.  I sent him a care package every week and letters all the time.  I went from living with my parents, to being married, to being married but on my own in a matter of months.  It was by far one of the hardest years of my life.  I was young and vulnerable and honestly didn’t know how to handle my emotions.

Thankfully he returned safe and uninjured.  The last 12 years since have had their ups and downs but looking back we are both thankful for that time.  It made us learn how to really communicate with each other which has helped out so much over the years.  I dont know what I’d do without Jeremy to talk to.  A lot of days he is the only adult I talk to. 

We have really come a long way in our marriage.  When we started out we said we would always be sure to put each other as a TOP priority even when kids came.  Thats a lot easier said than done.  After we had Allyssa we had date nights almost weekly.  Then Kaylee came along and Allyssa was getting a little older so we cut date nights back but still tried to get out about once a month or every other month.  Then we decided to have Isabelle.  Having 3 kids under 6 is a handful for anyone.  No one wanted to keep all of them and its just too much hassle sending them separate ways to go out.  So we changed our ways and learned how to do things with the kids or have date night after they went to bed.  You learn and as you go and as the family revolves.  We live by the saying about keeping God first, then each other and then our kids.  With small kids it is a hard juggle but its worth it.  When the kids are grown and gone we will still have each other because we are in this together.  I truly believe that as we grow closer to God that we are also growing closer to each other. 

So this is a LONG post.  SORRY.. If you made it this far now you know way too much about how we became “us”.  I’m quite certain a lot of the details in this are things even those closest to me didnt know.  😀

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