Monday, November 24, 2008

Josh's Navy Graduation!


Wow, I can't believe I already got to see him and left again. One thing is for sure, I HATE BEING AWAY FROM HIM! I'm telling you what, when he's stationed somewhere stable and we can swing it financially, I'll be moving asap!

I will say it was quite a different visit, but what do you expect after someone has just gone through 8 weeks of hard core boot camp! While we (his family and I) were in Waukegan, he still had to report back at night to the base, wash up, and be on the toe line ready for role call. If he was even a second late he could lose his leave the next day. So, to say the least, we always got him there early! Having freedom all of a sudden was quite an adjustment. Plus, exhaustion consumed him. Poor guy.

It was so great to see him and spend some time with him too. I know that as soon as he's away from that base, he'll start to be back to his old self. I can only try to imagine what he went through and I can do my best to understand all his stories, but there's no possible way I will truly know. A huge part of me wishes I could have gone through it all to be able to help him. He has some light regret about his decision, but more so he said it's a "what have I gotten myself into" kind of feeling. He also said, "Lane! College would have been SOOO much easier!" I laughed and said, "Well you can just remember that to tell your kids someday...GO TO COLLEGE!"

He leaves in the morning around 4 or 5 am to go to "A School". We've thought Pensacola for such a long time, but it could really end up being anywhere. He was also informed they could choose to not send him to school and hold off on that, and instead ship him off for 6-12 months. AH! That is our worst fear for sure. And of course we've had our sights set on San Diego for "C School", but that can always change as well. Uncertainty it such a booger. That is definitely stressful for both of us, but we know that God is faithful and will always chose what's right for us.

I was hoping for a phone call today after Josh found out where he'll be headed to tomorrow morning, but he said that if he ended up not getting one, he would call me from the airport. Which means I'll probably be getting a phone call at 4am tonight! WORTH IT!

Enjoy the pics! Just remember, he just went through boot camp!! He doesn't smile in most of the pictures, which is understandable...he did just get out of place where smiling isn't something you do. But just know that he's got it somewhere in there!
**PS: Clicking on the picture should enlarge it if you want a closer look at some of them.**

Driving to Illinois! And me and sweet Dana waiting for graduation to start!

He's second from the right, then in the very back right, then on the right.

He was on the Honor Guard in a Performance Division...HUGE DEAL!

Navy flag and the Sailors Creed.

First time to see each other...then with the family.

MY handsome sailor! You know, he calls me "Sweet Pea"...I guess I could call him Popeye? The other day he said, "I got the wrong should really be Olive Oil...tall and skinny!" ha! (You all do know that Sweet Pea is the little baby on the cartoon right? Now you do!)

So tired. :-(

David and Dana...amazing people!

Brothers...hehe Funny pic!
Landon, Josh, David Jr., and Ryan

MY FAVORITE! His Dress Blues were my favorite uniform. He looked SOOOOO handsome!

We went to the Jelly Belly Factory and got to wear these awesome hats! What a cute cute smile! I knew it would come out sometime! I'll have to remember that a paper Jelly Belly hat, riding on a very colorful train, and getting some sugar in him will make him happy! Anyone know where I can find one of those trains? Let me know if so!

I love that grin and those dimples!

Like son like father? hehe Hey good lookin'!

Saying goodbye to the family Sunday morning. :-(

Since my drive wasn't quite as long as the others, I was able to stay the rest of the day and take him back to the base around 6:30 (which yes, put me in Louisville around 2:15am, UG..but so worth it!). We went and saw the new 007 movie, shopped around the mall, and ate a wonderful dinner at Red Lobster where the last picture was taken of us. He really opened up throughout the day and I got to see lots of pieces of "Josh" come out in his personality. We had a lot to catch up on that was a hard to do with so many people around and all of us asking so many questions, so it was very special to get to spend the day with him alone. He's struggeling a lot with being happy and content with this decision and was really able to spill his heart out at dinner....which was SOOOO nice to hear what he was going through inside. I hurt for him, but I know God is in control and things will work out for the best. We are both faithful and have full trust that God will prevail.

I miss him so much already and can't wait for Christmas to roll around. I pray he gets off for Christmas and the week after instead of the week before so I can see him. There is that slight chance our time off won't overlap. :-( That would stink. But again, God will take care of it all!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Letters # 7 and #8 + a Phone Call!

Sorry I've dropped the ball on last weeks was a busy week. But, I GOT TWO LETTERS LAST WEEK!! Wahoo! I got my normal Wednesday letter, but then opened my mailbox on Friday to see another letter!! Josh got some extra time off on Veteran's day to write another letter. What a treat!

Let's see, letter #7:
  • I've been here 46 days and have 12 left! I'm so anxious to see everybody.
  • I'm taking tests all the time and studying a lot to keep up.
  • I have gas chamber tomorrow. Nervous. Very nervous.
  • I had my performance test yesterday in front of the CO Commanding Officer of the Navy Admiral Roughhead. HUGH! Performed in front of 5,000 people. I was in the very front! So nervous, but I did just fine.
  • I wasn't moved up to E2 or E3 because my recruiter never sent in the paperwork for the recruits I got in. That sucks pretty bad!
  • My first paycheck was only $271 because of all the stuff I had to buy. That sucks pretty bad too.
Moving on...letter #8:
  • It's a Tuesday today, and also Veteran's Day. So we get like 4 hours to ourselves to get caught up on things: folding, studying, and ironing. I had to make sure to write you though.
  • I pray you're okay and healthy. I miss you so much. I ONLY HAVE 10 DAYS LEFT! So close! I can't wait to see you and family! I wont be hard to find due to being in the front row of everyone.
  • I hope your dad isn't working too hard on the it looks awesome!
  • I wish I could write more, but I really need to study. Love you so much!
WELL, ONLY 4 MORE DAYS UNTIL I SEE HIM!!! I work at the salon on Thursday until around 7 or so, and after that I'll drive to Chicago to meet up with his parents and one of his brothers. I believe Josh will have the rest of Friday off after his graduation, and most of Saturday and Sunday to do whatever he pleases. I'M SO EXCITED!!! Three days to spend with him and some of his family. Sounds pretty exciting to me! I bought the cutest new dress to wear'll just have to wait and see pictures next week...but it's just too darn cute! ;-)

I can't believe 60 days has almost gone by. I know through it all it seemed to go by slower than a snail, but now that I look back on it....MAN THAT WAS FAST!!! I sent my last letter this past Saturday. Which ironically was a little sad. Don't get me wrong, I'm so excited to not have to rely on snail mail for our communication, but it was pretty neat to send letters back and forth. Since I only got them once a week, I would live for Wednesdays! Throughout the day I would always log in my mind things I needed to tell Josh about in that night's letter. It's just so different! Couples now-a-days just don't write or send letters unless they are forced to. I feel blessed to have been forced to have this time apart. It really has been a great time of growth spiritually and within my relationship with Josh. It's definitely been a crazy, and long 60 days, but I'm thankful for them.


******UPDATE ON WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2008******

Oh how I love to look at my phone and see a missed call from a number somewhere in IL. Yup, I definitely missed a call from Josh yesterday. BUT DON'T FREIGHT! He called back about 10 minutes later and we got to talk for 45 minutes! He's officially a Navy Sailor! ;-) He's completed boot camp and is now just waiting for graduation to come on Friday. They are still having them clean and things like that, and of course still yelling at them, but done with tests and the daily physical things. At then end of boot camp, all recruits must go through what's called "Battle Stations". He called me right after that was over and sounded SOOOO tired. Battle Stations is boot camp’s ultimate test. It’s an exercise of 12 different scenarios incorporating what you have learned during the previous weeks. He was up for three nights I believe and after it was all said and done, he was presented with his ball cap. At that moment, he was officially a sailor! How fun huh? Well, I'm just so proud of him and can't wait to see him. He was so sweet on the phone to tell me that he wouldn't have made it through without me and that we did this as a team. He said I gave him a reason to do his best so he could use this to provide for us. He's just so sweet!! I leave tomorrow evening after I get off of work to head to Illinois and meet up with his parents and brother, Ryan. Pray for safe travel for myself and his family. I look forward to updating you all with PICTURES GALLORE!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Recipe Tuesday! Chocolate Mint Snow-Top Cookies!

I've just done awful at getting recipes up every Friday. So Tuesday it will be to make up for last week! ;-)

Try these...THEY ARE AMAZING!!! With Christmas only 6 weeks away...CRAZY HUH?...these are perfect to get you in the mood for decorating and Christmas shopping! If .ou've ever had Crinkle Cookies, these are very similar - but with mint!

Chocolate Mint Snow-Top Cookies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups mint flavored semi-sweet chocolate morsels
6 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
Confectioners sugar

In bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. Over hot water, melt 1 cup mint morsels, stirring until smooth. In bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add melted morsels and vanilla. Beat in eggs. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in remaining morsels. Wrap dough in plastic wrap; freeze until firm. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; coat with confectioners sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes, until tops appear cracked. Let stand 5 minutes on cookie sheet. Cool completely.


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Letter #6!

Oh how nice it was to receive letter #6! He said he just finished "Hell Week", so they say, and it was his favorite week so far! haha Ironic. They call it that because there are so many inspections that are really tough and people just get reamed for every little thing wrong.

He had mentioned in a past letter that the trainers don't really remember his name...which is a good thing there! If they know your name it's because they yell at you a lot. So, it seems like they don't ream him too much. When we talked on the phone he chose not to tell me about some of the things they have yelled in his face because it's pretty disgusting. So I guess when they yell at him it's not for screwing up....just the normal yelling. Anyway, he succeed this week again in not giving them a reason to know his name. Only to remember it for being impressed I hope!

He scored a 5.0 (highest you can get) on ALL his inspections! Ya that's right...he'll be doing the cleaning and bed making in our house...I'll just remind him he does a 5.0 job and I don't! haha

He got his uniform tailored and took his picture. He said, "I looked real good Lane...I mean REAL good!" haha They always say, "You gotta love a man in uniform!"
I guess we'll find out right!?

So I sent him something kind of know those sound cards?? Now they have them where you can record a 10 second message.

Um, DUH! I totally got one of those to send him! haha He said they played it in front of everyone several times. OOPS! I wasn't mushy in my recording, but it did play some corney love song at the end of it! Although, he did say it was good to hear my voice and he liked it a lot....just not everyone listening to it over and over again!

He was also so sweet to offer his bank info in MO so I can access money if I needed to. He's precious I tell you. I turned him down on that because I want him to save all of that, but still thought it was so sweet he wanted to make sure I was okay on money.

And to answer my friend's question from her comment on my last blog...YES! I DO love him so SO much! I'm so proud of him and just can't wait to see him and move forward with our relationship!

It sounds like he's feeling much better and things are speeding up. ONLY 15 MORE DAYS!!!!!!