Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Moving On

I've had a lot of good days in my life, but seeing Bryan for the first time in San Diego was right up there with our wedding day. The following 10 days truthfully felt like I was the star of a chick flick. The man I had spent the last 3 months worrying about, writing to, and thinking of incessantly was real and was as proud of me as I was of him.

The cliche phrase "you never know what you have until it's gone" rang so true. Now that I've had a taste of the "until it's gone", I can't help but pity those who allow petty arguments and differences to affect their relationships. Bryan and I spent his 10 days of leave smiling. We said "I love you" over and over, often at the same time. We've learned quickly that in the military world, you just have to make every second count. I don't have the luxury of going to bed mad or staying stubborn until I've made my point anymore. When the next separation is always just around the corner, you can't do anything other than love each other every minute.


And, what do you know, letting yourself fall hopelessly deep in love makes you happier!

I dropped Bryan off at the SLC airport around 5am after his leave ended and physically hurt watching him walk away. It was overwhelming seeing people stop and stare at the man in uniform. MY man in uniform!

Since then, though, time has really started picking up. I see him in 18 days already? Child's play!

Just to catch everyone up to speed- I leave in a couple weeks for Camp Pendleton for the 2 days Bryan has liberty before graduating from MCT and then he is immediately shipped out to his MOS schooling. June and I will slowly but surely be working our way out to join him so we can see each other as often as possible.


So, we're suddenly days away from leaving Utah!
   Things I'll miss: Butlers, Friends, Jamba
   Things I won't:  Utah Drivers, Ceaseless Construction, Mountains, Dryness

I can't wait to jump into our new life together.. our first of many destinations and adventures!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

California Bound

Well.. Boot camp is just about over! It's been 83 days since I saw Bryan and I can't think of a vivid enough adjective to describe how ecstatic I am to see him in 4 DAYS!!

Anyway, I have a ton of packing to do so let's just get to it.

I started eating healthy/getting back into shape at the start of week 2, and have lost 14 pounds but more importantly am feeling awesome. I didn't do any strict diet, I didn't stick with any specific workout, I've just been taking care of myself and getting healthier every day!

Here's a side-by-side of me the day that Bryan left for boot camp (yes, I purposely chose the least flattering shot) next to post-workout a few days ago.


Not too shabby, eh? And no fancy editing here, my Finishing Touch Smile pen has made my teeth nice and pearly! Far more exciting than my before and afters, though, are Bryan's!


Isn't he so incredibly handsome?? Well, my 14 is chump change next to the 30 pounds Bryan has lost, but I'll take what I can get! Regardless, I'm bikini-ready for my man and SO ready to have 10 full days of husband time.

It's weird always being told "You're so strong for being able to handle all of this!" because, well, it's not like I've been dreaming of growing up to be the wife that spends months alone.  I'm strong because that's the only option I have. Of course I've been lonely, I'm just as human as everyone else. But I suck it up and am willing to continue sucking it up because it's a challenge I accepted and have to make the best out of it. And, well, if you had a Marine that good looking you would cope with the time apart, too!

Thanks, all, for the constant outpouring of support- it was a long 3 months but would have been far longer without y'all! I'm now going to finish packing up my bags because I'll be beaching it with my soldier in just a handful of days :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Phone Call

I figured I probably wouldn't have much to write about until graduation, but today was definitely worth remembering!

It was 3:15 and I was sitting at my desk at work when my phone started vibrating-- Unknown number from "San Diego Area" and I thought my heart was going to fly out of my chest. I answered after the first ring and immediately started running outside knowing how terrible the cell reception is in the office. I heard Bryan say: "Dana?" right before the call dropped. By then I was outside and frantically started calling the number back over and over again each time hearing "I'm sorry, your call cannot be completed at this time" (shouldn't have been surprised it was a one-way phone). I stumbled to the picnic table, tears already forming, devastated as I realized I may have missed my chance to talk to Bryan-- AGAIN. But, then, my phone started ringing.

His voice was so hoarse it was barely recognizable, but it was still my Bryan. A couple weirdly-serious-Marine-things slipped out but then he'd immediately go back to his old, normal self. The phone call was 3.5 minutes long, most of which was spent listening to each other cry and laugh at the same time. But, even with so few words, it was the most exciting conversation I've ever had. I could HEAR him say he loves me and I could say it back! At the end of the call, a drill instructor's booming voice started barking at Bryan and Bryan responded back with lots of "Yes, sir!" "No, sir!" We exchanged one last round of "I love you's" and then that was it.

3.5 minutes is a cruel amount of time to have to talk to you husband.. Especially when you haven't heard his voice in 64 days. But it reminded me of what I'm waiting for, and how worth all of this already has been for our relationship.

I missed the chance to speak with Bryan on our 1 year wedding anniversary, but we coincidentally got to speak on the 2 year anniversary of meeting each other. We met June 25, 2010 and stayed up talking until 7am the next morning. After getting home, I called my mom from Idaho and told her about the amazing guy I had met and told her I was going to marry him one day. She laughed, but here we are 2 years later- married and going through this new, huge adventure together.

I promise the next post will be back to my working out/weight loss-- my life is pretty cheesy these days, every once in a while I just have to let out the mushy stuff!
Summer, 2010

Friday, June 15, 2012

Not Alone

There's no way to write everything that has happened since I last wrote. Since my last entry, I've been to Georgia, missed the chance to hear Bryan's voice, found a much needed hidden letter, and had a strange meeting with someone who met Bry at boot camp.

Georgia was the greatest and hardest week thus far. Being surrounded by so many people who love Bryan (almost) as much I do was incredible. There were several highlights of the trip, but spending our anniversary with family was really important to me. The flowers, cake, letter from B, and most of all getting to be around family made for a great day! Anniversary aside, it was hard not to feel emotional throughout the night- Bryan's favorite thing in the world is when his family comes together. Such a simple thing, but nothing makes him happier.
Three days later, I read a Facebook status belonging to a girlfriend of a recruit in Bryan's platoon- she had gotten to speak to her man on the phone but thought it was so weird the number showed as a Florida area code. My stomach dropped to my feet immediately remembering I had 2 missed calls from a Florida number on our anniversary night. I don't know how much begging he had to do, but Bryan called me TWO TIMES during the anniversary dinner. And, to top it all off, my voicemail is broken so he couldn't even leave a message. My heart hurt for the rest of the trip.

Since that devastating night, though, bizarre/wonderful things have kept happening. I stumbled upon a letter from Bry hidden away in a magazine saying exactly what I needed to hear- "I love you" written in a hundred different ways. At the time, I couldn't imagine receiving any greater reassurance that I was being watched over.. until today! A new guy was put onto my team at work this morning. We were standing around waiting for the conference room to open up when I noticed how he was standing- feet shoulder-width apart, arms folded behind his back, and head held high. I asked him if he was in the military and he grinned. Long story short- he had just come back from Camp Pendleton on medical discharge. I grabbed a picture of Bryan from my desk and he started laughing. "I always saw him at Church on Sundays.. he has the biggest smile!" And I stayed teary-eyed for the rest of the day.

It's hard not to feel sorry for yourself when you have a cold place in your bed where your sweetheart should be. But it's worth it to be able to hear that even among hard Marines (and being transformed into one himself), Bryan is still known for his smile.

As JL Tyner says, "You know why Bryan is always smiling? Because he's happy."

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Insanity

Today makes it exactly a MONTH since Bryan left! That means we're about 1/3 in. I've been trying to think of it less like being alone for another 2 months, and more that I only have 57 days to get in bomb dig shape for my man!

Another thing that will definitely help time go by faster is going home to GEORGIA!! I'll be there from June 1st-9th. Our first anniversary is June 3rd and I've been dreading spending the day alone in an empty house.. but now I not only get to be back in our favorite state(and state we were married) but I get to spend our big day with my family! I get to see the neighborhood people, go to Lexi's baby shower, and stay in my childhood home one last time before my parents move. I can't wait!

In the meantime, my new Monday addition for this week was by far the most extreme- the Insanity workout! It's been kicking my butt, but it hurts so good. I took a before picture-- and as soon as I have an impressive "after" shot, I'll be putting them up side by side. June's been pretty annoying while I'm working out- I don't know if she thinks I'm dancing or what, but she starts licking my toes and jumping up on me with every globe jump. Ugh. Just saying globe jump makes my calves ache.

Today was the most boring/healthy grocery shopping excursion of my life- egg whites, cottage cheese, whole wheat english muffins/tortillas, recovery shakes, glutamine/magnesium pills, skinny cow ice cream, soy milk... It's worth it, though! Excited to be on California beaches with husband looking/feeling good!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Shifting My Mindset

Yesterday was the 3-week mark since I saw Bryan last! Which sounds great until I remind myself that this is a 13-WEEK gig. I feel like I'm always crying/whining about the negatives, though, so hopefully this post will be a little different.

There aren't many perks of being separated from B, but there are a FEW :
1. I eat healthy. Bryan's the cook in the relationship (and an incredible one) but that boy loves his Southern comfort food, and my waistline has paid the price. With him away, and me only knowing how to cook easy, healthy things.. Well, as of this morning I've lost 8 lbs since I saw Bryan.
2. I get my sleep. Whenever I say this people wink and laugh, but really.. it's nice feeling well rested!
3. And last, but definitely the greatest perk is that I appreciate him so much more. I would have rather learned to love more deeply with him still here, but this has done the trick. Among several things that have improved, I'm a better listener now. I suppose it's mostly because it's difficult to interrupt someone while reading their letters, but I cling to every word I receive from Bry and put letters into the mailbox every chance I get so I can remind him, again, how much I love him.

Since I mentioned in the last post that I've been adding another "healthy lifestyle addition" to my schedule every Monday, I'm now to: 1) No soda 2) Running every day and 3) Trying out new (healthy) recipes at least 2X a week.

I figure- I have to sleep alone for another 10 weeks anyway.. I might as well use my time getting into good shape, since Lord knows Bryan will be back with his fried chicken, grits, and coke in no time!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Are We There Yet?

Monday was the 2 week mark.. and time is still crawling! I'm feeling less sad and more anxious now, though. It drives me crazy having things I want to run home and tell Bry about but not being able to. The weird conversation I had at work, how stoked I am about my new military ID, the annoying drivers I passed on the highway.. I miss sharing my days with my Bubs!

Fortunately, I have his mailing address now so I'm just writing constantly. I've mailed out 3 letters so far, finishing up my 4th. I've received 2 full letters from him now.. and Lexi Hughes is right, mail days are the BEST days! I park in the driveway as fast as I can every afternoon and run to the mailbox-- the days there have been letters waiting for me went by so fast because I could feel him with me when I read them. I read them over and over again and manage to cry every time- not only because I miss him, but it's amazing how much stronger and focused he's already become.

In the meantime, I'm getting more creative in distracting myself. I've decided every Monday I'm going to add one more thing to my healthier/skinnier lifestyle. The 1wk mark I decided to cut out soda. This Monday I added on running every morning before work. Hopefully by the time I see him, I'll be looking/feeling awesome. I can't let Bryan look TOO much better than me when July comes around!

Still, there's no number of goals I could set to make me forget how much I miss my buddy. I wonder about what he's doing/feeling/thinking all day every day. Wish I could fast forward to the best kiss of my life!

Monday, April 30, 2012

One Week Down

Well, it's been one week. And probably the longest week of my life. Everyone keeps telling me the longest parts of boot camp (for the wives) are the first and last weeks. One can only hope I have 11 weeks before I'm lonely again!

Backtracking a little bit, Bryan and I had an incredible last minute trip to Zion, Grand Canyon, and Phoenix right before he left-- the perfect way to end one phase of our life before opening up the next pivotal chapter. The swearing-into-the-USMC ceremony was over quickly, but was as powerful as I expected. Bryan's right hand was raised the highest (both out of pride and sheer height) and has never looked so focused and excited since I saw him across the alter.

Catching up to speed, living alone is really bizarre. I didn't realize until I came home last Monday that I'd never experienced it before-- always with family, roommates, or Bryan. Now it's just me, June, and the .45 that sleeps on the pillow next to me! I've been occupying my time with a lot of Pilates and Desperate Housewives, which I really loved for the first 2 days.. until it dawned on me that I missed Bryan walking in and changing my show to ESPN. It's an amazing and stupid thing to marry your best friend because when they have to go away, you lose both.

I think about Bry all of the time, constantly wondering what kind of hell he's receiving at that exact moment. I know he's having the time of his life.. that man is ALL boy and loves all that is dirty, loud, and demanding. And I can't wait until I FINALLY have a mailing address for him so I can start writing him and hearing about what's going on over there. That's another weird aspect about his absence-- I don't get to tell him about my day or new things going on as soon as they happen! I found out this week my parents are moving, and I can't even tell my husband! It's weird.

A new feeling I got today was the realization that I would rather him be here and in the world's biggest fight with me than away. Anger's an easier emotion than loneliness, I think. But, in the meantime, I'm just taking it one day at a time! I'm excited to see him for a million reasons- but mostly because I can already tell how much stronger our marriage and friendship is going to be at the end of this. And, the end of this will have us moving to Pensacola for Bryan's job training. How can everything NOT be better on the beach??

81 days to go!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bracing for Impact

So... a LOT has changed really quickly since my last entry. The initial plan was for Bryan to be a Reservist until he graduated from school, but the more we looked into it and the more people we spoke with, the more we started leaning towards ACTIVE duty! So, of course, that pretty much changes everything. The Marines will now be his full-time job, we'll get full benefits, and be stationed!

Also, along with going active, he's gone from an LAV mechanic to an aviation mechanic! Since he's doing aviation mechanics, we'd be stationed at an air base-- and I may be leaving some off of the list, but from what I've heard.. the places we'd be potentially living are:
California, North/South Carolina, Hawaii, or Tokyo!!

The idea of not only getting out of Utah, but being able to embark on such a different lifestyle seriously makes me so, SO excited!

Anyway.. Last time I wrote I was shaken up by the idea of Bryan leaving for Basic on May 1st, and since changing to active duty, he now heads out April 23rd.. which, yes, is in 11 days.

I feel like I've been a whirlwind of emotion, but keep making myself post blogs because I imagine all of this will seem funny to read one day.. since I really have no idea what I'm getting myself into.

Tonight Bryan was put up in a hotel in SLC because tomorrow morning he officially gets honorably discharged from the Reserves, and immediately sworn in active duty.

I'm sure posts will become more and more frequent in the next few weeks, since I'll be flying solo for a while. Special shout-outs to: my Mama, my Mama-by-Marriage, Jamie Moore, and Lexi Hughes (all military wives/daughters) for the ceaseless advice and support! Be sure to keep your phones nearby, as this calm, worry-less girl will undoubtedly need some reassuring words in these coming months! :)

I won our annual egg fight this Easter--  USMC is already being good to me!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Departure Date

So, jumping right into it, we found out today that Bryan will be reporting to Basic on May 1st. That is, unless someone drops out in a group earlier- in which case he'll be leaving sooner. As exciting and refreshing as it is to have a tangible date, it is a little difficult accepting what that means Bryan will be missing.

1. Our first anniversary
2. The entire summer
3. Our favorite holiday, 4th of July
4. My 21st birthday

Of course, the most upsetting is the first. I know I have to buck up and be a big girl, but it's pretty hard to wrap my head around for the time being.

For those wanting the timeline-- Basic is 3 months long (no contact except for the occasional letter) and then he gets about 10 days off, and then reports back for MCT (Marine Combat Training) for another month.

This is a pretty depressing post, but it's a peculiar feeling preparing to see your husband off for 1/3 of the year. In the meantime, prayers and thoughts for my sweetheart are always appreciated!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Waiting Game

The delay in a new post was due to the fact that we've been in, as the title indicates, the awkward waiting phase with the Marines. A few weeks ago we received the awesome news that Bryan was given the job he was holding out for-- an LAV mechanic! I figured that receiving the job meant we'd immediately be given the date he'd be heading out for Basic, but alas, no dice.

For those who don't know what being an LAV mechanic entails, he'll be working on these bad boys:
So, his street cred will most definitely be upped.. as soon as he can finally go out to training and get this ball rollin!

Military stress aside, next update - we moved into our new place in Provo the beginning of January. We were ecstatic about the find because it's a 2 bedroom single family house for rent with NO contract-- the only catch was that the landlord would have to kick us out when her son got married, since she wants to be able to give him the home as a wedding gift. We weren't worried, though, since when we moved in the aforementioned son wasn't even SPEAKING to anyone. Well, classic Provo.. since January, our landlord's son has met, dated, and become engaged to his girl. Haven't been given a wedding date yet, but praying it doesn't happen to fall on the time Bryan will be in CA. Keep your fingers crossed!

Alright-- whining over. I've been working a ton, so been starting new things to make my off time better spent. Pilates has now been implemented into my nightly schedule, and have been having at least 1 craft going on at all times. My most recent isn't done yet, but here's what I've got so far:
The canvas edges have been painted since this picture was taken.. but next going to fill the white with Georgia-y things! Looking forward to having a piece of home on our wall!

That's all I've got for now.. hopefully the next post that I make will be announcing Bryan's departure date!

Friday, March 2, 2012

New Blog, New Life

Hello, cyber world.
 
First and foremost, blogging is confusing and kind of makes me want to cry. Even as I'm writing this, I'm fighting every urge to cease and desist. However, there aren't any new Gossip Girl episodes to watch, leaving me with no excuse to not finish what I started. So.. here we go!

For those who didn't know, my sweetheart swore into the military a few weeks ago. In a few more weeks, he'll be officially sworn into the Marine Corps. I intended on holding off on all blogging until Bryan was shipped off to Basic, but I've been changing/adjusting so much already that I wanted to start immediately so I wouldn't forget any part of the process.

I've always respected and been proud of Bryan, but joining the military has already changed every aspect of our relationship. We have a lot of "what if" conversations, making me appreciate our marriage and friendship more every day. Also, I've been trying to hold off on announcing to people he's joining the Marines, because most of the feedback I receive are pouty faces and apologies. WE'RE EXCITED, PEOPLE!

One thing I'm definitely going to have to adjust to is loneliness. Yesterday I was driving home from a bad day at work and realized that in the not-too-distant future, I'm going to have bad days with no one to come home to. June's a sweet pup, but she's a 1 in the sympathy department. BUT- I received some wise advice from my fellow Marine wife friend Lexi Hughes, who suggested I never dwell on the future, and solely focus on/enjoy every day I have to spend with my babe.

So that's what I'm going to do! Love more, pick battles less. I'm going to have a lot of nights sleeping alone, but that's what I get for marrying a brave, honorable, and selfless man!