Feeling blessed

This weekend was WONDERFUL.  I had a great Memorial Day with mom and dad, and D and I have been able to email and talk on the phone!  It’s been so great to be able to communicate every day again and hear his voice.  It’s actually been an adjustment having more contact though because now that we have some, we just want more and more!!! I completely missed a little party I was planning to go to the other day because I was so wrapped up in emailing him back and forth.  I have definitely felt much more like myself in the last few days being able to chat with my partner in crime.

D had a long weekend to relax a little bit after the stress of RLP (aka have time away from his drill instructor).  He switched rooms into a room with a computer (D and his roommate decided to stay together since they got along well) and spent the weekend studying, practicing drill, and you guessed it, emailing. D was really excited about this week – today he had a lot of fun learning how to save a sinking ship and getting soaked, and tomorrow he’ll get to learn how to fight fires!  He’s studying hard for an exam in his weapons and engineering class, another inspection in week 6, and a drill competition next week.  He’s feeling a lot more confident after passing RLP, and is enjoying not being the newest class anymore.

This morning I woke to found that the OTCN Facebook people were on top of things again this week and posted some sweet pictures of D!  I really feel like I don’t know how to describe the emotions of seeing D in uniform for the first time.  All I can say is I’m incredibly proud of him, but that barely touches on what I’m feeling.  My heart is just full today, and for that I’m very grateful.

This first picture is D’s pinning ceremony, they are pinning gold anchors to their collars.  This signifies that they’ve passed the Indoctrination Candidate Phase and are now Officer Candidates. (D is in the center).

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Here they are reciting the Sailor’s Creed together before getting their pins (D is in the front row, 6th from the right).11337085_757251281058948_334805580396100145_o

D is on the far left in this one.  I really just want to yell “Run, Forrest, run!”

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And I’m pretty sure that’s D;s teeny head in the front row of the people standing, near the center of the picture.

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Here’s a few more pictures of his class, if you can find D in any of these, I don’t ever want to compete with you at Where’s Waldo.11050311_757250854392324_1850864053436091088_o 11313098_757250871058989_6488035168330391639_o 11313048_757250991058977_794166739365801378_o

P.S.  Getting a super sweet love letter from your husband is pretty much the greatest thing in the world.

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Oh happy day!

D worked his tail off and passed his RLP this morning!  I am so proud of him for passing this huge checkpoint, I nearly burst into tears when I found out.  This means email and phone privileges!  D should be transferring to a room in the next few days with email access, so if letters aren’t your thing, please send an email his way.  I’m sure he’d love any congrats as well as continued encouragement.  (Also be aware there’s a high likelihood you won’t get a response, he won’t have much free time until, well, graduation day!).

Unfortunately I burst into tears for another reason today,  I experienced what I’m sure will become a normal part of military wifeness – my first missed phone call.  D tried calling me while I was at yoga class.  Yoga has been a large part my saving grace these past few weeks, but I gladly would have sucker punched yoga in the face if it meant I could hear D’s voice.  Oh well, its just part of the package and I know staying home by the phone won’t make me feel any better.  I’ve had a great few weeks spending lots of time with new friends and old friends.  Today I had a great time with some our good friends at the zoo.  We love this family and are so bummed that they’ll be moving away before D gets home 😦 I’m so grateful to all the wonderful people in my life who’ve reached out to me and spent time with me while D’s been gone.  I am a very lucky lady!

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Week 2 down, please pass any good luck our way!

This last week has been mostly more of the same for D, a LOT of rifle drill, which he’s enjoying but says its tough because he’s in the front row so his drill instructor sees every single teeny mistake he makes.  He also had a swim test where they have to swim 50 yrds, jump off a 20 ft platform, do a deadman’s float for 5 minutes and make a flotation device out of their uniforms.  Not a big deal for D, and everyone in their class passed – they said this is the first class in awhile that they’ve all passed!  They also had “fast cruise friday” where they wake them up early, make them run around in their uniforms with their seabags and do a lot of exercises.  Most of the pictures below are from those two things (unfortunately couldn’t find D in any of the ones they posted this week 😦 )

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D is excited about starting his Academic classes this week, but he has RLP (Room, Locker, and Personnel Inspection) this Thursday, which means every spare moment (which aren’t that many) will be spent in preparation folding, ironing, stamping their name on everything, removing strings from uniforms, and memorizing gouge. Everything in D’s room, rifle, and on his uniforms has to be perfectly placed and measured, and every speck of lint removed.  Their DI inspects everything while making them do lots of push-ups and recite the information they’ve been memorizing. This is one of the toughest inspections of OCS and a point where a lot of candidates get rolled back to the next class.  If they don’t pass they get a chance to do a re-inspect the next morning, if they don’t pass that than its 3 more weeks (trying not to think about this.)  If they pass they’ll likely get access to email and phone privileges woohoo!  Any and all extra prayers would be greatly appreciated to get D through this!

This week sucks . . . and ROCKS!

So lots of people were telling me the first week would be the hardest, but I could tell pretty soon after saying goodbye to D that the second week was going to be much harder for me.  It’s been a year since we decided we would be joining the Navy, a long year of tests, prep, waiting, more tests, more prep, more waiting.  So there was a very distinct sense of relief (amidst the fear and sadness) when D finally got there.  We’d also spent a lot of time together the month before and so last week was fun enjoying lots of girlie things and stuff I don’t normally do while D’s around (aka take lots of bubble baths, go to yoga classes and hang out with awesome girlfriends, eat nothing but pasta and parmesan for dinner).  This week however I knew it was coming – that physical ache in my chest of missing my sweetheart.  (Okay since my Mom is probably reading this I have to stop and reassure her- I’m not crying in the bathtub, I am eating vegetables on occasion, and I’m not watching Gilmore Girls in my pajamas with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s.  I’m totally fine.  But thank you for inviting me to the movies.  It helped.)

But besides the weight of missing D, I have also had blips of pure joy – first getting to see pictures on Monday and then yesterday I got home to find my first letter!!! It was very short half sentences of what he did the first few days – pretty on target with what we were told from the survival guide – getting his gear, haircut, lots of briefs, learning procedures for standing at attention, the chow hall, medical tests, paperwork.  D passed his IST (which I assumed since I hadn’t heard anything) but his roommate didn’t and got rolled back to the next class.  For some reason things are much funnier written in these very brief disjointed semi-sentences.  My absolute favorite line from his letter was this:

“Overall having fun but still have elevated blood pressure.”

I don’t know why I cannot stop cracking up at that.  I also got a short email this morning  saying that it continues to be very very very hard and he’s very very very tired, but all is well.  D now is in the Officer Candidate Phase of OCT, which will last until the last few weeks when he becomes a Candidate Officer.  This phase focuses on physical training, drill, inspections, and academics.  D should be having a swim test sometime this week as well.  The inspections are a beast of their own,  I’ll maybe post more about them next week.  The academic courses that D will take in the next 7 weeks are Sea Power Naval History, Naval Orientation and Warfare, Engineering/Weapons, Naval Operations and Seamanship, and Navigation.  Next Thursday he has his RLP (room, locker, and personnel inspection aka point where a lot of candidates roll) and after that he may have access to email again.  I think even better than getting a letter from him was finding out this morning in the email that they finally received mail!  I’m not sure how often they give it to them, so he said he only opened one of my letters to spread out the encouragement.  Lots of up and downs emotionally this week, but I’m not at all worried about D (or me).  We’re both much stronger than we sometimes think we are.

Can’t think of a better way to start my week!

They posted pictures of D’s class on Facebook this morning! Definitely made my day to see his face as we start week 2, it was kind of a game of where’s waldo trying to find him!

D’s last picture with hair 🙂

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D is on the 2nd row from the front, all the way on the right11265611_750837831700293_389982037268620275_o

Okay these two I’m kind of guessing – apparently I should have memorized his head shape before he left.  But I think he is standing up, 9th from the right.  If you have another guess feel free to comment below haha!11203587_750838078366935_7856712130157577880_o

I think in this one he is the tiny head popping up above the left shoulder of the guy in the reflective vest – anyone else believe me?11263060_750838141700262_7965928819156127794_o

So proud of my awesome husband!!!

5 days down, 77 to go.

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Tomorrow marks 5 years since my first date with D.  I’m pretty sure since that day we haven’t gone more than 2 days without talking to each other, and that was probably only the first week we dated. I’ve been keeping myself busy with lots of yoga, planting flowers and herbs, running errands, and working. I’m really grateful for good friends (and a mama) to keep me company. As well as the Gilmore Girls. They provide the only noise in my house, as neither of my cats has a normal meow.  Writing letters to D has helped keep me feeling close to him, even though I know he probably hasn’t gotten any mail yet. It’s also been really awesome to connect with the other wives/girlfriends of D’s classmates through Facebook, I’m already very excited to meet them at D’s graduation.

D’s last few days have (as far as I know) consisted of medical exams, paperwork, and studying “gouge” aka stuff that he has to know. There’s a lot of information they have to memorize that they’ll be quizzed on incessantly by their drill instructors. It includes things such as chain of command, codes of conduct, all the ranks of marine corps and navy, and the lyrics to Anchors Aweigh. D’s been studying for awhile now but it is A LOT of information that he has to be able to recall under high stress. Yesterday D was supposed to have his IST – initial strengths test. There are minimums that candidates must meet in sit-ups, push-ups, and running. If they don’t pass, they will be “rolled” into the next class, meaning they’re delayed another three weeks. There are several different checkpoints that if you don’t pass can get you rolled back, as well as things like getting injured. Really hoping this is not something that we have to deal with. I’m not too worried about the strengths test, D was doing fine before he left but he also didn’t have people screaming and yelling in his face while doing it. Tomorrow is what they call Welcome Aboard. Here is the description from D’s survival guide.
“Starting at 0430, your DI will meet you in your new home, help you pack your seabag, and show you around the regiment. It takes about 10-30 minutes complete the tour and is pretty much a non-stop, rip-roaringly fun exercise extravaganza complete with 8-count body builders, push-ups, flutter kicks, lunges, six-nineties, and just about every other tool that the DIs have at their disposal. Oh yes, it will be fun.” Sense the sarcasm. Tomorrow is supposed to be an overload of D’s drill instructor and having to do pushups until he “hits the deck.”  D will also be issued his first uniforms (please don’t ask me how much they cost unless you want my blood pressure to rise).

Hopefully D was able to make arrangements to get to church on Sunday as it’s one of his few chances to relax.  There’s a very slight slight slight chance I could get a phone call this weekend, but I’m not holding on to any hope.  D’s recruiter told me to plan on it being like he’s in Africa for three months.  Except I’d probably have more contact if he was in Africa.   Anyway, I’m just planning to not hear from him at all, that way anything will be a nice pleasant surprise.

Off the grid

I spoke to D for a few minutes this morning before he turned off his phone for a very very long time.  It’s really weird that I won’t hear his voice again for at least another few weeks and even then he won’t sound the same (I’ll explain later).  D was on the same flights  with a few of his classmates and a group of them went out to dinner last night in Newport.  I think it was helpful in calming his nerves enough to sleep last night.  All we pretty much got to say to each other this morning was I love you, I’ll write, You’ll do great, I’m here safe, I’ll call you in a few weeks, and I love you again.  D was given a “Survival Guide to OCS” by his recruiter before he left which actually gave us a lot of information about what life is like at Officer Candidate School.  We’ve since discovered that not every recruiter was as forthcoming with their recruits as D’s – someone found out he was selected for OCS only 4 days before he had to leave!!! Thank goodness that wasn’t the case for us.  Since I’m not sure when I’ll hear from D,  I’m relying on this guide to tell me what his life is like.

The first week, D is considered an “Indoctrination Candidate.”  The main focus of this week is militarization and rifle drill.   It’s supposed to be the toughest week emotionally and physically.  Today, D will first be checking in and filling out paperwork.  They’ll go through his bag and put everything in storage except his clothes, toiletries, and scriptures.  Then they’ll go to his hall where he’ll stay and be grilled by the “Candidate Officers” (students in their last few weeks of OCS).  They help prepare the new classes (by screaming and yelling at them)  and spend pretty much every moment with them keeping them on track.   I’ve actually been emailing a Navy wife for the last few months whose husband is a Candidate Officer over D’s class, which is really cool – she said she’ll try get some insider information from her husband on how he’s doing!  His drill instructor will be secretly watching them all day but won’t actually meet them for a few days.  During OCS, D has to be “ballistic” – aka scream everything he says as loud as he possibly can.  There are correct ways of responding to commands and asking questions and permission to speak that he has to get used to.  There’s lots of sirs, ma’ams, eyeballs, ears, and referring yourself in the third person.  The goal is to lose your voice, hence I may not be hearing normal D when he finally calls!  D will spend the rest of today unpacking, getting issued clothes and toiletries (most of which he saves for his room and locker inspection in a few weeks), and getting his hair chopped off.  (I’m not going to lie.  Yes, I will miss his hair.)  For D, today will be extremely loud and full of chaos, while I’m trying to get used to the very quiet silence in our house.

Here are a few pics from D’s last week as a civilian (so weird – for the last little while it’s been “oh, my husband is going into the Navy” and today it’s “my husband is in the Navy” – it sounds nuts coming out of my mouth).   We had a surprise dinner for D at the Spaghetti Factory last weekend with family and friends, D’s parents were able to come up and visit from Utah and it was really nice to be able to have both our parents there to support us.  D was super confused as to what was happening when we got to the restaurant and I think still slightly in shock when we went to bed that night!  We were able to spend a lot of time together this last week as I only scheduled clients on a few days so we could get everything prepared and do some fun stuff.  We spent a day at Cannon beach, shopped, got D a Royal Shave, went to the temple, and got a couples massage.  Friday we drove up to Mt. Hood and hiked around a few of the lakes there.  It was an absolutely gorgeous, slightly perfect day.   I can’t even begin to tell you how sweet our last few days were together.

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Missing this handsome man lots already.

PS I also updated D’s address on the last post – just added his middle initial and class letter.