Sunday, December 29, 2013

Pic Over Load ... 2013 Review + Jeffs USMC Graduation

Hey people!!
I haven't written in a long time. I know I don't even have to say why ... life get's busy, priorities change .. and really I was always just writing this for myself anyways. I think this blog will be changing as more of like a journal for myself ... anyone is clearly welcome to read it ... but now I'll talk about things that are relevant to me and my life THESE days.

Things have changed so drastically in my life since I wrote my last blog post in (cough yikes) June of 2012. Changed mostly for the better!!


Since I last wrote:
- My fiance and parents and I decided to join Weight Watchers.

- Yep that's right ... I'm engaged!! My best friend asked me to marry him at Disney World in November 2012!

- Jeff finished loosing the weight he needed to join the United States Marine Corps and signed into the dep program in February 2013. They gave him his ship date to go to boot camp (September 16th)

- I turned 26 years old! {I can't even comprehend that}

- I lost 45 lbs total since starting Weight Watchers (Yes, this picture is more time than June 2012 - present ... but it's fun to see the progress)

- Exercising has truly become a way of life for me. While it's fun to skip it ... It's not what it used to be to me anymore. It's a necessity. I've also found a blog I love to follow: Mama Laughlin

- During said progress I took too many of {sweaty} pictures of myself .. sometimes before and sometimes after my work outs ...

 -Took a lot of pictures of things that matter ... and some that don't.

-Even got on TV! (Yep, look close - that's us between those guys in the background!)

- Worked out with my guy

- Jeff worked and worked and worked on this boat ...

- I met Andy Dirks .. and got his autograph :)

- I found my love of spin class.

- We went to the air show

- Saw Kenny Chesney at Ford Field (What whaaaat .. awesome Christmas gift!!!)

- Spent some time in the great Up North together.

 (left at about 10 or 11 pm .... yikes!)

- Went to my cousins wedding 

- Jeff signed his MOS contract (Electronic Maintenance)

- We took a LOT of pictures before he left for bootcamp in September:

 - We had goodbye parties and Jeff left for bootcamp.

 - I wrote 65 letters ... one a day ... and became obsessed with the mailbox and what it might bring to me, from Parris Island. My only way of communication with my fiance for 13 weeks.

- I kept busy with four jobs while he was gone and worked 56 hours a week: Jewelry Lady, daycare (part time), Red Bell Assistant Teacher (part time), and mentoring .... and of course going to the gym 3-4 days a week.

- I did anything and everything I could think of to keep my mind busy and positive including starting this board on my Pinterest: STRENGTH and added to it when I had hard times. 

- Hosted a totally fun 2nd Annual Favorite Things Party!

- Went to a family friend's annual Christmas Tea Party.

- I prayed more than I've prayed my entire life this year.

- ... and then I prayed some more... Prayed for Jeff's strength and safety, for God to be with him while he hurdled over anything that might stand in his way of becoming a Marine, for my strength in getting through the time without him.

- I found out that Jeff could possibly call me after they finished The Crucible ( their final 3 days of intense training out in the field with lack of sleep) and when my phone read "Beaufort, SC" I instantly started to cry. I hadn't heard his voice in 13 weeks and nothing will make me forget the way I felt when I answered the phone "Jeffy?" and he said "Yea"

- I traveled 1,035 miles to see My Marine graduate from Parris Island USMC Bootcamp.

- I finally got my hands on him! First shock ... and then tears ... 

- He got to show us around the base and explain some of the things they did.

-The next day, Friday December 13th, 2013 he graduated from Lima Co. and we were EXACTLY where he had dreamed of being for so many years. I am so proud of this man, words just can't explain!!!!

- We flew home a few days later and found these goofballs waiting for us at the airport!

-Went to get Scruffy and saw Grandpa ... 

- It has been incredible to have him home on leave ... We celebrated Christmas Eve ...

- And Christmas ... 

The more I think about anything and everything, the less I think anything at all has ever been a consiquence or happend "by chance". I think there is a plan for me and for us. 2013 has been a year of stress and waiting and anxiety .. but also some amazing memories and lessons that we will absolutely never forget. Things have been so  hard, but this is what we have been working towards and it will all be a good life for us in the end.

Excited to see the new life that 2014 will bring to us. We could possibly be married before the end of 2014 ... depending on the Corps ... 2014 will come with it's own challenges ... but I've learned so much this year and I know I will get through anything with my fiance, my family and God at my side.

See you next year .... and hopefully not so long in between ... no promises ;)