In June of 2004 a gentleman walked into my place of employment asking if we had any job openings. I can not remember if we did or did not, but he applied anyways. In the spot where you write your previous residence he wrote, Honolulu, Hawai’i.
No one in their right mind moves from Hawai’i to Maine. That’s just crazy. Anyone who does is clearly mental and therefore not employable (kidding…kind of). We hired him anyways (probably based on the fact he had come back in 150 times asking for a job, we were so fed up we just gave him a job) and made him work all of the shifts no one wanted. He basically did anything we asked him to and ended up being a great part of our team.
I ended up resigning from my job after receiving an opportunity for higher paying employment and lost touch with my old coworkers. One night in 2006 the mental gentlemen from Hawai’i found me on Myspace and struck up a conversation. Later we met up for drinks and chatted some more. He was a great friend, but I had been single for only a few months after my last boyfriend and was not looking for a new relationship (age old tale, the minute you stop looking is the minute you find someone).
He was such a great friend when I moved into a new apartment he bought me a housewarming gift (a bottle of Lindemann’s Framboise and some other awesome things). My roommates gave me a hard time saying, “He really likes you, no guy friend buys their girl friends housewarming gifts.” I laughed and shrugged them off. They had no idea what we were talking about.
He and I had a ton of fun. We went ‘mudding’ in his Jeep with no doors, top off. We hiked. We drove up ATV trails in his Jeep.
I sat in bathtubs that we found in the middle of the woods. It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s…it’s a bathtub.
After driving up an ATV trail. (I just threw those shoes out and I may have donated the jeans at some point). That poor Jeep. It went through a lot before we sold it.
Somewhere amidst running around the state of Maine I started to agree with my roommates. We decided at some point in 2006 to start dating and see where it went. By 2007 we were engaged and about 3 months after we got engaged we got married (the Navy NEEDED my now husband back at sea).
(Not the greatest picture, but definitely one of my favorites)
In the past seven years, there have been two kids.
(c) Cogdell Photography
My oldest was born in 2007, 5 weeks before my husband deployed. To say our first year of marriage was the most difficult would have been an understatement. I was alone with a new (colicky) baby, living in a city where I thought if I had to get on the highway it would be a surefire way to get myself killed. I learned quickly to adapt, make friends, and also learned how to drive in crazy traffic. This child and I have clawed our way through many rough days (with the help of the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, Breakers Beach and Beard Papa’s). We have been very fortunate here in Rhode Island to find a child counselor who has helped her learned ways to cope when Dad is gone and taught me how to better help her stay confident when her life gets shaken up by Navy moves and deployments.
My youngest is what us Military Spouses refer to as a deployment baby. This child is my eternal optimist. She always reminds me that “everything will be okay, we just need cookies.”
(My dog, Danger. He got a little aggressive after my oldest was born and we found him another wonderful home)
(Admiral Thatcher, our adorable and loving yellow lab)
(Abby, the rabbit. Chillin’ with Admiral Thatcher, her BFF.)
There have been moves:
We started out in Maine. Moved to San Diego. From San Diego we moved to Hawaii. From Hawaii we moved to Rhode Island and we are currently on the countdown clock for our next Navy move.
There have been deployments:
As well as REFTRA’s, TAD’s, TDY’s, UNDERWAY’s, etc.
This was sent to me during a deployment. It cracks me up every time I look at it (I know it’s not kid friendly, but…it’s funny in a Navy Wife during deployment humor kind of way).
There have been promotions:
Promotion with the help of our kiddos.
This year brings him 19 years of Naval service. Pretty stellar for a farm kid from a little town in Washington who enlisted in the Navy with the intent to get out after 4 years. (Does anyone else see a trend with these pictures? The older he gets the younger he looks, the older I get the older I look. Must be the saltwater.)
There have been learning experiences:
My husband was deployed in 2008 when gas hit an all time high in Southern California. I think I was paying something like $5/gal to fill my SUV. After a $100 fill up, I had, had it. I emailed my husband to tell him I was going to trade the SUV in for a sedan with better mpg. I had never, ever gone to a dealership to buy a car. I somehow managed.
During that same deployment my kitchen faucet broke (this is a reoccurring event when my husband is away) as did one of the toilets. I quickly learned how to be a plumber.
I learned how to be married to a person that I rarely talked to face to face. Email is a beautiful thing, but it is hard to figure out how someone is saying something that is typed. Then, once I got the email communication figured out, we were on shore duty and had to figure out how to talk face to face (I think it’s the Navy’s way of ‘switching it up’ so we become excellent communicators).
I learned how to cook and bake, because pizza gets old after a couple months.
There have been tears:
We were at Sea World and someone stole my Maclaren stroller. I told my husband that I would just steal a Bugaboo stroller to make up for it. He said no. I was already in tears. The moral of that story ended up being ‘We’re not in Maine anymore’ (because people don’t steal strollers in Maine). Also, I probably would not have actually stolen someone else’s stroller. I would have been consumed with guilt, but I definitely had the thought (also, not an excuse, but I was pregnant with my youngest at the time and maybe a little hormonal).
In return for my stroller, Sea World gave my oldest child passes for Breakfast with Sesame Street which we used for her 1st birthday.
I’m not sure who had more fun, the kid or the husband.
There was another time when my husband was gone. There was a centipede in my oldest daughters bed, I had not slept in days thanks to the mongoose that was running around in my attic, and the geckos were chirping non-stop. There were tears and tongs (to eradicate the centipede). There were also flying cockroaches. That was Hawai’i. I will not be going back there.
Then there was homecoming in 2008 where I was horrified that I might have to sit on the pier for hours and wait for my husband. As a pretty introverted person, standing amongst people I hardly knew was almost debilitating (I’m way better at dealing with strangers now). I think I cried for a week until I figured out a way to pick him up without having to stand on the pier. I parked at the commissary across the street and made him walk. I had to go grocery shopping anyways, might as well kill two birds with one stone.
There have been laughs:
My husband and I have an incredible amount of fun together. No matter where we are, we always have fun. We joke and we make each other laugh. To this day I don’t know anyone who has made me laugh more than he has.
Here he is brushing a Pony’s hair before leaving for work. The kids did his hair by placing a lobster on his head.
Through all of this, there has always been the two of us. We work hard to balance time for just us with time that we spend together with the kids. We have dinner after the kids go to bed and watch a movie or just sit and talk or read in each others company. We go out to nice dinners. We have great adventures while leaving the kids with a sitter for the day. We have gone to amazing concerts. I soak up all of the time we spend together and store it in my memory for the days he is away and I’m having a rough day, because it’s special.
(c) Winegeart Photography
Today is our anniversary and I can honestly say that I love my husband more today than I did when we got married. We have had such an adventure and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. I am so grateful for that man that walked in almost 10 years ago inquiring about a job. He has blessed my life in so many ways.
When all my faith has gone, you bring it back to me. You make it real for me.