Meg Joins the Navy

A new member of the Navy Nurse Corps and a proud wife of a Navy corpsman stationed together at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

19 October 2011

Missing my Sailor...

It is 2 more months till my sailor is home for the holidays.  Unfortunately that's an extra 3 months over the time I was waiting so I had a difficult transition from a week countdown to changing it to 3 months.  But what can you do?  That's military life, right there.
     Luckily, it's the busiest time of the school year with midterms, clinicals, projects, papers, Homecoming, school activities, etc.  I know my next 4 weeks will fly by because each day is already basically planned out.  I'm only happy about that because when it's all over, there will only be 1 month left, which includes Thanksgiving and finals, another busy month.
     I am so excited to have my sailor home for the holidays for many reasons.  The Commander Upstairs must have his plans for good reasons that his time home was delayed till then.  I'm glad school will be over so I can be completely stress-free and open for him.  I already have his Christmas surprise set up (which is something we can both knock off our bucket lists).  I could announce what it is, but for fear he might read this and figure out what it is, I'll say no more.  I'll post all about it when it happens. :)
     The things that really get to me when being in a long distance relationship are the little things.  I can deal with the lack of physical intimacy, the late night phone calls due to the time difference, no jealousy or trust issues between us; I miss snuggling on the couch watching shitty TV, going back and forth between what to do for the night and nobody making a decision, grocery shopping together, weird things that come out of our mouths and you just look at them like, "WTF are you talking about?", singing in the car, and my biggest things are 1. hand holding, and 2. the hugs.

     Let me just tell you, his hugs are the best.  And I am SO EXCITED for my next hug.  I always think in my mind about how it will play out when I see him next and it always involves running to him and a big hug.  No idea what I would say or what would happen next... I just want that hug!

     When I had started writing this in the morning and save it, a few hours later, there was another change in my countdown.  Instead of the 2 month marker to December 18th, I am not looking at the same date or December 28th.  And I only get to have him home for about 10 days instead of 21.  This is all due to changes that I will write about another day because it is a never ending story about Sailor's career path.
     And later that night, there was another change!  I'm still looking at the 10 days in December, but now a possibility of another 10 in November.

     And I was all worked up when I started writing this post, and now I might be looking at a closer date!  All those tears for nothing.  It figures.

What is the thing you miss the most when you're separated from your loved ones?

3 hour later edit:  Sailor will now be home in T-minus 43 hours & 20 minutes!!!!!! Best. Surprise. Ever.

15 October 2011

My Bucket List

I find it's very important for a person to actually write out their Bucket List and post it on their fridge, bulletin board, corkboard, office, mirror, where ever you want.  By actually printing it out, it makes you remember to work towards fulfilling them or adding to the list whenever something jogs your brain and makes it a dream of yours.

My list is in no particular order of importance... just how I thought of them.  Those I've accomplished are underlined.  I started this in probably the 7th grade and it has been modified many times since then.  Some are very ambitious (visit every country), while some quite common (play truth or dare, get my license) but in 7th grade they were big accomplishments so I had to keep them on! 

1.       Get a tattoo 2012
2.       Sing solo in front of a crowd 2007
3.       Ride a horse
4.       Swim with dolphins 2006
5.       Walk through the Drive-thru
6.       Go up the down escalator 2008
7.       Dance in the rain
8.       Sleep outside in the winter
9.       Sleep under the stars
10.    Skydive
11.    Bungee Jump
12.    Scuba Dive
13.    Paint a mural 2007
14.    Fly a plane
15.    Go streaking 2005
16.    Go skinny dipping 2005
17.    Play truth or dare 2004
18.    Go clubbing 2007
19.    Make a movie
20.    Be in a movie
21.    Go snowboarding 2005
22.    Go skiing
23.    Go ice skating 2008
24.    Go snow tubing 2000
25.    Get abs
26.    Get everything on my Christmas list
27.    Learn how to play the piano
28.    Learn how to play the guitar
29.    Carry the Olympic torch
30.    Go to a naked beach
31.    Tan naked at a naked beach
32.    Swim without holding my nose 2006
33.    Have a food fight
34.    Swallow pills 2008
35.    Ride in a hot air balloon
36.    Watch a space shuttle launch
37.    Get a perm 2000
38.    Get highlights 2002
39.    Be a blonde
40.    Ride in a plane 2001
41.    Ride in a helicopter
42.    Ride a mechanical bull 9/2011
43.    Learn to salsa
44.    Learn to belly dance
45.    Learn to waltz 2010
46.    Own expensive lingerie
47.    Go to the Super Bowl
48.    Go to a NASCAR race
49.    Eat the entire half gallon of ice cream
50.    Make a cake and eat it uncooked
51.    Make cookies and eat all the dough
52.    Ride a camel
53.    Stay out all night and go to work w/o going to sleep 6/22/2011
54.    Experience weightlessness
55.    Participate in a marathon
56.    Climb the Eiffel Tower
57.    Climb the Statue of Liberty
58.    Ride every ride in Disney World
59.    Get every Disney character’s signature
60.    Go on a cruise
61.    Visit every country
62.    Visit every state
63.    Runaway
64.    Sneak out 2004
65.    Walk the Appalachian Trail
66.    Go whale watching
67.    See the ball drop in NYC
68.    Make my own clothes line
69.    Get into my 1st choice college 2007
70.    Write a novel
71.    Be class Treasurer every year of high school 2004-2008
72.    Be on the Court 2007
73.    Be voted Most Spirited senior superlative 2007
74.    Save someone’s life
75.    Quit a job 8/2011
76.    Get my 1st job 6/2011
77.    Adopt a child
78.    Adopt a child across seas
79.    Adopt an animal across seas
80.    Have a star named after me
81.    Be on the radio
82.    Go rafting
83.    Trace my family tree
84.    Shake the Governor’s hand 2000
85.    Shake the President’s hand
86.    Build Santa’s Workshop
87.    Locks of Love 2006
88.    Buy a designer pair of shoes
89.    Get my license 2008
90.    Read the Bible
91.    Hang glide
92.    Visit 7 Natural Wonders
a.         Mt. Everest
b.       Great Barrier Reef
c.        Grand Canyon
d.       Victoria Falls
e.       Rio de Janeiro Harbor
f.         Puricutan Volcano
g.        Northern Lights
93.     Give blood 2008
94.    Be a cartoon character voice
95.    Ride a double-decker bus
96.    Get a Brazilian wax
97.    Meet a celebrity
98.    Deliver a baby
99.    Go to a psychic
100.Shoot a gun 2007
101.Ride an elephant
102.Fly first class
103.Fence 2008
104.Build a home
105.Graduate from college 2012
106.Be a member of a country club
107.Watch the sunrise 2008
108.Watch the sunset 2008
110.1 day relationship 2003
111.1 week relationship 2003
112.1 month relationship 2004
113.Half year relationship 2008
114.1 year relationship 2012
115.Fall in love 2011
116.Kiss 2001
117.French kiss 2003
118.Kiss in the rain 2009
119.New Year’s Eve kiss 2011
120.Get engaged 2012
121.Get married2013
122.Become a parent
123.Hit 50 years old
124.Do it 2009
125.Make out 2004
126.Fall asleep in his arms 2007
127.Sleepover at his house 2007
128.Be the 1st person listed on Google under my name
129.Shower in a waterfall
130.Watch every episode of:
a.        Sailor Moon
b.       Gilmore Girls
131.Go to an Olympic event
132.Go to a Pittsburgh Penguins game
133. Get a professional massage 2011

What kind of things have I missed that's on your bucket list?et List?

10 October 2011

My Navy Journey Thus Far... The Applicaton Process

When someone knows what it's like to be a military family, military spouse, military member, military child, cousin, aunt, uncle, grandparent, parent, best friend, etc., you learn a lot about PATIENCE.  If there is one thing I have learned with my own experience of applying for the Nurse Corps Program, it's to not worry about things that are out of your hands, like time and waiting.  The worrying does nobody any good.  I repeatedly had to remind myself, "Meg, it's out of your hands. The only thing left for your hands to do is pray."

My journey so far with the Navy has been the typical military experience, if you have any connection with the military you know what it all entails, tests of patience, tears of frustration, tears of joy, tears of anger, tears of sadness, lots of waiting around, numerous phone calls, stacks of paperwork, many scanned documents, many faxes, endless questions, endless decisions.  My personal military experience began with a long, drawn-out thought process over years. 

It was my sailor (before he left for basic training) who told me to look into it all.  At first my choices stood #1 Army, #2 Air Force, #3 Navy.  The websites were thoroughly examined.  Long periods of time on the phone with recruiters were normal for about 2 weeks.  (It is no easy hike when choosing a military career.)  Long story short - the Navy accepted my application first and really got the ball rolling with it all.  I had to rush to get my paperwork in because the deadline was coming up because I had decided to do all of this over the winter break of my junior year.

Another thing about the military that everyone can relate to is the phrase, "Hurry up to wait."
Hurry up to finish paperwork, hurry up to move, hurry up to get up, hurry up to run from building to building, hurry up off the bus.  I had no idea just how familiar I would become with that phrase.

I spent my Valentine's Day this past year in a hotel room, alone, the night before my MEPS physical.  If you know nothing about MEPS, let me tell you... bring your patience and your common sense.  This is typically a military person's first experience on base.  Don't be a fool.  Yes, there will be yelling, unless you use your common sense to fill out the paperwork.  Quite honestly, I (who cannot yell at anyone without starting to cry) would yell at you in this situation because they tell you step-by-step-by-step-by-step how to do it so you probably deserve it.  Also, MEPS will be one of the longest, most boring days of your life.  You will sit around, tired of waking up at 0400, without the use of your cell phone to keep you entertained.  It's the first display of the patience you will need to have.

After that, months of more waiting till I got my call, "You're in!"  The next day, "Sorry, you're not in, you've just been approved that your paperwork is complete and you have security clearance."

More months of trying my patience (I was still trying to develop it).  Many impatient update calls to my recruiter.  When I finally got the call, I cried tears of happiness.  3 days later, "I'm sorry, we miscounted.  You're actually the very next person to be picked up."  With this I actually got an "I'm sorry" phone call, apologizing for the mishap.  Although it didn't come from the man who made the mistake, getting an apology, a sincere apology, from my recruiter really made a difference.  I believe he said, "It's really embarrassing that we don't even know how to count."  ONE more month of waiting and I was finally sitting in my recruiter's office signing all the paperwork *sigh of relief*

I don't even have my uniform yet and I have learned so much.  I've never been a particularly patient person.  All right, I'm very impatient.  I've learned I cannot do anything about things that are out of my hands, like applications, orders, deployments, etc.  Worrying is not going to help so pray, pray, pray, pray, pray like there's no tomorrow.  I've also learned nothing is final until you have signed.

Since then it's been more paperwork, emails, phone calls, questions, and trials of patience.  My biggest question right now is:

Where should I request for my top 3 choices for my 1st active duty station?  Bethesda, Portsmouth, San Diego, Pensecola, Lejeune, Pendleton, Jacksonville, or Bremerton.  Any insight to these hospitals, bases, or areas is welcome! I need all the help I can get!

02 October 2011

Friendship set on Fire

Where do I start?

While staring at the screen, trying to decide if I should do just my story and leave Sailor out of it, or start with our story.  When I decided there is no way that I can tell my story without our story.

I met Sailor way back in the 10th grade.  Yes, he is younger.  He was an itty, bitty, awkward freshman.  If you ask him to tell his story of how we met, he can tell you perfectly.  His mind seems to remember his friends telling him over and over to go talk to me and dance with me, which I think he may have.  Me... well, I was not so phased by his presence at my friend's party.  In my diary, I believe I called him a Lost Puppy, who followed me around the whole time.

We became fast friends, however.  Something was so easy about it, and he was still the Lost Puppy, and I had to keep him at 5 foot distance to make sure the guy didn't get his heart broken.  That fall I had a big crush on an older guy, hoping he would ask me to Homecoming.  Sailor asked.  I said no.  The crush didn't want to go.  So I went back to Sailor and said yes.  (How mean am I?!?)

Neither of us decided to wear something that actually FIT us that year.  I ordered my dress online, 2 sizes too big, and it couldn't be taken in anymore.  (Never made that mistake again.)  And I believe Sailor borrowed his Dad's jacket...  We look so little.

I have to admit too that I tried to avoid him at the dance.  He went into super Lost Puppy mode.  I remember him watching me as I danced with other people, like he was waiting for his turn, rather than a stalker, creepy way.  The thing about Sailor is that he has these big, blue eyes that he knows how to use to get his way, even more now.

And that winter, those blue eyes got me.  (TIMEOUT! WE HAVE NOT BEEN DATING SINCE THEN! THIS IS NOT A ONE AND DONE HIGH SCHOOL LOVE STORY) We started dating.  We french kissed.  You know, "high school dating."  He was still super awkward, and we dated for about 3 months.  He was my first Valentine's Day date.  His mom drove.

So high school went on, and we were always close friends.  We dated other people, we kissed other people.  We were the best friends of the opposite sex that we went to when we had relationship trouble and always knew what each other needed to say.  We went through awkward stages together (see photos). He had blonde high lights, enough said.
Then I graduated and went to college.  Then he graduated and made it through a semester of college before he knew it wasn't for him.  And yet, we were always close, lifting each other up, listening to each other's relationship problems, plans for the future, and telling each other when we're being absolutely ridiculous.

And then Sailor decided to become a sailor in the Navy.  That's when we started thinking to ourselves how much we mean to each other and how much everything will change.  Never told each other for about a year.  Actually we never TOLD each other at all (But we'll get to that later).  We told both of our best friends repeatedly, in circles, over and over and over, back and forth, on and off.

On July 4th, 2010, we went to the crappy Hanover, PA fireworks together.  That day we made a pact that if we weren't married at 30 to anyone else or have intentions with someone we may be dating, we would get together.

Then it finally came time for Sailor to leave for Basic Training and he came down to visit me at college for the last time.  We were close so we had shared itty, bitty twin-sized beds together.  I had promised my best friend I would kiss him while he was here.  Then we were laying in my bed facing each other and I chickened out.  Luckily, he didn't.  After what seemed like 15 minutes of us opening and closing our eyes to find the other staring and laughing nervously, we had our first kiss... our 2nd first kiss.  And that kiss lead into another kiss and another kiss...

And that night lead to the best relationship I have ever been in, the most comfortable, most secure, most loving relationship and I have seen him face-to-face twice since then, and I know some people may think that is no way to have a relationship, but I wouldn't trade in anything we have for something else because our love is truly friendship set on fire, and we'd never let each other down now because we never did before.

01 October 2011

Under Construction

Under construction, bear with me. Check back soon. Trust me, it'll be worth it.