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.

31 December 2011

2011 in Pictures

 A look back on the past year's big events!

All my friends turning 21...
And all the 21st celebrations!

Two best friends finally owning up to our feelings & falling in love

Relay for Life, Pop star team!  Dressed up as Katy Perry

My sailor starting his Navy career, finishing basic training, corps school, and field med, now with a Marine division in Lejeune, NC

Getting my nurse on & helping to delivering a few babies!

Olive Garden nights with all my best friends from high school

Sleepovers in the summer

College football & tailgating

Signing on with the Navy Nurse Corps

Spending time with my sailor on an adventure when he's home

Navy football game

The winter Olive Garden reunion! Check out my friend's blog here

Christmas with my sailor and our families!
Can't wait for tonight to ring in the New Year with the love of my life and share our first kiss of 2012!

I know this coming year has a lot in store for us... my graduation, his deployment, the start of my Navy career, lots of adventures, and whatever God decides to test us with.  Looking back on last year's New Year's Eve (a quiet night at home with my mom after a movie out), I've come a long way & can't wait to get started!

My New Year's Resolution for 2012:  Reduce gossiping from me and others, try to give people the best end of doubts, live more in the moment, and become closer with family and friends.

26 December 2011

My Christmas with my Sailor & Our Families

Well I feel redundant blogging about my Christmas, as it seems everyone has or has been since Thanksgiving, but it just happened to be one of the best Christmases ever, although a change from the usual because one cousin is in Finland as a foreign exchange student, another in California, and my brother in Florida... so here I am blogging at my grandmother's house because I am the lonely grandchild on my mother's side with no young adults to bitch about the elders with.  The dogs are my only two allies!

My Christmas started early, on the 19th at an hour before midnight of the 20th when my sailor finally made it home after a 7-hour trip from North Carolina.  Luckily, we were both exhausted and fell asleep talking or we would have been up all night chatting.  My gift to Eric the next day for Christmas was lunch out in downtown Westminster, MD and a couple's hour long massage!  He deserved it after almost a year since starting at boot camp.  We were on beds next to each other and I had as much enjoyment watching him enjoy it as I did with my own massage.  He never sits still, always touching things or moving his hands, even when he's sleeping he'll be rubbing my back.  With his massage, he was perfectly still.  He could have been a corpse laying there; I had to check to make sure he kept breathing.

My present from my sailor :)

We had some great days hanging out before all the Christmas festivities began.  On Christmas Eve, I spent time with him and his family at Mommom's and Papa's.  It was our first time meeting the whole extended family, you know... cousins from Chicago and Florida and all that.  It was a lot of fun though!  As far as meeting large quantities of families go, they were the best.

On Christmas Eve, my sailor also took a very big step and was baptized.  I am so proud of him!  It's one thing to be baptized as a little baby when your parents decide for you, but to choose to as an adult really shows your commitment to God and the belief.

My sailor and me before his baptism
 After spending the day with his family, my family took the 3.5 hour drive to Indiana, PA to be with our family for the week.  Christmas morning was great.  We skyped with my cousin in Finland for a while and spent the day with each other... eating, drinking, and laughing.

After another day, my sailor will be making his way up here as well to meet my extended family and I can't wait to take him around the town showing him the church where many members of my family have been married, my daddy's grave, and meeting those who have never met a single man of mine because it's been saved for the very best!

13 December 2011

Make Your Own Apron!

My first attempt at making an apron ended very well, especially for just winging it and not using a pattern.

My nursing school saviors, Kim & Ashley!

This is how it worked:

I got a basic cotton fabric, which happened to be wide enough that I could fold it "hotdog style" so that I had an apron with the pattern on each side.  I folded it inside out (patterned sides together) so that I could mark and cut the diagonal edge.  I did this by folding the fabric "hotdog style" again so that both edges met so that the cut was symmetrical.  Think of it as the first fold creates a single piece of fabric that would be double printed.  The second fold is to line up the opposite edges of the fabric to make a symmetrical cut edge.
I pinned and sewed around the sides and top edge, pattern sides still together.  Then turned it right side out (pattern sides facing) and sewed along the bottom edge, which I folded under, making a cuff.  You can decide the length of your own apron at this point.

I then sewed with a contrast color thread around all the edges of the apron for decoration and extra hold.

Next up was the front pocket.  I purchased the pre-cut fabric squares, folding it in half "hotdog style" (pattern facing you) so that the pattern would appear on the inside and out of the pocket.  I rolled the bottom and side edges and pinned in the center of the apron (The top edge was where the fabric was folded over).  I sewed the edges and then down the center of the pocket to make it into 2 pockets.

Last was the ties.  I used ribbon that you can buy by the spool (without wire).  For the tie around the waist, you use about a yard for each side and fold over the end and sew onto the back of the apron.  You want to make sure to backstich over it so that it has a strong hold.  I then used a lighter to melt the end of the ribbon so that it would not fray.

The top ribbon was sewn on one side like as before.  On the opposite side I sewed on a button on the back of the apron and made 3 button holes in the ribbon so that the size could be adjustable. I used a lighter again to melt the edges so that it would not fray.  Be careful when using the lighter because it was quickly burn the ribbon and turn brown or black and shrivel up.  If you use it lightly it will simply melt the ribbon and create a plastic-y glue that holds well.

I then used the ribbon on the aprons themselves to wrap them up!

Scrabble Ornaments

My craft this Christmas was to make a cute gift for my sailor's mom and grandma that was inexpensive, cute, and I knew they would like.  They are big Scrabble fans so I hope they enjoy the new ornaments I've made.

How to make Scrabble ornaments:

1.  Make as many words as you can with the letters.  You can buy the letters separately from the board game, but I didn't have time to run around looking and bought the whole game, which was less than $10 at Walmart ($16 at ToysRUs) and after all the ornaments I made they all came to less than $1.

2.  Decide if you want the letters to be horizontal or vertical.

3.  Hot glue each letter in place.  I used the letter stands that come with the game for some and tongue depressors for the rest.  The hot glue worked really well holding the letters.

4.  Cut the ribbon and tie a double knot at each end for ornaments as shown above, or tie each end together for the ornament at the bottom of the page.

5.  Hot glue the ribbon in place by placing the knot directly onto the glue spot.

These are fun because you can do them with a lot more than ornaments!  You can make coasters by gluing the letters onto cut corkboard, make a nametag, name place tags, on picture frames, or take pictures of the letters in different arrangements and use as a place setting, front of a greeting card, or anything you could think of!  I know they're going to start appearing everywhere I am.

Laser Hair Removal?

Some people may be hesitant to get hair laser-ly removed, nope. Not me.  It has been the best investment of my life and I am not ashamed to tell anyone how amazing it has worked!

First off, my dad had black hair over his entire arms, chest, and back... his nickname was "Furry Murray" and inheriting the dark hair genes from him, I ended up with the female version.  It is way more common than women think for females to have stray hairs around their nipples and chest.  In high school I was really self-conscious of this and either shaved or plucked them.  (Plucking is not fun in that area.)  So my primary physician recommended laser hair removal, and I got it done... AMAZING results.  So then in college, I used extra loan money after buying my books to get my upper lip done.  AMAZING results.

Things to know about laser hair removal:

1.  It takes more than one treatment.  The hairs are in different stages of growth and you have to get them all. I had I believe 3 or 4 for my upper lip and about 8 for my chest area.
2.  It works best for dark, thicker hairs.  The fine, blonde hairs are hard to target and don't take up all the rays because there is less pigment.
3.  The process is short.  It took me probably 10 to 15 minutes in the room for treatment.  I spent more time driving there.
4.  The strength of the laser gets stronger as you have more treatments for a particular area to get the more persistent hairs.
5.  After being treated, you only have to apply aloe vera to the area because it feels like a slight sunburn, which goes away after less than an hour.  You are slightly red after, but that too goes away within an hour.

It was definitely worth the money and I will start saving up soon for my next adventure, the underarms.  Not a fan of shaving and occassionally having the itchy feeling afterwards.

I got my laser hair removal done in Gettysburg, PA.  Pricing is really reasonable and I would recommend it to anyone!  Follow this address for their information:

12 December 2011

Sailor's New Station

My sailor has finally gotten out of student status and is getting set up this week in Camp Lejeune, NC!  He seems pretty excited to finally be starting to work as a corpsman with his new division.  Lots still to learn right now about this new chapter so taking everything as it comes and any information about this base/getting used to a permanent active duty station and how it's different is welcomed! PLEASE! 

Just some background on my sailor's Navy journey...

His original contract going into boot camp was for the SEALs but that changed once he found out, he was actually slightly colorblind and SEALs must be ungodly physically perfect to withstand it all so he needed a new contract, which started his hospital corpsman path.  After boot camp, he went to corps school in Chicago, where he was able to join the Fleet Marine Force, which is why he is a Navy sailor stationed on a Marine base.  As anyone familiar with these two branches would know, the Navy's medical staff takes care of the Marines because they do not have a medical branch of their own.

My sailor's original orders at FMF school was to head over to Japan for his 1st active duty station, but qualified for Marine Recon training and headed over there for training.  However, he only learned to swim a little over a year ago, so didn't quite make it through that because it's kind of like the Marine's version of SEAL training in my mind... absolutely mentally and physically draining and it killed me to talk to him at night and he sounded so worn out both ways so when he decided it wasn't for him I was very relieved because he perked up right way.

That leaves us where he is right now, on his first day as an HM3 at Camp Lejeune! Although his Navy journey is completely different from the many turns it has taken, each one has had better circumstances than the last and I thank God for the path He has given us and the obstacles He has brought us through and the strength we have been given during it all.

I had a great 48 hours with him this week while he stopped home to pick up his car and drive down to NC.  I celebrated my 22nd birthday this week and it was the best gift I could have had!  And he surprised me in the middle of the night by getting me flowers, and my mom! (which made her cry.)  Best boyfriend ever <3

05 December 2011

12 Hours till 48 with My Sailor!

Instead of a 12 day countdown, I am now down to 12 hours!  My sailor has officially receieved his orders to be transferred to Lejeune, NC Marine base and had his flight re-directed to home from Pendleton, CA so that he could come home and get his car to drive down and have it on base.  WHICH MEANS.... that I get to see him for 48+/- hours starting tomorrow morning when he lands at BWI and I get to run into his arms and get that glorious hug all for myself!

It's times like these, with the good surprises like this that the bad surprises in the military don't seem so bad (although, I think we can all agree the bad surprises usually outnumber the good).  This visit comes at a great time because I just e-mailed my final project of the semester to my professor, which leaves 2 finals left, which are both next week so I can take the next 48 hours and spend them not stressing yet and soak up everything.  It also comes at a good time, after 2 weeks of Angry Megan from stress, missing my sailor, Christmas stress, and being annoyed at the world, and basically in one of those moods that you just need a good cry and the JIF peanut butter commercial brings it on.  I'm talking about this one:

It gets me every time. haha

Today I also got my birthday present early!  It wasn't supposed to be delivered until Friday but I got some pretty flowers in the mail from my sailor :)

03 December 2011

Pennsylvania Christmas Trees

One of the most glorious things about a good ole country Christmas is the exciting day when we get to hike out to the Christmas Tree Farm and walk around acres of trees, looking for the perfectly trimmed, fat, and perfect height tree in the whole farm.  Today was a perfect day, not rainy, muddy, extremely cold, or windy, a sunny 45 degrees!  For those of you who have lived in big cities all your life, yes, this still happens.

 I'm proud to say that Pennsylvania is home to the WORLD'S CHRISTMAS TREE CAPITOL! of Indiana, Pa, outside of Pittsburgh, where I'm proud to say my family is from.
 After you cut it down, you get to drag it back to the car and strap it to the hood and drive all the way home, wondering if it's going to fall off!
Luckily, we always make it.  This year with my brother gone, it was my chance to drill the hole in the bottom to get into the tree stand, usually a 1 hour job for my brother, took me 15 minutes.  Clearly, women work well with power tools!  I have some great branches to craft with too that came off the bottom.

And that's how Pennsylvanians go Christmas tree shopping :)