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Category Archives: Camp Pendleton

A Long December… Please!

It is December and I feel like time is running away from us. This weekend we have Hubs’ departments “Christmas Party”. One of the chiefs in the department is retiring, so they are also honoring him and they were going to host it at the Chief’s Club on base. It would have cost $40 per person and the feedback numbers were too low so they are hosting it at a restaurant in one of the local casinos. It will be a change from the command events to just departmental. Such is life in the Hospital, I suppose!

This weekend we are also having a pre-deployment photo shoot. The date is sneaking up on us, friends. I feel like I won’t have enough time with him before he goes. He got a new set of orders, specific to his training. DRUM ROLL PLEASE… part of it is right here at Camp Pendleton, but they are on Lock Down, which means he will be right around the corner and we can’t have dinner or weekends together. I know he will be at training, but it would be easier if he were not right here on base! Word on the streets is they have wi-fi, so we can face time every night! Silver lining? We also have gotten word that there is a “graduation” type ceremony once they get through training that family can go to. Of course I want to be there to help welcome my Sailor to the Army!

Right now he is doing intense training on-line about customs and behaviors to avoid. Things like not giving a thumbs up because it’s offensive. Not accepting cigarettes (which he doesn’t smoke, so no worries there) but never turning down coffee or tea. Different things that can be considered insulting to the people over there.

It’s so much to take in.

We’re trying to enjoy each other right now and the time we have left together. We are booked with exciting things throughout the month to celebrate our first Christmas together as husband and wife! We are planning a pre-deployment get-a-way for a few days, a day trip up to Big Bear, and a night at the ballet to see The Nutcracker (which neither of us have seen live!) so each time I look at my planner, it is increasingly filling up!

For now, I’m off to decorate some more and get excited for our final month together!

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Remember When Customer Service Existed?

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Yesterday was quite the test for me on my journey to seeking Him. It was the first day of a new month, which means payday on Camp Pendleton. God tested me good, and I failed. We were celebrating getting Hawaii Five-0, season 1 on DVD and planned a Hawaiian weekend. Part of this included making the haul (about 40 minutes) to the opposite side of base to the Koa Teriyaki Grill and Maui Wowi for our yum-yums for the day. We decided since we were making the haul we may as well stop at the Commissary. We knew it would be a beast, but we only needed a few things so we took the chance.

God was good and the Commissary wasn’t too bad at all! There was just one girl sitting on a randomly placed bench with a cart full of groceries blocking the lane who got on my nerves enough to make me say something about her toddler grabbing hold of everyone’s cart causing a cluster f–k. I stated how it wasn’t cute, it was obnoxious as we walked by. Sorry, God. I tried and was doing pretty good until then.

Apparently He thought it would be nice to continue testing me and my first world problems. Read: FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS. I get that I am about to sound really ridiculous.

We got in line to get in a check-out lane. For those who are not military: at the commissary (which is the grocery store on base) you form one line and there is usually someone telling you which check out lane to get into based off speed and who has nobody in their lane. Lanes 13 and 14 were open and the cashier at 13 yelled “Next on 13!” so we headed there as she called for baggers. Again, for those not in the military: there are baggers who work for tips an tips only at the commissary. The bag your groceries and take them out to your car. This usually gets them three or four bucks from me. If you don’t take them to my car, I give them my change from the transaction. The cashier called for baggers and nobody showed up so my husband bagged our groceries. At a normal grocery store out in town this would have warranted absolutely no response from me. At the commissary, where they provide this service to you and you become accustomed to it, the absence (on payday none the less) kind of irritated me. I asked the cashier who I could talk to about it. I didn’t need to as she called the supervisor who immediately began looking for the baggers assigned to lane 13.

The whole way to our car I complained like a child and my husband droned on about being a veteran and asking if this is how they treat people coming back from war zones and proposing the question if they knew who he was. Not like he is anybody important, but it’s our inside joke whenever something doesn’t go our way. We got in the car after moving our frozen good into insulated bags. Remember, we’re about 40 minutes from home.

We now head across the parking lot to the Koa Teriyaki Grill. We stood at the register for about ten minutes while a girl stood at the grill and a gentleman messed around with smoothies. It took ten minutes for either of them to acknowledge we were standing there and let us know they would be right with us. Seriously, God? I’m working on patience and this is how you test me? We finally order two small smoothies and two combo plates of pork and chicken to go. Smoothie one: black raspberry with kiwi lime. Smoothie two: black raspberry with strawberry banana. Both smoothies came out regular (and we were charged for regular, even though we ordered small, and I had to fight for a receipt!). Smoothie one was correct. Smoothie two came out strawberry banana-kiwi lime.

After sitting there for about ten minutes waiting for our smoothies while the smoothie guy chatted up the two very young Marine wives who were ferociously flirting with him we got the wrong smoothies but decided we would go with it. Then we waited about ten more minutes to be handed two plates of food.

I.Lost.It.

I said to the girl how we got the wrong smoothies, and now a to go ticket was being handed to us on plates? Was there any part of our order they were not going to mess up? A woman commented about how nasty I was and how there were only two people there. I informed her no, I’ve worked in a place similar and it’s not rocket science. It doesn’t even require a high school degree. Slap a smile on and do your job.

I settled with the guy wrapping our food in aluminum foil as he gave a million reasons for things going wrong that day. I didn’t care. You have a mindless job to do and a company to represent and you failed. All while I had frozen goods thawing out in my car with an additional 40 minutes to go.

It was I who failed. It was my selfishness. It was my inability to bite my tongue. It was my abrasive personality shining through. Oh, you didn’t pick up on the fact that I have an abrasive personality? I do, and it is the beast I have been given to tame.

Turn away your face from my sins;

blot out all my iniquities.

A clean heart create for me, God;

renew within me a steadfast spirit.

Do not drive me from before your face,

nor take from me your holy spirit.

Restore to me the gladness of your salvation;

uphold me with a willing spirit.

Psalm 50:11-14

When The Lights Went Out In Fallbrook!

I heard we made the 11 o’clock news in Norfolk, on the night the lights went out in Fallbrook. I was in the middle of a movie when the lights flickered and slowly faded out. I thought nothing of it other than it must have been the heat. I tried to call Hubs and was unsuccessful. Anyone who knows me knows I am a panic person. The longer he did not answer my page, the more worried I became.

Soon, word came from the gal next door that the base was locked down. Not much later CNN was reporting about a terrorist attack and with no power to verify I relied on words from a friend that helicopters were flying back to base and preparing. My husband got home from deployment, off the ship, and in the last two days his life has been at risk? WHAT? 

Still no word from Hubs.

We were just talking about how we needed to build a little Emergency Center in the house which I have begun calling “The Fallout Shelter”. We have yet to start. I was able to meet the Marines across the street and one of the wives (as there are three Marines, two are married, living across the street). One of the fellows just got off base, so obviously they weren’t locked down. *Sigh of relief!* We chatted, and I returned home. Then I just sat and waited.

I booked the dogs for Dogtopia in the event we still did not have power today, and then I sat thinking about blogging, tweeting, facebook and MFP! What in the world did we do before the internet?

My phone because usable for emergencies only, as I assume the networks were crazy busy. Hubs got home shortly after midnight from dealing with hospital stuff. I laid in the dark, in bed with a busy mind: after I drop the dogs off I would have Chick-Fil-A for breakfast (as Temecula did not lose power!). Would I head back up there for lunch? Maybe Panera so I could use wi-fi and get some blogging done! Would the two pounds of shredded cheese in the fridge go bad? I just went grocery shopping!

Late into the night, around 1 am our power was restored. The dishwasher (which was half way through when we lost power) kicked on. I felt the fan above us create a cool breeze. The sounds of home alarm systems began to blare throughout the neighborhood. We closed up shop and turned all the lights off. A calm fell over me and I fell into a peaceful sleep. I don’t think I will soon forget the night the lights were out in San Diego County, and most of Southern California, Arizona, and Tijuana!

Helping Strangers and Making New Friends!

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Hello there, friends! I’m sure you’ve read about how the military community helps each other out in times of need. This week I have been blessed to help in my military community in multiple ways… and it’s only Tuesday!

First: This morning I got to meet another blogger! The wonderful Neidy from Neidy’s Infinite Playlist! She is an amazing Marine wife who I was thrilled to meet. We had a great lunch today and I am looking forward to getting to know her more! One of the best things about the blogging community is this: she and I are both relatively new to the area and yet have met in passing in the bloggy world. We also made our friendship “facebook official” recently! In this lifestyle we often find ourselves in tough spots: needing moral support, verbal support or physical support. I was honored when she asked if I could help her and I jumped at the chance to help a fellow spouse out today and feel so blessed that our paths crossed in real life! I can’t wait to get to know her more!

PS: I was trying too hard to get “Five Guys” in our picture and didn’t her little baby bump in, but it is adorable in real life!

Neidy and Me after a tasty lunch!

On a much sadder note, on my way home this afternoon I stopped by the Chapel on base to drop off some food donations for the family affected by last weeks fire in housing I talked about yesterday. In true Marine form, their needs have been successfully met at this point in time. The community came to the aid of them and with an outpouring of love has gotten them the things they need. I cried as soon as I got to my car, as the spirit truly touched me this afternoon while talking with the Chaplain, knowing the community never leaves one of theirs behind.

In an e-mail from the Chaplain:

If you or your family would like to give towards the family monetarily, a special charitable fund has been set up for this purpose. The ASYMCA have been at this family’s side assisting them every step of the way since they first learned of the incident. They continue to help Marines, Sailors and families in need and have shown us there are no limits to their unfailing love. Please send check, money order or cashier’s check and made out to the Armed Services YMCA – Camp Pendleton. Please write “Fire Support” in the memo line.
Monies may be mailed to:

ASYMCA Camp Pendleton
Box 555028, Building 16144
Camp Pendleton CA 92055-5028

Above all else, please continue to keep this family in your prayers! There is a mother and father who are mourning the loss of their daughter, and two brothers mourning the loss of their sister.
 

I do have the Chapel address if you would like to send condolences (and perhaps still a gift card for a meal or home furnishings).

The Great Thing About The Military Community

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Last Thursday upon dropping Hubs off at the Hospital for work, I noticed a cloud which looked more like billowing smoke. Sadly, it was a house fire. Today, Hubs got an e-mail at work explaining the situation: The family who lived there tragically lost the life of their thirteen year old daughter. They narrowly escaped the blaze with the clothing on their backs and have lost all else, including two family dogs who fell victim to the flames.

There is a drop off point on base for food donations, cards of condolences, and HHG items. I am reaching out to you, friends, asking for your help! Please, let us join together and help a Marine family in their greif. I am going to drop off a tote of food tomorrow at the Chapel and will have more information then.

If you can spare a few dollars on an AAFES gift card which they could use at the MCX, a gift card to a DECA Commissary to rebuild their pantry, Wal-Mart, KMart or Target. Possibly a gift card for a chain restaurant somewhere like Chili’s, Applebees, T.G.I.Friday’s, Olive Garden, or the like.

*At this time monetary donations can be sent to:

ASYMCA Camp Pendleton
Box 555028, Building 16144
Camp Pendleton CA 92055-5028

The memo line should include “Fire Support/Funeral”.

If you could send a care package with any of the necessities in it (toiletries, kitchen items, bedding, etc) that would be phenomenal as well. If not, and you would simply like to take a moment and send a card, I know it would mean the world to this family in their time of need.

The best thing about being a part of the Military community is that we take care of our own. If there was ever a time for it, I would think now would be the time. Please leave a comment and I will get in touch with you as soon as I know the address of the Chapel to send things to. Many thanks in this, their worst hour.

*Please see update from 8|30|2011. All needs have been met, but prayers still requested and financial contributions may be sent to the ASYMCA

Fit & “Flab-U-Less” Week In Review | Week 4!

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Hubs: work out buddy, cheerleader, best friend!

It is hard to believe we are four weeks into our new lifestyle. Mostly because this week was DISASTER! It started with me going to the Doctor on Monday about my fatigue. Blood work was ordered and I had every intention of going Tuesday morning. By Monday night I was battling the sniffles and the good old sicky germs Hubs brought home from work last weekend. By Wednesday I was in full-blown misery, suffering from the worst fever I’ve ever had which induced death-bed calls to Nan at midnight (EST). I was convinced I would not wake up Thursday, but I did. I didn’t get out of bed much, but I awoke. It was not until yesterday I began feeling slightly human once more. After a week of drinking my calories via Rain Berry Gatorade, we laced up our shoes bright and early and headed to the track for a very interesting morning with our photographer: Jessica from Giles Smiles Photography. Get ready for picture overload, folks. We narrowed it down from FIFTY awesome shots to these.

I never really looked at pictures of myself and thought “oh my goodness, who is that fatty?” Some of the pictures taken today made me think this for the first time in my life! I hope they inspire me to never give up, to pull through, and to work, work, work at this. Without further ado:

Lace them up and get ready!

Once we got laced up and ready, it was time to stretch it out:

That building is the Hospital- you know, just in case my heart can ever not handle it.

Sorry ladies, that sexy man beast is spoken for 😉 I like how his tat is totally sneaking a peek!

Let it be known, Hubs thought of this pose with his hands being down in the dirt. We did not do this to him involuntarily.

We found we could do sit ups much easier with a little teamwork 🙂

We applied this same philosophy to chin-ups 😀

This one is one of my favorites! It took a couple tries and a few “almost falling on our faces” to get us both balanced, and kissing in time for the click, but I LOVE it!

Yes, you will notice my Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor there- it looks like a watch! Well, it is a watch in addition to a HRM. Review perhaps in next weeks review!

Of course we’re competitive whenever we hit the track…

Of course, it’s important to stay hydrated with all this activity:

Of course, there is exhaustion when you’re done, but it’s so worth it!

You might even need some refreshment:

KISSES are the ultimate reward though:

As a matter of fact, Yes, Sports Illustrated, we are available for your modeling pool.

Our photog did something really cool when she edited them, and made two of the pictures into “motivational” posters, kind of. This will be perfect for our little workout corner! (Oh, because did I mention we bought a sweet stationary bicycle? It’s on back order and I can’t wait to share it with you all!)

This awesome shade of Nail Polish would be "I Eat Mainely Lobster" from O.P.I.'s new Touring America line.

I wanted this to have our wedding rings in it, because like I’ve said so many times before: It means the world to me that my husband is my biggest fan, my workout buddy, and with me 100% on this journey. I know I could never do it without him right by my side.

This is one of the first pictures I have looked at and been ashamed of myself. This image, along with the motivational quote Jessica put in, will get me through the journey to becoming half the woman I am right now. Go beyond what feels comfortable. Go beyond where I’ve gone before. STRETCH myself to the person I want to be.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our photos! I know I had a blast at the shoot and a billion thanks go out to my wonderful Hubs, for all he puts up with and with a smile on his face!

Here is to another fit and “Flab-u-less” week, friends! We can get through this and be one week closer to the healthier, stronger versions of our current selves we so long to be!

All images are property of Giles Smiles Photography. Don’t be a douche.

Coming to you LIVE from Sickville

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I don’t “do” sick. I never have. When I was a kid I would get sick about once every other year, and it was always in October… it was also always strep throat. I was miserable for a week and then perfectly fine for the next year. When I was very little I got chicken pox. I got them so bad they covered my entire body- in my ears, in my nose, on my little eyelids. I remember my mother taping oven mitts on my hands to keep me from scratching my entire body. I also remember lots of bath time in a goopy oatmeal substance. Life is not fun when I get sick, friends. I am the “typical male” when I get ill.

My last time in sick bay was October 31, 2009. The day hubs and I were wedded. I was feeling fine! We handed out candy and I even went a few doors down to babysit! While babysitting, it came on out of nowhere and it came on strong. I spent the next three days passed out on a couch where we were dog sitting, in and out of consciousness, as my brand new husband ate leftover Halloween candy as a means of sustenance.

Last night my healthy streak was broken and for the first time in almost two years, a sickness swept over me. It started with a sniffle and I knew I was catching what hubs had over the weekend. My preemptive chicken noodle soup did not help.

Cuddling with Boscottie and some tissues

I guess it is time for me to recognize my husband works somewhere where there is sickness. He will be bringing home cooties and sicky germs. Let’s get used to this now, so the rest of his career will be easier on both of us 😦

How do you handle sickness, friends? Are you a big baby like me or do you sleep it off swiftly and move on? For me, looks like I’m hitting more Gatorade and hitting the covers.