And that’s a wrap!!

As of this past weekend, I am officially finished with wedding season! I know everyone has their crazy years, and this was most definitely mine, with eight weddings this fall and winter. I must say that I am very glad I went to them all, because it will likely be quite a while before I see everyone all together again. Each wedding was special, unique, and fun. I feel like Captain Jack Sparrow – “I LOVE weddings. Drinks all ‘round!”

Anyway, this past one was in Portsmouth, a Naval port city in southeastern Virginia. It seemed kind of random at first, but it came together nicely as I realized how well it fit the couple, both of whom graduated from the Naval Academy back in the day. I think this wedding wins for best DJ! I had so much fun dancing the night away 🙂

On this day two years ago, I welcomed Chuck home from his first #deployment to #Afghanistan. Today, it’s extra special to so recently have him back from his second 😊#tbt #throwbackthursday #usmc #milso #military #freedomisntfree #homecoming

HE’S HOME!! Sadly, these were the only 2 shots I got (I insisted on one without sunglasses), so you’ll just have to take my word for it that homecoming was as happy and romantic as you’d imagine!

2 deployments and 2 work-ups in less than 3 years… I am so ready for our break 🙂

2 children beheaded by militants, Afghan authorities say

Sometimes this war gets so politicized that even I forget why our men and women put themselves in harm’s way: to stop tyrannical entities like the Taliban, which has no respect for the most innocent forms of life, from preying on the innocent and manipulating a culture.

“How does this affect us?” one might ask. When you start manipulating cultures, extremism becomes rampant – and that puts us all at risk.

2 children beheaded by militants, Afghan authorities say

…a Facebook post from one of my fellow military wife neighbors that suddenly warmed me up. Her husband Steve was injured in Afghanistan last year. His leg injury stubbornly refused to heal. Finally, this fall, he was diagnosed with lymphoma and is currently undergoing chemo treatments. They are a beautiful, young, upbeat couple of just a few years, and they’ve already been through so much together. We can all learn a great deal from an experience (and subsequent attitude) like theirs!

P.S. Sorry for the crappy blurring job – I was in a rush 🙂

Freedom Isn’t Free…

A while back, I noted the strength and solidarity of the community here when even mass retailers will demonstrate personal support for our troops, who – in a town this small – are also truly their neighbors, customers, and friends.

This past week, I snapped this shot at the same CVS – equally supportive in nature, but a lot more foreboding in the sense that things may not have worked out well for Lt. J. Moore.

There are more signs of loss around here in Holly Ridge. I noticed the flags at half-mast first. Businesses, fire stations, and churches have replaced their advertising with notes of remembrance and prayer for another young service member, Sgt T.J. Butler.

It’s an important reminder – even to myself – that freedom isn’t free. A reminder that I live in an area where someone has to give a family bad news on a regular basis. I take it for granted and live in this bubble, but it’s happening all around us.

They won’t even get a shout out on the national news, but it’s beautiful to see how a community will honor its fallen, and support those they left behind.

Sorry for the downer – but Lt. Moore and Sgt Butler have been on my mind quite a bit lately!

Le Bored at Work…

… so I am researching Ukraine. Random? Maybe. It’s about that time for Chuck and I to start the early stages of plotting our escape from Coastal Carolina, and (among other things) we are looking at international/language billets.

Of the options provided, Chuck ranked 1) Russian (Ukraine), 2) Thai, and 3) Chinese. I probably would have swapped the third for Peru or something, to avoid two Southeast Asian options and mix it up a bit, but whatever. I wanted something French, but Senegal wasn’t really what I had in mind…

I don’t think odds are ever heavily in our favor to get what we want or plan for, but it gives me something to occupy my obsessive brain with these days – I just don’t want to jinx it! If we get a billet like that, I plan to learn the language with Chuck so that I can get everything possible out of the experience. I figure if we are doing the military thing, I am down for something a little crazy – even if it continues to hold me back professionally a little longer. I would love to live abroad for a bit!

Although who knows – I could find something really cool/random to do in Ukraine. There are still wayyy too many unknowns at this point to truly plan anything (even our anniversary trip – Chuck’s deployment details literally change daily, argh), but I’m learning lots. Did you know the Ukraine military is the second largest in all of Europe after Russia??! I sure didn’t!!