I know longer have energy for meaningless friendships, forced interactions, or unnecessary conversations—I do not have to make room for people who cause me pain or make me feel small. It is one thing if… More
“I don’t want to spend decades on this planet and never see the diversity of places God created!”
April 15th was our last day in California and it was definitely a hard one. Leaving behind people, memories, and places is never easy but we were looking forward to our next adventure! We hit the road and headed towards Fort Carson, CO (Colorado Springs). We made it to Flagstaff, AZ in about 5 hours. We had our first stop here to fill up the car and let the pup out to tinkle, and stretch her legs. She didn’t even use the lady’s room so I was shivering out in the wind for no reason! Thanks, Roxy. Next on the list was Albuquerque, NM, where we stopped to top off the gas to make it rest of the way to Fort Carson. Just a few more hours and we would be there! Since we were getting close to our final stopping place, we began to get a bit impatient and just wanted to be there already. Finally, we turned into Joshua’s parents’ drive. We were greeted with smiles and hugs from his mom. She was tickled to death that we were finally there! Brenda had waited up all day, and night for us! Upstairs, the bed looked cozy and ready for us after a long day of driving! We were exhausted so we only stayed up a short while to chat with her. We would be there for three months so we had plenty of time to catch up!
While we were there, we did a lot of fun things. A few examples being, going to Brendan’s (Joshua’s brother) taekwondo competitions, seeing new movies at the local theater, going on hikes, walking the dog’s and loads more! We were never not on the go.
At the end of May, I left Colorado to spend the rest of the time we had before going to Maine, in Oklahoma, with my family. It was nice getting to spend time with my family before having to say goodbye again. I was starting to miss Joshua tons since I was used to spending every waking moment with him so he decided to come to Oklahoma a few days earlier and his mom would meet us there, since she was going to be driving to Oklahoma a few days later anyways.
On an early June morning, Josh and I loaded up our car, along with my brother, headed over to the hotel his mom and brother were staying at and picked them up. They had big bags and we had very little room left so we had to go to Wal-Mart and get bungee straps for extra support to hold down the bags on top of the car. Oklahoma was in our dust.
We FINALLY made it to Maine after many, many hours in the car. We pulled up to Joshua and I’s apartment with dark circle under our eyes and pits that needed washing!
Joshua and I spent Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and an early Christmas with his sister,Barbara, her fiance, Grandma and Grandpa in that tiny, two bedroom apartment. We also had a lot of fun experiences that if we would have never moved to Maine we never would have done. We hiked in Baxter State Park, which by the way is GORGEOUS! We had lots of picnics together, made a new church family that really pulled Joshua and I closer than we have ever been, we made 2 new friends, Johanna and Peter (check out Johanna’s blog!), took our pup to the lake and went swimming, went to KISS: Freedom to Rock tour,which also is a MUST see, seriously incredible show, and lots more! Maine was really good for us and our marriage♥️ Memories and friendships that will last a life time were made there.
sadly, our time in Maine was drawing to an end though. Joshua decided it was best that he go back into the military and he would continue school while serving. He was joining the Army! While I was a little sad at first I knew that if that’s what he really wanted I had to support him, so I was 100% behind his decision!
Another move was in our future…
We soon moved onto base after getting me put into DEERS and we applied for our base housing, which luckily we got quickly. Our house was so nice and I miss it incredibly bad! It was two levels with 2 bedrooms, one full bath, one half bath, and a nice size yard, it was only the two of us and our dog, Roxy, and a nice patio. The daycare center was right behind our home so every morning and every afternoon I heard the laughter of children. I loved that the center was right behind our house! Hearing the sounds of little kids running and playing always warmed my heart. We were also super close to the commissary, which was super convenient. I never had any problems with housing at all, and when I had issues out of anyone’s control the maintenance people were always super helpful and extremely nice when in my home. We had so many good memories in that house. It was PERFECT!After moving into out new house I made new friends, Madi and Brittany! Us three girls always had fun when we all got together but sometimes friendships don’t work out and that is okay. Brittany and I still chat while Madi and I haven’t talked in a little over a year! (Can’t believe it has been that long already!) Thinking back about the old friendships you used to have sometimes stings a little and hurts to see that you have grown so far apart, but I will always cherish those moments we all had together. Even if we didn’t get along 24/7, I’d do anything for them because in all reality, even if we left off on the wrong foot, I still care no matter how much bitterness I used to have. I’m glad that Brittany and I have rekindled our friendship and can’t wait to see how it grows!
Many holidays were spent in that house! For Halloween we decorated the house and got it done up all creepy, bought candy and guess how many kids we had… NONE! So Josh and I ate it all, every single piece. Well, mostly me. We spent Thanksgiving at our home with Joshua’s mom and brother and a few friends that had stayed behind instead of going home to their families. It was really lovely and his mom made a killer turkey! Fast forward to Christmas. Josh and I stayed home for Christmas, which was extremely hard for me. It was first ever Christmas away from home. Thankfully I had Joshua, Christina, Sam and my two fur balls. We spent Christmas Eve at home and Christmas day we went to the McClurg’s (Sam and Christina)!It helped being with close friends. We had really nice neighbors who got us lights to hang up for the back patio because I had chatted with her saying how I wanted to decorate with lights, so she got me some for Christmas. Kristina was great, and an amazing photographer! She needed a model for her classes so I helped out a few times and she did really awesome.
Twenty-nine Palms was so good to me! I left California with some amazing memories, meeting amazing people, creating a lifetime of friendships! I am extremely grateful for the time I was there and all the things I got to experience, good and bad. Thank you God for the chance to be there!
Joshua getting out….. oh boy that’s another story for another day.
I was finally starting to settle in and I found a really good job at the local city library! Everything was going smoothly… for about a month. Joshua was chosen to do road guard (basically like security to make sure no one entered the live training area) for the women who were training to join in with men in the infantry. This lasted for three months and he came home most weekends, but not always.
While Joshua was out in the field I did make a friend that became really close to my heart. Joshua’s friend Sam was also on this field op and he was married to Christina, who I had hung out with maybe 2 times before this. She invited me to stay with her over at her house while Joshua and Sam were gone so that we both didn’t have to be lonely and bored. I had roommates but with me still getting to know them it was kind of awkward with me being there without Joshua. The first night I stayed over we stayed up until 3 A.M just talking about life. We laughed, we cried, and we started a friendship that I’m sure neither of us will ever forget. It was like I had met my long-lost best friend. The only other person that understood me and all my messiness, other than Joshua. She had a deep soul for caring for other people and putting other people before herself. She had unending love for her husband, her family and her two fur balls, Walter and Sully . She loved to bake, be crafty, and read! She was AWESOME (and she still is)! I felt like I could tell her anything and everything without her passing judgement on me. Christina is a person I will never ever forget. We may have our ups and downs but I know that if I ever needed her she would always do what she could to make sure I was okay.
While the boys were away other big things were happening, sadly. Our 2 roommates had decided that they wanted to move out and go back to the barracks because “I wasn’t doing my part on the bills” and it was “too expensive for them”. Joshua was away and I wasn’t on his checking account since we weren’t married yet so how was I going to pay the bills? How was I going to pay the bills in general? We had at least one roommate from the beginning because they knew we couldn’t pay the bills alone! I never got the chance to tell them I would help pay rent and my half because they hurried out so fast. I was still waiting to get paid and to get hours to where I could actually contribute. It was really stressful and we were starting to go broke…
Then, one weekend we got Roxy. A woman on a pets page for 29 Palms was giving away puppies for $30 to make sure they went to good homes. Joshua text me on his way home for the weekend and asked if I wanted a puppy, UH DUH! I want like 47 puppies! So when he got home, he showered and got dressed and we went to the ladies home to pick Roxy up. She still had the sharp puppy nails and the cute puppy fat and puppy breath and she was so damn cute! I was so happy to have my little buddy! She still does this look to me and it kills me every time. Without Roxy the last month I would have gone crazy. She kept me sane and when I was there she was there to pick me up and she still is. She’s not just my dog but my baby and best friend♥ She’s had my heart since day one.
When Joshua was home for a weekend we decided that it was in out best interest that we GET MARRIED! I was so excited to start planning! 30 days to plan a wedding isn’t a long time but we made it work.
“If only you knew the way i look at you-
when you have your back to me.
I smile wider than the sky-
because I love you endlessly.” j.a ♥
You know how you see in movies how everybody is all happy the whole way while singing and dancing, then, they finally get tired and they take naps while looking comfortable and peaceful, waking up to the sound of the car coming to its final stop and the partying begins? ERRRR! WRONG! If you’ve ever been on a long road trip you know this is a complete lie. Especially when you’ve taken the same route more than once. Or when you are leaving from vacation.
Joshua and I went from Oklahoma to Colorado, where his parents and brother live. When we got to the base it was super late at night and it was SNOWING. We stayed over night there because we wanted to stop and see his mom and brother (his dad was deployed) before going on with our trip. The next morning we drove through New Mexico where all the fun became – insert sarcasm her. We hit a snow storm where we ended up having to drive 35 MPH in a 65. It seemed as if we would never make it past the storm. I was driving when we hit the storm and it caused me to have severe anxiety because I hit a small patch where it was slick so I slowly pulled over to the side of the road where Joshua got out, ran around the back of the car and proceeded to fall right before jumping into the car to get out of the freezing cold wind and snow. He finally made it in to the car with a few scrapes on his knee and we were back on out trek through the snow. The farther we went west the warmer it got, THANK YA JESUS!
We went through Arizona, which was a breeze and on into California. If you’ve ever driven on I-40 W through Arizona and California you know how truly boring it is. There is nothing for MILES out there. Not to mention we lived in the Mojave Desert and its super creepy, especially at night. We had final reached our first apartment!♥
I still remember the address, 6443 Desert Queen Ave Apt A 29 Palms, CA 92277. It was three bedrooms, a cute little living room with a little back yard, it even had a fire pit, which I thought was cool. It was also smack dab in the center of the ghetto, which we later realized, whoops, but that didn’t matter. It was my first home with my love and that is all I cared about.
We had two roommates, Corey and Brandon, but we called them by their last name Worobi and B-rad, for short! I was so excited to be living on my own with Joshua! Next was to find a job. Fun….
I quit my job, I packed up all my things, all I had left to do was wait for Joshua to come get me!
Joshua was home for Christmas with my family. It was almost time for us to leave on our 1,000 mile journey. My parents, my sister, her husband and their two kids, myself and Joshua, and my younger brother all spent the holiday together at my parents’ home in our hometown. It was nice for all of us to be together as I left home for the first time.
I officially left Oklahoma on December 26, 2014, Joshua’s birthday! I couldn’t believe I was actually leaving. It was so bittersweet! I wanted to leave and be with Joshua and see more of the country, but I also didn’t want to leave my family behind. This was such a big step for Joshua and I! That morning Joshua and I got up early to finish packing a few more of my things into my tiny Nissan Sentra before our long drive to the west coast. I woke my parents and told them Joshua and I were about to hit the road so they got home, along with my sister (my brother is a zombie so I said it was okay, he didn’t have to get up). I said my goodbyes to my parents, which was extremely hard since I never spent any long period of time away from them, and walked out to the car full of sadness and excitement. My sister carried a few things to the car with me and we said our goodbyes there. She wrapped her arms around my waist and I wrapped my arms around her neck and we both squeezed until we couldn’t anymore and then my sister started bawling.. I told her not to cry because I was coming back one day and because I would start crying too and she said “I can’t help it!” It was definitely a moment in my life I will never, ever forget.
Joshua and I started down the old dirt road away from the only home I ever had. I couldn’t wait to get California to try new things and see new places!
California had my heart! ♥
AH… my first time flying! I was beyond nervous! I couldn’t stop shaking and my chest broke out in hives from anxiety. Before my flight I went to dinner with my mom and dad at one of my favorite barbecue places in Oklahoma, Rib Crib! Seriously SO GOOD. I miss good barbecue (insert sad face here). Then we headed to the airport. I checked in and then off to go through security. I didn’t want to go through security right away because once I got through I would have to sit and wait for my plane by myself so I sat with my parents for a while then it was finally time. I was leaving to visit Joshua and I was coming straight back but for some reason I wanted to cry. It was so weird! I got my I.D checked with my ticket was checked with a red pen and was on my way. I took my shoes and my jacket off put them in the basket, slid it through the scanner, stepped into the body scanner thing and then it beeped. Being my first time flying, I had no idea what was going on. The woman on the other side said that the scanner picked something up so they would have to pat me down. She asked if I could do it right there or if I wanted to go to a private setting and I said just do it since I knew I was totally fine. Then after being patted down the swabbed my hands for BOMB RESIDUE. WTH! A gentleman did it and explained if there was any residue they would know from the test immediately, which took a totally of 30 seconds. There was nothing so I was sent on my happy, little way.
I had asked Joshua what to do once I got through security and he said to follow the signs for my terminal and then follow signs for my gate, so that is what I did. Except I didn’t. I was at a tiny airport and I STILL almost went the wrong way.. Blonde moment. There is literally only two terminals, “A” or “B”. Me, being the genius I am, went the wrong way towards terminal “B” instead of “A”. I quickly noticed me and two other people were the only ones going that way so I knew I was going the wrong way. I checked my ticket and yup, I was supposed to go to terminal “A”. I turned around and made my way to my planes gate. I sat down for about two minutes and then I decided I needed a water, which I’m glad I got one because for some reason I get really thirsty while flying. By the way, if you didn’t know, there’s a lot of places to eat, get drinks, souvenirs which I thought was so cool. It was time to board! I was so nervous but so excited at the same time. First stop, Denver, Colorado. It was a tiny plane with 2 seats on each side of the aisle. I sat next to an older man who was going to visit his daughter for the holiday, Thanksgiving. I listened to music and played games on my phone the whole time. When we landed I was already close to my next gate so I didn’t have to walk far or take a train to another terminal, thank God. It was a short layover too, Thank God again. Off to VEGAS!! I got a window seat on this flight and it was much bigger, 3 seats on one side and 3 on the other. Flying in and seeing all the beautiful lights making the city glow is really cool and definitely something I will never forget. I got off the plane and followed the crowd to baggage claim where I met Joshua!
The first hotel we stayed in was in old Vegas. It was SO fancy, seriously probably one of the nicest hotels I’ve ever stayed in! Looking back I wish I would have taken pictures of our room because it was beautiful. The bathroom had an all glass shower with white counters and white fixtures. Our bed was a huge king size bed that was incredibly comfortable! That night we had pizza delivered to out room and just stayed in and hung out and watched King of the Hill. I stained the sheets with the pizza sauce, oops! The next day we moved over to a hotel closer to the strip. That night we explored some of Vegas and walked the strip. We only stayed two nights in Vegas and then the next day we went to Palm Springs, CA because that’s where the ball was. We left early so that I would have enough time to get ready and it was a good thing we did too! The road we took was horrible and we ended up getting a blow out from all the unavoidable craters in the road. I took probably close to an hour to change the tire because the jack just kept sinking into the sand since there are no shoulders on the roads out there. A nice guy stopped to see if we needed any help and suggested we put an old license plate under the jack to keep it from sinking farther and father into the ground. Finally, we were back on the road! Then, yet another mishap. We pull into our hotel which looks like a ran down crack house. Joshua looked up reviews of the place before booking and it had good reviews and it looked COMPLETELY different in the photos than how it did in person. We decided to give it the benefit of the doubt and to at least try it out. Joshua went to check in and no one was in the office, so he rang the service bell, still nothing and he was in there forever so we just decided to leave and get a new hotel. We check into the new room and immediately have to start getting ready. We leave only to realize the place the ball is at is all the way across town so we have to speed the whole way there, making it just in time to be seated for the ceremony to begin. The bar was opened and everyone started drinking. It was such a fun night and I am so glad I got to experience with people who grew close to my heart after moving there. I will never forget any of those people♥
The next day we went to 29 Palms because Josh had to check in and then he could go on leave. After staying the night for one night we headed to San Diego! This is by far the most beautiful city I have ever been to and so clean. If I could, I would so move there! One of the 6 days we stayed there, we drove up to L.A for a concert, which FYI, L.A is disgusting, but the concert was really fun and it was the first time to meet any of Joshua’s friends, Berrellez, Worobi, and Flores. Also while I was there, we celebrated Thanksgiving together… AT THE BEACH! From La Jolla, to early morning breakfasts, to long beach walks, it was an all around amazing trip. One of the first things Joshua said to me when we were on our way to San Diego was “There’s a great view coming up and it will make you want to move here.” He was right. I saw the city lined with the ocean for the first time coming over the hill and it blew me away. Immediately it was decided that I was moving to California!
After our 6 day stay in paradise we drove back to 29 palms and stayed in a hotel together right outside the base and the next day he went to work and I just hung out all day, relaxing. I did NOT want to leave him again… I wanted to stay by his side. It was decided that we get an apartment together with one of his buddies. The next morning we got up super, super early to head to Vegas to drop me off at the airport. When it was time to say goodbye, for what seemed like the millionth time, I cried and cried. We were so tired of the distance between us. Out of 2 years we figured it up to be less the 60 days we’d seen each other. That’s 2 months out of 14! BIZARRE!
I went home knowing that in three and a half weeks I was moving to California! I could not wait, as we were both ready for the 1,000 mile gap to finally come to a close. December 26th could not get there fast enough!
January 9, 2014 Joshua left to go to Afghanistan. You know when you are holding back tears and you get that big lump in your throat and your throat burns like hell? Yup, that was me the day he left. Thank God I never have to ever experience that again.
A french writer and poet, Victor Hugo wrote, “La vie est une fleur dont l’amour est le miel”, which means in English, “Life is a flower of which love is the honey”. Half my heart was 8,000 miles away and I still got flowers from my love♥ In a moment of time when he is facing the unknown, he selflessly gave me a gift to remind me he was thinking of me, in a time most of us would only be thinking of ourselves. I love that man.
Deployment was, to put it simply, rough. I had it set in my mind that I was going to be able to speak to him frequently. I mean all the other people he had left with talked to their SO’s (significant others) so why would it be any different for Joshua and myself? WRONG! Totally wrong. I BARELY spoke to him. The whole time he was away, totaling at 7 months, I got a whopping ONE skype date and maybe 3 phone calls, if that. SEVEN MONTHS. Seven months I had to deal with rarely speaking to him. Imagine Army deployments. They can last anywhere from 12 to 16 months. Seriously, kudos to those ladies, like Joshua’s momma. We talked on Facebook when he would get the chance to message me or when he wasn’t drowning in all the work and he had a little extra time to send a few messages my way before he was off to catch some z’s. When I was awake, he was asleep and when I was asleep, he was awake so it was hard to catch each other. I remember days he would be so upset and stressed out saying “am I ever going to get to talk to you again?!” because I was still in school and we weren’t allowed to have our phones out in class. When I would go to lunch I would immediately search my purse for my phone, sliding the lock page out of my way to check my messages and would maybe talk to him for about 15 minutes before he was going to bed. Everyday I looked forward to lunch just so I could get my fifteen minutes with him. After 4-5 months the talking basically diminished and when we did talk it usually ended with us fighting somehow. He was working SO MUCH! He said that when he did get down time that he would either try to get in contact with me, which I was usually either at school, work, or asleep, so he would go to the gym. We would go weeks without talking. I would write and sometimes get nothing back. I would have to wait until he came back to hear from him again. I was beginning to get overly stressed and I could feel us slipping away from each other, like sand between when in reality we both needed someone to lean on. The constant worrying, the not knowing what he was doing or where he was. I guess you could say I’m kind of worry wart. All with the troubles of being a high school girl, who had absolutely no idea what she was doing after high school (I still don’t know either, but getting there!). From May until August we didn’t speak. We had no contact. If you don’t have someone significant to you away from you for a long period of time you probably don’t understand, but please, for the love of God, never ever tell a military girlfriend or wife that “it’s not a big deal”. I mean if you want to have a group of women to attack you or you want to get punched in the face, go for it. If not, then I’d keep that one to yourself. Looking back, it wouldn’t have been as bad if I knew that it was coming, but I was totally blindsided. I was told the complete opposite! For a while, I held not talking and us falling away from each other against him, like it was his fault. Like he had control of what he did daily, while deployed.
While he was away, he had to miss a lot of important things to me. Valentine’s Day, my senior prom, graduation, and many more. He also had to miss a lot of things that were important to him, too. He missed his dad coming home from his own deployment, he missed getting to call his mom or dad, who he always goes to when he needs advice. There is countless things that military families have to miss out on. My best friend is having a baby in March and her husband will be gone. Joshua’s dad missed the birth of his first child, birthday’s, holidays, and anniversaries. Military families put everything on the line for their country. Next time you see a veteran be sure to thank him or her for their service to our country.
It’s August and he’s coming home, thank you God for letting him come home safe. I wasn’t able to go to his homecoming because we were still barely speaking, but his mom, sister, and brother got to greet him off the bus! It got to be September and he was finally going to visit me in Oklahoma! -YAYAYAY!- It was so nice to see him and hold him tight. While he was home he asked me to go to the Marine Corps ball with him! Uhhh DUH! It was time to start planning everything! I needed a dress, shoes, new makeup (what’s a better excuse for buying more makeup anyways), and my plane ticket! Vegas and California was not ready for me!
Deployment was definitely a struggle for us and our relationship, but I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and I think that reason was to show us not to take time with each other or people you love for granted. Joshua and I pulled through it all and I will always love him to the ends of this Earth.
“When the roots are deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.”
I love you Joshua. XOXO
It was finally December, YAY!! Joshua was coming home and spending Christmas with me. Our good friend, Colton, and I went to Tulsa where we picked him up and went to CiCi’s Pizza. PIZZZZA! After we had pizza, we drove back to Cleveland, our hometown, where Colton dropped us off at my parents’ house. While he was home, we had a lovely dinner at Red Lobster for Joshua’s 21st birthday, we had our pre-deployment pictures taken, went to his aunt’s house to celebrate Christmas with his side of the family, we had a lovely dinner at Red Lobster for Joshua’s 21st birthday, and we had a wonderful Christmas Day with my family!
Colton, Joshua and I all went to Red Lobster for Joshua’s 21st birthday! It was a really fun day! It was a day I never wanted to forget, it was special to me. One, it was his twenty-first birthday and two, because it was one of the last things I would do with him before he left. I even scrap-booked our receipt and a little Red Lobster logo!
Joshua and I also took pre-deployment pictures in a beautiful pecan orchard just down the road from my house. We had a good family friend do them for us, Julia, who does amazing work! They came out incredible and I still love them so much.
Another time that I hold close to my heart is when Joshua stayed all night with me on Christmas Eve. It was so nice to have him be a part of Christmas morning with my family and I. It was like he was already part of the clan! It really made me happy that my family didn’t give me any trouble or cause any chaos when Joshua was officially added in. My family had nothing but love and open arms. ♥
While Christmas Eve night was really fun and full of smiles, I cannot say the same for that morning. That morning will be something I definitely will never forget. My mom came home from working that morning and Joshua and I were hungry so we were going to run to town to grab a bite to eat. When I told my mom, she asked us if we could drop something by the bank while we were out. I, of course, said yes and she said that we could take her car. So off Joshua and I went down the dirt road. We went down the dirt roads, as usual, until we came to the highway. I turned onto the highway and made our way down the hill, as I always did, went around the bend and that’s where it all went wrong. Joshua had dropped his phone between the center console and his seat and when he reached down to grab it, he pulled my arm down with him. You see, he had his left arm around my around my right arm, which my elbow was on the console and my hand was on the steering wheel. They say your hands should be at 1o and 2 on the steering wheel, well mine were at about 5 and 7 (just to give you an idea). So, when he went to reach for his phone he pulled my arm with him causing me to go off the road and when I went to correct myself I over corrected causing the car to skid across the highway and when we got to the other side of the road we were facing the opposite way were initially heading. We hit the grass and flipped. We went airborne landed, and flipped half way, and came to a halt right before slamming into a tree. When the car was skidding on the pavement I seen that we were headed straight for the tree and I screamed! By the grace of God, we stopped just feet from the tree. Luckily, I had Joshua there to protect me and had my seat belt on as well. If I didn’t have my belt on I think I would have smoked my head on the steering wheel and then flew through the wind shield. ALWAYS WEAR YOUR SEAT BELT PEOPLE! Joshua however, did not have his on. He was thrown on top of me and the piece that connects from the dash to the top of the driver’s side window was slammed onto him, protecting me from being smashed down and hitting my face. He jumped up and immediately was telling me to get out of the car. He was trained in convoy roll overs so he knew how to react to these types of situations. I unbuckled myself, stood up where the drivers window should have been, stepped on to the steering wheel, and Joshua helped pull me out. My phone was right there on the ground so I picked it up, wiped the mud off the screen, and tried to call my mom. I had no service so the call wouldn’t go through so I asked the nice man who stopped to help us. I called and thankfully she answered and the only thing I could say was “Mom, I wrecked your car.”. She said “what?! Where are you?!”. I explained where we were and minutes later she was there. When she arrived I was in the ambulance and Joshua was outside by the car. Joshua and I were both okay. I had a tiny cut on my pinky toe and on one of my fingers and my back hurt really bad but I was still alive and breathing. Josh had just a few scrapes and a sore back as well. I got out of the ambulance and just hugged my mom and said “I’m so sorry mom!” I felt SO BAD! In that moment, I knew that it was God watching over me. I mean it was a miracle!
That night Joshua and I went to his aunt’s house for the Christmas party. It was really nice. I love his family! Later when we went home, we all just chatted and then went to bed. Joshua stayed in my brother’s room, my brother slept on the couch and I slept in my own room. We all woke up really early and opened gifts. It was a really great Christmas. It was the last Christmas I spent with my family all together…
Joshua left within the next couple of days, sadly. I was not ready for this deployment, AT ALL! Dreading it, actually. Half my heart was leaving…
P.S If the pictures are blurry, I’m really not sure why. Maybe its just my computer. *eye roll, LOL*
After Joshua got to 29 Palms, which was mid-June – Mid-July, I didn’t see him until November. Not seeing him for those 4 months really sucked but at least I got to talk to him because it could definitely get much worse, and I was right… Because I was in for a rude awakening.
Joshua had news that would break my heart and crush my soul. He was deploying in January, which was 5 months away (from the time I found out, August). He was going to Afghanistan. When I found out it was like I got punched in the stomach and my heart was torn out of my chest. I absolutely could not believe it. The D word, in military world, is probably one of the worst words that could have ever crossed his lips. It’s a word that will pierce your heart and make you cry. Hearing it brings tears of sadness and this overwhelming feeling of “why?”. Over and over in my head on repeat, “why?”, “why does it have to be him?”, but soon I realized that was his job. That was where he was meant to be. God had a reason for it and even if i didn’t realize it then or even understand why now, there was a reason. I knew in the back of my head that eventually he would have to, but when it was a real thing and I knew FOR SURE that it was going to happen, it blew me away. It hurt so bad to hear those words.
Luckily, I was going to see him in November which would take our mind off of what was soon to come. November came and I was finally on my way to go see him! Thanks mom and dad for letting me go. I rode with Joshua’s mom, Brenda, and his younger brother, Brendan, from Oklahoma to 29 Palms, where we picked Joshua up. It was so weird to be on a military base. It was my first time so I was really nervous about it for some reason, even though I didn’t even have to talk to the man at the gate who scans your I.D. It was like a town that was inside a gated area, inside a town, if that makes sense. Looking back, it looked completely different from the first time I saw the base to when I actually lived there. I guess because it was dark when we pick Josh up, so I couldn’t really tell what it actually was like. Once we picked him up we drove to Vegas. I couldn’t believe that one, I was going to see him, IN CALIFORNIA and two I couldn’t believe I was going to Las Vegas, Nevada! PURE CRAZINESS!
We stayed at the Circus Circus hotel which was only a block or two from the strip. That night we didn’t get in until really late so when we got there we all passed out and got some rest for our next days’ adventures. The first day, we hit the strip! We saw Caesar’s Palace, The Bellagio, MGM Grand, all the hotels on the strip and more. Caesar’s Palace is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! It had huge, shimmering chandeliers and beautiful statues of Greek gods and goddesses. Everything was, and still is, all white and marble in the front of the hotel. It all looks so pristine and delicate that you don’t even want to touch anything. The shopping area’s ceiling is painted like a blue sky with clouds and when you look up it looks like you’re really outside. Seriously, it’s incredible and if you ever get the opportunity to see it, go because the architecture and art will not disappoint. The Bellagio puts on a water fountain show everyday that is in sync with lights and music. It’s really pretty!
While in Vegas, we also went to the as seen on t.v pawn shop, Gold and Silver Pawn Shop. It was really cool and had a lot of interesting items and knickknacks. We even got a card signed by one of the men on the show!
Have you ever went to Buffalo Wild Wings on Thanksgiving, because I have! We looked for a really long time to find a place that was open so we could have a dinner somewhere and finally we found BWW was! It was so weird not to be with my family, but I was so happy to be with Joshua. The whole time we were there though, at Buffalo Wild Wings, I kept thinking about how sad it was that they weren’t able to spend time with their families, but I was really thankful they were there and that I was only able to eat there because of them.
At night, we usually drove around or found things to do like mini golf, or shopping because all these creepy men and women on the strip hand out cards that have naked women on them and it’s really not the place for a 13-year-old, I believe, and it’s really awkward to see that with your, then, boyfriends, mom. Once Brenda even got asked to go on a limo ride that would give her free drinks while on the ride to A STRIP CLUB! haha! We would also stay in our hotel and walk around and see what there was. Sometimes Joshua and his mom would even go downstairs and play slot machines.
Our last day there, we had to take Joshua back to his barracks room since he had to work the next day, so we drove back to 29 Palms, dropped him off and we stayed in a hotel off base and left the next morning. Vegas was a really fun experience, since I’m from small town USA, and definitely a place full of happy times and smiling faces! I was not ready to, once again, leave my love behind. Christmas was just around the corner and Josh would be going on his pre-deployment leave (vacation in military terms) soon so I knew this time I wouldn’t have to wait long before I got to see him again, Thank God! ♥ xoxo
It all started with Joshua and I sitting in my bedroom when the phone started ringing. It was his recruiter calling to let him know that he could leave in the next 2 days to go to boot camp, if he was ready. My stomach was in knots. I was secretly wishing he would find a reason not to go. I had never been this far away from him. What would I do to occupy my time while he was gone?
The day he left, August, 2012, I had to go to school (I was a junior) so I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye that morning, I had to the night before. I remember be really upset the whole day because I wasn’t going to even remotely close to him for 12 weeks, AT THE LEAST! I was so teary-eyed rest of the day. I felt like the day was dragging. It was so weird to not have my phone buzzing every few minutes with another message from him. The whole day was a blur. A few days later while at the hospital due to my sister having the first of my niblings (ya know, niece or nephew from your sibling… it’s a real thing, google it), I got a phone call from an unknown number. I was hesitant on answering it but my gut was telling me otherwise, and thank God I did. It was Joshua! ~sigh of relief~ It was a short call that only consisted of me listening to him read a script for about 30 seconds and then hanging up but i was so happy to hear his voice. To this day, 4 years later, I remember my exact location when i got that call. I was walking away from peering down at the tiny humans in the nursery with my momma. I turned and started walking back towards my sister’s room and my cell phone started ringing. Isn’t it crazy those certain smells, sounds or people can take you back to a big moment in your life?
The next 3 months I didn’t hear his voice again. The only way we were able to communicate was through letters, which I still have. Romantic, I know. And then the day finally came when he was able to call me. It was family day, the day before graduation from boot camp. You get to spend a few hours with your loved one and you get to see how boot camp operates and things they had to do. I, unfortunately, wasn’t able to go to his graduation. My parents weren’t comfortable with me going that far while being that young. He had support though! On graduation day,November 2012, his mom, sister, and brother were all there to cheer for him. I was so proud of him!
After boot camp, he left California and went to Colorado, where his parents live and was able to spend some time with them before leaving again. He was finally going back to Oklahoma to see me! His sister got a rental car and drove them both down. It was right after school when they had reached my hometown. The bell rang, I jumped up, went out with my friend, Destini, seen them in the car, ran over, yanked the door open, and squealed with excitement saying “get out, get out, get out!” He slowly got out, removed his cover (hat in military terms) and I squeezed until I couldn’t squeeze anymore. He wore his uniform because I had never seen him in his uniform before and he really didn’t have that many clothes with him.
We had to pick up a few things from the store, so we headed to Wal-Mart. The whole way there I couldn’t help but be a little nervous and shy. I had about a million butterflies in my stomach. While on our way, he held my hand from the front seat the entire time. When we got to the store we were walking in and i notice something. Something was… different. It was like he was brain washed and didn’t know how to function without being screamed at. Like he didn’t know how to function in the civilian world. Did 3 months at boot camp really change him that much? YES! He was still Joshua, just different. I can’t put my finger on it, but something wasn’t the same. I can’t really put it into words. It’s like he had a sense of humor but he didn’t. He didn’t know how to talk to me, but yet he still did.
The rest of his stay was INCREDIBLE! I was on cloud 9, but sadly he had to leave again to go back to California for a month-long school, then straight to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina for his MOS school (job school). Another 2 months away I believe it was. I was able to talk to him through his schooling which made it easier, but it still sucked. He had a short time after his school to come home and then he had to leave again to report to his first duty station. Twenty-nine Palms, California.
Being away from him for basically a whole year besides the little breaks in between really started to suck. I hated that we were now a long-distance relationship, but little did I know things were going to change…♥