Friday, September 28, 2012

Catch Up...and Breathe

I haven't blogged in a while.
My life has been one hectic day after another.
First things first...

I'm an auntie!!
My baby sister and her husband gave birth to a BEAUTIFUL little girl on September 24.
I am SO in love with her, it's crazy!
Congrats to Aaron and Lydia!

Lyla Grace
20.5 inches long
7lbs 12ozs

I am the proud new owner of an IPhone 5.
I have wanted an IPhone FOREVER.
I own 2 Macbooks, an ipad, and a Mac desktop.
The IPhone 5 just completed my life. :-P
No, but seriously. 
I love apple products.
They have never failed me, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE how everything just "talks" and "syncs" with eachother.
Since owning this new marvelous device, I have become slightly obsessed with Instagram.
(Follow me : mrsromer) fun is that app?!
Check out some of the pics I've taken...

College football is in full force at my house!

Aside from becoming and auntie, buying an IPhone 5, and instagramming my life away....
I also started community group this Monday.
(Community group is small group bible study through my church).
My church started a military ministry this year for military members and their families.
I met some amazing couples (all Marine Corps families).
It's so nice to have that fellowship once a week with people who understand what each other goes through living this crazy life in the Corps.
I'm just sad that I won't get to be involved that long with the group.......


My official EAS (end of active service) very last day as a United States Marine is...

wait for it...

November 29, 2012!

I am hoping to go on terminal leave mid October.
I am so thrilled!!
God is so good.

I feel like God put me through this process to teach me patience.
And boy, did he do a great job!

I'll keep y'all updated on my transition from Small town Texas Cali Bostonian.....

Thursday, September 13, 2012


I got my medical discharge paperwork today!
I will get a hefty severance paycheck and a check from the VA for the rest of my life.
For those of you who do not know, I've had a knee and hip issue for the last 6 years that started on my first deployment (that I chose to "suck up", which made it worse.). I had surgery, physical therapy, prescribed tons of pain pills, and was given injections that I had a violent allergic reaction to. Because of my injury, I can no longer run, stand for long periods of time (formation), and I have chronic pain.
I will find out the exact date of my honorable discharge from active duty in about 2 weeks, but it will be sometime at the end of November or beginning of December.

I am on cloud 9.
I'm anxious.
I'm nervous.
I'm excited.

My emotions are crazy!

I thought this day would never come, and I've been waiting impatiently for what seems like an eternity!
But now, after it all set it...

I am SO nervous.

This is the only life I've known for the last TEN years of my life.
This is the only life I've known since I graduated high school.
My life has consisted of deployments, spending tons of time away for training, structure, political incorrectness......

It's scary. 

I hope I survive in the civilian world as a "dependent". 

I can't wait to turn in my military ID for the cute little peach colored dependent ID card.

Aside from nervousness and anxiousness...
there are a few things I am SO excited about

I'm excited to be a housewife.
I'm excited to be a stay at home mom (well home more than I am now).
I'm excited to have a home cooked meal ready for my husband after a long day of work.
I'm excited to be able to do fun things with Dannika during the week.
I'm excited to finally be a family together again.
I'm excited to use my amazing benefits to finish college.

Lots of prayers needed for the next phase of our lives!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

11 Years

Every September 11th since September 11, 2001, I've always woken up with a sense of heaviness in my heart.
It's not that I don't think about that day every other day.
Let's face it, I have never served in a peacetime Marine Corps, and I never will.
That thought has a bit of somberness to it.

But this September 11th, I really just want to be grateful.

And as much as I want to hate the people who would attack our nation the way they did, I have to remind myself that Jesus loved and accepted thieves, bigots, prostitutes, the greedy, the poor, the rich...there wasn't anyone he did not love.

So today, I pray for everyone (to include myself) who has sadness in their heart and hatred towards our enemies. 
I pray that God can give us forgiveness in our souls and love in our hearts.

And thank you for all who have served and all who are currently serving.
Thank you to those who laid down their life so that my child gets a chance at a life in this amazing country of ours.
Thank you for allowing my family to be a family.

  phot cred:

Friday, September 7, 2012

My Love/Hate Relationship with the USMC (pt1)

There are days I love the Marine Corps, and there are days that I hate it.
In the past 2 years, the days that I hate it outnumber it exponentially to the days that I love it.
Looking back on my last 10 years as a Marine, I realize that all the great memories that I've ever had came from working in a positive environment with Marines that I genuinely cared about, and Marines that genuinely cared about me.
I used to love coming to work and the smile on my face was about as genuine as it got. 
I had amazing leadership and hard-charging coworkers that I loved like my own family.
I guess the point is, I don't hate the Marine Corps necessarily.
I just hate dislike my working environment.
I've always been told since I was a young Private that I would work with leaders that I would be willing to do ANYTHING for at the drop of a dime, but I would also work with leaders that I would probably rather wish they would die. (this sounds harsh and "unchristian like"I know, but it's a figure of speech...maybe ;)
I also never realized how "unmother-friendly" the Marine Corps would be.
The Marine Corps in the past few years has really revamped their family readiness program for military families, and while there are still some headaches and complaints, it's two-folds better than what it used to be (or so I'm told).
However, when it comes to mothers or single parents in the Marine Corps, the organization has a long way to go.
I realized when I was on recruiting duty how challenging it was going to be to balance being a mother, a wife, and a Marine.
My first year, Nick and I were newlyweds, and both of us thrived on work, and we were both really good at our respective jobs.
I was showered with awards, given compliments all the time, and praised all the time for my diligent efforts on recruiting duty.
I loved it.
I also worked in an environment that I LOVED.
The Marines that I worked with were a team, and we had each others backs at a moment's notice.

Then I got pregnant.
Out of the blue.
Totally unplanned.

I actually cried bawled my eyes out the day I broke the news to my team (the other recruiters in my office).
I wasn't ready to be a mother, and I wasn't ready to sacrifice work to be pregnant and be a mother.
This was just horrible, awful timing, but it was the cards I was dealt, and I had to figure it out.
I managed to work 40-80 hours a week throughout my entire pregnancy until the day I gave birth (a feat that I proudly boast about since I had the option to go to half day work days in the 3rd trimester).
Imagine going to high school, expecting to see this fit and trim U.S. Marine looking sharp in his blues at the recruiting table.
The high schools I was assigned got a fat, miserable Marine in a hideous maternity uniform.
They expected me to convince 17-28 year olds to join the Marine Corps cause we were the best. 
It's really hard to be positive and upbeat about the Corps while being fat, miserable, and in a hideous uniform, but somehow I managed. 
In fact, that year, with a TON of help from the other recruiters (who did a lot of my driving for me when I got reallllyyyy big), I won Rookie Recruiter of the Year.
However, my struggles had just started.
Here I was as a new mom with expectations from my command that were ridiculously high.
The motto on recruiting duty (amongst many others) is "With success comes even higher expectations".
To add to my struggle, when D was only 6 months old, Nick deployed to Afghanistan.
I had horrible post partum depression, and I didn't find out I had it until later on.
The stress of having my husband in combat for 7 months with little communication, the pressure to find "X" amount of potential applicants every month, post partum depression, and being a new mother was overwhelming.
I went from being the superstar recruiter to barely hanging on for the sake of my sanity and my child.
A lot of the burden was put on my coworkers (which they did without complaint), but deep in my heart, it hurt that I couldn't contribute to the team like I was used to.
Needless to say, the last 2 years of recruiting duty were nothing but an uphill struggle for me.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Not as Strong as I Thought

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It was after church, and we hadn't said a single word to each other all morning.
We sat awkwardly next to each other at church, while I tried my hardest to look happy.
When we got home, we both sat on the hardwood floors of our kitchen, backs against the cabinets, tears rolling down my face, and mascara everywhere.
D was off in the distance picking out a movie for daddy to put on her tv in her bedroom as happy as a lark.
It was the day before I would (once again) have to say goodbye to my best friend, father of my child, my carpenter, my chauffeur, my personal grocery shopper, dog walker, and most importantly my husband. He does it all. 
Without complaint.
Without hesitation.
With a big smile on his face because he knows that it's making life just a little bit easier for me.
My heart hurt and felt so heavy, and I just couldn't stop sobbing.
When you marry someone, you go into it thinking that this person is going to be the person you wake up next to every single day of your life.
Then you realize you married into a life of deployments, separations, constant moving, and uncertainty.
I don't think I've ever had to say "Welcome Home" and "Goodbye" so many times in one year. 
It was yesterday when I spilled everything to Nick.

I HATED this life.
I HATED doing everything alone.
I HATED seeing other happy couples together.
I HATED not knowing our future.

I realized yesterday how unhappy I truly was.
I've always been the type of wife that put on my "big girl panties" and "toughs it out".
I try my best not to complain about how much I miss my husband on facebook, and for the most part I spend my days trying to be the best mommy AND daddy for Dannika.
It was yesterday that I realized just how much happier I was to just have another set of hands around the house and to have someone to sleep next to.

We sat on the floor of the kitchen next to each other, staring directly ahead of us, while I cried to Nick that I wasn't as strong as I thought I was.
My life is groundhog day. 
I work.
I come home.
I work out.
I make dinner.
I feed myself and D.
I try and spend a good hour with her.
I go to bed. 

My life revolves around trying to be the best mother to D I can be, and I realized that the only reason why I do that is not because I love her, but it's because I don't want to do anything else unless Nick is here with me.
I'm almost using her as a way to pass time to keep myself from going insane.

It's also been getting harder and harder for D every times Nick leaves.
When Nick is home, she gets severe separation anxiety.
The other day, Nick left the house for 5 minutes to go talk to our neighbors, and when she realized he wasn't in the house, she had a meltdown.
My heart hurts for her because I can't imagine being 3, and having the worry of "Is he coming back? Is he gone for good this time?"
That's a little much for a 3 year old to have to handle.

This morning our family woke up at 0400 to get Nick to the airport.
It was a somber morning.
I just sat in the dining room and watched Nick carefully pack the last of his belongings.
Dannika woke up so excited and full of life.
She kept asking, "Can I go to the airport too?!?"
At one point, I asked Nick if he wanted to pack his flip flops, and little D chimes in, "I want to take my flip flops too!"
I tried my best to mentally prepare her for Nick's departure.
I told her a million times that daddy had to go back to Boston, but that he'll be back again.
She doesn't quite get that Boston is 3000 miles away.
In her simple 3 year old mind, he's going down the road for a little while.

It's funny how when I had to drive to LAX to pick up Nick, the drive took FOREVER and a day, but dropping him off, the drive was too fast....too short....we were there in a blink of an eye.
My heart was calm the entire ride to the airport, until we arrived at the passenger drop off.
As soon as Nick got out of the car to grab his luggage from the trunk, D started begging me to take her out of her car seat.
Then I heard the tearful words....
"Mommy, I want to go with my daddy."

I'm pretty sure after we finally left (the last hug is never long enough and the last kiss is never passionate enough when you have to say bye), I cried halfway home.
D hates it when I'm upset.
She kept telling me, "Mommy, be happy! Don't cry. Daddy will be home soon, and he can come to my house again."
I hate the feeling of coming home to an "empty house".
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For the last 2 weeks, this house has been full of laughter, positive energy, XBox games, and home cooked meals every night.
Now we're back to a lonely place where I spend my nights going to bed as early as possible to make time go by faster and desperately trying to find things to fill a day with activities on the weekend to make up for lost time with D during the week when I'm working.

We got home super early, and since it's Labor Day, I figured I'd beat the afternoon traffic and do my "single lady" grocery shopping.
It was sad for me.
I usually love grocery shopping when Nick is home.
I feel like I have a purpose outside of just feeding myself when Nick is home.
I buy things thinking, "Man, I can't wait to make so and so for Nick. He's gonna love it!"
I love cooking, and most importantly, I love cooking for Nick.
I love the look on his face when he can smell something I'm cooking in the oven when he's starving.
When it's just for D and I, my thoughts are more along the lines of, "What can I make that is hassle free, healthy, and freezeable?"
I'm hoping to get more involved with community groups at church for support.
I really noticed that I was lacking a good strong Christian based support system to keep me accountable.

This time, I'm just going to try a little harder to be happier for me, and do more for me. 

So once again, I'm here alone to spend another holiday without my everything.
Gosh, I wish this life were easier.