All posts by andthismarinewife

Why I’ve Been In Hiding

So, some of you might be wondering where I’ve been this past month and a half. Then again, you might not have been wondering at all, in which case, I stand corrected. I guess you could say that I’ve been in hiding for the past two months. There is a reason for my not posting in a while. That reason is a particular secret I’ve been trying to keep for quite some time. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, I can FINALLY unzip my lips and tell the blogging world. I’m pregnant again!! And there you have it, the secret I’ve been having to keep underwraps for nearly 2 1/2 months.

We knew I was pregnant when I was about three weeks along. You may think that that is really soon to know, but let’s just say that I’m really in tune to my body. The moment I found myself in the bathroom every half hour, my “pregnancy light” started flashing. Then, the boobs started tingling and becoming painful. That’s it; it was inevitable. I told my husband about the funny things that were going on, and he immediately recognized the symptoms as well. I stayed in denial for a few days and kept saying things like, “No, i’ve just been drinking a lot of water lately,” things like that. Finally, Evan and I decided I should take a pregnancy test. I did two tests in two days, and though the lines were faint, the evidence was clear. After the first test, we both started laughing hysterically, probably just out of sheer nerves. In a matter of minutes, we realized our life as we knew it was suddenly going to change again. It’s amazing how in two years of marriage, life can dramatically change in so many ways!

From that moment, we decided we wanted to keep the baby a secret until the first trimester was over. Let me tell you, trying to keep a secret like that for over two months was nearly impossible! There were so many times when we almost slipped in telling either of our parents. But, the wait was very much worth it. As a Christmas gift, we shared the secret with our parents in the most unique ways we could think. Since we weren’t going to spend Christmas with my family this year, we sent my parents their gifts. My mom had requested an album of our wedding pictures, so we sent that, with the first picture in the album being of the ultrasound. For Evan’s parents, I made a Marine Corps Cami picture frame with the ultrasound picture in the frame.

They were very excited! 🙂

Below is our little pistachio, as Evan likes to call our new baby. Even his/her 9-week ultrasound is super cute!

I am now 15 weeks along and doing pretty well! I didn’t have any morning sickness, save for a week that I was put on some antibiotics that made me really sick. I didn’t even have the usual exhaustion for the first trimester, but I have felt myself growing more and more tired as the second trimester hit. Things with this pregnancy seem to be much different than from my pregnancy with Ian. My belly isn’t near as big as it was with Ian. You can see the comparison of the 14 1/2 week photos below:

Ian Pregnancy

Baby #2 Pregnancy

I have another appointment in about a week, and I can’t wait to hear our little pistachio’s heartbeat again! Around Valentine’s Day is when we’ll find out what we’re having. I’m so excited!

One Year Ago Today . . . (Deployment Letters)

At 2:00 AM on this day, one year ago, I said “see you later” to my husband and watched him step on the bus that would take him away for what seemed like forever. It would be only seven months, but he was going to Afghanistan. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know if I would ever get to see him again, or if he would end up coming home injured. All I knew was that God was in control, and whatever condition he came home in, I just wanted him to come home. You can read about the night of his departure here.

The deployment brought with it many challenges, but even in the lonely darkness of it all, special moments shone through and made it bearable. Just knowing that what my Marine was doing was a great and honorable thing helped push me through every day. The special moments included letters and surprises sent to me from my husband. Twice during the deployment, I was surprised with beautiful flowers. I still have the roses he had delivered to me for Valentine’s Day. I dried them out, and they now are a staple decoration in our house. Every day, I look at those roses and am reminded of the immense care my husband took to remind me of his love, even from the other side of the world.


Evan’s letters are really what kept me going. Every time I saw one of his letters in the mail, I squealed and did a little dance. His words warmed my heart, made me laugh and cry at the same time, and continually gave me hope of the day we’d be together again. I don’t think my husband would mind me sharing some of his words with you. These were letters sent over Christmas. If anything could get me through spending the holiday without my husband, it was his words of love. . . .

(Dec. 24, 2010 – from a letter when he was talking about looking through pictures of Ian and me) – “Babe, I love you so very much! I love how crazy we can get and how goofy we are! But, of course, the pics made me miss you so much. I had to fight tears for a while, but I’m okay now. . . . Last night, while sleeping in the frigid cold, I thought about pulling you close to me, under our covers, and holding you as tightly as possible. I felt warmer right away. . . .

I keep thinking about how big Ian is gonna be when I get back! I can’t wait to see pics of him. I know I said that already, but I really can’t. I keep looking at the pictures I have and babe, he is sooo adorable! I love him so very much! And I miss holding him and playing with him. But, all in God’s time. Like Psalm 66:10-12 says, ‘For you, God, tested us; You refined us as silver is refined. You lured us into a trap; You placed burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but You brought us out to abundance.’ I’ve taken so much comfort in that verse. Knowing that God will try us is kind of scary, but knowing that He will bring us through it to ABUNDANCE, now that’s encouraging! Babe, I know this deployment will be rough at times, but we have to trust God and lean hard on Him. Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine. You just take care of yourself and Ian and let God worry about the rest. I love you baby, more than anything on this earth and I’ll be in your arms again soon!”

(Dec. 25, 2010 – In this letter, he is reminiscing about when we met, and about the beginning of our marriage. To read our whole love story, click on the link at the top of my blog.) – “Baby, thank you. Thank you for going with Rachel to Jeremy’s house, for giving me your number, for going to the beach with me. Thank you for the 7 hr long phone conversations. . . . Thank you for agreeing to marry me! Thank you for not being mad at me for wrecking your car :(, for all the crazy memories we’ve made and pictures we’ve taken. Thank you for sticking with me when I reenlisted and changed jobs, for dealing with all the field ops and lost weekends. Thank you for being the mother of my son, for being the best mother Ian could ever ask for. Thank you for being you, for being honest and kind, for always, always being there for me. . . . Thank you for being there . . . through the tears . . . Thank you for being my best friend, for being my angel, my life and my wife. Thank you, baby. I love you!

Merry Christmas, baby. Just like the song says, ‘I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.’ I’ll be dreaming of being there with you and Ian tonight. Goodnight, my dearest angel, and Merry Christmas!”

Book and Rosette Hair Clip Giveaway Winner!

I literally put all the entries on strips of paper and stuck them in a hat. I mixed it up really well, and then grabbed one strip of paper. The name on that paper and the winner of my very first giveaway is . . . KIRSTEN H! Congratulations, girl! Email your address to me at so I can get your prize out to you as soon as possible. Also, please specify in your email what military branch you’d like the hair clip to be. Special thanks to everyone for participating. Keep an eye out for more giveaways coming! I want to try doing one every month. Once again, congratulations to Kirsten H!

Hosting My First Giveaway! Take A Look!

Hey everyone! I’m hosting my very first giveaway today! I am super excited about doing this, and I really hope many people get a chance to participate. What am I giving away? Take a look . . .

Prize details . . .

What you see here is an excellent book called “A Cup of Comfort for Military Families.”
I read this book while my husband was deployed to Afghanistan.
It’s a compilation of stories written by people in the military or closely related to it.
Some of the stories made me laugh, some made me cry. Overall, it’s a great book!


ONE cami rosette hairclip!
Pictured here are Marine Corps and Army hairclips,
but I will make one for whichever branch you prefer.
They are not as tiny as they appear. The rosettes are about 2″ – 2 1/2″ across.

What a deal! The winner of this giveaway will receive those two items!

BUT, in order to participate and receive entries, you must follow the following guidelines:

  1. Be a follower of my blog. (If you are currently following it, then you already have one down!) 🙂
  2. “Like” my blog facebook page. (You can find the link on the right-hand side of my blog.)

For extra entries:

  1. Blog about this giveaway. (This is worth three entry points.)
  2. Be a follower of my photography blog. (
  3. “Like” my photography facebook page. (
  4. “Like” my store facebook page. (

*For me to validate the facebook entries, be sure to comment on the facebook pages, saying that you have liked the page because of the giveaway and what your blog follower name is. If you had “liked” any of my pages prior to this giveaway, just say so in your comment about the giveaway.

To receive entries, comment on this giveaway blog, letting me know all the things you’ve done. If you promoted the giveaway on your blog, please tell me the link to your blog as well. The winner will be “picked out of a hat.” If you do all the possible entries, you have eight chances to win!

*The winner will be chosen at 10 pm (EST) on Wednesday, Nov. 2 and announced on Thursday, Nov. 3.*


Ah, What A Great Day!

You know that feeling you get at the end of a good day? You know, the one where you flop down on the couch and say, “Ah, what a great day!” Yeah, definitely had one of those days. I certainly wasn’t expecting it when I had to drag myself out of bed two hours earlier than normal. I woke up with my husband, which was nice, but the groggy, crusty feeling behind my eyes wasn’t. Once I washed away the sleepiness in a quick, warm shower, I felt like a new person. I got Ian together for the babysitter, and I was ready to go! Where? The dentist.

The dentist? Really? Seriously excited about the dentist?! Absolutely! You see, due to lack of insurance coverage, I hadn’t been to the dentist in over two years. One of my teeth was bothering me, and I was so glad to finally be getting it checked out. This visit was well overdue. When I walked into the office, I marvelled at the the silence in the waiting room. I’ve gotten so used to my son’s noise, that I’d almost forgotten what silence sounded like. Ah, heaven! That is, until I heard, “Ms ______?”

I jumped up and followed the dentist assistant. Silence turned into drilling sounds. *sigh* Well, at least it beats high-pitched squealing. I wondered about the poor soul under the drill. I wanted to shout, “You’ll be okay. It’s for a good cause. Your teeth will thank you later.” But, I refrained. One of these days I should actually verbalize the wise cracks that run through my head, just to see the reaction. Hmm, nah, it’s way more fun in my head.

Since it was my first visit at this particular dentist, I went through a simple examination. They took pictures of my teeth and showed them to me. I saw several areas that looked like decay and groaned. The assistant assured me that they might not actually be decay but rather stains, and that they normally come from drinking massive amounts of coffee, tea, or soda. Umm, guilty. Coffee addict right here! I hung onto that hope tightly. She also told me that my teeth looked excellent for not having seen a dentist in two years. I was pretty excited about that. The dentist then came in and finished the exam. The spots turned out to be stains after all. Yippee! So, I came out of my dentist visit cavity free, though I do have to go back and get one of my old fillings replaced. I can live with that.

I rejoiced about my successful first-in-two-years dentist visit all the way to Starbucks, where I planned to get a drink for the babysitter. You would have thought “Gossip Girl” exploded in the cafe. A large group of young Marine wives were squished around a tiny table. I’m amazed the table didn’t melt from the volume emitting from their mouths. It was insane! A ton of people stood around waiting for their drinks to be made. I ordered and waited amongst the crowd, reminiscing about the silent dental waiting room. I noticed that drinks kept showing up on the counter, some disappearing and some not, but the headcount wasn’t changing. Finally, the group of girls left, grabbing a couple drinks from the pick-up counter. Most of us assumed that they were just waiting on their drinks, but it turns out that they were snatching other people’s orders. Hence why the headcount wasn’t diminishing. Oh the nerve! The baristas had to remake several drinks, and then it finally came down to two of us.

I looked at the counter and did the math. There were six drinks on the counter, but only two of us waiting. Hmm, weird. Our drinks were then made, but six still remained. The baristas didn’t want to dump them, so they asked if anyone would like to have them. The other customer declined, and I felt like heaven had opened up its beautiful clouds and shown down on me. I squealed for joy and nearly leaped the counter with arms spread open. Though I left a good tip in exchange for God’s amazing blessing, I walked out of Starbucks with what I purchased and SIX free lattes! Oh what a glorious day, and it wasn’t even 10:00 yet!

Then, to make my day even better, I picked up my dress for the USMC ball. I’m so excited! I originally planned to buy it this year, and I was going to get one reminiscent of the 50s era. Unfortunately, we just don’t have the money. My husband and I started talking about how we would pay for everything with the ball. We weren’t sure what to do. It’s not that we’re struggling financially. We’ve just had a few extra expenses recently. Well, the same day we started discussing the finances of the ball, a friend of mine texted me asking if I wanted to borrow her gown that she has never yet worn for a ball. Don’t tell me that that was luck, because I know that that was God plain and simple. I nearly cried. So, today I went over to pick up the dress. I tried it on when I got home, and it fits perfectly! It’s a strapless, black dress with beaded work on the front and a short train in the back. I absolutely love it! It’s gorgeous! I can’t wait to post pictures after the ball. Don’t want to give it away. 😉

So, there you have it . . . the reason I could flop down on the couch today and say, “Ah, what a great day!”

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