We enjoyed our Independence Day the way most Americans around the country did, backyard barbecue, swimming, snacking, drinking, games, watching fireworks, and playing with sparklers. Long time friends of our spent a few days with us as well. It’s been about 3 years since our families have spent time together due to military deployments. And it will probably be another stretch of time before we get to do it again, due to another military deployment. Since we’ve seen each other last both of our families have grown so it was really fun to now enjoy each others company, this time as parents.
Here are some of my favorites from our few days together.
Life really changes when you get out of the military, even for spouses. My husband got out of the Marine Corps officially on May 1st, but went on terminal leave in April, so we have been living the civilian life for going on 2 months now. In this short time I have noticed so many changes, BIG & little. Getting used to being in the civilian world will take a bit. Here’s a list of the 10 things I’ve learned about being out of the military.
Laundry. It has doubled! Now my husband picks out his clothes every morning, and then I have to wash them! He doesn’t wear the same uniform everyday anymore and my washing machine notices!
Grocery Shopping. It’s a strange feeling to walk into the grocery store to see there are hundreds of carts available, the aisles aren’t bombarded with families, and best of all no check out lines!
Insurance. We may have taken TRICARE for granted before. Insurance isn’t free and there are way too many options.
1st & 15th. They are just days out here in the civilian world. Not days to avoid going shopping or eating out either. Just regular days.
Traffic. It’s not all going the same direction at the same time, for the most part. People complain about traffic, and I just think to myself… try to get off base at 4:oopm.
Dress Code. No more worrying if I’m covered up enough (not that I want to bare all). I can go to the convenient store in a bathing suit if I wanted (living in Florida now, this is acceptable). My husband doesn’t need to worry about a change of clothes if he wants to grab dinner on the way home or do anything on the way home for that matter.
Hair cut. I used to wait in the car on Sundays while my husband ran in to get his hair cut. I did this one afternoon while we were running errands in our new civilian life. I was waiting for over a half hour! What used to be quick 15 minute trips to the barber have been replaced with an hour of pampering, but at least the barber now knows my husband’s name. Oh, did I mention the cost is nearly double! $18 for a hair cut! Good thing it isn’t mandatory to get one every week.
Neighbors. We moved into a cute neighborhood, in a college town. Not one of our neighbors have introduced themselves, without reason. We’ve met 2 of our many neighbors out of necessity. We’re not in base housing anymore (clicking my heels).
MOS. Huh??? Out in the real world, they don’t use acronyms for everything! You actually have to ask someone, what’s your job or career? No more military acronyms, terminology, and slag. I can’t say that I’m sad about it. I will say, it will take some getting used to.
Last names. People have first names, too??? Who knew! Calling people by their first name is a new one. Or better yet, not having name their last name on everything (uniforms, gear, equipment, even underwear).
These are just a few things I’ve noticed so far. Care to add your own to the list? Comment below, I’d love to hear yours.
Semper Fi. xo
PS. I know this isn’t photography related, but I’m sure you won’t mind.
Meet Jon & Brandi. They had me laughing the entire session! Seriously, this guy is a riot. I had such a great time with these two, I was giggling the entire time I was going through their photos. Jon is getting ready to deploy again, and even though he was not thrilled to be getting photographed you couldn’t tell from photos. Between their joking, laughter, freezing cold temperatures, wind, and perfect golden hour… their photos are beautiful (if I do say so myself). I’m so glad Brandi chose me to photograph their pre-deployment memories.
How cute are they? Seriously though! So glad I could capture these moments for them. Hoping for a safe & speedy deployment.
Happy Valentine’s Day lovely! One of my most favorite thing to photograph is LOVE! It really warms by heart to capture two people in love, and I have had plenty of opportunities to do so. I thought I would share some of them with you on this day full of love! Prepare to say “awww!”
Jesse & Danielle were awesome to work with! A spunky, fun, young couple who are incredibly in love (is what I gathered from our session). They have been in the Jacksonville, NC area for a short time, and Jesse is off to deploy soon. I know how important pre-deployment photos are, it’s something they each can hold on to while being a part. I’m so lucky to be able to capture this important time in their lives and we had a great time doing so. Danielle had a couple ideas for her own, thank you Pinterest! Danielle’s only request was to have amazing light… I think I gave her what she asked for. What do you think?
Enjoy each moment together! Hoping for a quick & easy deployment!
It was a very special moment for a really good friend of mine to have her husband come home from a long and emotional deployment. Ashleigh and Billy were reunited, but it gets sweeter. To put the icing on the cake, Ashleigh revealed the gender of her baby to her husband once he arrived. Everyone was waiting to find out, and as they say “the tankers curse lives on,” it is a girl! I am so excited that my baby girl will have a sweet bff this summer!
Ashleigh is such a good friend to me. When I was pregnant she offered to throw a baby shower for me, but instead I asked her to travel with me to my out of town showers. Without hesitation, she was ready to road trip! During our 2 weeks of traveling there was an abundance of pregnancy and baby talk. I witnessed on several different occasions complete strangers, to Ashleigh, ask the dreaded question, “Why don’t you have any kids yet?” I’d cringe every time, knowing my friend’s journey. Luckily, my witting friend would kindly educate them. Knowing what Ashleigh and Billy have been through to conceive made me skew my own words during my pregnancy, because you just don’t know the struggles someone may be going through. I asked Ashleigh if she would be interested in sharing her story, I knew the answer already, she was eager to educate. Enjoy her story and please when asking someone, “Do you have any kids?” If the answer is “no,” stop there.
At least 7 of you who read this and are in a relationship will never experience the journey my husband and I shared for the past 2 years. For the first 7 years of our relationship we tried our hardest to prevent pregnancy, and for the past 2 we have done things many wouldn’t dream of having to go through to conceive. 1 in 8 couples suffer infertility. These past 2 years have provided real lessons to the way in which we live our lives and our speech. I hope that our story provides you a different set of glasses to help you look at life much differently, if you will. I hope what you take besides shock from our story, is the ability find the joy in your life experiences, even if that experience seems more negative than positive. Our unfortunate events in this journey have provided many things, but the most revealing has been humility and the ability to laugh even when we want to cry.
If my husband hasn’t left me yet, it’s pretty unlikely he never will. I’d like to think for the past 2 years I haven’t really been myself. This idea was confirmed when after a year of trying to conceive, we finally revealed to our family what we were up against. It was in this moment my family confirmed my suspicions, I was so moody and they couldn’t understand what my malfunction was. Fertility drugs were my malfunction. Then add in the emotions and side-effects that come along with infertility and its crew of drugs, and I was a 20 car pile-up. My life consisted of calendars, peeing on sticks, taking medications, some of which came in the form of shots to give myself, and avoiding ignorant people. People wondered why I didn’t have a job, my answer for you now, infertility is a job. It consumes your entire life! In one week, I put 800 miles on my car driving to doctors to be poked and prodded by every tool imaginable, by strangers who have the title doctor. When we tell people what our malfunction was during the conceiving process, they feel sorry for my husband. I’m sure it’s a hard pill to swallow that your swimmers don’t move, but he has pretty much skated through this entire process without tools shoved up his privates by strangers. Here’s a funny story, yes I am able to laugh and so is he. The most medically invasive part of his process in this came from him having to make love to a cup. Big deal! But to him, this was a HUGE deal! As he was having his first moment making love to a cup the only thing I could do is laugh hysterically, internally, while I waited for him in the car. Ever hear that Usher song, “I want to make love in this club?” I finagled it a bit, “I want to make love in this cup!” I laughed myself stupid. When you enter into a relationship, I’m sure the possibility of these real life moments never cross your mind. I never in our 9 years imagined we were the 1 in 8 couples who are faced with infertility. But here we are!
34 pregnancy tests, 100’s of ovulation tests, 2 sperm analysis, 5-6 cycles of fertility medications, 1 round of IUI, 6 vials of frozen sperm, 1 round of IVF with injectable medications, 1 HSG, 2 transferred embryos, thousands of miles traveled, $13,000 out of pocket medical costs, and we are pregnant! Oh what fun it is to ride, the crazy infertility journey!
Just out of curiosity, how many of you would walk up, to what appears to be a cancer patient, and ask them, “why don’t you have hair yet?” I’m assuming, none of you. So my question to you is, why would you ask a couple, “why don’t you have children yet?” I hope you realize the question you ask, you may be asking to a couple who is now fighting the urge to cry while they answer your ridiculous question. And should this couple eventually reveal they may be suffering from infertility, please refrain yourself from making pointless statements. If I heard, “just relax it will happen” one more time, I think I would have voluntarily checked myself into a mental facility. No part of relaxation would have given my husband’s swimmers a boost. So please refrain from saying useless things. These past 2 years, I have listened to women complain about the most priceless gift. Nobody gives a hoot that you’re having morning sickness or that your unborn child is playing soccer, keeping you up all night. That’s pregnancy, and there are woman out there who would gladly take your place. They would pay $13,000 to throw up on the toilet all morning, and they would do it with a smile on their face. They would find the joy in the life experience you can’t seem to stop complaining about. And for those inquisitive minds who wondered how it was possible for me to get pregnant in October even though my husband deployed in July, your assumptions were right. I cheated on him, with a needle shoved up me, by a stranger called a doctor. Semper Fidelis!
Deployments are all too familiar to me! As much as we hate them, it’s a wonderful time to update your family photos. Pre-deployment photos are something you can hold on to while hubby is away, and something he can take with him on his journey. I had the honor of taking The DeWald’s family photos before they get ready for deployment.
Thank you for your service, both on the home front & over seas.
This was my first session in 2013, and boy was it long overdue. Justine won this session during my 400 Fan Giveaway & we had to reschedule quiet a few times, due to weather, Marine Corps, baby, & the holidays.
I’m so glad I was finally able to get these loverbirds behind my camera!
Justine wanted to have some formal wear photos to display in their new home. And she let me use them as models for my Valentine Mini Sessions! They were great & we had fun!