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Boots in the house!

Today was the start of a new chapter….and boy what an eye opening chapter it is….did I bite more than I can chew…can I do this? So many questions now…but at the time when they were asking…”Do you have any questions? ” My mind was a blank….sometimes the more things change, the more they stay the same…I was going to go into this new thing with some excitement, some hope that I would be making a difference…now…not so sure…and just like I advised my number 3 to readjust his mindset…well I have to take my own advise and readjust mine…the idealism must go and it must be replaced with realistic expectations…and my feeling towards expectations has always been to keep my expectations low…or just not have any…that will help in not being disappointed….

The good thing about all this is that the other door to the other part of what I was doing is still open……and will be open for at least two weeks….I may need it to remain open…I hope not…I know how to put my big girl panties on and deal…I’ve been doing this like forever….on another note…I know there are quite a few job openings in Starr County….them thieving rat bastards made sure of that….what the fuck is wrong with people? But I do have to admire their genius on one level…they sure had quite a scheme going….just goes to show not all mesicans are stoopid….but eventually shit will catch up with ya….idiots….

I gots a headache…I’m thinking lack of food….

Word is my baby…the tator…is finally being released from the hostage situation he has been embroiled in….and he will be on his way to “A” school tomorrow…yay…

….and off I go to hunt up some entertainment…book or a movie….

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Lots of changes….today marks the last day….sorta…at the place I am currently working at…I need to call the other place and let them know I’ll be ready Monday….it’ll be hush, hush….cause there are some things I just don’t need to share. All I can say is I uploaded my un-updated resume at 3am, and received a call at 10:45 am, stopped in for an interview and signed off on a job offer.

Sadness fills my heart because my number three will not be able to join us for xmas…we didn’t get to see him for Thanksgiving….it’s a new way of life for all of us, but especially for my baby. Over the years as a fulltime working single parent I had to shuffle holiday celebrations, my thing is there are 24 hours in a day and celebrations can be scheduled around work. Working the holidays is no big deal to me, especially now when the kidlets are all grown and out of the house.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited about some of the upcoming changes…work related…

Anywho….off to make some phone calls….

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So finally time to update on Andrew’s graduation….

We arrived on Thursday morning, the flight was uneventful…thankfully, we got our rental and got out of Chicago and found our way to the hotel, it was not as bad as I expected. I am not a big city girl, even though I have lived and driven in big cities before…the hotel (Red Carpet Inn) was far from red carpet worthiness, nonetheless it was conveniently situated, it was within minutes of the base…which was very important due to time constraints. It was cold and the wind was brutal, I packed accordingly….or so I thought…I ended up wearing my clothes in layers, and glad that I was smart enough to pack stretchy stuff that I could wear over my other clothes. It wasn’t so much the temperatures, but the wind…good gosh….I know it has the nickname of the Windy City, but I’ve lived in other places that have been just as windy if not more…just not something you can prepare for when you get acclimated to Texas weather. So anyway, we made it in, and had fun getting checked in early…which I told the girl at the front desk, no problem if it is too early, we can always come back, she sent us to a room that had these massive double sinks on top of the beds…strike one, the next room, my #2 went in, it was not ready, not clean, toilet a mess…strike 2, next room, key didn’t work….strike 3…next room, front desk girl went and checked first then gave us a working key….sigh…that was exhausting….Derrick and I then went and had a late breakfast next door to the hotel, biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs and crispy bacon, I love crispy bacon! Then we went to Walmart and got some cheap gloves and some other stuff…then we went to the hotel, chilled for a while then made it to the meet and greet…I was disappointed with that but the food was free and it was actually good, I could see Derrick was miserable there so I put him out of his misery and we went back to the hotel. Friday morning we got up early, grabbed some water and a couple of offerings from the continental breakfast spread and headed to the base. We got there, found the section reserved for Andrew’s division and got front row seating….not the best seat in the house but good enough for me…and not the best seat because when they opened the doors to let the sailors in the wind also came in…so finally they started the ceremony, Andrew’s division came in first, saw him, he didn’t see us….poor kids they all looked frozen and exhausted….

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Division 001

Texas in the house!

Texas in the house!

So once the ceremony was concluded, Liberty was declared and mayhem ensued…it was find your Sailor time….found mine! IMG_2864

And then it was tears, hugs and time to make plans for the rest of the day with our Sailor. But before that….Andrew wanted us to meat the Reviewing Officer, the night before when they had dinner he got to meet the Rear Admiral….who is a Texas native, when he asked if there was anyone from Texas Andrew raised his hand, they spoke briefly and he invited Andrew to sit next to him at dinner.

Rear Admiral Eric Young

Rear Admiral Eric Young

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Posing for a pic

He also told Andrew he wanted to meet us…so we went in search of Young, who we found and were escorted to meet him in a private section that is closely guarded. We did the introductions and then Young asked Andrew if he had received a challenge coin from him the previous evening, Andrew said no, so Young reached into his pocket and presented Andrew with his first challenge coin. His words of appreciation and encouragement went a long way. Andrew was and still is highly stoked….and with good reason. Challenge coins are available for purchase…so yeah anyone can have them, but when it is handed to you by a top level member of the military it has a more special meaning than if mommy had ordered one thru EBay. IMG_2866 IMG_2868 IMG_2869

Challenge coin - back

Challenge coin – back

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Challenge Coin – Front

I am thankful that Rear Admiral Young took the time to encourage my son and also take the time to personally meet and visit with us briefly, we were not on his scheduled agenda so the fact that he took the time to do this made the occasion that much more special.

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L. National Defense Service Ribbon. R. Pistol Marksmanship w/ an Expert Rating.

While in boot camp, Andrew also received his first of what will be many ribbons…

A little Bio on Young↓↓

The Reviewing Officer for Andrew’s  PIR (graduation) was Rear Admiral Eric Young, Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command. A native of Abilene, Texas, RADM Young is a graduate of Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. He received his commission as an Ensign from Officer Candidate School in February 1985. He holds a Master of Science degree in Financial Management from the Naval Postgraduate School and a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.

Young’s tours at sea as a surface warfare officer include ordnance officer, USS Reid (FFG 30); navigator, USS San Jose (AFS 7); operations officer, USS Wadsworth (FFG 9); combat systems officer, Destroyer Squadron 31; executive officer, USS Ford (FFG 54); commanding officer, USS John L Hall (FFG 32); and commander, Destroyer Squadron 1.

Young’s staff and shore assignments included commanding officer, Naval Reserve Center Terre Haute, Indiana; commanding officer, Naval Reserve Center Danville, Illinois; manpower analyst in the Surface Warfare Directorate, Chief of Naval Operations (N86); manpower and personnel director, Naval Reserve Readiness Command South; commanding officer, Navy Operational Support Center San Diego, California; deputy director, Training Transformation and Technology in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Reserve Affairs); and most recently, as deputy chief of Navy Reserve from July 2012 to August 2014.

During his command tour aboard USS John L. Hall (FFG 32), his crew won five of five Command Excellence awards. Young assumed command of Destroyer Squadron 1 from June 2009 through November 2010. In October 2009, Destroyer Squadron 1 was assigned as the Sea Combat Commander for the Carl Vinson Strike Group. Young spearheaded Destroyer Squadron 1 transformation from an ISIC-focused destroyer squadron to an operationally-focused destroyer squadron. For the first time, Destroyer Squadron 1 became a permanent Sea Combat Commander for a Strike Group.

Young became Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia, September 25, 2014.

Young’s decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various unit and campaign awards.

As part of the official arrival ceremony on Friday morning, after the Ruffles and Flourishes are played once she’s announced, she is also entitled to a 13-Gun Salute fired in five second intervals. The saluting cannons are outside the drill hall, but you should be prepared (and caution the young ones) for the cannon “BOOMs”. Military guests in uniform are to hold their salute until the last shot is fired. All other guests should remain standing until told to be seated.

Without realizing what time it was or how time just crept up on me I saw that it was 2am…so I said to myself…”self…go to bed”…so I did…not sure why I even bothered…no sleep has been had…I tried…and I actually did sleep…for maybe 17 minutes, it was good sleep too, and it felt like enough sleep because next thing I was wide awake…I finally gave up all the tossing and turning and just got up…I really haven’t done anything productive, couldn’t read…well I could, just not the book I started on…just read random, mindless crap…nothing educational…so yeah just a waste of time…but even that didn’t hold my interest…then I decided to go car battery shopping…but I saw that if I ordered it online I would have to go in person to pick it up instead of sending D to go pick it up…the battery is for him, for my car and I thought I’d do at least one productive thing…strike one…then I thought…hey have some coffee…so I did…I made a cup…and I like my coffee strong, but I totally miscalculated. the shit I made was shit…even for my standards…way too strong. blacker than the night…strike two…so I indulged in a do over and made another cup…still strong but not so thick and bitter…now I’m thinking maybe a hot relaxing bubble bath…maybe some candles and some soothing music…then I was already doing some forward thinking…soup!!! Chicken soup to be exact…the weather is perfect for soup…or a chicken pot pie….and I’m not even hungry but I’m thinking of food…and I also have to get a letter out to my tater, he will be happy to see pictures of Makenzy…that girl is spoiled and very much loved….and I’m out…100_5202 (2)

Excerpts…

Gotta love my boy, and his determination…

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…and another one….

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…and one more….

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Andrew!!!!

Good morning mijo, well today is your birthday, I don’t know if you’ll get a chance to call home, but if you do I’ll be over the moon. I cherish the calls and the letters, I know you don’t have much time to write, but I’m looking forward to checking the mail everyday, I am also forwarding my calls to my cell just in case you try calling and I happen to not be home. So let me tell you some of the reasons you are so special to me…

From the beginning it was a struggle with you, I learned I was pregnant with you while I was recovering from my second back surgery, I was getting pumped with drugs for pain and finding no comfort from the narcotics, the doctor ordered a stronger dosage and I was all for trying them…now I still didn’t know I was pregnant, let me backtrack a little…I had gone in for routine blood work prior to surgery….everything checked out so they scheduled me in, this was to remove the broken metal rod that was holding me together…..the doctors decided that the rod had done its job so it could be safely removed since it was broken and could cause other issues if it happened to shift. I had also just had your brother Derrick and it was considered a good time to do it since he was already walking and I wouldn’t have to struggle too much with trying to carry him. So there I went, had surgery and was sent home to recover, but once home a few weeks later something just didn’t seem right…so I scheduled a doctors appointment…that is when I found out I was pregnant….now let me tell you…I’m one of those special individuals that doesn’t have a body that does things right…like send out the normal alerts to indicate pregnancy, no morning sickness, periods didn’t stop, initial weight loss instead of weight gain….so at this point I am still under the strain of recovering from back surgery, so my immediate thought is to stop taking any type of drugs, but surprisingly the doctors assure me that it is okay to take them….I simply refused…all those classes about the dangers of drugs while pregnant scared the shit out of me…so I refused them all…it wasn’t easy, the pain was unbearable, then post-partum depression set in from your brother, then a little family situation came up where I ended up having to foster a couple of the cousins (cousins you don’t remember or have any contact with) so now I had Bert,  Derrick, and a baby and toddler, these poor kids had shitty parents and if we didn’t take them in they would have ended up elsewhere, I was ill-equipped to cope with all that and it was thrust upon me where I didn’t even have the mental energy to protest….so there I was with all of this on my plate and as if that wasn’t enough I developed severe anemia….that was the worst, I had to drive in to Wichita every other day for iron IV treatments….Wichita was 45 minutes away, some days I had all 3 kids with me (Bert was in school) I would leave with 2 hours to get there because I would have to stop on the side of the road to take a nap at least 2-3 times each way….crying kids strapped in their car seats didn’t wake me up…and where was your dad in all of this? Not around, either working or sleeping…so yeah those were some very hard months, but I did what I needed to do to ensure you were as healthy as possible, you robbed me of all the iron my body produced and I had to get my reserves pumped in thru my veins…you should’ve seen my arms…I looked like a junkie….then the idiot nurses would screw up and at one point it got bad when I ended up with an infection…anywho I survived all that and so did you….you were a fighter, and I hope you continue to be….I’ve fought for all of you from before you guys were even born….and then after when your dad decided that he would fight me after in a divorce and custody battle…that’s when the gloves came off…I was willing to let him take the house, vehicles, everything in the house, but when he said he would go after you guys…well I lost my shit….I fought for you guys…the sad thing was that was not much of a fight….he was all talk…in the end he just gave up…I lost all respect for him as a man at that point….and saw him for the weak person he had always been. I do hope that you guys do inherit my strong spirit…I’ve fought my battles when it mattered. So on this day when I am here alone without you for the first time ever on your birthday…I’m gonna spend the day looking at old pictures, cleaning, doing laundry and just keeping busy to not be crying and missing you. Love you MORE and can’t wait to see you next month..

thMNH8ROFE

My baby tater!

My baby tater!

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