Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Late for a very important date.

Being on time has really never been my strong suit. I will blame this on my never on time father. I swear that man will be late to his own funeral BUT also like him he will look fantastic when he arrives with his clothes all pressed and he will bring gifts for everyone. I know that sounds morbid but don't look at that way. The meaning behind it is simply this...when we do things whether late or not we go the full mile. We are thoughtful in our plannings and we always think of others. Does any of this have to do with what I will be posting about tonight? Hardly but it's just my way of saying "Prepare yourself because Im about to throw a full month's worth of info in your face!" all ties together. I may not have updated in awhile but tonight I will be bringing you probably more information than you really need or want. That is what my pops would do. We cover all our bases and them some. It's a blessing sometimes to be late. At least that is the excuse I will be using for my lack of keeping up with this. Now for the hard part...getting my brain to retract everything that has happened since the last time I posted without leaving anything out. Whew...
So, today we sit at 22 days left before PIR and let me tell you I cannot wait until that day comes. The garage door opens, you see the sailors feet as they begin walking towards you, your heart sinks as you wait for your what used to be called SR or Sailor Recruit now Sailor in his or her pressed white uniform. I can't say whether I will even notice Blaine when that day comes. I can only imagine how much more weight he has lost or how much he has beefed up. He told me in his letters that he has passed all of his PT test to date except for his sit up test. I don't know if he has passed that since he last wrote or not but I can pretty much say that he did. In his last letter he wrote that they did an 8 minute run and that it was a piece of cake; that compared to his 1st letter of hardly finishing on time at under 12 minutes I think it is safe to say he probably had no problem with it. He also has mentioned that he still holds his position as Main Yeoman and has been getting up at 0430 every morning. His division finally won their first flag with only 5 more to earn. It's been a rough ride for their division. A lot of young kids who don't want to listen and do what they are told. (That probably would have been me.) I've been sending him encouraging letters telling him it is very important that he try to keep everyone on target and focused since he is someone older in the group and because he holds a leadership position.

He got the chance to call last week and we talked for about 10 minutes. He was very emotional on the phone and seemed very down but since then his letters have been more uplifting. I think he needed to hear our voices and just needed to know that we were behind him. For some reason it takes them far longer to receive our mail than it does for us to receive theirs. Of course they do have to train the recruit who handles the mail but still it seems it would be the other way around. I received several before he received mine and each one was asking more and more if we had forgotten about him. Poor guy. When he did receive the big package I sent him the 1st letter back to me said, "Oh my God Woman, thank you for my package!" We have joked off and on throughout our letters and I try to make it very light conversation for him. It's important to not say anything too negative but to also not leave him out of things completely.

Most of the letters we have received have been about the daily grind. PT, studying, and such. He did get his wisdom teeth taken out and said the dentist was very nice to let him listen to music because he was so nervous and he also got that hole in his front tooth fixed. He said he keeps looking at it and there is no trace of it at all. Says it is soo strange for it to just be gone!  I know that is huge for him. He hated that hole and probably feels like a completely different person. He got a few days of rest although he hated to be confined to his bunk due to the surgeries and then he was granted another day or so because he came down with a nasty blister on his foot. After that day they let him wear tennis shoes for a few days and he was THRILLED about that! But it was short lived as it always is. It's a tough life those kids or in his case grandpa's live in BC. (Grandpa is what everyone calls him.)

The last bit of info I have is pretty puzzling to me right now. His A school was scheduled to be 8 weeks and has now been moved to 9 weeks and he has been granted what they call RAP which basically means he can work at the recruiters office instead of taking all vacation time when he is home. So, that is 5 days that he will get to save for a later time. The kicker to this whole thing is we both were under the impression that we wouldn't be finding out where we would be going until about 1/2 way through his A school BUT now he is saying that he should be getting this info in the next 2 weeks. I am very nervous about that because before we were under the impression that he would have to fight or compete for where he wants to go and it doesn't seem that is the case. It will be interesting to see how quickly Dillan and I need to pack up our stuff and head to our new home. That is all the information I have for that so I will keep everyone up to date when I know more.

Overall, I think he is really enjoying his time. He is missing home, wishing he could hug and kiss everyone and yet making friends that can last a lifetime, learning things about himself he never even dreamed he had in him and staying focused on making a better life for us all. I can't even begin to explain the pride I have for him right now and neither can Dillan. She has such great things to say about her daddy and she is counting down the days to him coming home. Just tonight, she took his letters, unfolded them and read aloud what she invisioned they said. It was the cutest thing and her daddy would be so proud to see that she is so proud of HIM!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

1 week down.

I know, I know! I haven't been the best at updating this for everyone. For that I apologize BUT in my defense I have been extremely busy getting accustomed to everything. It's not easy going from 2 parents in the house with 2 grandparents to just 1 parent and 2 grandparents, although it sounds like it would be it isn't. The grandparents are really just there in time of need and well basically they are your roommates as well. Not having Blaine around has been a lot harder than I anticipated it to be. Not that I mean that in a bad way but it's just like the old saying of, "You don't realize what you are missing until it's gone." I don't think I realized really how much we relied on each other until it was just me doing it all. And by all I really do mean it all. Not just things with Dillan but taking care of all the bills, living not knowing what will come the next day. It's tough! Blaine is up there doing his part to make sure we have a secured future so it would only be right if I was working just as hard here to do the same. I received his "box" a week ago today. The box for those that don't know is simply a box with his civilian clothing and anything else other than his ID. Most wives/girlfriends/parents who receive this get really upset and granted I had a tear flowing, it was really more of a sign to me that the ball really is rolling. Granted it had been for a few days at that point but the thing is you go through these series of steps that put you closer to the finish line and this was the first step. It was like I could finally put a check mark on something to get the list moving along.  I also received what they call his "form letter". In a nut shell, the form letter is telling you his address and his PIR or graduation date. it's a BIG check mark. The whole time going into this process you are sitting waiting for the date to be given so that you can make arrangements to attend this event and when it comes it's an awesome feeling! Blaine did get the chance to write a few lines to us at the end of it all. He was very formal in his whole thing where as some SR (Sailor Recruits) were addressing it to Mom or Dad and writing funny things. Blaine addressed it to my formal name and kept it very professional with his wording. Asking for tasteful pictures and letters. He of course said he misses and loves everyone. I like that he kept it formal. Some may have taken this as impersonal but not me. It meant to me that he is serious. That he is really staying on task. That's important at this stage and I am so proud that he is able to find this for himself. I am not having to push him anymore. He is just there. He is doing it all on his own and for that all I can say is the love for him just grows deeper and deeper. What a wonderful husband I have!  I wish I had more information for everyone as far as what he is doing but unfortunately I don't. I hope to hear from him very soon but know it will probably be another week. I have been keeping my phone on me at all times. Shower, bathroom, at name it!  You never know when that phone call may come.  Dillan and I have had our rough days but mostly we are doing just fine. Keeping our eyes on the prize and working our hardest to stay strong for him.  The day he left was incredibly hard and the following days were up and down. I still have moments as she does when she gets upset and says that she misses her daddy. She is having trouble sleeping this week and I would imagine that contributes to it. But...we are sticking together and I know he will be proud to hear that as well.  6 more weeks and we will get to see him! Cannot wait!!  I have met a lot of people online that are in his same ship and division (building and squad) so it's good having them to talk to and relate to and we have received an overwhelming amount of calls and messages from people just checking up on us. The support system is key!! I promise once I get more information I will gladly inform everyone but for now my only advice if you would like to know what he may be doing is to get on google and research it because Im honestly not sure.  Thanks for all the love!! Blaine will be so happy to hear that everyone is rooting for all 3 of us!! xo

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Update overload

I'm sorry I havent updated this in a week. I have been so stinking busy trying to get everything settled. Tonight when the little goes to bed, I will make a point to update on everything. Until then...if you are interested in sending SR McDaniel a letter, I have received his address and you can email m directly through this or comment or facebook or call. Whatever social media/technology of your liking and I will be happy to give it to you. Week 1 has been completed!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Issues with this blog...

Just a quick note that will be deleted after a few days...
If you wish to comment on this page you will be required to be a member and follow the blog. It has come to my attention that some are having trouble commenting on here. Furthermore, you will also be required to do a word verification. If you have cookies or captcha disabled on your computer then you probably will not be able to do a comment so please let me know if you are still having issues doing this. Thanks!

5 days til Leave

For the past 2 weeks Blaine and I have been incredibly busy tying up loose knots and getting everything taken care of before he leaves. We have officially moved out of our humble abode in Dallas and are now unpacking part of life at my parents house while the rest of our life is in a POD somewhere in a wharehouse. With his leave date approaching soon, he has been working out each evening and going to meeting after meeting. Tomorrow will be his last "Dep" meeting then he will work his last two days at his part time gig at Pizza Hut. On Sunday, he will be meeting up at the recruiter's office at 1630 hours (430pm) to then go to the hotel that he will be staying at for the evening. Previously, we were told he would not be able to leave the hotel for any reason and that people could come visit him in the waiting room however this time around he is able to leave but must be back before 2200 hours (10 pm). I believe there is a family dinner in the works this day so if you are interested please let me or him know. The next morning (Monday) he will be headed to the MEPS and this is when he will get his plane ticket, do his final swear in and continue to "Hurry up and wait". The time that everyone needs to be at the MEPS if you would like to say your goodbye on that day and/or see him do his swear in is no later than 8am. As far as when he will fly out is still up in the air so I do not have any further information for those that would like to see him off at the airport. Please also be advised that depending on the time that he leaves will obviously depend on the time of arrival to Great Lakes so I do not have the information on when I will receive a phone call for this as of yet either. If you are a direct family member, I encourage you to sign up for where you can get updated information on his division directly as well as a lot of great information on his career. I will be receiving updates via this website from other parents and wives as well as another site from inside the bootcamp process. The time is finally here...what a crazy ride this has been and it's about to become even more of a rollercoaster.

In other news, we have been preparing Dillan for this process as well. We purchased her a Build a Bear that she named "Daddy" and he is wearing a sailor suit. Blaine also recording his own message to Dill so that she can still hear his voice. We also have been doing some Navy themed coloring pages b/c it's no surprise how much that child loves art and that is helping the transitions. We did sit down and explain everything to her last week and it went decently well. I think this is going to be a tough road for her. She is already showing signs of  pushing him away so please keep us all in your thoughts and prayers as we try to adjust to this new lifestyle. Love to all!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Meet and Greet

When we first started this journey we told the recruiter that Blaine wanted to leave ASAP. She told us that she didn't want to rush the process because there was so much involved but we were so sick of waiting that we just wanted to get it finalized. Little did we know that she was right. Blaine leaves in 37 days and we have A LOT to do. We had no idea that he would need to attend meeting after meeting, check in every few days and put in a request to go out of town. Not that any of that bothers us but man what a process. 
Here is a listing for all who want the information on what the schedule looks like so far. In bold are the ones that you may be interesting in attending. If you are I NEED TO KNOW!

*Every Monday- Meet with his recruiter to make sure he is studying and learning his commands.
*July 6th- Dep Meeting as they call it. He has to do this at the beginning of each month and is required to attend 2 of them before shipping. It's basically just a meeting with the entire office and all the recruits.
*July 7th- Another formal meeting to go over more commands.
*July 9th- Meeting with the commanding officer for him and family members. Basically, a meeting for all family to get all the information they need regarding where he will be and what will be going on with him while he is gone. Unfortunately, this is only for him and I.
*July 22nd- Another Dep meeting.
*July 23rd- Dillan's Early Birthday party since he leaves 3 days before from 2-4 then his going away party at 9pm at Bryan Street Tavern. 
*July 30th- Moving out of our lovely home so we can save money for our BIG move.
*August 1st- His 7 day meeting with the officers and his 1st drug test of many over the next week and another Monday meeting.
*August 7th- He meets at the recruiting office to do another drug test, finalize all paperwork and leave for the hotel. He will also be going to MEPS again this day to do ANOTHER drug test and to do his OFFICIAL swear in. Family is welcome to this. I do not have a time for this yet however I do know it will be around 8am. From there he will go to the hotel. Family is also welcome to come up and see him at the hotel but he is not able to leave for any reason.
*August 8th- He hops on a bus and they take him to DFW Airport. Family is welcome to meet him there and sit with him until he leaves.
*August 9th- He will be arriving in Chicago/Great Lakes very late. He will call me when he gets there to let me know he has arrived.He will then take yet ANOTHER drug test.
*2 days later- His recruiter will be contacting me with his address. I will then update this for everyone so if you wish to write him you can. (Keep in mind...he is only able to send out mail on Sundays so every time you receive a piece of mail from him it will be a week behind.)

Dates of happenings at this point are up in the air. All will depend on how he does and the Navy's schedule. If anyone is interested in attending his graduation which will be approximately the 1st or 2nd week of October please let me know. Once I am given the date of this I will HAVE to book my flight and hotel immediately. There are 80 people in each division and about 10 divisions that will be graduating that day. Many times family members have waited and not been able to find a hotel. I need to know NOW if you are even contemplating the idea of coming to this. I am only allowed a specific amount of vehicles and people. First come, first serve!!
After his boot camp he will be stationed in Great Lakes for his "A" school. This school is 8 weeks long. About mid way through his school he will be given where he is going. There will be a board with the options when he arrives at "A" school and he will be competing for each spot. His grades and performance will ensure he gets the location he chooses. He will receive a short break after school (5-14 days to come home). This will more than likely be around Christmas time. At this time we will be making plans for our move. More than likely the move will be one of the following areas...
Florida, California, Virginia, Hawaii or Japan. Start making plans and saving that money folks...vacation spot here we come!!!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Follow the yellow brick road

"All good things come to those who wait"...a phrase people have lived by for thousands of years. Also a phrase that proven to be quite true in our instance. A long time ago, Blaine committed himself to becoming a soldier in the military, following his father and his great grandfather's footsteps. After several years of trying to make it "on the outside" as they call it it became clear that this was a dream he needed to fulfill. After 2 maybe 3 years and 70lbs lost...he managed to make that dream come true. This blog is dedicated to this journey. Allowing you to follow each step of the way. Stay in touch with him and get updated information about OUR new lifestyle. Blaine will be updating this through letters to me when he does not have access to a computer and will be able to go on here and see all of your loving words and support so please offer that often. I will be doing my first update tomorrow on all that we are doing to get him prepared for this. Stay tuned!