Saturday, August 28, 2010

It's Baby Time - 1st Trimester is Complete

Well, as many of you know already, Joe and I have a little side project we've got in the works, making it's debut on or about February 26th next year. We are super-excited, scared, anxious, etc. about this, and can't wait to meet our little one! We found out on Father's Day weekend. Thankfully, I had a fairly easy first trimester - no morning sickness (hallelujah!), just some serious fatigue and a little nauseousness. I had an ultrasound a couple weeks ago, and there is definitely a baby with a heartbeat (162 bpm) in there. Here is a picture of our little bambino at about 10 weeks (I'm currently 14 weeks - baby is about the size of a navel orange). In the picture, it's face-up, with it's head near the bottom right, and feet near the top left. I'm pretty sure he or she was asleep during the ultrasound - fingers crossed that Baby D is a good sleeper on the outside of the womb.

Update on Joe - he is almost done with JASOC!!!! I am SO done with the "single life" and can't wait for him to get home. Thankfully, there is less then 2 weeks until graduation. He's been in Washington D.C. this week - I'm hoping he took some pictures that I can post later, but I'm seriously doubting that. He went to the Pentagon, the Supreme Court, a couple of military appeals courts where they all got sworn in, and ate some fancy dinners. They got to meet the TJAG (the top dog) and some other really important military people (maybe he can post some details about the trip later, since I'm not really sure about all the specifics).

Another big update is that he broke his foot about 2 weeks ago. I wish it was doing something exciting, but he just stepped on it wrong playing basketball. If you know Joe, you know how important physical fitness is to him, so it's killing him to be unable to train and run like normal. The cast is scheduled to come off in mid-September, but he will be on limited physical activity through at least mid-October. :(

I am extremely excited for the fall to get here. The weather should cool off nicely, and we will start getting visitors again. We love visits from family and friends!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Back in Sweet (Temporary) Home Alabama

Just thought I'd give a brief update on what's going on with us. Joe is back in Alabama at Maxwell AFB for JASOC ("Jay-sock"), which stands for Judge Advocate Staff Officer Course. Unlike Officer Training School, he has a lot more freedom. Essentially, he's in classes all day learning military lawyer "stuff." ;) Also, since he is staying in a hotel room on base (and not some cramped dorm room with a roomie), I can go visit him, which we are both excited about! He started the course on July 12, and will graduate (hopefully) September 10.

In order to broaden their knowledge of other types of bases in the air force, as well as other JAG offices, his JAG class took a bus down to the exotic Florida panhandle to spend time with operational units at Eglin and Hurlburt. This was nice, as he was able to stay at home with me for the few days they were here.

Before he left, we had a fairly constant flow of visitors staying with us (which we don't mind). It's great that so many people want to see us, and I'm sure their visits have nothing to do with where we live at all. ;) I'm hoping all the visits continue, especially since they think our impact from oil will be minimal from this point forward.

We did get a chance to take a small trip at the end of June to Disney World. It was wonderful, even if it was a little hot and crowded. I think Joe had a great time as well - we went to all 4 main parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studies, and Animal Kingdom). My favorite is Epcot, because I'm a nerdy adult, and probably my least fave was Animal Kingdom, but I think that had more to do with it being unbearably hot and crowded. I hope to give it another chance when the weather is better.

Hopefully we'll have more to report next time. I'm taking a trip back to Louisville next month, which I'm really excited about. Let me know if you want to schedule a visit!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Feeling a Little Oily

So, the oil spill has arrived on Navarre Beach in the form of tar balls. Thankfully, the beaches are still open and people are still allowed in the water. The tar balls haven't been that big so far - anywhere from the size of a pencil eraser to about the size of a golf ball. They seem to come in with the tide some mornings, but not others. To the right is a pretty ironic picture from a BP gas station that I "borrowed" from someone else.

Joe and I had a very nice weekend. On Saturday we went kayaking with our friend John in the Santa Rosa Sound. We will probably be spending more time in the Sound in the coming months since it will be more difficult for the oil to get in those waters. The sound only connects with the gulf in 2 places, Pensacola and Destin, and those passes have been boomed off. On Saturday the 3 of us also decided to run the Billy Bowlegs "Midnight" 5K. The race actually started at 10:30 pm, and it was extremely humid. That was my first, and probably last, late night run. :) The Billy Bowlegs Festival is a very popular pirate festival in Fort Walton Beach. And yes, there were numerous people dressed up as pirates! Maybe that will be us next year...........;)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The best job in the world

I just want to talk about why the military is a great place for lawyers. For starters, its probably the only job an attorney can get where he/she is paid to exercise. Seriously, some people hate physical training, but I love it. The only other kind of profession like it is professional sports. I show up to work pump iron and then hit the books, and its all part of my job. It's great. I guess police work, FBI, state troopers, etc. are the same, but in the realm of legal jobs this is great.

Second thing, boredom does not exist. Someone explained to me that you never get stuck doing the same thing over and over. It is true. I've done a lot of different things. I've appeared in 2 summary court martials. I've done 2 direct exams and given 2 closing arguments. I've done legal aid and motion practice. It's diverse to say the least. However, I am feeling slightly out of my league as a lawyer. Everyone here is very smart and they are very good lawyers. I sometimes struggle with doing silly L-T things.

Third, the people are great. The USAF attracts very adventurous people. I love it. I am channeling my inner wild. Becky has continually reminded me that we can't buy a 4x4 Jeep, a kayak, a motorcycle, etc. I was thinking about telling her how cool it would be to have a deep sea fishing boat, but I know where that would get me. Besides, the oil is going to crush all fishing here anyways. The sense of adventure is great. You relearn how to have fun in the military.

The last thing I am going to cover is the dress. The ABU's rock. They are comfortable and you do not have a tie on. Don't get me wrong, I love ties. However, ties get dingy and sometimes they stifle you, especially when you are in a sticky situation. ABU's are open collar, they are loose fitting, and the material softens over time. They are great.

Well, that does it for me today. Feel free to post here. If you are searching for information about JAG life, visit the OTS Portal JAG forum (if you haven't already). You can learn everything you need to know. Later!


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Good Times in the Sunshine State

We are having a wonderful time in our new home! Since my last post, we have moved into our house and have already had our first set of visitors. Our furniture was delivered on May 3rd, and thankfully everything made the trip from Louisville to Navarre. We only had 2 "casualties" - a small glass and the flat screen TV from our bedroom. We wanted a new TV for our bedroom anyway, so we weren't too sad. Although, why did the movers think it was okay to pack a small flat screen in a box full of books?!?

I do have some exciting news - I got a job!! I am the new part-time bookkeeper at the thrift shop on base. The thrift shop is run by the Hurlburt Spouse's Club, and I have also taken a volunteer position as Secretary on the HSC board. So far, I've been keeping myself busy.

Joe is still loving his job. He really is excited about all that he's doing in the legal office. Hopefully this continues! He is gearing up to head to more training next month in Montgomery, AL. This will be a 9 week course, but I should be able to visit him unlike Officer Training School. Thankfully, Montgomery is only about 3 hours from our house, so he will be able to come home some weekends as well.

Joe's mom & step-dad came down and stayed with us about a week and a half ago, and my mom and step-dad just left yesterday. It was so great to have some familiar faces stay with us. We won't have much time to ourselves, as my sister and brother-in-law will be here next week! I'm really glad we are getting so many visitors - we still have some openings this summer, so just let me know when you want to visit. :D

Joe and I have both already had our first (and hopefully last) Florida sunburns. Tidbit to remember when you are down here - reapply, reapply, REAPPLY!!

Here is a picture I took from beautiful Navarre Beach.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Better Late Than Never............Right?

Sorry it's been awhile since I last posted. :) Things have been just a little hectic over the past month, but I have a lot to report. Joe graduated from Commissioned Officer Training on April 9th!! I am so proud of him. Here is a picture of him in his dress blues - doesn't he look so handsome? I'm one lucky girl! :) He ended up doing really well both physically and academically. On his final PT test, he scored a 97.5 (out of 100). He was 3 seconds away from getting a perfect score on the run (and scoring 100% on the test). He got full marks on waist circumference, push-ups, and sit-ups. I think he did amazing, but of course, being the perfectionist that he is, he was disappointed that he missed out on a perfect score.

Here is a picture of us at the Dining Out the night before graduation. Dining Out is essentially a military formal, and was a lot of fun. Joe is wearing his "mess dress" in the picture. Wikipedia (as usual) does a good job explaining the military Dining Out here. The day following the Dining Out was graduation day. My mom, step-dad, and sister were also in attendance for the festivities (miss you guys!). There was a ceremony where various awards were given out, followed by a reception, then the graduation parade. Unfortunately, my camera stopped working, so I only have one picture of Joe and my step-dad Jim right before the ceremony.

As soon as graduation was over, Joe and I were on the road to our new home - Hurlburt Field! We love Florida so far, and I will post another update in a couple days of all that's gone on in the past week & a half. (Promise!) I'm hoping to get Joe on here to post some of his thoughts on OTS and his first (almost) 2 months in the USAF. God Bless!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Officer Training School: 1 Week Down, 4 More to Go

I did get a chance to talk with Joe a bit more this weekend. He sounds tired and a little overwhelmed with the amount of work, but says that he is learning tons. Above is a picture of the OTS sign at Maxwell AFB. He described to me their typical day, which lasts around 18 hours. They rise at about 4:30 AM, march off to Physical Training (PT), return to the dorms for a shower, march to the cafeteria for breakfast, spend 4 hours in class or training, lunch, 5 more hours of class or training, dinner, and so on until about 9:00 pm. Then there is homework, laundry, tending to their uniforms, etc.

He told me that almost all the meals are "tight" meals. This means they must eat at the modified position of attention, and be completely silent. Apparently, he has developed the reputation for being the quickest eater in the class (I'm so proud!) They only get 5 minutes or so to eat, and the only items that must be finished are 3 full glasses of water. I'm not sure I could finish 3 glasses of water in 5 minutes, let alone eat a full meal. I'm glad Joe's speed-eating has come in handy for something other than being the first to get a second helping at home. :) He did say that the food is not good, so maybe it's a positive thing he has to shovel it in quick, as he doesn't get a chance to "savor" the taste.

Joe did also explain a little more about the structure of COT. His OTS Class, Commissioned Officer Training (COT) 10-03 (third class of 2010), is divided into Flights (15 people) and given a designation based on the NATO Phonetic Alphabet: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliet, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, X-Ray, Yankee, Zulu. He is in the Juliet Flight, and I'm not sure what their mascot is (if they have one).

COT is composed of medical professionals, attorneys (JAG Corps), and chaplains. The medical professionals consist of: Medical Service Corps (MSC) MBAs or Masters in Finance who are the hospital administrators, Nurse Corps (NC), and Biomedical Service Corps (BSC) who are the MDs, DOs, PhDs, DPharms that are medical practitioners. Joe's Flight has two JAGs, including himself. The other JAG happens to be his roommate.

Many in his COT Class were civilians that were directly commissioned as officers due to advanced education/experience, but there are a fair number that were prior-enlisted before receiving their commission. He says that the prior-enlisted are an invaluable resource, as they provide guidance in terms of learning to adapt to the Air Force culture. Below is a picture he sent me last night - he doesn't look miserable, right?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

1st LT Joe in His Uniform

Check Joe out! Doesn't he look nice in his ABU? I hope to post a picture of him in his dress blues soon. He said things are going well, just staying extremely busy. He did get an "excellent" rating on his initial PT test yesterday!! I knew he wouldn't have any problem with the physical aspect of training. :) I'm hoping to get more of an update from him this weekend.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Joe's First Day

I was able to talk to Joe last night briefly, and he seems to be doing well. He said he was "corrected" a few times already, once for calling a female training instructor "sir" instead of "ma'am" (oops!!). It's hard to imagine someone else yelling at him (just kidding!)

Today will be his first official day at training and this morning they are supposed to do the Crossing of the Blue Line, which you can check out on a video here. The video also gives other info on Commissioned Officer Training.

Keep Joe in your prayers as he is going to be worn out with a lot of things to learn in the next week especially. I hope to be able to talk to him more this weekend about his experiences and post a picture of him in his uniform.

Monday, March 8, 2010

So the Adventure Begins

Well, Joe is off to Maxwell AFB for the next 4 & 1/2 weeks at COT. I'm going to miss him terribly, but I know the weeks will fly by until we are together again. I have so much to finish up here in Louisville before heading down to Florida - 2 more weeks at work, taking the GMAT, packing, and coordinating the move to name a few. (Whew!) I'm so thankful I have my family here to help me out as well.

Please keep Joe in your prayers, as this whole experience is brand new to him. He appreciates all your kind words and thoughts more then you can know. I plan on posting updates on his "adventure" fairly regularly. Maybe he'll get a chance to post something (probably not, but maybe).

Before he left, he did ask me to give him a military haircut. I hope this is acceptable and in "regs", but it's a good thing I've been cutting his hair now for the past 10+ years so I wasn't too nervous. He asked me to cut it a little shorter then required, but he still wanted some length on the top. What do you think? It will take some getting used to, that's for sure! I still think he's so handsome! :)

I guess that's all for now. I'll post an update soon with his reaction to the first couple days of training. God Bless!

P.S. - Congrats to the Locketts on the birth of baby Jack!! He is so precious and Joe & I are both thrilled to have a new little nephew to love on. Can't wait to visit!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

COT Starts in 2 days

I wish I knew how to post pictures because I might be able to show you what nervousness feels like. I'll have to learn that later. Anyways, its been a bit of a journey even up to now. I've failed to get my uniforms ahead of time, as recommended by everybody who has ever done this. It isn't my fault though, I drove all the way up to Wright-Patt and gave the gate guards my orders and picture ID. The guards protective instincts kicked into overdrive and they decided NOPE we will not let this guy on because we don't want to be responsible for what this 26 year old 152 pound lawyer from Kentucky in a Black Honda Civic (that is ever so slightly dirty) is gonna do when he gets on base and trys to buy clothes. Oh well, all this means is that I'm gonna get yelled at when I go to buy clothes at COT.

As far as preparedness for training, I have good news and bad news. The good news is I am in good enough shape to take care of business. The bad news is I don't know enough about drill procedures, class procedures, dining procedures, studying procedures, and saluting procedures. I may be in the same boat as most on some of this, so I won't worry too much about it. As one ALJ in Louisville Kentucky put it to me (before I left my prevous job) "It may be in two weeks or 10 years, but nobody's gonna remember or care about your screw ups. So don't stress yourself out."

In other really good news, I get to join one of the most amazing and talented group of professionals in the world. Having talked to many of them, I have come to realize that the lawyers in the military are truly an elite class unto their own. They are great people, great lawyers and great countrymen. I am excited to serve my country in this capacity as it truly is a blessing. For those of you who picked me out of a crowd of well-qualified candidates, I hope to do you all proud.

One last comment before I go, thank you to everybody who has supported us with prayer and encouragement. It has been hard to leave home again but this is a journey that we feel we were called to take. This is something we have to do. I want to give a special thanks to our parents. My father has been unexpectedly supportive of this decision, and it is appreciated. Thanks all. Hopefully Becky will get to post while I'm in training. I'll catch you up when I get out.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

2 weeks and counting......

Joe starts COT (Commissioned Officer Training) @ Maxwell AFB 2 weeks from today. (yikes!) I'm so nervous and excited for him all at the same time. I'm really going to miss him for the 5 weeks we will be apart as well. :( I'm going to need some support during that time, but I've got lots to keep me busy as I wind down at work, look for houses, pack our stuff, and hang out with friends & family. We are so excited for this new direction our lives are headed in, and thank God everyday for His many blessings.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Our Daring Adventure (as new bloggers)

Hello all!! Welcome to our blog. God has truly blessed us and we are so excited to start this blog so we can keep all of you updated on our life changes! Please keep in touch by emailing us or posting comments on this blog.