Sunday, November 27, 2011

My family visits Charleston!

Have I told you lately how much I love my family? I really, really REALLY love my family. The kind of love that makes you feel like you got punched in the stomach. The kind of love that makes you cry when you’re not sad.

I really, really love my family. And I was the HAPPIEST girl when they were here visiting last week.

Mom, Dad and Mary hopped in the RV and drove to Charleston on Saturday 11/19. They arrived early Sunday afternoon, hung out with us for a bit, and then Mom & Dad headed to their campground on James Island to set up for the night. Mary set up camp on our couch and got to know her doggie nephew, Charlie :)

Sisters!! First time seeing each other in 6 MONTHS!

We met my parents in Downtown Charleston for dinner Sunday night and feasted on Hush Puppies and seafood at Hymans. After dinner my parents went back to the campground and Mary, Rob and I headed back to our apartment.

Rob and Mary waiting in line at Hyman’s 11/20/11.

Mom & Dad being silly at Hyman’s.

Hyman’s 11/20/11.

Rob worked Monday and my parents picked me, Mary and Charlie up for the day. We hung out at their campsite and fussed over Charlie eating every stupid acorn he could find (edit: which turned out to be a phase, thank GOD). Rob arrived around dinner time and Dad grilled some burgers and hot dogs. We roasted marshmallows and enjoyed the campfire for a while before we headed home for the evening.

MaryMoo and CharlieRoo in Mom & Dad’s motorhome!

At Mom & Dad’s campsite 11/21/11.

At Mom & Dad’s campsite 11/21/11.

My parents did some touristy stuff in Charleston on Tuesday while Mary and I had some sister time. We went to lunch with Alyson and shopped in Mt. Pleasant. Rob and I took Mary to Sonic for dinner and she LOVED her burger just as much as we thought she would. Sonic really is amazing, you know.

Mary enjoying her burger at Sonic 11/22/11.

On Wednesday my parents packed up their RV, checked out of the campground, and checked IN to the rental apartment in our apartment community. It was really nice to have them right next door for the last few days of their stay. We lounged around on Wednesday and then Rob and I took my fam to Magnolias for dinner. It was DELICIOUS (again) and Mom, Dad & Mar really liked their meals. The night ended on a bit of a sour note as I experienced ANOTHER allergic reaction (still not sure what I’m allergic to) and passed out in a Benadryll induced coma around 8PM.

Dinner at Magnolias 11/23/11.

Dinner at Magnolias 11/23/11.

I woke up feeling fine on Thanksgiving morning and popped all 22LBS of my FIRST EVER Thanksgiving turkey into the oven. I cooked for most of the day and just enjoyed having my family around for the holiday. I made mashed potatoes, butternut squash, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, apple pie, cranberry almond bars, and other little treats. The turkey was cooked to perfection and dinner was delicious. My first Thanksgiving was a success! I’m very proud, if you couldn’t tell already… :) We all ate WAY too much, and settled in to watch Elf - our Thanksgiving night tradition.

My first Thanksgiving meal!

Our first Thanksgiving as a married couple :)

Mary and I woke up at 4:30AM on Black Friday to go shopping. We headed to the Tanger Outlets in North Charleston and scored some AWESOME deals. It was fun to get into the Christmas spirit with my sissy :) We got home around 9AM and Mary packed up her things. Mom, Dad, Rob and I drove her to the airport for her 12PM flight.

Sisters on Black Friday morning. 

After we dropped Mary off Mom, Dad, Rob and I went out to lunch and went to Ft. Sumter for a tour. It was a gorgeous day and we enjoyed the ferry ride and history at the fort. We ate leftovers for dinner and lounged on our porch for the rest of the night.

Mom, Dad & Rob at Ft. Sumter 11/25/11.

Mom and Dad packed checked out of the apartment, packed up the RV and left early Saturday morning. I moped around the house and sobbed for a while (half joking here) and then Rob and I spent the remainder of our Thanksgiving weekend eating leftovers and starting our Christmas decorating :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

I'm stronger than I think I am.

It’s official. I had my first ohmygod-I’m-all-alone Navy wife moment. That’s the only way I can really explain it. Sheer panic, nerves, tears… and my husband was out of reach.

Everything is fine. We’re all healthy and we’re all safe. But this was definitely a learning experience for me. The whole reason we’re in Charleston this year is for Nuclear Power School and Submarine training. But you know what? I actually think this is more like military wife training. Easing me into what life will really be like a year from now, when we will undoubtedly face our first deployment.

Honestly, we’ve been really blessed so far. Rob has been putting in really long hours at school but we still have evenings and weekends together. We’re a Navy family now. We talk about jobs, ranks, and bases almost daily. Even the dreaded word DEPLOYMENT comes up in conversation a few times a week. My heart aches, but I’m ok right now. It’s just part of the new normal.

Rob spends about 13 hours a day on base. No big deal. I work from home, take care of the house, and talk babytalk to Charlie all day. However – when Rob IS at school  (a super top-secret facility on base) he’s not allowed access to ANY electronic devices.. no phones, no computers. So, when his poor lonely Navy wife has an emergency,  she’s stuck to deal with it all by herself… Just like she will be when he’s 10,000 leagues under the sea (only half joking there…. submarine cruising depths are “privileged” information that even wives don’t get to know).

Something big happened, and I couldn’t call him. I couldn’t call my best friend for reassurance. My husband, my rock, my everything… out of reach. So who did I call instead? My mom, obviously. From 1,000 miles away my Mama calmed me down, talked me through my anxiety, and gave me strength. Even from 1,000 miles away, she knew what I needed.  She told me to call Alyson. She doesn’t even know Alyson, but she knew I needed her.

My Mom, sister, and Aly helped me get through a nightmarish day without my husband. By the time Rob walked through the door in his Khakis that evening, I was ok. I had red, puffy eyes.. but I handled the day.

I’m not alone here. Even when Rob is out of reach, I’m not alone. This is the first time I’ve admitted that, and it feels good. All part of this Navy wife training I’ve committed to, I guess.

I’m stronger than I think I am, and “Even on my weakest days, I get a little bit stronger” –Sara Evans

More about Alyson later…


(Thank you Mama, I love you).

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I don’t consider myself a cynic. In fact, I’m a glass-half-full kinda girl. I try to find the positive in everything.. but for some reason I was completely AGAINST forming any attachment to Charleston when we first arrived here.. including getting attached to friends. I had such a hard time leaving Boston friends behind that I just decided I wouldn’t bother making friends here. Why make friends when you just have to leave them? Leaving is hard. The less attachment I have to this place, the easier it will be to leave.

I have so many wonderful people in my life. Sometimes I wonder how I got so blessed. Why would I need any extra friends here in Charleston? I’m blessed and I have everything I need. I mean, I have the most incredible husband in the world. I have amazing, supportive parents. My sister is my best friend. My Grandparents are DEFINITELY better than yours. My Aunties are like my other Mom’s, and my cousins are more like sisters and brothers to me than cousins. My cousin Jamie is my other half. Rob’s family has become my own, too. I love them more than I could have ever imagined I would.

My college roommates are some of the most amazing girls I’ve ever met. Amanda, my MOH and twin. Lauren, the one who texts me EVERY Wednesday night for our remote Law&Order SVU “date”, Chelsey.. one of the most supportive, positive people I’ve ever met. Meg, my first roommate and one of my biggest fans (I love you). And Brittany, one of my best friends in the world and one of the people I would honestly do ANYTHING for.

Other college friends too: Rob Littleton (who’s marrying Brittany – could that BE any more perfect?). Christopher, Kendyll, Joe and Jordan –four people I gave my heart to within the first week of life at EC.. four people I still couldn’t live without.

Ali Nigro –a friend-of-a-friend who turned into a best friend. One of the most important people in my life… and the person who reminds me most often that she loves me (Thank you, Ali).

Plymouth friends, our wedding party, Jackie & Sethmo, PKT brothers, and my Bay State Fam. 

With all of those amazing people, why would I need more?

Well, it turns out I get attached to things pretty easily. And that’s ok. I love Charleston, I love my little house, and I love my friends here. And it’s all worth it – even if it will hurt when we leave