Tuesday, April 27, 2010


The Basic School

The reason we're in Quantico, VA. Everyone has been asking, so what is it that Nate's doing now? What are you doing in VA? What exactly is TBS? So here you go.

The mission of TBS is, "Train and educate newly commissioned or appointed officers in the high standards of professional knowledge, esprit-de-corps, and leadership required to prepare them for duty as company grade officers in the operating forces, with particular emphasis on the duties, responsibilities and warfighting skills required of a rifle platoon commander".

Basically OCS was a 10 week course to answer a single question, do you have what it takes to be a Marine Corps officer? Since Nate commissioned as a Second Lieutenant a month and a day ago (has it really already been that long...?) someone decided that the answer to that question was yes. So he has what it takes to be an officer, but he wasn't taught HOW to successfully do that. So that's the purpose of TBS or, as I like to call it, How to be a Marine Corps officer 101.

TBS is a 26 week course, which is approximately 6 months. Nate is in Delta Co., 2nd Platoon. The report date was today, but the start date of the 26 week training isn't until May 10th. Graduation is November 5th.

He'll be up early in the morning (between 4 and 5 am) and at TBS until around 6:30 in the evening. We won't get to see each other nearly as much as we have this past month, but it'll definitely be an improvement over OCS.

Here's the TBS website if you want to check it out, but honestly wikipedia might be more interesting. Hopefully Nate will be able to update with how training is going once he gets into it. As for now, we're spending the evening at Outback with other Delta Co. Marines to relax and take a deep breath before the insanity that is sure to follow :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010


I mentioned in my last post that Nate and I were camping. We had a great time, though it was a bit chilly. Nate and his dad had a great time turkey hunting. They didn't get anything, but were glad to spend the day with one another. Here are some pictures from our little excursion.

Nate grilling us some hamburgers for dinner Sunday night.

Marshmallow roasting

Enjoying some time together before TBS starts.

We ended up coming home Monday night instead of Tuesday afternoon. And Tuesday turned out to be a pretty interesting day, including this pretty lady running away.

Don't worry she came back, but she gave me quite the scare. Tuesday morning Nate was kindly bringing in everything from our camping trip while I worked. He was putting a good bit of the stuff out on our porch and since he was going in and out he didn't lock the screen door, unbeknowst to me. I had him stop what he was doing to run something to the post office and about 20 min. after he left I got up to see that the screen door was open just wide enough for Puma to fit through. She wasn't on the porch, she wasn't in the apartment, and I had no idea where she would go outside. She thinks she likes it outside, but she really doesn't. She usually slinks around terrified and then climbs a tree until someone finds her and brings her down. Thankfully, Nate came right home to help me look for her. We looked all around out front - in the flowerbeds, on other people's porches, in the tree - and no Puma. So Nate walked around back and I started looking in the breezeways. Apparently when Nate walked around back and spotted her she took off running. Thankfully she ran home. When I finished my search I went inside to see if Nate was there and if he'd found her. I walked in the door, looked over towards the screen door, and spotted what appeared to be a furry mass. Sure enough it was Puma crouched by the door just waiting to be let in.

I'm amazed at how often we are like my silly kitty. How often have you found yourself living in the abundance of God's will for you, yet the outside world look so appealing? It allures with promises of love, acceptance, fun, ease, and prosperity. What it doesn't show you is the pain and brokenness that lies so close to the surface. So you take one step into the world, then another, and another. Before you know it you're lost, alone, ashamed... And even when your Father comes seeking you the second you see Him coming you run the other way. You've gone too far. You're too unclean. You're too embarrassed. He'll be so disappointed. He could never forgive so much...

But, if that were true, then why did He come looking for you in the first place?

I know this has been true for me. Satan makes it look so nice, yet all he has to offer is pain. Nothing will ever be better than fellowship with the Father. It seems so obvious and yet we've all fallen into the trap. So if you ever find yourself a runway, follow the lead of my cat.

Run home. He will be waiting for you, ready to wrap you in a loving embrace. And there will be much rejoicing.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Working from Home

Everyone's been asking, "SO, how's working from home?". Well, it definitely has it's difficulties. It's hard to work when the apartment is messy. When you work in an office you leave and can forget about it until you get home. When you work at home it stares at you ALL day! So far Nate has been home for the better part of everyday, which makes it difficult to stay focused, especially when he decides to sit and watch TV. He'll be starting training soon, so that will make working a little easier. However, I think once he's gone all day it'll make working at home lonely. I think I'll have to work from Panera or Starbucks or something just to get out of the house and see other people, even if they're strangers. Also, home is no longer just home. No longer is it just my place of rest and solace. It's also work. At the end of the day rather than falling into my couch and breathing a sigh of relief that the work day is over...I still feel like I'm at work. The only time it really feels like home is on the weekends. This might also be made better when Nate starts training. Hopefully it'll feel like work when he's gone and like home when he's there.

So while working from home has its challenges, it also has its perks. I can sleep in later. I can work in my PJs. I don't have to spend time packing breakfast and lunch. I don't have to deal with traffic. And I can work from anywhere, assuming I have internet access.

Perk of Today:
Last night Nate and I drove to western MD, camped, and this morning Nate is turkey hunting and I'm working from a Panera in Hagerstown. And we're going to camp again tonight! Camping, fire, marshmallows...looking over a beautiful pond, in the mountains...on a Monday...and still being able to work and get paid! How much fun is that?!

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Saturday in DC

This past Saturday Nate and I spent the day in DC with our friend Janne. We started off the day at the Cherry Blossom Parade. I can't even remember the last parade I went to, so it was a lot of fun! Here are the highlights of the parade in pictures :)

How better to start a parade than with a beaver...

and Marines!

There were lots of marching bands, but this one from a DC high school was by far the best!

Bagpipes are sweet and should be included in all parades

Elvis and his hound!

Even Slapshot was in attendance (I took a picture just for you Brit)

After the parade festivities we got some lunch and headed over towards the Lincoln memorial for a joint services drill exhibition that Nate had heard about on the radio. On the way we stopped and admired the WWII memorial.

Nate and the Marine Corps emblem at the WWII memorial

After our brief stop at the WWII memorial we went over for the drill exhibition, which was really cool to watch. The Navy, Coast Guard, Marines, Army, and Air Force all participated. The Army won, but the Air Force put on the best show. Here's a picture of the Air Force tossing all their weapons in the air at the same time!

After the drill competition, we headed up the steps to see the Lincoln memorial. Believe it or not, I've lived in Maryland my entire life up until the last few weeks and had never seen the Lincoln memorial... It's amazing what you take for granted when it's so close.

My first time at the Lincoln Memorial!

Nate and me at the Lincoln Memorial

In addition to having never been to the Lincoln Memorial, I had never been to the Jefferson memorial. Sad I know... Since we were already in DC we decided to head that way and see what we could see. Here's what we found...

The Korean War memorial

The FDR memorial

Janne and me across the water from the Washington Memorial

We actually found the memorial commerating the giving of the cherry trees
The George Mason memorial

After being at the Cherry Blossom Festival all day we finally found a tree that still had it's blossoms at the end of the day :)

And finally, our last stop of the day, the Jefferson Memorial

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Cover

According to Nate, "The cover makes the uniform". Cover is Marine-speak for hat. But heaven forbid you actually call it a hat :) Marine cover rule #1: A cover is never worn inside. Hence, there are no pictures from the commissioning party where Nate is wearing his cover. A sad fact to him.

So, very appropriately, we had our first pictures taken outside with his cover on this weekend. On Easter. We decided that Easter is one of those holidays where you can dress up as nice as you want. You know, put on your Sunday best. So that is just what we did. Nate wore his blues and I wore the best "Easter dress" I own. As an aside, I must say it is very different being out with someone in uniform. Everyone stares at you and lots of people come up to talk to you. It will definitely take some getting used to. But, back to the cover... I find it very appropriate that our first pictures taken with Nate in his blues WITH the cover was on Easter because that's really what we're celebrating on Easter. Our covering. Our sins are covered by the blood of the Lamb and death was defeated by His resurrection. The covering Jesus offers is eternal life and a relationship with the Father through the holiness He imparts to us, if only we are willing to trust in Him.

While Nate's cover might make the uniform, the cover that Jesus offers makes life worth living. Praise the Lord and we hope ya'll had a wonderful Easter.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Thoughts on Traffic

Baltimore can't shake a stick a DC traffic. Today it took me 2 hours and 20 minutes to get from our apartment in Stafford to my work in Owings Mills (it should take 1 hour and 45 minutes). Last week, Nate took a friend to Reagan airport on Friday afternoon. According to Google maps it should take about 45 minutes. It took them at least 1.5 hours to get there and 3 hours to get home! My point? Be thankful that Baltimore traffic isn't nearly as bad as it could be :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

You Know It's Official When...

You go get your military dependent's ID. It all seems so much more real now. As if seeing my husband come home everyday in a desert camouflage utility uniform didn't do it...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Nate's a Marine!

January 15th my wonderful husband left to embark on a journey to become an officer in the United States Marine Corps. He was at Officer Candidates School (OCS) for 10 long weeks. The purpose of OCS is to "educate, train, evaluate, & screen officer candidates to ensure they possess the moral, intellectual, & physical qualities for commissioning, & the leadership potential to serve successfully as company grade officers in the Operating Forces". Basically it was 10 weeks of being yelled at, exhausted, and (thanks to all the snow) wet and cold. Here are some pictures to give you a glimpse of what goes on at OCS.

For 10 long weeks Nate lived in Quantico and I lived in Parkville. After the 4th week, I was able to visit him on For 10 long weeks Nate lived in Quantico and I lived in Parkveill. After 4 weeks, I was able to go to down to visit on base for a few hours on the weekends. After week 8, we were finally allowed to leave base on Saturday and he didn't have to be back until Sunday. Then on March 26th, he graduated and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the USMC. In just a few hours he went from being a "nasty candidate" to a "Sir".

After graduation and commissioning, he was finally able to come HOME! It was fabulous to be able to spend a full weekend together and to spend it in our home. And it was time to celebrate!

The celebration didn't last too long because we were up early the next day to move to Stafford. It was a long day, but absolutely worth it to live with my husband again. We've been here in Stafford a little over a week and are loving life. Nate's waiting to go into his next training and is getting paperwork and some classes over with in the meantime. I've been putting the apartment together and working from here. My work has been great through all this and is allowing me to work out of our apartment!

Our hope is to keep everyone updated on life here in Stafford or where ever it is the Marines take us! We hope to see ya'll in our new home soon :)