I sincerely apologize to each and every one of my followers at this point, not only have I now been absent for any updates since mid April, but it has taken me almost three weeks just to complete this post about what all has been happening within that time period! Talk about everything changing immensely within that time frame! I guess even at this point it hasn’t all really sunk in yet, time just keeps flying by. Already over a year now since moving up to North Carolina!
I was going to try and split this post up between a multitude of updates but that proved to be even more difficult than just laying it all out in one post. So excuse this very long post, but you know a lot happens in six months, so bear with me 😉
Might as well start where I left off, well I still am doing pole (sort of) I ran into some health issues at the beginning of September and have been off of any work outs and let me tell you, it has SUCKED. When it comes to pole I have progressed further than I ever thought I could. My strength -was- beyond anything I could ever imagine for myself. I will add some pictures in for your benefit don’t worry!
Well as you all know Shane left for his basic training back in March, I got into a routine with myself for awhile there, actually a week after he left I wound up in the ER for choking on some apple seeds. Let me tell you, that was not the best insight into the next five months without him, and I am sure that Clay (our roommate) was very happy once May rolled around and I could finally be on speaking terms with him again. Throughout that entire three month period (basic military training lasts three months, then he was gone for another two months for his schooling) I got to hear his voice on the phone maybe three times at most, and only for about five minutes tops. Our only form of communication were our letters to one another. I wrote him at least twice a week and that still didn’t feel like enough for me, or for him. While he was gone, it not only gave me the opportunity to come to terms with myself, but also our relationship. When you are apart from someone for so long, you really realize how important they are to you. With him being gone, I knew for a fact that I would wait forever for this man and that I love him with all my heart, yes before he left I knew that…but I didn’t KNOW it. To be able to miss someone as much as I missed him, be able to smile just by receiving a letter and picturing him writing it to my best abilities, that was everything that kept me going.
His BMT (basic military training) was at Lackland Air Force Base, all the way out in Texas. Well of course my thoughts were, “oh it would be fun to do a roadtrip for when he graduates!” WRONG! Okay, yes I am glad we drove because we got to see parts of the country that I have not yet been to, we stopped on the way there to see New Orleans, but honestly for me it wasn’t that great. Maybe sans Mardi Gras it’s just a normal tourist attraction. While the buildings were gorgeous (I am a huge fan of historical buildings) it just smelled like vomit and sewage. We arrived around 11 o’clock at night and headed straight for Bourbon Street, it didn’t take long to walk the streets and scope out everything, but God forbid you stop to map out where you actually wanted to go. We stopped by the staircase of a building for five minutes to gather ourselves when a sketchy homeless man came up to us and started unraveling a crack pipe, and with cops on horses patrolling the street we wanted no part of that and quickly walked off to one of the bars playing heavy rock music. Another awesome thing about New Orleans was just the music pouring out of every single bar, a combination of jazz and rock, it was booming with sound.
One thing I can honestly say is that I am from Florida, and Orlando has some crazy people in it, but nothing compared to New Orleans, the array of people there was completely staggering. It was quite an experience, we ended up eventually finding an Irish dueling pianos bar (I forget the name, Pat O’Brien’s I believe), but that was the highlight of the night. Clay and I sat there for maybe an hour or so and had their signature drink, which was a gigantic Hurricane, and by far way too alcoholic for my liking, but hey, it was worth it. The women on the piano were taking requests at that point and it was truly beautiful to behold, and makes me wish I would have kept up with piano as a child. After that we called it a night, and yes we found a Wal-Mart parking lot and slept in the car, but don’t worry it was in the same lot as the police department. At our ages right now, we might as well take advantage of the fact that we can pull somewhat all-nighters driving and be perfectly content with sleeping in the car. We had planned to see all of the antique shops and galleries in the morning, but unfortunately nothing in New Orleans opens until 11 am, and we wanted to be back on the road well before then. We ended up walking along the Mississippi River boardwalk, Clay got to have his fortune told by a tarot card reader on the corner, we saw the beautiful St. Louis Cathedral, and then were back on the road.
We got to our hotel in Texas at about dinner time and met up with Shane’s parents for dinner, we were exhausted and to add on to that had to go to base late that night to make sure we had our visitors passes. On top of that we had to be on base by 7 the next morning, no time for rest. But what did I care, I got to see Shane for the first time in months. If you ever do take a trip to Lackland, this base is HUGE, we got lost so many times it’s unbelievable. But finally by noon, we witnessed Shane’s coin ceremony and then were given permission to go out and find him. That was hard, considering all of them are in uniform and so tightly knit together, I remember seeing him and tears just instantly sprung to my eyes. I let his mother get in the first hug before I completely collapsed into him. He had lost so much weight I just wanted to feed him immediately, but unfortunately we had to stay on base that day. We ended up going to a BBQ place on base for lunch and afterwards went to the bowling alley. It was so weird, being with him finally after all this time, yet he was so different. He was reserved and more quiet, just well behaved and even just to take his uniform boots off and his ABU jacket off he asked for permission at the bowling alley. All of his fellow graduates had the same mindset, that if anything was out of order or place that they would get in trouble, it made me realize just how intricate their training is.
Friday came and it was his official graduation day and afterwards we could finally go off base. His first time off base since getting there, he was thrilled and so were we! There really isn’t that much to do on base unfortunately, it gets very tiring just being able to walk around the entire time. So to relax we went to his parents hotel (much nicer than ours) and were able to go swimming for awhile before we went back up to the room and all passed out. After our brief naps we went to get some food and then to best buy to look around at laptops since he would need one for his technical school. But before long he was already due back at base, the worst part of my days with him, on the bright side the next day we had the whole day to spend off base!
Well Saturday was the absolute best day of my life (so far) basically in a nut shell, Shane and I are ENGAGED!!!! To view the full story of the proposal click here! The proposal just added to the already beautiful San Antonio Riverwalk, which we spent the majority of our day at. We also got to see The Alamo, which in all reality was much smaller than I was thinking it would be. Unfortunately pictures aren’t allowed to be taken there either. I accidentally snapped a few though before reading the signs…oops. Well after viewing The Alamo it was getting really hot outside and his parents were ready to go back and relax at their hotel. We ended up going back to our hotel and just hung out there until meeting back up for dinner with his parents, then it was already time for him to be back on base…
Sunday went by in a blur, we had to stay on base again, we ended up getting some breakfast then going to a movie. It had to be one of the most depressing days, to all of a sudden know this was my last day I would see him still for another two months. By about 3 pm we knew we had to be back on the road, another 20 plus hours in the car. JOY. I couldn’t even choke out a goodbye to him, just hugged him as tightly as I could before jumping straight into the car. I was on the verge of a breakdown at that point and didn’t want him to be upset over it either. Besides, in just 24 hours he would get his phone back and I would be able to talk to him whenever I liked.
We were supposed to be getting back into work Monday morning…that DID NOT happen. We drove straight through, alternating sleep shifts while the other drove. It was just plain awful, I could never do that again. Road trips are only fun when you have plans to sight see along the way….there was no stopping other than for gas, food, and bathroom breaks. Which of course were all in the same stop for the most part. I can say that the one awesome thing about the trip was seeing a sunset in the West, then the sunrise in the East. It’s a mind blowing experience in itself.
As for the next three months, well after Shane was in Tech School I got to visit him one weekend in June, we came across a cheap plane ticket to Oklahoma City, where one of his buddies girlfriends lived. I’ve never met the girl prior to her picking me up from the airport there. Then we drove about two hours to Wichita Falls, Texas; where I was reunited with him again. As soon as he knocked on my hotel door and I saw him there, instant tears just sprung into my eyes. I only spent about one full day with him that weekend, but every moment is worth it.
By the end of July he was finally home, where he also surprised me. He had told me he wasn’t able to come home on time because of graduation requirements, but no, Clay and his younger brother went and got him from the airport, and I was laying on the couch reading and had not even gotten dressed yet that day. I wasn’t the only one ecstatic he was home. Seeing the dogs react to him coming home was the most precious moment I’ve ever seen. They were crazy, they were whimpering and jumping all over him, because of course for a dog I know that it felt much longer than it was.
In all reality those are the most important moments that even happened in the past six months, life without Shane was just mind-numbing. The days went by, I got into a routine with myself, focused all of my energy on taking care of myself, went through a huge juice cleansing period, worked out consistently. Just did everything I could to stay busy, and then while he was in tech school I had the fun tasks of wedding planning (still do). This whole experience has really made me appreciate him more, the time that I get to spend with him. I feel for all the women out there who have their husbands, sons, brothers, boyfriends, actually overseas right now. It’s hard, but I truly believe that the women going through all of this are equally as strong as their loved ones fighting for our country. When Shane gets deployed, which in time he will be, I know I will have to be strong again without him. If you think about it though, I am not without him, I am being strong for him.
Finally, there you have it, the past six months (in a nutshell). Pictures will be added as well! I will also be adding some Wedding Budgeting tips that I’ve been going through as of late, and a new section for Pinterest inspired recipes that I have tried!
Thanks for reading everyone!