(nearly) two months later….

Have you ever seen Spongebob the cartoon, when they fast forward time they say something like “five minutes later….” in a weird voice.  Imagine me saying “two months later” in a semi weird voice – because that’s how I feel about this blog.

I write constantly in my head, almost daily.  When I am in the shower, or on my commute to and from work.  I don’t know why other than just being busy that I struggle with getting the words out of my head, to my fingers, to the keys on this keyboard – I just do.   I think every blogger goes through this.  I worry that “no one is reading that”, and “wouldn’t it be easier to just let go” – and every other self doubt that hits me at least once a week.

A little update on our lives the last month and a half or so..

Kids – Katie is doing great in her senior year, and just finished up submitting multiple college applications last week.  I am so proud of her!!  It was a stressful time for her I’m sure, but I cannot wait to see the acceptance letters roll in.    Jonathan seems to love middle school so far, and learning the trombone for his instrument.  I will admit that I was a little worried that he wouldn’t take to learning music easily, but he has proved me wrong and can currently play the Star Wars Imperial March.   Natalee is doing fantastic in school, and recently completed 35 laps in her schools boosterthon fun run.  She is also thriving in her new afterschool program.

Jake – going back to why Natalee is now in an afterschool program……….Jake found a job!   He works at a local country club at their golf course and so far seems to enjoy it.  He spends most days completely outdoors, on a lawn mower.  He says “I get to work, put my ear buds in, mow grass and no one bothers me – it’s great”.   I know the winter months he won’t have all that mowing to do, so we’ll see what else he learns about or remembers from past golf course jobs.   The golf tour season came to a close, and he did not compete anymore.  The one tournament he was scheduled to play in was cancelled due to Hurricane Florence.  So, now he is playing a lot of golf (free rounds are a perk of the job), and working on his game in preparation for next season which begins in March.

As for me – working everyday, getting into the ebbs and flows of the semester.  I am 19 weeks pregnant now, and baby girl is growing bigger daily.  I do feel her kicks and rolls, especially at night when I’m laying still.   We have another appointment tomorrow, and another ultrasound next week for her anatomy scan, to make sure all is well.  In addition, we are having a fetal echo done in November to check her heart – which is necessary due to my congenital heart defect.

I am making a conscious effort to do better at this blog thing….even if it’s just me getting the words out of my head.

back to school

The kids have been back in school since August 21st and I think by now we are mostly in a good routine.  Katie of course drives herself to and from school, Jonathan rides the bus and Jake drops off/picks up Natalee daily.  Natalee gets that privileged as she is on “school of choice”, going to a school outside of the one our neighborhood is zoned for.  She was able to stay at the school she has been at since 1st grade!   Jonathan rides the bus because he is now in middle school!   He is taking band, and we recently had to go rent a trombone as that is the instrument he has chosen to play!   Natalee has decided to join the chorus, and is a little nervous but I think she will do great!   Katie is in the depths of trying to figure out colleges, scholarships and all that stuff that comes with being a senior.

 

I think this year will be a good one for them.  Learning new things, and getting to spread their wings a little with extracurricular activities!

is this thing on?

tap, tap, tap….is this thing on?

I cannot believe it’s been over a month since I wrote, but believe me I have a very good reason!    July and August were whirlwind months

around our house, with the kids visiting their grandparents, golf tournaments for Jake, all the back to school prep and our biggest news of all….

well hello little one!    I have publicly shared our struggle to get pregnant with one of our own, and vented how people are just so nonchalant about saying things like “well at least you already have kids” or “just relax and it will happen”.  All those things are NOT helpful to someone who feels like everyone around them is getting pregnant but them.

Well, in June I decided that I wasn’t going to do the temping, or the OPK tests, or anything.  We were just going to have fun, and not have any expectations or put pressure on ourselves.  (you in the back there saying “i told you so” – shut your face).

Around the middle of July, when my monthly was expected it didn’t come.  I cautiously peed on a stick and then walked away. Came back and thought I saw a faint line.  I asked Jake to toss me my phone upstairs, and I immediately sent a photo to my cousin and 2 friends that I have a group text going with.   “is this a line, or am I making things up?”.    Cousin responds “that’s totally a line, but retest tomorrow to be sure”.   I went downstairs to Jake who had just made dinner and tried to act calm – meanwhile inside I was freaking the heck out.   He came upstairs later, and I was trying to think of a witty way to tell him.  Instead I held the test up and said “so it’s got 2 lines” and then I dropped it on the floor.  As I’m trying to pick it up, he said “ok, it always has 2 lines” (he was thinking I was holding an ovulation test stick).  I was like no “this is the real thing”.  His eyes lit up like a kid on Christmas morning, and after some hugs and kisses – he said “when can we have it verified by a man in a white coat”.   I took a test the next morning, and one a few mornings later – and that line got darker and darker.   We had our 1st appointment on July 30th (with a woman in a white coat!) and after an ultrasound (and a very uncooperative uterus) – they determined that my due date is March 18th.   We had genetic testing and another ultrasound (photo above is from yesterday), and we actually can find out gender in 2 weeks from that blood test yesterday!  Sure beats having to wait until 20 weeks like I did with my other 3!

The kids are excited, and they all want a boy – and truth me told, I think we are all hoping for a boy!  Jonathan says there are too many girls in his life (he has 3 sisters between our house and his dads) and all the pets are girls too!     I’m sure I will be posting more, but for now….the new hashtag of our life (besides #TeamCarey) is #CareyPartyof6.

 

happy anniversary

hey babe,

Happy 1st Anniversary!  It seems like this last year flew by the moment we said “I do” in front of our family and friends.  It was such an amazing day, and I am so glad that we decided to do things our way.  We have gotten to do so much since that day – our honeymoon to TX, going to NC several times and having our 1st Christmas in our new house!    I know the last few months have been a challenge.  It isn’t easy being a stay at home dad, but you are absolutely killing it!   Thank you for loving me extra hard on the days when I needed it, and for always supporting my dreams and goals.  Thank you for coaching baseball for Jonathan, for sitting through multiple school assemblies for Katie and for brushing Natalee’s hair every single night after her shower.   For laundry, and dishes and cooking and yard work and car pool.

I am so excited to see what our next adventure is going to be – because any moment I get to spend with you is the best.  I love being your wife, I am so proud of you for all you do for our family and how hard you are working to make your dreams a reality!    As I said in my vows to you, you are my best friend and partner in crime.  There is no one else I’d rather do life with than you.

You have my heart for always.

Your wife,
Lori

TBT: 20 years, really?

So, thanks to a handful of friends from high school who decided to celebrate this milestone publicly yesterday – it has come to my attention that I graduated high school 20 years ago.

OH.MY.LANTA

Let that sink in for a minute – holy crap.  Our class is actually planning our 20th reunion for the fall, to include a family friendly tailgate at a Friday night football game, and then an event on Saturday evening.  I don’t feel “old” – my students may think I’m ancient, because technically speaking I’m old enough to be the mother of some of my incoming freshman (gasp!)..    Working with college kids has a way of making you feel younger – they have a great energy most days, so that helps.

So…here is a lil’ throw back from back in the day!

This was playing putt-putt golf in Myrtle Beach on “beach week” the week after graduation.

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end of an era

In 2002, I started a website for families of recruits going to boot camp at Parris Island.  We were getting ready to move to Beaufort, and be stationed there.  My brother was also in boot camp at the time.  I figured it would last 6 months – tops.

The PI “ezboard” grew from 1 website to 2, one for PI and one for all the “after boot camp stuff”.  Simply, they were the PI ezboard, and the USMC ezboard.  Despite ezboard becoming yuku, and yuku becoming tapatalk – we still call them “the boards”.   It was a simple set up really, a message board system to allow parents, family members, girlfriends, wives, friends to talk with each other and share their experiences.  The “internet” we know today was young and wild back then.  There was no facebook, and myspace was just a blip really.  The boards were set to fill a void, and it worked for so long for so many.  Deployments came, and the boards grew….and grew.  There were times we struggled.  It cost a lot to keep them up, but I knew that they were sorely needed.  The friendships I made there – those are my girls, my people – my go-tos for everything from recipes, and travel to divorce, weddings and fertility.  There is nothing too TMI or crazy for the “board girls” group of wives.

I made the decision earlier this year to explore how to shut both websites down.  There is no action on either, and recently there was a rash of people joining the PI board, and it hurt my heart a little to know there would be no updates or support for them.  It wasn’t fair to those folks, it seemed like false hope to me.  Yesterday, I finally decided to pull the trigger on it.  My heart hasn’t been in it for almost 8 years – it’s hard when you are no longer actively involved in the Marine Corps life as a wife.  Things change, the Corps changed – life moved on.

Here is the email that I sent to all the members (almost 50K strong):

As of 7/9/18 – I have decided to shut down the Parris Island & Marine Corps Yuku boards (originally called the “ezboard”). When I started “the boards” in January 2002, I never imagined that it would last longer than 6 months, tops.  But the friends we would make and the places we would go have blown my mind.  We never imagined that we would guide hundreds (and in reality, thousands) of parents, family and friends through this amazing Marine Corps world, and in turn – have you help us through some rough points in our lives.

Alas, I felt that it was just time to shut things down. After almost 16 years, the internet has changed – access to information is more readily available (even the official PI page takes pics now!). We created “the boards” in a pre-facebook world (who remembers myspace?), where information wasn’t easily available to families. Most everyone who was involved with administering this website have long moved on from the Marine Corps, mostly through retirements, some through divorce, or others through medical or honorable discharge.

We love the community that this was, and we love seeing how friends have been made, tribes formed (ask me about my tribe!), and community groups have thrived. I am proud of this. I looked up some statistics, and we have over 33000 members on the PI board, and 13000 on the USMC board. That is nearly 50000 people. Y’all – that blows my mind.

On a personal note, you all saw me through 2 deployments, 2 pregnancies, 2 moves and a host of other things. Despite the fact that I am no longer married to a Marine, I am still proud of all those years I spent as a Marine wife. I am still involved with the Marine Corps, as my brother is approaching 16 years in the Marine Corps. The board was created shortly after he went to boot camp!

Please feel free to find me on facebook (Lori Carey) or shoot me an email!

The responses I am getting back from parents have me balling.  The most recent two –  “I didn’t know at that time that PI was going to be a piece of cake compared to deployment.  When he was at PI, I was so stressed and worried and I don’t know what I would have done without those boards.” and “Your dedication, sharing of information, and engagement with all of us families has been a great source of comfort to so many.”

I always told the story that I created the boards for my mama…but in reality, I think I did it for me more than anything.   In 16 years some of you have become more than friends, you have become my family – and I am proud of you all.

All my love and thanks – for 16 wonderful years.

Lori

Five for Friday – EO’s!

It is 7pm on a Friday, and what am I doing?  Writing a blog post…because well, I can.   I haven’t’ done a 5 for Friday (5-4-F) in a long time, so I thought I would do a 5 for Friday today all about essential oils.

Here are my top 5 Young Living Essential Oils & EO Products!

Frankincense EO – “frank”, “jesus oil”, “THE oil” – this stuff is amazing.  I use it for so many things!   I sometimes put it in my diffuser at night to help me sleep, I have used it on some acne scars on my face to lighten them – and I have even just put a dab or two on as a perfume.

Stress Away EO – happiness in a bottle – smells like vanilla and lime to me, and it does exactly what the label says!  I diffuse it when my mind won’t stop racing and I need to just “chill”.  We also have this in a roller, and I keep one on my desk at work!

Valor EO – Valor oh Valor, you were my gateway drug….kidding, sort of.  This was the 1st oil I ever got, and my friend gifted me some to see if it would help me relax some during a super stressful & anxiety filled part of my life.  Boy did it ever!  I keep this in a roller on my desk at work too, and I happily allow my graduate students a “swipe or two” on their wrists before big presentations or dissertation defenses!

Sulfurzyme Supplement – This is a new one that I have only been taking for 2 weeks.  It is a supplement, full of amazingness.   I mainly got this because of all the testimonials I have seen from friends in my upline & my downline about how it helps strengthen hair and nails, and can even help regrow hair (I’ve seen photos from friends, it’s amazing!).  In 2 weeks I do feel as if my nails are stronger, as I haven’t broken a single one in 2 weeks!  Before it was a daily “curse” to have one break or split.  Jake also takes this one!

Orange Blossom Face Wash  – I bought a bottle of this 6 months ago and I am just now about to use the last little bit, and I use it everyday in the shower.   I mix it and put it in a foamer bottle, and it lasts forever!   It smells divine and leaves my face clean and soft, especially since I have such an oily “t-zone”!

What are your favorite products?   If you’d like to know more about essential oils and other oils products, let me know – I am happy to discuss any of them.  You can also visit my website at:   https://www.myyl.com/kjnsmom

Life Under Par – he’s doing what?

Someone asked me the other day how everything was going at home.  This person knew of Jake’s job loss, and seemed genuinely concerned about how everything was going.  Since everything happened a month ago, no one seems to believe us when we say we are doing great.   But I promise you we are.  When she asked what he was doing, and I said “he is being a stay at home dad currently, while pursuing a professional golf career.”  I’m not lying, he really is doing this.   She slowly turned to me and gave me this look of concern, fear and maybe a little disbelief.  She said “well that is an interesting job choice.”  I laughed it off, but it still stung a little.   I don’t tell many people what he is up to, because people are so insanely judgmental.  This is his dream, and I told him that he would regret it forever if he didn’t take a chance to pursue it.   Who am I to hold him back from his dream?   He wouldn’t hold me back from mine!

I don’t expect people to understand the journey that Jake and I have decided to take on.  Financially we are fine, and will be fine.  The kids are taken care of, we have health insurance, we have a roof over our heads, vehicles, insurance, etc, etc, etc.  We are good, I promise (although, I wouldn’t turn down a tournament sponsor…LOL).   I do however, ask that people respect the decisions we are making.  Jake is so excited about this possibility, as am I.  We have goals – big, scary, life changing goals – and I am so stoked about them.

We have his first tournament lined up, and he has several more rounds lined up this week to continue to prep.   We have equipment set, we have researched the course he is going to be playing at and I probably have done more research than is possibly needed.  He is the one doing the actual playing, and I’m in the background being the accountant, travel agent, nutritionist, nurse – and my most important role – a supportive wife.

So please do not pity us, or think that our life choices are crazy.  Our choices are just that – OURS.  Life isn’t meant to be boring, it is meant to be crazy, fun, silly and exciting.   So we are going to jump on this, take a chance and hopefully come in under par.

~Lori

Hooks, Adams and Richie

Memorial Day in our home this year will be spent quietly, Jake and I have no real plans, and the kids don’t have school.   However, very close to my heart and in my thoughts will be a few special people I had the honor and privilege to know. While I do not discount the countless other families who were affected by conflict and war, by the loss of a child, a husband, a father, a brother, a sister, a mother, a wife – these two individuals are close to my heart.

Frank (Capt. “Puj” Hooks) – a pilot in our squadron in South Carolina that made the ultimate sacrifice in June 2004.   I have a hard time this year grasping that it has been almost 14 years.  His loss deeply impacted all the Marines of 115.   My best memory of Frank was the DVD that I unexpectedly got in the mail one day during the first deployment Matt (my ex husband) went on.  They had made us a “we are halfway home” DVD full of photos of all the guys from the squadron.  It was a silly DVD, but so special to all the spouses.  Frank was married to my sweet friend Cindy.   I still have that DVD, tucked away in a drawer.  I was able to upload it to YouTube a few years ago to share it with everyone we were with at 115.  If you have about 5 minutes, you can see that video here:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xce7865aKeY      

   Second is Clarence Adams.  Clarence was 3 years ahead of me in school (me a freshman, he a senior) when I decided to run indoor track.  He then decided to take me under his wing and teach me to throw shot put.  So, he taught me and I did it.  I wasn’t that good, and didn’t stick with it, but he was always encouraging.    He always had a smile on his face, and was loved by so many at Varina.   Clarence died in Baghdad, Iraq in September 2004. He was the father of six, and devoted husband.   The school still paints a rock with your number on it before every football season, and the team is always reminded of all you did.

Also on this Memorial day, please remember those whose battle was lost when they returned home.  An average of 22 U.S. Veterans commit suicide everyday.  Fighting the demons that battle them here at home is sometimes harder than the battles they face while deployed.  22 a day is too many, and it has to stop.

While for many it’s a day of picnics, BBQ’s and the unofficial start of summer, it is also a VERY real holiday to remember those who have fought and died for us to have the ability to go to the river or beach, watch a parade in peace and have a picnic.   Please take a moment today, say their names and remember them, their families and their sacrifice.

To Richie – I’m sorry I couldn’t save you from the demons that ravaged you.  I wanted to so badly, I thought I could, and I couldn’t – none of us could.  I sometimes laugh to myself remembering late night phone calls, and the story of “what would everyone at 115 think of us now?”  Oh how I wish you were here now, to laugh with us – to do stupid things on the beach with all the boys at the last 115 reunion. You would have loved it so much.  To run around the yard with everyones kids, to laugh at how ordies always fault with air frames – and your constant reminder of “IYAOYAS”.     To work on my car when something goes wrong and me fussing at you over you driving that old truck from Beaufort to Lexington late at night.   I know that you are in a better place, but it doesn’t make it any easier on my heart knowing that you aren’t here with us anymore. I love you crazy, always have, always will.   #22adayistoomany  #untilValhalla  #22toomany

Note – photo of Frank courtesy of Cindy Hooks, and photo of Clarence courtesy of  Iraqwarheros.org.  This post was originally posted on 5-28-2012 with edits every year since.