Sunday, May 30, 2010

A New Meaning To Memorial Day

I never really understood Memorial Day while growing up. It was a day off school, a day when swimming pools were opened and the start of summer.  As I got older I met people who were serving in the military. Some are overseas right now as we speak. Then the meaning of Memorial Day really starts to sink in. This is a day to remember those who died fighting for our freedom and a day to say thank you for the sacrifices the members of the military make.
This Memorial Day I am spending it with my brand new Marine. Tomorrow is my last day to spend with my brother before he goes off for more training. The thing is, after training, is more training, and then he gets stationed. I don't really know how often I will see him the next few years, but I do know it will be a lot less than normal. My brother signed up to do something I could never do, serve our country in the military. I would never survive the boot camp process. I certainly don't think I have what it takes to make it through a battle. Lucky for me and most other Americans we don't have to. We have people like Austin who signed up to do it for us.
This Memorial Day please remember those who have fought for our freedom and died. Remember those who paid the ultimate price so that our everyday is free and easy. Tomorrow when you are cooking out and relaxing - say a prayer for those who are out fighting the fight for us.

God Bless Our Troops!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

One of the proudest days ever

After 9 hours of driving, and 1 hour of sleep we finally made it on base at Parris Island, SC.

We had to leave SUPER early because we were told that it would take a long time to get on base (which doesn't seem to have been the case- but at least we were on time) We were on base at 5:30 am. We could hear recruits yelling and marching. We were trying to find our Marine, but of course we had no idea where to look.

FINALLY around 6:30 we saw them lining up and walking over to the parade deck. At 6:45 they marched over in front of us and stretched, it as the first time we saw Austin. It was hard to find him at first, he looks different. So Skinny!

Anyway, they stretched , then went on a run through base, so all the other battalion would know who was graduating. They ran past us a couple times, got some good pics. Then we had to kill time for an hour (longest hour of life) til the liberty ceremony started. At 9:30 they gave us a talk about what the Marines had been through and rules for the day. Then at 9:50 they marched in. We were introduced to the Drill Instructors that worked with them for the past 12 weeks and then they said dismissed.

Everyone ran for their Marine. Mom and Ariella got there first (duh). As soon as I hugged him I started sobbing. I was so proud. He said he was proud of himself too! It was so wonderful to hear his voice.

We went to the barrack where he spent his last 12 weeks and he showed us around (no pics of this - not allowed) Pretty rough. The toilets didn't have doors. EW.

Then we went and had a picnic and then wandered around base.

I am going to share a bunch of pictures so my family in MD can see them since Facebook won't let me load any. LAME.

Waiting (it is still dark)
All of our signs

Please excuse my puffy eyes - I was dead tired.
The girls got their boy
Dad is so proud
Sobbing. ( I look gross)
Austin and his Senior DI
There he is Pvt. Eubanks
So happy
(Austin is the 2nd from the right)
(2nd from the left in front row)
Talking to Mema

 More to come this weekend of graduation. Now off to sleep! 

Monday, May 17, 2010

UGH What is wrong with people.

:: sets out soap box and steps on ::

Please allow me to rant for a min. I am a little heated.

You may or may not know I am a nanny for twins. Fraternal Twins, not that it would matter in this situation. We do not dress them alike. They are individuals and so we dress them as such.

Now if they were my kids I would probably do a mixture of both while they are young. But it doesn't matter. There is no rule out there about how to dress twins.

So today, I was checking out at Target after buying diapers for the girls. The cashier in the line next to use looks at us and we have the following conversation.

Her: Aww aren't you cute, but why didn't mommy do your hair the same? (one had a pony tail and the other pig tails)
Me: I am their nanny.
H: Oh and your not even dressed the same, you are supposed to dress the same if you are twins.
M: Well we see them as individuals so we treat them as such.
H: Well don't you know that if you have twins you have to dress them alike?
M: No you don't we don't like to do that.
H: Well you should, it is a rule of twins. They would be so cute if they were dressed alike. Tell mommy to dress you alike like other twins.
M: OK thanks. (trying to rush my cashier so I could leave before I said something nasty)
(She kept going on about it, I finally started ignoring it)

OMG - are you kidding me? It is one thing to make a comment about it. But to keep on lecturing me about it is too much. You don't even know me! Besides - THERE IS NO FREAKING RULE ABOUT THIS! It would be one thing if she was lecturing me about something that affects their health or safety, but it was their freaking clothes.

It really pissed me off today. I bit my tongue but it was hard. My tongue hurts!

::steps off soap box ::

ok thanks for listening.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The end.

The crucible is over. My brother is a Marine.

Read my dad's post - he pretty much nails it again.

Sgt. Brian Armstrong, Austin's recruiter, said that if anything went wrong during the Crucible that would keep Austin from graduating next week--injury, failure, quitting--he'd get a call, and so would we.

And it would happen pretty quickly.

The schedule for today was Reveille at 3 a.m., nine-mile march from 4-7 a.m., Emblem Ceremony at 7:30, and Warrior's Breakfast at 8.

So at 7 a.m. I thought, "He's done."
At 7:30, "He's receiving his Emblem. He's a Marine."
At 8, "He's eating."

But it was all expectation based on the schedule. No confirmation that it had really happened.

Pam saw Sgt. Armstrong this afternoon.

He hadn't received a phone call.

We hadn't received a phone call.

It's over. He made it.

Can't begin to tell you what it feels like.

But everyone should feel this way at least once in their lives.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Beginning of the End

I haven't really been keeping everyone updated on my brother's boot camp experience. Basically because his letters don't tell us much. He likes it, he is having fun, he gets yelled at a lot, he misses us. Thats about what we get. He said he will tell us all in person when he is out on our deck with my dad's famous burger and a beer in his hand.

2am starts the most difficult part of the whole experience. The crucible. My dad explained it very well on his blog so I am going to steal his words ( My dad has the best way with words, he REALLY should write a book) "At 2 a.m. he will begin The Crucible, the final test before a recruit becomes a Marine. The Crucible is a 54-hour test of endurance, a physically and emotionally challenging event in which, under conditions of sleep and food deprivation, recruits must work as a team to overcome various obstacles. There are 36 stations and 29 problem-solving exercises that must be negotiated, and they will hike a total of 48 miles throughout the event. They will get to eat only 3 MRE's over the course of the 54 hours, and, in addition to their gear, uniform and rifle, they will each carry 45 pounds of equipment during the Crucible.

It ends on Saturday morning with a nine-mile hike. Upon completion, they receive the coveted Eagle and Globe emblem, and they are no longer recruits but Marines."

I really can't imagine what he has to go through. I know he has been freaking out about it. But I also know that he is in the best shape of his life right now. I know he will do great. But I will be thinking more about him these next 2 days. I will be shooting up little prayers throughout my day. Willing him to dig deep and find that extra energy. At the end of it they get to have the warrior's breakfast. They basically get to have as much food as they want. I know food motivates Austin, so I keep telling him to focus on the food at the end!

1 week from right now (11:25pm) I will be driving down to South Carolina for his graduation (actually at this time I will be in the passenger seat, either being really annoying or sleeping. 

1 week from Thursday we will get up early and line the route for the motivational run, and then we get to hang out with him for 5 or so hours. Friday is the big day. Friday am my little brother will be a Marine. I am so excited. I am so proud. I can't believe the things he has overcome to get where he is. I can't wait! I can't wait to hangout at my parents for the weekend to celebrate. I am actually more excited about that than the LOST final show. Yup.

Anyway, if you are up at 2am (or whenever you read this), say a little prayer for the recruits tonight. The next 54 hours will be hard for them, but they can do it.

Monday, May 10, 2010

For the Love of LOST

Oh man, I have been so excited for this party for over a month. It certainly didn’t disappoint.

I decided to go with preggo Claire from season 1.  I spent a lot of time brainstorming how to look 9 months pregnant. I thought basketball, but it was too heavy. A pillow was too lumpy. I seriously didn’t know what I was going to do. I was explaining to my mom what I was trying to do, and the genius said to use a beach ball!

Score. I blew it up part way, then duct taped it to my shirt. then put on a dress. I really did look pregnant. Matt was scared.

So on to the pics.
HAHAHHA GROSS. I seriously hope I don’t look like that one day when I get pregnant. (I see all these cute pregnant women. I hope that I channel their cuteness one day)

So I have the belly, and the dress, I made my hair curly and put it up like Claire did a lot on the show. The peanut butter is from an episode where Claire was craving it, and of course being a plane crash on an island they didn’t have any. So her and Charlie pretended to eat peanut butter. It was a cute scene.

Matt went as Charlie. A drug addicted rock star.
hardcore charlie
IMG_4265 IMG_4264
He also took the statue that Charlie found on the island complete with drugs stashed inside.

The girls that hosted the party went all out. They decorated the apartment to look like a tropical island. There was a section dedicated to those who died and were buried on the island. The bathroom was an homage to those who died a watery death.
IMG_4247 water death

The food was fruit kabobs, shrimp cocktail (fitting since we were on an island) and Mr. Cluck’s chicken nuggets.
lost food IMG_4252

I made a new and improved Dharma cake. I was pleased with it.
IMG_4246 IMG_4245

Drinks were served in a suitcase from the plane wreckage, a very nice touch.

and Dharma wine

There was LOST bingo and some scene reenacting. Flip cup team dead vs. team alive.  All while LOST was playing in the background.

It was an amazing party. The highlight of it was winning best female costume! Matt tied for best male costume!

Matt and I were a little nervous driving to the party. If we got pulled over it would be a little awkward to explain the powder under Matt’s nose and the little baggies full of white powder in the soda bottle. If we got in an accident, I just wanted to be conscious so I could explain that I am only pregnant with a beach ball!

Speaking of – you are curious aren’t you….
IMG_4256 IMG_4257

This party made up for the fact that I had to miss the first LOST party because of snow. (plus I didn’t have to eat a whole cake myself!)

I leave you with a poem that was on the invite to the party. It makes me really smile, and if you are a LOSTie you will enjoy it too.

Our love of LOST deserves a good love ballad -- To the tune of Celine Dion's "Because You Loved Me"

For all those times you confused me
For all the lies that you made me see
For all the questions you brought to my life
For all blog theories that tried to make it right

For every plot twist that made me scream
For wondering if it was all a dream
I'll be forever thankful, ABC...

You gave Oceanic wings so it could fly
Jacob touched the candidates so they wouldn't die
They lost their faith, and so did we
But in Season 6 you gave it back to me

You gave us Locke as Man in Black
You gave us Ben, who better watch his back
I'm grateful for each day you gave me...

Maybe we don't know that much
But we know this much is true
We are blessed because we had a show like you!

Sawyer was my strength when I was weak
Jack was my voice when I couldn't speak
Claire's crazy eyes when I couldn't see
Kate always asking "can you take me?"

Kicked up the action with Sayid
You showed us science versus faith because you believed
I'm everything I am because I'm a LOSTie.