Post Marine Corps Life…So Far

Jeremy officially picked up his DD214 last Friday and arrived in WI (with all of our household goods) on Monday!

So far, EAS life has been good to us. My job allows us the security to rent our own apartment and have a stable transition from the military. We even decided we could afford for Jeremy to get a new truck, something he has been wanting. Plus, the extra money we will get for moving ourselves is going to buy new couches and a living room set!


Jeremy has been attending numerous job interviews, and it seems like it won’t be a problem for him to get a job in his field. Unfortunately, the pay is less than we expected. Because his work in the military doesn’t transfer over to the civilian world (with certifications and such), he has to start at the bottom and work his way back up. It’s been frustrating for him, understandably, that his 6 years of experience mean nothing and he is being offered the same pay as young guys fresh out of school.

But there is a lot of potential for him to move up in the next few years, and he already has plans for college and what he needs to do to move his career to where he wants to be.

12002934_10153196589581819_1307070056759988120_nWe now live two hours from Jeremy’s family, and we have been visiting almost every weekend. Next weekend is our nieces birthday party, it’s so nice to be able to attend! We have plans with his siblings to go camping/horse back riding, to a local Fall Festival, and just to get together to watch the game. Being back in WI close to family has been everything we hoped!

Jeremy hasn’t changed at all since getting out. I had hoped that he might be “happier” (not that he is mean or angry or anything…but the military was stressful), but his mood seems to be the same. I guess life/career/marriage is always stressful, even away from the military. But I suppose no change is better than a change for the worst!

In other bigs news…a few days after Jeremy went on Terminal, he was selected for E-6! He had put in for non-promotion, because he was getting out, but apparently the Marine Corps didn’t notice or didn’t care, and selected him anyway. Jeremy is conflicted over the selection; while part of him is happy for the recognition that he deserves E-6, he also knows that his selection took away a spot from someone else. I understand his feelings completely, but as a spouse, I’m leaning more towards being proud of him and happy for the selection; he deserved it! The downside being that he won’t actually get promoted, since he is on Terminal Leave. Bummer!

Babies Don’t Fix Broken Marriages

I don’t have any children, so for those that do, feel free to add in your opinions. I normally avoid having opinions on parenting and such; I feel that until I have experienced it I can’t really form a valid opinion. However, I do feel that I can {somewhat} confidently express my opinion that babies don’t fix broken marriages.

It seems like at least once a year I see a young couple (one that I know is having marital problems), “fixes” their issues and then immediately plans to get pregnant (and normally does).

I can perhaps understand the logic there: you have made it through a tough time with your spouse (infidelity, abuse, lying, etc.) and you feel that you have made it to the other side; feeling even closer to your partner than before. What not solidify this happy time and your newly committed marriage with a baby? Babies make everyone happy! {reading this back to myself, it sounds very sarcastic. However, as an editors note, it was not meant that way!}

Maybe I’m a pessimist…but my logic would go a little differently. “We were just at the verge of divorce. Let’s see if we can keep up a healthy marriage for another few years before we add in even more stress to such a fragile foundation”

It saddens me when I see couples “fixing” their bad relationships with a baby…because I’ve seen it fail. A child adds even more stress into a marriage, and if it’s already cracked, it’s just going to crumble under the pressure.

If anyone reading this has had a different experience, then I’m sincerely happy for you. But sadly, I don’t think it’s something that typically works out well for most people.

Accepting Myself

I started my new job last week. Our first week was an orientation/training. We spent an entire day learning how to deal with combative/aggressive patients and how to non-violently contain them should they become violent towards us (I work for a behavioral health hospital that offers impatient and outpatient services to client’s with severe mental illness).

Before resorting to anything physical, they teach us different techniques to (hopefully!) be able to de-escalate patients when they become combative. We then paired up together to practice the skills on each other.

I really struggled with de-escalating aggressive clients. I do not to well with confrontation…both in my personal life and professionally.

At first I felt ashamed and uncomfortable with lack of skills; I’m somewhat of a perfectionist and I have high expectations for myself.

But as I was reflecting on that day, and how I had preformed on the other days, I realized that it’s okay to have strengths and weaknesses.

Not only is it “okay”…I’m okay with it. I’ve come to a point in my life where I can accept myself as I am; both my good qualities, and my not-so-good.

Greetings from Wisconsin!

I type this post sitting on a twin size mattress on the floor of the master bedroom of our new apartment in Kaukauna, Wisconsin.

11659279_10153051605611819_5460364305688212637_nI left sunny San Diego on Thursday and spent three days driving cross country with my dog and my cat (NEVER doing that again!). The drive was long and tedious, but so very beautiful. The further away from SoCal I got, the more beautiful the landscapes.

I had a few moments of panic. Thinking, what am I doing with my life?! I’m moving by myself to the other side of the county!

Then other days, when the landscape turned into the stunning corn fields of Iowa, I would be reminded again of why we are making this move. Small town Wisconsin is where I want to raise my children. Seeing the families out walking their dogs, kids riding their bikes to the public pool…that is what I want. That is what San Diego was never able to offer us.

I arrived in Kaukauna on Saturday afternoon and spent the night with our friends. While I am so gracious for their hospitality…two people, a 3 year old, 3 cats (one of which was mine) and a dog do not mix well together.

Thankfully, I had an appointment the next day to check out an apartment that we had put a deposit down on. It turned out to be suitable and I moved my stuff in that day. Moving took all of about an hour…since I only had what was in my car.

I’ve spent the last few days running errands (setting up internet, buying household essentials, etc.) and exploring my new neighborhood.

One of my favorite things about our new apartment is that we are walking distance from an amazing dog park! It’s about 2 miles round trip, so I’m hoping to make it a daily trip with MacGyver after work.


Jeremy will be joining me on August 24th, and then driving back to CA with his brothers to get our stuff and officially terminate with the Marine Corps! EAS is so close, and we are looking forward to starting a new life together in Wisconsin.

It’s Official…I’m Moving to Wisconsin!

It’s officially happening…I’m moving to Wisconsin in July!

On Tuesday I got an offer from my second choice job, on Wednesday I put in my 2 weeks notice, on Thursday we put in our 30 day notice at our apartment, and on Friday I ACCEPTED a job offer from my first choice job.

My last day of work will be July 30th. I’ll then be driving up to SLO to spend the 4th of July with my family. When I get home, it will be packing time! I will probably start my drive to Wisconsin on Thursday…me, my cat and my dog for 3 days in a car. Send me good vibes haha.

I’m really excited for this change, but at the same time nervous. I haven’t moved to a new city since I moved to San Diego for college 8 years ago. Now I’m an adult, married, and moving with a job lined up.

I’m so happy with how things are falling into place. I was very nervous for Jeremy’s EAS…with money, the move, insurance, etc. Now it will be a mostly smooth transition for us. I will move in July to start my new job and he will join me in September when he gets out. Insurance, income, housing…it will all be taken care of by me so he can come home to a settled house!

Military Life: Job Searching from Across the County

I’ve officially been applying for jobs in Wisconsin since April 25th!

So far I’ve had two interviews (both with the same company) and I’m waiting for an official job offer early in June (not to jinx myself, but it sounds very promising that I will get the position!)

Having only ever applied for local jobs, I had no idea what to expect when I started this process.

Here are two of my “tips” that I’ve gathered so far!

#1: Be very clear about your relocation in your cover letter. I used something like this:

“I am looking forward to permanently relocating to Wisconsin this summer as my husband transitions out of the military and we return home.”

  • Let them know this is not a “if I get a job I’ll move” type of situation and that you are serious about moving.
  • Be as specific about the date as possible (in my case, I am willing to move before my husband gets out if I get a job, so I put “summer” rather than his actual EAS date)

At first, I was unsure about mentioning my husband or the military. I feel that military spouses in particular often mesh themselves with their husband’s career more so than other non-military spouses. However, this experience taught me to not be afraid of using the “military card”, because it ended up getting me an interview!

#2: Phone Interviews: After completing my first phone screening I was contacted from the agency again and informed that they wanted to move forward with me as a candidate and schedule an in person interview.

This was challenging for me. On one hand, I completely understand that a company would want to meet a candidate in person before offering a job. However, because I’m out of state, it’s a little illogical for them to expect me to spend upwards of $1k to fly out just for an interview.

After discussing it with my husband, my mom (who owns her own business and hires employees often) and other military spouses who have been through the same situation…I decided to be very clear about my situation and offer only a phone or Skype interview.

Initially, my offer was declined and they passed over me as a candidate. It was disappointing, because I really wanted the job, but I felt confident in my choice. It is just not realistic for my husband and I to spend that kind of money for an interview when we are preparing to EAS.

Here is where my comment about using the “military card” comes into play. I got a call later that week from the same company asking me to do a phone interview. They had discussed my situation with the hiring manager (who is former military) and they decided to make an exception for me because of my qualifications for the position. YAY!

Phone interviews are tough! It’s hard to hear if you are on speaker phone, people talk over each other, and you can’t judge facial expressions…your voice has to fully represent you as a person.

At the end of my interview I then offered to fly out and meet them; I wanted to be considered equally to locally candidates, and because I am very interested in the position, I am willing to make the trip now that they are seriously considering me for the position.

This is where my story ends. Right now I’m waiting for a call back by June 9th either offering me the job (which seems to be the way things will go) or asking me to fly out for another in-person interview. I suppose the other option is no call back and not getting the job…but I’m thinking positive!

All in all, this job searching experience has been a huge learning opportunity! But I’ll be glad when it’s over and I’ve secured an awesome job!

It’s Okay to Be Okay

My husband recently returned from a 6 week training out of state.

It was a wonderful 6 weeks for me…and I find myself feeling a little guilty about that.

I got to watch all of my TV shows instead of waiting until the weekend when Jeremy goes golfing or is otherwise out of the house. I didn’t have to cook dinner…for an entire 6 weeks; I lived off cereal and caprese sandwiches. I spent my weekends living my own schedule, spending time with my friends when I wanted, shopping by myself, hiking, or just reading. I wasn’t accountable to anyone but my dog, and it was glorious.

I remember a time, a few months after Jeremy and I got married, when Jeremy first left for a training. He was gone for 2 months, and it was longest and most miserable 2 months of my life. I was depressed and hopeless. I actually sought out a therapist because I could not handle my life without Jeremy by my side.

Since that first time apart, Jeremy and I have been married for 6 years and experienced 2 deployments and many other trainings.

Not only have I gotten used to being alone, and learned how to thrive, I’ve grown more confident in who I am…apart from being “Jeremy’s wife”.

I love my husband, and I don’t want to live a life without him. But our happiness is no longer dependent on each other. When we were first married, I was dependent on him. And perhaps if he wasn’t in the military, we would have stayed that way. But going through those deployments and trainings forced us to move beyond that stage. Forced me to be more confident and comfortable being alone.

So here I am, 7 years into a military relationship, enjoying 6 weeks of solitude. I feel like society thinks that I “should” be miserable with Jeremy gone..but I’m not. And maybe that is okay. Maybe it’s Okay to Be Okay.

EAS Fears

Well, looks like our time as a military family will be coming to an end in a few months. Jeremy has decided to EAS at the end of his current (second) enlistment, after nearly 9 years of service in the Marine Corps.

It’s a decision that I still struggle with. I am happy as a military family; it’s a life that I have thrived in during the last 7 years, and I imagine I would continue to be content for another 11 years until retirement.


Jeremy is a wonderful Marine. He will be promoted this year if he stays in, and I know it’s hard for him to walk away from a career that he has dedicated 9 years too. I know it will be a struggle for him to start over, to go to college and be the “old” guy applying for jobs.

I also can’t help feeling responsible for this decision. Jeremy is getting out because he doesn’t want to have children in the military. He has seen his co-workers break down on deployments being away from their children. Combined with his own less than stellar childhood, he doesn’t want that life for our future children. Because I am the one who wants children in the next few years, this decision to EAS now is being sparked because of me.

Logically, I realize that it’s not all on me. It’s his choice, and I need to respect that.

But I’m afraid he will come to regret this choice. I’m afraid he won’t be happy with a civilian career. I’m afraid that I won’t be as happy away from the military life. I’m afraid we will struggle financially and I won’t be able to be a stay-at-home mom. I’m afraid we will struggle financial in general. I have so many worries and fears.

But I suppose that is normal with such a big change.

I’m trying to think of the positives…being near family, buying a house, no more moving, being able to settle into a career, having my husband home every night, etc.

breath in…breath out!

5 months and counting down!

Young Marriage – Missing Out?

Being a military spouse, I see a lot of young military couples getting engaged and married. Whether they be my husband’s co-workers or girls on a support group, it’s no longer uncommon for me to see an 18 or 19 year old couple announce their engagement, and then shortly after elope.

It’s not shocking for me to see, but my first reaction to an 18 year old, fresh out of high school girl, announcing her engagement isn’t happiness or excitement.

I’m not bitter or cynical, thinking that their marriage will fail because they are young. I got engaged at 19 and eloped 3 months later and I am very happy with my life and my marriage; my husband and I just celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary.

But I can’t help to think back to my first year in college, the year before I met my husband, and how glad I am that I had that time to be single. It was such an amazing experience; to have the typical American college life. I lived in the dorms, did some illegal drugs and went to frat parties. I also went to college football games, stayed up late chatting with my dorm mates and planned spring breaks together. I dated around and I slept around. I experiment with life, pushed the boundaries and got a lot out of my system. I gained self-esteem and self-confidence; I felt secure in myself as an individual…living away from my family and finding out who I was; without my family or a relationship to define me.

I’m not a crazy party person; I’m actually a huge introvert. So when I met my husband a year later, I was already feeling done with many aspects of that life. I had accepted many things about myself and I was starting to figure out who I was and what I wanted from life. I didn’t want to be a party girl, and I was okay with making the change in my life (even if none of my friends did).

I know that not everyone wants the same experiences I had. There are plenty of girls that want to go from high school to marriage to parenthood. Not everyone wants to go to college; that might not be their goal in life. Many people want to remain virgins until they get married; that is one of their core values. Etc.

But even if people don’t want to take the path that I did, a part of me can’t help but feel that they are missing out by immediately getting hitched. Missing out on finding who they really are, outside of a relationship.

So while I try to put on my non-judgmental hat…and in reality, I do understand that every person has different values and goals, I don’t imagine I will be jumping in joy when a young couple announces their engagement anytime soon.

I love “love”. I love marriage. I love my husband.

But I also love me. I love the individuality of people (even in a marriage). The self-absurdness of challenging your life experiences and growing as an individual.

The older I get, the less my life revolves around my spouse and the more it revolves around me. My husband is my partner in life, the person that will be by my side for all of my future experiences. The value I place on him has not diminished. But he is not my entire life.

I suppose the argument can be made that you can still grow as an individual even within a marriage; and I would concede that is true. And maybe I am just being cynical, this post is just a rant of sorts anyway. But I can’t help but feel that the growth you do when you are single is different from any development you have in a marriage. There is something about relying only on yourself and being responsible for just your own needs that facilitates an experience that is unique and transformative.

A PG photo from my freshman year. Me and my dorm mates on the way to a football game

A PG photo from my freshman year. Me and my dorm mates on the way to a football game

As always, feel free to comment and share your opinions, but do so in a respectful manner.