TBT: Our First Apartment

After Jeremy and I returned to San Diego as Mr. & Mrs. our first task was to get me registered as his wife in the system and for us to start looking for a place to live.

After we went to base and spent a few hours getting enrolled in DEERS and Tricare, Jeremy officially had a “dependent”; which meant he qualified for a housing allowance and was allowed to move out of the barracks!

We decided that we wanted to live somewhere between where I was going to school in San Diego, and where he was stationed at Camp Pendleton…which are about 50 miles apart.

We also wanted someplace cheap, since he was a low-ranking enlisted Marine and I was going to school full-time and working a part-time minimum wage job.

We decided on Escondido, CA

It met all of our criteria, being the fact that it was cheap (aka ghetto lol) and between my school and his job. (We found out later that it was actually a much longer commute for him because of the traffic. It would take me about 20-30 minutes and him at least an hour. Poor guy!)

So in April 2009, 2 months after we got married (and Β Jeremy finally started seeing his housing allowance in his paycheck), we moved into our first place together!

It was a small 1-bedroom apartment and for the first month it contained only a futon and a TV. The reason being that I wasn’t going to be able to move in until May when my lease was up and I owned most of our furniture since Jeremy had been living in the barracks.

After I moved in, the apartment didn’t look too much better. If you can imagine a poor college student with hand-me-down furniture and a Marine with no possessions other than clothes and a TV combining their assets into a home…that’s what it looked like.

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Check out that awesome TV! lol

We bought a dresser for Jeremy off Craigslist, along with a $60 table from a garage sale and a $40 couch. Our old BOX TV sat on a hand-me-down chest from my Dad and we only had 1 nightstand. Our pots and pans and dishes were hand-me-downs from my Mom (who took the opportunity of their daughter getting married to buy themselves new dishware and give me the old stuff lol).

We barely had anything, but we had everything we needed.

I have fond memories of that apartment. Of that crappy couch and old TV. We didn’t have much money to go out so we would spend most nights snuggled up on the couch watching movies together.

I learned to cook for 2 in that apartment, and I set off the smoke alarm more than a few times.

We snuggled up next to each other every night in that tiny full-size bed, just happy to be able to be together finally.

Anniversary Celebration Recap

The last entry in the Newley Wed Link-Up: 1-year Anniversary Recap

Alison & Jeremy

1-Year Anniversary

February 14, 2010

Jeremy and I had big plans for our 1-year anniversary. He came back just week or so before our anniversary, after being in Florida for 5 months. He had made a reservation for us to go on a weekend retreat through the military discount store (ITT), with horseback riding and a cabin of our own.

Unfortunately, when he came home and went to confirm our reservation, he was informed that they lost our information, and the retreat was sold out 😦

So we had to improvise. And let me just say, for anyone that is setting a wedding date, do not get married on Valentines Day! It sounds romantic, and you will never forget your anniversary, but everything is 100x busier and 100x more expensive.

So there we were, a week before our anniversary/Valentines Day and no reservations anywhere. He tried to get us on a harbor cruise, he tried wine tasting, so many places and they were all booked for Valentines Day.

In the end, we decided to just have a picnic. We picked up some food and drove up to Mt. Soledad, which has an amazing view of San Diego. It was crowded with other couples, but it was simple and relaxing.

We ended up making it a tradition, we’ve gone to Mt. Soledad every year since then for our anniversary (the ones he is home for, at least).

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View from Mt. Soledad

 

“It Doesn’t Get Easier, You Just Get Stronger”

Continuing the Link-up: What we’ve learned from the unexpected (in your first year of marriage)

I’ve talked about this before, but I feel that the biggest thing I learned in our first year of marriage is how to be alone.

our first "in uniform" photo; Pensacola FL

our first “in uniform” photo; Pensacola FL

I knew Jeremy was in the military when we got married, so it wasn’t unexpected that he would have to leave for an extended period of time. But I don’t think any military wife fully expects the first separation, and I certianly didn’t expect to react that way that I did.

I had anΒ unexpectedlyΒ hard time when Jeremy went to Florida for 5 months after we had been married for less than 6 months.

Looking back, it’s hard to imagine that I felt the way that I did. We have since survided 2 deployments and numerous trainings and other schoolings since that first separation. I am now a “seasoned” military wife, the idea of him leaving is sad, but I am no longer defeated by the thought of being alone for months on end. I do not feel unprepared or overwhelmed with anxiety and sadness at the thought of him having to go away.

My husband is (most likely) career military, so I guess there comes a point where you do get used to it. Used to being alone. Used to missing your spouse.

I remember seeing a quote once: “It doesn’t get easier, you just get strong”

Looking back at that first separation, I know that I am a stronger person now. Life has tested me, and I have grown and changed in response to those challenges (both expected and unexpected).