Together again!! (with some interesting twists)

Yesterday I woke up at 4:30 am to head to the airport in Tulsa. I had very uneventful flights to DFW, Newark, and then Providence! I’ve never been further north than DC, so everything is new and exciting! I saw NYC from the sky and was completely blown away! What vertical cities are truly amazing!
Then after finding out my checked bag went to Dulles and not Providence, I finally got on the van that goes to Naval Station Newport (and around the city). THIS is where things got interesting. To start things off terribly the driver didn’t even work for the company, he was the owners friend (sketch). Then he’s swerving all over the road and I’m literally worried that I won’t make it to Newport alive. There are 2 other people on the shuttle, a Newport resident, and an Italian guy who’s a personal chef for the family that just bought the Firestone Estate…first stop we make in town is at a liquor store. The Italian guy comes out with one already drank beer and the Newport lady is cracking open a baby bottle of wine. Needless to say my anxiety level is through the roof right at this point. I think the driver could tell I was a little anxious because he asked if I had to check in on base at a certain time. I thought…”No, I just haven’t seen my fiancé in THREE MONTHS, but take your sweet time”. Instead I kept my calm and told him no, everything was fine. WRONG ANSWER. After dropping off the other lady he proceeds to take the Italian guy and me on a little tour of the city. That’s awesome, but not what I signed up for. At this point Nick is already waiting at the hotel and I’m crying silently in the back seat (lol). But it’s not over yet…when we finally get to the hotel where the Italian guy is staying, the driver gets out and starts yucking it up with someone he knows. We spent about 15 minutes there. FINALLY, I’m stuck in the van ALONE with creepy driver/tour guide guy. But, this means we’re officially on our way to Naval Station Newport. I think that last hour in the cab felt about as long as the past 3 months!
(Warning: Here comes the sappiness!) As we drive up I see Nick coming out of the lobby with flowers in hand, I drop my bag and run to hug him (definitely one of the most romantic moments of my life, even better than the proposal)! Once I got to touch him and hug and kiss him the hardest thing was getting myself together, letting go, and still having to talk to the hotel clerk to check in. We got to spend about an hour and a half together last night before he had to head back to Nimitz Hall, that was the next hardest part.
Today he’s busy with other things and I’m hoping to get to see him for a little while later this afternoon! Tomorrow is Pass In Review (the “parade” of class 16-13) and Hi Mom’s (the graduation reception)!

Until next time… 🙂


LIFE Archives: Circus City USA, 1947 {Hugo, Oklahoma}

Pretty cool article about my hometown. It does have its perks!

Quite Continental

What I love most about the LIFE archives, is how completely I disappear down a rabbit hole for hours.  Seriously.  Most times, when I take a stroll through, I’ll just start off with a single word query.  Could be a name, could be a place, or even just a year, it doesn’t matter — every single time I discover something amazing.

With Water for Elephants at the front of my mind, I wanted to see if I could find any old circus pictures for my Tumblr.  My first query turned up some lovely images taken by one of my favorite photographers, Nina Leen, in 1949 — you can see them here and here — but little more digging revealed a photo that was unrelated to Leen’s set, and amazing in its own right.

The image of this man so lovingly tending his tiny horse immediately drew me in.  Where…

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AHH so many exciting things happening lately! Yesterday I had my bridal brunch and it was amazing! My MOH (Megan) and her sister (Brooke), her mom (Rhonda) and my mom did such an amazing job putting everything together and making it all wonderful. We ate some delicious food, played a really fun game, and then I got to see what all my amazing friends and family sent us! Everyone out there: Y’all rock! We could not ask for a better support group! We love you!

Now the exciting part….I SEE NICK IN 2 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well now almost 1 because today is practically over! I think I might pee my pants a little! I head to Newport on Tuesday and since I’m a civilian he has to check me into my room at the hotel on base where I’m staying (pretty lucky break)! And then on Friday he becomes an ENSIGN! This is so exciting!

More great news: HE GOT HIS ORDERS! He will officially report to NAS Pensacola next week! We’re not sure when he’ll start primary flight training, but we expect it to be sometime in the next couple of months! Next fun bit: I’M MOVING TO PENSACOLA IN 21 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!! ZOMG!!!!!! Nick and I are total opposites, he’s lived in 5 different states, I’ve lived in 2, and I’ve been in Oklahoma for over 15 years! I’m super nervous but completely excited to start this journey FOR REAL now! Oh and did I mention that we found the cutest little apartment in Pensacola? I know I’m getting older because the things I’m most excited about are having my own washer and dryer and a garbage disposal in the kitchen sink haha!

And does anyone want to guess how many days it is until our wedding? I’ll give you a hint. It’s fewer than 49 days and more than 47! Everything really just feels like a dream right now!

One last thing: I think I finally made a career decision! I’ll start looking at NURSING SCHOOLS as soon as I get to Pensacola! I’m so excited about this next step in my education and since Nick will be in Pensacola for most of his flight training then I might (fingers crossed) have time to get pretty close to finishing a program!

So I want to know, what advice do you have on everything? Moving, military, wedding prep, nursing school, anything? I know the people who actually read this are the ones I look to for wisdom so please, give me everything you’ve got 

Until next time… 🙂

Candio Christmas

Today marks the first day of Week 9 of OCS Training for Nick in Newport, Rhode Island. More stuff than I could have ever imagined has happened in these 8 weeks. Some happy, some sad, some exciting, some really boring things too! Four of those weeks I spent at a girls summer camp called Camp Waldemar. It has a sort of magic that makes you forget about the worries of “real life” and gives you some time to relax on the Guadalupe River in the beautiful Hill Country of Texas.

While I was at camp Nick got e-mail privileges and I’ve never checked my email so often or been so thankful for wifi! We also got the chance to talk on the phone a couple of times, but just as many times he’s had to leave me a voicemail because I wasn’t able to answer when he could call. Lots of people would ask, “well can’t you just call him back?” Nope, that’s not how it works! But the good news is: NICK IS REALLY CLOSE TO GETTING HIS CELL PHONE BACK!

This Wednesday is the day that he switches from being an “Officer Candidate” to being a “Candidate Officer” (Candio). He will have a job in the Regiment (all of the candidates at OCS) and he’ll have a lot more freedom with how his time is managed. He’ll be able to go to the Chow Hall whenever he wants to eat (during chow hours of course) and he’ll be able to talk at meals and get coffee (he’s only been able to have it at church on Sundays so far). Nick’s job will be working with the In-Doc staff for the incoming class next week. I’m not really sure what exactly it consists of, but he’ll be working with the new candidates arriving next Sunday! He is the head of a group of 4 other guys (pretty cool)! He’s officially on the downhill slope and I couldn’t be more excited! Another benefit of being a Candio is that they are able to receive care packages known as “candio boxes”. My parents and I each sent on and so did his parents! It is “tradition” to decorate these boxes and send things that they haven’t been able to have since being there (i.e., junk food, homemade goods, magazines, etc). This box had to be sent last week in order for it to arrive by “Candio Christmas” on Wednesday. So in about 3 days, this is what I came up with!

Funfetti cake in a jar :)

Funfetti cake in a jar 🙂

And here’s  a list of everything that went into mine and my parents’ boxes: Cake in a jar (2), a jar of icing, plastic forks and knives, an Under Armour Navy shirt, some really awesome UA american flag socks, playing cards, seasons 1-3 of The Big Bang Theory, headphones, cheez-its, cheez whiz (because he loves it and I refuse to buy it at home), crackers, beef jerky, jalapeño jack pretzel crisps, captain crunch, Men’s Health magazine, First Salute coins, contacts, fun size chocolate bars, peanut butter cookies, and a little touch from home, my stuffed Penguin “Petri” that he got me at the Georgia Aquarium in 2010 (maybe he’ll get some flack for that one, but oh well) 🙂

Only 23 days until I’m in the air on my way to Newport!!! Until next time…


Days until Nick is officially a Candidate Officer (Candio)/Days until I’m in Newport, RI.
These past couple of weeks have been CRAZY! I can’t believe Nick has already been at OCS for over 4 and half weeks! Only a month and a half left to go! I can do this!
He got email privileges last week so things have been so much easier. They had their big drill competition today and did great! The DI and class officers even told them they were proud of them 😮 (apparently that’s uncommon)! Next week they have another inspection, but Nick says that they’re in more of a routine now, they get to pick their own food, and they can eat however they want! Lots of studying, PT, and prep for inspections! In 25 days when he reaches the Candio phase he’ll have an actual job in the regiment and be able to have his cell phone!

I’m at camp until August 10th so time is flying while I’m here! Our family and friends have been so wonderful during this time and we both want everyone to know how blessed we are to have such wonderful people around us! We are two very lucky people!

PS: 93 days until the BIG DAY!

2 down. 9.5 to go.

Yes, I know OCS is 12 weeks long, but I get to go to Newport a couple days before Nick graduates, that’s where the half week is coming in. The countdown is currently at 65 days. Wow. It’s flying by!! We spent our first of 3 anniversaries apart last week. I know it won’t be the last, but it’s still pretty hard. Some days are fine, other days really suck. But that’s just how it goes right?

I’m currently waiting on my flight to head to Camp Waldemar for a month 🙂 I’d love letters, packages, cards, pretty much anything: 

Morgan Ray

Camp Waldemar

1005 FM 1340

Hunt, TX 78024

Here is what this week will look like for Nick. Check out the video at the end. This is how they eat at every meal until Candio phase (weeks 9-12). It’s called “Eating by the numbers”!

Week 3

Week 3 is a pretty busy week. You’ll be starting your academics. Each academic class is 2 weeks long with a quiz at the end of the first week and a test at the end of the second week. The first academic class is SeaPower, which is the history of the Navy. This was the hardest class for me, even though I like history. The way it was taught was not very interesting and it was nearly impossible to stay awake (that’s the biggest problem most people have in academics).You will also be getting ready for the Room, Locker, and Personnel inspection (RLP). This is the single biggest/most intense event. Basically, you’ll have your room set up perfectly, and when the inspectors come in, they will be quizzing you on knowledge and RPTing (Remedial Physical Training) you while they tear apart your room. The biggest thing to remember for this is that its a military bearing test. Keep your bearing and you’ll do fine. On top of that, you’ll continue to learn and practice drill. You also start standing watch in week 3. Junior classes usually stand Rover. Watches are 24/7 with the exception of academic hours (M-F 07-17). Once you become a Candio, you will start standing OOD and Duty Driver watches as well.

Eating by the numbers. Navy OCS:

1 down, 10.5 to go

So it’s officially been one week since Nick reported to OCS! This week was full of craziness for him. Lots of yelling, lots of being yelled at, lots of PT, and LOTS more yelling. And he made it through. Not that I ever thought he wouldn’t, but there’s always the off chance. “Rolling” has become a sort of curse word in my world lately. If a candidate “rolls” that means that they are held in a separate class until they are prepared to go back into the normal OCS routine, and that sets them back at the very least, 3 weeks. And a wise woman once said, “Ain’t nobody got time for that”. I know, I know, if it happens it happens, but it hasn’t happened, so keep your fingers crossed that it doesn’t happen. Got it?

There’s not much to update on on my end. I’ve just been trying to stay as busy as possible and keep my phone far away, but close enough in case I get that curse-worthy call.
Please continue to keep Nick in your thoughts and prayers, this week is easier than the last, but it’s always appreciated!

That’s all folks!