Where do I even begin?! SO MUCH has happened over the past four months. It seems nearly impossible to recapture it all. The last post I wrote was just a few days after Fonz left for USMC bootcamp in San Diego. Every single second of that time away felt like it was inching by slower and slower, but now that I look back on it… it feels like it was just January 25th when Fonz was boarding his bus to San Antonio.
Fonz made 3 months of separation with no verbal or physical communication unbelievably easy. I received about three or four letters a week, give or take. Sometimes they were packaged in one envelope for the week and sometimes the mailman surprised me with three or four envelopes per week. I always favored multiple deliveries over one! I know some girls were not as lucky, so I am incredibly thankful to have received what I did. You know how people ask that burning (pun intended) question, “if your house was on fire, what would you grab first?” Well Mika duh, but then my most prized possession: a canvas binder filled with every single letter Fonz wrote me, each protected by a plastic covering. The most remarkable thing about his letters was his positivity and motivation for me. Here I am, in the comfort of my own home with my friends, family, and Mika… and Fonz is trying to cheer me up! He was the one going through probably the most mentally and physically straining time of his life thus far and he was worried about me. By no means was I asking for these words of affirmation nor was I sending letters filled with negativity or sadness; I know that motivation from home is crucial towards recruits’ success. It’s just Fonz to worry about others over himself. I can’t tell you how many letters I received “at 3:00 am on watch duty” or how many letters had sentences wandering off the lines of his notebook because he was writing in the dark or getting sleepy. I love him so much for it. I know I will keep these letters forever.
Fonz wouldn’t brag about his performance at bootcamp, so I’ll do that for him!! He did really well over those 13 weeks there. He was actually the only recruit to remain Squad Leader the entire time. So here is the breakdown: He was in Alpha company, which is basically like everyone that landed in MCRD for bootcamp that day… a whole bunch of guys. Then that breaks down into Platoons, there are 6 per company. Each Platoon has one Guide, he’s like the go-to leader. Then there are Squad Leaders (Fonz), they are in charge of about 20-30 (give or take depending on the platoon) recruits and report to the Guides and Drill Instructors. Squad Leaders and Guides are replaced all the time, sometimes with reason and sometimes without. So I think, and yes I am biased, that it’s pretty badass Fonz remained Squad leader the whole time! The number of guys in the Platoons definitely dwindled over the 13 weeks. I think Fonz’s platoon started out with 70 something and ended with 56. Guys get dropped left and right for anything! I am so incredibly proud of him for his performance while at bootcamp. He got perfect scores on many of his tests and battled through a constant knee injury without any complaints!
Wednesday, April 20th, 2016, I flew out to San Diego for Fonz’s graduation. At this point, we had spoken on the phone twice. Once when it was completely scripted telling me he had arrived safely at San Diego MCRD and another time for four minutes asking me for his returning flight confirmation number. The first time I saw him was the next day, Thursday, April 21st at Family Day. I can’t deny, I was painfully nervous to see him. I don’t know why! I think part of me was terrified that the training and time away would have changed his personality, and in turn, our relationship. But it was as though we hadn’t spent a single day apart! He was the same goofy, sentimental Fonz I had dropped off at the Recruiter’s Office on January 25th. We had lunch at the on base restaurant and walked around the grounds shopping and talking. He pointed out all the friends he had made and significant spots scattered across the base. Every location or person had a funny story tied to it proving our sense of humor was still perfectly aligned. We weren’t allowed to leave base that afternoon, but that was just fine. Spending the day sitting at a picnic table together was perfect. Fonz wasn’t able to come home with us that evening because he had graduation the next day. All I wanted at this point was to go to bed so I could wake up and have it be tomorrow already. Which is pretty much what I did after enjoying some amazing Indian food with Fonz’s sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew in the Gaslamp District. Have I mentioned how awesome San Diego is? It’s like California’s version of Austin, but cleaner and… I’ll say it… probably even cooler. Early Friday morning, we arrived on base for the much-anticipated graduation day. It was seriously the coolest experience. Watching the guys march is pretty remarkable. It’s kind of like a perfectly choreographed dance. Their marching, yelling, stomping.. it’s impeccable. Not one man is out of place or mistaken in his movements. At the end of graduation we were able to finally take Fonz home with us! It was like introducing him to the world again. He hadn’t heard any music, much less new music. He had no clue what was going on in America or pop culture. But besides catching up on the news of the world, I think he was most concerned about catching up on his eating: pizza, tacos, hamburgers, beer, ice cream… KRISPY KREME! I can’t even tell you how many stops we made at Krispy Kreme that weekend…
A WEEKEND IN CALIFORNIA
The three days together in California were perfect. I booked a hotel for us in La Jolla that was seriously beautiful. It’s called Estancia and I cannot recommend it enough! We were so conflicted the whole trip: we kept wanting to explore Southern California but our hotel was too beautiful to leave! It was so nice getting to retreat to our regular habits of laying around in comfy hotel robes, watching Netflix, and eating
way too many Krispy Kreme donuts. We did that a lot, no matter what time of day. Friday night we went to go see the Padres vs. the Cardinals. It was really cool! I had never been to a professional baseball game before, but Fonz and I officially declared ourselves Padres fans. We always root for the underdog ;). Saturday we spent all day driving up and down the Pacific Coast Highway. We stopped in all the pretty little towns for ice cream, coffee, tea, a stroll on various boardwalks… pretty much any excuse to park and wander around. My personal favorite was San Clemente, but I think Fonz favored Venice Beach. Both are wonderful! I’d say the best part of the weekend was officially getting engaged on Sunday afternoon. It was pretty much the cherry on top of an already perfect weekend!
Our week back from California was a bit of a whirlwind. The school year is obviously still in session, so I had work all week. On top of that, we were putting the finishing touches on our wedding! Our entire wedding was planned through letters. That’s why I believe “officially” to be a crucial word in the sentence above. Fonz and I decided to get married long before he left for bootcamp, we just didn’t know when we wanted to have our wedding. It wasn’t until a couple of letters into his time at MCRD did we decide we should just do it! For being thousands of miles away, Fonz was surprisingly involved in the process. He helped me pick the decor, music, food, and pretty much passed any and all of my executive decisions.
We got married on Saturday, April 30th. It was exactly what we wanted. Something relaxing and happy with the people nearest and dearest to our hearts. We had the most amazing photographers: Alaa and Brenda of Alaa Marzouk Photography. I promise to do an entire blog post dedicated to the wedding with all the details once our photographs are ready!
And here we are today! It’s May 14th and Fonz left a few days ago. My heart aches because I got so used to life with him again. Our house is a little too quiet without him here. But I know this training is only the segue into our life together, which makes it all the more bearable! During this training, Fonz will occasionally get his phone so that makes life a lot easier, too. I think the worst part is not knowing when he will be done with training or when we will see each other next. Despite the uncertainty, I feel incredibly secure this time around. I think because Fonz left not as my boyfriend, but as my husband … I wonder when I’ll finally get used to saying that word!
I will try my hardest to post on here more often. I truly miss my little blog and writing. I also miss an excuse to buy an unnecessary amount of clothing and shoes. But I can’t promise when my blog will go back to normal, sadly. Without my photographer and partner, it’s really hard! But I will do my best. Thank you for reading along! I cannot wait to share our wedding photos!
Until next time ♥