Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A Proud Big Sis

Sorry for not posting sooner but the last couple of weeks have been pretty busy for me. We got back from our California trip over a week ago but my brother was here on his leave from the Marines and my family was here visiting from India for 8 days. Jeff left for Camp Pendleton yesterday and the rest of my family left this morning. I already miss all of them but my parents and the kids are planning on returning in July for a couple of months and Jeff should be done with SOI by the end of June and he thinks he might get some leave around the 4th of July. He is also hoping that he might be able to get Recruiter's Assistant for a little while so he can have more time at home. That will all depend on if he has more training after SOI and when it begins.

Our trip to California began with a 2 1/2 hour flight to LAX (after spending a couple of hours at the airport). H decided that she didn't like flying so well (she was afraid we were going to fall out of the sky) and she cried off and on for the first half of the flight. E got tired and fussy for the last half of the flight and finally fell asleep about 10 minutes before we landed. After we got our rental car we went and visited Stephen's aunt and had lunch with her. Then we met up with my family in Oceanside. It was good to see them after not seeing them for about 4 months.

The next day we went to MCRD San Diego and watched Jeff's company do a moto run. They stopped in front of us and did a chant and then continued on their run. We easily spotted Jeff and I got teary eyed when I saw him. He later told us that he saw our sister Kelly and it was hard for him to control his emotions. He didn't know if we were going to make it to Family Day so it was a nice surprise for him. A couple of hours later we got to watch the ceremony where the recruits are given their Eagle, Globe and Anchor pins and become Marines. I was so proud of Jeff. We all were. After the ceremony was over the Marines were given the next 5 or so hours to spend with their families. We rushed down to the Parade Deck and found Jeff. Mom said that she got first hug since she's Mom but I got the second hug. I can't even begin to describe how happy I was to see him and hug him and how proud I was of what he had just accomplished. The time for visiting went by much too quickly and we had to say goodbye. The next day was the official graduation ceremony. Again, I was so proud to see him standing out there. He had become a real Marine and a man.

We spent the next 2 days at Disneyland. It was extremely crowded and therefore not always that fun but we did enjoy ourselves overall. This trip was a family reunion as well. I got to see an aunt that I hadn't seen in almost 19 years and cousins that I hadn't seen since Stephen and I got married (almost 8 years ago). There were some rough times when the kids were extremely tired and whiny and fussy. E threw his biggest temper tantrum ever during our second day at Disneyland. I don't blame him though; he was exhausted and still suffering from croup which he had before we left. I got sick with a really bad cold while we were there and I'm still kind of recovering from that.

I'll admit that I was kind of worried that Jeff would come out of his boot camp experience changed in not a good way. I was wrong. He has changed in some ways. He's more polite and he's just different in some ways. But he's the same too. He's still my little brother and we were still able to goof around together while he was here. I know that things won't ever be the same for our family but I have to accept the change. I'm not really welcoming it but I think it will be a good change.

In case you get some computer time soon Jeff - Happy 19th Birthday! I love you and I miss you and I am so proud of you!


Blogger granati said...

i don't envy that flight back to india. but hey, maybe in october we will head back. what do you think?

May 2, 2007 at 4:01 PM  
Blogger ErinG said...

i dunno

May 2, 2007 at 4:09 PM  
Blogger grnidlady said...

it was great seeing all of you! i hope that jeff can spend some of his free time with us. i know evan would love to spend some time with him again. he has evan's cell phone number so i hope he will call.

May 3, 2007 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger Steph said...

jeff sure seems to be a special brother! glad your family got to spend some time together. i hope i get to see the rest of your family when they come this summer. i don't deal well with change either. the only thing that helps it all make sense is Col 3:1-4.

May 8, 2007 at 11:55 AM  
Anonymous Jim Stagner said...

It was really good to see all of you. The military does change you, but mostly for the good. We have lots of military and retired in our church and our active adult community. You can always tell them because they are polite and say "sir" and "Ma'am" (kind of the way most people talked when I was a kid back in the old days). Keep us up to date on Jeff's progress through future training. We are close to Quantico and the pentagon both so who knows, we may see him sooner than we would think.
love Grandpa Jim

May 9, 2007 at 8:31 AM  

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