Sunday, April 14, 2013

Kellie Jo's Visit

This weekend, Kellie Jo, Jake's mom came to visit. We love visitors! It is so nice to see family when you have been away from them for awhile. We had a blast while she was here for a short little visit. Friday night, we went down to Fredricksburg and had dinner at a Mexican restaurant on the patio. We are beyond happy that it is finally nice enough for patio sitting. Then, we drove around downtown Fredricksburg for a bit.

Saturday we woke up early and headed to Panera for breakfast. After breakfast, we drove over to TBS to show Kellie Jo around and to grab something at the barracks. Next, we went up north to a huge mall, Potomac Mills. Potomac Mills has to be one of the best malls I have ever been to. It is just like a regular mall, but lots of the stores are outlets. It also has higher end stores you don't always see in regular malls. My favorite part is that it has all of my favorites, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Home Goods. I could literally spend days shopping there and still not go to all of the stores. I guess that is why we spent a good amount of time shopping. Yes, Jake actually was patient enough to shop with us. All three of us went a but crazy in the JCrew factory store. It was worth it though. All three of us combined got $400 worth of stuff for $250. We were pretty excited for a good deal and for lots of cute new clothes.

We were finally sick of the mall, so we headed back down south and went to mainside of the base to run a few errands. Kellie Jo was nice enough to brave the commissary on a Saturday with me. It was a complete nuthouse. I had never been to the commissary, though, and I figured it would be a fun experience. Jake waited in the car, of course. We headed home to drop Jake and the groceries off and then shopped a bit more just us girls. Saturday night, I made dinner for Jake and Kellie Jo. We were talking and thought it was interesting that this was the first time I had ever cooked dinner for Kellie Jo. She has cooked me so many wonderful dinners over the past 5 years, it was nice to finally be able to cook for her!

This morning (Sunday), we were up early to go up to DC. Our first stop was Eastern Market. My sister had taken Jake and I there when we visited her last summer and fell in love. It is an outdoor farmer's market, but also has an indoor area with butcher's stands, bakeries, flower stands, etc. I love seeing all of the fresh food. We ate breakfast at a cute little restaurant where had had the most delicious french toast. We then walked around the market and bought apples, corn, and some amazing apple butter. We then decided to walk down towards the National Mall. I have decided you can't go to DC without walking A LOT. The first stop on our walk was the capitol building. This was one place I hadn't seen yet in all of my visit. It is such a beautiful building. I was kind of amazed by it and how cool it is to see it up close. We also stopped by the national botanical gardens, which were pretty awesome as well. We then walked down the the tidal basin, where the Thomas Jefferson memorial is. This is all where all of the cherry blossoms are. I was a bit disappointed that we missed the peak of the blossoms, but they were still pretty. We were sick of walking at this point and decided to catch a cab back to the car. We ate lunch on the patio of a cute little restaurant before we got in the car and headed to Arlington Cemetery. After visiting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, watching the changing of the guards, and looking at JFK's gravesite, it was time to take Kellie Jo to the airport. Saying goodbye is always hard, but fortunately she will be back out here soon for graduation!

Today Jake and I felt truly blessed that we have been able to live so close to DC and get to explore it as much as we have. It really is a beautiful place and makes me proud to be an American. Thank you for visiting, Kellie Jo! We had a blast.

Until next time,

J and M

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Post About Jake

Originally, this blog was supposed to be about Jake and I and our adventures as newlyweds. The main purpose was to keep friends and family updated with out life while we are far away. As expected, I pretty much took over and posted about things that interest me.

So what exactly is Jake up to anyway?? I asked him if he wanted to write this post, but he said no. So this is what Jake is doing, according to Mackenzie. Sorry Jake if this wasn't what you had in mind. 

If you didn't know, Jake is currently at The Basic School (TBS) for the United States Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia. No, it is not basic training. It is an intensive 6 month program that teaches newly commissioned officers the ins and outs of the Marine Corp and how to be an officer. Jake had to go through a long process to get here. He applied in 2010, was chosen by a board based on his gpa, physical fitness, and moral code and then went to a 10 week course called Officer Candidate School during the summer 0f 2011. This 10 weeks is meant to weed out the qualified from the not so qualified. Once he made it through  this course, he waited until he graduated from college, and then commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in March 2012. 

After the long, tiring process, he arrived at TBS this last November. I had to finish up school, and then joined him at the end of December. So what has he been doing at TBS??

Shooting lots of guns

Workin' on his fitness

LOTS and LOTS of hiking (you don't want to see his feet)

Eating lots of yummy MREs

Sleeping outside

Getting gassed

Riding in helicopters

Being very cold

Hanging with his buddies

And being pretty dang cute if you ask me

I've enjoyed watching Jake learn and succeed. He has been working so hard and I know he is looking forward to being done with the early mornings and late evenings studying. We have met lots of great people and have been thoroughly enjoying our time here in Virginia. At the end of this week we find out where we will be headed next when Jake graduates from TBS in May. It is exciting and nerve racking, but this has been an awesome adventure so far and we can't wait to see where our life in the Marine Corps takes us. I know we will never forget our first move away from home and I know Jake will never forget the months he spent in the dirty barracks and highlands of Quantico with some great friends, even if it was a bumpy ride. 

Stayed tuned for our big announcement of where we are off to next!

Until next time,

J and M