Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Goodbye September!

Sorry it has been a couple of days since my last update.

Sunday Jesse and I got professional pictures done in Tacoma (by downtown Tacoma & by Point Defiance).  We did half of our pictures with him in his ACUs, and half of them in his civilian clothing.  The photographer is awesome, if you are in the Puyallup/Tacoma/Seattle area I highly recommend her.  You can see some of her work here:

I will post more about the photos, she's going to be putting them online after she's done editing them (which should be on Sunday).  If you're on my Christmas card list you'll probably get familiar with those pictures!! :)

Monday Jesse worked most all day, and while he was working he ran into like four NCOs (non-commissioned officers) that he had served with previously with third brigade.  He had a great time catching up with them, and was psyched when he called me after work to tell me all about it.

Yesterday Jesse and I went to the Newcomers Orientation on North Fort Lewis (which was mandatory for him), and something I did go to when we got to Ft. Benning.  Nonetheless, Jesse and I learned lots of information (like Ft. Lewis has about 35,000 soldiers and over 23,000 of them are currently deployed).  We also learned a lot of new information of what is available to us through the police and through recycling (I thought it was interesting at least! I don't know about Jesse...).  They also had lots of booths which had information services that are available to military families and the surrounding area (which, for the most part, we know already).  It still was very helpful, and I have to say that I recommend going if you are coming out to Ft. Lewis!  They had a LOT of information on childcare and information on what is offered for them.  None of which I knew, because of course, we don't have any children!

We have decided also that we are going to be moving on post very soon.  We get our keys on the 19th.  I will e-mail out our address to everyone when we start our moving process.  I do have the address now, but will let you all know closer to the date.  If you happen to send mail to my parents address, that is okay, we can still get the mail of course.

I finished my day yesterday with working, when I got home my very sweet adorable husband decided that he would surprise me with a new jacket (before I left I was saying I didn't have a jacket with a hood to wear to work) and a couple of movies to watch this weekend.  It was very sweet of him!

Also, this weekend Jesse and I will be going out to the wine country (Rattlesnake Hills, Yakima Valley area) on friday.  We will be staying there for the weekend, to spend some much needed time together before deployment.  Sunday we're going to meet up with a couple people we met at Ft. Benning and that  are currently stationed at Ft. Lewis.  Jesse was in IBOLC (Infantry Basic Officer Leaders Course) with him at Ft. Benning, and his wife was in the FRG.  They also have a dog, which is a white german shepherd, so we often ran into them at the Ft. Benning dog park (I visited that park religiously).  They are very nice people who bought a house in the Olympia/Lacey area, and I know Jesse is looking forward to showing him the ropes.

In other news, there was a tsunami warning on the west coast (for those who are non-west coasters that may not have known) which was very interesting to hear about last night!  The earthquake in American Samoa had caused most of the west coast to have this warning.  I feel like since we've been back I've noticed more of these tsunami warning signs than I had before (they're posted EVERYWHERE around here it seems... We do have a lot of water!).  Also, fall has officially come as of yesterday.  It has definitely cooled off!  I officially feel cold all the time.  I guess that's to be expected from a desert baby!

I'll probably post more tomorrow, I did get my hair cut and am going to post pictures soon.  The weekend is probably going to be pretty busy, but I will post pictures of Eastern Washington when I can! I do work more next week, nearly full-time hours, but after that I'm working next to nothing since Jesse's going to be leaving soon.  Please keep Jesse in your thoughts and prayers as he prepares for deployment!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Saltwater Fishing

Jesse went fishing at the Straight of Juan de Fuca yesterday (yay for saltwater fishing). He had a great time with his friend Alan, Alan's father Bob, and Dean. They caught mostly ling cod, none of which they took home (too small). He can't wait to go again next year!

Wreaths Across America

Many of you already know that Jesse had a fellow schoolmate and ROTC classmate that died in Afghanistan June 25th, 2009 from a pressure plated IED.  His name was 1LT Brian Bradshaw.

Bradshaw's family supports this organization, Wreaths Across America, for Bradshaw is buried at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, WA.  The organization helps make sure there are enough wreaths to place on grave sites for those men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

As his mother has posted on Facebook, last year the cemetery only had 174 wreaths to place on the many graves at the cemetery.  Sponsoring a wreath helps Tahoma National Cemetery along with the many national cemeteries across the country and are only $15 and are delivered directly to the cemetery.  The cemetery code is WATNCK Washington Tahoma National Cemetery Kent.

Visit this site to learn more information: 

If you can't give monetarily and would like to lend a hand, they have a ceremony where volunteers place wreaths on the grave sites across the country.  This year the ceremony will be on December 12th at 0900.

If you would like to donate money for a scholarship being set up in Brian Bradshaw's name at Pacific Lutheran University (where Jesse went to school), this is the address:

Brian Bradshaw Memorial Fund
Pacific Lutheran University
Office of Development
Tacoma, WA 98447

Thank you!

Friday, September 25, 2009


So, Jesse has been fishing quite often, and I thought I would show some of his fun times out on the river for those who haven't gotten to see his pictures. Today he was going to go out, but work was calling (or, as he would say 'uncle sam' or 'the man'). These were all taken on the Puyallup River, except for the king salmon, which was taken on the Skokomish River (first picture).

See More @:
Fishing 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Shutterfly Account

You can view more pictures of ours & even order them at:

Also you can view photos of our trips at:

Monday, September 21, 2009


Today my father had the day off, my mother worked an early shift (at her NEW job), and Jesse basically went into work to do PT before he came home. My mother is at a friends house chatting it up, and my dad and Jesse are working on replacing the front window. It looks great, if I may say so myself :)

Yesterday we went to a friend's wedding (Bob and Gillian), which was beautiful. They had autumn colors (along with white of course) which went well with a Mexican theme. Mexican food, margaritas, and Mexican beer. Very cool. The event was at the Orting Manor in Orting. There was a pool in the back, which the guys couldn't resist by the end of the night, and all of them ended up jumping in. It was a good time!

See more photos:
Bob & Gillian's Wedding

Saturday, September 19, 2009

New Address!

I don't remember mentioning it before, but we do have a new address!! If you would like it please e-mail me at I know I didn't mention my e-mail address before, so if you would like to be on my e-mail list regarding Jesse and his adventures to the 'Stan, please let me know via e-mail.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Providence Canyon

Today Jesse and I both got off early from work. Jesse did some CLS (Combat Life Saver) stuff today, which he said was great because it actually was something they'd use in combat. He also did an exercise where they learn what to do (and how to get out) of a vehicle if it rolled. Good stuff.

Since the day was pretty uneventful, I wanted to show one of the things we did while visiting Georgia. We went to Providence Canyon, a canyon which was formed by "bad farming practices." I really don't know how that happens, but it was quite interesting to see. There is a long trail which goes down to the bottom of the canyon, and winds in different directions on the canyon floor. Pretty, but no Grand Canyon (even if they do call it "The Little Grand Canyon"). We went when my parents came down along with my aunt and uncle from Indiana. My uncle is one of those guys who loves the outdoors and hiking so it was perfect. Here is a view of the canyon from the top.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mid-Week Update

Today was relatively uneventful, I went to the gym and with my mom to take the dog for a walk. Jesse met us there and played ball with Stryker a little bit.

Jesse has a heat test of some sort tomorrow, which is kind of funny because we have no idea what it entails. All I know is that he drug out all of his gear and strung it out all over our very small bedroom. I have to say it was quite cute when he had my father and brother, Taylor, try on his flak vest. That was pretty good! He also confirmed that he probably will get the new boots they have now that are green and brown (in Jesse's words "hideous") and the super cool (at least I think so) shirts that go underneath the flak vest. They're green in the center of the shirt, with ACU-type sleeves, almost like a baseball style shirt. Very cool, nice, and new gear!

I got some information on the FRG (Family Readiness Group) today also, and should be contacted soon about what's happening with that. It's exciting! When Jesse leaves I'll make sure to post ideas for care packages in case anyone is interested!

Tomorrow I go to work for my 2nd day... Things have been pretty dead because of the Puyallup Fair. Quite honestly, I can't complain! It's kind of nice to just get back into the swing of things without crazy amount of customers in the store. Besides, my friend April is working again and we are going to have some cupcakes!

The jewelry store is going to have a LeVian show the beginning of december. Those who do not know what LeVian is, it is amazingly beautiful (and expensive) jewelry. LeVian is a family name, and they have been making jewelry since the 1700's ( They started in the beginning by designing jewelry for Persian Royalty. The jewelry is beautiful and made with all natural stones. The company warranties the gold and the stones in the jewelry for life -- that is how much they believe in their product. So, back to what I was talking about before, they're having a HUGE show at our store that will have so many pieces it requires security. We're talking $9 million worth of jewelry. The LeVian dealer also told our manager that if none of the associates wear jewelry that day that he will dress us with the gorgeousness that is LeVian. It's a rough life!

Anywhoo, on some "off" type days I'll try and update you all on some of the things we did in Georgia.... And post some pictures. There isn't too much to see, but we have some interesting stories and pictures!

I also found a cause which I think is worth supporting! I know everyone has left over, random Christmas cards laying around their house... So why not donate them to a good cause and let our soldiers know how much they are appreciated and that they are thought about this holiday season? Cards are due by November 20th.

Operation Christmas Cards for Our Soldiers

The Physical Address to mail your boxes of Christmas Cards are as follows:

You can mail cards to:
Amanda Sullivan
Attn: Operation Christmas Cards
PO Box 102
Shrewsbury MA 01545

Rochelle Fetterley
Operation Christmas Cards
2106 N Country Club Road
Duncan OK 73533

Only address the envelope if it is going to a soldier that celebrates something other than Christmas.

-- Some Q&A --

Do we need to have the card in a blank envelope?
It is not needed but it would be great if it was in one.

Do we seal the envelopes?
Please do not seal the envelopes, we check through them for the occasional card that contains comments that you would not want your friend or loved one reading while they are defending this country.

Does it have to be Christmas cards?
Absolutely not. Any and all types of holiday cards will be greatly appreciated. Thank you cards will be just great too as well as pictures that are drawn by children.

Who can we ask and how can we help more?
You can ask anyone and everyone. Friends, family, schools, churches. Diane suggested putting boxes around town with a short description of the project. Email me for the description that we are using if you need help for ideas. We've asked local business if they would display a box during the month of October into November as long as we check in weekly to collect cards.

Can we send more than just cards?
Sure, the troops love anything from home such as candy and cookies at the holidays. Stockings, christmas lights, anything that makes it feel a little more festive for them. DVDS and books or magazines. Even if they are used these troops greatly appreciate them.

Do we leave contact information?
If you would like to that would be great. Most soldiers would love to keep in contact especially when children send art work. However, some soldiers may be unable to answer or may not have the time. Don't forget they have a lot to do over there and some soldiers rarely get free time for themselves.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It's a New Day

So today I start my job back at Kay Jewelers. It should be interesting since I left my job at Hoya Vision Care nearly a year ago, and it has probably been more like a year and a half since I've worked at the jewelry store. It is bittersweet for I love not having to work (I mean really, who LOVES to work, right?), but I look forward to working with the manager and my friend April. We have quite a good time together!

Today Jesse signed into Brigade. The good news is that he will not be leaving for Afghanistan for another 30 or so days! We did hear through all of the "joe dot com" rumors that there was a possibility that he would have to leave on the 22nd of this month, but we did not want to alert anyone until we knew something 100%. But it WILL be approximately 30 days from today. Before Jesse leaves they have to qualify on their weapons and do some land navigation (often called land nav). That is all we know for now, but this truly is a positive thing because it shaves another 30 days off his deployment.

Earlier today I took Stryker to the dog park, where he got to play with my parents dogs Daisy and Wynne, and a neighborhood dog, Zach. They got worn out SUPER fast! I wanted to share a picture of Stryker with you (from the new camera!).

Monday, September 14, 2009

Doin' the Puyallup

Today Jesse had a short work day and we headed out to the Puyallup Fair. Little did we know, it was military appreciation day today, and we BOTH got in free to the fair. Gotta love it!

We made our rounds looking at all kinds of crafts, gifts, and many pitch men. We didn't buy anything, but we did stop and get an Earthquake burger, which is a must have at the Puyallup Fair! It is a 1/2 lb burger that you can get with or without cheese, they also like to serve cooked onions on the top too (which we opt out of, Jesse doesn't care for onions much). Add a huge pile of fries and a coke, and you're set. Now, I know it sounds like a heart attack on a plate, but it's pretty good! We also went and got an elephant ear, a must have for Jesse. It was a bit crazy, but going on a week day is the best option. Overall we had a good time!

We are going to be buying a new camera soon, so hopefully I will be able to post some beautiful new pictures.

Also I am going to be starting my job again tomorrow, which should be interesting! I've been out of practice for nearly a year now. Jesse finishes in-processing tomorrow, and will sign into Brigade soon. I will keep everyone posted on what things look like after that! I am getting an e-mail list together (to e-mail updates and such), so if I don't have your e-mail (or someone else's that you think I should have) PLEASE let me know. My e-mail is Thanks!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The End of Another Weekend...

Friday evening Jesse and I drove up to Mt. Vernon/Sedro Woolley area to visit Jesse's mother along with his stepbrother (Jesse Max) and stepsister (Serene). We got there a little after dark, stopping in Marysville to grab some dinner at Taco Time (I missed Taco Time when we were in Georgia!!). When we had gotten there his mom was already worn out from her long day at work. The two of us went to bed, watching a couple seasons of Life before going to bed.

Saturday morning Jesse Max and Serene arrived right after they watched the sun rise over the Skagit River, and went straight to bed after their very long drive from California. Jesse and I woke up about 7 AM, Julie and Sam (Julie's new Lhasa Apso puppy) had gotten up early. Julie made a fabulous breakfast and we started our day. Jesse, Jesse Max, and I went for a trip into town. We rented a rug doctor for Julie for the kids to clean her carpets, a sportsman store (for the Jesses to look at guns, gun cases, fishing gear, hiking gear, and kayaking gear), to Costco (for yummy breakfast food of course... not to mention samples! ;)), and to the grocery store to pick up some essentials and some stuff for dinner. When we got home the boys started to move furniture and clean the carpets, and Jesse's good friends Nate and Amber came with their two adorable children and had dinner with us. Jesse Max made a beautiful dinner of chicken, broccoli, red potatoes with rosemary, and garlic bread. After the Nate and Amber left, we packed everything up and went inside. Jesse and I did dishes, while the other ladies relaxed and read their books. Jesse and Jesse Max went and talked about guns, and Julie went to bed for the night. No one really wanted to watch a movie, so Jesse put on Life, in which we all watched.

This morning we got up (Julie came in and jumped on our bed) and we started our day. Most everyone was cleaning out the shop behind the house (Jesse had a lot in there from his old room) and they helped separate stuff to be thrown away. Before we left at noon, Mark came by to spend some time with Jesse Max and Serene while they were here, and Jesse before we left. We got some photos with everyone before we packed our CRV, loaded up the dog, and left.

On the way out we stopped and returned the rug doctor, and then stopped once again at Tulalip Casino where they also have a large outlet mall. We shopped for about 45 minutes, trying not to leave the dog in the hot car for too long. We headed out from there to pick up my brother (Taylor) from his Apartment near the UW campus in Seattle. From there we headed back to the craziness of my mothers house with 5 people, 3 dogs, 4 cats, and ONE bathroom... :)

We had a great weekend, it was great being able to catch up with everyone... Especially the out-of-towners! Overall, we had a great time!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Patriot Day

It is September 11, 2009 and before I ramble on about the happenings in our lives as of today, Jesse and I are remembering the lives lost that day, and the troops that are currently serving and those who have given ALL in the process of keeping their homeland safe. Thank you!

Also, here are a couple of links of 5th Brigade in case you're interested in seeing what Jesse's brigade is doing overseas:

Onto other news, Jesse and I are going up to his moms today to spend the weekend with her and his stepbrother and stepsister, Jesse Max and Serene. We haven't seen them since Thanksgiving so it'll be good to see them.

Other than that, there isn't much new. Jesse is still doing briefings and such, but there is nothing that interesting to share yet.

Two weeks ago we went to the beach (Ocean Park, Long Beach, Seaview, Illwaco, and Astoria) and had a good time. I will post a link for more pictures at a later time for you guys to view! Jesse and I did take some time to celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary, too :)

I will post more either sunday or monday!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Back in the GREAT Pacific Northwest

It has been a while!!

I had planned on updating this blog plenty while Jesse was at Ranger school, and as most of you already know, Ranger school didn't work out quite to our expectations. Jesse got medically dropped out of Ranger school, proving the Georgia heat can be overwhelming. He is doing fine, but he did almost pass out a couple of times during the first day. He and a few others did get dropped, only to return in winter months.

Jesse came home slightly defeated, but more than ready to move on. We decided that it would be best for us to stay stateside instead of going to Italy, for multiple reasons. Jesse called Branch (the go to people to change duty stations) and tried to get in an airborne or light infantry unit. There were no spots open at Ft. Bragg, Ft. Campbell, Ft. Drum, or Ft. Carson. But there was an opening at Ft. Lewis, which he took without hesitation. Not his first pick, but it would do.

So here we are in Washington, all we know as of now is that he is going to be 5/2 (5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division). He is currently in processing until about mid next week. We are approximating he has about 45 days (give or take) until he deploys for Afghanistan, where the unit is currently deployed.

I will post more updates as I go, I'm going to get in the habit of updating this blog!! As of now we are living with my parents, where we will stay until Jesse gets back from deployment. We're hoping in the spring we will be moving on post.

Please e-mail me via gmail or Facebook if you would like our current address :)


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