Considering this is my first post, it is only fair to start with a little background on myself and my family. I have a few things I have already prepared to share, but an intro is needed, like any first-time meeting of new friends. I may mention my lucky husband, Philip, or our fur babies, quite often and you need to know who they are, and how we got where we are today.
But before I get to them, there are a lot of things to catch you up on. I will try to be quick – (but thorough!-in a Maude Lebowski tone).
In the beginning…I graduated from Monroe County high school in 2006, in middle-of-nowhere Kentucky. I grew up somewhat poor, and I knew we could never afford college. I have a twin sister and a younger brother, my mother married my father at the age of 14, and never went beyond the 8th grade. My father had been in the Navy, he is 16 years older than my mother, and he was 31 when they wed. (I know, that’s Kentucky for ya!)
I remember vowing to join the Navy when I was around 7 years old with my twin sister. I knew it was what I had to do. While I was a senior in high school, I met a recruiter named Brandon Ford, he was sitting at a booth during lunch, passing out information and taking names. I met with him at school, and by the end of lunch, I had agreed to him visiting my home and meeting my parents. I remember not being sure about my application until I had to fill out my birth date. When I wrote 8/10/1988 on the form, the recruiter told me that he had the same birthday, he pulled out his license, and it was true. He was also born on August 10, but a few years before me. I somewhat took this as a good sign.
I signed up for the military, and 2 weeks after I turned 18, I was shipped off to Great Lakes for boot camp; my twin decided to start college courses instead, and we spent our last summer apart. This was the first time we had ever been separated, and as soon as she got back from ‘camp’ over the summer, I left.
This was going to be a challenge, because I came from a town of around 2500 people, had never been away from home and I had never even ridden in an airplane before. Joining the Navy meant I would be around many different people, inside one large ship, away from home indefinitely. I was not very familiar with large cities or large groups of people, so every aspect was going to be a major change for me, especially without my twin by my side. I was extremely shy in high school, it took this experience for me to come out of my shell and become my own person.
(USS Blue Ridge Lcc-19 Nav/Ops: Mary and Philip center)
Philip and I met each other in January 2007, in Yokosuka, Japan, courtesy of the United States Navy.
We were both stationed on-board USS Blue Ridge LCC-19, the flag ship for 7th Fleet. We had important people on-board, and we were more like a cruise liner for the Navy.
We were never out to sea for large amounts of time, and we went to a lot of places not many Navy ships are allowed to go.
On-board, we were Quartermasters, which entailed a lot of charts (read: maps) and cleaning station’s (read: pretending to clean).
We did do important stuff, like bring the ship in and out of ports, but majority of our time was spent with busy work.
This busy work could include sweeping, painting, busting rust on the ship or whatever else your chain of command had in mind.
I visited numerous countries and climbed Fuji twice (but only made it to the top once).
For more photos of me in the Navy – Navy.mil
Philip and I worked together every day, and we were not friends at first. In fact, I couldn’t stand him and I don’t think he cared at all for me.
After we became friends, we became close friends, and our relationship grew.
He loved me and I loved him, I just didn’t know it.
He was planning on getting out of the Navy, and my original plan was to reenlist for 4 more years. When I heard that he was leaving, I knew if I didn’t go too, that I would probably never see him again.
I canceled my reenlistment plans and prepared to process out with him. He left Japan for Seattle, and I followed a few weeks later.
After leaving Japan, we transitioned to Kentucky. Lucky for my Kentucky background, since Philip is the biggest University of Kentucky Basketball fan I know, this transition was going to be easy for us. (Ha!)
We had not lived with each other before, or had this much free time together, so we immediately adopted 2 cats, Fat-Cat and Pretty Kitty (because we are genius). These were not the original names, we had to think spur of the moment or stick with the humane society’s choices of Croissant and Waffles, and we could not live with those names.
(Our Girls, Fatty and Pretty Kitty)
Philip attended UK for his 4 years, and he finished his Forestry degree in 2013. I took classes there, but I was very indecisive with my Major and goals, and I found myself changing them every semester. I was constantly in and out of jobs and school at this time (perhaps another story sometime).
Of course we fought and argued at times, like any normal-crazy couple, but we made it work for us.
If we rewind to 6 months before Philip graduated, we got married. Now I know that this may be a big deal for most women, we dream about it our entire lives, but for us, it was about us.
Philip and I had attended a wedding two weeks prior to ours, and, of course, I got emotional and wondered ‘when will it be us?’. We decided the night of our friend’s wedding (Thanks Jade!) that we would be married next Tuesday. (Why next Tuesday? Booze. I have no other explanation. Ha.)
Now, that next Tuesday came and went with no vows. I was heartbroken. I didn’t known if he had changed his mind or forgotten. And I wasn’t sure which was worse. When he got home that Tuesday, I was out of my mind. I suppose neither of us really thought it was going to happen, and so we didn’t plan. But now that we knew that it WAS something that we wanted, the next Tuesday we got married.
We went to the Lexington Courthouse, with two of our friends from our local VFW (veterans of foreign war), and we got married. I had to work that morning, I was a cook at a bagel shop near our home on campus, and my boss refused to let me have the day off. I went into work that morning at 6:45, and I got off around lunch time. I ran home and threw on a white sundress I have, my hair was still in a ponytail, and we went and got married. One of the only photos we have from that day is of Philip and myself in the elevator ride up to our judge’s quarters. It was a very exciting and wonderful afternoon. 11-21-12. It also just so happened to be the day before Thanksgiving that year, so we had planned on visiting my family that afternoon and weekend.
Sadly, we didn’t tell many people, and we thought a few we had told were upset with us. People had assumed it would eventually happen, but not without a celebration or party. We had told a few cousins, close friends, and, my family, but we did not tell Philip’s parents. We were deathly afraid they would be upset or not approve of our spontaneous joining. And the longer we did not tell them, the angrier we thought they’d be. We did not tell his parents for months, and even then someone else spilled the beans for us. A patient of my father-in-law thought it appropriate to congratulate him on his new daughter-in-law. He then called Philip, and that’s how my in-laws they found out we were married.
Our date, on a different note, was something we didn’t realize until the next day. When we looked at the date, we realized it was 112-112. Later, Philip and I celebrated our marriage with tattoos, each of us got the numbers 112 on our rib-cages, my right, his left. His was detailed pistol style, mine more floral. And when we hug, it spells out our wedding date. (Extra cheesy, but I love it).
After Philip graduated, he was offered a forester surveyor position in Ohio, with the Davey Expert Tree Company, which means we had to move from our beloved townhouse at UK; our Euclid. (The street was named Euclid, and as you will see, we have a habit of calling our old homes by their ‘first names’). We had spent out entire 4 years living right on campus, and it was our first home together. We moved into an apartment in Eastgate, near the Jungle Jim’s if you are Ohio-familiar. This apartment was our home for a little over a year, and while Philip worked with Davey, I enrolled in beauty school.
Never in my life had I thought I would say those words. Beauty School. I had never considered this for employment or a career path, but a cousin of Philip, the beautiful Amy, suggested that I check it out. I toured the Eastgate campus of Regency Beauty and I enrolled. This was another crazy experience for me, as I was one of the oldest people in the class, at the old age of 25. I was surrounded by high school graduates and girls looking for a ‘hobby’ to do when they attend college ‘next year’. I made friends and enjoyed my time at Regency. I also changed my hair every other week, like any new beauty student would. I had every color hair you can think of, which left me with a pixie upon graduating. I finished beauty school in a year’s time, and, got my Cosmetologist license for Ohio in 2014.
Once I graduated, we realized that we hated renting. We hated having neighbors extremely close by in our apartment, we hated the small quarters, and we hated not having a backyard or a place of our own. We began looking for houses, and by the summer we were closing on our first home; this was our Bobwhite house in Batavia, Ohio.This house was double in square footage, had a walk out basement, and it had a kitchen space to die for, compared to our rented homes. This is also the home where we adopted our dog-baby, Bilbo Baggins (the Hobbit), all the while Philip continued to work for Davey.
(Mary and Bilbo Baggins)
I got my driver’s license and I got a job working with Great Clips in Eastgate, working as a stylist in February 2015. This job helped me practice and perfect my hair-cutting, as it is the only real service they offer, but my time there was short lived. During this time I began to get sick, but we can dwell on that next time (there’s a lot to explain about my broken body).
Philip’s job was slightly stressful at Davey, as they would not work in ‘wet’ weather, such as rain or snow. This meant that winter and spring were extra hard on us financially, and Philip knew he didn’t want this specific career forever. Philip applied to numerous Forestry related positions and he got an interview with the Kentucky Division of Forestry (KDF).
We had just bought our Bobwhite a year prior, but Philip knew he liked this career opportunity, so he took it. He commuted to Kentucky every day and began working with KDF in May 2015, and we listed our home for sale. As soon as we met with the realtor and posted images, we had one viewing and an offer was put in. We sold our home in 6 hours! Considering we had only lived there a year, made no changes or upgrades, we made money on it. Now we had to find another home, but this time we moved back to Kentucky (read: the Promise Land).
We viewed 10 homes around the state of Kentucky, and settled on a smaller house in Georgetown, our Felix home. Philip’s office would be a short commute, and I would eventually be able to go back to beauty school in nearby Lexington.
(Mary, Bilbo-(what a geek), and, Philip)
Now, it is April of 2016, and I have been a student with the University of Phoenix for over a year, working towards my Bachelor’s in Communication and Journalism. Philip and I are still happy, working towards our 4th year of marriage, and looking towards our future to come.
There is still so much that you have yet to learn about us, but I tried to give you the basic rundown. (I could have went on longer! Ha!)
I hope you enjoyed learning the background story, and I look forward to sharing more with you. I may share too much, and it may be too often, but why filter the realities of our life? I will try to stay 100% honest with you, even if the information is embarrassing or painful, so stay tuned.
(New Years 2016!)
My Next Post: Infertile Myrtle and the Nurse Who Assumed
Also Found: Huffington Post