Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Semper Gumby

For those of you that might not know, Semper Fi is the Marine Corps motto which means "Always Faithful". A spin off saying to that is Semper Gumby which means Always Flexible. This is a saying that you MUST live by and embrace when you are a military family. Things are always changing wether it be where you live, work schedules, or deployments.  They may tell you that your husband won't be leaving for another 6 months for deployment, and then 2 weeks later he will be leaving for deployment in 2 months instead. Or, you might get orders to California and they will change it last minute and instead you're moving to Japan. In this lifestyle, you will learn to go with the flow and how to handle anything that gets thrown at you. 

At first, it can be a little overwhelming if you are used to a set schedule and like to plan everything. You will be disappointed, but hopefully you will start to get used to it. Change can be fun and exciting, you don't have to worry or be afraid of it! 

In 2013, I was getting ready for my wedding and we knew that my husband was going to get deployed in the beginning of 2014 to Japan. One week before the wedding, he got a phone call saying that he would be leaving in November to go on a different deployment to Afghanistan instead. This broke my heart. We had 5 months of married life together before he left. I decided to move down to North Carolina to try to start a life down there. I applied to countless job; literally I lost track of how many jobs I applied to. I just graduated with my Bachelor's 2 weeks before moving down there and there weren't any jobs down there that required a Bachelor's degree so ultimately I was over-qualified for everything I was applying for. I didn't mind what-so-ever, but apparently they companies did. I ended up moving back home for deployment and working there. When my husband came home from deployment, I moved down to NC once again and started applying to jobs (before I even went down there). This time I ended up getting one job interview for a job that I REALLY wanted to work at but they decided to suspend the position after interviewing for it. I was at a loss and getting extremely frustrated. (This company ended up calling me back to OFFER me a job 2 weeks before we moved!! It was pretty upsetting)

Anyways, here I was, chillin in NC for the second time trying to find a job and nothing was working. I finally decided that I was going to cave and start selling for a Direct Sales company. I had actually researched some of this the prior year but was too afraid to start one. A random ad showed up on my Facebook for a company called JewelScent. The ad had a pink candle called "Hope" with a pink breast cancer ribbon on it and 3 rings! I was intrigued because who doesn't like candles with rings inside and because Breast Cancer Awareness is near to my heart. What sold me on it? The fact that you can choose your ring size!!! I signed up to become a consultant that very same day without even trying the product first! Crazy, I know. But it honestly is perfect. The products JewelScent has are classy and elegant compared to the other similar products on the market. The best thing is: I can sell it anywhere we may go in this crazy life of ours! We drove across country for 9 days and I was still selling products and making money! 

This life we live is very crazy and one constant will be my direct sales business. I will have a full time job, but next time we move it will have to change again. 

I would love to talk to anyone who has questions about JewelScent, joining a direct sales company, or even just military life in itself. I've got a little bit of insight ;) 

Instagram- @jewelscentbyjessi 

*Jessi Ross

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Cross Country Road Trip

It's been about 5 months since I posted, {SORRY!!!} so I have a lot of updating to do!  Since then {September} a lot has happened, but the most important thing: we moved across the country! This was our first PCS {permanent change of station} so I had no idea what to expect. It all happened so fast, too.

We got official word that we were moving on November 24th, and the movers came and packed up all of our belongings on January 8th. They had planned on coming to our house January 7th-9th; okay works for me.  So there we were, January 7th, up early waiting for them to arrive at 8 am only to receive a phone call at 10 am from the truck driver asking if he could come on same day as the packers{on the 8th}. We found out the packers weren't coming that day from the truck driver!!! I was livid! We made a few phone calls and he was correct, they changed the date and didn't even bother to tell us.

Anyways, January 8th came and 3 guys knocked on our door to start packing our things in boxed. Then, about an hour later 2 more guys came to pack the boxes onto the truck. 5 weird men in my house at one time, talk about stressful. Having to make sure they take everything and don't break everything. They were there and left all within 5 hours {we don't have much stuff yet} and our house was empty. We still had 5 days until we could leave North Carolina.

Last picture in North Carolina
It took us 9 days to get from North Carolina to California because we stopped to see family. On our second day of traveling, in Alabama, a rock came up and cracked my windshield. It was constantly growing so we decided to get it replaced. We stopped that night in Mississippi and Jon's dad's house and the next morning we went to go get new tires on my car {they were long overdue}. Well, we arrived at Walmart, hit a bump in the parking lot, and there went the crack in my windshield, straight across to the other side. So, we definitely needed to get it fixed right then and there.

$700 later, we were on our way to Arkansas to Jon's grandparent's house and then we spent the weekend in Missouri visiting both of our families. Once the weekend was over, our main goal was to get to California!

On Monday morning we hit the road and left Joplin. Our plan was to drive about 6 hours a day since we were both driving and we had Rocky, and to stay at La Quinta's since they allow pets for free! That first day, Rocky was really sick so we had to stop about 5 times for him.  We ended up staying the night in Clinton, Oklahoma {middle of nowhere} but at a VERY nice La Quinta.  It was so nice, we didn't want to leave the next morning.
We eventually left Tuesday morning and drove to Albuquerque, NM to stay the night there. On Wednesday, we drove to stay in Flagstaff, AZ and stopped at the Petrified Forest National Park on the way. It's not a very "popular" national park, but it was pretty cool!

Flagstaff is 7,000 in elevation and I could definitely feel it! Driving there up the mountains was crazy but the city was gorgeous in those mountains! Thursday morning we went to the Grand Canyon before we went onto California. It was VERY cold and extremely windy. We will definitely be going back when there is better weather! 

We stayed at the canyon a little longer than expected which called for a late arrival to 29 Palms, but we were in no rush! We had finally made it to the hotel, had some dinner and were knocked out for the night! The next day we started looking at houses and started our lives in Cali!


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Reunited and it feels so good!

HE'S HOME!!!!!!

After a very long 9 months our little family is back together again! It's been a month now, but it feels like he never even left, we picked up right where we left off and this past month has flown by.  I wasn't sure he would get home on time since his flight leaving Afghanistan was delayed by 2 days, but he's here! This homecoming was a lot different than the last one 2 years ago. It was VERY small and there was less waiting. After our experience with the first deployment, he took his phone with him this time and kept me updated on where he was so I wouldn't have to wait on base for him for hours.

Once he got back, he had a 4 day weekend then went back to work for 5 days just to go to some classes before leave.  My mom came down to visit that Saturday and left Sunday just to see Jon. It rained all weekend and that next week. I met him on base during a break between classes to go to the gym, he said his final class wouldn't be long............oh but it was. I was left just roaming for about an hour in the PX and had this bright idea that we were going to randomly go to the beach so I bought the cheapest bathing suits and towels I could find and told him to meet me at the beach for the first sunny day we had. 

With all this rain, of course our dog had to go roll in the mud puddles every single day, and then whine when we would hose him down afterwards...

After his 5 days of classes, we went up to Maryland for 2 days to take Rocky to my mom's house so she could watch him while we were gone on post deployment leave. Luckily, the Cardinals were in town and we watched them play the Orioles! It was a HOT 1pm game.

Post Deployment Leave:

We decided to drive and visit his parents since we just went on a big vacation 5 months ago. First stop- Brandon, Mississippi to visit Jon's dad, step mom, & their 3 little rascals.  I've never been to Mississippi, so I was excited! We actually went during a cold front and it was only in the 80's-90's. 

4 year old selfies

We spent 1 night in New Orleans and all I have to say is we are definitely going to have to visit again.

We didn't stay here, I just like the clarinet

Beignets for breakfast

Our next stop was Jonesboro, Arkansas to visit Jon's mom and his grandparents. 

Next, we stopped in Nashville for a night on our way back home.  This is another place I HAVE to go back to. I LOVED it!!  Every place we walked by had a live band!

After Nashville, we headed to Maryland to pick up Rocky and then came back home to Jacksonville. Looks like we'll be staying here at least till early next year. We have extra bedrooms and are taking reservations now ;) haha but really come visit us!!! :)


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Care Packages

So deployment is coming to an end and the only thing I'm sad about is that means no more creating care packages! So, this post will be dedicated to the ones I made :) This deployment, my husband traveled to may different countries & when he finally settled in Afghanistan, he had a PX he could go to unlike last deployment, so I didn't send him many, only for special occasions, or if he just wanted some extra monster.  P.S. you're not supposed to send liquids in USPS but I always do. I take the monster out of the boxes and put them into ziplock bags just incase they were to explode (but they never did) & do not write that you have it in there on the customs form!

The first one that I sent him was literally RIGHT after he left so the decorating was minimal, but I took effort into what was actually included in the package. It was for Thanksgiving. Inside was Turkey Jerky for turkey, canned yams with marshmallows, cranberry sauce, green beans, corn, potato chips for potatoes, sweet tea mix, stuffing, oatmeal pies & pudding for desert, dip because they don't sell it in Europe, and a letter. Then I found some cool looking tape for the outside so it would set it apart from the other boxes.

Next, I sent out a Christmas package.  I decorated the inside of the box with wrapping paper and some tinsel.  I included inside some monster, a stocking, candy canes, chocolates, gum, reindeer ears, nuts, a Christmas card, and a hickory farms sausage and cheese package (which they LOVED). I put what I could into the stocking and I wrapped everything else like presents with tissue paper.

The next one I sent him was baseball themed with a lot of snacks in it for patrols.  I found a box full of individually packaged peanuts that would fit in his pockets for patrols, a lot of beef jerky, and some quick foods like mac & cheese, tuna fish w/ crackers, and pop tarts for when he was on watch or just hungry late at night and nothing was open.  I decorated the box with his favorite team, St Louis Cardinals, put a little banner that he could hang in his room, and included a few photos of us at all of the baseball games we have been to.

I was able to fit more than this in the box.

This next package, he never received and it was just a randomly decorated one that I actually found on Pinterest.  They changed their mailing address after I sent this out so it got returned to me and it was beat up, this package took too much time to make so I told him I would send him this picture of it because I wasn't spending my time doing it again lol.

I sent out this package for our 1 year wedding anniversary, which is paper!  He wasn't supposed to come home anytime soon after our anniversary, so I sent him a slice of our wedding cake in a mason jar. I also sent a cookie cake in a jar (instead of cake in a jar) because he LOVES cookies and not cake.  Since it was June in Afghanistan, once the cake got there, the icing had melted and made the cake very sweet, but we were still able to eat it together over Skype (which is in another one of my blog posts) Anyways, I sealed both of the mason jars, put labels on them, and wrapped them in a lot of bubble wrap. On one flap of the box I included photos of our first year of marriage, which wasn't a lot since we only got to spend 4.5 months of it together.  As for paper gifts, I got him a book, and shutter fly desk calendar with photos of us to help him count down the days, and some NICE toilet paper haha. I gave two things that weren't paper, some headphones that he's been asking for this whole deployment and a USB that had a ton of music and some more photos on it. I wrapped everything up and put some random pieces of paper in the box just to fill it up and be funny.

The last package I made was for 4th of July, and I'm pretty crazy about this holiday.  Everything I put in this package had red, white, and blue on it.  I put some small flags and I found red, white, and blue glow sticks and put a few in there.


The care packages during my husband's first deployment weren't as good as this go around but here is one that I liked and didn't send him one like it this time since we had R&R during St. Patrick's Day. I'm Irish and also LOVE St. Patty's Day.  I covered monster cans with bud light stickers which I took right off of bud light bottles that were used the night before lol but I used the lime ones because they are green. I also tried out candy sushi since he loves sushi (& yes I know it has nothing to do with St. Patty's Day).