Downside to military life…

I guess I should say one of the downsides to military life. There are many upsides, but every once in awhile, you come across a negative.
In this instance, the negative is missing monumental family events.
Specifically one of my brothers’ high school graduation.
Even more specifically, my brilliant brother Chris graduated tonight, and I am 12 hours away.
I wish I would’ve been there to give my bro a high five and embarrassing kiss after he gave his valedictorian speech.
In case he didn’t give me a shout out in his speech like I told him to, here is one for him.
Chris is awesome.
His nickname growing up was Goober, and while he is believable as the role of a goob, he is absolutely brilliant. (note the valedictorian reference earlier)
Chris is always real. He doesn’t sugar coat things and you won’t ever have to worry about him lying to you. He will tell you straight up what he thinks.
Chris has super high standards. He is going to Rice in the fall!!! If you are a friend of Christopher’s, consider yourself lucky. Not too many make the cut.
Chris has a big heart. Growing up in the Brown household, we were geared towards loving each other. Chris is great at including others and helping out. He is so easy going, and I always feel right at home chilling on the couch with him.
We talk about a funny story from when Chris was younger….let’s hope I quote it right! Chris was probably around 5-6, which made the youngest brother around 2-4ish. We were camping and the boys stumbled across a pinecone. Chris got a little arrogant after Derek incorrectly identified the pinecone.

Derek: Look Chris! An acorn.
Chris: No Derek, that’s a coconut!

I am so proud of my brother. Way to go Chris. I love you and wish I could’ve been there for your special day.

I also wish you would’ve mentioned me in your speech like I told you to.
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Aviator’s Wife!

Wow! What a wonderful weekend!!

This weekend started with family coming in and a very special surprise. Ralph and Deborah are a CG couple that helped mentor my husband all through his application process and journey through the Coast Guard Academy. I don’t want to botch it, so I’m just going to copy Ralph’s Facebook status!

“Several years ago, Deborah and I met and interviewed a young man who had aspirations of going to the Coast Guard Academy. We were very impressed. We wrote letters of recommendation to supplement his application. He got his appointment, and we mentored him through his 4 years at CGA. We attended his graduation, and I was particularly pleased when it was announced that he was going to flight training! We were at his wedding when he married a lovely young woman, Lauren. Today, at NAS Whiting, LTJG Joseph Chevalier became a Coast Guard aviator! We are good friends with his parents, brothers and sisters. So I asked his mother to deliver a gift for me. I gave her something very special to deliver to him before his winging ceremony. Today, Lauren pinned the wings that I got at NAS Ellyson over 40 years ago on Joseph’s chest. I could not be more proud of him, and am deeply gratified that my old wings will keep on flying! Semper Paratus!” ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† –Ralph Lewis
What a special gift!!
What a special gift!!

Seriously – how cool is that!?! We are so blessed and so grateful!!

Family on stage during the ceremony.
Family on stage during the ceremony.
Whistle, Whistle!
Whistle, Whistle!

We had a wonderful time at Cutes’ ceremony. We had a wonderful dinner. We had a wonderful party with a bunch of Cutes’ friends afterwards.

Coastie Friends at the Winging Party!
Coastie Friends at the Winging Party!

It was such a wonderful weekend.

Winging Week

I’m so excited over here.

This Friday, my husband gets his wings! His winging day will be full of lots of activities, but best of all, full of family!

Cutes’ mom, dad, and brother are coming in today and then some of my family will be coming in later on this week.

Man, that man of mine has been working his butt off in flight school. It’s a crazy time, full of studying and last minute scheduling.

There are several different “phases” of flight school and rotary pilots are the only ones who do it all here at this location. Other pilots have several¬†locations they move to for the different phases. Luckily, we got to be in one place for the whole thing!

My husband’s schedule has been consistently inconsistent. Seriously, we live in a location that has a hurricane season. What brilliant mastermind put flight school in a location that has a season for natural disasters?? Whatever, it is beautiful here.

The schedule for Tuesday doesn’t come out until after¬†5pm on Monday night, and every day works that way. Even though Cutes got scheduled pretty much every day, we never knew if it would be at 5am or 5pm. Weather cancelations obviously happened every so often. (ie – rain for a whole week = no flying for a whole week)

When my sweet husband was home, we learned how to spend time together while he studied. I couldn’t talk, listen to music with words, or have the TV up very loud, but we were able to be in the same room sometimes! I would say 70% of the time Cutes was holed up in his office talking through the briefing items, emergency procedures, and whatever else keeps those metal birds in the air. Maybe 80% of the time.

He would come out for food, eat, and take water back into that office. I’m actually glad we are moving so that room isn’t going to come with us.

He has worked so hard and I’m so happy to have been part of this journey. I am so, so proud of my soon to be winged Coast Guard aviator. He is such a hard working man and I am over the moon to be celebrating with his this week.

He made it! He did it!

Pictures to follow…