The verdict is in

Well I got the results of the selection board. I had to dig through my text messaging history (Thank God I don’t delete anything) to find the number of the lieutenant that assisted me when my recruiter was gone on a cruise this past summer. He is the one who finally told me the results…not my recruiter who is apparently MIA…at least to me.

I did not get selected. Out of all of the people sent up from my recruiting station, only 2 were chosen. I have to say that I’ve done a pretty good job of staying realistic about the whole thing. I’ve kept my expectations low and tried not to get my hopes up. It still sucks. It is still incredibly disappointing. I still had hopes. But I guess I knew when my recruiter didn’t return my email and my phone message went unanswered it wasn’t good news.

2001

The lieutenant tells me I will need more interviews and if I can get more letters of recommendation that would be good. Also, if I finish a degree or earn a certificate that would help too. I have a freakin’ doctorate degree, so I’m not going back to school. I know that’s just what everyone is told who is going to reapply, so it is what it is. I look forward to the interviews because I like interviewing, and I feel like there’s more I could say or I could have said it better. I don’t know. At least I don’t have to physically requalify because that is good for a year, and the next board meets in August…unless they cancel it…like they did last year.

So ok God…what’s the plan now? I got passed over for a promotion at work, and I thought it was because this would take up too much time to be in charge. Wrong. At least I can make summer plans now. And not weigh myself every day. Right now…that’s all the silver lining I can find. But at least I know.

2002

Upcoming race with my daughter

By the way…I’m STILL Waiting. I feel like this is never going to end. It’s almost the way I felt with every single pregnancy. Like I know there is an end because there just is, but at the same time, my damn phone is just not going to ring and I’m never going to find out if I got in or not. I am at a loss, and there is nothing I can do. At least work was busy for the past few days, but now I’m all caught up on projects and the rest of this week’s calendar is free and clear. Yuck!

One thing I can look forward to is my race on Saturday. My 15 year old daughter is going to be “running” a “race” with me for the first time. That’s all in quotes because this is not any ordinary race at all. We are running an Insane Inflatable 5K! You should find one in your area and do it!

 

Inflatable 5K

I totally love those blowup obstacle course things! When I was a junior class sponsor at a local high school, we always hosted the Homecoming carnival and had one. I would always run through it like a little kid. Now, I get do 3.1 miles of them AND I get to do it with my daughter. That’s a win win in my book.

My daughter is a pretty special kid to me (ok all of my kids are, but she is my only girl). She is my rainbow baby. A rainbow baby is a child born after a miscarriage. I had a healthy little boy at home and then miscarried my 2nd pregnancy at 11 weeks. Almost a year to the day later, my daughter came along. She looks a lot like me, and for better or worse, she acts a lot like me. I’m really excited to see what she does with her life too. She has gone back and forth between wanting to be an elementary teacher to a pediatric orthopedist. No matter what, she will be working with little kids she says.

20012

She and I have always been close. I coached her in pop warner and all-star cheerleading from the age of 5 to 14. She sings in her school choir, and she sings in our church choir with me too. She’s also faced adversity in her life. Besides dealing with her parents divorcing when she was in late elementary school, she has an eye condition that is incurable. She suffers from Pars Planitis with Macular Edema. It’s almost like the white of her eye grows over the colored part of her eye with swelling and it impacts her vision. She has had multiple shots in her eyes and lots of drops. She currently is in remission, but this condition is like arthritis. It comes and goes with no real rhyme or reason. The result of this is that she pretty much hates all doctors. Can’t blame her I guess.

The biggest difference between me and her at her age all centers around boys. I was totally boy crazy at 15. Heck I officially lost my v-card a week before my 16th birthday (not super proud of that). And while my daughter definitely has a crush, she hasn’t had a boyfriend yet. She’s very wrapped up in choir, her classes at school, and she has a small group of girls that she hangs out with too. She’s a little bit shy too. I’m so glad she’s not like me for this. I hope she takes her time and is very picky about the guy she chooses to let into her life. I hope she makes better choices than I did at her age and she really listens to her heart and to God’s plan for her life. I’m no absolutely no hurry at all for her to meet a guy and be a girlfriend. No thanks. I’m pretty sure she can wait until she’s 25 to date. At least.

20013

It’s going to be interesting doing this race with her though. I’m pretty sure she hasn’t run at all since 6th grade when she was in a running club, but then again, I’ve been slacking here too. It’s hard to be motivated right now. I will be sure to update everyone on how this race goes. I have a feeling there are going to be some pretty hilarious moments, and I can’t wait to share.

Double or nothing right?

Yep I’m still waiting.

20010

Apparently 20 wasn’t lucky enough. Maybe 22 will be??? I get that the military is always hurry up and wait. I also get that my recruiter told me it could take up to 2 weeks (see that blasted 2 again?!). BUT she also said it doesn’t “normally” take that long.

So here we are at the end of week 1. Every time my phone rings, my heart takes off and my stomach flips out…until I see who is, or rather, who isn’t calling. And apparently I do a lot of sighing. My poor husband. He is so in tune to me, and usually sighing is not a good thing at all so he’s usually fixing whatever is bothering me. Except this time, there isn’t a freakin’ thing he can do. Not. a. thing. Poor guy.

This weekend it’s going to be downright chilly around here, and of course, I can’t just curl up with a book under a blanket and stay home. Nope. I have a conference basically all morning tomorrow, I’m leading church worship for the 2nd service on Sunday, and I’m picking up 2 of my kids from their dad’s house. Here’s hoping if I don’t find out anything today, that the weekend goes by quickly!

20011

2 Is My Lucky Number

Still waiting. I have no idea when I will get the call. But I realized today is January 20th… and it’s the 2nd day since the selection board met…and 2 is my lucky number.

chinese-lucky-number-2

I said that to someone at work this morning, and they were like, “What exactly makes 2 your lucky number”? Valid question. The short answer is that it just is. LOL! I’ve worn #2 on every uniform I’ve worn since junior high school. My volleyball, softball, and even intramurals shirts/jerseys were all #2 through college. Even as adult, I would wear either 2 or 22 depending on the league and availability of numbers.

A lot of really great things tend to happen to me on days that have a 2 in them or are divisible by 2 (yes I know that might be stretching). On the flip side, a lot of not so great things happen on odd numbered days. For example, I got married to my amazing 2nd husband on the 12th. Our little guy was born on the 10th. My birthday is the 20th. YAY for #2!  On the flip side, I got married the first time on the 29th and that ended in a divorce on the 9th. I know it isn’t exact science (since 2 of my children were born on the 3rd and the 15th…and they are both good things!), but I suppose that’s what makes it a superstition. There isn’t anything exact about it. It’s more of a feeling.

2007

At this point, I may be just being silly, but whatever it takes to get me through a day without having my heart race off or trying to anticipate my reaction to either good or bad news, I will take it. My husband, God bless him, is doing whatever he can to stay positive and keep me distracted. I even get to make a cake for his department this weekend, so that’ll be fun (oh PLEASE let me know before this weekend!). Everyone that I’ve involved in this process in some form or fashion is anxiously awaiting the results as well. Of course, they all say it’s going to obviously turn out that I’m selected…otherwise they probably wouldn’t be a friend amiright?

I want so much to believe with them. But I can’t. I can’t get my hopes and expectations up at all. The devastation if I don’t get selected would be too hard. Instead, I know that it can literally come down to the most basic of things that could keep me out. I completely understand it too. It’s like, if I’m hiring a new teacher, and I get the most amazing and talented and perfect teacher apply, but I need a Math teacher and he’s only certified in Science…it is what it is. If the Navy Reserves only has slots open for people with prior military experience, I don’t have that. It is what it is. If they need someone with a math or science degree, I don’t have that. It is what it is.

2008

That doesn’t make the waiting or the acceptance any easier, but I know I’ve done the very best that I can. I have absolutely zero regrets in attempting to serve my country. I have worked hard my entire life to perform well in college at all levels, stay out of any trouble (I may have had a couple minor speeding tickets about 7 years ago, but that’s it), and live a good life. I’ve always been a healthy person, and getting back into running not only helped me to lose the weight I needed to, but it also reminded me of how much I enjoy running.

For now, I continue to wait and hold onto this dream. By the way, that whole waiting thing…well…

2009

 

Today is the day

All of my efforts in running, weight loss, paperwork, interviews, and prayers come down to today. You see today is the day the Navy Reserves selection board meets. Today they determine who gets in and who doesn’t. It’s pretty much a 99% promise that I won’t know today, but they will. Someone out there will know if I’m in or not.

navy

I had been doing pretty good at not letting this whole thing consume me. I stayed very very busy during the holidays and even just after. The first week back to work was busy and last week grades were due, so there was a lot to keep me distracted there. It’s gone downhill quickly. Saturday I had 3-4 moments of just sheer anxiety. We had taken our youngest to the zoo, which he loved actually, and then did a little shopping. I was fine until we got home, and then it just felt like my heart was racing and I needed to go do something. So I got this project done:

IMG_4137

It looks good right?! These are all of the running medals that my husband (top bar) and I (lower bar) have earned thus far. Not bad for running my very first race back in October! I will have one more to add to mine in a couple of weeks when I run a 5K with my daughter…sort of (more 0n that later). I think it turned out pretty well, and once again I have to thank Pinterest for the idea.

Sunday we went to church, and because I sang the week before, I had quite a few people coming up and talking to me about that song. The conversation kept me busy both right before and right after church, and then we did our grocery shopping and headed home. We watched, “The Intern”, which was a good movie and lead to an even better conversation after. Once my husband went to bed around 9:00 or so, I stayed up until about 11. I found a blog written by a Navy junior officer, and the next thing I knew, it was 11. And now…now I’m waiting.

2006

I don’t do waiting very well. Or patience. Wait, isn’t that same thing? Yeah, it is. Got it. So, I pretty much suck at that. I forced myself to stay in bed until 9 this morning since I don’t have to work today. After I finish this post, I will be sweeping and mopping the entire house (we have virtually all tile). After that, I have no idea. It’s pretty cold today even with the sun shining, so we will see. What I do know is that my phone will either be in my pocket or in my hand and my ringer is turned up. That’s going to be the situation until I get the call. Regardless of how that call goes (I’m in, I’m on the waitlist, or I’m not in), I know my heart is going to be pounding when I see my recruiter’s number pop up on the screen.

This is the first time in a very long time that there is absolutely NOTHING I can do to affect the decision. Someone else is looking at a bunch of papers with my name on them and making decisions about me and about the next chapter of my life. I can’t call in a favor, know someone who knows someone, or be anything except who I am and wait. At the end of the day, I know that God is in control. He is going to make this whole thing turn out exactly as He wants it to. I know that His plan is much better than mine. And I know that I’m going to be going nuts inside until I find out the decision. My mantra until then, “God’s got this, cuz I sure don’t”.

The dominos keep falling…

Well November has certainly kicked off with a bang. Last week I spent 3 days at the Disney Swan and Dolphin in Orlando, Florida for the iNACOL conference. This conference is for K-12 online and blended learning programs, and I have to say it was pretty darn good. Not the best conference I’ve ever been to, but good nonetheless. Monday morning they served us breakfast, and then we broke out to 2 separate sessions. We got back together for lunch and then had 2 other breakout sessions. After that, it was a dinner party outside around the pool. While waiting for it to begin, a colleague and I were sitting at our table discussing changes that are happening in our school district. I kid you not, 5 minutes later, our boss came down and and told us that she has been promoted. And so it begins…I mean continues…

This year has been one of tremendous change in our district. The school board essentially forced our superintendent into retirement. One of our area superintendents was promoted to superintendent. He then reorganized our entire district. Our Director of Technology and his second in command as well as another major technical person left. One of our awesome high school principals was promoted to Chief Academic Officer, and a number of other smaller administration moves were made. I have said all along that the changes weren’t finished, and I was right.

My boss has been promoted to Director of Technology and Innovation for our district, which is great. She’s been passed over long enough and it’s about time. She has been grooming me to be her replacement when/if this day came for the past 2 years. But alas, that is not going to be the case. Because we are on the verge of becoming a full blown virtual school, the district wants someone with school-based leadership experience. Of course, yes that makes sense. Let’s pull someone from a school to be in charge of a virtual program instead of promoting someone who has basically been running the virtual program to be in charge. Right.

Ok so a part of me has been and may continue to be a bit pissed off about the whole situation. I out degree both of the people being considered. Neither one of them know anything about the virtual program, but they do have limited experience with blended learning. I have done the training and completed the portfolio to go through the process to be selected as a school-based administrator; however, I don’t want to be school-based. I have asked my boss on numerous occasions if I should go through the process just in case, and she has always told me no. *sigh* Whatever. On the other hand, there is a part of me that is totally ok with it. I have a very flexible schedule right now, and I’m not ultimately held responsible for a lot of major decisions. Also, if the Navy picks me up in January, there could be more of an impact, and I will really need that flexibility.

So the dominos keep falling. I don’t know when they will stop, and right now, I’m ok with sitting back and waiting. I know I could do the job well, and the teachers believe I should be promoted. For now, that’s enough. I will wait and see who they bring in and how much work I’m going to have to do training them and doing my job as well as theirs. It’s going to be interesting. Come on January! 63 days and counting…EEEEEK!

His plan not mine

If you’ve followed this blog for long at all, you know that I am attempting to commission into the Navy Reserves as an Ensign. I started this whole endeavor way back in February or March of this year (basically as soon as I finished my doctorate degree). I originally thought I would be enlisting in the Air Force National Guard. That first phone call to a recruiter ended with a, “Call me when you’ve lost 20 pounds”. Ok fine. I dieted and started running again, did circuit training, and counted calories. And…I lost 27 pounds. Alas, I am not 18 and despite getting to the weight required, thanks to the military personnel cutbacks, the Air Force didn’t want me. C’est la vie. I very briefly attempted to try the Air Force Reserves, but that recruiter didn’t even return my phone call and email, so I got the message loud and clear. At the time, my oldest son was in the DEP (Delayed Entry Program) for the Army National Guard. His recruiter is the cousin of my husband’s battle buddy from his last deployment. So, I made a phone call. Unfortunately, I was 3 years too old to enlist in the National Guard, and they don’t do age waivers. My doctorate degree is not in medicine or law, so that was out too. Ok back to square one.

A quick Google search led me to 2 places: The Coast Guard and the Navy Reserves. I sent an email to the Navy and was able to live chat with the Coast Guard. Everything looked good for the Coast Guard until we got to my financial history. Thanks to my dirtbag ex, I had to declare bankruptcy when we divorced. That bankruptcy kept me out of the Coast Guard. Despite the fact that it had been 5 years ago (it had to be 10 years ago) and that I built my credit score back up over 700. Oh well. Their loss right?

In the meantime, I know God was sitting up there just having a good ole time laughing at my antics. He knew none of that would work out, but He also knew I am not the type of person the give up on something just because it becomes difficult. I’ve said it before, my favorite quote is from Randy Pausch, “The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something”. When I hit a brick wall, I look for a shovel, a rope, a ladder, or a grenade. I do everything I can to figure out a way under, around, over, or through that wall. But this was a little different. I didn’t want to do this of my own accord. I wanted this to be God’s plan.

You see, I’ve always wanted to serve my country. I watched my dad serve in the Army and was just so in awe of him, his uniform, the base we lived on, all of it. I grew up a proud American, standing up when the flag passed by during parades, being silent during the national anthem, and cheering like crazy for anything Army/soldier/military related. When I got to high school, my dad started to encourage me to go to college. The military wasn’t something my parents wanted me to pursue. Ok fine. I figured, I would go to college and then maybe serve as an officer after. Well, once again, God got a kick out of that plan. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in 3 years, and my last year, I got pregnant and married (yes in that order). So now I had a newborn and an unemployed spouse to take care of (man I should have really paid better attention to the signs that one was not going to work out huh?!), and serving my country became a pipe dream.

Fast forward 17 years, 3 kids, a divorce, a remarriage, and 2 degrees later. When I met my now husband, I knew I was a goner quick. His incredible dimples, gorgeous body, and sweet personality pretty much had me at “Hello”. He has always encouraged me to achieve any dream I ever had, live life to the fullest, and seize adventure wherever we can find it. It is because of him that I have both my Master’s and my Doctorate degrees, and it is because of him, that I can finally pursue my dream to serve my country. That being said, if this is not the plan God has for me, I want the doors to slam shut. I need this to be His plan or not happen at all. Because the impact on my life and my family’s lives is massive. The time I will miss with them, the strain it will put on my relationship with my children and my husband, the inherent risk to my well-being, and the inevitable cancelled plans at the last minute are not something I take lightly. As a military daughter and more importantly, wife, I know what this life can look like. I have a vague idea of what I’m getting into. And I know that if God is in the plan, everything will work out beautifully. If God is not in the plan, I will lose everything.

So I pray. A lot. At every step, every new application/packet/piece of information to submit and every point in the procees so far (MEPS, medical clearance, panel interview, security interview, fingerprinting) and in every step to come (OIC interview, polygraph, and selection board meeting), I pray. I pray not to be successful or for it go well, but for God’s will. I’ve seen Him at work in this too. I did not need a waiver to get medically cleared even with 3 surgeries and one of those being LASIK. My panel interview was probably the best interview I’ve ever had. I am one of a very few that will have a completed packet to drop by October 1st; they tell me early is better. All of that is God. I’m just on the ship, and He is my captain. My OIC (Officer-In-Charge) interview is Tuesday afternoon. That might be the last thing I have to do before I sit back and wait for the selection board to convene in January. I guess God is going to teach me patience after all. I’m ok with that…with all of it…whether I get in the Navy or not.

 

I love interviewing!

I know I may be in the minority here, but I truly do love interviewing. I haven’t done a lot of it recently since I’ve had my current job since 1999. Saturday, I had my Navy Reserves officer interview. I arrived on base by 9:00AM and waited until 9:15 for my sponsor to assist me in getting my vehicle pass. He then took me to the building for my interview by 9:30. I was supposed to interview at 10:00. Instead, they were a bit behind from the first two interviews and it all sort of snowballed. While waiting, I got to complete another set of security questions paperwork. In the middle of doing that, I heard the interview room door open. They took the girl that was supposed to be after me since I wasn’t ready yet. So…I waited some more. I think I got in the room at 11:15.

There were 3 gentlemen sitting across from me at a table. Throughout the entire interview, my questions began with a similar theme, “I think you would make an excellent officer, but…” followed by the questions: how would you handle this situation, what sort of leadership experience do you have, do you understand the time commitment that is really involved, is your family supportive, do you plan to put in 20 years, what makes you competitive for this position, etc. I had lots of positive feedback and they all seemed to respond well to me and what I had to say. I was with them for about 45 minutes. I felt really good when I walked out of the room.

I also found out I have another interview and a polygraph. Also, I am one of a very few that they are finishing up and submitting before October 1st. YAY! That means once it is submitted, I will just sit back and relax until the selection board meets in January. It feels good to have another step completed.

Cleared!

It has been a whirlwind of a week, but what a week indeed. Last week, my recruiter told me I would be going to MEPS on Monday for my full physical for the Navy Reserves. Awesome. On Wednesday, while at a conference for work (technically I was on my lunch break), he calls and tells me I’m not cleared to go to MEPS because my medical records indicated a history of endometriosis.

**Side Story***

I had a partial hysterectomy in 2012 due to breakthrough bleeding and AFTER the surgery found out I had endometriosis. In fact, my youngest son shouldn’t have been able to be conceived at all. Weird right.

Anyway…he told me I would need to get the notes from my most recent gynecology visit and something that indicates all symptoms that caused the surgery have been resolved by the surgery and no issues still exist. Ok then. I call my doctor office and the records clerk (who’s son joined the Navy 3 years ago) did a FABULOUS job and pulled the doctor notes from all 3 visits I’ve had since the surgery. She then transferred me to my doctor’s nurse, and the nurse was able to get a handwritten note from my doctor saying everything is good. SO…I leave my conference early (Thank you to my amazing boss!), and race to the office to pick up the information. I race back home to scan it and email it, except…the office forgot to give me the handwritten note. So I race back to the office and then say “screw it” and head to work to use our scanner there because it’s faster and can send all 14 pages in one document. YAY! I get it all to him by 4:15pm. Still holding out hope for a Monday MEPS appointment. No dice.

The next morning, we head to the port for our cruise. I am sitting there waiting to board the ship when my recruiter calls and says he has good news that I’ve been cleared to go to MEPS and would Wednesday work. Hell yes it works! Plus it gave me a couple of days after the cruise to lose any weight I might gain from the amazing food I was about to eat. Win win. We got on the ship by 11:00 and by 2:00 we were taking a nap in our stateroom.

The cruise was good. It was a smaller ship (which I won’t do that again), but since it was just my husband and I, we were still able to have a good time. We barely got off the ship when we docked in Nassau, but we’ve been there a lot so we didn’t need to. Instead, we got a couple’s massage and played trivia games (Thanks to my singing the “Meow Mix” commercial song, I won a medal!). We got back in port Sunday morning, we were off the ship by 7:30AM, and we were home by 8:30AM. It was pretty fabulous. Even better…I LOST weight on this cruise!!! Now let me tell you, I ate. I had double desserts and double entrees and ice cream and french fries. I ate. And I walked. A lot. BUT I didn’t go to they gym. I walked through it once, but that was it. Anywho…

I did go to MEPS yesterday. I arrived at 5:45AM and finished up at 1:00PM. I thought the day went really fast actually. There were 85 recruits total including those that were shipping out. We had 9-10 females. Super cool being in a smaller group. There were only 2 officer recruits, myself and a girl joining the Army as a Vet Tech. I had everything done except the duck walk stuff before I had lunch. I knew that as you failed a portion of the testing, they were sending people home. I also knew I hadn’t been sent home, so I was good so far. I was worried about the duck walk because my knees crack loud. Plus every other girl was 17-19 years old (except the vet tech girl), so there was that. Oh… I weighed in at 148 pounds!!! I was under the limit by 4 pounds since she measured me at 5’3″. Success! After lunch, we did the duck walk part…which went just fine since we did it all together…and then I met with the doctor. She told me that someone had written it up incorrectly in my file that my endometriosis was untreated and that’s why I got flagged. She looked up the correct code and said that means not only am I medically cleared but also, I do not need a waiver!! AWESOME!! My recruiter said we just have to wait for my blood tests to come back and then the Navy will medically clear me. He also said it is HIGHLY unusual to get MEPS clearance but not Navy clearance. Another step completed.

Next up: My interviews with current officers next weekend. And then I wait. Until January when the selection board convenes. It’s gonna be a long wait. Good thing I have that 5K to handle in October and the holidays to keep me distracted!

Good News All Around

August is certainly off to a good start!

My grandmother was hospitalized a little over a month ago with extreme pain in her back and legs. They couldn’t figure out what was causing so much pain. Morphine wasn’t even touching it. Eventually they got her pain managed and moved her to a nursing home/rehabilitation center for physical therapy and rehab. While there, we found out she also has Alzheimer’s. It’s not that it was a huge surprise, but it definitely was depressing news. We watched my great-grandmother eventually succumb to that disease, and it was just so sad. The good news is that she finally decided she was done playing around and being a “drama queen” (her nurse’s words not mine), and she started working with the therapists. Yesterday we found out she gets to go home on Friday! Hopefully, someone tells her daughter to get the house cleaned back up and her “friend” (not boyfriend but apparently it’s complicated…ok) to stop smoking in their freakin house before I drop kick his ass.

I got the call yesterday that my MEPS physical is going to be on Monday. Ideally, I would have liked to have gotten it done this week BEFORE I go on my cruise, but that is not going to work out. I guess I’ll be checking out the ship’s gym after all. The good news here is that it is another step down, my medical forms have all cleared, and I will have this done before my brother’s wedding (yay cake!). The other good news here is that I’m 3 pounds under my max weight if they measure me short and 7 pounds under my max weight if they measure me tall (being 5′ 3.5″). I’ve read all sorts of horror stories and watched all kinds of youtube videos about MEPS, so now I will get to have my own experience. I’m hoping to land on the “oh good grief it’s easy” side of this coin.

I found out my last project for this summer is going to be MUCH easier than I thought. My district data office is going to crunch the numbers for me, so all I will have to do is the end analysis. WOOOHOOO!! Other than a meeting today with a teacher who is upset over her teaching assignment for next year and an all-day conference tomorrow, it should be business as usual after this week. I think we’re sitting pretty for the opening of school in a couple of weeks.

Last but not least, I got all of our cruise documents printed, confirmed with both my parents and my husband’s mom about our babysitting coverage, and all that’s left is to pack! This I’m hoping to start working on tonight, but we’ll see. I’m pretty good at waiting until the last minute to pack (I know I know you’re all shocked!). Yep, August is off to a pretty good start.