This New Season.

This New Season | The Gallivant

Hello my friends! Thank you so much for checking back in over here. A lot has happened in the past few months, and as often happens…life was full and time was too precious. When things start to take precedence over this little blog, my hope has always been that they are the good and important things: investing in relationships old and new, exploring the world, carving out time to say goodbyes and honor places and people that have become dear to us, focusing on our marriage, trying new things, creating a new home. All those things have been part of the past few months, and I can’t wait to update you about them! I am learning that in order to be the kind of blogger I want to be, and to cultivate the kind of blog I want The Gallivant to be (worth your time in the sense that it is honest and rich and thoughtful) I have to show myself grace in the seasons where I don’t have time to create the kind of content I aspire to. So I am not apologizing for my absence, actually, just sharing my heart with you, and my excitement at being back!

And so, the updates:

John winged!

John got his wings back in late October. The entire winging weekend was such a blast, and we were so blessed to have our families with us to celebrate this amazing milestone in John’s career. I am so incredibly proud of him. The past two years of our life have been marked with much prayer and many different milestones that have led up to this occasion, and I have been honored to be by John’s side while he has worked so hard to become a Navy pilot.  It is a an amazing thing to see your partner achieve their dreams, and we are so excited for this next step in his career.

We moved!

After winging we had a pretty quick turn around (two weeks) before we left Pensacola and moved to Norfolk, VA. We have been feeling a pull to Norfolk for the past year, (a big shift as some of you know,) and we were thrilled to find out that John was selected to fly MH-60 Sierras on the East Coast. I will write more on it later, but our transition has felt relatively easy due to the peace we feel about being in VA. And we LOVE our new neighborhood!

We bought a house!

We did, we did! A 103 year old historic condo actually…crown molding, creaky floors, clawfoot tub, chipped paint and all! We have been slowly working room by room, caulking and painting, and putting our stamp on our new home. I actually wrote an article for Homes.com with some tips on turning your house into a home you love, which you can read here if you’d like. John and I frequently look at each other, usually covered in paint, and say, “Can you believe we own this place?!” Needless to say, we feel very blessed.

Now that the dust has settled, I am so looking forward to writing in this space more. Thanks, as always, for joining me on this adventure! I am preparing posts on aspects of our transition, so feel free to comment below with any specific questions or topics that you would like to hear about. I'm excited for what is to come!

xx,

Emily

P.S.  Like what you are reading? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the left-hand side of this page, or you can follow me on Bloglovin so you never miss a post! Also, follow along with The Gallivant on pinterest, instagram,  and Twitter!

 

#TBT: What I Learned During Our First Detachment

I mentioned this months back, but at the beginning of the year (in February) John went on detachment to New Mexico for a month. It feels like ages ago now, but it was the first time that we spent any time apart due to training, and in hindsight I learned a few things that seem worthwhile to share over here for my military readers.

 A shot from Flynn's and my daily morning run during Det.

A shot from Flynn's and my daily morning run during Det.

Firstly, what is detachment? Detachment, more often known as “Det,” is when a squadron relocates somewhere for training. In our case, an entire Primary training squadron leaves Pensacola and heads somewhere with better weather, typically New Mexico or Michigan, for a month to six weeks in order to take advantage of clear skies and push the pilots through the program a little faster than they would be able to in Pensacola. Pilots usually fly twice, if not three times a day, and are subsequently accelerated through training. Squadrons normally start leaving on Det when there has been a significant back up in training or if the weather has just been really bad in Florida.

Many of our friends went on Det towards the end of Primary, so it wasn’t a surprise when John got called up to go. While no one likes to wave goodbye to their husband for a month, John and I dated long distance and have spent a few months at a time apart, so I wasn’t really nervous about his absence. As my friend Haley says, you can do anything for a few weeks and in comparison to deployment Det sounded like a breeze.

Here is the gist: For us, Det wasn’t a huge deal, but it did give me some unexpected perspective. The reality is that, because of John’s career, there will be large periods of time in our marriage in which we are apart, and although one month is not comparable at all to a six to nine month deployment, I feel as though God used the time to teach me a few things in preparation for longer seasons of absence. I established a routine, got lots of exercise with Flynn, kept myself busy with girlfriends, and worked a ton. The most obvious thing that was impressed upon me, though,  was that it is ok to make the first move and ask my friends and family for support if I need it when John is gone. While John was away this time I had a family emergency that (thank God) ended up being ok, but looked pretty dicey for a few days. During that time I realized that there will be things that happen during John and my life together, whether to us or to the people we love, that are hard and scary and sad, and in those times John may not be with me, and I may be living in a place far away from my family. I am not someone who likes to ask for help (pride) but I am learning that in this lifestyle is it so important to be able to reach out to your people and say “Hey, I need some extra support right now, will you check in with me this week to ask me how I am?” Our friends want to be there for us but sometimes they don’t know how, and it is so ok to be specific. It is so much better to ask rather than end up resenting the people you love for not supporting you when they just really didn’t know how I am so thankful to the people who rallied around me for those few days, let me crumble at work, pick their nursing brains, or just shot me a text asking how things were going. It meant the world to know that even though John was miles away there were people who had my back.

Military life is challenging for sure, and it forces us to be so intentional about maintaining and establishing deep relationships across the board-- with friends, family, and spouses. Over the past few years in Pensacola, though, I have realized that those deepened relationships, both old and new, are one of this lifestyle's greatest joys, and that is a gift that I will continue cherish.

My fellow military readers--anything you have learned from time spent away from your partner? Any tips or perspective, whether for short term or long term absences? I would love to hear, feel free to comment below. 

xoxo,

Emily

 

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A Flight School Update + Thoughts on "The Next Thing"

Happy Friday people! The past few weeks were busy, and I have wanted to spent as much time as possible with John when we are both off because it has seemed like we have been on opposite schedules a bit, hence the lack of blogging. I am getting back in a groove though, and am so excited to share some recent adventures! First off, though, in accordance with one of my blogging goals for 2015, a general update and some thoughts about where we are in the flight school pipeline.

The past few months have flown by, and a couple of exciting things have happened in terms of our flight school journey: John finished Primary, selected Helicopters, started Advanced training for Helos, and promoted to LTJG! Luckily, Advanced for Helos is in Pensacola (Milton actually) so we didn’t have to move. We were so excited to get Helicopters because John has been pretty sure that is what he wanted to fly since day one of flight school.

While it seemed like API and Primary dragged on a bit a times due to cancelations,  since John started Advanced he has been flying through (see what I did there?) and we have started talking about potential winging dates. Crazy, right? We have been in Pensacola for almost a year and a half, and even though we have about four to five more months here it is starting to feel like our Pensy time is winding down. We have grown to love Pensacola so much and will miss it hugely, but with winging comes moving, (we won’t know where until John wings,) and recently it’s been hard not to obsess a little over what is next.

There are so many unknowns in the military, and flight school is just a little microcosm of that: Where will one go through API? What aircraft will one select? Where will one be stationed after they wing? There is a tendency to constantly be looking ahead, to the "next thing.” Before I go any further I want to say...it is ok to talk about the possibilities of what is next, and we often do, but the point is that it is tempting to talk about it all the time, and we have to balance that with the healthy perspective that we simply aren't there yet and our life doesn't begin then--it is happening now, right now, this very second, here.

Matthew 627.jpg

 

I have been trying, and at times wrestling, to be present through this. I have been frequently reminded of my last semester of college, when I was simultaneously preparing to graduate, nannying, planning a wedding, and wrapping up my time leading Younglife. I had never been so busy in my life, and it was a temptation to put my head down, chug through school, and just focus on the future:  our wedding and moving to Pensacola. Early on in the semester, though, I realized that God was doing so much in those last few months of school—in my friendships, my ministry, and even my relationship with John, and I needed to be present in order to experience that. In the midst of so much transition and a grueling schedule, I needed to seek Jesus in the morning and claim Him as my peace. I had to take in one day at a time. The future would work itself out, and if I had spent all of my time worrying and dwelling on it I would have missed the joy and growth and deepened friendships that were such a sweet part of that season.

I am feeling similarly now, in another season of huge growth. It is easy to make “the next thing” the topic of every conversation, with both our Navy and civilian friends and loved ones. It is so tempting for John and I to spend all of our (sometimes hard-won) time together weighing the pros and cons of each possible location and the available aircraft. (More on that in a later post, but in a nutshell: we have five different options for locations and three different possible types of helicopter.) Too often we find ourselves talking about moving dates, and possible job options. I even catch myself asking friends in the Navy community what their thoughts are, whether students pilots or significant others, because sometimes it seems like the easiest way to start conversation.

None of these things are inspiring presentness.

The problem is that when we aren't present we miss it, we miss what is here, we miss time and the infinite things that could happen in that time. We miss people. We miss learning about our friends. In the hours we spend talking with them about “the next thing” we miss learning how our friends are now, what they have been up to, what is inspiring them, what they are learning, what keeps them up at night. I don’t want to miss that, and I don’t want the remainder of our time here to morph into a waiting game, because that doesn’t feel like it will honor the time we have spent in Pensacola and the way we have grown here, both individually and as a couple. I don’t want to miss what the Lord is doing in this place. I want to finish well here, and as gracefully as possible.

The truth is, though, sometimes the future is the thing that is keeping us up at night. I know I am not alone in that. And yet again, it seems as though so often my life is an exercise in giving up control, in recognizing that I am not actually the “captain of my ship,” but that the One who is in control, who does steer our fate, is immeasurably better at it than I am. Our job is to pray and wait, to be patient and present, focusing on what is right in front of us. “The next thing” will come, that is certain. And I do believe it will be good.

Obviously, I will post updates here as we get closer to the Fall and John’s winging date. I am also looking forward to sharing a little bit about what the second half of flight school has been like, as well as our favorite places and things to do in Pensacola. Also, we have a jam-packed summer ahead, full of exciting travels, weddings, and time spent exploring more of the Gulf before we head to our next destination, so stay tuned! 

Hope that everyone has a lovely weekend! If you would like to see what we are up to than follow along on instagram @evr_thegallivant ! As always, thank you so much for reading. 

xoxo,

Emily

P.S. Like what you are reading? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the left-hand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or, you can follow me on Bloglovin. Also, follow along with The Gallivant on  pinterest, instagram,  and Twitter!

{Pensacola Do} National Naval Aviation Museum

Things to Do in Pensacola // The National Naval Aviation Museum // The Gallivant

One of our best friends, Quentin, came to visit last week and we were so excited to hang out, catch up, and show him around Pensacola. Over the past year we have discovered so many fun things to do around here, but when we have guests we always make it a priority to take them to the National Naval Aviation Museum , because it is such a fun and hands-on  way to learn about Navy aviation, both past and present. 

Things to Do in Pensacola // The National Naval Aviation Museum // The Gallivant

The museum, which is located at NAS Pensacola. has more than 150 aircraft on display, which represent Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard aviation. It also has some neat dioramas, as well as an IMAX theatre where they screen a bunch of different movies, including our fave --The Magic of Flight--which is all about the Blue Angels. 

Things to Do in Pensacola // The National Naval Aviation Museum // The Gallivant
Things to Do in Pensacola // The National Naval Aviation Museum // The Gallivant
Things to Do in Pensacola // The National Naval Aviation Museum // The Gallivant

When we first moved to Pensy I was totally overwhelmed by trying to learn all the aviation lingo and different aircraft. Going to the museum for the first time and  seeing all of the different planes and helos in person that were an option for John later in his career was so helpful in the learning process. If anyone reading this is in the same boat I cannot recommend a trip enough. 

Things to Do in Pensacola // The National Naval Aviation Museum // The Gallivant
Things to Do in Pensacola // The National Naval Aviation Museum // The Gallivant
Things to Do in Pensacola // The National Naval Aviation Museum // The Gallivant
Things to Do in Pensacola // The National Naval Aviation Museum // The Gallivant
Things to Do in Pensacola // The National Naval Aviation Museum // The Gallivant
Things to Do in Pensacola // The National Naval Aviation Museum // The Gallivant

While I have been to the museum a bunch of times now, I never get sick of hearing John explain all of the different aircraft and aviation history. Not only is it fun to see him get so fired up, but he just knows so much...it totally blows me away. It is also neat for our friends to see his training aircraft, like the T-6, and for us to be able to point out the various different aircraft that our friends fly, instead of just trying to explain it when they come up in conversation

Things to Do in Pensacola // The National Naval Aviation Museum // The Gallivant
Things to Do in Pensacola // The National Naval Aviation Museum // The Gallivant

(While John briefed Q on some history I kicked back in a  cockpit for a sec and interjected Top Gun jokes whenever possible.  )

Things to Do in Pensacola // The National Naval Aviation Museum // The Gallivant
Things to Do in Pensacola // The National Naval Aviation Museum // The Gallivant
Things to Do in Pensacola // The National Naval Aviation Museum // The Gallivant
Things to Do in Pensacola // The National Naval Aviation Museum // The Gallivant

Not only is the museum fascinating for us, but it would also be a great place to take kids of all ages! They have a cute little play area, as well as camps during the summer and simulators that older kids would love. Also, there are always tons of sweet older veterans who give great free tours of both hangers. And finally, the best part, admission is free!

Follow @evr_thegallivant on instagram to see an excellent side by side comparison of Q and Tom Cruise in Top Gun...he has waited his whole life to take the shot. You are welcome, Quentin. And then head to the Aviation Museum yourself to take your own! 

National Naval Aviation Museum, 1750 Radford Blvd., Pensacola, FL 32506.

Happy Monday!

xoxo,

Emily

P.S. Like what you are reading? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the left-hand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or, you can follow me on Bloglovin. Also, follow along with The Gallivant on  pinterest, instagram,  and Twitter!

Life Of A Navy Wife & A Goal for the New Year

 Richey's 2015

Richey's 2015

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had the most wonderful Christmas and New Years. After a little break, it feels so good to be here in this lovely little corner of the web, and I can't wait to share about where we have been and what we have been up to recently in the next few weeks! 

I know I am not the only one who has been thinking a lot in the past few days about some goals for 2015. One of my biggest blogging goals is to share more here on the Gallivant about the Navy aspect of our life and marriage. Part of this is spurred on by the fact that as I have been reflecting back on our first year of marriage (Anniversary post coming soon!) I have been thinking a lot on being a Navy wife. While being a milspouse is a large part of why I started this blog, I don't write about it that often, partially because there are many days where I don't feel like a milspouse. No one in my immediate family was in the military, so John was my first introduction to this lifestyle. Even though we have been together for almost 5 years, I am still learning military lingo, and being a spouse is a whole new learning curve.  I think most of my hesitation in calling myself, confidently, a Navy wife, though, comes from the fact that we have not yet weathered that big looming and impending thing that is deployment. Such is that nature of the Aviation track--Pilots have to go through 2.5 to 3 years of training before they are deployable, as opposed to something like Surface Warfare, who are deployable almost immediately. This has been wonderful for our marriage, because we, unlike some military couples, have been able to spend great quality time together in our first year. That being said, sometimes when I chat with older wives about their experience in the military, I can't help but think about how they have spent long period of their marriage separated from their husbands, they have raised and maybe even delivered children alone--they have earned the title of milspouse, and I am not there yet. 

But then I remember that this is not a badge that I can earn, it is just a fact and part of our life.  And despite the fact that John has not deployed yet, my life and our marriage does look different than our civilian friends and loved ones.  We shop at the commissary, we often can't plan more than a day ahead, our schedules change on a dime, we have no idea where we will be in a year....etc. While our lifestyle comes with some frustrations (whose life/career doesn't?), it also comes with an incredible community, friends, and opportunities.  Over and over again we have seen God work in it in the past year. Someone said to John recently in a grocery store in Massachusetts, "Oh, you are in the Navy? I feel so bad for people in the military." The comment was ignorant, but came from a place of what I believe was simple (and common) misunderstanding. Our life looks a little different from our civilian friends and loved ones, but we wouldn't trade it. John dreamt of serving his country, felt led here, and I along with him.

So, I hope to share more this year about what our life in the military looks like, in small ways and large. I hope this serves two purposes: 1) To help our civilian friends and loved ones (many of whom, like me, have no previous connection to the military) understand military life a bit more, and 2) To connect and relate with readers who are in the military and share encouragement. I have been so blessed and encouraged by more seasoned milspouses who have shared their perspective, (I read one of my favorite blogs, Tulips & Flight Suits, from start to finish when I first moved to Pensacola, and learned so much from Mary in the process) and I hope that this is a place that can in turn encourage others who are learning to navigate this lifestyle. 

With this in mind, I would love to ask you, my lovely readers: Are there any particular questions that you have that you would like to see discussed here on The Gallivant pertaining to flight school or military life? The Gallivant is not turning into a military blog, but it is part of our lifestyle so I would love to talk about it a bit more--maybe around 1 post a month. I would love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have, so feel free to either comment below, contact me through the contact form at the top of the page, or email me directly at gallivantblog@gmail.com. 

As always, thank you so much for reading. Cheers to all that 2015 has in store.

xoxo,

Emily

P.S. Here are a few of my Navy related posts from the past year:


My Student Naval Aviator Husband's 2014 Christmas Wish List

My student naval aviator husbands 2014 Christmas Wish List

Having trouble shopping for the men in your life? They are the worst, aren't they?! As a follow-up to my Christmas wish list, we decided it would be fun to post John' s too. If your man is at all into hunting/fishing/outdoorsy-ness than this it the gift guide for you!

A few things which have been catching John's eye recently....

1.  A Subscription to Gun Dog Magazine

2. This T-shirt from our fave Dogwood Black.

3. A new pair of Khakis

4. Bean Boots.

5. Power tools! Specifically this drill because it has so many attachment options,  like this jig-saw

6. A 4 piece fly rod.

7. This Book on Upland Birds.

Clearly, he is all man. 

What is everyone up to this weekend? Our friend Ceci, who is more like our little sis, is in town and we are so excited to show her around! Tonight we are headed to the Zoo (random, I know, but I am so excited) and then out with some friends. 

Have a great weekend!

xoxo,

Emily

P.S. Like what you are reading? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the left-hand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or, you can follow me on Bloglovin. Also, follow along with The Gallivant on instagram and pinterest! And Twitter!


Life Lately: An Update on All Fronts

Scottish Sunrise | St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland | The Gallivant

Happy Wednesday Everyone! The past few weeks have been pretty wild, and I never had a chance to post our Month 11 Marriage update so I thought that I would just give a few quick life updates today. I write a lot about things we are doingbut I also love to share occasionally about how we are doing because I feel that that is more authentic and authenticity is of the utmost importance here. This post is a little bit of both :-)

Life lately:

John soloed and started the Aerobatics portion of Primary, which he has been loving. Typically once students complete their solos they gain "cred" with their instructors, and the rapport is a little more relaxed. Aero is fast paced, (he will hopefully solo on Friday, only a week after his last solo) but John has been enjoying flying everyday and learning the maneuvers. Check out this and this for a better idea of the type of stuff he has been working on.  (Total adrenaline junkie..)

He also flew his first night flight on Monday night, which he said was nerve wracking and awesome all at once.  While he was flying I had a movie night with some girlfriends (Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason-never gets old..) and when I got home I looked up into the sky and was  amazed that one of those tiny moving lights could be my husband. Wild. It's sort of hard to explain, but when I listen to him talk about flying ie. actually being able to fly a plane I feel so awestruck at the fact that that is what he does everyday when he goes to work. It's hard to articulate, and that is just one of the many reasons I am proud of John, but it  reminds me of what a blessing it is to be married to a man that I so strongly admire. 

Our best friends moved away, and it is tough. Our friends Haley and Travis moved to Kingsville, Texas, last Friday, where Travis will start advanced training for Jets. While we are so excited for them as he moves forward in his career, we were also so sad to see them go. They were like family to us, and we will miss them so much. I have lived in a few different  places over the past decade, (Boarding school, Scotland, Massachusetts, Virginia) and said my fair share of goodbyes. Leaving Fredericksburg (My college town) and all of the incredible friends I made there was probably one of the hardest transitions I have made so far, but I would say that this goodbye was a close second. In many ways it seems like a milestone in our Navy career, because this was the just the first of many times that we will say goodbye to sweet friends that we have made in the places the Navy sends us, whether because they are moving or because we are moving. So begins the process of finding the balance between letting myself be a little sad and the "get used to it" attitude. The truth I will cling to is that just because we don't know exactly how long people will be in our immediate lives there is no excuse not to pursue deep and meaningful friendships.  The good news is that we have so many amazing friends still here with us in Pensy, so I know that we won't be lonely, and Haley and Trav are just a road trip away. 

One sweet outcome of Haley and Trav's move is that I have been so reminded of God's faithfulness over the past week. As I have thought back over the 11 months we spent together here in Pensacola, John and Travis supporting each other through flight school, Haley and I supporting each other as we learned to support our husbands, and all of us traversing new marriages together-- I realized that their friendship was the answer to a prayer that I, as well as many other people, prayed for months leading up to our move to Pensacola. Because of them, John and I know more of His goodness and His provision,  and are assured that He does hear our prayers and delights in answering them. We are nearing the part of Flight school where many of our friends will select and move away, (unless they get Helos) and I am so grateful for this perspective now, at the beginning. This is one the harder parts of Navy life, but I am comforted by the fact that we do not live our lives at the whim of the Navy, but rather in the hands of the Almighty. 

Finally, I started a new job (sort of)! For a few months now I have been baking homemade pound cakes and muffins for a boutique bed and breakfast in downtown Pensacola, The Lee House. I was filling in at the front desk occasionally for them, but I  just started working there consistently two days a week. It has been a blast, and I adore the awesome team I work with. I have a little bit of hospitality experience from my summer spent interning with FOCUS, but I am excited to learn way more about the industry. Lee House also hosts the most beautiful weddings and events, so I am pumped to get a little peek into the Events industry as well! I have been training there these past few weeks, so that plus my normal work hours at Bluetique along with baking and writing at home have kept me pretty busy the past few days, but I am loving every second of it. 

What's new with you?! Anything cool that you have been experiencing or learning about? I would love to hear!

xoxo,

Emily

P.S. Like what you are reading? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the left-hand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or, you can follow me on Bloglovin. Also, follow along with The Gallivant on instagram and pinterest!


{Pensacola Do} The Blue Angels

The Blues are back! Last saturday, my friend Haley and I headed out to Pensacola Beach to watch the Blue Angels perform in the Pensacola Air Show. We left a bit later than the rest of the thousands (!) of other people who were hoping to watch, and therefore got stuck in traffic for roughly 3 hours on I-10, but it was SO worth it. 

Haley had seen the Blues a bunch of times before, but I had only seen them once as a little girl and barely remember it. She couldn't stop laughing at the look on my face every time they flew by us, which I am sure was an expression of pure awe. We got to the beach right at 2:00 pm when the show started, and after one of the solos flew right over our car as we were driving along looking for parking, we decided to just ditch the car in a random lot and book it down to the beach as fast as we could so we didn't miss anything!

Even though it seemed as though we were late, we actually ended up with the best view. We posted up to the right of the main part of PB, sort of half way to Fort Pickens. Turns out we were standing right where the planes would hook as they turned to head down the beach. Insane.

It is hard to describe the kind of exhilaration that the Blues invoke. There is just something so wild about watching F/A-18s flying up to 18 inches from each other (18 Inches!!) performing these crazy maneuvers at outrageous speeds, that,  as Haley would say, really "gets the people going." But seriously, it really is amazing. The solos reach speeds up to 700 mph! It was unlike anything I have ever seen. Such an amazing display of discipline and skill. Also, it was wild to think that each of those pilots started right where are husbands are now--at flight school in Pensacola. While watching I felt so proud of them, proud of the guys up there, and proud of our Navy. 

If you missed the show, or just want to watch the Blues again, than check out their practice schedule here and head to the Naval Aviation Museum at NAS Pensacola on a Tuesday or Wednesday morning when they are home in Pensacola to watch them practice. 

Also, If you are an email subscriber and couldn't see Scott and Sarah's fabulous wedding video from the last post than click here to open the post in your web browser!

Happy Wednesday, Friends!

xoxo

Emily

P.S. Like what you are reading, want to keep up with our latest gallivants, or looking for fun things to do in the Pensacola area? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the lefthand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or you can follow me on Bloglovin

A Little Life Update: Patience + Perseverance

 Photo: Author

Photo: Author

Just a little life update today.  The past month John and I have both been buckled down and working like busy bees. It has been nice to stay put in Pensy for a while and dig into both our work and friendships here. That being said, I am headed home at the end of the month to Boston, which I cannot wait for. Also, John and I are both so looking forward to heading up to Vermont for Labor Day with his family.

John finally started Primary a few weeks ago, and has been working his butt off in ground school. I can’t even begin to explain how proud I have been of him and how hard he has been working. Needless to say, this has been a very different experience so far than API, for which I think we are both hugely grateful. He has been spending about 75% of his time during the week on base, so I am getting used to him being gone again during the day. While I do miss him, towards the end of his time waiting to start Primary we were both beginning to crave more structure in his schedule. He had his start date pushed three times, which was a bit frustrating, and resulting in four extra weeks of waiting around. That being said, this type of thing is totally standard for flight school so we weren’t completely caught off guard by the wait, just frustrated.

One day in particular I was working from home and John had just found out that his start date had been pushed yet again. He had just gotten back from the gym and lay down on his back on our living room floor to wrestle Flynn. I lay down next to him with my legs up against the wall. We lay like that for a while, discussing various disappointments and frustrations in our current moment, as we both felt at a bit of a standstill—John getting antsy to start his next phase, and me feeling like I was having trouble gaining traction in my writing and editing. Out loud I tried to think of what joys God could have for us in this time of waiting. I came up with this list:

  • John had one more week to study.
  • Because of my somewhat open schedule I had time to spend with him.
  • We could make the most of it and do some fun and spontaneous things (like take a day trip to Destin)
  • Flynn had one more week of undivided attention
  • I had another week home with my husband

We didn’t know what the purpose for that time was, and still haven’t totally figured it out. One thing I have figured out, though, is that we, as young 20-somethings trying to start our careers, are definitely learning and cultivating patience and perseverance. Every once in a while we get caught in moments where it feels as though we are spinning our wheels in pursuit of our dreams. In those moments, though, I am learning that it is so good for us to come together and support and encourage each other, as well as talk realistically about what we can do better or differently right now.  We can’t read God’s mind or foretell the future. All we can do is live in the moment and make the most of it. This is Navy life, and beyond that this is just life. This is the hurry up and wait. But as John reminded us both that day—soon enough there will be days where all we wish for is to be lying together (somewhat pathetically) on our living room floor in the middle of the day, shooting the breeze. And soon after that, there will be days when that is not even an option, when John is away and I am alone on the carpet.

Fast forward three and a half weeks and John has started Primary. I have made some cool and significant strides both career-wise and blog-wise. Now, having transitioned into a busier moment, we are grateful for that time. We must be grateful for this time. Always. It is a discipline this, embracing the present, taking it a day at a time. But I believe this is where God meets us, this is where Jesus is, not in the next big thing, and not in the past.  My heart will learn this over and over again—our peace is in the present.

Thanks for reading today, friends. As always, I am so grateful for you. 

xoxo,

Emily

Memorial Day

 photo: author

photo: author

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope you all had the most wonderful long weekend. We had the best time in GA, and came home feeling very refreshed. Since we didn't have internet yesterday, I wanted to take a few minutes today to honor our military. 

To those who have dedicated their lives to protecting freedom

To those who are overseas

To the next generation in training

To those who have lost their loved ones

To the moms and dads who protect not only their own kids, but ours as well

To the brothers and sisters

To the sons and daughters

To our friends

To my husband

Thank you for your service,

and may God bless you. 

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xoxo,

Emily

Navy Flight School Crash Course

Earlier this week after Monday's post (thank you so much to everyone for your kind comments and messages-so encouraging) I promised a "Flight School Crash Course" post so that any of you who are not familiar with the navy aviation lingo could have a reference. I didn't have any military background before I met John but I have slowly been learning the language since we first started dating, and I will always do my best to unpack it here when I write about the Navy. I also thought that a post about flight school would be helpful to our dear friends and family so that they can keep track of John's progress and have an idea of where he is at. So, without further ado: 

The Gallivant's Crash Course to Navy Flight School 

1. IFS

 John after his first solo flight.

John after his first solo flight.

Introductory Flight Screening is the first phase of flight school for people who don't have their private pilot's license already. John started IFS in November and finished in the beginning of February. During IFS, students complete 14 hours of flight training, and have to pass an FAA Private Pilot test, as well as complete a solo flight. When aviation students first get to Pensacola they are assigned to a local airport-- John was in Foley, Alabama. The length of IFS varies, because it depends on how backed up the program is and weather. Can't take student pilots up when the weather is dicey! This can be a bit frustrating, but it is something that we have learned to just get used to. It's like having snow days constantly--at first they are fun, but eventually you are just ready to get through whatever you are doing. That being said, after I had just moved to Pensacola we got to go on some fun adventures because of John's IFS schedule, and for that I was so grateful. 

2. API

The Second Phase of Flight School is API, or Aviation Preflight Indoctrination. API lasts for 6 weeks (4 weeks of academics and 2 weeks of survival training) The 4 weeks of academics focus on aerodynamics, aircraft engines and systems, meteorology, air navigation, and flight rules and regulations and there is an exam after each subject. A month may not seem like a long time, but the students have so much information thrown at them and are expected to learn at an incredibly fast pace, with hardly any room for error. This is a point in the flight program that some people do not make it through, as it is essentially a screening process to make sure that these students have what it takes. API requires serious dedication to study, in fact I hardly saw John at all during the academic portion. (I wrote about our API experience in this post.) After Academics are over, API students do two weeks of land and water survival training. If anyone reading this has a spouse or significant other in API or heading into API--don't worry, they will be fine, but do know that it will be a grueling month and you probably won't be able to hang out very much. The nice thing is that a lot of times they may have a few days of lag time between the end of API and the beginning of Primary, and if you are lucky like me than your significant other will be finishing just as the weather is beginning to get nice and you can look forward to a few days of hitting the beach together!

3. Primary

After graduating from API, SNA (Student Naval Aviators) enter Primary Flight Training. There are six different sections of Primary, which lasts roughly 6 months. The sections are: ground school, contact, basic instruments, precision aerobatics, formation, radio instrument navigation, night familiarization, and visual navigation. Students do primary either in Pensacola, at NAS Whiting Field, or NAS Corpus Christi, Texas. John will do primary here in Pensacola, so we won't have to move, which we are pumped about! 

4. Advanced

After Primary SNA's are selected for the type of aircraft that they will fly for, in most cases, the rest of their Navy career. Advanced takes place at NAS Meridian or NAS Kingsville in Mississippi, NAS Corpus Christi inTexas, or NAS Whiting Field. This could be fixed wing aircraft (planes) or rotary aircraft (helicopters). Once SNAs finish Advance they officially gain their wings and then report to their squadrons as Naval Aviators. 

Have any questions or comments? Feel free to comment in the comment section below and I will do my best to answer, or enlist the help of my Navy Pilot. 

Happy Thursday, ya'll!

xoxo

Emily

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The Past Few Weeks + Our Wedding Video

Flight Suit Friday

Happy Monday everyone! We had the most wonderful weekend exploring, relaxing, and enjoying being outside. I have some exciting posts coming up, but first wanted to share a little bit about the past few weeks…

Last friday was a really exciting day for John because he celebrated his Flight Suit Friday! Flight Suit Friday signifies the end of the academic portion of API (Aviation Pre-Flight Indoctrination,) and is the first day that flight students get to wear their flight suits to work.  API is a grind, such a grind in fact that some students don't make it through. Though you can have up to 2 fails, the passing mark is intentionally high, and the material is being thrown at these brilliant men and women at a mile a minute. 

 Putting their class patch up in the O Club!

Putting their class patch up in the O Club!

 Sillyness....

Sillyness....

To be honest, the past few weeks have not been the easiest. In fact, they have been hard. Hard in ways that I didn't think we would feel so early in our marriage. I would never want anyone who reads the Gallivant to make the mistake of thinking that our lives are easy all of the time, and marriage is a breeze. I know you don't think that, but I also don't want to seem like I am hiding or glossing over the hard parts. I have always been so grateful when people in my life have been honest with me about hard things, real things, and so I hope to be completely honest with you, my dear readers, and when appropriate--share our struggles, and more importantly, what we are being taught through them. 

I have this bad habit of looking into the future and setting expectations. I could call them goals, or dreams, but what they truly boil down to are expectations. As John and I approached our wedding in the fall,  our future looked like this to me: We would get married, move to Pensacola where John would go through IFS, API, Primary, potentially Advanced, and then we would move to wherever the Navy sends us next once he has his wings. 

In short, we both realized over the course of API, as things didn't go exactly to plan, that we had been holding far too tightly to our expectations. Neither John nor I seriously entertained the idea that the progression we imagined for our immediate future may not unfold so smoothly. But the truth is that sometimes the way our God works is entirely unexpected. API turned out to be much more challenging than we had imagined, and for the past few weeks I have hardly seen John, as he has been studying pretty much 24-7. Every fiber of his being was focused on getting through this phase, and every fiber of my being was focused on supporting him and taking care of him. This has been stressful, and exhausting, but it also brought us to a place of surrender that I don't think we would have been to if not for the trial.  We realized that we needed to let go of our expectations, and ask God what His plan entailed for us, even if the answer may not have been what we expected or wanted. We also realized that in order to make it through the remainder of API we needed to fully rely on the Lord for strength, wisdom, and perseverance. We remembered that Jesus is our peace, and we also remembered how quick we are to forget that. 

In the past three weeks, I have learned so much about being a wife, especially in terms of supporting my husband through a situation that I have no control over. I am learning that an inevitable part of marriage is that there will be times in our life where one of us will be going through something that has the potential to radically affect both of us, and yet the other will be completely helpless in the situation. It's terrifying, the ugly parts of us call it unfair, and yet thats marriage. That is truly cleaving to each other, sharing a life, and choosing to love. 

Friday was a wonderful day and I was overwhelmed with gratefulness as well as pride. I could not be more proud of my husband, as well as relieved to have him back for a few weeks! One of the best parts was that one of my best friends, Emily, was with us to share in the excitement and experience this neat Navy tradition. 

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Em and John FSF.jpg

At the end of last week we received the preview to our wedding film, which I am so excited to share with you guys! Our film was done by the incredible Jim Greene of Boston Wedding Films, and we seriously cannot recommend Jim and his team enough. They were wonderful to work with, and truly captured our day in the most thoughtful way. 

In light of the past few weeks, I especially love what our Pastor, Dori, says at the end of our wedding video: "A husband and a wife meeting one another's needs as they look to God for His help--that's a real beauty."

I just want to quickly say thank you to everyone who called, texted, emailed, and visited in the past month. Your words and presence were so encouraging, probably in ways you didn't even realize. 

xoxo

Emily

P.S. Navy lingo throwing you off? Check back into The Gallivant this week for a Flight School crash course! 

P.S.S.P.S. Like what you are reading? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the left-hand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or, you can follow me on Bloglovin. Also, follow along with The Gallivant on instagram and pinterest! And Twitter!

Monday: Grateful

 Sunday walk in Pensacola Beach

Sunday walk in Pensacola Beach

Ah, Monday... today I am writing while John studies furiously for his first test of API. This is his second phase of flight school, and the academics are tough. I am doing everything I can to be supportive, including pirating my best friend Danielle's chicken curry recipe for tonight, per JB's request. Brain food. 

Anyhoo, I wanted to start the week off with a note of gratefulness to everyone who has checked out the Gallivant, been reading, shared, and subscribed in the past few weeks--thank you so much. It is crazy to me that over 1,200 people have stopped by since my first post. This is becoming a wonderful and exciting space for me, and I am so excited to keep growing it and sharing with you.  Figuring out newlywed life, the Navy, flight school, moving, my writing career, and a brand new place is all at once exciting and (at times) scary, but I will strive to be as honest as possible in hopes that anyone who is going through any or all of those things will have a place to come and feel like like they are understood. And anyone who is just here to stay up to date on the Richeys--we love you too! 

Please know also that your comments make my day, so please feel free to jump in, comment on posts, say hi, introduce yourself even. I would love to meet you! 

On this note, I wanted to share some of my favorite blogs today. If the Gallivant is your first venture into the blogging world--welcome, and let me open the gates a little wider for you. If you already read tons of blogs then please feel free to post your favorites in the comments section below! The following blogs are written by some incredible men and women who have inspired me so much in the past few years, whether in the kitchen, in marriage and relationships, in travel, in style, in design, in writing, in the way they raise their kids, or just with wonderful wisdom. I follow all of them religiously, using feedly, and have been so grateful that they have been willing to share their lives via their blogs. So, grab a mug of tea and settle down to do some reading when you need a boost to make it through your monday. :-)

Hither and Thither: A lovely lifestyle and travel blog based in Davis, California. 

Cup of Jo: If you have never heard of it, you have so much to catch up on! Joanna is the coolest.

Smitten Kitchen: Aka the blog that birthed the cookbook we live by. 

Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity: A wonderful blog based in Washington state (jealous) all about being frugal, with tons of cool gardening, cooking, and budgeting tips. She is also hilarious. 

Gal Meets Glam: Love this girl. She is young, married, lives in San Fran, and has impeccable style.

May Richer Fuller Be: My friend Chaney's wonderful blog with tons of incredible DIY and organizational projects.

David Lebovitz: A world-class chef and baker living in Paris. Duh.

Oh Joy!: Such fun craft, party, style, and food ideas. 

Like I said, these are my standbys, but coming up later this week is a list of some of my new faves! 

xoxo, 

Emily

 This little guy digs the beach! This weekend was a blast getting to know him and adjusting to having a little shadow trotting around at my heels all over the apartment...

This little guy digs the beach! This weekend was a blast getting to know him and adjusting to having a little shadow trotting around at my heels all over the apartment...