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

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#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

 

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 follow me on Bloglovin so you never miss a post! Also, follow along with The Gallivant on  pinterest, instagram,  and Twitter!