I remember three years ago, when I was sitting at Panda Express waiting for my food. Michael told me to check my phone, and sent me a text message with a photo attached. The photo was you as tiny little baby Oshwald. "What should we name him?" was the text. I was so excited that I started tearing up right there in the restaurant. You were on the other side of the state, and I had to wait a few days before I could pick you up. We made sure to have everything prepared for your arrival. We bought your cage and filled it up with fluffy paper, we bought you a tiny little igloo house, a nice water bottle, and got you tiny little bowls for food.
When I brought you home, I remember having a box and a blanket ready, fastened with a seat belt in the front seat. I was terrified when I first held you. I didn't want to squish you because you were so tiny and so fragile, but you also were very pokey. When I took you into the house, I let you around on our kitchen floor to explore your new home. I was scared that you would somehow crawl under the fridge and never come out to see me, so I watched you very carefully.
Taking care of you during nursing school was probably the best coping mechanism that I had. Caring for you required a lot of patience and calmness. When I was frustrated or angry, I would try and play with you, because I would automatically calm down (for fear of being stabbed). I loved giving you little bubble baths, and I hated clipping your tiny little nails. I loved cuddling with you. I loved how you would find the smallest space under my tummy and just curl up and sleep. People don't think that hedgies make great cuddle pets, but you are a better cuddler than your sister Ami!
Oshy, you're the reason me and your daddy have bedtime stories and crazy make-believe personalities for all of our little animals. You were the master of everything! With your magic quill, you have conquered so many things. You have flown over dangerous waters, and defeated bunny cartels, and have saved your sister from countless attacks. You, my son, have a dojo of coolness. I hope that your transition into hedgie heaven was an easy ride. Your legacy will live on with Okami.
We love you so much Oshwald. I wish I could cuddle with you again. I love you baby boy...
RIP Sir Prickleberry Oshwald Blooregard
In honor of Nurses Week… I now understand why we have an entire week dedicated to a hardworking, selfless, and compassionate group of people. And it doesn’t matter what level of nursing you are either.
As a Student Nurse, you are faced with hours of lecture, hours of clinical practice (God forbid you miss one clinical day!), and hours of homework after that. Of course, you’re prone to the social aspect of college life, and you want to squeeze in time with family, friends, and your own fitness goals. On top of that, you try getting the CDC’s recommended hours of sleep for your age group (which is typically at least 7 hours for the average adult). I had calculated the different number of hours I spent in college sitting in lecture per week, which would range from an average 16-21 hours. Clinical rotations and discussions would take up at least 20 hours. Homework, not including studying, would take about 16 hours. Then you include studying, which was pretty much the rest of the week because in nursing school, you never knew when you’d have a pop quiz for extra credit. And honestly, every point mattered. And it’s said that with every hour of lecture should equal about 2 hours of studying outside of class and completing homework. For instance, a 4-hour (or 4 credit) class, you should expect to study at least 12 hours out of the week. This didn’t include any of the time that you had to take to meet with group members and work on group projects, or go out of you way to spend an hour at a nursing home facility with a resident to complete a care plan for them (curse you Well Elder project!) And finally, all the student committees that people would push onto you so you’d become a “well-rounded” student and help make your college better.
Have you noticed that I haven’t made a comment about your own activities of daily living? Showering, eating, exercising, and socializing all become these tasks that we somehow integrate with our studies. I remember walking up and down the stairs of my college during our ten-minute breaks just to say “at least I walked today…” When I would study at home, I’d do 20 reps of some exercise I could do on my yoga mat every time I finished a section. Then when it was time for me to move onto the next subject, during my 20-minute break, I’d do Blogilates. You laugh now, but for me, that’s all I could manage to fit in when I was preparing for tests. On the weekends is when I’d go out for runs, or when I managed to finish everything early. “Socializing” became study sessions that involved a glass of wine and pizza. But shout out to all you nursing students for doing your thing! Nursing school is its own beast, and it can only be conquered by someone as strong and dedicated as you! I got through it, so can you!
But now that I am an official Registered Nurse, an Army Nurse at that, I have found more time for myself. It is a great feeling when you can go to work, make a difference, and then come home and relax. Granted that I do not live with my husband and I don’t have any kids yet… This just means I still get to enjoy “me” time. I am, however, excited to see how mixing family and work will be, and I know I’ll be able to power through that obstacle because of my awesome time management skills. (Thank you Nursing Gods for this hard-earned blessing). And the Army has also taught me some awesome things about nursing that I probably would have never learned anywhere else. I’ve learned to accept patients that come from combat zones and I’ve had to be the friendly face that gave them comfort in an unfamiliar place. When we’re working, we don’t think about these things. But when you look back on who you’ve helped, I can guarantee you almost every time, you’re that friendly face that made a difference.
Being on “my own” hasn’t happened quite yet. I am still in a residency type program where I have another, more experienced, nurse backing me up as I go about my day. Which is what I love about team nursing. You don’t have to take on everything by yourself because you know there’s a skilled LPN/LVN or tech/medic (very helpful people!) to have your back. I think that media has somewhat skewed society’s view on what happens in hospitals. For instance, Grey’s Anatomy… Please understand that it’s very rare that your Dr. McDreamy is the one that comes in and starts your IV and gives you medications. As nurses, we are your messenger. We are the power players of the game, with our one goal: to get you better. And doctors are the ones telling us the game plan. I’m not trying to talk down on doctors at all, but I do want people to understand the role that nurses play in the hospital. I’m not going to be the one to tell you your diagnosis. I’m not going to be the one to make decisions for you. But I am the one that will be there when you need someone who will listen to you with an unbiased opinion. I will be that person who will ask you what I can do to make your day just a little better, while you’re lying in our hospital bed during what could be one of the worst times of your life.
When I first graduated nursing school, I had the honor of having nurses in my Washington family give me words of inspiration. Many of which were the same words of inspiration that hold true for every Nurse, no matter if you’re a Student Nurse, a Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse, Registered Nurse, or a Nurse Practitioner. Every one that I’ve met with one of these titles, is probably one of the hardest working human beings I know. The top three most helpful pieces of advice I’ve heard are:
In the three years that I’ve been emerged in the nursing realm (as a SN and RN), I’ve had the privilege of working with experienced nurses who give me nothing but amazing career advice, insights on personal experiences, and real down-to-earth stories. Many of my experiences as a SN tested my boundaries for whether I could take on the title, and I am glad that I am still powering through as an Army Nurse. There are days where I feel like I could have done better, but that only makes me try harder the next day. I come in with my game face on, ready to conquer my assessments, charting, and navigating my way through medical jargon. Because I am privileged to work with my patients and help them through their illnesses. I am privileged to work with an amazing organization, the United States Army, and help treat the Warriors that I can so proudly call my Brothers and Sisters in Arms. Being a nurse is difficult, but I wouldn’t trade my career for the world.
Happy Nurses Week to all you amazing nurses out there! We appreciate everything that you do!
6 months ago, I had so many different emotions running through me as I boarded the plane to move to Europe. I was excited because I was going to a country I called home for nine years. I was nervous because I was going to start my career as a nurse. I was torn because I was leaving my family and my (now) husband behind. Given the circumstances that I had left earlier in the year and I had already said my "see you laters" to them, it hurt just as much the second time around. When I arrived, I felt like I knew everything about being here, but I also felt lost. Have you ever had that feeling before? The feeling that you're familiar with a place, but it's not quite the same as it was before? You know the names of places, but you don't know how to get there. You know customs and courtesies, but you're still afraid to reach out and meet new people. Well, that's how I felt when I moved here six months ago.
Everything looked exactly the same from when I left here about 9 years ago. The airport that I'd drop my mom off at was a little bit bigger. There was a "mall" built next to it too. I don't remember it being so big though. The only thing I remember was going to the airport and crying either really sad tears, or really happy ones. When I went back to my elementary school, everything looked the same, but there were more fences, and gates, and you couldn't just hop the fence from my old house into the playground anymore. Yet the buildings were still there, and all I got were flashbacks of my childhood. Something that I thought I'd never get again. Becaue when I went back to Hawaii a couple of years ago, they tore down my old neighborhood. So I'm glad that I was at least able to see the neighborhood I lived in here.
But back to present time, six months after my arrival, I find myself familiar with my surroundings. I no longer have to pull out my phone and use the GPS to go buy groceries. I've figured out what I like to buy from an American store versus what I like to buy from the economy. I know how long it takes me to get from my home to work when I'm running late in the mornings. I know when traffic is going to be heavy, but I know that my work hours never let me run into that problem anyway. I set my radio stations in my car. I have a running trail. My neighbors know my name now, and we occasionally pass by each other in the stairwell. I have my "go to" restaurants when people visit, and I know that they're always closed at certain times. I know where I want to get take out from when I'm too lazy to cook. I know which bakery has the best cheesecakes, and what ice cream stores have the best spaghetti eis.
I'm no longer lost in translation with where I live. I've adapted, and I've grown into the comfort of my surroundings. I have made memories with my husband and my family here in the town I live in. It doesn't feel like it's just me going through this anymore. I have things to look back on and smile about. I'm thankful for the opportunity to make a home away from home. And even if I'm alone, I'm far from being lonely.
This comes around every year and it usually takes me by surprise. There are some days where I don't think much about what's happened in my life in terms of adventures with my siblings, and there are days where I can't seem to think about anything else but that. I normally choose June 9, or July 15, or October 5 as my own little day of "memorial" but this year is different, I guess. I'm all about starting new this year, and I'm all about trying to remember the best of everything, and I pray that I wake up in good spirits every day. Some days are harder than others, like the three I've mentioned above, but most days are good.
After almost 10 years, I still have a difficult time coping with the question, "Jaclyn do you have any siblings?" The thoughts in my head go by very fast: "do I answer 1, 2, or 3?" "Do I tell them two of them aren't actually alive... or?" "What am I going to say if they ask where they are or what they do?" "Do I say I'm the oldest now, or...?"
And after watching 13 Reasons Why last night, I couldn't help but go to sleep a little angry. Because I already didn't post anything about my siblings on this dreadful holiday, but partly because I thought that if my brother, David, left me cassette tapes and a planned mission like that, I'd actually be really pissed. Because that's just cruel and unusual punishment for those you leave behind. I've been putting off watching this Netflix series by myself, but now that I've seen a few episodes, it just made me angrier than it made me sad. The fact that the girl leaves cassette tapes for 13(?) different people, but not a note to her parents is also a really messed up thought. I'm glad that my brother at least wrote something for us down. I believe I was the last person my brother talked to. When he left our house, he left his phone, and none of his friends knew where he was, I'm pretty sure. But the last thing my brother told me was to tell all of our family and his best friends that he was sorry for what he was going to do, and that he was sorry he couldn't make us proud... Little did he know that he was the one person I really looked up to, so I kind of still hate him for leaving me in the wind. But I loved him, and I love him still. I'm still just a little mad that he went back on his word saying that suicide was for pansies... Anyways, after watching 13 Reasons Why, and spending all night thinking about him, I figured that I'd write something for this little sibling holiday. So sibling wise, we go from 3 to 2 and then almost 3 again.
Three would have been my eenie, weenie, teenie sister-to-be, Annie. My mom would have called her Annie, personally, I thought Dani would have been a cuter name, because it would have included the "D" from David's name. I'd always wanted a little sister, but sadly enough, I wasn't granted that. We don't speak much about it, because it depends on how "real" she was to you. I know that to my mom, she was very much alive. To me, it feels like she was just a dream. Which surprisingly enough, I've always had a little girl in my dreams that is supposed to be my little sister, and she always appears around the same time that I have dreams of my brother. So maybe she is more real than I'd like to think. But losing her brings us down to 2. Myself and my kangaroo.
My younger brother, Dennis or better known as Joey, is alive and well, and every time I look at what he's doing, I can't help but feel proud. I remember when we were much younger, I loved playing with him. I liked taking him to the park, but sometimes I'd get mad because he'd hurt himself and I couldn't pick him up because he was just a ball of flubber. Then when he started walking and talking, he became a real sassy pants. We'd have our fights and arguments, but that never stopped him from coming back to the blanket fort to eat cereal out of a bowl like a puppy. When I look at him, I still see that little baby. I still see the baby who would run to his older sister before he ran to anyone else. Now he's all grown up, has a girlfriend, and is making presentations on his career plans after high school. From someone that would chase me around the house on his motorized, toy motorcycle to someone who is now driving Linda the Land Rover... From someone who would only eat chicken nuggets to someone who can make me breakfast. I remember when he first started having crushes on girls, and now he's in love with his girlfriend. Seeing my brother emotional makes me emotional. Seeing him hurt, hurts me deep down inside because of what I've seen my other brother go through, and the thought of a recurring event scares me to the bones. Although I know my younger brother is much stronger than we all think, so I must give credit where credit is due. I just don't think I'm ready to watch him grow into a young man, cause he'll always be a ball of flubber in my eyes.
Also, this year I was lucky enough to gain a sister-in-law, Haizel. I've always wanted a sister, but of course, I was not lucky enough to be granted that opportunity. But I have been lucky enough to have gained one another way. Haizel has become someone I've started to look up to. After I lost my older sibling, I kind of had to figure things out on my own through high school. "No help, no guidance. All on my own." Haha. So I'm very thankful for the role that she's played in my life, whether she knows that or not. Just having someone to talk to openly about things, and have someone give me advice (other than from my parents...) is really comforting.
I know this blog train of thought is so scattered, but eh... Anyways, here's to siblings, gone or alive; blood or by bond. I love all four of them.
I've included the GIF just so people know what I'm referencing when I title this post that. I remember when I was in high school, my mom would ask us to watch this movie all of the time. There was a point where we had watched this movie at least 3 days in a row, and she still hadn't gotten tired of it. I'm pretty sure that I can quote this movie line for line. I'm not going to lie, this movie has become my go to movie when I find myself missing my family, but mostly my mom.
Today I thought about my mom and the relationship we've had over the past 24 years. I know for a fact that the relationship I've had with my mom has been a world of ups and downs. She didn't spend every night of my childhood tucking me in. Actually, when I was little, I'd call her Veronica instead of mom, and I'd call my grandmother mom. She missed a lot of my sports events in high school. She wasn't there to do my hair for my first homecoming dance, and she wasn't there for my first prom. My mom wasn't the one who taught me how to put eyeliner on, or the one who taught me how to curl my hair. She wasn't the cheer mom that was at every parent teacher conference or PTA meeting. And she definitely did not bake any cookies for our bake sale. My mom was gone a lot when I was growing up and I admit that there were times that I was mad at her for leaving. My mom may not have been there for me like my friend's moms, but it's because my mom was the one who laced up her boots to fight the fight.
She didn't teach me how to do all of the little things that I eventually figured out on my own, or with the help of my friends. But she did teach me all of the important things that shaped me into who I am today. I learned that I needed to work hard for what I wanted, and that when it came to my goals, "no" just meant "try harder." I learned to not back down from a challenge. She taught me that my dreams didn't have to be some fru-fru princess dream, and that if I wanted to be a cop, then damn it, I could be a cop. I'm obviously not a cop, but I did lace up my own combat boots. She taught me how to be assertive; although I'm not sure if she taught that or if she just rubbed off on me. I know she doesn't like to hear it, but she taught me how to be a bitch with an attitude and to stand up for what I believe in. She also taught me that you could go through a really tough tragedy and still be strong for everyone else, even if you could barely be strong enough for yourself. She taught me that I could be that one candle to defeat a room full of darkness and help others find light in themselves. She said that. And sometimes I forget those little snippets of life with her.
My mom and I weren't always best friends. There have been times where I felt like she was the most distant person from me, but there were also times where I felt like she was the only person I could run back to. We've had our share of hurt, and we've had to find our own ways of dealing with what we've experienced together. Our family was put through a lot, we've been rocked hard before, and I know my mom has probably felt the most pain from it. Me and my mom have been at each others throats like wolves, but I know it's because we care about each other. I know that I still have a lot to learn, and I'm going to want to figure it out on my own because I'm stubborn (also a trait I got from her). Maybe I don't understand what it is to be a wife in it's entirety, and I definitely don't understand what it's like to be a mom yet. But I do know that I'm not afraid to learn all of these things, because I know she'll be there to help me along the way.
Mom, you are the biggest pain in my ass, but I am happy to know that you're there. I love you. And I know that you just want the best for me, and sometimes, you don't understand the things that I do, but I need you to trust me. Because I've had one hell of a role model growing up.
I didn’t think that I would be able to travel to the Scandinavian countries so early in my European tour, but I’m so happy that I was able to do it while completing a big milestone in my life. Denmark was a remarkable place that’s full of rich history and a lively culture. The first couple of days were spent in preparation and execution of our wedding ceremony. Michael and I had spent most of our first day running around making sure that we had everything lined up for the big day, from our cake to our marriage documents. The second day was our BIG DAY! We spent the first half getting married, and then the rest of the afternoon in the City Hall, the Botanical Gardens, and at a restaurant for dinner. We did make it out to have just one drink after our wedding, and then racked out from our big day. We spent the third day driving to Sweden, which was only a 45 minute drive away, but I’ll write about that in a separate blog. The second half of that day, we spent going around Copenhagen eating at Paper Island, it's famous for it’s street food. On our last day, we went all over Copenhagen to see as much as we could. Hopefully this blog helps you plan your trip to the beautiful city of Copenhagen, Denmark
Where we stayed: First Hotel Kong Frederik - Vester Voldgade 25, 1552 København V, Denmark - I was able to book a bundle through Expedia which included this hotel. The location of the hotel was perfect for our wedding because it was only a 5 minute walk to the City Hall. It was also centrally located to the downtown shopping area, and many of the sites that were worth seeing. You could tell that the hotel was dated, but it was very well kept. Our room was fairly well-sized, and we had a view of the Queen’s Garden, which was the courtyard shown in most of the photos on Google. Since the days were very sunny, the courtyard was lit with natural light, allowing it to light our room.
You could tell that the hotel was a little dated, but it wasn't less than what I expected. Taking showers was a really loud ordeal, because you could hear the water going into the pipes or something like that. The tub didn't have a curtain, it had a small glass window that only covered the first fourth of the tub. Water was still spilling over onto the floor, but there was a drain so it wasn't a big deal. The bed was comfortable and the linens were clean. The amenities were shops that were NEAR the hotel, not in the hotel itself. I was able to get my dry cleaning expedited by the people next door. I just dropped it off at the front desk and they were able to get it back to me the same night.
The hotel had a restaurant called “The Italian” attached to it, and breakfast with an additional fee, unless you upgraded your booking online for it to be included. The staff were very pleasant people who helped us as we scurried around the hotel in preparation of our wedding day. They allowed us to keep our flower arrangements and cake in their cooler. They gave great recommendations of what sites to see and where to eat. They even posted a short story about us on their Facebook page!
How we got around: We flew into Denmark on SAS (Scandinavian Airlines). If I were to choose to go back to Denmark, I would try to look for another airline carrier. Not that Scandinavian Airlines was bad, but it ended up becoming very expensive. We had to pay to book our seats because they weren’t included in the initial payment to reserve a SPOT on the aircraft, and we had to pay 70 euro for our check in baggage of 23 kilograms. And like most airlines now, you have to pay for food/snacks that you want on the plane. The only two beverages that were complimentary were coffee and tea; not even water.
We walked most of the time we were in Copenhagen, except for the last day when we took the car to drive to the Little Mermaid and to the harbor. I think that the only con about staying in our hotel was that parking wasn’t included in the price. We were required to park in a garage about two blocks away. The distance of the garage wasn’t bad. We had hoped that there would be closer street parking, but we were out of luck. And the biggest downfall of parking was the price. It was about 280 DKK to park for 24 hours, and if you left your car in the garage for the hourly rate, it would be 40 DKK. If you do the conversion, it’s about $40 per day or $6 per hour. Which may seem like it’s not “too bad”, until you realize your rental cost $80 for 4 days, and your parking cost $160. Long story short – Don’t rent a car if you don’t need one. Also, if you do decide to rent a car, make sure that you stay there long enough to see how much they are going to charge you, and get a final quote face to face. Don’t allow them to say “we’ll send you the invoice at a later time” because then they’ll be able to bill you whatever they find and you’ll be countries away before you can do anything about it.
Where we ate:
Where we visited: I would go into great detail about the places we'd visited, but I'm not, because this blog is already so, so long! So here's a list of where we went instead!
Click here to view our Flickr album of Copenhagen!
I have always been a competitive person. I think every fiber in my being is built to fulfill the need to win. I think the mentality that I've developed since my school-age years, was a "sink or swim" one. Where if I didn't learn how to pull my own weight, then I'd get left behind, and I'd get left behind quickly. That's why when it came down to it, I always felt like I had something to prove. I never have been the one to back down from a challenge, and I've never been the one to turn in half ass work. I've always believed that if you're going to do something, then do it to the best of your abilities. Hence the emphasis on the 'your abilities' part.
It wasn't until I reached my senior year in high school where I stopped trying to compete with everyone. Everyone was out getting scholarships and getting college acceptance letters - and there I was, still lost and confused on what to do with my life. Just to catch everyone up - I took a six month break after high school trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I was accepted to colleges of course, but I was still very unsure whether I wanted to go to them or not. There was something about living in Michigan that scared me because I didn't think Asians existed in Michigan, because what kind of Filipino would I be if I wanted to live knee deep in snow all of the time? Of course there was San Diego and Hawai'i, but would I really focus on school if I decided to go there? What about cost of living? How would that have been? I was afraid to leave my safety net, but I was still yearning to spread my wings.
So month after month as I watched my newly graduated high school classmates start their first day of college and the photos of them settling into their dorms, I was at home, still figuring my life out. That's when I decided that I wanted to try and take up what career my brother had set down - so I attended culinary arts school at the Art Institute of Seattle. Obviously I could go on with the details of how I went from learning how to properly tourne a potato to have seven sides to injecting high risk drugs into people, but that's an entirely different story from where I was wanting to go.
So back tracking to where I first started on the "your abilities" part and doing things at your pace. I meet a lot of people, especially in my career field, who are very competitive with each other with work and school, and even in their personal lives. When I scroll through Facebook, I always have to chuckle at the memes that say, "all my friends getting married, having babies, or buying house... and I'm over here like." (Enjoy the few I've selected below, heh). But anyways - who cares about what all of your friends are doing?! Life isn't a competition, and I've never understood the whole, "I'm going to get a car better than them all" or "my house is going to be bigger than everyone else's house - even though I only have four people in my family - I need the 7 rooms for activities!" You guys laugh, but it's true. People really do go out and try to one up each other in life.
So you're out here competing with everyone else even though life isn't a competition, and you end up losing focus on yourself. You can't see that your progression is actually hindered by the fact that you've become obsessed with everyone else's progression. How much more do you think you could progress if you just put on temporary blinders to focus on yourself? JUST yourself. I'm not saying to be the shark that everyone is afraid of where you don't help others out or don't reach out for help yourself. But life is better if you make it a team effort. Don't make it where you focus on your progression and throw people under the bus to get to the top. I'm not saying to do that! (LOL no one like that person btw). Focus on your progression - while helping others grow to, and in return, they'll help you grow.
And don't compete with them. You don't have to get married because all of your friends are married. Maybe you have another goal (like extra schooling to further your career). Maybe your goal is to travel the world, and that's difficult if you start a family. And I'm not saying that you can't do all of these things at once. Of course in my case, I want to be the best nurse I can be along with being the best wife I can be, and in the future, be the best mom I can be. But I don't want to rush myself because all of my other friends are having their first or second kid. Because I know I'm most likely not ready for that. Your priorities don't have to be the same as everyone else's. Life gets hard when you start trying to do too much at once. Take on what you can handle, gradually build yourself up.
P.S. I still have to remind myself about this every day - I'm definitely not perfect at this. I have days where I feel like I'm so far behind a lot of my friends because I switched colleges and whatnot... But when I look at my life, I'm doing really well. I have a great military career, and I have the most wonderful husband a woman could ask for. Next stop for me? BABIES. hehehe.
I have felt a load of hurt after I turned 15. Part of that hurt came from losing one of my best friends unexpectedly. If you've been following my blog life since high school, then you're well aware of the worst April Fools Day of my life. My senior year of high school, one of my friends called me while I was in school and told me that my best friend had died. How'd he die? I'm not sure. I never actually got the full story from his mom and I'd always been too afraid to ask. In fear of hurting her, because I knew what it felt like to lose a family member, like when I lost my brother. So happens that the two had been the best of friends, and losing two halves that made the whole made it really difficult for me to cope.
Every now and then, I have moments where I remember all of the pain because I remember a memory or two. Like when I went back to Grafenwoehr and I could just envision the two skateboarding on the school steps, and pushing Jacob off the swing at recess... Sometimes it's all so vivid, that it becomes hard to concentrate on what's in front of me.
Seven years later, and I can say that I've been given time to heal. Today it didn't hurt as much waking up realizing what day it was. I can commend my husband for healing so much of my broken heart. But even though I've found peace in my life, I'll always remember the chubby skater boy that I grew up with. I know you're always watching out for me, and I just hope that I'm making you proud. I miss and love you Jakey, forever and always.
Jacob Juan Gueits
August 7, 1989 - April 1, 2010
If you're from Vilseck and you knew Jacob, please leave your most cherished memory of him in a comment. "Let their memory live on through the telling of their stories." <3
There are a lot of things that go into turning a relationship into a marriage. There is even more that goes into making a marriage work while being separated by half of the world. So we are reaching out to all of our friends and family that have been through these obstacles, for some newlywed advice.
What are some things that you did when you first got married? How did you cope with being apart for the first time? Even though being apart is not new to Michael and I, we still would appreciate the input. How about those who are dual military, how'd you make it work? Do you have any administrative advice that we should know about to help bring us together? How'd you make it work when you wanted to start a family? How about managing finances as a newlywed couple? What are some things we should start saving for and what are some good ways to go about saving for them?
All advice is welcome, and we appreciate all of the input you all give! Reply below!
When I was younger, I always thought that my proposal would be some grand gesture, and my wedding would be a big family event. I always imagined lots of flowers, a big wedding dress, and family flying in from all over the world to crowd my home. I can say now, that what I had envisioned before was completely different from what actually happened.
Michael and I had talked about marriage before. There was always a plan that we were making, but nothing came of it because of our careers. We were never home at the same time, and the time was drawing short on his second deployment, and he wasn’t there when it was time for me to PCS to my first station. Distance always made things difficult for us, but somehow, even though we were separated, he’s always been the closest person I’ve been to.
He came to visit in December, and it wasn’t until the last day where I asked him, “so what are we going to do?” There wasn’t any time left to get married then, and we hadn’t had the chance to tell anyone in our family, so we didn’t want to overstep ourselves. We looked at our calendars, and were lucky enough to find a week that both of us could take off to go get hitched. You can call it #SJElopeInCopenhagen. Make sure you say it in a Danish accent, well, more like a Viking accent. It’s much funnier that way.
We decided together that we were ready to marry. I like to believe that Michael and I respect each other enough to make these big decisions together. Maybe some people think that it takes the “magic” out of the proposal, but I really liked how I could talk to Michael about how “ready” I was. After we got married, he told me that he was planning on proposing to me back in December, but before that, I told him that I didn’t know if I was ready. At that time, there was a lot of movement due to my big move from the states and getting settled into my career. When I told him that I was ready, he just laughed it off and kept telling me that we could’ve been hitched a long time ago. I really appreciate him for always taking into consideration how I feel about things.
We didn’t have a long “engagement”. Actually, we were technically engaged for about 12 hours. We had decided that we were going to get married, but since there was no “real” proposal, we weren’t technically engaged. It all happened right before midnight on March 22. I was already sleeping, and he said he was going to stay up to build Legos. We were lucky enough to find a wedding set of Legos that we ended up using as our mini centerpiece. I had been sleeping for maybe half an hour, when he started bothering me about a piece that he couldn’t find and kept asking me to help him look for it. I was so tired. I was talking to him like he was my child, and that he had to try harder to find it by himself. It wasn’t until he started shaking my leg and whining (yes, whining!) about the “missing piece”. I sat up and took the instructions and the piece he was holding, and was annoyed because I didn't know what he wanted me to do. He then pulled out a ring and said, “I found the piece!” Okay, so maybe it’s the nerdiest proposal that I could have imagined, but I can’t say that I was surprised. I was honestly waiting for him to pull out a box made of Legos with the ring inside, but what he did was just as cute. 12 hours, that was our engagement.
The morning of our wedding day, we got up early and went to breakfast. There will be more details on our trip in Copenhagen in another blog. We got ready in separate rooms like you normally would. I got ready in my mom’s room, and he got ready in his parents room. The entire time I was getting ready, my heart was racing thinking about how it was actually going to happen. His sister was running around all over the place trying to get as much photo coverage of our event, and I commend her for her all of the photos she took. I'm so happy she was able to surprise us and make it to our wedding.
At 10:50 AM, me and my entourage of ladies walked to the Copenhagen City Hall. There, I met with my photographer Carolina, and she made me feel so welcomed, and something about her put me at ease. It was like someone was there for me who knew what to expect out of the day. It wasn’t until about 15 minutes later when I heard Michael’s voice from the floor lower than mine. I was starting to shake and hyperventilate because I was so nervous, but in a good way. As I made my way down the marble staircase, looking at him silhouetted by the bright window, I couldn’t help but start crying. I stopped on the third stair and called out his name. We both started crying, and we were both so awkward because we couldn’t kiss, and it was everything I expected it to be.
Carolina gave us a few minutes to have a special moment with our families and then to ourselves. At 11:30 PM, Michael and I had made our promise to each other to remain the great team we are, and vowed our love to each other.
My wedding wasn’t as smooth as I’d liked it to be because there were so many things that I had to keep track of from so far away. I felt like I was missing a lot of things, and it was hard to keep people on the same timeline, especially when we were all scattered throughout the city. But my wedding day was beyond amazing, because I got to marry my best friend. Now I can’t wait to see what opportunities and surprises my marriage is going to bring me.
The finer details.
Where I got my flowers: Cool & Cozy Florist in Copenhagen, recommended to me by Carolina. They were very kind to my husband and I. They were such delightful people who were very understanding, because we were about half an hour late picking up flowers, and they were ready to close shop. So we appreciate you very much!
Who our photographer was: Carolina. A photographer born & raised in Copenhagen, and says that she has a love for elopements. She was very easy to talk to and helped us feel very at ease during our photoshoot. She was well prepared for any attire mishaps that happened. She helped guide our families in what to do. And she's just such a sweet person who understood mine and Michael's odd, quirky humor.
Where we ate: My husband was able to book one of the top recommended restaurants in Copenhagen, called "Cofoco". We were served a four course meal with wine pairings, and even though the portions were small, we couldn't help but feel full at the end of the meal.
Where we got our cake: My husband was also able to get a cake from Copenhagen's oldest bakery, La Glace. It is very well known for it's tea time, cakes, and pastries. We ordered a raspberry and chocolate mouse, with a macaron bottom layer. I'm so happy that we were able to share some with our waiter, and still bring home half of the cake to freeze for our one year anniversary.
Our gallery is still being sorted, and will be posted soon! We're excited to show our photos!