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1~17smom (Julie)'s Blog (38)

"Words, Words, Words . . .

. . . I'm so sick of words!" says Eliza Doolittle in "My Fair Lady."  Those lyrics popped into my head during evening Chat last week, although they are completely untrue, at least for me.  I love words!  I subscribe to the Merriam-Webster Word of the Day service.  Every day, they send me a new word, show how it is pronounced, use it in several sentences, tell me  the first documented instance of it being used, and…


Added by 1~17smom (Julie) on February 1, 2015 at 8:30pm — 20 Comments

Is there a Deployment in Your (Near) Future? Let's Talk.

I'm the mom of an Infantry Marine son who had the "pleasure" of two trips to Afghanistan -- one in the blistering 120 degree heat of summer, and one in the -0 degree cold of winter.  Afghanistan, also called the "Stan," the "Sand," "Af-crapistan," and other things not suitable for a family network.  The deployments were radically different in more ways than the weather, and too much the same.  The summer one seemed made up of 13-hour patrols through dusty villages, nodding at locals who…


Added by 1~17smom (Julie) on December 18, 2014 at 5:11pm — 6 Comments

What's After Boot and SOI: At Least Three More Years . .

I didn't trip over Marine Family Network until the last third of Boot Camp, so I just had to "fake it" through most of the early angst.  Lucky for my son, I didn't do anything completely stupid, other than send a really fat envelope stuffed with a long letter and way too many pictures.  Out of that boot camp faux pas, my son got a bit of extra attention from the DI, who did look over his shoulder at the stupid picture of my husband who decided to (for no reason I understood then or…


Added by 1~17smom (Julie) on October 26, 2014 at 11:30am — 21 Comments

The Marines Got My Son. All I Got Was this Lousy Empty Room.

I've been talking to a lot of Recruit parents lately, and having "flashbacks" to January 2009, when we dropped our son off at the Recruiter station to be sent to MCRD San Diego via MEPS.  Seeing him walk away from me -- the little punk didn't even turn around and wave one more time -- was heart wrenching.  Getting the ever-famous "phone call" was a shock, because I didn't know that was part of the program (pre-discovery of MarineParents), and didn't quite know what to make of my son shouting…


Added by 1~17smom (Julie) on August 7, 2014 at 7:43pm — 47 Comments

Speaking of Independence . . . How's that Working Out for You?

As seasons and holidays change, I decorate a set of shelves near the front door to reflect the next phase of the annual cycle.  In February, out goes the red and the green, the variety of Christmas trees and Santas I've collected over the years, and I pull out the leprechaun, the pot of gold and the Irish harp for St. Patrick's Day.  I was somewhat thrown for a loop last year, when St. Paddy's Day and Easter fell in the same month.  Last year, the leprechaun peeked out from behind some…


Added by 1~17smom (Julie) on July 2, 2014 at 2:04pm — 6 Comments

"See Ya Later" and I Love Technology - True Science, True Magic

In one of my blogs, I posted a picture grabbed from Skype, taken in the middle of a magical hour with my son, on Christmas Eve, 2011, when I had no expectation I'd hear from him, and I had resigned myself to that empty space at the table, in my family, and in my heart.  Instead, I had an hour conversation with a grubby, cold and exhausted Marine 7,688 miles (give or take a few miles) from our home in California.  Since the Earth is just under 25,000 miles in circumference at the equator,…


Added by 1~17smom (Julie) on May 16, 2014 at 12:37am — 5 Comments

If I Hadn't Found You . . .

If I hadn't found you,, how in heaven's name would I have survived Boot Camp?  I suspect I would have sent silly cards with stickers all over the envelope and glitter inside -- with no idea what hell I'd just caused for my son.

If I hadn't found you,, I would have completely freaked out when that first "I hate everything and everybody, Mom, what have I done?!" letter arrived.

If I hadn't found you, I would have been completely…


Added by 1~17smom (Julie) on February 15, 2014 at 8:00pm — 7 Comments

Look Back, Look Forward, A Resolution

On Monday, January 5, 2009, my son left for DEP, on his way to MCRD San Diego.  The Friday before that, we threw a big party for him in a freezing cold warehouse, 80+ of his family and friends, from the family of his best friend since they were both 6 months old, to his one remaining 80-year-old great-aunt on my father's side.  I so regretted that my parents were gone, especially my father, a WWII Navy vet, who would have been gruff but charming, and would have pulled Andy aside to tell him…


Added by 1~17smom (Julie) on December 31, 2013 at 11:36pm — 16 Comments

You Know You're a Marine Parent . . .Forever . . . When . . .

I was restlessly wandering around MFN today, and stumbled over the "You Know You're a Marine Parent When . . ." discussion group, where folks post mostly-funny examples of our typical/crazed Marine parent behavior.  It struck me that I was exhibiting some of that same behavior at that moment -- wandering around MFN when edgy -- despite the fact that my Marine has been a civilian Marine for going on eight months.  And it occurred to me:

You know you are a Marine parent . . .…


Added by 1~17smom (Julie) on September 4, 2013 at 7:36pm — 4 Comments

The Marine Corps is Like LSD . . .

. . . or "The Fundamental Changes I've Seen in Myself Since 2009."

A few nights ago in Chat, I was talking to Amy, our role model Chat Manager, about how it felt to be on the "other side" of my son's active Marine Corps career.  She told me my DNA was permanently changed -- I was a Marine Corps parent for life.  Of course, being a child of the '70's, I immediately thought of LSD, and its reported effects on human genetic material.  Thus the title, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but…


Added by 1~17smom (Julie) on June 25, 2013 at 9:31pm — 13 Comments


Another of those words that carries within it many different meanings . . . a joyful shout, a whispered promise, a grateful prayer.

On this Easter weekend, I'm reminded of, and inclined to use that word in all its meanings.

For the Marines that stumble off that bus after a halfway-around-the-world journey, home safe at last on US soil, from a place that has seemed like Hell to them and their famiiies,  I shout, "Alleluia."

For those whose families…


Added by 1~17smom (Julie) on March 30, 2013 at 1:01am — 6 Comments

Life is like a box of chocolates . . . not!


I can tell when it’s time for a mental break, because my brain wanders off on its own and starts making connections that it has no business making.  Sometimes (admittedly rarely) the end result is brilliant.  Sometimes it’s just ridiculous and even my brain rejects it.  And sometimes, the result is . . . um . . . interesting.


I’m a big fan of the blog space here at Marine Family Network, and am particularly thrilled when anyone posts one of those blogs that,…


Added by 1~17smom (Julie) on March 12, 2013 at 5:51pm — 6 Comments

A Slap of the Hand, A Pat on the Back

I tend to wander around the Marine Family Network quite a bit . . . I sometimes feel like I live in a really big house, with a really big family party going on 7x24, and I hate to miss any of the good conversations, so I poke my head into discussions here and there, just to see how everyone is doing.  I run into old friends that I haven't talked to in awhile, step into a group that's new to me, stand for a moment and listen in gratitude and amazement as someone shares a beautiful story. …


Added by 1~17smom (Julie) on March 3, 2013 at 12:14am — 15 Comments

"I didn't think it would be this hard, Mom."

No, this isn't a story about the shock of boot camp, the rigors of SOI, the frustration that comes with being a "boot" at your first PDS,  the devastation of deployment, or even the challenge of post-deployment adjustment.


It's about what comes after all of that, when your Marine decides it's time to re-join the civilians and tries to "get a life."


You've all been dragged along on my family's journey, from January 2009 when my son stepped on those Yellow…


Added by 1~17smom (Julie) on February 19, 2013 at 8:30pm — 12 Comments

Ooooooorah . . .

"Ooorah" is just one of those words. 

It's shouted out by husky voices, as tired new Marines march on to the tarmac after conquering the Crucible.

It's a brisk exclamation point as two beats in a running cadence.

It's a beer toast, a "see ya later," a jubilant cheer, a sarcastic commentary among buddies.

It's what you shout as the "Star Spangled Banner" hits a high note at a baseball game.

It's a soft-spoken phrase,…


Added by 1~17smom (Julie) on February 18, 2013 at 7:30pm — 5 Comments

. . . Because I Can

This blog is nothing more than a place to share this video.  This explains so much about what it means to be  an American, and why we are proud of, and grateful for our Marines  and every other military man and woman who chooses to serve . . . so that we can display our flag whenever we want to...just because we can.  THAT is the meaning of freedom.…


Added by 1~17smom (Julie) on February 13, 2013 at 10:29pm — 6 Comments

Look Back . . . Look Forward

It's January 2013, the month of Janus, the two-faced mythological god, one face looking back in time, the other forward to the future.

Almost exactly four years ago, I must have been contemplating good old Janus as well, since I produced the party invitation to the left of me…


Added by 1~17smom (Julie) on January 4, 2013 at 4:30pm — 6 Comments

Baby, It's Cold Outside - 2013

A year ago, about this time, my son was in Afghanistan . . . again.  During his first deployment, it was summer, 120 degrees during the day, and 100 degrees at night.  My son told me there was no need to boil water for his Cup o' Noodles, he could just pour water straight out of the gallon plastic water jugs stacked on pallets, because it was hot enough to boil the noodles.  I racked my brain for things to keep him cool.

This last winter, on his second deployment,…


Added by 1~17smom (Julie) on January 3, 2013 at 7:20pm — 50 Comments

The Big Dipper is Still There . . .

Two nights ago, I found myself standing out on our deck at 2 AM, head back, staring up at a starkly clear night sky.  It was one of those cold, silent nights, and there I was again, eyes on the Big Dipper, thinking of my son.

Before my son's first deployment, in 2010, I bought five coins from the EGA Shop.  On one side of the coins, there was a set of folks in military garb, facing a set of ordinary folks, all staring up at a single star.  Written on the reverse side of the…


Added by 1~17smom (Julie) on December 9, 2012 at 7:21pm — 12 Comments

Mission -> Guidelines -> Environment . . . and Social Networks

I've written before about my deep appreciation for the thought that was put into the guidelines that are shared across its family of sites . . . I recognize these guidelines as being carefully crafted to preserve and support our mission:  to provide reliable resources and information, a place to connect and share, and opportunities to support the troops and their families.

As a Marine parent, I am here precisely because's mission…


Added by 1~17smom (Julie) on December 9, 2012 at 3:00pm — 5 Comments

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