On This Day in 2011

Yesterday as I was getting ready to take Simon for a walk I looked at the calendar (which shares its hook with the dog leash) and realized it was a year ago that Ethan had his going away barbeque.  A year ago today we sat in the recruiters office together (his family was there too), and I wished that the ominous van would never come to take him away from me.  But of course it did, and that was the start of our three way relationship: Ethan, the army, and me.

It’s been one heck of a year, I can tell you that.  Throughout all of boot camp we wrote each other letters (mine were always too cramped for him to read easily, and his looked as though he fell asleep writing).  We got a limited time to talk only on Sundays.  I had experience with long distance relationships before, but of course this was different.  I knew I wanted to marry him, after all!!  I had things to keep myself busy though.  I went to blogshop (where I met these fun and awesome ladies) and headed back to school the Monday after (for the first time since the previous winter).  I wrote to Ethan an embarrassing amount with this kissy stationery and I can only imagine the grief he received every mail call.  Before I knew it though, it was time for him to graduate.

We went a little crazy hugging and kissing each other (though I regret not having that movie moment of running across the gravel to him and jumping into his arms).  This is our first picture together after he left (the above had been the last).  My face hurt so bad that weekend…both from smiling and crying so much.  All we really did was hold onto each other and take pictures.  It was like our engagement photo session before we I knew we were getting engaged (later that year).

I was so so proud of Ethan for being a rockstar in his training and brave for getting through it (I would have cried every single night if I was in boot camp (I’m not kidding)).  And now that he is doing his real job at his permanent post…and I get to see him everyday–it’s amazing to me that chapter is over!  When I dreaded it all last summer.  I remember around this time I was touring dental schools without the slightest clue we’d be getting married so soon.  Some plans have a funny way of not working out…at all.  And in this case, it was all for the better.

If you are still reading this, way to be a trooper…I know strolls down memory lane can be tedious sometimes.  Especially when they are accompanied by displays of mild narcissism.  But Ethan being a member of U.S. Army has had such a huge impact on our relationship and whole lives.  It’s easy for me to sometimes ignore he is a soldier, but that uniform gets me every time.  I know we still have challenges ahead of us, but for his first year in the service, I think we did pretty good.



  1. Thanks for the Happy tears! Love ya!

    1. danamcdowell · · Reply


  2. What a beautiful story, I cannot even imagine what that long-distance must’ve been like. My husband (boyfriend at the time) went away for two weeks for work once and I could barely handle that. Kudos to you lady for being such a great and supportive long-distance love.

    1. Aww, thanks Dennise!! It was a big-time bummer, all those days away from him. But it does make now that much sweeter =)

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