Tomorrow will mark ONE YEAR since my wonderful husband Jamie and about-to-be brother-in-law Josh Alexander became Second Lieutenants in the Army.
The trip up to New York brings back so many memories that I will treasure for the rest of my life.
My parents, two siblings, and I all drove up to New York together to use our timeshare and spend a week in the heart of Manhatten. Jamie met us at our hotel on Saturday, one week before his graduation, and took me all over New York on the best date we’ve ever been on. He planned the entire night, and the highlight was a carriage ride through Central Park. ahhh. Perfection.
After Jamie and Josh headed back up to West Point on Sunday, the Olsen clan spent the rest of the week running around the city.
On Thursday, I hopped a train to beautiful West Point.
Friday morning we (Jamie’s family, Josh’s family, and my family) all headed to West Point for the guys’ final parade. It was an awesome morning!
This was taken shortly before we left our final West Point “hop”. This is the third happiest Jamie and I have ever felt together… the first being our wedding day and the second being the day we got engaged. We kept talking about how 2.5 years prior, we were dancing together in that very room as a couple set up on a blind date, and now we’d made it to graduation and were going strong. Who knew five weeks later, I’d have a diamond on my left hand? 🙂
This is my sister and me right before graduation started. We were both on cloud nine and SO excited for our boys!
One of the highlights of the day was having the priviledge to listen to President Obama speak. Jamie and I now have an AMAZING picture in our home of Jamie shaking Obama’s hand as Jamie walked across the stage to receive his diploma.
My fellow Army friends whose men have graduated know the feeling when I say that I literally didn’t breathe during the oath to become officers. You could have heard a pin drop. I think that’s when it hit me that Jamie was REALLY closing the West Point chapter and REALLY about to open up the chapter to his career in the Army. Outrageously emotional.
HOORAY! (BTW- Those hats were all stuffed with money because it’s tradition for the kids in the audience to go run out on the field and get the money!)
The greatest hug ever.
Me & LT DeSpain
Jamie asked his father if he’d be the one to give him his oath. His dad was so proud, and it was really an awesome “father son” moment.
Jamie’s beautiful mom Tonya and me pinning on Jamie’s shoulder boards.
Leaving West Point was emotional and bittersweet like I knew it would be. When Jamie shut his barrack’s door for the final time, I watched him stand in the hallway, take a deep breath, and glance up and down the hallway one final time. I knew that he was overtired and overwhelmed. After four years of hell madness at West Point and counting down the days to graduation, I knew he was finally realizing what he was leaving behind; the place that gave him an outrageous education, the place where he had met several of his very best friends, the place where he met his future wife. As we drove away, he stopped off at one of our favorite spots overlooking the Hudson.
The day after graduation, Jamie’s parents, Jamie, and me began the 16-hour trek back to Alabama. We split up the trip by stopping in D.C.
I have a feeling that Jamie will do his 20 years in the Army. He already commited to 11 because the Army is paying for his future grad school education, so we might as well do nine more and get the retirement moolah, right? We’ll see. I don’t plan anything anymore, remember? 🙂 Life is way too unpredicatable, and I am learning to love it that way. Here’s to a potential 19 more years of living the Army life. As long as we’re doing life together, I know we’ll be happy. HOOAH.