Here's a blogger I actually know in person! Meet Betsy from Just a Little Something Betsy! She is a fantastic cook and takes yummy looking pictures for her blog. She also sells cool stuff on Etsy!
Tell us a little about you: I am a housewife/artist originally from New Jersey. I went to college and graduated with a bachelors in Engineering which I used for... 3.5 years or so :-P Maybe I'll use it again someday, but I got burnt out, and have no desire to go back yet. I have an Etsy shop to sell photography that hopefully I can turn into a real business this year/next.
The branch of service: Marine Corps!!
How long have you been together? If you're married, how long did you date? And how long have you been married? We've been together... almost 5 years, and married 3 of them. We dated for 1 year, and were engaged for 8 months (I would have been much happier if we'd done that the other way around- dated 8 months and were engaged a year, but hey - ya get what ya get!)
How did you meet your man? Was it before he decided to sign his life away?: I met my man serving him beer at our college pub. He had a bad day, and I could pour a near-perfect pint of Guiness. It was a match made in heaven (plus, the beer was cheap)! He was in ROTC (Reserved Officer's Training Corps) at the time - so although he hadn't QUITE signed his life away yet (AKA, didn't sign on the dotted line) he had definitely promised to. We were together for 7 months when he officially signed his life away and as my mom likes to say regularly "Married the Marine Corps"
Is he career military? Considering he deployed to Afghanistan, and while he was there couldn't think of anything better to do when he got out... yea. It's been a bit of a roller coaster decision (In college it was "20 years", after the first school it was "6 years max", after the second school it was "4 years and I'm out!", after reaching the fleet it was "at least 6 years", and then after deployment it went to "20+")
How did you initially feel about him being in the military?: I was amazingly comfortable with it. I wasn't EXCITED, but I was in love and oblivious to what it would really MEAN and blissfully ignorant... and totally ready to follow him wherever he went for the next 20 years. (We'd agreed at the onset that I'd follow him for 20 if he followed me for the next 20 - HA!)
What attracted you to him? Was it the uniform?: It wasn't the uniform - in fact, I'd had a pretty strict "No Military" rule up until him. But his big goofy grin and plaid shirts somehow managed to suck me in, and I couldn't be happier. Although, I DO love the uniform, especially when I can prance HIM around my girlfriends back home ;) I say all the time that I fell in love with a guy named Pete, and it just so happens he's a Marine, not the other way around.
How does/did your family feel about him being in the military?: Wary at first. Worried for me. Mostly because no one understood it. Although both my grandfathers had been in the Navy, neither had been married while in the military, so the idea of it was far from concrete. Mom called me a "part time daughter" while we were dating since I went to visit him every chance I got, and therefore wasn't home for all the long weekends and some family events. I don't regret it, and she understands a little more now why it was so important (now SHE'S not home for all the long weekends, cause she's visiting me!) Now however, they're OK with it. They know how MUCH of a Marine he is, how he's ALWAYS BEEN a Marine, and always will be one, and they love him just as much as I do.
Does the sexy uniform (or the sense of pride you feel) make up for the sacrifices you have to make?: The uniform definitely doesn't make up for it, because the REALLY sexy uniform is NOT the one he wears every day, lol. And the amount he complains when he WEARS the really sexy uniform (it's so hot... it's uncomfortable... I can't move my arms... I was measured for this at my smallest!) detracts from the sexiness unless I have earplugs in ;). I'm not sure anything makes up for the sacrifice, but if it wasn't for such a good reason, I wouldn't do it at all. So I guess in that sense, the pride I have for him and what he does must make up for most of it ;). It definitely helps that he's insanely happy being a Marine.
Have your plans been messed up thanks to the military?: Plans? Not entirely, we've been lucky there. Wishes? Dreams? OH YEA! I had planned a cross country photo trip after graduating college - been saving money for years to take 3 months and explore America doing a photo exposition before I settled into being a numbers girl. All of my best friends graduated college a semester early (damn smarties) so my man and I were going to go. I had a route planned, I had places picked out, but not the finer points and the stuff that actually cost $$. And then... about a month before graduation, we find out that instead of going to school in September like we expected, he's going in June... because a buddy of his begged for an early slot. (P.S. the buddy ended up going in September and didn't miss any opportunities to remind me of how HE got a summer in Europe. PBTHHHH) Needless to say, that trip has been postponed to... retirement? I dunno... We may have broken a few rules along the way, but we've managed to get all the big stuff in. However, this will be our first anniversary TOGETHER this year. 1 out of 3 ain't bad, right?
Does it motivate you as a couple to get married sooner if he is slated to get orders to leave you (go off to training/school, move to a new duty station –PCS, deploy)? Did you elope? YES! In our case, it was a "this is the only time we'll KNOW he'll BE THERE for the wedding" decision. There were 2 weekends we could pull it off, fortunately, one was available at the church! We did not do a justice of the peace marriage first and then our church wedding, but I've had a LOT of friends who have. The benefits you DON'T have before you're married make things VERY difficult.
What is one piece of advice you wish you had received while dating? You know how women tell you that they had NO idea what childbirth or being a mother REALLY was until they WERE a mother? The same is true for being a MilGirl (heck, the same is true for just about everything) and it's OK! You can prepare, and know, and understand everything going in, but when you experience your first move, your first deployment, your first ball, your first social, your first anything... things will change and it may be harder than you thought. (and it's OK) Just remember that no matter how hard it gets, you're where you are because you love your service member and he loves you, and all you need is that LOVE to get you through - wherever that may be. Oh, and when it gets hard and people say "you signed up for this" (because... they will) you should NOT punch them in the face like you REALLY want to, but remind them of the childbirth concept. It's the only way I've found to shut people up, and took me 2 years to figure out! :)
Don't forget about the Giveaway happening soon! <3