February 26, 2013

The Final Countdown

And now for a Facebook stalker confession. For the past three years I have been admiring West Point's firstie classes and their girlfriends/fiancées. I have clicked through countless photo albums of:
  • Picture perfect proposals...check!
  • Brand new "cool jewels you got from your school" at Ring Weekend...check!
  • Cards revealing the next big adventure at branch and post night...check and check!
  • Gorgeous dresses at 100th Night...check!
  • That first hug on the field of Michie Stadium amidst the joyous chaos of graduation day
Any (honest) plebe, yuk, or cow girlfriend will tell you they've done or are currently doing the same. This group of ladies all share a few uncommon experiences. We have all fallen in love with someone who recognizes and accepts a duty in life much greater than themselves. We have all felt the sinking feeling of another imminent goodbye. We have all over packed a month's worth of clothes for just one perfect weekend visit. We have all kept what feels like a never ending list of countdowns to the next big West Point event. The best part? These loyal and beautiful ladies have become some of my closest friends. Many say the tight knit, family-feel of military life is their saving grace. The shared joy of these friends in celebrating happy times can be felt with as much gusto as their support to get you through the tough ones. No one understands Army life better than your Army family.

Brad and I just spent 100th Night weekend with some of our West Point family at an adorably yellow farmhouse in the Catskills about an hour upstate. To sum up the success of our weekend, for the first time the comradery I just described really sunk in for me. There were many laughs, many toasts to the final countdown, and many favorite West Point stories shared. Throw in just a few awkward moments as we crammed 15 people into one average sized hot tub and I'd say we did 100th Night perfectly.

One more shared experience among these friends: we have all felt that our anticipated graduation date would never come. Well it is definitely coming now, full speed ahead! It is hard to believe that we have just one big event (the main event!) left to go. My photo albums are just about full to capacity with our own firstie year pictures that were only daydreams not too long ago.

Michie Stadium --- May 25, 2013 --- 87 days from today.

So looking forward to that first hug, Bradford.

Our home away from home

(Less than) 100 days to go!

Nearly newlyweds