Sunday, June 29, 2008


...conversations that is. I got to talk to Austin not only yesterday, but twice today as well! I am considering myself a pretty lucky girl today.

Not too many new updates since yesterday -- turns out that OCS is overflowing with officer candidates, so Austin's three "evolutions" may occur on the same day. (Yikes) The three that remain are his navigation test, which he is semi-worried about because it is so boring he keeps falling asleep in class; his last PT, which he has to show significant improvement on; and a kinda joke PI (=Personnel Inspection, I think) mainly a joke because it is done by his classmates, so no one ever fails.

On the unlucky side of things turns out the Navy Lodge is booked for those entire 4 days I will be in Newport. damn. That was the ONLY place in Newport at a decent I started looking around for another hotel and remembered that hotels offer military discounts!!

I found and reserved this hotel for the entire 4 nights at only a little more than the Navy Lodge would have been! It is in a good location so I feel good that I can explore Newport while Austin is busy with Navy things. If you can count three days not really being together the full time, this is the first vacation we have taken since we graduated high school. Hard to believe. Yay! I am so excited. 31 days till I get to RI and 33 days until graduation!!

A Leisurely Day

Yay for Saturdays! Today was Austin's first day of liberty at OCS. He called me this evening and revealed that he was able to log onto Facebook, hit the bowling alley for some candy and soda (woooooo! the first he has had since April) and have no one yell at him all day!

Also, as for that "super hard" test that he was really worried about? well, it was really hard, but he got a 100! He is rocking out the classroom portion of OCS...his lowest grade to date is a 90. So things are looking good for on time graduation. He only has three "evolutions" (the tasks that if he fails can hold him back) left, so he is feeling a little better about life.

As for me, I actually got to sleep in today! nice. Woke up late, worked out, and headed to the largest fireworks display in the Midwest--Rhythm and Booms--which happens to be held right here in Madison!

I drove out to Tricia's (one of the undergraduate interns) family's house in Waunakee to eat some scrumptious barbeque food and catch the display. We drove out to a hill and stood outside the car with the radio up, they time the fireworks to music and broadcast it over the radio...everything from the Sound of Music and Beethoven to the Beatles and CCR...I got a few pics :)

Yay! It got me so excited for the 4th! I cannot wait to head up to the cabin and enjoy some down time with the fam next weekend! 

Friday, June 27, 2008

I Love My Friends.

New addition to the Blog Roll

Yay! Another friend blogging away!

Check out the Newhouse-Bailey adventures and shenanigans in Austin, TX:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I know this is 3 posts in one day...

I promise that I am not turning into Perez Hilton...though there are less worthy people to aspire to be like ;)

In any case, I just need to reiterate how much I LOVE Madison as a city. I just got back from Concerts on the Square and had such a lovely time!

This is the statue "Wisconsin" atop the capitol dome as the sun was pretty...

This city is truly amazing. It was a free symphony "Gershwin and Friends" concert, on the capitol square, and they do them EVERY Wednesday throughout the summer!

There were all these booths from great restaurants set up, selling boxed dinners and cheap bottles of wine. My boss and I just sat on blankets on the grass and ate food and drank wine while enjoying the music and cute little girls pretend ballet dancing on the grass...

What a great way to help me not miss Austin as much...I love Madison.

Travel Itinerary

I bought plane tickets for OCS graduation! (they are $150 to change so I hope, hope, hope I was not presumptuous on this purchase)

In any case I will be headed out of MN and to RI on Wednesday July 30th, yay!

Then I will fly into Norfolk Sunday August 3rd. Who will be in town/wants to pick me up from the airport? :)

New addition to the Blog Roll

Check out the Dean's new Blog!!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A little about me...

So I realize, thanks to comments of others, that I have neglected to update anyone on things here in Madison, for example, what I am actually doing here.

Here we go!

I am loving life in Madison. It is so great to be back in an urban setting once again. (Sorry Athens, you just don't count, though I love you for a myriad of other reasons) I love walking around the city and being by the water!

I am interning in the Center for the First Year Experience at the University of Wisconsin. This office, rather than just doing orientation (known as SOAR-Student Orientation Advising and Registration) also coordinates Wisconsin Welcome (welcome week) and a first year seminar course, as well as other supportive programs for the entire first year of freshmen and transfer students.

Right now we are running SOAR, which has a crazy schedule. The SOAR freshman programs are a day and a half each and there are simultaneous programs running for both parents and students. We start on Sundays at 8, they finish Monday at 4 meanwhile Mondays session has started at 8 on Monday and finishes at 4 on we run through Thursday, 4 programs a week. Then Thursday afternoons are staff meetings and socials (yay!) and Fridays are Transfer sessions which run 1 day long, so they start Friday morning and then finish Friday afternoon. (again with simultaneous parent and student programs)

whew. so, that is the schedule.

The staff consists of 18 New Student Leaders, or NSLs, 4 undergraduate interns who supervise the NSLs and 4 professional staff members and me supervising them!

I am having a BLAST and love working full time again. It's almost as full time as consulting...jk.

Here is a picture of the NSLs, interns and some staff at the END of our retreat (so forgive the tired appearances)

Everyone here is great so while I am looking forward to heading back to life in Athens, I will miss all my new friends here!

Luckily two of the undergraduate interns just graduated and are going into Student Affairs programs in the south! Tricia is heading to the University of South Carolina and Kevin is headed to Appalachian State.

Anybody wanna head the the UGA v. USC football game with me in the fall? ;)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I miss these faces

Sunday Update :)

Per usual for a Sunday, my phone rang at 6:46 am this morning. (For all the grumpiness about it being so early, I would not trade it for a nanosecond for not being able to talk to him at all)

On the other end of the phone was my lovely boyfriend who seems really happy and healthy. He did not sound as tired this week and his voice is almost fully back to audible levels.

He said that he had a really fun week :) This week included firefighter training and a simulation of a ship sinking where you have to fix it before you die...the room actually fills up with water, so that I think would be a little scary, but he said it was a good time.

They have a big test this week on motion boards (?) it could have been another "m" word -- motor and movement both come to mind -- gimme a break, I was trying my best to be awake.

In any case he is stressed about that, but claims if he passes it it will be all down hill from there. Only a matter of time...

In other news he improved his overall PT times and amounts; I forget exactly how much but ~76 push ups, ~95 sit ups (both in two minutes) and ~10:00 in the mile and a half run?

He also said that he has lost a little over 10 lbs (...great...) since being there.

In any case, those are the major updates and we are both counting down to a hopeful graduation date of August 1st. Apparently though he will get Wednesday afternoon and all dayy Thursday, except for graduation practice, off, so I am looking at flying in on Wednesday night, July 30! :)

40 days till graduation! (knock on wood...)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

More photos of my birth city!

These are just a few of the pictures I took walking around Madison and the campus, enjoy!

This is the inside of the dome of the capitol. I literally laid on the ground with Melissa...and twenty other people... to get this picture

These halls lead out of the rotunda North, South, East and West with roads leading right up to the doorways.

The statues on the outside of the top of the capitol, they wrapped all the way around.

I think this was the Supreme Court room...there were 4 of these rooms, each with a different designation ate each of the 4 directional points.

I ate ostrich. yes. for real.

The view up State Street towards the capitol building.

The historical society building is on campus, and beautiful.

This is the Red Gym, it used to be an armory, and a gym and now houses Visitor Informations Programs among other things.

This is the Memorial Union, so pretty!

The view of the lake from the back of the union.

Bascom Hill and Hall, it used to have a dome on the top to mirror the one on the capitol building, but it burnt down a long time ago...

The statue of Abe Lincoln in front of Bascom, the students go sit on his lap for graduation pictures :)

A family of ducks I ran into

Another view of the lake, the building you can see is a residence hall...can you imagine that view every day?

There it the middle of the city, love it!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

More than halfway!

I realized today that I missed posting about a significant milestone...we are more than halfway through OCS! (I am going to go ahead and own that "we" even though Austin is doing most of the heavy lifting on that one.)

We are at 7.5 weeks now, or 53 days.

By the time graduation roles around we will not have seen one another for 97 days. wow.

One letter from him, a handful of phone calls - over 97 days. Clearly, deployments will be longer and we have those to look forward to as well...hmm, I will think about that one later.

Life in the Navy here we come!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I got a letter!

I will however not post the contents.


I did shed a couple of tears, and will treasure it for the rest of my life.

I am feeling very loved <3

Sunday, June 15, 2008

In the 40s!

47 days till graduation! (knock on wood!)

I spoke to Austin this morning and he sounds really good. This week was "shot week" so he is now vaccinated against almost every disease known to man.

He starts navigation classes next week and I guess people think that part is pretty hard, so he is a little anxious. (So far he has passed all of his tests with flying colors, so I don't think that he has much to worry about)

in other news...Happy Fathers Day to all those dads out there!!!

I found this quote the other day about dads:

"Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father!"

I hope you have an amazing day and get to spend some quality time with your loved ones. <3

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Courtney in the City, or Me in Madison

Such a beautiful city!!! Madison is on an isthmus between two lakes and these were all taken from the top of the capitol building! More to come!

busy busy busy

Sorry to keep you all waiting on the updates, but it has been a busy week for me!

We started Freshman Orientations here at UW and in case you haven't been paying attention to the news have been conducting them despite the state of emergency across most of WI...

A little about the fam first -- Zach Brawford graduated high school this weekend! Yay! It was a really long and hot ceremony, but we are all quite proud of him. He will be attending school at UW-Eau Claire and double majoring in Music Education and Music Composition. Pics to come soon!

Also graduating were my cousins Danny and Karyn Malnory. So, we had their party on Saturday and Zach's on Sunday.

I talked to Austin Sunday morning which is when he told me about the ridiculousness of RLP.

Apparently only 20/41 people in his class passed, so he was really happy to be in the passing group!

His test consisted of basic knowledge and prep of uniform etc, and then random things like why he loves the Marine Corps and jumping on and off his bed 100 times...

ohhhh Navy. I love how hazing is legal, so long as it is done by an organization other than a fraternity or sorority, lol.

In other news he got fitted for his dressiest of dress white uniforms and thinks he looks very dapper in it :)

on the flip side when he gets out of OCS he will owe about $2500 in uniform costs, yikes!

I think it is time for a little equality, in the form of a new Coach purse and beautiful new shoes of course, don't you? ;)

Friday, June 6, 2008


Yay! He passed!

I got an email from him last night.

Yes, that's right he also has him up at

He doesn't have much time to respond, so don't be offended if he doesn't get back to you :)

More updates when I talk to him on Sunday!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

RLP week

I got the chance to have a good long chat with Austin this Sunday morning...very early Sunday morning...

Apparently he thinks he is going to be graduating on Friday August 1, rather than Saturday August 2 (the 24th [gasp!] birthday of yours truly). So that's exciting!

He also seems to think that the week of graduation he will have liberty, or free time, from like 6 to midnight every night, so I may be going up earlier than anticipated and exploring Newport, RI!

BUT, in order to get to graduation he needs to pass RLP (Room, Locker, Personnel) this week. RLP, as he has explained it to me is a two part test/inspection. The commanding officers of the base will come in and drill on memorized information, and then the DI comes in and inspects all of your stuff. You can only lose 20 points and apparently the point values are completely up to the discretion of the COs or DIs. In other words you can miss one thing and lose one point or you can miss that same thing and lose 20 points. Austin seems to think it is supposed to teach you how to deal with failure that is out of your hands...

I think it sucks.

In any case, keep him in your thoughts and prayers over the next couple of days! He isn't too worried, because it is out of his hands, so why worry? but he is anxiously awaiting getting closer to graduation, so here's hoping for the best!

In other news, I am fine :)

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