Friday, July 31, 2009

Arleigh Burke in the News...

Check it out

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Addition to the Sidebar

Look over there -->

To the right.

I have added a countdown clock for the new, projected, homecoming date. As it changes I will update the countdown :)

Austin Update!

I got a wonderful email from Austin at approximately 3:30 am this morning with tons of details about his life on the ship.
For example today, which is now yesterday for him, they had some drills:
"We just had an abandon ship drill. I’m in life raft ten. When the ship is under attack or we have a fire or something, we go to what is called General Quarters (GQ). It’s like a battle station. My station is in the control room. I take reports on where the damage is and plot it on these large and confusing charts of the ship. Anyways, they treat like a real emergency. A guy over the 1MC (ship’s speaker system) yells “BOOM, MISSILE STRIKE PORT SIDE MIDSHIPS” for example. And that means we got hit on the left side about the middle of the ship. And we have to respond by sending in firefighters and such. It’s pretty cool. And today we went all the way to a scenario of the ship sinking. I have my own life jacket, gas mask and flash gear (fire fighter stuff)."
Sounds like a blast, right? Apparently he is also taking some sort of class on security at the end of which, he will need to be sprayed down with pepper spray and then has to complete an obstacle course.

Overall, he says he is doing well and staying busy. He seems pretty happy, and we have a tentative return date of October 25th! (only one day after our 9 year anniversary!)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Check out

Jessica's blog for some OSL awesome photos of Shelby's recent visit and the Mazzio twins being held by anyone other than their parents.

A break

...from my "semi-retirement" to steal a phrase from my former supervisor, who is also job searching.

I am currently packing to head to Phi Tau Leadership Academy tomorrow morning!

A few weeks ago, when we were out and about looking at houses, I got a call from Wes, the IFC advisor at UGA. He is a Phi Kappa Tau (as is Austin) and has been in charge of Leadership Academy for a few years now. One of his Character Coaches had to drop out at the last second, and he wanted to know if I could volunteer!

After scrutinizing my very busy schedule (puh-lease) I, of course, agreed.

Now for all you non-Greek folks, some sort of (inter)national leadership training (in this case Leadership Academy) is common for (inter)national fraternities and sororities to have on the off years of their biannual conventions. Commonly (more so for fraternities than sororities) those organizations invite qualified and willing individuals to serve as facilitators for small group sessions, etc. (sororities often stick to the members only approach, not that those individuals are not also qualified). At Leadership Academy those facilitators are called "Character Coaches".

So, tomorrow morning I will be heading off to Oxford, Ohio for all sorts of Phi Tau fun (of which, Austin is insanely jealous, but it's ok because he got to go to Paris, of which I was très jaloux). I will be gone through Sunday night, at which time my parents and sister will be here to move Ashley to Virginia!!

I will be sure to take tons of pictures, as I am surrounded by a disproportionate amount of undergraduate fraternity boys men.

and I left my Sperry's in Wisconsin. However will we connect?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A glimpse...

of what Austin looks like everyday on the ship.

These are the new NWUs (Navy Working Uniforms) that Austin is wearing everyday on the ship. Besides the fact that if he falls off the boat he will blend in...handsome right?

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Rollercoaster Story of a Deployment

As I was looking back over my last couple of posts, {maybe admiring that lovely wedding photo again, maybe not} I realized that I never said "Hey! Austin has deployed!"
Though I am sure most of you know by now - that is the case.
Originally last Monday we thought that Austin would get to spend an extra two weeks stateside, due to the fact that he did not have a "No Fee" Passport, which is kind of like a diplomatic-type version. So Monday we were, as I stated, a little "mentally askew" as we had been prepared for him to deploy on Tuesday.

As the night wore on, both of us became increasingly excited about the upcoming weekend in D.C. and the opportunity for him to see friends once again before the craziness of deployment. That excitement should have set off some alarm bells in our heads of course, or at least the "click click click" sound of a rollercoaster about to start plummeting back down to earth.

Tuesday morning he drove in to check in and see what the deal was. The nice people there informed him that since there was a part broken on the email system of the ship, he and one of the other new officers were going to deliver it - as soon as possible. Since getting them out there would be faster than shipping it {apparently} some ambassador somewhere waived the need for their special passports.

At this point we were told to expect as little as a one hour notice that he would need to report to a flight. Oh geeze. So, for the rest of the day we hung out, ran a few errands, and waited. and waited. No call. {Actually they did call once, by about having our hearts jumping.}

The next morning, just for good measure, Austin had me drive with him out too check in. He came back to the car and said he had been told the same thing as yesterday. Since it was so early we figured we could head back to one of our favorite Norfolk places Yorgo's {their everything bagels are the best in town}.

No sooner had our bagels arrived than we got a call to come back - they were booking his flight. So, we headed back down to the base only to be directed to four different buildings to take care of tickets, itineraries, etc. {of course with our luck it was pay day, so everything was jam packed}. By the time we had picked everything up it was about 11:30 - and his lights were scheduled for 2:30. We headed straight to the Norfolk airport to check him in and have lunch there. Shortly thereafter we said our good-byes and waved at each other until he rounded the last security corner.

And, he was off! He headed from Norfolk to Atanta, from Atlanta to Paris {where he had an 11 hour layover}, and then from Paris to meet the ship at some islands in the Indian Ocean...if you follow gossip magazines, he actually arrived at the same place that David and Victoria Beckham went for their anniversary trip, around the same time.

Anywho, he arrived on Friday morning 7:30 their time, 11:30 pm on Thursday my time (EST). I had to wait until early Saturday morning my time, Saturday evening his time, to hear from him that he had arrived and was safe, as the last time I spoke to him was before his 8 hour flight from Paris. I did a very happy dance when the email came through, as witnesses can attest.
For all who are interested in sending notes, cards, care packages, etc. Here is his address:

Ensign Austin Gage
USS Arleigh Burke
FPO AE 09565-1269
email address:
As for this little blog, I feel that I should let you know that some of this blog will be used not only to tell the stories as normal and give life updates, but also to keep Austin up to date on current events, trends, etc. as he can access this blog from the ship, but not necessarily facebook or his gmail account, and his military email won't accept a lot of things like videos.

If you have any favortie things happening that you would like Austin to be able to see the video, or photos, or whatever, feel free to send them my way and I will post them up here!

Oh yeah...

Like many brides before me, I cut my hair post wedding.  I actually could not wait to get some serious inches taken off following the wedding, but had to wait until I had the time to do it!

{Please excuse the Myspace style photos...they were taken with my phone.}


Happy 4th!

I had an awesome 4th of July in DC with some of the best friends a gal could have! I will do a longer post later with photos, but for now wanted to get up this video of the fireworks for Austin, that Corey was kind enough to take on his phone!

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