2 weeks.

It's funny the things you find yourself counting the days of. How long I'd been pregnant. How long he'd been deployed. How long he's been gone. It's crazy that it changes from how long until he gets back to how long since I'd last heard his voice.

To say I'm sad would be an understatement. Jonny was the ultimate when it came to love. I have never loved a man the way I love him. And no one has ever loved me the way he did. It was intense, it was passionate, it was unconditional. I think back on our lives together and it really was intense. It still is. Now I have this intense sadness, anger, and longing to hear from him. I have a constant drop-feeling in the pit of my stomach. I wake up each morning hoping to have woken up from this disastrous nightmare to be disappointed that things are just the way they were the day before. I wonder constantly what I am to do next, how I'm supposed to go on without him. I yell at him, for breaking his promises and for leaving us behind. I remind him how much I love him. I remind him how much I am proud of him. I hope he hears me. I'm constantly afraid that reality hasn't hit me yet. It's like there's a piece of my brain that still wants to believe he's just on deployment and I have to keep telling myself he's gone. I'm afraid if I don't remind myself of that then I'll start waiting again. Although, that's all I'm doing anyway... waiting... Waiting until we are together again. A life of waiting.

2 weeks since you've been gone and a lifetime until I will see you again.

Final Details EDIT

The time Jonny is arriving to MacDill has been changed (from 1400 to 1316), please note below

The details are now set in stone. For those of you who would like to pay your respects, here they are:

Cpl Jonathan D. Porto
arrives home to St. Petersburg, FL on Monday 22 March 2010 @ 1316 **
He will be flying in to MacDill AFB
and from there a processional will be held to
Anderson-McQueen Family Life Tribute Center
2201 Dr. M. L. King Street North
St. Petersburg FL 33704

A visitation period (wake) will be held Tuesday from 1700-2000
at Anderson-McQueen

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday 24 March at Bay Pines National Cemetery St. Petersburg, FL @ 1100
Processional will be held from Anderson-McQueen to Bay Pines, Anyone riding in processional should be ready to leave Anderson-McQueen at 1000.

Thank you again for all of your continuing love, support, and prayers.

May the Lord watch between me and Thee,
while we are absent, one from another

I Love You Jonny, and I'm with you every step of the way.

Semper Fi,

Moment by Moment

A simple mantra to help keep one foot moving in front of the other.
I just wanted to take a moment to share a couple things with my amazing blog community, as many people have asked similar questions and I haven't had quite the chance to reply to really anything, I'm sure you understand. I do, however, get and read each comment on my phone, so your thoughts and prayers are making it to me and I appreciate each and every one of them and thank you all so much.

Anyway, the information sharing.
Many people have asked funeral details as they want to pay their respects. So far we have only a piece scheduled, the actual funeral will be scheduled later on today, but the viewing is set as follows:

Visitation Period for
Cpl Jonathan D. Porto
Tuesday 23 March
Anderson-McQueen Family Tribute Center
N.E. Location
2201 Dr. MLK St. North
St. Petersburg FL

I include this information as I know many people, Marines and fellow service members especially, have asked when/if they may pay their respects to my beloved.
I remind those of you in blogosphere and other interweb destinations that this a respectable family event to grieve the loss of someone that meant the world to me and many, many people. So, if you have a point to make on the war or any political view for that matter, this is not the place to do it. Have some respect.

Also people have asked if they can send things. My mom made a great point; Jonny is a Marine, not a flower girl, so we are not really asking for flowers to be donated. In lieu of flower donations, we know Jonny would want more than anything to know his daughter is well taken care of. So for those of you asking, a trust fund has been set up for Ariana.
Donations can be sent to
Aberdeen Proving Ground Federal Credit Union
ATTN: Collean McKinney for the account of Ariana Ralyn Porto
P.O. Box 1176
Aberdeen, MD 21001
all checks should be made payable to Ariana Ralyn Porto

Funeral arrangements have not been finalized yet and there are still some other details to be worked out and I will do my best to keep you all updated.

Once again thank you for the incredible out pouring of love, thoughts, and prayers.

Semper Fi,

I Will Always Be a Marine Wife

I just need to share some sad news with all of my blog friends.
Sad isn't even the word to describe it, but honestly at this point I can't find the words to describe it. Angry, empty, crushed, confused, shocked, alone, unglued, hateful, depressed, beaten down... none of these words can do justice to my feelings.
I am being forced to do something that no 23 year old woman should ever have to do. I am being forced to do something that no one should ever have to do, not at this early in life, especially. I am being forced to lay the love of my life, my saving grace, my entire world to rest.
Sometimes hashing it out in words helps, so I'm trying to blog about it. To wrap my mind around why God would do this to me, to him, to us. I can't fathom how any of this has happened, it all still feels so surreal, there's no way this is real I am having a nightmare. Unfortunately this is a nightmare I am unable to wake up from.

On Sunday 14 March, Cpl Jonathan Daniel Porto, my one and only soul mate, died while on operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan when the vehicle he was in flipped over. On Monday 15 March, a CACO came to my house to notify me of the terrible news. I'm not even going to begin to describe my reaction at that. On Tuesday 16 March I went to Dover AFB to welcome my beloved husband home. It is not the way I had intended to welcome him home, I had planned that in a few more months he'd be walking off the bus, I'd be standing there with a 6-8 month old Ariana with our signs, smiling, waiting for him to enter our arms. I did not ever imagine I'd be watching an honor guard escort a metal box draped in an American flag off a jet. Never did I imagine that on Friday I would be heading to Florida to make funeral arrangements. This is not how it was supposed to happen. It is not fair. I am so angry, I'm hurt... I'm... I don't even know. I'm missing him. I miss him. I need him, I want him here with me, and my wishes will never, ever be met. I do know that he is here with me, just not the way that I desire. I do know that he has been with Ariana, I know that he has spoken to me and her both and I pray with everything that I am that he will continue to do so.

If you are interested in reading more about this, google has all kinds of articles on him. I want the world to know, however, that some articles mistakenly put that my husband joined the Corps only because he could not find a job. He joined the Corps because he was looking for meaning and purpose in his life and because he felt a calling to be a United States Marine. And he was a DAMN good Marine, an AMAZING husband, and even from miles and miles away, a WONDERFUL father.

I will forever hold you in my heart, Jonny. I love you much more than words can express. I miss you so much it hurts. I will be seeing you again.

If the Army and the Navy,
Ever look on Heaven’s scenes;
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.

A Couple Highlights (DAY 96!)

Well, it's been a while since I've actually written a real post. I have been on the go, go, go since arriving in NC last Tuesday.

In the order of time I'm not going to give a play-by-play of the entire week, just a few highlights.
  • Wednesday: Doc appt (gyn), everything is looking good and normal. Walked from the hospital to my friend's house, a much longer walk than it seems. Made some brownies in Jars for Mr. P.
  • Thursday: WIC annoyed me as usual but I did get some formula for Ari. I'm still breastfeeding, I'm just using some help. Anyone who wants to give me crap about it, frankly, can suck it, because it is my body not yours (sorry to be vulgar but that's the way it is). Had my cervical biopsy. Wasn't comfortable but I'm glad it's over with. The fun people there didn't want to let me get it done because I had baby girl with me but a few tears and a mini-breakdown later and it was all done (and she was a good girl, just hung out in her seat!). Went to the battalion family readiness meeting and got to hear first hand what's up and what we have planned for the coming months. Realized how dumb some people are for not listening to me that they are not shortening the deployment (I'm not getting into it but I just don't know why people keep spreading rumors!)
  • Friday: Enjoyed dinner at a friend's house. She had a bunch of people over and it was great to just hang out and catch up and eat delicious food. Also did a bit of shopping earlier in the day to prepare Mr. P's care package - care packages are expensive, whew. But anything for my Marine ;o) Got home pretty late after the dinner and Ari was a bit overstimulated from all the noise so it was a patchy-sleep night.
  • Saturday: Went to the beach! One thing I loove love love about Eastern NC! Walked a bit with Cait, Andrea and Gigi. Then we went to get tattoos. They were too busy so we decided to go back later. Had Battalion Ladies Night at Shogun, the Hibachi place in JVegas. Yummmy. Went back and got our tattoos, definitely my new fave tattoo, it's on my hip/thigh area...
  • Sunday: Total veg-out day. Started packing Mr. P's packages. Tried several times to nap but every time I laid down Ari woke up. What a turd :-P Now she is napping, ok scratch that, was napping. Now she is ready for some attentions.

I'm Still Alive (I'm Just Single Mommying, 93)

93 days into this deployment, can you believe it? I wish it would just get over. I way miss Mr. P. Like.. it hurts. I want him here.

Anyway, this is just quick post to let you know I'm alive and have successfully survived through THREE whole days of single mommying. I'm doing pretty damn good too. It's really not as bad or scary as I thought it would be, I'm actually quite enjoying it. Although my time for blogging has greatly diminished... If only I could master the bedtime routine to create more time for me.

Speaking of bedtime routine SOMEONE is looking at me. Because she doesn't feel like sleeping this evening.Yikes. Here's to hoping she tuckers out soon.

Sorry for my lack of commenting, hopefully I'll figure mommying out a lil more to a point where I can spend a lil time on the computer! Lots of bloggy love to all of you, though.

Zebra Cakes and Button

First, there is now "Semper Feet Operation:Dry Socks" Button. It is over on the left side of my page, thanks to Mrs. Muffins for helping my html-stunted self. Nicole, I owe ya one! So be sure to grab it and spread the word about the cause!!

And... Somehow, I ended up with the world's cutest little Zebra Cake Cuddle Baby...

7 weeks old today. My, my, where is the time going?

Semper Feet, Excitement, Phone Call, Survey... Whew!

Well guys, the sock drive is officially under way and even has an official name!

Semper Feet
Operation: Dry Socks

(I'm still working on the button, but as soon as it's done I expect to see it on everyone's page *wink wink*) Thank you so much for all your enthusiasm! Please keep spreading the word, hit me up that you are interested and once assessing your non-creeperness (lol) I'll pass along my address that will be the central gathering spot of all things socks and baby wipes. I'm really, really excited about this project, so all of the enthusiasm and help I am getting is just making me even more... excited!

I got a call from Mr. P today, those are my favorite days. He is doing well, and assures me that he continues to be bored (woo hoo) even though he is "in the field" moreso now than before. He warned me of rumors of a possible extension (barf) but I was already prepared for that, being the good Marine wife that I am. I told him about the sock drive and he is super stoked. Like really, really amped. He said it's a SUPER idea, everyone will appreciate it so much and he is now anxiously anticipating the arrival (woah, alliteration!) of socks and baby wipes to share. We decided that we'll start on a company level, since there are thousands of guys in the battalion, and go from there. I want each guy to get a few pairs of socks, which is why we're starting on a smaller scale, if we went BN wide, everyone would get like one pair and that would kind of defeat the purpose. Plus it's really hard to get in contact with everyone in the battalion so we're going to start out small and see how we can grow! But just letting everyone know that he is aware he'll be in charge of it on that end and he is really excited and appreciative of the efforts for helping our troops out!

Also, thanks to everyone who suggested Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. This is only day 2 and I can barely walk. I guess that's a good thing, one step closer to being skinny, but really stairs are just not my friend today. Man, I'm out of shape... here's to fixing that!

I saw this lil survey bug posted on a few people's blogs and I really like it so I'm going to post it here. Just a little Getting-To-Know-You about me and the Mr. P. I thought it was appropriate as we have a few new visitors stopping by with sock-lovin'.

1. What are your middle names?
Daniel and Theresa

2. How long have you been together?
A year and 7 months, married for 10 of those months!

3. How long did you know each other before you started dating?
We met and hung out and then just started dating... so like, a week maybe?

4. Who asked who out?
Well, we started dating and then Mr. P made it clear that he wanted to be exclusive shortly thereafter. I did drunkenly tell him his "fortune" one night while we were out: that he was going to fall in love with me, ask me to marry him, get married and live happily ever after. And here we are!

5. How old are each of you?
He just turned 26 last Friday, I am 23.

6. Did you go to the same school?

7. Are you from the same home town?

8. Who is the smartest?
Me, duh. Ok, just kidding. We've got different kinds of smarts. I'm book-smart, he's "tactical" smart... his intelligence is applicable to real life... well, his life anyway ;-)

9. Who majored in what?
I was a psychology major with a concentration in human services and a certificate in personnel/industrial relations. He majored in several trades and a little bit of screwing off before majoring in being one helluva Marine.

10. Who is the most sensitive?
Hmm... We can both be really sensitive. I am sensitive more often, I think.

11. Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Well... I guess between MD and NC... we went to FL together but we met up there, didn't go as a couple so I don't know if it counts!

12. Who has the worst temper?
Me. Hands down.

13. How many children do you want?
I think he wants a lot. He came from a huge family. Right now I'm all set with one, so the final number is still up for discussion...

14. Who does the cooking?
Me, I like to have it ready when he gets home... if I'm not asleep on the couch ha!

15. Who is more social?
We are both the type that will just start talking to anyone. That's kind of how we hit it off. We had no friends in common, no one introduced us, him and his friends just started talking to me and I started picking on him and we hit it off.

16. Who is the neat freak?
We're slobs. He'll tell you he's the neat freak but he's full of doo-doo. I am very anal about how my things are though. They may be messy, but they're messy my way.

17. Who is the most stubborn?
Ohhh man. We're horribly stubborn people. I think he trumps me by a hair.

18. Who wakes up earlier?
Helloooo he's a Marine, he's awake before the sun. Me? I'd prefer to sleep til noon

19. Where was your first date?
Well we met at the bowling alley, our first date was kind of a weekend away in Baltimore I guess...

20. Who has the bigger family?
Him. He's one of 8 and 2 half siblings...

21. Do you get flowers often?
More often than I would ask for! He's on top of it :)

22. How do you spend the holidays?
Last Thanksgiving we were at his parents in FL and then Christmas was spent with my parents in MD. This Thanksgiving was with my family and we were supposed to do Christmas with his family but he left before then. So we had an early Christmas where we put up our tiny tree and opened a couple pressies and I made a delicious dinner.

23. Who is more jealous?
Me. He's very secure, knows I've only got eyes for him. I know he's only got eyes for me but I still will cut you if you look at him.

24. How long did it take to get serious?
We met at the end of August and he proposed on the 1st of November soooo NOT LONG!

25. Who eats more?
OhEmGee HIM. His daughter definitely has his appetite!

26. What do you do for a living?
I hang out. He saves the country.
Ok, seriously, right now I'm a stay at home wife and mommy. I hold down the fort and make sure everything stays in order. And he fights for freedom... and on his days not out fighting he's on base fixing weapons, for the most part ;-)

27. Who does the laundry?
I do most of it, he does the majority of his uniform stuff though, too smelly for me!

28. Who's better with the computer?
Probably me...

29. Who drives when you are together?
Him, I prefer to just ride along

30. What is your song?
Our wedding song was "Fools Rush In" by Elvis but there are tons of songs that are special to us.

I Hate Pampers and SOCK DRIVE (EDIT)

Ok 2 important points for today.

1. Pampers = Fail.
Pampers = Poop everywhere.
Pampers = On my shit list, literally.

2. I'm doing a SOCK DRIVE
That's right folks, give me all your socks! Ok, not your socks. Clean, new socks, preferably.

As you're aware, Mr. P is in the nasty ol' SandBox otherwise known as Afghanistan. Well, every time we talk I, being the amazing wife I am (there I go with that horn tooting again... beep beep) ask him what he wants/needs to make his stay a bit more comfortable. One constant that he always wants is socks. I have asked around to my other deployed spouse friends and it seems this is a constant among most of the guys. They are walking through swampy yuckiness. They are sweating. They need socks.

So, I've taken it upon myself to do a sock drive. I want to send as many socks over to Mr. P's unit as possible. Our goal is 1,000 pairs of socks. So bloggy friends, if you wanna help then you can feel free to message me for my address and send them on over (I'm refraining from putting Mr. P's out there because 1. OPSEC tells me not to and 2. I don't think he'd be too happy with me if he got more than the number of boxes necessary for this project lol) I'm also going to make a little button linking to this post... once I figure out how... so you can tell your friends!

Bring on the sock love!

Ya'll like my new layout? Thanks to Mrs. Muffins I'm stylin' and profilin'. AND she dealt with picky ol' me the whole time... what a saint! haha. But seriously, if you haven't done so already go check her out because, well, she's awesome.
K thanks.

Here We Go Loopty Loo (Day 83)

Green for St. Patty's Day, woop woop.

Now you know I'm at least trying to become a woman again. Just because I'm a mom doesn't mean I should be all... unkempt.

I have decided to joing the Get Moovin' March extravaganza over at The Ever-Changing Life of a Military Wife.
Grab My Button!
Maybe this will help me in the Get Skinny Goal...

I don't really have a solid plan yet, as I just found out about this tonight. I am gonna quit on the junk food, not only fast food but sweets as well. I'm gonna get my butt up. I'd like to really walk a lot more than I do. I want to keep my muscles constantly engaged.

I had a bunch of other things to blog about but I totally spaced out and I'm tired and my little girl is sleeping so I should take advantage of that and get some good sleep.

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