We Met, It's a Girl, Year to Year

Facebook has this new thing where it shows you your statuses from the previous years. So far, I've only seen 2010 and 2009, so I'm assuming it only goes back 2 years. It always catches my attention, because so much has changed for me from year to year.

This weekend, in 2008, I met Jonathan. I think the story is relatively familiar now, as I've told it several times. It was at the bowling alley on Aberdeen Proving Ground. He was silly, I was sarcastic. He was wearing a brown tun tavern t-shirt and ugly sandals. I was wearing a maroon and white flowered tank top and my reefs, a staple in my wardrobe since well before 2008. We hit it off right away. I beat him at pool. I gave him and his friends a ride over to the rec center. When he had to go, he asked if he could kiss me and I consented. It was the most magical kiss of my life. My entire body tingled, head to toe. I swear I saw sparks, as cliche as it sounds. My legs literally felt like jelly, and I might have fallen over had I not been in his strong embrace. I was hooked.

Facebook didn't show any statuses from 2008, but I know this weekend was the one I met him and the one where my life changed for the better. My soul mate, who would become my husband. My better half, the man who made me smile bigger than any person had ever done in my life. My heart glowed when I was with him and it all started the very last weekend of August, 2008.

My facebook status from 2009 reads, "Husband is on his way home from the field and will be here for the WHOLE day! THE WHOLE DAY! YAYAYAYAYAYYYY" and later that day, ""Just bought our first little pink outfit in honor of the end of the not knowing days :)."

I remember this day clearly. Jonathan had been in the field, the battalion was doing a lot of work ups getting ready for deployment at any time. We had found out he was going to be gone during the anatomy scan the doctor does, so when I found out when he was getting out of the field, I called Womb's Window in Wilmington and booked a 3D scan for us, so we'd find out what kind of baby was baking away in my womb together. It was one thing I definitely didn't want him to miss. He was so tired from the field but as soon as we got home we got ready and took the 45 minute trip to Wilmy to find the place. I remember being so excited watching him sign the father's spot on the consent form. I took pictures of everything, ate a lot of sugar so baby would be moving around a lot, and the sense of excitement to find out who was in my belly. We had gone back and forth for the months since we'd found out I was pregnant, I would say things like "Oh SHE'S kicking" and Jonathan would go with "HE sure is active today." I knew she was a girl the whole time ;) I remember when we found out officially she was a girl, it was more reality that we were going to have a child together, a little girl. Jonathan's jaw-dropped a little in a "Crap what will I Do with a GIRL?!" way but he was sooo excited to have a princess. He said there'd be no boys left in 10-12 years because he'd take care of them all before they could get to her haha. We called our families and closest friends on the drive home to share the good news. When we got back, we headed to WalMart to pick out the first pink outfit (she already had tons of green and yellow, it was time to get something PINK now that we knew), a little gray and pink striped hooded shirt and pink pants. I took a picture of her tiny clothes on top of Jonathan's cammies to show how small she would be compared to her daddy. It was magical and I was beyond happy that he was there to share that; that we could find out together.

My status from this day in 2010 reads, "
"In a very weird mood after waking up from even weirder dreams. I miss you so much babe, so very very much..." A year after meeting, we found out we were having a girl. A year after finding out we were having a girl, he was dead and all I had left were dreams. So much changed each August. Every year, it's almost like a completely new life, with only memories and photographs to prove the other life even existed at all. And the most important proof, my little smiling diva girl. At least I know for sure the lives in the years passed have all been real, and all been mine.

This year, my status has talked about people's milk buying habits in preparation for a hurricane and registering for the BlogHer Writer's Conference. I'm at my mom's in Maryland (just like 2008), watching my little girl run around like a crazy person. We spent time outside and took silly photos with Photo Booth. I have a countdown on my phone for when my boyfriend will get home and am looking at different trips I want me and Ari to take in the mean time, and for all of us to take once he's home. There isn't much direction anymore, just trying to figure things out. It's all changed year-to-year and some days I don't know how to handle it. I suppose you just take each year, each day really, in stride.

Well, I'm off here to go write more 2011 statuses (lol) and see if my diva girl will go take a nap yet. Here's to hoping 2012's statuses on this day are good ones!


  1. You've got quite the little angel right there. I held it together until I saw that last picture of her and realized just how much she looks like her daddy. You're a tough woman and I'm so proud to have ever been face to face with you, even if it was only once.

  2. I love you friend!!! It's totally crazy how life changes from day to day, and it's crazy how in a year you might not even recognize your life. I'm really really hoping next year's status is a great one!! HUGS!!!!!

  3. It really is crazy how much life can change in an instant. You are lucky to have your little diva and that she reminds you Mr. P.


  4. That's so crazy when you look back at your statuses and how your life has changed. However, throughout your experiences you have learned to be a stronger woman. :)

    Stay safe with the h-cane!

  5. I think you are getting your grove back, very touching blog. :) Hugs to you & Ari.

  6. Oh, Rachel... One of my favorite things about you, next to your total awesomeness, is the love you express in your writing.

    I don't think that made sense. To recap I think you're awesome, and I can feel the love you and Jonny shared, by the way you write about him.

    I've heard that story many, many times. I remember because it's from around the time WE became friends. (August is awesome because it includes me and our friendaversary! lol!) But every time you tell it... I feel like it's the first time, and I can seriously feel the love. Same with all the stories you tell about him.

    In your last post (I think) you talked about your widow friends, and how well they represent their husbands. You're doing an amazing job yourself. I know Jonny is looking down and smiling beaming with pride. He's probably laughing too, like when you mow the lawn!

    That's just me... you know... I never knew him, but I feel like I do, from the stories you share.

    I remember when you found out it was a girl!!!!! And the pictures and everything... :)

    I'm glad you're in MD this weekend... I hope the flooding and stuff isn't too bad where you are. Kiss Ari for me, and enjoy the baseball game with your pops!!!

  7. This post touched me so much. I hope the next few years bring you awesome status updates. :)

  8. I've heard a lot about the application that allows you to see previous year's posts, but haven't been able to find it. Do you know what it is called?

  9. I loved this post and it definetly brought tears to my eyes. You are an AMAZING strong women Im excited to read more. And your banner is perfect

  10. I love this post and these pictures...what great memories.

    Not sure if you knew this, but Facebook allows you to download an archive of all your wall posts/messages/etc. I downloaded mine but haven't been able to open the HTML (haven't really worked that hard on it, honestly) but if you want to try, click Account in the top right corner and select Account Settings. Then at the bottom you'll see a link that says Download a Copy of your Facebook data. I'm not sure how far back it goes but it's a pretty easy process from there. :)

  11. "Every year, it's almost like a completely new life, with only memories and photographs to prove the other life even existed at all." Yeah, I hear that and feel that way too, but May is my biggest month to feel that way. It's crazy to look back from year to year. The way you talked about really hit me in the gut. Thankfully there are those photographs and memories (and fb too, lol) to help us remember. Love ya girl!

  12. LOVE IT! How do you get the old status to show? mMyFB isn't showing them anywhere.

  13. Maybe you know this person? Her marine husband has only been gone a month. http://mynewkindofpregnancy.blogspot.com/2011/08/our-baby-q.html?showComment=1314639188840#c8346360966919196395

  14. Rachel,I've been reading your blog for the last year or so. I check in periodically to see how you're doing, as I'm sure many of your readers do! I was so touched by this post and most especially, as Mrs, Sykes states above, to see how much your little girl looks like her Daddy. You have grown so much in the short time since your precious husband left this Earth. God Bless you and your little family. Thank you for sharing your story with the world.

  15. What a amazingly touching post; def brought tears (both happy and sad) to my eyes this morning. You have a beautiful little girl and I know her super proud daddy is smiling down on her every day <3

  16. You think just the way I do. I also met my husband on the last weekend of August 2008. A year later, we'd already been married for 3 months. For the last two years, we've been stationed in Alaska.

    I don't know you personally, but I really enjoy your blog. I applaud your bravery and determination. You're the type who makes me proud to be a military wife!

  17. OMG this was such a sweet post! you are an inspiration to all! Mr. P has to be so proud of you for being such a great mommy and a strong woman! <3


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