Friday, October 31, 2008


I've spent the latter part of my work day researching Web sites and becoming familiar with all of the wonderful things military organizations are doing. Not just for Veterans and soldiers, but for their families - Wives, husbands, kids,'s truly amazing.

I've also spend quite a bit of time watching tribute videos, reading articles and looking at pictures of fallen soldiers and their families. Not only do I care about those who have given their life for the freedoms of this country, but I have such a desire to care about each fallen man and woman individually. I feel a knot in my stomach every time I hear a report of a local fallen soldier. Mostly it's because it sounds something like this, "So and so has been KIA in Baghdad. He/she attended such and such high school and are from the town/city of _____. Now, back to you, so and so, for the sports report!" Thanks. We appreciate your compassion. I mean, I realize that a news station or newspaper can't possibly spend enough time talking about the precious life of a person...all the people they touched, why so many loved, respected and honored them. But, let's make no mistake that each life is important and valued. Each of those fallen men and women represents a legacy and a life filled with so much. I am honored that I can even attempt to scratch the surface into seeing just what their lives entailed.

I am blown away by so many of these Gold Star families (families who have lost loved ones to war). The ones i've had the pleasure of reading about. They are filled with so much passion and patriotism. I cannot image what it would feel like having a military medal and American flag placed in my hands at the funeral of my son, daughter, father, mother or spouse. And not only that, but to then move forward with so much strength.

I am also proud to see that despite their pain, these families can still stand and say, "We honor the mission. We honor the troops." Because guess what people?? The media gives you SO LITTLE COVERAGE. When will you see the truth?? These soldiers care about the people they are going over there to save. And they care about Americans. Set a President's agenda aside, these men and women believe in what they do each day, and they give their all.

Try to imagine what life would be like without our military? You can't. Because you'd be dead. You would have already died from saying the wrong thing, or reading the wrong book or wearing the wrong clothes, or talking to the wrong people. You name it. It wouldn't be your right anymore.

Don't you ask me, "Well, why are we just in Iraq? What about Africa and the other impoverished parts of this world?" I'll give you some advice: Read or watch the story of Black Hawk Down. Our military went into Somalia to save the people there from Terrorists just the same as Iraq. And the only reason why we ever left there is because Mr. Clinton got scared when some of our men and women were killed. Not only did he pull out, out of fear, and left Somalia and it's people in the same dangerous, oppressive state it was in before we got there, but he also set our military up for failure. The mission was there, but not completed the way it should have been. Also, ask me in 7 months to give you an update on a friend of my husband's who's deploying to Palau next week. His mission? Humanitarian work. There are many more examples like these.

I deeply regret that the war in Iraq has become so political to the point that we forget what our military has done over hundreds of years. I also deeply regret that it has brought the American people to a place of true disrespect for the sacrafices made.

May we all observe Veteran's Day on November 11, and thank even one person for their service. May God bless our troops who have and continue to fight and sacrafice for YOU.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Jenny's 6 Random Facts (do you think I could get Aaron to do this, too??)

Ok, Mari, since you proposed the it is!

1) When I was a kid, I loved horses. Ok, I still do. But as a kid, it was somewhat of an obsession. For Christmas one year, I begged my parents to get me a horse as a gift. I had this great idea that i'd put him in our backyard with the apple trees. I honestly thought FOR SURE that my parents would get him for me, so on Christmas day, I opened presents and then ran outside to the backyard. Somehow in my childish mind, I thought that a gate, barn and horse would appear even though they weren't there the day before (kids don't seem to get the process of time...but maybe this is a good thing!). I even put on the whole "Home Alone" act, if you know what i'm talking about. Running into the living room, hoping to see his parents - I was running outside hoping to see a horse knawing on apples. Well, it didn't happen. I cried. Isn't this lame?! My poor parents.....

2) In all honesty, I'm just a big dork! Let me tell you why. I got asked out for my first date as a freshman. He was a Junior. I felt pretty special! (Sure.) Anyway, he didn't have a car - He was cool - so my mom took me to go pick him up. Our date was the high school basketball game. AWESOME. I swore I remembered which house was his because I had played with his younger sister in elementary school as a kid. But, apparently I had completely forgotten. Also, this was back in the days of horses and buggies when kids didn't actually have cell phones in the 2nd grade, let alone the 9th grade. Fortunately, I knew for sure what street he lived on, I just couldn't nail down the house. My mom was furious. It was pouring down rain. Can you see where this is going?? Ok, so my mom, ever so friendly-like, told me to get out of the car and start knocking. Off I went, running through puddles and dodging what seemed like golf-sized rain drops and knocked on my first door. A woman her bath robe. Ugh. Definitely not him. Second door, a woman answered with her screaming kids in the background. I heard a quick, "Cameron WHO?? I can't hear you, sorry." SLAM - door shuts. Third door, a older, much friendlier woman answered the door. I asked if she knew where Cameron lived and she said, "Well, I always see a really handsome, strong young man washing his red truck out in front of that house (for the record, the truck was his dad's.) It was just a bit creepy coming from a really old woman, but hey, the older women get, the cuter those younger ones become....JUST KIDDING, HONEY!!! Ok, so I walk over to the house she pointed at and there I was, soaked, make-up running down my face, hair a mess, MY MOM SITTING IN HER CAR and I see Cameron in the window. He opens the door and says, "Are you lost??" What a jerk - He was watching me the entire time. We never dated again. No, i'm not bitter anymore.

3) I have a very keen sense of smell. And really, I mean ODDLY keen. I can smell things that no other normal person could. It gets so bad that I usually become nauseous very easily. I can smell chemicals in furniture, my husband's farts 10 minutes later (I debated saying that), and it gets so bad that my nose will burn if something with the slightest, strangest smell is around long enough. It's actually quite annoying. As far as my husband's farts go, that comment will totally gross out single people. If you're married, and a woman, you know EXACTLY what i'm talking about.

when I was a kid, we had a Ford Taurus wagon. You know, the one with the backseat that was backwards?? Oh yeah, we were cool. Well, almost every time we drove somewhere in that car, I would get car sick. Even after 15, 20 minutes sometimes. I used to say to my mom, "Mom, it smells funny in here!" After we got rid of that car, I stopped barfing on short AND long trips. Maybe it was because I wasn't riding backwards anymore???

4) I'm the queen of drinking half a beer...OR half a glass of wine (isn't wine already only a half glass??) But yes, it's true. And it drives Aaron batty. But, for his sake, that usually means he gets 2 and a half beers instead of 2. Aren't I thoughtful?? No, just a light-weight.

5) I'm a clean freak. So clean to the point that this is probably the number one thing Aaron and I fight about. And though he could be better about cleaning up after himself, the problem is mostly with me. I get so tired of clutter, i'll just throw things away without even bothering to look at what it actually is. I just know i'll feel better when the room is tighty and clean. Wow, can I ever grow out of this?? I'm only 24, sure I can...RIGHT?!?

6) Aaron and I knew each other as kids. He was so cute. He always wore sweat pants...never jeans. I had a mullet. We were made for each other. When his family moved to Alaska around the time I was 10, my sister and I had a very memorable conversation. I said, "Maaannnn!!! Now Aaron Meredith can never be my boyfriend." Never say never, because now he's my HUSBAND!! And he's even cuter than he was back then. Sometimes we still say, "Wow, would you have ever thought??" "No", he'd say; and "Well, i'd hoped...but, no", i'd say. If you ask me, I think he always prayed before bed, "Lord, please let me marry that sexy mullet girl, Jenny Gordon. My life would be complete."

And hopefully someday we'll have mullet children wearing sweat pants. Or, maybe just children and not the mullets or sweat pants. I like that better :)

Now I tag Melissa and my sister, Beccy!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I absolutely love fall and everything that goes along with it. The changing of the leaves - The tree in our backyard is a purple color...amazing! I love hot apple cider, apple pie (my specialty), cozy sweaters, scarves, rain boots, fun jackets and I just love, love, LOVE the crisp-ness in the air. We've had very warm, unseasonal weather up until yesterday. It dropped from 80 and humid to about 55-60 degrees overnight. I can't get enough of it yet!

Today we visited a farm in Maryland with some Air Force friends, Shawn and Angela. Aaron and Shawn deployed together in 2007 and have been great friends ever since. They just had their first baby in December 2007, Maddeline, and she's a doll! She loved climbing on the pumkins and we found one that was just her size. We really got into the whole experience. We took a hay ride out to pick our own pumpkins, drank hot cider, sampled the carmel-apple pie (with ice was a sin!) and we couldn't leave without purchasing their fresh apple butter, apples, peach jelly and apple cobbler mix. I just love local produce. You can't beat it!

Many thanks to Shawn , Angela and Maddie for a great kick-off to a fun-filled, enjoyable fall! You guys are awesome!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Frustrations and Mixed Emotions

The last few weeks have been, well, interesting to say the least. I've seen the doctor about 3 or 4 times now for a problem i've been having with my mouth. About a month and a half ago, I started getting what appeared to be just really chapped lips. It progressively worsened over the weeks. I tried curing it on my own and let me tell you, I tried EVERYTHING under the sun. One pharmacist told me it was a fungus (ahhh!! yuck!) so I tried putting a cream on it. Another told me it was a vitamin deficiency, so I loaded up on a multi and B vitamin. Now, i'm not trying to get all grose and disgusting on everyone here, but you have no idea how bad its been. I woke up one morning last week and Aaron and I thought I had a flesh eating disease. Can you believe that?!? So I rushed into the doctor (thank the Lord military medical facilities are open on Saturdays!!) and a doctor put me on some heavy steroids, pain killers, 8 pills of antibiotic a day and a cream for my lips. He said he thought I had come down with a bacterial infection. Ugh!

Yesterday I had a follow-up appointment and things looked good - It was my last day of steroids. But, this morning, it seems to be flairing up again. The doc did say yesterday that an allergy could have triggered it, and then a bacteria some how got to it too and made it worse.

So, the million dollar question of the day is, WHAT THE HECK DO YOU THINK I COULD BE ALLERGIC TO?!? I am desperate for ideas from ANYONE! I don't care if you're a stranger, a friend, a family member, Jack Bauer, Dwight Schrute - Gosh, someone help me!! I will try anything, really....

Now onto something else. I've been having so many mixed emotions lately about Aaron's deployment situation. We still haven't heard anything which doesn't surprise me. I know this sounds pessimistic, but I have a feeling that if he goes, we'll have about a week or two to prepare. That's just how the military works in these types of situations. I hope i'm not sounding bitter, though. I am so thankful that there's even a chance that Aaron won't go. And it isn't because we don't support the mission, I guess it's the selfish side of me that has been saying, "Wow, we just got married...we're in the middle of working on our house....this is such a bad time for him to leave me!" But guess what, when is it EVER a good time for ANYONE? One of the other officers stationed out here with us is leaving for Iraq in about 3 weeks. His wife is due to have a baby in December. I have lost sleep over this - Literally. I mean, why us and not them?? These are difficult questions to ask and I realize more and more everyday that I don't have answers. But, God does. I'm learning to let go. It's much easier to just leave it in the hands of the one who DOES know.

At the end of each day, i'm so proud of Aaron. He is always ready for the call from his country. How many of us could say that we would willingly give up everything and put our lives on hold to serve this country and the people who live here?? I cannot express my respect for him and so many others.

Though we would love to not spend months apart, I can honestly say that we are ready. We are ready for either outcome and we TRUST that GOD will take care of little things like, how will I sleep at night? How could I possibly live alone for all those months? What would I do if something terrible happened with the house? I wouldn't have my handy-man anymore! :( What if the car broke down? What if I became really sick and didn't have anyone to help!? These are such awful questions, but I think pretty common ones for women who are preparing to send their soldier off.

Please do not pitty me. All I would ever ask for is prayer.....

Thursday, October 9, 2008

So many updates!!

So as i've promised, pictures are finally here! Aaron and I have been working so hard on the house. We finally have a kitchen and if you ask me, that means things are really coming together! There's still a lot of touch-up yet to do, but we're getting there. I had to include a picture of my oh-so-amazing Kitchen Aid mixer (thanks to Gramma G!) because i'll be cooking some yummy cookies tonight for a party with friends tomorrow night. Our good Air Force buddy, Grant, has just been accepted to the FBI (yeah!!) so our "Secret Agent Man" is off to Quantico for 9 months of "hell" as we've heard.....but hey, if you ever meet this guy you'd think, "wow, i'd definitely want him spying on all the bad people!" He's so great.
I had to include a picture of our Honeymoon as well, which is way over due. We had such a wonderful time on the Washington Coast. It was so relaxing and just what we needed!

Also, the latest BIG news is that i've just accepted a new position at a non-profit here in DC called Military Families United. This organization was first started in 2005 by a woman named Merrilee who was the first mother to lose two of her sons in the Iraq war. I am so honored to be apart of her effort to not only reach out to Gold Star families (those who have lost loved ones since the war began), but to also reach out to Blue Star families (those who currently have a loved one serving.) It is also important for us to have a presence out here in DC with our government officials so that we can help educate people on why we need to support the troops to finish the mission we have in the Middle East.

The team of people who make up this incredible organization are amazing and they all have HUGE hearts for our beloved military personnel. I'm looking forward to meeting lots of families as well as doing some event planning, Web site work and writing their newsletter. I know i'll really get to put my skills and gifts to work!

Well, i'm off to a Dr. appointment (thrilling) so i'll have to write more later. I hope this update finds you all feeling blessed!