Life as a Marine Corps Wife

Mal Smiles

When I saw this link up for military wives, I knew I wanted to take part. I think there are a lot of misconceptions about the military lifestyle and posts like these sometimes help clear them up. I honestly don't talk about the Marine Corps very often but it's obviously a huge part of our lives. 

So, first let me introduce myself:

I'm Tami! I've been married to Jesse, my Marine, for 12.5 years. We were high school sweethearts and married young. 

We waited 9 years to have our first daughter, Emerson, who will be three next month.
In January we had our second daughter, Adelyn.

I have a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Elementary Education and I taught for 4 years before becoming a Training and Curriculum Specialist. I left that job when we moved overseas and I have since become a stay at home mom. 

I love Jesus, fitness, home decorating, coffee, sewing, and dressing my little girls. I used to be an avid reader but I honestly don't read as much as I used to. With two kids under three, my hobbies kind of get pushed to the side sometimes. :)

Our military story:
Jesse joined the Marine Corps in 2001, when I was a sophomore in college. Yes we are old!! :)  When he came back from bootcamp, he proposed and I said yes. We were married in October of that year and assigned our first duty station: Jacksonville, NC. I had to wait until December when I finished my semester and then I moved across the country to be with my husband. I remember feeling so many emotions moving so far away. I knew nothing about the Marine Corps life and it was hard leaving my family and friends  and transferring to a new college.

We ended up spending 8 years in North Carolina. During that time we bought two homes (and sold one,) went through two deployments, and I graduated from college and grad school. North Carolina really became home for us!

In 2010 my husband was selected for Marine Security Guard (embassy duty) and we were sent to Burundi, Africa for our first post. Living in Africa was one of the hardest and neatest things I have ever experienced.

After Burundi, we spent 20 months in Abu Dhabi in the UAE. Towards the end of MSG duty I was so ready to be back in the United States. I was so thankful for the experience but I definitely missed the USA. If you want to read more about all of the places we have lived, go here. I think the best part of MSG duty was all of the amazing places that we got to see. We traveled to South Africa, India, Germany, Austria, and Dubai.

We hoped and prayed that we would be sent back to North Carolina. We have a home there and quite a few of our friends are still there as well. But God and the Marine Corps had different plans for us and we were sent to Southern California. We've been in San Diego for just over a year now. I love the weather and that there is so much to do. I don't love the traffic or the fact that everything is so crammed together. The cost of living is also pretty crazy but we have found a place that works for us, so I can't really complain. We'll probably be in So Cal for at least another 2 years so we are hoping to see and do as much as we can while we are here.
This past July, Jesse was deployed to Afghanistan. Two weeks later I received the scariest phone call ever and learned that Jesse had broken his leg and was being medically evacuated. It has been a long road since then. Unfortunately he's having his third surgery next week so that part of our story is definitely not over.

Despite some of the hardships we have faced, I absolutely love the military life.  To be honest, it's all I've ever know as a wife. It is hard being far away from family and saying good-bye to your husband, but it is also on honor to be part of the Marine Corps family.  There is a special kind of pride that comes with being a military wife!  I have been able to experience things that I would have never otherwise experienced and made lifelong friendships. I hate deployments and I dread our next one, but I wouldn't trade our military experience for anything. I honestly can't imagine life outside of the Marine Corps.

I also have to say that military wives are a breed of their own. I have met some of the strongest, smartest, and bravest women I have ever known. They are resilient and resourceful and they often serve as mommy and daddy while also keeping the household up and running. It's definitely not easy but it's so worth it. 
Amanda Karl said...

I hope you husbands next surgery goes well!! I have really loved reading everyones stories!!

Amanda // Happily Ever After

Bree said...

You have such a lovely family! I'm a former teacher, too! We have orders to CP for this summer. I'm glad to hear you like it there. We've been to 29 but not CP. Best wishes to you and yours!

Emily Stewart said...

Wow I loved reading this! You guys have had quite the journey and seen some amazing places!

I hope you'll be able to make it to the blogger brunch so you can meet all the ladies! Also, hopefully the husband's surgery goes well, I'll keep him in my prayers! :)

April said...

Thank you for your family's service! I would agree that military wives are something else...in a good way! I live about 20 minutes from the Army base Ft. Campbell, KY and so I have met or see a lot of military families and they are great!

Sarah Staggs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah Staggs said...

Loved hearing about your travels. I am a Marine Corps wife as well living in San Diego! I hope we can meet up soon- hopefully I can attend the brunch on Saturday. We are thinking about signing up for MSG duty as well so I'd love to hear your thoughts about it.
xo, Sarah @movingeastonwest

Stephanie said...

Thanks for sharing this, and I agree that military spouses are some of the strongest people out there. I'm sorry to hear he's having yet another surgery, I hope it goes well and his recovery is quick.

Emily Powell said...

I often forget you are a "military wife". My step brother is in the air force and is being deployed in the next few months. He's married with three girls...I don't know how you ladies do it!

Marcella{The Life After "Trust Me"} said...

After a year of being out, I think I actually handled this post without getting a little misty eyed. ;)
I still think it's sad we left Cali just before you moved there though.

Catie said...

You've had so many adventures! I think it is so neat you've been able to live different places. I hope surgery goes well. I'm so thankful for your husband for serving our country and for you and your girls for making the sacrifice :)

Paula Lynch said...

I am glad y'all had your adventures and even happier that you are closer to home. We appreciate all of y'all's sacrifices to make our country safe. Love yall

Christine said...

Love this post! :)

Michelle said...

I bet we were both in Jacksonville at the same time! I lived there with my sister in law while my brother was deployed to Iraq in 2007. Spent my time waitressing at Logans haha. So thankful for your husbands service. And it takes one heck of a woman to be a Marine wife :) loved your post!!

Mateya said...

Even though I already knew all of this I loved reading it. :) You are an amazing Marine wife!

Mandy said...

Love this post! Sometimes I miss the military life and I think I will always still feel like a military wife. You know what they say...once a Marine, always a Marine. I think it goes on our end as the wives, too. I am so thankful for that part of our lives b/c I would have never have met one of my very best friends if we hadn't been a part of the military!

~Momma to Twin Girls~ said...

I just love your blog! I got chills reading this Tami. Thank you so much Jessie for serving for our country. You guys ROCK!

Megan said...

I loved reading more about your story and your experience in the marines. Thank you to you and your family for your service and the sacrifices you've made.

ajs {of MN} said...

i love reading your story, every single time. i still love that i have been following along for SO much of it!!! and i just cant get over the fact that it's already been a year since you've been in CALI!?

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