Hello Everyone! I just found out yesterday that my flight is at 6am tomorrow morning. I'll be leaving my house close to 4am! There's nothing quite like getting a very early start! I'm packed and most of my to-do list is done. The Lord has given me a peace about this whole thing and I am very thankful. More up
So much has happened since I last wrote. I was commissioned as an officer this week on Tuesday. I asked a former Navy Commander to give me my oath! That was pretty cool! Him and his wife, my mom, and my grandmothers came to support me. I was expecting it to be us and a couple of people from the Navy Recruiting District office. There were probably 40ish Navy personnel there to watch...and I had to give an impromptu speech...and I think it all went quite well. We got there with one minute to spare, my Chief (my recruiter in the top right picture) met my family and gave us some instructions. He introduced me to everyone and told them what I was being commissioned for and that I was going in the Nurse Corps. Mr. Patterson gave me the oath and then I had to sign a few papers. I even have this cool and very official document that says that I am now an Ensign. Lots of the Navy personnel came up and congratulated me....everyone was so nice! My Chief also gave me a my first Navy Challenge Coin (pictured below). Apparently it is a tradition to give these coins at each duty station and for different things. After that and lots of pictures...we all went back to Kirkland and went out for lunch and pie! The only down-side to the whole day is that I wore this new pair of flats and they just killed my feet...still hurting. Who would have thought that flats could do more damage than the five-inch stilettos I wore to Pinning.
Beyond the Commissioning, I've been packing and packing and packing. It is so much work to pack up everything one owns. I have way more stuff than I thought I did. It is also hard since I'm packing for Rhode Island and for Virginia. I am really looking forward to about three months from now when I will be settled in my new home...sounds like bliss right now.
These last few weeks have been rather full with meeting up and spending time with friends and family. I am so grateful that I had a chance to catch up with the people that mean the most to me. I am truly going to miss the comings and goings of daily life here in Kirkland. Goodbyes are always hard and I've already had to do a fair share of them in the last six or seven years. I am looking forward to a new life in Virginia...and it is rather exciting not knowing just what will happen!
What else have I been up to? Well...two weekends ago, I went to Bremerton to spend the weekend with friends. It was great to catch up and hang out--went to my first drive-in movie, went swimming in the lake, out to eat, to church, etc. It was so much fun and felt great to get away from all my preparations for the Navy. This last weekend, I went hiking at Rattlesnake Ridge with my parents...what a view! I've included some pictures! I don't think people outside of the Northwest understand how stunning Washington is on a sunny day! You can't beat it!
I went out for coffee last night with my mom and it was so nice to catch up and pray together over what this year will hold. I'm going to miss times like that, but am glad for the memories too! I got to meet up with both of my grandmas this week too and it was so nice catching up!
These past two weeks, I've been teaching swimming lessons. I really enjoyed the kids I worked with! This one girls keeps asking if she can give me a hug and I assure her that "I would love that!" They were all so cute today when I brought coins for them to get off the bottom of the pool! You would have thought I brought real gold! One of my classes is so fun because every single thing I ask them to do...they love!!! They get so excited even though we do many of the same things every single day! Their enthusiasm makes my day!
Well...I leave in two days and I can hardly believe the time has actually come. I am almost done waiting!! I still don't know when my flight it due to leave, but I guess I'm on a need-t0-know basis. Once I get to Officer Development School, I doubt that I will get to give many updates on here for the first week or two, but I have been told that I should have computer access while I'm there. We'll see. I'll do my best to give updates while I'm in training. I'm looking forward to it...am I'm pretty much ready with all the memorization stuff. I just have a few more things to brand into my memory, but aside from that...I'm ready. I was reading in my Bible this week in Philippians 4:4-9. My goal right now is to commit everything to the Lord since there is just way too much to worry about. I know He's got this and that He is faithful to give me everything I need in the days ahead...even though I don't really know what all will happen. He is and has been such a comfort to me. I'm feeling very thankful for His presence. I'd really appreciate your prayers! I've listed prayer requests on the sidebar of the "What's Happening" page. I'll touch base with you all as soon as I can. I hope everyone is enjoying their summer!
Time is flying and every day is so full. This past weekend, I co-taught a Red Cross Lifeguarding class with my sister. It was fun, but very tiring. I've taught lifeguarding since 2010 and this was my final class. In the next two weeks, I'll be picking up some shifts at another pool. I'm quite thankful for the hours as I could use the extra cash.
Beyond that, I met with my recruiter this week--Chief Redden. It's been almost two years since I saw him. The last time was for my interview at the Naval hospital in Bremerton. He explained what to expect during the commissioning process and I had to fill out some more paperwork. The Navy sure loves its paper! I'll be commissioned on the 16th. I'll post pictures after! I'll officially be Ensign Stevens! I've asked my uncle's dad to commission me. He was a naval officer in the 1960s-70s. He will be swearing me in.
Also this week, I met up with my friend from Capernwray. Rachel and I had a great time catching up...sure wish I could see her and my friend Emily more. Can't believe it's been over five years since getting back from Bible School.
Today...I picked up some supplies for Officer Development School. I'm getting close to being ready. Still working on the push-ups, curl-ups, and running. It's coming slow and steady!
Beyond that, I'm leaving tonight to spend the weekend with some of my friends from ETBU...we are all in the picture above! Keep checking in...I'll have info on my commissioning next time!
That I grow in my role as a nurse and always do my best.
That I would follow the Lord wholeheartedly.
I'm Carolyn...am so excited to be starting my nursing career in the Navy. Who knows where this all will take me?!