Ideally I would have had a photographer take some super cute photos of Ben and I being all cute and in love for this post but that’s slightly impractical when you’re married to a firefighter, and you don’t have a photographer at your beck and call 24/7. And then I realized that I kinda love that I can look at each of these photos in the post that we’ve taken over the last year and know exactly what memory is attached to them. Even if it’s just that we were taking some self timer photos in an abandoned area or the top of a parking structure. Because Lord knows Ben hated that and was dancing or doing something to make me laugh.
ANYWAYS. Today is a BIG day. If you have been following me for any length of time, you might be familiar with some of my and Ben’s story together and some of what our relationship has entailed over the last few years. But if not, I’ll fill you in.
When I met Ben for the first time seven years ago, a few weeks into our dating, he told me he wanted to become a firefighter one day and asked if I was going to be ok with that. At that time I didn’t know entirely what that would entail, but whatever it was I knew that the man in front of me asking that was worth it.
Fast forward to today, and wow has it been a journey.
A year after we started dating, Ben joined the Marine Reserves as a Crash Rescue Firefighter. He went through bootcamp where we could do nothing but write each other letters for three months. And he ended up being gone for a total of ten months. (He still currently serves going in once a month for a weekend.) We got married RIGHT when he got home. AKA 3.5 month engagement. Absence makes the heart grow fonder? 😛
Then he started pursuing civilian firefighting. He worked as an EMT. He went to a fire academy at a junior college and while he devoted all of us time to that and couldn’t work, I supported us. He applied to fire departments. He took tests, both physical and written. He studied for interviews. He got his hopes up. And he sometimes got rejected. And then finally a little over a year ago, he got accepted into the fire academy to work for his dream fire department. For him to succeed at that, he actually ended up moving out of our apartment for three months in order to fully devote everything to doing his best. And then in August of last year, his year of probation started. To be honest, when that started, I thought it was going to be an easy year since he had finally gotten hired, and he just had to make it one year to really “make” it. I had zero clue how much time he would be devoting to succeeding during this last year. And most of that time was outside of work. An already taxing 24 hour schedule that keeps us away from each other at least three entire days/nights a week. He would come home and have to study or work on presentations or projects that he would be doing at his next shift. Or often he would have to sleep on his days off which further limited our time together. Needless to say, it has been a crazy ride.
AND TODAY IS HIS LAST DAY OF PROBATION!!! He made it. I made it. WE made it. And I am so so so proud of him for the dedication and hard work he has put in to be where he is today. I love knowing that he is doing something everyday that brings him life and joy. And I’m so thankful to God for being with us this last year. For filling in the gaps and guarding and protecting us even all of that time we were apart.
And for those who ask sometimes, no this doesn’t mean he will be home more or his schedule will be easier. Part of being a firefighter and fire wifey couple is that there’s A LOT of sacrifice involved. We’ll never get to sleep in bed together every night unless he’s taking time off. In fact, he works tomorrow super early so he went to bed at 8:30pm, and I’m still up so I’m writing this post. We just make the most of the time we do have together, sometimes we’re selfish with it because those few hours are all we have for a week, and we just count down the days until we get that time again. But that’s ok because that’s our story, and we are just going to enjoy wherever God takes us and make sure we laugh a lot (and probably cry-ME) along the way.
So you know we couldn’t just have this one day of celebration to commemorate such an amazing accomplishment. SO. We are heading to Belize tomorrow night for NINE DAYS! I get to sleep in the same bed as my husband for NINE whole days. I’m so excited!!! I know we are going to have the best time adventuring together and making memories.
To all my fire, police, military, doctor (anything that keeps your husband away from you extra) wives out there, you rock. It’s not always easy but it’s always worth it.
Happy freaking hump day. Happy to be over this one, that’s for sure. 😛