Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Getting through the U.S.M.C Birthday Ball

View from the room: Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa
After months of preparation I was finally in South Carolina. By then I had already went through every stage of stress. And it showed. My face broke out, I was moody and on the verge of hitting anyone who dared cross the line, I told myself I didn't want to go to the ball, I hated my dress and why couldn't I have just picked black? And why the heck did I decide to attend this ball in the first place? All the ups and downs had passed and it was now just excitement for the day to come. (But of course I still had it in the back of my mind whether my dress was nice enough for the ball) 

When Nick picked me up from the Charleston Airport we decided it would just be best to stay in Beaufort. Charleston was about an hour from Beaufort, and if we went to Hilton Head Island where the ball was to be held, it would only mean two hours of driving. As great as my flight was, I was tired and knew I needed the rest, so instead I opted for the barracks.

The day of the ball came, and it came quick. So much to do in such little time. The photo shoot was scheduled at 3:45. Social Hour at 5:00 p.m and the Ceremony at 6:00 p.m. I pretty much had to be ready 3 hours before the actual event and we weren't even at the hotel yet. The drive to the hotel in Hilton Head was a little bit over an hour, even with Nick speeding. Was I going to sit in my dress for over an hour and risk it getting wrinkled? Thankfully not as the hotel let us check in early. We packed everything up and headed for the hotel, it was 12:00 p.m by the time we finally made it to our room and it was most definitely time to get dressed.

Shower, make-up, hair, nails, get dressed and make sure Mr. Marine was all set and ready to go. Everything was going great until Mr. Marine realized he forgot one of his ribbon mounts. We had no time to spare for him to drive back to Beaufort either, but we needed it for his uniform. I had to let him deal with it because I just couldn't be bothered. I had a whole face to fix still. Before I left to South Carolina I had received a Target Beauty Bag with a primer from Pixi. I hadn't used it before but I thought I could give it a go. Boy was that a mistake. My face looked like a shimmery bronze disco ball. Not a subtle shimmer, it was a full on extreme shimmer. What a waste of my time. I had to was my face again and start all over, this time using only what I knew worked.

3:00 rolled around. I made the finishing touches and check on Nick to see where we were with his ribbon mount. Still waiting on his friend. 10 minutes later, still waiting. 20 minutes later, still waiting. By then I knew we were going to be late for the photographer. It was 3:45 and we were still at the hotel scrambling. Finally he got the mount and we could finally get going.

We met Kristi at The Jarvis Creek Park. It was pretty funny because on the way into Hilton Head, Nick was driving in a turn only lane (the roads are so weird there) and he just so happened to turn into the park so we ended up figuring out where it was by accident. Kristi was waiting for us already, I was so excited for the photos. It was the perfect time of day, the sun was low, it wasn't cold yet, and it wasn't hot or humid. The photo shoot went pretty well, besides Nick being nervous. We're both not very photogenic, but thank gosh Kristi knew what she was doing.

We headed back to the hotel room to fix ourselves one last time before the ball started, Nick had to switch to his medals for the ball so he went to his friends room while I went up alone. I got in the elevator with a female Marine. I was already in my dress, and me being already worried about my dress, was worried what she thought. To my surprise she told me that she loved my dress, I instantly felt better. Hearing that from a strong woman like her was great! Nick came back with his friends and we all headed to the Social Hour. I felt more confident in my dress walking in and soon received many compliments. Nick kind of laughed about it and said he was going to start counting.

The Ceremony began, and everyone was seated. It wasn't as long as I thought it was going to be and before I knew it we were eating dinner. From then on the ball was pretty much a big social hour. People danced, drank and socialized.

As the ball came to an end we all got together to head out to the club. When we got in the elevator, to my surprise was the same female Marine who complimented me on my dress. She started to talk to us again, and further complimenting me, as well as her husband. I later found out that night that she was Nicks Master Sargent and that her husband was a retired Marine. All my worries about my dress had disappeared, I was so glad so many people liked it, I was finally glad I didn't choose black.

As stressful as it was, looking back now I wish It could have lasted longer. And I would definitely do it again. It was a bittersweet ending. Nick was getting out of the Marines in 4 days, and it was probably going to be our last time in South Carolina, ever. The next day we ate at our favorite spot in Hilton Head for sushi. Fancy Q's, we ordered so much even the waitress was shocked. It was only 11:00 a..m and we ordered enough for a family of four. We explained to her that it was our last time there, we were pretty regular customers too, I wish we could have taken the restaurant with us.

A few days later, Nick and I drove back to Texas with only 10 hours between our next flight to California.

South Carolina was not my favorite place in the world, but it was a place full of memories. It's where Nick and I had our first official date, where my cat Kittehn grew up and had her babies, it was where Nick and I spent most of our time together, it's where things really began. I don't think we will ever go back, but I wouldn't mind going back to "Beaufort, where all the roads lead to Wal-Mart"

My shoes I wore for 13 hours straight
My feet were sore the next morning
The morning after
Old Photo: The first time I left South Carolina. I left Kittehn with Nick for 5 months. She got pregnant under his watch.
Our first time at Fancy Q's
Back home in Texas. Nick was out of the Marines for now.

And the moment we've all been waiting for.....


  1. That dress IS beautiful! Those photos came out beautifully :)


  2. Your dress is just gorgeous! Love the photos!

  3. Stunning ♥

  4. Those photos are beautiful! And the dress?! TO DIE FOR!

  5. you look stunning! you and DBF are such a good-looking couple!! xox

  6. oh my gosh you both look absolutely amazing! Pish posh on the photogenic bit - you look stunning! The last shot with the lens flares is absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing this portion of your life with us! I feel incredibly happy for you! x

  7. you are looking super beautiful..

  8. Ahhh So beautiful! I had been waiting for so long to see these! Should have requested an email hahaha.
    I am so glad things worked out! you both look so lovely together! ^_^


  9. oh dear, it seems like such an adventure!!I'm glad everything turned out so well. I'm also glad you didn't pick black, c'mon you had to stand out and you look amazing!!
    simple hair, simple make-up, red lips...super classy!!

    xo Bea =)

  10. Aww I'm glad everything went well! Sounded so hectic before the big event!
    I love the photos! You guys look amazing!

  11. So beautiful! That dress is stunning. Sounds like it was a great time :)

  12. I love the pictures of you two. Couples pictures are always cute. That dress is really nice also!

  13. Kitty :3 !!
    the tunnel looks surreal o.o
    and you are such a cute couple !

    visit me:

  14. You look lovely! The dress and red lip really do look perfect together :) Glad you had a good time.

  15. Oh wow! Absolutely beautiful!!! You let me cheat without scrolling with your new profile pic -LOL, but I read the post patiently and waiting for the grand finale! I'm glad you two got to visit the restaurant one last time. The photo of the food is awesome. =0)

  16. Hey there!

    Following your lovely blog now via the Followers to friends blog party!
    Fab photo's by the way!

    Would love you to follow me back!

    Jenna x

  17. Beautiful pictures! I'm your newest follower via the blog party! Follow back if you can..

    Marquis Clarke

  18. You look absolutely stunning in your dress! You two look magical together :-) BTW- how on Earth did you wear those heels for 12 hours?! You've got guts girl. Participating in the link up this week! Posted your button on my blog!

    XO Jenna

  19. The photos look beautiful, you look beautiful and Nick looks tall and proud in his uniform. I'm glad everything went well!

  20. wow! Absolutely beautiful!! Nice post. you are such a cute couple.Those photos are beautiful! And the dress. I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful information.