So this year's ball has been a challenge to get ready for. With my ever growing belly it has been a tearful journey to find a gown that I could wear and look decent next to my husband. I LOVE ball gowns and dressing up, but I have to say over the last two years my shape has really changed, and it has made finding a ball gown a real challenge and often a depressing experience. I wish so badly I could open my own clothing line for larger women. It is so hard to find something that is beautiful, that fits, and is modest. I want to laugh when I go into a store and ask for a certain size and they bring me something that looks like it belongs on a street girl. People.....larger women 99.9% of the time don't want to show a lot of skin....because it isn't that attractive. But alas it is hard to find something without going custom that fits those requirements.
So as some of you know.....I had a real challenge finding a gown to wear. I lucked out by sheer mistake and found a gown that would get the job done. It still needed a lot of alterations, but I was really crossing my fingers and hoping for the best. As the weeks went by and I was called in for fittings with he dress....I was very impressed with how well it was working out, and fitting so well. Chuck picked up my gown the day before we left, and I wasn't able to go in for one last fitting so i was a little worried.
We got someone to house sit for us and watch the dogs while we were away. I was very worried about it as My dogs can be a big handful sometimes. lol I don't thing a minute went by that I wasn't stressing about how the dogs were. I was worried about them causing issues, or being a pain.
Friday morning started a lot earlier than I would have liked...but I am not a morning person at all. We got up, packed, and then I headed to Paul Mitchell to get my hair washed and dried. I went in at 10 a.m. and by 10:30 the girl was still washing my hair. I had told her several time I was in a hurry and she just wasn't getting it. I kept telling her to really massage my scalp and work out the build up in my hair. She was scared she would hurt my head even though I was assuring her I was fine. I would tell her harder harder and she just didn't get it. She took half an hour to wash my hair, and did such a bad job that it needed to be redone. This is the second hairdresser who hasn't been able to properly wash my hair like I ask. It is soooo frustrating. I have very thick long hair and it is like a sponge. It needs some hard work when it gets washed. But no one listens to me when they work on my hair. I know they are the one who went to school to learn about it all...but it is my hair, and I know it better! aughhh
So after the hair washing I picked up the girl who was to watch our house and dogs and explained what needed to be done, and such. I brought her back home and showed her where things were. We left only running a little bit late, and got to our friends house who we were carpooling with by 11:30a.m. They were almost ready, and so we started packing up their H2 hummer and waited for a little bit. We ended up leaving town Uber late and so we hit mad traffic on the way. I had to fight for some reason to be able to sit next to my husband. They wanted the girls to sit in the back and the boys in the front. I was unsure of how the trip would go so I wanted to be by my husband in case my back started really hurting, or I needed to lay down on him during the trip. We were able to sit next to each other for most of the trip, then he ended up finishing the driving.
We arrived in Tahoe in the late evening and was able to have the Valet park the H2 and take our luggage to our room. While Chuck was checking us into the Harvey's Casino....I noticed one of our Marines and went to sit by him. I overheard him talking on the phone saying he was stuck there. When he ended his call.....I asked him if he was okay. As it turned out the person he was sharing his room with changed his reservation, and so this young Marine didn't have a room, and because of the Poker tournament the two connecting casinos were hosting, the UFC fight that weekend, and the Marine Corps ball....there were no rooms left. The kid didn't have a car as he had found a ride with someone else, and now couldn't get a hold of that person. So we couldn't leave him behind. We always take care of our Marines. We took him to our room with us, and I called dibs on the bathroom first. ha ha ha Afterwards, our luggage arrived, and I remembered that one of our Marines had rented a cabin nearby for the ball. I called them and spoke with the Marine and he said if need be they had an extra bed for him. So we we waited for a little while and eventually this young Marine found the guy he had rode up with and they were able to rent a motel room for the night. By then it was kind of late. We walked around looking at the shops and seeing what was around us. I had a little bit of a hard time walking around and found it very taxing. But I continued pushing myself. I was determined to have a great weekend since it would probably be our last before the baby comes. We also realised that the last time we were able to spend two nights in a hotel was 10 years ago from our wedding. lol
We couldn't find a good place to eat that didn't have a night club feel. I was hungry, and so was my little Riley. We ended up trying out room service for the first time. And it was fun. It was a little pricey, but the food was good, and it was fun. We crashed around midnight and we each had a horrible night of sleep. I normally love a hard bed, but the pillows were awful as well. I didn't sleep well at all, and neither did Chuck. We woke up really early and both looked at each other...knowing the other was in a bit of pain.
We met our friends for Breakfast and walked with one of the to the other Casino to try their amazing buffet on the 18th floor. The wife of our friend went to work out at the gym, and to go get her hair and nails done for the ball that night. I wasn't feeling so hot, but I figured it was the bad night of sleep, and the fact I was hungry and pregnant. I was noticing that I felt like I had pressure on my chest and I was having a hard time catching my breath....But I pushed on and was determined to have a good day. We made it to the Buffet and the views were amazing. Did I remember to bring my camera? Nope.....But we had beautiful views of South Lake Tahoe. I wasn't that impressed with breakfast. Normally a buffet has tons of food to choose from, but this had foods that I would never touch. I ordered some hot chocolate hoping it would help with the pressure on my chest and me having a hard time breathing. I thought maybe because it was so cold I was having a hard time breathing.
After breakfast we stood to leave and I felt very off. We walked around the wall separating us from the hallway, and I felt like I couldn't breath, and I couldn't take another step because of the stabbing pain I was feeling in my lower abdomen. It was sharp and with each step I tried to take it was very painful. I sat down on the bench and felt like I couldn't move. I had to have help up to use the bathroom, and then had to sit down again. I didn't know how I was going to make it back down to the casino floor and over to our casino. Chuck had the desk call for a wheel chair and they had to wheel me back to our casino. I felt like such an idiot being rolled from one casino to the other, but I knew I wouldn't be able to make it on my own. My ability to breath became harder and harder, and having to pass by people smoking was not helping in any way. We got back to our room, and Chuck tucked me in bed with ice water and a cold cloth for my head. He headed out with his friend to walk through Tahoe to find a shop with cuff links since he forgot his for the ball...and was the guest of honor, so he needed to look good. I was really sad that I couldn't go because I had been really looking forward to exploring Tahoe, and looking around in the little shops. Chuck said he would get a wheel chair from the front desk and would wheel me around town, but I just felt like such a fool being in one. So I got all comfy in bed and called my mom to say hi. She told me that I needed to call my Dr. but I didn't think it would do any good since the last time I had a question and called him.....it took him 3 days to get back to me. And it being a Saturday....I figured he would never call back. But I decided to try. I left him a message for the Dr. on call....and actually received a call back in an hour. He told me I should go to the ER and have them check me out. Then he told me that if the released me that day.....that I needed to come back home where he could check me out. I knew that wasn't an option since we didn't drive up to Tahoe....and so it was not like we could jump in the car and drive back. Also the 3 hour car ride was taxing on me, and very uncomfortable. I thanked my Dr. and thought about what I should do. I decided to take a nap and sleep on it for a bit and see how I would feel. I was also worried about ruining the ball. Chuck was the man in charge of the ball this year. He was the one starting and stopping the ceremony, and narrating it. They had a 3 hour practice that day preparing for it, and I just couldn't ruin it for everyone. And not to mention our friend who we came up with was the guest of honor that night. I wanted to do what was best for Riley, but also best for the Ball and those hundreds of people who had come for it. Also I didn't want this to reflect poorly on Chuck if I went to the ER and he came with me and had to hand off his duties to someone else. Now I know no one would think badly of him, but it was cause problems and the person who would get handed his duties....would not be prepared......and the ball would not be as nice for everyone. I was stressing over this. So I decided to sleep on it. I ended up sleeping the day away. I had closed the black out curtains, made sure I had water, and took a nap. I woke a few times and had started to feel a little better. Then I woke up again and our room was full of cigarette smoke. It was soooo gross. I tried to endure it since I figured it was someone passing by....but alas it kept getting worse. So I called down to the front desk and they told me this was a non smoking floor. they sent up housekeeping and they said they couldn't smell it in the hall. Apparently my pregnant bloodhound nose was picking git all up. lol Housekeeping said they would come in and spray in the room, but I was hurting and laying in bed in my undies and didn't have the energy to get dressed to let them in. So Housekeeping overrode our air unit and turned on the AC which really helped filter out the smoke in the room. But at the same time it really hurt my breathing since it was around the high 30's outside, and then cold again in our room was restricting my breathing. So I climbed further under the covers and slept until it was so cold I felt like I might become a Popsicle.
Chuck came back in from his practice and we had about a half an hour to get ready for the ball. I had decided I was going to try my hardest to make it through the night so as not to ruin it for everyone. I got dressed, and felt pretty good. I loved the front of my gown, but felt that when I turned sideways I looked huge!!!! You know the marshmallow man from ghostbusters? Well I felt like the Stay Puft marshmallow man that was burnt black. lol I felt like a monster. But alas there was nothing I could do. ha ha ha
We headed upstairs to the 12th floor for cocktail hour. It was just a time for mingling with the active duty staff, and officers. I went up to the bar, and asked for an ice water. The bar tender asked me if If I wanted wine, and I said no thank you I don't drink and I don't think my baby would appreciate it. He said his wife's doctor said she could have a glass a day, and I again said no thank you just ice water! Some people find it so foreign that Chuck and I aren't interested in drinking and just can't understand it. We had a nice time chatting and I found out a Marine who has been causing a lot of problems and seems to like Chuck more than she should....would not be attending! I was so happy because i didn't want to have to put her in her place.
We headed downstairs and found our seats. Chuck prepared to start the ceremony and things began. This was one of the nicer balls that we have been to. Even though we aren't in the fleet right now and so we only have a few hundred people in attendance instead of a few thousand.....But it looked very nice. It seemed more intimate this year. More personal. We really like it. Our table settings were in Red and Gold, and looked very elegant. Our gift for this year was brandy glasses, and a little bag of M&m's that held our names for our seating. We sat at Table number 4 towards the front of the room. I had a pretty good view of Chuck while he started the ceremony and was narrating. I wasn't feeling great when the ceremony started, but Chuck and I had made an agreement that if I stood up to leave during the ceremony it wasn't an emergency......but if the girlfriend of a friend who was also sitting at our table was to get up with me....then that meant it was an emergency. I didn't want Chuck worrying about me if I just had to visit the little girls room.
The ceremony went very well, and the cake they used during the ceremony is by far the best one I have seen in our 11 years of being in the Corps. It looked like a fancy party cake, not a sheet cake. For those of you who don't know.....the cake is a very important part of the ceremony. It is cut with a saber (sword) and the first piece is give to the guest of Honor. The second piece is given to the oldest Marine in the unit, and the third to the youngest Marine in the Unit. Chuck did a great job, and I think he is a good public speaker even though I know he isn't a fan of doing it. I was able to tape most of it on my flip camera that my amazing Aunt Bobbi gave me, but I didn't get it all as it was very hard for me to be standing for so long, and trying to breath. By the end of the ceremony I was hurting pretty bad. I felt like it was a cross between passing out and hurling. I had tried to keep myself cool by drinking ice water, and it sort of helped...but wasn't enough. Luckily our server showed up right after the ceremony ended, and I asked her for a large glass of milk. I left the ball room to sit outside where it was a bit cooler and quieter. I visited the little girls room and cooled myself with the icy cold water. As I was sitting in the lobby area Chuck brought me my milk and that started to help me feel better. We got our pictures taken by the photographer that was there for the ball, and hopefully they turned out nice enough to use as Christmas cards.
Dinner was served, and it tasted very good. I started to feel a little better once I got more food in me since I really hadn't eaten a good meal since that morning when I had felt so awful. Chuck and I had fun visiting with everyone, and seeing some old friends we hadn't seen in a while. It was also really nice to see some of the other Marine Wives that I hardly get to see. I was really surprised at the dresses that some girls wore. It was very disappointing to see the lack of respect they had at the ball. You would think that when you go to a ball you see ball gowns, and evening gowns. But some of the girls there were dressed in dresses so short it left little to the imagination, and also some of them were so skanky looking. We have been to several balls before where girls are asked to leave because they are not dressed appropriately....but no one did that at this ball. I even saw a guy there in blue jeans who hadn't even shaved for the event! Aughhhh it was irritating. I guess I am old school, and I feel that you need to dress according to the event, and not reflect poorly on your Marine. But I guess some people don't understand.
As we were eating dinner, one of the Marines came up to our table was completely smashed. We usually end up being the baby sitters at the ball because we are usually the only ones who don't drink. And this year it was looking like it might be that way again. This guy was completely smashed. And even though it was extremely funny to watch someone of a higher rank act like such an idiot......all I kept thinking was well there goes our night! But luckily some of the other Marines figured out the whole leadership thing and escorted him to his room before he made a real fool of himself. There always seems to be one guy at each ball who is talked about forever. One year one of the Marines got os drunk he streaked across the casino floor. Another ball some guys somehow acquired a limo that wasn't their own. There always seems to be some major drama. Luckily the hotel had enough common sense that they locked up the pool area before the ball. I found that very good since at the Lathrop ball this year.....the sheriff was called during the ball, and he ended up getting thrown in the pool, and his gun ended up at the other end. Marines are funny, but when they do something.....they have the saying....go big or go home! ha ha ha As soon as dinner was over, and the dance music came on.....Chuck made the decision he didn't want to babysit this year. I was very surprised since that always to be what we end up doing. But I guess he figured since he is now a higher rank....he can let the other Marine leaders take care of things, and then report to him if they need his help. I can really live with this kind of change. ha ha ha
After we left we headed to the other casino to find a shot glass for our collection. We collect them from all over the world. They take up very little room, and are easy souvenirs to move. When we got to the casino floor we stopped dead in our tracks. The place was over packed. The UFC fight was going on....plus it was a Saturday night.....it was a little overwhelming. People were screaming and yelling at the fight, and it was crowded. We were a little worried if attempting to cross the casino floor to get to the other side was insane or not. We hurried as fast as we could......people were really checking Chuck out the whole way. He really looks handsome in his dress blues. We made it, bought the glass, and headed back. On the way back we had people start to follow us wanting to talk to Chuck. It was really nice to have so many people thanking him for his service and sacrifice.....and it was especially nice since the event of those women throwing their drink at him and the car and calling him a baby killer because he is in the military earlier that week.
I was exhausted and having a hard time breathing, so we headed back to the hotel room, and called it a night. We watched some T.V., played angry birds on our phones....lol and then turned in around midnight. We each slept a lot better that night, and even though Chuck woke me up early the next morning....I was feeling somewhat better. We checked out and headed downstairs and waited for the people we were carpooling with. As it turned out the guest of honor stayed out until 4 that morning playing.....and so he wasn't really ready to hurry and check out. We got out of town around 2 in the afternoon.
Our trip back was not good for me. I got Uber car sick from all the tight turns on the way out of the canyons. I unfortunately was not able to sit next to Chuck the entire trip home, and so it was a little uncomfortable. And I am very surprised to say....the back of the H2 is not comfy at all to ride in.
The next day after we got back I felt a lot better. It seems that the breathing problems were caused by the elevation. And the pain in my stomach,....was caused by my ligaments stretching. Ouch! Even though the trip didn't turn out like I had really wanted......we did have a little bit of fun here and there, and it was so nice to be able to come home, relax, and sleep in our own beds. ha ha ha ha
Well that is all for now. Thanks for listening to my long winded ramblings. lol