Labors of love… they can range from raising our children, caring for our family and friends, or just doing something time consuming or difficult for the benefit of others.
Aside from my children and teaching, my biggest and most time consuming labor of love has been on behalf of my N*avy family. Soon after my oldest began his USNA journey beginning with his appointment, I began journaling and praying to prepare for the road ahead. I had heard what the road was like for my Dad (USNA ’59) and knew that it would be far from easy.
As we began to meet fellow Navy parents, we met some of the most giving people we know who came alongside, invested in us, and gave us and our oldest advice in preparation for the journey. Each one of them was so good at mentoring, pouring vital information into us, and getting us involved, that we felt prepared even before Plebe Summer had begun.
Our mentors were so effective that we also found ourselves mentoring fellow Plebe parents. That continued throughout our Plebe year into the rest of our journey to this day. As we completed Plebe Year, I shared notes from my journal with fellow parents and continued to journal through the end of our first Mid’s journey at USNA.
I began to meet parents before I-Day to help prepare them and answer last minute questions in addition to what we did with our parents club. Finally, on I-Day Minus One 2018, I met with a small group of parents at my favorite spot on Maryland Avenue – Old Fox Books. We sat around a table and they asked questions as I tried to calm nerves and set expectations. Before long a parent from our South Florida club (let’s call him Charles) asked me where my book was – he thought he was attending a Q & A and a book singing as well. I was stumped. On the spot, he made made me promise that I would write it all down in a book. That brief meeting left me reeling and sent me on a path to complete writing about the four-year journey and beyond.
It took me almost a year to revise what I already had and to complete the remainder of the four year journey By the Bay. My fellow educator, Navy Mom, and good friend, Raquel, who painstakingly edited the text, removing commas right and left. Who knew that I liked to use so many commas? I had other friends willing to put in time to review the final manuscript. Among them are Annette, Candace, and Michelle, who read through the entire manuscript and offered additional feedback and information that integrated their journeys as well. All of this was synthesized and compiled into my book, A USNA Mom’s Journal.
I wanted to maintain control of my manuscript because of the constant changes that occur at the Academy as we have seen this year, so my next step was to research and find a reasonable and dependable printer. Finally, I designed the cover. After the first printing, I collected USNA parent testimonies and my “labor of love” has been available in print since March 2019.
As parents began expressing interest in an eBook format, that became my project for this year. I am happy to announce that A USNA Mom’s Journal is now available in Apple Books and Kindle!! Whether you like to hold and read an actual book or want to read on the go, now you can! To pre-order A USNA Mom’s Journal in the eBook or Apple Books format, please click on the icons below. The hard copy is available here. An Audible version is coming soon for those of you that like to listen to books while driving and doing other activities.
The labor of love continues. Each year I update the volume to include the most current information possible. This year I have to apologize – the book went to the printer three days prior to the announcement about changes in training for 3/Cs and 2/Cs, so I include that update in the letter that accompanies each book. #LivingSemperGumby!
As always, my mission is to help my fellow N*avy parents, so if you have a request or a question, please feel free to reach out any time. Thank you for your continued support and GO NAVY!!