Funny self-portrait (it's on FB too, sorry for the repeat) I texted it to my friend who was giving me hair help. I had started with this big awesome poof...she rightly reminded me that I'm really old and everyone else at the ball would see that and immediately think "Snooki." Haha, this was better.
And, fortunately, I got one picture where the dress is in its intended position. The rest of the night, it was about four inches (really) lower and the ladies look like they're trying to make a break for it. I've edited out the most egregious evidence in the other photos. =) You're welcome - it's NOT cute.
There was a nanny agency on hand to care for out little sprouts. Two things. 1) It does tend to take a tiny bit of the glamour out of the ball when you're walking in with three kids and 2) See how Bree and Carly are far apart and going different directions? This is how it ALWAYS is - so crazy. If they'd just go in the same direction, I swear I'd have fewer gray hairs. =) Judging by the stressed expression on Paul's face, I'm not the only one who feels that way!
You can see here things are starting to head south (literally and figuratively) in the dress department, haha. With Onyde and Trish...two ladies from our battery. We were SO lucky with Paul's staff in this battery. Just a great group of people. Do you see the poinsettia in the centerpiece??? Carly did that! She helped out prepping for the ball in the afternoon (pic at the bottom).
Speaking of just truly great people, here are the guys who served as battery commanders with Paul. They've all moved on to other things now since they got home in August, but it was such a pleasure for Paul to serve with them and for me to be with their lovely spouses. Just SO fortunate to have had this experience with these people.
From the left, Brian O'Day, Rich Neikirk, Paul, Tony Della Costa.
And the ladies!!! The picture on the left is from last year's ball (Katie was there!) and then this year's ball.
In the right-hand picture, we are, from the left:
Viann Neikirk, Steph Della Costa, me, Kelli O'Day.
Well, apparently things got really fun at the ball not too long after that picture was taken, but we weren't there to find out. Paul was nervous about Katie and the kids after what happened in Connecticut on Friday, so he really wanted to pick them up. We were back in our rad villa by 10:30 and he and Bree were snoring ten minutes later.
This video is of my favorite part of the ball ceremony. I was crying through the whole thing. The next part of the ceremony is the traditional passing of the first piece of cake from the oldest Marine present (the battalion Sergeant Major at 44) to the youngest (a Private First Class who was born in August of 1993.) (Did you read that??? '93. Barf.)
My little patriot taking a break from helping decorate the tables to watch the ball ceremony practice. I'm going to say it now for the record: I will not be surprised if this little girl ends up marrying a Marine.
Our photo. Judiciously cropped. =)
The guy before us is one of the funnier people I've met in my life and he was doing some kind of Karate Kid pose right before we stepped up and he kept doing it behind the photographer. It was so funny! Paul, obviously, was not quite as amused. =)