C A L I F O R N I A : born and bred

Dan likes to say that life recently has been coming “hard and fast”. I say it’s a rollercoaster. Moving from one plan to another, spinning 180 degrees with each shift, we both agree that it is a bittersweet combo of exciting, frightening, challenging, and yes, rewarding. A week away from our first anniversary, I couldn’t imagine sharing my life with anyone other than this incredibly driven and loving man.

We’re nearing the end of Dan’s training at The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia and Dan has been assigned his “MOS” (essentially his “job” in the Marine Corps), which will be as a Signals Intelligence Officer. Shortly after learning the exciting news, Dan learned of his orders: those illusive mandates which I understand we will become increasingly familiar. Dan is to “detach” from his command here in Quantico mid-September, and report to sunny Camp Pendleton, California mid-October. Heading “home” to Southern California was our first choice for duty station, and the thought of likely staying there for about three years sounds golden. Of course, in that time Dan will have training, and deployments, but it gives us a new place to call home and raise our little family.

Still, there remained one precious, adorable little hiccup: Wally’s due date of October 15. In the past week we have considered options to deliver Walter at four different hospitals, in four different states, and four different Fetal Heart Programs (who will ultimately perform Walter’s surgery). We’ve considered requesting to stay in Quantico longer, or have me stay with Wally in Virginia, and Dan report to Pendleton. We’ve weighed the options of traveling cross country with two week old newborn; whether to fly or to drive; store, ship, or drive our car; all while trying to limit our time apart and make the best medical decision for Walter. (Oh, and don’t forget managing our little kitty, Sophia, as well).   If there is some complex mathematical permutation to calculate the number of options we considered, I haven’t yet figured it out.

Ultimately we arrived at one conclusion, which allows us the “smoothest” transition, most consistent care, and puts us in the best position to handle any complications Wally may have after birth or down the road: MOVE NOW. In about two weeks, I’ll be headed out to Southern California just shy of 36 weeks pregnant. A week later, Dan will follow – making the cross country drive – and reminding Walter that he’s simply not allowed to make an early arrival before Dad can step foot on California soil. In the meantime, I am busy coordinating our move and transferring my care to an OB, Perinatologist, and Fetal Heart Program, in SoCal. We’ve secured a house on base in Camp Pendleton; but to facilitate the moving process in the interim, we’ll be spending some time with my parents nearing Wally’s arrival. Many moving parts now, means a settled and consistent environment for Walter later.

In many ways, life seems to have come full circle. Dan and I were both born in California, and Walter will begin his own little life at the same hospital where my parents met, and I was born (Huntington Memorial, Pasadena). We’ve enjoyed Quantico, and it pains us in many ways to leave what we have here. We’ll have to say goodbye to Dan’s sister and her husband (along with the chance to see our niece/nephew as a newborn), and pack up our happy apartment which we’ve made home. Wally will never know his first nursery – but I am determined to recreate it in our new house. Still we’re eager to begin our next adventure, in a new home, in a familiar place, and especially near Walter’s “Granny and Grandpa”!

Sophia saying good-bye east coast, hello BEST coast!
Sophia saying good-bye east coast, hello BEST coast!

photo 3 IMG_0734 photo 4 beautiful quilt from family friend, Eleanor!IMG_0738 

IMG_0587Our Room

IMG_0564 IMG_0578 IMG_0678 IMG_0595 IMG_0590 IMG_0584 IMG_0616 IMG_0613

Celebrating Dan's MOS
Celebrating Dan’s MOS

9 thoughts on “C A L I F O R N I A : born and bred

  1. It has been one crazy week. I can’t wait to have you here, then Dan, and then Wally. Modern medicine is so marvelous. We are so fortunate and Blessed to have great hospitals and doctors here too….and so many choose from. Your home down in Camp Pendleton will soon be all ready for you (you will make your new home just as lovely and homey as before). You have done such a great job organizing everything to do with your move. We are so proud of you and Dan (he has worked so hard at Quantico and has earned his MOS and Station).
    God is truly guiding us…praying for him to also guide the doctors.
    We love you!


  2. I have been reading your blog with concern, hope, best wishes, and lots of love. Huntington is such an outstanding hospital. Wally and you will get the best care. We drove through Camp Pendleton via 5. What a beautiful base it has become. I remember it well in the Vietnam years. What a difference! There is also no place better to stay than at your parents while you wait for Wally’s birth. You will be surrounded by love while Dan joins you. Your mom is still my hero – saving my life.
    I would love to get together when you are settled.


    • Thank you so much for the encouragement and good thoughts. I would love to find time to meet up with you and catch up 🙂

      CHLA has a fantastic program. Right now our doctors have some working relationship’s with UCLA’s Children’s, so we’re likely headed there….at least for now!


  3. Frances, we are still praying for you, Dan and Wally, and selfishly, we are glad you are coming “home”. I am sure it is hard to leave all the Drs you had so carefully selected, but it will also be nice to be so close to your Mom and Dad–and maybe this way, we can have a peek at Wally too! 🙂 Prayers and blessings,


  4. Hi Frances,
    I enjoy reading all of your updates. The photos are great and I love what you did the the baby’s nursery. I guess you will have to recreate that in your new place. Hanna, El and I want to visit with you while you are staying with your mom and dad. Keep the updates coming and good luck with your move out to California. 🙂



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