Wednesday, November 9, 2011

JSC: Re-Cap

The Joint Spouses Conference took place at Hickam AFB this year. It was my first conference like this and I plan to continue going until we PCS from here.

I don't have as many beautiful pictures to share with you as Annie did... partly because my first two work-shops were Stand Up Paddle Boarding and I didn't really envision my Canon Rebel enjoying the hot interior of my car very well for 2.5hrs. However, I took my little Olympus Waterproof and Annie let me borrow our group photo!

Finally meeting Jennifer & Annie!

I arrived pretty early in order to register and find a seat for breakfast. I ran into a couple of ladies from the LINKS and MCFTB classes I had taken at our base, they were excited to see me there. The breakfast buffet was huge and almost overwhelming, it took me forever to decide what I wanted to eat! After breakfast we sat down in the conference room for the opening ceremony. I will say that having a room full of military spouses stand with their hands over their hearts for the National Anthem is quite a sight to see. No hemming or hawing or wishing the singer would hurry up and not draw out his notes. Just quiet reverence, smiles, and even a few tears.

After the opening ceremony was done we headed out for workshops #1 & #2, like I said above, mine took place in the water! I had actually SUP'd the weekend before with my dad. I learned on an 11' board so I made sure I tried a smaller one this time around (10'6") I loved it, it was much more maneuverable for me. I want one so bad... *hint-hint "santa"*

After SUPing we changed and headed to lunch. Lunch wasn't really impressive, some sort of cold beef salad... however, desert was pretty good.

I felt kind of bad though because it was a scone and all of our spoons were clanking while the guest speaker was doing her thing. I think Kimberly Dozier is a good speaker (she is a journalist, so she knows how to address a crowd) but I'm not sure her story was completely applicable to all of us. Myself personally... yes, we have friends in the Wounded Warrior Barracks. Hearing her describe her brush with death then recovery and healing was insightful. It was also a bit terrifying, we know that our husbands' go to war, but sometimes we don't need to know all of the gruesome details until he comes home and feels the need to tell us (if ever). That being said I did purchase her book and wait in line for her to autograph it. While that was cool, I really just waited in line to talk to her. I asked her why she wanted to speak to a group of military spouses. She said that there is no other group of women out there that would be able to sympathize or learn from her story. I guess I get that.

After lunch I had three work-shops that were just "fillers" because I didn't register early enough to get the classes that I really wanted. I had "Your ideal life," "How does your garden grow?," and "Bento box Hawaiian quilting." None of them were amazing, but I did learn some useful tips for growing a veggie/herb garden on my lanai (patio) and I did actually start a Hawaiian quilt square, but I confess it's sitting in it's little bento box 2.5wks later with no further progress.

Next year my plan is to register as soon as it opens, even if I have to wake up super early! I didn't win any of the drawings or the silent auction items, but I had a nice day overall. The wine and pupus (appetizers) at the end of the day were really good accompanied with enjoyable conversation with  Annie & Jennifer. If you're in Hawaii, I hope to see you there next year!

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