Olmsted Orientation/Scholar Weekend

We went on our much anticipated trip to the DC. We left on a Wednesday morning bright eyed and bushy tailed to DC. It’s a 10-hour drive from our house by Ft. Knox, KY to Washington, DC. We stopped after 5 hours in West Virginia and crammed Jay, my mom, Caleb, Isaac, our two week old Lucas, and myself into one room. We woke up less bright eyed and drove the last 5 hours the next day.

LOL! - delirious in our room in DC

The first night was an ice breaker; I immediately felt the family vibe right off the bat. We got to meet with the other scholars in the class and talk with the Board of Directors and their wives. We got connected with the couple that will be closest to us in Ho Chi Minh City – an Air Force couple that will be living in China. It was nice to find comfort in a couple that will be going through the same “trials and tribulations” that’s relatively close (relatively meaning, a 4-hour flight away LOL). We already started talking about trips we could all take together and with the kids.

The next day was jam packed full of briefs, meetings, information, and question and answer opportunities. I brought Lucas with me in the ring sling – he was so good, he just napped the whole time. We spent the entire morning and a good portion of the afternoon getting fed information. It was very overwhelming and super helpful. It got me excited to just get up and uproot the family to Vietnam already. (Jay said it was too late. Darn.)

briefs on briefs on briefs.

The evening was a dinner reception with the past Olmsted Scholars. The Continental Color Guard presented the colors (the American Flag) and played the Star Spangled Banner with flutes, and we all said the Pledge of Allegiance. The President and CEO recognized some distinguished guests and family members. Among them were the parents of a service member who was an Olmsted Scholar who never got to complete his assignment, get his degree, or experience what the Olmsted had to offer. He never got to complete his assignment because he was killed in action serving with the SEAL team that was tasked with the infamous special ops mission called Operation Redwing. If you’re not familiar with Operation Redwing (I wasn’t), google it, or watch Lone Survivor starring Mark Wahlberg (watch with tissues nearby).

image via army.mil

not the same guard in attendance at the Anderson House, but this is what they looked like

Attending this Reunion/Welcome Weekend was AWESOME to say the least. We got paired with a couple (our sponsors) who were scholars a few years ago. They basically took us under their wing and explained and answered any questions we had. I’m so grateful that we got this opportunity to be a part of this program. I’m incredibly proud of Jay that he got selected for this. But watching the presentation of the colors from Old Guard, having the function at a historic landmark, being surrounded by all the servicemen and servicewomen, listening to stories of their travels while on the Olmsted Scholarship, and listening to their stories while serving made me me sort of emotional. I don’t know if it’s my post partum hormones but I was overwhelmed with so many feelings: excited to travel, in awe of the stories, humbled, proud, grateful – you name it. I felt it.

we clean up pretty good!

Jay: Suit from Brooks Brothers, Tie and Pocket Square from The Tie Bar, Lapel Pin from The Suited Man

Me: Badgley Mischka Gown from Rent The Runway. Lip Color: "Outlaw" by Kat Von D

This weekend was the like the first day of the rest of our lives. We’re super excited to be moving, super excited to be moving to DC first, and have already began writing out our bucket lists for things to do in DC, Vietnam, and Asia. If you have any suggestions of what we should do, let me know and we’ll add it to the list!

#OlmstedExperience #OlmstedScholarFoundation #OlmstedScholarProgram #OlmstedExperienceMilitarySpouse #OlmstedScholarHoChiMinhCityVietnam