The Retired Marine smiles...


I love this photo. It's a rare glimpse of Papa Bears genuine smile. After Christmas one of my husbands retired friends was visiting with us. My husband said to him, "Man you never stop smiling. When I retire I want to be like you!"

Now my husband has retired from the Marine Corps after 24 years. This picture was taken during the ceremony on Friday while the retiring officer was speaking.  I have never been to a retirement ceremony before so I did not know what to expect. One of the most honorable moments of the ceremony was when the retiring officer spoke of my husband. He took the time to memorize his entire career and tell a story; not read from a piece of paper. 

I saw that smile again on Friday night when I presented Papa Bear with his gift. Here is a snapshot from the lock screen of his new iPad.


As I made my speech I briefly talked about how when I met him, he was an amateur photographer who didn't know Minolta from Nikon. Over his USMC career he crafted his photography into a business. Many years I wondered when the business was going to start making money. Now he is well known and respected for his photography and professionalism. He is a sports photographer and an event photographer. He shoots the majority of Youth sports teams on Camp Lejeune and surrounding areas. He is booking leagues out in town, shooting tournaments and he contracts special events such as the Marine Corps Balls. I am very proud of what he has accomplished with his hobby turned hustle - now new career. 

Here's the thing...that's what I meant to say. When I got up to stand amongst our friends and family, unlike his retiring officer, my mind went blank.

Recently I regretted showing my husband that the app he was using on his iPhone to swipe credit cards at events was also an iPad app. The iPad made the app easier to see and use. So for every event and most recently smaller teams shoots, the iPad was with him. Christopher only gets to use the iPad on the weekends and now it was rarely here. So as I presented him with his new iPad for business, I said, "Now Christopher gets to have MY iPad back." 


I got the biggest smile when I remembered the most important thing I wanted so say.

I wanted him to know that I was able to pay for his iPad with money I had earned through sales from The Christopher Chronicles.

So thank you to everyone who made this possible. My biggest thanks goes to my daddy, the photographer for the weekend, and my BIGGEST supporter.

My daddy has sold the most copies of The Christopher Chronicles. If you knew him as he is reading this post, he is probably smiling as well while saying, "Here's the thing, when am I going to get paid?"