Once a year I have the privilege to attend the United States Marine Corps Birthday Ball. It is always an honor to be able to attend such a special night and to show my support and love for what my husband does for our country.
I have been to many of these Marine Corps Birthday Balls but this particular one was different. My husband was the one in charge of our ball this year which gave him special access. We decided to check in a day early because my husband needed to be up early the next day to prep and make sure everything goes right.
Everyone has mixed feelings about attending the military ball. In my opinion, there are pros and cons about going to the ball.
The pros are:
1.) I get to dress up like Cinderella for a night. I get to put on a fancy ball gown and get all dolled up like I am going to prom all over again.
2.) We get to have another excuse to have a night of fun.
3.) I get to mix and mingle with other military families and service members and meet all my husbands friends.
4) My husband and I always make it a weekend getaway and stay an extra night or two.
5.) I get to honor those who serve and those we have lost in battle.
1.) We have to spend extra money!!! I need to buy another ball gown that I will only have on for 2 hours and it will get stuck in my closet with the rest of my gowns until I can find someone to sell it to, and then spend more money on the hotel room.
2.) Once you have been to one, two, three, four…. or more (like I have)…. it seems all the same after awhile.
3.) During the ceremony, you constantly have to sit and stand, sit and stand then sit and stand again. (which is not fun when you are in a ball gown).
My husband’s military ball was held at the Pechanga Hotel and Casino in Temecula, California. When we got to the hotel, I waited in the lobby like I always do, while he went to check in. The bellman was nice and told me that he will be escorting us to our room. I followed him as he lead the way to our room. He stopped in front of a door that said hotel suite and looked at my husband as said, “well here we are.” I told the bellman, “Sir, I think you made a mistake because we do not usually stay in the suites, we usually get a normal room.” He started smiling, gave me the room key and had me open the door first.
As I walked into the suite… There was a beautiful bouquet of pink roses dazzled up in sparkles on the dining table and next to it was chocolate covered strawberries. I was so surprised. I turned around to see the bellman and my husband smiling from ear to ear. I told the bellman, “Did you know?” He says, “Yes ma’am, your husband planned it all before you arrived.” He unloaded our bags, said good night and left. When I looked on the floor, I saw rose pedals throughout the room so I followed it through the living room and into the master bedroom…
Another surprise waiting for me… The rose pedals were placed on the bed and lined up to make a big heart and there sat two swans inside of the heart which were made with bath towels (so cool). Of course, that is when I started crying tears of happiness and joy. I asked him, “What did I do to deserve all of this because this weekend is to celebrate you, as a Marine, as My Marine.” His answer was, “This is my way of saying thank you for supporting my career after all of these years and for putting up with my busy schedule with the planning of this years ball.” My heart melted.
After the surprises, I was not expecting anything else because this was priceless. Needless to say… we had ourselves a great night.
Now we move on to the next day, the day of the ball. I relaxed in the hotel suite while he did his duties downstairs. Around 4 p.m. we both started getting ready for the ball. We hurried downstairs to beat the line for picture taking. Every year, I like to use our military ball pictures as our Christmas cards because it saves time and money. We try not to miss taking pictures because I love capturing moments like this that don’t happen everyday and moments that not everyone get to experience.
The ball started on time, of course, as it should. The ceremony usually lasts about an hour and that is where the standing up and sitting back down and standing up and sitting back down starts haha. We usually only stay for the ceremony and then we get up and leave but for some reason, not on this night……
It was time for the DJ to turn it up so everyone could have fun. This is usually my cue that it is time to leave. The DJ announces to the 500 people who attended, “May I please have everyone’s attention for a moment. Let’s give our 1st Sergeant, the man who made this night possible, time to have this dance with his beautiful wife”.
I was busy day dreaming not paying much attention until I heard the beginning part of our wedding song play over the speaker. I looked over at my husband and said, “Oh my gosh baby, you hear that, they are actually playing our song.” My husband stood up, turns and looks at me and says “May I please dance with my beautiful wife?” I was so caught off guard and so surprised that it didn’t hit me until after that the DJ was talking about us. My husband actually took the time to make this night not only special for the Marines, but a special one just for us.
As the DJ played our wedding song, he escorted me to the ballroom dance floor and yes of course, I was in tears! We danced by ourselves as 500 guests sat and watched. My husband held me close, kissed my forehead and then whispered in my ear, “Baby, this is all for you. Everything I do is for you.” During the middle of the song, all the other lovely couples came to join us. This by far was the best ball I have ever been to. 😊 It was priceless!
After slow dancing to the whole song, my husband gave the DJ a thumbs up and he turned our sophisticated evening into a night club so everyone could get up and dance, unwind and let loose. It has been years since we danced so we both decided to stay and boogie down. (We may be older now, but me and my babe still can get down haha).
Years ago on our wedding day, he made me feel like a queen, and at this military ball, he made me feel like the 1st Lady of United States Marine Corps! It was definitely a night to remember.
I want to thank my love for an unforgettable night, You have always made me feel extra special. Your thoughtfulness is one of the many things that I love about you. You are and always will be my forever love.
Last but not least, thank you to all of the Marines and family members for giving us our moment! Thank you for being a part of this night.