A couple months ago TJ came home from drill telling me that his unit wanted to do a Dining Out. I thought that was cool, though I was unclear on what exactly it was. I knew it was a gathering for the soldiers and their wives. I thought it was when you go to a restaurant and it was dressy casual. TJ told me it was to be on May 17, which was just 10 days from my due date. TJ said his sergeants told him they could get him excused from going (it was a mandatory event). I told him that unless I was in labor or just had the baby (from which he would be excused anyway!) there was no reason he could not attend and that I was even willing to go. So he signed us up. About a month ago he called from drill to ask what I wanted for dinner..steak, chicken or vegetarian? I asked where it was since there was a fixed menu and he said the Hilton. That was my first clue that it was a little more formal than I originally thought. Another clue was that he had to wear his dress blues.
I still did not grasp just how formal it was, but I made an appointment to get my hair done fancy and did the best I could with a maternity skirt and fancy shirt. I was going to wear my normal black flip flops (because my feet have been swollen and shoes are not very comfortable at this point), but at the last minute I decided on my new flip flops which had silver straps. Thank goodness!! I also did full on makeup.
driving there and talking with TJ about what was planned I began to realize that this was definitely more like a ball. And I would say that it was EXCEPT the program said Dining Out. I am really not sure what the difference was as there was dancing afterwards.
Here are some pictures. The hair really made the whole formal look for me.
I had a really good time even though it dragged on a bit lol. TJ had an important role in lighting the candle on the fallen soldier table then blowing it out after TAPS. He also advised on the color guard (how they should coordinate their movements and such) as he has a lot of experience participating in those. He would have been a part of it, but there was concern we would have to leave early (you know, me being 9 1/2 months pregnant and all).
The food was excellent. It was seriously the best food I have ever had at a hotel catered event. I had a steak and it was thick and juicy, and the best creamiest mashed potatoes ever. Really good dessert, too. They also had sparkling grape juice at each table for the toasts!!
I was seated next to one of TJ's sergeants and he was so nice. he told me to call him by his first name and he was just so friendly and funny. His wife was really nice, too. I absolutely love this unit my husband is in and the leadership. they are all nice and laid back. We were so not used to that. Very different from what we experienced at Fort Riley.
So, I made it to the end and even wanted to stay for the dancing afterwards, BUT TJ was tired and had a headache!! A couple of his fellow soldiers were disappointed my water did not break and that I did not go into labor during the event lol.
They want to do this again next year and I look forward to actually getting to wear a formal dress at that time lol.