Thursday, October 17, 2013

It's already October!?!

Where in the world has time gone? This summer has been so busy with the house that it has truly flown by. So much updating to do, where to begin?

Well, I left off with the Great Basement Flood of 2013, so I'll start there. The basement is back together and better than ever. We ended up having to replace the padding but the carpet was good to go! We got everything moved back into the house and put back together again. Nothing like getting our money's worth out of our Homeowners insurance right away!!

We've even gotten the office painted and we're most the way done painting the guest room. We have a friend moving in with us next month for a couple months so it needed to be finished. Last week we called in a plumber to get an estimate on getting the basement bathroom finished. Yeah, so I though the plumbing was roughed in completely and we literally just had to 'finish' the bathroom. I was wrong. The drainage is there, but the plumbing into the bathroom is not. Our budget for this project just doubled!! Ouch. Needless to say that won't be happening this year! 

Keirnan started Pre-k this school year and is loving it. He goes on post for 3 hours every day during the week. I've had a hard time figuring out what to do with the younger boys and myself since it's not worth it in time or gas to drive home while Keirnan's at school. 

We also started Awana on Wednesday nights at church. We all love it. Keirnan is a cubbie and has a new verse to learn each week. James is a puggle and learns  something new each week also, thus far it's been "God made the..." They do a craft with it. The boys' space themed room now has the added decor of a rainbow, sun, and moon!

This last week Keirnan started his first real 'sport,' karate! He's doing ATA twice a week and so far loves it. Tonight is his first night since getting his uniform. There will be pictures!

We also finally got an allergy test done for Owen and found he's allergic to bananas and eggs. Since I am still nursing this means we are both having to stay away from all things containing these foods. I didn't realize how much I love eggs until I can't have them. Ok, not true- I've always known I love eggs!! And Owen loves bananas. I have been busy finding alternate recipes for foods that are 'Owen friendly.' This has been particularly hard as the number one replacement for eggs in cooking is... you guessed it- bananas! So, I found a lovely blog with the recipe for pancakes using the mix we already have but substituting the eggs with applesauce. Will made them a few days ago and they were lovely. This was a happy experiment as I didn't want to waste the mix we had or spend the extra time in the kitchen making 2 batches of everything. Its an experience for sure figuring all this out!

Speaking of Owen, he is now 10 months old and wearing 18 month clothes. The kid is huge! He doesn't even have cute little baby rolls. He's just as tall as he is wide, so he just looks older than he really is. He has started pulling up to standing this week and I even found him up a step this afternoon. Way to go Daddy for teaching him that!

Not to leave James out, my little force of nature is going to be turning 3 next month and is having a cowboy birthday party at a local farm. We're going all out this year since last year was a bit of a bust since I was about to pop with Owen! He is currently obsessed with all things cowboy and loves John Wayne. I have watched at least one John Wayne film everyday this month I think. Can you guess what he's going to be for Halloween!?!

So, that leaves Will and I. We are doing good. We've been working on cutting down our spending this month, which was proving hard until Owen and I got our No-egg orders. Now, with all the yummy goodness BK offers each morning out of the picture, its becoming easier!

Will did the Tough Mudder in Topeka last month and I'm so proud of him. He did great and the boys still talk about it and how they can't wait to do it too. Will has told me I'll be doing it with him in May after volun-telling him to do it this time. I am also apparently doing the Dirty Girl race in June and the Disney Wine and Dine next November. Its going to be a busy year for me so I am starting training now. I know I'll need all the help I can get!

So, that's about it. As I always say, I'm going to try getting on here more often, but we'll see how that goes. I at least downloaded the Blogger app on my phone so maybe I'll get to it for real!

Friday, August 9, 2013

We bought a house... And a swimming pool!?

After hearing that Will would not be leaving Ft. Riley anytime in the near future we decided to start looking at buying a house in the local community that we'd come to fall in love with, Chapman. It's a true one stoplight town and has a pretty good school system, so we started looking. We set our budget, and decided that if it was meant to be, it would happen.

 Well, we found a couple places we liked and one we loved. Unfortunately, the one we loved was about $10k over the budget we'd set for ourselves. The morning after looking at the places we liked I jumped online and found the place we loved had dropped in price by a lot! It was now not only in our budget, but was the cheapest! We put in our offer.

Don't worry, we asked the same question you're asking- what's wrong with the house!? It was a short sale going into foreclosure! We decided to go ahead anyway. We had awesome realtors and really, how hard can it be, we sold our house in WA as a short sale (thank you economy and army!) and the process wasn't that bad. 

Skipping all the boring details, dealing with a selling bank wasn't too bad, even if it was Chase. I think our expecting the worst out of them helped! Lol the troubles all came from the VA and our bank. I'll skip all the messy details, if you're on my Facebook you already know them anyway! I learned a lot from this, we will never again use a large bank for our mortgage. More often than not, you can get a better rate and more personal attention from a small local bank. Proof is when USAA got really bad at one point, we went to the local bank and their mortgage processor sat down with me, went through everything we'd done so far, and than told me to stay with our bank at that point! She didn't have to do any of that, but she did and it thought me a valuable lesson. 

So, after 2 months and a LOT of hassle, we finally got our house at the end of June! As I mentioned, we asked what was wrong with it for such a price drop. Well... The previous owner was a moron is the biggest issue we've had. Lol Literally, at least once a week I find myself asking what was that man thinking!?! 

So, we've gotten all settled and just as I'm thinking we're ready to start tackling the first big project, finishing the downstairs basement, the rains start and the power goes out. Just that quickly we realize we need to hold off just a bit more and get a backup on the sump pump. Ok, no problem. That will be a quick fix next weekend. Only problem is very early Friday morning the power goes out while we're in the middle of a bad storm! (Flash flood warning in effect for our area!) yeah, if you know anything about sump pumps, you know where this is going. Yeah... 200 Gallons of water later and we no longer have a basement, it's an indoor splash pad!!

Owen's finally sleeping through the nights  most nights. Thankfully, that night he woke up and Will was just coming back to bed when the power went out. We watched the sump well overflow in a matter of minutes. The pit was working properly it seemed and the overflow was going down a drain into the sewer system. Yes, we're going to be ok. 

Nope,  it was too much and the pipes out of our house couldn't keep up I guess. Backed up and water came out everywhere! It wasn't pretty, but at least we were awake at 3am and were able to start moving everything into the garage. We saved everything!!! Ok, a couple boxes of books got damp but no personal property is being filed on our claim! 

It's been a week since the great basement flood. We've found an amazing carpet guy, and gotten the carpets dried out. As it stands now, we managed to save all of the carpet and maybe even a good bit of the padding. BTW, we put the carpet and padding in when we bought the house! Barely a month old! Will also got the battery backup on the sump pump so we don't have to worry about the power going out again. And we have someone coming to finish the carpet Monday. Yay, we can get back to living elsewhere than in my bedroom! I've also got a guy coming to fix the drainage for good as soon as the rain dries out enough for him!!

So, this has been trying experience after trying experience, but I've learned so much and we truly love our new house! 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Allergy induced Eczema solved!

We think we have finally figured out Owen's eczema and what's causing his flare ups- his stuffed animals!

Even after seeing the dermatologist a couple months ago, Owen was still having really bad flare ups if his eczema. I felt horrible because we were doing everything the doctor told us to do, and that's a pretty big list!
   - he's to only wear cotton
   - keep him inside on high pollen days
   - don't use detergents, soaps, or lotions with dyes or fragrances.
   - don't use dryer sheets of any kind
   - only use cetaphil to wash him with and don't use a wash cloth
   - apply eucerine 4+ times a day
   - use a mild steroid when he starts to get red and on his face
   - use a slightly more potent steroid on his body for bad flare ups
   - lukewarm baths every night and pat dry (as opposed to rubbing him with the towel!)
   - and Zyrtec every night

Oh, let me mention that the detergents one is for our entire house, not just Owen!!

As you can imagine, this has taken a lot of work the past couple months, but whatever it takes! The worst was knowing it was allergy induced but not being able to figure out what the allergy was to! (I prayed it wasn't the dogs as getting rid of them would have torn the other boys apart!)

Almost immediately I figured out that just the couple hours in the church nursery at nap time would set him off, but I attributed it to the detergent used. We also figured out a couple other things as we practiced this new 'way of life.'

But, we still couldn't figure out what the trigger was- until last week! My amazing husband finally figured out the clue that gave it away. Owen was only breaking out/ getting his rash on the visible parts of his body. That takes out food allergies, the dogs, and his washing and laundry. 

With such a reduced list, it became easy to run through those things that he does not wear, but comes into contact, with on  a regular basis!

Will then had a second break through, it's worse after he's been playing with his black Build-A-Bear teddy that we made him. After looking at what teddy is made of, we decided to take away all items that are not cotton or organically produced. 

We'll, you know where this is going- it worked! Owen has been mostly polyester free for a week now and he looks amazing!! (He still has one cheek that's bad, but that's the one he wipes/ scratches when he's tired and/or upset and hasn't given it time to heal!) 

In figuring this all out we've had to weed out every plush toy we have, all his blankets except recieving blankets, and a lot of his clothes. (Especially his pjs!) Polyester is in a LOT of stuff!! So now, we've got to find a new lovey and blankets that are 100% cotton and don't cost an arm and a leg!

Not only is all that not cotton, but carpets aren't cotton, and neither is Owen's carseat!! I know that once we get unpacked I'll be making an overly large blanket/rug to go on the floor wherever we go and contacting his carseat company to see if they make, or can make, a slipcover type piece for his carseat padding that doesn't make his entire carseat 'unsafe' and void the warranty! Wish us luck on this new journey, I think we're really going to need it!

During a recent flare up.

 And yesterday, almost a week without polyester!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

TurboFire, Part 2

Like everything else, I forgot to post my after pictures and thoughts. We'll, here they are!

TurboFire was amazing! I hated Chaleane and I don't love it as much as I do Rockin' Body and SeanT. But it was fun most the time and I accomplished my goals!

I ended up getting a scale finally, though I've chosen to hide it in the closet from both myself and the boys. This way I'm not inclined to step on every single day and become obsessed with my weight! It works for me and I only got on once a week. 

Well, as I said I accomplished my goal to get back to pre pregnancy weight and am back in my before Owen clothes! Now my only problem is I can't wear most of them because I'm nursing him and they aren't easily accessible! Lol

Well, I am getting ready to start my second round of TurboFire on the 24th and my goal this time is to tone up all the jiggly spots. (Tummy, love handles, underarms, and thighs.) 

Oh and my other goal was to start running again and do a few 5ks. Well, I did them! Lol. I did a 5k mud run that kicked my butt but was awesome, then a  2 mile Superhero run and a 2 mile Run for the Fallen. All three were in a one week period and it took awhile to recover. 

Now I need to keep up the running. When my friend gets home from her upcoming deployment next year we'll be going to Florida for the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon in the Fall! 

So, new workout goals:
1. Tone up my midsection.
2. Start running to prepare for half in Nov. 2014!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Keirnan's 4th Birthday!!

Wow, I could have sworn I had done this. Oops! Well, better late than never, so here it is...

My little soldier finally had his "Bad Guy Birthday Party." His Army party was what I would consider a success. Keirnan had picked out months ago the theme for his party, and I had nothing more to do than make it happen. Ha, easier said than done!

First I started gathering all the cool basic party supplies from Walmart for the grand 'ol price of a dollar a package! Go me! Then it was time to figure out games and cake.

For the cake I decided to make camo cupcakes which I found on... you guessed it- Pinterest! They were surprisingly easy and a big hit! The recipe called for camo icing too, but seeing as the cupcakes were already so cute and it was a party of under 4 kids mostly, I decided to forego the icing.

For Christmas last year my parents got Will some grenade and Army symbol mold trays from a gun show that we finally used to make chocolates with. They fit so perfectly and we ended up putting them on the cupcakes!

Tell me those aren't awesome!! 

For games we had a tank piƱata and made an obstacle course. The course went through the swing set and sandbox, then across some tires we borrowed from a local auto shop and ended at the camo covered dog box where the kids had to fire the nerd gun at a target on the fence. All the kids had a great time and we just recently were allowed to take the obstacle course down!
Swing across the rope. Climb up the rope ladder and slide down into the sandbox on your belly. Low crawl out of the netting and then run through the tires. Go through the 'wire' and shoot the target.

As Keirnan's birthday is in May, we never know what the weather will be like here, but it was fabulous. (Thank God since we had no room for everyone inside!)

Anyway, that's the highlights of the birthday boys fabulous party! Next up is James' birthday in November. He's already decided it'll be a "cowboy birthday party!"

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Becos and Baskets

AKA- My 'crunchy' mom side!

In January I decided to invest in a Beco Baby Carrier. Oh what a wonderful thing it is too!! I had been a great fan of the Moby wrap ever since a friend let me borrow hers when Keirnan was a baby, but I had never been fond of it for the boys when they got bigger. So, I finally found a carrier that is easy to use and comfy for both me and baby! Owen loves the Beco as much as I do!

So, after a bit of research and hearing great praises from a couple friends I decided on the Gemini. I even got black so Will would consider wearing Owen also. I still haven't gotten him to yet, though we'll say its do to lack of opportunity! This was the best investment into baby wearing I've ever made, totally worth the money!
I love how easy it is to throw on and adjust. Though I'm a bit small so if I don't have the around the waist part tight enough, that is a bit difficult to pull tighter. I also like that I can cross the straps over my back and its a front and back carrier as well as having the ability to shorten the area between baby's legs/ under his butt for while he is still smaller! So, there is my plug for my Beco.

The other thing I started doing the past month or two is Bountiful Basket. Its a food co-op that is nationwide and a friend in Colorado has been telling me about it for a year now. Well, I finally remembered at the right time of the month and got in on it. $15 gets me a basket of about 50% fruits and 50% veggies. I don't get to pick what comes in my basket, so its like Christmas with food every 2 weeks! Its really opened up my eyes and is forcing me out of my food comfort zone. (Considering I don't really eat veggies, this is major!!)

This last week's basket had a bunch of bananas, apples and clementines, (no problem getting rid of those in this house) as well as a pack of mushrooms, a pineapple, a few avocados and a huge amount of peppers. So, tonight once Will gets home I'll be making some guacamole and some jalapeno hot sauce! Oh, there was a bunch of spinach in there also. I added some into our salads the other night and made my first 'green' smoothie yesterday. All a success, and the boys and I downed that smoothie so fast!

Finally, a friend made her baby homemade baby food and it sounded so easy. I figured I'd try it also. It was very easy, but Owen wasn't impressed. I don't have the right stuff to store it all so, a lot ended up going to waste. Thank goodness it was cheap and I had a coupon! (But then, that was part of why I picked those foods for a first try!) So, before I attempt it again, I need to get some containers to store/freeze it all and wait until Owen is eating more that a tablespoon or two at a time! In the meantime, I had a coupon from Gerber, so that will do for now! Hey, nobody is perfect!!

Friday, April 5, 2013


I haven't posted much the past couple months and what I have has been pretty inconsequential. The reason for this is so much has happened that has really thrown us off. I'll start at the very beginning, after all its a very good place to start. For the privacy of the families, I am not giving full names, if any. This is what this past few months looked like through my eyes, my personal recollections of a difficult time for my family and people I've come to care deeply about. I have left a lot out either because it doesn't factor into my feelings and thoughts, or because I won't 'stir up trouble.'

We came to Ft. Riley in June of 2010. Will's unit deployed that Fall and came home a year later. While deployed, Will took the job of Platoon Sergeant. Since then he has had many guys come and go. There are a handful still here who deployed with him, but even the 'new' guys aren't really very new. These guys are tight, close friends. Will is the platoon 'Dad.'

When it comes to his job, my husband has one fault. (If you'd call it that.) He simply cares too much. He has come to care for his soldiers and their families. Last summer one of his guys got into some trouble and he was so upset (not mad) that the guy didn't feel he could come to Will for help. That's how he is, its how we are. I am not the typical NCO wife either, I care also. I try to stay out of my husband's career- its his, not mine. But this is our life, and I am a part of that. When Will talks about his guys, I listen and through his stories (good and bad) I get to know the guys. I am always telling the guys that I would rather the phone ring at 2am because they need a ride home from the bar than because they didn't think they needed one and got into trouble, or worse. Some of the guys believe me, probably more after it was tested and they found the worst they get from either of us is a good teasing! Some of the guys I know better than others. Some I know their name and some of their antics, but wouldn't know them on sight. Some I know on sight, but for the life of me can never place the name to their face! I have been one of the co-FRG Leaders since last summer, and have met many of the wives. (I can usually place the families to the guys.) We are a family.

The guys went to NTC in February. They were barely halfway through the month when there was an accident. We got an email through the FRG saying a soldier had been injured. After 10 years as an Army wife, I told myself the practical- if it had been my husband, I would know by now. I also talked myself into believing it wasn't anyone we knew, it had to be from a different troop. The next day proved to be very long. I heard from one of the wives saying it was on facebook that it was one of Will's guys and that he had died. I almost immediately heard the same from another wife. I assured both wives that we would have heard if he had died and it had not been put out who the soldier was.

Part of taking the FRG leader position is taking a training class that discusses how to handle these events- the dreaded rumors. I immediately called up the FRG chain and, somewhat shaky, asked what was going on and why was there anything on Facebook. After a lot of run around it was confirmed the next morning, my husband had lost one of his soldiers, one of his boys. I was heartbroken.

Will has served for 22 years, been through multiple deployments and never lost anyone. I guess looking at the odds, it had to happen. It was painful. The guys still had over a week in 'the box' with no phones. How is my husband doing, how are the guys doing? Who is there for them when they don't have their wives to stand behind them? And the obvious, what happened? I spent a lot of time on the phone and on the computer with many of the wives. We pulled together. The ladies were amazing. I couldn't have asked for a better group of ladies. Any rumors picked up were immediately sent to us to handle. They didn't freak out, they accepted that we were telling the truth and didn't know anymore than we were telling them. (From some of the other FRGs I think that wasn't the case with their wives.) It didn't hit close to home, it hit us straight through the heart.

In the middle of dealing with the loss of one of our own, we were hit with a second. Another one of the guys lost his newborn son. The guys couldn't even be there for their 'brother.' They were still out of touch with home. So my co-FRG leader and I went into double time, what can we do to support this family also. (There wasn't much we could do for them as they were out of state.) How do you deal with so much loss in so short of a time? Well, for me- you don't.

I got sick, that nebulous overall, just not feeling right sick. I went to the doctor and while he had me get a blood panel done, he didn't do well hiding that he thought I might be depressed. I'm not suicidal and I don't hate my life, how am I depressed? Maybe I was, one night a few weeks ago I yelled at Will as I have only one other time in our marriage. After we'd calmed down, we talked. And Will asked me a question I hadn't even asked myself. How was I handling it all? I broke down and got it all out. Maybe I was depressed. A day or two later I had a follow up with the Dr and by then I was already starting to feel better again. Nothing else changed, I just uncorked a very shaken bottle.

After the guys got home from NTC, a good portion of the troop flew out to Bobby's funeral. His family paid for them to go out there for a couple days to morn his loss and celebrate his life. Being guys, of course I got nominated to call the family contact and get their flight information. (And how can I not think of these guys as my family!?) I made a new friend that day. I will be forever grateful to his family for doing that, for understanding that the guys needed to say goodbye also.

When they came back the entire troop threw themselves into preparing for his memorial service here, I did too. (How could I not.) When Bobby's family got here, we wanted to make sure they were well taken care of. Sitting with the guys at the memorial was heart wrenching. I just wanted to take their pain away. After the service I got to meet Bobby's family. They were amazing and it was such an honor to meet and get to know each of them those couple days.

So, today as I write this Will is out with the guys. Monday he moves on to a new job. Its the way of the Army. I'd say we're closing this chapter, but as long as we're still in Kansas I don't think this part of our life will truly close. I'll close this out with a song that is hauntingly accurate in how we remember those we've lost. We each have that one special thing that helps us get through the hard times. Lee Brice, I Drive Your Truck.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Rockin' Body to TurboFire

A year ago tomorrow I started Rockin' Body and found a love for the BeachBody programs. What a year its been too! In the one month I did Rockin' Body I met my goals and felt fabulous about myself afterwards. You can go back and read my end of the program post from Feb. 13, 2012.

Not long after finishing it, we got pregnant and I had every intention of keeping up the exercising through this past year. I knew I had lucked out on the first 2 pregnancies in not gaining a lot, but with getting in shape before this one I also knew I probably wouldn't be so lucky to lose a good 10lbs at the beginning! I was right. I gained 25-30 lbs this pregnancy as opposed to the 10 and 15lbs, respectively, for the first two!  I'm sure I wouldn't have gained so much weight if I hadn't been on and off pelvic rest this entire pregnancy also. I did manage to do two 5Ks this past year though! (St. Patty's Day and Fourth of July)

So, now I have a wonderful new wardrobe I need to get myself back into! At my 6 week postpartum appointment I was 132lbs, so I'll be using that as my starting weight since I don't have a scale in our house! My pre-pregnancy weight was 120lbs. and that's what I want to get back too. (I've already lost 20lbs since having Owen!)

I look forward to posting in 3 months how I've done with TurboFire!! Wish me luck! And if it goes well I'll add in running come the spring and the warmer weather! I would love to do more runs this year and maybe even get up to doing a half marathon. (Maybe I can talk Will into a Disney Run!)

My TurboFire Journey, part 1!

So, after starting and stopping TurboFire inside a week. I tried again last month while Will was at NTC. I am now at the end of week 5 and its been great. In the first month I lost a total of 11 lbs and 4.5 inches!! I love doing it. It was hard at first because I didn't know the moves and couldn't keep up and felt so stupid, but kept going and have really picked it up.

But when we went out of town I missed 4 days. I made them up by doubling up on workouts for the next week. It about killed me! With everything else happening (That's a different post) I think I overdid it to the point of being severely fatigued. As a result, I wasn't able to get through workouts like I had been, and I was feeling beyond tired every single day! Now I know why they say don't do the HIIT workouts multiple days in a row. So, week 5 I am essentially skipping in an attempt to feel better, and its worked. Will has picked up a lot around the house to help me out and now I'm feeling back to normal.

Now I just need to get my butt back into gear and start again. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit, but let me tell you, it takes much less time to lose that newly formed habit. So, I need to start over forming my habit. Thankfully, I have found some amazing new friends to take this journey with and they have been awesome keeping me going!

Only 2 more months to go, but hey, I'm already almost back into my pre-pregnancy clothes! Some of the jeans even already fit again and Owen isn't even 4 months old!!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Love is...

Yesterday was Valentines day, the day Hallmark and Russel Stover look forward to each year. The day we celebrate our love for one another, for me its in celebration of my spouse and my children. Part of me looks forward to the fun of the holiday, another part of me can't get over how commercialized it is! Its so much worse than Christmas! I don't think I ever learned a thing about love through generic cards, candy, or flowers. I learned about love every day of the year, and celebrated it the day after Valentines Day each year.

Today is my parents' anniversary. They have been married over 30 years. As I sit here and watch P.S. I Love You, after a nice call to two of my three mothers, I can't help but reflect on how much I learned about love through my parents. Growing up I watched my parents love through good times and bad. And now, as an adult, I realize how truly blessed I was to grow up in such a loving home.

I never doubted that my parents loved me, I never doubted that they loved each other. The happiness a child enjoys is expounded by this knowledge. I'm not going to sit here and tell you my childhood was perfect or my parents are without fault, I'm sure even they had rocky patches over the last 30 years! The point is, they taught me how to love through it all, the good the bad, and yes even the ugly.

I have been married for 10 years and while we have definitely had our rocky points, I love my husband more now than I did in the beginning. If it hasn't become apparent yet, while not musically inclined myself, I am very expressive through music. I can name a song, or songs, that describes any part of my life pretty accurately. (If not literally, than at least in the feelings brought out by the song.) So, after 10 years I can't help but think of Shania Twain's "You're Still the One."

I credit this knowledge to growing up with such a great example of what love is. My husband had the same example of a lasting marriage, his parents have been married over 40 years. And now you're doing the critical thinking and wondering how I have three mothers when both sets of parents are still married. Its easy, I'm a second wife, and therefore my husband has two sets of in-laws. When he first told me about his ex-wife's family, and I first met them I was shown how much further love can go. I learned that when you get divorced you're only divorcing the spouse, not the family. So, I am blessed with two sets of in-laws. (And yes, our sons carry the names of all three dads!) I consider this part of my husband's family to be my in-laws just like his biological family, because he considers them family. My children are blessed to have the love of 3 sets of grandparents. Oh, and did I mention my in-laws #2 were married over 40 years too!?

So, we have a one of a kind marriage that is just like everyone else; we laugh, we tease, we fight, we play, we care. We get up each morning and make an effort to show our boys just how much we love. We don't always succeed, but we never go a day without saying those three little words: I LOVE YOU!

This Valentine's Day my husband is away at training, better than previous years when he was away at war. But I still miss him. I curl up in bed each night and think of him, of how much I wasn't able to share with him today, and of how much the boys have done and will do while he is away. This is part of the military life. And while I may shed a few tears as I miss my husband, I find they are more because I know he is missing so much growth in our family, and I know it makes him sad too. This is love. No matter the length of time away, you're always excited to see your loved ones.

So, while my husband is away, my Facebook will see extra action and my mom will field all the I just have to tell someone moments of each day that I usually share with him. I'm sure she wonders how he ever gets any work done! Here's a parting song that sums up our relationship:

Sunday, February 3, 2013

More than you can Handle... Bull!!!

There's this always heard, and often used saying, "God won't give you more than you can handle." I'm guilty of using it myself. Well, I recently read something that made me think and here is what I've come up with. It's a complete load of crap!

God will give you more than you can handle because he loves you and he wants you to lean on him and trust in him. When you reach a point where you just can't handle anymore, yet more is piled on, He is saying "trust in me."

So often as times get tough, we tend to shy away from God, to say "I've got this." We won't admit we have a problem, not to friends, not to family, and especially not to ourselves. We do everything we can to fix the bad in our lives, but so often we won't just hand it all over to God, to throw up our hands and say, "I'm done, you do it!" I say it to my husband often enough, especially after a very bad day with temperamental toddlers, but I rarely think to say "God, I need your help here." Maybe if I did I wouldn't have those types of days, and I would learn to once again have patience!

So, this year as the Army has my husband gone off and on multiple times, and therefore my boys go into the typical acting out that comes with Daddy leaving, I'm going to try to remember to hand it all over to God, to enjoy more of the little things, and play more with my boys!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

My Next 30 Years

Today I am 30 years old! I can't believe it most days. It feels like I just got out of college a year or two ago, not almost 8 years ago! While I enjoyed my 20s, part of me couldn't wait until my 30th birthday when I could play this song.

Tim McGraw definitely hit it on the nail with this one! So, while I look forward to "My Next Thirty Years" as I raise my family, I have to be thankful for the last thirty years and all I have experienced, witnessed, and achieved.

"I think I'll take a moment, celebrate my age
The ending of an era and the turning of a page
Now it's time to focus in on where I go from here
Lord have mercy on my next thirty years."

So, here is a wrap up of the highlights my last thirty years:

- I turned 3 the day the Challenger exploded, it sparked an interest in aviation and space safety in me that never died.
- My only sister was born and died when I was getting ready to start Kindergarten. My grandfather died about a year later.
- I was privileged enough to go to Space Camp/ Academy for seven years. (My team received the highest award 3 times!)
- I graduated high School with a 3 1/2 year Army ROTC scholarship to the school I grew up wanting to attend- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, as well as the offer of another one to Auburn.
- I know where I was when "The World Stopped Turning."
- I got married to my best friend (Another great Tim McGraw song in that one!)
- I graduated college and unfortunately, got a medical discharge from the Army instead of my commission.
- I lived and worked in Germany for a year and a half.
- Will and I struggled with infertility for over three years, and were told we could not have children without medical intervention.
- Our "Rainbow baby" Keirnan Andrew was born May 10, 2009.
- Our second son, James Donald, was born November 13, 2010.
- We survived two deployments to Iraq. (Will to Iraq, and me at home during my MS3 year of school, and again with a toddler and a newborn!)
- I lost a dear friend in Iraq June 2006. (You are loved and missed John!)
- Our third son, Owen Mason, was born December 3, 2012.
- We've moved across the world and/ or the country 3 times.
- We've bought and sold a home.
- I completed most of my Master of Aeronautical Science degree. (By most I mean all but my thesis, which has been half done since Keirnan was born!)
- I have been a stay at home mother for almost 4 years, something I never thought I would be, but something I have enjoyed and found I am blessed to be able to do.
- I found a church home, accepted God, and was Baptized a year ago tomorrow.
- I have made more friends in my life than I can count, some I have lost over the years, many will always be a part of my life.

This list shows just how blessed I have been in life. It hasn't always been easy. There have been difficult times, but I have such an amazing family; through blood, through marriage, and through the Army. I can't thank God enough for all my blessings these last thirty years.

I look forward to my next thirty years and all the ups and downs they will hold.

"Hey my next thirty years I'm gonna have some fun
Try to forget about all the crazy things I've done
Maybe now I've conquered all my adolescent fears
And I'll do it better in my next thirty years

My next thirty years I'm gonna settle all the scores
Cry a little less, laugh a little more
Find a world of happiness without the hate and fear
Figure out just what I'm doing here
In my next thirty years

Oh my next thirty years, I'm gonna watch my weight
Eat a few more salads and not stay up so late
Drink a little lemonade and not so many beers
Maybe I'll remember my next thirty years

My next thirty years will be the best years of my life
Raise a little family and hang out with my wife
Spend precious moments with the ones that I hold dear
Make up for lost time here, in my next thirty years
In my next thirty years."

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Crazy Christmas

To say Christmas was crazy is putting it mildly. We went home for the holiday, driving from KS to VA.  It was 2 long days in a minivan with 2 adults, 2 toddlers, 1 newborn, 2 chocolate labs, and all our stuff- it was cramped! We had planned on using the car topper, but couldn't find the keys so ended up stuffing everything inside the van. My husband now understands why I say my next vehicle will have stow and go seats!
At the post Christkindle Market. 
The first few days in VA were spent doing the 'touristy' things with the boys that I insist on doing every time we're home. One day was spent at Arlington national Cemetery and at the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum. The boys were very well behaved at the cemetery while we 'visited' my old college friend John. Keirnan had some amazing 3 year old wisdom for me that really put a smile on my face. In his very basic way reminded me that all things die in time, and I know John died doing something he believed in.Their favorite part was the dinosaurs at the museum though. almost a month later, both boys still talk about the dinosaur museum!
 The boys got to help decorate my parents' tree and help Grandpa set up the train. They loved watching that train and still talk about that too.  
Trains and Cookies
We spent an entire day at the National Air & Space Museum downtown that got some good results from the boys also. Since we did the Udvar-Hazy Center last winter, we choose to go downtown. I haven't been to that museum in years and while we had a great time, I much prefer the newer Udvar-Hazy Center.
The Wright Brothers
And Mom was so excited to do Christmas cookies with the boys. Its a tradition we did every year when I was a child, and I remember her doing them with my younger cousins also. So, this year being able to watch my own children decorate cookies with Grandma was very special!
Making Christmas cookies
My boys after church with Nanny & Pop-Pop, and some of my cousins and aunts on Christmas Eve.

Keirnan (3.5years), Owen (2weeks), James (2years)
The trip home from VA was a 3 day adventure as we decided not to push the boys, but the extra night in the hotel definitely pushed us! We were driving against a snow storm through WV, but missed the worst of it, and got home literally as another storm hit our area! We were more than happy to be home and start getting back into our own routines again. It was a wonderful trip and end to a pretty great year! (We got home New Years Eve)

Owen Mason

Due to the unrelenting craziness that has ensued, I am just now getting around to this post. (As well as many others in a futile attempt to catch up my blog!)

Owen Mason was due December 1, 2012. After having Keirnan at 37+6 weeks and James at 39+6 weeks, I fully expected Owen to be another November birthday. I was wrong, he was born in a bigger rush than James on December 3, 2012!! So, here is the story of Owen's birth:

I had a 40 week appt on the morning of December 3, 2012. I was 40 weeks 2 days pregnant. I was told I was dilated about 3cm and maybe 50% effaced. Needless to say, I had about given up and the induction was scheduled for the following Monday. That afternoon I started having contractions at 5 minutes apart and picking up in intensity. Will called to check on me, as he was in the field, around 3pm. I told him I was having some regular contractions but they weren't anything major and I'd call when I needed him to head home. About 20 minutes later I called him home. While waiting for him to get home from the ranges on the back side of the post, I called Ashley and let her know as the boys were going to be staying with he Goldman/ Salkowski family. She said her boys were sick and send Justin over to watch the boys at our house until she got off work.
We got to Labor & Delivery around 4pm and after waiting 45 minutes for someone to see me I was told I was still 50% effaced and 3, maybe 4, cm dilated. They sent me home to come back when my contractions were 3 minutes apart. We were not impressed and figured it would be James all over again and we'd be back in the morning. So off to Taco Bell for dinner before going home. While eating I started talking to a very nice woman who noticed my contractions picking up and started timing them. By the time we finished eating I was at a steady 3 minutes. I called L&D and they said to come back.
A half hour later I went back in, as my contractions were now 3 minutes apart and had increased in intensity greatly. Again, I was told that while my contractions had progressed as they should for delivery, I was still at only 3-4cm dilated and they could not admit me to the ward. I warned them that my previous children had both come very fast, with the last showing less than an hour after reaching the hospital. (I had him at IACH also, November 2010.) They said it was hospital policy that they could not admit me if I was not showing “progress.” The Nurse Midwife on duty and Dr. Long, the OB coming on duty, both told me to stay near the hospital and kept an eye on me while my contractions continued to intensify in the waiting room. The midwife was amazing as she massaged my back a bit for me to show Will how to help me. I spent a lot of time leaning on the front desk, thinking it was a good thing it was past office hours!
After 20 minutes they told me they would check me again. They had to wheel me back onto the ward as I could no longer walk between contractions. The got me back into the triage room and checked me. I don't know what I was at, but the nurse was suddenly in a hurry and they got me into a real room. Funny bit is, its the same room I had James in!! Not many military kids can say they were born at the same hospital as a sibling, even fewer can say they were born in the same room!
The nurse  got my IV in but hadn't hooked it up yet as she was still finding my pre-admission paperwork in the computer when my water broke and my son immediately followed. They clocked my labor in the hospital at a half hour. When my water broke, I told the nurse and she turned around saying let me check. She barely caught Owen as he came out. The bed was not broken down, the Dr was not in the room, and Owen hit his face on the bed! (He had some bruising from it for a couple days!) As she was catching, I found I still had a bit of humor laughing as she leaned up over me repeatedly pushing the call button and getting exasperated at the answering nurse! hehe She yelled over the mic that the baby was coming now and get the Dr in the room. He walked in literally as Owen came out. His face made me laugh again. (Well, it might have been knowing I was never going to have to push something that big out again!)
My son was born at 8:35pm, no more than 4 hours after I had originally gone in and been told to go home. If I had gone home as the nurse suggested after my second time coming in, I would have not made it to my car, none the less, back up to the ward. Needless to say, I wasn't happy that the nurse had actually tried to send me home! (Thank God I listened to the midwife who said stay nearby!)
So, there it is. The fast story of Owen's entry into the world! He was 21 inches long, and 7lbs 8.5oz. I'd post more pictures but when your labor goes that fast, there just aren't any of those wonderful picture moments! (And I realized last week that first 'family photo' is non existent for each of the boys! Oops!)