Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday er, uhm...Thursday...

My friend Jennifer from Jendes Photography offered to take pictures for my husband and I before he deploys. Despite her son being in the hospital she sweetly took the time to snap some great shots for us and let me do the editing. I was going to put the pics up yesterday but between Doctor's appointments, picking up my sister at the airport, and spending some time in Seattle I just didn't get it done. So enjoy a select few some pics from our shoot :)

To see the rest of our PreDeployment Shoot check this link

(P.S. There were orginally over 300 pictures - I think I did a pretty good job of cutting them down!!!)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Terrible TWOsDay

Scraped up knees, pink eye, and high emotions are the way my Birthday Diva is starting out her day. The high emotions are nothing new though. My daughter apparently mistook "terrible two's" to start out at two weeks rather than two years. By the time she realized her mistake she must have just figured she should get all the practice in that she could. I tell her all the time that it's a good thing she's so cute!

Just a few hours old!
It's still hard to believe that two years ago I was about to give birth to my precious little girl. My husband had finished up Basic Training and was in AIT in Texas which meant that he wasn't able to be there for the birth (stupid jerk recruiter responsible for that one). But I was able to have the wonderful experience of an all natural home birth with her and my incredible mom and awesome midwife made the whole experience as perfect as it could be without the presence of my husband. I am so thankful that I was able to go that route and would do it again in a heartbeat if I could be guaranteed to have as great of a midwife as I had the first time.

Daddy getting to hold his baby girl for the first time!
From the minute she was born my little diva defied the typical newborn standard. She was alert and looking around curious to see her new big world. And boy did she have a set of lungs on her - still does for that matter. My dad says you could just stick her out the window and use her for a siren! She's always known what she wants and when she wants it and has no problems with letting the whole world know too - hence why I call her my Diva and not my Angel!

First Birthday - and NOT impressed with the frosting!
It's been so fun watching her personality develop (ok, most of the time it's been fun!). She's very affectionate with those that she knows well but is very wary of strangers; she likes men better than women (I know. Weird, right? Mom told me I was that way as a baby!). She's very dramatic and emotional going from giggles one minute to tears the next. At 18 months old she had the vocabulary of a two year old (yeah, I had to throw that in there because I'm so proud of her). She's a smart little cookie...who HATES being a mess. Her first birthday trying to get her to feed herself some cake was sadly hysterical. The first thing her hand touched was the frosting and she freaked out not being able to get the sticky mess of her hands. Even know she cannot stand to be a mess! She gets that from her daddy.

She loves to swing, slide, take bubble baths, go for walks and anything that has anything to do with being outside. She's a total daddy's girl and several times I day she comes up to me and says "Daddy work? Daddy 'a back?" (translate as "Daddy will be right back?"); I don't know what she's going to do without her daddy around! And I don't know if it's just from watching Mommy (she has been a big sister since she was not quite 15 months old!) but she's a total little mommy. She was hardly jealous at all of her little brother and she loves to help me out with him and give him hugs and kisses.

Some days she drives me crazy with her emotional ups and downs and neediness but, the truth is, I love this little girl more than life itself and I wouldn't trade her for the world. She's been a learning experience for both my husband and me but at the end of the day when she grabs her blanket, looks at us with those sweet big blue eyes of hers and asks to cuddle then turn to give hugs and 'isses it just melts our hearts and every last irritable moment is worth it.

So happy 2nd birthday to my darling baby's hoping that Two is a little easier than One was - and that all of you have a wonderful TWOSday :)

This totally showcases her personality!

Playing in the water

My little Spaz!

Friday, June 17, 2011

My Military Vow

Thursday marked four years since the day that I said "I do" to the love of my life. When we entered into wedded bliss I knew he had a desire to join the military but there was nothing in the plans. It just wasn't a reality in our lives. But God had other plans for us and now I am preparing for a year long separation as my husband deploys.

At a beautiful wedding that I recently was a part of, the bride and groom wrote their own vows to read to each other. I thought it was very sweet and touching...and it got me to thinking about the vows that I had said to my husband. And how much our life circumstances have changed since that day.

Those vows are as sacred to me now as they were the day that I said them. And when I said "I do" it really did mean forever to me...I'm a thick 'n thin kind of gal, loyal and faithful like a trusty old dog (whatever that says about me!). My marriage was not something that I entered into lightly or in a rush - I thought long and hard about it before the wedding day because I knew that it would be a life long commitment to work hard at.  My husband knows all this. And he trusts me implicitly. But, in light of the changes that life has brought our way, I wanted to do something special to let him know that I feel more strongly about our marriage, about our family, about him, than ever.

So I wrote a vow renewal of sorts to him. I guess you could say that it is the "military clause" of our vows.

16 June 2011
"On our wedding day I made a solemn vow. I promised to love, honor and cherish you. I promised to be faithful. To stay with you no matter what life threw at us - sickness, poverty, heartache...and for these years I have remained faithful to my vows. I have not always been the perfect wife. There have been days that I have let you down, said hurtful things, been selfish. I have not always been very good at showing my love to you. But always I have loved you. Always I have been faithful to you.  
With you by my side, I have grown so much. We have changed and transformed together. We have endured together, laughed and cried together. We have started a beautiful family together. Life definitely has sent us some surprising turns. When I said my vows I did not foresee a future that would require long separations and the hardships of military life. So today, on the occasion of our anniversary, I would like to add to my vows.
I promise to follow you wherever you may go and if I cannot physically do so, know that in my heart I am with you. Those times that I am not able to physically be with you I promise to wait for you, always, praying for your quick and safe return. I promise to protect your heart by remaining faithful and loving and supportive of you. I promise to do all that is in my power to make you as proud of me as I am of you. I promise to protect and honor your name and your service. I promise to be understanding that you have not chosen duty over love but that you are doing your duty to show your love - that you are doing all that you can to protect our family. I promise to continue to instill our Christian values, principals and goals that we have made for our children and to impart to them, as much as is in my ability, an understanding of your love for them. 
You are my best friend, my soul mate, my soldier, my husband, my hero, the keeper of my heart and this is my military vow to you."

16 June 2007 

~ We may not always be together but we are never apart 
For I keep you always close in my heart ~

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Finger Painting Fun

While my husband was visiting his family I had the Little Diva do a special project for Daddy...Finger Paint!!!

Only, finger paint turned into body paint and by the end she had as much paint on her as she did on the paper.

But she had fun and and Daddy loved his picture. Daddy was also very thankful to not be there for the actual mess!!!

Finger Painting Fun!!!!

The finished (paper) product!!!

Body Paint Anyone???

She didn't want to let her Daddy go!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Death by Monkeys

Last week my husband took a few days of his block leave to go visit his family in Tennessee...which left me alone with the kiddos for four days. Not that long, right?

I know now that when people talk about having their child run circles around them it is not a figure of speech. They literally do run circles around you.

Sometimes they run one big circle while spinning in smaller the living room. While the younger brother, who is not yet walking, clings to your leg and test out his new razor sharp bottom teeth on your bare knee.

I eyed the clock.11:30 am...too early for naptime. "Do you want to watch Dora or Deigo?"

"Monkey!" came the insistent reply. Monkey being, of course, Curious George.

"What about Toys? Do you want to watch Toys? There's a monkey in Toys." I thought maybe mentioning Toy Story 3 might at least briefly distract my little diva from her recent fascination with monkeys.

"NO! Monkey." (pause) "Wheaze?" How can one resist such a sweet please???

I sighed, picked up the little teething monkey clinging to my leg, who had subsequently gone from using me as a teether to screaming at me, and turned on Curious George 2 (the movie) for the umpteenth time that week.

"'Ar? Wheaze? 'Ar? Chair?"

I looked down to see a Raisin Granola bar in my slightly bigger monkey's hand (I say slightly because there is only about a five pound weight difference despite there nearly 15 month age difference).

I set down my son who promptly commenced to screaming, put my daughter along with her current favorite book "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed" in her highchair and broke up the granola bar in to pieces for her.

"Monkey! Oo-Oo-Ah-Ah! Swing! Bunny!" I heard my Miss Monkey Toes giggling and rattling on about the movie over Mr. NOT so Smiley Monkey's screams. "Bunny, Mama? Bunny"

"Yup, that's funny." I replied, understanding that, in this case, 'bunny' meant 'funny' and was not referring to a cute little rodent of the long eared variety. I picked up my screaming son again and settled in on the couch to nurse him.

"Bup? Milk?" came the query from the direction of the highchair.

Of course, I forgot to get her something in her cup. And seeing that it was almost noon I might as well get her some lunch too. Which is nearly impossible to do when you've got a screaming, um...little boy clinging to your legs.

After getting the little Diva's lunch deposited on her tray I once again sat down with my little man to nurse him. One of the lines from Toy Story 3 popped into my mind.

"Death by monkeys"...sounded about par for the course. Death by the two cutest little monkeys who had been cursed with their father's boundless energy.

And this was only partially through Day Two of my husband being gone.

I am pleased to say, however, that the children and I made it through the four day separation alive with only a handful of melt downs (the children's - I saved my melt down for after my husband got home), a slightly bruised tailbone and a pulled neck muscle (those were mine). I even got a week's worth of laundry folded. And the house mostly picked up. And the dishes done.

I'm quite proud of myself, really!

Three Little Monkeys Sleeping in the Bed

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wordless Wednesday...with Words

So, I love Wordless Wednesday...unfortunately, I have a penchant for words; I will, however, try to keep this from getting to wordy. BTW- this was supposed go up last Wednesday. But my husband is on block leave and spending time with him was just a tad more important than blogging. Ok, maybe more than just a tad!

Jeremiah and I on our date, taking a moment to remember the Heroes who made it possible!

(Just consider this a preface for Wordless Wednesday) Memorial Day this year turned into "Date Day" for my husband and me. Our third CHILDLESS date in nearly nine months. I could not, despite my excitement, forget the import of the day. Both of my Grandpas as well as my parents served in the military. So many Service Members have given their lives for us to enjoy a day that most spend grilling out and shopping or just spending family time (not that any of those things are bad) that I felt a need to take time to remember them, to honor them.

We came across this incredible exhibit put on by Clover Park High School in Lakewood, WA. They recreated the Arlington National Cemetery using white sticks that had handwritten names of some of the heroes that have lost their lives serving our Country. It was touching and heartbreaking at the same time. It made me proud to be a part of this community, to have the heritage that I have, to have a husband who is currently serving - just to be an American. I wish every High School would do the same. I think it could have a huge impact on our country for so many to see the life sacrifices that have been made.

But, enough of my wordiness...let the pictures tell their own story!

The Arlington Cemetery Project: Honoring America's Fallen (Operation Iraqi Freedom & Enduring Freedom)

There were several that had flowers

It was very meticulously set up

A broader view...there are over 2000 fallen heroes honored here!

~ This one speaks for itself ~

(p.s. please read the article in the hyperlink above as well - just make sure you have a kleenex...or two!)