Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I need a break

I was going to continue to work on the 30 days of memories, but life has gotten too hectic for me and I just cannot finish. I need a break.
I am SO over this deployment, I'm over being a single mommy and I'm over school. I'm over the students being lazy and rude, I'm over working my butt off and getting no where. I'm just over it. So, I am taking a break. Hopefully it won't be too long, but I need to re-energize myself, not only for me, but for my husband and my kiddos. They are of course my top priority. I hope you all understand.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

30 Day Challenge- Day 22 Getting my first big kid job

I went to college for Elementary Education. I have wanted to be a teacher since I was in third grade. I even had my own classroom set up down in our basement. It is the only thing I ever wanted to do. My internship in 4th grade was amazing! It was an amazing experience. Seeing as I graduated in December, I knew I wouldn't find a job until the summer for the next school year. So I substitute taught, and learned a LOT. The economy was already starting to go downhill at this point and it was REALLY hard to find a teaching job in Michigan. I mean like there was one job opening and 800 applicants. Then one day my mom called me from Florida and said a lady she knew taught at an elementary school and was willing to giver her principal my resume because they had quite a few openings for the following schools year. I was super excited! I sent her my resume and made sure my application was filled out online.
The day I was helping out with a field day at the school I interned at, I got a phone call from that principal asking me to come in for an interview!!! I was soooo excited! My mom and I worked it out and I flew down to Florida to meet with them. I also sent my resume to almost all of the elementary schools in the area. I thought I could teach at least one or two years down here and if I didn't like it then I could move back home.
Well, I went to my interview with about 1 million butterflies in my belly. I made it through the interview with no major mistakes and even made them laugh (they asked me where I was from and I told them the town and pointed to it on my hand, it's a Michigan thing). I guess I stuck with them. They gave me the line that they had a few more interviews and would call me in about a week. Ahhhh! They wanted me to wait that long??? Geeze!
The next day I was laying in my mom's pool reading a book, it was about 4pm and the sky opened up and started down pouring on me. (that summer the rains were like clockwork, every day at 4 it would rain) As I got undercover, my cell phone rang. It was that principal, she was calling to offer me the job!!!!! Holy cow!!!! I think I repeated myself like 10 times, then finally said yes and thank you! I literally started jumping up and down! I had to call my mom and dad of course, who were very excited for me. It literally was the best day ever!!!
I then had to do all of the paperwork and such in two days before I had to fly back up to Michigan and pack up my apartment. I taught one year at that school, it was the hardest year of my life, but I learned a lot. I then moved schools due to surplussing and found I was much better suited to teaching the upper grades and have liked teaching middle school ever since.
But I have to say it was one of the best moves I have ever made. It's scary moving to a new place where you know only one person. But living closer to my mom has been amazing. Also if I hadn't moved down here I never would have met M and I wouldn't have Little L or Baby E. I still can't imagine doing anything else with my life other than teaching. There are times that I cannot stand it, but for the most part, I really do love it. I feel very lucky to have found a job I like and can do for the next 25-30 years. :)

30 Day Challenge- Day 21 Recruitment

When I started college, I decided I wanted to join a sorority, being an only child growing up, I missed having a sister or brother to always hang out with. I missed having something in common with someone, and I didn't know anyone at my college except for my roommate, who I didn't know all that well. I know a lot of people think that when you join one you are "buying" your friends, I however have to disagree. I have met some of the best people in the entire world through my sorority, they are lifelong friends.
It is interesting, I had all of these thoughts going into recruitment. I thought I wanted to live in a sorority house, I thought I wanted certain things. But through out the process, I realized it was the people that I needed to like to find the place where I "fit". It was an emotional week.
After each stage of recruitment, each potential new member ranked the houses from their first preference to their bottom, then the houses would rank the people they met, the ones they liked best and thought fit in their house the best at the top, then compared the two lists. As you went through the stages you went to fewer and fewer houses, then you were only allowed to rank the houses you saw. I was sad when I wasn't invited back to one of my favorite houses. But my Rho Chi (or recruitment leader) told me to go into the next stages with my mind open. I'm glad I did. The one thing that turned me off about the house I joined at the beginning was the fact that the house was smaller than the rest and there was no requirement to live in the house, unless you held an executive position.
Going through the stages, you always wonder if you will get the house you want. Were you a good match like you thought, or did they have other ideas in mind. Near the end of the recruitment stages I was liking Delta Gamma so much more. I felt comfortable there and like they weren't asking me to be someone I wasn't. I finally made the choice that I wanted to be a part of Delta Gamma, now I just hoped that they wanted me too.
Finally the night came, bid night, where you find out which house you "got". They made us sit on our bid cards, the cards that had which house that was offering you a bid to join. Oh the anticipation was HUGE, you could cut it with a knife. Finally they let us read our cards. I opened mine and on it was the Greek letters DG! I couldn't believe it! They wanted me!!! I was on cloud nine. I picked up my shirt and got ready to meet my new "sisters". You could hear squeals of glee all throughout the room, and few tears from those who didn't get their first pick.
That night I ran to my new "sisters" when our house was called. It was great! It was the right choice for me. I loved being a part of that group, and have met some of the best ladies in the entire world. Some of them will continue to be my good friends until our end of time. I have also some of my favorite memories from my time in the house. They will be memories I cherish forever.

Friday, April 20, 2012

30 Day Challenge- Day 20 High School Graduation

I talked about Prom yesterday, so I thought it was only fitting to talk about graduation. Now I'm sure you're thinking, "why is she writing about graduation?" It can't be that exciting. Well, I will have to say it was a great day and had it's own surprises. In my hometown, seniors take their exams a whole week before everyone else, then we are done with high school until the Sunday before the last week of school. Let me tell you, it was awesome being done two whole weeks before everyone else!
On the day of Graduation, we were to be at the school early, so I drove myself and met up with my friends. We had to take pictures and then wait around, the ole hurry up and wait. Finally it was time to line up outside (our graduation was on the football field), we had just gotten word we were going to start walking....when literally.....the sky opened up and it started down pouring!!! There was mass chaos as everyone tried to figure out what to do and where to duck and cover. Of course the girls were upset their hair got ruined and the boys wanted to go out and play in it. :)
We were finally instructed to wait in the gym to see if the rain would stop or not. I think we sat around for like an hour or so, they decided to move the ceremony into the stuffy gym. Once everyone got settled, they started the ceremony.
The one major thing I remember is when they called my name was thinking to myself "don't trip, don't trip, remember to smile, don't trip!" We also had to listen to our three valedictorians. I don't remember much else from the ceremony, other than I couldn't believe I had finally made it. I was finally a high school graduate!
That night we had our senior night. It was a blast! My best friend and I did the bungee run thing like 10 times. I was so sore the next day, but it was worth it. They also had food, other bouncy games, swimming, you could make your own music video, massages, and a ton of other things. At the end of the evening/morning they had everyone go to the auditorium, where they had a wheel thing set up and called people down to win prizes. I remember sitting there, thinking I was tired when I heard my name called. I never win anything! So I went up there, spun the wheel.....and would you believe it....I won a TV!!!!! I was so excited!! Not bad for my first win. :)
All in all, it was a great day and evening! I'll have to see if I can find any of my pictures from that day and night and update the post. :)

30 Day Challenge- Day 19 Prom

**sorry this is a little late**
Ok, so I have gone through all of the major memories of my life with M. I really enjoyed re-living those moments. Now we are going to go back in time, way back in time, to my Senior Prom. :) I think it's a pretty good story.
Back story: I met this guy on a trip to Europe that I went on with a People to People Student Ambassador group, he was everything I wasn't supposed to like. He was rough around the edges, but so soft and sweet on the inside. He liked hard rap music, wore baggy pants, not the clean cut guys my mom thought I should be with. I fell madly in love. I would say he was my first love and first heart break. We started dating on this trip and continued it once we got home. It proved to be hard to continue once we got home seeing as he lived 30-45 minutes away from me. Even though we ended things a few months later, I felt I was still in love with him. Speed up to my senior year and prom was coming up. I had no idea who I was going to go with. I didn't want to just go with a friend, like I did for homecoming. A good friend of mine told me not to worry about anything, she would get me a prom date. Let's just say I was REALLY nervous about who she would find.
I went to her house a couple weeks before prom and she handed me a card. It said something along the lines of "It will be a wonderful night.....because you have a prom date!" (I think I still have the actual card) I couldn't believe it. She had done it! She told me to give her my money to buy the ticket because you had to list who your date was, and because I couldn't know, she had to do it.
I was a bundle of nerves all the way until the day of the prom. I woke up that morning, went and picked my friend up, got my hair did, then hung out until it was time to get dressed. I was really excited to wear my dress, it was a pretty blue color and very comfortable. Finally it was time, the time he was supposed to show up. The doorbell rang......my heart stopped beating.....I went to answer the door, I was litterally shaking from being so nervous. And who do you think was standing on the other side of the door??? Yup, it was him! It was my ex-boyfriend who I was still in love with! I couldn't believe it! I was the happiest girl in the world. He had just come back from Marine boot camp and was looking good! I don't think I stopped smiling all night.
We left to go to my friend's house for pictures and for the limo. It was great being back with him. Yes our relationship had changed, but it was still a lot of fun to be with him. We went to dinner, then on to the prom. We had  a ride ahead of us because our prom was at a place about 45min away from our town. We danced the whole night. We got our pictures taken and had a great time. I don't remember much from that night, except that I had a great time with my ex, my best friend and her boyfriend.
My senior prom was everything I had expected and dreamed of. I am so thankful to my friend who called my ex to find out if he would attend with me. I later found out, he literally just got back from  basic the week before my prom. They weren't 100% sure he would make it. I am so thankful he did and have that as a great memory.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

30 Day Challenge- Day 18 R&R

This post will be kind of short tonight. I already wrote a post about R&R and my love/hate relationship with it. You can read about it here.  I will add that I LOVED having my husband home for two whole weeks. What I didn't talk about in the post was what happened leading up to our R&R. I had found out his dates for coming home and we were counting down the days. Then I got a phone call that they moved his up a little because there were too many people going at one time. I furiously cleaned our house. I mean I organized all of my paper piles, picked everything up, scrubbed everything. Our house looked amazing! I was pretty proud of myself.  The morning he was due to arrive, I was SOOO nervous! I couldn't concentrate on anything. I have NEVER had so many butterflies in my belly, or been so full of nervous energy. I was nervous if he had changed, how it would be once he got home and I wanted him to have a great R&R.
I finished picking a few things up, I gave Little L a bath and made sure he was in clean clothes. I tried to make him take a nap, but of course our two year old had different plans. M asked me to bring his truck, the truck I don't like to drive, the truck I had been fighting with since he left because the battery kept dying. Great! Sure! So, I made sure the truck was charged and cleaned.
Finally it was time to get ready to leave. I packed the kids all up, made sure we had the stroller, the sign I made and tried to not sweat so much.....which is funny when you are running around like a chicken with your head cut off and you live in Florida. :) Hehe! I made it to the airport in record time. I am so thankful that my friend Shannon and her husband where there. I don't think I could have waited that half hour by myself. She kept me from totally losing it.
When I finally saw that uniform walking down the hallway, I couldn't contain my excitement!!!! He was finally here!!!! It was so great to be in his arms again! Little L couldn't stop smiling! It was great seeing him with his daddy again.
It was an amazing two weeks. We were a family again and everything was right in our little world. It was so hard to say good bye to him the second time. But we are finally working towards our countdown to homecoming.
I can't wait to finally be able to write about his homecoming....one day....hopefully not too far off in the distant future. :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

30 Day Challenge- Day 17 Baby E's Birth Story

I think I told my OB that I was done being pregnant at the beginning of December. Baby E was taking up every available bit of space within me. I was uncomfortable, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't eat, I was just plain tired! My OB explained that the hospital wouldn't allow voluntary inducements until you reached 39 weeks. So, we decided on the first available day which happened to be December 13th. When I told M, he told me "absolutely not". Thankfully we were able to change it to December 15th at 6am. I told M and we were hoping that the timing would be right and he would be back from his mission.
My good Army Wife friend took me to dinner at Olive Garden the night before. It was soooo good! I started to get uncomfortable sitting there. I was feeling pressure in my lower belly and in my back. I didn't really pay any attention to it at the time. I figured I just ate too much. After dinner I went back to my mom's house because she would be driving me to the hospital the next day.
The morning of the 15th I woke up super early, took my shower and got ready for the hospital. I was still feeling uncomfortable, but couldn't really tell if they were contractions or not. As we were walking into the hospital, M called on Skype. :) I told him we just arrived and still needed to check in, he was glad because he still had paperwork left to finish. He said he would call when he was done.
I got all checked in, I filled out more paperwork and answered a TON of questions. They finally got the IVs in and I had to wait for my OB to show up. They informed me it would just be a little bit before he would be here......ummmm yea right! I think I waited about an hour to two hours for him to show up.....a little bit my butt. When the nurses hooked up the baby monitor around my belly they informed me I was actually having contractions on my own! Yea!!! Good news!
M called back before the OB showed up. Doc finally arrived, checked me and told me what would be happening. They would give me the pitocin, then check back on me in an hour or two and break my water and have a baby by dinner time. I was starting to get nervous, but I had M on Skype to talk to me. The connection was really good, I was surprised and very happy. About an hour later I felt a pop and my water broke. I have to tell you, sitting there, it's a weird feeling. I was really glad that it happened on its own, also that I hadn't gone into work because my water would have broken in the middle of class. Yuck! Anywho. The pitocin kicks in and the contractions start getting harder, I asked for the first round of meds and they helped a little. Every time I got checked, I wasn't making much progress. M ended up falling asleep while on Skype. I knew he was tired and I didn't want to hang up, so I just waited until something major happened. Once the first round of meds wore off, I needed my epidural like RIGHT NOW! Oh my goodness!!! I thought I was going to rip in two. I give those moms who have gone through it naturally SOOOO much credit. I don't think I could have done it. I swear it took the anesthesiologist forever to get there. Then I don't think she put it in quite right, because I never lost that feeling of pressure and a little bit of pain. I kept telling the nurses that it still hurt and they kept blowing me off because it would be awhile before the baby would be born. I swear, if you are ever going to be a labor nurse, listen to the mother.....she knows what her body is doing!!!!
Finally I got a nurse to check me again because I was feeling a ton of pressure. And to my dismay and excitement, I was 10 cm and ready to push!!!!
I woke M up and told him it was time. The one great thing these nurses did that my nurses with Little L didn't do was when I was ready to push, they didn't tell me to wait for the doctor. They got me all ready and had me start pushing. Oh my gosh! I knew I swore a couple of times, but I didn't care. It hurt so bad! I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do it. Throughout the whole thing, all I could hear was M's voice over Skype telling me to push and that I could do it. It was great having him "there" with me and being able to focus on his voice.
After about 20min of pushing my little bundle of joy came out. She was sunny side up, which is what made the labor so hard, but she was healthy. She was born at 1:18pm on December 15th. I was in good labor for about 9 hours and pushed for 20min. I think that's pretty good.
It was rough being in the hospital having our baby without M. I know if it was up to him he would have been there in a heartbeat. But I am so glad I scheduled my induction (even though my labor started on its own) that way we were pretty sure he would be able to be "there" for the birth. It meant a lot to me to have him as close as he could be. He is an amazing husband and father. I just wish he would have been able to hold his baby girl after she was born. She is a very happy and healthy baby. I couldn't ask for a better more "perfect" family than the one I have. I am truly blessed!

Mommy and baby, I'm not sure how everyone else gets great pics after a baby is born, mine always suck

Our little bundle of joy

Monday, April 16, 2012

30 Day Challenge- Day 16 Our 4 Day Pass

From what I have heard, our 4 day pass was not normal. The families were told at Yellow Ribbon 1&2 that once the men reached Ft. Bliss for MOB station, we would not be able to see them again.  Some families were really upset of course. I guess normally everyone gets a 4 day pass and know about it in advance to plan, the guys can go home or the wives and girlfriends can go there. That is NOT how ours went.
M called me one day and asked how easy it was for me to get time off. I thought this questions was weird at the time, but blew it off. (I later found out he was trying to surprise me for his 4 day pass)
It was a Thursday night, I had just gotten done with a professional development class and was eating dinner with a friend. M called and we talked on my way to pick up Little L from his parents house. He asked me if I wanted to see him again before he left. Ummmm YES!!! He told me they were thinking of giving the guys their 4 day pass, but it wasn't for sure yet. I was told not to get my hopes up, but he would call back later with the news. So, I went home and got ready for work the next day. M called back at 10:00 that night. He told me they were getting their 4 day pass and that if I wanted to, I could come out to Texas and visit him. My mind just went blank. I was so excited, but I have never planned a trip and then left the following day. My trips are always planned in advance. Thankfully M realized I was shutting down and told me what I needed to do. He asked me to find the cheapest flight I could with times that would work. He then called his parents to see if they could watch Little L for the weekend. We decided it was better to not take him because it would only confuse him more. Plus we wanted some alone time together. I found a flight, then called in for a substitute for Friday afternoon. The plan was I would go into work that morning, pick Little L up from daycare, meet my MIL at our house and she would take me and Little L to the airport. We made it there in plenty of time and I was able to play with Little L for awhile. I swear the boy didn't care that I was leaving. He was more interested in the fountain inside the airport. :) I flew from Sarasota to Atlanta, then Atlanta to Ft. Bliss. The airport near Ft. Bliss is SMALL. When I finally made it there, I got my rental car and was told I needed to pick M up, of course was his unit staying at Ft. Bliss? Nope they were at one of the camps about a half hour away. I had to navigate those crazy roads at night, and make sure I didn't end up in Mexico, but I finally found him (thank goodness for GPS). Oh my goodness!!!! It was GREAT to see him!!!!
We drove back and found a hotel. The next morning we were able to have breakfast, we ended up going to Freedom Crossing. Oh my goodness!!!! Is that place pretty nice. Compared to the one at Ft. Leonardwood it was amazing! We had lunch there, walked around. Then went back to the room for a nap. I can't tell you how nice it is to be able to take a nap whenever you want. It's amazing!!!! We decided to meet up with one other Lieutenant and his wife and another Lieutenant. It was fun hanging out with some other people. We had dinner, then walked around Wal-Mart. Exciting huh?
On my last day there (those 4 day passes always go too quickly) we went and saw a movie, then we found a REALLY good Steakhouse. I cannot remember the name, but we decided to share a steak and thank goodness we did. It came out and was HUGE!!!! It was one of the BEST steaks I've ever had. I really enjoyed going out to dinner with him and have a nice meal.
The day I left we had breakfast and hung out until it was time to take M back to Freedom Crossing where he would catch a bus to go back to the camp they were staying at. I swear those last few hours flew by. I couldn't believe I was having to say "see you later" again.
I am soooo thankful I went out to visit him. It was an amazing weekend. Even though we didn't do anything spectacular, it was great just being together. Getting some alone time was great. It reminded me how much I truly do love him (not that I ever really forget) :) I am sorry Little L wasn't able to come, but I was glad we could afford for me to go out there. A lot of the soldiers weren't able to have family come see them because of the short notice. I think it was worth the money. Having that extra time was an unexpected gift.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

30 Day Challenge-Day 15 The Dreaded See You Later Day

This has to be, by far, one of the hardest days of my entire life. The men were required to report on a Wednesday, so M and I decided to drive to Orlando Tuesday evening and find a hotel room to stay in. That way we could spend our mornings and evenings together.Plus Little L and I would have a place to hang out during the day. At Yellow Ribbon 1 and 2, we were told by the XO that there would be a farewell ceremony that Sunday and they would be leaving shortly after that. Well, I'm not sure if he didn't know the actual date, or if things got moved, but that Wednesday when I brought M and his friend lunch I was told they moved the ceremony up to Saturday morning and they would be leaving sometime on Saturday! I was heartbroken! I was losing another night to be with him!!! I thankfully kept my composure until I was away from the guys. Little L and I had the task of finding a hotel room for Friday and Saturday nights at a hotel that had smoking rooms for M's parents. They of course need a smoking room because they refuse to walk outside to smoke. It was harder than I thought, but I found one, right next door to where we were staying. So, Little L and I hung out in the hotel room and went swimming while we waited for M to finish what he needed to do those last couple of days. We spent our evenings getting the last minute things M needed to take with him, going to dinner and just spending time together as a family.The days of course went by WAY too quickly.
It was finally THE day, the day I had been dreading since that previous February. I don't think I slept hardly at all the night before. I just laid in his arms trying to remember how it felt, his smell, and everything about him, so I could carry that with me through the next lonely year. That morning we got up, took Little L to stay with M's parents so we could go to breakfast together alone. I really appreciated the fact that we could do this. I know M LOVES spending time with Little L, but I needed some one on one time with him before he left. We went to breakfast, then hung out until it was time to drop him off with the unit. I needed to go back to the hotel room to shower and get ready. We packed everyone up and headed to the unit for the ceremony. When we got there we were told that the time they were supposed to have to be with families might be taken away because some stupid people decided to go out and get drunk the night before and showed up late that morning. Thankfully, they didn't take all of it away from us. I believe enough families complained about it. Once we got to the unit we found our seats out in the HOT sun and waited for everything to start. I tell you what, seeing all of those men in their uniforms, standing in formation is just amazing. Knowing they were leaving to go to war just makes you so proud, yet you just want to fall to your knees, crying and begging them not to go. I really think the heat helped keep me from breaking down. They decided to set up the ceremony in the parking lot. I'm not kidding it was HOT, there was no breeze and hardly a cloud in the sky. The chaplain, the previous CO,  and the current CO all spoke. Thankfully they made it quick.
M and Little L while we were waiting
After the ceremony some guys still had to fill out paperwork, so no one was allowed to leave. We all just sat around, waiting (sound familiar?) and waiting. We would see M from time to time. He would play with Little L, talk to us and then disappear again. Finally the guys were released to leave, but had to be back in three hours. :( We asked M where he wanted to go for lunch, he chose Taco Bell. :) One of his favorite places to eat. Then we hung out with his parents, everyone ignoring the huge elephant in the room. In no time at all it was time to go back.
I swear those three hours went by SOOOO quickly! We loaded all of his stuff in the car, and drove the short 10 mins to the unit. He placed his bags in his platoons spot and I finally convinced him to take a family picture. He hates getting his picture taken and to this day he hates the way he looks in the picture, but I needed it. I needed to be able to see us as a family, even though we were  going to be separated by thousands of miles.
We hung out and waited some more at the unit. It was starting to get dark. All of the kids were running around, having a great time, either unaware of what was happening or trying to ignore it. I was trying with everything I had to not break down. I know I was very quiet during this time. I was afraid if I opened my mouth I would just lose it. It was finally dark, I'm not sure what time it was because I wasn't watching the clock, but of course time was passing too quickly. Some families started to leave, not wanting to stay to see the buses leave. The men were given the half hour warning of when they had to board the buses. It was at this time that M said we needed to leave. He didn't want me staying to watch the buses leave. He had work to do, and was afraid it would be too hard on all of us. So, we said our "see you laters". I don't think I ever cried so much in my entire life. He promised to be safe and to come home to us. I held on to him as long and as hard as I could. I know Little L didn't understand what was going on. He has seen daddy put his uniform on, leave and come home, he didn't understand that it would be MONTHS before we would see each other again.
Watching your husband, in uniform, walk away from you has to be one of the hardest things I will ever do. Knowing he is going to a place where they are actively trying to hurt and kill people, plus the job he has been assigned will make your heart just stop. It takes the breath right out of you. On one hand, you are so very proud that he, and the others are so willing to put their lives on the line for the freedom of our country. But on the other hand you want to just grab a hold of them and never let them go. Going back to the hotel room alone that night was horrible, actually horrible isn't the word for it, but I cannot think of a word to adequately explain that feeling you have when you realize they are gone, they are gone and not coming back in a week, month or two, but a year. I felt so alone, I felt like no one knew exactly what I was feeling, even though my in-laws were there, it's different when it's your husband who is leaving. I really can't explain it, but it's just different. I am so proud of my husband and I know this day wasn't easy on him either. Leaving everything you know and love behind to go to a foreign country to fight a war has to be extremely hard. I pray daily that he is safe and will come home to us soon. He is my hero and I love him with my whole heart! But I will never forget the feelings that I felt that day. This day will forever be burned into my memory.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

30 Day Challenge- Day 14 Baby #2

Since the beginning of our relationship, M and I have always said we wanted two kids and we wanted them to be around 2-3 years apart.
When the deployment bomb was dropped on us I was pretty firm on not wanting to go through all of that on my own. I wanted him to be a part of it, like he was with Little L. If you've read past posts you know that it didn't happen that way.
Once the shock of the upcoming deployment wore off, we discussed everything. We did the math on if we waited for him to come back and to us it was just too big of a gap between the kids. Plus we weren't sure how long it would take for us to get pregnant, what with the other one ending in a miscarriage. So, we decided to do the whole we aren't trying but we aren't stopping it either. We figured if it happened and it stuck, then it was meant to be.
Well, literally a month later I missed my period, took the test and it was positive. I was pretty excited and scared at the same time. First I was scared if this one would take or if I would lose this one too. Then I was scared about going through labor without him there. He was amazing during labor with Little L, I couldn't imagine doing it without him.

Baby #2 aka Baby E!!!!

Me hugely pregnant with her. She took up all available room.
We decided this time to just tell our immediate families and wait to tell friends and family friends until the risky period was over. I am happy to say, everything was fine and we were able to share the good news with everyone around 20 weeks. It was nice this time around telling our families and seeing them so excited for us. I feel very complete now, and thankfully will not be having any more babies :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

30 Day Challenge- Day 13 The D Word

Kind of fitting if you ask me, Friday the 13th and talking about the dreaded D word. Yuck!
I had known since M moved into the Florida Reserves that deployment would happen eventually. But it was always talked about as a long off in the distance type of thing. I knew his unit had only been back from their last deployment for a little while and that it would still be another year or two before they started training to deploy again. Ha! Of course the Army had to change that and shake our little world up.
I don't remember the actual date, but I remember the conversation. I want to say it was sometime in February. I was already home, it was a bright, beautiful Florida day. I had the windows and doors open. M came home and for some reason we started talking in the entrance way. He said he had some news. I generally don't like when conversations start that way. He said he had spoken to his CO and that the unit that was supposed to deploy couldn't for some reason and his was called up. I felt like the wind had been knocked out of me. I thought "oh crap, well at least we have about a year to get ready for this". Then my world came crashing down around me. He then told me that they would be deploying sometime in the fall. I couldn't believe it! That left like no time at all!!!! What I remember most about that conversation was Little L was playing in the living room, M was lying on his stomach and I was sitting cross legged next to him in the doorway. It took everything I had to not break down at that moment. All I kept thinking was, you just got home from BOLC (which really it had been a couple of months, but it felt like he just got home). Then I started thinking about everything he would miss with Little L and the summer we were going to miss spending together, again. Then the thoughts of what his job entails crept into my mind and sent me into panic mode. I'm not sure if he knew I was panicking on the inside or not, but I was FREAKING out. That was when I told him I didn't want to try to get pregnant until he came back home (as you guys can see, that didn't happen) that I didn't want to go through the pregnancy and labor without him, I didn't think I could handle it.
Of course we all know the Army and that nothing is ever written in stone, and his unit's deployment date got moved up two more times. Each time it was like getting the wind knocked out of me all over again. Thinking we were losing more and more time to spend together as a family. Not to mention all of the training he had to get in before they left. Our time dwindled to days and weeks instead of months.
I obviously came to the conclusion there was nothing I could do and he was going so I had better get used to it and support him the best way I knew how. I'm sure I wasn't always the best at not breaking down, or the best at not complaining, but I did try.  I knew this wasn't easy on him either, but it was something that had to be done.
Now over a year later from that conversation, I can still picture us sitting there. I don't remember everything said, but I remember the feelings that ran through me that day and night. The D word had finally crept its way into our household. And we are surviving it.
I am so proud to call him my husband. I know him being away isn't easy on him, just like it's not easy on me or Little L, but we are strong, our marriage is strong and we will survive this deployment. This is one year out of the many we will have together, and I can't imagine being with anyone else. He is the cheese to my macaroni. :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

30 Day Challenge- Day 12 Our Second Wedding

On to another happy memory. :) The day of our second wedding. I pretty much planned our whole second wedding while M was at BOLC. He of course helped with picking out the food and we both agreed on where to get our cake from. (If you've ever had Publix's cake, you know it's pretty amazing). I was looking forward to the day, I was finally getting my white wedding. I know M thought I was silly for wanting it, seeing as we were already married. But I was afraid that I would regret not having this day later in life. It was a really fun weekend. Two of my good girlfriends from college came down to be in my bridal party, and my third girl was a close friend from down here. I was especially excited to see my friend Misty. We met in college and we have that friendship that we can go months without talking, then pick up the phone and we pick our friendship right up. I was so glad she was able to come and share this day with me.
Friday night was of course the rehearsal, we went through it quickly, then we all came back to our house to have pizza and hang out. It was fun catching up with everyone. Saturday morning came and M and I met our bridal party at Obies for a light lunch of subs. Then it was time for the girls to get their hair did and I got my make up done. I am so glad I did that! I am horrible at putting on makeup, I never wear it so I wanted someone who knew what they were doing to do it. Finally we were done and it was time to get to the venue.
Our tables

We decided to get "married" at the same place as the reception. I am so glad that we did. It was less stressful I think that way. I got dressed, took some pics and then it was finally time to get started. I was in the hallway standing with my daddy and all of the sudden I got nervous! Which is so weird, because I was already married, I love this man with my whole heart, what did I have to be nervous about? Well, I realized I was nervous about being in front of all of those people. I'm not generally one who likes to be the center of attention. I am more likely to be found in the circle, but watching and listening to everyone and putting my two cents in where I feel like it. :) Finally it was time for my daddy to walk me down the isle. It seemed like it went quick. Once M saw me, a huge grin spread across his face. He of course wolf whistled at me (he does this often in public, he says he likes to see me blush). Everyone laughed. We said our vows and took our first kiss (again) as husband and wife.
My dress
My flowers

As the cocktail hour was going on, we were taking pics. I have to admit, I'm not 100% happy with my pics, I feel like she could have done a better job, but I'm just not sure how. But for the most part, they turned out nice. After cocktail hour was dinner, the food was great. We had a buffet (I am a picky eater and I like weddings that have this so I can make my choices and not feel bad about not eating something). Then we had our toasts, then dancing. Everyone really seemed to enjoy dancing and the music was great. I think the DJ did a great job! I danced a lot that night, as well as visited with people I hadn't seen in awhile. I had a great time that night. I really hope everyone else did too. I am glad that I went through with having my white wedding. Are there days I wish we would have done it this way first, yes......but at the same time we have never done things in the correct order and it works for us. I must say, I really enjoyed myself and I think it turned out great! We have some great memories from that night.

Head table decorations

Chocolate fountain, best money spent!

Our Cake

Happy lil family

We love our Little L

One of my favorite pics of us

One of my favorite Aunts, I love this pic of us

Me and my girls (L-R) Misty, Kristin, Me, Stacy

Me and M

Me and M again

The girls I worked with my first year teaching, the Glenallen crew
(L-R) Ellen, Anne, Heidi, Stacy, Me, Mindy and Kyla
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

30 Day Challenge- Day 11 The Day I found out I was pregnant again/miscarriage

M and I had always talked about having two kids. We wanted two and we wanted them to be somewhat close in age. So, when he came home from BOLC we waited a few months then started trying, or I guess you could say we weren't stopping it from happening. We weren't really concerned about a timeline (other than I wanted to get pregnant around August or September so I could have the summer off with the baby like I did with Little L) and his unit wasn't supposed to deploy for another year or two.
I missed my period shortly after my birthday in November. I was really excited but wanted to wait to tell anyone until we were past the point of a miscarriage. M thought that was silly because I didn't have any issues with Little L, and he was SOOOOO excited!!! I think he told anyone that would listen. It was cute watching him, getting to share in the excitement of a planned pregnancy.
However, that all changed around the beginning of December. I woke up one morning and had some spotting. I didn't think much of it at first, then it got a little heavier. We talked about it and decided to call my OB about it. We went in and he sent us to get an ultrasound. We went and did this, of course the ultra sound techs don't tell you anything, which made the waiting So Much Worse! We got the results that day, there was no heart beat, but the doc said my dates could be off and it hadn't developed a heart beat yet. So I was told to take it easy. That Saturday we had a Christmas event at the Elks Club where M's dad is a member. I was instructed to sit in my seat the whole time, and I followed directions for the most part. :)
The next day was the worst day ever. That was the day I miscarried. Both boys were taking a nap when it happened and I had to wake M up. I have never felt so hollow or empty before in my life as I did at that moment. I felt like a failure. I was really upset about this for some time. It was one of my worst fears come true. Thank goodness I am married to the amazing man that I am. He was completely 110% there for me during this time (as he always is). He helped me to see that this wasn't the baby for us and that probably there was something wrong with it, which is why it didn't develop. I knew that, but hearing someone else say it and brought that thought from the back of my mind to the front helped.
Every time I think about that day, those same feelings come bubbling up inside of me. It was a very dark and sad day. I am so thankful for the two healthy kids that I have. I am also so thankful for my amazing husband and his support during this time.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Holy Cow!

Oh my goodness! I was on facebook tonight and I saw that Amanda at Somewhere Over the Camo had a new blog post about being honored. I was curious so I went to her blog (granted I read it every time she posts something new, I love reading her blog!) and she was nominated for The Best U.S. Military Spouse Blog Award! How cool is that?!?! Well, I wanted to see who else was nominated and saw some of my favorite blogs on there, then what do I see at the bottom.....yup my blog!!!!! I couldn't believe it! Thank you so much Amanda! This really means a lot to me, and what you wrote in your nomination was awesome! I think we would be great friends if you only lived in sunny Florida :) hehe! So, in the words of Amanda (because she worded it so great) "This is me shamelessly tooting my own horn." :)

It's easy to nominate or vote for a blog, just go here, and just click on the thumb up if you want to vote. The guidelines for nominating are there as well.

What a great end to my day! I seriously never thought anyone would actually read my blog, but it makes me happy to know someone actually likes what I write. :)

Have a great night everyone!

30 Day Challenge- Day 10 Little L's First Birthday

Oops I missed a big day. I missed talking about Little L's first birthday. M wasn't able to be with us on the day Little L turned one, but we sure did take quite a few pictures. Growing up birthdays were always a big deal in our family. We would have a family dinner on the night of our actual birthday and then of course a party with friends that weekend. So, naturally I wanted to have the same traditions for Little L. One the day he turned one, he took cupcakes to daycare. That night when I got home from work we had our families over. M's parents, nephews, sister, his Uncle Ken, family friends Paul and Rosie and my mom. (My mom is my only family that lives down here) Due to me being here by myself I decided to do just cake and ice cream for the birthday boy. I had decorations all on the table, with matching cups, plates and napkins. I picked out a cute Winnie the Pooh cake. I thought everything looked cute.

Everyone showed up and we had Little L open his presents. He likes to open something then play with it right away. It was hard getting him to open everything. But he sure enjoyed every present he got. Finally it was cake time. We got him in his highchair and sang happy birthday to him. Then my father in law decided to feed Little L his cake. It kind of annoyed me, because I felt like it was something I should be doing instead of him. He didn't even ask if it was ok, or if I wanted to be him during this time. So, that kind of annoyed me, but I let it go.

Little L had a great time. He was exhausted by the time the cake was over. Everyone stayed around for a little bit eating their cake and ice cream. Everyone finally left and my mom helped me clean up. I was leaving to visit M at Ft. Leonardwood the next day.
I think Little L had a great first birthday. It was hard to believe he was a year old already. Time sure does fly by.
Isn't he just the cutest thing?

Pop-pop feeding Little L his cake

One tired little birthday boy