Monday, October 26, 2009

One week

One week. Thats all I have left with my husband until the end July 2010. He'll miss another Christmas and Thanksgiving...another Valentine's Day, our daughter's birthday again and his own birthday. He missed all these things last year as well. I can't help but to be really sad about this. Truthfully, I don't really know how I am going to make it here without him. He is such a huge help to me with our home, our kids, and our dog. He is so involved in everything that I don't know how I am going to manage and do it all by myself for 9 months. And thats just the practical side of me thinking. Then there is the emotional part of him being gone. I know I will be so lonely day in and day out - bathing the kids, tucking them in, watching TV, turning down the house, and crawling in myself.

I know there are thousands of wives and mothers out there doing the exact same thing while their husbands serve our country. It makes me feel somewhat better but it doesn't eliminate the sting of being alone managing our house and raising our kids. God intended man and woman to be together. I believe He designed them as a team for a reason. When B was gone last year, I felt as though part of who I am was missing. My partner in life, my other half. Last year it was just for 6 months - this year it is for 9 months. Those last three months will go by painfully slow I'm sure.

I have read that it is up to me to make this time what it will be. I can mope, cry, and feel sorry for myself, or I can count down the days until his return and use this time to grow closer to my children and my God. I hope to celebrate this time by taking it in stride and doing the daily tasks for His glory. Unfortunately, I can't be dishonest with myself. I will still cry when he leaves. I will still cry when I am overwhelmed. I will still cry when I drive to Atlanta alone. I will still cry on Christmas Eve when he's absent again.

So, I have one week. He is working all week so I won't actually get to see him more than normal. Today was a rough day at home. I felt so overwhelmed by D's endless crying and C's constant requests and demands for my attention and yet, at 4:00, B walked through the door and relieved the stress. Next Monday, he will not be here to do that. Please pray for me and for him. This whole entry has been about me, but he will be alone 9 months as well. He will not have his wife or the children he adores on any holiday or when he has a bad day. No hugs from me or from the kids. At least I know that I can wrap my arms around C and she will wrap her little preschool arms around my neck and tell me she loves me. He will be without that. Please pray for him. Lastly, pray for C. At three years old, she still has very little concept of time. I have tried to talk to her about it - "daddy is going to be going away on an airplane for a very long time...until the end of next summer." But she just doesn't understand. My biggest concern is that he will leave and she will then realize he isn't coming home. I don't want her to feel "cheated" or "betrayed" because she didn't know. I think thats my biggest fear. I wish I could make her understand before he just doesn't come home next Monday.

So, one week.

Photo Contest!!

Update...The above photo appears to be the winner. I cropped and brightened it, and I like it even more. I think I'll submit it tonight! Thanks for your opinions!!

I need your opinion. Yes, every one of you who reads these words...please leave your input :-) I am entering a photo contest for one of my favorite wool websites - Woollybottoms. All I have to do is capture D in his Woollybottoms footies and send it in. So, I took him outside today in his new pants (that I LOVE!!!) and snapped a few shots. Which one do you like the best? Click on the picture if you want to see it larger. You can leave a comment on here in the comments section or facebook me your answer if you can't figure out how to leave a comment on here. The prize is $100 to their website which would get D a ton of woollies and some wool wash!! Yahoo! Please vote for your favorite :-) Isn't he adorable??











Sunday, October 25, 2009

I'm an addict...

I feel like my blog should be about what's on my mind, so I will share with you today what I can't get off my mind. I think I am an addict. Seriously, I think I am.... Want to know what I can't get enough of? It's wool! I know it sounds goofy but it's the truth and since I try and be truthful on here, I feel as though I should blog about my addiction.

Every time I sit down at the computer, I can't help but search my favorite websites for what wool is on sale and who is selling some used pieces. See, if you don't know, wool is used as a covering for a fitted cloth diaper. It takes the place of a plastic covering. The wool used on babies is so soft and cozy...never scratchy and thin. I just recently started using wool on D and I absolutely love it. The problem is that wool is generally pretty expensive, so for now, all I can do is drool over the wool online.

Want to see what I stalk online? These are the pieces I am currently dreaming about...

Disana Pull on Cover in the beautiful colors :-) These are decently affordable and look really comfy.

Sustainablebabyish interlock wool pants...these are $64 so they are WAY out of my price range..but I do hope to have a pair one day. I have heard they are so wonderfully cozy, practical, and adorable. These are what I drool over the most....

Sustainablebabyish interlock wool soaker. The same beauty as the pants above but slightly more affordable and would probably be great for the spring to wear in place of shorts...except they actually sell the shorts as well...that would probably be even better!! Check this out to see how cute the pants/shorts and soakers look on kiddos!

This whole set of the wool pants, matching fitted diaper, and matching shirt. So cute and drool worthy!!!!

Everything made by Little Beetle, haha. I have the wool pants I love them more I probably should. I would LOVE the little shorts for D in the spring or summer...or under PJs.

How could I forget the Woollybottoms? These are affordable and adorable and they work great! I could get one of everything on this website :-)

There definitely is more that I look at. Mostly here on Diaper Swappers - where mom's sell and trade all things cloth diapering. There are so many adorable custom knitted or sewn wool interlock pants/shorts/soakers out there!! Ahhh!

So, thats my new addiction. I only have three wool pieces for D and I just adore them all :-) I am thankful to have what I have but will hopefully be adding to the collection as I save up some money here and there $$$.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday my Little Love

My Dearest Little D,
I can't believe you are one year old already. It feels like only yesterday we were in the hospital holding you for the first time. I remember the overwhelming joy I felt when you were born and how I cried the purest tears of sheer delight. I remember the first time I nursed you and how special it was. I remember when your big sister came in to meet you and how excited she was as well. I fondly remember the first time we changed your diaper and you peed on us, your blankets, and yourself, haha. I remember when your Daddy deployed and you were then the man of our house at only 15 days old. Your seemingly endless crying bought me to tears on more than one occasion but each time I nursed you or finally got you to sleep after the bouncing, rocking, and swaying, I would gaze at your precious face and fall in love all over again. I remember tucking you snuggly into your warm and cozy car seat and driving back and forth to Atlanta. I remember you swinging in your swing late into the night by only the light of our christmas tree. I remember holding your sweet little swaddled body close to mine as I rocked you in those early days. You truly were my littlest love.

Now, as I watch you speed crawl down the hall and devour a piece of cake in a matter of minutes, I can't believe you are a whole year old. You've gained about 16 pounds and developed the sweetest personality. You smile your beautiful dimply smile and flash your 4 pearly whites and it nearly melts my heart. You vigorously splash in the bathtub and hang your head in shame when I tell you "no." You want me or your daddy whenever you are sad or have been hurt. I saw this today at the doctor when after getting 4 shots, the moment I picked you up, you stopped crying and settled into my arms. Tonight as I rocked you and gave you your nighttime bottle, you drank, then pushed away the bottle, tucked your little arm under my arm, popped your left thumb in your mouth, settled your head in the crook of my arm, and closed your eyes. I rocked and rocked...a little longer than normal. Soon you will be too big to fit so comfortably in my arms when we rock. Even as it is, your feet hang off the arm rest of the glider. I know you'll continue to grow too fast leaving me wondering where the days of my little man went. Thank you for your love. Thank you for being my son. Thank you for being more than I ever hoped you would be. I love you more than words can say. Happy Birthday my little love.

With an Endless Love,

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Gratitude 2

We've had such a busy week here that I completely didn't do my new gratitude thing on Monday. I can at least tell you that though I didn't blog about the gifts God has given me, I definitely did think of them throughout this week. So here we go...

11. Crisp Fall mornings that require a jacket.

12. Bright orange sunsets

13. A child who points out that the sky is orange...and that "God made those colors".

14. Pumpkin spice latte's in the Fall and Peppermint Mocha's around Christmas. These just make me "feel" the seasons.

15. A weekend so full of fun with our families.

16. The friends I have made at church, ballet class, and in my neighborhood.

17. That my husband was able to be home for my son's birth last year and 1st birthday this year.

18. Skype on our computer so we can talk to B everyday when he leaves in 11 days.

19. Generous friends and family who gave D the most wonderful birthday presents on a birthday that I couldn't buy him everything I wanted to get him. Thank you!!

20. A few childless stolen moments with my husband this weekend that made us feel like we were still "just dating."

21. A husband that has an infectious laugh and the biggest smile ever!

22. Kids having fun being kids.

23. My MOPS group.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Atlanta Wedding and Birthday Party

We traveled home this past week/weekend for my sister in law's wedding and D's first birthday party. He turns one on October 23rd, so we thought we'd throw a birthday bash while we were there :-) I could not have prepared myself for how hectic the visit was going to be though. We arrived home last Wednesday evening and starting Thursday it was go go go go go.... I had so much fun getting a manicure and pedicure with both my sisters in law and my mother in law. It was such a treat to have a girly morning with them - plus I hadn't had my nails done since I gave birth last year! (they looked pretty bad...poor pedicure girl) I just smile every time I get a glimpse of my beautiful toes!

Friday morning I went shopping with my mom to get all the birthday party food and the rest of the favors. Friday afternoon/evening was spent with B's family pre-celebrating the marriage at Longhorn Steakhouse...again another luxury for us!! B and I hadn't eaten at a really good place like that in a long time! I have to pause and tell you about the few minutes after dinner that was so special to me. B was heading out with all the wedding guys to go to Dave and Busters for some fun, so C and I decided to walk down the sidewalk to the Carter's store to get her a pair of winter PJs. Try and envision this with me because it was the picture of the moment that was so cute...So, it was about 7:30pm and was dark outside. It was an especially cool evening so C was wearing her puffy down vest over her purple velour dress and hot pink tights. (And silvery glitter ballet flats!). She stepped out of Longhorn to discover that all the white twinkle lights were lit in the trees that line the shopping area. It really does look magical and holidayish, haha. So, she got so excited and said, "Look, the lights are in the trees!! It's almost Christmas!!" She then skipped joyfully next to me as we held hands walking down to Carter's. Because it was Friday night, there were a lot of people out and it just felt like the holidays were nearing. This is my favorite time of year and just seeing my daughter enjoying the magic of it all was such a blessing! We did proceed to pick out the perfect pair of winter PJs and got them on sale too! Could the evening get better?? Yes!! We then went over to my mother in law's house where all the girls went and hung out and chatted while B's aunt decorated the wedding was a GREAT evening!

Saturday was super busy with wedding happenings and then the 2 hour drive to the wedding in Helen, GA. It was so fun though. The wedding was small and intimate but so perfect for the special couple. C danced her heart out on the dance floor until they started taking down decorations and turned off the music...she even continued to dance when I got her in her PJs for the ride home, haha. My sister in law and new brother in law are now on their honeymoon and I am sure they are enjoying some time away from the rest of the world to focus on their new marriage. Yay!! Praise God for marriage :-) Here are just a few of my favorite pics from the day.

Mother and daughter after getting hair and make up done. I love this picture!
All the girls before heading to Helen for the wedding
Their first dance.
After the bride and groom had their dance, they invited the kids up. This "family dance" was so great. This moment actually made me tear up...
Love them!
C busting a move with the big girls!
The bride and groom!
Hehe, me and my sister in law dancing :-)

Sunday was D'd birthday party and boy was it hectic! My mom baked the cake and cupcakes while I was at the wedding the night before and then woke up at 5am to prepare the crock pot mac and cheese so it would be done by the 11am party. She also baked the baked beans! Yum! I was so fortunate to have assistance with this since I was too busy to do most of it. I did arrange everything and make the dip though!! haha. I had so much fun with all the party guests. We now all bring a ton of babies since we are all about the same child bearing age. In attendance were 7 children under the age of three and a half! It was crazy but very fun. Poor D was teething and getting a cold so he was pretty tired, but he held up like a champ. He got so many wonderful gifts as well. It really is such a blessing to have friends and family that spoil him with the things that I can't afford to spoil him with, haha. After the party, B and I (and D) ran up to the Mall of GA with his mom, sister and nephew to get his mom and new computer. It was so nice to run out there and eat dinner at the food court with him. It brought back a lot of memories since he and I were habitual mall goers when we were dating and newly married. We love mall walking and people-watching. It was a great outing :-)

One of my favorite pics...I love his messy hands

My best friend and all the kiddos...she looks so happy amongst all the craziness!
Now, after a 7.5 hour car ride, we're back at home. It was a rough ride home since D still didn't feel well. He cried most of the ride and only slept for about 90 minutes. But we made it home safe and sound. Now we count down until B deploys in less than 2 weeks. Bummer!

Monday, October 12, 2009


holy experience
A friend of mine blogged about a beautiful blog that she stumbled across. I checked out the link like I so often do - it's kind of like "blog hopping" - and I fell in love. A Holy Experience is not only gorgeous to look at and listen to, but it is so well written! It is full of Christ and His goodness. I just love it. Well, it's author, Ann (as if I know her, haha) has started a group called the "Gratitude Community." Basically, its a challenge to be blessed by counting the graces from God - all the beautiful things He has given or provided in my life. The idea is to count 1000 gifts from God...truly the gifts are endless, but 1000 is a great goal. So, I joined the community and plan on recording the gifts from God every Monday...sometimes I may only have a couple and somedays I may list a whole bunch! I will record as the Spirit leads...

1. A God that loves me more than I can ever comprehend.
2. Music that moves my spirit.
3. My beautiful daughter.
4. The sweetest son.
5. A husband that serves.
6. My minivan that faithfully transports me in comfort and safety.
7. My education and the opportunity to acquire it in the first place.
8. The roof over my head.
9. A mom that still takes care of me.
10. Friends that know me as well as my own family knows me.

These are coming to me faster than I can write, so I think I am going to stop there tonight. I will have to consider how I am going to do this...maybe I'll record them more often than once a week. :-) Praise Him!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Living on a TRUE budget

B and I have recently discovered just how far a dollar goes...or doesn't go. For years, we have lived off the money we have made and then had our credit cards as "back up" for things we needed or really wanted and just couldn't afford. So now, 6 years into our marriage we are at the brink of maxing out our credit card, gulp! Ahhh! We've always been regular on our payments and have often payed the balance completely off...only to accumulate more debt once again. Well, now with two kids and one Army income, we have found ourselves using the dumb credit card way more than normal which has left us where we stand today - in way more debt than we ever thought we'd be in!

So, we are now living strictly on the money B makes as an enlisted soldier, and whew has it been tough! We are realizing just how little that truly is and how far and how quickly that goes. It makes us realize how foolish we have been to be using our credit card on so much "stuff" we haven't really the stuff food, vacation, or actual products. After living off of what B actually makes I have found myself buying the least expensive groceries and really thinking before I pick up a product at the store. "Do I REALLY need this?" I try to limit my driving so I don't use more gas than necessary, and I have eliminated any fast food or Starbucks runs. We only went out to eat once in the past few weeks and it was because I got my own little paycheck from being a sub at my church's nursery (I only worked one day, so it was kind of small, haha). I can assure you that we ate the heck out of Texas Roadhouse's bread and peanuts as we drank our free water and ate off the $7.99 menu. We really "cherished" our meal out!

B and I have never felt this broke in all the years of our marriage, but there is a peace in knowing we are only buying what we truly need. By cutting out all unnecessary spending, I feel like we are finally being good stewards of our money...and that does feel good. The stress of not knowing if I'm going to be able to go to the grocery store towards the end of the month, or thinking the prices are too high at the kids' consignment store, or realizing I can't go buy more juice or milk for 2 more days since pay day is still a few days away, or knowing I can't run out and buy whatever I'd like to buy for D's birthday party have definitely taken a toll on me. I have been feeling sick lately. I haven't been eating as much...partly because I can't afford to buy anything real snazzy or fun to eat, and partly because I feel too stressed to have an appetite. Either way, I've lost 7 pounds without actually trying (now I am actually really excited about this though....weight loss is always a great thing in my book!). But feeling sick so frequently is not as cool :-(

Fortunately, we have a fantastic plan to pay off all our debt when B deploys later this month. It is a huge blessing that he makes a decent amount more when he's deployed so we have a healthy cushion to use for debt payoff. And between that extra income (that can't seem to come soon enough) and our expected tax rebate in February, we expect to get out feet healthily back on the ground next year. I am 100% sure we will be successful in paying off our debt. This will of course give us more money on a monthly basis which should help us to live debt free on a day to day basis (plus, B is up for his next promotion soon!). This blog entry may not have been as exciting as some - in fact I think it's kind of dreary - but my blog is about what is on my mind. And, I can assure you that this lack of money is definitely what has been on my mind lately. Pinching pennies and stretching every last dollar a million ways is tough, but doable. God will see us through this financial valley and I hope in 10 years we will look back on this time and realize that we changed our financial ways and are now living much better and more responsibly. I also hope to have a larger home :-)