29 July 2010

Mid-Week Rewind




Back in May, the guys and I spent a day in St. Louis. We had talked about taking Aiden to the Arch and we didn’t really want to wait until it was crowded with families on their summer vacation so on whim we packed up the car and headed out.  It wasn't terribly hot out then so we were able to walk down along the river and see how high the water was.  The Lewis and Clark statue was almost hard to recognize as it was mostly underwater...
We decided that we were going to the top of the Arch that day because I never had, it had been years since Adam had and we already knew we'd be moving and wouldn't have many other chances.
The guys didn't mind the ride to the top in the tiny little contraption that gets you up there, but I wasn't so fond of it. I'm glad I did it though, I had only ever been on the outside and inside of the bottom part and now I have fully experienced it! While we waited in line we looked at all the neat things that explain some of the history of the Arch and the guys tried out the old fashioned scale.
At the top, we looked out the windows at 630 feet in the air! On the river side we saw the Arch's shadow and Aiden even pointed out a bus in the road! That kid can spot a bus from just about anywhere!
From the other side we saw Busch Stadium, Millennium Hotel, the Old Courthouse and Kiener Plaza and its big fountains.  Aiden Had no fear and would have leaned all the way out if the windows would have been open!
After making our way back down and exploring the museum below the Arch we headed to Hooters for dinner. It was Aiden's first time and he seemed to love it....but he got a balloon, attention from girls, french fries and attention from girls. Did I mention he got some attention from the Hooters girls?!? I think the blondes, boobies and booties made him a little crazy...what do you think?
After dinner we took Aiden over to the cascading fountain at Kiener Plaza...we figured he could use to cool off a bit after his experience with the Hooters girls!

Then we headed over to the Citygarden to explore. Adam couldn't resist the old fire truck filled with treats...
And Aiden couldn't resist the spray plaza and its more than 100 vertical jets that shoot water up to 8 feet high! 
It was the perfect way to spend a random Saturday afternoon with the guys.  I can't think of anyone else I'd rather take my adventures with!

{Emily}

28 July 2010

Fast Forward




I’ve decided that I have just too much catching up to do on sharing pictures that I’m going to fast froward and share our most recent adventures with you now, then try to do a few Thursday Throwbacks to share our pictures from May, June and the first part of July.
Last Friday we made the trip “home” to Illinois again for a little getaway and some family time. As usual, the weekend wasn’t long enough but here’s some of the fun we had...
Get Ready...
Get Set...
JUMP!
video
Aiden had a blast swimming with his cousins at Papa & Gigi's. He's finally old enough to follow the big boys and girls wherever they go...and he did just that! Of course I don't think his cousins minded...they love their "baby Aiden"!
On Saturday Adam and I watched the Cubs vs Cardinals game at Wrigley Field in Chicago! Back in February, it was my birthday present that I pick any game and any seats at Wrigley and we would go. I picked a great day! It was hot, too hot to even hardly drink our beer but we had great seats and best of all the Cubs won!
While we were at the game, Aiden spent some time with his friends at Monkey Joe's for Kai's 4th birthday!
On Sunday, we had Hungry Hobo(Yum!) and Aiden spent the afternoon driving around at Nana's...
Stopping only for a nap and  a bomb pop...
While the biggest boys played catch and enjoyed a couple games of basketball...
What a wonderful way to spend a weekend and we look forward to our next trip "back home" in August!

{Emily}


"Oh, Hey There! I almost didn't see you as I was busy being a viking! Thanks for stopping by...come back soon!"

R.I.P Friend

On 15 July 2010,  another soldier received his wings. He may be gone, but not forgotten. May you rest in peace Sgt. Leston Michael Winters and may God's blessings be with your family. Mike was a husband, father, son, brother, friend and hero.  He gave the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan as a Sergeant but will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery a Staff Sergeant, keeping his promise of returning home with a promotion.
Sgt. Winters was stationed here at Ft Leonard Wood, Mo and worked in the ER with Adam. He then pcs'd with his family to Fort Campbell where he deployed from only months ago.  He enjoyed scouting and hunting and anyone that knew him will never forget the "big buck down" story!  He could also be found goofing off quite frequently. My family sends our warmest thoughts and prayers to Beth, his wife and Remmy and Emma, their children. May they feel the love of family and friends and find peace at this difficult time.


Adam will be traveling to Arlington, Va to the funeral services to represent General Leonard Wood Community Hospital and to present Beth with a gift that was purchased with donations of many generous people throughout the hospital. My hope is to also be able to attend the service but the date is still pending sometime mid august.

R.I.P Leston Michael Winters
We think of you in silence
We often speak your name.
Now all we have are memories
And your picture in a frame.
Your memory is our keepsake
With which we'll never part.
God has you in his keeping
We have you in our heart.

{Emily}

20 July 2010

SO.BEHIND.

I am SO.BEHIND.PERIOD. I don't want to be and I don't like to be but I am.
I was doing so well and then July happened...
Things have been a bit  LOT crazy around here...to say the least. I was really looking forward to July being great but it has not been good to us.  Nothing we can't recover from, but not anything you plan to happen either.  More on all of it later....


On a positive note, we have had a little bit of fun stuck in between it all and I do have pictures to share. I'm working on them a little at a time and I'll get them up soon I hope as August is looking to be very busy for us!

If God brings you to it,

He will bring you through it.

Happy moments, praise God.

Difficult moments, seek God.

Quiet moments, worship God.

Painful moments, trust God.

Every moment, thank God.

16 July 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-in 2 & 3










Week #2 Questions were:
1. Tell us about your dream job… one that you could do regardless of pay.
Funny you ask...i'm at a time in my life right now where i just don't know what I want to be when i grow up. i went to school, earned my degree and loved what i was doing. i've loved staying home with my son, but i would like to work again and I have about 6 things in mind that i would like to give a try but i don't want to get started in school again and decide its not what i want either! It will come to me, i have faith. right now, i am doing what i used to dream of and that's staying home with my child just trying to be the best mom i can be for him.
2. What is your most prized material possession (kids and pets don’t count!)
i would say its still my baby blanket.  it is well loved by far and has been put up so it doesn't continue to fall apart anymore than it already has, but i would be devastated if something happened to it....thats why its kept locked up in the fireproof safe and my husband thinks i'm insane!
3.  What has been your favorite duty station and why?
We're currently on duty station #2 so i don't have a whole lot to choose from but i really enjoyed being at ft. carson.  at the end of the year we are heading to ft. richardson though and we're really looking forward to it.  I think each duty station will have things that will be our favorites because each will be different and any place i can make memories with my family is a good place!
4.  What is your least favorite household chore?
yard work. i really enjoy outside activities and being outdoors but i would rather not be working while i'm out there. plus, my thumb is extremely brown so anytime i spend on flowers or a garden is wasted anyway because i can't seem to then keep it alive.
5.  If you could give one piece of advice to a teenager today (not specifically a MilTeen), what would it be?
i would tell them to slow down! take the time to get a good education, take the time to respect yourself, take the time to find someone you love and who loves you and to start a family. Take the time to invest and make decisions so you don't have to live with regret. slow down and have fun! I spent a lot of time wishing i was an adult although i don't regret it... its a lot more work than i thought it would be and i wish i would have taken more time to be a kid.

Week #3 Questions were:
1. What is your favorite household chore?





I really like doing laundry. i live in a house where i can't even sneak off to go to the bathroom for 2 minutes! So can usually find peace in the laundry room with the door shut and the noise of the washer & dryer drowning out all the other commotion in the house. i like the accomplished feeling of folding everything neatly so its ready for someone to wear again. ironically enough though, I hate sorting socks! when the socks come out of the dryer they usually sit alone in the basket for awhile because i've folded everything else but i hate to pair up the socks when they're all mixed up!
2. What is your favorite childhood memory?
One of my favorite childhood memories is of jumping off the stairs into a pile of pillows. my mom would let me gather every pillow i could find in the house and piled them up at the bottom of our stairs and cover them with a blanket. Then my friends and and i would go up a few of the stairs (and then a few more & a few more...) and jump off into the pillows at the bottom.
3. What is your most embarrassing moment?
I've had quite a few embarrassing moments as i tend to be a klutz and sometimes not pay attention to what I'm doing...but in 6th grade i had just moved from the only place i'd ever known, california to a new place and new school in Illinois.  I had left class to go to the nurses office because I wasn't feeling well and I had to pass the cafeteria where all the 8th graders were standing in line waiting for their lunch. I had already passed the bathroom and couldn't make it back, so i threw up all over the hallway in front of all the 8th graders. now its no biggie but at the time I was mortified!
4. What uniform of your spouse’s is your favorite?
since my husband doesn't have his dress blues yet, i'm going to have to say my favorite uniform of him was the dcu's. he obviously doesn't wear them anymore, but man he looked good in them!  He looks good in his class a's too...but the uniform its self is just so ugly!! the marines by far have the best looking uniforms of all branches!
5. What canceled TV show do you miss the most?
Saved by the Bell and friends.  when i first had my son and I was up at all hours i was so excited when i found saved by the bell on at 6am! and i have every season of friends on dvd...it doesn't matter if i've seen every episode because they're still just as good as the first time i saw them!


{Emily}

13 July 2010

Stumbling










So I have total mom-mush brain today. Gah! Lack of focus is not even adequate in describing the way my brain is functioning today! I have three children under the age of two here today...thankfully right now by some miracle they are all sleeping at the same time! I could be doing a hundred thousand other things like updating pictures, working on picture books for my son while they’re on sale, or catching up on episodes of tv shows that are piling up in the DVR...you know the important things. But the house is quiet so I thought it would be a perfect time to work on some homework and laundry, you know like the actual important things! But I’ve just been sitting here stumbling around the internet looking for useful information about noise pollution and radon and city ordinances and other crap related topics. But somewhere in all of that I took a blog break and stumbled upon Household 6 Diva  which lead me to stumble upon Wife of a Sailor also. The hubs always asks me if I know these people when I look at blogs and he just doesn't understand that you don't have to know someone to know them in blogland!  Being a military wife and all it entails is something only another military wife would understand. So I started snooping er, I mean admiring a few of these new blogs I stumbled upon because I suddenly started to going “me too!” and “oh, I’ve so been there” and “I can totally relate!” And it made me want to join in on the fun of this MilSpouse Friday Fill-In because maybe there’s a military-spouse-stay-at-home-mom out there who will stumble upon my blog and could use a dose of feeling normal in a world where it can be so easy to start second guessing your feelings and thinking you’re crazy the longer you live the military life! MilSpouse Fill in Friday is already on week #3 so I’m going to get caught up and then continue on every week with them! If you’re interested, thanks! And if not, thanks for stopping by anyway and please come back because I’ll have some new pictures and family updates again soon.

Week #1 questions were:
1. How did you and your spouse/significant other meet?
I actually think that he likes to answer this question more than me. We were recently asked this by some newer friends we’ve made and he completely took over telling them with excitement in his voice going into details I thought he would have completely forgotten by now! But he’s not here and he doesn’t typically do the blogging with me so all you’re gonna get is my boring in-a-nutshell-rendition of what happened. We met at a college apartment party through mutual friends and we ended up talking and seeing each other a couple times in the few weeks before he left after just joining the Army.  I was 19 and just enjoying the college lifestyle and let it go.  I later moved in with someone and he went to Korea and then deployed to Iraq.  Two years or so passed and I ended up moving back home with my mom and thats when I found this square of paper with a name and phone number scribbled on it.  So being the random person I am, I called it and he answered but after he said he had no memory (he blames it on the explosions!) of me, I really thought that would be it. A couple weeks later he called me back and we got together to see each other again. And thats when our long-distance relationship journey began to soon include a five week engagement and a wedding before his next deployment! Here we are 4 years later...

2. What is the best thing about being a MilSpouse?
The opportunities. we are now on our second duty station and preparing to pcs again at the end of the year to the third. if it weren’t for the army, I highly doubt i would have ever lived in Colorado, missouri or especially alaska! i’ve also been given the opportunity to be a stay at home mom.  the deployment pay gave us the opportunity to pay off debt and save enough to take an amazing honeymoon.  my husband is now taking classes debt free and i can also use some of his g.i. bill for school if I wish to. thanks to v.a. we own multiple properties and thanks to tricare we are medically debt free. the opportunities to shop tax free and have spousal preference when applying for certain jobs. sometimes i have to remind myself about all these great opportunities when other aspects of military life get tough but i always end up looking forward to the new opportunities that are to come in the next 13-ish years. 

3. What is the hardest thing about being a MilSpouse?
there’s not one specific thing for me thats the hardest. there are a handful of things that are sometimes hard to deal with, for sure, but thats typical of any lifestyle! something for us is missing family things...birthdays, ball games, holidays, get-togethers, etc.  our son is now almost 2 years old and we’re trying to start some of our own traditions since its very unlikely that we will make it to the same events back home every year. I just worry our kids will feel like they’ve missed out on growing up with their cousins and every time they make new friends we or they end up moving away. also, i’ve found that my spouse having been affected by multiple deployments can be very hard. the sleepless nights, the memory loss, the hearing loss, and all the other physical and ptsd related issues can be terribly straining on a marriage. I would give up all the disability pay at retirement time to be able to have the same man we send off to war come back to us a year later, but it just doesn’t happen that way.


4. What is your favorite dish?
Cheesecake. really, I could eat a good cheesecake with each meal everyday. i’ve actually done it before, amazing. when I was younger we traveled by train and everyday that we were on the train i had cheesecake with each meal. mmmm...

5. If you could change one thing in this world, what would it be?
i would change that people always want to change things...and i’m not saying i’m not guilty of wanting to change a few things now and then, but I think we would all live more simply and be more appreciative of the things that change naturally by believing everything happens for a reason.




Up next, catching up on weeks #2 and #3....


{Emily}

06 July 2010

The Next Big Thing

I probably should have posted this awhile ago...but its still sinking in around here so if you haven’t heard we’re moving again!  At the end of the year we’ll be all packed up and heading to...
It will be a wonderful experience for our family and we are both excited and scared to make this “overseas” move! I say scared only because it will be the middle of winter and we will not be going ahead of time to find somewhere to live.  All off the processes of getting the vehicles, pets, our stuff and ourselves where we need to be are more challenging with this move because of the cold, snowy winter.  It will all work out somehow, we have to remember to keep the faith! For now we’re trying to enjoy the rest of this very hot, humid summer here in Missouri before we have to get out the boxes and bubble wrap again!
{Emily}

The Gator Pool




Aiden got this pool from Grandma last year when Lilly chewed up the one he had, but we had already replaced it with another so we saved this one. Back in May it finally got warm enough to get it out and enjoy it!
This was the day we first filled it with water and I let Aiden help with the hose.  The water was very cold coming straight out of the hose but he got in anyway. Next thing I knew he had soaked his shirt...so we simply just took it off.  Well then he was completely in the water so I just let him play. He splashed for about 10 mins and then decided it was waaay to cold.  We went in and he took a warm bath but later that day when the sun had warmed the water he was back out in the pool!
Even daddy found himself enjoying the pool (leaving Aiden wondering if there was still room for him)!  We used it quite a bit the last 2 months and to my surprise Lilly was doing a wonderful job of leaving it alone.  And then just the other day she decided she needed to drag it all over the yard and chew it up. R.I.P. alligator pool, you were fun while you lasted!