Monday, October 24, 2016

I went on a road trip without my husband.


Apparently the difference between a 6 hour trip and an 8.5 hour one is enough to make it successful.  Who knew?

On the way there we stopped twice and only added an additional hour and a half between lunch, nursing and diaper changes.  On the way back we only stopped ONCE.

Totally worth it.

I decided last minute (like last Monday) that I was going to take the girls to my in-laws in Missouri for my sister-in-law's baby shower on Sunday.  So off we went early (but still two hours later than I had originally planned and told everyone...) Saturday morning.  We got there mid-afternoon and Brooke was immediately overwhelmed by everyone.  Poor child, did not know what was coming at her.  Grace on the other hand took all of 10 minutes to realize where she was and off she went to see the "whor-seys", get dirty in the yard and drag out every baby doll and fake food related item from the toy stash.

Aunt Callie. 

Aunt Courtney.

Uncle Marky.

Grammy and Grandpa.

(missing pictures with two uncles and an aunt!)

This was the first time Brooke got to meet everyone.  So she went from arms to arms and eventually warmed up and started dishing out her smiles, as she does.  After the longest (and coldest) dinner ever (which is what happens when NINETEEN people go out to eat..)... we called it a night.

On this road trip I learned Brooke does not sleep well in a pack and play.  It is not as wide as her crib and does not in any way accommodate her laying the wrong way.  So she ended up "sleeping" in my arms.  Which was fine Saturday night... but Sunday night was a mess.  Like seriously.  Ugh.  I am SO looking forward to how ever long we are without our stuff here shortly.  And I'm rolling my eyes SO HARD.

Sunday morning my SIL Courtney helped me get my rug rats all dolled up.  And off we went to the baby shower.  My MIL's sister was hosting it at her house and she has a little sweetie about the same age as Grace so she was very entertained (and tired, by the time we left!) with all sorts of toys that aren't hers.  She eventually got super attached to a dog that has a leash and walks and barks.  Typical for my little animal lover.  Brooke again got passed around.  But didn't mind one bit until it was about 4 pm and the baby shower was winding down and girlfriend was not waiting one more second for a snack and a nap.  So we snuck a quick one in while things were cleaned up.  The baby shower was tons of fun with some crazy games my MIL (thankfully not the stick your nose in the diaper game and tell me what candy it is - WHO CAME UP WITH THAT GAME?!) came up with and loads of good food.  I ate lunch before we went.  Then ate at the party.  Then ate dinner too.  Not that I'm counting or anything.

Alyssa and James are expecting my nephew shortly after (or on?!) Christmas.  And they made out like bandits.  I'm pretty sure they are going to need to change his clothes like 5 times a day to get through his newborn wardrobe.  We can't wait to meet another one of our nephews when he gets here!  And I am so so so glad we were able to be there to help celebrate Alyssa and baby B!!

At last check Grace was still bouncing off of the walls in our bedroom.  She's accustomed to getting cake or candy about this time after two nights at Grandpa and Grammy's house.  Not happening girlfriend.  That's what grandparents are for.  NAUGHTY things.

But we survived another road trip.  Thank heavens for napping children, new vehicles that are reliable and in-laws that open up their house last minute for you and your beautiful, yet crazy, children.  Our next road trip will be here far too quickly.  And I'm looking forward to our road trip distances never going longer than 3 hours after that.  Hallelujah!

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Why I'm okay with separating from the Army.

Managed to squeeze in a second trip to the pumpkin patch for actual pumpkins and photos.
ALSO this picture does not in any way relate to this post...

We are mere weeks away from Rob signing out on terminal leave.  Things are chaotic and stressful and moving fast, but slow at the same time.  I've sorted through clothing and bins of purses.  Listed and sold our guest bedroom set, desk and almost all of our outside stuff.  I'm starting to feel more at ease about this transition and a lot of the things that are still relatively unknown (Will we be in a house/apartment/townhouse for the holidays? When will we be leaving Clarksville? Where will Rob land a job? Etc, etc, etc)  I am making plans for Thanksgiving in Kansas City, scheduling Brooke's baptism and thinking about Christmas gifts for my girls.  We are still excited for this transition, but nervous.

When it comes right down to it though... I am okay with separating from the Army and the lifestyle we have known for the last 7 plus years.  Here is why.

Rob doesn't have to put in a pass or leave packet and cross his fingers for approval to travel on any given weekend.  College friend getting married next summer in California?  No problem.  At the very least we can fly out Friday night and come home Sunday evening without having to take extra time off.

Our girls will REALLY know their grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and all of the beautiful children my very best friends create.  They will have the memories of family and friends being at every birthday party and special occasion.  Going to grandma and grandpas will not be a giant ordeal but rather a quick trip (even going to see Rob's family in Missouri is still only a 2.5/3 hour drive!) and part of the norm.

We can actually buy a house and not have to worry about getting orders 2-3 years later and having to sell a house on short notice.  Never thought we would be settling in at this point in our life... but dang it, I'm excited.

Rob can utilize his skills, certifications and degrees and maximize his potential.  All while getting paid accordingly.

Our girls can go to the same school from Kindergarten to 12th grade.  They will have the same friends.  Know what to expect out of their schooling experience.  And (hopefully) never be ahead or behind based on what their last school was doing.

The pace in which Rob's knees are falling apart may slow down enough he will not be 30 years old and in desperate need of both knees being replaced.  It's inevitable... but it would be nice to avoid this for a few more years if at all possible.

I may actually be able to do something without my husband being present or his power-of-attorney.  Heaven forbid the MOTHER of his children and his wife do anything without her sponsor.  It will be nice to not just be a dependent in the eyes of my husbands employer.

We can use Rob's vacation days to actually go on vacation and not always be traveling to and from the Midwest visiting family.  All those adventures and trips we've talked about in our future?  They can actually happen a lot sooner now.

The Army has been so good to us.  We've lived places I never imagined living.  Traveled to states I've never been to.  Befriended people from all over the country, and other countries too.  Made countless memories that will always define this chapter in our life... but the civilian world?  It's intriguing and I am excited to find our new normal!

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