Monday, December 8, 2014

Is this thing on? Rob graduated.

I had these great intentions to do a blog post the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, and then Thanksgiving itself and then Sunday... and then I got busy.

Then I went on vacation.

Then Rob officially became a Warrant Officer..


And now?  Now I'm just tired.


But all is well in the land of our house hold.

For Thanksgiving, Grace and I traveled to Greenville, SC.. which is about 2 and a half hours each way from us.  My cousin and her husband live there.. so we were able to join them and her in-laws for the day.  We feasted, Grace was in good spirits and it was nice to have some extra hands.  I'm glad we have family close enough that taking a day trip is not out of the question.

I did miss Kansas this year something fierce.  Back home we would have went west to my grandparents farm.  I think part of missing home was sparked by Rob not being here with us... but it helped having another family member there to reminisce with.


Last Saturday, Piston, Grace and I departed for Fort Rucker.  It's about 5 and a half hours away.  By the time we got there it had taken close to 7.  Which I am okay with.  The important thing is we got there with minimal breakdowns from mommy or baby.  We stayed on post in a 2 bedroom cabin, right on Lake Tholocco.  It was gorgeous, and cheap!  Perfect for our home away from home.

On Sunday we got to see Rob finally!  We spent the whole day with him (well 830 to 430 at least!) running some errands and then relaxing at the cabin.  Rob's grandparents were able to make the trip up from Tampa to be with us too.. so they arrived that morning.  I am so so so thankful they were able to come up.  It was, again, nice to have the extra hands and especially nice to have the company.


Because the holiday was thrown in during Rob's time at WOCS, they were a day behind.  Which meant we didn't get to see him on Monday.  So us girls went shopping.  Rob's grandmother wanted to Christmas shop for the baby... so we accomplished that and then some.

Tuesday we got to see Rob again for his class song.  It is basically a morale booster.  They do a mix up of several classic songs and sing for almost 10 minutes.  It was hilarious.  After, we got to eat lunch with him in the DFAC and I attended a class with him to go over some officer customs and what not.  I'm sure at some point I will have a whole post on my thoughts about this transition from enlisted to officer.  It is kind of nerve-racking.. if I'm being honest.

Rob took his final test on Wednesday after the Victory Run.  We came out and watched them finish their last PT before ringing a bell to signify how close they were to being done.  Just after lunch he joined us with all of his gear for a few hours.

That night was the class reception.  We got to dress up, go through the receiving line, snack on some food and listen to the presentations and speakers.  I wore this awesome dress from EShakti.. and I PROMISE there will be more information on that hitting the blog VERY soon.


Thursday was the day we were waiting on though.  Graduation.  They had it at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum on Fort Rucker.  It was a quick ceremony.  But one of those "couldn't-be-prouder" moments.  They had a guest speaker and did their oaths before they had the pinning ceremony.  I did one side, and Rob's grandfather did the other.


We got back to Augusta Thursday night with our Warrant Officer.  I am so so proud of my husband for completing this.  I know it was not easy for him, but I also know how confident he feels wearing that dot on his chest.  As he should.

HOPEFULLY I will be able to get back into a regular blogging schedule now that there are two extra hands here to help me with my little lady.  But.. don't hold me to it.


always,
amanda
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Monday, November 24, 2014

Ten Months.

Ten months, and what a bundle of fun you are... I wouldn't trade you. That's for sure. ;)


Your quirks this month...

.You are still in size 3 diapers.. your growing as a whole has tapered off some.

.You are still wearing most 6 to 9 month with some 9 month outfits in the drawers.  12 months sleepers and pants too.. because you are long, that's why.

.You went to your first parade... for Veterans Day.  You were unsure of the loud noises, but liked the steady stream of traffic in front of you.

.You started pulling up on EVERYTHING.  Any time a surface is at just the right height you pull yourself up and unload whatever is there.

.You had your first month as an Army child, without your daddy.  He was away for training this month.  Luckily you like your momma just a little bit.

.You started helping when it comes to putting your arms through the sleeves when it's time to get dressed.

.You learned to turn the pages in a book this month as well.  You LOVE reading and flipping through books.

.You still sleep best with mommy and daddy.  Your sleep pattern was pretty consistent this month with daddy being gone.  2, sometimes 3, naps a day.  Down by 9, 10 at the latest.

.You nurse at night, in the morning and at nap times.. and need to nurse when going to sleep.

.You are very independent and know what you want and when you want it.

.You have the best smile and are still super happy, all the time.

I am so blessed to be your mom.. I know this every month.  You are growing up on me way too fast, and time is slipping away.  But I wouldn't trade one moment with you. Ever.

Note, this post was written January 11th and backdated when published.

always,
amanda
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Sunday, November 23, 2014

30 Days of Thanks [Week Three]

Basically all I can do at the end of the day is watch crappy TV before falling asleep.  I am tired.  Grace is a busy body and life just keeps on going... so I apologize for the lack of real posts.  But if nothing else, read the last part of this post... where I will give an "update".


Another week of thanks brought to you courtesy of these prompts.  So without further ado... 30 days of thanks, military spouse style...


15. Who has helped you learn the milspouse ropes?
I've had several strong leaders when it comes to learning the "ropes".  Hands down though, I give the most credit to Rachel.  We met at Fort Meade.  She was among the group of ladies I spent the most time with there.  Our paths have crossed again here at Fort Gordon, and I could not be more thankful.

Recently though, as we start this new adventure into the Warrant Officer side of things, I have had several great WO wives help me throughout this process.  Pam - who was actually my mentor from the mentor/mentee program was the one who texted me day of when we found out Rob got selected.  She kind of gave me a heads up, without me knowing it at the time.  Dawn - has truly developed into one of my close friends here in Georgia.  She has offered up tons of advice when it comes to the transition, and I can't thank her enough.

16. The best part of military life.
In my opinion the best part of military life is the opportunities available to my husband, and thus our family.  He has a career that will successfully transition into the "real world" with many years of experience.  He gets tons of training for free as a result.  In the meantime we get to see different parts of the country my Kansas loving self may not have ever seen, let alone lived in.  And in the grand scheme of things, the job security is hands down the best part.

17. Something that has made your life better.
Would having my daughter be to redundant? Yes?  Then lets think military.. I believe Rob getting selected to be a Warrant Officer has made and will make our life better.  My husband will enjoy the direction his career is heading way more.  And in some, not all, aspects he will have more control over his future.

18. Favorite experience as a milspouse.
Pinning my husband.  I've been there and pinned him to both SGT and SSGT... and in a few weeks I get to do the same as he commissions as an officer.  Just like a civilian world promotion, a military promotion is definitely something to celebrate.. and as a military spouse, getting to do the pinning is just the cherry on top.

19. What has PCSing taught you about life?
It doesn't always go as planned.  Haha.  All joking aside though... being flexible is something you definitely need when it comes to PCSing and life as a whole.  I'm still working on it some days..

20. What I learned during a deployment.
I learned that life goes on.  Yes, my husband was overseas and away from me, but life just doesn't stop.  I still got up and went to work everyday, I still took care of the dog everyday.. we carried on.  It was not near as hard on us as it was on him.  And deployments end.  Praise the Lord.

21. Your city/town/country.
My city has grown on me in the two years we have lived here.  I would be all over Georgia if it weren't for the dang bugs.  In Kansas you can put your child down in the grass and not be concerned about ants.  Here, no.  Haha.  But Georgia is just another state in this great country, and for that I will forever be proud.


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So we are in the single digits for reuniting with Rob.  Honestly?  It has gone fast.  But it hasn't been a walk in the park.  Grace got sick.  I was sick.  And NOW she is just growing and pulling herself up on everything.  Basically keeping me on my toes 24/7.  Nap times have officially become sacred time.  When she lets me put her down at least... we've got two top teeth slowly coming in, and little missy likes to sleep on momma more than the bed.  Which Mom has a love/hate relationship with.

BUT soon enough I will have another set of hands around.  Which I promise to never take for granted again.  It will be interesting to see how Rob adjusts to our little busy body being ten times the busy body she was when he left.  The home stretch is a good stretch though friends.

This week is busy for us, as it is for so many families in America... we are traveling to our closest family, my cousin in South Carolina.  We will spend the day with her, her husband and his family.  I am so lucky to have family within driving distance, especially when it is just Grace and I.  I'm excited for a good ole day of eating.

Otherwise.. we are ticking off the days, filling them with lunches, meetings and shopping excursions.  What else are two girls supposed to do?
And a grainy phone picture of my sweet girl and I.



always,
amanda
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Sunday, November 16, 2014

30 Days of Thanks [Week Two]

Another week of thanks brought to you courtesy of these prompts.  So without further ado... 30 days of thanks, military spouse style...


8. Write about how you met your spouse
Rob and I met our senior year of high school.  We had college algebra together.  He was new, and I introduced myself on the first day of school.  He always remembers the fact that I had my nails painted black (it was the trend!) and I shook his hand.  We flirted for a few weeks before a certain someone decided he wasn't really interested and we both got into relationships for the remainder of senior year.  We officially became us after he finished basic training a year and a half later.

9. Times the Military has been there for you
The military was there for me when I moved to Maryland.. away from home for the first time.  Because of the military, I was able to find a group of spouses that helped me through countless situations.  I was at an FRG meeting when I found out my Grandpa had died.  Who was there for me?  The spouses I had grown close to.  I will never ever forget that day and those women that helped prop me up when I got that phone call and the days after.

10. List the 10 best things about being a milspouse
One. The pride you get standing next to your service member. Two. The opportunity to see new places. Three. The built in community.  Four. The military programs offered for free to help support in all ways.  Five. The uniforms.  Six. The class six. ;) Seven. The healthcare.  While sometimes it's hit or miss, it is still provided to us for free. Eight. The friends you meet from all over the nation and world. Nine. Getting to move often and change homes. Ten. Being married to my best friend.

11. Share a blessing that changed your life
My daughter. Hands down.

12. Separation can help you grow
Without a doubt.  Ever heard the saying, "separation makes the heart grow fonder?"  It is true.  100%. Nobody likes being separated from their significant other.  BUT it does provide you with so much more appreciation for that person when you are with them that you may have not otherwise had.

13. Something you made
I made/make a positive change in the Fort Gordon community.  By being active, I can help have a say and ultimately make changes needed to help this community succeed.  I am involved, which makes me happy.  I make my husband look good.  And it provides me with an excuse to be more than just a stay-at-home-mom.

14. Who is part of your “adopted” family?
My local friends.  Nick and Abby - our closest friends.  The ones we meet up with almost every weekend for lunch or dinner.. a game night or a few drinks.  We've never really had the opportunity to have a married couple as good friends of ours.  Where we both get along really well with both the husband and the wife.  And we have been missing out.  It is awesome.  There is also Joe and Heather and their gang - who have helped us, laughed with us and I'm glad to call friends.  Rachel and Dawn - who have been there for me with Grace on countless occasions.  All of my Fort Gordon Spouses' and Civilians' Club friends and my Gordon Gals ladies.  I am very blessed to have a good support system here.. and while it took a while to get to this point.. I would not trade it for the world.



Thursday is the last day to sign up for the Holiday Card Exchange.  So e-mail me your address now!

Here's to another week..



always,
amanda
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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day pride.

Happy Veterans Day!!


To those who are serving or have served, I thank you.  Today and everyday.  Absolutely one of my favorite holidays.  Our veterans need thanks not just today, but always.  Because without them, we would have a whole lot less freedom.

More veterans day thoughts here...

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Obviously today especially we were missing our very own veteran.


We got our first phone call from him on Sunday.  After a week and a half of no contact.  Hands down the hardest part about this school is the overall lack of contact.  It is literally like basic training all over again, for him and us.  BUT we heard from him! And it was the perfect wrap up to the weekend.

Today we got another phone call with him.  A chance to wish him a happy veterans day.  And I could not be more thankful.


We are making it.  I am so glad this is just a short separation.. but no matter the number of days, it is still a separation.  Our first since having a kiddo.  It isn't easy.  But we are crossing the days off and marching forward.

Rob is doing good.  But we are forever thankful for all the well wishes and positive thoughts sent his way.

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This morning we got up and out of the house to head downtown for the parade.  I was pleasantly surprised by the Augusta Veterans Day parade.  While I will admit I did not know what to expect, they had a pretty good turnout.
Special thanks to Joe, Heather and kids for going with us!

After we went with our friends to Olive Garden.  Us and the rest of the Augusta military community.

Sometimes you forget you live in a military town until days like today.  And I. LOVE. IT.

Lots of pride up in this house.
Hope you thanked a vet today! ;)


always,
amanda
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Sunday, November 9, 2014

30 Days of Thanks [Week One]

This year instead of doing the typical 30 days of thanks.. I decided to hop on board with the 30 days of thanks - milspouse style.  And since I obviously don't post everyday and would never even think of challenging myself to that.  I am going to do one post with 7 prompts every week.

Prompts found here.


1. Something about you and/or your blog
I'm a Kansas girl through and through.  So much so that my blog name is a play on the Wizard of Oz song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow".  Obviously, since I'm a military spouse living in a world full of camo... the rainbow has been switched to camo.

I'm also a NATURAL redhead.  And I know a box redhead when I see one.  ;)

2. Opportunities that only milspouses get
I think the biggest opportunity that military spouses get is to see the world with their loved one.  I've said before that I do not look forward to Rob getting OCONUS orders... BUT I would fully embrace it.  I mean how many of my friends from high school get to live in places like Germany? Okinawa? Hell - even Hawaii?  Few.

3. What the military can teach us about life
Possibly the most obvious is patience.  Everything, and I mean EVERYthing takes patience when it comes to the military.  Is that always a bad thing?  No.. but it is a reality.  I've also learned that the military teaches you to take life one day at a time.  Enjoy and be in the moment you are given, because you never know what the next turn will present you with.

4. One item that makes your home YOURS
Is it too cliche to say my family?  Otherwise I'd say the one item that makes our home ours is the pictures that line the walls.  Every milestone in our life thus far is documented in pictures along the walls of our home.  I'll admit, some probably need updated.. but that's in the details folks.

5. Be optimistic in a world of pessimists
Amen.  Especially when it comes to the military.  Take for example this WOCS business we have going on. It's hard y'all.  The best advice I can give my husband is to be confident in himself.  He knows what he is capable of and if he can be optimistic in a world of pessimists.  He will be a Warrant Officer in the United States Army come December.

6. What makes PCSing great?
Seeing parts of the country you've never seen.  Moving into a new house, which presents a whole new set of rooms to decorate.  Making new friends, while hard... very rewarding.

7. Growth and change can be embraced
Without a doubt.  The military is not an easy road for anyone.  But if you embrace the growth and change presented to you.. it can be fun.  And ALWAYS an adventure.  To say the very least.



Don't forget to send me your mailing address if you want to participate in the Holiday Card Exchange!  Just drop an e-mail to amanda@somewhereoverthecamo.com.  I will be accepting addresses up to November 22nd!

And I will leave you with this...




always,
amanda
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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Holiday Card Exchange, YEAR THREE!


You all asked... and here it is.  The holiday card exchange!

It is that time of year again... time for holiday cheer to show up in the mailbox [well almost..].  Who doesn't love a little piece of friendly mail mixed in among the bills and the rest of real life?

Joining is simple...

Drop me an e-mail with your name and mailing address no later than November 20th.

I will send out a full list of names and mailing address' no later than November 22nd.  Then your job is to send one card to each of the names on the list [Generally 10 to 15 bloggers... so if you cannot commit to sending a card to each, please refrain from signing up].

So e-mail me NOW at amanda@somewhereoverthecamo.com.

And share this button too!!
Somewhere Over the Camo





always,
amanda
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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Grace's First Halloween.

Well we made it through another holiday.  Another first for my sweet baby girl.  I truly hope the excitement of holidays with my little lady never go away.  Whether it be the first, second, or fifteenth.

So of course we had to do all of the Halloween-ie activities.

We went to the local dairy farm.  Did a corn maze.  Looked at some animals.  Took a spin on a hayride.  Walked through a "pumpkin patch".  This day only would have been better had it not been 90 degrees... and if it had a pick your pumpkin off the vines patch.

Whew, that glasses-hair-heat combo.. not pretty.

Last Wednesday Grace and I went and got pumpkins.  One of the local church's here brings in a large variety every year.. so we stopped in and picked us up two pumpkins for out front.  We will definitely be back next year.


On Thursday we had the brigade trunk or treating on post.  Is it awkward for anyone else to go to work events minus your husband?!  We got through the awkwardness with a little help from our friends who were there.  Thank goodness.

 Ella won second place for her cupcake costume.

Finally on Friday we went trick or treating.  Which really turned into going to see our closest friends here.  Which turned into a night of driving from house to house (only 3! But if you've ever been to Augusta you know it takes for.ever. to get anywhere..) and dinner with my cousin who got in to town Friday evening.  It was a great first Halloween for my baby.. which only could have been better had her Daddy been here.

Selfies with Aunt Shelley!

Grace's Halloween costume had to be described more often than not.. but I'm not offended.  Grace went as Piston for Halloween this year.  Her Daddy picked what he wanted her to be.  And I executed.  Making a brindle colored boxer dog Halloween costume for your 9 month old is tricky.  I ended up fabric painting a onesie and pants.  Buying some ears.  Making a brown and black tutu, that she only wore half of the time.  And I sewed on a camo collar that had a paper dogtag hanging from it.

Piston one and Piston two.

I'm just now getting this post up because Friday was the last time Grace and I left the house... Saturday at 4 am I discovered that Grace was burning up.  So most of Saturday was spent battling a fever.  The verdict is still out on if it is teeth causing her issues or a minor bug.  Regardless Saturday was spent with cuddles.  Sunday was spent with more cuddles (and lots of One Tree Hill!) as I had my allergies flare up as well.  And today, Monday, was spent recovering from Saturday and Sunday.  Luckily we all seem to be on the mend over here, as long as we can nip this diaper rash in the butt.  Oye.. murphy.

Hope YOU ALL had a fabulous Halloween as well!


always,
amanda
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