Monday, January 26, 2015

Happy Birthday Grace!

My sweet girl turned one yesterday.  As in it has been 365 (well 366 technically) days since we welcomed her into the world at 1:14 in the morning.

She went from a little bitty 8 lb, 5 oz baby to a crawling, standing, into everything toddler, with the most amazing personality.


I've tried and failed to type out what it means to be this girls momma, but I can't.  I can't put into words how blessed I am to be a mom, let alone Grace's mom.  Being a mom has been both my greatest joy and greatest learning obstacle.  Lucky for me, I've got a happy baby with the ability to turn an awful day just a little bit better with a simple smile.

We celebrated yesterday with a party here in Georgia - more on that later.. I can't begin to describe the fun that was!


This momma is wiped and overwhelmed with the "I-have-a-one-year-old" emotions.  Hence the day late and a dollar short post.  How can 365 days pass so quickly?

Happy birthday Grace Elaine!  You make your father and I so proud.  Thank you for being the spunky ray of sunshine you've come to be.  I can't wait to see what your future holds.. but for now?  I'm snuggling you tight because it is just not possible you are already a one year old...





always,
amanda
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Friday, January 23, 2015

48 Hours.

There is nothing like a 48 hour visit from home, to remind you how much you miss it.  How if you lived in the same state as your best friend, you'd get to watch her son grow up alongside your daughter.  That the afternoons spent watching the babies play together would not be a rare occurrence, but the norm.  The play groups, parks, festivals and so much more could be experienced together.

I am sad that yesterday my best friend, her husband and their son got back onto a plane and flew home to Kansas.  48 hours is not near enough... but 48 hours is better than zero.. and I'm beyond thankful.

We did as much as possible in 48 hours with two strong willed children on different schedules.

Tuesday we met up with Rob for lunch on post before heading back home to get the babies down for naps.  At two different times, of course.  We hit up Texas Roadhouse before ending the night with Pitch Perfect.


Wednesday we went to the spouse club luncheon.  I got awarded for being the December volunteer of the month.  It was extra special because Al and fam got to come with!  We didn't stay for the full luncheon, just long enough for the lunch part.


After lunch and naps we hit up the park on post.  Harrison LOVED it.. Grace was sorta unsure.  There was a lot of activity and older kids running around.. which had her not feeling it.  But we tried!  Rob enjoyed pushing her on the swings and I got to go down the slide with her.  We will go again.. maybe when there isn't a crowd though...


That night Rob fired up the egg (Big Green Egg... his new prized possession that he got for a steal of a deal!) and we cooked up dinner.  We watched the DVR'd State of the Union address like responsible adults and then called it SUPER early.


Yesterday we went out for lunch at our favorite local hamburger joint before we blinked and the 48 hours had come and gone.


While we certainly didn't do the tourist things, or pack our schedule super full.. having them here was enough.  Things are different these days... we are okay with tucking the kids into bed and following close behind.  We are okay with talking quietly in the morning and discussing babies all day.  We are okay with watching the State of the Union address and the news together, instead of going out and drinking (we aren't even sure we could handle a rum and coke these days..).

We are okay with 48 hours to catch up where we left off... and make new memories with our little families.

Together. 48 hours. Enough.

But I do miss her. A lot.


always,
amanda
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Monday, January 19, 2015

I threw an Army themed baby shower.

Back in December Rob and I hosted a baby shower for our best friends here in Georgia.  As if my life doesn't consist of enough Army related stuff... the baby shower was Army themed.  BUT after seeing what Pinterest suggested.. I was able to pull it off.

And I am really proud of the outcome.

Invitations ** I made these with ACU colored scrapbook paper and cream colored cardstock.  Downloaded a fun Army font, a little cutting, a little folding, a little tying.. and wallah.

Welcome table ** We of course had to play the "baby" game.  But with an Army twist, dog tags instead of safety pins (dog tags were found at Hobby Lobby).

I took a black poster board and some chalk markers to make a special board for everyone to guess what day the baby would actually arrive, what time, how big and how long.  The corners were just taped with some ACU duct tape (found at Hobby Lobby).

Then I set out some of Rob's gear.

Food ** I made cupcakes.. and instead of going all out for camo colored goodness.. I just plopped a toy soldier on the top of each.  Add to that some gold paper straws and some other munchies, and the food was better than an MRE, I'm sure...

Games ** besides the "baby" guess game.. we also played a game I found on Pinterest where you write down an opened ended baby question (a baby goes through lots of these every day...) on a note card.  Then you pass your card to the person next to you... on the back of the note card write down the answer to your question.  Then we went through and read all of them and some of them were rather hilarious.  Rob got the honors of reading all of those, he was just so excited...

Obviously I can't speak for Nick and Abby.. but personally, I had fun!  It was a small little gathering.. but perfect timing early in the month.  We are so lucky to have these two as friends.. and we have tons of great memories with them.  When I think of the possibility of leaving Fort Gordon sometime in the not so distant future, I get sad.  Sad to leave these two and the friendship we have with them.  So it was awesome to get the opportunity to throw a little party for them!

Especially since on Christmas day (nobody guessed that day!) little man made his arrival.. I can't get enough y'all.
Sweet baby cuddles, this last weekend.


Have you thrown any fun Army themed parties?
What about a fun themed baby shower?




always,
amanda
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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

What I wore.

Obviously I am not a fashion blogger.  I mean some days it's real luck if I even get out of the sweat pants I slept in.  Even then... I may leave the sweat pants, wear a "normal" non-fashionable outfit out, and then come home and slip back into sweats.  That's my life folks.  As a mom especially, but that's been my life for years...

When I was contacted by Eshakti to review one of their items for them.. I jumped at the opportunity.  Sure, fashion may not be my forte, but Rob was graduating from WOCS (yes.. this review has been due for awhile...) and I knew that I had an event or two that would require a dressier approach.

I found a winner in this black dress with capped sleeves...

Rob's WOCS Reception.
Christmas Eve.

Ordering was super easy.
Eshakti employees are awesome - they called to ask me some questions when they had them.
The quality is amazing.  This particular dress is fully lined and feels expensive.
It came in the mail FAST.
While the top part doesn't fit quite like I hoped, it is manageable with a tank top beneath.
It works with ANY accessories - turquoise or silver.. diamonds or pearls.

Obviously this dress has already worked for me twice since getting it in November.  It's my new favorite LBD.. and I am so looking forward to my next opportunity to take it out on the town.



Do you have a favorite LBD?
Are you a fashion person?

always,
amanda
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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Eleven Months.

I seriously can't believe that it is January... and that this month my little baby turns one.........


Your quirks this month...

.You haven't grown a whole lot when it comes to diapers.. still wearing a size 3.

.You are wearing size 9 month onesies, size 9 month and size 12 month pants and size 12 month sleepers.  This month I pulled out a bunch of your winter outfits from size 12 months to take back to the midwest with us.. most fit perfectly, but I haven't broken out your entire 12 month wardrobe yet.

.You are long and skinny.  Like your Dad.

.You were a champion for a two week vacation back to Kansas and Missouri.  You traveled in the car really well, but Mom did ride in the back with you.

.You had your first Thanksgiving and celebrated your first Christmas during this month.  You were a busy little bee to say the least.

.You traveled a lot this month.. you also visited Alabama when Daddy graduated from WOCS.  He could not believe how much you had changed since he last saw you.  Little miss independent is an understatement.

.You mastered true crawling this month.. on your knees and hands.  You've basically been even more unstoppable since that happened.

.You love to unload things, like bookshelves or baskets full of toys.

.You love to be chased around.  You turn around, see someone following you and screech before taking off again.

.You love dogs.  All dogs.  You giggle so hard when they give you kisses.. but you especially love Piston.  He is so good with you and has basically grown accustomed to you constantly being right there with him.

.You started eating everything Mom and Dad eat.  Nobody gets away with eating anything without you eating it too..

.You love to unload the diaper bag.  If Mom forgets toys, she just lets you go to town on taking every last thing out of the diaper bag.  You are starting to get kind of quick at it now.

.You love selfies.  If someone takes a picture with you on their phone.. all they have to do is turn it so you can see yourself, and you will ham away.

.You have 5 teeth.  Your two on the top, two on the bottom and the one random one that popped through at two months old.

.You still need mama to nurse.  You nurse in the morning to start your day, before your naps, and at night before going to bed.

.You have a jacked up sleep schedule right now.  All this vacation action will do that to a girl.

.You still smile, all the time.  You are oh so very happy and it is rare for you to be cranky (think NEED to sleep, or NEED that food).

Grace Elaine, each day with you is an adventure.  You turn one soon, and while I can not believe it is already that time... I am so thankful for each moment with you.  Your sweet personality makes my heart swell with pride everyday.  I am excited to watch you grow and learn more.. thanks for being the sweetest baby ever.



always,
amanda
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Saturday, January 3, 2015

The month of December.

Somehow it is January 3rd.. twenty fifteen.

It has been almost a whole month since I last blogged.

I wish I could feel guilty about that time away.  But the truth is, I don't.  As usual I had great intentions to blog.. but I was busy living life.

So what did we do during that month away?

We decided about a week before we left to go home for the holidays.  And then we had to move our leave date up about 3 days to avoid a winter storm.  Yes, my friends, going back to the midwest during Christmastime is truly an adventure.  But it was worth it.  Rob starts 9 months of schooling in a few days, and he will not be able to take leave again until sometime after September.  SO it was off to Kansas...

We saw family and friends.  Toured the Boulevard Brewery.  Drove around looking at lights.  Went to Crown Center (during Christmastime, is a must..).  Ate at some of our favorite places (many times in some instances...).  Went to church.  Ate lots of good home cooked meals (thanks Mom!).  Met my fur-niece for the first time.  Opened presents.  Got spoiled.  Took pictures... and made memories...
Don't worry y'all, I got this...
Jose Peppers with Grandma and Grandpa!
Best friends and baby best friends (or more?!)
The same high chair I used as a baby.
Shopping with Grandpa.
Boulevard Brewery tour.  Kansas City in the background.
Hanging out with Aunt Kara.
All dressed up for Christmas Eve mass.
Presents!
Fighting sleep with Aunt Erin.

On Christmas morning we got up WAY early to make the 3 hour drive to see Rob's family.  More presents.  A day at the community center with ALL of the family.  Skyzone.  More good food and great home cooked meals.  Some good naps.  Bowling and more memories were all made before we headed home NYE.
Christmas morning with Aunt Courtney.
Hamming at herself at the community center.
Rob and his brothers.
Grammy put Gray's hair in pigtails for the first time!
Grace, Grandpa and cousin Stella!

2,000+ miles later... we pulled back in the driveway.  Tired and exhausted.  Was it worth it?!  YES!  I am so grateful to my husband for agreeing to spend the majority of his leave driving many many hours for us to spend the holidays with family.  Grace's first Christmas was definitely a good one.  She was spoiled, we were spoiled and more than anything.. that first memory is a good one.

When we got home we spent NYE at Nick and Abby's with LOGAN.  He made his appearance Christmas day (so much for my hoping he'd wait...), so we were anxious to get to meet him!  It was totally worth it, and we've already been over there twice since getting home.  Newborn cuddles y'all.. NOTHING beats them.

Otherwise?  I was sick for about 24 hours.  Which sucked.  Thanks to the husband for picking up the slack.  
Now it is the last weekend of Rob's leave.  My house is a complete and utter disaster.  A mixture of vacation mess, Christmas mess and being sick mess.  Just a mess.. and Monday morning everything goes back to the "norm".  Or the new norm at least.. as we start Rob's school schedule.. which hopefully will not be too terrible.

Happy January friends.  I'd say I have some resolutions for 2015... but in all actuality, I just want this year to be good.. like 2014 was for us.  Because after all, 2014 was a good good year.  I'd say Grace being born and Rob making WO.. are two things to celebrate!

So here is to 2015.  TO happiness and life being good.


always,
amanda
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