Friday, July 31, 2015

Army life, a stressful life.


So the minute you put out into the world that you are ready to move in a month... something happens and you are stuck in a holding pattern with everything more or less on pause.

Rob is currently almost done with his schooling to become a Signal Warrant Officer.  But a new branch is being set up in the army - Cyber... and the deadline to drop a packet for that was last week.  So at the very last possible minute, Rob dropped one.

After a few phone calls we were essentially told to pause our plans to move to Fort Campbell.  Four scenarios could play out in the next two months:

1. Rob is selected to become a Cyber Warrant Officer and our orders to Fort Campbell are cancelled and we stay put here at Fort Gordon.

2. Rob is selected to become a Cyber Warrant Officer and our orders to Fort Campbell are cancelled and we are put on orders back to Fort Meade.

3. Rob is selected to become a Cyber Warrant Officer and we follow our orders to Fort Campbell as planned.  We move, Rob deploys, we are put on orders either back here or to Fort Meade a little less than two years later.

4. Rob is not selected to become a Cyber Warrant Officer and we go to Fort Campbell a few days late.  Rob would drop a cyber packet again at a later date.

In my opinion one of the first three scenarios will happen.  I am secretly still hoping we go to Fort Campbell and spend a few years being closer to home before moving further away again.  Obviously it would be better to not go there as we would avoid a deployment... but I am craving somewhere new.

Fort Meade and Fort Gordon are not new.  They are best for Rob's career though.  If selected Maryland and Georgia will essentially be our only choices for a few years before more locations open up in this very new branch of the military.

So, surprise... we will not know anything until the end of August at the earliest.  Since Rob is currently on orders we are hoping to know something by mid September, but it is always a waiting game in this life.

Just say a prayer I can keep my stress levels down.  I thought we were past this whole not knowing what the end of the year would look like business, and surprise, here we are again!

It's never dull around these parts...


always,
amanda
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Monday, July 27, 2015

Eighteen Months.


It has been eighteen months now since I gave birth to my sweet baby girl.  Our brown haired, blue eyed tall and skinny baby with an infectious personality.  Each day is an adventure, each one more unique than the last.  I have said it on repeat since January 25, 2014... it is a blessing to be this girls mama.

At eighteen months, Grace is...
22 pounds (18th percentile!!! OUT of the single digits!).
31 and 3/4 inches tall (54th percentile).
wearing a size 4 diaper.
wearing 12 month and some 18 month clothing.
wearing a size 4 or 5 in shoes.
sporting almost all of her teeth.
saying "mama", "daddy", "dawg", "hi".
babbling away the rest of the time in completely coherent baby conversation.
running.
dancing and singing to music of all kinds.
nursing in the morning, before naptime (most days) and before bed.
loving macaroni and cheese, grapes, cheesesticks.
pointing.
not afraid of strangers.
obsessed with Piston and any and all other dogs.
getting her own food at restaurants.
craves routine like her mama.
loves being outside.
brushing her own teeth.

hates her carseat, getting her diaper changed, being told no, not being able to get a certain toy out of the toy box and most vegetables.

Mommy loves...
how much of a little mama you are to your baby dolls and other babies.
your over the top smiles and grins.
hearing you sing along to the National Anthem.
when you crawl in my lap and snuggle.
hugs where you wrap your arms around my neck and squeeze.
holding your hand while you lead me places.
how you tuck a purse into your elbow and carry it everywhere.
the excitement you have for life.

Being a mother is still one of the most challenging gigs I've ever had.  My anxiety levels can shoot to insane heights over the smallest change... but I am reassured every day that I am doing okay when I am greeted in the morning with a smile and some cuddles.  Knowing this little person is someone that I grew and get to raise is still something awe inspiring.  I wouldn't trade the hardest day being a mom for the world.

Maybe time could slow down just a little though?


always,
amanda
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Monday, July 20, 2015

Nothing to do, but pack.

Well folks, we've reached the one month out from our move point.

Our last Georgia visitor, one of my best friends from back home, flew in Friday and left today.  We were able to hang out in Atlanta for a while, a city I will truly miss (not the traffic and crazy drivers though - oye!).  We hit up the World of Coca Cola.  Walked through Olympic Park and ate at Hard Rock Cafe before driving back to Augusta.  The rest of the weekend was spent doing a canal boat tour down the Augusta Canal, hitting up the Saturday Market for the best ice cream I've ever had and eating lots of good food.  We also went to the pool for the first time with Grace.  She LOVED it.  We watched movies, stayed up late talking and took lots of pictures.


I'm so glad that Kara was able to make this trip to see us. We have been friends for basically ever and she is one of a few friendships that lasted into our adult life.  We are at completely different places in life, but it doesn't matter - because we just pick up where we left off each and every time.

But now that the guest bedroom is empty, it is time to get down to the nitty gritty.  I'm not really ready for pictures to come down off of the wall and rooms to start being packed up.  But it's time.  We've got a handful of weekends left - already packed with things going on.  Our going away dinner is on the calendar.  Orders are in hand.  So ready or not, let's pack?

What is your best packing tip?!



always,
amanda
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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The D word.

The ink on our orders to Fort Campbell has hardly even dried and the D word has already come up.  The one D word all military family members hate to hear...

Deployment.

I knew going into this PCS that a deployment was probably not far off.  Did I think we would already have a time frame and a location?  No - I didn't.

We've done this dance before.  Rob spent a year in Kuwait.  But it was just Piston and I left at home.  This time... our sweet girl will have to experience life without daddy for an extended period of time.

And that?  That breaks my heart.

It is a new kind of dance that will hopefully go a little faster, but will probably be a bit harder to learn.

Luckily this is 2015 and technology has advanced to the point that I will be able to keep a little piece of Rob with Grace wherever she goes.  By using recordable teddy bears and other battery-powered devices such as a recordable storybook, Grace will have the reliable comfort of her daddy no matter where he is.  That is worth a million bucks.

Duracell recently had the honor to meet a military family in California whose young daughter showed them how she was able to have the comfort of her father’s voice during his deployment through a battery-powered recordable teddy bear.  Duracell was so moved by this family, that they made a film inspired by their story.

I'd be surprised if your eyes are dry now...

"Since the war in Afghanistan began in 2001, more than 2 million American children have had a deployed parent. Many of them have seen multiple deployments:  3, 4, or even 5 family separations.

In honor of all of the families who stand beside our troops, Duracell wants to power more comforting moments for loved ones through a donation of $100,000 to USO’s Comfort Crew for Military Kids. Continue the conversation by sharing the film and find out how you can donate to the cause through the USO at http://www.uso.org/donate."

I know when our time comes to say goodbye to Rob, Grace's teddy bear will be powered with Duracell batteries... because reliability will hold so much power when everything else will be so unknown.



This review was made possible by iConnect and Duracell. I was provided compensation to facilitate this post, but all opinions are 100% mine and Rob is really deploying next year....


always,
amanda
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Friday, July 10, 2015

Love // Hate


So I saw Jen and Hana share posts like this last week and since it is hot outside and all I seem to do all day errry'day is clean and watch as my child wrecks everything I just put away... let's have some fun, shall we?

Ten things I love...

One// Kansas City// The place I will always call home.

Two// Crossing items off my to-do list// NOTHING more rewarding.

Three// Having friends and family over for dinner// Ever since we started entertaining, it is one of my favorite ways to spend the weekend.

Four// Watching Grace sleep// When her chest rises and falls, just like so... my heart melts.  I imagine this is the best part about being a mother?

Five// Clean sheets// Especially after a shower.  #1 way to my heart!

Six// Fresh out of the oven brownies// Oh my heavens.  With a big glass of milk!

Seven// Driving a clean car// I like clean... it's just how it is.

Eight// Country music// All the time - but in the fall, with the windows rolled down, wearing a sweatshirt especially.

Nine// Chiefs football, football Sundays and a good beer// Because those three together equal one good day.

Ten// Change// I crave it and I thrive off of it.

Ten things I hate...

One// Bugs in the south// Like spiders and roaches.  No and no.

Two// When people leave trash in my car// My husband does this, a lot.  It is one of my biggest pet peeves.

Three// Last minute changes to plans// Unless it is a positive change.

Four// Fish on my plate// I don't do fish.  Unless it is tuna or fried.

Five// Backstabbers// I ain't got time for it! Either you are my friend or you aren't, there is no walking a fine line.  So get on up out of my life if you can't be straight with me.

Six// Getting up early in the morning// I LOVE sleeping in, so obviously I hate getting up early.

Seven// Cleaning bathrooms// Gross.

Eight// How fast the grass weeds grow// We can't mow them fast enough.. and then it looks like a jungle and an abandoned house out there.  Oye vey.

Nine// Running// Just no.  I have a large chest and it doesn't work with running all that well.

Ten// Salt water// I can't stand how it makes my skin feel (dirty) and what it taste likes if it gets in my mouth (nasty), so I will stick with lake water.

Your turn...


always,
amanda
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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

All things red, white and blue.

"America, to me, is freedom."
Willie Nelson

I have always loved this great country and all that is stands for.  I felt my love grow a little stronger when I married a soldier.  On weekends like this last, the love for my country is shared across the nation and the circumstances of the daily news and what may be trending on Facebook is set aside for a day to come together and celebrate the USA.

And that, is amazing.

Our July 4th weekend was spent in Tampa visiting Rob's grandparents.  They are living up the retired life right on the water.  Since we typically visit over Thanksgiving, this was a special (hot) adventure for us.  But tons of fun, minus the rain.

First off - we were in TLF Lodging and we dubbed it our apartment.. how amazing is this?  A three room place...

We beached.

 We wore lots of red, white and blue while we ate good food and made memories.

 We got down poured on, many times.

We smiled a lot.
Girlfriend looks like her mama in this picture and that may be a first!

And we played games.

I am so glad we were able to get away for the weekend... and while it wiped us all out, it was totally worth it.  Grace gets to have a relationship with her great-grandparents - how many kids can say that these days?!



always,
amanda
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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Hey, it's okay.

I know this is a Tuesday link-up, but IT'S OKAY.



Hey it's okay...

// That I am excited to go to Tampa for the Fourth of July.  We typically go over Thanksgiving to see Rob's grandparents, but this year we are going to see them in the summer, and I expect it to be really hot and lots of fun.

// To leave the "clean master bath" to-do item on the list for a REALLY long time.  Because when you finally do it, it is extra rewarding.  (Anyone else hate with a passion cleaning bathrooms?!)

// That I cut all my hair off.  Ten inches straight gone.  Going for donation round two.  My husband HATES it.  But you know what, when it is straight I am a fan.

// For our mornings to start around 8 again.  Ever since my parents visited over Memorial Day our sleeping schedule has been whack.  I'm talking Grace getting up between 10 and 11 and not going to bed until 11 or 12 at night.  Luckily the past two days we've been up at 8.  Naps have been all around better and bed time has been less of a fight.  Win, win, win.

// That I just finished Friday Night Lights today - and Rob and I finished Orange is the New Black this last weekend.  What's next?  I'm thinking Pretty Little Liars or The Carrie Diaries.

// To bribe my husband.  You get this, if I get this.  I'll do this, if you do that.  It works for us.  Otherwise nothing ever gets done.

// For dread to already be sinking in.  I'm ready to move.  But I already miss our second family here.  We spend every weekend with them and to think we will have to spend weekends on our own again... it's just wrong.

// To be ready for 2 weeks from now, when one of my best friends from back home flies in for the weekend!  Not sure yet what we are going to do, but dang it I'm excited!

// That my blog reader is full, and I can't ever seem to catch up because I am too busy making Shutterfly photo books with free codes, shopping on eShakti or cleaning the house after the baby goes to sleep.

// To be pretty content with life right now.  Which of course means a giant shuffle is coming soon.  But you know what, for a move a little under two months off and a few other big things going on, life is good.

Linking up with Airing My Dirty Laundry a day late and a dollar short.


always,
amanda
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