Saturday, September 10, 2011

Doing it all... or not!

“A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.” 
Tenneva Jordan
If you take a good look around this blog you'll notice that my posts have been rather infrequent since my husband left on this deployment in April. I really have the best of intentions and have so many goals and hopes for this blog. I think some of the biggest things motherhood and this deployment have taught me is that I can't do it all and do it well, it's not worth the stress to stretch myself to thin trying, and I'd rather be really great and make choices about what I do than mediocre in everything.
I am first and foremost a wife and a mother.
My days begin and end with my daughter while we wait for my husband's return home. I have always wanted to be able to stay home with my babies and it would be such a shame if I stayed home and yet spent all my time just being here and not really being with my daughter. Does that make sense? 

If I'm not going to get down on the floor and play peek-a-shoe Octopus with her then why am I home with her instead of out earning an income and letting her play with someone who can devote their day to her? Don't get me wrong, I know that not every moment of the day can be play but certainly there is enough time in the day to get down on her level and interact in her world!  I am constantly involving her in helping me get things done as I do chores around the house. When I am hanging up clothes, she is right there with me handing me hangers and clothes or playing in a recently folded pile of socks. She's at a glorious age where even the most mundane of chores can be interesting and fun. I love being home with her to watch her explore and grow.
I am so thankful that we have the means to do things with her that create fun and unique learning experiences and memories!  This season we are enrolled in Gymboree Play and Learn and swim lessons. In addition, we are blessed with the opportunity to have a season pass to the zoo, plan to buy a season pass to the pumpkin patch, and are able to attend multiple playgroup meetings. If we are up for adventure on any particular day there are certainly plenty to be had! My little girl just loves to explore and be out with people so an active lifestyle is important to me for her benefit. She is growing in leaps and bounds and I am so proud of my little social butterfly.

I guess all of the above can be summed up by saying I have been busy loving being a mommy during this deployment. 
We are now moving into a season of transition... we are transitioning to more solid foods, sleeping on our own instead of full-time co-sleeping, and having my husband back home in the States with us. Looking forward we will be transitioning even more as the military moves us from Nebraska to Northern California. As with all times of transition there are things to look forward to and there are things we are anxious about, and there is sometimes a sense of loss. I am sad to leave behind my little girl's total and complete babyhood and dependence on me for everything... but I am excited to see the young lady she is going to blossom into. I am going to be sad to leave our first home together, but I am so excited for a new beginning and the chance to make new friends and connections. I am cautiously excited about the possibility of having my husband home with us for an extended period of time as well!

I am currently floating in the "in-between" stage right now. Fall is so close... the nights are colder and the days are shorter. It's almost cool enough to wear a sweatshirt, but oh wait, no. It's still just a touch too warm -- but it IS perfect sunroof weather!  Deployment is nearly over, but it is still so far away...  I need to order homecoming signs and ensure our outfits are ready, but it will be awhile before we get to hang them up or wear them out.

Please bare with me while I get through all that life has in store for us right now. I know that my visions for this blog will one day be a reality. I hope someday I will have time to pursue my passions for writing and photography and ministering to others full-time... but I feel like perhaps God is telling me to wait... not yet...  I hear Him quietly saying "you have other things to focus on first". I have a house to prepare for my husband's homecoming. I have a little girl who needs me to play on the floor instead of look over the top of my laptop.  I hope to post during some of my "me" time but for now I think my posts will have to be limited as I dedicate most of my "me" time to preparing our home for a peaceful homecoming and transition period. Once our home is in a better state I can better justify using some of my "me" time for my own purposes.

If you'd like to pray for us - please do! 
We welcome any and all prayers, but especially prayers for smooth transitions in the upcoming days, weeks, and months ahead.

Thank you for being faithful blog readers even when I am not able to post as frequently as I hoped. Your support and friendship means so much and I am so thankful for the opportunity to connect and be inspired by each and every one of you. If there is anything I can pray for you about please send me an email or a facebook message and let me know. I am still around and will never be far away...

In Christ,

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Want What You Have

I have an amazing husband.
I have a beautiful, sweet baby girl.

I have a supportive family.

I have wonderful friends.

I am a child of God - who loves unconditionally, forgives endlessly and will never fail me.

Some days are harder than others...  but life is pretty darn great!
What are you thankful for today?

Monday, September 5, 2011

VoiceQuilt: Congratulations and We Love You, Sarge!

I was recently emailed by a company called VoiceQuilt to do a review for their product. It just happens that the timing is perfect as Sarge will be re-enlisting in the Air Force very soon and this is a great way for our family and friends to be able to congratulate him despite the distance! To top it off sometimes the end of deployment, which we are finally near, can be very stressful as military members try to bridge the gap between work and reconnecting with family and life at home.

The process has just begun but so far it has been incredibly easy!  I signed up on their website and then called the given number and followed the prompts to create a greeting that all callers hear when they call to leave their message. If you have ever used voicemail, this works just the same! We have 7 days to record as many messages as we can. After the messages are recorded, I'll continue the process by arranging them into a playlist and choosing a way to present them to Sarge. There are so many options - I'm not sure what I'll choose just yet but I am leaning toward the Audio CD with Leather CD Holder or maybe something like the 4X6 Photo Black Keepsake Box.

I am so excited about this project!  If you'd like to participate just follow the instructions below! It really doesn't matter if you know Sarge personally or not -- if you're a supporter of the military and our family it would be great to hear from you!

To leave a message of encouragement or congratulations for Sarge dial the toll-free number: 1-877-687-7845 and use invitation number: 154638. Follow the prompts and record your message just like you are leaving a voicemail. Use # to review your message and you can just hang up to save it! The deadline to leave a message is September 12, 2011 so please call TODAY!  In addition, if you'd like to send a card you can find our PO Box address on the contact me tab above.

Thank you for helping me create such a great surprise for Sarge!  I'll be blogging more about VoiceQuilt as I work on the project and there just might be a discount or giveaway so stay tuned!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dear Deployment: Today you win

Dear Deployment:

Today you win and I am exhausted.

My house is a mess of boxes and suitcases that need to be unpacked. I have only been home a few days and I am already sick of eating processed crappy freezer foods, but I just don't have the desire to cook when it is only myself that I am feeding since the baby still mostly nurses. I can't get to the stove or sink anyway thanks to the mess...

I am thankful that I got to see my husband again via Skype and hear his voice, but I am so tired of having this be our only means of communication. Today it just isn't enough and I want him here instead. I attempted to do things I would normally have delegated to my husband and it turned into a huge disaster that still needs to be resolved. Unfortunately, I can't put it off until my husband gets home because it involves the safety of our young child. However, I will save the holes that now need to be patched for him to fix when he gets home because that's purely cosmetic and I don't care enough to bother.

Tonight, I'll wipe the tears from my eyes and go to bed snuggling my sweet girl. I may or may not gather the energy and drive to fix the mess tomorrow but I will rally again soon. You may have won today but I've learned that just like marriage, deployment comes with its ups and downs and neither the ups or the downs lasts forever.

Better days are coming...  Deployment, you may be ahead right now, but you're certainly not going to win!!

Webcam snapshot from our dating days in early 2008