Saturday, February 26, 2011

Dreading the Deployment

I started writing this post Thursday night while Kevin was away and finished it today, Saturday, just didn't want to post that he was away on the internet because like I mentioned previously, I'm paranoid!

As some of you know, Kevin is currently at Ft. Hood, TX for his first cross country flight!  He left Wednesday morning bright and early and was originally scheduled to return tomorrow evening (Friday).  I know 2 1/2 days doesn't seem like a lot, but when you're a stay at home mom to an 18 month old in a new area without a single friend, it's a long time.  Due to bad weather conditions, it looks like he won't be returning until sometime Saturday.  So in all that's 4 days alone!  I know, it's only a 4 days and I shouldn't really complain, but I just feel so lonely at the moment.  It's almost 11pm and I'm wide awake.  I made the mistake of drinking coffee after noon today and now I'm paying the price.  Actually, scratch that, tomorrow morning I will be paying the price.

Kerriann has actually been extremely good for me in Kevin's absence.  The only thing I've noticed is that she's extremely clingy.  My theory is that she wonders where Kevin is, and wonders if I might leave too if she doesn't stay right by my side.  Having her holding onto my legs, sitting on my lap, and following me every waking hour is sort of tiring, but cute at the same time.  I just can't help but worry about what it will be like once Kevin is deployed.  What do you tell a child of her age who can't comprehend lengths of time?  Sure, I know the deployment is still months away, but it's less than a year at this point and to me that seems so soon.  I hate that the past two months have flown by, as I'm sure the rest of 2011 will.  I've been trying really hard not to think of what's to come, but I don't even know if I can comprehend Kevin being away for 12 straight months.  It just doesn't seem possible.  I know we will get through it, but at this point I'm still not sure how.

I really need to get out of the house and meet some other Army wives in the area.  I think doing that is vital to my sanity during the upcoming deployment (and in the months leading up to it)!  It just seems so different here than it did at Ft. Rucker.  Maybe it's the cold, dreary winter, but APG just doesn't seem as welcoming.  I've tried to find a "Tot Time" play group like we participated in in Alabama, but with no luck so far.  There has to be something out there though... there are A LOT of stay at home mom/Army wives and they have to do something to get out of the house!

I think the hardest part of this separation has been the absence of my favorite part of the day... 6pm-ish when Kevin returns from work.  The condo feels so much more lively and homey when it's three of us here, rather than two of us.  I have a lot of fun with Kerriann, but there's only so much you can do and say to an 18 month old day after day.  All day I'm counting down the hours until he returns from work, and it gets me through the days that aren't so easy.  It's hard imaging a time in the near future when I won't have that to look forward to every day.  What will I replace that with that will keep me motivated to get out of bed every morning?

As I mentioned before, I know that I can and will survive when Kevin is deployed, but not without the support of others who have survived deployments before me.  I'm really anxious to start meeting and bonding with my future "support group" and I know that having that will bring a sense of peace to me.

So, I should probably stop rambling and get back to beautiful Kerriann.  She's been entertaining herself so well this morning... she must know that the worst is over and Daddy should be home before bedtime tonight!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Every Mile A Memory

As I promised you in THIS post, I am officially renaming my blog now that we are settled into our new lives, post-Ft. Rucker.  After four crazy months, we are finally settling into our own place and starting a new chapter in our lives.  

Over the past four months I have tried to think of a direction to take my blog... a new name.  The Southern Life was so easy to come up with!  I no longer want to have our last name "out there" so "The H Family" will no longer do it for me.  Call me crazy, but lately I've been semi-paranoid about stalkers, break-ins to our condo, you name it!  I guess it's just the newness of the area.  We don't know anyone yet which makes it hard to feel safe.  I hope I don't feel like this forever.

Anyways, back to the point of this post.  After much deliberation, I have decided to rename our blog "Every Mile A Memory."  Even though this is technically "our" family blog, I am obviously the only one doing the writing, and frankly, I'm getting a little bored with only posting family photos.  The (future) journalist in me is looking for more out of this little space that I call my own, and I really have made it a goal to do a lot more talking (typing) from now on.  Yes, I'm sure I'll have busy days, weeks, and even months where we're traveling so all I do is post pictures, but for the most part, I want to do more than that.  So prepare yourself for more of my ramblings from now on! ;)

The reason I chose "Every Mile A Memory" for the name of my blog has a lot to do with the type of lifestyle we lead.  As most of you know, we do A LOT of traveling.  Kerriann is only 18 months old and has already visited 14 states and lived in two different ones!  We took her on her first road trip at barely two weeks, and we haven't stopped traveling since then.  

When I started blogging, I wanted to use it as a way to document our memories through pictures, and words.  I have a horrible memory, and I knew that I wouldn't remember most of the things that I've included in this blog.  I want to be able to show Kerriann what her life was like at this point in time.  I will admit that I've failed miserably at keeping her baby book up to date, but at least I have The Southern Life and this blog as a way to fill in the gaps.

Anyways, back to the title.  For me, every mile really is a memory!  No matter where we go and what we do from day to day, I want to remember these times.  From our bigger family vacations to our mundane trips to the park.  So, hopefully you were able to stay with me through the rambling.  I hope you enjoy reading about the memories we make as a family as we embark on this new chapter in our lives!

PS: What do you think of my new blog header?  I've been playing around and this is what I've come up with so far! 

Wordless Wednesday

A day late...

Bows-In Memory of Maddie

Yesterday one of my friends posted a link on Facebook to a blog written by a mom who had just unexpectedly lost her four month old daughter.  The mom asked that in memory of her daughter, Maddie, all little girls wear their biggest bows on Wednesday, February 23.
Anyone who knows Kerriann knows that she hates to have things in her hair, but I tried my best in memory of this sweet little girl.  If you're interested in following her family's story, Click Here.  I know I, along with many others, will be praying for this family during their time of heartbreak.  Rest in Peace sweet  Maddie.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


So as you might have already noticed... there are some changes going on with the look and feel and title of my blog!  Bear with me while I practice and experiment to get it to where I want it!  I'll explain soon. :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bulle Rock Playground

Last week we had a random, beautiful, warm sunny day, so after Kerriann's nap we took full advantage! It was still 66 degrees even at 3pm... so I loaded her into the stroller and we walked to the Bulle Rock playground for the first time.  

As we were walking down the sidewalk, we spotted a woman and her dog veer off onto a paved path.  I thought it would be nice to get a little exercise myself before taking KA to the playground, so I decided to follow her.  Unfortunately, even with temps in the 60's, there was still snow on the path.  Our Chicco stroller couldn't handle the terrain, so we turned around and headed in the direction of the park once more.

The playground wasn't exactly age appropriate, so I was forced to go through the maze of tunnels, stairs, and slides with Kerriann.  In the end it was worth it, because she really enjoyed it!  Hopefully in a few months she'll be able to tackle it on her own.  It was tricky chatting with a fellow Army wife as I went in and out!
At this point, Kerriann's afraid of the swings, but I'm hoping that will change in time as well!
Beside the playground are a couple of old historical buildings...
I'll get back to you on what they are!
There's also a huge "Tot Lot," so next time we'll be sure to pack a ball...

Kerriann had a great time exploring the playground...

Climbing under the swings instead of sitting in them...
Playing in the dirt...

Climbing up the stairs (check out the MD map in the background!)...

And when Kevin called to say he would be home in a few minutes, I decided it was time for us to head back to the condo.  Kerriann did not agree that it was time to leave and threw a huge fit until I handed over my cell phone!
Overall, it was a great day at the park, and I'm really looking forward to our next warm day!

Visiting Sean and Alaina

So I know this is a little late, but I still wanted to share some pictures from our weekend trip to visit Sean and Alaina.  The weekend before the move we decided that since we had no plans, we should make the trip to Moriches, NY since we might not have another chance before they move to NC.  The three of us had a great time and were so glad we went!  The area was beautiful, and it was great spending time with Sean and Alaina.

First we visited a wildlife preserve near Sean's base...
Then we had lunch and drove around to see some of the huge houses in the Hamptons.  It was truly crazy how big some of those homes are, and they're only used during the summer months!

After that, we continued the drive to the very tip of Long Island.  I think these photos were taken at Camp Hero but correct me if I'm wrong someone!

After Camp Hero we continued to the point...
Montauk Point was so beautiful...

And we had a lot of fun taking hundreds of pictures (probably not exaggerating between Alaina and me ;))

Then the boys decided it was time to do some stunts...
Luckily, they both survived the handstands...

After dropping the boys and Kerriann off at home (and a quick pit stop for some authentic NY pizza), Alaina and I headed out to the beach for sunset...
Sadly, because of the pizza stop, we were a little late (notice tiny red dot in top and middle of photos)

But even though we were late to see the sun actually falling... the reflections on the water were beautiful...

The snow on the beach was so pretty...

After the sunset it was back to Sean and Alaina's for a delicious dinner and hanging out! 
Can't wait until the next time we can all get together!