Sunday, August 14, 2011

Lazy Girly Weekend

Kerriann and I have really been "roughing it" lately.  Kevin has worked every day since our vacation ended, and then he left Friday for a boys outdoor adventure weekend bachelor party extravaganza with a few of his best friends.  He won't be home until late tonight, so Kerriann and I have been trying to keep ourselves busy.  I haven't been nearly as productive as I had hoped to be, but I have accomplished a few things and we've had a pretty nice weekend together!

Friday night we actually got to have dinner with Kevin and his friends while they waited out the Baltimore/DC/I-95 traffic situation.  Saturday we got up early and went to a My Gym class and then stopped to check out a flea market.  We didn't find any treasures, so after that we headed to the Christiana Mall.  We are having family portraits taken in a couple of weeks so I needed to scope out some wardrobe ideas.  We didn't have much luck, but it was nice to get out of the house and do a little window shopping.

Over the weekend I've also gotten some boxes packed and have made a little progress as far as de-cluttering.  I took three big bags to Goodwill yesterday.

Today I got up early with intentions of having an extremely productive day.  I have two stories for our neighborhood magazine "Life at the Rock" due on the 20th so I really needed to get to work on those.  Kerriann and I started the morning with an early breakfast at the Chesapeake Grill.  It was kind of embarrassing for me because she was singing songs so loud and the restaurant was so quiet, but hopefully everyone thought she was cute rather than disruptive!  We came home and I wrote a rough draft for one of my stories, painted our toenails and now we are headed to a nearby furniture store.  We need to pick up two more chairs for our kitchen table before we leave the area, and a place that carries them is having a 60% off sale so I'm hoping they're included!

I wish I had some photos to share from the weekend, but sadly I do not.  I'm embarrassed to admit that my memory card has been plugged into the computer since I loaded the pictures from Kerriann's birthday party last weekend.  We just haven't really done anything photo worthy.  Of course I have a few low quality ones on my phone, but they're so blurry you can barely tell what's going on.  I'll try to be better about taking more this week... I feel bad that I've missed documenting a week of Kerriann's life!  I'm going to post vacation and party pics soon so hopefully that will make up for it. :)

Hope everyone else is having a great weekend!

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Mountaineer's Journey

This week has been a busy one for us.  I've finally started packing for the big move next week.  It's been hard to get motivated, and Kevin has been gone a lot which I think adds to my lack of motivation.  I decided that my plan of attack would be to pick a room and start with the easiest items, so I began to conquer our bedroom first.  The majority of the "stuff" in our room consists of clothing and books, so I began sorting through them and labeling boxes that should stay in storage until we get to our next house, and things that should be unpacked for use in Morgantown.

As I was sorting through the shelves of books, I came across a book that was a gift from a friend titled "The Mountaineer's Journey Through West Virginia."  I know I read it as soon as I received it, but I honestly couldn't remember exactly what it was about so I decided to open it up and take a peak.  The first page I happened to open it to was actually the last page of the story.  It read "Finally, the Mountaineer made it back to Morgantown and WVU's beautiful campus.  He was happy to be home!" and I couldn't help but think about my own journey.

It's crazy to think about how I left Morgantown so abruptly in 2008, not knowing what was in store for my life.  It all happened so fast that I really didn't have time to think about if I would ever be coming back.  Months later I know that I had moments of sadness when I thought about the fact that I would probably never hold the title of WVU Alum, even though I felt that I would always be a mountaineer at heart.

I continued to read... "As he rested comfortably in his bedroom, he thought about what a wonderful vacation it had been.  He was proud to be a West Virginian." This sentence also seemed to parallel my life. 

There is no denying that the past few years of my life have been wonderful, despite the ups and downs.  It has been a long road, but I AM proud to be a West Virginian and I cannot wait to take those country roads back to what I will always consider my home a week from today.  I am so thankful for the opportunity to live in both Alabama and Maryland for a period of time, and I wouldn't trade my experiences living out of state for anything.

The final lines of the book read "The Mountaineer was ready for another year of learning and cheering the Mountaineers to victory.  Holding a football, he thought, "Let's go Mountaineers!!!"

And as I read those lines I couldn't help but get excited for what the next year has in store for me.  As sad as I am to be saying goodbye to Kevin, I feel like our lives have led us to exactly where we are supposed to be.  Things have fallen into place and I know that this temporary separation is going to be beneficial to us both.  It will give me a chance to finish my degree, and it will give Kevin a chance to gain some very valuable experience that I know will help him reach his future career goals.  God has decided that this is the right path for our family, and I am trusting him and trying to view this deployment in a positive light.

So with this newfound peace I feel ready to start off where I left off as a WVU student and tackle 12 credit hours this fall.  Please continue to keep Kevin, Kerriann and me in your thoughts and prayers during our move next week and as we adjust to life in our new home.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Home Is Where the Army Sends Us

This morning while Facebooking around 6am (Kevin's alarm woke me up and Kerriann was still sleeping), I stumbled upon a photo that one of our friends from Ft. Rucker had been tagged in.  It was of a home decor item that said "Home Is Where The Army Sends Us" and listed Ft. Rucker and their current post below it.  I've seen similar signs before, and love the idea, just didn't think one would really work for us since Kevin is National Guard and we aren't required to move every three years like active duty military families.

Seeing this sign got me thinking of all of the places we have been and lived over the past three years.  It made me want to list them out here so I don't forget them someday.  Right now it's all so fresh in my mind, but I know it won't always be like that.  Hopefully we will be able to really settle down somewhere after this deployment, but I never want to forget what our lives were like during this time.

A few days before January 1, 2009, I moved to Baltimore to live with Kevin.  We originally thought we would be there at least until July (and that Kerriann would be born there), but the Army (and God!) had other plans for us.  Soon after I moved there, we found out that Kevin needed to report to Ft. Rucker, Alabama by April 1.  So I quit my amazing internship in the city, we packed up and headed south where we spent the next 19 months.  While we were living in Ft. Rucker we lived in two different houses.  The first was a rental that we found and moved into within two days of arriving, and the second was what I like to call our first "home."  We bought a beautiful house with a pool in the backyard which happened to overlook Shell Field.  We still own and rent this house.

In October of 2010 Kevin completed flight school, ending the chapter of our lives at Ft. Rucker.  It was hard leaving the place where Kerriann was born and where we made all of our memories of her first year, along with all of the friends we had made there, but that's the way Ft. Rucker is.  Everyone is only there for a short period of time.  When we left Ft. Rucker we did some traveling over the holidays to visit family, and then settled in with Kevin's Aunt Patty for a few months until we could figure out what our next move would be.

In February of 2011 we got word that Kevin would be up for his first deployment around the start of the next year.  We decided that the best move for our family would be for him to work with his unit to prepare and forego the civilian job search for the time being.  We moved to a beautiful little condo in Havre de Grace, Maryland.

And that brings us to where we are now.  After learning two weeks ago that Kevin will be deployed much, much sooner, we are gearing up for another move.  And going into this move I know that we will be moving again in another year when he returns.  But hopefully this will be our final move for awhile.  I am so ready to settle down and have a real family life.  I'm really looking forward to Kevin holding a civilian position with regular work hours and actually being able to spend time with Kerriann and me.  The past three years have been crazy, but I know that they have been necessary to get to the place where we want to be as a family.  And if I can just survive one more year I know all of the moves and this crazy on the go lifestyle will have been worth it.

Continue to keep us in your prayers as we pack up our lives here in Maryland and move back to West Virginia, the place where Kevin and I met and officially started this journey!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Kerriann's 2nd Birthday

On August 3, Kerriann's actual birthday, we spent the day running errands for her party, eating out at Boston Market for lunch (they even gave her a red balloon when they saw her birthday shirt), and playing with the train table at Barnes and Noble.  She also got to pick out a new Olivia book.

In the afternoon she asked me to put on her "ballet dress" which is actually just a pink ruffly dress.  She's never done that before and I thought it was so cute.  She was holding one of my little purses and being so cute, so I tried to get her to sit still for a few pictures since she was all dressed up.  I got a few cute ones.  Just wish the background had been nicer than our ugly living room!

And here's one more silly one in color so you can see how cute the dress really is!

That evening, we had her favorite dinner, spaghetti and meat sauce, followed by brownies and a round of "Happy Birthday to You."  After that we let her open a few gifts.  A new playhouse tent from Mommy and Daddy, a singing Dora backpack from Gigi, and a doll from her friends Sonia and Solana.

Thank you to all of our friends and family for all of the birthday wishes!  They really mean a lot to us!

Bad Blogger

Yes... I've been a bad blogger for the past month and it makes me sad!  I write this blog as a way to keep and share family memories, and I hate that I won't be able to look back at July 2011 and know exactly what we were up to.

I've decided to cancel our Chicago trip just to lower my stress level over the next few weeks.  I found myself feeling extremely overwhelmed on Wednesday and knew it was the right thing to do, despite how much I was looking forward to the trip.  We just can't do it all and sometimes we have to sacrifice things we really want for our sanity.

Tomorrow is Kerriann's 2nd birthday party so I have been busy prepping for that all week.  Maybe I am going a little overboard for a 2nd birthday party for 30 adults, but I really do love planning parties and events and I wouldn't have it any other way.  I hope one day Kerriann will look back at the photos of her birthday parties and be glad that Mommy put so much time and effort into making her birthdays special.  I know my parents did that for me and I want to pass that onto my children.

I'll leave you with a couple of photos of Kerriann at My Gym's free play time on Monday... Kevin had the day off so we took her together.  I forgot my socks so I had to sit out which gave me a chance to observe and take a few shots from the sidelines.  She had a great time showing Daddy off to her teachers and displaying all of her tricks for him.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Happy 2nd Birthday to my beautiful girl!
Mommy and Daddy love you!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Deployment News

How do you prepare yourself to say goodbye (or see you soon, as I'd like to think of it) to your best friend, roommate, daughter's father and husband with only about a month's notice?

As of now, I have no clue, but that's what I'll be doing in a few short weeks.  That paired with Kerriann's second birthday party this weekend, a trip to Chicago with my sister next weekend, and then moving our lives to Morgantown before Kevin takes off for his first deployment will be keeping me extremely busy.

I have so many photos and stories to share from our vacation in the Poconos with Kevin's family, and I'll share those (and party pics after this weekend) as soon as I can.

Just pray for our family as we spend these last few weeks together!  And apologies in advance if I'm hard to get ahold of until after he leaves.