Friday, June 23, 2017

Oh, Friday!

We are officially unpacked! I'm not going to lie for a few days I felt like the damn things were multiplying. It felt like 1 would get unpacked and 3 more would appear (don't remind me that we will likely be doing this all over again next summer).

Now don't get me wrong I am grateful that the Army takes care of packing us but let me tell you the frustration of opening a large box and finding a single lampshade. Hmm okay. After a while you just have to shake your head and laugh haha especially because that one lampshade is accompanied by 50 pounds of packing paper.

We have curtains hung and almost all of our pictures on the walls. I'm still figuring out how I want some things but it's so nice having more wall space, because we can actually display some of Kyle's military artwork and plaques. Some stuff stayed in boxes from our move to Louisiana because we just didn't have the space for them.

For our anniversary on Wednesday we were able to take a break and check out the zoo in Kansas City. It's HUGE!!! We had so much fun exploring and seeing all of the animals. E was a champ, she braved 3+ hours there and never fussed at all. 

The second photo perfectly depicts how she felt about the zoo. She is one happy girl! :) We even survived a late lunch at Cheesecake Factory and a stroll around an outdoor shopping area. This girl is a rockstar!

Tomorrow we will be running our 1st race in Kansas! It's a 5k benefiting Parkinson's Disease, PD Donut Dash. It will be great supporting such a wonderful cause and becoming immersed in the running community here. I am already noticing a difference in my running mostly because the humidity isn't as intense here, thank goodness!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

9 Years

It is hard to believe that on this day 9 years ago I married my very best friend and the love of my life. 

We did not have the most conventional relationship prior to getting married. While we knew each other since middle school we only dated for a few months. It was however the single best decision I have ever made. I have learned so much about myself and we have learned together what it means to be a great team and how to have a strong partnership.

Marriage on its own can be challenging but for us we have the added stress of the military. We have gone through long separations including deployments but each one has taught us valuable lessons.

Are there days when we want to scream and shout at each other, of course, but in those moments we realize that we wouldn't want to go through those struggles with anyone else. Our marriage hasn't been easy but gosh it has been so worth it.

We have taken memorable trips together and started a running journey that has been more rewarding than we both thought possible. We have the best time together, we laugh at the most ridiculous things, and there is certainly never a dull moment.

We have dealt with tragedies together. We have lost loved ones and we endured a long fertility journey. Every single one of those moments have brought us closer together and have made us better people and a better couple.

 As a couple one of our greatest joys is being parents to this precious girl. She has completed our family and has made us appreciate our life together so much more.

To my husband, Kyle: I love you. I love you for the man you are and the man you always strive to be. Thank you for giving us an incredible life and for always supporting me in whatever crazy endeavor I choose. You give of yourself so selflessly without expecting anything in return. I am so proud that I get to walk this journey with you. Here is to the next 50!

Monday, June 19, 2017

First Weekend In The Books

We wrapped up our first weekend in Kansas and it was a great one! 

My Dad was here on Friday so we wanted to take advantage of exploring Kansas City. We ventured to the Legends Outlets and walked around. It was a beautiful day. We had lunch at a wood fired pizza place and E was a happy camper with her mac and cheese haha. It was nice to explore our new home and show my Dad around too.

E loved having her papa around for a few days.

After we got back to post, Kyle drove us around so we could check everything out. Fort Leavenworth is such a historical post and it's beautiful! We even got to see the old penitentiary.

My Dad headed out bright and early on Saturday, it was so great having him here for a few days. He helped us a ton. After he left we were able to get more things put away and in order. All we have left to do is hang pictures/decorations and put curtains up downstairs.

We ran a few errands in KC and took a drive by the new Federal Penitentiary. It's HUGE! We can see the entire compound from a few of the higher streets in our neighborhood.

On Sunday, since it was Father's Day, E bought (well I helped haha) tickets to a baseball game for Kyle. We had a great time watching the Kansas City T-Bones! He seemed to enjoy his 1st Father's Day.

It was so nice being able to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather! Kansas did welcome us with a pretty intense storm on Friday night, to include losing power for a few hours but thankfully it didn't last long.

I hope you all had an amazing weekend!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Why We Do It

Being in Kansas with just E and the animals these last few days has really given me a chance to reflect. We have been doing this Army life for the last 9 years (well 10 for Kyle) and to be honest it really doesn't feel like it has been that long. 

As I was staring at a very daunting stack of boxes yesterday, I thought to myself, "Why do we do this?" "Why do we willingly uproot our lives every few years and move to a new place?". 

Here are the reasons I came up with.

1. Kyle loves his job! You may be thinking, "well what does that have to do with you?". Kyle thrives with being in the military. It is something that he enjoys and seeing him so passionate about mentoring and leading soldiers inspires me. He is serving his country and it is something he takes very seriously. Yes deployments are inevitable but I can't dwell on that because it would make me crazy. His job has taken him away for long periods of time but I'm resilient and we are a strong team. 

2. We get to live in places we would have never dreamed of! Are the locations always ideal, absolutely not but you have to find the good. I'll be the first to say that Fort Polk was nowhere on our radar but we embraced and we fell in love with that gem in Central Louisiana. Of course,  it also means that we won't always be close to family but that's okay because we can still visit. They can visit us and see somewhere new as well. We are thrilled that we get to include E in these adventures and provide her the tools that she needs to be a resilient and thriving individual.

3. I have benefited from this life is more ways than I could have ever imagined. Yes of course I could have done some of the same things without the involvement of the military but I wouldn't have had the same experiences. I've been able to volunteer with different organizations, families, and units, which have shaped me into a better person. Giving back to a community that has given us so much means everything. The military also provided me with my education and for that I am forever grateful.

4. The biggest one is we love this life. It's not perfect and it isn't for everyone. Of course there are politics involved, that happens with any job. Kyle and I have always agreed that the moment we stop having fun and enjoying it then we will re-evaluate and make changes. We haven't come to that point yet.  The friendships and experiences make it worth it and there is certainly never a dull moment.

Life is always what you make of it and it can be an amazing adventure if you just embrace it. The good, the bad, and the ugly. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Hello From Kansas!

After a long day of travel on Sunday. E, Fishy, Emma, and I are safely in our new home in Kansas! 

I picked up the keys to our house yesterday morning and after quite an interesting day we have about a 1/4 of our stuff (the rest will be delivered tomorrow). 

It feels good to be here and it will be even nicer to get unpacked and get settled. I can't wait to get back to regular blogging but right now I will leave you with a few photos of our new home.

The view from our front porch

My new kitchen (excuse the mess)

 Living Room

Our backyard. It desperately needs to be mowed. I will work on that this week.

This little nugget is happy to be in her new home!

We just need Kyle here to complete the move! He will arrive tomorrow with my Dad. :) 

Have a great Tuesday!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Change Of Plans

Well, we are officially packed and ready to vacate Louisiana! 

This week did not start out the easiest when it came to the packers but everything ended up smoothly and our stuff is gone. We were scheduled for Monday-Tuesday as packing days but because of no communication and another job that needed to be finished we didn't have packers until Tuesday. That made for a very frustrating day on Monday. 

The guys showed up bright and early on Tuesday and quickly got to work. E had fun climbing on and inspecting the boxes. I'm sure she is wondering where the heck all her toys went.

The packers pretty much had everything packed on Tuesday so when they arrived on Wednesday all they had to do was load the truck and take apart beds and furniture. Emma and Fishy were clearly not ready for their beloved couch to go away.

One of the hardest thing about military moves is coordinating delivery of your household goods. If you aren't heading to your destination right away your items will go into storage courtesy of the military. We have always had to do that because our timeline was always a little off. However, we found out that the driver would be heading to Kansas on Sunday and could deliver our stuff on Monday. Well, we weren't leaving Louisiana until next week. 

A few phone calls were made and some things were shifted on our part. Now, E and I, plus the furry kids will be heading to Kansas on Sunday, picking up the keys to our house first thing Monday morning and getting our goods that day! Kyle and my Dad will follow later in the week.

We are so relieved that our stuff will not sit in storage for lord knows how long! So this is officially my last post that will be written from my living room in Louisiana, sort of surreal. 

We will also be running our last race here on Saturday morning, we are looking forward to it. Nice way to end my time here.

I hope you all have a great weekend! 

Oh and in case you're interested I was part of a get to know you series with Jen at It's my Life. Check it out here!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Water Safety

One thing that I have been thinking about lately is water safety when it comes to E. With my family living close to the water and how much Kyle and I love water activities we knew we wanted E to be prepared. Our niece and nephew love the water and we know E will be just like them but safety is so so important.

However, when I read Erica's story about her daughter's near drowning I knew that swim lessons were something that we needed to do for E. I am so relieved and happy that her little girl is okay!

My sister and I had previously talked about a video that was circulating of a baby that learned how to float in a pool at 6 months old. While it seems scary these techniques can do wonders! The videos I have seen are incredible, the way in which these babies learn to float is amazing.

Kyle and I talked about it and we decided to enroll E in lessons once we arrive in Kansas. There are a few options but one jumped out at me. Kansas City's Infant Aquatics start lessons at the age of 6 months old. This is exactly what I want. Studies have shown that kids who are not introduced to the water early enough are likely to develop a fear of water around the age of 2. I do not want that for her. I want her to be confident in the water and to enjoy it. 

We will also be getting re-certified in CPR/First Aid (both Adult and Pediatric). We as parents have to be prepared for anything. 

I am hopeful that with these lessons she will gain confidence as she grows older and that it will give us piece of mind.

Have you ever taken swim lessons? Or enrolled your kids?