Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Weekend in Photos

Kyle is finally finished with rotation and he got to enjoy the long weekend. To be honest we didn't do much and it was absolutely glorious. It was nice to just lay around the house for the most part and just enjoy each others company. 

Friday we ventured off to a local music store (well music/gun/motorcycle store haha), and he picked up this beauty that he had been eyeing for a week or so. He definitely deserves it, we are calling it an early Father's Day gift. :)

One thing I had been putting off all week was finishing up my research proposal draft for my Social Psychology class, but I finally managed to get it done. It took a lot of cursing, tea, and rewrites but it's done and submitted.

The best part of the weekend was that our community pool opened! Woo!!! The weather has been perfect so it's been nice to spend an hour there just relaxing.

We even did more work in Emersyn's room and that feels like a huge weight has been lifted. We are only 12ish weeks away from meeting our daughter! Ahhhh!!!! :) 

Have a great day!

Friday, May 27, 2016

What To Wear: Military Edition

I've noticed lately at least here at Polk that a ton of military balls have been happening,  spouses have been asking for advice on what is appropriate to wear and it's interesting to see some of the responses that they get.

When I attended my first ball with Kyle I was lucky enough to have a good friend help me. She gave me some of the best advice which was, "be comfortable in your own skin." That really stuck with me and I still follow that advice. Now there are those that say to not wear a short dress or don't wear strapless. I have done both and everything else in between. For the longest time I would do my best to avoid dresses that showed my tattoos however now I don't worry about that, if someone is going to judge me based on that than I don't want to know them.

We attended our 8th ball in December and I've noticed that as I have gotten older my style has certainly changed. I have to remember that I do represent Kyle but that does not mean I have to wear something that doesn't fit who I am as well. You also don't have to break the bank, some of my dresses I got on the clearance rack, one I already had from a wedding I was in, and I even rented.

                                                   May 2009                                                     July 2009

                                               December 2009                                              December 2010

                             February 2011                                       May 2012

                                                    February 2014                             December 2015          

I have had friends have meltdowns because they were so nervous about what to wear. Yes, there is proper etiquette and yes there are those who push the envelope but I have yet to run into someone who has gone way too far.

I am not sure when our next ball will be but I'm already looking forward to it. 

Have you ever attended a military ball?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Military and Kids

This time 4 years ago our belongings were being packed up at Fort Bragg and being sent to Fort Huachuca. It's amazing to me that we are already at our 3rd duty station since then. We have been lucky enough to be sent to 4 pretty awesome places (well in my mind). Fort Bragg, Fort Huachuca, Fort Bliss, and now Fort Polk. All of these places have been so good to us.

However, now we are venturing into new territory and that is moving with a little one in tow. When we head to Kansas next year we will have a 10 month old and that blows my mind. Adding kids to a military life can definitely be a tricky situation, I have seen some of my friends struggle with constantly moving their kids around and feeling a tremendous amount of guilt.
However, I do believe that not enough credit is given to kids and how resilient they really are. I know that we will have some struggles when it comes to constantly moving with Emersyn but it is up to us to make things easy for her and to ensure that she is given every opportunity to thrive. She will of course spend time away from her Daddy and extended family but she will come to appreciate the time that she does have with them even more.

She (and future siblings) will be able to experience things that not everyone will have the chance to and to me that is a great advantage of this life.While this life is not for everyone, we are determined to make it the best one we can for her. 

Life is too short to dwell on the things we can't change so I am excited to embrace this life with her and show her how amazing it really is.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Life Lately

Is it Monday again!? I feel like the weekend just started and now it's already over.

Here is what is happening in our neck of the woods:

*Today is my Dad's last full day here and he will head to my sister's tomorrow. It has been awesome having him here and we have gotten a lot done around here. We were able to clean out our garage, put together the cube system for Emersyn's closet, and paint a knick knack shelf for her room. He has been a huge help.

*I registered me and Kyle for some parenting classes at the hospital. He wants to take the newborn basics class and the labor and delivery ones. I'm really looking forward to them.

* We have our maternity photos coming up on June 18th, the State Park we want to have them taken at is on a list to be closed down because of budget cuts. I am really hoping it doesn't happen. How beautiful would it be to have photos taken here?! Fingers crossed.
*I registered for my next race and I can't wait, it's a 4 miler on 4th of July weekend. It feels good to keep the limbs moving. 

*The community pool opens this weekend and I CAN'T WAIT! Haha, I will be spending every day there.

*I am in my last week of my current classes and I am dreading my finals. It's going to be a long week that's for sure.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A Few Things

One of the things that does not happen very often with the Army is living close to family. We have been incredibly lucky that for the last 4 years we have been within driving distance of family members. It really has been a huge blessing to be able to spend so much time together since so much of the Army life is unpredictable. 

We have had my Dad here for the last week and he will be here for 1 more week. With Kyle working 14+ hour days it has been nice to have some to hang out with and help with some things around the house. Of course we have had some fun too.

There are 2 things that my Dad will only do with me or my sister: go to Starbucks and get pedicures haha. I of course will never object to a pedicure. It has been a lot of fun having him here and I am glad that he will only be 7 hours away now with my sister and the kiddos.

I am also knee deep again in baby girl clothes and I love it. A good friend and my sister in law sent boxes of baby girl clothes and we are definitely grateful. I plan to get it all washed and put it away this weekend.

One thing that I am very excited about is an interview that I recently did. A good friend of ours (she is married to a former co-worker of Kyle's from our days at Bragg) is a journalist and wanted to do an editorial piece on our infertility/pregnancy loss journey. I had my interview with her yesterday and should have the transcript next week. I am excited that someone thought our journey was worth telling on a much larger scale. I can't wait to share it. 

I hope you all have an awesome day!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Do I Continue Or Not?!

A few weeks ago Kyle joked that once I finish my Master's program that I should consider going for my Ph.D. I'm not going to lie this has been something that I have thought about while laying in bed at night but not something I have given real serious thought. Since he made that comment I have been thinking about it a lot more. 

I will graduate with my Master's in Psychology in February and I hope to find work as a CDC (child development center) counselor or even something in management like a director or assistant director. One of the upsides about working would be that I could have Emersyn in the CDC with me and I would have access to her, I know a few people who have done this and it worked out great. Of course, if I don't find work right away I would consider finding a Ph.D program and continuing my education. 

I have researched a few programs and would likely pursue a Ph.D in Psychology with a specialization in Educational or School Psychology. For me it is important to always have goals and to push myself to do things that I never thought I would or could do. I want to show Emersyn that no matter how long it takes you can achieve your dreams. 

Since we are looking at a move next summer it will be interesting to see how this all unfolds. Whatever happens I am excited for the future.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Quick Update

I haven't done a real pregnancy update in a while and figured it was time!

I hit 25 weeks yesterday and minus a not so fun cold that I've been battling I feel great.

Emersyn is definitely moving and shaking in there which is pretty awesome to feel. I have had a lot of energy lately which has been nice especially with my Dad being here. 

We did some shopping for baby girl this week and we are slowly checking items off of the registry which has been nice. Once my Dad leaves I will really start working on her room and getting some things hung up and figuring out where things will go. 

I don't go back to the doctor until June 1st and the day before that I will do the fun glucose test. I am dreading that but mostly because I hate having blood drawn. At my 24 week appointment last week I will measuring right on track and Emersyn's heartbeat was a strong 147 which was so nice to hear. :)

*Oh on a sidenote I wanted to say a big congrats to my husband, he received his OER (Office Evaluation Report) for his previous position and he was rated 1 out of 11 officers that were in that rating chain and I am so proud of him because he busted his butt in that job going above and beyond his job. 

I hope you all have a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Family Edition

My Dad is here! We haven't seen him since Christmas so it will be nice to have him here for about 2 weeks.

(He didn't want me to take his picture so I had to be covert about it haha)

I hope you all have a great Wednesday!!!

Monday, May 9, 2016

A Great Weekend

Is it already Monday again!? Our weekend was pretty low key for the most part since Kyle had to work most of it. 

Saturday morning we were up bright and early to run the Armadillo Stampede 5k! I had Kyle run off ahead of me so I didn't slow him down. I felt great the whole time and was so happy I was able to run it. I have 2 more races that I want to participate in before Emersyn is born so hopefully it all works out.

After we got back Kyle headed off to work and I spent the next 7 hours working on an exam for school. It was not fun but I'm so glad it's done.

I slept in on Sunday and woke up to sweet gifts from Kyle for Mother's Day, headphones to play music for baby and this pillow. :) I was also gifted pajamas and a prenatal massage from my sister, dad, niece, and nephew. :) I missed my Mom terribly but I know that she is looking down on me and guiding me through this whole process.

Kyle had to work again so I lounged around and finally tackled my closet, Kyle joked and said to not to get lost haha. I also finished up washing Emersyn's clothes and getting most of that organized. 

I hope you all had a great weekend and that all of the Moms out there had a wonderful day!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Military Spouse Appreciation Day [Link-Up]

Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Day!

Every Friday before Mother's Day since 1984 this day has been recognized at Military Spouse Appreciation Day. A day to recognize the commitment that these individuals show to the military community and their service members. The support you give your service member is amazing and always remember that you are an integral part of this crazy military world.

Military spouses are some of most resilient people and I am honored to be part of such a wonderful group that is supportive of each other and willing to give of themselves so selflessly especially when times get tough. We are all in this together and we all can learn something from each other.

Amanda and I are so excited to host this link up today! We hope that you all enjoy getting to know fellow milspouses, this is such a wonderful community and I am always so proud to be a part of it! I have learned a lot in my almost 8 years and I know there is so much more to learn and so many more amazing people to meet.

 This link-up is simple just answer these questions and then add your link. 

//Tell us about yourself and your blog.

//What branch of military are you affiliated with?

//What is one thing you enjoy about the military lifestyle?

//What advice would you give other spouses who are new?

My name is Jen and welcome to my blog, Marathons and Dog Tags! I love my husband, my country, my fur-babies (Emma and Fishy), my family, and all things Disney. My husband Kyle is a Captain in the Army (just celebrated 9 years of service) and we have been married for almost 8 years, we have endured 2 deployments, and countless other separations. We currently call Fort Polk home but we have lived at Fort Bragg, Fort Huachuca, and Fort Bliss. I have a Bachelor's degree in Psychology with a minor in Child Development and am currently in Grad School for Psychology. I am an avid runner and have completed well over 50 races to include a full marathon. I am taking some time off because after 7 years of trying we are finally expecting a precious baby girl in August!

There is no denying that this life is difficult, there are challenges that come up but to be honest I would not change it for anything. I have made amazing friends and have had the opportunity to see places that I never would have otherwise. The friends I have made have become family and that is something that doesn't happen very often in civilian life. I have been able to volunteer with organizations and work with families and to me that is incredibly fulfilling. It really is hard to choose just one thing that I enjoy the most, it has been better than I ever expected it to be.

I would tell new spouses to embrace the journey. Don't dwell on the things that you cannot change because there will be things that are out of your control. Find something that you are passionate about, whether that be running, school, or volunteering. When you have something to focus on when your service member is gone it can make all the difference. Most off all, enjoy this life! It really is an amazing experience to include the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Bloom where you are planted!

I hope you all have enjoyed the link-up! Amanda and I can't wait to see everyone's posts. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

An Anniversary and a Link Up!

 9 years ago today Kyle commissioned into the United States Army. I have been with him for 8 of those years and I am so proud of all that he has accomplished, he is truly an excellent officer and puts the well-being of his soldiers ahead of his own.

I will always brag about him because I am proud of him and who he is and how hard he works. Here are some of the highlights of his career so far:

Senior Rated Jumpmaster (30+ jumps as a jumpmaster and 3 foreign sets of wings)
2 deployments
Bronze Star Medal
Commanded a military intelligence company for 24 months

I look forward to see what is in store for him in the future, I know that he will continue to do great things. Happy 9 years, babe!

Speaking of the military, on Friday, Amanda and I are hosting a fun link up for Military Spouse Appreciation Day!

This link-up is simple just answer these questions and then add your link. 

//Tell us about yourself and your blog.

//What branch of military are you affiliated with?

//What is one thing you enjoy about the military lifestyle?

//What advice would you give other spouses who are new?
Grab the button and join us!

Military Spouse Appreciation Day Link-Up

Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, May 2, 2016

A Weekend in Florida!

We returned home yesterday after a pretty amazing long weekend in Florida with my sister and the kids! We always enjoy being able to head down there and spend time with family and we were able to celebrate Kyle's birthday a few days early with them.

On Friday afternoon, Kyle, Lisa, and I headed to the beach to have some relaxation while the kids were at school. It was a gorgeous day and after a few hours we headed back but not without stopping at Firehouse Subs for lunch (yum!!!).

After we picked up the kids from school we headed off to the zoo for Kyle's big birthday gift from Lisa, Kylie, and Grayson! He finally realized a dream and was able to meet, feed, and pet a 2-toed sloth named Mozey! This was so amazing! He was such a sweet little guy and enjoyed being fed sweet potatoes, cucumbers, acorn squash, apples, and grapes. 

We spent about 30 minutes inside his enclosure and we all were able to pet him as well. I have never seen Kyle smile like that and I am sure it will be impossible to top this gift haha. My sister did good.

Saturday was another beach day and we spent the majority of the day soaking up the sun. Kyle and the kids had fun boogie-boarding and the water was amazing.

That evening we just relaxed at the house, played in the backyard and enjoyed a yummy cookie cake for Kyle's birthday.

It really was a perfect weekend and we had the best time! 

I hope you all had a great weekend.

Oh and keep an eye out for a linkup from Amanda and I on Friday for Military Spouse Appreciation Day! It will consist of the same questions as last year so be ready! Link Up