Friday, July 29, 2016

I Am Grateful For All Of It

The last few weeks I have been reflecting on this pregnancy as well as our journey to get here. Everything we have gone through came rushing back when I came across this tiny case when I was cleaning out underneath the sink in our bathroom.

Unless you have gone through fertility treatments or know someone who has you would never know what this case is for. It ruled my life for a long time and every time I had to open it the tears would stream down my face wondering if we would ever become parents. The shots I had to give myself (which I would strategically form into a smiley face just to make myself feel better) every few months and waiting for the side effects to happen, waiting for blood draws, ultrasounds, and exams were exhausting but it was worth it. The emotional toll it took on us after each miscarriage, and waiting before we could start over again.

Did we have our moments of doubt, frustration, and anger? Absolutely, that's only normal. We also knew that we would be parents some day.

I thought about throwing it away but honestly I couldn't bring myself to do it because it is part of our journey.


As we prepare for the birth of our daughter (which could be at any moment now), I realize just how lucky we are. We are lucky because we have healthcare that has allowed us to take advantage of fertility treatments, that provided us with doctors who did the best they could, and brought a doctor into our lives who changed everything and we are forever grateful for her.

I know there are aspects of pregnancy that are less than desirable but I have enjoyed every single second. However, I would never diminish or criticize a woman who does not enjoy being pregnant. I am grateful for the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I look at myself and realize how far we have come these last 7 years and I know that this is happening during this time of our lives for a reason. I am grateful!

I am proud of the journey we have been on because it has brought us to this moment. I have grateful for the friendships it has brought with others going through the same thing. I am grateful for the closeness that it brought with family and friends.

For those going through infertility, you are not alone, there are so many people who love and support you. Your journey is worth it even though it may not seem like it now. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Life Lately

Oh life, you are about to get crazy! :) Here is a quick update about what is happening in our neck of the woods.

*I submitted my last assignment yesterday for my current grad school classes! I am officially done until October! At that point I will only have 5 classes until I graduate with a Master's degree in Psychology, I am really excited. 

*I have hit the 36 week mark in this pregnancy and baby girl can officially come at any time now. I will be curious to see what my doctor has to say at my appointment today. I can't believe we are so close to meeting her. We just have a few more little things to do like get her carseat installed and finishing packing our hospital bag.

*Kyle is almost done with the current training rotation at work and I am so happy!! I feel like this one has gone on for much longer than they normally do. He will have a slow pace at work for about a week before the intensity picks up again. It's a vicious cycle of training haha.

*I have been doing a TON of cleaning and purging in the house lately, clearly I'm nesting haha. One issues I have been having is the state of my jewelry. I have a jewelry box that I keep under the bathroom sink but it's a pain to rummage through that all the time. So I picked up a key rack to use for the pieces that I wear the most, it's perfect!

*I have reached my limit of political posts, I have started hiding people on FB and it has made me a much happier person haha. I enjoy not being inundated with that stuff on a daily basis now.

Not much else happening just in countdown mode for Emersyn! :)

I hope you all have an awesome day!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Birthday Weekend

On Saturday, I celebrated my 31st birthday! I am really trying to wrap my brain around that because I certainly do not feel 31. I do have to say though that my 30's have been amazing so far and I am so grateful for all that has happened during this time.

I was certainly spoiled by my family this year as they all got me really thoughtful gifts. My sister, niece, and nephew gave me this beautiful photo frame carousel and amazing bracelet. I'm not normally a big jewelry wearer but I do wear this almost every day. :)

My Dad gave me this amazing wood Dachshund! Seriously, how cute is it?! I put it in my backyard and filled it with flowers.


Since Kyle was working on my actual birthday, he was able to rearrange his schedule Friday night so we could at least go out to dinner. We went to our favorite Mexican restaurant and enjoyed a low key night together. He knows how much I love the cakes from the commissary so he surprised me with one and a beautiful necklace with Emersyn's name.

Excuse the tired face haha it was passed my bedtime. ;)

Saturday (my actual birthday), was spent cleaning and decluttering. I am in official nesting mode but it feels good to get stuff done and things thrown out that we don't need.

My sweet neighbors also surprised me with yummy birthday brownies! It definitely made me smile.


Sunday was reserved for laundry and finishing up some school work.

Overall, it was a great weekend. I am so looking forward to all that 31 has to offer, I know that it is going to be the best year yet!

Hope you all had a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

On Post v. Off Post Living

When it comes to being married to military one of the topics that is bound to come up is whether or not to live on post or off. You will hear some say that they prefer to live off so that they can get away from the military and feel as though they can disconnect at the end of the day.

When living on a military installation, they will take your full BAH (basic allowance for housing). Now that may seem crazy but it covers rent, utilities, lawn care, maintenance (which is 24 hours in case of emergency), and trash services.

When we first got married Kyle was already living in an apartment off post at Bragg and we decided quickly to apply for housing. Within a few months we signed for our first house and we loved it. It was an older 3 bedroom/2bathroom, we lived in this house for about 22 months until housing offered to move us to a new house.


We received this house next and it was amazing!! 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bathrooms, 2 living rooms, and a 1 car garage. Since it was a move mandated by housing, the Army moved us. I definitely wasn't hating that haha. We lived in this house until we PCS'd in 2012.


This was our home in on post at Fort Huachuca for 7 months. It was OLD haha, but it had it's own charms. No carpet and a swamp cooler. I mean it we couldn't live in it for 7 months then that is just sad. This house is now demolished as is the rest of the houses and that makes me a little sad. We really enjoyed it.


When we moved to Fort Bliss we decided to do something we had never done before and that was buy a house. It was terrifying and amazing all at the same time. We purchased a new construction and it was our dream home. All tile downstairs, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, ornate wrought iron railings, 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms and a ginormous backyard that we had landscaped with artificial grass. It was perfect.

Now here is the downside, we were given orders 22 months after buying this home and we panicked. We had no idea we would be moving so quickly and we opted to sell instead of renting it out. The thought of renting it out gave me anxiety especially since I would be the one dealing with it. We were lucky and sold it 30 days before we were to leave Texas, we were not so lucky because we had to live in a hotel for those 30 days, and shell out a ton of money to sell it.


We knew immediately when we got orders to our current home that we would be living on post again. We received a home the day we arrived and feel at ease gain.

We have decided that as long as we can we will continue to live on post. The thought of renting off or buying stresses me out. Being able to have relatively door to door moves is appealing. We have never once felt that Kyle can't leave work at work. We have never had neighbors that talk about work on the weekends, and to be honest if our AC breaks in the middle of the night I like that I can call maintenance to fix it and I don't have to pay for it.

Living on post isn't for everyone and that's okay but it has worked for us and I definitely wouldn't change it.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Ainsley's Angels Sunset 5k

Saturday, I completed my last race before Emmy comes! I ran it solo this year as Kyle was working (he didn't even get home until about 2am). I always look forward to this 5k.

It had rained earlier in the day so thankfully it had cooled down and wasn't completely unbearable. The reactions from people when they realized that I was running the race were hilarious. I heard everything from "please don't give birth on the course" to "I can't believe you're running, that's the coolest thing I have ever seen".

The scenery along the lake is absolutely beautiful and the houses are stunning, I'm talking million dollar homes.


This was me at the start of the race, I always feel better once I can get elbow room and get into the zone. There were a ton of people which is awesome for this particular non-profit.


I didn't set out with any goal I just wanted to finish. I took my time and only walked at the water point, I was happy to see that I crossed the finish line at 42 minutes. For being 8 1/2 months pregnant I'll take it haha.

 I rewarded myself with Sonic on the way home, I really just wanted the ice.

Overall, it was a great race to end with. I'm already looking forward to my first postpartum run after Emmy is born.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Lately, I have been seeing a lot of posts within the military community about different military installations mostly focused on the bad aspects. 

We are currently in the summer move cycle and friends are heading to new places and for me it's always interesting to see the thoughts and feelings that are thrown out there. We have been at 4 different posts and all of them have been amazing in their own ways. The funny thing is most people have stated that they feel we got the short end of the stick when it came to where we were sent. 

Here are my thoughts on where we have been:

1. Fort Bragg, NC. We spent 4 years here and it is where we started our married life. We actually consider this place to be our "home". Kyle always had a desire to be Airborne and this is the mecca for those wanting that. We met some of our best friends here and went through 2 deployments that let's face it made us much stronger. Being a part of the 82nd Airborne was intense but it was such an amazing experience for both of us. I learned there that I had a huge passion to volunteering and it changed me. Plus you are close to awesome places like Raleigh, Charlotte, Asheville, Washington D.C. and Myrtle Beach. We definitely made the most of our time here. 

2. Fort Huachuca, AZ. I am pretty sure that unless you know something about the intelligence community in the Army you will likely not know much about Fort Huachuca. I have to say that while we only spent 7 months there it was absolutely amazing! It is located in southern Arizona and butted up against mountains. It's a beautiful and small installation. The outside community is primarily retirees and they were amazing to us. We packed so many amazing experiences into our time there and we have so many wonderful memories. We were able to visit Tombstone, Bisbee, Tucson, Phoenix, and The Grand Canyon. I would go back in a heartbeat.

3. Fort Bliss, TX. When we first told people that we were moving here, we heard a lot of "oh my gosh I would cry if I got sent there" and "you're going to be so close to Mexico, aren't you scared?!". We laughed and went into it with an open mind like we always did and we were pleasantly surprised. Fort Bliss is an amazing place! I mean when you have a place called Freedom Crossing on post that has a Buffalo Wild Wings, that is a win in my book haha. The El Paso community is by far one of the nicest when it comes to people that we have ever encountered. We chose to buy a house here and live in the community and I am so glad we did. Despite being so close to Mexico, it is considered to be one of the safest cities in the US. We did SO much while we were here. We went to so many concerts, festivals, ran a ton of races, and went to places like White Sands and Roswell. We even were able to visit the Trinity Site where the first atomic bomb was tested. I dove headfirst into volunteering with Kyle's unit here and it was such an amazing experience. Don't knock Fort Bliss until you try it. :)

4. Fort Polk, LA. Oh this one probably has the worst reputation of everywhere we have been. When you mention Fort Polk to someone in the military you immediately see a sour puss reaction. To be honest when it comes to soldiers most who hate it have only been here for training, and lets be honest the training is supposed to suck the life out of them. Yes, the area is small but gosh it's packed full of history and wonderful people. We have been able to explore New Orleans, Lafayette, Natchitoches, and other cool places like the Tabasco Factory. The hiking and outdoor activities you can find here are better than most places. I can honestly say that when we move next summer we will be very sad. We love it here. 

We have always done our best to make the most of where we live because to be honest it takes more energy to be miserable than it does to be happy. :) 

Have you lived somewhere that has a bad reputation?

Monday, July 11, 2016

6 weeks to go!

I swear this pregnancy has flown by! I am quickly approaching 34 weeks and I just can't believe it. Emersyn has most certainly been making her presence known, it is pretty cool being able to see her move and roll around.

Overall, I am feeling pretty great. My heartburn is still in full swing (tums are my best friend haha) and I am getting tired a lot more easily. I make myself get up and walk around the house or outside for a bit just to keep moving so that I don't end up sore from sitting on the couch. It really has made a huge difference. Braxton hicks contractions have been happening a bit lately and they are definitely interesting haha.

One thing that has not changed is my sleep, I am still sleeping great, which is a huge blessing I know.

Some days I feel a lot larger than I am, but I am still loving my bump.


Her room is pretty much finished now which I am so excited about. When we were in Florida we received the table that my Dad and sister, Lisa, made and it's absolutely perfect in her room!


Her swing, pack n play, and rock n play are put together and in their places as well. Fishy has been interested in her swing but has yet to jump in it lol. I'm sure it will happen eventually.


I registered for my last race before baby girl arrives! It's a 5k happening this Saturday and I can't wait. It's an evening race which are my favorite ones to do. I am just happy that I feel good enough to continue running and walking.

 This week is going to be solely focused on school,  I have two 10 pages literature reviews due so I will be a busy lady. I just keep reminding myself that July 29th will be here before I know it and school will be on the back burner until October.

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Friday Favorites

I haven't done a Friday Favorites post in a long time so I figured it was time to change that. :)

Here is what I am loving lately.

*Coke Icee! Thank goodness for the shoppette that is right around the corner from our house. With this ridiculous heat I am loving these lately.

*Sam's Club Pickup. The last time I went to Sam's Club alone I had an panic attack so it was nice to order everything online and have it ready when I got there. I was in and out of the store in 10 minutes yesterday.

*Sketcher's slip on tennis shoes. My doctor advised me to get more comfortable shoes for when I am walking around a lot and oh my goodness these are amazing!

*Waterlogged App. I don't enjoy drinking water but I know that I need to and this app keeps me in line and I love it. Yes this was my water intake for yesterday haha.

*My Garmin Forerunner 220. I use this even if I am just walking around the neighborhood but it will get a workout next week with a 5k that I'm doing.

I hope you all have an awesome weekend!! Ours will consist of school work and getting together with our neighbors to watch the UFC fights. :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Weekend Festivities Recap

On Thursday morning we loaded up the car and Emma to head off to Florida for the holiday weekend and the last part of Kyle's block leave! 

Let me just say that road tripping at almost 33 weeks pregnant can get a little uncomfortable haha.

 Friday, was our designated beach day! We got there early in the morning and enjoyed the sand, sunshine and waves! A few hours later some rain rolled in so we loaded up and headed to Joe's Crab Shack for a late lunch and had a blast. We were there for a while and just enjoyed each others company.

Saturday was a relaxing day, we spent most of the time prepping for our 4th of July BBQ and playing Cards Against Humanity haha.

Sunday was the day we planned to celebrate our niece and nephews birthdays at a water park. We had a party area all to ourselves for the day and it was awesome! Some of the kids friends were there and everyone had a blast! We were there for 8 hours and we were all wiped out by the time we headed home. Needless to say it was a huge success.

Monday, was the 4th of July BBQ and it was so much fun! Some friends of my sister's came over and we laughed and ate so much good food! The kids were excited about the water balloons and slip n slide. It helped to cope with the ridiculous heat.

Later that night we set off fireworks in the driveway and enjoyed some other fireworks in the sky that we could see.

It was great spending time with my family as this is my last road trip before baby girl comes. We packed so much fun into a few days that's for sure. 

I hope you all had a great weekend!