Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A new Fan

I'll be honest. I'm not a fan of sports. There is not one athletic bone in my body nowhere. I enjoy watching tennis occasionally. I don't like baseball on television, but I enjoy it live and in person.

Now? I love it.

This is why.

Guarding first base like nobody's business. Keeping an eye on that ball while still keeping it casual.

Playing catcher for today's game. I sat in the dugout and he kept looking at me and giving me a thumb's up. Made me want to stop the game just a minute so I could go lick him and squeeze him one good time.

Standing in the on deck circle waiting his turn. Dad's in the background helping the batter ahead of him. I took this through the fence sitting in the dugout.

I was not prepared for my baby to love the game like he does. I should have known this was going to happen since The Man has great love for sports. I swore up and down I was going to go watch games and that was it. I have no idea how I ended up being one of the dugout Moms who help keep things smooth and batting helmets snapped on and tears dried when something upsets a little heart.

The Man took his son to get his very first pair of cleats the other day. Just the two of them. They were successful and I assume all was well. On the way to the baseball field this evening we were informed that The Boy does not like his new shoes because his toes can not move and he likes for his toes to move in his shoes (that was basically a quote from him). Dad convinced him to wear his shoes to practice and to games. As soon as the game was over? Those cleats were off and the Cr*cs were back on. It's important for toes to move, you know.

Carla and I are helping Neighbor Debbie get her new house in order before they move this weekend (*sob*). This morning we removed 3 or 4 layers of wallpaper from the kitchen and dining room area. Holy smokes. Shoot me if I ever even THINK about wallpaper, would you? That was just crazy. We had a ball listening to the radio and chatting. I took a few pictures so Neighbor Debbie can share on her blog. I think you'll be right impressed with us. Now, it might be a week or so before she gets around to posting them, but it'll be worth it, I promise. Tomorrow morning we head back over to start painting. That HG and TV won't have a thing on us when we're done!

I have such a busy week going on. Someone has a birthday this week! The cake has been ordered and Aunt Lu is bringing her crew in for the weekend. I told The Man today I need just a few more hours in my day. I just don't have enough time to get it all done!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Another round of snippets

In the excitement that has been going on, I forgot a Mama Brag I was supposed to do.

Makenna won the Young Georgia Author's Award for 4th grade at her school. I didn't even know she had entered a contest! We were so very proud of her because the story she wrote was so stinking cute. I would put it on here but I have to figure out how to copyright my blog first. I don't want her hard work stolen. They had a small awards ceremony where she received a certificate and medal on a ribbon. Her 3rd grade teacher was in charge of the program at their school and she was beyond tickled that one of "her" kids had won. I would post a picture, but she's holding her certificate and I'm not about putting her last name out on the net. I'm sure you all understand my safety precautions. Now, her paper goes to the district level to compete against the other elementary schools here. If she scores there? Then it's off to state level. That girl of mine is so creative. She has a gift that I hope she nurtures and develops...it would be a shame to waste it!

We're calming down after all that retirement news saga. There is nothing to do but go forward. We're planning what we can and flying by the seat of our pants the rest of the way. I went ahead and registered The Boy for kindergarten. I spoke with Rose and the assistant principal at the school and they both agreed that it would be a good thing for him. See, I have to get him started in speech at school as soon as I can. If I don't? It could be a month or so before I find a doctor to refer him out when we move and we're worried he will lose all his progress with a gap like that. His speech teacher agrees that we buckle down this summer and move to three visits a week- time for hard core speech therapy! He's speaking so much better as it is. Poor thing just gets so wound up and his brain kicks into 10th gear and his words can't keep up with his mind. This is not only about learning the "v", "f", and "s" sounds....it's about learning control to slow down and communicate. I am in awe every day that he has received such amazing help with truly great people.

Paige is dealing as well as she can. My heart breaks that I'm taking her away from a place that she loves and a school she adores. My baby has just blossomed like the prettiest flower you've ever seen since we moved here. I won't ever regret moving because she has truly found herself and her way. I encourage her to think of how much more she can grow in another place. Her answer? She just wants to move to Tennessee to be with her best friend who moved last summer (her Dad retired). Oh, if it were that simple, Baby Girl.

The Man is putting out his resume and is hearing from headhunters. We've decided to put the job search (at the moment) in the South East region. Hopefully, the South East has a place for us. Carla and John are job searching also. Ugh. It's like my little world here is just busting wide open. Military life can suck in this aspect, you know. You roll along living life and enjoying and, BAM, you gotta rethink and redo and just take a totally different life route. Eh, I'm too old to do this. Well, I'm too old to do this again after THIS time. I have no choice but to grit my teeth, grin, and go one more time.

I'm heading out to help Neighbor Debbie get her place straight. She leaves next week and I'm going to miss her like crazy. At least she won't be that far away and I will still get to see her. I just won't be able to walk to her house like I normally do. (I'd have to walk on the interstate to do that and I'm thinking that's on the dangerous side.) Around noon, I get to head to another friend's house for lunch. Yeah, I'm going to miss my girls. Then again....I might finally lose some weight if I don't do all the lunches! Hmmmm.......

My baby has his first T-Ball game tomorrow (if the rain holds). I went to practice last night and just know I'm going to be on of those screaming fool Mamas. I could have licked those babies, they were so serious and having the best time. You know I'll be taking pictures!

Go on and have yourselves a good weekend. Keep it steady now.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I am a planner by nature. I love a good plan. If that plan doesn't work out? I love a good back-up plan. Give me a plan and I'm smooth.

I do not have a good plan right now. I do believe it's going to make me crazy.

Rose told me last week in counseling I was a planner. I just looked at her and blinked. My reply? "And whats wrong with that?"

Nothing, according to her. It's true that when something catches me out of left field and knocks me down, I jump right up and hit the ground running. Crap on moping around about it and letting it get the best of me. I want to tackle problems head on and get them solved or out of the way.

My husband? Not so much a planner. He likes to sit back a little while and ponder things. He wants to look at the situation from all angles and consider all outcomes and better prepare himself to deal with it.

That makes me certifiably insane. I need action. I need results. Right then. I don't care if it's not a perfect outcome or solution, I just need to be proactive. Immediately.

I kid you not, Internets. In a world perfect for me? I have plans A-Z. Plans A-Z have back-up plans. Back-up plans have emergency contingency plans. I like knowing there are steps that can be taken to get me from point A to point M. Getting back to A is a good thing to know, too.

Follow me here, would you?

I think it's more like I'm a race horse. (ha ha-my overweight out of shape self as a race horse) I take off out the gate and by the time I hit the finish line? I'm whupped. Mentally and physically. Yet, my job is done and done well.

My husband? A sturdy work horse. He plods along, straight and narrow, slow and steady. By the time he's finished? The job is done and done well. Same as the race horse. He gives his all and is able to call it good.

Can you imagine the tension that brews at The Edge at times? I want to get BUSY and he's smooth and calm in our storm. Sure, we balance each other out for the most part but it sure drives me crazy.

I have to learn to compromise...which goes against my nature. I have to learn to respect his way of doing things and know that the end result will be good.

It doesn't mean I can't make a few plans in the meantime, does it? You know...just to make me feel better.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

That perspective thing

I do believe I am tired of the perspective side of things now.

Last night I had to take The Man to our local E.R. He was feeling a little wonky (my word I used when things aren't right) yesterday morning. He still got up and was helping me clean The Boy's room and go through clothes he has outgrown. Around 5-ish, he made the comment that his chest was hurting.


I asked if he was having pain in his arm and jaw. He said no, but, he was lightheaded and short of breath. I put the symptoms in the g**gle machine and decided quick like we might need to go get him checked out.

The E.R. was packed. A bunch of teenagers were there to support a friend. Lovely. We didn't wait long for triage and the nurse was very concerned. The Man was pale and he is not a pale person by nature. He was pretty much taken back immediately.

Can I say I love my friends? I started texting right away to let them know where we were and what was going on. I did this, too, so they would know the kids were at home alone and to keep an ear out for them. They texted back right away showing support. I heard terms being thrown around as the nurses moved quickly to hook my husband up to monitors, start and I.V. port, and talk a bunch of nonsense. Both Carla and Debbie were my links to finding out what they were talking about. Neighbor Greg let his fingers fly on his computer to get information back as fast as possible. I probably looked like a teenager the way my fingers were flying over my phone.

When they brought in the nitro, I got really worried. I texted (paraphrasing here): "Oh crap. They're giving him nitro!!" What did Carla do? She immediately sent out texts and requests for prayers to her mother and our friends and stood by with fingers ready to look up anything I needed her to. Neighbor Debbie jumped in her truck and headed to the E.R. for some moral support. I kept updating Paige so she wouldn't freak out but kept it low key for her.

His blood work and cardiac work up came back fine. Whewww.

Now it gets wild.

The Man has had an awful cold the past two weeks. A trip to the doctor got him some antihistamine and that was it. This E.R. doctor was asking a million questions and running tests left and right. He almost seemed perplexed to me. I am also feeling my age because this guy looked like he was 12 years old. He finally came in and leaned against the counter to tell us his diagnosis.

It appears The Man is recovering from bronchitis and walking pneumonia. (What????) He has had a horrendous cough the past week and this cough seems to have made the cartilage separate from his chest wall. OUCH.

Add in the stress from the past week and it's just not good. I'm thinking the wrestling match with the constipated 4 year old probably made things worse, too.

He was given a super-wham-a-dine dose of Motrin with anti-inflammatory to give him some relief in his chest. Add in a prescription for antibiotics for ten days and we're going to see if we can get this thing cleared up.

Of course he won't take it easy a day or two to get over this. He hasn't in the past two weeks, so why start now? He's taking a class this upcoming week that goes with retirement and he will be there. He is such a Chief.

All in all, it was a quick E.R. visit (who has those?) and we were home within three hours total.

Now, I watch him closely and make sure he's drinking enough fluids. I'm doing my best to keep him low-key. (He's sitting in the recliner doing Calculus homework. So much for low-key, huh?) He'll get this one good day to recover as much as possible before I let him go do that stuff he does week in and week out.

Yep. I do believe I'm done with all the perspective stuff. I think a few drama free days are in order for The Edge.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A "Thank you,but I'll pass" situation

I debated on blogging about this and then figured with all the seriousness going on around The Edge....this might lighten things up a bit.

There are things in life you never want to do. You know the type of things that you can die having never done and be perfectly okay about it?

We had one of those moments yesterday.

You never EVER want to give The Boy a suppository.

Poor soul has been having him some pooping issues this week. I'm thinking I don't need to put cheese on the grocery list this go round and see if that helps out a little bit.

I called The Man at work yesterday and asked him to swing by the drugstore and grab some suppositories as our son needed some help. I told him this on the phone as I watched my child almost burst a blood vessel on the potty. I had visions of a 4 year old having a stroke from all the straining he was doing.

Paige got me a hospital glove (we...uh...have a few laying around here....) and we proceeded to tell The Boy what was going to happen.

I am so glad my son does not know profane words.

Well, talking it over first wasn't working. I'm all about action. Get it over and done with. Apologize later.


Let's just say that it took four tries, 3 gloves, and a lot of sweat.

The Man had sweat on his brow and a scratch down his arm. I was wearing elastic waist work out pants and they were pulled halfway to my knees. We were both breathing hard and trying to talk over the enraged screams of one highly pissed 4 year old.

Did I mention I'm glad my son does not know any profane words?

I looked at The Man and said, "Yeah, this is one part of parenting they don't tell you about."

You bring home that sweet baby as a new parent and you see sweetness and goodness and bottles. Uh huh. If only we could see into the future and see the WWF smackdown with a constipated pre-schooler.

We did have success. (Did you doubt us?)

I made the comment later: "Yeah, good thing we got that baby in therapy....this just tacked on another year or two."

I will also not fear for my child's safety should he ever end up in jail. I have never in my life seen a set of butt cheeks so tight.

We may have a lot of things going on right now overall at The Edge, but reality and life still happens. It's keeps things in perspective.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Alot going on

Excitement never stops around The Edge.

I had a few ideas for blog posts lined up for this week when the Navy decided to spring another one on us....or did we spring one on them? Still not clear on that one.

A detailer is a person over in Tennessee that our active duty calls to help them with getting orders for their next duty station. At least that's how I understand it. My husband called his detailer to discuss his retirement back in January and he was given the choice of November of this year to August of next year (2010). We talked about it and chose August of next year. Reason being, the kids could finish another full year of school and we wouldn't be rushed to plan a retirement ceremony and take care of all the paperwork that is involved with leaving the military.

Tuesday, The Man found out his retirement request had been denied. That happens from time to time. This was the last time. Some times there are reasons that half way make sense and other times you wonder if the detailers took their work to the local bar and tried to figure out things over a bunch of drinks.

The Man had finally reached his limit. We decided that maybe November of this year wouldn't be so bad after all.

Then the panic set in. That's not far away at all. In fact, we basically have six months to get our stuff straight and call it good.

We were up until 1 a.m. Tuesday night writing The Man's resume so he could attend a job fair in Jacksonville the next day. Time to find a job!

We are both floundering and not really sure of our footing at this time. I am slightly stressed over what to do with my children. Do I start them in school here, only to go for 4-8 weeks before taking them out and moving them to another school? Oh, the thoughts that race through your mind.

More thinking about it tells me that the girls will be fine doing that. Paige seems to think it'll be a type of torture and as much as she loves her school and the people there, she doesn't know if she can handle that stress. She may just have to. Makenna is my " go with the flow" kid. If we do that fine. If I tell her to go pack up this minute? Well, that's fine, too.

The Boy. That's my issue and heartfelt concern. I spoke with Rose yesterday at his session and told her what was going on and my concerns. She smiled and assured me that going to school for a few weeks, then moving would not hurt him. She said as an ADHD kid, he needs the structure of the classroom more than he doesn't. That means I go register him next week for 5K at his sister's school and start him on time. In a year? This will only be a memory to him....and probably vague at that. Military kids do this every day. Shoot, there's been 2 or 3 kids out of The Boy's class that have done that this year. It happens. I just didn't want it to happen to my kids.

I find myself following my husband around asking what he thinks about this part of the retirement ceremony....about putting in his resume for this company.....basically bugging the crap out of him. He wants no part of me doing that. He needs time to gather his thoughts and formulate his next plan of action. While I am full speed ahead wanting to get as much done as possible, I have not let him have a chance to grieve. He has to grieve. So, I stand on the sidelines tapping my foot and constantly checking my watch, sighing impatiently every 30 seconds.

I have yet to allow my own self to grieve. I love this town and the people who are in it. I will miss it with every fiber of my being. I can't stop and think about that quite yet because my "moment" might take longer than the time I have allotted for such a thing. Even now I'm moving on to something else because my heart started aching.

When the poop hit the fan on Tuesday, I squinted at The Man and told him: "One thing is for sure....life with you has been anything but dull." I have to say again, I'm glad I didn't get into this military lifestyle at a younger age. I don't know if I would have ended up with nerves of steel or a nervous breakdown.

Now I have to figure out how to be it all. The positive smiling face for my kids as we start yet another adventure in our lives. The pom-pom shaking cheerleader who rallies behind The Man- telling him he can do anything, be anything. Right now, I don't know if I'm capable. But, I will do it and I will do it with style and grace.

So, there you have it. Instead of 15 months until retirement, we have 8 months. Six months really, if you count him going out on terminal leave.


And that's how we roll at The Edge. Full speed with goggles and hollering the whole way.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Too slow

I have seriously got to post more. I get too backlogged when I put off my thoughts and happenings around The Edge for more than 3 days.

I'll do a Boy post today to get him all caught up and do the other tomorrow. Chelle fusses at me when I do a long post-she says she has to put it to the side until she can find more than five minutes to focus. Therefore, I'll break 'em down a little bit more so she can speed read and call it good!

Guess who started T-Ball last week!?! You guessed it! That Man and that Boy are two ball playing guys now. The Man is coaching a bunch of energetic 4 and 5 year olds like a pro. When the director asked what team he wanted, The Man replied, "I don't care as long as it's GREEN!" Each Tuesday and Thursday evening from 5-6 p.m., they head out the door with ball caps on and bug spray applied. My baby is so very serious about it all and I just want to scoop him up and kiss him to death when he gets home and tells me all the cool and wonderful things they did. I haven't been to the practices yet because of other stuff going on, but you can bet your fanny I'll be there for the games calling my baby's name!

This was after the very first practice. My baby ate himself a HUGE meal, brushed his teeth and called it a night. I'm thinking I might like this baseball deal...

This guy here is ready for some serious ball playing, People! (Note: We at The Edge do not support the number referenced on the ball cap. This is hand me down that is well loved. We don't mind the driver-we're just not supporters of his. Thank you.)

The Man is teaching the all important "Go Team!" huddle that is required of all teams in order to promote the opportunity to holler without getting in trouble and touch and spread loads of germs!

Nothing better than a Coach who leads by example. He led the line running the bases. I bet it looked like the Pied Piper!

The Boy worked really hard to earn his reward last week. He had to have all his stickers every single day in order to get what he has been wanting for a very long time. Has, in fact, begged for repeatedly. Want know what he scored for all his trouble?

That's right! Bowling! My child adores this game to the highest degree. We made it a family afternoon and off we went to the base bowling alley. It was right crowded when we first got there and we had to wait about 30 minutes for a lane. That just built the anticipation up even more for The Boy. While sitting there, I heard a kid yell. It was a kid from the baseball team. He was thrilled to see his Coach and had to give him a hug. God bless my husband for returning affection and giving him a couple of minutes of undivided attention. That kid was so happy he was telling everyone his Coach was there!

I was sitting there when I saw someone walking towards me. I really didn't know who it was but smiled and spoke when she did (this happens to me quite frequently). When she reached our table, I realized it was the kids' doctor!!! Oh, wow. What a difference civilian clothes make! Instead of the khaki uniform and hair in a bun, we saw long hair and jeans! She just wanted to speak and see if everyone was doing okay. We chatted about 10 minutes about any and all. I thought it was great of her to come speak and show the side that is not the military member. She's a great asset to our clinic for sure. (Especially when the doctors for adults truly are not great-okay, gotta stop-that's a whole other LONG post.) Score for the Doc!

The one time he can wait his turn. This kid understands the game. He knows what "splits" are. What a "turkey" is. It's just crazy! He used bumpers on his turn and managed to score over 100 both games! He's a natural for sure.

Sorry the picture is blurry. Cell phones don't do action shots all that well. Eight pound ball? No problem! As long as it's green, People. Priorities, you know. No help required either. Do you see how many pins are left standing? Yeah, only one.

Makenna was loving the game, too. She had help from the bumpers, but that's okay. She managed to do decently and there's nothing like seeing her dance when she made a strike or spare. You know Paige was staring at her and muttering in that teenage voice: "Sit DOWN and stop that!!"

Yep, life was good if you were The Boy and you got what you worked hard to earn. (Note: We at The Edge DO support the number referenced on The Man's hat. Thank you.)

Time to go start the week now. Got a thing or two of interest that's happening this week I'm going to share. Take it easy and be good to yourself!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Empty Shelf

There's another reason I won't win The Mother of the Year Award any time soon.

I hate cooking.

I have been very vocal about this and anyone who knows me knows that I really am not all about being a slave to the stove.

Let me clarify a little for you. There's a difference between hating cooking and being able to cook. I can cook and I do it very well. I have no choice about it. My DNA set that standard a long time ago. I've said for years that my Mama is Emeril's relative. That woman can cook anything she wants. I can't tell you how many times she's made something that was just amazing....and we never see it again. She just wanted to try it. It was good and she moved on. My brother is an amazing cook. He LOVES to cook. I haven't tasted anything bad he's cooked yet.

Small aside here: I saw a recipe for Shepherd's Pie. I have never had that particular dish. It looked simple enough. I called my mother to ask her a question about it and she said she's never made it so she didn't know. What??? I asked what was up with that?? Why hadn't she made this dish before?? Know what she said to me? Make it and let her know how it turns out, she might just try it herself. *shocked face* Like I, the daughter of The Great Cook, would DARE think I could put myself on the same level as her. I made it, it was good, and I called her right on up and told her to try it. That was like a shining moment or something for me. Sad, huh? (For all of you getting ready to express shock over my not ever having had this dish? Save it. I had to try so many other dishes growing up, it's not even funny. I have to forgive my Mama for not doing that particular one.)

Me? Eh, not so much. I have some good dishes that make my children skip when they find out I'm cooking them. I get effusive compliments at the table during most meals. (I'm still not sure if they're genuine or if my people don't want to cook, either.)

I get tired of the same old stuff week after week. I told my husband that the ONE thing that drives me crazy about being a wife and mother is the meal planning. Ohhhh, how I hate meal planning. I don't mind grocery shopping, but I do mind the planning of meals and making the list. Nothing irritates me more than for a kid to say, "Humph, I didn't want THAT for supper." Oh, really, Sweet Child of Mine? My eyebrow goes up and gets lost in my hair and I stare at that sweet child until they start eating. (This works with the girls-not The Boy so much-he's a stubborn one, that kid.)

Last week I sat down with some of my cook books to see if I could get some new fresh ideas. I swear to you, it was torture. I HATE doing that. I told both Carla and Mama that if I was ever captured and my captors wanted to torture me? Make me browse cookbooks. Both laughed at me because that's one of their greatest pleasures. Both of them could sit for hours and look at recipes and probably make all of them with finesse.

I told The Man the other day while making a meal that I have visions of one day...when the nest is empty.....of us eating out at night. Every night. I can dream, right? I'm not saying it'll happen that way, but that thought sees me through.

I also feel I shouldn't have to suffer alone. I make meal preparation time a family deal. (minus The Boy-he's not ready yet) All of us are active and helping with some aspect of it. I buy simple biscuit mixes so that Makenna can fully prepare that side on her own. She's become right skilled about it. Paige can prepare meats and even cook them on her George Foreman grill. The Man is the runner and helps with heavy dishes out of the oven, makes tea, and lets me know if my seasoning is right in sauces. I guess that means I incorporate child labor? I look at it as I'm preparing my children to one day be on their own. At least I'll know they won't starve, except by choice.

Again, I miss out on that elusive award. Really, though, doesn't that make me normal? Seriously, who truly loves every single aspect of their jobs? I believe, in the long run, I'm just like everyone else. Making it day by day.....meal by meal.

Monday, March 09, 2009


On the way to church yesterday morning:

Me: Hey guys? If I appear to be a little dumb at church today? It's because this headband I'm wearing is squeezing my brain to death.

Another one:

Me: Makenna! You didn't put plates and utensils on the table. I thought you were told to set the table! What do you think we're going to eat off of?

Makenna: I thought we'd eat straight from the pots.

Yet another one:

The Boy does craft projects in Sunday School. He brought home a cut out smile on a popsicle stick. On the teeth were glued mini-marshmallows.

Paige (from seat behind me): EWWWW, Boy, don't EAT the marshmallows.

The Boy: But, I like marshmallows.

Paige: But, they're not good. They have glue on them!

The Boy: I like marshmallows with gu-loo on them!

(Good thing the glue is non-toxic, huh?)

Never a dull moment around The Edge, that's for sure. Anyone want to go to the gym for me? I'm trying very hard to start an exercise routine that's going to stick with me. I hate sweating. If it wasn't for that, I'd be smooth.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Rocking the Inspection!

My Baby Girl rocked on her NJROTC A.M.I. (Area Military Inspection) today!!

I really didn't realize what a big deal this inspection was to be. Apparently, all the big dogs active duty and retired come to see what NJROTC has learned since they began the school year the previous August. We did cooperate and take her uniform to the cleaners last week so they could put some good military creases in. She shined her shoes for 3 hours last night. I am not kidding. This morning found her anxiety level so high, I was right tempted to pinch her head off clean at the shoulders. She missed the bus as she and I were frantically trying to corral all the stray hairs sticking out of her bun. The Man carted her to school to start an entire day full of NJROTC.

We arrived at the football stadium around 10 a.m. to see what it was all about. Wow. These kids were serious. The wind was blowing and it was FREEZING. The cadets as a whole voted NOT to wear their jackets. I just knew those babies were freezing out there on the field. We were serenaded by the school choir singing our National Anthem. The drummers from the school band helped to keep time with the marching beat during pass and review.

The shining moment? I did not know that there was an award/medal at stake! The area Commander did his own personal inspection of the cadets this morning before the big show. During the ..what do I call it?...A.M.I., 15 students were called forward to receive this medal for having an Outstanding Personal Inspection. I guess they had to have it going on from head to toe. My girl's name was called! Of course I did the Hope/Mama thing and said (uh...loudly) "That's MY Baby!!" I think I might have burst something I was so proud. I knew how hard she had worked for this and this moment was the icing on top of a good day.

We were able to see her a few minutes afterwards for hugs, kisses, and pictures. Off she went to a staff meeting (?!?!) as the NJROTC was excused from regular classes in order to devote the entire day to the festivities.

When she got home, I asked if she would have to wear her uniform tomorrow (as Thursdays are their normal uniform day). She replied that, no, she didn't have to. I believe she said something to the effect..."I'm totally dressing cute tomorrow since I looked a hot mess today!" Yeah, okay. A mess that won a medal!

If you look at the flags, go back to the group standing behind. Paige is the person saluting and she is the CO of Alpha Company 5 !!

This would be Paige receiving her medal. Or shaking the hand of one of the bigwigs after receiving it.

Pass and review here. It took all I had not to wave like a lunatic. She had to focus on keeping her platoon straight and I had to respect that. I'll just have to give her a hard time in the parades!
The Chief and Paige. Two peas in a pod. More than they realize! (Trust me, I live with them!)
Of course I had to get one with her holding her hard earned medal.

I am that person. That incredibly proud Mama who wants to wear a t-shirt that says, "That's MY Baby!!" (but her kid won't let her)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

What I want

Can I just say I am loving me some counseling. I highly recommend it for every person. The Man and I have really connected with our commitment to our weekly meetings. I find it amusing that I automatically have to assure everyone that there is nothing wrong with our marriage and that there is no danger to our union. I simply thought that it would help if we were better prepared to handle raising our children while not forgetting about us.

I'll have to preface what I'm going to say with this: I am not a private person. I don't hide myself from others. I have made mistakes that I'm not proud of. I am just a human being.

Last week was my first session alone without The Man. He was off inspecting Paige's NJROTC (picture post on that one coming!). I decided to take advantage and see what Rose could help me figure out about me. Nothing like an epiphany or two to wake a person up, right?

Rose and I chatted and I did realize a thing or two that helps me better understand the way I am. One thing we talked about still resonates with me.

We were sitting there and she asked me: Hope, if you could wave a magic wand and be whatever you wanted-have any job you wanted without having to worry about further education and all that, what would it be?

I sat there a second and thought.

I responded, "I'm doing it."

She nodded and tried to word it different while meaning the same thing.

I smiled and said, "I'm doing it, Rose. I am doing what I want to be doing right now, this second in my life. I am being a mother and a wife and I love my job. I love the security I am giving my children and the love I am giving my husband. I am content and I am happy."

I went on to tell her that I didn't know if it would always be that way. Sure, I'd love to get out and get a job one day in the "work force" and see what I can do. But, right now? I am doing exactly what I want to be doing. I want my children to be able to look back on their childhood and their time with me and their Dad and know they were loved and that I was there for them.

*Now, this is in no way a reflection on any one else who is reading this. This is ME. My blog. My thoughts about me. *

I have no doubts whatsoever that God has me where He wants me to be, doing what He wants me to be doing concerning my family. Rose went on to talk about how I was sacrificing-whoa. I stopped her right there.

I said....why does it have to be a sacrifice? I don't look at it that way at all. I don't feel like I am sacrificing any part of me and who I am by being a stay at home Mom. Why can't I be happy and content with this particular chapter of my life?

The only sacrifice right now might be my sanity here and there when things get hectic. I have a life outside of my home. I volunteer many hours with a spouse program on base. I have friends that I socialize with where no boys are kids are allowed. I haven't lost me and all that I am with my job choice. I have many friends I can get a shopping groove on with or grab a cup of coffee with if the need strikes. God has blessed me with women friends who I would never trade for all the riches of this world. Their friendship has made me rich inside.

I see no sacrifice. I feel contentment and happiness.

What an awesome epiphany.

I am doing what I want. Right now. In this season of my life.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

When you make good choices

Pardon my slackness in posting this week, would you? It hasn't been as busy as previous weeks, but the crud has hit our home and while I'm not as sick as some people I know, I'm still on the "ugh" side of things.

The Boy has been hard at work. Rose told us that while the behaviour chart at school is wonderful idea and it gives The Boy goals to work for, we needed to sweeten the pot a little bit. Now, for five days of ALL sticker goodness, he gets a tangible reward. I told you about the banana split and how it really took him a while to earn that one. Once we paid up, though, he realized that, "Wow! This is cool!" What did we start? Because that meant we had to keep coming up with rewards that would make him want to work and do his very best.

The next goal was a trip downtown to the waterfront park to the playground there. He loves that park, even though it's small. I think the fresh salt air, the water right there, the boats....well, it all adds up to the best kind of stimulation for him. He earned that trip but we had sickness in the house. We explained that when everyone was feeling better, we would head that way. He seemed to understand and was off to earn the next goal.

Next in the goal line was a trip to Folkston, Georgia (<--click for link). Rumor had it that it was THE place to go watch trains and what little boy doesn't like trains? We talked about the trains and the new adventure and my son managed a PERFECT WEEK at school. Holy smokes! Even though Makenna was still sick (an earlier trip to the clinic with a day missed from school shows she has sinusitis), Paige was still fighting her cold, The Man and I were both feeling cruddy....we had to take that baby to fulfill this adventure.

I got the grand idea to make us a picnic to enjoy. We did a picnic in Mississippi on our way cross country when Makenna was four. She talked and talked about that picnic and the next year when we went, we stopped at the same place and had another. We've done a lot of picnics with Carla and her family and we just love a good picnic. I kept it simple with some sandwiches, chips, and a drink.

We trekked our way to Folkston (really not that long of a drive). The viewing deck/depot was full of Saturday train watchers. No worries. We decided to sit up in our big comfy truck and picnic. We seriously had a large time with that. I was a little disappointed that it wasn't a busy train day. We had to wait an hour to see one, but it was worth it! It was a huge train with many many cars. My son was thrilled to pieces over that loud hunk of rolling metal.

We decided not to stay and wait on another one as we didn't know how long it would be. I suggested to The Man that we head back to our town and go to the park. Just give our baby a FULL rewarding day. Off we went back the way we came.

Boy, was that kid shocked when we pulled up at the park. He shot out of the truck and was in full playing mode. It was breezy so the Ninja Biting Gnats weren't bothering us. We stayed for over an hour and let that boy get his play out. I wandered around the park just looking while Makenna took my camera and entertained herself with picture taking. Paige got a turn and snagged her some pictures. I know we've taken pictures at this place a dozen times, but it's just so pretty down there and the photo opportunities can't be beat.

To say we were tired when we got home was an understatement. Being sick and trying to fulfill your obligations will wear a person out! After enjoying all the bubbles he could make in the bathtub, we go no argument out this particular little boy on going to bed. (for those of you who don't know? Going to bed easy is HUGE for an ADHD kid.)

I thought I'd share a few pictures of our day with you since that's how I roll.

As you can see, the platform was on the full side but this is proof we were there! (if you look at the link I've provided.)

This is what happens when you let the kids hold the camera while you wait on a train. Good times, huh?

It was worth the drive for both of the boys, I think.

See what I mean? My baby was loving life on Saturday. Paige was a good Sissy and pushed him on the swings. I get warm fuzzies seeing my kids together like this having a good time and not at each other's throats.

Paige took this one. You just can't help but take pictures when you're there. Sunset was close and it was just perfect.

I know I have 20 different versions of this picture. I just love it! It's a beautiful place to go and no matter where we end up after retirement...I want to remember it.

That concludes a catch-up for all of you out there in Internet Land. We have a few grand things happening this upcoming week I'm excited about and can't wait to share with you!