Wednesday, March 28, 2012

10 Things to Smile About: March

March is by-far, one of my favorite months.  Not only is my birthday in March (*cough*) but March always means spring and spring just makes me happy.

So, here are 10 things that made me smile this month...

1.  Shamrock shakes... those things are a both lethal and delicious.  It's probably a good thing that McDonald's doesn't sell them year-round!

2.  Grace turned 6!

3.  Road trips!

4.  God's continued leading in our lives... this time He has lead us to help with a church plant.  We are so ready for this challenge!

5.  Warmer weather means the grill has returned to it's home outside... many hot dogs have been consumed in March.

6.  I turned one year older, too... but I'll still be 29 forever.

7.  Spring means spring/summer clothes shopping... which I've done within budget, mind you.  I can't wait to wear some new dresses soon.

8.  Tulips.  Oh my gosh, I adore tulips.

9.  Hunger Games.  Yes, I'm one of those people.  I'm on the 3rd book right now... and Joel treated me to a 9:45 am showing on Sunday.  9:45 am is a weird time to watch a movie with the smell of popcorn all around - & it brings out the weirdest people.

10.  Sunny, warm weather. 

Anything make you smile this month?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Proud Mommy Moments: She Flashes Because it's Funny

When I usually link up with Emmy Mom for Proud Mommy Moments - my posts are those warm-fuzzy, I'm a proud momma, type of posts.  This one is a oh-my-gosh-are-you-really-doing-that kinda post.

I went to the Y on Monday, and after my workout, I swing by the daycare on the way out to pick-up Autumn.  As I walk into the doorway, I get a glimpse of the daycare worker with the biggest grin on her face and then I glance at my daughter.  My sweet, funny, curly-haired, crazy Autumn.

Autumn is at the furthest end of the room with little boy in front of her, pulling her dress so high up that it's nearly going over her head.  To make myself feel better, I giggle and say something like "Oh, Autumn... let's not do that..."  That's when the daycare worker starts laughing and tells me that little Miss Autumn has been doing that to everyone who has walked in since I dropped her off - 1 1/2 hours ago.

Apparently, Little Miss Autumn has been greeting all the "new" kids and their parents with a bit of a peep show.  And because she's 1 1/2, she understands that if she lifts up her dress for all to see, they think it's funny.

So, now Autumn has a new trick. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Baby is 6!

Grace turned 6 this week.  Six.  I can't wrap my mind around it.  I just cannot believe she's six... in six years she'll be 12, and that's just unthinkable.

But my Gracie has grown up so much this year... she loves to read, pretend to write cursive, walk around the house like a dog/horse... Grace loves on her little sister so much, which makes me proud.  Most importantly, Grace loves Jesus - and that means more to me than anything else.

She's my tough girl... my girl who's survived with me during Joel's last 3 deployments.  She's grown up too much from that, so I'm trying my hardest to keep her 6 for as long as I can. 

Happy Birthday, sweet girl!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Proud Mommy Moments: The Alarm

I wasn't planning on doing a Proud Mommy Moment post this week.  But the post kinda wrote itself...

Joel left this morning for training.  Since his report time was so early today, I asked if he wanted to sleep on my side - the side closest to the alarm.  See, I have a horrible problem with either hitting snooze a million times or just turning off the alarm while I'm still asleep.  But Joel decided he trusted me and that it would be fine.

Fast-forward to 1 1/2 hours after the alarm went off...  Grace is at my side of the bed crying, asking to sleep with us.  I look at the alarm, look at Joel and have a total freak-out.  I thought I told him to get up 1 1/2 hours ago.  But apparently not or not well enough.  I turned the alarm off.

So, in the next ten minutes, Joel races around grabbing stuff, getting dressed, saying he's not mad - and he's out the door.  I go upstairs to tuck Grace back into bed.  And then I realize if it wasn't for our little Grace asking to sleep with us, Joel could have gotten into a lot of trouble.  And most likely, it would have been my fault.

Even though it's annoying most nights, I'm glad Grace tried to sneak in our room last night!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Guest Blog: Great Travels for Great Memories

Convincing your husband to go out of town for the weekend isn't easy. After a long week of work, he often wants nothing more than to kick back and relax at home. I, on the other hand, feel cooped up in the house and am ready to get out and see what else the world has to offer, even if it is just for a few hours. I hate to admit it, but it’s often the easiest option that gets chosen. Staying home, watching movies, playing with the kids or sleeping in. It is not a bad life. But sometimes, travel is much desired and much needed.

I find that many military wives feel like weekend travel is too hectic, that they don't get a chance to do all they want to do in a short amount of time, or that the possibilities are overwhelming. I believe that it doesn't have to be. In fact, short trips can be the best trips if done properly.

Travel for two isn't always easy. It involves not just convincing the husband to spend his weekend traveling but also finding someone to watch the kids. However, this can also be the perfect getaway. Find a bed and breakfast or a resort area close to home that has activities you and your husband can enjoy. You'll be surprised at the number of small inns that have high quality spas, fishing excursions, or hiking nearby. For childcare, talk to one of your friends and offer a kid swap. If she takes your kids for the weekend, take hers the following while she and her own husband get out of town.

Of course, if your family is like mine, it can be difficult to enjoy a kid-free getaway. The idea is always nice, but we end up missing the girls before we reach the halfway point. A good choice is to pick a location that has plenty of family friendly fare. Then focus only on that spot. Don't try to pack too much into one trip. That can lead to stress and anxiety that is unnecessary when the purpose of the mini-vacation is togetherness. Also, make sure to take into account any health concerns of family members into consideration while planning. Some places may not be ideal for someone stricken with types of mesothelioma because of high altitude concerns

If you simply can't convince your husband to travel with you, sometimes the best bet is to convince him to stay home with the kids. If you and several of your mom friends can do the same, a girl’s weekend serves two purposes: it gets you out of the house and shows your husband just how difficult it is to be a full-time parent.

Kristin Wells is a recent college graduate from The University of Georgia and an aspiring writer. She wants to make a difference in people's lives through her writing. Kristin also likes competitive cycling, running, and traveling as much as possible.

My Depoyment Song: Now My Life Song

In the middle of Joel's last deployment, I talked about my anthem.  It was a song by Bebo Norman called Great Light of the World. This song summed up all that I was feeling during a time of anxiety and fear... And for many, like me, who have had a spouse deploy overseas, I clung to a song that spoke to my soul and offered me peace. 

Now it's been over a year since Joel's come home.  But God has continued to place this special song on my heart.  I still sing it so much around the house - often when I don't even realize it - that Grace either chimes along or will sing it while she is playing alone in her room.  The truth that even when we are broken, weak and feeling completely empty, God can fill us and be enough.  He is our enough. 

So, now after singing this song and allowing it be my prayer to God for nearly two years, I get to see Bebo Norman in concert later this week.  I'm so excited... he's been one of my favorite Christian artists... and I'm hoping that I get to hear my anthem live.

Do you have a song or verse that you've clung to since your loved one came home?

Friday, March 2, 2012

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

It's been a really long time since I participated.  Thanks, Wife of a Sailor!

1. What is your favorite/most unique anniversary/birthday gift from your spouse? suggested by Bel at Being a Better Me

For our 1st anniversary, Joel got me a revolver.  If you know my husband at all, you know how appropriate this gift is.  And as girly as I am, I love it.  It's a fun gun to shoot...and for those of you who have gone through deployments know, it's always nice to feel like you can defend yourself when your hubby is away.

2. What’s your first thought when you see it’s snowing (or what would you say if you don’t live somewhere with snow? suggested by Poekitten from Many Waters

I'm not sure what my first thought is... but I get the same feeling at 30 that I do when I was 5.  I love snow and get excited knowing that in a few hours, the drab winter has the potential to look beautiful.  The more snow the better... unfortunately, Indiana has had an ugly winter with too little of the pretty white stuff.

3. What’s one thing in the past month you would have changed? suggested by Erika from Chambanachik

I have a few books that I'm in the middle of right now.  I wish I had turned the TV off more at night and cuddled up with a good book instead.  There's always March...

4.What was your favorite thing that happened in February?

Let's just say that God is clearly opening doors for us... there's such a relief to know that God's hand is in where you're going.

5. What are you looking forward to in March?

March is going to be busy around here.  I'm probably looking forward most to Grace's birthday and taking a little bit of a family trip together to celebrate.