June 28, 2010

Fun in the Sun

Last week my boys and I had such a fun day in the sun. We did something that I had never done with them before, and I so wish Pat could have seen the expressions on their faces. Since he wasn't here I got the next best thing--pictures!

Can you believe Ryan had never gone running through the sprinkler before?

He didn't know what to make of it at first.

But then he realized how much fun it was to run through.

Sean thought it was a funny sight.
And of course Ryan had to try to catch the water in his mouth.
Then I decided to be a bad mommy. I wanted Sean to feel the water and cool down. So I placed his seat at the edge of the sprinkler. He wasn't impressed at first, and I was waiting to see if he would start crying.
But then to my surprise he ended up loving it!

He was having so much fun.

Being able to see their reactions was priceless. I think this was one of my favorite days since Pat left.

After Sean had his turn he relaxed on the blanket while Ryan continued to run.
I'm hoping to get these photos printed out so that I can put them in Pat's next care package. I think he's going to love seeing the boys' expressions. This day made me feel so happy and lucky to have happy children too.

June 27, 2010

Something That Bothers Me

Yesterday while I was going into yahoo to check my e-mail I came across a headline about The World's Ugliest Dog Contest. I know I've seen it in past years too. I'll tell you that there is something about the whole premise of this contest that bothers me. Now I am very happy that these dogs have caring and loving owners that look past the imperfections of the dog. However, I personally feel like the contest is just wrong. If these were children with deformities, imperfections, or special needs there would never be a contest on who won the worst lot in life. I do realize that most if not all these dogs are happy and unaffected by their conditions, and I also get that these dogs are having their day. However, I feel like each dog probably has a better quality that we should be honoring than their physical quirks and imperfections. I guess I just don't think it is funny to see the dogs that people are terming "ugly". I hope people realize that behind the physical appearance everyone is so focused on I bet there are large and loving personalities of very sweet dogs.

June 26, 2010

I'm Doing Better

I'm finally doing a little better. The kids still wake up too early for my preference. Today Sean was up and ready to go at 5:30 a.m. Maybe I'll get used to that sometime, but I don't think I'll ever like it that early. I'm finally on top of all the FRG stuff that was drowning me before. Housework--not so much on top of that.

Yesterday Ryan decided not to nap, which means he wakes up Sean too. Around 2 p.m. I had tears welling up in my eyes (mostly from being insanely tired), but I knew there was nothing I could do. No sense in crying over it since that won't change anything.

Thankfully I got the medicine I needed about an hour later. Pat called. I hadn't heard from him in a couple of days, and that usually starts to affect my mood. After hearing his voice I feel stronger. He gives me strength to face my challenges and keeps me sane. I do not know what I would do without him.

And as an added bonus after he called I finally got Sean to nap again.

A little update on Pat is that he still is not where he is going. You may be wondering why it is taking so darn long for him to get there. The reason they are taking their time is that there really isn't much of a place for his unit to go. He is part of the "surge" and there are no facilities built up for his unit. They will definitely be roughing it for quite a while over there. And when I say roughing it, I'm meaning no real bathroom facilities, no dining facility, no laundry, limited showering, etc. It will be a different experience from his previous two deployments in that respect.

Today the kids and I are hanging out, maybe cleaning up the house a bit, and then going to a mom's BBQ in a local park. I don't know many of these moms, but it gets the kids out of the house and passes away another lonely Saturday.

June 24, 2010

Busy Bees

I've tried to write a post three different times now. I am just too worn out and run down this week to write. Every time I write a post I delete it because it either doesn't make sense or it just rambles on. I've been super busy lately with the kids who aren't sleeping well, the FRG that I've apparently jumped into with both feet, and all the housework that I'm quickly falling behind on. I'm hoping that after this weekend I'll be back on top of everything and well rested. I promise I will start making meaningful posts soon.

June 21, 2010

Deployment Goals

I figured it was about time that I define my deployment goals. I wrote out a list a while before Pat left, but with time all things change. Here is my current list of things I'd like to accomplish while my husband is away:

Read~For mother's day Pat bought me a Kindle. I had really high hopes for reading a book a month, but I now realize that taking care of two small children and three dogs leaves me little time for reading. By the time I finally get some peace and quiet at night I'm too tired to read. But I am still sticking to this goal, but maybe modifying it to reading 6 books of substance. I know 6 doesn't sound like much, but I'm trying to avoid the beach read type of books. Right now I've just started "Little Women" since I've never read it before. I'll keep you updated on my progress with this goal.

Get Fit~I would love to lose 10-20 lbs while Pat is gone to get back to my pre-baby figure. Usually this is an easy task when Pat is deployed, but I've had an insatiable appetite for some while now; I'm blaming nursing. I'm already feeling skeptical about my ability to achieve this, but I have to remind myself that Pat hasn't even been gone 2 weeks yet. Along with losing weight I'd love to be more active and have a little exercise time. However, even with Ryan going to school two mornings a week in the fall, I'm not joining a gym. I refuse to spend those few hours a week leaving Sean in childcare. I want to use that time to bond one on one with Sean, so the most active I think I'll be achieving will be long walks. Either way, I think this whole thing will be a good goal for me.

Cards and Business~On my original goals list I said I wanted to perfect a craft or find some type of craft I'm actually good at. This was before I became a demonstrator for Stampin' Up! Now I feel like I've found what I love to do, but I would really like to share that with other people. One goal for this would be to start a monthly card club. I would be able to share my love of stamping/card making and also form some bonds and friendships. Overall though I'd just love if I could find some others that enjoy the same hobby, and it would be a bonus if I grew a few customers out of that. Another goal that I have in this area that I do not plan to accomplish until after Pat's return is that I'd love to set up a table at a craft fair.

FRG~I haven't mentioned this yet, but about 5 days before Pat's unit deployed one of the battery FRG leaders had an issue arise that is causing her to move away for the deployment. She had to step down as FRG leader. I was asked to take over as one of the co-leaders. I have experience, but in the past the FRG groups I was in were pretty broken down and not very active. In both of my previous experiences as FRG leader, I came in at such poor timing that it was hard to fix the problems I inherited. While the timing of this new FRG leadership position wasn't ideal, I really want to make it an active, friendly, and informative group. The bone structure is there. I have a great co-leader. I really want to be able to devote the time and effort to make something great out of this experience. It is also a nice extra that Pat will be taking command of this battery while deployed. If you have any ideas for social events, tips, or other ideas for FRGs I'd love to hear them.

So that is about all I can think of right now. I think those goals will keep me pretty busy though. I hope to keep everyone updated on my progress as the year passes by. I'm going to put a link to this post in my sidebar so that I will be reminded of my goals and hopefully accomplish them.

June 20, 2010

Father's Day

I was very lucky to have grown up with an amazing father. I learned a lot from him and am the woman I am today because of the values he and my mother instilled in me. I wish we could all celebrate Father's Day together. Happy Father's Day, Dad!

My children are also lucky because they have such a loving man to call their Daddy. We got to talk to Pat on the phone this morning, so that was like a gift to us. Ryan loved saying "hi, Dadda Pat" and then proceeded to show Pat the spaceman on TV. We miss him terribly and cannot wait to spoil him next year for Father's day. He really does deserve it. Since he still hasn't arrived at his final destination in country, we haven't been able to mail any packages out yet. And as of right now Pat doesn't have free time or living conditions that make any fun items I could send necessary. So as a result, the only thing I could send him was some pictures of the kids. But I am pretty sure it was just what he wanted. Here are some recent photos of the kids.

June 19, 2010

Teething Sucks!

I've said again and again that Sean is a very happy baby. I'm lucky to have such an easy going baby. However, teething sucks no matter what your baby's personality. Sean has been "teething" for half his life now, and he has NOTHING to show for it. The poor little guy still doesn't have any teeth. At his 6 month well baby visit the nurse commented that she could see that the two front bottom teeth were "right there". Yeah, that's what we thought too, but lo and behold the kid still doesn't have teeth.

Right now Sean's teething is stressing me out. Sean will not eat. He is refusing baby food. He isn't ready for real finger foods, and the only food he'll seem to eat is puffs and yogurt melts. Great, because that makes a nutritious meal, right? GRRR. Add the not eating to him being difficult about nursing and you have a mom that starts getting annoyed too. Sean will be really tired and cranky, but when I attempt to nurse him he refuses. He doesn't want to be held, he doesn't want to roll around on the floor, he just doesn't seem to want anything....except maybe TEETH!

I'm really hoping that the teeth cut soon. I know that teething is a temporary disruption, but when it is happening it feels like it will last forever. It is hard for me to not get frustrated when I feel so helpless. I want my happy and easy going baby back.

June 17, 2010

Saying Goodbye and Week 1

I'm a bit behind. The day we said goodbye to Pat was filled with fun, quite a bit of hectic stress, and a tearful goodbye. Pat spent most of the afternoon packing, and we helped where we could. I bet you weren't aware that the Army issues a Spaceman Hat were you?

Ryan loved running around like a spaceman with the gas mask.

These photos were taken before we said our real goodbye. Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of Pat with both boys at once, and there are no photos of me with Pat. I'll have to fix that at homecoming ;)

Big hugs.
And kisses too!
Sean was getting hot, tired, and hungry at this point, but he liked being held by his Daddy.

(What you don't see in the photos is Ryan having a fit because he wanted Pat's gun and kept crying "my gun, my gun...".)

So that was a very sad night, but I've made it a week now. I know a week isn't much when you are looking at 52 weeks. I have to say though that this week pretty much flew by. I've kept busy with the kids. As long as I keep thinking up activities to do with the kids, I think things will go smoothly. I'm hoping to start getting together with some other wives soon and getting Ryan to play dates. I think seeing other people will be important for all of us. So basically I'm getting into my routine and figuring everything out.

Pat still isn't at his permanent location over there. I've heard from him a couple times though. It will be interesting to see what it is like once he is settled.

So there isn't much to review after just one week. I probably won't do a review each week, but I will keep you updated on how things are going for both me and Pat.

June 16, 2010

My Story

To take a break from my deployment downer posts, I thought I'd share with you the story of how/why I became a Stampin' Up! demonstrator. For a very long time I had been looking for a way to express my creativity. I wanted to be able to make something that looked good and wanted a hobby to provide me a break. At the same time I had researched a bunch of direct sales companies, but really nothing seemed like a good idea for me. From previous experiences I was a bit skeptical about direct selling and usually feel like it is a way for demonstrators to profit off friends. So I continued to look for a way to create things. For Christmas I told Pat I wanted "something so that I could make stuff." That was all I told him and the two of us had no idea what that meant I wanted. Then after a while a friend introduced me to one of those electric die cutting machines. I thought it was really cool and could make amazing things. Around this time I discovered all the card making blogs on the internet and was very intrigued. From the very beginning of using my machine, one problem plagued my thoughts. I just felt like it was almost cheating because the machine was doing all the work and I was just pressing buttons. I felt like it required no skill or talent, and I was debating how crafty I really was. I was still following blogs creating cards and would move from one to the next without ever knowing the people I was reading about. From one blog to another I ended up on a blog where the woman talked about mailing blank cards to her deployed brother in law for him to be able to send the cards home to his children. I commented to her that it was such a great idea and how nice that was. Well, she e-mailed me back. This is how I started talking to Gina, the woman I signed up to be a demo under (my upline). Gina was so nice and friendly. I saw on her blog that she was a Stampin' Up! demonstrator. I decided to look around her site because I was still in search of my creative niche, but at this point I hadn't even thought of becoming a demonstrator. I placed an order, and Gina and I kept talking. I loved my stuff so much that I placed another order. Then in one of her e-mails Gina mentioned that if I ever thought about becoming a demonstrator, it was one of the best times to sign up--during Sale-a-Bration. Gina didn't pressure me at all. I was really happy with this idea because I had been looking for something for so long. I talked it over with Pat during dinner. I was worried because I wasn't sure I would have enough customers and would just end up spending my own money. Pat being the great, encouraging husband that he is urged me to sign up. He said that even if I made no money but enjoyed what I was doing, then it was worth it. He was right! I love creating the cards. It doesn't so much take talent, but it is a hands on craft experience that I was looking for. Because stamping isn't hard, I am able to create cards that look 10 times better than anything I thought I'd be able to make. I love the sense of accomplishment I get from making my cards, and it give me something I can spend time on as a break from everything else, which I totally needed. So not only am I satisfied with an outlet for my crafting and creativity, but I've found a wonderful community of demonstrators and many new friends, even if they do live far away. I am very glad in my decision and am so happy that it was Stampin' Up! that fell into my lap. They are an amazing company and I am proud to be associated with them. They really care about their customers and demonstrators. I do not feel like I am trying to profit off my friends by selling Stampin' Up!, but rather I feel like I am sharing something I love and hope that through stamping they will find the creative outlet they may be looking for too.

Just as a side note now to explain to my blog readers: this is my personal blog. I write about deployments, kids, marriage, family life, my crafts, my complaints, my joys, everything. I know that many of you probably don't share my love for stamping and card making. But I feel like if there is something that I love, think you may love, or a great product/deal, I want to share that with you.

June 15, 2010


Every deployment I realize how precious our time together as a family is. Each deployment I promise myself that I will not take that time for granted when Pat returns. However, it seems that we always fall into the normal routine, and somewhat forget that we should be thankful for those everyday moments. Now that Pat is gone, I keep thinking back and cherishing the family time, even if it was just sharing some watermelon with the kids.

Pat got to see Sean's first taste of watermelon. We put it into the mesh feeder. It was messy, but he loved it.

Ryan enjoyed the watermelon too. In fact now that he has the sores in his mouth it was all he would eat for a few days.

June 14, 2010


I've said before that Pat spoils me, and recently he's gone over the top. I think I mentioned for Mother's Day that he bought me the Amazon Kindle. I love it, and since reading is one of my deployment goal (which I will post soon), I will definitely be using it a lot. Our anniversary just passed, as you know. Pat sent home beautiful flowers for me. Normally I am the type to tell Pat to save his money because flowers just wilt and die, but I am very happy to have these sitting on my kitchen table right now. This may sound stupid, but it makes me feel like part of Pat is sitting here at the table with me.
After I received these beautiful flowers, I was inspired to create a card with the same color scheme. I made it quickly and in the dark during nap time so there are a few mistakes on it, but I'm really proud of it.
And lastly Pat went way over the top giving me a deployment gift. He got me an ipad!!!! I keep it next to the bed and am able to surf the web and all the blogs right before I go to sleep. I have yet to download any apps for it, so I'd love some suggestions on apps that I should get.

Since I didn't get him anything for the deployment a new goal of mine is to make the packages I send to him just awesome. I figure it is the least I can do for him.

June 12, 2010

Happy 6 Year Anniversary!

Six years ago today I married my best friend. We had been out of college less than a month, and Pat was already working full time in the Army. We've come so far since then and grown up so much. We've had highs and lows. Through it all we have built an amazing life together. I would be lost without my better half. He encourages me, challenges me, supports me, keeps me sane, spoils me, infuriates me sometimes, and loves me better than I could possibly deserve. I am truly lucky to have such an amazing man as my husband. I enjoy every minute we have together.

I love you, PJ.
I miss you terribly.
I look forward to celebrating TOGETHER next year.

June 11, 2010

It's The Little Things You Say

I'm still adjusting to Pat being gone. It really only affects me at around 7 p.m., but that is when I get really sad. I am used to being alone all day every day (although not on weekends so that will be hard too). I am also used to doing everything for the kids and most of the housework myself. The hardest part for me right now is not having my best friend to talk to. I think our minds have a way of suppressing the memories of what a deployment is really like after it is done. I always seem to forget how hard it is to not be able to tell my husband all the little things. No matter how long your husband works, you are usually able to tell him about all the little stuff that goes on, even if it is just causally said in passing. During a deployment it is like you make a list of stuff you want to tell him and then prioritize it and cut the list down to only the things you feel you need to tell him in the limited time you will be able to talk. There is always e-mail too, but I find that these little things usually get lost in all the important stuff written in the e-mail.

Today I would want to tell him:
Sean looked at his flat daddy (life size photo) that we hang on the wall and giggled at it. He definitely smiles at the picture whenever I carry him near it. Also Ryan wanted to give it a big kiss.
Sean has a preference about being outside. If I ever walk outside while carrying him and turn around to go in, like to check how hot it is outside or if I forget something on my way out, he starts screaming. He thinks I am not going to take him outside, and he gets upset. I am glad that he likes being outside so much and very glad we bought the play set.
Ryan has several canker sores on his bottom lip. I think he must have hit his teeth into his lip at some point and now has the sores. It is really upsetting him because of the pain. He isn't eating, and he is very clingy.

June 10, 2010

Clearance Rack Additions!

Stampin' Up! just added a bunch of new items to the clearance rack. Check it out now before it is gone. Click HERE.

Do not miss out on the Designer Series Paper packs. It is extremely high quality perfect for scrapbooking or layering on cards. If there is one item I always rave about the Designer Series Paper is it.

Hurry don't wait!

525,600 Minutes

"Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, In sunsets
In midnights, In cups of coffee
In inches, In miles
In laughter, In strife

In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure a year in the life?"
--Rent, Seasons of Love

Our third deployment has begun. I would be lying to say that it wasn't a hard time not only when he left but also preparing for it. It was always on our minds, in our hearts, and on our to do list. It causes tension and stress for our household. The time leading up to the deployment is sometimes just as hard at the actual deployment itself. While my heart feels broken, there is a part of me that is glad that it has started so that we can now start counting down to being together again.

I took some pictures of the boys with their daddy and will share them along with some stories of that day later. I will also let you know about Pat's living situation when I find out more. I think I need a little time to get used to our new routine and schedule right now. More updates will come soon though. Thank you for all the thoughts and well wishes you sent our way.

June 8, 2010

8 Months Old

Sean is already 8 months old!!! I really cannot believe how fast the time flew by. He is getting so big. He is trying hard to be mobile, but rolling still works best for him. He gets close to crawling position but ends up going in reverse. He is still an off and on eater. Some days he eats his solid foods like a champ, other days not so much. He definitely still nurses like a champ though. Sean still doesn't have any teeth. I think that is driving all of us nuts as he's been "teething" for months now with nothing to show. Sean loves to be around people, and he prefers to be held all the time. He is a very happy baby. He loves to smile at us and giggle. Ryan is the one that can really make him laugh though. He looks up to his big brother so much. He enjoys bouncing, swinging, being upside down, and chewing on anything. I am so lucky to have shared 8 months with him already. His sweet smile melts my heart and makes my day.

June 5, 2010

New Swing Set

A couple of weeks ago, shortly after getting back from vacation, I decided we needed something in the backyard for the boys to play with. We looked at several different ideas, but settled on a swing set from Lowes. It was installed this week, and I cannot tell you how happy we are with it. I am so glad we got it. The boys love it already. Just thinking about how often we will be out there using it, I know it was well worth the money. I snapped a few photos of the boys playing on it yesterday. (click on photos to enlarge)
Ryan really likes to swing next to Sean.
And Sean loves swinging. Ryan didn't like to swing when he was a baby, so I am glad that Sean does.
Such a happy little swinging boy.
Another happy little boy.
He likes climbing the rock wall to go look through his scope and to go driving up in the fort area.

He thinks the slide is pretty cool too.
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