Sunday, October 14, 2012

Dear Aydan, Happy Birthday!

Dear Aydan,

   Two years ago, at 6:51 am, your father and I met you. Little did we know, you would be stealing our hearts a little more each day. Before you, I knew I loved your father more than I had ever loved anyone before but I never imagined that someone so little could come along and make me love him more. You showed me the power of love, you were the most perfect example of the love your father and I shared.

   You've actually taught me quite a bit. You've taught me patience beyond belief. Seriously, you can only pull all of the wipes out of the container so many times before I'm destined to pull my hair out, right? But then I stop and think, there is something so wonderfully fascinating about that for you. You're constantly learning and one day, I will learn to put the damn wipes up out of reach. One day. You've taught me to appreciate even the littlest things in life. That disgusting spider in the back yard really is quite interesting, I suppose. 

   I actually think the world as we know it should take a lesson from you. Everyone is your friend. You see no color, you don't care what anyone is wearing or how their hair looks that day, you wave at them in the grocery store and give them a very enthusiastic "Hi!" It melts my heart. It also really pisses me off when they don't wave back. You're a people person for sure! You love unconditionally, when I'm upset, you hug me and even when I'm not, you hug me. Those random, "run up and grab your legs because I love you so much" hugs are the best! I feel so incredibly lucky to have you in my life, let alone call you mine. 

   How is this perfect, beautiful, blue-eyed boy mine? I look at you and I think "I must of done something right." And in that moment when I'm so overcome with emotion and about to cry like sappy mothers do, you make me laugh and bring back down to Earth. You ground me. 

   You have taught me to dance. Dance like no one is looking and if they are, who cares? I never danced before you, but the way you just break it down every time music is playing is inspiring. Why don't people dance more often? You can change the world, little man, one dance move at a time! 

You've taught me to be proud of myself. At what age do we stop clapping for ourselves every time we go potty on the big potty? Why do we suddenly become ashamed to be proud of ourselves? Especially when there is so much to be proud of. You are at the top of my list. I am so proud of you!

   You have taught me to just let you help. Sure, you put the dirty clothes in the dryer and the dry, clean clothes in the washer. But you're trying so hard to help and be a big boy. You may not be quite as big as you dream to be, but your heart is huge. You love to help people because you love people and that is truly amazing. I never expected to see so much love come out of someone so little. Don't you ever lose that, you hear me? 

   Most of all, you have taught me to love unconditionally, to give people second chances and to forgive them on their bad days. "Nobody is perfect" is a lie, because you are perfect to me. Always have been, and always will be. And when you grow up and you look in the mirror, may you always see the perfect, beautiful boy that I see.

   I loved you since before I met you on that beautiful morning at 6:51 am and I will love you long after my last breath. Don't you ever change, beautiful boy. Don't you ever change. 

Happy Second Birthday, Sweet Monster! 

All my love,

XO

Momma 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fill in the blank Friday!

Happy Friday, y'all! I plan to spend the weekend using "y'all" after every sentence seeing as how I am missing the south a little more each day. Sweet tea, southern twangs and southern charm! Oh, and Publix! Gosh, I miss that place.

Anyway, back on track! On this beautiful Friday morning, I am linking up with Lauren at The Little Things We Do. This is my first time linking up with her, so here it goes!




1.  Right now the weather where I live is   Bi-Polar! Yesterday was a high of 80, I don't even know what today is trying to be but tomorrow is only a high of 60! Fall is definitely in the air, though. The big oak tree outside my back door has several red leaves on it. I'm very excited to experience my first "real" Fall!

2.  The best piece of advice I've been given is Dance like nobody is watching. I say it all the time, but you really have to live your life like no one is watching and enjoy the amazing, little moments. This morning, Aydan and I danced around our living room to Gangnam Style on the Today Show and had the best time!


3.  My most favorite person in all the world is  my crazy husband. He makes me laugh like no other and I truly believe that is so important and in that same respect, I think Aydan falls into this category because he truly reminds me so much of Bryan. 

4. If I were to have a "mission statement" for my life, it would be  Living life one day at a time, each day filled with love and family. Remembering that family is more than blood relatives and lots of what you make it. Laughing each day and remembering to stare fear in the face and give it a big smile. 

5. My most favorite item in my closet is  I just got a new, really light, super soft hoodie from Old Navy. I never find anything in there that I like for me, their stuff usually fits me way wrong but I love this new item! Go ahead and call the fashion police, but I love hoodies.

6. The best cure for a bad day is  I agree with Lauren, coffee! I usually start my day with two cups!

7.  Today is  Aydan's 23-monthiversary! For the last almost two years, I have counted each month that has gone by and I have a feeling that will end soon, I don't do well with big numbers. Haha! In one month, my monster will be TWO. I can't even wrap my head around that. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

There's a party to plan!

So, I swore to myself that I was not going to go "all out" and spend one million dollars on Aydan's birthday this year and I was just going to have a simple get together. Well, of course, I lied.

Aydan will be having an "Up" themed birthday party, but I'm not really into all the gimmicky, "look at me, I'm Disney!" stuff, so I'm trying to be very creative. I am in love with the movie and think it is one of Pixar's greatest yet!

Here are a few of the amazing treasures I have found via Etsy, of course!



I think these gorgeous prints by Colorpanda will look great at the party and eventually in Aydan's room!


I found this banner in my mailbox today and I fell in love, the picture does not do it justice! Earmark does not skimp on the details and the packaging was to die for!




Finally, these gorgeous pieces of jewelry have a story that I will explain soon! In the meantime check out JTSky.


I am also planning on DIY'ing Ellie Badges, which I am super excited about and cannot wait to share with y'all! 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Never Forget.


“Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children. “
- President George W. Bush, November 11, 2001



I have heard many people say that we need to move on from this day and stop "dwelling" on it. To that I say a big "F you." The family members that go on every day without their loved ones, have not forgotten and neither will I. I am grateful to every one of my American brothers and sisters who have laid their lives on the line following those horrific events, on that day and for the last 11 years following it. Those American Heroes will forever overpower any terrorist. Thank you. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Let's be honest...

A couple weeks ago I updated my blog with the news that I enlisted in the U.S. Army. I made this decision for many reasons and felt that it was a great move for me and my family.

The truth is, I'm scared to death. Not scared of drill sergeants screaming in my face or doing 5,000 push-ups a day, but terrified of putting my role as mommy on hold for the time I am at training. How will I ever be okay spending 9 weeks away from my baby boy? How can a "good mom" possibly do such a thing?

I know that I need to continue my education in order to ever get anywhere in this world and that's the main reason I chose the Army. I've seen student loans literally ruin people's lives for years and that's not something I wanted to get into. I also wanted to have the means to put money away for my children to go to school one day and not worry about where the money is going to come from. But for the last two years, I have woken up every single day to Aydan'a sweet smile. Now I'm supposed to wake up to a drill sergeant in a goofy hat?

I don't regret my decision, I think I just wish that I had done this sooner. The six months (2 months at BCT and 4 months of AIT) are going to be the hardest six months of my life and as much as I have been trying to mentally prepare myself, I don't feel prepared at all. I have nightmares about the moment I will have to kiss my baby goodbye. I question myself every day. I'm pretty sure I'm crazy. What milestones am I going to miss? My mind is going absolutely bizerk.

What makes matters worse, is that when people find out about my decision to enlist, the look on there face is as if they think I'm absolutely bonkers. Or maybe that's just my crazy mind putting thoughts in my head again.

Obviously I could ramble on and on all day, this is literally how my brain seems to work these days. It kind of sucks.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

MIA Mater

I'm sad to say that Mater has gone to "The Box." Therefore I haven't received a single Mater picture.

Sad. So sad.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Show & Tell Monday


For the first time, I am linking up with Becky at From Mrs. to Momma! You should link up too!

1. Tell us what you are looking forward to this fall?
  • More than anything, I am looking forward to actually experiencing Fall! I've always lived way down south where the leaves barely change color, so it will quite interesting to see what Fall is really all about. Oh, and Football, lots and lots of Football!
2. Show us your fall style.

Comfy. Casual. Cute.




3. Tell us your favorite things to do in the fall. If you have children, activities to do with the kids?
  • Carve pumpkins, sip warm drinks and really spend time with my family enjoying the beautiful outdoors! I'm so excited! Aydan is at a great age to really start enjoying the festivities!
4. Show us your favorite fall beverage.

5. Tell us, how you will be participating in halloween this year. Plans? Costume ideas? 
  • We will likely be at Disney World this Halloween! Aydan and his younger buddy will be dressing up as Russell and Mr. Fredricksen from Disney/Pixar's UP! " "Russell's" momma and I are going crazy with crafts and making these costumes absolutely awesome! 


Liebster Blog Award, Again!


So, after I was recently nominated for the Liebster Blog Award, I found out that I was nominated again! Sweet Molly at Carry Your Heart With Me nominated me and I am now doubly honored to receive this award. Since I already nominated my 11 people and asked them my questions, I thought it would just be fun to answer Molly's questions! 

1. How did you meet your husband/fiance? ( I just really love Sarah's answer to this question so I wanted to hear it again) 
  • Bryan and I met while I was in High School and he was attending a local college studying Computer Animation in Orlando, Florida. My friend's brother was friends with him and introduced us. Obviously, my mother was not to keen on me dating someone five years my senior, but I couldn't helping myself, I was quite smitten! We dated quietly for a while until I finally turned 18 and graduated high school and let the whole world know where my heart was. When he left for Basic in 2008, I was a coward and told him I think we should take a break and focus on other things. Truly, I was terrified of my heart hurting every day he was gone and missing him so much. Once I realized how silly my heart was making me, I wrote him a heartfelt letter, sent it to Fort Benning, GA and begged him to take me back (classy, right?). Six months later, he put a ring on it and I'm so glad he did, because there is no one else I'd rather wake up to every morning!
2. What is the best way you have found to pass the time while they are gone? 
  • I tend to go on organizing/cleaning sprees while Bryan is away. Though, lately I have taken to a few Pinterest craft projects and I'm really having a great time doing them!
3. What is a base/post you've loved/hated? 
  • We've only lived at two (Fort Stewart and Fort Drum) but we've visited several. Each post has a special place in my heart for different reasons. Fort Gordon always gives me butterflies because that is where Bryan and I really began this Army life. He was there for 18 weeks during AIT and I really got a feel for the Army and I was so proud of him. Stewart is where we bought our first home, had our first baby, fell in love with our first baby and where Bryan really began his Army career, I had a job that I adored in the heart of Savannah and a great extended family that we miss more and more each day, I could cry just thinking about that place! That said, we are settling in quite nicely at Fort Drum and I love the charming views, looking into the distance and seeing mountains (or are they hills?) and swooning over the adorable wildlife. 
4. What is your favorite military tradition? i.e balls, promotion ceremonies, etc
  • I LOVE cadences! Nothing makes my heart quite as happy as hearing a company of soldiers calling cadence in unison. Bryan's 1SGT at Fort Stewart had an amazing voice and is by far, the best "cadence caller" I've heard to date. My Favorite is "Yellow Ribbon," always ahs been and likely always will be.
5. What is your favorite book you've recently read? 
  • I recently started reading the second book in The Hunger Games series, I know I'm late to the party but so far, The Girl Who Caught Fire has me very intrigued. I'm super bummed we have to wait another year for the movie!
6. Did (Will) you have a military wedding? 
  • Not really. Bryan wore his Class A's and we ran away to the beach with a JOP and said "I Do!" It was small and perfect, I wouldn't have had it any other way.
7. What do you think about ACU purses? Look here for examples if you don't know what I am talking about? 
  • I hate them. I don't think my husband's job should ever define me, I do not define myself as an Army Wife in the sense that I need to brag about it via ACU purses or tacky bumper stickers on my car. I am Bryan's wife and I don't feel like strangers walking down the street need to know my affiliation with the military.
8. Do you have pets? 
  • We have one cat, that said, I'm not a big cat person. However, she is a very sweet kitty and makes my son and husband very happy!
9. What area would you like to be stationed? 
  • We have declared our "dream post" to be Fort Campbell. We love the south and would be quite content to never leave the East coast. Being away from the south does some crazy stuff to your head! But we have always said if given the chance to go to Germany or Italy, we'd pack our house up in a heartbeat!
10. What posts are you trying to avoid like the plague? 
  • Polk, Irwin, basically the ones in the middle of nowhere. Ha!
11. How desperate do you have to be to brave the commissary on pay day? 
  • There has to be a hurricane headed my way at warped speed and my pantry has to be totally bare. I hate the commissary on pay day! Everyone is like vultures fighting over the freshest road kill, it's so sad! Finding a rocket ship cart is like finding a needle in a hay stack and even though they clearly say "DO NOT REMOVE FROM STORE" on them, everyone does and leaves them all over the HUGE parking lot. It's rude, people, R-U-D-E! Yeah, so even the thought of it makes me angry. 


**BTW, Molly, I totally LOVED your military themed questions, if you couldn't tell by my long, drawn-out answers! 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Happy Insta Tuesday, y'all!




My, oh my. It's a lot easier to be a social media butterfly after the commotion of your husband getting ready to leave has settled! So, for the first time I am linking up with Taingamala for Insta Tuesday! I'm pretty excited! Y'all can find me on Instagram under AlyssaJames21. :)

I seriously draw blanks when it comes to a meal plan fit for just a momma and her toddler.

Day 3 of C25K and I felt like death, but I didn't give up!

On a rainy Monday, Aydan enjoyed watching "Momo" on Youtube. 

While picking up a few last minute things before NTC, Bryan was tempted by this awesome Pink Digi Backpack. 

Sometimes, you just need to stop and dance (and be extra safe doing so by wearing Dad's PT belt!)

My not so little boy and I at the splash park!


The Liebster Blog Award

The Liebster Blog Award is given to upcoming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome.

The lovely Allison @ Keep Calm and Soldier On nominated me for this sweet award.


This is the second time I've been nominated for this award and I am so very excited! 

The Rules:
- Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
- Answer the questions that the tagger set for you PLUS create 11 questions for the people you've tagged to answer.
- Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
- Go to their page and tell them.

No tag backs!

Monday, August 27, 2012

NTC Mater

In my last post I briefly mentioned that Aydan gave his daddy his very favorite Mater truck to take to NTC with him. This has been so much fun! I love seeing new photos pop on my phone each day and even Aydan can't help but smile at the new places Mater gets to go each day! So, here is where Mater has been so far!

Mater managed to catch the New York sunset before heading onto the big airplane!

On the plane ready to head to California, but first he must much watch his safety brief via his personal TV!

After a five hour flight, it was time for a three hour bus ride. Sheesh!

Finally, a gross lunch is served! 

Being a soldier is hard work, Mater needed a nap!

Mater met a Humvee that was much bigger than him, but he wasn't intimidated one bit.

After a busy day, he must get some work done. A public affairs soldier mustn't rest until the story is done!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

I'm ALIVE!

Yes, a slacker, but alive nonetheless.

Please forgive me for completely falling off the blog-wagon. At the time of my last post, we hadn't even been here a month and now we are quite settled here at Drum and a few major changes have taken place.

So, I'll just jump right into it! I, yes me, Alyssa, enlisted in the U.S. Army. I swore in on July 3, 2012 and my ship date is January 2, 2013 to Fort Sill, OK for Basic Training. Crazy, right? I did a lot of soul searching on my own before coming to this decision and when I was ready, I brought it up to Bryan and eventually to my amazing, supportive friends and family. Bryan was by far the greatest friend and husband during this time and I am so grateful for his support. Ultimately, I decided that I love being a mommy so much, it is everything I could ever want to be, however one day Aydan isn't going to need a mommy so much anymore and I'm going to be a real-life, normal person again. Does that even make sense? In order to be the complete, well-rounded person I aspire to be, I really felt like I needed to further my education and of course, the Army gives me plenty of freedom to do that! I will be a 35F Intelligence Analyst, and I my contract is three years long. I'm excited, nervous, scared out of my damn mind, EVERYTHING. I've had a few really weak days lately with the thoughts of leaving my sweet baby for nine weeks of BCT, but I'm doing my best to keep my goals in mind and reminding myself that this does make me a better mom in the long run. This opportunity allows us to open so many more doors for Aydan that neither of us ever had growing up.

Now that that's out of the way... we are truly falling in love with Fort Drum. This place really got a bad rep and we heard all of the horrible stories before we got here, but it seems like everyone failed to mention of truly beautiful it is up here. Being from Florida, I always swooned over the beach and the occasional dolphin I would see. The wildlife here fascinates me beyond belief! We see turkeys, deer, groundhogs and porcupines on a daily basis, I truly love it!

So, since nothing really sums up a long absence better than some iPhone pictures, I'll catch you up via some of my Instagram photos!

To say that my "little" Aydanator has gotten big, is an understatement. This little monster is 35 inches tall and 30lbs these days! Woah!

These two boys rock my world, and apparently I talk too much, according to Aydan! 

I completed my very first Pinterest project, a pool noodle wreath! 

Aydan had his first visit to the ice cream truck, it made for a great evening as a family, outside enjoying the beautiful weather we've been having! 

Aydan also visited the world's worst ER. After coughing up blood in their waiting room, we still waited an hour to see a doctor and we were told the "coughing up blood is really no big deal, it just looks dramatic." Noted! **Insert annoyed, sarcastic, mommy eye roll here**

Aydan helped Daddy kiss his old rank goodbye at his promotion ceremony! 

Aydan has become quite the social media butterfly. He has uploaded countless pictures to IG and made many FB comments, posts and called at least half of my contacts list. Oy!

Again, who is this kid?! And where is my baby?!

The "Incredibooth" app is free in the iPhone App Store this week, we had a few minutes of fun with it! Check it out and share your photo strips! 

Bryan left for NTC recently and Aydan decided he needed a travel buddy, so he let him borrow his favorite Mater truck. I'll keep y'all updated on Mater's adventures over the next month! Until then, feel free to follow me on IG or Twitter (alyssajames21)!  

Friday, May 18, 2012

Simple, Delicious Chili Recipe

Happy Thursday, Blog Friends! I am currently still trying to catch up from the Blog Hop and follow all of you sweet MilSpouses back and read all of your Blog Hop blog posts!

Lately the weather here at Drum has been heavenly! On average our high is somewhere around 74 on a daily basis! With such great weather, we have been spending a lot of time outside and I've been taking advantage of Aydanator's nap time to look for jobs and catch up on housework. So, that doesn't leave much time to prep and prepare big, elaborate meals. This is why God created Crock Pot's. Seriously.

I love chili, especially on rainy or cold days. While it's not your typical summer meal, it's definitely a good meal on a busy day! Browsing the web for something so simple sure did turn up a few very complicated recipes! So, I'm happy to share my very simple recipe with y'all and I hope you'll enjoy it! Enjoy!

Super Simple Chili


Ingredients:

  • 2 - Cans Black Beans (Use what ever combination of beans you like best!)
  • 1 - 26.46 oz Box of Pomi Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 - 26.46 oz Box of Pomi Pureed Tomatoes
  • 2 - Pouches of McCormick Chili Seasoning (Store brand works just as well!) 
  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • 1 - Medium Onion Diced
  • 6 Cloves of Garlic Crushed and finely chopped
Extras:
  • Fritos
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Chopped Chives
Brown your ground beef and sautee the onions and garlic until the onions are slightly brown and translucent.

Combine all of the ingredients into the Crock Pot and give it a good stir. Turn the Crock Pot on low for 6-8 hours (4 Hours on High if you're in a rush) and serve! Add any and all toppings that you wish and enjoy!


Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Day! Blog Hop!

Milspouse Bloghop hosted by Household6Diva & Roller Coaster

Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Day! In honor of this special day for such a special group of women (and men), Ann Marie from Household 6 Diva and RC from Riding the Roller Coaster are hosting a MilSpouse BlogHop for all MilSpouses to get to know each other! I couldn't be more thrilled! If you're interested head on over! There's even an opportunity to win some really great giveaways! 

I'm Alyssa, I started my blog a little less than a year ago and has been a little bit of an adjustment trying to find my "niche." That said, I think I'm getting there. I absolutely love "catching up" with all of my fellow milspouses via the Blogosphere! I am honored and so blessed to me surrounded my such a fabulous group of women! 



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I am the proud wife to a Broadcast Journalist in the U.S. Army and we most recently relocated to Fort Drum, NY. There was a lot of uncertainty involved with getting here, but we are here and it's not so bad! I heard a lot of mixed reviews and maybe I'm just completely oblivious considering I haven't seen a winter just yet, but it really is beautiful here. My Soldier was most recently stationed at Fort Stewart, GA where we soaked up lots of sunshine and I worked for Mrs. Paula Deen herself at The Lady and Sons! Considering I grew up in Central Florida, there was not much of a culture shock when I relocated to Savannah after marrying my sweet husband in March of 2009. 

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Savannah brought us many blessings, including our first home and our first child, Aydan! He is the greatest give I have ever been given and I am oh so honored to be his momma. He is now a wild and crazy 1 1/2 year-old! He is finding his voice and boy does he jabber! He is our little ray of sunshine and I'm so glad because Fort Drum sure does offer it's share of dreary days! 

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I hope you will follow me as we tackle Fort Drum and find our little place in Upstate New York! I am eager to make the best of what the Army gives us and soak up my soldier and our little ray of sunshine!

Please let me know you've been by so that I can follow you back! I can't wait to see what's going on in your little piece of the blogosphere!

XO
Alyssa

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Blown Away

When iTunes suggested that I pre-order Carrie Underwood's newest album a few weeks ago, there wasn't much hesitation for me.

I am a huge country music fan, I love how the songs tell stories. Smooth, sultry stories. Carrie has always blown me away with her beautiful voice and her amazing stories and her new album, Blown Away does not disappoint. In true Carrie Underwood fashion, it is the perfect mix of heart warming ballads and empowering girl power songs. Check out "One Way Ticket" and "Blown Away," I promise you'll be dancing along in no time.

What albums get your boots shakin' these days?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Greetings from New York!

culture shock   — n sociol  the feelings of isolation, rejection, etc, experienced when one culture is brought into sudden contact with another, as when a primitive tribe is confronted by modern civilization What do you get when you throw a born and bred Florida girl into central New York? Culture shock! My family is finally complete again and Bryan is now The proud owner of two MOS'. I'm really proud of him and how hard he worked to get where he's at. We made the beautiful drive to New York recently, we drove through gorgeous vineyards and over some amazing bodies of water. However, New York is just so different than what I'm used to. I love to socialize and chat with strangers and most people are just not down with that in these parts, and if you have a southern twang or say "y'all" they treat you like you're stupid. Gah! Whatever. I'd say that is probably the biggest culture shock so far, I'd say I would get used to it, but I don't really want to. I enjoy being a social butterfly. Fort Drum is beautiful, I can't wait to see what spring looks like. Everything is spread out over the base, whereas Fort Stewart was everything piled on top of each other, so I really like that. We will be living on post at first, which kind of feels like backtracking since we own our home at Stewart, but so many of the houses in Watertown are 100+ years old and as much as we would love to gut a house at some point, now is not the time. I'm appalled by the way some soldiers and their family "care" for the housing on post, yet another episode of culture shock. I am also proud to report than since reuniting with his daddy, our little bug has turned into quite the talker adding blue, yellow and pweeese (please) to his vocabulary! He wants to talk so bad, it's hilarious!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

One week!

I feel like a giddy teenager! After three long months of being away from my soldier and 4 long months of AIT for him, I will finally be back in his arms one week from today! This has been a crazy journey for both of us and I truly feel like the distance has strengthened us. I am so proud that Bryan will now be qualified for two MOS' and I hope he truly enjoys his new field. There is still a lot of uncertainty as far as where we will be going to after AIT but no matter what, his report date is not until May 10, so there is lots of family time to be had and hopefully some house hunting too! The Aydanator and I will be flying out next Thursday morning, and while I am nervous about flying, I'm happy to eliminate a very long drive after driving from Florida to Ohio just a few weeks ago. We will be exploring DC and of course taking Aydan to the National Zoo! I think he is at the perfect age and that he will really enjoy seeing all of the amazing animals. Bryan and I have always wanted to see the changing of the guards at Arlington National Cemetery together. I've seen it once before but I'd love to see it again with Bryan, so if I can convince my in-laws to sit with Aydan for a few minutes, that is also on our must- do list. I refuse to bring my very rambunctious toddler to an area where no talking is allowed! Haha! I am planning a shopping drip to buy a new dress for Bryan's graduation ceremony. Where have y'all found some good stuff lately?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Letters to a toddler...

When Aydan was six-months old, I began writing him emails. He has his own email address that we use exclusively for this reason. It has most definitely served as a great opportunity for me to reflect on this journey called motherhood that goes by way too fast. I haven't decided when I will share his emails with him, but I do know that my true, raw emotions will be there for him, in black and white, if he would like to read them.

I often wonder if he will find them way too sappy or if he will truly enjoy them. Either way, they are there. I encourage you to write your child a note, email, letter, whatever. Pour your heart out and embrace your lovey, mommy emotions!


May 14, 2011
Subject: Dear Aydan,

Dear Aydan,

You are six-months old and quite the character. A smile is almost always on your face, you are an incredible, happy baby. I am so blessed to have you in my life and I feel so honored to be your mother. You recently learned how to sit unsupported, although you would rather just roll all over the place. You can make anyone and I mean anyone smile, you also have a laugh that is contagious. You love bananas and Mum-Mum rice snacks. We are coming up on my first Mother's day and I am just so overwhelmed with joy, you are perfect, I could not ask for a better son.

We currently live in Savannah, your dad is stationed here at Fort Stewart, it seems like we may be moving within a year, but the military life is somewhat unpredictable. Our house is quite nice, your room is blue with safari themed animals. You are such a great baby, you sleep so well in your crib! 

I love you more than words can express, your smile melts my heart. Today as I was wiping the banana off of your face, you took the wash cloth from me and proceeded to wipe my face. I can see this loving, caring spirit inside of you already, you are already so admirable. You know no evil and see the good in everyone. I am so in love with you, little man. While I can't wait to see who you become and what you aspire to do, I am enjoying every moment watching you grow. 

All my love,

Momma

Monday, March 5, 2012

Roadtrip!

We are officially Gypsies!

Our Florida stay has been wonderful, I have really loved exploring all the parks and beaches with my little Aydanator. However, I think it is time for us to head north in preparation for our reuniting with Bryan! We still have about a month, but we will be spending some time with my grandmother in Ohio before we reunite. Hopefully being only 8 hours from Bryan will relieve a little bit of chaos in the meantime, considering we are still not entirely sure where we are going. Crazy, I tell you! We are hoping and semi-expecting answers soon! 

Today we visited on of my favorite Florida (redneck) festivities, The Strawberry Festival! Aydan had a blast and loved seeing the animals there. He was so excited to see the "kitties" AKA roosters. He is really blossoming into a little boy and it is very bittersweet for this momma! I can't wait to see his daddy's reaction to all of his new personality traits!

We are leaving for Ohio next week but not until we stop in Tennessee to see Nicole! I can't even express how excited I am to spend some time in beautiful Tennessee with Nicole and her handsome monster! I'm thrilled that Aydan gets to have some toddler time and I get some much needed girl time with one of my favorite girlfriends!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Greetings from the Sunshine State!

Hello strangers!

Aydan and I have been in Florida for almost a month now, my goodness! Time flies by on most days, Aydan is growing like a weed and Bryan is more than half way done with AIT. His graduation is set for the week before Easter! I am pumped to say the least!

Aydan has a reevaluation appointment at an amazing children's hospital here in town on Monday afternoon. I am anxious to get another therapist's opinion and see what the next step should be. It seems like his pronation has worsened but I will let them be the judge of the severity of it. It seems to be a common thought in New York that my son's condition is no big deal until he's three-years-old. I could not disagree more and will not be letting a year and half go by before he gets the treatment he deserves, meanwhile letting his condition worsen, so we are still fighting Bryan's orders to Drum. Fingers are crossed!

Since I go MIA way too often, please check out the blog of one of my all time favorite people and a fellow Gator lover and Floridian! Her monster and my monster are Gator buddies with too much distance between them! So, check out Nicole and you will soon realize why she makes my heart happy!



Thursday, January 26, 2012

Aydanator Update!

Woooosaah!

There have been many "woosah" moments today. Aydan finally saw his physical therapist this morning and it really seemed like one thing after another. Here's the break down:

-Aydan's hips are not symmetrical.
-One leg is shorter than the other.
-He has an issue with pronating his right feet.
-He turns his feet outward more than what is considered "normal" for a toddler.
-He drags his right foot.
-Because of the shorter leg, it causes him to kind of bring his leg around in a circular motion to walk.

But he doesn't have cancer or some other life-threatening disease, these things are treatable and we will get past this. That is basically what I have had to tell myself all day and I'm pretty ashamed that I even had to do that. I know this isn't a death sentence, so why am I such a wreck?! My baby boy is perfect in every single way and he was given these hurdles because he was strong enough to handle them and get over them. He is so strong and I really do admire him, he's overcome a lot to meet his milestones and even the fact that he is finally walking is amazing. I just don't know why I have been such a mess all day, I haven't answered the phone and I haven't really wanted to talk to anyone (except Bryan) about it. I don't want to hear anyone's two cents on the therapist's observations or have someone tell me they noticed that his walking didn't seem "normal." I think my emotions are already on high just from all this PCS stuff and beginning to say goodbye to all of our friends in Savannah. In my heart, I know that a few years from now this will all just be a mountain in the distance and we will be proud to say that Aydan jumped over his hurdles with a beautiful smile on his face!





I am addicted to this version of John Lennon's "Beautiful Boy" by Ben Harper. Aydan is the most beautiful little person I have ever met and I am so honored to be his momma. I love you, little bug. 





Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sweet Baby Tripp and His Amazing Mommy

I'm sure a lot of y'all have heard about Baby Tripp recently. I had tears in my eyes when I first read his story and the thought of how courageous his mommy is. I have always tried to remind myself of how lucky we are to have such a healthy child while also telling myself that even if he develops setbacks, it doesn't change the amount of love we have for him. Courtney is the perfect example of this.

Courtney is an amazing inspiration to all mommas and I am truly touched by Baby Tripp's story. While I know that Tripp is no longer in pain and enjoying heaven, I know that his momma is in pain in his absence. I only hope she realizes that her courage and strength is just as admirable and inspiring as Tripp's.

Heaven now shines a little brighter.



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Monday, January 23, 2012

Moving. Destination: Crazyville!

Moving is serious business! I had it in my head that it would be a walk in the park moving through the military. Laughable, right? There's still so much to do and so many hard goodbyes ahead of us. Remember how I recently mentioned I only get emotional when it comes to my little one? Well, I lie. Kind of. I am so sad to leave our "family" we have grown to love here in Savannah. We have brought so many amazing people into our lives and of course, into Aydan's life. This is where our first home is and I will always cherish that. I will have a heavy heart and leaky eyes come next Tuesday.

Savannah started out as a place I had no desire to live and turned out to be the home and birthplace of our first child, the home of my beloved job and the home of our wonderful friends and Army family. Thank you for the memories, Savannah! You will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Well, hello there!

How am I ever going to get a decent amount of followers when I constantly fall of the blogging bandwagon?!

I have been rather busy lately, busy watching my little love grow up right before my eyes, that is. My goodness, I can't even type this without crying. I don't get emotional about much but when it comes to my child, I am a ball of mush. We have walking, friends! Yes, my little 7 pound, 11 ounce baby has grown into a 27 pounds, 32.5 inches little boy. A little over a week ago he just got up and started taking 8-10 steps at a time, and yep, his momma cried. Actually, she bawled. We waited so long for those moments and had so many neigh-sayers telling us that something was wrong with him, that those first steps were really rather big strides. I could not be more proud. Call me crazy, but I swear his vocabulary even seems to be growing like wildfire since those first steps. Growing before our eyes, I tell you!

Unfortunately, there has been a very minor setback with this huge milestone. Aydan was diagnosed with Torticollois and Plagieocephally at two-months-old, we have been kicking it's butt with some hardcore physical therapy for over a year now and from what we can tell the Torticollis is causing some problems with his walking. He turns his feet a little more than he should and he also drags his right foot. We had an appointment with his therapist to see about getting him some orthotics last week, but unfortunately she called in sick. I am anxious to get this appointment over with, especially since we are moving at the end of this month but mostly because if there is an issue that needs to be fixed, I want it fixed. I'm sure my momma friends know what I mean. I will definitely keep y'all updated, in the meantime, any prayers are appreciated. We are so lucky that this "mountain" is the only mountain we are faced with, I know there are so many other children and their parents battling mountains much bigger than ours.

Bryan is still at AIT kicking some serious tail, I couldn't be more proud of him. This reclass is nowhere near what we had in mind, but I think we are both adjusting and making the best of it. Not to mention, our house rented out which is honestly a huge weight off of our shoulders. Aydan and I will be staying with family in Florida, soaking up the Florida sun until Bryan graduates AIT.

Needless to say, I do have a big move ahead of me but I have every intention of staying on the bandwagon, I promise!

Until next time, here are some of my favorite pictures as of recent:


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We recently visited the Georgia Aquarium and Aydan was rather fascinated by some pretty ugly fish!


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Aydan has been soaking up time with his Daddy Monkey while Daddy is away.


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Since I was recently referred to as a car seat Nazi, I will proudly say that this handsome fella is 15 months and still rear-facing.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Confessions.

Bryan came home for a little over a week at Christmas and we had a great time that of course went way too quickly. Aydan was in love with the wrapping paper that Santa left him! ;) I am so happy we had Bryan here to share in the holidays. Aydan was so young last Christmas that we kind of felt like it was his first Christmas all over again.

However, Bryan has since gone back to Fort Meade to finish up AIT and we have also listed our home for rent. I feel like my world is crumbling down around me. I hate that my family is separated all because Bryan was forced to reclass and I hate how much pressure is on him. I'm so overwhelmed with moving, probably even sooner than we expected and leaving everything we've grown to love in Savannah. We have security here and it is all starting to dwindle away piece by piece. I feel so inferior, like there is so much that needs to be done but I don't have any desire to do it, because I have no desire to go where we are going and I have no desire to leave my baby's first home. I'm so bitter and weak, which is so not me.

I know we will overcome it and I know that at the end of the day it is all so petty. I just wish I could shake these feelings and get my family back together like now.