Saturday, September 30, 2006

Fall is in the Air!

I love Autumn. Although the other seasons each have something about them I can appreciate...fall is by far my favorite time of year. Specifically, October. I don't know what it is about this month, but even just the word October is my favorite month in terms of a word. Does that make any sense? My first daughter was due on October 28th and I was so excited to have a baby during my favorite month. I was late and missed it by two days...November is still growing on me.

I grew up in Michigan and the fall season brings such beautiful and dramatic colors. My husband is from Texas and when we debate on where to settle down some day I always have a hard time envisioning October in Texas. I'm never really a fan of temperatures in the nineties, let alone in a month that ushers in college football. The two just don't coincide in my mind. Since being in the military I've experienced the fall season in Mississippi, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Texas and Washington. I would have to say that NJ and WA had pretty fall seasons. Those other Southern states don't know what their missing!

The following things are why I love October:
*college football - especially Univ. of MI games...yes, I'm a guy when it comes to football!
*fall colors
*apples and cider mills
*pumpkin farms
*hay rides

*Carmel Vanilla Yankee Candle scent filling my house
*crunching in the leaves
*sunny cool breezy days
*back to school routines (I'm pretty type A about schedules)
*camp fires
*decorating for autumn

My list could go on...those are just a few. Unfortunately I have another list, too:

The following things are what annoy me about October:
*Christmas decorations already out in stores
*People decorating for Halloween like it's Christmas...Halloween inflatable snowglobes?
*parents letting their kids wear terrible (aka inappropriate) Halloween costumes.

This October not only ushers in the fall colors, but it also landmarks my last month as a single parent! Although I find that encouraging and exciting...typing the word "month" just made it seem like a long time! Thirty-one another 7-10. that I think about it I'm barely 3/4 of the way there. I think I just depressed myself. Oh least tomorrow I can smile and say, "It's October, my favorite month!"

Friday, September 29, 2006

Better Late then Never

I had wanted to make a birthday video for Brad but couldn't find my cable to download video. I've solved that dilemma and as I was looking at video footage I found this clip of the girls practicing their tribute to Daddy.

There are moments of this clip that I am proud of my girls. Moments that I'm embarrassed. And moments that I laugh out loud. Hope you find it entertaining.

Getting Her Groove On

I have a cord for my video camera again...this is funnier then you know and only one other person is privy to my stupidity. Hopefully she won't blog about my blondness, real or fake! I'm still without my digital camera, but watching Brooke try to crawl is much better then looking at a photo anyway. I even got fancy enough to download some music for your viewing pleasure!

Brooke is always on the go now. If I put her down I have to be sure the entire room is safe of tiny rubber Polly Pocket shoes because she will find them. She is still trying to put it all together and has her moments. I'll have to grab the camera next time she is on a roll...this is just some forced footage as I tried to lure her, somewhat successfully, to a toy.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

I did it!

Tonight...I did absolutely nothing! I sat on the couch in a vegetative state and watched TV. It felt good. I think I earned it.

Next goal...go to bed before 11:30! I think the earliest I've gone to sleep since Brad left was 11:06. I'm shooting for steps. Maybe the next week 10:20.

I'm getting a little wild and crazy...I better pace myself.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Getting Too Big!

Here are a few photos I took of the girls the day the camera died. I love the photo where Mckenna isn't looking at the camera...that expression is just so her personality!

Brooke is almost 7 months. She can frequently be found in the yoga pike position (I have to get a picture of this when I get a camera again!). She is sitting up pretty well now and manages to scoot herself around. The girls are really starting to enjoy her.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Happy Birthday!

Today was Brad's birthday. He isn't a big birthday guy so he said that the fact that no one knew it was his birthday today and the event was never acknowledged didn't bother him. This view point is an issue of contention within our marriage. He would prefer ignoring his birthday every year. When we were dating and I discovered his perspective I went to the opposite extreme and I celebrated the 12 Days of Birthday with a gift or event for a week in a half before his actual birthday. Funny how I don't remember much protest back then...must have been the fact that we had only been dating 2 months and he was still trying to impress me.

I wanted to have a cute picture of the girls with signs wishing Daddy Happy Birthday on this blog entry but I couldn't since the camera is being fixed. My other thought was to download a video of the girl's singing to him but he has the fire wire for the camera because he was making a video to send home. So I decided to look back at pictures from his past two birthdays and download something from the past. I discovered that I must have given in to minimizing the event because we really haven't done anything special for the occasion in the past 2 years. However, we were marking some major milestones in our lives. Two years ago we were unpacking boxes. We moved into our house on Labor Day but we spent a few weeks camping while we worked on projects and waited for the movers. Mckenna was only 13 months old. Hard to believe this is her third home!
Then one year ago we were just days away from opening our store, Meals a la Carte. Brad was moonlighting at the store every night in anticipation of the event. I can't believe that was a year ago. I'm realizing that we don't take long to get settled!
I wonder where we'll celebrate Brad's birthday next year? Wherever it is, I just hope we can celebrate it together as a family and it a really big deal...somehow I don't think he'll mind.

Happy Birthday Babe! Wish we could celebrate the holiday officially.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

What Do I Do Now?

My camera is dead. It was new in April and I used it about 36 hours ago but suddenly it is lifeless. I have already talked with the Canon Service Department and I am sending it back tomorrow. Usually this stuff happens on day 366 of a one year warranty so I am just thankful that it will either be fixed or I will receive a new one.

In the meantime I will have to blog without photos. You'll be stuck with just my witty banter creating for you visually stimulating images with my depictive words. Can you tell I used to write resumes in the Career Resource Center at college. People came to me to find new adjectives to describe their summer experience as a camp counselor in order to sound worthy of employment in a large corporation.

My mind is still a little exhausted from the poop/carpet cleaning episode, so the thought provoking and insightful blogs will have to wait.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A Crappy Day!

I got home from the Y today to discover that Ranger had diarrhea! In the house. In most of the house. All over the house.

I lost it.

That is a simple and concise way to say I went insane, flew off the handle, had a conniption, a nervous breakdown, went ballistic etc. I sent the girls upstairs to get them out of the way so I could assess the problem (and to keep them from hearing my inappropriate muttering) and figure out a solution. In the midst of formulating my gameplan I hear, "Mommy, Ranger had diarrhea in Brooke's room...and my room...and the hallway...and a little in the guest room." This is when the tears began, mine and Brooke's who had already began voicing her hunger on the drive home and wasn't appreciative in the delay of her bottle.

I got the carpet cleaning spray, a garbage bag, some paper towels and a scrub brush and went to work. I quickly decided this was a loosing battle. Ranger stood inquisitively at the window watching with an "I'm sorry" look on his face. I didn't have much compassion at that moment. I had the thought as I listened helplessly to Brooke's crying, as I cried myself, as the girls continued to give a play-by-play of the diarrhea situation upstairs, as I tried my best to keep from vomiting while I cleaned up the mess on the hardwood floors, as I somehow found a way to be mad at Brad for this situation, as I tried to determine the cause of this issue by unfortunately examining Ranger's poop...the thought came to mind that I think I was made to do more then this. That this wasn't where I envisioned my life taking me. I can't say that I felt a lot of satisfaction at that current moment with my life. I quit!

That was about 4 hours ago. Since then I have had the carpets professionally cleaned by my hero, Tony from Xtreme Carpet Cleaning who got the job because he said he would be at my house in 30 minutes! Since then I have found compassion for Ranger who continues to have a bout of IBS and is running around the yard like he is trying to get away from himself. It's a little humorous to hear him audibly pass gas and then bark at the noise which scares him. Since then I have opened every window in the house (despite the rain and 50 degree temperatures) and lit every candle and managed to rid our house of the scent of defecation. Since then I made appointments at the groomer's ...both dogs need it and now that the carpets are clean I think the dogs need to be, too. Since then I decided Ranger is under observation and banished to the yard or garage until he stabilizes. Hopefully this won't require a vet visit. Since then the girls have both given me big hugs and kisses and asked if everything was okay. Since then Brooke smiled at me and did her best to give Mommy a hug (granted I put her arms around my neck). And since then I decided that I'll take my life back...I just hope tomorrow isn't another crappy day!

**Note to reader - I considered taking pictures for this blog entry but I thought I would spare you the visual...besides, without the odor I couldn't really do it justice!

** I can't make this stuff up...1 second before publishing my blog I hear a yell from upstiars, "Mommy, I went poopy, can you wipe me?!" Will this crappy day ever end?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Yummy Green Beans

So far I haven't found a food that Brooke doesn't like. Even Green Beans which both of my other girls spit out regardless of my efforts to disguise it under other baby foods.

Growth Spurt!

Baileigh went thru a growth spurt this summer. I guess I didn't notice. Open toed shoes and dresses allowed her to grow without me noticing. She just put some new size 6 pants on that seemed to fit well initially but after one wash they are almost a perfect fit with very little room to grow. It hit me how tall she is getting and how old she is looking. I was teasing her and told her to "Stop Growing!" Her reply was, "Mommy, it's not my's Gods!"

Sunday, September 17, 2006

I'm Counting

The first time I heard "I want Daddy" this morning it made me recall my estimate and I decided to count throughout the day. By 8:51a.m. I was already at 12! A battle of wills over our new dinosaur chewable vitamins from Costco which apparently weren't popular added about 5 more to the count. Then we watched the complimentary Elmo DVD for military families focusing on deployments...not sure I give it two thumbs up. Perhaps I should have watched the section for parents first, maybe it would have warned me that watching it for the first time about 10 weeks into the deployment isn't advised. Ironically this video that was supposed to provide support and encouragement had both girls crying! Elmo even brought me to tears. And of course it added about 8 more "I want Daddy" comments. The last time the phrase was uttered was actually the sweetest and most sincere....and despite the fact it was number 31, I wasn't too annoyed by the sentiment.

Maybe my previous estimate was a bit high since I factored in 24 hours instead of just the 12-13 that they are awake. Regardless, I hear it a lot. I can't wait to hear "I want Daddy" and I can say "He is upstairs, go get him!"

Saturday, September 16, 2006


On average I would say 8 times an hour. Times 24 hours in a day.

Granted I know I need to account for the time sleeping, but frequently that is when Mckenna wakes up and says it another 8 times. In addition I hear it frequently at bedtime, and in the morning, and in the car, and when they are in trouble, and when they are sad, or silly, or hungry. There are often large blocks of time when I don't hear it at all, but when the thought process begins it is usually repeated...over and over and over and over. So 8x24 is 192, multiplied by approximately 125 days is 24,000.

That is the number of times I estimate that I will hear during this deployment one of my girls say, "I want my Daddy."

I know. I get it.

Friday, September 15, 2006

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Growing up we lived a few miles from the Franklin Cider Mill. We went her a ton as kids from around Labor Day until Thanksgiving (that is the extent of their season). They make the best cider and donuts. The donuts are simple, just one kind that they use the apple mash to make. But they are so good. Especially when you dunk them in the cider until they get heavy and almost break apart...mmmmmmmm.
Initially the girls were disappointed when they heard "donuts" but didn't see any sprinkles or frosting. But considering they both consumed more then I care to admit I think they quickly accepted the plain donut and realized Mommy was right, "they are yummy!"
Unfortunately there wasn't much going on at the apple mash but the girls were still fairly interested in how the apple becomes their juice.
Since this is my last post from our trip to MI I decided I needed at least one photo with my brother. Despite his "outfit" (he has taken up biking) this was a pretty descent photo of us with our babies.

Good Hair Day


Brooke is starting to sit up on her own. She seems to hold her arms out to the side as if she knows this will help her balance.
While we were in Michigan she also started getting up on all fours and rocking. Then she will scoot a little...not much longer before crawling. I think she was trying to show off for her cousin, Aryssa.
Already telling secrets!

This must have been a really good secret that she didn't want anyone else to hear!

Our Own Homecoming

Traci and I are friends from Taylor University. Neither of us is going to be able to attend our 10 year reunion at Homecoming this October. So we had our own mini-brief homecoming after church where both her parents and my mom attend.Even if it was brief, it was great to catch up and see her and meet her kids. Little Lydia is only a few months old and her son Jonah is almost three. The kids were a little preoccupied with the playground but we had a few minutes to chat. At least we don't have to ponder what to wear to our reunion!

More Michigan Photos

These are two of my best friends in the world. I am the luckiest girl to have these two in my life. Shelly and I first met as 4 year olds in Mrs. Calloways basement preschool room. Tricia joined the gang in first grade where we both had a crush on the new kid, Matt Stowell. K-12 in the same school with two great friends. Was that really 28 years ago? Now our four year olds play together. I hope and pray that my girls someday experiences friendships with the history and depth that I have with these girls. We've weathered puberty, boyfriends, graduations, engagements, marriage, illnesses, pregnancies, the toddler years...

The next 3 girls, Elizabeth, Blake, Quinn, and Joe. It stinks that I only get to see them annually since I keep moving farther away, but we have vowed that we would never go any longer then a year without a visit and when the kids get older we'll try to add a girl's weekend somewhere in there...I'm holding you guys to it! Aren't kids great at this age. A few hours of play with kids they barely know and they leave in tears because they have to leave their best friends

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Soccer Time!

Baileigh started playing in a soccer team a few weeks ago. I say "team" loosely. This club is trying a European model for the 6 and under aged kids. That means that practices consist of mini clinics to teach the kids the fundamentals and game days are 15 minute 4 on 4 games to work on what they have learned in their clinics.

Other then not having a team photo to stick away somewhere...there isn't a lot that we miss out on with this style. She doesn't have anything to compare it to and I think it is a good way for the kids to focus on learning something rather then just being concerned with whether or not they win or loose. I can tell that the model is bothering a lot of the parents. Isn't that funny!? The kids are having fun and there are parents annoyed that they can't cheer for little Bobby who is a Tiger and scored a goal despite not having any clue about what he is really doing on the field. And we wonder where our kids get it from someday!
Baileigh with her friend, Madison.
I asked Baileigh to stop and smile and she struck this pose. Perhaps a natural? Seriously though, I've been really surprised and impressed by Baileigh. I admittedly signed her up for soccer after convincing her she wanted to play, but she says she loves it and is eager to learn. She is attentive to the coaches and tries whatever they tell her to do. Of course I hoping and praying that she grows up to actually play sports instead of cheering for them (PLEASE LORD,'ve already given me 3 girls, isn't that funny enough!!!!!) and watching her play has actually led to a few teary moments for me. She just seems to be growing up so quickly and somehow watching her play organized athletics takes me ahead 10 years and I don't like it! I do like though that I see a little girl out there who isn't fearful, who takes initiative, who has a huge smile on her face and who makes me proud to be her Mommy!

Good Vs. Evil

Good vs. Evil can conjure up a plethora of images in one's mind...I could list a variety of analogies and examples from history. I'm not feeling that witty at the moment, let me just tell you like it is based upon my experiences in the past few days...

Good Vs. Evil in the Days of a SAHM:

Good - Kids sleep in until 8:30.
Evil - Kids poking you in the face at 6:50.
Good - Tom and Jerry Marathon.
Evil - Issues with Direct TV, no satellite service.
Good - Long naps.
Evil - No Naps.
Good - Everone asleep by 8:07.
Evil - Searching for the wooden spoon at 9:45 because no one is taking my threats seriously!
Good - A freshly bathed baby.
Evil - Picking up your baby from the highchair to discover there is runny poop all over their legs...and now your hands and arms.
Good - Baby eating their lunch.
Evil - Baby spitting carrots in your face and on your white shirt.
Good - Freshly cut lawn and nice yard.
Evil - Kids discovering dog poop I missed by stepping in it.
Good - Feeling like I am taking care of the house and doing a good job with it.
Evil - Getting stung by a bee in the face while trying to take care of the house.
Good - Two out of 3 kids at preschool.
Evil - Free time to shop while 2 out of 3 kids are at preschool! $$$$$$
Good - Working out w/ a trainer who kicks my butt.
Evil - Working out w/ a trainer who kicks my butt.
Good - Getting into a fall routine and schedule.
Evil - It's getting darker earlier and cooler.
Good - We're over half way thru this deployment (still not letting myself count days).
Evil - We still have a long way to go!
Good - Most of my prepregnancy clothes fit.
Evil - Most of my prepregnancy clothes are still a little tight.
Good - It's 5:37, less then 3 hours until "me" time.
Evil - Almost 3 full hours left until "me" time.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

First Day of preschool

Yesterday Mckenna started preschool. She attends twice a week at the same time and same place that Baileigh attends Pre-K! So twice a week I have two in a half hours with just one child! Yahoo! As happy as that makes me, I did shed a tear as Mckenna bounced off to circle time to meet her new classmates. I was actually relieved a little...this is pretty typical for her but there have been some occasions since Brad deployed where she had become clingy and refused to go somewhere. So my tears were of joy and a little sadness.The sweetest thing was when Mckenna asked me on the way to school, "Mommy, if I need anything is Baileigh going to take care of me?" Baileigh quickly spoke up and said, "Mckenna, your teachers will help take care of you but I will be there if you need more help."
Baileigh is very proud to tell all the teachers and her classmates that "Mckenna is my sister!"

First Day of Pre-K

This is our last fall of "pre" any type of school. Next year is the big leagues. Baileigh has a teacher's pet personality and truly enjoys least at this age. She attends Pre-K three times a week and is disappointed on the days at home.
Notice the bangs...she begged me and I guess this is her new big girl look for school.

Monday, September 11, 2006


I was tying my shoes on our couch. This is easier then it sounds because I was about 32 weeks pregnant. It was a beautiful morning and I was heading out for a walk. We had moved to NJ in May and our house was now feeling like a home. Brad was in the midst of training to fly the KC-10. I was busy nesting in anticipation of the arrival of our first baby. It was September 11, 2001.

I had the Today show on. I can barely remember those days...when I could watch the news in the morning and not cartoons. I was finishing my laces when Matt Lauer suddenly seemed confused as their normal broadcast was interrupted by reports of the first plane hitting the WTC. I sat and watched. Stunned. I was frozen on our couch. The second plane hit. Horrified.

Brad called and told me not to leave the house. The base was on lock down and he couldn't come home. This all felt so close to home living in NJ at the time. There were people in our neighborhood who took the train into the city every day. Members of our church had family in NY.

I sat on that couch for the next 6 hours watching everything. The Pentagon being hit. The plane down in Pennsylvania. I was sitting in the midst of all of this holding my big belly and crying as I wondered what kind of world I would be bringing this baby into. As hard as I tried not to, I was thinking selfishly of the implications to our family as Brad was no longer in the safe haven of the Instructor Pilot world, but now flying air refuelers.

That truly feels like months ago in my life. Not 5 years ago!? Not 3 children ago. Now we're on different coasts. Now I feel so removed. It feels more like a news story now instead of a personal situation. Living in that proximity at the time made me more aware and sensitive to the extreme devastation 9/11 had caused. Both to our country, the city of NY, and the personal effect it was having on people. I remember our first trip into the city around Christmas. I can't forget the image of the walls of flyers in the subway with photo after photo of missing loved ones. The fence covered in signs, flowers, flags, personal items, uniforms etc. of those that were missing or confirmed dead. The whole in the ground. The I-Beams still standing in the shape of a cross. I remember feeling strange about taking photos...but this was a piece of history and I wanted Baileigh to know what was going on in our country when she was just a baby. I remember scrapebooking the page with her visit to Ground Zero. I thought about her looking at it some day when she is older, when she is learning about this page in history in school.

I realized this year that moving west and the business of life had made me forget. I watched a special on CBS last night that was all real footage filmed by a fireman's brother that happened to be at the station on 9/11 filming for other reasons. It wasn't one of those made for TV movies. It was real. All of it. Too real. And as I watched I realized that I had stopped thinking every day of all the women that were also pregnant when 9/11 occurred and brought babies into the world alone. I don't think that much about the images in the subway. I rarely think about the people whose lives were changed and are still living 9/11 every day. And yet I am alone for four months very much in part to the events that happened on 9/11. Will we start to remember less? Probably. Will we commemorate the tragedy every 5, 10, 15 years because that is more convenient and practical? Maybe. This type of anniversary is never one to anticipate, but I personally appreciate the opportunity to stop and reflect and remember...and frankly I think I should do it more then annually.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Nana and Her Girls

Baileigh, Ayanna, Brooke, Aryssa, and Mckenna

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Binder Park Zoo

We spent an afternoon at Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek, Michigan with Tricia and her kids Elizabeth and Joe.
Do you really think it is wise to let Mckenna be the map reader considering she doesn't read?

Feeding the giraffes was definitely the highlight of our trip. The girls were excited and disgusted by their big, long, wet tongues.
A good pose and smile in exchange for a lunch stop.

"When Can We Go Back, Mommy?"

This is always the question asked for days after we have been to Elizabeth's house. Elizabeth is the daughter of one of my best childhood (and adult) friends, Tricia. It amazes me to think that our friendship began in first grade and now our kids are playing together.
Almost more saddening then the fact we only get to see each other annually is the fact that our girls played AMAZINGLY well together. In our two days of living together we didn't really have any disagreements to resolve or never heard "she isn't sharing." I give Elizabeth most of the credit considering she had two little girls attack her toys and she gladly shared everything and seemed to genuinely enjoy their company.

Getting some love from Aunt Tricia.

Visiting Aunt Laurie

So she isn't really an Aunt...but I have a small family and Laurie has been like a big sister to me so she is Aunt Laurie to the girls.
It's hard to believe that Brittany was Baileigh's age when I got married and was our flower girl!

Now This Is Bonding!

Sucking her cousin's foot...can you bond more then this?


I know I'm bias...but I sure think these are two cute babies!

Little Fish

We got to spend some time at Papa's pool with our cousin's Ayanna and Aryssa. The girls had a lot of fun, even if Mckenna doesn't look too sure.
The new baby cousins. Brooke was born March 7 and Aryssa was born April 26. Check out that red hair and blue eyes.

Piece of Cake

Flying alone with three kids under five. Piece of cake. Admittedly thanks to cartoons and chips. Whatever works.

Friday, September 08, 2006

6 Months Old!

Wow...half a year has passed. That boggles my mind. Over our "vacation" I saw so many changes in Brooke. She decided to wait and show off for friends and family. She is now sitting up...briefly. She is still a little wobbly. She also started getting up on all fours and rocking her bottom in the air. Then she scoots her knees forward and falls on her face and stretches out and starts over. It has an inch worm like appearance but it gets her moving. A few more weeks I think she'll be officially crawling. Of course I have some photos of this routine that I'll post later.

Here is her monthly photo shoot.
Still working on the balance, but catching on quick!
Always full of smiles and a big flirt!
When it's really time to comfort herself, Brooke prefer her thumb over her pacifier. But the pacifier makes a nice toy and she enjoys playing with it in her crib.

Where Do I Begin?

I have a ton of photos from our trip. I think one of the best inventions of this decade is the digital camera! I probably have over 500 pictures...why just take one of the kids smiling when you can snap 20 of the same pose in attempts to get that perfect photo!

The photos will be coming. Tonight I need sleep...after one more blog.

We're Home!

We survived. There were times yesterday I wondered if we would. Things began smoothly. In fact we arrived a little too early and had a full two hours to kill before departing Detroit. The first leg of our trip started off well, thanks to Tom and Jerry on Direct TV. Two thumbs up to Frontier Airlines for this feature! However it all took a turn for the worse when we were forced to circle above Wyoming for 45 minutes due to severe storms over Denver (our connection). This led to us missing our flight to Seattle.

Strike one. I wish I would have known it had already departed before I made Baileigh run 20 gates down the terminal in attempts to catch the plane. After receiving the bad news I then discovered my cell phone had died.

Strike two. I soon came to the realization that I don't remember what I did before cell phones. Have you tried to use a pay phone recently? I attempted too. I failed. There were 100 directions but nothing simple like how to place a long distance call using my credit card. Perhaps I was too frazzled at the moment to comprehend all the fine print. I must have been displaying some level of emotional instability since an airport representive, who happened to be around 70 and very sweet, asked if I was okay and needed help. Out came my sob story, not accompanied by tears, but a shaky voice and probably watery eyes. She offered me her cell phone and I called my ride to inform them of my situation. We were able to get on a flight leaving at 9:25pm (the original departed Denver at 5:55pm). The next 3 hours were spent roaming the airport in attempts to entertain 3 very tired and overly slap happy kids while scouting out nice looking people that would let me borrow their cell phones so I could continually call my ride to inform her of my schedule changes. I also stalked a few mom's for a while in search of an extra diaper. I didn't account for our time delay or Brooke's multiple poops so I was running low. That problem was easily solved by a sympathetic and understanding Mom with a nine month old. She was probably just relieved that I finally talked to her and wasn't really stalking her.

We had a little excitement when I realized I had borrowed a cell phone belonging to Kristin Key, one of the comedians from Last Comic Standing on NBC. We got chatting in the bathroom and she offered me her phone. I initially thought she looked familiar from being on our flight. Then I placed her face. She isn't really a celebrity, but enough for me to recognize her after her 15 minutes of fame. I told her I thought she had been funny on the show and that I remembered her joke about how her ex-boyfriend told her that when she was wet after a shower she looked like the character that plays Homer Simpson's Boss, Mr. Burns. I think it's the nose. She said that she was flattered that I remembered her joke...but not sure what to think considering that when I saw her I remembered that specific joke. Compare their'll see some resemblance.

Moving on...our 9:25 flight finally left at 10:00. All three girls passed out. Baileigh and Mckenna had been awake since 7:15am eastern time so to their bodies it was now can't even imagine their level of disobedience, hyperactivity, and giddiness the hour before we got on the plane as they fought off the exhaustion. They were literally out of control, me too! We landed around midnight (sorry Stacy!) and it was 1:30 when I carried the girls to bed. They were all up by 7:15! AHHH...but we're back. And it's great to not be sharing a bed with a tossing and turning toddler. My rib cage needs time to heel.

Officer Found

The female AF officer I previously blogged about was found today. There are different variations of the story...she was reportedly kidnapped with one account saying her hair had been dyed and she had been beaten up, another account said that her head had been shaved. I'm sure there will be an interview in the future and all the details will emerge. Regardless, she is back and okay.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Officer Missing From Manas

A female AF officer stationed with Brad has gone missing. This news just hits too close to home as it was a Major that Brad said he worked with frequently. Please pray for her safe return and keep the situation and her family in your prayers.

Funny but Strange

My friend put a story about this on her blog. I thought it was so funny (yet strange) that I had to put a link as well.

I think this would scar the children in the longterm more then Brad's absence!

Homeward Bound

Tomorrow we're headed west! We're ready. Our trip has been fun. Busy. But we're all ready to be home. Back in our beds. Back with our dogs. Back with our friends. Back to a routine.

I'm not as enthusiastic about the trip home. I'm tired and less excited. The fact that we have officially hit the 2 month point yesterday and we are half way through this deployment has depressed me instead of encouraged me.

But I am looking forward to starting our fall schedule in a few days. That should help the second half go quickly. For now, I'm focused on our day of travel. I'm praying for a nice woman across the aisle to make silly faces at Brooke the entire flight and entertain her.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Today I had the chance to attend my Mom's church. It would probably fall under the category of a mega-church. Today they announced the upcoming opening of their 85,000 sq.foot addition. I stopped by the cafe just off the lobby, next to the bookstore, to buy some coffee before entering the auditorium. I had my choice of five screens to focus my gaze on or a large stage flanked dancing blue lights along the walls and ceiling. The sanctuary seats approximately 3,000 and they have services on Saturday and Sunday.

I describe this to you just to give you a image of my surroundings. This is the exact type of church I attended after graduating from college. It was what I wanted at the time. My Mom really enjoys this church and I'm glad she has found a solid Bible preaching church that she is excited about. As I sat there though and took it all in I realized how much I had changed in the past ten years.

Having lived in 6 different states in the past 9 years we've experienced a variety of church settings...especially considering we've lived in the south, and both the east and west coasts. We've been a part of congregations ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand. I used to dread attending small churches. I felt they had little to offer and the lack of anonymity felt threatening to me. As I reflected on my thoughts and feelings this morning about church...or rather I should say church facilities...I realized that I think I have grown and matured in what I think is significant about a church.

Don't get me wrong, I think you can have an effective ministry and be Christ centered in a 30 million dollar facility with all the amenities. It may be more challenging to find the focus and not be distracted by the entertainment aspect of the event, but it definitely appeals to many and can be effective. But thanks primarily to my husband, I think I have grown to view the church I want to be a part of as one where I feel like there is a lot of ways that we can serve and contribute. I know there are needs in big and small churches, but I've grown to appreciate recognizing faces on a Sunday morning and feeling a sense of community. I know it's possible to be lost in a crowd of any size, but I don't want to make it easy on myself. I think I'm at a stage of life where I welcome the accountability and desire the fellowship. Man, that makes me feel old.