Murphy Mondays {12 September 2011}

Murphy Mondays is my chance to catch y’all up on what’s been going on in our lives here.  When I was a kid, separated by many miles from our closest friends and family, my dad wrote a “Monday morning email” to tell everyone what we were all up to.  This is that very thing, only a bit more technology is thrown into the mix with blogging 🙂

I truly don’t have much to write about, but I didn’t want you to think I had forgotten this little Monday. The man is working insane hours. He comes home exhausted and basically ready for bed, and sometimes he stops at the table to eat first. That’s basically that.

The little one and I are having fun with our Homeschooling adventure! You can read about her first week here!

After spending way too many hours at the hospital on Thursday, I must do it again today.  While I could ask you to cross your fingers and say some prayers that all will go well, it looks like the writing is on the wall: baby and I are arguing about how to keep mommy’s blood sugar and blood pressure low. I am thankful every day I get through that he has baked a bit longer.  Stress of the past week definitely did a number on me and we were experiencing full-fledge contractions there for a bit! Prayerfully, we can hold off a few more weeks on that one again!

The weekend was fairly relaxing in our little home. I experienced this one very amazing special moment that I photographed and thought you might enjoy seeing and hearing about.

This is the Marine, for the first time ever, watching the 9/11 Memorial Ceremonies. Why? Because he’s been working or deployed almost every other year – except last year, during which he was attending a race. He snuggled up with his baby girl in his arms and watched the duration. He was surprised at how long it all was and Rhyan was a bit taken back by the sounds of the bell’s toll. We sat together in utter silence during each moment of silence. Tears streamed down my face, and his expression was unchanged. This is a man of great determination, integrity, commitment, courage, and honor. Not unlike the heroes of that horrible day, he too runs in when others would run out. I felt a breath of fresh air reminding me again of how truly amazing my life with this Marine is, and for that moment, I am forever grateful.

Until next week …

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Murphy Mondays {29 August 2011}

Murphy Mondays is my chance to catch y’all up on what’s been going on in our lives here.  When I was a kid, separated by many miles from our closest friends and family, my dad wrote a “Monday morning email” to tell everyone what we were all up to.  This is that very thing, only a bit more technology is thrown into the mix with blogging 🙂

Wow!! What a WEEK! Goodness.  I thought we were off to a fairly normal start last Monday when I wrote my entry. And then Tuesday came upon us. An earthquake! In Virginia!  At 5.8, nonetheless. For the first time since 1897, a quake of this magnitude rocked not only the state of Virginia, but could be felt far-reaching.  I was fairly certain I was losing my mind as the shaking happened, looking from wall to wall in my living room as I sat on my couch.  And then – with all the brilliance I could muster! – I ran outside to find the semi truck that must have run into our brick building. Turns out – no such evidence.  Our neighbor, who has just recently moved here from California, confirmed for us that it was indeed an earthquake, and explained that we should expect more to come.  I felt one of the several aftershocks, but they were nothing compared to the initial shaking. What an interesting experience!

For our friends on the West Coast, it seemed like absolutely nothing to experience, and I am sure that with their daily occurrences, it wasn’t.  However, this experience was like moving to Cozumel, Mexico, only to discover the ocean was no longer there: it’s just not something you expect here. At all.

And then, the week got even more exciting.  By Wednesday the weather forecasters were predicting Hurricane Irene would hit as a Cat 3 directly 2 hours south of us and continue up on land to devastate our local area. Water, batteries, flash lights, and generators flew off the shelves.  By the time we arrived at our local grocery store Wednesday night there was very little left in the way of “typical” hurricane supplies.  All we were after was some food we could prepare ahead of time in case we lost power for a few days, thankfully.  With pulled pork, low carb muffins, and no bake sugar free cookies at the ready, we settled down to wait for Irene to hit us with her best shot.

But, it turns out a lot of people fled town for no real reason. A Cat 3 turned into a Cat 1, and in our subdivision we didn’t even lose power once.  There was a LOT of rain and wind, a lot of trees and branches down, and some very upset puppies that wouldn’t go outside, but mostly, it was nothing to write home about.  Our backyard flooded and we had some water damage around our large bay window in the living room. But, we were completely safe during the entire adventure, which lasted approximately 24 hours.

Thanks to all of your for your concerns and prayers! As it turns out, we were doubly blessed: First to know that we are so well loved and second to watch the hand of our Creator reach out to protect us twice in one week from what could have been major catastrophes.

Today, we have one more day off for hurricane reprieve, and then back to the “regular” work week tomorrow for Mr. Marine.  But, it’s a short week with the upcoming holiday. Oh … and the tourists are about to leave the beach, which means more peace in our neck of the woods!

Until next week …

Murphy Mondays {22 August 2011}

Murphy Mondays is my chance to catch y’all up on what’s been going on in our lives here.  When I was a kid, separated by many miles from our closest friends and family, my dad wrote a “Monday morning email” to tell everyone what we were all up to.  This is that very thing, only a bit more technology is thrown into the mix with blogging 🙂

Well, this past week was full of finishing “Throw Out Fifty Things”, very few precious family moments, an amazing scrapbooking journey, and a lot of mommy/daughter time. Daddy’s schedule is off the wall and aside from working 14-16 hours a day during the week, he’s also been stuck working a lot of weekends, so Rhyan and I are learning how to fill up more of our time without Daddy.  It’s rough on her, as she asks for him a lot!

My Throw Out Fifty Things task is FINISHED.  (Although, I’m not really done, because it just struck me this weekend of another area I can tackle!)  The living room was one of the trickiest parts of our small place to tackle.  We have BIG furniture. In a TINY room. And it’s not like I’m going to throw out my beloved sectional couch, having no idea where the military will move me next.  So, we had to do with what we had. First, we realized we had the possibility for two TV stands in our living room. So, the one we were using as a TV stand was given away and the other became our new stand. And that worked. For about a week. But, here’s what I was staring at:

And I couldn’t stop getting stressed out. Too many books. Sitting there, collecting dust, because they’ve all been read, and we won’t read them again, and they needed a new home. So, here’s what I did next:

And it made me feel better, because there’s nothing unnecessary in my living room anymore. Except of course – I was staring at wires. (Oh, and never mind my photography abilities. They leave much to be desired.) So, I did what any good granddaughter and daughter of electricians would do: bought electrical tape and zip ties.

It worked! And our living room feels much less cluttered now, which is good for my soul!

Before I close this week’s letter, I wanted to share with you one last thing. This is the gorgeous image the Creator gave me last night, just before our week began:

This beautiful moment came to me as I was dreading the start of another long and difficult week, throwing a pity party for myself because some things didn’t happen the way I wish they would have this past week, and being overwhelmed by the idea that there are some things that will never change. And then the Creator’s very hand reached down, painted those water drops on this simple plant in front of my door, and reminded me that He can, indeed, make all things new. After a moment like that, how can one not move onward and upward with a renewed spirit?!

Until next week …

Murphy Mondays {15 August 2011}

Murphy Mondays is my chance to catch y’all up on what’s been going on in our lives here.  When I was a kid, separated by many miles from our closest friends and family, my dad wrote a “Monday morning email” to tell everyone what we were all up to.  This is that very thing, only a bit more technology is thrown into the mix with blogging 🙂

Well, our week wasn’t quite as relaxing as we had hoped with Chris’s “white space” at work. In fact, the week turned out to be just more of the same with his schedule. At this duty station, 12-16 hour days are not uncommon. Neither one of us minda the 0400 start times – it’s the days when he goes in that early and still doesn’t get home in time to kiss Rhyan before she drifts off to sleep that are wearing, and (unfortunately) frequent. Mind you – we’ll continue on without much complaint, because eventually I’ll be reminded in a very difficult manner that having him home at all was far better than thousands of miles and many dangers spread between us.

I tackled more of Throw Out Fifty Things this week, and am proud to say I am ALMOST done with this process – for the first time around, anyway! Rhyan’s room was one of the easiest rooms, but the most difficult room was what had been my craft room and is now becoming baby Colt’s room. Unfortunately, it still has to serve dual purposes until we move out of here and can manage some space that can be dedicated just to crafting, but I think (for the most part) it will function well in this dual purpose.  One of the greatest joys for me was organizing my stash of cloth diapers for both Rhyan and Colt! This week I will tackle the last room – the KITCHEN (*gasp*) – and then start back into a new project which I’m sure I will be blogging about!

I had one of the most awesome celebrations EVER for my birthday this past weekend! My amazingly beautiful best good friend Emily schemed all the way from Afghanistan and sent me a gift certificate for FOUR pregnancy massages at a local salon.  I had my first one Saturday morning and I can’t BELIEVE I get to have three more! I had another dear friend deliver Starbucks AND a Starbucks gift card! My amazing husband had my first ever! Edible Arrangements delivered to the door in the afternoon, and then swung home to take Rhyan and I out for dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack and then a walk on the beach with ice cream! (Yes, I broke the diet a bit with all of that yummy fruit and ice cream, but my levels were still excellent.) I had almost 150 Facebook well-wishers, as well as several phone calls, also! What a blessing I received on that day, to be assured of my value and blessing in others’ lives!

I’m excited for this week and the “To Do” list I have going! First up is the Kitchen project, then a digital scrapbook album that I will just HAVE to blog about (!), and also the start of a very personal project to me (which again, will be blogged, I’m sure). God is good and has restored my creative spirit, and I am excited to use it again.

Until next week …

Murphy Mondays {8 August 2011}

Murphy Mondays is my chance to catch y’all up on what’s been going on in our lives here.  When I was a kid, separated by many miles from our closest friends and family, my dad wrote a “Monday morning email” to tell everyone what we were all up to.  This is that very thing, only a bit more technology is thrown into the mix with blogging 🙂

There is so little to tell after last week’s big adventure! This week was mostly full of the small insignificant moments that make up life, but don’t seem to mean anything while one is experiencing them.

Rhyan has begun to say two adorable phrases in her tiny voice: “Yes, dear?” (every time she is talked to by someone else) and “I like ____” (that blank is filled in by virtually everything she touches). Truly, it’s just about all I can do to keep from squealing with delight every time I hear one of these two things escape her mouth. We also have been attempting to teach her to say, “I love you” and “Semper Fi”. She just about has them down – but, as long as she gets the meanings in her lifetime, I’ll be eternally grateful.

We said “see you later” to one of the Marines this past week, as he gears up for a new endeavor in his life, the type that mostly involves, “If I tell you, I’ll have to kill you”. It’s always good to watch these guys go off to bigger and better things, especially when it’s a guy you fully believe in, but it’s sad to know our current duty station is a lesser place without his presence. And, quite frankly, we are holding on for the moment it’s OUR turn to leave here, so I get a bit jealous 😉

I had a doctor’s appointment this past week. Colt is doing well with a nice strong heartbeat and a happy kick or two for the nurse. The doctor is more than happy with my progress and even called in two of the specialists to listen to how we’re treating my gestational diabetes. Actually, in his words, “Listen to how we … uh, SHE is treating this. I’m not doing anything but watching her listen to her body.” Truly, he is doing a great job of encouraging me to stay on a path that is not always so easy. But, when I realize I’m 22 weeks pregnant, have been diabetic for 14 of those weeks now, and am not yet on insulin shots – a feat which has been impossible in my previous pregnancies, for even 2-3 weeks! – it is enough to make me dance a happy dance! Further, I have only gained 7 pounds in my entire pregnancy, about 8 pounds under what I “am allowed” to gain up until this point, and significantly less than I have ever gained before! It’s safe to say this is the best pregnancy – although, the most challenging – that I have tackled yet.

We are coming up on a good week. Or, so I hope! My birthday is Friday, Chloe’s is Saturday, Chris has “white space” all week at work (which hopefully means less working hours than the 14+ hour days he has seen recently), I am tackling “Throw Fifty Things Out”, and Rhyan is gearing up for … coloring. And more coloring. And possibly a walk on the beach or a sucker. Whatever makes 2.5 year olds completely content.

Until next week…

Murphy Mondays {1 August 2011}

Murphy Mondays is my chance to catch y’all up on what’s been going on in our lives here.  When I was a kid, separated by many miles from our closest friends and family, my dad wrote a “Monday morning email” to tell everyone what we were all up to.  This is that very thing, only a bit more technology is thrown into the mix with blogging 🙂

What a week we’ve had! The biggest event for us was our rush trip to Jacksonville, North Carolina on Thursday-Friday.  We spent the night in a hotel on Thursday night and Friday morning, Rhyan, Jones, and I dropped Daddy off at the court house.  Unfortunately, we were left with tenants who weren’t removing their belongings from the house, not paying rent, and destroying the premises, while they were still 6 months away from the end of their lease.  The magistrate awarded us an eviction and July’s rent, and encouraged us to sue for damages in “regular” court, because we would be awarded far beyond what small claims allows ($5,000). Without putting his personal life on blast, the male tenant in our home has gone through more than enough of his fair share of issues in the past few months, and we have decided not to sue him.  Instead, Chris has actually reached out a helping hand to him, to help this young Marine through some really rough times in his life.  Just one more opportunity we’ve been given to mentor a young man, and we are always grateful when that comes up!

We were able to get a new lease signed, change locks, and hand keys over to new tenants this weekend, as well.  It is a shortened lease, but gets us through most of the remainder of our time at this duty station.  Hopefully by the time the lease ends, we will have our next set of orders and know if we are able to head back to our house, or if we are off for further adventures.

Chris is busy as always, working 12-14 hour days, 5 days a week. He had Friday off for court, and said that sleeping in until 0630 (the time at which Rhyan always wakes us up, even on the weekends) felt like Heaven. Thanks to a last minute scheduling change, he is starting a period of “white space” on his calendar for two weeks today and we are hoping that means his schedule loosens up a bit before his next course comes on deck.

I hit 20 weeks of pregnancy, and am still feeling wonderfully! Insulin shots are still not necessary, as we continue to see great progress with diet and Glyburide alone. That makes 12 weeks and counting, and I haven’t seen a swing towards worsening sugar levels yet! It is a frustrating prospect to have to deny almost every pregnancy craving, but it is enjoyable to watch doctors scratch their heads as I continue to do the unthinkable!

Rhyan is becoming quite the entertainment in our household.  She talks up a storm, and words are starting to form into sentences.  We have recently made new friends, and Rhyan has taken to calling Amber, “Grandmom”, though Amber is younger than me by many years. Her favorite treats these days are popsicles, corn on the cob, and “cookies” (which is actually dry Cookie Crisp cereal).  She dresses herself every day, though I use that term loosely 😉 She loves going to the water and gets frustrated when that doesn’t also mean she can swim. She is such a joy!

Until next week…