Saturday, September 08, 2012


We've been missing Daddy a lot.  (He deployed to Japan in June.) But lots has happened since then and we've been staying busy.  Let's see, we went home to KY shortly after Mike left.  We traveled to Florida with my family from there for a fun and relaxing vacation.  We even saw manatees swim right by us in the ocean! Crazy.  I was supposed to travel to Japan to see Mike late July, but it was up in the air until the last minute.  I decided not to go to save myself the pain of flying stand-by with Space A travel. Turned out to be the right decision as it would've taken me a full week to get over there.

We came back to NC in time to enjoy several more weeks of rain, heat and humidity (ugh). But it looks like next week may show us the first teeny, tiny sign of Fall.  Excited for that!  Any change toward colder weather means we're even closer to Mike's homecoming. :)

We celebrated Avery's 3rd birthday in August.  She had cupcakes in the shape of ice cream cones. So fun!  The rest of August flew by and school was upon us so fast!  Abby Kate was more than ready to jump head first into Kindergarten.  Of course I cried when I dropped her off for her first full day.  I was sad not only because I felt like she was growing up so fast, but because Mike had to miss yet another milestone in her life.

Avery started preschool this year, three days a week.  She likes her teacher and seems to really enjoy it.  She is growing up to be a spunky little girl with lots of imagination.  She's a funny girl.

We are enjoying our routine full of school, church activities, trips to the park, YMCA and gymnastics classes.  My work swallows me whole most of the time these days, but right now I like the extra work so I can stay busy with it at night after the girls go to bed. 

That's about it for updates.  They're all out of order, but the pics can tell the rest. :)

Ft. Meyers Beach, FL

Happy birthday, Ave!

Japanese cookies from Daddy!
Splash park in Louisville, KY
Bonita Springs, FL
Wooded Japanese dolls from Daddy :)
New princess dress-up. The best birthday present ever!
Countdown by candy until Daddy comes home.
First day of Kindergarten!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Where have I been?!

The new year has brought me a fair share of heartache, and I just haven't found the inspiration for a post thus far.  But as sad as some of 2012 has been, I don't want to miss making a record of our life events and especially all the joyous parts, so I must take a look back and catch up...


Our sweet dog, Junah, our first baby, passed away.  My heart is still torn into.  He got sick and severely anemic and x-rays showed so many things wrong with him.  We had to put him to sleep and it was the hardest thing I've ever done.  I miss his cuddles, the way he went completely limp in my arms when I held him or scratched his belly.  We miss him waiting for us in the big front window when we pulled in the drive. And how he would lick every inch of your face if you'd let him.  We buried him in our backyard.  My heart tightens every time I look at his grave, which I can see from every window.  He was so special to me. There are no words...

AK keeps asking for another dog. Avery keeps asking where did Joo-Joo go?  I know we will get another dog one day.  I love animals and can't really imagine my girls growing up without pets to love and care for.  But Junah was truly one-of-a-kind and we are so blessed to have had him.


Mike left on yet another 2-week det shortly after Junah passed.  So my Dad flew in to cheer me up.  I was so grateful for the company.  Only he got very sick the next day and I had to take him to urgent care.  I thought he had the flu.  The nurse came out and said they called the ambulance and were going to take him directly to the hospital... that his liver enzyme levels were off the charts and he may need emergency surgery.  We spent the next 7 hours in the emergency room doing ultrasounds and scans to find out he may have a bacterial infection. They gave him anti-nausea meds and sent him home.

When he got back to KY he went to his doctor where they discovered the true problem... he needed gall bladder removal surgery. 

Soon after my dad got back home, my grandmother (my Mawmaw) passed away.  She lived into her 90s.  Sadly, she spent the last several years in a nursing home and she didn't recognize us due to dementia.  She was such a strong and loving lady.  I spend almost every day with her when I was little.  I'll never forget her smile and laugh.  She was part of a remarkable generation of self-less, hard-working people who loved and helped their neighbors without a second thought.  She was pure beauty to her core.  As a young widow (my grandfather - also a Marine - died when my mom was 18), I think about how proud she'd be to know of the independence and strength I've gained through Mike's deployments and absences. She had such a deep faith in Jesus Christ and I feel comforted knowing her fog and pain is lifted and she is finally with her savior!

Mike left the next week for a 3-week det. :(


Mom flew in to visit me the first week of March.  It was so nice having her here!  We shopping and dined and had a great time.  And then Dad surprised us both by driving down!  We got back from dinner one evening and there he was standing in the driveway!  It was such a blessing having them both here and the girls had such fun with Mimi and Pawpaw.

I had the pleasure of traveling to the Bahamas with my friend, Sommer, late March.  She earned a trip with Beachbody (the P90X, INSANITY fitness people) to spend 5 days at Atlantis!  Her husband was on a det so she asked me to be her guest.  It was awesome!! We had such a great time.  We got to work out on the beach with Tony Horton and Shaun T. And we spent the rest of the time soaking up the fun and sun!!  Mike's parents came to watch the girls while I was gone.  AK and Avery of course loved every second.

When I returned, Mike was off work of pre-deployment leave. Yep, he leaves again soon - this time for a 6-month stretch, which is much better than 9 months.  I'm taking the positives wherever I can find them. :)  We spent his week and 1/2 off at home just playing with the girls and doing things around the house.  It was awesome just having him home and not traveling anywhere.

My Dad ended up back in the hospital in March.  He had numerous blood clots form in his legs after the surgery.  They built up without him knowing and his legs swelled really bad.  They put him in ICU and performed three different surgeries to clear out the clots. It was very serious, but thankfully the doctors fixed him up over the course of a couple weeks and he is now home and recovering.


So it's been a tough year so far. And while it won't get too much easier with Mike's upcoming deployment, I know that if we can just get through it, things will improve as far as his work goes... (really hoping this is his last deployment!)

I'll leave you with a bunch of pics from the more positive parts of our year so far and pray for more of the "sunny days" ahead!