Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Past Few Weeks in Pictures

Fun at the Oldham Co. park!
At a pumpkin patch in Shelby Co. KY
We went to watch William's last football game. Way to go!
Picture by BJ Brown.
William took a time out to say hello to his baby cousin.
Picture by Cristy Sheppard.
At the game with Austin and Aunt Carrie
Picture by Cristy Sheppard.
Aquarium with Uncle Bill
Sommer and I just before running 13.1 miles.
Sorry, phone camera doesn't do well without light... it was 7 a.m.!

Half Marathon Down!! Wore ribbon for Mike.
MumFest in New Bern

Thursday, October 14, 2010

She's Off!

Avery took off walking about a week ago!  She still prefers crawling because she's lightning fast at it, but she's getting better and better on her feet.  And she's oh so proud of herself!  Mommy (and Daddy) are too!! I'm hoping Mike will be able to watch this from the blog, but he's been having trouble viewing videos online.  If not, I guess he'll have to wait for a DVD through the mail. :(

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Special Delivery!

One Wednesday night a few weeks ago, Abby Kate brought home a blue balloon from church.  (She LOVES balloons like most kids do and was super excited to bring it home.)  We pulled into the garage, and I asked her if she'd like to get the mail for me.  She skipped out to the mailbox, balloon in hand.  I went around to get Avery out of her car seat and then heard AK start shrieking and crying.  I ran out into the driveway to see her running toward me, dropping mail as she came and then looked behind her to see the blue balloon rising upward higher and faster into the distant sky.  She was heartbroken! She told me through sobs that she was trying to get the mail and couldn't hold onto everything and it slipped out of her hand. :(

The only way I could think to console her was to tell her that her balloon was flying off in the direction of the ocean where Daddy is, and that maybe her balloon would fly all the way over to the other side of the world where Daddy can stand on the very top of his boat and reach up and catch it!  ...and bring it right back home to her when he comes.  Well that made her smile instantly.  And she has not stopped talking about it since.

I told Mike the story soon after.  To my surprise, a woman showed up on our doorstep yesterday with a bright and sunny arrangement of flowers and a big balloon tied to it that reads, "I Love You!"  It was from Mike.  AK was beside herself with joy... and then she asked me if Daddy was still going to bring home her BLUE balloon?


Sunday, October 03, 2010

One Month Down

Over a month has passed since Mike left.  Thirty-eight days to be exact.  I'm sure most of you are thinking, wow, a month already?! ... but I'm not.  The days seem to go by fast, but I feel like he's been gone for three months already. Maybe it's because I've heard his voice only once since the boat sailed away from the U.S. shore.  Or maybe because Abby Kate keeps asking for her daddy nearly every day. Or because Avery is growing and changing so much and so fast that I can't believe he doesn't even know her this way.

I try not to dwell on missing him all the time.  There's nothing I can do about it - I'm just glad every day that passes is a day closer to his homecoming.  It's very conflicting to wish the days away, yet not want the girls to grow up so fast at the same time.

Lately I've heard from Mike about once, sometimes twice daily via email. I'm so thankful for at least the email communication.  Having nothing is really terrible and I hope they never restrict the communication again. Mike says they work every single day and are staying really busy with briefs and flights.  He can't tell me where they are or what they're doing. He can't even say what time zone they're in anymore.  He asked me to take down my little map here on the blog that tracked his progress.  I'm sad for AK because she was really enjoying putting up the stickers on her own gigantic map in her room. I've asked Mike to send me some pictures, so hopefully I'll have some to post here soon.  For now, I'll settle for this one of Mike with the girls as we hiked some trails near our house the weekend before he left.

Mike is receiving the packages we've sent full of home video DVDs, pictures, AK's artwork, snacks, candy, sports drink mixes, books, magazines and all sorts of other stuff.  I think mail is a big morale booster on the ship, so I've tried to send something every couple of weeks.  He said he taped up the girls' pictures above his bed. I can't imagine how it would feel to only be able to look at their sweet smiles in pictures and video and not be able to hold them and laugh with them and kiss them goodnight. 

But one month is gone.  And that feels good to say.  I've been told the first and last months are the hardest. The first as you try to settle into a routine without them and the last because of the anticipation and not knowing exactly when they'll come home.  I think they give a two-week window or something like that.

Eight more to go! I REALLY hope less!