Wednesday, December 29, 2010

And baby makes three . . .

Or 4 because we have Miss Piper and she's definitely family. But regardless of how many this brings our family up to, I'M PREGNANT!!! We are expecting our little bundle in early June 2011. Which puts me at about 17 weeks right now. :)

I've had two check ups - other than the first confirmation visit - and both have been good. The ultrasound appointment had the fetus measuring right on my due date. The last one was just a 'how you feeling/no problems/great' kind of thing and then they checked the heartbeat. Dr. Ruckman had a medical student with her who found the heartbeat right away, but when the doctor came in the baby started hiding from her and she had to chase it all around my belly. 15 weeks old and already a stubborn li'l thing. :)

I've really liked Dr. Ruckman for both my appointments. She was really nice and easy to talk to. But she's leaving so it's on to someone new. It's the only part of this process that I've been a little bummed about, but that's life in the military. Staff on base is always changing, the hospital is no exception. I'm just rolling with it and praying that by the time delivery comes, the doctor on call will be someone I've actually met before.

We go into radiology on Jan. 12th for the "fetal survey" aka a really high-tech ultrasound apparently. I have to down 24 oz of water and not pee until the first part of the exam is over which is going to be so hard. They didn't tell me why that's necessary, but I've gotta do it. I don't know how long it'll take, but they're going to be looking at the brain and all the internal organs and such. I'm amazed at how much they can see and check on today. We are hoping they'll be able to get a clear shot of the gender -- I don't want to hear it, we want to know. People have had really strong opinions about, but if we have the ability to know we really want to. I just worry that it'll be too early to definitively tell or that they won't be able to see. But until we do know we've been referring to him/her as "Ned" to avoid saying "it". Neither of us remember exactly why Ned started, but T in all his USAF acronym glory decided it was perfect to stay standing for Not Entirely Done. Which is totally dorky but also totally cute. :)

Then I've got another quick check up with a nurse practitioner the next day. I'm not sure if she'll even have the results of the survey yet, it's pure coincidence that they were scheduled back to back. The perinatal center gave me a date range of 9 Jan - 30 Jan for radiology to schedule the appointment. T is on night shift again so I asked for an afternoon appointment so he could be sure to come and they said 12 Jan so I took it. He went to the first appointment so he could see Ned too & hear the heartbeat for the first time. But now he only comes for the big stuff -- that was my call, don't think he's inattentive or anything. He's been wonderful.

Ned @ 12 weeks.

So that's the update! Stay tuned to follow the next 5ish months :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fall Funs!

We had a lot of fun this fall with various things! (clicking on the pictures should let you see them in a larger size)

August is still summer, but we did have a wedding to go to! We made it to Notre Dame for a Basilica wedding. One of my all-time favorite people, John, married the perfect girl, Kathleen, one August afternoon. It was a ball! We were seated with some of his friends from Toledo I had never met but our whole table just had chemistry and got along like we'd been old friends. Great food, great booze, great dancing. What's not to love!?

Exchanging vows

Just me and the groom!

And now with our lovely spouses

Sharing a dance with my love

In September we were able to get to Notre Dame for the Michigan game. The game itself was a heartbreaking loss. And the weather was wet! Thank goodness we had rainsuits for the game to keep us dry. We were lucky enough to join the Swanigan's tailgate. :) They had a tent AND very delicious homemade meatball sandwiches! Due to the downpour the camera did not make an appearance, but trust me, it was a fun day.

October was our biggest event - Rachel & Chuck's wedding in Las Vegas, NV. We had the bachelor & bachelorette parties on the Thursday before the wedding.

The blushing bride at dinner

The limo tour's last stop had to be the vegas sign!

I'm not sure what the boys did all night, but I'm sure that's for the best, haha. Then we had the rehearsal on Friday & the wedding was Saturday. It was a beautiful ceremony poolside at The Mirage. T was an unofficial photographer and actually got some great shots:
Exchanging Vows

Bride & Bridesmaids (Roxie, Shannon, Rachel, Me, Nina)

The bridal party in front of the Volcano

Kisses light the fire

He was behind the camera doing a fantastic job 99% of the night, but we did get one picture together

Nobody won any jackpots. But we managed to only lose half of the money we brought to gamble with so I really count that as a win! My dad wasn't doing to badly one day, but his winnings kept bank-rolling my mom's losses, haha. It was such a fun wedding!

Then in November we had the Notre Dame vs. Utah game and tailgate! A lot of my family traveled over for the game, my roommate from ND was there with her family and even T's sister, K & cousin, Laney made a trip out of it! Again, the weather was wet and rainy but the weekend was a real blast! We took K & Laney to the best college bar - the Backer and then to experience friday night drummer's circle. Tailgated with family & friends all day before the game, went to dinner afterward and played cards in our PJs on Saturday night. We were all pretty happy to be warm, dry & relaxed.

Me & Roommate, Kat!

Sisters doing shots! :)

Kay, MJ, me, Mom & Beans

Beans, Me, K, Kat, Laney

K, Laney & the boys riding the cop's motorcycle!

K with BBQ sauce on her face, yummies!!

Somehow this is only picture of T from that day. Nice catch, Laney! :)

And now there's snow on the ground. Christmas is right around the corner; fall came and went. But we had a blast with no plans of slowing down :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Grounded for life

The USAF has spoken and there is no way T will be in a cockpit for them again. It's really sad, and it brought about some tough conversation and decision. He likes the military and the life. But he's dreamt of flying airplanes since he was a little kid. What's a man to do?

Ultimately, I wanted to provide pros & cons of each option and in the end defer to his decision on what will make him happiest. And there is a solution which would put him in a flight suit and remain in the Air Force. They have recently separated the Unmanned Aircraft/Drone program from the traditional pilot training program. When he was still flying, some pilots who earned their wings had to do a tour with the remote piloted vehicles. But now, it's a separate training, entry process and most importantly, medical requirements. And his head injury waiver Class II qualifies him for that process.

The application was due, post-marked two days ago, and sent in. Which means the waiting game again begins. I don't know when the selection board meets for this round of applications but I'm pretty sure it'll be in the earlier months of 2011.

Fingers crossed & prayers sent that this is a success and he can get back into the field of his passion.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A much anticipated return

T is home!!!!!!!!!!! Okay, he's been home for 3 weeks now, but we've been CRAZY BUSY. Cedar Point, two ND football games in a row and he had a 3-day TDY to Andrews AFB and whatever Army Post is near D.C. I don't remember the name and T is fast asleep so I can't ask him.

He was supposed to have 14 days of R&R but he kept having to go into work for a few hours at a time to care of "quick, little things". And the TDY was during those days so it flew by. Not to mention several trips up north for various things. We were supposed to go to Chicago after Cedar Point, but issues with the R&R prevented that which was sad, but at least we got some roller coaster fun. That was the first weekend he was home.

The next was the Purdue game/my friend Rachel's bridal shower. T went to the game with my mom, dad & cousin while I did the good bridesmaid thing :). Then he went to Virgina and I stayed to babysit my favorite li'l tikes, D & A again.

The next weekend was the Michigan game which I was actually able to go to this time. It was a pretty fun day despite the rainy morning. Mom gave us rain suits to borrow so I stayed pretty dry. It was a heartbreak of a day, and rather exhausting but we got some quality time just the two of us.

We came home that Sunday night and spent time moving furniture, cleaning & organizing and doing all sorts of household chores that I need or wanted his help with for two days before he went back to work.

And speaking of work, he has yet another new job on base. He's doing a 6 months cycle at the 24-hour operations center here which is similar to what he did on the deployment. He's got 10 days of regular schedule for training and then he starts the random daily schedule and 12 hour shifts.

Friday, July 9, 2010

1 down, a lifetime to go!

I was so happy that this deployment allowed for visitation. The separation was going to be hard enough, but when I realized that it fell over our very first anniversary I was extremely sad. We had planned on doing something big and special and then it was like we're not even going to be together? Uncool air force.

But it worked out well enough. The base lodging facility isn't quite the hotel in South Beach we had hoped for, but at least we were together. :) And for the location I'd say my husband did a good job of making it count. He found a wine bar restaurant and made reservations. We got all dolled up and enjoyed a great meal!

The restaurant knew it was our anniversary so they surprised us with champagne, strawberries & delicious truffles! It was such a nice touch, and surprises are always fun!

So we had our big night out on Saturday, officially 364 days married and we wanted to still do something special on our actual anniversary so we had a picnic. We were going to go to the Swan Park, but we weren't sure if you could bring food due to the wild birds all around. Also it had been raining all weekend with more scattered showers predicted so we decided to picnic at Memorial Lake on base.

We got sparkling wine, I made some picnic friendly finger food, and we packed it in our awesome picnic basket which we received as a wedding gift - so appropriate! :)

It was a really fun celebration - both ideas. So far not regretting this particular life choice! :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

K is for Kansas, good enough for me!

Cookie Monster, anyone? No? :) Anyway, one of the fabulous trips I took to occupy my time was over to the KS to spend some time with my fabulous in-laws! I mainly went to spend girl time with sister K, but how could I be so close and not see the rest of my new family!? Exactly.

We spent most of our time chatting about life and friends over Mexican food or wine, haha. Which was really great because we had never gotten a chance to spend any one-on-one time before, and it's rare that I get to spend time with someone who loves chips & salsa and fountain pop as much as I do :).

I came in on a Saturday evening, in really crappy weather, so we just went to dinner and came back to talk. We ended up staying up until 4 in the morning! It should not shock you with the late night, and neither of us being morning people, we didn't get moving too quickly in the morning. But we still made it out to Salina by afternoon. Had a fantastic meal cooked for us by the parents and caught up with the visitors who came by the house to see us.

The next morning we got up, had breakfast and got read to go. We were able to stop and bring lunch to the 'rents at school and give one last hug. It went by really fast, but we had trivia night to get to! I was really glad we went, but a lot of K's friends who said they were coming backed out throughout the day and it ended up being just us. We still managed to do well, but we could've used some more help. After we were able to meet up with some of the people who were still in town and go out for a little bit. Coming home I thought we might go to bed early, but we managed to get going again and stayed up until nearly 5 this time!

So now it's already Tuesday! This was our really girly day. We got our nails done and then drove to KC to go shopping (mostly window) at the Plaza. Followed that up with some food and a trivia rematch at Jefferson's. Then we went back to the house and watched a true classic, Labyrinth. Which was quite possibly the best idea and the most fun thing I've done all year, lol. Neither of us had seen it in years and we had a ball. We did manage to get to bed relatively early that night because I had to go to the airport the next morning.

And that's my trip in a nutshell. It was a whirlwind, but I'm so glad that I went. It was really great seeing everyone and spending time with my sister! :)

Lack of postings

Family & Friends,

I want to apologize for the lack of postings. For me, it's hard to know what to update on. This is, after all, meant to be a family blog and we're not doing anything as a family due to the separation. And I have no control over T's apathy to update, despite all my efforts to suggest he throw a post together on how the deployment is going so far. :)

For us (Piper & me), it's getting pretty hard. I can't explain why or even if it's normal but the roughest part for me to deal with is at the end. I mean the first few days are sad. Then there's a brief period of enjoyment - maybe it's the only child thing, but I've always valued alone time. That is all followed by plugging along, you have to adjust so you just deal. And that lasts for a while, but getting down to the wire, with less than two months left I just can't wait for it all to be over.
I do think that Piper is ready for T to be home, too. I try not to be one of those crazy people who attaches human thoughts & emotions to their dogs - she is just a dog with limited cognizance - but she does experience things in her own world. And she's different when it's just the two of us. Her energy level, her desire to play, her eating habits - those things and more mild behavior things change when we're here alone. I don't think it's T specific because she's her usual chipper self at mom & dad's. But I think I bore her, and having her daddy home will make her happy down here again.

I will try to devote time today to do short recaps with a few pictures to show you what I've been doing to make the time go by. :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Three Down . . .

We're nearing the halfway point of my deployment & – as mentioned by my better half – it couldn't come during a better month! Just in case it's slipped your mind, let me recap the May 2010 Causes for Celebration (in chronological order):
  • The Mrs. coming for a visit
  • My birthday
  • The Mrs. coming for a visit
  • Making it halfway through the deployment
  • The Mrs. coming for a visit
  • Our first anniversary
  • The Mrs. coming for a visit
  • Promotion to Captain
  • The Mrs. coming for a visit
That's a whole lot of fun, all within the last half of the month! June's going to feel mind-numbingly boring by comparison!

As for how the deployment has been going these past months, there's not terribly much to report. When comparing that to a “standard” deployment, though, that's a very good thing! Rather than concerning myself with personal safety, my biggest problem thus far has only been dealing with an inscrutable lodging staff.

(*** Feel free to skip ahead three paragraphs if you're not in the mood for a rambling rant . . . ***)

For the first couple months of my time down here, the weather was decently pleasant, to the point that it didn't much bother me that my room's A/C never seemed to kick on. That changed as the weather began to turn warmer & more humid; ceiling fans work passably well in combating heat, but are rather worthless at drying the air! So one phone call & a visit from a CE sergeant later, I discover that my room's A/C had leaked out all of its refrigerant & I would have to temporarily vacate the room while it gets fixed. Were the situation to have remained that simple. I didn't mind one bit having to stay at the local Hampton Inn for a few days: their beds & bedding are the comfiest The Mrs. & I have yet to find, & I was quite looking forward to having a reliably strong & fast Wi-Fi connection for a change! And if my “inconvenience” was to ensure that my room was comfortable upon my return, so be it!

No, the problem started on the day I was to begin what I thought was my temporary move; the base inn required that I completely vacate the room. I had only packed a simple overnight bag with the few provisions I'd need for the next few days, & now I was being told to pack it all up! I tried reasoning with the woman on duty, but it was quite clear that she didn't feel the need to concern herself with understanding the situation: her system said I was “checking out”, therefore the room must be completely empty. Never mind that I was to return to the exact same room that could not be occupied by another customer in the meantime (as CE repaired the HVAC); no, the room needed to be cleaned out & readied for the next occupant. Me. Or so I thought.

Yes, even that didn't happen as I was led to believe it would. Upon the expiration of my reservation at the Hampton Inn, I called the base inn's front desk to check on my room's progress & was informed that it was indeed ready. Fantastic! I would've preferred to have been contacted when that was the case rather than have had to be proactive myself, but in any case my room was ready for my return. Only it wasn't. Without explanation I was told they had to change my reservation to another room. Were it not an identical room only a few doors down from my original room in the same building, believe me I'd have been talking to supervisors' supervisors doing all I could to be granted permission to live off base. Way off base. (Title line!)

(*** End rant ***)

Wow. I think that's quite enough ranting for one post! Apparently I needed to get that out again, even after having done so right after the fact (thank you, darling, for putting up with me then!). So, back to the point at hand then, shall we?

I'm nearly half-done with the first deployment of my career, my fabulous wife will be joining me shortly for the myriad celebrations before the month's out, &, aside from the deceptively minor problem with lodging, all is going well down here (I even got to see the Thunderbirds last weekend)!

on the road again

Late May is a busy time for us, especially this year. T's Birthday and our Very First Anniversary! :) But this year he's also pinning on - which is the term for his promotion to Captain!
So first thing tomorrow morning Piper & I are jumping in the car and driving down to SC for the remainder of the month and all the celebration.

We had wanted to leave this morning, but I just wasn't ready. Originally, I was going to have all weekend to prep, pack and go. But it was Mother's Day and the family was gathering along with my 94 year old grandmother whom I haven't seen in a while so I made the decision to go to P-burg again. Which was a good call, of course, but it made for a crazy stressful Sunday night & Monday. When I was still finishing up packing clothes & toiletries at midnight I decided that I'd go to bed. If Piper got me up early and I could still finish up and get out by 10/10:30 leaving today was meant to be. But the lazy dog decided today would be her lazy day and she didn't want to go out until 9:45. :)

So we're knocking out the 10 hour drive tomorrow so we can get up and make a very special birthday breakfast for the bestest guy in our lives!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!!!

Wishing a happy & blessed day to all our loved ones!!!!!! :)

Love and Hugs,
K, T & Piper

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March Madness!

And this post has nothing to do with basketball. Seriously, I didn't even get around to filling out a bracket this year. What I have been doing is a crazy amount of not being at home. When I arrived back in our home on Sunday evening, began my first set of consecutive days at home. Prior to that moment I had spent less than 48 hours actually in my house.

I kicked off the month in Vegas! Friends of ours are getting married out there this fall so we had ourselves a little planning excursion. The Bride, Groom, Maid of Honor and my Bridesmaid self had a fantastic trip. We saw several venues and they ended up choosing the Mirage. I'm super pumped about it because it's the poolside option which I was secretly hoping for. I think it will be so beautiful. I didn't win big, but the MOH did on the last day and she was kind enough to take us to a nice dinner. :) All in all we were very productive and still had plenty of time to play!

The day after returning, Piper and I made our way up to the burg. Mom and I were headed off to Chicago for the weekend to see the limited engagement show of Mandy Patinkin & Patti LuPone in concert. In a word, amazing. It was followed up by Cheesecake Factory, so another win there.
We returned home for me to begin my week of playing mom to my favorite munchkins, D & A, ages five & two. I will admit that this week was a little rougher than the last time I had them for a week in November, but we still survived. :) This time they're both in preschool so I had a few hours in the morning which I vowed to use for exercise, but mostly used for napping and catching up on the DVR, haha.

I stayed in town that weekend for Mom's birthday bash and then I made my way on to SC!! I got to spend 6 super fun days with T!!! :) Regrettably, all the Travel, his work schedule, and a bit of selfishness for soaking up as much time together as possible did prevent me from being able to make it to Kansas for spring break like I had originally wanted. But we managed to get through and have a pretty good time. :) T even convinced me to go for a run. . . outside - I must've been delirious with joy, haha. Time to go back reared it's ugly head and I drove home. In torrential downpour and snow in West Virgina. Yes, snow! >:( But I survived, spent a night in my bed and went back up to my parents' to pick up Pipe since mom & dad were so kind as to watch her whilst I was away.

And I remained in town there because McDavey was on spring break and it gave us a chance to hang out. Also that Saturday was Kay's birthday party and I'm kind of a big deal so my presence was required, lol ;).

Sunday, Piper and I made it home! She's readjusting to life without other dogs to play with a lot better than I thought. And the days since have actually been spent trying to get the tornado wreckage that is my house a little back in order. And finalize some things with the wedding photographer so we can finally get our album & print book. I'm actually surprised with the progress I've made considering my TiVo is bursting with weeks worth of shows I haven't yet caught up on, but my grown-up self has taken over and said, "keep your house, woman." :)

The remaining 5 months of this deployment should calm down a bit, but I've still got quite a few adventures planned to get me through. :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I'm officially "deployed" now. I've made it here & am getting settled into what will be my home for the next six months.

Usually when you deploy the AF provides your transportation (mostly because you're usually going somewhere most airlines don't fly) but since my destination was stateside & only ~700 mi away, I opted to travel via POV. I figured it'd be best to be able to come & go on my own schedule, not to mention that having my own familiar 3-er would be muuuch better than putting up with some economy-class rental for six months. (Can't tell that I'm the pilot-type, can ya?)

My plan was to split up the 10.5-hr drive at about the 5.5-hr mark, but an out-of-nowhere "Service Engine Soon" light convinced me to call it a day at the next major city: Knoxville, Tennessee. I didn't think that pushing my luck on an unknown (potential) engine problem would be wise, especially since there might not be another qualified service station for some time. As it turns out the SES light didn't reappear in the morning, but I felt much better about having given the car a rest when I did. She seems to be running just fine now, but I'll be keeping an eye out for any more signs of trouble.

After I made it (safe & sound) to base I checked in with base lodging, the Carolina Pines Inn. They've put me up in a pet-friendly TLF for the duration of my "deployment". It's a fairly decent suite-type room: a living room that opens into a kitchenette attached to a hallway leading to the bathroom & bedroom. The square footage is a good sight more than my dorm at Vance, but an off-base apartment would've been preferred. I have no problem with living on base (I actually kinda prefer it, as far as location goes), I just wish that I could have a more consistent, wired Internet connection! The rooms have Wi-Fi & it's only marginally better than what an average hotel's would be; during the evenings, when I suspect most people at the Inn are online, the connection becomes painfully slow. I seriously did a SpeedTest that reported 0.03 Mbps down. Three. Bits. Per. Second. Dial-up is faster than that. Granted, it's free, but I'd gladly pay for more reliable service. But enough negative ranting . . .

Aside from my free time, I'll be spending my six months in the South as a Crew Commander in a network operations security center (NOSC). While the NOSC looks remarkably like the type of high-tech ops centers you see in movies & TV shows – stadium-tiered workstations, multiple PCs & monitors at each desk, big multi-screen display at the front showing color-coded network maps – it's really not much more than a standard client support helpdesk. The only real difference is the clients we support; AF network users have a slightly different set of requirements than the general population. ;-) The NOSC operates 24/7, so it's manned by three eight-hour shifts: the 0630–1430 day shift, the 1430–1030 swing shift, & the 1030–0630 night shift. My new boss has kindly decided to let me get me spun up on the day shift for the first couple of weeks before moving to nights; I had initially thought that I'd be diving right in on nights. The normal rotation is three months, so I should be back to days in May. (All of this isn't official yet, as the scheduler hasn't been around this week, so who knows what I'll really end up doing!)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentine's Day & Pre-deployment

Well we are in the final stages. T leaves on Sunday. As much as I'd love to share that this week is all about holing ourselves in the house and enjoying every precious moment, it's more a hurricane of last minute details. We both have been dealing with briefings and appointments -- I had no idea how many things I would have to do before he leaves. Left to do this week: Both our cars need to be taken in - what perfect timing for the engine lights to go on, right? Plus, of course, packing and finishing up the checklist that Family Readiness gave us. We've been prone to spontaneous hugging and I could break into tears pretty much at any moment, but other than that we're holding together.

We tried not to let it spoil Valentine's Day, however. To be fair, we don't really do much for Valentine's Day ever. Last year it just happened to coincide with T coming back from a six-week TDY to Mississippi so we used it to celebrate that. It's just not something we fully buy into, but I love any reason to cook something special. You might be thinking, if you love it, any day is an excuse . . . you must not a.) realize the mess involved and b.) know me very well and how I hate doing dishes, hehe.

We went to mass and came home to brunch. I had a spread of "brunch pizza square" (crescent roll baked with egg, cheese & sausage) which I cut into heart shapes, cinnamon rolls & strawberries with my beloved mother-in-law's fruit dip recipe. :) And, of course, mimosas because it just makes it classier. On Saturday we had met my mom & cousin in Lima to pick up things they had that he needed for his trip. And mom surprised us with the ingredients for a romantic dinner so when the fullness from brunch wore off we had steaks, crab legs, baked potatoes, asparagus, sauteed mushrooms & shiraz.

Gifts were cute and low-key: I got T a few bags of different whole bean coffee, a mug & I made him "box of chocolate cupcakes" which are way more fun than a box of chocolates. He got me flowers (not roses, yuck so cliche, bright purple & yellow tropical beauties) and a keyboard (along with one of his monitors) so I could use my laptop as a desktop. I had been saying how much more productive I am when I actually have a desk space, but we're not in a position to buy a new computer right now so it was really, really sweet! :)

And other than the meals, we just hung out all day. Watched some Olympics, played some xbox. It was a nice, relaxing day of just being together.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Five Words

"Flying Class II waiver recommended."

The docs here have finished their evaluation & will have a full, detailed report prepared in a week or so, but they provided the above summary for my home docs to move forward with.

(Note that that is only exactly what it says, a recommendation; the folks that actually make the decision will be reviewing the full write-up & deliberating in the coming weeks. There's still a lot to be done & to wait for, but it's a big step in the right direction.)

- Posted on the road from my iPhone

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

. . . Into the Wild Blue TX

So here I am in Texas again, finally being seen by the medical folks after nearly two & a half years!

The first couple days of my evaluation have gone swimmingly: I met with my case manager, the flight surgeon assigned to my case, the neuropsychiatrist, had an MRI & EEG, & completed a few neuropsychological exams. Everyone has expressed their optimism for my special case & has been very open & friendly in talking with me about it.

Even though everything seems to be progressing well so far, I was cautioned to remember that these folks don't actually write the waiver, they only provide a recommendation to those that do. Granted, nine times out of ten the decision follows the recommendation, but it's possible.

So after I finish my evaluations down here, AETC should get a recommendation to waive my head — er, cranium injury or to not & based on that, decide to return me to UPT. I have no idea how long that decision process will take, but here's hopin' sooner rather than later!

- Posted on the road from my iPhone

Monday, January 18, 2010

Off he goes . . .

Took T to the airport this morning to get his flight evaluation down in Texas. Currently he's safe in his layover in Dallas. Apparently, to be "safe" they cut his orders to keep him there until 30 January, in case they need him that long. But they also said the process should take 3 - 5 days. I believe the first appointment is actually tomorrow. He's supposed to log his thoughts & experiences, but he gets distracted & forgets, hehe :).

Here's to hoping he can come back early - But not the 24th because I have a baby shower in Kalamazoo to go to. :) Also to hoping, with lots of prayers, that everything goes perfectly and he gets back in a cockpit this year!

Friday, January 8, 2010

2009: a year in review

2009 might have been the Year of the Ox, but for the first six months of it anyway, to us it was the Year of the Wedding! So much of our January - July was filled with something related to weddings.

First, as you all know, we got married in May. So a lot of the time before that was filled with the last minute planning and crunch-time! We had to go through all the typical - invitations, seating chart, special songs, etc. But there also was really fun stuff like such a wonderful shower weekend, and two crazy, somewhat memorable Bachelor/Bachelorette Nights :).

The day finally arrived and it was everything we expected it to be. I say that because I expected that little details wouldn't end up perfect, and things would go wrong, but knowing that it wouldn't spoil the day! Overall it was a blast, and did not disappoint. We are still so thankful for everyone who was able to spend the day with us, and felt the love of all those who had to attend only in spirit. Some photographic highlights:

Vows & Rings

Unity Candle

Praying for fruitfulness & blessings from The Virgin Mary

You may now kiss the bride

The most amazing wedding party in the history of wedding parties! :)

We honeymooned in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It was gorgeous and the weather was amazing. Unfortunately, due to the prevalence and scare of the swine flu at that time it was a little under-crowded. I think I remember them saying our beautiful hotel was only 16% filled. We didn't see many other people at the pool, dinner, etc. I think it would've been a little more fun if we had a chance to meet some fun young friends to go out to bars, dancing, touring, etc. We definitely still made the most of it:

Our suite patio

View from the patio

poolside, a book & a drink - that was many of our days :)

Swim-up bar, Javier convinced us we just *had* to try good, Mexican Tequila :)

We did get out and tour the area - this is one of the most beautiful scuba places in the Pacific

And, of course, SWIMMING WITH THE DOLPHINS!!!!!!!!!

In addition to our own wedding, we had a crazy span of loved ones tying the knot as well! :) First, in March, we had the lovely Roblez-Winslow Wedding. We got to jet off to northern Florida for a weekend to celebrate with an amazing couple!! I was an excited member of the wedding party and T was honored to do a reading. Here're some highlights of that trip:

Bride and her Maid/Matron of Honor

Bride & Groom in the Limo

The gorgeous bridesmaids

Wedding Party on the Beach

Then, in April, we traveled up to Kalamzoo, MI for the Johnson-Askelson Wedding. I was also so happy to be in this bridal party as I watched another wonderful man join my extended family. It was a really unique experience - they met at Western Michigan University so we got to take a lot of fun wedding pictures around the campus and at places special to the couple. I, unfortunately, don't have any of those pictures on my computer but here are still some good highlights of the day:


Happy Couple!

Funnily, my groomsman partner caught the garter & I caught the bouquet!

And finally, in July, we drove down south to Louisville, Kentucky for the Swanigan-Wilson Wedding. I, again, was an extremely proud member of the wedding party. The groom was newly commissioned in the US Navy, and T was happily a member of the traditional Sabre Arch. He stood with 3 Navy officers, but proudly sported his Air Force Blue :):

Bride & her Matrons of Honor

T rocking out the arch!

Bride & Groom

No 4th of July wedding should happen w/o fireworks!

In non-wedding related news, T had some career events. After the car accident and having to leave pilot training, he transitioned to a communications officer. He spent 6 weeks in Jan & Feb '09 down in Mississippi taking care of comm. training.
August also brought about the 2 year mark from his head injury which started us on the long, confusing path back to pilot training. His file has been reviewed by a number of people and departments. There has been some misfiling and delays, but he will be going down to Texas to be looked at by the doctors, finally! If they examine him and determine that he's back to full capacity, they can give him a waiver so he can get back in the air!! :) There will definitely be much blogging & updating about this as the process unfolds.

In family news, we made our first addition to the household - an adorable Boxer puppy! Her name is Piper and she is a definite pistol. She very much enjoyed being at her Grandma & Grandpa's house over Christmas and particularly bonded with her Uncle D. We had to check the Focus to make sure he didn't try to take her back to Hutchinson with him :). She's 56 pounds currently and we're not sure how big she'll end up, but based on her parents we think she'll get 5 - 15 lbs bigger.

As an itty bitty pup

. . .and a week ago

And lastly, we've had our first holiday season as husband and wife! I started small by hosting our first Thanksgiving with my mom & dad and my godmother, Aunt B. It was really fun and just the right amount of stress & relaxing. I made a few appetizers to hold people over until dinner, and then we had all the traditional - turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, etc. We finished off with the standard pumpkin pie & an original invention, Almond Joy pie. They spent the night and we enjoyed good wine, fun games and great company!

We spent Christmas in Kansas this year, which was really fun! We drove so we could save a little money AND bring the pup, definitely win-win for us. We were able to spend 6 days down there which was so great. Living so far away makes it hard to see all our loved ones down there as often as we'd like, so we definitely tried to make the most of it. It is a little ironic that we live in Ohio during the Kansas year and hopefully plan to be down in Oklahoma by next Christmas which will be the Ohio year. But that's life off base :).

We drove up to my family's for a late Christmas & New Year's Celebration. We had a casual gift exchange and we spent NYE at the golf course like we have for the past few years. It was wonderful because some of our best friends from college were able to travel in from Boston to celebrate with us. We had great food, open bar and live band dancing the night away!

And those are the main happenings and highlights of our 2009. At least all the ones I can think of, anyway. Bring on 2010 - and keeping you posted much more regularly than once a year!

Love & Hugs