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Early Christmas.

30 Nov

On Saturday we had Christmas early so that we could celebrate together before Scott deployed. Scott was upset that he would be missing Haven’s first Christmas as he had with Royal’s first one. So I asked him if he wanted to celebrate early and of course he said yes.

We woke up just like we would on any Christmas in our house. We turned on Christmas music, opened stockings, and had our regular Christmas breakfast, of cinnamon rolls and peppered bacon. Royal decided cinnamon rolls are better eaten unrolled. (Haha.) Over breakfast we talked to Royal about Jesus’ birthday and why we celebrate Christmas.

Once breakfast was over we opened our gifts and laughed as we watched Haven open her first ever presents. There’s something so sweet and magical about a baby’s first Christmas, even with her not understanding what’s going on. I know this meant so much to Scott to be there for these moments even if it was a month early.

The rest of the day was spent relaxing and watching all of our favorite Christmas movies while the kids played with their new toys.

All day we kept saying just how much it felt like Christmas. We were confused when no one else was posting pictures of the holiday on social media, then we’d remember it wasn’t the actual day. It was truly perfect!IMG_6113Deployments take a lot from us as a family but Christmas this year wasn’t one of them! I’m thankful for my family and the precious memories we were able to make on our little Christmas morning. IMG_5937

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Slow down.

29 Mar

I’ve always counted myself a strong woman. I can pretty much handle anything life throws at me and still stay standing. It’s mostly because I can plan my way through it. As long as I prepare I feel ready for it. My Type A personality tells me that as long as I stay busy and organized it’s going to all work out.

The problem with a Type A personality mixing with pregnancy is that you lose pretty much all of your organizational skills and brain sharpness to preggo brain. It’s really really really extremely frustrating when you’re waiting for your brain to engage and it never seems to catch up to the speed you’re used to functioning at. Then you end up working twice as hard to complete tasks that used to only take you a matter of minutes. You add that to the waddling that slows you down, doubling your daily load because of deployment, a two year old who you for some reason decided to toilet train a week after your husband left, running a business, missing and worrying for your husband while he’s deployed, preparing for a new baby, stressing if the Air Force will let your hubby come home early so he doesn’t miss the baby’s birth, being far from family, and tons of appointments, and I’ve gone almost completely mad!!! Seems like as soon as I start one project 6 more appear and I get interrupted 26 times in the process which then takes me a solid 10 minutes to remember where I left off. The proficiency is gone. I miss my brain. (haha)

During a deployment you need to be at your best and sadly I feel like I’m at my worst. I’ve found myself overwhelmed from the second I wake up to the minute my head finally rests on my pillow at night. I’ve been forcing myself to have even a few moments a day to just rest. It’s certainly taking a toll on my body and as I am now in my 30th week of pregnancy I have to remind myself that it’s okay to slow down a little. It feels like actual torture to sit when I have lists upon lists adding up in my mind. I’m telling myself that it’s alright if some things slip a little, no one else is going to notice but me. But…we’re always our own toughest critics.

The thing that has broken my heart the most this round is just how badly Royal has missed his daddy. He will wake up crying and when I ask him what’s wrong he says “I cry Dada. I miss Daddy.” I don’t know how to comfort his hurting heart and it’s impossible to explain the reasoning to a two year old.  He’s been dealing with separation anxiety too which rips my heart in half. I’ll hear him talking in his bed at night saying “Don’t leave me. Please don’t leave me” and if I go in the garage he’ll come running full speed from the other side of the house yelling “Mama!! Don’t leave me!!” I can’t even stand it. All I can do it hold him close and reassure him that I’m not going anywhere. I tell him that Dada will be home soon and I remind him of all the ways his Daddy loves him. I hate all of that the most. I wish I could just take away all the pain from his little tiny self.

I’m also working on being better at asking for help from others, and I’ll admit this is humbling for me. I HATE asking because I actually enjoy handling things on my own, but I know those around me want to help and I need to let them. Being a burden to others is my biggest fear, so I’m truly striving to be okay with it. I’ve found that people love you through their actions and I shouldn’t rob people of that by always saying no to their offers.

Hands down this has been the most difficult of all the deployments but every situation is temporary and soon it will end. Until then I need to sit when my body says sit and rest when my mind needs rest. The goal is to keep this little girl in as long as possible, to up the chances of Scott being home for her arrival, and for that to happen I need to take it a bit easier. Another goal of mine is to soak in as much time with Royal as I can before he’s no longer my only baby. It’s bittersweet so I want to make the most of these next 10 weeks with him. Both goals involve me slowing down to breathe and ignoring the 102 lists that are constantly building up around me. As long as we’re fed and healthy the rest can wait.

“My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
-Psalm 73:26

PRK.

31 May

Last week we traveled to Biloxi Mississippi for Scott to have PRK (corrective eye surgery.) He chose to have it done at Keesler AFB because it was only 2.5 hours from our home, and they are the best military base that offers the surgery. The drive was easy so we took off early Monday morning so that he could make it to his 9 am appointment. He received his final approval so we checked into the Fisher House, which is a by donation charity that offers a place for military to stay while their family member receives medical treatment. It was such a blessing to stay at such a comfortable place while we were away from home. They had volunteers come in, most nights, and cook meals for us too. I didn’t realize that places like this existed but everyone there was so sweet to us and it made a world of difference with our almost two year old running a muck.

royalwalking

Royal still wasn’t a huge fan of being cooped up all day so we spent the days going to the park, playing at the splash pad on base, and we even took him bowling for his first time. It was hard at nights sharing one room though, and Scott and I had to go to sleep when Royal did otherwise he’d stay up with us. He’s so active and observant that he wants to always be doing what we’re doing, so the one room arrangement was a little more than trying at times.

Scott had the surgery on Wednesday and within 30 minutes he was all done and I was able to pick him up. He built it up much scarier in his head than it actually ended up being. He couldn’t believe how easy it was. Everything went great! He had to have a follow up appointment the next morning but Scott asked, because of the 4 day weekend approaching, if we could travel home as we only lived 2.5 hours away. The doctor said that was absolutely fine as long as his eyes looked like they were progressing well the next morning. Luckily his first follow-up went great!! He was seeing 20/15 which were the best results the doctor had seen all day. Scott was excited about his eyes and Royal and I were excited to be going home!

 

The first few days of recovery were almost pain free for Scott but Saturday and Sunday he woke up in some pretty intense pain and had to turn to his pain meds. The meds easily managed the pain and Scott still continues to rave about how worth it this surgery is to him. We traveled back to Mississippi last night because Scott had his final appointment this morning. His left eye continues to see 20/15 and his right is pretty blurry but should clear up in the next day or so. The doc cleared him to go back to work and, best of all, to drive again. We’re so thankful that the surgery went flawlessly and that Scott was able to mostly recover here at home instead of us staying over a week in a hotel.


Life continues to be so busy but it keeps my mind occupied and my heart looking forward. It seems like I have more good days than bad these days, and that feels like a miracle!

 

 

 

 

 

Care packages.

23 Nov

Deployments suck but the one enjoyable thing is putting together care packages to send to Scott while he’s away. I love filling them with all of his favorite snacks and decorating it in a fun way so he’s always surprised by what he’s opening up. I also try to find a book series he’ll enjoy reading and send a book in each box. Here are the care packages I made during this deployment.:

[[Birthday Box]]119120[[Halloween Box]] FullSizeRender (3)FullSizeRender (4)FullSizeRender (5)FullSizeRender (6)FullSizeRender (7)[[Almost Done Box]]IMG_6980FullSizeRender (10)FullSizeRender (9)FullSizeRender (11)FullSizeRender (8)IMG_6983IMG_6984IMG_6985

Chicago.

29 Sep

If these deployments have taught me one thing it’s that busy is your very best friend!

I’ve had one big thing to look forward to every month, and that works as my light at the end of the tunnel. As long as I have something to work towards then it breaks up the full length of the deployment. If you’re only focusing on the end then it seems impossible and you easily get discouraged and depressed. When there is something each month then you’re only allowed to get sad for a little while because you know something fun is right around the corner.

This month’s fun activity was a trip to Chicago to see my brother and his wife. Our buddy River was making a trip to that area to see his family so I asked if I could tag along. He was happy to have company during the drive so he said yes! Our friends Tonni and Michael volunteered to watch Clover (our dog) while we were gone, so with that final detail figured out we were able to go. I’m so thankful for our wonderful friends here in Florida. We have such a close community that has helped us through this deployment.211209I was really excited for this trip because I had thought that we wouldn’t see David and Rachel this year, because we’re not going home for the holidays. Although it was a long 15 hour drive, and we pulled an all nighter so that Royal could sleep the whole way, it was completely worth it. We did some site seeing but the only two things I really had on my list of MUSTS was that I wanted to try Chicago style pizza and a Chicago Dog. (Of course my priorities involved food. I.love.food.)192189197204205217218I enjoyed the pizza but it isn’t my favorite style. I have completely converted to the Chicago dog club though! I have never tasted such a delicious hot dog in my life! I now have some intense cravings going on for these things. Royal enjoyed the food as well! He had his first taste of pizza and ate an entire hot dog! I can’t believe he’s able to eat these things much less have the appetite to demolish them.269272314316315The best part of the trip was definitely when Royal started walking! He had been taking 3 steps in a row for a couple months now but never anything more. On the 16th something clicked though and he took off! I was cheering like the biggest dork, because I was so excited, and Royal had the most proud look on his face. I love these milestones but they remind me that my baby is escaping me. He did this after eating a chocolate bar he found on the couch! (haha.)

260We also had the pleasure of celebrating David’s 25th birthday with him. That was the night we went out for Chicago style pizza. I hate always missing each other’s birthdays so it was nice to finally be there for one with him.274I was so thankful to have the adult company of David and Rachel as I’m now used to being home in an empty house with just Royal and Clover since Scott deployed. You miss the simple things of having a meal together, going to the park, and watching Netflix with someone else. I most enjoyed these lazy moments during the trip. I love these two and was dreading the time ending.243225304311The visit somehow flew by and River was there picking us up from my brother’s apartment. We then spent the night with River’s family, 4 hours away, to break up the length of the trip and had an amazing visit with them. It was the perfect end cap to our trip. I love families that take you in and treat you like you belong right off the bat. River’s family is just like that. I so appreciated them opening their home to us and loving on my little fellow.181Then came the 12 hour all nighter back home!! BLEH!!!!! I’ll be happy if I never have to road trip again in my life. I’m completely kidding but I’m thankful for a break. Now I’m nursing a cold and we’re trying to settle back into our daily routine here in Florida. Royal is happy to be home and enjoys practicing his new walking skills around the house.

I just need to find the next big thing to focus on for next month!

The love and prayers mean so much to us during these deployments, so thank you all for them! xoxo203

Ignorance is bliss.

2 Jul

I used to want to know every single detail of an approaching event. I believed that if I knew everything then I could be more prepared and in turn feel more at ease with the date arriving. I liked the prepared feeling and enjoyed running through every possible scenario in my mind.

That is all past tense now.

I LOVE not knowing even the date that Scott is leaving for his next deployment. You don’t have this looming cloud above your head, raining on every special moment with the reminder that soon he’ll be gone again and he’ll be missing out on the life you have together. You’re able to live in a state of denial. I love my fairy land bubble that I’ve learned to live in while he’s home.

Welp, that bubble was popped this week. We now know the date and no matter how hard I try to fight it my mind is already running a countdown.

I’m all about realizing that life goes by too quickly and soaking in every precious moment, but it’s hard to have fully positive thoughts when you’re absolutely terrified of parenting alone again and you’re able to recall every moment of loneliness you felt from the last deployment. I hate being alone. I hate my empty bed and will miss seeing the way Royal’s face lights up when he sees his daddy at the end of a work day. I’ll miss my best friend and the comfort his presence leaves me with just by him walking through a room. I’m a strong girl but I’m not able to fake that his absence doesn’t hurt me to my core.

My heart aches as the fact he’s leaving soon hits Scott over and over again. This deployment will be even more difficult on him, than the first, because he has full on knowledge of everything he’ll be missing. He’s teared up multiple times in the past week just watching Royal play. He’s such a wonderful daddy and loves Royal so very very much. Skype helps but it’s not the same as being able to rock him to sleep every night or interacting with him as he learns a new skill. It pains him already.

I am so very proud of my husband, and it helps that he loves his job, but in the end I’m selfish and want to keep him home with us. I’m only praying that time chooses to slow down if only for a few moments so that we can steal just a little more time together.

Jami Davis-6month 061

•Image by Jami Davis Films•

Nothing.

10 Apr

In a life of so many constant changes it’s amazing how wonderful it feels to have nothing new to report.

Really the last month has just been the regular ins and outs of daily life. No crazy surprises just the same ol’ same ol’. I love it.

I’ve just needed the space to breathe. There is so much uncertainty and loneliness that comes with deployments that it’s like a vacation for my heart to be at home with my husband, son, and dog. I think we’ve all needed a little “nothing” in our lives.

I finally have had the emotional capacity to get back to being involved in church, and have volunteered to spend Sundays in the nursery. I’ve been feeling God’s calling to this for the last year but haven’t had the strength to jump in. I hate when you ignore God’s voice and you feel so much guilt every time you’re reminded of where you need to be. I’m excited to do it and it’s fun to see Royal interact with all the other babies. He’s the only boy but I guess that means good odds in the future. (Haha.)

I know the next few months are going to fly by, as another deployment approaches and the summer calendar begins to fill up, but I’m praying we’ll continue to have some time to sit, relax, and just soak in the time we’re together.

View More: http://jamidavisphotography.pass.us/dearborn•Jami Davis Photography and Films•