Enjoying our time.

I can't believe J has been home for two weeks...and is getting ready to leave again.  I feel like I just got him back, and he's being shipped off to his next duty station.  I wish we could go with him right now, but we're waiting.  I wish I knew when we'd get to see each other again, but I don't.  On the flipside though, this isn't training - this is the rest of our life as a military family.  In a matter of months, I hope that we can be back together permanently [for the first time in our entire relationship, fyi].  I'm just holding on to that moment.

I found out a couple of days ago that my dad really does get to come home every six months for R&R - so he'll be home in the middle of January [weather permitting] for 2-3 weeks.  I am SO stoked.  I wasn't sure if we'd get to see him until next summer, so knowing that he'll be home soon for a little bit is nice.

This weekend's Halloween, but it doesn't even feel like Halloween.  This is when my brain goes to birthday mode, and I start getting things together for JJ's birthday...so Halloween has pretty much become a holiday where I eat candy and get prepped for the big birthday.  Last year, I was a bad mom - I pretty much slacked on JJ's birthday, and while it came together, it wasn't as strong as I wanted it to be.  This year, I'm more prepared and more ready for his big day.  I'm so excited. :)

Is it sad that the only reason I like Halloween is for the candy?  I'm just not feelin' it this year - and I didn't feel it last year, either.  Last year, we had OSU football on Halloween, so that whole week was all sorts of funky.  We had trick-or-treating on Thursday, Halloween stuff was done by the actual game...eh.  This year, Halloween's on a Sunday, so we have to trick-or-treat tomorrow.  And, JJ's sick [and i've got food poisoning], so I don't even know if we're going trick-or-treating tomorrow.  The only thing I'm really looking forward to is going to the Thunder game on Sunday.  Sad, huh?  When I had JJ, I promised I'd do a better job at celebrating holidays, since I haven't really celebrated holidays the past few years...so I need to do a better job of that.  Even if I'm not feeling it, I've got to feel it for his sake.  If that even makes sense.

I'm exhausted, and J wants to watch more basketball, so I'm out for now.  If I don't post again this weekend, Happy Halloween!!


Late night ramblings.

Ever since I got to high school, I've been a night owl. I've found that I do my best work at night, I get my energy spurts at night, and can pull all-nighters with ease [and a little mountain dew]. While those nights haven't happened nearly as much since I became a mom, I still hit my energy spurts at night. One night, I spent 1.5 hours cleaning my kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. It was insane but much-needed.

So tonight, at 12;30am, I'm still up. The wind is blowing like crazy, which isn't helping matters...but this will probably be the only night all week I stay up this late. And what have I done tonight? Watch football and adjust my fantasy teams. Well, and I did some stuff for work and talked to J, but nothing remotely productive. I still have a small pile of dishes waiting to be washed, sippy cups to be made for tomorrow, clothes to be laid out and a Halloween costume that needs to be laid out to dry. Did I mention yet that I'm the exact definition of a procrastinator? If not, I probably should now: I'm a big procrastinator. I honestly can't remember the last time I started a project early enough to not have to rush through it at the end. When my mom comes for football weekends, I clean the night before [or the day of for a late game] and barely get it done. It's just in my blood...not quite sure where it came from since my parents aren't really procrastinators, but oh well. Just the way it is.

I usually gain some clarity when I'm up by myself this late and doing things. While I hate washing dishes, I usually think about things while washing dishes [or listen to music if i want to tune the world out]. I find that this time of the night is when I think about where I've been, where I'm going, what I'm doing wrong and what I'm doing right. I think about the next day, week, month, year; I budget, worry, groan and build myself back up. I also have my most epic cries in the middle of the night, when no one can hear me or see me. The week J came home from tech school, I stayed up late most of the week and cried every single night. It's that time of the day when I let everything go and strip my emotions down. When I let reality hit me in the face, I dwell on it, then I tuck it away to prepare for the next day of work and mommyhood.

It's amazing how much I can get done at this point in the night. And, now that I've procrastinated even more, it's time for me to get that stuff done. Maybe, if I'm lucky, I'll be out by 1:30am. If not, at least tomorrow's Tuesday...inching closer to yet another weekend.


Back to the list - no. 10 done!

I've been dreading this day since JJ was a few months old: his first hair cut.  I've heard horror stories from parents of kids who wouldn't sit still, who screamed through the whole experience...and I was NOT looking forward to getting to that point.  But, as JJ's gotten older, it's been obvious that he needed one.  Bad.  Example:

Check out his hair.  It's all over the place.  Granted, I didn't fix it that morning since he was getting it cut, but it honestly didn't look much different after I fixed it.  His hair was getting long, the curls were getting harder to control, and he just needed a cut.  So, this past Friday, we went to my mom's hair stylist and got it cut.  I held my breath the entire time, but surprisingly...

JJ did awesome.  Really, really awesome.
There's little man, sitting in Grandma's lap [not pictured], getting his hair combed out.  The tangles were ridiculous.
And there's Francis, our hair stylist, making the first cut!  It took about 20 minutes for her to cut all of his hair - and when it was over, we were sent home with a small baggie full of hair.  Francis said that most kids go home with just a snippet or two of hair, but JJ went home with a full baggie.  Baha.
This is how we kept him distracted - spray bottle.  And, later on, he got Grandma's iPhone.  Amazing how something so simple kept him entertained that long.
All done!  Shorter - and MUCH easier to manage.  Love it.

We made it through our first hair cut unscathed, and I now know that keeping it short is key to keeping everyone happy.  We'll probably get it cut again at the turn of the year, depending on how fast it goes.  He was doing pretty good though, considering he's almost 2 and we just NOW got his first chop.  Probably should've done it awhile ago, honestly.

I've got more to say, but I want to take a nap.  J came home on Thursday and surprised me, but I'll blog about that later.  It's just nice to have him home. :)


WMW: Little things I love

As I've gotten older, I've started to appreciate the little things more than before.  When you're a kid, the little things don't really matter - the bigger, the better. You want the BIG Barbie play house and the BIG birthday party with the BIGGEST group of friends ever. Everything had to be big, because you weren't cool if you didn't do it big.

When I got to college, the little things started to matter again. Like...naps. And homemade cookies that were waiting when I'd come home on weekends. And sweet cards J (now husband, then boyfriend) would get me for anniversaries and special holidays. I still liked the big things, like parties and road trips, but the little things started to matter more.

Now that I'm at the point in my life where the big things involve JJ growing developmentally and H getting promotions in the Air Force, I've realized that I don't really do it big anymore - I do it small. The smaller, the better. So, here's just a sampling of the little things I love:

-- JJ's baby pictures. Oh my goodness he was the most adorable baby. I mean, he's still adorable now, but I fell so in love with him from the very beginning. We have some awesome pics of him...like this:

I hope to finish his scrapbook of his first year before the holidays so that he can flip through it at Christmas. It won't mean much to him now, but I hope it does in the future.

-- That moment in the morning where you're the only one up. It's nice and quiet. You can do the dishes, watch the news, eat a bowl of cereal...in peace. It doesn't last long - maybe 10 minutes or so - but it's oh so glorious.

-- Picking JJ up from daycare. He gets this huge smile on his face, starts to laugh, then runs into my arms. Then he starts saying his version of "Go!" and points at the door. Picking him up every day is my most favorite part of the day, hands down.

-- Getting phone calls from my dad. They usually only last a couple of minutes since reception isn't the best where he's at, but they make my day. I miss him a lot.

-- Hearing my favorite songs on the radio. Even if I've played them a million times in my own car, hearing it on the radio is just so awesome. I turn it up and belt it like nobody else can.

-- Fitting back into old clothes. I've been bouncing back and forth with the scale since I had JJ, but I think I'm finally winning the battle. Slipping back into a pair of dress pants that button makes my day.

-- Sleeping in. Even if I only get to sleep an hour later, it makes my world so much better. I never, ever sleep in anymore, so on the rare Saturday that I get to...I cherish it. Then, I get out of bed, because JJ is usually my alarm clock. :P

-- Seeing OSU tags in my hometown. My hometown is dominated by OU - which is fine. But when I see that occasional tag that's orange and black, I smile.

--  The perfect snow cone. There's a place in Lawton that makes it just the way I like it - mango with light cream. They're getting ready to close for the winter, so I'd better get another snow cone while I can!

-- Getting a morning text from my husband. If he can swing it, he texts me every morning to say hi and that he loves me. Nice way to start the day.

-- Seeing my mom interact with JJ. I'm not close to my own grandparents because I live 1,298 miles from my dad's dad; 1,473 miles from my dad's mom; and more than 3,600 miles from my mom's parents. So, for JJ to be so close to his own grandmother is just awesome. He adores her, and she adores him - she's everything I wanted for my son.

That's quite the list, so I'll leave it there for now.  I hope you all find comfort and joy in the little things, and enjoy them!


10.10.10 - a recap

So as a part of my 101 in 1001, I wanted to do a "Day in the Life" on 10.10.10 and 11.11.11.  Well, 10.10.10 was on Sunday, and I actually took pictures.  Granted, this Sunday wasn't a typical Sunday - or day in our lives, really - but it was a fun one!

10.10.10 began like most weekend days - late.  JJ had gone to bed at his regular bedtime the night before, but he woke up at 2am and was up until almost 4am.  This led to him sleeping until 830am [which was nice for mama].  As soon as he woke up, he was hungry/thirsty.  So I made him some milk while I made his oatmeal.

After he ate, I made myself the perfect batch of French toast. It was delish.

After breakfast, I folded laundry and cleaned up the kitchen/put up the dishes.  JJ tried to help...sorta.

Then, we got a call from Grandma - we were meeting her in OKC for the day!  So, the both of us got ready to go.

It took the both of us a good hour to get ready and get into the car...but we made it out the house at the same time Grandma left home.  After a quick stop for gas, we drove to OKC and met Grandma at Golden Corral.  Yum.

After spending a good two hours at Golden Corral, we met Aunty 'Licia across the street at PetSmart, where she was volunteering with a pet adoption drive.  I didn't take my phone in while we were there, but JJ had a blast with the doggies.  There was even a dog there named Jay Jay that I wanted to take home with us!  We let Aunty finish up, then went to Wal-Mart to do some shopping.  Well, Mommy and Grandma shopped - Aunty and JJ played.

JJ got his big boy potty today [not sure when we'll start potty-training, but he has it], and Mommy got some stuff to upgrade the apartment.  After Wal-Mart, we said good-bye to Aunty and went to Garden Ridge - one of Grandma's favorite stores.  JJ fell in love with a rocker that we'll probably end up buying for him for Christmas.

After another hour at Garden Ridge, it was after 6pm and getting dark.  JJ had also missed his nap time, so he was getting cranky.  After saying our good-byes to Grandma, we hit the road home.  It only took JJ 10 minutes to fall fast asleep.

But when we got home, it was past JJ's dinner time - and he was hungry.  He ended his day with a light meal - and more milk.

It took another couple of hours to get him settled down, but I finally got him to bed.  We had quite the day, but we had a ton of fun.


WMW: Top Ten Reasons Why I Love My Life

I missed last week's WMW, so I promised myself that I'd do it this week. The prompts are:

#1. Top Ten _________ (give us a top ten list of anything!)

#2. Best afternoon pick-me-ups.

So, I decided to do the Top 10. I present to you, Top Ten Reasons Why I Love My Life.

1. I'm a wife and a mom! That fact alone stands out above the rest. I love being both more than I could've ever imagined.

2. I have a wonderful husband who loves me for me. No relationship is perfect - and my husband and I have had our share of ups and downs over the six years we've been together. But at the end of the day, I know that he loves me, and he knows that I love him. I'm blessed to be with a man that I can honestly say I want to spend the rest of my life with. 

3. I have a fabulous job that I love. When I graduated from college and didn't go the traditional public relations route, I wasn't sure what I was going to do. But then, I started working at my alma mater and fell in love with higher education. I hope to stay in this part of the working world forever.

4. I still have my independence. I've heard too many women say that once they got married, they lost their independence and became all about their husbands. I'm not that woman. Sure, I rely on my husband for a lot of things - but being a military life, I can't get too comfortable with that, because he'll be gone a lot. It's nice to be able to have control over things and to do my own things that my friends say their men do [like balancing finances, car maintenance etc.].

5. My family and I are closer than ever. I grew up in a tight-knit family...which isn't all too common when you grow up in the military. When I was a teenager, I kinda hit that phase where I didn't really want anything to do with my family - then, I left for college and missed them like crazy. Things have been on and off rocky the past few years, but at this point in my life, I'm closer to my parents and sister than ever before. It'll be hard to leave them when we move, but I know that our relationship will only continue to get stronger. I'm so grateful to have the support system that I have.

6. I have the most awesome son a mom could want. When we found out we were having a boy, I was freaked out. I'd only had experience with girls; I had no idea how I was going to raise a son! But he's been the best thing that ever, ever, EVER happened to me. It's been an absolute joy to watch him, to compare him to how I was as a child, and to help him grow. I think no mom likes seeing their babies grow up so fast, but they love to watch them grow at the same time - I feel that way about JJ. He's the most amazing little boy ever [but, of course, i'm biased].

7. My friends are fabulous. I know a lot of people but have a small group of those people that I consider my close friends. Those people have been another fantastic support system and are absolutely amazing. A lot of the time, I have no idea how in the world I got such amazing friends.

8. We're back in the military life. Being an Army brat was great. I loved watching my dad do all of his military stuff and was so proud of everything he accomplished while he served. Now that J is an Airman, I'm very, very excited to watch him grow and mature in the Air Force. I'm also excited to see just where this journey takes us - and I'm glad we can give JJ the opportunity to explore the world as he grows up. I know that the military life can be challenging, but I'm ready to face that challenge with J.

9. I've had opportunities to do things I never thought I would. Growing up, my family was clearly middle-class. We had money to do things, but we did have some struggle times. As I've gotten older, my parents have done everything they could to give my sister and I an awesome life - which we've had. The past couple of years have opened up new doors for us. We've taken some fabulous family vacations, have gone places I never thought I'd go, have made plans to do things in the future I never thought we'd be able to do...it's been amazing.

10. I'm growing up. I know a lot of people dread getting older, but I'm enjoying it. I love being 24, and I love that 25 will bring new challenges [moving to colorado, possibly a second child] and new things into my life. My life has been a roller coaster, but right now, I'm at the top and enjoying the view. I hope to stay here forever.


Happy October!

Good gracious.  Is it October already!?  Where did September go?!

The past couple of weeks have absolutely flown by.  This is the busiest time of the year for me [work-wise], so I spend most of my day advising students.  By the time I come up for air, it's almost time to head home [which is a good thing].  2010 has flown by so fast, and I'm still struggling to figure out just where all that time went.

I started my 101 in 1001 a year ago on the 1st, and I've made some decent progress.  My 10/10/10 photo shoot of sorts is coming up soon [i'm sure there won't be much to it since 10/10/10 lands on a sunday, our laziest day of the week], and I need to go back and re-tweak some of those since people involved are currently out of the picture.  I need to step it up in the book and movie department, but I'm not sure when that will happen...with my sports life in full swing now, I haven't done much else besides watch football. :P

I really want to decorate for fall, but I just don't have the decorating sense to make it come together in my apartment.  I'm thinking about heading to Hobby Lobby to find some things to hang up...we'll see how this venture goes.  I don't want to put anything outside my door, just in case someone tries to jack it from me, but I do want to spruce the place up a little.  I have a Scentsy pot and put the pumpkin roll scent in there, and my apartment smells heavenly and like fall.  Now, I need the decor to match.  If anyone has any ideas, please let me know!

So now that October is here, Halloween is just around the corner.  This year, we're going trick-or-treating for the first time - I'm so excited!  JJ's going to be a scarecrow...I tried to find a picture of the costume, but I couldn't find one.  I'll just take a picture of the costume when I get home and upload it.  I haven't tried it on him yet, but I just know he's going to be SO cute in it.  Trick-or-treating is Saturday this year due to the holiday landing on a Sunday - which is awesome, because our first Thunder game is on Halloween. :)

I'm hoping that now that life is starting to slow down just a little, I can blog more.  I'm just so tired when I get home that I don't do anything but play with JJ, make dinner, clean up and sleep.  I'm still trying to find a way to have energy so that after he goes to bed, I can actually get stuff done.  Sigh.  In other news, only 10 days until my husband's home!!!!

Can you tell I'm thrilled?