Monday, April 28, 2008

We aren't in Kansas anymore!

We live in hurricane country, not tornado territory. So, you can imagine how this story is consuming the airwaves around here!

Tonight, three tornados touched down here in VA causing some horrific damage. I am happy to say that the people I know in that specific area are safe and sound although much of their neighborhood is not!

Please pray for a quick cleanup and recovery from this disaster!

Saturday, April 26, 2008


I am thankful for the relationship this little critters share! I love these moments and pray they continue for a very long time!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Spinning in Circles

Do you ever feel like you are spinning in circles? I DO! We found out we were moving about a month ago. We are now leaving in 6 weeks and it seems like there is so much to do! To top it all off, David is out to sea for the next month or so! He will get home just 2 weeks before we leave. Nice, huh?

It is true...the navy moves us. They come in, pack ALL of our stuff, move it to South Carolina, unload and even unpack whatever we ask them to. However, there is a lot of purging going on around this house! I have so much to get rid of and so much that I am just tired of moving.

How is it that one small family can accumulate so much STUFF???

It is helping that the kiddos are really transitioning from little kids into big kids. All the little kid toys are being passed on to others. All the closets are getting cleared out and everything is being carefully examined to see if it really needs to go with us.

This is the part that I love about moving. I am not the most organized person and I am the first to admit it! Moving is the one time that I feel like I get a good handle on what I have and where it needs to go. I love the fresh start that you get when you move. I love that we are moving into a brand new home that we don't have to worry about fixing someone else's mistakes! All of this I love...

However, some little things have started to creep in on me and make me a little bit sad. I realized that as much as I have looked forward to moving, we really have managed to enjoy ourselves here in VA. It has not been our favorite place in the world, but we definitely have made some life long friends! I know that we will see so many of our friends in the future. Whether we come up to see them or they venture down to see us or we just run into each other as time goes on in this small Navy world...I know we will be in touch.

It is still hard to let go.

On another hand I am excited about going somewhere where I don't have as many commitments. Where I don't have to run all over all the time trying to fulfill those commitments. I am excited to venture into new territories and make new friends, find new favorite places and explore a different chapter in our lives.

It is going to be a huge adjustment period for all of us! When we last lived in SC, we were newly married, Ian was a baby and we were just beginning our whole life together. I had just recently gotten out of the Navy and I quickly transitioned from a strong, independent young woman into a spoiled, dependant wife. I loved having someone that took out the trash, fixed my car and mowed the lawn. It was a bit of a shock to my system when we moved up here and David started working really long hours and was gone for weeks or even months at a time. I certainly rediscovered my Independence...I had no choice. I have learned to juggle kids and all the responsibilities therein as well as to be a strong, supportive, military wife! I have developed my systems and methods.

Now, we will have to readjust to having a husband and daddy at home more often. We will have to rework a lot of our routines and methods in order to include him more. We will have to be understanding to the fact that this is an adjustment for him too. Okay...I know, I keep saying "we" but I really mean "I"! The kids are more than thrilled to have Daddy around 24/7...anytime! It is me that needs that time to adjust. It is kinda like that first couple months of marriage where you find out all the annoying habits of your new spouse. When David is gone, I somehow manage to forget a lot of those things. I forget that he never manages to get his dirty laundry into the basket. I forget that he hogs all the covers. I forget that he likes to sing obnoxious songs at the top of his lungs no matter who is around and forgetting the fact that he is completely tone deaf! I am quickly reminded of them when he comes back home. And as much as those little things can drive me bonkers, I am so looking forward to us having some time to be a family. Time together, regularly. Time for him to coach a soccer team and to be at Christmas programs. Time to be involved at church and time to have lazy Saturdays together. JUST. TIME.

Until that time comes, however, I will continue spinning in circles!

We are almost there!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

New CD

Check out this link to see how you can get a great new cd full of Matt Maher's music! I have heard some of his music and I know we sing several of the songs in church, but I am anxious to hear what else is on the cd!

But you must act quickly, because they are only giving away 100 cds! Have fun!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Sacked out

After a day of running, digging, burying, jumping, splashing, laughing, toting sand and just plain having a great time...this was how Ian ended up. I had opened his lunch for him to eat, he took a couple bites and proceeded to fall asleep.
Isabelle had done the same thing. She was sound asleep...sunglasses and all!

and soon, Aunt Haaley had joined the bunch. We had to wake everyone up as it started to get a little cooler and the sun was going down. I think it is safe to say that they had a good spring break!

Clean or dirty?

Isabelle enjoyed the tide pool for a while. She had a good time rolling around in the water trying to wash all the sand off. I think this picture is her preparations for her life as a super model!
But no sooner did she get clean...

Then she would run back up through the sand...
and cover herself in sand...
being sure to cover every.last.inch!
You would be amazed at how much sand came out of that little swimsuit of hers when we were cleaning up at the condo!

Sweet memories

A few years ago, Haaley came out to spend some time with us over the summer. I have some precious pictures of her holding Ian and staring out at the ocean. As I flipped through our vacation pictures this one reminded me of that picture...only now it is Isabelle. And here is what Ian was busy doing:
Isabelle had no desire to be in the waves, but the little tide pool was just right for her!

More pics

Here are some great new pics of the kids at the beach over spring break. They all took turns burying each other in the sand...

And then made a dash to the ocean to rinse off!

Life's a Beach

There is a sign that hangs in the condo that we stayed at that reads, "If you are lucky enough to be at the beach, you are lucky enough!"

I feel like we adopted that motto throughout the cold days of our trip. Our last day in FL was absolutely beautiful and we enjoyed it to the fullest! It was a day at the beach!

It is amazing how much work goes into getting ready for the beach. It reminds me of going camping. You are supposed to be living minimally and instead you end up cramming half of your household into your car to go. Packing lightly has never been a talent of mine.
So off we go to the beach with our bags packed.
Lunches? Check.
Water? Check.
Towels? Check.
Sunglasses? check.
Sunscreen? check.
shovels?Pails?toys? check.check.check.
camera? check.
and the list goes on...

But somehow we got all settled in and my little diva seemed to be enjoying herself. She really has no interest in being anywhere near the ocean, so she was happy to be one of the big girls and lay out on her towel.
She had no reservations about playing in the sand. Apparently she remembered the snow angels that she made in the snow and decided that the sand was another good medium to try her artwork on...but she was a little disappointed with the outcome. I still thought it was cute!
Ian spent hours digging a large hole and hauling water in his bucket to dump in the hole.
I am not really sure what he was trying to accomplish, but he was determined and worked tirelessly doing it!
Once he poured the water into the hole, he raced back to the waves to refill his bucket! It made me tired just watching him!

Sweet Friends

One of the highlights of our trip was getting to see one of my very best friends and her sweet kids! Kim and her family used to live in Virginia Beach, but were transferred to New Orleans a couple years ago. We don't get to see each other very often, but we talk on an almost daily basis so it doesn't really seem like we live that far apart! When I told Kim that we were driving to Florida for spring break, she didn't even hesitate to drive from LA to FL to see us there. A five hour drive is a much more tolerable one than a 16 hour drive!

We made plans to meet in Fort Walton Beach at the Gulfarium. It was so sweet to see the kids all together. They hadn't seen each other since we visited them in New Orleans over spring break last year, but it seemed as though they were forever friends! They had such a good time together!

Hunter and Isabelle really enjoyed looking through the windows into the dolphin pool!

We enjoyed the dolphin show and the view of the beautiful white beaches.

The kids had their own ways of entertaining themselves while we waited for the next show to start. Hannah decided to take a little rest...

And let me just tell you about how that little girl melted my heart!

Hannah has always had a mind of her own. From the time that she was due to be born and refused to come out when her mommy wanted her to, to this very day...she is not afraid to tell you what she wants. She isn't one for much cuddling or outward affection. So, when we met at for the day I asked her if I could have a hug and fully expected to be rejected. I promise my feelings would not have been hurt! I just figured there was no harm in asking, right?

So, I asked her for a hug and she not only grinned at me, but she walked toward me and gave me a sweet little hug! I was so honored! By the end of the day I had gotten another hug out of her and she even said "I love you!"

It was amazing to see how both Hunter and Hannah had grown! Hunter has turned into such a precious little man and Hannah has changed so much since we saw her last year! She wasn't even walking and now she is little miss independent! She is even speaking so well! She calls Isabelle "Apple."

When we were done at the Gulfarium we had lunch together and got to chat some more. The kids so enjoyed their time together!
Kim, (and DeeDee) thank you so much for meeting us for the day! I know it was a long day for you all, but it was so good to see you and hopefully we won't have to wait a whole year for another visit! We love you guys!

A delayed Easter

Since we ended up staying an extra day in South Carolina to take care of house business, we ended up celebrating Easter a day late. The kids didn't seem to mind. They used their buckets as baskets and hunted plenty of eggs! Both of the kids were quick to inventory what their eggs contained!

Panama City Beach

After the fun of house hunting in South Carolina, we continued our trip down to Florida. When we pulled into town it was simply beautiful outside. It was in the low 70s and the sun was shining.
However, when we woke the next morning prepared to spend a day on the beach, we found that a lovely cold front had moved on into the area. The high for the day was in the low 50s.
Let me just tell you that when the high is in the low 50s and a front is moving through, there are breezes (that sometimes feel like hurricane force winds) that not only make it a bit chilly to enjoy the beach, but they also send tiny grains of sand flying into your skin at alarming rates. It started to feel like that tingly feeling you get when your leg goes to sleep.
I continue to be amazed at the college age girls that were laying on the beach determined to enjoy their spring break in their bikinis. If this sand was irritating me while I was fully clothed, I can only imagine what they must have been enduring with 98% of their skin exposed to the elements!
The picture looks beautiful: What you might notice, however is the lack of people on the beach...
The kids (Haaley included) were determined to enjoy the beach. They dug in the sand and looked at the water, but all within the comforts of their jackets.
After a while, Haaley was determined to be in the water. Not all the way, but enough to say that she had done it. And Ian was quick to follow her. Isabelle walked near the water but was definitely not interested in being in it!
So, Haaley and Ian rolled up their pants and stepped into the chilly waters. But that didn't last long.
Pretty soon they went back to digging.

All in all they had a great time. It was us "old" people that had a hard time enjoying it.

Here is a picture of the contemplation over whether they should enter the water or not.


Many of you know already, but we have gotten orders to move back down to the Charleston, SC area in June! We are very excited about this transition.
Mom agreed to stop on the way down to Florida so that we could do a little house hunting and get a feel for what was out there. David was not with us, so I didn't expect to actually commit to anything...

But it happened and this is what I bought: Only, this is what ours looks like so far:

Some of you are probably thinking I am crazy right now. But let me assure you, David had given me permission to buy if I felt I had found the right thing...and I did! So, we will head back down to SC this month for him to see it in person! We are very excited to own our own home again! I promise to put more pictures up when we move into ours in June!

Road Trip

My mom and Haaley flew in from Colorado to spend spring break with us! After a quick night's sleep, we jumped on the road to South Carolina and Florida. You can see that the kids travel well!
And when they weren't sleeping, they enjoyed plenty of movies.

Easter Party

Now this seems so long ago, but Isabelle is still talking about it, so I wanted to share it with you all. Before heading out on our Spring Break Adventure, Isabelle had an Easter party at school complete with an easter egg hunt! They had made their own Easter baskets and had to collect four eggs, being sure to only get one of each color.
And no party would be complete without some treats, or in this case, a feast!
Happy Easter!

OOPS! REAL post yet, but when I pulled up my blog to work on it this morning, I had to laugh. It appears that I have been devouring chocolate cake for the last 3 weeks because of the last blog I left...but there has been so much more going on! Chocolate cake has had nothing to do with any of it! I will do my best to update you all (all 10 of you!) on what is going on in the Westlake just might take me a few days to get caught up! But be patient...I will get there!