Sunday, November 11, 2012

Welcome home on Veteran's Day!

"As we express our gratitude, 
we must never forget that the highest appreciation 
is not to utter words, but to live by them." 
-John Fitzgerald Kennedy

This Veteran's Day, I had the pleasure of photographing one of our dear friends coming home from Afganistan. 

As I watched all the soldiers embracing their loved ones, I felt a little catch in my throat, because I remember when, not so long ago, it was ME in their shoes, at the airport, waiting for that moment when I would finally be in my husband's arms again.

These lovebirds were seperated for 200 days. That's 200 days that they will never get back. It sure is great to see him home safe and the two of them back together!

Our friend Warren was lucky enough to come home early, but others were not so lucky. My husband, for example, was in Iraq for 18 long months and then South Korea for 12 months. Luckily, he is now non-deployable, but he still struggles with PTSD and various side effects from his brain injury. 

Life is short. Let's remember to thank those who give up weeks, months, and even years to fight for their country. And, of course, those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom by giving their lives for our country.

Next time you complain about who was or wasn't elected president, or our government, take a little step back and think about something. We are LUCKY to be Americans. We live a life of freedom that many could only dream of. Without the brave men and women fighting for our country every day, we wouldn't be free. 

To all soliders, past and present:
... and God bless you all.

"There is a pride most will never understand. It is a series of late night phone calls, I miss yous, see ya laters, dress blues, lots of tears, endless prayers, care packages and love letters, countdowns, homecomings, best friends, dog tags, skype dates: a military thing most will never understand." 

Monday, November 5, 2012

We're baaackk!

It's been awhile. Okay, it's been forever. But guess what, guys? 

A lot has changed over the last few months. Too much to really fill you in on right now, because there is a toddler poking my laptop screen with a stick and it's a little hard to concentrate with an infant squealing and bouncing like a maniac. I will summarize what you all missed soon. I promise. But for now...

Remember this guy? He is now THIS BIG! 


Emmett is almost SIX MONTHS old! I know- I'm having a hard time believing it myself. What can I tell you about our Emme these days? Well. He is the happiest baby ever. I mean it. God must have decided I deserved a break after all we went through with Elliot, because although he insisted on making his grand entrance into this world early, he is now the best baby I could ever ask for. All smiles, babbles, and coos... all the time. We are still exclusively breastfeeding, but we recently stopped cosleeping. It was a tough decision for me to make, but ever since, he went from waking up every hour or so to sleeping 5-8 hours straight and only waking up ONCE a night. That's a big deal, for us, because {as some of you will remember} Elliot didn't sleep through the night until he was 13 months old. Emmett has already figured out how to roll from back to tummy and tummy to back, and is working on sitting unassisted. He recently discovered his toes and likes to chew on them... and he's SUPER ticklish.

And this guy? The big brother?

Elliot turns TWO next month. I don't know when, but he somehow got all sneaky on me and turned from a baby into a toddler. Toddlers, I've discovered, are so much fun! He is learning new things almost every day and always finding new ways to make us laugh. He has the cutest little habits, such as waving and yelling "byeeee!" to all the furniture, toys, etc in one room before entering another. He purposely throws things off our balcony because he knows he will get to go down and get them. He also steals his own snacks from the fridge. We recently moved him into a "big boy" bed, and I was worried about how he'd make that transition- but he is surprisingly easy to put down at naptime and bedtime. As long as he has his blankies, that is! Gotta have those blankies. Like any toddler, he can be whiny. He throws tantrums sometimes... but that's mostly because we have a communication breakdown. In fact, Elliot starts speech therapy this month! More on that later. 

As it turns out, I had nothing to worry about when it came to bringing another baby into the house because Elliot is a PHONOMENAL big brother. He loves, loves, LOVES his little brother. He is always making him laugh and smile, and is always willing to bring me wipes, diapers, burp cloths, teethers, etc if I need them. And if Emmett ever happens to cough, sneeze, or spit up when I'm not looking, you can be sure that he will sound the alert with a very loud "Uh Oh!" If I don't respond quick enough, he will come and grab my hand and drag me away.

I want to say THANKS- to you guys, my readers. While I was gone, I recieved countless comments, emails, and messages wondering where I was, if we were okay, etc. That really meant a lot to me. Hopefully, I can keep Elliot away from the computer this time and we will be around for awhile!

Okay, that's all I have time for right now... more to come! Including a giveaway! And I have to add in a GIANT thank you to my in-laws. Without them I wouldn't have a computer again, therefore, I wouldn't be blogging. I don't know why so many people complain about their in-laws... mine are wonderful.