Saturday, December 29, 2007

You know its time to get out when...

Tonight I was laying on the couch when I noticed the girls playing. Its not the fact that they were playing that made me laugh, it was WHAT they were playing. They got three new dolls, and a pooping dog for Christmas. Were they playing with these? NOPE. Our girls were playing war - with a sock over their hand as their "gun" and "searching" rooms for the enemy. But that wasn't even the good part. A few minutes later I caught them playing Drill Sgt. Sam was the Sgt and Hailey was the soldier. The game was complete with push ups, running around the living room and over head arm flaps. Hailey was a good soldier as she stood at parade rest when talking and followed commands precisely. Sam was full of promises of extra duty and PT if her commands were not followed. It was hilarious!!!! You know its time to get out of the Army when your kids would rather play Army than Barbie!!!

A year in review

This year has been filled with "the best of times and the worst of times." I've decided to break down the year into months (kind of like a Thursday 13, but really a Saturday 12) and recap our year. I don't blame you if you just skim over it, I'm sure its going to be long!!! Hope you enjoy looking back with us and I can't wait to read about your year too!!!
*January - Started off bad as I had to put Cory back on a plane to San Antonio only 6 days after our wedding to finish his AIT. The rest of the month was filled with school and work, on top of all my other daily doings!
*February - I flew out to San Antonio the weekend after Valentine's Day to see my Hubby. This was the first visit to what would soon become my home state. We had a great time just being together - nothing spectacular as he had a curfew imposed by Uncle Sam! Saying goodbye this time was bitter sweet as we knew this would be the last time we'd have to leave each other for a while!
*March -Cory graduated from AIT - FINALLY!!!!!!!!!! We thought the tough part was over, boy were we wrong!!! We found out that Fort Hood would be our home - we had NO clue what we were in for! Cory came home for two weeks thanks to the Army allowing him to "recruit". This was our first real taste of married life!
*April - Cory reported to Fort Hood and I began to really buckle down as school was coming to a close!!
*May - I graduated from GTC, left a job at SEMS that I LOVED, said good bye to everything and everyone I love and moved to Texas. A few short days later, I took my NREMT -P and passed on the first try - a feat not accomplished by many!!! So yes, I am a Paramedic still (for those of you who asked) - just putting it on hold for a little while!! The girls joined us in Texas at the end of the month!
*June - Pretty boring, just settling in to our new apt and life here in Texas. Oh yeah - we found out we were expecting our "love child"!!!!
*July - Boring!!!!
*August - The girls started Kindergarten. They absolutely love it and have really blossomed and are learning so much!!! I turned 25 on the 31st!
*September - Cory turned the big 27 on the 1st! I missed TONS of birthdays, one that hit me more than most!
*October - We headed home to SC to celebrate the girls BDay and see everyone for the last time for a while! We had such a wonderful time and it was so hard to leave - again. Halloween was such a let down. But we did move into our NEW house!!!!!!!!!!
*November - Missed tons more birthdays. Saw Reese on the 3D ultrasound (well kind of). Celebrated our first Thanksgiving as a family and on our own - in every sense of the word! We had a great time and made memories that will not soon be forgotten!!
*December - Started off rough as I was dealing with what I have lovingly termed "pre baby blues". I think Cory thought I was losing my mind, but I have recovered for the most part. The holidays hit hard as did my pregnancy!!! We all got the stomach bug - and survived. The month was closed out with a visit from Pappie that we all needed!!! Lastly, Cory and I celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary - a little unorthodoxed but thats the way we like it!!!

So there you have it. Our year in a nutshell. Its been filled with ups and downs and test after test of our patience and trust in the Lord. He has always provided and for that we are truly grateful! We are now just waiting for the arrival of our little man. Next year promises to be just as busy and trying as we are anticipating Cory's deployment, our move back to SC and most importantly the birth of Reese! I hope you all have a great New Year's and your year is filled with more blessings than you can count!! May God bless and keep you and we hope you have a GREAT 08!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

In sickness and in health...

Cory and I have put our vows to the test this year as yesterday was our 1st wedding anniversary!! We've been for richer and poorer (thanks to the US Army), for better or worse (again, thanks Uncle Sam) and our most recent "in sickness and in health" was yesterday. Yep, you heard it - yesterday was plagued by sickness. Cory and I had been looking forward to celebrating our day because Pappy was in town with the girls and we knew it would be one of the last days we would have for a while where were "truly" alone. But as luck would have it, Cory came home from PT early sick as a dog. He climbed in the bed by about 730am and did not get out of bed til 1230 today. He was soooooo sick. The girls had the bug on the 23rd and 24th, so we figured it would only be a matter of time before Cory got it. We just didn't think it would happen on our anniversary! So Cory spent his day knocked out in the bed and I spent the day on the couch. Pappy took the girls to the movies and to the park but graciously invited me to dinner with them. So we ate at Red Lobster - YUM!!!!!!! I felt so bad for Cory as he was pitiful! He survived it though - and I think its out of our system now. I just hope Pappy doesn't take it home with him.
Cory and I made up for our bummed day today, though. Pappy took the girls to part 2 of what promises to be a triple feature week as far as movies are concerned, so Cory and I headed out of the house around 3pm. We went for a small lunch, for me to get my eyebrows waxed - ouch!, and then to a movie - I Am Legend (with Will Smith) -- a MUST SEE MOVIE!! We then headed to Olive Garden for dinner and some Sparkling Grape Juice - YUMMO!! It was great. We don't do date nights near as often as we should - so it was really nice to spend some alone time with some adult conversation! We were going to go and check out some Christmas lights, but I am absolutely exhausted, so we just decided to turn in for the night! I have a wonderful blog I hope to post about our year soon, just not now as I am soooo tired.
We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I know we did. Very low key, but I don't think I could have handled anymore. By the way - does anyone have any ideas on the messiest/ most annoying toy for a 2 year old? My wonderful brother and sister in law graciously gave our girls a dog that POOPS for Christmas and I just want to return the favor!!!! LOL~ we love you guys!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto!!!

Last night I had to go to the hospital. Everything thing's fine with Reese, I just have a really bad UTI. I swear the more time I spend here in Killeen, Tx, I feel like I've been thrown back to the "stone age". Ok, so I'm exagerating a bit about the time, but I do feel like I'm in a time warp. This was reconfirmed for me last night at the hospital. When we walked back to Labor and Delivery and through the double doors to the department, we were greeted by a RN who told us that Cory would have to wait in the waiting room with the girls - this infuriated Cory as he wants to be with me especially when it could have something to do with Reese. He is very protective!! So as we walked out to the waiting room (I had to wait to get a bed) I noticed a sign on the wall that said "Father's waiting". I kind of chuckled at the thought that this hospital may make the "dads" wait in the hall for the birth of their child like they did decades ago. Again, this infuriated Cory - as we have literally fought the US Army to have him here so he could see the birth of our son. I reassured Cory that I would ask.
I was called back to the department for my bed about 25 min later. I walked into a COMPLETELY white, sterile enviornment. It kind of looked like an OR. This was their birthing room. Nothing like the rooms at Regional, GMH, Allen Bennet, Women's or Mary Black. All of those places have rooms that are "homey" and inviting. This room had NO tv, no chair for the husband, nothing!!! Just a bed, a monitor and a warmer for the baby. Now I have not seen the rooms in the Mom/Baby ward yet, but this was really bad. Thank God I will be having a C-section and will actually be in an OR - a place that is supposed to be sterile. It just reminded me once again that I'm not in Kansas (ok, Spartanburg) anymore!!!
Another reminder for me was when we first moved here. I remember watching the news and the TOP story was that the Court house here in Bell County was going to have 2 camera's installed for safety. I laughed as I thought that you can't even walk into Spartanburg County Court house without being frisked and walking through a metal detector!!! And then the next story was about the fact that Bell County was "considering" using electronic finger printing for criminals instead of the old paper and ink. Again, this is ages behind Spartanburg County - who has the electronic AND a database!!!! Here, they still use filing cabinets. Can we say "Welcome, to Mayberry???"
These are just a few observations I've made since we've lived here. Just a reminder for me that there's No Place Like Home!!!!

***By the way - Cory WILL get to see his son be born!! He had to wait this time because we had the girls and there is no one under the age of 12 allowed in L&D!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Thursday Thirteen on Wed

I know I have been total slack with blogging lately. I don't really have any valid excuses. I'm gonna do my Thursday Thirteen tonight because I can't promise how I'll be feeling tomm.
My Thursday Thirteen this week is an update on what's been going on in our house lately.

1) Reese is weighing in at 4 lbs 10 oz and that was LAST Monday. I swear he has at least doubled in the last week. I'm not counting on making it to my due date 2/7. I'll be satisfied with the middle of January.

2) Cory received official word that he is on Rear Detachment (he gets to stay here at Fort Hood) while his unit goes to Cali for NTC. This is a MAJOR answered prayer. Now we know he will not miss Reese's birth!

3) We've decided not to decorate the outside of our house. We made this decision for many reasons; lack of money, time, energy and the full "Christmas spirit". We are proud to say that we are the ONLY people in our cul de sac with no outside decorations, but luckily Cory and I enjoy being different.

4) I am having a really hard time sleeping lately. I can't sleep for more than about 45 min to and hour at a time. Reese is running out of room and likes to remind me on a regular basis.

5) I am dreading Christmas for the first time in my life. I know its going to be a hard day for me as I am away from Family and friends. My Step Dad John will be flying out Tuesday night, so maybe that will help out! Plus, I am with my AWESOME husband and fiesty girls, so I'm trying to look at the bright side.

6) All of our Christmas presents are bought and under the tree (well except for one)!!!

7) Cory got his Christmas/Anniversary present early. He just couldn't wait. He traded in his Playstation2 and some games for a XBOX 360. He also got a couple of games he really wanted and the stuff for him to do XBOX Live on the internet. He's like a kid again!!!

8) Tomorrow is the girls last day of school for 2007, and its a half day!!!!

9) We finally got a Car seat for Reese. I've been totally slack on "nesting". Hopefully we will acquire all the other goodies soon!!

10) Some one told Samantha and Hailey that Santa only puts you on the "naughty" list if you can't write your name good. This annoys me and almost makes me want to dispell the myth of it all. If it were up to Cory, we would have already set the record straight. I'll let you know how that all turns out!

11) The weather in Texas has been CRAZY! It can't decide what it wants to do!

12) Cory has been working 1/2 days this week as he is one of the few that didn't take leave for Christmas break. We are saving up his days for when Reese gets here.

13) I am currently working on a blog (in my mind at least) about the insanity I've seen on the Today show the last few days - be sure to check that out in the next day or two!!

So there you have it!! Totally random. Just hang in there with me while I fight through the lack of sleep and extreme fatigue!! I promise it will get better!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Makes me smile

I remember when I began working at Spartanburg EMS last summer and the "news" broke that Cory and I were dating. I was told by several people to "watch out" for Cory - one person in particular (who shall remain nameless due to lurkers upon this blog). I never really take into stock what "scorned lovers" or the family of such say because very few people leave a warm and fuzzy feeling with their exes. Anyway. This person said that she knew first hand that Cory did not want kids - ever and so she knew things would not work out for us because I had kids. I was merely a "rebound". Like I said, I never put stock into these comments. I told Cory and we just kind of laughed (and still do). I remember so many times people told me that I was just something to pass his time and to keep my heart guarded. I knew that those people would never understand what Cory and I have. I say all this to say that everytime I look back on what those people said to me, it just makes me smile. If only they could see us now!!!
Cory and I are coming up on our one year wedding anniversary next week and I can honestly say that I am more in love with him now than I was a year ago - I never knew that was possible!!! My mom made the comment the other day that she knew my brother was in love with Annie when he would eat lettuce for her and that I was in love with Cory when I would tolerate his dipping habit ( I know that's gross, but that's a different post all together). And she was right. I love everything about him - from his night terrors that keep me up most nights to the way his eyes light up everytime I walk into a room!! As cliche' as it sounds - he completes me!!! I could blog for days about the things I love about him and the reasons I am so in love, but I'll save that for our actual anniversary!
As for Cory not wanting kids... obviously he just didn't want kids with any of "them" (and Thank God for that - I don't need any other ties to THAT drama). If they could only see the light in his eyes when he talks about Reese and the girls; or see the big goofy grin he gets when Reese kicks him in response to his voice... It warms my heart more than anyone will ever know!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Gullible was a baby chicken...

Not quite sure exactly what that saying means, but I remember Reid Boyer (our old youth pastor at WBC) used to say that to my friend Hillary because she would believe just about anything. I am bothered by the fact that so many people these days are extremely gullible and then want to punish someone else for their stupidity. I'm sorry if I step on anyone's toes here, but I am a bit of a skeptic and anyone who knows me well knows that I just don't believe things just because someone else tells me (most of the time) - I usually have to prove it to myself!! Here are two incidents, I've heard of recently, where I feel that people should have used their brains a little more and done some research.
In 1987, Oral Roberts, a well respected Evangelical Speaker stood in front of a sold out crowd of followers and proclaimed that GOD told him that he needed to get 10 MILLION dollars or that he (GOD) would strike him dead. That's not even the sad part of it - the sad part was that he was able to raise this astronomical amount in a very short time. He did not mention what he would be raising the money for, just to save his life. Does this strike anyone else as odd?? I mean, I totally believe that God is more than able to strike someone dead if he felt the urge, but I also believe that MY GOD is a tender, loving and fair God. I just can't buy into the idea that God would come down and tell someone to raise 10 million dollars just because and then threaten them with DEATH if they did not follow through.
More recently, I heard a couple of weeks ago about a couple in Monroe, Louisiana who claimed that the wife was a member of the CIA and could arrange for satellites in space to take a full body scan to detect disease, tumors, cancer or any other illness. You had to pay a fee, but of course the fee was reduced if you went through her as she could offer a "discount". If the body scan revealed any illness, she would arrange for Secret Service agents to come in while the person was sleeping and administer medication to cure them. This story is too bogus for me to make up. The couple was able to raise close to a million dollars in a matter of months which says to me that some of the people who were paying for these services possibly had a good bit of money, as I'm sure the couple didn't not accept IOU's. And with money, one is to assume that there was some level of education involved. When I heard this, I had to laugh out loud. Who could be so gullible to believe that something like this could take place? I know we have made great strides in Medicine over the last 20 years, but for Satellites to diagnose something and the CIA and Secret Service to take the time out of their schedules filled with protecting our country to administer medication to the people of Monroe (sorry if you know anyone who lives there) - I just can't buy into that. But what upsets me the most about this particular case was that the couple who ran the scam have been placed in jail for an undisclosed amount of time. I know they should be punished for what they did, but I'm shocked that they were able to find that many people able to pay for their "services". Those people have no one to blame but themselves.
Again, I'm sorry if I've offended anyone here. That is not my intention. My plea to you, DO NOT buy into random claims for a "quick fix" for your problems. Very few things in life come easy and fast - the best things in life are the things you have to work for!!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Prayer requests

I'm taking a moment to ask you all to pray for Sherri Richardson, my sister-in-laws mother. She was put into the hospital today to have some tests run. I'm not 100% on the details, but I know its something with her heart. Please pray for her and her family. Brian and Annie drove up today to be with her.
Also, please pray for me. I've been hit by some ferocious bug today. I have been throwing up and I will spare you details about the other end. Please just pray that whatever this is passes just as quickly as it came. I'm off to the toilet- I have a really good blog I'm working on, hopefully when I am able to sit up in bed for more than 5 min I will finish it and post it!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

And some say we do this for the money...

FYI: Volunteer Military – “According to the Defense Department, the active-duty military’s largest pay grade is E-4. About 261,300 soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines are paid at the E-4 level, $1,699.50 per month in 2007… Using 2007’s salary figures, a U.S. E-4 will make roughly $56.65 per day in base pay. Considering the average work day in a war zone is at least 12 hours, on slow days, they will earn roughly $4.72 per hour.”- Army Times

** Might I add that Cory's work days are already 12 hours and he hasn't made it to the sandbox!!


My belly at 31 1/2 weeks! Notice the bandage on my finger - I sliced it open with a steak knife! I'm so glad to be married to a Paramedic/Combat Medic!!
Here's the front view! Please excuse the outfit - I only have one pair of maternity jeans and a couple of shirts, so I wear bum clothes the majority of the day!

One of our new rugs. We have another one this size and a small one to match at the door! Not what we would have picked out, but FREE and they get the job done!

Our new additions! This is Zach, Lucky and Ben - our friends the Finleys moved and did not want them anymore! No, this is not our big decision!!

A closer look at our tree, the girls and Cory did a great job decorating!!

Here is our Christmas Tree!! I'm so proud - its our first family tree!

Here is Sam (blue) and Hailey (pink) on Santa's lap for the very first time!!! And they actually talked to him! Before now they always screamed!! I'm so proud.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Sickness and Sicko's

While I'm waiting on Cory to get ready to go and get our Christmas tree (YEAH!), I thought I'd take a minute to update you on our week and all the exciting and lack there of things that have happened.
Hailey has had some sort of Upper Respiratory junk for the last couple of weeks. It always scares me when Hailey gets sick because she seems to have less of an immune system built up than Samantha. I called my mom about a month ago and asked her to send us Hailey's nebulizer as I left it in SC. So I was ready to combat any asthma symptoms that may arise. Thank GOD it didn't get to that point. She just had a nasty cough and it is getting better.
Samantha seems to be getting what Hailey had. Oh the joys of siblings and better than that, TWINS!!!!
I can't remember if I blogged about this next particular occurence when it happened, so I'll give you the reader's digest version really quick. When we first moved into our village, we got a knock on our door after about a week and a half. It was CID (criminal investigations division) - no they weren't here for us! They were informing us of an attempted abduction that had occured the night before in OUR cul de sac. YIKES!!! Things have seemed to die down until this week. Apparently, this SICKO has tried to take another kid or two. They (CID) had a sketch of this pervert and a description of the guys car(s). This is particulary frustrating for us here for several reasons: *While we are considered "on post housing", we are not inside the main gate and therefore there is easy access to our village. *To live here, you have to have at least 2 kids because these are all 4 & 5 BR houses (at the age of 10, you do not have to be under direct superivision of an adult during the day, so there are TONS of kids walking around before and after school - its a picking ground for anyone who wants to take innocent kids) *While we have two gates to get to our village, they are unmanned due to "lack of manpower". We are not slated to get guards until 2011. So basically we are just sitting ducks until SOMETHING happens. I just hope that its something positive and not something tragic!
So there you have. We are off to purchase our very first Christmas tree and some decorations to get us all in the mood! Hope you guys have a wonderful weekend. Check back for some pics of the Girls with Santa, our Christmas tree, a belly pic from me and our new additions!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Happy Birthday, Annie!!!

I just want to take a minute and send a BIRTHDAY shout out to my sister in law, Annie!! I hope your day has been wonderful! We love you and miss you!

Monday, December 3, 2007


Today we were presented with an opportunity that, 6 months ago, we would have jumped on - no questions asked. But being that it is now, it has really put a burden on mine and Cory's hearts and minds. I am choosing not to disclose the details of this opportunity until we have made a decision. There are many different things we have to take into consideration and we ask for some extra prayers for us in the next couple of weeks. Please pray that God will direct us in which direction to go and give us peace with the decision that is made! We don't want to make this decision selfishly, but rather want to do what is best for everyone involved. I know I'm being annoyingly criptic, but please know that all will be revealed in due time. This is a MAJOR decision that will impact our family tremendously, no matter what we decide. The days will be filled with many questions, very few answers and the making the toughest decision we've had to make since begining this journey!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Hodge Podge

I don't really have anything to say tonight, so I thought I might just do a hodge podge update of the last few days:
*After my burnt chicken and rotten potatoes fiasco, I gave it another shot last night! Our grill is having some issues, so I ended up baking the chicken; I also forgot to put the potatoes in the oven in time to bake, so I ended up making instant 4 cheese potatoes. So it wasn't the exact same, but it was good - I feel like I'm well on the way to redeeming myself.
* We've decided to lay off the "pill popping" pressure for Hailey. She is content with us breaking the pill and putting it into something to drink. We are content not to fight with her!
* Thursday I had a serious emotional break down - I think from the stress of our everyday lives, the holidays, the hormones and a multitude of other small issues that have just grown into one big problem. Cory, bless his heart caught the brunt of it but handle it like a true soldier! Don't worry, I'm getting help - thanks to my husband (have I said lately how lucky I am?!?!)
* Yesterday Cory cleaned my car out! It was soooooo disgusting!! But now it looks like new - I almost hate to drive it; I just want to park it and look at it!
* I also got a package yesterday from the Dale's. I won a drawing on Stephanie's blog a little while ago, and my prize was some hand soap in a cute Snowman and some lotion (it smells so yummy). Thanks Steph!
* We got rugs today!! YEAH!!!!!!!! The best part is - they were free! Our friends Chase and Mandy wanted to get rid of them because they have limited room in their apt, so they gave them to us! Hopefully I will take a pic of them and post it soon. They're awesome.
* We switched insurance companies today. Why is this important, you ask?!?! Well, we'll be saving about $800 a year - that's something to celebrate! And no, we didn't switch to Geico, we actually left them!!
* My mom is supposed to be sending me some Christmas stuff to get me in the spirit (and maybe Annie too). I can't wait to see what it is and get it all together.

I guess that's about it for now. Nothing spectacular for now. But I've grown to love the fact that my life has become a little boring. The Army gives me enough road blocks to deal with daily!! Til next time...

Friday, November 30, 2007

Personality Test

You Are An ENFP
The Inspirer
You love being around people, and you are deeply committed to your friends.You are also unconventional, irreverent, and unimpressed by authority and rules.Incredibly perceptive, you can usually sense if someone has hidden motives.You use lots of colorful language and expressions. You're quite the storyteller!
In love, you are quite the charmer. And you are definitely willing to risk your heart.You often don't follow through with your flirting or professed feelings. And you do break a lot of hearts.
At work, you are driven but not a workaholic. You just always seem to enjoy what you do.You would make an excellent entrepreneur, politician, or journalist.
How you see yourself: compassionate, unselfish, and understanding
When other people don't get you, they see you as: gushy, emotional, and unfocused

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Just call me Scrooge!!

I've been reading everyone's blogs on how excited they are about Christmas and all the decorating they've been doing (and its all beautiful, might I add). However, for some reason I am in a MAJOR funk this year. I'm not really sure why, but I'm having a terribly hard time dealing with all the Christmas " spirit". So today's Thursday Thirteen is dedicated to why I think I'm having such a hard time. Maybe by putting them down on "paper" , it will help me to face my issues and fix them - we'll see.
1) This is my first Christmas away from most of the people I know and love. Its just going to be Cory, I and the girls and this is tearing me up!!! I know its hard for them (everyone in SC) too, but at least they have other people around them - for us, its just us. Driving to see people is out of the question due to distance and Reese.
2) Cory and I have not bought a tree yet. I think we've finally decided to go with the real tree instead of the fake one. This has been a topic of debate for the last few weeks. We just haven't had the time to buy one.
3) We have NO Christmas decorations. My mom is supposed to send us some, but they have not arrived.
4) With me out of work and the Army's lack of pay, our funds are a little low. I usually make a BIG deal of Christmas since my love language is giving - this year I feel like I'm lacking!
5) Its still pretty warm here. I know its Texas, but there's nothing Christmasy about 70 degree weather.
6) Black Friday was a total bust. Its not as big a deal here as it is in Spartanburg. I was totally disappointed.
7) I'm so big, I have no energy to do anything. The thought of shopping makes me tired.
8) There's no place to hang stockings. I know that I can hang them on the wall, and I will when I get them. I'm used to the beautiful mantle at Mom and Johns.
9) I can't listen to My 102.5 and all the Christmas music they play. I'm not a huge carol fan, but I like to know that if the mood strikes me, I can tune in and listen away.
10) We don't have to go 50 different places to see everyone. I know that I may complain about this sometimes, but for me - its what Christmas has always been.
11) We have no "chimney" for Santa to come down - explain that to a 6 year old!!!
12) Nothing about Killeen says "christmas" to me. At home I know Main St is lined with candy canes and stars and christmas trees on the light posts - here, there's nothing.
13) No HOLLYWILD. This is always a tradition for me. I love the lights and the animals. Sure we have BLORA here that does "Nature in lights", but I doubt its anywhere close. We'll try it anyway, though.

So there you have it. Those are the reasons I'm such a Scrooge this year. I promise I'm trying to get into the spirit, its just a lot harder on me than I thought it would be!!! Please keep me (and my poor husband who hates to see me cry) in your prayers!! We love you and hope that at least YOU have a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pills and speeding tickets

This morning I was taking the girls to school. I've discovered that if I cut across and take the road in front of the school here in our village (our kids go off post - different post all together), it eliminates all the extra traffic the soldiers bring as they are trying to get through the gate. So as I turn onto the road, I let my foot off the excelerater and coast so that I can go from 20mph (the nonschool zone speed limit) to 10 mph (the school zone limit). I was coasting at about 12 mph as I approach the far fence on the school property. I saw that there was a Military Police car sitting at the end of the road "clocking" people. There were two kids waiting to cross the road so I stopped and let them cross. The MP had put on his lights, but did not move. As I appproached the car, he held his hand out to stop me (still sitting in his car, mind you). I stopped and rolled down my window. He said " Ma'am, I clocked you going 12 mph when you crested that hill. You realize that because this is a school zone, I could cite you double the fines." I said, "Yes sir, but by the time I made it to the school, I was well within the limit." He just looked at me and replied "Well, just take this as a warning." I said thanks and drove away. It dawned on me that I almost got a ticket for driving 12 MPH, is that even legal??? How ridiculous would I have felt explaining to my husband that I got a ticket for driving slower than some soldiers could run!!! So Brian, looks like you're not the only lead foot in the family, lol!!!!
On another note - think back to when your parents taught you how to swallow pills (as in medication). Unless your parents are saints, they probably got a little frustrated with you the first couple of times you tried and failed. Cory and I had always sworn that we would not be like that because that was what was done to us. Well tonight, we ate those words!!! We were trying to teach Hailey to swallow a very small antibiotic. She just wouldn't do it. It was one of those mind things - once its in there, nothing can change it!! I won't go into all the details because frankly I am embarrased of my behavior, I'll just leave you with the fact that she eventually got the medication down - not in the pill form, but thanks to Daddy's quick thinking!! I don't know what we are going to do tomm. She has 10 days to take these pills, twice a day! I think I'll google ways to teach someone how to swallow pills. Any advice from anyone out there would be greatly appreciated!!!

Burnt chicken and Rotten potatoes

Yesterday was not my greatest cooking day. I think that the "cooking fairies" wanted to humble me because I was so proud of my Thanksgiving accomplishments. I had laid out chicken leg quarters for dinner, I LOVE chicken, so I was so excited. Cory was relaxing, so I told him I would man the grill for dinner and for him to just play his playstation - I could handle it all. Boy was I wrong. I put the chicken on the grill with a little bit of Italian dressing (mine and Cory's favorite). This is something we've done a million times without incident. I went inside to put the rolls in the oven and check the potatoes that were baking and stir the green beans. Innocent enough, right? Well as I opened the door to the patio, I noticed FLAMES coming from under the grill lid. I tried to open the grill and the flames almost engulfed me. I shut the lid and turned the grill off, hoping this would exstinguish the flames. The fire just kept going. Realizing this was not something I could handle on my own, I opened the door and calmly yelled for Cory. He came out and realized that this was major. He rushed into the house to get some water. After the fire was out, all that was left was our burnt to a crisp chicken. I've heard of blackened chicken, but this was way beyond that!!
We brought it inside with the hopes that we could scrape off the skin and eat the chicken - surely it was done. Nope, wrong again. It was just as raw as it was when I put it on there -now explain that to me!!! I was almost in tears, but Cory had the great idea to throw the chicken in the oven for a few minutes to cook the inside. So we sat down to eat our potatoes, green beans and rolls and wait for the chicken. Cory cut into his potato and it was rotten - I had baked a rotten potato. I immediately broke into tears. My family rallied around me and assured me that it was ok. The green beans were gross too for some reason - Cory said that it was all in my head.
The chicken ended up in the trash because we couldn't get it cooked in the middle. The girls had a peanut butter sandwich and Cory had a bowl of Rice Krispies. Dinner was a total bust and the "cooking fairies" definitely brought me back down to earth!!! I ended the night by baking a cake - something I know I can do well.
So here's what I learned - you might can cook almost an entire meal on Thanksgiving from scratch, but if you can't manage to whip out a basic meal of Chicken and potatoes, save the money you were going to use to open up that restaraunt next to Emeril's and go back to the drawing board!!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

You can take the family out of the country...

But you can't take the country out of the family. I've never considered myself as being from the "country" until we moved to Texas. I've begun to notice that some of the things we do are quite simple and people see us as being "country". Well, we had one of those moments this past weekend. Cory has been DYING to get a fire bowl so that we could make a fire and roast marshmallows and hot dogs. This weekend was hovering just above freezing and he felt like this would be the perfect time. So Saturday after going to see Reese, we headed to Lowes and then Target and bought a fire bowl. Saturday night was too wet to do the fire due to rain that just seemed to never stop. So yesterday was "the" day. Cory braved the cold to start the fire and then we sat out in the FREEZING cold to roast some marshmallows. We had fun although it was soooooooooo cold. I'm so glad that I have a family that enjoys the more simple things in life - that fire got us all excited and made our day!!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Peek a boo!!!

Well, after about 1 & 1/2 hours of playing peek a boo with Reese, we managed to get a few pics. None of them are of his entire face at one time, but we were excited to get ANYTHING after everything we went through! Here are a few pics. Sorry they aren't the greatest, but he was still a little camera shy!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Gobble, Gobble

I'm happy to report that our first Thanksgiving out on our own was a GREAT SUCCESS!!! We fed 17 people and had TONS of left-overs. I was very proud of my turkey - it was moist and delicious! Our spread consisted of turkey, ham, green beans, corn, crock-pot mac and cheese, bread, REAL mashed potatoes, sweet potatoe casserole, bread, stuffing, and deviled eggs. No, I did not make all of that, we had people helping out with some of it. However, we made the turkey, mac and cheese, bread, deviled eggs, green beans and corn!!! And don't forget my Red Velvet Cake. We had a great time cooking and spending time with our "extended family". Our house was filled with Medics and everyone was more than willing to help!!! Although we missed our families more than words could say, we all were really thankful to have the friendships we have here. This was the first Thanksgiving away for ALL of us. And I feel like we made a meal that each of our individual families would have been proud of. The only "premade" things we had the entire meal were the beans, corn and bread. Everything else was made from scratch!!!! Thanks for all your prayers - they definitely came in handy!! My Thursday Thirteen will be dedicated to 13 memories I will cherish from my first Thanksgiving away from SC!
1) My first successful Red Velvet cake
2) My first successful turkey - it was SOOOOOOOOO good and I don't even really like turkey!
3) Shepler making REAL mashed potatoes (16 lbs worth) - he was determined to make sure they had NO lumps; they were the first real potatoes that I've ever liked!!!
4) Mandy and Miller making gravy - we had tons of juice from the turkey and they just knew they could make gravy from watching their moms do it every year - it was interesting but turned out pretty well!!
5) Brittany's pretty ham and her homemade Pecan Pie. Her story is very similar to my Red Velvet cake story, with the same outcome!
6) Having a kitchen FULL of men cooking. At one time I counted a total of 7, each working seperately but for a common good!!
7) Making deviled eggs and getting sick. I think it was the smell, but something definitely knocked me down for a couple of hours.
8) Having a kitchen table FULL of food not once but three times. We had appetizers that filled the table, then dinner and then the desserts!!! It was great!
9) Having a house full of people. I thought I would be totally stressed out, but surprisingly enough, I was totally relaxed and really enjoyed myself!!
10) Watching the girls love everyone! We have really been blessed with friends who love our girls and are willing to play with them - the girls absolutely love for any of them to come over, and the fact that they were all here was even better.
11) The after dinner milk chug. Three guys, none of which were my husband, attempted to drink an entire gallon of milk in less than an hour without throwing up! I'll just leave it that only ONE made it!!
12) Having all of our "military" friends, old and new in one place at one time!!
13) Feeling like I accomplished a HUGE task and didn't have any meltdowns or anxiety attacks! Although I hope I never have to spend another Thanksgiving without our families, its nice to know that if we do - we can pull it all together!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!! Hope you guys had a GREAT day!! Gobble, Gobble!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

"A Military Thanksgiving"
We offer gratitude this day
For blessings multiplied,
For family, fellowship and friends
Who remain by our side
Through many separations,
And distances so vast
That lesser love would be subdued.
It's doubtful it would last.
We share these bonds of feeling
That stretch between our souls
When distance separates us
As we pursue our goals.
But you have favored us with friends,
And families that clutch
Us close although we wander
Around the globe so much.
So Lord this day we offer thanks,
And bow our heads in prayer.
We recognise that
You're the source
Of all the love we share

Watch out Duff

I'm not sure if any of you ever watch Ace of Cakes, but the girls and I LOVE this show. It comes on the Food Network Channel on Thurs at 930/830ct. Any way. The owner Duff and his team make awesome cakes in the shape of just about anything you could think of. My secret dream is to one day have my own bakery and make similar cakes. Baking is definitely my "thing".
Well, I decided to make Geraldine Foreman's famous Red Velvet Cake for Thanksgiving because Cory absolutely LOVES it. He's never actually had Geraldine's cake, but John makes one exactly like it because he follows her recipe. I was very nervous because, if you don't know, its all made from scratch with very precise measurements and ways of doing things. Red velvet cakes are either a success or a bust, there is no middle ground!! So tonight I set out to try it. And I am proud to announce that my first Red Velvet Cake (made from scratch) was a SUCCESS!!!!! It tastes SOOOOOOOO good. If I do say so myself, along with my husband, it runs a close second to John's! So watch out Duff, the next Ace of Cakes may be on her way up!!!
Now if only the rest of my Thanksgiving meal turns out just as good....

Medic Thanksgiving

This a year of many firsts for Cory and I. This is OUR first Thanksgiving together (last year he was in AIT in San Antonio), our first Thanksgiving alone (without ANY of our families), and our first time being in charge of all the Thanksgiving festivities. What started out as a small, intimate Thanksgiving with about 6 people has turned into a full on event with a total of 25 people and counting. John (my stepdad) laughed at the fact that this is MY first Thanksgiving ever cooking and I am responsible for making a feast to feed 25. Go big or go home, right??!! I am a nervous wreck! Most people know that John ALWAYS handles all the big meals in our house, so I have never been responsible for cooking anything. This year, its all on me. People are supposed to bring different things, but I am responsible for the Turkey and dessert (the two most important things in my book). I am also making sides just in cas some of the guys flake out on me!! So please say a prayer for me as I have a major undertaking before me tomm.
Please also remember my parents - this is their first Thanksgiving as complete EMPTY NESTERS. They have headed down to the beach for the weekend, but I know my mom is having a hard time with this all. Thank God Brian and Annie are supposed to be joining them on Friday!! Happy Thanksgiving to ALL! Hope all your festivities ( and mine) go off without a hitch!

Monday, November 19, 2007

All in a years time...

A year ago today was one of the hardest days of my life (to date, at least). I'll never forget that day as long as I live. Cory and I spent the night before in Columbia - I didn't sleep a wink because all I wanted to do was look at him and memorize every thing about him. We woke up before the crack of dawn and headed down to breakfast. I ate nothing for fear that the knots in my stomach would cause me to puke. We drove over to Fort Jackson for Cory to finish pulling together the loose ends of his contract and to swear back in to the Army. In the early afternoon, we headed over to the Airport there in Columbia. We weren't sure if I could go to the gate with him due to post 9/11 regulations, but the angel behind the desk at the Continental flight check in must have seen the despair in my eyes as I thought I would have to say goodbye to my fiance' (we had just gotten engaged a few weeks earlier) in the Food Court. She gave me a temporary Gate pass so that I could go and sit with him until his plane left, God Bless that woman!!!! As we sat at the gate, we realized that his flight as actually been delayed a couple of hours. Part of me was elated at the news and another part of me felt like we were just putting off the inevitable. I spent the remainder of the time holding tightly to my soldier, for fear that if I let him go, they would take him sooner. I can't remember what we talked about and what was said, I just new that as long we were together, I would be fine. I am proud to say that I kept my composure most of the day, I was strong for him as I knew it would break his heart to see me cry. Around 6 pm, the final boarding call came for his flight. I gave him one last hug and began to ball. The people around me probably thought I was sending him to war the way I cried, they probably would have looked at me differently had they known he was only going to Texas. He boarded the plane but not without giving me one last look and that half smile that I fell in love with only 4 months prior. I cried the ENTIRE way through the airport, to the car (in the pouring rain, I might add), then the whole way home and I mean the whole way home. I called my mom and Amy and balled. Through the tears, I found my way back to Spartanburg. This was just the begining of a year that would be filled with many trials and tribulations, tears and smiles and some of the hardest goodbyes one could say.
Today is our one year anniversary in the Active Duty Army. The first of three we will have. While the active duty is not what we expected and there hasn't been one day that one or both of us has not expressed the regret we have for signing up for this, I feel this is a journey we had to take and it will only ensure our successful marriage in the future. It has allowed us to build a foundation that is not easily swayed. Here in Texas we have been forced to rely solely on each other and build a relationship I feel would have been difficult to form if we lived in such close proximity of our family to bail us out when the waters got rough!!! As I've stated in previous blogs, I cannot imagine taking this journey with anyone else. I realize that our future promises us to say at least one more heart-wrenching goodbye in July when Cory deploys, and maybe more if God sees it fit to only give Cory a "one way ticket" to the sand box, but regardless of what the future brings, I will always cherish the memories we've made here - the good and the bad!!!
To my soldier -
I can't believe its already been a year. I can honestly say that I could have never imagined that I would love you more today that I did this day one year ago!!! I am more proud of you than words could express. Despite the hardships your job brings us daily, you wear that uniform proudly!! I could go on and on about why I love you, but I'll save the readers from all of that!! You are my best friend and hero (along with many other titles). I love you to the end of the numbers - NO REGRETS!!!!!!!! Happy anniversary!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Another angel receives his wings...

I know most of you have probably heard that Steve Owens has passed away. I just wanted to stop and remember his family and remind everyone to continue to pray for them. They are all such Godly people, I know they feel our prayers. I may be in Texas, but I'm not out of the loop. Sometimes I receive information before my mom does - its kind of neat. Please remember the Owens', Kinard's and Walker's along with the rest of Steve's family and friends as they deal with their loss this holiday season.

Up in the sky - its a bird...

Just wanted to let you all know that my husband has unofficially been given the title of Flight Medic for his unit. What does this mean, you may ask... well basically it means that if a patient is deemed "unstable" at the hospital Cory will be in when he is deployed, he (Cory) will be responsible (along with the Brigade Surgeon or some other doctor) for flying - in the helicopter- with said soldier to a more suitable hospital. This is a very prestigious honor given to only the elite few. Because Cory is the only Paramedic in his entire unit, he can do a lot more for these guys than the rest of the Medics. I'm so proud of him and so thankful to God that the rest of the "superiors" in Cory's unit are starting to understand exactly what he is capable of!!!

Pictures, Chipotle's and Stubborn Babies

Today was a very productive day for the Trotters (well, at least for most of us). We got up at a decent time - at least for a Saturday- and headed out to WalMart to get the girls pictures taken. I've found that WalMart usually has relatively decent pics and you get TONS for a very reasonable price. I made Cory come with us because I really wanted to get a family pic for some greeting cards, needless to say he wasn't the happiest with me - but he "soldiered" up and was a real trooper. We managed to get a REALLY good pic of the girls together, 2 good pics (each) seperately, one family photo that will do the job, and even got a pic of just Cory and I that turned out really well. We did all of that, plus pic our package and "customize" it and get out in about 30 min. We were all happy - me because now I can tell the Grandparents that new pics are coming, Cory because the picture taking was over and he survived and the girls because they LOVE to have their picture taken!! I'll post the pictures as soon I get them back!!!
After our picture taking, we headed down to Round Rock (about 45 min from here) for lunch and then our much anticipated 3D ultrasound for Reese. We stopped in at Chipotle's- Cory's most favorite place to eat. It's kind of like Moe's but not even close to as good (don't tell Cory I said that). There's not one here, so I don't mind letting Cory get his MASSIVE burrito when we make the trip down I-35. He was happy and I am glad that I am married to a man that is all set after just one burrito every couple of months!!!
After our lunch, it was off to see our little man. I thought that because we had just eaten he would be awake and active as this is his usual behavior. Boy was I wrong. The ultrasound started out with Reese having his hands OVER is face and refusing to move them. The U/S tech had me get up and walk around to get him to move. I laid back down and Reese had flipped over to where we could only see his back. From then on, he refused to be seen. I went to Baskin Robbins to "sugar" him up and that didn't even work. He wouldn't let us see ANYTHING but his back - he showed his butt, literally!!!! I had to chuckle even though it was frustrating because he is already so much like Cory and I - Cory because be does not like being the "center" of attention and Me because when I decide I don't want to do something, NOTHING will change my mind. So we left Round Rock empty handed today. :( We are scheduled to go back next Saturday and try again. Hopefully Reese will see the need to grace us with his cooperation as I just want ONE picture.
After our failed attempt at capturing a pic of our little "angel", we headed back to Killeen for a friends baby shower and then I was off to WalMart for groceries. Reese definitely woke up in WalMart - I've decided that he either loves grocery shopping or hates it as he goes bananas everytime I walk into WalMart, the commisary or HEB (our grocery store here). After putting away the massive amount of groceries and eating a very late dinner - I'm such a bad mom - Cory and I watched Eight Crazy Nights (another of Cory's traditions) and are now turning in for the night.
Hopefully tomm will allow us to rest and be lazy, as my body (mostly my swollen ankles and feet) need the break. I hope everyone has had a great weekend!!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What's next???

Just wanted to take a minute to say Gimme a break!!!! Check this out and tell me what you think...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Only in Texas...

I'm doing my Thursday Thirteen a little early as I'm not sure if I'll have time to do it tomm. I am going to list 13 things you will only find in Texas - well, you may find them other places, just not places I've been. Only in Texas...
1) Will it be 85 degrees when you walk into the mall to get your hair cut and it will 60 degrees when you come out - and you've only been inside an hour.
2) Will you see the Texas State Flag ALWAYS flying at the same height as the US Flag. Most other states show a little respect to Old Glory - but not in Texas.
3) Will you hear school age children reciting a Pledge to the Texas State flag immediately following the Pledge of Allegiance.
4) Will you be able to carry ANY size gun as long as it is in plain site - without a permit.
5) Will you see topless women walking around outside and it is all completely legal as long as you cannot see genitals or anus ( I'm sure this law applies in at least Lousiana, but it still shocks me).
6) Will you have to travel one way down the "frontage road" just to do a U Turn under the bridge to go one way up the other side. This is extremely frustrating - trust me.
7) Will you hear a state refer to itself as The Republic of Texas and not ever really claim to be a part of the US.
8) Will you be able to drive from sun up to sun down and not even be close to the end of the state (again, this may apply to other states, but Texas is the only state I've heard truck drivers saying things like "Sunrise to sunset and you still ain't out of Texas yet."
9) Will you hear the residents call themselves "southern" but not know how to make sweet tea.
10) Will your kids get a day and a half off every 8 weeks, not to mention all the days in between that are declared "holidays" - I've never seen kids get out of school this much in my life!
11) Will you have 3 WalMarts within about 5 miles of each other - this may just be here, but I swear you can walk out one WalMart and see the other two from the door. (ok, a maybe not THAT close, but they are close)
12) Will you find 32 elementary schools, 11 middle schools and 4 high schools in ONE school district. (This requires a sub list of at least 1000 people, no joke)
13) Will you find signs that report the number of days its been since road fatalities. This may be unique to Fort Hood, but at every gate there is a sign with a red, yellow and green light. The sign reads "___ days since our last fatality". I've yet to see it make it past 30 days. This just shows you the caliber of drivers roaming these streets.

*** These are just a few things I've found unique about this great state... Hope you guys have a wonderful day!!!

Army 101

Cory had a four day weekend this past weekend so we really enjoyed having him home EVERYDAY, ALL DAY. But today, its back to the grind. Cory has left for the field for at least 3 days, so I am all alone - again. I have started to compare being an Army wife to being in school. Everyday here there are lessons to be learned, and lessons to be reinforced. These lessons vary from Pay issues (which the Army is notorious for), how to get laundry detergent spilled on your husband Class A's over two months ago out without ruining them, learning how to do a DTY (do it yourself) move and have the Army pay you, to learning the proper way to pack a Ruck Sack with all the supplies your husband will need to survive in the field for at least a week (maybe longer). Its a never ending process and I've learned something new everyday. I could probably write a book on the lessons I've learned since being here in Texas. But just like school, the Army has tests. I feel like field missions (like the one Cory is on now) are like end of Chapter tests. They are used to make sure that we, as Army wives, are retaining the lessons we've learned as our men are usually taken to the field in the middle of some crisis (such as the Pay issue we are having right now). I use these times to boost my confidence, putting the tools I have developed into action. Then you have your Pop quizzes. These consist of minor set backs that the Army throws at you at least once a week(these may be pay issues, housing issues, or other "pearls" the Army likes to give you). I feel like these are used to keep us on our feet and never really get "settled" because Army life changes EVERYDAY and sometimes multiple times a day. My family can atest to the fact that my life is ever changing. They may talk to me at 8 am and this is going on and then by noon, plans have TOTALLY changed. I've learned to never write in pen, that's for sure. Then you have your FINALS. These are known as NTC (National Training Center). It consists of the soldiers going to California (at least in our case) for a month to train for combat overseas. Unfortunately, Cory's NTC is scheduled for middle of Jan to middle of Feb (the time Reese is to be born). We're working on this now, and hope to have all the details figured out by Christmas so that Cory can be home for the birth. NTC is the test that makes sure you can survive the Deployment as your soldier is taken from you , with little contact and you are left to handle matters on your own. I am confident that I can make it through all of this, with the support from my family and friends and most importantly the guidance of God's hands. So I'm off to hit the books again - more lessons to learn. I just wish that at the end of all this I could put this on my resume' and it carry some weight!!!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

I've been tagged...

8 things I'm passionate about: (in no particular order)
1. my family
2. my marriage
3. my children
4. supporting our troops
5. being an Army wife
6. friendships
7. learning as much as I can from my experiences
8. being open minded

8 things I want to do before I die:
1. Travel out of the country
2. see our children accept Christ into their heart
3. Help Cory finish and publish his book
4. Buy a house
5. have enough money to give as freely and as generously I want to others
6. learn to relax and let the little stuff go
7. Seek His Kingdom everyday
8. See our children grow into successful adults doing something they love and living a life they are proud of.

8 things I say often:
1. "I love you"
2. "hey lovie"
3. "what do you want to eat?"
4. "in a few minutes"
5. "get out of the kitchen" (to the girls and the dogs)
6. "inside voices"
7. "the Army sucks" (at least once a day)
8. "you know what I mean"

8 books I've read recently
1. What to expect when you're expecting
2. Pregnancy for Dummies
3. Man named Dave by David Pelzer
4. Ever After
5. The book Cory's working on
6. The children's book Cory and some of the Medics are working on for their 1st Sgt.
7. Owner's manual to my Kia
8. Maternal Fetal Nursing

8 songs I could listen to over and over:
1. Bring it home by Little Big Town
2. Anything by James Taylor
3. Anything by Martina McBride
4. She's Everything by Brad Paisley
5. Anything by Rascal Flatts
6. WHen you say nothing at all by Alison Krauss
7. If you're reading this by Tim Mcgraw
8. Anything by Lonestar

8 things that attract me to my best friends:
1. They "get" me and love me anyway
2. They keep me grounded
3. They are there to pray for/with me
4. No matter what the distance, I know they are always only a phone call away
5. They let me think I'm in control most of the time
6. We have the same sense of humor
7. They love me even though I'm currently a Texan
8. They support me ALWAYS

Tag 8 People:
I don't know 8 people who have not been tagged by Annie!! I look forward to reading everyone elses!!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

My Momma always said...

"The man you marry will have to be a STRONG man to keep you in line". We always used to joke that he (my future husband) was probably living in Africa learning how to tame lions with his bare hands. As I sit here watching Cory play his video games, I realize that I am married to MY perfect match. No, he does not tame wild lions, but I think God uses him to show me that I don't always have to be in control and I need to just relax more.
Cory came to me at such an unexpected time in my life and was such a breath of fresh air. Once I got over the initial "you big jerk" phase, he made me realize that I had always just settled for less than I deserved. When we first met, he was married so I never dreamed that WE would be together. But as God would have it, it all worked out in the end. I'll spare the details, but for those of you who know the WHOLE story, you know it was GOD all the way.
Cory reminds me of my brother Brian in many ways. I know he (Brian) and maybe everyone else may think I'm loosing my mind, but its true. Brian and Annie have always had a relationship that I looked up to but never dreamed I would have. I knew God was in the center of their lives and they were truly with the one that God made for them. I always thought maybe I was just meant to be alone. Until Cory.
This journey we have been on for the last year and a half has been a bit unorthodox (as if I would have had it any other way, lol). However, I find myself regretting NOTHING with this man. I cannot imagine taking this journey with anyone else. We have our moments where we are unsure of our future and what it may entale, but we always come back to the fact that as long as we are together, we'll be fine. God is in control and there is NOTHING that we cannot face and overcome together (all three of us).
So no, Cory does not eat nails, nor does he tame the wildest beast. He has managed a greater task than this - he tamed MY heart!!!

Friday, November 9, 2007

I love these things...

Maybe its because I'm bored, but for some reason, I love doing interesting little surveys like this!!

I give you money and send you into the grocery store to pick up 5 items. You can only pick one thing from the following departments.. what is it?
1. Produce: Apples
2. Bakery: Cake (white with buttercream frosting) or Doughnuts
3. Meat: chicken
4. Frozen: Popcicles for the Girls
5. Dry goods: Some sort of Cereal for Cory

Let's say we're heading out for a weekend getaway. You're only allowed to bring 3 articles of clothing with you. So, what's in your bag?(besides under garments, right?)
1. Jeans
2. T-Shirt
3. Flip Flops

If I was to listen in on one of your conversations throughout the day, what 5 phrases or words would I be most likely to hear?
1. "How was your day?"
2. "I love you"
3. "Go lay down!!" (to the dogs)
4. "What do you want to eat?"
5. "I can't wait to get out of here!!"

So, what 3 things do you find yourself doing every single day, and if you didn't get to do, you'd probably be in a pretty irritable/bad mood?
1. Loving on my husband and girls.
2. Having a caffeinated beverage or two
3. Getting online

What are 3 things that you have in your room that have been with you for the longest amount of time?(Currently I'm in the living room, so I'm gonna use that)
1. My Puff-a-lump> Anyone who has spent any significant time with me knows the importance of this bear.
2. Long sleeve T-shirt from 1998 Band season.
3. Purse from 2001

If you were only allowed to listen to 5 of your CDs for the rest of your life, never adding anything else, which 5 could you listen to & be content with?
1. Little Big Town
2. Mix of Country I made
3. Mix of Light Rock/ Old R&B
4. Luther Vandross
5. Martina McBride

You're driving down the road, and suddenly you're hit with this sense of road rage. What 3 factors probably contributed to it?
1. Slow drivining in the fast lane
2. someone pulled out in front of me
3. People won't get over when I'm trying to merge on or off the interstate

Sweet, you just scored a whole afternoon to yourself. We're talking a 3 hour block with nobody around. What 5 activities might we find you doing?
1. Sleeping
2. Watching TV
3. On the internet
4. Get a massage
5. Shopping (if I had the money)

We're going to the zoo. But, it looks like it could start storming, so it'll have to be a quick visit. What 3 exhibits do we have to get to?
1. monkeys
2. elephants
3. hippos

You're hungry for ice cream. I'll give you a triple dipper ice cream cone. What 3 flavors can I pile on for ya?
1. Birthday Cake
2. Sweet Cream from Cold Stone Creamery
3. Chocolate

Somebody stole your purse/wallet…in order to get it back, you have to name 5 things you know are inside to claim it. So, what's in there?
1. My Military ID
2. Cards - Debit/Credit
3. Check Books x 3
4. Pens
5. Keys

If you could go back and talk to the old you, when you were in high school, and inform yourself of 6 things that you should or should not do what would it be?
1. Don't be afraid to be alone. It doesn't always pay to be "involved" with someone.
2. Listen to your Mom and John - sometimes they know what they're talking about.
3. Its not neccessary to go against everyone just to "prove" your independence - people know you are unique.
4. Listen to Brian and Annie - they may not be much older, but they are MUCH wiser.
5. Your body is a TEMPLE!!!
6. Trust your gut. When you feel like something or someone is wrong in your life - you're probably right!! Go with it!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Ups and downs

We have officially made our appt for our 3D/4D ultrasound. We will be going on Nov 17 (yes that's a Saturday). I will definitely be posting the pics ASAP!!!! YEAH - we are so excited!!!!!!!!!!!

On a not so happy note - Cory has received official word that he will deploy in early July 08. We knew it was coming and I feel like we are prepared. Its going to be a long 15 MONTHS. The Army has the longest deployment schedule. 15 months is the bare minimum. Some units stay longer. Please pray for our family as we begin to deal with the reality that his day is coming. We must begin to explain to the girls what's going on and I must re-learn how to be a "single mother". Cory is having an exceptionally hard time dealing with the idea that he will miss a lot of Reese's "first". I'm just ready for him to go and get it over with because once he returns, his contract will almost be up and we can put this whole Army thing behind us!! I will posting more news as we know it and as it changes (as Uncle Sam LOVES to do).

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

One of the JOYS of being a Medic's wife...

Cory's job in the Army is to be a Combat Medic. This entails many different duties, some of which you may not think of. Its has its joys and it has it pains, like most other jobs. However, we have experienced one of the "joys" this week. Cory has spent the last two weeks working at the sick call clinic (the place for all the sick soldiers to go in the am from 6-9 and seek medical treatment). He has also been working VERY closely with some of the Medics in his company - who have been passing around some kind of funk for the last few weeks. Well, the inevitable happened. Cory and I woke up Sunday morning feeling like we had both been run over by a bus. Apparently, he has brought something home and being the WONDERFUL husband he is, he thought he would share. So we've spent the last couple of days trying to recoop. He is MUCH worse than me I might add - I attribute it to the fact that I refuse to let this knock me down because I have so much to do. I do think however that my day is coming and I too will be begging to be put out of my misery. Cory had to literally peel himself from bed this morning with a 100.8 fever, sore throat and a cough that only a seal could be proud of and carry himself to the same sick call clinic where I believe this all began. Please pray for us as we are trying to get back on our feet and please also pray that Uncle Sam will see it fit to give my pitiful husband the day off!! Till next time!! I'm going back to bed...

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Just a couple of pics!!

Our family of Pumpkins including Reese's with the pacifier. (Clockwise from Left - Sam's, Our's, Hailey's and Reese's)

Sam and Hailey with the Scarecrow at Harvest Fest 07 - Fort Hood, Tx

Thursday, November 1, 2007

I saw Moses running down Battalion Ave!!!

Ok, so maybe it wasn't THE Moses, but it was someone who dressed up as Moses. Yesterday was the 4ID's "morale" run that every battalion takes to boost their morale shortly before they deploy. The 4ID is scheduled to start deploying over the next couple of weeks. Most of the soldiers dressed up in costumes for the run. They shut down one of the busiest streets here on post and Cory said they had 4 helicopters hoovering over the run as well. Its a great morale boost for not only those soldiers but for the entire community!! One of the top NCO's stated that these soldiers go to war for many reasons - God , country, duty,etc but also for the men and women on their left and right!! I'm sure it was a great bonding experience and memory they will all cherish! By the way - Moses was leading the entire group, staff (well, really a flag) in hand! It was great.
Last night we headed over to Abrams Gym (the main gym here on post) for their Harvest Fest. We didn't know what to expect as we have been disappointed the last few times we went to "military functions" with the kids. But it was fun. They had games for the girls to play and gave out HANDFULS of candy for each game. The girls only played like 6 or 7 games and their bags were already full. They also had a cake walk and some "family" games to play where you could win prizes like a Computer, Nintnedo Wii, and other "big ticket" items. We didn't stay around for those games - we had some trick or treating to do!!!
Here on post, they had a curfew for trick or treating. We had to be done by 8 pm so we made it back home from the Gym around 730 and hurried out to get some candy. I had decided earlier on that we would only go up our street and around our cul-de-sac because I couldn't walk much further and the girls were definitely NOT hurting for candy (thanks to the Gym and Big Daddy- Cory's dad - who gave them 2 HUGE bags full of candy when we went to SC). I am disappointed to say that only 4 people, including us, gave out candy on our entire street.
The girls had fun and despite the "toothfairy" forgetting to leave money for Samantha's tooth she lost yesterday, I think that Candy Day 07 was productive. We had the Finley's and Chase's over last night for a little while and it was great to spend some time just chatting and hanging out.
So that was our day - hopefully when I figure out how to post pics here, I will be able to post a few pics of the house, and Halloween!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Out in the knick of time!!!

I just wanted to take a moment to stop and lift up a prayer concern. As many of you know, we have just moved from our apt here in Killeen to a house on post. This has taken place literally within the last two weeks. As I drove the girls to school today, I heard that our old apt complex had caught fire yesterday evening, burning 8 units and displacing all of those families. One of the families was a friend whom I had spent a good amount of time at the pool with. She has a son, Carson, who is 4 and attends the same school the girls do and a daughter, Amya, who is 8 months old. Her fiance'., Troy has just returned from Iraq two weeks ago. What should have been an exciting time, settling back into the civilian world, has now turned into CHAOS!! Please take a minute and lift these guys up along with the other 7 families. Being in the military has its upside, but the downside is that usually you are FAR away from your family and when something like this happens, you are literally left with nothing and no where to turn. I will keep you posted as I hope to make contact with her today to see about her needs!! Thanks guys!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A glimpse into my (our) life!

She stands in line at the post office waiting to send a package to her husband, a U.S. Army soldier serving in Iraq. Envelopes, pens, paper, stamps, sunscreen, eye-drops, gum, batteries, powdered Gatorade, baby wipes and Twizzlers. He said he needed the sunscreen and baby wipes. She threw in the Twizzlers. There's a common bond at the post office in this military town. People aren't just sending letters and packages; they are sending smiles, hope, love and just a touch of home. People look around at the others, sharing their concern, fear and pride. They take comfort knowing they are not alone. Passing through the gate leaving the Army post, she enters another world. A world filled with pawnshops, surplus stores, barbershops, fast food galore and, of course, "Loans, Loans, Loans." This is a life that includes grocery shopping at a place called the Commissary. A life that has her venturing to the Post Exchange, referred to as the PX, instead of heading to Wal-Mart.
This is where you come to learn, appreciate and respect the ceremonious traditions of Reveille and Retreat, and of course, the National Anthem from a completely different perspective. At 6 a.m., or as the soldiers call it, 0600 hours, Reveille can be heard across post. The bugle call officially begins the military workday. At 1700 hours Retreat sounds signaling the day's end. Soldiers render salutes, chatter fades and all eyes are drawn to the nearest flag. At 2300 hours, the bugle sounds Taps, denoting not only the "final hour" of the day, but also honoring those we have lost.
When the national anthem plays in a military town, a special aura fills the air. Men, women, and even children stop to pay their respects. Civilians place their hands over their hearts. Soldiers salute. In this world, the anthem isn't just a prequel to the echo of "Play Ball." Since she married her soldier and experienced the Star Spangled Banner from this perspective, she's noticed how people in civilian towns react to the national anthem. She notices the people who continue to talk, the hats that stay on, the beer that doesn't get put down, and even the jeers at the person singing the anthem. The meaning seems to be lost to a majority of people. But if she looks closely, she can see who has been blessed enough to learn this lesson. Some are grandparents, some are parents, and some are young children.
At first glance, children growing up in this world of artillery, tanks and uniforms are the same as any other kids from any other town. They do the things that kids do. They play sports, go to school, and play with their friends. The difference is that their group of friends may change once a year, or more, due to a change of duty station. They don't have any say in this. They could be two years old and not remember a thing about it, or they may be 16 years old getting ready for prom and having to uproot and move again. They're known as "military brats," a harsh misnomer for those who learn a lifestyle of sacrifice at such a young age. Yet, it makes them strong.
The little boys become the men of the house and the little girls become the ladies. They adapt to these different situations. They live with the reality that one, or even both parents, may not be around to celebrate birthdays and holidays. They know there will be time when they will look into the stands during Little League games and see only an empty space in the bleachers. At the same time, these kids have a sense of overwhelming pride. They brag about their daddies and their mommies being the best of the best. They know their Mom's been through deployments, changes of duty stations, and the ever-changing schedules Army life brings. While Dad is away, she takes care of the house, the bills, the cars, the dogs, and the baby.
To cope with it all, she learns military families communicate via the Internet so he doesn't miss out on what's happening back home. But he does miss out. He won't be there for the baby's first steps, and he may have to hear his son or daughter's first words through a time delay across a static-filled telephone line. She remembers what it was like before he left, when everything seemed "normal." Normal except for the pressed uniform, the nightly ritual of shining boots, the thunder-like sound of the Apache helicopters flying overhead, and the artillery shells heard off in the distance. OK, relatively normal when they occasionally went to the park, spent holidays together and even enjoyed four-day weekends when he could get a pass.
But, the real challenge began with the phone call. She relives the moments before she kissed him good-bye. A phone ringing at 0400 hours is enough to make her heart end up in her throat. They've been expecting the call, but they weren't sure when it would come. She waits to hear the words, "Don't worry, it's just a practice run." But instead she hears, "Here we go." So, off he goes to pack, though most of the packing is finished because as a soldier, he is "always ready to roll." She gets the baby, but leaves his pajamas on because it is just as well that he sleeps. She takes the dogs out, she gets dressed, all the while trying to catch glimpses of her husband. She wants to cherish his presence because she doesn't know when she'll see him again. She knows that in other homes nearby, other families are enacting exactly the same scene. Within 15 minutes, the family is in the car heading to the "rally point."
As they pull up, they see soldiers everywhere, hugging their loved ones. While people love to see tearful, joyous homecomings, fearful, anxious, farewells are another story. Too soon, with his gear over his shoulder, he walks away. She is left behind, straining to keep an eye on her soldier. As the camouflage starts to blend, only his walk distinguishes him from the others. She takes one last look and takes a deep breath. She reminds herself she must stay strong. No tears. Or, as few tears as possible. Just words of encouragement to the children, to her friends and to herself. Then she turns, walks back to the car, and makes her way home to a house that is now eerily quiet. She mentally prepares for the days, weeks, even months ahead. She needs to focus on taking care of her love while he is overseas. Her main priorities will be the care packages, phone calls, e-mails, and letters sprayed with perfume. And, she can't forget to turn the stamp upside down to say, "I love you." Taking care of her family, her friends, even strangers this is her mission as an Army wife to do these things without a second thought.
At the ripe old age of 25, she knows the younger wives will turn to her for advice. "How do you balance a checkbook? How do you change a tire? When are they coming home?" Only when she knows everyone else is OK, the bills are paid, the cars maintained, the lawn cut, the kids asleep, the pets calmed down, and the lights are off, does she take time for her self. Alone at night, she runs the next day's events over in her mind to make sure it will all get finished. She reviews her checklist of things to do, things to buy for his care package. Once again, she checks the calendar to count down the days. Before turning in, she checks to make sure the ringer is on for the late night phone call that might come in from overseas. Before she falls asleep, a few tears hit the pillow. But even as the tears escape, strength enters her mind, body, spirit and soul. She remembers why she is here. She remembers the pride and the love that brought her here in the first place, and a sense of peace comes over her, replacing, if only for a second, the loneliness, the fear and the lingering heartache she feels while her soul mate is away. This is what it means to love a soldier. She wouldn't have it any other way.
by Jamie Reese

Monday, October 29, 2007

Gonna give this a shot!!!

Hello all!! I thought I might give this blog spot a shot. We have all heard the stories of soldiers and some of what they go through. I hope to shed a different light on these same stories - a view from an Army wife. I promise not to make this all about being an Army wife, but I enjoy reading about the different lives that all of you guys have and I want to let you into my world some! We have good days, bad days, and some days I want to pack my bags and run. However, I love being an Army wife and I love my soldier!!! So please join me on my rollercoaster of emotions - and please keep your hands and feet inside the ride until it comes to a complete stop!!