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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Getting back on the horse...maybe

I am still alive, for those who were wondering. Its been almost 2 months since I've posted last...the reason for that is simple - my life is CRAZY!!! Since my last post, we've had a lot going on.... here's my feable attempt to catch you up: (hopefully I'll add pics sometime before the turn of the decade...)
*We celebrated the girls 8th birthday with one heck of a party!!! Filled with creepy critters, custom cakes and some of our most favorite people on the planet!!!
*The Daddy of our house made his way home.... FINALLY!!!!!!!!
*The Fall soccer season ended and a week later we started winter training...its never ending!!!
*Sam is still doing dance and has decided to add Upward cheerleading to her schedule (as if we didn't have enough to do!!)
*Reese is into EVERYTHING and occasionally gets stuck... case in point- he thought it would be fun to "play" in his bath seat (you know the one you put baby's in that encircles them so they dont slump over and drown in the tub)..... well..... he's grown a little, ok A LOT since the last time he was in that thing and he got stuck. Not "stuck" like threatening a limb stuck, but I was unable to manipulate his chubby little legs out of it. So, I (along with my BFF) spent some time one Sunday morning extricating him with a hack saw and some Dawn dish detergent. I love making memories!!
*Cory is officially done with active duty Army...now its back to the Reserves.
*The girls carried the Army flag at the Veteran's Day program.
* We've already celebrated Thanksgiving with my family because my parents and girls will be going to the beach on Thanksgiving to meet with my brother, SIL and adorable niece and we will be going to Anderson to visit Cory's family.
*Our old post - Fort Hood was struck by tragedy.
*While all of our closest friends survived this attack, we lost another dear friend only a few short weeks later...
*I'm carrying 3 cases right now with my GAL stuff.
*I am working like crazy.
*We've lost some animals (2 of these, 1 of these, and 1 of these)
*But we've gained one too.

So as you can tell, we've been busy! With kids and pets and work and extra cirricular activities, my life is jam packed!!!!!!! I hope you are all doing well! I am trying to keep up with your blogs, though I may not ever comment! Wishing you a safe and Happy Holidays!! Hopefully I'll be back before the turn of the decade, but if not - have a safe and happy one of those too!! LOL!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Back up and running

Cory finally got his blog back up and running! Go here to check it out! I couldn't be more proud! I know I am quite slack on blogging lately. I'm dealing with some things personally and I am just choosing to lay low for a bit! Don't give up on me... I'm slowly getting it together! Soon, very soon, I'll have all sorts of posts for you to read - there's a lot going on in my corner of the world! Til then, stay safe and God Bless!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lost connections

I'm posting a new blog because, if you haven't noticed, the link in the blog before no longer works. Cory is making a new blog and hopefully he will put his most recent blogs on the new one! Anyway. Lots of happenings, but I don't have the energy to post any of it right now! I hope you are all doing well! Check back soon for more detail!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What's happening...

You wanna know what's been happening in our house? Go here for more details!!!!! Please pray for us, there's some changing going on!!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

What was I thinking?

Today is day 2 of another 7 day stretch of working. At the end of the stretch, I will have worked approximately 112 hours. WOW! That sounds ridiculous! What was I thinking? I think I have lost my mind... if not, I'm sure I will have by the end of this schedule! Anywho... just wanted to update those of you who care, on what's been going on this week:
*Monday was MY birthday! Yep, that's right. I turned the BIG 2-7!! I spent the day alone for the most part. I had court in the afternoon for my G.A.L stuff - it did not go the way I had hoped! I left frustrated and annoyed at the unorganization of some and the lack of communication of most! I picked up all the kids and came home to a beautiful bouquet of yellow and white DAISIES (my favorite) and balloons on my front door step from my favorite US Soldier! He's so sneaky! I finished the night with dinner with the parentals, my BFF and all the kiddos!
*Tuesday was CORY'S birthday! (isn't he lucky? I've made it easy for him to remember my bday - its the dayh before his!). He turned the big 2-9(almost 30, hehe!) I had to work a 24hr shift, so my day was almost a bust (I say almost because the next bullet will be about how amazing our God is!!!). Cory had a good day, I think. He had dinner with some of our closest military buddies, complete with the Chicken Dance, the annual "birthday beating"(not as painful as it sounds), and a gift from his roomies. I didn't buy him anything (shame on me, I know) because I will be purchasing the next COD4 complete with night goggles in the next month or so - that will be his birthday gift!!! We missed him, but this will be the last!
*God is Good! All the time! Here's what saved my Tuesday... Let me go back a day - Court, on Monday, was disappointing. But when I left, I called to give the 411 to the person in charge of "my" kiddos (the G.A.L. kiddos that is). She informed me that they boys would be moved the next day but was unsure where. I was beyond frustrated as I could envision the nightmare it would be to track down these kids once they are moved (communication is lacking in the job - BIG TIME!) Anyway. I decided that I would spend the next day (Tues) trying to make heads or tails of it all. I woke up dreading the phone calls I would have to make. I went into work and began talking to the off-going crew. One of them made a comment that she had to hurry home because she was getting 2 new kids that day and had to rearrange a few things... I inquired as to the ages. She said 8 and 2! I gasped and asked if it was >>>>> >>>>> and >>>>> >>>>>>?!?! She said YES!!!!!!! OMG! PTL!!! No phone calls needed to be made! I knew where they were! And it also meant I didn't need to rush over to the foster home to make sure it was suitable (some of them are NOT - trust me!)! I was so excited and relieved! The foster mom and I work together, so we communicate on a semi regular basis - so I can keep close tabs on them! I love it!!! God is SO good!
*We are in full swing of Soccer season. Hailey's doing great! Its so neat to watch her develop her skills in the sport!
*Samantha started dance on Thurs. SHE LOVED IT!!! That's actually an understatement! She got her first pair of ballet slippers and she was glowing! I can already hear the "tap,tap,tap" that will be ringing through our house when she gets her tap shoes!
*Reese is doing well... still rotten, as always! He no longer cries when we leave him at daycare, he now cries when we pick him up!!! But I'll take it! He's with MeMa and Pop (Cory's parents) this weekend. I will have to de-program him next week - for sure!
So that's it! We're in full swing of life now, settling back into a routine after the crazy summer! I am exhausted most days when I finally make it to bed. I have always wondered what it would be like to have a "normal" life - but have recently come to the realization that THIS is our "normal". Its chaotic most days, but I LOVE IT!!!!!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Livin' the life...

So its Saturday at 4 am... I've officially survived the week! Its been a long one. But here's a run-down of what's been happening:
*Cory made it to Texas on Sunday and settled back into the Army life pretty smoothly. He has begun the daunting task of "clearing" everything so he can ETS (get out) in a couple months. We hit a snag this week - The Army pays extra pay for hazard duty and family seperation while the soldiers are deployed. This pay is supposed to stop when they return home. Well, it seems that the Army has made a mistake (GASP!!!! I know you are shocked) and has continued to pay 85% of the soldiers this extra pay. Sounds great, right?!?! Well, once the Army realizes it, they want their money back - all at one time!!! I caught the error this past week, and Cory has reported it. So now, we wait for Cory to come home with very little to no check one week...
*Reese started his new class. He sobbed when I left him - it broke my heart! But he's adjusting well after we leave him. He had an allergic reaction to Cinnamon on Thurs. Have you ever heard of such? His little face and chest broke out into hives - so it was definitely just a contact reaction. I will be getting him an EpiJr this week! The kid is so sensitive to EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!
*The girls are loving school (so far, that is). Hailey has had 2 soccer practices and LOVED them both (despite almost roasting!) I've Samantha enrolled in a Tap/Ballet/Jazz class. It will start in Sept.
*I have officially started my "new" job. I put that word in quotations because it is technically not new to me. I was doing the same job before we left to go to Texas. So I'm just going back to where I came from... that's how I see it! Anyway. So far, it has been a good move for me. Hopefully I will continue to see it that way!
*I also have my first OFFICIAL case. I can't post details due to privacy, but I can say it involves 2 children (Ages 9 & 3). I am very excited and nervous all at the same time. Please pray that I will always keep their best interest in mind and that I can make a difference in their lives with the help of God.
* I will be working a good bit of overtime at my "old" job. I am there now, hence the ability to blog! Because of the Army situation, I just want to be ahead financially BEFORE we are drowning!
As you can tell, we've been super busy! But busy means times flies. And for me, that means the world! We're getting back into a routine and settling in.... Just livin the life!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Just a quickie...

Just wanted to stop in and tell everyone that I am alive. I've got so much to share, but not today. I am going to bed. Cory left about 4 hours ago and the kids are finally in bed. Tomm is a big day here at the Trotter house - Reese moves up to Toddlers, the girls start 2nd grade and I start my new job. So I need to rest in preparation!! So check back, hopefully by the end of the week, I will have an adequate post to catch you all up!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Is anybody out there?

I'm sure many of you have given up on me here in the Blog world. I would apologize, but that would not be genuine. The fact of the matter is that I have been spending as much time as humanly possible with my husband and family since he has been home. Hopefully you understand. Life around our house has been pretty boring. Just spending the days hanging out, doing the "normal" family thing.
*Cory has managed to paint both bathrooms - one with the girls help.
*I have completed my G.A.L. Training. I hope to have my first case soon.
*Reese moves up to his Toddler class next week.
*The girls start 2nd grade next week.
*Cory leaves Sunday :(
*I start my new job next week
*Hailey is signed up for Soccer, Samantha will soon be signed up for Jazz.
*We've been to the mountains
*We've been to the lake
*Bugsy (aka Houdini Hamster)escaped
*But found his way back in the cage while we were at the lake
*Turtle (his name has slipped my mind yet again) has decided to "hibernate" under this tree.
*The dogs are fat and lazy as always.


I think that about sums it up! We've had a blast just being "normal" and are super sad that Daddy is leaving us again. BUT - this should be the last time! The next time he comes home, it should be FOR FOREVER!!!!!!!!! WooHoo! Have a great week...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Change is good...

Right?!?! Then why do I feel like puking when I think about the changes that are to come in the next few months?? I know its just because they are going to force me to leave my comfort zone. I know its going to be so rewarding once I am "settled" into my new surrondings. But I just can't shake the nauseous feeling...

*Monday I was offered a different job. As of next month, I will no longer be sitting in my "fish bowl" office, answering the radio and dealing with angry family members. I will trade in my comfy scrubs and tennis shoes for steel toe boots and BDU's. I will leave the comfort of my air conditioned (often times too much) room, office chair and cable TV for 12 hours and hit the streets in the middle of the August heat. I will be working with our county's EMS (emergency medical services) System. I will be a "real" Paramedic. I've been a Paramedic for 2 years, but have not been on a truck since we moved to Texas (and back). I will be working 24's for a while, as I wait for a 12 hour position to come open. I am SUPER excited and terrified all at the same time. I am thrilled to be putting one of my 3 college degrees to good use. The money is going to be way better and hopefully I will not be exhausted constantly once I settle in!!! But knowing all of that, I am sad to be leaving my current job!

Believe it or not, I love my job. I knew coming into it that it was only temporary as I know my calling is to be serving our community on the streets, but it still breaks my heart to leave. I will not be "leaving" the people, as I will see them when I bring patients in, but our relationships will be different. I will miss my job, but I know this is what's best. It still makes me queezy!!!

*I am also training to become a G.A.L. This is something I have felt led to do for a long time, but didn't want to take any of the (already minimal) time I had with the kids while Cory was gone. But now that he's home, I have decided to take a leap of faith! I am anxious to see how God is going to use me in the lives of the children that will cross my path. Again, I am beyond nervous, but I know without a doubt that this is where God is leading me!

*Cory will be home THIS Friday! Holy Cow! I can't believe its here. Seems like we've been waiting an eternity!!! Again, this is beyond exciting! But on the flip side, it makes me uneasy. I have got to learn to let someone else take some responsibility around the house. Cory is a wonderful father, but its hard to "let go" of the control I've had for the last year!

*I am officially on a "diet". I want to lose weight for several reasons. The biggest reason is so that I don't have to buy new BDU's. That's as shallow as it gets! LOL!! I've got several pairs of work pants and I don't want to have to buy anymore - they are NOT cheap! I am doing the Atkins diet. The reason is simple - I do not eat many vegetables (lets be honest, I think I may eat 5). But I will eat just about any kinds of meat, cheese, etc. My one biggie to give up is bread/carbs!! So if you see me out - keep me accountable!

While I am slightly freaked about all the changing going on, I am also beyond excited! Continue to pray for us as we transition into the next phase of our life.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Five

I haven't done one of these in a while, so I thought it would be good to do one! Here are five things going on at the Trotter household...
1. The Daddy of our house will be home NEXT Friday!!! I can't believe its finally here! We are all beside ourselves with excitement. Luckily, the kids will be busy with the grandparents (see below), or else I think they'd drive me nuts!!!
2. The girls will be in Charleston for the week visiting Uncle Brian and Aunt Annie - and of course Hannah Banana!! Reese will be with the out laws (hopefully he'll make the week). But don't be jealous because I won't be enjoying any "me" time because....
3. I will be working 84 hours over the next 7 days. That makes me tired just thinking about it... I don't know what I was thinking when... oh wait - I do know what I was thinking. I get to be off when Cory is home, so while I will be exhausted to the point of physical illness when I'm done, it will be soooo worth it!!!
4. I've got some cleaning to do... unfortunately with me working that many hours, I don't think it will happen. However, thanks to the kindness of a good friend, there may be hope!!! Our house is not "dirty" by any stretch of the word, but it needs a little TLC (ie dusting, mopping, vaccuming). I just want our house to be perfect when our Hero arrives.
5. As if I don't have enough to this week, I'm trying to get a "Welcome Home Hero" party together for our soldier. And I have NOTHING done for it! UGH!

So we are super busy to say the least! But it will all be worth it when we are ALL in the same house. I've forgotten what it feels like to be a "real" family!!! So there you have it. I've been working on this blog for the last 5 hours - so its Sat now! I'm at work - so I've had to stop and actually do "work"!! Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A lesson in forgiveness...

Today I did something that, had you asked me over a year ago, I never thought I would have done. Before I share what I did, I want to share a couple things that have been on my mind. It all ties together, I swear... just bear with me!!
Forgiveness, to me, means that you have truly moved past whatever the situation was. It is not in our human nature to forget, but I believe that true forgiveness means that NO MATTER what, it is never brought up again (ie in the heat of an arguement, or to "prove" a pattern of something). For the most part, I don't really have any issues with forgiveness... I might would argue I forgive too easily sometimes. But today, I had to not only "preach" forgiveness, I had to live it...
For those of you who do not know "the story" about how Cory and I came "to be", its a soap opera in itself. Here's the reader's digest version: Cory was married, his wife was unfaithful, he found out, he kicked her out, we started dating a week later (we had been friends for a while before - in fact I was the one who encouraged him to "really look into" her activities... this too is a great story of the cunningness of women and the links we'll go to to get what we want). Back to the story... of course, because we got together so quickly, there was great speculation that we had been having an affair before - this was not true, for what its worth. (Don't get me wrong, I figured out months before this happened that He was the one for ME, but he was faithful - at least physically- to his marriage) Anyway, his wife was out to ruin me for a while. We absolutely hated each other and said and did a lot of things that were hurtful to and about one another. Needless to say, when we moved to Texas, I was soooo glad to be away from her and the situation!
We moved on, got married, had a baby, you know the story. She married "the guy", and is now expecting herself. All was calm and quiet... We just kept our distance.
When I moved back to SC, I knew we would be running into each other at work so I emailed her and told her that I saw no reason that we couldn't be civil at work. I had enough to worry about this year, and I didn't need the added drama. I fully expected for her to email me back and let me have it. She didn't. Surprisingly, she apologized. It was a heart felt apology. I, too, apologized for the things I said and did. It was nice to feel the chains that had bound us together, due to the dislike we had for one another, break in that moment.
Fast forward to today....
She and I are friends - real friends - now. We do lunch and chat on a pretty regular basis. She even called to tell me she was pregnant the day she found out and I even got a call when they found out it was a boy. We are actually a lot alike (despite what Cory thinks... love you baby!) Her father passed away a couple days ago. The moment I heard, I reached out to her and let her know I was praying for her family. And tonight, I went to the funeral home to pay respects on behalf of Cory and I. As I stood in line, I was thinking about how far she and I have come and I was proud. I was initially uneasy. What do you say to your husband's ex-wife's mother who just lost her husband (the relationship I have had with them is less desirable than the one I had with their daughter). I prayed that God would give me the right words to say. And, as always, he did!
I'm not sharing this story with you guys to "toot my own horn". Lord knows this has been a long, bumpy journey and I have been less than Christ- like on MANY occasions. I am not proud of any of that. I'm sharing this story to encourage you to think about those with whom you may be holding a grudge against, for whatever reason. What was your role in the situation? What can you do to rectify the wrong? I'm not saying you have to hang out with the person or even talk to them. You can forgive a person without them even asking. Forgiveness is YOUR choice. Is there anyone you need to forgive today?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Q&A

I was reading one of my favorite blogs and she did a Q&A. I thought it was neat, so I thought I'd play along. Here are a few of the questions I am asked when someone finds out I am an Army wife (and that my husband was deployed)...
Q - Who keeps your kids while you work so much?
A - God has given me the greatest parents in the world! They live 2 miles from us and never hesitate to keep the kiddos. The kids have a super nice set up over there and have everything they would ever need or want at their house!
Q - Is Cory going to Re-enlist? If so, what will you do?
A - Much to the surprise of some, WE are planning on re-enlisting. But we will go Reserves (either Army or Air Force). I say "we" because we have made the decision. It is OUR life, after all and we both wanted to be ok with the terms. I'll keep you posted as details come...
Q - What was your biggest fear while Cory was gone? (or what is your biggest fear)
A - My biggest fear was never him being injured or even death. I can deal with anything medical that is thrown at me... my biggest fear was and always will be the Army and his deployments will change who my husband IS; on the inside. In some ways, he's not the same. But I can honestly say it could definitely be worse!!!
Q - What is the hardest part of Cory being gone?
A - This changed depending on the situation. Sometimes it was climbing into an empty bed. Sometimes it was knowing he was missing so much of the kids lives. Sometimes it was having to do everything around the house by myself. Sometimes it was just not being able to pick up the phone and call when I wanted to. Holidays were particularly hard. There never was a "hardest" part for me.
Q - How do you do it? (this was always my favorite)
A - What choice did/do I have? When Cory and I were dating and he expressed his wishes to go Active, I promised him I would follow him anywhere and support his dream. Granted, neither of us could even imagine how hard it would be at times. But it is a journey. We've made some wonderful friends along the way. We've been tested and survived! We've learned a lot about each other and ourselves. How do I do it? With the grace of God, an amazing support group of family and friends, lots of tears, lots of prayer, and one day at a time.
Q - Knowing what you know now, would you do it all over again?
A - ABSOLUTELY!!!! YES,YES,YES! While our run with the Army hasn't always been easy, I wouldn't change any of it for anything! It has given us opportunities that we would not have been afforded otherwise. I will be sad to leave Active Duty life, as it gave us our "start"! However, I know it is what is best. But it thrills me to no end to still be able to serve in the Silent Ranks!!

So there you go. There are tons of other questions, that are sometimes a bit controversial (ie - how do you feel about the war?; the president?; the army?). If you guys have any questions, please feel free to ask. I am no "master" of this life, but I will answer as best I can. Also, to the other Army wives, feel free to share some of your answers - I'm sure you get asked the same stuff!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Playing catch - up

After changing my flight voluntarily and then mechanical problems, I finally arrived back in SC yesterday morning. The kids were there to greet me with Grammie and I was so excited to see them!
I had an amazing first week in Texas, complete with manicures, pedicures, spray tans, SLEEP, adult beverages, girl talks, road trips, shopping, a great steak due to Doc losing a bet (love ya!), lots of laughs, some tears and TONS of anticipation waiting for our soldiers to return!
Friday was D-day for 2 of us. All day we (Elizabeth and I) were nauseous and just trying to keep occupied. The guys' plane arrived around 1730 (5:30 for non military), but they did not make it to the gym where we had been waiting for OVER 2 hours until 1930 (7:30). But after a brief (thank GOD) "welcome home ceremony", the reunion began. Cory and I stayed in a local Hotel for the first two nights to give us some time as well as the Sheplers. I'll keep the details to myself as they may be TMI for most.
Sunday we moved Cory into his new domain (AKA the Shepler's), where he shall dwell until his contract is up... or housing realizes he is living there and kicks him out (which ever comes first). Our week was filled with a road trip to get Cory's new truck, tons of movies, a new LCDHD TV for Cory's father's day, SLEEP, eating out, tattoos, spending time with friends, making new friends, the Sheplers getting a puppy that we all loved on, cooking dinner together, Brownie Batter Blizzards, and just eating up every second we had together!
I took very little pictures, as we did very little. But that's who we are. Homebodies! I may or may not post pictures of our reunion. I haven't decided if I want to keep them for our memories only or share them with the world. We'll see.
Cory should be home on July 17 for 30 days. I'm looking at having a "Welcome Home Hero" cookout/party on the 18th (maybe) or later. The kids are SO excited that Daddy is coming home and Cory is beside himself!
I am back at work and it looks like the next 3 weeks will be crammed with work, house cleaning, unpacking, swim lessons, day camp, day care, work, party planning, work and did I say work? I'll be working tons to make up for being off the last two weeks and being off while Cory's home. Needless to say, I'll be busy! But hey, at least it will keep me occupied, right?!?!
I'm so glad to have my hubby stateside, but sometimes I think its almost worse knowing he is attainable, I just can't go to him whenever I want! Does that make sense? Anywho! Please keep praying for us all as we transition into our new "normal".

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Texas bound...

I will be Texas bound in about 4 hours. I am so ready to go for MANY reasons. Please continue to pray for us as we transition out of one phase of our lives and marriage and into another!!! We expect Cory to be in Texas by the end of next week! Thank you so much for your love and support over the last year! We've ALMOST made it!! WooHoo!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

For Daddy, Love Reese

I finally figured out how to make a slide slow. This is for you, Cory! Grab your kleenex! Enjoy! Love you!
PS You have to disable to music player on the right! YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS SONG!!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: For Daddy
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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Breaking point

I am 4 days from flying to Texas for what will probably be my one and only vacation for the year! And lets not forget the most important reason - our hero comes home... soon. Everything is still on go, despite (in true Army fashion) some last minute changes of plans. It promises to be an emotional time for us both. The end of one journey and the beginning of another. And while I am beyond excited to see my soldier, I have to be completely honest and tell you guys why I'm REALLY looking forward to going back to the Lonestar state: I need a break!!!!!!!


I've known for months now that I am approaching "that" point - physically, mentally, emotionally. You know what I'm talking about, right? When you begin to lose sight of the "why" you are doing things. When you are in auto pilot and simply going through the motions. And this was further confirmed last night.


I work at our county's hospital (a level 1 Trauma center) in the ER. My job, while not physically demanding, requires me to think on my feet and "git r done" with very little to no resources. I also deal with ALL the calls that come into the ER - family, doctors, EMS, police, etc. I could post for days about the conversations I have had with family members... another time, I promise. Most times I am extremely courteous and try to be as compassionate as possible, as I know the frustration of the family members.


I am VERY limited, legally, as to what I can release over the phone. So this gets sticky sometimes when families demand to know more. Tonight, was no different. A lady called and asked if her daughter was a patient here. I looked in our system and politely told the lady no. End of conversation. Two minutes later, the same lady called back. Here was our conversation:


Me: Good evening. _______ ________ EC, this is Christan.


Her: Yes, I just spoke with you. You said my daughter wasn't there. I just spoke with her and she said she was. I want to know why you lied to me. Did you even look?


Me: Ma'am, I take great offense to being called a liar. Why would I lie to you about something that makes no difference to me?


Her: Well you said she wasn't there. She is there.


Me: Well you asked if she was a patient, she is NOT a patient. She may have been seen and discharged, but that's not what you asked. I don't know if she's out front, I'm not sitting out there. (I have to admit, I probably wasn't conveying the most "customer friendly" tone with that...)


Her: Well I'm coming up there and I'm gonna fix you.


Me: More capable people have tried to "fix" me, ma'am and have been unsuccessful. But you are more than welcomed to try.


Her: Well, you're just a b****. I'll be there in a minute and you'll be fixed.


Me: Be sure when you get here, you ask for Christan Trotter, T-R-O-T-T-E-R, there's four Kristen's here and I'd hate for there to be a mix up. I'll be more than happy to let you give it a shot.


Her: We'll see if you're talking all that s*** when I get there

Me: I'll be here waiting.

That was the end of the conversation. I called up to the front desk (my office is in the back, hehe) and told the security guy that if an irrate woman comes in and is asking for me, please call me. He chuckled and asked "Who have you pissed off now?" You see, this is not the first of such occurances. I told him the story and he laughed "That is classic you... I love it". She never showed... Darn it....
Now, I must say here that any of you who know me well know that I try not to have conflict but I do not back down from it either. Here lately, I've found myself instigating it. Needless to say, I need a break. And that is exactly what I will be taking starting Sunday!!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Road Not taken

I had to memorize the poem below in the 7th grade. It impacted my life tremendously. I know that I have given my parents more than a couple gray hairs because I am forever taking the "road less traveled". But that's me. Never take the easy way out. Just wanted to share my favorite poem. Enjoy!
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference...
Robert Frost

Friday, May 29, 2009

Random

I know I have been total slack with blogging lately. And I'd like to say I'm sorry. The fact of the matter is that I haven't had much that is "blog worthy" going on lately. Scratch that. Yes I have. I just can't seem to find the words to say...
Reader's Digest version: my life has been chaos for 2 weeks. The rollercoaster has definitely thrown me for some loops. In the interest of saving time and my family's privacy, I will spare the details. Lets just leave it at its been rough. Please pray for us!
In other news, we have added another mouth to feed at our house. Its a turtle named Dinky. We are foster parenting for the summer as his owners have some valid reason for not keeping him (I'm not sure I remember exactly why). So far, he's been easy. We've had a turtle before, so we kind of know what to expect. The kids love him, so for that, he can stay for a while. Our hamster still escapes frequently, but has learned to put himself back in the cage when he's hungry. Its interesting. Again, the kids love him, so I can't complain.
I'll be heading to Texas in a few short weeks for what promises to be an emotional reunion with my soldier. Reese is growing like a little weed. He's learned several new words lately. To include - turtle, bird, and Barbie. The girls are sooooo ready for summer break. And I... well I'm just trying to survive the next few weeks without having a serious break down!
So that's it for us. Just moving along, trying to keep it together for this last little stretch! Thank you to all of you who have been praying for us and will continue to do so! This journey is almost over, thank God. The next one looks to be just as eventful, unfortunately. What I wouldn't give to remember what it felt like to be "normal"!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Some heroes wear capes...

Some wear combat boots, and still others wear pink boxer shorts! For those of you who have no interest in the news (or the time), click on the link below for a story that will bring a smile to even the hardest of hearts!!!

http://news.aol.com/article/pink-boxers-taliban/486339

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Walking among heroes


By Staff Sgt. David Hopkins, 3rd BCT, 1st ID, PAO

Facebook Digg Delicious April 30, 2009 News

JALALABAD AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – When a man with blood-soaked hands emerged from a small shop in the Nishgam bazaar in northeastern Afghanistan in mid-March and approached a Fort Hood troop of Soldiers he had one request for their medic – to save a baby’s life. Soldiers from Troop C, 6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, were on patrol through the bazaar to show a presence in the area when an Afghan nurse burst into the street seeking help from the American Soldiers.

“I wasn’t sure what he wanted at first,” Spc. Anthony Janda, 6-4 Cav. Regt., medic, said, “but I followed him into the little shop. Inside there was an 8-year-old boy holding a baby who was wrapped in gauze and had blood all over him.”

The baby was victim to a circumcision that went wrong in a village across the border in Pakistan and was brought to the nurse to help, but his knowledge and supplies were limited and the baby was in shock. Janda knew immediately the injury was serious judging by the amount of blood on the floor. Acting quickly, the medic began to remove the gauze from the child and for the first time realized just how bad the injury was.

“When I started to pull the gauze away blood squirted at me,” Janda said. “I didn’t really think about it at that point. It was all instinctive.” He had never worked on a baby and was not trained in any medical techniques to save babies, but Janda, a father of a three-year-old, knew he had to save the child.

He tried to control the bleeding by applying gauze to the wound. While he was doing this, he sent another Soldier back to get his noncommissioned officer-in-charge, Sgt. 1st Class Jimmy Carswell, so he could request an evacuation. However, before the senior noncommissioned officer arrived, the baby’s heart stopped beating.

“I’ve never done CPR on a baby before,” Janda said. “Normally I just work on the guys, making sure they are healthy and mission capable. This was completely new.” He performed CPR on the baby and in a couple minutes detected a pulse, but the child wasn’t in stable condition. He had lost a lot of blood and the medic had none to replenish the baby’s supply. The medic and Carswell, who had arrived and was working on getting the baby evacuated, decided to try an IV solution called HEXTAND, which adheres to blood cells and adds more volume to the blood supply. Janda found a small needle in his aid bag. He hit the baby’s tiny vein on the first attempt, but his heart stopped beating.

Janda revived the boy again with CPR. He knew the baby wouldn’t survive if they didn’t get him to surgery, so Carswell ran out into the street to hire a cab. “I found a local and had our interpreter get him to find a cab,” Carswell said. “It’s a thirty-minute drive, but it was the only way to get him back to the (forward operating base).”

Before the cab arrived the baby’s heart stopped for a third time but Janda again successfully revived him. When the child was stable the nurse from the bazaar shop went along with him on the rough, gravel roads to FOB Bostick. By the time they arrived on base, the intravenous solution had taken affect and the baby was responsive and crying.

With the help of a large medical team and advice from a pediatrician on the phone the Soldiers stitched up the baby and saved his life. “The cut was deep,” said Sgt. Shay Wilson, Forward Operating Base Bostick’s aid station noncommissioned officer-in-charge. “When the surgery was performed, just over the border in Pakistan,” Wilson said, “the surgeon, or whoever did the surgery, cut too deep. The baby lost a lot of blood, but Janda did the right things to stabilize him and get him to us.”

After the baby and nurse left the bazaar, Janda and the others went back to work without knowing the baby’s fate. “I had a heavy heart,” Janda said. “I was really worried about the kid and wasn’t really talking to any of the guys. I was depressed because I really didn’t know if he was going to make it.” Several hours later the word was passed to the troop that the baby had survived and was doing fine. The entire troop breathed a collective sigh of relief.

“To have a medic of that caliber with you is priceless,” Staff Sgt. Eric Winn, Troop C squad leader said. “Knowing you have a medic that good with you when you go out lets you focus more on the mission at hand. I wouldn’t want anyone else working on me out there.”

Janda and his team have visited the baby since saving his life and he has recovered and is doing well. “It was great to see him healthy,” Janda said. “I’m just happy I was able to figure out the right things to do, and am happy he gets to live a healthy life.”
The picture above is Janda, his wife Jaime and their son, Aiden! We are so proud of you, Janda! We love you and can't wait to see you soon! You truly are a hero and we are honored to call you friend and family!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Every rose has its thorns

If you have ever had the joy of eating a meal with my family and I, you know what a process it can become. The girls are and have always been wonderful eaters. They will at least try anything we put in front of them. And when they eat, they EAT. They are by no means "bird eaters". They can inhaled massive quantites of food that sometimes leaves me asking "where did you put all that?!?!" They are very tall and skinny.
Reese, on the other hand, is SUPER picky. That doesn't even scratch the surface. He is beyond picky. He will usually only eat fruit, with the occasional grilled cheese, bacon grits and a rare (as in time, not cooking) chicken nugget. I do only allow him fresh fruit as I feel that if he's gonna eat it, it might as well be the healthiest I can get.
Well, today we went to a good friend of ours' little boy's b-day party. They had those little smoked cocktail weenies with BBQ sauce. I fixed my plate and sat down to eat. I, as always, offered Reese a bite of a weenie. To my surprise, HE ATE IT!!!! And even said "Mmmmm" Which is his way of letting me know he REALLY likes it. I was elated. Ya'll he NEVER eats anything new I offer. So I continued to feed him several. I stopped only after I realized he had eaten A LOT and I didn't want to upset his sensitive stomach.
We went and played. He did his "poop thing" - its so dramatic, but hilarious. (I know this is TMI, but I"m trying to save this memory). Immediately, I knew something was wrong. He absolutely refused to sit down. This isnt completely abnormal since when he was an infant, we would rush to change his diaper because he had such stomach issues (we needed to check the poop - I know, I know, TMI). This resulted in a bit of a Divo - he hates to have a dirty diaper. Anyway - back to the story...
He would not sit down, so I decided to check his diaper. Sure enough, it was dirty. I laid him down and proceeded to "do the deed". When I took off his diaper, I gasped! Ya'll, his bottom was SO red. Bless his heart he started screaming and continued to do so while I gingerly wiped him off. IT.LOOKS.HORRIBLE!!!! I caked on the Desitin and diapered him up. He laid on my shoulder the remainder of the party. He's pitiful.
When we got home, I let him run around naked, but everytime he sat down or fell down, he would cry. We did a bath and that seemed to help. But you can tell he's really uncomfortable. Bless his heart. I feel so bad.
I told Cory. His response "Sometimes the best things you will ever put in your mouth will literally tear up your behind coming out!" Love him! Does anyone have any tips on how to help my little boy recover any quicker?!?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Proudly serving in the silent ranks

Military Spouse Day, 2009
May 8, 2009
By The President of The United State of America
A Proclamation
Military spouses share the sacrifices of service with our Nation's men and women in uniform. As members of the Armed Forces serve in the United States and across the world, military spouses also serve our Nation. When a servicemember goes to war, we know their spouse also shares in that sacrifice. I am inspired by their commitment to family and our Nation, and on Military Spouse Day, we honor these individuals for their contributions.
Wives and husbands of servicemembers display an uncommon courage and strength as they steadfastly support their spouses during long and arduous deployments. While they endure separations that are filled with worry and anxiety, they face unique stresses. Foremost is the concern about the safety and well-being of deployed loved ones, but there are many other challenges. From managing household finances to comforting children impacted by a military parent's absence, military spouses take on the burdens of maintaining families largely on their own.
This task is complicated even more as spouses work to maintain careers and a sense of community while moving to new duty stations around the country and the world.Despite these hardships, military spouses are an inexhaustible source of strength for our military families and donate their time generously to local communities. Military spouses offer the love and encouragement that help servicemembers endure the challenges of serving our Nation. Military spouses support one another as friends and mentors. They serve in family readiness groups to keep fellow spouses informed and to provide mutual support. They contribute as volunteers to improve neighborhoods, military installations, and communities. These contributions strengthen both our Nation's character and its security.
All Americans should express appreciation for military spouses and let them know they are not alone. To help those who need it, friends, co-workers, and neighbors can offer to help with the burden of daily tasks and thus give military spouses more time for themselves and their families. To assist spouses who are coping with the absence of a loved one, individuals can listen and offer their counsel. Americans can also volunteer through the many organizations that provide assistance to military families.Our Nation maintains a sacred trust with every individual who serves. My Administration is committed to showing our Nation's gratitude for them by honoring our obligations to their families.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 8, 2009, as Military Spouse Day. I call upon the people of the United States to honor military spouses with appropriate ceremonies and activities today and in the future.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.
BARACK OBAMA

I stole this from a fellow Army wife, Tina (hope you don't mind)! Just wanted to take a minute and thank all the Military Spouses who come across my blog. Thank you for your sacrifices, your support, and your heart! I am so proud to say I serve with some of the strongest men and women I know - in the "silent ranks". May God bless you all, your families and your soldiers! Hooah!

Monday, May 4, 2009

What we've been up to...

So, I finally uploaded all my pictures from my camera. Here's our year in review so far - a brief synopsis of what we've been doing! I tried to get them in order. Enjoy!

Reese's First Birthday! Jan 26
Here is his cake! Isn't it adorable? We did a soldier in honor of Daddy!
As you can see, Reese loved the cake. Note to self - stay away from RED icing on a kid's cake!
It snowed - I don't remember when.
The girls had a blast and Reese was content to eat the snow. Notice Hailey's snow suit - bless her heart. She grew lots in two years (we didn't need one in Texas, so we didn't buy one last year!) Have no fear, we will be buying her a new one this year!
I missed my hubby! I love you, baby!!!
We've had some battle injuries!
Reese broke his leg in March.

But never stopped smiling!

We went to the beach with Grammie and Pappie!


Here's Grammie and her boy!My niece Hannah came too. Her Mommy and Daddy kind of came and went - they couldn't stay the whole week!The girls at Ben and Jerry's! YUM!Of course, we went to Build a Bear. Hailey made a pink monkey, Pinky. Sam made a bear, Sophia. And Reese made a dog, Duke - as in Task Force Duke (the Unit his Daddy is attached to!)I missed my hubby some more! I love you , honey!

We spent LOTS of time with family/friends


Reese with Taylor, his future wife!


These 5 kids are my heart!

Reese and Colin. T-R-O-U-B-L-E!!!


The girls with Shelby.

We've done some cosmetic work in the house.


Our new floors! Aren't they pretty?

The view from the back


I finally got the back wall of the kitchen painted. This is before.

This is after! Disregard the table cover - its from the baby shower! Speaking of which...

We had a baby shower for one of my dearest friends!

The diaper cake for Isaac!Natalie, her daughter, Emma and the stuffed bear that Natalie's sister, Heather, made! So cute!Emma helping with the opening of the gifts.

There's also a new park close by. We LOVE it!From top left, clockwise: Sam, Hannah, Hailey, ReeseBTW, Reese got a hair cut. Not an "official" hair cut as we are waiting on Daddy for that. But we had to shape him up a bit, he was looking like a hippee!
We bought a new car!
09 Honda Pilot. This is not the color of our's but this is what it looks like.
We've (re)added two members to our family!

Now that the floors are done and they have been to the groomer, the dogs Gus(left) and Mollie(right), can come in and be a part of our daily lives! Reese loves them and they simply adore him!
There you have it. There's been tons more in between, but I didn't think you wanted to see the 300 + pics I've just uploaded and saved! We're still keeping busy. We're in the middle of soccer right now and soon we will add swim lessons. And with any luck, our hero will be home sometime next month and will have some pics to share of his adventures!! Have a great week!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Priceless

Having our 2 fat, lazy dogs groomed - $120
New cage for our Houdini Hamster - $40
Gas to Petco - $0 (Thanks to the Dealership filling up my gas tank in my NEW car)
Knowing the dogs will soon become "real members" of the family b/c they will be inside; Knowing Houdini Hamster may be less likely to escape his habitat (at least slowed in the process); Seeing the look on Reese's face as he watched the different animals and hearing him say "pish"(just as my brother did as a baby) and "bird" - PRICELESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't blog much about our dogs, but we have 2 - a Golden Retriever, Gus (who weighs a whopping 120+ lbs) and a Lab mix, Mollie (who is quite the Diva). They have always been inside dogs, but when we moved into our new house I put them out back because I didn't want them to ruin our carpet (I wasn't sure when I'd be able to get the floors put in). But now that we've got our floors in, I am more inclined to let them in. I still don't know if it will be a permanent thing because I really don't want our house smelling like dogs, but at least that option will now be available. Either way, they are in some serious need of grooming (Gus needs a shave and Mollie needs a good bath). I know Cory is not a big fan of Mollie going to the groomer, but I don't have time to wrestle with her to give her a bath. Honey, she will be fine - when you get home, you can fight with her!
Also, if you are new to our blog, we have a Houdini Hamster. His name is Bugsy and he's a gift from Santa (he must be, because no parent in their right mind would buy such a creature - EVER). He escapes at least 2 times a week - no matter what cage he's in or how much food is in there. The last time he escaped, he was out for several days and one day we went to check the cage and he had let himself back in - true story. I didn't put him back, Samantha hadn't been home to put him back and Hailey hates him & would never touch him to put him back. So we found a cage today that gives me hope that his days of escaping may be over.... MAYBE. I'll keep you posted!

In deployment news, looks like Cory is going to be delayed coming home one more month. This is disheartening but we are trying to look at the silver lining. I will have more time to complete my "list" and that will be one more month of tax free pay! He should be promoted within the next few weeks. He has good days and bad days - luckily the good are far outweighing the bad these days. Not much longer and we can move forward to the next phase of our life!!
So that's it. We're sailing along, sometimes the ride is peaceful and serene and other times we're riding the waves of the high seas. Check back for pictures of all the changes that have been going on around our house!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Next best thing...

While having Cory on the other side of the planet has been trying on so many levels, I thank God I have the next best thing here to help me around the house - my Dad (well, stepdad, but if you know me, you know my issues with my "real"dad - so John, is it for me!). He has done so much over the last few months and really over my entire life - at least the 19 years he's been with my mom! I just wanted to give a GINORMOUS shout out to him! I'm not sure if he reads my blog, but I want the world to know how wonderful he is!!
John -
Thank you for everything you have done to keep me sane! For cutting our grass, multiple times. For laying the quarter round for our floors, even though it took way longer than it should have. For buying my flowers for the flower bed in front of the house. For planting said flowers in a bed that I thought was unplantable! For being willing to help my buy our new car and new lawn mower! For keeping the kids for a week straight while I worked and our house was in shambles from all the "renovating". For always being willing to come and help me with whatever "bee has gotten in my bonnett". For loving me as if I was genetically bound to you. For showing me that any man can be a father, but it takes a real man to be a Dad. For loving our kids as if they were your own. For spoiling us ALL rotten! For calming me down when my battery has died in the car, in the garage - even from 2 hours away! For sacrificing time with Momma, your wife, because I have to be at work at 7 and need to take a nap. For showing Reese the love of a man while Cory is away. For lovingly directing me in a different direction when I am heading down a wrong path. For loving me through my "troubled years" and knowing that I still am a bit "troubled" - and loving me anyway. For always giving me your honest opinion, while sometimes a bit brash - but always offering a way to fix what needs to be. For being a Dad, when you didn't have to be!
I love you more than words can say and I am so thankful that you chose us to be your family! Your neverending sacrifices and love have earned you the title of Dad in my life - now and forever. And while, at best, I am an over demanding, moody, self centered, opinionated, rebellious, spoiled rotten brat - I am and will always be your little girl! I love you and I hope that in someway, somehow, I make you as proud of me as I am of you! "Thank you" does my gratitude no justice. You are the greatest! And while you cannot replace Cory in our house, in our kids lives, or in my heart (not that you'd want to), you always have been and always will be the next best thing!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hump day happenings

Yes, I'm blogging at 3am. But its ok, I'm at work - I'm supposed to be up! The last few days have been CRAZY around our humble abode. Here's a brief synopsis - Friday, I worked (on my "day off) for another girl in my office whose mom died. Saturday I painted the back wall of my kitchen - to say it was disasterous would do it no justice. It has been fixed, but its taken me MANY hours and MANY MANY coats of paint. Sunday, our laminate (faux hardwood) floors were put in.(**before you gasp, yes, I am aware that it was Easter Sunday and I made every attempt to get the 'contractors' to go partake in Easter festivities, then insisted that if they weren't at my house, they'd be somewhere else working) Monday, it was back to work. Tuesday we went for our daily trip to Lowes to buy the quarter round to finish the floors, pick bubba up at daycare, then to soccer practice. After all that, I dropped the girls off at my parents and went home. I couldn't sleep, so I decided to paint the base boards and trim of the kitchen. Now I am at work and it has been wide open.
So that's been my week so far. The rest of the week consists of laying the quarter round, touching up paint and putting everything back where it goes in my house. Saturday, I'm having this lady and some other ladies over to our house to celebrate the upcoming birth of her son. This is also my weekend to work! So I'll be exhausted when all is said and done... but the kitchen and floors are DONE!!! (btw, I looked into putting in the ceramic flooring - i'll be holding off on that for a little while!)
In Army news, looks like we are in the 2mth time frame of redeployment (Cory's coming home). I can't believe that the end is near. Cory is doing well, hopefully you have been following his blog as well. If not, go check it out!!!!!
So that's it. Life's crazy again at our house. But for me its a sign of good things to come! Hopefully soon I will post pics of Easter. No promises!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Honey Do

The "word in the mountains" is that I can count on 2 hands the number of weeks left until my hubby returns. To say I'm excited would be an understatement. I've got a ton of things I need to get done before Cory comes home. When he left, I told him I would have sooooo much done when he got home. I knew that I would procrastinate and even told some friends and family to prepare to be prepared to have to lend a hand on a time crunch! Luckily, I have wonderful people around me who have come to expect this and love me through the stress! Here's a list of things that are on my "honey do" list. (I hope to use this as a public accountability tool - as I plan on update the list each week!)
*Put in Laminate flooring (aka faux hard woods) in the living room/kitchen
*Paint the back wall of our kitchen - Cory got all but this wall painted before "the chaos"
*Paint the kids bathroom
*Steam clean the carpet in the bedrooms
*Look into putting ceramic tile into the bathrooms/laundry rooms
*Acquire a lawn mower - either used or new
*Cut the grass (more than once)
*Look into trading our car in for something with a lower payment
*Finally take the "stuff" I've had packed for Goodwill to Goodwill
*Try to find an upholstery place to redo our kitchen chairs
*Clean out the garage
*Take the dogs to the groomers for a bath and shave
*Find a new home for the hamster - Samantha has finally decided to relinquish her ownership (after Bugsy got out AGAIN today)
*Reorganize our closet so that Cory can have room to put his clothes
*Move my stuff out of Cory's side of the dresser (sorry, honey, it has taken me all 6 drawers to put my clothes in - do you think they make a "mens" dresser for our suit?)
*Clean our house - I mean REALLY clean it!
*Get the big screen tv from my inlaws for the living room
*Buy plants for our "porch" and flower bed in front of the house
*Buy furniture for our patio
*Arrange for my shifts to be covered at work while I'm away
*Find a place to stay while I"m in Texas for 3 weeks
*Fix our fence in the backyard - its got some rough spots

WOW! That looks like a lot. I know I'm forgetting several things. I'm glad I'm a procrastinator - because I know I'll be so busy with this stuff that I won't have too much time to be anxious about Cory coming home!
Soccer starts tomm. So on top of my list, I've got both girls doing soccer, I've got my normal duties and I've got to work. Should be fun! I can only pray that everyone stays healthy and in one piece until its all over!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Stolen pictures

Ok, so I stole some pictures from this blog. Hope you don't mind, Annie! They were just too cute!

Reese playing in the sand. FYI - the shirt he has on actually belonged to Cory when he was a baby. We've got ALL of Cory's clothes - my MIL saved them all (and I mean them ALL). Its neat to pull out some of the stuff and get Reese to wear them!

Kisses for Mommy! Here recently, everytime I ask if can have a kiss, he says "NoNo and shakes his head" Its a game for him. I'm glad Annie caught him being sweet!


Aren't they the cutest bunch of kids? Samantha, Camden (Hannah's "best boy"), Hannah and Hailey! I"m glad you can get them to pose pretty for you, Annie!
**Be sure to read the post below! I need your help! Have a great night!

Beach bums and crafty creators

For those of you who didn't know, my family and I have been at the beach for the week. This was my first beach vacation in 7 (yes 7) years. My parents usually take the kids without me because I am NOT a big fan of the beach (and that's an understatement). Anyway. It was a good time - so good that I may even go back next year!

Here are a couple pictures from our trip:(maybe one day I'll get around to posting more pics - that's a big maybe!)
Our little man! Isnt he the cutest beach bum you've seen today? The bandana is to keep his head (which still has very little hair) from burning! And yes I did put a shirt on him while on the beach! Look at his little flip flops! OMG!!!!!!!!!! I.could.eat.him.up!
And the crazy girls! Don't ask what they are doing. They are not big fans of having their pictures taken. Hailey is on the left and Samantha is on the right! They LOVE the beach. Don't you think they are growing up too fast? (BTW that's Hannah our cousin/niece in the bottom corner - she was there too with her Mommy, and "best boy" Camden, and Daddy at the end!)
Look for more updates about our trip, maybe some pictures. I'm hoping that my sister in law, Annie posts some pics from our "projects" that my Mom decided would be "fun". She wanted memories to be made, and believe me - they were.
On a side note: I am looking for a cute bag (maybe back pack) to carry with Reese's stuff in it. I have a diaper bag but its GINORMOUS and I am always packing it with random stuff because I feel like it needs to be full since its so big. I am wanting to downsize. I know I have seen cute bags somewhere, but can't seem to find ANY now. Everything looks so girly(which is great for a girl). I need something that Cory will not be ashamed to carry when he takes Reese places without me! I no longer need a huge bag as the daycare provides everything (diapers, wipes, food, etc) he needs there and we are never too far from home for too long. Any suggestions of places I should be looking or anyone that would be willing to make such a thing?!?!?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Only a child of God

I have spent the last two nights at work looking at something online. If you need some inspiration today, or any day, go here. This young girl is wise beyond her years! Be sure to read her story under "her life". Hope you are having a wonderful week!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

H.O.C.

God has blessed me with a few men in my life that have taken care of "house matters" while Cory has been away. I lovingly call them my "husbands on call" (HOC). Anytime something happens at the house - ranging from clogged toilets, to beds that need to be put together - I call one of my HOC's and they either come to fix it or walk me through the repair. I love these men dearly and while they are by no means a substitute for MY husband, they have taken excellent care of me (us) over the last 8 mths. I'm sure they are just as ready for Cory to come home as I so they can "retire"! Here's just a few things over the last month that I've had to call my HOC for!
A few days ago, I went into the girls bathroom to "tidy" up a bit. When I flushed the toilet, it wouldn't fill up. Do you know what I'm talking about? My intial feeling was "NO WAY". Let me back track - we moved into our house in Sept and 3 days after moving in, we had to have our septic tank pumped. Our house is only 3 years old. I was infuriated. I know people who have lived in their house for almost 30 years (ie my parents) and NEVER had to have theirs pumped. Then I was upset about the price - its CRAZY expensive. (I realized that people who do that for a living are actually underpaid as it is absolutely disgusting). Anyway - back to the story. I went in a few days ago and felt my blood pressure shoot through the roof. I called one of my HOC's - Cory's best friend, Trevor. His wife kind of chuckled when I told her the situation and she said "I can probably help you more than he can - he's not a toilet man". She told me exactly what to look for and how to fix it! Problem solved - and I didn't even have to pay a plumber! I guess that was one for the WOC - that's another post and group all together!
Then tonight I started the dishwasher before heading to work. It was my short night, so when I walked in the door at midnight, an extremely noctious odor hit my nose. I asked my mom what that horrid smell was. She said she couldn't smell it but that Hailey had smelled something earlier. From a previous experience, I knew right off hand what it was. You see, when we lived in our apt in Texas, we had our first dishwasher (my first one EVER). One night there was this horrid smell (similar to the one I smelled tonight). We thought it was something on fire in the apt above us so we checked with our neighbors to see if they smelled it as well. Sara, our neighbor asked if we had been running the dishwasher (undoubtedly she had made the same mistake at some point). It was a wooden spoon on the "warmer". Tonight's culprit, a plastic lid! No HOC needed! Aren't you proud?!
As I was letting my mom out of the garage, she informs me that the doorknob on the door to the garage is broken. She wasn't kidding. As I grabbed it, it fell off into my hand. I don't even know where to begin with that one. That will be tomorrow's job, I suppose. Which HOC to call for that one - we shall see!
One day back when I was doing my Paramedic Refresher my battery in my car died. I knew what to do to fix it, but had one other problem. Mondays are MY day to carpool. It was a Monday. It was 1:30pm, I was in Greenville and the kids had to be picked up by 2:20 in Spartanburg. I called my "#2" husband - as I am his #2 wife! He's a local fireman and left work to pick up all the kids. My mom often jokes that Shawn (my #2) has a second family - ours! His wife ( my best friend, Amy) is so generous in sharing him when we need him around the house!
Don't get me wrong, I love my husband and miss him more than words can express, but it gives me great peace to know that if/when I need something here at the house, God has given me a group of men that are willing to pitch in and help out! I also don't want you to think I am helpless. I'm sure I could figure out some of these things on my own (like the dishwasher), but it takes a lot of stress off me to know that if something does arise - I don't have to stress! God has given me people that can fix it and more importantly don't mind doing so! I love you all dearly and appreciate your helping hand more than you will ever know!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Bring on the rain

One of my favorite songs of all time is "Bring On the Rain", by Jo Dee Messina. This past week, I have listened to this song more times than I'd care to think about. It always gives me the motivation I need to pick up and keep going. Here are the words - maybe they'll brighten your day when you need it most!!

Another day has almost come and gone
Can't imagine what else could go wrong
Sometimes I'd like to hide away
Somewhere and lock the door
A single battle lost
But not the war
Cause tomorrow's another day
I'm thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain.

Its almost like the hard times circle round
A couple drops, and they all start coming down
Well I might feel defeated
And I might hang my head
I might be barely breathing,
but I'm not dead, no.
Cause tomorrow's another day
I'm thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain.

No I'm not gonna let it get me down
I'm not gonna cry
And I'm not gonna lose any sleep tonight
Cause tomorrow's another day
I'm thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Our first "battle wound"

As if our week wasn't crazy enough with Reese's surgery, we found out Wednesday that he broke his left leg. We think he fell on it wrong at some point. He has broken his left fibula (the small bone in the lower leg). He has been a real trooper - he has faced the Dr offices (as there have been several) with courage and bravery that even a hardened veteran would be proud of.
Below you will find a picture of him from Thursday. He is all smiles. However, his cast is now green because his Orange one was sliding off, so we had to have it cut off and a new one made. He did not cry AT ALL having it cut off and put back on! Daddy, you should be proud!
Please pray for him as he has several weeks that he has to wear this cast! Pray for me as I try to catch on some much needed rest that I was deprived during this CRAZY week and pray for my nerves - I don't think I can take much more before Cory gets home! Also, if this is any indication of what is to come in our lives with this little boy - pray for patience and GOOD DOCTORS!!!

Here is a picture of Reese just before his surgery on Monday! He was such a big boy and didn't even cry when they took him back! Isn't he cute in his hospital gown?!?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Surgery,Sickness,Stolen Goods

Reese had surgery on Monday to put tubes in his ears and take out his adenoids (which were growing stuff ON them - YUCK). He did really well with surgery and has done well so far with recovery. He hates to have the drops put in his ears, but I think that's mostly because I have to hold him down and he is definitely a "free spirit" and hates to be "bound by anything". Anyway. Thank you for your prayers!
My mom called me Sunday night at work and told me that Samantha was sick. She is notorius for throwing up in the bed (usually while her sister is sleeping). She came out of the room and told Pappie that she threw up a little in his bed - boy was that an understatement! Pappie said it was massive! My personal opinion is that she ate too much Pineapple. I'm not exactly sure of the amount, but if I know my girl (which I know I do), she probably ate until she was about to pop - or throw up in this case! Thank God it wasn't the "bug" again!
In more distressing news - I've had TWO magnets stolen off my car in the last month! The first was a magnet from the girls school and the other was a yellow ribbon that read "Keep My Husband Safe". What a shame! People never cease to amaze me! If the people who have done this injustice happen to come across my blog, I hope you enjoy them and I hope you lay awake at night ridden with guilt! (I'm being dramatic again, but it is aggravating).
Its Tuesday! Yay! Almost half way through another week! Can I get a WooHoo for warm weather!?!?!
PS If you haven't already, scroll down to the bottom of my blog and click on "Through my soldier's eyes". That's my hubby and he's been blogging away!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Aware

Most days I go through life on autopilot. Since Cory has been gone, I have tried very hard to stay exhaustingly busy so that when I do finally go home, I'm so tired that, the fact that our bed is empty, doesn't bother me. For the most part, I have handled our separation fairly well. I've had my moments, don't get me wrong. But even I have been suprised at how strong I have been through it all (thus far). I try to make my Soldier proud by being a good Army Wife. And I feel in my heart that he is.
Today I went to a new LifeGroup (like Sunday School) at church.It is for Newlywed/Engaged couples. I am so excited about this group as I have often felt a little out of place in other classes. I am also SO excited about the teachers. The "lead" teacher is a the wife of our Pastor, a precious woman that I know will be a wonderful teacher and the "assistant" teachers are a wonderful couple that I definitely look up to when it comes to having a Christian home. I am also excited about being with other couples that are going through some of the same "life challenges" that we are.
While I sat in this group this morning, I was at peace in my heart that I was where God wanted me to be - a feeling, I am sad to say I haven't felt in our church for a while. And while it gave me great joy to feel like I was involved in something that I feel God designed for me (I know that sounds selfish, but He knew I needed THIS class with THESE teachers), my heart was broken.
I sat and looked around the room at the couples. Some of them I have known a long time, some of them I was just seeing for the first time, and some I had seen but not "met". I do not know where any of them live, how they met or what they deal with on a day to day basis. None -the-less, I found myself jealous. I was painfully aware that I am (physically) alone. I don't know why it was TODAY that it hit me so hard, but it did. I went through Thanksgiving,Christmas, our Anniversary, New Years and Valentines with what I would consider minimal heartache. But today has been hard.
I look forward to what God will reveal to me over the coming weeks and months in this Group. I hope to learn from the other couples as well as share my heart and experiences. I know we are on the homestretch of this Deployment and each day brings him closer to being home. However, its not getting any easier. Please continue to pray for all the soldiers and their families!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I declare WAR

Cory has been gone for almost 8 mths now. He's lived in the trenches. Treated our Nations finest for ailments ranging from the common cold to wounds received in combat. Treated locals with compassion and humanity. Not showered for days at a time. Slept in caves. Ate more MRE's than he'd like to think about. Shot at the enemy (quite possibly killing them - I don't care to know those details). Arranged for a dozen medevacs and shared his medical knowledge with countless individuals. He, along with all our other soldiers (both living and not) are the TRUE heroes of this war. They are fighting a war, that I fear has many more battles to come and may not be over anytime soon. However, while my husband is "waging a war on terror", I am fighting a war of my own...
The enemy is not easily swayed and stands firm on his position. While to some, he may seem small and harmless. He has almost brought me to my knees countless times. He, like most enemies is very tactful and seems to know how to "hit me when I'm down". His mission is clear. And for him, defeat does not seem an option.
I am waging a war on bedtime terror and picky eating! Reese has decided that bedtime is not what it once was - a time to cuddle with Mommy (or Grammie when I'm at work), have a bottle and listen to soft lullabies as he drifts off to sleep holding his "beloved" blankie. He fears he will miss something if he succumbs to the ploys of the "sand man". Therefore, bed time has become a battle worthy of the history books - right there with Normandy, Baghdad, Pearl Harbor, etc (ok, I'm being extremely over dramatic with that, but you get the point - its a battle!) The last two nights have been exceptionally bad!
At one time, I looked forward to bedtime! Not only because it meant that my bedtime was near, but because it meant that my little boy, who seems to be becoming more and more independent as each day passes, would actually cuddle with me and let me stroke his head and hold his hand. Now, I dread the battle of wills that is sure to ensue.
I know that some may feel that by now, I should of had him "soothing himself" to sleep in the bed. And if that's what you've chosen to do now or in the past, thats awesome. However, I haven't felt comfortable with that yet. I didn't do it with the girls and when they were "ready" they did it on their own. Reese will only be little for so long and I plan on taking full advantage of every minute. On that note, I am realizing that it may be nearing "that" time - as he is wearing me (and my mom) out fighting.
Do any of you have any helpful tips to make the transition go a little smoother? I am definitely open to suggestions. Reese is a VERY stubborn child (he is definitely his parents child). I've tried a couple times to lay him down and leave. After 30 min of screaming that could quite possibly peel the paint of the walls, I went and got him. He'll do just about anything you ask, but on "his terms" (don't know where he gets that from). Somethings got to give - for my and Grammie's sake! Any advice is definitely appreciated!
I often joke and say that 1 Reese is 10 times harder to raise than the girls are together. This is just one of the areas. Reese has decided that at the ripe ole age of 1, he is going to be a Vegen (minus the veggies). He only eats fruit and bread! No meat, no veggies. I buy only fresh fruit so he's at least getting the healthy stuff without the syrup and I have gone so far as to allow him only V8 Fusion and Juicy Juice Harvest Surprise (both have a single serving of veggies in a serving of juice - that taste like fruit juice) just so that Reese is getting some sort of veggie intake. He ate all the Veggie Baby food (minus peas) really well, but now will not even touch those! Ugh! Any advice on that front is desperately needed! Is this something I should stress about?
So while my husband is valiantly serving in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, I am battling the will of a stubborn 1 year old! A war I need no medals or commondations for (not that I'd get them), just change! I realize there will be many battles - some lost, but most won (as I am where he gets most of his stubborness from, therefore my will is stronger). And this battlefield shall be conquered, so HELP ME GOD! And then its on to the next. I will not let a 26lb, brown eyed, crazy haired, two toothed, fruit loving, veggie hating, little boy (who looks more like his Daddy everyday, sigh) defeat me!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Welcome back

My husband has decided to rejoin the world of Blogging! If you get a chance, go here to check it out! Show him some love!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Goat guts and other tid bits...

Cory called today - after nothing for the last couple. He's been at another base having his ear looked at. All is well in regards to that - tx was successful and he can actually hear now (selectively, I'm sure :)!) I missed the first call today so I got this voicemail "Hey Dear, its me. Sorry I haven't called in a couple days. I'm back at ***. Its a long, crazy story how I got here - I'm ok, just extremely tired. I'll try and call in a few minutes and talk to you before I go to bed! I love you and miss you like crazy!" Its never good when my soldier adds "I'm ok" in a conversation - for me it tells me that at some point in time he was NOT ok...
So he called back. My first words were "What happened?" He began to share with me that 1) the weather had gotten really bad all of the sudden. 2) he had spent a while in a bunker due to a blast outside his B-hut. WHAT?!?! Again, with reassurance he was ok, he began to chuckle... NOT FUNNY for me! Long story, short, a "blast" had occured about 200 feet from him hut (which is conviently about the same distance from "the wire"). They had to go to the bunker as they thought it was enemy mortars and awaited further attack. The advanced patrol came back and reported "All Clear" and invited the guys to come and see what it was... a goat had walked over an explosive device planted by US. He said goat guts were EVERYWHERE! Of course, with my husband's strange sense of humor - he thought it was awesome!
In other news, Reese took his first steps last week. It was such a bitter sweet moment because Cory was not here. I did, however, get to video the event and send it to Cory. Now, our next hurdle- getting him to eat more than fruit and bread! He starts his new day care tomorrow and hopefully the Dr will call this week to schedule his sx for tubes and adenoids! As always, he keeps me busy!
The girls' last game is this week. Then its on to the next sport - SOCCER! Our hamster, Bugsy, keeps getting out of his cage. I found him in MY bathroom the other morning at 3am. Needless to say, I am not loving the creature. Oh the joys...
So we're trudging along... taking it one day at a time. Rumors are Cory will be home sooner than later!! Yay! Not getting my hopes up, but a girl can dream, can't she?!? Have a great week!

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Valentine never forgotten...

Here's another writing from my Valentine. I hope you all take advantage of this special day and EVERY DAY with your loved one! Happy Valentines Day!
The Inner Circle
The inner circle is completely untarnished and shines like a mirror when you look at it. very few scratches are on it, and it is very smooth. On the outer circle, however, scratches and scuffs adorn it both proving that it has been somewhere, and everywhere at once- it's sturdiness proves that it stands the test of time.
What is the inner circle? It is my wedding band. Why is it so smooth and near flawless? I have only taken it off ONE time in my life because of finger-swelling from an allergic reaction last year. When my ring slides upward towards my knuckle, you can tell it has left a permanent imprint on my finger- over the finger itself, not a strand of hair grows from where the ring makes contact with the finger. The ring never comes off no matter what the circumstance, and people have been told, (and knew) if I sustain an injury to that hand in a combat scenario, That I would rather my finger get chopped off or amputated before I allow any destruction to the ring to save my finger.
Maybe I'm a little over the top about the ring, but it is another symbol- one of many- to the love that will even endure death with my wife. Not only a symbol of love, but fidelity- a state that I hold in the highest regard in this lifetime.
Doing this job I am able to track reports of hundreds upon hundreds of patients that we have in the entire task force. about 20% of those patients are RETURNED TO HOME STATION because they are pregnant. It takes two to do the dance. And the chances of the two being married are slim. I really don't want to speculate the percentage that are practicing infidelity. And what are going to become of the children when they are born? Are they truly wanted? will they be taken care of, or are they just a product of war that 'mommy' used to get out of a combat zone? Hmm.
Marriage as it is explained to me is one of the most holiest of things you can partake in, second only to receiving the spirit of Christ in you. Although there is a human officiating the marriage, it is God himself that passes on the blessing.. and is the unseen witness in the pew watching the ceremony. Why would anyone risk losing grace itself or destroying a family by being a cheater?? Cheating is to accept death itself in my opinion. and people do not take into account the number of people affected, which is severe.
A deployment for a year is no excuse. seperation by 'area codes' is no excuse. There isn't any excuse!I know there are some good moral people, and one is a dear friend at a different base (J.S., you know who you are. Your faith in Christ and Marriage is an example that other people should follow, my friend)But there is definately bad apples here. Anyone who knows me knows that despite the colorful language that I employ at times, I hate immorality with a passion and I find immoral people completely despicable and do not associate with them. You can look deeply at those that I call true friends and see we are all like minded. I hate to lift myself up any higher than I know I am, but I am a saint among some sinners.
I personally can't stand the thought of treating my wife like this and the thought has never, ever crossed my mind. Every time I look at that rough, weathered outer circle I think of how much closer I am to reuniting with the only one that God himself has meant for me to be with. And every time I can see the smooth, flawless inner circle, I know the true meaning of enduring faith and love that has absolutely no bounds. I can also look at the tattoo on my left arm and know that no matter where I walk on this earth, she is absolutely with me.
So cheaters out there beware. If I know you I will expose you. If you make your bed you will lay in it. and I will fluff your pillow.For all the rest of us, forever faithful and good people, Valentines day is tomorrow. If you have the capability don't blow this holiday off. It's not about giving a ton of useless stuff to your significant other or about giving flowers that will eventually die (I love giving Chris Flowers, tho.. LOL) it's about celebrating love.
For me this is just another holiday that I have missed. Like many of my brothers in arms that I can call true friends. But to rejoice- this is the last one missed for me, Like Christmas, Chris's Birthday, The Girls' Birthdays, Reeses' Birthday. Next year I will miss none. I refuse to work any holiday in 2009 or 2010, I will bribe a co-worker with additional money if I have to.
On a sidenote, Most of our true ancestors can be aligned to Scottish/Irish/Gaelic lines. Very, Very true if you know your history of South Carolina. So, for my wife, I have an expression in Gaelic:
Is tú mo ghrá, A chuisle, a chroi!!
(I love you, my pulse and my heart)
I love you, Chris!

SPC(P) Cory M. Trotter
MIL USA FORSCOM
3/1 HHC BDE
Medical Operations SpecialistCommunications