Saturday, April 16, 2011

I'm grateful for fat, happy babies!

And at least a little bit of sunshine for my big girl itching to ride her bike!

And despite the storms, Sophia found reasons to smile!

My favorite photos of the week! Happy Weekend!

Friday, April 15, 2011

'A photograph is usually looked at but seldom looked into.'
 ~Ansel Adams

 I find this phrase fascinating especially given our generation's obsession with taking, showing and displaying pictures. To me pictures mean so much more than the desire to show off my pretty little ladies. Ask any father stationed overseas how much a single picture means to him. I bet he'll tell you it's worth more than a thousand words...that despite the distance between him and his family, a picture can make him feel like he's not missing as much as he beats himself up for in his head. I bet you he'll say that a picture is his inspiration to get the job done and come back home safe and sound to the smiling faces he misses the most. And there is not a doubt in my mind that he'll tell you that every time he looks at a picture of his loved ones he sees the reason why he does what he does and knows that it is worth every sacrifice. In my thinking,  I've tried to see pictures the way my Marine sees them and it puts things in a completely different perspective...a perspective worth thinking about. Every time I look at a picture I think, 'What if this was all I had of my girls?' and it reminds me that my job here at home is not as bad as it could be. So true to are the latest shots of life here at home as we wait for our Marine.

Mommy's most favorite possession...the double jogging stroller. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

Five months in and we've still got a little blue-eyed girl. I love it!

Representin' for my Boston family!

She's allllmoooossstttt got it!

Sweet big sister kisses.

Who needs toys when I've got my feet!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

'To us, family means putting our arms around each other and being there.' ~Barbara Bush

I've lived away from my family and friends for so long now that sometimes I forget what I missed most about growing up. This past week, I got a reminder of how comforting it is to have known someone a very, very long time and finally have the chance to catch up. It's no secret that I'm not big 'staying in touch'. I bet Kitty is laughing right now thinking about just how true this is. I hate talking on the phone; I can't take any sort of instant messaging for more than a few comments back and forth and would much rather shoot an email out on my own schedule, then spend hours holding a uncomfortable metal device to my ear all while bouncing Alessandra on my hip and trying to keep up with my three year old. To me, true friends pick right back up where they left off and that's exactly what this week has been like for me. Kitty and I have laughed 'til we cried, we cried 'til we laughed and we've caught up on all the things that our lives have thrown at us...and wished, 'If only, we just lived closer'. There is something truly special about two friends reconnecting and I am just so, so grateful that I have someone like Kitty to give me a little boost on this ride...a skip in my step, if you push through the halfway point of this deployment and carry on. Yes, I am very grateful.

Before I married Chris, I'll admit it, I was part of the population that really didn't have any clue what life in the military was like. I had no immediate family or friends in any branch of the service and despite being so close to so many different military installations, I really didn't stop and think about the sacrifices that so many families make. Maybe part of that was me being wrapped up in being young and invincible but I nonetheless took so many things for granted, as so many people do these days. And now I'm one of those of those families that will put off house-hunting for our 'forever home' for as long as our Marine needs us to. I've become one of those families whose kids may not be able to grow up playing sports with their 'first' best friend or have one of those time lines on one of the doors in the house, you know the ones that mark just how quickly our babies grow. I've become one of those mothers who resorts to having more picture frames than one thought possible in my home and on my walls, just so that maybe my girls will recognize the faces of family despite the distance. But in exchange, we've all learned so much about life, love and family, more than I could ever teach my girls on my own. We've had to go through the highs and the lows of life in places that we've never been all without the luxury of family and have had to step out of our comfort zones to find new friends, time and again. I've forced myself to stay positive, when deployments, training schedules and long working hours have taken my other half away from us for very important moments on very important days.  I've trained myself to think outside of my own self and remember that there are millions of families that have traveled on this very same path, who have it much worse than I do taking great pride in knowing what my family sacrifices for. I've met people on this journey that I would call nothing less than family and know without a doubt in my mind, that they will be in our lives forever. I've learned to appreciate the time that I have so graciously been given and through it all...I've learned to be grateful for those that have been in my life for as long as I can remember, who despite the distance, have never left my side.  I believe that when it comes to friends quality is better than quantity and this mama is proud of the many amazing people in my life. To me, I'd be nothing without my friends and I celebrate them in every visit, holiday and homecoming...because, along with my family, they are the reasons I am so happy.

One of my favorite parts about being a mom...seeing my friends so madly in love with my girls.

And my girls, so madly in love with my friends. <3

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I'm inspired and feeling blessed.

Do you believe in life's every day miracles?

She's mine.

Do you believe that God sends us little angels on this crazy, sometimes harder than we'd hoped ride called life?

Without a shadow of a doubt.

Do you believe some things are just worth waiting for?

More than ever.

 I have two choices in this life that I fail or to succeed. I was given this deployment as an opportunity; an opportunity for me to grow as an independent woman but also as an opportunity for me to realize that God gives us so many tools to help us through less than ideal situations. I've found mine and they're absolutely beautiful. :) They give me every reason to smile and give my Marine and I so much to look forward to. Yes, I have so much to look forward to. When the Marine Corps takes control of too much of my life, my heart swells with pride when I think about how strong this life is making our family...our girls. It is worth every sacrifice. He is well worth every sacrifice.

 I choose to succeed.

Oh the sweetness! And if you'll notice the 'Baby's First Christmas' bib and clashing pink-camo onesie underneath, you'll also realize just how badly this mama needs to do laundry. But honestly? I've got more important things to do...

Like take in every second of my littlest love's FIRSTS! Mhmm...that's right, she's lickin' her lips and  showing Daddy just how big she's getting!

Well, March called for both girls to get physicals and thanks to a small miracle in the world of 'Military Medicine', I scheduled the girls back to back with the same doctor! Both did awesome. Sophia as usual asked a million questions and proudly showed off her little sister and Alessandra smiled through the whole darn surprise there! What did surprise me was the lack of anyone so-called 'qualified' to give kids their vaccinations ('Military Medicine'~ it is what it is) so back we must go for shots. Ah well, I can't win 'em all. Sophia weighed in at 36 pounds and the little chunker tipped the scale at almost 16 pounds! This mama is grateful that they're both healthy and also  proud that they're both happy.

New months inspire me in more ways than I can count and this new month brings visitors, Easter Egg hunts and marks the halfway point of this deployment! Phew! Is it bedtime yet?!