Sunday, June 28, 2009

I hate good-byes.

I'm not good at them. I would really rather just walk away with fond memories than say good-bye to anyone. But this one was not one I could walk away from. So I made a vow to myself that I wouldn't cry. I wouldn't drive away blubbering over the inevitable, as crying would only make me feel weak and helpless. What I need to feel is strong.

All day, I did so well. I almost lost it when sweet Melanie started crying on the phone on my behalf, but I swallowed the lump, as I had been doing all day, and stayed brave.

We took Andrew to base to drop him off. We came upon the sea of khaki, and it still didn't feel real. Would I really walk away without him? Was he really staying and we were leaving? How strange. We hung around for a while, but it would be another 4 hours until the plane actually took off. I knew the kids wouldn't last that long, and I just wanted to get it over with. So after about 40 minutes, we headed back to the car to say good-bye. Andrew buckled the kids in the carseat, and I watched as he said goodbye to both of them. Then, it was my turn. I hugged him and tried to be brave. He told me to be strong, and he knew I could do it. I had a few tears, but I decided that was okay. I tried to hold my quivering lip still as I climbed in the car, kissed him one last time, and watched him walk away.

Eva lost it. She cried and yelled, "I want Daddy!" Of course, I couldn't hold back against the emotion that ripped at my heart. I started bawling. And I drove away. Not 30 seconds later, I realized I had left Eva's headband sitting on Andrew's bag. At that exact moment, my phone rang - he was calling to tell me he would meet me in the parking lot to give it back. Apparently he didn't want to take a black velvet headband to Kawait with him. I turned around to see him one last time, took the headband, told him I would miss him, and turned for home.

I allowed myself a minute or two of crying. As I turned on Baby Einstein (Eva was crying for the caterpillar), I said allowed through tears, "Lord, give me strength." And He did. By the time I got to the front gate and off-base, I felt peaceful and calm.

Pulling in the garage was strange. For some reason it reminded me of when we came home from the hospital with both our babies. It's the feeling like, "Here goes our new life with this new extra person." But tonight, it was like, "Here goes our new life with my other half missing."
Thankfully, he is still sitting where we left him, so we've been able to talk on the phone. That has made a big difference in my adjusting to our new permanent condition. As I head off to bed for the first of 131 (ish) lonely nights, I feel...I don't know. I don't know a word to describe my emotion. I feel strongly that I can no longer think about this in terms of the big picture - the whole 4 months apart. Rather, I'm just going to take it one day at a time. So cliche, but so necessary for my sanity. I feel so grateful to be the one with the kids. Even though I may feel lonely, at least I will NEVER truly be alone. Andrew, wherever you are by the time you read this, I miss you. But I'm going to be strong. I love you a million. Here we go.
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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Finally, the unreliability of the military has worked in our favor!

Andrew was supposed to leave on Thursday to head out to the desert for his 4 1/2 months of patriotic duty.

But, thanks to the ever-changing schedule of the military, we got a few extra days together. We have not wasted it.
He leaves tomorrow night now, but I think I'm ready. We had our gift of 4 extra days, and I'm so grateful. Tonight is his last night sleeping here until November. Although we will miss him terribly, I really feel peace that the Lord will not leave us alone during this trial. Wish us luck.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Today was my 2-week mark of my weight-loss and strength-gain journey. I have been following the Abs Diet mostly, although some days more loosely than others, and working out diligently. So, for the record, here it is.

Total weight lost so far: 3 pounds

A whopping 3 pounds. But after meeting with a trainer this morning, he told me that if you lose more than 3 pounds a week, you are probably not eating enough. I guess I was expecting results like Biggest Loser contestants. Thankfully, though, I am not THAT big, so I don't have that much weight to lose. So after hearing that, I feel more encouraged and motivated to keep busting my rear end. Literally. Those squats this morning...I can just feel my fat melting away. And that is a stinking good feeling. If only I could SEE my fat melting away. Soon enough.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I know, I said I was back. I lied a little. But here I am again.

I finally threw away my Christmas wreath. We bought it at a local farm early last December, and it adorned the door of my scrapbook room until last week. I would have kept it up longer if it weren't for the giant red velvet bow, as it still smelled divinely of pine. But I felt keeping it longer than half a year would put me in the "white trash" category, and so I gave in to social pressure. My house is finally free of all signs of Christmas...but only for another 4 months.

This group of girls. What to say? This is the first picture I have taken with this girls. These girls over whom I pray and think and work and plan. So much of my life goes into my Young Women - it's only right they should have a spot on my blog. Of course, this isnt' all of them - this was last Wednesday at our swim party mutual at Elisa's lake house. Surprisingly, my Beehives made up the majority of the group - the entire right half of the picture. Carissa in the red shorts, my newest Beehive and a gift straight from heaven. That girl just may save my sanity, I swear it. Christina in the back, making a peace sign. Shay, turning to the side, then Courtney in blue and Katie wrapped in the towel. And there's me, peeking over the left side. I'm glad to have this picture.

Andrew is leaving this week. True to Air Force style, we're still not sure exactly what day. I feel surprisingly at peace with the situation. Andrew's parents were here visiting this past weekend and Perry gave Andrew a beautiful priesthood blessing that gave me strength. I know that we will come through this deployment better people and a better family than we are now.
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Friday, June 12, 2009

Allow me to introduce myself.

My name is Stephanie. You may remember me as the owner of this blog. A blog that used to be updated daily. Seeing as how my last post was in MAY, and it is now the middle of JUNE, you may have surmised (accurately) that Andrew came home. And he's still home. With his deployment looming closer and closer (the end of this month), we are making the most of our last few weeks together. Here are a few of the fun things we have done.
Eva's second haircut. It is crooked, but thanks to the unruly, curly nature of her hair, it's hard to tell. On most days.
A trip to Northwest Trek - a fun zoo where you ride around a train seeing the animals in their natural habitats.Celebrated our 3-year anniversary. Sadly, we actually took this picture upside down. I meant to flip it before posting it but forgot, and now I think I will leave it. Because it kind of fits our life. :)

A fun weekend trip (of course cut short thanks to our not-so-lovely career field) to Orcas Island. We had a hotel room right on the beach, and Eva loved throwing rocks in the water.

Leighton turned 11 months earlier this week. True to my current slacker self, I still haven't taken his picture. I really NEED to document how absolutely adorable he is at this fun stage of life. His big, blue eyes are just about enough to make me want to do nothing but kiss him all day, every day. As I type this, he is sitting in his crib (just woke up from a nap) laughing to himself. About nothing. He is the happiest boy I could ask for.
I started the Abs Diet on Tuesday, and I LOVE it. Unlike South Beach, where it takes astronomical amounts of self-control and self-denial, this diet is honestly something I could live by forever. I haven't once felt hungry or crazed, or in fact like I'm "dieting" at all. It includes a workout plan, which is awesome too. Yesterday morning (the beginning of day 3) I had already lost 3 pounds. So see those fat arms in the above picture? Those are about to be gone forever.
So there's my brief update, and my plunge back into the world of blogging. And I even put in lots of pictures - how's that for a fresh start?