Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer....and what ISN'T growing

School officially ended on Thursday.

There has been an OBSCENE amount of rejoicing since that moment. 

(The kids are excited too)

We have been doing a whole lotta this....


and this.

I've also discovered why my Cilantro won't grow...

Here's a hint:  Boy Bean

Like a good mama - I took pictures of his naughtiness.  

According to my Mama-in-law, cilantro is over-rated anyway. Maybe the Boy just takes after her!

Basically, we are soaking up the sun, chilling in the pool, and (apparently) killing herbs at random. Sounds like a good start to the summer to me!

 Copyright 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Navy Perks...

 We are fortunate enough to live on the Navy Base where the Navy Band School is located. Which means, periodically, we get to see them practicing - THROUGH our neighborhood!

We hear the beat of the drum and grab whatever we were doing...and run to the front step.

(We've been known to dance along a time or two)

Once they pass out of our sight...we rush to the backyard for a final glimpse.

Welcome to Mayberry.  :)

 Copyright 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Things the Navy makes me say....

This blog is about to get VERY Navy.  (See the last post)  Since Boy Bean was born, My Love has only been away 2 months and 2 weekends. That means we have been on our Sea tour (where they are deployable) and have had him home 15 out of 17 months. Which is completely unheard of.

This is what our family looked like the last time he left.
That is about to change.

Yesterday morning over breakfast, I was preparing the Beans for the next month.  We counted down the days until Daddy leaves....and then I counted out the days he will be gone.

Jumping Bean asked, "Will you make a paper chain, Mommy?"
"Of course!" I replied.

That was comforting because I only make a paper chain for 60 days or less.

"Will we get to talk to him one time while he is gone?" String Bean questioned.
I was able to tell her, "Probably every day. He will be in our time zone - and he won't be on the ship."

That was comforting because they know the feeling of going 3 weeks without hearing Daddy's voice.

"What about packages? Can we send him things - drawings and letters and treats?" Again, that was String Bean.
"Nope. He won't be gone long enough." What a treat to say!

Then the moment.  The moment IT hit. The realization that when Daddy is away 
- be it for one night or 100 - there are no Daddy hugs; 

no Daddy kisses; no Daddy to wrestle with; there is an empty seat at the table.

And Jumping Bean became very sad. "I know it is his job. But I sure wish it wasn't. I wish he would stay home with us always."

Before I could do anything - except nod in agreement - String Bean leaned over to her sis, gave her a hug, and said,
"I know sis. I like him home too. But in the Bible it says we should be 'joyful in all things' - and I think that means even when we are sad when Daddy is gone.  So lets talk to Jesus when we are sad. It will be okay - it will be hard - but Jesus is with all of us."

She's right. Whether or not we can make a paper chain, talk to Daddy, send him packages, see his face, or be with him - we are not alone.

Those are the things the Navy makes me say.

~Whitney Copyright 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012

Here we go again....

It's that time again....the birds are chirping, school is wrapping up, windows are open....and My Love is about to start his times away.


We've been exceptionally fortunate to have My Love home so much - but now is the time we remember we are a Navy family. Really, the only constant in our schedule right now is that everything is in pencil. My Love is home at the moment, but that is about to change.

Actually, over the next 3 months, he will be gone much more than he will be home - 
and that is just to prep for an eventual deployment! 

So, as we collect our paperwork and discuss our wishes if anything were to happen to either of us; as he teaches me how to care for our lawn; as I help the beans work through what new normal will be - we are soaking up every second of our time together.

As a family of 6.

When I think about the next year and a half, I'm not excited about the separation (I married him because I LIKE him!) but I am excited to see how we will grow and develop as a family through this adventure.

Eleanor Roosevelt said it best:
“Do not stop thinking of life as an adventure. You have no security unless you can live bravely, excitingly, imaginatively; unless you can choose a challenge instead of competence.”  The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt

We have chosen a challenge - and I intend to go through it with bravery, excitement, and imagination.  We will be traveling, going on adventures, and becoming a better team. 

The Beans will realize the important role they have in the running of the household.  We will all have sad days, hard moments, and frustrations - but we will face them and work through them...together.   
We will learn the importance of relying on others. 
I will be reminded that I can't do it all on my own.
 I know there will be days that everything will go wrong - children will be sick, appliances will break, I won't sleep, power will be out.  
I know I will be exhausted beyond belief. 
I know I will miss My Love's company. 
His nearness. 
His parenting viewpoints.
His reality checks.
His sense of humor!
The way he can talk me off a ledge.

Going through this now - although different than our other separations, it is still similar in many ways - which is great, because I have a better idea of what is coming my way; and terrible, because I have a better idea of what is coming my way.

Kind of like labor and delivery. 
The first time through, the fear of the unknown could just kill you.
The second time though - it is the fear of the known.

Either way, the difficulty of the next year will deliver us into shore tour.  

Hopefully there isn't a lot of screaming involved.

~Whitney Copyright 2012

Monday, May 14, 2012

Slightly Belated....

Well, I will probably start writing full sentences again in about 2 weeks.

Why 2 weeks?

Because in 2 weeks we will be done with our first year of home schooling!!

It has really been a GREAT year.
It has really been a HARD year.

Seriously.  I've realized I should be labeled a reluctant homeschooler. I've loved many things about this year....and I've struggled with many things this year. (More on all that in about 2 weeks.) :)

Yesterday marked Mother's Day - as I am sure most of you realized.  It kinda snuck up on me.

(Like every holiday and birthday and special day in the past 9 months or so...9 months....that is the same time that I've been homeschooling! Coincidence? I think not.)

I'm so thankful to be Mama. 

To wear this title.
To have the tired eyes, the snot covered shoulders, the peanut butter and jelly smeared pants.
I'm thankful for the stretching. (Thankful for the figurative kind....not so much the literal)

I'm thankful for my Mama....a woman I'm becoming more like almost every second.  A woman I want to be like. A Mama who passionately attacks life and desperately loves her family.

I'm  thankful for my Mama-in-law...a woman I want to be like. A Mama who joyfully sacrifices for her family.

I'm thankful for my "Mama support team." The women I watch and learn from. The women in various phases of mothering....from Grandma's, to Mama's of teenagers, to New Mama's, to Prayer Mama's....I don't know what I'd do without each of them!

On Mother's day, I want to celebrate so much more than the Mama's who wear the title - the one's with strollers, and hurting backs, and obscene amounts of laundry - I want to celebrate the women who realize that no matter where they are, there is someone they could be (and probably are!) nurturing, encouraging, and loving.

Happy Mother's Day!


 Copyright 2012

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What's growing Wednesday!

I know I may be the only person in the entire world who enjoys these posts. But I like tracking the progress of my little plants, so I'm going to keep it up!

This past week had me thinking about growing....growing up, growing old, growing in unseen ways.

I turned 30. Which is not old. At all. 

Well, maybe a little bit.

 As a good friend put it: 
"I'm now old enough to be wise - but not old enough to be old."

I hope that is the case.  I hope that in the past 10 years I've implemented some of the lessons I've learned....

Lessons about life and love and plans and patience and difficulty and ease.

Lessons that were hard to learn. But worth every single uncomfortable second.

There have been moments that were hard because they actually were.  Other moments were hard because I refused to see the beauty in the difficulty. And some moments that were hard didn't even feel difficult at the time.

30 years. At 15, it sounded like soooo many years.  But sitting here, wearing 30 years, it isn't.

I'm thankful to be here.

Hopefully my next 30 will find me continuing to grow toward the Son, toward my family, toward the tasks that I am supposed to be doing. 

I'm sure there will be hard times ahead - but few things grow their very best if they are not pruned. 

(Except weeds. And I really don't want to be something that everyone would like to be rid of!)

Here's to aging!


 Copyright 2012

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Birthday fun!

So yesterday, I turned 30.

Yep. And I am super stoked about it.

No 29th anniversary for me!!!  Each year that goes by, I feel more comfortable in my skin, but less comfortable not growing. It's a good balance.

My Love gave me the best-ever present in the whole-wide-world......a CAMERA!!!!!!!!

Seriously - the best ever. 
He said the only gift I've reacted to more excited was when he gave me a ring on bended knee. 

I mean I started crying and blubbering and hugging him and just could NOT believe it.

The best part? He couldn't wait to give it to I opened it on Sunday!

Which meant my actual birthday found each child having a bit of a photo shoot......

My Little Boy Bean.. who is going to need his baby curls trimmed soon. I really don't want to. But I guess we all have to grow up sometime.

His little grin is so full of t-r-o-u-b-l-e.

My Jumping Bean...I really don't know how her personality fits in her body.

She is my little live-wire.

My Bitty Bean...I'm pretty sure we will see this face again. When she's about 15.

She definitely knows how to work a look!


My String Bean...she wasn't feeling her absolute best. Yet she still humored me with the photo shoot!

 I feel like I went to sleep with a baby and when I woke up the next morning...she was almost 7.  My sweet girl - I truly don't know what I'd do without her!

Those little faces made my birthday wonderful.

 Copyright 2012