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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Military Wife

This is a term that I have never really identified with, until now. Jesse is never gone for more than 4 months at a time. I have never lived outside of a 75 mile radius of where I grew up. I am surrounded by my family and friends. All these things are not so typical for military wives. I imagine a wife who stays at home with her kids while her husband is away for a year at a time all while living thousands of miles away from their family and friends.

But I've realized in the last week that I still am a military wife. I live away from my husband about half the year, I worry about his safety while he's gone and I am so proud of his service to our country.it's become obvious to me this week that other people just don't understand it for the most part. I have been given more support from military wive friends around the country, that I only know through blogging, than I have been given by my family and friends at home. I'm not trying to put anyone down, it's just become obvious that they just don't understand what a deployment does to a family, to a service member, and to a military wife.

I am so thankful for the women who have reached out to me in the days leading up to Jesse leaving. It has been a time of feeling extreme loneliness and your kind words have helped me tremendously. I hope to be able to provide the same love and support back to those women and others in the future.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hunter's Playroom

Jesse and I have been working on Hunter's playroom for a couple weeks now. It started with me leaving the house one day to go to Ikea... but I never made it there, I just kept driving, and somehow driving on autopilot got me to... Pottery Barn Kids. How did that happen?!

Well, since I was still planning on an Ikea budget, I only bought a couple things. That day I picked up the table, chairs, and the rug. Plus, that's all I could fit in my car.

I was planning on doing espresso furniture with red and navy accents, but after I got this rug, I was really loving the green. So, I convinced Jesse that we should paint the walls the same green that was in the rug. That day we ordered the C-17 wall decal from Amazon. I love that there is a part of Jesse in playroom and that while Jesse is deployed, I can tell Hunter that it's Daddy's plane on the wall.

Then the next weekend, we stopped by Pottery Barn again to pick up the two bookcases, the buckets to go in them, and the wicker toy chest.









I know it's still a little bear, but I wanted to get the room painted and the furniture put together while Jesse was still here. In the next couple of days I am planning on moving some of Hunter's toys into the room. I also want to add an easel, a play kitchen, and a bean bag eventually.

So far, I'm really happy with the way the room has turned out. I think it'll turn into a great place for Hunter to play! :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter 2011

We had a very low key Easter this year and it was perfect. We went to Easter service at church on Saturday night and heard a great message from Pastor Dean. The widow of the man who was killed by the "Craigslist Killer" gave her testimony at the beginning of the service. It was heart wrenching, but also so inspirational to hear of her love for her Savior through everything that has happened in her life. Praise the Lord!

On Sunday we relaxed, gave Hunter his Easter basket, and then headed out to have Easter lunch with my family.











And sometimes you even have to do a sniff test on Easter. Stop judging, you know you do it too! :) But, you are probably lucky enough not to have a hubby who catches it on camera.



Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tiptoe Through the Tulips

Last Friday, after we built a "bear" , the Doyle family headed up north to Skagit Valley to visit the tulip festival.

The weather was a little bit on the chilly, but it was still a beautiful sunny day in the Northwest!







Gotta stop and smell the flowers! :)









Monday, April 25, 2011

The Post Where I Show My Backside

It's another McFatty Monday over at The Heir to Blair and that also means another confession on my part. I'm still not back into the groove of working out and eating right. But in all honesty, I didn't expect anything different of this last week.

Jesse is leaving for a four month deployment later this week and my priorities have not included spending my time making healthy meals and working out. Next Monday... bring it on! Hold me accountable for that, okay?!

Remember when I showed you the most unflattering of my backside when I was talking about when it finally clicked that I needed to change things? Well, Jesse took another picture of me from behind, again without my knowledge. And you know what... I didn't hate what I saw. Not perfect at all, but you know what? I feel pretty good.



I am actually really excited to get back into the gym and get back to running. I really do miss it and all the energy it gives me!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

He Is Risen!

As a Jesus family, Easter is a day we celebrate with such joy. Jesus is ALIVE! Praise God. We do not worship a dead man, Jesus is truly alive and lives within us.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Daddy Will Miss You, Hunter

Yesterday, Jesse and I took Hunter to Build A Bear. Jesse wanted to let Hunter make a stuffed animal and put a voice recording in it for Hunter. We got their and let Hunter pick out which animal he wanted. It was between the puppy and the wolf... and the puppy won.




Once the puppy was picked, Jesse took the voice recorder button to the back of the store to leave Hunter a message on it, so that Hunter can hear his voice anytimes he wants while Jesse is gone on deployment. When Jesse returned, I intentionally did not listen to the recording. I didn't want to get emotional in the store.

Then Hunter picked out a heart to put inside his puppy.




Next, Hunter pushed the foot pump so that the nice lady could fill his puppy with stuffing and then put the heart into the puppy.







He actually ended up insisting on putting two hearts in the puppy, I like to think they represented both Jesse and Hunter's hearts. :)

Then Jesse and Hunter washed the puppy together.



Man, this puppy is high maintenance! He wanted a flight suit, name, and birth certificate, too!





Later, I heard what Jesse recorded. I can't remember word for word what it says but something to the affect of "Hi Hunter, this is your Dad. I love and miss you so much and can't wait to see you." So sweet.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thankful Thursdays

It's been awhile since I reflected on a Thursday morning for the things I am most thankful for. So here we go, because God knows that I have so much to be thankful for right now!

1. I am so thankful to have siblings that can offer so much guidance and Christian advice to help me through tough situations. I love that we can be upfront and honest and know eachothers hearts well enough not to get offended but instead listen to another perspective.

2. I am eternally grateful to have a God who gives Jesse and I full authority to claim Hunter as a child of Jesus and to be able to pray over him and protect him from anything not from God.

3. I am thankful to have a husband who serves his country. I am also thankful for the oppurtunity to be able to serve my country as well through taking care of our family while he will be deployed.

Okay, I'm ready to lighten up a little :)

4. I am thankful for my little boy saying "thank you" for the first time last night. It melts a moms heart to hear her child learning manners.

5. I am thankful that my Ipad 2 will be here on Monday!!! That means Jesse will still be here to set it up for me and get it ready so I can skype with him from anywhere while he's gone.

6. I am SO thankful that the weather seems to be making a turn towards Spring. Can't wait for some days in atleast the 60's!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ferry Ride

On Sunday, we took a trip to visit my dad's family, cousin, and grandpa in Kingston. We had a great lunch and a good time playing games and catching up.

On the way back, we took the opportunity to ride the ferry and see what Hunter thought of it. It was a little chilly outside, but Hunter seemed to be most focused on the "birrrs" or the birds.







Monday, April 18, 2011

We Did the Puyallup!

On Friday afternoon, the Doyle's headed over to the Puyallup Fair. Hunter was in a great mood and especially loved the animals. We saw pygmy goats, miniature horses, cows, alpacas (my favorite!), a tortoise, alligator, and even some duckies.

And as always, we stopped to enjoy the labradors over at Dock Dogs. And also as always, we wonder why we still have not ever brought Henry over to compete with the big dogs! We always say we will do it next time. But, this time we mean it. Ha.

We broke one of the biggest rules about going to the fair though, we went with full stomachs. I only managed to eat an ice cream cone the whole time we were there. No krusty pup, lemonade, or even a raspberry scone. What in the world was I thinking?!

Towards the end of our visit, we ended up meeting up with two of our friends who are both single dads to some adorable little girls. It always makes me giggle a little to see grown men pushing little pink strollers around the fair. I love that they both love their daughters so much and could care less.





A Very McFatty Monday

So... I haven't written a "McFatty Monday" post or linked up over at The Heir To Blair in a couple weeks. So you can probably guess what that means... yup, that I have been failing.

But... I think I have a relatively valid excuse. My hubby is deploying in about a week and I want to spend all my free time with him, not cooking and working out. I will have plenty of time for that in a few short days.

I have been averaging about one or two workouts per week, which is better than none. I have also been averaging eating cheese pizza about 3 times a week...whoops! But it's just so good! :)

My weight is staying pretty steady at 162lbs. I think I am loosing some muscle though. I just am not loving myself when I look in the mirror. So, I doubt I will reach my goal of going down a pant size by May 1st. Maybe June 1st will be the day!

Hope you all are doing better than I am with your eating and working out! I will be back at it soon!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Go To Spring and Summer Shoes

You ladies know what I am talking about, right? We all have our "go to" shoes for each season. This fall and winter, I have lived in my Frye and Ugg Boots.





In the past I have always worn flip flops as early in the Spring as possible and into as late in September as I can get away with. But... I'm just not feeling them anymore. I just don't feel pretty when I wear them. Haha, weird, I know. So... what are your "go to" shoes for the Spring/Summer seasons?

My requirements:

1. Have to be cute, duh.
2. Comfortable
3. Look good with jeans, capris, and shorts
4. *Bonus* I can wear them to work, too!

Here are some of my thoughts:







Thoughts? Ideas?? Help!! :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I thought I'd use today's post to put up a couple pictures that I had forgotten about over the last few weeks. Gotta love more pics of the little man! :)



Tuesday, April 12, 2011

18 Months!

Hunter had his half birthday last Friday! I can't believe how fast time has gone by and how grown up my baby is getting!

The most noticeable change in Hunter in the last month is his vocabulary. He has literally doubled the number of words he says in a matter of weeks. I'm going to try to list some of the words he is now saying that we wasn't a month ago.

Here we go: Elmo, Steph! (he repeats Jesse when he's calling me), cheese, cracker, cookie, baseball, Costco (we are so proud! Haha), juice, boot, sock, shoe, up, down, please, fish, hop, lemon, baby, bath, choo choo, all aboard... hmmm, I'm sure there are more, but this is all that is coming to mind right now. Oh yeah, he's also starting to understand that "Hunter" is his name. When I say "Hunter" he says "Mom" back to be and we continue to do this back and forth sometimes while in the car.

He's still wearing 18-24 month clothes and some of the 2T stuff I've gotten him for Spring/Summer, size 4 diapers, and eating really well. He loves apples, dried fruit, ice cream, and chicken nuggets.

We went to his doctor appointment and it was confirmed that he's growing like a weed. He's 29lbs and 34.25 inches and is in the 90th percentile for both.

We fall more and more in love with our little man each and everyday. :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bouncy Fun!

On Friday morning, I took Hunter and his friend, Ryleigh, to the Jumpin' Jack and Jill in Sumner. We met up with my friend Rachel and her son Cole. The place was pretty small, but that ended up being perfect for keeping an eye on all the kids. Also, the bouncy toys were a bit smaller than other places we'd been to, so it was perfect for younger kids to do more things on their own.











Later in the afternoon, my friend came over with her two daughters to cut and color my hair. Her daughters, Kyrie and Amara, had a great time playing with Hunter. They kept wanting to teach him things and pick him up and carry his around. :)



Friday, April 8, 2011

Glimpses of Hope

Jesse is leaving on a four month deployment in a few short weeks. This will be our fourth deployment that we've been through together, but our first since Hunter was born. I've stayed strong and held back the tears, but internally the emotions are starting to come to a head. It almost feels like a dark cloud is slowly rolling in over my heart. This is how is always is. The anticipation of beingwithout Jesse for months at a time is always a little tougher than during the actual deployment, atleast that's how it is for me. Once Jesse is gone, I have so many responsiblilities to handle on my own, that I just do it without thinking twice about it. But it's during those weeks leading up to the deployment that things get tough. I pick fights, allow myself to be negative, throw myself a pity party, question my strength, push my husband away so that I stop relying on him, and the list goes on and on.

Wednesday night, Jesse was gone until late. I was tired from the long day of waking up before 5am, working a nine hour day, picking up Hunter, going to the gym, and making dinner. My mind started playing games with me and I begun thinking about how I was going to do this on my own for four months. How am I going to find the energy to play with Hunter, bath him, and put him to bed by myself after such long days for months at a time?! I can't do this alone!

Then, my son crawled onto my lap and came in to land a big kiss right on my lips and let out the most refreshing belly laugh. It made me feel better.

Then we went up stairs and I was changing his diaper and I was teasing him saying "Hey, Hey, Hey" in a deep voice and he was giggling away. I picked him up and we both looked at each other and at the exact same time, we both said "Hey, Hey, Hey!". We both began to laugh hysterically.

That moment, when we were both doubled over in laughter, is all I needed. I need that glimpse of hope to help me pull through. I know I will be just fine. I will miss my husband terribly, but I will get through it and I will still find joy and happiness during that time. I will still go to the gym, meet up with friends, enjoy my family, and especially laugh with our beautiful son.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Just Another Weekend

It was just another weekend for Hunter and I. Nothing too extraordinary, but we had lots of fun together.

Hunter played in the bath.





We went to Michael's. Then Hunter decided to climb on the dog. ten seconds later, when I had grabbed my camera, he decided it was the worst thing ever and started to cry. Ten more seconds went by and Henry bucked Hunter off his back. This led to more crying.



We went to the park next door. Hunter had found this little duck at Michael's earlier in the morning. He did not let this duck out of his hand, even at nap time, until... he lost it at the mall later that night.







We ended up going to the mall with my mom that night. We got Hunter a couple outfits, but that's about it.

On Sunday, Hunter and I went for a jog. He loves being in the jogger stroller! I got a little stir crazy, so we made a trip up to University Village to do some shopping. Hunter and I picked out a table and some chairs and also a rug at Pottery Barn Kids for his soon to be playroom. Can't wait to start working on putting it together!

Jesse is active duty Air Force and is originally from southern Minnesota. He has also managed to become a follower of just about every hobby known to man (which drives his wife crazy!).

Henry was born on July 4, 2007. His hobbies include playing with his squeaker toys, barking a little girls, dock jumping, going to the dog park, and being spoiled rotten by his grandparents.
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