Anchors Aweigh : October 2017


Life Lately

Oh Monday, you always get here so quickly. It's been a hot minute since I shared what life lately has looked like in our neck of the woods, so this Monday seems like a perfect time to remedy that! Let's see...

Baby playdates yall. You know you are a mom when baby playdates are the best thing ever. It's fun watching baby P interact with his little friends. They are all so sweet together! 

October was the month of visitors! First up were Parker's parents! They both have Fall birthdays, so we celebrated with a little cake and a lot of baby snuggles. 

My parents were next! We went to the pumpkin patch and spent the rest of the time eating yummy food and playing with a cute baby. Ahh, the good life. 

Last but not least were my grandparents! They visited from Florida, and we had the best time! Obviously Jenny thought they were there for her.

As luck would have it, Parker was away on a last-minute Navy field trip, so he missed their visit. We were all so bummed! My sweet friend and her husband met us on base so they could give my grandparents a tour. I was so grateful. I have had a tour of this plane so many times that I've lost count, but I couldn't tell you five things about it. #ItsAllGreekToMe

Baby P and I stopped to admire the plane with Dad's name on it! How cool is that? Fangirling for my husband over here.

Just a typical afternoon catching up on some light reading.

This night was a hoot. It was time to put away a lot of the baby gear P has outgrown, so Parker had the delightful task of disassembling everything so we could box it up and store it for future babies. Yep, he hated that. Here he is writing himself a note to open next time he assembles it as a reminder of how much he hates assembling/disassembling baby gear.

That's life lately!

Recent Reads: October

It's time for another book review on this little blog! My latest three reads were all really good. I read one book that was light and fun, another that I couldn't stop thinking about days later, and a third that affected me in a way that no other novel ever has. Gosh, that sounded dramatic. Here's what occupied my nightstand this month!

Just Listen
By Sarah Dessen

I have read several Sarah Dessen novels, and they are always light, easy reads that I really enjoy. This one is about a high school girl who goes from seemingly having everything to the girl who has nothing and nobody. Annabel has a dark secret and has had to deal with more as a teenager than most do as adults. She meets Owen, a loner, music-obsessed boy, and the two navigate an unlikely friendship as she works to overcome all she has been through. I really liked this book. It was light but wasn't afraid to touch on real issues. If you like chick lit, read it!

Gone Girl
By Gillian Flynn

I am almost embarrassed doing a review on this because I am convinced I am the last person on earth who had not read Gone Girl, but nonetheless, here I am. I absolutely loved it! It's just a brilliant book with an even more brilliant main character. Amazing Amy seems normal at first, but we quickly realize there is more to her brilliance than what meets the eye. She goes missing, and her plot slowly unravels into what is one of the most thrilling stories I have ever read. If you are one of the latecomers to this book too, read it now!

In Order To Live
By Yeonmi Park

It sounds really dramatic to say this book changed my life, but it definitely changed the way I view my life. This is the true story of Yeonmi Park, a North Korean who fled with her mother to China and eventually South Korea to escape the extreme poverty and inhumane life she had in North Korea. Here is what got me on this: this girl is my age. The things she went through while I was going to school, having birthday parties, going to college... it's absolutely mind-blowing. This is a book I will remember for a long time, and it made me wish that I could adopt a baby from North Korea, but of course I know that isn't an option. Yeonmi is real and honest about her journey, and the things this girl did to survive are nothing short of extraordinary. If you read one book I recommend all year, make it this one. 

Post-Baby Weekend Bliss

Life in general looks oh so different now that we are parents, but I think our weekends are what have changed the most. Pre-baby, a weekend looked something like this: going out with friends on a Friday night, sleeping in Saturday, dinner and a movie Saturday night, church Sunday, and a nap Sunday afternoon. I can safely say that the only part of that list that is still true post-baby is the church on Sunday! All that other stuff, while fun and definitely missed, doesn't quite fit into life with a baby, so we have had to restructure our weekends and create the new normal. 

We definitely miss our weekly date nights, but we are coming off the weekend high, and I wouldn't trade these weekends for anything. This child of ours has changed our lives in the best way possible, and I can't imagine weekends any other way now. We had family/friends in town for about a month straight, so this was our first weekend in a while that we got to spend just our little family. It probably looks so boring, but I wanted to document what a weekend looks like right now. I know this, like everything, is just a season, but weekends like this have me wishing it will last forever. 

Parker was on a Navy-sanctioned vacation for 10 days and got back late Thursday, so Friday night was our first full night together in a little while. We spent it doing what really cool kids do... sushi at our favorite restaurant and then catching up on the episodes of Survivor we missed while he was gone. Does anyone else still watch Survivor? We love it every season!

We woke up bright and early Saturday morning and headed to the park. Preston loves the swings! He's too little for really anything else, but seeing the joy on his face from those swings is the best thing ever! 7 AM on a Saturday never looked so good. 

It is Fall in Virginia, aka the best weather on the planet: sunny and 75 (I can't believe it's like this year round for all you Californians! No wonder so many people love living there). We had an outdoor lunch at a local sandwich shop and enjoyed some wonderful vitamin D in the process.

Saturday afternoon, we were still looking for ways to enjoy the weather, so we headed to the Botanical Gardens for a nice little scenic walk. We wanted to go to the zoo, but apparently they close earlier than we thought, so the gardens it was. Clearly, Preston loved it. ;)

Saturday night was for pizza delivery and a game of golf. Has anyone played the card game golf? We love it and have taught a few of our friends. I love playing any game, and this is one Parker will actually play with me. Winning! He won this round, so we rematched Sunday night, and I won. Marriage is about give and take, ya know?

Sunday we went to church and then to the driving range so Parker could play some real golf. Other than that, we laid low and enjoyed time as a family. QT with these three is my favorite. 

Sunday night was date night in after Preston went to bed, so we pretended to be fancy and had wine and cheese.

Nothing special, nothing fancy, but the weekend was just what we needed after the busy month we just had. One day, I am sure weekends will be spent watching kids' soccer games or going to swim meets, but for now, I am so grateful for this sweet season of life. Too bad it's Monday! 

Pumpkin Patch Bliss

I would start off this post saying something cliche like "I just love Fall", but really, doesn't everyone love Fall? Temps are cool but not yet cold, it's finally football season, and Fall scents of apple and pumpkin are the It's the best!

I love love love the pumpkin patch and have been so excited to take Preston to the pumpkin patch this year! I had two Fall pregnancies and took both my babies in utero to the pumpkin patch, so getting to take my cute, chubby baby in person was so sweet. My parents were in town earlier this month, so we decided to all go and make it a big family outing. I was in heaven!

This pumpkin patch had so many pumpkins and so many fun things for kids- a petting zoo, pony rides, and carnival rides. Super cool for toddlers and kids, but obviously there wasn't much our baby could do to participate. We couldn't stay too long (#napschedule), but we were able to walk around the patch, take photographic proof that we made it, and of course pick our pumpkins. Both my boys were dressed in maroon since the Aggie game was on later that evening!

Even though Preston had no clue where we were, he still seemed to think the pumpkins were cool to touch and play with. He is just getting to that age where he is discovering every little thing. It really is the most magical thing to relearn the world through your child's eyes, and I know it is only going to get better.

I picked a pumpkin for both of my babies before it was time to go. This was my third year in a row picking a white pumpkin for our angel baby, and it is one of my very favorite traditions. Like I said, I had a Fall pregnancy with Taylor and with Preston, but before I knew about baby Preston, I dreamed of taking Taylor Grace to the pumpkin patch. I won't ever get to do that here on earth, but I will always pick a beautiful white pumpkin just for her. The pumpkin patch was so special this year, and as cheesy as it sounds, a dream come true getting to experience it with my perfect, healthy baby. God is good all the time, all the time God is good. 

The Struggle To Co-Parent Is Real

I've mentioned on the blog before that coparenting was a struggle in the beginning for Parker and me. Good grief, it was the struggle of all struggles. Quite frankly, we were terrible at it. Something clicked around month six, and although we aren't perfect (who is?), we are finally a team and able to do this parenting thing together well. 

In the interest of oversharing, I thought I'd open up today about why we struggled so much with coparenting and how we learned from the experience. I have had a couple of people email me asking how we handled the struggle because they too were having a hard time. If people are being totally honest, I doubt there are many couples that don't struggle with coparenting to a degree. I mean, think about it. You take two people raised two different ways, give them a tiny human that they love more than life itself, throw in sleep deprivation, and you have... a recipe for disaster. 

Let's start with why I stunk at coparenting. Simply put, I was (am) fiercely protective of my son. My parents were very protective of me growing up, and I am that way with my child. I joked (but seriously) that I had a very short list of people I trusted with our baby, and sometimes Parker wasn't even on it. Basically, it was a piece of paper with my mom's name on it, because she really was the only one I gave him to and then didn't immediately feel anxious the second I stepped out of the room. Here's one small example that comes to mind of how I was in the beginning: I was told that infants are not allowed to have water, so when Parker washed the bottles, I made him carefully dry every last drop before filling it with milk. If there was even the tiniest drop of water in that bottle, I bit his head off. It's embarrassing to type now, but hey, it's how I reacted and I have to own that. In a nutshell, I needed to C H I L L. 

Now let's go to why Parker was less than stellar at the whole coparenting thing. Parker struggled with the loss of our freedom to do things as a couple. When you have a baby, you can't just go to dinner on a whim, and you typically don't leave the house much those first couple of months. The week our son was born, Parker reorganized the entire kitchen and filled our dining room table with kitchen supplies to donate to Goodwill. A.) That was my stuff. B.) He was going that stir crazy after a whopping three days of parenting. Parker very often talked about how hard it was not getting to go on date nights and how much he missed our old life. He hated being woken up in the middle of the night if I needed help breastfeeding (that's like a five person job in the beginning, no joke). He did whatever he could not to hold the baby because he hated when the baby cried and he didn't know why. Sometimes I would ask him to hold him so I could have a 5 minute break, and he would give the baby back 3 minutes later because he was done. In a nutshell, he needed to suck it up and realize he was a dad now. 

I say all that not to make my husband sound like a bad husband or father, because both couldn't be farther from the truth. Parker is the best husband and the best father to our son, but he struggled in the beginning just like I struggled in the beginning. We just happened to struggle in different ways. Around month 6, something clicked, and it has really been smooth sailing ever since. I chilled out, and Parker rolled up his sleeves and started to fall in love with this new stage of life. 

If you're struggling with coparenting, the best advice I can give is talk it out. We were very open with each other about how we thought the other one was acting, and while it may sound harsh, open communication is how we got through it. Bottling it up is never the answer. We talked it out, encouraged each other, gave the tough love when it was needed, and eventually we made it to the other side. 

Parenting is a team sport, and we are getting better every day. Nobody's perfect, but I am so thankful I have this guy to figure it all out with. 

Our 10th Navy Ball Together

Parker and I have officially been to TEN Navy Balls together! Good grief, how did that happen? Since Parker was in the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M and contracted to go into the Navy after graduation, we attended the Navy/Marine Corps Birthday Ball each year in college. Our first ball together was in 2007! We were 18 year old babies! It was one of our first dates, and we were both so clueless and awkward that I am sure it was a disaster. Obviously it wasn't a complete disaster, because here we are 10 years later. ;)

We were really excited to go to the ball this year! We missed last year because Parker was deployed, so it had been 2 years since we had gotten dressed to the nines and ready to dance. Parker's parents were in town to watch our little man which was so appreciated! It was nice to be able to take a night off knowing he was safe and in good hands. 

The ball we have attended the past few years has been the Hawkeye Greyhound Ball. It's a ball for E-2 and C-2 pilots which I love because we know so many people. It's always fun to go to parties with your friends!

The ball always consists of a dinner with a speaker and then a themed after party. We all typically hope the speaker is short-winded, if we are being completely honest. This year it was all great, and we were excited for the after party.

This year, the theme for the after party was "holidays", and each squadron picked a holiday to dress up as. Our squadron voted for Oktoberfest. I am the first to admit I was bummed the theme wasn't Cinco de Mayo (because how easy is it to throw on a sombrero and a fake mustache and call it good??), but Oktoberfest actually turned out to be a really fun theme. Thank you Amazon for having Liederhosen for sale at a reasonable price!

Ball number ten is in the books, but it sure was a good one! Just for fun, here's a picture from each ball we've been to together over the years.

A few fun facts...

1. When Parker picked me up for our first ball in 2007, I was wearing a pink dress. He had to go to the bathroom or something, and I decided I didn't like that dress anymore and instead borrowed the blue one in the picture from my sister. What was wrong with the pink one? Who knows. 

2. I've repeated dresses a couple of times (hello, 10 different balls!), but apparently I love the little black number because I wore it in 2009, 2010, and 2013. 

3. I was about 14 weeks pregnant with Taylor Grace at the 2014 ball. 

4. The dress I wore in 2015 was both mine and Parker's favorite dress I have worn to a ball, and we both know there is a zero percent chance I will ever wear that thing again. It was a bridesmaid dress from his sister's wedding. The dress had to be ordered online so I didn't get to try it on, and I ordered it way too small. I had to practically starve myself to fit into that thing, so we joke that it's the prettiest dress I'll never wear again. ;)

5. 2011 is the only ball where Parker didn't wear a uniform. He was out of the Corps of Cadets but 2 months away from commissioning, so he couldn't wear a military uniform yet. A suit it was!

The World We Live In

I took a couple of weeks off from blogging again, but this little blogging break felt different. We have had friends and family cycling through and staying with us for the last 3 weeks, so I have been enjoying life and trying to spend as much time with each of them as possible. But, I also couldn't seem to put words on a page with all that is going on in this world. 

This latest shooting in Las Vegas is something I just can't wrap my head around. How can someone be so cruel to take 59 innocent lives and ruin hundreds more? How can such evil exist? This is not the first mass shooting this country has seen over the last few years, but this one has hit me harder now that I am a mom. This world seems to be getting worse, and as much as I want to, I can't protect my baby from all the evil that exists in today's world. 

I look at my sweet, perfect baby and wish more than anything I could make this world perfect for him. He's still so innocent. He doesn't know hate. He doesn't know violence. He doesn't know pain and suffering. He only knows his own happy, love-filled world, and I wish there was something I could do to keep it that way forever. 

Another thing I've been meditating on lately is just how much trust we have in the complete strangers around us. I trust that the person at the stoplight beside me isn't going to pull a gun and shoot me because I have no option but to trust them. I trust the person in line behind me at the supermarket not to pull a knife and stab me because I have no option but to trust them. How awful is that? I went to church this past Sunday, and I didn't feel completely safe. Parker and I had a rare-but-amazing date night this past weekend at the movies, and I didn't feel completely safe in the theater. It's depressing, but it's the truth. 

So where do we go from here? Where is the hope in a world that seems so grim? The only answer I can come up with is Jesus. He is close to the brokenhearted, and He is the only one that can redeem this broken world we live in. I am praying for all affected by the Las Vegas shooting. God is bigger! Jesus, be near!

Hug your loved ones and be kind today. Tomorrow is never guaranteed.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...