Monday, April 29, 2013

Mommy Moment Monday 4.29

Adalin Grace has been on a mommy kick for the last few days. Nothing warms my heart more than hearing her sit in her crib for hours saying "ma maa ma ma maaa ma maa!" over and over again. She's finally cutting these last two teeth on the top (for a total of six teeth!) so these last couple days have been long. She's cranky, but more cuddly than usual which is a nice change.

I attempted to have her nap with me in my bed a little bit ago. That didn't happen... at all. She's much more content exploring what she can and can't reach from my mattress. For the most part, she does pretty good about not pushing the limit too far. The only thing that really tempts her is the dog. If Mia is on her bed (next to my bed), Adalin is very determined to pet her. That being said, I'm definitely not comfortable walking more than an arm's length away while she's up there. She's fascinated with the window, along with the blinds and curtains. I love watching her explore and seeing her mind work.

She's becoming even more mobile these days. I assumed that crawling was crawling, that we wouldn't face many new baby-proofing challenges until she started walking. I was wrong. With each passing day, she can reach a little bit higher, becomes a little more confident with climbing, and discovers something new to throw across the room. Yesterday I found her trying to open the oven. When I said "Adalin Grace, what are you doing?" She quickly turned around, sat down, and started clapping her hands with a big smile on her face. She gets so excited about accomplishing new things. I'm so proud of her. ♥

On another note, I went running again this morning. I completed Week 3 Day 1 of the C25K program with no problem! I added in an extra 2 minute jog to the end as well, decreasing my 2.25 miles time by about a minute. My goal is to run 2.5 miles in 30 minutes by the end of the week. I'm determined to make it happen. I also got my Hip Hop Abs today. It was an impulse purchase off of the infomercial (but it was the same price with faster shipping on Amazon!). I'm starting that program tonight on top of C25K. If you can't tell, I'm very dedicated and determined to get in shape by the beginning of June. I'll be posting my April progress pictures in the coming days.

God Bless ♥ V

Sunday, April 28, 2013


Today has been one of "those" days for both my daughter and myself. For me, it hasn't really been a down day, just a "wow" day. I'm in shock. It's April 28th. In three days, my baby will be 3/4 of a year old. Nine months. Wow. My husband will have been deployed for seven months very soon. That means that we're closing in on the end. We're starting to eliminate which flights he's not on. That might not seem happy, but it's one step to closure. It's ending the "is he going to be home in xx amount of weeks?" feelings. I'm just ready to be back to normal.

I can't get over how much everything has changed in the last six months. Here's a picture from before my husband left:

Adalin was right around two months in this picture, a mere 10 pounds. Looking at our little family actually brings a bit of a tear to my eye. I am ready for this again. I'm ready for my husband to be home, to hold my hand, while I hold our daughter. I'm ready for him to look down at her and smile, rather than have him see her through a computer screen. I'm just ready for this. 

And then comes the now...

Here, Adalin is 8 months old, and a whopping 20 pounds. She's aware, alert, and so very mobile. All of these changes are things that are foreign to my husband. He sees daily pictures and gets updates constantly about every new thing that she does, but it's not the same. He's not used to having a daughter who crawls, babbles, and does pretty much whatever she wants. He's coming home to a different baby. I love that he has been able to watch her change through Skype and Facebook, so he won't be in complete shock. Yet all I can say is simply, "Wow." Look at her grow. ♥ 

This is what my day has consisted of, reviewing deployment. I'm going to make a list of everything that I can think of that has changed. Everything from the new couch and chair in our living room, to the new yard accessories (and grass!), to Adalin's changes, to the length and color of my hair. Every section of life is bound to change in six months, let alone nine. That's a lot to walk in to. I'm trying to prepare my husband and our family the best way I can for reintegration. 

Adalin's day has just been blah. She's slept most of the day away. Waking up at nine, just go go back to sleep at 10... Then she woke up at 11:30, to go back to sleep at 1:30. She's now been sleeping for an hour and a half and is still pretty knocked out. She must be growing! Her nine month check-up is on Wednesday so I'll be sure to post about how she's doing in the doctor's eyes. 

I'm off for now, to go clean and organize. There's another change! Organization has been a big importance to me, and it wasn't so much when Hubby deployed. Anyway, have a great rest of the weekend!

God Bless ♥ V

Friday, April 26, 2013

Fitness Frustrations

I had blogged a week or so ago about starting the Couch to 5K program. So far it's been going pretty good, but today was frustrating. First I'll explain the program and then get to my frustrations.

I downloaded the app on my phone, rather than trying to time myself with a stopwatch, and remember how long I am supposed to run/walk for. Here's what the icon looks like:

Once you're in the app, you chose which day you're on (one thing I don't like about this app is that it doesn't remember where you left off, so you have to make sure you're on the right day. Not a huge problem, but I've started the wrong day twice in two weeks now...). 

When you click "start" you go through a 5 minute warm up and then start the actual workout. Each time you're supposed to start running/walking it makes a "ding" and says "Start ______." I've learned to love and hate that sound. I love it when it says "Start Walking," and hate it every other time. 

Now to my frustrations... Each week you increase your run time, and slowly eliminate the amount of time you're walking. On Monday (Week 2 Day 1), I completed the workout without a problem. Today (Week 2 Day 3), which is the same workout as I did on Monday, I cut the last 3 runs short by between 20-40 seconds. I am frustrated because I feel like the workout should have been easier today than it was on Monday. 

I know why it was more difficult today though. I'm bad. I didn't eat breakfast, and rarely do. For a while, I was eating a protein bar on the way to the gym every time I went. I need to get back to that. After the first three runs, I was dying. My stomach hurt, bad. All I could think about was food. I wasn't focusing on my breathing, or on the app at all. I'd hear the "ding" but would have to check to find out what I was supposed to be doing. 

Anyway, next week I will be eating breakfast and I will run farther. I'm doing 2.25 miles in 30 minutes (that includes my warm-up and cool-down). Next week's goal is 2.5 miles in 30 minutes. Wish me luck!

God Bless ♥ V

Monday, April 22, 2013

Lifestyle Photography

My poor sweet girl is going to have about a million pictures of herself before she turns one, I swear. I'm starting to dabble in lifestyle photography and I figure why not practice on my gorgeous little girl!

Here is what my afternoon looked like (all these photos are straight out of camera, with no processing):

Climbing on absolutely everything... Yes, that is my dining room table.

Again with climbing... At least this is on her toys.

She's such a camera lover!

Always on her toes!

Her pouty faces are just hilarious.

And she thinks she's a dog, carrying things around her mouth all the time...

Modeling in the good light

And my (least) favorite... discovering the movie shelf. Life will be interesting now! 

Feedback on these photos would be greatly appreciated! I'd like to perfect my technique before actually offering it through my business. Thank you everyone!

God Bless ♥ V

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Time Flies

I can't get over how quickly time has been flying by. I can't wait until I can say that it's May, that my husband will be home "next month," or "next week." At this rate, I feel like that's going to be tomorrow. Not literally, but you all know what I mean.

This week went by crazy fast. I really didn't do a whole lot, but I got a lot of little things accomplished. I finally set up a joint account with my husband at USAA that we're going to use as our primary account when he gets home. This has been on my to-do list for... actually let's not say how long that's been there. Also, I got all of Adalin's college fund information so I can put our first deposit in it. I can't wait to get our baby girl's future all squared away. I've been researching where to get Jimmy's windshield replaced at. I also started planning Adalin's birthday party this summer. I'm so excited!

I also started the Couch to 5K program this week. So far, I'm liking it. I downloaded the free app on my phone called C25K. It's much easier than using a stopwatch and remembering when to run/walk. I definitely recommend it so far.

Even though this was a boring blog post, it's been a great week. Hopefully this week will bring some excitement!

God Bless ♥ V

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Seeing Beauty

"You'd be surprised how beautiful your life can be through someone else's eyes."

I read that quote this evening and had a major moment of clarity. No matter how messed up everything in this world is right now, life is beautiful. Let me try to make my point a little more visual...

I did a quick Google search and found this "ugly landscape:" 

Now at first glance, it's definitely not what most people would call pretty. Yet, I'm willing to bet that some of those stones on the bottom are pretty. There might be some flowers blooming along the fence, and who doesn't love palm trees? 

This may not have been the best example, but I'm sure that you are starting to get my point. It can work the other way too though. 

Here was what I found for "pretty landscapes:" 

This is gorgeous, right? But what about the mold on those boards, or the chain link fence behind it... or the dead foliage? I think that dock is leaning pretty bad too. That might not be very safe... See? Even something pretty can be picked apart and become ugly. 

My point is that it all depends on how you look at life. With all the violence in our country this week, it's easy to sit here and think that it can't get worse, that our country is falling apart, and that the world is a dirty awful place. Just take a moment and think about all the good that happened today. About 361,481 babies were born today. Around 6,400 people got married today. You probably laughed today (here's a neat statistic I just found... Apparently children laugh around 400 times per day, while adults average around 5 times per day. Let's change that.). 

Good things happen, especially when you look for them. Even on bad days, good things happen. Remember that somewhere in the world, there's someone who wishes that they had it as good as you do. As I sit here on my comfy couch with my nice laptop, listening to Pandora with my feet propped up, sipping on a glass of purified water, I can't help but realize how blessed I am. My daughter is sound asleep in her bed, I talked to my husband today, my house has heat, my fridge is full of food. All of these things are things that many people don't get to enjoy. 

Really take a few minutes tonight and look at all the beautiful things in your life. Even though your cupboards might hang crooked like mine do, at least you have cupboards. Take a moment to be thankful for the life you have and see the beauty in it all. 

God Bless ♥ V

Monday, April 15, 2013

Have Some Respect.

I can't get over some of the insensitivity that I'm seeing in my Facebook news feed right now. I can't believe that some people are already making fun of the tragedy that happened in Boston today. I logged on after Adalin went to bed, and this is the first thing that popped up in my news feed:

What kind of ass hole (excuse my language, but there are simply no other words....) would post something like this, let alone less than 12 hours after something this horrific has happened? An eight-year-old boy was killed, and at least 115 were injured. Why on earth would someone post something like this? The worst part of all of this is that the person who posted that is a soldier, serving our country. I had the decency to block out his picture and name, even though I should just call him out. 

The event itself makes me sad, for America. As far as I know, I don't know anyone who was directly affected. It just makes me sad that something like this could happen. The thing that makes me more sad is things like that picture's caption. Sick people ruin the world. All these people wanted to do today was go run 26.2 miles. Others wanted to watch and cheer. Why does someone have to think, "Let's go blow up people... kill people... destroy a city-wide celebration..." No. Just stop. America needs to get their act together, as does the rest of the world. What point was made today? There wasn't one, other than that we shouldn't feel safe in our own country. I want to go to bed with my doors unlocked and my windows open without having to worry about what will be missing in the morning. I just don't understand why people have to be so mean. 

So, have some respect people. Even if you're not deeply sorrowed like many are, respect their feelings. Respect that there are families grieving loss. Just, respect. 

I'm off to go clean before I punch someone. 

God Bless ♥ V

Sunday, April 14, 2013


This week has been amazing. I am finally starting to feel myself again. So, here's what's been going on the past few weeks/months.

For a few months now, I've been in a rut. I just can't relax, nothing truly, makes me happy, nothing fulfills me. It's been awful. No matter how much I took on, I couldn't get out of this horrible "poor me" mode. I honestly thought I was pregnant, and even took a test when my husband left after emergency leave for Adalin's surgery. It was negative, so I continued to think that I wasn't. Yet, I was still crazy emotional all the time. I stopped breastfeeding (pumping) at the end of February, so I thought my hormones might be out of whack but I didn't think that it would have this much effect on my life.  So I went to the doctor.

The doctor said that it could be one of two things, as I suspected. The birth control I was on was designed for breastfeeding, so since I wasn't breastfeeding anymore, it could be messing with my system and creating a slight/severe hormone imbalance. The other, assumed, possibility was that I was pregnant and that the birth control was falsifying the home test(s) I'd taken. Since I'd gained 10 pounds since January, had heartburn, and been so scatter-brained, this is what the doctors thought was happening. So I took a blood test, that would actually be accurate. Negative. Which is completely okay with us for a few more years.

So I started my new (normal) birth control on last Sunday, one week ago now. Oh. My. Goodness. I can't get over the difference. Within 24 hours I noticed a change. Within 48, I noticed a drastic one. Now a week later, just wow! I can't believe it. I am back to myself. I feel so great. It's just, ah. I just feel so much better, there aren't words to explain it.

I'm so shocked with how much of an impact a hormone imbalance can have on your life. If you're on birth control, and aren't feeling great about yourself, talk to your doctor. Maybe that's the problem. I'm so happy to be back to me!

God Bless ♥ Vi

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

DIY Chair Makeover

Today I took on a project that I'd consider a bit premature, but it helped pass some time. Adalin's "time out chair" is now complete! Until she's old enough to actually be put in time out, and not fall out of the chair... it will be used as a photo prop and door stop. 

I was surprised with how easy this was. Here's my before picture of the chair. It was inherited from my husband's great grandparents... so it's old. 

Stained, hard, and chipped paint.

I started by taking off the cushion part. All that took was 4 screws and a bit of a push, it had been glued on as well. 

I then refinished the cushion, sorry I didn't take a picture of this part. All I did was pull the staples out of the fabric, and rip it off. I had some old egg crate foam laying around from when we moved, so I cut a section of that to add on top of the old padding (which was still in good condition, as they'd been refinished once before). Now it's extra comfortable. I reattached the new fabric and glued it like it was before. Just make sure that it's tight on top. 

After that part was done, I sanded and spray painted the chair. Since it was nice outside, the paint dried really quickly. It's not quite as pink as I was expecting, but it is a nice pale pink. 

The paint I used, sprays well and covers nicely. 

After paint.

Once the paint was good and dry, about 30 minutes I'd say, I reassembled everything. It went back together as easily as I took it apart. I did move the cushion back a little bit from where it was before, but I love how it turned out. 

This was definitely a great lazy day project. I'm excited to use it in some of Adalin's pictures now!

God Bless ♥ Vi

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Love Your Daughter's Mother

I found this on another website tonight and I just had to share. Again, this is not my writing. I just love it.

Love Her Mother
John Wooden is famous for saying, “The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” The relationship you have with your daughter’s mother sets the standard for every relationship she will ever have with a man. She needs to know that a woman deserves to be cherished and protected and adored. So if you yell at your wife or roll your eyes or demean her, stop. Right now. Maybe yelling has to happen sometimes, but not in front of your kids. You need to treat your wife the way you want your daughter to be treated. If you wouldn't want your daughter to marry a man like you, be a better man.

Showing her how a woman ought to be treated also includes romance. Take your wife on dates. Kiss her often–in front of the kids. Don’t be gross, but let them see that love can stay alive in a marriage. A friend told me recently that her 2-year-old niece saw a picture of two people gazing at each other and said, “Dada and Mama!” The picture looked nothing like the girl’s parents, but when she saw love, she thought of her parents. Your daughter deserves to see marriage as beautiful and romantic. And she needs to see that the place for romance is in marriage. Make her believe that her knight in shining armor won’t just slay the dragon and ride off into the sunset, he’ll kiss the princess awake every morning afterwards. She deserves to believe in fairy tale love. Your wife deserves it, too.

Here's the link to the rest of the article. I'll say one more time, this is not something I wrote. I just wanted to share! I hope you all loved this as much as I did.

March Progress Pictures

Again, as promised! Here is my change from Feb 28 to March 29th:

I don't see a lot of change, but I feel a difference. My stomach is tighter and my love handles are slowly starting to go away. I've been getting frustrated because the infamous "last 10 pounds" won't go away. I was back to pre-baby weight before Christmas, but vacation was bad to me. I gained back about 10 pounds, and proceeded to lose 5. Since I started working out regularly, I've gained back that 5. I know that it's muscle, I don't need that lecture. It can just be extremely discouraging running my butt off for a month to gain five pounds. I want that number to go down. I want my jean size to go down. Neither of which are happening. In fact, after my weekly weigh in, I gained two more pounds. The only thing that's going down is my cup size. Since I stopped pumping, I went from an E/F to a C. I'm so upset.  I weigh more now than I ever have (except when I was pregnant and immediately after). I'm just really frustrated. I've continued to hit the gym regularly and limit my calories. I'm trying to not lose hope, but it's starting to get difficult. 

God Bless ♥ V

Monday, April 08, 2013

Easter Sunday Church Service

As promised, I wanted to post about my experience at Savannah Christian Church. To start, I love this church. It's just wonderful. It's huge, which is great if you're like me and feed off people.

Easter weekend at SCC was great. According to their Facebook page, almost 500 people were baptized at their campuses just that weekend alone. These baptisms weren't like the other baptisms that I'd experienced though. Instead of signing up weeks or months in advance, taking classes, and all that jazz... these people decided to get baptized the day that they were. Instead of having to wear robes or something, they walked into the pool in their Easter best. The pastor was referencing scripture in Acts in a few places where it states that they "believed and were baptized." He nipped all excuses in the butt:

"I'm wearing white..." -- "We have a black shirt for you to wear." Bam.
"I have electronics in my pocket..." -- "Here's a bag." Bam!
"I'll get my car wet..." -- "Here's a trash bag. Cover your seat." Bam!!
"My family won't approve..." -- "You don't get baptized for your family, you get baptized for you." Bam!!

It was just awesome. I'm not entirely sure how many people were baptized during the service I was in, but it was just awesome. I forgot how thrilling it was to see others giving their life to Christ.

Adalin thoroughly enjoyed the service as well. SCC uses lots of lights during the music, so she was having a blast.

Overall, it was a great refresher of my faith. I've been watching online sermons at home from a local church in Michigan. They have a large archive of series so I can choose the ones that apply to my life.

That's all I've got for tonight. I hope all of you had a great Easter and spring break. I know I lied about posting my March progress pictures last weekend, but they're still coming I promise!

God Bless ♥ V

Saturday, April 06, 2013

New Lens Love!

I bought a new lens a few days ago and am absolutely loving it. After the last two days, I'm seriously considering dipping my toes into lifestyle photography. Here are some of the photos I took this morning, straight out of the camera (that's right, no editing):

Such a happy baby!
She's so fascinated with glasses...

Because everyone loves baby kisses!

 Baby teeth!

 Yummy couch...

 This is my favorite!

Goodness I love this little girl. We had such a great week with my husband's mom, brother, and sister. As you can see from the pictures, she took to her grandma very quickly! I hope you enjoy the many faces of Baby A as much as I do!

God Bless ♥ V

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Let's Be Real

A very close friend of mine pointed out to me today that I tend to come off like everything is always good on here. I feel obligated to let my followers know that I do have down days. I'm not some crazy super woman who isn't phased by deployment.

Today for example, was rainy and nasty. It was just gloomy, even with family here it was an off day. My husband and I had a good talk about just being ready for deployment to be done. We are so ready to have all of this be over so we can return to our normal lives. I'm tired of him missing everything. Even though he had the extreme privilege to be able to see our daughter two months ago, seeing how much she's changed since then (let alone since he initially left) just makes my heart ache. Just since he was here for her surgery, she's started crawling, pulling herself up on things, eating tons of different foods, saying new "words," and so much more. She's more aware of her surroundings every single day, especially food (sorry this is blurry):

Scoping out Grandma's Pie
I hate that he's missing this. No matter how many phone calls, Facebook messages, or Skype conversations we have... he isn't here. We can't change that. We can't fake that. Bottom line: he's missing everything. Pictures and videos just don't do her justice. Adalin took to him really quickly when he was here on leave, and we can only hope that the same will happen when he's actually home "for good."

So much changes in 9 months. Deployment can make relationships stronger or tear them apart. For us, it has brought both challenges and stronger bonds. We fight, disagree, and struggle to feel a specific connection sometimes. But through it all, we get stronger. We're striving to grow, to love ourselves, and to love each other more every day.

Deployment has brought on a lot of guilt for me. I feel extremely guilty for sitting at home playing with Adalin while my husband is in a war zone. I feel like that is grounds for resentment from him. I thank the Lord every day that Jimmy doesn't resent me. He's so reassuring that someone has to do what I'm doing. If I was working, we would be paying someone to do what I do. I feel like I should be contributing more to our family, and often forget that I'm the one taking care of the homefront. Whenever I'm feeling insecure about this, my husband reminds me that it's okay.

These things are just a few things that I've been struggling with the last few weeks. There's more, but what fun is the negative to read? That's why I try to keep this blog as positive as I can. Writing positive makes me feel better, and gives others courage to push through. My next post will be encouraging again. I'll post my March progress pictures by the weekend!

God Bless ♥ V

Family is Here!

Many of you know, my husband's family is visiting me this week for Spring Break. It's been great having a busy house, although the long days have been pretty exhausting. I guess it isn't too tiring though, since it's almost midnight and I'm blogging rather than sleeping.

One great thing about having his family here is that it makes me feel like he's a little closer to home. It actually makes it a little harder since I feel that connection with him, even though he's absent. It's one of those bitter sweet things. I absolutely love having them here, but it makes me miss my husband even more. I'm thankful that we've been able to talk a decent amount this week through all the chaos. Communication makes things a little easier.

On a high note, we've done some exploring while our family has been here. We went down to Jacksonville Beach, Florida yesterday for the first time. Adalin is such a beach bum! It's borderline ridiculous. Here are a few pictures from Jacksonville and Tybee Island (where we spent Easter):

Jacksonville Beach, FL
Jacksonville Beach, FL

Jacksonville Beach, FL: First time "in" the ocean

Tybee Island, GA on Easter 2013
Also, we're another month closer to homecoming! Hello, April! I can't believe we're already this far. March flew by like I can't believe. I'm hoping that April will do the same as well. It's supposed to storm for the next few days, but  "April showers bring May flowers," right?

Coming posts: 
•Easter Sunday Church
•Worst Part of Deployment 2.0
•Update on Schooling
•Ideas for 1st Birthday Party
•Homemade Baby Food Review

God Bless ♥ V