Friday, February 28, 2014

Slow down, time.

So last night, after I wrote our moving post, I realized that I've only blogged five times this month. I looked down to see that it was the 27th, so I figured I had plenty of time to crank out a few more posts this month... right? No, it's February.

Seriously, as we sit here on the last day of the month, I'm trying to figure out where the time has gone. I've noticed that since Jimmy returned from deployment (over eight months ago), time will not slow down. I feel like we completely blew through the end of the year last year, and now we're heading into March? How does that happen!?

February has been a busy month. Between getting my business legitimized and legal, buying a new vacuum, going on a marriage retreat, and traveling to Michigan, I've had little time to sit and update. It seems like I always have something going on.

Miss A has been continually impressing me with her growth. Not just physically, since we're on a bit of a plateau with that, but mentally and emotionally. She is so dang smart. Her vocabulary has increased so much in just the week that we've been in Michigan. Thanks to her Uncle Bubba, she now knows pepper as "Google" (thank you, Branden). She is also saying a lot more two and three word sentences. Whenever we're talking to her daddy on the phone, she says "Hi, daddy" and "Bye, daddy" about forty-seven times. She is also saying "I want ____" quite a bit more too. She says "monkey" very clearly now, and is learning more animal sounds. The thing I'm most excited about is that she's slowly but surely starting to sing her ABC's. Most of the letters aren't too clear yet, but she has the melody down solid. You can definitely understand "B" and "E F G." I'm confident that she'll have the whole alphabet ready to belt out whenever she wants by the time she's two. She will say "one, two, three" once in a while, but we're still working on that.

Well, I think I'm off for the day. My lazy little girl is still knocked out, so I'm going to enjoy my last few minutes of peace before the chaos of this Friday starts. 

God Bless ♥ V

Thursday, February 27, 2014

We're Moving

Anyone who knows me knows that I've had little to no hope of ever leaving Fort Stewart. Many have called it one of the "black holes" in the Army. Tons of people go there, and never get out. I was entirely convinced that we were going to be one of those people.

About a year ago, Hubs reenlisted for stability (at Fort Stewart). In my mind, that essentially meant that we would be there for all of eternity. Well, at least until his next contract was signed, or until he got out... Then I find out that there are ways to get orders, but it could be difficult.

Well... early this week, a few of the soldiers in Hub's unit received orders to Fort Benning. The two soldiers I knew that had received orders had also reenlisted around the same time as Hubs did, and also for stability. I instantly got kind of bubbly. I asked him to check his ERB to see if anything came up for him. He said it was doubtful, but he'd check in the morning (since it was already later in the evening and he was settled in at home).

Sure enough, the next day he goes to the library to check on everything and... bam. Fort Benning, here we come. I was completely shocked, even though I kind of thought it could happen. I have fourteen million kinds of emotions going on right now.

I'm excited to be seeing more of the country. Even though I've been out to Fort Benning once before, I was only there for three days. We'll be within a day-trip's distance from Atlanta, Montgomery (AL), Albany (GA), and a few other places that I'm interested in visiting.

I'm excited to see where my business goes from there. Starting over with a completely new clientele is going to be tough, but a fresh start is rarely a bad thing. I've had a great experience growing my business at Stewart, so I can only hope that I'll have the same success on the other side of the state.

We will also be two hours closer to Michigan than we are now. I always thought that Stewart was as close as we got, but I was wrong. This will mean driving through Atlanta every time we go home now, but I'm not too upset about that. Two hours, is two hours.

I'm sad to be leaving my friends and "roots" at Stewart. Even though quite a few of my closest friends will be leaving this summer (or have already left), I still have so many great people who have come into my life throughout our time at Fort Stewart. It sucks to be leaving all of them, but I know that good things will happen at Benning as well. We are also blessed that we'll only be five hours from Stewart, so we could make long-weekend trips out there if we want to.

Leaving Savannah and the beaches is going to be tough. I love that city. Downtown is so beautiful, and we will most definitely be checking of a ton of things on my Savannah/Coastal GA bucket list this summer. I want to visit all of the coastal islands that I can, spend lots of time at the beach, go on a carriage ride downtown, go on a haunted tour of Savannah, and a few other things I can't think of off the top of my head.

I'm sad to be leaving some great businesses behind us. We absolutely love Miss A's ENT. Dr. Crews has been so great with her, and her tubes probably won't quite be out when we leave. We've had a really crappy experience with Winn Army Community Hospital, so I'm not sad about leaving them, but I'm a little anxious to see what the healthcare is like at Fort Benning. I'm sad to be leaving Savannah Memorial Hospital behind. Knowing that my babies won't be born at the same hospital is very bittersweet for me. I loved the care I received there, and was looking forward to having baby #2 there some day. Now, that won't be happening. I'm also sad to be leaving our tattoo artist. Jimmy will be going to see her a lot in the next few months. I have full intentions of coming back once in a while to make trips to Savannah though. I also just recently found a cloth diaper store in Savannah that I've been  pretty fond of. I'm hoping I can find another one in Columbus, or even Atlanta (I know there are some there).

I'm absolutely elated to have a Target within thirty minutes of my house. A friend of mine and I had talked about this quite a bit a while ago... I've been miserable having to drive so far to get to Target. Knowing that Columbus has a Target, Kohl's, Carter's, and a natural baby store (I just Googled while writing this, there is one!) all in town... my checkbook is in trouble.

I'm excited to experience moving as a family. Even though I know it's going to be stressful, I'm excited about it. I feel so fortunate that our first PCS is only five hours from where we're at now. I think it will be a great "starter" move, so to speak. I have hopes that we won't be at Fort Benning forever, so maybe we'll keep making our way West in a few years. We'll see!

*Update* School... Since I go primarily online, I won't have to transfer out, take time off (again), or drop out because of our move. When we leave, I'll only have one semester left anyway. Since we'll "only" be five hours away, walking at commencement is still an option, but that would mean that Hubs would probably have to take time off. I know that the degree is the "important part," but I was still looking forward to the ceremony. Who knows where we'll be in life in a little over a year.

Overall, I'm feeling optimistic. I'm definitely going to miss parts of Fort Stewart (who would have though I'd ever say that?!), but I'm excited to see what the future holds for us. I can't wait to see.

God Bless ♥ V

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Traveling With an 18 Month Old

Yesterday Miss A and I took our second flight to Michigan. I was an anxious wreck, since I decided not to bring my stroller like I did last time. I had an extra bag with me too, so I was freaking out. Thanks to an awesome friend of mine, we made it to the airport with plenty of time to get through security and find our plane. Miss A even found a little friend to play with for a few minutes before we started boarding.

As soon as we got on the plane, she knocked out. She'd been up since around 6am, so I knew she'd be pretty tired by the time our flight took off at 9:30. She slept from take-off to landing. Never made a peep! 

Once we got to Charlotte, the pilot came over the speaker saying that they didn't have a gate for us. So, we stopped in the middle of the tarmac and exited the plane. We had to walk quite a ways to the terminal (two backpacks, carry-on, and toddler in tow). Of course, it was the complete opposite side of the terminal that I needed to catch my next flight on. Normally it wouldn't be a big deal, but since we had to walk so far to get inside, I had seven minutes before my next flight started boarding. 

Somehow I managed to get to the gate with a minute to spare, in tears, but I made it. I had to pee so badly it wasn't funny. Miss A needed a diaper change (badly). My entire body was shaking from pushing so hard to make it on time. To my extreme luck, one of the flight attendants was running late so I was able to leave all my bags at the desk and go to the bathroom. Even better, once we did board the plane, no one was in the seat next to us, so Miss A had plenty of room to stretch. 

We were delayed for take-off since the flight attendant was so late, so we missed our scheduled time. We ended up taking off about thirty minutes late. As soon as we were in the air, Miss A knocked out again. 

The views were gorgeous. Flying into all the snow got me so excited. I couldn't wait to get on the ground and go play in it. We landed in Detroit about 30 minutes late, but we did alright. Miss A remembered her Nana almost immediately and was very excited to get to her house. It's exciting for me to see that she's remembering people and places that she's not at frequently. She's such a smart girl.

This morning we played in the mountains of snow Michigan has right now. Miss A wasn't quite as excited as she was last time, but I think she's pretty jet lagged still. There's also about two feet more snow now than there was when we were here for Christmas. It's absolutely beautiful here. We're definitely going to enjoy our visit. 

God Bless ♥ V

Monday, February 17, 2014

Great Monday

Today was really a great day. The weekend was great, but very very long. We went on our second marriage retreat, and had a ton of fun! But wow, it is different with a baby. At the last marriage retreat we went to, we spent every break between sessions having "us" time. We went back to our room, or down to the pool, or wherever we wanted... This time, it was fighting the urge to check on the baby, trying to get the baby to nap, and trying to calm her down from her latest panic attack. Miss A did not like being away from us in a strange place. I felt terrible for having to leave her so much. Having a young toddler at a marriage retreat definitely changed the game for us.

Once we were home and settled, Miss A snapped out of her funk and was great. Today, we spent the day in Savannah updating our wardrobes. We got so many great deals. Old Navy was having a 30% off everything sale, but some things were even more on sale than that. Aeropostale had great sales too. We ended up saving literally 50% in that store. I ended up with quite a few shirts, a few dresses, a new swimsuit, and some tank tops. Hubs got a few new pairs of jeans, and a whole load of new shirts. I also got a bunch of new office supplies to get me organized since I'm now officially a business owner!

After an extremely successful day of shopping, we made it home just in time for me to go to my last  photo shoot before I head to Michigan. It was great. Every shoot I do, I reconfirm my passion for this field of work.

I'm now exhausted. Tomorrow is packing day! I'm nowhere near ready for this trip to Michigan, but I'm so excited to go. I feel awful for taking Miss A away from her daddy for two weeks, but I know that the rest of our families are elated to see her again.

Well, I'm off to try to catch up on a little sleep before a super busy day tomorrow!

God Bless ♥ V

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Vacuum Love

Those of you who know me know that I absolutely love my Shark vacuum. Seriously, when we go on vacation, I miss my vacuum. Legit, I love that thing. Well tonight, I said goodbye to Miss Shark. We bought a Rainbow.

When the guy left, I literally cried. I was extremely impressed by the Rainbow, I will admit that. We wouldn't have spent a small fortune on it if I wasn't. But man... I never thought I could love an object so much. I feel like I just sent one of my children away to be sold at a thrift store. It physically hurts. Seriously, physical pain. My heart hurts.

I'll definitely be reviewing in the next few weeks and months. I'm praying that this purchase was worth it. It was probably the third biggest purchase of my life.

I'm off to go cry myself to sleep now. I'll miss you, Shark.

God Bless ♥ V

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Bottombumpers Review and Giveaway! (Ended)

*This is a sponsored review. The opinions are mine and are unaltered by the sponsorship.*

I have the pleasure of partnering with The Natural Baby to review and give away what is now one of my favorite diapers. As some of you had read, I bought some bottombumpers diapers when we first started using cloth. We had been using the sized snap diapers. Bottombumpers also has a one size diaper that I was nervous to try. I've heard mixed things about one size diapers. Shoot, I've experienced mixed things about one size diapers. So I was hesitant to use these. Yet, I'm so glad I did.

These diapers are awesome. Take a look at the inside:
The colored snaps are what you adjust to make the diaper bigger or smaller. Since Miss A is almost 26 pounds, we have the diaper completely opened up (as recommended by bottombumpers). It fits her perfectly! Take a look:

We haven't had any leakage issues and they're super absorbent. They're amazing quality and I'll definitely be buying more. I can't believe how small they get, and how much room Miss A still has in them. They're a great diaper from newborn to potty training. I'm so excited to get a few more. 

So who wants one? The Natural Baby was awesome enough to not only sponsor my review, but also a giveaway! She's giving away a one size bottombumpers cloth diaper to one lucky reader! The winner will have their choice of color and options. She's also given me a discount code  for 5% off  anything on their website for all my awesome readers. 
The discount is: VictoriaSimmons

Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you to all who have entered! The winner will be announced as soon as the giveaway ends!