Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Word Vomit Wednesday

Mr. Soldier has been working really long days/nights lately. We always try to count our blessings because he is home with us. But our family loves spending time together so, it hits everyone really hard when daddy is away more than normal. Luna included. Right around dusk, she parks herself at the front door and waits to greet Mr. Soldier as he comes in.

Our first shipment is going out in three weeks. A lot has to be done before then. I texted this photo to a friend and she said "Even your mess is organized!" Guilty as charged. I love organization. At the moment, I'm separating shipments. Everything must be declared into one of five categories:

1. Luggage 
2. Unaccompanied Baggage 
3. Household Goods
4. Storage
5. Donate/Sell
6. Ohio (important/irreplaceable things that we'll leave with family)

The first two have low weight limits so they have to be planned meticulously. So I have to separate those things and then everything else that needs to go to Korea goes in #3: Household Goods. However, Household Goods goes out first. So all this separating has to be done now so we don't forget anything we'll need in Korea. But alas, if we do, we'll find a Daiso (Korean Dollar Store) or an Emart (Korean Walmart) near by and I'm sure we can get what we need. Right, mom? Right, okay (:

I had the opportunity to crochet these super cute hats for a neighbor. She gave birth to twin boys a few months ago and they are going to look so cute for Halloween. We even sized them big enough so they can wear them all winter. Thinking my own boys may need some of these (: Though I've got many projects lined up. Another little of one of my neighbors asked for a pink owl hat specifically, and I think I'll go ahead and make two more for her siblings as well.

And my next "me" project, will be this super cute slouchy beanie.
 I donated (AKA let a co-worker borrow and she never returned) my beloved navy one last spring :( Oh well, must be a sign I needed an updated one. Maybe different buttons, though.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday (Travel Edition)

In planning our overseas traveling, my wish list just keeps getting longer. Things I think will make our lives easier, are necessities, or some things are just plain cute! 

First up, I need carry on. One that will allow me to have my hands (mostly) free and NOT a rolling one because I'll be pushing Boy 2 in the stroller. Enter, Vera Bradley. It's washable, no wheels, and it's squishy, so we'll be able to use it as a big pillow for naps in the airports. We have a 8 hour layover in Seattle that we have to stay in the airport for, (military flights make you check in 4-6 hours early). 
Vera Bradley Weekender in Plum Crazy ($98, hoping to buy this on sale!)

And of course my hubby is going to need a carry on too. Well, he already has a small carry-on suitcase, this will be his "personal item".
Merona Men's Canvas Messenger Bag from Target ($18.74)

For my own "personal item", I have been swooning over this bag. It's highly recommended by many frequent international flyers and their go-to for their personal item. There are many color options, but the black looks so classic, I may stick with it or the navy blue color. I hope to find this on ebay for a decent price. If not, I may look into cheaper alternatives.
Longchamp Le Pliage Large Tote via Nordstrom ($145)

Boy 1 already has an iPad Mini & Boy 2 will be receiving one for Christmas so headphones to watch movies and play games are going to be a must for them. I'm sure they would love this design.

Holy Cow: 3 months

Passports picked up? Check.

Household goods, unaccompanied baggage, and storage shipments scheduled? Check.


Things just got real.

One month until our first shipment of household goods gets packed and shipped.
Two months until we move out of our house.
Three months.. and we'll be in Korea.

The end.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

PCS Plans

Just wanted to write a little something about how our PCS experience is going 3-4 months before the jump across the big pond. Everything has been pretty smooth.

We found out we got concurrent travel, meaning the boys and I will travel with Mr. Soldier to Korea (sometimes the family has to follow after the soldier is there and settled, this is called deferred travel).
Concurrent is definitely what we were hoping for! I was worried about making that 14 hour flight with two preschoolers by myself, but now we know that we won't have to worry about that... we'll be flying together as a family!

We also received our hard copy orders! 
This is an important step for military families who are PCSing. Hard copy orders are what we use to schedule the movers, arrange for our car to be shipped, and schedule our flights! Often there are delays with receiving hard copy orders for one reason or another or corrections have to be made, so we are so happy to have them in hand 3-4 months out. 

And today, the boys and I picked up our No-Fee Passports. These are our our official government passports that we will use while traveling on Mr. Soldier's orders to and from Korea. (Any leisure travel we do will require use of our tourist passports instead). I checked and double-checked... and triple-checked all the information to make sure they were correct. Everything looked great. But everyone involved, even the family travel clerk, found Boy 2's photo amusing. 

"Sup, Korea?"

Something else exciting happened recently, Mr. Soldier got promoted! We are all so happy for and proud of him! He's been working at this for a long time.

As of right now we are 3-4 months from leaving the US. Now that we have hard copy orders, I'm it's really starting to hit me. We have started getting rid of things we don't or won't need via yard sales and posting them online. We repainted Boy 1's room back to "Fort Campbell White" (I kid you not, I was told I had to ask for that color in Sherwin Williams). We have started purchasing our luggage. It's  feeling more and more real by the day. I went from feeling like we had all the time in the world so I needed to make sure I wasn't planning too far out... to feeling like I don't have enough time to get everything done. We were recently told we will be flying out sometime between beginning of January and the beginning of February. Tack on PCS leave in Ohio before that and we could be moving out of our current house in December, that's only two months away. Stay calm, Kate, stay calm. 

Mr. Soldier said something yesterday that really resonated with me. We were having sort of a heated discussion about moving plans and details, the usual things you have to figure out. However, the difference between my husband and I... I like to plan for everything and really far in advance, he would rather deal with things one at a time as they happen. Different strokes. Most times we keep each other balanced, but sometimes, in times of stress, we butt heads about decisions. I was pressing him about what his preferences were for a flight date, and leave, and a household goods pick-up date, etc... and I finally said (in a not very nice tone) "What do you wanna do?" and he said 
"I want to get our stuff picked up by the movers, and fly to Korea." 

I had been stressing so much about all these small details that I haven't even realized that it didn't matter all that much. Sometimes I think I'm so used to the Army telling us exactly what to do that when we get a little bit of wiggle room (or they ask for a preference), I get overwhelmed with making the perfect, best, most cohesive decision. 

Mr. Soldier's simple statement brought me back to reality. In the end, it doesn't matter that much when our stuff is picked up, when we fly, when we take leave, etc. We will get to Korea. Our stuff will get there. Sure, it's awesome and smart to make educated decisions, but don't let it drive you crazy. Make sure to enjoy the time you have left in the US with family and friends. You'll have plenty of time to stress about the other stuff when the time comes, I promise!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

A Day in the Life of a Three-Year-Old

I've been trying to be a more relaxed parent lately. 
Not that I'm crazy, I let them get dirty I swear!
But, and I'm sure my fellow parents of preschoolers will agree here, it's hard to know when to put your foot down or when to just let it go.

Lately I've been learning to pick my battles;
let my boys make more choices for themselves.
My motto has been, if it's not really hurting anything and/or it can easily be cleaned up, then it's really okay.
Am I right?!

So far it's been saving us some stress, so we're going with it. 

Boy #2 just recently turned three. 
Here's what a typical day looks like for him:

He starts off the day with a little sticker-ing. Honestly, who wouldn't want a Goofy and a Pluto plastered to their face.

Next up after some playtime is picking up big brother from the bus stop... in a puppy costume. He also barked and hopped on all fours all the way there. I drew the line when he asked me to put him on Luna's (our mini schnauzer) leash . Sorry puppy, mommy does not have time for an interview with Child Protective Services today!

He finished up the afternoon with a trip to see the dentist! He loves Dr. Deeds and the ladies in Dr. Deeds office love him. He had them swooning over his dimples and favorite fedora.

Never a dull moment. He keeps me on my toes. That's for sure.

My best friend got hitched!

This girl... I love her. 

And last weekend someone else that loves her almost as much as me, became her husband!

We spent all day Friday and Saturday preparing, which included:

-Getting our nails done.
-Eating too much at Sumburger.
-Discovering that we were overcharged for our nails.
-Picking up a gigantic bucket of teal baby's breath (pictured above).
-Using said baby's breath to assemble bouquets.
-Getting Jenna a spray tan.
-Playing with the spray tan disposable undies.

-Spending hours making sure everything was just how it was supposed to be.

-And then finally having a blast at the gorgeous wedding!

I was one of the bridesmaids and Boys 1 & 2 were the ring bearers, err excuse me, "ring security".

Jenna & Tyler had a beach theme wedding with their colors being gray and teal. It was so pretty. If I was going to do a beach theme wedding, I would have wanted exactly what they had! Wouldn't have changed a thing!

Sneak Peek:
Boy #2, taking a little break. Security is tiring business!

Boy #1 lovin' his job.

Jenna Ellen,

I'm so thankful and lucky to have you in my life. 
You are Tyler are such precious gift for my boys. 
We love you both very much! 
Your wedding was beautiful.
You are beautiful!
Thank you for including us on your big day, we were so happy to be a part of it!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Graduation (a little early)


While I'm REALLY excited we're moving to Korea, I was a little bummed when I realized I would miss my college graduation. I finish my degree in December and I was supposed to walk in my college's May 2015 graduation.


Fort Campbell really came through for me on this occasion. They held a college graduation for students from any (accredited) school, getting any degree, who graduated or are graduating in 2014.
You go, Fort Campbell!

There were eighty of us from 22 different schools. The graduate section was a rainbow of caps and gowns and it was awesome. We were a mixture of soldiers, spouses, military children, and retired veterans. To be a part of a group of people that I know worked long, hard hours for years and years just to achieve this one goal... I honestly got goosebumps. All of us endure a lot of stress but on that day, Wilson theater was only filled with celebration and smiles. 

My mom and dad are both teachers and with it being their first week back to school, neither could make the trip down. But, I sent them this photo the morning of and I'm pretty sure they both got teary, probably my usually straight-faced stepdad too. 

Although my parents couldn't attend, I was so happy to have my sweet husband cheering for me in the audience. I definitely could have never made it to this day without his unwavering support and love.

They even held a reception for all of us afterwards. 
This cake had some weird cappuccino buttercream icing (so they claim) but honestly it tasted like coffee with whiskey in it. Fine with me! hehe

Good job Fort Campbell, do more things like this for families! We appreciate it more than you know. Sometimes when you are the spouse of a soldier (or if you are really familiar with military terms, "a dependent of the sponsor"), you feel like everything you do revolves around them. Everything is ultimately because of them and their career and your family's commitment to the military. Being a mom, same thing. Everything you do, is for your children. 

But this degree, this degree was for me.

So what if it was 6 years after I completed high school.
So what if some assignments were not my best work because I was up all night with a sick baby instead of studying.
So what if I didn't declare a major until 1.5 years in.
So what.

I did it. 
I'm doing it.

And as a result... children will learn what hard work can get you husband will breathe a little easier knowing I will someday have a career that can support our family too.
... my parents will be proud of me (I know you have always been, mom and dad!) 

As for my future plans, 
I'm going on to obtain my Bachelor's in Mathematics/Statistics.
After that I plan to become and actuary, but I'm open to other careers in the field.

Therefore I will not be offended if someone bought me this shirt...