right now

right now

May 8, 2014

Homecoming Day in Pictures…


Things are settling down around here (besides the upcoming move!) and it's time to try and get back into a routine that involves Sailor Husband being present and accounted for…. for the next 3 years, believe it or not!  He has been on sea duty for 6 straight years, I don't even want to get too comfortable thinking about a 3 year tour of shore duty for him since I know it can be yanked out from under us at any time, but we have to try and think positively.  Homecoming Day is now a memory, so here are some long overdue photos of the event.

Weather:   Cold with 50 mph wind gusts, but no rain thankfully!

Bright and early, stuck in homecoming traffic!

An hour later, first glimpse of the USS Harry S. Truman

She is powered by a fleet of tugboats coming in, they are responsible for porting her safely from about a mile out at least.  This whole process takes hours.

A little closer…



Finn not remembering how darn big that boat is!

Close enough to see random sailors being really, really happy!

Quick video of "Shift Colors".  This is a big deal, when ship's colors (flag) goes up, they are tied up and officially IN PORT!

The boys looking small while waiting.  This is the worst part, waiting up to several hours for lines to be fastened and 5500+ sailors trying to line up by height to get off.  Just kidding, was checking to see if you were paying attention!  But they do disembark by rank, so we don't have to wait nearly as long as we did years ago!

Thanks to hubby snapping this pic onboard, you can see what goes on in the hangar bay onboard as they are also waiting, waiting, waiting…   Almost 6000 sailors… think about that for a second.  That's a big a$$ boat, that's what that is.

Fast forward to the good part!

I'm just glad nobody tripped and knocked out any teeth.

and everybody says "awwwww……"

I think this is Deployment #5 or 6 under our belt now, I stopped counting!  Roughly 36-40 months in total?  

and CUT!  …that's a wrap!

Apr 17, 2014

Mail Order Brides must feel like this!

Seriously.  Tomorrow is the day!  This is my umpteenth deployment but there's always this feeling - mail order brides must feel a bit like this!  So much fanfare goes into these homecoming meetings…  will he even like me?

If he doesn't, too bad.  We have papers already!  :)

I know, it seems funny but a lot changes over a year.  Schedules have to be adjusted to allow for another person being physically here, not just an idea at the other end of a computer.  I have changed.  For the better, I hope!  

A big one:  I cut the awful hair!

Now I'm a blonde.

Another good change:  I lost 15 pounds.  That was a lot on my short frame, and I feel better - I just hope he notices!

The kids are HUGE.  They both had growth spurts while he was gone, and I'm afraid it will be like pouring salt in a wound when he sees them.  At least after so many deployments we both have the wisdom to expect these kinds of shocks and try to prepare for them.

Today went by really fast…

We were greeted by the sight of his squadron's pilots flying in, the scream of SuperHornets never sounded so good.  Quiet is overrated!

Next up was to get the house super cleaned.  I joked on Facebook that the first child to get Spiderman footprints on my fridge or cemented toothpaste left in the sink will be caned.  Maybe that's not a joke… I told them to eat over the sink LOL.

Then it was time for "the girls" to get their blowouts and pedi-pedi's.  Sprocket is super cute in her purple bows but those had about a 2 second lifespan.

Got my bling for my outfit…

Why the "75"?

Then it was off to the "Night Before" party near the pier in Norfolk.

Loch was at a birthday party so it was just Finn & me.  Finn is looking every bit of his status as surgery recovery patient, but he needed the fresh air.  Maybe not the 48º temps and 40 mph wind gusts down there.  The weather is not going to cooperate tomorrow, but at least there is no rain forecasted.

My dad will love this one:  tonight's party was a typical D.O.D. event.  Scheduled from 4-8 pm, they ran out of food by 4:40 pm, although the Limbo and Electric Slide on the dance floor was going strong against a backdrop of a huge Security Briefing video being shown on a loop.  Pretty funny stuff.

Miles of cupcakes, however.  So that was dinner - because I'm not cooking!

It was really difficult to take a photo of the etching on the glasses we received tonight, but it has the ship and name on it.  Although I think these are pretty cool mementos to stash away, I'm pretty sure hubby will roll his eyes.  Not more ship….  !  Doesn't matter anyways I guess since they will get broken courtesy of our next government move :)

I saved the outfit for last!  This is bigger than prom, ladies.  You just don't divulge the outfit until the last minute!  Well, here it is…

And, courtesy of our current Polar Vortex I will most likely be covering it up with a trench coat!

If any family or friends are interested, this link will be active soon and will be streaming live the USS Harry S. Truman Homecoming tomorrow.

Welcome Home USS Harry S. Truman and Airwing
"Give 'em Hell!"
and especially

"Tonight, We Ride!"

 No sleep tonight… !

Apr 15, 2014

Head is spinning!

Thank you to all my blogger friends that are still here for me :)  I am working on reading up on all your blogs to see what I've missed and I will be ready to start commenting again soon!  I set a goal for myself to post twice a week while I relearn how to "schedule my day" to allow for blogging - failed right out of the gate!  This week has been INSANE though!  The Navy has publicly released the homecoming date so I feel comfortable letting you all know that it is at the end of this week… which is FANTASTIC news, but I have to get through this week first!  

Loch had his spring orchestra concert… yes, in the past year he has ditched the fiddle and now plays the cello.  Next year however, he will be playing Contrabass.  Or Double Bass, Stand Up Bass… String Bass… LOL they are all the same thing just depends on where you are from.

Here is some video, sorry but my phone cut out halfway through.  He is on cello, 2 rows in front of the Bass, if that makes sense.  These are first year orchestra students, all in 5th Grade.

So that got checked off the list.

Next up was Finn's surgery.  He had his tonsils out the other day… again.  For the uninitiated, here is a quick rundown of how that happens:

In about 3-5% of kids under the age of 5 that have their tonsils removed via one of the newer, less invasive techniques (debridement, radio wave, laser, etc)… they grow back!  Finn's were back bigger than ever, larger than an adult's even.  His sleep apnea came back and was affecting his schoolwork since he was so tired all the time, so they had to come out again.

This time he had it done the traditional way with a scalpel.  His surgery was almost an hour which is quite long for that procedure.  He had so much scar tissue from the previous one that the Dr. said it was very difficult to separate the tonsil from the muscle through all of that so they had to be very, very careful.  Did you know that a main artery in the neck lies just 2 mm from the tonsil bed?  Yeah, me neither until afterwards and so I've been pretty freaked out keeping an eye on him during recovery to ensure there isn't a sudden bleed.

Waiting before surgery…

Still happy…

Not so much happiness here.

Here is a blast from the past of CUTE!  Finn's 1st time at the age of 4.  Recovery was a breeze here, only about 3-4 days.

This time, they found his adenoids had grown back too (for the THIRD time) so they came out as well, should be the last time since he is older now and older kids don't usually show any regrowth.

He is on Day 5 of recovery now, it has been really rough but he is hanging in there.  He is off the hydrocodone as of today and on regular kid Tylenol.  Hoping he will be feeling lots better on Homecoming Day.

I haven't had time to enjoy Virginia!  She is greening up beautifully after a long winter, and my azaleas should open up within a week or two!

Next post will be a Homecoming Prep post!

**Added:  my brand new weather alert radio just went off, about jumped out of my skin!  What a cool little piece of equipment!  Apparently we have 60 mph winds and hail headed here within 30 minutes so I'm signing off… what a weird weather day, went from storms and 78º to a warning of 32º temps tonight.  Wacky, but so is everywhere this year!

Apr 6, 2014

Not just a new chapter, but a whole new book!

I'm here.  I miss you all.  I miss myself.  I'm asking forgiveness for being a bad follower of all your wonderful blogs and posts!  I gave the blog a new look to reflect our current deployment :)  

Something happened today that really made me realize how much of an outlet blogging was for me.  I had a very long conversation via Facebook with another military spouse in another state whom I have never even met.  I helped her out with photos and ideas for her brand new garden.  I referred her to my blog for some photos of plants for beneficials and an hour later I started wondering why I stopped blogging.  I didn't have a good answer. I'd lost my passion for awhile I guess, or it just had to be put on the back burner for awhile.

The past year has been pretty stressful and packed full of change for me.  Not necessarily for our household, but for me definitely.  Hubby has been deployed a very long time, we are at 9 months now.  While not his longest yet, it is approaching that!  During that time my kids have grown, WOW have they grown.  I now have about one night a week that I'm not shuttling them somewhere or otherwise performing some function for their team sports or school activities.  My gardening has come to a complete halt as I start removing garden beds instead of creating, preparing for upcoming military orders and turning over our house as a rental home.  All being done alone, while we wait for the current deployment to end.  Dealing with a few other issues that have come up that I can't go into detail about now, suffice it to say this past year has been a real challenge financially, but a challenge I am prevailing over.  Details will follow on that in a few months but be assured nothing bad has happened to anyone in our family - everyone is healthy and happy in that regard :)  

Changes since I last checked in:

Loch has ditched the fiddle and now plays the cello.

Winter Swim Team finally ended, although Summer Team starts next month!

Where did those muscles come from?  Loch has "wings" now! 

Winter has been tough all over, but seriously…. Virginia Beach?!

The kids are now attending school on Saturdays making up for all the snow days.

I now have a new title:

There's a sport I never even really gave thought to.  When dad left it wasn't even in Finn's mind, but not only is he on a wrestling team now, he loves it.

Of course I couldn't leave well enough alone.  I rejoiced when swim team season was over and I no longer was a stroke and turn judge for every meet and could just fade into the background…. 

um, I decided the wrestling team needed a team photographer.  Uh, huh.

With some generous Christmas gift cards/cash from relatives, I decided to buy that dream camera and actually learn how to use it.  As if my goal of "not using the auto function" wasn't lofty enough - I pick fast moving kids in sports as my learning subject?  Clearly I am insane.  But fun-insane.

The last change for today is hubby actually getting to enjoy himself a little.  He had the good fortune to score a few weeks' worth of work off the ship in Saudi Arabia.  Enjoying himself immensely over a platter of goat with the locals, who were very hospitable.  My husband is never one to hide out and eat in a hotel room - he gets out, meets people and gets the full experience wherever he goes.

one more thing ...

We have big news.

We ARE moving.

To Maryland.

I'm pretty excited about it in spite of the cost of living and all the issues involved with our house and kids and schools and on and on.  

It's time.

I can't say when deployment ends, but it won't be much longer now.

I'm still here… and thinking of the big changes to come!

I feel kind of silly with a garden blog these days with no gardening going on, but I guess that's part of the "military homestead"… every now and then you gotta shut it down and carry it somewhere new and set it up all over again!

I love you all, I hope you are still there :)