Wednesday, June 29, 2011

8

Eight years ago John and I said "I do" and I was ceremoniously welcomed into the Navy...

June 28, 2003, US Naval Academy Chapel

We met during winter break of my sophomore year of high school.  I invited some friends over and he happened to be hanging with that group on that particular night.  Lucky me!  He was very shy, didn't say much to me, but there was just something about him.  I was only 15 so it wasn't one of those "there you are" moments that I hear happen to people in their twenties when they see "the one".  But it was definitely an instant crush.  He was so cute - dimples, athletic but preppy, and sweet.  And a little mysterious.  He went to a Catholic high school a few miles away so he wasn't a guy that I had been in school with since pre-K.

Ever since that night we have been a pair.  We are 30 now.  We have been together half of our lives.  Through thick and thin, college apart, a young marriage at 22, 3 deployments, graduate school for both of us, Test Pilot School (believe me, huge accomplishment for a marriage), a dozen apartments and houses, two babies, and countless adventures.  Here we are.  

Here we are.  In the midst of a deployment.  I do a pretty good job at keeping myself upbeat and positive.  I am busy so the days seem to fly by and I find myself winded going up the stairs 23253 times per day.- usually with at least 25 pounds of squirmy baby or toddler in tow.  But on days like yesterday, our anniversary, the little pauses and quiet moments I had to myself were sad.  I know lots of couples travel for work and spend time apart.  But I think it is safe to say that most find a way to be home on big days like anniversaries and birthdays.  In short: I miss him.   A lot. 

John managed to have three dozen beautiful red roses delivered to me (no easy  feat from an aircraft carrier) and one of my best friends (and bridesmaids), Melissa, sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers.  My house smells wonderful!  I felt very loved yesterday and am hopeful that next year we can be together.

Our wedding day was really wonderful.  It had rained (and rained and rained and rained) the whole month of June.  I was mentally preparing myself for a wash out which wouldn't have been a big deal except for our reception site was an indoor/outdoor venue.  The outdoor part really meant a lot to me.  But we were lucky, not only was it beautiful, but the rain the night before had really cooled everything down.  So we got a rare high 70s day with no humidity in late June.

My bridesmaids were beautiful (even if they did forget their IDs and one attempted to kill me with her bouquet...)

Becky, Lu, me, JoJo, Kriste, Mel

Look at how young we were!!

Right after our wedding ceremony

It is on days like yesterday, where I really reflect on how lucky John and I are, that I think about all of the things people have said to me over the years.  About how they could "never" be a military spouse.  Or "never" do a deployment.  Or "wouldn't" move around or give up their careers for a man.  I usually just smile and nod, accept it, and move on.  But what I really want to say is "yes you could, and you would" if you fell in love the way I am in love with my husband.  He is my best friend and has been since we were literally kids.  We might occasionally banter or bicker like "old married people", but that is because we know so well how to push each other buttons and also so well that at the end of the day, we know each other and love each other to the core.  And we take care of each other.  Yes, I have "bad Navy days" where I wonder and wish for a different way of life.  But I refuse to take for granted how lucky I am to have John.

Cheers, Johnny, wherever you are...  I hope you felt loved today, too.  
Monday, June 27, 2011

Party By Mail

I know that it was hard for Johnny to miss Kate's birthday party.  So I decided that I would send a little taste of the party to him.  Today I put a care package together that would allow him to eat cake, see her invite, and even wear the awesome pink duckie beads that I know every naval aviator in the air wing will be jealous of.

Cake in a jar, plates, utensils, party hats, "2" candle, icing, party invite, and favor (and yes, that would be a glass of chilled Chardonnay in the background. yum)

I got to try the famous "cake in a jar" recipe that so many military blogs discuss.  I think that it worked well (only time will tell - if he gets the cake and it is covered in mold we will know it was a fail) and hope that he will get some delicious chocolate cake in a few weeks.

Cake in a Jar:

5 16 oz wide-mouth canning jars
1 package of cake mix (any flavor)
Icing

Boil the jars for approximately 10 minutes to sterilize
Prepare the cake mix as directed on the box
Spray each jar liberally with cooking spray (such as Pam)
Put approximately 1 cup of cake batter in each sterilized jar (I used a measuring cup so that I could pour the cake batter without getting it on the sides of the jar)
Bake jars at 375 for about 25-30 minutes
Boil the lids while the cake is baking
Use a long kabob skewer or something similar to make sure the cake is completely baked (put it in the cake and make sure it comes out clean)
While being very careful, put the hot lids onto the jars.  As the jars cool it will seal the lids.
Done!

Send along icing, plates, knives, and any other goodies you want to.

It was a fun experiment putting these together today.  I hope he knows how much he is missed.  Kate decorated his party hat with stickers so I'm sure he will be thrilled.
Sunday, June 26, 2011

Waddle On Over!

My daughter absolutely adores ducks.  Rubber ducks, stuffed ducks, real ducks; she doesn't discriminate.  Her first words other than the typical "mama", "dada", and "baba" were "dog" and "duck".  They came pretty much at the same time so it is hard to say which was first.  If you come to our house you will find rubber ducks all over the place.  Surfer ducks, pirate ducks, fighter pilot ducks, you name it - we have it.  Never much interested in a lovie, Kate has always enjoyed carrying around her duckies.  They make her happy so I'm happy.

Right before John left I asked him about her 2nd birthday party.  I was thinking of doing a ladybug theme because her nickname is "Katie-bug".  He immediately said that no, her party should definitely be a duck theme.  I will admit that in my mind, ladybug decor seemed much cuter than duck decor.  Ducks scream baby shower to me (and not even a very chic baby shower).  But he was right, and so the duck planning began.

Yesterday the duck party came to fruition.  I tried to keep it simple since John is away and I only have so much energy to plan and execute parties.  I ordered some food, my friend made Kate a cake, and I rented a local park pavilion next to a playground.  I invited some close friends and family.  We had great weather and a fun, casual, relaxing afternoon.


Kate with her favorite things - necklaces (with ducks), sugar (in the shape of a duck), and a princess crown


What the sugar duck (and cake) looked like before she got her hands on it


Even Connor enjoyed the pink duck beads

Overall I think I met my goal of enjoying Kate's 2nd birthday party even with Johnny away.  I definitely missed him and thought about him a lot.  But he really appreciated the fact that Kate's birthday wasn't overshadowed by his absence and that I didn't decide that a party was too much work on my own.  In the end, thanks to good friends and family, the party was a success! :)

Today I am going to put together a "Happy 2 Years of Being Parents" care package.  I am going to attempt the famous "cake in a jar" recipe to send him along with a few birthday hats, a "2" candle, and some other goodies.  I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's Game Time

The first 5 weeks of John's deployment were a lot of fun for them.  They visited three European ports which meant good food, shopping, and sight seeing.  But as I said in one of my previous posts, the fun is over and the serious business starts now.

Having your husband fly in combat isn't easy.  While it is true that Iraq and Afghanistan have very little in the anti-aircraft department, there are many countries in that area that do.  And those countries always have their eye on us.  Plus, landing on an aircraft carrier isn't exactly the safest thing in the world.  So this is when I need to start keeping my nerves in check and letting the days wash over me. 

I don't ask John to write me when he lands or tell me when he's flying because I would worry more.  I don't want to be sitting at my computer hitting the refresh button at 2AM because I knew he was out and didn't write.  So we both go on about our daily business, writing when we can and talking mostly about things going on at home with me.  With the last two deployments it wasn't until he got home that I heard "exciting" stories.  I like it better that way. 

Please keep the Bush and Air Wing 8 in your prayers.



"Our job is to deter aggression and ensure freedom of the seas. It's game time now. This is our duty. This is our mission. This is our service." 
~ Capt. Brian Luther, Commanding Officer USS George HW Bush 
Sunday, June 19, 2011

To My Better Half...

John and I took the long road to parenthood.  We chose to wait several years to try to get pregnant, and then due to some problems ended up taking several years longer to have Kate.  We experienced two losses before she was born.  By the time we had her in our arms it was surreal;  like we were dreaming.  John confided in me recently that up until she was about 18 months old he had a horrible fear that something was going to happen to her.  That she was too good to be true.  We learned the hard way that pregnancy and birth are incredibly miraculous.  Precious and fragile.  Unbelievable when everything goes perfectly, but terrifying how quickly things can derail.  Life can change in an instant.

I think that John would have been an amazing father in any circumstance.  He is loyal and loving, gentle and kind, and passionate about his family and friends.  I always tease him that he makes this face when he really loves something.  It is a subtle smile that I have learned to recognize over the past 15 years.  It looks like this:

  John and Kate (at a few days old)

Due to our difficult road, I know that he completely understands how lucky we are.  And due to the nature of his job, he knows that he has to cherish each and every minute. 

Connor came to us out of the blue.  I joke that "he fell out of the sky" when people ask about whether we "planned' (ha-ha) to have children so close in age.  To the average bystander I look like a fertile mertile.  Two kids, very close in age = "wow, your husband must just look at you and you get pregnant".  No.  Connor is our miracle.  When I found out I was pregnant with him I was in shock.  Worried, scared, happy, nervous.  John on the other hand was completely 100% excited.  He never once gave me any sense of apprehension.  He is, in the purest way, just so in love with being a father.  While I worry, he rejoices.  Kate and Connor are so lucky to have him. 

John and Connor (at a few days old)

This Father's Day is a little challenging because we don't have John to love and dote on.  I feel guilty and worry that he won't feel as appreciated as I want him to.  I can't make him breakfast, bring him coffee, let him work outside all day, or go out for a family dinner.  So I guess this post is my way to put into words how much I love and appreciate him, how I couldn't ask for a better father to my kids, and how I know that when he gets back he will do everything in his power to make up for time lost. 

Happy Father's Day, Johnny!  We love you so much!
Saturday, June 18, 2011

On the Run

Back when Connor was born in November I set a goal that I would run another 1/2 marathon before his first birthday.  This was was a pretty big and ambitious goal because I was at the end of my second "modified bed rest" pregnancy in 2 years.  I had gained over 80 pounds between trying to get pregnant (thanks fertility drugs, stress eating, and depression) and staying pregnant (no exercise or even walking around the mall). 

If you read my post on my first month of deployment you will remember that I said I really needed to get my butt in gear with the exercise.  I will give myself some props in the diet department.  I have lost 73 pounds since Connor was born all thanks to diet and nursing and running around being a mommy of two crazy babies.  But now the hard part comes in...  I am signed up to run the Rock 'n Roll 1/2 Marathon on September 4th.  Not only have I signed up, but I told the world on Facebook (which, ya know, means that I HAVE to do it or suffer FB shame), and family is coming into town to run with me and/or babysit.  I'm committed.

So this week I finally went and joined the YMCA.  It is getting hotter and hotter here and the prospect of doing long runs in the stroller is diminishing.  While stroller runs are good exercise, I don't want to cook my kiddos.  Yesterday was our first outing to the Y.  I was a little nervous because as social as my children are, you never know how they are going to react to a new daycare setting.  When we walked into the "Stay and Play" room, Kate was off to the races.  With all of the colorful toys and other kids her age around it was as if I had disappeared.  She yelled "bye mommy!" and dove into the first tunnel she could get to.  Connor was handed over to the infant side and happily went into an exersaucer.  When I peaked in on them after 30 minutes Connor had one of the daycare workers to himself and was eating up all of the attention.

I got a good run in.  In silence (I didn't even bring my iPod - I just wanted SILENCE).  In air conditioning.  Knowing my kids were right next door and having fun with new toys and people.  Life was good.

Monday starts my official training through Hal Higdon's program.  Tuesday starts Kate's first swimming lessons.  I think I will basically be living at the YMCA for the next few months.  As I continue this journey to getting back in "running shape" I will probably have some ups and downs.  I'll keep this blog updated and HOPEFULLY be able to blog about completing my goal of running 13.1 miles September 4th. 
Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Flying High

Today as I was driving to my much-needed pedicure, I looked up and saw this:


And it gave me goosebumps.

VAW-125, the Tigertails, were flying home from their 7 month deployment on the USS Carl Vinson.  I knew they were coming home today, but I didn't think that I would be driving by the base at the exact time they were in their homecoming formation.  It is highly unusual to see hawkeyes in formation, so when you see it, you know something special is going on.  I knew that not more than a mile away, dozens of family members and friends were waiting at the hangar.  Waiting to see those planes, watch them land, and most importantly, to embrace their loved one for the first time since November.  Goosebumps.

Homecoming is something that is so hard to describe because the emotions are so heightened.  Just like you can't describe the emotions of having a child or getting married.  It is just such a special feeling.  As one of my wise friends once said, homecoming almost makes deployment worth it.  Almost.

Welcome home Tigertails, so great to see you!  And welcome home to the USS Carl Vinson and all associated squadrons on the east and west coast!
Monday, June 13, 2011

Road Trip!

So if you were in the Hampton Roads area last week and heard racking sobs coming from the western side of Norfolk - that was me. 

One of the things we have set up to insure my survival is a babysitter who comes one morning per week for 3 or 4 hours.  It is to do important things like grocery shopping, responsible things like dentist appointments, or flippant things like pedicures (though, if you saw my feet right now you would probably file a pedi in the "important" file).  Last week on Tuesday night my phone rang.  It was the babysitter.  I instantly knew it wasn't good. Her car had trouble, she had to cancel.  She was very sorry.

I almost died.

At that moment I understood how crucial having a few precious hours to myself are to my sanity.  I called my mom on Wednesday night and just whiiiiiiiined.  I needed a break.  At that point it had been 9 straight days with no husband, no family member, no babysitter.  Just me. I know some superhero women do it much longer with less help, but I was starting to get a little edgy and I know that in order to be a the best mom to my kids that I need to have solo meal (or cup of coffee!) once in while.

If you had asked me 5 weeks ago when I would pack both of my kids up into the car and do a solo road trip I would have had a simple answer.  Never.  The idea of two pack 'n plays, all those clothes, toys, bottles, sippy cups, not to mention packing for the road, the risk of meltdowns, blowouts, and traffic... alone... I just figured that people would just need to come to me.  Oh the power of the cancelling babysitter.

So last Thursday morning I piled our small army into the car and made my way to my mom's house.  Things went a lot better than I expected actually.   The kids were rock stars in the car and adjusted very well to unfamiliar sleeping arrangements.  I got to see my grandparents for the first time since Christmas and my sister was also there.  I got to have two meals with friends while my mom kept the kids.  We went shopping and swimming and played on new-to-us playgrounds. 

Lots of family moments like this:


My sister, Grandmother (who turns 90 in a few weeks!), GP, and me

And my son got lots of cuddle time with his Auntie:

JoJo and Connor

And my daughter got a staple of summer: pool side junk food!


Kate at the pool

We got home this morning and I am feeling good. J has been in touch because the Carnival Cruise Ship  USS George HW Bush pulled into Naples, Italy for the weekend.  Tomorrow we will be back to the regular routine and he will be back at sea and on the way to much more serious business.  Hopefully my sitter will make it this week.  I'm not sure my mom is ready for me again this weekend!


Friday, June 10, 2011

One Month Down

Today marks one month since Johnny left.  I think I am going to try and mark each monthly milestone with a reflection on how things are going, what I want to do better, and maybe even some goals and hopes for the next month. 

The good:

*  I survived.  This alone makes this first month a success.
*  Both kids survived, the dog survived, the cat survived, and I even potted some new plants (which, right now, are alive).  Shoot, even my hydrangeas are blooming.  Win! 
*  I have not gone broke on wine. Yet.
*  Some of my close friends have really come through for me.  Thank you so much for the effort  (Mel, I'm talking to you!)
*  I have stayed active.  We have really used or garden and zoo passes like crazy.  I am becoming a regular at the library, and the contractors building the new house a few blocks over know me by sight now because I take walks every day. 
*  I have not reverted to permanent toddler and baby-speak.

The bad:

*  I have not gotten to the gym at all.  I had vowed to get a membership right after J left (for the daycare...  They have a reading room, people!  I can literally drop off my kids at the daycare and not touch a piece of exercise equipment!  Ah-mazing!)
*  Some family and friends have disappointed me a little bit.  It is easy to be emotional right now, and I'll chalk it up to that, but I have learned that some people really.don't.get.it.  Or even TRY to get it.  Bummer.
*  Both of my kids are teething like crazy.  It has made for some nights when I am up so much that I literally go back to my room and scream in my pillow.  I'm all there is, I can't shove J and ask for his help.  And some nights that is REALLY hard.
*  The Rock 'n Roll 1/2 Marathon is less than 3 months away and I am NOT in any kind of distance running shape... Which brings me to...

Goals for the next month:

*  To get into a running routine.  Even if it means pushing the BOB Duallie in 90 degree heat.  I.must.run.
*  Go out to dinner a few times.  It has happened one time since J left and it was with both kids.  Not so fun.
*  Read something other than "People" magazine.
*  To enjoy Kate's 2nd birthday party.  There will be major person missing, but I know I can still make it a great day for our whole family.
*  To keep writing in this blog.  I have enjoyed it, and I think it helps to clear my mind.

What I am looking forward to the most???  MY MOTHER ARRIVES ON 6/24.  And she will be here the whole summer (she is a teacher).  Here's to going from zone defense back to man-to-man very very shortly.  And for the ability to run to the drug store, post office, or grocery store in the evenings in blissful solitude :).  I also just can't wait to have her company.  And to have my kids get loved on by their grandma all summer. 

One month down, 6(??) to go.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Butterflies

Right now the USS George HW Bush is anchored off the coast of Cartagena, Spain



Which means that there are about 5,000 people in the area waiting with bated breath for their husbands, wives, fiances, and significant others to call or Skype.  Navy deployments tend to be low on communication.  Submariners have it the hardest obviously, with almost no email and phone and "family-grams" (telegrams that are limited to the number of characters you can use) that come out monthly-ish.  But even the biggest ships in the Navy have unreliable internet and frustrating satellite phones (with a high price tag, long delay and even longer lines).  Skype is impossible on most ships.  Last week I tried to send the same set of pictures three times before giving up.  It might be the information age, but that doesn't really apply to the sea-going Navy at the moment.

Tonight I had a friend over for dinner and we were talking about port call communication.  The good (hearing their voice, seeing their face, feeling closer to your loved one), the bad (seeing via your joint checking account that your significant other went golfing before they bothered to call), and the ugly deadly (umm... they didn't call at all).  I remember being at a spouse's club meeting on a previous deployment at about the time our husband's pulled into port.  Phones started ringing... people started leaving the living room to go outside or to a more private area to talk to their husbands.  AWKWARD CENTRAL.  Because, of course, there were a few left sitting in the living room... And even if there is a good reason for no call, it still stings.  Like being that last person picked in gym class.

But despite all of the opportunity for drama, there is a major silver lining to limited Navy communication and phone calls.  I will venture to assume that an average married couple who sees each other day in and day out rarely gives much extra thought to a phone call or text message.  It is routine, expected, and just the status quo.  When Johnny is away I get giddy over phone calls.  When I see the random mixture of numbers that I don't recognize on my caller ID I literally get butterflies in my stomach and jump up and down.  That feeling is something that I cherish and wish I could bottle up and share with others.  I appreciate the fact that the military gives me an opportunity to really truly miss my husband.  To feel the way I did at 15 when we were just starting to get to know one another.  It is refreshing and invigorating. 

Would I trade this feeling to have him home with me and our kids right now?  Absolutely.  But seeing J's face, watching my daughter try to feed him cereal on the computer screen (and him actually pretend to eat it), and knowing that he is missing us so much has recharged my batteries.  I choose to be thankful for the butterflies.
Monday, June 6, 2011

Snapping out of it!

I realized this morning that my blog is looking a little doom and gloom right now.  So I am going to snap out of this funk and go enjoy my week! 

The private and public schools get out for the summer in the next few weeks so we are going to try and take advantage of empty splash pads and zoo while we can.  Kate LOOOVES the splash pad at the Botanical Garden.  I am concerned that once the "big kids" (which doesn't take much when you are 23 months and 25 pounds) take over that she won't be able to have as much fun.  And poor Connor, he just sits and lets the fountains hit his feet.  He doesn't stand chance against the 5 year olds :).

So here's to an empty splash pad for one more week!



Where they can hang like this and not get run over like bowling pins :)...




Another plus this week is that Connor is a much happier little dude.  After several long nights and cranky days he is the proud owner of two lower incisor teeth!  Yay!  I know that from now until about 3 years old he will be teething constantly, but still, the first two teeth are a major accomplishment for both of us!

Johnny is in Spain as I type and I am hoping to be able to hear his voice shortly.  Maybe even see his face (thanks, Skype!).  We need more of this because Kate is starting to think that her daddy lives inside of the small voice recorder box where he recorded a message for K's daddy doll.  She asks for "dadda" and points at the voice recorder.  I wonder sometimes how her little brain processes that... 

I hope everyone has a nice week!
Sunday, June 5, 2011

Weekend Dread

One of the more confusing parts of deployment is the way your life seems to flip over on itself.  And I don't mean just the little things like running the house or caring for the kids.  Weekends and holidays, the things that most families look forward to, plan for, and count down to become something else entirely.  I find myself wishing them away.  Wishing for Monday because, on Monday it isn't so glaring what I am missing.  Or what Kate and Connor are missing.  Monday is the great equalizer.  Dads and moms go back to work, the beach clears out, and routine becomes the name of the game.  I can compete with routine - heck, I can thrive on it most days.  But Saturday and Sunday are just darn depressing right now. 

On Saturday I really did feel a little bit sorry for myself.  It was a gorgeous day and I had nowhere to go.  Nobody to be with.  I took them for a long walk through our neighborhood and saw lots of dads with their kids, families outside together, dinner parties and BBQs.  And as much as I am trying (and will continue to try) and keep a positive outlook on this situation, I just had one of those sad days.  This morning I woke up to rain and was somewhat relieved because it meant I could hide in my house and not face a whole neighborhood (heck, whole region) of families going to the beach, pool, zoo, etc.

I know I have so much to be thankful for.  I am not a single mother - my husband is as involved as he can possibly be and wishes he could switch places with me.  He supports us and loves on us as best he can from where he is.  I have lots of great family and friends who I know I could call at any moment.  But I am coming to terms with the fact that there are going to be some sad times for me.  Times where I am going to feel really darn sorry for myself.  But we'll be okay and we'll make the most of the situation.  I refuse to be a hermit. And hopefully, as the holidays start piling on, I will get a more mature and weathered outlook on everything.  Right now I am still getting my sea legs and am really off balance.  Some days I feel like I can conquer the world and do anything.  And some days, like Saturday, I just want to curl up on the couch and have Monday (or maybe December?) be here when I wake up.
Friday, June 3, 2011

Is Lands End the end?

Lately I have been thinking a little about my identity as a woman and mom.  It is probably because a lot has changed in the past few months.  My son was born in November, we moved in January, I turned 30 in April, and then my husband deployed in May.  It has been a whirlwind and there have been many many many times where I have had to be a responsible adult.  I have had to be more organized than ever.  I am a little (okay, a lot) tired right now and trying to wrap my brain around all of the new responsibility I have in my life.  I am lucky in that when my husband is home, he truly is my partner.  He does dishes, changes diapers, cleans, hangs with the kids so I can go out, etc.  So I am feeling like I am picking up A LOT of slack right now making the sure house runs smoothly, the kids are happy, the pets survive, and the plants don't biodegrade.

This summer is my first true bathing suit season since having kids.  Almost two years ago (sniffle) I gave birth to Kate in early July.  I'm not sure I even put on a swimsuit that summer... if I did, it wasn't in public.  You can thank me later.  One year ago I was pregnant with Connor, and again, I gave myself a pass.  Maternity swimsuits are what they are and if someone looks critically at a pregnant woman in a swimsuit they deserve to be smacked.

So here I am in 2011.  Two kids in two years.  I need a new bathing suit. 

I will admit that I started looking several months ago.  I KNOW a bikini isn't happening this summer so that was off the table.  So it was mostly tankinis and one pieces.  And this is where things get embarrassing and confusing for me.  I started seriously looking at...  skirted swimsuits...  Oh lordy, my fingers are telling me not to even type this because of how embarrassing it is.  If you had asked me 5 years ago who wears skirted suits I would have told you 70+ year old women and mothers who have lost their identity and/or stopped caring.   

I got a Lands End catalogue in the mail a few weeks ago.  I started browsing and they had some suits that I thought might be flattering this summer.  I ordered one.  Then, I had a mini panic attack.  I had just ordered a skirted swimsuit from Lands End.  Did they choose that brand name because it is the true signifier to the END of youth?  Am I now just another mommy in the carpool lane in sweats and a scrunchy?  In a skirted swimsuit at the beach? 

So here it is folks, my skirted suit... 

The top is just your typical tankini halter top in indigo. 

Between being the sole caregiver to my two kids and this skirted suit I think I have gone from 29 to 49 in a month.  So, what do you think?  Is "Lands End" the end?

Hi, I'm Jill!

Hi, I'm Jill!
Extrovert. Mom of two. Wife of a cute Naval Aviator. Lover of wine. When I'm not chasing my two kids around town you will find me writing, taking too many photos, and researching the ten future areas the Navy could potentially (but probably won't) PCS us. We are fish out of water, landlocked at 7,000 feet. For now.

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