Saturday, October 30, 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

So as I'm getting acquainted with the world of blogging and finding tons of military wives and just plain awesome women I've come across some fun blogging ideas. Being a sucker for a survey I thought that this sounded like a fun one. I posted a link to the original website so if anyone is interested head on over to Wife of a Sailor and check her out.. She's awesome!

Without further ado.. My first Friday fill-in!

1. What’s the nicest thing a stranger has ever done for you?
I had a random older man see me in my Navy wife shirt one day and pay for my starbucks and thank me and my husband for our sacrifice. It wasn't much but simply knowing what my husband does is appreciated makes it that much more rewarding.
2. If you are having a hard time going to sleep, what do you do to help yourself?
Music or reading or a benadryl
3. Name something that makes you wish you were a kid again.
Sometimes when I get really stressed about money or everything that I need to get done I will say "oh to be young again" but ultimately I think being kind of care free (those who know me know I've never been so good at being care FREE I'm a worry wart)

4. What is something you never believed until you experienced it?
I never believed in a true real love at first sight, and than I had my daughter Kaylee.
5. What can’t you say “no” to?
I think my hardest thing is to say no to people who want to spend time with me whether it is going out to eat, watching a movie, playing games, shopping or just hanging out. I love my friends and family so much and appreciate their company that I sometimes feel obligated or really guilty if I can't or just don't want to.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Our Story..

Warning.. this is a super long post..

There is a saying that says “the only thing constant in life is change” and oh boy have I learned that and made it a mantra for my life. Life doesn’t stop for anyone, and having become a part of military life I think I’ve learned that time and time again. Life always moves forward and things are constantly changing. As a person we can choose to let our lives slip through the cracks never adjusting to the changes, or we can stand up tall and make our lives and make those changes have meaning. My life has always been a big mixing pot of crazy, changing, hectic, unstable events but one place I always found peace and some sanity was in the church (even though for a long time I tried my best make Jesus irrelevant to me – that however is a topic for an entirely different post) when I finally reached my breaking point God brought me my saving grace and welcomed me back into His arms. I quickly adjusted to a feeling of peace, and boy was it unlike anything realizing through all the pain and damage I had caused others and myself, God still loved me. He still wanted ME. It took a long time to fully comprehend that, and sometimes I still don’t. Anyways, through the church where I found so much peace, I met the love of my life and a sailor in the United States Navy in July 2008. We had a whirlwind romance filled with so many things I never expected, we fell instantly there was no doubt about that, and got married on Saturday, September 27, 2008 (like I said it was quick and unexpected ) Needless to say, we decided that no matter what happened we always wanted to be together! He took me to Balboa Park one day about a week after we sat outside my house and he told me “Amanda one day you are going to marry me, I already know it!” I found this interesting because I hadn’t even really entertained the idea that I would marry anyone anytime soon, let alone a military man, let alone only a few weeks after dating!! Anyways, he took me to balboa park and he pulled out a box and handed it to me and began to say “I know we haven’t been together very long but I know now that it doesn’t matter who else comes into my life, you are the girl I want to spend my life with, the girl I one day want to have kids with, the girl that I want sitting beside me as I grow old.. I know this is a lot and I know I’m leaving soon and I’ll wait to set a date as long as you want, tomorrow, next week, after the deployment, I don’t care, I just need to know that you want all of those things one day too” I of course was shocked and surprised but knew that I felt the exact same way, I said yes and urged him to put the ring on my hand, after all… he didn’t get down on one knee and we were getting engaged after less than a month of real dating… we had to do something traditionally. At first I was unsure of when we would get married, I just knew that I loved him and I prayed about what God wanted me to do. Mike and I had been together every single day since we started when he went out for training week with his ship, it being my first time experiencing anything like this I cried and cried and spent a lot of time thinking. That’s when I realized that it didn’t matter how long it had been it didn’t matter what anyone else thought I knew that I wanted to spend my life with him and raise a family with him so he got home and off we went. We didn’t tell anyone we just went to the court house that morning.. I was in shorts and a tank top and he was in jeans and polo (typical, if you know Mike).  We practically laughed through the whole ceremony the judge said “in sickness and in health” and I of course whispered “remember the sickness part” the judge said “for richer or poorer” and Mike whisper “or poorer-er” and we giggled. Then he got to the end and pronounced us “spouse and spouse” (I know it was during the time when California was allowing same sex marriages, but seriously?) I’m sure the judge and witness thought we were a pair of dumb kids getting into something we had no clue about.. and maybe that’s true.. looking back I certainly had no real idea what was in store for us had no idea what marriage really entailed but either way that was it.. I officially went for ms. W to mrs. A (sweet change in the alphabet, I know).. and began my life with my forever.
I’m sure some of you are like “seriously, you got married that fast, alone in the court house with no friends or family” and trust me I often catch myself doing the exact same thing. I know it broke my dad’s heart not getting to “give me away” and looking back the only thing I honestly wish I changed was having some people there.. no I never got my dream wedding.. but I know one day I will.. when that day will come I honestly can’t tell you.. life gets busy, things get expensive.. but I know it’ll happen one day.. one day I’ll put on that white dress and walk down that aisle on my Daddy’s arm looking at the face of my handsome husband waiting at the end and we will get our “I do re-do” and it will be special because our sweet baby girl will get to be a part of it. Anyways moving on with “our story”.. right after we got married we went through all the crazy drama with social security to change my name and then the real drama came with trying to get a military ID and get on the waiting list for mil housing. Of course, Mike left for almost a month shortly after we got married, which left me to take care of all this tell my family without him (the navy welcomed me to milwife life in FULL FORCE haha). Telling everyone wasn’t easy, a lot of people were upset and hurt, which at the time felt like the end of the world for me (unfortunately this is how I tend to view every difficult situation) looking back I know everyone was just concerned for me and my wellbeing (and rightfully so). In the middle of the month training the boat came home for a few days and my AMAZING wonderful family threw us a surprise wedding shower with a cake, family, presents the whole 9 yards it was amazing and so sweet and a day I will never forget. We got almost everything we needed for our kitchen which was nice because we were both going into an apartment with basically nothing but I’m pretty dang thrifty and was able to make it work on a small budget that we got all the necessary furniture off craigslist (most of which I ended up reselling later in life for more then I paid.. it’s a gift, I know.. haha) On November 17, 2008, with the help of our whole college bible study, we moved into our first apartment together and we were so excited!! Had it not been such an exciting time we probably would have seen that the place was a complete dump that would fall apart beneath us (and oh boy did it..) but hey it was our first home TOGETHER and the military owned and had to pay for all the maintenance anyways so it was perfect! We spent the next two months soaking up every ounce we could together going to seaworld, seaport village (one of our favorite places), December nights in Balboa Park, and over all just loving each other like no other, we went on vacation to Ohio to meet his dad, brothers, and Great Grandma (who is by far one of the best women I have met in my whole life) but we had to take different flights because of my work schedule which was a disaster (I’m sure I’ll have another post one day about how much I despise the airlines, airports, and flying in general). When we got home, we had only a short week left together before the dreaded D-Day, I don’t remember much about that week except that I cried A LOT and would have random break downs. The night before finally came, we spent the whole night not saying much, just wrapped up in each other. I can remember sitting there trying to memorize everything he did, the way he smelt, the way he moved, the way his heart beat sounded. We didn’t even know how long the deployment was going to be (typical of the military.. hah) and so I wanted to make sure that I didn’t forget ANY details.. at some point I remember waking from a dead sleep in tears freaking out because we had less than 2 hours before we left for the ship.. there wasn’t anything to be said really and we both lay there awake in silence soaking in the last of our time together. That morning a bunch of friends came to the house so they could be there to send him off in prayer and with love. I was so appreciative of them, but also kind of angry because our last drive to base, we had to drive in separate cars to get everyone on base (petty I know but at the time I was feeling a little selfish ok) those were the hardest few hours.. we all got to go on the ship take pictures together yada yada.. And then the announcement came over the speaker letting us know it was time for all family to leave the ship. Mike came off with us and we all huddled around and prayed and prayed and prayed. And then we had to say our goodbyes so I got my hug and kiss and off my blue eyed sailor man went. He had to be in the bridge so while everyone else lined the ship for their loved ones to smile and wave at.. I sat there begging and pleading that he would get to come out and wave.. but sadly it didn’t happen… I stood there starring as boat pulled away from the pier with the single most important person in my life and my other half and there was not a single thing I could do to stop it. I sobbed and tortured myself into standing there until I couldn’t see the boat anymore. And that was it, I walked to the car with a friends girlfriend I was taking to the airport. I dropped her off and then parked on shelter island and got out, sat on the rocks and just cried my heart out. When I finally went home to our empty apartment I changed out of my clothes and into his cloths sitting on the floor that still smelled like him. I sat down thinking, what do I do now? And cried myself to sleep, Needless to say it was the beginning of a long deployment. I eventually learned how to function alone for lack of better words.. I got used to waking random hours for a short call that was usually cut off, staring at my email and constantly pushing refresh,  having my phone glued to my hand (and freaking out when I missed a call in the off chance that I sat it down). It was crazy, but I didn’t care I would do anything to make sure I got to communicate and feel him with me in some in ANY way. Like most couples, sadly, deployment started to really put a strain on us towards the end. We fought constantly and had a lot of ups and downs and even lower downs. I felt my heart break in a way I never imagined and would feel it come back together and re-break over and over.  Homecoming wasn’t the typical amazing welcome home you think of, and at the time it stunk I was bummed but looking back it’s ok, because we spent the next few weeks just working on us and learning how to re-adjust to each other and how to work as a team. It wasn’t easy but it was so worth it. By August we were finally back to our normal happy over the top in love selves. I was over joyed to say the least. I got a job as a nanny and even though life was busy enjoyed our time together, we spent tons of time on the beaches, hanging with friends, going to the movies, and just being young and in love. We came up on our one year anniversary and went to knots berry farm together to celebrate. It was so much fun and we really enjoyed just hanging out together. After that life got busy with work, both of us in school, etc etc.. and one morning I started feeling so sick.. and it continued for a while I had multiple people tell me that I was pregnant but in my head that was impossible I was on birth control and it wasn’t part of the plan (our plan that is.. God had other plans!) After about two weeks I remember sitting at a friends house and I’d hit the lowest of lows with how miserable I was feeling and I turned to Mike and said “I have got to take a test!” he didn’t understand what I was saying and said “Ok want me to take you home or can you take it on my laptop?” and I said “Babe, not school test, pregnancy test” and his lite up and he jumped up and said “ LET’S GO BUY ONE THEN!”  and so off we went.. I was so nervous and scared even though deep down I already knew the answer. I went in the bathroom did my pregnancy test thing and within 5 seconds (the test said wait at least 3 minutes) it said I was pregnant and Mike opened the bathroom door and said “Well..” and I said “You’re going to be a daddy..” and burst into tears.. happy, sad, nervous, anxious.. you name it.. I was feeling it.. I was terrified of being a mom ALREADY even though deep down I wanted to be so bad and because the planner that I am this was NOT part of the plan we were waiting until after I graduated. Anyways, we began telling family and almost everyone was sooo excited and loving and thrilled to hear. We were making people aunts, uncles, grandpa’s, grandma’s, and GREAT GREAT grandma’s (that’s pretty awesome in my opinion).. it was such a fun amazing time even though I was sick as a dog!! When we got to my first appt.. we found out I was already 12 weeks pregnant! (balboa took 4 weeks to get me in so I knew around 8 weeks). They estimated my due date for May. So we began our preparations. Shortly after, my family and some of the most important people in my life moved to Minnesota. I was so hard on me, especially with the pregnancy knowing they wouldn’t be there but luckily the communication these days is amazing and they were still with me every step of the way! We decided that our apartment was NOT the place to raise Baby Allen (the name until we found out she was a she and her name was Kaylee). At the beginning of dec a 16 week pregnant, college student, 30 hr a week nanny and her sailor husband who was always working began packing our house and putting everything into storage. We went to Seattle to spend Christmas with my mom, and we drove (worst idea everrrrr haha but lots of stories to share with kay one day!!) Mike got a ticket going there AND coming back! We played in the snow, celebrated Christmas, indulged, spent time with family, and visited with one of Mike’s very best friends from A school and his wife which was awesome. When we got home we stayed with my dad for a little while and then moved into our new place which was wayyyy better than our dinky apartment. At the time the pregnancy seemed like it drug on forever, looking back it seems like a blink of an eye. On May 13, 2010 I gave birth to my perfect princess Kaylee. She has truly been the best thing to happen to both Mike and I. It wasn’t hard for me to adjust at all I slipped right into being a mommy and loving my girl and Mike right into being a daddy. And boy was she a daddy’s girl.. INSTANTLY! The same week Kay was born, I transferred and began my undergad with Liberty (ballsy I know.. it was hard but so worth it). I got help from friends and family through the times Mike couldn’t be around because of work which was sadly more then we both liked but it was okay because we KNEW he would be off the ship before her first birthday (not so sure now!.. surprise surprise?! Haha) anyways.. we started putting in for shore duty and got orders to Maryland and were stoked!! Mike was going to be busy with training between oct and deployment (don’t know the dates and even if I did due to OPSEC I can’t share with you guys but one day you’ll see the post that they are gone) anyways, because of the big move to Maryland, the fact that I’m working on my BS online, that the baby and house by myself was hard work and Mike leaving with permission from my lovely and amazing second set of parents (long story if you don’t actually already know it..) Kaylee and I moved to Minnesota where we are living with the family God blessed me with so many years ago! Living here has been so good for us, I’m doing great in school, have tons of help and support, the baby is soooo spoiled everyone adores her (hello look at that face who wouldn’t love her?!) and it’s just so nice being away for the craziness of San Diego.. just missing one thing.. my blue-eyed sailor man. It’s been exactly a month since we last saw each other, and some days are harder than others. I have days where I feel broken but overall Kaylee helps me keep it together. She is so much like daddy it’s incredible his twin and mini that’s for sure. She is 5 ½ months and kisses his picture every single day. It’s the sweetest thing in the whole world! But that’s it, that’s my story of us.. not a ton of K but I know there will be millions of posts about her! My life has been a whirlwind of changes and moves and risks but it’s made me, me. One of my favorite quotes in the entire world is “They never said it would be easy they just said it would be worth it.”  Has my life been crazy? Yes! Has it been hard? Absolutely! Has it been worth it? Without a doubt!

If you stuck through that whole thing.. you're awesome.. and now you know my life in a not so small nut shell..
I plan on adding pictures later but Kay is finally back asleep and so back to sleep I go as well!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

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