Tuesday, August 31, 2010

dream.

requiem for a dream.

last year i started taking a prescription to help with mild depression that i've had for years. i was really hesitant to use medication, but it has been a really good decision for me. the only side affect i've had (besides my extra padding) is extremely vivid dreams. the strange thing about my dreams is that, they actually aren't all that strange. they're very realistic. places will look the same, people will act the same, and scenarios in my dreams are straight from my daily life. they are so vivid and life-like that, when i remember them throughout the day, i often think they are memories. i will think that i've had a conversation with someone and later realize it was just a dream.
(i'm sounding crazy right now, aren't i?)

*
the other night i dreamt that i pulled into our driveway (in my normal car, in our normal driveway), the setting sun cast a gold glow on everything. some friends were working on the outside of our house and when i pulled up, mr.a's best friend, matt, jumped down from a ladder and walked over to the car. "hey," he said. "i found a bunch of old pictures of us all from high school. i thought you might want to look through them." it was really thoughtful.
then, our friend's mom walked up to me with a manilla envelope. "i was going through pictures and found a bunch of seth when he was a boy. i thought you might want them." really sweet of her. then, our high school youth group leader came up to me and said, "i found some pictures of you & seth from different events that i thought you might like to have."
i woke up feeling really...good.
*
the next day i went to check the mail (this is real-life now, no dreaming).
i found a large manilla envelope adressed to mr.a and family.
in it was a wonderful note from mr.a's kindergarten teacher who saw our family in the paper and recognized him immediately. she thought i may want to have a copy of his school picture from  kindergarten.
it was such a strange and wonderful surprise.

wear.

just to clarify.
thanks for all the encouragement. i'm glad y'all like my extra padding! i know i'm not an unhealthy weight but after taking the summer off from my work-out routine and having lots of fun eating & drinking with mr.a; my clothes are all a liiiittle too snug. so, unless i get permission to go on a mega shopping-spree, i really do need to lose a few pounds.
but i promise not to complain about it anymore!


see? i'm happy!

Monday, August 30, 2010

wear.

an outfit.
those of you who are new to this blog may not realize that i actually post outfits every once in a while. yes, outfits. that i wear.
unfortunately, i've been in a little outfit slump as of late. by slump i really mean, i need to lose   10 pounds to pleasantly wear most of my clothes.

i guess it just proves i'm not a real "fashion" blogger.
i'm just a mom. a mom that has ups and downs and days i just wanna wear yoga pants and not wash my face or even brush my teeth.
but!

today i put a t-shirt on. and then pants. i added a necklace. and sunglasses.
and i'm calling it an outfit.


please ignore my gnarly feet.  i need to treat myself to a pedicure.
try to distract yourselves with the glory of these payless sandals.
if that doesn't work, you can check out my random freckle.
t-shirt & necklace: j.crew
jeans: paige
sandals: payless
sunglasses: banana republic outlet

xo,
b.a.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

think.


miss moments.

when i reached for my cell phone to see if he wanted to meet for lunch. oh wait... nevermind.
*
seeing eat, pray, love.
i wanted desperately to eat, pray, and love with him.
*
*
when i hit my head, the only person i could think to call was him. it took me a moment to figure out who to call instead.
*
our daughter's first day of preschool.
which required her first back-pack. a back-pack!
*
grocery-shopping.
for some reason, it's terribly lonely to buy food without considering what he wants or needs.
*
buying toilet paper.
he always insisted that our bums deserved nice toilet paper. so i buy it.
*
making coffee.
he always made the coffee. now, if i want it, i have to make it. and i always make too much. it's hard to make coffee for one.
*
discussing goals and plans and dreams, via text.
*
listening to kings of leon with piper.
she & i listened to that cd non-stop while he was away at boot camp. now, here we are again, singing at the top of our lungs; without him.

*
snapping in the car.
yes, snapping. like with my fingers. i love to snap (and whistle!) but for whatever reason it super-annoyed mr.a when we were in the car. maybe he felt really confined  and claustrophobic because of my auto-snappiness, i don't know. all i know is, i love to snap, but i would restrain myself out of undying love and commitment to my mr.a.
now i can snap (and whistle!) all i want. which should be happy, but it's still kind of sad.
*
piper's bedtime.
he always put her to bed. it was their time. i've tried to do it the same way he did, but i'm just not that patient after spending 13 hours with this little girl. i just realized that for the past four weeks i've forgotten to say, "don't let the bed-bugs bite!" they said it to each other every night. followed by a rowdy, "CHOMP!"
it was their thing, so i shouldn't feel too bad. but if she can't have her daddy, she at least deserves her routine.
*
anytime something inspires me, moves me, affects me--i want to share it with him. but it can be hard to share those things hours later over the phone.
*
anytime i see something romantic.
almost every void left by a deployed spouse can be filled in some way or another. though it may never be filled completely, there's usually a reasonable substitute; a neighbor to mow the lawn, a friend to see the movie with, a parent to give the hug, a sister to do the pig-tails. however, the romance void can not be filled. at least not apropriately.  so therefore, not at all. i guess i'm a romantic. because i really miss my romance with mr.a.

Monday, August 23, 2010

think.

remember when i was a blogger?
yeahmetoo. that was fun, huh? the past couple weeks have been kind-of... hard. this whole deployment business took a minute to settle in, and when it settled in, it settled big time. like, eating my granola bars and using my toothbrush. it's here to stay.

did i mention i had a head injury today? no? well, that's how my life has been lately. forget the cherry--let's top this sundae off with a laceration. yes! that's what the nurse called it, "oh! you must be my laceration!" she said when i walked in the door. maybe the hair matted with blood clued her in. i don't know. all i know is i was getting ready to take a shower, bent down to get something and stood up quickly, cracking my head open on an open drawer, bled all over the place and ended up with three staples.
wanna see?



if you don't, just keep scrolling. it's not pretty. but it is blurry.
it's hard to take a decent picture of your own head injury.


crazy, huh?

i was going to tell you about how awesome my new stick vac is (best investment i've made in a loooong time!) and that i liked the movie "remember me" and how piper starts preschool tomorrow (!) and lots of other importants... but the drugs are starting to kick in and now i'm seeing double blogger screens and i seem to have forgeotten how to tupe. that's, ty'pel. type. sheesh.
nap time.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

do.

waterways.
i think i've mentioned my love for our city before.
but, may i reiterate for a moment?
i love our city!
yesterday my sister and i took our four kids downtown for the afternoon. generally, four kids in the city would not be relaxing. but we went to the lawn of the downtown library where there is a beautiful water-path. it's perfect for kids of all ages.  
there is a lush lawn, benches, great views of downtown, and a starbucks in sight. it's never more than a few inches deep so even babies can sit and splash.
the kids were happy, the moms were happy; it was a great day.





in other news...

Monday, August 16, 2010

do.

state fair: round 1.
the weather was freakishly perfect yesterday. warm, a slight breeze, low humidity; freakishly perfect. after spending a relaxing morning at my in-laws, we met up with our local fbi agent (and family) for a day at the fair.  









Saturday, August 14, 2010

see.

on friday, my sister and i attended the most beautiful and creative wedding. it was held on a scenic farm and, though thunderstorms threatened all day, it was the perfect summer evening. (especially in the air-conditioned tent!)
they had a "woodland" theme with many homemade personal touches. everything from the biodegradable table settings to the tree stump with their initials carved in it represented the couple perfectly.
it was an honor to be a part of such a beautiful event.
congratulations, eli and katie!

think.

sometimes it's really hard not to feel alone.

every task. every stress. every cry. every request. every meal.
every spill. every morning. every diaper. every pot of coffee. every tangle. every errand. every appointment. every class. every trash bag. every bill. every payment. every scrape. every sniffle. every cough. every snack. every naptime. every bedtime. every monster. every milestone. every argument. every punishment. every rule. every lesson. every hug. every kiss. every story. every song. every bath. every noise. every shadow. every spider. every everything.








but i know i'm not.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

see.

{house}wears.
do y'all subscribe to those "members-only" sale websites? 
gilt, hautelook, one kings lane, the mini social?
there are many more and you can find great deals on designer clothing, shoes, accessories, and housewares. i rarely buy, but often browse. it can be a little scary because most items are either final sale or only returnable for credit. but recently i purchased two items for our home that i'm so pleased with.


this side table makes me really happy. (my brother-in-law says that "things should never control feelings"...or something like that. but this side table is my exception to his rule.) i just love the shine and texture and fun that it brings to our living room. yes, fun. we had a hilarious time playing rummikub last night.

side table: hautelook, $90 (from $298)
books: misc.
chairs: ebay, $120 for two
coffee table: target, $129
leather couch: craigslist, $300
botanical print: patina, $39
tree print: marshall's, $15
clock: target, gift
pencil painting: ben schuh original, gift
old man print: cut from a book, diy


this tray is the perfect addition to the island in our kitchen.
storing our silverware in it is convenient and has freed up lots of drawer space.
it's a great way to keep things handy and adds a little practical style to our kitchen as well.


tray: one kings lane, $30
island: steinmart liquidation sale, $120
silverware: west elm, wedding gift
flowers: backyard

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

do.

(s)care package.
tomorrow we are shipping off some goodies to mr.a. we've included a special homemade calendar, a family photobook, some reese's dark chocolate peanut-butter cups (his fave), special binoculars made by piper, the yearly "comedy" issue of GQ, an i-tunes gift card, a nice cigar and...
some secret weapons to aid our soldiers:



piper is really into monsters these days. the boys above are all from her little imagination. she described them, i drew them, she named them, i described their powers, and she colored them. it was quite the collaborative effort to bring them to "life" in order to aid mr.a and his fellow soldiers. i'm hoping if we send these monsters to afghanistan, they'll stay out of our closets!

Monday, August 09, 2010

do.

we survived our first week.
sorry for the silence around here. i always find myself a bit uninspired when mr.a leaves. instead of having opportunities to observe and capture our daily life, i spend a lot more energy getting through each day. but i can honestly say we have been doing well.
piper is still spicy and spunky and silly.
quinn is still sweet and snuggly and smiley.
i am still...uhh.... alive. haha, how's that for optimism?
really, though, i've felt pretty good.
not too lonely. not too stressed. not too sad.
just really sweaty.

yep. our AC went out this weekend. during a heat index of 106.
when i went to sleep last night it was 80 degrees outside, 85 inside. 85!
we had a slumber party in the basement with our only fan blowing right in my face.
someone is hopefully going to come check it out today.
keep your fingers crossed that it doesn't cost a million dollars.
or any dollars.
anyway, i promise to get back to regular blogging soon.
i really do love it (and you!) and it's my favoritest hobby. besides shopping.
 sheesh, that sounds shallow. i could add that to my list above:
i'm still alive and shopping and shallow.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

think.

good thinks about deployment:

1. i can eat on his side of the bed and, when it gets all crumbly, roll over to my side to go to sleep.
so far that's all i got.
sure, there are things like....ummm...well, i mean, there's....you know....things like...
2. spiritual and emotional growth.
it's hard to welcome challenges, but it is inevitable that we grow because of them.
3. watching as many chick flicks as i want.
though, i tried that last time and let's be honest, they mostly suck.
4. free health insurance.
'nuff said.

5. a chance to pursue some personal goals.
like... learning to sew!

6. spending more time with my lady-friends.
i love hanging out with girlfriends, but they don't hold a candle to mr.a. (it's hard to beat a friend with benefits) so when he's gone, i'm up for every girl's night, bunco night, bachelorette party, you name it.
7. pride.
i am insanely proud to be a military wife. i didn't know that was part of the package deal, but it is. i've even got the bumper sticker.
8. new relationships. 
i am the member of a club. the army wives club. i now have a common bond with some amazing women from all generations.

9. developing a really strong bond with my daughters.
piper was always a daddy's girl (and always will be) so i had to get used to her always asking for him, reaching for him, preferring him. but when he's gone--i'm her only option! ha-ha. but seriously, i am grateful for the opportunity to spend a lot of quality time with them and i'll always cherish the hugs, kisses, and snuggles that help me through the tough days.
10. the sense of accomplishment i know i'll have
when this is all over.

i used to be so timid and nervous about doing things on my own, especially for the first time (like getting the oil changed or driving in a big city). i was just not a very confident person. fearing rejection i would end relationships and allow friendships to remain shallow. fearing failure i would self-sabotage; quit the team, drop the class, skip a practice. i didn't know if i was good at anything so i drifted from hobbies, jobs, interests and people.
but little successes in my life have begun to change my vagrant tendencies.
 i remember wanting to throw myself off the side of a mountain during my first back-packing trip. but i finished. and survived. and felt amazing. then, during a challenging week-long canoe trip, i drew upon the strength and success from that back-packing trip. and when the week was over, i was so proud of myself. it was the hardest thing i had ever done. a year later when i was in natural labor with piper, i drew upon the strength and success from that canoe trip. when it was finally over, and i held my daughter in my arms--i felt like i could do anything! 
last year, when mr.a left for training, there was a whole list of things i would do for the first time: live alone, shovel the driveway, pay all the bills, try to single-parent. but i did them. and more: i attended events alone, developed a deep trust with a group of women, joined an exercise class, made new friends, became really comfortable asking for help and accepting it. all those things have prepared me for this deployment. they've given me a sense of who i am as a wife and mother and woman.
and i am becoming a really strong woman.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

see.

i don't really have words for it...







so pictures will have to do.