Saturday, September 24, 2011


We made it to Maryland. Are we settled? Negative...and unfortunately I have a feeling that we won't ever really get settled while we are here! Deciding what you may or may not need over a 3 month period while your belongings are in storage is a lot harder than I thought! I have already found myself "needing" something that I didn't pack. Over the past week, the hubby and I have been extremely busy helping my mom with some house stuff, catching up with friends, oh and....Aiden started preschool!!! He is attending Good Shepherd Educations Center on Tuesdays and Thursday from 8:30-11:00 am!

I think the decision to put Aiden in a morning program was truly for both of our benefits. Sure, Momma needs a little time to herself but I believe that this time will be equally beneficial to Aiden. He will have the opportunity to play with a group of other children, participate in structured activities, and also spend some time out from under my wing!!! He was such a big boy on his first day...we took him into his classroom, showed him his cubby, and then sat down at the table to color!

After a few minutes of coloring, Aiden spotted the he went!

Once Aiden became preoccupied we knew it was time for us to make our much as I wanted to sweep him into my arms and give him approximately 47 kisses, tell him over and over that I love him and that I will be back...I resisted!
We made our escape and as soon as I hit the hallway the burning sensation in my eyes began!!! I really wanted to break out into the ugly cry but instead of embarrassing myself and my husband, I took a deep breath and tried to leave the building before anyone noticed my red eyes! Once we reached the car my husband looked at me and said "now what?" For the first time in 2 years we didn't have our son with us and we had absolutely nothing to do! So what did we do???

Mommy and Daddy went to Panera...ate breakfast and I drank a full latte while it was still HOT!!!! Trust me, it was nice BUT I missed my boy!!! Breakfast just isn't the same without tiny little hands all over it!!!
So...Aiden survived school...and so did I! When we picked him up from school...after I swept him off his feet and into my arms and embarrassed him with too many kisses, we were walking down the hallway and I said "Aiden, I am so proud of you" and Aiden looked at me and said "I'm proud of you Momma" and gave me a big hug!!! PRICELESS!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Home is where the Navy sends you..."

"Home is where the Navy sends you" and for the first time since we left for college at the age of 18, the Navy will be sending us HOME!!!  As of today, Tuesday September 13, 2011 the Gunderson household is filled with boxes.  Tonight is our last night in our home, our last night here in beautiful Charleston, SC, and the last time that Aiden's silly giggles will bounce off the walls of this house!  After tomorrow, someone else will move into this house and make it their home!  Our time done!
Although I was extremely overwhelmed and still recovering from the birth of our child, I was so incredibly excited to move here when Aiden was just 4 weeks old!  We have LOVED every second here in this beautiful town!  As with every "tour", we knew our time here was limited but for some reason I am not ready to go.  For the first time EVER, I just want to stay!  I would be lying if I said that I am unsure as to why, I, for the first time, am not ready to go because the truth is, I know exactly what is anchoring me to this place.  The people, the irreplaceable friends, the scenery, the culture, this house and most importantly, the memories.  This is where my baby boy began life...this is where he slept for the first time in his crib...shocked us by rolling over for the first time on Christmas morning...took his first steps...had his first "boo boo" and spoke his first words!  Selfishly, I know that when the next family moves in and calls this house their home, they too will create memories that will, regardless of pictures, never be duplicated.
To say that I am sad would be an understatement....but despite my sadness, I know that there are many people who are extremely see, for the first time, the Gunderson family will be residing in their hometown!  We will be living near our oldest and dearest friends, having playdates with their kids, and being around for the "everyday", you know ladies night, date nights, baby showers, weddings, births, and  birthdays...those things that many of you take for granted are the very things that we have missed out on over the past 10 years!
Our time at "home" will be short but, no doubt, sweet!  We will live in MD (in a hotel blah) for 11 weeks after which we will move on to Newport, RI for 6 months followed by another move to Virginia Beach, VA!  Once in VA Beach (Norfolk) my husband will begin his department head tour on the USS Mason and will, unfortunately, deploy in March of 2013.  For those of you who think we knew what we were getting into by joining the Navy one could ever plan for the "needs of the Navy" but my plan is this...I will move, even though I don't want to, and I will hold down the house!  I will make everyplace we live our "home" and I will continue to do my very best as a supportive military wife, I will raise my son with pride for his country and hopefully with the adaptability to transition with the changes of the duty!
So as I sit in my bed and look at all of these boxes...too many labeled women's shoes...I have an extremely heavy heart.  My first loves, my family (Aiden and Leif), will come with me...we will leave together...but I am leaving one love behind.  To you Mr. (or Mrs.) Charleston, SC, THANK have been so good to us!  Your charm, your people, your hospitality and your way of life and swept us, The Gunderson's, head over heels!  Thank you for letting us spend a chapter of our life's one that I will never forget!  And to the people who have filled this chapter of our career here, yes OUR career, with so many amazing memories...would you like to move to MD, RI and VA with us???  Seriously???  You can hide in a box!  You all, you know who you are, are the reason for the tears...your friendship, kindness, loyalty and support have made this tour our best yet and have made leaving so much more difficult than we could have ever imagined!  I am going to miss this place and these wonderful people...but there is no doubt that I am taking a piece of them with me...the pieces that have filled my heart with so much joy, love and most importantly so much comfort!
This post is wordy and lengthy so I will leave you with something that I will cherish fabulous friends and bootcamp buddies took me out for a fun farewell on the town...our trainer, who is by far the best trainer I have ever had, is also an incredible videographer, captured the night (and our bond) as a parting gift for me...and if it asks for a password that means you are special...password: Teresa2011

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Splish Splash, It's Aiden's 2nd Birthday Bash!

This weekend we had a birthday party for our baby boy, Aiden.  For those of you who don't really know me, I will tell you that I LOVE a good party!  What I love even more is to be the host of said party!  Combine my love for parties and party planning with my LOVE and obsession for my baby boy and how in the heck could you go wrong!  We decided that since we are moving away from the beach for a little while we would do a surfer themed birthday party for our little beach baby.  Surf's up....

The Set Up


Awesome Cake

These little trix on a stick have been floating around I gave them a whirl


Had to serve this...

Fun little party favors!!!

Let's Eat...

Our own little waterpark

Celebrating our baby boy...

I really wanted to test this puppy out...

My boy loved all of the food his Momma made...

Cake time...he wanted Pops to hold him...

 I was and still am so incredibly happy with the way everything turned out.  Not to toot my own horn, but I managed to put this whole party together with out a hitch 5 days after returning from a crazy trip to RI and 10 days before we move 3 times over a 10 month period.  I made everything in the days leading up to the party and managed to remain calm and relaxed on the morning of the party....we were all set up and ready to party with time to spare!  That was a great feeling!
But the best part about this day had nothing to do with themes, food, presents or cupcakes.  The thing that really touched me were the number of people who took the time out of their day to help Leif and I celebrate our little boys birthday!  One of our guests brought me the sweetest card and as I read it I really struggled to maintain my composure...there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that we, the Gunderson family, are beyond blessed!  We have the most amazing friends and family who so selflessly sacrificed their Saturday for us!  People who have busy lives, their own families, and lots of responsibilities, thought enough of us to put all of that on the back burner and head over to our place...there are not enough words to really express how amazing that made me feel!  We just want to say THANK YOU to each and every one of you!

My sweet little beach baby...

Last but not least there are a few people who I need to husband for allowing me to be a slave driver, my mom for listening to my endless to-do lists and helping me cross each one off, my girl Krystal for helping me with all of the loose ends the night before, my girl Elisa for letting us borrow that awesome water slide, my MIL for bringing a dish, chairs, cornhole and a table, and of course my baby boy for taking a nice long nap for the 2 hours leading up to the party so this Momma could shower and take pictures of the finished product....
Looking forward to the next party!!!