Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pirate Aiden

Come set sail on an adventurous tour,
Pirate Aiden is turning 4!!!

While Aiden doesn't actually turn 4 until Sunday September 1st, I decided that with hassle of labor day I would go ahead and have his birthday party a week early.  Those that know me know that I love to host...a cookout, a BBQ, or a birthday party...I love to organize events and I always do things BIG!  I actually get anxiety at the thought of not being in control of organizing my kids parties...weird, I know! I blame the OCD!!!

I usually have lots of time to prepare but with Leif deployed most of my preparing was done with the kids attached to me or in the 3 days leading up to the party when I had some extra help!  Needless to say, I got everything done and I have so many people to THANK for their time and countless offers to pitch in.  You know who you are so THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

Now to the party...Aiden wanted a pirate pool party!!!!  DONE!!!

This adorable cake was made by my talented neighbor


Daddy was there in spirit!!!

Pirate transformation party favors...


Fruit Swords

Pirates Teeth

These boys keep me going

My boy!

MYO pirate map and kiddie corner :-)

Grandpa made it

Getting in the spirit!

My emotions got the best of me...
A bittersweet moment...1st birthday party without Daddy!

Birthday boy!

Everyone was getting in the spirit!

Pirate Roli :-)

Pirate Jackson

My family

Siblings :-)  Life is short...we stick together!
The day was absolutely wonderful.  We really missed Daddy and my emotions got the best of me a few times...what can I say, I am only human!  Aiden asked multiple times if Daddy would be at his party...although he couldn't be there physically, I could definitely feel him there with us!  His heart was there and I know it tore him up to not be there!  We are so thankful for all of the people who were there and who have been behind us 100%!  Aiden was so excited....especially about the cupcakes...

I really can't believe that my baby boy is almost 4!  He is such an amazing "little man".  He amazes me everyday with his compassion, creativity, kindness and bravery!  I really could go on and on...but I will save that for his birthday!!!  The party was a blast...we are truly blessed with the most amazing and supportive friends and family!!!!  Thank you for celebrating with us and for making Aiden's day so memorable!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

A ship in port is safe...

"A ship in port is safe; but that is not what ships are built for.  Sail out to sea and do new things."--Grace Hopper

We have almost approached the 2 week mark since we sent daddy on his way and while that is certainly no huge milestone or countdown, it is progress and we settle into a new normal a little more everyday!

Both Leif and I agree that the send off was the hardest thing we have ever done.  Mainly because it is so hard to explain this journey and time apart to an almost 4 year old and a 4 month old!  Some days I have a hard time understanding it but i know that my frustrations are completely selfish and I really can handle this! So much will change over the next 8-10 months and we both know, like it or not, all of us will change during this deployment!

The morning of the send off we decided to head into the ship for breakfast with Daddy which meant we were all up at 4:30 and out the door by 5.  The ride to the ship was quiet...what do you say to your husband when you know you won't see him for a very long time!  All we could do was hold hands and hold back the tears!  In our hurry to get out the door so early we forgot to pack Aiden's shoe so Daddy had to carry him down the pier...darn ;-)
Once on the ship Daddy changed Into his whites and we had "breakfast" in the Ward Room...we headed back to Daddy's stateroom where Leif asked me a HUGE favor..."please do your best not to cry on the pier...let's hold our tears for when I get you back to the car". Although this may seem like an extreme request I completely understand...Leif is in a leadership position and wants to lead by example.  Keep morale high even on the hardest days, even when saying farewell to your wife and small children...they have a job to do and Leif wanted to keep his composure as an example to his "guys".  I highly respect that and as painful as it was, I obliged!  
As we walked down the piers and I saw moms, sisters, wives, kids, and even Dads crying, grown men and women, in uniform with swollen eyes torn between family and duty.  I bit my lip and swallowed the lump in my throat multiple times!  My eyes welled underneath my sunglasses but I blinked the tears away as fast as I could!  Once we approached the car I couldn't hold it in any longer...we both shed our tears and hugged and kissed as a family.
And Leif took a moment, as a father, to speak to and love on each boy!
He put them both in their carseat...Aiden an almost 4 year old and Easton a 4 month old...knowing he would come back to a more mature almost 5 year old and his baby boy would be a toddler and probably walking!  No longer a baby!

And then it was just us...Leif and Teresa...the couple...the way it all started.  For a short moment we were just two crazy kids in love...having our hearts separated, not by choice, but by duty and in my opinion, by honor!  There was so much I wanted to say but none of it seemed appropriate.  I wanted to sob in his arms and beg him to stay.  I just wanted to say "don't leave us" but how fair is that?  It's not a choice...we were called to serve...and he does it with so much more Grace than I!  I wanted to say "we can't do this without you"...but that's a lie.  We can and we will...I just don't want to!  So I said what I thought he wanted to hear...it is the truth as much as I don't want it to believe it "we can do this, we will be ok...you focus on your job and I will focus on our family and everything here on the home front will be fine."  "Do not worry about us and PLEASE BE SAFE". 
As he closed the door the tears became stronger...I gave myself a minute to let it out full force and then I put the car in reverse and headed for home...as we pulled away from the pier my car was silent.  I reached back and grabbed Aiden's bare foot, "Aiden, I am so proud of you for being so brave".  "Yes but I miss Daddy already". And the tears began again...