Friday, February 28, 2014

Deuce Drivers and Hospital Visits

Three days ago we dropped the Colonel off at the airport to leave for what will be his last deployment with the USAF.  If January and February are any indication, this year promises to be a year of great change for our family.  The Colonel will be retiring in June; God's perfect timing, but a few years earlier than our little plan. It has been such a treat for the kids and I to spend the past two years sharing in this flying world he has long loved.  Courting the Dragonlady has been an experience we will never forget, and a chapter of the Colonel's life that will be hard to close.  Because of this we will miss him terrible these next couple of months, but we are also glad for our Deuce Driver to have a few more hours with his plane.

Since his departure I have been touched by the kindness and thoughtfulness of so many who are willing to come alongside our family and support us while the Colonel is away.  Today gave me yet another opportunity to see the incredible way military families and dear friends rise to the occasion when their is a need.  My precious first born came down Monday night with a typical winter cold, the kind families of small children spend all winter passing around.  She was fine until last night, and things took a definite turn for the worse.  As the mother of a severe asthmatic, my sister heard the change immediately.  We survived the night, but I could hear from her first cries of the morning that she was still deteriorating.  Several hours and one borrowed breathing treatment later found us on the way to the emergency room, while my sister remained at home with her three little ones and two of mine, one of whom would be looking for me for nourishment sooner than later.  It was a precious responsibility for her to so willingly take on. 

Before we could even get to the hospital I was receiving texts and messages wanting to know what we needed. Without need, one often misses the opportunity to see the precious generosity and love of others. True, lifelong friends that care about our family and love our littles were ready to act at a moments notice.  But the experience reminded me again of the incredible heart of the military family.  People we have only recently met have been quick to come to my aid.  People that do not know me very well, or have any obligation to my family notice the need almost instantaneously and move to meet it just a fast.  Why is that, I wonder?  As someone who is somewhat new to military life, I do not always know the answer. What is it that the rest of the world can learn from these dedicated military families who understand service in such a personal way? I wonder if it not simply that they have all been there.  They had the need. They understand it.  And there is somehow a strange willingness to be authentic in this area, and admit we need each other.  Life is too much to walk alone.  So I thank God tonight for those who are so quick to support us and share this journey we are on, and pray that I will become more and more willing to both admit my own need and lovingly, generously, wholeheartedly return that support when God gives me opportunities. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Fresh Start

I love fresh starts. They fill me with a sense of excitement. They represent an opportunity to wipe away what I didn't like about the past and create something completely new.  Fresh starts bring refreshment.  In our family, the new year often comes and goes with little notice in the midst of lots of special holiday time with Daddy, and the daily routine that is life with toddlers.  So I am often several weeks behind on the "Fresh Start" of the new year. 

This week is that week for me.  The Christmas decorations are down, the attic is organized, new toys have found a home, Daddy is back to regular work weeks, and I am ready to take a few steps to keep myself and our family growing this year.  For me, that has meant a bit of a refocus on the whole social media phenomenon and an attempt at vocalizing my heart on the blog again.

This weekend is all about my little girl.  Tomorrow I will be the mother of one absolutely incredible 3-year-old.  Shocking!  But today Noah and I stumbled upon a few moments of uninterrupted Mommy and Son time.  He is growing up so quickly, and the changes often catch me by surprise.  Noah is such a happy, playful little man.  He has a smile that will change your life, and loves to tickle, wrestle, and laugh.  But his language skills and interest in learning have blossomed recently as well.  Today we spend a few minutes discovering colors, shapes and sizes with our favorite shape sorter. Often used as convenient missiles to launch across the room, it was so nice to share a peaceful moment using this classic toy as it was originally intended.  Here is Noah at 21 months.

I had to include this picture as well.  Noah loves to play with all of "Sissy's" accessories.  He took her pearl necklace, but after wearing it for a while he decided it was much better used to tie the kitchen cabinets shut, or pull around the house in his hay wagon. Such a boy.

Monday, June 21, 2010

My Little Garden

I have been meaning to do a blog about my little garden for a while and just haven't gotten to it. See my last blog for more on that. :-) I started looking for herbs to plant in March and they all died from a cold snap the day that I planted. So I have been so excited to watch my little garden flourish. I LOVE to cook and I love using fresh herbs and produce from the Farmer's Market. I have not been as energetic as usually and my normal passion for cooking has gone by the wayside a bit lately, but that will change again and my growing herbs will be waiting for me.

I also love flowers!! And have had such fun bringing color and life to our little town home. Here is a little of what I have been growing. :-)

This is the hanging basket on my front porch. Everything made it through the winter and came back with gusto this spring. I was so excited!!!

Normally it has a lot more color, but we are in between bloomings right now. There are lots of orange snapdragons, and happy purple violas. :-)

My neighbor purchased this beautiful arrangement and is away for the summer, so it is gracing my front walk for a while. I love it. Even the grasses are blooming.

The pink knock-out rose was a surprise find at the Williamsburg Farmer's Market in April. I have wanted knock-out roses for years and love to watch this one bloom!!!

It has just started the two-tone blooms this week. I love it!

My Crepe Myrtles are three years old this spring and doing great! They are in big barrels outside my back door, so we can take them with us when we move again.

This pot has Rosemary, Parsley and Cilantro. I think I over harvested the Cilantro for Sarah's salsa and it is having a hard time recovering, but the other two are doing great! My parley is turning into an all out bush. :-)

Grandmommy could say for sure, but I believe this is Verbena. It has always grown at her house over the brick wall by the steps and I loved it every year!!! It feels like a piece of Grandmommy's garden on my back patio. This was another Williamsburg Farmer's Market find. It, too, is in between blooming. Normally it is covered in purple!

This is my little sage plant that I thought was dead from last year, but I couldn't bring myself to pull it up, and just kept watering the dry stalk. Would you believe it bloomed out again!!!

I am truly a Southern Girl and grew up drinking mint ice tea all summer long. I have to have a mint plant in my garden!!! And there is mint tea in my fridge now.

This is my first time to try a Topsy-Turvy. We had a garden when I was a little girl and I loved picking the fresh veggies we had grown. Our little space dictates a bit of a 'container garden' for me right now, but we are growing all we can and loving it. The tomatoes have really exploded in the last week or so. I can't wait to pair them with some basil and mozzarella cheese!!!

More Tomatoes...

My oregano came back from last year too, and it is doing great this week!

I love Basil and selected both Thai Basil and Sweet Basil from the Williamsburg Farmer's Market. The thyme is peaking out from the bottom edge. It just can't keep up with the Basil's growth.

This little flower is brand new today!! It was a Valentine's gift from my Momma, and now brings beauty to my little back patio. I love the delicate little yellow flower.

Well, that is my little garden. I love it so much, and just wanted to share it with you guys. Lots of things have gone my the wayside around here, but between the two of us, we are keeping our precious plants watered. :-) Thanks for all the help with that, Sweetie!

Here's How it is...

Maybe it is just me, but the silence of my blog has been screaming at me, and I simply haven't had the energy to do anything about it. I am so excited to be pregnant!! It is a resounding blessing from God after years of longing to be a wife and a mommy. We are loving looking at every weekly development picture we can find, and wondering just what piece of our baby God is fashioning today. We dream of what it will be like to hold Butterbean for the first time, and how our little family is about to change. I love being pregnant.

But.... I am sick. First Trimester all day sickness runs in my family, and I am no acception. My body has responded with every crazy sypmtom if can come up with to knock me on my tail. It is as if every system in my body has put out a full out alarm, "WARNING! WARNING! I am going to cease function!! WARNING! WARNING!" I wish I was laughing, I know it is temporary and worth every struggle, but sometimes it makes me cry a little. I don't quite recognize my body anymore and it just won't do what I want it too. So much for being that mom that doesn't miss a beat at the gym. For this trimester, I am just trying to make it.

Praise the Lord for the frozen food section at the grocery store, and a wonderful hubby who will work a 10 hour day at the office and come home to help feed me and clean up the dishes I have left in the sink all day. Praise the Lord for friends who have come over to check on me, and help me eat, and remind me that this too shall pass. Praise the Lord for nausea medicine, that hasn't stopped the "getting sick" thing, but at least gives enough relief to click off another day.

I do have good days and I am so grateful for each one. On those days I cook and bake and even take the dog for a little spin around the neighborhood. I have made it to a couple of yoga classes and even rode my bike the other day for a mile or two. LOL ... I can't believe that is an accomplishment for me.

I get excited when I get the bathrooms cleaned and the floors vacuumed and mopped, and it is nearly miraculous to get a couple loads of laundry folded. No, my house is not a disaster. We are pick up kind of people so it never gets bad, it just isn't what I am used to. I normal do just about anything I want to. I am normally full of energy and organized. I normally work out hard about 5 days a week. I normally cook dinner from scratch at least 5 days a week. I normally clean the house at least one good time a week and sometimes two! I normally take care of those around me. I like to be the one that sends dinner to someone, and offers to run an errand or keep a child or send a card, and these days I just can't do it all.

My sister, Sarah, says that God is preparing me for how Butterbean is going to rock our world. I cannot imagine!!! We know life will change, just like you know when you get married that life will change. But let's face it. You just can't totally prepare for where you have never been. So we are preparing for life change around here, learning to be a team in a whole new way, and adjusting to the now, that is a little less romantic than I had hoped. We are still praising God for this little one on the way, and delighting in the changes, even when they involve a little bit of discomfort as well. After all, this is not just being sick. This is the formation of a new life. Totally worth it!!!

Wednesday is 9 weeks!!! That means 3 more to go and I just might turn that corner!! Oh, did I mention I have a 40 mile backpacking trip in the Tetons in 5 1/2 weeks??? :-)

So that's why the blog has been lagging. We are still here, we are still greatful, and God is still taking such good care of us!!!! I am still blogging in my head; I am just a little slower actually getting the post online. Don't worry. This too shall pass, and I will be back.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

To Our Little Butterbean

Hello my precious little one,
I am just getting home from the doctor's office and I got to see your tiny heartbeat for the very first time. Utterly amazing!!! You are stunning to me already at just a few weeks of forming. God is knitting you together in my womb and I can't believe I get to watch as you grow. I could see that tiny little pulse today, as regular as the day is long, assuring me that you are forming just as you should be. The miracle of God breathing life into your tiny being, is awe inspiring!!! In Psalm 139 verses 13 - 14 it says, "For You (God) created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well." God is creating you, My Little One, with such purpose at this very moment, and His works are always wonderful.
They measured again today and think that you are a mere 6 weeks and 1 day along today. You are so very tiny, and I don't believe you can hear my voice just yet, but I hope that you know already how very much you are loved. My precious Butterbean, you have stolen my heart before I even get to see your face. I am so glad to have you safe and growing inside of me. Your Daddy is so excited too. He can't wait for you to hear the sound of his voice, and to hold you in his arms for the very first time. We pray for you together everyday, and your Daddy prays the sweetest things for you. We ask God everyday to already be preparing your heart to love Jesus and serve Him with your life. That is the most important thing we could ever share with you. Jesus loves you, Butterbean.

I am starting to have the morning sickness that lasts all day. It started about a week ago. I am amazed that someone so tiny, can have such a huge affect on my life. I imagine that is just a tiny glimpse of things to come, isn't it?? For I am sure, you are set to change my life forever. As yucky as I feel these days, you are worth every bit of it.
Oh, and you should know, that Daddy loves expecting you too. He thinks it is fun to buy special treats for Momma so that he can share them with me. He is so silly.

I love you Butterbean,
Your Momma

Your Momma in Myrtle Beach just a few days ago.
The world can't see you yet, but I know you are here.

You are in the tiny little white sack that is visible on the right side there.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Adventure Continues

I keep typing and erasing my first line trying to find the right words to express the way in which my heart is simply overflowing with joy. We are expecting our first baby!!! I have to pause and laugh at just seeing that on paper. A tiny baby Klosky is on the way!!!

We found out early, so the doctors are estimating that we are about 6 weeks along. He tells me that everything is just as it should be, and that the little, grey dot just left of center is the very first picture of our little Butter Bean. Our anticipated due date is January 15, 2011. :-)

I am sleepier than I have ever been in my entire life, but other than that I feel great! We are both so excited about the adventure that is to come, and both of us rejoice in this special time in our lives.

The Butter Bean
(Although it is still smaller than even that)

"The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." Psalm 126:3

Jeff came home with my favorite
roses and Dairy Queen to
celebrate!! I do love that man!!

The Proud Daddy

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My first Introduction to the Dragon Lady

Last weekend we embarked on yet another adventure together. Jeff had marathon #12 in York, Pennsylvania on Sunday morning. The Andrews AFB annual air show was last weekend as well, so we made that our fun stop for the weekend. I LOVE AIRSHOWS!!! My parents have been taking us since we were little girls, and I have countless wonderful memories from those experiences. I remember the time that the Thunderbirds, then flying the F-4 Phantom, fired up their engines. We were watching from the top of the old Ford van, and when the big boom sounded every car alarm in the county started blaring. It was so funny. I can still remember dad's laugh. And there was the show were I just knew I had been scared for the last time by that solo pilot; he was not going to get me this time. Who am I kidding?? ... He scared the tar out of me while I was distracted by another amazing move. I remember walking through big cargo planes, and eating frozen lemonade as we walked across the flight line. The past several years I have loved watching Sarah's babies acclimate to the airshow scene. Poor Jacky was NOT impressed with the super fast fly by at the Blue Angels practice show last summer in Pensacola, Florida. It is a good thing he couldn't talk, because he would have given that pilot a piece of his mind for sure. So many fun times, and dreams of many more to come...

Who would have ever thought, after years of air show fun, that I would actually end up married to an Air Force man who flies a really cool jet? I love how God works!!! Of course his occupation has nothing to do with why I fell in love with this man. In fact, I had never even imagined myself married to a military man. I am one of those people that like to know what the future holds, and the Air Force doesn't exactly map out the next 20 years for you. :-) Again, God has such a wonderful sense of humor. I fell in love with Jeff because of his character. He has allowed God to fashion in him such an amazing heart. He is truly a man of integrity and honor. It is his passion, his determination, his gentleness, and faith that make him irresistible. But I digress from my story.

Jeff has spent ten years of his Air Force career behind the yoke of the U-2. Known as the Dragon Lady, this aircraft is a surveillance and reconnaissance plane in service since 1955. Flying at heights of 70,000 feet, U-2 pilots wear a full pressure suit, complete with a cool 'spaceman' helmet. Making solo flights that last up to ten hours, sometimes more, contained in a suit you can't get yourself out of, strapped in a seat that leaves you little room to move, unable to scratch your own nose, and consuming your meals through a tube inserted into a valve in the helmet, the men and women that fly this plane are a dedicated bunch. Take a little time to google the U-2 and you may be amazed at the contributions it has made to the safety and the security of these United States of America. Although she remains a truly amazing jet, the Dragon Lady is not an easy one to handle, and requires a fair amount of strength, and amazing precision to command well. I am beyond impressed with the determination and discipline of these pilots that commit so much to be an integral part of this program, and my husband is one of these men.

I have heard him share about the beauty of looking back at earth from 70,000 feet above. There is a far away look in his eyes when he talks about turning down all the cockpit lights, and taking in the wonder of stars like you and I have never seen. You can see the milky way with clarity that back-country Colorado cannot even rival. He describes sunsets that last for hours, full of colors that are beyond words. And yet, even as I hear these amazing stories there is an awareness that it is not just a joy ride up there. My heart swells as I think about how much Jeff, and men and women like him, have committed to protecting my freedom, even as I was completely unaware of their presence.

Saturday, Jeff introduced me to his plane for the first time. I had anticipated this moment for our entire relationship, and could hardly believe I was actually going to see her. We stepped off the bus onto the flight line, and headed towards the far end where the Dragon Lady usually resides. The tip of the rudder stands at just over 16 feet, so she remained hidden behind larger aircraft until we neared the end of the static displays. Jeff saw her before I did, and pointed her out. I was a little surprised at the tears that spilled from my eyes. To finally see this plane that has been my husband's "office" for over 2200 hours tugged at my heart in a way I had not anticipated. To be able to see this plane that holds a unique and lasting place in my husband's heart was incredible. We walked around the plane, as Jeff explained the different parts, pointed out pieces of the suit, and introduced me to the team working this particular show. I loved every minute of it!!

We spent the rest of the day standing in line for mystery meat sandwiches and watching a variety of performances. The Blue Angels were the featured event, but Jeff loved the civilian pilots with their aerobatic maneuvers. And I was blown away by the AV-8B Harrier. I know I have seen that show before, but it has been so long it was like seeing it again for the first time. I stood in the chair with my hands on Jeff's shoulders enjoying it as if I was 6-years-old again. What an amazing day!!! I am already looking forward to the next one!

Standing beside the U-2

Jeff with his Dragon Lady

We did make it to York, PA for the marathon and had a wonderful time there as well. It was a beautiful course along reclaimed railroad trail that ran along picturesque creeks, and rolling hillside. Jeff ran past the 22 mile mark before ever slowing to a moment of walking, and I was able to ride along with him the full length of the marathon. He finished at 3:50:05, his second best time ever. I think I was more sore from being on the bike than he was. How embarrassing.
Jeff was nice enough to wave at my photo ops, even as he plodded along.

At the Finish Line.