Monday, July 14, 2014

Crazy (Awesome) Summer: Stacey's Visit

So here is your third edition of our Crazy (Awesome) Summer! There is a lot of cuteness to follow...so you have been forewarned. 
My friend of almost 20 years, Stacey, came to visit for the 4th of July and with some beautiful weather we had a great visit. As is tradition for Stacey's visit, we headed straight for The Crab Pot in Seattle from the airport. She always tries to get a flight that arrives late morning so we can head straight north for a delicious lunch. 
Left: Belle LOVES pushing the stroller. Center: Enjoying some coloring. Right: My sister's caption for this one is "Um... I'll have one of disssss and one of dissssssss, anndddd one of dissssss..." which is pretty accurate.
After lunch we walked down the pier to the Seattle Aquarium. Belle kept wanting to join in the groups of older kids that were there on field trips so that was a bit of a hassle. She wants to be big SO badly. It was getting close to nap time so we didn't stay for hours and hours but Belle seemed to enjoy looking at all the fish and getting to walk around. Speaking of Belle walking...she is totally one of those kids who will bolt and join some group of strangers so we are big fans of her kitty harness. It allows Belle some freedom to walk and explore while keeping her close and relatively safe. It also doesn't seem to bother her one bit if you are thinking of getting one for your toddler.
So, Stacey arrived on the 2nd, The LT came home from NTC on the 3rd, and then it was officially the 4th of July! We all headed to Main Post for the JBLM Freedom Fest to enjoy some fair food, meet up with a few other friends, and soak up the sunshine. Speaking of sunshine...everyone but Belle ended up with sunburns. 
Are they not the cutest twins you ever did see!? Belle kept stealing their toys but overall she's good with smaller-than-her children...she just gets in their face which sometimes makes them unhappy. 
Proof that my child does actually slow down long enough to give you a hug and snuggle for a minute...but only occasionally and ONLY on her terms.
Stacey left on the 5th and barely made her flight because of a big accident on I-5 but she did and made it home safe and sound that evening. I wished she lived closer as I miss her and Belle adores her but I'll just have to settle for short visits a few times a year. Thankfully she travels a lot for her work and gets to use her frequent flier miles to visit us. :)

Friday, July 11, 2014

House 6 Creations: Custom Creations

So the last 6 weeks or so I haven't done a whole lot of sewing for House 6 Creations in part because I've done some traveling but largely because I've been doing a lot of sewing for some sweet mama to be friends. So, even though most of these items weren't specifically H6C items I still made them and I can (and plan to) make some like these for the shop.
First up was a gift basket of stuff for a friend of mine from my MOPS group...henceforth known as "A" for the purposes of this blog post. I was a SUPER bad blogger/business woman and forgot to take pictures of the whale when it was done AND the basket all put together. Whoopsie...mommy brain is real y'all. Fortunately for me, and y'all, A snapped a quick picture of the whale I made for her. 
I knew she was doing the nursery in chevron, teal, and grey so I went with colors in that scheme. Her basket included one changing pad cover in cotton and minky, two travel wet bags, and one adorable whale!
The day after A's baby shower was my friend Charlie's shower.  She also got a basket of goodies....that I remembered to take a picture of. :)
Charlie got a changing pad cover, two wet bags, a flannel blanket, a set of flannel burp cloths, a flannel crib sheet (the far left blue fabric in the basket), a whale, and a book. 
Next was an order from a friend of mine from college ("K") who is expecting a baby girl in September. We talked a lot about what fabric she (and her husband) wanted for the canopy along with the wet bag they ordered. All of it turned out super cute and I loved getting the excited phone call from her after she got her box. I love making pregnant people happy!
Custom carseat canopy, large hanging wetbag, and I added a mini elephant with crinkly minky ears as a little gift. *The larger elephant in the bottom right photo is now for sale for $10.*

Last, but definitely not least, is a graduation/congratulations on your first big job gift for my friend Hahna. Hahna LOVES ladybugs and all things classy and old fashioned. So, I figured a set of reversible lady bug placemats and coordinating cloth napkins to go with were in order.


Well, that's all I have for now! Don't forget to like House 6 Creations on Facebook and share it with everyone you know! The Ready for You album is where you can find all items that are completed and ready for purchase. If you are looking for a custom item you can either message me on Facebook or e-mail me at house6.creations@gmail.com.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Bye Bye NTC

Y'all! The LT is home from NTC! So here's a little picture show on the afternoon he came home...
First, there was playing and running away from Mommy and Aunt Stacey behind the battery buildings while waiting for The LT to call and say they were back on post. Oh, and matching pants for Belle and Stacey. 
Then there was cuteness...and more running away.
Followed by some coffee (because the wait was getting ridiculous) and a few phone calls to pass the time. P.S. That is neither Stacey nor my phone or legs...Belle kept wanting to sit and talk with one of the other spouses who was waiting for her husband as well. 
Then they actually made it back to the battalion area, got off the buses, formed up real quick annndddd Belle tried to join the formation.
FINALLY, someone got to see her daddy. It took her a few minutes before she was sure enough to actually walk into his arms. 
Then there was hugs, kisses, more hugs, and patrol cap stealing. :)
And then once we got home there was lots of book reading....Belle must have brought him book after book for at least 20 minutes.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Crazy (Awesome) Summer: Kimberly and Colorado

As I mentioned before, this summer is going to be both crazy and awesome! The awesomeness is continuing into early September now too! Belle's Miece and Papa have booked their tickets to come visit in August, my college roommates Nyla and Jenna are coming for labor day weekend, and a friend from high school (also a Caitlin) will be up here while Nyla and Jenna are so I'll get to see her for at least a day too! Seriously...this summer is jam packed and I'm looking forward to each part of it!
Belle felt right at home with Kimberly as if she had never left. Charlie opening my baby gift....more on that later.
Anywho, the first installment of awesomeness meant that Kimberly came to visit! She came in order to go to a friend of our's baby shower which she ended up missing due to a crazy stomach bug. Everyone was bummed she couldn't go to the shower but it was still a great celebration of the mama to be. Luckily Kimberly was feeling relatively normal by the time we were due to fly to Colorado Springs (where she now lives).
Belle had such a blast with Gabi and Grace.
While we were in Colorado we took Belle swimming and boy did she have a blast. She and I spent a good bit of time in the kids pool but also some time in the big pool where she jumped back and forth between Grace (Kimberly's oldest daughter) and I. 

We got to walk through The Garden of The Gods which is just amazing. The rock formations are incredible and pictures just don't do it justice. Belle got super antsy being in the ergo after a while and luckily the path was paved so I was able to let her out and walk for the last bit. 
I can't believe how grown Noah and Grace look these days...still in denial we live so far apart. *Note the father daughter selfie on the top right. :)
A few days later we did some hiking through Helen Hunt falls. Breath taking is an understatement. Not only was it great to be out in the sunshine getting a little exercise it reminded me how much I love Kimberly's family. I spent so much time at their house with her kids while our husbands were deployed as well as plenty of time after they returned and they truly feel like family. During our walk in Garden of the Gods and Helen Hunt Falls Belle would reach out her hand to Grace or Kimberly wanting them to hold it. By this point in the trip you could really tell how much she loved them and how attached she was getting to everyone in the family again.
Our time in Colorado Springs wasn't filled with anything crazy or vacation-y but we got to spend time with great people and the time away from home and chores was amazing. We did get to eat Chick-fil-a and Rudy's BBQ so that was quite noteworthy to me. Belle loved having someone hold her whenever she wanted and all the extra attention a family of 5 was able to give her. It was also great to really get to experience Ft. Carson and Colorado Springs from the viewpoint of people who live there. Ft. Carson has always been high on our "wish list" of posts and my time with Kimberly and her family solidified that. I was sad to leave but ready to be home by the end of the week...which is the best way to be, I think, after a get away. Our time there reminded me how much I miss not only Kimberly, but her entire family and I so hope that one day we will be stationed at the same place again. 
Love this entire family as if they were blood related and miss them already.

Friday, June 27, 2014

House 6 Creations: New Cast of Characters

Since I apparently made quite a few people cry with my post yesterday I figured it was about time to reveal what I've been working on for House 6 Creations. I'm happy to announce that there is a new cast of adorable characters to join the whales I've been making for a while. So dry your tears and soak up the cuteness!

First up is this adorable kitty!

It's made from fleece which makes it super soft and snuggly. 

Next is this fun little turtle!


Mr. Turtle here has a cotton shell, head, tail, and legs with a minky belly. 

Last, but definitely not least, is this lovable elephant!


Pretty sure the elephant is my new favorite with his minky ears and cotton body. 

Right now I don't have any ready for sale since testing out new patterns always takes longer. They will all sell for $10 each and I hope to have a few of each available soon. If you want one in a specific color combo let me know and I can get working on one just how you'd like!



Don't forget to like House 6 Creations on Facebook and share it with everyone you know! The Ready for You album is where you can find all items that are completed and ready for purchase. If you are looking for a custom item you can either message me on Facebook or e-mail me at house6.creations@gmail.com.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

No Title Will Ever Be Good Enough

There are so many things about military life that can't truly be understood until you are immersed in it. While The LT has been away it has become increasingly evident to me how much the military has both given and taken from my life and our life as a family. My friend Kimberly once told me that being a parent is often like being a military spouse. She was absolutely correct. You can't understand the love, sorrow, exhaustion, frustration, and pride until you are in it. Only once you are fully immersed can you even begin to comprehend the richness of life as a military spouse.

You will love more deeply and fervently than ever before. Your love for your spouse will deepen in their absence and explode into a myriad of emotions upon their return. You will attempt to love your children enough for two parents because they deserve it and because more often than you would like they only have one parent. You will fall in love with people who are essentially strangers. As much as it scares you to trust and make friends with people you only recently met you have to. At times those strangers are all that stands between sanity and a padded room in a government run institution. 

Conversely, you will have more hatred, anger, and frustration than ever before. You will loathe the military for taking your loved one away yet again. You swear up and down that if you have to endure one more extended separation this year you will either commit suicide or homicide. But you won't, because you are just kidding....kind of. If you have to move or cancel one more vacation you might lose it. If anyone anywhere needs a vacation it's a military family. No matter how hard your family budgets, plans, and accrues leave you still aren't guaranteed anything. 

Lonely takes on a whole new meaning.  You will be lonely for your best friend who makes evenings and weekends fun, enjoyable, and different from the rest of the day and week. The longing for family and friends back home can eat you up. The constant thought of "if only we were living closer to ___ things would be easier" is like poison to your morale because you don't and you have no idea when you will again. All that being said, if you allow yourself to become a part of your military community you will simultaneously feel an incredible amount of support and strength building you up. 

The friendships you make will be unlike any other. They will carry you through deployments, TDY's, PCS's, and anything else the government tries to throw at you. These people understand a part of your life that civilians can't, not because they don't want to, but because they haven't lived it. You will be in awe of what these friends will do for you. Whether it's meeting for lunch, watching your children, mowing your lawn, allowing you to vent your frustrations, or crying on their shoulders you may never feel deserving of such incredible friendship but you are...because at some point in time you did something for them that was just as meaningful. They quickly become far more than friends, they are your family...your military family. Before long you will have the realization that you can't live without them and wonder how you ever did. 

Lastly, you never thought you would feel such mixed emotions about the day your soldier, airmen, sailor, or marine, gets out of the military. You will simultaneously rejoice having them home safe every day and having more control over your own lives while being absolutely petrified to leave the community you have grown to love.  It's not just your significant other's job, your group of friends, your church, your child's school/daycare, your gym, your home, where you volunteer or work...it's your life, your ENTIRE life. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Better at Deployment?

As any military spouse knows there is so much more to a long separation than just the actual period of time the service member is gone. There's pre-deployment, deployment, and re-deployment/reintegration. *also note that when I say "deployment" I am using it in the technical military sense referring to any large unit movement whether it be to the field, NTC, or overseas.*


Now where am I going with this post you may ask? Well in the the last two years we have gone through the complete cycle twice and are halfway through the third. While going through reintegration from The LT's long YTC rotation and pre-deployment prep for his upcoming NTC rotation simultaneously, I realized something....I'm pretty good (most of the the time) with the deployment phase. I don't mind being alone for the most part. Yes, weeks on end of eating dinner alone gets old and having no one to spend your evenings with once kids go to bed is lonely but I can manage it. I, however, SUCK and reintegration and I'm not terribly good at pre-deployment either.


See, I'm a bit of an OCD neat freak...those of you who know me well can stop chuckling now...and The LT isssss how do you sayyyyy....not at all. He's the kind of person who actually feels less anxious or stressed when there's at least some clutter around. We could not be any more different in this respect and I often wonder how we live together at all. Clutter, stuff, mess, disorganization, etc. gives me such anxiety. Having  a child and dealing with the typical mess of a toddler often tests my nerves. So, between one less person being in the house when The LT is gone and that person being The LT, the house is much neater and I LOVE it...probably more than  I should. When he's gone I can blog or sew as late into the evening as I want without feeling guilty for not spending quality time together. I also love crawling in bed with my laptop and blogging until I'm too tired to think. Sometimes those posts are my best and sometimes they are the weirdest jumble of thoughts but I love that time all the same.


I like doing things my way around the house...yeah, I said it. Don't lie, I know there are other military spouses out there who have thought the exact same thing. On the same note...when The LT comes home I'm horrible about letting go of that desire to do everything myself and my way. I struggle with letting him help me around the house....except taking out the trash, that one he gets back the minute he walks back in the door. Oh, and yard work...he gets that one back right away too.



Anyway, getting back on track, part of why I'm horrible during the pre-deployment phase is because by the time he's actually packing up and getting ready to leave we've been talking about it and preparing for it for what seems like forever. Frankly, by that time, I'm over it. I'm ready for him to be gone because talking about him leaving for the thousandth time gets old and I'm ready to move on to the next phase. The sooner he leaves the sooner he comes back.



All of this largely factors into while I will never move "home" during any type of extended separation. I like being on my own, in my own home, doing my own thing. That, and I don't want to pack up all our stuff more than I have to...but that's a post for another day.



Thanks for listening to my crazy dribble...and this wasn't even written late at night so I really have no excuse for the horrible punctuation and rambling but I don't feel like changing it. It's my blog and the way it reads is how I think. Yeah, a window into insanity, you can leave any time...I won't be offended.
 
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