One Happy Family

Living life, military style!!

One Happy Family January 7, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — theluces @ 6:13 pm

I can’t even tell you all how happy I am to have us all back together again today! Having done this 4 times now, I can tell you that it doesn’t necessarily get easier. You do it, and you do fine, but you don’t miss them less. You are just as excited, and probably more so, each time they come home. And while it really stinks hearing daily how much your kids miss their Daddy, the surprise and joy on their faces when they seem him again, almost erase the tears and sadness while he was gone (again, almost).

For anyone that hasn’t seen our quick little homecoming video yet:

Daddy’s home!

(You can click on “Daddy’s home!” to see the video.)

Everyone was super excited to get Daddy home and have a nice dinner and then … CHRISTMAS (as if getting Dad back wasn’t present enough)!! Brian brought the girls handmade dresses he got at a bazaar:

Emma is also being a super big reader and was really excited about a new Mittens book. Sophie is loving her new karaoke microphone that you plug an ipod into and sing along. Tyler was super surprised with his new tv. I bought a blank puzzle and put the pieces in a bunch of different boxes. I don’t think he had any idea what was going on with the puzzle:

He was super excitedΒ  to get a new tv!

And then it was bedtime. We were all very tired, as the kids and I had been up since 5 (I was up earlier … who can sleep when their husband is supposed to be home in a couple hours?!). We originally were supposed to pick Brian up at 6:30 am, then 5:30 am, that was then moved to 9 am because of fog and not being able to land. Then they couldn’t land AGAIN because of the fog. We finally got him back around 5:30 last night. Complete joy!!

Ok … we gotta figure out dinner here.

Lots of love to you all, and thank you for all of the thoughts, prayers, and well wishes through the past months. We so appreciate it!! ~ Jackie



Almost … January 5, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — theluces @ 1:42 pm

So, I’ve been a cleaning machine, getting ready for Brian to get home. It’s not like he cares, he knows very well that I’m not a great housekeeper (he didn’t marry me for my domestic skills). But, I would imagine after months on end of sharing a very small room, with another guy, community showers and portajohns, dining halls, that the clean comforts of home are very much looked forward to. It’s the least I can do, to welcome my man home. And honestly, it just REALLY all needed to be done anyway. Mostly though, I probably just need to shave my legs since it’s been over 3 months. I kid, really, I kid!!

The kids all talked to Brian a couple nights ago. They know he’s headed home, but have no idea exactly how long it will take.

The last deployment phone call!!

WHAT?! On your way?!

Tyler is not as willing to be my subject, and would be super unhappy to know that I put his picture on the internet, so just know that he talked to his Dad and could not be more excited to have him home. I think he’s a bit bummed though too, because he has finals next week and lots of studying to do … and really just wants to hang out with his Dad. He’ll get lots of time after those finals are knocked out.

Ok, I better get back to my list of “to do’s”. But one day, real soon, you all won’t have to hear me whine about missing my husband anymore!!

Love to you all! ~ Jackie


A new day, a new week, a new month, AND a new year! January 1, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — theluces @ 2:57 pm

How often does that happen all at once (actually about every 5 or 6 years … so not really uncommon)?! Anyway, it’s still pretty cool πŸ™‚

2011 was a good year for us. A recap, shall we?

We started the year off with Brian just having deployed to Iraq. Sophie was busy with kindergarten, Tyler was busy finishing up jr. high, and Emma was busy with preschool. I was busy taking them to gymnastics and track and soccer, while getting used to Irene’s new sister, Fergie.

February was pretty uneventful, which is good. March also flew by, and in April Brian got back home in the wee hours of the morning as the best birthday present ever for Emma’s 4th birthday!!

On to May and school’s out.

And then June already?! June was a great month, with Brian organizing an 8k in which the proceeds were donated to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation … over $5000!! And then we flew to ND for a few weeks.

Some snuggle time with Great Grandma Vivian

Birthday cake with Great Grandpa Harvey and Auntie Lynn

Tractor rides with Grandpa Steve

And LOTS of mowing lawn to help out Grandpa and Grandma

July brought us to San Francisco for my sister’s wedding and we got to stay with the most hospitable friends ever, Heather and Joe.

Tyler LOVES hiking … and a captured moment of them getting along is priceless!!

August was back to school and Sophie started first grade, Emma VPK (a state funded preK for all 4 year olds in FL), and Tyler is now in HIGH SCHOOL!!

We tried out YOLO boards for the first time and we will definitely use them more next summer.

September meant time to send Brian off again.

(Just my favorite picture from September)

October flew by with Tyler busy in cross country. Tyler and I also attended an Air Commando Association Banquet, which was an honor.

November also flew by, staying busy.

Busy with things like broken arms 😦

Thanksgiving dinner

And BOOM! It’s December!

Man, did that go fast! Now we are officially beginning 2012 and I could not be happier. What are my wishes for the new year? Hmmm … I wish for more than 166 days of my husband being in the country this year. I say “in the country” because while he was deployed for 199 days of 2011, that doesn’t mean he was actually HOME for all 166 of the remaining days (they go on TDYs for a week or two here and there also) … but he was in the same country as me, so I’ll take it πŸ™‚

I wish for the continued good health of my family. Emma has her cardiologist appointment coming up this month, and while I know she’s ok, it always makes me nervous as I was COMPLETELY blindsided by her condition in the first place.

Resolutions? Nah, I don’t really do resolutions, but I do intend to keep up the working out and running that I have been really good about for the last couple months. I would really like to do a Warrior Dash at the end of March and a Tough Mudder in the beginning of December (who’s with me?!). I also want to work on my patience … which I know I’m going to need with Tyler getting his permit REALLY soon … AGH!!! What else, I also want to be a better housekeeper this year. I’m definitely starting the year off right with my long list of things I want to have done by time Brian gets home, that I’ve already been working on.

Last, I appreciate all of the calls and messages from friends and family. And we are SO thankful for all of the family that came and visited us throughout the year (Brian’s dad made a trip and we put him right to work finishing the tile that I didn’t get to, and Brian’s mom and stepdad come multiple times every year … we are so thankful for that!!). While we love this military life we have, it is still hard being so far away from friends and family all over the states. Your calls, and emails, and visits mean the absolute world to us.

So, enough of my year in review. I’ll let you all back to enjoying your first day of 2012. Sending you all lots of New Year love!! ~ Jackie


Battle of wills December 26, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — theluces @ 9:55 pm

Emma went to bed like such a big girl last night, after a really well behaved day. Progress! Maybe Santa’s letter got through?

Until morning. We skyped with Granny for a little bit, actually Emma chatted with her for quite a while … and then Miss Difficult took over. We ended up ending our call and Emma had some time in her room and Lucy (her Doodle Bear) was taken away until the evening, after she proved herself for the rest of the day.

She did great, she even wanted pictures taken:

What a couple sweet girls I have!!

Then it was bedtime again. And so the battle began again. Emma started being difficult and then started her “I have to tell you one more thing” routine. I give her the chance to tell me one more thing, and that’s it. Mind you, we’ve had a chance to talk a little bit before this all begins. I tell her, Emma, last thing and we are done. Then she says something like, “You talked mad at me.” And I’ll say something like, “Emma, say what you need to say.” And she’ll say something like, “I forgot.” And it goes on like that. I eventually give her a 3 count and walk away when she still doesn’t tell me her one more thing.

Tonight she yelled about her one more thing, for about an hour. At one point I said “What?!” She responded with, “You need to say with a cherry on top.” This girl is WORKING IT. She knows very well what she is doing. So, I let her yell, knowing that EVENTUALLY she would stop … right? She didn’t stop yelling, but finally at about the hour point, her yell changed. And it changed to, “I FEEL LIKE A BIG JERK!!” … over and over and over. I knew at that point that she finally was giving up. Finally. So, I went in and gave her some hugs and after she calmed down a little and couldn’t stop yawning, she was out in minutes.

Agh. It’s so quiet in here now, and I have a headache. But I’m positive that tomorrow will start out well.

Sleep well y’all!! ~ Jackie


Merry Christmas!! December 25, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — theluces @ 9:32 am

I hope this post finds you all enjoying your families and relishing in the joy on your children’s faces! Christmas is many different things to many different people, and whether it’s about celebrating the birth of Jesus, or simply celebrating the season and family, may it be everything you are hoping for.

Our Christmas feels a bit detached this year, with Brian being gone … kind of like we are Christmas fakers today. I don’t say that in any way to try to get sympathy, we will have our Christmas when Brian gets home soon and that will be the best Christmas present I could ever ask for. I have thought long and hard about it, and Christmas was harder last year, with him leaving a few days after looming over us. This year we know he’ll be home soon, and then we will celebrate. My thoughts are with my military friends who have their spouses leaving soon … I know just how you all feel.

So, as a family, we’ve decided to wait on the presents until Brian gets home. Other than Santa … because we all know that he only makes his deliveries on one night only πŸ™‚ Emma has been a real turd lately and bedtime has been really sucking. It is purely a power struggle, and she is not the boss … she WILL learn this. She was definitely on Mama’s naughty list last night and was warned that there will not be a present under the tree from Santa. At that point, after more power struggle (and more and more and more), I was forced to be a woman of my word.

Tyler and Sophie had presents under the tree and Emma had a letter. It said that he’s noticed her not being a big listener and not being a big girl at bedtime. She needed to promise that she would try harder, and that if she did, then Mama could give her her present. If she acted the same way at bedtime, then Mama was going to take her present away. She had some tears and promised she was going to be a bigger girl.

Sophie was really excited about her pink heels that she calls her “Flower Power Sparkles.”

And Emma got her Doodle Bear, which she named Lucy.

Tyler got up and opened his present and headed straight back to bed.

Now it’s time for me to go get ready. We are heading to the Air Force Enlisted Village to volunteer for part of the day.

Sending lots of Christmas love to our family and friends, near and far. We love you all!! ~ Jackie


No skinny arms here! December 22, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — theluces @ 11:09 am

Yay! Sophie got her cast off this morning.

Her wrist is pretty sore, from having no movement for about 6 weeks, but the bones are healed very well and she doesn’t feel any pain there. I knew she was healed pretty well, considering that she was doing cartwheels at cheer the day after she got her small cast, and last night she did an entire 50 minute sculpt work out with me … with weights. There is barely any difference in her arms, just a really peely hand. We will still take it pretty easy today so she can start to get that movement back in her wrist. She needs to wear a brace at night for about a week, and then she is good to go, no restrictions at all!!

We also have an orthodontist appointment for Tyler today, and then it’s back home for some serious nap time. Emma woke up twice during the night, the second time to let me know she had thrown up in her bed. I’m feeling a bit yucky today, but I think it’s mostly because I can’t get the smell of fish stick & ranch vomit out of my head. She was completely fine when she came in and let me know, and really enjoyed her 1:30 am shower. She’s been in a great mood all morning. I also got a wake up call from Sophie, letting me know she had a really bad dream. I am super excited about nap time today πŸ™‚

Nothing else new here, I better get lunch going. Y’all have a wonderful day!! ~ Jackie

PS: The other day when I was on a great cleaning spree, Emma thought she needed to be cleaned too …


So very blessed December 20, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — theluces @ 9:16 pm

I can not believe that Christmas is less than a week away. I can’t believe that 2011 is almost over. This year has flown by crazy fast. Tyler comes out of his room each morning, happy that he’s on Christmas break, but then sad that another day is already over and it’s another day closer to heading back to school. Sophie asks what are we doing today. Emma says, “Mom, it’s 7:01, can I get up now?” I should have listed those in the exact opposite order for the proper timeline of my morning.

We are having a great week. Yesterday one of my best friends from AL came down with her son and visited for most of the day. It was like old times (or 3 years ago anyway) getting to sit and have coffee and talk while the kids play. It is the best feeling ever to spend time with a friend you haven’t seen in years and you still pick right up where you left off. I miss her being 5 houses away!!

Tonight we brought dinner over to a friend and her family and I got some baby holdin’ time in, which I ALWAYS love! Then I came home, got the girls to bed and got a surprise phone call from another friend I haven’t gotten to talk to all that often lately, as her life has been crazy busy. And, I had a voicemail from another friend, just letting me know that she was thinking of me.

I guess what I’m getting at here, is not how many friends I have, but the QUALITY of friends I have. I have awesome, super considerate friends. I am not excited to spend Christmas without my husband, but the love I feel from my friends, the extra lengths that they’ve gone to lately to make sure I know they are thinking of me and Brian and the kids … we really are so blessed. I love you all so much and couldn’t be more thankful for you!!

I hope you are all having a wonderful week! ~ Jackie