Friday, August 29, 2014

Bear Lake

We made our way to Utah this Summer over the Fourth of July for some family time (both sides).  We enjoyed every minute.  One of the highlights for me was spending a day at Bear Lake.  I have so many fun memories of Bear Lake especially during High School with friends.  I was so happy to share one of my favorite places with my boys for the day.  We had so much fun being with family, jet skiing, playing on the beach, and of course eating raspberry shakes. :)

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This is the face I got from Nolan every time I went out on the jet ski... This boy and I are just a little bit attached to each other... And, I love it.

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The best day. :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Home.

Because it has been almost three months and I have still yet to post an update to JC being home, I figure it might be time... (read: life is bliss and we are busy enjoying time as family!)

So, in case you missed it, here is a little video from when JC came home.




So here is how things played out...

JC was supposed to be home on Tuesday and I was going to pick him up from the airport and then we were going to go and surprise Zenock during his awards assembly at school.  I had it all arranged with his Teacher. :)  Things didn't quite go as planned...

JC got back to the states early Sunday morning and had to go through a round of medical tests, turn in some gear, etc.  He was done with everything by Monday afternoon and was headed to his hotel or so I thought. He called me and told me he had tried to find an earlier flight for that evening, but couldn't.  Little did I know... he had already been on a plane and was sitting in the Atlanta airport waiting for his plane to come home!  Our good friend Chris picked him up and brought him to Zenock's baseball game Monday night to surprise us.  

I had no idea. :)  I wondered if he would try and do something, but I kind of figured at this point it was too late and things were already in plan for Tuesday.

As I am sitting there during the video, Kamden tells me, "Mommy, it's Carson's Daddy!"  (meaning our friend Chris.)  In my head, I'm thinking that's nice... why is he here?!  And, then I knew exactly why so I started looking around for JC.  I looked back and there he was....  It's an image that will stay with me forever.  All at once ten thousand pounds of stress, anxiety, and fear were gone.  All that was left was love and gratitude for the amazing man that was standing there.  I haven't stopped thanking my Heavenly Father for him being safely home since.

I get asked two questions about him going all the time - 
1.  Would you do it again?  JC... If he had to, sure.  ME... No.  It was fine the first time.  I had no idea how hard it would be.  If he did it again, I would know and I'm pretty sure it would make the whole idea/experience even harder. I would just cry for months.
2.  Did you or the boys have a hard time reconnecting?   Not at all.  Nolan even traded me in the first night.  We put him across the room and both held out our arms.  He ran straight for Daddy.  I cried... happy tears of course.  It was so easy to reconnect, because we were able to be connected the whole time.  We face timed almost every day and I was able to talk with JC at least twice a day.  I got really nervous when he missed one of our usual talk/text times.  It was usually because of internet outages, but it still terrified me.

After JC got home we waited for school to get out a couple days later and then headed straight for our happy place, Pigeon Forge Tennessee.  It was possibly the best family vacation ever.  We just enjoyed each other, taking walks, swimming, eating ice cream every night,  ate whatever we wanted (we had both just worked our tails off to get in shape... and I had just finished three weeks of semi whole30 (ha!)). We just enjoyed being together as a family.

Looking back on those seven months I can't deny that angels were with me.  I felt so protected during that time.  I felt so much peace in our home.  I won't deny that there was still a lot of fear and anxiety, kids were yelling at me constantly, I was crazy stressed/ready to pull my hair out, and I can't look back on it with out tearing up and feeling very alone.  Those seven months are a fog.  But, somewhere in the midst of all of that there was peace.  There is no question in my mind that my Heavenly Father was very aware of me, my feelings, and my family.  I take great comfort in that.  I know we made the right choice for our family in sacrificing our time with JC for awhile.  It's what worked for us.  It felt right.  Once again, I am just so grateful for JC coming home safely.  He is kind of a big deal to us. :)