Monday, December 17, 2018

Family Photos in Panama City, FL - 2018

For my birthday this year, all I asked for was a family photo session. We had been having an incredibly difficult year (as Dan was so busy with B Course, and I was adjusting to running the house with TWO kids in a new place where we didn't know many people - and no one else with kids). It was just plain rough.

But our kids were growing so quickly, and I wanted to capture them at their adorable ages AND have photos as proof that we made it through our toughest season yet! We will always have these to look back on, and I am so grateful.

I'm also glad I chose to have the photo session on base. We had these taken at the bay (because Annabelle was scared of the big, nice beach on base) at Tyndall Air Force Base a month before Hurricane Michael completely destroyed the entire area.

It was almost bedtime, so the girls weren't too happy, but we did get some great shots that I am so happy with. Josephine mostly wanted to eat sand, and we were all covered in it by the end of the session. But we are SO glad we had these photos taken, and we ordered a few in large canvases to hang in our living room.

Do you take family photos every year or for certain occasions? I love the idea of yearly family photos to track how the kiddos grow!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Our New Home (We Made it to Virginia!)

Way back in April, we found out we would be moving to Langley AFB in Hampton, VA upon Dan's graduation from F-22 Raptor B Course in August. We were thrilled! It was our number one choice, and I will say, now that we've been here for a couple months, we are SO happy.

There's a lot to do here with and without kids, unlike our last base, and we have been having fun checking out many of the fun things to do. Annabelle is settled into a new preschool that came highly recommended, and Josephine is settling into her new routine as a one year old (more to come on that soon!).

We bought our house, and it's been fun putting effort into decorating it this time around since we know we will be here for three years instead of just one! It feels like an eternity, and I am so glad! We have been married for 4.5 years and have moved across the country FOUR times already! We moved from Colorado to Ohio... Ohio to Texas... Texas to Florida... and now Florida to Virginia! We are SO ready to stay put and lay down some real roots here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Annabelle Turns 3!

I'm not sure how it's possible that my tiny little baby became a THREE year old who is in preschool... but it happened in September!

Annabelle Kathryn, it seems like you were just born yesterday. I can remember so much of your infancy, and while I'm so glad we can communicate better now, sometimes I wish I could go back in time and snuggle with you as a little newborn.

For her birthday, Annabelle chose to have a Paw Patrol party. She is obsessed with these silly dogs, but hey, it was her day! We had her party at the end of August since Dan knew he would be away for SERE training on her actual birthday, and my mom and one of Dan's aunts were able to come down for the party, too!

We had a hot dog bar (hahaha - get it?!), and it was a huge hit. Poor Dan was outside grilling in the Florida heat for a couple hours, but he had company, at least. We rented a giant bounce house from Outdoor Rec on base, and all of Annie's friends (from ballet, preschool, and the library) had a blast jumping until they were drenched in sweat and red hot - literally! We ended with a cake from the commissary (seriously - they're so good! I don't even shop at the commissary, but I always go there for birthday cake!)

Annabelle had so much fun opening her gifts, and what was great was holding most of them back in Dan's office to pull out one at a time during our cross country move so she wouldn't be bored in all the hotels we stayed in. I call that a win!

The girls' amazing babysitter in Florida wrapped Annabelle's gift with this - how incredibly thoughtful! I had to snap a photo before she ripped into it so she can have it forever. We miss her terribly!

Overall, Annabelle had a blast at her party! We are so sad that we moved away from all of her friends. She made so many in our short time in Florida, and she is still asking to see them two months later. Such is the life of a military brat, I suppose...

Monday, December 10, 2018

Dan's F-22 Raptor B Course Graduation

Hey there! Remember me?! If not... I don't blame you. It has been MONTHS. What can I say? Life has been extremely busy. A lot has happened since I last blogged in May... including surviving two of Dan's TDYs, his B Course graduation, a trip to Orlando, moving across the county, a Space A trip to San Diego, both girls' birthdays, and buying a house. Phew.

Anyway, I'm here today to chat about Dan's F-22 Raptor B Course graduation way back at the end of August. If you remember, he started B Course in January of this year. It was a nine month training course with a short TDY to Atlanta for the Lockheed Martin SIMS, a two week TDY to Savannah to fly with a bunch of other jets, and SO much craziness. This was undoubtedly the toughest nine months of our life together so far.

Dan pulled a LOT of 12 hours days. A lot. There were many days each week that Dan would leave before the girls woke up in the morning and would get home after they went to bed. It was so difficult when they (especially Annabelle) just wanted to see him... but somehow, we made it through! (But not without a lot of tears from the toddler... and me.)

There were a few hooked flights. There were lots of maintenance issues and jet availability issues. There were SO many weather issues. BUT, despite it all, my stud of a husband completed the B Course and is officially an F-22 Raptor pilot in the world's greatest Air Force! (But I'll be so happy to never go through this season of life again. Ha!)

Out of the 14 pilots in Dan's class, a whopping 13 of them had a spouse or significant other! These ladies GOT ME THROUGH. I seriously don't think I would have made it to the other side in one piece without the help of them. I am SO happy that many of us are still together at Langley - six of us, to be exact! (And soon to be seven, now that another is coming up from the squadron at Tyndall!)

This is what I got Dan for his graduation. It's a hand painted Raptor on a sectional chart of Tyndall AFB. I got him the same thing with a T-6 and a T-38 on the Sheppard AFB sectional chart for his ENJJPT graduation, so I wanted this to match it for his "I Love Me" room. If you're married to a pilot, you know the room I'm talking about.

Now that I'm back, I'll be back MUCH sooner than last time with a new post! I have four more to write about immediately to catch up before the year is over. See ya soon!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Another Year, Another PCS...

Big news! We are moving again once Dan finishes his F-22 B Course... this time to...

Langley Air Force Base in Virginia! 

We are so excited! We don't know ANYTHING yet, as in he graduates on August 24th and then has to go to SERE... and we assume we'll be moving AFTER his time at SERE (which I would prefer), so it'll likely be toward the end of September or beginning of October. This will be the 5th state we've lived in since getting married four years ago... it'll be Annabelle's 4th state to live in by age three... and, get this... Josephine's third state to live in before her first birthday! 

It's a lot. But it's fun! We should be there for about three years, so it'll be our longest assignment so far. I'm excited to finally lay down some roots somewhere.