Wednesday, June 21, 2017

21 Month Update - Annabelle

Little Miss Sassy Annabelle is 21 months old! Actually, she's 21 and a HALF months old now... but I'm just slow getting around to posting this update. I'm sure she'll forgive me. ;-)

Another quarter of a year has come and gone, so here we are with Miss Annabelle's 21 Month Update!

She is as sassy and fierce as ever, and she started swimming lessons on her 21 month birthday (hence the swimsuit photo!).

She is curious and brave, and she is always into something. She climbs anything and everything and runs at lightning speed.

She's growing like a weed - so tall! And she's finally gaining some weight too... probably because she eats adult portioned meals.

Annie is saying so many words but mostly when she wants to, NOT when we ask her to. She can say some short sentences, but her go-to is "read me a book". She's obsessed with her pets. She loves lounging with her dog, Smudge, and petting her kitties, Gilly and Stormy.

Annie is happy when we let her play with any kind of water - from the hose to her water table to a swimming pool! She is an outdoor girl for sure.

We are starting to prepare her for being a big sister this winter, but she's not so gentle. It's going to take a lot of work.

She is super excited to move to Florida in the fall so she can swim with the "fishies" - another one of her favorite things. Annabelle still loves ducks and quacks whenever she sees a yellow bird in a book or on TV. We are so impressed with her development right now, but we do wish she would calm down a bit. The girl is ALWAYS on the go... meaning we are exhausted!

She's fun, though, and watching her discover new things - like riding her trike - is fascinating. We can see the gears turning in her brain. This age is so much fun!

Annabelle's next update will be at 24 months - her SECOND birthday! I don't know why she's growing up so quickly, but there's nothing I can do to stop it! 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Saturday Sit-Down at Whimsical September

A couple days ago, I had the honor to be featured on Erica's blog, Whimsical September, being interviewed for her Saturday Sit-Down series! So much fun! I have loved getting to meet new bloggers all year after reading her interviews, and I was so glad to participate myself!

You can check out my Saturday Sit-Down interview at this link.

I'll be back later this week with my first bumpdate for Baby Cookie #2, so stay tuned!

Monday, June 5, 2017

ENJJPT Drop Night Recap AKA My Husband is a Stud!

We found out on Friday night what Lieutenant Lovemuffin will be flying for his Air Force career, and he was selected to fly the F-22 Raptor! Pretty badass. If you remember my last post about drop night looming over us, you'll recall that the F-22 was at the top of his list, so we are definitely pleased. (There's a video of the moment we found at at the very end of this post - check it out!)

We'll be moving to sunny Florida... Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, to be exact. We don't have dates yet, but we're assuming we'll head that way sometime this fall. He still has three weeks of UPT left, followed by another trip to the Centrifuge in San Antonio, a few months of IFF (Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals) here at Sheppard, and then SERE (survival training) up in Washington state all before we can head that way. We're hoping to get there and get settled before Baby Cookie #2 makes his or her appearance, but we'll see what happens.

Here's the video! This video is VERY dark (sorry!), but turn up the volume - it shows the moment Dan caught the inflatable shark and found out what plane he was assigned to! The person who jumps up to the left is me... hahaha! I shot out of my seat when he yelled, "RAPTOR!!!" Such an amazing, fun night last night for ENJJPT Class 17-06's Drop Night! A moment we will NEVER forget! (PS - their class is called SharkNATO, hence the inflatable sharks and Hawaiian themed shirts!)

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Three Years of Marriage

Three years of marriage. 8.5 years together. One sassy kid and another on the way. Travels. Cross country moves. Air Force life. Late nights. The good, the bad, and the everything in between. We've been through a lot in our time together, and I wouldn't want it any other way. The bad makes us appreciate the good all the more. The occasional distance makes us not take each other for granted when we're together. This life isn't the easiest, but it's special, crazy, and fun. It's unique and beautiful, and there's no one I'd rather co-pilot with. Happy third wedding anniversary to my handsome husband!

I accidentally called Dan my wife at the end of my vows (that I wrote) in front of all of our family and friends and had the moment epically captured via photographs AND video... see below! Ha! 

We couldn't have done it without all of these amazing friends! I'm sad that the last time we were all in one place was at our wedding. 

Forever thankful to have a husband who will dance in the rain with me! 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Drop Night is Coming!

Drop night is QUICKLY approaching, and I just wanted to write about it and what it means to us.

First and foremost, it is set for Friday, June 2nd, 2017 at 7:00PM for Dan's class at ENJJPT.

What is drop night? I get asked this question ALL. THE. TIME. Drop night is when the student pilots from one class (my husband is at Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT) at Sheppard Air Force Base, but there are three other Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) bases too - Vance AFB, Laughlin AFB, and Columbus AFB) find out IN FRONT OF EVERYONE what plane they will be flying for their Air Force career.

Dan is specifically in class 17-06, but there is a drop night every six weeks here at Sheppard. The dates vary with the other three UPT bases, but drop nights happen at regular intervals.

How are the student pilots selected for their aircraft assignments? I also hear this one a lot. The student pilots are ranked within their flights and their classes (each class has two flights) based on several factors from their training, check rides, etc. throughout the year-long program. They also get to submit a "dream sheet", where they rank each and every aircraft the Air Force has to offer, starting with their top choice and going all the way to last place. Based on their ranking AND what they hope the fly, the people who choose just kind of go down the list.

What does Dan hope to fly? This is probably the most frequent question I get from family and friends - ALL THE TIME! While he certainly has preferences (and I'll get to those), he has longed to be an Air Force pilot for so long that he will just be happy to get paid to fly anything! He's not one of those people (and oh do they exist!) who will be super upset and unable to function if he doesn't get one of his top choices. But, hey, Air Force Gods... it wouldn't hurt to give him one anyway! ;-) Dan's top three planes on his dream sheet are the F-35, F-22, and F-15E. We really struggled to place those in any kind of order, though, so if he gets ANY of those top three, it'll be like winning the jackpot! His next three are the F-16, A-10, and F-15C, which would still be cool but aren't AS desirable. Then, he skips down to the heavies - or cargo planes - C-130, C-17, C-21, C-5, etc. After the heavies come the bombers and finally FAIPing, which is what we absolutely do NOT want (staying here at Sheppard and him being an instructor pilot - he's already a 1st Lieutenant, prior enlisted, and pretty old for the average student pilot), so we're hoping to avoid this step, but each drop has at least one and sometimes two in the mix... so we know it's still a possibility.

No matte what the outcome, we are just excited to KNOW so we can start planning our next move! That's right - whatever plane he is assigned also tells us what specific base we will be moving to! We won't know EXACTLY when, but we'll have a pretty good idea, and the planner in me is just dying to start looking at houses, activities for Annabelle, an OB and hospital for Baby Cookie #2, etc. I NEED TO KNOW.

This journey really has been a long time coming. When I met Dan in 2008, he was already in the Air National Guard and pursuing a degree in Aviation. He had always dreamed of flying in the Air Force, but that didn't seem like a reality until he was accepted into the Air Force Academy shortly after we started dating in 2009 and went active duty. Basically, our entire relationship has been focused on this one long-term dream and goal. He has poured every little bit of himself into being the best cadet, then officer, then Master's student, and now student pilot that he could possibly be in order to achieve his dreams. No matter what aircraft he is assigned to, we know it will be the right fit for our family because you just don't work this hard for nothing. It's all coming to fruition NEXT WEEK, He will still have three more weeks of pilot training after drop night before graduation, but I can already tell those three weeks are going to be so amazing because we'll KNOW everything we need to know. No more guessing. No more fretting.

This studly husband of mine has worked his tail off for NO JOKE eight years to achieve the goal of becoming a pilot in the world's greatest Air Force. And here we are... about to watch an absolute DREAM COME TRUE. (I'm not proud or anything... ;-) )

Please pray, send good wishes, positive thoughts, crossed fingers, etc. our way next week, as I know we will both be an anxious, nervous wreck!