Friday, March 25, 2016

Goodbye, Ohio!

Today, we are driving away from our house in Ohio. It was our very first duty station as a married couple. Once Dan graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2014, we got married and moved to Dayton, Ohio so he could get his Master's degree from AFIT, the Air Force Institute of Technology.

Last night, he received that Master of Science in Applied Physics degree (more on that coming soon), and we completed our time at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Thank goodness. We were not so much a fan of this town, but we also know it could be worse. There's nothing AWFUL about Dayton... there's just nothing exceptional about it either. In all fairness, we probably would have felt that way about any base after coming from gorgeous Colorado Springs.

Although we are not upset to be leaving Ohio behind for more exciting things (ie: pilot training and all the fun and craziness that comes along with it in Texas), we did make some special memories in Ohio...

We lived in our first house as a married couple. Sure, we rented it, but we worked hard to put it together to look and feel like a home, and I will definitely miss the layout of that house. It's also the home we welcomed Annabelle into, and while she will have many homes growing up, this one will always remain special because of the middle of the night feedings, sweet newborn cuddles, and many first milestones that took place in this very house. I'm happy to be leaving, but I'm also overwhelmed with sadness about leaving that part of Annabelle's life behind - she'll never remember it, so I'm happy that I at least captured her nursery in photos for her to have when she's older.

We went to many baseball games, went flying, and even made our own table for our patio! We're excited to move that one with us to Texas for all of the cookouts we see in our future.

We welcomed Smudge, Dan's childhood dog, into our home, and the kitties moved to their third state! Gilligan and Stormy are such well-seasoned travelers. 

Dan started his first Air Force job as an officer, going to school at AFIT. Those butterbars look so good on him. I turned my Etsy shop into something larger than I ever expected and shipped out a TON of orders for the holiday season. We took a family picture with all of our pets for our first married Christmas, and we celebrated our first year of marriage

In Ohio, we found out we were expecting, found out the baby is a GIRL, went through my entire pregnancy, and welcomed sweet Annabelle Kathryn. Life wasn't so bad in Ohio, after all. ;-) 

We bought our new car (the Dadmobile), spent our first Christmas with a baby, watched Dan defend his thesis (and graduate!), and took Annabelle to the polls to teach her the American way. 

While we're hoping never to be stationed in Ohio again (and as a pilot, Dan shouldn't be assigned there - but you know the military...), we will definitely miss some small aspects of it. And our small handful of great friends there. We will definitely miss them.

Now onto the adventures of pilot training! 

Do you ever feel sentimental when leaving a base, even if you didn't particularly care for it?

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Hotel Life

If you saw my last post about Annabelle's nursery, you know that I captured those photos since we'd soon be leaving our house in Ohio.

Well, we've left. But we're still in Ohio for the week. Lieutenant Lovemuffin graduates from AFIT with his Master's degree on Thursday, and we will head out on Friday morning.

Until then (and since last Wednesday), we've been living the hotel life.

And when I say we, I mean Annabelle and me. Dan has taken all of our household goods down to Texas and started setting up our new home. (This situation is all kinds of weird, but he went without us to drive the Penske truck down. We're doing a DITY because we have a deep freezer full of my frozen breast milk from exclusively pumping to feed Annabelle. This way, we can all ride together next week. He towed our Escape behind the Penske truck, and we will tow our Camry behind our Navigator when we drive down next week. Yes, we have three cars... also a long story.)

It's a small room, but it has a kitchen, so we've been just fine. Who am I kidding? I'm not cooking! This is like a vacation. There's also a TV with cable (which we don't have), so I thought I'd watch some good shows... but it turns out, there are no shows I like on cable, which is why we don't have it in the first place. Ha!

Hotel life hasn't been too awful, but I will say that I'll be SO glad when we are out of here and on our way to Texas!

Now check out this little cutie... she is thoroughly enjoying the hotel bed to play on, but she's sleeping in her Pack n Play. Ironic that she plays on the BED and sleeps in the Pack n PLAY. ;-)


Have you ever stayed in a hotel for an extended period of time during a move?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Annabelle's Travel Themed Nursery

We are leaving Ohio NEXT WEEK for our new home in Texas, and while I'm excited about getting out of here and moving on to the next phase of this Air Force journey (Lieutenant Lovemuffin will be MUCH happier flying planes than writing papers), it will be sad to leave our first home as a married couple and the home that we brought our sweet baby girl home to.

I just knew I needed to capture Annabelle's first room. I would hate myself forever if I didn't since she will surely have many, many bedrooms. When Erica posted last week sharing her soon-to-be baby's nursery, I was inspired to go take pictures of Annabelle's nursery before we started packing it all up... and I am SO glad I did.

When I was still pregnant, we talked and talked about what theme we wanted for the nursery. I had always imagined having an animal themed bedroom for my kids, and we even have all kinds of pictures and things that would work perfectly for that. Something struck me, though, and I proposed it to Dan... he liked the idea because it involved modes of transportation (ie: airplanes), so we went with it!

We would have done the same theme for a boy as well, but the colors would have been different... probably navy, gray, and red? Or green? Who knows, but hot pink, teal, and lime green were what we decided on for baby girl.

We didn't paint her room since we are renting a house off base and didn't want to deal with the hassle when we already knew we'd be moving when she was only six months old. And here we are... approaching our big PCS.

Even her crib sheets are themed - hot air balloons!

I will treasure these photos forever, and I know Annabelle will be happy to see them when she's older!

Does/did your baby's room have a theme?

Monday, March 14, 2016

Valentine's Photos - One Month Late

Was Valentine's Day seriously one month ago?! How that happened, I'm not sure, but anyway, it has been, and since I'm slacking, I'm just now getting around to posting these sweet photos of my tiny girl.

This was by far the worst (and most difficult) photoshoot we've had so far. Miss Annabelle was a crankypants the entire time because she was (and still is) teething like mad. She wants to chew on everything in her possession, and she did NOT want to smile... these are the best I got.

My little Valentine certainly has my heart!

Here's to hoping that after we get moved in and settled in our new home in Texas that I can be more organized and stay up-to-date on the blog and not run a whole month behind schedule...

Friday, March 11, 2016

First Vacation as a Family of Three: Niagara Falls, Canada

Back in January, Lieutenant Lovemuffin had a three day weekend due to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, so we decided to head out on our first official family vacation as a family of three! Of course, we had already traveled over winter break to see family, but it wasn’t a real “vacation”, so we were pretty stoked!

It turns out, Annabelle is a great traveling companion, and she LOVES the snow! Sorry we’re moving to Texas in a couple weeks, kid… you won’t see much snow there. But seriously – it snowed the entire weekend, and she LOVED it.

We wanted to put Annabelle’s brand spankin’ new passport to good use, so we ventured to CANADA! Niagara Falls was beautiful, and it was all of our first time there. (Dan says he went as a tiny baby, but he obviously doesn’t remember it… much like Annabelle won’t).

On our way to Niagara, we stayed one night in Canton, Ohio so we could check out the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I had been wanting to go since we first moved to Ohio, but the three hour drive just didn’t seem worth it for one museum where there’s not much else going on. Since it was on one route to Niagara Falls, however, we got to see it! And how fun it was! There were so many cool Chiefs things to see, along with lots of players who have been inducted. I really enjoyed it, and Dan reacted exactly like he does to football games: he didn’t care. At all.

On Saturday afternoon, we drove the rest of the way through Pennsylvania and New York and ended up in Canada at our hotel. We had dinner and saw the Falls all lit up from our hotel – it was magical looking, but the windows weren’t very conducive to picture taking, so we saved that for the daytime when the Falls weren’t all lit up. We had dinner at an okay restaurant and saw the Chiefs lose their playoff game, so that was disappointing, but I was having so much fun with my little family that I didn’t let it bother me as much as usual.


Sunday, we set out for fun! We hiked through the snow, pushing Annabelle in the jogging stroller all the way. She was bundled up tight with a jacket, scarf, and hat and covered with a blanket AND her car seat cover, but the girl is warm-blooded like my side of the family, so the poor thing was sweating bullets despite the crazy cold and snow. We drove back to the USA for some New York pizza, and we hiked around some more. We checked out a cool gift shop in Canada, went to the Daredevil Museum (about people who have tried going over the falls in different contraptions), which was really neat, and ended up having dinner at the coolest Asian restaurant ever, where you pay a flat price, like a buffet, but you order from a touch screen at your table. They just keep bringing you whatever you want, so we were able to taste lots of appetizers, entrées, and desserts, and Dan even had some sushi. Annabelle was a ham, as always, and flirted with everyone around us.

We spent that evening taking pictures of the Falls and then went back to our hotel room. The next morning, we left pretty early since we had a long drive back home. We took better lit pictures of the Falls and hit the road through Canada to go through Michigan on the way back and add another state to our list. We stopped for poutine before leaving the country, of course.

Overall, we had a great weekend and an amazing first family vacation! I can’t wait to do it again… who knows where we’ll end up next?!