The 32 Day Blogcation

Our Growing Family

It’s been 32 days since I sat down and logged into my blog.  In those 32 days we’ve been gathering ourselves back together.  Thank you to those of you that contacted me to see if we were okay.  We are more than okay! We are good.  I just could not find it within me to write, because at the end of it all, I hit a wall.  I’ll spare you the whole nitty gritty and give you the summation: It’s been a long two years.  I was pregnant and anxiously awaiting my husband’s return.  He made it back in time to help me get our daughter here safely.  We found out 30 days after his return he was leaving again.  We said goodbye.  We said “hello” two months later as I flew baby and I across the world to meet him.  We hunkered down and met up with familiar faces and places to get through the next four months.  The whole second deployment was a weird mix of joy and sadness in raising our girl without him in-person-present, and the delight of sharing her with friends and family we would have otherwise not seen because we would have been home together as three.  Whew.  Talk about conflicting feelings.  I also always have a hard time complaining because compared to the rest of the world’s moments of tragedy, I know my problems are not unsolvable.  We were/are surrounded by love and support.  I carried my girl through 10 flights solo this year and documented her growing up.  I loved and cried and found a strength I never knew I had.

We flew home to meet daddy, only to find out he was delayed another 10+ days.  That was the beginning of my 32 day blogging hold out.  I needed to protect myself and my family as we dragged ourselves to the finish line.  That’s the thing about deployments: they hurt, and are horrible, painful, crappy…then they are over.

The reunion went better than I could have ever imagined for us.  E welcomed Daddy back without a fuss.  She was delighted to have her big playmate back.  Our first 48 hours were a pile of hugs, giggles, and tears of gratitude.  I felt happy and relieved for all of us.

The last 32 days have been a breath of fresh air.  Sitting here today, I feel the pull. I have missed writing.  I am shuddering to see all the photos I have yet to do anything with.  This blog keeps me constantly accountable for keeping our memories filed.  It has always made me feel delighted and proud to look back and see where our adventures have taken us.  But.  Yes but.

But I don’t know where I’m going now.  I don’t know if I want it all out there.  True, I’ve always carefully selected what I post.  I’ve toiled away furiously and consulted with my friends and family about if I should keep this up.  Their advice has lead me to what I always knew they would say, that the choice must come from me.  I’ll leave you today with my choice:  I hope to share my soul-searching journey with you of not just the past 32 days, but over the past 10 months.  E has shaken my world.  She’s helped me reluctantly see there’s not enough time or energy to do it all.  Leave it to a child to really help me get my priorities straight! I want to focus on my family, and then if there’s time left over, I may be able to tune back into this at some point.  I argue in my own mind that if it is important enough, I’ll make time for it.  So I hope to keep writing.  But I have to find a new way to do it.  The world is still a beautiful place to me, but it is also one that I see now with a wary mother’s eyes.  The online journaling shall continue, but in a way that makes me feel more comfortable.  I hope you can find me, meet me halfway in this journey.  I’ll be posting over the next couple of months with updates on my transition to move the blog away from such a personal beat. Until then, I hope you are all snug as bugs in a rug with your own lovies.

Growing Girl: Weeks 31-35

I love you.  Do I tell you enough?  I whisper it in your ear before bed, with your fuzzy little head snuggled into my shoulder.  I look you in the eyes at least once a day and tell you.  I could tell you even more.  I’ll tell you those three words for the rest of my life.  Because they are true.  They are pure.  There are some days where we go up and down.  You’re grumpy.  I’m grumpy.  We’re sleepy.  You fight a nap.  I cringe when I hear you start to cry again, after my eyes have finally closed and my head has finally hit the pillow.  But we get through.  I watch you grow, change, and evolve into this new curious big-girl baby.  You are so proud of yourself when you master something new.  I can’t hold you back.  I have to grow, change, and evolve along with you. As you start to move and explore more, I am nervous and excited for what’s to come.  It’s always an adventure with you little lady.  I have a feeling our days are about to get crazy.  I have a feeling the days of “no!” and chasing you around are on the way.  But I also know that comes with more interaction, recognition, and stories to be captured and remembered.  There’s no stopping this train! Your photos have evolved too, you now want to sit up in all of them, and so you do.  Each one is a snapshot of your progress and your growing self.

Evelyn Photography Project: Weeks 31-35 Growing Girl series Growing Girl series Growing Girl series Growing Girl series Growing Girl series Growing Girl series Growing Girl series Growing Girl series

Growing Girl Series Growing Girl Series

From Weeks 31-35 I want to remember:

How you embraced our new Arkansas temporary lodging.  You slept in the closet!

How you love to swing before bedtime.  Listening to the sounds of nature or us reciting nursery rhymes.

The first day you figured out how to work all the levers on the music box.  I caught you pulling the lever, listening, and “dancing”.  When the song ended, you proceeded to continue your fun by doing it again!

You started to army (or shall we say Marine?!) crawl.

You can pop up on your hands and feet like the downward dog yoga pose.

Pulling up to stand is a new delight and horror~ you hate being seated, you just want to stand and BOUNCE!

You’ve expanded your eating menu, you LOVE bread and butter pickles!

We tried grinding up our dinner for you.  You hated it.  Gagged, choked, and proceeded to look at your spoon suspiciously afterwards.

You can pick up baby puffs now, we tried introducing a cup, but you aren’t into it yet.

You love being baby Newton and chucking things off your tray, then looking over to see where they have fallen.

You can say “bababa, dadada, mamama, yayaya” and what weirdly sounded like “up”.  We also have started all the signs for eat, more, milk, and all done.

You can wave hello and bye bye!

You can clap!

You love movement and music.

You still snuggle in the mornings, and when you are sleepy, but beyond that you struggle away so you can GO!

You hum when you are sleepy.

You loved the Halloween decorations and lights we put up.  You smiled when you looked at them and clapped!

You are a JOY to play with and share this life with.  I can’t believe you are mine.

Keep growing little one.  We love you.

Talkin Bout My Girls

It may be awhile until we see one another again.  But until we do, I’m cheering you on and I love you so.

Having friends near and far is a blessing…and a curse.  It’s good to know I can love and miss people THIS MUCH (picture me wrapping my arms around the whole world here).  It just stinks missing them.  But goodness, it is a banner year to have seen my gal 3 times in a year! From trails to bath houses, baby girl hugs, big family dinners, and the same long awesome chats, anytime with you is pure happiness.

my girls 2015 my girls 2015

My girls.  My Ev and my Katie.  The next time we’ll all be together there will be a big girl dressed in white, and a little one spreading flowers at her feet.  Naturally you’ll be gaining our same last initial too. Welcome to the “S” club.  We couldn’t have planned that any better if we tried!

my girls 2015 my girls 2015

Oh my girls.  Keep living and loving till then.  Keep finding adventures and telling me all about them.  I’m counting on those conversations to carry me through, as they always do.

Fordyce Bath House

The Fordyce Bath House is a must-see when visiting Hot Springs, Arkansas.  My girl Katie and I roamed this museum on our travels to HS, and loved delving deeper into the town’s history.  Built in 1915 and operating until 1952, this landmark bath house used to be a place to unwind, treat ailments, and indulge in the finer things in life.  Our favorite discovery was seeing how at it’s time, the men’s side was far more lavish and large than the ladies.  In today’s culture, it feels like women are partaking in more upscale beauty treatments than the opposite sex…but maybe that’s just where I live;)  Either way, seeing Fordyce is taking a few steps back in time, and it leaves you longing for a hot bath and a scrub at the end.

Fordyce Bath House, Hot Springs Fordyce Bath House, Hot Springs Fordyce Bath House, Hot Springs Fordyce Bath House, Hot Springs

Above: steam treatment chambers.  Pretty fascinating to sit in your own little chamber with your head poking out to socialize!

Fordyce Bath House, Hot Springs

The men’s room had a huge gorgeous stained glass ceiling.  Below, I sit in one of the ladies dressing chambers.

Fordyce Bath House, Hot Springs

Exercise was an integral part of the “treatments” offered.  The top floor featured a gym, and outside, behind the bath house row are several walking paths that range in rigor.

Fordyce Bath House, Hot Springs Fordyce Bath House, Hot Springs Fordyce Bath House, Hot Springs Fordyce Bath House, Hot Springs Fordyce Bath House, Hot Springs

What a fine adventure to go to the Fordyce Bath House! Now I just long to go back to Korea where bath houses are still a modern-day trend and luxury!

52 Weeks of Happy 2015: 40

Oh what a life.

This week I find myself still snuggling newborn goodness in my freshly birthed niece Jane.

I find myself dreaming up new goals for the future, and realizing instead of just dreaming…it’s time to take action.  I’ve enrolled myself in a few online courses and I’m plunging forward in absorbing new knowledge.  It’s scary and exciting at the same time.

There have been long walks with my folks around the neighborhood.  We look like a circus train.  With all of us together, there is 1 toddler being pulled in a pink car by her Pacha (grandfather) there is me pushing a baby in a stroller, my sister wearing a newborn, a 6 year old on a bicycle, and oh yeah…Nana’s walking the dog.  Our circus.  Our monkeys.

52 Weeks of Happy 2015

I’ve happily lost another pound in the getoffmebabyweight battle, and I’ve loved cooking in the kitchen with my family, sitting down all together every night.  This will be continuing when we go back to just the three of us.  I’m making it a priority.

I’ve finished up one big project this week, and am getting set for another dangerous trip to the local craft stores.

My girl is doing great and is pulling up on EVERYTHING.  She’s moving and grooving and there’s NO stopping her!

Here we go Week 41, show me whatcha got!

The Arlington

It is always so good to spend time with my best girlfriend.  I’ll try not to gush on and on today about how lucky I am to have a friend like Katie: but it’s true.  It’s once in a lifetime.  It’s amazing.  It is even more awesome when your parents play babysitter and you get to have a justustwo day out! We hit up Hot Springs, trying to take in all the town had to offer.  Since my last visit, the city feels a lot more cleaned up.  It feels livelier.  I hope it continues on as a come back kid, because Arkansas, the Natural State, has really surprised me in it’s splendor.  It truly is a beautiful area with rich history.

Our journey started at the Arlington Hotel, built in 1924.  We grabbed our first pumpkin-lovin lattes of the season and enjoyed exploring the building.

The Arlington, Hot Springs The Arlington, Hot Springs

The Arlington, Hot Springs

I loved the touches of history, like the mineral water fountain in the lobby.  People came to Hot Springs searching for their own fountain of youth in the healing waters.

The Arlington, Hot Springs

The elevators were gorgeous, and I am adding a letter box onto my future home MUST have list!

The Arlington, Hot Springs The Arlington, Hot Springs

I am always up for a wander on my own, but doing it with Katie at my side makes it all the better! Onward we go to the Fordyce Bath House Museum.  You can catch up with us there on this coming Monday;) Have a great week until then! Don’t forget to think about your HAPPY for this week~ it’s week 40 in 2015~ oh my, how the time does fly!

Chasing Butterflies

There’s pretty much only one way you are going to catch me having any interaction with a spider.  Even a fake one.  My baby!  This large fellow was found at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio.  I know, I know, I thought my Ohio recap and wrap up was done…until I stumbled upon these fun photos that I just had to share!

So, here ya go.  Another awesome day with Evie, Mimi, and Moi~ exploring the beautiful exhibits and letting our little lady get up close to nature.Franklin Park Conservatory Franklin Park Conservatory Franklin Park Conservatory Franklin Park Conservatory Franklin Park Conservatory Franklin Park Conservatory Franklin Park Conservatory

Fun facts from the day:

Evelyn was so certain she could grab the butterfly chrysalis’.  She kept reaching and reaching, thwarted by the glass.  She loved watching their lovely wings sweep past her face in the butterfly house.  It was a treat.  It continues to be such fun as I watch her grow and experience new things.  The world is an open, exciting book for her.  I love showing her new pages.  It doesn’t come without it’s pains, and hardships, but I am enjoying this chapter, and keeping it in perspective: It doesn’t last forever.  The crazy tough parts, and the sweet amazing ones. Time marches on, whether I’m ready or not.

We had a nice mommy daughter dance in the main event room.  It was fun to twirl her, but even more so as it was the location of Ryan’s senior prom.  Yes, I was his date that night.  Whoosh. From 17 years old…to many years later spinning on that floor with our baby girl.  A pretty darn special day.

52 Weeks of Happy 2015: 39

What a surprising week! I find myself in the land of Texas yet again, celebrating a new life and soaking up quality time with my spunky nieces.

 Evelyn got her first dose of Pacha guitar time, and she loved it.

I’m dreaming and scheming to send some craft materials back to my Hawaiian home, I think it’s been a big money saver that we haven’t lived near Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, fabric stores…OH MY.  I think a few flat rates are getting stuffed to the brim.

We had an excellent time chatting with Ry-guy this week.  Hang in there babe, we’re almost through this.

52 Weeks of Happy 2015

The best moment of the week has to be:

52 Weeks of Happy 2015

I adore little babies! I can not believe how much my girl has grown.  Each one is a blessing, and I’m so happy I was able to be here for this.  It has me remembering what it was like to be a family of three, and how we are getting through this to get to have that again!

C’mon Week 40…show me whatcha got!

5.3 Million Steps to 30: 11 Month Update

As of September 25th, 2015:

I’ve been stepping it out since October 17th, 2014

192 days remain

I’ve walked 3,500,527 steps

That’s about 1,536 miles over 11 months!

I have 1,799,473 steps to go!  That means I need to average 9,372 steps a day to make my goal on time.

5.3 Million Steps to 30

This month was a refreshing change from August. I felt like I used September wisely, getting back on track with all of my fitness goals.  My parents jumped on board, and it is always, ALWAYS easier to live a healthier life with others around you cheering you on.  My step goal feels obtainable, I’ve carved down my daily step count to only 9,372! I’m starting to think, “hey, I might not get 5.3 million steps by 30…I may get EVEN MORE!!” That is pretty amazing folks.  I was a very active person before the birth of our daughter, but now, I am even more driven.  I’m starting to look at everything in my life as WORK SMARTER, not HARDER.  I’m walking every morning, and every night.  I fit in at least 3 distance runs per week.  Now I’ve added some killer Jillian Michaels dvds as well. I’m working smarter because I’m doing activities that make me happy, that boost my energy and that get it done without taking hours.  I’m not working as hard due to the fact I’ve cut a lot of the crap out of my diet.  I’ve reduced my sugar intake, upped the water, and have been watching my portion sizes.

Bottom line: I’m feeling a bit braggy about my progress. Because I feel GOOD.  When you feel good, you want to share.  I can look back to a few months ago where just getting out of bed and walking down the street with my newborn felt like the toughest journey. Now, we are moving and grooving daily.  Since I’m on the brag train, I can also smile about my BEST RUN of the YEAR this month.  My Dad and I covered 5 miles in under an hour.  I couldn’t even run 8 months ago.  It is exciting to feel like I’m getting back to myself on this journey.  I’m stronger, I’m happier, and I’m learning that I’ve committed to a lifestyle that makes me feel good and brings me joy.  Three shouts of HOORAY for that.

I’ll keep on steppin’.  See you in another month with new stats!

GOAL Time: October 2015

October Inspiration

I love the quote above for this month.  Even though I’ve been surrounded by love and light lately, I’ve been pulled down by missing my man.  Reading this quote, I am reminded that although it is good to acknowledge those feelings, even (gasp) feel them, it is also up to me to pull myself from the funk and look around at what I DO have right now.  I have a whole lotta awesome.  I’m choosing to focus on that and decide on GOOD days.

September Recap:

1. Get my sew on with mom: We are up to our necks in projects…and I’m lovin it.

2. Enjoy KATIE time in Arkansas: Miss my girl, but so thankful for our awesome time together!

3. Reconnect with my sister and her family. Carve out a girl’s only night.: We did, and we did! Such fun to have quality moments with my mom and sister in person.

4. Go Kayaking 5. Go Mountain Biking: I didn’t bike or kayak! But I can’t count it as a complete fail, because in replace of those two things, I have been RUNNING.  I’ve conquered more miles on the road with my dad than I ever thought possible. I’m really proud of myself for lacing up those shoes and going for it.

6. Aim for a complete August recap on the blog: Did it! Back in the blogging groove, and it feels so good.

October Inspiration

For October, I’m deciding to keep it simple, but also to strive to wrap up some loose ends.  Here’s what I’m hoping for:

October 2015 Goals:

  1. Make a blog plan again, and get writing
  2. Get myself organized for the next big transition
  3. Take workouts up a notch: 5x a week goal
  4. Finish 4 Projects
  5. Mail off packages
  6. Make Evelyn’s Halloween costume

I am excited to move forward into this month and pick a better attitude.  Cheers to your goals, and wishing you an amazing month ahead!