Monday, May 27, 2013

Just A Glimpse

All day I have been thinking about Matt and wondering what he is doing, which I do a lot. This morning I got an e-mail telling me about a Facebook page for the company Matt is a part of, but I was on my phone and it wouldn't open the page right on there. Then I got busy and forgot about opening the page on my computer until about 6 pm this evening. I opened the page and was looking at the pictures there. It was so great to see pictures of what Matt is doing! I was looking at the guys in the pictures and it made me happy to see them smiling! I was scouring the pictures for a glimpse of Matt and then I found one! He was just kinda in the back of the group, but it was his smiling face. My heart jumped with joy! What a wonderful blessing to see him, even if it's not real time. For the past week I've been praying to just have some kind of conformation that he is doing OK. This was just what I needed. Finding another picture with him right in the center was AMAZING! It put me on cloud 9. Life just didn't get any better.

It's kinda like playing "Where's Waldo" except it's "Where's Matt"

And Last but not least!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Letters, letters, letters

Disclaimer: This post is kinda random and goes from one place to another, but it's what is on my mind right now. 

I LOVE LETTERS! I love running (literally) to the mailbox to see what surprises it holds for that day. I love going through the stack and finding a letter with my name on it, and even more when it's in that crazy chicken scratch handwriting that I know belongs to Matt. 

In this day and age I think we take for granted how quickly we can contact people and get almost any piece of information that we need. Having Matt gone has already begun teaching me the valuable arts of patience and independence. I'm not saying that I was dependent on Matt before he left, but I did rely on him for certain things, like getting Mason ready on Sunday mornings or knowing his Social Security Number. It was always easier to just text him for it than to go dig the card out of the file box downstairs. (I now have it memorized, BTW) 

It's so crazy to get letters that are dated from 3,4,or even 5 days ago. He tells me what is going on in that day, but that was a few days ago. I wonder what is going on today, right now, this very second. I have no way of knowing. Yesterday I got a letter that FINALLY had his address on it! So today in the mailbox there were 3 letters waiting for the mail lady to whisk them away on their journey to my boy. Writing letters is actually quite therapeutic. It's a great way to see what good things have happened during the day, even when it feels like nothing has gone right. It's also a great way to have a little rant and then be done. Just a sentence or two about what's bugging me. And most of the time once I've written down what's bugging me, it doesn't seem so big anymore.

I'm beginning to understand how our grandparents and great-grandparents must have felt when they were separated. I believe that the war time separations they went through are part of what got us out of the depression and built them into the great generation that they are. If you think about what the world was like before WWI & WWII and what it was like after, there is a huge difference in the way people lived. I don't think it was just the invention of the automobile or the electric stove or the TV. I think it came from the hardships those people endured and the trials they faced. I look at my life now and really my life is easy. If I want to know some piece of trivia or I have a question for someone, I simply pull out my handy dandy little iPhone and look it up. Regardless of where I am, unless I'm in that middle of nowhere place that doesn't have cell coverage, I can find out just about anything I need. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, it's actually pretty great. But some times I think we take it for granted. Sometimes I think that as a younger, more technologically advanced generation we have forgotten how to work hard for something and how it feels to have to wait to find out how a loved one is doing. 

I just booked my plane ticket to go out to Rockford to see Grandma and Pap, and then we are all going to drive down to Fort Benning to see Matt graduate from Basic. It's something that before now I would have never done with out running it by Matt and making sure that the dates were good with him and that I wasn't spending too much, etc. but I just did it! It's kinda liberating to just do something and not run it past the other person and not worry about what he's going to say. Like my mom said to me the other day, I'm not going to go out and buy a new car or rent an apartment or anything huge like that, but I can't bug him with every single question that I have. I have to put on my big girl panties and just do what needs done for our family to function. 

And what would a blog post be without a few pictures of Mason;)
 Mmmmm! COOKIE!

Cookie Monster Mason
Mason thinks Uncle Collin's beard feels funny
Eating the bubbles in the bathtub/sink

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Ummmm....What to do with Mason?

Yesterday one of the members of the Relief Society Presidency called and asked me if I could teach Relief Society on Sunday. Of course I said yes! Teaching R.S. is one of my favorite callings I've ever had and I love to substitute. I spent the afternoon getting ready for my lesson and I think it will be pretty good. I mean how can you go wrong when your lesson is from Lorenzo Snow and about going to the temple? Tonight I was going over what's going to happen tomorrow at church and after church, I realized that I don't have anyone to watch Mason while I teach! Mom isn't going to be there because she has to work tonight. Amy and Brenda aren't going to be there. Who am I going to ask? I'm kinda picky about who I give Mason to for long periods of time. I'm totally good with him going to family members and most of the time I can't keep track of which family member has him. But for some reason giving him to non-family people makes me nervous.
For couples who are both at church, they can arrange it so that one of them is able to watch the baby while the other is teaching, but as a newly single parent I'm feeling a little outta sorts about the whole thing. Mason seems to almost always be the most cranky during R.S.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

6 Months

Today I have been thinking about how long/short six months is. It's half a year, 1/48th of my life, winter semester plus spring term, twice as long as we spent in Russia, less than half the time we've lived in Glenwood since we graduated, almost as long as Matt and I were engaged.

Mason turned six months old today. I can't believe it has already been that long. It feels like just a few weeks ago that we were in the hospital with him, counting the days till we could bring our sweet boy home.  I could not imagine my life without him. In all honesty, even though it was only 6 months ago, I can't remember what life was like before he was born. Well I can, but at the same time I can't. It feels like he has always been a part of our lives.This kid blows me away each and every day with how much he has changed in such a short period of time. He rolls over front to back and back to front, he has two teeth, he loves applesauce and sweet potatoes, tolerates broccoli, and hates green beans. He loves to sleep in the middle of the bed, just not his bed. He is still my little cuddle bug (right now as I'm typing this up he is curled up on my chest asleep). He puts anything he can get his hands on into his mouth and especially likes to grab onto my hair. So if you see me with my hair up more often you'll know why! I am totally and completely in love with this little boy!
At the same time that I can't believe how fast the last six months have gone, I look forward to the next six months thinking that it seems so long. It will be at least six months until both of my boys will be with me for more than a weekend. More than six months until I can have a house of my own again, with my own things, decorated by me and lived in by just us three. 

On a separate note, I've gotten 3 letters and one envelope with a bunch of insurance forms plus 2 notes. I am certain that insurance forms were created by Satan himself. Good grief. They may or may not have had me biting my tongue to keep from swearing at the stupid forms. It doesn't help that they have all these acronyms that I don't know yet and that I don't live near a military hospital or clinic. The only pediatrician listed as in network is in New Castle and I know nothing about her. All the family practice doctors are at Mountain Family, which is not a place I will ever take Mason. EVER. Matt went once to get his staph infection checked when we were home for Christmas and the whole office felt dirty. Not good for a doctor's office. Plus the only people who spoke decent English were the doctors. It's just not going to happen. (OK. My little rant is over) On the plus side my doctor is on the list so I don't have to find anyone new. 

A few nights ago I decided that my count down to all of us being together is going to be by chapters in the Book of Mormon. I've always been bad about reading scriptures daily, so this is a good way to get myself to do it. I put a picture of all of us that I took on our hike the week before Matt left in the chapter I should be at when he finishes OCS. All of us together is the goal and I'll read myself to it. The nice thing is that I can move the picture up a few chapters or back a few chapters depending on the dates when the time comes. Most nights I've been reading out loud to Mason as I feed him before bed. Although some nights if he's already asleep I just read to myself. The scriptures have a great calming effect on me. I have noticed that Mason and I both sleep better on nights when we read them. Reading them has greatly helped me not feel so lonely as I fall asleep at night. I think it is because I have something else to think about as I fall asleep. 

OH! How could I forget! I got to talk to Matt yesterday! It feels like it was forever ago because the phone call came at 2:15 AM...yes you read that call in the middle of the night. Luckily Mason had just finished eating so I was partially awake to hear the phone vibrate on the bed. I thought for sure my eyes were playing tricks on me or that I was dreaming when I saw his name come up on the screen. It was wonderful to hear his voice again. I wish I'd been more awake to be able to carry on a real conversation with him, but it was amazing nonetheless. I love that boy so much! And I miss him almost as much. I think the hardest part about him being gone is that I know that he's pretty much miserable right now. The first 3 weeks of Basic are supposed to be one of the hardest anyone will ever go through. It's kinda the "break them down so we can build them up how we want them" mentality. I don't know that I agree with that, but I do want to know that when Matt ends up in a combat zone, the guy next to him will have the proper training and have his back. 
This post has been kinda random but it is what is on my mind at the moment so that makes it all relevant I guess. I just have to keep reminding myself of our family motto: We can do hard things. Which may need to become the new name of this blog

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day, One week down

It's Mother's Day and I've been having a really hard time today. It's the first holiday that Matt and I have spent apart, it also happens to be my first Mother's Day, and the first Sunday that Matt has been gone. Some people wouldn't think that it being a Sunday wouldn't be that big of a deal, but for me it is. The thing is that Matt always helped me and Mason get ready on Sunday mornings. He would get up and shower, then hand Mason into me, so I could shower him, and then take Mason and get him lotioned and dressed. Then he would watch me do my hair and put my makeup on. We had some great conversations during those times. But today I had to do all of that myself.
This past week I have realized all the little things that I have taken for granted that Matt did for me and Mason. Things like Sunday mornings and laundry. Matt has always done the majority of the laundry because he knows how much I hate doing laundry. Most days I can handle everything that goes on, but some days are just hard.
Tomorrow morning will mark one week since I've gotten to hug and kiss and see him. It has been one of the hardest weeks. I put up a pretty good front and manage to stay pretty busy during the day, but it's hard, especially at night. I feel bad for my siblings because I've been pretty testy this week, a combination of lack of sleep and missing Matt. There have been two people that keep me going, Mason and my mom.
My mom has been so great this week. She's been there for me every time I've needed a shoulder to cry on and needed a mommy hug. Seriously, nothing beats a mommy hug when I'm missing Matt. I'm so glad that I can be here with the rest of my family until my family can be together again.