Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I'm Back!

My head's spinning a little but I'm here!  We had a wonderful party this weekend with a ton of family and friends but I'll post more about that later. For now, I"ll rewind to about 2 weeks ago. 
Layla turned 2 and it was such a bummer time-wise because we were packing up to leave Alabama so I couldn't do too much to celebrate her birthday. But she's 2 and at 2, sprinkle donuts are pretty much the best thing ever.

And everything had to have candles in them.

Even chicken salad sandwiches (from Chicken Salad Chick, Jenn!).

And there were some presents.

Her reaction was, "Oh my goodness, oh my goodness! Caillou!!" But her favorite present was the one Brady picked out for her: her own LeapPad. He knows her well.

That night we had a last dinner with our flight from SOS. We brought cupcakes and of course we sang again for the 3rd time that day.

And got as much cupcake on our faces as possible.

The hill was open this time so the kids played on that and got themselves nice and dirty. 

The next day Brian had his SOS graduation.  We didn't actually go because they don't allow kids so instead I was busy packing up the car, cleaning the apartment, and checking us out. It's such a treat though seeing him in something other than his green onesie aka flight suit.

Last picture near our apartment!

The car was seriously PACKED.  Thanks for the wonderful smiles, children.

Our other car was stuffed to the brim too. Not sure how or why we have so much crap. Ridiculous.

We started out our drive home (I got the car with the dog, woohoo!) and drove through Alabama one last time. So pretty.

We made it to Tennessee.  We got stuck in some mega oh-my-goodness traffic in Nashville and I used my phone to re-route us and happened to go through Brentwood, TN. Holy mega mansions. Looking it up after the fact I realized that a lot of famous and rich people live there.  Of course I didn't take any pictures though, darn it! We stopped for dinner there and then got back on the road.

We made it to Kentucky

and then I took this beautiful picture at the Illinois border. Wonderful.  We stopped for the night at this brand new hotel near Scott AFB near St. Louis. It was really nice and a welcome break from the car. I of course took no pictures there.

We hit the road bright and early and made it to Missouri (wonderful picture again) and got to see the St. Louis arch as we drove past.

We drove all. the. way. through Missouri. So long. And we stopped at this cool McDonald's with a cool gazebo. Thanks for the nice pose once again, Brady.

We made it to Iowa but I'm pretty sure I was on the phone with my mom so I didn't catch a picture of that.

Still with me? Good. And then we finally made it to Nebraska!! Only like 16 hours in the car in 2 days.  

And home! And it was crazy to see this SOLD! sign in our front yard.  Funny thing is some neighbors moved while we were in Alabama so when we pulled up they thought we were the new people moving in. Pretty sure we confused the heck out of them. "Hi. No we're the original owners. But the new owners are moving in in 5 days. Oh we were just in Alabama for 2 months."  But nevertheless it was good to be home. We didn't have furniture, cable, or internet, but we were home.  It was nice to sleep in our bed again, even if it was only for 6 nights. We tried our best not to break anything or get anything dirty.

We fixed a couple things, mowed the grass,

and played outside a ton, I mean a ton! 

It was like Christmas for these guys being able to play with their bikes and cars.

We also went to the cutest 4 year old party where Brady got reunited with all of his preschool friends. He was in heaven!

We also played at the park with friends (well, mostly snacked, but played too)

And had snow cones too!

We signed all of the papers last Monday to close on the house (although the actual closing wasn't until Friday) and then the movers came Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. This was us at our storage unit hanging out while the movers packed it up.  They drove in this car in circles for no less than 3 hours.  The kids were awesome. Those were some loooong days watching movers pack up all of our things, especially the day we sat at the storage unit all day. 

Just hanging out with Teddy and Monkey while they pack all of our things.

Thursday the movers put everything in the truck. Brady kept saying, "WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON?!" Right there with you bud, right there with you.  I have to say though, my kids have been absolute troopers through everything. This has not been an easy couple of months stability-wise but my kids have just been rolling with the punches.  We have 3 more weeks of this and I just pray it continues!

And on Friday we closed on our house. We packed up the cars (yet again, sigh), cleaned the house for the last time, and drove away from our first home literally 5 minutes before the final walk through!  Nothing like cutting it close! And now we're in the TLFs (temporary living facilities) at Offutt.  They're not too bad. We have 4 bedrooms and internet, cable, and tons of playgrounds nearby.  Only a couple more days here though and then it's on to a hotel, and then Minnesota for 2 weeks. I'll blog more later about our fun weekend with family and the kids' pirate birthday party! Aaargh!  

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

It's Going To Be Quiet Around Here

Just wanted to let everyone know that we made it back to Omaha in one piece on Saturday.  We currently do not have internet at our house so I apologize for the lack of posts and the lack of responses to comments. I'm actually writing this from a Starbuck's quickly before I have to get back to the house to do more laundry/packing/cleaning. The movers were here today and will be here tomorrow and Thursday as well. We close on our house Friday and then move to temporary housing after that for a week. And then we have a ton of family coming in for a huge pirate birthday bash we're throwing for the kids.  SO a tad busy around these here parts. Promise I'll be back to regular posts in the next week or so! Have a great Memorial Day Weekend everyone! :)

Friday, May 16, 2014

A Kid Quiz

Today is our last day in Alabama. We've had such a wonderful time here. I'll probably recap what all we did and my thoughts on the south in another post though. In the meantime, we're busy cleaning and packing up this morning while Brian is at his SOS graduation. Soo not looking forward to the drive. In total it's about a 15/16 hour trip. We're driving about 9 hours today to St. Louis and then another 6 hours on Saturday.  Pray for sanity all around.  Since I don't have much time to write much else, I thought I'd share a post I'd been meaning to share. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! Feel free to follow me on Instagram to watch our road trip unfold! :)

We certainly didn't plan to have our kids birthdays 3 weeks apart (well 2 years and exactly 3 weeks apart). The spring is definitely birthday season in our house.  Since Layla is pretty good at answering questions and Brady's all grown up now, I decided to do little questionnaires for them this year and thought I'd share the answers. I can't wait to look back at them and see how they've changed!  Layla's answers cracked me up.

4 Years Old
Favorite Color: Orange and Yellow
Favorite Toy: Airplane (Dusty Crophopper from the movie Planes..obsessed.)
Favorite Fruit: Apples
Favorite TV Show: Thomas and Caillou (when oh when will we grow out of watching that bald child whine?)
Favorite Breakfast Food: Waffles
Favorite Lunch: Peanut Butter Sandwiches
Favorite Snack: Fruit Punch (? Pretty sure he's never had fruit punch)
Favorite Drinks: Water and Milk
Favorite Animal: Monkey
Best Friend: Layla (be still my heart)
Favorite Thing to Do: Play Trains
When You Grow Up: I want to drive a car

2 Years Old
Favorite Color: Green (everything these days is GREEN!)
Favorite Toy: Cars
Favorite Fruit: Car Roots (those sound delish)
Favorite TV Show: Thomas
Favorite Breakfast Food: Snack
Favorite Lunch: I Don't Know......Drink.
Favorite Snack: Sandwiches
Favorite Drink: Fire (yikes)
Favorite Animal: TIGERS......RAR!!!!
Best Friend: Brady (heart. melted.)
Favorite Thing to Do: Play with Trucks.
When You Grow Up: I'm a Tree.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Bean is 2!

Ask Layla what her name is and she promptly answers, "It's Layla Bean." She literally thinks Bean is part of her name.  I've tried telling her else wise but she's 2 and she knows everything. Duh.

But Layla, how can you possibly be 2 already?!  The last 2 years were literally the fastest 2 years of my life.  You have grown from a sweet itty bitty baby to this sweet, sassy, hilarious little woman.  

You adore your brother. ADORE.  He's just as much your best friend as you are his.  You pretty much play whatever Brady wants to play and you think Brady is the funniest and greatest person alive. But you put him in his place too. And it's hilarious.

You have such a zest for life and I love seeing the way you view things.

I never knew how much I would love having a little girl. I love how you want to put little necklaces on and have your hair done. I couldn't imagine life without you.

You're such a smart little cookie too. You speak in full sentences and the things that come out of your mouth sometimes baffle me. Like deciding to call a guy "stinky" at a restaurant or telling me exactly what happened in a Thomas movie. Sometimes I never know what to expect from you!  And the fact that you've been using the potty since you were about 16 months? Awesome. Once we finally get settled in Colorado, I promise I'll fully potty train you.

And girlfriend, you love cake. And pretty much anything that is edible. It's yours and don't anyone dare get in the way of it.  

You're kind of a sass monster and have gone through the lovely "2's" nice and early. Hopefully we're over the worst of it (pretty please) but it's hard to be mad at that sweet little face. But holy emotions sometime. I think we may have a little bit of a drama queen on our hands.

You love babies. I had to peel you away from the baby we watched the other day. You were OBSESSED. But it's so sweet seeing you be so tender and loving with little ones.

Layla, you complete our family and we absolutely adore you. I feel so blessed to be your mama. You've taken it pretty easy on us and for that we're ever so grateful.  Please, please feel free to continue that!  We hope you have the happiest of birthdays and we love you to the moon and back Layla Bean (please don't ever change your name to Bean)! We can't wait to watch you grow! :)

Layla,-newborn May 15th, 2012

1 Year Old! May 15, 2013

2 Years Old! May 15, 2014 (Thank goodness you grew some hair!) 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

That Time We Locked Our Keys In The Car In Rural Alabama

Brian asked me what I wanted for Mother's Day and I said, "I just want to bring the babies to the ocean one last time." So being the awesome husband he is, he used some free hotel points and booked us 1 night right on the beach in Fort Walton Beach.  We thought it'd be best just to leave bright and early Saturday morning (leaving Rascal with some friends) and come back Sunday night. 

It was a good plan in theory.

About 2 hours into our trip, Brady starts complaining that his tummy hurts.  He had that "I'm a about to vomit all over" look in his eye so I told Brian that he needed to pull over, and quick. We pull into this country little gas station as it was the first thing we'd seen in miles. As soon as we stopped the car Brady seemed to be doing better but we decided to all make a trip to the restroom since we had taken the time to stop. Brian locks the car and we started our way into the gas station when Brian says, "Shit." "What??" I locked the keys in the car."  "NO YOU DIDN'T!" We walked over to the car and yep, keys in the ignition still (luckily, it was off!) and doors definitely locked. We both look at each other like omg we are seriously in the middle of nowhere. Our clicker sometimes get stuck so we often lock the door from the inside but this was the first time we'd actually locked them in the car. And in probably the worst place to do it.  

So we go to the bathroom, keep it calm, and ask the lady inside if they know of someone we can call. Because we are in the absolute middle of nowhere and our phones have little to no service. And my dad was also having kidney stone surgery at the time so I was a little anxious!

I took the kids for a little walk because they were getting super confused as to why we weren't getting back in the car. It was a beautiful view.

Here's the front of it. The gas pumps looked like they were from 1960. All 3 of them. We finally got ahold of the sheriff's dept and they said they could send someone out to help us. So we waited. Turns out all of the locksmiths went to the beach that weekend and they were having a really hard time finding anyone that could help us.  

And we waited. We did lots of people watching.  Brady found a stick and that kept him entertained for awhile. The mullets kept me entertained for awhile. And I'm pretty sure everyone there smoked. I know this because I was sitting by one of the ten cigarette dispenser things so I got to say hi to nearly everyone.

And then it started to downpour. Sideways.

Layla, not amused. She kept saying, "I WANT TO GET BACK IN CAR!" I know, Layla, me too.

Brady was having fun though. Sticks and Skittles!

Finally the rain stopped and we did what anyone would do in Wing, Alabama. We threw rocks in the puddles.

And stirred the mud puddle with more sticks.

After about 2.5 hours and no sheriff in sight (we were told the sheriff dept was 40 minutes away) it started to not be so funny anymore.  We called the sheriff's dept and they said, "Oh no. No one's coming out to do that. That's illegal." Uhhh. Thanks.  We finally got ahold of a locksmith that said he'd be out in about an hour or so. Another HOUR?! Right around that time a guy walked in to the gas station with a ton of tools in hand. The ladies at the register asked him if  he could help us. Another guy behind him said, "If anyone can break into a car, Bob* can).  Not super comforting but we were desperate.

*I don't remember his name but I feel like he could have been a Bob

20 minutes later, with a large crowd of locals (including a group of about 20 bikers) watching, we were in!! Everyone started cheering the second our alarm started going off. I would not be surprised if it made the paper there. 

Sooo not the morning we had planned, but I feel like we got the true southern experience now.  And I have to say, the people in Wing, Alabama were some of the nicest people I'd ever met. They were so accommodating and so sweet to our kids.  The guy that got us into our car broke the ANTENNA off of his car to get us in.  I mean, really. I know they talk about people giving the shirt off of their back, but the antenna off of your car? That's a true gentleman.  And he would't take anything for helping us. 

Finally an hour later we reached our hotel!

And were on the beach!

We stopped by Brian's favorite place, McGuire's

which Brady thought was about the coolest place ever.

And Miss Sassy Pants put her toes in the sand.

But that was about it. Because the ocean is very, very scary. 

But this moment made it all worth it. I just adore my family.

There was also a splash pad at our hotel so we did a little splashing before dinner.

We were a couple blocks from the Boardwalk so we walked on the beach there. Because Layla could not obviously drive home. Lush.

And we stayed just late enough (8:00) that Brady could hit the dance floor and get some older women to dance with him. His night was complete.

The next morning Brian woke up early and got me a Waffle House waffle. He's a keeper. The kids also got me the sweetest card and flowers.

For brunch that day we were able to meet up with some of our best friends from pilot training that we hadn't seen since graduation over 4 years ago.

It was their first time meeting our kids as I was pregnant with Brady when we last saw them and it was our first time meeting their sweet son, Ryan.  

This was us almost 5 years ago at an ugly sweater party!

Us with our babies

And the boys! They're in the Mississippi Guard and it was great to see them again. That's one thing I love about the Air Force, you may not always be stationed together but the military usually brings you back together at one point or another!  We had a wonderful time catching up with them.

After that we went back to the beach where the waves were ridiculous. There were crazy riptides occurring so we couldn't really swim in there.

Layla was fine with that. She didn't even want to put her swimsuit on. Just her shades.

But Brady did. So although it wasn't a picture perfect weekend, it was still a pretty great Mother's Day weekend because I got to have my family with me and I was at my happy place, the ocean.
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