April & May & Onto June Round-Up

It’s officially July and I’m way late with these pictures, but if they don’t make them up here now, they never will. And if they don’t make it on the blog, I usually forget about them. And I LOVE some of these pictures. So here I am, two months late. The longer I way the more months I’ll add so here we go. These last three months have been so special to our family, because we’ve welcomed Daddy home and it’s like he never left. He jumped right back into our family Sunday pictures like he was never gone. Our first Sunday back at church together was so sweet, and I think I sat there and stared at him the whole time, still in disbelief that he was home after ten months away. And we had four hands to do Sunday School pickup instead of two.
And you know what he did that Sunday night? All of the laundry that built up that week. After ten months away of serving his country, he came home and immediately started serving us. He spent the time walking the dogs, cooking dinner, and being an all around rockstar while I sat on the couch and watched him. Y’all are probably starting to think I’m a crazy wife, but after ten months of not seeing him, I could just look at him all day! So guess what I did when he dried the brand new dress I’m wearing and completely shrunk it? Laughed. The little things seem so minor when your heart is so full of happiness. A simple reminder to remember the little things are little when circumstances seem to magnify their importance in our crazy everyday life.
Since he’s been home, we did a whole lot of traveling. Five of six weekends in a row, in fact, and we found ourselves totally exhausted. Totally worth it. But exhausted. We’re happy for the memories, but also happy to be on the other side of it and relaxing this summer. But we tried our best to find a few moments of peace and quiet admist the crazy. Like taking the kids to daycare and sneaking down to the beach in the middle of the week. Just us. For six whole hours. That in and of itself felt like a vacation, ha!
My Aunt Christeen and Uncle Kenny came to visit from Kansas! Mitchell loves Kenny, as long as he’s not looking at him. Completely fascinated. He stares at him and asks for him constantly when he’s not there, but turns the shy up to 100 whenever he starts playing with him! And since my Aunt Christeen has two grandsons, she pretty smitten to have a little girl around! They were so sweet to take us out to dinner at one of our favorites – Mike’s Farm! This is actually the second time they’ve visited North Carolina, but the first time was when we were living in Florida, so we missed them! So I was very excited to be able to have them over for dinner at the house and actually host this time!
Memorial Day came and passed and I finished Murph with a few friends. If you’re curious and don’t know what it is, just google CrossFit and Murph for a much better explanation of the workout, but it is named after Lt. Michael Murphy, a Navy SEAL who was killed in Afghanistan. It consists of a 1 mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, and 300 squats, wearing body armor. My entire body hurt for several days, but when a friend asks me to work out with them, I have an inability to say no. Like when I agreed to do the Marine Corps Half Marathon with my Dad last year after completely failing to train. Why do I do these things to myself? Why are there not 36 hours in the day and why do I have to sleep more than two hours to function normally? Does anyone else feel like this??  

And so after Aunt Christeen and Uncle Kenny left, we had Grandma and Grandpa Martin in town! So much red hair in one picture! I love it!
Lately we’ve decided the Julia’s curls and color are 100% her grandmother’s. Tell me there isn’t a resemblance between the two and our family would tell you you’re crazy. We just love her curly red hair and I can’t wait to see what it looks like in a few years!
Since they came in between a whole bunch of holidays, we used their wedding anniversary as an excuse to go out to a fancy dinner and also celebrate upcoming Father’s Day and Steve’s birthday! There were gifts for everyone at the dinner table for all different occasions. We tried a local restaurant, the Ice House, for the first time. It’s located in Swansboro, which is a smaller coastal North Carolina town where Nicholas Sparks sets his books. I wasn’t completely sold on the restaurant, but as I’m sure you can imagine, the setting is beautiful and I want to start trying different places to eat out there!
I couldn’t help but snap pictures as they were walking to the car after dinner because they were cracking me up looking like little ducklings following after Steve. Such a sweet moment! They sure love that Daddy of theirs and they even love each other a little bit too 😉
While Grandma and Grandpa were in town, they snuck the kids out of the house from lots of extra trips to the park. They loved it and were sad to see them go. I posted this picture the other day because I love this sweet little Old Navy find so much! SO cute!
What I didn’t tell you was that I was taking pictures of her feet because she was throwing a Level 5 Julia tantrum. Fake tears, high pitched squealing, the whole nine years.
When she has to squat to finish out the tantrum, you know she’s serious. Pardon me while I crack up at this picture. Does anyone else find themselves cracking up when their toddlers throw fits like this? Probably because the bug she was looking at flew away or the neighbor drove away without waving.
It’s fun when the whole family can sneak out to the park, but it seemed like spring disappeared before it started because it’s so darn hot now! You really have to wait for a cloudy day or a late evening for the park to be even a little pleasant these days.

But it’s okay, because coincidentally, as soon as it got hot our neighborhood pool opened! We are so spoiled with this gorgeous pool just a short walk from our house. We load up the double stroller with towels and pool toys and head over! When Steve’s home, I try to sneak out of the house with Mitchell for a little date for the two of us. He’s super confident where he can touch, but CLINGS and freaks out when it comes time for the deep-end stuff. With or without his floaties! We’re trying our darndest to get him signed up for Saturday Swim School here on base, but it’s been nothing but a hassle. After making at the very least ten phone calls and getting the run around, spending the morning going to the evaluation they said he needed, to show up and have them tell me he doesn’t need an evaluation, to calling three more times before I finally got him signed up and paid. So when we FINALLY showed up last weekend for his first lesson, a kid pooped in the pool and they cancelled ONLY his 20 minute session. After I spent all morning getting him excited to swim, only to have him throw a fit as we left because he couldn’t swim. Ha. I’d say it’s not in the cards but I am committed to making this work because I really, really want our kids to all be strong swimmers! So back we go this weekend for another attempt. The good thing about the program we’ve enrolled him in is that it’s year round, so he won’t forget everything he’s learned in the summers! More on that later, but for now, he’s king of the two foot area of our neighborhood pool. No splash ball un-thrown, no water gun left un-squirted, and most importantly, no square inch left un-sunscreened.

Sometimes I just have to snap a picture of these guys wrestling around the house. Steve’s the best dad. And Mitchell is the best little boy!

This week has been a long week, but thankfully tomorrow is Friday. Even when these guys are home, they’re not really home. They’re still making sacrifices even when they aren’t deployed. We made sure to catch last weekend’s Saturday church service because Steve’s day started bright and early Sunday morning with 24 hours of duty. We didn’t see him until Monday night after a 15 hour day in the field. Meaning he’s outside doing HARD work in the North Carolina heat in his gear all day. Repeat Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and tomorrow he’ll be out there in that heat wearing a big bomb suit. Yuck. Finish that off with 24 hour duty on Saturday, and finally home for his “weekend” on Sunday morning. So we try to soak up sweet little moments with him when we can, like bringing him dinner last Sunday and stealing a few hugs. We sure do love him and boy, are we proud of him for how hard he works to serve us and serve his country.

And last, but not least, we shipped the last grandparent off to the airport today headed back to Kansas. After Grandma and Grandpa Martin left, we had our third wave of family visit – my parents! They came for Mitchell’s birthday party and stayed a few weeks after.
My dad spent some time scuba diving and even took the kids for a bike ride!
But off they went back to Kansas for the rest of the summer. Our fingers crossed that they’ll be back for a visit before the summer is over!

As we wrap up the week, we’re feeling pretty good. We’re 90% caught up on life. Work-wise, housekeeping-wise, scheduling-wise, grocery shopping-wise. Yet, we’re still in some serious limbo as far as Steve’s job and a few other things. We’re doing what we can to be prepared for whatever life throws our way. And the rest is in God’s hands. We’ll see where this crazy Marine Corps life takes us, but for now we are looking forward to spending the Fourth of July together as a family here at home. Camp Lejeune always puts on a great fireworks display, and they have Kellie Pickler headlining the event this year! We can’t wait!

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