April 30, 2011

Day 17: I can't wait!

Today I'm supposed to blog about something that I am looking forward to. Easy!

We have been on the waiting list for housing for almost a year now and we are so close to the front of the list! I always knew that I wanted to get the experience of living on post at least once. If we don't like it, fine, but we have to try it, right? And there is no better place to try it out! The officer housing here at Bliss is amazing and I don't think it can be beat. Not for lower ranking officers at least. They are beautiful, stucco homes!

When we moved here last year, it was very hard to find a home to rent. The market is crazy here with the rate that the city is growing, they can't keep up! Landlords are taking advantage of the situation and raising the prices of rent. Sadly, they can get away with it I guess... we all need a place to live! We were lucky to find the home that we did, but we aren't overly happy with it. We only have about 1000 square feet and the neighborhood isn't the greatest. Very busy area and we have to dodge broken beer bottles far, far too often while walking. Plus, we have no storage areas besides the garage. Not even a linen closet! No bueno!

When we move on post, we will gain at least 700 square feet. Trey will be closer to work. We drive on post at least once a weekend, so we'll save some gas and time there. We'll be closer to everything... doctors offices, the hospital, commissary, etc. We'll be right in the middle of the city, so it won't be as big of a deal to drive "all the way over" to the west side (we LOVE it over there). I'll feel like I'm a bigger part of the Army community. We'll have GRASS IN THE BACKYARD! Air Conditioning! No more swamp cooler :) :) I'll have a nice 5-mile track to walk. I cannot wait!

I'm not so much looking forward to the whole moving process, but I really think it will be worth it!

April 29, 2011

Day 16: Dream House

Oh heyyy... the last post was my 400th post. 400th!! Never would I have thought :)

So, my dream house. I think about this all of the time. Trey and I talk about this all of the time. We have big plans.

We don't want to buy again until we are settled somewhere. Selling our house in SC was a nightmare and we don't see the need to put ourselves through that mess again when we know we'll be moving every few years. That being said... we have a while until we get to live in this dream house of ours.

I've never put all of our thoughts together to organize,so this will be good for me!

It has to be somewhere between in the middle of nowhere and in civilization. Trey would be happy if we didn't have neighbors for miles. I need to be pretty close to at least a grocery store and would like to live in general vicinity of people. I want our child(ren) to be able to ride their bike to a friends house. Sooo.. yeah..that's where we'll start.
A wrap around porch is a must. Two rocking chairs. Very comfy patio furniture in the back with a built-in grill and lots of shade in the backyard. My mom will plant me a beautiful garden.
I'd like 5 bedrooms. A luxurious master suite with the perfect bathroom.. must include garden tub. I've still yet to have one of those. I'd like a bay window where I could have a little reading nook. A bedroom for each kid. A playroom. And a guest room.
The kitchen will be very big and open. I would like an island with that thing that will hold your pots and pans above it.
Trey wants a fireplace in the living room, it needs to be open (so you can walk around it). I'm not sure which room will be on the other side of it. Dining room? Another sitting room? We'll see.

And that's all I have for now!

April 28, 2011

Day 15?: Faith

Ohh my gosh... who woulda thunk that it would take me so long to get through this? Ohh.. all of you? Because I never really follow through with anything I start? Grrrrr... I WILL finish this. I'm determined.


Favorite Bible verse. To be honest, I'm not as disciplined and studied as I'd like to be with the Bible, so I had to look a few up (because you know I can't just do one). There was one I was specifically looking for and haven't been able to find, but when I do find it, I'll let you know!

Psalm 91:14-16
"Because he loves me, says the Lord, I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."

Ephesians 2:8-9
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast."

Romans 8:38-39
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angles nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

1 Peter 4:9-10
"Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms."

I could go on and on and on really, but here is one more..

1 John 8-10
"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives."

April 26, 2011

Day 14: Reminiscing

Today's post calls for a picture of me from this time last year. Here we are at his BOLC graduation:

Trey looks like a fat bastard. His words, not mine.. ha! I think he looks adorable. He's pretty hot now though. I was five months pregnant and, ironically, in better shape than I am now! How's THAT for motivation??
Beyond our appearances, this was such an exciting time for us! Finally finishing up BOLC, which Trey was miserable through, and for the first time, on our way out into the big world of the Real Army. This seems like it was just yesterday.
We have been feeling very nostalgic, realizing that it's coming up on a full year that we have been here in El Paso! Armed Forces Day is in a few short weeks. That time last year, we had just been here for a few days and still living in temporary housing on post, not having a single clue where we were going to live. Fort Bliss did a big outing to celebrate that day (including a chili cook-off, which I love) and were able to walk down to the park for our first Fort Bliss "event". They are holding it again this year, over at Biggs Park, and we can't wait to go. Last year, we were so new to the area and I was wobbling around with Drew in my tummy.. this year we can walk around with him in his stroller and celebrate being in the same place for a year!

April 20, 2011

Day 13: Goals

First and foremost - lose 30 pounds. It's awful. I don't know what's wrong with me, but I need to change this lack of motivation ASAP. I refuse to have another child on top of all this weight.

Get my Bachelor's degree. I have my Associates, but never finished because I didn't know what I wanted to do and wasted enough time as it was. I think I have it narrowed down now, so hopefully this will be in the near future!

Volunteer more with Trey's unit and other functions I've gotten myself involved in. Here's my secret.. I really am shy deep down. I know.. those that know me best are probably laughing right now, but it's true. It's hard for me to put myself out there. Fear of rejection, maybe? I'm not quite sure. I desperately want to get over it.

Find a home church here in El Paso and really get involved as a family and better my faith. Learn more. I've started going to a weekly Bible Study with PWOC every week (which I'm skipping this morning, but that's neither here nor there)

There you have it!

April 18, 2011

Day 12: I will not leave the house without..

Usually, the baby. He's on my hip at all times.
Luckily, my purse doubles as a diaper bag. It's pretty sassy and awesome for a diaper bag.
In that contraption, there always HAS to be the following: diapers, wipes, food of some sort for the monster (#1 - he's always hungry. #2 - what if we broke down or locked ourselves out of the car and were stranded for hours. Fed baby = Happy baby), toys, water bottle, wallet with debit card and Mil ID, Berts Bees chapstick, cellie, keys, and sunglasses because I live in the sun city.

Y'all... I'm getting better, but it does take me about 15 minutes to get out of the house. And that's after we're both dressed and "ready".

April 17, 2011

Day 11: TV

I don't watch as much TV as I used to before Drew was born. The ones I STILL won't miss though..

Army Wives
Modern Family
The Office (I don't know if I'll still like it as much with Michael gone. I'm usually a big Will Ferrell fan, but I'm not sure if I even laughed once during his first episode. We shall see..)
So You Think You Can Dance (coming back soon!)

That's it! A year ago this list would have been a mile long.

April 15, 2011

Day 10: Scaredy Cat

I have strange fears. I think we've touched on this a few times, so I won't dwell. But for the sake of any new readers, here's my list:

1. Insects. This is a huge fear. It effects my quality of life. Ask my SIL about the bee that decided it liked our flowers and tormented us as she is saying her vows. I about ran away. It would have gotten the same reaction had it been a fly or moth though.

2. Clowns. Creepy.. 'nuf* said.

3. Bridges. I do feel like I am overcoming this one. I can look at the pretty water if I'm not driving with only mild hand sweat. I'm convinced a simple overpass is going to come crashing down if I'm the one driving though.

Those are my biggest fears, so we'll stop there. Losing the people I love most are back there nagging at my mind, but I don't know if that could be quite labeled as a fear.. maybe more so something I dread.. because it's going to happen, right? Although, I could list losing Andrew.. because that's NOT supposed to happen and I can't even fathom the thought.

What a depressing note to end on.. Off to watch Just Wright. The husband is thrilled. Serves him right for making me sit through Hot Tub Time Machine last weekend!

*'nuf is a real word according to spell checker.. whoddathunkit?

April 14, 2011

Day 9: BFFs

In this area, I am beyond blessed :)

This is Sara. We've been friends for 25 years. Yeahh.. a long time! Our families were close before we were even born. She lives in Massachusetts. We were in each other's weddings. I.love.her.

My SIL, Melissa. We've been through a lot together. She is definitely my sister in every sense of the word. We have a lot of fun together.. sometimes too much fun. We can talk to each other about anything and everything.

Julianne is another friend that I've had for a very long time! For almost 10 years now actually. We started dating our current husbands within months of each other and the four of us have many, many fun, wonderful memories to last us for quite a while. I can go to her with anything.. she has many a times been my shoulder to cry on. I love our inside jokes. The things we could laugh for hours about that no one else would understand. Strawberry Wine will forever be "our" song. Look at us as mamas now!
Here is Emily circa 2007 (not quite sure why the photo says 2006) at my lingerie shower. I met Emily when she was 17? 18? Trey's BF, Brandon, pretty much robbed the cradle (but that's okay because they are married now and expecting their second child) and I met her very early in their (2nd) relationship. It was love at first sight. She's one of my favorite people ever. I love everything about her, but especially how much she values the people (like me) in her life and her sense of humor.

Second person from the left (like if you're looking at the picture, left) is Ashleigh. (I could not get the only picture I have of us one on one to upload quickly enough, Ashleigh, and I just got too impatient) I met Ashleigh in quite the same way that I met Emily. She started dating Trey's other BF, Matt. She wasn't always around because she went to college in Charleston, but she has grown to be one of my dearest friends. She quite possibly could be the sweetest girl that I am lucky enough to know. She makes sure that her friends know just how much they mean to her. Trey and I were beyond touched that she and Matthew flew out to see us after Drew was born. Now she is expecting a sweet little girl of her own and I cannot wait to meet her!!

Jennifer!! Jenn and I were friends back in high school. We had some very memorable moments working at CVS together. Life got in the way and throughout college and life afterwards, we lost touch. Thanks to FB we were able to catch back up. As fate (or the Army) would have it, we were placed back into each other's lives when Trey and I were stationed at Ft. Bliss. Jenn ended up marrying a soldier and came here less than a year before we did and we now live within walking distance from each other! God knew what he was doing when He brought us back together. I'll never ever forget how much her and her poor husband were there for me when Drew was born. She was right by my side in the hospital so Trey could go to the hospital Drew was transferred to and I wouldn't have to be alone. Her poor husband got to know me real quickly and lets just say there aren't many secrets between us any longer. He was such a trooper and will be very prepared for the after-effects of birth when they have a baby of their own! Jennifer makes being miles and miles away from my family bearable!  Side note Jenn: We need to take more pics together.
Another side note: Jenn makes the cutest things for children. Dresses, bows, boys clothes.. anything. Girl is super talented. You should check out some of her stuff here

April 12, 2011

Day 8: Travel

I'm so behind! It's not totally my fault.. our internet has been down. Turns out a few wires were going bad down the street. To anyone that happens to live in my general area, you're welcome if your internet is running a little smoother now.

I'm just going to pick up where I left off instead of putting all of those days in one post. I know.. I know.. my month long assignment will probably take three months. This is why I never excelled in school.

Sooo - A place that I've traveled to. I'd have to say that the most exciting place we've been to would be Cancun, Mexico for our honeymoon
We stayed at the Moon Palace Resort - great choice
Sadly, I have no pictures uploaded on my computer of our 7 days there. Trust me when I say it was the most amazing, relaxing, fun 7 days of our lives. We never wanted to come home. Who would?? All-inclusive is the way to go! (but you will gain at least 10 pounds) Beautiful resort, friendly people, loads of entertainment, never-ending free drinks, more food than you can even picture in your head, gorgeous pools, swim-up bars in said pools, cabana boys who come to serve you drinks while you're sprawled out on the beach, fun excursions.

Is it time for a second honeymoon yet??

April 7, 2011

Day 6 and 7:

 Today, I'm supposed to post a picture of something that makes me happy. Only one is not possible for me :)

Getting to see Trey as a Daddy. He is wonderful with Drew and it warms my heart to no end

Gerber Daisies are my absolute favorite flower. How can you not smile when you see those bright, fun flowers?
Fireworks! They are just magical to me :) "ooohhh" "ahhhhhhh"
Day 7 - My favorite movies.
I was a little busy yesterday and couldn't finish the Day 6 post, so we're just cramming these in together, okay?
I have other favorites. I love hang-on-the-edge-ofyourseats thrillers, but these are three that I could watch over and over... and over again!

April 5, 2011

Day 5: A song to match my mood

I love my music.. so I couldn't just pick one!

First is Michael Buble. I play this song to make my mood match it!

And one more. Toby Keith because I just saw my husband get promoted and I'm feeling sorta proud :)

April 4, 2011

Day 4: My Parents

Where do I even begin? I betcha my mum is nervous wondering what on earth I'm going to write about her.. teehee

My parents are two of my favorite people on the face of this earth. They met young.. my mum was still a teenager. I came into their lives when they were still young. They defied the odds and raised me in a loving (although slightly psychotic) home and added my two brothers into the mix.

They don't take life overly seriously..not as in they are irresponsible parents.. we just always had/have fun. (besides those few short years where I was rotten to them). We laugh. A lot. My dad is hilarious. One thing I think of that always makes me laugh is one year when he decided to tell his entire side of the family (including my grandmother) that Trey and I were having a baby and had to have a quick courthouse wedding. My grandmother cried. He let it go on the entire day. It was an April's Fools joke that he forgot he made in the first place. I found out by getting an excited/shocked email from my cousin.
My mum has a heart made out of gold. She wants to fix the world's and everyone in its (I don't think that's grammatically correct and it's driving me crazy, but I just have to let it go and move on) problems. She's very much a mother hen. We all go to her for a shoulder to cry on or to have someone just listen to our problems, and as much as I appreciate it/her, I hate it at the same time. She will take your problem in and it will then be her own. She will feel your pain just as much as you do.

There is so much more to them, but we'd be here all day.

Both of them - transplanted northerners living in the south due to my dad's company.
Dad - sarcastic, smartass, funny-man, Redsox and Patriots watching, beer and Waffle House lover, nothing-is-too-hot-for-my-taste-buds man, who thinks Bose is the greatest speaker system in the entire universe.
Mum - kind, too kind, fabulous cooker, silly, wine and book lover, would live on her back deck if she could, will probably one day live on the beach, flip flop wearing, just sayin' sayer, who loves her family more than anything.

At my wedding :)

April 3, 2011

~ 7 Months ~

Here we are again! * Almost a week late, but you keep me pretty busy these days! * These months just fly by and this one has been quite the busy one for you, Mister.

Let's see..

You're wearing size 4 diapers. Mostly wearing size 6-9 month clothes still, but can fit into some 9 month rompers. (I'm going to be reorganizing your clothes tomorrow.. again) I'm sure you need to be wearing 9 month pj's.. we just need to go out and buy you some! Maybe if any of your Grandparents are reading this they will send you some ;)

You eat really well, like always. Now you eat in your big boy highchair. We've got you on more of a structured schedule now though. You're eating three meals a day and an extra bottle before bedtime. You love your fruit and oatmeal in the morning! On top of all the normal fruits and veggies that you've been eating, we've added meats (shewww.. your body is taking a while to adjust to that!), strawberries, corn, granola, YoBaby yogurt... I think you've tried everything except mixed berries and starches. You love it all.

You finally figured out how to roll from back to tummy and let.me.tell.you... you are all over the place now! We knew you could do it... you just had to want to, I guess! For the most part, if you want something.. you can get to it. Unless you're too tired.. then you resort to you infant days and cry until we give it to you :)
Yesterday, you hiked yourself up on all fours and started rocking back and forth (which I guess technically belongs in your 8 month post...) so I don't think it'll be long before you start crawling! Lord help..

You're also sitting up really well. Still not comfortable leaving you sitting up unless you have pillows around you.. but you'll sit there for a very long time. You can reach out pretty far for a toy and still not fall over. You're even in the big bathtub now! You love that.. splash around in there likes it's your job. Mizzy taught you that.

You were left with childcare for the first time this month (again.. really 8 month post) so mommy could start going to a Bible study every week. It's just for a little over 2 hours, but it seemed like you really enjoyed yourself. You jumped right in, started playing, and couldn't have cared less when I was waving bye-bye to you. I'm glad that you seem to be so sociable. We are enrolling you in CYS (Child Youth Services)* tomorrow so I can bring you in for hourly care when I need to get other things done without you. It's not that I don't want you with me 24-7 (promise).. you have just gotten so curious and it's getting harder to do some things with you attached to my hip (doctor's appointments, OCSA (Officer, Civilian, Spouses Association) luncheons, etc). Plus, it's good to get you out there and learn that you can survive without me for a bit.

Speaking of which... this has been your month to be hit with Separation Anxiety. From birth until 6 months (for you), you didn't really know that we existed if we left your sight. Out of sight, out of mind if you will. That was cool. I could set you down with your toys and get stuff done (like potty). Not anymore. You see us leaving and you don't know if we'll be back in a minute or.. never... maybe we left you forever and ever you are thinking. Which is not even a remote possibility.. but you're little brain doesn't know that. So.. you scream. And scream and scream until we are right by your side again. I thought I had this under control.. but not so much.

We rode on a plane together by ourselves. You did pretty well. You loved talking and playing with everyone on the plane.

You still just have your two bottom teeth. I thought for sure you'd have the top two by now.. seems like you have been teething for a while, but to no avail. Hopefully I haven't been feeding you Tylenol for no reason..

You love to Skype now and probably think that your loved ones live in the computer screen. It may just be that you love to try to get to the keys on the computer, but regardless.. you're a lot more fun to Skype with. You jump up and down and laugh a lot.

You've been saying "da-da" quite a bit now. I taught you thought while your daddy was in the field for a week and you haven't stopped yet. I don't think you know what you are saying yet, but we like to think you do. You can start saying ma-ma any day now :)

We just love you to the moon and back. It's so much fun watching you become the little boy that you are and seeing that wonderful personality emerge. I looked back at some older pictures today (just from 4 months) and I can't believe how much you have changed in just a few months. We are very lucky to have you in our lives... I can't imagine life without you!

*Mum pointed out to me that I use the Army abbreviations too often and she never knows what I'm talking about. I'm going to attempt to be better about that :)

Day 3: First Love

I would have to say that my first love was this man:

notice the terrified look on my face
There is not much that tops the love between a Daddy and his daughter. He was the number one man in my life for quite a while (and is still a very close 2nd). We even danced to I Loved Her First so I guess he agrees :)

But then I grew older and hit those awful, awkward teen years. I was totally that love-struck (pathetic) teenage girl. How I wish I could go back and tell my younger self that she did NOT know what love really was. That you'll know the real meaning of love when you meet your future husband at 19. It won't compare to anything you've felt before.
Right after our ceremony in 2007
And then.. then... you will set your eyes on your first born child. Your heart will fill with love you didn't know you had in spaces you didn't know existed to fill.
The first picture we took of our sweet boy

April 2, 2011

Day 2: Learning As We Go

The name of my blog is Learning As We Go.

I originally created this blog because one of my friends made one and was loving it. That got me started reading blogs. I was pretty much stalking these people and felt like a total creeper. I felt like I knew them in real life, but they had no clue who I was. Creepy, if you ask me.

So I made a blog. Not knowing what on earth I was going to write about and never imagining anyone would find my life interesting enough to follow me. 170-something followers later.. here we are!

A few months after I made my little corner of the internet is when the Army talk started up. Before I knew if, my husband was heading off to Basic Training and I had tons of you wonderful ladies out there to walk me through every step. This is around the time I changed to name of the ol' blog to Learning As We Go.

I had NO CLUE what to expect from the Army Life. I knew that it was unpredictable and too much to learn in one sitting.. hence the title. Over the past few years, I've just applied that meaning to everything in life. Army, moving, parenting... I'm just taking life one step at a time and learning as I go.

There you have it :)

April 1, 2011

Day 1 - trying to be interesting

For those of you that don't know me well YET, my name is Jessica. My husband is a part of the big, bad U.S. Army, we have the most adorable 7 month old little bambino on the planet, and this is where I write about our life (well.. the bits and pieces I choose to share)

being introduced at my SILs reception to Bringing Sexy Back... cuz that's how I roll
Now for my 15 interesting facts... I'll do my best. No promises that this will be thrilling!

1. I'm half Yankee and half Southerner. I lived in Massachusetts until I was 13, and spent the next 13 and 1/2 years of my life in South Carolina. I claim both places. It's never a simple answer when someone asks me where I'm from.. they should be prepared to hear my life story.
2. We almost lost our son when he was born. None of his vital functions were working. Wasn't able to breath on his own, control his BP, eat..nothing. It was the scariest, saddest, most unreal part of my life. Luckily, he is a champ and improved quickly.. he was out of the NICU in a week and 1/2. That was a miserable week and a half.
3.  I don't like plain milk. Only chocolate milk.
4. I'm attempting to grow my little own garden of Cilantro. I love it that much. I put it on everything.
5. I'm very sarcastic. It used to be almost to a fault. I've simmered down.. but only a little.
6. I put an ungodly amount of pepper on my food. So much so that people give me strange looks when they see this happening and it makes me a little self conscience. I get it from my dad and my brothers are the same way. I think I used to see my dad doing it and probably wanted to be cool like him. I don't really even taste it anymore.
7. I have 2 brothers. I'm the oldest child. One brother, Charlie, is 7 years younger than me. The other one, Steven, is almost 14 years younger than me. I want one more child semi-soon. I want my kids to be closer in age. (my brothers and I are very close despite the age difference)
8. (my husband is helping me with this because I can't think of much... this one is from him) I've never in my life met a stranger, even though I get nervous when I'm meeting new people. Give me an hour with most people and I will know their life history and we'll have a coffee date for the next week.
9. In most ways, I'm married to my polar opposite. I'm very optimistic and will see the brighter side in most things.. glass half full kind of gal. He tends to focus on the negative... he's finally improving after knowing me for 9 years. He makes me laugh almost constantly though.
~ Ohhh my gosh.. I still need 5 more??? ~
10. I bite my nails and I'm not even remotely worried about the germs I'm consuming while doing so.
11. I'm a great story teller.
12.I'm terrified of the dentist and haven't been for a cleaning in two years. (feel free to leave comments motivating me to go).
13.I'm also scared of any type of insects (PETRIFIED actually.. as in it alters my quality of life), clowns, bridges, the dark.. basically a lot of stuff.
14. This is really weird, but I'll put it out there. I can't touch cotton balls. I find it hard to type this.. my palms are sweating. The feeling of them stretching and the sound they make give me full, complete body chills. Even some things that are made out of cotton.. like those blankets people make that have the little taggies on the end. I tried to make one once and couldn't finish. I couldn't tie the little ends together without going into convulsions. Echhh...
15. I 100% believe in ghosts, but not at all in aliens.