yes, we still exist.

To say I underestimated how busy I would be during this deployment is an understatement. Yeah. I feel like I am still catching my breath from the holiday season and it’s already Spring Break. I am still allowed to use that term, since I’m still a student.

 

Things of note:

- Grady is growing like a weed. He is talking non-stop, working on potty learning, takes a weekly gymnastics class, and is loving his time spent at school. Such a big boy!

- I graduate in May! You didn’t see it, but I totally just did a cartwheel and a toe touch.

- The brewery is keeping us hopping (beer geeks may chuckle at that)!

- A new photography season is looming on the horizon. While I am excited about seeing my clients again, I am a little nervous.

- I will be writing a bi-weekly article for the Hope Star Journal. SO, if you want to know what it’s all about, pick up a copy. If I find some time, I may write about my little article subjects here on the blog. I could always copy and paste, but that takes work :)

- The deployment is passing… I can’t say quickly. I can’t say slowly. Time seems to be flying but the deployment seems to be dragging. I realize this is an impossibility, since the two are quite closely connected to one another, but there you have it.

- Abe is doing well, though is he ready to come home. We’re ready to receive him!

 

There you have it! A quick update without any pictures. I am so lame. Feel free to agree!

acceptable is acceptable.

This year, I need to focus on making some changes within myself. I really struggle with disappointment in myself. I always feel as though I could be doing better. I could be a better wife, a better mom, a better business owner, a better student, a better daughter, sister, etc.

Now, I don’t feel like there is anything inherently wrong with the desire to better oneself. In fact, I think it is a great thing to always strive to be better in life. It is great to have the desire to not only better oneself but to have a positive impact on others’ lives by being a better person. Striving to be better is honorable.

My problem is that I have this unattainable standard of “better” for myself. I am very hard on myself. I am not good enough, period, no matter how hard I try. I’m not talking about materialistic things here. I’m okay with my body, my looks, my car, my wardrobe, etc. I realize that I live an incredibly blessed life with a wonderful (patient, understanding, kind, and – I’ll be a little shallow – handsome) husband, a healthy, intelligent, vivacious son, and incredibly supportive family. We do not know need. We do not know true suffering. We are truly blessed.

The root of my issues, I think, is a result of this issue I have with wasted potential. I know that I am capable of so much, there is all this potential within me, but I cannot seem to do anything 100%. I cannot give all of myself to any one thing and that frustrates me. I have anxiety issues and, as a result, control issues. This wasted potential seems to be within my control, yet at the same time beyond my control. When I feel like I am not the best I can be at whatever it is I am attempting to accomplish, I really, really, really beat myself up. Badly. This has to stop. Because when I beat myself up, I feel rotten about myself and this rotten feeling seeps into other areas of my life and I wind up hurting those wonderful people I mentioned above.

This year I am going to attempt to focus on the idea that acceptable is, well, acceptable. Of course, I won’t give up on being the best I can be at whatever it is I am taking on, but if I fall short of excellence, acceptable is acceptable. If I don’t miss a deadline but my work is still accomplished and not inconveniencing others, acceptable is acceptable. If I don’t manage to get all As and Bs in my (final three!!!) classes and get a C, acceptable is acceptable.

I have to lose this need to control everything. Wasted potential is sad; it is not the end of the world. There is always next week, next month, next year to refocus on certain goals and to be better. Obviously, we do not live forever and we are not promised tomorrow, but today I am going to focus on being kind to me, doing the best I can, and being accepting of myself at the times when I fall short of my potential.

instagram photo dump

Each week Every once in a blue moon, I will unload a few of my favorites I have uploaded to my Instagram feed so that you may have a peek into our life. Sorry I didn’t number the images this week. Numbers 1-4 are the top row, 5-8 and 9-12 in the middle and 13-16in the bottom row.

 

1) we got growlers! 2) surprise – we got our small brewer’s permit! 3) HUGE SURPRISE – we got to visit Abram before he shipped out to Kuwait!!! 4) I made a really delicious pumpkin beer 5) Grady, (my pal) Jackie and I hit up the orchard 6) Grady was not feeling well 7) we picked some pumpkins 8) we carved some pumpkins 9) Grady makes an adorable dinosaur 10) mama likes to snuggle her baby dino 11) Nutella is delicious/hilarious 12) mama adds to her Christmas list 13) Grady + mama had a delicious, and wet, lunch date 14) Grady got a robe 15) mama does market research 16) Grady is a handsome devil

a month gone by

Or, I should say, flown by.

Holy cow. Where did October go? Give me a big fat fail for my blogging grade. I absolutely did not have a moment of free time to blog. From the time of my last post (exactly one month ago), I had NINETEEN sessions, including a wedding, knocked out another month of my 12-credit-hour school schedule and managed to survive another month of the deployment.

This deployment is passing surprisingly quickly. Wow. Thank goodness. It has been a little bit stressful but, honestly, I haven’t had much time to think about how much it sucks ;) Grady and I are able to “hangout” with Abe on Google+ Hangouts. We’ve found that the connectivity blows Skype out of the water. It takes a bit of getting used to, to navigate to the actual “hangout” itself, but it is worth it. We have not once had dropped service since switching, which is much better than the 3-4 interruptions we were experiencing with Skype. It is really wonderful to be able to chat with Abe so often though Grady still has some difficulty with saying goodbye to daddy at the end of our calls.

I really am hoping to jump back into posting here as the holidays rapidly approach. I’ll have more free time once this semester is over (in one month, one week and one day – not that I’m counting or anything). I am taking a self-imposed photography hiatus until this-coming Spring. I am so thankful that I stay so busy with my little business but at the same time, it has been quite overwhelming this Fall and I am feeling the need to be obligation free for a little while. Destress. Unwind.

More to come!

sewing off some steam.

I’m pretty sure you’re all aware by now that I am not fond of the idea of Abram being gone for nine more months. Nine. More. Months. That is super lame. Over the course of the past two months while Abe has been training and preparing for this deployment, I allowed myself to wallow in a deep pit of self-pity.

 

Then I realized that it was time to grow up and face the fact that we are a family that is incredibly blessed. We have a strong, happy marriage. We have a beautiful, healthy son. We have the most supportive family in the history of time. What’s a little time apart? Of course it stinks but we’ll get through it!

 

I decided to channel my irritation with our current situation into something positive. While reading through my blog roll, Jill over at Tatertots & Jello mentioned a program where you could receive a free quilt kit in the mail to sew up a quick and simple quilt for a sick child. This piqued my interest and I did a little bit of searching and eventually happened upon Quilts for Kids. I immediately ordered a quilt kit. It was time to sew off some steam!

 

After receiving my quilt kit, chaos became a way of life and there is sat for about a month. Sad. Every day, I would see the cute fabric sitting there, just waiting to be stitched together, my guilt building and building. One day, when I was feeling particularly low and Grady was finally down for a nap, I decided to jump in and get the sewing machine up and whirring once again.

 

This was the easiest quilt ever. All of the pieces were already trimmed to size. Instructions for piecing the quilt were included. This was smooth, easy sewing at its finest – and all for a great cause! So, if you are even a little handy with a sewing machine and would like to send some warmth and comfort to a sick child, you should definitely sign up to receive one of these quilt kits. It felt good to send a little bit of love out in the mail today. I hope the child who receives this quilt will be on the mend soon and will live to be as healthy and happy as the little guy Abe and I are so blessed to call our own.