A Day in the Life // At Home

Kristina Neri of Anza Foto is a documentary style photographer who has an eye for the naked truth. She captures moments you thought only gimplses of vivid memory existed, the moments you never want to forget. I was honored to have her in my home to capture a time in my life I treasured and never wanted to forget. Now, I don’t have to worry about those feelings ever becoming a distant memory because the photos she captures hold feelings as well.
Did I mention she is not only my cousin, but we were born on the same day, same room, same doctor (she is 4 hours older), and we were even married in the same year AND her and her husband are Peter’s Godparents!

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Stephen had been on deployment and I was pregnant. Peter and I spent everyday together and formed a bond we probably would not had formed had Stephen not been deployed. We both missed Stephen down to our bones and talked about “Dada” everyday. Peter and I had so many good and hard times together, but mostly fun!

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Thank you Kristina for capturing these special moments.
I recommend you going to her website and looking at her award winning photographs anzafotofilm.

 

Hurry Up and Wait // Again

Remember when Pilot was supposed to come home from deployment on a certain day but the weather had other plans? I find the military’s motto is “hurry up and wait,” and it happens all too often. We were suppose to find out our orders for the next 3 years but alas, we did not find out. They said by next week; however, I am not about to hold my breath.
While we wait, we do yard work.
Well, some of us anyway.
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PCS // Huh?!

I have been extremely lucky being a military wife. It is rare to have never moved before if you are involved in the military, they call it PCS “Permanent Change of Station.” After graduating from flight school, Pilot was stationed in San Diego, where we are both from! Well, it has almost been 3 years since that day and unfortunately you are usually stationed somewhere for only 3 years at a time.

I am not familiar with the military lifestyle because I have never moved before. I have my family with me here and have been fortunate enough to have 2 kids with the support of my entire family close by.  I’m scared. I’m afraid to leave my home and move somewhere alone without my support system.

However, it has always been a dream of mine to live overseas, but now that I have kids, my priorities have changed a bit. That dream is still alive within me but it will be more difficult to actually live it out. I’m not saying we are going overseas (because we don’t know where we are going), but I will be moving somewhere outside of San Diego and taking my children with me.

I have been praying for strength and trust that no matter where we go, I can be strong for my kids and husband.

OSC. Officer Spouses Club. I have met so many great men, women and children through this organization and I am so grateful. 99% of the people who are stationed here in SD are not from here and the OSC has been a strong backbone for those who need the support. I will become involved in the OSC once I move because these women are going to be the ones I go to for wine and ice cream. But seriously, probably just ice cream.

Pilot and I find out tomorrow where we will be spending the next 3 years of our lives. Strange having our fate put into the hands of someone else. I don’t like it so much, but I signed up for this life when I married the Navy pilot.

So, let’s do this.

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Peter and his cousins on his birthday.

 

 

 

Almond Milk // Easy

Now that I am not pregnant anymore and possessed with cravings that bring me to driving across town for a cinnamon roll, I am ready to start eating better and feeling better!

I made this almond milk to jump-start my habits of eating more raw and preparing what goes into my body myself, I am becoming more aware of what I eat. I do not cook. I do, but I really don’t enjoy cooking. This was one of the reasons why eating mostly raw appealed to me! The most you have to do is blending, mixing and soaking your food to prepare it. YAY.

So here is a recipe for almond milk, I highly recommend not eating or drinking dairy, once you cut it out of your diet, I promise you will start feeling better (even if you’re not feeling bad to begin with, you will be even better!).

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Almond Milk

1 cup of soaked almonds (soaking the almonds overnight rids them of phytic acid, an acid that prevents your body from absorbing important vitamins and minerals present in the almond).

4 cups of water

Dates or pure vanilla

Blend soaked almonds and water together for a few minutes until it looks like milk.

Strain the mixture through a cheese cloth and pour the new almond milk back into the blender with either the dates or vanilla. Blend until smooth.

Pour your almond milk into a pitcher or container and enjoy!

Refrigerate up to 7 days.

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Postpartum // Necessities just shy of a keg

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  1. Night nursing bras – They are usually more comfortable than the ones worn during the day.
  2. Day nursing bras – I don’t know how anyone survives months of nursing without one! I have about 5 now and thank God for the inventor of these easy peak a boo bras!
  3. Washable nursing pads – I usually wear these at night, however, if you are a heavy leaker, these may not work so well for you.
  4. Protein powder – I put this on my list because I am hungry ALL THE TIME while nursing! I kid you not, I am constantly snacking so this powder at least will stick with me a while and its excellent for you!
  5. Nipple Cream – Kinda awkward but man oh man I could not have survived the first few weeks of nursing without it. Catalina has a small mouth and that made for extremely painful nursing. Think about it…better to be prepared.
  6. Disposable nursing pads – Self- explanatory. I wear these 24/7.
  7. Motrin – I don’t take ANY medicine usually but just a warning, if this is your second child (or more), than you will need Motrin in your medicine cabinet the first week or 2. Nursing causes contractions, real labor contractions to shrink the uterus. With my first, I didn’t need anything, but after having my second baby, I was sending my husband to the store ASAP!!
  8. Pads – Big pads.
  9. Witch Hazel –Place these on your pad directly to the area. Witch hazel contains chemicals called tannins. When applied directly to the skin it helps reduce swelling, help repair broken skin, and fight bacteria. Believe me, you’ll want anything to help down there.

This is the stuff that saved me the first few weeks postpartum, I hope my list helps you too! Good luck and remember, this too shall pass (and sometimes too quickly).

Redwood Kings // Discovery

A few months ago, Peter and I had the honor of taking part in the filming of Redwood Kings. It began airing last night and will be on again tonight on Discovery at 9pm EST in case you missed it. Below are some behind the scenes pictures from the filming. Hope you enjoy!

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Getting ready to crane the hull into place.
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Peter checking out his new treehouse!
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Ron and John Daniels with the finished product.

Pause // Precious Moments

“Yesterday was history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.” – Bil Keane

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Peter and I have had the past 7 months to form a bond we wouldn’t have been able to form had Pilot not deployed. Don’t get me wrong, in my perfect life Pilot would have never left, however, making the best of our situation this is what I know.
All we have is today.

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With a growing baby in my belly, Peter has watched it grow. From the very beginning he showed her/him love with the sweetest of kisses and a touch that would melt your heart. I have come to know a sensitive boy who loves his Mom more than anything in the world. I cherish the time we have together because as I get closer to having this baby, it makes me realize this time with
Peter now is special and we will never get it back.

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I had not realized the mixed emotions that come with having a second child. I am thrilled beyond measure, but the sweetness turns sour when I realize Peter will no longer be my all.

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I have been amazed how love grows and I have no doubt God will continue to bless me with a full heart of enough love for my husband, Peter and the new baby. As humans it is easy to doubt, however, through prayer I intend to stay strong. I love you Peter and you will always hold a special place in my heart.

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Dress is Free People (old)
Peter is wearing Zara

Live Life // While Dad is Away

Peter and I both have been acting a little on the loco side today. Pilot left yesterday and Peter misses him, asking where “dad” is ALL day. I kid you not this is how it goes:

Peter: “Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom?”

Me: “Yes, Peter?”

Peter: “Dad?”

Me: “Dad is at work. He will be home in a few weeks.”

Peter: “Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom?”

Me: “Yes, Peter?”

Peter: “Dad?”

….

You get the picture. After an entire day of this, my patience starts running a little low. I feel horrible cause I know he wants to understand more about where Dad is. Peter knows that Dad flies “hos,” (God I wish he was able to say HELO) so when I say he is at work he points to the sky and makes the sound of a helo. He is still too young to understand time and that is what makes it so difficult.

Today during the time he usually naps, he just lay in bed talking to himself and kicking me in the back and hitting me with his “B” (blankie) because, yes, I was trying to nap too. After 40 minutes of this, I said screw it, and we got up and played with his trains for about an hour. He was being extremely short tempered so I thought we should get an early dinner at Costco! Great pregnant idea. I loaded him in the car and he passes out. Of flippin’ course. I turned back around and he slept for about an hour and a half making it a very late nap. Grumpy gills woke up and it was scary. Instead of staying home with an emotionally scary toddler, my pregnant urges brought us out of the house once again for food.

Ice cream fixes everything. I kid you not. Of course the fix is temporary, but who the heck cares when I can get a happy kid for 5 minutes! I was happy and Peter was happy. We both got to forget our troubles while nibbling on delicious sugar coated greatness.

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Freaking Out

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I told Pilot I wanted to be weak.

I wanted at least a day to be sad about him leaving again. He didn’t quite understand my reasoning or lack thereof.

I know I’m supposed to be “lucky” he only went on half a deployment.

I know I’m supposed to be “lucky” he is coming home for the birth of baby #2.

I know I’m supposed to be “lucky” I have my family here.

Well you know what? I have been counting my blessings and thanking God everyday, however, today I just want to be sad.

I don’t think it’s such a bad thing. It’s important to express how we feel.

It’s great to be brave.

Suck it up.

Smile.

Count my blessings.

Not today.

Today I am going to be sad.

Pilot left when I was 8 weeks pregnant and came home when I was 28 weeks pregnant.

He is home for 3 weeks and leaves again until I am 40 weeks pregnant.

I normally wouldn’t be feeling so sorry for myself but our baby is breech and it’s freaking me out.

I am going to the chiropractor, acupuncture and putting myself in really strange positions trying to flip this baby before it’s “too late.”

So…with Pilot leaving again soon and this baby very comfy in the breech position, my mind is running at 100mph.

I can’t sleep.

I am finding it harder to smile as his departure date gets closer.

My pregnancy with Peter was so different.

We ooed and awed over my growing belly everyday.

Preparation for baby #2 almost feels like a chore.

I need to buy more diapers.

I need to set up the bassinet.

I need to put the baby swing together.

I need to buy the second seat for the stroller.

This may be normal after the first child. Who has that time anymore to prep the way we did?

At any rate, it’s making me feel sad and lonely.

The doctor is saying we can try and flip the baby manually at 36 weeks but we will have to do it in the hospital in case anything happens and they need to do emergency c-section.

Freaking out.

Peter’s birth wasn’t exactly a piece of cake but Pilot and I studied and executed the Bradley Method with Peter’s birth.

Neither of us have cracked that book open since.

I continue to pray for God’s grace and strength in Him and not the fear within myself.

I had my day to feel sorry for myself but I think it’s time to snap out of it and honestly take a step back and look at what God has blessed me with.

It would be so easy to stay in my slump and mope.

Not tomorrow.

Tomorrow is a new day.

I will treat it as one.