Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Constantly Learning...

Justin has been gone for 3 weeks now, long enough, I feel, to do some reflecting on our experience thus far. I have learned a whole heckuva lot in these three weeks! About myself, my children, my faith, my marriage... The number one lesson I've come away with, so far, is that Ainsley and I are a lot more resilient than I gave us credit for! I wasn't really sure how I would deal with this, but I haven't been the puddle I was worried I'd become (other than at the airport. And our last phone call. But that's to be expected!). Instead, I have made the decision to be 1000% the best mom I can possibly be to my girls in this stage of our life I've come to know as my "single mom" stage. Not that I would ever want to be anything less than the best I can be, but I'm trying to be more conscious and intentional about it. In doing so, so far I have discovered this:
1) Just being here, holding hands and snuggling and playing with my children, pretty much makes me the best mom. :) So I can cut myself a little slack when I find myself overwhelmed, tired, and cranky. 
2) Everyday, I feel like I meet my children for the first time all over again. They are both at such amazing ages right now, with developing personalities and temperaments. There's something new and different about them everyday! It's a strange juxtaposition: I know these girls, deeply. (One of the lines from Friends that I will never forget, that still resounds deeply every time I watch that episode: When Rachel and Ross are having their baby, and Rachel finally delivers; the doctor hands her the baby and Rachel says to her, "I know you." Exactly how I have felt the first time holding both of my girls.) Yet I am getting to know them right along with the rest of the world. One of my favorite parts of motherhood. :) 
Ainsley is becoming an awesome little girl with a personality to match her name. I've always said she marches to the beat of her own drum. She is silly, sweet, stubborn, a little spacey, smarter than I can believe. She loves to tease, dance and sing. Reading books and coloring soothes her. She enjoys play dates, but over all prefers alone time, my little introvert. She will eat almost anything, but chocolate is king. She is a seamless blend of Justin and I in personality, and she amazes me daily. 
At just 3 months, Emma's personality is starting to show too. She is much more laid back than her big sister. She loves people, and being held and cuddled. She hates being left alone, even for a minute, and I really should just stay within her line of vision at all times! She is becoming very generous with smiles and coos. She is a mama's girl, and I have no complaints about it! She loves her big sister, and keeps an eye on her always. 
3) My faith is nowhere near where it has been in the past, or where it should be. I have sorely neglected spending time in the Word and in prayer, and I have realized that I want my girls to become women of strong faith, and I need to be an example to them, even at their young ages, of what that looks like. So I am reacquainting myself with The Lord. Thank God for grace!
4) I have never doubted the strength of my marriage, and I never doubted we would survive these months apart.  But I am discovering just how strong we are. We have gone from talking to each other all day about everything, to sharing little snippets of our totally separate lives through a couple letters a week. Yet there is no feeling of disconnect. Actually, I feel closer to Justin now than I have in a very long time. Interesting how stressful times can do that in a marriage. Looking back on the last 6 years, I can see that our strongest times were when we were faced with a crisis or great stress. I think that says a lot about a marriage. Go us!

We still have a long way to go on this adventure. But we've survived 3 weeks, so I think we'll be just fine. :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

And the adventure begins...

Well, we put Justin on the plane yesterday morning. He's in Denver for two days, then off to San Antonio until June. Saying goodbye at the airport was absolutely awful. I watched him talk and sing with Ainsley and finally it all hit me, reality sank in, and I cried and cried and cried. Then he held Emma and I cried some more. Thank God my family met us at the airport so I didn't have to be by myself with the girls. Once we left the airport, I was ok, and have been, but tonight we'll be home and that will suck. Big time.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Time For An Adventure

My oh my, how things have changed...

I won't bother trying to totally update since my last post, but I'll give a quick one so we're all on the same page:

We are now living in Fergus Falls. Ainsley Marie is nearly 2 1/2 (!), and we've welcomed sweet Emma Patricia into our family, on February 4, 2013. I work part time as a PCA, and just started back at work this week. I'm so blessed to be able to take Emma with me, while Ainsley hangs out with Grandma and Grandpa. Justin has been working 2 jobs, and is leaving on April 14 for almost 9 months of training with the Colorado Air National Guard. And thus our adventure begins...

I'm so grateful that I have the support and help of my parents while Justin is gone. I know without a doubt that moving to Fergus was the best decision we could have made in this adventure. I miss my friends a lot, and our church, but I knew my family would be what I need. We've found a church we like and I'm hoping to get plugged into, and Ainsley is in ECFE, so we've met lots of moms and "friends".

To say that I'm dreading Justin leaving would be an understatement. It's come so fast and suddenly I'm faced with essentially being a single mom for 9 months. Terrified is probably a more accurate word. Not only am I going to be raising a baby and toddler alone for 9 months, my best friend and partner isn't around. I'm pretty much throwing all of my energy into the girls, so I don't wallow and become a hermit. My coping mechanism when I'm sad is usually to hide out, watch tv, and eat. Thank God I have busy children to keep me equally busy, or I would be a wreck!

So that's our new adventure. We're soaking up every minute we have together as a family before next Sunday. And then we go from there and count down the days to June 13 when we get to see Justin again!