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First Fiesta

Because I’m feeling super nostalgic, I wanted to share Landon’s first birthday! I love Facebook memories, don’t you? Sometimes, though, they hit me straight in the heart. Lately, mine have been flooded with pictures of Landon from last year. I ask Nathan, “who is this baby?!” 😰 It always hits me how quickly time is fleeting us.

He’s so big and independent now! He brushes his own teeth, I find him reading so reverently in his room (I usually think he’s doing something he shouldn’t be and then find that!), he lathers himself up in the bath….. I feel guilty saying this, but I miss my newborn. The baby who needed me for everything. He’s 18 months now and his first birthday seems like it was ages ago.

*I need a time machine, to go back to these skin to skin moments with my peaceful, brand new babe*

Before we knew it, Landon was ONE!!! We had a small celebration at home (because it was January in New England, gross) with some of our friends. I love how everything turned out! A fellow Navy wife and friend made his adorable & delicious cake, my sweet friend Lauren made his cookies and everyone LOVED those! And, one of my besties did all the shopping with me and talked me down from spending a ridiculous amount at Party City 😛

No time to siesta, it’s Landon’s first fiesta!

Decorations were mainly Amazon and Etsy!

Nathan and I decided, moving forward, we will give him experiences instead of parties & gifts on his birthday. On his special day we will go pick out a new book and then take him somewhere fun to celebrate. Memories are far more valuable than material things and I want him to always cherish our family time together. I plan to put photo books together to document all the fun he had each year on his birthday and give it to him down the road!

Landon, you are our greatest adventure.

Xo.

A stranger

“Just wait until you have kids, you’ll see how much it changes everything…..” most of us have heard some derivative of this, right?

I’ve always known who I was. When I had my son, everything changed. Not in a bad way, but it did change. I went from working six days 50+ hours a week to staying at home. I stayed home while pregnant actually because of some complications. That in itself was a huge adjustment. Typically, I was fiercely independent. So, the idea of depending on someone else was tough. But, this was my new role, a stay at home mom. I always swore that when I had children, I would immediately go back to work. I never wanted to stay home and I certainly never wanted to depend on my husband to solely support us. But, things just haven’t worked that way.

I would be lying if I said I haven’t struggled. Sometimes, I look at myself and it’s like looking at a stranger passing by me in Target (obviously). Some days, I’ve sat down and cried because I feel like I am drowning. I often question what do I bring to the table? Do I have anything appealing about me anymore? I look for constant reassurance from my husband, which I’m sure is utterly exhausting to him.

•• This was a post on my Instagram from February of 2017. I’m still trying to find that girl••

Talking to a very dear friend of mine the other day, she said she feels as though she’s standing behind a glass wall and it’s shattering but she can’t control or fix any of it. It has been so long since I have related to someone so deeply. That little statement has stuck with me because it is absolutely how I feel.

There are moments when I’m so annoyed that all my son wants is me and then I feel immediate guilt for feeling the tiniest bit annoyed. I consistently beat myself up if I don’t do “enough” with Landon during the day. I didn’t take him to the park, I promised a day at the pool but the pool was closed, we didn’t color….. When we finally head to bed after a long day I can’t sleep. My husband says “babe, what’s wrong? Just go to sleep” but I don’t tell him that I’m disappointed in myself for getting upset with Landon, or that my constant worrying if I’m the mother I should, be is what keeps me up at night.

I’ve come to realize that not everyday will be like this. There are mornings when I wake up, ready! Ready for whatever is thrown at me that day; literally and figuratively — it’s usually eggs, sausage and yogurt. Those days when I wake up ready, it’s my glimmer of hope. A subtle reminder from God that I won’t always feel this way.

A reminder to myself and all other Momma’s. You are enough, give yourself some grace. We are on this wild ride together and you are not alone ♥️

Xo.

The good stuff

This past week was a roller coaster, to say the least! It was like I couldn’t get my head above water. Anytime I was finally getting ahead; something else happened and I was back at square one.

Landon gave me a run for my money and by the time Nathan came home, I was ready to throw in the towel. I feel so guilty when I’m irritable and frustrated, but it happens and it probably happens more often than it should.

I shared these pictures on my Instagram (@ourbasehouse) and I typed up a long caption to paint a crystal clear picture of the crappy week I had…… but then, after reading the caption, I deleted the post entirely.

I mean, how precious are these?! And our wild dogs that are always close behind him. The Three Musketeers. I deleted them because I realized; I focus SO HEAVY on the bad parts of the day. When Landon fights me at nap time, when I see dog hair all over the floor after vacuuming and mopping the day prior, I filled up a fresh diffuser and Landon threw it off the table….. those are the things that stick with me. Why?! It’s so unfair because so many wonderful things happen, too!

When the house is finally picked up, ok semi picked up because well; one toddler and two dogs 😝. I sit here looking around and remember when my baby boy came to me out of nowhere and wrapped those little tiny arms around my neck! Or when he leans over on the couch and says “mmmm-maw!” and wants a kiss, those are the moments that need to stick with me during the day.

I’ve made a promise to myself that I’m going to focus on the good stuff, and let the little stuff roll off my shoulders. I’m going to let my toddler be a toddler and we will navigate this season of life together. He’s not little forever and it breaks this momma’s heart ❤

Xo.

A clean slate

Anytime anything monumental happens in my life, I’ve always had re do my space. Even as a young teen, I constantly rearranged my bedroom and picked out new pieces to change the energy in my tiny little space. It became a joke…. break up? I was moving furniture. Promotion at work? I was buying new bedding. 😂 it’s kind of my thing. I like having a clean slate to start fresh in!

My family moves often and I LOVE when the creative juices start flowing and I have 1500 sq. feet of new potential to get my hands on!

I’ve found inspiration in so many places lately! Some of my favorite pieces and ideas I’ve found on Instagram and of course- I often fall down the rabbit hole that is Pinterest. Like every other girl in the world, right? Ha!

Roaming the At Home store with a friend yesterday, we were joking about decorating with family photos. Am I one of the few people who doesn’t like decorating our home with pictures of friends and family? I mean, I see “us” every day— why do I need photos everywhere? :-p to each their own!

I tend to gravitate towards neutrals. Tans, cream, white and I pull colors from plants and greenery around the house. Fake plants are life…. I keep my child alive and I cannot be responsible for plants, my plate is full. Just saying!

Drop cloths, vintage Pyrex bowls, galvanized metal & cows are my thing. So, here’s a little peek at our base house “farmhouse”.

Where I shop: Hobby Lobby, Kirkland’s, Jaxn Blvd, Michaels or At Home. My Pyrex bowls have been gifted to me or I’ve been lucky enough to find some at thrift stores and antique shops!

Xo.

Living interrupted

It’s an interesting way to live. Knowing that each person you meet, each place you’re calling home and each new relationship made is on a timer. New orders will eventually rear it’s ugly head and you, or the people you’ve grown to love and survive with, will be leaving.

Hi! I’m a submariners wife; posting on a military spouse page in a new duty station asking for you to be my friend. I’ll show up to most functions alone because, he’s always gone. It’s fine, I’m fine. Don’t worry, I’ll always bring wine and my inappropriate sarcastic humor. I’ll stay at a BBQ until 3am with people I’ve never met before that night, pouring my heart out and sharing stories. We can exchange numbers & you can call me whenever an underway is just too long, or you need to pack for a trip and want some company, or tell me you need help cleaning before your man comes home from deployment. Dare I mention the mouse removal?! 😛 I’m on my way…. with wine or Ben & Jerry’s. ❤

The truth is, we don’t have much time to get to know each other. We don’t have 20+ years together (and counting) like I had with my childhood best friend. This life gives us 3-5 years and then we keep in touch via rants on Snapchat and the occasional text message confessing how much we love and miss each other. In those few short years, the bond made is as undeniably strong as those submarines/surface ships that take our sailors away.

Words will never truly express how grateful I am for these relationships. For the opportunity to break down walls and let new people in time and time again. We’ve watched boats pull away together and each of us held it together until we were alone….. we cried hand in hand on the pier anxiously watching the boat pull back in. We’ve made countless Target runs together (to stress buy things we don’t need, because- deployment sucks), celebrated holidays together, we order unlimited chicken tenders while sharing all the gory details of our lives, and even a trip to the ER so you weren’t alone. We’re family, we’re a tribe and we’re strong together.

I saw something recently in a group I’m in and it said “they too shall PCS” (meaning those bad ass people will soon be packing up and leaving). A harsh reality. Our lives are eventually interrupted & the cycle starts over. Lately, I’ve found myself missing home. I miss Phoenix, of course. But I also miss everywhere else. My heart is in so many different places that I’m not sure I’ll ever be completely “HOME” again. I’ll pay that price over and over again for the richness of loving and knowing people at each duty station.

To my girls; I love you all. May our paths cross again. Cheers.

Xo.

Small towns talk

I grew up in Phoenix. Sure, I know a lot of people but the chances of me seeing someone I knew at the grocery store or gas station were slim. To be honest, I like it that way 😛 I didn’t have to worry about someone seeing me with yesterday’s make up and day three of dry shampoo hair.

When I met my now husband, he was stationed in Groton, CT. A small town. A military community at that which makes a small town even smaller. It’s similar to a high school locker room. Ya feel me? For the sake of transparency, here’s more of our story…..

Nathan was caught up in a nasty divorce when we met, it was in process for about a year at that time. He was a single man when we met, living alone for over a year and fighting to put an end to a toxic life he once had. Closing that chapter was proving to be more difficult than he ever anticipated, especially when we wanted our life together to start. It’s funny what a woman will project on to another in an effort to try and correct her wrongs. I became her punching bag.

Small towns talk, and I was center stage. I was butt naked in front of an entire community of navy wives to ridicule. I was referred to as “the other woman” once, harassed, followed, watched, threatened; all by people reporting back to the ghost in his past. I was questioned for things I never did all because she was impersonating me trying to get classified information pertaining to Nathan’s submarine. Hard to believe this was our life for two years, right?

Being the center of attack is even harder when your significant other is consistently gone. I then had to fight and advocate for my sailor while he was out to sea. The semi truck seemed to hit us even harder while he was gone….

The mental, financial and emotional abuse got the best of us, some days. We took our anger & frustrations out on each other. How could we not? We were facing a monster and it was beating us. But, the funny thing about monsters is; they don’t have any power. Well, not really. We took our power back and fought back.

Countless hours in court, thousands of dollars and after World War three; it came to an end. It was finally over. I’d be lying if I said everything was “fixed” once it was done. My name would still come up, did they think I didn’t know what their stares were about? Did they think I didn’t notice the blatantly obvious snickering when I walked by? I noticed, I heard it all but I wasn’t giving up my power again. I went home and bitched about it to my best friends, like a normal person 😛 It’s funny though, more and more truth started to surface about her and the spotlight on Nathan and I started to slowly burn out.

For us, leaving New England was almost cleansing. We were able to move on and start over in another small town but they don’t talk about us now. Packing up our family and pulling away was calming. Calming like it was after a big snow storm; haunting but peaceful. Even the biggest blizzards start with a single snowflake and ours had finally past.

I promised raw, real, and unfiltered. This is part of our journey.

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The storms pass and then there is beauty.

Xo.

Embracing the fall

There are things that happen in life and sometimes they happen so fast that it knocks the wind out of you. Its like your legs were kicked from beneath you and you’re about to face plant. We’ve all had moments like this, right? Sometimes it leads you down a rocky road but sometimes, you find beauty.

At the end of 2012 I was working at a bank, and I loved what I did (for the most part lol). I had my own place, I was doing well for myself, I was having fun but I was dating all the wrong people…. A very dear friend of mine mentioned that she wanted to introduce me to someone. Umm, eye roll. It wasn’t just anyone, he was in the military, a good person, determined, handsome; all those qualities you pray for in a partner. At that time, I just came back from a horrid Vegas trip with my then boyfriend, I was in the midst of a break up and still obsessing over a toxic person from my past. Who in their right mind would want to introduce this train wreck to another person?! Haha!

Over lunch with a girlfriend she told me “you have to love yourself first and then learn to love what is GOOD for you.” I needed that. I needed to be reminded that I was worthy of so much more, I didn’t need to fix someone and fight for them to love me. I needed to love ME.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable.” – C.S. Lewis

A few months later I was sitting in front of my laptop screen, struggling to find the right words to message a complete stranger. Yep, you guessed it, that handsome military man my friend wanted me to meet. S C A R Y stuff, guys! My sweaty palms and trembling fingers whipped up something quick and I hit send. Talk about vulnerability!!! He ignored my message (he denies it to this day, but I know the truth LOL) and that didn’t sit well with me, so I reached out again with some major convincing and liquid courage. We hit it off and connected so deeply over simple messages and Skype calls.

Everything after that was a whirlwind. I moved, I found a new job, I found that undeniable-can’t live with out you-type of love. Just a few months after meeting we were living together and navigating new waters. It’s crazy to actually type our love story out. I don’t think either of us have ever thought about anything less!

I fell and I fell hard. ❤ It wasn’t always easy and we almost broke, a few times. With a little bit of grace, we are still here.

XO.

 

Letters to me

Is this for real, right now?! I’ve thought about starting this for a long time. I’ve created countless blog entries and then deleted them; I didn’t want to get too personal and I didn’t want to let too many people in.

When you open yourself up you put yourself at risk for so many things; criticism, judgement, a differing of opinions etc. Not to mention the wave of emotions that come with those risks. But you know what else?! You open yourself up for love and encouragement, connections you didn’t know you needed and support. Vulnerability is a funny thing, isn’t it? It can be utterly terrifying but opening up your heart to it can lead to rewarding experiences.

This space will be where I can write letters to me & my family. Letters that I can come and get lost in when I need to soak up a little bit of happiness and self love. A place where I can document the adventures we’ve had (the messy and beautiful ones) and a place where I can be transparent.

Here it goes; this is me, this is us & this is our journey.

XO.