A baby out of left field (some girl talk)

Due to it taking so long to get pregnant with Patrick another child had not even crossed our minds…we were in the midst of a move and I was still nursing…we even thought I had had an early, stressed lightened cycle (normal for me)…But then in early March I became very tired, very emotional, and always hungry…I accounted the tiredness to the fact that I had just begun homeschooling Jacob and was trying to replicate his charter school by doing every subject they did and then some, plus I had a 1 year old I was chasing around the house…but the emotional and hunger just didn’t make sense to me…so I thought maybe I could be pregnant, but that it would be too soon to test…well, the feelings didn’t go away and curiosity got the better of me…so I went and got a test…before I could even put the thing down it was positive…

Because we were once again referred off base for prenatal care I was able to go in as soon as my referral was approved…which I was guessing was about 8 weeks…well when I went in, little one had arms and legs on the ultra sound and actually looked like a baby…I was 12 weeks…I didn’t have an early cycle, I had implantation bleeding…it was kind of nice to skip the first trimester…what else was neat was the boys were allowed to go with me, this was a very family friendly OB and they got to see the Ultrasound…with Patrick Jacob was not allowed in the US room we always had to find him child care or hope he would be in school…

Just like my first two pregnancies this one was uneventful…the biggest thing that stuck out to me was I could eat nonstop all morning and at times I could tell the baby was growing because well I was still starving…

For the sex reveal US Alex and the boys got to be there…once again we had a girl name, but not a boy…and guess what (if you didn’t read my subtitle)…the baby was another boy :)…once we got into the patient room Alex was like what about Robert Gary (my dad’s middle name his dad’s first, my dad goes by Bob)…I countered with what about Robert Allen (his dad’s middle name)…so after 6 Grandsons on my Father’s-in-law side and 10 Grandsons on my dad’s side, they finally both got one name after them 🙂

Just like with Jacob I did everything I could to help little man be born and meet his big brothers…My mom and I walked a 5K, we were the last ones, it wasn’t really because I was tired or uncomfortable, we just enjoyed the walk and took our time…it was like when I was in 5th grade and we lived in FL and used to walk on the beach on base…just mom and daughter time, just chatting…We took the boys trick or treating around the neighborhood…we went to the Louisiana Board Walk and walked around…for three days she and I walked Jacob to school each morning and back (we tried the public school for one year and it was less than a mile from our house)…still nothing…

Twice I went in to the hospital, once before my mom got there and then on my actual due date thinking I was in labor…after the second time of being told nope, go home, I was devastated…this was my third kid, I should know when I am in labor…my Dr’s appointment was the next morning…Alex and I went…my Dr was taking forever, I was already down and out…well it turns out she had an emergency C-section…after she saw me she said I could go ahead and head down to labor and delivery and would be induced…

So Alex headed home to get my stuff and head headed down…I called my friend to get Jacob a ride to gymnastics and off I went…they got me all set up and the Pitocin started…this was by far my easiest delivery…the contractions started getting a little harder and painful, but honestly compared to Patrick they were nothing…Alex was on the couch on the computer and I was barely grabbing the bed rail…the nurse told me that the anesthesiologist was like 3 floors away so I used that to gage when to ask for my drugs…

So I had a contraction that wasn’t too bad but was more painful, so figured in two or three more they would get bad so paged for him…turns out he was one room away…so he gave me my happy drugs and I was good to go…I don’t remember how long it took to go from a 5 to a 10…I think it was just over an hour…but I do remember Alex wanted some coffee…I insisted he ask the nurses station, but wanted to go down stairs to the cafeteria…well in the 15 minutes he was gone that was when I felt babies head coming down…so the poor man left his wife alone in the room to come back to nurse grabbing him (she was on her way to page him) and pulling him into a room with a doc and 3 or 4 nurses…

My boys tend to have large heads…Robert’s had always measured smaller than there (large end of normal) on his US…we also joked after the first two I could birth a mac truck…anyway…I was pushing and then the Dr asked if I wanted help…I was confused…well, one of the other nurses put her fore arm across my stomach as I was pushing so that when I breathed in I didn’t suck baby back in (man that would have been nice with Jacob, he would have been born 30 minutes sooner)…so within 15 minutes Robert Allen Ham was born into the world…

On November 4, 2009 Jacob became a big brother again and Patrick became a big brother for the first time…Jacob was 7.5 and Patrick was just short of 20 months…Patrick actually did much better than we thought…he was very protective of his mommy and did not want anyone touching me…well he was fine with Robert nursing…now when Alex gave Robert his first pumped bottle, that was a different story…we used Avent bottles so the bottle is the same, just the nipple/sippy seal is changed out…anyway…he did much better than we expected 🙂

Alex was 33 and I was 29…

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Class Reuinion Baptism

My dear friend that introduced me to Alex was heading out to CO for our high school class reunion…we also happened to go to a Catholic high school that also had it’s own chapel…There was also supposed to be a Mass for the reunion, so we thought having Patrick’s Baptism there would be perfect…We had everything all worked out…Her husband would stand in for my brother who would not be able to make it…

That morning my parents joined us at the high school and so did a few other class mates along with the alumni coordinator for our old school…and we waited and waited and waited…the Priest never showed up…come to find out he double booked himself and well our Mass was the one he missed!!

Thankfully, knowing that my God Mother was no longer local the alumni rep contacted the closest Catholic church (which happened to be the same one we had monthly Mass at during high school) and because we had already gone through the prep and actually spoke with them in getting the Baptism figured out they let us go right over and have the Baptism…

It went off without a hitch…other than Jacob took the still photos…and at 6, yeah, we got none…my dad did get a video of it though 🙂  Below are pictures waiting at the High School and then after at Divine Redeemer…I don’t like how Patrick looks in that one, with the light it just bugs me…and I know we had one with the God parents…have to find it…my first two just didn’t get good Baptismal photos…

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The Power of a Little boy’s prayers (some girly talk)

After Jacob’s accident and our family being back together I decided that I did not want to be on any forms of birth control…really for two reasons…one my body is not a fan, between the pill, patch, and iud, my body just want not happy (I was never on all three at the same time)…and I just felt in my heart it wasn’t right, that God should be in full control of if we have a child…that we shouldn’t just be open to it when we want to be, that He knows best and we should always be open to it…

Well, I thought because Jacob was a surprise and only just over a year after we were married that it wouldn’t take that long to get pregnant with number two…Alex’s new job did have him gone a lot, so I joked that the AF was our birth control (though we would find out years later that even that form doesn’t always work…which I am thankful)…Twice I thought I might be pregnant…but it turns out I wasn’t…

By the time Jacob was five he desperately wanted a little brother (he still only wants brothers)…he had been praying hard for a little brother, though by that point we just had accepted that he would be an only child…that summer I headed to Chicago for my first Pampered Chef conference…the big trip was London and I was determined to earn it!!  I was supposed to start while I was on the trip…it didn’t happen, but stress can also mess me up, and have 5 years I just figured my body was playing tricks on me…

I don’t remember exactly when in July I took the test…I don’t think it was our anniversary, but it may have been…All I do remember is I had woken early so had to go to the bathroom…Alex was at work…I took the test and it was POSITIVE!!  I was so excited I called him (and if I remember correctly he wasn’t available!!) and then took a picture and texted it to my family…I was in shock…Jacob and I headed to the clinic so I could get my official test done and start my prenatal care…

Because there was a large Army hospital there he was a military hospital baby, just like I was…the big thing is they don’t start seeing patients until about 12 weeks…so I had to wait…once I was finally seen the mid-wife insisted my due date was 12 Mar and said it was one day later because of leap day…he still looked like a jelly bean too…there are many reasons I feel she was off on my due date and the fact that she should have been one day sooner doesn’t help…and the fact that I am a 35 dayer and well, my baby did not look 12 weeks in utero…but anyway…

That same day we found out I was pregnant I also got strep throat…which is no fun in a “normal” person, but add a person that usually needs two or three rounds of antibiotics that is pregnant…they kept trying to give me penicillin because it is pregnancy safe…well that stuff does not work with me…the third round was finally the z pack…

Other than a few horrible colds, and having to eat as soon as I woke up…oh and not being able to stand the smell of wet cat food…this was another uneventful pregnancy…I substitute taught the first half…

That Oct the same day Jacob had his fall harvest party for K we found out the sex of our second child…we still did not have a boy name…at this point there were 7 boys on my side of the family and 4 on Alex’s…when the tech told us that the baby was a boy Alex came up with a name right then and there…Patrick, after his best friend that passed away at the AF Academy…so even though he was due in the middle of March and I am Irish…his name has nothing to do with St Patrick’s Day (though that is his Patron Saint, but it would have been no matter when he b-day was)…

When we went to Jacob’s school for his party we asked him as we were leaving if he wanted to know what the baby was…he said no…Well my sister Angela called while we were in the car and Jacob even covered his years…remember how I said he wanted a brother…well he was so scared we were going to say the baby was a girl, that he didn’t want to know!!  He was very excited once he found out the baby was a boy 🙂 

At the end of my pregnancy (39 weeks according to midwife, 37 in my mind and math) I had gone to an AF hockey game one night with Jacob and my parents and then on a Wed went to a AF Basketball game…I remember my mom telling the lady next to her how far along I was and she about freaked out that I was out in public…when I got home from the game Alex was off work and I started having strong contractions, but not that bad…Alex joked that he was going to sleep down stairs so I didn’t hurt him while he was sleeping…all night they were about 2 hours apart and just strong enough to wake me up…that morning they were getting a little stronger, but I was determined to not go into labor and was distressed…Alex had just two more days of work before he went on leave…I didn’t want to make anyone have to work longer hours because I went into labor sooner…

So he took Jacob to school that morning and came home…he then went off to work…I remember going to get Jacob I would have to grabbed the middle console while have contractions, but they weren’t close enough to go in…I did call my mom and dad to let them know what was going on…My mom was working (same building as Alex) so I told my dad he was on back up incase Alex or my mom couldn’t get to me…Well in typical my mom fashion, she called back and asked if I needed her to come over…I told her not yet…then I spoke to my dad…then my mom called and said she was on her way (notice a trend…)…

Once my mom got there I called the OB ward…they were about 10 minutes apart…but being that it takes about 20 – 30 minutes to get to the hospital…I delivered Jacob so fast…and well I had no clue what going into labor was like I just wanted to make sure I needed to stay home or come in…they told me to drink a lot of water (I had just been sick with a horrible cold and was flat out tired of water)…and to rest to see if they decreased…they also told me to do the same and walk around to see if they increase…eventually I told them they were fluctuating by about a minute or so, but not much and explained that though this is my second child in a way it was like my first…so they said to go ahead and come in…

So we headed to the hospital around dinner time…Jacob, my mom, and I sat in the little triage room…my contractions did increase and my mom would leave the room to call Alex and give him updates (our cells didn’t work in the room)…The Dr really had three options because I wasn’t progressing quickly but was progressing…plus Patrick wasn’t being very active (which that was his normal “calm” time)…but the Dr was concerned…so his three options where I go home and would most likely be back the next morning, I be admitted and observed over night…or they induce (honestly normally the first one is the for sure with this hospital…)

Eventually the Dr decided that he was concerned Patrick would be in distress if I went home and since I didn’t say no to induction went with that option…he told my mom to call Alex and give him and update and that he did not need to leave work early…they would hold off inducing me until he got there…well once I got to my labor and delivery room my phone was working fine so I tried to call him…it was 30 minutes before he was supposed to leave work…come to find out they had already sent him on his way…(both my parents and Alex and their works were freaking out more than me…and I was the one in pain…)…

Once Alex got there they started the Pitocin…well Patrick made up for me not feeling contractions with Jacob…I am surprised my mom and Alex still have feelings in their hands…at this point my dad had come to the hospital with food for Jacob and they were hanging out in the family area…

I remember the nurse going through the normal list of questions (which is stupid when a woman is contracting…sometimes I verbally could not speak to answer their questions!!)…one of the questions she asked was if I was taking anything and Alex said yes, when I wasn’t well, I was contracting, so all I could do was violently shake my head no to get the point across…at this point she also decided to check me to see if I was far enough along for my epidural…which I was…Once I had my epidural I went from a 3 – 4 to a 10 in 45 minutes!!

As I was pushing Patrick’s heart rate began to drop so they decided to give me an episiotomy to get him out quick…when I saw my baby for the first time I commented that he looked much smaller than Jacob had…I assumed he was maybe 6 pounds (Jacob was 7 lbs 8 oz)…Patrick was also a CO baby and I was convinced I wasn’t as far along as they said…well he was only 5 lbs 14 oz…granted my mother-in-law is short and he is still short to the this day, but I had also been measuring small…

It took us a while to get me moved to the recovery rooms because I couldn’t walk and poor Patrick had low body temperature so Alex and I had to do skin to skin…which was fine…eventually they moved me over…in an Army hospital you don’t have a nurse waiting on you…if I wanted a snack I had to get up and go get it myself…so I had to be able to walk…they also were very anal about waking him to nurse and the poor kid just wanted to sleep…

Only 36 hours later I was ready to leave, but it wasn’t because I was unhappy in the hospital it was because Jacob had stuff going on and I wasn’t about to disrupt his life just because we had a new baby…so yes, my 36 hour old baby went to his first two b-day parties shortly after leaving the hospital…He was fine and everyone got to see the new little man…one was at the bowling ally and the other at pump it up…

On March 6, 2008 (19 minutes before my brother’s birthday) we became parents for the second time and Jacob became a big brother :)…I was 27, Alex was 31, and Jacob was 19 days away from turning 6…

(I have better pictures but like the others need to scan them)

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The Scariest Day of My Life

In the summer of 2004 Alex was heading to Nevada for some military training and we would be moving to another duty station after he was done…so rather than Jacob and I stay in Florida we decided that we would go to the Pacific Northwest where we both had family with cousins for Jacob to get to know better…

That September my dad had flown to Illinois for his high school class reunion and then flew out to Washington to see us four older kids and our children…The afternoon he flew in my sisters and I decided to meet up for dinner at Laura’s house where he was staying…that morning my throat had been hurting and my gut told me to stay home, but I really wanted to see my dad so Jacob and I went to the airport to meet him and then head to my sisters…

We were all hanging out down stairs, when my brother-in-law went upstairs with the kids to play in my nieces room…he had been in there with them the entire time…he step out for one minute to check and see if dinner was ready and we were actually headed to go upstairs tell them that it was when a neighbor came running saying one of the kids fell out the window…Angela started saying, “Jacob fell out the window”…Laura went straight outside…Angela went straight to the phone…I went straight into denial think, “they are lying, they are picking on me…”  to fear, “oh my God, my baby is dead, I let Alex down…” to hearing that he was crying, and thanking God that he was alive and praying that he was ok…

The first person to get to Jacob happened to be a volunteer fire fighter who knew exactly what he was doing…he had been working in his yard and saw it all happen…eventually they came to get me saying that he was crying for me, so I started to head out to go be with him, but then someone mentioned blood and I started to freak out again so my dad had me go back inside…

I eventually calmed down and headed out to be with him, but a police officer had questions to ask me, so I wasn’t by his side until we were in the ambulance…we went to the local ER in Vancouver, WA…my first questions to them was I need to call my husband, he is in Vegas, he needs to know…they told me to wait until we knew what was going on…so I called my mom and spoke with her on the phone…My dad and sisters took my car and met me at the ER…

They decided that they were going to life flight him to a larger hospital over the river in Portland and told me to call my husband…I only had the number to his hotel room and knew that he would not be there…but I called the front desk first (on base) and told them what was going on…they put me through to the control tower…at first when they found him they told me he was flying (my husband is not a pilot)…I told them that I didn’t care, my son just fell out of a second floor window and I need to talk to him now!!  Well it turns out he was in class…they pulled him out…my sister Laura spoke to him first, but I was pretty upset by that point…Alex wasn’t able to fly out until the next morning so he had to sit in his room all night thinking about our son…

When they life flighted him at first they told me that I would be able to go with him…but then I guess because of the amount of medical staff there was not room…they had also sedated him, so he did not know that I was not with him…when we got to the hospital he went straight into surgery, I had to sit in the ER and go through in processing and what not…My sisters and dad and I then went up to the surgery waiting room and waited for hours…in a way it was nice because we just got to hang out and talk, my dad told us stories about growing up…not under the ideal circumstance…but there were a lot of miracles to this horrible event in our life…I also spoke to my mom on the phone while we were waiting and told her how scared I was that my smart baby (he was about to turn 2 and a half and already recognized the entire abc’s) would not be smart or that he wouldn’t be able to walk again…

Finally around 2am he was out of surgery and settled in the PICU where I could go see him…my dad decided to stay at the hospital with me and my sisters headed home to get some sleep…My sister Angela was going to get Alex from the airport in the morning and Laura was going to get my dad and I so we could get some sleep once Alex was there…

When I walked into the room to see him I know I said something, but don’t remember what it was…The nurse told me that his heart rate sped up when I spoke and that that was a good sign…it meant that he knew my voice…he was still sedated and would be fully sedated for three more days to monitor the swelling…

I stayed in his room for quite a while, but they told me that I need to get some rest…that the hard part was coming, he was resting now and was well taken care of…I went into the family sleeping are, but just could not sleep…I walked around the hospital with a blanket wrapped around me…I did find the Chapel and wrote a prayer request in there…

Eventually the morning came and Alex and Angela got to the hospital…I went back to our apartment and got some sleep…that afternoon I went back to the hospital…Jacob was fully sedated for three days and then for about another three says they slowly wore the sedative off…then for 2 days he was in the infant toddler ward before they moved him over to the inpatient therapy ward…during this time my sister Laura visited me at the hospital everyday but one…on the day that she was not able to, her mom (my dad’s ex-wife) came and stayed with me…Alex and I handled this event very differently…he stayed by Jacob’s side almost the entire time, unless he had to eat or go to the bathroom…I was in there a lot, but had to get out and be social…I needed to take mental breaks from it all…so having family come visit was a much needed blessing…My dad, sister Angela, my brother Mike, and his family, and Alex’s brother Chris and his family also visited us…

Right after I spoke with my mom on the phone the night of the accident she asked if I wanted her to come out (they were living in England)…I don’t remember my answer, but when I hung up I remember it was still up in the air, or so I thought…when she called me back she already had her ticket…she was flying in the afternoon that my dad would be leaving that morning…

Another visitor we had was my dad told me to request a Priest…it just so happened that an Air National Guard Priest from Portland had been starting at Tyndall that spring and had come back…so I asked the hospital chaplain to please find him (I think I knew the Parish, but can’t remember) and have him come see us…which he did…My sister Laura’s Preacher came out too

When Jacob was first admitted to the hospital we were told that his recovery would most likely take 6 months…Every week in the therapy ward there is a team meeting with all of the therapists, drs, and parents…that Tues we had our first meeting and they told us it would be our last…he would be discharged that Thurs…

When Jacob left the hospital only 17 days after the accident they told us that the only therapy that he would need would be speech…he walked out of the hospital…about a week later when the speech therapist came to evaluate him, he did not qualify for speech…he was approved to go back to gymnastics…and other than the ugly scar on his head you would have no idea anything had happened…

He has had some OT and Speech off and on since the accident, but I am not really sure if they are because of the accident, but because of the accident he sees a pediatric development specialist yearly and it was when he was 5, that he noticed some things needing those two services…after a summer of therapy he didn’t need it anymore…over Christmas break when he was 7, I was the one that noticed he needed services again…it was never his teachers that noticed these things, because they subtitle and not obvious…but because of his accident he was able to get the services needed to improve them…

As most reading this know today Jacob is a competitive gymnast working on moving up to level 6, he plays baseball (which we were told he would have trouble with hitting), soccer, basketball, and bowling…our current base has had all-star teams for basketball and baseball and he was selected to both…for soccer he was chosen to kick a goal for a tie breaker, in bowling we were told her need to move up to work with a better coach…Academically he is two years ahead in math, this was the subject that the injury was supposed to make hard for him…he is delayed in reading and writing and pretty much all of Language Arts, but we do not really think it is because of the injury, but more because he is a boy, and a very active one at that…

Jacob is our miracle baby…we did not plan him, God did…he was supposed to have a DNA mess up, but didn’t…and he fell out a window and recovered in less than three weeks…I see the hand of God in my son daily…He also has some awesome prayer skills and somehow knows how to speak to God directly and get things done…

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Baptism

After my brother graduated from high school in Germany he and my dad were flying back to the states…since the truck I had was a lease in their name they could not take it out of country…so they were stopping in FL to pick it up so he could use it while at college…Sean was also going to be Jacob’s God Father so I scheduled his Baptism around their arrival…

Also, after Sean graduated Jacob and I flew to VA from Germany to go to Alex’s brother’s graduation…he also brought up my sewing machine and I worked on Jacob’s Baptismal outfit…I literally was finishing it in the hotel our last night on the road and then early the morning of the Baptism…but I did get it done!!

We chose a Tuesday daily Mass due to the timing of when my dad and brother were hitting the road and our getting back…the Monsignor at the base chapel performed his Baptism…ironically Jacob cried the entire Mass, except while he was being Baptized!! 

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And then there were Three

Alex and I had not planned on actively trying for children until we were financially ready…what ever that means ;-)…well, God had other ideas in mind (as we would find out many more times…His plans do not always go with our plans)…shortly after our second anniversary and just after moving into our house in FL we found out that we were expecting our first child…we were going to become parents!!

It was a pretty uneventful pregnancy…I was tired, and if I didn’t eat enough I wouldn’t feel all that great, but really that was it…I coached cheerleading for the first six months of my pregnancy…now that isn’t to say it wasn’t without outer stressors…we got a new cat (whom we still have today)…a week later our country was attached by extremist…and the following week my other cat unexpectedly passed away…having this little one growing inside me helped me deal with that loss (I do not handle my pets passing lightly)…

When I had my 16 – 18 week blood work done we found out that some of my counts were high so we would need to go to Pensacola to see a specialist to make sure all was good with the baby…they did offer to do an amnio (I think that is what it is called), where they put a long needle in your stomach and test the dna…there are risks with this like killing the baby…and well in my mind no matter what was wrong or right with the baby, this baby was ours and as long as God kept him with us, we were keeping him so there was no point…the tests all came back normal…

Because I was 20 weeks when we went they asked if we wanted to know the sex…up to that point Alex and I were in agreement that we would wait…well the excitement made Alex change his mind, but I hadn’t yet…so they wrote it down and put it in a sealed envelope…after my appointment we went to a Babies R Us and saw a cute snoopy set (his nursery…which I made…was baseball snoopy)…you could get it in blue, pink, or green…well seeing it we really didn’t want the green…so we found out the sex of our first child in a Babies R Us…we were have a BOY :)…

As I said, my pregnancy was pretty uneventful…the most exciting part was Alex busted his knee twice when I was about 37 – 38 weeks pregnant…once trying out for the base softball team…the outfield was in horrible condition and there was a hole out there…then the next day he went and coached baseball and was showing the boys how to slide…we were luck that I was a very agile pregnant wife, because I had to help him a lot for a few days, which I did not mind at all…that is what we agreed on when we said our vows…

Because Alex was injured and we weren’t sure how soon he would heal my mom made last minute plans to fly out to be there for Jacob’s birth…my college roommate also came out to see us the weekend that we found out I would be induced…being that we were young and Alex was injured and Jacob’s head was measuring two weeks ahead we thought being induced would be the best idea…my mom also had to get back to Germany so my dad could take a work trip state side and not leave my brother alone in Germany while they were in the states…

Anyway, we did all that we could to try to convince little man that he wanted to come sooner…we took my friend to the Airshow, to the beach, to the book store…raked leaves…yeah, nothing (which we would find out doesn’t work on ANY of my boys)…so at midnight on the 25th Alex and I went to the hospital knowing that when we came home we would be a family of three…

The induction actually went quite well…I was supposed to get two cervical pills and then Pitocin, but didn’t even need the Pitocin…I never felt a contraction, but did feel pain on my cervix and man did it hurt and my nurse must have been having a bad day because she didn’t seem to care…once I got my epidural in an hour I went from a 4 to a 10 (another trend that would happen with my boys)…another hour later Jacob was born…my mom got to be there to witness the birth of our first born child and I even saw her wipe away a tear (she is not an emotional woman)…

My dad came out to see us two weeks later on the tail end of his trip to TX…it was so nice for them to get to be apart of us becoming parents for the first time…

On March 25th 2002 (he was due on Easter that year so I call him out Easter baby) we became parents…I was 21 and Alex was 25…ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

A Church Wedding

Before we had decided to have two weddings my parents had already bought my wedding dress…which made it even more set in stone that we would have a “big” wedding too…once we got to TX I started to figure out what we were going to do…my original plans were for it to be there at the Catholic church…first I went to the off base church that I was attending and the Priest was unwilling to do a big one because we were legally already married…this was a small military town that you would expect the priest to be more understanding…so my next stop was the base priest…well he said that they try to follow along with the local parishes…so it seemed like a Catholic wedding just wasn’t going to happen…

After that I found out that there was a Methodist chaplain assigned to the base (Alex is Methodist) so I spoke with him and he was more than willing to help us with our “big” wedding…I was very happy for that and started to make plans…but I still really wanted to have my marriage blessed in the Catholic church…I then had the idea that maybe we could drive up to CO between his training in TX and our moving to FL and have our “big” wedding there…so I called my old Priest…and he thought what the Priest had said in TX was crazy and was glad to do the wedding for us…

My old church was still only a few years old and was still meeting in a local Middle school so I got to choose which church I wanted to have our wedding in…being that Alex was an Academy grad the Air Force Academy Catholic cadet chapel seemed like the perfect fit…so from TX I planned my CO wedding…I did not step foot in CO until a few days before our wedding…I used a local grocery store to order my flowers (my bouquet was much smaller than I wanted it had twice as many roses as my Brides maids, but the size was the same)…and my photographer was suggested by the wedding coordinator at the chapel…

Our “big” wedding didn’t turn out as big as I had hoped…my parents and younger brother were able to make it and Alex’s Dad and one of his brothers…he has an Aunt that lives in the Springs so she was able to make it too and then a few of my high school friends that were still in the area…Two of my closest college friends were also there as my Bride’s maids…Alex did also ask some of the cadets from his former squadron to be our honor guard so they were there too…

When we got there we found out that they were remodeling the Catholic chapel so we were moved into the Protestant chapel…it has a beautiful cross, but it larger so felt even emptier…and because of this even though it was May we were still kind of cookie cuttered and before we were even fully out of there the next wedding was setting up…Our photographer did take advantage and use one of their pew decorations for our picture… 

Our reception was in a cabin up the street and a trail from the chapel…there was a pool table in there and we had Apple Bees “cater” our food…the reception was nice and the place ended up the perfect size for our small guest count…

I was disappointed in how many people came, but I am glad that our wedding has been blessed in the Catholic church and I was able to see family and friends…I do still hope that we can renew our vows again and have a nice wedding with lots of people there…at the rate we are going with kids (4 boys) we should have a good guest count just with them 😉 

(I need to scan some photos from this wedding…sorry no picture right now…)

 

A beach wedding…

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Due to my parents moving over seas to Germany and my considering transferring to TX to be near Alex, we decided it was best to just get married sooner…one option we had was to have an Academy wedding like the rest of his classmates, but Alex didn’t want a “cookie cutter” wedding like he called it…so instead we decided we would get married in VA while he was on his 60 days of leave…with this choice we knew that my family would not be able to make it because my mom had to get to her new job…so we also decided that we would have a big wedding to follow…

When we got to VA we decided that we wanted to get married on the beach…there is a small Army post in Virginia Beach called Ft Story…we went to check it out and found a stone cross there…it was in monument to the first settlers to touch land there…they placed a wooden cross there…they then got back on their boat and head up to what is now Jamestown…being a history lover and marrying a history Major this was really neat…there was also a beautiful light house with the National Parks there…we decided this was the perfect place…we actually tried to have this be our Catholic wedding, but the Priest I spoke with at Langley was unwilling to do an outdoor wedding because it is “too distracting” so we ended up going with a justice of the peace…

On our wedding day Alex heading down much earlier than I did with his family…his brother Chris had to take an exam so we waited around…the ride down was definitely stressful, between traffic once we got into Hampton to Chris constantly changing the radio station annoying Nick, and my Mother-in-Law yelling up to my Father-in-law about every RV we passed…we were also in a small car…so it was cramped…

Alex had already checked in to our room, so my in-laws dropped me off there so that I could get ready and then it just so happened that our hotel was across the street from a restaurant I had eaten at as a little girl for a Hampton Roads Admirals hockey banquet, so I grabbed some chicken nuggets to go…

Alex tried to avoid me when we got to the Stone cross but our JP wasn’t there yet, so he saw me before…we had 3 special guests at our wedding…a high school classmate of mine from England who was stationed at the local Marine base and Alex’s best friend’s parents…(Mike was killed in Iraq accidently in 2005 and Pat, Alex’s best friend is the friend that passed in April of 98 that he broke down about to me…)

Once the jp got there we began the ceremony…it was windy, but very nice…the only bad thing is while we were there a black fly bit my foot, I did not look at it until after we were done, my foot was bleeding…Alex also gave me the wrong hand to put his ring on, but all was good…

After our wedding his family head back home…The Ashdowns had gotten a room also (at the other hotel we were looking at with a bridge over a pool I really wanted for a photo) so they took us to dinner at the restaurant with their hotel…it was really nice since we didn’t have a reception planned…

We stayed in Virginia Beach two days…then went to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg…when we purchased our rings earlier the mall we purchased them at had a special where if you spent a certain amount of money you got two free passes to Busch Gardens…I had gone there for 5 summers when I was younger, so it was really nice to be back and they had a nice Patriotic concert the night we were there…

I was scared and nervous that day before I walked down the “aisle”…I realized that my life would never be the same, I would be married!!  I wish my family had been able to make it…I even had a similar bouquet to mine sent to my mom…but it is all good…I would not change the way we did and be married to Alex one day less…we got married when I was 19 and he was 23…and I love him more today than I did yesterday or 14 years ago…

Next I will write about our Church wedding 🙂

Sponsor

(I need to find one of our Engagement photos…)

As I mentioned yesterday, Alex and I talked on the phone almost daily…Well some random night in October I was surfing the internet…this was when retailers had just started really moving into the web market…Somehow I came across or decided to see if AAFES (Army Air Force Exchange Service ie “base Target”) had a website…when I got there I saw that I had to sign in under the Active Duty/Retired member…which for me at the time was my dad…when I heard my phone ring out of the blue I just said, “Can you be my sponsor?”

Alex’s answer was, “Ask me more seriously”…I had no intentions of it being an actual engagement question, but my comment on a whim led to it being just that…When he came out to see me for Thanksgiving he brought me my ring and did get down on one knee and ask me again 🙂 

I do have to admit I wish I had said anything, only because, come to find out he was thinking about it and trying to figure out when…but my impatience changed that…this wouldn’t be the first or the last time…but you know what as the quote goes, “I love a good love story, but ours is my favorite”…

Our original wedding day was going to be after I graduated college in 2004 right in between our birthdays (they are two weeks apart)…but then my mom got a job in Germany and Alex was going off to TX for training, so that following Spring we decided to move it up to Nov when he was done with one school and getting ready to start another…I would then join him after that fall semester was over…

I honestly don’t remember when the date got changed to July…but eventually it was and it was decided we would have two ceremonies…My mom was able to extend leaving for Germany until after Alex graduated from the Academy, but then left the following Tues and then the date that worked for us when we got to VA was right when the movers were coming so my dad and brother couldn’t make it…so we decided that we would have a beach wedding, and then a Church wedding…again, not the norm for most (unless you are military, then it is very normal…)

Tomorrow I will talk about wedding number 1 🙂 

Summer Love

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I am continuing my story about Alex and I the last 15 years 🙂  Just read back to find out how we met (I will try to include links later, but I am not that advanced at blogging yet, just glad to be blogging!!)

The day that Alex’s mom flew back home he took me on a date to a yearly event back home called Territory Days…It is a fun weekend going back to Colorado’s early days…we had two of my favorite treats, funnel cake and fresh squeezed lemonade…when we moved back to the Springs years later we took our oldest once or twice…it is just a lot of fun…

That summer we were inseparable, well as inseparable as you can be when you are dating a cadet who is limited on when he can leave…as I had mentioned in the last post, neither of us were really open about our limited dating with our families…well, my dad had gotten tickets to a Rockies and Cubs game and I asked if Alex could go along…it was a week or so later that I mentioned that he wanted me to fly back to Virginia to meet his family when he went home for his three week summer vacation (yep, that is all they get)…

It was nice going back to VA to see some of the DC areas that I had visited when we had lived in Hampton when I was younger…we went to Mt Vernon and the National Mall…

I think the biggest thing for me was shortly after we had met Alex told me about his best friend Pat…he just broke down and told me all about him…Pat had passed away just 13 months before while on a hiking trip at the Academy…I still wish I would have gotten to meet him…we did name our second son after him and do feel he is looking down on us…

That fall I went back to college 12 hours away…a long distance relationship was not easy, but breaking up had not crossed either of our minds…we talked on the phone and emailed almost daily…Alex sent me lots of roses…he even paid for me to fly home for my school’s fall break and then drove 12 hours straight to come see me at Thanksgiving…

I had never met a guy so into me as I was into him, and though the distance was not always easy, we made it work…tomorrow I will share on our unconventional engagement…