Saturday, September 29, 2012

mornings with baby

"every little baby is the sweetest and the best."
anne of the island

Mornings are my favorite time with Hadden.  Most days it's just the two of us.  After his morning feeding and a diaper change we head back to my bed.  I open the curtains to let in the morning sun and put my knees up so Hadden can lay facing me.  For the next twenty or so minutes, I sing and talk to him.  We play "this little piggy", although he hasn't quite found the humor in it yet.  He practices holding his head up and "standing".  Sometimes we Facetime Auntie McKenna or Grandy so that they can see how baby is growing up ever so quickly.  Or take pictures to send to Uncle Patrick (because he is pretty much obsessed with his nephew:).  Hadden is so happy in the mornings and it's absolutely darling to see him smile and coo.  Even though it's just been eight weeks since he was born, we already can see him growing up so we try to cherish every sweet moment we have with him.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

air force life: base housing at offutt afb

Edited to Add: I wrote a post in May 2013 (one year after we moved to Offutt) to give an update on what we thought of the housing after living here for a while.  Check it out!

Edit #2: I've gone through and updated a few of these pictures after almost two years of living here to give you a better picture of the size of some of the rooms.  Updated pictures have our name in the corner.  :)  ALSO, if you are PCSing here, leave a comment or shoot me an email!  I'd love to connect and answer any questions you have about Offutt!

Tour Our Home/Tour Base Housing ;)

I kept waiting for it to be perfectly decorated.
And perfectly clean.
Then I decided that those days might be far off.
So instead I am posting the pictures that show our home for what this is: not always impeccably tidy and a long way from being fully decorated.  But here are pictures nonetheless.  Base housing is different at every base, but here's an overview of our life at Offutt AFB.

This is a stock photo of the outside of our style of home (via Rising View website).  Our neighborhood is made up of duplexes.  Some of the houses are older (perhaps built in the 60s?), but have been renovated.  There are also a lot of newer homes - built in the last six or so years.  We qualified for one of the newer, three bedroom houses.  Most of the houses have nice backyards (usually about 50 feet from the back of the house) and you can rent a fence if you'd like your yard enclosed for children or pets.

We are responsible for yard work, but the housing office takes care of any maintenance issues we have and so far they have been very helpful when we've needed something done.  We're not allowed to paint - this was probably the saddest thing for me to find out when we arrived here.  Instead we are slowly working on filling our walls with pictures and art, but (as you can tell from the photos) we still have a long way to go.  I'm a little too indecisive about where to hang things, but we're working on it. 

The Kitchen

This is the view when you walk in from the garage.  Those windows overlook the backyard.  To the right you can see part of our family room.

This is opposite the picture above.  That's the door to the garage.

The skinny door to the left of our fridge is the pantry.  

This is the view of the kitchen from the family room.  The laundry room is on the other side of that wall.


The Family Room

View of the family room from the kitchen.  The family room is technically supposed to be two room (family room and living room), but it's sort of an awkward space with the furniture we have so we just use it as a family room.

This view is from the living room into the kitchen.  We have a little coloring table for Hadden and store his high chair next to the back door.

This is the view standing in the hallway.  The door leads to our back yard.  The space behind the couch could fit a small table and a couple of chairs.

Downstairs Bathroom

This room is in the hallway off the living room and across from a huge under-the-stairs closet.

Dining Room

This room is technically supposed to be a living room, but we're using it as a dining room.  The two windows on the right look onto our front yard.  From where I am standing to take the picture, the front door is on my right and a coat closet is on the left.  The wall on the left a half wall to our stairs (see next picture).  In the back is the collection of wall hangings that have yet to hang on the walls.  We really need to buy a big dining room table for this room!

The door is to a big closet under the stairs.  Across the hallway from that closet is the downstairs bathroom.  

The landing upstairs.  From left to right: Master bedroom, Hadden's nursery, linen closet, guest bathroom.  The guest room is further to the right.  There is also a huge closet upstairs and a desk space (see picture below)

Desk on landing upstairs (directly below is the front door)

View from the desk

Hah.  Our "guest bedroom" is an empty room with an air mattress waiting to be filled for our next guest who is arriving in a couple days.  Window overlooks back yard.

Guest bathroom

Nursery.  Window overlooks back yard

Master bedroom.  The window overlooks the front yard.  This room has a small walk in closet and a linen closet (there is a third closet off the bathroom as well)

View from master bath

View from the corner closet (the door you see is the bathroom)

Master bath

The closet back there is so big!!  It wraps around on either side.  Now I just need to buy more clothes to fill it!  ;)


Overall we like our house!  If we were to build/buy a home we would definitely do a few things differently.  I dream of painting the wall, redoing the cabinets and changing out all the light fixtures/door hardware.  I would love to someday live in an older home with history and with a story.  But that's not where we're at in life.  This house is more than sufficient and we are grateful for it.  And we are slowly turning it from a house into a home.  :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

one year

dear mr. mays,

one year ago today was a pretty great day.  :)

Although there have been many moments along the way that I wouldn't have chosen, I can honestly say that I love you more today than I did last year.  I'm so happy to be your wife and I can't wait to continue this adventure with you!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

real moments of new motherhood

I awake with a pounding head, blurry vision and an upset stomach.  It's the third time this week.  Normally I would stay in bed, pull the covers over my head and try my best to sleep through the pain until the migraine relented and I was able to get back to life.

But today that's not an option.  Seven weeks ago I became responsible for another which means I can't just pull the covers over my head.  Instead I crawl out of bed and soothe the crying babe.

How can I care for this tiny human when I'm the one who needs to be taken care of?  He's crying for his mother, but right now I'm crying for mine.

I am hit with a wave of nausea.  I know it would be a tiny bit better if I could just lay down, but I can't.  Please, Lord, not today.  I just need to be well enough to care for my baby.  Looking across the room, I eye the bucket sitting there.  Can I just make it until the end of this feeding?  ...nope.  I hear the baby howling from the crib where I hastily laid him as I sit hunch over the bucket.

Everyone talks about how hard it is to have a newborn, but not many talk about doing it with a chronic illness; when you are in a battle with your body to simply get out of bed in the morning.  So far I've been managing through my daily pain, but a migraine is like a giant wave that knocks you to the ground no matter how firmly you have your feet planted.

An arsenal of baby supplies are spread over my comforter.  My plan is to only leave the bed to change diapers.  Carrying a baby around with a migraine is simply not a good idea.  To my left is a Boppy, a blanket, a soother and a burp cloth.  To my right is his pack n play.  I can do this.  I have to do this.

But the questions linger in my mind.  How will I ever be a mother when I'm this sick?  How do you explain to a baby that mama just can't get out of bed that morning and that she just really, really needs you to stop screaming in her ear?

I hear the hum of the garage door and whisper in my little man's little ear, "Papa is home.  It's gonna be okay."  On his lunch break, my dear husband has brought me food and drink.  We both know from experience that if the migraine gets too bad we'll end up spending the evening in the emergency room and we'll try everything we can think of to stop it.

The shades are drawn.  An ice pack is on my head.  The medicine has been taken.  I'm sipping liquids as much as my upset stomach will allow.  A fan is blowing on my head.  The lunch break is over and he must return to base.  Together we pray that I will receive the strength to continue. 

Baby finally falls asleep on my chest.  I lay him in his bed hoping to close my eyes against the sun which feels like lasar beams penetrating my skull.  Thirty seconds later he is awake and screaming.  I take him in my arms again speaking softly to calm him for his sake as well as for mine.  Sweet baby, mama is doing her very best today.  I'm trying so hard to give you everything you need.  Please, please just sleep for me today.  Please just stop crying.  I'll make it up to you another day. 

As I breathe in air to sustain my body, I breathe in grace to sustain my soul.  I tell myself the truths that I am prone to forget.

This is not the day to compete for the New-Mother-of-the-Year award.  Today is not a measure of how much I love my baby.  I will not let this day be indicative of the next twenty years nor let it scare me into fearing this heavenly appointment.

Today is not easy.  Today is not enjoyable.  But I know that God has given me enough grace to make it through today.  The migraine, the crying babe, the pain.  All of it is covered by the grace I've been given.  Tomorrow holds the promise of "new mercies".  Which is good.  I've exhausted all that I've been given for today.

And although my son slumbers through my words, I whisper in his ear:  "We're gonna get through, Haddy.  We've got grace.  And life is all about grace."

T'was grace that brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Currently Reading: inSignificant

In his new book inSignificant: Why You Matter in the Surprising Way God Is Changing the World, Chris Travis challenges the common stereotypes of significance and paints a broader picture of how what it means to lead significant lives.  The platform for his book is Travis' experience teaching at 'the most dangerous middle school in all of New York City'.

With raw honesty, Travis uses his words to draw readers into the classroom where he taught.  He vividly describes the rebellion of the students and his feelings of defeat and insignificance.  Stripped away was his passion for teaching as well as his good intentions.  Travis ended the first year in utter defeat, but goes back for a second year when he is convinced that it is what God is asking him to do.  In the end, he emerges with a changed view of significance which he shares with readers.

Throughout the book, Travis mixes his own story with theology and biblical exegesis.  The book was engaging and thought-provoking as Travis relates it back to the reader and their own search for significance.  He writes plainly that "following Jesus often means losing" and shows a picture of significance that is truly counter-cultural.  inSignifcant is easy to read and conversational which makes it a good book for people of different ages.

On a personal note, inSignificant came at the perfect time as I read it just weeks after having my first baby.  There are moments when changing diapers feels like the most insignificant task in the world, yet I was challenged to see what God is teaching me through this and to be obedient to and dependent on God.  I will highly recommend this book to friends and family as I think it is relevant for all.  This is the best book I have read in awhile - I hope that others be challenged by it as well.

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher (Bethany House) in exchange for an honest review.
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