Friday, January 27, 2012

days go by...

Claire is now 15 months old. She is now a walking, talking, very, very sassy little girl. Bud left when she was almost 1. She was walking, but carefully, almost talking, and still a baby in our eyes.

I sent him a video of her the other day and he responded saying he watched it with Tim (his team leader) and this is how the conversation went...

Bud: When did she grow up?

Tim: Apparently while you were fighting for her freedom.

Of all the things Bud has said to me in the last 3.5 months, this one really stuck. Our baby has grown into a toddler, who is talking, full of opinions and running my house. Yet, he is thousands of miles away, making sure she is able to grow up in a free country, where she can do whatever it is she wants to do.

Every time Claire does something new, I think to myself how much I wish he was here. I wish he could see everything like I do. I wish he didn't miss meal times to watch her eat like a pig. I wish he didn't miss doctor appts so I am the only one who has to suffer through Claire screaming. I wish he didn't miss vet visits, of me worrying about Lacey when I really didn't need to. I wish he could be home the first time Claire asked for her dada. I wish, I wish, I wish.

Yet, my life will be full of wishes. He WILL miss things. She will do things that he won't see until he gets home. I WILL have to do a lot by myself.

And, still, I am so incredibly thankful for the life I have. I have a husband is who behind me 110% and trusts my opinion on everything. I have a little girl who kisses and hugs me all day, every day to remind me how much I am loved. I have parents, in-laws and siblings who check in on me, to make sure I am doing okay. We own a beautiful home, with a little bit of land for Claire and Lacey to explore.

For those of you who have not experienced it, homecomings (almost) make it all worth it. The extreme excitement of getting ready, and waiting for your love to be back in your arms, erases everything. We still have a while yet to wait, but our FAVORITE guy will be home this spring and we CAN NOT wait.

Every single day, I think of how much I wish he were here. I think about how much of Claire's life he is missing, and yet how thankful I am that he IS there. Every night about 5 I wish he were on his way home, instead of so far away.I go to bed alone (except for Lacey) every night, and want to roll over and see his face. He is an amazing man, a successful Marine, and if I want anyone there protecting me, it's him. He is my hero.

Beautiful Day

Claire's requirements for a beautiful winter (??) day are...

Running around in the front yard golfing/chasing the giant yellow ball

Lots of fresh water

Playing peek-a-boo with mom

Enjoy the rocking chairs on the porch

The past few days have been amazingly beautiful here---think 75 and sunny. Claire, Lacey and I have enjoyed a lot of hours walking and playing outside. While Claire was playing the other day, the only thought that came to me, lucky are we to be able to have an amazing yard that we own for our little girl to play in. I am seriously so blessed it is amazing to me. We have lived here almost a year. That means that Claire was 4 months old when we moved here. She couldn't do much, so last summer wasn't as fun. I watch her playing in the yard now and daydream of when Bud is home and we get to spend time as a family playing in our yard. It will be AMAZING! And, I can't wait.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Girl

The weather last week was absolutely beautiful here, so much so that one day I opened the windows. (The dog using her kennel as a restroom could have had something to do with opening the windows, but I prefer to not think of it that way. :) ) I was putting some laundry away and came back to the living room to find Claire missing....I looked in my bedroom and this is what I saw...

I realized that she has never stood at an open window. By the time she was walking really well, I didn't have the windows open often, and I don't typically pull up the blinds, because then she plays with the cord. So, this was something totally new for her. She kept pointing at things and looking around, it was so sweet.

Don't mind the crazy, post nap hair, but check out the eyes on this girl. :) I know she is mine, so I am a little biased, but man, she is a beautiful child!

Love that you can see her teeth in this one. She looks very sweet in this one, which is very fitting. I get so many hugs and kisses every single day. Most of the time, I don't even have to ask for them, and it is usually just what I need. I am very thankful for this little lady every day, but especially on days when I am really missing Bud...she helps it not hurt quite as bad.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Cookie Monster

We spent the weekend at my Grandma's in Iowa last weekend, and Grandma Charlotte is known for her amazing cooking, including chocolate chip cookies that are to die for.

A certain little girl discovered VERRYYYY quickly where those yummy treats came from. Within about 4 hours of being there, she walked into the laundry room, pounded on the dryer and said yelled for us to come in. Then she would point and nod her head...

We are in trouble next year when she can actually reach those little hands on top of the washer and dryer!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Daddy Doll

I have been meaning to write this post since October--so much for that!

I ordered Claire's daddy doll right before Bud left, and I was SO excited the day it came in the mail. I took these pictures right after I handed her the doll. She was confused at first, but then gave it a hug and kiss, like oh yea! i know you!

We take Claire's daddy doll with us whenever we travel, bring him with while we read books, snuggle with him, and give him lots of hugs and kisses. It has gotten to the point that I don't even have to prompt her anymore--if she sees the doll she will pick it up and give it a hug and a kiss. SO sweet! I give the doll just as many hugs and kisses as Claire does. :)

{{For those who don't know, the doll is about a foot tall, and is a soft fabric stuffed like a stuffed animal. It has a picture of Bud on the front, and says I love you, Claire! and the fabric on the back is the fabric of his cammies.}}

Between her doll, books and pictures that we look at all the time--I have no doubt that it will not take long for Claire to remember who her daddy is and how much she loves him! I can not wait until my family is back together. We are almost half way through this deployment--and we are kicking its butt! :) May can't get here soon enough!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas Chaos Part 2

So sorry for the delay in action here--I may or may not have forgotten (twice) that I was supposed to be continuing this series of posts. Oops.

My mom's side of the family has a tradition of getting together on Christmas Eve and then again on Christmas morning for Todd's famous omelets. This year was no exception.

We started Christmas Eve with naps and then got the girls dressed in their matching dresses. sister and I got our girls matching dresses, and oh my goodness they were cute!

This is about as good as it got in trying to get a picture of the girls. Claire was distracted with something, and Lainey really didn't want to look up from her awesome shoes.

Me and my girls...we had to take a pictures for Bud. Besides the fact that I'm the only one looking at the camera, I think it turned out great. :)

I have a picture of just me and Claire from Christmas last year, and decided we should take one every year with her in her Christmas dress. It's amazing to me how different she looks this year from last year!

Yes, we also got them matching jammies! :) I love these girls! Claire gets a little (okay, a lot) jealous when I hold Lainey.

Reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas" from the 1960's....the book was my moms and I read it to Claire last year as well--another tradition I want to keep.
After a busy night of opening presents with family, playing with cousins and eating really yummy food, it was time to sleep in our matching jammies. Oh, I may have forgotten to mention that since my sister and I made our girls match, my mom decided she and I should have matching pjs too! We did not get a picture of all four of us...darn. ;)

Best part of Christmas morning breakfast at Todd and Tammy's? We all wear our jammies! It is a great way to start the busy day, and the omelets never dissapoint.

Auntie Sarah and Claire bear got some snuggles in before heading out for breakfast.

My pretty girl. :)

Later that day, we headed to Bud's Granny's house for dinner and presents, but I forgot my camera so don't have any pictures. Claire finally showed a bit of her cranky side that night--she was such a trooper until then, but she had just had enough!

This was a really great Christmas with one huge piece missing---it just wasn't the same with out Bud. I had to try really hard to not be a Grinch about it all, and it wasn't easy. I just felt like we had already celebrated Christmas with him and I really didn't want to do it again. Thankfully I have Claire to make me do things I don't necessarily want to do. We really did enjoy our time with our extended family, I am always amazed at how much that little girl is loved.

From my family to yours, we hope you all had a great holiday filled with time with the ones you love.

{{I do realize I said I would do this in 3 posts, but since there are no pictures from Hiepler Christmas I decided to just make it 2, because who wants a post with out pictures?!?}}