20 July 2011

New Routines

For days I’ve been starring at a slowly blinking cursor on my computer screen trying to form letters into words, words into sentences…then hitting the backspace key. I can’t seem to find the right words that describes our life as of late. Chaotic, frenzy, and overwhelming are all in the front row, but then there are the moments that aren’t so chaotic, moments of calm and ease that are pocketed between unpacking moving boxes, 3am baby wake-up calls, and temper tantrums that I’m striving to embrace.

 little dude got a busted lip by wiping out on the sidewalk

Growing up, we moved around a lot. I remember packing everything into ABC Store boxes and turning around to quickly unpack within a matter of days in a new home, a new bedroom. My mom would instinctively know where everything went –the couch goes here, the dining table there, dishes in this cabinet, etc- and like clockwork, we were settled in. Things seemed to run much smoother. Perhaps it’s the kid in me that doesn’t remember the stress of reestablishing ourselves in a new neighborhood or the financial aspect of relocating or the aching muscles from lifting furniture and 50lb boxes. But the adult me has seen, understood, and experienced every bump on the road over the past few weeks. This move has been hands-down the toughest transition I’ve ever experienced in my life. There have been more than a few times where I found myself in a puddle of tears, thinking how this move was a huge mistake and praying to God for a re-do button.

Well I didn’t get a re-do button, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it appears promising. Things are slowly coming into shape and day by day we’re establishing new routines and settling into our nest and overcoming our Alison’s Relocations Disaster.

And when the chaos thins out, I regroup by digging deep into my pocket of pulling out a sliver of calm and adding water. Water can make almost anything better -an overheated car, a dying plant, a fish out of his bowl, a parched marathon runner- it also fixes my soul. It gives me a sense of clarity and renewal, and I can see that water is naturally engrained in my children as well. I love that. Whenever they get out of hand, we drop everything. I clap my hands and say, “Alright kids. Bathing suits. Outside. Now.”

I just love his faces. Wills seems to come alive whenever he’s around a body of water--big or small. His laughs and happy squeals are endless.

Sprinklers on the other hand, not so much --very very unhappy squeals.

Wills has always been Mr. Independent, strong willed, and headstrong, but lately he has climbed to a whole new level. His confidence and bravery is much bigger than his little body can hold. He’s rolling with the big kids, climbing the playground equipment as high as he can go, and attempting to keep up with their running pace --which is extremely comical watching him run as his diaper butt twists from side to side.

This is a common scene at our house --Krysta directing Wills, and Wills obviously isn’t appreciative of her assistance. This is usually followed by Wills letting out a loud piercing shriek, followed by me saying, “Krysta, let him go”. Sometimes we live on broken records.

One of our new routines is going to the park at dusk. If we’re lucky it would have cooled down to say 97*? Anything under 100* is a breath of fresh air. Hot. Hot. Hot.

And when I’m not pulling Wills down from high playground equipment, I’m pulling my other two babies out of trees. Ron wanted to show Krysta how he used to climb a tree as a kid. He made his way up, twisting and turning around branches until the tree limbs became too thin to proceed any higher. When his inner 8 year old was satisfied, he looked down and proudly said, “Look Krysta, this is how you climb trees!”  Only one problem --he couldn’t remember how to get back down. Minor setback, minor setback.

As much as we’re digging running around under the summer sun in triple temp digits and getting stuck in trees, sometimes it’s nice to have an indoor tea party. You know, with AC. Krysta decks hers out--a white ball gown, a porcelain tea set given to her from her Nana, a tea pot filled to the rim with water and tiny saucers piled high with trail mix. My girl lives it up.

As days turn into weeks, the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter. After all is said and done and we’re settled into a new rhythm of life, the anxiety and distress will taper off, and the moment I’ve been waiting for will come -the moment that makes all of the stress worthwhile- the moment of “awe” where everything falls into place and the weight is lifted from my shoulders, and I can just be.

On a side note: we've been having some pretty wicked skies! (currently obsessed with clouds and light)

Until next time, happy midweek!


08 July 2011


Life has yet to slowdown. Stacked brown boxes fill our home from wall to wall and random furniture pieces are strewn throughout the halls still in search for the appropriate spot. We’re slowly settling into a new routine and unpacking our household goods and years of memories, but not without a few tears—tears from damaged furniture, broken china dishes, damaged paintings, but mostly because $260+ was stolen out of Krysta’s piggy bank. Seriously, what type of grown man steals from a child by smashing a piggy bank into dozens of pieces, then playing it off by wrapping the broken pieces in packing paper? He wasn’t very smart because he forgot the cork at the bottom on the box, which makes it extremely obvious what happened. My heart aches for my daughter, as she has been saving her money for a VERY longtime. This whole moving situation disgusts me.

Note: For my milie friends in Alaska or moving to Alaska, do yourself a favor and avoid hiring Alison’s Relocation's INC. It’ll save you a lot of heartache. Email me if you want the specifics on our experience, as this was just the tip of the iceberg.

Moving on to happier moments….

Independence Day!

Monday we set everything aside and celebrated our country’s birthday.

It was a day to honor all of our men and woman who defend our country on a daily basis, and to give our respects to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom throughout past wars. And so to honor our military and country, we pulled out our American traditions of barbeques, sparklers, fireworks, and of course decking out in red, white, and blue.

If there is one statement that sums up what this country means to me, it is this:

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same."
~Ronald Reagan

Earlier this week while we were sitting in the Chick-fil-a drive-thru, when Krysta asked why we moved to Oklahoma. As I searched for words for her 8 year old mind to understand, it came down to this…

Daddy’s job is on a 12-18 month deployment cycle, where as the other base is every year, so daddy would be home more often for birthdays and holidays, and he may even be home for the firsts—first words, first day of school, first soccer goal.

I could see her face shift into sadness as the wheels in her head started spinning, trying to digest what life would be like without daddy home.

I continued the conversation very light heatedly with--daddy’s been gone 6 times and we had lots of fun hanging out together and visiting Nana and Mimi and the beach and we did just fine while he was away and daddy’s keeping our country safe and it’s going to be many months until he has to leave again and…

She nodded her head in understanding, but I could see little tear puddles forming at the bottom of her eyelids.

Explaining wartime and what it means to protect our freedom to a child is a lot harder than it looks. I’m terrified that my choice of words and the actions we take before and during deployments would harm her mentally. There is no amount of self-help books and counseling that will stop the inevitable… daddy will one day deployment again and it will take the strength of God to pull us through.

Fourth of July night we packed into the car and drove the college to watch the firework show.

Boom. Boom. Pop. Fizzle. Pow. Bam.
Bursts of color exploding throughout the sky, one after the other.

Did anyone else have Toby Keith’s, Courtesy of the red, white, and blue playing in your head as the fireworks lit up the sky? Or Martina McBride’s, Independence Day? Or even the Star Spangled Banner? I did, and it was awesome.

Happy Birthday America!