Saying Goodbye

Today, Derek had to say goodbye to his baby girl for six weeks. We have done a couple 4 week stretches, but this will be the longest they will have been apart thus far. I know six weeks isn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but six weeks seems like such a long time in the world of toddlers. Selfishly, I'm worried about how I'm going to handle it. This is the first time where Derek will have been gone for a long period of time since Shelby has really started communicating and understanding things. I'm dreading her constantly asking every single day where her Daddy is b/c how do you explain that to a two year old? But I know we'll get through it, and the two of us girls will have a fun month together even though we'll be missing Daddy like crazy. It almost seemed like Shelby was sensing something was coming b/c she was being extra sweet & snuggly with Derek last night. I snapped this picture with my phone of Shelby hugging Daddy as they were heading upstairs for bedtime last night. It seriously melts my heart.

And here are a couple more pictures I took this morning before we headed out the door for the airport...

This one is a bit blurry, but we seriously love how
Shelby pats our backs when we give her a hug. :)
Derek is en route to Houston as I am typing this. He will have a short layover there before his direct flight from Houston to Germany. He will be working in an ICU there for the next four weeks, and I think it will be a great experience for him! We love you & miss you, Derek!

On a completely unrelated note, I hope to get the recap of Shelby's birthday up sometime this week! :)


Snapshots from Shelby's Birthday Weekend

Here's what we were up to this past weekend! :) 

Eating icing as we made birthday cupcakes :)
A little blurry...but this picture captures Shelby's pure joy!

Diving face-first into her cupcake!

I will check back in soon with more details & pictures from Shelby's birthday weekend, but for now we are busy recovering from a whirlwind of fun, family, & friends! Thank you to everyone who helped make Shelby's second birthday a VERY special one!


Shelby's Two Year Pictures

We have a friend in our neighborhood named Whitney who just so happens to be an amazing photographer. She took our family pictures {which you can see HERE} last fall. Well, she just recently set up a little studio in her house and wanted to try out her new equipment on a few guinea pigs. We were happy to oblige!

Whitney asked us to bring a favorite toy or blanket to our "guinea pig session," and the first thing that came to our minds was Shelby's alphabet puzzle. Shelby is currently obsessed with anything related to the alphabet, but this puzzle is by far her favorite. I am so thankful that we got a few precious shots with her beloved puzzle. These pictures truly capture Shelby at two years of age. For those of you who might be interested {Shelby's grandparents!}, here is the LINK to the rest of the pictures that Whitney took.

The shirt Shelby is wearing in the photos is from THIS Etsy shop. The shirt gives you a little sneak peak at the theme of Miss Shelby's birthday party. :)


Happy 2nd Birthday, Shelby!!

Happy 2nd Birthday to our sweet baby girl! It's hard to believe it's already been two years! 
How did we go from this....

to this....

and now this???

We are so thankful for you, sweet girl! We have loved watching you transform into your own little personality over the past two years. We love how creative you are and whenever you see a Cheetoh, you have to tell us what it resembles. Today you found a Cheetoh that looked like a J and another that looked like a house. I love how when I give you two grapes, you always tell me it's two eyes. We love how obsessed you are with your letters and like to line them up on the floor "just so." We love how every time we start singing a song, you immediately stop us and demand "E-I-E-I-O song." We love how you always ask to watch Caillou even though that show gets on our very last nerves. We love your fake laugh & your genuine belly laugh. We love how you like to sit by yourself and recite your favorite books over and over and over again. We love how your independence is starting to sprout when you have to be the one to choose the color of your bib at mealtime. You have made us parents and brightened each and every one of the past 730 days in our lives. We love you so much, Shelby-girl!


Checking in...

Blogging hasn't been very consistent this month. September has just been plain hectic for us! Between Derek's very busy schedule at work this month, Shelby starting school, Shelby's upcoming birthday, and planning for the KSC Auction being in full swing...we are just worn out! But here are a few random snapshots since I last updated the blog....

Last Saturday we went to Shelby's friend's birthday party, and I snapped this photo of her while we were there. She was sporting all of her UGA gear for the big game against Mizzou, which we won! :)

Shelby thinks she is so cute when she does this in the tub ;)

"Hooray!" for cookies :)
Another highlight of the week was Shelby starting up the fall semester of Kindermusik class. I actually had a KSC event the evening that Shelby's class started, but Daddy was able to get home from work in time to take her. :)  They had a fun evening together going to Kindermusik and then had dinner at McDonald's together!  Another highlight of the week was having our photographer friend in our neighborhood take a few pics of Shelby. She recently set up a studio in her room and wanted some guinea pigs to try out her new equipment on, so we gladly obliged! I'll be sure to share the pics soon! Thursday marked Shelby's 2nd day/week of MMO. The second day wasn't nearly as pretty as the first. I know firsthand from my teaching days that a lot of kids do great the first day, but then the subsequent days are harder. As Derek says, you can get any solider to go into battle once. And this was the case for Shelby. It was truly one of the hardest things I have ever done to walk away from the school as I listened to her quietly crying and trying to catch her breath. What I would give to never have to go through that again. According to her teachers, she had tears on and off for most of the morning. I thought the second day was going to be harder, but I really wasn't anticipating the tears at all. Shelby is just not a crier (unless of course, she gets hurt), so this was totally out of character for her and I think that's why it was so hard for me to handle. I got there early to pick her up so I could watch her on the video. I was so relieved to see her happily participating in singing & dancing to "If You're Happy and You Know It." But as soon as she saw the first mom come to the door to pick up her kiddo and she didn't see me right away, she lost it again. :(  We are hoping for a better day next week!

This weekend has gotten off to a great start for us! I was able to get away for a hair cut on Friday evening, and then Derek has today off so we took a morning trip to the beach.

Notice all the tracks in the sand? Clean-up in still on-going from Issac.

Pile of debri nearby us

Doing her little bathtub "move" again ;)

Just as we were getting ready to pack up our things to head home for lunch, the front end loader came
by to start picking up the debri near us. All three of us really enjoyed getting to
see the clean-up process in action, especially Shelby! We all kind of scoffed at how
mild Isaac ending up being here in Biloxi, but when you see the clean-up crew still working
this hard weeks since the hurricane it really makes you appreciate what the clean-up process
must be like for a stronger hurricane.

Hope y'all are having a great weekend, too! And here's to hoping another week won't pass by before I update the blog again! ;)


Time is Love

Every time I hear this song on the radio, I smile and think of my sweet hubby. His love language is definitely time. When he is at the hospital, he works--he works hard. He works as hard as he can, so he can come home to us girls as quickly as possible. And he never brings his work home with him. Almost every single morning as Derek is heading out the door for work, he gives me a quick kiss goodbye, tells me he loves me, and then says "I'll be home as soon as I can." I always respond to him with: "I know you will, babe. I love you, too." And it's true. I know he is an amazing doctor, but he is an even better husband & father. And I love that his family is his first priority.

I know I gotta put in the hours,
Make the money while the sunlight shines
But anything I gotta get done,
It can get done some other time

Time is love, gotta run,

Love to hang longer,
But I got someone who waits,
Waits for me and right now
She's where I need to be,
Time is love, gotta run

I only get so many minutes,

Don't wanna spend 'em all on the clock
In the time that we spent talkin',
How many kisses have I lost?

Time Is love, gotta run,

Love to hang longer,
But I got someone who waits,
Waits for me and right now
She's where I need to be,
Time is love, gotta run.

Gotta fly

Before one more moment
Gets by...

Time Is love, gotta run,

Love to hang longer,
But I got someone who waits,
Waits for me and right now
She's where I need to be

Time is love, gotta run,

Love to hang longer,
But I got someone who waits,
Waits for me and right now
She's where I need to be,
Time is love, gotta run.

Time is Love, gotta run...


Shelby's First Day of "School"

Yesterday--September 6, 2012--marked Shelby's first day of "school!" Shelby will be attending Mother's Morning Out at Trinity United Methodist Church in Gulfport this year. She will go one day a week (Thursday mornings) for 3 hours. Her teachers are so sweet and it's very cute little program. I think it will be such a wonderful experience for Shelby!
Packing Shelby's backpack the night before her first day of school
was the most emotional aspect of the whole process for me! ;)


"I'm ready, Mama!"

Here we go....
Shelby loves to point to all of the people she knows in our
picture frames and name everybody one by one. She does
this at least 5 or 6 times every single day! Ha!

Shelby's bookbag hanging outside her classroom

Shelby did awesome when I dropped her off yesterday morning! I could tell she got a little nervous when she heard/saw a few other kiddos freaking out, but she was fine. I, on the other hand, was a nervous wreck! ;)  There is a video camera in the classroom, and parents can watch the video from a television in the hallway. I stood out there watching for about 20 minutes before I ever even saw her on the screen! The camera only catches about 2/3 of the room, and of course Shelby was in the other 1/3 of the room. ;)  I finally peeked over the door to see where she was, and as it turned out she was standing right next to her little buddy Adam who was a little upset. Once Adam stopped crying, another little girl started crying and Shelby quickly went to her side. Ha! I'd like to say that Shelby was being sensitive and was worried about her friends (and maybe she was!), but she's usually enthralled with kids who are upset/crying/throwing fits for whatever reason. If we see a kid throwing a fit in Target, Shelby is always gawking. Shelby has never really been one to cry or throw tantrums, so I think she's always wondering what the heck is going on with them! Ha! Once most of the kids calmed down, Shelby started wandering about the room a bit more. But she was always hanging back and observing. It always takes her a bit to warm up, especially in a large group setting. It was such a neat experience to watch her interact in her classroom via the video. I always wonder how she acts/behaves when I'm not around, and today I got to find out! I dropped Shelby off at 8:30, and I finally left at 9:10. Pick-up time was 11:30, and I returned at about 11:20. I was anxious to see if Shelby had warmed up to her class. As soon as I got to the television, I noticed the teacher was sitting in a rocking chair and a couple kids were on the rug in front of her as she sang songs with them, but the vast majority of the kids were off doing their own thing. But where was Shelby? Front and center in the middle of the rug watching and mimicking every facial expression & hand motion of her teacher. ;)  Definitely a proud mommy moment for me! When it was time for parents to start picking up the kiddos, most of the kiddos immediately ran to the door. But Miss Shelby just kept on playing. ;) Her teacher had to call her name to come over twice b/c she was so busy playing in the play kitchen area. She was all smiles when she saw me though! I couldn't have asked for a better first "school" experience for our baby girl! We are so proud of you, Shelby!

Back in the car with Mommy after her first day!


Shelby's Favorite Pastime

For the longest time, Shelby's favorite thing to do was stacking. At 23 months old, her current favorite pastime is this:

When I took this video, she had literally been sitting there for the previous 15 minutes doing the exact same thing. This activity will hold her attention longer than anything else. Shelby loves her ABC's! :)


Our Brave Girl

Shelby got a little brave streak in her last week!

For some reason, last week Shelby decided she was ready to climb up the slide on the playground in our neighborhood & climb to the top of Chick-Fil-A's playplace. (We don't have a picture of it yet, but she also started trying to climb up the rock wall on our neighborhood playground!) We have no idea where this little brave streak came from, but it's been so fun to see Shelby's confidence growing...even though it makes this Mommy very nervous! ;)


Our First Hurrication!

We have officially survived our first hurricane! It's crazy to think that it took 28 years for Derek & me to experience our first storm, and Shelby's already weathered a hurricane before the ripe old age of 2! We are so thankful that the storm wasn't nearly as bad for us as originally forecasted, and we're even more thankful that Derek got to be home with us while the base was shut down. Had the hurricane come in July or September, Derek would have been at the hospital for the duration of the storm. We ended up never losing power or experiencing any flooding in our neighborhood (with the exception of water seeping in through our back door and soaking our carpet!), so it truly was a "hurrication." We even had a couple "hurricane parties" with our friends Ben & Angela and their little boy, Adam.

Although there was no mandatory evacuation issued for us, there were mandatory evacuations for a number of low-lying areas around the MS Gulf Coast. There was also a lot of flooding along the beach-front roads & buildings. Here is a picture of Hwy 90 (which you take to get to base) near the casinos...so hard to believe!

On Tuesday evening, Derek & our friend Ben went out to the Back Bay to explore.

We finally had to go in and wake Shelby up at 10:15 on Wednesday morning.
Apparently, she enjoyed sleeping to the sounds of wind & rain. ;)

We spent a lot of time like this on our hurrication. :)
And here are a few pictures from the Back Bay that my photographer friend Whitney (who also lives in our neighborhood) captured during the storm.

We are so thankful that our home & the base fared so well in the storm. We are certainly thinking & praying for those who were not as fortunate as we were.