new background

Monday, June 24, 2013

Many Travels, Random Residings, Unplanned Adventures = Our Life is Never Predictable.

Yum: that kind of sums up the last month and a half for me.

However, I will try to recount for you why I have been so absent on this blog as much as possible.

Maybe then you understand why blogging has been nearly impossible since April 19th! (and the delaying until now because of the lack of Internet where we are currently feels so archaic, haha)

From the time we left off until March 1st, our family was preparing to come into the states for Matthew McCoy's (my brother) graduation. Before i left Alaska thought, I was able to complete my very first triathlon in the 22nd week of pregnancy! It was indoors and a good trial run for me-- I cant wait to try one when i am NOT pregnant!

Tennessee was a load of fun, the traveling there was unbelievably smooth (praise the Lord!) and Elyse just adored being with her lovely family! Andrew surprised us and randomly flew in to meet us for five days before he was put on a flying mission back in Alaska! It was a lot of fun having everyone together again. We even had time to visit an old time favorite ice cream shop in downtown Loudon with my parents. Elyse had the kid special (pink cotton candy flavored with sprinkles: what more could a girl want??) and enjoyed it down tot he last lick! Then, she proceeded to prance around the city's square fountain for at least 30 minutes while giggling and laughing as we all tried to "catch her". We also decided on the name Jackson for our growing baby boy while we were there too... A defining moment for me as this has been such a struggle to agree on one.

It was also great to have enough free time (since I had so much help!) to make my brother a graduation cake! It turned out very yummy-- but it was DEFINITELY a commitment! Highly recommended if you have the time!!

We are so proud of Matt graduating college and taking on the world with a degree and, by Gods grace, a potential job opportunity in Atlanta. His wife Kassi landed a job at Buckhead Elementary, where she will be Mrs.McCoy for a third grade class. I just love these two and am so thrilled to see how both of my brothers are coming up in the world... God has blessed them a lot.

Congrats to both of you for making this step in your lives!

Well earned computer:

While in Knoxville, my sweet college roommates were able to pull off an annual roommate reunion-- kids and all! It was great to see how everyone was, and how new relationships were blooming as our children grow older and, for our unmarried lady, with a significant other ;) I love all these gals so much and thank God for the continuing impact they still make on my life, even beyond our college years!

Mothers day was a blast as well! My little brother Tyler got a job at Dollywood for the summer... And in turn, he treated us with some tickets to the park and to the water park, splash country!! We took our mothers day as our excuse go play in some water while we had the opportunity. However, even though it was a beautiful day, it was a little too chilly to really dive in and enjoy the park fully! It only got to 64 that day. Yet my brother, sister in law and mom had NO problem taking advantage of all the rides elyse and I couldn't do... It was a lot of fun for us to listen to them scream on the rides, as they got soaked and watching them come back shivering! After all the chilly fun, Starbucks coffee was a very embraced item, thawing us out as we winded down from all the fun. Shopping was of course included in our mothers day, as well as dinner out at one of moms favorite Mexican place in Severville. The day was ended with flowers from my brother and sister in law... Which brought a big grin to my face! They are more than thoughtful to include a sister with a baby and acknowledge her motherhood. It probably struck my brother odd just a much as it did me! Haha, but it sure was appreciated and cherished. Thanks for the lovely gift you two.

Here are some pictures from Dollywood and Splash country:

We actually got to see Dolly herself!!

Believe it or not, Elyse was having a blast. Haha, the facial expressions don't line up with how much she was truly enjoying this... and she let you know as she pitched a fit when we came to get her off the ride!

Crazy child!

By the way, this pie was as big as torso! It was RIDICULOUS!!

And yes, the cookies were as big as my hand. DANG!

My Grandfather took this picture at the Apple Cake Tea Room. Precious. 

Costco fun! Haha.

Sporting Poppops shoes

Poppop, Elyse and little Eleanor. Buds.

This was Elyse and mom's chicken pot pie they made for us! It was SOOOO good!

Thanks chef Nana and chef Lysey!

UT baseball game:

We visited with so many friends and family while we were there too. Amazing how many people we got to see in two weeks! It was great to be able to visit with everyone as much as we did. I am sure elyse will cherish all of these memories, but not as much as I will. Its only when you understand the cost our career and our calling from God has on frequent family gatherings that you appreciate each reunion all the more!

Our fun did come to an end though on May 15th and we took a day and a half to travel back to Anchorage Ak. Andrew had just landed 4 hours prior to us, so he came to pick us up from the airport, bringing good ol' Eli along with him! It was so fun for me to see our little family unit all together again.... And then the news: Andrew had been called (in the process of driving to pick us up) by his commander telling him he was going to S.O.S. school (a military leadership training for captains) in Montgomery, AL on the 27th. Thus, the 11 day count down to being in Alaska began...

Here we are leaving good ol' TN. The first time, haha!

Starbucks chilling:

I'm not going to lie: I fought the issue of joining Andrew for this training at first.. And had a really bad attitude about making the effort at all to go. After all, we had just landed, i made big plans to run two 5ks I signed Andrew and I up for, i had many project lists I wanted to complete before guests came to visit and baby Jackson arrived, squadron and Alaskan fun to attend, friendships to enjoy, etc etc etc. I I I .... It was all about me. My fun was being ruined, my plans were being crushed, my desires were being trampled.

It was a lot of selfishness that I wasn't willing to confess and repent from... Until I met with my Christian warrior friends as we dished out the heart of the issues in our lives, and found ways to fight them. It was a definite praise to a pleading prayer. God used these gals to encourage my heart to stop being so selfish, look beyond your mud puddles to the riches God is trying to lead you to, and turn to His word for the weapons I need to fight my bitterness and selfishness while sacrificing more than I ever thought was humanly possible for me... But that's why I'm not warring this lifestyle alone. Thankful for the Lord's providence with these Christian ladies and His word to fight for a better life, which usually involves dying to our own plans ;)

Yes, it seemed to my longing heart our 11 days were equivalent to a whirlwind. Yet in that time was time well spent: we were able to say goodbye to some friends relocating to a different state, finish some house projects, clean up the yard from the long endured winter damage, watch my very committed friends successfully finish a triathlon in ease, wrap up the last squadron bible study for the summer, hang out with some dearly missed friends, babysit, spend time as a family, enjoy running in Alaska weather again (and praise the Lord, the weather was FANTASTIC that last week of us being there!), attend my baby shower my sweet friends threw for me (I feel so incredibly blessed!!), have some memorial day fun by joining some friends at their camp... All before catching a 6:30am C-17 aircraft to Memphis TN.

Some Alaska fun before we came back to the states:

Moose on our run! There are two:

Elyse's favortie pjs... haha! They are WAY too small.. but she could care less.

Snow City Cafe:

Andrew and I had a hiking date too... super fun! 
Three miles straight up with snowshoes!
Incredible views:

All before we were back in the lower 48 again.

Goodbye Alaska:

On the C-17.

We stayed in Memphis a week with Andrew's family before joining him in Montgomery. It was a treat for her family to see her in that short time and a blessing for me to have some extra help and supplies for our temporary move to AL. We took advantage of the splash pad in town, pottery barn outlet, local places to eat and the lovely zoo before relocating once again.

Memphis zoo:

(Can you tell she is still adjusting to the heat at this point in our journey??)

Oh... and Elyse got to hold some birds!

Memphis splashpad:

Here I am at 26 weeks... I will have to update this since I am now 29 weeks, haha!

While Andrew was settling into Montgomery, he was made aware of our new assignment....We got Columbus MS! We are thrilled.. more to come on the assignment though: details have not been squared away yet!

Friday the 31st of May, we moved in to our furnished apartment, complete with a pool, playgrounds and ponds with ducks! We have literally been to the pool once a day since being here, and on some days, twice! We are still adjusting to all the new changes and my new primary mode of transportation: the stroller, haha. Our wonderful friends gave us their car to rent while in town, but sharing has been a bit challenging with such early report times for Andrew. Elyse is still trying to adjust to the southern heat and all the many bugs and prickly weeds that go with it. It will be a process, as she is still fighting her southern roots, but its worth it to hear Andrew at the end of the day say "Man, it's just great to have you both here. It's almost like a dream!". I am thankful his desire is to keep our family together as much as he is allowed, so my request from you is that I continue to support his desire as well and keep dying to self through all the many hardships that turn up on the constant road of changes.

Here we are visiting our friends from Alaska, the Hasslers, who are now in Montgomery AL. Elyse was thrilled to see Shammah again!

Feeding ducks at the apartment pond.

Pudding treat!

I have never gotten this kid to wear sunglasses...until she picked some out for herself! She loves them!

....though she needs to learn how to put them on... right side UP! Haha!

Pool fun:

Shakespearan park:

And shopping! Haha.... check out those crazy cool shoes she picked out for herself:

Touring downtown with friends:

..more pool time!

Another blessing We have taken advantage of while being in Montgomery (once I got done with all my whining and self pitying) is the ability to take road trips to... Wherever we want! Being so close to the beach, we took advantage of a quiet opened weekend and headed to Destin Florida.

Elyse had a blast while I reminisced in memories of my own childhood of being here annually. My family and another close family would come to Destin every summer/spring break we were able from 7th grade to at least 10th/11th grade. My friend's family owned a condo and we had so many great memories stored up in that town...

We made The journey early Saturday morning and got to our destination at 11:30. Our first stop was of course for food.. So we made it a good one: The donut hole! Good times, great food! We of course couldn't end with just their food: we had to take a big bite out of the experience and end with a slice of cake and pie!! It was great! We were all so wired for the next hour though, it was ridiculous-- haha!

From there, we checked into our hotel and put elyse down for a nap ( I selfishly wanted to get to the beach but the melt downs were happening too fast and we turned around to get elyse what she needed most..sigh!). My husband however was sweet enough to give me a break and let me go on a relaxing run by myself and do some shopping while she slept. It was super fun and I found some great deals at the outlets! Would have love to take elyse, but she loves to browse and I like to get it done... It was a nice change to power shop by yourself every once in a while!

Elyse was up when I got back and we dressed for the beach! It had been quite a while since elyse had been in the sand so she was a bit reluctant to stand in it by herself at first... But as the minutes turned into hours, she was in LOVE with the beach. She cried pretty hard when we had to leave and ran right for the ocean in protest! Haha!

Dinner was at a place called Dewey's... It was okay, but definitely not a favorite. The fun was seeing the harbor and walking the docks afterwards.

Heading out for our journey!

Dewey's Destin:

The Donut hole:

Being a family and just getting to relax in one another's company was my favorite part of this little retreat. Even though the last day (Sunday) was a soggy wet day, we still got to enjoy a hearty breakfast, a finie drive down FL 30A and a pit stop at Starbucks in a cute town called Seaside. Then we took the three hour trek home, just talking and enjoying life... All in the name of a road trip.

It was surely time well spent and memories that will keep us smiling in the days to come!

Coming back to Montgomery was equally fun as elyse and spent the next three days preparing for visitors: our AF family, the smiths!

We went to Birmingham AL for Fathers day... and of course had to get some really good food before we started into the adventures for the day! ;)

Another Broken Egg:

Ruffner's Nature Center:

And the coolest place ever: McWane Science Center!
We spent three hours here! Haha!

Nate on the bed of nails:

Look how big Lincoln is! AHHH-- monster baby!

Techno dancing children:

... Elyse has been eating her veggies lately too!

Family photo!
Check out the faces we made as well :)

Fathers on Fathers Day ;)
... wearing our trophy hats from our race

Costco visit; Elyse loved having a buddy to come along!

From the day they arrived with their little One to the day they left, we had nothing but good laughs and really, some great conversation! Elyse loved her buddy Lincoln and was very very sad to see him leave. I cried too-- she was really sad as she had SO much fun! She had a pool buddy every day, he was a great playmate, she had fun riding side by side with her buddy in their strollers and feeding ducks. We can't wait to join them in Florida at the end of this month!

Andrea joined Lacy and I for a 5k as well-- I was happy she did (she kept me from doing anything stupid as I am 27 weeks now... And slightly crazy when it comes to running like I did before I was pregnant! I was thankful for her company). Lacy did great as well-- especially as she had only run three times before the race! Haha-- it was great to see her fly ahead of us, followed by her husband and son, Shammah!! We all placed high in our age group, which was awesome! Proud of my friends!! The 5k was in honor of our dads/wonderful husbands and the fees benefitted the efforts to help girls get out of sex trafficking: Stella's Voice. Look it up if you are interested in knowing more.
My racing gals (Left to right: Lacy, me, and Andrea)

This week I think I will be doing a lot of reflecting on all of the conversations we had and everything I learned while talking to my dad on the phone about elyse's educational development. It should be a good week of good rest...As we prepare to dive into another weekend of friends, family and fun! More to come of course :)

Anyways, this has taken me a very long time to blog today since I have waited so long to do so... thus, I will be sharing our latest adventures with you later this week!

Thanks for your patience on my updating the blog!

Blessings XOXO