Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sigh ... Summer's End ...

School is back in session and my time is tested again. Kyle and I were in a fury this week trying to catch up with the schedules that seemed to always be taunting us from around the next corner. As the current new pilot in his squadron, Kyle was assigned to all of the late-night sims. One was even scheduled for 11:oo pm - 1:00 am. My days begin with dawn's light - so, it's been a challenge to find time when we're both home. In Kyle's words, "the only person this benefits is Douglass ... and he's not even a person! hmph!" I'm teaching two classes (four classes per week), taking four classes (12 hours per week), and working 12 hours in the clinic every week. But, we've come to the end of week #1 and the house is quiet on a Sunday evening. We pray for peace in the midst of busy schedules and try to appreciate twinkling glimpses of "the good life" as August whirls into September.

1. Spending Friday night celebrating Hamlet, Ryan, and Jesse's assignment night. The Air Force dedicates a whole evening celebration where plane assignments and future locations are announced. The Navy guys got Oklahoma City ... surprise! I loved seeing Chrissey, Amanda, and sweet baby Jonah.

2. Helping Hamlet, Chrissey, and Jonah move into their new house! One-by-one, we're getting reconnected around Tinker AFB. We also got to see Todd, Erika, and Hunter! :)

4. Yard-sale -"ing" on Friday and Saturday. We found a BEAUTIFUL, antique china hutch which is now the only piece of furniture in our dining room. heh.

5. Seeing my school friends in OK City on Saturday night: our first time in Bricktown!

6. Learning to enjoy our commutes. Something I treasure about our new home is driving by open countryside everyday, noticing subtle changings in the corn, and seeing the cattle and horses graze with familiar contentment.

Our goal for this week: get everywhere on time, settle into the homework/studying routine, and make it to the long Labor Day weekend a little less stressed, a little more rejuvinated.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Last minute Michigan Vacay!

When Kyle got back from training, we realized that we both had time off for a WEEK together. (I don't think our down-time has coincided since our honeymoon!) He didn't have to report for class until August 13th and I'm off on break from school until August 18th. After a quick inquiry at the base last Monday, we hit the road for a last minute vacay to Michigan. Kyle and I have been talking about wanting to visit his family in Michigan at our first opportunity (we hadn't been there in almost TWO YEARS!!), so we jumped ... and arrived in Holland, MI on Wednesday, August 6th. A summary of our trip in words and pictures:

... before we got going, we had to give our douggie dog a bath (to impress the relatives) ...
here he is in towel cocoon with freaky eyes, but our precious puppy nonetheless

Some of my favorite memories from the trip are:

1. Coming home to find Vic, Kyle's dad, and Douglass taking a nap in the hammock.

2. Kayaking for the FIRST time. I loved it so much, I declared, "I could live in a Kayak." Hmmm ... I wonder if Kyle loves me enough to live in a Kayak, too. heh.

... pushing off from shore ...

3. The cool, clear weather (I don't think it ever was above 75 degrees!).

4. The relaxing, laid-back feel of a summer, lake resort town.

... isn't it fantastic!?! ... like a dream! ...

5. Going bike riding down the bike trails, winding by the marina and Lake Michigan.

6. Taking Douglass to the Michigan dog park - he adored it!

more kayaking and a sailboat

7. Captain Sundaes. Oh yes. The Tammy Turtle was the best thing I have EVER tasted. Picture this: vanilla icecream, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, and pralined pecans. YUM!

8. Our nights by the fire pit. In honor of Drew's birthday, we had a bonfire and smores. What fun it was to converse and laugh by the firelight.

9. BEING THERE FOR DREW'S 18TH BIRTHDAY!! Bow chicka bow wow!

a post-candle blowing pose ... and a little celebration over some southern living "Perfect Chocolate Cake" I learned cake's perfect complement is Mackinaw Island Fudge Ice cream - a staple of Kyle's growing up years. That stuff was DEVINE!

10. Dinner for Two at Via Maria's. We ate a luxurious Italian dinner outside under a grape arbor ... definitely romantic. The dinner for two includes: a choice of salad, a huge pizza for appetizer, a main course (we got the Tiger Shrimp), and coffee and cookies for dessert. I was so stuffed, Kyle had to roll me down the street ... practically rolled me home to Oklahoma!

A sailboat.

11. BEING PRESENT FOR VIC AND ANNE'S 29TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY! We are lucky to have two sets of parents from which to take advice, acquired knowledge, and experience.

12. Walking by the Holland light house at sunset. Kyle and I were there two years ago before our wedding - we enjoyed returning as a seasoned, wisened, old married couple - ha!

... my love ...

13. The Farmer's Market. Okay, I have a LOVE for farmer's markets. I do believe, if there was one place left on earth for me to reside, I would choose a farmer's market. I love the fresh veggie smell, the connection to the earth, the summertime, the cool breeze, everything! Holland's farmer's market is spectacular! ... even sporting street musicians and a local chef doing a recipe demonstration. And, the corn ... my love, sigh ...! I am missing the corn in my life right now!

14. Seeing Kyle's extended family including Grandma Alice - did you know ... two of our grandmother's are named Alice and THREE of our grandparents were born on the same day - January 1st!

Kyle's precious cousin, Gretchen, Douglass, and me. Gretchen and I have to stick together because we're "the only girl cousins!"

Gretchen and Douglass became fast friends. Douglass even met Brody, his "dog-cousin!"

15. Outdoor worship. Kyle's parents' church does outdoor services during the summer with hot, homemade doughnuts and chilled snowcones to follow!

16. Our fabulous tour of Hope College given by distinguished student, Pete.

... beautiful campus! ...

... Kyle and Pete in front of Pete's cottage for this year ...

17. Blueberry picking! Two nights in a row, we went out picking the hugest, most delectable berries ever. I've been trying to freeze the rest of ours so that we'll taste their delights all winter!

18. Seeing our dear friends Leslie and Scott in Chicago on the way home. Boy, do we miss them!! :)

19. Going to the beach! Despite "polar-bearing it up" in like negative frigid degree water for this southern girl, this afternoon was glorious. I love having dear brothers!

The Beach! I was informed that even though this is a LAKE, we were, indeed, at a beach. :)

I call this, "Three boys going down to the sand."

An artistic photo of Pete. (Jilly - I found the orange/blue combination!)

I call this, "Three boys asleep in the sand."

20. We took the scenic route through St. Louis on the way home and saw the gateway. I craned as far as I could out the window to take this picture!

The Gateway Arch from a Passat Window.

Thank you to Kyle's dear family for hosting us at the last minute, for hours of baby-sitting Douglass, and for making our vacation splendid! During my long descent into school craziness and stress, I will clutch comforting memories of kayaking, bonfires, and tammy turtles close - like gems among the flames!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Kyle's Home! Sweet, sweet day!

Driving to the airport on Saturday, I reminisced about all the past rides to an airport. My stomach filled with twittery butterflies - a feeling I well remembered from our long-distance days. How grateful I am, now, that though one of us may leave for a little bit, our home is with the other! He returned to me a little more skinny, a little more tired, a lot more hungry ... but he was home! Oh, sweet day!

Douglass and me excited and ready to pick Kyle up from the airport!

(Kyle surprised me by moving his flight up from an arrival time 0f 5:00 pm to 11:15 am!!
I crave surprises - this one was the BEST...
5-6 more hours with my dear love...
and to catch up on all my antics - see previous postings! ha!)

There he is! Hail the conquering graduate! :)

Yay! We're in the car on the way home! ... and to get some lunch at Panera - our fav place for delectable lunch treats.

I think Douglass was just as happy to see Kyle as I was - heh.

My boys.
Douglass, first thing, curled up in Kyle's arms as if to say, "My family's here, I can rest."

Of Kyle, I am so proud. I rejoice everyday in the time we share and marvel at Kyle's goodness, his tender care of our family. Thank you, Kyle, for asking me to share this life with you, for your devotion to your career, for encouraging me in mine. I love you ... I sing with gladness that you're home!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Oklahoma! Where the wind comes sweeping down the plain!

The Breakfast Nook ... probably my fav part of the whole house ... please note the two missing chairs - one fatality occurred a week after purchase, the other an incident involving my dad - pre finger-breaking!

Master Bedroom minus our bedspread (see previous post!)

The Office

The Living Room and Kitchen

A sideways view of the couch and our living room ... notice a perfect, VACANT spot for a new loveseat ... hmmm ...

The entryway

The Front View

I've been scrambling trying to unpack everything in anticipation of Kyle coming home tomorrow! I am excited to unveil the first pictures of our sort-of finished house. Several things still need to be done ... but, here you go! :) We LOVE our new little nest and feel like we DO live in a tree house. This southeastern girl needs her trees!