Thursday, January 23, 2014

50 Days Down...

Crazy.. I can't believe it's been 50 days, and SO much has happened. I am just going to warn you-I'll be a bad blogger during the doployment. I'm only getting a small taste of what single parents go through, and let me tell you... I have so much more respect for them now. For. Sure. The first 50 days had its ups and downs, and I'm definitely realizing how strong (or some days, weak) I am. I'm so blessed to have God, family, and friends to help me through it.

We are able to Skype Cody everyday, (unless he's in Afghanistan) and that is a HUGE blessing.
Saying goodbye to Cody at the airport was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Cason didn't handle it well, and I swear Cody and I said our "I love you"s and "goodbye"s many, many times before we finally accepted that he had to leave to get on the plane. Sweet Cate slept right through everything, haha. The next few days flew by. My daddy and two of my uncles moved the babies and I down to Texas, and into my parent's home in Pittsburg. Cason immediately settled in- playing with Grandfather and Uncle Grant, getting anything he wanted from Gigi, and tormenting their cat. Cate, of course, had everyone wrapped around her finger Day 1.
We enjoyed visiting everyone the first week or so. We took a few trips to Carthage to see family. Cate was able to meet everyone, and Cason hadn't seen them since May. We got to see sweet Gracie and Aunt Barbie, Aunt B, Granny, Aunt Dale, and all the sweet ladies at the Popcorn Place. We love Carthage visits. Within a few weeks of being home, both babies got RSV. Cate had an ER visit,  and Cason had multiple doctor visits. Both were put on  antibiotics, and both got better within a couple weeks. I don't feel like they're 100% yet though. I need the cold to go AWAY.
The Carthage Bulldogs made it to the football state championship game, and my husband said to me, "Please take our son to the game so he can experience bulldog football." I can't say no to him, dang head over heels in love thing. We drove in early so we could spend time, and do Christmas with our close friend, Jimmy. We ate Canes. YUM. We always love our time with J! Afterwards, my sweet in-laws met us in Arlington, and they were able to help me with the kiddos. We had a blast at the game, and hanging out the rest of the weekend. (And the Dawgs won, whoop!) I also took the babies to see my sweet grandparents. Cate won them over instantly, and Cason had everyone laughing the entire visit. A successful trip, for sure.
Christmas was great! Christmas Eve was a hard day for me, more emotional than the days prior. We drove to Carthage Christmas Eve morning. Kiki and Gimme (Kiki is Ricky for anyone confused, lol.) came in from Pampa to spend Christmas morning with us and Brooke. We had our traditional Christmas Eve with the Works side of the family, and we had a blast. Nothing is more important than family, and we love our time with them. Christmas morning, we woke up and opened presents with Kiki, Gimme, and Aunt B. The babies got spoiled. Bad. Around lunch, we drove back to Pitt to do Christmas with my family... Another ridiculous amount of spoiling ensued. I honestly don't know why Santa, Cody and I even get them anything, haha.
Cody spent a week in Afghanistan,  so we weren't able to talk for a while. He did get back to Qatar safely though, and had plenty of stories to share via Skype. (He also bought my birthday present while there... And I'm SO excited!)
Skyping Daddy on his birthday!
We took a weekend trip to Ardmore, OK to see one of my best friends and her husband, Jess and Austin. We had a blast! We had plenty of yummy food, watched some awesome movies, and had lots of laughs. Austin took us out on some land that the company he works for owns so that Cason could see the "moos", and Jess let him drive the truck around the pasture. Needless to say, he L.O.V.E.D. it. We got some country in him after living in D.C. his whole life! Jess and I stayed up talking until at least 2am every night,  so the next few days following the trip I did a lot of sleeping,  haha. The visit was awesome, and we are already talking about having another one once it gets warmer so Case can go fishing and spend more time with his "moos". :)
Cate had her 4 month check up. I'll do a separate blog post about that. She's doing awesome though!
This past weekend, we drove to Dallas with my family for a little family reunion on my Daddy's side. Friday night, my brother, the babies, and I met Jimmy for dinner and then walked around North Park mall.. We spent the majority of our time in the Disney store. Love that place! Cason was allowed to pick out one toy and he had to have a "vroom, vroom". (A gas truck from the movie, 'Planes'.) The next day, we all went to the George W Bush Library.. Awesome. (My family is really big on Presidential libraries.. I love it.) Then we spent time with some of my Daddy's brothers and their families. (Missed our Arkansas Goodings!) Cason had a blast playing with his cousin, 'Yeeyee', and Cate was as sweet as ever. It was an good visit, and I wish we all saw each other more.

Sunday, the babies and I drove to Pampa to stay with Kiki and Gimme for awhile! We're loving our time with them. (Our plan for the doployment is to move back and forth between grandparents. I am all about being fair, and I think it'll help time fly quicker.) Cason is actually in love with their dog, Sophie, and isn't scared to have her around. So that's great! (He's not used to dogs, so he's usually really unsure about them.) I am so grateful to them, and my parents, for everything they've done, and are doing, to help with this deployment. I love you all.

Cody is doing awesome! He really enjoys his job, and has a lot of respect and admiration for his boss. We talk to him daily, and he is sending me emails every chance he gets. We love hearing his stories and have already sent 7 care packages. (Including, ~180 homemade cookies for him and the troops he works with... 5 different kinds... Thanks Mom.) Haha, I know.. He's spoiled! Cason loves talking to him and has to show him everything little thing. Cate just grins at him. Today she was talking to Cody while on the floor, during her tummy time, and rolled over for the first time ever. He was so so SO happy he was able to witness a 'first', even with the distance.
So, this first bit has been challenging-- and I didn't even get into everything. I do know this though, I wouldn't have been able to transition so gracefully without the love and support of my parents, I have some of the greatest friends, I'm married into one of the strongest families I know, I'm so grateful my children show me unconditional love- because this has been a learning process for me, and my love for my husband grows stronger everyday. He is my soul mate.

.... ~178 days left!

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