understanding the concept of "boo"

Peek-a-boo is one of Ronin's favorite things, but now it has transformed into a game that is more like hide-and-seek. He likes to hide behind the chair, sneak around the corner, then pop his little head out and say, "Boo!" He likes to do this in the morning when he wakes up too: I will peek my head around the door and when he sees me, he says, "Boo!"
This morning, I was sitting in the chair that Ronin likes to hide behind, so he must have been a little frustrated that he wasn't finding me when he peeked around the corner. From the chair I hear him yell, "Mommy! Mommy!" Once I looked down, he smiled, extremely pleased I had found him and then said, "Boo!" Not quite how it works, but he's getting there.


and then...the disconnect

First of all, I want to publicly say thank you to the friends and family who have been so intentional in caring for me (for us) in this past week. It has been challenging in many ways, but we are slowly adjusting to the "everyday" of deployment yet again.

Davis is doing his typical form of adjusting and that means lots of discipline, several spankings, sneaking downstairs after bedtime, testing his limits and my authority, blatant disobedience, stealing toys from Ronin, and the list goes on. However, in the midst of all his rebellion, Davis has moments of poignant sensitivity; when he detects that I am sad, he is quick to comfort me. Ronin is still his typical self: laid back, always seeking adventure (without caution), but now he is ecstatic to see Kevin on TV reading a story.

At 4:43am, Kevin called. He will be heading out soon to start patrolling again. We had a wonderful conversation, and it wasn't until after we hung up that I realized it is exactly that: the disconnect, that creates the ache for all of us. Eighteen days was enough. Enough to settle into what is normal: waking up together, eating together, talking together, laughing together, playing together, sleeping together, everything together. And in a moment at the airport, it's just like hanging up the phone. Family (and even more so, marriage) is so much like a constant conversation that separation breaks apart. There is still union and cohesion, but it is strained and a challenge to maintain.

So, we pick up the journey again of staying connected despite the disconnect.


creativity even kids can love

I have been trying to think of things that I (or we) could make for Christmas that are still good gifts (or additions to gifts). I came across Martha Stewart's holiday magazine while in Borders and it has a lot of fun things to make, even cookies! My favorite were the beaded letters and stars. I made some of them yesterday and Davis made a star and had fun doing it! Here are some pictures of the turnout:


Ronin misses Da-da

Someone asked me if I had noticed a change in Ronin since Kevin has been gone (it's been three days). And I was honest with the friend and myself when I answered that I really hadn't. I explained to myself that it's because he's still so little, etc., etc.

Today, when he woke up, he quickly let me know he wanted down by leaning over to the point he almost falls out of my grasp and saying, "Down, down, down." I usually shut all the upstairs doors as we head downstairs, so they were all still open. Ronin rushed into our room, looked at the bed, and said, "Da-da?" A brief pause, then again, "Da-da?" That's where he had met Kevin most mornings that we were home, but not this one.

In that moment, my heart swelled, how can sorrow and joy mingle so easily? I miss my husband, and the boys miss their Daddy, yet in the same breath, I am overjoyed to know even our littlest is aware of his absence.

biased media coverage

I am not usually a political post-er, however, a friend recommended this article to me and I thought it was brilliant. It's called "Media's Presidential Bias and Decline". It might be a little long for the average internet reader, but it's worth it.

a blog invasion

I checked my email this morning to find I had 49 new comments on my blog, I was shocked, who would comment that many times in one night? nbalike, that's who, and they weren't commenting, they were invading my blog for their own purposes, to post links to some video games or something like it. This person posted around 45 comments on separate entries to post links to different gaming sites. So, I'm in the process of removing his/her comments and trying to find out what to do to report them. If you have insight on this issue, please let me know.


my favorite (little) boys

One of the days that Kevin was here, we went to America the Beautiful Park. Since he was there, I was able to sneak around and take some pictures of the boys, these are some of my favorites.


a hand to hold

Ronin was itching to go outside today, so we put on our sweaters and headed out the door. He was already holding my hand, but was having a little trouble with the steps, so he just reached out and grabbed Davis's hand for help.

Early this morning (4:45 am) we took Kevin to the airport to say goodbye, again. This time only for three months (give or take). Davis attempted to make himself feel better, he said to me in the car, "Maybe something silly will make me happy" and then he started spouting off nonsense words and we shared a soft giggle, but then he said, "No, silly things aren't making me happy, I just want Daddy."

I shared the sentiment, and later when I saw Ronin instinctually grab his brother's hand for help, I prayed that I would be the same. Not just today, but as I walk through life when I know I can't make it down a steep step, I hope that I will instinctually reach out and grab a hand for help. Sometimes it means you won't fall, but sometimes it means you fall together.


Fitz fam round 2 (more from Bryce)

thank you Bryce!!

There are so many more of these that are wonderful moments captured by the talented Bryce Bandy (see his link Squint Studios), but I wanted to give you a taste, hope you enjoyed them!


a stroll in Manitou

If you know Ronin, you know he doesn't like to be held for more than about two minutes. On a whim, we went to Manitou last week and walked around for a bit, Ronin started to get a little cranky, so Kevin took him to walk with him (the picture) but Kevin ended up carrying him around for about a half hour! The boy loves his Daddy.

mature tastebuds

Last night, Kevin looked at Davis and asked him where he wanted to eat dinner (this was surprise to me), and affirmed that he could pick any place he wanted. After a long pause and several "umm"s he answered: Red Robin. I glance at Kevin and know we're thinking the same thing: he is four right? We just asked our four-year-old where he wants to eat and of all the places (McDonald's?!? Chuck E. Cheese? Burger King?) he picks Red Robin.

a new kid...or old kid

The first day Kevin was home, he and Davis were grappling within the first fifteen minutes that we walked through the door. As I watched, I noticed something I hadn't seen in such a long time I almost didn't recognize it: a smile. Now Davis smiles all the time, but there is a smile that only comes out when he's playing with Daddy, and it was there, beaming.

A wonderful and gracious friend has watched our boys twice already and she noticed that Davis was incredibly well-behaved (even better than normal). The second time was even more obvious. She hesitated telling me at first, because she didn't want to dishearten me. However, it did quite the opposite. His behavior is a direct result of Kevin being home.

Kevin had to spank Davis once: for outright defiance, Davis was anticipating only having Daddy as a pal and not as an authority while he was home. It fills me with joy to know that nearness to his Father produces in him better behavior. I'm sure you can already see the parallel, right? We are the same with our Father in Heaven, time with Him, nearness to Him produces in us right living.

Davis will no doubt go through another difficult season once Kevin returns to Iraq, and I'm not excited about that, but we are making plenty of joyful memories to hold onto through the next three and a half months.


together again

For now, just know we are together...our family, and we are enjoying every minute of it. More pictures to come.


our little buckaroo

We went to Target yesterday and I let Davis pick out a new shirt to welcome Daddy home in. He picked out a flannel button-down shirt. Last month we were in Lubbock for a visit and had the chance to go to the Cowboy Symposium, where Davis received his first ever cowboy hat. The shirt was intended to go with the hat. Once I saw the hat and shirt together, I mentioned he needed some boots.

Well, we got some. I called all around town and found a store that sold children's sizes for a decent price. A friend saved the day and picked them up for me because the store closed at 4, and the boys were napping. She brought them right over and Davis wanted try them on immediately. He naps in his undies, and he didn't want to try everything else on, just the boots.

In the end, we had to take the boots off so he could put his jeans on and the boots back on and he put on his shirt too.

And there you have it, our little buckaroo. He was so excited about the whole thing he had to go show our neighbor, who shared in the excitement and put on his own cowboy hat that Reagan gave him.

This one is just for fun, because I like it.


sobering statistics

Due to some recent conversations, I've been searching for some statistics. Specifically for the total deaths of military personnel and civilians in the World Wars and for Operation Iraqi Freedom. The civilian count for World War II is staggering because of the number of lives lost in concentration camps. I found myself disheartened when it was clear a number was merely rounded up or down. For all the websites that I looked at for the World War I and II statistics, none had names listed.

Then, I found the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, which gives extensive lists and graphs for the casulaties and fatalities of the Iraq War. I was trying to find something that was accurate and comprehensive, and it was there, complete with names, dates, causes of death, and the places they died. Names have faces and faces have families. As I scrolled slowly down the list I wondered what they tell us in the heat of this political mess. But they can't speak, instead, thousands of others will take the liberty they paid for with their lives to talk about the war, to ridicule it, to blame our leaders for it, to say it's unnecessary, or we shouldn't even be there, and on and on. Making a mockery of their service and at the same time making it harder and harder for those still on the ground, still risking their lives, still trying to protect the lives of innocent Iraqi citizens. But too many of us can't see beyond the small scope of our own individual lives and consequently we don't foresee the reprucussions of the things we say or do.


excited about clean sheets

Kevin and I were discussing a week ago the things we're excited about. Just being together is the obvious answer, but we were thinking much smaller. The initial answer for Kevin was clean sheets. For me, getting to go the bathroom alone.

halloween season=frustrated grocery shopping

Today we went to the grocery store; it didn't help that we arrived close to lunch time and on the second day of the month. Long lines and candy everywhere. Little kids love candy, and somehow, no matter how it's packaged, they know exactly what it is even if they've never had a particular kind before. I'm amazed by this with Davis. There is a large display immediately when you walk in the door for Halloween and every possible space is filled with bags of candy. Every five seconds I hear, "Oooh, Mommy, I like this kind," or "Oooh, we should get this one." An answer for all these comments came to me in a moment of brilliance: "You have to go trick-or-treating to get that candy." And like magic, we were done with the candy conversation.


too many days to count

This calendar has been on our wall for 9 months now. We have faithfully marked off the days, and now, there are so few until Kevin finally comes home (for leave, 18 days, then he goes back). We have actually been apart now for 10 months because he was gone all of December (and that's not included on the calendar), which means we are just 2 months shy of a year.

Many people say to us, "I don't know how you do it." My response is usually, "I don't either." But if I'm really honest, it's the grace of God. Because of who He is, we can have peace despite the many challenges that come with deployments. Right now, looking back, it seems incredibly overwhelming, yet we're here--and we're all still mentally stable! In fact, our marriage has grown, our dependency on Christ to meet our needs has been strengthened, and my trust in Jesus to take care of Kevin, me, and our boys is deeper than it has ever been.