Happy Halloween!

Clay and I have never really been fans of store-bought costumes when dressing up for Halloween. To us, a great deal of fun lies in the challenge of the assembly and seeing what crazy ensemble we can throw together. So this Halloween, I decided to carry on this tradition with our child, and make his very first Halloween costume. Besides, I hate spending money on an outfit he will wear once when I can put the money towards useful things, like shoes and purses for me.

However, I admit that I pretty much phoned in Weston’s costume this year (deployed husband, not really in the spirit, blah, blah, blah, excuses, excuses, excuses) because I didn’t use an original idea. But I did manage to whip up this costume during his nap yesterday – just in time for a party at his gym.

Just some colored foam sheets, a little hot glue, a strip of white fabric, a black marker, and a couple of stitches later, I had myself a little chick magnet.

Easy peasy project. Clay left for JRTC last Halloween, leaving a brand new baby and an overwhelmed new mother behind. For the past six years, Clay and I have only been able to spend Halloween together once (2007)…ummm thanks Army? We miss him this year but hopefully next year, we can dress up as a family in our new, yet to be disclosed, location.

Happy Halloween!

One Year

He is one. A toddler. A smiling, walking, laughing, mischievous, and unbelievable toddler. We’re spending the day as a family, savoring the last couple of days of leave. A simple day – one filled with hugs, kisses, and memories. And hopefully a cocktail or two for mommy and daddy.

a failed Christmas Card picture attempt

Let’s take a walk down memory lane, shall we?

This time last year, I arrived at my 39 week prenatal appointment not having any idea how hard and rewarding the following year would be. At 7:29 pm, our lives forever changed. Cliched, I know, but I like to think we changed for the better. Who knew that a 7 pound 5 ounce little boy would turn our lives upside down? The first couple of months were a struggle and I slowly learned how to raise a child with a husband at war. But I did it. And I am still doing it. And I like to think that I am doing a pretty darn okay job.

October 19, 2009

1 month

2 months

3 months

4 months

5 months

6 months

7 months

8 months

9 months

10 months

11 months

One Year

Happy Birthday sweet little boy!

Our First True Family Vacation

We’re now in Wilmington, NC, spending a couple of days with Clay’s parents before heading back home. Last month, we decided to take our first official family vacation to the Outer Banks during R&R. It looks like we will be leaving NC soon after the end of the deployment so we declared it to be a travesty if we left the state without ever visiting the famed coastline.

Having settled on Ocracoke Island as our final destination, we found it to be a marvelously magical place where life is slow, our cell phones don’t work, and the beer is flowing. After seeing off the last of our party guests on Sunday morning, we made our way to Nags Head, NC, where we spent the night.

We set off for Ocracoke the next morning. It is about a 2 1/2 hour drive along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. To give Weston the opportunity to run around and burn some energy, we stopped at the Cape Hatteras lighthouse before catching the ferry to Ocracoke Island.

The Cape Hatteras lighthouse is the 23rd tallest traditional lighthouse in the world. Because we had the little guy, we chose not to make the 12 story climb to the top. I love the stripe!

After driving off the ferry, we continued on Route 12 along the thin island until we reached the village, located on the southern tip. Our hotel was located on Silver Lake Harbor, the heart of the village.

Often referred as the “Pearl of the Outer Banks”, Ocracoke Island came to be in the 1700s due to it’s location on a busy trade route. Not only was Blackbeard, the infamous pirate, killed there in 1718, but Ocracoke Island served as a strategic point of entry during the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Below is the view from our hotel balcony, isn’t it divine?

The Ocracoke Lighthouse is the oldest operating lighthouse in North Carolina. The light shines 14 miles out to sea and the tower stands 75 feet tall. Gorgeous.

The little guy enjoyed spending the mornings outside with us as we sipped coffee and watched boats we will never be able to afford.

The beaches of Ocracoke are continuously voted among the best in America. Weston certainly enjoyed the sand and we soaked up the last bit of sun before cooler weather sets in.

And then it was time to leave. We took a two-hour ferry ride from Ocracoke Island to Cedar Island. We couldn’t have asked for better weather and we thoroughly enjoyed our first true family vacation.

Words can’t begin to describe how wonderful a feeling it is to watch my husband interact with our son. It will be tough to say goodbye again but I wouldn’t trade these two weeks for anything in the world.