Thursday, April 12, 2018

Hello Again...

Long time- I know! It's been over a year and a half since I posted, so I thought that now that the dust has settled a little, it was time to come back and say hi and let you know where I've been. (I don't even know if "blogging" is still a thing anymore?? It seems as though most people just enjoy snippets posted on IG.)

Four days after my last post, our third baby, and first boy was born. Y'all know I'm pretty private when it comes to my kids and the information I share about them, and I never post pictures of them- so you'll have to take my word for it- He's a handsome little guy and has my heart. There was an un-planned 6 year gap between our 2nd and 3rd child, so in a lot of ways it felt like I was having my first all over again. With both of my older girls in school, I've been able to enjoy a lot of one on one time with him. It's been so much fun. 

As expected, when a new baby comes, life gets turned upside down and there really isn't much time for hobbies, so sewing took a back burner and I focused my attention to my family and new baby. Life was perfect, I felt happier than ever before, and almost pinched myself at times to make sure it was real. ;)

When my baby was about 4 months old, we found out that my husband would be deploying for 10 months but that he wouldn't be leaving for another 6 months (he is a dentist for the Army). Those 6 months leading up to him leaving were torture for me. It was all I could think about. Every time a cute, sweet, or happy moment happened between my kids and husband, it brought tears to my eyes, just realizing the sacrifice my kids were going to make not having their daddy with them. The milestones that every parent looks forward to with their new baby- first words, first steps, etc- my hubby would miss out on being there for most of those.

I can remember that while I tried to process things in my mind, I'd sit down to sew- which has always been such a great creative outlet, stress reliever and fun time for me- and I would stare at the fabric for an hour, my mind felt blank. It was just so all consuming and I had no desire to create.

By the time he finally did deploy, I felt like it had plagued me for so long already that 10 months of having to be apart was just unfathomable. He left in June of 2016 and I spent most of that summer in Utah with family- just passing the time and getting that extra support. About a week before my kids started school, I came back to KC. In September and then again in December, my hubby and I were so blessed to be able to meet each other in Germany for 4 days each time (so quick, but so worth it). Those trips were the cherry on top of the curveball pie we were eating. I will forever be thankful for them!

I can tell you that this experience was one of the hardest things I've had to go through to date, but there were also priceless moments that we would have never had if we hadn't gone through it. I can also say that it's been very character building. We grew so much as a family, as a couple, and individually. It's one of those experiences that I hope I never have to go through again, but also am deeply grateful that I was forced to go through because of what it taught me and the ways that it opened my heart and eyes. Funny how trials do that for you, huh?

Before he left, I had always had such a great appreciation for the for the men and women of the military and their families and friends that sacrifice on a daily basis so that we can have the freedoms that we have. But it wasn't until I was in the position, to make the sacrifice myself, that I realized just how huge the sacrifice is and what those families got through. I'm thankful that so many are willing to serve and let their loved ones serve. I know there are so many that deploy over and over again, and many others that go through so much more than anything than we went through with having my husband deployed and it's just hard to wrap my mind around it. Again- I just feel so thankful for every sacrifice that is made for our country and freedom.

 My husband just returned home 3 weeks ago. He was gone 289 days, but weirdly enough it already feels like a distant memory. Life is so good, and we are so thankful to be together again!

I could write so many posts about the things that I learned and the ways that I grew, but I'll spare you. ;) I just wanted to let y'all know I was still here, and that I am easing back into projects and sewing. Just putting out feelers to see if Y'ALL are still here and if its worth posting every now and then? So let me know!

xoxo, Ashley

P.S. We are in the middle of a really fun makeover on a new cedar playground we got at Costco that I plan to share here. (we are painting it and making some easy upgrades to it to make it a little more "us".) I have also been doing some decorating in my house to pass the time while he was gone, so that could be fun to share too. Let me know if you're interested in that side of things or if you're just here for the sewing. ;)

P.P.S. While I didn't do a ton of sewing these past 10 months, I did share anything that I did do while he was gone over on my Instagram @crafterbynight