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Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland: May 2010

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has been moved to new address

Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland

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Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland: May 2010

Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland

May 29, 2010

Memorial Day


On this Memorial Day, I am more aware than ever of the sacrifices being made by our men and women in uniform and their families. The ones who gave up their lives to defend the country we call home and protect our freedoms weigh heavy on my heart today. Never have I been prouder to be an American, or to be married to a man who is serving his country and defending our freedom.

God Bless our Country, and all who defend her.

May 28, 2010

19 months and counting

Little Man turned 19 months old yesterday. I can’t figure out where the time is going, but it’s going by fast. A few more months and we’ll be busting down the door of having a two year old. This past month has brought about a lot of change for our family, and even more so for Little Man. At 19 months:

  • You’ve said goodbye to your Daddy for an extended period of time, and handled the separation with flying colors.
  • You’ve talked on a webcam…many times.
  • You’ve learned to climb-and very, very well.
  • You’ve finally started to play with something besides baseballs, basketballs, and footballs. Suddenly trucks and tractors are of big interest and you’ve spent a lot of time the past few weeks pushing them around the house and the yard.
  • You rode your very first John Deere Tractor with PawPaw.
  • You’re vocabulary is increasing by the day. New words include “baby, hot, down, up, mommy, cup, duck, dog, monkey {mo-ke},” among others that I can’t keep track of.
  • You are still eating pretty much everything, though I’m waiting for the day when you won’t eat what I give you.
  • You seem to have realized that mommy is always going to have the camera and always going to take your picture. So you may as well grin and pose.  :)
  • You’re still sleeping 10-12 hours a night.
  • And you’re still up bright and early at 7:30, every morning {I’m going to remind you of this torture when you’re a teenager.}
  • You made your first trip to God’s Country {Tuscaloosa, Alabama…home of the Alabama Crimson Tide Football Team…hello? LOL} and met your Aunt Tootie and Uncle Justin for the very first time.
  • You can identify your tummy-along with everyone else's, your head, your nose and your toes. Still working on ears, eyes and mouth.
  • You can somewhat brush your own teeth. You have the concept down really well. And even know how to spit. LOL
  • You know how to put your clothes on and when to sit down for me to put your shoes on.
  • You are very, very, very detail oriented. Moreso than your mommy, which is nuts. You pay attention to all kinds of tiny things and like to figure out how things work.
  • You prefer not to sit in a high chair at a restaurant until the food arrives.
  • You went to the beach and loved it. The sand, the water, everything. You even tried to swim on your own some and do great with your floaties.  
  • You are a pro at drinking from a straw. Now if you could just grasp the concept that you don’t have to turn a drink with a straw up in the air to get the liquid to come out.
  • You like to hold your fork while you eat. You generally pick the food up with your fingers, place it on the fork and then put it in your mouth.  :)
  • You are still just as sweet, just as funny and just as much of a blessing as you were the day that we brought you home. You’re turning into a bit of a mama’s boy while Daddy is away, and I don’t mind at all. Because I know when Daddy returns, you’ll be right back to being his little sidekick. :)

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May 25, 2010


Life is all about experience.

Over the years I have attempted to understand things without having first experienced them. I tried to empathize with people in certain circumstances when in actuality I had no clue what they were dealing with. I tried to convince myself as a teenager that I was “in love” though I had never, at that point, truly known what love was. I tried to believe in my heart that I could fathom what being a mother would feel like, having never carried a baby for 9 months or looked into the eyes of a little person that was solely my responsibility. I looked at people who were having troubles within their marriage or their own personal lives,and thought it simple and not nearly as complex as they were making it; not knowing how much work goes into maintaining a healthy marriage.

You can’t explain some of these things to others.

You can’t explain to a person who has never in their entire lives known what true love is all about, why you feel the way that you do about your husband. Never will they understand, until they experience it themselves, how you could love someone enough to sacrifice your own personal objectives and put the other persons first. Never will they understand how much separation and time apart hurts, because they’ve never known true partnership and have yet to find their God-given soul mate.

You can’t explain to a woman who doesn’t have a child, what being a mother is like. The worry, the joy…the unending and complex emotions that make up each and every second of the day. You can’t explain to them the phenomenal feeling of responsibility that weighs on your shoulders as you live each and every moment to make the best possible choices for their little lives. Be it what they eat, where they go, who they go with, or even, I guess what they wear {Will they be too hot? Too cold?}.

As I mentioned in my last post, the past few weeks have been a little taxing on both myself and the Hubby. We’ve both been a little more short-tempered and a little less understanding about the situation. We’ve both said things that we didn’t mean, lashed out in ways that we normally wouldn’t, and hurt one another’s feelings unintentionally. It hasn’t been the greatest 2 weeks. [But, just for the record, it certainly hasn’t been he worst either.] Someone commented on my last post about how this time is God’s way of bringing me back to him.

I’ll be honest with you…after everything that happened the last few months we were in Florida, my relationship with Christ has taken a backseat to everything else. The move, the time with Hubby, the adjustment period, my blog, my photography-everything else has come before him. And I think-scratch that-I know, that that’s what has been making these past few weeks so difficult. I’ve let the most important thing become the least important, and now we’re paying for it.

What, if anything, should I have learned by now? Out of all of the things in life I have experienced, what should I have learned above all else?

That I can’t manage everything alone. I can’t overcome adversity by myself. I have to have help. Help that Hubby or anyone else can’t provide. I need the help of God, and of God alone. I should have known that and acknowledged that earlier than now. I feel somewhat foolish because it’s taken me so long to realize it. Or maybe I realized it a while ago and it’s just taken me this long to come to term with the idea that I don’t control everything and I can’t do everything on my own.

Because no matter how hard I try, I can’t be the wife that I am supposed to be; the wife that Hubby needs me to be until I’ve first learned from the one who created me. I can’t understand how to handle my emotions and my feelings, unless I learn to lean on the one who understands all. I can’t be the rock for my husband or my son as we trudge through this time of separation, until I grab a hold of the eternal rock and not let go. And I can’t hold onto my faith during a time where so much is unknown, until I set aside my stubborn ways and controlling tendencies and allow Christ to take the reigns.

You see, just like trying to explain to someone who’s never known love, or motherhood, or pain, or fear, or whatever….I can’t understand anything until I experience Christ in his fullness. Allow him to live in me and through me the way that he intends. Then, and only then, will I understand how to be, how to live, how to endure…

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May 21, 2010


I feel like this whole being away from my husband is starting to cause more harm than good. I understand that whole “absence makes the heart grow fonder” shenanigan and I truly believe that. To an extent. I think right now my hubby and I are both so stressed out and aggravated that we are pushing one another away. We’re both just sitting ducks waiting on the CG to figure out what the heck is going on with this whole moving situation. Are we {as in Little Man and I} staying or going? Is Hubby coming home on leave and for how long?  I hate all of this dragging around and crap. MAKE UP YOUR MINDS so I can make some plans. Airline tickets are going up in price every single day, so if Hubby is coming home on leave it would be grand for you {The GOVERNMENT}  to let us know, since we are going to have to pay for the ticket ourselves. And I would rather get it now instead of later when prices are even higher. And if Little Man and I are going to make the move to Cali, it would be great for you guys to let us know that, too. Because lets not forget that I’m the one that’s going to have to find us somewhere to live in a minimal time frame {Over the phone…in  a matter of weeks}. Not to mention drive back to Tampa and meet your movers to haul away our stuff. So this whole d r a g g i n g around thing you guys have going on, just isn’t gonna fly.

And hubby and I are on pins and needles with one another. Everything the other says is irritating. He claims I’m being mean and that I’m always being negative or down. It’s not that, I’m just tired. Little Man is not slowing down any. In fact, I think he’s getting more wired up and faster by the day. And I’m afraid that I’m sensing the terrible two’s coming on…and quickly. Add in the fact that he’s had a cold all week, I haven’t slept more than 6 hours a night since Hubby has been gone, and the fact that we’re out and about at some point nearly every single day; and you’ve got one exhausted and irritated mommy and wife. Let’s not forget the fact that my beloved husband [used in a serious context. No sarcasm. Seriously.] doesn’t seem to understand or maybe just doesn’t want to to understand all that I’m having to deal with here, and it makes for some not so nice tones and conversations.

He’s in California with not much to do and in a room all by his lonesome every night. I know he’s just as sick of being alone as I am. But being the hyper-masculine man that he is, he doesn’t want to talk about the fact that he’s unhappy. He’d rather just act like everything is A-okay and move on through his day to day activities. And I’m lonely. Most of my-ok, all of my friends are either 1) not even within driving vicinity of visiting, 2) Pregnant or mother’s themselves with families to tend to, or 3) work late shifts at work. There isn’t a whole lot to do around these parts of Alabama unless you are into the bar/club scene, which I’m not. Unless I’m with my husband, which, again, I’m not. And the idea of going out with other married couples to restaurants and whatnot is not so appealing considering I’ll be the third wheel. I did enough of that garbage in High School and College. Not aching to relive those days.

Hubby is in Cali with a bunch of other people who are away from their families and looking to occupy their time. So naturally, there is lots and lots for him to do. Like tonight. It’s Friday, and I’m sitting at home blogging my heart away because I have no one else to talk to and because I’m not uber-thrilled with the idea of spending another lonely night on the couch watching movies by myself. Especially when I know that my husband is either playing pool or sitting at the Base Movie Theatre watching the new “Robin Hood” movie {a movie I was really wanting to take the husband to see…since we rarely EVER go anywhere alone for more than an hour…} with a bunch of his buddies. Is it bad that I secretly wish he was as miserable as I am feeling? And I know that when [and if] he reads this, the thought is going to go thru his mind for me to “Get out and go do something.” I’m the one raising our son right now and I can’t just leave when I want. And like I mentioned before, where the heck would I go? And with who?

Maybe I’m jealous.

I’ve thought a lot about that possibility lately. Maybe I’m just honest-to-God jealous of my husband. I’m back exactly where I always wanted to get away from, doing exactly what I never wanted to do. Sitting here. In nowhere, Alabama with nothing to do and what I feel like is nothing ahead of me. I’m doing some photography on the side when I have clients, but it’s not exactly easy to build up clientele when I know that at some point this year, I’m going to be moving all over again and will lose all of them. Not to mention the fact that I don’t have 1) the funding for advertising or whatnot to really get my name out there while I am here; and 2) don’t even really have the equipment to do a lot “professionally.” I’m not in school or taking any kind of classes. Basically I am just sitting here and I’m afraid that a part of me is turning pee green with envy that my husband is in California [somewhere I’ve always wanted to go] actually doing something with his life and with his career. Hell, I don’t even have a ‘career.’ {Unless you count mother-hood. Which I do. Because God knows we do more work than some people out here who get paid.}

I just always feel like he is one step ahead of me in everything. Maybe this time away from one another has made me realize that. I know we are partners, and he encourages my dreams and my ambitions and my goals for the future. But, as some of you other moms know and will resonate with, he’s the one bringing in the income. He’s the one whose going to fund said dreams and goals. And none of mine will come true until his are reached. Because, without him reaching his, the finances for mine aren’t there. Because I can’t just go get a job. Because we have no one to keep our son. And what we would PAY for someone to keep our son, would probably be most, if not all of my measly paycheck. Because without a degree of any kind, I’m not equipped to do much more than Wait tables and run a cash register.

Ahh…I sound so pathetic. Geez. I hope whatever this is that’s gotten into me passes, and quickly. I’m proud of my husband, but the whole jealousy idea isn’t very comforting. Neither is the miserable, lonely, feeling I’m dealing with. Ok, and neither is uncertainty, doubt, frustration, and honest-to-goodness anger I’m feeling. And like I said, part of me just really doesn’t understand where it is all coming from. I love my husband more than anything and it isn’t like I’m contemplating divorce or something stupid like that; but I really don’t know what has come over me. Any of you other Army Wives who read this ever feel/have felt this way? Or am I just crazy? LOL   :)

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May 19, 2010

So maybe I’m not always ‘ok’

I’m so tired.

I feel like I am going to crumble under the pressure of staying composed and ‘okay.’ I feel like I don’t really have anyone to talk to about how hard all of this is. I admit it, I suck at the separation thing. I give HUGE props to all of you military wives who have to do this for very long periods of time. I don’t know how you do it. And I feel like an idiot when I whine and complain about the time period we are dealing with.

But right now, my guilt is subsiding because I’ve faced the realization that Hubby will remain in California until the end of December. Which will put our separation time at about 8 months, instead of 4. He’s decided to stick with what he wants and go through A-School again when they start back in July [or August. Can’t remember what the exact time frame is.] And there is still no word on whether or not the Coast Guard is going to PCS move Little Man and I to California to stay with him; though it is an option. One that I am hoping and praying we see come to pass. Forget all of the money and the savings and whatnot. I want to be with my husband again. And Little Man misses his daddy.

If they don’t opt to move us out there with him, then Hubby will get to come home in June on leave. And while that’s GREAT and I’m uber-excited about it, the fact that I’ll have to say goodbye all over again looms in the back of my mind. These past 4 weeks or so haven’t gotten any easier. And I’m kidding everyone when I act like I’m just peachy. Because I’m not. In truth, this is hard and to be quite frank, it really freakin’ sucks.

I try so hard to be ‘okay.’ For myself, for my son, for Hubby. He doesn’t do good if I’m not doing good. And I feel like everyone is just expecting me to cope like nothing in the world is different. Like it’s all normal and easy and not a big deal that my husband is 2600 miles away and I can’t touch him or hug him or kiss him or hold his hand. It literally almost KILLED me last week when he was dealing with all of his school issues and I couldn’t be there to help him deal with it. Or to be there for him to just sit and talk to. Or to even give him a hug and tell him that it was going to be ok.

And it breaks my heart a little bit more every single day when Little Man looks at our family picture on the night stand and asks where his daddy is. I don’t worry about him forgetting him or anything like that, and he gets to talk to him on webcam, but he is his daddy’s boy through and through. And as I sit and write this, I think about how unfair it is and how much is sucks for all of the other military wives out there dealing with this tonight. The ones who have been alone and have been raising their children without their husbands around for years. The ones who’ve dealt with deployment after deployment. The ones whose husbands have missed their children being born or Christmas’ or whatever. And it’s a really crappy thing.

But as bad as it all sucks, I am so proud of what my husband does. I am so, so unbelievably proud to say that I’m a Military Wife. Because this isn’t a role just anyone could take on. I know people who couldn’t and wouldn’t know how to deal with the separation. I’m not dealing real well tonight, but when I wake up in the morning, I’ll be ok. I’ll climb out of bed and go about my routine and put the thoughts and feelings of loneliness in the back of my mind. Because life goes on anyway, whether I lay here and wallow in my own miserable self pity or get up and deal.

I owe it to my husband, to my son, and to myself to get up and move on with it. After all, each wake up is one closer to the day that our family is back together.

May 18, 2010

1000 Words


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is worth

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1,000 words.

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May 14, 2010

Knocked Down

I guess sometimes what I need more than anything in the world is to be knocked down off of my high horse and brought back to my knees. I have this issue with control. I don’t really consider myself a control freak or anything like that. I’m not insanely bossy, nor do I feel like everythin has to be my way all the time. But I do like to feel like I have a grasp on life and on situations. I plan things out as best as I can, and then expect them and anticipate for them to go according to the plans I’ve laid out. When they don’t, I freak out and get all antsy. I don’t like things to not go as planned. I can’t help it. I’m wired that way.

Hubby and I had our plans for this summer all laid out. Move home and stay with family so we didn’t have to pay rent and save, save, SAVE some money so we could buy some new furniture when we relocated [because we are in DIRE need of some] and so we would have a little bit of cushion as far as our bank account went. Just in case something were to happen. Not to mention we were wanting to put some money down on a new car later on this year [hopefully]. Hubby was gonna do his A-School thing in California, I was going to get my photography on; save what I could for a new computer and a new camera and get myself a business going. We were planning to fly to San Fran this summer a few times to visit. Maybe take in a Giants game and visit Alcatraz.

God has other plans.

While all that I have ‘planned’ is well and good, and all that we’ve ‘anticipated’ is most likely going to come to pass; the past several days has been filled with so much uncertainty. I’ve had to rely solely on Christ and lean on his knowledge and his plans for our future.

Things haven’t been as easy and gone as planned for Hubby in California. I won’t get into much detail or anything, but he’s going to have to go back through the class. Which won’t start again until August. Which means that instead of him coming home and making our big move in August, it won’t happen until December. He’s going to come home on leave between now and the time class starts back so it’s not like we aren’t going to see him until December or anything. And in all honesty, things are probably going to work out better this way, than if it had of worked out like we originally thought.

I’ve had to dig down deep and come to grips with the reality that things are totally and completely out of my control. Maybe that’s why all of this is happening. God’s teaching me to get off my high horse and back down on my knees where I belong. I’m not really upset about any of this. The biggest struggle has really been knowing that Hubby was dealing with some things and emotions on the other side of the country and I couldn’t be there with him. He’s a strong guy, and truth be told, probably didn’t need my consolidation or anything anyway.

It’s been an eye opener. For both of us. And we’ve done a lot of thinking and a lot of praying about what to do next and what steps to take. Hubby doesn’t have to stay in California and take the class again. He has a lot of options and a lot of choices to make. We’re praying for the wisdom to do what is right for our family right now. I’d really covet your prayers over the next couple of days as things come to pass and we make these new decisions.

I’m off to get ready. Little Man and I are heading off to Tuscaloosa this weekend to visit my bestest friend!! Have a great weekend everyone!

May 12, 2010

Time for a Confessional

With the vast LACK of blogging I have done lately, I thought I would give you guys a little run down on what’s been going on in the life of me lately. Not a whole lot interesting, to be honest; but nonetheless. The several Facebook and Twitter messages I’ve gotten the last week or so asking where I was and when I was going to get back to posting has left me feeling like it’s time to pick up my blogging habit again. I’ll admit that I’m somewhat frustrated with blogging in its entirety right now. Which explains my lack of presence in the blogosphere.

I started blogging as a way to let out my feelings and my frustrations and whatnot after I had Little Man. I started discovering other moms who were feeling the way that I was, found meme’s, and eventually gained a few followers. I kept writing what was on my heart and on my mind and the followers [and comments] kept coming. Then I started noticing the ‘business’ side of things. The giveaways, the sponsors, the advertisers…the money and “stuff” that blogging could bring [and has brought] to lots of big time bloggers. So I set up a PR policy, hosted a few giveaways, did reviews…and lately I’ve realized that I’ve gotten away from my style of blogging. I started blogging to please, well you. The readers, instead of blogging for myself. And somewhere between the moving and the relocating and whatnot, my desire to blog for all of you went away. I started keeping a paper journal again {a gift from my hubby for our anniversary} and just haven’t taken the time to write my feelings out here on the ‘net.

Sooooo….that being said, I am taking down my PR page. No more PR for this chick. I love free stuff and giveaways. But I refuse to let ‘business’ become the driving force behind my blog. I love to write. Always have. And quite frankly, the photography building aspect of my life right now is all of the business that I can handle. There are a few sponsorships I have received that are paid up for the next few months, so I will keep those posted. But when they expire, I’ll take down my sponsorship page.

I just feel like so many bloggers have lost their identity and their purpose to their blogs. We all started out as no-bodies trying to get our words out there. And now it’s all about followers and comments and ads and giveaways. I just want to write. Granted, I love hearing from you guys and knowing that my words resonate meaning with you all. In many, many, many ways that’s what keeps me blogging. Keeps me posting my thoughts out there instead of just leaving them in a journal. ‘Cause ya’ll understand. Ya’ll get what I mean and what I’m feeling and I’ve gotten emails and messages from some of you thanking me for my honesty. And to me that’s what it’s about. Not all the other. I feel like some blogs aren’t even authentic anymore. There is just a bunch of product name dropping and reviewing and whatnot. I don’t have a problem with blogs that host giveaways and seek sponsorship. Really. It’s just not for me.

I don’t want to become that blogger either that doesn’t have time to talk to her ‘fans’ or ‘followers’ or, in my opinion, friends. The one who doesn’t answer emails or comments or anything because I’m too busy and don’t have time in my schedule to be social and friendly. I’m still visiting your blogs. I may not be commenting as much because I’m reading a lot of them via email, but I promise I’m still around.   :)

I’m eager to see the feedback on this post. Had 6 followers leave over the past several weeks because the military lifestyle didn’t interest them, they were bored with my content, and my post on Boudoir Photography was not only ‘unchristian’ but too controversial for their taste. Good for them. I think it’s a little shallow and close-minded but whatever. And for the person that said that military life didn’t interest them? That’s fine well and good if you don’t want to read a ”military” blog…but did you even REALIZE when you started following me that that’s who I was?

Anywho….guess that will be about all for today. Heading to my parents house tonight for a visit. Have a great Wednesday!

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May 6, 2010

Hello world. I’m back…sorta.

I know.

I’ve been absent lately. No excuses really. Unless you count the fact that 1) I have had almost nothing to blog about; and 2) When I finally did come up with something to blog about, the internet crashed. The cable box just blew up or something and died. No worries, though because I got it fixed. With the help of the lovely people at Comcast and 45 minutes worth of wait time on the phone. Yeah…so anyway. I’m here now.

Things around here have kind of been puttering along. Little Man and I have our routines and patterns. Last week was my dads and Hubby’s dads birthday, so we did the party thing. This weekend is Mother’s Day, so I’ll spend part of the day with Hubby’s mom and part of the day with mine. Other than that, we are just relaxing. Enjoying time with family, enjoying each other [me and little man], and trying to stay cool. The Alabama heat has been unreal the past few days. I mean, the second week of May and we are reaching nearly 95 degrees! OMW!

I have had almost nothing to talk about lately. If you can’t tell I’m somewhat struggling for words. Which doesn’t happen much. Hubby’s going through the EMT program right now. It’s like a 3 semester class crammed into 17 days. He’s stressed out and has way too much on his shoulders. Not that I can blame him. There is a lot riding on the EMT part of things and he and I are BOTH ready for this part of A-School to be done.


Thought I would leave you with a few new photos from the past few weeks.

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