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Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland: July 2010

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Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland

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Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland: July 2010

Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland

July 26, 2010

21

I have kind of been slacking in the area of posting new and updated photos of the Little dude on my blog. So today, I thought I would share a few of the latest [and greatest] pictures of Little Man. Some are from when his daddy was home, some are from just the other day at a birthday party we went to. I think he’s beginning to realize that his obsessive mommy isn’t going to get out of his face with the camera…so he may as well learn to pose.

Noah 001 Noah 017 copy Noah 031 copy 2 Noah 038 copyNoah 033   Noah 043 copy Noah 063 copy Noah 070 copy 2Noah 031 copy

Party 015 copy Party 020 copy Party 041 copy Party 045 copy Party 056 copy

The little guy is growing like a WEED. I’m having a hard time accepting the fact that he is going to be TWO in just a few short months. Where on EARTH has the time gone? It seems like yesterday I was writing this post and welcoming him into the world. And now here he is. He’s a few days shy of 21 months old and is every bit boy.

At 21 months, Little Man has:

  • Welcomed his daddy home from being gone for longer than any of us really liked.
  • Told his daddy goodbye, this time for 5 months.
  • Gone to his first ‘big movie’ to see Toy Story 3.
  • Totally and completely fallen in love with all things Toy Story. We own 3 different size Buzz Lightyears, a Woody doll, numerous miniature figures, books, t-shirts, pajamas, coloring books…you name it and we have something.
  • Been to his first Atlanta Braves Baseball Game:

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  • Been to the Aquarium for the first time:

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  • Been to an airport and was totally mesmerized by the planes.
  • Learned how to throw things in the garbage when told.
  • Learned how to understand and follow most basic instructions.
  • Began to show an interest in coloring and drawing…resulting in him receiving his first box of crayons and coloring books.
  • Broadened his vocabulary to the point that I can’t even include what all words he can say in a post.
  • Become a stickler for hygiene. He loves to take baths, loves to brush his teeth, and doesn’t like to get his hands or feet dirty. I’m holding my breathe for how long this lasts.
  • Remained a wonderful eater. He stills eats most everything put in front of him, including veggies. And absolutely loves Grapes.
  • Walking is a thing of the past…running is the only option.
  • Begun requesting, quite verbally, “Brother. Brother.” Where he learned it and why he’s saying it, is beyond me.
  • Almost completely learned how to swim on his own [with floaties of course] but without someone holding onto him. He doesn’t want to be ‘assisted.’ He wants to do it all on his own, and has no fear in going under the water. At all.
  • Been to his first water park and loved it.

He’s still a pistol ball. Still wide open. Still an early bird, though the wake up calls are more frequently coming around 8:00 or 8:30 these days and I’m loving it. I never realized what a difference a mere hour can make in your day. He loves his daddy tremendously and looks forward to seeing him on the webcam every night. Aside from his daddy, the only other ‘man’ in his life, is his PawPaw. He is his Paw Paw’s boy through and through. Rotten little thing.

pawpawshands1 

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{Me, Little Man, My daddy-Paw Paw, and My sister}

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He’s still doing really well with the separation thing. Being away from his daddy can’t be easy, but he’s handling it really, really well. There are rare days when I can tell that he misses him. He stands by the computer all day and whines and cries wanting to talk to him on the webcam. But for the most part he seems to understand what’s going on and why daddy isn’t here. I think that the 3 1/2 weeks Hubby was home helped out a lot. I feel like they really got to spend some time together and I think that has made a big, big difference. We’re planning on flying out in October for Little Man’s birthday, so hopefully we won’t have any major separation issues until then.

Hope you guys have a great Monday and a wonderful week! If you’re somewhere in the southern states like I am, try to stay cool. This 100 degree and above whether is RIDICULOUS!!!

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July 21, 2010

20-Something…

For those of you who don’t know, I celebrated my 23 birthday this past Saturday. Go ahead and collect yourselves, because I know some of you are thinking, ‘You are only 23?’ I get that all the time. LOL Truth be know, I have an old soul and have always been told that I was wise beyond my young years. And most days I feel that way. When life throws you hardships at a young age, you are sometimes forced to grow up and mature whether you want to or not. No matter, this has always be something more of a compliment to me. I love hearing people say that they assumed that I was older, simply because of my demeanor and the way that I carry myself. Just so long as no one starts telling me that I look older…  :)

Anyway. My birthday went great. I was a little worried because the hubby wasn’t here, and I figured that I would be upset. And honestly, I did get that way Saturday morning when he called to tell me happy birthday. I cried for a bit when we got off the phone, took a nap, and was ok by the time that I got up. I’ve really been handling this separation much better. And so has the husband. I guess we knew more about what to expect this time, so it’s made it much more bearable. Hubster bought me a new computer though. And a few Photography books that I’ve been eyeing for several weeks. Baby sister treated me to a mani/pedi and my parents took me out to eat [Outback, baby!] Sunday, the mother and brother-in-law treated me to Longhorn and gave me a Giftcard to Barnes & Noble, which I promptly used on a CS5 book and a Starbucks {no, I didn’t spend all of it…yet.}

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the whole ‘age’ thing the past few days, and I can’t help but realize how much I have changed and grown just in the past two years. Especially in the time since Little Man has been born. And even more so now that hubby isn’t here. Marriage sometimes makes a person lose their independence. Especially the wives. I don’t know why that is, but when I sit back and analyze it from an outsiders point of view, more often than not, it seems to be the women that more or less conforms to things and changes in a marriage. I would say that I did a lot of that myself when hubby and I first got married. I don’t know if it was because everything in our life changed so fast, or because I was still so confused at 20 years old about who I was, or what I wanted…I really can’t pin-point it.

But I realize now, having spent the last several months away from my husband, doing my own thing, being a single parent for all intense purposes and discovering exactly what my passion and purpose is in life-that I am becoming my own person again. And I feel like the husband is too.

Not that we ever gave up ourselves or anything, if that makes sense, but I just think that we spent the first two years of marriage “becoming one” and failed to remember that within that ‘one’ were ‘two.’

And that’s what has been changing within our marriage. While we are stronger together than we have ever been, we have both realized and are pursuing our passions and our purposes individually. And I’m proud of us. I’m proud of him for chasing after what it is that he wants, and I’m proud of him for supporting me in what I want. We’re having to make compromises to achieve all that we have our hearts set on, but we’re doing it together. We have to give and we have to take. And our time away, ironically, is teaching us more about that than I would have originally thought possible. You think when people spend so much time together that they would drift apart, but that hasn’t happened.

We are more in love and stronger knit than we’ve been since we said I do.

I’m really excited to see what year 23 brings for us. For me, for my family, for my marriage, for my career…this year has a lot of uncertainty mixed with a lot of promise and a lot of excitement. New adventures, the closing of several chapters of our lives and the beginnings of new ones. It’s going to be a good one, that much is for certain. I look forward to it. Bring it on!   :)

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July 16, 2010

Military Spouse Fill-in Friday

milspouse-friday-fill-in I’ve never played along with this fun meme before, but it looked like a lot of fun, so I thought I would join in. Plus I love meeting new Military Wives.

1. What food reminds you of your spouse?
Brownies. Hubby’s favorite dessert is brownies and ice cream. He loves it enough that that was the dessert we served at our Rehearsal Dinner. A big table full of different kinds of brownies, a few varieties of ice cream and a whole bunch of different toppings. It was fabulous!

2. Who would you rather sit next to in a cross-country plane ride: an irritating non-stop talker, or a quiet stare-er?
I bet choose my words carefully, especially since Little Man and I will be flying in October to California…hmmmm. I think I’ll go with the quiet stare-er. Just because of the “quiet” aspect of it. At least if he wants to sit and stare, I can close my eyes and sleep through the flight.

3. What are your best tips on how to save money?
 I haven’t done any since we got back to Alabama, but I was saving TONS couponing. I hadn’t quite gotten the hang of it yet, but I was getting there and our grocery bill was minimizing every trip. And I did menu planning, as well. That cut down on a lot of unnecessary spending. Especially on junk food.

4. What is your favorite summer memory?
When I was little my grandmother and her sisters used to take all of us kids to Six Flags for the day. We would get up really early when it was still dark and drive all the way to Atlanta and spend the entire day at the park. It was always so much fun.

5. Do you believe in ghosts?
Not really. I believe in Angels and Demons.

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July 13, 2010

In a nutshell…

It’s been way too long. Since I’ve written a decent and worthy blog post, that is. I was doing pretty good about keeping those of you who are interested informed on the happenings in our lives. Then hubby came home and I pushed this little blog to the side. Because family time was definitely more important than blogging. {Especially since I didn’t really have that much to talk about to begin with.} But today, I’m going to sort of give you the rundown on what we’ve been up to and then I plan on getting back on a regular blog schedule at some point this week.

For starters, I really want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to those of you who have kept me and our family in your thoughts and prayers over the last couple of weeks-especially this past weekend. Some of you have reached out to us more than our ‘families’ have, and for that I am deeply humbled and grateful for your friendship. There are those of you that I know I would be best friends with if we lived close to one another because you are always Facebooking, emailing or Tweeting with my to let me know that you are thinking about us. Words don’t do justice to the gratitude that I feel. Thank you.

Ok. So. I’m sure you guys are all wondering exactly what has gone on with the husband and A-School and all of that jazz. For starters let me just clear up, because I know that this has been said-Hubby DID make the grades for EMT School. In fact, he had the second highest GPA in his class, since some people are so curious. The reason he is going back through is because of one teeny tiny technicality. One itty bitty phrase that hubby did not say during his Practical Exam [you know, the hands on part.] It wasn’t something that Hubby did not do during his practicals. He did what he was supposed to, but he didn’t tell them he was doing it. {Yeah, it’s stupid…but they rephased him anyway. Over that. Go figure.} Sooooo….he is going through it again and will graduate from A-School December 17.

I was a little…irate…to say the least when he told me exactly what their reasoning for rephasing him was, but that’s their call and I can’t control it. And I know without a shadow of a doubt that this was done by God and God alone and that he has much intentions for this little bump in the road. That’s the mentality that has gotten me through this. Because in the beginning all that I could think about was the additional 5 months that he would have to spend in California. Making our time apart a grand total of 8 months. But, God granted me a sense of peace and understanding and we will do what we have to do. Because I know that this is God’s will for our lives right now. And that is all that I need to know.

Hubby did get 25 days of leave to come home and visit and it went fabulously! We spent a lot of time relaxing and enjoying our time together. We took Little Man to the Waterpark in Panama City, and hubby and I spent  4 whole days at the beach….alone…with no children. It was amazing. It was the first vacation we had been on alone, together, since Little Man was born. We spent the 4th of July weekend in Atlanta with the mother-in-law and Hubby’s little brother. We went to a Braves Baseball Game, watched a Firework show, went to another Waterpark, and took Little Man to the Georgia Aquarium. It was just one of those surreal and perfect times…being back together and getting to relax.

And now Hubby is back in San Fran, getting settled into a new room and waiting on the next EMT class to start. Little Man and I are enjoying the rest of the summer, mostly inside because the 100* temperatures are not pleasant for anyone. We’re planning our first trip to Cali in October for Little Man’s 2nd birthday, and I’m lining up Fall Photoshoot’s. We’ll be getting our next set of orders in September or October so I’ll be heading somewhere to find us a house and get all of the paperwork for my photography business filled out and taken care of. There are several things in the works for our little family right now that I know would not even possible without this time apart.

I realized how much my faith and trust in God has grown while I was at the airport the other day getting ready to say goodbye to hubby. We were waiting for them to start boarding his flight and I was totally overcome with emotion. Pride, sadness, loneliness, and gratitude…for the things hubby will and already has accomplished, for the time I’ll be without him, and for the sacrifices that men and women like my husband make every single day. And I’m grateful that God has given my husband and I the strength and the faith in him, in one another and in ourselves to know that we can deal with this. We can overcome this and come out stronger and happier and more in love with one another in the end.

The next 5 months will be trying, no doubt about it. But the benefits are so worth the sacrifices we are making. Knowing that my husband will be part of an elite group of Coast Guard men and women…knowing that he has chased after, pursued, and achieved his dreams and is on his way to achieving even bigger things…knowing that our son will grow up having faced and overcome adversity…seen his mom and dad deal with the trials and tribulations that life throws at them and come out of those trials better and stronger than before…those are the things that make this time apart worth it. These lessons and hardships make people stronger and build character. That’s what I want for little man. I don’t want him to walk through life without overcoming adversity. And growing up in a military family will provide plenty of that.

And hubby is so supportive of my goals and my ambitions. He’s talked me through, encouraged me, and pushes me to go for more…for better…to dream bigger.  He’s doing everything in his power to help me get my business off the ground, including playing financial backer…LOL. But more than anything, he believes in me and my talents and my abilities. And that in itself is something amazing.

So that’s basically the rundown of what’s been going on. I’ll try to get some photos of little man and our Atlanta trip posted in the next day or so. Hope you all are having a fantastic Tuesday!!

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July 9, 2010

I'm still around...


Hello everyone!! I promise that I am still alive!

The husband is leaving for San Fran again tomorrow, so I'm planning on getting back to my blogging come Monday. There is a lot to update you guys on and I greatly appreciate your patience in my absence.  :) Especially to all of my new followers. I really am an avid blogger, but the past several weeks have been filled to capactiy with quality Family Time.

Hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July. Please keep my family and I in your prayers over the next several days. Goodbye's don't get any easier, but we're certain we'll survive.

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