Beauty in the Mess,  Ezra,  Family,  Finding "Home" in 2013,  Military and Veteran Life,  The Preschool Years

Beauty in the Mess ~ Edition 05.16.13

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Many people have asked me how our family is adjusting to the move and all of the transitions we have gone through, so let me give a little update here.

Things have gone so well. My husband really seems to enjoy his new job, although it’s been very overwhelming for him at times. He has had some anxiety with the transition (the first week especially), but over time has been able to relax and enjoy the new work environment. He is still in training, and sometime in the next week or two he will be done with a training schedule, and his shift will change by a few hours. This will, ultimately, be a better schedule for our family – as he will get home earlier in the day and it will be closer to what we were used to in the Army, but it will be yet another adjustment.

Ezra did very well with the move. He loves and thanks Jesus for “our new home” all the time and he has been extremely resilient. We have had NO sleeping problems – he’s been going to bed between 8-8:30PM and waking up about 6:50 every morning, just a few minutes before our alarm goes off to get Russ off for work! He has also made huge strides in potty training and is in big-boy underwear except for naps and nighttime, although he’s not accident-free yet. He did have about two weeks of a lot of tantrums which I attributed to “settling” into a new routine, on top of hitting a growth spurt, on top of hitting the more difficult stage of the months between the ages of 2 1/2 and 3, which is a difficult adjustment for any small child.

As for me, I’m so happy here. I love the area, all of the options for shopping – I love our apartment, which has proved to be much more roomy than I could have expected, even for downsizing! Our complex is quiet and our unit is on the back side of our building which offers shade and coolness from the heat. As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve made a few new acquaintances and tried to immerse myself in the community as quickly as possible.

The biggest struggle for me, personally, is sheer exhaustion. 

It’s been a long six years, and I think we are still both exhaling from Army life. Then we dealt with a lot of fear and anxiety in the days leading up to our move as we were faced with so many unknowns and were fearing unemployment. Now that everything has fallen into place and we are settled, I’m finally coming down off of the adrenaline rush of moving, and I don’t want to do anything!

Getting out and on my feet right away has been a huge blessing, but also a huge exhaustion factor. I am an introvert by nature, so going out around other women…none of which I ever met before a month ago…3 times a week has been an emotional drain. Most afternoons I come home ready to just rest and be left alone.

After next week, two of the groups I have joined will be ending for the summer and the Bible study I joined ends the first week of June–so within a few weeks my schedule will be empty yet again, and I will have the summer to recuperate from the busyness of it all.

Another stressor for me is our finances. We are in a great spot financially, with absolutely no debt and a small amount in savings. But my husband did take a substantial pay cut and lose free healthcare by transitioning out of the Army. I have spent hours running numbers and revamping our budget, trying to find ways to make our ends meet. This is going to be a difficult adjustment and mean some pretty serious lifestyle changes – goodbye Starbucks, ChickFilA, and movie dates!  – but I know that God will provide and we have the money to meet our most basic needs.

This transition out of the Army and move to North Carolina has been and will continue to be an adjustment in so many ways, but we are rich in God’s grace and in the beauty that He has granted us over the past few months.


In this healthy, adorable little boy:

01 ezra watching TV

Beauty in walks around our apartment complex:

02 walking

Beauty in tiny flowers in our backyard:



Beauty in coffee on my back porch:

(P.S. Could you all pray that I could find some inexpensive, comfortable porch furniture?)


Beauty in…well…I think this one falls more under the “mess” category…

Yes, I went to church (which we were visiting for the very first time) this way.

Yes, I didn’t notice till I got home.

03 mismatched shoes

There is beauty in very awkward pauses on Doctor Who.

(totally did not pause it here on purpose, but couldn’t resist taking the picture)

And lots of cuddles with Russ…

…while watching LOTS of Doctor Who.

04 awkward pause

There is beauty in nice weather, dinner on the porch, and family “talkin to Jesus.”

05 prayer time on the porch

06 prayer time on the porch

There is beauty in having little boys who like to help:

07 laundry helper

There is beauty in bubbles at the park.

(Note to self and anyone else who cares…dollar store bubbles aren’t worth the savings.)

08 bubbles

09 bubbles

There is beauty in finding rocks in my washer on a regular basis. #boymom

10 rocks in the dryer

There is beauty in coincidence God moments. Like when you realize that the author of that book you have wanted to read for a solid year is going to be at the bloggers meetup you are going to be attending the next day. Then going shopping and finding that very book for $4.50.

11 grace for the good girls

There is beauty in meeting up with close to 30 other women from your area (many of whom are also bloggers) who desire Godly community–and spending several hours with them at Jen’s beautiful home for the 2013 (in)RL conference.

12 inRL

13 inRL

There is beauty in afternoon rest time.

(Which often involves paleo blueberry muffins, coffee, and my favorite TV shows.)

13 touch and muffins

There is beauty in 2 weeks of double pay (Army pay and civilian pay), which allowed me to stock up on healthy, organic food for the next month – thank you Whole Foods and Trader Joes!

15 food

There is beauty in a very full freezer!

16 full freezer

There is beauty in an enclosed play area at the mall.

And having your smart kid realize that this was a banana slice before you did.


(It may or may not have anything to do with his banana addiction.)

17 banana

There is beauty in having family close by. Family who will put up with my husband calling to come over at the last minute…and will “just whip up” something like this for dinner. Stuffed zucchini.

18 stuffed zucchini

There is beauty in reducing my butter budget…as this stuff makes beautiful fried eggs.

I’m never ever buying PAM again. Ever.

19 coconut oil spray

There is beauty in painless meals (as most of our meals these days are full of drama).

And giving your son a piece of bacon, and having him say,

“No! I want da bowl!!” 

21 boys and bacon

There is beauty in having your son help with dishes:

22 boys washing dishes

There is beauty in morning sunshine and good hair days:

23 porch time

There is beauty in having a brave boy and beautiful afternoons to play at the park:

24 brave boys

25 brave boys 2

There is beauty in your boys having matching haircuts, done at home:

26 haircut like daddy

…and precious, sweaty, sleeping baby boys:

27 sleeping boy

There is beauty in getting flowers on Mother’s Day for being the youngest mother in the service:

28 roses

29 roses

And there is beauty in trying to get back on some sort of preschool schedule…

And having your son do this on his second try of prewriting!

30 prewriting

I know that was a lot of pictures – it just reminds me how blessed I truly am! Thank you for your prayers and messages of support and everyone who has asked about us over the past few months! Please continue to lift us up in prayer as we continue adjusting to our new life!


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