Beauty in the Mess,  Ezra,  Family,  Messy Faith,  Travel

Beauty in the Mess ~ Edition 07.08.14

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Sometimes it feels like our transition out of the Army is going to take forever. We got out and then we needed to find a new job and a new home and then we moved to NC but then there was a lot of other stuff to take care of. Like healthcare and life insurance, a disability claim, caregiver benefits, vocational rehabilitation benefits, and making sure that Russ doesn’t have sleep apnea or neurological problems (he doesn’t). Now, we are currently working with the VA about education benefits and looking into both short-term and longer-term career options for my husband who is having to start completely over, both vocationally and educationally.

In all of this there has been paperwork, appointments, tense discussions, more paperwork, and a lot of big scary grown-up decisions to make.

I’m not complaining, because the fact that we have access to a system that is taking amazingly good care of our needs as a family is worth it. But it’s been…well, like I said – grown-up stuff that we have had to take care of and sometimes that’s very overwhelming when there is severe anxiety going on and a 3-year-old boy underfoot.

But in the midst of it all, there has been so much beauty. There’s been a lot of improvement in our financial situation, which has definitely taken off some pressure for both of us. We can occasionally go out for a date or stop by Starbucks or go to ChickFilA or pay for Ezra to go to drop-in summer care at his school without feeling like we are going to break our bank account.

There’s more to life than money and money can’t buy happiness – but boy does it sure help.

I also signed up for healthcare through Obamacare, then a few weeks later found out I could get insurance through the VA, so dropped the former and signed up for the latter. (A little head-reeling there – but it’s all straightened out now.) In the midst of all of that, I went to the doctor for the first time in almost 2 years and got some blood work done to hopefully find some answers for my fatigue levels and weight gain. So that’s a positive as well.

As for general life? Well, it’s summer! And it has been so enjoyable! Ezra and I are getting along pretty well, and he grows more and more independent with each passing month. We spend a lot of time together going fun places and doing fun things, but also have a lot of space on the days he goes to “summer school” (a few days a month) or afternoons when we both watch our shows and kind of chill out.

And now, for some pictures…

There is beauty in some stolen moments like this, when we pretend to be Wall*E and Eva.

01 Walle and EVA

There is beauty in $30 worth of cheap water fun for the yard that has already proven to be well worth it with the fun he’s had! We’ve also been able to host some pretty cool playdates with friends who seem to enjoy playing in the pool!

02 pool fun

03 sprinkler fun

There is beauty in free ice cream at Dewey’s and farmer pants.

04 deweys ice cream

There is beauty in lots of trips to and playdates at the park…and a little boy who insists on taking his shoes off while he is there!

05 park fun

There is beauty in more backyard fun…and the hose…and the pool…and sidewalk chalk…and…this. This is what summer should be!

06 pool fun

07 outside fun

08 beautiful eyelashes

09 little boy

10 pretend telephone play

11 3 year old feet

12 3 year old feet

13 sidewalk chalk

14 writing his name

There is beauty in rough days that end in a facial and a manicure, courtesy of your son.

15 makeup

There is beauty in easy preschool days – and finding that your son has done this all by himself!

16 tracing letter

There is beauty in your first trip to the pool this summer (and many subsequent trips too)!

17 first time at the pool

There is beauty in finding a battery stuck in a toy nail…because…boys.

18 battery in nail

There is beauty in taking a walk and finding blackberries on the path.

19 blackberries

There is beauty in a UPS store that has such great customer service that they cater to moms of small children.

20 UPS store FTW

There is beauty in many many family hikes, especially ones taken on Father’s Day.

21 fathers day stone mountain

22 fathers day stone mountain

There is beauty in a husband teaching our son the value of hard work.

23 cutting grass

And there is beauty in more hiking in the mountains:

24 hanging rock

25 hanging rock

26 hanging rock

27 hanging rock

There is beauty in a quick weekend trip down to the beach, and my favorite part of the trip – an early morning walk on the beach with this silly little man.

28 beach trip

29 beach trip

30 beach trip

31 beach trip

There is beauty in our first set of Legos for the little boy who really loved the Lego Movie. And there was lots of laughter when the first thing he asked me was, “Can I build a gun?”

32 legos

No sleeping baby pictures this time! But I do have some other pictures that we took over 4th of July weekend that I’ll be sharing in a subsequent post.


  • Katie Emanuel

    “There’s more to life than money and money can’t buy happiness – but boy does it sure help.” Yes! We are finally beginning to feel a bit of relief from financial strain for the first time in five years and I can honestly say it makes a huge difference in our marriage, our family, and our stress levels in general. I love this series so much. And your photos are beautiful!

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