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Sunday, October 31, 2010

He loved me because of Halloween

So on that very first Halloween we spent together at Jess' house, I made the decision that there was no reason to look for anyone else ever. I had found the person I wanted to be with and I would wait patiently until he figured it out.

We trick or treated with Jessica's son, all of us dressed up. He was 3 at the time, and there we were four grown adults playing dress up. Jess was a vampire, John was a PomPoms girl (don't ask), I was a witch (no comments there either please) and Michael was in Army gear. Crazy huh?

After that we decided to watch scary movies. Jess doesn't like scary movies, that is why it is worth mentioning. lol. Michael and I on the other hand LOVE scary movies. This is one of the first things we learned about each other. I swear this is still one of the reasons he married me.

We sat and talked all night. He held my hand. He was so sweet. He still is.

When they left, I didn't want him to go. He had fun to have with John I am sure and I had work stuff I had to do the next day.

He called though . . . .

Monday, October 25, 2010

And I saw him standing there

Michael and I met under, well, weird circumstances. :)

I was introducing a good friend of mine to another good friend of mine, and Michael is the best friend of the male in that equasion.

John I had worked with before and Jessica is still one of my best friends. Jessica asked me to go with her to meet John and John asked Michael to go with him.

And I literally saw him standing there. He was so handsome. Hot really. ;) The first thing that popped into my head was "well he is waaaaaay out of your league!!!" Thank goodness I wasn't looking for anyone. Right???

We had a great time at the club we went to. Yes, I met my husband at a club. What of it?!? lol We actually talked a lot.

That next week Michael asked John to give me his number. I was thrilled. Life was really hard for me then and knowing that someone who was as wonderful as Michael would want to know me, made life so much better.

So on Friday, October 31, 2003 . . . which just happens to be one of our favorite holidays . . . my life changed completely. He came to Jessica's house to watch scary movies with Jess, John and I was there too . . . living now. It was going to get much harder before it would get easier, but Michael wanted to be a part of my life, and he was and is so worth any struggle I have to go through to be with him.

He is so worth it.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

They break them down, so they can build them back up

If I had a penny for every time I heard that phrase, I would be rich by now. I know that is what they do to the soldiers, but I was oblivious to the fact that they do it to the loved ones also.

Until now.

I know, I know. I am going to hear stuff from lots of people over this post and I am ok with that. I totally understand why they do it to our soldiers. They have to change them. They have to make them different people so that they can act as a team and learn to work under pressure. It doesn't mean that I, or Michael, like this fact. BUT we knew all of that before starting this journey.

What I didn't know if how they would break me. The total lack of information given by the Army during boot camp, coupled with the fact that our soldiers don't get to contact us very often if at all, makes for a miserable boot camp experience. I will admit it, I am broken. They might have set a new record with how fast they broke this Army wife. I have been lost trying to learn what I can do, what I can't, what I can send to him, and what I can't. Learning how to treat him while he is in uniform and how I should act at graduation. How I should act really isn't any different than how I would usually act, but still I have to make sure.

The Co. that Michael is in has a Facebook page. An angel runs this page. She has been amazing at letting us know how things work and what to expect. If it wasn't for her, I swear I would lose my mind. Really, really go crazy. She is amazing. I will hug her at graduation if she allows me to, and I am sure I am not the only one with this request. :)

They break them down, so they can build them back up. That I understand. I can even, sort of, understand them breaking the loved ones down. BUT when, if I may ask, do they build us back up???

We get to see our soldier for a day at graduation. Is that when? I get to drive Michael to his AIT. Is that when?

There is a constant fear that after we are posted somewhere that he will be deployed. I know that isn't when I will be built back up.

I love the Army for helping Michael with a dream he has had for a very long time. Longer than we have been together. I am proud of Michael, and every other soldier out there, in training or not. I am thankful for the Drill Sergeants that are doing their best to train my husband and lots of other soldiers for the worst while hoping for the best. I am thankful for all of this. I really am, and I can't say with all certainty that I would change where we are right now.

I just want to know when I get built back up?

Friday, October 15, 2010

I am terrible at this

So I am really terrible at this blogging thing. :) I just don't seem to have the time to keep up with this and everything else. I will get better at it though. I KNOW I will.

So what has been going on that would keep me from blogging you ask? Nothing really. I just can't seem to get a schedule going with the kids and all.

We received letters last Thursday and Michael called on Monday. He sounded good. Things like letters and calls seem to set me back to the day he left. Thank God it doesn't set time back too. Only 5 more weeks until we leave to see him. Woohoo!!!

Johnathon is doing great with his school. He is really starting to read, and he actually wrote a letter to his daddy on Tuesday.

Gabriel is our little soccer star. He loves it all. Practice, games, anything soccer makes him really happy.

Bella is a wonderful little handful. She is beautiful and amazing and smart . . . and all of that somehow equals lots of busy energy that she uses to tear the house up. If there is a dog food bowl or water anywhere she is dumping it. She unplugs everything and the trash is one of her favorite places to play. It makes for a really busy day.

I am surviving. I would like to say that I am thriving, but I am not there yet. I miss my husband. I am completely supportive of him and the decision that we made to become an Army family, but it is much harder than I ever could have imagined. I want him home now. :)

I have been working out and dieting. I had about a week where I was lazy and I have picked it back up again. I am proud of myself. I have a goal that I really, really want to reach by graduation. So I have about 6 weeks to reach that goal. I WILL make it. I know I can if I just keep my head in it, and my hand out of the cookie jar . . . literally.

Loves to everyone.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Happy Birthday Bella!

To celebrate Bella's first birthday, here is her birth story.

It is very sad not having her daddy here to share it because he did catch her after all. He was the very first person to touch her. He loves that.

Bella’s Birth Story
October 1, 2009 - 41w 4d
My thoughts this day are - I am never having this baby. No seriously I am NEVER having this baby. She will graduate from high school in my belly. Ugh. I have been having contractions since 35 weeks, and I don’t mean the practice “oh there is a no pain contraction” ones. I mean the 4-5 hours of strong contractions ever 3-5 minutes that actually hurt a little. We get all excited that maybe we will have a baby, and then nothing. I sit up in the living room, all alone, late this night and cry and cry and cry. I try to be ok with the fact that I am going to have to go to the hospital, be induced and not have the birth I am wanting. Selfish? Maybe, but I just want to have this baby at home, safely.
October 2, 2009 - 41w 5d
I wake up early to head to my parent’s house. I slept good, which is unusual My uncle is in town from Ohio. We are all excited to get out of the house. I get in the shower and have a contraction. I get angry that this keeps happening. Sounds silly now to get mad at my own body, but you just had to be in my shoes.

I get out of the shower and I have another contraction. Contraction = ignored. I get ready and we get into the truck. The truck has been a pain for a while. Getting into it is troublesome, and I always have contractions in there. I am pretty quiet all the way to my parent’s house. I have contractions but nothing hurts.

I don’t really remember when I started paying attention to the contractions as something that might be real. I know we had lunch, and I ate a great lunch. We all sat and played outside all day. Michael started noticing that my breathing would change a little every once in a while. I asked my mom for a stop watch and I started timing everything. 5-7 minutes apart lasting for 45-60 seconds. Still no pain. They get stronger when I go to the bathroom. I try to avoid the bathroom. J
Sometime that evening Michael and I decide to leave earlier than planned. Johnathon’s soccer game was in the morning and our nephew’s birthday party is the next day. Michael’s parents agree to keep the boys over night just in case I actually go into labor. I have contractions all the way to their house, but nothing that hurts too bad. My mom gives me a coke for the road.

We get to my in-law’s house and get the boys all settled. I go to the bathroom and immediately decide that I no longer want to be there. I want to be home . . . NOW!
Michael and I head out. The contractions get much stronger in the truck on the way home. When we get home, Michael starts cleaning up a little and I go to the bathroom again. I sit down and literally hear my water break. I think I am crazy. I get up and as I am walking away I realize that I am not crazy. My water has broken at 11:50pm, 5 minutes after we get home. Talk about timing.
We notice there is meconium. We get very nervous. After much prayer, reading and checking on the baby we decide to stay home. Baby girl has a strong heartbeat, that changes as we would hope with movement and contractions.
October 3, 2009 - 41w 6d
Hard contractions start right after my water breaks. These are serious, no fun at all contractions. I am not always nice to my husband during these contractions. I hadn’t ever been mean to him in labor before. I usually just go into “labor land” and check out. This time I tried to stay moving. Movement is good during labor right???

Movement is not good for me in labor. I tried walking, swaying, hands and knees, laying down . . . Everything to stay upright and moving. Nothing worked. I was in great pain.
Michael was wonderful. Checking on the baby as needed, giving me water (which I would usually fight and ask for the coke. I was nauseous and it helped), rubbing my back . . . He did everything he could to help. He tried to put on my music that I had spent hours on getting together, but I didn’t want it on. He was wonderful.

At one point while I was standing in front of our changing table, rocking back and forth, I felt her move into a better position. I had always thought that she was a bit crooked in there, and I believe this is when she straightened up to a better position. It was painful, but it also made me feel better because I knew that my body was doing what it was supposed to do to let me deliver her.
October 3, 2009 - 41w 6d (continued)
Michael had fallen asleep while I was in the bathroom. Bless his heart he was exhausted. Apparently he had been doing this for a while, and every time I would flush the potty he would wake up. I didn’t flush this time. J I finally, at about 4am, decided to sit down on the bed. Michael was asleep next to me and I got into the position that had worked for me to labor with both my other births. I sat straight up in bed, legs crossed and I rocked back and forth. I realized after sitting down that I was tensing up, hard, when I would have a contraction.
I relaxed everything that I could, closed my eyes and finally found labor land.
I don’t remember anything from closing my eyes until I realized I was pushing. I woke Michael up, he put his glasses on and got everything ready.

After about 5 minutes, and 4 pushes later, Michael caught our precious baby girl. She pinked up immediately and started sucking her hand. She was looking around and just as content as could be.
She never cried. Michael suctioned her (because of the meconium) but nothing came out. We tried messing with her feet and everything to get her to cry, but she was always happy. She started eating right away. It was wonderful.

I finished up everything on my end, got cleaned up and we cleaned up Bella and put clothes on her. It was amazing to be in our own home with our own stuff.

Recovery for me was not always fun, but it was totally worth it all to have her the way that we wanted. Michael took the best care of us and for that I will always be thankful for.
Pregnancy was intense but worth every moment.

Choosing the way our baby would be birthed was intense but brought us closer together.
Labor was really, really intense but brought the delivery we had always dreamed about.
Isabella is intense but she is our gift from God.

Isabella Elizabeth Qualls
8lbs 21inches born on October 3, 2009 at 6:01am into her daddy’s hands

Happy birthday sweet baby girl. We love you more than you could ever imagine.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

One year ago today . . .

I started labor with Bella. I didn't think it was real.

It was. :)

I can remember everything leading up to that night. I really didn't think that I was in labor.


I told Michael over and over that I wasn't ever having this baby. He wouldn't believe me. lol

I was just sitting here thinking of how I really enjoyed that day. It was beautiful and cool and I could feel her moving inside of me. I love that part of being pregnant.

I am kind of sad thinking about it all. Michael was home all the time then. We had tons of fun playing Wii, playing with the kids, talking, watching movies and getting ready for sweet Bella to get here.

He isn't here today.

All worth it I know, but still hard.

So I will go back in time, like I always do, and relive my births alone this time around.

He is probably happy about that. He would have gotten irritated with my hour by hour replay. :)

Friday, October 1, 2010

He is my lobster

I can't believe that it has only been almost three weeks since Michael left. I feel like it has been an eternity. The kids still tell me daily how much they miss him . . . . I am glad it isn't just me.

He has been my rock since I met him.

He is the one person that I could always count on to be on my side.

He has literally saved my life on a couple of occasions.

He was by my side throughout each pregnancy and there when I delivered all of our babies, in one form or another.

He has supported me, with some voicing of opinion, throughout all of my crazy ideas.

He is the most amazing father that I could have ever asked for with our kiddos. He is loving and attentive and just down right amazing.

He loves sweets, watching movies (especially scary ones), bowling, music of all kinds, playing with the kids, working out and all kinds of Wii. All the everyday things that I love and miss now that he is gone.

He is the amazing man, that a year ago, truly began following Christ and changed a lot in our lives because of this. He was always a believer but he has really become an amazing follower and is leading us, as a family, down the right path. He is an amazing leader like that.

I am truly lucky to be able to call Michael my husband. I am proud to carry his name, even if we always joke that being a "Qualls" leads to bad luck. He is my love.

So as I sit here, stalking the Facebook page that they have for his regiment to catch a glimpse of him, I wanted everyone else to know that I don't just miss him because he helps me with the kids.

I don't just miss him because he is usually just here.

I miss him because he is Michael . . . and Michael and I have a special relationship. He is my lobster.

If you don't get that line it was on a Friends episode. :)