Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Homecoming

Hi Everyone – I wanted to take a moment to share a slideshow of Jonathan’s homecoming. It still very much feels surreal that the events of the past year have come and gone… who needs to watch Army Wives when our own lives have had its own ups and downs (of epic proportions no less) unfold right before our eyes. Thank you to all our friends and family, who supported, encouraged and carried us through the past year.


Enjoy the slideshow and I must say I love it that the song being played was what Jonathan and I danced for the first time as husband and wife J


http://kristenlynphotography.zenfolio.com/p896397067/slideshow



Much love

Eli updates in pictures - August 2010


With BearBear


Off to church we go


My best buddy


Nite nite


My new book


Daddy's HOME!


Horsing around


All play makes a tired boy

Eli updates in pictures - July 2010


mmmmmmmm... mango!


Hiding from Mummy


Soldier like Daddy


To market, to market to buy.... a potato!

Eli update in pictures - June 2010


Farley's rusk from Aunt Amy


Favorite hangout at the apartment


Trainig in session


First Haircut


First haircut & first lollipop

Picture update - House reconstruction

July 2010


POD is finally delivered


New siding put up


Siding in progress


New window in


Stairs fixed and prepped


Stairs


Kitchen


Garage


Kitchen


Working hard

Picture updates - Flood

Apologies for the quality of pictures. With all the cameras perishing in the flood, I had only my Bl*ackberry to capture images to update my husband in Iraq with.

May 1st


Burgeoning river


Getting closer

May 3rd - Water finally receded, safe to go home


First steps into the wreckage


First sight of the living room


Garage all topsy turvy


Living room


Living room

May 5th - Demolition time


Drywall, carpets, hardwood, fixtures all ripped out


Living room cleared out


Hanging out to dry

Almost there

We are so very excited as a family. In just 4 days, we will be moving back to our home!

All is not 100% completed but it's good enough. I will not miss living in an apartment and I am sure the boys shall agree as well.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Update

Life has been pretty overwhelming to say the least over the past few months and finally I feel like we may have some breathing space. To friends who are not on FB, I will do my best to update as concise as possible the craziness that has been our life :) Pics will have to wait because I cannot find my cable and as soon as I do, I'll get them on here.

March 15th - Eli starts daycare/school

March 20th - We celebrated Eli's 1st Birthday a couple of weeks early so that my mother could be part of it before she left home for Malaysia

April 3rd - Mom leaves and I am truly by myself with zero support with a one year old baby and a dog :( What made it worse was that since Eli had never really been exposed to other children, he was constantly sick at daycare. I took him to the doctor multiple times a week.

April 14th - Eli suddenly developed high fever and had seizures at 2am. This was the most frightening experience and after 3 seizures in a row, laying limp in my arms and eyes glazed over, I was still on the phone with 911... it took 30 minutes for the paramedics to come... I really thought that I had lost my baby... I will never forget that night.

It turned out that he had a severe ear infection and that was what caused the temperature to spike so quickly. Apparently the seizures are a baby's way to cool their bodies... not cool for Mommy :(

May 1st - Historic downpours in Nashville, interstates flooded... I was vigilant all night, watching the news channel and praying very hard we will be okay. It was a sleepless night for me since I kept imagining that if I slept, that we'll drown in our beds. Our backyard is the Harpeth River

May 2nd - As soon as day broke, I hurried outside to see the conditions of the river. My heart sank... the nature trail is flooded, the rain is still pouring. Power goes out. No more weather reports. I call my neighbor at 6am to come over to see for herself... 2 hours later, the water was in our backyard. I scurried around packing food for Eli, some clothes, dog food and at 10am, the water was at our backdoor.

Our neighbor and I fled from our homes. We had to drive through some flooded streets which in hindsight was not the smartest thing but we really did not know what to do... I prayed so hard that God will carry us through the water and bring us to safety. Our kind neighbor had a daughter who lived in the same sub-division but on a hill. They opened their home to us. Still no power, Eli was on fresh milk and I just put it in a cooler (did not have ice) and prayed it would last

Our hosts kept making rounds in the flood waters, coming back with updates... it truly was surreal... cannot imagine that happening to us

2 days being cut off from the world and no power, the water finally receded enough for us to go back to our houses.

What I saw was devastating. Our beautiful home, no more. Everything was destroyed... all that was left was a soggy, fishy, rancid shell. Eli didn't think anything different. He wanted down to play with his toys... heartbreaking

I remember vividly just holding on tighter to Eli and sitting out on the front porch. Watching the neighbors get busy trying to get their houses back in order. Kind volunteers came searching for the "young mother with her husband in Iraq" and they were the ones who helped tear out the saturated carpets, hardwood etc

Thus, was the beginning of our nightmare.

It seemed that it was one thing after another, finding a place to stay, paperwork for financing (home rebuilding), interviewing contractors, mitigation work, the list goes on... Now, remember that thousands of homes were affected so resources were very limited so the wait begun.

I will probably elaborate more as I think about it.

June 18th - My first husband's 5 year death anniversary. Some of you may already know he drowned whilst rescuing me from a rip tide. Difficult day because it felt like I had to start over every 5 years and that each time, water is my enemy


July - FINALLY sorted out financing for the home rebuilding and building commenced

August 1st - I get a phone call. My husband is out of Iraq and is waiting in Kuwait for transport back to the US!!!

August 4th - Husband finally arrives in Maine en route to Mississippi

August 9th - Eli & I stood at the tarmac of the military base eagerly awaiting that grey-blue military plane carrying precious cargo to arrive. The emotions were absolutely electric. What a happy day it was, our family was together again!

Present Day (Aug 13th) - The Hubs is adjusting well to civilian life, Eli has taken to him amazingly well, our home is coming along (move back date is Aug 28th) and I cannot wait for the weekend to just be able to spend some time with my my favorites boys!



To Be Continued :)