Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Karen kindly asked how things were.... I can't believe I haven't done an update in so long! We have been so busy here!

Life without Jonathan does move on. I miss him so much every day. In some ways, you just push through deployments every day, and occsionally allow yourself to peek, as a turtle out of its shell, at the time that's passed around you. It can be both encouraging and tough. Like now, I know we're over halfway... And yet it's not yet May 1st and we have the whole month of May to get through. So it feels like significant progress, and yet I know we've got a big chunk of time left to overcome. I look at Elyana and how much she's changed already, and wonder in another month how much she'll have grown and gone through to be like when her daddy comes home. She's so wonderful.

However, we have some really amazing friends in Warner Robins. I have been a part of a military wives' Bible study for a year and a half now. We go through either Christian authored books, or straight up books of the Bible with commentaries. We meet for 2 hours, switching homes each week, each taking turns to facilitate as well. We grew to about 15 ladies, and so this last book decided to switch from an evening Bible study to a morning and evening one. So we're a smaller group now. But finally this deployment especially these friendships have really solidified. I see these girls about 3 times a week!!! We love to do things together! Our acitvities have included: a game & wine & dessert night (with lots of laughing!!!), a make-a-meal for those in need, strawberry picking, Easter-egg hunt, May-day basket making, whole-family dinner/picnics, baby showers, and things like that. These women are really fun to be around, and they are all eager to live out Christ's commands as friends, wives, and mothers! I really I just am so grateful for their friendship. Since they're military, and have small children, we all have so much to share in commonality. For example, evenings can be lonely and hard for those of us with deployed spouses, so we'll do a dinner together at times. Usually getting together with your girlfriends for dinner is a once-every-few-months occasion. We practically do it bi-weekly! Anyway, they are amazing and have make this deployment 100% better than any before.

Jonathan and I celebrated 5 years of marriage this past Friday. 5 amazing years!!! I look back and cannot believe I've got to spend the last 5 years with such a wonderful man! I am so blessed with his love in my life. I am just so happy to be his wife! I hate being separated from him, and never want that to change. Each day we just pray to be done with the separations forever, and get to enjoy waking up every day next to each other. But until then, we'll just pray and grow as much as we can through this. And oh the reunion!!! I get giddy thinking about June! My sweet Jonathan sent me some gorgeous flowers for our anniversary, complete with a note about the meaning of the flowers, and how it applied to our love. *sighs happily* He is my love, forever!

Elyana is changing so much. For four days straight now, I have gotten her to laugh - for at least a minute - at me! Previously, she's laughed, but it would be days between them. Now it's pretty consistent. Her face lights up when she sees me come in the room to get her out of her crib (if she's not been crying/waiting long). I love that!!! The look of recognition and happiness upon seeing mommy - and I'm mommy!!! How very long I've waited for that beautiful face! She really enjoys when I lay down next to her, hold a book over our heads, and read to her. We've once again exhausted our books (I go through them every day and I'm tired of the same ones, I can recite them by heart!), so I ordered about 5 more (used) on Amazon.com today. This Saturday is a used book sale, and I'm eager to see what I can find. Our current favorites are The First Forest and On the Night You Were Born. She will now grab toys and fiddle with them. She finds her hands oh-so-yummy and sucks on them a lot. She constantly clasps her chubby little hands together and twists them around and around, which I love to watch! She also opens her little mouth expectantly like a bird when she sees it's nursing time! She's still happily on the 3-hour schedule (Wake, Eat, Play for 1.5 hr, Sleep 1.5 hr). She goes about 4-5 hours at night between feedings. I've put her in my bed 3 times to sleep since J left, and it has been so much fun! With Jonathan gone it's very lonely, and having her next to me has been so special. Of course, it's an indulgence for us, not a regular thing!

I'm surprised how much difference there is in a newborn/1-2 month old baby, and a 3+ month old like I have now (14 weeks yesterday). While I disagree completely with the rationale behind the Happiest Baby on the Block book (i.e. babies have a need for a 4th trimester, but evolution grew babies heads too big, so they come out 3 months too soon); I totally adopt the 5 S's. They worked for Elyana so well. She actually still is sawddled, has her white noise, and takes a pacifier for nap time. I've tried unswaddling, but her hands are still uncoordinated enough she will hit her face or knock the paci out. The paci she only likes to get to sleep, but she'll spit it out usually 30 minutes into her nap and sleep the remainder of the time. The white noise? Her room is right next to the kitchen, so it drowns out noise when I'm in there, but she will sleep at someone else's houses without it. I will be trying to wean her off of some of these things in the next month or two, but right now I still feel she has a legitimate need for them. :)

And that is a huge summary of what we have been up to lately. My brother Carter drove down from NC for his Easter break to be with us (he was the first uncle to meet Elyana)! My sister Mary flew into Altanta to spend a week with us (we went to Starbucks every day, and she graciously worked out with me every night so I didn't have to take any time off!). I had amazing times with them!!! I have a little over a week here, and then I head back to NC until Jonathan returns - I am so excited! This time will be my first drive with my little "buddy" in the car.
Ok, picture time!!!

She fits into some of the prettiest dresses now!

Elyana and me at Easter time!

Uncle Carter and Elyana

Aunt Mary and Elyana (Elyana adored her!)


Dee Dee said...

She is beautiful, Denise. And you look great, too.

k said...

ohhh sweet, she is growing so fast!!!!

Anne said...

Wow, what a very pretty baby she is! Soooo adorable!

Kate still sleeps in her swaddle at 6 months old:) She loves it. I am not sure how we will wean her off!

Glad to hear you are doing well with Jonathan deployed (although, I'm sure "well" is a relative term during separations)

Karen said...

aw thanks for updating Denise! So glad you are able to stay busy with other women as well.

Elyana is just beautiful and its even more beautiful to see/hear you as a mother :)