He makes it easy to love him so much....

"I wake day or night, suit and boot, for the safety of my people, my family, my love... my life." (It's not much but it's for you baby, I love you) - Joshua Reeves

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Coming Calm..

     The day is drawing near, the day for Goodbyes. You may be surprised to hear that I feel a calm beginning to wash over me about it... but first things first... VACATION UPDATE:

           We spend the beginning of this month in our old home, Washington State. Josh, the kids, and I spent the time at my Mom and Dad's house in Puyallup. The weather was cold, rain, and gloom, just how we missed it. Roll your eyes now, but we spent the end of March in Texas in ninety-five plus degree weather and felt a little out of our element. The rain was a welcome change, I made sure to open the window in our room and listen to it hitting the roof like a gentle lullaby.

        We didn't do a whole lot of anything, mostly just enjoying being together with no demands. We visited with old friends, spent time with family, and ate more than we should have, if the moving notches on my belt are any indication. I might worry more about gaining a few pounds if I didn't know what was coming for us.

         We got to celebrate Lincoln's third birthday with family. I insisted on having twenty-five balloons, and more Thomas & Friends cake and decorations than Lincoln could even take in, it was an amazing moment seeing his eyes light up in pure joy. He went around all day with pride telling everyone, "Happy Birthday!" Blew out his candles with Daddy's help, and smiled from ear to ear until he went to bed. Huge success! I can't tell you how much it meant to me that Josh got to be there for it. I teared up a few times watching them together.

         We went to the zoo with my parents, had dinner with some of the old Mazda car club, Josh and I both had boys/girls nights, and we got one memorable date night. There are plenty of good memories from the almost two weeks we got together as a family.

         Perhaps one of my favorites was going to Build-A-Bear for Lincoln. He picked out a little brown bear, kissed the heart, stuffed it, hugged it tight, and even gave it a bath. He lovingly named it "Bear." The special part though, is if you squeeze his little paw, he says, "Linc-y, Daddy love you Buddy." In Josh's voice. I have a feeling I may squeeze it myself a few times while he's gone.

           The kids were amazing on the flights both ways, and overall the traveling experience was a positive one. Experiences like these, moments like this, I feel like Josh and I grow closer and closer together, even when I think we're as close as we can be. I love that man with all of my heart, and the depth of that love never ceases to amaze me.

        Perhaps these little reminders, those precious memories, and the healing power of time away from large responsibilities are all partially responsible for the calm that is washing over me. It wasn't a tidal wave of renewal, but more like a small rippling effect that is overtaking me. I don't want to be apart from Josh for the next year or so, but I know I can survive it. I know, as a family, we can survive just about anything.

         When we got home from vacation we were hit with the reality of physical paper orders. A tentative DATE even. You know, hypothetically staring at a bold red circle on the calendar, unraveled that last little bit of my reserve. I took a deep breath, I looked at the amazing family I have, at the amount of things in my life that I have to be grateful for, and I let the breath go.

          I'm scared sure, and I know Josh is too. I'm worried about the kids transitioning back into life without Daddy around. I'm worried about filling the time while he's gone, and not just sulking around only half-living. I want to have wonderful stories to tell him, pictures to show him of us having fun, a life fully lived not without him, but in honor of our family. Something to share with Daddy, to get him through the time as well.

            I'm growing, emotionally, and spiritually even. I'm learning things about myself, and reminding myself the things I already know.





           I no longer doubt my ability to make Josh proud, I see it in his eyes, he's as proud of me as I am of him. We get to go on this journey together, and though we won't be walking on the same trail, our paths will be parallel, and have the same end destination. Home. Future. Family.

            I don't know if my words make sense to anyone else these days, but I know my heart feels a little lighter. I finally feel like this house in Texas is our home. The kids are at home here, in their own space. I stand by my decision to keep us here through this deployment.

            While I can't share dates, the time is near. I may not write much, as I fully intend to soak up all the family time I can before my husband leaves for war. Just know, if I go a week or two without writing, I'll be back. This will be a place for me to be honest with myself for the next year or so. Bear with me through the ups and downs, but you should know by now, I always come back up on top.

              Life is about the journeys that we take, and this one is going to be big. I hope you'll be there with me from beginning to end, but till then, you've been Nicked.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Oh Netflix...

This might sound silly, but I've lost myself in a Netflix vacation. I drown in the words, the emotions of another life. I live vicariously through the TV (or computer) screen. Anything to remove myself from my own stress, my own fears. At the end of the day though, when my battery dies, or it's time to get dinner on the table, bathe the kids, get everyone ready for bed, reality creeps back in. Like sand sneaking through the thin fabric of a swim suit, no matter how hard you try to keep it out, it sneaks back in like a criminal.

I don't want to escape my life. After all, you only get this one life, you shouldn't squander it, or wish it away. I just occasionally need to step back, breathe for a second, see things from a new vantage point. When I was in middle school and even some high school, I used to lose myself in music. Live and breathe the lyrics.

I even had a stage where I would walk everywhere, just to listen to the sounds of life. Crunching snow enveloped by deafening silence. Leaves crackling and whispering across the pavement. A shallow creek gurgling over rocks and dirt. Concentrating on something else, a sound, a feeling, it's my way to escape when things get to heavy. It keeps me from being self-destructive. I've been there, that is not the best coping method, it hurts far more than it helps. I'm trying to find some solid ground in this.

Someone called me today, reached out for a near stranger. Reminded me that I'm not alone in this feeling. That it's okay to just say "Hey, This SUCKS!" (because it does).

I have hope, and strength in amounts that I fail to acknowledge sometimes. You might read my words and worry for me, but just know, this is me, working things out. I always find a way to come back out on top. I never stop swinging. There is nothing more important to me that my family. I will do what ever it takes to get us all through this as unscathed as possible. It's a rough road ahead, but it's one thing to be FAR AWAY, and a completely different thing to be DISTANT.

I know I sound scattered, unorganized, maybe a little crazed, but I assure you, this is because I am finally being completely honest. Even with myself.

Until next time... You've been Nicked.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Day I Changed Forever...

It was Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008, and I got to work at three in the afternoon, I wasn't feeling too great that day, my face felt hot and my back was aching. Dorothy (an old lady that worked at the register) commented that I looked like I was carrying pretty low. I told her that my back was hurting and Shari (one of my bosses) said, "oh my god, really? I'm gonna have to have people watch you tonight!" I just laughed it off, I wasn't having contractions and I was only 36 weeks along.

I sent a text to Amanda on my break and asked her if she wanted to come have lunch with me at seven and she said she'd be there. I was up helping a customer at the front register when Amanda got there, I told her I had to pee pretty bad but that I had to take some things to the back room before I could go to lunch, so she followed me back.

I set the bags down and started walking back towards the time clock. I got about ten feet from the stockroom door and I felt liquid start rushing down my legs. I started to panic, my first thought was that I'd just peed my pants, and on a day when I wore my spandex pants, everyone was going to be able to see the wet stain!! I looked at Amanda and said, "umm... either I just peed my pants or my water just broke!"

Amanda got really excited and said she'd run tell the PIC and I called Josh at work to come get me! My face was so red!! And there were customers pointing and smiling at me! At one point someone put yellow "wet floor" cones around me!I called my mom and she said she'd be on her way to the hospital with my brother.

I saw Josh coming towards me and I tried not to cry, it was as if seeing him made it all click into place, this was the real deal!! I made him give me his work shirt so I could wrap it around me to walk outside, so thankful that our apartment was just across the street.

We got back to the apartment and I changed my clothes and called the hospital, they told me to come in right away. Josh had to put the car seat in, so while he did that I put the last few things in my suitcase.

Amanda ended up riding with us to the hospital, I still was feeling pretty good, just a little wet from my water still coming, something no one warned me about. We checked in at the hospital and they sent me to the bathroom to get a "Sample."

When I got back to the room I was so happy to see my mom! They asked me a bunch of questions about what I'd eaten (only pineapple all day long!) and my health... then they finally checked me into a birthing room.

They told me I was at a four (dilation goes by centimeter, end goal is a ten). I finally started feeling contractions a little while later. I got an IV but they didn't hook it up so I could still walk around. The contractions weren't too bad yet, so my Mom, Amanda, Josh, Logan, and I walked around the hospital floor for an hour.

We came back, they checked the babies heartbeat and mine and then they said I could walk around more. We tried again, just me and my Mom, but this time it was pretty uncomfortable so we went back to the room and watched probably EVERY episode of Jon & Kate.

Then I tried the bath tub, hoping it would calm the pain, (yeah right), the stupid nurse kept pushing on me while I was having a contraction and I wanted to smack her! They checked me again when I got out and I was only at a five. I swear that woman was nuts, I'm convinced her hands were too big for the job and she couldn't count. I thought I was gonna die, it hurt so bad and I still had HALF to go?!

So I waited a little longer and then told her I'd take the Epidural, even though I wanted to go natural and am allergic to pain meds. She said it'd be a while since someone else was in line before me. Then the contractions suddenly got BAD. Woah, I can not even describe the pain...

I felt like there was no break between anymore, no cool down. Just constant pressure. They sent Josh out so they could put the epidural in but I started pushing.. I tried not to, but I couldn't hold it back. The nurse looked at me and said, "Nicole, are you pushing?"

I cried that I couldn't stop if I wanted to. I kept grabbing the sheets in my fists, naturally pulling my knees up to my stomach, praying for the pain to stop. She looked at me seriously, "I'm sorry to tell you this, but its too late for an epidural, but the good news is you're about to have this baby!"

I was happy and scared as hell. Someone yelled about getting Josh back in the room and about calling my doctor, people were rushing around opening cupboards and at this point I'd finally gotten a new nurse, thank god. It was almost as if knowing it was pushing time made the pain more bearable.

I pushed for about twenty minutes, nurses kept telling me to look down and see Lincoln's head, but I didn't want to. I found it kind of frustrating that they kept saying, "One more push and his head will be out," because obviously it took much more than one more time.

Lincoln Michael Reeves was born at 4:23am on Thursday April 3rd, 2008. Josh and my mom cried when he came out, I was too wrapped up in all that was happening to cry. I know that last push that propelled him out was hugely gratifying.

Lincoln was blue, he didn't cry, he didn't even move. I was so scared, no one said anything they just rushed him over to the table and started pumping air into him. I kept asking my Mom if he was okay, but she just kept looking at me in scared silence.

Finally, after the longest, twenty or so, seconds of my life he cried. I'll never forget how good it felt to hear him cry.

They told me he was six pounds even and eighteen inches long. Such a little guy, but with long arms and legs and beautifully long fingers. I looked into his eyes and I felt like I'd known him forever. They had to stitch me up since I had a second degree tear, but they let me hold him to keep my mind off the pain. My doctor did the stitching but he missed Lincoln's birth, a little Asian ANGEL brought him into the world.

We bonded for about thirty minutes before they had to take him back to the table and clean his eyes and all that. Then they moved us to the recovery room. Our stay in the hospital wasn't bad, except he had to spend a couple hours in the NICU because of low blood sugar, but he bounced right back. They made us stay one extra night since I had a tear and Lincoln was early, despite the protests from me and Josh. It was an amazing feeling of Freedom being wheeled out of there the last day!

Three years ago on April 3, Lincoln came into our world and changed it forever. He's changed me forever. Becoming a Mom is by far the thing I am most proud of in my life. I look at him today and I'm still in awe of the amazing little man he is. I have all the faith in the world that he will forever be making Josh and I proud. It's going too fast, watching him grown, knowing someday he'll go out in the world on his own, but for now I'm just enjoying every second of this sweet boys life.

Happy Birthday Baby Bear, Mommy and Daddy love you so very much.

Monday, March 21, 2011

.... Willpower...

What I wouldn't give for a Root-beer Float right now. Creamy vanilla ice-cream, in a nice chilled glass mug, frothing over with delicious root beer...

However, I'd give even more to be in the healthy place I'm striving for. So I'll settle for this sweet and sour grapefruit, since it doesn't come with a side of guilt. It does taste quite satisfying, just in a different way.

I pushed, heaved, and panted my way around the neighborhood today with the kids in the stroller. I thought for sure I'd gone at least five miles. It was harder, longer, and more physically exhausting than it was a year ago when I used to walk with a Mommy group. I can't believe I've let myself get so out of shape. Baby weight is one thing, but laziness is a disease, and I am going to be cured of it!

When I got home I mapped out the path I took, complete with the extra mile I walked because I was lost. It turns out I only walked 3.8 miles. Not even close to what I know I am capable of doing when I'm being healthy. If anything I'm just going to take this as the eye opener it needs to be. I have a clear goal in mind, and an idea of how far away from it I am.

I want to be clear, not that it matters what anyone thinks about my body but me, but either way... I don't want to be "skinny." I want to be at a healthy weight for my height, and at a fitness level that is above average for a mother of two. I want to keep up with my kiddos on a higher level, fully enjoy chasing them around whatever the activity may be.

Most importantly, I just want to feel comfortable in my own body again. It's been far too long since I've hit a goal and actually loved myself.

Until next time, You've been Nicked!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


If I'm being honest...

No, I'm not okay with any of this deployment stuff. Getting ready for it is the biggest joke I've ever heard. How do you "get ready" for your other half to go to war? How do you "get ready" for a year or more of sleepless nights, cries for Daddy that you can't answer, and a never ending fear?

If I'm being honest...

I have never been in a place like I'm in now mentally/psychologically. I hate everything about how I look, and that scares me. What a horrible body image I have of myself. I KNOW the problem is really on the inside, it's an insecurity that shouldn't be there, but I've had this problem before... I KNOW but it doesn't change how I FEEL.

If I'm being honest...

I want nothing more than a weekend with my husband and no kids. I want to be carefree and laugh, really laugh. I want those memories to keep me warm during all the lonely nights.

If I'm being honest...

I'm terrified to leave the kids in daycare. I know I need the break while Josh is gone, but I don't know if I'll really follow through on it.

If I'm being honest...

I'm craving some girl time more than ever. Someone that understands my situation and can just drop by and say "hey girl, let's go for a walk right now and talk it out."

If I'm being honest...

I'm tired of pretending I have it all together.


Since no one ever wants to be HONEST, or hear the TRUTH...

I'll just keep my head up, I'll keep my feelings in, I'll stay strong like I've been told I'm supposed to do. I'll stay in "Super Woman" mode and be everything to everyone... but if you see me fall... if you see me crack under the pressure, just know... I TRIED to be honest.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

As My Mother Likes To Say, "When it rains, it pours!"

What a week.

On Monday morning just as Josh returned from PT he got the call. His best friend Nick, back home in WA (on lifesupport since friday night), had lost the battle for his life. Tearful and devastated he left for work.

He thought maybe he could take some leave and go home for the funeral, his unit offered him two days leave. This might seem like enough, but with a 5 hour flight, split between two airports, and endless layovers, he wouldn't be able to make it, and with a price tag on tickets of $900, it just wasn't plausible.

Then Tuesday came, and try as we might to find some alternative way for him to get there, we just ran out of options. I hate seeing the disappointment, guilt, and hurt of not being able to be there for his friend. Josh isn't religious, but he's loyal to a higher degree than most can imagine. I was also stricken with possibly the worst flu bug I have ever encountered...

Wednesday I woke up sicker. I won't go into the gory details, but it hasn't been fun at all. I live pretty close to the bathroom, and the kitchen and I are not friends right now. I know there are all sorts of delicious things taunting me in there, but the Kitchen can't lure me in.. I'll just lose it.

Today is Thursday, and much to my dismay I'm still quite ill. I thought about going to the ER, Josh volunteered to keep the kids home while I took myself, but our plans were derailed. He's been put on 24 hour ops.. starting tonight. So he's home for maybe two hours, and then back to work for another shift. I guess he will be working nights for a while, and through the weekends. This is really getting ridiculous. I love how they stress that we should be spending as much time together as we can before the upcoming deployment, and then stick him on twenty four hour shifts, for twelve days or whenever they decide. Such hypocrites.

He's asleep on the couch as we speak, exhausted, much as I am. We both could really use a break, BLOCK LEAVE WHERE ARE YOU???

I'm complaining a lot these days, I'm so tired, so stressed out, and I don't like this me.

It's so time for some positives!!

Oh well, I'll keep my fingers crossed, until then, you've been Nicked.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

In An Instant..

It call all end in an instant.

Relationships, jobs, friendships... LIFE.

I don't want to take any of it for granted.

I'm a little too choked up to write right now...

Please pray for one of my husband's best friends, I can't divulge too much information, but he had an accident Friday and is on life-support, it is not looking good.

Hearing my husband choke up on the phone, I just knew it was something serious.

TO all my friends, and family, I love you very much, if we were to part today, I hope you would all have plenty of fond memories of us.

I will be spending as much time with my family as I can, as I always try to do..

I will find time to write, but there are so many important things to be doing right now. :)

Thoughts and prayers are with the family of Josh's friend. Please keep them in yours as well. Send positive vibes their way if you're not religious.

Love to all

you've been Nicked.