Saturday, January 28, 2012

Taking a Minute for a Repost

No.  I have no time to be posting a blog.  But I've battled all day with so much frustration.  The day wasn't horrible at all ... circumstance wise ... but nothing went my way (it's okay if you laugh) and it just frustrated me that I tried and I failed.  On days like today I battle between the "I have so much to be thankful for" and the "BUUUUUUTTTTTTT this is SO HARD."  So after putting the girls to bed tonight I decided before I tackle the ironing for church tomorrow and getting the clean sheets back on my bed (etc), I was going to sit down with a bowl of cereal (I have a crazy habit of cereal each night) and scroll back through some old blog posts.  It is nice to have this blog and have a bit of organization to my life events.  I always find lots of smiles through the old posts!  As I scrolled tonight, I came across the following post from Richard's first deployment here at 57 two years ago.  The post I posted from a friend really summed up the emotions behind my mood today.

A couple of months ago I saw a flyer on the bathroom door at church.  It basically said that "We don't know you need help if you don't ask!" Ah!  So the ball is in my court.  Yeah, ok, got it!  After all, who in the world would think that a mother of five would need any help while her husband is deployed?  Oh well, if only I had the time or the energy to pursue that.

So for my first repost ... click back HERE if you want a glimpse into what a deployment is like (on both ends). And thanks again, Donna!!

Friday, January 27, 2012


Army Wife Ashley Eberle with her husband SGT Ben Eberle

The above image was posted on fb earlier this evening.  It is of a soldier from my husband's unit.  I've been following this story from the start and you can to here.   I can't tell you how many times this sweet, young and inspiring couple encourages me.  The girls and I pray for them and I hope that you will take a moment to pray for them too.  Valentine's Day is fast approaching.  Perhaps as you plan your special day you'll be reminded of them.  They are looking forward to that day, too.  It's pretty obvious how much they love each other, but what you can't tell from the image above is that their first baby, a daughter, is due on the 14th of February.  Seems all too fitting for them in my mind!  

Thank you SGT and Mrs. Eberle for your service and for your sacrifice to our Country ... and thank you for the encouragement you bring to so many.

from their fb wall, November 22, 2012
"Dear friends, as this page continues to fill with love and hope for Ben and his family we feel must tell the extent of his injuries. Ben was injured by an IED and has suffered severe injuries, among them are above knee amputations to both of his legs and the loss of his right hand. As we stated before, he is strong despite all of this. The skull and spinal fracture will heal on their own, as they are hairline. Ben also has a sinus fracture and a pelvic fracture. He was in the operating room this morning and his wounds are clean and healing correctly. He also has a perforated lung, but thankfully the tube was taken out today. It will take a few days for his to get his voice back. Now that the tube has been removed, he should be able to talk and curse at us when we see him in San Antonio on Friday!
He is a fighter, and has stayed strong throughout this so we have no doubt he will come out on top. Please continue to pray for him and the family, especially Ashley and baby Halle. xoxo"

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Why I Love Camera Phones

If I didn't have a camera on my phone, I would forget the mannerisms of my Parker at age ten during a simple lunch date out.

And if Richard didn't have a camera phone, I'd never know what the first snow fall was like for him in Afghanistan this time around.

Maybe not the most important things in life, but maybe they are.  After all, it is life and God created it.  I'm glad I didn't miss it.  It's not always the big events that make the most impact on our hearts.  Sometimes it's all the little moments that really encourage us to smile and dream and hope and live.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Two Weeks

It's been two weeks since Richard returned to Afghanistan.  Just two weeks and it seems not so much like an eternity, but just like those 15 days that he was home was a dream or something.  In the past two weeks, we've shown our house,  Alabama won the National Championship!!, we received a contract on our house, we started back school and activities and Richard left his FOB (forward operating base) shortly after arriving back there, to go to another location for a new job and we've celebrated a birthday.  It's been anything but "normal" at 57 and very much high on emotions.

It was hard to walk back into the gym after having the gift of Richard go with me during R&R, but once I did I felt overwhelmed with a sense of being.  I know that sounds crazy, but the gym has truly become my little escape.  Richard says I've turned into a gym rat.  Those of you who know me know how funny that sounds:).  But I suppose there is a teeny bit of truth to that.   While I feel incredibly guilty the entire drive to the gym for leaving the girls at home, I benefit so much from the time I spend there.  I wish I had a partner to meet, but you know it is nice to have an hour or so to just be quiet and think and pray and still my mind.  And it feels so nice, too, to channel all of my frustrations and exhaustions into weights and running.  But the pressure of managing all that fills my day is always there and I have my moments.  However, I think the most emotional moments that I have are those that come when I realize how abundantly God is providing and how He has not forgotten me.  There are so many people in the world ... and so many people who do really amazing things!  And then there's me.  A stay at home Momma.  Don't get me wrong, this is a big job, but I'm not exactly Martha or Mary in it:).  If I were God, I'm sure I would easily overlook me.  But God doesn't.  He sees me ... knows me and my needs and is right there with just what I need, even when I didn't know how to ask.

Yesterday a stranger told me "good job" when I finished my run.  Today an old friend, who I don't talk to very much, sent me a message and told me "good job."  I needed to hear that.  Richard hasn't been able to talk much lately and so I've missed my pep talks:).  And naturally, since I haven't had my pep talks it seems that everything I do is an epic fail moment.  God knows that.  He designed it that way.  He knows my heart, knows I need to be reminded where my strength comes from and puts me in situations where He can show me that all is well.

I thought about all of this on my drive home from the gym tonight.  Tears just flowed.

Driving Olivia to school this morning she said, "Momma, I want to give you a hug when I get out."  Okay, I said.  But after the long wait in carpool and then the rush to get her out of the van in the 20 degree weather, she didn't seem to remember the hug and I didn't want to hold up the line, so I let it go.  Driving off I saw the teacher who was walking her in stop and let her watch me drive off.  I knew she remembered then about the hug.  I drove around to the side of the building where I could walk in, and went to her room to give her a hug.  Tonight when I tucked her in bed she said, "Momma you give the best hugs to me!"  She remembered that little event from this morning and her three year old little heart was happy.  That made my thirty eight year old heart happy too.  Nine months down, somewhere around seven more to go ... I can do this, and it's all going to be okay.  God's got a plan for our family and it is good.

Oh, how I love my little family.  And oh how thankful I am that despite my epic fails, God continues to give me a heart to try again, and even keep that bar high, day after day.

Psalm 23.1
"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing."

To Him be the Glory!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Another Birthday & What You May Not Know

Today was our Parker's tenth birthday!  What a sweet day.  But I must admit, having two out of five in the double digits is ... well, different.  All day long I just kept thinking about that.  My world of a house full of little people is starting to change.  There are four years between my older two, but not even two between my second and third ... just three between the third and fourth and then not even two between the last two.   Okay, I'm certain if any of you followed that it is only because you read over it a couple of times:).  My point is that for so long we were a family of make believe and simple.  That is changing.  We enjoyed one in the double digits a while but it's not going to be long before they are all there.  Every night, every single night I lay in bed and think more about how few the years are with the girls at home, than I do about all the years behind us.  No, no, no ... I 'm not thinking this in an "I can't wait!" sort of way, nor am I thinking of this in a "what am I going to do when they are gone?????" sort of way.  No, I just think about it.  I don't want to miss a single minute. I am excited about what the future holds, because I know how amazing the past has been.  It is all so bittersweet to me and it is all coming, well, maybe ... just maybe a tad bit too fast. I'd like to say all of this is because Richard has missed so much of it.  But I'm sure that I'd feel this way even if he hadn't:).  

In looking back at old images I have on my computer, I found this one of Richard in Iraq.  

Oh my word!! He looks like he is right out of college!  (high school maybe:)!!) Where has the time gone?!  

I also came across a blog yesterday where a wife was talking about the struggles of reintegration ... of when our soldiers come home and how it has been very difficult for her family.  That post made me sad.  Richard and I have not had a perfect relationship.  Anyone who is married, military or not, is not surprised by that.  But we are still together and what a humbling blessing that is!

If you've read even just a handful of my posts, you know that I struggle with Richard gone.  While I fully support him (and all too many times I even catch myself encouraging him:)!), I wish so much that he were home more.  But what you may not know is that while I want him home so much, I want even more to live life to the fullest with or without him here.  I want to honor him as his wife and love my girls the way they need it ... even when I feel like I cannot muster up one more smile.  I want to do my best and praise God ... especially when everything within me is telling me that it's all just too much.  

I mess up a whole lot and fall all to short of this goal daily, but I am humbly learning through all of this  new ways to be on my knees. And honestly, I think that's a great place to be.

It was a special day for our Parker.  She's growing up!  She's going to do well in life and be a hard little worker one day:).  And don't be surprised if you see her swimming for BAMA one day!  She's totally built for swimming (and loves it!!).  I was happy Richard was able to FaceTime her this morning.  She was literally beaming with delight!  It was so sweet to hear her tell him that she liked to "see" him and loved how he "always smiled so big":). Love that girl and that soldier of mine!! 

Oh and I didn't make our tried and true sweet potato cake this year, but a new recipe that was really very, very good!  You can find it here.

Okay, I'm babbling ... 
Thankful for today.  Blown away that this girl has had four birthdays at 57!! Excited to have another "event" without Richard behind us.  Looking forward to having him home to celebrate with us next year!

To God be the Glory.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Making Time

It's Friday.  
Friday's are easier days at The Davenport School.  At least for me ... more tests, less instruction:).

Kate goes to school on Fridays and so between the others testing and her gone, I have a little opportunity to hang out with my Olivia. I don't always seize this opportunity, though.  My list, as I'm sure is yours, is a never ending one of phone calls, errands and chores.  But today I made time with her a priority.  I'm so glad that I did.  I love her world.  So peaceful and colorful ... so full of hope!  

"what would you like?" 
she looks bossy here, but she was really just being very focused:)

when we move we're putting these little beds in storage
soon another chapter in the Davenport family will be closed
so glad I had a sweet few minutes in it today ...

Hope you all had a great Friday!
Enjoy your weekends and those that are a part of them!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Surprise Number Two

I love the train tracks the run through Alberta City ...

Richard's homecoming wasn't the only surprise of the season.  
On a whim we decided to head down to Alabama and surprise my parents.  
To quote my Daddy, "It was the best Christmas present ever."

We woke up the girls on the 23rd and told them that after breakfast we were going to Gran's house.  Still reeling from the excitement of having their Daddy home, they all just shouted out, "YEAH!!!" and tore out of the kitchen to get dressed.  It was so sweet.  We loaded up and just headed over, having no clue how we were going to surprise them. 

Seriously, when we were about 30 min out, I called my mom and asked her what she was doing.  It was only 10:30 and she is NEVER dressed before then (she just never has the energy to whip it in gear that fast), but that day, of course, she was already up and at em' and on her way to deliver Christmas gifts to friends.  

Okay, change of plans for us

We wanted to surprise her and Daddy all at the same time.  So we had to think.  THEN 12 miles out, there was a wreck and traffic came to a complete stand still.  

At least we had some time to come up with a plan.  When we finally got moving again, we decided to call my aunt, who my mom was with, and tell her she had to get momma back home.  My aunt is so funny.  She can't hear at all, but of course we are ll just talking too low:).  Momma answers and I ask if I can speak to Peggy.  "Sure," she says.  They are in Publix and she hands Peggy the phone. 
"Hey Peggy!"
"Where's Momma?" 
"Where's Momma?"
(obviously confused at why I was asking this since I had just spoken with her)
"Oh she's back in the store."
(good, I think ... I didn't want her to hear)
"Well we're almost to her house." 
"Who's house?"
"Momma's.  Don't tell her!  We wanted to surprise her."
"I won't!  She's not around."
and I'm thinking to myself, 
"at this point the entire Publix knows!" :)

To my astonishment, my Momma who seems to sort of always know everything, didn't suspect a thing form that phone call and Peggy was able to remain calm and get Momma home from the store without Momma suspecting a thing.

We waited across the street in the CVS parking lot.  
When I saw them drive up Momma's drive, we headed over.  It was such a sweet surprise!  
Totally what Christmas gifts should be about. 

After we all hugged and laughed

... and the girls completely destroyed Momma's house, that was immaculate, of course, even though she was expecting no one ...

... we headed out to Mellow Mushroom for our standard pizza lunch ...  

 ... we got the booth we always get ...

... then later we headed over to my Uncle Jame's house for a fish fry. 
And my cousin and his family were in town, too ... DOUBLE SCORE!!

It was a perfect day.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What They See

Hanson Ellis gives me her phone at night.  
I remembered last night that she'd been taking photos a lot lately and so I decided to see what she sees.
A smile instantly found it's way to my face when I came across several images like the above.  
Richard and I ... driving down the road.  
This is so who we are
Our kids are watching ... even when we forget that they are.

I am glad this is what they see.

Love and miss that soldier of mine. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012


It is January.  
The past two days we've had temps in the mid 60's.  
Absolute Heaven!!

Okay, at least it is for me, for this particular year.  I think one thing I dreaded most about Richard being gone was being without him in January.  Poor January!  It always gets such a bad rap, doesn't it?!  I usually don't mind, but being home all day in dreary weather is bad enough with the expectation of Richard coming home at the end of the day.  But being home all day in dreary weather with him not coming home is a huge dread of mine.  And then snow.  Oh, the prospect of snow was almost too much for me to think about.  Not really sure why ... I just needed sunshine I guess this go around.  I am so happy God has blessed us with not only that, but amazing weather.  It was so fun taking the girls to the community playground yesterday afternoon.  Seeing Patterson work on her new skates and Kate testing her skills on her bike without training wheels was just delightful.  Fresh air and sunshine ... amazing for the soul!  

Today we had two viewings of 57, so what did we do?  Chick fil a (if you know us, then you know we gotta get that in) and back to the playground. 
I got absolutely nothing done today that I "needed" to, but it was a perfect day.

Richard emailed today and said he "was in the right place at the right time" and got a flight back to his FOB in Afghanistan.  That's all he said, other than he'd call when he got to a phone, but I could tell he had already switched gears and was motivated to get back to work.  I miss him, but it made me smile to know he didn't get stuck in Kuwait and that his morale was up.  Love that soldier of mine.
Our cups are still overflowing!