The Unknown

We have only been in the military for close to two years, but it feels like a lifetime. Certain territory comes with joining the military, and part of that is the unknown. What I mean by that is the ridiculous lack of knowledge that you have about your future. Is he deploying soon? Are we moving? How long is his deployment? Where are they going? How long will we be here? These are all the questions that I  ask myself once a month. To no avail can any of these be answered! So the military has taught me that I have ZERO idea or control over where I will be a year from now, heck six months from now! But do we really have any idea where any of us will be in a year. The military has a funny way of teaching you to trust in God. I never realized how much I counted on my own plans, how much I planned, and how much I talked about my plans. Which is comical considering NOTHING has worked out as we planned.

If you would have asked me eight years ago what my life would be like now I would have painted a VERY different picture. If you would have asked me what our life would be like when we first got married it was still so very different than what it is now. Like living in California, RJ becoming a cop, me being a teacher different. God closed those doors really quickly. At the time we didn't understand and we were really heartbroken. Just the other day we were  saying how grateful we are that he didn't become a cop because of everything that's going on. We couldn't have said that three years ago because we didn't know. I will always remember a sermon my father in law gave where he asked if this is where we pictured our life in a year. The answer has always been no! A year and some months ago we thought we were going to Korea, now we're in NY, and I can honestly say I have no idea where I will be in a year. But I have found some peace in that. I think that its foolish to think we can plan the future, but I know I did! Now there is absolutely no denying that things are out of my control. I haven't mastered it, but it has grown me. When you hand your plans completely over to someone its humbling. Some people might think that we've handed our lives to the military, but it is evident now more than ever that God directs our step. I can promise you that God wants us in NY, that He is providing every way possible for us to be here and to be used. Its amazing how much we've seen him work through us in the year that we have been here. We still miss home, It's still a struggle, but It's okay! We're learning to let go of our ideas and embrace what God has for us.

Heres to the future, whatever it is!

The Farm with Ava!

I wrote a post a while back about the first time we visited the farm, here. Now we're back! This time we went with some friends who were visiting who also have kids, one of which is Ava. She is about Jeds age and a whole lot of fun. It was a different experience this time around because they are older and understand a little more.

Here they are feeding the goats! Jed was fearless when it came to feeding or touching all of the animals. RJ thinks he will grow up to be a farmer.

He insisted on petting every animal! It was kind of cute, but by the 14th goat I was tired of them.
We did a dairy tour where they showed you the "modern" way of milking cows. It was both fascinating and  a little sad. Machines do everything for us now, It's kind of crazy.
These huge pigs kind of freak me out. I always think of the criminal minds episode where the guy uses pigs to dispose of the bodies. Too much? I thought so.

I didn't get a lot of pictures because it was fun to just watch them enjoy the animals. Its a whole different game with three kids. It was fun asking them what their favorite part was, and them actually remembering the animals. We hope to go back again, and we hope to be able to visit some farms from our friends at church. We want him to be very familiar with animals. He might be a farmer, after all. 

Norther New York Guide!

I am finally getting around to making a NNY Guide! Something I wish we would have had when we first arrived at Fort Drum. It can seem like there's not a lot to do around here, but when you really explore there is a whole lot to do.  So I am making a list of some of our favorite ways to get out there. Everything I post is kid friendly because we take Jed everywhere with us! From closest to Fort Drum to the furthest. Enjoy! 

Fort Drum/Watertown!

  • On Fort Drum there are splash pads (which is one of the first things we did here), bowling, trails, library (story time). I know ACS has a lot of events as well for moms who stay home and want to go out during the day.
  • Watertown. The closest big city to Fort Drum has some normal things to do, like the mall, the movies, places to eat. Downtown Watertown is a neat place to see. The library is historic and there is even a museum across from it for all you history buffs! In the summer they have a Famers Market on Wednesdays, It's a lot of fun. 
  • Thompson Park. Located near downtown Watertown, this is one of the coolest, if not the coolest, park here. It has a huge wooden playground, a beautiful view with an open field, and a zoo (more below).
  •  The Watertown zoo in my opinion is kind of lame (for a zoo). Although its not very expensive, $7 for adults, $4 for kids, kids 3 and under are FREE.  They have local animals, and a really cool butterfly house which may be worth the $7. They also have a small farm section where you can pet some of the animals. 
  • Burville Cider mill is a quick 20min venture but oh so worth the donuts and cider that they have. You can also buy apples and look at their cool waterfall. Don't be fooled by their website, It's only open in the Fall. 
  • Farms in general are a lot of fun to see. You can go apple picking in the fall, and berry picking in the summer! 
Sackets Harbor

  • Old McDonalds Farm is a really fun farm to visit with kids, but even if you don't have kids, its still fun. Its seems a little expensive for a farm, $10 for adult and $8 for kids. But there is a whole lot to do! You can see farm animals, feed them, theres a tour, jumpers for kids, mini golf. You can spend an entire day there. 
  • Sackets Harbor is a beautiful little water town. Its very historic, known for the war of 1812. They have tours in the summer and some little museums that you can see. But even if you don't see any of that, the town itself is beautiful to walk around. There are some cute shops you can visit, and I would recommend eating breakfast at the Tin Pan Galley it is seriously amazing (and expensive), I would do dinner at Goodfellos, they have the best brick oven pizza! If you like spicy, I recommend the afterburner. Then head over to the ice cream stand across the street for some amazing ice cream! 

  • Another cute little town by the water. They have some fun shops, including the river rat cheese store!! They also have the antique boat museum, I believe its $12 but free for military. 
Alexandria Bay

  • Alexandria bay is probably the most "touristy" thing here. Similar to Clayton, but with a little more things to do. Not only can you walk around, but they also have some really neat boat tours you can do. They have one that takes you to Boldt Castle which is a must see here. 
  • Syracuse, being a major college town, has a lot to do! There is Destiny USA, which is one of the biggest malls in the state.  There is also the Syracuse zoo which is free to military and family. There is also Dinosaur BBQ which was on DD&D, and worth the ridiculous wait and crowd. 

  • Canada is only about 30 min from Fort drum. If you're in the area I would highly recommend going there! Right after the border they have a really cool observation tower that is worth seeing. We visited Brockville while we were there, but there is obviously so much you can see. 
Baseball Hall of Fame
  • One of my favorite things we've done! Not only is the baseball hall of fame cool, but Cooperstown is really neat to see. 
Niagara Falls
  • Don't really need to say much about this, it speaks for itself! This is one of those must see things that is a little further away but worth the trip. Buffalo is a cool city to see if you're in the area, and I recommend eating at lake affect diner, and Sophias on Military Rd (only breakfast/lunch place). 
These are just a few of the places you can see while you're here. There really is a lot to do around here, my favorite being yard sales and random events near town. There is a whole lot of outdoor things to do that I didn't bother mentioning because they seem so obvious, like hiking, rafting, fishing, ect. The fourth of July seems to be the busiest and seems to yield the most to do! But there is something to do in every season, including the wretched winter. 

Fathers Day!

Fathers Day was something I really dreaded growing up. It was often a painful reminder that my dad had died. As I got older, and realized how many of my friends shared a similar dislike for fathers day, it wasn't so bad. I would just block out the day all together. It wasn't until I met RJ that I began celebrating fathers day again. Since his dad was such a huge important part of his life, and an awesome dad, I wanted to celebrate him too. He eventually became like a father to me and I really looked forward to fathers day again. Now we get to celebrate it on a whole other level!

Watching RJ become a dad is just one of the absolute best things in life. I still remember the conversations we would  have as kids (teens) about how we pictured our family. Now to watch him live out things we dreamed about 10 years ago is pretty awesome. I will start out by stating the obvious, and saying he's not a perfect dad! Sometimes he's on his phone or watching a game or so ridiculously tired that he falls asleep mid sentence, but he is an exceptional dad. He doesn't take a million pictures, or post how awesome his family is on social media, he won't come home with flowers or chocolates, or do any of that over the top stuff that I really thought I wanted. He is exceptional in other ways. He wakes up early on weekends and takes Jed so that I can sleep in (even though he wakes up earlier than me EVERY DAY). If you're a sleep deprived parent, you know how incredibly selfless that is. He comes home and he sits with Jed, plays with him, gives him a bath, puts him to bed. He encourages me to go out with friends, because he actually enjoys spending time with Jed (what a concept!).

The biggest reason being that he's my partner! I don't ever feel like I'm raising Jed alone. He's involved, he's interested, he pays attention. He chooses to do all of those things. I am so grateful! I am grateful that in a world where it is exceptional to be a good dad, RJ makes it seem normal. I think that great fathers should be celebrated because they are so rare! I'm thankful for my husbands patience, kindness, and spirit. He teaches me everyday how to be a better parent. I'm also thankful for my father in law who was that example for him. I'm thankful for every father who works hard and loves their kids. Most of all I am thankful that we have the ultimate example in our heavenly Father. God was gracious in giving me RJ. So I will take every opportunity I can to celebrate him!

 Happy Fathers Day , Sweetums!

Happy Spring?

It seems like Spring never got to NY! The weather is still in the 50s and I am anxiously awaiting summer. We had a short hot week and I though it was the beginning of summer but I was wrong. We're back to cooler weather and the pregnant part of me is really happy because pregnant summers are hoooot! Although we have had some awesome glimpses of Spring, like tulips and daffodils, and the prettiest skies. 

These are a few of our pictures from when we went to Canada! So green!!! That is something that I just love here, everything is so unbelievably green here. Everything is really beautiful, and I am really appreciating it even though I miss the California weather. I think it might be the possibility of moving back, but I just appreciate NY this time around. Hoping to do a lot this summer before the baby comes. Ah! Can't believe we're having this baby in a few months. I'm a little nervous about what life will be like with two kids! Two boys!!!

Only a few more days until summer officials starts, and only a couple of weeks until July! Which is just about the best month ever. Love that we have summer birthdays :) Looking forward to this summer and finally getting to see some friends that we haven't seen in over a year! I think this summer we will build a lot of great memories. I look forward to seeing what God has in store for us.
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