Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Road Trip.

After an extended stay back home in Alabama, we took the long way back home to Maryland. Of course, we didn't plan it at all, so it was thrown together as best as we could manage.

Our first stop was in Chattanooga, where we stayed at the Choo-Choo. It's the old train station, which was converted into a hotel some years ago. It is definitely a dinosaur, and only cool if you stay in an actual train car (possible), but very pretty. The room was nothing to write home about, but it was for one night. We ate an amazing Italian meal, walked the train station gardens and grounds, and saw the model train display.

The next night we detoured to Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, which I was nervous about because it doesn't seem very accessible. After some drama trying to find an actual accessible room and ending up in a meth motel off the parkway, we set out to see The Lumberjack Feud dinner show. It was totally fun, and AJ did great. She looked around, cooed a bit, ate, and then passed out. She spit up on the floor a little bit, too but I don't think anyone noticed. We bought the hilarious family photo taken right before the show. The food wasn't bad, either. The next day, we took off for Ripley's Aquarium in the Smokies. Museums and aquariums are easy for Aaron to manage in his wheelchair, save for distracted children wandering right in front of him. AJ certainly won't remember her first aquarium trip, but she loved it. She got all excited over the illuminated tanks in the darker rooms, kicking and cooing. We also used our new lightweight stroller (Jeep Sport) for the first time, and mourned the fact that she can nearly sit up on her own.

Night three was spent at an off-the-path B&B outside of Roanoke, VA called Bent Mountain Lodge and Inn. It was cheaper than most hotel rooms, and the innkeeper was a nice older man who helped me unload all of our gear (baby stuff, disability stuff, my stuff, dog stuff, stuff stuff; we are terrible packers). We ate chips and salsa for dinner since we were unprepared to fend for ourselves, but it was worth it. I took a picture of the sunrise the following morning, since I was up anyway. It happens a lot when you're someone's food source.

It was our first family vacation with just us and the dog, and we survived pretty well! I am really glad we took the extra days and enjoyed ourselves. I'm already thinking about Gatlinburg for the fall. There's a lot more to do there for Aaron than I would have thought, and that makes a huge difference.

Hope everyone is doing peachy and all that as summer gets rolling.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

All I can say about today is that Aaron came back to me, ensuring that (for now) this day does not have to hurt as much as it could. I hope we are decades and decades away from that. It's not about us. It's about those with a piece missing. Think of them.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Picture this... and me.

So something seems to happen when your arms are filled with your very own human baby (if it hasn't happened already) and that thing is Instagram. So, since we have all this wonderful stuff going on, and I love to take poorly lit and badly focused photographs, I figured I'd sign up like all the other mommies do. So... follow away, if you want to see photos of my baby and random stuff. Like my shoes.

Friday, May 16, 2014

New Life.

I've been absent from this space for most of AJ's life. It wasn't intentional, and nothing is more blog-snobby then waxing poetic on how life is so busy I don't value writing and sharing anymore.
Cause it's just not true.

My brain feels full and splattered most days. I wake up that way. We've spent a few weeks at home, and due to the logistics of my in-law's house it's just easier for me to nurse the baby in the night. And very early morning. Aaron would do more if I asked him to, but it'd be in our bed if he did and I'd have to fetch the bottle and diaper caddy... and well, I might as well just nurse. Not that I mind. Side-nursing is one of my favorites things to do with her lately, so it's all very sweet. Even sweeter when we both doze off together and I get to wake up to a smiling AJ.
Not much is better than that.

So some very big changes are happening, and with that I think I should let go of "after blast warrior wife" and the tenacity of being a warrior wife. I don't have to suit up everyday and go attack and make sure my husband thrives. I don't have negotiate medications and surgeries. In fact, this year might be the first whole he goes without going under and having some part of himself cut on, up, opened, and discarded. Last year it was the throat and sinus stuff, but I think that was it. Was that it? I can't keep up anymore, and nor should I.

We're never going to be normal, but I don't have to fight anymore. We are doing the most normal thing in the world- growing a family- and even if I have to chase that normal-everyday life down with a stick and beat it into submission and drag it back to the house and lock in the garage to keep it, I will do that. I want all the normal things, even if I can't get them all the time.

Some people think it's a choice to live the way we do, or live another way. Something like that. And you know, I can't articulate our everyday anymore. It is just not in me because if anyone wants to question how and why things happen, even after all this time, then I can't do anything about it. I won't do anything about it, because I just don't care to explain it.

But I don't mind sharing, which I will continue to do. And writing. It's been one of my greatest loves since I became a literate person. I've been writing stories down since elementary school. I've been fortunate enough to have an interesting enough life (for better or horrible) that I don't have to make up characters and events much anymore, even if it is fun to do.

I won't tell you to "keep an eye out" or any of that, but don't be surprised if you come back one day and things look a little different. Sound a bit more... grounded.

Just know that you can always go home again, even if you take the long way and don't come back the same as when you left.