Aaron had a month-long stay at Walter Reed, with two weeks of it in the hospital. He came back right before Valentine's Day. He missed her first birthday party here, but she still had a great one. Tons of family and friends came by and I think everyone had a great time. It was in the high 50s that day, so the party spilled outside in the sun. I had two of my best girlfriends in from across the country. It was as amazing it could be. He back up there now for a doctor's appointment then off to South Africa for a plains game safari hunt, paid for in full by Safari Club International members. He is going to have a great time living out a dream.
Aaron not being here for AJ's party and first birthday won't be a one-time thing. While we have ducked out of the military life, there will still be absences. He will require medical care and it won't be appropriate for her to visit all the time. There will be hospital stays. Even though his HO and muscle surgery went well, he will still have to go through with the bone extension at some point next year (most likely). It kind of sucks that we still can't seem to get out of the lifestyle of having him miss milestones, but it is what it is.
On that note, here are some great shots from her birthday photoshoot. I am addicted to Visual Arts by Jessica. Squishy just lights up for her and we get amazing photos I couldn't love more.