Monday, July 26, 2010

I am a Great Aunt!

A few weeks ago, my nephew Josh's son was born. Preston Blake entered the world at 4:41pm on July 20, 2010 weighing in at 8lbs 1oz and measuring 20-3/4" long. I got to stay in the room and watching him blaze into this world is an experience I will never forget & will always cherish. I got a text from Tiffany, his girlfriend, at around 3:45 saying she was in labor. About 4:30-5:00 she texted saying she had been admitted and hooked up to machines. I told myself I better get up & head up there so I don't miss anything. I got to the hospital around 7am and the waiting began. Tiffany got her epideral (sp?) around 8am-ish and napped a lot throughout the day. She went from 7cm to 9cm in a matter of 45 minutes. Around 1pm she started pushing, but Preston wasn't low enough so the nurse suggested she take a break and reposition to see if that will help push him down a little lower. Around 3:50pm-ish she started pushing again. This time it was for real. After about 30 minutes I could see his head crowning! We kept encouraging her to push harder and not too much longer he was out! The doctor put him on Tiff's tummy and her mom cut the cord. The nurses wisked him away to start cleaning him up. I could not believe how beautiful he was...well minus the cone head. :-). He finally cried for the first time and then I knew everything was ok. I started taking pictures of him instantly! I am so proud of Tiffany...she was a trooper through the whole delivery. She didn't cry, scream, curse or throw anything...she just pushed. There were so many people there waiting to meet little Preston...he is not ever going to lack in the love department...that is for sure! Here are a few pictures from over the last 3 weeks.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Half boy-Half man

I wish I could take credit for writing this, but I can not. I stole it from a high school friend's husband who is an ex-marine. This reminds me of my nephew Josh, who at 19 left for Army bootcamp in April and graduates on August 6th...a few weeks after his son will be born. Then he will be stationed at Ft. Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska, deploying to Afghanistan in March I believe. I have watched this young man grow up since the day he was born. He was such a mischievous child...always in to something. But he was a very sweet and loving boy. And thank goodness he still is. Like most men he doesn't show his emotions much, but his heart is huge & full of love. I miss him like crazy and worry about him daily, but I am so proud of the man he is becoming. I know he will be a great dad to little Preston (once he gets here). Anyway, even if you do not agree with the war, support our troops and hug a soldier. They fight and put their lives on the line for us. I love you Josh & I am so proud of you!

1/2 boy 1/2 man

If you read this, you WILL forward it on. You just won't be able to stop yourself. The average age of the military man is 19 years. He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country. He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father's, but he has never collected unemployment either.

He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away. He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and a 155mm howitzer. He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk. He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must. He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional. He can march until he is told to stop, or stop until he is told to march. He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity. He is self-sufficient. He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry. He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts. If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food. He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low. He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands. He can save your life - or take it, because that is his job.

He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay, and still find ironic humor in it all. He has seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime.

He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed. He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away ' those around him who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking. In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful. Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom. Beardless or not, he is not a boy. He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years.

He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding. Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood. And now we even have women over there in danger, doing their part in this tradition of going to War when our nation calls us to do so.

As you go to bed tonight, remember this shot. . .

A short lull, a little shade and a picture of loved ones in their helmets. Prayer wheel for our military... please don't break it Please send this on after a short prayer. Prayer Wheel 'Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen.' When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our ground troops, sailors on ships, and airmen in the air, and for those in Iraq , Afghanistan and all foreign countries. There is nothing attached...

This can be very powerful... Of all the gifts you could give a US Soldier, Sailor, Coastguardsman, Marine, or Airman, prayer is the very best one. I can't break this one, sorry. Pass it on to everyone and pray.

Monday, July 12, 2010

People like me...they really, really like me!

Well, at least 4 of you do! I have 4 followers to my blog! I feel so special & honored! My goal is to one day break double digits with my followers...but I think I'll have to write better blogs...haha! I promise to post another blog this week before I leave for St. Louis. Maybe. Thank you to my 4 followers!