Friday, May 25, 2012

Deployment Honeymoon

Life has been CRAZY busy lately!  I started a new job this week and we are moving tomorrow.  I'm glad Caleb is home now to help me with everything and to encourage me.

Last week Caleb and I dropped Emmy off with Ama and Bop and traveled up to Tennessee for some time by ourselves.  Our mini vacation was well overdue.  We slept in every morning and did whatever we wanted to during the day.

On Thursday we got to the cabin around 3 and decided to just hang out in Gatlinburg the rest of the day.  We went shopping in the little stores on the strip and ate at The Peddler (which was recommended by my sisters in law).

The next day we decided we wanted to do something different so we found a place to go horseback riding through a trail in the mountains.  It was truly beautiful.  Caleb's horse was named Dooley and was big and white.  Mine on the other hand, Pete, was slow and hungry so I spent most of the time telling him to go faster and to not eat every leaf he spotted.  It was pretty amusing.

This is the only photo of Pete that wasn't blurry.

And here is my goofy cowboy!

A beautiful view.  During our ride it started storming over some of the mountains and drizzling on us.  I was nervous that we were going to get rained out, but the trail ended right before the rain started.

On Saturday morning we went for a walk in a meadow.  The weather was perfect and not humid at all.  The next two photos are our attempt at a self portrait.  With the huge camera that I have, it is hard to get a photo of yourself (I'd love to have a point and shoot for occasions such as this).  

After our walk, we went to eat lunch and ventured out on the parkway to see the beautiful sights God has created.  

It actually got pretty chilly with the breeze blowing, but the view was breathtaking.  

Side story:  As we were driving around on the parkway, Caleb decided we should stop and walk around a bit.  He chose a remote area to stop and we quickly realized the bank was about 30 feet down.  I had on a dress and flip flops - not really a conducive ansemble for rock climbing : ) I feel about 5 feet down at one point, but my knight in shining armor caught me and we made it to the river. 

 As I let my feet soak int he cold water to get the dirt off of them, I snapped a few photos.  Then we sat on a big rock and talked for a while.

On the way home we traveled through a couple of tunnels and I got this photo - completely unedited.  I love it for some reason!

On Sunday morning we packed our stuff, threw it in the car, ate a pancacke breakfast at one of the dozens of flap jack places we passed on the strip and headed home to see our girl.  We were both so giddy about getting to see her.  I have never been away from her this long, but we both survived and she had a blast with Ama and Bop. 

On the way out of town, we stoped at the TN/NC line to sight see a bit and got one last photo. 

It was so good to be able to spend some time with Caleb alone since he's been back, but even though we have been together for 11 years (9 of them childless), we can't even imagine our lives witout her now.  We are both looking forward to doing this again and bringing her with us next time.

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Little Gripe

So, for about a year now I've been trying to make a name for myself and get a photography business going.  It hasn't really worked out like a had hoped.  I feel like I'm not trusted by people I know and while I understand differences in styles and the lack of experience I have compared to other photographers in my area, but I just want to be trusted and given a chance to prove myself.

I love photography and spend a lot of my free time learning new things and practicing, but in order to get better with families and newborns I need families and newborns to photograph.

Just needed to grope a bit.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Nurses Week

In honor of Nurses Week, I'm posting some photos of me and other fabulous nurses I've worked with.

I got to know my best friend in nursing school.  We went to high school together, but didn't really know much about each other then.  I'm so glad God sent her to me.

Us fooling around in class one day near graduation... I think we had senioritis!

This is the gang after our pinning ceremony.  I couldn't have gotten through the last two years of college without these girls!

And official graduation with KB and Sarah!

I started my nursing career working in the NICU.  I LOVED IT!  Best job, except for the night hours and it turning me into a vampire and all : )  I had to leave this job in order to move to Alabama with Caleb for him to start flight school.  

I loved those sweet babies and still go visit the NICU and have actually kept up with a few of the parents that I met while being their child's nurse.

This is a photo from my last shift in the NICU.  There were a lot of tears that night on my part!

 With nursing school classmates at one of their weddings.

 Christmas party at my place with the NICU nurses.

Since working in the NICU, I've worked in the newborn nursery at a hospital in Alabama.  Again, I LOVED IT!  The nurses I worked with were present when Emmy was born and I worked closely with my OB and Emmy's Pediatrician.  I couldn't have asked for better, more supportive people to work with during my first pregnancy.  Especially these two ladies!  

Since moving back to SC I've been working at the same hospital I worked at when I worked in the NICU, but in a PRN position on the sub acute rehab unit.  It has been very different from the babies, but the people make it so much fun!  

I'm now to sad to say I'm leaving sub acute rehab for a full time position on a surgical floor (still at the same hospital).  I'm excited about getting a new set of nursing skills (although I really miss the babies!) and making new friends. Also, three twelve hour shifts a week will be best for my family and allow me to spend more time with Emmy than a five day a week job, and I'm excited to be working a day schedule.

If you come across one, thank a nurse this week.  They really deserve it!

The "Other Wilkes"

This past weekend Caleb, Emmy, and I traveled to NC to visit his brother, Dan (the one that was in the jumping accident).  All the kids (Micah, Anna, and Abby) were thrilled when we got there and had a ton to show us about their new house.  When we spend time with the "other Wilkes" our time is always packed full of fun.  

First on the agenda, a mohawk for Micah (don't worry, it was only temporary).

Before the haircut

Dan perfecting the mohawk

the awesome result

At first Micah was a little concerned that he was going to look like this forever, but once we assured him that his dad was going to cut it off he got into the posing!

While Micah was getting the rest of his hair buzzed off, we stayed outside playing around.  Anna, my 3rd niece, is such a fun loving kid and is always so happy and ready for fun.  This is her with her mother, my amazing sis in law!

We spent the rest of the day catching up and staying pretty low key.  

The next day, cinco de Mayo, we got ready and headed to a near by strawberry farm.  They had the BEST strawberries!  

Emmy didn't really help too much with the picking and putting in the bucket, she mostly taste tested them.  

 After going home and taking naps we played outside Alecia made burritos and Dan made homemade strawberry ice cream.  The kids rode bikes while I walked.  It got pretty toasty outside and Emmy had eyed the hose, which was out from watering the flowers, and starting playing with it.  Her faces were priceless.  I couldn't stop smiling while watching her and Caleb play with the water hose if I tried.  

We left for home after church on Sunday.  It was great to see the "other Wilkes" especially since they had not seen Caleb in over a year!!  

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Life with Daddy!

Since Caleb has been home we have stayed pretty busy.  Emmy and I both have had a blast having Daddy around and I think it shows in our smiles and the pounds we are all putting on from all the yummy food that Caleb missed while he was away.  Here are some photos of the past week.

On Sunday, while visiting Grandmama and Granddaddy, we played outside with my old Cabbage Patch Doll and Emmy's doll stroller...

We played on the neighbor's playset

Then Monday afternoon we spent the day at Ama and Bop's playing in Bop's old work truck that once was Emmy's great grandfather's.

After eating our dinner on the swing by the pond, Emmy decided it was time to water the flowers...

And chase the geese.

And go on a nature walk where she "caught" this little bug who decided to stay around a bit.

And of course you have bring along hydration when going on nature walks.

On Tuesday we visited EdVenture.  It was the first time for all of us and I think Daddy had the best time of all - look at that smile!

Caleb forced me down the intestines of Ed, which are made for children, and not moms.

Next we made a stop at the vet office.  Emmy picked a dog to x-ray and groom.

The ship was pretty cool and even had raincoats, lights, and an anchor!

This next photo is actually really funny but requires an explanation...

Caleb was chasing Emmy with some of the wildlife puppets and when Caleb wasn't looking she "got" him, but could only reach his butt.  

Emmy is very aware of Caleb's presence now and loves to cuddle and be silly with him which makes me happy and gives me a break every now and then too.  I'll be posting more soon about our fun as a family of three!

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