Monday, July 23, 2012

Our Alabama Visit

Getting to Alabma was quite the accomplishment.  I had to juggle one over-weight checked bag, a laptop case, my diaper bag, a stroller, a car seat and a walking toddler with her beloved blankie!  Luckily I was able to bring the car seat on the flight so Mila slept for a part of it.  Then, once I got to Montgomery, I had to manage picking up my rental car again solo.  Thank goodness the rental cars were parked right outside of baggage claim.
Being with Chase was awesome!  It was so fun to see him in action marching and saluting and to get a feel for what we've gotten ourselves into--the military.  It took Mila maybe 5 minutes to realize Daddy was back and then she wouldn't let him out of her sights.  I couldn't stop laughing at the fact that she would yell "Dada" anytime she saw someone in uniform.  It was adorable.  
This trip made me realize how much Mila really does miss her daddy.  She would cry whenever we had to drop him off at the base for work.  Now that we're home she presses my phone to see the "lock screen" so she can see this picture while she says "Dada".
After Chase was done with COT we had a week together.  He had to go to work on base during the week, but we definitely had time to see Montgomery during the weekend and after his workday. 
 Of course part of experiencing any place for Mila is finding a splash.  She seemed to approve.
Mila definitely enjoyed herself in our hotel.  We stayed at a Residence Inn, which I would highly recommend to anyone staying for an extended period of time.  It was great.  Mila enjoyed being able to climb into cupboards and open drawer after drawer.  I loved it because I didn't have to worry what she was getting into since the drawers only had our clothes in them.

On the 4th of July we first went to a local parade.  Mila loved all the loot that was thrown at her.  She was introduced to candy for the first time because of it.  
Then we went to a BBQ place people raved about.  It was okay.  We've become particular about our BBQ over the years.
To end the day we went to the local baseball game for the Biscuits.  Mila was even asked to be part of a contest during the 6th inning!  She lost horribly...ha ha, see for yourself.
(Mila's the baby closest to the camera.  Yep, she doesn't move.  The announcer had her mesmerized.)
video


Saying goodbye was very, very hard this time, especially knowing that this training is twice as long as the last and the last one already felt forever long.  I know I need to get use to this though since this won't be the last time we have to be apart.  Well, here's hoping the weeks fly by quicker than they have.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

COT

The Air Force (and probably every branch of military) uses a lot of acronyms.  COT stands for Commissioned Officer Training.  Pretty much it's for individuals with advanced degrees who are joining the military like medical, pharmaceutical, and legal personnel as well as chaplains.  We had a good friend go through COT with the Navy, and so he tried to prepare Chase for what it would be like.  But honestly, I don't think you could really imagine it until going through it.  I will do my best to explain the pictures, even though I wasn't there.

Chase said his first week was brutal.  Lots of yelling.  Lots of standing and waiting and being corrected for anything and everything.  He and his roommate both were seriously questioning their decision.  Thank goodness he had "Hubs" to lean on.
The COT class was one of the largest ever with over 300 people in it.  They divided the class into three squadrons and within the squadrons they were divided up again by flights.  Here's his squadron.
Each flight had 15 people in it.  You did everything with your flight.  Chase was in flight G or Golf.
You marched A LOT as a flight! (Chase is second back on your right) 
You did PT (physical training) as a flight.  Their PT started at 5AM, hence the reflectors.  Yuck!
You had to complete tasks or "missions" as a flight.
You underwent a crazy obstacle course/ropes course as a flight.  This one involved swinging, tight rope walking, and climbing a 40 foot wall in order to walk out on a skinny telephone pole 20 feet. They called it the "toothpick".  Pretty crazy if you ask me.  Chase was one of three that was able to climb the rock wall on their first try.



Chase lucked out and had an amazing flight.  They won "Most Professional Flight" twice during COT.
He also lucked out and had an amazing flight instructor.  His instructor was actually voted "Best Flight Instructor" by his peers at COT.  Here he is "coining" Chase while giving him his certificate of completion and then after graduation.
I visited the room where they spent most of their time.  It was their instruction room.  It was here that Mila was able to meet Chase's friend's little boy--another potential suitor.
These three did most everything together.  It was so nice to meet them and to have reaffirmed how nice everyone is in the military.  These three are hoping for Germany as their next assignment so they can reunite.
The graduation events were nice since they were short and to the point (30 minute graduation...that's what I'm talking about!), but it was blazin' hot and everything was outside.  The squadrons marched in front of the crowd and then took their oath again.
I am definitely glad I was able to see some of these things first hand and meet some of these great people.  I definitely left Andrews Air Force base having a greater respect for the military and a deeper pride to be a part of something much, much bigger than me.  These men and women truly bring honor to this nation!
 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A lot of updating...

I realize that many of our friends and family are not near us these days, and I apologize that I have been falling behind in updating our blog regularly.  I tend to just post pictures on Instagram.  But for those who don't have Instagram let me recap the past month or so...

Beginning of June Mila and I flew to Kansas City to visit Chase's oldest sister and her family.  We had a blast!  Mila loved spending time with cousins while I enjoyed time with Lindsay and Ryan.  Our trip consisted of parks, eating, swimming lots, and even a little teaching--Lindsay invited me to team teach with her at their Stake's Youth Conference.
I also busted out a dress for Mila.  It was way easy with my SIL cutting and pinning things for me.  Now her and her cousin have matching dresses.
As a birthday gift to Mila we signed her up for a "Mommy & Me" swim class.  She learned to kick, blow bubbles (which for Mila means sticking her mouth in the water), and go under the water.  She has no fear of water that's for sure.  We spend lots of time around water (who doesn't when it's so stinkin hot!), and one day while swimming with her cousins she fell off a lounge chair onto the concrete and got her first bad boo-boo.  Poor girl.  It's all healed now but the new skin is much whiter than her tan face.
We also spend lots of time playing on the back patio, and she's learned a thing or two from the dogs while being out there.  Whoops.
We frequent the library and have started attending the children's hour.  Mila was front and center for her first day.
Mila had to get her hair cut for the THIRD time in preparation to go see Daddy.  This time she had a professional cut at an actual salon.  She was loving the Barbie car.
The big event of this past month was our trip to Montgomery, AL to see Chase graduate from Commissioned Officer Training.
I plan on doing a whole post just on COT, what Chase went through, and our trip.  But for now, here is Chase with his flight instructor--really nice guy and was actually voted the best flight instructor by all the other instructors.
And here is Chase with his roommate, Hubler.  Such a tender mercy that these two were paired together, especially since he also is LDS.
Stay tuned for more on COT and pictures of my handsome hubby in uniform!!