Monday, October 17, 2011

Pictures, Not Pitchers....

I remember reading a book as a teenager in which the word picture was consistently mispronounced "pitcher"...I can't remember what book that was, but I feel as though it must have come from a Lucy Maude Montgomery or Louisa May Alcott novel. Country folks in those books mispronounced with a vengeance! Here in Kentucky I've been asked more than once,"You from eastern Kentucky? You ain't got an accent." Yes, from the east. No, not from east Kentucky. :)
So speaking of pitchers and what not, while Lou was home, we decided to have some taken. I found a girl at Fort Knox who was more than willing to do a shoot and all we needed was a location. I was stumped when she told me,"Pick out a place that is meaningful to you guys" since we had gotten to Kentucky in October 2010, Lou deployed in January...and in those 3 months we had spent the majority of our time either remodeling the house or at Lowes purchasing materials to remodel with. "Meaningful place..Umm, Lowes? No, guess that won't do. How about our yard? Our house?" Both are meaningful but not exactly what she probably had in mind. :) In the end, when Lou came home I still hadn't found a spot but Mom and Dad's great idea to ride bikes in West Point, KY, a town about 10 minutes away, yielded us the perfect location! Historic for many reasons, West Point is situated on the Ohio River as you head up to Louisville and at this point in time its mainly known for its tendency to flood and literally be under water during fiercely rainy spring seasons. In fact, this spring I took a picture of the water as it covered most of the town's homes' first floors. From the road, it appears to be a run down and poor community, with lots of yard debris and peeling buildings. But, if you venture past 31W's peek and into the streets closer to the Ohio River, there are beautiful historic older homes and scenery to be excited about! At one particular house, Meriweather Lewis spent the night and Jenny Lind sang on its front porch. General Sherman housed his troops there....not that I'm a Sherman (wo)man but for all you Civil War buffs, thought you'd enjoy this tidbit. :)
Enough history, I wanted to share with you all the beautiful photos she took that morning. This was halfway through Lou's R and R and as I look at these photos now I have such good memories of that day and the amazing man I am blessed to be married to! Most were shot as candids as we goofed off and walked around. Lou was in rare form that day and we laughed more than normal! Hope you enjoy!
Overlooking the Ohio River but not each other...

So happy to be together again...Lou teasing as usual!

What an amazing and loving man I'm married to

We've changed over these last 8 months, but our love is just the same

So, I told Lou on the way there,"I want to get some kissing pictures, Honey" and he was like,"Kissing pictures?? What is this?" But then, as soon as the shoot started he went all out and the results made for romantic photos!

"Cheeks" is what Lou calls this..he sticks out his cheek for a kiss and says that with a little boy asking for candy look!

And like a little boy, I'm pretty sure he was acting up at this point!

I could stay in this moment for a long time

There was an outdoor we climbed normal people do.

"How much do you weigh again??" I think we should have had this photo shoot BEFORE we spent an entire week eating anything and everything our hearts desired!

Multitasking....he can do it!

Danger-this railroad is active...and a train came through about 10 minutes later.

My husband. What a man!

Maybe we should have been looking for trains....

Instead of plunked down in the middle of the tracks.

But railroad tracks make for really cool pictures! I just love looking at Lou in these, seeing the laugh lines....

Again, walking into danger....

Remember that comment about kissing? I think he got the message....

Under the bridge, fortunately there are no hobos or trolls around...although there are some weird finds.

So happy!

More cheeks, because who could resist him!

I love you, Baby!

And one goofy Sound of Music style shot, just for the sake of it!
 There were over 150 photos taken, many of them are similar and I tried to pick out some of my favorites....but I liked them all! All in all, we declared this mission a success! The last good professional photos we had were from our engagement 4 years ago so it seemed like a good time to update. God has been good to us both and we're so excited for the time to come....90 days until touchdown!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

First Deployment Anniversary- 98 Days Away...

Hello there dedicated readers...I know its been some time since I left anything on this site, but last it was to announce the upcoming R& R of Lou....which has come and left again so quickly. He arrived to the Louisville airport on September 1st, at approximately 4:28 pm. I was there and had been since 2:30-but I managed to hold in the jitters until right as the plane landed! The airport is a relatively small one, and as a military spouse you're allowed to get a special "unboarding pass" to the gate that the plane is landing at, so instead of hanging out in the main baggage pickup/taxi area-you get to see your hubby as he walks down the hallway into the terminal. I sat with the passengers waiting to board the next flight to Atlanta and tried to look nonchalant as I waited, but it was pretty difficult.
It was an amazing time! Seeing the man I love come down that aisle and in the flesh-I hadn't seen him in 8 months....(speaking of Lou, we pause here for an unexpected 8:30pm call from the above mentioned man-so good to hear from him tonight!) was absolutely one of the best moments in my life.

The gentleman in blue in Picture #1 came up to me as I hopped up and down from foot to foot waiting. He said,"You must be waiting for someone important" and I babbled characteristically, "YesI'mwaitingformyhusbandwhohasbeeninAfghanistanforthelastsevenmonthsandiscominghometodayforhismidtourleave!" with lots of hand motions included, of course. :) Then the stewardess got in on the act and started announcing any military-appearing mens' appearances as they neared the entrance,"Does he have brown hair and glasses?".....etc etc...and then when Lou came out of course I saw him right away and he was smiling and then I started crying and that man had this entire little group of businessmen clapping! It was funny and sweet and wonderful! And then once I stopped sobbing, they shook his hand and thanked him as we left the area. :)
The time forward is just a blur of happy memories mixed with catching up, waiting and patiently (sometimes impatiently) trying to sort through all that has happened to us in this year.
Second day at home, already busy taking care of our little place.
Working hard, doing the work of 2 in a fraction of the time. My husband is a wonderfully hard worker!

Off to buy supplies and flowers for the front beds! Our favorite date spot is Lowes and we ended up there on R&R several times!

After a long day's work, stinky but so happy to be together.

With all this yardwork came a magnificent bonfire, and we are very blessed that we didn't manage to burn the place down-because I've never seen the remains of 5 shrubs and a tree that sat out in the sun all summer burn so brightly and high! We piled them up Saturday afternoon and decided to light it after dark...perhaps roast marshmallows...and this was the result

See the little man to the right? That's my 6 foot tall contrast to a fire that looked almost Old Testament in its proportions...I was reminded of my childhood idea of what the "pillar of fire" resembled in the Israelites wanderings through the wilderness.
 Then of course we had Japanese out at Kansai's Hibachi and Sushi, followed by
Lou's Chinese Chicken, here at home...along with many other much in fact that by the time Lou left he had gained 18 lbs and acquired a cute muffin top that he proudly showed his men! He has since twindled to his former pre-R&R weight.
 4 days into leave, Lou's family were able to come all the way from Jersey and stay close by for much of the time. They camped at Camp Carlson about 5 miles away and we all took day trips to various eating, kayaking and swimming spots in the western Kentucky area.

We even managed to fit in some Scrabble competitions-this is the boys' characteristic "tickle Corrie" routine! :)
And more eating, at a German restaurant in Radcliff with the largest pretzel appetizers we have ever laid eyes on! So delicious!

Lou enjoying some Koenig Ludwig, a true German....teehee..

 More good times spent in the great outdoors......
 Campfires with family.......

 More kayaking, this time we did 7 miles down the Green River near Mammoth Cave, KY. Beautiful!
 I'm not sure what Lou was up to here but he couldn't stop laughing so it must have been mischief!
 Taking Lou's shirt at its word(s), literally! On Thursday, we said goodbye to Mom and Dad Crist, Jess and Corrie, and started the mental prep for Lou's departure as well. Our time together was so full of happiness and thankfulness to God for keeping us safe, its hard to describe it. It was as close to perfect as life on earth could be, we decided.
Lou had to be back in Louisville by 9am Saturday, September 17th. The night before we went through the "haircut ritual", something we do before every big event, it seems. The night before Ranger School, right before deployment, and now Lou added to it shaving off his 16 days' worth of beard....
 I was sad to see it go, but not as sad as I was to see HIM go!
 My dear sweet husband, the toughest man I know and yet so tender with me.
 Waiting for the plane to depart Saturday morning.....
My last sight of the man I love and am honored to be loved by! God bless and keep you, my Lou! 98 Days to go.....more or less!