To My Best Friend

What a wild ride we have been on since saying, "I do". So many changes and hurdles and excitements and disappointments, so much love and laughter and new experiences and wonderful moments. I can say honestly and with my whole being that there is no one in the universe I would rather go through this life with than you.
When I first had that silly school girl crush on a cute boy from another high school I never could have imagined that you would turn out to be my other half.
You teach me things every day and, even though you love me just the way I am, you make me strive to be a better woman. I am thankful for the balance you provide me and the insight into other parts of our world that you share with me.
I am so proud to call you my husband. I am proud that in a time where most people are only concerned with getting ahead you are willing to sacrifice safety, time with our family and normal work hours to make sure every American gets to maintain their freedoms.
I am proud that you are the father of my child and that you not only love him but had no problem changing all the diapers for his first week of life while I recovered, not all men are manly enough for the job! I am proud to know you will teach G to be an honorable and respectful man. I am proud to have a husband who thinks I look great first thing in the morning but who always notices when I go the extra step.
I didn't know I could love you anymore than I already did until you brought our son, all pink and perfect and swaddled up, to meet me. He is the perfect blend of you and me and I love watching him grow. I am sad for everyday with him that you miss but I know that once you are home it will be like no time at all had passed.
You are greatly missed my love. I thank you for three lovely years of marriage and I look forward to decades more!
Always and Forever Yours,
XoXo -jenni

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Salted and Sun Kissed

The beach is over.

Not to be melodramatic... I do realize that the beach still exists.

For us, however, it is over until at least next summer and that makes me sad.

Little G was a super beach stud! He was not a fan of being slicked up with SPF 100 Coppertone Water Babies but he loved being in the Gulf. I often use waves as white noise when he sleeps and as a result he would pass out in my arms almost immediately upon entering the water. Didn't hurt that the Gulf of Mexico is warmer than the recommended bath water temperature for most babies...

I bought his highness a little beach tent and it turned out to be a big hit among everyone. After his floating nap time I would strip G down naked and let him wiggle around on a towel in the shade. He was a huge fan.

Another beach plus was how well G slept, the fresh air and sunshine really knocked him out at night.

We missed Chris tons and tons and I am already imagining him building sandcastles with G next summer.

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Not a lot in the past three months has felt familiar.
We welcomed little G and with all his perfection comes uncertainty the likes of which I have never felt.
Chris deployed. Which should feel familiar since he was also deployed only 9 months ago. However, last time he was on a boat and this time he is in Afghanistan. Worrying for his safety is unfamiliar.
I moved back to Colorado and that should definitely feel familiar. But living at home as a 25 year old with an infant is a whole new ballgame.
This week we are in Redington
beach Florida. At the Sea Oats condos. We are with my grandma, my aunt, two boy cousins, my mom, Kate and G.

And it is familiar.

We have been coming to these condos since I was an infant. Almost every summer. The older all the kids got the harder it was to organize between camps and jobs and college searches. In fact the last time I was here was six years ago. It was the first big family event that Chris came too.
Having G with me feels familiar here, like it is just the next page of the story here at the beach. It was the cousins that spearheaded the trip this year and I know we will continue the tradition as we keep growing up.
Pulling into the condo was familiar, joking about the worlds slowest elevator was old hat, the same layout of bedrooms and kitchen was easy to traverse, the view from the balcony was as expected.
A lot of times I crave the new and the unknown but after a crazy few months it is a blessing to be here in the familiar.

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