Living the Dream

Living the Dream

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Okies take New York- Acceptance Day

Kip had decided pretty early on that she would accompany me to Hallie's Acceptance Day ("A" Day) to watch her sister march with her fellow cadets and take her place in the class of 2021, alongside the others.

Lacey didn't think she could take time off from work, so the last thing Hallie knew (and was living day to day, looking forward to) was Kip and I heading to NY in August.

She kept herself moving, knowing that day was coming.

Her sister, Chaurley, (her oldest sis on her dad's side) lives in NYC and also planned early on, hopping on the train  on Saturday morning and heading to the plain to meet us, and watch the new cadet become a private, marching with her 1200 classmates

Well.  Another sister and one boot later, plans changed.

Lacey, Kip and I have a 3 way message stream that we text on constantly,  In one of our texts talking about plans to NYC, Lacey flipped her stuff and decided that she had to go.  "I CANNOT STAY HERE WHILE MY SISTERS and MOM are ALL TOGETHER ON THIS IMPORTANT DAY".

Ok, well everyone knows what an incredible secret keeper I am.  I mean, for really.  I LOATHE it.

After first day of school obligatory pics with the takeouts in Norman on Thursday, Lacey & I headed out for Dallas Love Airport, to go meet Kip for the last leg to NYC.



When I was trying to decide what Hallie needed at school, I kept adding stuff and adding stuff until we ended up looking like a small circus at the car rental place.


6 suitcases, 3 backpacks, 3 purses and one ukulele.  Hallie had asked me to bring her guitar, too but I had to politely decline.  (Should I bring the piano also??)  It felt like I did with that big brown suitcase.  Whoa.

About 3 pm on Thursday, our sister friend, Jessi, text me and said "Why aren't you uploading pictures? It's weird", so we decided we better put some pictures on social media.

 Here was what we posted,
 Here is what was really going on!

Two sets of pictures that whole first day and most of the second.










The girls had never been to New York, so the plan was to get there Thursday night, take in Times Square due to late arrival and get up early on Friday and do a bus tour and see the highlights.  

Headed to Times Square on Thursday night and you just can't describe it.  Smells, people, lights, buildings, more people and activity.  Construction was at a minimum where we were this trip, and for that, I am eternally grateful.  The funniest thing that evening was the painted blue lady in Times Square.  She literally walks around in a g-string, her body painted red, white and blue with a big N Y on each butt cheek.  I have seen these ladies (cough) everytime I go there, but I was tickled to see the girl's reactions.  Kip averted her eyes, but Lacey couldn't take her eyes off of them... "It's like a train wreck, you don't want to look but you can't stop staring".  I rolled.  It's not everyday you see blue boobs with stars painted on them.  Mercy sakes.  Only in NYC.

Friday morning rolls around and it's just raining straight down.  Boo.  No bus ride for us.  We walked and took pics, still a fun morning.  





 Highly recommend this hotel, it's just a block from Times Square and such a good deal.

Headed to West Point about 1 pm.  Kip and Lacey had been snapchat-ing with Hallie most of the day, and Hal has this fun icon that you can actually see her location on the app.  So we had to put Lacey in "Ghost" mode so Hal couldn't see her driving toward her!  The girls loved the drive to WP, it is just so beautiful and green and again, no real words to describe it. 
We ran to our AirBnB (we stayed in their studio apartment by the pool) It was exceptionally nice.  I have had some pretty excellent stays from AirBnB, you should check it out for your next trips.

We decided to head to WP to look around and see if I could get a parent ID (LOL, 3 hour wait since every other parent there decided to get one too) and to head to a parent's meet and greet over by the Library.  Met up with Jack Greer's parents and sis, visited with them (so fun) (can't believe I didn't take a picture with them) and headed to the event.

On the shuttle ride over, the ever watchful Kip was on her phone looking at the snapchat live mode and decided we were right next to the building that Hallie was currently in.  I won't lie, we screamed on the bus.  Kip immediately sent a snapchat to Hallie saying, "We think you're in here, with the building circled)

As we were gathering our wits about us, just so thrilled to be breathing the same air she was breathing, we took a minute and took a selfie...


and walked into the parent deal.  SO MANY people, SO LITTLE food, we just milled around for a second, said hello to the Barkers (from Washington OK) and then a "talk to you later: to the Greers, and headed out the door.  As we stepped outside, Kip said, "Hey I just got a snap from Hallie and she took a picture of our building!"  I was still processing those words, when Lacey goes, "Who is that waving to us?" Kip said, "Are they waving to US?" and Lacey finally saw the boot and screamed, "oh my gosh, It's HALLIE!"  (in my defense, they all look alike)

At that moment, the words were still circling my brain, and all I heard was "There's Hallie" and I'm not going to lie, once I spotted her, there was NOTHING going to stop me from getting to her.  I ran straight out into the street, screaming, with little regard for any of the cars, trucks and pedestrians on the road. All I saw was a smile in ACU's with a boot and I was getting to her. 

Oh People.  How sweet it was. 



We got a little footage, but we were so busy making a scene, no one thought to get anything on camera.  But, I've never had a sweeter hug.   Her take,  "That day had been the worst day ever, everything that could go wrong with my computer, did and I shouldn't have even been in the building.  I got Kip's snap and knew that you must be close, so when I went outside, I saw Lacey coming out of the building and thought "Dang, that looks like Lacey, but Lacey isn't coming, and then I saw Mom and Kip and knew it was you.  I asked my officer for permission to wave at you, and WOW, the day got WAAY  better!"   

Side note: as we were running across the street in front of cars, we were yelling  "Can we do this, can we talk to you? IS it OK??" not really caring what the answer was, we were getting to our girl!

We had a good 56 seconds with her before the volleyball van whisked in and took her away, but what a perfect 56 seconds.  

Day. Made.  

Of course since everyone within a 10 mile radius heard us screaming, and immediately after the van took off, and we were standing there, I'm pretty sure still squealing because we were in such shock we had really seen her and looking at what pictures we had  just taken having to pinch ourselves and make it "real", a couple came up and said, "Was that your new cadet?"  to our loud and excited, "YES!"   They were so cute, and laughed with us and said, "We should have taken pictures for you, and you are so lucky!  We've been looking for our cadet for two hours and haven't seen a sign of him."  The husband said,  "We are so happy for you, but kind of hate you too.  Damn it."

This is super sleuth Kip checking Snap Chat trying to figure out Hal's location
As the van rolled away, Lacey yelled, "I don't have to lie anymore!  NO MORE SECRETS ever...let's make a pact!"   Yes, please.

What's so cool about that place, is EVERYONE is in this thing together.  They've been to the wall, they've conquered the beast, they've missed their cadet and seeing you with your cadet makes them feel closer to theirs.   We were strolling down the plain, I was showing the girls around, and there was a couple face-timing on speaker with their cadet, who was in his barracks across the way, standing in his window talking to them on his phone.  We all waved to him and were so excited for them.  It's just a big family.

Saturday morning we grab Chaurley at an obscure train platform (it felt like a cow trail getting to it) but it was so fun to have her with us and so beautiful, what an adventure.  We got her, and headed to WP.  We weren't sure of the plan for Hal, we knew she wouldn't get to march, but was hoping that she could be released to go to the fieldhouse so we could hang out with her during the ceremony.

It totally happened. 


While everyone else at West Point, sweating with 5000 other people in the bleachers, doing boring things like watching people jump out of helicopters and most of them seeing their cadets for the first time in 6 weeks, we were sitting with ours, munching on gummies and pringles in the Gillis Fieldhouse .   

Legit.  No regrets.

We ran into her squad mate Grant Williams at the Diversity Luncheon we went to (I'm still wondering how this white male with glasses is "diverse", but we were happy to meet him) and Hallie cracked up, afterwards, when she looked at the picture "He looks so happy".  Well duh!  He met us!


At 1:00 the volleyball girls got together and scrimmaged, of course with Hal being in a boot, she didn't get to participate, but she kept some mean stats.  They have three injured players right now.   The team is amazing.  

Hallie is BUFF.  Solid, 100 percent muscle. 
This is the back of her. 
Here is the front of her, in her official Army volleyball photo for the website.

When the scrimmage was over, we got to take her back to the house and feed her all kinds of food, and stare at her while she talked to us.  We did this for about 4 hours before we took a break. I'm serious.  Very little tv when that girl is around..   It was the Hallie show.  

We all had front row seats. 





Sassafrass.

We went to Walmart and met about 15 of her cadet friends and their parents, all of us vying for the same storage units and school supplies.  Tons of fun.  About midnight we all ran out of gas, so we drove her back to her barracks (as close as we could) and it took her two trips to haul all the crap we bought and brought for her.  That's no bueno in a boot.

Kip and Lacey got up at 5:00 am (yes a mere 5 hours later) and headed back over to get her.  She had caught the stomach bug her roommates had had the prior day and was throwing up out both ends when they got to her.  We kind of didn't care though, bringing this sick chick in our midst.  What's a little norovirus between friends?   Another run to Walgreens for all things medicine, got her fixed up for her own little medicine cabinet for her barracks.  She started feeling better around noon, and we cautiously fed her and headed back to WP to get her back in time for her 2:30 briefing.  Man, 20
hours is not enough time to spend time with someone you love and miss.  We crammed an immense amount of laughter in that time frame, and she spent most of it awake.  I heard stories from other parents, "our cadet slept most of the time."  Well my cadet talked the whole time, and we just loved it.




She didn't feel great in this pictures, but I insisted on stopping and getting some with the view in the background.  Just gorgeous day, and how we loved seeing the baby sister.  

We made the goodbye brief.  She needed to get moving and we needed to not cry.

How incredibly proud I am of her three sisters.  I listened to them laugh at her, and listen to her, and give her such wonderful advice.  They are all such great Jesus lovers, and poured into our cadet and gave her vision and solid wisdom for her time ahead.  It was a privilege to witness that.   

I don't think there will ever be a time she walks away from me now, that I won't experience heartache.  I know I will see her in Chicago in a couple of weeks for a game, but every visit will now need to be spent with intention.  Every second of every visit counts.   I've learned this from Kip, who taught me how to make that work, with her living so far away.  We will make this work.  Lacey kept saying, "She's just going to college in another state now.  She can do this, We can do this.  Why are both of my sisters on opposite ends of the world??"

I don't think I have ever been so proud of her.  This kid has had some proud moments for me over her lifetime, that's for sure, but the way she has handled this experience, hurt, injured, homesick, no military experience ever, held a gun once before she left and now is becoming an accomplished, self assured human (she's always been this to a pretty high degree, but NOW.....wowsers)

Chaurley saved our bacon when we drove back to New York, getting us to our hotel, helping us get the car back and walking us to the subway to show us how to get around.  She is amazing and we just loved spending time with her and laughing and laughing. She is building a wonderful life with her husband, Danny, and I cannot say it enough how much easier this whole experience is, knowing Chaurley is a  mere hour train ride away from Hallie, if ever Hal needs her.   

So, after dropping the car, the three okies took the subway to central park and laughed some more for three hours.  We did a night bus tour (which is definitely the way to go when you are crunched for time and are too tired to walk another step), had some Ray's pizza, got in bed by midnight, up by 4 am and landed in Dallas at 8:45 am.  

Talk about cramming in as much as humanly possible in 72 hours.  We did the dang thing.  And I would do it all again tomorrow.  I thought about how early we got up and how much we accomplished in a day.  That's  Hallie's life in a nutshell right now.  

Hallie Lauren.... you are an incredible human.  You are handling all the things being thrown at you with grace and excitement.  You is kind, you is smaht, you is important.   Keep being a light, be exceedingly kind to everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) and please study more than you use to in high school.  23 hours of classroom training is more than most,(Most take 12-15 hrs and aren't a D-1 athlete on top of that)  but you have prepared yourself for this task the last two years, with your whirlwind of activity you made yourself do.  You.  Are.  Ready.    Now take that training and go Go GO.

Your mama will be right behind you, cheering you all the way!!! 


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

How to Tackle Beast with a stress fracture....

My day started at 6:30 am.  My phone rang, and it was my tallest daughter, calling her madre.

Quite early.

Didn't care.  HI BABE!

Seriously haven't ever given a second thought to immediate gratification in the technology world until the past 6 weeks.  Always have taken for granted my unlimited access to my kids.

Then BEAST happened, and the phones went away.  Yesterday, late evening, sanity in the form of phone communication was restored with the advent of her phone given back to her.  FOREVER.

So, yeah, I was thrilled to hear from my kid, even though it was early.

A funny while we were talking:

"Mom, this squirrel is trying to attack me. It's walking straight for me.  It's literally
inches from me, GO AWAY SQUIRREL"

Me:  "It must be an army squirrel, ain't skeered of Nuthin"

I thought I was hilarious, she didn't even hear me.


Fast forward to noon thirty, my phone buzzes, text.

"I have a stress fracture."


"What does that mean" says the dumb mom, 1 million miles away from her daughter.

"I'm out for six weeks, in a boot.  No practice, No games, No A Day"


That wasn't her.  That was me.  She called me, later, after leaving the doctor's office, crying, which made me the saddest I've been in a while, and all I could keep saying was "I'm so sorry".

Man.

I'm beyond impressed she made it as far as she did.  I'm serious.  Tonight as we were rehashing the appointment, now that the shock and disappointment has faded some, she said doc came in and said, "yeah, you definitely have a stress fracture in your foot, but did you know that your big toe was broken too?"

"Uhm, yeah.  I've kind of been doing beast with a broken big toe"

Doc stares at her.  Stares some more.  Sighs a little.

"Well, now you have to wear that boot and get them both healed."

And the whole wide world said,  "Amen".

Who knows why all this is happening?  All I know is God has a plan that is perfect for US and sometimes we are like, "Why is this happening?   Why did this happen now?  How come there are three kids instead of one?"  (LOL)  But here is what I know to be true.

Sometimes you gotta ride through a heckuva storm to get to the gorgeous rainbow on the other side.

God's got a plan, and my hope and heart is with Him and Him alone.


Kip and I are heading to A Day on Friday.  Instead of celebrating her in the parade,sitting in the bleachers with 5000 other people, we will celebrate her just as hard, wherever she is.  We'll find her.  Kip can find anyone, anywhere.  This we know.

God is Good, All the Time.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

And the BEAST is slain

THEY DID IT!  The Class of 2021 has completed the BEAST.  Now all they have to do is their 12 mile march back tomorrow.

yep, you read it right.  12 miles.

And Hallie is SO BUMMED she can't be there.  Yep, you read that right, too.  Thoroughly, completely bummed.  She is REALLY going to be bummed when I tell her that her company won the competitions, and have the honor of leading the entire class back tomorrow in the march back.  COMPANY D is where it is at!  (Dang that dangling participle).

Every year, each class comes up with a motto they carry through their 4 years.  This year, the class voted and here is their motto.


Man, I just love that.  So many meanings to so many people in that one statement.  Powerful.

So since my last blog, a few things have happened.

- Hallie received her boodle box from me and one from her dad.  Her needs for blankets (me) and junk food (dad) have been met.
- She got a boot to walk in, and lost the crutches.  She is feeling much better about it, and told me today that the foot felt fine, no pain at all.  (we shall see)  MRI is Tuesday.

She is loving volleyball (as I knew) but is anxious to get her squad back from Buckner. (where they have been for the last 2 weeks of beast).  As happy as she was to be in "out of the woods", she definitely suffered from FOMO the last week.  For those of you that don't know what that is  (Fear Of Missing Out).

She calls her friends from Oklahoma her Okla"homies" and adores spending time with them when she can.  She is anxious to get to her barracks (equivalent of a dorm room) and get a drawer, and a closet and quit living out of her pack.  She gets her phone TOMORROW and look out, she won't sleep a wink Monday night for being on the phone all night.

Kip and I are heading for New York on Thursday of this week to go see Hallie march out on "A" day (acceptance day) and turn from a "New Cadet Candidate" to a "Plebe" or "Cadet".   When you send mail from after August 19, drop the New off her name and just send to

Cadet Hallie L Hembree
PO Box 1732
West Point, NY 10997-1732

She is allowed "Boodle" now.  Basically that means, send her a box of yummy stuff.  She likes everything chocolate and nothing peanut butter or peanuts  ( I KNOW, who's kid is she?).  You might wait a couple of weeks, then pace yourselves.  :) 

So next blog will be either after New York, or after we find out what is up with her foot.  She is convinced it isn't a stress fracture, she was jumping in her volleyball shoes with her steel plate in it to keep the weight of her body off her toe, and she think she just strained some ligaments.  Kid is determined to play volleyball this season, and so far all she has proven to me is nothing stands in her way, when she makes her mind up.

An upperclassman stopped her yesterday, as she was walking after volleyball, and said something like, "New Cadet Hembree, you impressed all of us with your fortitude during beast.  Very commendable".   

Duh, kid's a bada$$.  

FOUR DAYS, people.  I don't know if I'm more excited to see Kip or see Hallie.  I think it's a toss up.

They did it!  The Class of 2021 done kicked some beast's butt.  

And all the parents of those cadets, said A M E N.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Finding Strength

I was sitting in a lunch meeting today when my phone rang with an outside number I didn't recognize. I have learned to answer any call from any number at any time, just in case it's Hallie.

It was.

"Mom??"

My heart raced out of my chest.  

"They think I have a stress fracture in my foot".

BIG DEEP BREATH, mom.

"Well, kid, I can't say it isn't expected. You have a big broken toe. Everything you do is geared to NOT put weight on that broken toe.  You're going to be ok."

Cue the crying.

On both ends.

Her concerns.....

-she will be out for the entire season
-she will look like a wimp to her teammates
-she absolutely HATES crutches
-she feels completely 100% alone in this

So here I am, 1 million miles away, in a lunch meeting, so how do I comfort her, "Call your sister and call me later in the day".


I have never felt so helpless in my entire life.  I know she's grown and all, but I'm 56 and my mom still introduces me as "her baby".  So I get it.

This is the kid that taped her broken toe and conquered beast.  This is the kid that never let a rolled ankle stop her from playing volleyball....ever.  She cannot stand to be hurt or stand out as "different". Of all the things in the world that could be "worst case scenario" for her.....it's this.

So she's on a bike riding, and lifting weights for her upper body until Tuesday, when they can get an MRI and see what is going on.  I'm praying for something small that can heal lickety split.

But mainly I'm praying to give me the words to say to my heartsick daughter when she calls me again.  I know God has her plan.  I know that everything in this world happens for a reason.  I know that His way is Perfect.  I know all this.  But when you are standing in the middle of a storm, it's really hard to believe that His way is perfect.  All you see is the storm.

So I need everyone to pray with me that she has some peace in all this.  She got the deal done.  She is in West Point no matter if it's in a boot and on crutches, or full out playing volleyball, we don't have to worry at this point of being sent home.

Now we heal.  I. Can't. Even. begin to think of her on crutches very long at WP....it's a mile walk to everything.  Crutches are going to be a bear.

Pray warriors.  Pray for healing and emotional fortitude.  Specific prayers.

God's got this, and I need her to believe it too.

Thanks and love.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Life.Church comes to Norman

After almost 15 years of driving almost 45 minutes (at least) each way to attend church, imagine my delight and surprise when about this time last year, it was announced that NORMAN, OKLAHOMA would be getting their own Life.church.

JUST SHUT UP.

When Lacey started at UCO in 2002, she started attending Lifechurch in OKC (NW 178th & Penn).  She had gone a few times and said, "Mom, you gotta come up here and check this out."

One time in and I was sold out.   I drove to OKC campus for about 3+ years, meanwhile, Lacey was part of the staff at OKC, then moved to Edmond campus (SE 2nd st & I-35, you know the BIG CROSS) to take a position there.  I have met so many amazing friends during those first 7 years, they were big influences in my Christian walk for sure.  I attended back and forth between OKC & Edmond until the Midwest City campus was opened, and then attended there.  Later, Shawnee was opened and with Tyler on staff, and my grandson heading to the Garden every week, that's where you could find me and my tribe.   We visited Moore and SW OKC, but never really found our "home" there.

So, you can see why having a Lifechurch practically in my backyard seemed so huge to me!!!!

Fast Forward to today.   Opening day and HELLO....let's DO THIS.


Never mind the dozen or so chins that I have in this picture.  The girls tell me to aim the camera from above for selfies, but I am just NOT the sharpest tool in the shed in all things photoraphy.

Anyhoo.

It's 7:45 am.  Gina is running for the Lifekids hall so she can serve in a kids room.  Zachary has his three (count them, 3) tags on for the three services he is just about to marathon in.   Steven and I are jumping outside at the front doors, yelling WELCOME to all the people coming to the 8:30 am service.  Today, it was a bit rainy and overcast (perfect weather for "Oh, let's stay home), but instead, we had NEW FAMILIES head to lifechurch and Steven and I got to welcome them.  What a fun job.  On the opposite door was a new friend, Brittany (from Slaughterville) whom I had met last Thursday at the Core Group meeting.  She and her husband sat behind me, and I guess she watched me video the worship team and asked me to send her a copy.  So, bang, new friend.  How thrilled I was to see her and her sweet daughters, opening the doors right out front with me  (I promise I am going somewhere with this).  Her husband was inside directing traffic and I hadn't met him yet at this point.  After the traffic dies down, Steven and I go in and sit down beside TJ (her husband) and visit with him a bit.  She comes in with the girls and I take their picture.  (I do better with other people in the picture than myself).   So, we bonded.   She couldn't shake me out of her head (WHO CAN, I ASK?) and she totally stalked me on the Host team page and found me.  She sent me a text later that read, "I looked you up on the host team page.  I had to find you!  I love your spunkiness!   (Side note:  That's a nice way of putting YOU ARE LOUD AND OBNOXIOUS)  We have a couple of friends in common!  Thanks again for the video.  After seeing some pics I've come to realize this is a small world!  (Ok, PEOPLE GET READY)  Are you Laynie's grandmother? I still have my hopeforlaynie bracelet.  I donated blood several times in her name.

WHAT!!??? and then sent me this picture.

Small world nothing!  GOD IS GOOD.

So, Laynie is still rocking and rolling and bringing people together.  That is what I am talking about!

Served at the 10am service in Lifekids, checking in NEW families, and let me just tell you.  They SHOWED UP.

Still checking in families pretty strong at 11:30, when Viv (the lifekids pastor) said, "GO TO CHURCH."  (kind of bossy) :)   Steven and I went in to find a seat and to our complete AMAZEMENT....there WERE NO SEATS!  Auditorium holds 1000 and EVERY SEAT WAS FULL.  They sat chairs up in the lobby and about 50 people sat out there!   IT WAS JUST A BEAUTIFUL thing!

But here's the icing on the cake for me.  Over 2500 people came to church today.  33 people were baptized !!  But hold on to your hat.....68 people raised their hands and gave their life to the Lord.   SIXTY EIGHT people.  At 1130 when I was there, we were all just clapping our hands together and cheering as the hands went up ALL OVER THE PLACE.  It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed.

When people say they are uninspired at church, or religion is boring, or God doesn't have a place for them, then they have never been to a Lifechurch.

God loves you where you are.  There is NOTHING you can do to make him not love you.  If you live in the Norman area, and you think church isn't a "thing" you can get into..... I'm asking you to just come once to our church.  Just once.  If you don't see a difference, feel a difference, then I won't ever bug you again.

But if you are longing for something else, if you feel something is missing in your life, if you are so overburdened with the weight of the world and feel like you can't go another step....I'm asking you to come over and have a donut and a cup of coffee (or sweet tea) and just see for yourself.  

That's all I'm asking.

Because God is Good, All the Time...... and Norman, Ok (and Shawnee, and OKC, and MWC, and Yukon, and Mustang, and South OKC, and Moore, and Britton Rd, and Tulsa (several), and many other states (go to the website Life.Church) and find you a campus.)  is inviting you to come and WITNESS for yourself.

What have you got to lose?

Lifechurch Link

Go online and watch a message.  Watch today's message (Different).... It's powerful and maybe just what you need.

Whoever finds God,  Finds Life.


The BEAST has been Slain- Week 5

I knew Thursday, August 3rd was the day that "The gates of heaven would open, and the volleyball vans would come and get them".... but what I didn't know (nor did they) that on August 2, ONE DAY EARLY... the vans arrived and drove them away from the Basic Training better known as BEAST.

I just cried my face off when I heard that.  Then an unknown number appeared on my cell phone, and lo and behold it was my New Cadet Hembree getting her 3rd phone call!

All. Is. Well. With. My World.

From what I understand, they had to turn in weapons, do some paperwork, re-take their physicals, Hallie had to have her toe x-rayed for the zillionth time (to get fully released to play, that didn't happen, btw) and then they were showered with love, snacks and good wishes from the older girls on the team, and I was one happy mama.

She. Did. It.

Now her world is going to look a little different until A day on the 19th.  She will be practicing volleyball three times a day (hopefully getting released next week on toe deal), and weight training in between.  Right now she is resting, as all of them are, because come Tuesday (monday they are taking pictures for the website and team stuff) it's GAME ON beast mode, Volleyball training, and the coach needed them 100%, and seriously, they were at about 10% coming out of beast.  Sleep deprived, hungry, physically and mentally exhausted.  She gave them 4 days to get it together, and then BOOM, it's all her doing the mental and physical training.  (She is 9 months pg, due like today, so I'm not sure how much she will be doing).  Hallie is READY.

Heard from her today for a sec, and seriously,  "I'm kind of bored."


I guess after having every second of every minute of every hour of every day, packed full of impossible things to do, a few minutes to lay on a mattress and look at the ceiling, trying to rest your body would be "Boring".

I like boring, personally.  I LOVE to be bored.

I also found out that this tank has gained 8 pounds of muscle mass.  "I'm not fat though mom".

Oh, Ok.  I really thought you would be.    NOT.


On August 14, all the cadets will be marching back from Buckner (where they do their field training) and move into the barracks (Army's version of dorm rooms), and get ready for classes.  They will get their ipads, computers, and best of all, THEIR CELL PHONES!  Seeing her face whenever she can call, will be such a blessing (for her AS well as for me!)

So, Thank you friends, for the LETTERS (She got SO MANY!) and the well wishes.  After August 19, she can get boxes of BOODLE (which is anything you think she would enjoy, like cookies, lip gloss, iTunes cards, more cookies, etc).  She loves everything except peanut butter.  Wouldn't like anything peanut butter.  :)   Send them to her PO Box and she will forever love it and be grateful.  (She LOVES HER SOME SNACKS NOW)

As for this mama, PHEW, she made it!  

Praise the LORD almighty, and pass them potatoes.  The Beast is Slain.

Let the volleyball season begin.   Some games are livestreamed on the West Point website.  Look it up.  Her picture will show up on the roster in a few weeks time (#6 I believe)  :)   WOOHOO

Black Knights Volleyball Schedule 2017


                                                               GO    ARMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Bearing the Beast of "Burden"- Wk 4


After our excellent call a week ago, I was completely ready to roll through August 3 with no contact.

COMPLETELY FINE WITH IT.

Then I saw a post of the Parents Page on facebook that we should "KEEP our phones charged and ringers up this weekend, FOR A QUICK call".

Well I did that.   I had my phone charged, and ringer UP.


I was distracted, moody and somewhat of a mess.  I KNEW we were in the final weeks and we wouldn't be talking.  Did I know she wouldn't write ONE THING TO ME LAST WEEK?


Well.  She.  Did.  Not.

Maybe it was because she was so busy being gassed in the tear gas chamber (nicknamed House of tears) she couldn't write me.   Here are pics from that glorious event





She could have at least written me and said  "Dearest Momsie, this is the worst summer camp you have ever sent me to!  Love, Hallie"

But nothing.  Shelly Walker got a letter from her son Cade Mashburn (from Edmond) and a great pic on the website....

Cade is on the left, looking to be copying off his fellow squad members notes. LOL

Traci Greer, another mom from Muskogee, heard from her son, Jack.  TWO BOYS WROTE THEIR MOMS.  DID my girl write hers???   Oh no, she didn't.  

I did get this after her mass athletics the other night.  I examined every square inch of that picture and decided she needs to sit up straight and she has some bruises.  I also appreciated that they had their hair in ponytails, which much be a huge relief for her to be able to let it down occasionally.

Today, they marched out (8 miles) to go to the final two weeks of their training.  They passed the class of 2020, doing their run in from 12 miles (heard that is tough, I.can.t.even.) and the camaraderie and good wishes being yelled at the new cadets (2 more weeks!  You've got this!  Finish strong!) coming from cadets that JUST RAN 12 MILES...wow, no words.  

So here's the picture I saw on IG this morning.  Just happened upon a new page that I hadn't been stalking, er, admiring....  and   BOOM, there's my kid.  



So you can totally tell the difference between Kip's research- (with typing and arrow) and my finger painting and terrible handwriting.  Bailey is the 6-4 middle blocker volleyball player, you can't even see Monica, except her hair whispies and one eyeball of Hallie.  Directly in front of Hallie is her friend Nick (who I found first because he is 6-7) and I knew Jack had to be close by and yep, there he was.  So in this picture, they are clearly NOT in formation because everyone of them are in different squads.  But, in my sadness of not talking to my girl (even for a minute), there was proof of life (as Traci calls it) in the PICTURE OF OUR KIDS.  YES.  


It's the little thing people.  I love that whispie in the background.  For Hallie, this Thursday will mark the end of her training with her squad in the field.  She will head back to WP and get busy training for volleyball season.  I'm hoping she gets her phone back (a personal hope, a small one, a genie wish, if you will) and we can at least text or something.  It won't be long until she has her phone back for real (August 14) and then HALLELUJAH, let the phone calls begin.

I say all this, though, in all seriousness, even when I am whining about missing my Hal, I think about my precious cousin, Shannon, and how she would give everything in the world she owns to be able to talk/see/text her sweet Austin.  She wouldn't whine that she only gets to see him 4 weeks a year, she would be thrilled, so even in saying how bad I miss Hallie....there is no comparison.  So I am thankful, OH SO THANKFUL that I will be talking to her in a few days.  (P.S.  Shannon I love you so, and how your heart must ache.  I can't believe it will be 5 years he's been in heaven,  this Labor Day.  I just admire and love you so).

With that said.   Keep it in perspective you dumb weirdo mom (bordering on hovercrafter) and hang in there.  

At least I didn't have to go in the gas chamber.   For.the.love.