October Ramblings

Well, October finally happened…we’ve been waiting and planning for October for a while.

So what is this big event?

Adam quit his job. His completely steady, stress free, well-paying job. And at the moment, he doesn’t have another one lined up.

Here’s the story (the longish version).

Adam is an adventure guy. His favorite pastimes include riding motorcycles, spearfishing (like way out in the ocean), and shooting guns. He is very responsible when he does all his hobbies, but that’s just the kind of thing he enjoys. Well, that and watching movies. And constantly working on my projects, haha. So anyway, when Adam got out of the army we moved back home to Texas (after six years of living in New York) and he decided he wanted to be a fireman. He tried out and was doing really well, but it is a really long process without any guarantees at the end. That’s when some family friends offered him a great job as a commercial construction estimator and he took it. He has worked that job and gone to school for the last three years. Adam likes his job…it’s consistent, it pays pretty well, he obviously likes the people he works with, and he never has to stay late or bring work home with him. But he’s not the type of guy that is happy sitting at a desk all day. He’s an adventure guy, remember?  So early this year we started looking at his options. His top three career choices? Game warden, fireman, or police officer. What can I say, the guy likes public service. I just want him to be happy and fulfilled…and have an awesome benefits package. So after many months of research, ride alongs, discussions, and pro & cons lists we settled on his third choice, police officer.

So Adam quit his job and enrolled in a full-time police academy. He’s self sponsored, which means he doesn’t have a job lined up and won’t be getting a paycheck for the next seven months. Luckily he still has some GI education benefits left (the same one that paid for his college) and they will pay for the academy and send us a housing allowance each month. And we still have our savings, blog income, and are completely debt free…so seven months without a “real” paycheck shouldn’t hurt us too badly (barring any unforeseen circumstances, of course).  Still though, if you’d like to refresh this page a few times and then buy your Christmas gifts through that Amazon affiliate button lower on my sidebar I won’t stop you. Anyway, that is our big October news…this was a big decision for us and we’re feeling pretty darn good about it.

So after Adams last day of work as an estimator we did what any normal unemployed couple would do…

We went on a cruise.


And we left the kids with the grandparents.


And it was awesome.

cruise 1

cruise 2

Adam and I haven’t been on a real vacation since our honeymoon almost a decade ago, so we figured it was about time. And cruise tickets are surprisingly cheap during hurricane season…I can guarantee I ate more food than the $250 that the ticket cost. I was a little worried about leaving the kids, not because they don’t have amazing grandparents,  just because that’s what moms do. I have to admit though, I didn’t think about them at all once we left. I don’t even feel bad about it. Adam and I spent some quality time together, and even though we are good about making time for each other on a daily basis at home, I still looked at him at one point and said “Man…I’ve missed you!”  Vacation time together and at home time together is very different. Also, I slept better than I have in years with that ship rocking me to sleep. I never take naps at home, but I took one every day on the cruise. We should really make this an annual event.

In other October news, my sweet little Levi turned two.

Newborn Levi

a year of pictures

Levi's Two

 I realized today that I wrote an entire post dedicated to his first birthday, sharing ten things about him at that time. So here are ten more now that he’s two, mostly so that I can come back to this post and remember the things I will likely forget as time goes on.

1. He is LOUD. I don’t mean in the normal “kids are noisy” way, I mean his voice. He has a deep, resonating, grown man voice and he basically doesn’t know how to speak without yelling. And he is repetitive. He will say something like “I want some water please!”, so I will get up and get him some water…but the entire time I’m doing that he will be yelling “water!” “WATER PLEASE!” “want water Mommy!” I will tell him” “Levi, look at what I’m doing…I’m obviously getting you water so you can stop asking.” But he yells on. Then when I hand him his water he will always say “Thank you Mommy”…and if I don’t say you’re welcome immediately he will gently remind me “now say you’re welcome.”

2. He sucks his thumb. He never did as a baby… he really didn’t even like the pacifier all that much. But then one day this summer I randomly caught him sucking his thumb and he has been doing it ever since.

3. He is a water hog. Both my boys are actually…though so am I. We all need to have our cups of water near us, even in bed. Levi guzzles water and it’s pretty much all he drinks. Sometimes he gets water with juice in it, and sometimes Adam will give him some sweet tea…but he’s a water guy. Thank goodness.

4. Because of #3, the kid pees constantly…and it’s usually it’s not where pee is supposed to go. I’ll save him any future embarrassment and stop there.

5. He is really smart. I know all parents say that about their kids, but I can’t help feeling like he’s a little ahead. Although honestly it might just be a second kid thing…I don’t know, he’s my first second kid. He learns the same things as Elijah…Elijah learns his colors, Levi suddenly knows all his colors. I teach Elijah the ABC’s…I catch Levi singing them when he thinks I’m not listening. Elijah’s vocabulary explodes, suddenly Levi is speaking in full sentences and telling me imaginative stories. Although I’m sure people outside of our family have no idea what he’s saying, I understand him perfectly.

6. He grows hair like it’s his job. Seriously, that kid’s going to have a beard by the time he’s 13.

7. He holds his own against Elijah. Not only when they fight and wrestle, but Levi will straight up heckle him. I will put them both to bed (they share a room) and Adam I can hear them talking. Then Elijah will emerge in the hallway, crying, saying something like “Mommy….Levi said my name isn’t Elijah!” To which I will assure Elijah that his name is, in fact, Elijah and to just ignore his pesky little brother.

8. He eats anything and everything. It’s amazing, especially considering Elijah eats nothing. I seriously can’t think of a food Levi won’t eat. Tonight at dinner, for example, we had fajitas. Levi would be eating his taco and a big chunk of green bell pepper would fall out and he would pick it right up off his plate and eat it without thinking twice. Zesty spanish rice? He had three servings. Thank goodness, I couldn’t imagine fighting the dinner battle with two kids.

9. Because of #8 he has the largest toddler belly I have ever seen. Literally. He’s not big (20% for height and weight) but dang, his gut. He looks more pregnant than I ever did. It’s kinda awesome and I’ll be sad when he grows out of it.

10. He is the sweetest, snuggliest thing ever. He never turns down an opportunity for cuddles and often hunts me down just to wrap his arms around my legs and say “I love you Mommy”. He love to give sloppy toddler kisses that are accompanied my a loud “MUAH!” His favorite activities are ones that can be done while sitting on my lap. He totally melts my heart on a daily basis.

11. Okay, one more…I can’t seem to stop. When Adam get’s home from work everyday Levi immediately greets him with the same question. Elijah runs up yelling “Daddies home!” and Levi follows yelling “Daddy! Wanna wrestle?!”

I freaking love that kid.

We didn’t have a big party for his birthday, though we did take him to Sea World for the day and we had hot dogs and cake at my parents house (which is way better than a party if you ask me.)

Sea World


I could write so much more about what we did in October, but I’ll stop there. Overall it was a great, jam packed month. Now…onto the holidays!

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  1. Ashley, what an action-packed month! Just wonderful! I feel a kinship to you for two reasons now. Your two precious boys; I have one grandchild, a boy who will turn 2 in February. And good for Adam! My grandson’s dad, my son-in-law is a police officer and I can’t think of a more honorable job. You will find Adam will be in “police” mode 24/7. My daughter can’t go anywhere with her hubby without a quick rescue/observation/or other action just all in a day whether working or not. I wish your family the best!

  2. what a busy month! those are some cute kiddos you’ve got :)
    ps- I bought that grout paint you posted about last week and I can’t wait to try it! goodbyeee brown grout- I wasn’t there when you were installed but I’m pretty sure you were white back then! lol.

    1. Yes, you’re going to like your floors so much more after you are finished! Mine look so much cleaner (even though thought my floor is hardly ever clean).

    1. I totally agree! Adam always thinks of us first, which is why we had to rule out game warden and fireman. Game Wardens don’t get to choose where they live (within the state, but Texas is a big place) and fireman jobs are so hard to come by (because everyone wants to be a fireman). Police officer makes Adam happy, us happy, and hopefully won’t leave him job hunting for too long.

  3. Congratulations, you guys! I’m proud of both of you for being willing to take that leap of faith and jump into a new career direction. Not a lot of people would do that once they’re settled, have kids, etc. And double way-to-go on using the time off to take a vacation! That’s using your noggin. : ) I assume you left of of Galveston? Where did the cruise go? Looks like you had a great time!

    1. Thanks Devon! Yup, we left from Galveston. We considered flying to be able to visit better ports, but the plane tickets would have been more expensive than the cruise. We visited Progresso, where we went cave snorkeling, and Cozumel, where we went to a beautiful private island. It was great, and we took three of our brothers as well. I’m ready to go again!

  4. Yay for Adam for being true to himself and you for recognizing the value in that. Good Luck. I am hoping (selfishly) that this might mean more posts from you. I love what you do. Although I enjoy all your posts, your last few haven’t been about something you made. Have you been getting your creative fix in? Chances are, you’ve been up to something. I’ve enjoyed seeing you on my other favorite blog, Better After recently. It was like being at the grocery store and suddenly spotting someone I know. ha ha!

    1. Love that grocery store analogy, I do the same thing whenever I see a blogger I know in a magazine!
      I am afraid Adams switch won’t lead to more posts, he started the academy earlier this month and it is intense. We hardly see him during the week. Although that might lead to more of the type of projects you like! I do have a creative project I’m going to try and post this week, then I have some Christmas crafts planned. I’m always up to something :)

  5. Congratulations on taking the leap of faith with your husbands career. After a layoff that made us realize that his old industry was too volitile for security 6 years ago, my husband reevaluated and went for the firefighter career he had started at age 18–but now at age thirty four . It was four crazy, broke years of paramedic school, fire academy, volunteer work while working 2 other jobs, and living with family, and no garantees. We may not have even attempted it if we had realized how long it would take and the odds involved. But finally he landed his job and just completed his probation a couple of months ago. It has been a wonderful blessing. Good luck to your husband and his goals in police work. We have nothing but respect for those guys!! They do a hard job. I wish both of you the best in your journey.

    1. Congrats to y’all for landing a fireman job! That is awesome! We have a few friends that have become/are becoming firemen and it has taken them years too. There is just soooo much competition for each slot. I think Adam would have preferred fireman to police officer, but we just can’t swing years of waiting. Seven months (considering he immediately finds a job) is even a little scary!

  6. I have an outdoor voice too. It’s actually kind of handy when I remember to modulate it appropriately. I’m a trainer so I never have any problem standing in front of a room full of people and projecting my voice. They always all hear me. And I’m GREAT around my grandparents when their hearing aid batteries are running low.

    This was a very sweet tribute and a wonderful idea. Levi will love reading this when he gets older (as will you).

    Also, a big thank you to Adam (and you) for his public service. Being a police officer can be thankless but I really appreciate that they have our backs. Thank you SO much for stepping up and being there for us, the general public!

    1. An outdoor voice, haha…that’s exactly what it is! I’ll have to start thinking of it as a blessing…sounds like it definitely has it’s good points. His preschool teachers DO tell me that he always sings the loudest in church!

      And thank you for the sweet words, it means a ton.

  7. I have to admit that I went all “oh no!” when I started reading that he didn’t have a job lined up…until I read more about his personality and the 3 jobs he thought of. My husband is the same type of adventure-seeker and he would have gone completely crazy at a desk job. Big surprise, he’s a firefighter. :) If you ever have any desire to move to Klamath Falls, Oregon, they’ve got some great firefighter jobs here!

    1. So many firefighter wives coming out on this post! I think Adam is really going to enjoy a job that is different everyday. Everyday might not be exciting (thank goodness!), but each day holds that possibility…

      And I had to scare ya’ll a bit with the intro, gotta keep it interesting :)

      1. Ashley, I just started reading your blog! LOVE IT!! :)) Just had to add my 2 cents that he CAN be BOTH! My hubby is a fireman and cop! He’s so fulfilled by his jobs, may not be the best paying jobs ever (considering he’s a volunteer firefighter!) but he loves them! What more can you ask for?! Blessings to your family in this journey.

        1. Thanks Amanda! He thought about becoming both, he could use his certifications to become a fire marshal or something. We’ll see :) It’s encouraging to hear that your husband loves both!

  8. Hi! I’m new to your blog, but love everything you do. AND I LOVE your children’s names! 2 of my very favorite… is it wrong that I think about having another child just so I could use a name?? I digress… just remember (re: your husband’s job) it’s all about the GOOD LIFE… and if you aren’t doing something you love or enjoy, you aren’t living. I am in law enforcement- the non-sworn side, but it is an honorable job. Good luck to you and your husband!

    1. Welcome! I think it’s totally okay to have a baby just to use a name…I have a girl named picked out and I’m really hoping a get to use it!

      I agree about the job, you spend like half your waking hours at work so should do something your passionate about. A big paycheck isn’t worth working a job you hate. Although sometimes you have to work your tail off at a crappy job to get to the one you love. Sacrifice to win, right?

  9. What a great month! Congrats to Adam on following his bliss. He’ll make a very cute cop! lol :) Your kids are gorgeous, and Levi sounds like a lovely person to know.

  10. Congrats to you and your family! My husband graduates the police academy on Dec 6, we too were self sponsored. Our story is much like yours, we live in Texas with two Kids and my husband left a well paying job to pursue his dream of becoming a Peace Officer. This has been the most rewarding time for us. As I’m sure it will be for the both of you as well.
    Some advice? Be extra nice to him on the day he gets sprayed with pepper spray ;)

    1. Wow, that is crazy similar! Congrats on (almost) graduation! Does he have a job lined up yet?

      Doesn’t pepper spray day sound fun? Eek. Adam’s in week three now and currently has a broken rib from the hand to hand combat classes. He constantly reminding me not to say anything funny and make him laugh, cause it hurts so bad.

  11. Wow! That’s really some great news. Being a police office is such a noble job! I’m sure Adam will enjoy it. And the Eleven things about Levi are so damn cute! :) You have a lovely family. Stay blessed Ashley!

  12. Wow, I absolutely loved reading this, it was so well written and funny too. (I’d go so far as to say it was an absolute treat!). What a busy time you have been having recently – you will be so glad in a few years that you blogged all this and can look back on it when you aren’t quite so rushed!
    I wish you guys the very best on your new adventure – I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

    Gerrie x

  13. Hello, it is time for my onthly comment. . . Lol! You know I read all your posts, I just wait to comment on your family ones! I laughed out loud with the list your wrote about Levi, too cute. Seriously though, when you mentioned how much he drinks and that he pees a lot, a little warning bell went off in my head. Has he ever been checked for Juvinelle Diabetes? I am probably worried for nothing, but my cousin Kelly developed this when we were little (under 5 years old) and her symptoms were very similar. Probably nothing, but I had to mention it.

    Onto happier subjects, congrats to you and Adam for going for his dream job. You will both be happier if he is doing something he really loves, and as so many have stated, we all appreciate him taking on a role like police officer and giving of himself for our safety. You are such a lovely family and I wish you nothing but happiness.

    BTW, the cruise sounds so great , I am a little jealous. I hope you get to go again soon, mom’s need a break now and then and it is certainly good relationship time for the two of you.

    Hugs and prayers,

    1. I always look forward to your monthly comment! Thank you for the support and encouragement!

      So I did some google-ing on juvenile diabetes, and, well…he seems to have a lot of the symptoms. He sleeps great and eats a ton, and he does drink a lot and pee a lot. He hasn’t lost any weight though, and he’s moody…but he’s two. I’m not sure he drinks more than Elijah….they are both thirsty kids. And he pees a lot…or maybe it just seems like a lot since it’s always on my floor, or couch, or rug….
      I’m sure he’s perfectly healthy, but I will ask the doctor and keep an eye out, you never know! Wouldn’t it be crazy if he did have it and you diagnosed him through a blog post?

  14. Good for you guys on ALL of the above! Sometimes we just have to suck it up for a while and take a leap. There are so many people who would be afraid to do that. Those little boys are so adorable <3

  15. Maureen, I had the exact same warning bell as that was an indicator for my granddaughter’s diabetes. please Ashley, ask your pediatrician if he should be checked. They say that diabetics don’t pee a lot because of how much they drink but rather they drink a lot because of how much they pee.
    As for the career change, hooray!!

    1. I’ll ask his doctor for sure… I’m sure he’s healthy but better safe than sorry! How crazy would it be if ya’ll diagnosed him through a blog post?!

  16. Ashley, I am so happy for you and your family!!! This will be an exciting adventure for you all! Enjoy the dance! Looks like you had a great well deserved vacation! Your boys are addorable! Happy belated to sweet little Levi!
    Hugs and blessings,

  17. Wow, big step! Good for you to put your family’s quality of living first (while still thinking security) rather than staying in the wrong job just to get the paycheck. Why else would you work so hard to be debt-free and stable if you can’t then do some of the things you are dreaming of?
    Happy birthday to Levi! He is just adorable. Relish those cuddles – my youngest was like that too, and boy do I miss it! At 21, it just isn’t cool to cuddle with Mom, no matter how you slice it…
    Yay for vacations with your spouse! The cruise sounds like a great idea – how awesome that you got a great sale and didn’t have to pay for airfare. Those memories will help to keep you going through the challenges ahead.
    As always, thanks for the window into your life! I always enjoy it.

    1. Thanks Jan! Being debt free is the only reason we were able to make a career leap like this (that and the amazing blessing of blog income) otherwise it would have been a huge risk and crazy stressful. I’m excited for Adam to be excited about his job…and for a work schedule with three and four day weekends all the time. Think of all the projects he can do in his free time! (I’m kidding Adam, don’t worry.)
      (I’m not really kidding.)

      And how silly of you to think that my boys will ever be 21…mine will be the only children to stay small and cuddly forever ;)

  18. Luke (2 in october) does the SAME thing with the asking WHILE you are doing what he asked you to do. Its…really fun.

    ANYWAY – Good Luck to your hubs! Thats awesome to see him following his dream!

  19. I love your blog and just wanted to say good luck with the big change! I’m SO SO HAPPY our country provides GI benefits for our veterans and it’s great to read your husband can use them to fulfill a career dream. All will work out in the end. And now I’m off to check out your Amazon affiliate links :)

  20. Just now getting to this update and I’m so excited for you guys!! Good job Adam, for following your dreams! Doing something you love is what it’s all about. I’m actually in the early stages of going back to school to eventually become a nurse! I’m really nervous, and still get worried I’ll change my mind before it comes to actually applying, but I’ve talked to people and thought about it so much that I don’t think I will turn back. Here’s to people going after what they love! Have a great Christmas you guys! Love your little family and reading about them. :)

  21. What a wonderful month – thanks so much for sharing all the great pics with us. Many blessings on this new adventure you two are starting!! And happy birthday to the “little big man” – what a treasure he is.

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