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Friday, February 24, 2012

Happy Picture Project: Mississippi

Wow!  I had a really hard time keeping the pictures for all of my happy Mississippi memories down to under twenty!  (Don't worry, it's only 18 or so.)  I actually find this ironic... because my response when I found out our first Air Force home would be in Mississippi was kind of a groan of disapproval.  I did not want to live in the deep south.  The idea of sweating to death in Mississippi sounded so unappealing to this Yankee :o)  All the "southern stereotypes" I had made me think it wasn't going to be fun living down there at all.  Good thing it was only eight months.

But in reality, I loved Biloxi!  I actually miss it really bad.  Isn't that funny?  It's hard to believe that I've been here in Germany longer than I was in Biloxi but I really really loved it there and I miss it a lot!  Crazy humidity, cockroaches, and slightly shady neighborhoods aside, I love Biloxi, Mississippi.  

The first happy memory (and picture) is of the beach.  I've never lived near the water like this.  The picture was taken from the car on our way to the Christmas Eve service at church.  It was a beautiful evening!  I miss driving down Highway 90 right along the Gulf.  We also walked and jogged along the beach a lot.  I miss the beach!

Despite the fact that I was super disappointed with the lack of fall foliage (or fall weather for that matter!) I really did like that I could walk outside right until the day Sam was born.  In fact, it wasn't until almost November that I didn't break a sweat when I walked outside!  Now that I think of it I bet this is one of the reasons my labor with Sam went so smooth... I felt super strong and ready for her because I was exercising daily in the lovely sunshine right up until December 3rd! 

Our first trip to our favorite BBQ joint, The Shed.  Totally fantastic atmosphere and food!  I loved it there.  I always think of Sean and Ashley cause they invited us to go the first time... but we also went there with all our friends and all the family that came to visit us.  It was just such a fun place!  They would sometimes have a fire going in the fire pit outside and there was often live music on the weekends.  I love places like that! 

Oh, and for any Shed lovers, here's an interesting tidbit:  A friend who's still in MS just posted recently that The Shed BURNED DOWN and the reopened in two days!  Resilient, that place ;o)

For a girl who's used to cutting down fresh trees in New York, it was kind of weird to go to a "tree farm" like this.  I kind of laughed.  Jesse wasn't laughing at the price, though.  That was one expensive Wisconsin tree!  (Though, our German one was worse this year!)  It was still fun to "go out" and get our tree.  And again, I feel like every memory I have of Mississippi is just full of happy sunshine!

Speaking of sunshine, we brought our little Monkey into the world in Mississippi.  I had a great experience at the military hospital on base.  (I just learned recently actually that the Keesler Medical Center is one of the Air Force's larger training hospitals!  I had no idea cause the base itself is pretty small.)

I think Sam being born in Biloxi is the main reason is holds such a special place in my heart.  There's just something about the place you bring your new baby home.  You will always think of it with a smile :o)

I literally had to stop my car and snap a picture of this.  It pretty much sums up how different a Southern Christmas is from a Northern one.  It just didn't feel right without the cold and snow!  But it was fun to experience something new!

And Christmas was still awesome because my whole side of the family came to share it with us!  It was great to have everyone back together again, but it was also special because it was everyone's first chance to meet Samantha.  AND my Mom cooked and baked delicious holiday treats... something I probably wouldn't have had energy for with a newborn.  OH AAAAND they cleaned my whole house from top to bottom before they left!  Seriously, I remember that :o)  I'm very thankful they came to visit... and I don't think I cleaned my house again till we moved in March haha!

So, look what we saw from Lily's bedroom window!  It was a ways away from us... separated by a huge fence and a road and a decent sized creek.  But still!  Alligators in my back yard!

I got Jesse a new flat screen tv for his graduation from Basic Training.  And then he got "us" the NFL cable package that allowed us to see all the Pats games ;o)  It was really nice to watch games together, though.  I definitely remember those Sunday afternoons fondly... cause Jesse was so busy with tech school.  Any special time we had together on the weekends became a happy memory that got me through the long lonely days at home (we only had one car and he left before 5am most days!)

The beach.  My girls.  A lovely candid shot taken by My Love.  This moment is right after we'd taken Cass, Mike, and cousin Zave to IHOP for post-church brunch.  It was super fun to let the kids play in the sand... in January! 

Park playdates with my dear friend Bonnie.  We didn't start hanging out (unfortunately!) until a few months before both of us left... but it was so awesome while it lasted! 

My Mississippi Besties.  These girls (hi Bethanne, Bonnie, and Ashley!) are the biggest thing I miss about MS!  And none of them are even there anymore!  We are spread out all over the world now... North Dakota (or is it South Bethanne?), Illinois, Hawaii, and Germany!  But they were my first Air Force friends and I will love them (and miss them!) forever!!

Bethanne and I gave it a whirl with a sister photo shoot.  It turned out pretty comically (as in this is the only good picture of both of them) but it was a really fun memory!

Also, I don't think Sam has any more hair now than she did at three months old! ;o)

Jesse bought me my first ever jogging stroller!  And I started jogging again for the first time since I hurt my back in high school!  I really enjoyed getting out and running (in February!) and I can't wait till I can get out again (probably more like April here!).  There's just something so satisfying about going for a run.  I hate every second of it while I'm out there... and even the half hour or so before when I'm trying to make excuses not to go... but man when I'm done do I feel awesome! 

This picture was after we took a family walk/run over the Ocean Springs bridge... It was a goal of mine to run it before we left, and I did!  My favorite part about that night was that we went to Applebee's afterwards ;o) 

Tech school was really stressful and I wouldn't go through it again... but it had it's fun moments.  There was an aspect of "squadron spirit" at events that reminded me of high school pep rallies... complete with dressing in your "team's" colors, mascots running around, crazy cheering and chants.  It was fun to go to squadron events.  GO BULLS!  I still remember most of the dorky cheer ;o) 

Shortly after I met Bethanne and we started hanging out, we realized we had a lot in common.  Say, for example, our shoe choices.  I think this red pair was the third or fourth pair of shoes we had either the exact same or very similar matching ones!  I think of her every time I wear them!

Graduation from tech school!  My airman was an official airman now!  And we were headed to Germany!!!  A friend of ours made the girls "Mini Red Rope" shirts for graduation.  It was so cute! 

By some sort of mix-up, our reservation at the base hotel was lost... we were supposed to stay there for two nights after we turned in the keys for our house until graduation.  But we didn't find out that there was "no room in the inn" until we were already all moved out of our house... car loaded, kids crying, waiting in the parking lot trying to figure out where to go! 

Turns out, God knew we needed a mini vacation.  Cause the Air Force paid to put us up in a really nice hotel right on the beach!  (It's kind of a long story but it involves a nice gentleman at the hotel charging us way less than the room was worth... I think he could see I was in distress! ;o)  And he was Air Force reserves so... kindred spirit I guess!) 

Anyways, that lovely room overlooking the beach is my last, and one of my favorite, memories of Mississippi!  It was such a great example of "everything happens for a reason" and "don't have complete meltdowns in the car over something your husband can't change... it will all work out!"


  1. AWWWWW - teeny-tiny Lily and squishy-baby Sam! I miss them - SO MUCH!!!

    I miss Mississippi, too - but not for the same reasons! I mostly miss that it only takes 1/2 a day to get there by airplane, that you CAN get there by car and that it doesn't cost a bazillion dollars per ticket to fly there! I think this happiness picture project is not helping your mother's happiness level!!!

    1. Oh so sorry :o( Let's cross our fingers that the next place we live is within a days drive. Cause I would totally drive at least 12 hours to visit. Not 22, but twelve, sure! LOVE YA!

    2. That's okay if you wouldn't want to drive 22 hours - - I still would! It doesn't really matter to me (although I won't drive the moving van - I'll certainly ride in it again!) - - inside the continental US is my vote for Jesse's next duty station! (but my vote doesn't really count, does it?)

    3. Nope :o) And mine only counts slightly more than yours!

  2. I want to write a book in response to this one! I absolutely love this picture project.

    I had heard that the Shed burnt down, but I didn't realize they rebuilt in only 2 days! That's amazing!

    I do miss Mississippi quite a bit too! It was so nice to be able to walk on the beach...or over to a friends house. ;)

    Awww...that photo shoot, and our evening out at Yuki's, and our SHOES! I miss you friend!

    1. Oh, and P.S. I'm in North Dakota...about as opposite from Mississippi as you can get...except for, of course, Germany! :)