I’m sitting on the couch putting this together with my mom seated right beside me, and as I was reading through today’s featured blogger’s answers, I couldn’t stop telling my mom how enjoyable it’s been to read through these features week after week. She probably thinks I’m silly from how excited I get about this stuff, but I have just always loved learning from other people and their stories! From foreign countries to different occupations to just different life experiences in general, I’ve learned a lot through the last five months.
Kourtney is no exception! I loved reading through her answers today. I was admittedly most anxious to read her response to her experience with leaving to go to a boarding school at a young age. I don’t know anybody who’s done that, so I thought that was pretty neat! Definitely give her a blog a read once you finish this feature. She has a great site! Meet Kourtney. 🙂
Q: In three sentences or less, tell us a little bit about who you are.
A: I am a Christian, Marine wife, mother of three red-headed babies three and under, full-time working mom, and blogger – in that order! I love photography, organization, the beach, Chick-Fil-A breakfasts, staying active, and my two German Shepherd dogs!
Q: You wrote a really great guest post for me last September about your involvement with your church small group. What do you love about being a part of something like this?
A: This is the second time we’ve been stationed at Camp Lejeune. You’d think that the second time around we’d have everything figured out (and we do feel a lot more at home this time!), but when we returned, a lot of our friends either PCS’d, EAS’d, or were medically retired. When we moved into our base housing neighborhood where a lot of our friends once lived, we suddenly knew no one! I started a small group in our base housing neighborhood just over two years ago, because I was craving relationships with other imperfect, God-loving, like-minded women, who could be a source of support, encouragement, and community to each other. I had no idea when we sat around my table on those first few awkward weeks trying to remember everyone’s name that we would eventually become my best friends! I can’t imagine my life without these girls now – and the best part is that we’re all neighbors!
Q: I know you went to boarding school really far away from home. How old were you when you left home, and what was the boarding school experience like?
A: My husband was 14 (freshman) and I was 15 (sophomore) when we traveled across the country to attend boarding school in New Hampshire. (No, we weren’t bad kids!) This school is one of the greatest opportunities we have ever been given, and best of all, it gave me my husband! Holderness School is a Christian, academic and athletic intensive boarding school. The guys wore ties to class, we had school on Saturday, attended church two times per week, and everyone was required to play three sports! We lived in small dorms attached to “faculty families,” where there were strict curfews and study hall every night. I still remember my husband walking me back to my dorm after study hall, and then running across campus back to his to make it back before “check-in!” There were opportunities to hike, camp, and rock climb every weekend. I gained so much independence while having all kinds of great experiences. Fun fact – Holderness had two Olympians in the most recent Winter Olympics! We graduated from Holderness in 2007, and in 2010, we were back in the chapel on campus saying our “I Do’s” in front of the Holderness faculty! Our dream is to return here as a “faculty family,” live on campus, coach, teach, and watch our children graduate from this school in the very place we did! Funny you ask this question, because we just received our 10 Year Reunion invitations in the mail this week – we can’t wait to go back!
Q: Where have you been stationed while your husband has been in the Marines? Where was your favorite duty station?
A: My husband’s first duty station was right here at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. We PCS’d to Eglin Air Force Base near Destin, Florida for a quick nine months while he was in a school, before getting orders right back here to Camp Lejeune! So, for the majority of his career we have been able to establish ourselves in one spot, which has been a great blessing. I don’t think we’ve had a “bad” duty station – I have loved living in North Carolina and Florida! Camp Lejeune has beautiful base housing, we love our church, I have an established career here, the base amenities are great and include a beach! We actually had the choice of Japan, California, or North Carolina for our last move and we chose to come back because it is very family friendly and we feel at home here. While Eglin Air Force Base was not a longterm option for us (he’s not in the Air Force!), the beaches in Destin, Florida were breathtaking and it was by far the nicest commissary I have ever seen! Oh, and a splash pad on base was a huge plus!
Q: What is your favorite and least favorite part of being a Marine wife?
A: Favorite – rolled sleeves! Just kidding (kind of). They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and while I do agree with this, I’d get rid of the absence that comes with being married to a servicemember altogether if I could! I am all about taking on challenges, so I don’t feel burdened by the daily duties of parenting and housekeeping while the hubby is away. (Erica’s recent post on mowing the lawn had me laughing hard! My first thought was, hey they have a trampoline, just zip them up. And sure enough, I read on and that’s exactly what she did!) But goodness, how I miss him in that absence! That definitely has to be the least favorite part about being a Marine wife. And while we’re on the topic, homecomings have to be the favorite. After all those months of anticipation and waiting, finally having them home to do the everyday normal with you is the best!
Q: Tell us about Mitchell, Julia, and brand new Aubrey! They are so precious!
A: This is a good question because they are all SO different, except for all that red hair of theirs! Mitchell is almost four years old. He is our sweet and shy boy. He has the most tender heart, and his teachers at daycare say he can do no wrong. I think a lot of his reservation in new situations comes from his speech journey, which I’ve written a lot about on my blog! After Mitchell comes Julia, two years old, and eighteen months behind Mitchell. But really, it’s more like eighteen inches behind Mitchell at ALL times. I laugh when people ask me if they’re twins (they really do look like it because they both have glasses!) But they are so, so different. Julia is our wild child. She takes up about 75% of our parenting energy, and that’s counting the newborn! She is a girly girl, and must always have a bow in her hair and a princess in hand. Unlike Mitchell, her daycare teachers don’t express the same sentiment, ha! She keeps us on our toes and always laughing, but that girl is a lot of work! Last, but not least, we welcomed Baby Aubrey about two months ago! (Who belongs exclusively to Julia if you ask her!) It’s a little early to see if she’ll favor Mitchell or Julia, or have a personality all of her own. We catch ourselves still calling her Julia, I think because we waited until she was born to find out a gender and we’re still wrapping our heads around the fact that we have another baby girl! Right now we are soaking up every moment of this newborn phase we can get!
Q: How is the transition going from two to three children? Is it harder or easier than you expected?
A: We have our hearts prayerfully set on a big family, so the jump to three has added to the crazy a little, but we have just accepted a permanent state of living in organized chaos! I forgot how the sleeping and feeding rocks your world for the first month, but now that we’re on a manageable schedule, we’re doing great! At five weeks, Aubrey started sleeping through the night and I immediately felt like a new person! Life certainly hasn’t slowed down for Aubrey… I went in for a full day of work on the day I had her (apparently all those contractions were labor, ha!) and we’ve been crazy busy with visitors and travel ever since! She is a perfect little tag-along to soccer practice, roadtrip rider, and good sport when her big brother and sister want to hold her and play with her! I truly, truly love the close age gaps – 18 months and now 26 months – at least until the day care bill shows up, ha! I’m preparing for the hubby to start a training cycle for the rest of the year, starting next week with three weeks away… during which I return to work. So, we’ll see how much crazier it gets then! I’m sure I’ll be talking about that big transition on the blog!
Q: What do you love about blogging?
A: I started this blog a few months after our son Mitchell (3 years old) was born. My husband was in Afghanistan and wouldn’t come home until several months after his birth. Being on the other side of the world from my husband, and the other side of the country from my family and friends, made me want to share our exciting parenting adventure. I have had the opportunity to connect with other military families I wouldn’t have otherwise, and have “blog met” and eventually actually met some really awesome girls! There’s something that draws me in about another military spouse that I feel I can really relate to! But, most of all, I love that all these memories and pictures are documented for my family and friends. I even catch myself reading old posts – it’s like our family journal and scrapbook all in one!
Q: If you had an entire day to yourself to recharge, where would you spend it?
A: Good question! I don’t even know how I’d start a day to myself. It would definitely consist of sleeping in (until about 7:00 because that’s all I can do anymore, ha!). I’d start with a relaxed trip to the gym with a leisurely swim, an empty house to clean in peace without everything being immediately undone (mom life), and then a undisturbed couple hours to sit on the porch reading my bible. I know myself and by about 3:00 I’d be missing my hubby and little people so much that I’d be ready for them to come home for dinner! So to answer your question, I’d spend it at home, just a quiet, empty home. 🙂
Q: Where should new readers start on your blog?
- Last week (on Mother’s Day!) we were blessed to dedicate Aubrey Jean to our Heavenly Father at our church!
- A few thoughts on the struggles of parenting and how we’re trying to do our best.
- A few ideas on prepping for military homecoming, and a peek at the base housing here at Camp Lejeune!
And just for fun…
Spring or fall? Spring!
Sun dress or shorts and a tank? Dress
Early bird or night owl? DEFINITELY early bird! I’m normally up at 04:00 on weekdays to get things ready before the circus wakes up and I’m off to work! Which means I’m falling asleep to the tune of an 8:00 bedtime.
Cookies or ice cream? Half-baked, gooey cookies. Or Half-baked Ben & Jerry’s. 🙂
In case you’re new to Whimsical September…
Hi! I’m Erica! I created the Saturday Sit-Down series in January 2017 as a way to give back to the blogging community and link readers with new bloggers whom they may share similar interests with. Click here to discover more bloggers that have been featured in the Saturday Sit-Down.
Want to be featured in this series?
I have openings starting in late 2017 and would love to feature you! Email me at WHIMSICALSEPTEMBER@YAHOO.COM to get in touch.