Tuesday, July 21, 2009

618.2 -- Half Way Point

Tuesday, July 21st marked the half-way point in this pregnancy. We are 20 weeks along with 20 weeks to go. Our big exciting ultrasound is this Friday. If we are going to find out the sex of the baby, it will be then. We're still hoping to be surprised at the birth, but as friends and relatives keep pointing out, sometimes it's just obvious.

I'm looking at this picture thinking, "Good heavens! Am I really that big?" Most days I don't feel like it. I do enjoy prodding my belly to marvel at how hard it's gotten. It annoys me when people touch the belly without asking, but I can absolutely see myself being that first-time mom who is like, "Here, feel this! Isn't it cool?!"

Because, you know... it is pretty cool.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

771 -- Photos!

More pictures from our trip to Camp Atterbury!

Click each picture to make it a little bigger. Matt's parents got to go on this family day, too, so there are some great shots of them below. It was such a fun day! I think active duty companies should do this too... it's a great family building exercise. And the range was nothing like I envisioned it would be. My only regret was that it came so near the end of our military life!

Getting ready for the range meant suiting up in kevlar vest and helmet and wearing foam earplugs. Protective eyewear was also provided, but Matt conveniently forgot about that so we didn't have to wear it!

I got to shoot first. The targets seemed really far away, but using the laser sight was SO easy!

Terrie went next... she made it through her clip in about half the time it took me! (I would never make it in close combat. Maybe I was a sniper in another life :)

Dan was last to shoot. Everyone did really well hitting the targets, which I attribute to Matt's excellent zeroing prowess. (And our killer instincts ;)

Matt arranged for several humvees to be available. We got to see the tracking system they use (like a glorified GPS) and the supercool Long Range Scout Surveillance System. This is me waiting in line to check out the LRAS. (This is also the first picture of the bump!)

Terrie was amazed at the view through the LRAS!

We ended the day with a mini-tour of the .50 cal range. A group of soldiers was qualifying on a machine gun, and we got to watch. The coolest part was watching the red tracers disappear into the distance. Man you would not believe the range on those guns!

We also got to check out the simulation trainer, which is just like an arcade game where you shoot at bad guys. But instead of simulating people enemies, they used turkeys. (I think this was because we had a lot of kids there, and they didn't want the kids to shoot at people, even if they were simulated.) I didn't get many good pics of the simulation part, because it was inside and dark. Very cool to see what the guys do when they are away. I have learned more about the workings of the Army during Matt's two years in the Guard than I did during his 4+ years on active duty!

Monday, July 13, 2009

355.370973 -- Camp Atterbury Family Day

Matt's National Guard Troop meets once a month to train for upcoming deployments or just to keep their skills sharp. This past weekend they spent at Camp Atterbury, a training facility for National Guard soldiers from across the country. The only difference was that this time, their families got to go with them!

I don't have all the pictures back yet, so I will have to post more later, but the day was a blast! We got to fire M4s, crawl around on some Hum-vees decked out with lots of cool toys, visit a simulation trainer, and watch as a couple of soldiers fired rounds from a 50-cal mounted machine gun! The coolest part was definitely getting to fire the M4, but I enjoyed the whole day.

This is one pic of me firing the M4 on the actual range that the guys use when they have to qualify on their weapons. I hit all the targets! Instead of the targets popping up and down randomly, the control tower just kept them all up. So it was a lot easier than the guys usually have it, but for my first time ever firing a weapon, I think I did pretty well! There will be more pictures and another post later! So exciting!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

917.5 -- Myrtle Beach recap (finally!)

Matt and I returned over a week ago from our week of sun, sand, and surf in Myrtle Beach. Everything was wonderful, and the weather cooperated nicely. We spent one day in Charleston, getting our history fix at Ft. Sumter and several WW2-era navy vessels. The rest of the time we spent in our room, around the pool or on the beach. In fact, except for our Charleston day, we spent over 4 hours on the beach every day!

The view from our hotel room was great! We spent lots of time on our balcony reading or just relaxing.

This is a picture of Ft. Sumter from the ferry. It was really cool, but we didn't feel like we had enough time. Since you come and go by ferry, there is a limited amount of time for wandering.

Where the Ft. Sumter ferry docks there are also some historic naval vessels that you can go aboard and explore. We saw the carrier and the submarine. Matt's grandfather was on a carrier just like this in WWII, which made it all the more interesting to see what naval life was like at that time.

On the way home, we stopped in nearby Wilmington, NC to visit with Karen and Clay -- two friends from our Fort Drum days. And of course, at the end of the exhausting car trip, we enjoyed seeing Cincinnati from one of our favorite views.