Adventures in NOLA

When we first received our orders for Ft. Rucker and Ryan was picked up for flight school we added New Orleans to our “Duty Station Bucket List”. Our time here is running out quicker than we expected and time has definitely gotten away from us, so we had to fit in a quick weekend trip over Columbus Day weekend.

Our latest camping adventure in “Roo” we checked off Mississippi and Louisiana. We stopped in MS to check out a giant oak tree across from the beach that has survived many hurricanes (including Cat 5s!) and has been there for 500 years! Friendship Oak was pretty and the kids appreciated the break up from the drive and the ability to get some of those never-ending toddler wiggles out.

I was thrilled to finally stay right on the water (which I’ve been determined to do since we bought our camper back in March) and we were very impressed with the campground. Convenience store on-site, house boats and its own restaurant (they served delicious smoked meat and jambalaya. (Pontchartrain Landing)

Downtown NOLA was a city in its very own league with so much character. Dogs are everywhere and even welcomed in the restaurants and bars, and the people were eclectic but fun. It’s a tough and resilient crowd and a blend of so many cultures. We took the kids on a carriage ride with a mule and toured the oldest above ground graveyard in America.

Finally, we were able to spend a few hours at the National WW2 Museum, which did not even do it justice. I highly recommend allowing yourself a few days to spend there if you’re a history nerd like Ryan and I are.

We’d definitely love to go back someday and possibly see Ryan’s mama’s Saints play in the Super Dome!

Check out some of our pics below:

Home is where you park it!

Exciting news!!!! So, we did it and finally purchased our very own travel camper! We’ve been wanting one since we were married and frequently kick ourselves for not investing in one when we were running OCR’s monthly. Once we spent ENTIRELY TOO MUCH money on yet another hotel + boarding Yawkey for 3 nights  we’d had enough. We finally decided to put that money into an investment rather than hotels that aren’t worth it anyway.

We were able to break it in in and take it “out” last weekend for our first test run and already are in love. We can take Yawkey with us, the kids have their own books and toys handy and we still have our home away from home. We had the dealership throw in a lot of extras so we had to pay for less out of pocket and we purchased a lot of things for cheap through Big Lots and the dollar store to keep it simple.  I’ll post more later about some of our tricks/organization hacks that we’re following.

Being military we are blessed enough to be able to stay on any military installation for around $20 a night (give or take depending on the installation). This will definitely be easier and more fun for traveling…not to mention PCS time!

Here are a few pictures of our first adventure staying Engineer Beach on Ft Rucker, AL! MANY more to come over the years.

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Beginning of an era…SAHM!

We all have visions of what our future will hold (or at least what we dream that it will hold).  Mine always included the following:

1) Marrying a soldier and traveling the world (CHECK!)

2) Having boy/girl twins (CHECK!)

3) Being a stay at home mom (CHECK!!!)

4) Becoming one of the following eventually: A famous actress, a nurse or a counselor.  I still have the time and the ability to achieve one of those dreams when the kids are older, but I’m not worried about it. LoL  Who knows what the future will hold!

I’ve been so blessed that I was able to work and provide a second income for our family while being able to stay home with the kids.  However, it’s always been the end goal to be able to just stay at home and give them the time and attention that they so deserve!  We’d like to homeschool them, for how long we’re not sure yet, but I’m excited that i’ll have the time to do so!  Children grow up WAAAAAY too fast and I don’t want to miss a thing with them.  I’m so blessed that I have a husband who fully supports my desires and who works so diligently to provide for our family.

Not a day goes by that I’m not extremely grateful for this life that I’ve been given.  There was a time that I didn’t know if I’d ever meet the man of my dreams and have a family of my own.  There were many months that we wondered if we’d ever get to have children of our own.  If I don’t have to, then I don’t want to miss or waste a single moment or milestone!

“Not a day goes by that I’m not extremely grateful for this life that I’ve been given.”

Don’t get me wrong, this will be a huge adjustment for Team Grim, but we’re up to the challenge.  We’re working on paying off our debts (just car loans) and cutting back on our monthly bills, but we have a good feeling about where we stand.  I’m already feeling so refreshed and the kids don’t even have a clue what’s coming for them!

Stay tuned for even more adventures and “Tales” with Team Grim!



Flight School Family Day!

~ Family Day at the Flight Line! ~


On the 16th of March, Ryan’s flight school class had their long-awaited family day.  Ryan’s Mom came up from Florida for the weekend and we all got to take a ride out to go watch Daddy fly “wop wops” (helicopters)!  It was his 7th week of flight school (5th actually flying) and we’ve been so anxious to see him in action in person… Talk about surreal!!

Once we followed the caravan out to airfield, we kept looking all around for his tail number that he gave us since he was one of the last helicopters to make it over to the stage field, and Grams and I both started crying once we finally spotted him coming in for his landing!  We got to see them hover, complete a few different landings, as well as completing their traffic patterns.  We are so proud of our pilot-in-training and all that is to come on this adventure!  All of the long nights, studies, check rides and tests will be worth it when he gets to have the coolest job in the military when he graduates!

SLIDESHOW:  Here are a few of our pictures/videos from the day.  We hope you enjoy!

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Fall Fun 2016 – First Pumpkin Patch

On October 15th, we took our first family outing to the local Pumpkin Patch at Madrac Farms.  We got dressed up in fall clothes and pretended that it wasn’t crazy muggy outside.  The South doesn’t exactly get a “Fall” or Autumn, but we were determined to have fun anyway.  We carried the babies around with us, got a couple of cute photo opportunities and even picked out some pumpkins to carve/write their names on.  Of course, we were stopped a lot by just about everyone telling us how adorable our babies are, but we never get tired of hearing that!  It’s definitely a neat thing about being twin parents and you always seem to run into EVERYONE else who happens to be twin parents.

The babies had a blast because they love being outside and there were so many new sights, sounds, and smells to take in.  Overall, it was a super fun afternoon and we were so excited to finally have our own little family to go on little adventures!  After praying for so long and wondering if we’d ever get these simple family adventures these moments are even more special to us!  We have so much to be thankful for as we head into Fall/Winter and the Holiday season. 🙂

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Grim Twins ~ 31 Weeks

How far along? 31 Weeks Pregnant
Total weight gain: 33.9 lbs.
Stretch marks? I’ve started to develop a few little ones on my belly.
Symptoms: LOTS of Heartburn.  Contractions are getting stronger, but no more frequent.  Morning nausea and a little bit of dizziness.  Swelling has been constant now…and no more rings or jewelry.
Sleep: I wake up/roll around a LOT and get up to use the bathroom a lot.  The pregnancy pillow helps, but there’s only so much it can do lol. The usual: About 6-7 hours a night and I try to squeeze in a nap when I can.
Best moment this week: 1) Maternity Pictures!!!!  On Monday we got to take our maternity pictures and got some great pictures!  We had a lot of fun with them and are excited that we were able to get these done before potential bed rest. 2) Final “weekend trip” down in Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida for a marriage retreat with Ryan’s unit.  We got some MUCH needed time in the pool and it was so great to be able to get in the water to take the weight off and cool off.  It’s always great to have a weekend to refresh with your spouse too!
Worst moment this week: Nothing…it was a pretty good week 🙂
Miss Anything?  I still LOVE being pregnant and am so thankful that I get this amazing opportunity.
Movement:  LOTS!!!  Their movements are about the same, but definitely feel more exaggerated with their lack of room and increase in size.
Food cravings/aversions:  GETTING HUNGRY A LOT!!!!  Lobster, fried clams like CRAZY, fries, steamers from home in Maine. 😦  And sammiches again 🙂
Symptoms:  Feeling great but getting really sore off and on.  A little bit of back pain and quite a bit of stretching sensations and soreness.  Starting to stay swollen.
Anything making you queasy or sick:  The usual: Mornings as well as Cigarette smoke and cologne/perfumes.
Labor Signs:  Contractions are coming off and on but nothing new or steady so hopefully they stay that way.  My body can get ready all it wants as long as they stay put for now!
Wedding rings on or off? They’ve had to come off for good (during the pregnancy at least).
Happy or Moody most of the time: Mostly happy still:)  I am getting more emotional and cry really easily (over sad and happy things.  Hoping they stay safe and “baking” for a bit longer, but we’re getting more and more anxious/excited to hold them!
Looking forward to:  Our next ultrasound.  We start seeing MFM every Tuesday until the birth starting next week!  That means we get to see our sweet babies every single week until they’re born!  We have to get the car seats installed and get Daddy his new truck before the babies get here.  Then we just need to put the finishing touches on everything! 🙂 🙂

Boys, Girls, or Both?!?!

This week (17 Weeks 3 Days) we had a special “fun” ultrasound gender scan with our doctor.  Daddy was supposed to deploy this Spring with his unit so our doctor told us he’d do a special scan just so that we could find out the sexes before he left. (Did I mention we ADORE our doc??)  I haven’t been this anxious since waiting for our first ultrasound to see if we were having twins and praying like crazy that they were both still “sticking” around!  Still NOTHING like waiting for the Beta test!!!!  It was pretty exciting though knowing that it couldn’t end in bad news. 🙂  Once you’ve struggled with infertility you can’t help but get nervous before appointments and ultrasounds, but now that I have my trusty heart rate monitor and I’m starting to feel the babies throughout the day my worry has GREATLY decreased.

We arrived at the doctor’s office shortly before my 3:30 appt and the office was slammed!  The sonographer is only there 1 day a week and they were closed the week of St. Patrick’s Day (love that it’s a holiday).   We had to wait until almost 4 for the ultrasound and our nerves were killing us by the time we got called back! Haha  Apparently the don’t know that I am the LEAST patient person on the planet and infertility only made it worse not better.  After going through the routine and getting everything set up, our sonographer asked if we wanted the sexes listed in an envelope or if we wanted to know.  We both were like “HECK NO!  The patience is gone!”  Haha  It’s a good thing too, because our sweet “Baby A”, let us know about two seconds after she put the wand on my belly.  No shyness whatsoever (takes after Daddy already)!  Haha  “Baby B” had to make things  a bit more interesting (must take after Mommy) and was being a little shy and stubborn.  Baby was hiding behind my belly button and I had to roll over to my side twice before we could get the right look.  Definitely made for a fun story for later though!!  Also, both babies are still looking great and their heartbeats were both at 156…nice and strong! 🙂  Doc ran the “quad screen” bloodwork to make sure that we’re not at risk for Down’s, etc.  We already know that we don’t have to worry about any genetic diseases because we were tested prior to beginning our fertility procedures.

Since our families are so spread out (Maine/NY/NC/Florida) we couldn’t do a gender reveal party and have everyone there, so we decided to skype the grandparents, call everyone else (aunts/uncles/great grandparents) and then post a video to social media.  Minus the fact that it took us WAY longer to accomplish this than expected, it worked out great!  Our pictures are below.

We were so very excited to find out that Baby A: is a BOY!!!!  And Baby B: is a GIRL!!!!  We are being blessed with one of each!! 🙂  We couldn’t be more thrilled and it makes it that much more real and exciting to know the genders and put names to our sweet babies. 🙂  We picked out names 4 years ago when we were still engaged and Ryan was downrange on his first 12 month deployment.  We went through a book called “1001 Questions to ask before you get married” (which I HIGHLY recommend to dating/engaged couples), and in the section discussing kids we got on the topic and fell in LOVE with these names.  It’s still a little strange to be sharing our secret with the world.  The names have come to mean SO very much more to us after our journey with infertility though and have truly learned to lean on God’s understanding and not on our own.

  • Our “Baby A”: is Logan Connor Grim. It’s a Scottish/Irish name meaning wise. We chose Proverbs 3:5-6 for his verse, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make straight your paths.”
  • Our “Baby B”: is Emma Riley Grim. Her name is English & Irish and it means whole and courageous. We chose Psalm 27:14 for her verse, “Wait on the Lord: Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”

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Grim Twins – Weeks 15 & 16

How far along? 15-16 Weeks Pregnant
Gender Predictions:  Mommy: Boy/Girl; Daddy: Boy/Girl
Total weight gain: 1.7 lbs…still the same.  Doc said he’s more concerned about the babies growing properly than my weight gain, so I guess I can stress a little less about it.
Maternity clothes? Yep!! 🙂  And loving them
Stretch marks? A few small ones
Sleep: Feeling MUCH better with WAAY more energy. Even had a few late nights this past week down in Florida for our anniversary and I didn’t die. 🙂  The usual: Just got my new pregnancy pillow this week (the end of week 16) and it’s already making a HUGE difference!
Best moment this week: Week 15: Daddy had a big week at work getting ready to do some things to further his career and provide an even better future for our family.  We’re so proud of him!  Week 16: We celebrated our 3 Year Anniversary!!! (#3Up3Down) and traveled down to Florida to celebrate New England style down here.  We got to see the Bruins beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in OT!!!  Then we spent the day on the beach and exploring Fort Myers with dinner at PF Changs.  Finally, we got to go ON FIELD during batting practice in a VIP tour of Fenway!  It was amazing!!!  Then we watched 9 innings of Red Sox baseball right behind home plate!  Best of all, Mommy felt the babies move during Big Papi/David Ortiz’s first at bat and felt them kick for the first time at dinner that night at Cheesecake Factory!  It was such a wonderful week!
Miss Anything?  SANDWICHES still.  
Movement:  Felt the babies move for the very first time when Big Papi/David Ortiz was up at bat during Spring Training!  May 10th (the day after our 3 year anniversary)!! Red Sox babies already 🙂  Love our little New Englandahs 🙂  Later that night at dinner I felt my first kick!  It was amazing and I started crying right in the middle of Cheesecake Factory and scared Daddy!  I love it and can’t wait until Daddy can share in the experience 🙂
Food cravings/aversions:  Craving french fries (potato anything) and fried pickles still.  And still craving those sammiches that I can’t have. LoL  NO real aversions.
Symptoms:  Feeling great but getting really sore off and on.  The babies are growing for sure~
Anything making you queasy or sick:  The usual: Cigarette smoke and strong cologne/perfumes.  Luckily down in FLorida we were around a LOT of New Englandahs and Northerners so we didn’t have to deal with it too much.
Labor Signs:  NO!  Praying we make it to at least 37 weeks with these two 🙂
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Mostly happy…except for traffic in Savannah lol After so many months on and off the fertility drugs, my body is like “What?  Pregnancy?  Piece of cake these hormones!”
Looking forward to:  FINDING OUT THE GENDERS!!!  We find out between weeks 17-18 (February 23) and we can’t wait!!!!  Ready to get some shopping done.

Grim Twins – Weeks 9 & 10

How far along? 9-10 Weeks Pregnant
Total weight gain: 0 so far…but I gained a lot before I got pregnant due to fertility treatments/not being able to work out, so my doc isn’t concerned.
Maternity clothes? Starting to need them a bit more 🙂
Stretch marks? Not yet…but it’s early yet!
Sleep: EXHAUSTED is not the word for it still. The usual: I try to get 7-8 hours at night, but then I still typically have to take at least a cat nap during the day a few days a week.
Best moment this week: Noticing how big my belly is starting to feel.  You still can’t really see it, but Ryan and I can definitely feel a difference.  We’re getting there!  I can’t wait for everyone else to start noticing it.  Every week mark that we hit is exciting and makes us feel a little safer. 🙂
Miss Anything?  SANDWICHES still. LOL   
Movement:  Not for a few more weeks still…  
Food cravings/aversions:  A LOT of aversions the last few weeks…not much sounds good, but then i’ll get ridiculously hungry.  I’ve had a few sweets cravings including cereal (which I haven’t eaten since before Junior High!  And I randomly started craving McDonald’s (which is not healthy and haven’t had it in over a year!)
Symptoms:  Still pretty nauseous on and off (sometimes in the morning and sometimes at night).  Mostly just VERY sore and cramping off and on.  I already have to be careful to not get up too fast or make any sudden moves.  Occasional sharp pains here and there, but I was reassured that it’s all normal…especially with multiples.  We have to do twice as much growing, so it starts a lot earlier.
Anything making you queasy or sick:  The usual: Cigarette smoke and strong cologne/perfumes.
Labor Signs:  NO!  Praying we make it to at least 37 weeks with these two 🙂
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Mostly happy…except for traffic in Savannah lol After so many months on and off the fertility drugs, my body is like “What?  Pregnancy?  Piece of cake these hormones!”
Looking forward to:  All of it!!!  Not trying to wish anything away, but definitely ready to be out of the first trimester so I can relax a little more.  I can’t wait to feel the babies moving and to share in everything with Ryan!  I can’t wait for other people besides us two to notice that i’m pregnant too 🙂  Anxious for the next ultrasound (February 5th).  And soooo ready to start shopping for the babies and setting up the nursery.

God is in the Fire

Once again, we had an amazing church service this morning at Latechurch where I felt like God was speaking directly to us.  After a very rough morning and news of what feels like our millionth failed month and first failed round of fertility treatments, I desperately needed some time with God to get my mind right.  I wanted to share some of the key points from today to remember later and in case anyone else needed this as badly as we did.

“So many times in our lives we say we want to feel God.  But we don’t want to feel pain.”

Wow!  That one hit home.  How many times do we pray to God for things and tell Him we want to be more like Him and to draw closer to Him, but then we don’t want any of the growing pains?  I know I am definitely guilty.  We pray, but we only want God’s answer to go one way: our way.  We doubt God.  We get angry when we suffer especially when it seems some people have it so easy.

God doesn’t always deliver you from the fire…at least not in the way you expect.”

It’s so very hard when you’re going through something so painful or trying in your life to not wonder “Why?”.  Why is God allowing this to happen?  It’s hard to not blame God or be angry at Him when you see so many people abuse or take for granted their ability to have children when you would give anything for that blessing at least once.  However, when we’re asking all of these “Why’s”, we should really be asking “Where?”.  When Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the furnace they knew that God was with them.  Either He would deliver them or they’d be in Heaven with Him…no matter the outcome they were ready for what God would have for them.  It’s in the fire that God reveals Himself to us the most. My mom has always said that it’s okay to pray and beg God for what we want.  He never tires from hearing from His children and He encourages it!  But we have to be willing to accept whatever answer He gives us.  That’s the hard part.  There is nothing that I desire more than to be a mommy.  I want a baby that is part me and part my beloved husband.  I want to experience all of the joys and even the pain that comes with carrying a life inside me and giving birth.  I want to raise children and share all of our adventures with them as we watch them grow and experience the world around them.  The idea that we may never get our dream of having our own children or worse…none at all is gut wrenching.  How do you get to the point where you can accept that?  When we say “Your will be done”, do we really mean it?

Fire Does Two Things:

  1. It destroys or consumes.
  2. It refines

My prayer is that God teaches us the lesson that He wants us to learn from this battle with infertility.  We were never promised that this life would be easy; in fact, we were promised the exact opposite.  I know that God is in the fire with us and will never leave us…not once.  I know that the rejoicing will be 1 million times more amazing and special to us after we’ve gone through the hardest trial of our lives to get there.  There has not been a single day of my marriage with Ryan that I have not thanked God for creating him and bringing Him into my life after so many years of prayers and loneliness.  I have not once taken him for granted.  I know that it will be the same way with our children if it be His will to give us our dream.  As difficult as it is, I’m going to stop praying for the fire to end and start praying for the fire to refine me.

“BELOVED, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed.”  1 Peter 4:12-13