Maternity Session with Chloe

We are at the tail-end of this pregnancy journey with our rainbow baby! Despite some sleepless nights, heartburn, slow-walking and no beer — this has been a great ride. Now the anticipation of meeting our little boy is the highest it’s every been. Come on out when you’re ready!

To capture our excitement, we asked our wedding photographer Chloe Ramirez of Chloe Photography to shoot a maternity session for us. Pregnant herself, due just a month after me with a baby girl, she was completely understanding of my slow pace.

It meant a lot to us to have Chloe come back into our lives again to shoot this next chapter. We will cherish these photos forever and grace our baby’s room with a few special shots.

Click here to view Chloe’s blog post on our session!

Operation Nursery Begins

Part of the fun of gaining a new family member is being able to make room for them in a home. For this baby, we knew it would be an undertaking to re-do an entire room in our little old house. But a great excuse nonetheless!

Before finding out the sex, we knew that neutral colors were the best choice considering strictly blue for a boy and strictly pink for a girl seemed like an outdated decorating scheme. Once we found out we were having a boy, the only thing that the gender dictated was a few small touches and the name we would emlazon above the crib. Here are some “cut-outs” of our decoration inspiration:

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But before we could even think about decorating the nursery, we had some major overhauling to do in this outdated bedroom. Orange-y tan walls and carpet with an unknown age (shudder) needed to go. Here’s Ryan looking around at one of the biggest “honey-do” projects he would even undertake. Also, those closets behind him were full of junk. Two people can accumulate too much junk!

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The walls are painted a “Oatlands Subtle Taupe” by Behr, with room for white wainscoting.IMG_2969

Removing every bit of carpet, including pesky staples…IMG_2968

Prepping for laminate wood flooring…IMG_2967IMG_2966

The finished floor!

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It’s a great way to pass the time during pregnancy, but it can be a tiring endeavor. Thank goodness for Lowe’s, nesting energy and Shop Vac’s.

Kenneth H. Will

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Kenneth H. Will was born and raised in Cleveland, served in the US Army during World War II in Europe, and returned home a decorated veteran.  He was the father of five, grandfather of 13, great-grandfather of 19.

But of the legacy he left, my favorite part was the impact he made on Ryan’s life. Ryan has had a lot of great figures he’s looked up to over the years from the church, the Army, his own father and brothers–but Grandpa was a special connection for him that he carried with him through childhood up through adulthood.

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I tried to make it a point to call Grandpa every other week or so to check on him and catch up as long as he could manage. No matter how weak in health he was getting due to the cancer, the man remembered the name of every single person in the family. And without fail, he would beam with pride about Ryan’s Army service.

Perhaps it was the shared appreciation for being a gunner during war, being with buddies outside the wire, and honoring their fallen brothers.  These days, we can all be so lucky to have past generations share memories with us as we become adults.

In 2011, soon after we got married, Ryan started expressing to me how much his grandfather meant to him. After just losing my own grandmother that year, we decided to fly to Cleveland to see him and the rest of the Will family in the area. It had been my first time seeing all of them and Ryan’s first time since he was a teenager. We then visited the following year after finding out Grandpa was diagnosed with cancer, and again (PTL) for his 90th birthday that summer. That was the last time we saw him, but it was when he was in good spirits, surrounded by his whole family. We couldn’t have asked for a better goodbye. I was told that Gramp thought about every single one of us in his dreams and we would like to think he thought of us when he passed in his sleep.

The whole family made it to Cleveland again last month to pay final respects to the patriarch who brought us all together. The wild and diverse dynamic of the family is precisely what has made it strong, and it was a blessing to not only see this again, but to know that I’m part of it as well.

Military honors for a true hero. We will miss you grandpa!

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Bronze star

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WE WON THE ‘SHIP!

The Beard and I grew up as Seattle Seahawk fans. While my heart really leans towards the Mariners, it wasn’t hard to share that love for all Seattle sports. There’s something about the youth of our teams, the presence it has in our small city, yet large state that really gets people excited. It’s also a reason for thousands of others across the nation to hate us.

Here are 12 reasons to make love, not war, with the Seattle Seahawks and the city they hail from:

1. This whole country gets crap weather all the damn time. Except for here. You complain about the rain? It actually rains less here than it does in some parts of the east coast and Arizona. It’s delightful here even when it’s a bit gray.

2. Our QB loves Jesus.

3. We shut up the media. QUICK.

4. Our guys are the babies! Third youngest team to win the Super Bowl.

6. Skittles.

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7. You love to hate Golden Tate!

8. Navy and lime green is the best color combo in the NFL. Admit it.

9. Pete Carroll is the second oldest coach in the NFL, but you’d never know it.

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10. Our guys know how to play in any kind of weather.

11. Best instagrams in the NFL

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12. And finally, after personally being in DC for Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, it still didn’t even hold a candle to the Seahawks Victory parade.

Here’s a photo of the Beard and I at the Celebrate 48 parade:

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First things first…

Aloha!

Welcome to our blog. Mainly written by me, Melissa. Occasionally, I’ll get my husband Ryan to submit a few things, but as a man of few words, you’ll most likely get a smart remark of funny unrelated YouTube video that will say so much about him and us as people.

A majority of you reading this already know us fairly well. For those of you who don’t , here’s a bit of who we are in a nutshell:

Ryan and I went to high school together, but were not high school sweethearts. In fact, we barely knew each other until fate stepped in my first year in college and his first year in the Army. We got in touch and maintained a long-distance relationship (with ALL the ups and downs) over the course of four years.  After his deployment to Iraq and my last year at school, he safely came home to propose. We’re approaching three years of marriage and it’s been quite the worthy ride.

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My college graduation and his homecoming (R&R) in 2010

Fast forward a few years and he’s out of the Army and making college look easy, I’ve taken a new job and preparing for graduate school, we adopted a hound named Elvis, and bought our very first house.

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The first key to our very first home in Puyallup
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Life is so hard…

This all sounds all fine and dandy, but we’ve dealt with our fair share of rollercoaster rides. With life, comes loss and I’ve learned the best way to make it through is faith and honesty. Because of some of the amazing people in our lives, we’ve learned to be open about our falls in order to be strong in our rises.

This blog probably what you’ll fine in most “hey, it’s us!” blogs. But we’re not here to stand out, we’re just here to tell our story and update our loved ones. Here’s some of what you can expect:

Cooking and baking adventures. I have NEVER been a chef, but I have gained a new love of cuisine after having to feed more than just myself. Otherwise, it would just be brie and gummie bears in my house. Turns out men (and nephews) need solid sustenance.

Travel. We love to travel and feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to do so.  Maui is our favorite place/second home.

Home improvement. We love our little rambler, but there are little touches we have made and will continue to make changes to make it our own.

Crafts.  Or just a lot of Pinterest fails?

Non-profit work.  My hope is to go to graduate school for a Masters in Public Administration to continue my work in non-profits. My main focus (with the incredible support of Ryan) is the military community.  I have done work for the USO, Fisher House, Wounded Warrior Project and many other organizations that focus on servicemen, servicewomen and family members.  After being part of this community ourselves, Ryan and I have a soft spot in our hearts for our people 🙂 I can’t wait to launch our newest project with the help of our supporters and some REALLY hard work.

Thanks for reading!

❤ MW

“Life is but a dream, sweetheart”