Looking At The World Differently

8 Months And 14 Days

“Have faith in your journey. Everything had to happen exactly as it did to get you where you’re going next!” – Mandy Hale

In a few weeks it’ll be a year since Raeghan and I have returned from Italy. It was not the initial plan, but it’s humorous how life changes paths when we least expect it, despite our efforts to plan. With our return brought on many challenges that are, very much so, still current, but even greater joys! One of those specific joys is that we are home surrounded by our village of family and friends, reunited (and it feels so good!). This village was what I missed the most while living overseas, but no matter the distance the love still remained. So much has changed within this year, and continues to change, but all for Raeghan and I’s future endeavors, with that brings me finishing school..

When I left for Italy I had all intentions of transferring to another university to finish my last year of my degree, only to be repeatedly disappointed with the majority of my credits not transferring. And quite frankly, I didn’t go into student debt to start over, therefore that wasn’t an option. When I started school, I knew that in the end I would be the first child of my parents to get a bachelor’s degree, which was motivating to say the least. So when I had to reroute my life to plan B and C, (let’s be real, the rest of the alphabet to), it hurt but knowing me, I wasn’t giving up that easy, but it brought on tough decisions. The decision to move back to North Carolina to finish my degree was controversial within my life.. Majority approved but there were those whom thought I was being selfish. While selfish is a strong word in this sense, after much thought, that is exactly what I was. I wanted the rest of my education. The education I had thus far worked hard for and knew that the end was within reach. I wanted my education because I have a little girl who I want to be able to give the world to. I wanted my education because no one can take your education from you. So I flipped the page and started a new chapter.

“You’ve got a new story to write and it looks nothing like your past!”

8 months and 14 days will be the length of this next chapter in my life. 8 months and 14 days from the day I start my final year of my bachelors, to the day I cross the stage with my Bachelors of Science in Health Care Administration. Being scared is an understatement. The little room I had for error is gone, therefore I have to trust the process and pray that God carries me through these next 8.5 months. This time in my life will be by far one of the hardest things I will go through thus far; between commuting 1.5 hrs both ways to school, raising a daughter, and maintaining my sanity, the odds are against me but I refuse to be another statistic.

2017 has not been what I thought it was going to be, and that’s okay because what it has brought, and continues to bring, is growth. Despite the anxiety, fear, and insecurity in my life currently, I know that God has a plan for us and our life, and it’s greater than the eye can see. I am learning the patience to trust the process and have faith that whatever God has in store will work out as it was supposed to. He is working within my life to prepare me for something greater, and that is enough to be thankful for. Although my trust is slim, my expectations are high, and my faith is the size of a mustard seed, I am making myself vulnerable because God said “do not be afraid”. So cheers to my faith being bigger than my fear, to the next 8 and a half months, and my sanity!

With love,



Super Clichè

Well, in less than an hour over here in Italy it’ll be 2016.. In about 6 hours it’ll be 2016 on the east coast.. 

What do I want in 2016? Happiness. How original does that sound? I want to be able to fully love myself.  I am blessed. I’m thankful to be alive and to have this beautiful daughter God placed in my life, but I’m not as happy as I would like to be.. 

It’s New Years Eve and instead of being out and enjoying the excitement and commotion, I’m in bed listening to Raeghan’s musical aquarium and just thinking back on this year… (Not really my choice but oh well).. Oh what a year. What a crazy, strength testing year. Most days it was always easier to give up but I made it.

So what will 2016 bring? Who knows. Hopefully everything my heart desires. I hope Raeghan gets the best 9 more months of her first year of life. I’m not one to make a bucket list or goals for the year. I just kinda think about things. I don’t want to disappoint people or have it thrown in my face that I didn’t accomplish something I talked soo much about. Unfortunately you’d think people wouldn’t do that but they do and it hurts, especially if it’s someone you expect better from. Regardless if my thoughts in my head don’t get fulfilled, I’m gonna give Raeghan my best and hope that 2016 is everything my little bundle of sassy couldn’t ever image being able to do! 

But, the quote below perfectly explains my life. 💕


Hazel Eye’d Piece of Heaven

Fall of 2014 Alex and I took up marriage counseling because we needed to learn a few things about each other. Marriage counseling is a beautiful thing, through the laughs and the sorrow, you learn an incredible amount about your spouse. Well during this time in our newly fresh marriage, one thing that came to reality quickly and made my heart very vulnerable, was that Alex didn’t grow up with siblings like I, therefore we lived life differently. I had such a warmed family heart whereas Alex was a little selfish and singly minded. Not saying that in a rude manner, just honest. One thing was brought up was the thought of one day having children. In that moment, during that conversation, a grenade exploded in my heart.. Shattering every part of my being, to hear the person I love so much tell me he “never” wants children. For days, if I wasn’t at class.. I laid in bed and cried. I asked God if this was his plan.. For me to not bear children.. To experience the purest of love, hand picked from heaven.. I was bitter and holding this grudge. I was scared that maybe Alex wasn’t the person I was supposed to be with.. That maybe I had made a mistake. I didn’t know what to think.. Much less say. The counselor told me to accept it.. And that maybe in this moment children scared him and there may be one day he changes his mind. I prayed and prayed for a baby. That one day God would bless me and keep me humbled and vulnerable to the greatest gift. I remember Alex asking me what I wanted for christmas.. And with a shattered and bombed heart, I would faintly whisper “..a baby..”. That answer always came with an attitude filled response. I was scared. Finally.. Alex and I talked. He opened up saying that he was always a single sibling, although he had 4 step brothers, his father only every had 1 child. He mentioned that he didn’t know what it was like to be a father and that if there was ever a prodigy, that he would want better than what he had.

Some time had passed, the holidays were gone, and the new year was in full effect. I was in my last semester before we were to move half way across the world for a few years for the need of the Army. One of the tasks that was needed to be done before PCS-ing (military lingo for moving) was that I needed to get a physical and make sure all my healthcare needs could be taken care of overseas. Well, since October (around the time we started counseling) I had stopped getting my menstrual cycle. The doctor said to let 4 months of irregularity go by before testing for issues. February rolled around and it was time for a physical and thyroid testing. Of course the famous questions of “when was your last menstrual cycle” and “do you think you’re pregnant” were asked. Of course I didn’t think twice about it and I said “I don’t know, probably not”. They asked if they could run some labs. The next day I was using the bathroom when I received a phone call. First they told me about my thyroid labs and how they wanted to change my prescription. Second they said my pregnancy test came back… And… It was positive. In that moment, I was shocked. An overwhelming amount of happiness crossed my body.. Well until I got off the phone. I was scared. Scared that Alex would be mad. He would be mad at me. I wasn’t really sure what to think. Before I told him I was getting ready to head to work and he was off to the gym. As soon as I told him he said “I’m heading to the gym to think about things..”. That wasn’t the response I wanted but I was too happy to care.

After the news finally started to sink in, it was like night and day with Alex. He was excited and would hint the slightest burst of excitement.. But with the excitement came freight. We just found out we were pregnant and moving half way across the world. We slowly began telling family and friends. It slowly because surreal. I started wearing hoodies to class so no one had to see me in that awkward “I’m pregnant but look like a lard” phase. When I found out I was pregnant they said I was 14 weeks pregnant, based on my last menstrual cycle. Well, that was wrong. I was a few hours away from going to work when I started bleeding, heavily. Mind you Alex was 30 miles away in the field for another week, home for a few days and then back in the field for a few weeks. I called Alex immediately. Him and the chaplain came to the hospital to be with me. I was devastated. I questioned God about why this would happen.. Why, when I prayed so hard. Was this to humble me? Tell me it wasn’t the right timing? To learn a lesson? I walked into Womack Army Medical Hospital exposed, vulnerable, scared and in silent tears. I didn’t know what was happening. They took me back immediately for an ultrasound. The worst part of the situation was that the ultrasound tech’s couldn’t tell me anything.. Absolutely nothing. But, the one girl said “there’s 1”. A very very shy sense of relief swept over me. I thought if there was any bit of hope, that the comment of 1 was it. Finally that doctor came in and said everything was okay, that the bleeding could be from implantation. There was one healthy, 6 week 3 day old baby in there with a good heartbeat. From that day on I took everything slowly. Didn’t go to the gym, walked ever so slowly around campus, didn’t stress, but attempted to be relaxed. Off to the field Alex went.. After a few days of being gone, the blood came back in.. Darker and more heavy. Once again, scared to death. We prayed the whole way there. I was checked in by the time Alex got there and by then, I was a little over 9 weeks and Alex’s hair was about to fall out he was soo stressed. Short story, I was fine once again. He told me what to look for the next time and that it was just implantation again.

After those scares, I was ready for the long hall with this little piece of healthy bit of heaven growing inside of me. We knocked out all of our doctors appointments with flying colors. She always was happy and healthy, I was healthy and  I was gaining weight well, not too much not to little, right where I needed to be. 40 weeks and 4 days later, I was introduced to a hazel eye’d hand picked piece of heaven.

On October 10th at 6pm my water broke and I had no idea. I assumed it was bladder failure. Haha. Not the least bit classy. On October 11th, I woke up dying to use the bathroom and told mom I think my bladder was shot, that I kept peeing myself. Well, the smart women she is, she told me to call labor and delivery. They said to come in to get checked just to be on the safe side. At 6:15am, the biggest 3 gushes flowed as I folded laundry. I knew then that I may have had my water break. Mind you, like 5% of women’s water actually breaks naturally. So, I went into labor and delivery on sunday and would you look her, I had pooling and my water was indeed leaking. I was super excited! Granted, my water had already been broken for 12+ hours so I knew that at 24 hours, both raeghan and I were at risk for infections and fevers. For 25 hours I slowly labored.. I struggled.. I got mad.. I cried.. I prayed with Nita and Mom on FaceTime. I experience the rawest pain, pain women in the world long to feel but are never able to. The greatest pain anyone would feel. Pain that bonds you to your children for life. Pain that fathers never experience.. I shook and cried out for Reaghan to come out. Unfortunately, after 25 hours of laboring, 5 more hours of pushing, equaling 30 hours of labor, 42 hours my water had been broke, they pulled little Miss Raeghan out with forceps. Mind you for 5 hours I was constantly falling asleep so as soon as she was out I fell into the deepest sleep while everyone cleaned Raeghan and I up. About an hour and half into post-labor, the pediatrician came to me and said “I have some bad news.. We have to separate you and miss Raeghan. The swelling in her head is something we can monitor here.. We just don’t have the MRI machine and the other equipment to make sure that the blood in her head is getting better or worse.” He continued saying how the blood wasn’t good.. It was in a layer that could potentially cause damage. In that moment my heart.. Once again.. exploded into piece. I worked so hard, for this beautiful little girl whom I hadn’t seen yet, much less held. My heart hurt. I cried out to Alex.. I asked why did this happen to us.. Why Raeghan. What went so wrong that she had to be transported to the Italian hospital.. The one place I avoided at all cost.. Taryn, a God-sent nurse, came in after Alex and I had the saddest moment of our marriage, and asked me if how I was doing.. First question I asked was if I could see Raeghan. She ran to get a wheel chair, epidural and all, with all the strength I could muster up, I walked into a wheel chair and headed to see Raeghan. Poor love was crying her eyes out. As soon as I held her, she stopped crying immediately. Those few minutes were the most silent minutes I had ever experienced. Chaos surrounded me but the purest, loved little girl, half of me and half of Alex, slept softly in my arms as I cried.. I apologized profusely.. I told her I was sorry for causing her to have her head injury and the other issues she had. I whispered ‘I love you’ a record breaking amount in those very short few minutes. Alex and a nurse took photos of Reaghan and I, some of us as a family, but I cried and I cried. Well, they took her to the italian hospital and I was without.. Without Alex.. Without Raeghan.. I was alone, in a bare and empty prison. I tried replaying everything over and over again.. As I was sleep deprived. Between the 102 degree fever, her being the wrong facement, her need for intensive medical attention.. For 36 hours I was away from her. On the 14th I was finally discharged. I went to Pordenone and finally held this beautiful little girl. My heart runneth over, big time! I held her. I never wanted to let go. My heart slowly started gluing itself back together. By that time Mom had already ditched the states and made her way to Italy. She was on the other side of that door, every visit, with open arms.. Leaving Raeghan never got easier. The closer I got to her, the more it hurt to leave..

2 months later, I am blessed with this gorgeous, bubbly blessing. Every morning I wake up and tell her “good morning” and she smiles with a shy manner. There is no other love.. than the love you have for your children. Now realizing how much I love little sassy butt, I am filled with guilt and anger for the way I treated my mother as a teenager. She deserved a thousand times more. For the moment when I was a kid and told her I hated her.. Mind you I got soap in my mouth for that one.. It breaks my heart. But, sneaking my mom into the NICU for her to meet Raeghan, in that very moment, 3 generations were overflowed with love. I loved my mama a thousand times more as she fell in love with Raeghan.

A note for Raeghan..

I hope one day you experience this type of love.. The love Nana and mommy have for you. I thank God for you daily.. For putting this joy and blessing into my life. A friend that i’ll have in the loneliest moments.. you’ll be right there.. Someone I can hold when I am sad. For those little shy smiles I get every morning. Thank you for pulling my hair. I wouldn’t have it any other way.. Remember Grandma, Nana, Papa, Grandpa in heaven, daddy, mommy and uncle bubba will love you always. We will give you better than what all of us had. We will raise you as a family, help you walk a straight and narrow path. We will instill the love of God. Help you with life. Show you what love is.. And experience this wonderful life God has given you.

I want you to love life. To learn strength from the women in your life. Grandma, Nana and mommy have gone through a lot. Losing grandpa was one of the hardest thing any of us ever went through, but us women stuck together. I hope you have the strength we have one day. Stand up for what you believe in. Don’t cower in a corner. Speak up for what is right. Voice your opinion.. Even if others don’t care for it. Be independent and free. Don’t conform to world, conform the world to you. Love God in everything you do. Give him the glory daily. Have faith, faith that in the midst of the blur, everything will have a purpose and reason behind it. Never question God.. He has a plan.. And although your plan may be straight, God wants you to see the view, the mountain side, the darkness of tunnels, feel the texture of sand, taste the sea salt in the air. Follow your dreams, even if they don’t turn out the way you visioned them.. At least you didn’t give up! Be rational and smart when making decisions. Whatever you do, love who you are for what you are. When you stop loving yourself, you’re unable to love others. Unable to do what you enjoy. The view of life begins to change..

Remember that mommy and daddy, nana, papa, mema, papa brian, grandma, grandpa in heaven, uncle bubba, uncle michael, and everyone else loves you. Mommy has a church family that is the closest thing to blood. Mama Nita and Preacherman prayed for you just as hard as the rest of us. You will forever be loved. We want only the best for you because you deserve the best..

With love, mommy!















Thankful for Cold Coffee


I’m a little OCD and prefer to mop thursdays and sunday’s but at midnight last night, while everyone was sleeping, I wasn’t too sure whether or not I wanted to clean on thanksgiving.. So what did I do? I got up and cleaned. I started upstairs. It broke my heart to put the guest bed back together because that meant that mom wasn’t here anymore.. But I did it. I cleaned all of upstairs and moved downstairs. Downstairs is a beast to attack to begin with. Two and a half hours later I was done. By that time I debated whether to sleep or not because I knew in an hour or so Raeghan would be up. Well, sleep won that debate. God blessed me when I checked the clock after Raeghan woke up at it was 4:45!! Never has she slept from 11-4:45. Normally we wake up at 3:30. Ahh I was still tired though. We ate and went back to bed, waking up a little after 9am. Don’t let me fool you, I am tired and could possibly use a nap, but that won’t happen today.

We aren’t cooking here in the Lahr house. We had our thanksgiving with Mom two weeks ago.  My mama has always told me, thanksgiving is when the family is together, and in that moment, our family was somewhat together! The Brigade Chaplain Assistant invited all the assistants and their families to their house this thanksgiving so we are going to fellowship with them today. As I was texting my grandmother yesterday (Yes, I said texting. She’s actually quite hip! And she has an iPhone.) she was telling me she made it safe to my Aunt and Uncle’s house for thanksgiving and I told her that this thanksgiving was the first away from family, and that is bittersweet. I also told her I was thankful for Ed and how i’m happy she has found a significant other that makes her days a little brighter. He doesn’t take the place of our grandfather, but I know grandpa would want her to be happy! Despite being away from my tight knit family, I have my little family that I have made here in Italy. No matter how tired I am (i’m actually more rested now than when I was pregnant, but tired is tired), or how many times sassy Raeghan pulls my hair, or how irritated I am that Alex doesn’t know how to boil eggs after MANY lessons, i’m thankful for both of them. We are healthy. Happy most days. But most importantly, thankful. Alex and I created, a little bit of both of us, this gorgeous, hazel eyed girl! One day she will drive her mama and daddy crazy, as if she isn’t already, but today we are soaking in all the cuddles! I was talking to mom last night and I told her I never knew how I could love someone so much. It’s quite mind blowing actually.

On a side note, don’t be thankful just today. There is no reason you should wait till the fourth thursday in November of every year to be thankful.. Believe it or not there are MANY people who do. You should be blessed and thankful everyday, for EVERYONE, even those you particularly don’t like. There are people all around not being able to have thanksgiving or be home with their family. Here in Italy there are families in the hotel that are unable to cook thanksgiving.. So as a Army Community many of us got together to help contribute to their thanksgiving. Make someones day today. I’m not sure if Walmart is open in the states, but if you find yourself out at the grocery store grabbing your last minute items, bless the workers that give you the opportunity to grab those last minute things. Remember the men and women protecting you right now. There are mama and daddy’s out their mission their soldier, sailor, airman, marine and coast guardian. It’s a hard time in the world with all the irrational outburst happening. Remember the families in Paris.. They are mourning but I bet you they are still thankful! Keep broken families in your heart.. Be blessed and stay thankful.

So today, on Thanksgiving 2015, I am thankful for cold coffee. Cold coffee means that I woke up with fresh air to breathe, to a beautiful baby that was a little hungrier than I.

There’s No Place Like Home, Or The Smell of Home

I come with a heavy heart as I sit here next to God’s greatest gift, whom sleeps so peacefully.. I apologize in advance to my mother.. This may make you cry.

There is no easy way to say this, but I miss you.. I miss our first night together sleeping in the hospital.. Or the moment I watched your heart melt when you first held Raeghan.. I never knew how much one person could love another, but I witnessed the purest love. You were there when I needed you most. When Raeghan and I were separated, you brought joy to my life. You were there, waiting for me arms wide open every time I had to leave Raeghan.. You were there. You’ve always been there. I may not have always been thankful for you being there but I am forever thankful that God gave me you to me by beautiful, strong mother. I am sorry I had to leave home, moving 5000+ miles away, it doesn’t make any of this easier. I thought saying ‘see you later’ at the airport was hard the first time.. Well it’s harder more now than ever.. I don’t know how we are going to make it for another two and a half years. People say that we will be okay.. that in a few days this will all blow over.. but that’s not the case. I will always miss you.

These past 5 weeks I will forever be grateful for. I was able to give you and dad a long overdue needed vacation. You finally got to see and understand the struggles of living in Italy.. Like almost dying in every roundabout we came too. We shopped, went on journey’s, and we ate! You can’t forget about pizza and gelato! Oh, and that little pastry shop across from the Pordenone hospital! There is nothing like riding a shaky train to make your father happy for his birthday, after the train incident with the Airman and only to have another train incident here in Vicenza.. We had a blast.. Even on the days we stayed in our pj’s all day and hung out. Not sure I want to wash your sheets because they smell like home.. And nothing in Italy smells like home.. Thank you for teaching me how to be a mama.. All the tricks from the old days. Raeghan is blessed beyond belief to have the world best Nana.

My heart is broken.. Everyone at home doesn’t realize how blessed they are to have my mama. I would do anything to be back with her. We will go back to constantly texting and sitting on FaceTime enjoying each others silence.. Granted Raeghan will cry occasionally and make goofy faces, but the day will come when we will be together again.. And oh when the day comes, the struggle will be worth the glorious reward. It’ll be like we never parted ways! I waited 5-6 months to see my mama, but these next two and a half feel like a lifetime away! Take care of her. Our hearts will be heavy for a while.

I love you. Raeghan and I miss Nana.

You’re asking me to wait 24 days?

Hello Everyone! 🙋

Here’s a quick but i’m sure it’ll be a long update.

Alex left late yesterday night for Germany to attend a leadership course that he needs in order to pick up rank. Everything is so far so good. He passed weight and tape today, his pt test is Tuesday and after that he is in the clear. He has never not made honors in a military school and I expect nothing less of him at WLC but we are being realistic. It’s the first course taken to become a SGT. I have a large amount of faith in Alex and know he will do great, for Raeghan #1, for me and for his career. He’s only gone for 24 days (23 days left) and of course “See Ya Laters” never seem to get any easier, especially to know if he took this course at Bragg he would of been home every night.. But he’s taking it now and it gets to see another part of Europe! He isn’t feeling the best right now, little bit of an upset stomach, lack of real sleep, and pain in his back but he’s stronger than all of that! Prayers for him throughout the next 23 days please. (A small note for Nita Hill.. “See Ya Laters” NEVER get easier but just the smallest feeling in your stomach knowing he is okay can make your day, a phone call saying “I love you” is even better. Promises to come home can’t always be made but know that God says “do not fear” 365 times in the bible. Love you. Jacob is loved and protected by the very best. Very proud of who has become and he will do AMAZING things and God will take him farther than he could of ever imagined!)

Ugh, I may be an adult but I am beyond scared of the dark. I don’t care how small the place is, I am still scared. Now that we have a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house, 2 stories plus a maid’s quarters, I CAN NOT DEAL WITH BEING HOME ALONE! Ugh, the struggle is beyond real. Every little sound gives me the highest anxiety. I am truly just not trying to die today. I’ve watched too much tv and Alex forced me to watch too many horror movies. I cannot handle myself without him when it comes to the dark. When I close my door and lock it, that’s it for the night. Haha. I check under the bed and the closet. If I have to use the bathroom during the night every light in my house is turned on. Haha, thank God I don’t pay the electric bill because it would be higher than the months Alex is home. And just so you know, I did look on Amazon at the cost and different type of machete’s since guns are illegal in Italy. Don’t judge. Haha

On wednesday the 12th I went to my 32 week baby appointment only to measure up to 36 weeks. The doctor put in for an ASAP ultrasound to get the measurements of Raeghan just to see how big she is actually measuring up to be. The ultrasound tech couldn’t read the measurements but she did tell me Raeghan weighs 4.5 lbs. I know doctors do not complain about babies carrying more weight because more weight is better than less weight but ugh, I am incubating a linebacker currently. Alex makes big babies. I am not prepared to birth 10 pounds or close to it, give or take. I just want a smooth sailing delivery, please God with all the drugs I can get. Haha. I am glad she’s a little chunk though because when I asked God for a baby in his timing I asked for a beautiful healthy baby, boy or girl and now I am blessed with a little sassy heartbreaker. The closer we get the more attached Alex is getting. We were laying down in bed the other day to take our daily weekend naps and she was dancing around so I asked Alex to lay his hand on my belly.. Lord, she kicked so hard and he says “did you feel that?” I said “um yes! This is my daily fight of being beaten up by Sassy.” Someone once told me that after you give birth you miss the kicks, twirls, etc., but I think i’ll be okay without them. It’s a struggle to do anything anymore. Shaving my legs is even becoming a struggle. My showers have gone from 20 minutes to 45 minutes, mind you I shave my legs every since day so if I have to take a longer shower, well I guess i’ll be in there a while. I got so bored in the shower the other day Alex came upstairs to sit and talk with me. Haha. It’s kind of what we do when one of us are in the shower. Plus, he gets scared when I call his name when i’m in the shower, especially since i’ve slipped twice. Between carrying the other weight and Raeghan being everywhere, balance hasn’t been my strong suit at times but we put a slip mat at the bottom of the shower which has helped out a lot! Yesterday night when I was dropping Alex off he kissed my belly and asked Raeghan to stay in there for 24 days, just until daddy could get home so he didn’t have to worry about mommy. Ugh, sweetest moment. I didn’t cry when he left, surprisingly, but I know that when he gets home Raeghan will be here. I hope she holds out until he gets home but just the way my body is acting i’m not sure how much longer I can go. God does mighty things and she will come into this world in his perfect timing! She is still head down, as she has always been, but I can barely breath anymore, my hips are back to hurting because she is buried down in there so when she “drops” I don’t know how much more she can drop. I know my body is capable more than I give credit for, I mean for heavens sake God created us perfectly and to do incredible things and that within itself is a blessing! But I will keep everyone updated to how everything goes. I am freaking myself out a little and over thinking but praying at the same time that we hold out until Alex gets home!

Oh, how perfect. Pandora is currently playing Daughters by John Mayer! 💕💚

Well, on top of being pregnant i’ve had a roller coaster of emotions.. When I made the decision to take a semester off from school I didn’t realize how crappy I would feel about he decision later on. All of my freshman year roommates and friends have returned to Methodist, all cozy and at home in their dorms and i’m in italy just bitter about being in italy. I miss Methodist 💔😕😥. Methodist was my dream school and I would of loved to continue my degree but I married the Army and I have to follow my husband and support his career. Well, I applied and got accepted into Pembroke but it’ll be longer than I thought to finish my career.. So once again my emotions have put me in a funk. At the end of the day though, by the time I return to the states I will be done with my Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with a Concentration in Finance and ready to hit the ball running and jumpstart my career. Italy allows me to stay at home with Raeghan for the first 2 and a half years of her life, which is important in my eyes! If she goes to daycare back in the states though she may not like it though.. I don’t know, it’ll all pan out but I am adamant about finishing this degree. I guess when God closed the door at Methodist he opened the door for Italy which allotted me ample amount of time to finish my degree and to add a concentration to it, which to me is a plus! Just have to work my butt off and do it for my family and most important Raeghan! I told Alex my main motivation for finishing school is to make more money than him, haha, but if anyone has someone in the military you know they are over worked and under paid, but that’s an argument for a different day!

Lets just say I have wayy to much time on my hand to thing, rethink and ultimately over think absolutely everything! 😥

So I have met a friend 😜🙊, 1 friend in italy. If you know me you know that I don’t really like meeting new people, especially ‘friends’ because in the long run it doesn’t work out and wasted time.. blah blah blah, anyways! She and her husband dated for a few years, starting in high school, they took a break and came back to each other, ultimately getting married. Well, they both are brand new to the Army, slowly learning the in’s and out’s of what the military life is all about. I wouldn’t say Italy would be the best first duty station, I really think Bragg was great, but at the end of the day it’s all up to the Army where you go. Her husband is infantry which means he is gone forever and a day.. So being in italy without any family and her husband being gone for many months at a time is hard, so I am happy that God led me to her to help her through this tour, for the both of us! It’s not easy being away from loved ones, especially our best friends but it’s what we signed up for. 😕

On a positive note, Alex and I are adjusting more and more. It’s hard to make our house a home because we grew up as American’s so we aren’t use to the Italian culture but we are getting the hang of it. We are excited that Raeghan will be born here so she will forever be able to tell people she was born in Italy. Not exactly the chance many people get so it’ll be cool. Another positive, the first we of september our new sectional gets delivered!!! Lets be real, who doesn’t love new furniture, especially new couches! I am so excited! 😜

We are blessed. Some days it’s harder to realize that because we are too flustered with the language barrier or how things are done here in italy but we still know that God had this plan for us, he knows the plans he has for us, this was one of them and to be honest, I think it’s to show our true colors as a couple, as parents, and as a family, just alex, myself and Raeghan. If we make it out of here alive without killing each other, we will be a legit power couple and stronger than ever! 💪💏💚

Hope y’all enjoyed this update!

Love and miss all of you!

Kaitlyn 💕

Sugary Orange Syrup Soda .. YUCK! Holy headache!

Oh my oh my, it’s been a while since I wrote a blog post and i’ve slightly been dreading it lately, mind you it probably isn’t the best time to write it right now, but, OH WELL!

So I have my 28 week check up on Wednesday and I managed to overlook the fact that I needed 3 labs done before hand (oops) so I went today and got them going. Well, lets just say glucose testing is not fun, quite nasty actually, and I could probably still throw up if I allowed myself too. The chick (who is in the army) at the counter told me that this sugary, orange soda, syrup type substance, was not as bad. Just thicker orange soda.. Well, let me tell you that everyone I have talked to (including google) did not say this junk tasted good so this women was not an instant trustworthy source. 1 she had never been pregnant and never had to do this crap. 2 she only took a small sip. Okay, with that being said she told me I had to stand at the counter until I drank this WHOLE small foam cup full of vomit (ew). So, what did I do, I chucked it like I was doing shots. HAHA! Probably not the most appropriate but I had to sit there for an hour and I wasn’t going to add 5 minutes of standing at the desk to my hour of waiting. The chick said “there ya go, you got it”. I said “please god tell me I can drink water” haha. I chugged a whole bottle of water after that. Ew, I am still traumatized. Mind you, I am the odd soul that can’t drink cough syrup because I will throw it up while it’s still sitting in my mouth. I just can’t do it. Mind you people like Alex or Dad can drink it like water and i’m over here gagging watching them. Maybe they are the ones that need to take a glucose test! Any who, I got my glucose, thyroid and something else tested and will be ready by wednesday. Lets pray I don’t need to do the 3-hour test because i’m going to bring a bed and some tylenol to the next one.

I did not go back and read my last blog to see what the heck I told you guys last time, but we are FINALLY settled in our house. I never thought this day would come, although Alex and I occasionally say how we miss the hotel (really, the free breakfast that I never woke up for, the clean towels everyday and cleaning services were what I missed…OH and the elevator). Our house is as good as it might get. I have FINALLY started on Raeghans room. Her crib is together, none of her furniture matches though because the dresser is government furniture and I haven’t gotten around to my DIY glider project (it might just stay as is). I have washed her sheets and need to put her bed together, her stroller, etc., is still in boxes in the down stairs closet, curtains need to go up, then vacuum and mop her floor and put her carpet down. Doesn’t sound like a lot but it is. I did manage to put her monogram letters up in here room, everyone loves monograms! Here is the most updated photo of her room and my downstairs closet that has her stroller, carseat, base and adapter in it. Mind you the closet is normally empty.. Haha.

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On a side note, I managed to sleep on and off until 11am this morning. Felt good but at 11 I made the decision that Alex would be home for lunch soon and I really needed to get to the clinic to get my labs done.

My house is clean again too. Some how I got the bright idea to start dog sitting.. It really wasn’t a bad idea to begin with because it was my own little type of income that would allow us to get our travelers passports and whatever else I felt that my little heart desired Raeghan to have! The self made business was going great until I realized I had booked 7 dogs for the 4th of July weekend…. OMG! Talk about major chaos and dog hair everywhere. I was having panic attacks after antic attacks and stressing to the max. Well, now everyone is gone home but I have 2 more clients set up within the next few weeks. And NO MORE overlapping for me. Here are a few of the furry friends Alex and I got the privilege of hanging out with!

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Just remember, you can never go wrong with cooking banana bread, getting gelato, or getting veggie pizza with 2 eggs on it! And yes, I know… I went major overboard on the chocolate chips (oops)! Alex didn’t complain though. He loves every bite.

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Fathers day is about recognizing father, although this fathers day Alex went out to our flower bushes and picked me a flower!! He’s too cute, at times. He irritated me beyond words the other day and came home from the gym with roses, which is always nice, but i’m not a huge flower person because you pay for flowers and then they die…no fun in that! But here is a picture of the flower he picked!


Okay, need I say more when I tell you to appreciate drywall.. Please god say thank you to your walls.. I decided it was time to put something up on our walls, like our last name sign that my MIL bought us at christmas or Alex’s coin box… Well it was a lot harder than I expected it to be. I went through sooooooooo many nails before I managed to get the nails that are in the wall now, in the wall. There are a few chips in the walls… Oops, oh well. I didn’t know at the time that the U-Do-It center has specific nails for our house because italian houses are made with CONCRETE walls……… Honestly, what a freaking joke. I miss drywall. So, now I have hung up our sign and coin box and they will be crooked until my mother gets here. Haha.

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I crack myself up sometimes. So, mom thought it would be a good idea for me to use her Facebook (since I refuse to get my own) so I can keep up with the Vicenza news… Well, I post and share and do all sorts of stuff that she doesn’t realize until days later. Haha. She said to me earlier “I have to go back and see what “I” shared all the time” haha. Oops, at least you guys know i’m on there. Sometimes it’s easier to post my moment on their then writing a whole blog about it. I also managed to snapchat but whole morning the other day, up until my day got ruined then I quit. Lets just say trying to pass the italian car inspection is practically impossible and I just wasn’t in the mood after I had failed for the second time. Ugh, I know. So stupid. Oh well.

So, Alex is meeting more and more people, mind you the Lieutenant Colonel knows me and holds a conversation with me every time we run into each other…..the guy in charge of a brigade (who’s next step is general) talking to a lower enlisted wife and asks how i’m feeling and how my pregnancy is going, that’s a good man right there! I offered him some of my fruit gummies today! Haha. Alex has to say Sir and i’m offering him fruit gummies. Oh the things civilians can get away with. Haha. Anyways. Alex works with a female sergeant who absolutely loves me because she has all boys and has already told me that she was going to get all the girl loving out of Raeghan because she is stuck with muddy, gross boys. Haha, I told her that was fine. I’m okay with making friends with Alex’s co-workers because in today’s society, it’s all about the connections. Who you know and who likes you! Last thursday night Alex and 6 other guys made up a 7 man team that would run in rotation for 12 hours for the fallen 173rd sky soldiers. Such a great event. I have tried to share the post from the 173rd brigade Facebook on mom’s Facebook so you guys would be able to see what I am talking about but to get a brief idea, it is the equivalent to Relay for Life, except it’s for fallen soldiers and they are running a lap. Each lap is 2.5 miles so within 12 hours Alex had run 15 miles. I went out there around 6pm and stayed until 11pm. It had started raining pretty bad (quick blow over) so as soon as it cleared up I drove home because I had to be back at 7am to pick Alex up. The funniest part of the Running with the Herd was that the guys and girls were allowed to drink. If you bought a beer stein for $20 you were allowed a mug of beer. Well, boy was it interesting watching some of these people drink. Alex’s team did not drink. Alex was the lowest ranking person so with that being said, I believe half of his team had to attend the change of command ceremony at 8am the next morning so showing up drunk / hungover on top of being EXHAUSTED…well not the best idea. Plus it really doesn’t feel great to run and drink. It leads to a lot of throwing up. Haha. The pictures below are of the beer stein we bought and 2 of the guys on Alex’s team taking quick nap while the rain blew by.


Well, hope all of you enjoyed this blog post. It’s 8:49 here and i’m about to go to bed because this extra sugar in my body has been draining me since I chugged it at 1:48.. Just a reminder, all of you are welcome to Skype, FaceTime or download WhatsApp to contact me! I know it’s a 6 hour time difference but i’m normally up at crazy hours, like 6 am here so it’s 12am on the east coast so I can keep mom up through her night shift! Yeah, I know, I’m the best. Jk, I just miss my mama like craaazyyyyy! If any of you see my mama please give her a big hug for me. We both are struggling being 5000+ miles apart.. It really sucks! Anyways, talk to you all soon. Enjoy!

Love the Lahr Family

Its Sunday and I’m in Holden Beach!

Hello Everyone,

It is sunday although I am not physically in Holden Beach I sure wish I was! I miss all of you. It’s 2 pm here as i’m set up on Skype for church! If I’m not missing church neither should you!

Since the last time I wrote for you guys some fun and exciting things have happened. About two weeks after being here we went and talked to the people about when might our household goods and car show up.. Well, the date for our household goods haven’t changed but our car has maybe arrived or will be arriving at the beginning of the week. I don’t think I have ever been do excited!! Tuesday we FINALLY move into our house. It will be one empty and big house but the rest of our stuff will arrive in 3 or so weeks and then it won’t be so empty and lonely. I am ready to have Raeghan’s room finished and set up. Our house can be in boxes still but as long as her room is finished i’ll be happy. I was just telling Alex the other day how I was reminiscing on the last time we moved into our first home and all the excitement and butterflies I felt in that moment. I don’t exactly feel the same about this house but I know this house will bring many more and beautiful memories. So far in every house we have managed to add a member of the family. First our dog Ryder and second will be baby Raeghan. We couldn’t be happier. But here we go, leaving our 2 bed 1 bath small cute house for a 3 bed 2 bath bigger house.

On the 3rd Alex and I went for Baby Raeghan’s 22 weeks check up and everything is looking good and healthy! She measured up to be 21 weeks and 4 days on 21 weeks and 6 days but I would rather have a baby a few days smaller than a huge baby. We got to see all her cute little fingers and toes, and all her organs are accounted for. Here are a few pictures we got from the check up!

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Alex and I had the opportunity to join in on a marriage strong bonds retreat for the day at Castello di Bevilacqua in Verona. We learned about the 5 love languages of marriage and what each of our loves languages are. The last chaplain Alex worked for had brought the 5 love languages up once before at an FRG meeting so it wasn’t a foreign concept for us. We both realized what our love language is and how to serve each other based on each’s love language. After the session we got to eat at the castle. The food wasn’t exactly what anyone was expecting.. HA! I don’t eat pork just for personal preference and that happened to be what was on the menu. Below i’ve posted the menu and the few of the courses. There was the pasta course that was too good I forgot to take a picture. Oops! I’m allergic to rice so that course was not an option. Lets just say I ate when I got back to the hotel. I do have to say the desert was ahhhhmazing and I am not a pastry puff type of person but I can’t resist strawberries (I got that from my mother!). Haha. Besides the food being different, the castle was beautiful and we truly enjoyed the marriage session with 11 other couples, including ourselves. On the second level of the castle was a beautiful garden area. The castle is the perfect place for events, as you can see it was being set up for an event happening that evening. I told Alex if we ever wanted to get remarried in Italy this would be a beautiful place to do so!


Hope all of you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed taking/receiving them! Miss and love all of you and thank you for reading!

Until next time,

Love the Lahr Family!

3 Weeks Into This Journey..

Ciao from the Lahr Family!

Just a quick note.. For security purposes I will only be posting weekly instead of daily or so and being more vague then I normally would with all of you.

I’m sure you all would love to know that things are (somewhat) getting better. There are still our daily struggles and we talk 99.999% of being back home in North Carolina but we are trying to adjust. Food is our biggest struggle because we can’t get the food we are use to here and cooking is limited…like microwave only. We have a stove in our hotel room but it’s more hassle then it’s worth so we just stick to ramen, canned chicken, or canned tuna, SNACKS are my life saver… like peanut butter crackers, sour cream and onion chips, pop tarts (they are new, not digging them as much), i’m in love with fresh strawberries and bananas that we can get from farmers on the economy, apple juice and milk. I have found out that the organic milk (although it may be more expensive) is the closest thing to american milk and it last longer. Alex and I are able to get really great pizza here. I normally just get a pizza with veggies whereas Alex looks through the 100’s of pizza combinations in the menu. Below is a picture of my fresh strawberries and my veggie pizza from a local place right outside of post. Of course a picture of euros. There are places that allow us to use our cards but it’s allows good to have cash on us just in case! I may not be able to get Calabash Creamery Ice Cream around here but I can’t knock the gelato. It is DELICIOUS! During my heartburn meltdown I went to this new gelato shop outside of post and got strawberry and vanilla gelato. Just remember if you’re ever traveling to Italy, you have to get the waffle cone because the cups are just WAY TOO SMALL. It’s more of a one bite then a cup if you ask me.  Raeghan definitely appreciated as much as I did. I know majority of you have been to Olive Garden before and have gotten their breadsticks… Well breadsticks here look exactly like the picture below. For the first few weeks I never tried them until just recently and I am hooked. They may be these little bread sticks, literally sticks, but they taste like a fresh loaf of bed. Obviously I would rather have the buttery Texas Roadhouse rolls but these will have to do for now (FYI – I just read that sentence to Alex and he said “I definitely understand”).

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Well, I thought this past Saturday (May 23rd) that I was dying.. Haha. If you know me i’m a little dramatic but this was awful. I had the world worst heartburn. By 5:30 pm (11:30am ECT) I had tried tums, zantac extra strength, apple sauce, mint gum, gatorade, tons of water (my toilet water was clear [TMI]) until I finally asked Alex to walk to the commissary before it closed to get milk. I have that hard headed mentality that I try not to take any medication unless its unbearable and I am telling you that I had tried everything by that point. He brought back organic milk and popsicles (he’s seriously the best) which took some time to kick in but I was able to actually sleep that night. Since we are on the topic of sleep….I’m starting to miss it. Oh what I would do to sleep on my stomach again. I wake up every morning feeling like I have been in a car accident. Mom keeps offering to buy me the pregnancy pillow but i’ve got soo many pillows here at the hotel that are helpful but it’s just a matter of comfort. Until we get our house and all of our house hold goods and car, things won’t be that comfortable. At least I get fresh towels in the morning (if we wake up for housekeeping, a lot of the time I am in bed sleeping while they clean…oops) and breakfast (if I am motivated to get up before it ends at 10am). Somethings are just a struggle. No need to judge. Haha. Mom and Andrew were in Myrtle the other day and stopped in to Carters to check out baby clothes there because baby clothes here in Italy aren’t very good (if you have baby girl clothes or know someone that is giving away or sell their old clothes contact Mom, we are definitely interested) and found socks that have the days of the week on them. I texted this to mom.. Haha. Everyone knows Mondays aren’t always the most organized days!


All of you that went to the baby shower know that I didn’t want to buy a stroller set in the states that I wanted a better quality stroller set from Italy. Well a friend and I went to the local baby store here and tested out strollers and I think I have found the one. I was a little disappointed because the one that I thought I had wanted I ended up not liking. To the eye it was a great stroller but after picking up the car seat and pushing the stroller it was a lot heavier than I wanted. So here is an update. I have found an italian version of a chicco stroller that has a light weight car seat but very secure in the car base. The stroller it self isn’t hard or heavy to push, glides easy. I liked the way it was set up and what it came with also. The following aren’t the best photos but you guys will get the gist. I haven’t bought the stroller set just yet because we only have so much room in our hotel room and it’s now filled with a baby swing that we found at a post yard sale, our bike that we purchased, our grocery cart that mom bought for us (thank you Mommy – picture below) and then our junk and the hotels furniture. Haha. I want to be comfortable and settled before we start bringing major furniture into our house. Let me do my best to explain the pictures below. The first picture is the sign that shows what all comes with it. The second is the colored insert that is included in the final price when buying the whole set. The stroller set does come in black or red (we are choosing black) and then the color insert. The example already had the teal insert on it (probably going with teal because I like it and it’s gender neutral). The toddler seat and bassinet are a 2 in 1. The top and bottom come up and you can tilt it back to be a bassinet or lean it forward to be a seat for when Raeghan is older. Then of course there is the carseat and the base (which is included in finale price). Another thing I liked about this stroller set was the fact that it isn’t bulky like most stroller sets. Thank you again for all who has contributed to Raeghan’s stroller!

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One of the weekends we were here we heard about an antique market that was downtown so Alex, Danielle (our friend from Bragg) and I all decided to go. Low and behold it was on a Sunday not the Saturday we went. Although we did not get to the see the market, we did get introduced to downtown. When it was time to leave we ended up getting on the wrong bus and waiting at the bus station forever where a British chick (who was born in Italy, knowing fluent English and Italian) helped us get on the appropriate bus to get us back towards post. But here are some snaps of downtown Vicenza.

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Europe is nothing like america.. Especially when it comes to electricity. I didn’t realize until the day before leaving the states that I had accidentally packed my straightener so majority of the days I would just stick stay in conditioner in my hair and stick it up to reduce this curly, frizzy mess. I don’t straighten my hair often but some times it would be nice. My thoughts were that I would of rather blown up my straightener I’ve had since the middle of high school then a brand new one.. Well, I ended up buying an american straightener here that was already blown. I bought 2 straighteners that were blown, which were completely disappointing because that means the exchange doesn’t check them before returning them back to the shelf. After buying our very own transformer (not borrowing from the hotel) from a women who was weeks from heading back to the states, I bought my 3 straightener. Mind you I got a full refund for the other 2 straighteners. IT WORKED! Never in my life had I been more excited. Immediately after straightening my hair of course I had to take a snapchat selfie. (:


Well last but not least, Raeghan and I have officially made it half way. I did make the hard decision of deciding that I am going to get care and deliver at the local Italian women’s center / hospital minutes away from post and the housing community we have chose to live in. Aviano Air Force Base is still ultimately what I want because as a health care administration major I know that American health care is the best in the world but if I went to Aviano I would have to be stork nested from 38 weeks on, there was not transportation from the base hotel to the hospital there or should I say it wasn’t guaranteed or reliable, and Alex wouldn’t be there 95% of the time because he still has to work. I read some other wives stories about delivering at Santa Bartolo (the local hospital) and it reassured me. Don’t get me wrong, there were some things that still drive me crazy but I think it’s the better best while living in a foreign country with one car. At Santa Bartolo compared to american hospitals, they don’t provide postpartum products for moms, baby clothes, diapers, wipes, hygiene, hospital gowns, and i’m sure more but they are escaping my mind. So basically it’s like giving birth in a hotel. We have to bring all the products Raeghan and I may need, which for me I am okay with bringing what I will need but I was hoping they would supply Raeghan’s needs that was I would have her hospital hat but we will make it work. The ob that I will be seeing at the women’s center does speak fluent english and everyone in her office speaks fluent english so I am going to hope she is who delivers me but everyone knows its the doctor on rotation that delivers expecting mothers…unfortunately. At all times I will have access to a army liaison at the hospital and a translator if need be (which will be needed). I read in another women’s story that the italians wash the babies in the bidets… So have no fear we will be bringing Raeghan’s shower tub with us also. I WILL make my delivery as american as possible. I guess i’ve just got to adapt. I know some women buy hospital gowns online to have while they are in the hospital so I will probably do the same but it’s my understanding that they give you a gown if you’re having a c-section? but I am not entirely certain. At least you guys are reading my struggles and worries. I am a pretty realistic person. I am not the person to worry about the littlest things.. I know a lot of people in general that are googling symptoms or what their baby did to try and find an answer.. Well if I don’t know the answer i’ll call mom.. but when it comes to being hospitalized in a foreign health care facility where I don’t know what their mission, objectives, quality, etc., is, kind of makes me a nervous wreck. I try not to think about it but I every once in a while i’ll think about it and try to change the subject. Any who! Here is my first baby bump 20 week pictures for everyone! When I get up from sitting down for a while or sitting up in a chair, long enough for her to dig deep down, I stand up and waddle because she hurts. During my heartburn meltdown I definitely felt her kick. It’s a pulse feeling in the right side of my stomach, to the right of my belly button. I wish Alex could feel. When I first started feeling it and realized what it was (mind you I was smiling like goof from ear to ear) he made a comment of wanting to feel. I know within the second half Alex will feel plenty but I wish I could share with him now. We did manage to take a trip to the exchange and he picked out the cutest mini mouse romper for her. Its size is 3 months which will be January give or take but I told him that if it’s cold I can stick leg warmers, a jacket, socks and a blanket on her. I told mom I bought a duckie sleeper, onesie, with a hat for Raeghan to go home in and she told me no… So I bought it for her to wear at 3 months. We will definitely be investing in more animal footed onesies / pants.


Italy is definitely a work in progress and we are trying our hardest to make it work. If we are stuck here for a few years we need to make the most of it. So many people have told me to blend into the Italian culture and i’m not saying no, but when you step into my house it’ll be my little america. It’ll be great when we can make steak and chicken, veggies, etc., that we are use to. I know Alex is struggling because I use to meal prep for him a few days at a time and not being able to have healthy foods are hurting both of us. We are still in the process of getting our house but I think we have found the one. It’s bigger than the house we had at Fort Bragg (to be expected when it’s an extra bedroom and bathroom then our old house) but it’s still relatively smaller because italian houses in general are much smaller. ((( small side note – raeghan is kicking me!! ))) Of course anyone that would like to text me you can download What’sApp (it’s one word), I do have FaceTime (for apple users) and Skype (for everyone else that is too cool for apple products – haha) in case anyone wants to talk we are definitely here! Thank you everyone for your prayers, love and support despite us being over 5000 miles away. Mom had definitely made it better by facetiming me during church every Sunday. I may be 5000+ miles away but I will always miss Sunday mornings with Eddie. There are some things that you just can’t live without. So if you’re in church at Sharon on Sunday mornings 8:15 service and want to say hi, just find mom! Love all of you an miss you. Feel free to contact us, we will arrange for a good time to talk especially with the 6 hour time change.

Until next time..


I’m just ready to come home..