6 Years of Wedded Bliss

3.9.13 – 3.9.19

It’s hard to believe it’s been 6 years since our magical wedding day! Our love story and marriage has always felt like i’m living my own real life fairy tale. (Cheesy, I know! I live for cheesy) That’s especially the case for our anniversaries. We’ve always tried to do something exciting to celebrate and we haven’t let the Army interfere too badly (so far).

This year was no exception and we were able to book a marvelous weekend in Lake Placid at the Mirror Lake Inn. Our room overlooked the frozen lake with ice skating, snowshoeing, and dog sleds right out our front door. You could say we have a thing for B&B’s since we were married in one and honeymooned in some in Ireland, and this had the feel of one for sure!

We had beautiful scenery and gorgeous weather the entire weekend so we headed up to Whiteface Mountain to see the views from the gondola. We’re so thankful to live where we do and see some of the most beautiful sights surrounding us. We took a bit of a driving tour around and to check out the area, and finished everything off with a horse drawn sleigh ride!! Peaceful, serene, calm and SNOWY mountain views at sunset, what could be better than that? We started our marriage in a horse drawn carriage so it was extra special to be able to take our kids for a ride on our anniversary!

Our marriage has had its share life’s ups and downs and growth; we’ve faced illnesses, hurts from others, struggles with infertility and the Army life; but we have always placed each other first even before ourselves. We defend each other no matter what. I’m so thankful for a godly man who leads our family, the kids and I are so blessed to have him!

I can’t wait to see what the next 6 years bring us!

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.

Team Grim

I recently changed the name of the blog to “Team Grim” since this has really become more of a place for my family than for just me and my thoughts.  When I originally started my blog it was to get out some of my thoughts and feelings about my husband’s (then boyfriend) first year long deployment.  Now it has become a way to document some of our life together and the excitement/difficulties that we face.  “Team Grim” was started as a bit of a cute name for ourselves when we got married and stuck when we started running our obstacle course races together.  I truly believe that marriage makes you a team and that has never been more apparent than it has in the past year-ish of our lives and dealing with infertility, but i’ll share more on that later.

As most people do, we had a lot thrown at us in our first year of marriage and even a bit prior to our wedding.  Surprisingly to some though, there were never issues between the two of us.  Ryan was gone for a total of about 9 of our first 15 months of marriage.  We started PCS-ing (permanently relocating for those non-military friends) about a month in and he had several schools to attend in order to be spun up for a new unit.  That led to multiple TDY’s, schools and a deployment to close out the year.  On top of that we had a few very painful family situations relating to both health and relationships that gave us no choice but to learn to depend on each other and God.

I truly believe that our relationship has been made easier by keeping God at the center of our marriage.  We prepared a lot for our marriage beforehand and I prayed often for my future husband before we ever started dating.  I’m a firm believer that everyone should spend considerably more time preparing for the marriage than for the wedding (as beautiful, magical and fun as ours was).  Recently we’ve been told by a few people, who we respect dearly, that we should start training/outreach to other married couples.  While I think we still have a lot to learn about marriage ourselves, this truly touched me to hear that people believe that we are on the right track and have something to give back to others.  With me as the aspiring counselor, who knows what may be in store for our future 🙂

“I’m a firm believer that everyone should spend considerably more time preparing for the marriage than for the wedding.”

I don’t say any of the above to brag on us as people, but to demonstrate how much God can lead a marriage when you continuously give it over to Him.  I want to be a testament to others that marriage can be wonderful and fulfilling!  There is no way that we would be this strong and still so much in love were it not for His love and guidance.  We are still learning every day to trust in Him as we face the most difficult journey of all so far, but we wholeheartedly believe that He will give us the desires of our hearts.  As a dear family friend and former teacher reminded us this week that faith is what it takes:

“He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” – Matthew 17:20

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Spartan Strong

On March 8, 2014 my husband and I ran our first Spartan “Sprint” just outside of Atlanta, GA. My awesome soldier thought that this would be a great way to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary and we planned it a few months out. Unfortunately I did not really “train” and I sprained my left ankle just over 3 weeks before the race. I also would find out a short time later that I had undiagnosed Asthma. 4.5 Miles and 20+ obstacles later we finished, but it took us (me) just over 4 hours. I wanted to cry tears of joy for finishing and tears of sorrow that I was so unbelievably out of shape so I vowed to myself that I would NEVER feel that way again. As we left the after party I was thinking that it was a great experience, but I wasn’t sure i’d ever put myself through that again. I most definitely would not have finished if it hadn’t been for my husband’s help and cheerleading! At the time, I thought the Sprint was difficult. Boy, was I wrong!

By the end of the weekend though…something inside me snapped. I thought, if all of these people can earn the Trifecta medal (including wounded warriors) what makes me think that i’m any different?? If they can do it, so can I! Thus, my trifecta training commenced! For those who may not know, Spartan Racing Series has three different levels: Sprint (3-5 miles), Super (8-9 miles), and Beast (12+ miles). When you complete all three within one calendar year, you are awarded the coveted Trifecta Medal!

My sister introduced me to an amazing weight loss/health program called Omnitrition and I started almost immediately after the race and lost almost 20 lbs of fat in 3 weeks. Even with all of my training, I’ve put on a ton of muscle and stayed at the exact same weight as when I finished. Losing a good 20+ lbs of fat does wonders for your athleticism!

On August 16th, Ryan and I ran the Rugged Maniac back at the same spot that we first ran the Super in March. Even though this was “only a 5K” it had more obstacles (25) and I was nervous to see if I really was improved. We finished in just under 1 hr. 15 minutes and that was with a little waiting/helping at a few obstacles. I cut my time in fourths!!! Ryan kept telling everyone how proud he was of me and I felt great!!! Minus the bruises and scrapes, I recovered so much quicker than I had before.

The next weekend we drove to Virginia for the infamous Wintergreen Spartan Super. This one is part of the “Devil’s Trifecta” and is the hardest Super in the Spartan Race series. I was extremely nervous so I trained my tail off…and still managed to underestimate the level of difficulty. This was not a race, but an exorcism! I was really disappointed in my time on the race and was really down on myself…even though I had improved so much since March. I’m realizing that each race is designed to break you and teach you something else about yourself.

We have the Beast coming up on October 25th and i’m going to crush it!! I’m determined to beat my Super time with my Beast time and have a blast doing so! By the end of October, we’ll finally be a part of the 2014 Trifecta Tribe…and it will have only taken us 7 total months from our first race. 🙂

~SPARTAN Melissa AROO!

The Spartan Sprint in March...I was so out of shape!
The Spartan Sprint in March…I was so out of shape!

Rugged Maniac: Feeling so much better!
Rugged Maniac: Feeling so much better!

This race felt so much better!
This race felt so much better!

Life is too short to not kiss in the mud :)
Life is too short to not kiss in the mud 🙂

4th of July/Post-deployment Vacation

My amazing husband knows how much the 4th of July means to me (and to him) so he tried very hard to get me home to celebrate with my side of my family. Being from Maine, 4th of July is big in my family and we always have a huge cookout at my parents’ camp complete with lobstah, brisket and sometimes clams. When we were engaged he was deployed and last year we were PCS-ing to GA and never got the opportunity. It was very hard for us to not be home with everyone and he definitely made up for it this year! With his current unit they deploy pretty frequently so he volunteered for an early deployment in order to get home in time for celebrating America’s birthday with me. How special it was for us this year to celebrate America’s independence with him freshly home safe from war!

Within 24 hours of Ryan coming home from deployment, we were packing up the car and driving straight to Maine (22-24 hour drive). (Did I mention how much he loves me?) We couldn’t fly because it is the Army and the second you try to book something, plans will change. However, he was blessed with good leadership that allowed him to leave so quick after a deployment. As always, even a long and traffic filled road trip is a blast and filled with so many memories!

We got to see most of our family members while we were in Maine and definitely hit up some sightseeing. My parents have a camp on Loon Pond in Maine and I always wanted to move back home after my Dad retired from the Army. Sadly I never got the chance, but Ryan has fallen in love with New England as well and even claims it as his home (who wouldn’t??) Since his Dad’s side of the family is from Conn, it counts, right?

Couples at the 4th of July BBQ at my parents' camp.
Couples at the 4th of July BBQ at my parents’ camp.

4th of July fireworks with my love and my parents.  Ogunquit, ME
4th of July fireworks with my love and my parents. Ogunquit, ME

Wells Beach, ME with my beautiful momma
Wells Beach, ME with my beautiful momma

Now THIS is a barbeque...New England style! <3
Now THIS is a barbeque…New England style! ❤

While at home we also got to tour Fenway Park and catch a Red Sox game…and a little bit of a thunderstorm/tornado watch. Hey, we always keep it interesting! Touring Fenway has always been a dream of mine and it was so cool seeing the stadium from every view possible and from behind the scenes. 🙂 Also, Cask 'n Flagon has the BEST Fish 'n Chips this side of Ireland! 😉

RED SOX!!!!

Bunker Hill...but first, a selfie
Bunker Hill…but first, a selfie

Best of all we got a lot of history lessons/sightseeing in as well. We visited Concord, MA and the Minute Man monument and even caught sight of the actual lantern used in the Old North Church during Paul Revere’s ride. We climbed Bunker Hill in Boston since he’s never gotten to do that part of the Freedom Trail. Unfortunately the USS Constitution was closed (yet, again!) so we still haven’t been able to see that! Lastly we visited a few of my favorite lighthouses in Maine! I may be biased, but I have lived and visited many places in the US and the world…Maine is the most beautiful: hands down! I will say from the pictures, Michigan may run a close second 😉

Pemaquid Lighthouse, Brisol, ME
Pemaquid Lighthouse, Brisol, ME

Sleep Hollow Cemetery...so many brilliant minds are buried there
Sleep Hollow Cemetery…so many brilliant minds are buried there

Old North Bridge in Concord, MA
Old North Bridge in Concord, MA

With everything that Ryan ends up missing out on with his job, I am so thankful that we got this much needed time with family. It was so great having my hero home to celebrate Independence Day and New England is most beautiful in the Summer. 🙂

~A very happy, Melissa Grim