The Hammie History!

How did the Hammie's come to be? Well, pull up a chair and get ready for a good long read.....

Jon and I met back in 2000, at my birthday party that my neighbors Isabel and Matt Kirker threw for me. It actually turned out to be a joint birthday party for both Jon and I, since his birthday was a few days after mine.

2001

A little over a year later, we were married in a quaint little church in Howell, Michigan surrounded by my family and friends. (Jon's family lives out in Alabama, Wyoming and Arizona at the time and couldn't make it.)


















Of course, not breaking the 'Smith Girls' tradition I was 5 months pregnant with Jason at the time of our wedding. (Trust me, it's a tradition that will be broken with my children!)

Shortly after our wedding, we moved down to Charleston, SC to the Naval Base there. Jon became an instructor for the school there and our ready made family moved into a cute townhouse on base. 

 


A few months later, Jason was born!
 


Cassie with her new baby brother...
 

Our family, circa 2001...
 


2002

Meanwhile, Jon was busy with work and taking night classes. Cassie was doing spectacular in elementary school and I was helping out the school (not much has changed, lol) by being on the PTO board and working my prestigious job as a crossing guard.

2003

By 2003, Cassie was involved in cheerleading, girl scouts and placing in spelling bees. Jason was just the most adorable little baby boy I had ever known! Thus causing the baby itch to hit me again and Jon and I tried for baby #3. We tried...and tried...and tried....it was almost to the point where we were going to go in for testing. I was doing all those gross things (that don't need to mentioned on a family blog such as mine) to figure out if I was ovulating. We had little hearts on our calendars indicating the optimal time for 'baby dancing' and FINALLY, we were preggers!
I had made Cassie and Jason little shirts to wear on Thanksgiving that announced to my parents and family who were visiting that they were going to be a big brother/sister (again)!

2004

Jackson (Jack-Jack, Jack Attack) was born in July of 2004.


He weighed in at 10lbs, 13oz. He was a BIG boy!
 

 


My 3 awesome kiddo's...
 

Cassie with her youngest brother...
 
2005
2005 saw big changes for us Hammies. Jon got picked up for the MCEP program, where we packed up our house, said goodbye to our awesome friends and headed up to Columbia, SC so Jon could attend the  University of South Carolina and walk away with his degree in nursing.


The summer of 2005, on Jack's 1st birthday, visiting Michigan and in between our move...
 

Jon in his USC scrubs...headed to class....

The adjustment was hard on us all. I ended up finding a job at a local pottery studio, Two Peas in a Pot. I absolutely LOVED it there. This wasn't the first time working in a pottery studio, but it was where I learned the most and made some wonderful friendships.

Here I am at 2P's...giving some kid the 'Paint Talk'...
 


Putting together the island....
 


In November of 2005, we added another member to our family.
Lizzie Lou!
 

 
2006

The 3 kids, circa 2006....


 

 

 

Jon and I, 2006....
 



Some highlights from 2006 include:
Cassie was part of her chorus group in school. They ended up taking a trip during the early spring to Washington, DC. They visited various monuments and sang for their supper.

Cassie and I in DC...
 


Mom and Dad came down for a visit....

Mom and Dad with the kids...
 
The kids and I also took a summer trip to Michigan. Unfortunately Jon couldn't join us. He didn't get summers off like all the other school kids!

Mom, Kurtiss and I took the kids and headed up north to visit Mackinaw and the surrounding area...

 


Our bike ride around Mackinaw Island...
 

 

 


Jason had started preschool and he was loving it. He was always such a good boy and picked up everything they were teaching quickly.



He also had his first season of soccer! 

2007

In 2007, my brother-in-law Cory came home from a deployment in Afghanistan. We were there to welcome him home.

 


Jon also became involved in Air Soft while we were in Columbia. He's a pic of him at one of his many outings...
 

Cassie was in 5th grade and towards the end of the year, they had a Father-Daughter Dance.

 

 



In the fall, Jason started Kindergarten and Cassie 6th grade. I was still working at 2P's and Jon was taking his last classes at USC.

Here we are on a field trip...
Finally, in December of 2007, Jon finally graduated with a degree in nursing and got commission as an Officer in the Navy.


2008

The early part of 2008 saw Jon leave for his Officer Training School up in Rhode Island and us taking a trip to Alabama to visit Jon's family.

 A family picture taking in Alabama....



After he graduated from there, we started to prepare for our move to a new base - Camp Lejeune, NC.
But first, we decided to take a family vacation to Orlando.

 

 


After Orlando, it was time to pack up our house in Columbia and move to our new home on Camp Lejeune.



The kids started school right away. I figured that it would be better to put them in, if only for the 5 weeks there was left of school. Let them make some new friends right away so that way when they start school in the fall, the adjustment wouldn't be so bad. Worked like a charm!
 

We were also lucky to move in next door to a family that would become part of OUR family - The Smith's - Perry, Erin and their kids, Zach, Drew, Maddie and Carly.  Our families instantly clicked and we all hit it off right away.

That summer we stayed home instead of heading to Michigan. Jon was put right to work at the hospital, working 12 (but more like 14) hour shifts. I was busy putting our house together and settling us all in.

The kids started school that August and I started helping out at the school and getting myself involved as much as possible. Jason signed up for soccer again and Jack started preschool.



My Dad came down for the first of his MANY visits in October.



2009
The start of 2009 found me really starting to document and take a ton of pictures of everything that our family was up to. Unfortunately, one of those things was me taking the leap from blonde to brunette. What a shock! But thankfully, I've gotten used to it and have come to love being a brunette.

We also experienced our first North Carolina snow storm. Loved it! Being the Midwest girl I am, miss the snow so I tend to take full advantage of it whenever it decides to make an appearance.
The months pass by and the kids were busy with school, Jon busy with work and I was busy living the life of a housewife. I have been very blessed to find such a wonderful group of friends. There wasn't a time that there wasn't an open invite to some get together, lunch or just hanging out. Life was good. For all of us.

Spring time rolled around and my Dad has made another trip to visit us. This time, I really put him to work and had Jon and him design and build me a deck for our home. They did a fantastic job and it's so wonderful to relax on.


During the middle of spring, Cassie started studying for a part in Alice in Wonderland to be held at her school. She got the part of Twiddle Dee. She did a FANTASTIC job and we were all so proud of her! My folks even made another trip down to surprise her!


Some other 2009 events include our first ever trip to a carnival that was held on base - Maynia.  Saying 'See ya later' to Perry as he departed on his 1 year deployment.  Jon and I becoming more involved in volunteering with Popcorn at the school. Jackson graduating from Preschool.  Erin and I (along with our friends Jenny and Karen) going to a No Doubt concert.

The whole family (plus a friend for Cassie) decided to take a trip to Michigan to spend a few weeks there during the early part of summer.

After we returned from Michigan, my sister and her family moved to Camp Lejeune as well! We are so lucky to have family nearby. My parents and brothers came out shortly after they moved and got settled and we all spent a good week together.



In August, Cassie got braces and both boys started Soccer.



The fall saw us Hammie's becoming even busier than ever. Cassie started 8th grade, Jason- 2nd and Jack- Kindergarten. Jon was still working and working those long hours doing a great job and I had joined the OWC Book Club and Gourmet Club as well as taking over as the chair of the boys school Popcorn. We all kept busy helping the kids in their various activities and doing our own social thing.

Finally in September, I started our first ever family blog. 'It's Hammie Time!' Where I've been keeping track of any and everything we have been doing from there on out.

Our life has been incredibly blessed, in the good times but especially in the bad. Because, if it wasn't for the love we all have for each other, then we wouldn't of made it through the bad. And after all when it comes right down to it.......


....Love is Family.....


....and I LOVE my family.