Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Letter to Hubs

My Hubs has duty today so he won't be here to ring in the New Year with a midnight kiss. When he has duty we try to at least exchange emails to keep in touch. I decided since I wasn't going to sit down and say this to him in person, I wrote an email instead!

Dearest Hubs,

Since today is the last day of 2010, I have been reflecting back on everything that has happened this year. It has been a year full of changes, adjustments, and compromises. But best of all, you were there every step of the way. January came with a rough start: We were adjusting to being parents, moved to a new area with a 2 month old, and you officially reported to your first ship. I was surfing the waves of hormone changes and weight loss thanks to post-pregnancy and you were working long hours plus dealing with tunnel traffic while the ship was in the yards. Lets face it, January & February were pretty rough. I know I wasn't the most pleasant person to be around. I missed my husband and I was feeling trapped in our house with Little Miss. Finally your ship left the yards and I ventured out of the house and made some new friends. Little Miss started at The Little Gym at the end of February and I also went to my first FRG meeting. Both of those events were HUGE blessings. Because of The Little Gym, my relationship with LIttle Miss has flourished and so has her personality! I have met an amazing group of mom's through The Little Gym. They are so supportive, drama-free, intelligent, and fun! The FRG has also helped me out tremendously because of the friendships I have made. I never would have met the Bestie had it not been for the FRG! I know these friendships have helped to make me a happier person and I have more confidence in myself. Thank you for being supportive and patient with me this year. I know I have not been easy to deal with, you know how well I deal with change...I think I'm getting better though! This year was our official start to being an active duty military family and it wasn't long until the ship moved out of the yards and you started work-ups. As luck would have it, your first work-up was scheduled over our 4th wedding anniversary. I can't believe it has been 4 years already, it seems like only yesterday we were walking down the aisle! So much has changed in 4 years but our relationship has only grown stronger, especially after this year. I know this year has brought alot of challenges for you at work. I see how exhausted you are when you finally get home from work. I appreciate how hard you work to support our family, probably more than you realize or will ever know. I know I've complained about how my life revolves around your schedule, but I honestly wouldn't have it any other way. Just know I wouldn't do that for anyone else but you :)

I can't believe how much Little Miss has changed and grown in just a year! I know people told me that would happen, I just didn't really believe them. She has such a big personality already. I am amazed how much she looks like you. So even though you aren't around as much as I'd like, I always have your clone here to keep me company. I still think she came into our lives earlier than we planned for a reason: To help us get through the challenges ahead. You are an amazing father. I'll never forget the first time she saw you get off the ship from a work-up and how tightly she hugged you, how she wouldn't let you go even to get in the carseat. Even though she can't say it yet, she really does love you. I know you don't get as much time with her as you'd like but you've made the most of it and it shows. She is such a good kid and she does really well with the ever-changing schedule that goes with the Navy life. This year she took her first steps, said her first word (Daddy!), and so many other firsts. I can't wait for all the other "firsts" that will come in 2011!

 Little Miss holding on to Daddy after coming home from a work-up

I think one of the biggest challenges for us this year was leaving whatever pissed us off during the day at the doorstep so we could enjoy what time we had together. In 2011, I already know our biggest challenge is going to be our first deployment. The deployment is going to be tough, but we'll get through it just like we've gotten past everything else life has thrown our way. My biggest worry about the deployment isn't the time apart or whether you will be faithful, I already know neither of those are a concern of mine. The time apart is something we've had time to get adjusted to and your faithfulness I will never doubt. I am more worried about how well we will communicate while we are apart. Its not a matter of how many emails/phone calls I get from you. I don't even mind that the emails are only a few sentences. Its that we have to learn to keep our relationship strong in those few sentences. I know already you like hearing about my day in the emails. But I have to be able to share my feelings, hopes, dreams, troubles, and emotions all in a short email. I tend to be quite wordy and long winded. I know you only have a short amount of time to be on the computer so I need to keep my emails short, sweet, and to the point. That will be my biggest challenge (that I can think of) in 2011. I have a few other goals in mind I hope to accomplish in the new year, though its more like things to keep me busy and occupied while you are deployed. I already am looking forward to your homecoming and the time we will get together! I love you so much and I am there with you every step of the way. I look forward to the next year and the new years ahead I get to spend with you :)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thursday Five

Totally Stoked
I am Happy my Hubs had the day off so we could go to Mt. Vernon with my parents and Little Miss today!
I am Delighted with this new bloody mary mix we found at the VA ABC store. The Captain's Blend, its made in Chesapeake Bay. Its spicy and oh so yummy :)
I am Grateful for the memories I am getting to create with my husband and daughter. 
I am Totally Stoked that I am going to get a manicure for the first time in months with my mom tomorrow! 
I am Thankful for the wonderful things 2010 has brought to my little family and I look forward to the challenges and rewards that will come with 2011!  

We had a wonderful time together as a family, I hope to make more day trips like this and get further into D.C. to show my parents and Hubs all the monuments and museums the city has to offer!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

How Many Chances Do We Get?

How many attempts do we get in this life? Is there some sort of set number or is it just until we get it right? 

Now don't get me wrong, I am all for giving people chances. Personally, I go by the "3 strikes and you are out" rule. Even with only 3 chances I've been told I am too lenient with people. I don't mind giving people opportunities to right their wrongs. But what really confuses me is when people who consistently mess up keep getting more chances. 

I love my brother to pieces. He is my blood, he is my family. That is a permanent bond that allots for more than the usual number of chances. He has made many wrong choices so far in his short life and in my opinion, he has yet to really pay the price. He is one lucky kid and has been given many many chances to change his path. Unfortunately, he has yet to get on the straight and narrow. It breaks my heart to get my hopes up that maybe this time he'll change, maybe this time someone finally got through to him that he's had an epiphany that will let him see the right way. Maybe he'll see the love in his daughter's eyes and that will inspire him to change his life so he can be there for her. I just wish I could break through the cloud that surrounds him. I just keep praying and hoping it will happen for him one day soon because I don't know when his chances are going to run out. I am nervous because he has been given another great opportunity to turn his life around and I just don't know what he'll do with it. I know if it were me what I would do all I can do is hope he will do the same.

So I wonder how many chances do we all get to get things right? Usually this time of year brings a lot of joy, but for some it brings a great sadness as they mourn the loss of loved ones. How much time do we have with one another? How often do we take each other for granted and assume they'll always be around? I know I am guilty of this. This just reminds me that I need to try my best to make time count with my loved ones. I know it is unreasonable to make each and every moment count. All I can hope for is that at the end of each day, we can look back at it and say it was a good one. 

There are quite a few random thoughts flying around my head nowadays due to the impending deployment. From making the most of  the time I have left with the Hubs to wondering why people feel the need to put down on others to make themselves look better. I'll save that thought for another day. I'll leave this blog on a positive note with a photo of my new improved organized closet!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Snowed In!

I've been spending quite a bit of quality time with my family in the past few days. It was much needed! I am so glad my parents are here to help out too. Even though they are only staying a week, having an extra set of hands is spoiling me! Kailyn is getting pretty spoiled too with all the non-stop attention, she is eating it up. I wish I could give her the same constant attention when it is just her and I. They need to invent some sort of energy pill that doesn't have all the crazy side effects so I can be supermom!

We had a pretty memorable Christmas. This was Little Miss's first time opening gifts. Last Christmas she was barely 2 months old so she slept through Christmas morning gifts. It was so much fun to watch her face as she was opening her presents. I am so thankful the Hubs was able to come home for a few hours so we could open gifts as a family. I love being able to share memorable moments like that with him. My mom prepared an amazing Christmas dinner that night: turkey, dressing, green bean casserole, sweet potato crunch, cranberries, mashed potatoes, and fruit salad. My Bestie and her husband came over and she cooked pies for us. It was a great holiday! 
I woke up the day after Christmas to a snowstorm going on outside and was sad that another Christmas managed to creep up on me then pass too quickly. Its just that this is the last major holiday before deployment (I don't count New Years Eve as a holiday). The next big holiday will be Valentine's Day which has never gone well for me in the past so this year it looks like it will be following that trend. I am starting to make a list of things I want to do with my new year and first deployment in no particular order:
  1. Organize my closets! I am going to invest in some plastic bins to replace all the cardboard that is falling apart. I am starting out with the Christmas decorations and then moving onto my closet. I have all of my clothes from right after Little Miss was born still hanging up. While I can no longer fit them, I don't want to get rid of them just in case. So I want to put those in containers for my "fat days". I also need to do something with all my shoes! I have a walk-in closet I can't walk in because all my shoes are on the floor. Again, I am going to get the plastic shoe box size containers for them so they can be stacked. I have a nice big shelf that is full of crap too that needs to be boxed up. 
  2. Train to run a half marathon! I was hoping to run in the Shamrock Marathon but then I found out it was $200 per person and its already sold out so maybe I'll find another one to run in. I was a distance runner in jr. high and high school so I'd love to get back into it. Running also is one of my favorite ways to work out, especially running outside or on an indoor track. It really helps to clear my head which doesn't happen very often!
  3. Get back into Yoga! I have a gym membership and they offer lots of yoga classes yet my lazy butt is sitting here at home. Before the Navy life I took yoga classes at least once a week. I love how it mellows me out and how it calms me down. I can just let my mind go and it gets quiet. I've let myself get sloth-like and I've been using Little Miss as my excuse for not going lately: I hate leaving her crying in childcare at the gym. The staff is great with her, but hearing her cry as I'm walking away breaks my heart. I need to toughen up though because I am going to need some ME time and the gym will probably be my only refuge since they offer childcare. 
  4. Paint the guest bedroom! Right now it is the white color they have on the walls when you buy a house. All of the other rooms are painted. I just have to get approval from the property management. Its not going to be anything crazy or exciting, probably just some sort of off white or cream color. Just something other than the current flat white!
  5. Maybe get a tattoo?! I've been sketching and contemplating one for over 3 years now. I have a sketch I really like now that has all of the elements I want in it. My thoughts on body art: if you are going to have something permanent on your body it better be something meaningful. It should also be something personal you do for yourself since you'll be wearing it forever. I haven't decided if I want color yet or not. I also need to figure out who I want to do the tattoo. I will probably end up getting it done back home where I know I can get lots of references from friends. I haven't decided where to get it on my body yet. I have it narrowed down to my hip, either the front or back. I should also probably run this by the Hubs too...
So far that is it for my personal "to do list". I can't even begin to make a list of all my emotional goals or what I hope to accomplish with Little Miss in the upcoming year. 

What I am excited about this week: Shopping after Christmas sales with my mom! I finally got out to WalMart today and got a sweet deal on a new Christmas tree. Ours is pretty sad and looks like Charlie Brown's tree. I also went to Pier One and found some new home decor at amazing prices. I love shopping there but hate how pricey it can be, last year I discovered the crazy cheap prices after Christmas so I went back this year again. I also got quite a few gift cards this year so I'm hoping to hit up the mall this week too, whoever said gift cards are crappy gifts is crazy!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thursday Five

I am Jubilant that Little Miss managed to take a photo with Santa and she didn't cry!
I am Giddy about seeing the Christmas lights at the botanical garden with the Hubs and Little Miss tonight.
I am Excited my parents and little sister are coming in town tomorrow!
I am Thankful that the Navy worked with my Hubs so he could spend some of Christmas morning with us.
I am Stoked that its supposed to snow on Saturday night/Sunday!  

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I know I usually do a "Wordless Wednesday" but the past few days have been too aggravating for me to remain silent. I haven't had many spare moments lately, its been a hectic week. Between Navy medical and a roommate situation, yesterday was a complete bust. Today started off much better but then one simple email put an end to that. It seemed like everything I touched after that email tarnished, I even managed to break our DVD player in our bedroom. 

What is the "best" way to deal with anger, especially when the anger stems from something that can't be fixed? There are plenty of constructive ways to handle it. Some people go to the gym, some people meditate, and some people consume too much alcohol. For me, I clean until my hands are dried and cracked. I know every man's dream right? You can always tell how mad I have been by how clean my house is. Today I vacuumed both stories, scrubbed 2 bathrooms, dusted, mopped, and even used orange oil on the wood railing for the stairs & around the fireplace. You know its bad when I pull out the orange oil and polish. So even though I feel like I may explode at any moment my house is spotless, my daughter got a bubble bath, and the house is all quiet. 

I have to use my hands to do something when I get mad. I have quite the temper. I used to go to the gym when I was a member of a 24 hour one. I'd run on the treadmill or the elliptical until I was exhausted. But now since I have a little one that is kind of hard to do. I like to throw things too. But I've broken too many things in the past and then I get more mad because I broke something. I remember when I was a kid and I would be outside practicing my baton, I would get so angry when I couldn't get a particular trick or move down I would hurl the baton as hard as I could at the concrete or at the fence. Then I would scream. Screaming is good too. I still practice scream therapy from time to time, Little Miss finds it quite funny. I make sure not to scream at her or let her see my face when I do it, I don't want her to think my anger is directed towards her. I guess as long as she laughs that means she doesn't think I'm mad at her. 

I hope the rest of the week gets better, my house is as clean as it could possibly get! I feel bad complaining about my week too, especially when so many have it worse. I know when life hands you lemons you are supposed to make lemonade. Well, I am not to that point yet where I am ready to make lemonade. I just want to be mad and hurl lemons for awhile. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Somebody's Homecoming!

I am so excited for all the homecomings this week! Looking at the pictures posted makes me tear up. I've never been through the big deployment homecoming, so I can only imagine how these families feel. But my heart wants to explode everytime I see pictures or read blogs about it. I know your wedding day, the days your children are born, and other meaningful life events are supposed to be the "biggest" days of your life, but I bet homecoming from deployment comes pretty damn close. I figure if I focus on how exciting things will be when the Hubs comes home maybe the sting of him being gone won't be so bad. 

This won't be the Hubs first deployment, he was over in Turkey right after 9-11 with the Air Force. So he knows a little more what to expect than I do. That is both good and bad. I remember when he got back into the military with the Navy he told me stories about how crazy some of the wives went when the guys left on deployment when he was in the Air Force. I am pretty naive so I thought he was exaggerating. Boy was I wrong. My Hubs ship hasn't even deployed yet and I've heard about spouses cheating left and right. What is wrong with people today? I've never understood why people cheat. If you are unhappy with your marriage, fix it or divorce (preferably the former). I think when people cheat they are being extremely selfish and that is a trait that bothers me to no end. You are unhappy with your spouse: He treats you bad, he is mean to you, etc. That is not a good enough excuse to cheat sorry (now if you are abused, get help and get out! Don't stay if it hurts.). You took vows, didn't they mean anything to you? Reasons I have heard for cheating: Oh you were drunk? Well of course that is completely understandable not your fault at all...ahem NOT! If you can't drink and control yourself, don't drink. Your spouse doesn't put out enough? Learn to "take matters into your own hands" and go buy an adult toy. He/She cheated first. Haven't you ever heard that 2 wrongs don't make a right? How would cheating on an unfaithful spouse prove to be productive and fix anything? He/She is away and I am so lonely. I know its hard to be alone and the loneliness hurts so much. Cheating won't solve that. You'll still feel lonely AND now you'll feel guilty. I find it humorous when I hear people complain how homosexuals are ruining the sanctity of marriage. I am pretty sure us hetero's are doing a damn good enough job of ruining it ourselves. 

Okay I'll step off my soap box now. Back to cleaning my house in preparation for the family! Oh, Happy Birthday Mom!!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday Five

Today I am going to try out something new, thanks Flip Flops and Combat Boots!
All you have to do is grab the button (its on the sidebar) and list the five things that made you...
  1. I am Excited to have the Christmas gifts all wrapped and under the tree/packaged to ship! Now for the trip to the post office...
  2. I am Joyful that my Christmas tree is finally complete! I hung the candy canes today, its picture perfect to me :)
  3. Today I am Thankful the Hubs had duty and didn't have to drive home in the horrible traffic nor has to drive to work in the icy conditions predicted for the morning commuters.
  4. What makes me Happy? All the windows are being replaced in our townhouse on Saturday! Hooray for more energy efficient windows!
  5. I am Pumped my family will be in town in a week!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday!

This will help get you in the holiday spirit!


 I can't figure out how to flip the video around so just turn your head sideways :)


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cruddy Day

Normally I try not to let myself get mad or upset about what happens to me in life. Everyone has their burden, what matters is how they carry it -totally stole that quote from someone! But today is one of those days where I had no choice but to let myself break down and cry. I think everyone is entitled to a bad day once in a while. Today was mine!  

From the moment I woke up today, I should have known it wasn't going to be a good one. Little Miss woke up twice this morning before she was ready. On top of that, I woke up with what I thought were sinus problems so I took some Zyrtec. I walk downstairs and there is about a 10 degree difference. The thermometer reads 65 downstairs. Ughh. I hate when its this cold in the house and its only going to get worse in here until they replace all the windows on Saturday. Then I get an email from my Hubs about his new work schedule: He has duty Christmas Day. I was desperately hoping he would have it off. I know, I know, he's in the military that is just how it goes. But he gets no Christmas leave whatsoever so I was secretly hoping he would at least get off Christmas Day. So on top of the bad start to my day, I am crushed by this news. So I call my mom to tell her the bad news and that phone call didn't go as planned. Little Miss is still cutting molars so today was another great day for teething. She was cranky AND she also has the runny poops from cutting teeth. Well she blew out a diaper and as I was cleaning her bottom up, she reached down and got her hand in it. Complete disaster. She enters meltdown mode as I am quickly wiping her off, she has a diaper rash from teething so she cries every time I wipe her bottom, and she's mad I keep telling her "NO" and moving her hand when she tries to touch her poopy bottom. Ughh. I decide she needs a bath and so do I. After getting her situated, I get in the shower. She screams the whole time in her pack 'n play. Ughh. Her cries are like nails on a chalkboard to me. Eventually she goes down for a nap and I start feeling like crap again so I take another Zyrtec. The Hubs calls me and says he wants to have dinner with me so I get Little Miss ready to go out into the freezing cold and we make our way to base during the beginning of rush hour. As I am sitting in traffic, a rock hits my windshield and sends this HUGE CRACK horizontally halfway through my windshield. Shit. I scream at the crack as it continues to grow. Right now it goes from the drivers line of sight all the way over to the passengers line of sight. Ughh. I realize my Zyrtec isn't working and I realize I don't have sinus issues...I have the Crud. Thanks Hubs. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Crud, it is a mutated super-virus that is bred aboard military ships and other closed quarters. I got it last winter when my Hubs was in prototype after being on the sub. Its immune to any and all medicine and when you treat one symptom, another one shows up. So I feel like I have lava dripping down my sinuses: in my nasal passages, down my throat, and behind my ears. My whole body aches. Ughh. I finally get to the ship and see the Hubs. This is the high point to my day. He always knows what to do to make me feel better or forget about whats bothering me. This is why we work out so well together. We are never upset about the same things. After dinner I head home in rush hour traffic again. Thank goodness for HOV lanes! I call my sister and that conversation didn't go as planned either. At this point I realize I shouldn't be on the phone with anyone else today. Ughh.

I bet you are wondering why the Hubs doesn't get any holiday leave. Short answer is because he took leave over Thanksgiving. The whole explanation: my Hubs father has been in and out of the hospital for a year now. The Hubs reported to the ship in January 2010 so of course he couldn't get time off immediately. But he's been trying all year to take leave so we can go visit him. With the workup schedule they would only allow him to take up to 3 days. 3 days is just not enough time. They told him to wait and he would get more time. So that is what he did. We waited. When they finally tell him he can take more than 3 days its Thanksgiving. Then they tell him if he takes leave for Thanksgiving he won't be allowed to take any Christmas leave. What choice do we have? His dad happened to go into the hospital again at the beginning of November. I didn't want to wait until Christmas and then have him go back into hospital or anything worse. So we chose to take leave over Thanksgiving and forgo Christmas leave. So I've known since November that my Hubs would not have Christmas leave, but is it asking too much for him to have off Christmas Day? I guess so.

Now I am hanging out at home with a very content Little Miss, I am eating lots of fruit (vitamin C!), and watching the best movie ever, The Princess Bride. 

Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Making the best of it

One of my biggest pet peeves has to be last minute changes in plans. Lucky for me, I have the Navy to reprogram me so I can deal with this problem. The Hubs came home unexpectedly yesterday, I thought he had pull-in duty. Not that I'm complaining that he came home. I had planned on spending the whole day preparing the house, Little Miss, and myself for his homecoming. I was able to get everything done despite his early arrival. The weather was quite gloomy so we just stayed in, watching episodes of GLEE that he missed while he was away. I actually cooked dinner and it turned out well! He had to report back today so our time together was short, but sweet. I used to get so mad when his schedule only allowed us hours together. With the deployment on the horizon though I'm making an extra effort not to "sweat the small stuff". 

I started thinking last night what the deployment really will be like. I mean, if I think I am playing single mom now, how will I feel once the Hubs leaves? How well will we be able to communicate while he is gone? That is my biggest worry. When he is home, I feel we communicate very well. We are open and honest with one another. But so far we haven't communicated very well during the work-up period. For example: He swears up and down he told me in an email that he no longer had pull in duty this time. Yah. Right. Other than that sort of information, we have to learn to maintain our bond through email. I'm actually better at putting my feelings in writing than saying it. But for the Hubs, not so much. I don't know if he thinks it'll sound dumb or what. I'm not expecting love letters from him daily or even weekly. I don't expect a 3 page essay on the depths of his love for me. Just something beyond "I love you" once in a while. I'm not that insecure; He obviously loves me and is devoted to our marriage. But I find that women need reminders, especially this woman. I guess there are worse things I could be worried about when it comes to deployment. Trust me, I've heard my share of horror stories about unfaithful spouses. That is not a concern of mine. Not at all. 
So I guess after thinking about the bigger things that could worry me, my problem doesn't seem so bad. Plus, worrying now isn't going to make things any easier. Only time will tell how well we communicate while he is gone.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Has it been a year already?

A year ago on a frickin freezing cold day we moved to our current home. Little Miss was not even 2 months old. I was so worried about what the next chapter in our lives would be like. Our first duty station after training, our first deployment...had I known then what I know now, I would have been celebrating!

So today has been quite fantastic. I did a secret santa gift exchange with The Play Group. These ladies are so easy to be around, there is literally zero drama. Well, just baby drama! But that is to be expected when we all have one year olds. I am so lucky that my daughter gets to grow up around them. I also got to hang out with the Bestie and we went to a cookie swap. To be honest, I was a bit nervous about going. I do not make the best first impressions on people and I knew there were going to be some people there I wasn't familiar with. When I walk into a room of people, my gut instinct is to go hide in a corner somewhere. I am a shy person. It usually takes me a while to open up to people. Alot of the time people mistake my shyness for snobbiness or just think I'm a b*tch. My Bestie actually told me today that she's been asked by a few people whether I am a b*tch after they have met me only once (only because I was shy and didn't say much!). So yah I was a bit apprehensive about mingling today. It all turned out great though. I met some great ladies with kids and got to know a few other people better. Overall, a great day! Plus I got cookies. Today is another day that makes me count my blessings!

So the Bestie gave me this quiz today and I wanted to share it. It turned out to be true, it was kinda scary!

If you could only pick one out of all of these desserts which would you choose? 

Angel Food Cake
Lemon Meringue Pie
Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Icing
Strawberry Shortcake
Chocolate cake with chocolate icing
Carrot Cake

Angel food: Sweet, loving, cuddly. You love all warm and fuzzy items. A little nutty at times. Sometimes you need an ice cream cone at the end of the day. Others perceive you as being childlike and immature at times.

Brownies: You are adventurous, love new ideas, are a champion of underdogs and a slayer of dragons. When tempers flare up, you whip out your saber. You are always the oddball with a unique sense of humor and direction. You tend to be very loyal.

Lemon meringue pie: Smooth, sexy, and articulate with your hands, you are an excellent after-dinner speaker and a good teacher. But don't try to walk and chew gum at the same time. A bit of a diva at times, but you have many friends.

Vanilla cake with chocolate icing: Fun-loving, sassy, humorous. Not very grounded in life; very indecisive and lack motivation. Everyone enjoys being around you, but you are a practical joker. Others should be cautious in making you mad. However, you are a friend for life. 

Strawberry short cake: Romantic, warm, loving. You care about other people and can be counted on in a pinch. You tend to melt. You can be overly emotional and annoying at times.

Chocolate cake with chocolate icing: Sexy, always ready to give and receive. Very creative, adventurous, ambitious, and passionate. You have a cold exterior but are warm on the inside. Not afraid to take chances. Will not settle for anything average in life. Love to laugh.

Ice cream: You like sports, whether it be baseball, football, basketball, or soccer. If you could, you would like to participate, but you enjoy watching sports. You don't like to give up the remote control. You tend to be self-centered and high maintenance.

Carrot cake: You are a fun loving person, who likes to laugh. You are fun to be with. People like to hang out with you. You are a very warm-hearted person and a little quirky at times. You have many loyal friends.

I picked Chocolate cake with chocolate icing!  

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Soup is good for the soul

This has been such a busy few days and its only going to get busier! But you have to love this time of the year: Christmas music blaring everywhere, people acting more courteous, holiday decorations are out, and no matter how cold you are soup will warm you up! Just like that old Campbell's Soup commercial where the snowman eats a bowl of chicken noodle and melts back into a kid. Today I had the chance to hang out with some old friends and get to better know some new ones. We all chatted over bowls of yummy, warm soup. I just wish my house was bigger so I could invite more people over! Few things beat soup and good conversation :) 

For those of you that don't know, my Hubs is a nuke. They are a special breed of sailor. While I think my Hubs is completely normal most find that nukes are kind of weird. Then again, I am a HUGE nerd myself! I was on the flag team in high school and college. I did really well in school, even graduated with honors. I wear glasses. I like books. I never understood why wearing name brand clothing was such a big deal. I play video games online. Yup, I am a recovering WoW (World of Warcraft) addict. My Hubs and I have played for going on 6 years now. Well, not so much anymore since the Navy and Little Miss came along. I had to stop playing once I got preggo because the graphics made me sick and the Navy kind of put an end to my Hubs playing! But I do have a level 80 alliance human warlock for those of you interested. Yes, I am HUGE nerd.  So I can understand where people assume that nukes are weird. However, what I don't understand is the animosity towards nukes. A lot of it comes from other milispouses! Why the hate? One reason I have been given is because of money and rank. *While I realize that is not the only reason, this is the one I will address.* Do they know why the nukes make more money and rank faster? What they don't realize is how well the civilian side pays nukes so the Navy has to be competitive somehow in order to retain the nukes beyond their initial 6  year contract. That is right, my Hubs signed a 6 (not 4) year contract with the Navy. All nukes do. So while most start out with only 4 years, nukes contracts start out at 6 years. Why? Because school alone can take up to 3 years depending on how quickly the classes fill up. It took my Hubs 18 months to go through all 3 schools but he was lucky because his classes filled up right away. Their school is tough. *I'm not saying that any other school in the Navy isn't hard*  They work long hours and there is no such thing as weekends off. So my Hubs did this for 18 months. Now he's on a ship. He still works long hours. *I'm not saying that other sailors don't work as hard or as long* I'm not complaining, I'm just pointing out the facts. Because not only was school preparing him for the fleet, it was preparing me as well. Nukes are quite a risky investment for the Navy I think. If it takes up to 3 years of training, then they only have 3 years to use them in the fleet unless they reenlist. Like I said earlier, nukes make quite a bit more money civilian side. Just google salaries for Reactor Operators with experience. Yup, their time in the service gives them another advantage: experience. Something most college grads with a degree in nuclear engineering don't have. So before you go judging a sailor by his job, know the facts first. Do I think its fair that sailor's pay grades are different based on their job, not based on the amount of actual work they do? That is not for me to say. If it were up to me, we'd all be gazillionaires so money wouldn't be an issue. People would work because they were doing something that made them happy. What I don't think is fair is when people give nukes a bad rap because of rank/monetary reasons. Now if you don't like nukes because they are weird...well yah not much I can say to change your mind on that one. They may be strange, but some of them are great people! 

Sorry to "rant" so long about this. Just something I feel kind of passionate about. I was teased in Jr. High and High School (refer to above paragraph NERD). Some of it was because of the lack of money my family had. I didn't grow up poor, but there definitely were some kids I went to school with that were better off when it came to the financial situation. I hate to see people judged by the amount of money on their paycheck, whether it be a large or small amount. You shouldn't judge people at all, that power belongs to someone higher up.

I am so ready for the Hubs to be home, Little Miss is cutting molars and I need some relief. I have a busy few days ahead, pot lucks and cookies!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Christmas Story

Today I decided to stay at home to spend some time hanging out with my favorite little girl. I think Little Miss really needed the bonding time because she was in a much better mood today. Tuesday is our "date" night anyways...because we are GLEEks! I am so in love with that show. That show always manages to make me smile and Little Miss loves it too. She dances, sways, and claps her hands to the songs. One of these days I'll catch it on video. Tuesday is the only night I allow her to stay up later because GLEE doesn't come on until her bedtime. 

The episode tonight got me thinking about how close Christmas really is! It is right around the corner. Christmas has changed so much for me since when I was a kid. My family is from way north WI, but I grew up in the deep south. Every year, we made the long drive to WI to have Christmas with the entire family. My best memories are of the holidays with my family when I was a kid. We would stay with my grandparents who lived at the top of a hill. They had a long windy driveway and it was awesome to sled down. There was always at least a foot of snow so we would build snow forts along the driveway and ask the snow plow not to plow them over. We would come inside totally frozen, warm up with hot chocolate and soup, then head back out. Since they lived on a huge chunk of land, every year all of us cousins and the dads would go out into the woods and we would pick out a Christmas tree. They would chop it down then we would carry it back to the house to decorate. I remember we always kept track of who put the star on the tree. There were always candy canes on the tree. Some of ornaments were antique and some were homemade. The tree was always huge, I am guessing maybe 8 feet tall. After the tree was up, us cousins would go into the basement and start working on our Christmas skit. There were six of us, 4 girls and 2 boys. We were all around the same ages so it worked out great. The adults would hang out upstairs while we were downstairs rehearsing. We sang Christmas carols and I think one year we actually wrote a play. I remember one year recording myself playing the piano on cassette and bringing it up to WI so we could use it as background music for the Christmas Day event. We were no older than 12 when we did all this. Then on Christmas day when everyone was gathered around the tree, we would put on our little production. I remember Grandpa sat in his recliner. He always opened his gifts last. Grandma was always in the kitchen, she would peer over the counter. She even opened her gifts in the kitchen. At least that is how I remember it. There were so many gifts under the tree and so many family members in the house there wasn't room for anything else. We would have a big Christmas day meal. Grandma made the best cookies. Every year we heard the story about how when my uncle was a kid he managed to open up a gift, play with it, wrap it back up, and put it back in its hiding place without anyone knowing. I miss my picture perfect Christmas but I am so very thankful my family was able to give me such great memories! Those memories are irreplaceable.

It makes me teary eyed remembering all of this because it was just so perfect. How badly I want to go back to that place and let Little Miss have her Christmas's or to show the Hubs what a big family Christmas is like. I love remembering those Christmas's when I was a kid but at the same time I hate remembering when it all came to an end after my grandparents passed away. I had the type of Christmas that was in storybooks or Hallmark cards. It was almost too good to be true. One day, I want Little Miss to look back at her Christmas's and have the same great memories. Thank goodness we have a few years to work that out since she won't remember these first few! I know its going to be harder to establish some holiday traditions, especially because the Navy trumps everything. At least I have some great memories to serve as inspiration!

I hope everyone has a great Christmas story too and I hope you are able to share it with the ones you love! If you don't have a Christmas story, then no worries because its never too late to make one!

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Tale of Two Rings

Today has not been the best of days...Little Miss was not so happy today and I did more Christmas shopping. I consider myself extremely lucky because normally she has a very sweet personality and is quite easygoing. I guess if I were cutting teeth, going through a growth spurt, and going through Daddy withdrawals I'd be unhappy too. Her Daddy withdrawals usually hit around Day 3 and then wane from there. On the plus side of my day, I only have 3 gifts left to buy! One of them I have to get by the end of the week but the other 2 can wait until next paycheck. Phew! While I was out shopping today, I got a more than normal amount of compliments about my wedding ring. No, I'm not bragging. Its just my wedding ring isn't your average ring because it has sapphires on it and people notice it; Especially this time of the year when people are out jewelry shopping! So with a day like today, I decided blogging about my wedding rings would help put my bad day out of my mind and remind me to look at the bigger picture.

When you find out one of your friends is engaged, what is (generally) the first question thing you ask? LET ME SEE THE RING!! Then comes the "ooohs" and "ahhhs", its so pretty, its so sparkly! Usually that is where the ring conversation ends. The ring I was proposed to with was not brand new. My husband didn't nervously go into a jewelry store and spent his life savings on a ring. My ring is a "hand me down", but to me this makes it that much more special. My ring belonged to a very special person that I will never get to meet. Her life ended tragically before I came into my husbands life. She was a restaurant manager and her life ended at the hands of a disgruntled employee. I don't know much about her because it is still so hard for my husband to talk about. From what I do know, she was extremely kind, loving, and devoted. She was my brother-in-laws wife and my husbands best friend. The very few occasions I have been able to get my hubs to open up about her, I can see the love and hurt in his eyes. You know how they say that the eyes are the window to the soul? I believe this. I can see he really truly loved her and I doubt he will ever really get over the loss. So when he proposed to me, I think I was in more shock because he was giving me HER ring. And as coincidence would have it, sapphires are my birthstone and I think they were her birthstones as well.This is the ring I wear on my left hand.

On my right hand, I wear the wedding ring that belonged to my husbands birth mother. Her light dimmed long before the world was ready for it to go out. She passed away when my husband was an infant so all he knows about her is from pictures and stories. She was beautiful. I'm not just saying this because its rude to speak ill of the dead, she was really beautiful. She had a smile that looked like it would light up a room. That is something she passed on to her son. This Thanksgiving my hubs "mom" (he was taken in by his maternal grandparents) gave us a big bin of pictures of her. Little Miss has her eyes. We couldn't figure out where they came from but now we know. This ring was given to me very shortly after we were engaged. We were going to try to figure out a way to make it into a necklace, but we've decided to keep it a ring. I want to pass it down to Little Miss one day. 

To me, my rings are not just props used in a ceremony or part of a custom in western civilization. They mean as much to me as my marriage does. When I look down at my hands or whenever I spin these rings out of nervous habit, I'm reminded of the amazing women that are no longer here and it makes me want to make up for the lives they missed. I know they are looking down on my husband every day; I know they are both his guardian angels. Wearing these rings reminds me that I should strive to be the best person I can be. If I don't, in a way I'm dishonoring their memory. It puts a bit of responsibility on my shoulders because not only would I let my husband down, I would let down his entire family. 

I hope everyone has a great week and I hope you have someone warm to cuddle up to!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Elves and FRG

I wish I were like Santa and had a bunch of little helpers around to do all my Christmas shopping for me! Luckily for me, I have my Bestie to keep me sane at the mall during this crazy time of the year. Yes, I spent 5 hours shopping today and I only have 3 gifts left to buy now! I did well: I didn't buy anything for myself and I only spent about $8-10 per gift...but I did buy Little Miss 3 things! They just had some deals that were too good to pass up, thanks Bath & Body Works for making gifts that smell so good (and for your super sweet coupons)! I came home, organized all the gifts, and as the Bestie was leaving it started snowing. It officially feels like Christmas now.

I got to chat with a few other milispouses today, lots going on this time of year but I was able to make plans to hang out this week. Have I mentioned how thankful I am for the friendships I have made and the amazing milispouses I have met here? We moved here a year ago this month and I have met some of the nicest, strongest, and most inspiring women. I need to give credit where credit is due, I need to thank my FRG for giving me the chance to meet and get to know some great ladies!

Since my first meeting back in February, the FRG embraced me and my family with open arms. This was the FIRST time since I've been a milispouse that I've felt this warm of a reception from fellow wives. They all seemed to be bonded by the fact that their husbands served together and they were willing to let anyone else be a part of the group that shared this same bond. This totally contradicted everything I had heard about FRGs. I heard horror stories about officer's wives running the board and leaving enlisted wives out in the cold. I heard that FRGs caused nothing but drama because of the cliques instead of being a support group. But what I found totally contradicted all of these rumors. The board members were very friendly and never acted like they were better than me just because they were in a position of leadership. I felt like I was their equal and that any suggestion I had, no matter how dumb it was, they would take into consideration. I was invited to all the events and never felt like I was unwanted. I am a self proclaimed dork so I'm used to feeling like the outcast. But with the FRG, I can honestly say I've never felt that way. I was surprised just how busy the FRG kept me while the hubs was gone for workups. They provided ample activities where everyone could be included, whether you had children or not. We had a day at the beach, a picnic at the botanical gardens, numerous dinners out & pot lucks, an ice cream party, a halloween party, and meet & greets. I think the FRG has gone above and beyond to keep us occupied and keep us informed about what is going on with the ship. I consider myself VERY lucky to be a part of such a pleasant group. Of course there are always naysayers with any sort of organization, but I find their problems with our FRG unfounded. I commend everyone that has been a part of our FRG and helped to make it the superb group that it is. 

Maybe the FRG isn't for everyone though (if the rumors I heard prior to moving here are true). All I know are my experiences and thus far they've been magnificent. I hope there are great support groups out there for everyone, whether it is an FRG or just a group of milispouses there to help one another.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Wonder, Hope, a dream of possibilities

Today I received an email from Things Remembered telling me about a contest they are having. They are giving away 5 photo canvas art pieces and all you have to do is submit a photo and story explaining why you want that specific photo to live on forever. They have 5 categories so I submitted an essay and picture in the New Baby category. Head over there and check it out, the other categories are Holiday Memories, Birthdays, Weddings, and Favorite Pet. I should also give credit to BRYAN MYHR PHOTOGRAPHY for the amazing photo. For any of you ladies in Hampton Roads, you should check him out. He is easy to work with and his work speaks for itself. Its been a pretty hectic day so I decided this would be a good story to put on my blog :)

     Eda J. La Shan is quoted for saying, "A new baby is like the beginning of all things - Wonder, Hope, a dream of possibilities." This quote describes my life ever since my daughter, Kailyn Eileen, came into this world. I never thought that someone so small and so new could teach me more than I ever learned from textbooks or professors.

    Kailyn has taught me how amazing discovering the world really can be. While taking our first family pictures, we set Kailyn down in the sand while my husband and I took our photo shots. We were soon distracted by watching Kailyn's reaction to the sand. Even though we had taken her to the beach several times, it was like she was feeling the sand for the first time. The photographer took the opportunity to snap some shots of her discovering the sand.  Kailyn patted the sand to hear the sounds, she felt the sand between her fingers, she held the sand up to her face to see its tiny grains, and she even tasted is. This is the first time I clearly remember how astonishing it felt to be there when my daughter used the basic tools she was born with to discover something about her world. How many times had I been to the beach this summer and complained about the sand: How it seems to get everywhere, how it gets too hot to walk on? I acted as if it was something that just got in the way, nothing wonderful or special about it. But looking at it through Kailyn's eyes, it was like I was seeing the sand for the first time too.

    This photo reminds me how simple yet impressive the world around us can be. If we all just take the time to see things in a different light, like through a child's eyes, we all my learn to appreciate the wonder and beauty around us.