Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Logan singing My Country Tis of Thee

I know I've been MIA for awhile but Grad School has overtaken my life! One more week and I'll be FREE!! And then I have a million blog updates to post! I just had to share this little video I caught tonight, he's still learning the words and adding a few of his own but I just LOVE how patriotic my little boy already is!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

10 Reasons it's Great to be a Marine Spouse

This was posted on Facebook and I loved it so much I had to share!  

The Top 10 Perks of Being a Marine Spouse
by Erin Whitehead, 2010 Marine Spouse of the Year
Some days I have a love/hate relationship with the Marine Corps. And then there are the days when I have a HATE/HATE relationship with the Marine Corps. It’s on those days when I have to dig deep to remind myself that this life we have chosen is not always bad… and that even when it stinks, there is some humor to be found along the way. 
So if you are having an “Oohrah, I love the Marine Corps” kinda day, tuck this away for one of those “I never wanna hear that stinkin Marine Corps Hymn as long as I live” kinda days. ‘Cause I promise, one might be right around the corner. And if you can’t find something to laugh about, you might be that woman on the news in your curlers and slippers who was found in Wal-Mart ranting about civilians that just don’t understand. I care about you… I don’t want you to embarrass your children on TV. So without further ado, my Top 10 Perks of Being a Marine Spouse…

10) If you are about to marry a Marine, please read this before you register for your china. Don’t waste time looking at fancy glassware to serve up mixed drinks with your friends. First of all, most Marines prefer a can or a Dixie cup. But more importantly, after the first few Marine Corps Balls you will have an entire set of cool glassware commemorating the various years of the USMC’s birthday. After 10 years of Marine Corps Balls, you will be drinking out of them at dinner. After 20 years of Marine Corps Balls you will be giving them as Christmas gifts. So register for something useful, like your favorite curtains in a variety of shapes and sizes… guaranteed to fit whatever base housing you move into next

9) When all your civilian friends are paying $4.00 a pound for chicken breasts at the grocery store, you are getting a package of chicken breasts that have just been reduced to 20 cents a pound at the commissary! My heart beats a little faster when I think of the 20 cases of kids’ Suave shampoo I bought at a case-lot sale two years ago. Each bottle ended up being like 40 cents. So everyone in the house, including the dog smells, like Strikin Strawberry! (Note: TMO will not move 20 cases of shampoo for you, so only do this at the beginning of a tour at your new duty station.)

8) Do you hate your neighbor’s dog that barks at all hours of the night?  Do you despise the fact that your town has more tattoo parlors than good restaurants? Are you sick and tired of that one really annoying PTO Mom who seems to be perfect and always sends in $500 professionally wrapped gift baskets for Teacher Appreciation Day? Never fear, my dear! The Marine Corps doesn’t want you to have to suffer through all these things for more than… oh let’s say three or four years. Before you know it, your Marine will come home and say those famous three words: “We have orders.” And you can say goodbye to that duty station and start on a new adventure. Don’t worry. By the time the Marine Corps decides to move you BACK to that base in three years, there will probably be at least one new restaurant and that PTO mom will be in rehab.

7) We all know that the Corps likes to dish out mandatory fun for our Marines. But one of my favorite parts of being a Marine spouse is the mandatory honeymoon. Thanks to our frequent deployment schedule, there are some spouses who get to welcome their Marine back home at least once a year. After you haven’t been together for seven or eight months, all those things that annoy you about your hubby seem cute again… just like when you were newlyweds. By the time he starts to get on your nerves, he will be gearing up for that next deployment. And yes, homecomings can be a little overwhelming… but man, oh man, there is something to be said about the attention (and lovin’) you will get from your Marine after he has been sleeping in the sand next to smelly men for seven months!

6) As a Marine spouse, there is one thing for certain… you will never, EVER get bored of your house. Even if you are at one duty station for four years, it doesn’t mean you will stay in one house. You may start off in base housing, then decide to move off-base. And the people that have rented that house next to you will be foreclosed on, and you will have to move to your parents’ house for six weeks with your one-year old while your husband is in Spain. Or you might move to Florida just in time for hurricane season, get a huge hole in your roof during Ivan and have to move to base housing, only to realize a year later that the schools stink in that area and your daughter is starting kindergarten, so you move out in town. You laugh, but all this has happened to our family. We have been in our current house for two and a half years and I can already feel these walls closing in on me. I may need to buy all new furniture… or knock down a few walls, or something.

5) Speaking of furniture, you won’t ever get bored of that either. Sure, you may LOVE your leather couch, but you may not enjoy it as much when TMO accidentally loses one of the cushions and tears a hole in the back. And no matter how much you adore your Beanie Baby collection, after you have moved all 435 of them six times you will be selling them at a garage sale for a quarter… along with everything else you have decided it’s not worth keeping since your hubby decided it would be fun to try a cross country DITY move. Besides, when you get to that new house you may find that your dining room table will be spending the next three years broken down under your queen-size bed. The good news is that you get to go buy all new TV trays for the whole family!

4) You are reminded of what is great about America, every single day. When my Marine is home, I remember that there are great people serving our country when he walks in the door in his cammies. When I take my daughter to the movies on base, we stand before the film for the National Anthem and kids as young as two stand with their hands upon their hearts. When I am on base around sunset, I stop in reverence for a few minutes while Taps is played, remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice. When my husband is gone, I am reminded of the kindness of people who thank ME for my service, or offer a helping hand with yard work or carpooling.  When he comes home and talks about how different things are in other countries, I am reminded that we are the luckiest humans on the planet.

3) You will learn things about yourself that may simply amaze you. All of the trials of being a Marine spouse seem daunting to me, even after 10 years with my husband. But I realize that I am a much stronger person than I ever imagined. I am independent when I need to be and am smart enough to know when to ask for help. I still can’t fill the windshield wiper fluid in my car, or start the lawn mower… but I budget wisely and pay someone else to do those things. There are still times when I sit sobbing in my bathrobe at 3 a.m., because he is on duty and I am convinced there is a monster under the bed after watching a Halloween episode of a sitcom on Nick at Nite.  But then there are the times when he is deployed, my daughter has the stomach flu, the dog just rolled in a pile of mud, the washing machine is making that weird noise again and the garage door mysteriously keeps opening on its own and won’t stay shut. Somehow I keep it all together, take care of my daughter, bathe the dog, ignore the washing machine sound until Monday and miraculously figure out how to disconnect the automatic garage door opener while the door is down. And I feel like Superwoman. Until Monday, when the washing machine repair man is here and all of a sudden… I get the stomach flu.

2) You will meet some of the best friends of your lifetime while you are a Marine spouse. You may only get the pleasure of living close to them for a few months or years, but you are blessed to have them in your life forever. They are the ones who answer the phone at 3 a.m. when you are sobbing in your bathrobe… and they don’t think you’re nuts. When you just have to have a meal that is not offered in your little town, they hop in the car with you and all the kids and drive 90 miles to the closest Olive Garden. They are the ones that will help you get in the shower after you had surgery, because your husband is deployed. They sit there and talk to you until it’s time to help you drag your naked body back out. And years later when you have been apart for too long, you can still show up at their house on vacation and it’s like nothing has changed. The absolute hardest thing about being a Marine spouse, hands down, is saying goodbye to friends.  But it is a price I am willing to pay in order to have all these incredible women in my life… from sea to shining sea and beyond.

1) I love and respect all members of the military and the people who support them and serve with them every day. It doesn’t matter to me what branch you or your spouse serve. But I do have to say that there is one DISTINCT advantage to being the spouse of a United States Marine, and no other branch can come close to beating the Corps in this regard. Those incredible Dress Blue uniforms. There is just nothing sexier than my husband in those dress blues… awww, let’s face it… anyone in blues. Quasi Moto would be a stud in those things. My favorite night every year is the Marine Corps Ball. Getting to dress up in a fancy gown and being escorted into the room by my very own Marine. And let me tell you, he has some serious bling on that uniform, you can hear it jingling like Santa from a mile away. My very own hero… oohrah! No night helps us to remember the great tradition of the Marine Corps like the night of the ball. When the band plays the hymn and we all stand while watching that huge cake being brought into the room, my heart swells with pride. When the colors are presented, I have to wipe a tear from my eye. And later on after all the ceremony is over and the drinks are flowing, there is just nothing better than watching a sea of Marines and their dates dancing and singing the words to “Baby Got Back” on the dance floor. Those Marines know how to fight… and they know how to party. Next year my husband won’t be here for the ball for the first time in 10 years. I will miss it, but luckily they don’t take those dress blues with them where they deploy. Anytime I want, I can go into the closet, unzip that clothing bag and think of the next time I will see my husband in that uniform. I can straighten all the Eagle Globe and Anchors and remember what the Corps stands for. I can run my hand over his many medals and smile with pride at what he has accomplished. I can look at his chevrons and think back on those early years when there were no rockers, and a lot less paycheck. And I can look down at the blood stripe that runs down the leg of the trousers and say a prayer for those who have sacrificed all… then pray with all I have that my Marine makes it home safely.

Many Kind Regards,

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Happy 1/2 year Annabelle!!

How is it even possible?  Belle is half a year old already!!  She's growing so fast and trying to keep up with her brother and sister.  On her 6 month birthday she decided to start sitting up on her own! She's low crawling and rolling all over the place, she's rarely where I left her when I put her down.  Belle is definitely on the move now!

She's now a whopping 15lbs 10ozs, she gained a pound and a half in a month! Guess cereal in her bottle is fattening her up! She did slow on her length growth and is still around 27 inches. And as always was a champ for her shot! 
Peak a Book I see you!

Such a cutie even in lime green!

Showing off her sitting skills in her room!

So happy - love that girl!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011


The best part of the Miramar airshow is the Marine Air Ground Task Force Demonstration (MAGTF).  It shows how all the parts of the Marine Corps come together to accomplish a mission.  I'm a little partial to the air portion, plus my iPhone overheated so most of the pictures are of the aircraft.

Marines about to repel out of a Huey (missed the pic of them actually repelling)

Marines being extracted by a Huey or Marines on a rope like I call it! LOL!

The  ground guys come in after the area has been secured & assault a target

4 Cobras

The mighty Battle Phrogs insert troops!

Here are the 53s on the final "parade" I missed an awesome on of them lifting a Humvee (darn iPhone overheating!!)

And here come the Ospreys!! (from VMM 166 no less!)

if you ask Peyton what that is she'll tell you "A transformer"

Harrier doing a vertical landing, loudest thing there!!
Nothing makes me more MOTO than the MAGTF!!  I'll tell anyone who asks, I drank the Kool Aid, I LOVE THE MARINE CORPS!  OOHRAH!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Fun Day at the Airshow!

The MCAS Miramar Airshow is something we look forward to each year.  This year we hit the kids expo area first so we weren't rushed through.  After seeing all their teachers & caregivers fro the Youth & Teen Center, getting their faces painted & playing a few carnival type games, the kids were able to do a Home Depot Children's Workshop! They also did a few other booths getting to color with textures, design an airplane, & other fun kid things!!

Getting ready to start their projects!

Very proud of himself!

 After walking the expo we toured a huge KC135 Air Force Refueler and looked at a few others.  Bummed we missed the giant C5 this year (apparently it arrived Friday night).  At noon we headed to the stands to watch the MAGTF demonstration (my favorite part, I'll blog more about that later). After last year I knew we'd need ear muff type hearing protection for all three this year. 
Logan stylin in his blue!

Peyton's hot pink (still wearing that home Depot apron!)
And Belle rocks the pink too!!
All in all a great day at the airshow, the kids liked walking around more than watching the aircraft.  I look forward to many more years at the airshow!!  Here's a few cute shots of the kiddos that I had to share!!
Lunch break in the van, sitting in Belles carseat! (still wearing that apron!!)

Blue cotton candy with LOTS of dye apparently

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Peyton's 1st Day of Preschool 2011-2012

This year Peyton is returning to the Part Day Preschool Program at the Youth and Teen Center aboard MCAS Miramar.  She loved the program last year and now she's in the "big girl" class.  She goes Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays for three hours in the morning.  She has all the same teachers and many of her classmates moved up with her.

When we were school shopping we found all the summer sundresses on clearance and I let her pick and she wanted the ladybug one.  So super cute!!
And no 1st day ensemble is complete without accessories from Too Tutu Cute!! (http://www.tootutucute.com/)!  Rachael never even saw the dress and the bow was so PERFECT!!
Showing off her new preschool-sized Princess backpack!

Too cute for words!

Ready to go mom, stop taking pictures already!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Our Kindergartener!

Logan has been looking forward to Kindergarten all summer!  He would say something every time we went past his "new school".  And finally the day has arrived, we sent our first born off to Kindergarten!

Very excited about his angry bird zipper pull!
He is on a co-teaching team this year.  One teacher teaches Monday through Wednesday and the other teaches the rest of the week.  Both ladies are great!  And Logan loves school already!
It's official!

Getting right to work!
In San Diego there are no buses and Kindergarten parents are expected to drop off and pick up at the class room.  So I was able to get a few pictures after school too!
Showing me he got a 'green' card today!

Logan and his crown he made!
We figured there is only 1 first day of school ever and we needed to make it special for Logan.  After coming home and crashing hard for a 2 hr nap we headed out to Corvette Diner for dinner.  The kids LOVED the atmosphere, game room and especially the milkshakes!

Annabelle, the 5 month old!

How is it possible? Time seems to just be getting faster and faster! Annabelle Brynn is already 5 months old!! It has definitely been a hard, long 5 months but yet looking at my precious baby I can't believe how time has flown!

So happy and sweet!
With her big brother and big sister to keep up with Belle is in a huge hurry to do everything they are doing! I had not planned to start solid foods until she was 6 months but the she began showing signs that she was ready.  She loves rice cereal mixed with any kind of juice and screams if I put the bowl down!! Hope she keeps up the excitement when we start into baby food.

I'll just do it myself mom!
Her motor skills are improving by leaps and bounds.  I truly think she is trying to catch up to Logan and Peyton.  A month ago she was barely holding herself up on her arms for a few seconds now she's got all kinds of new tricks! 
Checking out the baby in the mirror!
She's rolling all over the living room, getting up on her knees pushing forward and falling back down (my little inch worm!), and now she's getting up on all fours!  She's going to be crawling before I know it!

Watch out world, here I come!

And it's not September in our house without one or all the kids dressed in their best scarlet and grey! Just as cute as Peyton was cheering for the Bucks! O-H-I-O!

Lil' Buckeye
I've said it a million times, Duffy is the sweetest, kindest dog you will ever meet.  Any time Belle is playing on the floor he will go lay down next to her and protect her.  He puts up with all the kids laying on him, jumping on him, pulling his tail.  He truly is the best dog in the world.  I caught this sweet picture while trying to take Belle's 5 month pics.  I think it's definitely a keeper!
Puppy Love

Monday, September 5, 2011

Peyton's 1st Haircut!

Anyone who knows Peyton is probably really shocked to see this blog!  For those who don't she is certainly a hair diva!  I found a Tangled shirt that pretty much summed up Peyton, it said "It's all about the hair".  This child brushes her hair non-stop and is convinced she too will be Rapunzel one day.  Problem is at almost 4 years old she has never had a haircut, the ends were always knotted, and it was a struggle to get her hair tangle free.  After months of talking about it I finally convinced her to trim the ends to help it be healthier and grow.

Miss Danielle cuts Mommy & Logan's hair too.  Peyton was so excited!

Sitting super still for her hair "trim"

My big girl

All done, truly you can't really tell but we took about an inch off!

Sunday, September 4, 2011


So we had 2nd day free tickets to Legoland from our visit back in July.  We ended up having to go on a Sunday and to beat the crowds we were there when they opened the turnstiles, and then opened the park in sections.  Our first planned stop was the water park but we were early so we played a little to start with!

Early birds get the train to themselves! And get to ride as long as they want!!

At 10 the entire park opened and we rushed up to the water park to beat the crowd.  This was the one thing we HAD to do on this visit.  Logan, the iPhone expert, has been scoping YouTube and the Legoland app and had learned all there was to learn about the new water park! 
Logan on Build-A-Raft River, the one thing he HAD to do.
Peyton was a little scared but the life vest helped calm her & she loved it!

Daddy & his girls on one of the slides in DUPLO Splash Safari.

Two fun filled hours at the water park and the kids were asking to ride the big rides out in the main park.  So we walked out to the car, changed clothes, ate lunch daddy packed for us, and headed back in to ride as much as we could!! Peyton was already tired and her timidness stopped her from riding most of the ones we tried but Logan was a riding fool!

Logan wanted to ride the Lost Kingdom Adventure back in June but the line was too long so this time we made sure we checked this one off his list!

The Royal Joust where Sir Logan rode the blue horse

Nothing makes Peyton's day more than meeting a fellow princess!

One of the few rides we were able to talk Peyton into, Flight Squadron is definitely daddy's domain!

Logan's turn, he was so patient watching Peyton go first.

Belle being a big girl in the stroller

The Fun Town Fire & Police Academy was a work out for daddy since Belle & I couldn't ride.  Logan 'helped' and Peyton was along for the ride.  But this was another "have to" on Logan's list.
Every time we've gone to Legoland the line for the Sky Cruiser has been ridiculously long.  But this time it was manageable (especially since it has a Lego play area for kids while parents wait in line)
A great way to end our Legoland day!
We stopped by the Sea Life Aquarium on the way to the car to take full advantage of the park hopper passes.  I knew that my dad would have wanted us to use the tickets he bought us and was smiling down on us the whole day.  This place will definitely always hold a special place in my heart.