Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Oh the adventure...

Our time in Anchorage is coming to a close. This time, at least! Who knows if we'll ever make it back--we certainly didn't expect it when we left last time! It's been a great 3 years and I'm a little sad to leave. (Ask me in October if I miss it...I'll probably say HECK NO! because I'm not having to deal with snow and extreme cold!) Yesterday we went to the Alaska Zoo for the last time, got some great views of the moose, he even posed for me! We also got to see the Funny River pups (5 wolf pups that were rescued from the Funny River fire) and I just wanted to go cuddle them. They are so adorable! There were also 3 moose babies that ran up to the fence when Munchkin and I came up to see them. I wouldn't mind cuddling them either. 
Mark managed to get us an amazing room--since on post lodging was full, we're out in town--and I will miss the amazing views around here. It's nice to be able to sit here and really soak it all in before we go! 
The movers were in last week and they were AMAZING. They were fast, courteous, and SO careful with our stuff. The most amazing part? They had common sense! Some movers don't and some crazy stuff gets packed. We did end up with a couple things getting packed that weren't supposed to (like Munchkin's Epi-Pens!) but nothing that we can't fix. It wasn't my purse or dirty dishes (both of which I've been told have gotten packed before...). 
Lightning headed off to visit Auntie, the kids were NOT happy to leave him at the airport for his flight, but he got there safely and is happily waiting for us to come get him. 
The kids are doing really well for the circumstances. Munchkin has accepted this and is just going with the flow--I've been telling her ever since we got the official word that the Army is telling Daddy that he has to go work somewhere else now, so we have to move. We've talked it up to her and she's excited to be close to Texas! She'll tell anyone that'll listen that Louisiana is Texas's neighbor! Lil' Man, on the other hand, isn't taking it as well. He cried when we left our house for the last time, keeps asking to go back, and generally is just stressed. It's hard to remember he's only 2 1/2 some days, because he acts so much older most of the time! This is the only place he's ever known, he doesn't understand moving, and we've just ripped away everything he's known and thrown it upside down! Munchkin does her best to comfort him too and he just needs some reassurance every now and then. I think he'll be the most excited to get a new house on the other end of all this!
I'm excited, nervous, and a little terrified for this trip. The big carrot on the end of the stick is Disneyland. I CANNOT wait to get there and see our kids go crazy (hopefully in a good way!) and have an excuse to act a little crazy myself. I'm also super excited to see my parents there too. (Yes, we'll be seeing them a couple days later in Texas too...but still) Canada is my biggest anxiety-inducer. I have printed off info from both the U.S. and Canada about what ID is required at the borders since we had problems with that before and really just since we're driving through some remote country, I always worry. At least we're in the summer for it and if there is a place, it's more than likely open! 
I think we'll have a pretty amazing trip, I just hope we all have our sanity at the end of it. 19 days on the road (plus 4 at Disney) is a long trip! Then we'll have almost a month in Texas before finally heading to Fort Polk in August. Here's crossing fingers that we don't have to wait for housing!!
Sorry that this post is more than all over the place, I can hardly have an uninterrupted thought these days with everything that's going on! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Project: Finish!

It's getting incredibly close to moving time--the movers will be here the middle of next week! I went through my pile of mending/items to be finished and got them all done this morning! (I'm still working on my birthday sewing projects, but I'll tackle those in a little while, only two little things to go!) The biggest thing I had to do this morning was a jean skirt refashion for Munchkin. I'm glad I got it done now because when I was getting her to try it on to see how it fit, it's not too big like I thought it would be! So now she has another skirt to wear this summer! Woohoo!

Jeans to skirt refashion, of course with as much pink as possible!
I'm glad that I'm finally using up this pink polka dot fabric, it was originally intended to be a shopping cart cover for Munchkin (that'll tell you how old it is...) and I never got past cutting out the pieces, so I've been trying to use them up however they'll fit in something! The ruffle came from being frustrated at trying to hem it otherwise and of course it added more pink that Munchkin loves. It's from my birthday projects and there's plenty left over, so yay for that!

Other things finished today that I didn't take pictures of: Munchkin's Minnie Mouse skirts that MG made for her got the buttons for their adjustable waists and a few of our reusable shopping bags that ripped got stitched up. 
I'm so happy to not have those things get packed and have projects looming over my head when we move in now!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Jamberry vs Nail Polish

Wifey at Wife Of A Sailor has recently become a consultant for Jamberry Nails. She generously offered samples and I jumped on that! Who wouldn't love a manicure that lasts longer than nail polish and in more designs than even some of the most talented nail artists could do? All at home? I want to try that! My sample arrived yesterday and I got a chance to put them on this afternoon. As always, I'm totally honest. I had issues applying these. I think I just have oddly shaped fingernails (and one of my nails I knew would be an issue, I *think* it's funky due to slamming my fingers in a car door as a kid, but it might not be) but I don't think these are going to last the 2 weeks that they claim they can last. I also had issues with trimming them. I can't get them to trim without being jagged (my scissors are the problem here, I'm sure) and I don't have a file (WHA?!) so I can't file them like is recommended. I want to love them, and I absolutely LOVE the designs, I'm not even sure how many pages I dog-eared in the catalog and I know there were a few pages that I wanted more than one design shown! (My favorite? The Mommy & Me options!) I have a few more strips on the sample sheet left, so I'll continue to give them a try and see if I can figure out how to make them work for me.
The sample challenge is this: see how well Jamberry holds up vs regular nail polish after 7 days. So I actually ended up doing 2 nails on each hand with a Jamberry wrap (since the first one I did is my problem nail) and the other 3 with Essie nail polish. Nail polish typically lasts 3 days before showing major wear/chipping for me, so we'll see what the end of the week looks like. This week isn't going to be a week I can pamper my hands either. It's the week before the movers come and we've gotta get busy making sure we're ready for them and to get out of this house the following week. *insert minor freak out that it's getting insanely close to moving time!*
Here are my starting pictures:
Chevron and lace. The lace is on my problem nail, so I don't expect it to really last long.

Other hand! 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Hip to be cool


I don't know if I've mentioned it, but as part of our PCS trip, we're going to Disneyland!! We're SO incredibly excited and I can't wait to get there. The kids are super stoked and keep taking about who they want to meet. I've been looking up tips/tricks/ideas for doing Disney with little ones and one thing I kept seeing was to give kids their own way to have snacks and other little things. Backpacks are ok, but require adult help to get into/out of, so not as great as I'd like. Fanny packs/waist packs see to be the best option. They're accessible by the wearer and aren't in the way on rides, so they can stay on all day long! I couldn't find any that were really cute and even the not so cute ones were kinda pricey. So I turned to Pinterest and one of the very first pins was an awesome tutorial/pattern for "hip pouches". I had most of the material needed, so I didn't spend much and I used up some of my fabric stash!!
Here's the pin:





And here's my finished projects!
Munchkin's bag! She was SO excited that it was pink! 

Lil Man's bag. I thought this fabric was a great fit for him since he's super excited about Cars Land! 

He was SO excited to show it off! He wants to wear it everywhere now and got mad at me when I made him take it off! (This is his "Cheese!" face...I have a lot of pictures like this!)

So I noticed *after* I had finished Lil Man's that I put the zippers in opposite ways. Which may actually work out because Munchkin is definitely right handed and Lil Man is showing signs of being a leftie like me and I think that I managed to get them in accordingly. So we'll call it a custom design feature. They're also the first two zippers I've ever done, so they aren't perfect, but they work and aren't TOO bad! There's lots of room on the waistband too, so they'll be able to use these for a long time. Oh...and the buckle that looked black in the store? Yeah, it looks more navy at home. Oh. Well. The package didn't have a color listed and everything else looked black. At least it's not up against the black of the fabric!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The end of the diaper bag era, or why I want to make my own birthday present

Well, I'm surprised it's come so soon, but we're pretty much done with our diaper bag days! We try to remember to at least grab it and stick it in the back of the van on the rare occasion that one of the kids has an accident (and that means remembering to keep extra undies and bottoms in there too!), but more often than not it gets left at home and thankfully we've only had one incident that we needed it and didn't have it.

I'm not sure what to do without a diaper bag to lug around since I've been carrying one for almost 5 years! Our current diaper bag was bought when Munchkin was about 7-8 months old and is still in fabulous condition (thanks honey, for convincing me to spend what I thought was WAY too much money, it was a good investment!) so I'm not going to get rid of it since we can use it for trips and whatnot. Since I've had a diaper bag to carry, I haven't carried a purse in what feels like forever. I did both for a little while, but it got too cumbersome and I quit when I was pregnant with Lil Man. I just had my wallet and tossed it in the diaper bag, then when my wallet bit the dust, I moved everything to a wristlet and that's what I'm still carrying around now. Without the bag to just toss it in though, it can get in the way. So now I'm back to needing a purse. Trying to find one I like and am willing to spend the money on though? That's a problem. So now I've come to the conclusion that I just need to make one. Since I literally have a whole slew of Pinterest boards dedicated to sewing, and one with quite a few bag patterns/tutorials, I've decided to make a set for myself.

Here's where the making my own birthday present comes in. I've mentioned it before, but I'll say it again, I HATE spending money on myself. I know I shouldn't feel guilty because I don't buy frivolous things and I only buy things for myself when I need them, but still, I feel like I should be spending money on the kids, Mark, or the house. Mark says I'm terribly hard to shop for, because I won't ever say that I really want anything (because again, that means spending money on me). Mark will tell me this isn't birthday present worthy, because it's something that 1) I have to make and 2) is utilitarian. Oh well, it's my birthday and I'll ask for something boring if I want to. So here's what I want to make!





















So a bag, a phone pouch, a chapstick coozie, and an earphone pouch, all out of matching and coordinating fabrics. Oh, and also a new key fob, since the one Mom & I made (not long after Lil Man was born) is starting to fall apart.I am going to have to do this way before my birthday though, as we will start the moving process the following week, but hopefully I can do it all before we move! Now to find a chance to go to JoAnn by myself....hey, there's another part of the present! Of course I'll post the finished product once I'm done!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wardrobe remix

A few months ago, after reading different blog posts on jeans and such, I really got tired of the fact that jeans are so hard. It's like you can pick two: fits well, comfortable, affordable. I'm not going to spend $100+ on jeans. Ok, I'm super cheap, I don't even like to buy Old Navy jeans at full price. After being annoyed with fussing with my jeans for the billionth time, I decided I'm done. No more jeans for me. Now don't go thinking I'm in sweats or yoga pants all the time, I decided that skirts & dresses were my new best friends. Especially with moving to Louisiana this summer, jersey maxi skirts are awesome. I bought a couple chambray shirt dresses and a denim half button shirt dress from Old Navy and a couple new maxi skirts. Plus, a lot of tights!
It was a little more difficult in the winter months, but with my fleece tights, insulated Skhoop skirts, and leg warmers under my boots, I was ok. I only had to deal with February and some of March for the really cold weather, so I'm sure I would've done it a little differently if I'd started in the even colder times.
I joked that people are going to start thinking we're religious fanatics because Munchkin also prefers skirts and dresses coupled with our super long hair (hers is past her bum, mine is waist-length right now). I did run across a lot of religious blogs when I was searching for winter dress/skirt ideas and some of them were informative without being preachy, but others were just in-your-face. Then recently, Jessica at Beyond Moi shared a link on their Facebook page for a satirical piece about the purity culture. The sad thing was, when I read it, it read just like some of the blogs I'd come across! If I hadn't been made aware that it was satire from the get go, I would've thought he was just another zealot. I don't want people to think that this is where I'm coming from. I think that modesty is a mindset, not a list of rules. Every culture has different body parts that are considered immodest, for some it's breasts, for some it's knees, for some it's everything but the eyes (and even then...), so really, you can't please everyone! Even within the same religion, it varies by region and denomination! I also don't buy into the thought that men are little more than animals who can't control themselves and that I should be responsible for everything they say, think, and feel.
As it turns out, skirts, especially jersey maxi skirts, are insanely comfortable. With the dresses I've bought, I do have to be more careful when wearing them because they're just above the knee, but my maxi skirts, I can get on the floor with the kids just as easy (or easier, because they're not cutting my legs off) than if I was in jeans. I did keep one pair of my jeans for "emergencies", if we ended up doing something that really required them, but I don't know when I'll wear them again. I also still wear my workout capris (see, I'm really not buying into the purity culture modesty dress code!) for exercising, as well as my SkirtSport skirts. Pretty much whatever's clean and matches the top I want to wear! If you'd like to see more about my outfits, I'm always adding them to my Stylitics closet & calendar, which you can see a little bit of here. To be able to view the closet, you do have to sign in though. It's free and actually a little addicting once you get started, if you're interested!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Oh, Munchkin!

Our Mother's Day has been pretty low-key, but a good one for our family. We were excited to find out that the Anchorage Market & Festival (colloquially known as "Saturday market") opened yesterday, so we decided we'd head down to see how it was shaping up this year.
Munchkin got excited that they had sidewalk chalk and a big area to draw, Lil Man just wanted to walk around, holding Daddy's hand, and pick up pebbles, and we were happy to be out in the GORGEOUS weather. We talked to a guy at the Alaska Coffee Roastery table, got some coffee samples, and got invited to a tour of the facility when I mentioned that I love the smell of coffee.
We walked around downtown for a little bit and stopped for a treat at the Alaska Cake Studio (where Mark ended up buying me a treat for there and one to take home as a Mother's Day gift..hmm, he knows I'm a sucker for sweets!) and then decided to get some hot dogs from the corner vendor and eat lunch in the sunshine.
Munchkin had been having some problems listening this morning, but she was back to her normal self by then, and having finished her chips, she was ready to throw her trash away. She came to me, showed me her trash and asked if she could walk over to the trash can. I told her sure, since it wasn't far away. To our shock, she walked to the curb, stopped, looked both ways, and started to step off to cross the street! We started yelling her name to get her attention, trying to point to the trash can that was on OUR side of the street! Mark went to her and got her before she made it off the curb (and thankfully there was on street parking that she would've walked through, so she had a little bit before actually being in the road!) and the poor girl almost started crying! She couldn't understand why we were upset when she had asked permission--and received it! Mark explained he was scared, and that's why he yelled "at" her, and then I told her I had misunderstood which trash can she wanted to use. She spent the rest of lunchtime in my lap. I did tell her that I was proud of her for being careful and looking both ways before starting to cross the street. At least we know she's really learning some of the things we're trying to teach her!! Next time we'll be making sure that we're all on the same page about what she's trying to do!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Crowdtap Herbalistas Herbal Essence Body Wash

Thanks to Crowdtap and Herbal Essences, I got to try their new body wash! I received "Hello Hydration" as my sample and having used this scent in the shampoo/conditioner about 7 years ago (umm....where has time gone? I can't believe it's been that long!), it was just as I remembered, which is awesome. It's tropical, coconut-y, fruity, and floral.
My usual St. Ives (I'm not particular with scent/type usually) and the sample of Herbal Essences.
As far as body wash goes, it's typical. Since my sample was just a little travel size, I found that it was thinner/more runny than my normal body wash (St. Ives) and so I used more at a time than normal. I don't think this would be an issue with a full size bottle with a normal top though. Even with that, this little bottle has lasted me about a week. One thing I have noticed was that the scent stayed on my skin  most of the day. It's faint, which is good, because it's not an in-your-face type deal, but definitely there if you go for a sniff. Nobody commented on it, so I don't think it's something that people are going to notice, but I would get a hint of it here and there.
The new line includes "Body Burst" (invigorating citrus--this one sounds like something I'd love!), "Happy Go Lather" (floral), "Hello Hydration" (tropical coconut floral), "Honey, I Smell Good" (soothing honey & apricot), and "Totally Twisted" (juicy--whatever that means!). I do like that they've made the body washes match the haircare lines, so you don't have to worry about competing/conflicting scents!
Overall, I'm not sure I'll switch, because I've been happy with my recent choices for a few reasons. Also, the matching scents for products doesn't really have much draw for me since I've been "no-poo" for over a year now and my hair doesn't smell like anything. I will definitely keep it in mind though, and when I see it in a store, I'm stopping to smell them all!

*Disclosure: I received this product from Crowdtap & Herbal Essences to share my experience with others. The opinions expressed in this post are my own.*

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Less drama, more real: The Real Military Wives of Blogland

Mal Smiles

I found this link-up from Janelle at Wild Blue Yonder and thought I'd jump in! I'm Diana, Army wife. We'll celebrate our 8th anniversary this year and he'll mark his 7th year in the Army this summer. We're high school sweethearts--we met and started dating when I was a freshman, he was a sophomore. When we first met, he told me he wanted to join the Army, become an Airborne Ranger, and die in combat before he turned 30--meaning he didn't want to get married or have kids, because he didn't want to leave a family behind. Thankfully his goals have changed a bit! 
As for me, I'm a stay at home mom to our two kids, Munchkin (4) & Lil Man (2) and while they drive me absolutely crazy some days, I absolutely LOVE the time with them. In fact, we're planning on homeschooling, partially due to our military lifestyle!
Our military story is fairly uneventful, he joined about a month before our first anniversary and went through training at Fort Knox, KY. After he graduated, he went to Airborne training and then came to beautiful Fort Richardson, AK (now Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK). After a few months of paperwork, in March of 2008, I finally got to move up too! 
He had a fairly busy year with getting ready to deploy for the 09-10 rotation, and about a month before he left, we found out we were pregnant with Munchkin, only a month after a miscarriage. He did make it home for her birth at least! As far as deployments go, it wasn't bad. (Especially looking back on it 4 years later!) Soon after he got home, he got orders for Fort Polk, LA. We moved down there, were there for 1 year, 4 days and came right back to JBER, AK! We really couldn't leave there fast enough, but there were good times--which is good because we're heading back there in just a couple months! 
We're calling ourselves a ping pong ball. Who knows where we'll end up after this? As much as I love Alaskan summers, I'm not a fan of the bitter cold and insane amounts of snow (that wasn't as bad as the rest of the country this year!!), and I'd really rather see somewhere else while we're moving on the Army's dime! 
Something that I'd like others to know about military wife life is that it's nothing like you see on TV--ESPECIALLY if you happened to catch OWN's Married to the Army: Alaska (oh gosh, that was a pain to have filming all over post!). I only watched one full episode and bits of others and couldn't handle how crazy they made it! We're just normal people living our lives like everyone else. Yeah, we have different challenges with training schedules, deployments, TDYs, and moves, but we roll with the punches as best we can. Every military wife I've met just does her best to make the most of her situation, and isn't that what most people do? 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Avengers: behavior style

You may remember my post about Munchkin's Princess chart, well, we forgot to use it for awhile, but we've started back up again and it's helping. I've decided that Lil Man needs his own chart, because even though he's way younger than when we started it for Munchkin, he is NOT your typical 2 yr old! In some ways he is, hence the reason we need this chart. Sometimes getting dressed in the morning can be a hair-pulling, blood-pressure-raising, are-you-sure-it-isn't-socially-acceptable-to-drink-at-this-hour (and I don't even drink) affair with the internal mantra of "don't scream" repeated as many times as possible. Wait, did I say sometimes? Make that every time and even worse when we actually have something going on outside of the house. He's also needing a reminder to speak nicely sometimes. He has a million things he does well and makes me proud so many times every day--like being potty trained and almost ready to be done with diapers at night too, his willingness (sometimes insistence) to help, his fierce love for his sister, and how he so tries to be a "big boy".

He idolizes Munchkin, and I figured that we've seen this work once with her, we'll give it a shot with him too. He LOVES The Avengers, with Captain America and Iron Man being his favorites. So I figured that we'd go with them for the chart.

Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Director Fury, Hawkeye, and The Hulk
This time, I got to use a thermal laminator instead of the self-laminating sheets. Let me tell you. It's SO much better this way!! I'm still not 100% clear on WHY we have a thermal laminator, but it has something to do with the fact that someone in the troop needed something laminated, there wasn't a way to do it, so Mark went to Target and bought one with our money, so he brought it home.  It's really nice and SO easy to use. We've had it sitting in the garage for a bit and while I don't see us using it all the time, I won't be getting rid of it any time soon.
Our thermal laminator!
I finally got a poster from Target (I've made more trips to Target in the past couple weeks than I have in a few months, I kept forgetting one or two items each time!!) and set to work making the chart. My paint pen blobbed, but I don't think Lil Man will mind! We had a bit of a tough time figuring out the things to write on the "An Avenger is..." and "An Avenger..." sections, the only thing Lil Man wanted to tell me they did was "save the town!". Some of the things aren't necessarily something you'd think of off the top of your head for Avengers/Superheroes, but at the end of the day, this is a chart to help him remember good behavior. Yes, I know he's far from reading, but he can ask me any time what they say. It also helps me remember what we've been over and what to try to reinforce. I love that I have a room to add more things as we think of them too.

The chart in progress: An Avenger is: helpful, friendly, nice, smart, hardworking, determined
An Avenger: follows directions, cleans up, keeps trying, has manners (later added shares and works as a team)

I also made a pocket for me, because I ended up having to make Munchkin a new Snow White because she got lost one day when Munchkin had to give her up. I never had a specific place to put them and just had her bring me the princess wherever I was at the time. I like that now we'll have a home for the princesses and Avengers all the time, whether on the chart or in the "Lost" pocket. The bottom of the pocket says "*Earn back with 1 extra good deed!*".

The completed chart, with guys, and the "Lost Avengers & Princesses" pocket.
I got everything hung up and I'm really happy with the set-up now. I put Munchkin's stickers up last week and really love that now she can't play with the stickers any old time, I always know where they are (no more last minute rush trying to find the sticker before bed), and it makes it so simple and easy, we actually remember to do it!! Oh, and I'd like to complain for just a second...boy stickers are hard to find!! Target had NOTHING and we ended up going to JoAnn and found this sticker activity pad hiding in the scrapbook aisle. It's got 600 stickers, coloring pages, and slick activity pages so you can make a story with your stickers. I'm just glad it has 600 stickers and I won't have to search for more any time soon!!

Everything put up and ready to go! Also, enjoy Lil Man's fashion statement of the inside out and backwards shirt...I'm just glad he's wearing clothes!!

My next step in this project is something to do while we're out. I still use them as a reference when we're out, saying "Do you need to give me a princess when we get home?", but I find myself being more lenient because the immediate physical act of giving me the character is lost. I'm thinking of making another set of each of them, but about half the current size, laminating them (of course), and putting them on a key ring. The next problem is how to tell which ones are still theirs while keeping them on one ring--and keeping it all simple!! Once I figure out the best way to take care of the travel sets, I will most definitely post about it!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Munchkin-ism of the day

So I have no idea why, but Munchkin says "set the bed" instead of "make the bed". Every morning she'll tell me "I set my bed, Mama!" It's just one of "her" things. Tonight while I was trying to get Lil Man to go to sleep (trying being the operative word here), she runs into his room quite upset. "Mama! I have bad news!!! Lightning unset all your pillows! Your bed! Unset!" All the while gesturing wildly like she's knocking pillows over. Sure enough, Lightning had burrowed through the pillows and they were all over the bed.
We have 6 extra pillows on our bed when it's made: 2 Euro pillows, 2 king pillows, and the two small accent pillows that came with our bedding set (it sounds like so.many.pillows. like that, but it's what came in the set!). Apparently it's quite tempting for the kids and the dog to hide in them. I found Munchkin hidden in them last night after I told her she needed to sleep in her bed and Lil Man likes to hide there to try to escape the terrors of getting dressed--and he's actually quite good at hiding in them! 
Who knew that making the bed could bring such drama and shenanigans into our day! 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Plans? HA.

So most people know the saying "Tell God your plans and watch him sit back and laugh." right? Well, at this point, add Army into that as well.
We're at reenlistment time, and a few months ago, Mark decided that he was ready to be done with the Army, finishing his contract this November. So we started that process (there are required classes for soldiers to take prior to ETS) and were working out as many details as we could this far out. We were excited (and terrified, I won't lie) and our families were excited that we'd be coming back home too.
Enter the Army (and God, too, really) when Mark finds out that he's come down on assignment. Location? Ft. Polk, LA. I just had to laugh. Seriously, we're the ball in a game of ping pong! The wrench in the works of this is that he now can't just quietly finish his contract. If he chose to decline the assignment (that requires a 2 year minimum reenlistment), his ETS date (last day in the Army) would be moved from November to July, which is when we would be moving if he accepted the assignment and reenlisted. We are NOT prepared to move up our move that quickly, because while his last day in the Army would be in July, he has terminal leave of about 60-70 days to take, so we'd be leaving in May! Um, that's right around the bloomin' corner! Talk about scary. So, we talked, weighed options, thought about it all, and he has decided that the best course for our family is to reenlist. I won't lie, I'm happy and disappointed at the same time. Happy because even with as crazy as the government is, it's still a more stable financial situation than getting out would be. Mark used to love his job, then got a little burnt out, but is starting to get the love back, so I'm happy that he's happy at work (most of the time ;) ). I'm disappointed because I was REALLY looking forward to living in the same area as our family again. FaceTime is great, but it doesn't replace really being together. At least we HAVE FaceTime for the kids to get to know their extended family!
I do feel bad for Munchkin, as we had told her we were moving to Texas around her birthday (since she now knows when that is, and will proudly tell you!), and she is SO excited about it all. Bursting her little bubble by telling her that we're moving to Louisiana instead will be hard, but we're already making plans to make sure we get some quality time with the family.
One plan that hasn't changed is we are not taking the most direct route (again...) and we're snaking our way down the west coast with a little stop at a special place called Disneyland! Thanks to their generous military discount on tickets and hotel, we're making one of Munchkin's dreams come true and visiting the princess castle. Now, granted, the park she REALLY wants to go to is Walt Disney World in Florida, but that's just not in the cards! We'll get her there someday. There was even a Disneyland special on the travel channel a few weeks ago and she saw bits of that and got super excited--and so did Lil Man--Cars land anyone?!? So at least we have a super bright spot about halfway through the trip!
I know that July will be here before we know it and I've got the moving butterflies, but I know that in the end it will work out like it always has and we'll grow where we're planted again. I won't say I'm thrilled to be going back to Ft. Polk, but again, we'll make the best of it.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

2013 is gone and 2014 is here! It feels like we just said goodbye to 2012. So, 2013 in a nutshell:
January
I really got bit by the knitting bug! I really love it and I'm glad that I finally got through it and discovered how awesome it is!
Lil Man got his first haircut and looked SO grown up. He's only had a few since because he HATES them, but it's amazing how much older a nice haircut makes him look!

February
I got to go buy new clothes! :) The time at the gym really paid off (although I need to get back in the exercise habit...) and it's been great.

March
Brought some crazy up cycling sewing, Munchkin got her first recital costume (and LOVED it!), and I started my running journey!!!! (still close to the beginning of that...).

April
I received The Liebster Award for the blog (which was awesome), got to go shopping with Munchkin thanks to Crowdtap and Old Navy, got an awesome haircut, tried a new reward/behavior chart (that works well, when we remember to use it!), and kept up with running. Lil Man started showing more and more of his personality, Munchkin continued to crack me up, and we participated in The Great Cloth Diaper Change!

May
It. snowed. Seriously, our last snowfall of the season was May 17, 2013. Not. fair. The USS Anchorage was commissioned and we definitely missed the public tours, but life goes on. Munchkin participated in her first dance recital and did AWESOME. I was so proud of her, she was beautiful and danced her little heart out--and just like her mama, got a little bit bossy on stage and dragged some classmates into line. We FINALLY got summer weather at the end of the month...and it only got better.

June
June brought MG & Granddaddy, Mark left for training, MG & I (and Lil Man in the stroller) did the Color Run, had an amazing family photo session, spent lots of time outside enjoying the amazing weather, explored around our area a bit, and I turned 27.

July
Mark and I did the Bear Paw 5k (where he saw just how non-runner I am...), Lil Man drank half a bottle of benadryl and spent the day in the ER (where he amazed everyone and was perfectly fine), and we thoroughly enjoyed the nice summer weather with family bike rides or walks almost every night.

August
We ventured into the world of pre fold diapers (this late into our cloth diapering game, I know) and found out just how awesome they are. I also participated in the World Breastfeeding Week blog carnival and shared a bit about my breastfeeding experience, we dealt with the effects of the sequestration--which while not as bad as no pay, still made life on post difficult. My children got mistaken for twins (and then somehow, triplets....that guy was on something), I seriously hurt my foot  (it's almost completely healed now), but still managed to do a 2k and a 5k two weeks later, and another 5k the next weekend! Also, Munchkin started asking for a new pet....a unicorn. Oh...and Mark turned 29. We've been reminding him he's almost 30 ever since.

September
We celebrated our 7th anniversary, Munchkin turned 4, and Mark went off for training. Lil Man got new clothes and had to get size 2T and 3T....at 21 months old. He's a tank. We got our first snow of the season...oh. joy. Thankfully it didn't stick around.

October
Lil Man started potty training!!! We kept up our family walks as long as the weather held out. We participated in the Frightening 4k (Munchkin called it the candy race, as every k marker had a 'trick or treat' station!) and had a blast trick or treating on post on Halloween!

November
We went to the Sochi Send off and saw some of the local Olympic athletes as they got ready to head off for all the pre-game stuff they have to do. Munchkin met Miss Alaska Sweetheart and was so impressed! I got promoted to grandma of Munchkin's doll. I'm not sure how I feel about that. We ran in the Skinny Raven Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving...in 12 degree (0 with windchill) weather. It was cold. We had a laid-back Thanksgiving dinner with friends and enjoyed the quiet time.

December
At the beginning of the month, the kids and I got sick, causing Munchkin to miss her first dance class ever. Lil Man is officially potty trained (with the exception of nighttime) and I gave him a haircut (the beiber hair just wasn't cutting it anymore). Mark participated in his first triathlon as the swimmer. Lil Man turned two and was so excited for his birthday!! He became the present police for Christmas, making sure we didn't sneak a present early.

So here we are. January 1, 2014. To be honest, 2014 scares the bejeezus out of me because it's going to bring a LOT of change, but I'm excited to see where it all ends up.