Monday, June 28, 2010

Picture Crazy

Since Nick's been gone...i've made it my mission to take as many pictures as possible of Dannika so that he doesn't miss a second of her life while he's gone. I was introduced to the world of "professional photography" (meaning....not the cheesy department store photos) when I was pregnant with Dannika. I found an ad in a magazine for a local photographer named Melissa McEachran. I called her and scheduled a photoshoot for maternity and newborn photos. After seeing the quality and beauty of the pictures she took...I was in love. She took some mommy and me photos for Dannika and I for Nick. She has these beautiful albums and DVD slideshows that she makes, and I wanted to send one to Nick for our 2nd wedding anniversary. I met Erin Dietrich through a fellow recruiter at my office. His wife just happened to be really good friends with her, and she recommended her to me. What a blessing that has been! She has taken Dannika's 3 month photos, 6 month photos, and 1st year photos. Her photos are amazing, and every time I've done photos with her, I catch myself saying that "these are the best ones yet!". I recruited a young man named Brandon last year into the Marines. He is now a firefighter in the Marine Corps. I was introduced to his sister, Stefani Welsh via facebook! She is also a photographer! She took some pictures at Laguna Beach of Dannika (and a few of me) for an album she put together as a father's day gift for Nick. 

People may think I'm a little crazy with all these pictures, but I truly believe that these moments are priceless, and I don't want Nick to miss a second of Dannika's life just because he is busy defending our country!

I am so blessed! 

Here are the pics from Stefani's photoshoot. I have been DYING to post these pictures, but I wanted to wait till Nick got his album in the mail before I put them up! ENJOY!


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Playing Catch-Up

This is Nick and his "roommate" in Afghanistan, Lt Boera. 
Words can not describe the dorkiness of this picture.
But seriously...what Marine DOESN'T have a picture of them flexing their "guns"...
But I still love him.


I have also been majorly slacking on my blog, and Nick actually requested that I update it. He never asks me to do that, so that must mean, I'm not doing my job and keeping him, my family, and my faithful followers informed of what is going on in my life. There's actually not much going on it which is the reason why I haven't been posting lately. For father's day, our second family, the Gilbert's invited Dannika and I over to their house for some burgers and potato salad...yum! As always, good food and good wine made for a pleasant Sunday evening. Dannika loves their dog Pepper and torments the poor dog. 
Checkin' out the delicious food. Dannika's favorite spot at the Gilbert's house is sitting on the island in their kitchen and watching Gloria cook...this is her spot!

Dannika is my life consists of little to no sleep, and taking care of myself, work, and one tired cranky baby! 

Dannika's first birthday is also coming up on July 12!!! It's bittersweet. It honestly feels like just yesterday that I was screaming bloody murder for an epidural...then screaming some more when the nurse told me those dreaded words.."Hon, it's too late for an epidural. You gotta go all natural". I believe the next words that came out of my mouth after that was "Help me Jesus!" as I cried in pain while holding onto Nick's arm with a death grip like no other. SERIOUSLY!!!
I'm really sad that Nick won't be here to celebrate her birthday, which turned me off to the whole idea of planning a birthday party for her, but I have wonderful parents who decided to fly us out for 4th of July weekend though and throw Dannika a traditional Korean style birthday party in TEXAS! I am beyond ecstatic!

And of course...
I had Miss Erin (Erin Dietrich Photography) take Dannika's 1st Birthday Photos! She took Dannika's 3 month photos and 6 month photos, so it just seemed fitting that she take her 1st year birthday photos! She just recently opened a studio, and she has such pretty backdrops and props...her pictures are GORGEOUS, so I couldn't wait to get some studio portraits of my little Princess. Here is the sneak peek she posted on her facebook fan page. And if you really want to know how she got these great "smiling" shots of Dannika...Erin becomes quite the "entertainer" when she photographs entertainer...I mean...big goofball :-) Hey, it works, though. Look how natural they all look?! (in case you didn't get that the yellow letters in the paragraph above are all links)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy First Father's Day to My Hero

Some people are just meant to do certain things in life.
was destined to be a father
definitely more so than I was to be a mother.

Dear Nick,
         I know how much it breaks your heart when you hear about all the new exciting things that Dannika is learning everyday because you can't be here to witness all of it. I know you live for the little pictures and videos that I send you cause it's your little piece of heaven. I really do mean it when I say the phrase, "Some daddies defend their daughters from boys and bullies, but YOU defend Dannika from terrorists". Because of people like you, we'll be able to send Dannika to school to learn about the world we live in...take her to church to have a relationship and to learn about God's love for her...she'll get to play and learn to make decisions. All of this is possible because people like you. I don't think you could possibly do any more as a father than that. So even though you can't be here physically all the time, don't ever think you are any less of a father. If anything, you are more of one. 
        Throughout Dannika's life, she'll experience pain, sorrow, and heartbreak. I find comfort in knowing that you are her father, and that you'll be the one to console her, pick her back up, and send her on her way.  One day a boy will break her heart, and I know you'll break his face if that happens, and then tell our sweet baby girl that the only man she'll ever need in her life is her father...hehe. She'll also experience joy, love, and peace. I want her to soak those moments in. I want her life to be full of it, and I know that you'll bring that to her. Whether it's taking her on a bass fishing trip or a hunting trip....teaching her how to work on your truck...cause as much as I will do my best to raise our daughter to be a girly, dainty, diva...she'll be able to hold her own and outdo all the boys in everything...cause even though she was born here in SoCal...she will be a true Southern Girl at heart. 
         One day...we'll be saying bye to her as she packs up her things to go off to journey life...whether it be college, work, or maybe even the Corps (ok we may have to discuss that one as a family). I know for a fact that with you as her father, we won't have anything to worry about when she leaves us. I know that she will be equipped with the spiritual, emotional, and physical strength to make it on her own and taste what success and failure feels like, but she'll always bounce back from the lessons that you will teach her. 

I could go on and on...but baby...

Happy First Father's Day!

Remember this crazy day??? The day you got to finally meet your daughter?? I do. It was the single most sweetest day of my life to see you with her...

Saturday, June 19, 2010 sickness and in health...

I have been horribly sick.
My sister came out on Tuesday night and left Thursday afternoon.
I got sick Thursday morning.
I thought mommyhood was hard, but little did I know how hard it would be with a 103 degree fever, strep throat, and a baby who doesn't want to sit still. 
Thankfully, they let me have the day off at work on Friday. 
I happily dropped Dannika off at daycare and spent the day at home in bed...not relaxing...but absolutely miserable. 
When 1700 (5PM for you non military types) rolled around, I was absolutely dreading the drive to Ms. Kathi's house to pick up my little munchkin head. 
When I brought her home, she was being the typical brat, and me being miserable and sick, just let her be while I laid on the couch and watched her destroy my living room. (see below)

I felt a little better this morning, so I decided to go to our pool function which was a BBQ on the beach.
My problem my whole life when I get sick is never letting my body do its' job and heal itself before I start jumping into life again.
Now I am home...typing this blog and letting Dannika destroy my living room that the maids cleaned today...and I feel like absolute butt...FML.

On a funnier note...Dannika was in a giggly mood today. 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Beach Day Videos

2nd Phase...Goin up North!

What exactly does my title mean???
When Nick was a drill instructor, I used to measure the amount of time I got to see him based on what part of training they were in during their cycle. 
1st Phase (the first 4 weeks of boot camp)...I hardly ever expected to see him, and if he did come home...he was too tired to even notice I was alive
2nd Phase (next 4 weeks)...the platoons would move up to Camp Pendleton from MCRD for 4 weeks for rifle range and field training (hence the phrase, "going up north!") 
 I got to see him a little bit more and a little more often since Pendleton is a lot closer to San Clemente (where we used to live) than MCRD.

I loved when they went into 2nd Phase cause for some reason, because those 4 weeks flew by so fast. After 2nd Phase was obviously 3rd Phase, and it was just all downhill from there.

Since the last 13 weeks of Nick's deployment, I've been treating it just like he was on the drill field. It makes me feel better. Afterall, I did survive his tour on the drill field...while being pregnant...and while on recruiting duty!

On another note, my sister came out last week to visit Dannika and help me out with her (for a day). She'll be back this week (for a day) to help out again. I was originally supposed to fly home with her for her wedding shower this week, but due to work, I decided that it was not a good idea to do so.  Dannika LOVES her Auntie Lydi!

I have neglected to take Dannika to the beach since the Summer has started because I've been so self conscious about my post baby body. I finally decided I felt comfortable in a bathing suit today, and spend an hour at the beach just hanging out with Dannika. She LOVED watching the water...but she HATED the cold Pacific. I dipped her feet in it, and she flipped out. She's such a diva. She was just content hanging out on the sand and tanning...while stuffing her face with banana puffs.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I Did Forget How to be Happy

I've been really down in the dumps and stressed out lately to the point of distress. Nick knows me better than anyone. He sent me this email last night to remind me of happier times, and I couldn't help but smile.

Subj: Happy Thoughts
1st time meeting you at sullys
1st time kissing you at that bar you and eddie used to go to all the time.
1st time eating sushi was with you
1st time going to vegas was with you
Meeting your family and trying to impress them.  I had no idea how to do that.
4th of july when you were pregnant and wanted to go and watch the fire works at the the beach but we didn’t stay.
New years eve playing guitar hero.  That was fun.
Having bbq’s 
Watching desperate housewives (every season)
Running on the beach with you and Dannika
Cooking with you and Dannika
Cleaning and fixing our house and yard.
Running from the house to your work to hang out with you.
Spending every moment with you.
Listening to you snore cause you fell asleep on the phone last night.
Going to san clement and getting baskin robbins. (mmmm)
Going on bike rides every now and then.
Waking up before you so I could go and see the baby.
Dannika laughing and scratching her butt.
You laughing and having fun.
Sitting in the car with you while the recruits were in class or on a Sunday.
Having a star bucks with you.
Going to the movies with you (even sex and the city)
Seeing the look on your face when I get you a present.
Dancing in the living room just because.
Snuggling up on the couch and watching tv. 
Playing guitar hero with your mom.
Watching my mom teach Dannika to raspberry.
Eating Korean food with you and your family.
Going out to eat and having some drinks
Dressing up for Halloween as a Mexican and the border patrol and almost get in a lot of trouble.
Leaving work early to pick up my munchkin.
Going to the Marine Corps ball with you every year.
Taco Tuesdays
White Russian Wednesday
Getting tipsy with you.
Being your shoulder to cry on. 
Taking care of you.
I could sit here all day and keep going on and on about all the things I think about.  I love you so much and want you to be happy.  So I thought maybe you forgot how to be.  So here are some reminders.  I hope you like them,

Sunday, June 6, 2010

She Knows Her Daddy

Something Meaningful

I am officially back to my size 2-4 post baby body. I am thrilled about it. People ask me all the time how I did it, and's been a combination of Nick deploying and being a mom. I'm oftentimes so busy being a mommy to Dannika that I forget to eat. No, it is not healthy to NOT eat. With Nick being gone, I don't ever eat out, and I hate cooking for myself. So my diet in the evenings consists of turkey sandwiches on whole wheat bread (skip the mayo and cheese) and every once in a while, some whole wheat spaghetti topped with fresh chopped tomatoes and olive oil (with a dash of rosemary). I also have been running religiously every night...6-10 miles (with baby in tow in my high speed low drag jogging stroller), and every saturday and sunday, I do spin classes. I've also incorporated some weights and resistance training in the evenings before I go to bed. I can't wait for Nick to come home so he can see the "hot" new me!

Life's been a little crazy for me. Work hasn't gotten easier, and it's even more stressful when all I think about at work are Nick and Dannika....recruiting is the last thing I want to think about. I feel like I'm just going through the motions sometimes...trying to make the days it gets closer to Nick being home. I am positive I'll be the same, driven Marine I once was when I first came out here on this duty...but not until Nick comes home. No one quite understands when I say, "I'm tired". When I say, "I'm tired" means I've been up all night long (not cause of sleep insomnia), but I'm up all night long working. By work, I mean taking care of a teething baby who doesn't feel like sleeping at night. 

Is it weird though...that with all that going on...I wouldn't trade motherhood for the world????


This picture makes me laugh cause Dannika has no idea that she has a banana puff stuck to her little buddah belly.

After one of her crying fits...

She loves playing in the laundry basket....weirdo

Skyping with grandma and Aunt Lydi...

We decided to kill some time at the Burlington Coat Factory...apparently, she doesn't like waiting in line...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

"Your son is adorable..."

"Thanks...SHE is beautiful, isn't she??"

People often mistake my beautiful baby girl for a little boy. I think part of the reason may be the fact that she is lacking a little on top...*luscious locks of beautiful hair*. Unfortunately, she is doomed. I was a baldie until like age 4...and Nick was a baldie until he was like 2. I have thick long straight hair now. I've never had a hair dresser not compliment me about how gorgeous my hair is...not to sound conceited or anything...but I love my hair. I thank my asian roots for that one. I am hopeful that one day, Dannika will have gorgeous hair. However...until that day comes...she will continue to wear giant flowers and bows on her head, and she will always have little diamond earrings in her ears.

my pretty girl

Plaid shorts...and even with a pink bib...I guess she slightly resembles a little boy here..

Friday, June 4, 2010

There's Nothing Sexier Than...

A man who defends freedom...

Pictures he sends me of himself put big smiles on my face...
That always calms my heart a little...

but I still miss him like crazy.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Baby Feet

There are a lot of things that my sweet baby girl inherited from her father.
*his facial expressions*
*his ears that stick out*
*her "whiteness"*
*his hazel colored eyes*


His extremely narrow feet.

Buying shoes for Dannika has been a pain in my arse for a number of reasons...
1. She has small petite feet...according to the shoe salesman at Nordstrom's
2. She has extremely narrow feet

I can't just go buy her any old shoe because of her feet. I found two brands of shoes this weekend though that fit her feet and don't fall off of them. Converse sneakers ($30) and Robeez sandals with an elastic back and velcro strap ($30). That is $60 in shoes for a 10 month old.'s the price you gotta pay for beauty.

Aren't they adorable?