Thursday, July 28, 2011


I hardly ever post pics of myself.
Who doesn't love Mama/Daughter pics?
This was taken at the beginning of the Summer by Ashley Burge at Two Eleven Photography!

I love it :-)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

2 Years Later and English Surprises

It only took us 2 years and 15 days for us to be able to grab a little of Dannika Jane's hair to put in a ponytail. 

Proud Mommy Moment...
It's a milestone in her life....

[and yes...I had to bribe her with a cookie for her to sit still]

Oh...and that cookie she is eating is ALL THE WAY FROM ENGLAND!!!!
Nick's Uncle David lives in England and he OBVIOUSLY knew about my obsession with "Will & Kate"
I was pleasantly surprised with this nice little Royal Package when I got home today.


Monday, July 25, 2011

PATIO Furniture!

When Nick and I purchased our home, we found this AMAZING deal on patio furniture.
It was originally marked at $2800, and we got it for $1000.
We snatched it up right away.
It is a GORGEOUS bamboo piece and it looked beautiful in our yard.
These pics were taken last year when Nick was deployed.
GORGEOUS, right?!

Unfortunately, we've done a horrible job keeping up with our backyard, and everything kind of went to the wayside.
The grass died and when Nick ripped the awning off of our house (cause he insisted he was going to build a better one), the sun was just too much for the furniture.

This weekend, Nick started sanding the furniture down and restaining the bamboo.
 Looks better already!

Military Monday!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Orange County Fair

The OC Fair is in town :-)
While I was given strict doctor's orders to stay off of my knee this weekend....
I didn't listen :-(

I just HATE wasting a weekend not doing anything with my family.

Time spent with my family is precious.
Nick has started training for his upcoming deployment to Afghanistan which means lots of time in the field away from home...
So when he does have a weekend at home, we try and make the best of it...

I'm done rambling...

The OC Fair was A-MAZING...
I'll let you just judge by the pics I managed to take.

For some reason, Dannika was scared to death of the carousel.

So her and daddy rode on the bench :-(

I've always wanted to try one of those giant turkey legs that they have at the fair...I was disappointed. It was not tasty...just big, but at least now I can die saying that I tried a large turkey leg from the fair

Dannika enjoyed the petting zoo...she almost got her finger eaten off by a goat!

We went on the ski lift ride that takes you over the fair.
 I'm scared to death of heights, but not this brave little girl...
 She was waving hi to everyone down below. I sat there scared out of my mind. I was sweating so bad cause I was scared!

We took Dannika on her first roller coaster ride with Daddy. I didn't think it would be scary, but when it started moving I realized it moved really fast! Dannika was saying "weee!" the whole time until the last time it went around. By then she was yelling, "mommmyyy!"

I LOVE unhealthy fair food. I had a giant turkey leg, a giant dill pickle, a bubblegum flavored snow cone, deep fried kool aid (yes...kool aid...and it was AMAZING!), and Nick tried deep fried Snickers....which was equally as amazing as the kool aid. 

 Nick and his deep fried Snickers bar.

Dannika with all her toys we won her playing games.

The snow cones were AMAZING. Nick had "Tiger's blood" snow cone (in honor of Charlie Sheen...haha), and I had bubblegum. 

We spent 3 hours at the fair, but afterwards, I PAID FOR IT!
My knee was swollen, huge, throbbing and red...
But it was worth it :-)

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Fighting Fifth

I've mentioned the Gilbert family quite a bit in my blog (they're my adopted "California" family).
In case this is your first time visiting us...
Here's the rundown on how I have become to know such an amazing family:
1. Kevin (the youngest son of 5 children) joined the Marine Corps out of the recruiting office I worked at.
2. Throughout Kevin's journey as a Recruit, Student, Infantryman, and deployment, my family became close to the rest of his family...this includes extended family and friends!
3. And 2 years later, they still treat Nick and I like their own children and have showered us with lots of LOVE!

You can read a little about them here and here.

Kevin is currently serving as an infantryman with 1st Battalion 5th Marines (1/5) in Afghanistan.
They replaced 3rd Battalion 5th Marines (3/5) back in March to continue doing the awesome work that 3/5 had started.

Melissa (the oldest of the Gilbert "kids") has been keeping everyone updated by email about Kevin throughout the deployment.

Here is her latest updated that I received today :-)

Tonight my parents and I went to a town hall meeting for the families of our Fighting Fifths. We were introduced to the new commanding general, General Bailey. He has 34 years of service in the USMC and also has a son currently serving in Iraq. We immediately felt at ease.  And...he looked vaguely familiar. As it turns out, we had indeed crossed paths with him once before.

The day before Kevin graduated from boot camp we went down to MCRD early in the morning. As Kev and the other recruits started their morning run we noticed they were led by a few officers, one of which was an older man, but looked like he could who could keep up with the best of them. After the run, this same man then addressed the recruits in a very moving speech about the Marine Corps motto: semper fidelis, always faithful, as we listened on, hearts swelling with pride. We had not yet interacted with Kevin so as you can imagine listening to this inspirational speech made us that much more excited. Below is a picture of General Bailey (2nd from your left) leading the recruits on their run.

Tonight General Bailey pledged his faithfulness to the families of 1/5...a man who lives by his words.

Tonight, we also learned that 1/5 has made significant progress in expanding their territory in Sangin. The previous battalion, 3/5, had a tough time there because their job was to clear out the district and the more densely packed areas of the city (where Kevin is located). But, they did a fantastic job and 1/5 has continued what 3/5 started by keeping the city relatively free of Taliban  fighters and flushing them out further and further. Unfortunately, this also explains why Bravo company, who is located on the outskirts of the city, has taken the most casualties.

The officers also gave us a bit of a history lesson tonight. They reiterated the fact that
afghanistan has been at war for 30 years starting with the Soviet occupation.  It is only now that the people of Afghanistan are starting to feel confident in their own soldiers and security.  Having pushed the Taliban out of the city we have allowed the Afghan villagers the opportunity to do things that would have otherwise been outlawed under Taliban law (ie. Go to school, learn to plant crops other than poppy).

We also discussed their return to the
USA (yay!!!)! They are expected in mid October.  Tonight, many of the wives were complaining about friend requests on Facebook from Afghani and Pakistani strangers.  It is obvious these evil people will do anything to hurt us so I ask that if any of you are on Facebook please do not post anything regarding dates or info. No one wants an interrupted and spoiled homecoming nor do we want to put our loved ones in any jeopardy.

Finally, we were told to stop sending packages around Sept 1.  By the time the guys get their their mail they will be packing up to leave and don't want to carry more stuff home. However, this doesn't mean you have to stop. It just means you might get a package sent back to you or items will be left behind. I think you are pretty safe with food if you want to keep sending that until mid sept.

Hope everyone is well.

Love, Melissa

I hope anyone reading this can truly understand what the Marines (and our fierce Sailors, Soldiers, and Airmen) have been doing over there in Afghanistan.
Sometimes with the price tag of human life.
And even with grief and loss of those who gave all, our Marines continue to press on and do what they have been trained to do.

So with that said...
We can't wait to see you Kevin when you get back!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Two Peas in a Pod

Just looking through some pics.
Picked 2 out of a gazillion...
These two made me smile today :-) {smiley face!}

I love my little munchkin...she's such a daddy's girl.

*Note: They're in step here* {That's what happens when you're born to not ONE, but TWO Marine parents}

Just my Daddy and Me

Monday, July 18, 2011

Her {FIRST} Car

Nick and I bought Dannika a Powerwheels for her birthday this year.
Dannika's MaMaw sent her a birthday check, and we used towards her birthday gift (thanks MaMaw!)

My first car (@ 16) was a new, shiny, red Mustang.
Nick's first TRUCK (@ 16) was a 1967 Chevy Truck.

So this is our conflict.
I'm a Ford Girl...
He's a Chevy Man...

We let Dannika choose between the hot pink Barbie Mustang and the bright yellow Camaro SS....

No one ever denied the fact that she is a Daddy's Girl...

She chose...

They Chevy... *siiigh*

Nick took her out after work today to test drive it.
She was having a blast!

She even waved "bye bye" to me as she was driving away.
I got a little emotional...
Lord help me when she is REALLY driving away and saying "bye bye"....

Look at those HOT rims!

Parked right next to Mommy's car in the garage.

Military Mondays

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Dannika's Sweet Shoppe

She's....{T-W-O}.. (insert tear).
Well...she turned two, four days ago....
But her Birthday Party was it makes it official.
 It was FUUUN!
We had so many treats, food, and fun.
Dannika is SO blessed to have so many awesome people care about her so much.
A lot of our guests drove pretty far to see her...
Especially the Choe Family! They came all the way from Menifee!!!
Thank you Thank you Thank you!

This year I decided to do a Sweet Shoppe theme for Dannika's Birthday party.
Basically a glucose overdose of candy, treats, and sweets!
If you didn't have diabetes before, you probably left my house today with it.

I was a total "Bridezilla" in party planner/mom form.
Poor Nick :-(

Thanks babe for putting up with me and doing all the running around for me to help me set the party up!
I was kind if a "witch" (with a b instead of a w).

I couldn't do much cause my knee is so messed up (I've been in the ER twice in the last 36 hours for it!).
I was stressing out over all the details...

So blessed to have such a superhero dad!

Here are the pics!

Enjoy them!

Baggies to fill with treats from 

Blow Pops!

Personalized water bottles

Her morning birthday outfit. Thanks Sarah and Ben for the Birthday Girl ribbon! She got all kinds of attention everywhere she went this morning!

We didn't do cake this year....we did SPRINKLES cupcakes! We live 20 minutes away from the World Famous Sprinkles!

The Birthday Girl's velvet of course!

The Official Birthday Suit...and daddy.

 Her Birthday Pin from her Godparents, Sarah and Ben

Pink Lemonade and REAL Southern Sweet Tea (Alabama/Texas style). People out here have no idea what real sweet tea is!!

My friend Kim makes the most AMAZING cake pops! They were a total hit!

Of course, Becca made Sarah's Chocolate caramel brownies!!!

Dannika is a total attention diva...she LOVED every moment we sang happy birthday to her...cause the attention was on her of course! haha.

Tearin' it up!