Sunday, September 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Mrs. D!

Is this girl not A-DORABLE?!?!

She is 26 years young today and absolutely FABULOUS!!!

She's seriously like Martha Stewart on drugs.
She's an amazing cook, an amazing baker, an amazing artist, an amazing party hostess, an amazing artist, an amazing photog, an amazing Marine wife and most importantly an AMAZING mommy!
This is just to name a few things she's AMAZING at.
She's pretty much a domestic goddess that every wife is jealous of but absolutely loves.

We spent this weekend celebrating her birthday and her hubby's birthday (not till Oct) at our good friend Lindsay's house.
It was so much fun!
We had the fire pit.
Roasted hot dogs.
Made smores.
Had awesome chili.
Great friends.

It was a perfect way to celebrate an incredibly adorable couple's birthdays!

Thanks Lindsay, for hosting such an awesome party and surviving all of our children!!!!!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

3 1/2

It hit me hard today that Nick's leaving again for Afghanistan in 3 1/2 short months.
It hurts knowing that he'll be leaving a two year old and coming home to a THREE year old!
How time flies...
What is this little girl gonna do without her daddy?
She's such a daddy's girl that I'm totally more sad for her than me :-(

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Very First Feature!

I was featured on 

Thank you!! 
Check out her blog while you're over there!

Diary of a Devil Dog Wife

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Military Wives

I realized this weekend how much I really love my military wife friends.
I mean, I've always loved them, but I really got to reflect this weekend on my friendships with them.
They've always been there for me and have always understood me.
I tell them things I don't tell my friends I've known all my life.
I guess it's a "secret club" that only a military wife would understand.
So thanks gals...
for being awesome :-)

And just so I don't leave y'all hangin...

Here are some pics!
We finally hung our flags in our yard last weekend.

We spend tonight at the Gilbert's house. Here's Dannika after swimming in their jacuzzi in their rocking chairs....Life is Good :-)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cherished Moments

Nick and I cherish every minute we get to spend with Dannika.
With both of us working full time, the little time we get with her means a lot to us.
We took her cruising in her Camaro last night :-)

She kept insisting that Nick and I ride with her.
Dannika: Daddy...sit down, now!!!
Nick: ok...
Oh Nick...

She's suspicious of something...

Since Nick couldn't fit, "Hello Kitty" became her road dog.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Never Forget...Never Surrender

I was sitting in Ms. Abel's Anatomy and Physiology Honors class my senior year of high school.
She turned the tv on as we all watched in shock.
I can't exactly remember the feelings I had, but I remember exactly where I was when I first saw.
I remember the rest of the day, every class I went to, we watched the news.

Nick was in boot camp when it happened.
His drill instructors explained what had happened and they pulled out recruits who had family or friends in NY out of the squadbay that day.
Nick's mom was not allowed on base for family day after not seeing her son for 13 weeks while he was in boot camp because security at all the bases were heightened.

I joined the Marine Corps on May 15 of 2002.
Against the wishes of my parents and teachers.
I did it behind their backs.
I had no idea that September 11, 2001 would shape my career in the Marine Corps.

I sit here today with so many emotions.
I sit here today and think about all the deployments that Nick and I have gone on since that day.
I think about all the brothers and sisters we have lost since that day.

Today has a whole different meaning to my family.
Nick and I have endured deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Both wars...
From the very beginning till now...

I read a blog today from one of my favorite photographers, Drew B.
She has a young son and a newborn.
Read her post (here).
We all deal with this in different ways.
For her, she feels her son is too young and not ready to know about 9/11.
I think as a mother, I know exactly how she feels.

For Nick and I, it is IMPERATIVE that Dannika understands what happened as soon as she can comprehend it.
I show her to footage on tv.
She doesn't get it, but I want her to know.
I want her to know that the uniform Nick and I put on everyday isn't the normal "business suit".
I want her to know why daddy missed her 1st birthday.
I want her to know why daddy's gonna miss her 3rd birthday.
I don't want her to be "let down" when she's older when daddy isn't at her dance recital.
I want her to know why mommy can't be home with her all day every day.

I also want her to learn an important lesson.
I want her to learn forgiveness.
I want her to learn that even with tragedy, people can bounce back and come back stronger.
I want her to be proud to be an American.
I want her to see how resilient the American people are.

I want her to use these lessons in her life.

Most importantly,
I want her to know the love of God.
Love of Country.
Love of enemies....
Cause that is what Christians and Americans do.
We love.
We fight back.
We forgive...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Oh Miss Dannika Jane

I haven't really blogged too much lately about Dannika's new "feats" and "stuff"
I've just been too busy enjoying watching her grow.
She amazes me everyday with something new, and it really feels like in just a week, she changes so much.
Nick is amazed by some of the new things she can do after spending just one week in the field.

She actually communicates with us and talks to us in full blown sentences and can tell us if or when she wants something (which is a cursed

Today, while we were hosing off our front porch, I sprayed her with the water hose thinking she'd enjoy it...
Instead of that adorable giggle I was expecting to hear...
I got a, "Mommy, don't do that!"

Did my 2 year old just tell me that?! 

It was so cute I sprayed her again just to hear her say it.

While watching Nick work out in the yard today, she poked her head out the back door, and this is the conversation that I heard.
Dannika : Daddy! Daddy!
Nick : Yes, baby?
Dannika : I see you!!!

Everywhere we go, she points at EVERYTHING and asks us "What's that? What's that?"

She is just so curious about the world.

She can correctly identify every pair of shoes that she owns.
I ask her to bring her Toms to me, and she brings me her Toms...

While watching the movie "Up" the other day, I was crying through the beginning (so sad), and she came up to me, put her head on me and told me, "It's ok mommy. Don't cry".
What's so funny is that this little person speaks so clearly and articulates her words so well, I forget she's only 2!

The other day she opened up my pantry, pointed at her cheerios...
"I want it!"

She actually says the phrase "I want it" like a spoiled brat...especially when she throws her little tantrums when she doesn't get what she wants.

After her two minute time outs, we hug her, tell her what she did wrong, and she tells us "Sawwy mommy (or daddy)."

When she bumps her head or falls and hurts something, she'll point at whatever caused her injury and yell at it, "No! No! No! Floor (or door, or rug, or"

She can tell you everyday that "Mommy and Daddy at work" or "Daddy in the field"

She can sing twinkle twinkle little star better than most 3 year olds I know, and she can sing her ABC's...all the way down to the "Now I know my ABC's" part of the song.

She loves Dora, Kai-Lan, Olivia, Hello Kitty....
Purses, lip gloss, and all things pink....
and add "choo choo" trains, helicopters (she gets that from mommy), cars, and trucks.

I love how while driving around with her, I can have full blown conversations with her now.

I feel like in a matter of 2 weeks, she has officially become a full sentence talking toddler because just 2 weeks ago, she was saying short sentences that would be expected of a 24 month old...
Now she has full blown arguments and conversations with us!!!
I am loving every moment of this, but I'm ready for her to slow down....

Monday, September 5, 2011

Busier Than Mustard Trying To Ketchup

haha :-P

This last week has been BUSY BUSY BUSY for us!
I'm FINALLY getting a chance to sit down, breathe, and "ketchup" in my blogging!
Nick's Uncles came to stay with us for a week all the way from Peterborough, England!!!
We got them a cute little beach cottage on Del Mar Beach for the week, and they were both in heaven!
We spent the majority of the week just relaxing, grilling, and sitting on the beach.
We did make it a point to take them to some of Southern California's fabulous restaurants and sights.
I think they were more content just sitting by the ocean though :-)

Those are the beach cottages in the background.

Each cottage had a fire pit right in front of it. We built a fire two of the nights, and just sat around the fire, bbq'ed, drank cocktails, and laughed :-) It was just perfect. This is the men trying to start a fire. 

Early morning view from the back porch of the cottage.

Yes, that is sand that she rubbed on her face, and that is Dannika's "Silly Face". 

So I couldn't believe it with Uncle David and Uncle Andy said that they had never had coconut shrimp before! I was like, "WHAT?!" I took them to Joe's Crab Shack on the harbor to eat coconut shrimp, and Uncle Andy, who doesn't even like shrimp LOVED it! Andy also got to try a "Margarona" (Margarita with a corona turned upside down in it)...he was in heaven.

Just hanging out on the harbor.

Dannika LOVED both of them. She thought they were "FABULOUS".

We wouldn't let the Brits leave Southern California without giving them a taste of our TASTY Mexican Cuisine, so Nick and I took them to our favorite Mexican restaurant, the world famous El Adobe. They had fresh made guacamole (made right in front of us at our table), and platefuls of gourmet Mexican food!

After Mexican, we took them to a local dive bar called the Swallow's Inn. We just happened to be there on Karaoke None of us ended up singing, but we had a really fun time. The drinks were cheap, strong, and the atmosphere was perfect. After one too many cocktails, we took a short cab ride back to our house where we decided it was a good idea to play really bad I'm laughing as I type this.

And they spoiled Dannika to pieces with love, love, and more love! We took them to the Irvine Spectrum to do some shopping, and Dannika started throwing a fit because Nick and I would not buy her a Hello Kitty backpack. So, of course, Uncle David went ahead and bought it for her. This is after the fact that he convinced Nick to buy her ANOTHER new pair of Toms (pictured here).

We took literally HUNDREDS of pictures of their stay here, but I didn't want to bore all of you with them. I had such an amazing week with two amazing people. I can't wait till they come back out again, and I can't wait to go visit them in England!