Monday, December 31, 2012


When I look back at 2012, I absolutely can not believe everything that was jammed packed into the 12 short months that we get.

Our year started off crappy with Nick leaving for Afghanistan in early January.
Then it got better cause he came home four months early just in time for my long awaited knee surgery.
Then it got crappy again when he had to pack up his stuff and leave our family for Virginia after only being home a month after Afghanistan.
It got even crappier when we found out that his permanent duty station was in Boston (while I was still stationed in California).
I went through a extremely slow medical discharge process in the Marine Corps.

We basically spent the entire year on separate coasts or different countries. 
crappy, right?

But you know what?

By November 29, I was officially honorably discharged from the Marine Corps.
I got to take a TON of terminal leave and finally got to move from one coast to the other and FINALLY be a family under one roof again.
And as much kicking and screaming that I did about coming to the freezing temperatures of New England, I have enjoyed being here a lot more than I thought I would.

So I guess 2012 started crappy, but it ended on such an amazing note that I do not have much to complain about.
Bring on 2013 :-)

Here's my 2012 in photos.

I became a SSgt on Jan 1st!

Nick spent a few months in Afghanistan....again.

D and I started our deployment routine. Isn't it sad that as a military family, we have "deployment routines"? It's like our entire life changes completely for that moment in time when our significant other deploys.

Then he came home SUPER early

Nick got promoted to GySgt on April 1st. 10 1/2 year Gunny!

We adopted a psycho very playful dog with a huge appetite for anything that wasn't food. Ole Monsieur Dozer is what we call him. We're still learning to love him on some days ;-)

Nick got to come home for 3 or 4 days in between his OCS cycles this summer in VA, so when he came home, we took advantage of what little time we had together.

I FINALLY was honorably discharged from the old gun club :-)

We finally made it to New England, experienced the most gorgeous Autumn we have ever seen, and experienced our first snow (to include a white Christmas!)

2012 may not have been perfect, but perfect is boring.
Most importantly, this is the year I was baptized and accepted Jesus fully "back" into my life.

I'd say that's a pretty darn good year. 

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

First REAL Snow

We woke up this morning to about a foot of powder snow.
It was beautiful.

Of course D freaked out when she looked out the window this morning, and she could NOT wait to go outside in it.
I'm glad that all of D's snow gear that I bought her is getting good use so far.
Silly me, I forgot to buy her waterproof gloves/mittens, so after a few minutes making snowballs with her fleece mittens, they were soaked.
(note to self: buy waterproof gloves)
To all my friends who recommended I buy a good rainboot....THANK YOU!
I ended up buying knee high Steve Madden rainboots, and they're amazing.
I trekked around in a foot of snow in our backyard and stayed dry!
I just need some inserts for them because my toes are frozen (and I was wearing warm thick socks).

FAIL : trying unsuccessfully to make a snow angel in snow that is too deep.

 And being the little diva that she is, she has to strike a pose.

That's some deep snow!

I get a lot of compliments on her snow boots. They're Adidas, and I bought them off of Zappos.

Our neighbors own a snow blower, and they offered to let Nick borrow it in exchange for Nick's services to clear their driveway as well. Good deal if you ask me. The other neighbors who were shoveling snow looked jealous.

Dozer was a little unsure of the snow at first. It is actually quite hilarious to watch him "prance" around in it. Seriously...prance. The snow is too deep for him to really "walk", so he hops through the snow like a giant rabbit.

And you know....child labor at its' finest.

Hope everyone has a wonderful last Sunday of 2012!


Does anyone NOT use groupon? 
I mean seriously.
It has some RIDICULOUSLY great deals on the site, and it's totally free to sign up!
I bought a Shutterfly photobook for 10 dollars on there once....that's like 67% off or something.

You're seriously missing out if you haven't. 
I know this sounds like an ad, but it isn't.

I was just looking through it this morning and found a bunch of good stuff.
I bought a 16x20 canvas print on there for 15 bucks a few months ago.

It's just insanely good deals on everything.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I'm Dreaming...

of a whiiiiiite Christmas!

Actually, we didn't have to dream because we actually got one!
It was just enough snow for us to go play in for a little bit, throw snowballs, and have fun!
For the three of us, it was the first white Christmas ever, so we were pretty excited (and acting real brand new). :-)
Just watching the joy in D's eyes when she got outside in her snow boots and snowsuit was enough to make this Christmas special.

Making a snowball

Daddy's giant snowball

This is the first Christmas that I really felt like D "got it". 
She understood all the hype with Santa Claus, the gifts under the tree, and most importantly, the birth of Jesus.
It made it that much more exciting for me, and I really enjoyed getting into the Christmas spirit together with her this entire month.
So, here's to playing catch up with all my "Christmasey" stuff from the month of December!

(Picture overload)

houseslippers are a must in this cold New England weather!

Nick got his Christmas gift from me a few days early. I got him a new grill guard for his truck and side steps!

Me and my new Jeep. Let me just add, I DO NOT miss my Mercedes, ONE BIT!!! This thing is way cooler looking and way more fun to drive!

D and I did "girls night" and painted our nails.

I'm pretty much a domestic goddess that was screaming to get out when I was in the Marine Corps (I make it sound like I was in SO long ago) These are my chocolate chip snickerdoodles for Santa.

Our family has a tradition of opening our stocking stuffers on Christmas eve after dinner.

 Gotta love the dollar section at Target

Putting the cookies and milk out for Santa.

And poor Doze....we drew eyebrows on him with eyeliner. He always makes these crazy "facial" expressions at us, so we figured we'd "accent" the expressions by adding eyebrows. Hilarious.

I'm obsessed with Spin class. So Nick just brought spin class to my house!! He got me a Spin bike for Christmas!!!!!!!

My little superhero in her superhero jammies...complete with cape.

D got Hungry Hungry Hippos from Santa. Turns out, it's a fun thing to play as a family :-)

My little fashionista

We drove into Boston, and took the "T" to the Children's Museum. She was so excited to get to ride a train for the first time!

Future pilot? She would make her godfather proud.

Me and my angel in front of Boston harbor where the Boston Tea Party happened!

Most days, these two are the cause of my massive headaches, but look how cute they are :-)