Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Married to the Army : Alaska

If you haven't seen this amazing reality show on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), you're really missing out!
OWN did a reality show following the lives of seven Army wives in Alaska while their husbands were deployed to Afghanistan.
I was completely hooked from episode 1.
I felt like I was watching my life going through a deployment with Nick through the life of another military wife on TV!
The same struggles, heartache, depression, worry...
The same happiness, joy, friendships with other military wives.....
I think it's more appealing to military families, but I have read in different forums and discussions where a lot of "civilians" are enjoying it as well.
The "civilian audience" gets a candid look into a part of military life that is oftentimes overlooked, and it's refreshing to see past the uniform.
I think the show does a great job of showing America "the other side" of the war that our nation has been fighting for a decade now.

I had the amazing opportunity to connect with one of the cast members, Sara Dunlap, via Twitter while the show was airing and eventually Facebook
I was instantly drawn to her because of her bubbly personality, warm smile, and the fact that she was a Texas girl (like me!!!).
I interviewed her for a piece on the Yahoo Contributor Network, and got to ask some burning questions I had for her while watching her life unfold on my TV.

If you haven't seen the show, you can see clips of it on the OWN website, and hopefully the network will have reruns!

Enjoy the article, and check out her bio on OWN's website!
Follow her on Twitter!

(click the link below)

Sunday, January 27, 2013


I am not a cold weather person.
I have become a complete and total homebody since moving the Massachusetts.
I just hate freezing!
I'd rather be sweating my butt off than freezing.

Thank God for weekends, so that daddy can take D outside to play in the frigid weather.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

$25 Baggage Fees and Adjusting

Let's face it.
My life truly is not as exciting as it used to be.
I think being miserable at work and missing my child while she spent more time at daycare than with me was the craziness I needed in my life to function.

Honestly, I don't miss the institution (the Marine Corps).
I don't miss the dirty looks and comments I got when I came into work 30 minutes late because my husband was deployed and my daughter needed to be dropped off at daycare.
I don't miss the eye rolling from ignorant men who had wives who stayed at home with their children all day when I had to leave work 2 hours early to take my kid to a doctor's appointment.
I don't miss the time I was FORCED to take my 3 year old to a sexual assault prevention brief (while she had pink eye), because I COULDN'T miss it. (That is a WHOLE another blog post, and just thinking about it is making my blood boil).
I just don't miss any of it.
Like I've said before, motherhood changed my ENTIRE view of my life as a Marine.

I just feel like now, I live in my husband's shadow.
On our flight to Alabama, I had to pay a $25 baggage fee, and my "dependent ID card" was no excuse to get out of it.
I have never had to pay a petty baggage fee.
I just flashed my fancy military ID with my smiling face in cammies and my rank written proudly on it, and it got me out of silly things like $25 baggage fees.

I forgot that military dependents are just that....dependents.
Dependents don't always get all the perks of being active duty, and it's one of those things that I'm adjusting to. 
Sure, I'm a veteran, but I don't carry an ID that states that.
I guess I could go buy a big red hat that says "Operation Iraqi Freedom Vet" written on it, but it's not exactly my style (insert laugh).
I feel like a horrible mother for saying this, but sometimes I feel like the things I do at home with my 3 year old all day are petty and unimportant compared to the things I used to do.

It's only been a few months since I've entered this new life, and I am still learning to embrace it.
I couldn't imagine a day going by that I don't get to spend every waking moment with my daughter, but the transition I made to this point was so completely different than my old life that it's tough.
How can I not love these moments, though?
With the freezing temps, D and I have been house ridden (we are wusses when it comes to snow and cold). We've been having little indoor picnics this week with all her "friends" (mainly stuffed animals), and it's been a blast!
Almond butter and banana sandwich on whole wheat, whole grain goldfish, half a banana, and a fresh strawberry banana blueberry smoothie. Healthy eating is a part of life in this family!
D and all her "friends". She really likes feeding them.
It wasn't until this week that D decided she did not like crust on her sandwich. I have NO idea where she got this from?! She's always eaten the crust...

Our new fish. He's a baby betta fish named "Dokey-Dokey" (named by none other than my brilliant 3 year old).

Monday, January 21, 2013

Our Trip to L.A.

Not L.A., CA.

We're talkin' Lower Alabama :-)

It's been a while since I've blogged, so this is a little longer.
So, please continue reading if you have a little time on your hands, or feel free to just skip my ramblings and just scroll down to the bottom to stalk my pictures...haha.
It won't hurt my feelings.

We just returned from a mini vacay in Alabama late Saturday night.
Nick had a conference in Pensacola this week, and since his mum lives in south Alabama, we decided to fly down there after the conference and join Nick and visit his mum.
The last time Nick and I went to Alabama was July of 2008, just a few short months after we got married, and the last time his mum saw Dannika was in November of 2009, so it was a long overdue trip.
Nick's mum can't fly on airplanes because of her health, so it's hard to see each other.
 Being in the military makes it tough for us to fly all over the place to see family, and it gets expensive, so it's always been easier for family to come to us (which is why my parents get to see Dannika and us more often than Nick's mum).

Our little trip to Alabama was pleasant. 
Nick is from an EXTREMELY podunk little town called Andalusia, and he grew up just outside of it in an even smaller town called Gantt.
If you watch any movies or tv shoes about small town living in the south, Andalusia would be the setting. 
Think of "Honey Boo Boo".
That is Andalusia.

I consider myself a "southern girl" being from Texas myself, but not quite as southern as where Nick claims as his home.
I could never see myself living or retiring where Nick is from.
It is just too far away from civilization for my tastes, BUT....BUUUUT....I really loved going down there to visit.
I love how simple life is.
I love all the old fashioned churches.
I love REAL sweet tea (southern sweet tea is not just plain ole tea with sugar or splenda in it).
I love fried okra.
I love southern accents (which I found mine to start coming back when I was down there).
I love dirt roads.
I love dirty, muddy trucks.
I love the cotton fields that are literally walking distance from my mother in law's house.
I love the horses just roaming around behind her house.
I love her HUMONGOUS yard.
I love how polite everyone is.

Why wouldn't I live where Nick grew up?

It's small.
The nearest shopping mall is an hour away.
The nearest Whole Foods is an hour and a half away.
Everyone knows everyone, and that means everyone knows everyone's business.
There's a lot of small town drama.
I heard more gossip about EVERYONE and ANYTHING than I have in military housing!!!!!!

I guess in the end, a medium sized town in Texas (like the one I grew up in is where I want to end up).
I really do love the south, and it really made me even more disgruntled to come to our house here in New England.
I just keep telling myself that this is temporary, and one day, we'll have our dream of living in Texas again.


Mamaw's got a pretty impressive freshwater fish tank.

Lexie (far left) being poopy cause Nick made her eat broccoli.

Dannika and Maggie helping Mamaw with the dishes.

Nick and Aubryn (Jeremy's daughter...friend of Nick's from hs)

Uncle Nick and all the kids

Helpin mamaw dry dishes

Andalusia water tower

Dannika and Aubryn

homemade deer jerk....mmmm (courtesy of Jeremy)

Jeremy, Nick, and the kids

Nick's mom's neighbor's house (whoa, I don't even know if the use of all those possessive pronouns is grammatically correct!...Anyway, I love this photo. The old truck, wooden fence, endless grass, and trees just gives you a glimpse into good ole' country livin'.

Nick and D in Mamaw's backyard lookin at the horses.

I strongly suggest for those who have never visited the true south to do so. 
It really is relaxing and gets you back down to reality and good ole' southern values.