Friday, June 28, 2013

Just Something to Think About

I thought long and hard about posting this.
I TRY and keep my blog away from politics and controversial issues.
My blog is really more to chronicle my day to day life as a wife of a Marine, a mother, and a former active duty Marine.
But this is something I'm passionate about, and something that I feel that God is pulling at my heart to go into ministry...

I could say so much about this from personal experiences, but I'll just share this one....

A year ago, I got to know the adopted sister of man from my church who was expecting a child.
I'll tell you her story in a few sentences...
She was the product of a brutal rape.
Her biological mother was raped at the age of 14 by a 30 year old "family friend".
At 14 years old, her biological mother and her biological grandmother made the decision to continue the pregnancy.
Because of the painful memories attached to the pregnancy, they decided together to put the baby up for adoption.
She was adopted by a loving and warm family who embraced her as their own.
Today, this woman is a beautiful, Jesus loving wife and mother of 2 beautiful children.
She leads an amazing life devoted to serving others.

Can you imagine how grateful she is that her biological mother decided to bring her into this world to do wonderful things, and raise a beautiful family?
Can you imagine how grateful she is that her biological mother had that much compassion in her heart, regardless of the horrifying circumstances, at the age of 14 to give her a chance at a life on earth?

This is just something I wanted to share.

Not meant to start a political debate.
Not meant for hateful comments.

You can disagree with me if you want...
Just let us agree to disagree...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Just Keep Swimming

As I mentioned in my last post, D is huge scaredy cat.
I was a big scaredy cat as a child, and it seems that she has adopted my fear of everything!
She's afraid of loud noises, she's afraid of heights, she's afraid to fall down, she's afraid of the big slide at the playground, she's afraid of large puppets....the list goes on.
The one thing that I do not want her to be afraid of is swimming pools, and guess what?
She's afraid of swimming pools.
She loves the kiddie pools and splash pads because there's a level of "safe" that she feels.
She normally refuses to go into a normal pool (even with a million floaties dangling off of her body).

The first thing I did when we got here to Houston was enroll her in swimming lessons.
I at least wanted her to feel comfortable in water, and not be so afraid of it.

Monday was her first official swim lesson.
She was so worried that she would have to go into the "big pool", and I had to reassure her that her teacher would be right there with her.
D is extremely social, so the fact that there were lots of new friends in swim class helped calm her nerves.
I was so nervous at first when I let her go off with her teacher.
I didn't want her to be "that kid"....
You know...
The kid crying and screaming while refusing to stick their toes into the water.
Thank God she's not!!

She ended up doing awesome on her first day, and she even had a blast!
She couldn't stop talking about all the cool things she learned that day!
She even promised to teach daddy how to swim since she found out daddy never took official swimming lessons as a kid.

Museum of Natural Science

One of the many, many things that I appreciate about Texas is the ease of access to everything.
Boston has wonderful museums and attractions to see, but it's a pain in the behind to go to.
First of all, parking in Boston is ridiculously expensive, and if you want to find cheap or free parking, you have to park a million miles away, and hike wherever you're headed....or worse...

You have to take the dreaded "T".

So because of that reason alone, D and I rarely go into the city.
But here in the good ole "Lone Star State", we don't worry about things like parking, and I don't think people here even know what public transportation is.

Last week, my mom and I took D to the museum of Natural Science.
We parked right in front of the entrance...FOR FREE.
Beat that, New England!!!!!!
We spent almost 3 hours there, and D LOVED it!

D is a big scaredy cat (like I am), and at first she was scared to death to go into the dinosaur exhibit, but after a few minutes of explaining to her that they were "nice dinosaurs", and that it was just the bones, she hesitantly walked in. 
I also threw in the fact that she loves Dino Dan on Nick Jr.
Once she got in, she had a blast!

The museum currently has the Ancient Egypt Exhibit visiting the museum.
Again, D was totally spooked by the mummies and scary tombs.
I coaxed her in, and she ended up enjoying it.

She wasn't afraid of the Early Americas exhibit.
she thought all the "Indians" were cool.

The trip was a success!
We didn't get to check out the planetarium or the butterfly garden, but plan on going back to cross those parts of the museum off of our bucket list.

I was pooped after walking around for 3 hours, so I could imagine what that must have been like for D!

I highly recommend that you check this museum out if you're in the Houston area!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fear of the Unknown

**This post contains a lot of military and Marine Corps lingo, so if you're not familiar with some of the terms, I apologize in advance!! You can google anything you don't understand!**

I feel like in the (almost) 12 years that my husband has served in the Marine Corps, he's really done just about everything he has wanted. (he will hit his 12 year mark this July)
He has done things that some Marines either never try out of fear of failure, and/or just plain poor timing in their careers.
He's deployed on a MEU, he's done Iraq, and he's done Afghanistan.
He's  done a successful tour on the drill field, and he's had the opportunity to work with one of the Marine Corps' very first HIMARs battery.
He is now working with future Naval and Marine Corps officers at some of the world's most prestigious colleges (Harvard, MIT, Boston U, etc).
I'm not just saying this cause he's my husband, but he's been successful and very good at everything he has done.
He achieved the rank of Gunnery Sergeant (E7) before he even hit his 11 year mark in the Marine Corps in an extremely slow promoting MOS (and made a lot of haters mad).
If you're familiar with the Marine Corps, the average time for a Marine to pick up Gunny is between 13 and 16 years (sometimes longer).

A few days ago, he told me about a huge career move he has been thinking about.
I don't want to go into details yet, since nothing is set in stone, but it's a big enough change to where it kind of scared me.
You would think by now, after serving in the Marine Corps for 10 years myself, I would be used to this whole "fear of the unknown", but really, I don't think you EVER get used to it.

I told him to pray about it before jumping into anything, and as a good wife should, I told him that I would support him no matter what.

He seems pretty sure after much prayer that this new "adventure" is where God wants him in the Marine Corps.

It's just scary because he's been so successful at the path that he's been on.
I'm afraid that this new path may not be what he thought it would be, and spend the rest of his career till retirement regretting it.

I guess I'm asking for a few prayers for my husband.
It's a lot easier to tell me to "just trust God".
I do trust him, but I just want him to show me right now that everything's gonna be alright...
I know that's not always how he works though....

Some pics!

Yes, she chose this pose...I don't know what we're gonna do with her!

Here I am at 30 weeks

I love the Houston Galleria mall. This is this giant indoor waterfall thing that they have. D thought it was pretty cool.

One of the best things about being home in Texas is mom's home cooking. Nothing beats home made Korean food!!

Funny dressed man I saw at the gym this morning. He was wearing a durag, sunglasses (indoors), a superman shirt, WWE style weight belt, and MC hammer pants. It made me chuckle.

Since hubby's not around the rub my big swollen prego feet, I enlisted the help of my 3 year old. 

Hope everyone is having a fabulous week so far!!!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Super Hero Daddy

It's no secret that Nick has missed a few Father's days (thanks to the Marine Corps).
But that has never stopped him from being an amazing father.
There are fathers who get to come home every night to their children, but I'm convinced that none measure up to the type of father that Nick is (but I'm a little biased).
While I could bore you with a million reasons why he's an amazing dad, I figured I'd just list a few things.
Here's Dannika's and my "Top 10" list...

1. I can count on my fingers how many times I had to wake up in the middle of the night when D was a newborn to feed or change her. husband did the majority of the late night feedings and changings. (Btw, this is something I never asked him to do...he just did it on his own)

2. Even when deployed or away, he always manages to find a way to make my life easier as a "single mom". He does everything to make sure that "fatherly duties" are taken care of or easier for me.

3. He makes pancakes from scratch with D, every single Saturday when he's home.

4. He has done dishes while wearing a princess crown at the request of our 3 year old. I have proof! (Don't worry, babe...I'll save ya the embarrassment)

5. I don't know how many fun work functions he has chosen to not attend because of things like Dannika wanting to play a round of mini golf in the afternoon with him.

6. When he's home, I've never had to get Dannika ready for bed. He does it ALL! He bathes her, brushes her hair (not, brushes her teeth, gets her dressed, and tucks her in.

7. In the words of Dannika, "He's my best friend!"

8. He has the most amazing patience when it comes to the "rough days" with Dannika. On days when I want to put her up for sale, he can calmly handle us both.

9. Less than 1% of daddies in the world can say they're a U.S. Marine!!!!!! I don't know too many daddies who fight terrorists during the day and have tea parties at night with their little girl!

10. Most importantly, he fathers on Godly principles. This makes him "perfect" to me.

Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful fathers out there...

and a SUPER DUPER Happy Father's Day to my hubby!

I can't wait till we get to actually spend a Father's Day together again!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Texas Adventures

We've been in Texas for just over a week now, and we've been staying busy!
It was hot yesterday....and ridiculously humid!
Some complain about this heat, but after living on the west and east coast, I have grown to truly appreciate all that Texas has to offer...heat and all!
After spending the most miserable winter that I've ever experienced in my life (in New England), the hot and humid summer of Texas is a welcome environment for me!!
I spent the first 18 years of my life in this weather, so I think my body just naturally gravitates towards it.
I also believe that this weather is what a TRUE summer feels like!
There's nothing better than sitting outside on a hot and sticky summer day while drinking ice cold beers and eating Blue Bell ice cream.
There's also nothing better than spending a day outside in this weather and opening the door to our air conditioned home.
It's an amazing feeling!

I'm almost 30 weeks prego!

So far, I haven't missed a single day at the gym!
The work outs are getting harder as I get more prego, but I'm feeling great so far!
I've been doing a lot of treadmill jogging, elliptical, and stair stepper.

We've also been enjoying the Chick Fil A by my parent's house!!
It's nice because they have an indoor playground for kids.
We don't have one near us in Boston, so I've been indulging on this deliciousness while here!!

Every Tuesday night, the Chick Fil A does a family night where they have different activities for kids.
This week, they had a clown from the Ringling Brothers circus come and do a show!

D has also been enjoying baking with her Gigi (what my mom prefers to be called).
My mom even bought D her own little apron.

We went to Korean church with my parents on Sunday.
D loves Sunday school, and she really liked her new friends.
Although I can read, write, and speak Korean, it's more "conversational Korean".
There is a bit of a language barrier for me when it comes to listening to an entire sermon in Korean.
I might try an English speaking church while I'm here.

We went to Barnes and Noble to pick up a few activity books to do with D over the break.
We ended up spending a few hours there reading and playing as well!

My little diva ready for some sprinkler play.

We've really been enjoying our summer here in the Lone Star state so far!!
Hubby will be here in about 3 weeks, so we're super excited!!

What fun things are you doing this summer!?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Texas Livin'

We made it to Texas!
And praise Jesus, Dannika is the best traveller ever!
She was soooo good on the entire 4 hour flight here, and we got so many compliments from everyone!
I guess all the traveling we have done all over the place (thanks to the Marine Corps) has really paid off!
So far, we're totally content being hot and sticky!
I seriously never thought I would miss the heat and humidity down here, but I secretly do!

When my parents became empty nesters, there was no point in them to remain living in the house we all grew up in (in College Station). 
My dad's job is in Houston, so my parents recently sold our beloved College Station home, and moved to the city (AKA Houston). 
And when I mean city, they moved straight into the heart of Houston to the Galleria area where they are enjoying townhouse life in a gated community. 
While their new abode is GORG, it's not really a great place for kids because of the lack of a big backyard. 
But we are really enjoying being pampered!

My daughter could not and would not leave the house without "daddy", so he came along with us. He was a big hit on the airplane ride, and all the flight attendants thought it was the sweetest thing ever. D made sure to introduce him to everyone.

Not only is she a daddy's girl, but she's also a papa's girl!

The first thing I did when I got to my parent's house was check their freezer for the giant tub of Blue Bell ice cream. As always, every true Texas fridge has a tub of good ole Blue Bell!

We had some sprinkler fun to beat the heat.

And on our lovely grocery shopping trip, I had to pick up a few more pints of Blue Bell!!

We are loving Texas so much that I may not make it back to New England!
I love being around other people with southern accents.
In fact, I love that no one looks at me funny when I say things like, "I'm fixin' to do something" or y'all"!
I love Blue Bell.
I love my mama's cooking.

I just love the south :)