Monday, March 31, 2014

Half a Year and a Month

My little big guy is 7 months old as of March 26th!

Last month, when I took his 6 month photo, he kept flopping over.
He was a "wobbly sitter".
This month, he sat straight up, and kept hamming it up for the camera.
It's crazy how much they change in just a short month!

Our guy does so many new "tricks" this month, and he's getting so big!

This month he:
*Sits up completely unassisted.
*Eats just about everything. He loves Mum mums, Gerber's crunchies, bread, cereal, mangoes....just about anything.
*can pick up food and bring it to his mouth.
*drinks water out of a sippy cup and a regular cup.
*spins around in circles, and almost has a low crawl.
*loves sitting in back of the car with his big sister to entertain him.
*wears 9-12 month clothes and 12-18 month clothes (depending on the day...and the
*flirts with other moms and cougars when we are out and about (for real!).
*has a tiny bit of "stranger anxiety".
*is a complete and total mama's boy, and it drives daddy crazy!

This little big guy is seriously growing way to fast.
We can't wait to see what next month brings!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Power of Sunshine

I never quite realized just how powerful sunshine was until our trip to California.
As y'all know, I have been going through a "funk", and forcing a smile during day to day life here in New England.
With the brutal Winter that we had, it was safe to say that I was at my wit's end with this place. 
We arrived at John Wayne Airport in Orange County in late afternoon/early evening, and as soon as we got off the plane, I could instantly sense the mood of my entire family just "perk up".

John Wayne Airport

I can't even describe it.
I wanted to dance in the airport and sing "The Hills are alliiiive....with the sound of muuusic."

Not only was the sunshine amazing, but it felt like "home" to us.
I consider Southern California my second home next to Texas, and if for whatever reason, we couldn't retire in Texas, I'd want to take my butt immediately to Southern California.
As we drove our rental car down the 405 and the 5, I had the biggest grin on my face.
I looked over at my husband, and he had an equally as big of a grin on his face as I did.

It's seriously the happiest we have been in the last 2 years since we left California...happy is actually an understatement.
My husband's been in a "funk" too with New England weather, the amount of energy he puts into work, the lack of family time that he gets because of work, etc. etc. etc..
I knew on that first day that it was a much needed trip for the both of us and for our family.

We stayed the majority of our trip at the Laguna Cliffs Resort & Spa in Dana Point, CA.
 I chose this place because it was a place Nick and I had spent many anniversaries, New Years, and special occasions together when we lived in Orange county.

Absolutely gorgeous view from the hotel.
I seriously can not believe that we used to live literally 5 minutes away from this hotel!
 The first thing I did on our trip was go for an early 4AM morning run on the beach!
I was up super early due to the time difference, so I figured I'd make my time worthwhile and go on my usual run route along the coast.
The weather at 4am was 55 degrees, misty, and absolutely perfect for a run.
I ran almost 6 miles before realizing that I needed to head back to the hotel and nurse my son!
I wasn't even tired!

Obligatory "pre run" selfie.

Obligatory "post run" bathroom selfie.

So on our first day, we met up with my best friend, her husband, and her two boys.
Her and I went to Target together (of course) while the men took the kids to the park in San Clemente right next to Target.

I think that Orange County has some of the most AMAZING public parks in the country for kids.'s like a miniature Disneyland at these parks!

I wish I woulda gotten some pics of this park.
Did I mention how awesome it was to wear crop tops, skirts, and Havainas!?!?!

My New England born son was in heaven too!
He was so happy to not be bundled up and miserable. 

After the park, our family went to a late brunch at one of our favorite spots in San Juan Capistrano called the Sundried Tomato Cafe.
 Dannika and I are a bit of a celebrity at this cafe.
When Nick was deployed to Afghanistan, we used to go there every Saturday to have brunch together.
They have these sheets of butcher paper laid out on top of their nice table cloths that kids can draw and color on.
I used to write little notes to Nick on the table cloth, snap a photo of it, and send it to him in Afghanistan.
The staff got a kick out of it, and they started to save the table cloths after Dannika and I would leave because the manager loved reading my little notes to Nick.
When Nick returned, we had a meal for us and 8 guests comp'ed by the Sundried Tomato.

So when we showed up for brunch on this trip, EVERYONE was so happy to see Dannika and me.
The manager discounted our bill (by A LOT).
It brought back fond memories of a time in my life when it was just Dannika and me. 

I seriously mean it when I say that I had not been this happy in 2 years.
I never wanted to leave, and it was only our first day!

 As I posted photos on Instagram of our trip, EVERYONE kept telling me how happy we looked.
Friends of mine from New England even commented that they had never seen this genuine look of pure joy on my face.
 I was told multiple times that I looked more in my element in Cali than I do in New England.

I'm just meant to be in warm climates, I guess...

Stay tuned for more details on our trip, and my 30th birthday!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

ANOTHER ER Visit For the Gunny

We just got back from our trip to California last night at midnight!!
It was SO much fun and SO eventful!
I plan on blogging all about it on top of what I did for my big dirty thirty!

For now, I am at home taking care of my husband.
Yeah....that's the ER...with an awesome eye patch....the day after our trip.

He had to go to work today for an event at his work called the "Sheehan Cup".
The best way I can describe the "Sheehan Cup" is a glorified field meet that the midshipmen put on.
He's been complaining about this event, and telling me how much he didn't feel like going to it...especially after our vacation and a weekend of traveling.
But of course, like the champ that he is, he got a good 4 hours of sleep last night, woke up at 5, and headed to work for his event.

At 10AM, I received a phone call from him saying he was headed to the ER.
While playing a little game of dodgeball, he was hit in the eyeball with a ball thrown at him by a midshipman.
He has hyphemia.
(google it)
For the next 2 weeks, he can not sleep laying down, he can't lift anything, he can't PT...he's basically on bed rest. 
Do I blame this midshipman?
Do I think it's this midshipman's fault?
 Was I angry?
Absolutely, and my inner crazy Texas/Korean girl was fuming when I found out.

However...I know it was not intentional, and it was during a friendly game of dodge ball.
But I need someone to blame.
And the poor college kid who wants to be a Navy Officer one day gets to be the one to blame. 
Sorry don't F*&$ up the the Gunny with no repercussions....whether it was on accident or not. :) (smiley face)

I'm a woman that stands next to her one F's up my man and gets away with it!

I told Nick that the next time I see him, I will be giving him dirty looks and the "side eye".

Better watch out, dude. 
You're just a kid wanting to be an Officer in the military one day. 
This chick's been to a combat zone and is a Marine.
I've "one upped" you in every sense of the military.

On a serious note...
I know it was an accident....
but just sayin'....

I can't wait to catch up to everyone's blogs!
I've been dying to catch up! 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Boy Behind the Blog

I've been seeing this "boy behind the blog" link up lately, and I decided to give it a whirl!
My husband was so kind enough to be willing to participate.
He loves reading my blog, but I don't think he ever expected me to ask him to be a part of it.

My responses will be under his in pink...cause I like pink.
1. What's your lucky number? 
17 because my birthday is on August 17th. It's been good to me. I won $50 on the radio one time on my birthday because I called in.
When we first got married, for some reason, I thought his birthday was August 19th for the longest time. Horrible wife, I know.

2. Do you have a lucky charm?
I can't think of anything either. I guess we're not really all that superstitious.

3. Do you fill out a bracket for March Madness? Who do you want to win?
No, my office is doing one, but I deleted the email that I was sent because I thought it was spam. We're going on vacation tomorrow so I won't get to participate.
You don't even watch Were you going to fill out random teams with the pretty colors?

4. March 10th is "Middle Name Pride Day". What's your middle name?
Our son's first middle name is Mark too, and his second is Vincent. Yes, our son has TWO middle names because he's named after TWO badass Marines.

5. Submit one question that you would like to see on future The Boys Behind The Blog.
What's your favorite car?
His dream car is a '67 Chevy Camaro or a '67 Malibu Chevelle.

There y'all have it!
The boy man behind the blog!
Love you, Nick!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Goodbye to My 20's

I'm 30 today.
It's so ridiculously surreal!
I feel like it was just yesterday when I was celebrating my 21st birthday!

And I'm sure to my parents, it felt like just yesterday I was celebrating my "dol" (Korean for first birthday).

When I turned 29, I started dreading turning 30.
I didn't want to be lumped into the "30's group".
30 seemed so old to me.

But as I got closer to 30, I realized how much I couldn't wait to turn 30.
I spent half of my 20's making poor and unwise decisions and choices.
I honestly don't remember most of my early 20's. 
I spent most of it partying, working, deploying, and partying....
Did I mentioned I partied....A LOT?!

I feel like by the time I hit 26, I really started getting my life together and "growing up".
It was around 26 when I gave birth to my daughter.

At 30, I feel like I've accomplished enough to cover a life time, and yet I'm still young enough to be just getting started.

By 30 I've....
 *been to a combat zone

Seriously...who gets to say they got to hit a few golf balls in Iraq?!
 *traveled the world
*built millions of dollars worth of rockets and bombs 

That's me and a 2.75 in rocket with the fins popped open (oops).
*fixed millions of dollars worth of missile launchers and aircraft guns
*changed the lives of many average young men (and one Enlisted woman and one woman Officer), and helped start their own careers in the Marines. 
*bought and sold a house
*given birth to 2 kids.

I've spent the last 12 years COMPLETELY independent from my parents.
The day I left the house at 18, my parents did not pay a single dime for me (except one time to help me with a down payment on my first car that I purchased on my own).
At 18, I had my own paycheck, medical insurance, dental insurance...
I had a career.
I was a Marine.

Like I is so surreal.
The next 30 years will make me 60!
It's crazy to me what my life might be like?
Will I have grandkids?
Will my kids be married?
Will we be retired and living the good life in Texas?!

Goodbye 20's. 

HELLO 30's!

Monday, March 24, 2014

5 Favorites About Military Life

I know lately on my blog, I do a lot of complaining about military life.
It's hit our family pretty hard these past few weeks, so it's what I've been feeling about it. 


"Military life can suck sometimes. The uncertainty. The deployments. The separations. The strange hours. Moving. It can suck."

But I figured I would share 5 things about this life that I actually love and enjoy.

1. The Homecoming after a long deployment.
Deployments suck. They suck so bad. But man, the feeling you have the day you know your honey is coming home is an indescribable feeling that I can't fathom into words. As a military spouse, I feel pretty darn lucky to have felt that much joy in my heart. I don't think the average civilian will ever feel that kind of joy.

2. The Marine Corps Ball.
What girl doesn't like wearing a gown, getting her hair and make up done and going to a big fancy party on the arm of a handsome stud in uniform?!? As a Marine, I hated going to my own birthday balls because I always saw it as "mandatory fun". That, and I had to be in uniform. I want to wear a princess dress, dangit! However, whether it was my own ball or my husband's, I've ALWAYS had such an AMAZING time. Drinks, dancing, camaraderie, and dress blues. You can't beat that.

3. Military Spouses!
Some of my "BESTEST" friends are spouses I have met through either my own work or through my husband. There's always an instant connection and a bond....a common ground that two "non military" spouses don't have. Never will you meet a woman, who you can call at 3am when your husband is deployed, and tell her you are bringing all your kids over with a bottle of wine because you can't sleep and you're sad. (whoa run on sentence. I don't's my blog).

4. Benefits.
Ok, I realize that we may not have the BEST benefits this country can offer our men and women in uniform, but I am grateful for what we do have. I know a lot of people who can't afford any insurance or pay ridiculous co pays, etc. I've seen families struggle with losing their military benefits after getting out. I also never realized just how awesome things like the commissary were until we moved here where we have no commissary. I am grateful.

5. Exploring the World.
I may complain a lot about New England, but I really am thankful to have the opportunity to live somewhere with truly 4 season. I've also had the opportunity lived in one of the most beautiful states in the U.S. with gorgeous weather all year round! No one else gets to explore the world the way we get to. 


New England

So there ya have it! 
These are my top 5 favorite things about this crazy life!
What are some of your favorites?

Friday, March 21, 2014

No News

I hate those people who are always alluding to things on social media, but won't just come out and say it.

For example:
"OMG!!! Got some amaaaazing news!"


Drives. Me. Insane.
And yet, I've become that person this week.
I posted yesterday that my family is awaiting some big news from the Marine Corps.
I can't quite say what yet because my husband hasn't told that many people, so out of respect to him, I'm keeping quiet to the world.
But the anticipation of finding something out is killlling me, so I have to vent on social media.
I was a slave to my phone yesterday refreshing the website over and over and over and over and over....

I felt like a bit of a lunatic.

It is Friday, and we still have no news.

If the Marine Corps makes us wait an entire weekend before we can start hitting refresh on our phones again next week, I may end up institutionalized. 

Oh, and we are going to Orange County, California for a week tomorrow!

I'm so freaking excited to leave the frozen tundra!

I hope to be able to share some news with y'all...soon!

If anyone knows a guy who knows a guy who's uncle has a friend who works at headquarters Marine Corps, can ya send him my email?!?!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Reason #33,453,454 Why I Blog

I didn't realize I was a "no reply commenter" until someone brought it up to me!
I swore I changed that setting on my blog months ago, but I guess it didn't work?
It's changed.

 I feel like after a life of building bombs and rockets, fixing guns and missile launchers, and being a recruiter stimulated my brain a lot more than it is being stimulated today.
I think being a stay at home mom is the hardest job I've ever done.
At the end of the day though, changing diapers, being a chef, a taxi driver, and a personal assistant to two little ones (on top of whatever other job title I take on that day) doesn't make me use the more intellectual part of my brain.
It's one of the reasons why I blog.  
It forces me to think, even though I may very well just be writing about my day changing diapers, being a chef, a taxi driver....etc.etc.etc.etc.etc..........
At least I am putting my thoughts and my day into words.
 If you're a stay at home mom, you can understand how much the lack of adult conversation in your day can sometimes drive you a little crazy.
I oftentimes feel like I talk my head off when Nick finally comes home because he's the first adult I've encountered all day, and all he wants to do is shut down cause he's tired of adult conversation!
I like blogging because it's like having a one way adult conversation with the world

Anyway, that's all I really gotta say today.
My family is currently anxiously awaiting some big news that could potentially change our lives.
The anticipation is killing me! 
God is really teaching me about patience this week, and it is not a fun lesson right now!
Some prayers would be appreciated for a calm and patient heart!

I'm hardly ever in a photo unless it's a "selfie", and I can't remember the last photo I took with Nick and Mattis. So here y'all go! Dannika was off playing and wreaking havoc at this indoor play space, which is why she didn't make the cut in this photo.

One of Nick's favorite things to do when he gets home is play with the kids. I love it. It gives me a break, and it makes me happy to see him happy.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Creating Memories

Random thought before I go into this post....
Children's toys are freaky.
My son's toy is currently turning itself on and off.
No one is touching it or playing with it...
Seriously freaky....

Ok, now for my actual post.

I've always said I want to be one of those "corny" and "cheesy" moms who go all out for every holiday.
I want my kids to grow up and say, "My mom was one of THOSE moms that went all out for EVERY. SINGLE. HOLIDAY."
I love creating memories.
So OF COURSE I hyped up St. Patrick's Day for my kids, dressed them in festive green, and just made the day fun.
Since Boston is the "St. Patrick's Day" mecca of the United States, I felt super festive.
I really wanted to check out the big St. Patrick's Day parade in South Boston, but I was advised it was not a good place to go with children.
I forgot about those crazy young people who party and get drunk at those things...haha.
On Monday, we headed out to Boston to have lunch with Nick at Uno's Pizza.
We got lots of compliments on Dannika's St. Patrick's Day attire.

After our afternoon lunch date with daddy, we headed back over to "Jam Time" (the indoor play place) to wear the kids out a little bit.
My kids absolutely love playing there,  and it's become our new "Monday ritual".
It also gives mama some free time to just relax, check emails, read blogs, and watch the kids tire themselves out.

For dinner, I cooked corned beef, Irish bangers, cabbage, and mashed potatoes.
We completed that with green beer, green juice, and that random plant on our dining room table is a pot of shamrocks that Nick brought home from the store.

I put green food coloring in our toilet, and Dannika got a kick out of the fact that a "leprechaun" came and forgot to flush.'s all about the details, people. photo of my toilet.

So, call me a horrible mom, but I realized that my four year old had never been to the dentist.
I have friends who take their 1 year olds!
I decided it was time to get on that.
I've never been overly concerned about the dentist for my daughter because she is an obsessive "brusher".
We have an Oral B app on the IPad that she uses to brush her teeth.
It has a little timer on it to let her know when to stop.
It's pretty cool actually. 
So yesterday, my daughter had her very first dentist's appointment and teeth cleaning.

She was a champ!

And cavity free!

And since daddy was working late, I decided to treat her out to dinner at the Outback for being so awesome at the dentist!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Mrs. Pinterest

The title of this blog is the best I could come up with as far as the conclusion I came to this weekend.
I don't know if it's a strong enough title to really fit the entirety of this post, but it'll do.

I realized this past week that as much as I need time alone with my husband (sans kiddos), I also need time alone without husband AND kiddos.
I mean seriously...
I told Nick I wanted to go out for a drink on Saturday night with a girlfriend after a birthday party we attended for Dannika.
My friend Steph and I ended up walking to a little brewery down the street from her house called "Hopsters" to just hang out.
It was SO nice to sit and have adult conversation with a like minded woman over adult beverages.

Steph is a full time law school student with two kids, and her husband is a Marine attending Harvard.
I could write a whole blog post on how the two of them ended up here, but I won't!
We don't hang out nearly as much as we should because she lives closer to Boston, and it's hard for me to get out there.
Also the craziness of her and her husband being in school and raising two kids makes it tough to fit time with each other into our lives!
It was nice to just unload on each other about life, marriage, kids, and the miserable Boston
I told her about what I was going through with "losing my identity" when I became a stay at home mom, and how hard that was.
We both came to the conclusion that both of us are really not meant to be "stay at home moms".
She came to this realization after being a stay at home mom for the first year of her daughter's life, so she decided to go to law school!
I decided I am going back to school in the Fall to give me some purpose that is meaningful to me in life besides just "mom to 2 BEAUTIFUL kids" and "Marine wife".
I know some women are just born to be "Mrs. Pinterest", and I am not.
So until the Fall, I am just going to soak up the time I have with my kiddos, and get ready to start my next chapter in life.
Crazy that in just one evening alone with a friend without the distractions of husbands and kids could make me see all of this!

3 Conclusions I came to this weekend:

1) My husband and I NEED date nights at least twice a month with NO kids and NO interruptions. 
We seriously had the best conversation on Friday night when we went out.
I hired an official family baby sitter this week.
She's a high school student who came by yesterday to do a "trial run".
I left her alone with both kids for two hours while Nick and I went to go watch the new 300 movie.
We came home, both kids were happy, the house wasn't burned to the ground, and Nick and I got to go see a movie alone!

2) I really need to get out and hang out with like minded adults more often without the husband and kids.
As I mentioned above, my time out with Steph made me realize so much more about what I was going through and this "rut" I've been in.
I mean, I can tell my husband anything, but at the end of the day, he's not a woman, so he can't really understand EVERYTHING that I'm feeling.

3) As much as I love my kids and being home with them, I'm not cut out for it.
For the sake of my sanity and happiness, I need a little more in my life.
I need something to give me more purpose in my life.
I'll start with going back to school.
I'm starting ALL over.
I could use my Marine Corps stuff and get a degree in something related to aviation in 1-2 years, but I don't want to do that.
I want to start as a freshman, and start ALL OVER.

And Lastly....
Some pics of my adorable family from the weekend.

We attended a birthday party in Boston for a friend of Dannika's at an indoor playground called "My Gym".

Mattis sat on the sidelines watching all the "big kids" run around, climb on things, and go wild.
He kept grunting at them, and reaching for them.
Poor guy wanted to play with them so bad.
One day little day.

My 4 year old got her second hair cut ever!

Her first blow out...

The final product.

I hope y'all had a great weekend!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

I'm OK Y'all

I got so many sweet emails and messages of encouragement yesterday in regards to my last post!
It felt so nice to hear from other military wives that they've either gone through what I'm feeling or are going through it themselves.

I've always said my blog would be a place for me to share my life and thoughts.
Obviously, I keep certain things private, but I try and be as open as possible when it comes to challenges my family and I go through being a military family.
I want it to be open and honest because one day, when my kids are older, they'll get to read about our life.
I want them to see the happy times, and I want them to see the struggles.
I want them to see how we overcame certain struggles to be where we are.

I feel like yesterday's blog was the first "real post" that addressed the title of my blog, "Domesticated Combat Boots"....
"Taking off my combat boots for a lifetime of domestic bliss..."
I really addressed the struggles with transitioning from active duty to civilian (taking my combat boots off).
It's ironic, because being "domestic" is far from blissful most days, right?
That's just life.

A lot of people have either asked my husband or me if "everything's alright?"
I just wanted to address it, because a lot of people are starting to worry about me.
I'm ok.
Trust me.
I am just in a bit of a rut and a "funk", and it's something I decided I needed to get out of.
I was living life constantly in this routine, and I just woke up and said, "wow...I need to do something different cause the way I'm living is so monotonous and starting to wear on me and has been negatively affecting people around me."

Other than that, everything is ok.
I've spent a lot of time this week in prayer, and it's been extremely calming.
I know God has certainly been working his wonders in my heart and soul this week, and putting everything in His hands has taken the burden off of me.

I feel 100 times better and a lot more confident in just this week about where my"identity" is.
I actually felt pretty good after writing my thoughts down yesterday, and having so many women relate to me.
I've had a few people tell me  how we are such a "picture perfect" family, and they can't imagine we'd ever go through struggles.
That's just CRAZINESS!
We're not "picture perfect" family is.
My "picture perfect" family has been put through the ringer with Marine Corps life....just like every other "picture perfect" family in the military.

People sometimes have rose colored glasses on as they look at homecoming photos, adorable screenshots of a family facetiming together, photos of our loves in uniform, military ball photos, exciting new duty stations, videos of surprise homecomings to a child's classroom, etc. etc. etc.
People start thinking this life is a glamorous fairytale with "Prince Charming" in his dress blues.

It's not, y'all!
Life isn't all rainbows and unicorns, and it certainly isn't in the Marine Corps either!

Thank y'all for all the sweet messages, emails, comments, and love!

My husband and I went out for appetizers and oysters on the half shell last night without the kids!

We seriously realized we had not been out on a date together without the kids in almost 4 months!
That's crazy, right?!
When we lived in California, we used to drop off our daughter at our neighbor's house ALL the time to go out for "date nights".
I feel like after being in this rut for so long, we just forgot how important it is to a relationship to just "date".
 It was seriously soooo nice to hang out with my husband, and talk about grown up things with no interruptions from a quizzical 4 year old, or a hungry baby.

We dropped the kids off at a friend from church's house.
I was a little nervous since it was Mattis' first time really being away from mama in so long.
 He is going through stranger anxiety and serious attachment issues to me.
But when we went to go pick him up, we got such great compliments on how good he was.
It also made my heart so happy to hear from someone else how polite our daughter was, and how she was such a joy to watch.
It made me feel so much better about doing this again in the near future.
These are the photos sent to me from our friends of the kids while we were away!