Thursday, February 26, 2015

Things On My Brain

Not sure where I'm going with this post yet, so bear with me.
Most likely, it'll be all over the place (just like most of my blog posts).

I shamelessly participate in "Throwback Thursdays".
I love going through my old photos, and looking for one that is "postworthy" on my Instagram.
Today's photos are...

My friend Kim and I before going to the 2006 Marine Corps ball.
Just two Texas girls in a world full of boys.
And let me add, we held our own...we ran faster than most of them, and did more pull ups than most of them (Kim could do 20 dead hang pull ups!).
I don't want to toot by own horn...but I am....we were pretty much badasses....
"Some women wear heels. The few wear combat boots..."
(Although Kim and I could rock a pair of heels better than anyone!)

A very tired Nick.
Dannika was just a few weeks old in this photo.

My sweet sweet Dannika Jane...
If I look close enough at her today, I can still see this baby in her face...
Time flies...
Nick and I have been so occupied with school, homework, studying, and oh yeah...raising kids and keeping them alive...
It feels like we don't get to connect every TRULY connect.
Like most couples, the lack of "connectedness" led to discontent.
I finally told him what I needed, and he's truly made an effort this past week to put more effort into US.
I'm guilty too! I've made an effort as well to connect with my husband.
This week, he surprised me with John Legend tickets!
We haven't had a chance to go on our regular monthly date nights, and that was one thing that was frustrating me.
He went above and beyond for our next "date night"!

My husband isn't a "wine drinker" unless it's a special occasion or if we're at a "fancy dinner".
Last night, he poured a glass of wine with me with dinner.
After dinner, the kids played in the house, and we just sat and talked.
Again, it made me realize how important it is to have that "alone time" with each other.
Cause a good selfie happens rarely...

My two babies.
They love each other something fierce.
It makes my heart smile....if my heart could smile that is.....

And this funny meme...
We've all met someone who we feel this way about....
Happy Thursday, y'all!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Shrimp, Pink Eye, Toilets

Here's some randomness for y'all...

I pin on pinterest a lot more than I actually follow through with my "pins".
I'm sure I'm not the only one guilty of this.
I pin all these GREAT ideas, recipes, and crafts, and that's really all that happens to them...
They just get pinned.
This weekend, however, I actually followed through, and tried out a recipe I found on pinterest!
It's a shrimp and asparagus dish with a lemon soy sauce.
It's asian inspired, and I must say...
It was NOT a pinterest fail!
It was a pinterest win!!!!

And these two...
We went to a local wing joint for lunch, and of course the boys in the family were fixated on the basketball game on

I asked him to make a "kissy face" for a selfie, and this is what I got!

Here's a better one...
my sweet sweet son....

Dannika woke up with pink eye this morning....
Luckily, we caught it early, got her to see her pediatrician today (hooray for being open on Sundays!), got her some drops, and she'll be good to go for school tomorrow!
This is why her one eye is all wonky in this mother/kids selfie...

My son got caught playing in the toilet again today.......
This is his look of shame...again....
He has toilet water all over him...and his face...
 And this is his rotten little toilet water incident...

And yet, he's so dang cute....
The struggle is real, folks...

I am now sitting here watching the Oscars with my husband....
Realizing that we don't watch movies anymore....
Because we have kids....

Have a great week, y'all!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Finally Friday

This week could not be over fast enough!!!!!!!
Nick and I had midterms, papers due, and oh yeah...two kids that we had to keep alive.
We are patting ourselves on the back right now for keeping them alive (yay!).
This week truly tested my abilities in multitasking and time management. 
I posted on Facebook that as a 30 year old mother and veteran, it's safe to say that my time management skills are TEN FOLDS better than the average college kid.
Looking back on the semester, I'm pretty dang proud of how I've managed.
Nick and I hired a part time nanny, but she only comes twice a week.
The rest of the time, I am reading and studying during my sons naps, while cooking, while "listening" to my daughter read her daily home reader to me...
I did research for a major research paper during my daughter's gymnastics class on my iPhone...
I simply stated on Facebook...
"The next time I hear a 20 year old complain with no other responsibilities besides school and maybe a job, I may throat punch them."
**Throat punch is totally a term that comes from the "Marine" in me**

I am so grateful for my veterans benefits.
I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to go to college for free.
I have friends my age who are STILL paying off student loans from almost 8 years ago.

So I don't take for granted the free education that I have earned through serving in the military.

I also totally think it's cool that I am going to school while Dannika is in school.
She thinks it's so awesome that mommy and daddy are going to school just like her!
I've always hoped that my children would understand the importance of giving back (whether it be serving in the military or serving others without expecting anything in return), and the importance of education.
It's pretty cool to see my 5 year old have such an appreciation for men and women in uniform at such a young age.
It's also pretty cool to let her witness firsthand that her mommy and daddy are getting their education.

The weekend is here, and it looks like we're going to be getting some rain.
I'm not complaining though!!!
I choose a little rain over the blizzard/snowpocalypse that the northeast is getting!
Stay warm friends up north!
Have a fantastic weekend!

 And some photos of my kids of course!

This is my son's "look of shame".
While I cooking dinner last night, he thought it'd be awesome to take dirty diapers out of the trashcan, dunk them in the toilet, and walk all over the house with them!
My entire house had toilet water...EVERY. WHERE.
He is crying in this picture because I shut the door to the bathroom.
BTW, my 5 year old was to be keeping an eye on him while I cooked....can't rely on anyone these days....SMH

D has been diligently working on learning how to tie her shoes for the last week or so now.
She did a shoe this morning all by herself!
Just a few more times, and she'll be a pro!

Because all my midterms and papers were done for the week, I had some time to surprise this pretty girl at school today during lunch with a strawberry milkshake!
I LOVE giving her unexpected surprises at school.
The look of surprise and the genuine look of "I have the coolest mom ever today" is worth it...every. single. time.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cauli-fried rice

I've been on the "cauliflower train" for a while now.
I feel like I've liked cauliflower before it became "trendy".
Thanks to Pinterest, I've seen an explosion of recipes replacing carbs with cauliflower.
I think people get the misconception though that just because there are "no carbs" in a recipe, it makes it healthy.
For instance...
The "cauli-crust" pizza (so popular lately) in theory sounds pretty healthy, but then I see the amount of cheese you have to put into it to make it bind.
Not so healthy.
Sometimes, it's just better to stick with the original, in my humble non-expert opinion.
I don't believe in dieting.
I spent a better part of my twenties dieting, and frankly, dieting is not fun.
It sucks.
In those years of yo yo diets and fad diets, I did learn quite a bit about my body, and what makes me gain weight like a balloon.
So today, as a thirty year old mother of two, I make MOSTLY healthy choices when I eat.
One thing I know about my body (notice I said MY body...not yours), breads and pastas (whole wheat or white) makes me gain unnecessary weight.
That doesn't mean I don't eat them!
But I choose to eat them earlier in my day (breakfast & lunch), and try and avoid it for dinner.
And going out to eat is always an exception.....
Who can resist the free bread/tortilla chips they give you at restaurants!?

One of my favorite foods is fried rice.
It's delicious, but the main ingredient in that dish is...RICE! (DUN DUN DUN).
Instead of rice, I use cauliflower.
Nick took it to class, and the guys could not believe it wasn't rice!
It's absolutely delicious too!
I could eat it every day!

So I'm going to share my recipe with you!

1 head of caulflower (chopped into florets)
2-3 Cups of frozen mixed vegetables  
1/2 of an onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
2tsps of ginger (minced)
2-3 tbsp sesame seed oil
soy sauce
1tbsp of full fat REAL butter (yes...butter in moderation isn't horrible for you!)


1. In a food processor, pulse 1/2 the cauliflower at a time. You don't want to pulse it for TOO long because your cauliflower gets mushy, and it's important to do it in two batches (otherwise you'll end up over processing it, and it'll look like mush instead of a "rice like" consistency).

2. Heat your sesame seed oil and butter in a wok (or a pan if you don't have a wok). Once the butter melts add your garlic, onion, and ginger and let it get fragrant (just about a minute or two). 

3. Add the cauliflower and frozen veggies to the pan and let the cauliflower cook for a few minutes. Add your soy sauce, salt and pepper based on your preference. Remember soy sauce is pretty salty on its own, so you don't need a ton of salt!

4. If you don't like the taste of cauliflower, then let it cook longer, and let the flavors absorb into it. I personally like the taste of it, so I tend to pull it off the heat when it's still has a little bit of a "crunch" to it. 

Super easy, and super delicious!
My kids love it, and my husband loves it, so it's a winning dish at my house! 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I'm Le Tired

I'm tired.
I feel like I'm in the Marine Corps again (minus the BS, and young Marines that make not so smart decisions).
Between taking 18 hours of school, being Dannika's personal chauffeur to gymnastics twice a week and dance once a week......
On top of giving attention to my 1 year old....
On top of trying to be a good wife to my equally busy husband....
I just want to sleep for a week straight and send my kids to grandma's house. 
 My husband has been home more than he's ever been since we've been married, yet we don't communicate nearly as much as we should (considering the amount of time we spend in the same room together).
When he comes home from class, I am at gymnastics with Dannika...
I get home from gymnastics, and we eat dinner...
After dinner, he does dishes while I bathe the kids.
We put the kids to bed, and he's in the living room studying while I retire to our bedroom to study.
It's like we don't see each other, but we do.


I am SO grateful that Nick and I are going to school for FREE (thanks GI BILL!), and will not be burdened by student loans.
We don't take it for granted, and we take school pretty seriously because of that! 


Have I ever told you I'm an Diet Dr. Pepper addict?
It's sad really.
I'm the healthiest person I know (ok, I know healthier people...but I'm pretty darn healthy!)....
Yet, my one demise is that delicious Diet Dr. Pepper...not regular Dr. MUST be diet...
It's not because it's diet, because honestly, the full sugar DP is actually better for you than poisoning yourself with the aspartame in Diet Dr. Pepper...
But I LOVE Diet Dr. Pepper.....and I drink 3 of them a day.... (womp womp....)
I made a vow after New Years to cut back, and I went cold turkey for 6 weeks!!!!
I now limit myself to a 3 a week.....hey! that's an improvement!
In order to get my Diet Dr. Pepper "fix" though, I discovered this amazing coconut infused carbonated water at HEB (A FAVORITE Texas grocery chain).
I put a little bit of stevia in it, and it totally satisfies my Diet Dr. Pepper craving!!!!!
No, it's not the same, and no, it will NOT replace DDP....however, it's a good replacement during my times of abstaining from DDP...

And lastly...
Who doesn't like photos of this cute little fellow?
His new word of the day is "BA BAS!!!" (bubbles)


Monday, February 16, 2015

Boy Behind the Blog

It's been a while since I've done a "boy behind the blog", but thanks to Chelsea from "Anchors Aweigh", I decided it was time!
SO MUCH has changed in our lives since the last one, to include the fact that we are now in home sweet home!
That awesome .50 cal bottle opener he's using is a bottle breacher! Nick got it for Christmas from our brother in law!

1. What's it like being a 31 year old sophomore in college?
Technically on paper I am a 2nd semester freshman and it is WEIRD.  Listening to the excuses of the average joe college kid that doesn't show up to class and doesn't care...  I am terrified to miss a class or an assignment.  I have never read or thought so much in my life.  My high school teachers can attest.

I am in college right now as a 30 year old, and as a veteran, I can definitely feel my anger rising inside of me at times. There's a HUGE difference between a 20 year old college kid, and a 30 year old veteran! deep breaths.....

2. How do you feel about the great state of Texas? (College Station in particular)
Pretty much love it.  I cant say i have ever been anywhere that had so much pride other than the Marine Corps.  College Station itself is full of this kind of pride.  Everyone here has the same thing in common.  They are all part of Aggie-land and they love their sports, high school and college alike. 

How can anyone NOT love "God's country", the Lone Star State, the Friendship state....the best place in then entire universe!?!?!?! I'm biased because I was born and raised here (born in Houston, raised in College Station), but seriously....I LOVE the pride we all have!  

3. What is one of your favorite things about living in Texas?
I love being able to go outside everyday without fear of severe freeze warnings and blizzards.  I grow where I am planted but man I love being planted here!

Nick is from South Alabama, and I'm from here....Together....we are tropical. We don't enjoy cold weather, we don't enjoy snow....we belong in places where the summers are blazingly hot, and where winters are mild.

4. What's something you look forward to this year in 2015?
I look forward to a semester under my belt and getting closer to the goal of becoming a Marine Officer.  One thing that tops that though is being able to build a strong connection with my family by having all of this time together to actually be one.  I am not a stranger coming and going day to day. 

YES!! Our kids finally get to see daddy every day with the thought of him having to go away for an extended period of time!!!! We are definitely enjoying the family time. I'm also SO PROUD of Nick for deciding to do MECEP (an enlisted to Officer commissioning program). He's more qualified than anyone I know!

5. What do you miss most about Massachusetts?
I miss Dan and Linda Kortjohn, I miss the Prakesh's and the Ottaviani's [our old neighbors],  I miss Bryan and Dawn Barnes, I miss Glenn Rigby and Sherrie.  To tell you the truth, I miss the people more than I miss the state.  It takes a well rounded and sophisticated kind of human being to appreciate what the North East has to offer.  

I DON'T MISS MASSACHUSETTS. NOT. ONE. BIT. I hated the winters, I hated the state, I hated the sports teams...But man oh man...I sure do miss the people we met there and our church, Connect Community Church!!! If we could bring the people down here to good ole Aggieland, life would be just perfectly peachy.

So there y'all have it!!!
Hopefully I can do a few more as I remember!!!
Happy Monday, y'all!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Valentine's Day recap

I hope everyone had a FABULOUS Valentine's Day!
Mine was nothing short of amazing.
I got to spend it with the ones I love most (hubby and the kids)!

I honestly can't remember the last time Nick and I went out to eat ON Valentine's Day.
I dread fighting the crowds, and since we live in a college town, Valentine's Day here is like Valentine's Day on crack!
Last year, I cooked filet mignons for Nick and me, and we enjoyed it peacefully alone in our home with wine after we put the kids to bed.

So here's our Valentine's Day recap of 2015!

We started our day planting our spring garden!!
Can i just add that I am SO GRATEFUL that I no longer live in a place with actual winters!
This is the life I love!

After gardening, I took a shower, and came out to our patio setup for a Valentine's day date in our backyard!
Hubby wins!

We had sushi delivered to our house.
We fed the kids first, and let them run free in the backyard.
While they entertained themselves, Nick and I enjoyed our sushi, enjoyed uninterrupted conversation, and watched our kids play. 
We sat outside until it got dark!

At the end of the night, we finshed off with a bottle of Messina Hof's almond champagne.
Messina Hof is a winery local to this area, and the last time we went there for dinner, we picked up a bottle of this deliciousness.
We were waiting for a fun occasion to have it!

And of course, before bed, we watched some Fresh Prince!!

How was your Valentine's Day?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day Haters Need Not Apply

I love Valentine's Day.
I love the hearts, the chocolates, the overpriced flowers, the parties....
The romance...
I love that there is a day to celebrate love.

As I was scrolling through my newsfeed this morning, I read the typical posts that "Valentine's Day haters" post.
Here's the two common themes...
"I hate Valentine's Day! It's such a commercial holiday!"
"I show my (so and so) that I love them every day of the year! I don't need Valentine's Day to show them."

To me, Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate the idea of love.
We go through life every day busy with work, kids, school, family...
Life is busy!
It's nice that there's a day in the year to remind us that without love, this world would really suck!
It doesn't have to be romance today.
Since becoming a mom, I always do something special with my kids today.
I want to celebrate our love for them!

I completely agree that this holiday is totally a commercial holiday meant to make money, etc. etc. etc.
But I'm an optimist, and to me, that means it's a day for people to spend money and stimulate our economy! BOOM! HOW ABOUT THEM APPLES (or chocolates)?!?

Seriously though...
Your negativity is not needed on a day most people like to celebrate love.
Do ME a favor and stay off Facebook today if you don't want to see everyone's "cheesy" Valentine's day posts and photos.
I have noticed most (I said MOST) of the people who are negative about today tend to be either my very pessimistic friends, single friends, or friends in bad relationships.

And if you aren't gonna stay off social media, maybe you can find a little bit of positivity and LOVE in your heart, and tell someone on Facebook that you love them!

Happy Valentine's Day, y'all!!

I do personalized Valentines for Dannika's school every year!

Valentine's Day outfit for school!

Nick and I always go to the gym on Friday mornings today. He told me he couldn't go yesterday because of school stuff, so I went by myself. I came home to all of this! The note next to the remote said "press play". He had the TV set to play all my favorite country tunes!

Dannika had a Valentine's Day ice cream sundae party at her school, and Nick, Mattis, and I got to join in! It was so much fun!
My princess opening her Valentine's Day gift this morning! We don't spent a lot of money! I buy her some cute knick knacks from the dollar section at Target! She loves them!
I got this stud a toolbox for his new truck!

Sunday, February 8, 2015


Just a random Texas sunday...

Texas girl...
Big bow...
Jean Jacket...
Tulle skirt...

 Selfie before church...

Lunch after church...
Two peas in a pod...


Studying on this gorgeous sunny 70 degree day...

And this absolutely adorable face....

My neighbor's dog Buckley...

I love my Texas life...