Saturday, June 27, 2015

Castlegate Fishing Tournament

Did I ever mention how much we love our neighborhood?!
I think I have quite a few times since moving back to Texas.
It's not just our little house that we love, but we love the neighbors and the community of people we have been blessed with. 
Since moving here, Nick has gotten involved with our neighborhood's HOA with menial tasks.
He's become our HOA's official flag guy (putting the neighborhood's flags up and down when they go half mast).
When he found out about the neighborhood's annual fishing tournament, he jumped at the opportunity to volunteer for it.
Apparently, the HOA was having issues trying to find volunteers to coordinate it.
Nick's an avid fisherman, and it was right up his alley to volunteer his time to make our neighborhood's fishing tournament a memorable one. 

Every Marine that Nick has ever worked under has always given me "rave reviews" on Nick's ability to coordinate and plan events.
I've been told more than one time how reliable he is, and how his quality of work really shines in everything he does.
It's never been any surprise to me, since I'm married to the guy, and I see on a daily basis the amount of effort he puts into things.
The amount of time he put into our little neighborhood's fishing tournament was insurmountable.
He put as much effort and heart into making sure it was an awesome event as he did getting a platoon of Marines ready for a deployment. 
When he took on the responsibility of being in charge of the neighborhood's fishing tournament, he was determined to make it memorable and the best one yet.
He went right to work with the budget he was given.
He coordinated the prizes, catering, and judging.
He stayed up late making plans and spent lots of his own time driving around town buying the prizes.
 The thing that I admire most about my husband, and the quality about him that attracted me to him the most was his work ethic.
He puts 200% into everything he has ever done.
This is the reason for his success in the Marine Corps.
No matter how big or small (a fishing tournament or a combat deployment), he goes into with with everything he's got. 
He does it with minimal complaining (he's human after all...he complains a little, and a LOT of heart.
So many people came up to him today at the fishing tournament to tell him how much better it was than the year before, and how much they appreciated it.
He even had several people give him their contact information, and offered to help out next year. 

It was an absolute blast and a success.
Everyone had a great time, and there were over 100 fish caught!
We are so excited for NEXT YEAR'S fishing tournament!

We were worried about how hot it was going to be.
Afterall, it is Texas, and we have had some scorchers lately.
But the skies were overcast with a cool breeze all morning, so it was a perfect day for fishing!
The rain held off!!

And a photo totally unrelated to fishing...
This is a photo Nick snapped of us praying before dinner. 
Mattis' "praying face" is awesome!

Thanks for an awesome event Nick!
Everyone is really looking forward to it next year!!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Brazos Valley Bombers

Do you like baseball?
I'm gonna be honest...
I'm not a HUGE fan of baseball, BUT...
I am a HUGE fan of baseball games.
I've never been to a baseball game and actually paid attention to the game.
I've always gone to them to hang out with friends, enjoy the atmosphere....
We were invited to a local baseball game by our sweet neighbors this week, and we jumped at the invitiation!
We watched the Brazos Valley Bombers CRUSH the McKinney Marshals...woo hoo!
We ended up watching very little of the game, but had an absolute blast hanging out with our neighbors.

This was actually Dannika's first ever baseball game.

She was infatuated with the game!
When we left, she declared, "I LOVE baseball!"
I'm pretty sure she actually watched more of the game than any of us.

Our neighbor Anna Beth in a BBQ sandwich eating contest!
After every inning, they had games for the kids to play, and the winners got free ice cream!

We ended staying for all 9 innings because the game Dannika signed up for was at the 8th inning.
We were exhausted, but had such a blast!

We are so thankful for our neighbors who invited us!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Sweet Summer

It's almost July, and the Texas heat is ablazin'!
I love it though...even if I'm constantly in a state of sweat...stickiness...make up melting...
I'll take this over those Massachusetts winters any day.
The kids play outside late into the evenings when it "cools" off (a lil bit)...
The street is buzzing with the sounds of laughing kids and the smell of good ole Texas BBQ.
This is the first time I've felt like I've experienced a true summer in several years.
In past years, Nick has always been gone during a big bulk of the summer, so I've never been able to fully enjoy it. 
I love the street we live on.
Kids are literally in and out of my house, and my kids are in and out of the neighbors houses...without knocking of course.
We often have random little dinner guests pop up.
I love love love it here!
A few nights ago, we hosted some neighborhood kids for a backyard movie night at our house.

Our friend Emilee stopped in for a few days on her cross country tour of the U.S.
Our kids have been having a blast with her around.

Nick brought a projector home from school, and we've been getting some great use out of it!

After everyone left, Emilee and Dannika camped outside in our backyard.
Dannika loved it!

I feel like the summer is flying by so fast! 
I just need it to slow down a little!
Tonight, we were invited to a baseball game by our neighbors, so we're all heading to the ball park!
How is everyone else's summer going?!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Five Years Ago

I love my TimeHop app.
I love seeing photos and reading posts I made on this day however many years ago.
It's a good way for me to measure how far I've come in life.
I sometimes cringe at the stuff I used to post 5,6, and 7 years ago.
I was immature,  and I was definitely an "overshare-er" of politics, religion, and controversy on social media.
These days, I tend to stick to happy posts, pictures of my kids, and my life.

Today, this popped up on my TimeHop from 5 years ago...
  I can't remember my exact emotions on the day he told me this.
I'm sure a sense of relief followed by a "holy shit" came about.

All day today, I've been thinking about this post.
It's been a constant nag in the back of my mind.
What if he would have gotten on that helo?
My life would be so different today. 
Some of the greatest friends I've made because of this life with Nick would not exist in my life.
There would be no Mattis...

I literally can't breathe when I imagine a life without Nick.
My stomach literally feels like an empty pit, and my heart begins to race with anxiety.
I feel this way even though he is currently safe and sound, right here next to me working on school work.

Looking back on this one little post I put on Facebook 5 years ago....
It's really hard for me to ever think that I have questioned if God really exists. 
I am so grateful that He brought Nick home every single time safely back into our family.

Crazy that something I wrote 5 years ago on Facebook had the potential to change my life forever.

Do you have TimeHop? 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Mattis and Other Stuff

Just a quick little post with some random photos while I wait on Nick to get hungry enough for
He wanted cheeseburgers for Father's Day lunch, so we are going to go get some burgers at Grub Burger!
I hope everyone is enjoying celebrating Father's Day today (if you are celebrating it, that is!).

We just got home from church after listening to an amazing sermon.
We somehow all made it out of the house as a happy family and made it to the early service on!

I even went to get kolaches for Nick for breakfast today, and even managed to swing by Starbucks to get him his favorite white chocolate mocha.
I even poured his white chocolate mocha into his fancy Marine Corps mug.

And since I'm a bad wife, and forgot to get Nick an anniversary gift (although he went above and beyond to spoil me), I made up for it.
He wanted a nice gun safe, so a gun safe is what he got!

And because this blog post wouldn't be complete without a "Chronicles of Mattis" blurb...

Mattis now has a new ritual where after his bath, he insists on "shaving".
If we don't let him "shave", he throws a little fit...a big fit...

Father and son.

He no longer will ride in the cart when we go places.
We went to Target the other day, and he insisted he walk (and explore every nook and cranny of the store).
This also doubles our shopping time seeing as how a 1 1/2 year old doesn't walk very fast.
He also found an annoying an alarm clock that plays "Let It Go" over and over again if you push the button.
He walked around Target with the Frozen alarm clock dancing in circles while people walked by and stared at my rather animated son.
Then he got tired, so he grabbed a pillow off the shelf, and decided to lay in the middle of the main aisle and rest....

Then there was the marshmallow incident...
Mattis was throwing an epic fit because he wanted a marshmallow (ugly cry and all). 
We gave in (cause we are amazing parents) and gave him one. 
He proceeded to wipe his tears of sorrow with the marshmallow before proceeding to eat it.
Only a true fat kid wipes their freaking tears with a marshmallow.

Then moments later, I caught him in our pantry like this...
 hugging a bag of marshmallows while chomping on one...
There were also random marshmallows scattered all over the floor...

And here he is helping Nick make pizza.
And by "help", I mean eating the shredded mozzarella while simultaneously making it "snow" shredded mozzarella in our kitchen....

I hope everyone has a great Sunday!
Tomorrow, we're back to the grind of school, kids, cheer camp, gymnastics...
just parenting life.

I'm off to eat some burgers!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

For Nick, A Day Early

In the 6 years that Nick has been a father, he has been home for a whopping ONE of them!
Due to deployments, being in the field, commitments to the Corps, he always seems to be gone in the summers. 
It's always sucked the most for Dannika.
In past years,  she would see all her friends with their daddies at church, and talking about all the fun things they're gonna do with them for Father's Day.
I could always see in her face how left out she felt.
She would bring me her handmade arts and crafts project for dad, and ask me to please mail it to him.
It's always been a little heartbreaking for me. 
But this year....
We are so excited that he gets to be home with us, and we get a chance to spoil him!

I like to think that my kids are the luckiest kids in the world to have Nick as their dad.
No bias here..

(Dannika on top, Mattis on bottom)

I always want to write something heartfelt and meaningful on my blog for Nick on Father's Day, but I feel like it's starting to sound the same every year.
I mean...when a man is amazing every year...there's nothing new to say!
I also do enough "husband bragging" on Facebook to probably annoy people (which I don't care, duh).

So, I'll just leave you with this...

I really am one truly lucky woman to have Nick as the father of our crazy kids.
In four words, I can best describe him as patient, stubborn, level headed, and funny....
He is our children's super hero.

Best. Dad. Ever.

Happy (one day early) Father's Day, Nick!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The "Procedure"

After having two kids, breastfeeding my first for a whole month, and breastfeeding my second for an entire year...
It's safe to say that my boobs have taken quite the beating.
I never had boobs in the first place, but what little I had seemed to diminish after I completed breastfeeding.
Not only did they diminish, but they seemed to have started doing the "old lady sag", and I don't care what your definition of "old age" is, but 31 is NOT old!
Bikini tops that used to fit me before babies were now too big for my sad and deflated little girls.
I had made the declaration to Nick shortly after I had weaned my son that I wanted to get new boobs...breast augmentation (if you want to be all PC).
The more I thought about it, the more I contemplated my decision.
My internal struggle was with what my parents and Christian friends would think.
I was right with the big man in the sky with my decision.
I wasn't doing this for anyone else but me, and it was an extremely personal decision.
However, I was already imagining all the judging and hating that was coming my way.
Someone close to me (a Christian) that I confided in told me that "boobs are more sexualized...I just can say I would never get cosmetic surgery..."
 (First of all...boobs are sexualized because people make them boobs have never been naked on a photo, taken part in any adult film of any sort....but they HAVE fed and nourished two healthy beautiful babies.)
Was the comment, "I would never get cosmetic surgery" so necessary to add to this?
Does it make that person feel better (higher and mightier) than me because they would never ruin the "temple" that is our bodies.
Am I not equal in His eyes compared to you because I am choosing to "mess" with His creation?
I'm just going to add that if you wear padded bras to make yourself look "fuller" or "bigger" than you already are....wear spanx to appear thinner....make up to enhance your features....
This can all be because "you are trying to sexualize yourself".
  Peter 3:3-4 – Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 
 For the first time in my life, this is the time when I feel most confident in myself as a woman of God, a wife, and a mother. 
I love the person I have become after overcoming some pretty horrific trauma as a teenager and a young adult.
My inner beauty is my greatest asset.
I am kind to people.
I treat people the way I want to be treated.
I try my best to do good in the world.
Heck, I have even bravely apologized to people in person for being "a jerk"....something I would have been way too stubborn and prideful to do 5-10 years ago!

So after all this thinking and contemplating...
I went ahead and did it!
Last Thursday, I went in and had a breast augmentation.
I am so excited for them to heal.
I am so excited to be able to wear a fancy dress without spending a fortune on the perfect backless, strapless, super padded, push up bra....
I couldn't be more happy and confident in my decision to enhance a feature of my body that I was lacking a little bit of confidence in.
I don't feel more beautiful because I got new boobs...
I think everyone is beautiful the way they are made.
But I can honestly say that I feel a new sense of confidence that I didn't have before.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Be Kind, & Be Courageous

Have y'all seen to new Cinderella yet?
If you haven't, that's probably why you don't get the title to this blog post.
Dannika and I watched it a few months ago on a "mommy and me" date, and she got to watch it a second time on a field trip with her Kindergarten class.
It became an instant hit with her, and when I asked her what kind of birthday party she wanted, she wanted a Cinderella themed party. 

Since Dannika has a late summer birthday, we do her birthday party in early June right after school lets out.
This way, we can invite all her classmates, and it's early enough into the summer break so that her invitation doesn't get "lost" by July.
I rented a kid's party space at a local gym here (Aerofit), since her party was literally two days after an elective procedure I had done (more on that later).

I had this absolutely adorable pumpkin carriage cake made by a bakery in Navasota called "Cake My Day".
They nailed it, and they even delivered it straight to my house!

This banner was made by ME with the help of a DIY banner kit I bought from Target!

This was also made by me too!
The banner is actually chalkboard material, and also purchased from Target.

This one was purchased from The Crafty Godmother off Etsy.

 The birthday girl!
Outfit from Birthdays and Bows off Etsy.
Hair bow from Kikibows off Etsy.

I really wish I would have taken more photos of details (like her personalized water bottles), but I was feeling a little out of it, and didn't get as many photos as I would have normally taken.
I didn't even bring my nice DSLR!
These are all trusty iPhone6 photos, baby!

The look on her face is PRICELESS!

Dancing to Frozen of course on the XBox Kinects.

And as party favors for everyone...
I got these adorable custom sugar cookies made by Yummy, Delicious Cookies.
I also had pumpkin carriage cookies, but forgot to get a photo of them!

 She had such an absolute blast!
Thank you to everyone who came and made my Princess feel so special!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

After the First Salute

One of the greatest things that came out of our time in New England was our AMAZING neighbors.
When they found out we were coming up, they insisted (practically begged) us to stay at their house instead of a hotel.
They didn't have to ask us twice.
Not gonna lie, it was a little weird staying across the street from our old house.
But they were such fabulous hosts, and really made our stay there so amazing.
They threw a BBQ for us on Saturday, and invited some of our old neighbors.
Emilee and her mom also came out, so that was really special too.

So thanks to our amazing former neighbors, Dan & Linda for making our time back in New England so enjoyable (even with the frigid cold for was like in the 50's at some points).
Here's a recap of our trip after 2ndLt Johnson's "first salute"!

Our first night in New England!
Wine, swordfish kabobs (made by Chef Dan), s'mores, and hanging out with these fabulous ladies of "Lanes End".

One of our favorite places to go on Sundays after church was this teeny tiny diner in Natick called "Casey's". 
It's an old railcar turned diner, and it's been around since the late 1800's.
Best New England style dogs around, and my personal fave...tuna fish sandwich with pickles, tomatoes, and mustard.

Posing in front of the newly renovated ping pong table courtesy of Nick and Dan! lol.

On Sunday, we were invited to go to Cape Cod (or "the Cape" as locals call it) to our old neighbor, Bonnie's new beach house that she bought! 
It was an absolutely gorgeous day!
This is the view from her house below...

Another gorgeous view...
AND, I'm representin' the Aggies with my "GIG 'EM" thumb all the way up in New England!

Nick and I swore we would not leave New England without eating a "lobstah roll" and some "chowdah".
If you've ever been up that way, you HAVE to have "lobstah" and "chowdah"!
I haven't had clam chowder or lobster since leaving there...
New England made me a bit of a lobster and chowder snob.
 Dippin' my toes in the Atlantic.

Picking seashells for Dannika...

Me and my handsome guy!

Linda (who we were staying with), Bonnie (owner of the beach house), and me!

I know I complained so much about New England when we lived up there.
The winters were so brutal, and it was tough for this Texas girl to adjust.
I am so thankful for such awesome friends and neighbors that kept me sane!
I swore I'd never go back when we left, but I can't say that anymore. 
I know that as long as the wonderful people we met still live there, there will be plenty more trips up north to see them (as long as it's not in the winter! haha!)