Monday, November 28, 2016

A Romer Thanksgiving

I heard on the radio today that there are only 34 days until the New Year.
How the heck did this year fly by so fast? 
I feel like I was still celebrating New Years Eve with our neighbors just a few months ago.
I mean, heck, we started off the year with a 1st grader, and now we have a 2nd grader.
We started with a 2 year old who is now a 3 year old.
We had a guy with no Aggie ring, and now he has one.
They say time flies when you're having fun, and that is the only reason I can think of for the time passing by so fast this year. 
I can honestly say this year has been fun!

This Thanksgiving, our family chose to stay at home and have our own Thanksgiving.
We had a friend who just got stationed in Texas, and wasn't going home for Christmas, so I wanted to have her at our house. 
I also wasn't in the mood to be a part of any weird family tension.
Ever since my grandma passed away, holidays haven't been quite the same for us. 
It was really nice to have Thanksgiving in our own cozy little home with just our family. 
The long weekend went by too quickly, but I am looking forward to getting finals over with!

Some photos recapping our Thanksgiving weekend!

My gal and me got our nails done!

Then took her and her pal to a birthday party at an ice skating rink!

My bookworm finished reading Rosa Parks 📖📖📖

Took the girls to see Moana
(GREAT movie by the way!)

Some park time

And wine time... 🍷🍷🍷


Put up our Christmas trees...
I have one tree that everyone calls "mom's tree".
It's a tree that i decorate the way I want it.
I'm really digging the "rustic theme" right now...

And then, we have our family tree...
This tree consists of ornaments picked out by each of us, family photos ornaments, and Marine Corps ornaments.
If you look at this tree, it really captures who are family is!

We did some cookie baking and decorating...

Watched some TV with Miss Emilee

My parents even made it up for Dannika's Grandparent's Day at her school!

We had a great long weekend (much needed).
We are also very grateful for each and every one of our wonderful friends!
We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Election Thoughts and Veteran's Day Weekend

Since my last blog post, we have a new President-elect....
This is all I have to say (my blog isn't a political blog, so this is it!)....

I have many friends who are deeply saddened by the outcome of the election...most of whom are friends in the minority, LGBT, and muslim communities.
(So you can imagine, mostly friends who did not vote for Trump).
If you did vote for Trump, disregarding their anger, fear, and frustration as being silly and wimpy is just plain rude.
Telling them to "get over it" is self absorbed in a way.
I read on FB today that summed up my feelings about the people saying "get over it"...

"Interestingly, the folks screaming "get over it!" will cry for weeks when their football teams don't make it to the Super Bowl. They're still griping about deflated footballs and whatever other scandals befall their teams"

 Puts it into perspective right?

I don't talk about who I voted for.
People can take educated guesses, but I will never openly say it on social media.
I don't talk about it because it's none of your business, and people are jerks.
I don't even really talk about with some of my closest friends.

All I am saying is, regardless of who you chose to vote for, have some compassion and respect for those who are genuinely upset or feel differently than you.
(I'm also going to add that needing a "day off" from class to mourn and violently protesting the loss of your candidate is absolutely absurd and ridiculous...but feel free to protest's your right.)

On to better, happier things...
Check out my lovely painting I did with watercolor!
If you're an artist, art major, art collector, art teacher, art enthusiast.......DON'T JUDGE! 
I'm actually very proud of myself.
 One of the military wives hosted a social at her house for all the military spouses.
She did a paint and wine night, and it was an absolute blast!
One of my favorite things about military life is getting together with other military spouses to socialize.
We just "get each other" in a way that regular spouses don't understand.

Random photo of Dannika because her outfit was "on fleek"...

Our sweet nanny turned 22 last week, so Mattis and I hooked her up with a donut tower from Shipley's!

 Veteran's day was last Friday, and you can read about why I am the "totally awkward veteran"
I tend to focus more on our older veterans and particularly our Vietnam veterans. 
I feel like they never got a proper "welcome home", and that they deserve a lifetime of our respect and gratitude.
Yes, I am a veteran, and I am not discounting my service as less than, but if you read my "awkward veteran" post, you'll know why.
Nick and I were asked to do a veteran's day talk for Dannika's second grade.
I think Nick is a great speaker, so I asked him to set it up, and I would talk at the end.
He did a great job teaching the kids the difference between Veterans day and Memorial day, and he set up a GREAT display for all the kids! (see below)

We even got Dannika's teacher involved and dressed her up in a FROG suit...complete with load bearing vest and AMMO!
She looks really comfy, doesn't she?!

Afterwards, our family headed to the Dixie Chicken to participate in their walk for the "Boot Campaign". 
"Boot Campaign is dedicated to promoting patriotism for America and our military community; raising awareness of the unique challenges service members face during and post-service; and providing assistance to military personnel, past and present, and their families. Retail sales of combat boots, apparel and mission-focused merchandise, general public donations and corporate sponsorships fund programs that support military families. These efforts extend to all generations of military personnel who endure significant physical, emotional and circumstantial hardships resulting from their service and sacrifice."

Afterwards, we stuck around so that Nick could dunk his Aggie Ring (more on that later!).
They had live music, and we stuck around to watch Clayton Gardner perform.
Fun fact: I had a class with him last semester!

So the Aggie Ring Drunk tradition is not a university sponsored tradition (and is actually discouraged by the University itself).
However, Aggies are all about their "traditions", and the "Ring Dunk" has become ingrained as tradition.
You can read in detail about it here

In a nutshell...
"A student drops their newly-acquired Aggie Ring into a pitcher of beer, chugs the entire pitcher, and then catches the ring in their teeth. This tradition began in the 1970s when a [student] accidentally dropped his ring in his beer and figured chugging what was left in his glass was the best way to get his ring back. Word spread - though unofficially, as the bar (The Dixie Chicken) in which the first dunk took place never advertised - and the tradition was born. It's actually a pretty big deal for some people; parties are thrown in honor of and siblings, parents, and extended family members (especially those who are Aggies themselves) come into town to witness ring dunks"

Nick, being the traditional Aggie that he is needed to do it at the famous Dixie Chicken where it all started.
 Many students today choose to do it at other places, but it all began here...

Our sweet friend (whom our daughter and her daughter are BFFs) owns the chicken, and being the amazing and gracious friend and host that she is...she hooked Nick up with his own Dixie Chicken pitcher to dunk his ring in.

Typically, students let their beer sit out for days to let it go flat before dunking their ring.
Then they dunk their ring at room temperature.
I guess this makes it go down easier?
Nick did his straight out of the tap...cold Bud Light....
He did it in 1 minute and 6 seconds!
Congrats Nick!
You're official!

Afterwards, Dannika and her best friend came over to have a sleepover.

Saturday was the military appreciation game at A&M.
We played Ole Miss and suffered a devastating loss.
But our kids had a blast...and at the end of the is just football.

Nick was in uniform for the game because he was part of the flag unfurling ceremony at Kyle Field.
I won't go into detail about why I was not part of it (politics....that did not have to do with me being a woman veteran because several people asked me that)...but I am over it..

The Fightin' Texas Aggie Band!

Despite the loss, our family had a wonderful time at the game. 

One of my favorite things to do is feeding people.
I love cooking for people.
I invited two sweet Aggie girls I am interning with this semester and a midshipman in the Aggie Corps of Cadets for dinner on Sunday.
We sat around the dinner table until 930 just talking and telling stories.
I truly love the energy, passion, and insight these young people bring.
People my age and older always seem to be complaining about "those millenials", but none of them ever really sit down to get to know them.
As a 32 year old undergrad, I have the unique perspective of observing the younger people of my generation and being "withing their population" (some call me a millenial, some call me the last of generation X).
Yeah...some of these young kids annoy me like no other (but people my age annoy me like no other too).
But our young people have a fire and a lot to say!
If you're one complaining about haven't truly met a "real Millenial". 
These girls have so much knowledge and passion to offer the world.
They're going to be world changers.
I am proud to know that they are our future. 

 So there you have it! 
If you made it this far in my blog, thanks!
If you skimmed through it, and are reading this....I am not your friend any more (kidding).

Have a fabulous week, y'all!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Did Someone Say Election? I Said Ring Day!

Anyone else tired of election talk?
Me too.

So let's talk about something way more exciting!
Last Friday, Nick got his Fightin' Texas Aggie ring!

Nick will be the first in his family to graduate from college (which automatically makes him the first Aggie in his family)!
When we first met, Nick told me in these words, "I'm not good at school. I suck at school. I'm not meant for college. That's why I joined the Marine Corps. I'm good at being a Marine. It's the first thing I've truly been good at."
He didn't graduate on time with his class because he failed math, and had to retake it in summer school.
He once mentioned that it was embarrassing and he felt a sense of missing out on something big because he didn't get to walk the stage at his high school graduation.
He had a high school counselor pretty much tell him he wouldn't amount to anything.
Fast forward to fifteen years later...
Nick has been in the Marine Corps 15 years, fought in wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan, trained in Japan, sat on a Navy boat in the middle of the ocean for months, eloped with me in Vegas, had two beautiful kids, lived in 5 different homes and 3 different states...and he isn't anywhere near done.
Oh, and he pulled a little 4.0 last semester...
The guy who didn't graduate from high school on time because of his grades pulled a 4.0 at a major university! 

His Aggie ring is truly earned, and really means something special to a guy who used to think that he "sucked at school". 

Here are some photos from his Ring Day!

I got to present his ring to him!

Look at that bling!

The best academic advisor at all of TAMU!
Thanks for coming out and being a part of Nick's special day!

This ring is better than any lame high school graduation.

"Does this ring make me look like an Aggie?"

Congrats Nick!
So proud of you and all that you have accomplished!
I love seeing you succeed and seeing you live your dreams!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Was It Halloween?

Halloween on a Monday is just the most absurd thing I have ever heard of.
Someone in the universe was out to play a mean joke on parents and teachers everywhere.

I also have two tests this week on Thursday...two hard tests.
(Do professors not know that some of us have children that need to go trick-or-treating this week?! oh wait....I'm like less than 1%)
I skipped out on my first ever home game tailgate this weekend to study (seriously). 
I studied 3 hours on Saturday, about an hour and a half on Sunday...
I woke up at 3AM on Halloween to study for 3 hours because I knew with Dannika's class Fall party on top of trick-or-treating, I would not get much studying done (although I did manage to get a few hours of studying between Dannika coming home from school and getting dressed for trick-or-treating). 
I went to bed last night at 9 after coming home from taking the kids trick-or-treating (and socializing with our awesome neighbors), and went straight to bed.
I was up again this morning at study....
I studied for another 2 hours after I came home after picking up D from school.

I have been studying in the car rider line in the afternoons to pick up D from school...
I freaking had a dream last night about a modge podge of military war & society and demography (not very exciting dreams).

I'm stressed out about these two tests (if you can't tell).

Today...I am delirious.

There is not enough Spark that can get me out of this deliriously tired funk.
I zoned out in my car while driving home from class today. 
When I "came to", I couldn't believe that I had almost made it to D's school to pick her up.
I am tired.
I feel drunk...but without alcohol.
Thursday can't come soon enough.
I've also been a cranky B word at home because of my lack of sleep, deliriousness, and stressfulness.
(sorry, family!) 
I am blogging right now and rambling because I am so tired of studying, but need some sort of mental stimulation outside of a textbook.

So, instead of letting y'all read on and on about how tired I am (and if you're read this far without scrolling through to just see the pictures...KUDOS TO YOU!)....

Here are some photos from our Halloween this year...

On Sunday, we took the kids to the George Bush Library for their annual "Night at the museum".
The museum is open to the public for free, and they have people throughout the museum at the different exhibits passing out candy.
Since we are in Texas (and it still feels like summer), it was nice to be trick-or-treating in the A/C!

The kids had to have a pic in front of the tank...

Oh, just trick-or-treating in the oval office....

Mattis wanted to be a dinosaur.
I gave him two choices of dino costimes, and this is the one he chose...
He was a HIT!

We also headed to our local "Habitat for Humanity" pumpkin patch on Friday!

Dannika's "jack-o-lantern" oatmeal on Halloween!

D's school had "storybook character day" on Halloween.
She dressed up as the newest Disney character, Moana.
The movie is not out yet, but she finished the chapter book this past weekend.
From what she tells me about the book, it's a cute story, and she is SO excited to watch it on the big screen now that she has finished the book! 
Her costume was a last minute find on...
Moana has typical Hawaiian girl hair...super curly and BIG.
I french braided D's hair the night before, and let it loose the next morning.
The curls held up all day!

3 BFFs...
"Amelia Bedelia", "Moana", and "Thing 2"

D..I mean...Super Girl, my very well deserved pinot grigio, and me!

My babies!

The girls on our Cul de Sac!

The boys...

Master Chief (from the game Halo), and Boba Fett (my husband).
Nick made his include that helmet!
He made it completely from scratch!!!!!!

Mattis and his awesome "trick-or-treating" helper for the night!

A friend of ours on our street pulled the kids around the neighborhood on a hayride!
The kids had an absolute blast!

It's sad for me to think that this may be our last Halloween on our street as a family.
I'll still be here next year, but Nick will be gone.
It was definitely memorable and one for the books!
We BBQ'ed afterwards, and if it weren't a Monday, we would have stayed out all night!

I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!
I have really enjoyed seeing all y'alls Halloween photos on social media of you and your adorable kids in costume!