Friday, March 31, 2017

I'm Feelin' 33

Man, it's been a while! I haven't had a chance to blog kids...and marriage...and life...
Nick is in the "field" (term used loosely) this weekend with a bunch of cadets, so it's just me and the kiddos. Before I type what I'm about to type, I need to just say...I LOVE my husband. He's the greatest thing since sliced bread, and he's the marshmallow to my s'more. a Marine wife who spent the majority of the first 5 years of our marriage apart (more than together)...I sometimes enjoy the alone time. I tend to be more productive when he's not around, because when he IS home, I just want to hang out with him (or I ask him politely to do things for me....). I try and make the best of every situation and see the silver lining.


Since the last time I blogged, I have turned a whole year older! Yes are now reading the blog of a THIRTY THREE year old!!!!! Get excited. Changes are happening! ok...just kidding. no changes. just me still. I love celebrating each year I turn a year older. I have a lot of girlfriends who dread birthdays, lie about their age, and complain constantly about how they're "so old"..and how their "bodies are just what they used to be"...and "blah blah blah blah blah". COME ON LADIES! Your attitude is what is aging you! Them wrinkles you complain about? I bet some of it comes from your bad attitude about your age. Your bodies? yes! Most of us have had children by now...and yes...after the age of 28(ish), you ain't gonna have the body of your 21 year old self....because...YOU'RE NOT 21! Crazy, right?! My body is not 21 anymore...this body has been to combat, given birth to 2 kids, breastfed, and abused...but you know what? I'm pretty proud of what it is today. I work out EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I eat clean(ish). And I enjoy my wine when I want to. It doesn't mean I don't have insecurities. But...I own being 33. You rarely hear a MAN complain about getting older. Men just get sexier as they age (I'm talkin' bout you Nick💋!)....I really believe this is the case because most men don't give a sh*& about getting old. I am...33 and proud. side note...I am not ashamed to admit to botox and anti aging regiments. I'm not going down without a fight!

So, for those of you who scrolled past all my rambling to just see the photos...Here is my 33rd birthday in a blog!

This is by far, my most favorite gift ever...
One of my teen moms that I mentor at Mama Club got me ALL OF THIS!!
I means so much to me that she thought of me, and she thought I was someone special enough to warrant a gift.

Flowers from the hubs :) 
He also brought me a dozen gourmet cupcakes to Mama Club!

My first selfie as a 33 year old! Feelin' pretty darn awesome!

 An awesome gal pal I went to BOOT CAMP with sent me an edible arrangement!
She lives in North Carolina!

All I wanted for my birthday was to go have a nice quiet dinner with my "bae".
33! Of course, he made sure to show off his Aggie bling!

He took me to my favorite restaurant...The Republic.
Seriously..y'all...they have THE BEST steak tartare EVERRRRRRR!
It is served with homemade potato chips...
It's literally the only reason why I ever want to go to the republic.

33 and feelin' FAB!

I had the most wonderful birthday, and I am so grateful to everyone who called, texted, wish me a happy birthday!
A lot of life has been lived in 33 years, but there is SO much more life to be lived.
I am grateful for the people in my life.
Most importantly, I am so grateful for a husband who loves me unconditionally, and two amazing kids who see no fault in me.....regardless of all my faults. 
Life is good.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A Trip to the Desert (pt 2)

If you're just catching up on our family's spring break vacation, you can read about the first part of our trip here. Like mentioned in the earlier post, we headed to a little suburb of Phoenix called Goodyear, AZ over spring break to see my best friend, her new house, and relax. I'll let the photos do all the talking.

This photo makes me laugh. The comment was made that Nick had a bright future as a "manny" if the Marine Corps ever doesn't work out for him.

Mattis was obsessed with the Pie Face game.

My little Aggie

I've been to many deserts in my lifetime (thanks to the Marine Corps).
I've been to deserts in the middle east, California, and Yuma, AZ...
But I must say, the scenery out here in Goodyear was probably one of the prettiest!

I love this tree!
They were everywhere (I forgot the name!)

More hiking photos...

I love these Saguaros!

I don't think a trip to Arizona is legit unless you get lots of cactus pics...

Another Saguaro.
Fun fact: It takes almst 75-80 years for a saguaro to start growing one little arm!

The sunsets were absolutely breathtaking!

 Nick always tries a local brew when we travel!

We had an absolute blast this Spring break! The gorgeous scenery, hiking, swimming...the wine...
Most importantly, I had to best time just chit chatting with my girlfriend, and getting our kids together to play! True friendship always endures the test of time and distance!

Friday, March 17, 2017

A Trip to the Desert (Pt 1)

If you didn't know already, this week is SPRING BREAK for our family! We made plans last year to go to Arizona over the break to visit one of my nearest and dearest best friends! Her and I met through the Marine Corps when her husband was still active duty, and over the years have kept in touch. Her hubby is always gone for work, so I figured it'd be fun to take advantage of spring break with her two boys with her at her new home! I didn't want her to be all alone with two rowdy boys all week, so we joined her with our own two rowdy kids!

When her and her husband got out of the Marine Corps, they chose to settle in a small suburb of Phoenix called Goodyear. I honestly had zero expectations of Arizona. I was going there strictly to visit my friend whom I hadn't seen in three years. However, I was more than pleasantly surprised with just how beautiful Arizona was, and fell in love with it!

REUNITED! These kids haven't seen each other in 3 years! They barely remembered each other! The little boy in the front (we'll call him "L") was born when his dad was in Afghanistan. I was in the delivery room when he was born!! It was SUCH an honor!

I hooked up the boys with Aggie swag, and taught them how to do a proper "Gig 'em"

"hug a cactus" pic...apparently that's a thing.


These kids spent more time in the pool than out!

The sunrise was absolutely breathtaking.
I woke up early the first morning, and sat on the back porch to watch it!

The boys (Nick and Mattis) showed up a day later, bright and early. It was nice to have the whole day together.

Kim took us on a hike the first day the boys showed up right by her house. 
We saw some really cool cacti, desert wildflowers, lizards, and lots of pretty quartz!

All the boys picked some desert wildflowers for me on the hike

We finished the evening playing pie face of course!
HUGE hit with my kids!

The adults spent the evening sitting by the pool, in front of a fire with some wine and just chatting.

It was SO fun to reconnect with my friend. It made me realize how much I TRULY missed her, and our friendship. We chat regularly via text and social media, but nothing beats being together with your friend. It was as if we were never separated. We literally picked up where we left off at, and continued our friendship as if nothing had changed. I am so thankful that God has blessed me with such amazing friends on our journey through the Marine Corps. The network of Marine wives that have become family in my life is amazing. These women have been through everything with me...the deployments...the wondering if our husbands are safe (or even alive)...the drama (theres always drama)...the promotions...the "hail and bails"....the wine nights...the sleepovers at eachother's homes on lonely nights....I could go on and on. But all the friends I have made throughout this journey have become people that I love dearly, and I am grateful for that. 

Part 2 of our trip coming tomorrow!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Punishing Dannika Jane

I suck at following through with punishments for my kids. When I take privileges away from them, I usually give them right back at the first sign that I feel that they have learned their lesson. This means if I ground Dannika for a week, but I notice a day later that she is being her "angelic" self again, I give all her privileges back. Mattis isn't quite old enough to understand privileges, so we aren't at this stage of punishments with him yet. I have a hard time seeing my kids unhappy. It literally breaks my heart when I have to punish them. The saying, "this hurts me more than it hurts you" is REAL, y'all! I have realized lately that my failure to follow through with the full punishment for Dannika hasn't been effective.

You see, Dannika has a "gear accountability" issue. I never thought I'd be talking about gear accountability after the Marine Corps, but here I am. I lecture my children about accountability for their things probably as much as I used to lecture my Marines! Dannika loses EVERYTHING. Jackets, water bottles, bows, name it, she has misplaced it, lost it, or who knows what happened to it. It's starting to get expensive to have to constantly replace her misplaced JACKETS. Oh, and don't get me started on all those adorable boutique bows I buy her to adorn her beautiful brown hair. I want to cry when I think of all the money that has been lost due to her lack of accountability.

Last week was the final straw. She came home missing a few items I sent her to school with, and I nearly lost it. I realized it was partly my fault because I suck at following through with any real punishment, so I made it my goal to follow through and stay strong. I grounded her 5 days. No TV, no iPad, no playing with friends outside, no having friends over... It was the worst week to ground her. Our family had plans to go to the trampoline park on Friday night for an event Nick had with the Semper Fi Society. I was so excited for it, but because I was adamant about sticking to my guns, Dannika and I stayed home. She looked absolutely crushed and devastated she couldn't go. She was also not allowed to go horseback riding on Saturday for our neighbor's birthday party. The kicker was that Mattis was allowed to attend. Another devastating blow to my precious baby girl's heart. I even questioned myself and asked Nick if I was being too hard on her. He assured me I wasn't and told me to stick to my guns (TEAM PARENTING DONE RIGHT, Y'ALL!). It was a painful weekend for both Dannika AND me. Part of me felt like I was grounded too.

I knew she had learned her lesson and was genuinely sorry when she wrote Nick a sweet letter on his napkin and made him lunch (while I was with Mattis at the birthday party). After her punishment was over, I sat down and had a heart to heart with her about the value of her possessions. Dannika is the the type of child that will be heartbroken by the words, "I am so disappointed in you." So when I told her how disappointed we were in her that she did not value all the hard work we do in order to have money to buy her the nice things she has, she broke down in tears.

Lessons were learned. Tears were shed. And this mama survived making it through an entire punishment standing her ground. When it comes to punishing her in the future (although she rarely gets in trouble), I plan on sticking to this. It was effective, and I gained a little more respect from my daughter.

One thing she DID get to do while grounded was go to the gym with me.
I am NOT grounding myself from the gym because of my kids.
So here they are, bright eyed and bushy tailed on Saturday morning to work out with me!

Mattis attended a birthday party this weekend at a local equestrian facility, and got to ride an actual horse (vice a pony) for the first time!

And because I love this shirt I got from Carter's for him.
"Check your ego amigo"

Sometimes, they love each other and get along.
Making sandwiches together for lunch.

And because impromptu wine nights on a Sunday night with friends is the best.

"Show us your muscles!"

I hope everyone has a great week!
If you're taking midterms, good luck!