And then we got on a plane


You know how I always say that we never go home for the holidays?  How since I got married and moved away 7.5 years ago, we've never been home for the holidays?  How it's just not what "we" do?

Well, late last week my husband changed that.  He's starting a new job the first week of January and it is unlikely that he will be allowed to take leave for at least 6 months to a year.  Because of some things going on at "home" he didn't want to wait that long so after a couple hours spent himming and hawing about timing/prices, the overpriced tickets were booked for us to fly out a few days later. 
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(On the plane and ready to go!)
We're here in Orange County now.  My kids are delighting in the attention from their cousins, aunties, and grandparents.  We managed to book the trip in time to be in town for Grandpa's birthday, Grandma's birthday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day w my family, Christmas Day #2 with B's family, annual Cookie Day, New Years, and my family's annual cabin trip in Big Bear.  Our entire three week long trip is almost completely booked up with visits, birthdays, parties, and day trips.  
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(Day 2: Kids are pooped from all of the love already)
I never really understood why people made such a big deal about going home for Christmas.  While I'm still not totally sold, I love being "home".  

Oh, and did I mention it's in the 70's?  Yeah, there's that too.

Follow along with our trip via Instagram!

Re-enlistment again


On Friday my husband re-enlisted in the Navy for three more years.  His ceremony was held at the National Navy Museum on the Navy Shipyard in Washington DC.  After a guided tour through the museum, he stood in front of his colleagues and re-committed himself to be of service to our country.
Right when I thought the ceremony was complete, the Captain called me on the podium to receive an award in front of everyone.  My dear husband didn't mention that this would be happening and I turned a lovely shade of pink commonly referred to as "tomato", as I accepted my award for being a spouse.  I am not comfortable being the center of attention in front of strangers.  Especially being surprised. Especially sober.  Jeez.
So here we are.  Committed for three more years.  Staying in Maryland.  Staying a military family.  Staying "in". 

I'm thankful.  Sort of.

(Come back tomorrow for my thoughts on "staying in")

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Last minute flight question


So, we NEVER fly over the holidays.  I fly from wherever in the country that I am to Orange County every single January and every single August (plus special occasions) since I got married 7.5 years ago.  I plan for those months because they are the cheapest to fly and luckily, the weather is always perfect in Southern California. 

BUT, we're thinking about taking a last minute flight to So Cal over the holidays since the husband is starting a new job next week and once he gets onto the staff, he won't be able to take a vacation for at least 6 months+. 

HELP!!  Does Kayak/ Travelocity etc have the best rates?  Is there such thing as this elusive "military" discount on commercial flights?  Space A is not an option considering I've tried it and have not been successful in making a flight from here. 

Are any of you flight purchase cheapie experts?!  Help!



You know those mornings that make you sit back and go, "ahhhh"?  Today was one of those.  I drank coffee while playing with my kids.  I got on the ground and pretended I was a dog with my son.  I practiced math problems with my daughter.  The kids giggled and played while we sang Christmas songs at the top of our lungs.  We re-hung the ornaments that a certain toddler delights in throwing around the house.  I got the kids ready and served breakfast while I aimlessly cleaned up the kitchen.  We left the house early to run a few errands before I dropped Eva off at school. 

I came home and laid Nate down for his nap and I am now ready to get a quick work out in before it's time to go back to pick Eva up from her school. 

The house is quiet. 

This morning was good.  It was calm.  It was joyful.  It was productive. 

This is my life.

And I am grateful.

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Catching up an days gone by


We're full swing into the holiday season around here. In true military family style, we left for Massanutten resort over Thanksgiving.  Think big condo, indoor water park, besties and kiddos, arcades, snow, tubing, snowman making, etc.
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After we got back, my husband took a few days off to get things done around the house.  Thanks to his handy work, I now have an 18x18inch hole in my kitchen ceiling.  He finally went back to work today after 8 days off.  All of us are sick and my sweet Nate is in a constant state of whine.  Our Christmas decorations are half up, Eva's fall sessions (dance and school) are almost complete for the year, and we're already sick of being stuck indoors together. 

We've been busy, to say the least.  We're looking forward to attending a half dozen or so Christmas parties starting with my husband's work party this evening, letting Eva pick out presents for her cousins for the first time, and making it through this crazy part of the year with as much joy as possible. 

How are you surviving the holidays so far?

What a sleeping baby means to me


Looking at my TimeHop today, it shows exactly what I am most thankful for this year and every year.
There is absolutely nothing sweeter than a sleeping baby.  Nothing.  It doesn't matter how annoying they were an hour ago, it doesn't matter how many blow out diapers you changed, how much whining you had to deal with, or how many messes you had to clean up- when you hold that sleeping baby, all is right in the world.
This year and every year, I am most thankful for my happy, healthy babies.  They are content and silly.  They are wild and loud.  They are growing and normal.  They are smart and naughty.  They are kind and goofy.
So, this year and hopefully every year in the future, I am thankful for my perfectly imperfect little family.  I am thankful for our health, our freedom, and our joyful little life.

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A pile of little things


In the midst of our crazy lives, it is nice to take a moment to acknowledge the little things that make it all worth while.
It's the little things: An evening with friends around a fire pit.  A couple beers, some good conversation, and a herd of happy kids.  Perfection.
It's the little things: Enjoying family time together on a group bike ride.  It was cold and we didn't get far but we were together and that is all that matters.
It's the little things:Breakfast together in the morning before we go about our busy days.  It doesn't happen often but when it does, I giggle the whole time because my husband hates chaos in the morning. 
It's the little things: Spending alone time with my little man while his sister is in ballet class.  I bring a bag of toys and we take the hour to play face to face, alone, just the two of us.
It's the little things: The exuberance at which Eva works on her assignments.  She is reading and doing addition and subtraction with glee.  It would be one of my greatest accomplishments if I could to continue to foster her excitement in learning throughout the entirety of her schooling experience.

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