Slow down please


I've said this here before but I wish I could just freeze time sometimes.  My sweet Eva is almost two.  I know every Mom says this but time is passing so fast.  Too fast.  I can't believe I am the Mom of a two year old.  I love this stage though.  Like my Mom promised, every stage has been better than the last.  Each has been my favorite yet.  

I don't want these days to pass.  I wish I could freeze time and stay right here for a while.

Happy Saturday!

Latte in hand and Eva cuddled contentedly on my lap.  Kingston sleeping on the couch next to us.  Honestly, it doesn't get much better than this.

It's the little things: 16


I have so much to be thankful for.  Every Friday I take a moment to sit back and think about the "little things" in life that make it all worthwhile.

My sweet Eva got some shots yesterday and is not feeling great today.  She is super cranky and cries if I set her down or touch her left leg but she is pretty much 100% using her potty at home.  Now we have to figure out how to get her to go from her little potty into the big potty so that she can use a real toilet when we go out of the house.  Her smile is the light of my soul.  When she says, "OH MY JOSH.  What-ever!", in a legit toddler valley voice, I melt.

I am continuing to enjoy my equine therapy volunteership.  It brings another layer of depth to my life here in Maryland.  While I still don't love it here, with every passing week, we get busier and become more incorporated in our community.  I am still waiting on my sponsorship letter so that we can attempt to take a Space A flight to California but I am hoping to get it early next week.

With everything going on, it is important to remember that it's the little things in life that make it all worthwhile...

It's the little things: Even though the weather went from 80 to 40 (it was 32 degrees when I left the house in a cardigan and flip flops the other day), I am thankful for the roof over my head and the heater that is pumping warm air through our home.

It's the little things: I have gotten into a decent running groove.  I bumped my runs up to 5 miles/run.  I am kicking booty.  It's good for my chubby rear and it's good for my mental health.

It's the little things: Mornings at the library for Story Time where we listen to books, sing, and dance followed by a romp in the park that is across the street.  This is one of those times where being a stay at home is awesome.

It's the little things: Quiet evenings on the couch with my two favorite boys in the house.

It's the little things: Decent bra's that actually fit my cahungas.  (B says, "God.  Why are they so expensive.  I don't have any  $50 underwear".  Yeah.  You don't have boobies that cost as much as a small car either.)

It's the little things: Remember when I mentioned I needed to steam clean the carpets but said that I am not very experienced with using it?  Well folks.  My husband ended up steam cleaning the carpets for me.  Want to know why?  See that pic above?  I bashed myself in the face when I was trying to get it set up resulting in a fat upper lip.  I knew there was a reason that steam cleaning is his job.

It's the little things:  Date night was a success.  Good times.

What about you?  What "little things" happened this week that reminded you of all the good things in your life?

Buckshot?! Are you for real?!


Did anyone watch 16 & Pregnant last night?  I don't know why I am even interested in those silly girls considering that I am almost 30 years old but yes, I DVR them and watch them when B isn't around.  Last night was the beginning of the new season.

Watching the cute little blond cheer leader, I started imagining talking to Eva about sex and mistakes and the things that we do in life that we can't take back.  I made lots and lots and lots of bad decisions when I was growing up.  Heck, I make lots of bad decisions still!  I feel like the girls on 16 & Pregnant are unaware of how life changing having a baby is going to be.  I know that is just a result of being so young and inexperienced but jeez.

I am going to tell Eva that having a baby is a choice that you CAN'T take back.  Ever.  Like ever, ever.  Getting pregnant will change everything.  All of your plans will be on hold and most of them will eventually be cancelled and replaced with trying to figure out how to take care of the baby's needs.  College?  Unlikely.  High salaried job?  Probably not.  Stable home life?  Statistics say no.

Here is how I intend to deal with this impending, imminent life challenge.  I am going to put her on birth control as soon as she starts to be interested in boys.  While I hope that she waits until she is in love and that she treats her body with respect, I am not going to bet her future that she is not going to have sex before she is married.  I am planning on putting her on the pill because it will help her "skin" and make her "cramps less severe".  As a Mom, I am not going to be naive enough to believe that she will choose to tell me she is sexually active.

Back to 16 & Pregnant.  The sweet little blond couple.  Know what they wanted to name their son if it is a boy?  "Buckshot".  Yes.  You read that right.  "Buckshot".  Guess what the sweet baby would be called if it was a girl and Daddy got his way?  "Doeshot".  Yes.  And THAT folks is reason #984734897654 that high schoolers should not have babies.

Doodie, pee pee, and steam cleaners.


Warning: This post is heavy on the stuff that is really only important to me as  my daughter's Mom.  Don't feel bad about closing this window now.  Keep reading only if you are wondering how my potty training is going (errrr, I mean Eva's potty training) or you like laughing at other people's mis-steps.

Here we go.  Potty training...  We are right in thick of it.  She is 22 months old and Momma is ready for no more diapers.  I mean, I think Eva is ready to not wear diapers anymore. We decided to go with the leave her pants and diaper off and let her pee all over the house until the she learns the sensation and then try to talk her into actually peeing on the potty instead of the floor, chair, couch, pillow, blanket, stairs, rugs... you get the picture.

In my extensive potty training studies, I kept reading about Moms following their toddlers around all day (everyday??) and individually cleaning up with spray carpet cleaner each little tinkle.  This is obviously way less gross than not following that plan of hawk eyeing your kid all day every day and therefore leaving pee all over the carpet. (which do you think I did?)

Anyways, after a couple days of potty training, we are having MUCH success.  Yesterday she pooped and peed on her potty by herself.  That means without me seeing her starting to urinate/ defecate on the floor and then swooping in, snatching her up and setting her on the potty... which is how it has typically been going.  Today when we got home from her toddler Romp and Stomp, she pulled her pants and diaper off, walked over to her potty and took a doodie- all while I was unloading groceries from the car.
So, after three days of "training", our downstairs has a minor, slightly nagging urine odor.  I am offsetting it with a Scentsy burner but there is no denying the scent lingering on the love seat.  Is your face scrunched up in a "yuck" face?  Yeah, mine too.

Why not steam clean the couch and carpets immediately, you are most likely thinking.  Well, I have a couple reasons excuses.
* I don't know where the steam cleaner is.  That sounds like a lie but it's not.  The other side of it not being a lie is that I genuinely don't know where it is but seriously, it wouldn't be that hard to find if I was actually looking.  Spare room closet, garage, shed, basement.  I could probably safely bet my box of wine that it is in one of those locations.
*I don't know how to set it up with the soap.  This also sounds like a lie but it's not.  Steam cleaning is one of my husband's, ok let's get real, his ONLY household chore.  It always has been ever since we got married.  Yes, I do realize that it is probably not rocket science to set up a steam cleaner.
*It seems like a losing battle to keep busting it out every 30 minutes or so.  I should just wait and do it all... tomorrow.
Well, friends.  Not any more.  Today is a good day.  She is using her potty all on her own.  She has used her potty on her own for all of her pee pees so far today and for 1.5 doodies.  I say a half because she actually was worriedly screaming, "Poo poo!  Poo poo!" and trying to get down the stairs to make it to her potty.

In case you are wondering, no, she didn't make it.  She pooped on the stairs and then stepped in it and spread it down the next five stairs.

See, not steam cleaning yesterday makes more sense now.  Right?!  OK, gotta go.  I have a big house to wash and sanitize...  Right after I locate that dang steam cleaner.

Military Monday- Martha: Ft. Lewis, WA


The Military Monday duty station feature on this blog is designed for us military families to meet our fellow military spouses and also to learn about duty stations across the world.  We all get to (or have to depending on your outlook and particular set of circumstances), move every couple years to different duty stations that are scattered throughout the country and the world.  This feature will allow us the opportunity to explore these different areas of the world before we get there.  If you are interested in being highlighted for this feature, please send me an email.  


Name and blog site: Martha Metzler at A Softer Side of Strong”,

Branch of service: Army

Where currently stationed: Fort Lewis, Washington

How long have you been there?: Almost 1 year

Favorite restaurant in the area: It was Jakeʼs Bistro in Steilacoom but it just closed!!
So now we love this little French restaurant called Creme Brulee in Steilacoom. Itʼs our
favorite date spot.

Previous duty stations: This is our first one!

3 favorite things to do in your current city:
There are AMAZING trails here. We love walking the trail down to the Puget Sound in
our neighborhood.
There is also a long boardwalk trail perfect for strollers along the Nisqually.
Seattle and Tacoma are not far away and we love exploring the city. Vancouver B.C. is 4 hours away and an easy drive and we love doing long weekends there.
And of course, my husband LOVES exploring and hiking Mt. Rainier.
Favorite duty station so far: This is our first one, so this one! We have loved the
community here and the scenery. Iʼll never get tired of seeing Mt. Rainier and the
Olympics on a clear day. This is what I see out of the nursery window on a clear

Who is your hero? Iʼd have to say Tina Fey because sheʼs unashamed of who she is
and has forged a path for female comedians.

What is the biggest draw back to where your current duty station? Iʼd have to say
the weather. It really is dreary and rainy most days. The summer is gorgeous and not a
cloud in the sky but sadly, itʼs only 2 months out of the year. Other than that, youʼre
looking at grey skies and a light mist.
Are there any local festivals you have been to or are planning to attend? There is
an awesome family farm called Schilters Farm really near the base and they do
seasonal festivals. We got our pumpkin there and Christmas tree, both of which you cut
down on your own!

Thanks for reading and hop on over to my blog and say “Hi!” I always love hearing from


Out on the town


I can write this here because my husband doesn't read this here blog.  Guess what I am doing tonight?  Getting a sitter!  My next door neighbors daughter is going to come over after I put Eva down (7:45) and I am going to take Brian out to the Cantina that is a couple blocks away.  We haven't had an evening out in over a year.- not even a dinner.  Well, not even a lunch or breakfast either.  The last time we went out without her, was when I was staying in California last year and B came to visit.  My sister stayed home with her while we went downtown.  He is going to be so surprised.

For four hours I get to be Jamie.  Not Mom.  We get to be a couple.  Not Eva's caretakers.  

I am going to wear some of these...
{Dear Santa, please send me these for my birthday next month}

We are going to have some of this...
And a couple of these....
Hopefully, I will be able to talk him into a bit of this...
{yes, I realize this is a terrible picture but pics of us dancing are slim pickin's}

And before the stroke of midnight, we will head back home.  So excited!

It's the little things: 16


Every Friday I take a moment to remember the little things during the week that make it all worth it.  This week was good.  Eva is progressing slowly but surely with the potty training (I will spare you the details).  We made it to Story Time at the library and Toddler Romp and Stomp.  It is so nice to get out of the house and have a bit of fun during the days.  I am definitely starting to feel more settled in our community here in Maryland.  The weather has been a nice spring mix of morning chill and afternoon heat.  Because I have been fairly content at home this week, there is no movement on the job front and that feels OK.  I am anxiously waiting on my sponsorship letter from B's command so I can attempt my first Space A flight (anyone a Space A expert?  Any pearls of wisdom?).

With everything going on, it is important to remember that it is the little things in life that make it all worthwhile...

It's the little things: Her sweet squeal of "PARK!" as we turn the bend onto the block that the park is on.  Her unbridled joy turned giggles as she swings in the swing and goes down the slide.  

It's the little things: Using nap time to dye my hair and clean out my pores instead of cleaning the house, wasting time watching TV, or running.  Me time to the extreme.

It's the little things: Even in the midst of potty training, Kingston finds his place in the mix.  It should be no surprise that "his place" is right next to her bowl of food.  

It's the little things: Seeing the beauty in our new home.  Maryland might not necessarily be where I want to live but I am finding the beauty that is all around.

It's the little things: Last night when I came home from my weekly volunteering session with the horse therapy program, I walked in the door and Eva started screaming and ran into my arms saying, "I love you!  I love you!" and spent the rest of the evening showering me with attention and love.   Three hours apart a week is enough for now.

Before the cream cheese and milk were added
It's the little things: New recipes!  I first posted about this one here.  It was a success.  Hardy and tasty.  The cheese sauce was thick- in a good way.  Certainly not my "type" of soup (I much prefer tomato based broths) but it went over well with B and Eva.  It went over so well that I forgot to take a picture of the final product.  :)

What about you?  What have you been thankful for this week?  Link up any post from the week that celebrates thankfulness!

Grinning from ear to ear


**edit- I originally titled this post, "S*&^ eating grin" but then I changed it because "s*&^" is my daughter's favorite word and I like to blame her frequent, correct use of it on my husband and pretend that I don't ever say such a profane word.**

So, I know I always use Friday to write about what I am thankful for during the week (and I will still do a link up on Friday- JOIN!), but today necessitates a thankful day post too.

Right now I am thankful because...

1.  Today my Momma heart is swollen with pride.  My little Eva used her potty for the first time!  Yay!  It has taken 22 long, long months but we are on our way to a life with no diapers.  I never, never, never thought I would be someone who wrote bragging about my kid going doodie on the potty but OMG, today is a good day.  I should never have judged those other Mom's who posted about this life-changing update. Lesson learned for the 5 millionth time- do not judge other Mom's.
2.  I went to a toddler play day on base yesterday.  It was awesome.  We will definitely be going back every week.  I didn't make any friends but Eva had a blast and I had some fun playing too.

3. I am getting along with my husband.  I will probably post more about it tomorrow (I already wrote the post) but I am thankful to be happy in my home and in my marriage again. Fighting sucks.  

What are you loving today?

Gardening- Day 1


There are some things in life that become tied together so tightly, intertwined so fully, that no amount of time, memories, or space can unwind or separate them.  For me, my Mom and gardening is one of those things.  My Mom delighted in her garden.  She was organic in Orange County, California before it was trendy to be organic... before there was even such a thing as "organic".  She grew her own veggies in raised beds with drip waterers in the backyard of our house before it was on any other suburban, middle class, stay-at-home mom's radar.  She would choose to spend all of her "special days" (ie Mothers Day and her birthday) tinkering in her gardens. She loved being out there just getting her hands dirty outside in the sunshine and fresh air.

The old owners of our new house were engaged in a nasty divorce that led to the forced sale of the home.  The divorce obviously took it's toll on the lady of the house because she did not touch in the gardens for two full years.  On Sunday it was cold and yucky in the morning but when the sunshine poked through in the mid-afternoon, we went outside and spent the rest of the day working on the gardens that line the bottom of our deck in the backyard. 




7 huge outdoor trash bags and 2 full trashcans later, PART of the gardens are weeded and two bushes are trimmed.  We have a LONG, LONG way to go.  I don't even know where to get started with picking plants to fill in where I took out all of the weeds.  I kept imagining my Mom being there helping me weed and pick out new flowers and plants for the house.  She would have made it so easy.  I think she would have loved helping me with this project.  I am happy with the work that we got completed and I am happy with my body that is sore from shoulders to calves from working so hard .  I just wish my Mom was alive.  

Happy spring!

Military Monday- April: San Diego, CA


The Military Monday duty station feature on this blog is designed for us military families to meet our fellow military spouses and also to learn about duty stations across the world.  We all get to (or have to depending on your outlook and particular set of circumstances), move every couple years to different duty stations that are scattered throughout the country and the world.  This feature will allow us the opportunity to explore these different areas of the world before we get there.  If you are interested in being highlighted for this feature, please send me an email.  

Name and blog site:  April, This Guys Girl,

Branch of service: Navy

Where currently stationed: San Diego, California

How long have you been there?:  All my life, this is my hometown.  My husband happens to be stationed here.  He was first stationed here in 2003.

Favorite restaurant in the area: My favorite places include Thai Time II in Point Loma for some delicious Thai food, Burger Lounge in Coronado just because it’s on the island and the burgers are so good!, Yummi Sushi in Coronado for the ambiance and the variety of Sushi to choose from and I can’t forget Miguel’s in Coronado for their Mexican food.

Previous duty stations:
He’s been stationed in Bahrain, Key West, Florida, and Iraq.

3 favorite things to do in your current city: Who can resist the beach on a gorgeous day here in San Diego?  I’m partial to Coronado- it’s where my faith was strengthened, where I met some really great friends, and where I first met my husband Adam.  Adam and I also like to try different restaurants in San Diego and they are not the fancy ones, they are kind of like the mom and pop places.  I love that there are so many hiking trails around San Diego- the places that I enjoy include Cowles Mountain, Mission Trails, and the Torrey Pines Reserves.
La Jolla Coastline (do you see the seals?)
Favorite duty station so far: San Diego is the only place we have been together

Who is your hero? There are a few to choose from but I choose my mother- she is a very thoughtful and giving person; she’s been married to my dad for 37 years; she’s an hospitable person, a praying woman and she has a sweet spirit.  As I grew older, I found she is also a strong willed woman when she wants to be, very knowledgeable and wise.

What is the biggest draw back to where your current duty station? Just the morning traffic, again depending where you live and how close you are to the base.  And traffic only really happens during the peak times or if there is an accident on the roads.
In Santee on one of the beautiful walking trails
How strong/ or not is the sense of community in the area? It depends on how connected you want to be here.  Since San Diego is such a transient area, sometimes it’s hard to connect.  But if you get yourself plugged into the groups that are offered to military families, around town or church, you are bound to have a great little community of your own.  I felt somewhat connected to some of the ladies that I met because I went to the meetings offered by the Ombudsman. 

Have you joined any groups on base? I only got involved slightly with the Homecoming committee in helping to make a lei for the ship’s homecoming.

What is the overall feel of the community/area/base? In my opinion, because San Diego is large, you can kind of feel a loss of community unless you connect with others through different groups that you might be interested in involving yourself with.


If you are a military spouse and want be featured for this post, please send me an email at HandlingWithGrace {at}

It's the little things: 15


OK, so first off, how adorable is my new blog design?  The super talented Jackie Ayres ( designed it for me.  She was so easy to work with and straight forward and direct.  If you are considering doing a blog update, shoot her an email, you won't be disappointed.  Go check out her ideas.  I highly recommend her.

Like every Friday, I am taking a moment to remember the little things in life that make it all worthwhile.  Share your link below for anything this week that makes all of life's nonsense worth it.

It's the little things: He is so patient.  He sat very still while she put the "bracelets" on him.  He drew the line at the little mary janes that she tried to put on his paw next.  True story.

 It's the little things: My girly girl.  Even though it is really annoying when she ruins my make- up and gets water proof mascara all in our brand new carpet, I can't really get annoyed that she wants to be like me.  
For more make- up pictures click here 

It's the little things: I know this is totally against Mommy code to say this but... I am thankful for this daylight savings time change.  It has meant an extra hour of sleep for Eva and an extra hour of alone time in the evenings.  She is going to sleep an hour earlier than before but waking up at the same time.  Sorry if you got screwed by Daylight Savings but it worked out well for me (this time).

It's the little things: I do realize that I have already mentioned this a dozen times, but spring is here!  My sad yellow, dormant grass is turning green again, the tree next to my deck bloomed full of fabulous white flowers,  and the sun has been shining through the clouds.  So thankful.

It's the little things: A gorgeous spring day, the park, story time at the library, cookies, and ending the day at the horse ranch volunteering.  Yesterday was A+.

What about you?  What are you thankful for?  Share your joy.  Share your link.

Am I just gullible?


Is anyone planning on crying today?  Can someone please let me know if this is true?!

OK, I should have known that it wouldn't be long before I could test that theory above.  Siting here watching a silly tattoo reality show on TV while Eva finishes her nap.  A guy comes on explaining the tattoo that he wants to get in remembrance of his Mother who passed away.  Cue the tears.  The first tear did, in fact, drop from the left side.  


An afternoon walk


It was with the best of intentions that we started off on our walk in the 75 degree sunshiney afternoon.  Unfortunately, Eva's little legs are still not quite long enough to power her tricycle herself, but I was ready to help her power through the neighborhood.  Off we go.
Problem #1- If she doesn't keep the steering wheel straight (and of course, she doesn't), it is very difficult to keep the tricycle on the sidewalk.  This forces me to keep pressure on the pushing stick taking pressure off the front wheel so I can steer it.  At a snails pace, we attempted to keep walking down the street.
Solution #1- She doesn't want to ride the tricycle anymore.  She wants to walk the dog.  Great!  Easy peasy.
Now, I'm walking the empty tricycle down the street while keeping an eagle eye out for any thing that would make Kingston want to chase it thus making my 80 pound boxer drag my 2 year old down the side walk.
Problem #2- She is over walking the dog.  There are sticks that need to be picked up...  NOW!
 Solution- Mom walks the empty tricycle AND the dog AND the extra sticks that she couldn't fit in her arms.
Bonus solution- Make our way to the backyard to jump on the trampoline.  No bikes, no sticks.  Just us.  

And the sunshine.

I needed the sunshine today.  It felt so good to have the sun rays soak into my skin.  It has been too long.  Even though every single person from the weather man to the neighbors to the stranger in the grocery store has warned me mentioned that this was an easy and warm East Coast winter, it was tough not to see any sunshine for that many months.

I am ending the day with a glass of wine.  Ok.  Fine. Two... and a half glasses of wine. (everyone know that 2 is just sipping.  Three is drinking).  Still feeling a bit down about some things but the sunshine was a welcome surprise this afternoon.

Cheers to another warm, spring day tomorrow!
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