Thursday, December 30, 2010

What a December!

{Warning: Extra long post.}


Birthday!

My birthday was this month.. I am the big 26! I know I had a birthday rant earlier, lol. On December 11th, (I decided to celebrate early) my friends and I went to Dave and Buster's for my birthday dinner. I was so tickled since this was the first birthday shared with friends. (Hopefully, I will get pictures soon!)

Anniversary!

 The following Friday, my husband and I celebrated 4 years of marriage by going to the Melting Pot. It was soo delicious!! He then surprised me with a dozen chocolate covered strawberries/bananas from Edible Arrangements. Plus, a 1.5 hour massage! I was spoiled rotten; however, I woke up at 2 a.m. sick as a dog.

Christmas vacation in Colorado!

 I was soo sick that day, that I didn't even have enough energy to go shopping and pack for the big trip to my mom's in Colorado. Mr. B told me that we still had to keep moving in order to fly out.. (pretty much to suck it up!-- which I told him that I would remember that!) So, we flew into gorgeous Colorado the following day. I was so excited to see my family for Christmas, which hadn't been done since 2004. I sacrificed them for my husband all these years due to deployments, and it was finally my year to go see mine.

The not-so-much vacation... RSV and Bronchiolitis

Well, things turned for the worst for little Miss A. (Miss A is 16 months old and is a peanut.) I knew she had a head cold for a week and half, and had seen her pedi twice in fear that it was going to her chest, because her cough was so bad. The day we flew in, she started to have a fever, and was refusing food and liquids. She was beginning to become lethargic real quick. My mom already lived 8000 ft up, and it would be at least an hour drive to the nearest hospital. So, the next morning, we brought her to the E.R. where we heard some bad news about our baby. The Dr. intially diagnosed her with clinical pneumonia. Her oxygen levels were from 87 to 90, and I was starting to freak out a little. They said if it goes down to 85, then they would admit her to the hospital.They ended up sending her home with an oxygen tank, and informed us that a specialist would come to the house with more.

The next day, she had a follow-up with a local pediatrician. The pedi told us that she was going to admit Miss A. (I started to cry at this time and thought I could hold it up, but the thought of my baby slipping away, scared the crap out of me.) I say that because she was eating nor drinking-- for days. As soon as we got to the hospital, they hooked her back up to the oxygen, and I had to put her in a tiny little gown. My sister, Miss M. brought me some delicious Sonic for lunch, and at this time the nurses told me that we were going to start an IV, draw blood, and do a chest x-ray. We left the room, and decided to take a walk. All day and night, I stayed with my precious little girl, as they sucked out her boogies, (with this awesome machine thing) gave her breathing treatments, and checked her stats. Everytime a nurse came in, she would whimper and bury her head into her pillow.

They following morning was my actual birthday, and my husband traded places with me in the hospital. I came back frequently to check on Miss A.  That evening, I had noticed that she received a toy from the hospital. I asked the nurses who had given her the toy, so I could thank them. It was realistic toy keys, and my daughter has sparked up. It turned out that the Marine Corps Toys for Tots had stopped by to give toys for all the children that were hospitalized. I started to tear up. I never knew how the toys got distributed each year, and the fact that my baby was thought of, really made me swell up inside. Well, on the eve of Christmas Eve, my little pumpkin was starting to eat and drink, and was bouncing all over her hospital crib. The pedi that admitted her, had decided to release her. She was well enough to follow treatment at home, which meant that she would be on continuous oxygen, and breathing treatments every six to eight hours. We were just so thankful to have her home in time for Christmas!

Birthday with fam

My mom got me a charm bracelet (like the ones that Pandora makes) and a tres leche cake... yum! We had a great time drinking wine, and playing a tourney of Texas Hold 'Em-- which I won! :)


Skiing at Purgatory

By Christmas Eve, I was able to escape and go skiing with my siblings. It was my first time going, and as long as I remember how to do the "pizza" to stop, and the "french fry" to go, I was good to go. Stopping was not so easy when you are flying down the slopes. I busted my toosh several times on my first run. By my second run, I made it all the way down the bunny slope with out busting my toosh. (Just because they called it the "bunny slope" didn't make it easy! It was super steep!) Nonetheless, I did it, and I am happy. I can't wait to do it again!

Christmas Day

Oh, if I had a picture of my mom's tree with all the gifts galore! (It will make people sick if they saw all the gifts-- but, heck, we have such a huge extended family.) Anywhoo, I was able to sleep in until 7 a.m. which was super duper nice. (We had a talk about kids waking up at 5 or 6 in the morning.. I chuckled at the thought-- mind you that I don't like waking up early...) So, I was just soo tickled to see Miss A and Miss K open up their gifts! To hear Keira squeal when she opened up her Toy Story official Jessie doll, was the best! I was hoping for that reaction, because that doll was so stinking expensive. But, she had been asking for it for a long time. (I am like my mom, I like to spoil my girls on Christmas.)

Speaking of my mom, she and my stepdad, got me the Kindle!! I was so stoked! I love to read, and the only time I have been able to is when I am tuckering down for bed. Well, about 15 minutes later, my husband likes to come and turn out the light. {Which I am forced to close my (Sookie Stackhouse novel) and get some sleep. } So, now I can happily finish my chapter under the covers. :) Did I mention that she got me these flaming red suede hooker boots? Seriously, these things go past my knees. (She made me try them on over my pj's, lol) I couldn't help but to chuckle as I extended out my leg and showed Mr. B. ;)

But, we all know that Jesus is the reason for the season! I prayed like crazy for my baby girl to get better, and my wish has finally been granted.

The following week... tummy bug

I am convinced that this season was the gift that kept giving, and not in such a good way! The whole family, Miss K and I, got the tummy bug. Just when things were looking a little better.. Bam! Anywhoo, we were able to take  Miss A off of the oxygen tank the morning we flew home, and she is doing soo much better!

Well, that is it for now. I will try and post my New Year plans tomorrow.  I believe I have something in the works with overstock.com, so stayed tuned for that! :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hello World; How've you been?

{A story and a song about second chances.}
The Story:

The Mr. came home from Afghanistan two December's ago. We've had our ups and our downs, and sometimes we drive each other crazy. Sometimes he says he's depressed. Although, I know that he is suffering from post-traumatic disorder (PTSD) from the two previous combat deployments. We lost 8 guys from the first, and 20 from the most recent. (That doesn't even include the injured.) To say he came unscathed, is a lie. My husband had a near death experience in Afghanistan, that shook my world. You can read,  here.

Last night, I was searching for bonding glue to make these mini ginger bread houses for Miss K's pre-school to decorate, down in the basement, and I was searching through my scrapbooking box, when I came across a unfamiliar red notebook. Back in the Marine Corps, I used notebooks to write my thoughts- to vent- about my situations in MRP at Geiger. Channeling through memory lane, I opened the notebook, and realized that it was my husband's-- addressed to me. He had never given me the notebook before, and well, I hid downstairs for awhile, and read it. It was his Afghanistan journal. Tears welled up in my eyes as I read his hopes, his fears, and his un-dying love for me and Miss K. (Sometimes, life gets in the way, and you forget not to take each other for granted.) After I dried up the tears, I headed back upstairs, and showed him the notebook. He looked at me, and smiled. He read the journal, and said he had forgotten about it. He said he was trying to forget his experiences, and he wrote it, in hopes that someday, some one else would read it. Today, is the day. {If you have trouble reading the letters, click on them, and they will get bigger in a different window.}


"Traffic cars, cell phone calls

Top video screams at me

Through my tender window I see

A little girl, rust red minivan

She's got chocolate on her face

Got little hands, And she waves at me

Ya, She smiles at me



               



Hello World

How've you been

Good to see you, my old friend

Sometimes I feel, cold as steel

Broken like I'm never gonna heal

I see a light, little hole

In the little world



Hello world

Every day I drive by

A little white church

It's got these little white crosses

Like angels in the yard

Maybe I should stop on in

Say a prayer

Maybe talk to God

Like he is here

Oh I know he is there

Ya, I know he's there
-----------------------
Hello world

How've you been

Good to see you, my old friend

Sometimes I feel as cold as steel

And broken like I'm never going to heal

I see a light

A little grace, a little faith unfurled
-----------------------------------
Hello world

Sometimes I forget what living's for

And I hear my life through my front door

And I'll be there

Oh I'm home again

I see my wife, little boy, little girl

Hello world

Hello world
All the angels disappears

I remember why I'm here

Just surrender and believe

I fall down on my knees

Oh hello world

Hello world

Hello world"
~Lyrics from Lady Antebellum


*All images belong to Semper Fi to Apple Fi, and this blog is copy-righted. Do NOT take images; it's unlawful.*








Monday, December 13, 2010

MARINES: A Few Good Women



This video gives me such a huge sense of pride, everytime I watch it. :)

Semper Fidelis

The {unofficial} twins- A homecoming tale of the pre-schooler kind






The Story:


 
My friend Brittany and I are from the same town, and graduated from the same high school. Although, we didn't hang out back in school, we knew of each other. It was until a baby budgeting class in good ole' Twenty-nine Palms, that I recognized her. We were about to be eight months pregnant, and she was wearing the maternity cammie uniform. We narrowed it down to our home town, and realized that we were due a day a part, and both of our husbands were deployed to Iraq, and would miss the birth. We went to Denny's for dinner, and hung out at each others houses everyday. (It was a relief to have a friend from the same hometown, going through what I was going through.)

Well, July 31st came, and she called me and said she was having contractions, and was packing for the hospital. I rushed over with excitement. (It was her due date, mine was the next day) While she was upstairs, I was downstairs and my water tore. (It wasn't a full break) Her entire family was there, and I was a bit embarrassed. Her sister hollered at Brittany from downstairs, "Holly's water just broke!" Brittany hollars back, "Nah uh!" (Giggle)

So, I am thinking I totally peed myself, decided to drive myself to the hospital to check it out. (Mind you, I haven't eaten since 9:30 the night before, and it was now 2:00 in the afternoon) I got admitted. Dang it!
It wouldn't be hours before Ms. Britt showed us, because she was too busy stuffing her face at a local Mexican restaurant, lol.

I had Miss K the following morning, and Brittany had Mr. C that evening. :)

They grew up together for the first two years, literally.

---Britt and I on my husband's homecoming day




"It's never goodbye, It's see you later"-----
Then, we had to pcs from Cali to the east coast. It was a sad day. But, she pcs'd back home to Texas to a reserve unit, and 16 months later, (last month, November) we finally came home to visit! :)



When Miss K and Mr. C saw each other at the airport baggage claim, it was a true homecoming. They ran to each other with arms wide open with squeals, which stopped passerbys to stop and stare.

-----------In each arms at last!






Monkeys jumping on the bed!-------



Sunday, December 12, 2010

Blog Reviews {BR}

I have decided to start "blog reviewing". I am going to feature a different blog each Sunday and give a critique. (No harm, positive feedback!) Now, I gotta figure out how to make a button for this.. "My blog was reviewed by Semper Fi to Apple Pie". Any donations? :)

Want your blog to be reviewed, and featured? Comment below! Thanks. :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dealing with PMDD (pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder)

Disclaimer: Read with caution, you may know more about me than you may ever wanted to know. This is my story, and my hopes is for other women to possibly relate to what I have to go through from month to month.

So, I have a confession to make.. I suffer from PMDD (pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder). I am one of the 8 percent of women every week or two before the witch arrives who gets crazy, and I mean CRAZY.
Every women is known to have signs of PMS; however, sufferers of PMDD gets PMS x 1000. 

Pre-menstrual Dysphoric Disorder

According to http://health.yahoo.net/ , (PMDD) is a condition marked by severe depression symptoms, irritability, and tension before menstruation begins.

The symptoms of PMDD are similar to those of PMS, but they are generally more severe and debilitating. Symptoms occur during the week just before menstrual bleeding and usually improve within a few days after the period starts.
Five or more of the following symptoms must be present:


•Disinterest in daily activities and relationships

•Fatigue or low energy

•Feeling of sadness or hopelessness, possible suicidal thoughts

•Feelings of tension or anxiety

•Feeling out of control

•Food cravings or binge eating

•Mood swings marked by periods of teariness

•Panic attack

•Persistent irritability or anger that affects other people

Trouble concentrating

•Physical symptoms, such as bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, and joint or muscle pain

•Sleep disturbances

I experience majority of these symptoms, and it frustrates me. I feel like Dr. Jeckyll and Mrs. Hyde!
I become my husband's worst nightmare, and it makes me want to crawl in bed and stay there until its all over, and I am normal again.

I've also been a sufferer with Dysmenorrhea since I was thirteen. Dysmenorrhea is a severe form of menstrual cramps and flow-- agonizing, and debilitating. I was diagnosed with each condition when I was in the Marine Corps. It would literally leave the naval doctors thinking I was having a miscarriage (my periods were infrequent), with intense pain, loss of blood, and a pale face. I would be sent to my barracks room with "sick in quarters" for a few days with vicodin. They also thought I had polycystic ovaries, and thought it was the reason I was in so much pain and with the infrequent cycles. The naval doctor prescribed me Prozac, and I didn't take them because I didn't want to be labeled as a mental health issue. But, PMDD isn't a mental health issue. It has to do with the hormone changes during the menstrual cycle, and it must be off balanced. Prozac was prescribed to me to alleviate those symptoms. However, I still refuse to take medication.

When I delivered Miss K (doctors told me it would be difficult to ever have children) my Dysmenorrhea went away. It was magical, and my cycles became normal. However, with my husband deployed during the entire pregnancy and birth, being diagnosed with gall bladder disease at eight months pregnant, with the surgeon telling that Miss K could die from surgery in utero; I was beyond stressed. Then, a whopping three weeks after the Mr. came home from Iraq, I had gall bladder surgery, and ended up with complications. I was rushed in an ambulance a couple days later to a civilian hospital for a week as they administered every test known to man to make sure they didn't knick my bile duct. And why was my heart rate at a whopping 36 beats per minute? My poor husband and six week old baby girl had to stay at near by hotel room. (My husband is such a amazing father for having to take care a brand new baby by is lonesome for that week.)

 I was  diagnosed with pre-partum and post partum depression. I never looked at as a mental health issue, I looked at it as a overstimulated, brand-new mother/wife that had too many things thrown at me at once. Here I was again, at a different duty station with Prozac being re-prescribed to me. I still didn't take it. I felt I would suck up what I was going through, and keep charging forward. Until I cracked up the following summer when my husband deployed to Afghanistan, and I had an eight month old on my hip. Miss K was eleven months old when I yelled at her in my parents hotel room at 3 a.m. due to exhaustion. I felt like the worst mother. Here I was again, dealing with symptoms from PMDD.

When the hubs came home from Afghanistan, I immediately became pregnant with Miss A. He was home, and I was happy. It was night and day. He got to experience the delivery, and I was in high heaven. For the first five months, I was nursing, and didn't have a cycle. I was still living in bliss. Then, they came back... along with PMDD. A year later, and I am starting to realize that I need to seek my new provider, and have him stop all this craziness. I can't live like this. I tend to keep all of this to myself, and I am tired of hiding it all under a shell.

Anywhoo, I needed to vent. I just needed to let it all out. If you read all of this, you need a blogger award. (I probably should make a button: I survived reading Semper Fi to Apple Pie's post)

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lalaloopsy dolls have been captured!

I just wanted to thank everyone that commented on where I could find these whimiscal dolls for Miss K. I also want to thank my big sis for finding them in Colorado in a desolate Walmart up in the mountains. There were four of them, and I told her to buy them all. (I am giving them away as gifts to my nieces) I magically found one on Target.com, and strangely they have one that is now in stock (which I purchased) and now that I am checking the site, it is now sold out-- with another one to be sold! What is Target doing?? (oh, and all of these were bought for $20 dollars a piece. I couldn't realistically see myself purchasing a doll for $50 on Amazon, eek.)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Wanted: Lalaloopsie Doll

I have searched online, and I have called many stores in my area while hunting for this whimisical rag doll for Miss K. She has been begging every since her birthday in August. I just feel like the bad mommy that can't produce one for Christmas. :/

December birthday ba hum bug

Here it is again... December. The most stressful time of year.  Sadly, my dreaded birthday falls right smack 3 days before Christmas. Terrible, terrible, terrible--an inconvience really.

My first birthday-viewing from my expression, "what the heck is this?"

What Not to Say to a Christmas Baby


“Oh, you’re so blessed—you share a birthday with Jesus!
“Merry Birthday!”
“You must get so many presents!”
“Wow! What a ripoff. I feel so sorry for you!”
“You must be a real Angel/ very sweet/ a gifted person/ etc.”
“Merry Christmas” before you say “Happy Birthday.”
“Are you joking?”
“Is this a fake ID?”
“I’m going to wait till the after-Christmas sales so I can get you something bigger.”
“Your sister/brother feels really left out; let’s give her/him an extra present, too.”



I was due to arrive on Christmas day, but my mother thought she was doing me a favor by inducing me early. She wanted me to have my own special day; however, being so close to Christmas, I told her it wouldn't have mattered. I am not the only one stuck in this Christmas birthday conumdrum, there are many like me that feel overlooked.

I didn't grow up with birthday parties by the poolside, and I didn't have friends to celebrate my day, either. I just remember my dad bringing me to Toys r us to pick out a toy, and a dinner at my favorite restaurant. The years have passed since I've been a child, and I still have the same issues. This year, I am trying to plan a dinner at Dave and Buster's with friends, and the timing is awful. (Not my fault, really.) Too many Christmas parties, families in town, hustling and bustling for the last minute gifts.

I honestly don't remember the last time my own dad got me a birthday gift! I kid you not. I know I sound bratty for ranting, (the cliche- It's the holidays!)

My top TEN on "Why I LOATHE Christmas Birthdays"

1. The birthday/Christmas present
2. Everyone is gone for Christmas, therefore no birthday party
3. The Christmas wrapping on your birthday present
4. Your siblings making their Christmas list around your birthday
5. It gets too dark too early
6. Your birthday present is missing with some other Christmas gifts that your parents had hidden
7. The birthday pie-- or my case as pictured above-- the Santa cake
8. Being named after the holidays a.k.a "Holly"
9. It's freaking cold outside!
10. Yesterday was your birthday? I completely forgot, because I was out shopping for Christmas.


Ugh, Ba Hum Bug!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Semper Fidelis

I found this on another blog, and I had to share it on mine. It definitely teared me up.



Excerpt from President Ronald Reagan’s March 4, 1987 speech, dealing with the Marine Barracks Bombing in Beirut, Lebanon:


“…May I share something with you I think you’d like to know? It’s something that happened to the Commandant of our Marine Corps, General Paul Kelley, while he was visiting our critically injured Marines in an Air Force Hospital. It says more than any of us could ever hope to say about the gallantry and heroism of these young men who serve so willingly so that others might have a chance at peace and freedom in their own lives and in the life of their country. I’ll let General Kelley’s words describe the incident.

He spoke of a ‘young marine with more tubes going in and out of his body than I have ever seen in one body. He couldn’t see very well. He reached up and grabbed my four stars, just to make sure I was who I said I was. He held my hand with a firm grip. He was making signals , and we realized he wanted to tell me something. We put a pad of paper in his hand - and he wrote “Semper Fi.”

Well, if you’ve been a Marine or if, like myself, you’re an admirer of the Marines, you know those words are a battlecry, a greeting, and a legend in the Marine Corps. They’re Marine shorthand for the motto of the Corps - “Semper Fidelis” — “Always Faithful.”

General Kelley has a reputation for being a very sophisticated general and a very tough Marine. But he cried when he saw those words, and who can blame him?”

Friday, December 3, 2010

Child Modeling 101

The Story

Like most parents I know, our children are gorgeous to us. I find myself tempted to put Miss K in photo contests so she would get recognized, and someday be the next Gap Kid model. Every fall, Gap.com does a contest to appear in the Baby/Kid Gap spring 2011 clothing line. Every year, I forget to add a photo for submission, or I can't decide on the "winning" picture.  Miss K has such a vibrant personality, and I can't help but daydream about her being in the ads of Gymboree, Gap, The Children's Place. Lol, I know, I am crazy, right? Now, I wouldn't dare put her in pageants, ugh. And if she didn't like doing it, then I wouldn't force her too. So, forget these endless contests. I decided to go straight to the source.
(Pictured at right: Miss K when she was 15 months)

What I have learned about finding a reputable agency

They are freaking hard to find. Google "Baby modeling Agencies" and you will get site after site trying to get you to buy a list of agencies."You can get our list of agencies for only..." Ugh. 

BEWARE: Don't buy into it. You can find agencies without having to spend money.

Reputable agencies don't charge any up front fees either. They only tack on a commission when your child has landed the job.

Most agencies have a minimum age requirement. Most only accept 4 years and older. Miss K has to wait until next summer.

After calling a few agencies in driving distance - if you live more than an hour and half away, they will push you away. You live too far. (A tad frustrating for me, the drive was within two hour and half hours)

There isn't "open casting calls" for children. You literally have to submit photos and your child's info through the mail, and pray for a reponse.

Anywhoo, that is what I have learned today, with a lot of research.

Blogs with substance

So, I made the mistake to add quite a few blogs that mainly do "giveaways". I thought their blog was cute, and therefore added them. I didn't realize that their "family" blog would litter my dashboard with giveaway after giveaway. Not that I am against bloggers having giveaways, maybe give out a few here and there, but-- when your blog starts to lag substance, it becomes too much. So, I decided to delete them. I am sorry. But, I actually like reading blogs.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"Why I am thankful.." series with Guest blogger Lipstick and Leathernecks

 This week, I am featuring a series called, "Why I am thankful.." and if any bloggers would like to guest blog, please send me a comment with your email address. :)

I just wanted to say that I love her cute blog! It reminds me of a time when I wasn't a mommy, and waiting to move to Twenty-nine Palms, CA to be with my now husband. {We have since re-located} I also want to thank Mrs. S for taking the time out of her busy schedule to write a blog for me. :)



Lipstick & Leathernecks



When Holly asked me to write a blog for her, I thought two things…

1) “That is so sweet of her to ask! I’m flattered!”
2) “Holy crap, I’m guest blogging…?”

But me being me, I decided “Why not?” I’m already in the midst of writing 3 research papers and finishing up the semester, why not take a break and write about something I actually want to write about?

I had no idea what to discuss (I’m really boring!), but Holly suggested doing what I’m thankful for, and I think that’s a brilliant idea, so I’m gladly following her lead.

It’s been one of those months where you have to really strain to find something to be thankful for… If I’m honest, it’s been one of those years. The Husband got orders across the country, unexpected bills kept creeping up, I’m taking 18 credits this semester (and next!), and sometimes, I’m just lonely. So really, I’m doing this for me, but I’m glad to let you in on it and hopefully it’ll help you out, too.

So what am I thankful for?

I’m thankful for my husband. He works so hard and he rarely complains. He’s completely selfless and devoted to me and being the best husband he can be. He’s also devoted to the Corps and I think that is so admirable which makes me love him even more.

I’m thankful for my parents. They do a lot for us and life would be 1000x more difficult some days if they weren’t around. I give them a hard time sometimes, but they deal with me and my imperfections.

I’m thankful for my dog. Seriously, he was probably one of the 3 people/things that got me through my husband’s first deployment. It sounds totally ridiculous, but when I needed to talk, he listened (I swear he understands exactly what I’m saying at all times), and when I was down, he wouldn’t leave my side. He’s my buddy and has been since I was 10.

I’m thankful to have a roof over my head and a car that runs. That’s pretty self explanatory, I think!

I’m thankful for my opportunity to further my education. Not everyone gets that chance, but I did, so I’m so grateful for that.

I’m thankful for my mother in law who so graciously helps us whenever she can. She takes us to dinner and movies when we drop in for a visit, she gives me her golden plane tickets so I can fly free of charge to see The Husband (She’s a flight attendant and normally, The Husband and I have to fly standby, but she had two “must ride” passes and she gave them both to me), she’s fun, sweet, and genuinely kind hearted; a very rare trait.

I’m thankful for my cell phone (be quiet!). Seriously. It keeps me connected to the outside world. Also, it has The Angry Birds and that game is awesome. Promise.

I’m thankful for sushi. Does this need an explanation…?

I’m thankful for the Marine Corps. Despite all the flaws, I appreciate the opportunities it has given my husband, and even me. I’m also thankful for that dress blue uniform. Good work on that one, USMC. Good work.

I’m thankful for my life. It is pretty fabulous. It really, truly is.









Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Things could be changing

For the past year, I have been actively engaging into my college coursework. I have been plowing through classes non-stop since January, in hopes of someday putting my Marine Corps OCS package together. It has been a bumpy road with detours every since I took up the challenge. While I have been utilizing my GI Bill, I have also been working on my resume. I can write a college research paper better than I can type up my resume. Honestly, I get stumped about my job skills. 

Me and some fellow Marines in Hawaii 2005 {I am wearing the PI shirt}


The Story:

I was an 0151 (Administrative Clerk) when I was on active duty, and well, I didn't go to the typical IPAC or S1 shop. My orders sent me to the Central Identification Laboratory on an Air Force base. Yes, you saw that correctly, I was a Marine stationed on an Air Force base. I literally had to go back to my Gunnery Sergeant, and asked him if my orders were correct, and what kind of command was this? Not that I was complaining, I got my first pick to Hawaii; however, I deeply confused on where I was going. I didn't go alone, and I had another Marine stationed with me from our MOS {military occupational school} school. When I arrived off the plane in Hawaii from baggage claim, I didn't expect to be greeted by an Army Corporal. This Army Corporal gave me a run down about how I had gotten chosen for his shop, and where my living quarters were going to be-- on an Navy installation. Confused yet? Because I certainly was! Low and behold, I would be stationed at the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command HQ.

How did I get so luckly to snag a position there, immediately out of training? It was a culture shock to have to work with every branch of the service, Coast Guard  and not utilize what I had learned from my MOS school. It was like I went to school for nothing, and was learning on the job, how to do my job. I was exposed to some really awesome things though. I was transferred several months later to a bigger command in Hawaii, and was sent to their Public Affairs office. Here I was, thrown into another shop, where my MOS school didn't help me out at all. I picked up Lance Corporal, and was still surrounded by nine officers of different branches. I was the only Marine enlisted, and I felt alone. But, I knew that I was fortunate to be able to have my position that this higher headquarters, and it came with stress. I was there for about a year until I was medically discharged. I had a stubborn injury since M.C.T. and it wouldn't rehabilitate while on active duty.

I never went to the VA to claim my disability, and up my percentage. I guess you can call me stubborn. I miss the Marine Corps like nobody's business. I have been patiently waiting for the past four years, gradually working out, and strengthening my body to go back in. My husband would like me to get a federal position, and complete college. The federal position is hard, just as any job, because I can't just explain to them on my resume, why there is such a lag in time from active duty until now. I can't explain why I didn't complete four years in the Marine Corps. I feel like I am stuck in the middle, and the only thing I can do is plug away at my degree. Technically, my job skills in the Marine Corps, were supposed to lead me to an human resources position. {I've read that announcement, and I didn't fit.}

My previous unit received an award, and it wasn't announced until a year after I was discharged. I didn't know that it was going to be such a pain to put it into my military records. I have spoken to a prior-service recruiter, and I am starting my paperwork on coming back in as a reservist. My goal is to finish college while on reserve duty, and then submit my package to become an officer. A lot of stuff, in a short amount of time.

Anywhoo, thanks for reading! :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Death to "Crackberry"

My phone officially passed away this morning. Cause of injury: abrupt trauma with devastating fractures. Final cause of demise: slobbered to death by the villian known as "Ayla". After repeat resuscitation, no revival. :/

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wanna be a guest blogger?

Please email me! I would love your submissions. :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

The day after Veteran's Day

So, this post is coming a day late. Yesterday, I was busy enjoying my husband home, and watching "The Pacific" on HBO. I teared up watching the mini-series, because I have such pride for the Marine Corps-- past and present. This year, I am not only thanking my husband for having to sacrifice his time to serve in the Marine Corps, but my Grandpa who recently passed away last December, at 93 years old. He served in WWII during the European tour. He was a Sgt in the Army, and fought at the battle of the Bulge, battle of Normandy, and was there to liberate a Nazi concentration camp. From what my father has told me, he didn't talk much about the war, except when he was intoxicated. Last year, as my family were pcsing from the west coast to the east coast, I made sure to make a detour to see my Grandpa one last time. (He told my father that he wouldn't make it to Christmas--and died the day before my birthday, four days before Christmas.) I tried to asking about the war, but he only nodded and talked about the women that he encountered while he was serving. My husband and I thought it was quite amusing.

It wasn't until he passed away, and had a military funeral in Texas, that he was awarded five Bronze stars during WWII. His unit was even awarded a Silver star, I believe. He is not here this year, but I will always remember what he did for our country.

Semper Fidelis.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Marines!!

Today, we are celebrating 235 years of being "Teufel Hundens", a term that was given to us in France by the German's-- meaning "Devil Dog". In case you don't know, and are new to my blog, I am indeed a Marine. Once a Marine, ALWAYS a Marine.

I remember my first Marine Corps Birthday on November 10, 2004, and what awaited us in the chow hall was like Heaven. Officers were serving us steaks, lobster, shrimp cocktails, and all the works. I remember sitting down at the table with a beautifully decorated napkin, and a brochure to keep. It was an awesome day to be with my fellow Marines.



As we enjoy 235 years, I want to remember all those Marines that sacrificed their lives, and can't be here today. Semper Fidelis.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

White Bread from New York

Another tale about Parris Island from 2004...

Sometimes, I think about the "traumatic" events (giggle) from Parris Island when I was nineteen years old. Traumatic would be for those that are not accustomed to constant bullying growing up, and having a women call you crazy names the entire time you are in their direct line of fire. I laugh now, being over six years, about the ridiculous names we were given in my platoon. One name struck a particular note, that I some times giggle about it in fond memory. It is how this particular recruit got the name, "white bread from New York".


It was another usual chaotic, robotic time during the chow line, getting ready to quickly grab "one scoop and go" when this recruit (I am not going to say names, lol) saw that the bread had run dry. She had the audacity to ask a civilian worker for some more white bread, (because how dare they forget to bring more out) just as our drill instructor came around the corner. What came after that, was INSANE. As a recruit, you do not speak to anyone without permission, let alone a civilian. I am quite sure that she was not going to eat her food comfortably that day.

Now, I was a regular quarter-deck kind of girl. A "quarterdeck" was the space between the "racks" in the "squadbay". When this female recruit made it back to the squadbay, the quarter-deck was calling her name. Of course, my name followed, as it always did, and as we pushed together, the drill instructor managed to yell out, "Push! White bread!" So, from then on, she was known as "white bread from New York". I wonder where she is today? I am usually good about keeping in touch with the girls that made it through with me during that grueling time, but sometimes, you lose touch.

What makes a friend?

As you know might know, about every three years, we pick up and move to another duty station. I LOVE to move to different places around the United States, and heck, maybe we'll end up in Japan one day. I tend to get antsy living in one spot for too long, and I blame it on the travel bug. The only down fall about moving so frequently, is making and maintaining friendships. Sure, I have my husband, he is my BEST friend of all, but I miss having a tight knit set of girlfriends to hang out with. We live quite a ways from base at this particular duty station, and unfortunately, gathering friends is rather hard. Sure, I have a handful of gals that I can chit chat with (occasionally) but, I really miss my girls that I had gotten so close with back in Twenty nine Palms.  Luckily, I will be venturing back home to the great state of Texas, and I get to see my best friends; (Big SMILES here!) however, I don't go home but once a year-- double bummer. So, anyhow, a set of events occurred today with some friends of mine, that really bothered me. So, I guess that is reason why I am posting. It is days like today, that I feel kinda by myself doing my monotonous everyday thing at home. Sigh*

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's a g-o-o-d ship... lollipop!

It's a s-w-e-et trip to the c-a-n-d-y shop~
Where the bons bons pla-y!
At the shores of peppermint
ba-y...~

My husband and I have decided that our oldest daughter with naturally curly hair looks like Shirley Temple. She does have the cutest dimples and the most gorgeous naturally curly hair... :)

AND she loves to sing!

Good season, Sharks!

I was invited back in August to play for a co-ed softball league, and our team was called the Sharks. I hadn't officially played a sport growing up, thanks parents and I finally got to play. The team made me catcher, and I really enjoyed my position. We made it to the play off's, and although we lost, we sure did have fun! I wish I had some pics to post, but it got too cold, and the games were too late for the family to come out and watch. Bummer.  Well, until next season, anyways! :)

Facebook deleted, check!

Deleting Facebook seriously needed to be done. For my friends out there, and the fam, I will be creating a some kind of "photobucket" account for your viewing pleasure. My contact information is at the link up at the top, and email me so I can email you! :) I will also try to be more diligent about blogging.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Not such a great week

Monday-

Had a softball game and managed to drag the hubs to it. "B" (since I am not listing names) decided to make me DH for the first game. How lame, since my family was only staying for the first hour, ugh. Btw, we lost miserably.

Tuesday-

I found out that I had a bad kidney infection. A lot of pain...

Wednesday- (today)

Big sis decided to hide from me when I woke up this morning-- while I was panicking thinking she ran out of the house.

While I was trying to take the trash out of the house in the nasty wet, she managed to lock me outside for 20 minutes while I was banging on the door.

Now, she thinks she deserves a cookie. Umm, no.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall photos

The girls had their fall photoshoot, and looking by the photos you would have never guessed how uncooperative my little ones were! From the "please don't cry" to "Keira, just stand up!" This poor girl had to deal with me telling her which backdrops I wanted, and going through all the outfit changes.

So, for your viewing pleasure, and (for their Pawpaw Byrne who was kind enough to buy the session) here are the pics!

The Picture People put these photos side ways, and unfortunately, I can't rotate them! :/

Monday, September 20, 2010

New! PR Friendly site~ Would love to do product reviews :)

If you are interested in having your products reviewed, feel free to contact me here :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I just wanna...


My little 3 year old-- frustrated, lol.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I am addicted... to Blog-o-mania!!

I have been going from site to site on the master list, and plugging away at the entries! I hope I can snag a cool item! :)

If you are interested and would like to join on this giveaway hop...

Check out this a-mazing blog to start!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Photography... for dummies.. (me)

I have decided that I want to pursue photography so I can capture my children's youth without paying a buckoos load of money to a professional. Then, if I get good enough, I would start branching out and create my own photography business.  This fall, I decided to go straight to the beginning of photography and take a black room class at my new college. I never knew how hard manual black and white photography was going to be! I was like, this is going to be a piece of cake... haha ha ha.  I was wrong. Digital photography is so much easier than manual. I have realized that after 3 weeks into this class... I am redefining patience. I did as my professor said and purchased a completely manual 35 mm camera; my husband even joked about purchasing a disposal, ha ha ha sweetie- no cookie for your wit this time!

Purchasing the materials:

Expect to pay a lot for film, and special RC paper. If you are a newbie like me... you will be eating peanuts for awhile.

Our first assignment: Make a photo gram.

  You seriously can't screw this project up. You grab items from home that you think will expose well under a light projector in the black room, and see what kind of art you've created once the paper is developed.  I was actually tickled with this project because all of the items I used reflected my 3 year old daughter.  My favorite was a small doll and a mesh bag. I placed the doll over the mesh bag and exposed it to light for about 6 seconds. When I developed the paper through this cool machine, (I can't develop paper with chemicals until next semester) what I got was magical. The doll was almost luminous, and it appeared as if I had caught her with the bag-- like a lightening bug. All of the students thought that it looked like I had caught Tinkerbell. :) Mission accomplished.

Second assignment: Use a whole roll of 400 TX film on recapturing "childhood memories" through your "child" eyes. 

Luckily, I have two little ones that can give me some inspiration. I brought the little one to the tot lot and started to snap away at different angles of the monkey bars and the swing set. I went along a river up north and took pictures of a little waterfall. (I was or am a very outdoors adventurous type, especially when I was a child.) I took pictures of a puzzle.. Needless to say, I tried to get creative.

When I got to class yesterday, we learned how to roll our film in pitch black and into a canister. Needless to say, that was not an easy task! You have to use a can opener tool to open the film casing and then snip the odd end of the negative with scissors... in the dark. I have done more daunting things in the Marine Corps, and having to handle my bare negatives in the dark scared the crap out of me. I was just praying that I didn't jack it all up before I could develop it.

Then, we learn to develop the negatives-- a tedious time consuming task that required my patience.
 I was getting so anxious to see my first photo creation!

Just when I managed to finish my little development... horror struck.

My creation didn't show up on the negative, and I was puzzled. I was like, "How did I jack this up?" Embarrassed, I went to the professor and showed her my mishap. I felt like a dummy. She was confused as well, and asked to see my camera. She told me that I had the ISO at 100 instead of 400 and the pictures didn't take. UGH!!

So there you have it my friends... Photography for dummies.

Stay tuned for next weeks possible mishaps as I make my journey through the "dark room".

Monday, August 23, 2010

Five years and counting.. :)

It is hard to believe that 5 years ago today, I met the man that I was going to marry (man of my dreams) and have two beautiful children with. Last night, I looked up at the clock at midnight and then looked at my five fingers on my hand and couldn't help but smile. We have come a long way babe! Five years may not seem a long time, but with the Marine Corps, pcs moves, deployments, pregnancies, and babies... it feels like an eternity! If you had told me that I somewhat fullfilled my American dream by 25 when I was 19, I would've called you a liar, lol. (My American dream is being married, having a couple of gorgeous little ones, owning a house, and having a career-- still working on that career dream, lol)

Where did we meet?

Not the greatest pic of me-- I was injured and gained weight, eck.
Taken January 2006

We met on Camp Smith in Hawaii-- He took me on a date to the Pyramids in Waikiki, and we have been hooked to the hip since!

Rocky roads..

Relationships, I have learned, will have their rocky roads. When I was on a med board, Mr. B was getting orders to Twentynine Palms, Ca. I felt like I was at a stand still with the Marine Corps and completely torn from what I love to do (being a Marine, unfortunately broken) and whom I loved. The question beared: should I stay or should I go ... The Marine Corps ruled that I should go due to my injuries not healing.
A month after Mr. B pcs'd, I was able to follow-- from paradise to hell, because he was well worth it.

We endured a miscarriage, two deployments back to back with two missed birthdays (the birth of our first daughter and her first birthday), an RPG blast, and the ups and downs of marriage and parenthood.

Wonderful times!

When he came home from those stressful, sleepless nights, slave to the cell phone, deployments...

He got to be home for the latest pregnancy, and got to witness every sickness (almost), hospital visits, the kicks and punches from the baby, the ultrasounds, and the birth. I got to squeeze his hand to death when the epi failed to work.. I was on cloud nine since he finally got to experience one of our girls birth.

Building of a new home-- We got to be proud homeowners, and I could still pinch myself! As stressful it is, I am proud to have this family unit.

Post deployment USMC ball-- January 2009
Although I haven't put every detail down of the past five years... (there are so many to count) These are the most important ones worth noting about... it is what truly shaped us into what we are today.. and so let it be.. five wonderful years and counting!