It’s the Navy Life

New Year, New You… Not Happening

Posted on Jan 6, 2018 in Adulthood Stole My Cool, It's the Navy Life, My Kid Stole My Cool, The Kids Are Actually Cute, Travel Traumas

New Year, New You… Not Happening 0

Happy New Year, Friends! How is 2018 going for you so far? Getting fit? Eating healthy? Meditating daily?

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New Year New You, courtesy of Balboa Island

Good for you! I have spent the first days of 2018 stuffing my face with muffins and watching old episodes of Downton Abbey. Meanwhile there is a massive pile of boxes sitting in my family room, a not-so-subtle reminder that I still have to put away all the Christmas decorations. While most people seem to relish the New Year as an opportunity to reset and strive to be a better version of themselves, I just want it to be March already. You know, when nobody cares about that stuff anymore.

I rang in the New Year with my parents and a bottle of Nyquil. (I was in California for a quick trip with the kids while Damon stayed back East.) On New Year’s Day, instead of kickstarting a healthy diet, I munched on day-old donuts and In-N-Out. (So good, by the way.)

On the second day of the New Year, I endured a 15-hour travel day with my darling children. After a several hour delay in Dallas, including deplaning our first aircraft due to a mechanical problem, we landed home at 2:00am and waited an hour for luggage that – oops! – never actually made it on the plane. We got home at 3:30AM. Elisabeth talked at me for about 14.5 out of those 15 hours.

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PJs, iPads, and M&Ms at DFW

On the third day of the New Year I went to Trader Joe’s with the rest of Hampton Roads in preparation of BOMB CYCLONE 2018. Then I slept because, again, I traveled 15 hours the day before with both my kids. Oh, and I probably have an upper respiratory virus. Whatever.

On the fourth day of the New Year it SNOWED. Gosh, I love being a Virginia resident when it snows. People lose their damn minds. Every. Freaking. Year. For all you folks making vegetable soups from scratch and working out in your home gyms – New Year! New You! – you won’t shame me into being healthy! If I’m stuck in my house with my entire family for days on end, I’m going to consume massive quantities of cookies and wine (and Robitussin PM). I don’t care if it’s only the fourth day of January. I will embrace a better version of myself when temperatures reach above 25 degrees.

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On the fifth day of the New Year, I stayed in my pajamas till 3pm. Oh, I also put away two baskets of clean laundry that have been in my bedroom since before Christmas. I hesitate to add that because, well, I don’t want to seem like a braggart.

On the sixth day of the New Year – today – I plopped my kids in front of a movie at 9:00am. Ice Age. Appropriate, right? After all, it is 12 degrees outside. I started Season 4 of Downtown on Tuesday and as of now I’m seven episodes deep. As the New Year is a time for goal-setting, my goal is to finish the season by Monday. And to not leave my house. So far I am succeeding mightily. Don’t let anyone tell you I’m not a high achiever! Damon and I also started watching The Crown. I may have completely abandoned any health and wellness objectives, but when it comes to British television viewing, I am kicking butt.

2018: KILLING it.

In all seriousness, despite exhausting travel, sickness, and snow, I am very happy to welcome a new year. I was going to write a 2017 year-in-review post but in all honesty, 2017 was not my favorite year. (Two words: Adult. Braces.) We moved to a place that I just don’t love and have yet to fully adjust to, and much of last year was spent preparing for, and then recovering from, major surgery. Of course, 2017 wasn’t all bad (I finally saw Hamilton!) but I am ready to put it behind me and welcome a year that is certain to bring lots of excitement and change. (New jobs! Family weddings! Taylor Swift concert!) Resolutions or not, it’s going to be a good year. And now, some highlights from 2017:

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Damon and Elisabeth went on a father-daughter ski trip. As you can see, there wasn’t a ton of snow. But they had fun!

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Damon and I spent a week in Newport, RI. It was technically work, but it was a nice getaway nonetheless.

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Damon promoted to Commander.

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I took the kids to California for Easter, and this happened.

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A lovely Mother’s Day with my babies.

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A whirlwind trip to NYC to see Hamilton. It lives up to the hype, in case you’re wondering.

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James turned 3! (Photo Cred: Cara)

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My baby brother got engaged to this beautiful lady!

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Outer Banks Vacation

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Disneyland!

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Elisabeth started kindergarten. Full Day. Praise be.

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First day of preschool – 3s. He was THE MOST EXCITED.

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For my first big outing post-surgery, I traveled to Chicago for my 10-year college reunion. (Eek!) Reunited with good friends…

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…And saw Hamilton, again.

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Halloween

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First baby tooth, gone. Not gonna lie, this was a sad moment for me.

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Six!

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We got to spend Thanksgiving with lots of family, including the kids’ great-grandparents. Always special.

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Post-Thanksgiving visit with our Pennsylvania family.

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Awkward Santa Photos

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Quick trip to California to meet my best friend’s new baby. Totally in love with this sweet (and very tiny!) baby girl. Pretty good way to end 2017.

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A Look Back at 2015

Posted on Jan 1, 2016 in Adulthood Stole My Cool, It's the Navy Life, My Kid Stole My Cool, The Kids Are Actually Cute, Travel Traumas

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Hello, Friends. This blog has not seen much action this year.  Mainly, because of this rascal: I’d love to write more, and hopefully will in the upcoming months. In the meantime, this post is my attempt to recap everything I would have blogged about this past year had I had the mental capacity to do so. Here it is, 2015 in one blog post: January: The stressful end of 2014 – unending remodel, constantly sick kids, overworked husband, extreme lack of sleep, etc. – continued on into January, but things slowly turned up. The remodel wrapped up, we sort-of sleep-trained James (though it didn’t quite take), we began to settle into a routine. Now that James is a walking, running, climbing little boy, it’s hard to imagine that just a year ago he was still a baby, but it’s true, and this month saw him teething and cruising (or, the beginning of the end for me.) February: Snow, snow, snow. School closures, school closures, school closures. I don’t know if Elisabeth saw the inside of her classroom that month. Instead, she watched a lot of Frozen. I’m a good parent.  I also had an unfortunate incident in a Trader Joe’s parking lot involving my Toyota Highlander, a pole, and a personal injury lawyer’s BMW. Can we talk for a second about how it’s like a requirement that every Trader Joe’s has the worst parking lot in the city? Seriously. Every. Single. One. Anyway, moral of the story is don’t go to a Trader Joe’s on a holiday the day before a massive snowstorm.     Oh, we did have an exceptionally beautifully warm and sunny day in the early month that happened to coincide with our wildly successful housewarming party. Win! March: March was a good month. Mainly because I stopped nursing James. If you read my blog last year, you may remember I basically ate birdseed for the majority of his infancy due to his allergic colitis. Well, that sucked, and he and I were both hungry all the time. So I began eating cheese again and he...

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My Sweet Baby James

Posted on Jul 1, 2014 in It's the Navy Life, My Kid Stole My Cool, Pregnancy Stole My Cool, The Kids Are Actually Cute

My Sweet Baby James 0

Labor. People say you forget about the pain of labor, or else you wouldn’t ever have more than one child. BS. I certainly didn’t forget.  Maybe I didn’t remember the exact type of pain, but I sure remembered that it hurt. A lot. And not just during labor, but after. For some reason, none of the books or blogs or classes I read or took during my first pregnancy mentioned anything about postpartum recovery. Perhaps they reasoned ignorance is bliss.  Expectant mothers: You’re in for a surprise! But I won’t ruin it for you… Anyway, armed with the knowledge of just how much pain was coming my way, I started to freak out a bit.  Especially because I know many women who are really into natural childbirth, and therefore I felt like I should be really into natural childbirth. Hey – I’m just as badass as they are! If they can do childbirth without pain medication, so can I!  But the prospect was still scary. As I approached my due date, my doctor insisted I would deliver early.*  She was wrong, but at the time her predictions forced me to face reality. Labor was coming. Pain was coming. So I psyched myself up.  I’m active! I’m strong! I do yoga and know how to breathe! I can do this! (Plus, I have no choice.)  I even got kind of zen about the whole thing. Childbirth has nothing on me! And then labor actually happened.  If you read my last blog post, you know that I spent the 36 hours before labor running around Orange County visiting various doctors, and went into labor late Thursday night. It was a restless two days, followed by a restless night of contractions.  Point is, when I did go into labor I was tired.  And a little stressed out.  All of a sudden I wasn’t so badass. At first, I just kept moving through the contractions.   Hey, this isn’t so bad! I thought to myself.  I can totally handle this.  And then the contractions started coming faster.  Like, a lot faster. Wait, hold up. I...

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Sayonara, Japan

Posted on Feb 27, 2014 in It's the Navy Life, Travel Traumas

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A little over a week ago, Elisabeth and I boarded a flight from Narita to LAX.  This was our third NRT –> LAX, but likely our last.  At least for a long while.  Elisabeth and I are officially CONUS residents again, living in California for the next several months until Damon joins us and we move to Washington, DC. I don’t believe I’ve entirely updated this blog on our current situation, so here’s the short version: I’m pregnant (duh).  Damon is currently in Nevada participating in a major training exercise for the next several weeks.  When he returns to Japan, he will be doing work-ups for deployment.  If you don’t know what any of that means, that’s okay, I don’t really either.  Basically, he’ll be really, really busy and gone a lot.  And ultimately, he’ll deploy again.  All before the baby is set to arrive. Given his timeline and my due date, we decided the best decision for me was to move back with my family in California to have the baby and wait out the deployment.  So here I am. It was strange leaving Japan – and the Atsugi community – so many months before I had previously planned.  There were so many things on my bucket list left undone, and time I had counted on with friends that I had to sacrifice.  But ultimately, I was ready to move; I desperately needed an In-N-Out burger.  I lived overseas for 22 months, which hardly sounds like any time at all.  But since graduating college in 2007, that is actually the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere.  Crazy, right? If I’m being honest, I didn’t love Japan.  That’s not to say I disliked it – not at all!  It’s just that I never felt 100% comfortable in the culture.  Part of that is my own fault.  Before moving, I assumed I would fully immerse myself in the Japanese culture, and frankly, I didn’t.  When we moved, Elisabeth was five months old.  I struggled – more than I thought I would – with balancing parenting a baby (and then toddler) and...

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The Real Lives of Navy Wives: Excessive TV Watching

Posted on Sep 19, 2013 in It's the Navy Life

Okay, maybe this doesn’t apply to all wives of deployed servicemen, but it does to me. When Damon is gone, I watch a lot of TV.  More than I should admit.  But here’s the thing.  I have a small child who goes to bed at 7:30.  While I’d love to quell my loneliness by jetting over to my friends’ houses for nightly happy hours, I’m pretty sure leaving my toddler alone in the home is frowned upon.  So that leaves the TV to keep me company. I’d like to say I read and stuff – and I do that, too* – but at the end of a long day of taking care of my kid all by myself, I just want to zone out.  My brain no longer functions on “Reading Literature” levels, but more like “Real Housewives” levels. Netflix and Hulu have been THE WORST INVENTIONS for military spouses.  Besides the Cricut.  Damon was on detachment in Australia for the majority of March (rough life, I know).  During that month – thanks to Netflix – I watched the entire first season of Scandal.  In about four days.  (To be fair, that first season was only seven episodes.)  And then – thanks to Hulu – I caught up on the current second season.  In about another four days.  I was actually relieved when I caught up and had to wait each week for a new episode with the rest of the population, because as I discovered, watching a high-intensity show like that back-to-back does bad things to your psyche.  We’re talking jitters, anxiety, insomnia.  Damn Olivia Pope for being so addicting! After Scandal, a friend recommended I start Grey’s Anatomy after learning I had never seen it.  Why not, I thought?  I wasn’t getting anywhere on my Book Club’s selection of Emma (See!  I have good intentions!), so I started the series from the beginning. What a mistake.  Once Damon left for deployment last June, I got sucked in, and fast.  But my brain couldn’t handle all the drama. Oh my gosh, a show as emotionally fraught as Grey’s...

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The Real Lives of Navy Wives – Forgotten Anniversaries

Posted on Aug 21, 2013 in It's the Navy Life

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Today is my anniversary.  And I forgot.  Whoops!  Isn’t Damon supposed to be the one to forget these things? I blame the Navy Life.  How am I supposed to remember my anniversary when my husband isn’t even here to celebrate with me? I’m not complaining – I’ll see my husband soon enough.  And certainly, most military spouses have spent far more than one anniversary (or birthday, or holiday…) separated from their husband or wife.  This just happened to be my first (though I’m sure not my last) anniversary by myself.  And I forgot. I’ve found that with a deployed spouse, most days feel about the same.  Especially overseas, and especially as a stay at home mom of a young (read: non-school attending) child.  Without something like school to demarcate the week from weekend, days tend to blend into one another, weekends cease to be unique, and special occasions become just another day on the calendar.  When you never know what day it is anyway, how are you supposed to remember something like an anniversary?  When I woke up this morning, did I think, “Oh, August 21st!  I got married three years ago today!” Heck, no!  I thought, “Why does Elisabeth insist on waking so early?”  Followed by, “Is today Wednesday or Thursday…?”  And then, “It’s still August, right?” It wasn’t till I saw a missed call from my husband that the date registered.  “Crap!  Now I have to go buy a card!”  Sheesh.  I am the worst wife ever. Except I’m not.  Because I can also contribute my forgetfulness to Homecoming.  I’ll write more about Homecomings another time, but I’ll mention briefly that Damon is returning home soon, and thus I am in a frenzy trying to make up for the week of housework I’ve neglected since returning from the states.  I want Damon to return from deployment to at least a halfway clean, only moderately cluttered house.  See, I’m a good wifey!  I forgot my anniversary out of thoughtfulness for my husband!  (Just go with it). On a semi-unrelated note, being apart from your significant other on a...

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