Lets LINK and show what we are thankful for!

Friday, December 30

11 in '11

I saw this linky party over on Flip Flops and Combat Boots - Thought it would be fun to recap the year in just a few questions.  2011 has brought so many ups/downs and changes in my life, my world... and my family.  I am blessed and thrilled to be starting 2012 with new friends, new adventures and a new direction. 

Well, 2011 is almost over! Wow! That went fast! As a fun way to commemorate {is that even an appropriate word?! I don't know, it sounded good} 2011, Miss Kindergarten is throwing a part-ay! All you have to do is think back at your favorites in 2011 and add a few pictures. What a fun way to remember the year, huh!? You can use these prompts if you'd like, or just type up your 11 favorite things! 

11. Favorite movie you watched:
10. Favorite TV series:
9. Favorite restaurant:
8. Favorite new thing you tried:
7. Favorite gift you got:
6. Favorite thing you pinned:
5. Favorite blog post:
4. Best accomplishment:
3. Favorite picture:
2. Favorite memory:
1. Goal for 2012

11: Favorite Movie You Watched
Rio – it was a cute movie BUT it was the first movie we watched after Hubby got home from Iraq.  The memory of sitting there on the chair eating popcorn as a family is priceless.
10: Favorite TV Series

Toss up – Army Wives and SVU.  Both are permanently imprinted on our DVR.

9: Favorite Restaurant

Red Robin... sad but true.  LOVE that all three of us can eat there AND mommy can have an adult beverage if the mood calls for it and Diva is NONE the wiser

8: Favorite New Thing You Tried

I suck but I haven’t tried anything new this year... I have been surviving, so I guess that’s new.

7: Favorite Gift You Got

Diva made me a coffee mug for my birthday... by far my favorite gift ever.

6: Favorite Thing You Pinned

I’ve never pinned anything... and truthfully am dying for an invitation to Pinterest! HINT

5: Favorite Blog Post

Homecoming... I loved the pictures, I loved the memories and the moments... I LOVED HOMECOMING

4: Best Accomplishment

We bought our first home in July... pretty proud of us.

3: Favorite Picture


2: Favorite Memory

Diva’s birthday at Disneyland.  It was on R&R and our first family outing this year.  I LOVED that day... all but the stupid skort (gave me diaper butt!) that I had to buy due to the dress code at Club 33.

1: Goal for 2012

Lost my 10lbs, finish the nightmare that is reintegration, get back to school

Thursday, December 29

Christmas Recap...

 I have been seriously sucking at my blog lately.  With Christmas and family in town I have totally run out of time for basically everything... including personal hygiene (ok, not really but that’s how I feel!)!!

Thursday brought the Hubby home... late in the afternoon.  Early Friday my in-laws got into town – Father in law, his wife (from Nevada and stayed with us) and my brother in law and his wife (all the way from Florida!).  It was also FAMILY BAKING NIGHT... with baking socks! We really look forward to this every year - my mother in law and the girls spend a day baking, this year all the girls AND the boys participated and we had so much fun.  Diva got a tummy ache from sneaking so much cookie dough! 
Saturday was just a family day all the way around.  Christmas Eve is my mother in laws night – she bakes a full dinner and we all get to spend the time together eating and hanging out.  My Grandma joins us every year as well, she is my only family left in the Sunshine State.  We are super close and I LOVE spending holidays with her.  We even got to open gifts because of the fact that my brother in law and his wife were spending Christmas with her family.  It was nice to be together.  Diva just LOVES having family and just loves her Uncle CJS.
Santa was up WAY late Christmas EVE... like 0230 Christmas morning... just getting everything together and wrapped perfectly.  I swear... as kids we got up at 0230 to check to see if Santa had been there, not Diva!  She slept in until 6:15!!  Up and atom bright and early... then LOTS of opening and smiles.  Mommy got a coffee mug, says “My Favorite People call me Mommy!”,  an iPod touch (my old iPod died!) and a beautiful ring that is Divas birthstone PLUS her favorite color.  The Hubby got his roof rack for his bike...and clothes.  Then there is my angel... I LOVE seeing Christmas through her eyes... especially when her eyes are LOST and she can’t figure out her gifts.  My 2 favorite LOST Diva moments:
Me- Oh wow, do you know what this is?  Diva- NOPE Me- UMMM it’s a TV for your wall sweetheart  Diva- But I have a TV, why another one?  AHH my baby- Her current TV was the Hubbys from HIGH SCHOOL!
Diva opens a box and in it is a letter from Santa, A Gift Card and a Catalog for... A NEW AMERICAN GIRL DOLL!!  Later she comes up to me and asks why Santa gave her a catalogue and not the doll.... the Letter said that it was so Diva, her mommy and daddy could go to the LA store and she could pick out the PERFECT doll because Santa’s sled was low on space after her BIKE.  So she is carrying around her catalogue... poor baby.

With all these great gifts... she is attached to a $10 microphone and a $15 video camera!  Seriously, next year it will be all gifts under $20! 

Monday... Monday was a lovely mildly relaxing day that allowed for some cleanup.  Tuesday everyone left and Diva and I stayed snuggled at home most of the day just enjoying each other and the quiet of the day... and a bit of laundry!  I say it all the time but that kid has an IMMENSE amount of laundry/clothes!!

Back at work for the week and loving some time away.  I also started back to the gym yesterday to lose those last pesky 10lbs that I hate and seem to be totally centralized on my tummy and booty.  I need to get into swimsuit shape for any trips we may take this summer... must look as good or close to the 6-pack man I am married to.


Thursday, December 22

Secret Santa AND Prayer to Santa

Yesterday ... a LONG day... I got home to the most WONDERFUL thing.  My Secret Santa gift.  It just made me smile, a little tear... and giggle.  Thank you Thank you Thank you!  I will do a WHOLE post about how wonderfully amazing and thoughtful and perfectly perfect this gift was today.  In the meantime... here is a picture.


Oh and here is the current weather where the Hubby is... he is supposed to fly out today.  We shall see! Santa... please bring my husband home for Christmas!.

Wednesday, December 21

Almost there.... I hope

ITS TOMORROW!  Yes, our countdown better be done tomorrow.  The husband, then the in-laws... and then CHRISTMAS!  Diva is getting excited about it all.  She hasn’t seen her Aunt and Uncle in 6 months, the same with my Father in Law and his wife.  She just LOVES having the family together.  She is doubly excited because my parents sent a gift to be opened BEFORE the 23rd – she can’t wait, and reminds me DAILY that it MUST be opened.  The you add the fact that this year she is all about Santa but, sadly, has not remembered the being good part – been grounded all week for hiding clean clothes in the back of the closet and UNDER the dresser! 
Tonight is the rest of the cleaning because my LAZY/OVERWHELMED self didn’t get it done last night... instead I got sick!  I have ZERO choice to get it done tonight because I will head to work in the morning and come home WITH hubby... must be done by then.

All I want for Christmas is.... my husband home, beyond that... I got NOTHIN

Tuesday, December 20

Finger tapping...

Do you ever catch yourself checking Facebook and Twitter like an addict... then roaming ALL your daily read blogs repeatedly?  OMG - I am dying for Christmas.  Have I mentioned that I LOVE Christmas!  Our house is decorated, mostly cleaned (finishing our room and the office tonight because I got TOTALLY sidetracked by Real Housewives last night) and we are READY for Christmas.  Every day I have been checking my Secret Santa recipients blog... I am DYING to see if she likes what she got.  I really really hope so...  Her family and blog is so cute... I have been stalking her since I got her information.  haha. 

Last night I sat with Diva... we talked about life, prayed for our friends bunny and discussed family and CHRISTMAS!  She asked for 3 things AND finished with a BABY BROTHER.... yeah, kid Santa won't have that in his sleigh.  Maybe next year.  I am counting down for Hubby to be home, for this week of work to be done... AND for everyone to open their gifts.  I diligenty bought gifts this year, I always want to have the perfect gift for each person. 

Random thoughts...

Monday, December 19

Countdowns, Christmas and a grounded child....

I have said for months... a military wife’s life is according to countdowns.  We are about 4 days away from a home daddy AGAIN – YAY!

I LOVE Secret Santa... LOVE LOVE LOVE them!  On Saturday I got a VERY sweet card from mine – Thank you so much!! I also hope that my Secret Santa gift was received... I love that she sounds so much like me and enjoys it.  This weekend was full of baking, final Christmas shopping, and laundry... and cleaning and decorating.  Hubby’s father and wife are coming in on Friday for the weekend, yippee!!  With all that was done it was a perfect weekend... well ALMOST perfect, missing the Hubby.  Stinks when 10 days turns into 14... hopefully the weather will cooperate and he will be home on time. 
Hubby and I have been Facetiming lately, thank you iPhone for this WONDERFUL option, and it’s given Diva some daddy time while he is gone.  She commented the other night how much BETTER it is than Skype.  OBVIOUSLY!  Haha.  She really needs this connection time with him, explaining to her that this is a short IN COUNTRY trip not a deployment has been convoluted and a little frustrating.  Their time, just like old Skype days, gives me a few minutes to get things done.  I let them chat, usually I leave and do something else but last night I just laid in bed next to her.  BACKSTORY - Yesterday she was grounded for hiding clothes in the closet instead of putting them away.- So last night while they were chatting(not wanting to tell daddy that she got in trouble) she told him that she spent all day cleaning her room and bathroom.  HAHA.  They started talking about when he would be home, I noticed something UNDER the dresser... as I pulled out what I thought was an errant sweater I found a FULL LOAD of clothes shoved under there.  First of all... had to laugh because both Hubby and I did that as kids, then I was full of amazement that she fit THAT much under there... finally she is grounded until Thursday for it.   Got to give the kid credit though... and now I realize why it seems that I am ALWAYS doing laundry, little booger is hiding it.

1 more week until I get to put everything away, reorganize our house and get my NON HOLIDAY life back... I am sadly looking forward to normalcy. Haha.  Then trying to plan our next big trip... family trip to DC is my plan.  We have places to stay for free, just need airfare and food.... YES, I got this!

Monday, December 12

Ahh Monday... the dreaded Monday

MIGRAINE DAY 5!  Please let it go away!!!!

I have said this a million times BUT I am honest, I am raw and I write what I am thinking - good, bad or indifferent.  If you don't like ME personally then why read what I write?

After my blog post Friday -  I was texted about stating an opinion, then was accused of stirring a pot and talking sh*t... last time I checked this is an ANONYMOUS blog, I do not use anyone’s names for a reason.  I didn’t email this to anyone and ask them to read it, I don’t promote it anywhere but Twitter (@MrsSoCalUS if you want) so I cannot possibly be stirring ANY pot.  To the woman who contacted me - I appreciate it and hope that we are at a better place now.  To the person who started it all - You are the original mean girl, you have been nothing but rude and judgmental, you like to cause problems for reasons that I will never understand because I have never done anything mean or nasty to you.  I deleted you from my facebook account for a reason please STOP being that interested in my life that you need to read and repeat.  Enough Said!

After all was said and done I spoke to an old friend of mine – wise beyond words.  She has always been a good friend of mine and is a writer- an honest and open writer, for this I admire her greatly.  We talked about my predicament and why it caused me to update and rework Friday’s post.  Her advice was priceless... "be YOU and don't change!" Not everyone is going to like my posts or even read them... BUT know that I am honest, I will not apologize for it.  Don't think that will change – I write to vent, I write to help... I write because I am me and it’s the MAIN outlet I have had since I was old enough to do so.    This blog won’t change... honest to a fault!

ON TO THE Happier stuff!!

Friday night the moms and I got to surprise Diva and her Daisy Troop from last year with a visit - she LOVED it as did they.  It was so nice to see them all playing and reminiscing with the moms about life last year and the changes since Hubby was again missing.  Crazy how that works - he is gone a few weeks and mentally I revert back to deployment.  I wonder why that is so much easier.  It’s sad that the separations become easier - we talked about it last night.  When he used to leave I was all annoyed and frustrated but now... it's just business as usual!  I miss him and love him with all my heart... my best friend gone SUCKS but it is easier now.  The deployment made us stronger and made us better people with a greater appreciation for life - no matter how frustrating reintegration is, there is no doubt of our love and commitment to our family. 

The rest of the weekend was all about the garage... cleaning and organizing.  I hate cardboard boxes so they are ALL gone and everything is in Rubbermaid totes and I WILL park both cars in there before he gets home – this is my Christmas gift to myself.  Speaking of gifts – he asked me what I wanted and to make a list.  Here is the problem – I don’t want anything.  I have him and Diva both here for Christmas, we have our new home (ok I do want my custom closet)... but that’s it.  I have more than most and am thankful for it all.  What do I tell him??  The lame list: gym clothes, a necklace hanger for the bathroom... ummm.  Yeah, that’s all I got.  Haha.

What do you tell your husband when he asks for a list? HELP?!

Friday, December 9

And he leaves... again! UPDATED

UPDATE:  So my frustration this morning was taken WAY out of context by someone - I am not insinuating that anyones husband doens't like them nor that they have an unhappy marriage.  I was just venting - which is not always rational or sugarcoated.  Especially not on a few hours of sleep, a migraine, a 7 year old who has been upset since daddy left yesterday (who I am consistently reminding that daddy is still in the US)  AND still having to go to work and be productive - Yes, I am NOT perfect!  I have to realize that few people understand what it's like to be without your spouse for 15 months, don't know what it's like to listen to all the things people say about you (yes, people are two faced in this world) and forget that we each have off days.  I apologize that anyone was insulted by my rant because it wasn't meant to be hurtful towards anyone.  I am human and should not have taken my own migraine/lonely frustration out on the public - so for that I am sorry.  I have since removed the questionable wording on this post - moreso to not create any additional issues. 
I keep my blog annonyomous so that I can be frank, a little off color and allow myself to vent without publicly insulting anyone or hurting anyone.... I am not HIDING behind it because if you want to know who I am... email me and ask.  But after 15 months alone, figuring out reintegration... and everything else in my life it's nice to have an outlet. 

**Back to your regularly scheduled read!**

Hubby left for a work trip yesterday – I have spent the last week mentally preparing for him to be gone AGAIN.  I watched him pack and it just reminded me of watching his duffel get packed several times over the last 2 years – seems like we go through this a lot.  Then the trip to the airport and a crying Diva - He has been home less than 4 months and now he is in Colorado for 2 weeks.  Some days I am just over watching him leave, watching my daughter hurt... and sleeping alone.  Yet I am the one that told him he should reenlist in the Reserves – thus putting us at the risk of another deployment.  Not sure what my deal is.  Maybe if he were Active OR had a civilian job that allowed him to be home more it would make this all easier?  No clue but today it’s hard.  I even woke up this morning forgetting where he was and had a moment thinking he was deployed.  WEIRD!  I

It’s time for the MilSpouse Friday Fill-In again - thanks to Wife of A Sailor for being in charge again!
1.      My favorite song of the season is Jingle Bell Rock!  Diva and I LOVE to dance to this song... she is also stealing all things Glee Christmas from me this year as well. 
2.       Diva  is someone who inspires me because no matter what happens she tries to be the strong one, she loves everyone and knows NO strangers.
3.       If I had $100,000 to give to a charity, I’d give it to the Got Your Back Network (www.gotyourbacknetwork.org) because they assist families of the fallen.  I have been on the board and involved with them for a few years and simply LOVE what they do.
4.      . If I had a theme party, I’d make it Christmas in New York – maybe because I love NYC and I love Christmas.  Although our holiday decorations this year are closer to Christmas in Hawaii.
5. If I had one wish for my kids/future kids/some young person I care about, it would be follow their dreams and their heart!  I want her/them to live the life by enjoying it, doing things that matter the most, and remembering how precious every single day is.
This is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, Love to complete your life.
– Author Unknown

Tuesday, December 6

Secret Santa... LOVE!

I have been shopping for my Secret Santa Gift and finding it HORRIBLY hard to stay within the allotted amount... $20 doesn't get very far these days, haha.  Especially when I have something in mind that I just HAVE to get her but it's SLIGHTLY outside of the allotment.  Hmmm decisions, decisions. 

Monday, December 5

A new direction...

I love Glee and when I was starting this post and listening to Glee Christmas – the New Directions spoke to me.  Basically seems that I need to stop, and send my energy and light in a new direction.  I also realized that I can’t sing and often can’t tell the boys and girls voices apart (Kurt Hummel!)

I spent Friday night writing and editing my book... only to realize that it’s not the book I want it to be and am essentially starting over -  The book started out very raw and honest and got lost somewhere in a ball of fluff and that is NOT what I will publish!  I want to look back at my book and say YEP, that is EXACTLY what I planned it to be.
Tonight is also the premier of the Candy Queen – and our show will be airing.  TLC came in and filmed our homecoming party for this pilot show.  I am so nervous and excited to see this moment between my husband and our friends and this great surprise!
 Beyond that- life has been good, odd but good.  We have been, ok I will keep it about me and say that I have been struggling with life post deployment and where I fit.  Most days I don’t really feel that I fit anywhere.  I have given up so many things since Hubby has been home in order to just be all about family time... however it’s far from reciprocated and I need to learn to be ok with that.  I just don’t think I can – all the things that I came to LOVE about him while he was gone are things that I thought would stay when he got home... you know the little things like stopping and surprising me with freeway off ramp flowers just because OR maybe getting up with Diva JUST ONCE and letting me sleep beyond 7am on any given day.  JUST SAYIN.

We are also talking about the next addition to our family and there is a HUGE conflict inside- part of me WANTS to try ONE more cycle IUI before we move forward with the adoption but I am 95% sure it won’t work (this is based on the fact that I have a 5% chance of ACTUALY doing it.) and really don’t want to waste any more time or money.  We both hope to have another little one in our home by NEXT Christmas, we shall see. 

Happy Monday!

Friday, December 2


I have been writing my book since the day Hubby left... I was totally done, just editing OR SO I THOUGHT.  In editing I have decided to take it in a whole different direction.  Here I go again....

This is whats been keeping me super busy the last few weeks.  Hubby has been a bit rough lately, he is going through a lot and making some difficult career decisions so I am just being a SUPER supportive wife.  AHHH, the life of an Army wife.

Tuesday, November 29

Thought formulations...

WOW- taken me all this time just to formulate a coherent thought after the holiday weekend.

We had a blast hosting our first Thanksgiving (EVER and in our new home), I even got to use my Great Grandmothers China... very cool to me.  We were able to spend some good family time as well – My parents, my nieces, my Grandma, my Mother in Law, the Hubby and the Diva... PERFECTION! 

Now that its back to work, life and planning for Christmas – with 80 degree So Cal weather its SO hard to get into the Christmas Spirit.  I even avoided shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday when last year I was COMPLETELY done shopping on Black Friday.  The only real purchases I made were Christmas decorations to hopefully put me in the mood to shop AND a Canvas print of Champagne Flutes from our wedding for our kitchen/dining room.  This next month will be filled with perfecting our home, FINALLY hanging up our curtains before my inlaws arrive for Christmas, potentially deciding on a photo theme for our office and MAYBE picking colors for our room... downfall being that Hubby will be leaving for 2 weeks for his civilian job thus leaving much on my plate... sadly the deployment prepared me more for this than his coworkers could imagine.  Their wives whine when they are home late from work or have to miss a party night out... if they only understood what its like to walk in the shoes of a MilSpouse.  I would LOVE to have those concerns and irritations. 
Since this time last year my concerns have gone from keeping Diva happy during the holidays to mitigate the feelings of loss and lonliness with daddy being gone, worrying sick about Hubby yet keeping his spirits up through the holidays to somedays walking on egg shells because I feel that mostly I don’t do much right where he is concerned.  No matter how I speak, it’s often greeting with “stop being snappy” or something along those lines... its like just my voice annoys him yet I don’t feel that I am doing anything wrong or different than I did before.  He wants to act like the last year (15 months) didn’t happen... sorry but that’s not an option.  YUCK.

Oh well... back to positivity.... work.... ehh, I tried!

Wednesday, November 23

Holiday Orders!

Do you have a Santa Swap or want to give the kids in your life a unique gift?  How about the NEW MilSpouse you know - maybe she wants to represent?!

Taking orders this weekend for the Holiday Rush!

If you are interested in designing a custom Tank, T-Shirt or Hoodie OR if you like something you see and simply want it made please email me: militarywifeapparel@yahoo.com with your desired item, size (indicate child or adult) and I will invoice you.
There is a 7-10 day shipping time.

A house full

The family will be here late tonight... I am pretty stinking excited about it.  I haven’t seen my nieces in 8 months, my brother in 7 and my parents... well I saw my mom in April.  They haven’t seen our new home, or the Hubby since he’s been home.  This also marks the FIRST time I have ever hosted a holiday before... I AM TERRIFIED!!

I am thankful for so many things this year – the safety of Hubby is high on my list.  This Thanksgiving take a moment to remember all those that won’t make it to the table this year – Those still deployed, those rehabilitating in a hospital somewhere and those that paid the ultimate sacrifice.

I volunteer with an organization, The Got Your Back Network, that  works with families of the fallen.  We are preparing for our 3rd Project Gratitude event – taking 25 widows and daughters to Miss America.  If you would like to donate items for their gift bags or financially towards something for the program please let me know.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Tuesday, November 22

Inopportune Time... of course

Of course this week is Thanksgiving... then Christmas and holiday junk so all crap food for the next 45 days!  Well... NOT FOR ME!  I am trying so hard to support Suki and her goal.  I started my morning off with a protein shake (Went to Target and bought a personal blender for $15!). Pure Protein Chocolate with a banana, not too bad actually and a total of 330 Cal, 34.7b Protein and 40.9g Carbs.  I know that the protein amount should be above my carb intake but the banana killed me (27g).  Of course now I feel this HUGE lump of protein shake in my stomach, ahh that’s enjoyable.   Downfall is that I am already craving SWEETS....  I need help.  Going to try to overload with water and green see if that works –

I did download an App for my phone to help me track what I eat and drink – maybe the added accountability will help.  Good gracious, this is a lot of work and I am not a huge fan of calorie counting BUT it’s necessary to make sure I am eating the RIGHT food.

We are also talking about child number 2 – no BIG decisions made yet but Diva is ready, I am ready (I think), so now it’s just up to Hubby and his readiness.  I got a copy of our last home study in hopes that will help the process along once we take the step – I am aiming for a decision to move forward by January BUT I also know that you can’t rush these decisions... if so we would have 4 kids by now!

Monday, November 21

Creating a 27 hour day!

My girlfriend, Suki, and I were discussing getting in shape – she is competing in a pageant in a few weeks and I am piggybacking on her plan.  I DESPERATELY need to do something.  I feel YUCKY about myself.  I have gained about 7lbs since hubby came home – I am well aware of all the new wiggles, jobbles and stuff that comes with it.  My jeans are too tight, my boobs are falling OUT of my bra and I have a back bulge.  So in a few words... it’s GOT to go!
In our conversation we decided to hold each other accountable for working out and eating healthy – I need to be held accountable to someone OTHER than Hubby.  While he is supportive – he takes minimum responsibility for daily carpooling of Diva so she is primarily my time management tool.  I can NOT get off at 4pm, drive the 45 minutes (plus) to the gym, workout for an hour and make it to her school by 6pm– this is after getting up at 5:30am to just get the day started and everyone to where they need to be on time.  He wants me to do whatever it is that I want – just not always possible.  His best suggestion is to go AFTER Diva goes to bed – so 8pm he wants me to drive 15 min  to the gym, work out for an hour and then come home around 9:30 and still think I will have ANY time with him what-so ever.  Just thinking about that makes me tired – I am asleep by 10!  This momma gets tired.

He says if I want it bad enough I will do anything – so I am in the process of making it a 27 hour day!

What’s your weight loss secret?  10lbs in 6 weeks in my goal – let’s see how it goes!

Friday, November 18

Sick... 5Q Friday!

I brought NYC home with me... well at least a cold from there!  Hubby and I are both sick, FABULOUS!  He is a baby, Diva is being SUPER needy and I get to take care of both while feeling like I got run over by a Hippo!  Luckily this weekend is pretty mello.  I am judging the National American Miss Pageant on Sunday but that is about it.  I love judging!

Now for the 5Q that I have missed so much!

Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky post to appear Friday morning and LINK UP! Don't forget the very most important rule of all: HAVE FUN!!

Questions for Friday, November 18th: (Special thanks to @gasfamily, @_mycrazy4, @trooppetrie, @katieb38, and Sandy for their question suggestions! I'd love to link you in a future 5QF, so c'mon over to my BlogFrog community and offer up your best question suggestions...or watch for my weekly shout out on Thursdays and offer 'em up that way! Remember to@5crookedhalos me and use hashtag #5QF!)

1.   Do you have a go to song that always puts you in a good mood?
I LOVE Enrique Iglesias and Shakira for a good seat dancing mood!  I sit in my cubicle and dance.... well as much as I can to either!

2.   Are you a real Christmas tree kinda person or do you go with a real fake one?
It’s all about a REAL tree.  This year we are buying a tall thick tree to put in our house... new house with high ceilings makes for a BIG tree.  We can’t wait.

3.   What are you thankful for?
This list is FAR too long – short list: Thankful for my family, my freedom, my job and my life

4.   Which fashion fad from the past do you wish you could wear today?
I LOVE the 20’s fashion... women in all dresses (admittedly I would be a flapper) but very feminine

5.   Do you wait until the "low fuel" light comes on before you fill up the gas tank?
I wait until the damn thing yells at me to get gas then I drive another 5 miles looking for it to be 10cents cheaper.

Wednesday, November 16

Back from the Big Apple!

Not necessarily happily but yes, we made it home from our New York Trip.  First things first... I LOVE the East Coast!!  Hubby and I had some much needed R&R and bonding time together – I don’t know if we realized it before but boy do we now.  To reconnect post deployment, travel and just explore together was AWESOME!  He even moved into a more Metro/Preppy look which I am a BIG fan of.  Sadly we are both jumping right back into work today - both working at 7am!

I have written a lot about reintegration and how much of a pain it is – well, it’s true!!  When Hubby first got home it was one step from miserable – not because he was there but EVERYONE was on edge.  I hate feeling that walking on egg shells feeling, and I know that ALL 3 of us were feeling it.  Then he got back to work and it was there again – we never took time really for us.  So as this trip got closer we started getting a bit edgy again, maybe the anticipation of not knowing HOW it would be?  I don’t know but once we landed at JFK and started exploring a whole new place... we were just loving and in heaven together.

Day 1  we landed at 5:30AM EST and headed to the hotel to freshen up – then off to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island... the Financial District, Wall Street (yes, we saw the cesspool that the Occupy Wall Street People have created) then headed back to the room to add another layer as it was COLD and WINDY before we went to the 9/11 Memorial.   That was TRULY TRULY Amazing!! To not feel emotion is impossible – especially knowing that my husband has spent almost 3 years in countries of war due to the tragedies of that day – knowing widows who’s husbands would still be alive if it weren’t for September 11.  It was a hard place to be that night but I am so glad we visited it on Veterans Day – Oh and Joe Biden was there the same time we were!

I will add a day of our trip daily this week – but to say that we are happy to be home is an understatement.  I LOVED New York but I missed our Diva so much that I woke her up at 11 last night to kiss and hug her.... I even carried her downstairs to say HI to Daddy and show me the cake that she made us.  Although... she WILL be attending Julliard or NYU someday so MOMMY can have ANOTHER reason to be in NYC.

Wednesday, November 9

Blessings and packing

Every so often in life there are amazing blessings that present themselves.  I have been blessed to model, to travel, to be independent, to have great jobs and now to have my family.  I am amazed every day when I look back at the last 32 years of my life, I have come so far and been blessed with so much.  Last night Hubby and I were lying in bed discussing the fact that this weekend 5 years ago we were headed out on our first date and here we are heading to New York happily married parents, post deployment.  We have had so many wonderful blessings since then.  Each night we say prayers and thank God for our blessings, for each other and our future.

Last night Diva and I headed over to buy our Anaheim Ducks apparel for this season.  She has grown out of her previous sweatshirt and mommy has never bought anything because... well, it’s EXPENSIVE and my screaming, yelling and occasional expletive is pretty supportive!  However, they are going to have our family on the jumbo-tron tonight so I figure we should be representing our beloved team... besides, I am not growing anytime soon so I can wear the same thing to every game for the next 3 years!  The family that loves hockey together... is one happy bunch!

1 more day... and we are OFF!  Hubby and I packed last night – he can be such a girl!  We had a blast trying to figure out how many of our So Cal long sleeves shirts it would take to keep us warm in NYC (I am packing 4 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of shoes, 3 or 4 coats and about 20 tops!  If we had that much fun packing... lets PRAY it keeps through our trip.

Tuesday, November 8

Counting Down, My first Pinterest Trip and Thanks giving!

Let me start today – as I have the last few, with what I am thankful for

Today I am thankful for my beliefs.  No matter what they are or how they differ I am thankful that I have a firm set of beliefs that I live my life by.  My husband and I have differing political beliefs (who are I kidding, Hubby and his family have differing beliefs) however Diva will be raised to find her own beliefs on things.  Whether that be politically, religiously or anything in between... I will always urge her to follow her heart and make her own mind up.

With our NYC trip in just a few days I am trying to be smart about packing and do the following:
  1. Put together outfits to keep me warm AND look cute!  I do not have ANY interest in looking like an Eskimo for 5 days
  2. I am also trying to pack smart and light, I have 1 suitcase and that is all. 
  3. COMFORTABLE shoes~ I want flat boots so that I can be cute and NOT living in my tourist tennis shoes!
  4. Have my suitcase weigh LESS than Hubby’s... which is normal.  Trip to Hawaii left him 10+lbs OVER weight and me about the same UNDER weight.

I LOVE to travel and have been DYING to go to NYC for years – back in the day some of my friends went and worked there for a few months.  I was so jealous and wished I could have been in a position to do that however now I am going.  This is going to be a busy week RIGHT up until we leave.  Tonight Diva and I need to go get our shirts for hockey this year... her last one was 2 years ago and it BARELY fits and I have NEVER bought one even though I love both our local team and the sport.  Tomorrow night is the game... YIPPEE!  They are actually honoring Hubby and his homecoming at this game, pretty cool I think... then we both work a regular day on Thursday and fly out that night.  Leave it up to us to be SO last minute with this.

Here are some ideas I have for this weekend... we shall see
Thank you to my first Pinterest Trip for these great examples!!!

Monday, November 7

Comfort food - Thanksgiving

I don’t post on Sunday... well I normally don’t as that is OUR day.  Hubby and Diva and I made the decision that Sunday (Hubby’s schedule permitting) is our family day... we even have a family dinner inviting all local family over to our home and I cook.  Yesterday was crock pot roast, carrots and broccoli with his mom making homemade Mac and cheese!  Some SERIOUS comfort food there.  I love our Sunday’s I can’t believe we ever lived without them but Diva, my mother in law and I instituted them during the deployment as a sure fire way to connect weekly.  We also got to have a mini playdate with a friend and her beautiful daughters!  My friend is competing in a pageant this weekend and wanted to talk clothes... I hope she takes home the crown!

Today I am thankful for my pageant family!  This past year I have held a title that came with 7 sister titleholders; 2 7 year olds, 2 teenagers, 2 20-somethings and another mom.  I am thankful for each of them.  I learned so much and will never forget the amazing memories that came with this year.  I am sad to see it over this weekend!  These ladies and (the Little Miss’ moms) taught me about family in a different way, taught me about acceptance and understanding.  They were all there for me every day, every month and every appearance with smiles, hugs and embraced Diva and I with our deployment.  I can’t express to them how much they each mean to me – they are an extension of my family and my life.

Saturday, November 5

Today I am thankful for...

First I must say... we will be in New York walking around the FREEZING COLD city this time next weekend. I am going to start packing tomorrow so that there is no last minute rush!  Hopefully we don't get on each others nerves during our trip like we have a bit lately.  I think there is too much in our brains and we really need to get away to recenter on what is truly important, US.
Today I am hosting a baby shower.  I am so excited to be a part of this day but it does make me think about Diva... I really hope that the next child we have gets one of these handy little parties.  When I adopted Diva there was no party, when her adoption was final there was no party (well except the luncheon we had after court).  I would have loved to get some clothes, or toys... something to help off set the amount of money a child costs.  Going to be a really fun day though!

Well- today I am thankful for...
My family!

Yes, they are frustrating and we argue but I love them all. Between a brother, sisters, nieces and nephews (there are 8 of them) as well as my parents and Grandparents... Aunts and Uncles. Oh yes there are a lot of us. I am thankful for them. We may not see eachother often but they are still my family... the FUN in dysFUNctional!

I am thankful that my Grandmother is only 35 minutes from me, that she and I have the closeness that we do and I am thankful that Diva gets the opportunity to know her Great Grandma as I never did.

Never take your family for granted because one day... they won't be there anymore.

Thursday, November 3

Thankful Thursday - Link Up

I am really loving the fact that I start each morning off once I get to work thinking about something that I am thankful for especially this morning when it didn't start out so well with Diva.  I don't like fussing with her on our way to school... starts both our days off rotten!

Today I am thankful for my friends!

My life has been a series of interesting roller coasters – a lot of downs with each up.  I have friends that have stood beside me through High School, an abusive marriage, divorce, miscarriage, infertility and deployment.  Friends that I have been able to call at a moments notice when things go upside down and know that they would be there in a heartbeat.  Friends that I would drop everything for, even if they never ask... I will send you a party hat for their pity parties and celebrate on the phone; I will participate in life even when I don’t agree with their decisions all because I know that they would for me.  Whether its secret belly button piercing, concerts, boys, shared mommy dates, or sharing life I am thankful for each person that I call a friend.  I look forward to a lifetime more memories with you all! 

Wednesday, November 2

Giving thanks Day 2 - Please link

I am a very thankful person and as irritating and annoying as some people are in my life I try to remember to tell them.  Today is my 2nd day of Thanksgiving...

I am thankful for Diva. 

I met Diva was she was an 8 month old chubby faced baby – I fell in love that day.  Every time I saw her I fell more and more in love – every kiss and hug and giggle.  I wanted her to be mine, not the neighbors.   Just one year later I was in a Social Workers voicemail asking what I needed to do to adopt her, I was single and 26 while she was now in foster care and 20 months.  Just 10 months later she was sitting in my arms on our couch babbling about nothing and giggling.
Life throws curves and things change but my love for her and my effort to get her never faltered.  She saved me from myself and I love the settled down me.  The person that gets to snuggle and cuddle, watch Phineus and Ferb and bake cupcakes.  She is my Diva... and I love every sassy bit of her.
embracing my LOVE of Starbucks!

Lets link and share what we are each thankful for... a little more positivity in the world!

Tuesday, November 1

30 Days of Thankgiving

Every day this month I will list something that I am thankful for - Serious or silly there are so many things in life that I could not be happier and more appreciative of. 

I am thankful for the safe return of my husband. Being apart for 15 months and listening to him talk about running missions, IEDs and just being generally lonely was so hard.  He has been my best friend since the day we met - The one that I turn to when all is breaking loose around me and I don't know what I would have done had I lost him.  This will be a Thanksgiving to thank my lucky stars.

Boredom and Worms~

Do you have write your post and re-read and realize you just bored yourself?!  I just did that and started over. 

Hubby and I are headed on our post deployment adult trip to NYC.  This trip was booked about 6 months ago and we cant wait.  I am a little nervous because he and I travel differently (He has ALWAYS traveled Military and it’s a little different) plus he seems increasingly annoyed with my existence lately.  I am sure that it’s just getting back to work and life but he seems pretty annoyed with me most days.  Although yesterday started out pretty rough we ended up having a wonderful day together and had quite a bit of fun.  He says that it’s not annoyance but I know those faces... and that is most certainly what it is.  Now, to figure out why. 
I am not sure if there is a standard ‘Get it together’ post deployment date but we are working on 3 months and I am still giving him every excuse possible to be a pain in the ass.   I keep saying “Oh he is still getting used it”.  I don’t know if even I believe it or if I have made his life so damn easy he is just taking advantage of it.  I still don’t rely on him for much, maybe I should but in some respects I feel like I can’t.  Diva still looks to me for most things and apparently we share a secret language that he hasn’t cracked yet... I have no clue but we just get each other with limited words and I won’t feel guilty about it.  I am sure that my lack of relying on him isn’t helping but I REFUSE to let her suffer for his shortcomings right now.  I think there are still days he wishes he were back in country with his only responsibility being him and his Soldiers and not daily ever changing home life... hopefully SOON he will figure it out.

This year was the first time I have gotten to be part of her school... our old school liked your money but not really participation.  I volunteered to make the cupcakes (school I made dirt/worm cupcakes)  for Diva’s Halloween Party at school (and volunteer in the class for the games and my relay team beat the other teams (one of them being Hubby’s/Diva’s team, gloating a bit!), in addition we went Trick or Treating with some neighbors who are also in Diva’s school (double good mommy points this week!).  Last night I dress her up as a Vampiress (is that a word?!) for Trick or Treating... and again impressed myself with the makeup.  I got this mommy stuff down~ 

Hopefully Tuesday will be a good day... then I can blissfully head into Wednesday with smiles!

Friday, October 28

When to hang up? Friday Fill in

Have you ever tried to call into a radio station to win something?  This week I have tried to win tickets to a private Martina McBride event (Hubby LOVES her), Stagecoach tickets for my girlfriend and I to go (they are $150 each) and entrance to a Pick A Purse party... to no avail.  Here is the problem I have... how long do you try to get through?  Do you just keep calling until they announce the winner or do you give up early?  Once station was caller 25 so I called 45 times and then was done, another station is caller 102 – that one I try a bit longer but figure if they have 9 incoming lines they probably get their ‘caller’ in about 4 minutes TOPS.  I have NEVER won anything and it’s a real bummer.  SOMEDAY!
I feel like that’s been my week... calling with a busy signal.

This week needs to come to an end... thank goodness~ This weekend is going to be good, busy and hopefully I get a lot accomplished.  Head over to Wifey's blog to link up your blog and to sign up for the MilSpouse Secret Santa!

1. The best part of October was spending time with Hubby and enjoy life as a total family.

2. The worst part of October was the weather being all over the place and not getting back to the gym.

3. For Halloween, I'll be Trick or Treating with the Vampiress (AKA Diva) in our NEW neighborhood with some of our neighbors!  We have NEVER gone in our own area so I am pretty stinkin excited.

4. I hope that in November I get my chubby butt back to the gym (I think I may have seen some rear cottage cheese last night!)

Thursday, October 27

Extreme Couponing Craziness!

Last night Hubby had to work SO what did this momma do... CLEANED AND ORGANIZED my closet and bedroom.  I put together my summer clothes box for the garage, then got my bag to donate (not looking back) and finally got it all organized to be found more easily.  When I was all done I took a few moments to dream and map out my closet as I see it, EVENTUALLY.  We can do basically all of it ourselves, I just want the center built in piece and have to figure out what to do with my shoes.  DREAM BIG

By the time I was done Hubby was almost off work so I took to my FAVORITE couch spot with a cup of coffee and got totally enthralled with Extreme Couponing... have you seen this show?!  These people save THOUSANDS of dollars using coupons!  I am OVER the moon if I save $30 I in a $250 trip.  So in all my 2 hours of watching last night I learned a few things:
  1. IF you are going to cut coupons be organized!  This is my biggest problem but I did see a few cool ideas last night to keep me organized for a trip to the grocery store.
  2. You can use more than 1 of the same coupon on several items of the same thing
  3. You need an ENTIRE garage of crap you will never use in order to save a ton of money (Who really needs 274 packs of gum or 400+ rolls of toilet paper just because it was free!)
  4. Saving this kind of money is not easy OR time efficient.  This one lady saved almost $1100 BUT it was in 21 transactions AND a 6 hour shopping trip.  
  5. My time is WAY too valuable sitting on the couch than 6 hours at Albertsons!

When I was done watching the Vegan lady I decided that I needed to organize my pantry.  I thought we had WAY more than we do but now that I can see what we have I can start clipping my coupons and maybe... save $50!!  Now I feel the need to go coupon crazy and see just what I can do.  Crazy couponing people~