Lets LINK and show what we are thankful for!

Monday, April 30

San Diego Event to Benefit Families of the Fallen

Forth Annual Martinis and Makeovers is being held on Thursday, May 3 from 6:00pm – 9:00pm at the Cuvier Club in La Jolla. You are invited. Your friends are invited. The more the merrier! This is a wonderful evening to relax, have fun and honor the surviving spouses of many of our fallen heroes.  The night will be filled with pampering, appetizers provided by Crisp! Catering, music, a silent auction, wine provided by Barefoot Wine, and of course some special signature Martinis sponsored by Patrons Ultimat Vodka.

About Got Your Back Network

Got Your Back Network, founded by Dr. Andy Baldwin (Navy doctor and former star of The Bachelor), provides support to widows and children of fallen heroes through special events (like Martinis and Makeovers) and qualified organizations. They organize mentorship activities for kids. The ultimate goal is to meet the specific dreams of each child that has sacrificed a parent for our country.

How You Can Help

  • Spread the word about this important event. Twitter and Facebook mentions are appreciated!
  • Attend, if you can.
  • Donate to Got Your Back Network.
Please RSVP to Shana@GotYourBackNetwork.org - If you are a surviving spouse please indicate in email.

Wednesday, February 15

Scrapbooking Giveaway!

Today I was contacted to host my first giveaway!!  I am so excited to share this all with you over the next day or so.... Please be patient but be as excited as I am!! 
I need to come up with a good idea and way to do it so check back tomorrow for all of the information.... YEAH!!!

Tuesday, February 14

5 Years- Happy Hallmart Holiday!

Happy Hallmark Holiday although today is a day of celebration for us - 5 years ago the hubby got down on one knee, told me that I was amazing, unbelievably hot and sexy... one of a kind.... the type of woman he could only dream would ever be his wife and then asked me to be his wife (or something along those lines as I was too in shock to really listen.)  The day was a Wednesday (I think accounting for a leap year), I went to work my normal bah humbug HATING V-Day self knowing that the Hubby and I were going out to dinner that night and leaving the Diva with Grammie (yep, out little 2 year old!).  I spent the day thinking about our upcoming trip to Sedona (seeing my family and having a bit of romance) and hoping that he would propose there.  I got off dinner, threw on this pretty black lace dress and off we went.  After dinner he called his mom and told her we weren’t even sat yet so we would be late (thought it was odd, hoped we were headed to the beach), then a quick stop by the house and off we went.  He asked me if I wouldn’t mind stopping and taking pictures at the restaurant we shared our first date at... weird and slightly annoyed (it was cold!) I said ok.  After a few moments of talking and a few self shot pictures... a quick hug and I love you (my code for LETS GO!) he dropped to one knee and asked.  I was SHOCKED – for months I had been saying how LAME a V-Day proposal was he chose THAT night because I wouldn’t expect it or even anticipate it BOY was he right.

Here we are 5 years later and I still feel pretty VDay bah humbug- I woke up this morning... TUESDAY, took a shower and got ready for work, ensuring that Diva was ready as well... then headed to work.  It’s just a day, sorry but I am not the biggest Valentine’s Day proponent... I don’t get gaga over flowers and chocolate.  Nope, not bitter or anything like that just honest.  I love taking care of those I love all year, buying/sending random gifts.... same thing with Diva and the Hubby.  I don’t need a holiday created by Hallmark for the purpose of selling cards just to show them both how much I love them. 
With that being said – Diva came up to me this morning with huge Alligator tears.  I asked her what was wrong and she was so upset that daddy hadn’t taken her to get mommy a Valentine’s Day gift... broke my heart.  I explained to her that my Valentines was complete because I have them both... hugs and kisses from my loves is what matters to me.  NOTHING matters more to me.  That seemed to make her happy... especially when she got down stairs and saw that Daddy got her a card and chocolate (thank goodness because I haven’t had the time- picking up his card this afternoon). 

Anyhow... whether your Hubby is home or away or if it’s just your Singles Awareness Day enjoy it how YOU see fit.  This momma is having dinner at home with her family... it’s a school night after all!

Monday, February 13


As I sit here tonight in the quiet and am able to think I decided to look back at the past year.  I have been reading old posts about deployment, posts about our life.... post about the realities of our life while he was gone.  So much of it makes me cry.  Makes me sit and think about how much he missed and how much they missed of eachother - how much he and I missed together... how hard it has been to get it all back together. 
Over the weekend I sat and thought, talked and thought some more.  I realize that I don't ever finish anything.  I have so many balls in the air, I start so many AMAZING things with great ideas and intentions.... but I am far to scared to finish them.  What if I fail, what if I get laughed at.... yes the same fears as my  year old Diva... the same exact fears.  I wish I could get her to see that

I am scared that I will fail, I have failed at so many things in life (yes in my eyes) already.  What if I finish my book and it's horrible, or I finish my fundraising idea ad it doesn't make any money.... or .... yes, the list is long and often rediculous.  This year my vow is to finish at least 2 things that I have started... finish them PUBLISH and all.

Do you ever feel that you have to much going on that you can't finish?

Wednesday, February 8

The paper... ahh the punishment paper

She did it... Diva wrote her paper about WHY LYING IS BAD – twice.  Yep, twice... her first draft just repeated that lying is bad because you’ll get in trouble and you “will get grounded for like 1 day!” YEP that was on there.  Her printing was FABULOUS, her thought process was correct... LIE and you WILL get in TROUBLE however she missed the whole WHY you don’t lie part.  So we sat her down to actually follow directions and write what she was supposed to.  Well - she added to the above, you will hurt peoples feelings, it isn't nice and mommy and daddy will get mad.  Again... all true!    Hopefully that will make her think twice before she makes that decision again – next time may be resorted to a basic training type punishment.  Hmm... who knows.  How do you punish your children?
While she was writing so was I, trying to get caught up on work that I don’t get ‘paid’ for monetarily. Someday I hope, so if you know any publishers let me know.  Until then I love writing all that I can – I spent 3 or 4 hours last night researching information about a topic that floored me then I wrote an article about it, recognized by a great assisting organization... hopefully that goes somewhere.  By that point Hubby was home, making dinner.... then he was off to buy some RANDOM thing for our TV.  Love that man but I swear some days I just don’t get it.

Things are getting better with regards to post deployment... at least I think so.  Some days are better than others, some days I still feel like a stranger and others like we were never apart.  Not sure where or why the switch is there, if only I could figure that out.  Haha.  1 day at a time...

Tuesday, February 7

The missing 7th box!

WOW- 2 days in a row.... maybe I am on to something here.  I have been super busy writing as the LA/OC Military Family Examiner and I recently volunteered on a trip with families of the fallen to Miss America in Las Vegas so I have been busy and not simply ignoring my beloved blog.  I swear LIFE happens and the world gets away for me for just 1 day... and it turns into LOTS of days. 

AS I have said before, I am a Girl Scout mom... Diva is a Brownie this year and I am a co-leader AND the cookie mom.  We have officially started selling Girl Scout cookies, truthfully my LEAST favorite part of Girl Scouts, and Diva sold some at school to her teachers.  Yesterday I sent 7 boxes to school, with the list of teachers names/boxes and the amount each owed.  OK, so questionable parent moment BUT you have to start teaching them responsibility some time, right and at WORST this would be a $30 mistake and best case... my little Diva would show me that she has learned about responsibility and come home with $28 and no cookies and allow me a little bit of gloating at how AMAZING my daughter is.

NO SUCH LUCK!  She came home with $13, 2 full boxes of cookies... and one almost totally eaten.  UMM>>>> WTH happened!  This is the reasoning afforded by my beautiful baby –
Diva- Well mom, Mr. Janitor wasn’t there today so I couldn’t give him his 4 boxes of cookies, then I threw the list away... and the one box is a Thanks A Lot so I opened it and gave it to the teachers to thank them... then the other three the teachers that ordered got... well except one because I think that the name was wrong and well... I don’t remember.
Me- What happened to the 7th box?  I gave you 7 and you gave me money for 3.
Diva- Umm, ooh.. yeah I don’t know.  I forgot.

3 hours of this – then she finally admitted that they opened the other box and ate it at lunch, sharing with her friends OF COURSE.  Now for the punishment.  Yes, I punish my child. 
Lack of responsibility – I now have a guinea pig and a fish as my responsibility until she can PROVE that she can handle this magnitude of keeping another breathing thing alive.  Sadly, this has never been an issue and she loves and cares for both Jack and Purple 2 better than most adults care for their children.
LYING about the location of the 7th box – a FULL paper front and back about WHY lying is bad.  Much different than Soldier hubby mentality, his offerings initially were: Running, flutter kicks, push ups... basically anything you can do to a soldier.  Then HE came up with the essay.  Let’s hope it works.

1 forward... 2 back.  Haha. 

Monday, February 6

... and I'm back recharged and ready

After taking almost an entire month off of my blog, I am back! 
I needed time to find direction, time to sort out the new normal of home (husband) and work (his) balance... and well just breathe!  It’s been a stressful few months of work for Hubby, changes and direction as always, and a few big changes for me at work increased responsibility.  He is back to his monthly drill which was quite a change for Diva – she FREAKED out that he was headed back to Iraq or that he would be gone for weeks versus days... so all 3 of us packed up and headed to drill together.  This gave me a chance to see my Deployment Battle Buddy (and her amazing sons!), Diva a chance to hang out with her future husband (Battle Buddy’s son) and it was her opportunity to understand that daddy is just back to the one weekend a month routine... one she hardly remembers at this point. 
Then as we prepare for our 2nd drill, Valentine’s Day AND a work trip for Hubby... Diva is starting to comment on him being gone a lot again, even though this is NOTHING compared to the past I have to remember that she is only 7.  At 7 children should not understand a parent leaving often... but so goes life I suppose.  It’s my job to make it as easy for her as possible, as much of a non event as I can regardless.  That’s not always easy but it’s always a responsibility. 
So we do our family best to make memories and spend time together doing random things we have never done before... this past weekend we went to The Grove in LA to let her pick out her Santa gift, an American Girl Doll.  We went for the experience and met up with some friends... what an awesome time together.  She picked out her doll, that looks just like her, then we went to lunch and just enjoyed family time.  I LOVE days and evenings like that.  I couldn’t imagine a better day with the two of them... I really really couldn’t.
Sorry... for the randomness but I am back.  Random musings and all!

Monday, January 9

OC Military Family Examiner!

I was honored recently to start writing for the Examiner.com as their Orange County Military Family Examiner!!  I LOVE to write and this is such an amazing outlet for me to promote military families and all that is important to us.  Please take a moment to subscribe to my articles and let me know what you want to hear about!

I wrestled with writing as it’s been tough some days to keep up with my blog BUT I thought about all the fun free offers I see for military, the organizations that help families out that many of us don’t know about, homecomings that (sometimes bitter sweet) we love to see and thought, WHY NOT.  Why not help out other families that may or may not know all that is out there for us, good bad or indifferent.  I know that when Hubby was gone it would have been nice to be able to know about some things that Diva and I could do that was free or less expensive because of his service or read articles on the changes that Tricare CONSTANTLY makes without telling us (dealing with that fun right  now!).

My first 2 articles have been about families of our fallen and an organization that I am part of – we are taking 9 families to Miss America this week for a Princess filled weekend in Las Vegas.    I will be writing daily during the trip thanking sponsors and just chronicling the trip, next week I will be talking Tricare and any current event that comes up.  I want this to be about us all... MilSpouses and MilFamilies.

OC Military Families Examiner

Thursday, January 5

Jack... JUST Jack

Everytime I say his name I have my jazz hands out and reminisc of Will and Grace....

Diva’s little buddy Jack... ahh the Guinea Pig.  Let me tell you that he is sweet and cute but a warranted purchase as she made an agreement with her daddy that IF she could keep the beta alive his ENTIRE deployment we would talk hamster upon homecoming.  Well – that stupid fish lived until 2 weeks AFTER he came home, so she earned her hamster.  Although I will admit that a few drops of bleach were thought of throughout the year to avoid this discussion.  I NEVER thought that a hamster was a good idea because mommy realized that hamster + cat = a MESS!  We currently have a dog and a cat... and a fish.  So we talked, debated and talked... then consulted her and the Petco people and decided on the guinea pig.  She is a GREAT and responsible guinea pig mommy.  Loves that thing to death... I am glad because I am NOT cleaning it’s nasty cage.  Its a great thing to teach her responsibility and its all about growing up - she is almost 8 years old.  By this point I had an 8 year old Collie that I walked, brushed and took care of.

Yesterday it needed a new water bottle (the one that came with his cage is a piece of crap- sad but true) and he needed vitamin C to keep him healthy, yes really!  So at this point we have spent far more than I planned on for this little love of hers BUT she kept her end so I guess it’s our turn. 

So far for Jack we have had to purchase...

His first home...

Daddy's first toy for Jack

must have good bedding

and hay... need to the fiber

don't forget his vitamins

and a worthwhile water bottle that SHE can change on her own

But to see this every night... it's totally worth every penny.

Wednesday, January 4

Aww... it's 2012

I woke up this morning realizing that I have been to my special blog in quite a few days... sorry!   Its just been crazy lately... family, work... NEW GUINEA PIG for Diva... school, trip coming up to Vegas with my FAVORITE charity.  Oh yeah, it’s been a little nuts.  Oh and Diva and I get to go to the Miss Ca USA pageant this weekend with some GREAT friends to support my sister titleholders from last year (Miss Greater Long Beach and Miss Mission Viejo!)  I am so excited...sharing my 2nd favorite pastime (HOCKEY is my first) with my Diva. 

I have spent so much time lately thinking about 2011 and all that came with it – new friends, loss of friends, deployments, homecoming, trips to new cities, sickness and new babies.  What a year it was, I must admit that I am glad it’s behind us.  I am thankful to each person in each memory last year, you have taught me much more than you can ever imagine.  I don’t know where I would be in my life if it wasn’t for the memories I have been able to create each year with some of the most remarkable people.  I want to be the old lady in a rocking chair talking to her grandkids about “the olden days” and all the fun we had.  I remember how many NYE I spent being thankful for my HT friends, for my job... for my own place, for my life.  Then my first year of being thankful for my daughter (that would be the year that I passed out on the couch with a migraine watching Anastasia with her in my arms while Hubby was on the computer).  Watching Diva and how much she has grown in the past year is just amazing to me- she continues to be the light of my life (hence the tailless rat AKA guinea pig).   This year she was passed out in my lap while I watched Dick Clark commenting on how blessed we truly were. 

Last year on NYE I got an email from Hubby, just starting his day in Iraq – this year I got a kiss.  Last year I was praying for the new year to be over as quickly as it began – this year I pray it slows down so I can enjoy it.  What a difference a year makes – this year the plans are to just BE.  Be Princess, Be family, Be relaxed... BE US!

Oh and I will be having a date night this weekend with Hubby that will include a FABULOUS RomCom and a date night bundle from my amazing secret santa – so no I haven’t forgotten to write it (the amazing glowing wonderous write up is saved and will be published very shortly!)

I wish each reader, friend (new, old, current or lost), loved one and person I have come across in the last year a very Happy New Year, blessings of a wonderful 2012!  To all of my friends/readers that are expecting this year, blessings to your new baby... kisses and hugs as the day is long.