Friday, January 11, 2013

3x5 Folded Card

Painted Colors Boy Thank You Card
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Monday, August 2, 2010

Big Changes Ahead...

Kevin and I have officially made a HUGE decision...

After 8 years in the Marine Corps, we are gonna make a switch and join the Air Force. It's an idea that's been stewing in our heads for a long time now, and we've weighed the pros and cons very carefully. We've bounced back and forth between staying in the Marines or joining another branch a billion times. But it basically comes down to one thing – living near family. We are very close to my family and I miss them more than words can say. We are trying to have children now, and I can't imagine raising a child away from my mom, dad, and sister.

I understand a lot of people are just fine raising their own families away from their immediate family, especially military. But if there is a way for us to remain in the military (because Kevin loves it) AND live near family, then we need to do all we can do to make that happen. Unfortunately, there are very few Marine bases and I have zero family near any of them. The Air Force on the other hand, has a lot of options that would put us near family. Hill AFB in UT and McChord AFB in WA are two of them. Ty and Emily and their happy little bunch live in WA, and I have a feeling my parents will end up moving there when they retire, so we're hoping for McChord. Plus, I think I was born to live in the Pacific Northwest. I've never actually been there, but I've seen videos and pictures and I think it'll be the perfect place for me.

Another big reason that swayed us was the fact that we will more than likely never be able to afford a house in Southern California. We've worked hard to get ourselves prepared for the big purchase of a home, but even being 100% debt free will not help us afford the cost of a home in Southern California on just Kevin's income. And me working once we have kids is not an option, it's most important to us both that I stay home to raise our future kiddos. McChord WA, on the other hand...I think we can definitely afford a home there!

I am going to miss the Marines though. I feel so torn. Part of me is excited and hopeful about the possibility of living near family, but the other part of me feels like I'm losing another family – the Marines. I'm not even the Marine! I'm just the spouse, but I feel so sad that we'll be leaving the Marine Corps. I am really REALLY going to miss it. I can only hope the Air Force will be just as great as the Marine Corps has been.

I am also going to miss Southern California! Holy crap, I love it here. It's gonna be a big adjustment for me to make a new place my home. A few things I'm going to miss....

Nothing like a sunny day in Southern California...

The Happiest Place on Earth...

San Diego...

The Oceanside Pier...

The Camp Pendleton Animal Shelter and all the amazing staff. This is a picture of Vanilla, the prettiest little cat currently calling the shelter home.

The gym on Camp Pendleton and all of my workout buddies that keep me motivated...

The beach at Del Mar on board Camp Pendleton. It's military-only and never crowded...

Did I mention Disneyland?

And most of all...

...the Marines.

And I gotta say, I'm so proud of Kevin. I know it's not an easy decision for him to leave the Corps. But as always, he will do anything, and sacrifice everything just to take care of us and our future family. I know we will make it through this gigantic change together. We'll come out on the other side with everything we've ever wanted, but couldn't quite get a hold of in the Marine Corps.

Sorry for the length of this blog, but it's kind of a therapeutic venting for me. It feels good to get it out there.

Friday, June 18, 2010

We have a local website called where military can purchase and sale their belongings. I was browsing one day and found a really cute side table for $15. The seller had started to refinish it, but I guess gave up and just wanted to get rid of it.

I wish I had taken a before picture because it was hilarious. I should have told the lady that she should pay me $15 to take it off her hands, because she left it a mess! Haha. She had put stripping gel all over it, and then I guess halfway through, decided she didn't want to finish it. So it had dried out stripping gel aaaaall over it! It really didn't even need to be stripped. Some light sanding and a few coats of paint would have been just fine.

Anyway, as I got to work removing the dried stripping gel with some fresh stripping gel, I began to wonder "What have you gotten yourself into?"

I'm not one to quit something that I start so for the next few days, I worked hard to get the table to the point where I could paint it. My favorite part of refinishing furniture is the trip to Home Depot to pick out the paint.

...and voila! The finished product...

I'm so glad I stuck through it. It's the cutest little table, and for only $15! That's a steal. And old furniture seems to be so much better in quality than the furniture they make now-a-days. This table should last forever!

I highly recommend browsing yard sales, and consignment shops anytime you might be looking for some new furniture. It's well worth the effort.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Our lovely new neighbors...

I often find myself not thinking very highly of humans, in general. There are several reasons I tend to think this way, but I will not go into detail because it strays from the point of this blog, which is this....

Every once in awhile, people come along and do some really nice things that renew my trust in humankind.

Kevin and I recently had some new neighbors move in below us. Being cat lovers ourselves, we've often noticed the two adorable cats that are always peeking out of their window. I've noticed they both wore tags with a microchip tag, AND a nametag. This indicates to me a very a caring, concerned owner that wants to make sure their cats are safe.

So one day, we were coming home and we noticed one of the cats on their patio. We had never seen their cats outside before, and their owners were nowhere in sight. We figured this cat had escaped somehow. We knocked on the door. No answer.
We called the phone number on the cat's tag. No answer.

After a little investigation around their apartment we found how it escaped! One of their windows was cracked open and the screen was torn at the bottom. This surely must have been how the cat got outside. So we decided we'd lift the screen, pop the cat back in their apartment, and shut the window. There's a lot of danger outside for a cat - cars, coyotes, getting lost, or even stolen! I'd personally have a heart attack if I knew my little Pumpkin was outside all by herself.

So we called them back and left a message telling them not to worry. Their cat was safe inside their apartment. We hoped we weren't overstepping our bounds, but we didn't want to take the chance that they could lose their cat. So about an hour later, our neighbor called and was very thankful. Phew! I was a little relieved that he wasn't annoyed or angry at us. Who knows? Maybe they had put their cat outside for a reason.

So the next evening, Kevin and I were home. There was a knock on our door, but we weren't able to answer it at that moment. They knocked twice so I figured it was someone that actually wanted something. So a few minutes later, I checked the door to see if they had a left a note or something. Surprise! An envelope was hanging on our door that said "To our neighbors"

I opened it up, and found that our neighbors had left us a Best Buy giftcard and a little note saying "Thank you for getting our cat back into our home." So thoughtful and adorable!! I ran down there and knocked on their door to thank them. They are the cutest couple ever. Early 20s, I'd guess.

And very thankful for rescuing their cute little cat.
Well THANK YOU for making my world a little brighter with your nice gesture.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Anza-Borrego Desert

We made a trip out to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in hopes of catching some wildflower blooms. There's something wonderful about finding flowers in the middle of a desert. I've noticed a lot of people tend to think deserts are empty, desolate, wastelands...if you happen to be one of these people, then you need to go spend a few hours romping around a desert. You will definitely feel differently.

We set off with the goal to find this beauty...

It's a Desert Lily. I shouldn't say "we." Kevin made it clear beforehand that he was coming along only for the hiking and exercise, and had no interest in finding flowers. But he ended up being as enthusiastic about it as I was. He'd point out flowers as we were walking by that I didn't even notice. Then he'd pull out his I-Pod to figure out what flower it was (we downloaded a cool program that has pictures and names of the desert flowers we might see).

When I stumbled across my first Lily, it was like finding a diamond in the rough. They're very camouflaged, small, and they can be hard to see.

The giant cactus in the picture above is called a Barrel Cactus. They are so awesome to stand next to. Most of the Barrel Cactus we saw had pretty yellow flowers blooming at their tops.

The plant in the picture above is called an Ocotillo. You can't tell from the picture, but it has these insanely sharp, vicious-looking spines. It gave me chills just to stand next to it. It's also probably the reason for the grimace on Kevin's face in the picture. Haha.

So after a little more hill-climbing...

spider-searching, flower identifying, and sunshine-enjoying...
we called it a day. I already can't wait until our next trip!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

She's My Angel Forever...

I'm extremely saddened by the loss of Chelsea King. For some reason, this case has affected me more than any other before. I think about it several times a day, and it brings me to tears every time. It was a wakeup call for me. I didn't know Chelsea King personally, but I do know this...the world just grew a little darker.

Parents...please do what you can to protect your daughters. They need our help to keep them safe from the monsters in this world that are more than willing to take their lives.

Teach them to be safe and aware. Lead by example.

R.I.P. Chelsea King.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Things I love about today...

The text message, out of nowhere, from my husband
"<3 U 4eva" (or 'heart you forever' for those not familiar with 'text-speak')

Having turned that red knob on my bike to the right EVERY time my instructor yelled to do so, even though every part of me screamed "DON'T DO IT!" (turning to the right adds resistance)

Noticing a cute, tiny lizard scurry into the bushes in front of me. I had never seen a lizard quite that small, and wondered if it was a baby. After a little research I found out that these particular lizards lay eggs that hatch in September, so it must have been!

Finding Disc 4 of 5 of the "True Blood" Season 1 at my local Blockbuster. Sookie, Bill, and the colorful world of vampires and mind-readers inhabiting the small town of Bon Temps, Louisiana - here I come!

What did YOU love about today?