Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

DoD photo by William D. Moss

In Flanders Fields
John McCrae, 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Freedom isn't free.
Thank you to our brave military.
God Bless You.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Semper Five

Today, Tim and I celebrate our fifth anniversary. Five years of being a Marine Corps wife. I couldn't be happier about where we are now...three moves, three states, two dogs, three kids (with three different birth certificates!), two deployments, three houses, and A LOT of redecorating in five years.

I always love telling the story of how we got together to people so I'm going to share it here as well...

It was August 2004 and I had just graduated from Liberty University in May. If you know nothing of Liberty, it's the type of school that REALLY encouraged the students to find their spouses there. If you didn't graduate with an engagement ring, you were a loser. Well, I didn't date anyone the entire five years I was there. Lots of first dates and that's about it. Now, I'm not knocking the guys that went there, i just never found 'the one.' I like to think of those five years of being single as a time of growth and preparation for life as a Marine wife...I learned to be extremely independent and it was good preparation for deployments. See, God DOES know what He's doing.

After working at a physical therapy clinic for the summer I had decided to go home to Manassas to live with my parents and get a temp. job until I figured out what I wanted to do next. My big plan had included going back to school for PT and then taking it from there. But this outgoing, handsome Marine swooped in and changed all my plans (for the better, of course!).

No, it wasn't quite that glamorous.

My temp. job ended up being a server at a restaurant, which is where Tim also worked, although I didn't meet him until a few weeks after I started working there. He was at WVU to finish his last semester and came home to work on the weekends. He came into the restaurant one night, probably to get his schedule, and I immediately noticed him and made a mental note about how good-looking her was. Outgoing, dark, beautiful brown eyes, chiseled jaw (I have a thing for strong chins) and an easy smile.

I don't remember exactly when we officially met but the longer I knew him and the more I learned about him, the more I looked forward to when he would be working. I remember him asking me out a couple times but I turned him down because I never thought he was serious. I thought he would be just like every other guy I knew...they'd be interested for about a week and then, never mind, you're too opinionated and independent. Ok, sorry I have a mind of my own and am not clingy.

Apparently, that's one of the reasons why he was SO persistent...after turning him down a few times, I guess he got fed up and decided to insult me. I was cleaning up my tables after my shift and as I was walking by him, he says 'Hey Amanda, when are you going to get that stick out of your ass and go out with me?' For real. No joke.

And my logical brain thinks, if he's got guts enough to insult me in order to get a date, why not? Who knows what I was thinking, but I said, 'Okay, sure.' And to quote the cliche...the rest is history.

He had me at 'stick up your ass!'

Less than a year and a half later, we were married. Who knew?
The really funny part in all this is that I was always so adamant about NOT marrying anyone in the military. I didn't want the lifestyle. Turns out, I have the personality for it. I love what we've gotten to experience by living in so many places and the great part is, we are nowhere near being done. We have many more years to come and who knows what life will bring. I know one thing for sure, it will never be boring.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Canary Hotel

Santa Barbara. Without. The. Kids.

Need I say more? Yes? Ok.

Our weekend in Santa Barbara was fantastic. Our actual anniversary isn't until the 27th but my mom and sister came out the week before to watch the kids so me and Tim could get away by ourselves. I'd say after the year we've had, we need it! This past deployment was much harder than the first one. I thought it would be easier since I knew what to expect. Wrong! And don't even get me started on the next one (which is slowly creeping up on us).

Needless to say, we totally enjoyed ourselves and lived like we had no kids. I won't go into detail, but there was much alcohol and (married) debauchery involved. Heehee.

Some wonderful relatives of ours, Bobbi and MaryEllen, had offered to use their timeshare to pay for our accommodations while we were there and we ended up staying at the Canary Hotel, which is a block away from State St. where all the action is. I had seen pictures of the rooms and decor and was probably looking forward to seeing the hotel the most. It's decorated with a Moroccan/Medditeranean feel...totally up my alley.

For starters, can we just talk about the bed...

I'm usually not a huge fan of canopy beds but this one was gorgeous! And super comfy. If I ever see one like it while out thrifting or at a yard sale, I might not be able to resist.
The entire room was just beautiful. All the details and accent furniture were so homey and relaxing. I had to talk myself out of swiping this table out of the room a few times:

LOVE the yellow.

Another thing I would've swiped...the light fixtures in the bathroom.

All the walls in all the hallways looked like this. This picture doesn't do the color of this grasscloth wallpaper justice. It was a beautiful turquoise color but there was no natural lighting at all and I did the best I could with my meager photography skills but you can't see the contrast between the wall art and the walls very well. Every time we left our hotel room I felt like we were in an art museum.

The outside of the hotel was just as breathtaking as the inside...

I could have taken dozens more pictures of all the details put into this hotel, it was that pretty! Tim kept giving me funny looks when I would take a picture of a piece of furniture or a panel of tile. He probably thought I was crazy but I just wanted to take lots of pictures so I could remember how amazing the hotel was. And who knows...someday when we finally get out of military housing and buy our own house I may look back at these pictures for decorating inspiration.

I can't possibly fit our entire trip into one post so I'll save the rest for later. Until next time!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, here we come!!!

Tim and I are about to head off for a weekend getaway BY OURSELVES!!! No kids waking us up at 6 in the morning. No bottles to make. No poopy diapers to change! Woo-hoo!

I plan on taking lots of pictures while we're there so when we get back I'll show you all how gorgeous it was!

Until then, have a great weekend!!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sleeping Angels

I just realized that I take a lot of pictures of my kids sleeping. A LOT.

Especially Gigi. Poor child is always photographed sleeping. I swear she has narcolepsy.

I would say that at least one third of all the pictures we have of Gigi are of her sleeping

I miss naps.
Oh well, maybe I'll just take a hint from them...