Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What I Wore (Halloween) Wednesday...19

Happy Halloween!
I hope you all have a fun and safe holiday!


Sweater- Joseph A
Jeans- Banana Republic
Boots-Steve Madden


Sweater- Gap
Tee-ATL
Cords- ATL
Nicole
Linking up with The Pleated Poppy.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Carving Pumpkins

My least favorite Halloween activity is carving pumpkins. My husband loves it which works out great when he is here. Currently, he is not; therefore, I am two days away from Halloween and we still have un-carved pumpkins. I mentioned this to my husband and he listed several creative pumpkin ideas. My favorite suggestion is to carve one pumpkin to look like it is swallowing a gourd. Huh??? I can't even visualize, let alone create. I'm glad he has such faith in my ability but this year we will be carving triangle eyes and one tooth smiles. His pumpkin carving skills and creativity will be sorely missed, especially by the kids.
  
This year, there will be no scary pumpkin heads...


No special requests like holiday slogans...


Or scary characters...


Or Disney friends...



And most of all no sick pumpkins...




This year we are going 'old school'. Triangles and square teeth.
Hubby can hop right back in next year and regain his uber-carver status.

Nicole

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Throwback {in pictures}

Halloween is only a few days away. I thought a little holiday flashback may get you in a festive mood!


2005

2006

2007
2008

2009

2011
2012

Oh my, how they grow! 
Wishing you all a fun and safe holiday!


Nicole

Linking Up here:




Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sunday Gratitude Linkup #2

Hello! I'm glad you stopped by for the Sunday Gratitude Linkup. I hope you are linking up with me today to share your gratitude or reflection post. I'm a big believer in gratitude journaling and reflecting. 

Gratitude journaling is something I have recently taken up. In April 2012, I was faced with a work-life decision I was not confident in making. My husband's busy pre-deployment work schedule conflicted with my work schedule. In addition, the non-profit I was working for was going through some organizational restructuring and my position was at risk of being cut. After making the decision to leave the organization, I spiraled into negative thinking and a poor attitude. I decided to change my attitude by taking time each day to journal 5 things I was grateful for. Shortly after I began blogging I incorporated  my gratitude journal each Sunday. I would love for you to join me!

Here are the simple guidelines:

Sunday Gratitude Journal Link Up

Post your 'gratitude post' URL, not your blog URL. Click on the title of your gratitude post, copy the URL from the address bar. Paste into the Inklinkz. 

Link back to this blog in your post. Grab the Adventures of a Semper Fi Family button or use a text link. What is a text link? It's a 'linking up here' kind of thing. This will help spread the word about the Sunday Gratitude Linkup and give others a chance to participate.

Read others gratitude posts, leave a comment, and encourage them to continue posting.

Now for my Gratitude...

My husband port-ed in Thailand. After too many weeks of only emails, we could talk and Facetime. He would call in the morning before our school routine got started and he would wake up our sleepyhead, Zac. Derrick would talk a mile a minute and Ky would give her "OMG" look to whatever her dad said. It was like any other pre-deployment morning.

The phone calls were just what I needed. I feel refreshed and re-energized. The communication catapulted me over the hurdle and I'm now in a more positive phase of deployment. I won't be caught off guard by tough days, I know they are lurking. But I finally have an "I can do this!" mentality, at least today!

I am so grateful we have the technology to connect via cell phone. We didn't need a special international plan on our phones. My husband just had to access Wi-Fi. Thank God we are living in a technological age which enables us to see each other when ten thousand miles apart.

I am grateful my husband had an opportunity to enjoy some of the local culture while in port. What a cool perk of being in the military. A person really does get to see the world. Maybe not the greatest parts of the world or the greatest situations, but it definitely opens the mind. Despite the discomforts of ship life, porting in foreign countries is something to be grateful for. 


Look at the cool things my husband did and saw. Monkeys, elephants, and water buffalo...OH MY! I know if he had the choice, he would stay home and not experience all these new countries and cultures. But they didn't ask him, the military never does. So, we enjoy the pictures and stories and keep moving forward.

I am grateful God has worked on my heart and mind over the years. I use to get so jealous of my husband's 'business' travels. Every extended layovers in Europe made me want to scream. I was home caring for babies, trying to manage all the household crap, and he was "stuck" in some foreign country drinking foreign beer chumming it up with the guys. Oh, I have so been there mil spouses. I started turning it over to God, educated myself on the military and war, and I got a job which required me to travel. And I started to understand it isn't as peachy as it appears. I don't like being away from my children for more than a day. But I could possibly be convinced if I can cruise the Southern Hemisphere with some girl friends on Carnival!!

All joking aside, I am most grateful my husband and all the Marines & sailors were kept safe in port. Everybody came back to the ship unharmed and accounted for. That is the biggest blessing!



Nicole
Linking up here and here.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Confessional Friday & A Gratitude LinkUp

It's Confessional Friday at A Blonde Ambition. This may be the best time I have writing posts, except when my kids do silly stuff. Like deliberately touch hot irons or accuse me of being pregnant. You know just normal every day stuff at our home! No Instagram pics today. I have something special planned with them and will post in a few days.

I confess...I'm using this link up to promote my linkup. Sunday. Gratitude Linkup. Here. Follow me on GFC to get the latest posts and reminders for the linkup. The Gratitude Linkup is for all gratitude, reflection, and positive/inspiration posts. I hope you will join! Enough said.

I confess...at some point today I will buy the People magazine with Timberlake/ Biel's wedding album. I have been waiting all week!


I confess...for those of you who don't know, I have a mad obsession with people.com. Guilty pleasure #1.

I confess...I also have a mad obsession with Dancing With The Stars. Guilty Pleasure #2. And not having cable is killing me. I have to watch a day late *gasp* on Hulu which means...I can't vote. Yes, I vote. Just trying to help some people reach a dream!


I confess...when I saw this picture of Katy Perry, I secretly hoped she was on the ballot because I would totally vote for her.

I confess...the weather was amazing this week. We got our fall temperatures and I was wearing pants and long sleeves every day. I was totally in my element. I am now going to pout about our 90 degree weekend forecast. I swear my obsession with weather is worse than a farmer. In fact, my MIL texted me at 7am yesterday to share with me it had snowed in Iowa. Yes, she knew I would care.

I confess...I already knew it had snowed because when my dog woke me up at 5 am for a potty break...I checked the weather. The weather app is the most used app on my iphone. Embarassing!

Short confessional today. I hope you join me for the Sunday Gratitude Linkup. Check out last week's Gratitude Link Up to see what it's all about.

Nicole
http://www.blondeambitionblog.com/

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Liebster Award


Randi from The Rodriguez Family has nominated me for the Liebster Award. This is my first nomination so it's a special one! This award is all about sharing a little more of me with you.



RULES:

1. Each blogger should post 11 random facts about themselves.
2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you, and then create 11 new questions for the bloggers you pass the award to.
3. Choose 11 bloggers (with less than 200 followers) to pass the award to and link them in your post.
4. Go to their page and tell them about the award.
5. No tag backs!

11 Random Facts about Me…

*I am a creature of habit. When I find something I like, I stick with it.
*I have no self-control around donuts.
*I am scared of horses.
*I married my high school “sweetheart”.
*I cry when I get scared.
*I can’t eat at a new restaurant unless I research it on Yelp.com
*My #1 bucket list item is a trip to New York City.
*I am a little superstitious about completing the #1 on my bucket list.
*Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
*I am a Disney fanatic.   


Questions for Nominees
1) What's your favorite season? and why?
My favorite season is Fall. I love the warm days and cool nights, autumn leaves, sweaters & boots, high school football games & hot chocolate, Thanksgiving & Halloween. I always miss Iowa the most during the fall months.
2) What's your favorite beverage? Adult or non adult
I love coffee. However, I can’t handle caffeine so I have to limit myself. Which is really hard.
3) What's your tip for new bloggers?
Be confident in who you are and what you have to say. Somebody needs to hear what you have to say. Join a community through link ups. It's a great way to connect with other bloggers. In fact, I have a weekly Sunday Gratitude Link Up you can join!
4) What is one product you can't live without?
Honestly, I couldn’t live without toothpaste. Bumble & Bumble Straight is my must-have luxury item.
5) If you have children or pets - how did you come up with their names? If you don't have either, what are your future children/pet names?
Each child has a name from a baby book and a family name.
6) If you had a charity, what kind of charity would it be?
I would create a charity to help college students leaving the foster care system. The focus of the charity being support through letters/care packages. Sort of like Operation Christmas Child.
7) What is your favorite food?
Mexican food
8) How many pairs of shoes do you have?
Eight
9) Are you a twitter, facebooker or instagrammer? if you have all 3, which is your favorite?
I am so in love with Instagram right now. If you love it too, please follow me! The button is on the right hand side bar. I will follow back!
10) What is your favorite quote?
I have lots of favorite quotes. Some of my favorites are “Just Keep Swimming”-Dori, Little Nemo. “Keep Calm and Carry On”. And “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”-Oscar Wilde

My questions for the nominee:

What was your favorite cartoon growing up?
What is your favorite cereal?
Are you a warm weather or cold weather person?
Would you rather read a great book or watch a great movie?
Where in the United States would you like to spend your next long weekend?
What is your favorite blog to read?
What do you like most about that blog/blogger?
What would surprise your blog readers most to learn about you?
What is the coolest thing you have ever done?
What do you wish you were brave enough to do?
What article of clothing are you mostly likely to splurge on (i.e jeans, shoes, dresses, etc)?


I have nominated the following blogs for the Liebster Award:

Emily at Trailerhood Aristocrats (cute family blog)
Eve at The Japanese Life of a Military Wife (lots of pics/lots of adventures)
Sarah at Sarah SaturDIY (crafts)
Kimmie at Little Carrigans (another cute family blog)

Nicole

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday...18

This week, our weather was perfect! I got to pull out my "winter" clothes which included sweaters, jackets, and jeans. I can't wait until I can cover up every day! It doesn't look like anytime soon. The weekend forecast says 90 degree days. I'm sure someone freezing their bottom off wants to say choice words. But really, there must be some place, preferably in the US, which is between freezing cold and too hot. Where is this elusive place? I really want to live there!

SATURDAY

Blazer- ATL
Shirt- ATL
Jeans- Calvin Klein

SUNDAY

Sweater- Banana Republic
Jeans- 7 for All Mankind

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday.



Nicole

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Irons Are Hot!

Can I tell you a funny story? Not funny ha-ha but funny, like, is this really my life kind of story? Those stories when that naughty, three letter acronym would be so appropriate? 

Today I ironed. It never happens. I'm talking weddings and Easter and anything linen. That's it.
 
When the kids came home from school, I felt the need to continuously remind them to 'Be Careful' when walking past the ironing board. For good measure, I threw in 'It's Hot' just in case they were not aware...irons are hot. All sure signs I do not iron with any sort of consistency, especially since they are 12, 9, and 7. Truly at this age, they should have learned it from school or cartoons, an older cousin, right?!? Irons are hot.

After an hour of warnings and reminders about the iron (which is hot), my youngest son walks past the ironing board and sticks his little fingertip directly on the shiny silver metal. His eyes got big and he pulled his finger to his chest. "Ouch, that's hot!"

Really?!? What can I say to that? The boy is 7 years old.  He is one of those people who has to learn a lesson the hard way. I can warn him of dangers until I am blue in the face. But curiosity always gets the best of him. 

*sigh*

I bet he never touches an iron again.

 
Nicole

Linking up here AND here!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sunday Gratitude Link Up #1


Today is the first Sunday Gratitude Link Up. I hope you have come to link up your gratitude, reflection, or other positive post. The link up is open until Wednesday.

Guidelines for Sunday Gratitude Journal Link Up:

Post your gratitude post URL

Link back to this blog in your post. Grab the Adventures of a Semper Fi Family button or use a text link.

Visit a blog or two and encourage them to continue posting their gratitude.

I hope you will join me!


This week I am grateful for shared experiences. There is something comforting about knowing someone has been through a similar experience and their willingness to share. I have been struggling with deployment this week and the feedback I received from other military spouses has given me hope. It was such a comfort to have the reassurance that deployment is difficult and it's not all happy days. And even when things are going well, a bad day can slip itself in to catch you off guard.


I am grateful I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. We were invited to a birthday party this weekend. With my husband, I enjoy a birthday party, holidays, and other celebrations. But when he is on deployment, I get super emotional. It makes me miss him more. It's just something weird for me. After a rough week, I knew it was time to get out of the house and be with happy people. It was a good choice. We overstayed our welcome, enjoyed a fun group of people, and laughed a lot. It was a good thing.

I am grateful for a supportive husband. He reads this blog from the ship, which I love. When I started this blog it was meant to be an outlet. Now it's a way for him to stay connected with pictures and daily things I forgot to email. And he is very encouraging about it.

I am grateful my kids love family night. I didn't know if I was forcing them to participate or they were willing. Lately, they have made it known Friday night is family night. I think that is pretty cool.  



I am grateful for peppermint tea. It's my new stress reliever. Forget wine! What?!? Did I just say that? 


Nicole

Friday, October 19, 2012

Confessional (Insta)Friday

My day started with a prayer, "Thank you, God, for Friday". Not really sure why I am so thankful for this day. It's not like I work a Monday through Friday job. Or have a husband who has the weekend off. Maybe I'm just glad I will be able to entertain my kids ALL day for the next two days in 90 degree heat/humidity? Or, maybe, I have finally fallen (or more like been pushed) off the deep end? 

Regardless of how or why, I am happy to be linking up with Leslie at A Blonde Ambition and InstaFriday at Life Rearranged. I love both of these link ups so much, I can't decide where to linkup on Fridays. Thus the hybrid Confessional (Insta)Friday. TA-DA!

I confess...I was super excited to have my parenting evaluated by a random neighborhood child this week. "Oh, you say, I'm an overprotective mom" because "my 9 year old can't ride his bike around the entire housing area and down to the lake" without adult supervision? Baby girl, that's not being overprotective. That's called parenting. And your parents 'trust in you' is called complacency at my house.

I confess...that I understand some people are incredibly fortunate to live in an area where they can 'trust' their nine year olds to have free range of the neighborhood or small town in which they live. But I don't always feel safe here, with reports of missing/abducted/murdered children posted weekly. I'm good with overprotective. 

I confess...it has been a rough week, again. Yes, starting to feel a tad pathetic. As a result, my self-inflicted wine ban had to be broken. And my chardonna-nay was delish! I had high expectations of pouring a full glass and enjoying every drop. But halfway through I was over it and poured half the glass back in the bottle. Um, sorry I don't waste that stuff! 



I confess...the cute boy with the signature art is an artistic genius. Can you tell? I am photographing all artwork and emailing it to my husband. He's connected and I can get rid of paper piles. Win-win.

I confess...the yummy caramel corn above was too much to resist. I managed to walk away with just one. My mind is a-turnin' and I think I'm going to attempt to make Chocolate Maple Pecan Crunch. What do you think?

I confess...those napkins make me smile. Can you relate?

I confess...I'm making one more plug for my Sunday Gratitude Linkup. Please come back this Sunday and link up your gratitude, reflection, and other positive posts with me. My goal is to create a community of bloggers who want to spread joy to others (even on the tough weeks)!








Nicole