Thursday, December 14, 2017

Our Furry Friend

Our Charlie boy left this earthly life a few short weeks ago.
He came to our family through a failed first attempt at fostering.
In 2011, we had returned to Camp Pendleton (California) from NAF Atsugi Japan. Our on base housing area was not initially pet friendly but as soon as they made the policy change, our SemperFiFam  made the decision to foster. Charlie was just a puppy found abandoned at a campground in the pouring rain. When he locked eyes with Kyli, he never turned back. He was instantly drawn to her and always wanted to be with her. He was too adorable to give back. I'm pretty sure it took us all of two days to adopt him.
That is the story of Charlie :)  

 Compiling these photos, which have graced blog posts over the past six years, was bittersweet. Charlie has been a huge part of our family and this blog. He is one of the best decisions we made for our military kids. He gave them a sense of consistency and companionship throughout our military moves. Wherever this SemperFiFam went, so did Charlie. 

Pets are a funny breed. They can aggravate you to no end and still capture your heart. Maybe a little like we feel about our kids every now and again :) We cannot deny that Charlie was cute as a button, a lot high maintenance, and a tad bit sassy.

Charlie was a big fan of naps and sunshine. If he could have a nap in the sunshine, then his day was made. If he could have a the sunshine...while cuddling with you...#bestdayever.

Charlie was a California dog through and through. I'm not sure he ever really forgave us for transplanting him to the East Coast. His days of warm weather and fenced yards were out of reach. He had to deal with fleas, cold winter weather, and rain. Oh God forbid the rain! That boy would hold it all day long when it rained. My heart breaks a little just thinking of his face when I forced him to pee in the rain.

California was the one thing we saw eye to eye on :)
He looks happy :)and strangely comfortable.

Charlie was the guinea pig. Always being brought into things he wished to escape.(He never did like Halloween. Hot Dog was his default costume. I think he always secretly wanted to be the princess.)

You get the point.
He was very loved and beyond loyal to his girl.
The things she could get him to do!

I'm not a dog mom (by any stretch) but Charlie was part of 
our family.
He went everywhere with us; sometimes, against my wishes.
He was a trooper. When I think of what a tiny dog he was to keep up with our adventures. I have to give him credit.

 It's hard to lose a pet. The kids struggle with his absence. Charlie was their first and only pet so he holds a special place. 

 His passing was sudden and traumatic. We weren't expecting to say goodbye so soon. It's a sad situation whenever it happens. My heart goes out to anyone who has lost a pet because I never realized what that felt like. 

Charlie loved his kids and his kids loved him. 
He is missed. He will be missed.

RIP Charlie 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Poppin In To Say Hello

Hello friends! I found a little pocket of free time and thought it the perfect time to check in.

It's the holidays and my social media feeds are beautiful! I loved to see the surprising snowfall all over the United States this past weekend in the most unexpected places. What fun that must of been.

It reminds me of our snow fall in California a few years back. I stayed up to the wee hours of the night/morning to see if the snow would really fall. It did! And it was amazing. I'm sure that is how all you Southerners felt too. What fun for you :) 

As we plug away at December, I'm quickly reminded of how much life has been lived in the last 11 months. Another year behind us. I have so much to share. I'm sure many of you are wondering the answer to the million dollar question :) Where will our forever home be?? We still don't know. Eek! I know I know, time is ticking away. But, yikes, this is a hard decision and there is so much to consider. I do know walking away from social media for a couple months was a good decision. My mind is much clearer and focused. I'm going to try to find time to share those things with you in the near future. 

Right now, I just want to say 'hello friends'. I've missed the interaction through the blog but what fun to see you all enjoying life through social media. You all do a great job of that! Your babies are adorable! And my friends without babies, you look amazing! I really need to up my game in 2018 :) just to keep up! 

Keep doing your thing in December friends. It's fun to see how winter looks in all the places.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Stepping Away For A Few

Why the heck would a blogger do a media fast? It's like an oxymoron, right? I laugh myself but this is probably the best decision I could make. Here is how I got to this point.

As many of you know, our military guy is approaching retirement next year. After 20 years, we finally get to pick where we live. It's the weirdest best thing to ever happen to us in our adult life :) But, it's also probably the most difficult decision we are going to make. 

We have so many options on the table. And honestly, I keep adding more as I scroll through Facebook and Instagram. You all live some pretty great lives in some pretty great places. I could see our family there too. However, that isn't realistic and adding more places to the list isn't helping to narrow things down. 

Therefore, I am taking a break from all the media that I feel is contributing to my confusion. I want to gain a little clarity and be prayerful about it. Don't think for a second this isn't going to be a ginormous challenge for me. I rank right up there as the biggest Instagram and Bloglovin' lover in America :) At the end of this media fast, I hope best case scenario we have our forever home picked and worst case we have a united list of goals and ideals for our forever home. And a concise list of possibilities that we agree on :)

Until then, I will miss you!! Send all the positive vibes this way (because I won't be reading comments :( for awhile...unless I cave. Which I won't, so positive vibes please.

Monday, October 2, 2017

A Hodge Podge of September Books

It's October! Have you done all the Fall things by now? I'm running a little behind. I haven't even indulged in my first Pumpkin Spice flavored anything.  Am I even an American? It's hard to say! Fall is an exciting time in the South. Yes, I will always refer to North Carolina as the South because humidity. To me, real humidity can only be found in the South...and on islands in the Pacific Ocean. But seriously, I'm not sure if North Carolina is technically the South to Southerners, but it is to me :) Anyways, Fall or mainly October, means the weather is bearable and we can spend more time outdoors. Hallelujah!

You know what goes perfectly with Fall weather and Pumpkin Spice? Books! Let's talk about that shall we? September was such a weird reading month for me. I just couldn't figure it out. I think I'm ready for a really good book. Do you know of one? I want a book that sucks me in pretty early on and  doesn't let go. It has been awhile since I had that. I miss it. My weird mix of books was a hodge podge. Nothing in the bunch was amazing but they weren't horrible either. Here they are:

#1 Sarah,  Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachan. A Newberry Award winning children's chapter book from ages ago. Sometimes, I feel the need to catch up on great children's lit that I should have read as a child. This book is about a motherless family living on the prairie who exchange letters with their father's potential wife. The author uses both characters to educate readers about life in two different areas of the United States which would have been important  way to glean that knowledge before the Internet ;) Not a page turner but it's a classic.

#2 The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams. This is a comical "dystopian" sci-fi book about the ins and outs of surviving in an intergalactic world. Aliens and humans co-exist and life is explained through the non-human perspective. It really is humorous in a clever and sarcastic way. This was my second attempt reading Hitchiker's; the first time I quit the book. I think you just have to commit to see it through :)

#3 Holly and Ivy by Fern Micheals. Fluffy Christmas novels are one of my all time favorite things. Every year I only read Christmas themed books in the month of December. It's a thing I started about a decade ago when I picked up reading as an adult. This year I was ready for Christmas reading early...way early. Netgalley to the rescue! The novel is about a single woman who is confronted with a motherless child and a relationship begins. Old wounds are healed and life evolves into a magical happy ending. Could we expect anything less? It's a feel-good novel. I liked it. You are in luck because the publication date is October 2017.

#5 Taking The Lead by Derek Hough. Another favorite genre of mine is celebrity memoirs. Derek Hough as a celebrity is another guilty pleasure as wel. ;) He is such an incredibly creative talent and he uses and continues to perfect those gifts. Years ago, I had a brief encounter where I was able to observe him in real life. That sounds creepy but bear with me :) I went to Dancing With The Stars taping and as we were leaving down the stairs he was walking up the stairs. A group of teen girls in front of us mulled him with hugs. "We love you. We love you!" He was taking aback but he was genuinely kind to them.  I had to give him credit because it was a little much :) We also stood on the stage right above him and Kellie Pickler and they waved and interacted with the audience during commercial breaks. I promise you, watching those celebrities during commercial can see some celebrities put on a really good show. You can definitely tell who does not like their partner or who is a diva. Once filming resumes they put on a fake gracious attitude. Puh-lease. If you like Dancing With The Stars or Derek Hough, you will most likely enjoy this short read.

#6 Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman . Remember that book I abandoned 70 pages in? Yep, it was this current popular bestseller. My apologies to all who love this book. I just couldn't do it. The first chapter I laughed so many times. I was so excited to read the whole thing in two days. By page 40, I was not wanting to read it at all. The book is about this quirky socially awkward woman who finds a love interest and begins to pursue a relationship. It really is funny. There seems to be an underlying story that (I believe) helps us to understand Eleanor. I kind of felt like that storyline was a little too dark for my taste and it wasn't progressing quickly enough for me. I might attempt it again in the future.

Looking forward to spooky October reading in my sweaters with hot chocolate in hand ;) 
How was your reading month?

Friday, September 29, 2017

Friday Favorites

Hello Weekend! Hello end of September. And finally hello to some fall-isa temperatures. I just spent the morning in New Bern needing a jacket. By the time I returned home, it was 81 :( We take what we can get but October better be bringing the real fall weather. Until then, I'm pretty sure I'm slowly melting.

Enough of all that, let's talk Favorites on this Friday! My number one favorite is shorter hair. I was ready to chop that mess right off and I did. It takes me 6 minutes to do my hair now. I really like that. I also went a little lighter and now none of the kids in my classrooms recognize me. They all give me that puzzled look like I think I know you :) Kids are so cute.

Books are always a favorite. When our local library does their bi-annual book sale, we are all in. This time I took my child who loves to read. Yes, he found some things :)

We also found some books for the Little Free Library.

My Little Free Library is still going strong in the neighborhood. I don't quite get the traffic I had hoped for but a handful of books get taken every week.

Marching Band is a current favorite taking up all weekends. It's fun to see the kids improve week after week. I know they work hard and it shows. Their first competition is next weekend which is exciting for them. 

My last favorite this week is the 6th Annual Great Pumpkin Swap hosted by Kristin and Rebeckann. I participated last year and enjoyed my experience so much. If you follow the links I provided you can signup there. I believe signups end on Friday, October 6th, 2017. If you love a blogger swap, I encourage you to check this one up. It's a simple fall themed swap in October. Swaps are a great way to connect with other bloggers. I am still connected in some way with all of my swap partners I've had in various swaps since 2012. You definitely get to know people on a deeper level.

I hope you are enjoying some favorites lately too!

Follow Along: