Thursday, January 29, 2009

poofy pink things and works of art

I found it! My camera, that is. Turns out, I had put it in a real safe place, away from the threat of certain toddler doom. Well, it seems I forgot which safe place I had used, but yesterday when I was cleaning, there it was! pretty as can be sitting on the window sill behind the drapes...sigh.

Ok, so the other night Lovie me a link to a blog she said I "must see." and oh my goodness gracious...the inspiration is running rampant over at Everyday Beauty. I got the idea from there for these crepe paper flowers I made...I was so disappointed when my local craft store only had biggie though, nothing a little craft paint can't fix. I didn't have any nice stamens to use so I just painted some Christmas foliage I had left over and then I glittered it with Diamond Dust (my personal fave.) Anywho..while you're googling at her lovely blog...check out those candy lights!!! There's a strand of candy pink ones with my name all over 'em. I can't believe I lived near that shop for almost year and I never knew about it...just makes me sick, sick I tell ya.!

Mine of course are nothing compared to hers...hers are just pure eyeball bliss.

So, maybe you're wondering when I have time to craft and blog with a busy toddler, or maybe you're not, I dunno. But...just thought I would share my tactict. When blogging, I usually tape large sheets of paper to the top of my kitchen table, and then I let her go wild with works for me. I can sit here at the table and she can color all around me as much as she wants, every once in while she'll stop to boss me around or offer me a kiss. Sometimes I use naptime...or sometimes I just wait until she goes to bed...but those tend to be my "magic hours" when inspiration and itchy, crafty fingers come mostly, we color, which results in a plethora of beautiful works of art. I can't stand the thought of throwing any of them away, I have drawers full of drawings, I recently chose a few of my favorites, framed them, and hung them in the kitchen. I just love the look of framed Child's art.

Here's a peek at my (hopefully) little future blogger, she's quite busy so my picture is blurry...I wonder what she'll blog about someday? probably her weird mom, no doubt.

Okay, I suppose I better got make some lunch...the toddler beast is calling.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Wowee! 17 comments is a record for me!...Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your supportive comments and well wishes about this! I definitely learned a lot from ya'll that I didn't know...and now I am prepared to have a much more open mind for my next "church adventure" :)

So, a bit of excitement for this little ol stay-at home momma...the lovely queen bee over at Bee And Rose bestowed a "luv-ly" award upon me! thank you so much! my first awards both happened in one week, whoo-hoo! If you have never visited her blog before, buzz on over there, she makes me giggle on a daily basis with her funny momma stories/sagas, and she's got super nifty ideas too! I'll post the rules in just a sec...

I've lost my camera, ya'll! I've searched my castle high and low...I have a sneaking suspicion that a certain red-headed tot has trotted off to hide it from me...probably her desperate attempt at getting me to quit shoving it in her face for a "photo op." every time she so much as sneezes...*sigh* as soon as I find it I have something pink and fluffy i'm dying to show off. Oh! and also a humorous set of lopsided curtains I attempted for my kitchen...I'm sure not ever gonna be makin' my living as a seamstress, that's fo sho!

Ok, so back to my award :-D here's the rules: ( I kinda broke them..because well, I don't eaxtactly know five bloggies well enough to award know what I mean? I felt awkward...Ok, Ok, I know, I'm talking nonsense but I felt shy)

Honorees, please follow these instructions and share the LUV!

1. Put the logo on your blog or post. (You can highlight the photo and text of this post and copy/paste wherever you need to...start your highlight from the bottom up to get the photo)

2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show GREAT ATTITUDE and/or GRATITUDE

3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.

4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received the award.

Whew!!! So there you have it!!!! Go spread the luv!!!!

I'm proud to nominate..

1. Meme over at Screaming Meme

2. My momma, over at Lovies Cotton Candy

3. A Thorn Among Roses

4. L.O.T.s.of Love

5. The Little Bluebird Diares

Ya'll just brighten my day every time I look at your blogs!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

thoroughly cheezed

I just have to share this...It's kind of long, so I'm sorry...but I was just flabbergasted today, I'm wondering if anyone has ever had any similiar experiences like the one I am about to share with you.

Since moving to the island, finding our "home church" has been a challenge for both Tyler and me. Both of us grew up in the church and have specific expectations of what we want for our family. He and I come from drastically different religious back grounds, he grew up Mormon and I grew up in a Southern Church of Christ, but overall, we both know what we want. We've tried various churches but so far neither of us have sensed that we have found a church where we felt we belonged. We know that God has a specific church in mind for us...we just can't seem to find it.

I go to a ladies bible study every week and one of the ladies there suggested that Isabella and I visit a new church with her this Sunday, I've really been discouraged and off the hunt lately, so I thought it would be a good way to hop back onto the wagon...The first sign that it wasn't the church for me was the big sign in the parking lot advertising that the church had a bookstore and a cafe inside...since when did going to church on Sunday mornings become a business venture?? I'm trying to keep an open mind so I shrugged it off, I tell myself the times have changed a little...then I noticed everyone was really casual, I'm seeing a lot of blue jeans...I immediately felt overdressed in my sweater set and black skirt...Isabella even more so in her crisply starched sailor dress, lacy socks and matching hair-bow...uhm...apparently we didn't get that memo. I'm starting to feel really out of place, but we go and choose a sooner had I chosen a nice, empty pew near the back and settled my big diaper bag, (aka The Mothership) when a lady approached me and informed me that children under the age of 12 were not "allowed" to sit in the sanctuary because they are a "disturbance" I would need to "leave my child in the approiate nursery" Uhm...whoa.

My friend saw me bristling so she quickly caught my arm and guided me out of the sanctuary, she encouraged me to check out the state-of-the-art nursery system she heard they have...I was trying to keep my cool and it was taking every possible bit of will power I had not to bolt for the door...I step into the nursery and I am immediately bombarded with three very well-intentioned and sweet women, one asked Isabella's name, one asked her age, one asked me if she had any allergies...all in unison. Then I was handed one of those restaraunt vibrating devices "to alert me if she cried" and was told to write down all of her information on a form-then, go enjoy the message! wait a second...what? by this time my child is clawing her way up my sweater set and is digging the heels of those pretty little Lamour shoes into my thigh like a jockey, she is obviously not having anything whatsoever to do with this hullababloo, there was a lady trying to force a badge with Isabella's "assigned vibrator number" onto her dress, she was prying my child out of my arms. By this time, Crazy-Psycho-Mom side is been rearing her nasty head...and with my daughters small plea of "Help baby! No!" (she calls me baby, not mommy) I'm like, nope sorry. I ask nice lady number one; " Can't I just sit down here with her?! It's our first visit and she's scared." Nice lady number two very emphatically chimed in "Oh, no maam! we don't permit the mothers to stay!" Uhm....exit please?

My kid is hanging onto me like a baby monkey, she's migrating up my body and pretty soon I think I might have to peel her arms off of my eyes, all four of her limbs are wrapped around my body in a clench of terror, I feel the gullet of my throat being compacted by the force of her burrowed head...I make my way back up the stairs to a glassed-in room outside of the sanctuary, theres a nice, cheerful sign on the door that says NURSING MOTHERS ONLY!...(Quick! Bella, hide that sippy cup! this is our only hope!) I go in and mark my territory with The Mothership...three moms are already in there with some very content babies, nursing away. I get a few odd looks walking in with my chattering tot, but I don't care, at this point I know I'm not ever coming back so I just I smile, say "Hi ya'll." and I plop myself right down. Right in front of my seat, at pefect eye-level, in big, capitol, red letters, is a sign that reads: PLEASE KEEP YOUR CHILDREN QUIET!!! ....Sigh....

Maybe I am just old fashioned...but I was brought up to sit through church quietly and with my family...I can remeber not being a disturbance at the age of 3 or 4, sitting nicely for my mother with coloring books and crayons, if I misbehaved, she flicked me on the head or gave me "the look" and that would straighten me right out...How am I supposed to raise my daughter to know how to worship and behave in church if she is not "allowed" to sit in there with me? I'm sorry if I have offended anyone...but this was the first time I had ever been told to basically NOT bring my child to church with me until he/she was 12...the audacity of it all just blew me away.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saturday Garland

I used my Martha Stewart circle cutter that hubby had tucked into my stocking this Christmas. (he remembered! aww) I can totally vouch for this circle cutter, it was so sooth and easy to use...I almost lost a finger when I was changing the blade but other than that this thing is my new favorite gadget. However, I decided this week, that after midnight there will be no more crafting for me involving blades of any kind. I'm not sure how it happened, but when I was inserting the blade I cut the tip of my finger wide open...the blade was so razor sharp I didn't even feel it or realize it until I felt something tickling my elbow and realized it was my own blood flowing down my arm. Pretty gross, huh? My kitchen looked like a crime scene by the time it was over. So, just be careful with this thing, it's no joke.

ANYwho...I used chipboard letters, Martha Stewart and diamond dust glitters but unfortunately didn't have anything skinny enough on hand except for that white yarn to tie the circles onto my ribbon with, I'm going to replace it with white ribbon because I think it will look better.

So that's my weekend so far, The Bella and I sure miss our man, but we have big plans to walk to the park, take a dip in the neighborhood pool, and maybe partake in some ice cream cones with colored sprinkles. We're visiting a new church tomorrow morning and then after her afternoon nap, we're going to make pink cupcakes in leu of her favorite book, Pinkalicous :) A nice, simple weekend. Perfect.

I hope ya'll are all enjoying your weekends as well :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Truffles for my tot

Ok, so I'm not a big fan of Valentines day...I'm just fine with going out and buying myself my own chocolates...that way I can choose the ones I like :-P...but I love making things for Isabella and putting together sweet Valentines for her. I saw this idea on Etsy, originially a larger version for Cupcakes though, and I thought "hey! I could do that...why not make them smaller and use them as chocolates?" I was up until 3am that night... happily making felt truffles.

I was on my way to the craft store yesterday to purchase more supplise, when I had a flat tire...I'm talking my rim hitting the pavement flat tire. Great. Now I'm sporting a nice, little donut on my car until I can find my car's type of tires...stupid tires have to be all special and hard to find. Apparently ya can't just go to Wal-Mart for these...go figure.

Anyways...thank goodness hubby made sure I had roadside assistance added to my insurance policy before he left...that's my fella, right there. I will have many more edibles to show you soon...I just wanted to give you a peek at what I have been working away on...I love felt, and now I'm craving Godivas....


I know I'm not the only one who thinks Naps are the most beautiful and wonderful luxury in the world....I seldom ever get do this...but today when Isabella went down for her afternoon nap, I went down too. I wish so badly she would snuggle up in bed with me, but she absolutely refuses to sleep anywhere other than her own bed...a lot like her momma. She was tuckered out from a a day of play at the park...her little cheeks are still rosy. There was so much housework I needed to be doing, but my fluffy, white pillows were beckoning to me ever so sweetly...I finally yielded and I am so glad I did. We mommies work hard! It's important to remember to treat yourself every now and then...even if that treat is something as simple as an afternoon nap...

I've been tagged!

Syndee over at Syndee's Space tagged me for a game! I have to list 8 random facts about myself and then tag 8 other people...weellll....I don't really know 8 people to tag because I'm still sort of a I am only going to choose a few of my closies :) I hope that's ok...

1. My hair is mousy brown. I dye it red. Everyone just assumes it is natural because my daughter is a flaming it bad that I don't correct them??

2. The other day, I ran the front of my car completely over a cement curb in a crowded parking lot. I was completely alone with no one to share the humor with me. I was very stuck. I drive a stick shift. I had to gun my engine in reverse and my child was in the back seat going "WHOA! Whoa!"

3. I'm addicted to Diet Coke...absolutely, hopelessy, addicted. They don't make a patch for that.

4. I could easily spend my husband's entire pay-check on Etsy. Etsy rocks the socks right off of my feet.

5. I proudly played with my American Girl dolls until I was 13.

6. My favorite books as a little girl were the Anne of Green Gables books, and Little Women.

7. I was homeschooled all the way through highschool, and I'm proud of it :)

8. I want a Scotty Dog...quite badly.

Okydoky then...that's all I got. I'm tagging, Kelsey, Mom, Kimsey and Whitney :)

My mom awarded me with this nifty award! Here is the info: "This blog invests and believes the PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are extremely charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly written text into the body of their award."

Ok-again, I don't really know 8 people to award this to...But I choose: Mom, Kelsey, Whitney and Frenzied Mother :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

easily amused

This is a list of the things that are making me really happy lately...they're silly, really, Just little trifles here and there...but they represent something bigger, whether it be creating something beautiful, or just being healthier for my family...these things make my heart happy.

1. These rockin' organic lollipops...Love 'em! and the best part is, Isabella does too and I don't have to feel guilty about letting her have one :)

2. My compost pit...yeah I know, I'm a weirdo because dirt makes me happy...but this rich, dark, earth is awesome! I can't wait to grow some organic veggies.

3.Isabella's messy little art corner...I don't even bother cleaning it up's the first thing she goes to in the morning and after it.

4.This goofy little bird I sewed. He's full of all kinds of funny mistakes, like his crooked beak...but Isabella loves him and that makes me smile...again, my mom inspired me, check out her line over at inspired friends!

5.These dried roses I glittered...I love me some Martha Stewart glitter!

6. This Almond Vanilla, organic's so delicious, we munch on it all day and it never lasts long in this house...

So, that's just today...but tell me, what makes you happy?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

please don't look closely!

Because this was my first time...

Sorry for the picture quality...I'm really starting to get annoyed with my hot pink, Fugifilm, point and's a good purse camera no doubt about that, when I was choosing my camera I had no idea what I was doing, I only liked it because it was pink...I know now that I definitely need something with a lens.

My cupcake is very obviously crooked haha! but other than that, when I first started I was seriously confused...and then by the time I got halfway done I started to figure it shows in my stitching. I have been perusing blogs and admiring everyone's beautiful applique and embroidery...I've been longing to try it for myself. My mom makes it look as easy as breathing...I've been so used to watching her whip up genious works of art out of seemingly nothing...I just assumed I would be able to pick up a needle and go....not so much.

But at the advice of the all-knowing MOM I went to Wal-Mart and bought the cheapest articles of clothing I could find to practice on...and these are my results so far...these will probably just be used as play clothes or go-to-the-park-get-dirty clothes.

I'm looking forward to getting better. and in the meantime...I'll be making a lot of play clothes :)

And now I can't resist to share the latest Bella-ism with you...I showed her the pants after I had finished, she looked at them for a second, touched them, and in a very matter-of-fact voice she said, "Oh! cute tweet-tweets." Just like that.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I keep seeing these nifty little inspiration boards popping up all over bloggyland...just had to make one for myself!

On my board is a little conglomeration of things-or people-that inspire me. I think this perfectly sums up my sources of inspirations...the old photo of my mom...the picture of Isabella still fresh with her scrunchy newborn pretty pink money Tyler brought me back from Hong Kong. These all represent important things in my life. My amazingly artistic mom is the one who began my passion for creativity, my baby Bella of course inspires me daily, and my hubby traveling all around the world, seeing amazing places and always remembering to send me a unique trifle. But for me, the most fun part of all is adding new things as time goes by.

If you have a little time on your hands...make one for yourself and hang it in a corner of your house that you walk past every day.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Yesterday while I was pilfering my craft room for pink clutter, I came across this old ceramic tea set. Chipped and missing pieces, it shows definite signs of my childhood devotion...I'm not sure why I loved it so much, it most likely came from the dollar store where I bought it with my little allowance (aww) but love it I did! this humble, little tea set had the power to spark hours of imagination and play.

I was curious, I figured Isabella was still too young, but I thought it was worth a shot, so I let her play with it, expecting it to last a few minutes before it became old news and she was back to climbing the kitchen table, but instead it was like a little light-bulb went off in her 19 month old toddler brain. She drug one of my cardboard boxes into the living room and used it as her table then proceeded to have tea with herself...she would slurp her tea and then say "Mmm...dee-lish-us" that's her new favorite word, delicious. She even says it when she takes her vitamin. I love it.

Is it normal to be intimidated by you kid? because I'm skeered ya'll.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

too much?

Ok, so when I said I was in a January was true. You tell me, how in the world you decorate for the winter non-holiday season....when you live on a tropical I would rather decorate my walls with caveman drawings than fall into the tropical mod-ish decorating style, so usually I go by my old home state of Tennessee and decorate according to their seasons...

After clearing my "clutter shelf" of all of it's Christmas decor, I let it sit empty and blank for a couple of weeks to pique inspiration. Didn't work. I'm typically cluttery girl by nature...but I'm not so sure I'm feeling this shelf....anybody got any ideas?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

brownie/curtain therapy...a little cheese with my whine

This has been one of those weeks where I felt like the punches just kept on coming, and the cherry on top was the fact that Hubby had to leave :( I must say, I had been handling really well, rolling like a pro...until yesterday. Without going into too many boring details....lets just say one unsuspecting person just pushed me a wee bit too hard in my delicate position. After a day full of mishaps and a grumpy and very constipated toddler, I went over the edge. WAY over the edge. Hey, I'm only human. (Hubby is at this very moment saying a fervent prayer of thanks at being gone this week)

After my self indulgent little outburst (I think "inept baffoon" and "ignorant monkeys" were the words of choice?...oh dear) I called up my dear friend and confessed my sins...which resulted in a hearty bout of guffawing at my expense. Later that night she showed up at my house with a giant cookie sandwich (aww!) with bright red frosting in the middle...Yummers! I shared it with Isabella thinking "eh, what the heck? a little frosting cookie won't hurt this one time" she gobbled it up like nobody's business which later resulted in the world's largest load of red poopie which then caused me to go into hysteria thinking she was having "bloody stool" .....................yeah.

So since The Bella stole most of my frosting cookie...and because I'm greedy, I made myself a pan of therapy brownies after she went to happy as she could be I might add and probably having a good laugh inside at her ding-dong of a mom ....(her poopie was completely normal today, I'm sure everyone wanted to know that but I felt compelled to share and now I know NEVER let her have that again...although it did work as a fabulous laxative) I decided to calm myself down with a little sewing, chocolate brownie and some mindless televison. I ended up sewing these MUCH needed curtains for my upstairs bathroom.

The first picture is alright...but in the second one I had to use the flash and you can tell. Notice my classy stainless steel towel rack placed ever so nicely OVER the toilet? Compliments of the Navy. The first thing I do when I move into a military house is de-military it as much as possible. Don't get me wrong, I am very grateful to be provided with such nice housing but the stark white atmosphere is an irresistible blank canvas for me , SO...I remove the ugly, wood veneer kitchen cabinet doors and pile my them with attractive dishes and antiques...I remove the horrid nightmare we call Venetian blinds (whoever invented those and thought they were attractive must have been on something strong...seriously) and I paint the walls...all of this, I of course have to store in the garage and put back before we move out, but it's worth it to me. Unfortunately though the ugly and oddly placed steel towel racks (and they will put four or five in one bathroom, no joke) I just have to deal with because they are firmly bolted to a steel stud in the wall. They must have seen me coming.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Home made Marinara sauce

Tonight we had company for dinner and I made my old faithful standby, Lasagna. I always make my own sauce and I use a recipe for Marinara sauce that I got from the Food Network channel a couple of years back, I don't remember who's show this recipe is from but it is absolutely wonderful in that it is insanely easy but tastes like it took you all day! This sauce has had a home in my recipe box ever since. I even like to make it and keep it in jars just to have on hand. I wanted to share this recipe with you because I just love it so much, it's perfect for Manicotti , Lasagna, Spaghetti and is especially delicious to serve as a dipping sauce with a cheesy garlic bread, very easy to whip up as a quick appetizer when you have a few people over and is always a huge hit for me.

Tonight I also made a Sally Lunn bread with a buttery basil and garlic spread...baking this bread brought back so many memories from my childhood. I can still remember my mom baking up a batch of this to take to an ailing mother, a church potluck, for company or a ladies luncheon...the smell of this delicious stuff would just fill the house and make all of us kids come clamoring into the kitchen for a bite of this fluffy and sweet bread. Today however, the smell had my hubby hovering the kitchen like a UFO...Isabella even roused out of her nap when the wafting began :)

Ok, enough jabbering from me, here's the Marinara recipe!

1/3 C. good olive oil
1 C. minced onions
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs. of ripe tomatoes, cored and peeled into 1-inch pieces or 2 (28-ounce) cans of plum tomatoes, drained
Pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper

Heat the oil, add onion an cook for about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Add tomatoes, pinch of sugar and salt and pepper and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Puree the mixture through the fine disk of a food mill (or food processor or blender) and then return to the saucepan. Reduce for 15 minutes. See how easy that is?! Love it!

Now, the recipe doesn't call for this, but I always add fresh basil to mine whenever it comes time to puree, I just love the taste of fresh basil! enjoy :)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

this post is not about our feet

Because that would just be...weird. No, this post is about doing what I don't do best...sitting back and taking a "chill pill"

I know that lately my posts have been sporradic at best, and the qaulity of my pictures definitely leaves something to be desired...sorry 'bout that. but with the stress of Tyler's rapidly approaching departure weighing on me, I have felt an immense amount of pressure to "do this" and "do that" and "get it all done" All of this at the expense of our precious bit of real family time we have left together. I handle stress very poorly. During times of pressure I tend to become a very unflattering version of myself. I develop tunnel vision and I become so wound up in a task that I stress myself out and all anybody really wants to do is hide from me, which typically results in a general boo-hooing on my end...NOT pretty.

So when I recently submitted my prayer request at my ladies bible study to somehow get it all done... a well seasoned Navy wife, whom I greatly admire, approached me and very gently reminded me "Quality, Mary-Catherine, not quantity." This stopped me dead in my tracks, God is funny like that. I prayed for peace and viola! I began to realize that if certain things didn't get done, it would be O.K. So the dishes sat in the sink for a while, who cares? and the laundry situation in our house is slightly out of control...big deal And don't even get me started on the garage and back yard and homework load...I realized that now more than ever it is imperative for me to measure my priorities and take time to enjoy my family.

It's like a great weight was lifted off of my shoulders...We're not doing anything different, but the day-to-day has become an opportunity for me to just shake off all of the excess clutter on my brain, wipe my mental check list clean, and just enjoy the view of my husband and daughter playing "horsey" on our living room floor that...honestly? needs a good vaccuuming...another day, another day.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Isabella's first haircut!

It was time...I held onto those darling red locks as long as possible...but this morning Hubby suggested that our little girl's hair was looking slightly...mullet like. I experimented with various sizes of hairbows but unfortunately he was kind of right this time :( The mere suggestion of scissors touching her sweet head made my heart hurt...but after being prompted to research mullet hairdos online...I conceded.

We took her to a local salon that specializes in children's hair, they were wonderful! they saved her little curls for me and even took her picture and put it in a little frame that says "My First Haircut" She did great for her hairstylist...the fact that she got to sit in an airplane, watch Disney movies and eat candy probably helped a lot! She got to choose a special prize out of the treasure chest when she was finished and by the teim we left she had made friends with everyone in there.

Neither one of us can stop ruffling her bob... You should see her jaunty little walk she has now, you can tell she knows she's cute!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Reflections and new beginnings

New Years in Hawaii is serious business. It seems that the party starts around 2:00 in the afternoon here...we were eating lunch when we heard that first unmistakable pop of a firework. By around 10:00 this evening so many fireworks had been fired that the entire neighborhood was hazy with thick smoke. Even now at 12:30 am I can hear pops and bangs one after the other...and it will most likely go on until the wee hours of the morning. It seems everyone is excited to celebrate a new beginning.

Our New Years was just as I wanted it to be, quiet and calm. We spent the day at home, lolling about outside watching Isabella draw with sidewalk chalk, only running out for a quick grocery store stop, on the way home however we decided to go on a little impromptu drive...the entire skyline was lit up with fireworks and Isabella was enjoying the show so much we cruised a bit with the windows down, she clapped and cheered in the backseat, not entirely sure what all of the commotion was about, just happy to be a witness to it. The air was full of good smells, bar-b-q grills, salty ocean and of course, firework smoke. Breathing it all in just made me happy. We watched Dick Clark countdown until the the ball dropped, we toastesd with a bottle of bubbly and then raced eachother upstairs to see who could be the first to kiss Isabella into the New Years...he won :( She was fast asleep and only opened her eyes long enough to look at us like were were a couple of loonies, then she rolled over and went back to sleep. After that we stood in the driveway and admired the numorous displays going on throughout the neighborhood...there was cheering and yelling, running about, sparks, fire and much nonsense. We joined in with our little sparklers and now we are in bed.

2008 is a year I will never forget. Not only did I learn how to adapt to a totally different lifestyle on an island far, far away from home, but I carved a niche for myself, I found wonderful friends and I surprised even myself when I realized I enjoyed it. I experienced my first deployment, then I experienced a homecoming. Because God was looking out for me, I won the drawing for First Kiss and received the coveted honor of having red carpet rolled out for me so that my husband was the first sailor off of the boat. Isabella learned to walk while he was gone and everyone watched as she trotted up that red carpet right into her daddy's arms... just as if he never left...all the while tears rolling down his cheeks I did'nt mind that Isabella actually received the first kiss. That is a memory I will always hold dear.

This has certainly been a year of ups and downs for us...I can think of three words to describe this year, uproarious, overwhelming, and tumultuous. Having been to the bottom, Tyler and I both know that the only direction for us now, is up. Having gone through more this year, than ever before, we can honestly say, we are happier than we have ever been. 2009 is looking wonderful for us, even though we will be apart for more than half of it while he is gone on another deployment. I look at my beautiful little family and whether we are apart or together, I am surrounded by more blessings than I can count, I cannot think of a better way to start a new year.