Saturday, December 02, 2017

O Christmas Tree

Day 117.

It's Saturday and boy did it seem to fly by!

We started the morning off with Hudson's golf lesson. He did really well today. My parents met us there and then after the lesson we dropped a car off at the house and went to go pick out our Christmas Tree. Yes, we still get a LIVE tree every year. I always get razzed for that, but this is one of my favorite traditions. We decided to go to a cute little family owned tree farm this year instead of just going to Lowe's or Home Depot because I had stopped by the farm and they had some beautiful trees and they looked so fresh. I knew they were going to be a bit pricier, but I just decided to go with it this year. Well, God showed up in that detail too....the 7-8 foot trees at Lowe's were $70 this year and the same size tree at this lot were between $110-$150. We didn't find "the tree" right away, so we asked if they had any more Nobel Firs (I'm a stickler for it needing to be a beautiful Nobel Fir) that were the size we were looking for. The guy saw that Alex was on FaceTime with us (thank you technology...yes, Alex was able to help us pick out our tree all the way from Kuwait), and when he came back he told us his brother was deployed and that the tree he found was 8 feet tall and that the price was $69.99. You guys....this tree fits perfectly in our home and it's perfect. There is one silly little branch that sticks out, but Madison was so excited to be able to hang her TinkerBell ornament on it because usually it's hard to find a brach that has enough space under it for this particular ornament. The guys at the farm tied the tree up on the roof and then we brought it home. I was very thankful that my parents were able to come and help with the tree, especially getting it inside the house and into the stand.

Once the tree was standing, we all went to have lunch at The Habit. Then my parents left to head to the Post Office, to mail Alex a care package and the kids and I went home to finish decorating the house as well as the tree. While we decorated the tree, we had our Christmas music blaring and laughter was abounding....I missed Alex terribly (especially as I pulled out the ornaments he usually helps adorn our tree with), but the delight in the eyes of my children brought me so much comfort and made me thankful that we were even able to have had Alex on FaceTime earlier as we picked out our tree.

We had a blast today and the kids finished decorating their personal trees too. They each have an artificial 3 foot tree in their room and they get to fill it with their homemade ornaments and a few others, that I share with them. ;) 

Tonight for movie night we watched Elf and the kids just kept saying how much they love our tree and how pretty it is and how amazing it smells. Before they went to bed, I snapped a quick picture of them in front of the tree. You can just see how much they love Christmas in this picture.

After the kids went to bed, I wrapped some presents and watched Christmas with the Kranks. Then I updated their Christmas lists a little more because I realized I needed to find a couple more items. 

Now, I'm sitting here at the computer with the only lights on the glow of our Christmas lights from the tree and the many different strands of garland all over the house. The Christmas music is playing, as I reflect on the fact that tomorrow starts the beginning of Advent. As soon as I finish up here, I am going to be reading and prepping for our first day of our family advent study. Alex and I are so excited to be doing this and I am super excited that we are going to do our best to do it in the mornings before school if Alex is able to be free. 

I pray that this Christmas season, whether you are entering it during a time of sorrow, a time of celebration, a time of loneliness, or another situation entirely, that you feel the love of our Father and are filled with the Joy that comes from knowing that the whole reason we celebrate this time of year is because our Savior was born. Because of this we can walk confidently and need to fear what is to come, for He is with us now and always. 

Friday, December 01, 2017

Where Are You Christmas?!?

Day 116.

It's Friday....

I'm back.

Sorry I had a couple weeks there that literally knocked me to the ground. Please don't mistake my lack of posting for not wanting to share and be real, I was just processing and dealing with a lot and trying to navigate through some things. Most of you know that I wear my heart on my sleeve, and because of this I just felt for the sake of everyone, it was better if I kept my journaling in my actual journal where I cried out to God and He walked me through those two weeks, along with a few friends that came alongside and made sure I was still alive.

Anyway, all is well and we ARE IN DECEMBER!!!!! Another month gone and I am another month closer to having my man back in my arms.

So tonight, Madison's sweet friend Mackenzie sang one of my favorite sentimental Christmas songs tonight at a special performance. We didn't end up being able to go because my kids were wiped out...Madison even asked to leave gymnastics early....that never happens. They were both in bed by 6:30 and Madison was asleep by 6:45/7:00.....and Hudson was not far behind her.

Anyway, listening to a recording of Mackenzie singing this song, not only brought tears to my eyes because she did a beautiful rendition of the song, but the words to the song struck a chord tonight.

Where are you Christmas
Why can't I find you
Why have you gone away
Where is the laughter
You used to bring me
Why can't I hear music play
My world is changing
I'm rearranging
Does that mean Christmas changes too
Where are you Christmas
Do you remember
The one you used to know
I'm not the same one
See what the time's done
Is that why you have let me go
Christmas is here
Everywhere, oh
Christmas is here
If you care, oh
If there is love in your heart and your mind
You will feel like Christmas all the time
Oh, I feel you Christmas
I know I've found you
You never fade away, oh
The joy of Christmas
Stays here inside us
Fills each and every heart with love
Where are you Christmas
Fill your heart with love

I can totally relate to the words of this song during the season I'm in right now. I LOVE Christmas. It's quite literally my favorite time of year. But, this year, with Alex being away, it's been harder to find the motivation to decorate the house. However, I have done a decent amount and will finish this weekend, especially after we get our tree, because Christmas is about JOY and the birth of our Savior who is so patiently walking beside me on this journey as I try to navigate all the feels that come with not having my love home with me right now. I want the kids to have a MAGICAL Christmas and to know the LOVE of Christ and that no matter what our circumstances, that love never changes. I LOVE that we have family traditions and while it will be hard without Alex here, I still have every intention of keep the traditions alive. The JOY of Christmas lives inside each and every one of us and we simply need to dig deeper if we are struggling to find it this year. We are surrounded by amazing people that love on us and pray for us. We also have friends who regularly text, email or message daily just to see how the day is going. These thoughtful gestures mean the world to me. Some days it's really easy to get swallowed up by emotion, but then I'll be reminded that God has us and He sends sweet little reminders in so many ways, all throughout the day. 

I'm excited for this weekend. We have some fun in store for the days to come. Hope everyone has a LOVELY weekend too!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

It's Been A Tad Chaotic

Day 98, 99, 100, & 101.

Phew. Looks like I've missed some days.

I have received several loving messages from people asking if I was okay, since I hadn't posted my blog posts in a little bit.

Yes. I am doing well. Thank you so much for your thoughtful messages and texts.

Last weekend rocked me emotionally from so many different levels, that on Monday I was just so stinking tired that as soon as the kids crawled in bed after gym, I did too! I can't remember the last time I went to bed before 9:00, although I'm about to go to bed soon again.

This week in general has just been filled with a lot of things that have kept me busy.

However, I did mean to post yesterday because we reached another milestone:


We are feeling the length of time and missing Alex oh so much, but thankful that we have that milestone behind us. We are taking one day at a time and looking towards the light at the end of the tunnel, even if it still seems pretty far away.

We've had fun making care packages for Alex and sending them. We sent a Christmas themed one this week, as well as a coffee themed one. Alex is feeling the fell effect of the 100 days too, so we wanted to send him some extra boxes of love. :)

After Thanksgiving, I will be back to my consistent posting, but until them I am in full prep mode for our Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales AND we are going out of town for the first time and Science Fair is due almost as soon as we get back, but we're still gathering data. So, there is a bit of stress and chaos going on over here that will all come to a close once December hits, however I will say I am very much looking forward to several days with my bfry and I know the kids are looking forward to it too....they've been counting down the days since November 1st....well actually probably longer than that!

Sleep well everyone! Enjoy your weekend!

***Just a fun side during volunteering, I had the privilege of seeing Hudson's super excited because they baked homemade pumpkin pies in his class today, that teased our noses as they baked in the oven. Then, in Madison's class I had so much fun helping the kids transfer corn they sprouted and grew on the cob, into their garden plot at school, as well as putting together their class Science Fair Board.

Sunday, November 12, 2017


Day 97.

Today we accomplished a lot.

After church, the kids and I ran some errands and finished with Costco. Kids always love going there with me.....samples on the weekends are always in surplus.

After we made it back home, we had lunch and then we were able to talk with Alex for a bit. Always the highlight of my day.

After that, the kids each had a little bit of homework to do. Madison had a math test to study for and we are in full Science Fair mode right now. Last weekend, Madison did all of the work to get ready for the start of the experiment, so today we began the experiment to test her hypothesis. We will be conducting the experiment for 10 days and then she will draw her conclusion.

After she finished setting up the petri dishes and getting all of the swab samples. We placed the petri dishes in a box and then placed that box in my bathtub with a towel over it.

After this was completed, Madison eagerly gave Hudson his practice spelling test, which she was delighted to do.

After they were both finished with their homework I made dinner and then we snuggled up together and watch Akeela and the Bee. I will say that I was thoroughly impressed with this movie. It was fantastic, as I'd heard it would be. However, momma's there are a few choice words in this movie that I was not expecting. One of them went right over both kids heads because they'd never heard it before, the other one went over Hudson's head, but Madison caught it and just looked at me with a shocked face. She'd read it in a couple of books before, but it always is shocking when it's in a movie. That aside, it was such a motivational movie and truly inspiring.

After the movie, the kids talked to their Oma and Papa for a little bit and then it was time for bed.

After the kids went to bed, I spent some time in front of our "fire place"...aka fireplace app on our's still too hot for a fire, with Christmas music on and I journaled for a bit. I really love journaling my thoughts and prayers to God. Not only is it so refreshing, but I love being able to go back and mark when prayers have been answered, whether they are a yes or a no.

After journaling, I talked with my friend Kara, who was kind enough to check in on me today and we caught up with each other about our weekends in more depth than we'd been able to on Friday or Saturday. While talking to Kara, Alex called and I was able to talk to him for a little bit and now I am getting ready to go to bed with a big smile on my face because my man is seriously the best and always puts a smile on my face.

Love and miss you babe!

PS....anyone else super annoyed with the new iPhone update that doesn't allow you to write and "I"? Hoping the update to fix this comes out soon!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Heart of a Marine Corps Spouse

Days 95 & 96.

Yesterday was the USMC's birthday. Today is Veteran's Day.

This weekend has filled my heart with many emotions.

To my knight in shining armor,

You have my heart. You are in my daily prayers. You are in my every thought.

On days like yesterday and today, I am reminded just how filled I am with admiration for the job that you do willingly and so sacrificially. You have such a servant's heart. I am so incredibly proud of you and have loved every single second of being your wife and I look forward to all that is yet to come.

I miss you terribly and the emotions in my heart have been high these last couple of days as I see all of the social media posts, but our God is good. He's calmed my heart and reminded me we each have a job to do. It's always hard being away from you, whether it's for one day or for 270 days, each day I yearn for you. I long to be in your presence.

But while this time could be seen as dark and unbearable, God is faithful and is doing a good work in each of us and in our marriage. He is growing us and teaching us. I can feel God working in my heart and He's teaching me about grace and forgiveness, even though I still have a lot to learn. He's speaking to me through each of my devotions, my friends, my small group I'm in online, and through the messages at church. I can see how God is using you as well my love. You are being open and real with the guys you're deployed with and the way God has orchestrated you to lead a small group leaves me in awe. I love you. I love your heart. I love the journey God has had you on and seeing where you've come from and where He's taking you.

I miss not being able to go to the Birthday Ball with you and I miss not having you here in my arms to hug personally and to tell you how very proud I am of you, my sweet Veteran. But, I choose to find the joy in this situation and to see the good that God is doing in each of us and in our beautiful children that He's blessed us with. We will be stronger as a result of this deployment.

Our kids are so very proud of you. As Hudson joined his first grade class last week in honoring the men and women of the military and our great country, I could see the pride in his face knowing his dad was in the slide show of veterans. When Madison read the Veterans Day tribute over the loud speaker on Thursday morning, she was nervous, but because she is so stinking proud of you, she was able to make it through.

So my love, Happy Birthday and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your sacrifice. I know that it's not easy and I know that you'd much rather be here with us, but you've been called to do a very important job and we are here praying for you and are so very proud of you.

With all my love,

Your adoring wife

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Encourage One Another

Day 94.

Happy Thursday! I hope that you had a lovely day! We have tomorrow off of school in honor of Veteran's Day, so it's sort of like Friday for us.

This morning the kids did the PA announcements. They were asked a few weeks ago, by the principal, to prepare a little something in honor of Veteran's Day. The whole school was asked to wear red to honor the veterans and then Madison (Hudson stood by her, but was a tad too nervous to speak over the PA system), share with them that R.E.D. stands for Remember Everyone Deployed. It was a sweet moment and coming after Hudson's performance last night and the Marine Corps birthday being tomorrow, it felt wonderful to know our family has so much support and encouragement out here.

I feel like everything I've been reading, studying, hearing, etc has been about encouragement. I've always considered myself a positive person and I LOVE encouraging others, but what I've been reading takes it a step further. When we take the time to encourage and lift others up, it takes the focus off of ourselves. So, no matter what we are going through, by putting our efforts and energy into encouraging others, our circumstances because lighter because they are no longer consuming our thoughts.

Madison has some very sweet girls at her school, that both happen to be in her class this year that have been such an encouragement to her during this deployment and I know it's really lifted her spirits and helped her to feel supported. I was able to snap a quick picture of this trio earlier this morning and then of course I had to get one of her with her BFF, Mackenzie.


So my challenge to you tonight is to make a point to encourage someone because you never know what they are going through and even if you're going through a tough time, focusing on someone else will lift your spirits too! 

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Hudson's Performance

Day 93.

We had a GREAT day today.

Had a killer workout and made a new friend at the gym.

Raced home and showered to get ready for Hudson's performance that was this evening...this was going to be my only time to get ready since Madison had gym after school.

I was able to basically see Alex just long enough to tell him goodnight because he'd been at work a crazy long time and was beat and needed to go to bed.

I ran and picked the kids up. We raced home. Madison changed for gym. We dropped her off. Hudson and I came back home to eat dinner and for him to get ready for his performance.

We picked Madison back up. She ate dinner. We got to school with perfect timing and ended up getting front row seats, which was perfect because Alex was able to FaceTime in and watch the WHOLE thing.

Hudson's performance was a tribute to America and Veterans. It was super cute. Here are a couple of pictures I was able to snap. Most of the time I was using my phone to FaceTime Alex, but my mom took a few videos and snapped some pictures also.


When the show was over, we came home and the kids went to bed. They are super excited about tomorrow because they get to share, over the loudspeaker in the morning, a little bit about Veteran's Day and what it means to wear R.E.D. on Fridays. I'm hoping to be able to record them and if I can, I'll be sure to share it tomorrow. 

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

My Beautiful Surprise

Day 92.

Happy Tuesday to you!!!!

I hope you had a GREAT day! Last week was such a strange week for me. I was constantly off on what day it was and this week, I can't believe it's already the end of Tuesday.

It's been a good day.

During a deployment, friends play an extra roll in our lives. My dear friend Kara made me feel extra special today. She sent me a beautiful fall bouquet of flowers that were delivered to my door.

Kara and I have been friends for almost 20 years...we met in 1999 as we both started our freshman year of college at Cal State Fullerton. We have been friends ever since, but God had extra special plans and brought Kara into my life in a very beautiful way just before Alex deployed and she's been a constant ever since. She texts me almost daily to check on me and we talk on the phone as often as our schedules allow. It's been such a sweet time of seeing God move in each of our lives and being able to pray for each other along the way. 

In addition to this wonderful surprise, I had the chance to talk to Alex a couple of times today, which is always amazing. Love my man something fierce! 

Also, this morning at the kids school, there was a special performance. World Champion Boxer Tim Bradley, gave each child at the school a copy of his new book and he donated $5,000.00 to the school library. He has a daughter at our school and so he wanted to help them out. He shared with the kids about how he chased his dreams and made them a reality. The kids all really thought it was fantastic. 

Then a little earlier tonight I got to share one of my Winter Wellness tips on LIVE video on my fb page. It's been fun because I'm also hosting a private fb Winter Wellness class and I love being able to share what has worked for us and help others be proactive with their health. 

Looking forward to what the rest of the week has in store....Hudson has a big day tomorrow and Thursday will be full of goodies and Friday is a holiday (and the USMC birthday).....yes...this has been and will continue to be a GREAT week!

Monday, November 06, 2017

She Works Hard

Day 91.

I'm going to keep today's post short and sweet.

I had a great morning at my gym.

This evening, while Madison was at gym and I was at home with Hudson, I received a text from Madison's coach. She had sent me a video of Madison reaching a HUGE milestone for a gymnast.

Madison did giants on the high bar today and she did really well. Here is the video she sent me.

So proud of this sweet girl and how hard she works. She's been making some big strides at the gym lately and I couldn't be happier for her!

Sunday, November 05, 2017


DAY 90!!!!!!

Did you see that? Day 90!?!?!?!?!?!?!

We are 1/3 of the way done with this deployment!!!! So excited to hit this milestone. While it still feels like we have a long way to go, it is nice to know that those 90 days are behind us and that we are 90 days closer to having Alex home. I'm definitely missing my man more now than the holidays get closer and closer, while they are a great to help pass the time, they emphasize the piece of my heart that is missing right now.

The kids and I had a great day today. We went to church. We went to Trader Joe's. Then, we came home and had lunch and shortly after lunch our longtime family friends the Carmichael's came over with my parents for a little bit before they headed back home (they were just in town for the weekend). It was so fun to see them and to catch up with them for a little bit.

Then the kids and I watched Prancer because we downloaded the free trial of Hallmark Movie Now to see if we wanted it. I'm trying to see what the three different Hallmark channels get. With Sling we have Hallmark, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. Then we have the Hallmark App and now this new movie one.....I just know I don't want to miss our Christmas movies and a few other Hallmark shows/movies that I enjoy, when I have time to watch them.

Anyway, the kids were tired early because of the time change, so I put them both to bed a little early, since it felt later for them and they both fell right to sleep. And, I've been working ever since and took a quick break to write this post.

I'm actually working on my private class for this Thursday about Winter Wellness. If you'd like to be added to it please let me know. I am just doing a quick class around 7:30 to help people learn how to boost their immune system and to be proactive with staying well this winter season.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

3 for 1

Days 87 & 88 & 89.

I started my post yesterday and woke up to the realization that I never finished it. Whoops. So, then I started my post yesterday with the plans to cover those two days and ended up getting side tracked with something for work and because I'd started writing the blog, in my mind I'd finished it and then I woke up this morning realizing I didn't post the blog...for crying out loud. So......tonight will cover Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The struggle is real y'all. Nights are so full that some times I have to just decide to stop because I could keep working into the wee hours of the morning, but then my alarm would be going off  too soon (it goes off at 5:15am) and I'd be a zombie all day.

Anyway, on Thursday, I helped out in Hudson's class and we got to deliver a special present to his class. Alex had a flag flown and dedicated to his class to go with their IB unit and performance later on this week that is a tribute to the military. Hudson was super excited to share this flag with his class. Alex also was able to send over a folder with pictures that the Combat Camera took while they are raising and flying the flag.


On Friday, I had a GREAT workout at my gym. Really can't say enough about how much I love my trainers and how much I love the gym. I have only been there a month (on the 6th) and I've seen so many amazing results and have gotten so much stronger, and I have wonderful friends that I look forward to seeing every time I go to my training sessions. 

Another BIG thing that happened on Friday was that Madison got a big connection on the beam. She was so excited and if it keeps going well, they might have her work it into her beam routine. She's started connecting a back walkover, back handspring. I wasn't able to get a video, but I'm hoping that maybe next week I can get one. All I know is this sweet girl was beaming from ear to ear when I picked her up and hasn't stopped talking about it and every night she prays that God would keep helping her to get stronger at the skill because she's so excited to be executing it. 

On Friday, I also received a call from the jeweler that has my ring and was told it will be another week before I have my ring back because the setting that was sent to them did not satisfy the jeweler. So, he ordered a new one from another company and thinks it will be a much better fit for my ring and for a heart shaped diamond. 

Today, Hudson had golf this morning and he did amazing. When he takes his time, he's really starting to have a strong swing and has been hitting the ball really well. But the biggest thing, is that he's having so much fun with it and I LOVE seeing that wonderful smile across his face through the whole class and then when he comes to find me after class. 

It was a beautiful day. We had the sliders open today and the front door....we would have had the windows open, but our management company didn't feel they were necessary when renting out the house, so we are screenless. I might go try to figure out how to get screens because days like today are too beautiful to not have the windows open. Anyway, my parents came over after golf and we talked and then played Five Crowns. We all just love that game so much. If you've never played it and you like card games, you have to check it out. I'd say we all highly recommend it. 

After they left, we had lunch and then Madison and I worked on her Science Fair Project a little bit. She needed to come up with a project that can be done fairly quickly because they were given the packets last week and the science fair isn't that far away. So Madison searched through several possibly ideas from a website Alex found and through some ideas we found on Pinterest and ended up not really liking anything she saw...go figure. ;) So, she remember that I'd told her someone on my team had a daughter who had done an experiment with essential oils, so she brainstormed and she decided on what I think will be a very fun, very interesting science project. We ordered the petri dishes today...they should be here Monday so that she can start the actual experiment and start tracking the results. She's going to put Thieves oil to the test again vinegar and lysol. Anyway, we worked on gathering research today and she wrote her question, her hypothesis, her research points, her bibliography, her materials and began thinking about her procedure and will write that tomorrow. Basically she finished everything except the experiment, data and conclusion, so she's feeling good about where she's at now. Then next weekend we'll probably start working on her Science Fair least with the info we have. Because of Madison's new gym schedule we try to make the most of our weekends when it comes to homework and school projects. I think we're doing okay so far....the Science Fair is November 28th. 

After Science Fair prep, we watched Star Wars Rebels and then started our movie night. I forgot to grab our Applegate Pepperoni from Target this week, so we just made homemade cheese pizza. Kids had fun and enjoyed our movie night. They had popcorn and each picked a candy to have while they watched. 

Don't forget to turn your clocks back tonight. Hopefully you'll get to enjoy your extra hour of sleep, but if you're a parent....might want to add an extra swipe of Rutavala to the bottom of your kids big toes, as an extra precaution. 


Wednesday, November 01, 2017

We Flipped the Calendar!!!!

Day 86.


LOVE when I get to change that calendar to a new month....can't believe we've been able to flip the calendar 3 times so far since Alex left. We're moving along.

The kids are already on a count down until they get to see their cousins. As soon as they woke up, that's all they could talk about. To say we're excited is an understatement.

Today, I am going on very little sleep because End of the Month Hustle is Legit!!!! However, I had a killer run and workout with my trainers today. Felt so good to get a good workout in. Then, I ran to Costco, to drop our rent check off and then had a few minutes to meet my mom and aunt while they were eating lunch. Then I ran home, and did some more work and then it was time to get the kids.

After pick up, a sweet friend called me to just say hi and check in on me and it made my day. Then we quickly loaded back in the car and headed to gymnastics. Hudson and I dropped Madison off and then came home and finished his homework and had dinner. Afterwards, we watched the World Series until we had to go get Madison and I finished watching it once we were back home and the kids were in bed.

I have so much I could do right now, but I am beyond wiped out from the last few days, so I think I'm going to head to bed to catch up on some rest and then I'll hit it hard tomorrow after I'm done volunteering.

Hope everyone had a GREAT day~!!!!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Another One Bites the Dust...

Day 85.

My day started with a fun picture from one of my how crazy it is that I have a daughter now that is older than I am in this picture!

This morning was fantastic. The kids were decked out in their orange for school and Hudson's class had a wonderfully festive day. I was able to help out with the Spider Making Station and the Candy Corn Fruit Salad Station. There was also pumpkin bingo, graphing a fun mixed bag of goodies, and the monster mash. Here are some cut pics from the day:


After school, I worked on dinner. We have chili on Halloween. I made two kinds this year: traditional and white bean chicken chili. While I was working on dinner I was also helping the kids prep and carve their pumpkins. They had a lot of fun and each designed their own pumpkin. Madison did hers completely on her own and Hudson did all of his except a few parts of the mouth that were tricky. 

Madison's    Hudson's 

After they had finished carving their pumpkins, my parents arrived and shortly after that my aunt arrived. We all hung out for a little bit and then we ate dinner. After dinner we watched a little of the World Series and then got ready to take the kids out to a few houses in our neighborhood. Here are few pictures before we headed out.


Our frist stop was our friend Shelly's house. She lives on our street and also works at the school. She spoiled the kids rotten. Their bags were almost so full of candy after stopping at her house that they didn't have room for much more. After that we just went to a few houses and then headed home. It was past the kids bedtime by the time we got home, so they enjoyed 1 piece of candy and then got ready for bed.

Once the kids were in bed, we all watched the World Series Game tonight!!!!! Go Dodgers!!! Can't wait to watch tomorrow's game!!!! It's been such a GREAT series. 

However, today has been full and I sort of wish tomorrow was Saturday so that we could take the morning slowly....but TOMORROW is November.....another month bites the dust from this deployment!!!! Woo hoo!!!!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Whew....What A Day!

Day 84.

Happy Monday Y'all!!!

So, I'm struggling to find the words for this post. So much happened today, but at the same time it's hard to put into words exactly what. I can tell you for one thing that I have not had a break at all today. I bounced from one thing to the next.

I took the kids to school. I went for a run. I worked out with my trainer. I went to Trader Joe's. I worked. I talked to Alex. I worked. I picked the kids up from school. I made dinner. I worked. I took Madison to the gym. I went back to Trader Joe's (forgot a couple of things). I found out I was officially SILVER. I ran home to drop the groceries off and feed Hudson. Then we ran back to pick up Madison from the gym. I put the kids to bed. I worked. Whew....see, I did a lot, but because I was constantly on the go I don't have a huge story to tell.

I can say that God did some amazing things and I am so thankful for how He's working in and through my life. I think I'm still taking in the excitement of the day and just simply have no words. I am touched and honored to be able to dream BIG for my family and to see it come to light.

Full Day Equals a Happy Heart

Day 83.


We had a full day, so I'm just going to jump in.

We started out by going to church and it was a fantastic message this morning about Hope and how our true hope is found in the Lord, but so often people try to put their home in circumstances, but when our circumstances seem hopeless, it causes us to lose our JOY. However, when we put our hope in the Lord, He is with us always, no matter the circumstance and therefore we can have true Joy and find our peace in Him.

After church, we headed to El Paseo for the Golf Cart Parade. We had so much fun! We met Kim, Chris and Mackenzie there. It was wonderful to spend the afternoon with them. We had some great talks and just really enjoyed ourselves and as always, I love watching the kids have so much fun. Alex even called while we were there and we were able to show him some of the parade and talk to him for a little bit.

Here are some pictures from the time at the parade:


After the parade, we came home for a little bit. I worked a bit, and the kids read and did their quiet time. Then, Madison and I started prepping her face for her costume since Fall Spectacular was this evening. It was so much fun getting to do Madison's Maleficent Make-Up. We tried one look...we were going for the green faced Maleficent, but decided against it. After she washed her face, we started over again with a clean palate and I think we came out with a great Maleficent look. :) Then, I helped Hudson get ready and we were off to the main event, where we met my parents and we would also be meeting up with Kim, Chris and Mackenzie. 

We all had so much fun. The kids took silly pictures together. They did Trunk or Treat. They did a donut eating contest that was sort of like "bobbing for donuts" but in the air. They also did a cake walk (twice).  It was a GREAT night and the kids really enjoyed themselves, so did the parents and grandparents. 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Dodgers Tie the Series Back Up

Day 82.

Well, I had big plans for today, but plans are made to be broken right?!?

When Madison woke up, her jaw was still bothering her a lot. Brushing teeth and eating breakfast were challenge, but she did it like a champ and then we headed off to golf. Hudson had a blast today and said he can't wait until he goes back next week.

I had planned for us to go to a pumpkin patch today, but the closest one to us is over an hour a way and with Madison being pretty uncomfortable this morning we decided just to go out to lunch and then to hang out at home. We were able to watch Star Wards Rebels with Alex again this weekend and that is always fun. Then, once we were off of the phone with Alex, the kids went into quiet time and I worked for a couple of hours.

Once the kids had cleaned up and come back out, they played for a little bit while I finished up a couple things and then we made the pizza dough and relaxed and figured out what movie we were going to watch tonight. Then I quickly ran into the kitchen and made the pizza once the dough had finished. Tonight we watched Racing Stripes. We'd never seen it and it was super cute. It had some great actors in it and a wonderful moral.

The kids then went to bed and I've been working on plans for November and getting my calendar in order. I was able to talk to Alex briefly tonight before he had to go to breakfast. Now I'm off to bed and will see y'all tomorrow.

Go fun about their BIG win tonight!!!

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Surprise Guest

Day 81.

So this morning was such a FUN morning. I had kept it a surprise from Madison that she was going to be Student of the Month. The assembly was at 8:45 in the morning. She came into the MPR with her class and sat down and never saw myself or my parents. Then, low and behold, it worked for Alex to FaceTime in to watch. I went over and asked Madison's teacher if she knew when her class would be called and her teacher worked it out so her class would go first.

The principal was super sweet and talked briefly about supporting our military overseas and then, to my surprise, she walked toward me with the microphone and asked me to explain what RED stands for (Remember Everyone Deployed) because the kids were all wearing red shirts for Red Ribbon Week. Then she proceeded to tell everyone that Madison's dad was watching live on FaceTime, and had some other kind things to say. I know it meant a lot to Madison to have Alex watching as she received her student of the month award for academic excellence in Reading. We are so proud of our sweet girl and know that God has big plans for her future.

Here are some pictures from the morning. Since I had Alex on FaceTime, I wasn't able to take pictures during the ceremony, but we took some after before she had to rush back off to class.


After the assembly, I rushed off to my training session and has a GREAT time. I did however, in the process of kicking the tar out of the punching bag (or whatever it's called), break my wedding ring. I had forgotten that I put my ring on my shoe (which is normally not a problem, because I'd never had a kickboxing type workout)...whoops. Well, needless to say it's at the Jewelers now and they've ordered the new setting for my diamond (so thankful I didn't lose literally fell out into my hand when I remembered to take my ring off of my shoe). I should have it back in 1-2 weeks they said. Feels very weird to not have my rings. 

Please say a little prayer for Madison. Tonight at gymnastics, during her last turn on bars for the night, her hands slipped off of the high bar and normally that's no big deal, but this time she fell kind of wonky and her knee went straight into her jaw and she's pretty uncomfortable. We've oiled her up, given her ibuprofen, iced it and now she's resting, but please pray she's feeling better tomorrow. 

Alright, I'm super tired and we have a busy day ahead of us, assuming Madison is feeling up to it, so I  am going to head off to bed.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Have You Seen These Wizards?

Day 80.

I have been off on my days all week. So in case you're wondering today is Thursday....Happy Thursday! On Monday, I thought it was Friday. Yesterday I thought it was Monday and today I didn't know what day it was all day.

I've been crazy busy, but it's all been good.

The kids both had great days at school. I had a fun volunteering today, but it was quick in both classes...just not a lot to do today.

I had two zoom calls for work today.

I've been working out very intentionally and very equally as intentional about the food I'm putting in my body and it feel really good!

Anyway, today, after school, Madison and her BFF went to the Library for a special Harry Potter Night. My friend was kind enough to come pick Madison up since it was a 4th grade and up event and I didn't want Hudson to feel left out. Madison was super sweet and made Hudson his own wand at the craft station. The girls had so much fun. Madison was talking a mile a minute when she got home from the event. Here is a darling picture that Madison and her BFF took together. They apparently were causing all sorts of shenanigans, as there is now a wanted picture with their faces!

I'm so thankful for this family. They have seriously rallied around us and made us feel extra loved while Alex has been away. We are looking forward to our day with them at the parade on Sunday and then catching up with them that evening sometime while we're all at the Fall Spectacular our church puts on. 

I'm also incredibly thankful to my amazing Floral & Pine Team. I am use to keeping long distance friendships simply due to the nature of the life we live. However, I have never met a single one of the girls on my Leadership team, yet I have felt so much love and support from them. Today I hit a HUGE milestone in our company (it won't technically be official for a couple more days), but it's a big deal and I did it! I told myself that I would and I did. This might not seem like much to most people, but it's HUGE to me. When I wanted to give oils a shot, let alone when I felt called to begin pursuing a business teaching and educating others on how to have a life of wellness, I was met by many skeptics. I was laughed at. I was looked down upon. I was mocked. However, I very strongly felt God calling me to do this and Alex was in full support and so I went for it. Anyway, I've been receiving messages and sweet words of congratulations from my teammates all day. I love that I am not only making a healthier way for my family, but I'm voting about what ingredients I am okay with and not okay with in my home. I am working towards big goals and freedom. I am working to educate and empower others, as well as empower leaders to find their voice and their freedom. I LOVE what I do and am so thankful for the community I run in and that I get to do this with them for the rest of my life. God blessed me BIG TIME when He placed me on this team before I even knew I was going to be apart of the team. 

Hope everyone had a GREAT night! 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Tied Again...Who Will Win?

Day 79.

Wednesday came and went.

There was school.

There was a mighty workout.


There was success.

There was failure.

There was the renewing of my teaching credential.

There was healthy meals.

There was multitasking.

There was sweat and tears.

There was almost the taste of sweet victory.

Every day is a new day and while today was fine, there is something about the newness of the morning as the sun awakens that leaves me filled with awe and hope as a new day begins and I'm reminded that His mercies are NEW each and ever day!

I'm excited to see what tomorrow holds. I'm excited for the kids to have pajama day because they are so excited. I'm excited for Madison to get to hang out with her BFF after school at a fun event.

On a side's killing me that I am not able to watch Game 2 of the World Series and it's in extra innings and I just was notified that the game is tied AGAIN....Dodgers 5, Astros 5.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Final Elementary School Picture

Day 78.

Today was a very busy day, which made it go by super quick.

Before I forget again, I meant to post this yesterday and I forgot. Here is Madison's school picture:

The kids and I had a fun walk to school and I had a lovely morning volunteering in Hudson's class. I love that God has brought me so many friends through the kids' school. I just really love all of the people whether they be parents, teachers or office staff. 

After I was done volunteering, I came home and got busy with work. Big things are happening and it's an exciting time. We have a HUGE sale going on right now, so it was fun to be able to message my team and share it with them because it's the kind of sale that in all of my time with Young Living, I've never seen one like this! So, getting to hear everyone's excitement and shock at the news made my day. 

Today was minimum day, so I grabbed the kids after school and we headed home. The kids both finished their homework and we had a lovely dinner before heading off to gymnastics. 

After gymnastics, we came home and the kids got ready for bed and then I taught a speed class on how to get the toxins out of your home by cleaning with plants. It was my first speed class and I LOVED it. I think I will be doing more classes like this. It was much more personable and I liked that people could go back and listen in short clips instead of having a long video to watch. 

Anyway, once I was done with class, I spent some more time working and then Alex called and I was able to talk to him for a little bit before he had to head off to a meeting. 

I am going to finish up a few things and then head to bed myself. 

Hope everyone had a lovely Tuesday! 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Come On Fall....We're Ready For You!

Day 77.

Happy Monday everyone! It definitely didn't feel like a Monday to me. Actually, when I went to pick the kids up, for a brief second I thought it was Friday...LOL! Wouldn't that be nice!

The kids seem to have had a good day at school. It was a HOT one though...come on Fall where are you?!?! We're ready for cooler weather, a breeze in the air, jeans, boots, and cute sweaters!

I did A LOT today, but none of it is super exciting to share. So, I will say this. I got my workout in. I received GREAT news about my progress when I did my body composition today. I worked my tail off because I am the closest I've ever been to reaching a milestone in my company. I have 7 days left and I am just so excited what the next few days have to hold.

While Madison was at gymnastics, Hudson and I ate dinner, read books, did homework, cleaned up and then headed back to gymnastics. We were able to watch Madison doing her floor routine a few times, which is always a highlight of my day. Just love watching my sweet girl light up when the music turns on and she's in her element. If any of you are interested, Madison's Palm Springs Cup Competition is around the corner. This is the competition that her gym helps host and we are looking for people to place business ads or good luck posts in our program. If you're interested I can send you more info on the pricing. I know it always means so much to Madison when she sees all of her good luck ads from her friends and family. It's something she cherishes. This will be her first competition of the season.....It's in January.

I'm off to go finish up a little more work and then head to bed. Tomorrow is going to be an exciting day!!!!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

"Stephanie's 46 Hudson Pick Up"

Day 76.

Today was another GREAT day at church. Really was touched by the sermon. He spoke about what to do when you're overwhelmed.  It's late and I don't have enough time to go into all of it, so for how I'll leave you with the biggest nugget I took away from today's message:  TRUE FREEDOM comes from TOTAL SURRENDER!!!

After church we walked around the Car Show that was happening on our church campus, still in connection with the Patriot Ride I spoke about yesterday. There were some pretty amazing cars there. Hudson was drawn to this blue truck (forgive me for not knowing what kind it is). He ran over to it and asked if I'd take a picture of him standing next to it.

Then, as we continued to walk around, we spotted this sign that said, "Stephanie's 46 Hudson Pick Up" so of course Hudson had to take a picture with it. 

The gentleman who was standing with this car was wonderful. He had his car next to this one...this one was his wife's. He told us that her dad built the car and it had all of the original parts. But while we were chatting with him, he told me I should take the kids over to go see a really great car, that apparently is extremely rare....I took his word for it because I didn't know the difference. Anyway, he said the gentleman who owns the car was super kind and always let the kids sit in it and take a picture. So we headed over to the car. It was a Cobra (forgive me for not knowing the year) and each of the kids took their picture in this amazingly well kept, and extremely rare car. 


After the car show, we ran to Costco and the kids had a blast because it was sample central today. After Coscto, we headed home and ate some lunch and talked with Alex for a bit. Then the kids watched a movie while I worked a bit. The kids went to quiet time afterwards to do their reading and just have a little break from each other. I continued working and then watched the final episode of Gilmore Girls...I just love that series. I never tire of it. I could especially watch the final episode of the series all of the time. It is full of so much hope, love and inspiration. 

After quiet time the kids and I played board games. While we were playing Hudson and Kona snuck in a quick game of UNO Attack. 

After our games we ate dinner and then played a round of Sorry before getting ready for bed. Tonight we were very intentional at bedtime. I had each of the kids go in their room and read until I came in. So, I got their diffusers ready and then I started in Hudson's room, since he typically goes to bed first. I spent a good 15-20 minutes just sitting there talking with and snuggling with Hudson. We had a great talk. He said his prayers and then we just snuggled for a bit. When it was time to go to Madison's room, I tucked him in and he was almost asleep before I shut the door. Then I did the same thing with Madison. Her and I had a wonderful talk that rabbit trailed all over the place, but it was perfect. I loved ending our day like this. I'm hoping we can do it more often. I think they enjoyed it too. 

Hope everyone had a GREAT weekend. We have some fun stuff planned this week and another busy weekend ahead of us, so I'm excited to share all that we do. This week at school, it's red ribbon week. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Righty or Lefty?

Day 75.

Happy Saturday everyone!!!

I love that we always have so much to do on the weekends. I mean our calendar is seriously booked and I love it. We have found so many fun activities to help us make memories and pass the time while Alex is gone.

So, today, Hudson started the first of his three sports that he's asked to try while we're here. He started Golf. First things first, we had to establish if he was a righty or a lefty for golf because even though he writes left handed, we've come to learn that with baseball and a few other things he plays as though he's right handed. Well, we learned today that Hudson is definitely a righty for golf.


Hudson had a blast and thought it was so cool that we were all there to watch him, since he's usually always at things for Madison and having to watch her. I think he enjoyed being in the spotlight a little bit. :) I love that he and my dad can share this little golf activity together and he loved that grandpa was there watching him too!

Here is a little video of Hudson at one of the stations:

After golf was over, the kids and I went to the Patriot's Day Celebration in Palm Desert. The kids had a lot of fun looking at all of the different booths that were set up and they LOVED all of the flags that were flying! 

Two of their favorite things from while we were there were getting to take a picture with the Homeland Security vehicle and getting to see the Border Patrol Cavalry. Madison loved getting to pet the horses. 


After we were finished, we headed to the park. Hudson made a new friend named Cash and had a blast. They played all over the jungle gym and then went into the big open field and they played soccer and through the football. 

Madison and I brought our gloves and she wanted to play catch for a bit, so we did and had a lot of fun. Afterwards, Madison went back to being in full gymnast mode. She found a long stretch of grass that was void of hills, bumps and holes and practiced all sorts of gymnastics and had a blast. I was able to snap a quick picture in the midst of watching her and watching Hudson play with his new friend. 

After the park, we came back and had lunch. While we ate lunch Alex facetimed us and we all watched the new Star Wars Rebels episodes. We had visitors while we were watching our show. My mom and her best friend popped over to bring the kids some fun hats. Hudson had mentioned wanting a Dodgers' hat and of course since they are in the World Series now, my parents wanted to get him one and Madison still requested and Angel's hat. ;) The kids loved them (I forgot to take a picture). Anyway,  the kids really enjoyed getting to watch Star Wards Rebels with Alex. Then, they each took turns talking with him. 

Tonight for movie night we watched a new movie (at least to us), The Secret of MoonAcre. The kids really enjoyed it and I actually did too! It had some decent people in it too!

Hope y'all had a great day and that you have a wonderful Sunday!