Saturday, June 28, 2008

Foto Friday

the crazy cousins

Marathon Day

Whew! Yesterday was a marathon family fun day.

During PCS season, after living without a schedule and our stuff for a while, we get bored...bored, bored, bored. Bubba didn't have to go to work since the person he is replacing won't be back from TDY until Monday. So, we decided to get out of the house. The weather was beautiful, but HOT so that limited our choices. We had gone to the Mariner's Museum here in Newport News last week and noticed that they had paddle boats. They were cute - two pirate ships, a gondola, a Loch Ness monster, and the African Queen. We grabbed Nannie (my mom, who we are staying with) and went. We took the two pirate ships - complete with Jolly Roger flags and off we went. It was wonderful! We saw many, many turtles sunning themselves on logs. We saw a beautiful blue heron, who took off right in front of us. A pair of osprey were flying overhead fishing for their lunch. BoyBoy had a map of the lake and made sure we didn't venture outside the boundaries. Nannie instigated an epic naval battle when she stripped a gum tree of its gumballs and fired a warning shot across BoyBoy and Bubba's bow. A splash fight kept us all cool. We moored our galleons and went to pillage the cafe for drinks and cookies.

We weren't finished yet! Bubba and I are always challenging BoyBoy to step outside his comfort zone. He is cautious almost to a fault. Doesn't like to take unnecessary chances. He might have fun! So, we donned our swimsuits and headed to Water Country, U.S.A. We climbed the stairs to the first slide and after learning the ropes from the three boys in line in front of us, we chose our slide. BoyBoy chose the green one, I chose pink (of course!) and Bubba followed BoyBoy down the green one. At the bottom, BoyBoy was hooked. We slid on every slide in the place (except one - it was in total darkness - even I have my limits) and closed the place down. We might have to get season passes. It was a great time! BoyBoy can't stop talking about it....he dreamt about it last night.

I love days like this...I love being back in the states!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Just askin'

Is it time for the kids to go back to school, yet?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

My Little Girl is in Love

Melly has a boyfriend. She has fallen head-over-paws in love with my sister's Golden Retriever, Jake. We introduced them two weeks ago and, after a lesson for Jake in who is the true queen, they both fell in love. It is silly, really. We had them together for a week at the beach and it was just the bonding experience they needed. They greeted each other every morning with a slobbery kiss and a game of tag around the coffee table. Some light wrestling after breakfast followed by tandem napping went into the daily rotation. Evening walks on the beach cemented their bond. They both had serious depression when we came back and they were separated for the first time. It was so bad that my sister had to come and pick Melly up for a play date the next day.
Jake is absolutely the ying to Melly's yang. He completes her. Where she is neurotic and a spaz, he is laid back and a big lug. Where she is small and compact, he is huge and lanky. His paws are bigger than her head and yet he allows her to believe that she is bigger than he is. When they are together, she is permanently attached to his neck. He will flop over on the floor and let her gnaw on his fluffy neck for what seems like hours. Where she is faster than a speeding bullet, he takes more of a stop and smell the roses approach. When we take the two of them on walks, he waits for her to use the bathroom and even averts his eyes in respect for her privacy. It almost looks like he is the doting spouse, holding her purse while she powders her nose. All you have to do is say his name and she is headed for the door with a glance over her shoulder to make sure we are following with the car keys. They seem to be a match made in heaven. My little girl is in love. I just hope he doesn't break her heart for that trampy poodle down the street.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wow, that was fast

Okay, we had dug in for the long haul with this home search thing and, after looking at umpteen houses on the first day, we thought we were in for the really, really, really long haul. We had been told the housing market was saturated and it would be like shooting fish in a barrel. However, sellers must have given up and decided not to try too hard. We walked into one house and there were breakfast dishes on the counter with soggy rice krispies in the bowl! The mom's bra was on the floor in the bathroom! There was a box of feminine hygiene products on the counter in the KITCHEN?!?!? Now, call me crazy, but if the market is saturated and you want your house to stand out from the rest, this is not the way to go about it, for sure! We were deflated by what we saw.

So, when we set out on the second day, our hopes were not high. But...on the last house of the morning, with grumbling tummies because it was well past lunch, Bubba and I walked into our new house. It was so cute and us that we were immediately taken by its spunk. We were both grinning by the time we went up the stairs and when we got to the top of the stairs we were hooked. A tiny reading nook, adorable bedrooms, and a secret hideaway for Boyboy...we were goners. An offer was made and accepted and in 30 days, we will be homeowners.

We are soooo excited and can't wait for the joys and trials of home ownership! Photos to come.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Home

Today, we begin the process of finding our final home. Not just our next home, but our final home. A bit of a daunting task, if you ask me. We are making a decision that will affect the rest of our lives. We are staying here forever...Bubba will retire in the next year or so and so we want to find THE house. The one we have been waiting 16 years to find. The one that we have built in our minds from the many houses we have lived in. The kitchen from California, the bathroom from Virginia, the backyard from Germany are a must. The laundry room in Kansas, the driveway in Virginia, the plumbing in Germany are a no-go. We have already joked that we can't build our own home because it would cost us a bazillion dollars to put all the must and no-gos into it. So, we start looking...wish us luck.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My Sister

Do you ever get the feeling that the only way to communicate with your family is through confrontation? I had such a conversation with my sister last night and realized that the best conversing we do is at the beach under the slight influence of some type of Anheuser Busch product. She and I are at the best of times the best of friends and at the worst of times our own worst enemies. I have looked up to my sister since the day I was born and it has taken me 39 years to realize that she is human just like me. We had a conversation last night that can only be described as cathartic. She is the Cancer survivor, larger than life, can do no wrong older sister. I have always lived in her shadow, wanting to be more like her, and struggling with my identity in our family. Last night, we solved all of that. She showed me that she is as vulnerable as I am and that she needs my support as much as I desired hers. We realized that as sisters we are in this together. We are lucky to have each other to navigate this life together. We can talk about our parents and how they drive us crazy and we are the only ones who understand what we are talking about. We realized that the sisterly bond is what makes us stronger. Our Husbands try to understand and support us but don't get the reason why we give each other so much slack. She is, at the same time, my hero, my inspiration, my straw that breaks my back, and my favorite soul. I am so glad to have her. I am sad that Boyboy will not have a sibling to commiserate with. She, whether she knows it or not, has shown me how to be strong, independent, and compassionate in the most dire of circumstances. I love my sister...she is the bomb.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Foto Friday



Auf Weidersehn, Deutschland!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

On the Move

Tomorrow, we leave Germany for the last time. I have mixed feelings about it and definitely know that I will miss this country that I have come to love.

We have had a rocky relationship, Germany and me. The first time we were here, I did not adapt well. Cold rainy summers, even colder grayer winters, very long summer days (which were ok until you tried to put a toddler to bed at 7pm and the sun was in his eyes), and very short winter days all put me on the fast track for pharmaceutical intervention. What also didn't help was the lack of family contact. I love my family and was used to being able to pick up the phone and call when ever I felt like it and I couldn't do that without figuring out the time difference first which usually turned out that they were asleep or at work. My sister was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma while we were here the first time. I felt so helpless when I talked to my mom and heard about her treatments and what they were doing to the larger-than-life sister that I had always thought was invincible. Fortunately, she beat the cancer because she fights harder and makes it look easier than anyone I will ever know. Oh, and let's not forget September 11th and the beginning of the War on Terror...so, needless to say, I was very ready to leave Germany the first time.

Fast-forward two years and we're told that Bubba will take command in ... say it with me ... Germany! While I was proud of Bubba and excited for him to take this responsibility, I did not want to go back to Germany. However, from the first day we were here, it has been different. The weather is still gloomy and the distance is still there but I think I am a better person for the trials that happened the first time. Everything fell into place this time - from friends for Boyboy, to friends for us, fulfilling volunteer opportunities for me, an opportunity to go back to school and further a hobby into what I hope will be a career, things have been better. And, I admit, there are things about Germany that are sooooo much better than the USA that I didn't appreciate until we left the first time. The things we will miss most we took for granted the first time and now we know to savor them . We will miss sitting in an outdoor cafe drinking great German beer, enjoying the weather (on those odd days that it is not raining), eating hearty food and relaxing with friends. We will miss traveling and the ease of European trains and highways. Need French wine for your dinner with friends? Head over to France and pick it up...it is only 45 minutes away. Want to ski this weekend? Grab your gear and go to Switzerland....only 4 hours away. Can't do that in the USA. But most of all, we will miss our friends. We have made some of the best friends in our Army career and hopefully, if the stars are aligned, we will be together in the same place again.

So, this time is bittersweet. I am ready to leave but sad to go. C'est la vie militaire!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Redonkulous Cuteness!

Check this site out but make sure you have an insulin shot handy because it is the sweetest thing I think I have ever seen...

http://www.dailypuppy.com/

If you love puppies as much as I do, you must go to this site immediately!