Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Fun

Pouring down rain prevented us from going trick-or-treating, 
but we still managed to have some good Halloween fun.

Painting pumpkins.  It took Miss Priss a little while 
to be okay with having paint on her hands.

Playing and showing off her cute Halloween outfit.

Trying to take her tutu off.

I told Emma that pumpkins are "Mmmm Mmmm good" so she decided to try to eat it.

We baked a special Halloween treat for Daddy's Marines.
Cream cheese swirled brownies with cream cheese frosting all made from scratch.
I love love love using all the baking stuff Daddy got me for my birthday.
I wanted to do some more elaborate decorating on the brownies, just didn't have the time.
I had to keep it simple, but apparently they were "spooktacular!"
This was only the second time I've made my own frosting
and I was told that was the best part.  Cannot wait to try something else 
and really get into some fancy decorating.

Since it was raining so much and we knew we weren't going to take her 
out trick-or-treating she only wore her costume for about five minutes.
We are going to put it on her again this weekend and have a little photo shoot.
Momma is really excited about this because she looked so darn cute in it!

Hope every one else had a great Halloween also!

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Big Change is coming for a Little Girl

Here is a quick catch up on what we have been up to lately...

Morning cuddles with Daddy is how the girls in this family like to start their day.

Our little cowgirl.

Such a Beauty Queen.

Someone thinks the new baby's carseat is a jungle gym.

Emma has developed a fascination with Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
We don't have a TV so she's never watched a cartoon before, but I think it's so cute
that she loves Mickey and Minnie so much so I let her watch an episode
of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse every once and a while.

Momma's little poser.

Getting some quality sand time in.

Playing with her Autumn tree.


Cuddling up while Daddy sings to her.

Listening to Daddy explain that the musical gene gets passed down from generation to generation.
I'm just hoping Emma got part of that gene from her Daddy,
 because she definitely didn't get it from me.

A little messed up, but I still think it's a really cute picture.

Breakfast on the beach.

My darling girl,

In just a few short weeks you will no longer be the only baby in the house.
I am so excited for your little brother or sister to join our family, 
but as we get closer to that day I have really started to get sentimental about
the special time you and me spend together; that special Momma, Emma time
 that is filled with laughter, kisses, learning, and silliness.
With the exception of a few nights spent with Grammy and Grandpa, 
you and I have spent every day together for the past fourteen and a half months.
And, my beautiful daughter, they have been the most incredible fourteen and a half months of my life
all because of you.  You have brought your Momma more joy than you will ever know.
You, and sharing the job of raising you with your Daddy, is a dream come true for me.
Every changed diaper, slobbery kiss, wiped tear, nap time cuddle, and sweet grin
is just another moment of me fulfilling my purpose in life which is to be your Momma.
I know I was made special for your Daddy and he for me, but now,
although you were born many years after me, I also believe I was made special for you.
The twenty-four years leading up to your arrival was just time spent waiting to meet 
my other perfect match, my first born, my beautiful daughter, my Emma Claire.
You have filled a huge part of my heart that I never knew could love so much and so deeply.
You are one special lady Emma Claire and although your little world is about to change in a big way, 
I hope you know that just because your Momma and Daddy love the new baby with all our hearts
doesn't mean we love you any less.  You will always be loved, tended to, and cared for
the same way you have been since the day you were born.
You might have to share some of that special Momma, Emma time with your new
baby brother or sister, but I promise to always have enough
time, arms, and lap space for both of you.
You are a lucky girl to get the privilege to be both a little sister and a big sister.
I know you will go great things in both roles.
Please know that Momma and Daddy love you, your big sisters, and your baby brother or sister
more than I could ever describe and that nothing will ever change that. 
You are all wonderful and special in your own way.  We have an amazing family
and I cannot wait to create a lifetime of memories filled with all six of us.

I love you Beauty Queen.



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Bringing Autumn to Us

I can't wait to move back to the states and have our own house.
I am so ready to be able to decorate for the seasons.
I have always wanted to do this, but having Emma makes me want to even more.
Sure I could decorate our apartment, but that would involve ordering basically
everything on-line and I hate ordering craft type stuff without being able to see it in person.
Pictures can be deceiving.  Plus, everything I create has to make the long
journey back to the states and I have heard plenty of horror stories about TMO
and people's things getting ruined.  I would be so mad if something I,
or more importantly Emma made got destroyed when we move back in a little less than a year.
So, because of these two reasons I have accepted the fact that
I just have to wait to bust out the pumpkin, turkey, and snowflake crafts.
But when I came across this adorable idea on Johnny in a Dress, I knew I couldn't wait.
I couldn't even wait til Christmas like the original craft is for.  I wanted to do this immediately.
All I would need to order is felt and I figured I could handle that.
Felt is an awesome material because it sticks to itself.
There is so much you can do with it, especially things to get little ones involved.
I thought this would be such a cute thing for Emma to play with during this time of year.
Plus, it can easily be adapted and added to in the coming years when she is older
and comes up with her own ideas.  I'm sure she will make some beautiful creations.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find orange felt so I had to to skip the pumpkin
and head straight for the Autumn tree with its colorful leaves.
Here's how it turned out...

felt in various Fall colors
wrapping paper
fabric glue
leaf pattern

I didn't want to draw the tree directly onto the felt in case I messed up
so first I drew it on wrapping paper and cut it out.  I just free handed the outline of the tree.

Then I traced the tree onto the dark brown felt and cut it out.

Next came the leaves, which ended up being kind of difficult for me.
First I tried to free hand them, but quickly found out that leaves are not my specialty.
Eventually I gave in to the power of Google
 and just traced basic leaf patterns onto regular paper and cut them out.  
I know trees technically only have one kind of leaf on them, 
but I thought Emma would like having the two different shapes.

Then I just traed my leaf patterns onto the different colored felt and cut them out.
I used red, yellow, and light brown felt for the leaves.

To finish the leaves off I simply cut out long, skinny rectangles from leftover dark brown scraps.
I glued one rectangle on the back of each leaf as a stem.

Finally, simply hang it on the wall.  I put a small piece of velcro on the end of each branch
and then stuck the other part of the velcro to the wall.  
I also put a few pieces of velcro on the trunk of the tree.
Randomly place the leaves where ever you want, and ta-da, 
you have an Autumn tree right in your living room.

In typical Emma fashion she basically wanted nothing to do with the tree
when I was trying to get pictures of her playing with it.
She loved playing with the leaves while I was in the process of cutting them all out
and she kept trying to rip the tree down while I was hanging it on the wall,
but at soon as I got the camera out she was done.

 MightyCrafty Mondays Pin-Up Party at

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Baby Carrier

Ever since I found out I was pregnant again 
I have tossed around the idea of getting a baby carrier
and doing some of this "baby wearing" that I have heard and read so much about.
I never used one with Emma, mostly because I never really felt the need to.
I'm a stay at home mom and luckily she was, and still is, a really good baby.
I never felt like I couldn't get the everyday household chores such as laundry and dishes done
while also caring for a newborn.  Even as a little baby, Emma has always been 
very content playing on her own.  She was happiest on the floor on a blanket or a tummy time mat
where she could flail her little arms and legs around.
She's like her Daddy and loves her freedom.
Who knows if the new baby will be the same way and even if s/he is, 
I won't be able to just leave him/her playing on the floor
while the wild Emma Claire is running around.
Of course I can use a swing or bouncy seat while I'm trying to get some chores done, 
(and I know I will at times) but Emma, flying toys, and who knows what else
can still get to the little one that way which is why I think
a baby carrier would be really nice to have.
It's not that I think Emma won't do well with her new sibling.
It's just that she's a newly walking, very energetic 14 month old right now
and there's no way for her to understand how gentle you have to be with a newborn.
Plus, a baby carrier will give me the opportunity to continue to be
very hands-on with Emma, which I feel is extremely important.
Of course her little world is about to change, but she still needs her Momma 
just as much as the new baby will.  I don't want her to miss out on anything
just because my hands are tied up holding her little brother or sister.
Now I know times like that are inevitable and that she's going to have to learn to be patient,
but I want to minimize those times as much as possible.
I feel like a baby carrier will be the perfect thing to help me with this.
I've done a lot of reading on many different styles
and as of right now, if I end up getting one, I think I want the Boba Carrier 3G.
It's similar to the Ergobaby, which is the one I originally thought I wanted,
but has a few more features that I really like.
With the Boba, I wouldn't have to buy an additional infant insert
in order to carry our newest addition in it like I would with the Ergobaby.
The Boba also comes with foot straps that apparently
help an older child get into a more comfortable sitting position,
which I think would be really beneficial if Emma is going to be in it
for an extended period of time.  The Ergobaby doesn't have a feature like this.

So that's where I'm at right now.
I think having a baby carrier would be great, but they're expensive.
It's hard for me to justify spending that amount of money on something I know isn't a necessity.
My mother, and plenty of other moms, have raised children who are close in age
without the help of a baby carrier so it's definitely not a must have.
I just think it would be really nice to have.
Decisions, decisions... 



Wordless Wednesday: Missing Fall

The husband and I are really missing Fall this year.
This picture was taken during the last Fall that we saw down in Oklahoma at "our rocks."
I wish we could go there right now...

See more Wordless Wednesday features at

Monday, October 15, 2012

Two Years in Okinawa

Today marks two years of what my husband and I 
like to call Honey Moon Phase Three.
We have officially been calling this little island "home" for two years now, 
which means it's been about two and a half years since
I told Joshua that I would go anywhere with him.
I think this little hop across the pond has proven that I meant ANYwhere.
I will admit, when I told him that Okinawa had never even crossed my mind.
I was thinking more along the lines of California or North Carolina,
and although I was shocked when he first told me he had orders to Okinawa
it didn't take me long to know that not going with him wasn't an option.
Many people in my life did not agree with or like this decision.
They asked me questions such as:
Are you crazy?  How do you know he's not going to hurt you?
What about the career you are just starting?
You couldn't even move to Texas.  How are you going to move to Japan?
How do you know he's the one?
Why don't you wait six months after he leaves and then see if you still want to go?
Is this guy you've only known a few months really worth leaving your entire life behind?
My family and friends didn't understand and couldn't believe
that this man, this Marine was the love of my life
and that there was no way I could watch him move across the world without me.
I would have been absolutely miserable if I would have done that.
My mind was made up.  I was moving to Okinawa, Japan
and nothing anyone said or did could get me to decide otherwise.
Unfortunately, getting here wasn't easy for a number of different reasons.
Waiting games were in full force.
Papers were signed and then unsigned.
Arguments were had. Tears were cried.  Mix ups were made.
Documents were missing.  Plane tickets were bought and then canceled. 
Confusion was everywhere.
We lived carless and homeless for a month.
There was a time, because of administrative things,
when I thought I was going to have to watch my one true love start this journey without me.
Thankfully, after months of stress, misunderstandings, and multiple drives to Leavenworth
everything got worked out and we boarded the plane headed to the land
of yen and sushi together, hand in hand.
Now, here we are, two years later
and although we have missed family and friends,
this experience has been wonderful.
It's beautiful here.  The Okinawans are an incredible group of people.
We have seen, tasted, and done things that we never would have gotten the opportunity to
anywhere else in the world.  Okinawa will always hold a special place in our hearts.
Years down the road from now we will look back on these years
and remember it as the place where we truly started our married lives together
and where we built such an incredible foundation for that marriage.
The love Joshua and I have for each other is so strong, solid, and unwavering.
Okinawa has been our own little "paradise" to grow together and fall even more in love.
The memories we've created here will forever be cherished in our hearts.
Here's to making our last year here just as wonderful as the first two.

Our first day in Okinawa.

 First trip up North.
We hit the aquarium, Tropical Dream Center,
and Pizza in the Sky all in one day.

Just a day at the beach.

Shuri Castle.

 Hiji Waterfall.  

My first Marine Corps Ball.

Emma Claire is on her way.

Camping at Okuma.

Cherry Blossom Festival.

Whale watching.


Just over half way through the pregnancy.

Beautiful sunset.

One week before Emma was born.

Emma made her big debut.

We found out that our family was going to have another special addition.

Mold attacked our house while we were on leave.

Life with Emma.

Waiting for our next sweet baby to be born.