Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree & my new iPod Touch 4!!!

I'm loving having my Josh home! I've been so busy I can't even tell ya! I've baked so many ginger cookies I won't even bother to tell ya....we've cooked and eaten so many yummies, I can't tall ya...and I've gained....never mind. I WON'T tell ya! Let's just say this...I'm definitely restarting my gym membership & Zumba classes after Josh leaves on the 3rd before Waddle becomes my first, middle and last name.
Mrs. Waddle Waddle Waddle.

Well, I was digging in some old boxes and I found an old 8mm film from looooong ago of our Christmas tree highlighting all of my cherished & treasured handmade ornaments that Josh made me long ago and thought I'd share it with's to sweet! The creaking is my wood floors, ha!

Cool, huh? I really only took that video about 15 minutes ago and loaded it directly to YouTube from my new iPod Touch 4 - which my sweetheart got for me and for Josh for Christmas. Yay! Great gift, Johnny! The app is called Nexvio 8mm and it's only $1.99. It allows you take old vintage video's like the one above, or create a 1920's or 1970's style video. It also has different color films; black & white, sepia, sakura/pinkish, burned film, etc. Very fun.

Josh & I have been having so much fun with our iPod Touch's. Mainly, Johnny got them for us because of the new feature "Facetime" that's already installed and he wanted us to stay more connected when Josh went back to his barracks soon. It's live face to face chat and I can't wait to use it when he's away...It's like Skype, but on our tiny hand held iPod.

LOVE  xoxo   IT

Josh really likes the fact that I "practice" and video call him when I'm in the living room and he's in the kitchen. Or when I'm in the basement and he's in his bedroom. Or when I'm in the kitchen and he' get the picture. And NO ~ he hasn't blocked me yet. YET, being the operative word.

My second favorite part; I get to have Facetime with my sister. I "phoned" her right afer I got my new Ipod and scared her half to death, we both screamed out loud, ha! I caught her leaving for work and she was in the most darling little Santa hat. She's so stinkin' cute! It was great "seeing" her while we talked.

"Blooop! Blooop! Can you hear me now?"

It's fun rendering pics in the PhotoStudio app! (only 99 cents)

The camera "flips" around so that you can either film/take pics in front of you or take a fabulous self portrait like the one above.
Yikes. Wear makeup much?

No one is off limits when I have a new gadget in my hands!
Caught ya swiggin down the spiked egg nog, Mister! Give me some.
(Insert ad for Christian Brothers Brandy Egg Nog here. Oh's simply the best)

My cute little stalker... Piper was very interested in my new toy.

Very, very interested.

Peanut....not so much.

See? I flipped it around for another self portrait. Josh, thrilled as usual.

But he knows I won't leave until I get a smile. So he gave in  :o)

Did I tell you that you can get all of the apps ~ the same that you'd get on the iPhone 4. I play checkers (and it beats me every time), and all kinds of games. It's very addicting. I can't praise it enough. In case you're wondering, I would get an iPhone, however where we live AT&T is not quite optimum so I will stick with Verizon until such time as they unlock the phones or let other servers support it. the iPod Touch is my next best thing.

I'm going to love this new little camera/toy/ipod/facetime/app/game playing toy. Thanks Johnny xoxo

Well, I just wanted to check in. I haven't even downloaded all of my pics from my camera I've been so busy.....but in the good I-don't-want-this-to-end kind of way. I'm plugging through Josh's list of things he wanted me to cook and tomorrow we'll go to a movie together and then we'll go to one of the restaurants on his list. The time is flying by! I'll check in again sooooooon!!


Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry★* 。 • ˚ ˚ •。★Christmas★ 。* 。*FROM MY HOUSE TO YOURS!!
° 。 ° ˚* _Π_____*。*˚★ 。* 。*。 • ˚ ˚ •。★
˚ ˛ •˛•*/______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛★ 。* 。*★ 。* 。*
˚ ˛ •˛• | 田田|門| ˚

And Happy New Year to all of my Blogger friends ~

Have a blessed & joyous 2011!


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pinch me......


If someone would've told me one year ago that THIS would be the sight next to my front door, I would've told them to put down the vodka and find a good shrink!

Pinch me.

I walked in from going grocery shopping today and was a bit overwhelmed at the sight of his boots, his hat and his dog tags. He's in the Army. He's not playing Army. He's IN the Army.

Pinch me.

It was a long, 18 hour Greyhound journey from Georgia, but he can handle it. He's Army Strong

Sorry for putting a after "Army Strong"'s a Mom thing....

And sorry for blinding you with my cell phone flash, Josh....that's also a Mom thing....

We're both running on about 3-4 hours of sleep and have had a busy day together, but I couldn't be happier.

That warrented another heart.

My boy just ate an entire batch of chocolate chip cookies and I baked him his favorite egg nog cake.

Johnny is in Illinois ~ his daughter Liz graduated college today ~ YAY LIZ!! ~ he'll be home tomorrow.

What a great day for our kiddo's. They're taking on the world.

Life is good.

We're going to order some pizza and I'm going to spend the evening listening to his boot camp tales. I feel like I can fully exhale again. It's a good feeling.

I hope all of my friends who's boys came home yesterday or who are coming home today & tomorrow have a wonderful reunion.



Friday, December 17, 2010

Tonight's gonna be a GOOD night!

This is my theme song today!!



♥  Because my Soldier is coming home  

This was his "wish list" for his homecoming treats in a recent letter.

The only thing missing is a big jar of Nutella. I'll get that on my way to the Greyhound station....

He also included a list of his favorite meals he'd like me to cook.

I got your back, Kid.

It's going to be a VERY Merry (and fattening) Christmas in our home  ♥


Monday, December 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Gram & congratulations Liz!

We have some exciting updates in our family to share!

  First of all, our Gram, who we all love and adore, celebrated another mile stone in her life recently.

Gram turned 95! And look at the beautiful cupcakes that my talented mother in law made  :o)

I was blessed when I married into my husband's family and Gram adopted me as her own grand daughter. I was never close to my maternal or paternal grandparents and Gram has made up for that 100%.

For the first 10 years of my marriage I recieved at least one hand written letter a week from Gram filled with stories, recipes, well wishes and tons of love.

The second bit of great news concerns Johnny's daughter.....

Liz graduates college this Friday! YAY! WAY TO GO LIZ!

4 1/2 years of hard work & studying, pfew! She'll have her BS in English, minor in Marketing and now the fun starts. Job hunting, interviews and getting herself established to go out and conquer the world!

Sadly, I won't be at her graduation but Johnny will be flying in for the big event. Josh happens to be arriving here at home on his Greyhound bus on the same day Liz graduates so I'll be here as his welcome committee.

I'm sending you all the best of wishes across the miles, Liz! Dad will take pictures so smile and say cheeeeeeze! I can't wait to hear about your big day and your celebration dinner. I'll be with you all in spirit  xoxo



Mt. Vernon Coffee Group Christmas party

I just wanted to give a quick shout out to the Mt. Vernon Coffee Group who invited me to their annual Christmas party on Friday.


These Navy wives have been meeting since the mid 1960's and have been a huge support structure for one another. I felt honored to be among them and their combined multitude of wisdom.

They followed their husbands around the globe, lived in countless homes, apartments & Navy base housing, supported their love's Navy career, raised dozens of children among them, yet always made time once a month to get together for food, support, gab & coffee since their husbands retired and settled in the Capital area.

Now, 30 years later, many, if not most of them, are now widows. Before lunch we made a very large circle in the kitchen and held hands for grace. Several ladies spoke of how much the group meant to them, several thanked them for the well wishes and cards the group sent while they had surgery or their husbands were laid to rest. One lady said that the group's love and support carried her through the toughest years after husband passed away.

I looked around the room and felt humbled. I have my Navy wives coffee group also and I'm invited to many of the other coffee group functions and for a second I thought how lucky am I? We will all grow older and have challenges, but I have my friends. I had a 30 year flash forward of my own life and I pray that, God willing, when I go through my tough times I will have my friends' love and support and I will, likewise, be a source of strength for them.

After a dear prayer led by the new group leader (Tina) said, "Next month we're meeting at Peggy's. She's down & out and if she can't party we're taking the party to HER!" Too cute.

Peggy was their group leader for 10 years. She just turned 90 and is recooperating from knee surgery. Peggy also has 3 "suiters" that come visit her. She likes to say that the love of her life was her husband and no one will every replace him. But, she will cry out of one eye and *wink* out of the other. Oh, Peggy, Peggy, Peggy  :o)

Then, all of sudden, the group bursted out in song. Really! They did! We're all holding hands in a big circle there in the kitchen and they're sining "We Wish You A Merry Christmas!" at the top of their lungs. I have to admit, I was taken by surprise and sorta stood there like a dummy for a few seconds. I don't think I've done anything like that since my grade school Christmas pageants.

Then I thought what the heck...if Tina can stand there in reindeer antlers then I can sing. So I broke out my singing voice that I usually only set loose when I'm driving or screetching in the shower and went for it!  I don't sing well, but they didn't seem to care one bit.

I'm lucky that I get to spend THIS week with my girlfriends! ~ Tuesday I'll be with my Army wives friends at a luncheon, Wednesday my Navy wives coffee group is having our ornament exchange, Thursday I'll go to the White House tour with my friends followed by a Japanese-American military wives club luncheon and Friday I get to go on a Ft. Belvoir home tour with my friends and then......JOSH COMES HOME!!! That night will be uber special. Saturday night is a party at my girlfriends house......this will be a busy, but fun and loving week where I'm surrounded by the people I love and cherish in my life.

I'll enjoy every second of it. Then next week I'll have time to clean my house and then drop face down in bed. Ha.

Thank you to the Mt. Vernon wives for inviting me and showing me what's really important in life. I love my Military Family  xoxoxoxo.


Narayanan Krishnan

My friend Tiffany posted this video on Facebook today. I just had to share!

2 minutes, 44 seconds. For me this is the meaning of being human.

This man is an angel in my eyes.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Josh leaves for boot camp!

Ft. Benning's Facebook status this morning:  "Just a few more days until Christmas Exodus, who's excited out there? Get those decorations up and the refridgerator full, your Soldiers will be home soon soon!"

Can I just say, I haven't been this excited for a Christmas in a looooong time. I'm counting down the seconds til my boy steps off that Greyhound bus - thanks for putting up with me friends! I'm just so {{{excited}}} my insides are buzzing.

Well, Josh has almost made it through the first half of his 14 week training. Another half to go. I'm not sure if it will be easier or harder to put him back on that bus headed back to Ft. Benning compared to the fist time.

I'm ready to share that experience with you all now........up until today it was something I held close to my heart and couldn't really write about just yet.

I'll never forget that day, as long as I live. The drive up to Ft. Meade (where Josh shipped to boot camp) seemed to take forever! It was really only an hour, but still.

Aaah, the MEPS building ~ Josh had been up here several times for over-nighter's for both the Marine Corps and the Army for his in-processing. (Long story, but it's all in the blog if you want to go back to the beginning, ha!)

There's my boy on the left in, naturally, his Gold's gym t-shirt. After shuffling everyone around a bunch to make sure all of the parents could squeeze in to get the best shot of our kid, we got to be present to the most important part of our children's military careers.

Their swearing in ceremony.

There are no words to describe how proud we were of him at this very moment so I won't even try. I will let the video speak for itself.

Afterward the kids stood "at ease" and received instruction from the Army Captain that just swore them in. He gave them good advice and I couldn't help but notice that my son was actually taking it all to heart.

Next....more important issues needed to be dealt with.....CHOW! The kids were given a 6 inch sub, some chips and a soda which Josh had swallowed in about 3.5 mouthfulls then proceeded to raid John's wallet for vending machine money. The young lady next to him with pink sleeves was going into the Air Force. We got to know her family a little bit while we watched the kids eat.

My two favorite men 

Then MY favorite part ~ ha! ~ all of us parental units got to torture our spawn one last time with a photo op. Everyone handed off their cameras and we got to go up to the podium where they had just done their swearing in and mess around a bit.

Josh, thrilled to death, to recieve kisses from his Mama.

♥ My two favorite men having a good heart to heart

 Then we had an hour of "fun family time" while waiting for Josh's Captain to call them back for a boot camp (travel) briefing.

But we made good use of our time  :o)

And I was in no hurry.

The hour flew, the briefing came and went....

And suddenly we were told to line up; the kids would be shipping soon. We got our posters out of the car and put our screaming voices heart was in my throat.

After nearly a year of talking about & waiting for this moment, it was over in a flash.

I LOVE YOU! I'll miss you!

And with that the kids were on the bus getting ready to head for the airport to start their 14-wk training at Ft. Benning.

"Our boy's in the Army now!"

Yes. I. Did. Hey, the other Mom's were doing it....and he doesn't look like he's going to kill me so I'm good-to-go!
Bye Joooooooosh!!!!

I'll write to you every day!!

And with that....POOF. He was gone.

I just stood there in front of the building.
Numb. Proud. Crying. Numb. Proud. Stunned. Shocked. Proud. Crying.

Then I felt Johnny's arms around me. And he whispered, "Let's go get a Mojito at Mike's."

Gosh, I love that man. He knows just want to say to me when I'm down.

And off we went to Mikes. It was the best Mojito ever.
We toasted our boy's bright new future 


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Writing my son every day....

This is the site at my front door every day. My "outgoing" mail basket. It's been hanging there empty for years now because we do all of our bills online and I was recently wondering why I still had it on my front door......Until Josh left for boot camp.

Now it's the Josh Basket. I write my boy a letter every single day and stick it in a light blue envelope with snowmen on it. Why? Because they were the ones on sale so I bought 100 of them! That's why. when he gets mail he'll know "Oh, there's another one from Mama."

The corners of the envelope and label are colored RED (for his specific platoon, making it easier for the mail sorters) and so that, in Josh's words "I get my mail faster!!" and off they go. Every day. I'm sure I've bored the snot out of him by now. I put everything and anything I can find in it. Facebook funnies, internet articles, entertainment happenings, Ft. Benning news (from their site) pictures, pictures and more pictures, jokes....the poor kid.

In a recent letter from Josh he wrote, "I stayed up 2 hours past lights out so that I could read all of my mail." Let me tell you something, one day to them is like 4-5 days to us and "mail call" is the most exciting part of their day, I've since learned. Chow & mail, those two become their existence.

All I know is that my OUT box is always full. And that's all that's important; that my son knows that each and every day that I'm thinking of him. That's why it's been hard for me to update my blog and I'm sorry about that, but when I come home all I want to do is make sure that my basket has something in it that Johnny can drop in mailbox every morning on his way to work that will be headed to Ft. Benning.

Josh is out there, lately in the bitter, icy cold, training hard, working tirelessly, getting up early, going to bed late, having good days and having bad days. But at the end of his long days I'm hoping & praying that there is a light blue snowman envelope with painted red corners sitting on his bunk that says LOUD AND CLEAR (even if it's filled with a bunch of junk and boring stories!) that he is loved and cherished and thought of every day. And that the place he occupies in my heart will never waiver.

At the end of MY day that is the only thing that matters to me.

SIX days until he steps off that Greyhound bus and I'm counting down the seconds!!! I'm sure I'll have tons to share on the blog when he gets home. I can't wait to show you a recent pic - he said he's lost 19 pounds. I'm going to fatten him up the 2 weeks that I have him. Maybe I'll pop the tires of the bus taking him back to Ft. Benning after the new year, ha. Juuuuuuuuuust kidding.

Sort of.

Sorry, Blog, for taking a back seat to my son! But that's how I roll    :o)


Friday, December 10, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I'm getting so excited to see my son. He comes home 1 week from today!! Josh won't let us decorate our tree until he comes home so the least we can do is put a fresh wreath on our front door.

I'm counting down the days. The hours. The minutes. The seconds.