Saturday, December 25, 2010

We wish you a Merry Christmas!

Josh, Gray, and I have flow South (errrr... East) for the season! We are at home celebrating the holidays with family and friends! We hope you are having a very Merry Christmas and that you have a happy New Year!
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 13, 2010


Gray loves everyone. Except Santa. 

Last year he proved the point by screaming bloody murder on three separate occasions. Real tears included. He was terrified and decided that Mommy laughing was less than desirable if he wanted to be rescued from this terrifying figure. 

Gray and I made the trip to the mall again this year to see Santa. I let him watch the other kids for a few minutes and he even checked Santa out up-close before sitting in his lap. He wasn't sure about Santa but he wasn't terrified. When I put Gray in Santa's lap, he had several reactions. He squirmed. He wiggled. He tried his infamous back arch. The photographer refused to take a single photo while he was between movements (acting natural), so the best shot we got was one just a second after he started to whine. 

There were no tears. No screams. No frightful looks at Santa. Just a "Please let me down mister. You are a stranger and none of the other strangers I see wear such ridiculous clothes. I'm a little worried about you and I would like to get down. Quickly. Thanks." I think this was a vast improvement over last year and if this keeps up, we may get a smile next year! 

Gray says "Merry Christmas Everyone!"

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gray needed some face time on the blog...

Does anyone think they need more Gray pictures? If so, here is a post dedicated (almost entirely) to my Monkey! If not, I think you will enjoy them anyway. 
Gray is catching up on his reading.
Here DaDa, you look thirsty.
If you do what I'm doing, you should have no problems drinking out of this bottle.
Playing in the back of DaDa's 4Runner. 
Gray loves the malls in San Diego.
Malls are much more fun with dolphins and water!
And I would hate to leave out my other child, Fletch! He is simply adorable too! 
Fletch is a great doggie! 

Friday, December 10, 2010


Josh and I decided recently, we were in need of a vacation. We haven't been on a 'real' vacation since our honeymoon, if you don't count a quick trip to Arkansas before Gray was born. We have traveled a lot and seen a lot of new things, but I don't think sightseeing while moving counts as a vacation. I'm assuming you don't either. We were debating what to do or where to go. (I was also worried about Josh getting leave or inability to actually leave when the time came.) 

We debated about going back to Hawaii or going to Mexico or staying in the mainland and visiting some National Parks we are both dying to see.  In the end, we decided a cruise would give Josh the relaxation he enjoys and let me see some new places. Josh had never been to Mexico, so that was a plus too. We decided to cruise the "Mexican Riviera" mostly because the ship leaves out of San Diego, which makes life much easier! We decided to go the week after Thanksgiving and were ready to pack and go! 

Mom came to San Diego to help us watch Gray while I completed the Susan G. Komen 3Day for the Cure. She decided to stay here for Thanksgiving and bravely volunteered to keep Gray while we went on the cruise. Originally we planned to take Monkey with us. We were going to sign up for a few tame excursions and eat meals in the dining room with just the 3 of us. We booked a room with a balcony so we could sit outside while he took a nap or let him decompress from being around strangers all day every day and still be outside. Josh and I actually thought out taking a toddler on a cruise and planned according, THEN Mom volunteered! We were grateful to her for offering and excited about spending some time away together. Not to mention the ability to sit (actually sit) by the pool and read a book or do any excursion we wanted! The possibilities were endless!
Our cruise ship, the Oosterdam, in port at Puerta Vallarta. 
Our cruise stopped in Mazatlan, Puerta Vallarta, and finally Cabo San Lucas. Mazatlan wasn't really what I expected. It was very industrial and not really all that nice. There was graffiti everywhere and it looked like a lot of poor areas from our tour bus trip through the city. We opted for a zip-lining excursion, so we drove out of the city and into the Sierra Madre mountains. It was a good choice, because we both enjoyed the zip-lines. After we finished we were given a quick tour of a tequila factory and were able to see tons of the blue agave plants used for tequila.
Some of the Mazatlan scenery (much prettier views from the water BTW).
Josh was a zip-lining master!
Waiting on the group to finish up.
Before getting back on the boat, we did a little shopping.
We had to get Gray a few of these luchador masks to play with when he gets a little older! 
Leaving Mazatlan.
The next morning we rolled into Puerta Vallarta. Josh and I decided to forgo any excursions so we got off the boat and hopped in a cab. We were dropped off in the older part of town. Immediately people started trying to get us to spend our money. The people were so pushy about buying their souvenirs, excursions, or even some vacation property! We tried to be friendly and say 'No thanks' but lots of them would keep talking to you long after you passed their store! It was wild. Josh and I walked up and down the shore line, where we saw tons of art, statues, and sand sculptures. We stopped in a restaurant for some lunch and watched a few Mexican wrestlers on TV (which was AMAZING). After lunch, we decided to rent a scooter and drive around town. It was cheap and super fun, but maybe a bad choice. I think Mexican drivers are insane and the lack of stop signs (or one way signs) doesn't make it easy for tourists to blend! We were also told by the rental chick that if we got stopped we could discretely offer the cops some cash so we wouldn't get ticketed. I was thankful we weren't stopped because I could just see Josh going to a Mexican prison for the rest of his life for offering a cop $25! 
This guy was so stinking cute.
The Cathedral in Puerta Vallarta. It was stunning.
Puerta Vallarta was much nicer than Mazatlan!
The life endangering scooter we rented for $15/hour.
Possibly the dumbest/most fabulous thing we did while in Mexico. 
Cabo San Lucas was the last stop on the cruise and by far the nicest. We decided to snorkel in Cabo, but we had a few hours to walk around and see the sights before meeting for our excursion! Josh and I felt it would be wrong to skip Cabo Wabo, so we dropped in for a t-shirt for Gray, some chips and salsa, and a shot of tequila (which Josh said was pretty tasty). We walked around for a few hours then went back toward the catamaran to see Land's End and snorkel!
Cabo's Land's End. Gorgeous. 
Waiting to board our catamaran for our snorkeling excursion. 
On the catamaran, Josh's head is covering the arch.
(That's what happens when you take self-portraits.)
Snorkeling self-portraits. 
Josh snorkeling. 
Did I mention Lorenzo Lamas cruised with us? No big deal. 
Lorenzo Lamas and his lady friend waiting on an excursion. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mom came into town to help us take care of Gray while I was walking last weekend (because as soon as we didn't have help Josh would have been called in at 2am or something crazy), so she decided to stay a little while to hang out and keep Gray while Josh and I go on holiday next week!

Josh volunteered for 24 hour duty today so everyone else could stay home with their families. We celebrated Thanksgiving a day early, by having a few friends over and eating a BIG meal Wednesday night! Mom, Gray, and I just hung out at home, ate leftovers, wrapped Christmas presents, and watched Harry Potter movies. I hope you are having a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING and have at least a few things to be thankful for this year!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Three Days and 60 Miles for the Cure!

This weekend was the 3Day for the Cure! My teammates and I started the course early Friday morning in Del Mar, CA. We walked 20+ miles south toward our camp ground Friday. The sky was cloudy, but the weather was fairly nice outside, not too hot or too cold.  The second and third days we walked around San Diego, returning to camp Saturday night and walking to Petco Park Sunday afternoon. This link will tell you more details about our route if you are interested. If you were watching the weather or following me on Facebook, you know it rained all day Saturday and Sunday! The wind was blowing, the rain was coming down pretty hard, and it was pretty chilly but we kept walking. At the end of the 60 miles, we walked into Petco Park (Padre's stadium) where we received a t-shirt and waited to walk in to the closing ceremonies together. 

I walked for two amazing women. In memory of my Aunt Doris and in honor of my Aunt Kitty. 
Walking through Del Mar.
Coming into camp at the end of Day 1!
Bikers helped us cross the streets.
Screw Crew Sweeties!
Lois's husband and Josh are in the same squadron, HMH-462, or the Screw Crew!
The weather wasn't so pretty on Day 2 or Day 3...
Cops cheering us on. 
Sunset Cliffs.
One of our Walker Stalkers!
Just before lunch on Day 3!
Camo Cuties with the Padre outside of Petco Park!
Waiting for the closing ceremonies inside the SD Padre's stadium!
We made it! Thanks for all of the support and donations!
The weekend was amazing despite the terrible weather. The people who cheered us on through the rain, the San Diego and San Jose police departments, the bikers, the medics, the 3Day crew, and my amazing teammates made it so fun and inspirational. I can't believe how incredible the experience was and the San Diego 3Day walkers raised 10.8 million dollars for breast cancer research! I want to thank everyone for the calls, messages, texts, and support!

There is a great little video of the 3Day event on the main Susan G. Komen 3Day for the Cure webpage. To view it click HERE. Thanks again for all of the support and donations!

USMC Birthday Ball!

The United States Marine Corps celebrates their birthday every year with a Birthday Ball! This year they celebrated their 235th Birthday! HMH-462 celebrated at Knott's Berry Farms resort, near Los Angles, so the day after the ball we were able to spend some time at the amusement park free of charge! Josh was the S-5 officer (I like to think of him as the party planner. :) He also handled the money for the squadron, filled the geedunk, ordered and sold all HMH-462 merchandise, etc.), so he was the ring leader of planning the ball this year. I personally think he, along with the Marines on the planning committee, did an excellent job. I have heard lots of other people say it too, so it much be true! He recently handed the job on to someone else, so he is getting home earlier now. Gray and I are pretty excited about it! 

The Commandant of the Marine Corps always gives a video message at the birthday ball. I'll attach a link to the message in case you want to watch it. Click HERE. You can read something he wrote, but the video is farther down the page. And as a bonus, if you look closely, you will see a few CH-53's! 
Marine's rendition of YMCA after the ceremony!
The ladies at our table!
Josh and I before picking Gray up from childcare.
Josh and Gray on Gray's first amusement park ride! He loved it!  
Josh and Gray on the school bus ride! 
My little varmint loved Knotts Berry Farms!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My Little Monkey

Here are a few shots of Gray from the last month or so. I think they are pretty cute, but you be the judge! 

He fell asleep on the couch after laying like this for about 15 seconds.  
Gray loves the quilt Aunt Doris made for him!
Watching Sesame Street in Mommy's rocker, waiting for his breakfast. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Susan G. Komen 3Day for the Cure!

I officially have 18 days until the 3Day for the Cure! I hope to train hard in these last three weeks and come out of the 3Day with no blisters. I'm exactly not sure if that is possible, but I've got my fingers crossed. I want to send a big shout out to everyone who helped me reach my $2,300 goal! I can't believe the incredible outpouring of support from so many friends and family members, but THANK YOU doesn't even begin to say how grateful I am for the money you have donated to this outstanding cause! 

If you would still like to donate to the Susan G. Komen 3Day for the Cure even though I have reached my goal, not all of my team members have. You can donate to my BFF and team member, Stephanie Bolton. The money will go to the same great cause and go toward our team goal, but not under my name. Of course, you can still donate under my name as well. I only mentioned Stephanie because she will have to pay the $1000 she has left toward her goal out of her own pocket to participate! Again, thanks so much for everyone who's donations and kind words have made this journey so much more fabulous!  

Happy Halloween!

Walter and the Dude from 'The Big Lebowski' at the HMH-462 Halloween Party!
(Bowling ball and Caucasian not pictured.)
Happy Halloween from San Diego! Josh and I enjoyed a weekend of beautiful weather here in San Diego and some fun Halloween festivities. Gray participated in the Hangar 4 Halloween Parade, Josh and I went to the CO's Halloween party, Gray did some trick-or-treating, and we all passed out candy to neighborhood kids! It was a fun weekend for everyone! 
Just inside the gates at Josh's squadron.
Gray 'parading' through the squadron spaces to get some candy!
Marines and Trick-or-Treating
Through the hangars...
Gates' fam after the parade! 
Neighborhood trick-or-treating!
Our first real trick-or-treating experience!
Gray's first M&Ms!
Candy is awesome!
Gray and Josh giving out candy to the neighborhood kids!