Monday, December 30, 2013

My 2013 Recap

2013 was a whirlwind year for our family. We had so much going on, and hardly got a chance to settle. We did some traveling, moved twice, had a couple misfourtunes, but really, I can't complain. After all, Hubster came home from Afghanistan this year.

BTW, our wifi and cable will finally be set up today, so I'll be back to edit and add some photos shortly. 

Hubster came home after a deployment that was far too long. 
I had my first big mommy emergency when Veronica sliced her hand open and had to get stitches. 

The girls went to their first circus. 
We went to Miami and had our best friends baptize Adri at the same church my siblings and I were baptized at. 

We went to New York for our friends' wedding, in which Veronica was the flower girl.
I saw real snow for the first time in my life, at West Point. 
I got a KitchenAid stand mixer (life changing)!

We moved out of our home in Georgia. 
Took a trip down to Florida to hangout with family. 
Hubster and I went on an amazing Caribbean cruise to Mexico, Grand Cayman, Belize, and Honduras. 
Veronica turned three! 
We started the journey to Missouri

Hubster and I celebrated four years of marriage. 
We had a crap load of our belongings stolen from our vehicle almost as soon as we made it to Missouri. 
We house hunted, found a place, and moved in all in a eight-hour period. 

I thought we were all going to die due to tornados in the Midwest. 
The girls and I spent a lot of time outdoors between our backyard and the couple of parks around our house. 
Veronica started taking gymnastics classes. 

We spent 4th of July weekend in St. Louis with our Amry family
I started selling pre-made carepackages on Etsy. 

We bought a Keurig! Another life changing even made possible by a kitchen appliance. 
Hubster started playing on the softball team with his classmates. 
I made friends.  
Hubster and I went to the Military Police Ball at Fort Leonard Wood. 
I rediscovered my second love, Hobby Lobby. 

Hubster and I attended another ball for his class. 
Hubs graduated from the MP Captains Career Course at Fort Leonard Wood with the leadership award. 
We had to pull Veronica out of her awesome preschool, because we were moving. I cried. 
Once again, our stuff was packed up, and we hit the road to Florida. 
We spent two pool and boat-filled weeks with my parents in Miami. 
The girls went trick or treating around my parents' neighborhood. Not a single person on their block opened the door. 

We drove to Orlando to spend a week with Hubster's mom. 
After a far too long day of travel, we made it to Hawaii!
We did lots of beaching and exploring. 
The entire second half of the month was spent living in a hotel. 

The entire first half of the month was spent living in a hotel. 
Adri turn two! She started talking so much and basically mimicking everything that Veronica says or does. 
I had my first blate (kinda. We went to her house) and met Jen and her family. 
We finally got moved into a house.
We learned that our household goods were still in Missuori, and as of right now, they haven't left California on a boat yet. 
Caesar made it to Hawaii with only a minor scare. 
The girls were spoiled for Christmas. Hubster and I both got each other awesome gifts. 

Life is good. 

Love, Alex

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Distance and Death

It was a quiet weekend for us over here. Really not much going on at all and a lot of time spent at home. Yesterday we ran a couple errands around town. We bought this shag rug for the living room that I'm in love with. I just want to lay on it and make carpet angels. 

Saturday was completely a stay at home day. We did consider going to the beach, but some how, we heard about the jelly fish here. Apparently, they like to hang around eight to ten days after a full moon. After reading up on "box jelly fish" I decided I'd rather stay home than risk my life at the beach. Their poison is enough to send you into cardiac arrest, leading to death by drowning. No fun. 

On Friday night, one of Hubster's grand aunts passed away in Miami. Although she was in her 90, it was sad because she was always such a sweet lady. I felt worse for Hubster, because he was extremely close with her. Practically his own grandmother. I can't imagine what it's like, because I don't even know the names of my grandparents' siblings.

The death made me realize that we are far. And there's nothing we can do about it. Aside from the text letting him know that she passed away, there haven't been any updates. The time difference also makes it a tad difficult to catch people when they aren't working or sleeping. 

Before coming to Hawaii, I knew that family would die back home and there would be absolutely nothing we'd be able to do about it. Now that it's happened, the reality sucks. We still have at least three years to go, and plenty of aging family members. It's going to be difficult trying to choose who we can go home for. 

For now, I have to let it go and just deal with life here. We will finally have cable and internet tomorrow. I'm hoping that we can figure out where our household goods are, and maybe be surprised by getting them this week. 

I hope that this week turns out wonderfully for everyone and that you're all able to start 2014 off on a positive note. I'm trying my best to ditch this cloud above my head and enjoy the end of this year and beginning of next. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

I'm Still Alive

But just barely. We got our house last week, but if feels like we've been camping since then. If I thought the hotel was bad, I obviously didn't realize how bad an empty house would be. Thankfully, housing gives us mattresses to sleep on and a table and seating. 

I should be ecstatic that we're spending our first Christmas in Hawaii, but honestly, all I can focus on is the negatives. The movers lost our stuff for a second time, so even after they said it would be expedited and here last week, it hasn't even left the mainland yet. Normally when we move, we load our cars with the stuff we're going to need to use right away, when moving to Hawaii though, that really isn't an option. The main reason I'm being such a grinch is because I don't want to repurchase so many items that we already own. 

I caved and bought some extra pillows, towels, and sheets so that we could have a little comfort. I couldn't make myself buy more Christmas stuff though. There are two huge bins on their way filled with more lights and decorations than we'll ever need. So, for this year, the Christmas decor is a little lacking. I was really looking forward to moving in here and unpacking those boxes first. 

For now, I'm just going to have to suck it up and be happy with what we have. I have two beautiful babies looking forward to Santa visiting, everyone is healthy, Caesar made over here alive, and we live in Hawaii. For now, we only have three beach towels, because like I said, I'm not buying anymore, but really, how many people get to spend Christmas in Hawaii?

I'll continue to count my blessings, and hope that our household goods arrive in the next few weeks. 

Merry Christmas friends, I hope to catch up with your lives sooner or later. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Our Luck With Moving

It's relatively safe to say that we haven't had the best luck when it comes to moving. No matter how much I plan and stress, there is always something out of my control that goes horribly wrong. So far, this PCS has only been overly annoying and inconvenient. Just wait until we start opening up our boxes though. I can almost guarantee that 67% of the furniture will be smashed and our most prized possessions will be missing.

Each move has gotten progressively worse, so let's start from the beginning, shall we. When I moved to Georgia, I was totally unaware that I was supposed to keep my jewelry and expensive stuff with me. Naive, I know. Never trust a stranger with your jewelry. Duh. Anyway, I didn't have a lot of furniture or anything, so all of my belongings made it, and in one piece. Except for my jewelry. Oh yeah, and the Christmas cash that I had stashed. I still feel like such an idiot for making that rookie mistake.

The move from Georgia to Missouri actually wasn't all that bad, with one very large exception. All of our boxes and furniture made it without any significant damage and actually, we didn't even unpack the majority of the boxes. Easy peasy. Aside from the part that we were robbed at one of the hotels that we stopped at for the night. The crooks got away with over $12,000 worth of stuff, but we were lucky to have our renter's insurance cover a good chunk of the loss.

And now Hawaii. You may have read last week, that our stuff was still in Missouri, two whole months after we had left. It's supposed to be arriving this week, but it's already Wednesday, and we haven't heard from them, so we'll see. In the meantime, we have some loaner furniture from the housing office. We were supposed to move in yesterday, but the house wasn't ready, so we'll finally be moving in today. I can't even begin to describe how excited I am to finally cook my own dinner.

Not long after signing our lease, we also learned that our housing allowance will be going up by $400 dollars next year. Craziness! Since we live on post though, all of that money is automatically deducted by housing.

Tomorrow our sweet puppy will also be here and I'm so excited to have him back! It might be the best thing to happen all week. I can't wait to bring him home. Poor guy is going to have a long day of travel. I need to get some shopping done today so that I can spoil him after he arrives.  Hopefully, since he sleeps a lot, he won't have a hard time adjusting to the time difference.

Do you have any nightmare moving stories?

Love, Alex

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Friday, December 13, 2013

The End is Near

We are so close to finally being out of this hotel! I went to the housing office earlier this week, after not hearing back from our leasing agent, and I got confirmation that we get to move in the 17th! I can not wait to be in my own space. And not have to worry about being woken up by housekeeping. Or the wild little animals that like to scream and run down the halls at night.

We went to dinner off-post last night, and when we were driving back, we saw police cars and a fire truck directly in front of our house. I freaked out thinking that the house had possibly caught fire and we wouldn't be able to move in for even longer. After realizing it was a car accident, I felt pretty guilty. Later on, Hubs got a phone call that it was a lady who had run a red light and hit a motorcycle. Thankfully, the guy on the motorcycle was still alive and transported to the hospital. The speed limit here is 25 mph, so I'm praying there wasn't any major damage to the guy on the bike.

Hopefully, our household goods will also arrive next week. Hubster called again yesterday to try to get an answer as to where our stuff was. It was still in Missouri. Originally, we had cancelled our express shipment because we realized that it would only be a difference of a few days between when our express and regular household goods would arrive. Well, the moving company was confused as to which shipment was cancelled and decided to just hold on to our stuff. FOR TWO MONTHS. No phone call or anything to try and figure it out.

The bright side is that we're still in the hotel and not in an empty house. The moving company said they'd be expediting our shipment and we could expect it next week, but I won't hold my breath. So hopefully, it won't be too much time until we have all of our stuff again. Hopefully.

Today I'll be helping some friends move into their new place. They arrived on the island Tuesday night, and already have a place. I've used several choice words to describe them. Jerks. At least this will be our last weekend, and we already have some plans. After our play blate, Jen invited us over for dinner this weekend. I miss home-cooked food!

Love, Alex

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Tag!

This year, I was tagged by one of my blog BFFs, Lanaya of Raising Reagan, for a fun little game of Christmas tag. Lanaya tagged ten friends and asked ten questions. After I answer these questions, I'm going to tag ten of my friends two answer the same questions.

1.       What do you love the most about Christmas time?
There really isn't one specific thing that I like best. I love all of the decorations everywhere. I love how excited the girls get when they see Santa or animals that are dressed up. I love that everyone seems to be in a jolly and more giving mood.
2.       Do you celebrate the holiday in style or is Bah-Humbug for you? 
The jury is still out on this one. Last year I was SO excited to decorate and make everything perfect, because I thought Hubby was going to be home from Afghanistan for Christmas. This year, since we still don't have a home, I'm kinda blah about it. If we managed to get into the house and get our household goods before Christmas, I'd probably go all out unpacking that stuff before anything else..
3.       Are you leaving anything out for Santa Claus this year so he remembers to leave your presents?
It really just depends on where we are. I am DYING to make Christmas cookies. It won't be happening in the this hotel. If we can get some baked, Santa will definitely be getting a plate. And I'm going to eat them all myself while the kids are in bed.
4.       What is the one gift you are most looking forward to GIVING? {It can be to your kids, another family member, etc – remember to be discreet if they read your blog!}
I am so so so excited for Hubster's gift. It was something that he kind of mentioned in passing. I found the perfect version on Etsy for his office.
5.       What is your all-time favorite Christmas movie?
Since I was a kid, I've always really like Miracle on 34th Street. The newer one, not the old one. The ending is my favorite part. 
6.       What is your all-time favorite Christmas song?
Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You. I honestly don't even really like Mariah, but I love this song.

7.       If given the opportunity would you participate in an “Ugly Sweater” party and what sweater would you wear?  Peruse one on the internet or even in your own closet and show us!
I would totally do it! I've always wanted to go to one, but have never been a part of the cool group that does it. I don't have an ugly sweater, so I'd have to hit up the thrift shop. No ugly sweater would be complete without the light up earrings and reindeer antlers.

8.       Have you started any Christmas traditions this year that you plan on carrying forward?
As a family, so far the only real tradition is that we drive around on Christmas Eve looking at Christmas lights. Last year, I started making matching pajamas for the four of us, but I don't think I'll have time this year.
9.       It’s Christmas morning … what does it look like outside where you live?
Well, this year, there are lots of palm trees and sunshine. Green grass, green trees and bright flowers. It was very similar around Christmas time in Miami. I've honestly only seen real snow once in my entire life, and that was in March of this year. Prior to that, I had seen flurries maybe three times.
10.   You just found yourself standing under the mistletoe … who comes up to give you a kiss first?
My husband, of course. And knowing him, he'd probably be following me around all day trying to dangle it over me. 

And now for my ten tags. Answer these same questions, tag ten friends of your own, and then come back here and leave the link to your post! Thanks Lanaya!!

Jen - Adventures of Our Army Life
Paulina - Color Me Brave
Love, Alex

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Monday, December 9, 2013

Birthday at the Beach

I'm happy to say that Adri's birthday went much better than planned. Other than Veronica constantly throwing jealous tantrums, everything went perfectly. No scarred children this year!

Hubster had to go into work Saturday morning, which allowed us girls a little time to run some errands. We started out at the post office to finally mail Caesar's quarantine paperwork. Oops. Thankfully, it will make it just in time. I can't wait to have my sweet boy back next week!

From the post office, we headed to the PX for some shopping! Since we didn't buy any gifts for Adri ahead of time, I just took her to the toy section and let her choose her own. We walked out with a couple of new toys for Adri, and of course, one for V.

After all of that, we came back to the hotel to wait for Hubs to finish up with his work stuff. The girls played outside in the grass for a while before we were finally off to the beach! We spent a few hours swimming and building sand castles. We just barely missed Jen, who was there around the same time we were.

We didn't end up having any cake or cupcakes, but either way, everyone was happy. We had a great time at the beach which ensured an easy bed time.

Love, Alex

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Friday, December 6, 2013


This precious little nugget turns two tomorrow, and guess what her parents have done to prepare for it? Not. A. Damn. Thing. I couldn't tell you if it has to do with second child syndrome or the fact that we've been living in a hotel for close to a month, but there are no gifts, no cake, no plans.

With the madness of Christmas shopping, somehow I forgot that I needed birthday gifts also. Thankfully, Adri is still young enough that she won't be permanently scarred. Hopefully next year, I'll plan a little bit better.

Originally, we were planning to visit the Pearl Harbor Memorial, since it's Pearl Harbor Day, but it would be a long day and not so pleasant for a little one. I imagine there are probably a ton of visitors that day, so we're better off visiting some other time.

So far, we're thinking that we'll pick up some cupcakes and head over to one of the lagoons. Hubs has been working long hours, so hopefully he'll be home early enough this evening that I can swing over to the PX for a gift. The plastic bag gift wrapping is just going to have to do.

What are your plans for the weekend?

Love, Alex

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Be Your Own Boss [Giveaway]

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and Amway. All opinions are 100% my own. 

As a stay at home mom, I used to struggle to find affordable gifts for Hubster for Christmas, his birthday, and our anniversary. To me, it didn't make sense to use the money that he earned to buy him something that he may or may not like. I even resorted to selling old jewelry at those mall kiosks. Eventually, I ran out of jewelry from ex boyfriends, and gifts to Hubster stopped. I could have gone the homemade route, but there really isn't much that could have wowed him.

For the past year and a half, I've actually been able to use this blog to make money, with posts such as this one! I was also able to expand my care package hobby and open up my own Etsy shop, that I've blogged about in the past. My profits now go to my PayPay account, that the husband doesn't have access too. A good amount of money goes back into blogging, but I was also able to afford an amazing Christmas gift this year.

Even with both kiddies around all day, I've been able to pull off half-working from home. Being my own boss allows me to create my own schedule as well as set my own expectation. Although there have been some challenges and many trials and errors, I am very satisfied with the outcome thus far.

Being a work at home mom is something that I would recommend to any mom, or dad for that matter, considering it. There are many ways to become your own boss, one of those being Amway. From their low-cost start up to their exclusive products, Amway makes it easy to start your own business. Being an entrepreneur is a challenging yet extremely fulfilling role. You can obtain more information regarding starting our own Amway business here: -

Additionally, Amway is hosting a fabulous giveaway with $710.00 worth of Amway products.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Love, Alex

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Home for the Holidays

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walmart for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Just last year, my family was one of the thousands of military families separated during the holiday season. Since it was towards the very end of the deployment, Christmas was especially emotionally tolling. I know better than to get my hopes up when it comes to the Army, but since Christmas fell on the 364th day of deployment, I really, really, really thought there was a chance that Hubster would be home in time to celebrate. After all, word on the street is that they pay you loads of money if deployment lasts over 365 days. Not entirely true.
Celebrating Christmas without my husband around wasn't easy, but it was totally doable. I was lucky to have a great group of close friends whose husbands were also in Afghanistan. Although part of our Christmas Eve and Christmas day was spent sulking, we were determined to make it a fun experience for the kids. For Christmas Eve, I made my typical fancy dinner and invited some of our military family over. We drove around to look at Christmas lights, watched Christmas movies, and drank hot chocolate.
Since I knew that Hubster would be home soon, the girls were only allowed to open one gift on Christmas. They were young enough to not even notice the difference. I have to admit that I cried when I saw Santa fly over Georgia on the tracking app.
Homecoming Ceremony
Finally, New Years Day came and my love was home! Luckily for the girls, Santa was on the same airplane as Hubster and dropped off all of the presents under the tree while we were picking up Daddy. We went to the welcome home ceremony with our matching Christmas dresses on so that we could start celebrating as soon as we got home. Once we made it home, it felt just like Christmas should. We opened gifts, ate lots of food, and lounged around in pajamas.
Welcome Home!
Thankfully, this year, we'll all be together as a family. Sadly, there are still many many military families still apart. For Giving Tuesday, Walmart has partnered with Operation Homefront and Fisher House to salute military families nationwide. Walmart’s “Holiday Salute to Military Families” hopes to ease the burden of separation with grants totaling $2 million towards toys, meals, and lodging assistance for military families in need. The donation will also go towards helping hundreds of active duty service members return home to be reunited with their loved ones for the holidays.
If you'd like to help support our heroes and their families, you can do so here: Join in our Holiday Salute to Military Families. You may also spread the word by sharing and tagging a service member that you're grateful for.
Have you had to spend the holidays separated from your spouse or loved ones? What did you do to make it a positive experience?
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Monday, December 2, 2013

Wishin' Accomplished

Did everyone have a fabulous weekend?! Aside from still being stuck in this hotel for part of the time, ours was wonderful! I'm so excited that I got all of my Christmas shopping done for the girls without having to set foot in a store.

We spent Thanksgiving in Waikiki at the Hale Koa. During the day, the girls did some swimming, and for dinner they had a nice buffet. We also jumped at the opportunity to spend the night in a different, much nicer hotel. Boy, do I miss that fluffy mattress.

Friday morning, Hubster and I woke up and comfortably browsed the ToysRUs website for gifts for the girls. We got an idea of what we wanted, and then headed down to the pool again. After checking out, we did some shopping around Waikiki and then headed back to our temporary home.

I set a budget of $200 for both girls, and I'm happy to say that we only went over by $25. I'm going to go ahead and blame ToysRUs shipping charges for that. Unfortunately, we learned that those free shipping deals don't apply to Hawaii, plus there was an extra shipping charge. Good thing for my Target REDcard. With it, I got an additional 5% off and actual free shipping.

The weekend brought crappy weather, which led to us staying mostly indoors. Boo. Hubster returns to work today and is taking the car with him, so we'll see if I decided to venture out with the girls in the stroller. I can't wait to finally move into our house and receive our belongings. I'm kinda bummed and jealous that everyone has their decorations out, and it'll still be a little bit until ours are up.

Love, Alex

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