Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Snow, Thanksgiving, football and more football

     I love the snow. I love snuggling on the couch with the fire going, reading a book, drinking hot cocoa. I have had a few days like this lately. Lots of time to think.
     I don't, however, enjoy driving in the white stuff. I am a good driver, and with my studs on I feel even more comfortable.
     We had one of the best Thanksgiving celebrations ever! It was so nice to have our three kids there at Grandma's house. I feel very lucky to have Grandma Pat in our lives; she a surrogate, indeed.
     Following Thanksgiving, I drove Cody and his girlfriend down to meet his dad in Chelan for one last visit.
     Saturday we were all up and out early to first pick up the kids in Leavenworth and then head over to Seattle.
     We watched the Apple Cup (I was rooting for the Huskies!!!) on Saturday, spent lots of family time together, and ate yummy leftovers.
     Then Sunday we watched the Hawks barely beat the Rams. It was a fun weekend of football.
     Finally, the weekend came to a sad close. We had to leave Cody there to catch his airplane yesterday to return back to San Diego. It was VERY hard to say good-bye.
     And, now we don't know when we will hear from him, or see him next! SIGH
     On the health end of things...I have taken several morning walks, but I am really motivated to get a real routine going. I would like to look differently the next time I do see Cody. I KNOW, I know. That's what I wanted the last time.
     I definitely feel like I ate too much over the Turkey break, and now I don't want to slide down that fat hill through the holidays and on to G-ma's house.
     Right NOW is the time to say, "WHOA!"

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Thanksgiving Myspace Graphics
Thanksgiving Myspace Graphics


     SO much to say! I know it has been awhile since I last wrote. SORRY. I don’t have much to report about the health end of things. I haven’t exercised, and I have cooked lots. I have been busy cooking all of Cody’s favorite meals! Thankfully, I am focusing on portions, so even though I am eating what I want, I am not eating how much I want!
     We have been so busy with lots of friends and family over visiting Cody. Lots of great stories and laughing!!
     Much has happened since we last chatted! First, Cody and I went and got a tattoo together! This makes my third. We thought and thought for a long time what we wanted to get. We want it to be something special and symbolic. So, finally we decided on the nautical star. It actually has a Celtic history, which we are Celtic, so that was the first perfect match! The nautical star is all about finding your way home safely. We both had it tattooed on the inside of our right wrists. To us, it represents family, and returning home safely! Love it! The only thing is my pic is not so great, because it's still in the healing phase.

     Something sad also happened this past weekend. One of our horses came down with colic and was very ill. We had to put him down early Monday morning. It was devastating. It’s amazing how much animals are really a part of our lives, just like family. It’s also during sad times that you find out how much you love each other. To watch Rick hurt, it just made me love him that much more. You know, I think it’s more dramatic when you have someone who is normally rough around the edges and you see him melt into the sensitive person that he is on the inside.
     This past month has really been a month of family. We are all so much closer. All of us. I am VERY thankful for that. To watch the transformation between Cody and Rick and their relationship, it has touched my heart and given me hope that relationships can repair and be better for it in the end.
     As we come to one of my FAVORITE holidays of the year, I have so much for which I am thankful.
     I am thankful for my kids! What amazing people :)
     I am thankful for Rick. We have become so much stronger these past few months. Sometimes change IS for the better! I am proud of both of us. I am VERY excited about our future.
     I am thankful for the health of my loved ones and friends. I am able to share this incredible life with many people, and I only hope that they are around for much longer!
     I am thankful for forgiveness. I have chosen to forgive some people in my life, and that is such an incredible feeling.
     I am thankful to have all my family together this year for Thanksgiving!
     I hope your day of thanks is as wonderful as mine!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

A couple of funnies :)




Veterans Day!

     OK, first off...The federal government does not use an apostrophe in Veterans Day. So, I am going with that.
     Yes, the offical day was know, 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. But, we do have a national observance held today.
     This year, for obvious reasons, Veterans Day means more to me. I have always been patriotic and moved by this day, but not like I am now.
      What did I do today? Well, for starters...I slept in. Life has been rather hectic for a couple of weeks, and especially the past few days, and I took advantage of having nobody in the house.
     (The boys are off with their dad at the Seahawks game!)
     Then when I did wake up, I had a cup of yummy coffee, and I went for a walk.
     I appreciate that I live in a country where I can wake up whenever I choose and go for a walk without fear for my safety, and that as a woman I can wear shorts and have my face uncovered.
     Think about that today. Think about the liberty and freedoms you have and why you have them.
     I am including a poem today, and although I have researched it thoroughly, I THINK this is the author, but if I am wrong, I apologize.

"It is the Soldier, not the reporter,
Who has given us Freedom of the Press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us Freedom of Speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer,
Who has given us the Freedom to demonstrate.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer,
Who has given us the right to a fair trial;

And it is the Soldier--who salutes the flag,
Who serves the flag, and
Whose coffin is draped by the flag--
Who allows the protester to burn the flag."

Charles M. Province

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Do the tears ever stop rolling?

     Yesterday Cody attended school and was the guest speaker for the Veterans Day assembly. He dressed in his blues, and WOW!
     At first I was worried about him speaking given his only just graduating from boot camp two days prior, but quickly I was inspired by the impact he made on the students.
     His speech was centered around how he used to feel about Veterans Day, how he feels now, and most importantly what the Marine Corps has given him as a human being.
     MANY eyes were wet; it was an emotional's been an emotional week.
     Later Cody talked to several classes about his experiences at boot camp. I have enjoyed hearing about everything!
     One of my favorite and most touching stories is when Cody handed me a plastic bag. This bag was dirty and had been folded a million times.
     Inside the bag was a worn letter. I opened it up, and it was a letter from his little sister. He carried it in his left pocket right above his heart for every day of recruit training after he had received it.
     One day they were out in the field and a drill instructor was patting him down and happened to find the letter. The DI of course freaked out, yelling at Cody about what the letter was.
     Cody yelled back, "This is a letter from this recruit's little sister, sir!"
     The DI normally would take a letter (considered contraband if carried on person) and rip it to pieces in front of the recruit's face, but instead he handed it back to Cody and walked away.
     I love that story on a hold bunch of levels, but what I think is super sweet is I can just imagine the times when Cody felt low and read that letter which made him smile and keep on keeping on!
     Well, with Veterans Day (Which by the way I have researched and the federal government does not use an apostrophe...I was trying to figure out where the apostrophe officially goes because there are many veterans, so I thought it would go after the "s".), OK, with Veterans Day approaching, remember Cody's words: Be appreciative for the liberty and freedom that you have in your life!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

PROUD Marine Family

      OK, now to the HIGHLIGHT of our trip...CODY. What an amazing experience our entire family had at Family Day and graduation!
     I have always been proud of my son, but this was an absolutely incredible feeling, OVERWHELMING.
     When we first arrived to Family Day, we were able to see Cody, but not touch him. He was preparing for his motivational 5-mile run.
     I just started bawling the moment I saw him. He looked so good, and I missed him so much. Our entire family was touched with emotion to see such an incredible young man stand before us.
     There were 600 recruits and their families from all over the country. The energy was tangible.
     Then at the end of the run, they assembled in front of us, again. And, we still could not touch him. But, since he was a squad leader he was in the front row, and I was maybe ten feet from him!!

      Then the recruits left, and the families proceeded into a theater to watch an inspiring video and listen to a motivational speech about our sons.
     The formality, tradition and symbolism of everything was very touching. You can't help but feel this incredible pride and patriotism when you are there.
     Following that, we headed out to watch the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor pinning ceremony. This is the exact moment when a recruit become a marine.

     Cody was a squad leader, so once he received his pin, he actually went down the line with his drill instructor to pin the other recruits in his squad.
     When this ceremony was complete, we could run down (trust me, I RAN) and hug our babies. We also were able to meet the other young men who will now be lifelong friends.

     Then Cody had leave for 5 hours with us! He had his first pizza in three months!
     I have always been blessed with good kids. What I can say the Marines did for my son...they allowed him to realize what an incredible human being he is and what he has to offer this world.
     You wouldn't think that you would see much of a transformation in a kid that really had so much already going for him.
     This young man...WOW. That's really all I can say.
     We next were able to see him at his graduation ceremony. This was another incredible experience.
     One of my favorite parts of the ceremony is when they marched by the Commander with "eyes right" to show respect and be reviewed.

     All I can say is if you ever have a friend or loved one that enters the military, make sure you do whatever it takes to attend his/her graduation. This is one of the most incredible experiences in my life.

We're BACK!

     What a whirlwind of a week it has been! I will have to post several blogs today just to catch you up on everything!!!!
     I don't even know where to begin. Let's see...I could go from importance (seeing Cody for the FIRST time!!) or chronologically. That's probably easiest, and will help keep me on track and not all random!
     We left on Saturday for Spokane to fly out. First, I must say that flying out of Spokane was SUPER!!! We had no wait through security, the airport is small, the price was cheaper than flying out of Seattle, and it was a non-stop flight. EXCELLENT experience.
     Since we arrived in Spokane SOOOOO early, we went down and played at Riverfront Park. We have done that before, but we really had a good time.
     We rode on the carousel (which I used to do every Sunday when I was my step-daughter's age), and I even rode on it again. She loved it when I caught the rings!!
     I love that park! We played on the big wagon slide, checked out all the geese, walked over the bridges above the falls, just relaxed.

     After a couple of hours there, we headed to the airport and then down to San Diego. We still were super early, so we were a bit goofy at the airport!

     Sunday we went to the ocean in the morning, which was really fun! All the surfers were fun to watch, and we found seashells and even a sand dollar. Considering how many people were at the beach, that was surprising.

     Off to Sea World we went!! I love that place! Our little one even went on all of the BIG rides! I couldn't believe it! She is definitely ready for Disney Land.
     Another major Sea World highlight was when Jordie touched a dolphin!!! Very cool!

     Monday we spent at the San Diego Zoo. We took the Skyfari (a giant gondola) up to the top of the park, and then we walked the rest of the park in one day! We saw absolutely everything.
     My favorite was the Meerkat exhibit. I love that show on Discovery. They had tiny babies...oh so cute! I enjoyed all the monkey, gorilla, and orangataun exhibits, too.

     That gets us through our tourist times in San Diego. The next blog will be all about our Marine experience!!!
     I am exhausted, but in a content way. I wish I would've worn a pedometer, as we REALLY clocked some miles in our walking shoes. And, we mostly ate well. I seriously feel like a lost weight on this vacation!
     The best part of our vacation was all of our family time...all of the laughing!! SIGH.