Memorial Day Weekend

We had a fabulous weekend of family time and remembering our Veteran's. On Saturday we went downtown and spent the afternoon at the Portland Rose Festival with our new friends, Alex and Candace Salisbury. First dates with new couples can be tough and sometimes awkward, but we made it through this one... The Salisbury's are keepers. After the Rose Festival, we had them over for dinner and lots of laughs.
Sunday was special because Andrew had the day off from work and got to go to church the entire time and attend family dinner, which is a VERY rare occurrence. At family dinner, we celebrated Memorial Day and the June birthdays of my sister Jenelle, brother Kevin and sister-in-law Rebecca. BBQ + Family = Perfect Family Dinner!
This morning we attended a Memorial Day Service in our community. My dad was asked to speak on his service and experience with the military. Of course, he was an amazing speaker... and it was a beautiful service.
Following the service, we had fresh BBQ ribs for lunch! A perfect ending to a wonderful holiday weekend.

Welcome Home Charlie Company

On Saturday, the Marines from the Charlie Company's 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Batallion were welcomed home from Afghanistan! Hearing the stories and seeing photos of our friends reuniting with their wives and children brings tears of sincere joy to my eyes. I am so proud of these Marines. Even though we weren't a part of this deployment, we have been following their journey these last 7 months and have been keeping them in our prayers.

Their arrival home on Memorial Day weekend only makes the return that much more sweet. We cannot be more happy for these men and women. In the midst of all the joy, their is sadness in the loss of Lance Cpl. Olsen and Lance Cpl. Aragon. Their honor and sacrifice is what today, being Memorial Day, is all about.

"This is my commandment, That ye alove one another, as I have bloved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15: 12-13
I am forever indebted to these men and women that protect my family and provide us with a beautiful and free country. Semper Fi!

To watch some footage on the return of Charlie Company, click here.

Andrew and Charlie Company when deployed in Iraq:


The Few and the Proud

All week I have been reflecting on the approaching Memorial Day weekend. For many, Memorial Day is known as a free ticket to a long and relaxing weekend, accompanied by a traditional BBQ. Growing up, that was how I thought Memorial Day was spent.

When I first married Andrew, I had no idea what I was signing up for as a military wife. Quite honestly, I was ignorant and thought he looked smokin' in his uniform.

In the two years of marriage to my Marine, I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and experience just a small fraction of the sacrifice that our servicemen and women make for this country. Memorial Day isn't about the 3-day weekend... vacations... and BBQs. It is about Uncle Gerry- a noble Colonel in the Marine Corps, Grandpa Strawn- a courageous soldier in WWII, Grandpa Milne- a fighting POW in WWII and so many more that have left marks in our nations history. These brave individuals are the reason we live and breathe freedom at this present time. A war is still being fought. Lives are still being sacrificed. We as US citizens have much to appreciate and celebrate this Memorial Day.

Enjoy your loved ones this weekend and celebrate our beautiful country. Remember to reflect on what this holiday really means by attending a Memorial Day service, calling a Veteran in your family and thanking them for their sacrifice or by simply including the many brave men and women in your prayers.

Happy Memorial Day. Semper Fidelis.


granny pants

Daddy likes to mess with lil Londie Lou sometimes, for instance hikin' up her pj pants... the poor kiddo has no chance as a teenager.

rain or shine

Rain or shine, Andrew was determined to finish the patio last weekend! He put so many hours into this project and they definitely paid off. He was even up until 11pm on Friday night, laying bricks in the pouring down rain!

Now, for the rest of the yard... that's to be continued.


I've lost my noodle!

I tried to trick you with the title of this post, because this is... yet another one about my current eating habits (AKA diet).

Shall we start from the beginning? After Londyn was born, I have been a roller coaster of motivation in getting back my body. In the beginning, I was determined and after 54lbs of success, I got ahead of myself and indulged in my old ways. All the while, I still had work to do.

This isn't about the number on the ugly step-scale reading what I want it to, it's feeling comfortable in my own skin. This desire lead me to jump back into the work by starting the Atkins approach. Atkins sometimes gets a bad rap from those that know little about the program because it involves a high-fat intake. To clear that up... the low carb system replaces carbs with protein, greens and fat. The fat is burned instead of carbs. Period. I started this new lifestyle 11 days ago and have lost 6 lbs. My appetite has decreased immensely, I crave water constantly and I'm more energized. But am I satisfied? I still have 5 lbs to lose and I will be back to my pre-prego weight. As much as I used to think that number mattered, I have been thinking and that's not the answer to my satisfaction. No matter what I weigh, the same as before or even less... it won't be the same.

My body image has always been a struggle for me... especially through high school. But, after having a baby it is even more of a challenge. Am I the only one in this boat?


weekend wrap-up

We had such a beautiful weekend! It was one of those rare weekends where we put off all of our chores and projects and just spent time together as a family. This may have been irresponsible, but felt truly exhilarating! On Friday night, Andrew and I had date night which included dinner and walking around this fabulous outdoor mall, the Bridgeport Village. It was such a wonderful evening of people watching, good weather and no agenda.
On Saturday, the day was full of heat and sunshine! We walked around Sherwood's Saturday Market, ate at our absolute favorite teriyaki joint, Mashitas (which has a lunch special with a huge plate of the best teriyaki ever! ...for $4.99) and then hit up the most amazing Asian market, called H-Mart in Tigard. Walking around the H-Mart was more exposure to the Korean commercial culture than I have ever experienced. I can't wait to go back!


Mr. Fix-it

Of course, with every house project comes a glitch or two and Andrew has found a couple already! After he cleared out the concrete remains, he found that our drain pipe had sunk lower into the ground because it was full of gutter crap! To fix this problem, he cut and attached a new pipe and added a filter to keep this issue from repeating itself.
Also, when he started digging out the patio space he found that the fence was not level. Done AND done. Fixed that too!

Today, Andrew made 3 trips to the landscape center to load up on rock that will begin the process of our brick patio.

Stay tuned... there's more to come!


Londyn Lately

With all the errands that need to be run and regular Target trips (that don't need to be run), Londyn is getting pretty used to living in her car seat, and strolling up and down the aisles in all kinds of different store carts.

Here she is in this photo because with the outdoor projects that Andrew has been tackling, we make lots of trips to The Home Depot.

As I mentioned in a recent post, Londyn has learned to let us know when NO means NO. It's so hard not to laugh because she's so DANG cute!

Well... see for yourself!


Londie Lou clips

Londyn LOVES playing with her cousins. They are always finding new ways to entertain her and get her giggling!

She also prefers to crawl instead of walk (can we say lazy?) She is walking alongside furniture when she wants to get something she's not supposed to have, but other than that crawling is her preference. Even with the "walker"... she manages to crawl.


mama's day

On this day last year, Londyn was outgrowing my belly... poking, squirming around and had the hiccups every 5 minutes. My frequent potty runs in the middle of the night, were like clock-work. I had my waddle down to a choreographed dance. My back constantly hurt... and still isn't the same today. We had just gotten comfortable in our little home and finished decorating the nursery. Multiple trips to McDonald's, Burger King and Taco Bell were a daily occurrence. When soaking in the tub every night, my belly always got cold because the water wasn't even close to high enough.
I was ready to pop.
I was starting to get nervous... and unsure of whether I could fulfill the role of motherhood.

An entire year has gone by since that time... and I can say, I'm doing it. It's not easy but worth every milestone and every devilish grin that she gives me before she goes and does something naughty.
Being a mom is even better than I had imagined. I cherish this time that I have with Londyn and look up to all of the mom's in my life that teach me on a regular basis what kind of mother I want to be. It is such an unexplainable joy to watch this tiny part of Andrew and I grow right before our eyes. I am blessed to be sealed to my two favorite people for all eternity.

Happy Mama's Day.

date night

Yesterday I had a special Mother's Day surprise this year, from my husband. He surprised me with a date that I had to put no effort in planning! I had no clue what we were doing or where we were going, but I did know we had a babysitter and it was just us two. A perfect beginning to a fabulous date! He took me to see "Date Night" with Steve Carell and Tina Fey which was ironically hilarious because it was about a boring married couple... which we found out, we SO are... already! Then he took me to the Zao Noodle Bar which was a delish restaurant, featuring YUMMY Thai fare. To start, we got house salads with their amazing tamarind-ginger dressing and then I ordered the Yellow Curry with Eggplant and Beef and Andrew ordered the Green Curry with Chicken. Dining out at a new restaurant is such a treat and so fun for us! The evening even gorgeous enough for us to sit outside at a quaint table for two.
We even left the restaurant without feeling guilty or embarrassed that there was food thrown all over the floor beneath our table! A foreign feeling...

Andrew and I rarely go out, just us two. But after last night, I realized how important Date Night truly is. Obviously, we can't afford the posh Thai cuisine scene and a movie every outing, but just time spent alone is a must. The whole evening I was smiling. I was just happy to be out with my man. No diaper bag. No bedtime to work around. And no sore arms from carrying a 22 lbs chubsicle.

Night's like this one, make me a better mom.


Extreme Home Makeover

My brother Eric has hired me to decorate his living room, kitchen and a bathroom in his home! He has worked so hard to remodel and update the structure of this home but has no clue where to start with decor. Who better to ask, than me- of course! The most fabulous part about this project (aside from getting paid to spend someone else's money) is that I have a blank canvas to work with. The only existing pieces are the beautiful and new leather furniture that Eric purchased recently. Of course he asked me because he wants a woman's touch, but let's get real... I'll get the job done. And I'll get it done good.

After all is said and done, I will post photos of the finished product!

Outdoor Update

Andrew has been hard at work on the outdoor makeover! The wood deck is gone. The concrete patios are gone. My man has done all of this work on top of going to school and his job. Since he could only take one class this term, a new project is fun for him! Especially because he's so good at it!

I'm so proud to have a man that can put his ideas into action without hiring someone to do the work!

10 months

Londie Lou is 10 months old today! She is constantly doing new things and developing her sassy personality. Lately, she has been reprimanding her mother! I don't know where she got this from, but she likes to shake her head no when she doesn't like something. Especially yesterday when I was toting her around to different stores, we would be strolling down the aisles and she kept shaking her head with a grumpy scowl on her face. She also started pointing her finger and shaking it up and down when we say no to her. I absolutely adore when she does these things! She is such a little-big girl now! I know I probably won't like this attitude when she's older... but for now, I'm loving it!

Unfortunately she has been sick for an entire week with a constantly runny nose, cough and fever. Since she hasn't improved, I finally took her in to the urgent care this morning. She was not a fan of the exam at all. Big alligator tears were involved. The poor kid was a hot mess. I didn't give her any meds before the appointment to get an accurate exam. She had a temperature of 100.4 and was miserable. Luckily for us, it's a virus and we
just need to wait it out.

I'm not gonna lie, my favorite part was the lil' Dr. Suess printed gown that they
had me put on her.