Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Birthday Weekend and Tons of Visitors

Daniel's birthday week was a very special one. We were able to have Sarah and her beau Andrew over for Wednesday and Thursday night before they left on Friday afternoon. We spent Thursday night playing games and enjoying cake and ice cream. Daniel donned his Afghani garb for S & A and didn't get to change in time before we made him blow out the candles. He told me to never let him wear that outfit again during pictures-taking times. I like it on him, besides it was tailored just for him, and he looks good in anything. :)
We played two different games that night on the porch and had a great time together. It was a wonderful visit.

On Daniel's actual birthday we had dinner at home then had a second night of ice cream, but went to Coldstone for Daniel's favorite cake batter creation. He loves the cake batter flavor!

The next day we ran several errands in the morning and then enjoyed the MumFest in the afternoon. It was basically a big fall festival for New Bern. They had vendors from all over the state there with all kinds of crafts, information and yummy food. It was a perfect day to be outside and I snapped a shot next to the Neuse River in the downtown area of New Bern.

Daniel's weekdays are very busy so we are thankful for the weekends to relax and rejuvenate for the upcoming week. We had the chance to connect with my family this past weekend as Daniel and I met my parents on Saturday morning and drove to Sarah's university for her family weekend. It was another glorious Saturday to spend outside and I am thankful we made the trip. It is only a two hour drive to her school and they have a lovely campus.

Sarah, as an RA, had to take part in the Homecoming activities. She helped decorate the truck for the parade and encouraged her residents to take part in it as well. She did an excellent job of decorating and their float was one of the cutest. As you can tell the school mascot is the camel. They have some school spirit. Sarah, along with some her her residents, was in the truck bed throwing out candy to the bystanders.

During the parade I was able to snap a couple of other shots as well... Here are Momma and Daddy sitting on the roadside during the parade, and quick shot of the Danny boy and me. It was a bright sunny day so the glare was extreme.

That evening we went to dinner and went to see "Flags of Our Fathers". It is an excellent movie, but beware it has extremely graphic war scenes. I had to look away at times, but the overall theme of true heroism is captivating. I just need to read the book now and luckily we have it...It is next on my list.

We returned home late on Saturday evening and went to Sunday school and the church service in the morning. We took a nice long nap to prepare for the upcoming week and to recover from the lack of sleep from the weekend. Daniel had planned to be out in the field all week, meaning he would not come home at night for dinner or to sleep. He would be outside sleeping or in the barracks at Le Jeune due to the early mornings and late nights.

But, last night I got a call around 6pm saying he was coming home early. I was very excited. He called later and said he was going to stop by a friend's house to see if he was back from leave. John, a friend of Daniel's from Okinawa just returned from Iraq and post-deployment leave. Daniel wanted to stop in and say hi. We also knew another friend from Oki, another Daniel, was visiting that evening and my Daniel wanted to see him as well. He originally thought he was going to miss seeing both of them this week due to being busy in the field, but his team finished up early and Daniel called and told me they were headed here for dinner and to spend the night.

I multiplied dinner times two and got the house ready for guests. I just love having people over! We had a great evening and they had a good chance to reconnect and recollect Oki stories. I snapped a picture of the three of them this morning around 5am before they headed out the door. John, my Daniel, and Daniel. They are really great guys and both have such a kind spirit. It was a joy meeting Daniel finally (I had met John) and having them stay over.

Yesterday during the day I went over to the director of the St. Charles Singers' house again. I have been twice now. (I never filled the blog readers in.) I am now an official St. Charles singer. Basically it means she contacts me with certain gigs and I can say yes or no and sing as much as I want. I love the flexibility and the opportunity to sing different styles of music. I have a gig set up at a restaurant in Jacksonville already and I have to fill an hour of time. I am doing a couple of duets, but mostly solos ranging from Disney to country-pop to Broadway. I just love having the opportunity to sing on a regular basis. We already have 4 performances lined up in December as well. It is all very exciting. I will be sure to let ya'll know how that goes.

Last week I also finished up LINKS mentor training. I am now a mentor which means I will be helping facilitate monthly LINKS training for new Marine Corps wives or just wives who want to know more about the Corps, the local area, or meet new spouses. I went to LINKS training in September and they asked me if I would like to be a mentor. Well, I passed mentor training and I am on the list for next months class. It is another excellent volunteer position to meet wives and stay involved. I really do look forward to this opportunity.

I am picking up the activity level with KVs again as our Marine spouses prepare to deploy again. This Thursday is a big meeting where I will meet other KVs, mostly wives of the men Daniel works with. I am looking forward to meeting them as well as building the KV program within Daniel's team.

I am headed to lunch now with another Marine wife. She is getting her car fixed in the shop so I am going to swing by and pick her up for lunch.

Have an excellent week!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Fall Days

Thank you for your thoughts and calls. I am feeling better. It was just a day of feeling under the weather. I don't know what caused it, but I am happy it is over.

The day after the last post I decided to finally get some bulbs in the ground in our front yard. The mailbox was a perfect place to make a new flower bed. I dug up the sod and turned the soil for some bulbs. You can't tell now, but come spring this bed should be full of daffodils and grape hyacinths. I also planted a small planter with full size multi-color hyacinths. I am looking forward to seeing the blossoms come spring.
It should make for a colorful season.

Daniel and I bought another bookcase. We seem to always have a need for more book storage. I know it is nothing like the book lovers in our family, Daniel's Dad, and Lolly, my sister. They have more of a collection, but we definitely have a start on our own library. As we were putting it together Meli thought she would help out by laying on the directions. She has a fascination with laying on paper or plastic. It must just be a different texture than normal, or she knows it is something that is not going to stay there for a long time so she better get her chance to sit on it then. She is a mess!
Excuse the devilish eyes. I have a hard time getting her yellow eyes at night, of course because of the flash...

We have hung more pictures and put more items in there final place. It takes a bit of rearranging and that is part of the fun of the new home. I know I should not focus on our material possessions, but I am very thankful to finally have them.

Yesterday I decided to be a tourist in our town. I enjoy taking the camera on outings. I mostly hit downtown historic New Bern and did some antique shopping. There are several places on the main road to slip in and shop around. I am not planning a major purchase. I just like looking and thinking about how an item could work in a house, not necessarily our home. I have to know about these places so when my my mother-in-law comes she can scope them out with me. She is an antique-lover as well and she is much more knowledgable about the items than I am; a great shopping buddy.
Here is the old First Baptist Church built in 1809. It has a huge wooden door and beautiful iron gate wrapped around the grounds.
Here is the street light decorated with flags for this next weekends MumFest in New Bern. I don't know what it will entail but there is a lot of hype for it. We may go...
And here I am walking the streets of New Bern on a perfect fall day.

I hope to take some pictures of Daniel this weekend. I know I haven't posted any of him lately and he is too cute to keep off this blog!

Have a great weekend. We are taking the weekend easy. Who knows something may come up, but it will be nice for Daniel to relax after the busy week's schedule. His day consists of waking up early, going to work, coming home, running, eating dinner, then doing a few things around the house before he crashes or I make him go to bed. It makes for a strict schedule so the freedom of the weekend is very welcoming.

I am off to the gym. It is arms day!

Love Ya'll

Monday, October 02, 2006

Getting Accustomed

This past week kept both Daniel and me busy. Daniel was on the range the entire week. He leaves the house around 5am so it is an early morning every morning. The hour drive to work and back is finally getting to be habit for him and me. He usually calls before he leaves or as he is leaving Le Jeune and we can time when he will be home for supper.

Last Tuesday they had some shooting at night so he stayed over in Jacksonville. He has a place he can stay whenever they need to stay late or wake up extra early. I am glad he doesn't have to drive back during those times. He is tired enough from the early mornings here. He still does a great job of getting things done once he gets home at night. He is too good with my feelings to just plop down when he gets home and zone out. (I know I would want to do that on some days.) He is a pretty wonderful husband...

Last week I met up with Stephanie, a mutual friend of my friend Jo in Hawaii. When Jo found out we were moving here she connected me with Steph so we could get to know each other. Well, Stephanie has been a perfect connection for many reasons, one being she is an absolute doll. She is very kind and considerate and I have enjoyed all my conversations with her. I was looking forward to having some time in person to get to know her better.

Secondly, her husband is a Marine also and it turns out that he is doing the same training that Daniel is doing right now and they are both deploying this winter for a year. I cannot express how good it is to connect with another wife who is going through the exact same feelings I am right now.

We went out on Wednesday and did some shopping and then had lunch together. We had a great time chatting and sharing our emotions about this upcoming deployment. I am not in the exact same boat as her because they have three dear children. She has to cope with the family while her husband is gone. I hope I can be of any help to her during this time.

I am hoping this relationship with continue to grow as we get closer to deployment so we can be supportive friends for each other.

Friday evening Daniel had to work late and return to the range on Saturday morning so I met him in Jacksonville for the evening. He had gotten tickets to this Broadway review show being done on base. We had a great time at dinner and the show. It was a perfect date night. I even had a chance to chat with the director of the production about auditioning for the group. I just emailed her asking about a time and place for auditions so I will fill ya'll in when I know more.

Saturday and Sunday my girlfriend Katy came down for a visit. We spent Saturday in Morehead City and Atlantic Beach. We did some shopping then walked on the beach for a while. It was an absolutly beautiful day. The weather was just perfect. Saturday evening we met up with Daniel and a friend of Katy's for dinner at a yummy seafood restaurant. It was a great ending to a wonderful day.

Sunday we went to church again and had a nice lunch at home before Katy had to leave to get back to her regular schedule to prepare for her week. She is a 5th grade teacher in Virginia, and a darn good one at that. I am quite proud to call myself her friend. She is a special chica.

Today has been a little bit of a yucky day for me. I woke up did some things around the house and then went to the gym. When I was driving back from the gym I started getting very nauseous. I thought it just must have been working out too hard or the motion of the car, but sure enough when I got home I got sick. I have been weak and yuck feeling since I got home. I am hoping I am not coming down with something.

Last time I posted for some reason it wouldn't let me post pictures. It is looking like it will not let me this time either. I am going to have to investigate after I post this.

Have a good week family and friends!

Finally some pics

Here is the house after a good mowing. THis was several days ago. We got some cute pumpkins and mums the other day and they are living on the front porch right now. They add some nice color.

We are still organizing and hanging up things in the house so I will post some inside pictures at a later date.

We are very happy with the house. Let me extend another welcome to anyone thinking about making a visit down south. Our house is open, we have space, and we love guests.

Here is Katy and I a few weeks ago when Daniel and I made a visit up to my parents. This was taken at a surprise party for my Dad's birthday.

Here are the Daddy's girls at his birthday party.

That is all for now. Love Ya'll!