7 Already?!

I can't believe he's 7 today!  Where does the time go?!  I still remember when he came into this world, all blue and banged up, but that little guy was such a fighter!  And look how big, strong, and handsome he is now!!!  7 years ago, I became "Aunt Eesie", this little fella gave me the job of being an aunt for the first time, and it's a job that I have loved every step of the way!  He has brought so much joy to our family, so many laughs, so many hugs and kisses, and so many happy times.  We love you Austin and hope that today brings everything you wish for!

I found a cute definition of what an aunt is and can only hope that Austin sees me this way:

Aunt:  a cherished friend and personal cheerleader who will always see you through rose-colored glasses.

Happy Birthday, buddy!


Catching Up & A Few Funnies

I have renamed Kojak due to the fact that he eats any and everything.  Lola's food, the kitties' food, cat litter, the burnt drippings from the grill that we cleaned out last week, he even licks the carpet in random areas of the house to see if he can pick up some crumbs that we may have missed somehow.  So his new name, and what we are all calling him these days is Piggy Fatterson.  It's perfect.

I quite enjoyed my dad's reaction to my nose piercing this past weekend, as it made me laugh quite a bit.  I have a diamond stud in it, and he tried to pick it off, saying I had a booger on the outside of my nose...I asked if boogers were shiny and looked like diamonds, and he said "Well, you've always been a princess, so it makes sense that you would have diamond boogers!"...he's quite the comedian...

We went to the fair while we were home visiting.  First time I've been in about 7 years.  I probably won't be going back for another 7, at least.  I think I'm getting old because it wasn't nearly as fun as it used to be.  The crowds smother me, the food hurts my stomach and the rides make me dizzy (well, most of them).  It was fun to spend the time with my family, and to watch Jason and Matt try their luck at the mechanical bull (video to follow), and to see the excitement on Austin's face, but I think I'm good for a while.

Everybody is coming down to our house this weekend:)  Ash, Matt, and Austin will be here tomorrow night, and we will be going to Mike's Farm here in town Thursday, for country cuisine and a pumpkin patch hayride, I think I'm almost as excited as Austin!  Thursday night, Momma, Daddy, Alaina, and Grandma will arrive:)  The guys have big plans for fishing and shrimping (shrimp that will come in handy for the weekend!).  And us gals will probably just enjoy being together and taking advantage of the cool temps settling in this week!  We will be celebrating Grandma's birthday with Gumbo (with the aforementioned shrimp) and Paula Deen's Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake on Saturday (YUM!).  Before they head out on Sunday, we will be watching the Panthers/Redskins game at 1:00 and hoping for a much needed win!  I'm ready to get them here!  Pictures are sure to follow!

We FINALLY got the pumpkins painted.  It was a bigger job than I expected!  But I am so thrilled with the outcome.  I piled them up in my fireplace and am quite in love with the outcome:)

Jason's didn't fit with my pretty pumpkins.  So his found a home next to the witch's broom.  He insisted on doing a scary one, so I insisted it wasn't going in the fireplace with mine:)

As of today, I have 14 days until I start decorating for Christmas:)  I always like to do it at the first of November, because one month is NEVER long enough for me to enjoy it!  I have also started Christmas shopping and plan to be done before December this year.  That's the plan anyways...

Tiffany is coming up to spend Thanksgiving with us this year!  It will be nice to have a visit longer than 2 days, and she will finally get to see where we are from and see the whole family.  She will be staying up at the cabin in the foothills with us at Dad and Mom's.  And she will be going with us Black Friday shopping at midnight ( a new tradition as of last year due to the tremendous fun we had tackling and blocking the wild women at Wally World, all while making alliances with the others so we had eyes and ears in all parts of the store!).  And of course our annual tree trip to the mountains.  I can't wait!

Jason's college classes start back up on the 6th.  He should be done by summer time and have his bachelor's degree! Please be praying for guidance for the two of us, and that if it's God's will, that He will provide a job in the civilian world for us at the end of this enlistment (November 2013) that will be what we need, and that if it's not, that He gives me peace about having to stay in the military, because these days, I am so very weary of this lifestyle and it's demands on Jason and his time, and I'm really tired of missing out on so many things with our family.

We are praying that Jason's leave gets approved for December!  Our plan is to take several weeks over Christmas.  It has been so long since we have had leave and last year everybody had to come to our house because he had to work.  Hence the "weary of this lifestyle".

Anyways, I realized that I am really behind on my updates, so I will post some pictures from the wedding job I had last month, and our mini vacay in Myrtle Beach as well, soon!  Oh, and I have some from the fair too.  I just hate uploading pictures on blogger, they always give me issues..


Tiff's Tat

My sweet, sweet friend, Tiffany, is fond of ink, and her latest tattoo touched me in such a way.  Her mother has beaten breast cancer twice (I believe, it's either 2 or 3 times), so the ribbon in pink is for her.  The gray ribbon is the ribbon for Diabetes.  The gray ribbon is the "H", and the pink ribbon is the "E", with ribbons in between spelling HOPE.  She said it's for two people that she cares deeply about who fight diseases.  How she thought of this, I don't know, but it's so special to me that she cares enough to put something permanently on her as a reminder.  She told me that it spells "hope" because that with God there's always hope, and we have hope that there will one day be a cure for both.  She's dear to my heart :)


Got My Hair Did and Some Rambling

I hadn't had anything done to my hair in about a year, and it was getting to be about time!  I got a shape up "trim" and some new, brighter highlights.  I'm happy with the slightly different look!

As you can see in the picture, I am wearing my new Panthers jersey.  A total steal from the end of last season.  It was in the kids department at Belk's, on clearance and then an additional 30% off.  It came home with me for 8 buck and some change.  And it's an official jersey, these aren't cheap.  I was totally psyched to find it, and to top it off, it's a Steve Smith one, he's my fave:)  And I'm happy to report, they finally pulled out a win today, beating the Jaguars 16-10, not pretty, but a win nonetheless!

The new tool I'm in love with is my deep waver.  It's what I used on my hair in the picture.  It works like a crimper, but makes big waves instead of little crimps.  Easy, and makes lots of body.

The Dixie Classic Fair is coming in town, well not here, but back home.  So this year we are all going!  It's been forever since we went to the fair together.  I'm totally excited:)

Next week is supposed to stay in the 70's here.  For the first part of October at the coast, that's promising!  We are usually still swimming in October, but we are draining our pool this week because it's already too cool to swim (and a little green, lol).

Jason got a new tattoo.  He finally got his USMC "moto" tattoo. Oh, how I've always loved his broad shoulders, so what a good place to put it!  We did some looking around online for some different ideas, and finally found this EGA which we both totally loved.  We'd never seen one like this, and the guy who did it said he hadn't either, he even added him to the brag book of tattoos for the place he got it done at.  And for those who were wondering what Semper Fidelis means...it's the motto for the USMC which means "Forever Faithful".  I like the dual meaning:)

On our trip to Walmart this weekend, I was greeted at the door by all the wonderful pumpkins and I was mesmerized!  I quickly made my way over because I haven't seen pumpkins out yet, and we then loaded up the cart with all different sizes!  We got them home, J unloaded them, and I washed them up.  We have plans of painting them tomorrow, and saving the biggest one to carve closer to Halloween.  We will get another one with the family when they come down at the end of October and we all go to the local pumpkin farm and hayride, and we will carve that one too.  We like to have two so we can both pick out designs we want to carve.  I think we are going to invest the few dollars to get the pumpkin drill at Walmart this year, it seems like it will be much easier.

I will post some pictures once we get them all painted and decorated, I will take some of our outside decorations too!

We got our first set of Egyptian cotton sheets a few weeks ago.  We didn't pay too much for them, as they are really reasonably priced at the Wally World.  They are 400 thread count and outta this world!  All of ours were pretty threadbare so we were at the point of having to get some.  I try to make them last as long as possible, but sometimes you have to give in.  Those will be our backup sheets until they fall apart.  Egyptian cotton..it's the way to go!  They feel a little sturdier and are so soft!

I found the perfect costume/outfit for Kojak for Halloween.  ...Or for everyday.  It's a black t-shirt (for dogs), and on the back, it has vampire fangs, and it says "I BITE".  Fitting.

Well, it's time for some Scooby Doo.  Yep, I still love it, especially this time of year.  It's fun spooky.  That's why I love ABC Family's 13 Nights of Halloween, and usually Disney has some good Halloween specials too.  Not scary or gross, but spooky and fun.  That's the way I like Halloween:)


I Gave In

After almost 7 years of marriage, I think my honey has asked me to get a fish tank oh...about 572 times.  I always said, no, we have a dog and that's plenty of pet for me (sometimes too much pet!), but for some reason, this week I gave in, as long as it was small and easily maintainable.  We have 4 glow fish, 2 pink, 1 yellow, 1 orange.  We named them:)  We have Pudge and Pinky, the two pink ones...Pudge has a big belly, I hope that doesn't mean he's a she and pregnant!  The orange one is Punkin, and the yellow one is Flo because he/she is the one with the biggest fins and they float and swish around more than the others.  We also have a handful of ghost shrimp to keep it clean.  I know nothing about fish tanks, so this is Jason's thing.  I just picked out the fish and decorated it, lol.  It's his thing to keep it clean and going.  I think it's purdy, and I love the noise from the filter and the bubbles:)


Sitting Room and Living Room Ready Too!

Our sitting room:

Our seasonal "Christmas" tree.  A little crow found his place at the base with some more pumpkins!

The TV cabinet


Up close of the mantle, love my little primitive witch's hat, and hand stitched picture (done by my Momma!).


Kitchen and Dining Room Ready for Fall!

 My new pumpkin basket flower arrangement, all supplies found at Michael's :)

Also, picked up a few autumn signs at Michael's.

Dining Room:

Lots of mood lights, love 'em!

New table runner and a basket full of pumpkins, gourds, and leaves.

More to follow!


Autumn Scents

I must say, it's smelling awfully fallish around our house:)


And The Bathroom is DONE!

Painted cabinets, new mirrors and lights, and an paintable wallpaper accent wall:

Baseboards, new towels, and matching barn star:

And Crown Molding:


Coming Soon...

Yes, I am getting ready to decorate for fall.  I do not care that it is August 19th.  I am evoking a cooler spirit in my house in hopes that the outdoor temps will soon follow.  I'm excited:)  Pictures to come!



So many times, I hear people complain about how much they hate Jacksonville, and while I can relate when it comes to talking about the main drag in town where every other building is a "buy-here, pay-here" car lot, a tattoo parlor, a strip club, or a pool hall, the rest of this area of NC is absolutely beautiful!  Not many people can drive 10-20 mins. and be at the beach, eating at a restaurant overlooking the ocean.  So I choose to see the blessings in living in a not-so-desirable military town.

Our view at dinner a few weeks ago:


Our First Watermelon

We are really enjoying the fruit (literally) of our labor in the garden this year!  It has saved us so much money at the grocery store.  My favorites have been the squash, zucchini, cantaloupe, watermelon, and TOMATOES!  But I thought I would show you a picture of our very first ever home grown watermelon.  It was so sweet!  I hate seeds, but this one was worth it!

Isn't it beautiful?!



I finally convinced Jason that aviator sunglasses were HOT!  I think all I had to say was that the volleyball Top Gun scene USED to be (not since I met and married the most handsome man anywhere) my favorite movie scene of ALL time, and that he kind of reminds me of Ice Man (Val Kilmer) in his beautiful days (have you seen him lately..not so much now).  He then told me that they were Navy, NOT marines, and so it would have been better if they were marines.  But anyways, the next day we found a pair at a surf shop and I assured him it was just as good as I had anticipated;o)  Of course he bought them.  I was a happy girl. 

Sessy man...


What is that!?!

That's what we said when driving home one night after passing this house not too far from home.  It appears to be an outdoor fish tank, and it has lights in it...right in their front yard!  I have never in my life seen something like this before!  Jason was so baffled, and I did not see it when we first went by, so we turned around and went back, then stopped in the road to check it out, lol.  It's not a great picture because it was dark and I was using my phone, but you can still see the fish swimming around in there.  I would love to know what their thought process was on this one!


Sleepy Boys

A long week at work, and a hard week of being a dog.  I think it's funny they passed out laying the same way, right next to each other.  A boy and his dog, so cute!

**A prayer request please!  After 2 whirlwind days, we are back at the house. We made the quick trip home to see Jason's grandma, we found out Tuesday that she was given 1-2 weeks to live as she is overtaken with cancer.  It was extremely hard to see her like this, especially for Jason.  Grandma "Jo" had a huge hand in raising him, even more so after his mother became more and more absent.  Please keep her and the family in your prayers as she is in a lot of pain, and as many of you know, it is so hard to see a loved one hurt like that.  Thank you in advance for your prayers!**


A Sleepover at Eesie's!

The last few days of the second week that my family was here in June, Austin and Alaina got to spend a few days here by themselves before the four of us headed back home that weekend.  On the Friday night before we left, Jason had duty, so Austin, Alaina, and I had a sleepover/movie night in the living room.  It was so much fun.  We watched movies on Netflix (The Jetson's Movie, Happily N'Ever After 2, Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes, Garfield's Pet Force, and The Backyardigans!) and Alaina and I slept on the couch, while Austin got the royal throne that transformed into a bed once it was bedtime.  He was pretty thrilled with my creation:)  He got the front and center seat for the movies...

And for dinner...hot dogs and mac n' cheese, of course!  Two of Austin's faves (well after pancakes!).  Then for dessert, Austin got a "snack bowl" with popcorn, cookies, fruit, etc.  His eyes got as big as the bowl when I put it in front of him.  That's what aunts are for, right!?  Alaina and I had ice cream:)

It was a fun night, one that I don't get with the two of them often, so I enjoyed every second of it and I'm looking forward to the next time!


Busy Days

I'm ready for a vacation!  Life has been too fast-paced lately and I just need it to slow down.  A little relaxation and family time is just what the doctor ordered.  Too bad it's not in the cards for a few more months.

The Marine Corps doesn't care when you have a longing for down time and QT with the fam.  They have Jason stretched pretty thin these days.  Last week was rifle range, and as I've shown in previous posts, Jason is always beat during range week.  Getting up at 3:30, and then to make it worse, he would have to have it the week the heat wave settled in on us.  Thankfully that's over, so now he's back to having duty every 3rd day until September.  We will get a small window in the middle of August to go home and be with our family, however.  Very small.  We get to go home on a Saturday and come back on Monday, and that's just because he got somebody to cover his duty an extra day so we can go home to see Alaina sing for her first Sunday morning church service!  She's going to blow everybody away:)  Plus, he's in college every other weekend all day for both days.  At least this class is business management so it's one I can help with.  I've already been "voluntold" that I will be writing a 5 page paper.

Illness has rocked Jason's world this week as well.  We found out that his grandmother, the one he is very close to, and who had a big hand in raising him, was diagnosed with lung cancer.  We don't know how bad or if it's spread yet, so we're hoping and praying it will be in the early stages and that she will fight it, and that this will convince his dad to stop smoking.

Last Monday was a scare for me.  A pain like I've never felt before hit in the middle of the day in my lower left back.  Growing up with diabetes, it is pounded in your head, that back pain in the lower portion on the sides is more than likely kidney issues.  So of course I went into panic mode, and couldn't make rational decisions, so my wonderful mom walked me through what I needed to do via phone.  I couldn't reach Jason on the range, so I called my neighbor who drove me to the ER and stayed with me until sweet hubby could get there (which was about 45 minutes later).  8 hours later, my diagnosis was "renal colic".  A painful spasming of the kidney(s) b/c of kidney stones.  After a rough week, I'm pretty sure I passed the stone late Friday/early Saturday.  Not something I wish on anyone!

We are still having smoke problems from the wildfires here, but they have it somewhat contained now.  It's still pretty stinky here though, especially with the really hot temps.

We are finally starting on some indoor house projects!  First one was the guest bath, we are right in the middle of it, and are learning a lot!  Pictures to come soon!

We met some possible new neighbors on Sunday.  Quite the different couple, but I think they would be good neighbors.  He's 25, and she's 45.  He's a marine, and I think he and Jason would get along well.  She is from Guam.  After meeting them, Jason informed me that she must be "Guamanese".  I burst out laughing and said "no, I'm pretty sure that's not right!"  So his next guess was "ok, well she must be a Guamian."  When the laughing subsided, I had to look it up, they are actually called "Chamorro".  Who woulda known!?

As much as I hate giving Kojak haircuts, he is miserable in this heat, and I'm finding fuzz balls the size of chihuahuas all over my carpet!

I can't believe it's almost August! 

I think my new catch phrase for my stories on Jason will be "Hunny Funnies".  Here's another Hunny Funny...last night I was laying in bed, not sleeping, yet Jason was sacked out.  All of the sudden he pushes up on his elbows, looks at me, giggles (yes, GIGGLES), and says "lincoln logs".  Lays back down and closes his eyes.  If I could only see inside his dreams!

Alaina taught Kojak to play dead when you point your finger gun at him and yell "BANG!".  It's hilarious.  He lays down and rolls over on his side.  Here recently for whatever reason, he has started (on his own) putting his paw over his face.  It cracks me  up!  When Alaina tried to teach this trick to Lola, she ran away and got in her bed.  She is smarter than we give her credit for, she runs from the gun, Kojak just lets you kill him!

Ok, well, the bathroom isn't painting itself unfortunately.  So, I'm dragging myself off the computer now.  59 days until FALL!!!


My 27th (for the 3rd time) Birthday

I was very blessed this year to have my family come to our house to celebrate with me! Jason was even able to work it out with work to be off and he skipped class that day, so I had everyone with me! My birthday was on Saturday, but Ash, Matt, and Austin came in the Monday before and spent the entire week with us, then Daddy, Momma, and Laina came in on Friday. Saturday, we all swam and hung out, enjoying each other's company, relaxing, talking, watching movies, and of course, there was a Walmart run at some point for Matt and Jason. Then we had my birthday dinner. The food...exceptional, as always! Can't beat southern cooks! 

My Daddy, the grill master!

 Fried squash, zucchini, and green tomatoes from the garden.

Ash's to-die-for homemade mac 'n cheese.

Plus, we had all the fixins, and my birthday cake, well, I'm sure you can all guess...Momma's homemade chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and assorted Breyer's ice creams:)  It was a meal for a princess!

Then came gift time!  My family spoils me, I tell ya!  A few of my treasures...Austin gave me a recordable book, where he reads to me, called "All The Ways I Love You".  I cried, it was so very precious!  My parents got me the most comfy sleep shirt I've ever had, with, of course, Tinkerbell on the front and some wired American flags that I wove through the grapevine on my mantel.  Alaina got me this cute metal cow with a flower pot that I plan on putting some rosemary in. Ash and Matt got me the bird's nest photography prop a few months back so I could start using it for photoshoots, and it has proven to be a super cute prop!  And Jason got me a whole array of things, a bag full of goodies from nail polish to Tinkerbell bandaids to shimmering suntan lotion, and a Jeep hoodie and license plate, a shirt from AE..just to name a few!  So, needless to say, I was a happy girl:)

And to end a wonderful day, once it got dark, we built a campfire and roasted marshmallows and made smores.  I'll share a few pictures from the campfire, everyone was there, but there were a few camera shyers. 

The beautiful blaze.

My little sunburnt sis.

I think it's hilarious that Matt has marshmallow in his goatee, he looks full and happy!

Poor Jason was worn out, he had duty the night before in order to be home on my birthday.

The best parents in the whole universe!

The weekend visits are always too short, but I enjoy every second of them and look forward to the next one!  The rest of the week, Alaina and Austin stayed down with us, as did Ash and Matt (until Thursday), and on Saturday, the rest of us hit the road to go back to the cabin.  We could only stay until Sunday night, but we crammed everything we could fit into that day and a half.  Saturday night, we went downtown to a classic car show and street festival.  Super fun, but my husband is now determined to own a classic car now.  (Rolling eyes)  As if his Jeep doesn't keep him busy enough!  Sunday morning, Jason was in the 4th of July program at the church I grew up in.  He wore his blues, and represented the Marines proudly.  After church, we finally got to eat at the oh-so-talked-about Dairi-O, and I must say, it definately lives up to the hype!  Delish!  And to finish off the afternoon, I squeezed in a photoshoot of sweet baby Clara, who was an absolute doll (except when she got hungry of course!).  Once all was said and done, we hit the road at about 7:00 pm.  What a weekend!  Jason's schedule will be better come September, as he will go back to not having duty every 3rd day and we can actually take leave again, so until then, I guess we have to get used to this busy way of life!  That's the military for ya!


Happy 4th

Happy 4th of July everyone!  Please take time to enjoy your freedoms today, and thank those who make that possible!  I love you and am so proud of you, sweetie.  Thank you for your sacrifices!

**Pictures from church and the 4th of July program yesterday.  Jason was the respresentative for the Marines.  He was so handsome!  This girl was full of pride for her husband yesterday (and everyday;o))!


My College Man

Jason started back his college courses last weekend, he's only about 3 semesters away from having his bachelor's in Electronic Engineering.  SIU (Southern Illinois University) comes down here every other weekend to teach, so his degree will actually be from there, which is pretty cool considering he has done all the work here in good ole NC!  I am so proud of you, babe!  Keep up the good work, you are so much smarter than you give yourself credit for!!!


I Think We're Covered!

New swim trunks - ü
Kite for flying at the beach - ü
Water Cannons for the water war that will surely ensue once in the pool - ü
Splash Football - ü
Beach Ball - ü
Blow Up Pool Baseball - ü
All the ingredients to make a certain boy's fave chocolate chip cookies (with his help of course!) - ü
An Aunt and Uncle ready for their nephew to visit next week - üü

Our sweet nephew (along with his Mommy and Daddy) is coming to visit next week, to be followed by the rest of the family on Friday for my birthday:)  I have the best family ever!  I love y'all and can't wait to see each one of you next week!