Wednesday, June 30, 2010

In Honor of Independence Day

I've read a lot of supportive emails regarding the military. I appreciate each and every one. Being a military wife is not easy, but I have been abundantly blessed during my husband's career to rarely be separated from him...Anyway, this email arrived with a poem I have never seen before. I share it with you as I sit at home without my husband. Thankfully, by the time Independence Day comes, we will be reunited :) Bless you all, and please please please enjoy your freedom this weekend (responsibly, of course).

We must never forget who gets the credit for the freedoms we have, freedoms we should be eternally grateful to enjoy…

I watched the flag
Pass by one day,
It fluttered in the breeze.

A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease..

I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
With hair cut square and eyes alert
He'd stand out in any crowd.

I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil
How many mothers' tears?

How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea?

How many foxholes were soldiers' graves ?
No, freedom isn't free

I heard the sound of Taps one night,
When everything was still,
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.

I wondered just how many times
That Taps had meant 'Amen,'
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.

I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn't free.

Please! Enjoy your freedom – that’s what every service member works for.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Two women and one dog. 5 days, four nites, 1590 miles. Ump-teen million pictures. One road trip I will cherish forever.
M-O-O-N that spells home. Did anyone see the lunar eclipse last nite/this morning?
Why the H is the carpool lane in Misson Viejo stopped???
Home sweet home - in about two hrs
More traffic. At least my bladder is empty
Dont take the 101 in LA anytime soon...
"This is Hollywood. What's your dream?"
Halfway thru the Grapevine
Joshua trees!!!!
394 miles to SD
Enjoyed a lunar eclipse at 430 this morning. Watched sunrise over Mono Lake. Now headed south on 395 - CA's most scenic hwy

Friday, June 25, 2010

Yosemite was so unreal, we were there 'til sunset. We're staying the nite in a small town out here on 395. In AM, we'll look at Mono Lake then head home.
The falls, the trees, El Capitan - so far, Yosemite is AMAZING!!!!
Just paid over $4/gal for gas :(
Next stop = Yosemite. Hope we czn see stuff from the road. Then onto the Sequoias. How big can Big Sherman really be?
Who says there's a water shortage? Hqve you SEEN the San Luis Reservoir? We are pausing in Los Banos for lunch LMAO Los Banos = bathroom in spanish. Hahaha
OMG it's Hollister!!
After much debating, we are cutting out San Fran and Tahoe...we're leaving Salinas and heading towards Yosemite now. Hopefully mtn driving is not hard...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

PS Sunset was gorgeous on the 101. I think we saw Eagle Mtn. Definitely saw a rainbow. And I spoke to my husband today :D
It's midnite. I'm exhausted. We're in Salinas. We're also like a day and 100 miles behind schedule :(
We've taken two tours of the castle. We still have to see the museum, the gift shops and watch the NatGeo movie. Jax is being super awesome!!
1. I never expected to see wild turkeys on side of the road in California. 2. We're actually on time for once! Made it to Hearst Castle at 630 am.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

California Adventure

I have very much enjoyed sending mobile updates to Blogger via text message, but by request am filling in some details.

We're a little late...

We left my house Tuesday around 11 am. We were supposed to leave around 6am, but were up late doing laundry and entertaining Chip. My wonderful mother decided I would be a better driver if I had a decent amount of sleep...

After leaving the house we went to the 32nd street base to fill up our gas tank at a discount of approximately 15 cents per gallon :)

We then began our journey north. Our first stop was the wayside rest in Oceanside where Jax was a very good dog and went both #1 and #2 outside the truck!

Around 1pm, we left the rest stop and continued north. I pulled off the 5 onto the PCH in Dana Point because I wanted Mom to see more than just a freeway. My original plan was to stay on the PCH through Newport Beach, but since it took us an hour to get to Laguna Beach, I changed my mind. I had also planned to stop at my favorite artist's gallery in Laguna Beach, but decided against it when we could not find parking :(

I drove Mom through the Laguna Canyon and then proceeded north on the 405. I was eagerly awaiting the Goodyear blimp, but of course our next destination required us exiting the 405 prior to the blimp's parking spot.

We took the 710 south. I made sure to tell my mom the story of the job I quit because I refused to drive the 710 (aka the semi-truck freeway leading to and from the biggest cargo pier I have ever seen). We had a good laugh at some of my idiosyncracies :)

I, of course, chose the wrong direction on Ocean Avenue, but we made the best of it by giving Jax a chance to walk and seeing the Queen Mary.

When we were finally headed in the correct direction, Mom immediately began snapping pictures of the cargo trailers, the cranes, the waterways, the piers, and the very cool Vincent Thomas bridge.

I drove her through cute little San Pedro and then BAM! Rancho Palos Verdes. Never before had my mother enjoyed houses of that size or that beauty. Never before had my mom experienced views of a golf course overlooking the ocean. It was awesomesauce.

We then drove north on Rancho Palos Verdes Drive and eventually ended up on the PCH in Redondo Beach. Have you ever seen this town?! It is ADORABLE! Hermosa and Manhatten Beaches are not so much.

We pulled over at a Target on Sepulveda and checked the map...Because it was already 4:30 pm, we decided to skip all of Los Angeles and head straight towards Malibu.

Then we got to our last opportunity to go to the LA/Hollywood area and at the last second, I changed my mind. When is my mom ever going to have this chance again? When are my mom and ME ever going to have the chance to do it together? Who cares if we don't make it to all of our destinations, let her at least see Beverly Hills!

So I took the 105 to the 405. (Mom was a little disappointed that we didn't actually go on the part of the road that drove through LAX because she has seen that in movies...I had no idea what she was talking about, and at the sound of LAX was instantly happy I had I turned. LOL)

Of course, poor planning leads to traffic at 4:30 in Los Angeles.

But we eventually made it to Santa Monica Boulevard. Then I couldn't remember what exactly was so cool about Santa Monica Boulevard (except the Sheryl Crow song), so I took her to Roxbury Drive in Beverly Hills. We got to see the house Lucille Ball once lived in at 1001 Roxbury Drive.

Truthfully, neither the photo nor my written words can describe the grandeur of that house - or any house on Roxbury Drive for that matter. My mom took SO many photos! We laughed because we realized that mom and me could have actually spent a whole day walking up down those streets admiring the houses (and maybe asking a few of the residents to just let us see how they decorated the interior).

Then I took her down Sunset Boulevard and showed her the Roxy, Whiskey-a-Go-Go and the Viper Room. (Channing, please look up River Phoenix.)

Next we drove down Rodeo Drive. Her response? "Not at all what I had expected."

We then somehow ended up back on Sunset (there was also a little problem with a steep hill and my truck in reverse, but we made it out okay). We stopped at the Will Rogers Memorial Park to let Jax walk around. It is a gorgeous five-acre park across the street from the Beverly Hills Hotel. I recommend walking through it if you are ever up there.

We decided that we had better head out to Santa Monica, because our final destination was Chris's mom's in Oxnard. I mistakenly thought Sunset ran straight through, but that was definitely not the case...We were on Beverly Glen Drive and then like a beacon beckoning me, I saw the infamous Mulholland Drive!! I couldn't help myself. This is what road trips are meant to be, right? Always doing stuff you meant to do...So I took it. I figured we'd either drive off a cliff like James Dean or see the Hollywood sign. Neither of which happened.

We took Mulholland drive all the way to Laurel Canyon, but then had to turn around and go back, because it was getting dark and I didn't want to drive that crazy road after sunset...We looked at a map later and realized we were extremely close to seeing the Hollywood sign :(

Eventually we found the 405 and took that to the 10 into Santa Monica. Mom shot a couple snaps of the pier, but we didn't park. $8?! Are you kidding me?!

We took the 1 and found Cher's house. Yip-skip-skippy!!! (Thanks, James!)

$2.96 per gallon!

We filled up our gas at the Point Mugu Naval Base for only $2.96/gallon. In Malibu it had been $3.25!

We finally ended up at the Jack-in-the-Box in Oxnard around 10:30. Mommy no likey.

Now we rest...

We arrived at my mother-in-law Carolyn's around 11 and then sat up until about 1:30am chatting.

And then we crashed...thus ends Day 1.

(I'll add pics on Sunday.)
The speed limit on the 46 should be 30 so everyone is forced to slow down and enjoy the beauty of the vineyard countryside!
No elephant seals at Hearst Beach :(
Never made it to Hearst...Too busy picture-taking in Pismo Beach and antiquing in Morro Bay. Maybe tomorrow :)
Solvang was fun! Got more books :) Now on to Hearst...
Solvang DOES have a Christmas store! Score one for Leslie :)
In the Los Padres National Forest -- above the clouds!!
PS Did you get my post earlier regarding Rancho Palos Verdes?
We made it to Oxnard around 10pm. We had a semi-delicious dinner at Jack-in-the-Box and then dropped in on my wonderful mother-in-law. Now we rest :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Awesome awesome awesome time in LA. We're at Pt. Mugu getting gas. Only $2.96/gal - it was 3.25 in Malibu!!
We're on our way!!!
So we're a few hours and I were supposed to leave at 6 am, but I didnt wake up 'til 8. Hopefully, we will be out of here by noon.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

My Love

Yesterday was the four-year anniversary of the day I met my husband. It is also the anniversary of the day the Supreme Court said that it could not be deemed illegal for two different races to marry.

I've always found it beautifully coincidental that my husband and I met on Loving Day.

Tonight, my husband and I were separated by the military for the first time in our four years together. I know that I am greatly blessed to have been a military wife for so long and not have to suffer long deployments, repeated deployments and worse(like the majority of military wives).

However, that fact doesn't make it any easier to say "Good-bye" for the first time.

Enjoy this blog? Look for others of similar topic:

No Joke
Ramblings of My Love
My Man

Friday, June 11, 2010


Having my mom here has been a HUGE blessing thus far (as I KNEW it would be).

Her flight arrived 10 minutes early on Wednesday June 9. YAY! More time with my mom!

I took her to see the view from Harbor Island. I pointed out Point Loma (Cabrillo National Park), Naval Air Station North Island, the Coronado Bridge and downtown.
We proceeded south on Harbor Drive. I pointed out the Embarcadero area with the Hornblowers, the cruise ships and the Star of India. I pointed out the Midway museum and described the Aircraft Memorial Park.

As we continued down Harbor Drive, I told her a little about Seaport Village and the Gaslamp District. I showed her the Convention Center where Comic-Con is held and bragged about the grassy knoll in Petco Park.

We drove south on Harbor Drive until we reached the end of the ships docked at the 32nd Street Naval Base.

As we were driving home on the 54 East, I saw a coyote running down the side of the road.

Then, as we rounded the curve left to the 125 North, I pointed out the untouchable Sweetwater Dam and my mountain and then we saw a brush fire burning on what I think is Dictionary Hill. As we got closer to our exit, she excitedly proclaimed, “Oh! There’s your street!”

Once we got onto Jamacha Boulevard, we could see and hear the helicopters travelling to the Reservoir, picking up buckets of water and then dropping them on the fire.
I had previously told my mom that Brytin and I spent time Tuesday afternoon decorating the front of the house with American flags. First, because Brytin LOVES American flags, second because I wanted my house cute and welcoming for my momma and third because my husband is going out to sea very soon and I want to support him in his mission.

As we neared Space 116, my mom says, “Oh! Look at how nicely they decorated their house!” And then I pulled into the carport. In total shock she says, “Oh! This is YOUR house!” We both got a pretty good laugh out of that!

I showed her around the yard. My husband has done such a WONDERFUL job making our yard a place I truly love to be. It was a pleasure to share it with my mother.

Then, I had to get started inputting bullying surveys for Loma. I had approximately 30 that needed to be completed in an hour.

With a very slim margin, Mom and I were able to get them done :)

We then raced to the school to pick up Brytin. I was so excited for my mom and my son to finally meet!!

We had to go to the grocery store to pick up a few items for my infamous ham glaze. Mom, of course, had a wonderful time spoiling Brytin with treats – ice cream, bologna, Skittles and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. She spoiled me a little too

Then we went home to start cooking. And cook we did! I made the ham and Mom made her infamous tuna salad. We talked and laughed the whole time. Brytin watched Scooby-Doo and completed his homework and practiced his celebration songs and got to know my mom. He decided to call her Mrs. L.

Just as Brytin finished his homework, Chris came home. It’s always a fun moment between Brytin and I when we hear Betty roaring up the street. It’s a moment of happiness, excitement and genuine love for the number one man in our lives.

Mom paused her arduous task of making me a double batch of tuna salad so she could see Chris’s bike in person. Until James came rumbling up the road, I had completely forgotten it was Wednesday – Aces night. Mom, James, Chris and I hung out for about ten minutes before the guys blazed off for Santee. Mom admired Chris’s fender and his handgrips. She also liked the oil lines on James’ Rocker.

Mom and Brytin played some catch with a foam ball in his room. To which he responded, “I love it when you are here!” Mom convinced him to brush his teeth. And Brytin and I showed off our art work.

Around 9, I brought his mattress out to the living room so he could lie on the floor, next to mom on the couch, and we could all watch Scooby-Doo together. Brytin, of course, insisted that she sit on the floor next to him so he could snuggle up next to her. I then started boiling potatoes for mashed potatoes.

Around 10:30, Chris and James returned. I hadn’t received a warning that they were on their way, so I hadn’t completed the mashed potatoes, started boiling the corn on the cob or sliced the ham. Thankfully, the guys were patient while mom and I raced around the kitchen finishing up the meal we had prepared. It was delicious!

After all the dishes were in the kitchen, the guys talked about club business and mom and I collapsed on the couch. I turned on the TV for the first time all day and we were treated to “Dirty Dancing.”

It was an exhausting day, but one of the greatest days of 2010!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Flower Gardens

I have a vegetable garden I keep with Brytin. My flowers, on the other hand, are strictly for me. They are nothing fancy (petunias, mostly), but I love them. I get excited every time a new flower grows. My flower garden also gives me an opportunity to practice my non-photography skills.

I have some peonies and dianthus left over from last fall.

I'm praying that the gerbera will bloom for my mom's visit.

I'm still waiting for a calla lily to bloom this year.

I call this my "spoon" daisy.

Today, however, I noticed what seems to be a flower growing on our zucchini! This may not be news to any of you who have previously grown food, but I found it to be a beautifully delight!

blah blah blah

I have so much to write about, but at the same time, I have nothing to write about. I try to write meaningful posts and I try to remember that this is not a personal diary.

I read an article about another marriage book. The article was an interview of the authors, and had something I wanted to share with you. Unfortunately my husband threw away the article. LMAO

I will be spending some time in Minnesota this summer because my husband is being sent out to sea for six weeks and my son is going to Missouri.

We got a puppy.

My mom will be here in seven days!!!