September 17, 2008

Hanging Around...

After a busy day traveling, hosting a baby shower, and seeing the Blue Angels preform in the rain, it was time to relax. Olivia and I traveled back over to MN to see Grandma and Grandpa Collins. We went to the park to swing on the swings...something Olivia loves to do...and Uncle Travis (brother-in-law) made sure Olivia enjoyed her time on the swing. Then we met Aunt Sarah for lunch and Olivia showed us all how she could drink from a straw...she's growing up so fast. Then it was back to the house to enjoy the outdoors with Morgan the Dog who just couldn't resist trying to lick Olivia all over.

The last few days has been spent at my parents house in the semi-country of WI...I say semi-country because they do have 2 acres of land but the surrounding areas of the town are growing up fast. I'm amazed at how much changes between my visits. Olivia is catching up on sleep and enjoying the outdoors with Papa. I am able to run...when my knee doesn't buckle out on me...and help around the house. Olivia is currently awake at 10pm while I'm trying to finish this blog. After 12.5 hrs of sleep last night and nearly 4 hrs of naps today...I guess putting her down at 7pm was not going to work. We'll be relaxing for a few more days before going to the Renaissance Festival with my mother-in-law. Til then...enjoy!

Blue Angels

Not only did it rain all day Saturday...the day of the baby rained most of the day on Sunday, the day we all went to see the Blue Angels. I was so excited to take Olivia to her very first airshow that was in Eau Claire, WI the week we were here visiting. I did get my wish, however it was not as planned. Originally, we were to fly a small plane over and enjoy all day watching the planes. As the rain had not stopped the night before, we drove the hour to the show after Olivia awoke from a rare 3 hr morning nap. Upon paying for parking and becoming the second car next to enter the parking lot, we were informed the lot was full. That was alright since the Blue Angels were not scheduled to perform for another 2 hrs...or so we thought. Due to the unpredictable rain, they started the show as we were waiting for parking. Not to worry, our parking spot was right near the entrance which made for an easy get away once the rain did start coming down. We watched the start of the show on our brisk walk into the events area. There were so many people attending the last day of the show due to the tickets for Sat were also good for Sun (even though the tickets said no rain refunds/transfer). The Blue Angels were the main attraction and we were not impressed with the other booths...or lack there of. I even got to change Olivia on the ground...which she did not mind one bit. Shortly after the finish of the Blue Angels show it started to pour so we hiked back to the car, grabbed a late lunch and drove home. All in all a good day...just a bit wet.

Babies, Babies, Babies

Our main reason for coming up into the cooling temperatures of the North was to celebrate my sister-in-laws baby shower. I'm excited to announce that her due date is November 10th...the same day as the Marine Corps Birthday!!! So, as we made homemade onesies for her little girl, I made a cute "My Uncle's in the USMC" with "Bomb's Away" on the butt flap. It seems that I am once again surrounded by friends and family who are, we're not expecting. As I helped host the baby shower, Olivia spent the day shopping with Aunt Katie and Nana. She enjoyed herself so much, that night she slept very well. The shower was the kick off to a busy few days...followed in the next few postings.

Traveling to Wisconsin

Olivia and I embarked on a new journey...traveling on an airplane with a terminal change at Dallas/Fort Worth. We have come up to Wisconsin to visit my parents and sister. Olivia did very well on both flights despite having only a 20 min cat nap at the USO in Dallas. The sleeping room was fantastic at the USO with comfortable reclining chairs, a tranquil fountain and dimmer switches on the lights. If anyone travels through the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, the USO is located in Terminal B at Gate 15...complementary food, drinks, movies in home theater chairs, sleeping room, internet, and play area for the kids.

September 11, 2008


Today we all need to remember those who lost their lives in the attack of 9/11 so many years ago. It is hard to imagine how far this country has come since that dreadful day in 2001, when all hope was lost and the idea of recovery was far from certain. We also need to remember those who lost their lives in the fighting after the attack. Everyone is important.

I'd like to thank all the families of those serving our country, who fight for our freedom and the freedom of others. It is our duty as spouses to keep the home fires burning so our military members can try and have one less stress to worry about while putting their lives on the line.

I think about all the wonderful friends I have met over the past 3 years and how their families are coping with multiple and sometimes back to back deployments. Those women who give birth without the support of their husbands are very strong and should be an inspiration to all.

Not everyone can be a military spouse but those of us who can stay strong and calm help many other spouses who are unable to cope.

Thank you to everyone I know.

September 9, 2008

Devil Dog Run

The Marine Detachment on base hosts the Devil Dog Run every year to raise money for our humble Birthday Ball. It is open to anyone and the Marines are highly encouraged to participate. This was the first year we could participate since we left for 29 Palms just a week before the run last time we were here. It was much larger than I least 2,000 people ran either the 10K, 5K or unit run. Ryan's tummy was bothering him that morning so he pushed Olivia in the jogger while I ran ahead. I got to the half way mark before the unit runners caught up with me and the road became way to crowded for my slow pace, so I kept Ryan and Olivia company to the finish line. My final time was 43 min for the 5K...not bad for someone who had not run in over a month...I blame the weather. My last competitive run was the Turkey Run in Quantico back in November of 2004. I ran the 5miles in 57 min and did a little training before the race.

Completing the Devil Dog Run has brought back the joy of running for me...not to mention the help of cooler weather. I've always considered myself a runner even when I did not run regularly. It is my time alone with my thoughts and gives me a sense of personal accomplishment...something that I can not rely on anyone else to complete.

The Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge is hosting another 5K Fun Run in October to benefit the Cancer Center of Southwest Oklahoma and I'm thinking about signing up. It gives me time to actually train a bit before hand so maybe I can run the whole steps.

September 5, 2008


I love our house, I love taking care of our house, I love our little angel...but it can get very boring around the neighborhood being the only person home. There are only 5 family's living on the block with 3 new homes on the market. Everyone works except the wonderful couple across the street who just had their first child on Sept. 2nd...he's in the Army on medical leave and she, well, just had a baby. There is only so much a person can do around the house until the exact same thing is done again.

I've cleaned up the living room just to have Olivia mess it up again...that's ok, it's her job. I've done a load of laundry every day this week. I clean the kitchen, vacuumed the floors (what little carpet we have), and check email several times a day. Ok, maybe there's other things I can do around the house, but knowing I can't go anywhere at anytime is starting to create cabin fever. Oh, it's still to hot to go outside with Olivia during the day.

So maybe I just need to sit down and read a book, something that is not on my school's reading list's been a while since I've read for pleasure, not purpose.

Just venting...

September 1, 2008

Labor Day Weekend Fun

Lots have been happening since the last posting. Olivia and I traveled down to Fort Worth, Texas to visit a friend from 29 Palms. She just had her 4th son three weeks ago so the trip was short but sweet. Maddie, 18 months, and Thomas, 4 yrs old, enjoyed playing with Olivia...she could keep up with the boys.

Upon returning home, Olivia decided to bring me her shoes, my shoes, and went to the front door. So, we went outside and I set up her new baby pool due to the incredible heat and humidity. She has started letting us know more about what she exactly wants. Bringing us things she needs or wants to play diapers and wipes, it looks like we'll need to get a little potty soon.
Ryan's parents came down to visit us for the Labor Day Weekend. They decided to drive the 13 hr route, arriving here after 2am. Olivia was unsure of who was in her house the next morning but took no time at all adjusting to having her Grandparents around. We traveled out to the base to show off Ryan's office, and then hit the Commissary. Grandpa found the carts with the cars and kept Olivia entertained while we checked out. Then everyone went to LETRA (Lake Elmer Thomas Recreation Area) to go to the beach. The water was cool at first but became very comfortable. Olivia loved being towed around in her floaty and Ryan, Tina, and Grandpa enjoyed testing out the water slide. All was fun and games until Ryan splashed water directly into Tina's eyes...but then he felt bad, a good thing.

All and all, the weekend has been fun...relaxing and enjoying seeing Olivia laugh and play with Grandma and Grandpa.