Monday, June 28, 2010

Date Weekend

Friday night we headed to Seattle for a night out on the town!  Unfortunately, we forgot to take any pictures while we were all dressed up...Mark had on his suit and I had on a dress and we went to dinner at the Metropolitan Grill.  It did not disappoint!  Our waiter had a son who is a marine and treated us to a free appetizer and a free dessert!  So kind!!!!  We each had a steak and potatoes and we shared the specialty 4 cheese macaroni.  It was nice to go out to a fancy dinner to make up for all the non-date weekends.  :)

After dinner we drove out to Woodinville, WA, which is home of the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery.  

We stayed the night at the Willows Lodge.  It was amazing!  We really wished we had more time to enjoy it, but we had no idea how awesome it would be.  We had brunch at the restaurant at the hotel, called the Barking Frog.  It is an award winning restaurant and they make some delicious french toast!  After brunch, we checked out of the hotel and started our wine tasting and tour of the winery.  I don't know why it took us so long to go check out Chateau Ste. Michelle....we loved it!  

After tasting and touring, we each ended up with our favorite bottle of wine.  I ended up with the special wine of the month and Mark picked a fancy Cabernet.  The hospitality in the tasting room was more than we could have asked for.  The tasting was $10 for 4 we paid our money and starting on the first wine.  As we began talking to our tasting man, we found out he is a retired military guy and was really thankful to Mark for his service.  He said when he returned from Vietnam he was spit on, and he never wanted anyone else to experience, he gave us our $10 let us taste wine after wine...after fancy wine!  He let us taste wines that aren't even for sale!  And then....he gave me my wine for FREE!  His generosity was much appreciated...and our overall weekend was WONDERFUL!  Hopefully it won't be long until we are able to go back to Woodinville to check out the rest of the wineries in the area.    

Sunday, June 27, 2010

"Dixie"-Land Delight

Meet Dixie!

As you know, little Daisy is still in Texas with her Grandparents and Trey.  My plan was to bring her back here to WA before Mark got home.  That didn't quite work out because my dear mother is so attached to precious Daisy.  The new plan is to train Dixie before block leave and then take her home and trade her for our Daisy.  Her face looks a lot like Daisy's did when she was a baby and she has really pretty blonde hair.  We are just hoping she isn't a dumb blonde!  We bought some doggie crack today (Buddy Biscuits), which we should buy stock in because I'm pretty sure we keep them in business.  You could serious train a dog to do backflips with these treats!  So far she will come when called...she can sit...and she did "up" one time.  Already she is in love with Mark.  She wags her tail when she hears his voice and she would much rather be snuggling with him than me.  

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

THE day...

Last Friday was one of the best days of my life, hands down!!!!  Seeing Mark for the first time after so long apart was more special than words could ever here is the day/night in pictures.
The morning started with an early wake up call at 4AM!  A Co. had made it to Ireland!  It was pretty tough to go to sleep after that, but just as I dozed off, I got the "official" call that they were headed to the USA!  I started the call out and the day officially 5:45 AM!  I turned the countdown to 0 and tried to stay busy.  I prepared a breakfast casserole for Saturday morning and made some banana pudding....then I waited and waited!  Mark's mom and I made a drive up to the airport around noon to pick up Mark's dad, so that took up a few hours in the day.  

We got to the gym around 7PM and then waited for what seemed like an eternity, but was actually only 40 minutes...

They landed...

Mark called to inform me they landed....I was pretty excited! Then more waiting for 2 hours....

If you look closely, you can see Mark saluting as he leads his company off the plane!  Welcome Home Apache Company!

Here they come!!!!!  

Listening to a speech....

First kiss.....finally!

Together again!  

We got home pretty late on Friday night, so we just hung out for a few minutes and then turned in for the night.  Poor guy was pretty jet lagged, so he was wide awake around 5AM, so we went down to the lake behind our house to watch my friend, Amy, compete in her first triathlon.  It was rainy and cold...pretty typical for January in Washington, but not so much the end of June!  The weatherman is calling it JUNE-uary!  

We watched for a bit and then went back to the house to pick up Mark's parents and head out for delicious meal at Duke's on the waterfront in Tacoma!  DELICIOUS!  

Saturday night was spent in the house with a pizza and games...Sunday we woke up...went out for some BBQ...took the Pembertons to the airport...ran some errands...and just enjoyed being together.  We went to dinner on Sunday night with the Anderson's, because they are moving to GA!!!!  I will miss them both sooooo much!  Amazing weekend!!!!  It is still so surreal!  One day, Mark was in Iraq...and the next day he is home!  

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sweet Emotion

I am officially a MESS!  Even the sight of a soldier walking past in ACU's starts the waterworks.  I feel like my heart is about to explode out of my chest!  I am proud, excited, anxious, EXCITED, nervous and about 1,000 more emotions!!!!  I wish that everyone got a chance to feel what it's like to have a soldier coming home!!!!  I have counted every night we have been apart and that makes each moment we are about to have together more precious than ever!  I would wait forever to just have a day with my soldier man...and the past almost 11 months have felt like FOREVER!!!  I'm so thankful that Mark is one of the lucky ones that gets to come home.  My heart breaks for the families that have lost soldiers and I will never forget what they have sacrificed for our freedom!

So the next hours are going to be filled with cleaning, decorating the house, hanging my banner, decorating the gym, making banana pudding, searching this town for Shiner Boch Beer, picking up Mark's Mama at the airport, baking cookies, washing sheets, teaching dance, and whatever else I can possibly find to do to pass the time.  I'll also keep praying for safe travels and for all the other soldiers who aren't headed home just yet.  They aren't home until the last soldier returns!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

New Lens

When I was in Texas a few weeks ago, I bought a new lens for my camera.  It is a 35mm, non zoom lens.  I really really like it to far!  I love the way it can focus on an object and the background is blurry!  That is primarily why I bought the lens.

Last night I went to a girls night cook out at my friend Sara's house.  I met lots of lovely ladies and had a great time!
Sara was amazing on the grill!

Today, I met up with another girlfriend to go to the Olympia Farmer's Market and grab lunch.  While we were there, I tested out the new lens on a few flowers.  All of the pics in this post are unedited.  :)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Round 2 of Welcome Home...still not Mark

This morning I went to greet C Company!  More tears...more joy...I can never get enough of greeting the soldiers!  Here are a few pics I took.  I'm somewhat of a creeper, but these pics are priceless!
This is the sign on the airfield fence!  Makes me happy every time I drive past!
Comanche Company!  Welcome Home!!!!!

This little guy was so excited to see his Daddy!

First Kiss!

First Hug!

So sweet!

Almost my turn!!!!!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Squeakqeuel!

Just when I thought the chipmunk situation was over, I went to load some boxes in the back end of my car...and what did I find?  A bunch of chipmunk poo!!!!!!  Cue panic attack!  I thought there could possible be the 3rd chipmunk hiding somewhere amongst the boxes and signs in the back end.  So, my lovely neighbor brought her bird hunting dog over to sniff out the car for any creatures. Surely if a dog can hunt birds, they are sure to hunt chipmunks! chipmunks were found, thus none were harmed...I vacuumed up their mess and hopefully that will be the last of my chipmunk issues.  :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

When chipmunks invade...

I have a long history of not getting along with wildlife.  Flashback to my honeymoon...I was attacked by a peacock and pooped on by a gecko!  NO!!!!  I am not making that up!  It was tragic!  Since then, I have been a little skittish about critters.  

Well, yesterday, I picked up my friend Molly and we went to look at a house for another friend who is about to move back to the area.  When I went to get back in the car, there was a CHIPMUNK on my dash board!!!!!!!  Holy panic attack!  I let about a piercing scream...(Molly claims her ears are still recovering!)  and jumped back!  So, I am not very calm in crisis situations...and this was a CRISIS of epic proportions!  I assumed that "Alvin" jumped in the car when we arrived at this house, so we assumed if we could get him out we would be good to go!  We were able to scare him out of the car and onto the ground, but then he scurried up into the engine.  LOVELY!  First, I had Molly get in the car and rev the engine to scare him out.  I wasn't about to get back in that car!  In fact, I wanted to just leave it there and sell it.  It has been contaminated!  The engine revving did, we popped the hood...only to find a huge nest.  I know that I exaggerate, but I am not!  These family of chipmunks has been hanging out in the engine for some time! my panic attack has escalated the point of tears and shear terror!  I first called animal control...they don't handle "squirrels" fish and help the "bird man" who also doesn't do "squirrels", but he suggested putting the nest in a shoebox and nurturing them!  Um...NO!!!!  I was thinking more along the lines of running them over!  Sorry PETA!  So, my next call was going to be 911.  I'm sure they would have thought I was crazy, so thankfully, Molly's husband came to the rescue with a sock and crowbar in tow.  He removed the nest and scared the 2 chipmunks away.  Once we confirmed that the car was 100% clear...I made him check at least 5 more times.  Then I drove to Jiffy Lube to have them do a thorough inspection of my wires and inside my engine.  Honestly, I am not convinced they are all out!  I have no desire to drive my car...ever!  You may see me on a bike or walking down I-5.  Seriously...I had bad dreams about Alvin and his crew!  

Welcome Home ADVON!

I was so glad I was able to attend the homecoming of the ADVON party for our unit.  ADVON is the advanced party that comes home before the main body flights.  The flight landed at 3:00 in the morning, but it was worth it!  There was a live feed of the plane landing, which brought tears of joy to my eyes!  Then we were able to see the boys come off the plane.  This is a moving experience!  If you have never welcomed home a soldier of your own, I recommend going to your local airport, wave your flag and welcome those boys back to America....and bring tissues!  I'm crying as I is that AWESOME!
I was a total creeper and took pictures of random strangers waiting and greeting their soldiers. (I'm not posting them, since I don't know them)  The kids are the cutest!  This little guy was hanging out in his PJ's, munching on marshmallows and was so excited to show me his sign.  Totally melted my heart!  It is hard enough doing this by myself...I can't even imagine having kids and going through these long deployments!  

Don't you know these guys are glad to be home?  About 7 more welcome home ceremonies until they are all home!  The next 6 weeks are going to be AMAZING!!!!!!


Monday, June 7, 2010

The Graduate!

Congrats to my little brother Trey on graduating from Martin High School!  Now...on to Texas Tech!
The Fam!

Awesome cake, made by Lesley Jensen