March 23, 2015

Change of Command

This morning Miles had his change of command ceremony where he took command of a Ranger company. In non-military speak this means he got a new job. But it's an important job and one we are very proud of him for and one he is very grateful to have. He's in charge of the training and welfare of about 150 Soldiers and will lead them in combat later this year. 

The ceremony took place in the gymnasium since it has been raining all day and when we walked in, Finn asked, "Is Daddy going to play basketball?"

Mary sported the cutest outfit ever - a peach corduroy  jumper my sister got her from BabyGap. It looked like a vintage outfit and I totally plan to hang on for it in the hopes she has a daughter one day. She also had her own seat designated for the ceremony which I thought was adorable. Oh, and the tradition with these ceremonies is that the incoming wife gets yellow roses (which I did), but Mary was also given a single yellow rose which I thought was pretty adorable.

Finn was given a coin (also a tradition in military events - to give coins), but this one had his name engraved! When a Soldier came up to give it to him he asked, "is this a coin? I will save it for my crane truck!" Which is a toy he has been talking about wanting and I keep telling him to save his money.

Miles' family was in town which has been really nice and we were glad they were able to attend today's ceremony despite Miles reminding us that, "I haven't done anything yet."

But none-the-less, we are proud of him just the same!

March 17, 2015

St. Patrick's Day 2015

So one of the (many) things I was excited about when I found out we were moving to Savannah was getting to experience St. Patrick's Day down here. This city goes nuts! We have the second largest parade in the country, the fountains are dyed green, the open container law comes in very handy, and regardless of the day of the week St. Pat's falls on, there is an ongoing celebration leading up to it. This weekend Miles drank his face off attended a few events down town, but since we couldn't find a sitter I stayed home, but next year I'm booking a sitter months in advance!

My in laws got in to town yesterday and got to attend the parade with us today. Miles was marching in it with the Rangers and the tradition is that women put red lipstick on so they can run in to the parade to kiss a man in uniform for good luck (though I saw several uniformed females also get some love!). It's pretty adorable to see all the firefighters, police officers, and Soldiers sporting bright red smooches and green beads while marching in formation. I was able to find Miles and dodge around a few people to give him a kiss (while wearing a sleeping Mary), but when we met up at the end of the parade he had several more lipstick marks on his cheeks!

The parade lasts a long time and weaves through historic downtown and makes for some very tired, but happy, children.

It's cute seeing all the kiddos lined up in their little chairs. If only that latest longer than 12 seconds.
Mary spent the parade either stuffing her face or sleeping.

So, who's coming to visit us next year??

March 11, 2015

Pura Vida! Our Trip to Costa Rica

My brother got married in Costa Rica a little over a week ago and while the travel there with the kids was umm, not the most pleasant thing, seeing him get married in such a beautiful setting, to the perfect gal for him, was so incredibly special. We are so excited to have Sarah as part of the family and I only wish we could have stayed longer (but maybe with the help of a Nanny). I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.

On our first day in Costa Rica, it took Finn approximately four seconds to ask if he could dig. Which shouldn't have come as a surprise because when Miles asked him, "Do you like Costa Rica?" Finn said, "yes, there's lots of dirt"

And so we went to the beach and he dug:

And sister squealed in delight while she played in the mud:

 But took a few moments to look adorable:

 Then went back to playing:

Occasionally Finn would take a break for other activities like "surfing" with dad:

We enjoyed a boat ride to see some Costan Rican wild life:

But afterwards Finn wanted to get back to digging:

And Mary wanted to get back to eating:

Then washing her food down with a cold beer:

Does this mean we are in trouble?
Eventually the big day was upon us and Rob and Sarah got married on the beach surrounded by family and a few close friends.

Finn was the ring bearer and nailed it:

That is a REAL bowtie I had to learn how to tie.
But wedding schmedding, let's dig some more:

And forget about taking any pictures mom - there is sand to be played with!

When the sun set, we made our way to the reception:


Rob and Sarah were both cadets on the Air Force Academy Parachute team, Finn saw this cake and laughed and said, "Planes don't go on cake." I wish I got a better picture of the cute plane and little skydivers, but you get the idea:

On our last full day we went out to this beautiful beach and spent the majority of the day out there:

Mary is wearing a suit given to my sister when she was a baby!

Even Mary wanted to get in on the digging by the end of the trip:

It was a really fun trip and I'm so glad we had such special time with my family:

The boy with the Yellow Hat
Nothing screams tourist like an Air Force Academy hat and shirt
And while I'm grateful for the time with family, I'm especially glad the flight back was a million times better and shorter than the flight out there:


February 26, 2015

Tips For International Travel With Kids

*Apply for kids' passports well in advance, giving the agency time to deny your legitimate documentation

*Lose your mind with passport information line representatives. Repeat. Repeat again.

*Pay to expedite kids' passports and receive only five days before travel

*Limit items packed to only two suit cases, a diaper bag, two carry ones, two car seats, one pack n play, and one stroller

*Marry someone with big muscles

*Save money by taking longer flights which undoubtedly costs more in fuel and sanity

*Regret not spending more for shorter flight

*Let toddler binge watch Curious George

*Curse the WiFi Gods when you cannot download more Curious George

*Psychotically rock crying baby

*Drink a beer during layover or on airplane. Or both

*Definitely both

*Nurse crying baby every ten minutes for FIFTEEN HOURS

*Psychotically rock crying baby

*Pace airplane for half of flight

*Ignore crying baby

*Hope that everyone around you ignores crying baby

*Question why you even brought kids in the first place

*Question why you even had kids in the first place

*Ignore all above advice and just stay home

Girlfriend was ALL smiles the second we landed.
The rest of us were not.

February 20, 2015

Hidalgo Hero WOD

Four years ago today Miles' younger brother Daren was killed in Afghanistan. It's always hard to believe when another milestone comes and goes, another year without him. This morning to mark the anniversary of his passing I completed his Hero WOD, "Hidalgo," which was created by CrossFit headquarters as a way to pay tribute to the fallen. I've done this workout once before, and while both times I scaled back the weight (a lot), it still was a smoker of a workout!

Today's workout was done with the stroller group I exercise with, Stroller Strong Moms. I was really touched that they wanted to help us honor Daren and that so many participated despite the (literal) freezing temperatures we had this morning. I may have had snot frozen to my face during the run, but it felt good to do something for Daren.

Four years later and we miss him just the same. Four years later, we love him just the same.