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Archive for the ‘Holidaze’ Category

I have a few travel posts to get to, don’t I? Nothing exotic mind you, I’m still waiting on that random millionaire to hand me a check for being awesome. Then again, I just moved from a small island in Japan, I’m all good on exotic for a bit I think. So let’s rewind back to July, where I got to finally explore a little bit of Raleigh.

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Yeah, I meant a little bit. Apparently the 4th of July fest in Raleigh is srs bzns. Fighting through the crowd was something else. I assume there were vendors, I think I got close to maybe two of them.  This is where the whole Californian in me gets reaaaallll depressed. Street fairs back home are incredibly laid back, holiday or not. People bring their dogs, stroll around with local coffee, and shop at their leisure. This was more of a clusterfack of people needing iced beverages and over priced light up doodads. But, nevertheless, I did still get to see a little bit of downtown Raleigh, and I WILL be back to eat at all of the restaurants. And sight see (but mostly eat food).  At this point I was missing big cities, so I was soaking up everything I could.

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Yes ladies and gents, you read that right, DEEP FRIED GIRL SCOUT COOKIES. Is there a girl scout patch for childhood obesity? SIGN ME UP. I actually did not partake in this ridiculousness this go around, but if I see them out on the streets again, I’m all over it. Just for the sake of saying I ate something so insane. I know they do things differently in the South, but really!? Also check out that Christian Science reading room. Now there’s a place I’d like to pick up a brochure in, scowl, laugh, and walk out of. I really wish I’d been that creep to take pictures of the crowd, because whew, there are some real winners in Raleigh.

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Like these people for instance. WINNER STUFF. I’m not sure how well I’d pedal and drink beer at the same time, but I’m willing to give it a go.  They were cruisin’! I missed the smorgasbord of insanity that is a bigger city.

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At some point my stomach made it’s point rather clearly that if I didn’t eat something I would probably keel over. The lines for truck food were meh, so off to ZPizza! I forgot to mention that about 4 or 5 restaurants had cornhole game sets right outside. So I may be in a big city, but it’s still the South. Anyway, my Dad and I taught the mini to play cornhole, which he CLEARLY cheats at. The food was awesome, we were directly behind a stage that at first was rocking out, and then somehow turned into an intro to a myriad of international sports teams. For 20 minutes of looking directly at them, I still don’t know what sport they played. My best guess was frisbee. That’s a thing right?

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I definitely have a lot more of Raleigh to explore. Overall it was a lovely little side trip from the airport to catch some holiday goodness and totally drag my guys around. Sorry for immediately dragging you all over Dad, please come back someday.

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Let’s be honest, my life is basically a vacation. I’m a stay at home Mom, married to what I assume to be the only Marine who doesn’t really leave a whole lot. See, he’s such a good Marine, that they want to keep him around a lot, which I know sounds a bit silly, but making sense of how the Marine Corps works is almost an impossible task. So how on Earth do I feel like I need vacations still? Especially after having just moved from Overseas? Well because even though my life may seem like a vacation to the every day outsider, it’s not always the case. I do have an amazing amount of free time, with no real duties outside of making sure my potty training son is aiming the right way and that the laundry doesn’t meet the same height as Mt. Kilimanjaro. My husband works 14+ hour days, 5 days a week, and our weekends are really the only chance to be a normal functioning family. I hadn’t seen my Dad in person in over two years, so when he told me he was coming out for a quick visit, I was ecstatic. Because when it comes down to it, THAT’S where I struggle with military life. Missing our families. Okinawa was somewhere around 6,000 miles away from my family. Now we’re about 2,000 and some change miles from home. SO close, yet so far. We’re on the wrong coast for both of our families, so sometimes it’s hard making the Skype, texts, and calls the real time we have with our family. Enter: Dad Visit.

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After picking him up in Raleigh, I immediately made him wander through the packed streets of Raleigh for their 4th of July festival and fireworks. My Dad is such a good sport and totally put up with all of my mini adventures while he was here. The people on the left of the photo above taught my son to take small flowers and shoot them off using their own stems, and the people to the right of my Dad & Jax got engaged right in front of us. Raleigh is not a boring town my friends. When they found out we were from California they were kind of amazed we were there. I almost forget sometimes what it’s like outside towns that aren’t completely run over with military families. It’s such a nice break when you see the clueless faces of people who know nothing of your crazy life. Hearing “Thank you for your service” never gets old. These days hearing it is pretty rare, and that’s a really sad fact.

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We made side trips to New Bern, Wilmington, and little areas around home. Somehow I also got my Dad to transplant my tomatoes and Angelonias, in true Dad form. We did our favorite things, like visit an aquarium, and drink craft beers, even managed to check out the State Farmers Market in Raleigh before he flew out again. The weather was amazing while he was here, the day he came the rain stopped, and the day after he left, it began again. As if my Dad brought the California sunshine with his smiles. If you live around here, definitely get out and explore. A lot of military here complain about what a terrible place is, and I’d guess they would be right if they stuck to only our small town. But there are a lot of hidden gems, you just have to get out and find them.

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It’s so amazing to have family around. I look back at how I took it for granted living in the same town as them for so long, and am amazed at how military life has made me appreciate the time with them so much more.  If you’re lucky enough to spend time with your family regularly, you’re lucky enough. For this part of our lives, I’ll look forward to the short visits, and the silly calls and texts, and when the time comes to settle down, I’ll hold onto what the military way of life has taught me about being thankful to be able to hug the the ones you love or share a cup of coffee in person.

I’ll be posting small posts about some of our Adventures with Papa soon.

xoxo

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New Year, New Blog

I made the rather odd decision to start this thing all over. I know, you’re mad I deleted the old stuff because my life is just so darn interesting you have to read it thousands of times, right? No, didn’t think so. I had started 2012 off with a resolution to blog more, which I did well in the beginning, and then completely failed miserably at. Will 2013 be any different? I hope so! We have a lot of big plans for 2013, the first being we’re moving to North Carolina this month! Insane right? This California girl and her Washington husband are invading the East Coast with their brood! We are so excited about leaving Okinawa and starting a new life there, and all of the lovely things that come with living in the United States. I could go on and on about how much I’ve appreciated living in Japan, and how it changed my mind about a lot of things, but… well that’s the unspoken difference you can see in me I think. 

New Years Sparklers

New Years Sparklers

I am a healthier, happier person with a whole world of ambitions I didn’t have prior to living in Okinawa for 3 years. The main, and very important one, is that I’m aiming to start Nursing School! I think everyone who knew me growing up would scoff at the idea of me being elbow deep in strangers and bodily fluids instead of behind a desk teaching or writing. But they’d also know I’m anything but monotonous, so I’m looking forward to starting the challenge. My ultimate goal would be working with the Wounded Warriors program, but that’s a long way off. I’m also looking forward to joining up with Stroller Warriors in Camp Lejeune! I’ve spent a year with the gals here in Okinawa and my heart has grown about 20 sizes because of it. Seriously, I’m the Grinch of running, and these crazy athletic Who’s have changed me! I can’t wait to hit the trails running  in a new place and work towards my 250 miles in one year goal, and my run a marathon goal. I tried that this year and wasn’t organized about it at all and lost track, but that’s what resolutions are for right? Admitting your mistakes, realizing your goals, and changing your ways. 

Gun Sparklers!  Little boys dream of things like this.

Gun Sparklers! Little boys dream of things like this.

We also have a lot of goals as a family, some as little as bringing back the family dinner at the table, and some as big as planning baby #2. Lots of little things in between of course, but they’ll play out as we make the changes. I think we’re going to be so much happier in NC than we were in Okinawa. Just talking about the possibilities of fishing, hunting, and all of his hobbies, the Mr.’s eyes light up! When he’s happy, I’m happy, and in turn, Jackson is happy. Plus, I get to live in a house! Not a two room tiny apartment with a micro sized dryer & dishwasher and awkward neighbor eye contact if the curtains are open. An actual HOME. I can’t even count the embarrassing things my neighbor has seen me doing. You liked my flailing about attempt at zumba, I know you did! With the move we also get all of the restaurants & stores I’ve had dreams about for the last 3 years. When you have a dream about getting a job at Target and using the employee discount, you have a problem. We have it so good in America, it’s insane, I’ll never take it for granted ever again! 

We're adorable. You know it.

We’re adorable. You know it.

So here’s to 2013! With a new blog, new goals, and new lease on life living in North Carolina!

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