Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Tragedy.

I sent my mother the yearly gigantic box with my entire family's Christmas presents in it.

I send the box to her, and she distributes for me because it saves me money, over sending 10 separate boxes.

I sent it International Guaranteed Express, and it got lost on the flight from New York to Australia. How, I have now idea.

But they didn't even realise it was lost until I went to the Post Office to get a refund for it not arriving on time.

They didn't refund my shipping, they gave me the run about (of course) - looked up the tracking and said "Well, it left our hands, it's out of the US, blah blah blah."

However, they can't see if/when/etc it arrived in Australia.

They've placed it "Under Investigation" - but that could take UP TO THIRTY days. That means, 30 days to refund my SHIPPING. Who knows how long it will take to get in the insurance money back...

And even though I insured it, and will get the shipping cost AND the cost of the gifts back, it doesn't make the fact that my entire family is now not going to have anything from us to open on Christmas Day.

I'm devastated.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Santa Situation

I wanted to share everything Santa is bringing for Wesley this year. I'm REALLY excited, as I kept pretty much ON my $200 budget by shopping year 'round and only when things were on clearance/mega sale.

So these are his gifts:

I got this on www.kids.woot.com - a daily deal site. It was $30!

I got the above two during the Target 75% off toys markdown. The Lincoln Logs I got for $8 down from $40 and the Rocky I got for $4.80 down from $20.

I got the Hot Wheels when they were on sale at Target as well, $7 down from $10, and same with Chicken Run - I got it for $3 at Target one day.

These I all got during at 75% off clearance at Toys R Us sometime during the year. The Bamboo Racer I got for $6 down from $25, the 3 pack Emergency Vehicles were $5 down from $17 and the FAO Schwartz Dump Truck was $5 down from $15.
Also from Toys R Us, I got him a tub of Imaginarium Train Track expansion pieces for 75% off - they were only $12. But I guess they don't sell them anymore, because I can't find a picture online anywhere!

I got these at Marshall's. The Coloring Book was only $2, and the Sprig toys were $4 each. They are usually $15 each. (The little purple guy is a guide and plugs in to his Adventure Rig and tells stories and sings songs as he pushes his Rig along)

And then lastly - I prowl Amazon like a crazy woman and get SERIOUS deals on there. (I did 90% of my Christmas shopping for everyone else including Tommy on there!)
The Melissa and Doug Cutting Food was $10 down from $20, the Pirate Ship was $10 down from $30 and the Chef Set was $6 down from $15.

The then I got him a Gymbo Clown from Gymboree which WAS full price at $20.
(He looks like this, but obviously he's a 12" plush)

But if you add all that up... it's not even $150. It's only about $135.

His stocking has Crayola Jumbo Crayons, a Thomas the Tank Engine Pez, with Pez refills, chocolate coins, a slinky, some play doh, two little books, some individual hot wheels... and I THINK that's it.

It's been very hard to stop, especially when I know I didn't use all the money I set aside for him. But anyway, that really is MORE than enough presents for one little two year old. It'll take him all day to open them, not to mention all the presents under the tree from family and friends.

Anyway, I'm proud of myself and I'm excited for my spoiled little boy.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Duty Days - Surprise - Snow!

Tommy had overnight duty yesterday - on a Sunday.

In a normal course of events, he wouldn't be able to come home until this afternoon (Monday) because he would have to go about his regular work day. But for some sneaky and fabulous reason, he'll be home in about an hour.

I am loving this.

I know he was gone for nine months and I should be used to it, but I do miss him when he's not around.

The transition from deployment to "normal" (whatever that is?) has been a struggle. This particular deployment didn't do wonderful things for our marriage, I think I can safely say that.
(Stop worrying, our marriage isn't in trouble. We're still happy and in love, we're just learning to live together again and communicate effectively - instead of snapping over whose turn it is to load the dishwasher.)

...Though, I do love having the bed to myself. I don't like coming to bed and turning all the lights out in an empty house at night, but not having to share the bed is nice :-) I'm sure he'd be very, very offended if he heard me say that, LOL!

It's supposed to snow today. I really like the snow - and seeing as the temperatures have been SO cold, I feel like it's unfair we haven't had more snow. At least give me something to show for the cold weather.

If it DOES snow, hopefully Tommy will be home for a few extra days. They tend to close the bases around here when it snows.
If we get enough, and it sticks (and is not a mere dusting!) we'll take Wes out to play it in. I'm excited! (And hopeful!)

I'm making Roast Beef for dinner tonight. I haven't decided if I'll do it in the oven or crock pot yet.

And lastly - if you're wondering why I'm up so early, it's because of two reasons.
1) I went to bed early with a headache and 2) at 6:04am, Wes has a small bout of sleep talking. And I heard it over the monitor and woke up. However, because I went to sleep so early, I was wide awake.

Thought it was the perfect time to get a warm up in for my new years blog resolution!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

How Great is Christmas?

How awesome is Christmas?

How much MORE awesome is Christmas when you have kids?

The answer it AT LEAST ten fold. AT LEAST.

Christmas really rocks when you have kids.

We've decorated the outside of the house with a lot of lights, we've put the tree up, we've done Christmas crafts, and this afternoon when Wesley wakes up from his nap, we're decorating the Gingerbread Train I've put together :-)

I also love giving gifts. I love taking the time to pick a really, really cool gift for someone - something they WANT, not NEED. Something they didn't even realise they wanted, but as soon as they open it, they LOVE it.

(This is easier for my family then Tommy's. He struggles, so he passes the task over to me, but I feel like I don't know them well enough to achieve the above mentioned feat!)

Finally - sorry I'm terrible about updating in here. My new year's resolutions are two things.
1) Buy Wesley 52 new books next year - not including Birthday/Christmas gifts. (Yes, meaning 1 per week!)
2) Write in my blog at least once a week.

Lets hope I can keep it up!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Ideas!

I've had a lot of people ask me for ideas for Wesley and Tommy with Christmas

Firstly I'd like to say: Wesley is a very spoilt boy. He has everything he could ever need, and want, courtesy of his parents! LOL!

And the above goes for Tommy, too, really. LOL!

But secondly, we understand that people do like to send and give gifts at Christmas, and we certainly don't want to appear to be ungrateful or ungracious. We appreciate that you love us so much <3

So, if you're looking for ideas of things they would like, but don't already have (nothing worse than a double up!) here is a link to their amazon.com wishlists

Wesley: http://amzn.com/w/2YNALYJF8ZT66
Tommy: http://amzn.c...om/w/7NA9MRQJNY90

Love you all.

PS: I might make it my new years resolution to write in here a lot more.

Friday, September 3, 2010

What is Happiness?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mum, Girls and My Boy.

I need to learn to come here when I'm feeling joyful. Not jsut when I'm feeling nostalgic or sad.

I'm sad tonight. My heart is sad.

I really miss so many people. I miss my Mum probably most of all. I know how terrible that sounds with Tommy being deployed - believe me, he's a very close second.

...But I still miss my Mum. She's just a cool cat. She listens when I call her in the middle of the night, and she's never (visibly) frustrated at how often that happens. She listens to ALL my little stories and vents. She's just... my Mum. And I love her.

You know whats pretty rad? I now know how much my Mum loves me, because I know how much I love my son. It's true, that saying. The one that says "You never know how much your mother loves you until you become a mother..." It's true. You don't even realise that any single person can contain that kind of love inside their hearts, until you have that love inside you unleashed.

I think it makes me love her more, too. It also helps me understand her.

She's a great Mum. And I love her.

I miss my best friends. My best three girlfriends. What wouldn't I do for a night with the three of them? Or any single one of them? That list is probably pretty short. It's funny - all three of those amazing women are from different circles, different parts of my life. They're all so different as well. But they all are so similar to me. As I sit here and really think about it, I guess they perfectly fit the different sides of me... Woah, deep Erin. I'm lucky, though. I'm lucky that I can sit here and know I have three BEST friends. Best usually means number one. There usually can only be one "best" - but I couldn't divide these women as to who is a better friend to me. They're all the best. They're all so accepting of me. Of my flaws. They're all there for me whenever I ask. They're all the best.

...And I miss my husband. He's my best, too. He's another side of me, too. He's a good guy, my husband. A great guy. He's funny, smart, silly, kind, brave. He's accepting and gentle. He's firm and considerate, with seemingly endless patience. He's just a really good guy.
Tommy is the perfect partner for me. We have enough in common that we don't argue (except for the subject of housework - of course) but enough different that we have lots of talk about.
I miss talking to him. I'd probably ramble on about all of this to him if he was available.
Damn this deployment for making my husband so inaccessible. It is breaking my heart.

/end rambles

Friday, July 30, 2010

Wesley's Birthday!!

I've had a lot of people ask me for ideas for Wesley's rapidly approaching second birthday.

Firstly I'd like to say: Wesley is a very spoilt boy. He has everything he could ever need, and want, courtesy of his parents! LOL!

But secondly, we understand that people do like to send and give gifts on his birthday and Christmas, and we certainly don't want to appear to be ungrateful or ungracious. We appreciate that you love our son so much <3

So, if you're looking for ideas of things he would like, but doesn't already have (nothing worse than a double up!) here is a link to his amazon.com wishlist


Love <3

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pros and Cons

Tommy is [most likely] going to be sent to IDC [Independent Duty Corpsan] school in the San Diego, California, next year.

He's excited about the prospect of going. He's excited for the challenge. He's excited for what it will mean for his career. It's all wins for him.

I'm not excited about moving only 2 1/2 years after we moved to Virginia Beach, and only 18 months after we finally moved into this house. Where we finally feel settled, and our house feels like a home.

I'm not excited about leaving my friends here in VA Beach, and my friends from Okinawa, who finally moved close by. (Ok, not CLOSE-close - but 200 miles is not THAT far away!)

I AM excited for living close to LAX. I AM excited for airfares home to Australia that are literally HALF the price they are from the East Coast of the US. I AM excited for all the layovers being gone from trip. One 14 hour flight from LAX to BNE. I AM excited for the things we could do and see if we lived in San Diego... DisneyLand, San Diego Zoo, etc...


This is the Military Life.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Hard Times

When a soldier comes home, he finds it hard...

...to listen to his son whine about being bored.

...to keep a straight face when people complain about potholes.

...to be understanding when a co-worker complains about a bad night's sleep.

...to be silent when people pray to God for a new car.

...to control his panic when his wife tells him he needs to drive slower.

...to be compassionate when a businessman expresses a fear of flying.

...to keep from laughing when anxious parents say they're afraid to send their kids off to summer camp.

...to keep from ridiculing someone who complains about hot weather.

...to control his frustration when a colleague gripes about his coffee being cold.

...to remain calm when his daughter complains about having to walk the dog.

...to be civil to people who complain about their jobs.

...to just walk away when someone says they only get two weeks of vacation a year.

...to be forgiving when someone says how hard it is to have a new baby in the house.

The only thing harder than being a Soldier...

...is loving one.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Blog Fail.

So clearly I failed when it came to posting pictures of my weekend down in North Carolina. Forgive me?

It took exactly four hours to get down there - it was a nice, easy drive. No traffic, and lots to look at.

Wesley didn't sleep exactly as planned - but it ended up being quite okay :-)

I do have lots of photos - but most of my family and friends will have seen them on facebook. No need for doubling-up!

In fact, we're headed back down to visit Sara and Sophia on Thursday again!!

Wesley and I have been keeping very busy since we've been back from Australia. Trying to pass the time as quickly as we can while Tommy is gone.

...We're about 23 weeks down now... if only the Navy would tell us how many we have left!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Look out!

Tomorrow I am driving down to Jacksonville, North Carolina. It's about a 4 hour drive, which isn't too bad at all! The plan is to leave at Wesley's naptime, so he can at least sleep some of the way. *fingers crossed*

I'm really excited - my two best friends from Okinawa are now stationed at Camp Lejeune - the Marine Corps base in J'Ville, NC. I haven't seen Sophia since we left Okinawa in December 2008, and I've not seen Sara in 12 months.

I will, hopefully, take lots of photos and will post them when I get back.

I'm driving back Monday, as Wesley has "kindy" on Tuesday. But that's a whole other blog. I'll get to that when I get back, too!

Sunday, May 9, 2010


I'm so blessed. More blessed then I deserve, and certainly more than I have any right to ever expect.

I have the greatest, most supportive, funny friends on this planet - and my family, well, they're out of this world. I have the greatest man I've ever known as my husband, and we produced this amazing, amazing little person who I get to raise and love and there aren't words to express that joy, either.

Let me start with that. Because otherwise this may seem quite self-pitying. It's not. I know how blessed I am, and I'm grateful. Beyond grateful, really.

However there are some days where I just feel so torn.

My husband is American. He serves in the United States Navy. He loves his job. He is fiercely proud of his country, and what he does. That passion and fire is part of what I love about him. I would never ask him to deny that part of himself, and stop what he does. I love and respect him too much to do so. Also, that would essentially end a part of who he is. I couldn't do it even if I wanted to.

Though, with the American husband, comes a life away from Australia. MY home. A place that I am fiercely proud of. A place that is a part of me, as much as America is a part of my husband.

I know I've said it before - I love this place. To the bone.

I love my friends here. Friends who I share a lifetime of memories with. Friends who are unconditionally supportive of my choices. Friends who never waiver. Gosh, I am so lucky.

...And then, here is my family. I'm a family orientated person. Family is my number one priority in life. They're as much a part of my heart and make up as Australia is. More so, actually. Much, much more so.

So, why do I leave? How do I leave, if there is so much anchoring me here, in Australia? (My awesome husband aside.)

I have friends in the US, too.

Friends who mean as much to me as my life-long Australian friends. Friends who have a special place in my heart, too. They are irreplaceable and are just as incredible. They are just as supportive, just as funny, and get me just as well.

My heart lives in two places. In the US with my phenomenal friends there. (Though, there is no emotional draw to the place for me, other than my friends) (And the shopping. But that's a whole other blog entry right there...)

And then I'm pulled towards Australia, my family and my friends here. And honestly, that pull is a LOT stronger, for obvious reasons.

How can I be content in either place, when there is a part of my heart somewhere else?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Four Years Ago, Today.

My husband and I became husband and wife on this day, four year ago.

I remember the excitement and the anxiety that everything wouldn't go exactly according to plan (I'm a planner!)

I remember it all fading away when I walked down the aisle and saw him standing there smiling at me.

I remember forgetting everything except the thought "He had his hair cut!" (Odd thought for a wedding day, I'm sure! But a lot of things about me are odd!)

I remember thinking "I won't cry." And, then crying as I said my vows. Crying because the feeling in the pit of my stomach as I made promises to him was so overwhelming.
(There are no words to exaplain that feeling.)

He's still, even more so actually, my very best friend. He's my favourite person to spend time with. He's the best person for me. He makes me feel like the best version of myself. He brings out all my good qualities, and loves me despite my less-than-stellar traits. He's awesome. AWE.some.

So, here are a few happy snaps from the day, to help celebrate a very important day in our life!

Here's to a bazillion more!

Friday, April 16, 2010

On Family, Friends, AUSTRALIA.

I'm home in Australia while Tommy is off playing Navy in Afghanistan. I miss him. Every minute of every day. Being home is a welcome distraction from that.


Being home is both incredibly wonderful and incredibly difficult all at the same time.
I'm blessed with wonderful people in my life - family, and friends who are so loved and cherished, they ARE family in my heart.

Moving away from Australia when I married Tommy opened my eyes to who my true, life long friends were - and those who were merely friends of convenience fell away.

At first this hurt me - very deeply - until I realised how blessed I was by the number of people still standing my life, supporting me, making me laugh and listening to my endless rants. (Yes, I'm a ranter... I'm also bad at interrupting people when they talk. I'm working on this, people! I promise! Along with my other faults. I'm a work in progress!)

So coming home to Australia is bitter-sweet in that my deep, almost limitless love for these friends (and family - but that should go without saying!!!!) is... almost renewed - but more than that, it's reinforced. And it's hard to have love in your heart for people - and then leave. And even harder to miss them.

I'm a strongly emotional person - for better, for worse. I feel everything intensely. Love, anger, sympathy, anxiety, everything. So when my heart misses someone, it often feels completely over whelming. Desperate and... depressing. Like a big, dark cloud on my heart.

Another bitter-sweet side of coming home to Australia is the emotional attachment I have to this place. Where I grew up, all the memories I have here, the comfort smells, sounds...

For example - it's not joke or exaggeration that the sky is brighter and bluer in Australia. In the US, and even in Japan, the sky seems whiter. Paler. And the sunlight definitely isn't as bright. I know after experiencing different places in the world that sunglasses are a necessity when I come home.

No where else in the world can I wake up to the sounds of magpies and cockatoos in the morning.

No one where else in the world has that crisp, clean, cutting smell when it starts to rain.

Also, almost everywhere I go in this city, I can look at and remember "Something happened in that place with someone I care about." It really is such an emotional attachment for me.

It wasn't ever easy leaving Australia, not knowing when I would move back and make roots again, but the struggle was lesser when I was living in Japan.
Japan was an adventure. It was exciting. Beautiful. There was so much culture. Some much to explore. So much to learn. Wonderful people and wonderful food. It wasn't HOME - but it was a close second. And not only that, there was an emotional attachment there, too. It was the first place my husband and I lived, together. OUR first home. And our son was born there. How could I not be emotionally attached there?

I'm finding it very hard to face going back to the United States. I find it a nation fairly... well, to me at least, its no comparison to the country where I was LUCKY enough to be born and raised. And the country I so fervently defend, and am proud of and love with a bigger part of my being then I could ever express. (And thankfully, my husband loves, too!)

To my friends and family here, the ones who tolerate me at my worst and love me at my best, the ones who go out of their way for me, the ones who stay close by, even when we're far apart, the ones who make me laugh so hard my belly hurts, the ones who know me as well as I know myself, the ones who have more memories of a life growing up together, then not, the ones who I would do just about anything for - I am thankful for you every day and I LOVE you. I really, really LOVE you.