Not my finest moment

After we got home from Baton Rouge things were pretty hectic. G didn't sleep wonderfully the night we got home and the next day we had a full schedule. 
I had breakfast with Kate to catch up. We did our usual Einstein's Bagels/ Starbucks coffee combo and settled in for some gabbing. I am so spoiled having her living in the same house the past 4 months. She moves into her own place next weekend so I guess we are slowly starting the separation before I go back to Yuma. 

After that I headed home to munch on sweet baby cheeks before my next outing. Koda-puppy and I had a date with the doggie trainer. She has some serious behavioral issues that we are trying to resolve...you know, what with a helpless infant in the house and all...

Silly me I drove about 15 minutes to the WRONG location and so I was pretty late getting to our session. Ooooops. 

That afternoon some very old and very dear friends came over. These are friends from the very start of high school, friends I stayed up late with and gossiped about boys with and chalked driveways with and laughed and laughed and laughed with. Friends who are now both married, one has a one year old daughter! We are old huh?
Willa, Libby, Hilary, Me and G-money
(yes, my five month old weighs as much as her one year old...)
It was a jam packed day.

Thursday was just as busy. 

We had baby gym class in the morning. G loves it, we sing songs and do flips and play with big rubber balls and tiny little bubbles. It is a great baby exhaustion tool too.

Back home he was down for the count so Grandma offered to watch the baby monitor while Kate and I grabbed lunch. Kate had to head to work afterwards so we had a quick meal at Qdoba. Love that place.

On my way home, a route I have take about a million times, I ran into some trouble. I stopped, I blinked left, I looked left, I thought the white Trailblazer was turning right onto my street. I was wrong. Crash. Bang. Boom. Shock. 
No injuries, save my pride.
 Lots of prayers of thanks that G-man was home with Grandma and not in his usual place in the rear of my car.
Like I said. Not my finest moment.



It seems I cannot quite pin down a blog post these days. I would love to place blame a lack of time but that would not be fully accurate as G is sleeping much better at night and beginning to take better naps. The truth is I am not sure what to say anymore. I had never given much thought in the past about what the few people reading would think of what I wrote. Take it or leave it, I didn't care.

But now there is G. And he is wonderful, but when I sit to write a blog about him it seems trite.

Of course I love him, does it need saying? He is the most perfect thing I have done with my life. However, a love sonnet to his elongating naps isn't in tempo with some of my former snarky posting.

So I shall attempt to foray back into myself and not worry what you may think of me if my blog isn't solely something about my precious boy. (who, by the way, is sweetly napping on me right now as we fly to Colorado)


I have had the misfortune of encountering one of life's rule-less people this week while in Baton Rouge. You know the type, the ones who are above the laws and common decencies the rest of civilization abides by. Oh yeah, THAT guy.

This particular fellow was encountered multiple times on G and my morning walks around my Aunt's suburban neighborhood.

(And while I tell you about him please remember I am the proud mama of two fur baby dogs also.)

He is preceded by two loping black dogs who weave in and out of each lawn, stopping to mark a bush or chase a squirrel before heading into the road and down the street. He is middle aged and balding, he carries a metal poop scooper and about 50 extra pounds. His dogs bound up to my stroller, anxious to stick their wet noses into my son's outstretched hands, rewarding his trust with germy French kisses. I steer my child away and give him a glance that I believe fully conveyed his need to get his dogs out of G's face.

We walk on.

Back home my Aunt mentions passing the same fellow often when she walks her dogs. She expressed her frustration with trying to control her two year old ADHD German Shepard as two unleashed dogs taunt him and follow along. She said that she finally decided to say something, sweetly telling the man, "You really should have them on a leash". How did he respond, you may wonder. He stared straight at her and then turned and walked away.

Yeah, THAT guy...

Upon encountering him again the next day I decided to reinforce my Aunt's message. Since he had never seen us together I didn't worry about him connecting us. As his slobbering canine's once more made there way towards my stroller I crossed the street to try to avoid them and light heartedly called out, "They really should be on leashes".

To which he answered (in a voice to rival the best "I couldn't care less" of my teenage years)

"oh yeah"

Seriously dude? Are you 12? Is this for real?

Less patient now, "well it is the law".

Getting downright pissy he responds, "I think you should read the whole law before pretending to know what you are talking about".

Wow. Yeah, THAT guy!

I walked on, stunned by a grown mans rudeness and complete inability to admit he may in fact be in the wrong. His refusal to accept that he is breaking the law and perhaps should at least try to be civilized to those around him who are abiding by that law.

And so my readers I give you the WHOLE law.

"In Baton Rouge, your dog must be physically controlled at all times. This means that the dog must be on a leash held in your hand, in a fenced yard with the gate closed, in a kennel, on a chain, or in your house. Besides being the law, this ordinance is a common sense practice to avoid injury, illness, or loss of your dog."

The moral of the story here folks?

Please, don't be THAT guy!

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To My Best Friend

What a wild ride we have been on since saying, "I do". So many changes and hurdles and excitements and disappointments, so much love and laughter and new experiences and wonderful moments. I can say honestly and with my whole being that there is no one in the universe I would rather go through this life with than you.
When I first had that silly school girl crush on a cute boy from another high school I never could have imagined that you would turn out to be my other half.
You teach me things every day and, even though you love me just the way I am, you make me strive to be a better woman. I am thankful for the balance you provide me and the insight into other parts of our world that you share with me.
I am so proud to call you my husband. I am proud that in a time where most people are only concerned with getting ahead you are willing to sacrifice safety, time with our family and normal work hours to make sure every American gets to maintain their freedoms.
I am proud that you are the father of my child and that you not only love him but had no problem changing all the diapers for his first week of life while I recovered, not all men are manly enough for the job! I am proud to know you will teach G to be an honorable and respectful man. I am proud to have a husband who thinks I look great first thing in the morning but who always notices when I go the extra step.
I didn't know I could love you anymore than I already did until you brought our son, all pink and perfect and swaddled up, to meet me. He is the perfect blend of you and me and I love watching him grow. I am sad for everyday with him that you miss but I know that once you are home it will be like no time at all had passed.
You are greatly missed my love. I thank you for three lovely years of marriage and I look forward to decades more!
Always and Forever Yours,
XoXo -jenni

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Salted and Sun Kissed

The beach is over.

Not to be melodramatic... I do realize that the beach still exists.

For us, however, it is over until at least next summer and that makes me sad.

Little G was a super beach stud! He was not a fan of being slicked up with SPF 100 Coppertone Water Babies but he loved being in the Gulf. I often use waves as white noise when he sleeps and as a result he would pass out in my arms almost immediately upon entering the water. Didn't hurt that the Gulf of Mexico is warmer than the recommended bath water temperature for most babies...

I bought his highness a little beach tent and it turned out to be a big hit among everyone. After his floating nap time I would strip G down naked and let him wiggle around on a towel in the shade. He was a huge fan.

Another beach plus was how well G slept, the fresh air and sunshine really knocked him out at night.

We missed Chris tons and tons and I am already imagining him building sandcastles with G next summer.

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Not a lot in the past three months has felt familiar.
We welcomed little G and with all his perfection comes uncertainty the likes of which I have never felt.
Chris deployed. Which should feel familiar since he was also deployed only 9 months ago. However, last time he was on a boat and this time he is in Afghanistan. Worrying for his safety is unfamiliar.
I moved back to Colorado and that should definitely feel familiar. But living at home as a 25 year old with an infant is a whole new ballgame.
This week we are in Redington
beach Florida. At the Sea Oats condos. We are with my grandma, my aunt, two boy cousins, my mom, Kate and G.

And it is familiar.

We have been coming to these condos since I was an infant. Almost every summer. The older all the kids got the harder it was to organize between camps and jobs and college searches. In fact the last time I was here was six years ago. It was the first big family event that Chris came too.
Having G with me feels familiar here, like it is just the next page of the story here at the beach. It was the cousins that spearheaded the trip this year and I know we will continue the tradition as we keep growing up.
Pulling into the condo was familiar, joking about the worlds slowest elevator was old hat, the same layout of bedrooms and kitchen was easy to traverse, the view from the balcony was as expected.
A lot of times I crave the new and the unknown but after a crazy few months it is a blessing to be here in the familiar.

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A Bag-O-Lemons

For the most part I put some real stock in the thought that when life gives you lemons you should try to make lemonade. I have had some crummy moments turn out alright due to this principal (and a fair amount of sugar usually...)


What do you do when it seems like life has filled up a burlap sack full of unripe lemons and then proceeds to beat the crud out of you with it?

That is the big question in our household right now. How can you make lemonade out of a situations that has very few, if any, sweet parts?

A few weeks ago we found out that those stupid Marine Corps Ninjas where up to there usual tricks again, crafty buggers. This time they have decided that Chris should go on deployment for seven months, starting a few weeks after Lil' G is scheduled to make his big debut.

Holy Cow.

We have both been through a lot of emotions the past few weeks as we process and plan what this means for our little family. There are no easy answers for re-imagining the first eight months of G's life without Chris around.

Thank God we are blessed with supportive family who have fully accepted my choice to move back to the great state of Colorado while Chris is away. My parents have been so thrilled to become Grandma and Grandpa but they never imagined that the promotion would include their grown daughter moving home with a newborn and two dogs... they are saints.

Heck, I never imagined living in their basement with my first child in tow, but I guess life doesn't really ask our opinion in these matters. I do know it will be better to be there and crowded than stay here and be all alone with no support system.

For now we don't have a lot of details. Chris should be around for G's birth, which is huge blessing. We are trying to figure out which parts of our life need to go with me to Colorado and the rest will be boxed up and put in storage. It is a difficult undertaking at seven months pregnant to even think about boxing up our whole house...but as with everything else I am sure it will get done.

So, now I am going to go sit in the world's coolest nursery and allow myself to feel sad that Lil' G will not actually get live in the room that Chris and I put so much work and love into.

Here is a song I just discovered that has been helping...


Ribs and Ribs and then some more Ribs

Sometimes I like to have a plan.
Actually, 95% of the time I like to have a plan.
It is something that Chris knows about me but sometimes he forgets. Sometimes when there is no plan I freak out a little bit (or a lot a bit...) but lately I have been making an effort to relax a bit. A few dozen people may have mentioned that babies and set plans do not mix well so I am trying to adapt. So far I am enjoying the moments with no plan. I don't mind not knowing what time we will be leaving the house quite as much and I have handled a few last minute changes with grace.
So, this Friday I knew we had a plan to go to a squadron White Elephant party at 7:30. But I didn't freak out when we left the house a little late (my fault anyway because I didn't get dressed until 7:20) and I didn't mind that we were picking up a friend. And I was thankful that we had to go to Walmart on the way to get beer for the husband because we had NO dog food left at home and I can't lift the bags. I was relaxed when we added another pick-up to the list on the way to the party. Do you know what? I was so much calmer when we got to the party because I wasn't worried about all these little changes. I wasn't mad at Chris for changing the plan and he wasn't mad at me for being so nutso and we both had a splendid time at the party. There may be something to this flexibility thing.
Saturday morning Chris made pancakes, they were some of his best I must say. We lazed around the house until close to 10 am when Chris mentioned he had heard about a Rib Cook-off going on that day. Whhhhaaaaat? Ribs you say? Lots of ribs? An event where I am allowed to chew meat off the bone in public and then lick my fingers? Pack the car! Turn on the GPS!
We headed off to Holtville, California with our friend Rick in tow. It is a teeny tiny town (even smaller than Yuma I would venture) about an hour west of us. I have since learned they are the carrot capital of the world, but Saturday all I smelled was delicious BBQ sauces.
There were probably 25 stands with their own "best" ribs. The set-up was simple, you bought a book of tickets and then paid with tickets for ribs at each stand.
In typical Jen fashion the first rib was my favorite of the whole day and I wish I had eaten more ribs from that stand.
Chris said it was too salty which is most likely why I loved it. We waited in a lot of long lines, there were thousands of people there, and my dogs were definitely barking by days end.
I had one slight meltdown when I dropped a rib on the ground. Yes, I cried. Yes, over a rib. But keep in mind I waited in line for about 30 minutes for that rib and that I am pregnant. Baby needed some rib!
Luckily, Chris doesn't clean the rib bones very well so I finished off his rib and was happy once again.
I had saved two tickets for old fashioned ice cream and we waited in our longest line of the day to enjoy its cold sweet icy goodness!. So wonderful.
Aren't you jealous of our deliciously fun Saturday?

Sunday was not as much fun for me :( I woke up at 4 am and started worrying (I am prone to worry all the time). For some reason I was freaked out because Lil' G wasn't moving right that moment...he does sleep too. So I woke Chris up to worry with me, he tried to assuage my fears but soon he was back to dreamland. I tried to sleep but around 6 am I was starving so I got out of my cozy bed and ate a leftover calzone from the previous evening and watched Pawn Stars on the couch. I fell back asleep around 8 and slept on the couch until 10ish while Chris puttered around fixing his X-box.
Chris was kind enough to make me pancakes again (which is what I REALLY wanted at 6 am) and we made plans to run errands for the day. Flash forward 30 minutes to me standing in my closet crying hysterically because none of my clothes fit (did I mention I am hormonal?) my poor sweet husband said all the right things and even offered to take me shopping right then.
We made it through errands and I made it home only to develop the worst headache I have EVER had (and I am a lifetime migraine sufferer). I thought that surely my head would explode like an over inflated balloon and yet again I was in tears (notice a Sunday theme?) Chris and I were in the process of deciding whether or not a hospital visit was in order when the headache miraculously vanished. Thank goodness because I needed a good night of sleep!
After all that worry and headache pain Mr. G has been kicking the heck outta me for two days straight....
Well, I have now rambled quite a bit and so I shall leave you for now. I hope you are all enjoying your week!




The past month has been a whirlwind. We started out with family in town for Christmas and haven't really slowed down since. I spent 8 days in Colorado and just got home last Tuesday, I intend on writing about that someday...but for now I am still floating on the clouds of a lovely weekend with Chris .

Saturday morning came with no particular urgancy. It was a gorgeous day outside, the kind of day where the light is just right and it reaches into your house and cheers you up .

Chris and I have been bringing the nursery together a step at a time and it is almost done now. My parents gifted us with our coveted glider/rocking chair and it arrived this week so it was on our to do list for the weekend. It was a breeze to put together and is so lovely to sit in, I have told Chris that if sleeping becomes any more uncomfortable he may find me in the rocker at night. After the chair was assembled we just hung out in the nursery for a while, it is so much fun to imagine lil' G being here in 3 short months. My bunny (yes, I sleep with a stuffed animal....what of it) was kind enough to volunteer to be our tester for diaper changing lessons for Chris and experimentation with the Miracle Blanket for both of us. What a patient bunny. Loki was stretched out in front of the bookcase and Koda, in typical form, knocked over my whole stack of baby clothes so she could sleep on them.

We decided that the beautiful light outside needed to be enjoyed and we headed downtown for the Spirit of Yuma festival. It was mainly cheesy vendors and snow birds (old people) but we also went into some of our favorite antique stores on that street.
After all the shopping the baby needed a snack (see what I did there?). Lucky for us there was a fabulous crepe stand set up and a friendly man dressed as a pirate shared all sorts of crepe making secrets with us while he prepared our banana/strawberry crepe.

A few blocks away there was more activity going on at the Old Yuma Quarter Master's Depot so we ventured over to check it out.
It wasn't too thrilling but we saw some neat old cars and stopped in to say hi to some of the Marines Chris works with who were running a table at the event. It was 80 degrees out, yup in January, so lil' G and I needed a snow cone to keep cool.
It was the biggest snow cone I have ever eaten!

On the way home we stopped by a pick your own grapefruit grove that Chris has heard about. It was a great find and we left with 35 grapefruit for a whopping $4! PhotobucketThey are really delicious and we will definitley be going back once we run out. There is something so satisfying about seeing exactly where you food originated and taking it straight home to enjoy.

If you think this sounds like a jam-packed but glorious Saturday you would be right but we didn't stop there! We headed out to church and enjoyed some beautiful worship music and a really nice message from a member of the congregation. Then it was back home for grilled pizzas with our friend Jeff. The boys played some Wii while I took a break and then we all headed to the movies. We laughed through No Strings Attatched and the comedy of me spilling half my popcorn on the floor and then headed home just before midnight.
Now THAT is a jam-packed Saturday!

was a bit more slow paced but we enjoyed another beautiful day in Yuma. Chris headed out for his Sunday haircut (no shaggy men in the Marine Corps!) and to a friend's for some help fixing his X-box. I whipped up some kick butt guacamole and we headed to Jeff's house to watch some football. I wore yellow and green and routed for the Packers because Chris's mom LOVES the Packers.
Jeff grilled some fabulous ribs and we had a nice afternoon with friends before heading home and collapsing in bed to watched recorded American Idol Auditions.

Sometimes I forget, in my desire to make friends in whatever town the Marine Corps sends us to, that I am lucky enough to be married to my best friend. It is weekends like this one that serve to recharge my soul and remind me that it doesn't really matter what the rest of the world thinks of me as long as Chris and I make time for our relationship.Photobucket


Club Soda with Grenadine

I thought a lot this week about what I should write to say goodbye to 2010 and hello to 2011. I started several posts and deleted several posts and then midnight came and went and here I sit in the third morning of 2011.

2010 was a wild ride to be sure. Chris was gone for half of the year and while we missed each other desperately we both learned a lot about ourselves and our relationship.
While he was away I traveled quite a bit and enjoyed spending time with family and friends all over the US.
Chris completed his deployment in July and we headed to Jamaica to relax and reconnect after spending 6 months apart.
Chris headed back to work in full force and went on to kick butt at another training school that ran from September to November.
We relished "normal" life together full of simple things like movie dates and weekend projects.
And of course we celebrated the news that I was pregnant!
In November I was fortunate enough to spend a week with some of my best friends and it was a rejuvenating trip to be with them again.
Chris and I opened our house and welcomed my Grandma, Mama and Dad for Christmas. Gma and Mama beautified our house with new nursery curtains and freshly recovered/cushioned kitchen chairs and filled our tummy's with delicious food.
Dad and Chris spent a few hours figuring out how to hang the unmanageable corner cabinet that Chris and I had found at an antique store, it looks great in the nursery and I am so thankful I didn't have to help at all!
Christmas day was relaxed and comfortable and we were greatly blessed by the company of family and the generosity of so many people. Little G already has quite the pile of gifts, he is gonna be so spoiled!
We welcomed the new year with some squadron friends around a backyard fire pit, the boys drank beer and I drank club soda with grenadine (YUMMY!).

Looking ahead I am excited and ready for all that 2011 holds. Over the next four months our lives are jam packed with projects and plans.
I head to Colorado in a week for some time with friends and family (time to cuddle my nephew Noah again!)and a shower for the G-man.
In February we are heading to Phoenix to have my sister's talented friend Lauren take some pictures of Chris and myself (and the belly of course).
I suspect/hope March will fly by since it will be full of last minute nursery projects and weekly childbirth classes.
Since the Marine Corps has secret ninjas that research every ones important life dates in order to mess them up it is not really a surprise that Chris' squadron will be in Utah for training for almost the whole month of April.... he is set to return 2 days before Lil' G's arrival date.
Thank goodness for my Mama who is going to come and live with me to make sure I am not all alone if our bundle of joy shows up early.
I am not making resolutions for this year. When I do they often get overlooked and leave me feeling like a failure.
Instead I am entering the year with a heart towards praying more and leaving more of my worries at God's feet.
I am entering the new year with love for myself and my husband and for our unborn son.
I an entering the new year with hope.
Hope that I can be kinder to myself.
Hope that I get to see my little sister even more this year than last.
Hope that I can see other people's point of view more easily and not take things so personally.
Hope that I can be confidant enough in myself to know that I am a patient and supportive wife, giving friend and soon to be protective and loving Mommy.
Hope that the next year brings a healthy and happy baby and lots of time with Chris and our families.
2011 will be a memorable year to be sure and my wish is that you all enter it with as much hope as me!