Friday, May 21, 2010

Mini Me

I have two little girls in my life who I completely adore. (I won't lie, they like me a little bit too!) One of those girls is Garner Bell, one of the kids in Norman, Oklahoma whom I was a nanny for while in college. I was there when this little diva was born and now five years later my heart continues to grow for the little beauty, who I have to admit is becoming more and more like me as the years go by!

Me teaching her to pose with her lips out...

and with a peace sign! She is a mess....loves, loves the camera!

Every morning, she wanted me to tease her hair like mine...
and curl it! This is her doing the "Brittany shoulder" that I taught her over a year ago! Hilarious!!!
For her birthday she wanted me to take her to Forever 21, my favorite store, and buy her big girl assecories!
Of course, she had to have make-up as well as this BIG headband! Love it!
Her doing the peace sign again...she did this all weekend!
Such sass! She told me she was no longer a diva in training...she informed me that she was now a diva like me!!!
Love the tutus!
My mini me!
My other little niece, Sloane Alyce!
I get to keep her for 2 weeks while Nick is in California for training and my sister finishes her last 2 weeks of work. I am LOVING playing dress-up with her!
We love nap time... Sloane with her dog Lilly, so precious!
Gotta love the BIG bows!
So sweet!
My friend Amber, whom I have known since I was 5 came to visit...mainly she just wanted to see Sloane! We took Sloane on her first shopping trip to Forever 21!!!
She was tuckered out from all the shopping...
such hard work!
Sloane with her first purse....this was actually from my mom, not me (surprisingly)!
With her Uncle Blake...
"My auntie loves me" finally fits!
Bed time...
Love love love!
Baby blues!
Sloaney and Amber
As if she hasn't gotten enough attention, my other good friend Sarah came to visit!
Sarah and I also took her shopping....she is already a diva in training!
She does not love the camera yet...
Morning messy cute!
Big eyes!
By far my favorite outfit! Love the brown and pink and giraffe!
All that brown hair, just like her Auntie Britty!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Goodbye 1607 Beverly Bay!

As I sit here watching the movers load our stuff into a giant moving semi, I am actually dreading them finishing, because that means I have to do the final step of moving….the CLEANING! I am prolonging this awful task as long as possible. How ironic it is that one could live in a house for such a short period of time and yet still have so much to clean! Dust (and dog hair) just accumulates in the cracks behind furniture that isn’t noticed until the movers take away all our belongings.

So, as I sit here staring at the cleaning products about to be used, I am contemplating what all we are actually leaving behind (besides dog hair). This is Nick and my 4th move since we have gotten married. With each move, I feel like I leave a little piece of me at each place we have lived. A part of me will always love and cherish Norman, Oklahoma, because that is where my husband and I went to college, met and fell in love. Pensacola was where we had our first house together, shared our first year of marriage, where Nick learned to fly and got his wings, and where I learned the life of a military wife. Even though we were ready to leave by the time we finally left Pensacola, it will always be a place of good memories for us because we met so many amazing friends there, friends who will be our friends for our entire lives. You don’t just join the Navy, you live it, and the people you meet through the Navy become your actual family. Thank God for that too, because in Japan, Nick and I will be a LONG way from our biological families and therefore will need the Navy family to lean on!

The lids to the sewer that are seen all througout Jacksonville
My time here in Jacksonville, albeit short, was just as memorable. As my good friend Heather put it, “Nick and I learned a lot in these 9 short, yet hectic months.” With work and school for both Nick and I, it seemed there wasn’t much time for our social lives. However, we still had time to grow close with several military families, those same friends will be missed when we leave here on Saturday.

Nick in his helo...doing his thing! You can't tell, but he's the one landing!

Yes, I am excited to move to Japan. Yes, I am completely ecstatic to go home to Texas and see friends and family. Yes, I cannot wait to fly to California and see friends from Pensacola on our way out of the country. However, none of those things make it any easier to leave behind such great people here in a place, that for a short time, Nick and I have called home!

But as they say in the military, “it’s never goodbye, just see you later!”

…Now for the yucky cleaning L

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It's that time again...

Moving day (or should I say week)! The movers are coming in THREE rounds this week. Yesterday the first set of movers took our things to be put in permanent storage, the things that either 1- we won’t need in Japan or, 2- won’t work and/or fit in a Japanese house. Those things will be stored for three years while we are over seas….I already get the feeling that we stored things we will need/want while we are in Japan, however we are not allowed to get our things back until we have been stationed stateside again (of course, unless we want to PAY to get our own things out of storage…um, no thank you!). Today the movers are coming to box up and ship our things that we will need right away in Japan, our “Express Shipment”. This so called express shipment will not arrive for at least a month, in fact I have heard that some people get their “express” shipment at the same time as the rest of their belongings arrive! Nonetheless, we had to set out things for the movers to pack that we would need to “survive” in Japan until the rest of our things get there (such as bedding, kitchen essentials, clothes, etc). Finally, tomorrow the last movers are coming to pack up everything else in our house, and then it’s nomadic living for a month for Nick and I!

Knowing we will be living out of a suitcase for almost 2 months (or more) made it difficult to pack. Nick and I will be stateside for another month, going from Florida to Texas then to Oklahoma, then finally to California before we begin our journey to the land of the rising sun! All of the different places made it that much harder to decide what to cram into suitcases, which we will be lugging all over the world! (Seriously, I would rather do just about anything than pack…it is a dreaded chore for me!) However, I am almost finished packing (Nick hasn’t started) and I must say, I did a pretty good job! Nick even hugged me when he saw how “little” I had packed (I say little because I packed about 25 outfits and 10 pairs of shoes, but for me that is not much!)…I got everything into one (Giant) suitcase, and didn’t even have to sit on top of my suitcase to get it to close! On the other hand, I plan to do lots of shopping when we finally get to Japan to make up for the “lack” of clothes I packed! (This is not my fault, all I have heard since we found out we were moving to Japan, is that Tokyo is the “fashion capital,” and we will be living right by Tokyo! Not to mention that all my girlfriends who already live there have told me that as soon as I get there we are going shopping!)

So packing is almost finished, movers are doing their thing this very moment, and soon it will be Sayonara Jacksonville and Hello Japan! (It’s the saying goodbye to my family that I am dreading…)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Free to Be Me!!!!

“I’ve got a couple dents in my fender, got a couple rips in my jeans. I try to fit the pieces together, but PERFECTION is my ENEMY. On my own I’m so clumsy, but on Your shoulders I can see, I’m Free to Be Me!!!!”

…A line from one of my favorite songs by Francesca Battistelli, which was my motivation song that got me through the last race I ran!

Some people might not enjoy running, but do it for exercise nonetheless; others don’t enjoy it, therefore don’t partake in this activity whatsoever; I on the other hand, get some kind of weird adrenaline rush from putting a couple miles under my feet daily! Weird I know, but it is like my nicotine fix, I just gotta do it!

I speak highly of running because there are worse things in life that someone could be addicted to! I have even convinced several people to love running as much as I do. This last weekend marked the year anniversary of my very first half marathon. I ran the Rock and Roll half marathon last April in Nashville, Tennessee with 3 other friends. And I have to admit, that even though I have been running since junior high, nothing could prepare me for the fulfillment that came from running a half marathon! Crossing that finish line felt like such an accomplishment and one that I could not wait to do again. Almost 2 months ago, I ran my second half marathon, and it was even better! I beat my previous time by 20 minutes!!! (This could have been in part, due to the fact that it was chilly outside, versus the blistering sun that I ran in during my first race in April! The heat always slows me down.) The second race I ran was the Disney Princess Half Marathon in Orlando, Florida. It was a perfect excuse to take advantage of Disney World one more time before we move from Florida.

Not only did we have two days of Disney park hopping and site seeing, but the actual race was a run through Magic Kingdom! The race was for “princesses” only, meaning it was thousands of girls!!! Many of the runners were dressed like Disney princesses, which was fun to witness and kept me entertained throughout the run. Also, as we ran the 13 miles, there were Disney characters all along the way for the runners to stop and take pictures of and with!

I have been meaning to post pictures for forever and have promised the two girls who went with me that I would.

Welcome to Disney!!! We stayed in the Sports Hotel, we were in the tennis section....
First day at the parks...gotta have a Disney treat! Yummy!

Dinner at Downtown Disney with Stacey and Alyssa...

Stacey ran a 5K the day before Alyssa and I ran our Half Marathon. Stacey's not a runner, but wanted to come with us and since there was a "fun run" the same weekend, she signed up and ran the 3 miles with no training! So proud of you girlfriend!!!

Day 2 at the Parks...Beautiful Magic Kingdom in the background!

Stacey's "celebration" cupcake for running her race that morning! Gotta have a reason to run right?...nothing better than a sweet treat to make it all worth it!
A bit too early...we had to get there at 4AM!!!
Ironically, Alyssa is a fan of Francesca Battistelli as well, so our wake-up song that morn was, "Free to Be Me"! There's nothing like a good tune to wake you up!
Each runner had to pick a Disney Princess to be...naturally, I was Belle!

Belle and Ariel!
Gotta have a shoe shot...
Post race...we're smiling, but sore!
Nick, not one to be upstaged, also ran his first half marathon this year. He wanted to run the Disney one with me, but couldn't (duh, he's not a princess!). However, the following weekend, he ran the Jacksonville 15k (9 miles) with a few friends. I have to admit, I am very glad we didn't run together, he would have left me in the dust.