Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Jumble Of Happenings

It's no secret that one of our most favorite duty stations ever was Camp Pendleton, CA.
Besides the amazing weather all year long, great shopping, the beach, the cuisine, the laid back attitude, and so much more, we loved it because of the unit Nick was with and our friends.
When we left Camp Pendleton, Nick was the Battery Gunny for 5th Battalion 11th Marines (Tango Battery), and although the job came with a ton of responsibilities, he was the happiest there.
He had actual Marines that he was in charge of, and he was constantly in the company of Marines.

I don't know about the other branches, but Marines are happiest in the company of one another.

One of the Marines that Nick worked with at 5/11, and that our family became friends with is now on recruiting duty in New Jersey.
He just happened to be at a course in Connecticut, and drove the 2 hours to hang out with us for the weekend.
That's what Marines do...they go out of their way to see a friend if they get a chance.

I LOVED seeing Nick with an old buddy.
He was so in his element, and had such a great time.
This weekend made me realize just how much our family belongs back in the fleet Marine Corps.
This independent duty crap sucks.
The lack of brotherhood....
The lack of friends who understand what you're going through...
The lack of LCpls to make fun of...
Although stories about midshipmen are pretty entertaining at times...
It's just not the same.
Nick really enjoyed his time with his friend.

They bought cigars and drank whiskey...


The last time Ricky and Dannika saw each other was when Dannika was 2.
He must have read her like 6 story books the morning he left.

Yesterday, I drove down to Boston and had lunch with two awesome ladies who are currently in college to become future Marine Officers.
I met them through Nick and the NROTC program that he works with.
I instantly clicked with them, and my "mama bear" attitude wanted to take them in like my kids...lol.
I feel like a "chick" who wants to be a Marine is a special breed of woman, and no matter how different we are, we always have a common ground that most women don't share.
They're both pretty amazing, and I am constantly amazed at the future of our Corps...especially this new generation of women coming in.
(Did I just say "this new generation of women"?! Damn, I feel old)

While waiting to go to lunch, Mattis hung out in the lobby in the "Captain's Chair". 
He prefers to call it the "General's Chair".
After all, he IS the General...

And because Dannika asked me to take a "selfie" with her.

We dropped Nick's car off at a body shop to get a new paint job, and I followed him.
His car is so loud, and so cool...
Notice the pedestrians checking it out...

Dropped his car off, and of course I needed a photo.

And just because father/son pics are my favorite...

It's Wednesday....hump day!!!!
I hope y'all are having a great week!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

8 Months Old


Can you spot his two little teeth?



Mattis Mark Vincent Romer...
HOLY COW, You're 8 months old as of yesterday...almost 1!

You are my hunk of pure rolls and goodness.
Your thigh rolls are to. die. for.

This month...
*You started eating table foods. You're not too picky about what we give you, but if you don't like it, you will shut your mouth so tight, and won't let us get a spoon in it. Sometimes you even shake your head no at us!

*You have such a stubborn personality already! We can see it with the way you act when we give you foods you don't like or you're in a place you don't want to be! You will violently shake your head "no" at us, arch your back, and wail!

*You have TWO little teeth that popped up on the bottom of your gummy smile.

*Just a few days ago, you started clapping along with mama! It's the most adorable thing ever, and you do it ALL the time now!
video

*You like it when we stand you up and prop you up against the couch.

*You're still not crawling, but every once in a while, when you're on your tummy, we see you try.

*You've become a TEENY TINY bit less of a mama's boy, and have grown a bond with daddy. I think the fact he was home for almost a month straight with you might have helped.

*Your sister is still one of your favorite people, and sometimes, she's the only one that can make you laugh!


You put so much joy in our hearts every day!
We love you...especially this mama...
 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Date Yo Spouse

Nick and I came to a revelation a few months ago that since our son was born (last August), we had only gone out on ONE date together without the kids.
I'm sure many of y'all can understand how easy it is to forget to "date your spouse" when you throw work, life, and kids into your marriage!
We made a pact to make sure we go on TWO kid free date nights a month, and so far, we've been good with sticking to that!
I look forward to our "kidless" date nights.

I love my kiddos, but I love my husband first.
No...I don't have that backwards.
If you look into a Christian based marriage, the order of priority when it comes to love is God, marriage, THEN children.

I have the most adorable husband in the world.
He actually formally asks me out on a date, and gives me the opportunity to decide if I'm going to accept or decline. 
I told him that I may be washing my hair on Friday, and I'll have to think about it (it's about the chase, ladies! lol). 
I eventually told him I had postponed my hair washing event in order to accompany him on a date. 
One of our favorite things to do on a date night is to go to Legal Seafoods, sit at the bar (something you can't do with kids), order oysters on the half shell, and have drinks.
And that is exactly what we did!

Let's start with the date night outfit.
The shirt is a pink lace shirt from Free People, skinny jeans from NY & Co., bangle bracelets from Arden B., Esparadilles from Chinese Laundry, and of course my LV Speedy bag!

Nick was super excited to take me out in his 1972 Chevelle.

The car is super fast, and people are always staring at us when we take it out!
It really is an amazing car.
necklace : Swarovski





Extra dirty martini with Tito's vodka (Texas vodka...the BEST).
Funny story, I actually got "cut off" from the bar at Legal Seafoods.
They have some law/rule that you can only have two mixed drinks in an hour.
Another reason why Massachusetts sucks sometimes....noted.

After appetizers and drinks at Legal Seafoods (after I was cut off), we went to a local chocolatier called "Chocolate Therapy".
 I love supporting local and small businesses.
The chocolate here is ALL handmade every morning in batches.
I had a pistachio macaroon and a truffle that tasted like a cinnamon roll....SO GOOD!

Nick had a chocolate chip shake with a dark chocolate raspberry truffle blended into it.

Before we called it a night, we swung by Outback Steakhouse to have one last martini.
I tried their new Skinny Girl martini...delicious!

We had the best time ever, and when we got home, our sitter had the baby asleep, and was sitting on the couch hanging out with Dannika.

I'm totally guilty of forgetting how important it is to go out every once in a while with your spouse.
It's SO nice to have uninterrupted grown up conversation, and to just spend good quality time together.
It gets you out of the "rut" that everyday life can put on a marriage and family life.
Our kids get happy parents.
I feel like after our "date nights", we come back so recharged.

My advice...
"Date yo spouse!"

Friday, April 25, 2014

IYAOYAS

WHAT DOES THIS TITLE MEAN?!?

If you really want to know, read on!
And if you already know, read on anyway!

As a Marine, my primary MOS (my job) was an aviation ordnance technician.
To put it in "Barney terms", I basically did maintenance on weapons systems for aircraft (aircraft guns, missile launchers, bomb racks, weapons support equipment, etc.).
I also assembled and configured bombs and rockets for aircraft.

There's LCpl me building inert bombs in Alaska.

MK82's (High Explosive, 500lbs bombs)

More cool things that explode on trailers prepped to take out to the aircraft.

Assembling 2.75in rockets.

So before you put the rockets into the rocket pods, you have to untape the fins of the rockets.
It's crucial that you keep your hands at least wrapped around the fins so that they don't pop open.
Otherwise, it's a pain in the butt to try an manually close the fins so that you can slide them into the rocket pods.
Usually, if you pop some fins, you owe everyone on that build that day a beer.
Yeah...
I owed everyone a beer that day.

Rocket Crew in Yuma at Desert Talon exercise.

Clockwise from top left:
My ordnance tattoo, photo of my guys and me coming home from Iraq at a bar in the airport at Bangor, Maine, photo of me building inert bombs, photo of me and some friends in Iraq.
People are always surprised to find out I have giant ordnance wings on my back :)

Air force ordnance guys and me standing gate guard in Iraq (this was just coming on shift so we didn't have all our gear on yet...in case anyone is wondering why).
Not to hate on the air force or anything, because I love y'all.... 
But, they pretty much sat in the shade for the entire 24 hour post while the two Marines on post with them stood out in the blistering sun (140 degrees in August) checking ID's into the ASP....
JUST SAYIN'....NOT HATIN'....(just a little)
 They were friendly though....just not really ready for combat....or anything else for that matter...
They weren't issued rounds for the weapons before coming into country, so we had to lend them rounds out of our weapons to stand post....

I was fortunate enough to get to work on both fighter jets (F-18's) and attack helicopters (Hueys and Cobras).
Sound pretty cool, huh?

Can ya see why being a stay at home mom sometimes seems a little...dull?

So today is the birthday of Marine Corps aviation ordnance!
92 YEARS OF POPULATION AND LANDSCAPE CONTROL!

And our motto...
I.Y.A.O.Y.A.S.
If You Ain't Ordnance, You Ain't Sh**!

 So Happy 92nd Birthday to all my fellow badass Ordnancemen out there!
I'll have a tall one for y'all today!


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Health, Fitness, & Social Media

 I'm THAT person on social media.
I post my work outs, I take post run/pre run "selfies" and put on my instagram.
I post my RunKeeper results for everyone to see.
I've actually pulled back a little lately, because I realized all the photos kinda looked the same.
Someone told me I was vain and fishing for compliments...rude. 
The reality is, when I post things like that on social media, it keeps me accountable.
It's nice to get encouragement from others, and it's also nice when people tell me that my "post run selfie" I put on Instagram motivated them to get out and go for a run that day.
I also enjoy looking at other people's fitness posts and photos of their pre/post workouts.
I'm one of THOSE people that will spend way too much time on Instagram looking at all the photos that people have hashtagged with #running, #fitness, #anythingthatisfitnessrelated.

And to all my beautiful friends who post their run times, mileage, PR's, Crossfit videos, etc. etc. etc....
KEEP IT UP, cause I LOVE looking at them!

I received two messages on Facebook this week in regards to my love affair with fitness.
 
"Why do you work out so much?"
-It feels good. It's a natural high, and the endorphins my body produces is the most amazing feeling in the world. Even when every muscle in my body hurts, and I can barely move from a work out, it's the best kind of pain. This is probably reason #1.
 
-Reason #2 would be I want to look hot for my husband.  I was fit when we got married, and I plan to stay that way for eternity. Everyone has their "type" and their "preference". Nick just so happens to have noticed my legs and abs when he first saw me outside of cammies, and I am convinced that he fell a little in love with me that day (even though it was only our first date).
Nick is the farthest thing from shallow, and I'm confident I could gain a 100lbs, and he'd still love me unconditionally.
  But he stays looking good for me, so I return the favor :)
Besides...we are happiest as a couple when we feel good about ourselves.
 This photo was taken just an hour prior to going to Nick's apartment for our first official date (which is why I have a SoCo and Dr. Pepper to calm my nerves).
This is what I wore with some pretty banging heels. :)
He talks about these white shorts and heels I wore to this day.
 
"You talk about running like I do a spa day."
A friend sent me this on facebook the other day and commented that I talk about running like she does a spa day. lol.
I chuckled.
 -Running and working out ARE my spa days, and lucky me, I get to have a "spa day" EVERY day!
It destresses me.
It helps me decompress.
And bonus...I get fit in the process!


Living an active lifestyle and being healthy are some of our top priorities in the Romer house.
We could lose everything tomorrow, but at least I'll have my health, my running shoes, and an open road somewhere for my running shoes to pound.
I'm no fitness expert, nor do I have the perfect body.
I think the words "perfect body" are just ridiculous.
But I can tell you this...
My body is perfect for me...
This body's given birth to TWO beautiful children.
I've seen this body do things in the gym that I never thought I'd ever be able to do.
Take care of your body...
It's the only one you get.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Kids, Bikes, Jeeping

Today is gross and rainy outside.
I'll take rain over snow any day, though!
I am thankful for the nice weather we've been having these past few days, so I can forgive the rain.
Dannika is on Spring Break this week, and I expected this week to be a lot of relaxing (for the all of us), but it's been everything but that!
Yesterday was one of those days as a "stay at home mom" that I really enjoyed.
I felt extremely productive, and those who know me know that I need productivity in my life to be happy.

We walked to the library...
Dannika did these puzzles ALL by herself.
Such a smart girl.

My friend was with us, and has a background in counseling.
She noticed that Dannika starts putting puzzles together from the middle, and not the outer edges first like most kids/people do.
She said it meant she was more detail oriented.
People who start puzzles from the outside (the edges first), are more of the "big picture" people, but don't care too much about details.
It makes sense to me.
Dannika is extremely detail oriented and methodical in everything she does.

Nick and I's first big purchase together when we got married was this 2008 Yamaha R1.
Nick used to have an R6 that was stolen, and I purchased this R1.
Before we had kids and lived in California, we used to go riding together all the time.
Since moving to Massachusetts, the bike has just been sitting in the garage.
The snow...the crappy roads...
It's impossible to own a motorcycle, let alone a street bike here in New England.
ANND....Nick and my bodies are not "spring chickens" anymore.
Riding a crotch rocket all hunched over hurts!
So we both made the decision to sell it.
I must say, it was a lot easier to part with it than I thought!
We want to buy a Harley one day....

Who doesn't love a sleeping baby photo?

This photo makes me laugh.
Mattis' head looks HUGE.
And no, he didn't pull himself up on his own, but he likes me to stand him up.

The babies had fun at the library too :)

I thought I was dreaming when I saw this on my dash.
80 DEGREES!!
I was in heaven...
Yes...I drove around all day with the windows down blaring the Frozen soundtrack...
 Guys are always checking out a girl driving a Jeep Wrangler...
Let me tell ya...they get real excited when they realize I'm jamming out to "Let It Go"....
And I get brownie points when they realize I have TWO carseats with actual children in them in the backseat. 
Hot.
Nick better watch out for all these guys...

Happy Hump Day, y'all!



Monday, April 21, 2014

Boston Strong

It's marathon Monday, y'all!
For New Englanders, today is the day of the famous Boston marathon in conjunction with the state holiday, "Patriot's Day".
In light of the tragedy that happened last year at the marathon, this year was a big year for lots of runners.
It just so happens that we live walking distance to mile 8 (ish) of the marathon, so we decided to head down there this morning and cheer on the runners.
The Boston marathon and the Marine Corps marathon or two marathons that are on my lifetime bucket list.
I'm hoping for my knee to get cleared this year by an orthopedic surgeon to start training for one. 
The last ortho I saw in the Marine Corps told me it was a horrible idea to run a marathon in the condition my knee was in after surgery.
I say, "whatever".
Almost every veteran I know has gotten out of the service with some sort of service connected injury.
And I see on a daily basis almost every single one of these veterans pushing themselves mentally and physically in ways that people told them were not possible.
I've seen veterans who have lost limbs in combat complete marathons.
So with that thought in mind, my silly little knee issue can be worked through.

There were a handful of Marines that were running, and we made sure to throw out an "Oorah", "erah", "yut", "kill", and "Semper fi" to each and every one that we saw.
Each and every one of them shouted back at us or grunted at us...in true Marine Corps fashion of course.

I also gave big shout outs to all the TEXANS that were there!
Texas was in full force and REPRESENTIN'!

It was truly incredible to see these runners come out in full force after last year's tragedy.
There were SO MANY "Boston Strong" jerseys, and SO many runners from ALL over the world showing their support for Boston.
It just goes to show you, you don't mess with 'Merica....especially a buncha brash, loud, and pissed off New Englanders!
It was truly amazing, and I am so glad that we had the opportunity to go check it out!

 The day was absolutely beautiful, so of course we took advantage of it.
Nick worked on his car all day.


You know how when you buy a new home, how exciting it is!?
You're so excited to do all these awesome DIY projects you had in mind, and you imagine every project to go just as smoothly as they do on HGTV or the DIY channel?!
Then you realize it NEVER happens like on TV, and you end up with a half finished backyard for an entire year because you gave up and got frustrated? 
Yeah...that's JUST like buying a classic car!

Nick loves fixing things, and working on things, but I could tell by about hour 5 of working on it, he was starting to get a little frustrated.


Our neighbor even came over to help out, and offered Nick some "moral support".
I guess he could see the frustration in his face.
 Oh, and don't ask me what he was doing.
He was changing out some sort of bearings.

At least every once in a while, he could look over at our adorable kids...




I hope everyone had a nice long relaxing weekend!
My daughter's on spring break this week, so I'm sure you'll expect us to get in some sort of trouble...lol.