Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A Trip to the Desert (pt 2)

If you're just catching up on our family's spring break vacation, you can read about the first part of our trip here. Like mentioned in the earlier post, we headed to a little suburb of Phoenix called Goodyear, AZ over spring break to see my best friend, her new house, and relax. I'll let the photos do all the talking.

This photo makes me laugh. The comment was made that Nick had a bright future as a "manny" if the Marine Corps ever doesn't work out for him.

Mattis was obsessed with the Pie Face game.

My little Aggie

I've been to many deserts in my lifetime (thanks to the Marine Corps).
I've been to deserts in the middle east, California, and Yuma, AZ...
But I must say, the scenery out here in Goodyear was probably one of the prettiest!

I love this tree!
They were everywhere (I forgot the name!)

More hiking photos...

I love these Saguaros!

I don't think a trip to Arizona is legit unless you get lots of cactus pics...

Another Saguaro.
Fun fact: It takes almst 75-80 years for a saguaro to start growing one little arm!

The sunsets were absolutely breathtaking!

 Nick always tries a local brew when we travel!

We had an absolute blast this Spring break! The gorgeous scenery, hiking, swimming...the wine...
Most importantly, I had to best time just chit chatting with my girlfriend, and getting our kids together to play! True friendship always endures the test of time and distance!

Friday, March 17, 2017

A Trip to the Desert (Pt 1)

If you didn't know already, this week is SPRING BREAK for our family! We made plans last year to go to Arizona over the break to visit one of my nearest and dearest best friends! Her and I met through the Marine Corps when her husband was still active duty, and over the years have kept in touch. Her hubby is always gone for work, so I figured it'd be fun to take advantage of spring break with her two boys with her at her new home! I didn't want her to be all alone with two rowdy boys all week, so we joined her with our own two rowdy kids!

When her and her husband got out of the Marine Corps, they chose to settle in a small suburb of Phoenix called Goodyear. I honestly had zero expectations of Arizona. I was going there strictly to visit my friend whom I hadn't seen in three years. However, I was more than pleasantly surprised with just how beautiful Arizona was, and fell in love with it!

REUNITED! These kids haven't seen each other in 3 years! They barely remembered each other! The little boy in the front (we'll call him "L") was born when his dad was in Afghanistan. I was in the delivery room when he was born!! It was SUCH an honor!

I hooked up the boys with Aggie swag, and taught them how to do a proper "Gig 'em"

"hug a cactus" pic...apparently that's a thing.


These kids spent more time in the pool than out!

The sunrise was absolutely breathtaking.
I woke up early the first morning, and sat on the back porch to watch it!

The boys (Nick and Mattis) showed up a day later, bright and early. It was nice to have the whole day together.

Kim took us on a hike the first day the boys showed up right by her house. 
We saw some really cool cacti, desert wildflowers, lizards, and lots of pretty quartz!

All the boys picked some desert wildflowers for me on the hike

We finished the evening playing pie face of course!
HUGE hit with my kids!

The adults spent the evening sitting by the pool, in front of a fire with some wine and just chatting.

It was SO fun to reconnect with my friend. It made me realize how much I TRULY missed her, and our friendship. We chat regularly via text and social media, but nothing beats being together with your friend. It was as if we were never separated. We literally picked up where we left off at, and continued our friendship as if nothing had changed. I am so thankful that God has blessed me with such amazing friends on our journey through the Marine Corps. The network of Marine wives that have become family in my life is amazing. These women have been through everything with me...the deployments...the wondering if our husbands are safe (or even alive)...the drama (theres always drama)...the promotions...the "hail and bails"....the wine nights...the sleepovers at eachother's homes on lonely nights....I could go on and on. But all the friends I have made throughout this journey have become people that I love dearly, and I am grateful for that. 

Part 2 of our trip coming tomorrow!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Punishing Dannika Jane

I suck at following through with punishments for my kids. When I take privileges away from them, I usually give them right back at the first sign that I feel that they have learned their lesson. This means if I ground Dannika for a week, but I notice a day later that she is being her "angelic" self again, I give all her privileges back. Mattis isn't quite old enough to understand privileges, so we aren't at this stage of punishments with him yet. I have a hard time seeing my kids unhappy. It literally breaks my heart when I have to punish them. The saying, "this hurts me more than it hurts you" is REAL, y'all! I have realized lately that my failure to follow through with the full punishment for Dannika hasn't been effective.

You see, Dannika has a "gear accountability" issue. I never thought I'd be talking about gear accountability after the Marine Corps, but here I am. I lecture my children about accountability for their things probably as much as I used to lecture my Marines! Dannika loses EVERYTHING. Jackets, water bottles, bows, shoes...you name it, she has misplaced it, lost it, or who knows what happened to it. It's starting to get expensive to have to constantly replace her misplaced items...like JACKETS. Oh, and don't get me started on all those adorable boutique bows I buy her to adorn her beautiful brown hair. I want to cry when I think of all the money that has been lost due to her lack of accountability.

Last week was the final straw. She came home missing a few items I sent her to school with, and I nearly lost it. I realized it was partly my fault because I suck at following through with any real punishment, so I made it my goal to follow through and stay strong. I grounded her 5 days. No TV, no iPad, no playing with friends outside, no having friends over... It was the worst week to ground her. Our family had plans to go to the trampoline park on Friday night for an event Nick had with the Semper Fi Society. I was so excited for it, but because I was adamant about sticking to my guns, Dannika and I stayed home. She looked absolutely crushed and devastated she couldn't go. She was also not allowed to go horseback riding on Saturday for our neighbor's birthday party. The kicker was that Mattis was allowed to attend. Another devastating blow to my precious baby girl's heart. I even questioned myself and asked Nick if I was being too hard on her. He assured me I wasn't and told me to stick to my guns (TEAM PARENTING DONE RIGHT, Y'ALL!). It was a painful weekend for both Dannika AND me. Part of me felt like I was grounded too.

I knew she had learned her lesson and was genuinely sorry when she wrote Nick a sweet letter on his napkin and made him lunch (while I was with Mattis at the birthday party). After her punishment was over, I sat down and had a heart to heart with her about the value of her possessions. Dannika is the the type of child that will be heartbroken by the words, "I am so disappointed in you." So when I told her how disappointed we were in her that she did not value all the hard work we do in order to have money to buy her the nice things she has, she broke down in tears.

Lessons were learned. Tears were shed. And this mama survived making it through an entire punishment standing her ground. When it comes to punishing her in the future (although she rarely gets in trouble), I plan on sticking to this. It was effective, and I gained a little more respect from my daughter.

One thing she DID get to do while grounded was go to the gym with me.
I am NOT grounding myself from the gym because of my kids.
So here they are, bright eyed and bushy tailed on Saturday morning to work out with me!

Mattis attended a birthday party this weekend at a local equestrian facility, and got to ride an actual horse (vice a pony) for the first time!

And because I love this shirt I got from Carter's for him.
"Check your ego amigo"

Sometimes, they love each other and get along.
Making sandwiches together for lunch.

And because impromptu wine nights on a Sunday night with friends is the best.

"Show us your muscles!"

I hope everyone has a great week!
If you're taking midterms, good luck!

Friday, March 3, 2017

It's Been Too Long!

I'm still alive, y'all! Wow, February kinda flew by. I barely remember it! Same old story here. School, kids, and Mama Club have been keeping the Romers pretty busy and my little corner of cyberspace has been severely neglected. I am constantly posting on Instagram and Facebook, so if you're my friend on there, you pretty much get the good parts of my life. We are ready for Spring Break, and ready for a little breather. But of course, in true college life fashion, I have to suffer through 3 mid terms next week first before I can be set free.

Here's a quick update on a life via my Instagram photos!

 I don't think this one made it on IG, but we were at Target, and Mattis was trying on hats.

This stud muffin got all dressed up to listen to the Commandant of the Marine Corps speak.

Because most of the time, they love each other.

And every kid wearing their parent's combat boots is the most adorable thing ever...

Mattis "Giggin' it" for Lopez. 
Although he didn't win the student election for yell leader, we were super proud of him for stepping up and representing the veterans.

We busted D outta school to take her to Lego Batman (terrible movie in my opinion).

We had a couple school lunch dates with this sweet girl...

Dannika at the 2nd grade expert fair!
She did a great job researching penguins!
Her favorite penguin is the chin strap penguin.

And these three BFF's aka 3 Musketeers in their cowgirl boots like every good Texas girl.

Life has been busy, but it's been fun. OH, AND I DECIDED TO APPLY FOR GRAD SCHOOL! More on that in another post. Maybe I'll take some time in between studying this weekend for midterms to blog about it! Have a great weekend, y'all!