Monday, December 29, 2014

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas


I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas celebrations .. I know we did! 

Our Christmas morning always starts with my dad turning on all the lights, making sure everything looks nice and videoing all of it :) 

 We are spoiled rotten ... the tree and the presents are absolutley beautiful!

Among other things, Emma got a notepad and started doodling right away. I forgot how good she is.

Jimmy liked to make faces at me, while I was taking his picture. 

We relaxed and Uncle Frank and Aunt Sue came over to visit. 

 Dad got a BB gun and the boys all had a blast with it out in the backyard ...
"You'll shoot your eye out!"
Our house was trashed, we stayed in our PJs most of the day and enjoyed it.

 Over the holidays we have done a lot of driving back and forth between my parents and Jeff's parents house across town. I thought this pic would be appropriate since we drove by it at least twice a day. I love all the beautiful Christmas decorations Downtown!

Merry FIRST Christmas from the Willmans!

All the cousins with Grandpa at Ormsbus (Christmas celebration) 

Spending some quality time with Liam, digging for gold deblumes

He was so excited to play outside.

This guy loves his Uncle Jeff!

We enjoyed some time visiting at Jeff's Grandma's house ... they got out the Lego's and a good time was had by all! 

We love seeing and spending time with our nephew Liam and all of our out of town family! 

Just a little Christmas-magic-playing-with-my-camera shot for ya ;)

Jeff and Liam played with this castle, that he used to play with as a little boy. It was the cutest thing to watch.

Here's a quick pic of the cousins / siblings with Grandma before we took off.

A big part of this trip for us has been good ole' hockey! Jeff has been having a blast getting his PT in while on the ice. Ahh, the luxury of something they just don't seem to have in the desert! 

Friday, December 26, 2014

All My Favorite Things!

My first favorite thing .. Isn't a thing! He's a Jeff! He arrived safe and sound here in Michigan! I picked him up from the airport and we saw his family for a while.

But it was not until he had me stop at the closest Tim Hortons, haha. He is OBSESSED with their coffee.

Both of our families were to go to a friends Christmas party so we all headed over there. A beautiful meal was had and it was so nice to see so many friendly faces. Especially when you live somewhere different and you don't expect to recognize many people.

The next day was our FAVORITE THINGS PARTY :)
This year was our third annual and it went off without a hitch! What does that even mean anyways?? We'll... It was a blast! We had so many fun favorite things and it went so smoothly. We have it all down to a science.

Here are my favorite ladies:

I love the holidays and partied and celebrating ... Butt his party in particular. We started it instead of a cookie exchange because it is so hard to say no to 6 dozen cookies staring at you in the face... But it's turned into such a fun tradition. Now that I live out if town, it's such a great way to see all my girls while I'm visiting too!!

Here are our favorite things:

We had a blast. Lots of snacking, drinking and laughing going on at this party!!

These are the goodies I got to take away:
A garlic peel from Pampered Chref, Pine scented Yankee candle with cute matches and a MI necklace with a heart <3 

So now I have to start thinking of what I will bring to the party next year ... That's right, were doing it again next year!! Can't wait!! 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Tree Traditions

I'm so glad my mom waited for me to get here to decorate the tree. It would have been really strange to have come into her house with all the ornaments on the tree. I didn't really think about that until we were decorating it together. I'm big on traditions. ESPECIALLY at Christmas. 

We talked about our family ornaments, some older ones .. Even ones that my parents got before I was around! I love doing this. "Ohh remember ....!" It's so much fun. I love fun memories and stories. We listened to Christmas music and my a Dad fell asleep in his chair. Emma doesn't have the patience for it, so it's usually something just my mom and I do together. 

I wish my phones camera didn't stink so bad. 

A few days later my dad got out the ladder and put our star atop our tree. 

A family tradition is to use the starfish from my parents honeymoon. To me it means family and love and just that ... Tradition. It's so special to me. Jeff actually suggested that we get our own starfish and I teared up. I absolutely love that idea. And I think I fell a little more in love with him when he said it. I can't wait to make that happen. 

I Made It!

I made it safe and sound to Michigan! 

Started off at:

One long day of traveling .. to Chicago and then to Detroit .. I made it!

Finally with my parents!!

Visited with our daycare babies 

Decorated the tree 

But I still miss my hubby and pup! Thank God for FaceTime! :)

Two more days until Jeff is here with us ... Being away from him and Duke is hard. I already miss the puppy like crazy. 

His daddy is taking good care of him :) 

Until next time! :) 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I'm On My Way..

I dunno where I'm going .. I'm on my way ... 
Ok ok, enough singing!! Yes I do know where I'm going! Michigan! 

Jeff just dropped me off (and got me settled of course) at the USO st LAX.
I seriously, seriously hate saying goodbye to my husband. We've spent so much time apart over the last year and a half that I hate being without him. I haven't slept alone since BEFORE July. This time is for only 5 sleeps, but it already feels like forever. 

So I'm staying at the USO currently. My flight is super early in the morning, so I had to come down tonight. What do you know about the USO? I've stopped by them over the past year or so ... Dropping guys off, picking guys up ... But I myself haven't stayed. I have to tell you how great it is. The USO is a place for any branch of the military and their families. You can stay the night, eat, drink, watch tv, use computers and some you can even shower in. Currently, I have staked out a recliner for myself in the nap room. Every part of it is free and they run on donations. They even have internet and wifi. I keep telling Jeff that if we had one closer to our home, I would volunteer. Our closest airport is an hour and a half away.. But, I think it's incredible. They even have me set up for the person at the front desk to wake me up when I need to get up for my flight. It's just so nice because I could currently be sleeping on a hard airport bench under the fluorescent lights ... No. Fun. 

I'm so thankful for the USO and everything they offer our military. 
Ps, sorry for the lack of pics .... Taking pictures in there would have been just downright creepy with people trying to sleep :) haha

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Very Willman Christmas

A while back, Jeff and I talked about Christmas. We talked about how we were going to celebrate and we decided that we wanted to have our own Christmas before we started traveling. This year is our first Christmas as husband and wife and we wanted to make sure we celebrated that...Celebrated US and started making our own family traditions. So we picked the Saturday before I leave town! 

Friday night was Christmas Eve ... We had dinner and hot chocolate with Christmas movies and we snuggled on the couch and made sure everything was ready for the next day ... Christmas Day! Jeff and I have been making a point to watch our Christmas movies ... We have a pretty good collection, and then throw in Netflix and the 24 days of Christmss on ABC Family and we were totally ready! 

We have watched A Christmas Story (twice), White Christmas, Elf, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, The Muppetts Christmas Carol, Home Alone ... And I'm sure I'm forgetting some, but you catch my drift. All the awesome movies! 
*all of these were not watched in one day...I feel that I should mention that.

So anyways ... We watched A Christmas a Story for the second time for our Christmas Eve ... We went to bed and waited for Santa to come!

We woke up in the morning, raced downstairs and exchanged gifts, played with Duke, took pictures, listened to Christmas music and I made breakfast. I wish I had a picture of our breakfast, it turned out pretty great if I say so! :) Cream cheese french toast! Mmmmm... 

So here is my sweet little family on our first Christmas:

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Moving News

We've been up.
We've been down.
The last few weeks have been crazy for us.

The day before my mom came to visit, Jeff got his orders. Jeff is used to the Marine Corps telling him where to go already. Me on the other hand ... I'm along for the ride. Please understand that I knew this is how it would be. Please know that it being that way ... Is a whole other thing. It's very emotional. Jeff's orders were taking us to Okinawa Japan. I felt so many things about this news. 

I was so nervous. I think I was BORN nervous. I'm scared if new things and I always have been. 
I was excited, because honestly moving to japan ... Ok let's be honest, even visiting japan is not something that you would find me doing if it weren't for Jeff's job. 
I was thankful for an opportunity and the push to do something that I wouldn't do ... Making me expire nice something new. 
I was also feeling sad about being so far away from my family. Weeks have passed. We have gotten our heads around the idea a bit more and started accepting it. We were really moving to the other side of the world. The paperwork finally came through and it read "unaccompanied" which was a mistake. 

Jeff is a married Marine so I go with him, unless he is deployed. So ... His Master Sergeant, who has been saying all along that he's never seen them send a married first term (first contract... First 4-5 years in the Corps) over seas... Said he was changing the orders. He didn't like it all along that we were going. They didn't even know how to send us properly (LOTS of paperwork and requirements). 

So ... Just a few days ago we found out that we aren't in fact going to Japan for the next three years.  We are being stationed in North Carolina. This is good and bad news. It's great because we get to stay in the country. In the same TIME ZONE as our families even .. Which is amazing. Now, it's bad news (for me) because he is now stationed with an infantry unit. Which means he's attached to their unit and gets deployed with them if they are deployed. The way I understand it is that he will be in the background of whatever they are doing, fixing their radios. His new unit actually deployed today so they will be overseas when we get to NC. As I said, I knew this is how it would be. Things to worry about. But it's all very real these days. Jeff graduates at the end of January and we will hit the road for North Carolina at the beginning of February.

As I said, up, down. Life is crazy. When we were going to Okinawa, I just said to myself that God has a plan for our family. It must be meant to be ... So maybe Camp Lejeune, NC is meant to be!


Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Bakersfield Thanksgiving

Hey Guys! Did you have a great Thanksgiving? Jeff and I spent our first Thanksgiving married together at a friends house. As you know we are stationed in Twentynine Palms, CA so we are a million (2,100) miles away from family. We decided our money would be better spent on buying plane tickets home for Christmas and to stay in CA for Thanksgiving. Our friend Nate and his family were kind enough to ask us to join them to celebrate, just 4 hours away from home.

So I baked some desserts and we hit the road
(Not pictured: Oreo pie and pumpkin roll)
My husband got me a crazy nice gift ... a Nikon D3200 camera package!! Ahhh it was such a surprise ... I'm so so so excited about it. I hope to get a little less rusty in the next few months.

So, like I said - we hit the road ... on our way to Duke's Uncle Holloway's house to celebrate!
Duke is really good in the car. Four hours + and he was great. He loves to sleep in the car!

 So, once we got there and settled ... I played with our new camera!

Look at my boys!

The table was set beautifully ... check out this super cute turkey pumpkin! 

There might have been a few beverages served ...
 The turkey was fried ... with love ...

My boys ...

My husband and I on our first married Thanksgiving ...

 Nate and his momma

Duke was spoiled all weekend ...

And spoiled some more ...

The boys played football in the backyard ...

Hoffman and Duke went for a swim...

And Duke was spoiled some more...

It as much fun as we could have had ... being away from our own families.