I L-O-V-E Halloween. One of my favorite things to do is make my kids their costumes. They don’t always let me but some years they cave into my begging. I think this is one thing they will remember fondly. (well … Continue reading

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads out there! I couldn’t have picked a better man to have children with. We are lucky to have him home with us so we can celebrate the day.

And seriously could I have ended up with a cuter family? I think not!

Father’s Day brings up a lot of stuff for me personally. I grew up without a father. My dad passed away when I was very young and I never knew him.  Thankfully I had lots of uncles and two wonderful grandfathers who tried to step in and fill the void. It wasn’t the same and every time I opted out of going to a daddy/daughter dance with an uncle I was reminded of what I was missing. My mom did remarry when I was a teenager but by then I was already a pretty independent girl and I think my stepfather had a tough uphill battle with both me and my older sister.

Because of my ‘daddy issues’ (and it’s amazing I’m not more of a mess than I already am) I feel like I am always trying to make sure my kids (especially my daughter because you know how screwed up girls can get over this stuff) know how much their father loves them. And he does. So damn much. He is one of the more playful dads I’ve ever met. He bought a ripstick and learned how to ride it just so he could ripstick with our daughter. Even if he isn’t in the mood at all, if our son asks to play basketball, he’ll drop what he’s doing and go shoot hoops. Always in the back of his mind is: there will be a deployment in the future, these memories need to be made and the kids need to know that daddy loves them and loves spending time with them. It’s a wonderful and horrible thing living with the knowledge that there is an upcoming family separation.

Anyways, with that rambling I was really just trying to say, I really appreciate my husband I am so very happy my kids have such a strong, smart man to grow up with as a father. Happy Father’s Day to the father of my children, I got the best one.

In Memorium

It seems like everybody and their mama is reminding you that today isn’t just about barbecuing with friends, that there is a purpose to this holiday. I feel when you are a part of the military community that this thought is never really that far from your mind.

I feel blessed that my sailor is home safe with us today, that we aren’t worrying about his well being or safety. That he is able to be here with his family. That I don’t have to raise my children without a father.

I am so very, very thankful for all of the military members far from home who are doing their part in keeping us safe.  I am so very grateful for all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and laid down their lives for our country.

You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Three Kings Day, Spain’s REAL holiday!

So tomorrow January 6th is Three King’s Day.  It is the day that is celebrated in Spain over Christmas. The gifts, parties all the big stuff, that is all saved for Three King’s Day.  This day celebrates the gift giving of the magi who brought gifts to the baby Jesus. (So really it does make more sense than exchanging gifts of Christmas Day) So the three kings are all over, on decorations, in the parades, everyone knows their names (something I NEVER learned in Sunday school).

So tonight, the night before the parade wandered through Rota. It started at about 4:30 at the castle downtown with the kings making their appearance and then the parade worked its way up from the marina toward the base.  I was RUSHING to get out of work and get the kids to the parade since this is our last one. (oh so sad!)  Thankfully in Spain everything generally starts a little late so I was hoping I could find the parade somewhere and catch up to it.

It couldn’t have gone more perfectly! The is a large parking lot just off base at the bus station/gypsy market I decided to park in and then walk the rest of the way. Well we walk to the other side of the bus station and there everyone is lined up on the side of the road waiting for the floats. THREE minutes later they came! Perfect!

O waiting for the parade. Thankfully it was a super short wait and the weather was just perfect!

These kids came prepared!

Adorable little girls!

Pretty girls! I would love to be able to ride the floats in these fabulous dresses! So much fun!

It's raining candy!



And some sweet little boys rode the floats too!

One of the kings (I don't know which one, don't judge me!)

Tossing soccer balls

Getting ready to grab some candy!

I panicked for a second thinking that they were going to have to shove the candy into my purse, but yay, I always have my reusable collapsible shopping shoved in my purse so I was able to pull that out. That bag has come in handy SO many times!

We came home with SO many streamers!

Grabbing as much candy as possible!

Now, there are professionals who SERIOUSLY come prepared to the parade. One of the most common things is the ol’ upside down umbrella, the better to catch candy with!  Really clever idea, however, we don’t need that much candy!

HARDCORE parade-goers

Even easier, just bring a blanket!

The aftermath

We had a fun time at our last Three Kings Day parade… Thankfully my kids aren’t expecting the three kings to come visit tonight, OUR holidays are over!

New Year’s Eve in Spain!

Every country has its own traditions and Spain has some pretty fun ones.

New Year’s Eve is no exception and this is one of the Spanish traditions that you can do in your own home!

If you are in Spain on New Year’s Eve you will find pretty much everyone in a square or plaza hanging out with friends and eating and drinking.  When the clock strikes 12 everyone eats 12 grapes (ideally one for every strike!) and you will have luck all year long.  The grapes here are crazy big and generally have seeds, but you’ll see cans of grapes (conveniently 12 grapes!) for sale that are smaller and easier to eat.

This started one year (many many years ago) with a bigger than normal grape harvest.  The farmers couldn’t get rid of their grapes so they  basically started the tradition! A great way to get rid of the grapes and the start of a fun tradition.

We are generally boring and stay home with the kids because its a bit insane to be out with the kids (although it’s pretty normal to see kids running around that late anyways) but we like to have our grapes at home anyway.  Thankfully I can get some smaller grapes from the commissary so we can actually eat them!