Saturday, June 26, 2010

Mark’s Israel trip

This last TDY Mark was on was to Israel.  He couldn’t tell me where he was going before hand, but he could show me the pictures once he got back.  If I asked him to write this blog, it would no kidding, take him at least a few hours to do it, whereas it’ll take me about 10 mins.  So all this info is 2nd hand.  He told me all the stores the day after he got back, which was a good 3 weeks ago, but I’ll tell you what I remember.

This is out in the middle of nowhere Israel, which I guess is what the majority of Israel looks like. IMG_0223

This is Masada National Park.  Apparently the Sicarii built this huge fort on top of this big hill and lived there, until the Roman’s came along.  The Roman’s built this big ramp up to this fort, took them days to do it and when they’d finally completed it, the stopped for the day and were planning on invading the fort the next day.  Apparently the Sicarii knew the Roman’s would either kill them or make slaves, so all the Sicarii committed suicide to prevent that fate and the Roman’s came up the next day to a fort full of dead people.  You can read more about it HERE. IMG_0252 IMG_0268

This is the ramp the Roman’s built. IMG_0281 IMG_0305

View of the Dead Sea from the fort.

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The Dead Sea near Jerusalem I think.

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I *think* this is a view of Bethlehem as seen from Jerusalem.  They’re in the process of building a huge wall to separate the two since the people in the two cities don’t get along at all due to the whole Muslim and Jewish thing.

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More Jerusalem.


This is the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount.  Click HERE for more info on that.

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The Wailing Wall.


They went swimming in the Dead Sea one day.  Mark said it was really weird.  Because it’s like 30% salt or something, you float REALLY easily.  There are pictures of guys floating on their sides.  Mark said you do NOT want to get this water in your eyes though.


He got me a few lotions from the area and they work REALLY well.  He got me this mineral foot stuff and my feet haven’t been this smooth in a LONG time.  It works great.

Overall, I think he really enjoyed his time in Israel, despite being away from Abbie for so long.

Our 4th anniversary

June 24th was Mark and my 4th anniversary.  It’s still hard to believe that I’m married to him at all sometimes.  I catch myself, every so often, having flashbacks from when we were in Milwaukee together.  We’ll be walking somewhere around Europe, and I’ll think back to all those times I was walking with him somewhere in Milwaukee, before we were even dating, thinking about what the future would be like with him.  I never imagined our life together would be as wonderful as it has been so far.    Granted, it’s not all roses and puppies, and him being gone for long periods of time, and at work for 12-14 hours a day when he is in the country completely sucks.  Being a single parent 75% of the time wasn’t what I had bargained for when I got married, but such is life in the military.  Mark and I make a really good team, I think, and we really balance each other out.

This is the very first picture I have of Mark and me.  It was taken in Sept of 2004, I n mark

New Year’s Eve 2004


June 2005, in Destin, FL

us on the jet ski  

June 2006


June 2007, shortly after we got Sadie


June 2008, in Oklahoma


June 2009, with a 1 month old, Abbie


June 24, 2010


Mark, my life with you is better than I ever could have even imagined.  Things just keep getting better and better (except for the “you being away all the time” part).  I love you more than words can describe.  Can’t wait to see what the next year has in store for us.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Abbie Rose is 13 months old!!

On Father’s Day, Abbie turned 13 months old.IMG_6987(This is Brittney, for those of you who wanted to know what she looks like.  Abbie REALLY likes Brittney, probably because she sees Brittney more than she sees Mark at times…)

Here are her 13 mo. stats:

  • She wears size 3 diapers.
  • She wears mostly 12 mo. clothes, with a few 18 mo. thrown in the mix.
  • She’s still only “walking” on her knees.  She’s not up on her feet yet.
  • She can say about 8-10 words, and she tries to repeat almost anything you say.
  • She knows about 15 signs, and uses them frequently.
  • She goes to bed around 9pm and gets up around 9am and is consistently sleeping through the night and rarely cries when we put her to bed, even if she’s awake.  (I NEVER thought I’d actually be able to say that…)  She takes a 1-2 hr nap every day.
  • She LOVES being outside or out and about and she likes to get dirty.
  • She loves to dance and she climbs on just about anything she can.
  • The kid could live on cheese.  She still LOVES cheese.  And peaches.  She’d eat 3 peaches at a time if I let her, but I don’t.
  • She has 7 teeth and I think she might be getting a few molars.

IMG_7011The major change this month, is that I stopped breastfeeding her on her 13 month birthday.  I have such mixed emotions about this and mostly it makes me sad because it’s just another sign that she’s not a baby any more.  But I finally came to the realization that she’s not going to be a baby anymore whether I nurse her or not.  She was slowly weaning herself anyway, and she didn’t ever want to sit still long enough to make nursing worth it, so we stopped.  Plus I’m sick  again, for about the 10th time since we’ve been here, and I wanted to load up on meds (which would pass through milk), so I took that as a sign from God that it was time to stop.  So it’s bittersweet to stop nursing her, but I guess we’re both ready for a new phase.  She’s still getting bottles of organic whole milk and she’ll get that until she’s at least 2.IMG_7498

Abbie is such a joy to be around.  She’s such a happy little girl, for the most part, and loves getting in to everything and making big messes.  If she does something she knows she’s not supposed to do, she’ll shake her head no while she’s doing it, which cracks me up.  I just can’t imagine our lives without this little thing in it.  She gave us a huge run for our money the first 6-8 months of her life, but now I can honestly say being her parent is pretty easy.  (Knock on wood.)  I’m not really in any hurry for her to walk because I know that’ll bring a whole new ball game to the table.  I like things the way they are for right now. IMG_7373

Happy Father’s Day

I’m very blessed to have amazing men in my life, my dad and my husband.  I remember hearing, or maybe it was reading, that women tend to marry guys that are similar to their dad’s, and in my case, that holds very true.   Mark and my dad are quite similar in many ways, the least of which is that they’d do anything for their daughters (including buying a car from them, and then buying that same come FROM them so they could buy a different car… Thanks dad!).  I know I have a very special bond with my dad, and I see Abbie forming that with Mark, and that makes me very happy.

See the similarities for yourself…

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Thank you, dad, for always being there for me when I need advice or encouragement, and for all you’ve taught me and done for me.  If we can give Abbie half as good of a childhood as I had with you and mom, we’ll be doing good.

And thank you, Mark, for being an amazing daddy to Abbie.  You’re such a hands-on dad, and your love for her is written all over your face EVERY time you look at her and I know that she loves you just as much as I do.

Happy Father’s Day.  I love you both.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Lake Bled

Lake Bled is a very popular tourist attraction in Slovenia.  I think lots of people go there to camp and for the beautiful scenery.  We went to check out the castle and the town.

Here are Mark and Ryan on the way up to the castle.  Luckily you could drive most of the way up and only had to walk a short distance. IMG_7473 IMG_7483

This is the castle that they have turned into a museum.  It’s not at all “castle-ish” on the inside since it’s been completely renovated.  It looks like a modern museum inside, which was kind of disappointing. IMG_7509

The views from the castle were amazing though, despite the fact that it was raining and foggy.

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Here’s the view of the town of Bled, from the castle.  Lake Bled is a glacial lake located in the Julian Alps.


You can see the castle we toured on the right side of this picture, and on the left is the only natural island in Slovenia.

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We’d like to go back sometime when the weather is a little better so we can see more of the surrounding areas and take a bike ride around the lake.