Saturday, July 30, 2011

happy birthday grandma!!

Today is a very special day. Today is my Grandma's birthday!!! Happy Birthday Grandma!!

I love you so much! You are the best Grandma in the world and I am so happy to be able to spend your birthday with you. You have always been there for me, believing in me, and loving me no matter what. You are the most caring and understanding person, so kind and patient. You are the glue that keeps our family together. You have helped make me the woman I am today, and I hope to someday be a fabulously awesome Grandma like you. I hope you have a very special birthday, and don't forget to get on that dance floor and shake it! :)

I love you!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

love is in the air

Just a quick post to say congrats to Brent and Kassidy on their upcoming wedding! I am about to take off for the bay area, and I can't wait for all the festivities!! They are having a gorgeous outdoor ceremony and reception in California's beautiful wine country. We are going to eat, drink and dance the night away. I am very excited to see family and celebrate love.

Go Marriage!!

the happy couple :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

life with a roommate

As most of you know, my sister moved in with me around the time Matt left for deployment. She broke up with her boyfriend and was looking to get out and save some money. So she asked to move in with me and I agreed. I wanted to be the nice big sister and help out. She could stay with me rent free while Matt was gone and we could hang out and spend time together (do some bonding).

The plan was to have her cook most of the time and we would split the cleaning (yay!). I had visions of her helping me with dishes, laundry and the dogs. Some of that came true, and some of it, not so much. There have been ups and downs, but overall I think we have done pretty well living together this second time around. I definitely enjoy the company! And all the trashy shows reality TV. :)

And just the other day I stumbled upon an article I found to be quite useful. Whether you live with a guy, a roommate, or a relative, we could all use this advice.

five ways to divide housework with your guy sister:

1. Communicate: this is key to any relationship. We are so-so in this area. We talk about all sorts of stuff and like hanging out together, but if she does something to make me mad, I usually don't bring it up. I know I should, because it's not healthy to hold it in, but confrontation...eeek. And the awkward silence that follows....double eek!

2. Take Turns: We usually try to take turns doing the daily chores like dishes, garbage, etc. This works out ok, occasionally someone needs to be reminded it's their turn to do a chore. Dog poo just got added to the list too. Fun fun.

3. Have realistic expectations: Ok, I definitely do not have realistic expectations. I'm a neat freak. I love a clean house. That's the only bummer about having a roommate (of any kind), things aren't always the way you like it. That counter you just cleaned yesterday? crumbs....everywhere. Dirty socks all over the floor? Not cool. Gotta learn to just let is go. Pick your battles and work as a team as best you can. I'm trying. :)

4. Divide and Conquer: We do this! Sara cooks, I do the dishes. When we clean the house she does the kitchen, I do the dusting. It definitely takes half the time to clean the whole house when someone else is there helping!

5. Learn to live with messes. No....I don't want to live with a mess.....

Living with a roommate is very different from living with you husband. With Matt, if I need his help, I ask right away. I don't try and take it all on. And if he does something to annoy me, I speak up. We both do. We have to live with each other forever, we need to be able to communicate and work out any issues. I think we work pretty well as a team. But that's why we got married right? :)

Now when Matty returns, and all three of us are living together for a little while....uh oh. Actually, I think fighting over the TV will be the biggest issue. Baby, I'm warning you now, I'm a reality show junkie. Do they have rehab for that? lol.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

the rebuttal

Dear Mr Harsley,

Hi buddy. I am very excited to see you too! I have been gone for far too long but we will be reunited before you know it! And yes, we can go to the beach when I get home. As for the changes that have been made since I left, I have a few comments/suggestions:

1. People food is for people. Jerky and carrots will be distributed to those who patiently wait and do tricks.

2. Dog beach visits are allowable based on good behavior or if there starts to be too many instances of sprinting around the house like a crazy dog.

3. Although protesting may be spot is my spot, no exceptions.

4. Special attention will be abundant upon my return. Reciprocation is mandatory.

5. Mommy and Daddy will work on a more long term solution for a playmate for you upon my return (brown chicken brown cow).

Sending love and cuddles your way. See you soon buddy!!


Monday, July 18, 2011

life is all about change

Dear Daddy,

Hi Daddy. It's me, Mr H. Mommy told me you are coming home soon. I don't know exactly what that means, but she is pretty excited so I am too! And since you have been gone for such a long time (like forever in dog years) I wanted to let you know about a couple of changes that have occurred since you left.

1. When you are eating, I now get to enjoy your food too. It is mandatory that I receive at least one bite, preferably more (especially if you are eating on the couch). Remember: sharing is caring.

2. We must go to dog beach every weekend. No exceptions. I need exercise and sunshine and the beach is perfect for both. :)

3. Since you have been gone for so long, your spot in bed is now my spot. I sleep right next to Mommy and stretch out all over the place. Not sure where you will sleep when you return, but I am willing to negotiate if the price is right.

4. When you come home from work, you must pay attention to me and only me. I need love and cuddles and want to hear about how much you love and missed me. Makes me feel special. :)

5. There are rumors going around that Auntie and Sonny are moving out. I am not a fan of this. I may need a new fur friend to keep me company. I would like to request a dog that is smaller than me so I can dominate them. Thanks so much.

I think that is about it. I am very excited to see you and to spend lots of time together cuddling on the couch. Can we go to the beach when you get back? No walks please, it's not my style. Miss you and love you lots!!

asian mr. harsley. snarfle snarfle

Harley James

Friday, July 15, 2011

almost home!!

Holy Moly time is flying by right now!!! We are officially over 75% done with deployment!! Check out my donut:

**note: this is not 100% accurate due to OPSEC rules, but you get the's close!**

We are so close to Matt's return home I am starting to get a little nervous. And I am so busy I am concerned I won't have everything ready in time. I still have a lot of wedding related events in the next few weeks (which will keep me busy). Then BAM, he will almost be here. I will have all sorts of last minute errands like getting the house is ready, buying stuff to make the welcome home dinner, stocking the fridge with beer, and picking out a super cute dress! I'm excited, happy, nervous, and a little stressed. Mixed emotions for sure. 

According to the stages of deployment I am right on track:

Stage 5: Anticipation of Homecoming (up to 6 weeks before homecoming) :Feelings of joy and excitement, as well as apprehension, surface. This is a time to re-evaluate the marriage. That hole that was left by the deployed spouse has been filled with other activities. Effort is given to "cleaning house" in order to make room for the returning spouse. " I want him/her back, but what am I going to have to give up?" These are real feelings that may cause nervousness, tension and apprehension. Spouses returning from deployment may have feelings such as, "How have we changed? How will I be accepted? Will the children dog know me? Does my family still need me?" Restlessness and confusion may occur. Decisions become harder and may be postponed until after homecoming.

Yep that sounds about right. I am definitely starting to do the "postponing of decisions". I think "Well Matt is almost home so why not wait until he is here and then we can make the decision together?!" (perfect  example is our vacation planning). I also have the "nesting" urge to clean everything! haha! Calm down Shannon, you still have time. lol. Ahhh the ups and downs of deployment. I am just ready for it to be over so we can be together again! Soooo close!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

wine, lilies, and drag queens

Now that I have finally managed to upload my pictures I can give you all the proper recap of my birthday....more like my birthday week. what? doesn't everyone do a birthday week? Shoot...I would do a birthday month if I could get away with it! :)

First up: Flowers! I got a gorgeous set of stargazer lilies from Matty, and a cute multicolored set of roses and lilies from Rachel and Sara.


Don't they just make you smile?? I love flowers, especially when I get them at work. Makes me feel very special! And they made my office smell fantastic. After work Sara, Nicolas, Chris, Brandy and I went out to dinner at this cute Italian place on Coronado. It was so yummy! We enjoyed some great food and fabulous wine. Lots of wine. Followed by a donut hole cake (thanks Sara!):

super creative and very yummy!

On Saturday a bunch of us girls got together for a birthday dinner and drag show at Lips! I had never been there before and figured my birthday was not complete without a drag show. It was really fun and I was so happy to be able to share the experience with some wonderful ladies!

the hostess, me, and birthday picture
Kiki is squeezing my butt pretty hard at this moment

And to complete the birthday week celebrations we took a trip to Temecula to do a little wine tasting. Birthday Wine!! And yes, I told many wineries it was my birthday in hopes of free tastings :). It worked about half the time. It was a gorgeous day out....perfect for wine.
the girls

Mmmm wine. We stopped at 5 wineries, enjoyed a picnic lunch at one of them, and stayed until closing time. Yep, they had to kick us out. And yes, I drank a lot. Gotta get my moneys worth right? It was a really fun day and fabulous birthday. Of course I wish Matt could have been a part of it, but we can celebrate both our birthdays when he gets back home.

wine. lilies. drag queens. damn that's a good birthday.

Thank you to everyone that shared in my special week!! Love you all!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

dream vaca here we come!

It's official, all of our hard work, pain and suffering has finally paid off....we are going to New Zealand and Australia!! Thanks to deployment, both Matt and I working, and saving as much as possible, we were able to book our dream vacation!

After a ton of discussions and some negotiations, we settled on the Royal Caribbean cruise.  We will be doing a 2 week cruise, leaving out of Sydney, Australia, and cruising to New Zealand and back. There will be a lot of amazing port visits and plenty of Clute Adventures (bungee jumping, helicopter tours, wine tasting, zip lining, the works). And after our cruise we will go to Cairns to scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef!

I am so excited to be able to see this part of the world. I have always wanted to scuba dive on The Great Barrier Reef and Matt has been talking about New Zealand forever. And to be able to share these experiences with my best friend and husband.....I could not be happier!! This will be our last big trip before we start a family and we wanted to make it count! I am looking forward to all the wonderful adventures we will take and the fabulous 3 weeks alone with my main squeeze!

Countdown to paradise: 143 days!!!

The Bay of Islands in New Zealand! Can't wait!!
The reef!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Santa rock!

This last weekend I had the pleasure of celebrating the last remaining days of singledom for Miss Jessica Absher, aka my bestie! And damn we had a hella good time!!

When Jess first decided on Santa Barbara I did not think it would be as fun as Vegas. I mean, Vegas is really hard to top. But boy was I wrong! Santa Barbara sits on the coast of California, has beautiful beaches, a cute little town, and a laid back vibe (and its not 110 in the summer!). And bonus: we could walk to everything!

On Friday 11 of us girls drove or flew in for the special occasion. After dropping off our bags we decided it was time for a beverage:
a few of the crew
fireball whiskey...delish!
The fabulous Dana was unable to attend, but her flat companion did tag along

Then we were off to dinner, followed by a lot of dancing! Good times...

And on Saturday we spent the day at a gorgeous house, lounging in the backyard enjoying good food, great friends, and sunshine.
we did not want to leave!

Then it was Mexican food for dinner and dancing the night away in our matching shirts!

We concluded our fabulous trip with brunch at the beach on Sunday:

This really was the best bachelorette party! Everyone got along great, we spent hours talking and reminiscing, and we made some great memories together. I love all you ladies! See you there next weekend???! ;)

p.s. a big thanks to Kerrie who did a great job planning it! Well done.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

its my birthday

Is it weird to wish yourself a happy birthday? If so, oh well! I am the only person writing this blog and I can't let the day go by without a mini celebration!

mmm cupcake!

Even though Matt can't be here to celebrate with me, and I have to be at work today, it has still been a pretty good birthday. I spent most of my weekend in Santa Barbara with a lot of really awesome ladies for Jessica's bachelorette party (more about this later), and last night we had a mini BBQ and watched the fireworks with friends. Tonight I have dinner with some of my favorite people and we will continue the celebration on Saturday when we go see a drag queen show at Lips.

I hope everyone else had a great 4th of July weekend too! Enjoy your summer! And happy birthday to me! :)

"happy birthday mom!"