The journey of a thousand miles begins with...the perfect pair of shoes.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010: A Year In Review

I can't believe 2010 is almost over! Doesn't it seem like it just started? Where does the time go? It's been a busy and surprising year. Let's look back, shall we?

Travel! We did loads of traveling this year!
*Poland (James Bond, not me-he was called Mr.HH then)
*Barcelona, Spain
*Tunis, Tunisia
*Naples and Pompeii, Italy
*Rome, Italy
*La Spezia and Pisa, Italy
*Ajaccio, Corsica
*Villa France, France
*Monte Carlo, Monaco
*Warwick, England (this one got a second post)
*Wiltz, Luxembourg
*Bastogne, Belgium
*Garmisch, Germany

Whew, I'm exhausted just thinking about all that traveling!  It was loads of fun though. 

Indy had a big year.  He turned 8 and went to Legoland, had a pirate party, started 3rd grade (homeschool of course), swam in the Mediterranean, got a letter from President Obama, and skied the Alps.  He also got dyslexia therapy and finally grasped reading!  This was my personal favorite thing that happened this year.

This year James Bond and I both turned 37 (he in Jan and me in March), celebrated 15 years of marriage, drank loads of wine, spent countless hours watching the World Cup (Germany came so close), and got a sweet (but crazy) new girl.  I found further proof that Edward and I are meant to be, and think Johnny Depp might be checking up on meCall me. I love you!

The biggest surprise/shock/unexpected bit of craziness of 2010 though came back on August 27th, when I took 5 pregnancy tests and they ALL came up positive

Of course 2010 wasn't all sunshine, soccer and traveling..  This year we sadly, and with broken hearts, said goodbye to our beautiful 14 year old girl, Pepper.  It's been 6 months now, and I miss her every day.   And not as sad, but just before Thanksgiving, I ended up with food poisoning and landed in the hospital, which was less than fun.

It looks like 2011 will be a whopper of a year (what with a new baby and all).  I look forward to sharing it all with you guys.  I wish you all a peaceful, prosperous, happy, healthy and high-heeled new year. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Decor 2010

Well, now that it's all over, I guess I could show you my Christmas decor, huh? We were down in Garmisch during all the holiday posting hoopla and I missed all the parties. Sadness. Still, if you'd like to look, here it is. Click on the individual photos to enlarge.

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Hope you liked it!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

How did you spend the day after Christmas????

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! It started snowing here on Christmas Eve and by morning we had about 6" on the ground. No dreaming of a white Christmas for us! Believe it or not, we actually had to wake Indy up at 8am! What kid sleeps in on Christmas? He had a great time and got loads and loads of gifts. Lego's, Lego's and more Lego's! Since we had lots of people coming over (including young children) we didn't let him open any of the big sets, which was pure torture. He woke up at 7:15 this morning (I think something is wrong with him) and after taking the dogs out, we got to work. He and I put together Lego castle that was 423 pieces. It took about an hour. After that we really got down to business. He asked Santa for the Lego Medieval Village and the big guy delivered. This thing is 1601 pieces!  Normal Lego sets come in numbered bags and you put together the bags in order.  Not so, this set.  There were about 12 bags of random pieces that needed to be sorted by color.  It took me, Indy and my mom (Gigi) a little over an hour just to sort!  I had used my 3 tiered server for Christmas and it came in handy for sorting Lego pieces (I'm really getting my money out of it).  James Bond and my step-dad (Papa) came back from the store and Indy, James Bond and I set to building.  Four and half HOURS later we were finished (and I never want to see a Lego again).  I have to say this is a really, really cool set with great details.  Have a look:

The whole shebang!

Blacksmith and stables

The Inn and market

Outdoor restaurant and town tree (notice the frog and duck)

Close up of the market-there's even a price chart

There's even a rooster!

And a chicken!

The inside of the Blacksmith and stables.  The stove on the second floor actually opens and has fire in it.

The waterwheel actually moves the hammer up and down!

Inside of the Inn.There's even a beer barrel.  Can't have an inn without a beer barrel!

Check out the fireplace with fire!

He got 4 more sets that have to be put together.  They'll have to wait another for another day though.  Sigh.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Skiing the Alps

Sorry I've been MIA for so long, but, well, I've been busy. My mom (Gigi) and stepdad (Papa) arrived on the 7th and then we went to Bastogne, Belgium for the Battle of the Bulge memorial walk, and THEN down to Garmisch for a week of sightseeing in the cold and snow.
The first day we were in Garmisch, they were scheduled to go on a day trip to Innsbruck, Austria, but the weather was NOT cooperative, so the tour was canceled. There were already about 2.5 feet of snow on the ground and it was falling fast.  Indy had mentioned wanting to learn to ski while we were in the Alps, so I called the Hausberg ski lodge and got him into a ski class (even when the weather is bad, you can still ski). He was so excited. He'd never been on skis before and I was terribly nervous (I did not want him breaking anything a week before Christmas-well, ever really, but still).  The Hausberg has a private ski slope and for use by beginners only though, so that made me feel better.  We got there and suited him up (good golly did that take forever) and off to the slopes he went.  He had a great time!  I sat in the lodge drinking hot chocolate and watching him through the windows.  Not a bad way to spend a snowy day if you ask me.
He spent about 3 hours on the slopes and by the end of it was flying down the hill like a pro.  He had such a good time!  The next day Gigi and Papa went on a tour of a cheese factory and the Ettal Monastery, so I took Indy back to the Hausberg for more skiing.  He spent about 4 hours zipping and zooming down the hill like he was born on skis.  I suppose if you're going to learn to ski, doing so on the Alps is the way to do it.  Check out my little ski pro.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Names on a wall

If you did a random survey of the military today, asking why someone joined, you'd get a variety of answers. Some joined because they felt it their patriotic duty, some for the steady paycheck (no matter how small) in an unstable job market, some to see the world, some to get off the small farm they grew up on (or away from the big city), and others because they had nothing better to do. Sixty-nine years ago, the answers would likely have been the same. For those joining the Navy, an assignment to Hawaii was likely a dream come true. Travel wasn't as easy or cheap as it is today and a visit to Hawaii was something most of them would never have thought even remotely possible. For thousands of young men (and a few young women) a posting to the Pacific Fleet was the assignment of a lifetime. Outside their duties were beaches, bars, and the opposite sex in a lush paradise. Life likely seemed perfect.
In the early morning hours of December 7, 1941, this dream assignment became a living nightmare as the Japanese dropped bombs over the fleet and surrounding bases. Chaos ensued as sailors, some just boys realy, stumbled from their bunks, many still sleeping or tired from just getting of watch and some still a little hungover from the previous night's carousing. They did not yet know it, but they were in the middle of a major event in world history.
More than 2400 men (and a few women) lost their lives that day. More than 1100 were wounded.
Today, despite the horror and heroics of that fateful day, they are mostly forgotten. Sixty-nine years ago though, they were fathers, sons, brothers, mothers, daughters and sisters. They had families "back home" who loved and cared for them and looked forward to receiving letters filled with their adventures on that far away island. It's easy to forget that they were real people, not just names on a wall or characters played by actors in Hollywood blockbusters. Some were long time Navy vets close to retirement, and others were just at what should have been the beginning of their lives.  On that morning, some of those men became heroes.  Others became a name on a wall.  Remember them today, not as a name, but as a person with hopes and dreams for a life that was cut short in an instant.

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