Back in the US of A

Ah, alas, Mrs. P has returned to the bloggy world I hold so dear to my heart! I hope you all didn't miss me too much! I have had such a fabulous vacation. Cancun with some friends followed by a Carribean family cruise for vacation. Definitely can't complain. I've been soaking up the sun (although I'm still light in color, I do my best...), relaxing, and having fun. I have met some awesome people aboard the Explorer of the Seas and all in all had such a great time I don't even know where to begin to describe it!

We visited San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, Virgin Islands; Samana, Domincan Republic; and Labadee, Haiti. Ariana is officially a world traveler, having been OCONUS for the first time and to foreign countries for the first time. She was such a great traveler, as always, and had so much fun aboard the ship. And of course she stole the hearts of many. She is such a personable little girl.

Puerto Rico was a short stop in the evening. We went to the fort there and got caught in some serious rain which we all found quite funny. We did some shopping and then headed back to the ship. I wished it would have been a longer stop so we could have explored more.

At St. Thomas, my cousins, aunt, and I went snorkling in the blue waters. It was just SO pretty. I saw some fishies and a ship wreck. On the way back they served a rum punch. It tasted rather week and I was pretty thirsty. I accidentally ended up a little drunk - oops. We met up with the fam after the excursion and did some shopping in downtown St. Thomas. Like I said, it's gorgeous there.

Samana was definitely an interesting port of call. The Domincan Republic is a nation that is still in the depths of poverty, by the look of Samana. There were so many people out looking for money. Children were selling shells on the street and asking for a dollar. The people in the shops were incredible pushy. Many people on the cruise actually complained about this port of call, but I actually liked it. The island was absolutely gorgeous. It was just a tropical beauty. And having all of the natives there was a bit frightening for some but I really like to see others' cultures. My cousin and I did an ATV tour there while the rest of the family did a jeep excursion. Riding the ATVs through the jungle was exhilirating and you got to see some real picturesque scenery. Before we did the excursions we hit the shops and took a motorcycle with a cart attached as a taxi. Ariana seemed fascinated by all the people out, she just sat and stared. Like I said, a lot of people complained about this stop but I liked it.

Labadee was just phenomenal. It is Royal Carribean's private part of Haiti so it was just the cruisers, cruise staff, and a few locals working who were there. The beach was beautiful and it was another gorgeous tropical paradise. My cousins and I did the mountain rollercoaster, which was a quick ride and not as fun as I had hoped it would be but it wasn't awful. Then we did the longest zipline over water. That was a fun ride with spectacular views. What's better than flying over clear blue water, right in the open held up by nothing but a harness?! Then we got some serious beach time in. Ariana liked the water until she sat down and a small wave came making her rock a little bit, then she was done. And she was not having the sand. But we ended up taking a nice hour nap together under an umbrella which was pretty special. She's such a good baby on the beach. She loved watching the zipliners zoom by and she liked peaking outside of the umbrella at all the people on the beach.

The ship itself was definitely fun. I took Ariana to the Ice Show which was awesome. Ice skating on a ship - doing the turns and jumps and even back flips - I don't know how they do it! Ari was fascinated by the lights and music and flashy costumes. At night, I got my boogie on in the little dance club (or disco) that they had and was happy to make lots of friends aboard the ship. I also hit it up in karaoke a few times - I guess I was feeling brave. I participated in quite a few of the games they had and ended up being known as the "Ukranian Gymnast" towards the end for a split I pulled during one crazy game show.

Ariana enjoyed eating lots of delicious cruise foods and has now seriously cut down her interest in baby food - she is such a big girl. We enjoyed lots of family time during the day and Ari also enjoyed being with her great aunt and uncle and second cousins. We got some great photos so you'll have to stay tuned for when I finally get them uploaded I will do a photo post.

I definitely have had a lot of fun and wasn't so happy to be back in the cold. But I suppose every vacation must come to an end and apparently we're at that time... until next time ;)

So there ya have it, what I've been up to for the last couple weeks, no worries, I'll be around more now that we're not traveling all over for a while at least!


Ah I should totally start a travel blog. Right now I'm writing to you from the gorgeous balcony of a suite in Cancun, Mexico overlooking an amazing pool and an even more amazing clear blue ocean. I know I haven't even updated on San Diego or the ball but hey, I've been on the go. So I will brief you a little on what you've missed.

San Diego was a complete blast. I loved it. The weather, the atmosphere, everything. The western move is still just an idea and I haven't decided 100%. I wish I could give it a trial run and just be there for a few months to see if it's a good fit or not. Maybe. We'll see. I did the whole touristy thing and went to Ocean Beach and enjoyed lunch looking out on the water, hopping across beach rocks, and drank Margaritas in the middle of the day. There's really not much to tell except that it was fantastic, sunny, and I loved it. Oh and I went and saw Camp Pendleton... I thought Lejeune was big til I saw CP.... WOW.

The ball was... much, much harder than I'd anticipated. I didn't realize all the ceremonies and talk of the fallen would happen and it was just tough. I was with a fellow widster and we had a hard time keeping it together. We actually ended up walking out of the beginning part because we were falling apart a little bit and needed a breather. I felt extremely bad and apologized to the BC for it, I knew Jonny wouldn't have wanted me to walk out but it was just... so hard. Of course the BC had no problem with it and understood. He seems like a really nice man who genuinely cares about our Marines and families and it was great to meet him (he's a new BC, not the same as the deployment). I was a little self conscious about my dress because it was a bit on the flashy side (gold and sparkly) but it received great reviews so I think I pulled it off. It was a lot of dress to handle but I felt gorgeous and when I look at the pics I really think I rocked it ;) I enjoyed dancing with my friends and being with the Marine Corps family but there certainly was no shortage of tough spots. It was more reality. I think half of me expected Jonathan to walk in, if I just went he'd come... and it was more reality to sink in that he's not coming home. But I did it and I think he'd be proud that I went and represented our family.

Now I'm just sitting here in Mexico with some of my closest college friends and some new friends enjoying the time relaxing and to just be. I miss my daughter like crazy though and am definitely ready to be back in mommy mode. I'm only here for a few days and then I'll be back with my little babe so I will enjoy the time to just be and then I will definitely enjoy the time being back with her and the fam.

Happy Birthday, USMC

Taking a break from the regularly scheduled San Diego update (I know, you're all itching to hear and see pics) for a little Marine Corps bus-nazz.

So here we are at 235 years. First and foremost, thank you to all of our Marines out there. (All our service members, of course, but hey, it's the USMC Birthday!) You guys are doing a wonderful thing for our nation and I am so proud of you and what you do.
Thank you to my babe for his service and sacrifice. You make me proud to say I am your wife. I am honored that you chose me to share your life with and to be the mother of our beautiful daughter. I don't think I can ever say how thankful I am to have you and how proud I really am of you.
Thank you to all those who have gone before and after him, you are true heroes.

I would like to share a few things with you in celebration of this.
First, I received an email about a new channel on Hulu.
The founder of has informed me that Hulu now has a patriotic station! And if you're curious
", is an online video portal dedicated to telling the inspiring stories of Americans in uniform" and you should definitely check it out. See some motivational videos and appreciate all that those in the service have done for you.
You also might wanna check out (I know, this is my Marine Corps birthday post, but I'm gonna wrap Veteran's day into it a little bit as well considering it's right around the corner) Anyway, they have invited people to go on the site and not only read the stories but share their own stories of the veterans in their lives - all service branches. I've met the folks that work for Army Strong Stories, and they are some really cool people. Head here to share your story.

Ok, back to my Marines. This is a pretty awesome video of a gunny from 1/6 (Jonny's battalion!) getting his Marines pumped and ready for Marjah (language, remember, Marines... war...)

And the new Marine Corps recruitment commercial. Those recruitment commercials always get me feeling so motivated

And let's not forgot the Valor-IT contest is still going on, so get those donations pumping in honor of these fine men and what they do for this country!

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Most Exciting 45 Min Flight Ever

I wrote this on the plane on Friday evening, but I haven't been around a computer or wireless connection in the last 4 days, just me and my iPhone, so here it is now. Be ready for a posting- playing catch up spree.

Well, I am well on my way to San Diego where I have high hopes for a fun (and maybe even successful?) weekend. The first flight this morning was pretty interesting, though. I sat next to a very friendly grad student, who of course I didn't get his name but I am confident he will check this out, so "Big shout out, new friend!"

Now when I say "nice" flight, don't assume it was a calm flight. That was by no means the case. This was the smallest plane I've been on, and remember, I regularly fly out of Jacksonville, which I'm pretty sure is the nation's smallest airport with only "express planes." This too, was an express plane, but as my in flight accomplice (we'll get to that in a minute) pointed out, it was certainly very "cozy." Actually, the propellers were on the outside of the plane. Not inside, like a jet engine. Right... outside. Right near our row of the plane in fact. Hey there propeller, meet my face. They provided this sweet ambiance which set the mood for the whole trip - a nice steady hum (think swarms of very large bees on either side of your head) and a good steady vibration coming up through our shoes was definitely a great relaxation tool. This flight made us feel that we were under constant G Pressure, not unlike the spinny rides (centrifugal force rides, for those of us who have awesome vocab - flight accomplice, but not this girl) where you try to pick your leg up and it's so hard. I was afraid I'd been unknowingly signed up for astronaut training but it certainly provided discussion topic and something to laugh about. And then came the headphones.

You see, my row-sharer had bought a pair of headphones he wanted to open and did so by instead of following the how-to-open procedure, he ripped apart the case. Typical dude, right ladies? Well then, this girl decided I wanted MY headphones open. I, however, did not have the case that had some sort of open procedure, it was clearly a "cut me to get me open" kind. There was no way that this was stopping me though, those headphones were coming out. Let's just say I violently destroyed the plastic case bare-handed and came out with only one small wound where the plastic snuck up and bit my finger. The whole time my accomplice was cheering me on and it was evident we were basically the only people having a blast on the flight. He was pretty stoked when I got the final rip of the plastic and tore out my headphones and I must say I had an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment and general badassness.

The feeling of how badass I am, however, completely disappeared when I LOUDLY yelled WOAH during our rough landing. I mean LOUD. Neither me nor my new travel friend had been paying attention to how close we were to landing, as we were busy celebrating the opening of the headphones, and when we hit, we hit hard. And anyone who knows me, knows that sometimes I really can't control what comes out of my mouth or the volume with which it escapes. Ha. Definitely a memorable little flight and now to finish flight number two!

Thank you, fellow traveler, for making the flight a fun one and at least letting me think I'm hilarious for a few seconds. Just goes to show you, friends, like I said in a few posts back, always take time to meet new people! You never know when someone will be rooting on you and your headphones!

(San Diego, stay tuned... love)

Missing again

I'm on the go (again) so don't be surprised if you don't hear from me as much as usual. I came up to Maryland to visit and spend Halloween up here and all that good stuff. Got to go out Saturday and Sunday night and had a great time! I really do enjoy dressing up for Halloween. We had the Halloween wedding of a family friend on Saturday during the day and that was a lot of fun. I went Friday night and got a $25 costume. It turned out pretty cute though. It was a flamenco dancer-type ensemble. Or as we later determined it, "a hot mamacita" haha.

I am on the go again starting Friday and it will be non stop throughout the month. I'm pretty excited though, I think it will be a great time. I am going to San Diego on Friday to check things out, to really evaluate the moving situation. Then I've got the Marine Corps ball in NC, then Mexico with some friends for a couple days and then a cruise with the family. Go-go-go!! Definitely good for the "keeping busy" I am afraid I'm going to need an entire month of travel recovery though. Pray that I can keep up with this and not crash!

And lastly, but certainly not least, have you headed over the Valour IT fundraiser yet? Come on team Marines!! In honor of the Marine Corps Marathon (awesome article about one Marine making sure another's dream of running the marathon came true even though he was injured) this past weekend I think all you lovely people should head over and donate at least one dollar. ;) But hey, that's just what I think ;)

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