Top Fifteen Things from 2009 (in no particular order)

1. Got my cute baby girl Halpert. I don't remember life before her cute little self
2. Fat kid was born. Love her to death.
3. Visited Nauvoo, Illinois for the first time. So much driving and so much fun.
4. Cruised the Greek Isles and made a few stops in Turkey. Probably the best trip of all time.
5. Rode/got mangled by a Donkey, thanks Conor.
6. Drove to California all by myself. Well I didn't make it past Vegas. The car broke down (frightening) and I had to be rescued. Thanks again Conor, I love you.
7. Went back to school... for myself.
8. Played more soccer than I have since I was in High School. I remember why I love it so much.
9. Learned to drive a stick shift. Also learned that I'm a cry baby who can't handle the pressure and that there are some things that I'm just never going to be good at.
10. Saw Phantom of the Opera in Vegas. Sat right under the Chandelier.
11. Sent Conor off to Afghanistan. This is the last one. I've been promised.
12. Saw the baby girl and her parents get sealed in the Temple. Glad I could be there for them.
13. Celebrated my 3 year anniversary. Alone, again. 4th one is a charm.
14. Sold my first items on-line. I had never tried before. It was a success.
15. Let myself be influenced by the music. Happens every year.

News from Afghanistan

I realize that this picture is actually from Iraq but I have yet to receive any Afghanistan pictures.

Things are good in Afghanistan. It's a lot different than the last deployment. He doesn't work nights first of all so that makes our schedules exactly opposite. Afghanistan is eleven and a half hours ahead of Utah. I have never heard of a half hour time zone before but they do exist. What this means is Conor is getting up right as i'm going to sleep and going to bed right as I'm getting up. There are about 6 hours a day when we are up the same time. 3 in the morning and 3 at night. Because he's not working nights he doesn't have the same phone access that he did. He actually has to take turns. So I've only talked to him on the phone a couple times since he's been gone. On the up side, I do get an email almost every day. If not every day, every other day.
I've made a lot of friends with other wives this time around and it's actually pretty nice to have someone to talk to who knows exactly what you are going through. They don't ask you the questions that bug the crap out of you because they bug them just as much. Plus is nice to have friends to hang out with that are married but single. That's the hardest part about hanging out with friends. If you hang out with married people it's hard cause you're alone. If you hang out with your single friends they usually want to go out and do single stuff and that's really not my scene.
Conor doesn't tell me much of anything but that is who he is. I do know it's cold, the bathroom situation is terrible, and the food is awful. If I do get anymore news i'll keep an update going.

Michael Bublé

So anyone who knows me knows that I enjoy me a little Michael every now and again. With this last CD of his it's gotten really bad. Sometimes, I listen to the stupid thing all day every day on repeat. I am in need of a music intervention. Someone help me.
The sad part is that I don't get sick of it. I still sing along with every word, blast my favorite parts, and get a little girly with it on occasion. I really should be shot.
That being said, he's a great singer and I love his CD's. I know he doesn't really write much of his own and remakes songs so that might turn you off a little, but if you haven't tried or aren't a fan at all maybe you should rethink things and give it a shot.

I'm actually a little disgusted by this admission but it's the truth. Don't judge me. I'll still kick the crap out of anyone.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad.

As an Anniversary gift to my parents we decided to throw a party at their house without them or their permission.

Few people know that Katie, Blake and I do Martha night on a not very regular basis. In fact, this last weekend was only our 3rd Martha Stewart night since it began almost a year ago. It's really stupid and lots of fun. We make food, something we've never made before, and do a "craft" of some sort. It doesn't always turn out the way we want and it's not always good but we sure do have a lot of fun. This time was Sushi night. We had plans to make bracelets as well but we never quite got to that part.

I spent the rest of the weekend having a sleepover with baby girl. Here are a few pictures of what we did.

Ford Mustang

Took a short weekend trip to visit Conor. It was really short. I left Saturday at 2pm and was back Monday at 4pm. He only had Sunday off so we did what we could. I landed in San Deigo about 350pm and took the shuttle to get my rental car. I stood in line from 4pm until 525pm. You can imagine the attitude I had when I finally got up to the counter for my car. As a treat to me, I got an upgrade to a better faster car... 2009 Ford Mustang.

Tennis for Champions!

At the beginning of summer Katie and I decided that we were going to try our hand at Tennis. She was looking for a sport that she'd enjoy doing to get a little extra workout in every now and then without having to run on a treadmill. Which I agree, sucks! We haven't had a lot of luck with vacations and the schedules just never matching up. Yesterday, we finally got our chance. We went down to Target and bought us some cheap rackets, stole my dogs Tennis ball and had ourselves a match. We're both really good so it was a lot of chasing balls and standing around chatting. I think overall it was an excellent experiment and very soon might become our summer tradition. After all, we don't want to waste our brand new Tennis rackets. And if things work out as planned, you can find us in the Olympics one day.

Recent Adventures

So we finally did it. We finally planned that trip to Greece we always wanted.

Conor and I both have vacation lists. It includes all the places in the world we want to some day visit. The list is quite lengthy so we've made it a goal to get a good jump on things while we are still young. We usually plan to go early in December for our anniversary (when the flights are cheap) but with the way the dang marine corps has been doing things these days we just have to take them as we can get them.
I'm not sure how public the knowledge is at this point but I’m pretty sure that most people know that Conor will be leaving with the Marines for a year in Afghanistan. While this news sucks, it allowed us to plan a big nasty trip and use the excuse "Conor is going back to the war". So we compared travel lists and picked a place that we had in common that would be come increasingly difficult once the children arrive, it is for this reason that we have not yet gone to Disneyland together.

We ended up picking Greece. I spent a day at work looking up vacations and dates and as much information as I could. We found a little cruise line that takes you to several Greek Islands as well as makes stops at some of the cooler places in Turkey. We liked the two for one idea and I’d always heard that Istanbul was really awesome. So we worked out dates and planned our flights and the trip was set.

Istanbul, Turkey- This was awesome!! I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. We went to all the fun places you talk about in art history class including the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia. We ended up spending a few lira at the grand bazaar as well but that's to be expected.

Gallipoli- On the boat ride from Istanbul to Kusadasi we went right passed the Gallipoli peninsula. I was amazed by Conor's knowledge during this stretch of the trip. He knows so much, more than he lets on I think. We were sailing by and he was telling me all about what happened and how many had died and who was there and I was just blown away by how much he knew about it. He finished his little spiel and the guy driving the boat chimed in with his thoughts on what happened there, less eloquently than Conor I might add. That kid has got a memory on him.

Kusadasi, Turkey- We took a tour of the ancient city Ephesus. We went to the Virgin Mary's home, the Tomb of St. John the Baptist, and the ruins inside the Ephesus city walls. This place was crowded!! Oh and it was also like 1,000,000 degrees! So nasty.

Rhodes, Greece- Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Too bad, there is nothing left to see. I'm sure it was cool though. It was kinda fun to talk around town and realize that they have just built all there shops and restaurants in to the old castle walls.

Bodrum, Turkey- We visited the Underwater Archaeological museum that was actually part of some ancient castle. While it was cool to walk through the castle the name of the museum is misleading. Once you've paid your fee and entered the gate they have a sign posted stating that none of the museum is actually underwater but there was a section in the museum of items that they found under the water. While still cool... everyone was expecting something completely different.

Santorini, Greece- I really enjoyed myself here. We were up pretty early this morning and were out on the deck when we pulled up to the dock. It was really amazing to see the way the city sits on the cliff with the sun coming up just behind it. You come in to the port at the bottom of this drop off cliff and you can ride a cable car to the top, or you can walk, or you can ride a donkey. Of course, we picked the donkeys.
I thought I was going to die. They throw you on a donkey, give them a shove and hope they find their way. Two times I went off the trail and some Greek dude had to push the donkey back on the path. I was nearly killed when smashed between my donkey and another one coming the other direction. I have a sweet shin bruise to show for it. At the time, I did think I was going to have to amputate.
Once at the top we decided to explore a little so we rented an ATV and just cruised the island all on our own. It was probably one of my favorite stops on the trip. There wasn't a whole lot to see but it was nice to do whatever we wanted.

Mykonos, Greece- We were pretty tired by this time. We had a really hard time getting on a good schedule while we were there. 10 days is just not enough time to adjust. So we planned to spend the day at the beach and not really do a whole lot. We went swimming, relaxed in the hot tub and read our books on the boat deck. It was a much-needed break.

Athens, Greece- You hear Athens and you think, sweet tourist spot. This is just not so. I was surprised by the condition of things there. You know it's a bad sign when the cab driver taking you to your hotel warns you not to stop and talk to the large groups of men on the street and if you can help it don't even walk by them cause they are probably doing or selling something illegal. It was completely filthy, trash all over the streets and walkways, there was graffiti on every wall, and just as promised guys were selling stolen passports and drugs and stolen phones on the side of the road.
We hiked to the Acropolis and saw the Parthenon. It was so crowded up there. I'll be honest it was really cool to be there and awesome to see but it was a bit of a let down for me at the same time. The whole thing was under construction and there is scaffolding all over. You can't get a picture from any angle that doesn’t show that they are doing work. It really just took a little tiny bit away from my experience there. It was awesome to stand on the edge and look over at just how huge Athens is.