Tuesday, May 29, 2012


It seems my blog is seeing less of me these days.

But in sharp contrast to that, our dining room table is wondering what the heck happened to its former life of slothfulness.
It is so nice to finally be able to have family dinners on a regular basis!
We've always wanted to, but the last 5 years of operational flying made it almost impossible.

It is just so...nice...to know that Josh will be home at a regular time. Oh, and if I need to reach him during the day, I can! I can text. Or even call.
During our years of "ops" living, I called my husband at work one time.
Once in 5 years.
You see, he might have had a desk, but he was at it so rarely that he never even bothered to give me a number. And they can't carry cell phones because they spend time going in and out of the vault. It holds classified information, so you can't bring phones in. 

The one time I called him, I had to call the duty desk and have him paged.

I was about to give birth to his son, so I deemed it a good enough excuse.

Back to our current assignment--
Lo and behold, he gets breaks throughout the day. Even a lunch break!
I think Josh doesn't quite know what to do with himself.

This is what the last five years looked like:
Josh comes home from a 12-14 hour day at work. He walks in the door appearing like a ravenous beast. He proceeds to sit down and eat an entire 9x13 casserole dish of food.
He looks up halfway through and says:  
Is there anything else to eat? I don't think this is going to be enough.
I only had a chance to eat my can of pineapples during a debrief.

So yeah. This is kind of a nice change. For all of us.

It was another beautiful weekend on the Monterey peninsula. The weather here it seem is always the same. Sunny, mid-60's.
We've been told the warmest months are actually in the fall. But I love sweatshirt weather, so this is lovely.

We made the mistake of trying to go to a nearby state park on Sunday. We quickly remembered that we are lucky enough to be living in a location that people enjoy visiting and touring over holidays. We turned back around and decided we'll just let the visitors have it on the holidays.
It's ours to enjoy every day :)
At least, for now.

Today is Memorial Day.
Saying thanks sometimes doesn't seem adequate for what so many have sacrificed in our country's history. And in the present.

Several weeks back, I posted about the death of a pilot in the F-15E community. I've been thinking of his family today.
And there's not much I can say.

This is his little boy.

And his baby girl. 

      Photo credit:  (USAF Photo/Ken Wright)


A heartfelt thank you to all who have made the ultimate sacrifice, and to their families left behind.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


We went to Big Sur State Park.
It's not very far from here, and to get there you drive down the scenic Route 1.

Which made me a wee bit nervous because there is only about 3 feet of shoulder separating me and my loved ones from a cliff , and the Pacific ocean.

We went hiking. The kids did surprisingly well for the amount of uphill walking.
Josh had to carry me for a little while.
I tire easily.

We saw some big trees.

Redwoods, to be exact.

Then we went to a beach.

Alex had a birthday.

And Derek had a juice box.

Well, technically a juice bag, but it sounds kind of funny when he says that so we stick with juice box.
I don't want anyone to think I approve of my children saying douche bag.

Ahhhhh! It's the head!

Alex thinks it's funny that I find the head a little disconcerting. So she hides it places.
Like in my bed.

It's just my cake in a box.

Don't judge me. She said, and I quote, "Best birthday cake, ever!"
Can we say easy to please?

Today was windy. I could tell from my bedroom window.

I like it here. 
Because I can use my bedroom window to see if the waves are choppy.

-Josh is full swing into his course now. So far, he's enjoying it. It hasn't been overly challenging yet because he did so much Rosetta Stone while in Afghanistan. The pace will probably be picking up soon.
- He's been told to expect between 1 and 3 hours of homework a night.
- That's okay. We'll still see him more than we have for the past several years.
- I hired a tutor to give me Spanish lessons a couple times a week. I start in June.
- I also signed up for a Spanish class that meets one night a week starting in the middle of June.
- It takes us 11 minutes to walk to the aquarium. It's a fun break for when we just have an hour to kill. The kids each can pick a couple things they want to see, and in theory, they get some energy out on the walk.
- In reality, they are still loud and energetic after we get home.
- Alex has 2.5 weeks of school curriculum left.
- The human head weighs 8 pounds.
- Goodnight


Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Bunch of Sentences

Joshua's clase de espaƱol starts tomorrow.
Our lives of leisure are coming to an end.

We've been in California for a month now. Time flies, no?

And our van should be arriving tomorrow.
Let me know if you want to find out the most efficient way to ship a vehicle, and I'll let you know what not to do.

Meanwhile, we've been doing lots of stuff in the Corolla.

Josh and Alex went to Six Flags to ride roller coasters.

But Alex decided that those roller coasters were scarier than the ones at Disney, so instead they got to pet a seal.

Josh was really excited about that, for sure.
But it was fun for them to get a daddy/daughter day in honor of their May birthdays.

My baby. She's going to turn 7 in 2 days.
And teeth are falling out of her head left and right.
And did you hear me say seven? Simply not possible.

 She was so teeny tiny. Not even 7 lbs when she was born.

Which begs the question, why did I gain 40??
But that's neither here nor there.

Look at her now. With her paper flowers and paper vase that she made me for Mother's Day.

 Sniffle, sniffle.

I might cry when she opens her gifts.
Especially because the disembodied head from Pat the Bunny scares me a little.

Yep, she got my daughter a disembodied head for her birthday.
I don't care that you're supposed to fix her hair, she still stares right through me and is decidedly lacking a body.

Moving on.
This is us walking to our beach.

Not to be confused with the myriad of other beaches, our beach is the one we can walk to. 

Other beaches require much driving, like 5 minutes or possibly 10.
Also, do not be confused by that last picture. The water is, indeed, freezing.
She just is not normal.

Now here we are walking to the aquarium.

The kids like the jellies.

I don't want to brag...but do you see our own special entrance?

Yeah. We're members.
You know you've really hit the good life when you're a member of an aquarium.

 His shirt says it all...

We also went about 45 minutes south to Big Sur state park. I would tell you about it, but the accompanying pictures have not made it from my camera to the computer, so I shall force you to wait.

Oh, but you'll never guess my last piece of news.
Attention everyone, but mostly Michelle James.
Yes, you, Michelle.
Since moving to California, I have become a responsible recycler.

Hath Erin begun hugging trees since her move?

Well, not officially. But there is nothing quite as motivating as a huge recycling bin, of which you need not separate, and an eeeeeety beeeeety garbage can.
Like, microscopic.
And you can't put a bag next to it.

So you either reduce your trash, or you live with it for another week.
Hence, I am getting really good at recycling.
Be proud!


Friday, May 11, 2012

Home...for now

I've been avoiding my blog.
I didn't have pictures ready to go for the home tour I promised and I didn't have any good excuses left.

Well, other than having moved in 11 days ago.

But today the friend came over for coffee, so I had incentive to finish up some of the last little bits of unpacking and organizing.

(Yes, I used the term the friend. That would be because I only have one.)

So without further delay, Parade of Homes brings you Schore Casa Numero 6. ¡Es mi favorita!

We're two in a row now for blue houses...

It's built on a hill, so if you come to the front door, you have to climb 2 flights of stairs.

Not gonna lie, our movers hated us.

Here's the entryway. The cute winding stairs go up to the master bedroom.


The door on the left is Alex's room.
She always has some manner of top secret project going on that requires using a lot of floor space and never being able to clean up. 
Crafty, this one is.

Through her room is the Jack and Jill bathroom that separates her bedroom from Derek's.
It's one of the quirks of the house that if a guest needs to use the bathroom, they have to go through one of the kids' rooms.

I'm going to require them to sign a waiver first.
I accept no responsibility if they step on some small toy that feels like a nail.

From Alex's room...

From Derek's room...

This was taken in the bathroom doorway looking into Derek's room. The kitchen is through his other door.

So now let's start over in the entryway. If you turn to the right, you'll be in the dining room.

Remember that piece of furniture I made Josh squeeze into our clown car back in North Carolina?

I still like it. And it even fits. 

Josh gets a little spot for his jet schtuff on one wall.
I'm so generous.

Next comes the living room. With the TV that just won't die.

Here's a view from the kitchen entry looking into the living/dining rooms.

Finally the kitchen is in the back of the house.

And the pantry/laundry room is off the kitchen. 

Behind the house is the garage, and also the method of entry that doesn't require climbing steps.
But you do have to drive through the worst-paved ally known to mankind to get there.

And that rounds out the downstairs.
I shall now magically transport you to the front entryway again:

And you can come upstairs and see my favorite room in the house. Mine!
Oh, I let Josh live there too.
It's kind of me, I know.

Also, he pays all the bills.

At the top of the stairs is our awesome view, of which you cannot see because the angle at which I took the picture.

Oh, and I fear I led some of you to believe that we don't have any type of shades for the windows. We do! There are pull down shades on the lower ones, but they don't keep much light out, and nothing blocks the light coming in from the top half-circle window. Hence the eye-masks.

I love, love, LOVE, that we can have the windows open all day with no screens. Must be the ocean breeze that keeps the mosquitoes at bay, because we haven't seen 'a one.

The ceilings leave all kinds of nooks and crannies around the upstairs.
I love the cozy little nook our bed fits into.

Opposite the foot of the bed are the only spots tall enough to hold our other pieces of furniture...

Around that corner to the right is our closet.

And to the left, this still-not-entirely-put-together bathroom.

Which has my own little spot for getting ready in the morning.

From the window, you can see that around that back corner...

...is another nook we fondly call, storage and/or the art studio.
We're good at multi-purposing.

In fact, I often call the kitchen the burning zone.
See? 2 purposes. 

And there you have it folks. Nuestra casa nueva.
We love it here, and we're already sad to leave.