Tuesday, November 3, 2009

El Paso Zoo

We have been all about trying everything El Paso has to offer so this week we made our way to the El Paso Zoo. The sign outside boasts they have 20 endangered species at the zoo! The place was so small that I'm not sure there was many more than 20 animals in total. Maybe I missed something? Either way we had a great time. In my opinion there is a lot to be said for a small Zoo. You get to see it all and you don't have to spend the whole day there dragging the kids all over the place.Last year we went to the Bronx Zoo in NY and it was so huge and crowded that it was hard to see anything and we ended up leaving early...only to find that while we had been inside we got a parking ticket for parking too close to the fire hydrant. I can't tell you how much we spent last year on parking tickets but it was a lot! No more of that here, that's the beauty of having your own garage!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

White Sand National Monument

Yesterday we drove the the White Sands National Monument. By far one of the funnest/coolest places I've ever been, and I've been to some fairly cool places in my time i.e. The Eiffel Tour, London Bridge (and a few others).

The sand basin was formed by gypsum desposites millions of years ago, or something to that affect. All the sand is piled high so what you do is buy a sled and slide down the drifts of sand like you would in the snow. Haylie loved it, and I thought it was super fun too! Everything was so white I felt like it was snow. It didn't help that it was FREEZING. I mean freezing, it snowed on the way back and the wind was whipping all around. We should have dressed warmer, but we didn't think it was going to be that cold. In fact, last night when Tom took Wedge out it was snowing at our place! This is El Paso, I didn't think we were going to get snow. This morning when I walked out side there was snow all over the Franklin Mountains! Yikes.

We had a blast, and it was one of the first days Tom has had off in awhile. What a fun family adventure!

The Things Tom built

Because I have expensive tastes and we currently don't have the pocket book to match Tom has become a carpenter.

Haylie has graduated to a twin bed. She kept falling off of her toddler bed mattress. I looked and looked for a modern kids bed that was affordable and it wasn't out there. All of the beds I liked had a price tag of 900-2,000, for a kids bed! Come on, it's just wood and a non-toxic finish! So I had Tom make a replica of one of the beds I loved. He did a pretty fantastic job. I should have posted a picture of the actual frame, because it's impressive. It's hasn't been stained and sealed yet because I've had a hard time finding a non-toxic stain here in El Paso and I have to special order one. I'll post the pictures of the finished product once it's all done.

The other thing Tom built was our media console. Once again I fell in love with one I found at Room and Board in NYC. Couldn't afford it, and since it's just wood, Tom decided he could make it. It houses all of our cables, DVD stuff, XBox360, Wii, Playstation3, and even has enough room for Haylie and Huck to go inside one of the cabinets and have small party. The picture doesn't show how big it really is...Nine feet! It's huge! It took Tom and another Dentist in the ward to move it into the house.

It sure is nice to have a handy husband.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I'm not going to bother trying to give an update. I will simply give list a few of the most important events...in no particular order.
1. We moved to El Paso, Texas,
2. Huck turned 1
3. We bought a dog. The mini schnauzer is named Wedge Antilles, after the Rebel Alliance Starfighter pilot in Star Wars.
4. We bought our first house

Here are some pictures, also in no particular order!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Welcome to El Paso

We've been in El Paso for a little over a week now. The first week was spent living at a Embassy Suites Hotel while we searched for a place to live. We think we've found a place and are currently waiting to see if everything goes through. In the meantime we have moved to a more permanent-temporary home at the Value Place. We have a studio with two double beds, a fridge, microwave and a two burner electric stove top. Just like home! Actually if there was a bedroom and a hallway it would be about the size of our Jersey place....which we miss like crazy in case anyone was wondering.

We are luckier than most military families as it just so happens I have a friend from MHS (carry on Jackrabbits) whose husband is stationed in El Paso is well. They have been great, even having us over for a real meal on Sunday (all we've had for over a week is fast food...disgusting). Slowley but surely things are getting better!

In the last two months since I've posted Tom has completed his Officer Basic Training in San Antonio. It went better then expected. He ended up being assigned the best room mate ever, Kevin. He was also LDS, and I personally think they had way too much fun. The went to Magic Mountain a few times, Sea World, and ended up Golfing 90 holes in the last two weeks!

In the meantime, I was living back in AZ with my family. It ended up being better then expected. I hired my 15 year old sister to babysit for me while I went to Pilates sessions. I went to K Pilates studio in Mesa and it was one of the best studios I've ever practiced at. I don't feel so bad about all of Toms fun since I was going to Pilates sessions everyday that I could. That took the sting out of living back at home! We did have lots of fun getting to know grandparents and cousins. Haylie ended up having a really sweet bond with her cousin Travis. She would wake up and ask about "Travy".

Being back out west has taken a bit of getting use to, I forgot how hot it gets in AZ. El Paso is about 10 degrees cooler so when we got here it felt like heaven. El Paso seems to be a great place and we are excited to get settled, sooner rather then later hopefully. We really miss the City and hope to possibly go back there to live one of these days. Although, my only request of going back East is I want to live in Manhattan. Sometimes I still feel robbed that I had to live in Jersey for part of our time there.

Tom misses everyone from school, especially Mike, Audrey, Anne and Dr. Meeker! He starts work on Thursday, and I'm sure he's excited to find out what it's like to be a dentist for the US Army.

Friday, May 15, 2009

I'm a Pop Star/ Couch for Sale!

Tom and I have the exact same problem in the opposite way.
We both have a difficult time finding sunglasses that fit our heads. His head is too big for most and my head is too small for all. I've been trying to find a pair that looked nice and fit me properly that I could use now that the spring/summer is upon us. I looked everywhere for a pair that was just right. I tried on expensive Dior, and Channel, and Oakley's, even Rayban. Nothing fit. Then one day with out warning I found a pair that actually fit me. Check me out in my new Shades. I know, I look amazing. If you want to look like a rock star like me you can. You too can buy your own Disney's Hannah Montana "Pop Star" sunglasses at Duane Read. I'm slightly embarassed that I'm wearing childrens sunglasses but they fit so I can't complain. At least I'm a bonafide "Pop Star", I mean if my glasses say it, it must be true. Tom even made the clerk at Duane Read cut the Hannah Montana plastic protector off them so I could wear them while we walked home. How thoughtful. She looked like she felt sorry me, and adult wearing sunglasses with the words "popstar" emblazed on them.

The other day we came home and the house smelled of Gas. I thought nothing of it, someplace always smells like gas out here, and went to my Pilates session. When I came home Tom was still obsessing about the smell. He was now convinced that he could smell death seaping from beneath the couch. He had already looked all over for the smell to no avail. The only thing he hadn't done was cut the couch open, but right after Huck went down he turned the couch upside down. Using his keen sense of smell (apparantly this is a Wilson trait and both of his sisters have amazing sniffers as well) he located the area where the smell was coming from. Utilizing a utility knife he sliced open the belly of the couch and out fell a dead/rotting mouse! Umm, gross. I already hated the couch for being ugly and uncomfortable but now I have a new reason to not take it with me when we move.

And in case you were wondering we finally recieved our orders. We will be stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. We are excited for a new adventure, but as our stay in NY comes to a close we are having a difficult time and remembering all the great things that have come our way out here. I love NYC, it was our first home together. We are trying to embrace the change and look forward to the great things in Texas, like Rodeo's, cowboy hats, and boots. I've already decided that Haylie is going to run barrels and Huck is going to be a little cowboy and rope those little baby goats. It's going to be adorable. I'm also going to start speaking with a southern Texas accent, just for fun. Oh, and I'm going back blond, Texas blonde...the bigger and blonder the better. It's going to be amazing. I'm also going to start saying "y'all" and put a big banner outside our door that reads "God Bless Texas"and inside our home instead of a "Remember who you are" sign I'm going to put up "God hates a coward" instead. Tom told me he was going to become a "hunter". He asked if I would display his kills in our home. I said no. He said okay, it cost thousands of dollars to stuff animals and he doesn't really like to kill animals (except for birds he says) anyway. He's too much of an animal lover. As you can see we have big, Texas size plans.

Feel free to come visit us if you are out our way. I'm sure we'll have plenty of room for ya all.

NYU Class of 2009

Wednesday was New York University's Commencement. Although Tom's official Graduation from NYU Dental isn't until the 26th of this month he attended the ceremony along with thousands of other NYU graduates. Hilary Clinton spoke and Tom said that her speech was great despite the fact that she is a Democrat and he's a Republican. He said she was very relevant. I wasn't able to attend..well I could have attended, but seriously, taking a two year old and a seven month old to sit and listen to speakers for two hours straight seemed a bit much to ask. I wish I could have been there to show my support for Tom. I am incredibly proud of what he has accomplished. The last four years have been a lot of hard work! When Tom first arrived in New York, a naive young man from Arizona (not that naive, but naive by NYC standards) he was living the single life. In the last four years a lot has happened for Tom. At the end of his first year we were married. At the end of his second year we had Haylie, and in his forth year he became a Dad for the second time to Huckleberry. If you ask me that's pretty damn impressive (hope the curse didn't offend anyone, but I don't think "darn" had the oomph I was looking for). He has handled all of it with grace and maturity. I don't usually do sentimental posts, but since we are coming to the end of this period of our lives, I feel justified by what I'm going to say. I am immensely proud of Tom and all that he has done. He is respected by the professors and the students alike. He has done well in all of his classes and tests while at the same time becoming a husband and a Dad twice. I'm glad to say he didn't do any of those things half way (well, maybe he did only half way study for his boards...but if you know your stuff, you know your stuff). Congrats Tom! Haylie and Huck say thanks for all your hard work. And a special thanks from me for your hard work in becoming a dentist so you can buy me all the stuff I want. We need a dentists budget for that :)

Monday, April 20, 2009


When Tom moved to NYC four years ago he swore he would forever love the Diamondbacks and forever hate the Yankees. Maybe he could like the Mets he said, but the Yankees, Never.

Never say never. Tom is a bonafide Yankees fan. Check out how he made them all dress up in Yankees apparel for the game! And Huck wasn't even attending the game, he was just going to watch at home while Tom took Haylie.

Haylie loved going to the baseball game and asks to go all the time now. Here first words this morning (after asking to watch Harold and the Purple Crayon) were "baseball game"? She even ran to collect her glove from the toy box. She's had the glove before she was even born because we knew she'd have baseball in her blood, like her Dad.
Here's Tom and Haylie right before they left for the game to go pick up Willis and Mike, Haylie's new friends. (Tom's friends, but Haylie likes them too)
Haylie and Huck showing the love for Derek. I remember the first time I saw Jeter in person. It was on my honeymoon at the Baseball World Classic. He looked right at me. Wow. Hands off Jeter, I'm a married gal!

P.S. Guess who started standing up on furniture and crawling? Huck that's who. He's just become more difficult to manage.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Haylie and Huck Updates

One of Haylie's favorite things to do is climb up onto the window sill and hangout. She'll watch the people walking by and say "Hi" to everyone. Occasionally, she gets a hold of game control and trys to play video games. So far all she has managed to do is turn on the game consoles. It's only a matter of time until she figures out how to start a game, I'm sure. She is talking up a storm. Her favorite phrase is "that mine". The other night I was sitting on the floor with Huck. My hair was pulled back in a pony tail with a hair band that Haylie likes to use as a necklace. She noticed that I was using it and pointing to it remarked "that mine". I told her that it was mine and I was using it. She wasn't content with that answer and a few minutes later I felt her come up behind me. She leaned over my shoulder and whispered into my ear "that mine", and proceeded to pull it out of my hair. It was all very stelth like. Let's not forget that she figured out how to climb out of her crib last night. Fueled by rage and I'm sure indignation, she made her first attempt to escape the confines of her crib. She succeeded, and I caught her as she came over the edge. I don't know what we are going to do. I for sure don't want her in a bed yet, but don't want her to get hurt crawling out of the bed in the middle of the night. We'll see what happens.

Huck is four months. He enjoys chewing on his fists, rolling all over the ground, grabbing toys, droolling, and laughing. He also loves when Haylie comes to play with him. He doesn't even care that she kicks him in the head. She does such a soft kick, he thinks it's funny and laughs. He is starting to scoot everywhere. I have to keep dragging him back onto the rug, but he just won't stay in one place. He just wants to be where the action is.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Letter to Tony

Dear Tony,

Seeing your face on the computer screen at the FBI was a shock. Not just because I believed you to be dead, or because I didn't want to believe that you were capable of the things the claimed you are responsible for doing. But because you hurt Jack.

Tony, haven't we all given enough? Yes, we've lost Michelle (we all loved her), and Curtis too. Edgar's death took us all by suprise. We can't forget Milo's sacrifice either. Jack has been exiled as now under indictment for torture. All of these things break my heart, but none of them can compare to what I felt when they told me you were a terrorist.

I wanted to hope that you weren't what they claimed. But I'll admit my faith in you was wavering. All I could hope was that you were undercover, but with CTU disbanded the chance of that being the case was slim. It was hard enough when you passed away, but to think that you could turn like that...well, I just wished you'd have stayed dead so I didn't have my heart broken twice.

I'll admit I worried about you for the last couple of days. Never giving up hope completely. I can tell you that when Jack dialed "Deep Sky" last night and we heard Bill's voice I was overcome with emotion. Seeing Chloe was in on it completed the joy I felt. And I was so happy for Jack. He has lost so much, I couldn't stand to see him hurt by the one's he loves (you Tony, I'm talking about you). After he spoke to Bill I was able to understand why you hurt him with your comments about Terri's death. You had to get him close enough to tell him, and knowing him so well you knew what he would do.

Tony, I'm so pleased that you still have good in you. So pleased that you are back from beyond the grave. So glad to hear your voice say "yeah" again in the way only Tony Almieda can do. I should have known that you would never go that far astray for good. Your Tony Freaking Almeida and you're back from the dead to kick some A with Jack!

Don't let us down, and don't let Jack down. We are counting on you to once again give everything to protect us from evil that surrounds us on all sides.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fire Starter

New Year's Eve at our place is always the same. It's probably the only hardcore tradition we have create since our marriage nearly three years ago ( I know it seems like longer because we have two kids, but really we're just newly weds still). We have a game night. Not just any game night. This game night is filled with heartbreak and disappointment because it's a night of high stakes. You'd better bring your A game on New Years Eve at our place. It all goes down like this. The day before we select a series of games/challenges. Each game/challenge is then assigned a prize. For example, this year the winner of Scrabble won a 50 dollar gift card to the mall. Other prizes included the opportunity to choose the dog breed when we get a dog, a night out with 30 bucks to spend, a pedicure/video game. We have a few games we always play, Scrabble, Boggle, Scattegories, Wii Ping Pong, and the USA Today crossword puzzle. This years challenges included "House of Cards" and "The Fire Starter".

House of Cards was tricky. This is where we each had to build a house of cards (self explanatory), the first person to build three levels wins. The cards we used were super, ultra or as the French would say "hyper" slick. Neither one of us built more than one level. However I ended up winning because my first level was far more sturdy than Tom's. His crumbled with every card stacked on top.

The Fire Starter Challenge was my idea. I'm a huge Survivor fan. Although I know I would never want to be on that show, I still love the "game". Tom always tells me I'd be the first one voted off the island. I don't think that's true, as I can be very polite and fun when I put my mind to it. For a million bucks I can be nice to anyone for a few weeks! The real reason I'd never go on the show is because I can't stand to not sleep in a bed, or be cold, or be uncomfortable in any way. I came home from girls camp every year. Part of the reason was the sleeping situation. Sleeping bags are not my cup of tea. Anyhow back to the "challenge". Each contestant (Tom and I) were given ten minutes in which we had to start a fire with only flint and some kindling. That's right folks, just a bit of dry leaves and sparks. I've never started a fire before in my life (that's what men are for, thank you very much), Tom claims he hasn't but also claims he received his "fire starting" badge for cub scouts so we know he had a leg up. The night was freezing, and windy. Of course we weren't dumb enough to attempt to start a fire in our living room so we had to go out onto the street. Tom made a good effort, got major sparkage, and nearly started a fire but the blasted wind kept blowing it out so he never got it going well enough to burn the string rigged up above the fire (okay, it was just paper rigged up, but the string sounded much more Survivorish). My turn, I got a few sparks, nothing amazing. I forfeited my turn because my hands had turned to ice and if I put on gloves I couldn't grip the flint and knife well. Tom was determined to start the fire so he brought the challenge inside, away from the wind. After a few minutes he did indeed get it started. He was pretty impressed with himself, and I felt good knowing that if we ever needed him to take care of us by building a fire, he could do it.