Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Music I love(d).

I'm planning a 90's party for my girlfriend's 30th birthday and while looking for a "rockin" play-list, I came across some of my favorites from the 80-90's. Her play-list will involve much more dance/party music (which I didn't include for your sake).

Here's a few I (Annie) loved back then. Clearly I couldn't add ALL the songs I loved from my younger years but here's an idea...

Have fun down Annie's memory lane...


This song reminds me of my younger years out in California. My father (and mother) were HUGE Beach Boys fans. They actually took us to a BB concert at a Padre's game. I remember that during this song they started throwing thousands of beach balls throughout the stadium. This song also reminds me of the Wild Rivers water park (we used to go there every summer with a group of family friends). I loved my childhood in CA!

Paula Abdul - Straight Up by EMI_Music
Oh Paula, I remember singing your songs with my girlfriends and trying to make up dances to this one...we had braces and uni brows back then... :) Ok, well I did.

This one I LOVED! We weren't supposed to watch MTV but my older siblings were sneaky. I used to dance to this (I was only 5). Looking back, this is a weird video but still love the song and the crazy greasy hair....

This one reminds me of my older sister, she made me fall in love with Prince. I know, he's so odd ... I have an 80's music problem.

Such a classic, I adored this song!

Who doesn't love this song?

Clearly there was also much Tupac, Offspring, Green Day, Weezer, & Snoop....


The 90's must start with my MOST favorite band of ALL TIME. U2 "Achtune Baby" was the first CD I ever purchased and since that time, U2's music hasn't failed me...

So amazing.... I loved this song and still do:)

The second CD I bought, which makes me laugh....I just loved her at 14 apparently:)

And the third CD I, my first three CD's were so different! This one's still my favorites by Radiohead:)

I remember listening to this song by Pearl Jam on the long drive from CA to Michigan:) Oh the teen years!

So 90's....

I'm a HUGE Enya fan, this one reminds me of high school for sure;)

So sad but so pretty.... I pretty much listened to this song over and over for like a month I think...

I know, Elton John? I just love this song though....

Pretty much in love with the movie and soundtrack! Oh Leo...

I remember dancing to this....LOVE:)

So good--Foo Fighters

Beautiful song, used to drive in my Pontiac Sunbird to this one.... bahahaha!

Just loved Third Eye Blind in High School. This one's my favorites for sure:)

Really? Why is Sting so amazing?

Now I'm just tired. I'll have to move past 1999 another day! I've got lots more favorites that I didn't add to this list. Oh the younger years:)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Things I do-do....

Sometimes I wonder about my woman-hood.


1. Cut coupons. Ok people, I know they can help me save money but, all I want to do with them is throw them away or tear them up with my teeth like a wild beast. Like when I go to the store and get my receipt and it takes 4 minutes to print out coupons for random things I don't buy (aka butt cream)....I want to just run. I know, it's so bad. I'm a bad woman.

2. Follow recipes well. I burn stuff. I try so hard and get really excited about recipes but when they don't turn out, all I want to do is throw the pan against the wall. I'm great at "crock potting"--- that sounds bad. First time I cooked for Josh I set the pan on fire and set the deck on fire for that matter. No big deal.

3. Wear matching socks. I don't ok!? All you freaks out there who have to have matching EVERYTHING...this one's for you. I'm laid back, what can I say. Yah, I'll rock one brown and one dark grey sock, who's going to stop me? That's what I thought. P.S. I don't match my purse either. Eat it.

4. Like Tea. I hate it. I am clearly not English.

5. Woman as President? No. I hope I don't get in trouble for saying this but it's true. All you women out there who want to fight me on this...please don't. I think men are more stable and generally better decision makers. Maybe what I really mean is...I should not be President, because if I was, Cheez-Its would be free and Red Vines would grow on trees.


1. Like the show "Top Gear"- it's an English show about cars. It's clearly manly and I'm totally addicted. It's pretty nerdy. I've tried to stop but I think the English accents have sucked me in and I can no longer fight it. My husband loves it...

2. Watch Golf on TV. I'm kinda in love with watching golf and golfers for that matter. I have done some investigation into my past as to why I have such an odd love for the game... I blame it on my father mostly...for watching HOURS of golf. Now that I think about it, I also love the smell of fresh cut grass...well, and gasoline. I have issues.

3. Pick up people off the street. Since having Bella, I've tried to not do this (for her safety) but I'm a sucker for picking up people off the streets when it's raining or hot because I feel bad for them.

4. Eat Nutella like it's my job. If I could bathe in Nutella, I would. Not kidding.

5. Slap butts like a baseball player. It's not appropriate. Sorry if you have been a victim. I literally cannot stop it.

I'm sorry in advance for the thoughts you are having about me. Josh, are you embarrassed to be married to me at this point?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

On this side of heaven, or the other...

Me to Josh in tears:

"It's hard for me to pray to God about Bella, because I ask him to heal her and there's a huge chance He won't....I feel stupid even asking"

Josh to me in tears:

"He will heal Bella, either this side of heaven or the other"

How many times do I pray myself to sleep begging God to take away Bella's autism. Lots. It's true, I feel silly praying that prayer because her life (most likely) will be a constant up hill battle. But, as a mother who knows the capacity God has to heal, I cannot and will not stop praying the "big prayers". I remind myself of all of the times I have praised God for choosing Bella for us and that her disability was planned before she came to be. That when God plans out blueprints, he chooses special people for children like Bella, ones who will extol His name continuously. The fact is, we have no choice. Bella's condition makes us cry out to God daily (for strength and joy) and for that I am thankful). However, some days I want God to hit the "rewind button" as if he made a mistake and will press play again and our lives somehow will be perfect. In my soul I don't want that at all. I want God's plan for us to run it's perfect course. I love Bella just the way she is and have already seen how God has used her in the lives of countless individuals (including ourselves) to bring them closer to God. She's a little missionary for sure.

When I have these days, sometimes I shut my eyes and picture Bella in heaven. Her body in perfect condition, her mind....well healed. My eyes fill with tears at this thought. It's a beautiful picture and is sweet as honey to my heart. I will hold her hand and discuss the ways I love her and how God is good no matter what.

I think I have decided to pray for small miracles (a new word, or a day free of tantrums), even though I'm the type of person who is "all in" or nothing:) I like praying big prayers for some reason. As though the little prayers are too small for God. I specifically pray today that the words trapped in her mind would be released (I know she understands far more than we are aware). Every once in a while she will pick up letters and name them one by one out of order, or say a phrase in context, or the entire alphabet. Lord show us your power.

No matter what Lord, your will be done (even though your will might not match mine completely, I surrender that to you). :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Words cannot express...

Have I ever told you a the story of a boy named Josh?

Yes, he was a boy once. Half Texan, half Californian. Far too dark skinned to be a white boy for sure. Got into trouble in his "wonder years" and traveled around America to find himself. What did he find? Well, lots of things... but the most important was God. Oh, and he also found me.... chased me down the halls of Liberty University, and for that....I thank him!

That was a short story huh?! I had to make it short because I could fill a book telling you of the ways he moves me. One thing you must know is that Josh's heart is torn between me and the real love of his life, Bella. When we prayed for the Lord to grant us a child I knew that we had something huge in store for us. In fact, I think I've always known that God was not going to settle for "normal" or "easy" on our journey in life. I guess what I'm saying is, I'm thankful for Josh. He's literally a solid rock of a man in every capacity.

The day he became a father was so sweet in my memory. He yearned to meet his daughter and would often kiss my tummy and whisper sweet nothings to his precious child inside of me. The day Bella arrived was hard and scary but, completely wonderful. Hard because she was far too early to be born, scary because of the unknown, the cords, the tubes... and wonderful because she was a miracle in every way. The second she came into this world I saw a change in Josh. He became complete. Bella filled his heart to the brim. From that day on, Josh has exemplified godly fatherhood. He begs to put her to bed at night, and loves to spend "daddy and Bella time" with her. My favorite thing is when he reads to her or prays with her, tears fill his precious eyes:) It's an outpouring of love for her and I cherish the thought of it.

Josh, we love you more than mere words can utter. You are perfection and we hope to spend the rest of our lives proving that to you!

Annie & Bella-boo

P.S. Poppa Ricky and Poppa Earls, we love you both and we are who we are today because of your amazing fatherly wisdom! Oh, and you are the best Poppa's Bella could ask for!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Sweet Therapy:)

Bella and her therapy...

Bella receives ABA therapy and early intervention four times a week. This is her with "Lynette" working on some demands while playing in the highly reinforcing mini-pool. My child is a fish, there is no doubt.

Pure joy...

Monday, June 6, 2011

What is life like in the military?

Military life...

Well, I have many friends who are not in the military who ask me all of the time "How do you do it?" or "What's it like?". It's funny, before we joined I had so many ideas of what military life was like (enter my mental picture: Josh, in a really tight military outfit, running around baptizing people while getting shot at, me at home with Bella wearing an American flag around our shoulders shouting USA!) Ok, that was a weird mental image.... Something is wrong with my mind! Either way, here's a few things I've learned thus far...

1. I have never been more proud or patriotic than I have been since Josh joined the navy.

The men and women of the armed services make HUGE sacrifices when they are home AND when they are deployed. Just because a service member is not deployed, it does not mean they are always home. Some guys/gals are probably home less on a shore tour (meaning they are not deployable). They send them out for weeks at a time to serve short term in and out of the US. In this regard, their spouses are never surprised when they find out their loved one will be gone for a few weeks or a month. In the non-military world, husbands and wives would find this tough (being apart for a few weeks at a time) and I'm sure lots of planning would be involved. In the military, you just do it and move forward. It's not like you enjoy your husband or wife being away, it's just that no amount of complaining helps the situation. Their job entails that they are on call and their jobs are ever changing with the state of our world/war. Change is constant, that's for sure!

2. When I meet someone who constantly bashes the war...

Ok, I understand that the war has been long and hard and, not everyone agrees with our role in various countries. I really have to bite my tongue though when I hear someone bashing our troops or complaining about the war in general. Don't you think we would all love our service members to be at home 24/7? The fact is, we are out their protecting and serving and a war is still going on with people getting killed by terrorists daily.... It makes the spouse (here at home) feel like, "Oh, so what my husband or wife is doing is not important to you?". Then I think, "Well, why do we just bring them all home and next time we confront terrorism, you can take care of it in your own way". I'm sure the terrorists will love to just sit and chat at a coffee shop and talk about peace with you:) Just a thought! Like I said, I know war is not easy and it has taken quite a toll on the US and everyone involved.

3. The military can be confusing and wonderful at the same time.

Sometimes you feel like they don't care about your family or aren't listening. It takes a while to get appointments scheduled and that can be frustrating. Sometimes you go to see 4 different doctors who don't know you and have to look at your file from the beginning to get caught up. That is not always the case though. In fact, they really do listen and care but, the most important thing to them is your spouse, the one who fights for our country. They really do take care of our guys (in fact, when you are in line at the commissary they will let men/women in uniform go ahead of spouses or family members at times). They will also serve them faster in medical facilities. They really do take care of the service members family as best as they can. With Bella's various tests, CT scans, EEG's and Early Intervention/ABA Services....I'm pretty sure we would be broke (if we weren't in the military). They pay for medical 100%--barely a dime is pulled from our pockets for her care. For that, I thank you military!

4. It is not an easy life, but it is a blessed one.

Moving your entire life every 2-3 years can take a toll on a family. You get really good at organizing, de-cluttering and packing/unpacking. You buy furniture (and keep in mind its size and shape) and be sure it can fit in any sized room. Base housing can have small rooms so a huge sofa can mean trouble:) Then there's the curtains....well, one size does not fit all in the world of curtains. Oh and forget trying to keep your furniture from being scratched in the moves...those are battle wounds I guess:) It's a blessed life because you get to re-decorate houses often (which I love). You get to make new friends around the country which is hard and great all at the same time. You really have to be scrappy (a term I love)--you have to be open to putting yourself out there in the friend world, even though you know you will not settle where you are for more than a couple years.

5. Men in uniform really do look good. Sorry, that's just a true fact! Oh and they are all over the place around military bases. So, single know where to go:) I found one that I like, his name is Josh and he's a hot Chaplain!

6. It's hard to complain because I'm not the only one around here that misses their spouse...

When I look at my life I always try to be positive and put it into perspective. There are wives all around me with husband's deployed, some with longer deployments. They don't need me to complain and remind them how hard it is (or to remind them that my husband is home currently). They just need love. Most civilians would not EVER want my life but that's ok:) It's where the Lord placed us and I feel it's our calling right now. Do I hate it sometimes, YES! Oh, and when you do talk to a military wife who's hubby is deployed, don't spend the whole time going...

"Oh that's terrible"
"Do you just cry all day?"
"You have such a hard life!"
"How do you wake up in the morning?"
"You poor thing!"
"Is he in danger?"
"How many days do you have left--wow, that's a REALLY LONG TIME" :)

Ok, those are all true statements at times and I am thankful for all of the people who thought them:) I know I would say the same thing to someone (before military life) but....when a spouse is deployed....those are hard to hear sometimes. It just reminds them of how much they miss their spouse.

Better things to say to someone with a spouse deployed would be...

"How is your spouse?"
"What are some of your favorite things to do--lets go do them!"
"Do you want me to watch your child so you can go walk in the grocery store alone (wink)"
"How can I pray specifically for you"--prayers are felt, believe me!
"How are you doing?"
"Thank your for your sacrifice to our country"--- that's the best!

**I found the busier I was, the better so.... keep that spouse busy! Rejoice with them in the good days, cry with them on the hard ones:) Pray continuously!

So those are some random thoughts about military life thus far. In all reality, I'm just a baby wife... aka we haven't been in long enough for me to have earned *top military wife status* which can be earned through numerous deployments/moves ect. But, I have been through a few things and figured this might help others think through what military life is like....

Annie (aka Chaps wife).
Oh, and the best day ever is in this was fresh breath of happiness holding my man! I forgot all of those hard days at this moment:)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


This is my love getting her EEG. They have been monitoring some of her behaviors (random laughing spells, odd prolong blinking, looking sideways in a daze). They want to rule out seizures. This truly broke my heart seeing her all strapped in with tons of wires but in all reality there was no pain involved praise God. Poor thing, she kept looking at me and saying "All Done" and "Ok" in a really sad manner with huge elephant tears. I wiped them away with kisses and praised God for her at that moment. I LOVE YOU BELLA GIRL!


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