Thursday, July 29, 2010

My "Program"

I hate running, only because of how it makes my knees and hips feel afterward.  I really, really hate treadmills.  But I ran, on a treadmill, to avoid the monotony of trying to find fun, creative ways to work out underway.  And it was boring.  I stared at a white wall.  Blah.  But I survived, so I've committed myself to doing that at least once a week, even if only for 10 minutes, to engage as many muscles as possible. 

Why?  The pattern of the day underway is set by watches, meetings, and meals.  And boy do they serve up some food!  Not always the best, but really not that bad and always in vast quantities.  It takes a lot of discipline not to eat way too much and even more discipline to pry oneself out of the rack, away from those precious minutes of sleep, to go work out.  My motiviation is a little program I call "Frank Deserves Better."  Successful participation in the program results in a Sailor returned to her hubby in a more toned shape than she departed.  Anyone can join the program, and you don't really have to be a Sailor or be underway, but just try to be a little more disciplined for the next, oh I don't know, let's say 8 months.  Any takers???

Monday, July 26, 2010

Homefront Funnies

If you're not a parent or you can't appreciate potty humor, read no further!

I always love hearing about what the family is up to, especially on the weekends because Frank always seems to do really cool stuff with the kids.  Saturday they got to go play around on the Jetty Island beach and Sunday they did some domestic chores and hung out at the Farmer's Market.  But there were a few funnies from Frank's note to me last night that I just have to share:

- After I commented on how the kids look like they've already grown, Frank reports "I do know that Trent has somehow grown over the past 4-5 days because he can now (just barely) pee in the potty without the stepstool.  He is very proud about this!"  Aren't we all!  Gotta love the measuring sticks we use in our house!
- (Quoted directly from Frank)  Trent yelled for me ("I'm DONE") after her was done pooping (like his 3rd of the day, each one just barely a poop), so I went in to wipe.  He said "OK Mr Frank Powers," turned around, and went face-down ass-up.  What can you say in reply?  I found not much!

I love all these silly stories.  Definitely keeps me involved in what's going on at home. 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Closure at last!

After lots of tearful phonecalls with Frank, an amazingly supportive email from a professional mentor, babbling my circular arguments to my best friend at work, a few sleepless nights, and one really good, hard ride on the exercise bike, I have officially decided not to apply for a shot at the PhD program.  I just can't pass up this shot at being on the east coast near family and friends that we love so dearly.  I will continue to learn, just not that way.  And now I look forward to the day when Frank will begrudgingly become a resident of Maryland!  :P

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tough decision

The past few days/weeks/months I've been struggling with what should have been an easy decision--whether or not to apply for a shot at a PhD in Oceanography via the Navy.  Free PhD, 3 years in Monterey, and a decent time for the family.  No brainer, right?  Well...I've been penciled in for a job in Suitland, Maryland following this tour and if I apply for and get the PhD, that job will go away.  The job itself is what I was after, and being in Maryland we will be within a day's drive of all of Frank's family and a reasonable drive to my family.  We will also be on the eastern seaboard, within reach of my friends to the north and Frank's friends to the south.  So which is more important?  Throw into the mix that we have a boat that we really want to continue living on and having fun weekend trips in, and this decision isn't really as easy for me.  Family is important to me.  I miss my own terribly right now and am excited about the possibility of for once being within reach of extended family.  I also think we'll be hitting the point where the kids and I need to step up our knowledge of sailing and the Chesapeake Bay will be more favorable for that than Monterey Bay (yes, I fear the Pacific and her hearty swells at my current level of experience).  At the same time, I really want to learn more about oceanography, but I can't exactly narrow down what exactly I'm interested in, but having a PhD would most certainly help me out in the future.  And it's also such a great deal that I know I'd be an idiot if I didn't at least go for it, 

Frank and I have talked a lot, and I've cried a ton, but I need to figure this out so we can just move forward.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Not-so-sunny SOCAL

Hanging out in overcast yet warm San Diego for a few days and I'm loving getting to talk to the little ones!  Frank has been a SUPER hubby, sending me pictures and little stories from home.  He works so dang hard and still makes time to help me feel connected--LOVE YOU, BABE!

The weekend pics included the kids on the beach and ABE behind them as I departed, the kids meeting Spongebob Squarepants at an Aquasox baseball game, and one of our boat with a "blue star flag" (showing that a family member is deployed) flying high from the yardarm.  Sadly I'm unable to post them from here...I think the guys running the LAN are just a little too conservative with our bandwidth!  Maybe Frank will post some from time to time, but regardless, they really do keep me going.

Talked to the kids last night and it sounds like they are doing great, so really the only one struggling is me!  Figures!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The day has come

Yesterday was our last day together as a family for a very long time.  I went to work very briefly, then to a peaceful breakfast with Frank.  Then we picked up the kids from school and had a nice day playing at the park, snoozing, driving around in the dinghy...all the stuff I love doing with them.  I actually really loved giving them baths last night, too.  I cried as I put them to bed, and was comforted by Katreina telling me to dry my eyes.  She is sweet and sensitive, and while I worry about her being sad, I know she is also usually the stronger one between the two of us and that she will be fine. 

This morning we were all up very early to drop me off at the ship.  Trent was moody (as he usually is early in the morning) and Katreina was tired, but we made it.  They gave me nice, big hugs and kisses.  Katreina was sobbing, I think because she saw that I was, but I asked her to smile for me and she did!  The sun was hitting her face and her eyes were super sparkly green with the tears.  I will totally miss that beautiful face and Trent's sweet, goofy smile!

Now it's time to get to work.  :(

Monday, July 12, 2010

Date night!

After a great weekend of crabbing in Honeymoon Bay (10!!!), we got a super special treat--a babysitter!  Yes, a guy that is trained to blow stuff up for a living, the EOD officer I work with, took on the true challenge of babysitting Trent and Katreina while Frank and I headed out for dinner in Seattle.  It was fun and as we hit El Gaucho, a favorite from our dating days, it brought back lots of memories.  Oh, and the food was awesome!  Tuna tartare, filet Oscar (that's filet mignon with crab and bernaise), and burnt cream, and of course some great cocktails!  But alas, I missed the kids before we even made it to the dessert.  It was great to get back and see them and hear all about their fun night. 

Thanks to Eric for making it all possible!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Our Independence Celebration!

What a great weekend thus far!  We spent Thursday night on the south side of our beloved Hope Island where we snagged 3 dungees and a red rock on our way to an early morning slack at Deception Pass.  It was a beautiful morning!
Deception Pass, westbound

The kids enjoyed a fun snack to get in the mood for the 4th.

A peaceful day of motoring took us along Cypress and Orcas Islands and up to Sucia Island.  We found an anchorage away from the "crowds" in Echo Bay.  It's really amazing how many moorings are there, and how much other good anchorage is available.  Right away I saw folks hiking along a trail overlooking our spot...very nice!
 Echo Bay, Sucia Island

 Frank relaxing in the sun

We pretty much spent Friday afternoon kayaking, hiking a little, and checking out the beaches.  Saturday morning we kayaked to Ewing Cove (totally cool little spot), then spent the afternoon playing around at the beach.  The kids loved splashing around, even though the water was freezing!  We rounded out the afternoon with a paddle through the anchorages, checking out boats and hailing some folks Frank was acquainted with through Cruisers Forum.  We weren't able to get them, but after dinner while we were checking out the amazing bald eagles and dancing in the cockpit (ok, just Katreina and I there!), the couple came up to our boat for a little tour.  They had hiked something like 7 hours and were pretty hungry, so I think our gift of 2 beautiful, cooked Dungees made them pretty happy!

Sunday morning we did one last paddle before heading towards Deception Pass for the 3:30 slack.  It was a rough day, 2-4 seas, variable winds then gusty 20+ kts, a big swell off the quarter.  The kids were lucky to sleep through most of that.  We anchored briefly in Bowman Bay awaiting the slack, then slid through for what might be the last time.  That was a little sad...not sure if we'll make it back up here after deployment. 

The wind kicked up and a small craft advisory was issued as we headed for Oak Harbor.  Not always fun heading to a new place with 20-25kts blowing!  We did manage to set the hook upwind of most of the other boats at anchorage and it held well, with gusts just about up to 30kts.  We also got a front-row seat to the Oak Harbor fireworks display, though it was wicked cold outside!  This came with some entertaining boating, too, as many small boats were out to see the show and not everyone was real savvy with an anchor!
 I've never had to bundle this much for 4th fireworks!

The fireworks, both pro and amateur, were really good and the kids really liked them.  Partly because of the crazy wind that was forecast to blow until 1am and partly because of the crazies out on the water, Frank stood watch on deck for a few hours after we all went to bed.  He came down shortly after and told me about this big powerboat that we saw set its anchor about a dozen times coming within about 7ft of our stern as they left.  As he's still snoozing I don't have all the good stories from after that, but I can report that the anchor held!

Happy 4th, everyone!  Enjoy that freedom!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Nice start to a long weekend

We kicked off our trip this afternoon with 2 nice dungeness crab and are now anchored off Hope Island. Wonderful night...