Wednesday, February 24, 2010
WE'RE MOVING TO 'ROCKET CITY' HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA!!!!!!
We finally know where we're moving to next and we begin our journey cross country at the end of April! Chris took an I&I position (Inspector/Instructor Duty) with a Marine Corps HIMARS Reserve Unit in Huntsville, Alabama. Phew...now that we're all confused, I'll try and explain. For the past three years, Chris has been working with a HIMARS (Rocket) battalion at Camp Pendleton and because of that, was specifically looking for an open position in that field (HIMARS) for his b-billet to broaden his wealth of knowledge hence being more prepared for his time back in the fleet (2-3 years from now). From what I understand there are three Reserve HIMARS batteries, one in Huntsville, one in El Paso, Texas and another in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Initially, we had decided that Oklahoma city would be ideal for us. The cost of living was excellent but more importantly the wide open spaces and mid-west style of living were exactly what we wanted. However, after having the Marine Corps tell us that's where we were headed, plans changed within the battery itself and a slot was no longer available. That left us with Huntsville and El Paso! Needless to say, we jumped on Huntsville, AL for SO many reasons! (Google the location of El Paso...it's about four miles from Chihuahua, Mexico) Not only is the lifestyle more of what we're looking for than El Paso, my best friend Carolyn and who I call my partner in this whole 'Marine Corps Wife' thing was born and raised in Huntsville! Being in the Marine Corps you kind of just take it as a given that you're lucky if you know a handful of people at your new duty station at any given time. Here, Chris and I were looking at having pretty much family at our next assignment! Carolyn and her family have already been so helpful giving me all sorts of valuable information on the city which should make finding a house SO much easier. I've got my checklists made and I'm as ready as I'll ever be for the crazy couple of months getting everything ready to move. All in all, I am THRILLED about our move to Alabama! More importantly, I'm thrilled for Chris who is chomping at the bit to get to work at his new job! He is so happy, and that is all I can ask for! :) I've attached some pictures of our new city to give you guys an idea of how pretty it is! As of right now, we're aiming to be out of Southern California and on our way to Huntsville at the end of April! Until then, Sophia and I will be enjoying the California sunshine and living at the beach...two of the things I'll miss the most about San Diego.
Posted by The Tinoco's at 4:21 PM
Thursday, February 11, 2010
I almost forgot to share with you some pictures from our trip to the San Diego Zoo! Sophia had a wonderful time as she is a true animal lover and Chris and I were thrilled to be able to see the animals through Sophia's eyes. The last time Chris and I were at the Zoo was when I was 5 or 6 months pregnant and all that I can remember was I had never walked so far in my life up mountains to see a bunch of GOATS!! :) This time, being in much better condition to walk, I enjoyed myself immensely and I'm sure Chris enjoyed his time without me complaining! ;) They had built a new Elephant Odyssey which we hadn't seen and we also got to sneak a peak at the Panda! Overall, a wonderful trip and a big hit with Sophia!
Posted by The Tinoco's at 1:10 PM
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Well, Sophia's second birthday has come and gone and so has her two year well baby check up! For the first time in what felt like a lifetime Chris was able to join Sophia and I for her appointment! As Chris learned, these appointments can seem like a whole lot of nothing but the doctor asked a lot of questions regarding Sophia's health and development and made sure that she was up to date on all of her shots. Sophia is just over 30 pounds and in the 75th percentile for both height and weight which has stayed pretty consistent since she was a baby. Sophia shocked the doctor opening her mouth and sticking out her tongue when asked and following her directions when she was trying to take a look at her ears. After the five minute appointment with the doctor she received two shots (one being the flu shot) and we were good to go! Overall a great appointment made even more special with Dad's company! :)
One of the questions that the Doctor asked us at Sophia's appointment was approximately how many words Sophia knew. Having not counted specifically I guesstimated around 100 but last night Chris and I brainstormed and wrote down everything that she is saying. My guess fell short which was a nice surprise and Chris and I enjoyed seeing all the words laid out that Sophia uses on a day to day basis. Sophia has also completely mastered identifying her ABC's and can count from 1-10. Next on the list...quantum physics (her Dad's favorite) so we'll keep you posted ;)
As I always say, it's nice to be able to look back over my blog and see how much Sophia has progressed. The other day I went through my pictures all the way back to when Sophia was born and came across some videos that I had taken. It seems like just yesterday that she was barely crawling and now we can't stop her from running all over the place!!! She loves riding her new bike we got her for her birthday and has such an exploratory little brain using her words to describe everything that she sees. I'm proud of her and I'm also proud of Chris for integrating so seamlessly back into her life and teaching her so much. I'm a happy Mama! A special thank you to everyone who so generously thought of Sophia on her second birthday. She is a lucky girl to have such wonderful friends and family!
Posted by The Tinoco's at 4:55 PM
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
I ran into this older woman the other day in the grocery store. It was pretty late in the evening and Chris and Sophia were waiting for me outside as I was just running in to pick up some juice. As she was loading her stuff on the conveyer belt she saw that I only had a couple of items and told me to go ahead in front of her. After I told her thank you, she proceeded to tell me that she hadn't worked all day and that she didn't have anywhere she needed to be so it was not a problem to wait a little longer in line. She told me that she went on retirement about a year ago and was finally beginning to enjoy the benefits of not having to work. I asked her why now? Why a year after she took retirement and she said with a straight face, "Well I got cancer and pretty much went through hell but the big man upstairs (her exact usage of words) gave me a second chance however limited it may be and I'm going to make the most of it!" I was taken aback by the shock of it all and the sap that I am, started thinking back to both of my grandparents battles with cancer. What a fantastic way to look at life. She knows that she's no spring chicken and that her days here on earth are probably numbered but instead of giving up and realizing that the better part of her life had come and gone, she spread her joy and optimistic attitude to me on a random night in a random grocery store. I walked away smiling thinking that this was for sure one of life's little miracles.
Posted by The Tinoco's at 7:39 PM