One Happy Family

Living life, military style!!

Fat pants November 29, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — theluces @ 8:52 pm

I tried a new recipe today. Damn Pinterest is going to make me have to wear fat pants. If you have never checked out Pinterest, and don’t have any spare time that you can spend looking at all the awesomeness of it, don’t bother. It will suck you in, and suck you in quick. What other place can you learn how to make a flower out of paper, antique a piece of furniture, find hand art to do with your kids, AND find awesome recipes all in one place?! It’s amazing.

Back to my fat pants. This morning I was bored, so after I went grocery shopping I decided to make Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites Click here for recipe

How delish does that look? Wait, it gets better!

SO good and super easy too (obviously … I made it!). Now if I could just figure out where to put the caramel it would be just like a Take 5 bar. I was a good girl though and gave most of them away.

The girls had their first night of Cheer tonight. They were REALLY excited about their uniforms. I’ll get a picture of them soon. It was a bit of a hustle for bed tonight because we also got to talk to Brian for a few minutes. What a great end to the day!

Well, time for my cup of tea and helping Tyler study for his (really boring … his words) Biology test. I hope you are all having a great week! ~ Jackie


Happy Holidays!! November 25, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — theluces @ 12:47 pm

It was definitely a different Thanksgiving day in the Luce house this year. Of course, mainly, that Brian was gone, but also that his mom and stepdad were not here. It has become our tradition that they come and spend Thanksgiving with us, but they’ve had a lot to deal with with their home flooding again this year. The usual Thanksgiving trip was just not in the cards this year, but we’ll get to see them in about 2 months and be happy for whatever time we get with them. VERY much looking forward to them coming!!

We took the dogs to the dog park in the morning. It was beautiful out and they had a great time with all the other dogs there. Then we headed home for a light lunch and for the girls to take naps. I went for a run and it was so different smelling all the different turkeys cooking. After I got back home, Tyler and I went outside to decorate the front of the house/yard. He was going to hang the lights on the house, but pretty quickly decided that he wasn’t going to as he kept sliding down the roof. It is not that important to me that the house is lit. So, he lit up the yard instead. I think he did a great job.

Then, the girls got up and we had our Thanksgiving feast. I tried to make the mashed potatoes that Brian makes, and Tyler and Sophie think I did a pretty good job. The rotisserie turkey breast was REALLY good. Tyler and I cleaned up and the girls were SO excited to get decorating. Tyler put up the tree and I cleaned off the mantle, and then the girls got to put ornaments on and they did an awesome job. I didn’t even go back and rearrange after they went to bed 🙂

After some serious decorating, it was time for Thanksgiving Root Beer Floats for the kids.

It was a very nice day, the four of us spending the whole day together, making some memories. As a matter of fact, Sophie told her Auntie Joan that it was the best day of her life. She really loved putting up ornaments, digging through the boxes of Christmas stuff, and wearing the tree skirt as a cape and dancing to Christmas music. Emma loved all the glitter. Tyler did a great job putting up the tree and “fluffing” it.

I couldn’t bring myself to pay $25+ for a wreath to hang on the door, and couldn’t find one I loved, so I made one this year. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, and it was so easy to make.

I hope you all had a great day, surrounded with those you love, and filling your bellies with delicious food, and reflecting on how much we all have to be thankful for.

Lots of love ~ Jackie

PS: Tyler was thankful for the roof over his head and his family.


We are about to get Christmas crazy November 23, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — theluces @ 7:25 pm

But first we shall celebrate all that we are thankful for.

Sophie is thankful for her Daddy, her Mama, her brother and sister, her grandpas and grandmas, and cousins … and that’s about it.

Tyler is busy with a friend staying over, so we’ll talk tomorrow about what he is thankful for.

I am thankful for 3 happy, healthy children who are 100% different from each other in almost every way (except Emma really looks like her big brother, just a blonde instead). Tyler is my mellow, quiet man-child. He’s been my sidekick since day 1 and I can not stand the thought of him being off on his own in 3 1/2 years. Sophie is my drama queen and challenge. She has the best laugh ever and I can look into her eyes and see her Daddy. Her personality is completely opposite of mine, so we already butt heads quite a bit, but she reminds me so much of my sister and she’s one of the best people I know. Emma is my reality check. She is the one that throws me for a loop at every turn. She has made me see how precious life is and not take that for granted. She has also been showing me lately how crazy smart she is and made me realize I need to step up my game … she’s gaining on me!

I am thankful for the best husband a girl could ask for. Even though he’s been gone from us way too much of this year, he is always present. I know how hard it is on him to be away from us, he misses every one of us while we each miss him. He is the best support system ever, even when he’s on the other side of the world. I could not love and appreciate him more.

I am thankful for my parents and sisters. They are always a phone call away and while they can’t get away as often as I would like for them to, they are amazing and full of love and honesty.

I am thankful for all of my in-laws. I have married into the most loving, kind family. They have accepted me (I think) and all my flaws with open arms. I know plenty of people that don’t have the relationship I do with their in-laws, and I don’t take it for granted for a second.

I am thankful for my friends. They, especially after marrying into the military, span the US and each of them add so much to my life. A girl needs her friends, and I’ve got some really top notch friends!!

So, tomorrow, I will get busy heating up our rotisserie turkey breast that I was lucky enough to get today and feast on that and some mashed potatoes and carrots (Sophie’s request) and broccoli (Emma’s request) and pumpkin pie (mine and Emma’s request) and root beer floats (Tyler’s request). After all that, and some serious cleaning thrown in during the day, we are going to get CHRISTMAS CRAZY in here. I haven’t gone too crazy at Christmas since we moved to Florida … I just haven’t felt it. But this year, I’m going all out and we are going to have it decorated to the nines for when Brian gets home next year.

I hope you all have a wonderful day tomorrow. As soon as we are done with our thanksgiving feast tomorrow, I am going to break out my Harry Connick Jr, Harry for the Holidays CD and I am going to CHRISTMAS JAM.

Lots of holiday love ~ Jackie


Cry baby! Cry baby! November 20, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — theluces @ 10:53 am

I am a cry baby. I’m not afraid to admit it, although it really does irritate me sometimes how easily I cry. I can’t say that I come from a long line of cry babies, because I don’t really think I’ve seen my Grandma cry (but my Grandpa is a HUGE softie!). I can say that it is my mom’s fault. Both of my sisters and I blame her. No, I shouldn’t actually say that she is a cry baby, but I definitely get my tendency to cry at 98% of movies from her (and Brian just gets me a tissue and doesn’t make fun of me, just the way dad goes and gets the Kleenex for mom).

There are some things that REALLY make me cry, like “ugly cry”, every time. They are the song The Best Man by Blaine Larsen

This song was played at our wedding from Tyler to Brian, and there were not many dry eyes. I had listened to it at least a 100 times hoping that it wouldn’t make me cry, but it still did and still does.

Another is the song Two is Better Than One by Boys Like Girls featuring Taylor Swift. I don’t even like Taylor Swift, but I heard this song just after Brian and I got home from Walter Reed and it finally hit me while hearing this song, that I had almost lost him, and I had my cry of all cries. So now, to this day, I can not hear someone sing the Star Spangled Banner or Proud to be an American and not tear up, they have completely different meaning for me.

I REALLY thought I would make it through my sister’s wedding without crying. I don’t know why I had convinced myself of that. I could go to a complete stranger’s wedding and I would cry. I did pretty good though, until Joan and Jay’s friend Tim, read the poem “I Like You” by Sandol Stoddard Warburg  ( ). This poem made me straight out ugly cry with some sobbing sprinkled on top. It was a little ridiculous of me, but this poem was SO Joan and Jay … it was beautiful.

I cry at seriously, 98% of movies. I’m pretty sure that I even cried a little during Bridesmaids. I even tell myself … this is just a movie, it’s not real. I still cry. I’m a sucker for romance! I’ll admit it, I’ve even cried watching Real Housewives. Oh, and Extreme Makeover … forget about it. Tears every time.

I cry when my parents, sisters, friends cry. I’m a sympathetic crier.

I cry when I laugh hard. I have been known to cry while sitting at the dinner table and we get laughing hard. Sophie’s pretty good at getting me to laugh so hard I cry. While I love the laugh of every one of my children, she has a super great, really hearty laugh.

I cry when I get emails from Brian. They don’t even say anything in particular to make me cry, they aren’t sad by any means. I just love that man with all of my heart, and miss him like crazy, and am SUPER proud of the man he is. He is the epitome of integrity and kindness. He has the biggest heart of any man I know.

But honestly, I very rarely cry because I’m sad or hurt. I hardly ever get stressed out … maybe it’s because I cry. I’ve read that crying is a good thing. I’m super good at it 🙂

What do you cry about? ~ Jackie


Ignorance is Bliss November 19, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — theluces @ 8:24 am

By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, journalism keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community. – Oscar Wilde

I can’t believe that our next election is officially less than a year away. Well, I can believe it, but I guess what I’m really getting at is I can’t believe how fast the last 3 years have gone. I remember laying in bed, watching TV all evening, and how emotional it was. Then, I remember Tyler coming home from school the next day and telling me the awful things the other kids were saying about our new president … he was in SIXTH GRADE. The pure hate that parent’s were influencing their children with was absolutely disgusting. Of course our children take their cues from us, the things these kids were saying should NEVER have come out of anyone’s mouth. Those parents should have been so ashamed of themselves, but people that can speak such evil clearly have no scruples.

What I see happening over the next year, unfortunately, is a whole lot of ugliness. I happen to like politics. I, fortunately, was raised in  a family where my Dad really gets into politics, and while he definitely leans one way, he is always sure to be fully informed on all sides of the equation. I know that if I have any questions, I can call him and he is going to tell me both sides of the story. I really love that about him.

My wishes over the next year? I WISH that people would do their homework. Rather than recycling garbage, actually find out what is going on. Maybe it puts it in perspective a little to know what “ignorance” is. Ignorance, by definition, is a lack of knowledge, information, or education. So, while it is your “right” to say or post or email out whatever you want, when you don’t actually educate yourself as to what you are actually spreading to your “friends”, you are being ignorant. I personally would not ever want to be labeled as ignorant. Therefore, I try to do whatever I can to actually have some background on what I may post or talk about.

Of course we are all entitled to our opinion. But remember, opinion, by definition, is a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge. Wouldn’t you rather know the facts or have knowledge before you make comments? I sure would. I would rather form my opinions on facts and knowledge.

Is ignorance really bliss? I don’t think so, I think ignorance is ignorance, and I really think that is an ugly word.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!! ~ Jackie


Enough is enough … November 17, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — theluces @ 12:06 pm

I’ve hit my November wall. I will never again brag about how healthy my kids are (ok, I really might), because I very obviously jinxed myself (or actually them), big time. I’ve spent at least 6 hours at the doctor this week between Sophie getting her cast, Emma having an upper respiratory infection, and now Sophie has strep (and Tyler has a sore throat). Needless to say, my sacred “me time” while Emma is in school has been drastically cut short this week. If only Mama could actually drink, she’d be partaking in some beverages each night at bedtime. But, I’ll not make things harder on myself by having a cocktail and then feeling like crap the next day … I’ll stick with my tea.

I miss my man like crazy. I will probably wait until he’s been home for a couple weeks before I actually run away.

Hope you’ve all had a great week!! ~ Jackie


Oops on Mom November 14, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — theluces @ 8:10 pm

Sophie got her huge, bulky splint off today. She was pretty excited about getting her cast and picking out colors for it. Also, I’ve been telling her this whole time how her cast would be so much smaller and lighter. So that was something else to look forward to.

First the arm sock

Then the gauze.

Oh, and oops on Mom. I thought she just had one break in her arm, but actually BOTH her ulna and radius are broken. All the more reason to compliment Sophie on what a big girl she’s been. The PA and nurses were amazing with her. For anyone that feels so-so about the healthcare provided to us by the military (and I know some have their own very specific reasons), I can not brag enough about the care that the girls have had. Without getting all political, I strongly feel that this is something that NO ONE should be without.

Enough of my (small) soapbox …

It was really just supposed to be one color, but Sophie wanted ALL of them. We had to compromise. There are 3 or 4 more colors that she can get on her next cast in 3 weeks.

Luckily, she can still play piano, since they are only working with the right hand for now. She has very much enjoyed the attention, and is a bit offended when someone DOESN’T ask what happened. Ha!

I hope you all have a great week! ~ Jackie