Another new year and all that will come with it…

It’s so crazy it’s already 2017. 20. 17.

2016 was a great year but 2017 brings lots of changes to our house. A possible move. A new command. New school. New house. Lots of goodbyes, whether we move or not, which is always hard. Thankfully so many of those we’ll be saying “goodbye” to are forever friends so it’s more of a see-you-later.

While I’ve never been one to keep a New Year’s Resolution for long, I’ve told myself, “Self… enjoy the time you have in Guam. Enjoy the time you have left with your friends. Enjoy the time you in general.” Not to make this post all sad and morbid, but you never know how long you have, right?

Anyways… Here’s to another new year and all that will come with it…

Memorial Day Flags

Remembering the lives lost.

Memorial Day Flags |

“Each Flag, a life

Row after row, flags flutter on the former battlefield of Asan Beach. A display of American flags is a familiar sight on Memorial Day in national cemeteries to remember service members whose lives were taken in war. Yet on Guam, remembrance is uniquely deeper as the war between 1941 and 1944 tragically took the lives of more than 20,000 Americans, Chamorros, and Japanese. Read more

Independence Day delayed

Hello all… It’s been a while.

Since my last post, we’ve moved clear across the globe to Guam, again, and thankfully we’re settled. It was a long haul. Holden and I went without Matt since he had to take the boat clear around from Portsmouth, NH to our beautiful island home. We were apart for 7 months. I hope to never have to do that again… I’ll write more about that another time.

Today, I want to fast forward to the present…

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Memorial Day

On this Memorial Day, and every day, we Remember, Respect and Honor our fallen military Heroes. We also honor and thank the surviving military families for their sacrifice and strength. We will never forget. Memorial Day: USS Thresher |

We remember the 129 souls lost on April 10, 1963, when the USS Thresher (SSN 593) sank.

“There are no roses on sailors graves, Nor wreaths upon the storm tossed waves, No last post from the Royals band, So far away from their native land, No heartbroken words carved on stone, Just shipmates bodies there alone, The only tributes are the seagulls sweeps, And the teardrop when a loved one weeps.”

-Royal National Lifeboat Institution

Memorial Day; USS Thresher |

Adding to my list of resolutions

I posted earlier about my New Year’s Resolutions for 2014.  While I, literally, just wrote about them, I have to add to my list.  I know… I’m a dork.  But this one is pretty important.

Step Away from (almost all) Social Media


Why?  Well one reason… Time.  It’s finite.  I’ve been wasting so much of it and sadly it’s impossible to make more.  Instead, I must use the resolution of “Organize Organize Organize” to do just that with my time to readjust how I spend it.

With it I’ve decided to give up my personal Facebook account and create a page for my blog.  I won’t be able to delete my personal page because it is linked to my page for {the little black boat.} and my Pampered Chef business.  My solution.  My personal page will still be there, I just won’t continue posting to it or to any of my friends pages.  I will however post occasionally on my new blog page and keep in contact with those I love in other ways than FB.

Which brings me to another reason why.

It’s sad how saying “Happy Birthday” or “Merry Christmas” to those you know and love has become an impersonal post on social media.  I really, really hate that.  Part of this resolution will also help me get past that.  I’m going to use my valuable time to make a more personal effort to keep in contact with my loved ones.  How many letters or cards do we receive in the mail now?  Very little.  I love getting mail… I used to love getting emails.  Now I dread seeing the number on my mail app.

My new blog FB page won’t look all that pretty until we get settled with all of our belongings in Maine.  Oh the joys of moving all the time… I miss my studio.

Have you made your resolutions and then added to the list??






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A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!!!

With the end of a year comes a new one and with it, resolutions.

I always seem to have more than one resolution… and they’re perpetual.  In fact, they never really change much.  2013’s were;

1.  Budget

2.  Business

3.  Blog

While I think I did pretty well on two of the three (Budget and Business) I hope this year’s resolutions will help with the third, Blog.


And my resolutions for 2014 are….. drum rolling…..


1.  Spend less, save more.

2.  Organize.  Organize.  Organize.

3.  Work out more.


I know the first, “Spend less, save more.”, is almost the exact same thing as last year’s “Budget”, we have a ton going on in 2014, so I’m wording it a bit different.

Numero dos is one of my favorite things to do.  I’m a bit of an organizing junky.  Sometimes the keeping up with it is a bit difficult, especially with a 2-year-old and a husband that is in and out of the state, let alone the house.  Organizing is a circle though, not a straight line.  You have to keep up with it in order for it to work.

The third, is going to be a bit more of a challenge since we’re moving.  But I love a challenge.  Moving from Honolulu to Kittery and Kittery to Guam, will not only bring big changes in weather, we’ll also have endless schedule changes.  But again, challenges can be fun, right?

One of the many things I’ll be using to help me with my resolutions this year is a Erin Condren Life Planner.

 EC logo

I do love my iPhone and its great connectivity to my iCalendar & Reminders on my Mac Mini and iPad, I’ve always been the pen and paper loving gal too.  I end up writing to-do list after to-do list and use hundreds of post-its all the time.  Inevitably I end up frustrated because there are not only duplicates, but I second guess myself wondering “now did I write this down or did I put it on my phone?”.  That’s where Ms. Erin Condren’s Life Planner comes in.

If you haven’t been over to her website,, hurry.  Go… right now.  Well, not right now.  Finish reading this post first, then hurry on over.  And be sure to finish reading because there’s a money-saving tip below. 🙂

She’s got such Ah-Maaayyy-zing things going on over there.

calendars. planners. gift wrap. iPhone cases. acrylic boxes and trays. pens. stationery of all kinds. and SOOO much more…

I have literally spent hours on her site lately adding things to my wish list and putting together my planner.  You don’t have to spend hours, like I have, you can put something together pretty quickly… I’m just that picky.

While her stuff isn’t cheap, it’s wellll worth every penny from what I’ve seen on all kinds of reviews on YouTube, Facebook, tons of blogs, and of course my favorite social media site, Pinterest.  Every planner is hand-made right here in the good ol’ US of A too!!!  Yet another great thing I love about Erin Condren.  Too much merchandise is made outside of our country these days, so I love that I’m supporting another one of America’s own.  While Erin Condren has become very VERY popular, I love that she started small like my little business has.  I don’t know that {the little black boat.} or Jessica Fawn Designs will ever be as successful as, but knowing she did it gives me the drive to do better and better each and every day.

Now onto that money-saving tip I mentioned. has a great referral program.

Here’s how it works:

When you click here and sign up for an account, you’ll receive an email with a $10 OFF coupon code to use on your first purchase.  Once you’ve made your first purchase, Erin will send me a $10 OFF coupon code too.

Now that is a MAJOR “win, win”, right?


After I buy my EC Life Planner, I’ll be sure to post my own review and maybe an “un-boxing” video when the pretty-box-of-planning-life-goodness arrives at my door step.

I think I’ll do a giveaway with that post.  What do you think??  Would you like to win a little Erin Condren somthin’ somethin’.  🙂
With only 10 days left in 2013, I’ll say a very happy good-bye to a pretty amazing year and hope 2014 is just as great if not better!!!


A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!!!






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… have a wonderful Thanksgiving.


It’s been a good long while since I’ve written and while I’ve been meaning to, time has just escaped me.  So just now I said to myself, “DO IT!”

Tomorrow is going to be a fun day for me.  Or night, I should say.  I’m going to dinner with some of my closest friends and then we’re going to the 10:00 premier show of Breaking Dawn part 2.  Of course you know, I’m a bit fanatical when it comes to anything Twilight, so I’ve been anticipating this day for a while.  As I write this very post, I’m listening to the soundtrack for the final installment of the Twilight Saga.  It’s bittersweet for me.  Very much so.

It sounds silly, very silly, but this series has brought me so many wonderful memories with even better friends.  I wouldn’t doubt if a tear or two is shed from my eyes tomorrow…

On a different note…

I’ve seen on Facebook & Twitter lately, so many people are posting about Thanksgiving and what they are thankful for.  While I’ve thought about it, I’m not clever enough to think of something everyday and I just can’t bring myself to post on social media everyday what I’m thankful for.  I just can’t do it.  So I’ll do it here, not everyday, but now, say my thanks.

There are tons of times when the words “thanks” or “thank you” just aren’t enough.  Does that make sense?  Like this week.  Celebrating Veteran’s Day.  While my husband isn’t a veteran yet, since he’s still actively serving in the military, I feel that saying “thank you” to him isn’t enough.  Saying “thank you” to the frail old man at the Arizona Memorial wearing a veteran’s hat isn’t enough.  I have to show them my thanks.  Not only on Veteran’s Day, but more often.  Every time I see a veteran  displaying that pride via a hat or shirt, my heart swells with so much gratitude and love.

During our visit with family in Florida in September, my mother-in-law, Diana, and I made a quick trip to the post office.  While walking in I saw a van in the parking lot with a large decal on the back window that said “Proud WWII Veteran”.  I walked past the van and noticed a sweet old man sitting in the passenger seat.  I got my flat rate boxes, walked past the old man with a wave and put the boxes in the back seat of our car.  Then I was compelled to go talk to this wonderful man.  I told Diana I’d be right back.  I had to say “thank you” to him.

I walked up to the van and asked, “Are you the WWII veteran?”  He smiled and said “Yes, I am.”  I told him I had to thank him for his service and told him a little about my husband being a submariner and about his Grandfather who served as a paratrooper in The War.  It was a short but very sweet conversation and I felt touched just talking to him.  What he went through, I will never know, but I hope our short exchange brought him joy like it did me.

As Thanksgiving approaches and Christmas after that, I find each and every year wanting to savor every moment with friends and family.  I want to soak in a few moments of alone time to look back at yet another wonderful year that is almost over.  Time goes far to quickly and I think to myself, each and every year, “How am I here already…. again?”.  It make me appreciate the time I do have with my husband, my little one, the hot cup-a-joe in the morning and the shrieking bark from the dogs.

While everyone is rushing around preparing for the holiday, I think it’s easy to forget that it’s a time to be thankful.  Take it in.  Be grateful for the little and big things in life.  Not just for the day or month, but like I said about Veteran’s Day, EVERY DAY.

Next week we’ll be spending Thanksgiving with family, which we haven’t done in what seems like forever, so I will be especially thankful for that.  It’ll also be our first Thanksgiving with Holden.  Our little love.

I’d like to thank you… whether I know you in “real” life or in the cyber one, thank you for stopping by my little piece of the big world-wide-web.

I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.







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Happy Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving and I have so many wonderful things to be thankful for.  One of which is still in my belly…  Our little guy Holden.

This week was interesting to say the least.  Monday, I had my 36 week appointment and after the appointment, I was taking a tour of Labor & Delivery among other places I’d need to know about in the hospital.

While in with the doctor (I will refer to her as Dr. O) she asked me the standard questions, “are you in any pain?” … “have you been having any contractions?”.  The pain part I could answer.  Yes…  my ribs feel like their about to crack, I have awful heartburn (especially at night, when I’m doing my best to sleep) and when I do sleep I’m getting very little because of the rib pain, heartburn, and constant trips to the bathroom.  Oh the joys of pregnancy.

The contraction question I couldn’t really answer without some guidance.  This is my first pregnancy so I have nothing to compare it to and wouldn’t have the slightest idea what a contraction feels like.  Dr. O then gave me a brief description of what to expect so I knew I had been experiencing some contractions, but they were minor.  Dr O asked me when I had my last one and I told her walking from my Jeep into the hospital.  She then told me after she did my exam (which included the yucky Group B Streptococcus test) she’d check my cervix.  This made me happy and nervous at the same time.

Dr. O measured my belly (we’re right on target for growth) and then put the lovely goop covered doppler to my swollen belly.  She asked if he is active, and I said “Oh yes… all the time.” to which she exclaimed, “I can see that.  He’s moving around so much I can’t get a good read on his heartbeat.”  It took a good long while with the doppler to find it, but she did.  Dr. O then felt for Holden’s back to see if he was head down, and then did the not so lovely part of the exam.

Once the test was done it was time for the cervix check.  Dr O quickly said, “oh yeah, you more than likely were having a contraction because you’re dilated 3 cm already.  I can feel his head.”  This sent me in two directions… excitement and panic.  Excitement, because I could be having our little guy sooner than later, and panic because Matt just left.  He not only left, he was now under water and unreachable.  He wasn’t just on a trip where I could call him and let him know what was going on.    Dr. O then explained that I could be dilated at 3 cm for weeks and some women are locked up tight (then she knocked on her desk) and don’t dilate without assistance.  She then said that this was good and that it “means I won’t be pregnant forever.”

I left her office and was quickly back in the waiting room for a short wait before the tour started.  This “short wait” was about 30 minutes, which in the grand scheme of things isn’t awful, but when you’re me and having a ton of things racing through your head, it seemed like days.

The tour started and soon we (myself and about 7-8 couples, I was sadly the only one without my spouse, which was surprising being at an Army hospital) were in one of the 10 labor and delivery rooms.  A nice elderly lady was explaining the process of coming to the hospital… First call L&D Triage and let them know you’re coming.  They’ll ask you some standard questions to make sure it is necessary that you come.  Then proceed directly to L&D.  I was pretty impressed.  Each room is private.  Babies don’t leave your room at anytime, unless they have to go to the NICU.  An alarm band is placed on the babies ankle to prevent anyone from stealing the baby, and should this happen, L&D locks down, the hospital locks down, and the base locks down.  Pretty crazy safe, right?  Feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.

Questions were answered and then we were on our way to the Mommy & Baby unit on the other side of the hospital.  In my head, I’m thinking, I should walk slow… I don’t want to go into labor until Matt’s home.  Just cross your legs woman, cross your legs.

The Mommy & Baby unit was very similar to L&D.  Same private rooms, more cushy for comfort, with the same alarm system.  We were then taken to admin to get paperwork filled out, that way when we do come back, in full-fledged labor, we don’t have to fill it out then.

After I was done with admin I went to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription for heartburn meds (thank goodness).  The wait, again, seemed like days.  All the while I’m trying to call family and friends to let them know what’s going on, but having no luck with a signal, but text messages are getting out.  After about 45 minutes, I’ve got my meds and I’m walking, ever-so-slowly, back to the Jeep.  Thankfully, during my visit to the hospital, I also got my Stork parking pass.  🙂

I make it home, after a very grueling day, and sit, as motionless as possible making phone calls to family and friends to let them know whats going on.

Since Monday, I’ve done much of the same, with some fun stuffed mixed in.  My friend Amanda took some maternity pics for me on Tuesday (which I’ll post once I get them in hand), I did some minor cooking/baking yesterday in preparation for today, and then late last night I picked Matt up from his office after his short underway.  It was fun telling him about my week.  I’m afraid a simple crossing of my legs isn’t going to keep our little guy from making his appearance.

Today we’re headed to Amanda & Larry’s house for Thanksgiving dinner.  I’m bringing Pumpkin Chiffon Pie (Matt’s favorite), Blue Cranberry Sauce, rolls and homemade eggnog.  It’s going to be a great day.  Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Merry Christmas

T’was the Night Before Christmas-Submarine Style
By Sean Keck
T‘was the night before Christmas, and what no one could see,
The men with the dolphins were under the sea.
Most of the crew was flat on their backs,
Snoring and dreaming all snug in their racks.
Those men on watch were making their rounds,
Some manning the planes or listening for sounds.
Back in maneuvering or down in the room,
They all hoped the oncoming watch would come soon.
I‘d finished some PM’s whose time was now due,
And hoped for some sleep, even an hour or two.
Against better judgment I took a short stroll,
And found myself wandering into control.
The Nav had the Conn, the COW was in place,
The COB had the Dive and a scowl on his face.
The helm and the planes were relaxed but aware,
The QM and ET were discussing a dare.
To comply with the orders the Nav told the Dive,
To bring the boat up with minimum rise.
The orders were given and soon they were there,
At periscope depth with a scope in the air.
The QM confirmed our position with care,
The broadcast was copied, we brought in some air.
The Nav on the scope let out a small cry,
He shook his head twice and rubbed at his eyes.
He looked once again to find what it was,
That interrupted his sweep and caused him to pause.
Try as he might there was nothing to see,
So down went the scope and us to the deep.
I asked what it was that caused his dismay,
He sheepishly said, “I’m embarrassed to say.
It could have been Northern Lights or a cloud,
Or a meteorite,” he wondered aloud.
“But to tell you the truth I guess I must say,
Whatever it was it looked like a sleigh.
And though it passed quickly and never was clear,
I almost believe it was pulled by reindeer.”
We laughed and teased him and I got up to go,
When our moment was broken by “Conn, Radio.”
They told us a message was just coming in,
We looked at the depth gage and started to grin.
“Radio, Conn, I feel safe to say,
Your attempt at a joke is too long-delayed.
If it had been sooner it might have been neat,
But I doubt we’re receiving at four-hundred feet.”
“Conn, Radio, you can come down and see,
We’re not playing games to any degree.”
I headed aft with nothing better to do,
Surprised by the fact it was still coming through.
It stopped and was sent to control to be read,
The Nav read it slowly and scratched at his head.
Then again he began but this time aloud,
To those that now waited, a curious crowd.
“To you Denizens of the Deep and men of the sea,
Who risk your life daily so others stay free.
I rarely have seen you on this, my big night,
For far too often you are hidden from sight.
But purely by luck I saw you tonight,
As your scope coaxed the plankton to glow in the night.
And lucky for me I’ve finally won,
The chance to say thanks for all you have done.
I know that you miss your families at home,
And sometimes you feel as if you’re alone.
But trust what I say and I’ll do what’s right,
I‘ll take something special to your families tonight.
Along with the gifts I’ll take to your kin,
I‘ll visit their dreams and leave word within.
They’ll hear of your love, and how you miss them,
I‘ll tell them that soon you’ll be home again.
It might not be much I know that is true,
To thank you for all the things that you do.
But I’ll do what I can, while you do what’s right,
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight.”

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  I hope you’ll keep those that are serving our country in your thoughts this year.






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Another boat Christmas party…

Last night was the USS City of Corpus Christi’s Christmas party… that’s a lot to type let alone say.

It was pretty low-key for us this year since several of our friends that we’d go with are no longer attached to the boat. It made me sad thinking about how much I miss them all.

We didn’t stay too long and on our way home we got a call from one of our friends that was still at the party saying we won a new Sony digital camera. Yay us!!!

Another boat Christmas party... |

Here’s a picture of Matt and I and some others of me and two of my gal pals, Denise & Tzippi.

Another boat Christmas party... |

Another boat Christmas party... |


The holidays are almost over…. 🙂







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