111th Submariner Birthday Ball....and more

So...I could have sworn I had already posted this blog...but it was showing up as only a 'draft', so I am re-posting it. :)
I remember when I was little watching my mom and dad go to military balls. I would watch my mom get ready and I specifically remember thinking that she looked as close to a princess as we could get in our day. Im sure she wore several different dresses over the years but the only one i remember her wearing was a pink one with gems all over the bodice and a long train and a jacket. Maybe this isn't even what it really looked like, but thats how i remember it. Well, I won't hide the fact that when Topher got into the Navy, the thought of maybe going to a Ball in the future did indeed cross my mind. I thought it would be pretty amazing if I could go to the same extravagant type of affair my parents had gone to years ago. So, when a friend of mine here mentioned that yes, there are indeed Navy Balls, I came home and demanded of Topher that he find out when the next one is. He looked sheepish. It was the following weekend. My eyes probably bulged right out of my head when he said this. What?! This weekend?! You're taking me, right?!!! I mean....um, could we maybe, please, please go?
So Topher bought tickets to the Ball for me instead of a lawn mower. HaHa! Whoops. I bought a pretty, modest and inexpensive dress at Ross, we got a babysitter and went to the Ball!
It was definitely fancy, not complete with the chandeliers I had always assumed were there, but still very nice. There were important military personnel there that Topher told me all by name, and there were even retired WWII veterans present. The food was really nice and the speeches were really interesting. Everything was perfect except the music. Can I just say I found it totally inappropriate that at a Formal Navy Ball, they were playing Hip Hop music???!!! Because I do. Find it totally inappropriate. Not that I don't like to dance to silly hip hop songs, because I do. But thats at my house, when I'm by myself and in pajamas. Not when Im in a formal gown at a Ball with retired military. All i could keep thinking was that if my parents had gone to a ball like this they would have been sorely disappointed because they loved to dance and were dang good at it too.
So after 15+ minters of ridiculous music that only the extremely drunk couple was dancing to, I approached the DJ to ask that he play something classy that everyone would want to dance to. He told me that the current song was the last song and he wasnt taking any requests. Yeah, I don't think so!!!! I begged, and demanded that he play something appropriate for the occasion, and he complied. :) heheh. He played one slow song for me and almost EVERYONE danced. Obviously had he taken that kind of advice for the whole dance portion of the night a lot of people would have danced. However, then the drunk couple wouldn't have as easily been captured on video by over five people for YouTube purposes later.
Anyway, it was a fun night. I loved dressing up and seeing Topher in his dress whites. Have I mentioned before how much I love that boy in uniform??? Because i do.
Im putting in these last two collages just because they are so cute. This little dress Grace is wearing was actually mine when i was little. Its a German dundel(spelling?? Sorry mom!). Anyway, Grace wore it the other day and i was in love with how adorable she was in the dress! So cute!
The next collage i have fondly named Gracey's Sassy Series. She is such a Spit fire, and a drama queen to boot.


Lots of Pictures and A Little Bit of Lately...

The past few weeks have been filled with a little bit of everything. We have been getting a feel for the hot that is coming in the next several months. About 2 weeks ago we started hitting 95 or higher every day. In the evenings it doesn't get cooler than about 75...and from what we've heard, in the heat of Summer it won't cool down much more than about 85 in the evenings. Yikes!We have discovered lots of frogs. We had one in our mailbox of all places the other day. Since then they are basically a daily sighting. In our driveway, on our patio, on the side of our house. They are always little and are either bright green or a dirty brown/green color. I like the bright green ones best.We also have massive bees here and huge moths. This moth was literally as big as my face! We of course have alligators as well, but those aren't as frequent a sighting. I spotted one at the pond across the street from our backyard last week that was about 4 ft. But as soon as it spotted me and my daughter running full speed in it's direction it dove back in the water. We also saw one that was at least a 7 or 8 footer in the pond down at Crowfield Plantation, and that was a little intimidating!! It was so big and just swimming around! Sadly, I haven't gotten pictures of the gators yet. But hey, I still have a few years to get em'. :)
We have found a couple good camping locations. We went camping on the Edisto River, the longest "black water river" in N. America. It really is black too! Something about the plants that grow along side the river puts a mineral or something in the water that turns it this dark black color! You really can't see anything under the surface at all, its really neat. We kayaked there and had a really nice and cool evening thanks to the rain earlier in the day. We couldn't find Grace's life vest anywhere so she wore one of ours. It was a bit big maybe? Oh, and she
couldn't bend to sit down. But hey, it worked!
We have explored Downtown Charleston enough now that we can actually find free parking along the battery and we don't get lost anymore! We know exactly where we want to go and what we want to see and can get there in no time flat! The Hydrangeas and Crab Myrtle trees
have been in bloom lately and they are so beautiful.
We have taken a little excursion to see Charlestown Landing, followed by Waterfront Park right on the Harbor in Downtown. Grace loves the Pineapple Fountain that you can walk around and splash in.
We were able to make it to our Ward's Ice Cream and Kite Social. Other than all the ice cream making big puddles around their cooler in the sand, it was a fun day. It was the day they were holding the Piccolo Spoletto (sp.?) contest which is a really neat Sand Building contest. The entries were really impressive!
In response to the heat, Grace & I have tried to take advantage of opportunities to get out of the heat! We play at the local County park and Splash pad once a week, go swimming at our community pool across the street (YAY!) & try to find fun things to do inside. Finger painting
was our latest venture. She seemed to like it a LOT. Me, not so much...clean up was a bummer.
When Topher's parents visited us, they helped us out tremendously in getting us an Aquarium membership. We have been able to go almost on a weekly basis for Grace to see fish, alligators, turtles, sting rays, sharks and otters. It has been a lot of fun and Grace is slowly getting more and more brave each time we visit. Last time she actually TOUCHED a snake! I mean, really, just touched it. Not pet it, just kind of poked it, then buried herself in my shoulder. Silly girl.
We also had the opportunity to go the Temple with our Ward last weekend. It was so neat to have the Ward put together rides, babysitting, food, and everything else we could need. I guess this was the Ward's first time having a really organized Temple trip like this where there was babysitting provided right next door to the temple and having Vans transport people...but It was such a success I hope they do it again! The temple is beautiful of course, but much smaller than any of those I have visited in Utah. It was neat to see that no matter the size of the Temple or the amount of workers, the Temple functions in the same way, doing just as much good here as in any other place in the World.
We've also gone blueberry picking, watered the lawn once, sometimes twice a day, (it is so hot!!) colored on sidewalks, and yes on Topher's face too (he shouldn't have fallen asleep!).
We are enjoying our time here, trying to stay busy and get organized. We miss our families, but are trying to get out there and make friends. Not sure if we're seeing progress there or not, but we'll keep at it!
To say that we are anxious for our trip to Utah in less than 2 weeks would be an understatement, but we are definitely counting down the days to visit family!! I know I'll miss Topher like crazy and it will be weird to experience the "home sick" feeling for S. Carolina, but I know that I will experience it all the same, because this is where my beautiful house is and my wonderful husband. Slowly, I am realizing that wherever my husband is, that's where my home is. It's just a little empty feeling without the rest of my family. But that's ok! We are happy and doing well. Thanks for checking in!