West Coast Life

Hi!  Im Kirby.  Im a Navy wife to my husband Tommy and mother to my two children Mason (4) and Elizabeth (1).  We have lived in Philadelphia for the past 12 years.  Tommy spent the last 4 of them in dental school at Temple University.  During the time he decided that he wanted to serve our country as a dentist to the Navy.  After much long and drawn out discussions as a family (well mostly just Tommy and I since Mason was only 3 and Elizabeth was just born) we decided that we would embark on this journey.  Best part of the commitment was that we were being placed in San Diego!  Being that I love to be outdoors in the warmth (not really a cold weather person, right dad??!) running, swimming, catching some rays... this was going to be the place for us.  We are very close with our families and majority of them live on the East Coast so this was going to be a huge move for us.  The summer was stressful to say the least.  Tommy was sent to Newport, Rhode Island for 5 weeks for Officer Development Training while I was in Philly preparing for our cross country move with two young children.  I got my first taste of military life as I could barely even talk to Tommy while he was there.  I give all the credit in the world to the wives and husbands of military families while their significant other is deployed!! (Tommy and kids right before he left for training)

After Tommy's graduation we came home to say goodbye to friends and family and then left for California.  Got my second taste of military life when our stuff arrived 1 week later than its original delivery date.  We spent the week living in a house with 2 mattresses and a packnplay (see us dining on our fine china and table, haha).  
Our boxes and furniture finally arrived and it was great to put all of our own stuff into our rooms and make this new home "our home."  Its been almost 4 weeks since we have been here and its starting to feel more like home than just a vacation we are on.  Mason started school, Ellie (Elizabeth's nickname) and I started a little music class, and Tommy is settled in at work.
Now my other job (besides mommyhood) is illustrating this fabulous children's book series called Carrie Flower (www.carrieflower.com).  My mother, who is also a breast cancer survivor, wrote the series because she wanted to share her struggle.  She found that when she was sick, people would shy away and avoid talking about her illness because they were scared to bring it up.  It was an unsettling feeling to her.  She would have rather they say "Hey whats going on with your boobs?  Do you need to have them removed?  Are you scared?"  but instead most people kept their questions to themselves.  While attending a leadership course she shared this  and her desire to write a childrens book with her team.  They encouraged her to go forward with it.  She did and I offered to draw up some sketches to go along with it.  It won all different awards at her leadership event so we decided to move forward with publishing the books.  We now have three different books based on Carrie Flower, a sunflower girl, who encourages us all to eat healthy and exercise; befriend other flowers who might look and smell different from us; and not to be afraid of a friend with illness, but be a friend instead.  They are sold individually or by themselves to become a Carrie Flower Bouquet.  For each Bouquet that we sell, an additional one will be donated to a child facing illness, difficulties, or differences.  (Below is mom, Carrie dolls and myself)  We also do fundraising events where we have a Carrie Flower LIVE performance, we do readings, and our newest endeavor a Carrie Flower curriculum where all the valuable lessons from the stories are put into a curriculum to use for elementary school aged children.
So now the big task is moving Carrie Flower to the West Coast.  There is a big push toward healthy eating and living here so I think she would fit right in.  Im off to find way to go about doing that!  Check back for my findings!! Have a fabulous weekend
xo, k