Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dear Snow

 You surprised us with a nice new fresh blanket of white just before Christmas and Soldier loved it. He didn't have snow where he's at and was so excited to see you, but I ask that you not visit again before the new year. Soldier is home and it has been so nice to spend time with him ice fishing, skiing, sledding, shopping, visiting family, watching movies and drinking wine. I really don't want to spend his last day home shoveling. I know you wont hold this against me and I promise you can visit again next week.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I can hardly believe another Christmas has come and gone and that I was lucky enough to spend it with soldier and my family. I wish leave was longer.

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Sent from my Verizon Wireless mobile phone

Thursday, December 23, 2010

See You Tomorrow!

Amazing how those 3 little words from soldier can make me so happy!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Craft Project: Burlap Wreath

I have been trying to stay busy this weekend and I saw a wreath in a home decor catalog that I loved. But I did not love the $50 price tag so I thought I'd try to make one myself. It was pretty easy and I think it turned out well. I'm considering giving one as a gift.
Just a little burlap

cut into strips

and woven onto a wire hanger

now it just needs a bow

voila

this dark picture is why I need a new camera!!!



Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Present?

I have decided to splurge on myself this year for Christmas and I'm getting myself a nice camera. I have still been using my 3 megapixel camera that i got when i was in junior high so i think it's time for an upgrade.
My health insurance company started a wellness program last year that allows you to earn points for exercising and eating healthy and then you can cash in those points for prizes. I earned a $250 gift card so I'm putting that towards the camera and I'm also awarding myself $100 for losing 25lbs this year and I'm putting that towards the camera. I've done some research and talked to a few people and I think I'm going to get a Nikon dslr d5000. It's a little heftier of a price tag then I would have liked ($700) but i figure I probably wont need to upgrade again.I have just never spent that amount of money on myself before.
Any ideas on cameras you recommend? I want to explore all options before committing and buying it next week.

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Sent from my Verizon Wireless mobile phone

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Little Tip

Word of advice for the Christmas season: when making gingerbread houses, make them small. Otherwise it will fall down.
So much for seveal hours of baking and decorating. But it was fun hanging out with friends and family.

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Sent from my Verizon Wireless mobile phone

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Shady Dealings

On the flight back from seeing K I was seated next to the most shady character I have ever had the misfortune to meet. First of all, he was on his cell phone the ENTIRE flight. You are not supposed to do this. All I could think was if his cell phone causes the plane to hit something and crash and kill us all, I will come back and kill him again. I am not by nature a violent person. His first call he made to someone who could find him a "crooked insurance adjustor who could make sure things go his way." And that he would "pay him some under the table to seal the deal." What?! His next call was for someone to "deliver a package". The next call was to make sure he could "descretly pass off the package at the next stop and make sure he get's the message." The rest of the calls were setting up various "deals". Excuse me?! I don't know if he was for real, or if he was just making stuff up. If you're conducting this type of business, wouldn't you do it a bit more privately than in an airplane? I was never so happy to see the snowing midwest again!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Back Again

Well, I'm back from my blogging furlough. I got a virus on my computer just before Thanksgiving and finally got my computer cleaned up and back to it's original working state. It was a nightmare trying to get it fixed and I hope I don't get another one any time soon.
After Thanksgiving I was able to fly down to visit Soldier at his training post. It was so great to be able to see him for a few days and spend some time together. Although, as great as those days down there were, I cannot wait for his Christmas leave when he gets to come home. It'll be so nice to have him here at home again. And then he can help me shovel the snow we're supposed to get! Snow has become a four letter word in my book since the 7 inches we got Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Too Much Free Time

K left for several months training. I thought I had prepared myself pretty well for his departure, this isn’t my first rodeo after all, but I’m lonely and bored. I’m giving serious consideration to picking up a part time job in the evenings and on the weekends to help keep myself busy while he’s gone. However I like having holidays, nights and weekends off. Also, most of the hiring positions available for night and weekend hours are retail jobs, and I’ve paid my dues there already. I worked several retail jobs to pay my way through college and it wasn’t exactly the highlight of my working life, but you do what you have to.


I’m going to start working out 6 days a week instead of just 4, so that should take up more time after work. And maybe I should look into taking some community classes on the weekends. I could always learn how to do pottery, or take some cooking classes, or photography classes…

Or, I could finish all those projects I’ve started. I need to finish quilting my mini starter quilt, sew the blanket K had bought me the material for, finish making the Christmas presents for my MIL, SIL, and GmaIL…

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy Anniversary

It was our 2nd anniversary a few days ago and I thought I would reflect back on what I've learned so far through our 2 years of marriage. 3 years of dating before that did prepare us for marriage, but I believe we'll always be changing, adapting and learning from each other.

What I learned after 1 year of marriage:
  • Getting married young doesn’t mean a hard 1st year
    • We got married at 22 and a lot of people said that our age would mean the first year would be a harder year than usual – it wasn’t, it actually was pretty easy and stress free. No kids, no money woes, no family emergencies, no deployment.
  • Communication is key
    • See the bullet point below
  • I learned to talk about things that bother/upset me instead of holding it in
    • I am Queen of "It’s fine". But I learned to talk about it and ask for help instead of trying to do it all on my own.
  • Marriage does change the relationship – even if you’ve been living together already
    • But for the better. I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I can’t explain exactly how it changed, but it did.
  • Vacations are important
    • It’s important to get away from work, school (at this time), and just spend time with the 2 of you exploring new places.
  • Rely on each other to cover your own weaknesses
    • I’m an organizer, he’s a planner, together we get a lot done!
  • Football really can be interesting to watch
  • You still need girls night/guys night
    • It’s important to keep a social life and existence outside your marriage. Not that one is excluded from the other, but you need to find a balance to stay grounded. And honestly, do any of you have a husband that will was SATC reruns.
  • I loved him more after one year of marriage than the day we got married. 
What I learned after 2 years of marriage:
  • The second year can be harder than the 1st
    • We had a very easy first year. We didn’t have any of the usual stressors that trip people up during their first year, no kids, no debt, both had jobs…The second year brought some stressors.
  • Unemployment is a huge stressor
    • Soldier graduated from college this year and along with graduation went his paycheck, he was unemployed for about a month and it was the most stressful month. I know now that I didn’t need to stress. We were smart, we have several savings accounts. One for big picture (house down payment), one for fun (vacations and toys) and one for emergencies (6 months salary) so we were covered financially. I just tend to stress about money more than I should. Can you tell I’m the penny pincher and bookkeeper for our family :)
  • Date nights need to happen regularly
    • just like with vacations; after a busy, stressful workweek it’s important to take time for each other, undistracted by the tv or internet and reconnect. We didn’t do date nights as often in the first part of our 2nd year and found that we weren’t communicating as well. We went to regular date nights and now our communication is back on track.
  • You still need to get dolled up for date nights
    • Keep the spice in date night – need I say more?...
  • Communication is key
    • Notice a pattern here?!
  • I don’t want to have kids yet
    • Soldier does, I want more time just us, we’ve come to a compromise..
  • Soldier eats his peanuts whole – shell and all
    • Even when you think you know it all, he’ll find a way to surprise you.
  • Absence can make the heart grow fonder
  • Still need girls night/guys night
    • He just can’t swoon over Eric from True Blood like my girl friends can
  • I love him more now than 2 years ago.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Weekend Project

I've had a fairly low key weekend and was able to finish up this project I started awhile ago. Here are the finished placemats. I think they go pretty well with my dishes. Now I just need to make another set so I have 4! I'm going to have to wait until after Christmas because I have a few other projects that need to get done by then.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veterans Day


Thank you to all of our Veterans who have served for our country. A special thank you to my veteran, my wonderful husband who is spending this Veterans Day away from home in order that he may better serve his country. I am very proud of him and every other man and woman in uniform. Another thank you to the families who support their service men and women.

"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with lots of pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations." – President Woodrow Wilson on proclaiming the first Veterans Day.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Protecting the Home Front

My husband can be a little funny when it comes to leaving me home alone. For example, before he left he loaded up my shotgun, left the chamber open, put it under the bed and placed the last shell on my nightstand so that all I would have to do is put the last shell in the chamber and she’s “locked and ready to roll”. Of course, if I was ever in a situation where I might need one, I am not entirely sure I’d have the presence of mind to do all of this, nor am I sure that I could. I am more likely to try and break a window and run out.


I used to think he was just silly, however, I’ve been a little bit more wary of being along now. Before when Soldier was gone we lived in an apartment on the top floor (sure we had a balcony that someone could climb up) but we weren’t as visible. Now we live in a house and anyone could walk by at night when I have the lights on and see me. It’s made me more aware that I need to take extra steps to protect my safety while Soldier is gone. For example, I’ve taken to keeping the shades drawn at night so outsiders can’t see in. I put some lights on timers so they go on and off randomly while I’m at work to make people think someone is at home. I always always put my paper/mail on hold if I’m out of town so others don’t see it piling up. I never display blue star banners or yellow ribbons because I don’t want others to know my husband is gone.


It’s crazy the lengths we have to go through to protect ourselves while our spouses are away. I’m wondering, does anyone else have any “tricks” they use when your husbands are gone?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

O Technology

Soldier and I use MSN messenger to communicate via webcam. While he was deployed it worked great and we were able to see each other. Since he’s been at his training is hasn’t worked at all. It wont connect us. It is SOO frustrating, we spend more time playing around with the computer trying to get it to work then actually talking and I just get frustrated during every call. I even upgraded my internet connection, thinking that would help. No dice. I think now we’re going to download Skype and see how that works.


I know I shouldn’t complain, he gets a 4 day pass over Thanksgiving, but it sure would be nice to see him now... What do you use to communicate with web cams?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween

Halloween is so much fun. This is the first year since I started college that I’ve lived in a house over Halloween and it was a lot of fun to hand out candy to the trick or treaters. The little kids had some of the cutest costumes. My favorite was a young teenager wearing a whoopy cushion and a little toddler wearing a lady bug. So cute.


It was definitely nice to have a busy weekend to take my mind off K being gone. The first weekend after he leaves is always the most lonely. The house is so much more quiet without him. I’m not the social one, so without him making plans I don’t get out as much. It was nice to have family visiting to keep me occupied.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

MIA

I’ve been trying to catch up on reading some of the blogs that I enjoy. I'd been MIA for awhile because I was soaking up as much time with my Soldier as I could before he left. It was a great time. He left just a couple days before our second anniversary so we celebrated last weekend. We weren’t supposed to give each other gifts this year because we had bought a new tv last month and that was going to be our gift, but the little tart surprised me with a beautiful necklace. I felt horrible because I didn’t get him anything and there really wasn’t anything I could get him because he wouldn’t be here to be able to enjoy it/use it.


He called me on his way over to his training location to let me know he stopped at Bass Pro Shop and got the GPS he'd been eyeing for awhile, so problem solved! I love having a resourceful husband :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Tale of No Shoes

I went to the gym after work yesterday like I always do. I put my work shoes in a locker to “save” it while I went to a bathroom stall to change from my work clothes to my gym clothes. I come back out of the stall to find that someone had put a padlock on the locker with my shoes in them. I looked in all the other open lockers to see if they had moved my shoes there. No shoes. I then went to customer service to ask they make an announcement for whoever put the lock on to come remove it. They do and there is no response. I figured as much. Then they made a sign to put on the locker asking the person to come to customer service once they remove everything from the locker. I go and work out for my 40 min and then come back to find the lock is still on the locker.
 So I go back to customer service and ask that they cut the lock off the locker so that I can have my shoes back. I had a meeting today for work and I needed to wear my suit. I just have 2 suits, both require black shoes, I only have one pair of black shoes for work, the other pairs just aren’t appropriate. They would not, but told me if the lock was still there at the end of the day (11pm – I go to bed at 10pm) they would cut the lock and call me if my shoes were inside. Fine, they open at 6am, I’ll get them on my way to work.


This morning I called to make sure my shoes were in the locker – they weren’t going to cut the lock until a supervisor arrived at 9am. This didn’t work for me because my meeting is at 8:30am and there aren’t any stores here open until 10am. I had no chance to get new shoes, I had to make due with other dress clothes, which being the only one not in a suit made me just a little self-conscious at the meeting. Anyway, I didn’t hear from them all morning, so during my lunch hour I called again and sure enough, my shoes were in the locker. Now I have to get them after work. I am still steaming mad about this whole ordeal and I think I'm just going to come home and veg after work...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall Favorites Swap Arrived!

My Fall Favorites Swap package arrived a few days ago (ok, more than a week ago) from Molly at Married My Airman! It had a ton of great things I love. I am addicted to Berts Bees lip balm and now I have 3 more sticks! I love love love chocolate and cannot wait to devour this. I've already burned through most of the candle because it smells so amazing. I can't wait to try the pop tarts (yum!) and now I can try this chocolate desert recipe I have because now I have the appropriate size crocks! Thank you!!

~ I took a picture of everything, but then realized now that I tried to upload it that I had accidentally deleted the picture :(, so i found a copy of everything I got online.

 

 

Friday, October 15, 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In


Head on over to Wife of a Sailor for this weeks questions

1.What are some things on your bucket list? (from New Girl on Post)

I have so many so here are a few of the top ones...travel to each continent (except Antartica)... go sky-diving ... travel to every state ...
2.How long have you been a MilSpouse and where have you been stationed so far? (from Raising Roscoe)
I have been a milspouse for 2 years and have been fortunate to have been able to stay in the same town.
3.What is a list of songs that sums up your life so far? (from Confessions of a Sailor’s Wife)
I'm a survivor =P
4.What is your favorite kind of pizza?
Pizza Corner's Chicken Alfredo
5.What are three good things in your life right now?
My husband, new house, good friends

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Just Because

I came home from work today and found these lovelies sitting on my dinning room table. I love getting flowers just because and Soldier never disappoints!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Recipe: Apple Butter

This was the easiest bit of canning I have ever done. We have several apple trees in our yard so I needed to do something with all those apples. All I had to do was peel and dice the apples last night while I was watching recorded episodes of True Blood (the wolf definitely pushed Eric out of contending as the cutest guy on the show) and put them in water and lemon juice. Then this morning I drained and rinsed them, threw them in a crock pot on high with some sugar, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg and right before I left for work I turned it down low. Then when I got home from work I took the cover off to cook off some of the juices still in there while I sterilized the jars and started making supper. Poured the apple butter in the jars and processed them. Soo easy, so delicious and my house smells wonderful! Here’s the recipe


Crockpot Applebutter
5-6 lbs apples, peeled, cored and diced
4 c. sugar ( I used splenda)
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cloves
¼ tsp nutmeg
Put apples in crock pot. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir. Cook on high for 1 hour. Cook on low for 9 hours. Take off cover and cook ½ to 1 hour longer until juices have been cooked off. Pour into mason jars (leaving 1 in. headspace) and process in boiling water for 10 minutes.

To process jars: Sterilize jars. Clean off any food from rim of jar so lid will create a nice seal. Place lid on jar and screw on cap, not too tight. Place jars in pot of water, enough water so it covers the tops of the jars by 1-2 inches. Bring water to a boil. Once water is boiling, start timing for 10 min or as recipe states. Remove jars from water and unscrew caps to dry off rings so they don’t rust in storage. Screw caps back on. Lids should be slightly depressed in the middle and shouldn’t move up or down when you press on them. If they do, store in fridge and use up right away.

I was a little intimidated when I started canning on my own. My mom always did and I would help her when I was growing up, but it seemed more scary when I was trying it on my own. It’s not, it’s so easy and now I make pasta sauces, stewed tomatoes, applesauce, pie fillings, and canned fruit. Next year I’m going to try making some jams. If my dad can do it, so can I, right!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Better than Chocolate?

Is there really anything better than chocolate and peanut butter? About once a month I develop a severe addiction to chocolate and peanut butter. My favorite things are peanut butter filled dove chocolate, peanut butter m&ms, oreo cookies dipped in peanut butter and chocolate/peanut butter ice cream shakes.






But yes, there is something that can cure me of even this severe addiction. And that is having Soldier come home early from a weekend field training and spending the afternoon furniture shopping on an absolutely beautiful fall day and then cuddled up on the couch watching a movie.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Just About Done

I took off work yesterday to finish unpacking the house. I fully expected to have it all done by the afternoon so I could get some more cleaning done. Nope, I still have boxes that need to be unpacked. Why does packing go so much quicker than unpacking....
On the plus side, I finally have internet again!! A rabbit under the deck chewed through the internet cord on Friday and we haven't had internet until today.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Cant Move

My body that is. I, along with the help of K's friend, moved all of our belongings into the new house and even unpacked the kitchen and our bedroom. And today I cannot move my body. I am soooo sore from walking up and down stairs and then standing after caused my thighs to cramp up and it's a little painful to move this morning. Coffee has never tasted so good...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rumor Mill is Cranking

O the dreaded D word rumors are coming already. Soldier hasn’t even left for the training that I’m already dreading and now these rumors. Of course, they are just that, rumors, and everyone knows nothing is final with the military so I’m not getting caught up worrying about it until the orders come. Speaking of which, the orders for his training just arrived in the mail today, *sigh*.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Moving Woes

I have absolutely no idea how everyone handles PCSing so gracefully. I packed up everything this weekend except for the essentials and a few extra things; 2 TV/DVRs, bathroom things, clothes for the week, a few dishes, and the fridge and freezer foods, linens on our bed, computers, etc. And then I realized that I hadn’t unloaded the dishwasher so I have many more clean dishes that need to be packed and I walked into our office and found this!

It's a good thing I love him :)

We are moving into our house on Friday and I had hoped to have everything packed and moved on that date. We still have our current apartment until the 15th so we have plenty of time to clean it up before we turn in the keys. But as I am planning this move I starting thinking, what if we were moving to another state and had to completely pack up the apartment and move EVERYTHING that day. What about cleaning the old place? You would either have to clean it as you’re packing. Although, I don’t know about anyone else, but I seem to make a bigger mess as I’m organizing/purging. Or you just kiss the deposit goodbye and tell them to take the cleaning charges out of the deposit. Which, as I’m trying to fit packing into the work week and still sticking to the gym schedule, is looking like the more attractive option every minute.


My husband is in the Guard so I’ll never experience a PCS move like many of you have or will. In fact, I have done very little moving in my life, just from my parents to a college dorm room, into a house with roommates (where the only thing I brought was my bed, dresser, desk and clothes), back into a dorm room and then into this apartment. 3 of these 4 moves were in the same town and everything then fit in the pack of a pickup truck. Now we’ve accumulated so much more than the basic necessities and need to rent a uhaul truck to carry everything. God willing this will be our last move because I would love to be able to stay in this town, and quite frankly, I’m exhausted!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

At The Risk of Sounding like a Broken Record...

I cannot wait to move! This morning was definitely winter coat weather and I have already boxed up our winter coats and only have a spring jacket left out. It doesn’t really keep you warm at 38 degrees at 5:30am in the morning. And the long winter coat is much better to have on cold days when your car has leather seats. Yeesh it was cold on the tush this morning!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Impatiently Waiting

I am getting very excited and cannot wait to move into our new house. I am soo ready to be done with this apartment. I have been here for several years and it is falling apart, literally. A corner of the building is sinking and it’s putting stress on the beams which is causing them to press through the sheetrock. You can see the distinct outlines of the beams through the walls. We also have a very long crack running the length of our ceiling and a water mark just appeared on our ceiling last month, so the roof’s leaking too. The floors slope so badly towards the middle that we had to put phone books under the bookshelves to keep them level.



For these reasons and so many more I am impatiently counting down the days until we are out of here. Of course, then I remember that as soon as October comes we are just that much closer to K leaving and then I don’t want it to be here so quickly.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Moving Countdown Begins

We finally found a house and are moving in just a little under 3 weeks. It’s a little short notice so we’ve been working like crazy to pack up our apartment. We packed up the office (the room I was dreading the most so I wanted to do it first while packing was still exciting – that lasted for all of 3 boxes) and I packed up the dining room, utility room and entryway closet this weekend before I ran out of boxes. K is picking up some more after work today and I hope to finish packing the living room and linen closet – maybe even start on the kitchen (another room I am definitely not excited to do) during the week and finish packing the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen this week, leaving out just the essentials to get through the week before we move into our house!


We are a little crazy though, Soldier doesn’t get any time off from work and has to work the next weekend as well so we’ve been doing all our packing during the week after we’re both done with work and I get home from the gym. Yes, I decided this would also be a great time to start working out again, so K gets home from work at 6pm and I usually get home from the gym at 6:30pm. Which then after making, eating, and cleaning up after supper it’s about 8pm which leaves maybe 1-2 hours of packing/purging/organizing/cleaning time before K needs to go to bed because he has to get up for PT at 5am. We get the keys the day before we are set to move so I’m probably going to stay up all night cleaning the new house before we start bringing everything in.

O, and because K can’t take time off I get to load all of these nicely packed boxes into the uhaul all by myself. I thought about calling some friends to ask if they’d help, but moving is such an unpleasant job I don’t even want to do it. And his parents are coming to visit the weekend we’re moving and that also happens to be the weekend of my parent’s 25th anniversary, soooo, K is going to have to move all those boxes into the house with the help of his parents because I’m leaving to go to my parents where the rest of my sisters and I are meeting for a family anniversary dinner with the grandparents.

I asked K to not do any unnecessary unpacking until I got back because I don’t want to have to rearrange things that had already been put away – especially in the kitchen – just to put them how I want them or I’d never find anything. So, when I get back on Sunday night I’m going to start the process of unpacking and putting everything away.


Whew!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Winter Already?!

We got snow last night! Can you believe it - it's only September and we already had our first snow. Fortunately it didn't stick and melted as soon as it touched the ground, but it seems like we might skip fall again this year and head straight to winter. Last year the leaves didn't even get a chance to change colors before the frost came and they just fell off the trees. Hopefully we get some colorful folliage this year because it is soooo beautiful. We got married in the fall almost 2 years ago and had the weather was perfect, 50 degrees and the trees were gorgeaus. Maybe we'll be lucky again this year, but the weather man said it was going to freeze tonight so I better pick the rest of my vegetables.


I finished the knitting projects for my nieces and nephew's Christmas presents and here are the finished projects.


Little bitty hat and booties for the newborn


Camoflauge hat and scarf for the duck hunter


Pink and purple hat ans scarf with beads for the girly girl


Yellow and gray hat with matching gray scarf


Blue hat and scarf for the bears fan

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Procrastination

I should be packing up our utility closet and the living room, but I made the mistake of turning on the tv for some background noise and saw that Sixteen Candles is on. Then I made the second mistake of picking up my laptop and am now procrastinating on the internet. I heard about these videos a few months ago and just have to share them with you as they are hilarious. Maybe not as funny for you non MidWesterners but I'll share anyway!




Friday, September 17, 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

Join in over at Wife of a Sailor

1.How do you spend your deployment money, do you save, pay off bills or enjoy the extra money while it is there to buy the things you do not normally have?



Save and pay off bills. We became completely debt free during the last deployment and put away a sizeable amount for a down payment on a future home.


2.If you could relive one occasion or moment, what would it be?


Defintely our wedding, the day went by so fast that I don't feel I got to really capture every moment so I'd love to go back and do it all over again!
3.What’s the worst job you ever had and if it was so bad why did you take it?


My worst job was also my first job at a grocery store, but it was bad because of the manager. She was an interesting lady and a horrible boss

4.If you could play any character on TV, who would you be?
 
Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City. I would love to have her closet!

5.If you could become the world’s expert in something, what would it be?


Hmm, I would like to be fluent in a ton of different languages. I'm thinking of  using Rosetta Stone to teach myself a language but I can't decide which one....

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Cookbook

I got a package in the mail from my mother-in-law. She has a tradition that she has given a cookbook filled with family recipes to her children for their wedding. I was fairly excited to get it because I love to use family recipes that have been passed down. My family still makes a lot of traditional Norwegian and German food and I’d like to incorporate some of K’s heritage into our cooking. Plus there are some of her recipes that he would like to have (her chocolate chip cookies are to die for).


Boy was I aiming a little high! This cookbook has recipes for mashed potatoes, jello jigglers, green been casserole, rice krispy bars, applesauce made by cooking down apples and throwing in a few red hot candies, cider…you get the picture. Pretty basic stuff and nothing I couldn’t learn how to make by reading the can or the box. I was incredibly insulted when I got it. First, we’ve been married for about 2 years now, and I can definitely cook better than this. I’m pretty sure I’ve got how to make mashed potatoes down!

I immediately called my mom to ask if I was out of line for being so upset. (My mom will definitely tell it like it is and I trust her to put me in check when needed). She said I wasn’t. Who knows, maybe my mother-in-law is still having trouble coming to terms with losing her ‘baby’ and is keeping these favorite recipes to herself so that I can never make cookies like that and then she can still be the best provider for him. I don’t know, I think I’m stretching for that one, but I just need to try and see why she would do something like this. It probably wasn’t even intentional, my in-laws are nice people, they just do some frustrating things. I can’t tell K how mad I was because regardless it’s his mother and I’m not going to say something mean about his family to him even though when K saw it he was pretty disappointed too. I’m going to have to call my sister-in-law (K’s brother’s wife) and see what her cookbook was like…

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Operation Knit

For Christmas my aunt gave all of her nieces a pair of knitting needles as a stocking stuffer. I love to do needlework and have done a lot of embroidery, cross stitching, crocheting and latch hooking but have never tried knitting. She showed me how to use them and I was hooked. Immediately I looked for a book of beginner knitting patterns and worked on a few simple scarves and pot holders before trying a patterned scarf. It took me forever to complete, but I finally did last night. And here is the finished project.








K came up with the idea that I would knit hats for all of our nieces and nephews for Christmas. We have 5 so it gets a little expensive buying gifts for his grandma, our parents, his brother and sister and their spouses and the nieces and nephews (my side of the family was smart and we draw names between my sisters and my cousins and we all go together to buy the grandparents and parents a gift – much less presents to buy so you get better gifts!) I found a few very cute patterns and need to start the first hat tonight.

I know it’s early, but I am a planner so I have a few ideas for Christmas gifts for the women, I saw a moss wreath wrapped in a satin ribbon in a home d├ęcor magazine for like 60 bucks but I know that I can make one for around 10 so I think that’s what I’m going to do for my mother-in-law and sisters-in-law and grandmother-in-law. No idea what to do for the guys yet.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I'm a Godmother!

I am a Godmother! My sister-in-law called last night to ask if we would be their son’s godparents. Well, of course we would. I am so honored to have been asked. Want to hear the funny part – their son (our nephew) is going to be 4 years old in a month and has already been baptized, just didn’t have any sponsors. They were waiting for us to get married and then kind of forgot about it after we got married (we’ve been married almost 2 years) until they were planning the baptism for their new baby girl next week and realized we aren’t on our nephew’s baptism certificate. He is such a sweet kid and we love him to death so we were so pleased to be his godparents.

Friday, August 20, 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In





1.If you could be a fugitive from the law for whatever reason, what would your crime be? (from It’s a Hooah Life)
It'd have to be for robbing a bank or something where I would have a enough money to run away to some remote island and live there.


2.How long do you think you will be a military family? (from Julie the Army Wife)
Forever - or at least until we're 37,  he's doing at least 20yrs and then we'll see where we are after that.

3.What’s your favorite recipe? (from Keep Calm and Soldier On)
Hhmmm, This is a hard one to pick. It'd probably have to be my Grandma's Rhubarb kuchen recipe

4.What would you want your last five words to be when you leave this life? (from My Goal is Simple)
Our life was freaking amazing!


5.Where do you hope to retire? (from Pennies from Heaven)
Right here, or wherever most of our family is by then.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Where Has the Summer Gone?

Every year when August rolls around I always feel a little cheated by summer. I never feel like I have had enough summer yet and it’s already almost over. It goes by so quickly that it feels like there wasn’t enough time to plan any of those summer vacations, weekends at the lake and camping trips we always talk about. Now it’s the second week of August and the only trip we did was to see my sister.

I’m hoping to talk K into taking me to Hawaii in October before he leaves. Then we could layover in California and see our new niece too! I’ve heard about a military resort in Hawaii and I’m wondering if anyone has been there or has any information about it.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Time

This morning I did some quick math and calendar checking and realized that K and I have now spent as much time together as we have apart. Amazing that after being together for 5 years it has taken this long for us to have spent equal amounts of time together as we have apart. Thank you Army! I haven’t told a “how we met” story so you should know that Soldier was already in the Army before we even met. We met in college after he started school after basic and AIT (which is actually a funny story that I’ll have to tell in full another time). K always knew he wanted to join the Army and was even in JROTC in high school, but wasn’t planning on actually joining the Army until after commissioning through ROTC in college. But after 9/11 and seeing so many soldiers leaving to fight he knew he wanted to serve his country and now was the time and he joined the Guard at the age of 18. I didn’t meet Soldier until he had returned from basic and AIT and was finishing up his first semester of college before deploying to Iraq. We were 19 at the time. Wow, looking back now we were so young! Now he’s been in the Army for 6.5 years and just 3.5 more to go on his current reenlistment. I'll enjoy the next two months that we will add to the time spent together column before K leaves again and we'll once again have spent more time apart than together.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

One Month

Today it has been one month since my friend's fiancee was killed in Afghanistan. As you can imagine it has been a very hard day for her. We decided to have a "slumber party" at her place so she wouldn't be alone tonight. The nights are hardest. She's still very much in the anger phase and i wish there was something I could do or say for her to make things right again. I know there isn't, but wouldn't that be nice if there was. I know right now the best thing I can do for her is the be there when she needs me, not to push, but to be there to listen or distract as needed. She'll grieve and cope in her own way and on her own time. It just breaks my heard to see her suffering so much. 
I found this poem a few months ago and I guess now is as appropriate a time as ever. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who has lost a loved one to war. 

An Ordinary Man
 He was getting old and paunchy
And his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion,
Telling stories of the past.

Of a war that he once fought in
And the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies;
They were heroes, every one.

And 'tho sometimes to his neighbors
His tales became a joke;
All his buddies listened quietly
For they knew where of he spoke.

But we'll hear his tales no longer,
For ol' Bob has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer
For a Soldier died today.

He won't be mourned by many,
Just his children and his wife.
For he lived an ordinary,
Very quiet sort of life.

He held a job and raised a family,
Going quietly on his way;
And the world won't note his passing,
'Tho a Soldier died today.

When politicians leave this earth,
Their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing,
And proclaim that they were great.

Papers tell of their life stories
From the time that they were young,
But the passing of a Soldier
Goes unnoticed, and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution
To the welfare of our land,
Some jerk who breaks his promise
And cons his fellow man?

Or the ordinary fellow
Who in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his country
And offers up his life?

The politician's stipend
And the style in which he lives,
Are often disproportionate,
To the service that he gives.

While the ordinary Soldier,
Who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal
And perhaps a pension, small.

It is not the politicians
With their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom
That our country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger,
With your enemies at hand,
Would you really want some cop-out,
With his ever waffling stand?

Or would you want a Soldier
His home, his country, his kin,
Just a common Soldier,
Who would fight until the end.

He was just a common Soldier,
And his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us
We may need his like again.

For when countries are in conflict,
We find the Soldier's part
Is to clean up all the troubles
That the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor
While he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage
At the ending of his days.

Perhaps just a simple headline
In the paper that might say:
"OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING,
A SOLDIER DIED TODAY."

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Little by Little

My garden is growing, little by little. A squirrel got into my peas and beans so I have to replant those, but everything else is coming along.


Most of my cucumbers are this big - about an inch long.
But i found this guy hiding underneath the leaves.


I have a lot of peppers, one of them has even ripened to completely red, can't wait to eat it!


And then I saw that another one that had been ripening has some hail damage.


I have a tomatoe that is almost fully ripened


And I've been slowly picking off the cherry tomatoes as they're ready - yum!


But I'm most excited for the yellow squash to be ready to pick. I have one decent size squash and the rest are about the size of my little finger.


Looks like I still need to head to the Farmer's Market on Saturday to pick up some produce.

Monday, August 2, 2010

History Lessons

K and I recently saw the Tall Ships exhibit as they passed through on their yearly tour. We went on about 4-5 ships and even were able to go below deck on two of them. They were very neat. I thought they would be bigger, especially considering how many sailors worked and lived on each ship. Below deck the ceiling was only 5’6’’ so I really had to duck down when we walked around down there. The “living” area below deck was so cramped that sailors were sleeping in hammocks only 15 inches apart. I couldn’t believe when I read that these ships were used at a time when bathing was considered bad luck. Therefore no one on the ship would bathe for the entire 7-9 months they were at sea.


I also couldn’t help but think about their families left back home for those 7-9 months. I immediately related their separation to my separation from my husband when he was deployed. But then I thought, maybe it wasn’t as much the same as I originally thought. I think I just might have it easier.

When those sailors were gone there was no such thing as Skype, webcams, instant message, email and phones to keep in touch. They didn’t even have cameras to take pictures of each other as a memento during the long times spent apart. They couldn’t even right letters to each other. It was hard enough for me to not hear from my husband for an entire month at one point during his deployment, but to go 9 months without a single word from him would be too much. Most of us get a little reprieve (a year or more) in between deployments, these sailors get just 3-5 months and they’re gone again.

And if something were to happen while he was at sea, no one would know until their return date had long since passed and you are only left to assume they sank somewhere in the ocean. There is no life insurance, social security, survivors benefits, etc to rely on for income. Unless you have family who can take you in, you are now the sole provider for your family. What are your choices in the 17th & 18th century?

These women possessed great strength and I hope I can remember that each time my Soldier leaves me for the call of his country. It takes a special kind of woman to spend most of your life waiting for the one you love.




Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Job Interview

K just interviewed for a job this morning.  He's working now in a temporary Army job and so needs a job to come back to when he gets home from training this Spring. I really hope he gets it. I know he will really like the work, even if it isn't his "dream job". And it will keep him satisfied until his "dream job" opens up. What K really wants to do is have another Army job somewhere close by - but there aren't many openings for his rank so we just have to wait until one comes along.


I also hope he gets this job for some more stability. I have a career and pull in a decent salary now, but I'm too nervous to buy a house on my salary alone because I work in the social service field and with the economy what it is, programs are losing funding. (That's a whole other post!) We've been saving up a lot of money and the only debt we have is his car payment and 2 semesters worth of college for me and we have a sizable amount for a down payment, just want to make sure that we'll still be living here in 5 years for the purchase to pay off.


There are many benefits to being a Guard member (even though the "weekend warrior" saying isn't so true anymore) and one of them is being able to have the best of both worlds. K is able to serve his country like he has always wanted to. We can stay in one place, near our families, if we choose to and I can establish myself in a career without having to worry about moving every 3 years or so. The flip side is that K needs to find his civilian career path as well, and the Army sometimes can challenge that. He has 5 months of training beginning this fall so it has hampered other company's willingness to hire someone that cant start until the spring.


I don't mean this to come off as sounding criticizing of the military, far from. I am very grateful for everything they have given and done for my soldier and me as well. We wouldn't be who we are today if it weren't for those experiences with the military and the challenges have only brought us closer together. Fingers crossed that this job works out!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Baby on His Mind

The soldier has some serious baby hungries. We were walking through Scheels the other day and he probably pointed out a dozen baby clothes saying how cute and little they are. I just couldn't help but chuckle at him. We've had many conversations about when to start a family. He would start trying tomorrow, I think waiting till we're 27-30 sounds like a good time to start having kids. He just looks shocked and says, "We'll be 30 by the time we do!!".

I know it's selfish, but I still have a lot I want to do before we have kids. I want to buy a house, go back to school to get my Masters and do a lot more traveling. Plus, we can make plans at the drop of the hat without worrying about lining up a babysitter, and let's face it, kids are a drain on the pocket book. All you moms out there must be horrified by reading this, knowing the joy your kids bring to your lives. But I think this just shows I'm not ready for kids yet. Of course, I know that when we plan God laughs, so thats not to say that I wouldn't be thrilled if he chose to give us one tomorrow, but I do think I'd rather wait a few more tomorrows if I have a choice.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Always Packing

 I feel like all I've been doing is packing lately. I packed last weekend to visit my inlaws. Then I packed on Tuesday to go out of town for a night for work. This weekend I packed to go camping with K. Now I just packed because I'm heading out of town again for work until Thursday. Then I'm going to have to pack on Thursday because we're going camping again next weekend.
Usually I'm watching K pack for one of his many trips with the Army and then kissing him goodbye for a weekend or a few months. I don't like being gone so much, I am a bit of a homebody, so I always look forward to coming home again. I miss my big comfy bed and my pillows, and I never sleep well without K. Hopefully we'll be able to get Skype to work so we can talk over that the next few days. It's going to be different being the one gone.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Baffled

Yesterday’s post was pretty short and random so I’d like to go into a little more detail regarding the funeral for the soldier as there are still a few things bugging me.


First, I have to say the Patriot Guard riders who escorted his body home, stood guard outside the funeral, led the procession, and surrounded his burial did an amazing service and I’m always thankful and overcome when I see them traveling down the road, carrying the flag. I remember the very first time I saw them or even heard about them was when K returned home from his deployment and they escorted their buses all the way home from when they crossed into our state (some 400 miles). It was quite a site to see. Then I was overjoyed, this time it was heartbreaking.

Second, the chaplain from the 82nd said a very nice eulogy for the soldier and the pallbearers handled themselves and the soldier with respect and dignity. I know my friend was very touched by their careful consideration of her Soldier and his family. They took several moments to speak privately with each family member and my friend and she was very comforted by what they said.

Third, and the reason for the title of this post, was that I could not believe that the guests at the funeral were taking pictures. I understand that the news was there to film the funeral and burial, but actual family/friend guests were taking pictures. I can only assume that it is because this is a military funeral and they were photographing the soldiers. We don’t have an active post anywhere around here, so it’s still a novelty to see soldiers dressed up in Dress Blues or Class A’s. I just couldn’t understand why a guest would do this. Maybe I’m only thinking of one angle here, but I find it extremely disrespectful and upsetting. At one point when I heard the woman behind me’s camera turn on I turned around and gave her a “look.” Would you do this at any other funeral? I was so relieved when the pastor told a few guests to put their camera away during the chaplain’s eulogy.

Summer Essential Swap Arrived!


It's here it's here! I love getting mail and this was a great swap sponsered by Flip Flops and Combat Boots.

I rushed to the Post Office over my lunch hour to try and get there before the noon rush – I did – and picked up my Summer Essentials Swap package. It was perfect. Anyone who knows me knows that I love organization, so an agenda/planner is the perfect gift. Plus it’s cute! Thanks Renee!!








Sunday, July 18, 2010

Weekend in Review

Finally just got home after a very busy end to the week and a weekend away from home. This weekend was my friend's fiancee's funeral. I went with a few of our friends and it was a very sad service. The 82nd Airborne flew down to be the pallbearers and give him military honors at the funeral. It was very touching to see those men become so emotional over a soldier they probably did not know. My friend is still grieving very much but is starting to accept that he is gone. I believe the funeral actually helped her.
Immediately after the funeral I drove up to where K works and he got off early and we headed to his parents to visit them for the weekend. We don't get down there enough so it was nice to see them. Just got home an hour ago and realized immediately on entering that we forgot to take out the garbage before we left. STINKY!
I checked our mail and saw that I have a Summer Swap package from Renee at Waiting to Exhale waiting at the post office, so I'm excited to pick that up tomorrow. Then I headed out to my garden and had a meals worth of beans to pick and several more tomatos, peppers and yellow squash are coming in. I even saw a few cucumbers that were starting! Can't wait for another month when they should be big enough to pick. My mother-in-law gave me 3 strawberry plants so I planted them and hope they'll do ok. I then planted more beans and peas and should have another batch of those in September. I hope you all had a good weekend!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Upgrade

I did it, I finally decided on a cell phone! It only took me how long to pick one out! I'm a very picky person about some things, and my cell phone is one of them. I like it to be simple and easy to use. Originally I wanted to get a blackberry because using internet is much more functional and they have a Skype feature - which would be great when K leaves in the fall, but to sync it with my work email would cost $99 for the license, and Verizon makes you buy the most expensive data package - mandatory! Eventually I narrowed it down to a Samsung and the LG cosmos before settling on the LG becuase K has an LG so we can share chargers when traveling.

It's very user friendly, and easy to navigate. I got my personal email account set up, even sent my first email! Now I just need my work account set up and I'm golden.