My photo
I'm a twenty-nine year old Army wife currently living near a large Army post. I have an unhealthy obsession with Dr. Pepper, the Internet, cloth diapers, and ridiculous TV shows. I'm a stay at home mom to two beautiful daughters, AJ and Amelia. We also have a 6 year old beagle named Abby who is as dumb as a box of rocks.

Blog Archive

Powered by Blogger.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Farmer's Market Finds...

Got some yummy goodies at the market this morning!

Don't they look pretty? I already have some pico de gallo made for lunch! Yum!

Hair Experiment...Or "Me: Being Frugal"

Some of you may look down your noses at what you're about to read. I'm okay with that. I have put some thought into my decision and I am fulling willing to live with the consequences, whatever they may be.

With that being said, I have decided to dye my hair. At home. From a box.

My hair is naturally light brown/dark blond (depends on the day). I'm really sick of paying an a$$load to get it highlighted at the salon. I have long hair. It takes forever and costs a lot of money to get a full head of professional highlights.

Going along with my decision is the fact that D and I had a discussion about our current location the other day. The gist of the conversation was, "there is nothing to do here and no restaurants to eat out at. We should be saving an a$$load of money while we're here." You may remember me talking about how we're going to buy a house at our next duty station. (You don't? Read about it here.)

Given our location (the middle of nowhere) and the likelihood that I will be able to find a decent salon (slim) I have decided that frivolous hair treatments can be one of the ways that we supplement our savings account.

So, I'm letting you all in on it. I have purchased my box of dye (yay PX!) and plan to take the plunge this weekend. Some of you who know me IRL (in real life) may remember the last encounter I had with boxed hair dye. For those of you who haven't had the privilege of meeting me (yet) here's a little teaser:

I don't know if you can tell from this picture, but my hair is blue. Well, it was really more of a periwinkle than full-out blue. My poor friend, Lindsay (on the left) was the one who did it. I actually kind of liked it and honestly, it was my own fault. I was trying to go dark and bought the dye to take black hair to a medium brown. As I mentioned above, my hair is light brown/dark blond.

Here's a recent picture of me so you can have an idea of what the "before" looks like.

I'll update you on how it goes, but in the meantime, wish me luck!

Friday, July 30, 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In....Or Another Week Down!

Is it just me or was this week brutal?

Its over. Thank God. And since its Friday, that means another edition of the MilSpouse Friday Fill In!

If you haven't joined in yet, head over to Wife of a Sailor to get started.

1. What is your spouse's best feature?
I like all of D's features, but I love his lips. I think they fit perfectly with mine. I also really like his shoulders. He has broad shoulders, so it makes me feel like he's my protector (in a way, he is). Shoulders are one of those things for me though. I don't think I could have ever ended up with someone with skinny shoulders.

2. Mild, Medium or Hot sauce?
Medium. I tend to think that Hot is too hot and Mild tastes like Medium anyway, so I might as well gain some street-cred and go with Medium.

3. What is the worst uniform you had to wear for a job?
Hmmm. I've had lots of jobs. I can think of the best uniform I ever had to wear really easily. I haven't ever held a job where it would obviously win the title of "worst uniform." I never had to dress up in a chicken suit or wear a Statue of Liberty costume or anything like that. I was a lifeguard for a long time, so I had to wear a swim suit for work. At the time it wasn't a big deal (because I was skinny and cute), but if I had to strip down to the bathing suit for work now, that would win. So, basically by default that wins.

4. You have invisible powers… where is the first place you would go?
Ummm. Maybe to my bed to take a nap? I don't know. Possibly sneak into a movie. This question makes me sound really lame.

5. What’s left on your “to do” list for this summer?
Running, running, running. I have a 5K coming up at the end of August. Also, I need to get the Jeep registered in our home state. Then fun stuff, like heading to the lake with friends and going to FL with my family for a long weekend! Other than that though, my calendar is literally blank.

Oh, and also, how do you like my new blog layout? I'm not certain that I'm sold on it yet. Just seems kind of generic to me. What do you guys think?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Story of How We Met....Part 2

Sometimes I feel like my posts end rather abruptly and for that, I apologize. I tend to write when AJ is napping (duh, what kind of mom would I be if I spent all my time blogging while she was awake? Okay, I do write when she's awake sometimes...don't tell anyone!) and sometimes I'm in the middle of a post when she wakes up. That is kind of how Part 1 of this story ended. I'll try and pick back up from where I left off.

So as I mentioned on Tuesday, our relationship ended in heartbreak, like many high school romances do. Ours, however, does have a happy ending but I digress.

Towards the end of our senior year (2002) we came to the conclusion that our lives were moving in vastly different directions. D was joining the military and I was getting ready to go off to college. We just didn't see how our relationship would work out. I don't think either of us were mature enough at the time to weather a long distance relationship and our relationship met its demise. Or did it?

True to our words, D went to basic training and I headed off to Big Ten University for my freshman year. We lost touch. Gradually he faded from my everyday memories. I'm not sure if the same happened with him, but D simply became my high school ex-boyfriend. We both dated other people. Neither of us had much luck in love.

Fast forward to November 2005. I was almost done with Fall semester of my senior year and I was taking a break from studying for finals. Bryan (go figure, huh?) and I were chatting on AIM (yes, as if the land line phone conversations from the first part of this story didn't date me, this surely will). Bryan mentioned that he had been chatting with D lately. He suggested that I contact him.

I hadn't talked to D in more than 3 years. Was this crazy? Sure. We chatted on AIM for a while and made plans to meet up for lunch when we were both back in Hometown U.S.A. for Thanksgiving break. We met for lunch. That turned into getting together for drinks later that night. Drinks turned into more drinks which turned into 5 am. We had so much to talk about!

D's original plan had been to attend the Academy after high school, but he didn't get accepted. Well, little did I know, he had joined the Army after high school and ended up getting sent to the Academy a year later. He was smack in the middle of his Cow (junior) year at West Point. I was about to graduate in May. Our lives were totally different than when we had last talked.

As fun as that night was, we didn't talk all that much in the weeks following. Christmas time rolled around and we decided to meet up again for some drinking (we were in college folks). This time though, we talked on and off the next few weeks after we were both back at school. It was early-January when he called me and asked me if I would come up for the weekend and go to a dance at West Point with him. My response was, "Sure!" It sounded like fun!

Well, that weekend solidified it. I went to West Point. In February he flew home and then drove the 3 hours to visit me at school for a weekend. He met all my girlfriends. He passed the test. My friend Mary says that when she met him she knew that we would be together forever. She claims that she knew instantly that we were perfect for each other.

Summer time rolled around and D had school obligations that took him from WP down to Ft. Bragg for most of the summer. Since I had just graduated a road trip was in order. One of my friends and I got in the car and drove from Big Ten University to Ft. Bragg. We spent the week before he had to report hanging out and just spending time together. Later that summer I found a job and he went back to school for his Firstie (senior) year.

I went to WP several more times during that school year and every chance he got, D drove the 12 hours home to see me. Our families were thrilled that we had rekindled our relationship.

In March of 2007 D's mom passed away suddenly. I was really unsure what kind of support he would want from me. I didn't know if he wanted me to let him have his space so he could grieve with his family or if he would want to talk to me about things. I honestly had never dealt with a loss this close before and I didn't know what to do. I let him dictate what my actions should be. It was a terrible tragedy but it brought us even closer together. He has told me that the passing of his mom was what made him realize that he needed to be with me forever.

A few months later, D was set to graduate from the Academy. I boarded a plane with his Dad, Grandparents, Aunt, Uncle, Brother and 3 cousins. We made it to the East coast and drove up to WP where we met up with my family. Graduation week and all its festivities went well and even though we narrowly made it to the stadium in time we were able to watch D walk across the stage and shake the Vice President's hand.

After graduation, we waded through the crowds of people down to the cemetery (oh yea) for D's commissioning ceremony. After being sworn as an officer in the United Stated Army D got down on one knee and proposed to me (yes, still in the cemetery), in front of his entire family, my family and many others who were there as well. We spent part of the afternoon enjoying the excitement of the day before heading out to dinner to celebrate more.

I was really surprised that he proposed at his commissioning in front of all those people. I mean, I knew that he was planning to propose because I had looked at rings with his aunt. I just wasn't expecting it then because the week after we went on a cruise, just the two of us!

So that is pretty much our story from the time we met until we got engaged. Check back in the future for the engagement/wedding details.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update!

The motivation just isn't there. My runs don't seem to be getting any easier and that makes it really hard to get myself up and out there running more than a few times a week. Add that to the fact that this baby refuses to sleep more than a few hours at a time lately and well, you've got a tired mama!

I always feel accomplished after I finish my run, but I may have hit a low this week. Saturday I was out early with AJ in the jogger and someone passed me. Yep. He was running with a jogging stroller as well so its not like I could even tell myself that it was okay. Granted, it happened at about 2.5 miles into my 3 mile run (about the point that I really wonder if I'm going to finish or die), but it still made me feel like crap!

I do have to add here that my run yesterday went really well. I felt good, I ran a good pace (even with the jogger) and it may have rejuvenated me for the rest of the week. I really needed a good run, so thank goodness I dragged myself out yesterday!

With that being said, here's how my week looked:

7/22 Thursday: 3.03 miles with jogger
7/23 Friday: Walked 1.12 miles with stroller
7/24 Saturday: 3.03 miles with jogger
7/27 Tuesday: 2.54 miles with jogger

Total: 9.68 miles

I'm really going to try and get out there running more often this week. I think it will hurt at first, but eventually make a difference in how my runs feel. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Story of How We Met....Part 1

Going along with my post from the other day, I decided that its time to tell y'all the story of how D and I met. Get ready...our story is a long one (and I think it has the potential to get a little bit confusing, so bear with me as I try to be as clear as possible!).

As you might have gathered by reading my previous post, D and I have known each other for ten years. We haven't always kept in touch and we're not that "high school sweethearts" couple that you're thinking we are (although lots of people consider us to be). I'll start from the beginning though.

Its November of 2000. Junior year of high school is in full swing. My life couldn't be more perfect. That is, until my best friend Bryan tells me that his family is moving to California. As in, the West coast. I'm from the Midwest. California is a faraway dream-land that I have heard about, but never been to. (Okay, so I'm also a little melo-dramatic as a 16 year old.)

My circle of friends decides that we're going to throw a big going-away party for Bryan before he moves halfway across the world to California. I probably haven't mentioned this before, but now is as good a time as any. I didn't go to elementary and middle school with my high school friends. We went to a private, Catholic high school, and while most of my friends knew each other from their parochial grammar schools, I was a "public" (yes, "public" was a dirty word at my high school). This meant that they had a few friends who went to other schools in the area that I had never had the pleasure of meeting.

On with the story. We've all gathered at someone's parent's house for the most important night of my life. The usual crew is all there. We're hanging out and being super-cool (like only high school students hanging out in their parent's basement can be) when he walks in. I had never seen him before, I know that, because I would have remembered. He was the most handsome boy I had ever seen.

I get a little blurry around this part because I'm pretty sure I was having one of those moments (and it was 10 years ago, people). Somehow he knew all of my best friends from school. I don't remember who did it, but we were introduced to each other. We started chatting and shamelessly flirting with each other. There was a point in the night when we were playing pool and I was being picked up. (I don't know?!!? Like I said, my memories are a little fuzzy...) I do vividly remember walking away from that party with a piece of paper burning a hole in my pocket. On that paper were 7 numbers. I remember them to this day. That night and those 7 numbers changed my life forever.

As it turned out, D and Bryan had gone to grammar school together (along with lots of my other friends as well). They were boy scouts together. They had been best friends. I was Bryan's high school version of D. How weird is that? How we had not met until Bryan left is beyond me. I think it was a sign. Bryan's role in my life was to fulfill a purpose. He was put there to bring me and D together.

Shortly after the first meeting D and I exchanged a series of phone calls. These phone calls are something that the kids of today will never experience. They were the land-line phone calls from our parent's houses. We monopolized the phone lines and talked until the wee hours of the morning. I'm pretty sure that these conversations (if you can call them that) could have set records for the longest phone calls in the history of the free world. We literally talked for hours. Sometimes we didn't even talk, sometimes we would be on the phone so late that I would fall asleep, only to wake up an hour later to hear the silence on the other end.

It didn't take long before we were officially "together." Since D already knew the majority of my friends, he fit right into our social circle. It was more than a little convenient. After a while he started coming by my parent's house for family dinners and just to spend time with me. My parents loved him. We settled into a 2 year long relationship that would ultimately end in heartbreak, but has a happy ending.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mamarazzi Monday!

Friday afternoon D got off work early and it was super hot, so we headed over to the neighborhood splash park. It was AJ's first time wearing a swim suit and her first time at the park, so I don't think she's completely sold on the idea yet. I'm hoping to take her to the pool on post soon, so I'll update you all on how that goes!
Doin' okay.

Doin' okay.

Not loving it.

Thinking about maybe trying again.

All in all, she did pretty good! Her little meltdown was short and then she was ready to get her hands wet again. I think I'll definitely have to bring her back another time!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Some Lovely New Things....

For some reason I have really been on a Vera Bradley kick lately. I think it has to do with the super cute purse my only friend M was wearing the other day. Lucky for me, the PX sells VB for a fantastically tax-free (and apparently discounted) rate! Have I mentioned that we don't even have a Tarjay here? Seriously, my options for shopping are the PX, Wally-World, and Lowes. Yep.

Anyways, Friday I headed out with AJ to get the oil changed in D's car and decided to make a pit stop at the PX on the way home. (I spent a good portion of Thursday evening perusing the
VB website.) I wanted to see what kind of selection our PX had and more specifically, make a purchase if they had the pattern and bag I wanted! Well....Hooray! They did!
And to top it off, the watch I ordered from showed up in the mail on Thursday, so I'm rocking all sorts of cute, new, summery accessories lately!
And the best part is, it was only $22! What a bargain!

What are some of the cute, new things you've gotten lately? Is there anything you really are itching to buy?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

You're Going Places, Baby!

Where was I ten years ago? Hmmm.

Ten years ago I was 16 years old. I was mere months away from meeting the man (boy?) I would eventually marry and spend the rest of my life with. I spent my time working at the local pool, running (sweating) at summer Cross Country camp, hanging out at Dunkin' Donuts with my (obviously super-cool) friends, and driving around town with my 4-month-old drivers' license.

If you had asked me in July 2000 what I thought I'd be doing in ten years I would have probably laughed at you and not been able to answer. I had no idea what was in store for me and how one night four months later (November 2000) would change everything.

Even if I didn't realize it then, I think I knew. I knew that D and I would spend the rest of our lives together. I knew that we would get married and have babies. I knew that we would grow old together. I knew that we were meant to be (corny, I know). I knew that we had a special connection that even now sets us apart from other couples. There was (and continues to be) just something about that boy.

Did I think that our lives would be the way they are now? No. I knew that the Army was a very real possibility, but I really didn't know that D would end up at the Academy and we would lose touch for so long. I didn't know that the Army would move us around quite as much as they have. I didn't know what we were in for, at all.

Reality is a lot different than the pretty little picture I painted in my head at 16. Its better.

My how things can change in 10 years.

I'm not even going to attempt to think about where we'll be at 36 (but it will be interesting to look back on our lives now).

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Versatile Blogger Award!

So I've had not one, but two (count 'em, 2!) awards bestowed upon me lately and I really need to get on it and fulfill my obligation here, people! The first award I received is the Versatile Blogger Award from the lovely ladies over at Our Soldiers Make Us Sisters.

The rules are:
1. Thank the person who gave you the award.
2. Share seven things about you.
3. Nominate 10 newly discovered blogs.
4. Let your nominees know about the award!

So here we go...

Thank you ladies for bestowing this lovely award onto me! I feel very honored to be chosen!

Seven things about me:
1. I am obsessed with TV. I seriously watch it all day long.
2. I drink a fountain Dr. Pepper almost every single day (and yes, I can tell the difference between a fountain pop and pop from a can or bottle).
3. D has been Active Duty for 3 years and we are currently living at our 4th duty station.
4. I'm terrible about keeping in touch with people but I always remember you and often think about you.
5. D and I have known each other since we were 16 (10 years....eek!).
6. D and I have the same birthday (year and all).
7. I really enjoy cooking (and I'm pretty good at it) but I'm often too lazy to get started.

Okay and now for the 10 newly discovered blogs....(This was supposed to be 15, but I haven't had enough time lately to discover that many new blogs, so I changed it to 10.)
1. annoyed army wife @ The Annoyed Army Wife
2. Katie F. @ The Life of an Army Wife
3. melissa @ for the love
4. Erin @ Baby Love
5. Taylor @ Then There Were Three
6. C & A @ Pills & Push Ups
7. Kayla Sue @ In Every Good Love Letter There's a Soldier and His Girl
8. J.L.S @ Better When We're Together
9. Moe @ A Million Margaritas
10. Kayla @ The Long Blue Dress

I also received another award yesterday from Taylor over at Then There Were Three. I'm going to post that one tomorrow, so come on back!

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

Welcome back to MilSpouse Friday Fill In! To get in on the action, go to Wife of a Sailor and get started....

1. Besides the horizontal mambo, what do you miss most when your spouse is deployed?
I really miss having someone around who just "gets" me. There aren't that many people who really understand me and know the "real" me, so when he's deployed and we don't have regular communication its really hard for me. Even if we are able to talk regularly, its really just not the same because he isn't around to really know what's going on at home.

2. What do you miss least?
I think the thing I look forward to the most is knowing that all the little annoying things he does won't happen for a while. Of course, that also makes me a little sad when I think about it. At first I still miss all the annoying things he does, but after a while, its nice to not have to deal with it!

3. You only get three crayons to finish your picture… which three do you choose and why?
Cerulean (can be used to color water, sky, or clothes) Green for trees, and Burnt Sienna to make tree trunks or hair. Uhh, I'm not really sure about this questions. I don't know what my picture is of or anything....

4. If you could have your own fragrance, what would it be called?
Sweetness. I honestly have no idea. I've never even thought about something like this. I feel like my answer is really lame.

5. If the shoes make the man (or woman), what do your shoes say about you right now?
They say that I'm serious (made of leather) but still like to have a good time at the beach (flip flops with a little metal flower on them)!

Okay, I also have to say now that I've answered all these questions....they're super hard this week! Up until this week I was able to come up with some pretty decent answers but I feel like I kind of dropped the ball this week. Sorry!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update!

I started out the week full steam ahead! I went running Wednesday with AJ in the jogging stroller and felt pretty decent. I thought that meant that running without the stroller would be even better. Well, Friday night D was home with AJ, so I headed out once the temperature dipped below 1,000. Yeah. Not so great.

That run kind of unmotivated me from running the next few days. For me its super hard to stay motivated when I haven't actually started my training program for my 1/2 marathon yet. My training program starts in August though and I have a ways to go before I feel like I'll be ready for a 6-day-a-week regimen. Thankfully I sucked it up and went out for a shorty-run yesterday.

I did take AJ out for a walk Saturday morning though, so I'll count that as exercise as well.

Here's what my week looked like:

Wednesday 7/14: Ran 3.45 miles with stroller
Friday 7/16: Ran 3.1 miles
Saturday 7/17: 1.42 mile walk
Tuesday 7/20: 1.65 miles with stroller

All in all, not too bad.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Toe Shoes

Lately D has been on a kick. He has become obsessed with these new shoes that are supposed to be good for your posture as well as help get rid of any foot, leg or back pain. Sounds great, right? Well, I think I'd be more inclined if they didn't look like this:

Or this:

They relate to the idea that barefoot running is actually what our bodies are made to do. D has been doing some research and stumbled across an article that explained that most running injuries are related to the amount of padding that running shoes contain these days. Back in the 60s and 70s there was no such thing as "running" shoes. Foam, rubber and padding did not factor in when someone went out for a jog. Well, apparently, scientists also noticed that the number and type of running-related injuries was comparatively non-existent as well.

Vibram Five Fingers shoes are made to provide protection to your skin from the elements while providing the same benefits of running barefooted. They are made of super malleable rubber that is shaped like your foot. The tops are breathable and water-friendly, unlike most of today's leather shoes. There are several different styles available as well that are intended for a variety of different athletic activities.

I honestly might be interested in these shoes if the toes weren't separated. I don't know why, but they just thoroughly creep me out. I mean, look at the picture above. Gives me the heeby-jeebies! D tries to be sneaky and wear them out in public and its just not happening!

*I just want to let everyone know that this post is totally my own opinion and I am in no way endorsing or not endorsing this product. I'm simply blogging about things that are relevant in my life right now.*

Do you or anyone you know have a pair of these? What are your thoughts about them?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mamarazzi Monday!

To join in, head over to Household 6 Diva and link up!

This week's pictures are from the in-laws visit this weekend! We had a fun time together. If you want to know more about what we did, check out my post from yesterday!
AJ and Daddy hanging out on the couch. She's clearly bored with the!

D, AJ, D's Aunt Debie, and D's cousin, Ryan chilaxin' on the couch on Saturday afternoon.

AJ and her great-Aunt Debie.

The funny story is, D's aunt's name is actually Debbie, but when he was younger, he spelled it wrong (forgot one of the "b's") and now we call her Aunt Debie.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Weekend Recap

My in-laws were in town this weekend. We had a fun and relaxing time and the trip was all too short! They had to work on Friday, so they didn't get in until late (well after I was in bed) and they left this afternoon.

Yesterday we hung around the house, rearranged some furniture (my father-in-law is an interior designer), hung some art on the walls, and basically just enjoyed each others company. Everyone always dotes on AJ which is nice because it gives me a little break from the everyday routine! We also ordered gyros from the yummy restaurant in town for lunch (yum-o...ew, so not a Rachael Ray fan, but whatevs).

Last night we watched the movie Where the Heart Is with Natalie Portman and made some frozen DiGiorno pizzas to have along with our cocktails. ;) (We seriously never order pizza because these are so good and at between $3-$5 each, why would we spend $10+ on something that tastes pretty much the same and is soggy by the time it gets here?)

This morning the plan was to head out to Cracker Barrel for breakfast before I had to volunteer at the USO and the fam headed back, but we got kind of a late start, so I just made breakfast for everyone here at the house. I made blueberry pancakes, plain pancakes and bacon. Mmmm. I love breakfast and its kind of my specialty! I can make a mean breakfast! The best part about having a big Sunday breakfast is that we have extra bacon, so that means we're having BLTs for din din tonight! Yipee!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My...What a BIG Girl I Have!

I don't know what all your thoughts are on co-sleeping and honestly, I don't want to start a debate, but I'm going to put this out there. We co-slept with AJ for quite a while. It was never my intention and really was more out of necessity than anything. Seriously, the girl screamed if she was placed on her back, whether she was swaddled or not. The only way we could get her to sleep was to let her sleep on me, and eventually, next to me.

Notice that in the above paragraph, I said "we co-slept." As of Sunday July 11, 2010, Miss AJ has not slept in our bed one time. She has been exclusively sleeping in her crib, in her bedroom for all naps and at night!

This transition has not been an easy one, but at 18 weeks old (or 4 months) I knew that it certainly wasn't going to get any easier for either of us, the longer we waited. So we jumped into it. My main reason for moving her to her own bed was because she was starting to roll and I didn't want to worry about her rolling off our bed during her naps (obviously at night she's in between us so it isn't a problem). I figured that if she was going to be napping in her crib then she should just sleep there too.

We are still having trouble getting her to settle into sleep, but as soon as she is soundly sleeping she's golden. I think that is more due to her nature than the location, so its something we'll have to keep working on and try to figure out a good routine.

That is all! Just a boring Saturday here for us, although the in-laws are in town (arrived late last night). Pretty much any Saturday here in the middle of nowhere is boring, FYI.

Friday, July 16, 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

Woo hoo for Friday!! We have some visitors coming into town tonight for the weekend, so I'm extra excited for the week to be over! I also love Fridays because its MilSpouse Friday Fill-In time!

In case you haven't checked it out yet, head on over Wife of a Sailor's blog to get started. Each Thursday she posts the questions so you can have your blog ready for Friday. The questions range a variety of topics, but they're all aimed at getting to know your fellow MilSpouse bloggers better! Fun fun!

1. What food reminds you of your spouse?
This one is pretty easy for me. There are a few that come to mind, including steak (my first taste of Montreal Steak seasoning was at his parent's house when we were in high still my heart), hearts of palm (had never heard of these until I had one in a salad at his grandparents) and artichokes (steamed, leaves dipped in butter, mmmm), but the main one is spaghetti with homemade meatballs and gravy. Yummm. D's family is Italian, so they have basically schooled me on eating "real" Italian food.

2. Who would you rather sit next to in a cross-country plane ride: an irritating non-stop talker, or a quiet stare-er?
As creepy as a quiet stare-er is, I really cannot stand incessant talking. I'm not a big stranger-talker, so that would really tick me off. I think with the creepy stare-er I could put my headphones on and pretend to sleep at least.

3. What are your best tips on how to save money?
Hmm. I am admittedly not the person to ask for financial advice, although D would argue otherwise. Maybe that's because compared to him, I look like a miser. But seriously, the easiest way for me (and my family) to save money is to make meal plans and stick to them. If I do this then we are less tempted to buy things we don't need at the grocery store and less likely to eat out on a whim. It still happens, but not nearly as much. I've found it also helps to move to the middle of nowhere where there's nothing but crappy restaurants and nothing to do. We don't all have the *luxury* of that second option though, now do we?

4. What is your favorite summer memory?
I have a lot of great summer memories. I really don't know if I can pick just one. I loved the summers that I spent time at church camp when I was younger. I made some great friends there. I also loved all the Griswold-style summer vacations we took as a family. The summers spent working at the neighborhood pool during high school were wonderful as well! Summer means Cubs games, bonfires, Jeep Wranglers with the tops off and tan lines. It also means drinking beer or margaritas on the patio and 4th of July. I guess I'd have to say that every summer is a favorite summer memory. I'd never be able to just pick one.

5. Do you believe in ghosts?
I really don't know. Sometimes I scoff at the thought of people who are "true believers" and at other times I wonder how there could NOT be ghosts. I've never had an experience with a ghost, be it someone I knew or not, but there are too many crazy things that go on in this world to completely write the idea off. So until I have gathered my own evidence through encounters or otherwise, I will continue to remain undecided on this one. I am really interested to read what other MilSpouses have to say on this, though.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Results Are In...

AJ is offically miniature. Not like in the sense that she's a little person or anything, but she is just small for her age. We had her 4 month doctor's appointment (and immunizations) yesterday and got her new measurements.

At 4 months her measurements are as follows:

Length: 24.5"
Weight: 12 lbs., 15 oz.
Head Circumference: 16"

That puts her at about the 50% mark for height and 25% for weight. She basically has long, skinny chicken legs, which, if you knew her father, you would laugh at! D has not exactly been blessed with what would be known as long legs. He likes to claim his pant size to be a "husky extra short." *Don't tell him I told you that...*

Anyways, poor baby also had to get her boosters and all that jazz for her immunizations. Let me say, she was not happy about it, but she was much more easily consoled this time around than she was at her 2 month appointment. She got some nifty Charlie Brown band-aids from the super-nice nurse and promptly fell asleep as soon as she was laid down.

The doctor said that we can start to give her rice cereal if we want to. I think the plan right now is to wait for a bit (at least until she starts showing interest) before we jump into that. I mean, she's still so little and just a baby. I guess I'm having a mommy moment here. Its only a matter of time before she'll be wearing make-up, right? (ack!)

All in all, I continue to dread her doctor's appointments because I hate watching her get all these shots, but at least we don't have to go back for another 2 months.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update!

I decided this week that AJ is officially big (and strong) enough to sit in the jogging stroller while I run. Unfortunately, I did not take into account that I am not strong enough (or in good enough shape) to push her in it while running. Ugh. I have some serious work to do before 1/2 marathon training can start.

My goal is to be able to run with her in the jogger so I can do my 12-week training plan pushing her. Then when the time comes to run the race sans baby, I should do awesome, right?! Well, let's just say that its a good thing I went to the CYS briefing yesterday. I now have the option of putting AJ into hourly care so I can get a good baby-free run in every once in a while.

**For those non-military/non-moms who read my blog, CYS is Children and Youth Services, they run the CDC (Child Development Center) otherwise known as on post day-care.**

On to my update...Please pardon my lack of exercise over the past week. Monday officially started my pre-1/2 marathon training, so I'm going to be much more active over the next 6 weeks or so, then I start my 12 week program for San Antonio!! Ack!

Anyways, Monday I took AJ out in the jogger and started out on the 5K route I mapped. I think we made it .75 miles before I had to walk. I did (most of) the rest of it alternating between walking and running. I have to admit, the route was an out and back, and I turned around a little bit before I was supposed to. I logged it at 2.66 miles and it took me 43 minutes. Not super proud of that, but hey, I can only go up from here, right?

Seriously though, running on the sidewalk/pavement is so much harder than running on the dreadmill and I do not want to make the mistake I made for my last 1/2 marathon (which was training 100% on the dreadmill) so for now, I'm sucking it up until I am in better shape.

So for the past week my workouts looked like this:

Wednesday 7/7: 3.1 miles on the dreadmill in 33:15
Monday 7/12: 2.66 miles on the road w/jogger in 43:00; 200 crunches on the exercise ball

I'm off to run the mean streets of our neighborhood now. Wish me luck!

How are you doing with exercising? Anyone have any new goals or achievements to share?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Trip Recap and a White Wedding

I promised that I would post pictures from the trip and the wedding once I got some time (and the pictures uploaded). Well, here we go!

Here's how the car ride started out.
Which quickly progressed to this:
But things took a turn for the better once we got the car ride out of the way. The second day we were in town we took a walk around the downtown and stopped to pose for a family shot with the Cat In The Hat.
Saturday night D and I had a wedding of a close childhood friend of mine to attend. We saw tons of people I grew up with and had a great time! The setting was beautiful and we made sure to get some pictures before the reception started.
With the beautiful bride.
The bride with her brother, my brothers, D and my Dad.
Me and D by the lake.

Sunday we went to my Father-In-Law's for a 4th of July party. AJ got lots of presents, including this adorable headband!
All in all, we had a great trip. We really enjoyed seeing everyone from back home and they all loved meeting AJ for the first time. I'm pretty sure I didn't have to change one diaper or feed her one bottle the entire time we were home! She was really good and well-behaved for everyone.

We also had professional family photos taken Saturday morning and as soon as I get those, I will post a few for you all to see!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mamarazzi Monday!

AJ became crazy baby this week. Seriously, I think she suddenly became a little person instead of a blob. She is yelling, chattering away, grabbing for things and playing with toys. She also is loving the activity saucer because she can stand up and look at herself in the mirror! Here are a few pictures of her "playing" this weekend.
Riding the dog...

Hanging out with Daddy

Super happy!

What are your little ones up to these days?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Farmer's Market Score!

Check out what we got yesterday at the farmer's market....
It is seriously huge! I only cut up half of it and wrapped the other half. I used my biggest bowl and it was full!

Oh, and also, it was delicious!

Attention Slurpee-Lovers Everywhere!

If you love Slurpees as much as I do, you won't want to miss this one!

On July 11th at participating 7-11 stores you can get a free 7.11 oz Slurpee in celebration of 7-11 Day 2010! Follow the link to check out the official Slurpee website which has more details. We don't have a 7-11 near us anymore, but I love Slurpees and I also love free things. I have taken advantage of this promotion in the past and there is nothing better than an ice-cold treat in the dead of Summer!
What is your favorite Slurpee flavor? Are you planning on getting your free Slurpee today?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday Fill-In

Wife of a Sailor has once again come up with some interesting questions for this week's MilSpouse Friday Fill-In! Here we go! If you haven't joined the craze yet, hop on over to her blog and get started, chica!

1. What is your favorite household chore?
At the risk of sounding like a freak, I will admit to actually liking most household chores. I get a sense of satisfaction when something looks nice and clean. Strangely enough, I let my house get super dirty just to be able to noticeably see the difference after I clean (yes, I'm aware that I have serious issues). I have to say though, that my favorite chore is vacuuming. Now, before everyone freaks out about this....I'll qualify my statement. I hate vacuuming anything other than carpeting. I like to see footprint-free rooms and the nice little "v" shape that shows up on freshly vacuumed carpeting. Wood floors, not so much.

2. What is your favorite childhood memory?
Hmmm. My family is less-than-conventional. I think my all time favorite childhood memory comes from my sister. My sister is 5 years younger than me and could be classified as insanely a tad giggly. There was a 2 year stretch when I was about 10-12 years old (she would have been 5-7) that she was physically unable to control her laughter. She would get herself going to the point where she would be required to leave the table until she was able to control herself. There were several dinners when she would think she had the laughter under control just to walk right back out of the room when she saw our faces. I had a happy childhood and the regular laugh-attacks at dinner are just one example of the joy we all shared!

3. What is your most embarrassing moment?
This is an easy one. My problem is deciding which moment in my oh-so-graceful-life has been the most embarrassing one. I think I have to go with the time that we were on family vacation and like all the cool families we were driving across the Midwest to go hiking in Wyoming for a week (fabulous, I'm such the outdoors-woman). I had been sleeping in the car when we stopped for a potty break and in my semi-sleep walking state, I followed my younger brother into the Men's room at a truck stop. This was one of those truck stops that people hang out at (and by people, I mean "creepy old men") and basically chew the fat. They all saw and proceeded to give the "little missy" a hard time about it. Hey, at least I was able to provide them with an afternoon of laughs!

**I just have to add in here, D was reading this post over my shoulder and he said that he disagreed with my most embarrassing moment. He thinks it happened over Memorial Day this year when we were flying home from our friends' wedding. I had a turkey sandwich from the airport (big mistake) and some almonds for lunch. A mere 2 hours later I blew chunks all over a sleeping AJ, myself, D and the woman sitting in the seat in front of me. I proceeded to puke the rest of the way home, which included another painful scant 3 hour flight and the drive home from the airport (and half the night as well).

4. What uniform of your spouse's is your favorite?
Definitely Class-A's. Hot!

5. What canceled TV show do you miss the most?
I really miss Friends. I remember watching the series finale in my dorm room sophomore year of college with all my friends and all of us bawling our eyes out! Full House is the show that I miss from my early TV watching days. I have vivid memories of being at my BFF's house and running the whole way home at 4:58 just so that I was home in time for the beginning! Another that I miss is The O.C. We own the whole boxed set of that one though, so I don't really have to miss it. I can watch it whenever I want.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Portable Careers

As a MilSpouse, I have moved around, a lot. We're talking 4 moves in 3 years, a lot. We are really good at moving, but unfortunately, when you have to pick up all your worldly belongings and drag move them across the country every year, the probability of finding a good, well-paying job seems to get slimmer with each subsequent move.

Some spouses are lucky enough to have discernable talents or skills that they are able to take with them and use to their benefit each time they relocate. Me, not so much. I'm super at reading. I also enjoy half doing crafty-type things, but you had better believe that my laziness outweighs my perfectionism to the extent that whatever I make looks really nice but won't hold up in a storm.

Other spouses have professional degrees in areas in which there is a demand. The military has a lot of use for Social Workers, Doctors, Nurses and the like, even in the civilian sector. These spouses don't have any trouble finding a well-paying job.

Now, here's the kicker. I have a degree in English. More specifically, English Literature. I'm great at editing, reading and writing. I enjoy these things, but there are not many jobs out there looking for someone who has absolutely no business saavy and can write a killer sentence. In fact, I think I've held most of the jobs that are looking for someone like that. The main issue is that none of these jobs are located around military installations (the ones I've been stationed at, anyway).

When we were stationed at Ft. Hood I signed up as a substitute teacher in the local school district. It literally was a last resort. D was deploying and I had a big, fat, empty year staring me in the face. Who knew that it would be right up my alley? Who knew that the 2008-2009 school year would change my outlook on my professional life? Who knew that it would make me want to become an elementary school teacher?

I've had conversations with several teachers who have all told me that if I liked subbing, I would be an awesome teacher. They all said that they loathed subbing, but loved teaching. They told me about how great it was to have your own classroom and know the routines and schedules, not to mention the kids. I got a taste of this towards the end of the school year because I was basically subbing exclusively for the same 5 classes. I can totally see their point and vowed to get my credentials in order once we got to a duty station that would become semi-permanent.

Up to this point, we have known that each time we moved it would be temporary. Now we know that with our next move, it will most likely be permanent. That means I can get into a program to get my teaching certification. After that I can apply for teaching jobs. The next step, logically is to start teaching. Eek! This is starting to get real here, people!

D and I had a conversation about it the other day and I think the plan is to wait another 3-ish years until AJ is ready for pre-school to start my schooling. That way I'll basically start working around the time she starts school. We would rather not have to put her in day-care and since we can afford for me to stay home, that is what I'll continue to do. There is a program though, that I've looked into that I will probably apply for in about 2 years.

Have other MilSpouses run into this issue? What did you do? Do you try to find a job when you PCS or are you a Stay-At-Home-Spouse/Mom?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update!

Its Wednesday again and you all know what that means!! Its time for the weekly Wednesday Workout Update! Boy do I have an update for you (or maybe not).

When we were home we went to the specialty running shoe store in Hometown, U.S.A. and I got fitted for a new pair of squeaky clean running shoes. I love this store. They totally know what they're doing and always make sure you get the right shoes for your needs. Their staff is knowledgeable and friendly. I told the guy that I'm about to start training for another 1/2 marathon and he found me the right pair of shoes!

The next morning I set off on a 5k run in my parent's neighborhood and jeez! I am super out of shape. It was my first time running on anything other than a treadmill since I started working out again and I struggled. I finished it, but my legs felt like they were full of sand. I suppose it can only get easier, right? RIGHT? Other than that one run, I didn't get out and do another but I did join my mom and go for a few walks around the block with the stroller and the dog, so that counts, I guess.

All in all...not a great week, workout-wise, but I wasn't expecting it to be. We're back home now, and thus, back to the grind. I don't have that much time before my 12-week program for the San Antonio 1/2 in November starts. I really need to get moving and get back into shape!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Registration Day

First off, I'll start out by saying...."We're home!"

It feels good to be back home and relaxing on our own (albeit crappy) furniture. AJ was amazing on our drive home today, she only got crabby one time and that was towards the end of the ride. Seriously, she rocks!

We had tons of fun back in Hometown, U.S.A. but I think we were all ready to come home. We have to go back again soon because the registration on one of our cars expires in August and we forgot the paperwork we need to get it renewed this trip. On to the real (and exciting) reason for my post....

Today the registration for the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon officially opened! I am registered as of 9:35 pm CST. I know 2 others who are already registered as well and I am SO totally looking forward to this race and the trip in general! It is going to be so much fun! My mom is watching AJ for me and I'm going to do a big weekend away with the girls while D finishes up all his crazy schools before we head to our next duty station at the beginning of March.

I'm running another 1/2 marathon in San Antonio in November, so I think I'm going to have just the right amount of time to rest a bit after that race and then start a new 12-week training program. My next step is to get registered for the San Antonio race. Race registrations are expensive though, so I'll probably wait until after payday to do that.

I'm starting to ramble now, but I will be back tomorrow to update you all on how our trip home went and hopefully to post some more pictures of the trip! Also, I need to seriously catch up on all my blogs that I follow, so I'll be back, but it might be a while before I catch up and start commenting again!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Mamarazzi Monday

AJ had a ton of fun at her first 4th of July party yesterday. Here she is showing off her new headband that someone bought her.

I'll post more pictures either tomorrow when we get home or Wednesday.

Friday, July 2, 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

Wife of a Sailor posted the weekly Friday Fill-In questions yesterday and I looked at them, noticed they were more difficult than last week's questions and did not think about them again until this morning when I just sat down to write my post for the day. Bear with me. My brain is a little mushy and honestly, while good questions, some of this week's questions are those that I dread facing in an interview because, well, I just don't know, I'm super indecisive and tend to ramble (like you couldn't have guessed that)!

Here goes!

1. Tell us about your dream that you could do regardless of pay.

Hmmm. This is one of those questions that I dread answering. Honestly, I am one of those people who could not work and be totally content. There are people who would go crazy if they didn't have a job/career/profession. I am not one of them. I do, however, want to be a teacher and am planning on getting certified to do so when we get to our next duty station. I would not do it for free though.

2. What is your most prized material possession (kids and pets don't count)?

My most prized possession would have to be a tie between my engagement and wedding rings and my West Point neckalce D gave me for Ring Weekend. My rings for the obvious reasons, but my WP necklace is also really important to me because it symbolizes sort of the beginning of our committment to each other. D surprised me with it and it has his initials engraved on the back of it. It is pretty awesome!

3. What has been your favorite duty station and why?

I haven't been to any duty stations that I openly disliked, but some I enjoyed more than others. Those that I enjoyed were more due to my friends than the location. With that being said, my favorite so far was Ft. Hood. I knew a lot of people there and although D was deployed almost the entire time we were stationed there, I had my friends and that really helped me get through the deployment. I met some of my best friends there who I hope to see again at another duty station in the near future!

4. What is your least favorite household chore?

As weird as this will sound, I hate making coffee. I don't know if this is considered a chore, but in our house, we never remember to empty it out after we make a pot, so the next time we want coffee, we have to empty and clean it before we brew the new pot. UGH! I hate it! I do, however, love coffee.

5. If you could give one piece of advice to a teenager today (not specifically a MilTeen), what would it be?

My advice would be to stop worrying about what other people think about you. Seriously, outside high school, no one cares about how cool you think you are and the people who do are not worth being friends with!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hometown, USA

There's no place like home. There's no place like home.

Its kind of weird to be home. Not gonna lie. We pulled into town yesterday afternoon and things looked, well, weird. We haven't been home in a while and its been even longer since we were home and the weather was nice. The trees are huge compared to what I remember growing up. Tell me that I'm not the only one who longs for "home" and then when I get here, it just doesn't feel like home anymore.

Don't get me wrong. I miss my family and friends from home, but in the end, it isn't the location that makes it home, its the people. It hasn't been that long since I've seen my parents and siblings, but this weekend we are going to a wedding of a childhood friend of mine that I've kept in touch with and there are going to be LOTS of people from grade school there who I haven't seen in years! It should be fun to see them again and reminisce with them.

I do realize more and more though, that my home now is wherever the Army sends us (corny, I know). D and I have done a good job at adapting to each new location we are sent and turning it into "home." We have to be. The Army has moved us around so much in the past three years that if we hadn't learned to adapt to our surroundings, we would be miserable. As it is, we have each other, and AJ, (and Abby) and wherever we are, is home to us.

What about you? Do you try to make your duty stations "home" or is it simply where you live?

**The lovely ladies over at Our Soldiers Make Us Sisters have bestowed upon me my first award, The Versatile Blogger Award! Since I'm not at my home computer I will have to wait until we get back from our vacation to actually fulfill my end of the award, but I wanted to send a big thank you to all of you over there for choosing me to receive the award!

Wednesday Workout Update and a Birthday Shout-Out!

So I know I'm a day late and a dollar short here, but I figure better late than never, right? I'm doing a little early morning blogging from my iPhone because I fear that otherwise I'll forget completely!

My Wednesday Workout Update goes something like this:

Last week I finished out the week with another 5k on the dreadmill and walked the long loop around our neighborhood with the stroller. I went on and that loop is approximately 1.25 miles and fairly hilly.

This week I have seriously done nothing! I wasn't feeling it Monday morning, then Tuesday was crazy day! We had to leave early Wednesday morning to drive back to our hometown for a wedding this weekend. Tuesday was spent cleaning the house (so it doesn't stink when we get home), finishing laundry and cooking for the gathering we had Tuesday night. I guess I did workout after all!

So you might have guessed by reading the above paragraph, but in case you missed it, D, AJ, Abby and I are all back in good ol' hometown USA for a friend's wedding, the 4th and my little brother's birthday, which was yesterday! We're also here to show off the bebe a little too!
We were really excited to be able to celebrate with brother last night because he lives in London now and is only home for about 2 weeks before he has to head back overseas. We haven't seen him since AJ was about 3 weeks old and he came to Washington to see her for literally 24 hours. But, without further ado (because he sometimes reads my blog), "Happy 24th Birthday, Bean!!"

My brother posing with my little cousin when we were in Nashville for a wedding.

Stay tuned for today's daily post a little later today!!