Sunday, December 25, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

According to, the winner is Cindy!  Cindy, I see that you left your e-mail in the comment, so I will be contacting you soon to redeem your prize.

Merry Christmas to all!  Or happy Hanukkah, as the case may be.  I feel so blessed this holiday season, even though I am quite busy!  I wish you and your families all the joy in the world.  Thanks for reading my little piece of the world.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Alive! But without internet...

Hey all!  I promise I will announce the winner of my give-away soon!  My router went "kaput" on me and it took about a week to figure that out, versus the provider.  Should be fixed tonight.  In the meantime, thank God for smartphones!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas came early! And my first giveaway!

Are you ready for Christmas?  There's so much to do!  And in our case, we have a ton of family coming over.  There are many different food things to consider, and the above picture will help out with that.  My husband loves Kikkoman soy and Teriyaki sauce.  He was stationed in Japan and has specific tastes.  He finds them to be the best here in America.  While I am not a huge fun of soy sauce (or Asian type food in general) Kikkoman still saves the day with their delicious milks and bread crumbs.  This weekend, Joel is even trying out their french toast recipe!  I'll keep you updated with progress on that.  It looks delish!  They even have a yummy mac & cheese recipe that the family will be tasting over Christmas.  Who knew?  Thanks to Kikkoman and my early Christmas gift, I now have a ton of new recipes for holidays.

In the spirit of yummy food and giving, for my readers I would like to offer a giveaway!  For my military related readers, the prize is a $25 gift certificate to the commissary to help lighten your holiday load.  If you don't have access to a commissary near you, the prize will be an assortment of the yummies you see listed above, plus a spoon rest and a Kikkoman rubber ducky.  That guy is so cute!

How to enter?  Easy!  Just leave me a comment stating what your favorite holiday dish is, and then stay tuned to find out the winner!  I will take entries until Tuesday, which is my last final for the semester.  Eek!

Happy winning everyone!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

So much!

Too much going on!  I wanted life to go slow and steady so January wouldn't get here and my husband would not deploy.  But, that hasn't been in the cards.  Time just keeps on rolling by.  I swear I will get caught up soon.  Stay with me!  Here are a few topics that you can expect to see coming up before the end of the year.

* The Holidays.
* The end of my first semester at grad school.  Eek!
* Did we or didn't we buy a house.  Say what?
* My first ever give away.  Hint?  Kikkoman.
* Preparing for Joel's deployment.

See, busy, right?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Miami Dolphins #1!!!

Ok, I know this is going to sound crazy because I am a born and raiser Hoosier from Indianapolis, but I am a massive Miami Dolphins fan.  Huge fan of football in general, but especially the Dolphins.  My three year old self's crush of Dan Marino evolved into a deep sense of pride for my team.  Win or lose (we seem to be doing too much of the latter lately) I will always root for them.  That is why I was super excited that they were playing close to me in Kansas City.  No offense to Chiefs fans, I have nothing against my team, but I just knew I had to make the trip. 

I had never been to Kansas City before, so I knew I also had to try some of that famous Kansas City BBQ.  I was not disappointed!  It is even better than the local St. Louis style.  Based on a friends recommendation, we went to a place called Fiorella's Jack Stack BBQ.  I hate to say it, but it was perhaps some of the best BBQ I have ever had.  Reggie Bush was even there that night, so you know it was fabu!  I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

 Pork BBQ Sandwich

 Joel's Ribs

Seriously the best creme brulee I have had in America.

And the best part of the weekend?  Miami got their first win of the season!  Yeah, I know, this post is long overdue, but I had a great time and wanted to make sure to recap.  I have a lot of posts that I need to get on.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Happy belated Halloween!

I hope everyone had a blast!  I dressed up as Marilyn Monroe ala "Diamonds are a girls' best friend." 

Joel was of course TDY.  No bueno.  But, I had friends over and loved seeing all of the neighborhood kids in their costumes.  I especially liked the homemade ones.

Here is what I tried to look like:

So here I am, in all my glory.  I coulddn't find pink gloves anywhere!  Oh, and no making fun!

Friday, October 28, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-in #63

I have had the worst week.  Hopefully this weekend will be better.  But, for now, I leave you with Wife of a Sailor's...

1.  The best part of October was finishing up my first Master's class, and getting an A in it!

2.  The worst part of October was Joel being TDY so much.  Makes me think of the upcoming deployment.

3.  For Halloween, I’ll be Marilyn Monroe a la Diamonds Are a Girls' Best Friend.

4.  I hope that in November will finally bring me a job!

5.  Wifey has posted MilSpouse Secret Santa. I will hopefully be participating.

Is it really almost Christmas?

So, lately I have been seeing Christmas decorations everywhere, and let me just say, I am not excited to see them.  Christmas is never as relaxing as it should be!  In fact, the only non stressful part of Christmas I have found lately comes in the form of the Christmas cards that we make each year. For that, I have Shutterfly to thank. They make it fun and easy to get creative (which I am normally not!) in order to make some personal and beautiful Christmas cards. Last year's were fantastic! We took some of our favorite travel pictures and made a collage on a photo card and added some fun holiday quotes. Bam!  The perfect Christmas card!  They were fantastic, and our friends and family really seemed to enjoy them.  Here are some examples of what I am loving this year.
This is the exact template that we used last year!  I am excited to see it back.  It worked so well for us.  Somehow I am going to have to scan in what we did...

How fun is this?  Please someone I know with kids send this one to me!

Lastly, I think the dogs are getting their own ornament this year.  What a perfect way to remember 2011!

So, anyone know yet what their Christmas cards are going to look like, yet?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Lombardo's St. Louis - A Review

So, I received a coupon from Lombardo's of St. Louis for 20% off of our meal and a free bottle of wine.  Who can pass that up?  Not this girl!  Plus, it is located right next to Union Station, which is on my 101 in The Lou list. on!

We showed up at 6pm on a Saturday night.  If you do decide to go, make reservations!  We didn't.  Luckily, they had one table left.  Unluckily, it was in the corner of the bar area right next to the telephone.  But, it was our fault, and I was just happy to have a table.

Our waiter was awesome!  I wish I would have gotten his name, but he did an excellent job waiting on us.  The only wine we could with our coupon get was either a Chardonnay or a Cabernet, so since I didn't care for either, Joel and my friend Sarah, who tagged along, got to enjoy it.  They described it as perfectly fine for house wine.  Then we got some yummy house made focaccia bread with cheese, which was actually the only thing I snapped a picture of!  It was pretty delish, actually.

I ordered the Chicken Parmesan.  I was surprised at the $18 price tag, so I was expecting a lot out of the dish.  It came out and was an excellent sized portion.  Perfectly filling for dinner.  The Chicken was fantastic!  Excellently seasoned, with the right amount of cheese, which I remember being mozzarella.  The pasta, well...that left more to be desired.  It was semi-warm, with a below average marinara sauce.  There was nothing wrong with it, per se, but it didn't have a whole lot of flavor.  We had to wait quite a while on our food, which was fine because they were busy, but I expected my food to at least be warm, you know?

I have to give this place a 2.5/5 stars.  The pluses were the awesome waiter, yummy bread, and fantastic chicken.  The minuses were the mediocre pasta sauce, the temperature of the food, the above average prices, and the long, yet understandable, wait for the food.  We had plans afterwards, and since we weren't told the kitchen was behind, we were quite late.  And come on, it was an Italian restaurant.  Shouldn't the sauce be the best thing about the place?

Overall: we were glad we gave it a try, but won't be making it back.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Fill-In!

I am so glad that it is Friday!  Joel was TDY (on temporary duty) until last Sunday, so I am glad to get a full weekend with him.  Hopefully we will be able to knock at least one thing off of our 101 in St. Louis list.  I wish one of those would be heading to the World Series, but $350 for standing room only isn't too enticing.  Oh well, go Cards!

And now on to Wife of a Sailor's delightful...

1. I want to finally be able to obtain meaningful deployment.  The government hiring freeze is due to life in Mid-November, so I am keeping my finger's crossed that it actually does.

2. I have the most wonderful husband.  No really, I do.  We still aren't really syncing the way we normally do, and even though I am stubborn most times sometimes, he really does make the extra effort to show he is thinking about me.

3. I wish that Joel's upcoming deployment would be cancelled.  I am not ready for him to go, and while I never want him to, I wish he could just skip this one.

4. I hope that another GOP candidate would emerge that I could really get behind.  I am not a fan of Obama's, and I really wish that there could be a candidate that excited me again.  One can only hope, right?

5. I wonder how different my life would be right now if I would have stayed in Germany.  We sorta had the opportunity, and as much as I am loving the St. Louis area, I dream about being back overseas.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


This has been a super busy time for me.  I never thought, being without a job, that I would say that, but here I am!  We went to Branson, I finished my first Master's class (with an A, no less!), I completed the Illinois Basic Skills test (still awaiting results), and I finished the whirlwind experience of completing a sub packet for my county.  Whew!  I'm not sure how much of a breather I am going to have, because I am still in my other class and will be starting a new one next week.  I am also looking for a chance to volunteer somewhere, and still take care of my pups and hubby.  Oh, and did I mention that I was still looking for a job?

Also, I am finally starting to get into the 2012 presidential race.  I love politics, but have yet to side with a candidate yet.  So, I decided to watch my first GOP debate of the season.  I know I am a moderate, but the GOP debate last night made me sad for humanity. Cut all federal aid? Don't cut a penny from the defense budget? All federal employees are rich and 10% need to lose their jobs? Uhh...I'm not rich and I am still awaiting a placement. And really, enough with the freaking fence already. Worked awesome in Berlin and Israel/Palestine, right? Oh, wait...  Ok, enough with my view...for now, lol.  I will hopefully keep up with the race and have a more well-rounded opinion.  I just need for them to get better and more in touch with reality.  That goes with Obama, too.  I'm not exactly excited about him, either.

Monday, October 3, 2011

101 Things to do in the 'Lou! And other ramblings...

For the first time in my life I have actually been afforded the opportunity to have time on my hands.  Time to study for state exams, work on my classes, clean the house, blog...whatever I want really.  And for some reason, I have never felt lazier in my life.  For example, I have had nothing planned this morning, so I was going to do some cleaning, studying, and walk the dogs.  Know what I have accomplished?  Watching the ever addicting HGTV.  I feel like when I am structured I get more things done.  Now, it is like, well, I have nothing I have to do, so I will do nothing.  I need to snap out of it.  This isn't good for me.  Or my house.

In other news, I have had a busy few weeks in The 'Lou!  I have gone to a Rams Game, the Taste of St. Louse, the Best of Missouri Market and, as it is listed on my 101 list, I have gone to a Cardinals/Cubs game.  I have to say (don't kill me!) that baseball isn't my favorite sport, but going to the game was a blast.  So, I have crossed the following off my list.

#64. The Cards take on the Cubs at Busch Stadium.  Check!

On our way to the game on the metro!
The game at night.
View of Busch Stadium from the arch.
Speaking of the arch, that also means that we have crossed off...

1. The Gateway Arch Check!

And also...

30.  Drive down the River Road and pick Apples at Eckart's Orchard Check!
101. A thin-crust Imo’s deluxe pizza Check! - Although, I wouldn't recommend it.  No hating!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

101 Things Every St. Louisan Should Do

So, now that I am starting to feel like I actually am a St. Louisan, I found the above appropriately titled list that I am going to try and conquer.  I don't know if I'll make it to everything, but it sure is a fun goal, right?  So far I have already marked a few off of my list.  Stay tuned, pictures of course are coming.

Other than that, I have been a busy little bee.  I have my fun five hour class tonight, so I promise I will be updating soon.  Hopefully Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Is this Lifestyle really for me?

Ok, precursor to the title.  Joel and I are fine.  Amazing, actually.  So this has nothing to do with us, and everything to do with me.  And yes, we've discussed.

The military lifestyle, for me at least, is...different.  Some people mesh very well with it.  They live on post and love it, always attend the family support meetings (the Army calls it an FRG, I am not sure what the Air Force calls it).  They love moving, getting new orders, and seem to make insta friends wherever they go.  This is not me. 

And I don't mean to sound like I am bashing this breed of military wife.  I envy it, actually.  It takes me a while to find my groove in a new place.  I would never live on base, unless forced.  I don't like the military to envelope my life.  I love that my husband feels joy in what he does.  But what he does and what I do are two different things.  I need the separation from the base.  Minus the time spent overseas, we rarely shop on base, and when Joel gets off of work, the uniform gets taken off and I feel like I can return to my "normal" life.

And I HATE moving.  See previous post about my lack of a career happening, but I hate resigning from one job to search for another, make another house a home, all to realize that I have to do it all again in 2-3 years.  I hate leaving old and amazing friends, and it is hard for me to put myself out there to make new ones.  I hate that one of the first questions I am asked is "what rank is your husband?"  I hate deployments and TDYs.  I hear all the time "thank God he's leaving for a week" but I loathe away time from my hubby.  I hate when he gets called in or stays late for nonsense that only the military can make up.

A lot of rambling just to say while some spouses thrive in this kind of lifestyle, I have yet to find my groove in it.  Luckily I seem to have met at least one person here that makes me feel normal and myself, and doesn't define me by my husband, what he does, or what his rank is.  I am trying my best to be open, and will of course continue to support and love my husband to my greatest ability, but I hope that someday I grow more fond of what this lifestyle has to offer.  And if anyone has any friendly advice, it is always welcome.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Fill-In!

Yes!  I am so glad to be back in a routine to finally do these again!  Psst, Air Force, can we keep the moving to a minimum please?  No?  Oh...

Nevermind, it is on to Wife of a Sailor's...

1.  My plans for Labor Day included taking it easy with some of Joel's old friends from Chicago, but what really happened was it was too hot to do anything too productive, and I got sick!

2.  Call me crazy, but sometimes I just need to sit on the front porch by myself and read a good book.  That is what I call good "me" time.

3.  One of the funniest things I’ve seen lately is my pugs acting like fools when they are excited I get home.

4.  It’s strange, but teenagers drives me crazy while my husband acting like a teenager is perfectly fine with me!

5.  One, two, buckle my shoe… three, four what are you waiting for?  It's football season!  Go Dolphins!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What do I want to be when I grow up?

We all asked ourselves this as kids, right?  Some of us wanted to be doctors or lawyers, some firefighters or cops, and some chefs or moms.  I knew from the time I was little that I wanted to be an attorney.  When I went to college, I majored in Political Science because I thought that it would give me an advantage in Law School.  I eventually double majored in History because I just grew to love it, so when I graduated I received a B.S. in both.  I also lived out a dream by moving abroad and living in Europe.  Along the way, the unexpected occurred.  I met Joel, who I fell madly in love with, who also told me that he wanted to be a career Air Force Officer.  Insert tire screech here.  I almost didn't date him.  Why?  Because I have never met a military spouse who also had their dream career.  But in the end, love won out and I don't regret my decision at all.

I had a great job in Germany working for the army, and learned a lot of life lessons along the way.  I decided that being an attorney, trying to go to law school and retaking the bar every two to three years in a new state, just wasn't going to be feasible while also being a spouse.  So, I decided I would teach.  That is why I am going for my Masters in Special Education.  In the meantime, I feel conflicted.  I have never not worked.  I got a job at 14, and even worked full time while in college.  It is very hard to find a professional job where I am.  I live is SW IL, right over the border from St. Louis, but to go to the city and work would put a strain on my family time and my stress level while in grad school.  Rush hour in the morning is NOT fun.

I accepted a job a month ago part time making half of what I made overseas and doing something way below my skill level.  I anguished over this decision.  Sure, it was a paycheck, and albeit small one, but I felt like I shouldn't have taken it.  I felt like doing so wasn't doing anything for my self-esteem or for my family time.  I didn't get a degree to work on Sundays with no benefits, right?  So, after much discussion with my husband, I put in my resignation.  It just wasn't worth it.  Now, I am on the job hunt again.

This is probably the hardest thing for me as a military spouse.  Why is it so difficult for us to also have personal satisfaction in our careers?  I keep hearing about all of these hiring initiatives, but I think they are all crap!  Potential employers know when our resumes are so diverse who we are and I have been downright shot down because of it.  I wish I knew what to do to fix this or change it, but right now I just feel stuck.  Hopefully I can find something soon, but in the meantime I am unemployed for the first time in my life, and I hate it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Going to the Lou!

Well, Labor Day weekend we finally decided to get out and enjoy our new city.  The 'burbs have been very good to us, but we wanted to be tourists in our own city, and see the sights!

We started it in a really cool area called Laclede's Landing.  It was a really neat place!  It is located in "Old St. Louis" near the waterfront, and it really had a lot of charm.  It was chocked full of small little restaurants that had al fresco dining, which I am smitten with, and we found out most of them allow pets to join in if you decided to sit outside.  Score!  Here are a few pictures.
The Landing

We also decided to go up into the arch.  The arch had a fantastic view, but was really crowded over the weekend.  I definitely recommend to all visitors to get tickets in advance!
View from the top of Busch Stadium!
Happy and hot, crammed in our pod on the way to the top.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My baby is a graduate!

Ok, ignore the super awful picture of me.  My baby pug graduated from puppy class!  He was even the top honors student!  Well, to be fair he was the only one who made it through all of the classes, so he was the only graduate, but I am proud none the less.  He will be starting intermediate training this week, so I hope to keep the training going.  He needs it!  In other pug news, this year Gomez will be a bat for Halloween and Pugsley will be a frog.  I know, I know...I am one of those pet moms, but hey, I don't have kids, so it is quasi allowed.

In other local news (i.e. my news) we got our first set of tickets to a Rams game!  I am so excited, because I have only seen the Colts play, as I am a Hoosier, and I am NOT a colts fan.  Sorry guys, but Dolphins all the way!  But, I have never had anything against the Rams, so I am excited to actually be rooting for the home team this time.

Nothing else too excited.  Started the new job last week, starting grad school next week, and I have almost got the house together!  Stay tuned for more fun posts.  I promise!  We are making our first tour to downtown St. Louis this weekend (I know, we've been here how long?) so I will follow up with a picture post soon!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lots O' Changes!

Sorry I haven't been around very much, but there have been lots of changes around here!  The big news is...I got into grad school!  I registered Monday, which was pretty surreal, and am taking three classes and doing a field observation.  Wowness!  I also got a part time job working from home which is super convenient, but also a downer because I will have to work Sundays.  It starts next week, so we'll see how that goes.  And the last bit of news, sadly, is that Joel was tasked for a deployment.  We knew it was coming, but it doesn't make it any easier.  I'll write more as it approaches, but right now I am letting things sink in.

We are learning our new area and I can successfully make it to the Petsmart, Starbucks, and the gym without the aid of the GPS.  Oh, and if I didn't mention it before, we got our household goods from Germany!  So, once again I am living amongst the boxes.  I promise I will do my best shortly to be a better blogger, and I will expand on all topics mentioned in this blog.  Thanks for sticking in there with me :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Family Woes

My family is...difficult to say the least.  I love them, don't get me wrong.  I really do.  But, I was ecstatic to find out that they were coming out for the week.  That is until they left early.  Let me back up and explain.

My mom and I have had a strained relationship for years.  Over the years, she has become quite mean spirited.  Pretty much since I turned 18, she has criticized every aspect of my life.  My step-dad says it is her offering advice, but she is down right rude in what she says.  When I graduated from college, instead of saying congrats, she says if I would have made different choices I would have graduated sooner.  Maybe, but I wouldn't trade in my European adventure in the world.  When I got married and told her how happy I was, she said something along the lines of "let's see how long that lasts."  When I told her we were renting, she said that we were throwing money away, when I picked my Master's program she said I wouldn't be any good at my new job...the list goes on and on.  This is probably why I moved 4,000 miles away from her at a very young age.  It makes me very sad, as I see a lot of my friends and how close they are to heir parents, but that just isn't me.  But, now that we moved a state away, I wanted to make an effort.

Now brings us to this weekend.  My mom complained about everything!  She didn't like that snack food we ate, she criticized the kind of coffee maker that I have, we went out to eat and she was awful to the poor waitress because they were out of the steak she wanted, she said the color I picked for my dining room was, and I quote, atrocious, she said I was a horrible doggy mother because I didn't feed my dog table food, and once again the list goes on and on.  It hurt, but I just countered with things like "this is my life" and "this is the way I do things."  I wasn't rude, I don't think, but after a while I became very matter of fact.  Saturday night, she mentioned me coming home for Christmas.  We had already talked about her coming to my house.  I have never hosted Christmas before, but looked forward to getting both mine and Joel's families together for the first time since the wedding.  She said I had to come home, because she wasn't coming here.  Apparently, after flying home from Germany for seven consecutive years without even one reciprocated visit wasn't enough.  That did it.  I became distant after that.

My parents were supposed to leave on Thursday.  All of a sudden, without word, my parents packed up and left, because my mother said I didn't make her feel welcome.  My sister was upset, because she just didn't understand, and my poor dad didn't know what to do.  I was shocked, told my mom that the whole family was more than welcome any time, and then she stormed off and sat out in the car until my dad loaded it up.  I was in shock.  What just happened?  Could I have begged her to stay?  Of course.  Should I have, after everything that went on?  I don't think so.  Joel has always been pretty honest with me, so of course I asked him what he thought.  He said that you could tell I was more distant, but that he thinks mom just did it for attention, as she is known to do.  He said that I was still kind and welcoming, but that I didn't just take the criticism like she wanted.  I don't know.  I love my mom, but she has stressed me out for years.  I guess I just need to reflect on this and figure out what to do next.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Fill In!

Hey everybody, and Happy Friday!  I hope everybody in the Midwest is staying cool in this heat wave.  Here is Southwest Illinois, I am practically melting!  I have been staying in the house as much as possible, only leaving to run errands or to get in the pool.  The pups have a different plan, and love playing outside.  The poor pugs like the heat better than I do!  I have to practically drag them inside.

So, since it is Friday, here is my installment of Wife of a Sailor's...

1.  Do you eat raw cookie dough?
I would, because it is way delicious, but try to resist such things these days.  I am nearing 30 (gasp!) in a few years, and my metabolism isn't what it used to be.

2.  When you get online for the first time of the day… what site do you immediately head to?
Boring, but Facebook.

3.  What was your favorite pet as a child and why?
There was an old sheep dog mutt that we literally saved from being torn apart by other dogs.  My mom named him Niko (sp?) because she loved Steven Segal.  I loved that dog so much.  I sat through him and "mothered" him through his whole recovery, and we became inseparable after that.  I was really sad when he passed, but I believe that having him has been the reason why I volunteer with animal rescue.

4. If you had a snail that could magically grant wishes, what would you name it?
I have absolutely no idea! A magical snail? Hmm... Probably wishy washy, because he grants wishes? I don't know. My mom forgot to pass on the creative gene, ha!

5.  How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?
One, two, ah three.  Three :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Made it! An update...

Well, after much stress and chaos, we finally made it to our new home here in Illinois.  I believe this will go down as one of our worst PCS'es during Joel's career.  First of all, our flight got delayed about 36 hours in Germany.  That was bad for multiple reasons.  One, we had a connecting flight that we procured ourselves, so since it was just a 12 hour delay to start with, well...let's just say that we paid a few change fees out of pocket.  Then we were stuck at the airport for what seemed like forever.  We also had screaming kids on the plane.  Not crying or upset, just screaming!  And parents that decided they would rather ignore their child for the ten hour flight then actually parent.  Yay.  So with the delay, we lost our day of rest that we had planned on and I didn't get to see my bestie.  But, we finally made it to the states.  We were grateful for the small miracle.

The very next day we packed up a U-Haul of my stuff from Indiana, which went pretty well, and headed out for our five hour drive to our new home.  Things were going great!  I was driving behind Joel in my car, and about an hour away from our destination, the drive shaft on the U-Haul literally broke off in the middle of the interstate, which I subsequently ran over.  It busted not one but two tires, and bent both of my rims.  This was at 7pm on a Sunday.  After an hour on the side of the road and pulling multiple ticks off of us (eww!) we were finally taken to a Holiday Inn until the morning when both the U-Haul and my car would be repaired.  Monday evening around 7pm, we were back on the road.  We made it to the house that night, unloaded a mattress, and passed out!  The next day we unloaded the U-Haul, which gave us enough stuff to survive until early August when we get our Household Goods from Germany.  Hopefully, then, we can get this house in order and get this hellish PCS put behind us!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Reconnected! And a Friday Fill-In

Hey everyone!  Thanks for sticking with me.  I am finally reconnected with the Internet, and although we don't have all of our furniture yet, we are getting fairly settled in (finally!).  I am really loving the area so far, as well as our place, and have lots of news to share.  This time, though, I am just going to participate in Wife of a Sailor's Friday Fill-In, and will update you guys soon.  Here we go!

1.  If you could have a private concert with any singer, who would it be?  submitted by An Air Force Wife’s Blog

That one is easy.  Josh Groban!  I think he is ultra talented, and cute in a quirky, guy next door kind of way, and I know he could give one hell of a show without any of the theatrics that most musicians have to rely on.

2.  Is there anything that you do to supplement your family's income? submitted by Our Life, One Adventure at a Time

Well, up until we moved here to Germany, I worked full time for the Department of the Army.  I hope to continue my career here, but since we are at an Air Force Base, it is proving to be rather difficult.  I am applying for jobs like crazy, though, so fingers crossed!

3.  During your pregnancy (whether past, present, or future) what did you nickname your unborn baby before you knew the sex? submitted by Explosions of Love
Well, I don't have any kids, and am not currently pregnant, so I have no idea.

4.  Have you ever won a blog giveaway?  If so, what did you win?  submitted by Mrs. O’s Life

Nope.  I have the worst luck winning things!

5.  If I looked into your refrigerator right now, what would I find?  submitted by Married to the Army

Since we just recently moved, you'd pretty much just find the basics.  We have some meals that we have bought, hamburger meat, fish, etc., but nothing too exciting or specific.  You would always find a bottle of my favorite wine, though!

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Eagle Has Landed!

Hey all! Thanks for sticking with me the past few weeks. I know they haven't been the most entertaining. I still don't have Internet, but we have successfully landed in the US and are trying to get settled in. We have a story from hell about getting here, which I will post soon enough. I hope to be back online and regularly blogging again soon!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Hey, all!  This is "D-Week" a.k.a. the week I fly back to the states for our next assignment!  Eek!  So much to do, so I may be a bit scarce for the next week.

In the meantime, I found a new blog hop that I have decided to get in on the fun of.  Won't you join me too?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Reflections on home.

First, just a disclaimer that I am not knocking any other parts of the country.  The Midwest is what I have always known as home, and I just really feel comfortable with where I come from.  That being said...

I can't believe that the time has come for me to leave Germany.  Seven years I have spent my life in this wonderful country.  It has been my second home, as I (so far) have only lived in Indiana and here.  I have loved my time in Europe.  L-O-V-E-D it.  All of the traveling, the experiences, the people, and the uniqueness of each and every nook and cranny of Europe.  But, it never felt like "home."  Sure, I have always had a roof over my head.  But, I never felt very comfortable in my own skin here.  The blue eyes and blond hair helped me fit in, and learning a bit of German made a world of difference, but there were still things I didn't understand and frustrations with things not coming as easily as they should.

In ways I can't really explain, I am so glad to be moving back to the Midwest.  Sure, it isn't Indiana, but when I look at the area of our new home and the surrounding areas, it sure feels...comfortable.  The farmers markets on the weekends selling fresh corn on the cob and going apple picking in the fall, Fourth of July fireworks in the park, the local county fair, horse stables, going to the local markets, mom and pop BBQ joints at every corner, and, probably one of the things I missed the most, a cold glass of sweet tea.  NOT tea with sugar.  It is nearly sacrilegious to call that sweet tea.  I am finally getting a front porch again.  With a yard.  I am going to play catch with my dogs in the back yard and swim in our pool (that's right, our new place has a pool!) on hot summer days, have cook-outs on Sundays while watching football in the afternoons (well, if there's a season) versus the middle of the night.  In the winter I will go look at the houses all lit up for Christmas and then go to my local Starbucks and enjoy a Peppermint Latte...the list goes on and on.

I have treasured my time spent overseas.  I know I am very fortunate to have had such experiences and to have seen such things.  But, for just a little bit, at least, in a matter of weeks I will be "home."  You will probably find me on the front porch swing with a glass of sweet iced tea reading a book and listening to the sounds of the neighborhood, smelling the charcoal all around me.  Sounds like home to me.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Deal, Sandwich, and Herne Bay - England!

Well, here comes another round of England photos!  It was ages ago when I actually went, so as a little recap, I traveled to Kent, England, for a week to visit some of the historical sights that I read about in college.  I heart England, and would live there in a heartbeat if I could.  So, here is a recap of the first leg of the pictures!

Deal Castle, a defense fortress from the time of Henry VIII.  It was built in the shape of the Tudor Rose.

Me at Walmer Castle, about ten minutes from Deal.  It is another of Henry VIII's castles.

Another shot of Walmer Castle.

 A shot of the cute little town of Sandwich.

Why not have a sandwich in Sandwich?

A shot of Herne Bay,

Loving the British humor!

Fish, chips, and mushy peas...yes, please!

Nothing beats fresh seafood right out of the ocean!  Yummers!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The stress is kicking in...

This entire move, I have tried to be positive and not focus on the stressfulness of moving to a different continent, but today it all hit me.  Hard.  I have stuff in storage in Indiana that I need to get moved to Illinois and for over a week, the movers haven't been able to "find" us in their system, which means that we haven't been able to schedule our move.  I have been living in our house with no furniture for a week, and Joel and I have been sleeping on an air mattress, which really means that there hasn't been much peaceful sleeping.  I don't have my things, I don't have my car, and I still haven't gotten even one phone call concerning a job. 

We are rescuing another sweet pug to be picked up after we arrive, and I want to be more excited but I am just stressed with the living conditions.  On top of all of that, I am getting my application together to apply for my Master's Degree, which is due 1 July, and I haven't even been able to give it the attention it deserves.  It was nice having that break yesterday with our trip, but I think that is when it hit me how stressed I really am!  Once it was over, of course.  I have to keep telling myself, less than two weeks and I will be in the states and it will all be ok.  I just need a sanity check (or two) before then.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

One more trip?

I think so!  That's right, I am up at 0345 in order to head my way to Lake Constance, Germany to viist the Island of Mainau and then to continue on to Stein am Rhein, Switzerland.  Be back the same night, so I will be quite worn out!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Mil Spouse Friday Fill-in!

It's finally Friday! That means that I officially have less than two weeks before I am back in the states. I know, crazy, right? I will miss Germany so much! But, we hope to keep on traveling and I pray that one day we will be stationed back overseas. Stay tuned!

Thanks always to the awesome Wife of a Sailor for hosting my favorite Friday Fill-in. Well, here goes!

1. When you vacation what type of vacation do you like to take (beach, historic, adventurous, food oriented, etc.)? submitted by Megan Dub-Yuh

Umm...all of the above! My favorite trips include the Maldives for our honeymoon (totally a tropical paradise), my Tudor touring of Kent, England (for the history geek in me), Ireland (to hike in the Killarney mountains and go puffin watching), and Italy (with the best food I have ever eaten). I am an equal opportunist traveler, and other than extreme kind of sports things (skydiving...yikes!) I am up for anything!

2. What is your best memory associated with a song (you know we all have tons!)? submitted by Ramblings of a Marine Wife

God Bless the Broken Road by Rascal Flatts. Kind of cheesy, but it is Joel and I's song. Just reminds me that even though life can get tough, it straightens out when you least expect it.

3. If you had six months with no obligations or financial constraints, what would you do with your time? submitted by Married to the Army

Travel, travel, and more travel. I love it, and would go to the Baltic states, the Galapagos Islands, to see the fall foliage in the Northeast, viist Hawaii and Alaska, go to New Zealand and Australia...the list goes on and on.

4. What is one thing about you that people do NOT typically notice at first that you wish they would? submitted by Our Motto is Patience

Wow, this is a hard one! Umm...I guess it is the fact that I am not just an Air Force wife. We meet a lot of military folks, and no one ever asks what I do for a living or what I studied in school, just my husband. I just wish that they would understand that I am me, too, and not just a reflection of my husband.

5. It’s a summer of sequels, and if you had to live in one of each of the following “worlds” (there are three total) which would you choose and why? …. submitted by The Three Turners

–X-Men: Be a Mutant, what would your power be? Maybe Mirage. She was capable of casting mental illusions, communicating with animals, and sensing upcoming death.

–Harry Potter: Be a Witch or Muggle? Never seen it, so I have no idea.

–Twilight: Be a Vampire or Werewolf? This is so hard! As a vampire, it would be awesome to stay young and beautiful forever, but the whole drinking blood thing is a huge no-no. Maybe if they merged with True Blood and I could drink synthetic blood. But if not, I would have to pick werewolf, so I would always be warm and able to be out and about during the day.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


So the past month has been crazy!  Just to recap, we took our week long trip to England, to include places like Dover, Canterbury, London, Leeds, and many, many more!  I then came back, finished up at work, graduated from college (yay!), and then we left on our two week cruise to Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Croatia.  We came back on Sunday, and now the movers are scheduled to arrive this week to pack up our stuff and ship it over the ocean because we are officially moving back to the states at the end of this month!  Whew!  That is a ton!  Now you can see why I have been slightly absent for blogging.  I lost a few followers along the way, which is sad, but I really appreciate all of you that stuck in there.  I am very happy for you all!  I love blogging, and would do it just for me, but I feel more connected to the world to know that I have actual followers, and I hope that I have posted about something that has helped you somewhere along the way!

So, without further ado, I will start on my English adventure!  It was great.  We started out the first night in London to see Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's Theater.  I have seen the show a few times, including in NYC, but it was Joel's first time.  We saw Love Never Dies in London back in September, which was the sequel, so I figured that I would show Joel how the story began.  It was good, but I wasn't too impressed with the woman that played Christine.  I didn't think she could carry the role the way it needed to be carried.  Oh, well.

So, we strolled around London a little taking the Royal Wedding in.  It was a couple of days before the actual Big Day, but people were already camped out around Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey.  Which, if you think about it, doesn't make much sense, because if they don't catch a glimpse of anything, there were no screens showing what was going on!  It was really nice, though, because the Brits became so patriotic, and even though they swore they couldn't care less about the event on tv, everyone was talking about it.

Chinatown, London Style

Bangers and Mash

The Obligitary Phone Booth Picture

Joel has the fever!

So many great things in one shot!
The wedding venue for the (now) Duke and Duchess of Wales

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaack!

Hey everybody!  Wow, it seems like I have been gone forever!  The cruise was wonderful and I have to give a hats off to the NCL crew for doing such a fantastic job during our trips.  They were an amazing bunch that spoiled us rotten.  I have many recaps planned, including of my English adventures, but we found out the movers are coming tomorrow (yikes!) so we need to get prepared.  But for now, here is a teaser pic of one of my favorite stops...Santorini, Greece!

P.S.  I sure missed having the Internet!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Countdown to Graduation!

Ok folks, in just three days I will be taking a final and turning in a final project in another class.  After that, school will be d-o-n-e for me (at least until I enter another program) and that elusive degree will be mine!  Think happy thoughts for me, and I will do a travel recap once I finish up.  I will need to post pics from my tour around Kent and Sussex, and after that it will be cruise photo time!  Eek!

Friday, May 6, 2011

It's our anniversary!

May 4th was our one year wedding anniversary!  We flew back from England that day, so we are holding off on the celebrations until this weekend, but to commemorate the big day I am doing an A-Z that I found on someone's blog.  Let's just say that it has been an amazing year, and I fall more and more in love with my husband every day.  If he's reading this, happy anniversary honey bunny!

Attending: It was a whopping 14 people!  All of our family came, minus Joel's brother who was going through cancer treatments at the time, all of our immediate family came.  My best friend from high school showed up with her husband, and Joel's best friend from forever ago showed up with her husband as well.

Bridesmaids: None.  The wedding was so small and intimate, and I really just wanted it to be us up there.
Catering: We ate at this wonderful seafood place on the river. 

Dress: I had a cute little tea length dress that was perfect for our little garden wedding.  It had a sweetheart neckline and was candlelight ivory.  I loved it.  Sure, I wish I had a big princessy type dress, but t just wouldn't have fit in.

Engagement: Joel proposed to me in Rome under the Trevi Fountain, which is my favorite European "thing."  It was perfect, minus the snow Rome was oddly having and the delayed flight that got us there four hours late.

Flowers: I carried a bouquet of hot pink cala lilies, and Joel had a boutonniere of a single ivory one.

Groomsmen: None.  See "B."

Honeymoon: We went on the most fabulous honeymoon ever to the island of the Maldives!  Perfect getaway!
Invitations: phone calls and e-mails count?  We weren't very proper in this sense.

Justice of the Peace: We had an elderly pastor preside over the ceremony.  We had never met him, but we exchanged e-mails to prepare for the vows, and the service was lovely.  We wanted to have a Catholic wedding, it we lived overseas in Germany, so the wedding was hard enough.  We are going to have our marriage blessed by the church when we return stateside, however.

Keepsakes: We had everyone sign a frame that we put one of our wedding pictures in.  We also kept our unity candle and cake topper.

Ladies Night: None here.  I am really disappointed about that, but all any of my friends wanted to do is go to a strip club, and I didn't really want to do that.  So instead, I got nothing.

Music: The guy that ran the B&B we got married at played our processional music, which was typical but still lovely, and we had a waterfall for ambiance.

Newlyweds: How long are you considered "newlyweds?" I hope always!  But, now that we have been married for a year, we are probably done with the official title.

Old, new, borrowed, blue: My mother-in-law gave me her mother's handkerchief, my fabulous shoes were new, I borrowed a tiara, and my garter had blue in it.

Photography: Unfortunately, we had no photographers.  Friends and family took photos, thankfully, but people wanted to charge a fortune for just coming out for the small ceremony.

Question popping: See "E!"

Reception: On the beautiful Ohio river across from Louisville.

Shoe game: Huh?

Trash the Dress: Coming up!

Unique: Well, I think our wedding was pretty unique because it was so small and personal.  It was very much "us."  But, it was all done online!  We didn't see the garden until just a few hours before the wedding, nor taste the cake or the food at the restaurant, but it all turned out great.

Vows: We picked them out with the minister via e-mail.  We added a personal touch, but recited traditional vows.

Wedding Woes: I was kind of nervous about everything going as planned, because we coordinated everything a continent away with no visuals, but it all worked out!  Oh, but we didn't have a photographer.  I am bummed about that, but when we get to the states Joel and I will have pictures taken in his uniform and my dress.

X-rated: None of that here!  Let's just say it was a really relaxing night.

Young Kids:  My Goddaughter was there, but that was it!

Zzzzzz: We slept in the next day and had some delicious breakfast at the B&B.  Perfect start to the marriage.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Hey all!  Do you know where I am?  I am in England!  Yes, I will be here during the Royal Wedding, and let me tell you, I think that the whole of Britain has wedding fever!  I will write all about my trip when I return, but right now I am on an eight day trek around the countryside.  We flew into London, and have so far made it to Deal, Sandwich, Herne Bay, and Walmer.  And we are only on day two!  Tomorrow includes watching the wedding broadcast live at Leeds castle and toasting the new couple with Champagne.  And much, much more!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My Birthday! (Part Two)

On my Birthday weekend Joel came up with the fantastic idea to go to Baden Baden.  We stayed Saturday night, wondered through the area, and ended up at the Caracalla Therme for the evening. For those that don't know, Baden Baden is known for their natural thermal springs, and they have many spas that have taken advantage of this and made pools out of the hot springs.  They had about seven (I think?!?) different pools all of a different temperature, some indoors and some outdoors.  It was very relaxing, and a perfect, low-key way to spend the weekend.
Our yummy lunch spot.
The Lowenbrau
A scene around town.



A dog in lederhosen.



Cute cafe and hotel

What a beautiful city!

A nearby church.

One of the hot spring pools at Caracalla.

A thermal waterfall in Caracalla Therme.

One of the thermal pools inside Caracalla Therme.