Thursday, December 27, 2012

Random Thursday

So, I am going to try something a little different this Thursday.  Instead of trying to catch up with my last blog challenge (note to self, don't do those around the holidays, I am going to participate in...

This week's topic is:

We are having a fairly low key New Year's.  In other words, we are boring people.  We plan on going out to a nice dinner for NYE, toasting with mimosa's at midnight (if we make it that long...ha!) and having brunch in the morning.

As far as plans and hopes for the New Year, I plan on making it the year of "me."  I know that doesn't make much sense, so I will try to explain it the best I can.

I tend to put other's first.  Not in a completely selfless way, but in a way like "hey, Joel's home.  Let's do nothing but hang out together" kind of way.  I need to start doing things that improve me, even if they mean spending a little more time apart.  Our time together is precious, because often the military likes to take him away for short and long periods of time, and I am great at taking care of myself when he is gone.  But, when he's home, I throw all of that away to just be with him.  And while that's great, I need to keep taking care of myself.  So, next year, I vow to (try) to:

- spend more time doing what I need to do with class stuff to avoid the last minute freak-out

- spend more time at the gym taking care of my fitness

- pay more attention to the food I put into my body, and making sure it is more healthy and natural

- make time to call friends more, rather than just sending a text

- spend more time reading for pleasure, and not just for school

- be more active with my pups

- spend more time giving this blog the attention it deserves

- take care of myself better - hair, teeth, nails, skin...I'm old(er) now, and I can't take that kind of stuff for granted anymore

- become more spiritual - attend Mass more, delve into Bible studies / religious reading

What are some of your plans for the New Year?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


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Happy (belated) Christmas!

So, I've been a bad blogger lately.  I've been off of work since Friday, and have just enjoyed that time off with the hubster and our pets.  Low stress, lots of relaxation, and I may have enjoyed it so much that I will refuse to travel for Christmas ever again.  We'll see if I get so lucky.

My family heritage is German, and so growing up we always opened presents up on Christmas Eve.  And yes, we even had the Weinachtsgerkin (Christmas pickle) on our tree.  I carried both of these traditions over for me and Joel, but first things first: our Christmas (Eve) dinner.

The spread.
Our scrumptious ham.
Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I believe I did a pretty darn good job.  The ham was the best I had ever made, and was slightly reminiscent of a certain "Honey Baked" ham company or other.  I was pretty proud of myself, but I might have overdone it.  I think we will have leftovers for the rest of the week.

After dinner we opened our first gift.  We always got new jammies growing up, and Joel and I will continue that tradition as well.  We wanted to get comfy before we tore into the rest of the gifts, so we immediately put on our new jammy jams.  Joel was happy to sport his new look for you all.

Joel, with a photobomb courtesy of Pugsley.
Joel did great with the gifts this year.  I went to Indiana University, so he got me one of those collegiate letter things with pictures around the University spelling out Indiana.  He also got me a pair of topaz solitaire earrings, and a few new pairs of shoes.  And of course regular stocking stuffers and such.  I really felt blessed.  I think Joel liked his gifts.  I have to remember to take a picture of one of the toys my in-laws sent.  Joel went to Oregon State, and we got an OS baby toy.  Hints, much?  Not really sure what that was all about, but never fear.  There are no babies in our near future.

Our cat, Jaeger, getting in on the Christmas fun.  He just might love the boxes more than his Christmas gifts.
After all that was done, we settled in for the night with a fire going and some good movies playing.  It was probably one of the most relaxing Christmases ever.  I decided that I deserved a break from the normal holiday stresses, and am so glad I did.  Even though I missed family, the travel foes both ways, you know?

Anywho...Christmas morning we got dressed in our Sunday best and headed to Mass.  We haven't been going as frequently as we normally do, and I realized how much I missed it once I was there.  It's like the gym.  You hate getting up to go, but it feels so rewarding afterwards.  Joel's family has a tradition of bagels on Christmas  morning, so after Mass we did our bagel breakfast.  Then, more relaxing.  Have I mentioned how awesome this holiday was?

I am glad I took some "me" time on this break, but I have a lot of ambitions for the new year.  I am looking forward to digging in and really working on improving on many aspects of my life that I simply forgot about once Joel returned from his deployment.  Now that life feels "normal" again, it's time to stop with the excuses and start on the hard work.  Nothing great in this life comes easy, right?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A moment of silence

These things I have spoken to you, so that you may have peace in me. In the world, you will have difficulties. But have confidence: I have overcome the world.

-John 33:16

Friday, December 14, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

So, now that finals are finally over, I have begun to get in the Christmas spirit.  The decorations (what little we have) are out, the tree is up and decorated, and we got our holiday photo with Santa.  See below.
I love my little family!

I know I'm not the best decorator (or fashionista, or crafter, or chef...), but in the efforts of keeping with the Christmas spirit, I thought I'd share my Christmas decoration photos (so far)!

The stockings are hung on the chimney with care.

We're kind of not traditional with our stockings.

Our tiny, yet lovable tree.
Some of our decorations from our time in Germany.
Our lights.  Good job, Joel!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It was the freaking weekend, and I had me some fun!

Why does the weekend go so quickly?  I feel like it was just here and now BAM!  It's gone.  Just like that.  Now that the pouting is done, I'm excited to announce that two out of my three classes have bit the dust!  I have one paper left to write and one chapter review due, and then I can feel like a normal human being for four weeks.  Then the pain starts all over again in January.  Meh...

So the weekend.  Friday was interesting.  I've been trying to get Joel to go to a yoga class with me just to try it out and see what all it is I do (when I have time to go).  A guy he works with told him about a couple's yoga class at a place I hadn't been to, and he was willing to try that out.  Well, it wasn't really a yoga class at all.  It was more like a massage tutorial.  We may have done a whole 90 seconds of yoga in the 90 minute time frame, but it was still a fun experience.  It was quiet and calm, and we really got to spend some one on one time together, so it wasn't a total failure.  He still owes me a real yoga class, though.  Afterwards, we went out to grab some pizza and I may have discovered a new favorite place.  Yeah, the pizza was good, but check this out:

Excuse the crappy phone pic.

Yes my friends, what you see before you is a martini flight.  They had a gazillion martini flavors, and I couldn't just pick one.  I picked four.  I'm not a huge drinker or anything, but I do love me a good martini.  Or in this case, four.  Joel also tried a beer flight that he was pretty pleased with.  We will be back.

Saturday was a fairly restful day.  We were supposed to go on a local "cookie walk" in our town, but my foot was (and still is) acting up, so we skipped out on that one and did some Christmas shopping.  Afterwards we went down to the Central West End in St. Louis, which is one of my favorite spots, to try out a new place for dinner.

It was called the Sub Zero Vodka Bar.  Joel likes sushi, and much to his dismay I can't stand it, and this place had burgers and sushi.  A win-win, even though the concept didn't leave us expecting much.

Blurry Vodka Menu
The first thing to note is that the place has the largest selection of vodka in the U.S.  I know, crazy random, right?  And while I'm not one for shots of vodka, I did partake in a martini that the waiter recommended.  Not only was it tasty, but it came in the cutest little glass!

And Joel was pretty impressed with the Sushi.  He's kind of spoiled since he lived in Japan and all, and while he said it was a little pricey, it was definitely much better than he expected.  He splurged on his favorite sushi treats, and was pretty satisfied with the meal.

As far as my burger goes, it was pretty decent.  I've had better, but I've had much worse.  It had a really good flavor, and the cheddar I got on it was delish!  I'm not a fan of massive burgers, but if you are, then this would be the burger for you.  It was pretty thick in my books, but if Joel had a sushi craving, I'd be more than happy to go back and have another burger.

I didn't get a picture of my actual burger, but this one was found here from another Sub Zero review.

All in all it was a great weekend.  Sunday was filled with homework and football (per the norm) and getting ready for work on Monday.

Monday, December 10, 2012

31 Days pf Blogging - Days 6, 7, 8, 9, & 10

Ok guys.  I have learned finals and blogging challenges don't mix.  T minus five days and this semester is dunzo!  On to a quick fill in.  I swear I will have much more exciting posts after next week.

Day 6- Favorite super hero and why
Hmmm...this is a tough one.  I am going to go ahead and say Professor Xavier.  He's just awesome in so many ways.

Day 7- What's in your bag
Hmm...right now I have my planner, lip gloss, my wallet, a gazillion pens, a pocket hairbrush, my change wallet, vitamins, my migraine meds, an my emergency girly things.  Pretty standard, actually.

Day 8- Short term goals for this month and why
Well, as always it is to get healthier.  Two weeks ago I worked out three times, but only once this past week.  I have a thing going on with my foot (it hurts like a mutha!), so hopefully that gets straightened out.  I think it is obvs why I want to work out more.

Day 9- Something you’re proud of in the past few days
Umm...that I finished one of my final projects, which was the one I was stressing most about, with a 100%!  That was about 25% of my grade, so I am pretty stoked.

Day 10 - Songs you listen to when you are happy, sad, bored, hyped, mad
When I am happy, I don't know why, but I love me some Pitbull.  He is so upbeat, and it makes me want to shake my tush a little.  Also anything by Cascada.  When I am sad, I listen to sappy love songs.  Kissing you, Gone, Marry Me, and Wanted are my top faves at the moment.  Definitely Dirty Diana when I want to get hyped.  When I am mad, I like Wide Awake by Katy Perry and So What from Pink.  Pink is always good for some angry music.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Pujols Family Foundation - O Night Divine

My big event Saturday?  It was the O Night Divine Christmas celebration that the Pujols Family Foundation puts on each year to raise money for the impoverished people of Albert Pujols's home country, the Dominican Republic, and for the families living with Down Syndrome in the St. Louis area.  I attended as a volunteer, and it had to be one of the best events I have ever seen.
Joel and me all fancied up out front
It was held at a fancy schmancy hotel in one of my favorite parts of town.  It's called the Chase Park Plaza, and they put on quite a beautiful event.  There were over 500 people that attended, and a lot of famous St. Louis faces were there to help the Foundation raise money for such a wonderful cause.

Matt and Leslie Holliday


Mike Matheny

Albert and Dee Dee Pujols

 And of course some very special guests.

Some of our STL Families

A really special guest:  A boy from the DR in town for life saving heart surgery.

A great night was had by all, and I was really moved by the outpouring of giving, love, and acceptance.  I saw God in so many ways that night, and I was truly touched.  I went home feeling blessed with all that I have.  And selfishly, happy with silent auction swag!
I love me some Dan Marino!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

31 Days of Blogging, Days 3, 4, 5

Ok, let's get this out there.  I suck at being productive during finals.  I feel like I am so behind on this challenge!  So, I hope no one minds me combining some of the days.  I promise I will get better after next week.

Ok, Day 3- A picture of you as a child.

Well, I don't have a scanner and I don't have any digital ones.  I will need to do this someday, but today is not that day.

Day 4 - A habit that you wish you didn’t have.

There are two, actually.  One is I am an extremely picky eater.  Don't get me wrong, I love food.  I just didn't grow up in the healthiest of families, so there are a lot of foods that I should eat, but I don't.  I have gotten better over the years, but it's hard to get out of my comfort zone.

The second habit is that when I am stressed, I tend to shut down and become the biggest procrastinator.  Take why I am so stressed this week as an example.  I could have been working on my final projects throughout the semester.  But, oh no, not me.  At least I tend to work well under pressure.

day 5- A picture of somewhere you’ve been.

Ok, now this one is tough.  When I lived in Germany, I traveled like crazy!  Why don't I post a few of my favorite places...

Dingle, Ireland

Santorini, Greece
The Maldives
Cairo, Egypt
Me at a mosque in Cairo
London (and a cameo by Joel!)

Monday, December 3, 2012

31 Days of Blogging, Days 1 & 2

Gosh, I already messed up with day 1.  D'oh!  I got back much later than expected from my secret event Saturday night.  I can't wait to share it all with you!

So here goes. 

Day 1:  Recent picture of you and 15 interesting facts about yourselfOk, here's an awful phone picture and sneak peek of what I wore to the event Saturday night.

15 facts about myself.  Not sure if they're interesting or not!

1.  I am an Aries, and while I use to personify my astrological sign, I feel like I am getting less and less away from it as I get older.
2.  Even though I am married to someone in the military, I am a pacifist.  War is so hard for me to conceptualize, and even though I am very pro-military, I am anti-war.  Does that make sense?
3.  I have tiny feet, and it's really hard for me to find shoes!  I am a 5 or 5 1/2, and when I was in Germany, I was a Euro 35.  Sometimes they didn't make women's shoes that small, so I often had to wear kids shoes!
4.  I have always had big dogs growing up.  We had a Pitbull, Rottweiler, Great Dane, Collie...but, once I rescued my Pug Pugsley, I knew that Pugs were the breed meant for me.
5.  I love living overseas more than I like living in the states.  I love to travel, and miss being so close to everything.  I think I might have been a European in my past life.  (Kidding!  Maybe...)
6.  I drive a VW Beetle, and I love it.  People always tell me that they're not surprised I drive one, and I have yet to figure out what that means...
7.  I hate conflict and I avoid it at all costs.
8.  I may have an unhealthy obsession with white chocolate.  I'm waiting to hear the health benefits of it, because dark can't be the only healthy chocolate!
9.  I have a lot of anxiety over change.  And while we are talking about anxiety, I hate when I am faced with two good decisions.  I always feel like I am going to pick the wrong one.
10.  I may also have an unhealthy shoe addiction.  I have about 6 or 7 pairs of boots alone.
11.  I absolutely cannot go to the gym looking like a slob.  No, I don't do my hair or make-up, but putting on something I'm not embarrassed to be seen in public in is a motivator for me.
12.  I miss my hometown of Indianapolis.  I'm not sure what I long for there, but I am so content when I am home.
13.  If I could have any job, I would be an attorney.  It's all I wanted to be as a kid, and I'd still like to go to Law School.  Looks like it just isn't in the cards for me anytime soon.
14.  I really wish Joel would get out of the military.  I hate being a military wife, and would give up the job security (for him, not me) if it meant I never had to go six months or more away from him again.
15.  I am the biggest cry baby.  I cry over sad songs, name it.  I would even cry at a funeral for someone that I haven't ever met.  But, I am a bad consoler.  When people tell me sad news, I tend to cry right along with them.

Day 2:  The meaning behind your blog name.

Nothing significant, really.  I haven't found a name I've just loved yet, so this title is a working one.  I'm always up for better suggestions.