Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Offensive with a dose of Sweetie Pie? I had a blast!

So, yesterday was supposed to be a date night for me and Joel.  But, because he had to go play military guy out of the area, it turned into a girls' night instead.  My friend Tina, who has really started becoming a good friend rather than just an acquaintance, joined me, and I'm really enjoying us becoming better buds.

Anyways, Joel and I splurged a few months back to go and see The Book of Mormon at the Fox Theater.  It looked hilarious, and of course I have an insane love of musical theater, so we had to book tickets.  There were no TDYs on the horizon, but of course you can never make plans in ink, right?

Well, we got down to the theater and parked in record time, but as we walked along the street to find a place for dinner, we were very discouraged to find that every place was packed, and the 45-60 minute wait wasn't going to allow us enough time to get to the theater.  So, we walked a little further, and I saw a huge sign outside of a building tucked away, and so we went that way to see if it was a restaurant.

Do you recognize this place?  How about these folks?

In case you didn't know, and I didn't before moving here, Oprah's new Network films a reality show at this restaurant.  When we walked in, the nicest security guard in the world let us know that the show was filming, and we might end up on tv.  Say wha?  We were definitely in!

My actual meal.  So delish!

The whole staff was as sweet as could be, and I definitely enjoyed my dining experience.  The food was traditional Southern Home Cooking, and needless to say that we did not walk away hungry.  And by the way, if you ever get the chance to go, try their pear cobbler.  It was life changing.

We walked back toward the theater, grabbed a drink, and headed in.  For a Tuesday night, it was completely packed!  Luckily our seats had incredible views.  I was so excited for the show to start!

The stage.  The border is the temple in Salt Lake City.
The show was hilarious!  It was a little crude, but what else can you expect from the creators of South Park?  Was it offensive.  Totally!  But if you aren't one to get offended easily, this will have you bursting with laughter from start to finish.  The traveling cast was incredibly talented, and I am so grateful to Tina for filling in in Joel's absence.  This is definitely a must see if it comes to your area!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Weekend in Review


Or, I guess I should say Saturday in review, because frankly the rest of my weekend was kind of boring.  Friday after my work-out I met up with a friend to go to a local Fish Fry.  As the Lenten season is upon us, I love going out to try different ones, and I hadn't been ot this one yet.  Pretty typical; good, but not outstanding.  Glad I went though!  Joel came back from his TDY last Friday night (around 9pm), so it definitely killed some time until I had to go to the airport to pick him up.  Since he wasn't home for Valentine's day, I had a surprise waiting for my Eager Beaver.

Get the "eager beaver" reference now?
I also had some chocolate covered strawberries and raspberries waiting for him.  Am I the best wife ever, or what?  Methinks so.

Saturday Joel literally did not want to leave the house.  I feel like the weekend is the only time I can get out of the house and have some fun, so I was kind of disappointed.  But, with his crazy schedule as of late, I knew he probably needed the rest, so I unhappily obliged.  With our snowfall that we had, it seemed imperative that we have a fire going for most of the evening.  I never had a fireplace growing up, so I am in love with the fact our house has one.  Although, I don't feel apt enough to actually build one.  Thank God for manly men, right?

Perfect for a cold winter's night.
That fire made it nice and toasty!  Reminded me of how nice the house feels when spring is approaching.  I thought it was the perfect time to open up a little something, something I found at World Market.  And I have to say, they didn't disappoint!  It is called a wine smoothie.  Wine plus a smoothie?  How could they go wrong?  I bought the peach flavor, and it was delicious!  I definitely recommend this product.

These are a few of my favorite things!
For the first time in a while, it was nice to feel like a normal married couple.  We cooked dinner together, cuddled together, and danced together (hey, I's gotsta have my tunes while I cook).  It was glorious.  I definitely don't take days like that for granted.

Saturday was saying goodbye to Joel (again), running errands, and doing schoolwork.  I can't wait until Joel is back for a while and we can try to get back to what normalcy we can.

I hope eveyone has a fantastic week!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

This is what a snow day looks like.

Pugsley, deciding if he likes the snow or not.

The backyard, starting to look like winter!

Pugsley, frolicking somewhat happily.

Hot chocolate with extra marshmallows are a necessity.

Staying home for a snow day is much better than work, don't you think?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Weigh-in Wednesday - Week five!

Link up with Erin and Alex!

Ok, I am not going to pretend I had a good week.  I battled headaches for five days, felt under the weather, and I can never seem to get full when it is cold out, so I know my calorie intake wasn't too great.  I mostly kept up at the start of the week, but kind of lost track.  So, bad fitness week and bad Lenten week.

But, every day is a new day, and I am starting fresh.  I had a great workout with my trainer yesterday, and am charting my caloric intake.  But, since I didn't weigh-in this morning, and I have been in the snacking mood lately, I thought I would just highlight some of my recent snacking/food finds.

Perfect little snack!  The Raspberry with dark chocolate is my fave.

These are great to grab and go for breakfast.  And so much protein!
One word...yummers!

These are fab when a sweet craving hits.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Happy Mon, err...Tuesday.

Holy cow, did the weekend fly by for everyone else, too?  I was off work on Monday (holla!), but still had to go to class last night.  So, I ask, was that really a day off?  Methinks not.

Valentine's Day went as well as can be expected with the hubster gone.  He sent flowers to the house, which was really nice, but my boss outdid him with an even bigger bouquet.  Joel needs to step it up!

Flowers from my boss.
Flowers from Joel.
I went to Panera with a new friend, and had a great night.  I also got a free pair of boots.  Say wha??  I did.  True story.  I showed up a little early, so I went to the Famous Footwear nearby to browse their clearance section.  Being that my shoe size is 5.5, I either have tremendous luck with clearance shoes or no luck at all.  I found a cute pair of ankle boots that were marked down to $10 from $69.99.  Score!  I went to the register to make my purchase, and for whatever reason they rang up to $5 and some change.  When the woman put in my rewards info, she said that I had a $5 credit, applied that credit without me forking over any moolah, and told me to have a nice day.  Indeed, I will.  Happy Valentine's Day to me, amiright?  Panera didn't disappoint, as usual, and I had some great conversation.  It was a good day!

I have been feeling a little under the weather lately.  Not sick, per se, but I have had a killer headache from Thursday that is still lingering.  I had to cancel one of my workout sessions, and I have been pretty useless since then.  Today I am just trying to make it through the work day, and I will hopefully be up for at least some gym time this afternoon.  I don't have very long until our big trip, and have a long way to go to get to the weight I was hoping to be by then.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Image found here.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!  I don't know how anyone can hate a day centered on love.  Sure, you can hate the Hallmark-y part of it, but everyone should have someone that they love, whether it be a friend, parent, sibling, significant other, or pet.  Heck, my dog was my Valentine for a few years. and I had a lot of fun buying him doggy cookies and taking him on a walk.  Weird?  Perhaps, but I don't care.  It's all about love, baby!  I'm a hopeless romantic.  I can't help it.

This year, once again my Valentine and I aren't going to be physically together.  But, he's still my Valentine.  So, while we are spending the day apart, I am still going to enjoy the day.  Why?  Because I am loved.  So here are some of my favorite pictures of me and the hubster.  And if you and your loved one(s) are apart, just remember somebody does love you.  And isn't love grand?


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Weigh-in Wednesday - Week four!

Follow along with Erin and Alex!

Ok, so, I didn't come up with this fancy button, but I did find a few other people doing a Weigh-in Wednesday feature, so I thought I'd just tag along!

Weigh in Wednesday!

 FEB 7 - 13, 2013

Starting Weight (Jan 1, 2013): 155

Last Week's Weight: 151
Current Weight: 151.8
Well, well.  That isn't exactly what I wanted to see, but I can't say that I didn't expect it.  While I did well and worked out three times during the week, I also ate hellaciously over the weekend.  French fries, not one but two cupcakes, a few slices of king cake, and pizza.  Not my finest weekend.  I'm learning that diet and exercise go hand in hand, and if I cheat, I better be prepared to face the consequences. 
But, I haven't completely fallen off of the wagon.  Today is the official start of Lent.  I'm not sure exactly how I can explain this, but I am basically giving up "cheat" meals during Lent.  I am still doing well with tracking my food, so I am making a plan to stick within the allowable calories each day.  And I am going to try to make it to where on days that I don't have class I do some form of physical activity, even if it is just walking the pups.  That bring my activity schedule from three to five days.  A lofty goal, but I am going to try.  The real test will be when we get to Ecuador.  I probably won't have access to reliable internet to track my calories in my online journal, so I need to take the time until then to really learn what I am putting in my body so I can make healthy choices while I am away.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


So, the hubster isn't around right now and I'm feeling rather nostalgic.  Four years ago today, Joel asked me to be his wife.  It is kind of a funny story.  It wasn't at the time, but it is now.  Basically, we decided to go to Rome for the weekend (oh, how I miss living abroad).  I had been before and loved it, but Joel had yet to go.  I went a few Februaries before, and it was cool, but not cold, and fairly sunny.

Well, the February that we decided to go, Rome decided it would be fun to snow.  So after numerous flight delays, landing in the wrong airport, arriving to our hotel after a horrendous faux cab ride that I almost killed Joel for putting me in, and scary killer clowns I had to avoid, Joel decided to get down on one knee in front of the Trevi fountain and ask me to be his wife.  I still smile when thinking of that moment.  Without sounding too cliche (epic fail), it was like time stood still.  I just knew I would say yes, even though I had thought about breaking things off after I almost died in the cab Joel put me in (seriously).

There was a lot of faith and circumstances that led to us meeting, let alone coming this far.  I have no doubt that God had His hand in all of this.  Even though I get frustrated with the military and the separations and the nonsense, I would make the same decision all over again.  If you're reading this, Joel, you are one amazing man.  Thank you for choosing to spend your life with me.

Me and my new bling, and our post-engagement celebratory gelato.

Joel at the scene of the crime, just minutes before he popped the big question.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Ramblings of a Disgruntled Military Wife

Image found here.

I have always had pretty high career aspirations.  When I graduated with my B.S. in Political Science and History, my big plan was to move to D.C. or some larger city and work in either Policy or Lobbying.  Not for just anything, but for something I was really passionate about.  I even toyed with the idea of Law School to work in Constitutional Law.  When I got a job in Germany working for the military, I kind of put those dreams on hold.  Even though I'm somewhat of a pacifist, I really wanted to help our military out in whatever capacity I could.  And hey, who wouldn't kill (figuratively, of course) for an opportunity to live and work overseas?  So, I put my professional future on hold.

I actually really liked what I did for the military. I was basically a glorified office manager, but I took a lot of pride in my work.  And hey, government pay and benefits were pretty good.  I never intended to love what I did, but in reality, I kind of did.  It was challenging and rewarding, and I felt like I was making a small difference.  There would be plenty of time to make an impact later.

Enter Joel.  The man of my dreams, my soul mate...even though I swore I didn't want to be a military wife.  But, I thought that I could kind of have it all.  The career and the relationship.  When we moved to this base, I thought it would be easy with my experience, education, and drive to pick up right where I left off.  But, I was wrong.

It took forever to find a job on base.  Like, almost a year.  In the meantime I took a rewarding internship and substitute taught in the local school districts, and decided that I myself would go back to school for special education, to make a difference in my local community (wherever that ends up being).  I never meant to give up on my dreams, but Law School would be impossible if I were to move every 2-3 years, and Joel obviously didn't get orders anywhere near D.C.

I was ecstatic to finally get a job on base again.  I thought I would show them my drive and passion, and there would be plenty of opportunities to advance.  But, what I didn't realize is that the organization I signed on with consisted mostly of technician positions.  Positions that I am nowhere qualified to hold.  So, I put my efforts into schooling, but I increasingly felt like a failure for being stagnant in my profession.

An opportunity came open at work that I believed I would be a perfect fit for.  It was in a different division, but I thought all of my qualifications would at least warrant an interview.  Plus, I was internal.  No adjustment period required!  I began to get hopeful, and even talked to Joel about maybe trying to make this area a permanent home for us, which would have completely changed our lives around.  But, for whatever reason, I (along with about six other folks I work with) was never even given a chance.  No interview, no explanation.  I was crushed.  If it was in my Division, I know my boss would have pushed for me to get a chance.  He always tells me what a great job I'm doing, and I recently received a stellar performance review.  I began to question my worth, my professional future, and my abilities.

It's hard making a name for yourself, especially when you basically live as a nomad.  I had such high hopes for myself, and now I wonder what my path should be.  I try to trust in my faith and put these kinds of decisions in God's hands.  But, I'm only human, and I am weak when it comes to leaving those kinds of decisions up to Him.  I have issues letting go of control.  Especially decisions like this.  But, obviously it's completely out of my control.  I feel like I have taken what ever steps I could to be successful, and just haven't been able to take advantage of the minimal opportunities this base has to offer.  And now with sequestration looming, the chance to move up here, or anywhere, is looking slimmer.  I may lose out on paid days even in my current position, and I pray that all of us here in our organization avoid any cuts that may happen.  The fiscal crisis doesn't just affect the $100K and over crowd.  It affects us little guys, too.

I have no choice but to soldier on.  I will focus on what I can control.  I will complete my master's degree this year.  If I can't move up here on base, I will focus on trying to get orders to a base bordering a bigger city with more opportunities.  Other than that...well, I'm still not sure what path I am supposed to be on.  Hopefully trying to leave it in God's hands will bring me some much needed peace.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Weigh-in Wednesday - Week three!

Weigh in Wednesday!
JAN 31 - FEB 6, 2013

Starting Weight (Jan 1, 2013): 155

 Last Week's Weight: 152.2

Current weight: 151
I am so happy to see that I made progress this week.  And if I can keep up with losing a pound per week, I will be around 145 when we go to the Galapagos, and I will be able to fit back into some of my summery clothes.  Oh, how I want to be able to wear cute (and functional) shorts by then.  I've been working hard, and rying to get in at least 2-3 workouts a week.  And if they keep looking like this (see below), I know I'll be able to be more comfortable with my body on vacation.
Holy mother of personal training!

I'm glad I finally decided to get a personal trainer.  Right now, the biggest issue I have is finding the time to workout.  But, keeping a schedule with her holds me accountable, and, well...right now that's what I need.  I know I can't keep her (or be able to afford her) forever, but I thrive on routine, and if I can just keep scheduling time in with her, eventually I will be able to keep that schedule up on my own.
I feel all of this and more.  But I know it's all worth it.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Happy Birthday, Gomez!

I know you are probably wondering, who the heck is Gomez?  He is the newest member of our family, although he isn't new.  He's our youngest pug, and we adopted him when we arrived here in 2011.  His name was Chynga when we got him (which is a naughty word in Spanish), but thank God he didn't understand that Chynga was his name.  We already had a Pugsley, so we quickly changed it to Gomez, keeping with our Adams Family theme (snap, snap).

We found a fantastic local rescue here, called the IL-MO Pug Rescue.  I love my Pugsley so much, and since it is easier having little dogs in the military lifestyle, I just knew another little puggie was in my near future.  Gomez was a puppy when he landed in the rescue, which is really rare.  Joel had never had pets growing up, and desperately wanted a puppy.  Gomez was the runt of his litter, with some typical pug health problems that the breeder didn't want to take care of.  So, he dropped off our little boy at the rescue, and we were more than happy to give the cute little guy a home.

When we got him, he was timid, quiet, and barely had any hair on his face due to malnutrition by his awful breeder.  Luckily, if you know him today, you would never know that he came from anything other than a loving, wonderful home.

Is he spoiled?  Absolutely.  But, he warms my heart every day.  And I don't know what I'd do without him.  So Happy Birthday, Gomez!  I am so blessed to have you as a part of our furry family.

Monday, February 4, 2013


Monday is the worst, isn't it?  I have friends that work compressed schedules and take every other Monday off of work.  I wonder if that makes Mondays better, because they only work every other one, or doubly worse on that one working Monday.  Hmm...

This weekend?  Fairly uneventful.  Our foster pup (I said I'd talk about that a while back didn't I?  Whoops...) finally found a home, so I said goodbye to him and then headed to the airport to pick Joel up from another TDY (military work trip).  I was glad to have him back, because it was a rather stressful week for me.  It was my first full week back at school since the start of the semester, and for some reason, having two dogs instead of three is a lot more work.  Add that to us finally getting the roof on our covered porch replaced after our hail storm last April and finding out I need to go to physical therapy twice a week for my migraines and, well...let's just say I bet you aren't envying my wekk.  AmIright?

Saturday was spent doing stuff around the house that needed done.  Laundry, dishes, know, the usual stuff.  But, we did make it to Lowe's over the weekend and found some tile for our bathroom reno.  What, I failed to mention that?  Well, Joel and I have decided to do a partial remodel of our master bathroom because, well, frankly...I hate it.  And Joel was tired of me complaining about it.  We still have a long way to go, but I'm pretty stoked that the process is at least starting.

And then on Sunday, this happened...

If you know me, you know that I loathe snow.  So, waking up to an unexpected four inches on the day I had to drive Joel back to the airport to leave again was not the most pleasant surprise.  Joel is great, though, because he shoveled our driveway before I even woke up.  I heart that man sometimes.  Well, all the time, but even more so when he does something amazingly unexpected.

After he landed and the Superbowl started, we watched it "together" on the phone.  We both decided to stay in and have as much as a Superbowl party for two as we could.  Oh yeah, but my team won.  Amazeballs.

I'm not sure, but I think he's saying "suck it, Jimmy."