Sunday, December 29, 2013

Jumbled Weekend

Sometimes I can't pick a "theme" to blog about, so this post is going to be a bit jumbled.

Yesterday Ryan and I headed to Whitetail for some snowboarding. I started snowboarding 10 years ago, and I first took Ryan 2 years ago. He loved it, so I see lots more boarding for us this season. I am so impressed with how easily Ryan has caught on. I remember it taking me way longer. I always encourage other people to try it, because it's so much fun!



When we came home, I went to an 11pm showing of Catching Fire... ALONE! Several of my friends find this strange, but occasionally Ryan and I go to movies solo. We already went to see Catching Fire together, but I'm currently reading the series and wanted to see it one more time before it leaves the theater. The series is SO GOOD! Usually I can't read a book after I've watched the movie, but it's been the total opposite. Since it's written in first person, you get to know all of Katniss' thoughts, which fills in so many gaps in the story. It's such an easy read, too, and makes me so excited for the two-part ending movies! 

Today we took down our Christmas decorations... Even though it's still the Christmas season, I was feeling antsy. Once the actual day passes, I like to move on and clean up! I'm looking forward to 2014, and want to move along with the excitement that is sure to come our way this year!!

On a final note of this jumbled post, today marks one year since Ryan adopted our precious Posh!! She is enjoying lots of cuddles and brushing today! What a blessing she has been to our family this year!!!



Friday, December 27, 2013

Cheap Date

One of my favorite gifts (especially if it's a joint gift for us) is a gift card. They make for perfect date nights! We got a good number of gift cards from family and friends this Christmas, so I see a number of dinner, movie, and coffee dates in our future!

Tonight we went to Zoo Lights at the National Zoo. We gambled and drove rather than take the metro, and we scored an awesome parking spot. 


We had a great time walking around, checking out some of the animal exhibits that were open, talking, and sipping some Starbucks (from a Christmas gift card). I love that the zoo here is free. Ryan and I are huge animal lovers, so we easily spend hours checking them out.



Annual events like this make me a bit sad knowing we won't be here to enjoy them next year, but I know we will find fun activites in San Diego. 


In typical old, married couple fashion, Ryan and I are home and in pajamas by 10pm. I love that we are on the same page about that. We are going snowboarding tomorrow, so this final weekend of the year is definitely going to be a busy one for us! 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from Washington, DC!




I am so thankful for the many blessings in my life. I am forever grateful to have Ryan home with me. Each holiday I spend with him is a gift from God!



Monday, December 23, 2013

Slowing Down

I recently did a meditation that talked about how American society has made us believe that we always need to be busy. When you ask someone how they are, "I've been busy" is a common answer. I know I say it often. I feel busy. 

It made me think though, what is busy? For me, it's signing up for overtime each week, cramming laundry, grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning into one day, and spending one day running around/dating my husband. On days I'm not busy, I feel like I'm unproductive and lazy... but really I'm just taking time to relax and enjoy my life. My mother instilled this incredible work ethic in me, but I realize I need to tone things down. The time I lose by working extra and running around is irreplaceable. These early years of our careers and marriage should be cherished.


I haven't decided if I want to officially declare a New Years resolution, but I'm considering something regarding relaxing and slowing down. I feel like I'm always living a few steps ahead of myself, and it totally prevents me from fully enjoying what's right before my eyes. I am so incredibly blessed, and there is no excuse for rushing through these blessings without fully enjoying them!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Holiday Season

I'm baaaack!!! I didn't actually go anywhere, but I did take a bit of a break on blogging. This time of year is just so busy... So what was I thinking when I signed up for overtime and call each week in December?? One of my college friends visited me earlier this week, so that kept me busy as well. Mix all of that with Christmas shopping and cards, and you're destined to be burnt out... which I now am. Fortunately I am only working two days (thanks to holiday pay) for the next two weeks. I'm already feeling much more relaxed.

Anyway, I love this time of the year. Hot cocoa, Christmas lights, cheesy movies and songs... It makes me so happy! Some people hate it, but I love the chaos of stores at this time of year. We organized a secret Santa at work, which is always a blast. My secret Santa totally spoiled me and indulged my cat lady obsession... So fun!

Since Ryan and I had time off for thanksgiving, we are both working around Christmas. I cannot even express how amazing our families and friends have been. Every day we've received thoughtful cards and presents in the mail. The outpouring of love makes me feel so grateful. No matter how far away we are, we are not forgotten. It means so much to me!


Monday, December 2, 2013

PCS

I realized this weekend that this  thanksgiving may be the last holiday I spend with my family for a while. Ryan and I both work over Christmas, so we won't go home then. Come July, we will be picking up and moving to california and let's face it, even if we want to visit family it won't be as simple as hopping in the car for an easy drive there and back.

All of this makes me sad, but I know it's all part of the game. In the same breath, I am so excited to move to California. That's definitely an opportunity I want to have, and I wouldn't trade it for somewhere else. It still is hard though, knowing that in order to fulfill one dream, others may need to be sacrificed. It always works out though.

I always try to be strong and present myself in a positive light, but sometimes I feel vulnerable and want to express my worries and fears. Nobody can be made of steel all of the time. 

With that, it's December and I can't get over it. We have about 7 months. That's about as long as a standard deployment. It seems long when your husband is gone that long, but for this situation it doesn't seem like much time at all. My goal is to relax and do my best to roll with the punches. Maybe it won't work out the way I have tried to plan in my head, but let's face it... Planning and the military don't go hand in hand. This is an adventure, after all. 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Birthday Weekend

Why only celebrate your birthday on one day, when you can celebrate the entire weekend?? This year my birthday was on Black Friday. Friday birthdays always make for a super easy birthday weekend celebration, so it worked out perfectly!

Thanksgiving dinner was delicious as always; my mom never disappoints. We enjoyed a nap after dinner and then ate more!





My family loves a good deal, so Black Friday shopping is always in order. We started at 6pm on Thanksgiving, naive thinking that everyone would be eating dinner and the stores would be empty... Wrong! I tried my best to photograph some cops that were restraining a man, but it's pretty blurry.


What'd we buy? Hubby got a video game, desk chair, computer speakers, leather gloves, underarmour shirt and pants, and snowboard helmet. I got glass storage containers (trying to phase out plastic), clothes, northface jacket, and candles. 

My mom made my birthday dinner with all of my favorite foods Friday night. Today we went to a Christmas festival and did more shopping. I just love the Chrsitmas season; it's so positive and hopeful.


I can't believe that tomorrow marks the first day of December. I'm pretty sure I've made that same comment at the beginning of each month. This year has hands down been the fastet one in my life, probably because it was my first full year with no school. We head home tomorrow. I have Monday off, so I'll be able to finish unpacking and decorating for Christmas an extra day. Hubby got me an iPad air for my birthday and I immediately downloaded the kindle app and started reading The Hunger Games series. Hope everyone has safe travels and enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thankful

This past year, I've grown in a spiritual way. I've started meditating, which has helped me learn new techniques to relax and calm my nerves. Meditating has also helped me learn to focus my thoughts easily, and most recently I completed a 21 day meditation that focused specifically on gratitude. One thing I constantly struggle with is weeding out negative thoughts in order to concentrate on the many positives in my life.

I am so thankful for my life. Even on my worst days where it feels like nothing is going my way, I am so blessed. I don't acknowledge this enough, but I am so thankful for my husband. Not many people are lucky enough to meet the love of their life as a teenager, but I was. That is a blessing in and of itself... not to mention the facts that he's hardworking, compassionate, and dedicated to me. 


I'm thankful for our adventures with the military, and all of the benefits that come along with that lifestyle. I am thankful for our next move to Southern California. I'm thankful for all of the friends we have made during his 6 years in the Navy so far. 


I am thankful for my career as a nurse. I'm thankful for the amazing women and men that I work with. In my short time as a nurse, I've grown not only in my professional life but also as a person. Nursing has helped mold my thoughts and outlook on life and has allowed me to care for other people. Serving others is my passion, and I thank God for leading me to this profession. 


I'm thankful for this little baby. Posh has taught me so much about unconditional love, and I can't thank God enough for blessing me with her. I never knew I was passionate about animals until we adopted her, and now it's common for me to make donations to the humane society on a regular basis. I am thankful for all living creatures and the joy that they bring to our lives.

I'm also thankful for my family, and the fact that I got to spend lots of time with them this past year even though we are all spread out from coast to coast. I'm thankful that Ryan and I were able to take off work and travel to my hometown to celebrate thanksgiving. My mom has 4 pies made (there are 4 of us eating tomorrow...) and we are bound to be in full food comas by 2pm. Happy thanksgiving, eat lots of turkey!!!!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Saturday Date

Yesterday I talked about a date with one of my girlfriends, so in fairness to my hubby I'm dedicating a post to our day today.

Since Ryan works 6:30-4:00ish and I work 11:00am to 11:30pm, we hardly see each other during the week. Well, we see each other but one of us is sleeping. I usually have one day off a week where I try to cook dinner and spend an evening together, but most of our dates happen on Saturday or Sunday.


Today we decided to bike to Panera for lunch. The weather was a little drizzly, but  we pushed through and enjoyed our little trip. I wanted to do a juice detox this weekend, but hubby twisted my arm and got me to reconsider and reschedule it (I think he just wanted someone to eat out with!) 



Later on we decided to get pedicures. I remember the first pedi I talked Ryan into getting... He was all self conscious until he realized that they feel great! I love that he joins me on things like that. 

With the weather starting to get colder (and wetter) Ryan and I have been manifesting our move to Southern California. We are always checking the weather and imagining ourselves at the beach surrounded by Palm trees. The west coast is really where we feel most grounded, peaceful, and happy. 

I'm on call right now, so here's to hoping I'm lucky and don't get called in! 


Friday, November 15, 2013

Rock On

I haven't discussed this side of me in detail, but I'm a very spiritual person. I'm into meditation, yoga, burning incense, and gem stones. I actually carry gemstones in my pockets everyday. My favorites are the rose quartz (love, compassion), rhondonite (decreases anxiety), and fuschite (stone of health). Since I'm not super vocal about this side of me, not many people know about it. When I discovered that one of my coworkers shares this interest, I was smitten. 

Today Angela and I ventured into northern Virginia and stopped at a privately owned gemstone, fairy, candle, and potion store. Minus the fairies (I've never gotten into them) this was basically my dream store. I loaded up with lots of new stones for my collection.


Angela also shares my viewpoint about eating organic food and using organic household and personal products. Since we are in the healthcare field, we've done research (and heard horror stories) about chemicals and pesticides used on food, so our viewpoint is based on evidence that we feel strongly about. Our husbands may think we go overboard (like buying organic toilet paper - it's happened) but it's awesome that we share that same quirkiness. Therefore, a fitting lunch date brought us to the Whole Foods in Fairfax, VA. It's the biggest WF on the East Coast, and oh my it was huge!

I left with some juices for a cleanse I'm trying this weekend. Happy weekend y'all!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Early Start

It's only happened a few times, but I was fortunate to have my schedule switched around to have Friday off. My work requires us to work 5 out of 8 Fridays in each schedule, so it's always a treat to have it off. In celebration of my surprise 3 day weekend, Ryan ordered Thai for our dinner, and we are currently picking out a Netflix movie to watch.

I have plans for a lunch date with one of my coworkers tomorrow, and then I'm probably going to come home and watch cheesy movies and TV shows all evening. I'm totally an old lady at heart!

Cheers to the weekend!!! 



Monday, November 11, 2013

His Day

When I met Ryan 5 years ago, he was an E2 who couldn't stop talking about getting out of the military. He was stationed with 1st Recon and deployed in Iraq, and even tried to get out early.  I think I came into his life at just the right time. I am an optimist, and I tried to help him stay positive and focus on the remaining years of his contract as a time to grow and take advantage of opportunities such as tuition assistance.

When his contract finally came down to its final months, Ryan came to me and said he felt like he was supposed to stay in the military. I was dumbfounded. Where did this come from?? As a loyal and supportive wife, I assured him I was ready for any challenge and would be ok with whatever he decided. He decided to extend an additional year, and then reenlisted about a year ago. The growth I have seen in him as a professional over the last 5 years is so inspiring. I am so proud of him and his decision to continue serving our country. He has plans of going for the full 20+, and I can't wait for what's next during this journey.

Ryan, my salty sailor, thank you for choosing me as your wife to go through this whirlwind military adventure with you!!! From California, to DC, and back to California in 2014, I am anxiously anticipating what the next years will bring us!!!


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Baby It's Cold Outside

It's funny how in the summer I would do almost anything for a day in the 50s and 60s, but in the fall/winter I am bundling way up in the same temperatures! Right now I'm covered in blankets and wearing flannel pajamas! I make no sense.

It is totally crazy to me that it's already the 5th day in November. This year has gone faster than any in my life. I'm not sure if it's cuz this was my first full year in the workforce of what, but I just can't believe how fast it's gone by.

I'm back from my mom's and heading back to work tomorrow. I think I am possessed though because I have a work related dream almost every night. It'll be nice to get back into my work flow, and pay day is Friday so that's always appealing as well.

I went shopping this weekend and I swear, east coast small town thrift stores are the best. I've gone to thrift stores in DC, VA, and all over California, but nothig compares to the size and quality that I find in my hometown! I bought some "new" pieces that hadn't even been worn - they still had tags on. For whatever reason, I get more excited about those purchases than about deals I get at a department store or forever 21. 


^ This is what I plan on doing all day. Actually I'm cleaning, grocery shopping, and going on a bike ride later. I've started a new meditation which goes over 3 weeks, so I've been receiving lots of positive emails and links for it. Check it out: 21 Days of Gratitude

Daily Thought -“I give thanks to the living universe by focusing on my purpose, and sharing it with the world.”

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Trick or Treat

Halloween season (really fall in general) is one of my favorite times of the year. I especially love handing out candy to trick or treaters. The past few years were disappointing in that matter (college, and then last year we only had 2 kids stop by). This year, I made it a priority and took a personal day so I could travel to my hometown to pass out candy with my mom. She gets over 100 kids on average, so I bought a ton of candy and am excited to see how the night turns out! 


While I'm home, I'm taking care of some appointments (dentist, new drivers license) as well as enjoying the no clothing tax and cheap prices here in PA. I've been working overtime basically every week for months now, so it's nice to set aside time like this where I can get out of town and get my mind off work.

It's crazy to think that tomorrow is November 1st. That puts us at about 8 months until we move to California. I'm still in the "it's too early/depressing for me to talk about moving" stage, so I'm hoping time doesn't pass too quickly. Have a safe and happy Halloween y'all!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Love Over Time

After being together 5 years, I think it's normal for the romance in a relationship to come down a little. Now, I'm not saying it should totally disappear, but I've found that it has changed since our early dating stages.

Now that we are living together, both working full time, and have been married almost 4 years, it seems like our relationship has grown in a whole new way. I don't wake up to cute morning text messages, but instead get a kiss goodbye when I'm still sleeping. I get texts throughout the day, but they are generally asking how my day is, which car he should drive tomorrow, what groceries we need, etc. I don't get the ballads saying how much he misses me and all that lovey dovey stuff. I guess you could say we've settled into a routine, which may sound horrible but that's life.

When we first got engaged, we went to marriage classes where they talked about how you go from being "in love" to choosing to love one another. I thought they were crazy and that anyone who wasn't "in love" was headed for divorce. I get it now though. When you live with someone, you learn everything about them. You don't just interact with them for fun, romantic dates. It becomes a whole new stage of love where you have to choose to love them, despite their poor kitchen cleaning habits, cranky demeanor in the morning (me), refusal to put laundry away, and more.

But every now and then, Ryan turns up the heat and surprises me. Sometimes it's flowers, a pandora charm, a handwritten card, surprise breakfast in bed, or like I got this week, a surprise candlelit dinner when I came home after a busy day at work.



It's little things like this that remind me how much I love Ryan and that no matter how long two people have been together, it's always important to keep things fresh and fun. He always keeps me on my toes!! 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Whenever we have bananas that are overripe, we peel them and throw them into the freezer to make banana bread. We had a few collecting in a bag, so I decided to try something new. I made banana chocolate chip cookies. They are delicious! I love any excuse to use this baby:


 

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cup of flour (to start)
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup margarine (2 sticks)
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 package jello instant pudding (vanilla)
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
12 oz package chocolate chips
2 bananas (mashed)

Directions:
1. Mix flour and baking soda - set aside
2. Combine softened margarine and the sugars in mixer and mix well until creamy
3. Add vanilla, pudding mix and mix until smooth and creamy
4. Beat in the eggs
5. Gradually add flour mixture
6. Add mashed bananas

At this point I usually add a little more flour depending on how soft the dough is and how big the eggs are. It's usually about 1/4 cup more. The dough should be firm enough to roll a ball in your hand.

7. Add chocolate chips with spoon.
8. Bake 9-12 minutes (until just light brown) at 375 degrees.
9. Place on cooling rack and enjoy!

I really think the pudding mix makes these better than regular cookie recipes, but you'll have to judge that yourself! I doubled the recipe and it made almost 5 dozen cookies, so this recipe is probably about 2.5. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Pick Up

My momma always taught me (and still does) that when you're down, you always have to pick yourself back up. Therefore, after my mini whine session in my last post, I'm following up with a more positive post today.

Like I said, Ryan and I always find fun things to do on the weekends. My sleep schedule has been out of whack due to readjusting after my week of night shifts. I slept in until 3pm yesterday! Talk about sleeping the day away! Once I woke up, Ryan and I headed to lunch. We then visited the local humane society where Ryan adopted Posh. People ask me if visiting the animals makes me want another (which I do), but I love just having one baby to spoil and being able to get her everything (like cat strollers and such). They have brushes and treats for the cats and dogs, so we enjoy spending a couple hours giving them some attention. There were so many kittens at the shelter. They are so sweet!




Then we came home and cuddled with our own sweet baby girl, until I got called into work for a few hours.


Today we headed to our favorite sandwich shop in Georgetown, and then we checked out the new TJ Maxx and Homegoods there. Oh my goodness, the store was divine. I'm keeping my eyes open for stocking stuffers for hubby. Unfortunately we are both working around Christmas, so we won't get to come home. It'll be just us!

And just like that, tomorrow is Monday. Back to the grind!


Friday, October 18, 2013

Weekend Blues

It's no secret that the DC metro area is densely populated with military members.  When Ryan was in Southern California, it was the same way and we loved it. It's great living in a community where people are familiar with the military lifestyle. I grew up in a small town in PA, and I'm pretty sure there are grown people living there that don't even know there are separate branches; they only know of the army.

Since Ryan and I each commute about 20 miles in opposite directions for work, we don't have any coworkers living close by. In fact, we don't even know our neighbors or anyone in our community. This makes me sad because we literally don't have any friends within a 20 mile radius, so it's nearly impossible to spontaneously do something like we used to in California.

I've made some friends in DC, but we have had no luck finding another military couple around our age who both work and don't have children. Now, we have nothing against kids. We plan on having our own one day, but there is a reason we are waiting. We want to enjoy childless life for a long time, and we find it more enjoyable to spend evenings with other couples who understand this. I know these couples exist because we knew several of them from previous places! I just need to find them here.

I don't like posting things that make me vulnerable, but I'm feeling pretty blue. Hubby and I always end up finding fun things to do on the weekends, but I wish that we could find another military couple (or more) to explore this amazing city. I am hopeful that when we move to San Diego we will have better luck with this. 

I guess this is one of the many realities of military life. Once you find great friends that you click with, someone gets orders to the other side of the globe. You always have to start from scratch. I'm thankful for all of the positives though and I wouldn't trade this lifestyle for anything!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wall Hanger

Ryan and I have been hunting for a coat rack for months. We bought an over the door rack with hooks, only to find it didn't fit over our front door. We relocated it to our bedroom door, and have found plenty of hoodies, bathrobes, and hats to hang on it. That, however, didn't solve the problem for our entryway.


After trolling the internet, I found this awesome wall hanger that incorporates a chalkboard and mail carrier as well. Since we usually have mail piled all over, this seemed to be the perfect response to organization that we were looking for. In my recent decorating spree of the living room, we've adopted greens and brown as our main colors. I love how this came out, and how well it goes with the things in our room!

Last but not least, In total evidence of how small the world is, shortly after I ordered ours, I noticed Jordan blogged about buying one as well! She seems equally as excited as I am, and I can totally understand why! Check out Legacy Studio on Etsy! There are tons of different colors and styles!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Netflix


I'm totally in love with Netflix... Have I ever expressed this before? I don't think so. Growing up, my family never had cable. Therefore, I'm used to only watching network TV shows. I've always been a fan of the Bachelor franchise, Survivor, HIMYM, and Grey's, and they are all on network TV so it was never a problem.

In college basic cable was free, and I fell in love with the Kardashians, Client List, and any lifetime movies. When Ryan and I first got married, we did not have a lot of money so we decided to forego getting cable. Now we have enough money to get it, but with Netflix and online sites (Lifetime posts all their shows as well as some movies online) I'm totally content with saving money and not having cable.

Ever since we got Netflix, we've spent less money on renting movies and going to the movie theater. It's so easy to have a movie night at home when there are literally hundreds of movies at your fingertips. I'm able to see movies I've never seen before, like Grease, which I first watched over the weekend. I know, I'm totally living under a rock.

Sometimes I find things on Netflix that I wish I never found, such as the Discovery Killer Whale episode that showed a baby seal being eaten alive. As a HUGE animal lover, that totally traumatized me. All in all, there really is something for everyone on Netflix. Everyone I know who has it loves it, and we are no different!

Sunny Days

After a week of rain, we finally got a day of gorgeous and dry weather in the DC metro area. It was perfect weather, too: in the 60s and 70s, sunny, and no humidity. Hubby and I both had off, but didn't realize each other had off until Saturday. We both work every Monday, but he has off for Columbus Day, and I have off because I am working nights this week. I was super excited to realize we got an extra day together this week.

We decided to be active and went for a bike ride. We brought some bread and stopped at the pond near our house and fed some ducks and geese. We definitely didn't bring enough bread though, because the birds kept on coming! 


I took Posh for a walk in her stroller too. She's such a love bug. She always wants to go outside, but since she was declawed when we adopted her, we don't let her run around. Plus, there are so many feral cats in our neighborhood that could carry diseases. Therefore, walks are the perfect way for her to safely go outside.


I totally love having a day to relax and catch up on laundry and cleaning. When I work nights, I feel like I have so much extra time (since I'm essentially at home all day). I never get on a good sleep schedule though, so by the end I'm exhausted. I'm trying to get on a nocturnal schedule starting tonight; let's see how this goes!

Have a great week y'all! 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Fall Weekends

The past few weekends have had some pretty sporadic weather. Last weekend felt like summer as it was in the 80s and super humid outside. This weekend it's been rainy and cold. We've found fun things to do though, so that's all that matters.

Last weekend we met up with another couple I know from work. The four of us went to a farm for some fall festivities. We picked apples, pumpkins, and shopped in the barn for fresh veggies and apple cider. I picked out a cotton candy pumpkin that I think is just so pretty. I absolutely love the name as well.


I'm not sure if I'm going to paint it, carve it, cook it, or just leave it alone. It's sitting on our coffee table currently. Fall is one of my favorite seasons to decorate for. I love all the funky looking gourds, as well as anything orange, mustard yellow, brown, and red. 


This weekend we ventured to the Tyson's Corner mall. All I have to say is WOW. I thought the Pentagon City Mall was big, but it has nothing on Tyson's. I come from a smaller town, so the big malls here are a little intimidating. We actually carried a map with us today! They had practically any store, and Ryan and I were both able to find new things.

I felt super nostalgic when I passed the American Girl store. Growing up, I had 2 AG dolls that I abosolutely adored. I took great care of them too, and saved every last accessory. I'm hoping to hand them off to our daughters one day. There were a lot of dolls and stories I remembered, but there were several new ones as well. Ryan had never even heard of the dolls and was completely shocked that the store had two levels, including a cafe and saloon for the dolls. 


I'm working tomorrow, but am super excited because Ryan and I both have off Monday. We never have weekdays off together, so it'll be nice to spend an extra day together this week!


Navy Ball 2013


It's hard to believe, but this year marked my 5th military ball. Compared to the marine corps balls we went to in the past, the navy balls the last year years have had a completely different environment. Not in a bad way, either. The setting is smaller, and the age range is very diverse. His current duty station has a school on it, so most of the people are students or instructors. There were several retirees as well. They also have a raffle each year, as well as a professional photographer to take pictures and give them to you for free. I remember the marine balls having this too, but we always had to pay for the pictures. Every year we have a blast, and this year proved no differently. 


Every year I say I am going to fix my hair myself, and then I realize that I can barely straighten my hair, let alone pull off an updo. Once again I got it done. 


Another thing I say I'm going to do each year is splurge for a pricey and fancy dress. As Ryan says, the dresses find me instead and I can't say no. I bought my dress for $25 at Ross. I've never seen formal dresses there before, either.

Next year we will be back in San Diego when the navy birthday rolls around. I'm excited to experience a new spin on their festivities. I abosolutely love getting dressed up and spending a fancy evening with my love. It's an honor to be part of the military family.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Meditation

Lately, I've been letting everyday stress get the best of me. I find myself worrying about the littlest things, and I know I need to stop. My sister sent me an email inviting me to join in a free two week meditation with Deepak Chopra. This invite could not have come at a more appropriate time.

I've never meditated before, but after two days I am already feeling more relaxed and at peace. I have used the breathing exercises outlined and feel that I am really able to quiet my mind with them. They are only 15 minutes each day, so it's easy to fit into my schedule. It's not too late to sign up, and I encourage anyone looking for a peaceful outlet to join in this!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October


I know there is a lot going on with people in our area due to the government shutdown, but on a positive note, I am so excited that it's October 1st! October is one of my favorite months. The weather becomes cooler, but not too cold. Sweaters, ugg boots (guilty), and skinny jeans are in full swing. The humidity has decreased, so my hair frizziness problems also diminish. I can safely straighten my hair without fear of showing up at work as a grizzly bear. Some of my favorite colors are shades of brown, mustard, scarlet, and orange, and those colors are 100% in for this season.

The DC area has several pumpkin patches, which is one of my favorite fall activities. This weekend, Ryan and I have plans of visiting one to pick out a pumpkin. They have fun activities for all members of the family. In the past, we've visited haunted houses and hayrides. I still haven't made plans to do that this year, but it's only October 2nd so we have plenty of time to coordinate that.

This Friday is our annual Navy Ball. This is the earliest one I've ever been to. I had grand plans of fixing my own hair for it, but after a horrific failed attempt over the weekend, I decided to make plans to have an updo done. While I'm at it, I'm getting a mani/pedi. I absolutely love being able to get all dressed up and spend an evening with my husband dressed in his uniform. I bought a dress for $25 that had been discounted several times. It's purple, sparkly, and elegant. I will surely share pictures.

It feels nice being back to work and in a schedule after spending time on vacation. We are finally all unpacked and back to our normal lives. I've been researching yummy soup recipes, especially crock pot ones, to make over the weekend. I'm still searching for something Ryan and I will both like (read: I'm a vegetarian and he's a carnivore), but I found this website to have several options. It's all slow cooker recipes, not just soups. It's absolutely perfect for a working wife that wants to have a hot, home cooked meal waiting for her hubby when he gets home from work!

Happy Wednesday, and I hope the rest of the week moves quickly!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Back to the Grind

We've officially been back in the USA for over 24 hours. Ryan and I both go back to work today. Vacation is officially over. Yesterday we picked up our kittycat (who is cuddled up on me at the moment, love our snuggle sessions). We went grocery shopping, cleaned, did laundry, and caught up on our budget. It's crazy how behind you can get after ony a two week hiatus.

Due to two weeks of vacation and way too much indulging, I'm avoiding the scale for a while. I know without even stepping on it that I gained while we were away, so I'm saving myself the misery of seeing exactly how much I gained. I made some tabouleh, but didn't follow an exact recipe. I used cracked wheat, celery, onion, tomato, cucumber, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. I'm sticking to fruits, veggies, and minimal carbs for a little while... Hopefully those extra pounds slip off as easily as they went on (wishful thinking, it's never that easy)!

The weather is much chillier than when we left. I'm guilty of breaking out my uggs yesterday. By the late afternoon, the temp rose to the 70s so I felt like it was a little soon, but then I reminded myself that it is officially fall so anything goes as far as I'm concerned. I can't wait to break out my mustard cardigan this weekend!

I can't complain about work, especially because my work week is beginning with a Thursday. Pretty nice if you ask me. Hopefully I still remember how to be a nurse after all this time off ;-)

Someone thinks that the new rugs we bought in Turkey are actually new beds for her!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Summer's End

A few weeks ago, I blogged about not being ready to accept that summer was nearing an end. After our vacation and since its the end of September, I'm officially embracing the season change.

Today is our final wakeup in Rome, as we leave this afternoon. This was the longest vacation Ryan and I ever took together (12 days) and it has just been incredible. I'm going to need to dedicate an entire post to some of the pictures. Have you ever taken a vacation and dreaded coming home because "it went by too fast?" I know I have, but this vacation feels different. I think we spent the perfect amount of time here, and I feel ready to go home (and reunite with our kittycat). Now getting up and going to work for three days... that's a different story.

It seems like the entire month of September totally flew by. Fall is in full swing. We already have plans to visit a pumpkin patch, and I already put up most of our decorations before we left. The navy ball is just around the corner as well. We have a lot to look forward to. In the same breath, I'm starting to realize how little time we have left in DC. This is our last fall here. We have about 9 months left here which sounds like a lot, but I know it will fly.

Here's to fall... A new season to celebrate and enjoy. Here's to pumpkin patches, pumpkins carving, pumpkin spice lattes (umm and hello new pumpkin spice frap), cardigans, apple scented candles, leaves changing, cooler weather, oranges, mustards, and browns...

For your viewing pleasure, a few sneak peak pictures. Happy fall, everyone!

Obligatory cheesy cruise photo
Unconditional Surrender sculpture... AKA a sailor kissing a nurse, which is so appropriate for us!
La pieta