Thursday, March 27, 2014

Throwback Thursday

As the days wind down and our move to San Diego becomes more real, I've been reminiscing about our past time I'm SoCal. After all, that's where Ryan and I met, fell in love, got engaged, and got married. Sometimes when I talk to people about our move, they assume we haven't spent a day on the west coast. They couldn't be more wrong! 

I'm excited to get back to some of our favorite spots, as well as try out some new ones. 

We always loved the San Diego Zoo, especially since military members are always free! 

I enjoyed all of the statues in San Diego, particularly this one (unconditional surrender). For obvious reasons (Ryan's a sailor, I'm a nurse) I have always felt drawn to this scene. I heard it's no longer in San Diego, but we just saw it (or another identical one) in Rome when we were there in the fall! 

I'm a huge Disney fan, and we specifically didn't vacation to Disney World this year because we plan on visiting Disney Land lots this next year! Ah, I can't wait. We've been to Disneyland three times and I'm excited to add to that.

Hollywood! I can't wait to visit here again! There's something about Hollywood Blvd that just feels magical. I'm excited to live so close again!

I have so many more pictures of us in San Francisco and other parts of Northern California, but the fact is there is just so much to do in california without even leaving the state. I'm pumped and I feel ready. I may or may not have started a countdown of my weeks left at work, and I'm already on the prowl for something in SoCal. It's going to be here before I know it!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Weekend Play

I probably sound like a broken record, but the weather here is crazy. Each week for the past two months we have had super nice days (60s-70s and sunny) and then sometimes 24 hours later, the ground is covered in snow. I thought last week would be our final one like this, but it's forecasted to happen again this week.

Despite the bipolar weather, I decided to shop for some new wardrobe pieces for spring and summer. My friend Carmen, myself, and Ryan went out for lunch yesterday and then checked out the new Tanger Outlets at the National Harbor. I'm always hit or miss on shopping trips, and this was definitely a hit. I found lots of clothes and great deals. Now it just needs to warm up so I can wear some of my new clothes!

So far we are having a great weekend. Ryan and I are trying not to eat out as often as we have been, so we went grocery shopping yesterday as well. 

I'm off to burn some calories at the gym. I originally had plans to hang out with another friend today, but she canceled last minute. It's probably better, though, because I am pretty tired and wouldn't have been the best company. 

Happy day of rest, friends! 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Morning Routine

On days off, I do my best to sleep in. I don't set an alarm, so I get to wake up naturally. Today that happened to be at 9am, which is early for me. I decided to hang out in bed and start my day off with a meditation.

I know not everyone is a fan of meditations. Some people may not understand exactly what they are. I'm not even 100% sure I know their meaning, but I do know what they mean to me. With all of the hustle bustle of life (and a cross country PCS looming over you) I look for any outlet that will allow me to release some of my energy, set a positive intention, and feel refreshed. You can find meditations anywhere, or you can make up your own. You can pay for them, or you can be like me and find some on YouTube. They're basically a person talking, coaching you to relax and focus on a particular thought. I always feel so refreshed and ready to tackle the day when I do one first thing in the morning.

I have a lot of studying to do today for my certification exam. I'm 3 weeks away from taking it! Even though it's the first day of spring, it's chilly outside and I plan on cuddling up with a chai latte, candles, and blankets to study.

What I don't like when I'm home alone is when a mystery person knocks on the door. We aren't expecting anything in the mail. Our landlord hasn't contacted us that they are doing an inspection. All of our friends live in Arlington and DC and are working, so it's not a surprise lunch guest. I'm not normally paranoid, but I am sure I've mentioned before that we don't exactly love our neighborhood. There have been random crimes, and what's even scarier is what happened to these poor people. I know nowhere is completely safe, but I just decided to hide and not answer the door. If it's that important, they'll contact us.

On a happier note, tomorrow is Friday! The weather is supposed to be pleasant this weekend. March is already two-thirds over. I can't get over how quickly time passes! Some days I wish I could switch places with this girl and sun myself all day, with no care in the world! 

Happy first day of spring, friends! 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Daily Jibber

Today was another gray, gloomy day in DC. Despite the not so glamorous weather, I had a really amazing day with two of my coworkers. My one coworker, Therese, had to have an unexpected surgery that will keep her out of work for the next 6 weeks. We all miss her so much! Another coworker, Angela, and I brought Therese a "get well soon" basket with goodies, as well as lunch. It was so nice to see her and spend the day together!

I came home in time to make dinner for hubby and I. We decided to watch some evening TV, but as usual I looked over to Ryan and caught him like this.

I decided to call my momma. We're currently on the phone (for the 5th time today) watching Modern Family "together." She's so sharp - she has to explain so many of the jokes to me! I'm thankful that I will be seeing her in just a few weeks! 

I'm super excited to have tomorrow off too, cuz even though today was fun I wasn't very productive! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Tuesday Check In

Yesterday Ryan got a snow day... his millionth for the season I might add. Good grief, the weather here has been so bizarre. There has only been one day that he had a snow day and I was off work and we got to hang out all day. Yesterday was not one of the days. As I was leaving for work (and pouting) he said to me "remember who the real enemy is." If anyone loves the Hunger Games, you may enjoy that. Totally fitting for the situation, and it made me laugh so bonus points for Ryan. Even better?? He cleaned while I was at work! I'm pretty proud!!

So far so good with my goals that I talked about yesterday. Here's an elevator selfie! Even after one day of compliance, I already feel a positive difference.

Yesterday was a really good day at work. I love starting out the week on a positive note. I'm feeling very hopeful and happy! Happy Tuesday! 

Goals This Week

As a nurse, I have the luxury of wearing scrubs to work. I can literally wake up 15 minutes before I need to go to work in order to get ready. It's far too easy for me to just throw my hair into a messy bun and put a headband on instead of making my hair look presentable. Now I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that look, but a recent goal I've set for myself is to try to look more professional and take pride in my appearance. 

This entire week (starting yesterday) I'm trying to be diligent about taking my vitamins, drinking water, fixing my hair, wearing earrings (studs... Because my semi concious adult and pediatric patients grab at anything dangly), making our bed, flossing, etc. I'm trying to pick up my clothes and put them right into the laundry basket and not next to it when I get home from work. I'm putting my dishes right into the dishwasher and not piling them in the sink. These are all habits I have, and I'm trying to eliminate excess clutter and become more organized so it all needs to change. 

They say it takes 28 days for something to become a habit forming behavior. I'm starting with a week and seeing how things go! This is one if many reasons that I love blogging: accountability. I put this 'goal' out there, and now I'm promising myself to update how it goes over the week. 

Some people may do all of these things on a regular basis - go you if you're one of them. Seriously, the vitamin thing is one of my biggest challenges and I respect people who are compliant with meds. Some people have no choice (life or death) so what's my excuse?

AND what kind of Irish girl would I be if didn't mention St Patrick's Day??? Happy Shamrock Day friends! This is a fun little banner I have hanging up. I'm wearing some green scrubs today too! 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Happy Hour

Since I don't really enjoy drinking (not even a glass of wine... I'm pitiful!) Ryan and I never get to celebrate happy hour. Because of this, we love places that do appetizers as part of their happy hour specials. One of our favorite spots in the DC area is Capital City Brewing Company. They have half off drinks and $5 dollar appetizers from 4-7 everyday.

For a fun date night hubby and I like to go there and sit at the bar, as we did yesterday. You're elbow to elbow with new people and bound to strike up a conversation. We ordered a hummus appetizer (yum) and soft pretzels with the yummiest dip. It was awesome.

As we were leaving, we decided to walk around a bit, and then Ryan talked me into a movie. We didn't look up times or anything, so we just showed up and went with the next movie and time. I love being spontaneous every now and then. We saw "Inside Lewyn Davis" which was a different genre than we usually gravitate towards, but it's always nice to switch things up.

Now we have all of today and no plans, and the weather is changing its mind and being cold again. Seriously, I was in shorts yesterday and tomorrow it's supposed to snow. DC can't make up its mind! 

Thursday, March 13, 2014


Back when I was in college and Ryan was deploying (to tax free zones), we used to get awesome tax returns. Now that we are both working and have no kids, tax season is a different tune. One saving grace is that the majority of Ryan's income is tax free. 

Anyway, this is definitely a brag post. I finally decided to be a grown up and file our own taxes. People do this every year, so how hard could it be? Ryan and I have had them done at h&r block and we've had them done for free by the military, but this year I wanted to do them ourselves. It's a right of passage into adulthood that I wanted to tackle.

I knew we were going to have to pay, but we figured out a tax credit that Ryan qualified for, and only ended up paying one third of what we estimated and saved for. I'm usually a person who gets things done right away, so us waiting to do taxes until now was me procrastinating because I was intimidated. I quickly learned a) it takes under an hour, b) you just have to fill numbers in boxes, c) if you have a problem, there is more than enough info to reference in the instruction booklet, and d) it's easy.

Who needs an accountant?? I got this! On top of that, it's officially Friday AND Ryan and I both just got paid. I'm happy!

Changing my Tune

When we first heard about our PCS, I didn't feel ready to leve this coast. I was (and am) super excited about moving to southern California, but I almost didn't feel ready to leave my job and life here yet. Somewhere on the Atlantic Ocean (during our cruise) I had an epiphany and my thoughts changed. I feel ready... and in a weird way, I almost want time too pass quickly so we can get on with things and move already!

I know with deployments I had this same sense. I remember wanting the deployment to finally happen because the anticipation was getting to me. We can only prepare ourselves so much for something before it actually happens. Sometimes we just need to confront it head on and actually get through it.

As sad as it will be to leave, I know PCSing will make me happier. I will feel more at peace in California. I'm leaving an amazing job and good friends here, but that's part of the territory of being a navy wife. I also know deep down that we will be taken care of, and things will work out. God always has a plan, and it's generally better than the plans I have thought up in my head.

This week, I decided to ease back into work by working every other day. I'm happy I did. I only have tomorrow left for the week. Then it's another weekend already, as well as the middle of March. I cannot believe it, but we are down to 3 months!

This isn't the first and won't be the last time I talk about this PCS. It's pretty thought consuming, but in a good way. I'm thankful and hopeful for the best possible outcomes!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Bahamas Cruise Review

Ryan and I just returned from our third cruise vacation, and as usual we had an amazing time and are ready to go on another!

I know not everybody enjoys cruises, but they are my favorite way to travel. I absolutely love how organized they are. All I need to do is show up, and all of our accommodations, meals, entertainment, and itinerary are set up. They are super affordable too, which makes them that more appealing. I see many, many cruise vacations in our future!

Since Ryan starts IDC school in the summer, we won't be able to vacation for an entire year. In fact, he can't take any leave at all during that year. Even though our cruise to Europe was less than 6 months ago, we wanted one last vacation before the PCS. We found this cruise which left out of Baltimore, which made it very convenient because we didn't need to spend money flying to the departure port. The cruise was 8 nights, with 4 stops in Nassau, Bahamas; Cococay, Bahamas; Port Canaveral, FL; and Key West, FL.

Our first stop was in Port Canaveral. We decided to relax and spend the day at the beach. I rented a wetsuit and went surfing. I've gone before, and since we are moving to Southern California I definitely see more surfing in my future. It was such a nice climate change from snow to being able to wear a tank top and shorts! One of the couples we are dinner with took a bus to Disney World at this stop. As much as I would have loved it, I know it would've been super hard to only spend a few hours there as opposed to several days. 

Our second two stops were in Nassau and Cococay. We went snorkeling in Nassau, but other than that we weren't super impressed with the island. Cococay on the other hand, was amazing. Amazing isn't even the right word... It was divine. When I think of a tropical paradise, Cococay is exactly what I pictured. It's Royal Caribbean's private island, surrounded by the clearest water and packed full of activities and plenty of sand. We took a jetski tour around the island, and then grabbed lunch and relaxed in a hammock. Then, we walked down the island to a secluded area. We were the only people there, and we spent the whole afternoon relaxing, reading, swimming, talking, and just enjoying life. I've said it before (and I'm sure I'll say it again) that I feel most at peace near the water. My mind was clear, and I felt totally serene there. Swimming in the ocean felt like I was swimming in a huge fish tank. Because the water was so clear, I could see so far out in every direction. Bliss.

Our final stop was Key West , FL. I had been here once before as a child, but it was totally different as an adult. We had the mandatory key lime pie (ours was frozen and dipped in chocolate - so bad but so good). As also took a kayak tour 3 miles against the ocean current. That was a crazy workout, but we got to see a ton of sea creatures. It was very relaxing as well. I've only kayaked a few times but each time has been very enjoyable. I absolutely loved Key West. The people there seem to have such a calm, laid back demeanor. It was such a positive change from the hurried and competitive attitude I encounter too often in DC. I don't think it was a coincidence that we passes a naval health clinic and civilian hospital. Future duty station?  

The last two days of our cruise were spent "at sea" which was the perfect way to wind down before heading home. We enjoyed lots of onboard activities, movies, and shows. We also found a secluded lounge that overlooked the ocean and pool where we spent a great deal of time reading. 

I did not intend for this to be so long! Can you tell I had an amazing time? The food was amazing, we met some really awesome couples, and we made memories that we will cherish for years. I know many couples our age that haven't at all or don't enjoy traveling, which I don't understand. I absolutely love going to a new place with my husband and trying fun excursions. It makes me fall more in love with him!