Thursday, July 30, 2015

I Finally Caved

I finally gave in and let the hubbs get a camper for his truck. He's been talking about getting one FOREVER on every single truck we have owned since being married. Apparently he had one on a truck before we where together and that was the cool hip thing to do. It worked for him, he loved it and many of our conversations regarding the truck revolved around him getting a camper. I absolutely hate hate them, I think it makes it look like a old grandpa truck. But, It's something he's always wanted He came across a good deal on a used one online. Call me giddy, caught up in the emotions and bliss of him being home again but I caved. We decided that used was better then new, since the truck is older and we bought it used there was no reason to buy a brand new camper. Obviously the color is a little off and it wont be staying that color long. He says "well you can't really tell a difference in the dark." Well, no you can't but in the day light you can and that's not staying green. I may not totally love it, but if we are going to have one you can bet you butt its at least going to match the paint color of the truck. So the day after we got it he dropped it off at a paint shop down town to get painted. Still buying it used and having to get it painted was less than half of what it would have been if we would have bought a new one. 
Thankfully it was finished the day before we where suppose to leave for two weeks. It turned out really nice and the color matches perfect. I'm still not 100% crazy about it but I'm sure it will grow on me over time. It will def. make moving easier when the time comes (not any time soon hopefully). He's happy and that's all that matters right. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Dessert for Two Please

I firmly believe all dinners should be followed by a fabulously delicious dessert.....however that doesn't happen all that often around our dinner table when its just the two of us. Partly because we really try to watch what we eat and make smart healthy choices. 
BUT, tonight was a exception. We've been talking a lot about our future, life in general. There are some big decisions we've been toying over, going back and forth with. Some that leaves neither of us with control over the outcome. Something that I struggle with, not having control or a plan in place. We went to breakfast together this morning before I headed to work. We talked some more about our future plans. I was still so undecided on which way I wanted to go. Not knowing was stressing me out and messing with my head. I went to work and talked with a friend about what was on my mind. After a little conversation I came to the realization that I was over thinking things and making them harder on myself then anything. I was putting to much though and stress in to a situation that wasn't even there. One that should be a huge and exciting part of our life. There in that moment I knew what I wanted to do, I had decided. L gave me the perfect idea on how to get the "ball" conversation rolling that evening. I did put my own spin on it though. On my lunch break toady I went over to the most amazing little bakery / cookie company that is right next to the school I work at. 
(Sidetone: its AMAZING!!!! Its torture to because they open at 7am with a fully stocked case of sweet treats that are to die for and a yummy breakfast assortment.)
I picked up two Cheesecake Brownies to bring home for after dinner dessert. 
Just as always we went on our evening walk around the block with the pups. I was going back and forth the whole time trying to figure out how I was going to set out our little treat with out him seeing me do it. When we came home he mentioned he was going to go take a shower. BAM!!! There's my chance. So while he was taking a shower I set the table candles lit, dessert plated, beer for him and wine for me. He knew I had a little surprise for him but didn't know what it was. As he was coming down stairs I was trying to open my wine bottle when I sprayed it all down my shirt. Classy right!!!
In that moment when we sat down to enjoy our yummy dessert, I laid it out there and told him my plan. It was scary and exciting all at once, its a huge decision but I know we are making the right one. 
It's such a relief to be on the same page and I can't wait to see where this takes us. 
I know this is very vague, I'm not being very open with what is going on with us right now but please just keep us in your thoughts and prayers. When the time comes I'm sure I'll update more, when we feel its a good time to share. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Match Maker, Match Maker, Make Me a Match

Meet My Husband: Matching Making is apparently a new thing he picked up.
Apparently one of his Soldiers noticed Brittany taking our pictures and well he was a bit intrigued. Here's how the story unfolded, while the guys where waiting to go through a short safety brief before being released for the day. He called me to let me know it was going to be a bit longer then we'd though and to ask about Brittany. (this was after the ceremony)

Hubbs- Hey _______ wants to know if Brittany is single. 
Me- Well yes she just so happens to be why? Would be like a number?
Hubbs- He was interested and wanted to know. 
Me- Where are you standing (as B and I are looking out the window to see this guy) I'm trying to see what this guy looks like.
Hubbs- Over here, see me waving? He's right here wearing the glasses. (we quickly jumped away from the door, after realizing they where starting right at us)

They went back about their business waiting to be release while B and I chatted about how funny it was. Shortly later the Hubbs comes back and we head out to take a few pictures before leaving. As we are walking outside the Hanger....

Hubbs- So did Brittany drive her own car on post or did she ride with you?
Me- She drove on, this way she could leave when we where done and not have to wait on us.
Hubbs- Ok, good. She's going to take _______ back to the barracks, he needs a ride.
Me- Wait, What, No. You can't do that. She doesn't even know him. That's not ok, you can't just pawn him off on her.
Hubbs- It'll be ok, he's harmless. He just needs a ride. She can do it, it'll be fine.
Me- No, No, you can't be serious. I'm not going to make her take him back to the barracks, we can drop him off we drive right past it.
Hubbs- It'll be fine.

Mean while Brittany is trying to take our pictures and I'm dying inside laughing because I don't know if he's serious or not. I still haven't mentioned to her what just happened.

Hubbs- So Brittany do you have any plans today?
B- Well I've got to go into work at some point.
Hubbs- Ok well good. ________ needs a ride to the barracks and your going to take him.
Me- You really don't have to do this its ok. I feel so bad. I'm so sorry. I promise we can take him.
B- (with a dumb founded look on her face) Ummmm, what, really, ok, is he serious ? My car's going to smell like McDonald Cheese burger with Onions (she stopped for a burger at 3:00am, and didn't eat it bc it had onion's)
Me- Really you don't have to.
Brittany- Umm, ya so I'm just a little socially awkward around people I don't know.

This conversation went back and forth for a bit me telling her she didn't have to and how bad I felt for the hubbs throwing her in this situation. She said it was ok, but you could tell the hesitation. She didn't even know the guy, heck I didn't even know him.
They went and got their bags and met us back around by the cars. As we loaded up our car, Brittany was trying to quickly spray her car so it didn't smell awful and move stuff around. (2 kids and a crazy job lets just say it's not the prettiest or most presentable sight lol) I told the hubbs we had to make sure he got all his stuff in her car before we left.

Before leaving I told ________ Hey that's my boss don't do anything crazy and you'd better be nice.

As we where driving home I asked him....

Me-How is he? Is he a nice guy?
Hubbs- He's a good guy, just a little socially awkward around girls.
Me- OMG, I seriously can't believe you just did that.

A bit later B texted me to let me know that _____ had made it back to the barracks safe and sound, and that he didn't ask for her number. I again told her how awful I felt for putting her in such a awkward situation. She said it was fine, that it really wasn't that bad.

The next day (the day after they got back), _______ told the hubbs he was a idiot for not asking for her number he was just tired from traveling and nervous. So that's when he texted me _______ number and told me to give it to her. She then in turn told me to give him her number. All of this was done between me, the hubbs and Brittany texting back and forth. It was quite comical.  That afternoon he text Brittany they made small talk before he asked her to dinner that night. He was actually with the hubbs at our house and since he'd just gotten home the day before all is stuff was still in storage so they went shopping at the PX for him something to wear. And that night they went to dinner together. A local restaurant called The Black Horse, she had to pick him up from post because his car is in CO still till August.
The next day (Thursday; myself, her mom and another co-worker) we all couldn't wait for her to get to work so we could hear how it went. She said it went really well, that she didn't mind picking him up she understood. I asked her if he was nice and paid for dinner and if she would go out with him again and she said yes to all.

We still laugh at the whole situation and I still can't believe the hubbs totally handed him off on her but from what it seems it didn't turn out to bad at all. I guess we'll have to wait and see if anything comes from it. You never know right!?!?!? 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Homecoming Pictures

A picture say's a thousand words and these most defiantly prove that to be true. I couldn't be happier and relieved that we have made it through our 3rd deployment. I thank God every day for bring him home safely to me with out any issues. As many other families are not so lucky. I'm in love with these pictures and can't wait to get some printed and hung up in our house. I'll cherish them forever. 

A special shout out and thanks to my fabulous boss BK for capturing this moment for us. 
Deployment November 2014 - July 2015 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Our First Full Day

Enjoying our first full day together. Thankfully the hubbs got in so early that we pretty much had an entire day just the two of us. After leaving the Hanger he wanted to stop off at the Company area and see some of his guys and say hello. After a quick visit we headed home and got settled. The pups where beyond thrilled to see their "daddy". 
 I had breakfast planned for us, knowing he was going to be getting in early enough to eat but since he'd eaten a bit at his last layover he wasn't really hungry. Myself on the other hand, hadn't eaten since 3am that morning. Almost 11am and I was starving. We called his mom and dad to tell them the good news of his return and they where behind thrilled. His mom asked him if I knew he was coming home when he did because I hadn't mentioned anything to them the weekend prior when we where together. He told her yes I did, and that he knew better then to surprise me with a Homecoming because he knows how I like to have everything planned out and just perfect. Yes Yes I do. I would have been devastated if he'd ever pulled something like that. 
We decided to venture out and grab some lunch at Noodles and Company, followed by a trip to Verizon to upgrade my phone. Lucky for him he was able to upgrade his as well. That then led to a stop at Best Buy since it was right there, followed by a trip to a couple gun stores and then the local hardware store. Not exactly how we had talked about spending our day but that's ok, he was / is home and we are together so that's really all that matters. After the last store even though it was only 2pm:ish I was exhausted and ready to get home. The lack of sleep from the night before, the early morning and running around for 2-3 hours had finally caught up with me. We headed home to relax for the evening. 
 Since I'd made dinner ahead of time the day before I simply just had to put it in the oven to cook. Talk about a easy peasy first night at home. We spent the rest of the evening lounging and cuddling on the couch watching a bit of TV before calling it a night at 7:20pm. Yup, you read that right we where in bed well before the sun went down. Over the past week between the both of us we hadn't got much sleep. From his traveling back to the States to my house cleaning and excitement, sleep was not something that came easy. 
We are both beyond thrilled and excited that he is home and I couldn't be more blessed that God has safely gotten us through another deployment. 
I can't wait to see where life takes us and what our future holds. 
As hard as deployments are there is one good thing that comes out of them, they most definitely bring us closer together. I love this man more than words can say and I'm truly grateful to have him as my husband. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

He's Home!!!!!!!!

The morning was going to start EARLY. I set like 5 alarms on my phone so I wouldn't miss it and over sleep. My hair was already done, since Barbie my co-worker did it the day before at work. It was in a beautiful side swiped french braid with a twist across the top. I made sure every last detail of my house cleaning / getting ready preparations where done the night before. I wanted to go to bed stress, care free and not have to rush around in the morning to do last minute things. I seriously contemplated even going to sleep the night before since 1) I had to be up so early and 2) I didn't wanna mess her hair. But around 10pm I had everything done and was just randomly surfing the web. I knew at that point that if I didn't go to bed I'd be exhausted the next day, not to mention it would make time go by even slower. So off to bed I went. 
I fell asleep, and woke up. It was only 12am. Back to sleep I went, waking up checking my phone and the flight schedule online and it was only 1:45am. Back to sleep, waking up again shortly later and it was only 2:30. Aaaahhhhh time was creeping, I knew it would but seriously. Finally 2:45am rolled around and my alarm went off. I laid there scrolling through FB and checking the flight schedule again. No changes, yay!!! I slowly got up, made the bed, had a little something to eat, surfed the web a bit before finally going up stairs to get ready. 3:45 dress on, make-up done, made a breakfast banana wrap and headed out the door. I was meeting Brittany my director / boss at 4am right down the street from my house so she could follow me on post. She so kindly offered / agreed to take pictures for us. She has an amazing talent / eye for photography which she does on the side. 
We arrived on post at the Hanger right around 4:30am, it's recommended you get there 2 hours early. I didn't wanna take any chances so 2 hrs early we where. Thankfully since their arrival was so early and it was a smaller group (150-ish) we where able to park there at the Hanger vs. at their Company area and having to be bused over. 
Walking in there wasn't to many people there yet, a good amount but not over whelming. We found great seats in the bleachers,  floor level front and center for our up coming 2 hour wait. I have to say it went by pretty quickly. We went out to the air field a time of two, to check it out and get some air. Finally at 5:50am we decided we'd go wait outside till the plane came in. This way we would be able to secure a spot in the front. Not to mention it was so much nicer outside temperature wise then it was inside. 
(quick back story, at Ft. C. Homecomings you are able to see the plane come in and land right there at the airfield and watch the Soldiers walk off the plane into formation to enter the hanger.) 

Their flight was suppose to come in at 6:35am, well 6:35 came and went....6:50, 6:55, 7:00 came and went. Finally around 7:05 their flight was spotted coming in and the excitement grew from the crowd. It landed just behind another hanger where we couldn't see it and a few moments after it came pulling through following behind a truck. That's when it finally really hit me hard and it really clicked that "HEY MY HUSBAND IS ON THAT PLANE" and I'm going to have my arms around him in the next few minutes. It did a little zig zag coming closer and closer before finally stopping, the door opening as the Color Guard approached the plane. That's when Soldiers started coming off and the crowd went crazy. I was eye balling each one of them looking for mine, one after another they walked by and no husband. After a while you saw the last of the line come off the plane. They where still a little way's out (walking distance) so I couldn't see the last set of them clearly and just as my heart started to race with worry, THERE HE WAS!!!!! A sign of relief settled in me as I was able to breath again. Brittany snapped a couple pictures and then we booked it back inside to get our seats before the ceremony started. (They assured us they would allow everyone time to get in and seated before starting the ceremony.) 
The hanger doors opened and the crowd went crazy as the Soldiers marched in. My eyes searching like crazy to find him again. Back left side I pointed out to Brittany, I couldn't take my eyes off him the whole time. The ceremony was short, brief and to the point before they where released. He was looking the opposite direction as I came running up behind him. Wrapping my arms around him and seeing his face was the best!!! It was over, finally he was home and out of harms way. In that moment every thing and everyone slipped away. It was as if we where the only ones there in the hanger. Soaking it all up!!!! We had about 15-20 minutes together lots of hugs, kisses, laughs and small talk was exchanged. 
After that short time had passed the guys had to form back up in formation to go check in their weapons, get their bags and have a short safety brief before being released for the day. Brittany stuck around to take some more pictures afterwards of just the two of us outside the Hanger. She was / is seriously such a doll and I am so grateful she agreed to come be apart of this moment in our life. Their briefing seemed to take forever, really it actually did take forever. Thankfully he knew I wanted to get a few more pictures before we left and he was totally ok with it that once he was released he came out and we where able to get right to it. After snapping a few pictures, he grabbed his bag and we where on our way to the car. He was all mine for the rest of the day. (unlike in Hawaii, he had to report to work the next day and the following 7-10 days straight for re-intergration SRP) A quick stop at the company area so he could say hello to a couple of the guys he works with that came home 4 months earlier then him. 
Finally we where headed home, life was back to normal again. Well with a few changes from each of us but normal. We completed our 3rd deployment, in just shy of 8 years of marriage. We've been through more than most normal civilian couples will ever go through in a life time. Each time its only made us stronger and brought us closer together as a couple. 
I'll leave you with this picture I posted on FB and Instagram announcing to everyone that he was home. We didn't tell anyone ahead of time, there was literally 4 people that knew when he was coming home. Keeping it a surprise and my lips sealed made it that much more special for me and was totally worth it. Once I have all the pictures back from Brittany I will be sure to flood this here Blog, FB and Instagram. So be on the look out for those!!!! 
Blog Post Coming Soon: Match Making Husband. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

My Last Supper!!!!

My last supper as a Wife of a Deployed Soldier was fabulous and well enjoyed. The night before I already knew what I was going to cook. Meal planning and prepping ahead has become a habit that works well for me. I seriously contemplated stopping and treating myself on my way home, skipping cooking what I had planned to cook. I mean after all I was just about to complete our 3rd deployment just hours later. BUT I did not. Seeing as I splurged a bit on my lunch and got Ice Cream which was NOT planned, I knew I needed to stick with my dinner I was already planning to having. I mean it was so super simple to fix and I knew it would be so extra yummy. I've used our grill a few times though out the deployment but only on the weekend's. It's not time consuming at all, I just never think about it during the work week. That was until last night. I wanted to fancy my plate up a little bit and had a few things left over from meal prepping for the upcoming weeks freezer meals to do just that. So while I made dinner ahead of time for "Homecoming Night" as well as a tasty dessert, I had my last dinner as a "single wife" cooking in the oven and on the grill. 
After finally finishing up in the kitchen I sat down for the last time (for a while at least, fingers crossed) to enjoy my dinner. I was glad I didn't give into temptation and stop for Take Away on my way home. Homemade / Home-cooked is always a much better and healthier choice. 

Grilled Chicken, Baked Potato, Sauteed Fresh Broccoli 
Get in my belly, oh so yummy!!!!! 
I can not wait to start cooking yummy tasty meals for the hubbs and I again. I've missed cooking and being able to sit down together in the evenings, talking about our day and life. Its the little things yall.  
Now please excuse me because now that this is posted, it's pretty certain that.........
           HE's HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Not to worry I'll be back soon with a full recap of our 3rd Re-Deployment Ceremony, pictures included!!!!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Here We Go Again!!!!

As always time seems to slip away and life gets the best of me and I've slacked at up dating this hear blog of mine. But I'm here updating now and that's all that matters right?!?!?! 

With a week of class left we decided to have a class pot luck / surprise baby shower. Tell me why I volunteered to make a cake for this little shindig we where having. I was leaving right after class to head out of town. So the day's leading up to class where super crazy busy. But I have to toot my own hour because this cake turned out fabulous!!!! It was homemade from scratch all the way down to the icing. I was so proud of it, I haven't baked in forever and I loved every minute of being back in the kitchen doing what I love. This fabulous master piece didn't let down either. Every one LOVED it and I'm not just saying that because I made it, really my class-mates couldn't stop raving about it. I will defiantly be keeping this one for future baking goodness. 

 The night before my last class and said above pot luck followed by a 6 hour road trip I ran a 5K Glow Run about 45 minutes away from my house. Now back up a few days, my Director at work was suppose to run this as well. She was the one who actually talked me in to doing it. Unfortunately for a few reason's she wasn't able to make it. I decided to tough it out and still run the race. It might shock you to know this was the first race I'd ran alone not knowing anyone there. I was a little nervous and hesitant going into it alone but I embraced myself and rocked it. 
It was raining and ugly out, we had a 15 minute rain / lightening delay due to a storm. Once we finally got going I was passing people left and right. I kept checking my pace making sure I wasn't pushing myself to fast in the beginning and I wasn't. The rain kept coming and a few bolts of lightening here and there. In my head I kept thinking this was the worst idea I'd ever had. Part of the course was dark back streets that I ran by myself because others where way ahead of me (so I though) or further behind me. I was a bit scared not going to lie, being somewhere I wasn't familiar with at all. They had water stations in the worst places, you'd think they'd have them on the streets with no lights or store fronts vs. on the main roads, simply for safety reasons. 
Pretty soon I caught up with this little dude and he was struggling a bit so I tried encouraging him to keep going when he wanted to stop. I asked him if he knew how many people where in front of him and there was only one he said. We stayed together for the last half mile of the race and then I booked it through the finish line. I hadn't looked at my watch much through the last mile since it was raining, I was trying to keep it down from getting wet. Yall I came in 2nd place. I had no clue, I mean he had mentioned there was only one other person in front of him but I wasn't totally positive. I've NEVER placed in a race and I ran my fastest 5K time ever. I was so stoked and proud of myself. Yes it was a smaller race only 80 out of the 100 people that signed up came (due to the bad storms we where having) and everyone has told me that a race is a race no matter the amount of participants not to use that as a excuse. And I'm not, there where some awesome runners out there and I just happened to be on my game and totally kicked butt!!! 

First race ever when we lived in Hawaii. (left) May 1, 2011 5k- time 43:57. 

Most recent race June 26, 2015 5k-time 25:35.

Yall, I still can't believe it!!! 
PS: look at those chubby cheeks on the left. I know I know not really but yes really. 

After I came back from my little girls weekend get away (I'll recap that later) I made this delicious little treat for our work 4th of July Pot Luck. I came across the recipe on Pinterest (it was a birthday theme) and new I wanted to try it and though it would be perfect to incorporate it into our Red, White and Blue theme. 
Yall, this was AMAZING, like I'm talking there was only one slice left. It was scrumptious, melt in your mouth delicious. I've been on a roll here lately in the kitchen and defiantly enjoying it. 

With a bottom layer of freshly homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie dough, top that with a layer of Oreo's, the gaps where filled in with M&M's, topped with a layer of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and polished off with another layer of M&M's. Baked in the oven for 20 minutes and you've got heaven in a pie dish. :) 
Another month down and one more closer to the hubbs coming home. The end feels so near yet its still so far away. I miss him with all my heart and can't wait to wrap my arms around him again. I'm actually gonna miss doing this fun little monthly counts, but I wont miss doing life alone that's for sure. 

 Speaking this crazy deployment.....1) I've seriously slacked on keeping up with his truck. It's a standard which I'm not able to drive due to my lack of skills. It's on my 30 b4 30 list to learn, one day one day. It's been driven twice in the last 8 months so when I asked Amy to come over the other evening to help me get it going we had no luck what so ever. Even after letting it charge connected to my car for about 20-30 minutes it still wouldn't even attempt to turn over. I knew I had to cough it up and buy a new battery. Sometimes that's the price you've gotta pay and I did. A big Thanks to some awesome guys he works with (that returned early from deployment) they picked it up the next day and had new tires put on and the brakes checked. So it's all set for his return, I've just got to keep it going till then and not let the battery sit so long with out being started. 
2) This massive backyard of ours, its amazing, I love it and the pups do to. But it also comes with a bit of maintenance. Sure I could pay someone to do it but that would be wasting money when I am more than capable of doing it myself. I don't love doing it but I don't hate it either. I look at it as another way to get a workout in. However I've learned I really need to make sure I stay on top of it, meaning mowing it every week. YALL!!! I let it go a week and a half, 4 day's longer them normal and it was killer. I struggled. Yes we had a lot of rain with in that week so that didn't help. Although, I'm not complaining because its helped keep it nice and green but man was it tough to cut. The bag kept getting full and I'd have to stop and empty it after less than two times around. I was so frustrated. I ran out of gas at one point and thankfully had just enough in the tank in the garage to finish out the yard. It might have been 8:30pm before I was done with everything, weed-eating and blowing included but I got it done. I kept telling myself I could finish it up tomorrow but I knew I'd be kicking myself in the butt if I did that. 

I remember always giving the hubbs such a hard time on the weekends when he would say he was going to sleep in and then he'd be awake on his 2nd cup of coffee around 6am sometimes. I'm like dude what happen to sleeping in and he would always say "that, that was sleeping in for him." I'm like no, "sleeping in means not getting up and outta bed till close to 8am" I couldn't sleep much past that or I felt like I was wasting my day away. And now I find myself laying there wide awake most mornings before 5:30am. I just can't help it, no matter how late I go to sleep, even on the weekends... I'm up and my brain is going 90 miles a hour thinking about everything I could / should be doing. 
This morning for example, 5:35am laying there thinking of everything I was doing today and figured I might as well go ahead get up and get started. Morning workout (40 minutes), Dog's walked (20 minutes), Dressed, Laundry going, Shake-o made and dishes done all BEFORE 7am. I decided to switch my morning plans because sitting around the house for the downtown market to open at 8am just made no sense at all. lol. Originally I was going to the downtown market first then, make the 25-30 minute drive out to Guthrie, KY to the most amazing little Amish Bakery. To pick up a box of freshly made donuts and some cinnamon rolls. I plan on freezing the cinnamon rolls till the hubbs gets home and taking the donuts to work with me on Monday. They only make and serve the donuts on Saturday's, and they don't last long so you've gotta get there early. I was kinda sorta itching for one and decided to treat myself. It worked out perfect because I got there right at 8am when they opened. From there I headed to back to Clarksville to our market. Sometimes I'll go and simply just walk around it a couple times checking out the vendors not purchasing a thing. I just enjoy going, gives me something to do on Saturday mornings. But today I knew I wanted to pick up some local honey since I was getting low. The food trucks and baked goods looked so yummy, I sampled some different breads and a fruit tea which I wasn't crazy about before heading out. I was so tempted to give into a yummy waffle, a tamale even the homemade Amish ice cream but I didn't I knew I had donuts in the car, lunch plans and jazz on the lawn later that evening. Not to mention a couple homemade M&M cookies at home. I didn't need it. 

One last stop on my way home. I remembered The Mill, a little local antique / craft store was having their re-grand opening today. It's super small and I normally never find anything there but I always enjoy stopping and looking since its so close to home. I ended up picking up this cute little "Tennessee Home" plaque that will fit perfect on our Christmas Tree to represent out time here. 

All of that and I was still home before 10am. With lunch plans not till 1pm I decided to tackle the upstairs. Our bedroom and bathroom needed a good deep clean so I figured why not knock it out before lunch. Nothing's better then a freshly clean home. Well yes there is, having someone to help me with it or at least keep my company while cleaning. Blah Blah Blah, I know soon enough he'll be home. Lunch was fabulous, I hate that L and I haven't gotten together more over the deployment then we have but we always have such a great time when we do. It'll be great once the hubbs is back and the four of us can all get together. 
I spent the rest of the afternoon into the evening lounging around and kinda being lazy at home. Out girls night at Jazz on the Lawn got canceled since a few couldn't make it and honestly I was totally fine with that. There's always next time. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July 4th Weekend Getaway!!!

Over the 4th of July weekend I headed up to Ohio to meet up with my In-Loves. My Father in Law has family there and apparently they do a annual 4th of July shindig and go all out. Not having any plans of my own I was excited about the opportunity when my MIL mentioned it to me a few months back. I was a bit nervous though as I'd never met any of this side of the family and neither had the hubbs. Talk about a funny story, me meeting some of his family before he ever had. So Thursday morning I dropped the pups off at the Kennel facility, first time for them. I was a bit of an emotional wreck but we all survived. lol. Headed to work for a few short hours before they let me go early knowing I had a drive ahead of me. I had my lunch and snacks packed for my road trip so I wouldn't have to stop other than to use the restroom, thankfully my car get awesome gas mileage and I knew I'd make it with out having to stop and fill up. I arrived in Delaware, OH right after 9pm and was warmly greeted by my sweet In-Loves. Aunt Janet who will be 80 years young soon, (who we where staying with) had already gone to bed. We chatted up the evening a bit before calling it a night, knowing the next few days where going to be busy busy.

Up bright and early Friday to get my work out in followed my a trip down to Columbus, OH to check out the North Market. A local indoor market with tons of vendors offering any where from yummy eats, desserts, breakfast, full meals for lunch or dinner and an assortment of household goods and trinkets. It was such a neat little place, not to big not to small. I really wish we had some thing like this in Clarksville. We have a outdoor market but its only open on Saturday early Spring - late Fall, where as The North Market is open year around. There was a Bakery / Pastry shop that sold Macaroon's. I'd never tried one but I've always wanted to so  picked up to. A Lemon flavored and then Strawberry. I ate them and gave it a fair shot but lets just say I wasn't a fan. Not something I'll be jumping up and down again to get or go out of my way for. A little way's down however was the neatest Donut shop / booth called Delicious Donuts. Let me tell you they did not disappoint at all, they where marvelous and HUGE. I decided on a plain glazed, I mean you can't go wrong with simple and sweet right?!?!? That was until they brought out a tray of Cinnamon rolls that where literally bigger then my face. Ok so I caved and bought both. Let me tell you it was totally with it to!!! After walking around once more making sure we'd seen everything, the large display of Fiestaware as well, (to bad I had all the piece there already, I was really hoping to add to my collection.) we called it a trip and headed back to Delaware. Some of us girls where meeting up for Pedi's (Thursday night when I got in-town my MIL asked if I'd want to go, UMMMM YES PLEASE). It was so nice to have a little girls time out while the guys where prepping for Saturday's big festivities. I was able to have the chance to get to know my FIL cousin and her daughter while being pampered a little, something I never do for myself. I had planned on paying for mine but before I had the chance Lori was kind enough to pick up the bill for all of us. Yall everyone was so incredibly nice and caring the entire time we where there. This was just one of the many things they did for us. We went back to Lori's house for a glass of wine and did a little getting to know each other / catching up on the patio with some yummy snacks.

 A few hours went by and we headed home to get freshened up for dinner. In Delaware they have a thing called First Friday, they shut down the street that runs through downtown (Delaware, OH is really small) and local businesses come out, set up tables to promote their business and bring the community together. We had dinner at a new little Pub / Bar and then walked the street a bit seeing what all was there. I really didn't take to many pictures at all and sadly none this evening. After seeing everything there was we headed back to Pam's house for yet another round of drinks (who am I to complain, keep the wine coming) by the fire. Not realizing what time it was when we decided to go because it was still so day light out but it was already well past 9pm. That was the thing that baffled me the most, it didn't get dark till close to 10pm each evening and both morning and night it was quite chilly. Not something we have right now in TN.

Saturday morning the FIL headed back to Rick and Lori's house to help set up for the BBQ while my MIL and I stayed back finished up some dishes we where taking and helping Aunt Janet with some last minute things she had been working on as well. Shortly after arriving back to where the BBQ was at every one else started slowly coming in. That's when it hit me that I was there with out the hubbs and with so much of his family. Even through he'd never met a soul of them it was still a bit sad and overwhelming not having him there. I did have a great time though and everyone again was so sweet and caring. Asking a million questions, simply trying to get to know Me, Us and Our Story. I didn't mind at all though I love love sharing our story, talking about our life together. Plus it totally gives me a reason / the chance to brag on my amazing husband :). Several hours went bye and many plates of yummy food later and we finally found ourselves cleaning up and preparing for a evening of Fireworks later. When Cathy (my MIL) first told me how the families 4th of July Holiday tradition went I couldn't help but chuckle. All of the left over food is packaged up and put in coolers. Everyone heads home for a nap meets back up at a local field at 7pm. I figured a few people would show back up, after all it had already been a really long day. Nope just about everyone came. We gather around in our chairs and socialize for the next several hours waiting until the firework show started. That umm didn't start till it got dark at 10pm "TEN-pm" people. Crazy. The left over food is brought to munch on through the evening and works out really well because no one has to worry about going hungry or bringing food with them. This people are pro's at it to. They foil wrap the burgers and dogs in the buns ahead of time so they are easily dispersed. You can tell they've done this a time of two.
The fire work show was simply amazing. One of the best Ive been to for sure and it lasted for a good 45 minutes, it might have even been longer. The fun part came when it was time to leave. Walking to our car was no problem but getting out of the parking lot was another story. YIKES.
 Sunday morning the In-Loves and I got up bright and early and had breakfast on the Patio at a local Diner called Hamburger Inn, in downtown Delaware. It was most definitely a bittersweet breakfast, I love any and every minute I get to spend with them but this breakfast was followed with a tearful "Goodbye" as they headed on the road to make their 30 hour drive back to AZ, while I stayed back in OH for another day and a half visiting and catching up with a few friends.
I headed back to Aunt Janet's house and decided to clear my head by going on a run. What was suppose to only have been a 3-5 mile run turned into a 10 mile run with a "Oh Crap" moment in the middle because I had to go to the bathroom somethings fierce (because of the huge breakfast I'd just eaten) and there was no bathrooms around to be found. I was turned around in the middle of a residential area and only knew how to get back which was back tracking my route. I paused my run, taking a moment to gather myself on the side of the road. I was determined to make it back and finish out my at that point planned 10 miles. I did it, it might not have been pretty but I finished and had a pretty stellar time and pace. I spent the rest of the afternoon at the house just relaxing and hanging out. That evening I headed back out to Columbus, OH for dinner with one of our sweet friends from Hawaii. Tara and I met through a mutual friend shortly after I started working at the CDC on post and clicked right away. We've stayed in touch over the years as she moved back from HI to TX and now recently back home to OH. We where able to pick right up, it was so great catching up with her in person and just to hear how great she has been doing.
I ended my evening with a little Custard in downtown Delaware. It was pretty tasty!!! 
Monday morning was another early morning for me, up to get my workout it and pack up the car. I had plans to meet up with some of our best friends from our Hawaii days back in Columbus. Jamie and Anthony where the first people I met when I went to Hawaii. I stayed with them when I went out before the hubbs and I where even married. He was in a sense their (at the time) 2nd child. The 3 of them, including their daughter Jessica did everything together. After the guys first deployment Anthony made the decision to get out of the Army and move home. It was heart breaking because I we did everything together. We where always at their house and they where always at ours. Beach and dinner trips, random shopping adventures and outings. We've kept in good touch through FB, phone and texting over the past 6 years but haven't had the chance to meet up and get together. So when I found out I was going to be in OH and so close to them I just knew we had to meet up. We met for breakfast at Bob Evan's. It was my first time there and let me tell you it didn't disappoint, it was pretty fabulous. A little back story, Jamie and Anthony left Hawaii with two girls. Jamie had their 2nd daughter right before the guys deployed. Now fast forward 6 years and they've added TWO more kids to the mix making it a grand total of 4 kiddos. CRAZY!!!!! 3 girls and the youngest a boy. They are all so cute and Jessica the oldest is almost 16 which is crazy for me to even think she can be that old. After breakfast we went down to the Ohio State Campus and walked around a bit checking it out, taking a few pictures. We ventured over to a local park and hung out there for a while. The weather was perfect and Jessica had brought her Violin and serenaded us while we continued to visit and catch up. Before to long our parking meters where up and I needed to get on the road to head back to TN. Another heart breaking "Goodbye" not knowing when we'd see each other again. Soon I hope, the plan is to, plan a trip once the hubbs gets home from deployment for us all to meet up for a weekend of camping.
A quick stop back at North Market for a treat and lunch before getting on the road to head home. A 6 and a half hour drive ahead of me I needed something to get me through. I had the best time, it was a nice relaxing weekend filled with family, friends and delicious foods. I can't wait to do it again next year for the 4th.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Girls Weekend Getaway

There's a few of us girls that make a point to get together at least twice a year, if not more for a little girls weekend getaway some where fun. This past weekend Sarah was home visiting family so we had plans to meet up for a little camping Adventure in WV. We've been to The New River Gorge a few different times and have done several of their activities at Adventures on the Gorge so it only seemed fitting to go back. We decided to ruff it up a bit by camping this time around instead of renting a cabin. I've only been tent camping one other time in my "adult time" so I was semi excited about this little outing. Picture this 4 girls- setting up our camp ground, tent and camp fire included. We did just fine if I do say so myself, had absolutely no problems and we'd all do it again. We did sleep in a bit of style with our air mattresses though. That ground would have been awful hard.

Day 1) We arrived and checked in for our activity. Stand Up Paddle Boarding. The water was a bit chilly, which I honestly wasn't expecting at all. We had a tour guide that we had to stick with which was kinda a bum but it was just the four of us girls and her so it wasn't to bad. We spent 2.5-3 hours I think out on the water. Someone saw a picture of a person doing a head stand on a paddle board so we made it our mission to accomplish one. We didn't do half bad at all and all managed to get up at least once. After paddle boarding we headed back to the resort site to check in and set-up camp. Followed by dinner at Cheddy's. A fabulously delicious little restaurant there at the resort. Where we enjoyed a yummy dinner and a couple of drinks. We made our way back to our camp-site, where we built a fire all on our own, Roasted Marshmallows, Made Smore's and Played Cards. It was a perfect day filled with fun, friends and way to much food.

 Day 2) I for whatever reason can't sleep in, it doesn't matter what time I go to bed it just doesn't happen. Wide awake at 6am I decided to make the most of my morning and work off some of those Smore's I'd eaten the night before. A quick 4 mile run around the resort and back and the sleeping beauties where still sleeping. Eventually they woke up and we got our morning started. The plan was to cook breakfast on a camp fire grilled I'd brought. While Sarah and Brandy where in the bathroom Nancy and I decided to start the grill up and get things going. We didn't intend to start a forest fire but that's what almost happened. Come to find out the grill we where given before we left SC was broke. The line feeding the propane to the burners was snapped in half causing a huge burst of flames coming out the side. We tried putting the fire out, as it sat on top of the picnic table but had no luck. Panic started to set in as we looked around for help. There was a couple packing up there site right next to us, so I called out over to them asking for help. The guy came over and struggling a bit to get the fire out himself but finally managed. He said we should be fine, let the grill cool down a bit and he'd help us get it started again. (at this time we didn't know the line was snapped) After a little investigating when he came back over was when he noticed it was broken. Needless to say it didn't make the trip home with me. What about breakfast you ask?!?! We started up our campfire, scrambled our eggs and cooked our ham over it for a tasty breakfast sandwich. Have no fear we've got this!!! The first half of the day was spent lounging by the pool working on our tan. B. Sarah's husband brought their little guy up for a bit to swim and see momma. (this was her first night / weekend away from him) We went into town with them for lunch at a yummy little sandwich shop before they headed back home.
From there we went to a different resort where we spent the rest of the day. A large lake that had tons of inflatable's that you where able to climb on and jump from. There was a slide that was a couple stories high that shot you off right into the water, a teeter toter type thing, a rock wall slide, a round 4 person rocket and a blob just to name a few. I unfortunately couldn't brave myself up enough to jump on the blob. Picture this- your standing on a plank platform where you jump off landing on this large inflatable thing. Once on you craw to the end and sit while waiting to the next person to jump which shoots you flying into the air. I'm not afraid of heights but I freaked myself out because I stood there two long thinking if through in my head. I tried again a 2nd time and couldn't do it. I felt like such a chicken. We spent a couple hours there before heading back to shower, change and make our way to dinner. Cheddy's again for Wing Night. I went with a Grilled Chicken Sandwich, I'm not much of a Wing girl. Drinks again of course, followed by Smore's and Card's back at our campsite before calling it a night.

Day 3) Up early again before the others I went out for another run, getting in 5 miles this time. We had to check out of our site by 10am so that meant getting those sleeping beauties up when I got back. We packed up our tent and cars before settling down for a little Pancake Breakfast once again cooked over the campfire. It was pretty tasty for not having much to work with, I have to say we did pretty good and made a great team. Who says girls can't survive in the wilderness. Although I don't know that I'd want to extend it to a lengthy amount of days to test out that theory. Eventually we had to say our "see you soon's" and each of us headed out on the road to make the drive back home. It was very bittersweet moment.
We always have so much fun when we all get together, life seems so easy going and stress free. It's never long enough although we almost always have our next trip planned or at least in the works before we leave but the time apart simply sucks. I'm so thankful for these girls and the memories we've made over the years and can't wait to create more with them. :)