Tuesday, December 28, 2010
This isn't so much a rant, just a stomp-your-foot kind of frustration. You see... this Green to Gold thing, while wonderful and a huge blessing, can come with it's fair share of decisions. At first glance, it's great! (ok... it really is GREAT... but like I said, I'm stomping my foot) Full scholarship, get your degree, become an officer. Well the full scholarship is really more of a this or that. You can get it for your tuition, or you can choose to get it for your room and board. The great thing about Green to Gold though, is that most G2G-ers also have the option to use their GI Bill, so whatever you choose to use the G2G scholarship for, you can use your GI Bill for the other.**
This works out to be a pretty decent income for us while Sgt. is off taking 18 hours of classes called things like "Numerical Analysis and Theory" (Have I mentioned my husband is a Math major... with a Physics and Military Science minor? Have I mentioned that my favorite class in college was Children's Movement... where we learned how to juggle?)
Well... with his major and minor requiring lots of hours, he's had to take summer classes. Luckily, the GI Bill will cover summer classes if you choose, or even break pay... like Christmas break for example... if you choose. Sgt. has opted for both at one time or another.
Now... if you're still following along here, this is where it gets fuzzy, so be careful. We are nearing the end of our in-between Army world journey (YAY!) and we are also nearing the end of our GI Bill earning... (Oh No!) So, in an effort to extend the GI Bill through his senior spring semester... we stopped break pay this summer (basically turned it off for the 2010-2011 school year). Then, this fall, Sgt. dropped one of his classes after the deadline so we had to pay back a little bit of money for the class and book allowance. That's fine, no big deal.
Well, the VA (The GI Bill issuers... and many other veteran services) decided to audit his file. Fine, we have nothing to hide. Then they decided to send us a bill. Now, again, the VA is a great organization who has been pretty decent to us - except that they're crazy. They decided that since he stopped break pay... they would charge him for every weekend throughout the summer as break pay that he received and needed to pay back. Even though he was taking classes and receiving tuition pay.
So... a two hour phone call later my poor husband has to submit a written request to see his file and go through each number himself (because that's what he does... ) to find out exactly where they got this ridiculous number that we owe them. The sad part... even THEY couldn't tell us.
Slow to pay you, quick to take it back.
Please VA... no more crazy bills for crazy things you can't explain... I already work too much, and I'm only on salary!
Ugh... I wish I could have put a pause button on the Christmas vacation and continued sitting there in my underwear on the couch wrapped up with my husband watching movies. And no judgement about the underwear... wearing anything more than boy shorts and a t-shirt around the house on the weekends calls for a very special occasion. Coming back to work after my four day weekend has been non-stop. It began yesterday with an eye-rolling-poor-attitude-yelling-in-the-lobby-and-calling-me-a-racist employee (who's still here today.. I know. I know.) and hasn't stopped. Yesterday ended with me leaving the office at 8:00pm (after arriving at 7:30am) after painting 8 life size stick figures doing physical activities (think, jumping, dancing, climbing, etc..)
No, that's wrong, it ended with a big glass of wine. Maybe two.
Oh yeah, I was talking about Christmas. It was WONDERFUL! Just the two of us. We stayed home this year again and loved our first married Christmas :). I got a new bedding set (!!!) that I have been dreaming of, a cute scarf-glove-hat set, some pretty picture frames with TBD wedding photos to put in them, a board game, and some other fun stuff. Sgt.'s big gift was a blu-ray player so we sat around and watched movies the rest of the day/weekend. We drove around on Christmas night to find the one burger place that was open and indulged in some cheeseburgers. Laziness at it's best folks. I also treated myself to a manicure and a pedicure
I've realized that I HAVE to get better at taking pictures of the two of us. Honestly, I am a ham and really like being in front of a camera... but the down side is I never think to actually get OUT the camera... I just assume someone will want to take pictures. Except it's just the two of us and there is no family around... So, I have no photographic evidence of our first married Christmas. Kind of sad. The memories were good though, and I promise myself that 2011 will be the year of picture taking! Maybe I can take a picture a day? That might be a little much. Picture a week? Eh, I'll think about it.
Not really much else to report. I work, he goes to school and works out, we eat dinner, and go to sleep. Life as usual. We are supposed to be driving up to Indiana this weekend. Throwing a wrench in the mix! I promise to put pants on for this occasion (mostly because it's about 30 degrees here, and we're visiting his grandparents) - but we also always make a mix CD of driving tunes for road trips. We like almost every genre (between the two of us), so do you have any suggestions?!
Hope all is well in blog land my friends... I apologize for the random ramblings. Well I suppose I have stick figures to hang up so I better get to it. It's times like these where I wish I had an invisibility cloak.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
My husband is not really a fan of Christmas time and holidays in general. Which leads to interesting conversations this time of year. For me, holidays have always been a really special time. My family wasn't the close knit white picket fence kind of family growing up, but around the holidays we always had special moments together. Some of my favorite times with my parents and my siblings involve putting the tree up with Christmas music in the background, driving around to look at Christmas lights, and my brother and I rushing downstairs on Christmas morning secretly, and an ungodly hour, dumping out our stockings all over the floor to see what was inside, and then putting it all back up and going back to sleep for a couple more hours. I LOVE CHRISTMAS TIME. I love celebrations and holidays in general. I love gift giving and decorating and on and on and on.
My husband... not so much.
So. The questions remains... how do we find a common ground here? How do I relinquish some of my passion for Christmas in order not to crowd him? And how does he pep up and act joyful this time of year when he can hardly stomach it? We're still working on it. I hope that we can find a way to create our own traditions and memories around this time of year... but I think it will take time.
We've done pretty good this year. For example - Sgt. helped me put the tree up, and then I did all the ornaments and decorating. We're doing gifts but we put a spending limit on it, and we're doing "The Twelve Days of Christmas" where we get to open a gift (starting tomorrow) every day until Christmas. We also made a gingerbread house!
Gingerbread house? Well that sounds pretty festive and traditional. Doesn't it? The compromise here? We make a gingerbread house, as long as the husband gets to decide what kind of house it will be. Fair enough.
Made all the more interesting by the fact that we created this type of house as a competition between two of our couple friends who also made the same type of house. Just to spoil the end... we totally won :)
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
While I'm not really for or against plastic surgery as a general rule I wonder how Sgt. would have reacted if I said I wanted to go on a game show to win a bunch of plastic surgery for our wedding. You're about to get married... do you think your future husband wants you changing up on him? Of course there is the "They love you for what's on the inside" and while this may be true, I can't help but think that I wouldn't have gotten the same reaction from Sgt. (huge smile, deep breath, trembling hands.. I still love thinking about it) if I had gotten head to toe plastic surgery before the wedding.
I did watch Bridal Boot Camp when it was on VH1. Really over dramatized but I watched anyway.
The current challenge is to put a puzzle of their "future self" together, then grab a syringe and head down to the "First class injectables party!"... yowza
I may just stick with Jersey Shore as the tip top of my trash TV tower.
** Oh my gosh! The way they send someone home is by saying "I'm sorry... your wedding will still go on, but it just won't be perfect" How sad!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Overall, the highlights are:
* Remind your husband not to eat all the apples you will be using for your apple pie, or all the cheese you will be using for your green bean casserole, because said husband will have to brave the grocery store on Thanksgiving day if he does.
* Your back and feet WILL hurt after standing all day in the kitchen. Surprise!
* While rubbing butter all over the turkey and then under it's skin felt extremely dirty and risque... my husband didn't seem to mind since he was taking pictures of the whole thing. I promise we're not that weird fetish couple... but really, it felt like the turkey and I had a special relationship.
*Timing everything is hard. Especially with an apartment sized kitchen. All in all I think it turned out ok, but I wouldn't mind investing in some warmers.
And now on to my trip to the big white light.
So, you've all heard about my root canal episode, which if you were wondering, takes place tomorrow morning at 10:00 am. I am just praying the infection is gone - especially because the dentist made it a point to tell me "If the infection isn't gone it will fight off the anesthesia and then you'll feel it all." Nice. Well because of the whole abscess tooth thing I've been taking the antibiotic, the pain killer, and most frequently - Aleve. because I've still been going to work and it's not really appropriate to be high on Lortab's while working (although some days I feel like it would be a happy medium) I've been taking Aleve like it's going out of style for the tooth pain. So what if the box says only take one per day... one per day is not working! So I take two... ever 3 hours or so... and it works just fine. What harm could come of a little OTC pain reliever?
This started last Tuesday... but then Saturday morning I woke up with horrific chest pain. Sporadic tightening but constant dull pain... it sucked. I chalked it up to heart burn even though I've NEVER had heart burn so I don't really know what it feels like. It got worse when I'd eat something, and it was worse when I laid down but I got some antacids and figured it would start to get rid of some of the pain. It didn't. This continued for two days. Monday I went into work - same symptoms - and was just feeling really off... then I threw up... a lot and my throat didn't burn, which I thought was weird if I was experiencing heart burn. And then the more I honed in on my problem the more I realized it was really pain down the center of my chest but at about the top of my boobs (for lack of a better, more medically correct term) to about an inch past them. So then I called my doctor's triage line...
"Hi, these are the medicines I'm taking, I took way more than directed of the Aleve... what do you think I should do?"
"Well you should probably come in. So your symptoms are just vomiting and heart burn?"
"Well I don't really know if it's heart burn, because I've never had heart burn before... it's just bad chest pain."
"Well, I'm just going to put heart burn for now because if I put chest pain the doctor will just tell you to go to the ER."
Umm... wait... so should I go to the ER? I immediately had a flash back to Heath Ledger and freaked out thinking I needed to go to the ER because my heart was about to explode. (did I mention I'm also PMSing?)
My husband convinced me to call the nurse back to get more information about the difference between chest pain and heart burn just to make sure I wasn't scarring myself for nothing. After talking to her again I agreed to go see the doctor first.
The diagnosis? Severe Peptic Ulcer. (or Stomach Ulcer)
Oh and I'm not allowed near the Aleve anymore. Apparently that's a bad side effect of taking too much - stomach bleeding. Fun huh?
So now, I'm cursing my tooth pain as a catalyst for all of this (I certainly can't blame myself... I was in a lot of pain) and I'm even more sad about my no coffee, no Red Bull, no wine, no chocolate, no bad for you foods for a while until this heals up.
So, like I said, I'm not dying... but without Red Bull and wine for an undetermined amount of time, I just might be anyway. Stay tuned.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Sgt. and I just had the wedding of our dreams down in Texas which meant frequent trips by me, and a good amount of money spent by us both so to save my employer from any more heart attacks by asking off and to save money by not traveling - we're staying home. Our first Thanksgiving as a married couple. We've invited over some friends who couldn't make it home for the holiday either so we should have a nice little group of ROTC cadets and their significant others along with a friend from work, her husband and her little girl.
So, here's a little preview of our menu (so that you can say a prayer for me)
Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Pepperoni and bacon puff balls
Turkey (and yes, I am cooking it in a bag)
(possibly also a spiral ham)
Green bean casserole
Sweet potato casserole (with brown sugar and pecans - not the one with marshmallows)
Mashed potatoes (made by one of the guests)
My Grandma's stuffing
Mississippi Mud Pie
DAR's Carmel Apple Pie
Pumpkin pie (brought by a guest)
Most of the recipes I have stolen from online (one being from a blogger :) ) other than the stuffing. As far as the turkey goes - I got one of those pop up timers, and so far everyone has just said to stuff it with whatever I want... so I'm putting garlic, apples, celery, cilantro, onion, butter, and seasoning in it. Any other suggestions? Any ideas on ANYTHING? Really, I will take all the tips I can get. For example... I'm wondering how to keep the spinach dip warm while it's sitting out without sending it back to the microwave every thirty minutes. Also, any wine recommendations? Like I said any tips for the newly wed would be great!
I hope you all have a fabulous turkey day! Oh, and how do you like the new look?!
Sunday, November 21, 2010
So, we had a chili cook off at my school as the finale for our canned food drive. I was determined to enter a white chili. However, finding a recipe I was happy with was a little more difficult. I could have sworn I saw a recipe on my friends blog so I looked and looked to no avail. (Now, I still SWEAR I saw it on someone blog so if it was yours... send me the link to put my crazy mind at rest.) Finally I found one I was willing to try (this IS a contest after all) on a favorite recipe site of mine - Food.com. (Formally recipezaar) The result? WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER! That's right - I won. I'd like to thank the Academy and the official taste tester at the Cabin Fever Household - my husband.
Here is the original recipe:
2 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon cumin seed
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 minced garlic clove
1 cup chopped onion
2 (9 ounce) packages frozen white corn, thawed
2 (4 -8 ounce) cans chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 -3 teaspoons lime juice
2 (15 ounce) cans great northern beans, undrained
crushed tortilla chips
shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (or whatever cheese you prefer)
Substitutions I made - I did half water half chicken broth instead of all the water. I used yellow corn because that's what I had around the house. I added in more garlic (because I love it) and some of a homemade seasoning that we have around the house that includes Lowrys, lemon pepper, black pepper, garlic salt, onion powder, and some other something that I can't remember now. Didn't use tortilla chips to serve.
1. Mix water, lemon pepper and cumin seed in large saucepan and heat to a boil.
2. Add chicken breast halves, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until chicken is fork tender and juices run clear, about 20-25 minutes.
3. Remove chicken from pot and cut into 1 inch pieces.
4. Add chicken back to liquid in saucepan.
5. Heat olive oil in skillet and cook onions and garlic for a minute or two and then add to saucepan with the chicken.
6. Stir in corn, green chilies, ground cumin and lime juice and heat to a boil.
7. Add beans and cook until thoroughly heated.
8. To serve- place crushed tortilla chips and some shredded cheese into each bowl and ladle hot soup over them.
My opinion on it was that it was good - not fall-down-pee-on-yourself-delicious but pretty tasty. Actually I was pleasantly surprised that it tasted a lot like tortilla soup to me, which I've been looking for a good recipe. It wasn't very thick as far as chili's go, more like a soup. Definitely worth a try though! Let me know how it turns out for you!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
** And please ignore the pink and green mess that it is right now. This is just so that I can have something plain from blogger on there before the design comes in :)
** And now please ignore the second option while it's STILL under construction...
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
We've had an amazing month of wedded bliss. Here's what I've learned during this first month of being married: Hardly anything. Yep, I know. I said it. Some of you might remember a while back (circa 2008... wow) when I posted THIS. How my biggest fear about moving in together and living together meant that it wouldn't be any different when we got married. Well folks, I'm hear to tell you my biggest fear has pretty much come true. And you know what, it's not that bad! I mean really, we were incredibly happy and in love before, and we are still incredibly happy and in love. Not a bad place to be. I still do the dishes, and he still unloads the dishwasher. I still get home late, and he still gets up way too early. On the weekends we run errands, go to the grocery store, and clean the apartment. He will still grab me and dance around the living room with me when there's a good song on the tv or radio. We still eat like college students sans a few nights a week. Life is amazing. Why would I have wanted it to change? It's funny how the things you're scared of sometimes work out to be what's best.
It's not that NOTHING has changed. For example, I started doing the Sunday supper thing I posted about a few days ago. And I call him husband now. Oh, and he introduces me as his wife now, which is pretty great :). I mean there is definitely that idyllic honeymoon period where we're all "We're MARRIED! I love you!" but we're pretty happy anyway. I have a new last name now... which is neat, and is taking some getting used to! (sometimes I forget that my card has my new name on it and sign the wrong one... oops). He wears a ring now, which makes me smile to see, and I have an extra sparkly one on mine (which, lets be honest, I LOVE.)
The question I get asked most is "Hows married life?" and my response is always "Great!" because it is... but life with him is/was great anyway. Not a bad place to be :). I love that we're married, and that I can call him my husband but I'm also glad that life didn't take any more drastic turns... I think we'll have enough of that in the next two years (which I'm SO SOOOO excited about!!) so for now... I'm ok with things being the way they are.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
I always think back to where I was when Sgt. was deployed. I remember how worried I become and how any hint as to what he was doing or where he was could bring comfort.
It seems as though there is a very fine line between Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
It's been a little over two years since Sgt. was deployed and we've been able to enjoy a lot of time spent together in our in-between Army world. Green to Gold was such a blessing for us both and I am still in awe of how much we've overcome and conquered since we met 4 years ago.
My husband is a Veteran. He is incredibly stressed out about school, he likes to match his shoes to his belt (thank the lord), he can cook a mean steak, and he's a Veteran. We've fought and laughed and gone on trips and shared heartache. We have LIVED. And we can do that, because he's a Veteran. A person who has been to war, and came back. Did you catch that last part? He came back. He's a Veteran who's still here! How amazing is that?
You see... I think a lot of people have Veteran's day wrong. Sure, it's a day for respect, gratitude, and acknowledgement, but it should also be a day to CELEBRATE. You should celebrate for those who are able to tell their story.
Yes every person who has served in our Armed Forces is a Veteran, there is no doubt about it, past, present, and future. However, there is a special and solemn honor for those who have fought and died as Veterans. It's Memorial Day. Please understand that I'm not saying that fallen or passed on Veterans deserve any less thanks and appreciation on Veterans Day than anyone else... I am just saying that today, on November the 11th, we get to honor those who are still here.
The fact that I woke up this morning and told my husband "Happy Veteran's Day," means I don't weep over a grave on Memorial day. I can't imagine what it would be like to be on the other side of that fine line.
I have the privilege to be a part of this special club that is our interconnected little family we've made out of military spouses, friends, and family. I have met some of the most amazing people over my last 4 years in the "Club." I've heard amazing stories, laughed, cried, made friends, and felt a little more at ease knowing that no matter where my Soldier was, I wasn't alone... atleast, you don't have to be anyway.
So, I hope that for those of you in the club too, that you celebrate today. Celebrate that Veterans Day is your day and that Memorial Day is not.
And, like I said, if this made you mad then maybe you'd prefer the other post I usually make about Veterans Day HERE
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
All that to say, I was really hoping to be able to cook dinner for my new husband. Call me old fashioned, but there's just something about me being a newlywed and preparing a beautiful and tasty meal at the end of the day, then sitting at the table with my amazing and sexy husband, talking over a glass of wine (or three) about how great the food was, how beautiful I am, and how I'm the best wife ever. I daydream about this type of newlywed life. Instead it's more like: I get home so late that it's really not a great time to be eating dinner anyway but hey, we have to eat, and my husband is sweet enough to wait for me. He cooks dinner, usually something quick and easy*** (our menu's this week consisted of a baked potato for me on Monday because he had something till 9:00, pizza for him on Tuesday because I had a staff meeting till 9:00, Beer and Chinese food on Wednesday, tonight I think we're having spaghetti, and Friday tacos.) We then sit in front of the TV, watch a little recorded Tosh.O, drink water-not wine because I'm dehydrated from all the caffeine I drink during the day, and then we hit the hay. Not exactly the fantasy world I dream up. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE cuddling on the couch with him, and I don't really care what we eat for dinner - I'm a girl with simple tastes, but every once in a while....
So! We came up with every once in a while :) Sunday is my newlywed fantasy day where I cook a nice supper, we sit at the table and he, of course, tells me how beautiful I am and that I'm the best cook/wife ever. We're on week three this week and I'm still deciding what to make but so far I have conquered meat loaf (for the record, I hate meatloaf, but Sgt. likes it and requested it so I figured I'd give it a shot... the title of the recipe was "World's Last Meatloaf" and they were sooo right... I hate meatloaf but I LOVE this.) and almond crusted Tilapia. (In the book it was pecan crusted red fish... so I worked with what I had in the kitchen) Both were AMAZING... and both were out of this book:
If you like a good cook book this is definitely one you need to pick up. It has great, great recipes and is peppered with hints and stories from southern kitchens like grandma used to have. I love it! I am thinking I'll try a recipe out of a different book this time around but I've had such good luck I'm almost scared to change it up. I'll let you know how it goes!
*** It should be noted that while he cooks something easy most nights, it's not because he can't cook. Sgt. was raised by a chef and is an amazing cook!
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
I should preface this with - I hate the dentist and I get serious anxiety when I have to go to the dentist.
When I woke up the pain was a little bit better, but still there. I decided to make an appointment first thing and try to do something, anything, to make this better.
The outcome? Abscess. Antibiotics for 10 days and pain killers to "see what happens" but a possible root canal in my future.
Did I mention last week I fell down the stairs?
This is my second week of married life and I am falling apart. I called my husband to tell him the news and then said "I'm sorry honey" "for what?" "apparently I require expensive upkeep."
Send good-non-root-canal thoughts my way please!
Monday, October 25, 2010
I got it home and took it all out and immediately had buyers remorse. I hate it. It's completely not my style.. way too busy... it's this aqua and sea green color with bold patterns on it. But I could deal if it was just the look (maybe). It's also cheap fabric. It's this poly synthetic-itch-awkward-burns when you try to iron it- kind of material. I hate it. It looks cheap, it feels cheap on the skin, and when our cats scratch it, it sounds cheap. Hate it!
And.... that wouldn't be so bad even if it wasn't too big for our bed! I have no idea what I was thinking or why I thought that a queen sized set would fit on our full sized bed... but I did and I was wrong. The bed skirt hangs off the ends.. it's just ugly... all of it.
SO... here we are and I am begging my new husband for new bedding. Of course... he sees none of the imperfections I do, but it's driving me insane. I feel like our bathroom and our bedroom should be where we splurge on nice furnishings if for no other reason... than it's just peaceful, and it's a bedroom we enjoy being in. But I can't find bedding I like in a full size. (que whining and incessant foot stomping here)
I want bedding that matches. I want bedding that is lighter in color with soft luxurious sheets. I want a little bit of color/pattern but not overwhelming. I want some texture, but not big texture. And I want it in full size.
Any ideas? Anyone?! I need help! I want something like this: Bedding
Sleeping in Horror.
Monday, October 18, 2010
The day was beautiful, not too warm and not too cold. The ceremony was perfect... we were even able to light our unity candle despite the soft breeze flowing through the outdoor chapel. We didn't cry but instead smiled widely at each other, teared up a little, and held hands tightly. The food turned out great and I was even able to eat some of it! The crab and artichoke dip was, as I was told many times, out of this world! The DJ did an amazing job and played exactly what I wanted and timed everything perfectly. We kissed and laughed and smiled for tons of pictures, we danced and sang and drank and laughed the night away.
It was amazing. I miss it! It just goes by so fast. But I am incredibly happy to finally be married to my best friend, and the love of my life. I am in love with being married!
Friday, October 15, 2010
I can feel myself near spontaneous tear fest almost every minute - or maybe that's just because i just got finished picking out the readings for our wedding... which is tomorrow. Yeah. Procrastinate much?
Aside from ridiculous family drama, we have been very blessed and fortunate to have so many helpful hands throughout our wedding. I just hope this rehearsal goes smoothly and that tomorrow goes easy. The wedding elves (i.e. my two best friends from college) and myself were up late last night decorating the reception site, and added lots of fun memories to our collection :) You just haven't lived until you've strung Christmas lights, made a tutu, and lit candles while singing "Carryout" and drinking wine. That's all I'm saying.
My very-soon-to-be husband is on his way and I will be leaving soon to pick up my favorite photographer and friend Lindsay and everything else should happen smoothly according to my OCD checklist.
Can I be honest though? Sgt. and I have not been exactly gaga this week for each other.... we've been snippy, short, and irritated at each other. Here I was expecting the week before our wedding to be all smiles and I love you's and instead... bickering. Does this mean we aren't supposed to be getting married, or does it mean that he's unsure? I've decided no. The reason I've decided no is because, and get this because this is the important part, we love one another. It is as complicated and simple as that. I know we love each other. The fact that this has been an incredibly stressful week for us both, me with wedding putting-together and him with three tests before fall break hits, meant that we weren't always communicating effectively and what we were really saying to the other is "I miss you, I need you." I am confident in us. In our love for one another... we have grown into a steady love over these last 3 1/2 years. A love that makes me excited to see him, even if he tried to switch the hotel reservation after telling me to book it. A love that makes me giddy with the thought of hugging him and kissing him as soon as he gets off the plane, even if he reminds me constantly how much we are over budget (I know.. I know), a love that makes me honored to be able to call him my husband tomorrow, because I know that no matter what happens in life, even when we disagree or find it hard to make a compromise, he has nothing but my happiness, and the best of intentions, at heart.
So, to end, and since I'll probably disappear from my blog for a few days, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite poems I found while looking for wedding readings. Send lots of good, beautiful thoughts my way!!
By C.S. Lewis:
"If the old fairy-tale ending "They lived happily ever after" is taken to mean "They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married," then it says what probably never was nor ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships? But, of course, ceasing to be "in love" need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense-love as distinct from "being in love"—is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be "in love" with someone else. "Being in love" first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it."
By: Anne Morrow Lindbergh
When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.
The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, mot in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Did I mention that my fiance was nice enough to get up crazy early JUST to make the drive to Texas with me and then fly straight back to TN? He will seriously do anything if it means I will be a little bit safer or a little more happy. I love him.
He eventually got back to TN and I eventually got on with my bachelorette party :) lots of fun in Austin and now that the week has begun I'm in full wedding planning mode. Well, more wedding-putting-together I suppose. Most of it's planned, now it's all about the execution. It still hasn't hit me that we'll be married this weekend! I'm excited, I'm nervous, I'm a ball of energy, But I think that all of the to-do's are keeping me from seeing the Saturday aisle stroll. Or maybe it won't hit until my fiance is here, in my arms? Who knows.
For now I'm going to try and enjoy this time with my family and friends, and enjoy my final days of being engaged... it really has been a fun and amazing 9 months. Nothing compares to seeing him get down on one knee... or that first call you make to your family to tell them the news. I thoughtfully and slowly wrote out each note to my bridesmaids and closest friends to ask them to be a part of my special day. I remember the first time I slipped into a wedding dress... and the first time I slipped into MY wedding dress. Picking menu's and invitations... changing the font from script 1 to script 2 because I didn't like the way the e looked. I loved watching him pick out his wedding band, and loved it even more when he proceed to "try it on" sporadically around the house for the last 5 months. I had so much FUN taking our engagement pictures... and I cried when I saw them for the first time.. they were so fitting for the two of us, I felt beautiful, and I couldn't wait to show the world how we look in love. I remember dipping into our wedding fund to put a down payment on a new car after the flood took my old one. But it was ok, because THIS was planning for a marriage, and not for a wedding. I remember the tears leaving the church and feeling defeated, and I remember the struggle of deciding on a wedding venue that we felt accomplished all the aspects of our wedding that were important to us, especially our faith. He fought so hard for me to be happy and was willing to move mountains to give me the day that I wanted... he wouldn't let anyone walk on me, or turn our special day into a debate. He is my hero. There were many back-and-forths over the menu and the flowers. There was a last minute cake decision and a last minute hair cut that wasn't exactly what I'd hoped for, but in the end they both worked out. My shower was filled with love and happy times and I was so proud of myself for all the "All about Sgt." questions I answered correctly. I must have set aside 7 different father-daughter dance song options and can't wait for my dad to get home tonight so we can go through them together and pick one. Did I mention I've cried a lot? Excited tears, frustrated tears, happy tears, hurt tears... and yes, there is a chance I'm crying now thinking about all that this next week will bring. I can't wait to spend my life with him. There is still lots to be done... the favors need putting together and the rehearsal dinner needs to be confirmed. The wishing tree needs to be "planted" and I still have to drop off a check to the caterer. But the rest of our life has already begun, and as we close the door to our engagement we're opening the door to our future... which is looking mighty bright my friends. I can't wait!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
And just to drive the point home, he was, and I am proud of me too... at least it made me feel like I've learned something with all this time in enlisted Army and in-between Army wold. It's the little victories I suppose. *pats self on the back*
Monday, October 4, 2010
Does anyone else do this? Eh... maybe not.. I guess that wouldn't surprise me... especially because we don't KNOW where that will be. It's interesting to me though. I like to look up different posts around the country, see how their website is set up (yes, user friendliness gets bonus points) I like to view their housing options, check out possible spouse clubs or other things to do in the area. I don't really have a preference yet, I just like to look. A form of day-dreaming if you will.
There is absolutely no point in it other than I like information... as previously discussed. And with this in-between Army world coming to an end sooner rather than later I am excited about heading back to active duty. I love the time with him and am trying to soak it all in but I think the future looks exciting. Call me an optimist. Or a stalker. Whichever you prefer.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
You see... while I am excited and giddy at the thought of being married and marrying Sgt, I am also deep down, secretly terrified. There. I said it.
I'M REALLY NERVOUS ABOUT BEING MARRIED!
I think Sgt. and I have done a pretty good job in preparation for our marriage. We've done the book that has 101 questions to ask each other before you get married. A lot of it was stuff we'd already gone over, like how we would like the finances handled, and then there was other stuff I hadn't ever thought to ask, like what is your family medical history. We've done an engaged couples retreat through our church that was really great and we feel like we gained a lot of good information from people who'd been at it a while. The biggest thing we learned there was the people who make it, get to the other side of the hard times, because there is always "the other side."
As a couple we've experienced some major life events already and seem to have weathered them just fine. A deployment, a cross country move, a major life change from Army to college life... these aren't necessarily normal trials for an engaged couple so I'd venture to say we're not off to a bad start.
However, I am the type of person who needs to know everything. I know what you're thinking to yourself... "And you're marrying into the Army?!" - Consider it my personal burden... or personal challenge. When I hear something like "LDAC is next summer" I start asking questions - "Where?" "What do you do?" "What can you take" "What is the purpose" "Can I write letters" "Who else gets to go" - God bless my fiance for dealing with that on a consistent basis... he really does a great job with it and tries to give me as much information as possible, but after firing questions at him I go to the information friend at your fingertips - the Internet. And I google, and I look up blogs, and I try to find anything else I can on the subject to my hearts content. (Please tell me I am not alone... does anyone else do this? Ever?)
So, the new object of my insatiable curiosity? Marriage. I ask everyone, parents at my work, parents of my friends, friends who've been married 6 weeks, Grandparents... I even asked a very friendly Publix (grocery store) worker once. So far... here's the jist of it:
Serve each other
Place God in the center of your marriage
Don't go to bed angry
Don't be afraid to go to bed angry
Start your marriage the way you want to end it - if you don't want to always pick up his things, don't start.
Talk. Even if it's only five minutes in the morning over coffee, take time to talk to each other every day
Go on date nights
Put your marriage first when you have children
Don't have children
Sex changes when you get older
Enjoy your time together before the kids
Hold hands when you argue
Use "I" statements when you argue
Fight fair, no name calling
Don't bicker in public
Don't talk poorly about your spouse to your friends or family
That's all that's coming to mind right now. So.... ANY marriage advice you have is greatly appreciated! Really... what is the secret? What makes it work? What makes you guys happy? What do you do when you're not happy? What about when the kids come?
Friday, September 24, 2010
There is a lot that goes in to where you place after your Junior year, including scores from LDAC (Leadership Development Assesment Course), your GPA, how involved you are, etc.. and I am confident that Sgt. is doing well and working hard at the things he needs to get done so it's not a HUGE concern, it's just one of those things that kind of opened my eyes.
I can't believe that this time next year we'll know what his job will likely be for what will hopefully be a long and successful career. WOW
I also can't believe that this time next month I'm going to be MARRIED!! :) Double wow!
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I am getting married in 23 days!! WOW. I seriously can not believe it. I keep telling Sgt. that getting married only makes me feel really young, not old. Kind of like "Wow... I'm in my twenties and I'm going to be a married woman... I'm going to be a wife...." and I mean that in the best way possible. I'm so so excited and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with him! It's just such a major life change, I'm trying to take it one step at a time and take it all in.
Wedding planning has definitely been an adventure. Planning a wedding is hard enough, planning an out of state wedding is grueling, especially for a control-freak-perfectionist-who-won't-let anyone-else-help. In truth, I have let one person help - My MOH has been OUT OF THIS WORLD amazing! She's really the only person who's opinion I trusted enough to make major decisions (because our opinions are so similar) and I've been lucky enough to be able to make a few trips down to Texas to iron out details. My vendors have been great over the phone and e-mail (for the most part *cough*) and we've been really blessed to have a lot of connections for things involved with the wedding like invitations, the venue, etc..
However, (and of course, there is always the "but") there are still a MILLION things to do in the next 23 days. I mean, if I'm being completely honest people, I just got a cake yesterday. Between working 50 + hours a week and trying to plan this wedding I just don't have enough hours in the day (age old complaint huh?) and I worry about everything getting done.
The list as it stands now:
- Pick cake flavors
- send playlist to DJ
- Buy wedding shoes
- Get Sgt. wedding gift
- Make pew decorations (25)
- Purchase favors (it's food so we're trying to hold off until the last minute so it's fresh)
- Make flower girl tutu
- Get wedding jewelry
- Reserve wedding night hotel
- Purchase Jr. Bridesmaid gifts
- Purchase Groomsman gifts
- Purchase parent gifts
- finalize rehearsal dinner menu
- Plan morning after brunch (family thing)
- Make a list of alcohol and mixers needed (we have to stock our own bar)
- Get marriage license
- Iron all linens
- Buy candles for ceremony and reception
- Write vows - (I know... I know.)
- Pick Ceremony Readings
- Pick Ceremony Readers
- Haircut and Color
- Create ceremony programs
- Make wishing tree for guest table
- Layout wedding day schedule
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
For today's Wedding Wednesday we're going to talk about receptions. Or, I'm going to talk and you're going to save me. Ok? Sgt. and I are paying for about 85% of our wedding. So of course we're trying to figure out ways to make it what we want, not go crazy, still have a beautiful wedding, and most importantly have FUN. We want to have fun, we want to celebrate, and we want to treat our guests to a fun, tasty, twirly time! Whooo hooo!
We've been TOTALLY blessed to get our reception venue at no cost because I just happen to have been blessed with working at the best place on earth (not Disney World) not long ago. They are my family away from family... and that place happens to be a gorgeous rolling hill landscape right on the river. It's awesome. And I'm so thankful!
The Ceremony is supposed to take place at The Church. The Church only holds weddings at 2:00. Yep, 2:00 in the afternoon. Now, for someone who wants to have a fun, tasty, twirly reception... this poses an issue.
By the time the Ceremony is over and everyone gets out of the church and out to the reception it'll be about 3:00. I've spoken with the caterer and we're supposed to have a cocktail hour and appetizers (ok, I'll be honest, I tried to spell the H word and couldn't) until about 4:30 at which point I'm hoping people will take their sweet time finding their seats and then we can start dinner at 5. Dinner over at 6 and dancing until 9.
Except it just seems so LONG to me. Mostly because the caterer is (fairly) charging me a little extra because she's got to stay there from 3-9. If I could figure out a way to cut some of the time down we would be golden.
First option is have the ceremony somewhere else.... like at the reception venue, starting later in the evening. But the church is important to us, so for now, I'd like to not do that.
Second option is to do our own appetizers and cocktails. Have signature drink, beer, wine, and snacks out from 3 - 4:30 and then have the caterer show up at 5 to do dinner. This would reduce the time they're there...
Third option is to have ceremony and then not start the cocktail hour until 5... and just give guests a list of things to do around town until then. What I worry about here is that 1. Wedding momentum will be lost and people won't be as eager to have fun since they just had to wait all that time for the next portion. 2. The people who do not have a hotel in town will really have to find something to do. Most people are coming from out of town but not everyone... I thought about asking the camp (reception venue) if maybe we could set up some fun laid back activities like horseshoes, washers, the putting green, etc... so people could do that while waiting. (an hour or two) But then I feel like it will be an extension of the wedding and I should at least have drinks or something out there for them to enjoy. 3. What about my hair? And Makeup? And do I stay in my dress for two hours hanging out... or do I change... which would mean two dresses.
The wedding isn't formal - the theme we're working with now is "Upscale-Down Home" so it's sort of an Americana feel to it... (please God, no one show up in cutoffs) Semi-formal with a laid back vibe.
This has just got me stuck! I don't know what to do. I think either way it seems like dinner is too early, or there was too much wait time. So, please, help me. What would you do? or better yet, what would you ENJOY as a guest? What wouldn't you enjoy? Why? Am I crazy? Do you have any other options for me other than the ones listed? Any and all help is appreciated! Especially from Sgt... if I ask him this question anymore I think he'll blindfold me and kidnap me to Mexico so we can elope.
Monday, February 1, 2010
No? You either? Well at least it's not just me.
Truth be told... it's not my "Family" it's *looks around* *whispers* my step mom.
Whom I love, and who really has
I JUST DO NOT WANT YOUR MOM BRINGING HAM ROLL UPS TO OUR WEDDING!
There. That felt better :)
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Keep reading though, I promise there will be lots to come! Good things, nervous breakdowns, excitement, probably some stress.. all kinds of good blog fodder :). You see... the next 9 months should be quite exciting.... Come October 16, 2010 an entire part of me will change....
My last name... :)
As of December 13, 2009.
Talk about surprises. If that face doesn't say it then I don't know what does! We had talked about an engagement. We'd even gone to look at rings. That's why I had played out the day and scenario in my head a million times, and was sure it would happen after the holidays. Sgt. figured as much, so he made other plans.
It was a cool cloudy day in middle Tennessee. We just left church and were deciding on what to do for the day. Sgt. mentioned a trip to Arrington Vineyards might be fun since they probably had their Christmas lights up. Arrington is a beautiful winery right outside our hometown, set on rolling Tennessee hills. On the weekends you can often find people picnicking on one of the many tables or chatting around the bonfire. The minute it was mentioned I didn't give it a second thought, we had been out there on weekends before and it was something we both enjoyed so I heartily agreed.
We stopped for lunch in town before heading out and before we left Sgt. snuck to the back to call the Vineyards to make sure a certain picnic table was still available. The last time we were out there, Sgt. pointed out a picnic table at the very top of the hill. It looked out over the entire winery and he suggested that next time we should sit up there. When we got out to the vineyard we grabbed a glass of our favorite wine and trekked to the top of the hill. We took some pictures together and chatted. Then Sgt. turned the conversation to a memory of last year when we were in Vermont for Christmas. Sgt., Sgt.'s brother Marine, and I went out to Boyden Valley Winery in Cambridge, VT.
"Ya know, this is kind of turning into a tradition for us. We went to a winery last year around Christmas time."
"You're right! That's neat, I like it!"
"I think we should start a new tradition."
"Ok, what did you have in mind?"
Sgt. then slid down on one knee and said "We should celebrate every year, the day that I proposed to you. I love you more than anything and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?"
So sweet and heartfelt and all I could muster was an excited
"REALLY!? Are you REALLY proposing?! REALLY!!?"
"Yes, honey, REALLY... will you please say yes?!"