- What romance movie scene reminds you of your s/o or spouse and the LOVE you share? submitted by Simply Sunshine and Daisy’s I hate movie questions… I don’t pay close enough attention in movies to remember many of them later on to answer questions like this. So I really have no clue. But I’m excited to read other answers.
- If you were allowed to deploy with your husband to a war zone would you and why? submitted by I & J Maybe just for a little bit to see what it was like, but I wouldn’t want to go the entire time. This base has been really busy with this Libya thing and our guys are basically “deployed” at home, and it sucks. They’re at work ALL the time – 12-16 hour days pretty much every day, weekends included, and it’s not fun. But I think it would be interested to see what a war zone is like.
- Have you ever done anything (intentionally, or unintentionally) to embarrass your spouse/significant other in front of his military cohorts? submitted by Marrying the Navy Not that I know of. I’m not really in to embarrassing my husband, especially intentionally.
- What is your most irrational fear? submitted by Eights on the Move Sharks. And deep water. But really sharks. I cannot be anywhere in the ocean without constantly being on the lookout for sharks. I love my time on the beach, but being IN the water is nerve-wracking for me. I used to walk around swimming pools when I was younger to make sure there weren’t any sharks in them before I got in….
- If you could only live in one kind of climate for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? submitted by Many Waters 75-85 degrees regularly, mostly sunny with a slight breeze and an occasional thunderstorm, but no tornados, hurricanes or earthquakes. I’m not sure this climate exists though, but a girl can dream right?? =)
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
I probably won’t be blogging much within the next two weeks. Things are really busy around here with us trying to get Mark ready to go, trying to get the house ready, thinking about everything I need to take with me, spending time with friends we’ll miss and getting some quality family time in. Blogging is going to be low on my priority list for the next few weeks, but I promise I’ll be back once I get set up in the States.
Things here are going well. I’m in really good spirits, which honestly is surprising to me. I didn’t think I would handle Mark leaving this well, but I guess he’s not gone yet. However, I’m trying really hard to keep an optimistic attitude and to look at all the positives in our situation. And when you come right down to it, there really are quite a few positives. Pretty much the only negatives are that we’ll be separated from Mark and that he’ll not exactly be in a vacation zone. But I am SO excited to go home, I can hardly contain myself! When else would I ever get the chance to go home and reconnect with all my friends and family there, without the guilt of leaving Mark behind? Our week or two long visits home once a year just aren’t enough to really connect with people and I’m excited to get home and spend bunches of time with people who have been in my life for a long time. I’ve been talking with friends back home, and I definitely won’t be bored, that’s for sure! Abbie will get to know my 95 year old grandma more. The last time they saw each other was when Abbie was 6 months old. We’ll be saving a bunch of money because I’m going to shut my car insurance off here while I’m gone, and we won’t be paying outrageous electric bills over the summer. Plus gas is cheaper in the States, and Mark will be making more money while he’s gone. And I’ll get to shop. And I’ll have internet that actually works…
I will miss Italy though. I sure as heck won’t miss the Italians and their lifestyle, but Springtime in Italy is more gorgeous than any other place we’ve lived. The Italians like their flowers and it’s beautiful when everything is in bloom. And I’ll really miss my friends here. I’m really bummed about leaving Brittney behind, but I am SO grateful that she is going to watch our house and take care of everything for us here. Brittney is incredibly reliable and detail oriented, so I know I won’t have to worry about a THING with the house while I’m in the States, which is a HUGE weight off my shoulders. I’m just sad I won’t see her for 6 months. And I’ll miss all my squadron friends here too, but most of them are going back to the States, at least for a little while, and I plan on keeping in touch with everyone too.
Anyway, hope you’re all having a great week and that the Spring weather is here to stay in your neck of the woods.
(Our new favorite picture of Abbie. Taken 3/2011)
Sunday, March 27, 2011
1. what inspires you? Mainly other people. Other’s people determination, creativity, energy, faith, sacrifice, patriotism.
2. what was the last thing you bought yourself? A travel pouch for my jewelry, but I have no clue if it’ll actually get here on time to use before I leave…
3. would you rather watch a movie in a theater or from the comfort of your own home? In a theater, for sure. Anything to get out of the house and go on a date!
4. household chore you don't mind doing? Laundry. I don’t mind doing the laundry or folding it. (Except socks. I hate folding sock. And I hate putting it away.)
5. coffee or tea? Neither really. I like sweet tea, does that count?
6. what could you eat every day and not get sick of?? homemade chocolate chip cookies!
7. what's the last book you read? “Twenties Girl” by Sophie Kinsella – it was pretty good!
8. do you think you look you "look" your age? I think I do, but most people tell me I look younger than I am.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
So I still haven’t figured out how to do that nifty thing from random.org, but I did use an integer generator, which basically has the same result.
Thanks to all of you who entered my giveaway! The winner is:
Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2011-03-26 08:52:51 UTC
Um ... I'm looking forward to this summer and having some time to spend with my husband.
Congrats Em! I’ll mail the necklace off to you on Monday!
Thanks again to everyone who entered! I’ll do another giveaway next month!
Friday, March 25, 2011
I would just like to say that three Fridays from now I will be back in the States. That thrills and terrifies me at the same time…
- What is your must have gadget? submitted by Flying High With My Flyboy Gonna have to go with my iPhone. It’s my phone, email, internet, calendar, music, contacts, entertainment, weather, book all in one. How did I ever function without one of these?
- How does your adulthood compare to what you imagined it would be like when you were a little kid? submitted by L to the Third I think I imagined being married, working full time, living somewhere in the midwest, going on vacations, being involved in a church, having a few close friends, etc. I never in my wildest dreams imagined being married to a fighter pilot who is a far better husband and father than I ever could have imagined. I never thought I’d be living in Italy, move 5 times in 5 years, be dealing with deployments and TDY’s. I never thought that I could be so secure and comfortable in my marriage, and yet be completely independent at the same time. I didn’t think I’d be a stay at home mom, and once I figured out I would be, I never thought I’d love it so much. I definitely never thought my daughter would visit 9 countries before her 2nd birthday. I couldn’t even have dreamed of going to half the places we’ve been to already. I thought I’d be traveling during our retired years, not in our late 20’s/ early 30’s. I didn’t imagine having so many close friends and people who I can trust and rely on scattered literally throughout the world. My life is far better than I could have ever imagined.
- What is your favorite chocolate recipe? submitted by Our First Deployment Honestly I really like the chocolate chip cookie recipe on the back of the Nestle’s chocolate chip bag. Yum!
- How do you deal with military life when it gets to be to much or to hard? submitted by Combat Boots And Pointe Shoes I vent to friends about it. I write about it on my blog. (That’s therapeutic for me.) I try to remember all the positive things there are about the military lifestyle and how they definitely outweigh the negative. But really, I just keep putting one foot in front of the other and pray for strength.
- What piece of advice would you give a new Military spouse facing their first deployment? submitted by The Albrecht Squad I’m not a new military spouse, but I am facing my first deployment in the very near future. What I’ve learned from long TDY’s is that attitude is everything. If you have a negative attitude, you’ll be miserable. If you try to remain positive and look for the good in your situation, life is MUCH better and 10 times easier. But it does take some practice, that’s for sure. Having them gone never gets better. It still majorly stinks every time they leave, but dealing with your emotions does get easier. At least for me.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Today was just one of those days. It started off with me running around the house for 20 minutes looking for my car keys. I think that’s the 2nd time in my life I’ve ever looked for my keys. I found them in the laundry hamper…
And later on, I got halfway home before I realized I hadn’t picked Abbie up from the sitters…. Oops.
I’ve been pretty pre-occupied lately, thinking about everything I need to do before I leave here and head back to the States. It would be one thing if it was a 2 week trip home, but leaving your house and all your stuff for 6 months puts this trip into a different category. I have a little notebook with all my lists of what I need to do before I leave, what I need to take, what I need to ship, etc, and I spent 15 minutes looking for it yesterday. It completely freaked me out because I’ve been adding to those lists for the past month, and I feel like that’s the one thing holding all this chaos together. Luckily I found it.
There’s a strange thing about Italy, and more specifically, Aviano. Things here tend to be at LEAST 15 times harder than they would be anywhere else. Mark complains about this ALL the time regarding his job. You have to go to 15 different places on base to get one task done, and on top of that, you have crazy hours and schedules where people are only there for 2 hours per week and trying to coordinate everything is a nightmare.
Take the dogs, for example. Bringing them to Italy, from Luke, was relatively easy. I called the base vet at Luke, told them when I was flying out, they made me an appointment, which I went to and 15 minutes later I had the health certificates in hand and was out the door. However, here in Italy, you need three times the documentation to get the dogs out of the country that you needed to get them in. So Tuesday I went to the post office in Aviano to pay for these stupid pet passports, because naturally, you can’t pay for the things at the same place you get the things. That would make WAY too much sense… So then I have to take the receipts from the post office and take the dogs to see a vet in Aviano so they can scan the microchips and give me the pet passports. Then, within 10 days of flying out, I need to make an appointment with the vet on base to get their health certificates. But instead of it being like it was at Luke, I have to drop them off by 8am and pick them up at 1:30pm. Why they need five and a half hours to fill out 2 sheets of paper is completely beyond me, but it’s a pain in the butt because that’s 2 trips to the vet in one day. And THEN, after that I have to go back to the post office to pay for the export documents and then take those receipts to the other vet that I took them to for the pet passports with their health certificates to get their export documents. And, by the way, the Aviano vet is only open for four hours per WEEK. See what I mean? It’s completely and utterly asinine and the ENTIRE BASE operates this way. They couldn’t make it more complicated if they tried.
I’ve discovered that my way of dealing with Mark’s deployment is to just kind of overlook the fact that he’s leaving. I’ll admit, if I think about him leaving, the tears come fairly easily. So my defense mechanism is to just look past the fact that he’s leaving and focus on me going to the States. It seems to be working fairly well for me so far. When he went on his first long (3 wk) TDY to survival training, I was a MESS for a full 2 months leading up to his departure. It was bad. But that was 3 years ago and things are much different now and I have a much better handle on this military spouse role. I’m just going to try my best to remain positive through this deployment, and keep my eye on the prize, which is a wonderful reunion with my husband. Part of me wishes he was already gone so I could quit dreading him leaving since I’m sure that’ll be the hardest part for me, and part of me is trying to enjoy every minute I have left with him.
In other news, my friend Jennifer got on the same flights as Abbie and me back to the States! So Jennifer, and her 15 month old son, Luke and Abbie and I will be flying back to Chicago together which will make for a MUCH more enjoyable flight. Abbie and Luke are great buddies, so hopefully they’ll be able to entertain each other on the 9.5 hour flight across the Atlantic. And Brittney, being the sweetheart she is, is going to drive Abbie and me to the airport and help me get the dogs checked in. I’m not sure what I would do without all her help sometimes! Thank God for fantastic friends!
1. if you won the title of miss america, what would your platform be? It would most likely have something to do with abused or neglected children.
2. outdoorsy or indoorsy? It really depends on the day. I love spending time outdoors, but I’m perfectly content curling up on the couch with a good book too. Some days I like to just be inside working on quilting or crafts or whatever and other days I have a need to get out and get fresh air.
3. pajama's out in public..classy or tres tacky? If they’re full on pajama’s, that’s tacky. But if it’s just comfortable lounge clothes, I think that’s fine.
4. what's your favorite room in your house? Our bedroom. I love coming up here after Abbie is asleep and reading or painting my nails or writing letters or blogs and watching TV.
5. nook, kindle, or book? Just a book. I love turning pages. I love going to libraries to see what there is to read. I’m not sure I’ll ever get in to the electronic side of reading, unless it’s blogs.
6. would you rather wear the same outfit for a week or not brush your teeth for a week? Wear the same outfit for sure. I hate it when my teeth feel gritty. It’s gross.
7. what's your favorite blog at the moment? I don’t really have a favorite. Quite a few of my friends blog, and I love keeping up with what’s going on in their lives. I like meeting and learning about other military spouses. I follow a few photography blogs that are fun to look at. I like them all.
8. lately i've been daydreaming about.........? Going home, and everything I want to do while I’m home and everyone I want to spend time with.
If you haven’t done so already, don’t forget to enter my giveaway before Saturday!
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Lately I spend a lot of time
thinking dreaming of everything I want to do when I go back to the States while Mark is gone. So I’m going to do what I do best - make a list! I love making lists, especially when they involve fun stuff I want to do! So here it is, in no particular order:
- Spend LOTS of time with friends and family that I haven’t gotten to spend quality time with at all in the past 5 years.
- Get my hair cut and colored by Rachel 3 times. (Rachel, expect me to be in your chair the first week I am home!)
- Take Abbie to the pool a few times, preferably with friends.
- Eat at a hibachi grill.
- Go boating with my family and introduce Abbie to the fun that can be had on the river.
- Lose 15lbs.
- Take a trip out to CO to see family and friends and to spend some time in the Rockies.
- Enhance my photography skills by taking pictures of friends’ families and animals and anything else they want me to shoot.
- Learn how to use Photoshop and practice using the photos I take for my friends.
- Read a lot of books.
- Take violin lessons.
- Do a “mommy and me” class with Abbie.
- Learn more quilting techniques from people who’ve been doing it for a long time.
- Go out to eat at least twice a week with friends. (This might interfere with my losing weight goal, but I’ll figure it out…)
- Do a girls weekend, maybe to Chicago.
- Take Abbie to the zoo a few times - Madison, Lincoln Park, Omaha, etc.
- Write to Mark at least 2 times a week.
- Take Abbie to story time at the local library weekly.
- Visit my friends in OK and maybe NM if I can make it that far.
- Watch TLC, HGTV, and The Food Network as much as possible.
- Potty-train Abbie. (I’ll let her pee all over someone else’s house. HAHA! (Just kidding, mom…)
- Play my piano regularly. (Need to remember to take my music back with me!)
- Take some great photos of my hometown. (Shouldn’t be hard. It’s very picturesque!)
- Throw Abbie a huge 2nd birthday party.
- Keep in touch with my friends back in Italy and the ones that are going back to the States too.
- Plan a fun vacation for when Mark returns.
- Spend a lot of time with my 95 year old grandma.
- Send care packages to my husband at least every other week.
- Buy a new suitcase to take all of my new clothes back with me.
- See an off-Broadway show, maybe in Chicago.
- Do day-trips with Abbie.
And I might want to do a little shopping while I’m home too…. =)
Call me crazy, but I always gauge how far or close events are by the milk expiration dates and library book due dates. When Mark is away, I start getting excited when I see that milk expires after he gets back. Silly, I know, but it’s true. I am happy to announce that our milk officially expires after Abbie and my departure date from Italy and the library books I just checked out for her are due a day after we arrive in the States! I’d better remember to return those before we leave!
PS: I don’t really even like shopping that much. I realize this makes me look like a shopaholic, but really, I’m not. I just haven’t shopped, besides going to H&M twice, in over a year and there are quite a few things that I’ve been wanting to buy, but I’ve been putting it off until I get back to the States. I miss shopping for Abbie. I had so much fun buying stuff for her when she was tiny, and she’s in desperate need of 2T clothes now, but again, I’ve been putting it off so I can pick things out in person. And I really miss looking at fabric and shopping at Hobby Lobby. There’s nothing like that over here. Even if I don’t buy anything, I miss just browsing and seeing what’s available. My mom keeps saying that I should just bring empty suitcases home and buy stuff when I get there, and that’s very tempting, but I am going to take a bit of clothes with me. But I’m not denying the fact that I might come back with 3x’s the amount of clothes I go over there with. =)
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
“Twenties Girl” is a fairly typical Sophie Kinsella book. She writes pretty light-hearted, fun reads, and I enjoy her books. Sometimes it makes me anxious reading Kinsella’s books because I really connect with the characters and they get themselves in such awkward situations. I find myself with a knot in my stomach, at times, when reading her books. But I love the characters she writes about, so I keep coming back for more.
This book is about a girl who is connected with the ghost of her great-aunt. It kept me interested throughout the entire book and it was a quick, easy read, that I didn’t want to put down. I would definitely recommend this book if you’re up for an entertaining and enjoyable read.
If you haven't done so already, don't forget to enter my giveaway before Saturday!
Monday, March 21, 2011
Abbie loves her new lizard shirt from Barcelona. It’s a size 3/4, so it’s too big for her, but she was asking about it non-stop so I got it out of the closet for her to wear and she was happy as a little clam after that.
I’ve been having the urge to quilt again lately, so I might try to work on one of my projects a little this week. I feel like I have SO much to do before I leave for the States, although, for about the 4th time, those plans are up in the air again. I’m discovering it’s difficult to decide what to take and what to leave when going away from your house and all your belongings for 6 months. I’ve been making lists for a month now of things I’d like to take, but I’m still on the fence about a few things. Like my quilting stuff? I would love to quilt while I’m home and my mom has a machine I can use. So do I take my fabric that I have for projects, or just buy fabric there to work with? I’ve been buying things to keep Abbie occupied for the almost 13 hours of travel time to the States and trying to decide which of her toys to take and which to leave. The good thing is that whatever I forget I can just buy over there! I’m so excited!!
Sunday, March 20, 2011
I picked up this necklace while I was in Barcelona for one of my readers to win. Do you have any idea how hard it is to pick something out when you don’t know who you’re giving it to? Let me tell you, it’s hard. But I got a similar one, so I figured I’d get something that I would wear and hope that some of you like it too.
So, if you want to enter my giveaway to win this necklace from Barcelona (it says Barcelona on the back), all you have to do is leave a comment and tell me what you’re most looking forward to. It could be something tomorrow, it could be something three years from now. I don’t care. Just tell me what you’re looking forward to and why. I’ll choose a winner on Saturday, March 26, so leave your comment before then! Good luck!
Saturday, March 19, 2011
We’ve been seeing this face from her a lot lately… To say Abbie has been a handful since we’ve been back from Barcelona would be a huge understatement. I hope to GOD that she just doesn’t feel good, which is causing her to act out. If this is the beginning of the terrible two’s, I’m going to cry because I’m not sure I can take much more of her like this.
I took Abbie to the doctor on Friday. Her temp was up to 104.4 on Thursday night, so I called the nurse advice line and the nurse (in the States) patched me through to the doctor on call (in Italy). I find it kinda funny that you have to call someone in the States to get ahold of someone in Italy, but whatever. The doctor wasn’t too concerned about her temp. He said if it gets upwards of 106, that’s when you start to worry about brain damage, but 104-105 range is okay. He was really nonchalant about all of it, and I wasn’t really all that worried about it in the first place since Abbie was still acting fine. I mean I could obviously tell she wasn’t 100%, but she was still active and not even close the lethargic. I chatted with Brittney online and she was pretty worried about Abbie, so I called first thing Friday morning to get her an appointment. Brittney went with us to Abbie’s appointment and Abbie did SO well for the doctor. She didn’t freak out once when they put that finger thingy on to take her pulse, and she let them take her temp without any problems. And she let the doctor look in both of her ears and even opened her mouth for him. I was shocked. Usually she flips out and screams and cries when they just try to listen to her heart, let alone anything else. He said she had a very slight ear infection in one ear and to hold off on giving her amoxicillin if I could, but with as crabby as she was (and is) I knew she was in pain so I started her on it yesterday morning. Hopefully she starts feeling better soon.
I haven’t been feeling the best either. I’m definitely getting better, but I have a lot of sinus pain and my ears are still bugging me quite a bit. They just pop for no reason at all, or any time I blow my nose, which is frequently. It’s annoying and I’m just praying that I’m completely better by the time I have to fly back to the States.
(Our crazy woozer doing her normal runs around the yard.)
I get more excited about going back to the States daily. I miss the U.S. I’m ready for a break from Italy and to get back to what I know and what I’m used to. The past few weeks have been tough here. I feel so disconnected from Mark, like we’re living 2 separate lives under the same roof. I guess he’s usually not home anyway so it’s not really even under the same roof. Usually we have a great connection, but lately it’s been lacking. I was warned that this would happen, that he’d be here, but his head really wouldn’t be. I don’t feel as though we’re having marital problems or anything that serious, it’s just sometimes I feel more connected to him than others. I think we’re both just thinking about the future and what it holds for us on our separate paths during his deployment. I’m just ready to get on with this so we can get it over with.
Anyway, hope you all have a great weekend. On Monday I’ll be doing my second giveaway, so be sure to check back!
(We make her do her own dishes. =) JK! She just likes to “help”.)
Friday, March 18, 2011
Today we decided we wanted to go to Park Guell. Gaudi designed most of the park and it is full of colorful mosaics. The weather was still pretty crummy, but we got some decent pictures.
Mark really wanted to go explore the labyrinth in the Labyrinth Park of Horta, which is the oldest park in Barcelona. The place is huge and has two main gardens, but we really only walked through the labyrinth park since Abbie and I weren’t feeling the best and we wanted to get back for Abbie’s nap. We would have enjoyed it more if we could have leisurely strolled through the park, but we were rushed since Abbie was rapidly declining, health-wise. It was pretty though, and there is now a gardening school in the mansion that is on the grounds.
By the time we got back to our apartment, Abbie was exhausted, and she ended up sleeping for over 4 hours. I took a nap too since I still wasn’t feeling the best. We didn’t end up doing anything after Abbie’s nap except get dinner and pack to get ready to go home.
Barcelona was a neat city, but I don’t feel like we really got to take advantage of our time there due to Abbie and I both being pretty sick, and it raining all day 4 out of the 5 days we were there. I wasn’t a big fan of the food either. Some of their tapas are good, but a lot of them involve seafood like squid and mussels, and I’m not a big fan of those. And I don’t like paella and most places sold that. I should probably be more adventurous in my eating, but I tend to stick with what I know I like. Hopefully we’ll get to come back to Barcelona someday and enjoy the city a little more than we did this time.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
- What are some of your ideas for staying connected with family…you know, those people we moved thousands of miles away from? submitted by Live it. Love it (or not). Write About It. I started this blog with the intentions of keeping those I’m close to (but live far away from) up-to-date on what’s going on in our lives. I’m also pretty good at writing people letters, and sending pictures. I love printing off pictures and sending them with the letters I write. That’s my thing.
- What’s the most romantic gift you have GIVEN? submitted by Painting My Canvas Hm.. I guess I’m not very romantic. I give my husband “thinking of you” cards pretty frequently. When we started dating I made him a collage of some of the pictures I’d taken of us. I bake for him too. But I don’t really think he’s into “romantic” gifts either, so I’m kind of off the hook.
- Would you encourage your child, if they came to you and wanted to join the military? submitted by Perfectly Imperfect Um… no. Well maybe. It would really depend on what she wanted to do in the military. If she wanted to fly fighter jets… I’m not sure. I’m not sure I could handle having a husband and a daughter doing this. I don’t think I would “encourage” her, but I would support her.
- What is your least favorite bill to pay and why? submitted by A Little of This, A Little of That Our damn internet bill because the stupid internet doesn’t work 75% of the time anyway. I have paying for services I don’t receive.
- What is the proudest moment you’ve had as a military spouse? submitted by Our Okinawa Life When my husband graduated from B-course (became an official F-16 pilot). B-course was difficult for him for many reasons, the least of which was us having our 1st child a WEEK before he started flying. But he stuck it out and graduated. And any time I see him fly I about burst with pride… and I cry.