Friday, November 30, 2012

He's Home!



I am not gonna lie, when I first started this post yesterday morning, there was no ornament, and I was blaming it on our horrible postwoman. (Who wears sweatpants to deliver mail...is that allowed?) Thankfully, the postwoman and Erin came through!


Well, hello Mr. Snowman...Aren't you so cute and fluffy ;)


You can check out my gifted ornament on Dreaming of Dimples TOMORROW, since I posted a day early. I don't blog on the weekends, and ESPECIALLY not now... THE HUBS IS HOME! 


Thanks for all the well wishes on Facebook and Twitter! It meant so much to both of us, and I can't even explain how happy I am now. Yesterday was even BETTER than my wedding day! I can't wait to tell you aaaaallllllllll about it.

For now, thank you Jessah and Erin for hosting the swap for all of us!
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ;)


Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Birthday And A Secret

My parents are super cute, if I do say so myself.

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Today happens to be my momma's birthday.
Her status this morning, said she was listening to Hendrix to get ready for her "sexy sixties". Doesn't look her age, does she? HOT MOMMA!

Tonight, our family will be celebrating at Maguire's Irish Pub, and my sister (in law) has planned a whole shindig. She put together a video of all of us that can't be there, so I will share my part.

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I love you momma!

{pssssstttt...I might be announcing something on Twitter today. fyi}

teehee

Now go enter this giveaway.
I love getting to be involved with giveaways, and I actually won the ad space from 
Jessica, so you can win too ;)




Wednesday, November 28, 2012

{Almost} Homecoming

The best day of my life to date is happening in a very short amount of time.
Better than a birthday, better than gazing on the Fjords in Norway or the Shetland Ponies on the Shetland Islands, even better so than my wedding day.
It will be the day that my soldier comes home.

Here is a little diddy that I dedicate to him:


After nine months, he will arrive safe and make me whole once more.

I've heard horror stories of them aborting flights when OPSEC was compromised, so I'm still not saying which day it is, but I promise I will be shouting it from the rafters via other Social Media when it actually occurs. I know I'm probably being overly cautious, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.

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I am so happy that Kristine is visiting, because I couldn't come up with a full blog post if my life depended on it. My brain is going every which'a way. Plus this girl ALWAYS makes me smile. She is one of those people that you just can't help but love, so I know that she will be the same for you.


I used to think... I would graduate nursing school, marry Nate, work full time and make moolah until I got {knocked up} and started having us a whole football team made up of mini me's and mini Nate's. All in that order peeps.
Now I know... That things don't always work out exactly how we plan, and that sometimes it works out for the better. God had a bigger plan for me, for us. Being a stay at home mama is seriously the bees knees and I wouldn't trade it for any 9-5 job I could clock in and out of. Football team... ha! More like basketball team. 2 and counting {wink wink}.


People see me as... an always positive, laid back kinda gal.
But I hope that they know... that even tho I do strive to look on the bright side of things in every situation, sometimes that gets too exhausting #truth and a good ugly cry is sometimes needed. I struggle with taking my own advice of staying positive. #practicewhatyoupreach


I blog because... I love it! My blog is where you'll find me {over}sharing and documenting my attempts at being a fun mom and wifey, being "fashionable", and being Suzy Homemaker, ya know throwing in some sweets and some craftoons in the mix. I have never meant to come across to my readers as the perfect family, and how we have it all together, because we don't. I like to make a point of sharing all the blessings we are given, spreading love and light is an easy thing for me. #itscontagious I think documenting and sharing the bad, and even sometimes the dirty parts of life are just as important. Learning and growing is all part of living, I mean really living. So blessed to have found such an amazing community in the "Blog World" and finding other women that I can relate to on so many levels just blows my mind. If you're all about living it up, head on over to our casa and introduce your pretty self! I'd love to follow your adventures as well. If you need some pointers on living young, and wild, and free check this post out. Peace out lovers!! Thanks so much to Janna for having me! XOXOOX

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Yep, told you she's adorable.
Well, I've got to get more things checked off my to-do list, so hasta la pasta!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Will Is Taking Over!

Welcome to Part II of yesterday's story!
I was going to write it myself, but since Will did so well on his own, I was happy to let him take over!

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Well hello everyone,

This will be my very first blog post ever, and you can be sure that I'm a bit nervous. I read Janna's blog daily, but never thought I would find myself actually writing for it. You all make it look so easy that I was surprised when I sat down at the computer staring at a blank page for an hour, haha. Please bare with me as I attempt to convey the highlights of my latest Adventure....

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A common military tradition is to hold boards. That's when
soldiers appear before a panel of senior leadership to compete, and are judge on confidence, poise, and general military knowledge. I was lucky enough to win our battalion's board and get the chance to compete at the brigade level, where each battalion chooses what they feel is their best soldier, selected from the approx. 1,200 they have. You are given a list of approximately 25 topics to give you an idea of what to study, but other than that the only thing you know you will be doing is a PT (Fitness)test and qualifying with your weapon. You are essentially handed a vague list and 3 weeks to learn "general soldier tasks". Could be anything right? So when I arrived I met the other 12 competitors and our daunting task:16 separate events! Talk about ridiculous, but the military prides itself in the accuracy with which you are given vague instruction. So away we went.....

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Day one started with a PT test. Nothing too fancy, push-ups, sit-ups, and a 2 mile run. Next up was a weapons qualification. Ok, fair enough, I expected all that. Then it got interesting. A stress shoot. which means you put on your full body armor, run around till you're exhausted, and then try to calm your self to shoot accurately. Once we were sufficiently tired from those we moved on to Land Nav and got two pieces of paper. One was an aerial photograph with a grid, and the other was a list of  numbers. Now mind you we are still wearing 60 lbs of gear, 4 miles and an hour later, that was a wrap. I'll give you a hint, I ran most of the way, haha. I crossed the finish line soaked in sweat, not knowing if Im first or last, and even if I am first, my coordinates must match or I still lose. Thinking I was going to get a rest was a mistake because there was more.

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After more guns, gear maintenance, and wounded soldier simulations, came a battery of written tests to supplement our hands on practice done during the day. {weapons knowledge, first aid, map reading and plotting, cultural awareness, counseling, leadership, NCOER's (a military leader rating system), and AR 670-1 (everything uniforms)} Now personally, I feel all these events would be sufficient to show who is the best all around soldier, but nope, the next day was the main event. We had to appear before a board of 5 Sergeant Majors, the heads of the some of the battalions we were representing. Well over 100 years of military experience and I had to convince them that I know a LOT about the military, haha. Impossible me thinks, but I made it through and was immensely relieved that my month of studying was over. Win lose or draw it was just nice to have it over. All that was left to do, was wait for the results.

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  As luck would have it, when the time came, it was MY NAME they called. 

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Now, I was just excited to win for the bragging rights. But then we got showered in gifts which included a kindle, a nice bag, ipod speakers, head lamps, pouches to go on our armor, and an award. The USO really stepped up and spoiled us, and boy did they do a good job, haha. But that's not all, I was gone awhile waiting for the competition, and the only thing that's better than winning, is mail. Boy did I come home to some. With all of the bloggers that have sent us packages and our family, we've really been taken care of. I'd like to send a special shout out to all of you and to Cub Scouts Wolf Den 1. Your awesome boxes of goodies last all of 30 seconds when placed in front of my platoon, haha. It's amazing to get mail from our families over here, but boxes from strangers feel great. The knowledge that someone who has never met you (and probably never will) spent their time and money to try to brighten your day just a little, means the world. Then soldiers know they aren't forgotten and are appreciated.

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Well, this book is long enough, thanks for reading. I promise not to do it again anytime soon so that you can enjoy my wife's writing like I do.
Bye guys.

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To say I am proud of him is an understatement.
He has far surpassed my expectations,  and I'm pretty sure that he's even surpassed his own. He has only been in the Army two and a half years, and he has already accomplished so much...

I just can't wait until I can reward him properly for his accomplishments. In person.
If you know what I'm sayin'. Haha.

Thank your for visiting today, Mr. Soldier Of The Brigade!





Monday, November 26, 2012

I Have A Story To Tell You...

It had come down to the last few months of the deployment, but the soldier who should have been relishing the fast paced days, was dreading his upcoming assignment. The previous month was already a blur after prepping for the Promotion Board and Soldier Of The Quarter (both of which directly affected his career), and yet they paled in comparison to the impending task. As anxiety coursed through his veins, he boarded the helicopter in the dead of night to fly under the cover of darkness. Getting to the base in one piece was only the first hurdle.

After some shut eye, the soldier awoke and with a new day and new surroundings, to find that his perspective had shifted a bit. Funny thing, perspective. His anxiety was a bit relieved by reuniting with his buddies, and he actually found himself enjoying this larger FOB. The man who doesn't like sweets, savored the fact that he could have ice cream on his apple pie and was even excited to do some shopping in the PX. Studying was suddenly put on the back burner, as he tried to pretend that he didn't have this looming over him.

Mentally he was checking out.Now what to tell the wife...

He worried that she would be disappointed in him, and the thought of letting her down brought new waves of anxiety. Somehow he pushed through that anxiety and made it known to her that this had become somewhat of a vacation and studying was becoming no short of impossible. He braced himself for what was to come, but was left stunned when she let out a chuckle and told him that she understood. She had been understanding and supportive throughout the deployment, but this time? With so much on the line?  It was as if she lifted the world right off his shoulders.

What he didn't know was that his wife had expected this. It wasn't that she expected him to fail; it was that she knew that he would inevitably hit a wall. Anyone else would have hit it even sooner, and she was more surprised that he lasted this long. She had resigned herself to the fact that he might not win, but she didn't want her pressuring him to be his downfall. She knew that her support and understanding could be a lot more powerful than any encouragement or nagging.



The dates for the board were pushed back, which could be seen as a blessing, but although it did give the soldier more time to collect himself and study, it also left him ill when the event arrived. The tension was back in full force and his wife knew it. She did the only thing she could think of. She sent him some inspiration, and luckily, the perfect inspiration had just presented itself to her.

"In case you need some extra inspiration this morning, I found this in the book I am reading and instantly thought of you. I am so proud of you and all that you do. You are the most amazing man, and I love you. 'Easing off does not make the going easier. Neither does it guide one to the desired destination. Most men ease off when the going gets rough. Most slow down when the road appears treacherous. These are the times when you must feel the weight of your future on your shoulders- the throbbing, unstoppable strength of destiny coursing through your veins...Times of calamity and distress have always been the producers of the greatest men. The hardest steel is produced from the hottest fire; the brightest star shreds the darkest night.' "

She only hoped that it reached him in time.

To be continued...




Friday, November 23, 2012

A Little Recreation


I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving!
For the first time EVER I spent it alone.
I'm not going to lie, it was really strange to be alone on Thanksgiving, but sometimes that happens when you live the Military lifestyle. Hey, at least it saved me from gorging myself right before the hubby comes home!

It also gave me time to work on this little project.

When I saw it, I just knew that I had to recreate it. It was so symbolic of our situation!



I admit, it was a lot harder than I thought it would be, but it was a fun little project that the hubby and I could do together...but er... separate.

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We are so close and yet so far away at this point...
We are still a world apart from each other, but not for long :)

I can't wait for those lips to actually touch mine. Even though it has been nine months, I can still remember what his lips feel like, the shooting stars inside my head, and how the rest of the world melts away. It takes my breath away just thinking about it.

They keep changing the date of his return, but all that matters...is he's coming home.

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Now go check out this giveaway:


It's fabulous!!




Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I Am No Quitter

Everyone KNOWS that I am SO ready for Will to come home.
Nod your head yes.
But there are a few pessimists that like to throw their two cents in.

But he will take over the remote..
I use the tv as background noise, so I could care less what's on it.
He will leave the toilet seat up.
He rarely does that, and guess what? I don't let it bother me if he does.
You will have to share the bed
Sweet. We got a Queen (vs. a king) so that we could cuddle and that's just what I plan on doing.
He's going to demand a lot of sex.
Can you tell me what the problem is with that? Isn't that the good part of marriage?

But there is one that I would really like to clear up...
You are going to quit blogging.
Um...never. I will have to time manage when it comes to blogging, but blogging about our life is why I started in the first place and now we get to LIVE our life. Plus you all know how much you mean to me. There is no way that I could just give up on all the relationships I have formed in the past two years.

I hope that you can all bare with me during this transition, but fear not...I am NOT quitting blogging.

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As a matter of fact, my visitor today exhibits a reason why I love blogging.
I love that we all relate to each other by sharing the good AND the bad.
I would now like to introduce you to Coley from Planned Spontaneity.
Take it away girl!



Happy 1st anniversary to myself! 

That line above might sounds a little weird, especially if you read my blog and know about my boyfriend Alex. But no, I am not talking about us, but just myself. About a year ago I went through the most painful experience of my life.


I know that I probably sound ultra dramatic saying “most painful experience” but honestly besides somebody close to me dying, what I went through was hell and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone. This subject is very touchy and I will do my best to explain my views without stepping on anyone’s toes: A year ago a relationship I was in ended but this relationship was with a guy who had bipolar disorder. I’m not sure if you really know much about bi-polar, I know I didn’t before this relationship.

 About 1%-2% of Americans are diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. There are five major types of bi-polar and men account for more cases than women. This disorder is characterized by manic “episodes” and depression “episodes”. These episodes can last from a few weeks to months.
What statistics can’t tell you is what it is like to live through one of these episodes. To me the depression episodes were easy. He was sad but they were always manageable. Manic episodes however, well those are the scariest thing I have ever lived though.


Bear with me for one moment and try to imagine something. You may not have a significant other, so if not imagine this with your closest friend or sibling. Imagine your significant other suddenly not acting like the person you know and trust. Imagine this person spending all of their/your money. Imagine this person no longer sleeping and skipping important events like school or work. Imagine this person acting reckless and crazy and trying to self-medicate. Imagine the security you normally feel in a loving relationship replaced with a hostile and angry person. Finally imagine this person telling you they no longer love you (even though you know it is just the manic episode talking and hope the episode will pass faster this time around).


You might feel as I am being unfair and believe me I know that having bi-polar disorder is not something anyone chooses to have. However, I also feel as if there isn’t enough support for people that live with/are in a relationship with someone with bi-polar disorder whether it’s a parent/child relationship, a sibling relationship, or a relationship with a significant other. It is so difficult to watch someone you love be “taken over” by this illness when there is nothing you can do about it. It is a very lonely and stressful time for the people who have a relationship with the individual as well. There is no such thing as talking sense into someone who is experiencing a manic episode. I am a fighter and fought so hard for this relationship even through the manic episodes. I called therapists and included his family in the situation.  


I tried everything. And I failed.


I won’t go into the next part of the story in major detail but one of the possible symptoms of bi-polar disorder is hypersexuality. Many people don’t want to talk about this symptom because it is taboo but it exists, and it is often the hardest part of the manic episode to deal with. Basically I found out that he attempted and/or had cheated on me many, many times during the last manic episode.  This was something I couldn’t overlook. I couldn’t have this manic phase pass and then have it happen all over again in 6 months or whenever the next manic phase would eventually come.
I cried. I sobbed for days straight. I faced moving out all alone in the middle of a school semester when all my friends were already paired up. I continued working and going to school full-time. I cried some more. I mourned a relationship to a man I thought I was going to marry while still living with him. I apartment searched every spare minute, I honestly checked listings 5 times a day. I let my girlfriends take me out to dinner and let my co-workers spoil me with kindness and heart to heart conversations. I couldn’t get him to go in to see a therapist, so you know what I went myself, and it helped.  



And after 7 long weeks of this living arrangement and after I had just about given up hope, I responded to a craigslist ad of all things and met the 3 amazing ladies who would become my future roommates and best friends.


I went though the worst experience of my life and failed at a relationship, but I still managed to have my best year at college ever. I learned to walk on my own and to put myself first. I moved in with 3 complete strangers. I learned to fall in love again. I learned to let my guard down and let others help me. I remember breaking down and crying one day right after a class ended (the person asked me how I was since I wasn’t looking so hot).  I actually opened up to that person (opening up to someone that I am not already close to is difficult for me) and we became really close over that year just because they had the kindness to ask me if I was ok.



This quote pretty much sums up my story. I can never undo the hurt and pain I went through but instead of letting it define me, I used this experience to make myself a stronger and happier person. I am the most confident I have ever been and know this wouldn't be true if I hadn't lived through this experience. I see many aspects of life in a different view now, sometimes being forcefully kicked out of your comfort zone can lead you to be the person you are supposed to be.

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Heartbreak.
It'll get you every time.

I'm just happy she is already seeing the positive. That is defining your own perception.





Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fun In The Sun

Obviously, my number one reason to visit Florida was the relaxing setting it provides,

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but the time I spent with these ladies is what really made me whole again.

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{How do I have one red eye and one normal? Weird}

It seems like they were excited to see me too...

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In fact, the best part of the trip was the Spa day we had together.
Yep, even better than pool time, and that's saying a LOT.

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If you have never had a spa day with the girls, you better plan one soon. It is rejuvenating to the soul, let me tell ya. Oh, and so is room service...

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It was so nice to not have to think about what groceries to buy for the week; no prep time, no cook time, and most importantly? No CLEANING time. Dishes = my least favorite chore.

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So now that we only have a short (very short) amount of this deployment left, I can say that I am coasting through it. Instead of being a complete basket case like I was a few weeks ago, I am at peace and enjoying my final preparations for Will to come home. I think that's called nesting. I like nesting. No, I'm not ready for a baby yet. Don't ask.

One more thing. I have to mention that Kym made me tear up yesterday. It doesn't take much lately, but I'm still happy about the sweet things she said. Plus she's just awesome. Go see ;)


Monday, November 19, 2012

Hangin' With Batman

Today is {one of} my baby brothers' Golden Birthday!
I can't believe he's 19....too bad I don't care that he's an adult. I still call him "Cliffy-man".
AKA Clifford Bernard.

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my bro's 8th grade graduation!

Me and my bro pimpin' the convertible!

la familia

This also happens to be the side of the family that I went to see in Florida!
As I mentioned last week, my grandma has finally forgiven me for eloping, so I actually got invited to a special event with them. My family owns a Yacht Chartering Company, and they worked with the Bougainvilla House to raise money and awareness for the cause.

As I have said before, anything that involves water and/or boats makes me a happy girl.

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If the night on the yacht wasn't enough, Val Kilmer was the celebrity guest.

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Good food, good fun, and good friends made it the perfect night.
Might I also point out that the babe on the right is my baby sister, who actually planned the entire event! So proud of my little nugget. Tear.

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And I still have no clue what we got an award for, but it looks pretty important. Oh, and it was real Crystal. I know because we almost dropped it, and Tata (grandma) had a fit.

If any one is looking to have a party, I'm pretty sure you should hit up the Fam. It's the best way to party in style. S-T-Y-L-E.



Read more in the Miami Herald, and check me out on Travel Babbles.

"I would do a bad western with a good horse any day of the week"
Good ol' Val...


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