Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Recap!

2010 was eventful! There were goodbyes, marriages, happy tears, very sad tears, but overall, there was an abundance of love!

In January, we packed up our lives in San Diego and in early February, we hit the road. Ryan drove his truck with my car towed behind from San Diego to Philadelphia! All in all, we weighed 12,000 lbs. Wowzers!

We tried to break our trip up a little we are at the Grand Canyon!

We were moving because my husband's orders changed from San Diego to Norfolk and we were getting married on February 20th in Philadelphia!

Here we are...
Our trip across the country involved outrunning/getting caught in a huge snow storm. Think back to last school for a week, record snow fall in the Philadelphia, D.C. area...scary to drive through/be a passenger in.

Here is a photo of Bonnie & Jared in the snow! It was Jared's first Philly snow!

With marriage comes adventure, right? Does a visit to the ER count? I think it does! Ryan got sick and completely dehydrated to the point where his fingers were so thin his wedding ring could fall off. We were stationed in the middle of nowhere at this point, so I drove him through wooded, curvy, back roads to a hospital. He got almost 2 bags of fluid and was feeling studly (Thank God that was it). Lesson learned: Go to the ER sooner when nothing is staying down, extreme thinness occurs and you have no idea what to do. I was scared.

In April, we put an offer on a house and three days later it looked like this.

Yes, our almost house is the one going up in flames. Oh fun memories! It is actually a blessing in disguise because we have saved a ton of money, I was able to come home for the summer and we don't know how long we will be in the area and don't want to be selling a house in the current market.

In May, we went to visit Jared! It was a blast! Every single minute spent with the little guy is precious! He was really into the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series at this point! This is us in line for a space iMax!

This is also the month that I said, I love you and see you soon to the love of my life. Deployment Days suck. Deployments suck. I apoligize if I offend anyone with the word "suck" but it is totally proper in this context, believe me.

Ryan wrote me a letter for every single day he was gone! This is a snapshot from the halfway point! While I didn't receive a letter every day in the mail, it was exciting to get a stack of 15 or so at a time. I would read one or two a night as a little treat!

At the end of August, I moved back to VA, started grad school and enjoyed an amazing week with my Sarah! It was a sweet treat and made the transition so much easier! Thanks again Sweetie! Love you!!

The fall months involved lots of studying and bonding with new friends! I turned 25 in November and received this beauty from my loving husband! He is the best!!

December was crazy! 3 finals, 1 paper, 1 project, Christmas and my husband's homecoming!! I lost 5 lbs (at least) and got everything done! Literally, everything...cleaned an entire house, purchased, wrapped and mailed Christmas presents, got B+ or better in all my graduate classes, decorated our bedroom, moved my office space, stocked the pantry, had a homecoming party, baked holiday goodies, found boots and jeans for my homecoming outfit, decorated for Christmas, etc. etc. etc. And is was all in preparation for this on December 20th...

He's Home! Yay! xoxoxo
Since then we have enjoyed a lot of one on one time and celebrated the holidays! We enjoyed sushi as a couple for the first time. It was Ryan's first time and he loved it...that makes for a happy wife! We also ventured into some goodwill stores and Ryan found some killer CDs for $3 a piece! It was a success!

With 2011 rapidly approaching (3 hours for me) I am sitting here reminiscing about 2010 and excited about 2011. It will be an interesting and extremely eventful year! I plan on completing my masters degree, decorating a new home, having our family complete again, and being a matron on honor in not one, but two weddings!!

My new years resolutions are:

1. To completely get our finances in order...budgeting, investing, 401k, etc. It is all getting revamped for the best and we are excited about it!

2. Worry less. If you know me, you know I can worry myself sick...literally. I want to work on going with the flow a little more and enjoying life without trying to plan or predict things. Life is beautiful and I want to embrace it whole heartedly!

3. Stay healthy and I'm not just talking about my waist line. I want to work on my faith, my outlook on life, my diet (experimenting in the kitchen) and of course, my waist line! I want to be the best woman I can be!

Happy New Year!

Much love.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Lonesome Christmas Day

Our first married Christmas was spent waking up alone and for me, to a phone call from one every excited stepson whom Santa spoiled! It was the best possible way to be awoken this Christmas given the circumstances. A new DSI XL Limited Edition, wii games, remote control cars, LEGOS, a stuffed Yoda and much much more made for extreme and utter excitement! It was precious! With each passing phone call, his conversations seem more mature; I gauge his growth from a little boy to a young very young man via conversations. 10 months ago when we parted ways, his conversations were short with a lot of words like yes, no, umm, ok, yea, sure, fine, and the list goes on. Now conversations last 40+ minutes in which I get a few words in and he talks about school, legos, his dog, and memories! Memories are my favorite conversations! It is so neat to see what little brains and hearts hold onto and cherish! The funniest thing he says is Oh my brain forgot that! The biggest smile grows on my face every darn time I hear those little words! More on little boys later! Back to Christmas day...

I made coffee, watched some tv and stayed in my PJs until I had to shower and get ready to go to the ship to see my sweetie! Being the girlie girl that I can be and it being Christmas and all, I just had to wear heels!! Plus, my butt looks so much better in them according to Ryan and my inner ego! I decided on a tight pair of jeans, brown heels and long while sweater! Comfy-cute is the way to go! The drive to the ship was traffic at 3:30pm on Christmas because everyone in their right mind is at home with a glass of wine, tired kiddos and a huge turkey roasting in the oven. Not me, I was bundled up, showing my ID to security as I went through the gate, running for the pier, showing my ID again and then crossing the bridge yet again into my baby's arms. That bridge is on my bad side. While it leads me to my baby, it is also what he crosses eat time he leaves me and that saddens my heart.

So, Christmas on the ship involved hanging out around a huge oval table in the officer's lounge and meeting some of Ryan's buddies! Nick is a total character and pretty much the most rad guy I've ever met! He likes the word rad a lot! We talked, watched some football or was it basketball on TV, ate Swedish fish, pezz and talked a lot about going to get dinner. Eventually, we ventured down to the mess hall and just like high school, went through the line and picked out what we wanted on our plates. I chose mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, turkey, gravy and a salad. Carb it up baby!! The sweet potatoes were nasty, but everything else was pretty delish! Oh and how could I forget the eggnog and pecan pie! Yummy! We brought our food up to the oval officer table to chow down! Ryan carried my plate up and down the metal ladders and through the huge doorways...bad decision to wear heels... shucks!

After dinner, Ryan and I said our goodbyes and I headed home in the cold to my empty house with a little crazy kitty. It was super nice to see him on Christmas, but nothing like I imagine Christmas. No cuddling and kissing under blankets with kiddos climbing on us in the living room; No laughing and drinking about past Christmas memories in the kitchen with sister-in-laws and siblings; No red heels, aprons, rushed mamas and laid back papas; No crying babies and barking puppies, but such is life. It was another memory of our first year of marriage that I will forever remember! (Sorry, no photos this time.)

Around 9pm that evening, it started snowing...and it kept snowing through the next day! Our December 26th Christmas was indeed a white Christmas!

Much love.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Holly? Bell? Ella?....Bella!

A perfect little puppy for a perfect little girl this holiday season! Her mama is a Golden Retriever and her papa is a German Shepperd, Husky mix. Oddly, she looks like a yellow lab at the moment!
We have never been a puppy family, rather a rescue dog family, so this whole potty training thing is new to us, or should I say them since she's not my puppy. My parents and siblings love on her all day long! She is a spoiled puppy with a huge dog bed though she opts for the laundry basket filled with stuffed animals, two cats to annoy and 5 acres to run free on!

Bella's proud mama!

Someone is getting tired! She can go from pulling on your robe, chewing the wood pile and running around i.e. falling over her feet to sleeping in a matter of seconds! And when she sleeps, she is a limp fluffy noodle! Nothing wakes her up. Beware though...when she does wake, if she isn't outside within 60 seconds, she is tinkling on the floor! It's like clockwork. The frenzy that happens around the house during those sixty seconds are maddening.
much love.

Baby, It's Cold Outside...Come Keep Me Warm!

The day has come, my husband is coming home! 12:02 AM on December 20th, 2010, I could officially say phrases like I'll see you in a few hours, Can't wait to jump into your arms TODAY, What do you want for dinner?, Kiss me, I love you (to his face), and the list goes on and on! After 7 months of being alone and surviving quite well, it was surreal to think my husband was coming home and things would change, laundry would double, the closet wouldn't be all mine, dinners had to be thought out and a bowl of cereal was no longer acceptable...and then thoughts of how much have I changed? how much has he changed? are we going to be ok? will be we awkward (you know what I'm talking about)? Are my lips soft enough? And then the pleading with God starts...please Lord, let everything fall into place, grant me the patience to handle anything that may come my way... and then the sleepless night...If I got 2 hours that night or should I say early morning I'd be slightly shocked.
6am rolled around much to slowly, I showered, weighed myself and jumped for joy!!! I weighed 115 lbs! Ahhh! I guess finals and cleaning like a crazed woman helps to drop the last few pounds! Needless to say, I was feeling sexy when I slipped into my tight, and I mean tight, leaving little to the imagination homecoming jeans, my new perfect boots, my blue silky shirt, red pilot-style jacket and my white scarf (red, white and blue!!!) Eating was not an option... The drive to the base was easy as I jammed out to Apple Bottom Jeans and some Pink! (It was on the radio and I was happy!) 9:30am-ish the pier looked like this....Empty
And I looked like this...Excited!
(Like my sign? It says, "Ryan, I love you!" and then in the heart it says "I can't wait to get you home!" and then there are some little inside jokes on it!) I wanted to stand out a bit!
Oh and Turps came too! It was so nice to have someone who knows Ryan and I there to welcome him home! Turps is Ryan's best friend and was his best man in our wedding! For the day, he was my personal punching bag! If you know me, you know that when I get really excited, with a bit of nerves, I punch people with excitement! Not hard, mean punching, rather, loving, endearing, totally she's crazy punching! And for the record, I was the loudest person on the pier! Go Northern lungs and being on of 6 siblings!!!!
Here it comes!!! That's my baby on that beast!!!
USA & USNavy!!!

The tug is pushing the ship into the pier! This just screams Merry Christmas, he's home!!!

Uncontrollable!!!! Ahhh!! I was beyond giddy! No words can explain the feeling of knowing the love of your life is home sweet home after 7 months of emails, letters and a few phone calls. Relief!

Between these two photos I lost feeling in my toes, ran to the ship, across a bridge and into by baby's arms!
First Kiss & First Hug in 7 months!

The Mr. & Mrs. are back together again!

I love this man so much! Having him home is like a mini honeymoon and a new relationship combined; it's hard to explain, but it's perfect! Sharing life with someone you love is so much better than a life alone.

My Christmas wishes came true a few days early!! Lucky me!

Much love.

Sincere Apologies...with good reason

Before I begin my series of posting, I just wanted to apologize for being a delinquent blogger. I can honestly say, I've been busy...

4 graduate finals - check
3 days of intense cleaning in preparation for my hubby coming home - check
An amazing December 20th homecoming - check
A few days of cuddle time - check
Driving up to PA and back for some early holiday celebrations - check
Christmas on the ship - check
Our first married Christmas celebrations on the 26th - check
Getting snowed in for 2 days - check...

And here I am! Enjoy the coming posts! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!!

much love.

Friday, December 17, 2010 Donesky!

After three finals, one paper and a project, I am officially done with my first semester of graduate school! I was prepared for a week of hell, but it wasn't quite as hellish as I had imagined it would be. That's probably because I have been studying for two weeks straight, had the majority of my project done ahead of time and had done all my research for my paper. Without ignoring normal life for two weeks, I would never have been able to get through it. Actually, no matter what, I would have been able to get through it because my baby is in transit to my arms!! There isn't a thing in the world that can bring me down right now! I am loving life and will be a busy busy bee the next few days! Piles of laundry, dust balls, dirty sinks, an empty fridge and a bare bedroom are in need of my tender love and care! I am actually excited to clean...probably because it doesn't involve sitting hunched over econ notes wanting to tear my hair out!

More to come about the adventures of the next few days of my life! I will be sure to keep you all posted!! As for this evening, after completing my final exam, I built two night stands, moved my office out of my bedroom and went through piles of paperwork! I feel good! Night!

Much love.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Baby Jesus!

This is my Monday Christmas Memory No. 2!

You know how when you are a little kid, you love, absolutely love, to sing Happy Birthday!! And do you remember waking up on Christmas morning, running to your parents' room to wake them up and never understanding why they aren't as excited as you are to be awake, when they tell you 10 more minutes??

Ok, now imagine you live in a rancher and are waking up in the same room as your 5 siblings (because that's how mom & dad kept the little ones from going to the bathroom or sneaking into bed with them on Christmas Eve), looking out the bedroom door to see the sheet hanging in the hallway (because if the sheet wasn't there, we would be able to see all our presents and that simply wasn't allowed) and envisioning what was beyond that glorious mismatched floral veil! Maybe it was more along the lines of "I hope I got a sled and the new Ken doll!" So, you see the sheet, you run to mommy and daddy's room and you are told 10 more minutes, you run in when 10 minutes have passed and you are told ok, ok, we are coming... Then, you here the infamous words...Let me get the coffee started. (Right now, being a coffee drinker myself, I feel for my parents, then, I didn't.)

Fast forward, coffee is brewing, mommy and daddy are both in the hallway with all the kids and it's time! It's time to...SING HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JESUS!!! Yes, every Christmas morning before we open presents, before we go to Church, we sing to baby Jesus!

This is a memory that I have been ridiculed for in the most loving fashion of course, but it is also a tradition that I cannot wait to carry on with my children! It is unique, exciting and starts Christmas morning off in the true spirit of celebrating the birth of Jesus!

P.S. I plan on singing Happy Birthday to Jesus this year, just Ryan and I!

Much love.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bubble Light Tease

For all of those that are wondering just exactly what a bubble light looks like, here is a little tease! I promise to take more detailed photos in the future, but in the midst of my life right now, I can't seem to take the time to play around with my camera, no matter how badly I desire too!

The Bubble Light and Jared's handmade ornament from 2nd grade!

And a quick shout out to my hubby for getting accepted to graduate school! I don't know any details, but the competition is on! Congratulations baby! I am so proud of you and love you dearly! Muah!

I think we look edumacated! :)

Much love.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Memory Monday - First Christmas away from "home"

Memory Monday is an idea that a college friend of mine had, and since it is only for the Monday's in the month of December, and they revolve around Christmas memories, I figured I could manage to make the commitment! See this link for more info!

This first Christmas memory encompasses an entire day, a day that was full of firsts for me! The idea of paying for a tree is (or should I say was) a foreign idea to me. Every year my parents and siblings would tromp into the woods on Christmas Eve, Christmas Eve Eve if we were hosting Christmas Eve dinner, to find the perfect, or most accessible, tree to top! Never in my life, until last year, had I sacrificed a tree for our family Christmas tree. Some years, generally drought years, we would tie two tops together and have a very unique tree, some floppy branches, other much sturdier! One year we evem dug one up because we couldn't find a pine that we could climb! Yes, it was replanted and is growing like a giant at this very moment! Go Gree Baby! Heck, I was born green! If you knew my father, you'd understand!

So, back to my day of firsts...Ryan, Jared and I borrowed a friend's truck (something #2 that I had never done) and proceeded to drive through Pacific Beach, San Diego, in search of a tree lot... Alas! We found a lot full of them! Jared was not exactly in the mood to get a tree which I too found odd because as a little kid and even to this day, getting a Christmas tree is thrilling! Luckily the bug bit him and he fell in love with this beauty!!

I see a cute little smile! Love him!

We ventured home with our perfect tree and watched Daddy bring it inside! Man he's a cutie! Yes, I pinched his booty the entire way up the staits and he couldn't do a thing about it!


Let the decorating begin! We didn't have much, but we did have in my opinion the most important part of the Christmas tree...Bubble Lights!!! They are a family tradition on my mom's side that I am honored to be able to continue with my children!

I will never forget the year that my dad bought my mom Bubble Lights and put them on the tree without her knowing... when she saw them she burst into tears! It was perfect! I'm crying just thinking about that moment.

More pictures to come from this year of these babies!

Let me preface this one with...I have two of the sweetest, mushiest, boys in my life and I love them to the moon and back! Ryan purchased a little bunch of Mistletoe and it multiplied rapidly! Before we knew it there were little green and red hand drawn mistletoes hanging above every door, over the couch and poor Ryan and I had to kiss all the time! Shucks! We turned it into whomever was under the mistletoe either had to kiss (Ryan and I) or have a huge tickle fight (for Jared)!! It is a perfect memory!

There's our little bunch!

That evening we walked down to Little Italy for a tree lighting! Well, the tree lighting was pretty lame, but the FAKE SNOW was AMAZING!!! There is nothing like snow to make a northerner feel the season! Thank you San Diego for bringing a little bit of home to me! And seeing Jared dance around like a crazy little monster was precious!

He's got moves alright!

There's my day of first - first Christmas in San Diego, first Christmas away from home, first time killing a tree for display, first bubble lights of my very own, first fake snow outside experience and first kiss under the mistletoe!

Much love.

Friday, December 3, 2010

USPS, I Vow To Thee

This Christmas Season, yes Christmas season, I have fallen deeply dependent upon the United States Postal Service! Why you ask? Well, because for the first time in my life, I have to mail 14+ Christmas presents across the country and gosh darn, I want them to get to their anxious (you should all be anxious because they are good presents) recipients in one piece with the beautiful and totally modern wrapping paper still intact!

Here's a little taste of the goodies that have been wrapped and will be sent with love this coming Monday!

14 boxed gifts (with smaller wrapped gifts inside for shipping purposes)
4 tins of goodies (pictures to come)

59 Christmas cards (if you don't get one, blame it on my hand and inability to properly calculate how many relatives and friends I now have...first married Christmas with a deployed husband...I think I deserve a pass, but that's just me!) And a sneak peak at our ever so endearing Christmas card...Kara, do not look if you want to be surprised! (I looked at yours and love it!)

Who wouldn't want to see these faces in their mailbox and hopefully on their refridgerator this Christmas?!?!

On a side note, USPS and I have a great relationship! I visit my nice little office about once a week to get stamps, mail a package to my stepson or my husband, or to just grab some boxes, and I am never let down. I am greeted with a long line, smiling employees and grumpy characters generally complainging about the long line! Well fellas, if you visited USPS a bit more often and did things the olde fashioned way with a letter and stamp, the line probably wouldn't be so long and stamp prices wouldn't be rising, but hey, I can only do so much and by golly, I am doing my darndest! Oh and I'm that girl that laughs at the grumps! What can I say, they entertain me!

And a little farewell from a cute $1 Hallmark Snowman! He's selling snowballs for 5 cents (right now I am really missing a little "cent" sign)!

Happy Weekend!

Much love.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tests Aren't Fun.

They aren't mine, but they sure are cute!

Life is a funny thing. Just when you think I have everything under control, it all falls apart and smacks you square in the face, or at least seems to all fall apart and smack you sqaure in the face.
As most of you know, I am in graduate school. Well, just when I thought, I have this guy figured out, he slammed me with the unexpected (on a test that is). I can't even explain to you how confused I was after reading the first question of this test. Do professors know what a from left field first question on an exam does to the poor, tired, overly studied and completely nauseous test taker!?!?! I sure hope not because if they do, they are purely evil. Well, yea, I was that girl sitting in class wishing she could rewind the last two weeks of studying and get her life back, but begrudgingly she sat there and scribbled everything she could possibly think of about the key words in the questions. Ok, so that is really tiny in the grand scheme of things, but this was the third test that I have felt this way about and I am a perfectionist. In undergrad, I could predict what my professors would test me on; in grad school, I panic and then I go home and dream of the correct answers, the answers I knew, know and will always know, but failed to write down because for an hour and fifteen minutes, I froze. The moral of this rant is that the first question on any test should be a BIG FAT GIMME if for no other reason than to give the poor iddy biddy test taker some faith in his or her self. Thank you very much! I'll be sure to remind myself of this fact when I am hopefully, one day, a very influential professor!
Oh and by no means am I saying that I dislike any of my professors. I simply dislike their testing styles. Frankly, I dislike tests in general, but these are some of the worst, which is to be expected since it's grad school and all I guess...
Tests are necessary in life to prove your ability and I do enjoy tests at times. Luckily, these are short lived. The results, a bit longer lived, but even they only last a mere 13 weeks!
So, onto better things! Dizzle and I went on a 2 hour hike this past Sunday and it was glorious! Walking and talking like we did when we lived in Ireland is a talent of ours that we share and love deeply! There's something special about two girlfriends talking about life on a glorious crisp day in the middle of the woods! Oh and she loved my camera!

Hiking with Dizzle!

Coming off an extra special weekend of family, friends and Thanksgiving festivities, this week has held it's own (other than getting the nasty test back and taking another one that wasn't exactly great). I got a ton of schoolwork done, put my husbands clothing in our closet that seems to get smaller by the day, arranged all my Christmas gifts, played with my camera, slept and feel overall accomplishment!
I am a planner at heart and being a military wife makes that semi challenging, so I am trying to plan the heck out of the next few weeks of grad school. Between papers, projects, finals, classes and preparing for the holidays, I have a full schedule, but you better bet, it is organized! Wish me luck!

My Orchids from my Love!

Much love.