Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Blogging In The New Year

I have noticed that a lot of people are setting goals for blogging in 2015. 

My ultimate goal is to just be honest, I feel that I did a pretty good job this year. I tend to not sugar coat things but I also do not air too much dirty laundry on here. 

However, there are three things that I will continue to not talk about because they just cause issues.

1. Politics: To be honest I don't care about anyone's political affiliations and I am pretty sure they don't care about mine. 

2. Religion: This is always a hot button subject that I refuse talk about, it creates an awkward situation and it can easily offend people. I don't mind reading religious centered posts but I don't feel I can contribute in any way.

3. Money: This is such a taboo subject, it makes me uncomfortable to talk about. 

I am excited however to see what 2015 has to offer, no matter what it is going to be a good year. Well, I am sure there will be low points but that is okay. 

Do you have any blogging goals for 2015?

Don't forget whatever your plans are please be safe! :)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 Was A Runderful Year!

When this year started I had planned for us to run a few races to include a full marathon. I honestly never thought that this year would turn out the way that it did. I realized that I couldn't focus on what other people were doing in terms of running but I had to focus on my progression and do what made me happy.

I discovered a passion for running that I had no idea existed, it has become a daily part of my life and has helped keep me healthy and in a good place. I look forward to a good run when I have had a bad day, it always helps.

The support of family and friends has been awesome but Kyle has been the best, he happily nods and smiles when I tell him I've signed us up for another race. He is my motivator when I try to sham out of a run.

Together we successfully completed 27 races:

1 full marathon
9 half marathons
1 10-miler
3 10k's
1 8k
12 5k's

2015 will likely be different when it comes to running races, there are not many close to us so I will have to be picky in regards to which ones I do (Kyle's work schedule will also prohibit him from participating in most). Despite this fact I will still look forward to my daily runs and keeping myself in a good place.

I am proud of all we have accomplished and I have a lot of amazing memories from the year.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Independence Bowl

There will be no Christmas recap here because it was quiet and uneventful, which is never a bad thing. However, I will say that having the capability to FaceTime with family is always the highlight when we can't be together.

Saturday we headed off to Shreveport for the Independence Bowl, Miami and South Carolina were playing.

This bowl game is sponsored by Duck Commander and Buck Commander so the whole Robertson Family was there (if you don't know who I'm talking about it's the family from Duck Dynasty). Missy and her boys sang the National Anthem and Si did the coin toss. It was pretty cool to see them all out there.

The game got off to a slow start but it was still pretty good. By halftime it started raining again and the temps dipped so we decided to make a break and head for home. I'm glad we left when we did because the roads were just starting to get bad (most of the interstate roads here are back roads and in poor condition with very little light), we could barely see 2 feet in front of us but made it home safely.

I am glad we went maybe next year it won't be raining haha.

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

           Merry Christmas Everyone!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Call

I am happy to say that I didn't have to wait the full two week to find out about the job. I was called yesterday and offered a position! 

It's a flex position right now which means I could work anywhere from 0-40 hours a week, it depends on the need at the CDC's and other facilities. However the upside is that they are busy and are always needing supplemental help. I knew that getting a full-time position would be difficult so this is the best way to get my foot in the door with DoD.

Being able to put what I have learned so far in college to use is going to be amazing and once I graduate it will likely continue to open up new opportunities. 

I have to drop off my paperwork today and they will begin my background check and then I will have a physical done, so tentatively I will start around the beginning of February. 

I am really excited for this new adventure!

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Change Of Plans

Well, our weekend didn't go exactly how we planned. We hopped in the car and started our trek down to New Orleans for our half marathon. It was already raining pretty bad and got increasingly worse, well low and behold the storm was heading South right towards NOLA. We knew immediately it wasn't smart to continue driving in that weather for 4 1/2 hours. We aren't familiar with these roads yet (they aren't that great) and the rain continued picking up. We headed back home (somewhat disappointed) and ended the night with hibachi and relaxing.

We woke up Saturday and ran a few errands before heading off for a day of fun. We went bowling and then played some miniature golf, I did not do very well but I had fun haha.

Sunday was more laid back, I picked up groceries for Christmas dinner this week and took a trip to Target. It's amazing how much money you can save when the closest Target is 45 minutes away haha. 

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Thoughts On Friday

I always enjoy doing these bulletpoint posts, gives me a chance to think about everything going on.

*The interview went well yesterday, it was interested as I expected it to be. I had to sing a song and read a story to the interviewers, it was pretty amusing. I won't find out if I got the job for about 2 weeks. (Thanks for all the well wishes!)

*I am still in mourning about the end of Sons of Anarchy haha....however it was a pretty perfect ending. Now I need to find something else to fill my Tuesday nights.

*I have spent every minute of free time working on 5 papers that are all due next week. I did not want to be stuck doing them over Christmas and I finished my last one yesterday. Small victories. :)

*We are heading to New Orleans tonight so we can run the Ole Man River Half is our final race of the year! It is going to be a beautiful course along the water and I can't wait.

*I am counting down the days until I see my family in Florida next spend time with everyone is going to be amazing!!

*We bought tickets to the Independence Bowl next weekend, now we don't care for Miami or South Carolina but we like watching college football. It's going to be a great time.

*I let Kyle choose this year what we are doing for NYE, since there isn't much around here he chose the bowling event on post. That's a good man haha. 

Not much else is happening in our neck of the woods, hope you all have a great weekend!!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Interviewing Is Scary!

After 4 years of being jobless I am finally on the path back into the working world! I am interviewing for a Child and Youth Program Assistant position with CYS (child and youth services) this morning. Since I started school I have been looking forward to the opportunity to use my degree and work with children, since I am over half way completed I figured now was a good time to apply.

The job would be perfect for me as it works directly with children (and of course some administrative tasks), there are a multitude of different areas that I would be working in. Since I go to school online it would not interfere with that. 

 Interviews always intimidate me, I get nervous and sometimes feel that I talk too much, especially when I really want the job. Also, trying to find an appropriate outfit can be stressful. This is what I chose:

I will be wearing a light pink cardigan over top (because I have a strict rule about not wearing sleeveless dresses to an interview) and black flats.

Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Avery Island, Louisiana

Yesterday was such a fun day! Kyle had the day off so we decided to head down to Avery Island. Avery Island is the home of the Tabasco factory, and it definitely did not disappoint. They only have the factory going Monday-Thursday so coming on the weekend wouldn't have been as fun.

We got there just in time for the next tour, we watched a short video and then got to see the bottling process. They produce roughly 700,000 bottles a day, which is crazy to me! This island actually sits on the first rock salt mine discovered in the US and it is as deep at Mount Everest is tall.

When the peppers are ready and mashed they are sealed in Jack Daniels barrels (they buy them from the company because JD can only use them once) and they put a thick layer of salt on the top to keep any impurities from getting in, they ferment for about 3 years.

After the tour we headed into the cutest gift shop and picked up some goodies. I had to get a new spoon to add to my collection. I had some Raspberry Chili ice cream and it was AMAZING!

I am pretty sure Kyle got enough Tabasco to last him a while, he picked up a kind called Reserve and it is only sold in the gift shop.

If you are ever in this area it is a must see!!! We had the best time.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Cajun Country Half Marathon

Saturday I completed my first half marathon in Louisiana and my 11th overall. I have to say that this is one of my favorites that I have done so far. I was up at 3am to make the 2 hour drive to Lafayette, most of you know that Kyle had to work so he had to sit this one out. I knew the weather had potential to get warm so I brought my pullover just in case.

The race started at 7:30 and it was about 50 degrees, roughly 5 miles in I got hot and took it off, not complaining about the 70 degree weather that ended up happening in mid-December. I knew I was fast when I realized that I had beat my best 10 miler time by 8 minutes. I slowed down a bit to take in the scenery (I didn't take any photos boo) and enjoy the course. It was a big loop through neighborhoods and tree lined back roads plus it was relatively flat, which made for an awesome time.

I crossed the finish line and realized that I gained a PR!! I beat my fastest half time by 3 minutes. Hey, it isn't much but I'll take it.

The medal is pretty awesome and it's a bottle opener. :)

I didn't feel the need to stick around for the festivities afterwards so I headed home. Kyle ended up having to work a full day so we didn't make it to the Christmas parade, I wasn't bummed because I knew I was stick getting mexican food for dinner haha.

It was a great time and makes me even more excited for our half in New Orleans this weekend.

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, December 12, 2014

A New Direction

I had my first appointment with my new RE doctor yesterday. First, let me say just how awesome it was that both of the referrals (one for infertility and the other for genetics) that my primary doctor put in were approved so quickly. Thank you Tricare for not being difficult.

The doctor is amazing! I will happily drive 2 1/2 hours each way if she is going to be the one overseeing my care. We went over every bit of my history and she listened without being judgmental. The bottom line is that she thinks our issues with multiple miscarriages is genetic, whether that be a mutation in one of us or a mutation that occurs after conception (sorry if that is TMI). Going into this appointment I had a feeling that was going to be the case, and her confirming my thoughts did somewhat put my mind as ease. We will have some genetic testing done to determine if there is indeed something genetically going on. After that determination is made we will go forward and put together a game plan. 

There is one thing that we are pretty sure about, IVF will be involved. We will go into this new phase with an open mind and a positive attitude as we do with most things in these circumstances. Now don't get me wrong it is terribly frustrating and emotionally taxing, but it is the hand that we have been dealt and we will do the best that we can with it. 

 Tomorrow I'll be running the Cajun Country Half Marathon and it couldn't have come at a better time. It will be therapeutic and amazing followed by the Leesville Christmas Parade. It's going to be a good weekend.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Smith Family Christmas Card 2014

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Very Festive Weekend

We enjoyed a very festive weekend!

Friday night was the Fort Polk Tree Lighting at the main post chapel. We had a great time and saw a few people that Kyle works with. We ended the night with delicious Mexican food and margaritas.

Saturday morning we headed up to Natchitoches for their 88th Annual Christmas Festival. As most of you know I have been ridiculously excited about this for a while. This town is amazing! It is the oldest in Louisiana and are celebrating their Tricentennial this year.

The highlight for me was seeing Robert Harling. His family is from and still lives in Natchitoches. For those of you who don't know who this is he wrote Steel Magnolias about his sister, Susan, and their family. He was the Grand Marshal for the parade.

The parade was awesome, they had a total of 88 floats and each one was better than the last. We ended up with a ton of goodies that were being thrown to include a lot of beads haha.

After the parade we headed to Front Street for food, fireworks and lights. Everything was decorated and we walked the streets and into some really cute shops. The fireworks happened over Cane River Lake and the show lasted about 30 minutes. After the fireworks they turned on the Christmas lights and it was incredible! The riverbank was covered in light displays and it was beautiful.

I am so glad we got the chance to go and we will definitely be going back next year!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

In A Nutshell

I feel like I have been moving at warped speed lately. With finishing 5 classes and immediately starting 5 more is can get overwhelming but I would rather be done sooner than drag it out.

Things are still pretty good around here, Kyle is finally back to a normal work schedule. However, when he doesn't have a rotation here his schedule is pretty relaxed which isn't a bad thing. We attended our first Hail and Farewell on Tuesday and it was great. Everyone is really nice and welcoming, since this is not a traditional setting like most military units it is a smaller group. I believe Kyle said there are only 46 people in his Task Force. 

A few kinks have come up but nothing terrible. He isn't able to run our half marathon next weekend because he will be working. I've done it before so I'll be just fine. Since he is the newest person in the task force he will be the OIC while everyone is on block leave for Christmas which means no traveling for the holidays. It could certainly be worse, I am just thankful that he loves his job. 

This weekend we have a full plate. Tomorrow is the Christmas Tree lighting on post and then off to the Deridder light show. Saturday we are heading to Natchitoches for the Christmas Festival, I have been waiting for this since we found out we were moving to Polk haha.

There will be good food, different types of craft vendors and amazing lights and fireworks.

Overall, I have to say that Polk is pretty amazing. The area, the people and the post have by far exceeded our expectations. Don't let anyone scare you about this place, it really is awesome.

Hope you all have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

And We Wait

Yesterday I had my first appointment with my primary care doctor. First, let me say that he was one of the nicest doctors I have ever encountered. He didn't pull any punches but he was also very understanding of our situation. He said he had read up on my file before I even came in so he could be familiar with anything I wanted to talked about.

I got right to it and told him I needed a referral to an RE doctor, he didn't bat an eye and promptly put in the referral and also did one for more genetic testing. Now we just wait for them to be approved. Also, he told me that since we will have to go outside of our area to see a doctor that tricare will reimburse us if the trip is over 100 miles away. This was a great thing to hear. 

While this entire journey has been very heartbreaking and frustrating I have learned so much about myself and I have always learned who my true friends are. There are those that have stood by us no matter what but there are those that once they had kids they did not want to hear about our struggles anymore. Don't get me wrong I understand but it is frustrating. 

We will get through this leg of our journey as we always do, we will not let this define us but we will continue to do all that we can to have a family. We certainly have not ruled out adoption or any other avenue, we will take it one step at a time.


Happy Tuesday!

Monday, December 1, 2014

'Tis The Season!

Am I the only one who thinks its crazy that today is December 1st?!

Over the weekend we brought out the Christmas decorations. We have a ton but due to limited space we didn't put everything out. I am happy with how it turned out. :) Kyle put up lights outside but I have yet to take a picture of that.

We also managed to get all of our Christmas shopping done, it feels good to have that out of the way. Now I just have to get it all shipped to Vegas. I finished our Christmas cards as well, so they will go out today.

It really is hard to believe that it's December especially when it's 73 degrees outside! While I don't mind it, I would like some colder weather.

Kyle is back to work today and will finally work a full week haha, he hasn't done that since we got here. 

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving and Such

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday. Whether you celebrated with friends, family or went out and braved the crowds. We had a low key day that consisted of lounging around, food and football. It was really nice.

We, of course had to take a family selfie. Fishy was less than thrilled as you can tell. :)

For once I didn't go overboard when it came to food, it was a simple meal and we aren't inundated with a ridiculous amount of leftovers. Enough for turkey salad sandwiches and turkey and dumplings.

Dessert was my favorite this year (I ended up not making the grasshopper pie because there were a few ingredients I couldn't find), I made a chocolate cream pie and it's amazing!!! I am certain this will not last very long in this house.

Today we will be putting up our Christmas decorations, as with any move we always have to make a game plan as to where everything is going to go. Some decorations won't get used because we simply do not have the room. I can't wait to see how it all turns out.

We have plans to get all of our Christmas shopping done this weekend so I can get everything shipped to family next week. I get lunch at Panera so there are no complaints from me.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Can't beat a morning of football...OPS Group Turkey Bowl!


An impromptu date night! 

It was a good Tuesday!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Out With The Old, In With The New!

Before we even left El Paso I was chomping at the bit to get a new dining room table. We weren't able to sell our current one so on to Louisiana with us it went. I put our table on craigslist last week and low and behold it sold! I started to panic when I realized that we wouldn't have a table for Thanksgiving unless we bought a new one right away haha.

We went to the same place we bought our couch at and found this awesome table. It has everything we wanted, the lazy susan and storage on the bottom. Plus it can be either round or square.

We got a great deal on it and I couldn't be happier! 

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Another Weekend Gone

Saturday morning we once again headed down to Lake Charles for a race. It was a Turkey Trot 5k put on by the local rotary club and we had a good time. I have never run on grass before and it was interesting, it was a beautiful area but boy was it humid. I knew I wasn't going to get a PR at this race especially since I had just gotten over being sick.

Kyle however did amazing and placed 2nd in his age group! He was legitimately surprised because there were a lot of fast runners out there. We had a great time and are looking forward to the Cajun Country Half Marathon in Lafayette in 3 weeks.

Sunday was a lazy football watching day...I did however make these amazing baked cinnamon sugar donuts (recipe is from Ina Garten) and they were to die for! Yum!

Today starts the last week of my current classes, I am so ready to be done with this statistics class it is slowly making me crazy. However, December 1st 5 new classes begin! Let the fun continue. 

I hope you all had a great weekend.

Friday, November 21, 2014

It Was The Hot Chocolate

There is one thing in my 29 years of life that I have never poisoning. I can't say that anymore. Tuesday morning I woke up feeling awful, the worst upset stomach and my head was spinning. I could barely walk downstairs let alone have the lights on, it was brutal. Kyle came home for lunch and did his best to take care of me but nothing was helping. I was burning up and wanted to keep my head under the blanket all day. 

Wednesday rolled around and it was same feeling, I had no idea what was wrong and even took a pregnancy test to see if that was reason. Nope no such luck. Then I get a text from my friend Jenn who I had met up with at Starbucks on Monday. She asked if I had the hot chocolate because she had felt crappy Monday night....the answer was YES! Process of elimination means it was a form of food poisoning, my best guess is that the milk they used was bad. 

All of the yuck is out of my system thankfully and I feel back to normal.

Thanks Starbucks (while this does not deter me from getting my unsweetened black tea), I will no longer be getting getting hot chocolate. It was the worst I have ever felt in my life. I'm so happy to be feeling better, I didn't want to miss out on running the Turkey Trot 5k this weekend.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sisterly Love

Today is another really special birthday, my sister Lisa's. She is hands down the best sister that I could have ever hoped for. Yes, growing up she and I didn't always see eye to eye but she is my best friend.

When our Mom died she took on a lot of burden and since then has been not only my sister but a wonderful Mother figure as well. I look to her for advice and she is always there for me no matter what. I can't wait for her to live close again. She is one of the kindest, sweetest, understanding and just overall amazing person. 

Happy Birthday, Lisa. I love you more than you know.

This photo perfectly sums up our relationship haha. :)

She is the best!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Birthday Wishes

Today, our precious niece Kylie turns 8 years old. She has brought so much joy into our lives and there is not a day that goes by that I don't think about her and miss her. I am so grateful for the relationship that I (and Kyle) have with her.

She is funny, spunky, stubborn, smart, kind, and overall one of the most amazing girls. I remember the day she was born like it was yesterday and since that day she has continued to inspire and amaze me.

I hope she always knows how much her Uncle Kyle and I love her.

Happy Birthday, sweet pea!

We can't wait to see her in January!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Cowboy Gallop 10k

Early Saturday morning (I mean early ugh lol) we headed off to Lake Charles. It's about an hour and a half south of us and it was a really pretty drive. I snapped a few photos but this is my favorite, Calcasieu Lake.

The race took place at McNeese University and started right outside of the football stadium. It was a very cool 37 degrees when we got started and I was freezing haha. However, about half way in I started to heat up.

It was a nice out and back course that ended on the 50 yard line of the football stadium. I even got a PR! This is the first road race that the McNeese Track and Field organization has held in 25 years. We had a blast and will definitely run it again next year.

We couldn't have asked for a better race to be our 25th of the year or a better way to start our races here in Louisiana! Now we are gearing up for the Lake Charles 5k Turkey Trot this coming weekend.

Are you planning on participating in a Turkey Trot in your area this year?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Some Things

Can I just say how much I am loving this weather?! I know people think I am crazy but growing up a desert girl in the blazing heat of Vegas I have learned to appreciate winter. It's cold enough for long sleeves and boots but not frigid.

Tomorrow, we are running our first race in Louisiana, we are heading an hour south to Lake Charles for a 10k. It could prove to be a little interesting because I am battling the start of a cold, sinus pressure and congestion. Yay! 


We registered for this race a few months ago and we are really looking forward it. It will be a good precursor to our 5k next and our 2 half marathons in December.

I hope you all have an amazing weekend!


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thanksgiving Meal Planning

As of yesterday Kyle is back to work, don't get me wrong I loved having him around but 3 weeks together is a lot lol. I am happy to say that he is already loving it.

I have spent the last few days getting our Thanksgiving menu and Christmas cards prepped. I'm definitely early with the cards but am so happy they are finished so all I have to do it put them in the mail when the time comes. 

For our Thanksgiving menu this year it is going to be relatively simple. Since we just moved to Louisiana we won't be with family this year so a simple meal is perfect:

  Turkey (I always cook mine in a turkey bag, it cuts down the cooking time drastically)
Mashed potatoes ( I am going to try this recipe this year Carnation Mashed Potatoes)
Gravy ( I use a recipe that my Mom used)
Stuffing (I am going to try this recipe)
Rolls (I am obsessed with this recipe and will probably have to make 2 batches! classic dinner rolls)

Now for dessert I was unsure what I wanted to do. I'm not a big fan of apple pie and I don't like pumpkin pie (yes I know I'm weird) so I went for something Kyle and I would both like:

Ree Drummond's Grasshopper Pie

Doesn't this look amazing?! I can't wait!

I am looking forward to our quiet Thanksgiving.

What are your plans this year?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day

Today, we honor all those amazing men and women who serve and have served this amazing country of ours. I am so proud that I come from a proud military family. Before I married Kyle I was very aware of the sacrifices that the military made because I saw that in my family members. They are as follows:

 Larry: Army (Grandfather)
Tom: Army (Uncle)
Paul: Marine Corp (Uncle)
Marty: Air Force (Uncle)
Joe: Air Force (Dad)
Tony: Air Force (Brother)
Mike: Air Force (Brother)
Rachel: Air Force (Sister-in-Law)
Martin: Navy (Cousin)

I come from a long line of real American Heroes and I am so proud that they are family.

Now when it comes to Kyle, there are no words to describe how proud I am of him. He works tirelessly to ensure the safety and well-being of soldiers, he puts them before himself. He has accomplished so much in his 7 1/2 years in the Army and does not seek recognition, he truly enjoys what he does. I am so proud to be his wife and walk by his side during this journey. He is and always will be my hero.

Please remember to thank those that are defending and protecting this country. They may not do it for the recognition but a simple thank you means the world to them.

Happy Veterans Day!