Thursday, April 30, 2015

Some Things

I can't believe that today is the last day of April! Crazy!

I feel like lately that I have been going non stop! I made it back safely from Vegas on Tuesday night and I hit the ground running yesterday. Every time I come home from a trip it's always laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning and catching up on anything else like school. I didn't take my computer with me so I hadn't started any work for this week. It was actually kind of nice to be disconnected for a few days (well besides my phone lol)

Emma is definitely glad to be home:

Here is what is going on in our world:

*I had my genetics appointment and it went well, I am waiting for my results to come back. I should hopefully have them back next week and then we can move to next step.

*This is midterms week for me, one is a multiple choice exam and the other is short answer. Let's hope they are painless and I can get them done quickly.

*We have some friends that are en route to a new duty station and they have stopped here for a few days to see us. It was really nice catching up with them yesterday and meeting their son. :) 

*We are running a 5k this weekend and I'm really looking forward to it, thankfully it's a local race so we don't have to go too far. Afterwards we are heading up to Alexandria to see the Dragon Boat races! I'm excited to spend the day outside and with Kyle. I haven't seen him much lately.

*I have become pretty much obsessed with two shows...The Royals and Married at First Sight. Please tell me I'm not the only one who watches them?! Haha. Are there any other shows that I should be watching?

*I'm attending a military spouse appreciation event next week, it's a dualing pianos evening so it will be fun to have a night out with Kyle.

Not much else is going on with us, what is going on in your neck of the woods?

Happy Thursday!!

Monday, April 27, 2015

A Good Time!

It's been a great time in Vegas! I'm heading home tomorrow, but I've been able to do a lot while being here.

I've come to work with my Dad a few days and I always enjoy seeing what he does. Thankfully he was all up for eating at restaurants that we don't have like Cheesecake Factory:

Can't say no to this hot fudge sundae! 

We had lunch with my inlaws yesterday which was nice. It was good to see our niece, she is growing up so fast. I also got to see the bridge that Kyle asked me to marry him on! Ahh memories!

Emma has been enjoying her time at grandpa's house and always makes herself right at home:

Overall it's been a great time seeing some family friends and other family. I didn't really take a whole lot of pictures which isn't like me. I'll be sad to leave tomorrow but it will be nice to get home.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Weekend Away!

Hello from Vegas! I'll be here until Tuesday visiting my Dad! Hope you all have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Upcoming Races

I am excited for all the upcoming runs that we have registered for! It's hard to find longer distance races in this area especially during the hotter months but that's okay. Here is what we have coming up:

Armadillo Stampede 5k. It is a local race that is sponsored by AUSA. I'm excited to participate in an event that directly supports the Army. 

Contraband 5 Miler. This is ran in conjunction with the Contraband Days festival which is a pirate festival, how awesome is that?! I am super excited to run this one. 

Run for Scott 5k. This race benefits a local Leesville man that is battling bladder cancer. Any event that benefits cancer I am all about supporting!

wear blue: run to remember. I am pledging 8.2 miles this Memorial Day in honor of CPT. Ed Chaffin that was killed last year. He worked with Kyle in the 82nd and he was a really nice guy. 

4 Miler on the 4th. What a great way to spend 4th of July! It's a good excuse to wear my 'Merica tank top haha.

I can't wait to see what other races pop up over the next few months. The last few years I was so competitive when it came to how many races I did but now I just want to have fun and enjoy every experience.

Happy Thursday Everyone!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

My Favorite Military Moments

I was talking to Kyle the other day and we were reflecting on this crazy life we live and he asked me a question. He asked me what my favorite military moments have been up to this point. Wow, what a loaded question that brings up so many memories, emotions, and so many remarkable experiences.

I started to list them off to him and realized just how lucky we have been. I thought it would be fun to share those memories with you.

1. Promoting Kyle to 1LT in November 2008. It was the first time I had never been a part of a military ceremony before and it was neat to be included.

2. My first military ball in 2009. What an awesome and terrifying experience it was. I was lucky enough to have a dear friend guide me through the process and it helped me so much.

3. Seeing Kyle jump for the first time...he was obviously an old hat at this but I had never seen anything like it.

4. Kyle's homecoming from Iraq! There are no words to describe that feeling.

5. Meeting one of my very best friends, Kristina! We haven't seen each other since 2012 because of various circumstances but we finally get to see each other next week!

6. Being there to see Kyle receive his Bronze Star after his deployment. He worked his ass off and to see him acknowledged that way was remarkable and it made me so proud.

7. All American Week Division Run at Fort Bragg. It is something that is incredibly impressive. 20,000 soldiers running in formation with cannons going off and music blaring. It's so cool!

8. Unexpectedly receiving the Yellow Rose of Texas for my volunteer work. What a humbling experience that I will never forget.

9. Kyle taking command in 2013. Boy what an adventure that turned out to be. We were a pretty good team if you ask me.

All of these memories are so very special to me and make me realize just how lucky we are. While there has been no shortage of separations and very stressful situations I choose to cherish the good memories and learn from the bad. 

Boy it's fun to go down memory lane! Can't wait to see what the future holds!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 20, 2015

A Little Color Goes A Long Way!

Saturday morning I ran the Dye Hard Warrior 5k on post. It was put on by MWR and it was a huge success, the best part it was free for all of the families and soldiers. We were given color packets before it even started and people went crazy, I was covered in color before it even started haha.

They had three different waves, the first was for runners that were timing themselves, the second was for intermediate runners and the third was for walkers and people with small children/strollers. I opted for the first wave and ended up running with the post commander for a little over a mile talking about marathons. It was pretty awesome lol.

There were 4 color stations during the run and the volunteers were awesome, however I do need to remember to keep my mouth closed haha.

Even though I wasn't going for a record I ended up gaining a PR by 30 seconds. I was stoked! We were supposed to have thunderstorms that morning but the weather held out and was beautifully humid lol. As you can see I was covered in color from head to toe and it took some scrubbing to get it all off.

Sunday was spent relaxing and finishing up some school work for this week. I don't want to be attached to my computer while I'm in Vegas on vacation.

Emma and I took advantage of the gorgeous weather and went for a very long walk. It was awesome!

I hope you all had an awesome weekend!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Favorites

It's another edition of Friday Favorites! Here are some of my favorite things lately.

*Our hotel for our Universal Trip! Cabana Bay Beach Resort. How cool does this place look?! Can't wait!

*My neighborhood! We have been having pretty rainy weather lately but when it's clear it makes for amazing scenery during my runs.

*Halos! I swear I could eat them all day everyday. You will always find them in our refrigerator.

*Clear casting resin! I am back to making coasters and this stuff is the best.

*Emma and Fishy! Oh these two are constantly cracking me up. :)

What are some of your favorite things lately?

I hope you all have a great weekend, I'm running a 5k tomorrow morning and I know it will be a lot of fun! :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Birthday Preparations

In less than a month, on May 5th to be exact, we will celebrate Kyle's 30th birthday! I'm sure most of you notice that Kyle is a very low key guy and he does not like a lot of pomp and circumstance.  I have been racking my brain on what to get him and what to do to celebrate his day. I did promise him that I wouldn't make him wear a sombrero on his birthday like I did a few years ago lol. It's just what you do when your birthday is on Cindo de Mayo! ;)

Gifts are the tricky part, the man has everything and usually buys things when he wants them. He made mention a few months back that he wanted to get better at golf, ding ding! Golf lessons!! I know this is something he will love and I plan on getting him a few personalized golf towels as well just to go along with the lessons.

I thought about throwing a small dinner party but then I realized that he would be happier with a low key dinner at home with just the two of us because he will have just finished up with a hectic rotation at work. I'm going to make his favorite meal which is homemade spicy chicken fingers and garlic/parsley french fries.

For dessert it will be a homemade funfetti cake with whipped cream frosting. I will pair that with homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream. This combination is his absolute favorite. I want to do something fun with the cake decorations and these cakes are just what I'm looking for:

I think these cakes are amazing and hopefully I can do something similar. I want to make his birthday special without overwhelming him.

Do you enjoy big birthday celebrations or a low key dinner at home?

Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Another Weekend Gone!

I swear it feels like the weekends go by way too fast!

Saturday morning we got up bright and early to head off to "the box" tour. This is a tour that Kyle's work does every quarter so family members and locals from the community can come see what JRTC (joint readiness training center) does.

I have to say that I was blown away (pardon the pun), I know what Kyle does but seeing the demonstrations and the cities that have been built to simulate conflict situations is incredible! It was such an intense experience and one that I won't soon forget. We only got to see 1 of the several cities that have been built for training purposes. The role players that are involved and everything that goes into this training facility is remarkable.

People were able to walk through the buildings and talk to the role players and see firsthand what the OCTs (observer, coach trainer) and units go through during rotations was pretty awesome. They had vehicles out for you to look through and climb in plus weapons you could shoot. I took my chance to shoot a .50 caliber machine gun, it was impressive and awesome!

After the tour we were starving so we headed off to a place called J&T's Crawfish Shack, it is literally a shack with a few tables. We ended up with 5 pounds of crawfish and it was soooo good!!!

After we ran a few errands we headed home to relax and I made homemade good!!! I got the recipe from Jen and they were divine! I will definitely be making these more often.

Sunday, I sent Kyle off to go golfing so I could do laundry and clean the house. However, he ended up having to go into work for a few hours which is not uncommon anymore. It was a great weekend, glad we had much needed time together before he is in the field for the next 3 weeks. It was a great mix of fun and relaxation.

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, April 10, 2015

What I Have Learned

Kyle is coming up on 8 years in the Army and even though I have only been part of it for 7 I feel like I have more experience than I know what to do with. 

I have learned:

*You have to be somewhat independent. There are times when your spouse is not around and you have to take the initiative and get stuff done. This can be anything from financial decisions to car maintenance. 

*You cannot expect to get along with everyone. There will be people in this life that you come in contact with that you just do not click with. It happens but the great thing is you get to start over in new places. 

*This life is exhausting...the moving, setting up a new house, finding a new dentist, meeting new people, etc. It doesn't really get easier you just get better at dealing with it.

*You WILL want a break from all things military and that's okay. Hopefully your spouse does not hold that against you since you are not the one who signed on the dotted line. 

*When unexpected things happen do not flip out on your spouse, most likely they had no control over it either. This Army life can be crazy and getting upset does not really solve anything.

*You don't have to lose yourself in this can still have a very strong sense of self and be productive. 

*You will meet people that will not only be friends but they will become family. Do not let those friendships go even if a PCS happens.

*Find something that you enjoy, whether that be a sport, school, volunteering, or working. It is so important to have something to focus on when training and deployments happen. 

*Don't always listen to the stereotypes! It doesn't matter if the person is married to a General or Private we are all looking for acceptance and friendship. 

*This life gives you a new appreciation for your family, you take advantage of the time you get to spend together and you will cherish it all the more.

*Be grateful for the life that you are living, not everyone gets the opportunity to see the world and experience new things.

*Support and love each other no matter what!

I am not saying that this life is easy but there are ways to make it less stressful.

This guy makes it all worth it for me.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Some Happenings

*I started 3 new classes this past Monday, only 12 credits away from graduation! Woo!

*I booked a ticket to go see my Dad in Vegas at the end of the month. I haven't been back since December 2013 so it will be nice to get back there and see him.

*Our 5k this weekend was postponed due to weather which is a huge bummer (now I have to find another race to replace it) but now I get to go take a tour of where Kyle works which is pretty cool. :)

*I went to the PX a few days ago and stocked up on clearance Easter items, we are set for next year. I was able to get 5 huge bags of plastic eggs and 5 dye kits for $7! Woo! 

*My genetics appointment was rescheduled for the 22nd, I feel like every time they give me a new date they turn around and change it the next day. I'm starting to get really frustrated!

*I have been loving my gym/running routine. It feels great to have this routine and also not killing myself doing races. I'm having fun!

*The next few months are going to be busy for us. We have friends coming to visit, our niece and nephew will be with us for a week in June, and then our Houston/Florida trip in July! All of it is going to be amazing.

What is happening in your neck of the woods?!

Hope you all have a great day!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A Jam Packed Easter Weekend!

This weekend was incredible! It was full of family, friends, food, and laughter! We were in Florida with my family for the Easter holiday and the only way it could have been better was if my Dad had been there.

It started out with camping at Coldwater Recreation Center for 2 days with my sister and the kiddos plus her neighbors and their kids. We slept in tents, ate good food, swam in the river, fished, and enjoyed the gorgeous weather. The campsite also let people bring their horses and the owners were gracious enough to let us pet them too. It was a blast!

After heading back to my sister's on Saturday morning we prepped everything for Easter Sunday. Later that day we had a shrimp boil at another neighbors house and then dyed Easter eggs with the kiddos that night. Dying eggs by latern light was hilarious lol.

Easter was awesome!!!! The kids hunted for eggs and were so excited for all their goodies. My sisters backyard was perfect for hiding eggs. We had 19 people at my sister's house to include most of her neighbors and our brother and his family.

We ate good food, played a few drinking games, cards against humanity and laughed A LOT!!

We even had the chance to take some family photos which I think turned out amazing!

This was the most fun we have had in a long time and it was so awesome to spend it with family and friends (well they are more like family now). I can't wait to go back and make some more awesome memories.

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Long Weekend of Fun!

Yesterday we had an awesome time at the OPS Group family fun day! They had a color run and each task force barbecued. 

Afterwards we headed off to Florida for Easter! We are camping for two days and then will be back at my sisters.

I hope you all have a great Easter weekend!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

New Hair is a Game Changer!

It's always good when you can turn this (I have no shame lol):

Into this:

I am so happy with new cut and color! 

Happy Wednesday!!