Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sweatin' Like It's 1980...

I'm not an exercise person. Ok I've said it. But I know that exercise is important for your health and to lose weight. So I've been in search of something that would get me motivated to go. I am still working on the walking/jogging for 5ks, etc. but I wanted something else to give me some exercise. So when a Groupon popped up for our local jazzercise classes I decided to give it a try.

I went to my first class last week. I love it! It is so much fun. I felt like a goof because I didn't know all the moves but I liked it. It included stretching, aerobics, and some strength training. I'm looking forward to using the rest of my Groupon then I'll decide what to do from there.  

I am also wanting to try some of the aqua aerobics at the Y too just to see how those are. I know they say variety is the spice of life and I think for me that is so true with exercise. 

What is your favorite exercise?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

O Christmas Tree...O Christmas TreeMy M

My Mom's Tree
This weekend my brother was in from England. He had to come to the states for work and decided to make a jaunt down for a long weekend visit. It was nice to see him. I miss him. And we had a lot of fun and laughs. He through us for a loop on Friday because he said he wasn't getting here until 8:00 pm and he showed up at 4:30 pm. But it worked well. We had a lovely dinner and spent some time at Mom's house which was fun.

Saturday I had to work in the morning. So my brother had breakfast with our Dad and then Mom, D (my brother) and I went and did some shopping after I got off work. Then we had dinner at a yummy BBQ place. 

On Sunday we decided we'd have a later start because we wanted to go across the water to do some shopping. D bought Mom and I's Christmas presents while he was here. (it's hard knowing what's under the tree and not being able to play with it) Shopping and lunch took longer than expected because the restaurant was slow and Pandora (our main shopping destination) was crowded beyond belief. We decided later we should have started there not ended there. But oh well. We came back to this side of the water and had yummy Mexican food at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Then we went back to Mom's and decorated the tree. 

Mom hadn't put up a tree for the past two years due to the divorce she just wasn't feeling it. This year it was nice because we decorated it as a family. Although Mom and D gave up hanging ornaments and just unpacked them so I did a lot of the "decorating." But it was fun and it made Mom happy. She says she really likes having a tree back. 

J and I haven't put up a tree together. We haven't quite figured out where we would put it. But we also don't have a tree. This year when I was helping Mom pick out her tree at Walmart I saw a tree that I think would be cool. I may go get it so we have it for next year. It is a black Christmas tree with white lights. 

Have you put up your tree yet? Do you do it the weekend of Thanksgiving? Do you wait? Do you take it down New Year's Day? 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Beginning of the "Lasts"

It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is Thursday. How time has flown. And yet in some aspects of my life time has moved slowly. On September 28th of 2010 I put my husband on a plane for Japan to begin his 3 year geo bachelor tour. This year begins the beginning of the end. This Thanksgiving will be the last Thanksgiving I spend without him before he is scheduled to come home from Japan. It is hard to believe. It seemed like such a long time to have him gone and it was. But the light at the end of the tunnel is visible. For those of you with loved ones near by appreciate them and let them know you love them. For those of you with loved ones far away you are in my thoughts. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2

I went Friday night to see the final installment of the Twilight series. I will say it was probably my favorite movie of the series. And frankly I think I liked Bella the best in this because she was a stronger character and person. I won't go into details in case you haven't seen it but they had a cool twist to the story that no one in the theater saw coming. Also I love the way the wolves are depicted they are pretty bad ass. And I love watching Emmett and Bella arm wrestle.

I will admit that when the Twilight series first came out I didn't think too highly of it. But a girlfriend of mine talked me into watching one of the movies and I decided it wasn't all bad. I'm glad I watched the series. I still haven't read the books maybe I will once I get through Hunger Games.

Have you seen it? Did you like it?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Black Thursday?

Jingle All the Way...Source
I love shopping I do. And I love a bargain as much as the next girl or guy. But I also believe that holidays are a time to be rest and recuperate and spend time with friends and family. I was in hhGregg the other day and the manager commented about "black Thursday." I was puzzled. I knew sales started crazy early on Friday but somehow I had missed them starting Thursday. I know our economy needs a boost. I get that. And I know that Thanksgiving weekend is the biggest shopping weekend of the year. I get that too. But I'm not sure I can fully support the shopping industry having their stores open at 8:00, 10:00, etc on Thursday night. Now I suppose some employees might not mind having to work. Maybe they don't have Thanksgiving plans but still I'm sure there are some who really would rather have a full day off. As for me I'm blessed to work somewhere where I have Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday off next weekend. 

What are your thoughts?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I Made the Leap or How Keurig Came Home

I love coffee! I drink it every day many times multiple times a day. However at home I was having an issue with coffee going to waste since it was just me. My friends all had Keurigs and I liked them but couldn't justify it. Then it dawned on me it would solve my problem of wasted coffee. My friend saw a deal on QVC for this model but I missed the deal. So I scoured the internet for the same model. Costco had the same model with 60 k-cups instead of 45 and use your own coffee basket. So I ordered it. It arrived on Monday and I'm so excited! I've heard so many good things about the coffee and the cocoa. If you have suggestions let me know! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I Will Thrive: Buying a New Fridge

So although our refrigerator isn't dead I believe it is slowly dying. So we decided to take advantage of some of his bonus pay and buy a new one. I went to Lowes, Home Depot, hhgregg and Best Buy to scout them out. I decided to go with Lowes with their 10 % off appliances, the military 10% discount, and the fact that it was tax free weekend I was going to get a $2399 fridge for $1919. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me. So I went in on my lunch hour, had all the item numbers ready for the fridge and the warranty, and I set up delivery and haul away of the old fridge. Good to go! That was the beginning of October and the fridge was scheduled to arrive October 22nd at the store. On October 20th I get the call that it is in and they are ready to schedule delivery. It gets scheduled for the 29th. Then Hurricane Sandy hit and it got rescheduled for November 5th. No problem good to go. 

Then the fun begins...I get a call Sunday night giving me a delivery time. Monday morning I get a call...I'm thinking the delivery time has changed. Nope when they unpacked it to load it on the truck they discovered a ding and wanted to give me the option of taking it or leaving it and ordering a new one. I decided for the price and the fact that it was brand new I wanted a perfect one. They assured me it would be an easy transaction to get the new one ordered. Ha...not even close to easy. I get a call around noon asking for my credit card so they can recharge it. I ask about the refund. She informs me they already did the refund so now they just need my card to recharge it. I explain that it is a checking account so I can't recharge until the refund hits. And I ask how come they started the transaction without talking to me and without explaining the process. Her response includes some hmms and haas and an explanation that since I refused delivery they had to refund it. So I talk to a manager who explains they can't undo what's been done and although it could have been one transaction it can't now. He is very apologetic and says he'll call me daily to see what's going on so it doesn't fall through the cracks. No call Tuesday. No call Wednesday. So Wednesday the money hits my checking account and I call them to reorder my fridge. She pulls up my order and quotes a price that is $100 more than what I paid. I inquire about the price difference. She explains that it is tax. I explain that I want it tax free because I bought it without tax. She says she'll have to get a manager. They put me on hold on and off for 30 minutes. Finally she comes back and tells me the card was declined. I look online and it has the charge from Lowes on there for the reorder so I tell her this only to find out that is not in fact a charge but it is in fact a hold on the account for a phone authorization. So in essence I need to have twice the amount of the fridge available so they can put the hold and then charge the actual amount. At this point I'm beyond ticked and ask for a manager. She comes on and says that there is nothing she can do this is the way the process works. When I ask about how come it couldn't be done as one transaction to begin with she tells me if I'd come into the store it could have been. WTH?!? Why wasn't I told this from the beginning  Well we were trying to make it easier on you so it wouldn't be inconvenient for you. Epic fail on their part. So I'm in a holding pattern again. I have to wait for the hold to come off in order to reorder the dang thing.

The hold finally came off today...a week later. I decided to go to hhgregg and see what they can do. At first they can't quite match it because of the tax and the fact that their warranty is more expensive. Then they appliance manager decides to wave the tax so it is only $30 more than Lowes. And I won't have anymore run around. I wanted to talk to J before I pull the trigger and order from hhgregg. He has agreed so we will be getting our new fridge from hhgregg assuming nothing else changes. I think the truly frustrating part with Lowes is the attitude I received even from managers that I just had to live with it and that they didn't really care that I was unhappy. The sad part is I used to be a huge fan of Lowes because they offer a military discount. And for hardware stuff I'm sure we'll still go there but I'm not sure I'll get big ticket items there anymore. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It's November?! What the Heck?

It's hard to believe we are in November already. That means my second favorite holiday is coming....Thanksgiving! I love the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, coffee cake for breakfast, a traditional Thanksgiving feast for lunch, and lots of fun! And the best part is Lord willing and the creek don't rise this will be the last one without my husband for a while. Very exciting that we are coming up on the last ones before he's home for good. 

There have been these "thankful" things going around Facebook and the blog world. You're supposed to say one thing you're thankful for each day. I'm behind so I'm going to try and do it weekly.

  1. My God...he is an awesome God! And with Him I can do all things!!
  2. My Mother...she gave me such a great foundation for who I am!!
  3. My Brother...he really is my hero!!
  4. My husband...we are a perfect fit in so many ways
  5. My job...I'm blessed to have a job I love with people who are a family not just co-workers.
  6. My pets...although they test me at times they really have been a saving grace during this time that J has been gone.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Light the Night

Tonight 30 of us are walking in memory of our dear friend James. Tonight we are "Jogging for James"! We should have great weather for this and it should be a great night! Say a prayer or think good thoughts for us tonight!! Thanks! 

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end

In Semisonic's song "Closing Time" a recurring line is "every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end" I've always liked the song but it never really hit me how true it was until recently.
James last Halloween
On July 1st my dear friend and co-worker James lost his battle with Leukemia. He fought valiantly for a year and died days shy of his 50th birthday. His loss hit me hard...he was like a brother to me. He had supported me both personally and professionally and he was dear to me. We have been hurting as a staff and as friends of this amazing man.

His office and position are still empty. The search for his replacement will be a ways down the road still but we are talking about moving our new Director of Children's Ministry in to his office. She was our part time Preschool Director and with the death of James and our Nursery Director leaving, her job evolved into a full time job that covers preschool, nursery, and children's ministries through elementary school.

It is logical to move her into his office since many of the children's ministry supplies are in there. I was even the one who suggested she move into that office. But what I wasn't prepared for was the fact that her moving into his office would bring a final closure to James' death. I know we have to move on and I know he would want us to do so. But it doesn't make it an easy thing. And I know emotions will be there for a while. It is time to start moving on. And as we start a new chapter I'm reminded of this song.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Birchbox Favorites

I've seen Birchbox on a couple of blogs but I hadn't really investigated it until recently. I've received two boxes so far and I like it. It is fun because it is a box of samples it's kind of like going to Sephora with a personal shopper. My most recent box had two big time favorites for me. I've actually ordered the full size package of both. The first on is Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25+. I have sensitive skin and sometimes foundation/moisturizers irritate it. But this product is great! It gives nice coverage without being heavy or irritating and it seems to brighten things a bit.
Loving this
The other one is Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator. Again with sensitive skin it is tricky to find a gentle enough scrub. This is it.

And this!!

I highly recommend Birchbox. It is very reasonable at $10 a month and it can be set for just a few months.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Paws for the Cause 5K - Follow-Up

Me and the SPCA Dog
Saturday morning I woke up around 7:00 am and took care of the dogs. Then I headed down the road to the start of the Paws for the Cause 5K. I liked this one because it was close to me and it didn't start until 9:00 am. I got there, got signed in, got my bib and my goody bag. I was going to change into the shirt but they only had a port-a-potty and I just didn't feel like that was something I wanted to deal with so I put the goody bag in the car. We stood around for a bit waiting for it to start. It wasn't too big a crowd. Then they told us to get to the start line. I got to the back since I walk and the runners took off. 98% of the group ran only 3 or 4 of walked. I ended up at the back but I was cool with it, I had a beautiful day, my iPhone, and I could go at my own pace. The path was a bit hilly and it had a LOT of potholes since it was a dirt road which was a bit of a challenge. I was doing good until a little after the turn around point where a couple in front of me decided that I shouldn't finish alone so they waited for me and talked to me. It was fine except I was kinda in a zone. But I will admit it got a bit strange when the husband suggested the wife and I hold hands and cross the finish line. I politely declined. It was my first race of the season and I enjoyed it.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Paws for a Cause 5K & 10k

On Saturday I'm doing my first 5K of the season. I'm excited because I enjoy the camaraderie of it but I'm nervous because I haven't been training as much as I should and I'm feeling out of practice. I know I'll be fine and it will all work out but there are always nerves for me on the first one back. 

And I'm supposed to have done fundraising but with the weeks I've had recently I haven't so here is what my fundraising page looks like goal=$100...raised=$0...not too good. But I plan to make a donation on site so I'll be fine.

The really good news is the weather should be nice 83 degrees is the high but I'm guessing it will be more in the 70s in the morning. No rain is predicted...knock on wood!

If you want to see more about my races...check out My Race List

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I Will Thrive: Taking Ballet

Early on in the deployment I made a Deployment Bucket List and as I've gone through this deployment I've added a few (and removed a few) well next week I'm taking on one I've added. Ballet Classes. Now I should say I've NEVER taken ballet classes a day in my life but it has always been something I've wanted to do. So when I heard that the local dance studio was offering an adult ballet class and my friend was taking it I decided to jump and take the class. I admit I'm nervous and excited all in one. I'm excited because I've wanted to take a class like this for years but I'm nervous because I've never taken one. Also I know some of the people in the class are very experienced so that is a bit intimidating. But I think the draw of the fun outweighed the fear. So here we go...

Friday, September 14, 2012

Journey with Jenny: 2nd weigh in

On Saturday I went back to Jenny to get my food and to weigh in. I weigh in every two weeks. I've decided to not count any weight except for the weight at the center. I went in hoping to remain the same but completely braced for a gain. I'd had a rough week...Labor Day weekend brought some not so good things. Friday I was in a minor car accident, Saturday a good friend of mine's husband died and I had to do a funeral at work for a Navy gentleman who received full military rites (a tad close to home), and the week following Labor Day I lived at my friend's house being there for her. So needless to say I didn't exactly eat Jenny food very often for about 7-8 days. I shared this with my Jenny counselor and we bit the bullet and I hopped up on the scale. Turns out I did better than I thought.

8/11/2012: Starting Weight: 246.6
9/8/2012: 238.8 = 1.4 (7.8 loss total)

So I guess I did better at portion size and movement than I thought. Whoo hoo!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Deployment Murphy Style

My "Guard" Dogs...
So last night was fairly typical. I went out with a girl friend of mine to see Expendables 2 and was home before 11:00 pm. My cat got out when I got home but I was able to get him back in before I went to bed. All was normal when the dogs and I went to bed. I set the alarm and we went to sleep. Around 1:00 am my alarm started going off like the system had been breached. I go downstairs to check things out because the front door hadn't made noise but the system was saying it was the front door. The sensor is off the door I clip it back on. So I call the company and tell them it is a false alarm. We go back up to bed. We get settled and about 15 minutes later it goes off again. So I go down and the sensor is off the door again. Now I'm getting paranoid that someone is messing with the door causing it to come off. So I call the non-emergency line for the police. They come out and check around the outside of the house and see nothing. So we go back to bed. The alarm goes off again. This one was my fault because I forgot to set the motion detector part right. So needless to say it was a bit of a rough night in our household. Then when I let the dogs out this morning the cat snuck out again and as off the time I had to come to work he was still out.

The second kicker...the alarm company wants to come check the system because although it's working it seems to be having issues. I need to schedule an appointment for them to come out. However, I can't because I'm not on the account so J needs to call. I explain he can't call but I have a POA. They have to have me fax it to them and it will take 7-10 business days to get me in the system and then I can schedule it. I'm going to see if there is a chance that J can call them or email them but it's looking like a long process to me.

The picture above is my dogs after we went back to bed after the third time of the alarm going off. I couldn't sleep but they had no problem. Way to guard guys, way to guard.

Friday, September 7, 2012

MilSpouse (First) Friday Fill-In #74

1. What’s one thing in the past month you would have changed?It's been a rough month at work. We've had a co-worker die, a co-worker's spouse die, and a co-worker with lots of health issues. I would definitely change all of that. It's caused a lot of stress for all of us emotionally and physically.
2. What was your favorite thing that happened in August? 
The fence was completed enough that we could use it in the backyard for the puppies. They love it. Lots of freedom for them to run around. It still needs to be stained and finished but we're close.
3. What did you do to celebrate Labor Day?Not too much I had to work Saturday and Labor Day was spent running some errands I needed to take care of including looking at a new fridge.
4. What do you HAVE to have handy by your bedside?
My cell phone, a bottle of water, a flashlight, and my Kindle
5. What are you looking forward to in September?
A slightly calmer time at work although we're getting ready to start a building project so it will probably be hectic but exciting.
Now head over to Wife of a Sailor and link up!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Getting Creative with Vegetables

On Jenny Craig in the beginning at least you have your breakfast, lunch, dinner, an anytime bar, and a snack provided. I've been very pleased with most of the food. I've only found a few that I didn't like which is nice. Then they ask you to add a couple fruits, a salad, a milk and a vegetable throughout the day. Well I confess it has encouraged me to get creative with vegetables. So today I'm going to share some of my favorite recipes for green beans.

One of my all time favorite ways to eat green beans is also the easiest. I love basic canned green beans. I could literally eat multiple cans of them a day. And although that wouldn't be the worst possible thing because they are green beans and they are healthy, canned green are a bit high in sodium so I have to limit my consumption of these gems.
But frozen and fresh green beans only have what you add to them so I can eat those to my heart's content. I have two recipes that I use often for my green beans. I thought I'd share them with you.

Roasted Green Beans (there are many variations on this but this is the one I use)
Large bag of green beans (I buy the ones that are with the bagged salad in the produce department because they are already cleaned)
1-2 T of olive oil depending on the number of beans
Crushed Garlic or garlic powder (or rosemary, Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese, etc depending on taste)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spread foil or parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
Spread a single layer of green beans on the cookie sheet.
Drizzle oil over top and toss to coat completely.
Sprinkle seasoning of choice on the beans.
Put in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. Remove and stir to allow all sides to get roasted.
Cook for another 15-20 minutes until nice and brown but not burned.
Serve and enjoy!

Balsamic Glazed Green Beans
Large bag of green beans (I buy the ones that are with the bagged salad in the produce department because they are already cleaned)
3-4 T of balsamic vinegar
3-4 T of butter

Cook the green beans either in the microwave or on the stove until crisp tender. (I use my Pampered Chef steamer with a bit of water in the bottom and steam them)
While beans are cooking melt butter in a sauce pan of medium heat and stir in the vinegar.
Let this mixture cook until it reduces slightly. Stir occasionally. (Usually takes about 8-10 minutes)
Put green beans in a bowl. Cover with sauce and stir to coat.
Serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Journey with Jenny: First Weigh-In

So on August 11th I went into the Jenny Craig Center and signed for a year long program under the Premium Success Program. I got my first two weeks of food because the center is about 45 minutes to an hour away I don't plan to go to the center every week. I'll do my alternate week check-ins by phone. So this past Saturday in the middle of a crazy rain storm that rivaled some of the hurricanes we've had I drove to the center to get my food (and my Mom's) and to do my first in person meeting and weigh in. So here it is.

8/11/2012: Starting Weight: 246.6
8/25/2012: 240.2 = 6.4 loss *insert excited squeal here*

My Mom asked me what I thought it was about this program that I was willing to follow it as opposed to some of the other programs that I ignored the advice and did what I wanted. Personally I think it is because they tell me what to eat. I have printed menus that say eat this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and add fruit, salad, or veges here or there. Which makes it really easy to do. Also their food is really quite tasty, there have only been a few things that I didn't like and those were just my personal taste someone else might love them.

On this program they really encourage you to eat only their food every day for every meal and snack but I will admit sometimes I just want something from a restaurant with company. But I've followed their advice and examples for what to eat and have learned to limit portion sizes, etc.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Show and Tell Monday Link Up: Marriage Edition

I saw this over on The Misadventures of Mrs. Duh and thought it was kinda neat so I figured I'd link up...

1. Are you married? If so when did you get married, and tell us about your special day. If not? How would you describe your dream wedding?
My husband and I got married September 5th, 2009 at his family reunion at a camp ground in Indiana and then again at our church in Virginia on January 10th, 2010. So I have two special days.

The first wedding we surprised his family with the fact that we were getting married the next day. We had contacted a local retired minister who was gracious enough to perform the wedding including communion with J's family. It took place in a picnic shelter on a lake. It was a sunny beautiful day and we were surrounded by his siblings (most of them), his parents, his nieces and nephews, and a minister who blended beautifully. We had cake and then went back to the cabins to change and have dinner around the camp fire. It was perfect! Our talented niece-in-law took the most amazing pictures. This is also the wedding that he got cake up my nose and I got it on his cheek.

The second wedding was a formal ordeal in a church with our friends and family from Virginia. The ceremony was put together by J and I and it was a very formal ceremony and we loved it. This wedding also had communion which was served by our mothers. His father was the best man and my brother was the man of honor. Following the wedding is when the drama hit. J has biological sisters but was raised in his adoptive family and didn't know them until he was 21. Well his biological sister M was at this wedding and so were his adoptive parents. Immediately following the wedding she ambushed his parents with a hug and proceeded to become a bundle of mess. His parents weren't prepared for this and this of course wasn't how J wanted the meeting to occur so that kinda put a cloud over the pictures and the reception. His mother was very upset by it because she feels that she has her children and M has her mother so there is no need for her to know M. So we had to spend part of our day putting out fires. But overall it was a lovely service and reception.

2. Show us some wedding pictures. Either yours or of some that you love.
During the ceremony our nephew read scriptures from Ruth and 1 Corinthians

The Cake War

An Artistic Picture that we later used for our program at our second wedding

The kiss during the toast
In the Limo

My brother the Man of Honor

One of my Favorites from the Reception

The nice cake feeding
3. How about the engagement? Tell us your story. If not engaged, what's your dream proposal?
Hmm about that...well it's like this. We didn't have a formal proposal because both of us had been married before and it didn't work out so well. I told J I wasn't too worried about a true proposal. We had discussed getting married and we knew he was headed to Japan in July of 2010 and we had decided we'd like to be married before that. We were headed to his family reunion where I would meet the rest of his family that I hadn't met yet and my Mom of all people suggested we get married there since his whole family would be there. She of course also suggested a second wedding in Virginia. So J talked to my father and got his permission which meant a lot to my Dad because my first husband hadn't. We didn't tell anyone really except my parents and my brother and one of his sisters T who in turn told his other sister L. In essence we kind of eloped.

But one night before we headed to the reunion we were laying in bed talking about something not too important. When he looked at me with a very serious look and held my hand and said "we have this wedding planned and I just wanted to you want to?." To which I smiled and said "yes."

4. Show us your wedding rings or an engagement photo! If not engaged/married, show us your "dream" ring.
I've received some interesting comments on this but I don't have an engagement ring. It is two fold really. First of all again I had the ring the first time around and it just didn't go so well so I wasn't too hung up on it for the second time around. Second we were on a limited budget at the time and I didn't want a chunk of money spent on a ring I probably wouldn't wear that often. And third (I know I know I said it was two with me) I'm not a huge jewelry person. I wear basic silver earrings, necklaces, etc. I've told him if he wants to get me something he can get me a Ford Mustang. He laughs and says a ring would be cheaper and safer.

My ring is a white gold band and his is a tungsten band that is light gray on the outsides with a dark shiny band in the center.
Our rings and my Bouquet
5. Tell us why you think marriage doesn't work out for so many? What can we do to make things last?
I think the main reasons marriage doesn't work out is because of expectations and a lack of commitment***. People have expectations that are either unrealistic or they forget to share them with their spouse. Your spouse is not from a movie or a story book they will not be perfect all the time (and surprise neither will you) and they also cannot read your mind no matter how hard they try or how long you hope it's not going to happen. You must communicate your expectations.

As for commitment it has shocked and amazed me the number of couples who didn't even make it to the year mark without bringing up the "D" word. You made a commitment to this person til death do you part. How does that go out the window so quickly? Ok so it isn't the fairy tale you thought it would be. Marriage takes work. And it takes a 100% commitment on the part of both parties. When the going gets tough talk about it, go see your pastor or a counselor, make time for each other, laugh together, and above all keep talking (yes I know I said it twice it's that important).

For J and I we have the following rules:

  • We won't go to bed angry and we haven't. 
  • We won't ever throw out the "D" word (we've both been through it and it sucks so no thank you). 
  • We will laugh in an argument because one of us throws out a funny word like farfignewton.
  • We will communicate even when we are on different continents.
  • We will always kiss good night/good bye and say "I love you" because you never know when that will be the last time. 

***If there is abuse of any kind in a relationship you should not stay! Whether it is physical, sexual, mental, emotional, verbal, etc you should seek help. You do not deserve abuse no matter what you have or haven't done and you are not quitting if you leave an abusive relationship.

Now head over to From Mrs to Mama and link up!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

What a Difference a Year Makes...

My Hubby
Having your spouse gone is a challenge whether it is for a week, a month, 6 months or a year. You have to take care of the house, the bills, the pets and/or children, yourself, and much more. On July 1st we hit the one year mark of when I put J back on the plane to go to Japan. Our first part of our deployment was 7 months that was long but because of going through that I figured a year wouldn't be too bad. And maybe it wouldn't have been too bad if I had gotten him back after a year but here we are at 13 1/2 months and I still don't have him back. Thanks to some scheduling issues it looks like I won't get him back for his last R&R until the beginning of next year sometime. The only good news is that means we won't have too long until he's home for good when he goes back.

But for now it is hitting me hard. Much harder than I anticipated. I find myself emotional...sometimes grumpy...sometimes envious...and impatient. I'm trying to work on my eating and my exercise because I know both help balance me. But I feel like I may need to do something else like go to a support group or go talk to a counselor or or something. It was a little easier for the past two weeks because he was in a port so we could talk on the phone and text some. But now he is back underway so we are back to sporadic emails. I know that each day that passes puts us closer to him coming home but still it is tough. I miss him...a lot!

This too shall pass and God is with me through it all but I'm ready for it to pass and to have my husband with me through it all.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Journey with Jenny

Ok so I talk about weight loss semi frequently (in all fairness I've struggled with my weight since I was in 4th grade so it's an issue for me) and in the past few years I've tried Weight Watchers, First Place 4 Health, Weight Watchers again, and just cutting my portions none of which were overly successful. In essence I've gained and lost the same 10lbs over and over again. I'm at the highest weight I've ever been and I hate it (the weight, not myself). So I decided to do something I've contemplated a couple different times in the past. I joined Jenny Craig. Part of my problem with J gone is that I often stop and pick up something on the way home (McDonalds, Arbys, Fazolis, you get the picture). And some days I literally eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner from a restaurant mostly out of laziness because it's easier. So I decided that I would sign up for Jenny Craig and let them do the thinking for me food wise.

I signed up on Saturday so I'm on day four of the food. So far most of the food has been quite yummy. One of my favorites was the Turkey Burger for lunch followed closely by the Chicken Fettuccine for dinner. Oh and the Triple Chocolate Cheesecake is downright amazing...if I didn't know it was healthy I wouldn't believe it. As I said I'm just at the beginning but so far I feel the most positive I've felt in a long time on a eating program. Now I just need to get my butt moving literally. But one step at a time.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Writer's Block

Sometimes I feel like I have so much to write about I don't know where to begin. This is how I've felt for the whole month of July almost. I've had so much going on that I didn't want to short change something for something else so I wrote nothing. Perhaps not the best way to handle it (and to be honest I'm a journal person so I write to deal with it) but it is what I did for July. July was a rough, hectic, and exhausting month physically, mentally, and emotionally. That and I didn't want to share only down things but a lot of down things happened in July so most of my posts would have revolved around those. I am working on some posts about different topics to keep things interesting. So don't give up on me...I'm back and I'll keep things interesting.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

6th Bead Soup 2nd Reveal

Bead Soup Reveal

I haven't done a bead soup project in a while because of crazy schedules. I missed doing them. This one was fun. My partner Pam sent me a lot of fun beads and goodies. It took me a little while to decide what to do with my gems. I hadn't made a fiber necklace in a while so I decided to go that route. Pam sent me some really pretty fiber that I incorporated into the necklace. When you're done here make sure you take a moment to head to her blog...
Purple Notes from the Studio and the other lovelies below. (my camera hasn't been working too well so the pictures came out a bit dark...I have a friend coming tomorrow to take a few more so I'll post those later)
The collection of beady goodness

The stunning focal and clasp
And now for the creation...

The focal with some of the fiber and the beads
This is my first time using a clasp on a fiber necklace...I have a few thoughts for next time
The necklace...I love the silver spirals she sent they add some  extra whimsy

Hostess, Lori Anderson, Pretty Things

Adlinah Kamsir, Dream Struck Designs
Adrienn Lukacs, Raszputyin Designs
Agata Grygiel, Cytherea Bijoux 
Alenka Obid, Pepita Handmade 
Amy Dickerson, Damyjo Designs 
Amy Schmidt, Amy's Treasure 
Amy Severino, Amy Beads 

Andra Weber, Andra's Joyful Journey
Andrea Trank, Heaven Lane Creations
Anke Humpert, Anart Island Studios
Ann Rishell, My Critical Eye
April Grinaway, Brooklyn Bead Goddess 
Ashley Bunting, Miss Ashely Kate 
Astrid Boyce, Astrid Boyce Beads 
B.R. Kuhlman, Mixed Mayhem Studios 
Barb Fernald, Barbara S. Fernald Jewelry 
Barbe Saint John, Saints and Sinners

Beata Benkone Meggyesi, Beahobbi
Brandy McNair, Bella Vita Handmade Jewelry 
 Bryna Lumb, Bryna's Bead Box
Carmen Lau, Little Maketto
Cate van Alphen, Fulgorine
Cathie Carroll, Cathie Carroll's Studio
Cathy Khoury, Touch Jewelry 
Christina Stofmeel, Feng Beads 

 Collette Collins, Fire Fly Myst Artisan Jewelry
Courtney Breul, Beads by Breul 
Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons
Cynthia Abner, Created Treasures
Deana Hager, Just Deez'Art & Life
Debbie Davis, Natural Treasures by Deb
Debbie Phenes, Deb Joy Sing
Dhea Powers, Java Bead

Diana Welte, Lilyweeds
Dita Basu, alankarshilpa
Dorota Zeranska, gdymamczas 
Dot Lewallwn, Speedie Beadie
Elisabeth Auld, Beads For Busy Gals
Ema Kilroy, Ema K Designs
Emma Todd, A Polymer Penchant
Eva Sherman, Eva Sherman Designs
Evie and Beth McCord, EB Bead and Metal Works
Francy Inman, Francy's Studio

Ginger Bishop, lilmummy likes...
Giorgia Rossini, Jo in Wonderland
Ine Vande Cappelle, Jewels by Ine 
Iveth Caruso, Creative Atelier 
JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
Jackie Ryan, Kydo Jewellery
Jeannie Dukic, Jeannie's Blog
Jelveh Jaferian, Jelveh Designs
Jenna Tomalka, Twin Birch Studio
Jenni Connolly, Jenni's Beads

Jennifer Van Horn, Jennifers Jewels and Junk
Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation
Johanna Rhodes-Nash, Fire Phoenix Creations 
 Joyce Blair, Bent Wire West Coast
JuLee Wolfe, The Polymer Penguin
Karen Vincent, Swallow Tail Jewellery
Karin Slaton, Backstory Beads
Kayla Potega, The Eclectic Element 
Kim Dworak, CianciBlue
Krafty Max, Krafty Max Originals
Kris Lanae Binsfeld, Cherish Designs by Kris Lanae

Kristen Latimer, MJM Jewelry Designs
Kumi Fisher, Malie Kai Designs
Kym Hunter, Kym Hunter Designs
Lennis Carrier, Windbent
Leslie Wayment, AA Beads & More
Linda Murphy, Bonita Bead
Lisa Johnson, Whimsey Wonders
Lisa Lodge, Pine Ridge Treasures

Lisa Sittniewski, Love, Yesterdays
Lois Moon, Que Onda, Q'Town?
Lola Surwillo, Bead Lola Bead
Lorelei Eurto, Lorelei's Blog
Lori Bowring Michaud, Artfully Ornamental
Lori Finney, Using My Beads
Marcia Dunne, The Alternative Foundry
Margareta Saari, Mags-koruja
Maria Horvath, Horimarika Beads
Marian Hertzog, M's Place

 Mary Ellen Parker, BeeTree by m.e.
Mary K McGraw, MK's Creative Musings
MaryLou Holvenstot, time2cre8 
Martha Aleo, Ornamento
 Maybeline Tay, The Jewelry Larder
Megan Collins, Churchy & Her Sailor
Melissa Meman, Art. Life. Love.
Melissa Mesara, One-Eared Pig Beads
Melissa Muir, Kelsi's Closet Jewelbox
Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs

Pam Farren, re-maker
Pam Hurst, Pam Hurst Designs
Patricia Handschuh, The Color of Dreams
Patty Miller, CabariBeads
Penney Klapoth, Faerie Acres
Regina Santerre, Regina's Writings
Rhea Freitag, starrgazer creates
Rochelle Brisson, A Creative Chelle

Sabine Dittrich, PerlenDschungel
Sandra McGriff, Creative Chaos
Sandra Neights, Petalo Azul
Sandra Young, It's a Bead Life!
Sara Oehler, SoftFlex Girl
Saturday Sequins, Saturday Sequins
Shanti Johnson, Sunshine Bliss
Shari Replogle, Plays With Paper
Sonya Stille, Dreamin' of Beads

Stefanie Teufel, Stefanies Sammelsurium
Tammie Everly, TTE Designs
Tania Spivey, Moobie Grace Designs
Therese Frank, Therese's Treasures
Tina Holden, Polymer Clay Bytes!
Toltec Jewels, Jewel School Friends 

Tracey Nanstad, A Beadiful Mess
Tracy Choy, BumbleBeads Designs
Valerie Norton, Hot Art