April 30, 2011

He's Home!

He arrived in late Thursday night.  I promise I'll get a post up with more details and some photos very soon.
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April 26, 2011


My hubby is out of Afghanistan!!!  He has started his journey home.  He'll be home soon, but soon is never fast enough ;)

I have tons of cleaning to do.  A few last minute tasks that I wanted to finish before he's home.  I'm hoping for a good night of sleep tonight (without any awful storms) and a productive day tomorrow.

I'll update more soon.

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April 23, 2011

Sometimes You Have to Laugh

Sometimes you have to laugh at life.  We all joke about "Murphy", but really, it's just life--ups and downs, highs and lows.

Lately, as you've seen on my blog, I've had quite a few moments that weren't quite on the up side.  Today was no exception.  (Before you stop reading thinking I'm just going to complain again, there were many positives today, and I'll tell you about those too!)

I mentioned how Ryan had a bloody nose last night at bedtime.  He had another one in the middle of the night.  Then after his nap today he had another one.  That's 3 in 18 hours.  Also, if you combine the bloody noses with his cold, cough, throat pain, and light sensitivity something definitely seemed to be up.  My in-laws are visiting right now, and my mother-in-law thought maybe it could be a sinus infection and that Ryan should be seen.  I dreaded going to the urgent care on post with the possibility of waiting forever and it just being a cold.  I decided to take Ryan to the Take Care Clinic as Walgreens.  I realize I'll probably foot the bill for this, but the time savings was worth it.

We were seen right away.  I'll spare you all the details, but Ryan has an ear infection, allergies to something, bronchitis, and inflammation of his sinuses and chest.  Oh and they hear a heart murmur.  He had a breathing treatment there, and he's on 4 different medications now.  (Many of which they told me could make him hyper...Great, just what my high energy 3 year old needs ;)  I was really happy with my visit and will follow up with his primary care physician.

So that is 3 days in a row of challenges.  But as I said, this is life with highs and lows.  There were some good things today too.  I got my hair cut, and I am very happy with it.  I got a pedicure done, which was a nice treat, and I love the color.  My in-laws being here during some of these difficult times has really helped me out tremendously.  Pat called this morning and said he's coming home with his unit instead of later.

The two best moments of the day though just happened late this evening.  I had been so busy today that I didn't get much time with Sean.  I was rocking him before bed and he was resting on my chest babbling away.  Then he changed his babbling to say "mama, mama, mamama..." on and on in a singsong like way.  He probably wasn't meaning me with his "mama" song, but I like to think in someway it was about me.  It made me smile and really picked my spirits up.  

The other favorite part of the day was right after I put Ryan to bed.  He came back out and asked me to cuddle him.  Now you have to realize cuddling for Ryan means laying next to him and not touching him at all.  But being able to lay next to my little boy watching him drift off to sleep and listening to him breathe was absolute peace and joy.

If all my days end sharing moments of love with my little boys, I can take on anything that life throws my way.  

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April 22, 2011

Would you believe it?

Would you believe it if I told you today was worse than yesterday?  Yes, I can honestly say today was way worse.

This morning I decided to look at our bank account online.  I do this regularly and am pretty strict about my record keeping and finances.  I was kind of dreading logging on and seeing all the purchases I made the day before to complete the packages for the single Soldiers.

Well, when I logged on I saw two strange charges right at the top.  At first I thought my husband must have been sweet and bought me a gift.  Then I googled the payee....I'm pretty sure my husband is not planning a trip to South America, so I don't know why we are paying for plane tickets there.  I was freaking out.

I called our bank, and they were great.  I'll admit right here, I was in tears while talking to them.  They had noticed the charges last night and put a hold on my account.  My card is now cancelled.  I was feeling embarrassed and ashamed.  I guess I always thought that for this to happen that you must have compromised your info by doing something unsafe.  I was so confused where I went wrong.  But as many people AND my bank explained, sometimes "secure" systems get hacked and bad people get your numbers.  My bank tells me that everything is taken care of, and my money will be returned with no issues.  They also say my other accounts should all be fine.  While it seems like it is taken care of, this is NOT how I wanted my morning to start.  (And now I'm afraid to pay for anything, I am really considering using cash more often.)

And I'll spare you the details of the other things that weren't so great today, but here is a quick rundown:
the shirts for the boys to wear to homecoming won't be produced in time so I canceled--let me just say I will NEVER order from CafePress.com ever again, I spent $200 on more toiletries today, my yellow cardigan for homecoming came and it reminds me more of a soft spring green than a yellow, and poor Ryan is still sick and we ended the night with a bloody nose that was kind of scary.  

I know my posts seem really negative lately.  I realize these things aren't really bad, well except for my debit card being hacked.  And even though some things are going wrong, some things are right.  As I was putting Ryan to bed he started an impromptu list of people he loves.  Sometimes he melts my heart.  Plus, I think it's really sweet that he includes both his teachers on the list too.

This deployment is almost done.  So no matter what Murphy keeps sending my way, the end is near.

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Yesterday was a FAIL

On the way to drop Ryan off at school I noticed he was coughing a bit and had a runny nose.  I had kept him home from school on Tuesday because he had a touch of a stomach bug.  Yesterday was the Easter party at school, and I didn't want him to miss it.

When I went to pick him up from school, I noticed he wasn't in the classroom.  The teacher told me he wasn't feeling well and just started to cry, so they sent him to the office.  I rushed to the office where I found out they had my old cell phone number.  (I've had my current number for over a year now.)

I felt AWFUL.  My poor boy had tears in his eyes.  I took him right to the car.  When I went to buckle him in, I asked why he was so upset and if it was because he wasn't feeling well.  His answer: "John took my big, giant T-Rex."  You see, Ryan seems to have issues with John.  Everyday Ryan comes home from school complaining about something John did.  He says John is bad, but I have the feeling it's more along the lines of Ryan doesn't want to share with John and then gets mad/sad when John plays with the same toy.

So while I feel horrible about this whole incident, I am trying to make myself feel a bit better that they only called at 11:24 a.m. and I picked him up at 11:50.  It would have taken me about as long to get from my house to the school if I had been home to receive the call.  And I feel a little less bad knowing that he wasn't solely crying because he didn't feel well.

So the day continued down hill.  Remember me mentioning how we have some very generous people sending some supplies for the single Soldiers?  Well, the other day they e-mailed me saying that they had overnighted two boxes and the other three would be here on Monday.  I thought this was great.  The first flight was arriving yesterday evening.  I was pretty sure it would all work out.  Well, when I checked the flight status yesterday morning, I saw the flight was supposed to arrive in 3 hours earlier than originally planned.  This was going to cut it close, but it would still be doable.

Except, the overnight delivery never came.  At 3 p.m. I decided I couldn't wait any longer.  The flight was getting in at 6 p.m.  I took the kids and began running around trying to buy supplies.  I got all the necessary items and headed to the battalion.  I was the crazy woman in the parking lot sorting though toiletries and snacks, making a giant mess around her car, and fighting with the stapler.  Thankfully it was only about 13 bags needed for that flight.  I didn't realize it would be such hard work sorting the stuff into bags.  And do you realize how much all the basics cost when you do it 13 times?  Now I am just hoping and crossing my fingers that those boxes arrive tomorrow, or else I'm going to go broke on travel size toiletries.

And to top it off, Pat has some stuff going on that could affect his homecoming.  He has very limited communication, so I'm not sure what is going to happen.  He said he'd call yesterday "come hell or high water", and yet no phone call ever came.

I hope today is a much better day.  Happy Friday!!!!  I hope you all enjoy a great weekend.  Mine is looking pretty nice with a haircut and pedicure planned.

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MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #38

I'm linking up at Wife of a Sailor for the Friday Fill-In.  (sorry the spacing is crazy, I can't seem to fix it)

  • How many pets do you have? And what type? submitted by Life and Times of a Displaced Jersey Girl  I have 3 dogs.  A pug, a beagle, and a shepherd/lab mix.  If you are all that interested in them you can read more HERE.  

  • What are your favorite projects to do while hubby is away? submitted by my-inspired-nest  I can't really think of much, but it seems I like to paint the house while my hubby is gone.  The first deployment I painted the bathroom.  The second deployment I painted the bathroom and hallway in our current house.  This deployment I painted Ryan's room.  

  • What are the must-haves in your deployment care packages?  submitted by Christine’s Little Blog  Sour patch watermelon candy, taped dvds of his favorite tv shows, and he likes the recent Victoria's Secret catalogs (I'm not kidding).  

  • If you could star in any TV show, which would it be? submitted byJust a Girl  Hmm, this is tough one.  There are a lot of shows that I like, but I think it would be cool to see how they could write me in to Parenthood.  I love all the characters on that show and enjoy watching their relationships, so I'd love to see how they could fit me into it.  

  • What was the biggest hurdle that you faced during your/your significant other’s first deployment? submitted by The Pavlik Perspective  I was living far away from family and was a newlywed.  I didn't have many friends, I wasn't working, and it was my first time being completely, 100% independent without anyone to count on for help.  I had to handle everything on my own but also learn to reach out to make connections to others.  I grew up so much during the first deployment.  

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    April 21, 2011

    I'm a Winner and Shopping

    These past couple weeks I've been pretty lucky on the blogs.  I've won 3 different giveaways in about two weeks.  I want to tell you the cool things I won and give a shout-out to the awesome bloggers who hosted the giveaways.

    • First I won a blog makeover from Crafty Hippo Designs.   I've already posted all about it HERE, and if you are at my blog now you can obviously see my awesome new design.  
    • The second giveaway I won was a Shabby Apple dress from Beautiful Living.  I cannot wait for my dress to arrive.  I haven't mentioned it yet, but my homecoming dress is from Shabby Apple too.  I just adore their dresses.  You need to check out Kim's blog.  I'm so glad I found it; it's so full of inspiration.  To give a quick idea of what "Beautiful Living" is this is a how Kim defines it, "it is about enjoying life, slowing down to appreciate those little moments and embracing whatever life has to offer."
    • The last giveaway I won was from Lisa at The Army Chaplain's Wife.  I'm really excited about this one.  I won the MarsEdit App for Mac users.  This app makes it possible for me to completely compose a blog post (pictures and all) without being connected to the internet.  Then I can easily publish when I get back online.  I'm going to get a lot of use out of this App while we are away on block leave.  I can compose posts on our long drives in the car then on a coffee stop I can publish them. 
    I guess I was having a lucky streak!  I highly recommend you check out all those blogs because they are great.

    And on the next topic, I mentioned yesterday how I had been doing a lot of shopping.  Want to see some of my splurges and scores?  
    J.Crew Dress--I consider it a score at less than $25 shipped (thank you coupon code)
    And it's a light dress prefect for summer weather.

    Black Tourmaline Flat Iron from Sephora--a splurge for me.  
    I don't straighten my hair often, but since I have curly hair a flat iron is needed sometimes. 
    I've had really annoying curly fly-aways lately and have been wanting a little flat iron to try to work them out.  
    Plus my current flat iron is huge and old and yanks my hair.  

    Not one, but two pairs of flip flops from L.L. Bean.  
    I was looking for dressier sandals, but I couldn't find any comfortable ones.  
    Deep down, I think I'm just a regular, casual flip flop girl.  
    And I still think I can get away with them in some sun dresses.  

    Sandals from Lands End Canvas--I think these are a score at less than $20 shipped. 
    The reviews are mixed, so I'll have to wait until they arrive.  
    But with the flip flops from L. L Bean I was worried that I'd need a slightly more dressy pair of shoes for some dresses.  Even if these aren't the best, I'm sure they can work the few times I need a more classy sandal.  

    Cargo Shorts from Old Navy.  I've been wanting to find these in a store to try them on, but could never find them.  They're finally on sale and I had an extra 20% off, so I would say it's a score. 
    There is the possibility that these look horrible on, but they should be comfortable for chasing the boys around the parks.  I couldn't resist buying these when I bought the cardigan for homecoming.  

    See, I told you I've been shopping uncontrollably lately.  I think I've finally checked everything off my to buy list.  Hopefully I can step away from the online shopping now.  

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    April 20, 2011

    In the Nick of Time

    I kind of thought it would be smooth sailing through these last weeks of deployment.  I knew I had a lot to keep me busy, and I thought that would make time fly by.  Time is flying, but the closer it gets the more stress I'm feeling.  The stress isn't so much about the homecoming or the excitement, it's more the coordination of issues and finding time to get all the things done.  And these aren't the little things like cleaning the house or plucking my eyebrows (although that is no little task right now).

    Pat and I have been working with some very generous people/groups who are putting together items for the single Soldiers that will be living in the barracks.  Well, the first flight is coming in SOON, and I haven't received anything yet.  I was starting to really stress and get cranky about it this afternoon, plus Pat has virtually no communication now so it's all on my shoulders.  (And that means Pat won't see the nasty-grams I'm sending him, yet I send them anyway ;-) But tonight I received an e-mail from our generous donors saying the packages are on the way and will be here in the nick of time.  I cannot tell you how thankful we are for the kindness so many people have shown in helping support and welcome home the Soldiers.

    It seems everything is working out just in the nick of time these days.  I'm still a little apprehensive about the homecoming T-shirts I've ordered for the boys a few weeks ago.  I've already had to call the company twice, change and replace the order, and the shirts still say "in production" despite the promise that they'd be here already.  I'm losing faith that they'll be ready in time.  If they haven't shipped in the next day or two, you better believe I will be a very angry customer when I call them again.

    Speaking of shopping, I've been doing so much shopping lately it really isn't funny.  I think I'm trying to buy all the things we need and want now before we go back to regular pay.  Last night it dawned on me that I may need a cardigan or something to go over my dress.  I'm not sure a cardigan will look good or if I got the right color, but I don't want to freeze my arms off if we have a homecoming at a less than sunny hour of the day.  Let's just wish me luck that my clothes coordinate, and I don't look funny.  It won't be too long now before I can post some photos.  

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    April 18, 2011

    How am I going to do it alone?

    It's been planned that during the first week of block leave Pat will be going to visit some of his Soldiers at Brooke Army Medical Center and Walter Reed Army Medical Center.  In fact I booked all his flights the other night.  He'll only be gone for a few days, but for some strange reason the thought of being alone is causing me anxiety.  I keep feeling worried about taking care of the kids and doing everything alone.

    The funny part of this is that I'm currently doing it all alone and have been for many, many months.  So why is the thought of just doing what I'm doing today so overwhelming to me?

    I think that I'm so looking forward to having a parenting partner and help around the house that it seems scary to go back to alone.  I know alone and can do alone, but I think I just don't want to do alone anymore.  I know it will only be a few days, and it is so important to Pat and the Soldiers.  I also have the irrational feeling like if he leaves again it will be like homecoming was just a dream and that I won't see again for a long time.

    Has anyone else had feelings of not wanting to let their loved one go after a deployment?  Or feel apprehensive about being alone, even though you know you can do it?

    I think this must just be another one of those deployment mind tricks.  I know I will sail through those few days, and they will just be a few simple days like so many I've done before.  I need to relax and stop letting my mind get me worked up.

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    April 17, 2011

    Getting to know YOU

    I'm linking up today to MannLand5 for Getting to know YOU Sunday.

    1.  What's something you've eaten and liked, but didn't think you would?
    Guacamole!  I tried it for the first time just a few years ago.  I had never had avocado before, and judging by the looks of it I didn't think I'd like it.  Surprisingly though that green goo is delicious ;)

    2.  Plastic Surgery...yay or nay?
    Sometimes I think I could go for a breast lift and augmentation after breastfeeding both kids for over a year each.  I bet it would be nice to have a little liposuction on my love handles too.  But overall, I don't think I'd ever go through with it.  A good bra and clothes that fit well will work just fine.

    3.  2 things you love about spring are...?
    Well this spring it is that my husband is coming home from his deployment to Afghanistan.  I also like that the boys and I are able to spend more time outdoors, and it isn't too hot yet.

    4.  When is the last time you went on a picnic?
    It was probably about a year ago.  We went to the greenway and had a picnic after doing some walking. It was a great day.  I'm hoping we have a picnic down in ATL next month.

    5.  What's your favorite app?
    My mother got me addicted to "The Treasures of Montezuma".

    6.  Who does the grocery shopping in your house?
    I do.  When hubby is around, I prefer to do it by myself while he's home with the kids.  He sometimes asks if we can all go together.  I cannot say no to that, but it is never a good experience or shopping trip when we all go.

    7.  Would you rather take a spin class or zumba?  
    Okay, I have to confess I've never done either of them.  Yes, you can call me lazy.  I think zumba would be much more my cup of tea though.

    8.  How often do you go out to dinner? 
    Rarely.  With my two boys, it's never a good idea to take them to a restaurant.  We do order to go from restaurants sometimes though.

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    April 16, 2011

    Long and Lonely Day

    Today felt like one of the longest days I've experienced in quite a while.  The photo above of Sammy kind of illustrates some of what today was like.  We were trapped in the house because of the cold, wet weather.  Morning started early today at 6:00 a.m.  I had nothing planned for me and the kids to do.  It was just one of those days when you are not in a good mood, but you don't have the option to hide under the blankets.

    But on the good side, it was another lonely Saturday down.  Next weekend my in-laws are making a trip down to see the boys.  Normally I would be a bit stressed out having company so close to Pat's homecoming (they will not be here for the homecoming, they're just out for the weekend to see the boys over Easter), but this is an opportunity for me to get some things done, like my hair cut and maybe a pedicure.  It actually works out perfectly, and I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy a little break.

    We're down to 3% to go!  I better start cleaning, and not because I think the house has to be spotless for Pat.  I just want to make it look like the toy box didn't explode in the living room and that the dishes aren't over flowing the sink ;)

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    April 15, 2011

    I'm in Love: New Blog Design

    I found Crafty Hippo Designs at the UBP11.   I was looking for a new blog designer, and of all the blog designers I came across at the party, I knew Crafty Hippo Designs was the one I wanted to do my new blog.  Not only do I love Jeannette's designs in her portfolio, but she has some of the best prices around and offers so many extras with her packages.  Jeannette was having a giveaway on her blog, and I was on a mission to win.  I entered every single day.  My persistence paid off; I won!!!!!

    During this time I had been researching and dreaming about what I wanted my new blog to look like if I won.  I looked for hours at istock photos.  I had a few options that I liked and finally selected the one I wanted.  I was just briefly looking at one of the scrapbooking kits from Crafty Hippo Design's links and found the PERFECT paper to go with my image.  It was like fate.   So by the time I won the makeover, I knew EXACTLY what I wanted.  With every other blog design I've had, I've always gone in with an open mind not really sure of what I really wanted.  This time I KNEW, which was a bit of pressure for any designer to live up to.

    Jeannette EXCEEDED my expectations.  She made me a blog design I love.  She captured my vision and made it a reality.  This blog design really captures my personality and is everything I wanted.  Did you see I even have a cute button you can grab?  And how about my custom e-mail button?

    If you are looking for a new blog design, I highly recommend Crafty Hippo Designs. Jeannette works hard to give you exactly what you want.  She also offers a 10% DISCOUNT for military bloggers!  And right now (until April 23rd) she's offering $10 off each of her three design packages.  That means on top of her already great prices, you can get $10 off plus the 10% discount if you are a military blogger.  You cannot beat that deal right there.  Go check her out; you won't be sorry.  And if you decide to get a blog makeover, tell her I sent you!

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    Photos for Friday

    Yesterday while Ryan was at school, Sean took the opportunity to have a turn in Ryan's superman costume.  He was so happy running around as Super Sean.

    Dinner last night didn't go over so well with the boys.  They pretty much objected to it based on sight.  So we ended up sharing some popcorn with m&ms.  Sean definitely has a sweet tooth, and Ryan seemed to enjoy it as well.

    Happy Friday, everyone!

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    April 14, 2011

    Nail Polish and Clothing

    Yesterday morning I quickly read part of an interview with Jennifer Lopez at People.com.  You can see the article HERE.  She said that her daughter was a girly-girl and into clothes and having her toes painted.  She said her son asks for his toes to be painted too.  I didn't think twice about this.

    But last night before going to bed I was checking my e-mail and came across an article on the yahoo homepage that caught my attention.  The article is "Hot pink-toenailed boy in J. Crew ad sparks controversy."  You can see that article HERE.  I wanted to read the article to see what the controversy was really all about.  To summarize for you, there is a section of the ad featuring products favored by the J. Crew president and creative director.  She says that her 5 year old son's favorite color is pink and that painting toes in bright colors is way more fun.  There is a photo of her with her son painting his toes pink.  I'll add in my opinion right here that they both look happy and like they are enjoying themselves.  One of the critics has gone so far as to say that the J. Crew president should be putting money aside for psychotherapy for her child.  REALLY?  Are we that afraid of self expression?  Why do we push gender roles so hard, even to children?  And I have to say in my opinion critics of this seem to have some homophobia issues to work through.  I'll admit being the mom of two boys, I've found myself pressured by social norms to try to lead my boys to the typical blues, sports, and action figures.  But at the end of the day, if my boys really want to play with dolls or have their toenails painted, what is the harm?  I just want my children to be happy.

    The article then becomes politically focused trying to claim that since Michelle Obama is a fan of J. Crew, the little boy with pink toes is being used to forward a political cause.  Again, I disagree.

    I want to give the mother (and J. Crew president) credit for letting her little boy be himself and enjoy life no matter what other people think.  Sure, if you don't want your little boy running around with pink toes, don't paint them, but please let's stop judging others and trying to fit everything into neat little categories.

    I never would have thought people would have such strong reactions to a photo like this.   

    Okay, I'll step off my soapbox there, and now I'll talk about clothing.  After reading the article above, I headed over to J. Crew's website.  Checking out the sale category, I scored a dress for $17 (plus shipping).  Have to love that kind of price.

    But that brings me to one more dress question.  I've planned out my homecoming outfit for a while now. I have a dress that I plan to wear and some wedges that match.  I'm afraid of being too dressed up.  I've seen lots of photos of people just wearing jeans and a t-shirt at the recent homecomings.  I want to feel pretty, and I think a dress would help me feel that way.  So do I just go with what I want even if I'm over dressed compared to the crowd?  Or should I look for something else?  Anyone else wear dresses for homecoming?

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    April 12, 2011

    8 years ago today I said "YES"

    Now that you know today is the anniversary of our engagement, let me tell you a little more about that night.  Pat and I had talked about marriage.  We knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.  We also knew he would be in the Army upon graduation.  I had told Pat that I wanted a little over a year to plan our wedding (after all I'd be planning a wedding during my senior year of college), and he knew I was not going to move around the country with him if we were not married.  So when April had come and we weren't engaged and I didn't see it coming in the near future, I started to think about a different future and possible career paths.  

    April 12, 2003 was Pat's military ball for ROTC.  We were juniors in college.  When the ball began, Pat kept running off to visit with his friends.  All that kept running through my head was that he was being a terrible date.  Finally Pat was back to stay and we were sitting at the table.  In his absence I had time to think about it.  In my crazy and emotional female head I was thinking we're all dressed up, if he wanted to get married he should ask before the end of the school year, he hasn't made any attempt to move forward with future plans, and this would have been a pretty good opportunity for him to give me a ring.  I let my thoughts get the best of me, and as we were sitting down to dinner I reached over and patted Pat's leg in an attempt to feel his pockets just to make sure he didn't have a ring in there.  I felt nothing.  I may or may not have said something snide under my breath.  (I'm sure Pat would love to insert his view of the night right here, but thank goodness it's my blog! And I do admit I was being immature.)

    I got over my little fit and we went on to enjoy the dinner and the events of the night.  The informal dancing part of the night began and we all headed to the dance floor.  Before the next song the DJ said there was a special request and then I heard "All I Ask Of You" from The Phantom of the Opera.  This was a special song for me and Pat, but it didn't click in my head that he had requested it.  Before I knew it Pat was down on one knee with a ring asking me to marry him.  

    Despite my pat down of his pockets earlier that night, I was shocked.  I really didn't think it was going to happen.  I barely remember the word "Yes!" coming out of my mouth, but I most certainly meant it.  We danced to the rest of the song.  After it ended we were bombarded with congratulations from all our friends.  I remember the tears were flowing that evening but in a very happy way.  

    The most romantic part of the whole proposal was that Pat had planned for my family and his family to meet us the next day for a special lunch.  He reserved the back room at a local restaurant and had coordinated having all the special people in our lives there.  Being able to share our engagement with our families by far meant the most to me.  

    I am so thankful that 8 years ago he asked because it led me to absolute happiness.  

    Here are a few photos--the quality is terrible and they are actually photos of photos because I was too lazy to use a scanner last night.  

    April 8, 2011

    What I'm Doing These Days

    I cannot believe how busy I've been lately.  It's great because time is flying by, but it's also hectic and sometimes stressful.  Here are some of the things I've been up to recently.

    I went to our jeweler and decided to have my rings soldered together.  Thank you for all the input you gave me.  I got my rings back tonight, and I am so beyond happy with everything they did.  I love that they stay together now.  I can just consider them glued at the hip, kind of like me and the hubby when he gets home (poor hubby! :)  When I picked them up, I was shocked at how much they sparkled and shined.  I knew they'd be clean, but seeing how clean they were made me so embarrassed at how obviously filthy they had been.  The jeweler tried to make me feel better about my filth by telling me they were refinished too and that was why they looked brand new, but I'm probably nicknamed "Pig-Pen" (like from Charlie Brown) around there.  So since I posted those dirty photos of my rings, I thought I'd at least show how they look now.

    While I was at the jeweler, I did something as a surprise for Pat.  No, I didn't buy a new diamond ring.  But I'm going to wait a bit to tell you about it since there is a possibility (albeit slim since I don't think he reads this) of him seeing it here.

    I'm also spending my time coordinating a major homecoming effort for some of Pat's Soldiers.  It is coming together so much better than I ever imagined.  I cannot believe how blessed we've been with support from places that I was not expecting.  There are a few more details to hash out, but maybe I'll post about that soon.  I'm proud, excited, and overwhelmed with gratitude about all of the plans in the works.

    The weather has been really nice and we've been able to play outdoors a lot.  And Sean has recently dropped his morning nap so we have a bit more freedom in our mornings.  Thursday while Ryan was at school Sean and I spent quite a bit of time running errands which was no fun for him, so I took him to the Riverwalk before we picked up Ryan.  Sean loved his freedom to explore, and thankfully he's not quite as adventurous as Ryan.  Here's a photo from my phone:

    Looking at the calendar, I have lots of different appointments and obligations coming up.  Hopefully that makes the last 5% fly by.  I have a lot of ideas for new posts, so hopefully I'll fit them in these next few weeks.  I hope you all have a great weekend!

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    April 7, 2011

    Mean = Not My Friend

    During this deployment, or actually I think it is accurate to say during my time at this duty station, there have been a few people that I've come across that are just MEAN.  Sometimes they are the competitive mom who is always trying to cut you and your children down, other times it's crazy people that really are out of touch with reality.

    Recently a "friend", that really isn't a friend, was making snarky remarks at me through a social media site.  It would be one thing if they were truly friends expressing differing opinions, but it wasn't a friend.  It was someone who always talks down to people and tries to points out their flaws.  I don't know if they are insecure and acting as a defense mechanism or if they just weren't raised with manners.

    I am a person that does NOT like confrontation.  I typically avoid it at all costs.  You have to really tick me off for me to speak up.  I also realize that sometimes it's just not worth it to speak up, and you won't get anywhere with some people if you do.  But I'm done getting my feelings hurt by people that are just mean.

    I think I've finally come to question why we let these frienemies be a part of our lives so that they can watch everything and criticize.  I know we cannot always cut people out, but I've found it pretty liberating to move away from these mean people, and to take on the point of view that I cannot let what they think and say affect me.  They do not really know me and who are they to judge!

    While doing errands today, I heard a song that fit what I've been feeling pretty well.  My song this week for the link up at Goodnight Moon is:

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    April 6, 2011

    Wallets, Sandals, and Shopping

    I'm in a self indulgent kind of mood, but rather than actually spending the money I'm blogging about the things I am lusting after right now.

    Recently I have had the desire for a new Coach wallet.  I refuse to spend the money on a Coach handbag, but for some reason I think spending an absurd amount of money on the wallet is just fine.  I guess I love the idea of something expensive holding my money and keeping it safe.  Plus I get all warm and fuzzy when pulling it out at the checkout at Walmart ;)  There are two wallets that I am currently in love with, but if I truly intend to buy, I'd have to check out the PX (no tax and all).
    Here are the two I love:

    Kristin Leather Checkbook Wallet--I am totally drawn to this pink one, and I am NOT usually a pink type of girl.  It also come in yellow or mushroom which I like as well.  And now that I'm looking again, I'm torn b/w the pink or yellow one.  Since I have no plans on buying one of these leather beauties anytime soon I have time to make up my mind.  

    Madison Dotted Op Art Checkbook Wallet--I love this one in the Khaki color with the pink interior.  (What is it with me and pink right now?)  I like the light color being a contrast to my current black wallet because I always like to change things up.  The body of this wallet is fabric and leather, and I do worry about the fabric getting dirty though.  

    The other thing that is on my wish list and I will be purchasing soon is sandals.  I prefer cheap ones.  And they MUST be comfortable.  I usually am a flip flop girl, but like I said in my other post, I'm trying to dress up a bit more and find femininity.  I have quite a few casual dresses for the summer, some that are dressed down with a tank underneath and others that are slightly less dressed down.  Has anyone seen any cute, cheap, and comfortable sandals anywhere--flats, wedges, flip flop style, it doesn't matter?  Where did your favorite sandals come from?

    The last thing I want to share is a shopping experience with you.  A few weeks ago I purchased a bathing suit from Land's End Canvas.  Land's End Canvas is a division of the original Land's End but focused at a modern lifestyle, and the clothes have a closer to the body fit and clean lines.  I had never shopped there before, and to be honest, I felt like the prices were pretty high.  I liked the casual, practical styles though.  I was just browsing through the sale pages and saw lots of great bathing suits for pretty cheap.  I had fallen in love with one color a while back when browsing, so this time at the site I decided to purchase it.  I spent $30 (including shipping) and got a really cute tankini.  I tried it on, and it is both a great quality and a nice fit.  I was pretty pleased with my purchase.  But the real thing I wanted to share was that about a week and a half after my purchase arrived I received a HANDWRITTEN thank you note from Land's End for my purchase.  I thought that was pretty cool that the company does that.  I've never received a handwritten thank you note from any other online shopping before.  But that wasn't all. About a week after the note, I receive a message on my answering machine thanking me for the purchase and saying that if I needed any help to call them.  Some might think this is overkill, but I appreciate the effort this company is putting in to customer service.  The note they sent says their items are 100% guaranteed--period!  So I do recommend checking them out even if only because of their customer service--plus they still have some really inexpensive bathing suits in the sale section!

    And just for the record, I am not paid for any of my reviews or opinions.  I am not compensated, and if that ever changes I will be the first to let you know.  I just want to share my experience and thoughts with you.

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    April 5, 2011

    Wedding Rings

    I love my wedding ring.  I mean, really, who doesn't love their wedding ring?

    Pat surprised me with the engagement ring, and we went together to pick out our wedding bands.  Pat was probably more picky about finding his wedding band than I was about mine.  (And his cost more than mine too!)  I knew that I did NOT want a wedding band that was a match to my engagement ring.  I know that probably puts me in the minority and is weird.  However, matching just isn't my personality, and secondly, I wanted something separate and special from my engagement ring.  I did not want it to be determined by what matched the other ring, but rather to be decided upon by "what spoke to me" as Pat says about finding jewelry.  I like having two distinct pieces because I feel like they stand out as separate and unique yet they still go well together.

    Here is a photo of my wedding band and Pat's.  

    And here are my rings together.  

    There is one thing though about my ring that has bothered me for about 6.5 years now.  Both of my rings are a bit big for my finger, and are free to slide around.  I don't mind if they aren't straight, but I get annoyed that my wedding band usually slides completely around so that the pave set diamonds are facing in to my palm. People usually think my wedding band is just a solid band, which is fine, except it isn't.  

    So I've been researching options.  I do NOT want to replace my wedding band.  It is the ring that Pat put on my finger while exchanging our vows, and that is important to me.  I decided today to go talk to the jeweler that we like in town.  They tried to put a ring guard on which would sort of clamp the rings together, but they didn't have one that would fit around the bands of both my rings together.  So the only options they left me with were: 1.  Have them soldered together or 2.  Use super glue to bind them together at the bottom, and if I don't like that I can use remover to separate them.  

    Well, there is NO way I'm going to super glue anything important together.  I think that is just asking for a disaster.  Pat was originally against soldering them.  When I told him what our jeweler said, he is starting to come around.  I'm still undecided about it.  

    Has anyone had their rings soldered?  

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    April 4, 2011

    Men Dressing Women and Fashion

    Have you seen this article over at yahoo.com?  Women let men dress them...

    It caught my attention, gave me a little chuckle, and got me thinking.

    A group of women participated allowing their significant other to give them a makeover.  Here is one example from the article.  

    Admittedly, her outfit in the before shot is hideous, and she could use a makeover.  But the after outfit totally makes me laugh too.  I will say that I think she looks better with the effort of the makeover, but that is definitely NOT something I'd be comfortable in on a daily basis.  From what the article says, she wasn't too happy either.

    I could totally relate to this article though because while I know my husband likes how I look, I also know he has dreams of me in tiny dresses with sky high heels.  At least once during this deployment he's sent me links to clothes from VS asking what I thought.  I had to explain to him that unless I get a night job dancing on a pole, I do not need sequins as part of my daily fashion routine.  It's as if he hasn't noticed that I don't exactly look like a VS model either.  While they may be able to pull that off, I could never!  And really, I don't see those models playing in sandboxes and chasing after two little boys.

    My fashion routine consists quite a bit of jeans and t-shirts with flip flops.  I'm trying to breakout of that rut.  I'm trying to put a little more femininity into my wardrobe, but even when I wear sun dresses, I somehow manage to dress them down.  I am really, really going to try to put in some effort this spring.  After all, I haven't seen my husband in a while, and I do want to impress him.  It's still a few more weeks until homecoming, but once he's home I'm hoping to post some photos of the new-found effort I plan to put into fashion.

    What's your fashion routine?  What would your husband choose for you?

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    April 3, 2011

    Where did that come from?

    I mentioned how yesterday we spent a lot of time outdoors.  Here are some pictures I took that illustrate what a typical day is like around here.

    Sean woke up from his nap really cranky.  This happens more often than one would think, but as I said, he's cutting his molars.  I'm hoping he'll be done with them before Pat comes home.  Believe it or not, these were taken BEFORE the bee sting.

    Ryan decided he needed to do a "strong man" photo shoot.

    But the photo shoot was interrupted by a noise.

    "Oh no!", he said.  And looked up.

    And then he asked, "What is that?"

    "Do you hear that?", he said.

     To which, I answered, "That's a bird, Ryan."

    He thought about it.

    And scratched his head a bit.

    And then he asked his favorite question, "Where did that come from?"

    He's such an inquisitive little boy that has more personality than I could have ever imagined.  
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