Friday, December 31, 2010

2010

Dear 2010,

Well 2010 what can I say? You sure had a way of starting the year out right!! You had barely begun when Marine got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

Yep you sure knew how to start the year off with a smile.

All our times together though weren't quite as wonderful as that first moment. It was you that introduced me to the world of Deployment. Those 7 months sucked. Plain and simple. During that time though I learned a lot about myself and that perhaps I'm a stronger person than I've ever given myself credit for. Those months were hard on Marine and have left a scar on his heart that will perhaps never completely heal. But together we made it thru it and are convinced we can make it thru anything else life throws our way as long as we have each other.

The second best day of the year I would say had to be Homecoming day. I finally was able to let out that breath I'd been holding as I saw Marine step foot in that gym. My heartbroke though as I thought of some that did not return on that bus. You don't understand the affects of war sometimes till you see it with your own eyes.

2010 you were also the year of weddings and babies! I stood by as maid of honor as two of my best friends got married and prepared to start on the next journey of life. And I visited the hospital when another dear friend welcomed a bundle of joy to her family.

Many fond memories with friends from the year: concerts, girls nights, diner, bachelorette parties, trips --- the list is endless.

Wow what a year its been.  10's always been my lucky number and I think you may have reinforced that theory.Thanks 2010 for the knowledge, the memories, the tears, and the smiles. I hope next year will be as good to me as you have been! Put in a good word for me if you can.

Cheers to you 2010! This toast is for you and what is yet to come.

With Love,
E.


Past Letters: 2009 and 2008

Monday, December 27, 2010

Do It Yourself Bridesmaid Gifts ~ Do or Don't

I am all about some do it yourself projects lately. Why I'm not really sure.....

I like being creative, but the natural klutz in me though sometimes makes it difficult.

When it comes to wedding stuff I like the idea of do it yourself projects that can be personalized. Not to mention they seem to be more budget friendly.

I have 9 bridesmaids plus a few helpful friends I want to give gifts to. That can add up pretty quick! I want to give them a gift that's thoughtful and they would enjoy. Below are a few do it yourself ideas I came across when searching Google Images.

With each of these gifts I would get some small items to accompany the gift. But let me know what you think!

Flowerpot of gifts
SHARE YOUR BRIDESMAID GIFT(s) IDEAS! :  wedding gifts diy favors bridesmaids Gatheredclutchbricks
Clutch
DIY Bridesmaid Letters :  wedding bridesmaid gift diy houston Img 17301 IMG_17301
Fabric Letter of the Bridesmaid initial

IMG_3809
Coaster
Another idea for coasters
Home made bath salt

I like the bath-salt idea because it uses mason jars which I will be using already in the wedding. Kind of a nice way to tie things together perhaps. If I did this idea I would make each gift like a spa kit or something.

Vote and tell me what you like!!






Sunday, December 26, 2010

Lol Convo ~ To Love A Jack@$$

So bored at work one day I'm looking online at the online yard sales and stumble upon this......

Miniature Donkeys in Camp Lejeune

So cute, right?

I email the link to Marine. "We Need This".

He replies, "What in the world would we do with a pair of JACKASS?"

My response, "I guess you're right. I mean I already have one jackass......"

AAAAWWWWEEEE can't you feel the love ;)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tis The Season ~ Let The Holiday Madness BEGIN!

Marine arrives today for the holiday season!

And from there our schedule is packed. Christmas Eve with his family, Christmas Day with mine, Sunday other side of his family and then Monday..... oh Monday. That is when it becomes E and Marine time.

I'm riding with him back up to base and staying for the week! I am so excited and so glad that I worked all those holiday's this year so I could have extra paid time off.

Now we have no exciting plans for the week but it will be some great "us" just relax time. He will still have to work during the day but I have some friends up there that I can hang out with. Plus I'm familiar with the area enough now to go out on my own and go shopping or whatever.

For New Year's Roomie's wife is flying out from California and we plan on going out with some other friends. Looking forward to a fun trip.

While I'm gone I have several posts scheduled to run. Hope you enjoy them :)

Merry Christmas Everyone!! See you next year!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What's on E's Phone - It's Bat Crazy!


This week has been a little to crazy..... so I had to share some of my randomness.

I was in Tractor Supply the other day getting Miss B and Miss S their Christmas goodies. Yes my horses even get Christmas presents. While there I found this adorable stockings marked 40% off. 



So of course I bought them. The horse one will be mine and the tractor one will be Marine's. I found it very fitting because in case I haven't mentioned it Marine has become infatuated with tractors since he fixed one of the old one's around the barn and mom told him he could have it. Random. I know. 

When someone pisses you off don't you just want to say.......


Ahhhhhhh this has been known to be my "breakfast of champions" on more than one occasion. 

To much HGTV results in this.

Unused fireplace turned into decoration. Really looks much better than picture portrays.


In case you've ever wondered Mexican Cheese dip has a 360 degree spill radius. Monday night I made fajitas for diner complete with cheese dip and chips. Walking with hot cheese dip bowl in hand something goes wrong. I drop it. It goes EVERYWHERE! On the floor, on the cabinets, on the table, under the table, on the chairs, over things that are are no where even close to the spill zone.

But don't worry after given the go-ahead the clean up crew had an amazing response time.

Marine and Roommate even decorated their barracks room for Christmas. Ignore the tacky standard-issue-must-use comforter



Now my most bizarre moment of the week. Last week I was started by a tapping on the sun-room glass door. To my surprise a bat (yes a bat) was trapped in my sun-room........ What do you do??? Well I open the outside door and leave it open about 30 minutes figuring he will find his own way out. I assume he does. 

This was over a week ago. Monday night (after cheese dip fiasco) I hear a tap on the door. It's dark so immediately your startled that someone is breaking into your house. 

I flip on the light and the bat is once again circling the room. CRAP! Now what.

Well Mr. Bat flew into the glass door....... hard.......


Poor Mr. Bat. While I sat to mourn his death I saw an ear twitch. He wasn't dead. Just knocked out. He was starting to stir. Crap what should I do?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!!

I placed a Tupperware container over Mr. Bat. At this point he comes to and he is PISSED. He is flapping around inside the container and screeching and growling. I slip a slightly larger lid under the container very slowly. And very cautiously. I open the door step outside and release Mr. Bat who flies off into the night. 

Only me. 

I can't believe he lived a week in there with no food. I guess he must have come in when I brought the Christmas tree into the house that way.

Either way very random and very crazy.

There's my week in photos! Looking forward to see your's! If you want to participate Visit The Lowe Family News to Link Up.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Deployment Surviver ~ My Story


Amber over at Goodnight Moon! posted this awhile back and asked that everybody write a post about being a deployment survivor. I started this post back in September but really didn't know what to say. How could I explain myself so that others could understand. I didn't want to offend anybody or sound to self absorbed. I just didn't know how to put all the feelings into words. This is long overdue. This is the honest, write what comes to mind, unedited post. This is my story.


I've heard some compare deployment to being to pregnant. Perhaps they are right. Me? I don't know yet seeing as I've never been pregnant.

Looking back now I can tell you that during those 7 months my life was completely different. I don't want to say I put my life on hold..... but in a way I did. There were things I didn't do because I wanted to wait till Marine was home and we could do them together. Sometimes going out and having fun I would feel guilty. How could I go out and have fun and smile while Marine was on the front line? Patrolling for hours on end in the 115+ desert heat. Going without cold water because their refrigerator was broke. Sleeping on a cot in a small tent with 9 other guys. Going days if not weeks without a shower. And never once did he complain.

I know I shouldn't have felt guilty, but how could I not? Marine was making sacrifices and I felt that I should be to. I know it may sound silly but that was how I felt; a feeling that Marine and I have since talked about. He always wanted me to be out doing fun things and encouraged that while he was gone. But it was a feeling I couldn't explain.

Every time my phone rang with a 1111111111 number I knew it was the family readiness officer and each time I said a silent prayer before answering.

I walked on eggshells and my phone never left my sight. Each phone call was a heart soaring thing. No matter if they were 2 minutes or 20. Each minute was precious and cherished.

Letters were the same way. Every letter I would read a 100 times at least.

Some days I cried for no reason. Some days I just wanted to alone. Some days I wished I had someone to talk to that could relate and at those moments I was so thankful for my fellow military girlfriend/wives/fiancĂ©e friends.

Surprisingly during this time I was fairly laid back when it came to anything else. I learned to look at the "big" picture and not sweat the small stuff so much. When friends would call with relationship drama I had to remind myself that even though to me it seemed small, to them it was a big deal.

During this time I apologize cause I was highly self-absorbed and my focus was really only on one thing - Marine's safety.

Deployment begins with you looking forlornly after a bus as it leaves with your Marine. The tears fall and it takes everything you have not to chase after that bus. All the days in between become a blur and then that day you never thought would arrive finally does. The best part about deployment is homecoming. That first sight. That first hug. That first kiss. There is truly nothing like it.

I am a deployment surviver. There are millions out there just like me. Girls that fell in love with a military man. One's that spent nights praying for our man as well as other men we had never met. Girls that slept with the telephone right next to them. One's that feared any knock on the door. We are all the same. We are all different. We all have a story.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

To Kindle Or Not To Kindle? That is The Question.....


Image From Google Images
I love to read! LOVE IT! I read everyday and more often than not even carry a book in my purse just in case I get stuck in a drivethru or what-not. Hey you never know.

I read in the morning while I eat breakfast (if it's a good book). I read while enjoying a bubble bath..... the list is endless here. 

You would think this would have made me jump on the Kindle bandwagon already. But I haven't. I have never even really wanted one.

Why?

Maybe because I like the feel of a book in my hands. The printed words there on the page. The page turning that comes along with a good thriller. Maybe it's seeing the colorful collection on my bookcase.

Ok enough kidding here. My favorite place to read is while relaxing in a good hot bubble bath. Especially in the cold winter months. And bubble baths and electronics don't mix.

With the holiday season approaching I keep seeing ads for the Kindle and the Nook. Along with many others. And I've gotten curious. And I want your feedback!

Do you have one?

What do you think? 

Small, cute and convenient. 1000's of books in the palm of your hand! But what happens when these take over. What happens to book stores? Some of my favorite wasted time is wandering around Barnes & Noble looking for a new read. 

Yeah I'm just not sold.....




Woman: So, what did everybody think?

Lynette: I thought the character of Madame Bovary was ... very inspirational.
Woman: Inspirational? She poisons herself with arsenic.
Lynette: Really?
Woman: You didn't read until the end?
Lynette: I stopped after page 50.
Woman: Am I the only one who read the book?
Susan: I saw the movie. It was really good.
Woman: Ladies! I'm sorry, but wh-wh-what is the point of having a book club if we don't read the book?
~ Desperate Housewives ~




Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The BIG Project -- *Revealed* (not as exciting as it sounds)

So I have hinted that Marine and I have been working on a BIG project, yet I have not had a chance to tell you about it.

As you know Marine will be out of the USMC in 64 days. YES 64 DAYS!! I am beside myself excited with the thought of having him around all the time.

With getting out comes getting things in order. What's next?

Marine is planning on using his GI Bill and returning to school. He hopes to also find a part time job but as I've stressed school is going to be the important focus for the next couple years.

That sounds all great in theory but in reality we have to have money to live on. And unless Santa brings us a money tree for Christmas we both accept the fact that money's going to be tight.

We've sat down and figured out a budget of what our combined monthly expenses are. Our main expenses are: the difference for the house payment, car insurance, and loan payment on some land Marine purchased a few years ago...... oh and that debt from X I'm still trying to pay off.

Our grand total wasn't to bad all things considered but when viewing it from the stand point of a one income family it was a little daunting. We could do it but it would be cutting it close.

I'm sorry I'll stop rambling now......

{---Background info for new readers - Marine purchased a home three years ago after joining the Marine's and has rented it ever since with the plans of when he gets out moving into it. He rents it for less than what his monthly payment is so each month he collects rent and then pays the difference. }

Taking over the full house payment would be a large strain on us financially. Marine proposes an idea I hadn't thought of.....

His renters are happy to stay as long as we allow them.

My Mom's house is one of those homes built in the 70's when all homes came standard with a mother-in-law basement suite.

"Why not live there the first year while we got on our feet?" Marine says.

Hmmmmm....... It just might work.

When I call it the basement it's kinda misleading. The house has a full basement. Half is unfinished and underground - the other half is finished and is not underground (2 separate entrances). The mother-in-law suite is 2 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom, Living Room, Full Kitchen with dining space and screened in porch. See not your typical basement and about the size of an average apartment if not slightly larger.

Now why hadn't I thought of this grand idea? Well my parents bought the house in 1991, so for nearly 20 years this basement has been used as nothing but a storage facility. It needs LOTS of work, and that kinda puts it mildly.

So every free chance Marine and I have had has been spent working down there. Hauling off garbage which consisted of but is not limited to: a couch, an old bed and a dishwasher that at one time supposedly worked (probably in the 80's).

We are pulling up carpet and scrubbing walls. Marine's parents used to build homes some when the housing market was booming so they have some things left over that they said we can have if we come get. They have enough carpet to re-carpet the living room, hallway and bedrooms. And they have enough cream colored paint to paint the entire thing! So we are do-it-yourself re-modelers at the time!

The going has been slow but it's going!

Our plan is to live there for a year, maybe two while Marine finishes school and then move into his/our house. Financially I think it is a good decision plus emotionally I think it will be good for my Mom. After my dad passed away, my grandpa moved in so she could take care of him and now that he's passed away Marine said he thinks this will also help her get used to living on her own again. She'll have her space and we will have ours but we will be close by if she needs us.

Plus it will be perfect for helping out around the barn and getting home at a reasonable time in the evening.

So know we just got to finish remodeling.

Throw that in with planning the wedding, school, work, Marine getting out and transitioning...... yeah you can guess how hectic the next 6 months are going to be!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What's On E's Phone?

Surprise, Surprise! Two posts in one day, wow I'm on a roll! (Don't Miss Post It Note Tuesday).


So Jessica over at The Lowe Family News does this really cute thing every week where she posts random pictures she's taken through out the week. 
Now I don't have cute kids to take pics of like she does, but if you've read my blog for any amount of time I'm sure you already know I take LOADS of random pictures! So this week I'm participating in "What's On My Phone?!"  Enjoy. 

Humane Society's that host adoption days outside of PetSmart are sneaky smart. They know I'm vulnerable. This little girl would have came home with me if I hadn't been in future Mother-In-Law's car.


Marine and I were hiking in the woods and I stop to take pictures of things growing on trees. I thought they were pretty. He couldn't understand why he kept waiting on me...... (I have about 10 of this same photo just different trees on my phone). 


Christmas is officially here when I start baking! 

Saw these towels at Wal-Mart and really liked them. I like blue and brown mixed together.Also love, love, LOVE all the Better Homes & Gardens line that Wal-Mart is now carrying.

Went to the local Christmas tree farm in search of a tree. These were all way to big unfortunately. 


While eating lunch with Red at Chick-Fil-A we look out the window to see this. Did you do a double take? We did!


I have reached a new low. The Kleenex box I normally keep in the 4runner ran out. For a week now I have been riding around with a roll of toilet paper in my car. Don't judge - Cottonelle with aloe is softer than Kleenex with lotion.

On cold days this is where you can find my dog. Man does she have it made or what?!


With Marine being stationed 500 miles away I tend to take lots of pictures to send to him --- these next pics were pics on my computer I took with my phone to send to him, please ignore the fuzziness. And in working on my 30 Before 30 list I have been taking a Photoshop class. This week the lesson was to learn to paint. Since I can't paint in real life I had a lot of fun with this project!

This was my original photo:


This is the photo after painting... Cool huh?!

Here is another painted picture I sent to Marine. I love this one, because I love old barns!



What's on your phone?