Monday, December 28, 2009

MHS Megaphone Cookies

These are some cookies I did over the weekend for Martin Cheerleaders for their Nationals Showoff.  They were sugar cookies with a modified royal icing and outlined with sugar crystals.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Santa, Have You Seen My Soldier??

This is a tribute video to my FAVORITE soldier.  Hopefully he will get to see this...Turn up the volume and enjoy!  Thanks for watching!!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A glimpse into the life of the CPT

I ran across these pictures on someone's facebook.  They are way too great not to share.  I'm loving this first picture!  Can you imagine if you saw that little scenario here?  So..we have two children walking the donkey with two children riding it.  Do you think the parents are around?  And...please note that 2 of the kids are wearing ski bibs.  I'm not thinking they do much skiing over there.  I'm guessing you don't need a saddle to ride a donkey...you just hop on and away you go.  Please note the smiles on the kid's faces...really cute!


This next picture is the CPT giving his intro speech to his new company.  I hope they were all paying close attention.  :)



Here...he is meeting with what appears to be some important people.  I have no idea who they are.  It is a cute pic though!


Friday, December 11, 2009

Sneak Preview

Things I love about the new house:
-Laundry Room: It is amazing! It has a counter top where I can fold the laundry before it ever leaves the laundry room. It will never have to land on the couch or the bed. It also has great storage! I want to paint this room Tiffany Blue.
-The View: The view out the back windows is amazing...If there wasn't a glare from the window you might be able to see that there is a lake just past the tree line.
-The Master Closet: It is now my sewing room...get this! It has a window. I plan to set up my sewing machine in there on a desk. Heck...I might even put a TV in there. It is the new wife cave.

Things I don't really love:
-White walls everywhere!!!!! That will be changing...have no fear!
-Baseboards are vinyl....odd!
-Fireplace has no mantel...that will also be changing.

Project List...so far:
-Paint walls
-Hang a mantel
-Sew curtains
-Create a command center in the kitchen with a blackboard calendar...possibly painted on the wall.



Army Lingo 101

I had a comment on my last blog asking me what happens if the commander has no wife. I'm guessing it was in reference to the flower giving tradition. Since most of my followers are not military I decided to write this informative little post. I am definitely no expert, but I am learning.

First off...if the commander doesn't have a wife...well, they don't get flowers. I think they just skip over that part.

FAQ:
What is FRG?
FRG stands for Family Readiness Group. It is a command sponsored organization of family members, volunteers, soldiers, and civilians belonging to unit that provides an avenue of support and assistance and a network of communications among families, the chain of command and community resources.

Why do I have to do FRG?
I do not HAVE TO DO it. It is pretty traditional that if the commander is married, she will take the responsibility of FRG. This isn't always the case. If the commander isn't married, he selects someone to fill this role.

What does an FRG leader do?
  • Supports the commander's family readiness goals
  • Provides overall leadership of the FRG
  • Recruits other volunteers to serve on FRG committees
  • Delegates FRG responsibilities to selected volunteers as committee chairpersons, or presides over their elections
  • Serves as a member of the battalion-level steering committee
  • Identifies needs or unique problems of unit families
  • Acts as unit FRG spokesperson for communicating family members' concerns and ideas to the unit commander and, if needed, the battalion-level FRG leader
What is a Change of Command?
This is the formal ceremony where the company is passed from the outgoing commander to the incoming commander. It symbolizes the continuity of authority of the company.

How many people are in a company?
I think there are around 150 in our company.

What does live on post mean?
On Post means that we live in government quarters on Fort Lewis.

What is the PX/Commissary?
The PX is the Post Exchange....basically Wal-Mart without groceries. It also has a food court. The commissary is the grocery store on post.




Thursday, December 10, 2009

Change of Command

It is official! Last night was the Change of Command ceremony for Mark's new company. As a surprise to M. & R. the ceremony was skyped it while the ladies gathered together at the outgoing CO's house. It was AWESOME!!!!! I am always amazed by what technology has the capability to do...when it wants to cooperate. We gathered last night around 11PM Pacific time...we enjoyed coffee, cheesecake and good company. The first picture is M. giving his incoming speech. He sounded great and he is so excited. This is going to be an amazing ride!

It is tradition for the outgoing wife to receive red roses and the incoming to receive yellow. 1SG's wife presented them to us and this is where the guys got the surprise. They said "As a surprise to M and R, their wives are together watching this ceremony and will now receive the traditional roses. Pretty cool, huh?

After the ceremony, M. came over to the screen to tell me that he loves me and will call soon. He looks great...sounds great...and I don't think that smile is leaving his face for a while.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I'm on a plane!

Not even kidding!!!! I am on Wi Fi on a plane...in the air...headed to Seattle. Crazy technology! So...I got on a full flight on standby...that is a first and now when I get there I am renting a car all by myself. All of these things are a first!

Tacky yet still Refined

This past Saturday was Shannon's annual Tacky Christmas Sweater Party. Check out those adorable shirts and bow we are wearing! Awesome! I wish you could really see mine closer, because from a distance you are missing out on the full beauty of the shirt. The sequin patches are tacked on and there are random spots of glitter glue all of the shirt. I had glitter all over my face by the end of the night and my car is covered in glitter. My adorable Nanny made this shirt...she looks pretty cute in it! It isn't tacky on her at all....I promise. So...Nanny...I know you read this blog and I love you and I also love your sweater! :) KK is sporting a sweater with Christmas cats on it. This is even funnier because if you know her at all you know that she is not a fan of cats. Please take note of Charlie...her gorgeous baby boy! He doesn't like cats either and disapproves of his mom's outfit. The cookies are handmade by KK!!!!! She made them from scratch and even made her own icing. Normally she makes them from a cookie mix and used canned icing.
Posted by Picasa

Changes Coming

Well, the only thing that stays the same with this Army life...is change. I use to resist the change with fits, lots of whining and temper tantrums. When all of those things failed multiple times...i decided to embrace that change and might I say actually enjoy it. With every change there is another adventure. Yes...there is always at least one crisis and many hurdles...but as long as I expect that and know it will come...I will be OK. :)

So... on to the big changes. The big change of command is coming in 1 day! Can you believe it? We (specifically Mark) have been waiting for this moment since July 2008. One and a half years later...here we are! So, this means for me that I will be the new Apache Co. FRG Leader. Holy moly! I think I have been waiting for this since July 2008 also. I went to the FRG leader classes at Ft. Benning and with my limited Army world knowledge I assumed that I would immediately fall into this role. Thank goodness I didn't at that time, because I knew a little more than nothing about Army stuff....now, well...I know a little more.

After seeking wisdom from others who have been in our shoes and lots of prayer...Mark and I decided it would be best for me to take on this role while living back in Washington. It is just too much to do from a distance and I wouldn't ever really get to know all the other wonderful ladies...and this is a priority for both of us! Not only am I moving back to WA...I am moving ON POST! More on that in a moment... So...in the morning I fly back to WA for the change of command (it is being Skyped in), signing for our house and attending the BN Christmas party. I'm really excited, but also a little nervous!!!! Hopefully, I can get some pictures from Mark after the ceremony for all of you to see. Don't hold your breath...it could be awhile. :)

Ok...of course with anything Army related...it must be a little complicated. My grand plan was to go sign for the house tomorrow and then talk to the transportation people to have our household goods delivered mid-January, after Hilary's party and the holidays. Well, I guess the man upstairs had a different timeline for me. I talked to the transportation people yesterday and they informed me of a MANDATORY briefing that is only offered on Mondays at 1:00. Really???? One time/week. Well...that didn't really fit into my schedule seeing that the Monday I was planning to arrive was a Federal Holiday...and you guessed it! They are closed. A little reshuffling was done and all is good...we are now going a few weeks early and then flying back for Hilary's party. I must say...I have the best BFF in the world. KK would be making the long haul with me. So in the last 2 years, we have driven to both coasts together. That is a true friend for sure! After I attend this brief...they will set up my goods to be delivered and then I will fly back to WA at that time.

For the first few months it will be a little bit of back and forth between TX and Fort Lewis. As you all know there are some big events for the little bro coming up and I wouldn't miss them for the world. So...it might take some added effort from me to fulfill my responsibilities and also be supportive for the people I love...but I am willing to make that effort! Not only am I willing...I am excited! Also...I am a little hopeful that this makes the rest of the deployment fly by. :) So...now I better go pack my bags because tomorrow I am leaving on a jet plane!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Turkey Day and Tech Game


In my humble opinion, my Mom and I did a darn good job on the Thanksgiving feast. We had a schedule written out on when each item needed to be prepared and what time it needed to be cooked in order for all dishes to be served hot out of the oven. Trey's contribution was carving Tom the turkey. He did a good job, learned something and I really think he had fun. This was his serious turkey carving face.

Friday night, I went to Plano and spent the night with Kerm and Whit to get ready for the Texas Tech vs. Baylor game. It was great to see both of them! We played an intense game of phase 10. Whitney, the rookie, won!!!! Saturday morning we ate bagels and then went to Arlington to the new Jerry World to tailgate and cheer on the Red Raiders! The big screens at Cowboys Stadium are so massive! Small Rant: The only thing they showed on the big screens were the same Baylor cheerleaders over and over with a sprinkling of the Baylor Football team. They must have forgotten that there were 2 teams there and the majority of the fans were Red Raiders.





Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving Thanks!

I haven't talked to Mark for a couple of days....and it just occurred to me that today is Thanksgiving in Iraq!!!! I wonder what it is like... This isn't our first Thanksgiving apart and this isn't Mark's first Thanksgiving in Iraq, but there is something about the holidays that makes me miss him even more. I hope that his day is filled with Thanksgiving and that he is able to bless those around him with his spirit!!!! And...hopefully he is able to eat a halfway decent Thanksgiving meal.

This year for Thanksgiving, we are hosting here at my parents house. Thanksgiving traditions have changed over the years and this is the first "planned" time for my Mom to do the heavy lifting. Last year, there was a power outage at Nannies and they had to move Thanksgiving at the last minute...and if you remember from last years post...Mark and I hosted a get together at our house in Dupont. We are going to do the majority of the prep-work today to help with stress levels in the morning, but I am confident we will pull it off without a hitch.

As I am writing this post, I can't help but think about all of the things I have to be thankful for. I am thankful to be married to an amazing, self-less, loving, devoted man whom I just spent the most amazing 2 weeks with. I am thankful for my family that has so graciously let me come live with them temporarily...it has been a true blessing! I am thankful for friends...even the ones that I don't see or talk to that often. I am thankful for all of the soldiers who are fighting for us away from their families, while we enjoy the holiday from the comfort of our own home. I am thankful that I am healthy and happy! I am thankful for the US Army for providing a paycheck twice a month. I am thankful for my little dog...she always puts a smile on my face. I am thankful that I serve such a loving God, who has blessed me richly beyond what I deserve!!!!



Friday, November 20, 2009

The best 2 weeks of this year!


I don't really know how to best sum up the past two weeks. This could potentially be a really long post, because there were just so many wonderful things. The picture above is taken shortly after he got off the plane. Can you see the pure joy on my face? I'm not sure that feeling ever left over the past 15 days. I love him more than I even remembered....is that possible? Actually, I fall more in love with him every day...even when he is half way around the world.

Our first few days together were pretty low key. We stuck around the metroplex...spent time with family...and got to see a few friends. I cherish the everyday moments so much! I got to iron a few of his shirts, pack his bag, make him a glass of water and just do things that most people take for granted as every day happenings. We took a short staycation at the Gaylord in Grapevine. On Friday night, we were able to meet up with Kerm and T-Cole at a wine bar in Grapevine called Tastings. Delicious food and great wine! I highly recommend it if you live near DFW.

On Monday, we took off for Washington DC. There are so many pictures from DC, but I only posted a few on here, but maybe I will add more over the next week or so. Upon arrival on Monday, we hopped on the Old Town Trolley to cruise around the city for a quick overview and to see all the memorials. The Lincoln Memorial was our favorite, because it was so life like and huge!!! Tuesday was museum day. We had a strict schedule to adhere to...there just isn't enough time in a day to see all there is to see of museums in DC. Before hitting up the museums we went to the top of the Washington Monument. We were able to see the American History, Natural History, Air & Space and the National Archives. All of which were amazing. It was cool to see so much of how our nation began and I am not even a history buff. Wednesday was Veterans Day so we thought it would be appropriate to go to Arlington National Cemetery...and what do you know?!!! President Obama was there speaking and we were no more than 30 yards away from him. While we were there...in the 40 degree rain...we watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown. That was moving! That afternoon, we rode the Metro down to Old Town Alexandria for some seafood and then Starbucks. I must go back to that place to shop! So many cute places, but since it was so cold and rainy and I was soaked from sitting outside for 3 hours...we decided to call it a day. Thursday was our last day and we spent almost the entire day at the Holocaust Museum. This was by far my favorite museum!!! Sadly...we only had 4 days to enjoy this fantastic city and we will go back!!! We missed out on the Spy Museum and the Newseum, but we can see that next time. :)
This past weekend, after we got home from DC, we took a road trip down to San Antonio to run our first half-marathon together. This race was supposed to be run with KK, but at the last minute she decided to stay in Ft. Worth to cheer on her Alma Mater, TCU. I can't blame her...who knows the next time they will be doing as great as they are. So...it was just Mark and I. He was such a trooper! He ran every step with me and he probably could have finished at least an hour early than we did. We ran the whole way and finished and that was my goal. I can now check that box...although...I just might be signing up for more races in the future. This is a before picture.
Since the race last weekend we have been back in DFW hanging out. On Tuesday, we celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary. Thank you big Army for somehow allowing that to work out. We had a really special night out! We ate at Texas de Brazil. (The place we ate on our engagement night.) After dinner we spent the rest of the night reminiscing on how far our relationship has come from our first date...and then spent the night at the Worthington...just like our wedding night. Downtown Ft. Worth holds a lot of special memories for us and we always love to go back...especially for special dates!

Today was the bitter in the bittersweet! :( I never like the leaving part, but it is necessary to get this little deployment done. Next time we see each other we get to stay together for a long time...hopefully! He has only been gone 9 hours and my heart already longs for him and I miss him soooo much. Even Daisy girl misses her daddy. Only 8 months left....We can do it!!!!








Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Not enough exclamation points!!!!!

I don't think I can type the amount of exclamation points to show my excitement for tomorrow!!!!!!!!! Yes....you read right! Tomorrow is the day to be reunited with my husband!!!!!!! I know that it is only for 14 days, but it is going to be AWESOME!!!!!!!! So, don't be expecting any posts for the next 2 weeks....my laptop and I are taking a break! :) My life is wonderful.....I am so blessed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

How do you measure a year?

I feel like I can never come up with enough ways to measure Mark's year long deployment. Have you heard that song from Rent? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee...in inches, in miles, in laughter and strife...

Here is how I measure a year...
In car payments (12)
In paychecks (24)
In weeks (52)
In pedicures (approx. 10)
In hair cuts (4)

Anyway...the time just keeps on ticking. Sometimes faster than other times. Last week was super busy...I taught dance, baked 3 cakes, baked and decorated 81 cookies, subbed at Ditto and completed all the other craft fair tasks that my Mom asked me to do. The craft fair was a huge success!!!! I am a proud owner of some new jewelry, a shirt and a beautiful cross for my wall.

This week has been more low key, but it is still going quickly. I don't have any cakes or sub jobs lined up yet, but somehow, I am sure I will fill my days. Mark has R&R coming up in less than 2 weeks now! How exciting is that!!!!!!! Before I say this...please know that I am more than thrilled to get 14 days with Mark. It is better than 0, but it is somewhat bittersweet. I'm in my little routine...dance, sleep, eat, dance, eat, sleep, sub, bake, shop...and then I get to have Mark in person for 14 days and then somehow I have to go back to the day to day stuff. 2 weeks just isn't long enough!!!!!! I wish that his leave could be later in the year to split up the time more evenly, but I will take what I can get....happily!

We now have our DC trip planned and booked!!!!!! Can't wait!!!! Who knows...maybe this year our Christmas card pic will be in front of the White House? Also, Mark will be home for our 2nd Anniversary! We are going to stay at the Worthington, which is where we stayed on our wedding night...pretty cool!!!! And lastly, he is going to join in on the 1/2 Marathon fun! I'm sure that the 2 weeks will go way to fast, but they will be packed with fun and love and awesome memories.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The truth about food

Last night, I had the opportunity to go on a grocery store tour with my bootcamp trainer's wife. (She is also a trainer.) I want to share just a few of the many things I learned. I thought that I knew a lot about eating healthy, but I learned so much. This wasn't a tour of the actual store...I do know where milk is and where bread is...but I didn't know that chickens and cow are fed contaminated chickens and cows that were not suitable for human consumption. Let me break it down...the cow/chicken has cancer or whatever else...it isn't suitable to eat...so they chop it up and feed it to cows(that are vegetarians) and chickens (that eat grain)...then eventually we eat them! Ok...I have a problem with this! That is just down right gross! So...if you shop at Super Target buy Laura's lean beef. These cows were fed grass! If you don't shop at Super Target...look for beef that is grass fed.

Here are a few other random tips:
1. Don't eat things your Great Grandmother wouldn't recognize (chemicals in processed food)
2. Don't eat things with more than 5g of sugar/serving
3. Eat lots of fruits/veggies (organic if it has a thin skin)
4. Eat ALL organic dairy products
5. Look for deli meats that are nitrate/nitrite free
6. Buy products made with whole wheat (100%) Red flag: Enriched/Bleached Flour! It is not whole wheat!
7. Shop the perimeter of the store...avoid processed foods
8. No coke! EVER! EVEN DIET!!!!! (This is a tough one)

This was definitely an eye opening experience! Lots more to learn...so she recommended I read the Eat Clean Diet book. I am a rule follower, so I am going to give this a try.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Am I too old?

Since I got back to TX, I see people wearing these shoes ALL. THE. TIME. At first, I wasn't too sure, but now they have grown on me and I am beginning to think that I need a pair and I also think Mark would look simply adorable sporting a pair with khaki's and a polo. When I mentioned this to my "too cool" brother, he said that people that were out of college should wear them and that Mark and I are both too old for these shoes. What the heck? I didn't know there was an age restriction on shoe purchases. The jury is still out on whether I will get them...maybe if I could get them on sale! :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Booty Camp and other happenings...

Yep...We've gone back! Mother dearest and I decided to go back to Adventure Boot Camp at 5:30 in the AM. (I am still running too) I wouldn't go so far to say that I love getting up at 4:47, but I do LOVE boot camp. There is something about working out before the sun comes up that makes me feel great. So, running hurt before...and boot camp doesn't make it feel any better. I forced my self out the door this afternoon to pound the ground. Who said "Pain is weakness leaving your body?" I can't remember...but it sounds good and if it true I am going to be one strong lady.

I am in the beginning stages of planning our trip to DC for R&R...very exciting! I have never been there before and I am super excited, but also nervous about booking it. I'm afraid that once I book it, Mark's leave date will change and then what? Airlines are not the easiest nor most understanding people to deal with...so, I am putting off hitting purchase tickets until I get a for sure from the Army. I might be waiting a long bit. If anyone reads this and has any DC travel tips...I am all ears!

What else? This TX weather is a tease...cool one day, hot the next. Whatever! Mosquitoes are still in full force. Life is good.

I just started rereading "The Company Commander's Spouse Battle Book", because Mark's company command is only about 2 months away. You people know that I must be prepared. After all, this is what I went to FRG leader school for. This is my chance to reach people/wives in the Army! I am so excited!!!!! I love people! I love planning get togethers! I love helping people! I love being an Army Wife (most days the Army part...but I always love being a wife) ! So...FRG sounds like a good job for me. :)

Wow...this was a random post, but it's just the thoughts going through my little brain tonight.

Mark Stuff: He is doing good...not much to report. Iraq is quiet for the most part. He is busy working out, reading, spending time in the Bible, and calling ME! He loves to get letters or anything else that you want to send. Soccer balls and candy are great for winning hearts and minds of Iraqi children and Cigarettes(I hate smoking!) are apparently good for winning the hearts of Iraqi adults. So...that is about it. I can't wait to see him!!!!!!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My fur child has issues

Oh my gosh!!!! I just smelled a little wiff of poo every time my adorable little dog ran past me. At first I thought she had left a little present somewhere in the living room so I started the search...but nope...no poop! After I smelled the odor about 3 times I realized it was her BREATH! My dog eats poop!!!! How embarrassing! She is so cute and that is so disgusting...seriously!

Daisy,
Please stop putting horribly repulsive things in your mouth! Thanks!
Love,
Mom

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cloudy with a Chance of Running

As of late, I have pretty much avoided going outside to brave the elements and run. I have been using the excuse that it might start raining and I don't want to get my shoes wet. I had a little chat with myself this morning that went something like this. "Self, go run! It could possibly rain on the day of your race and then what?!" So....I ran. I actually ran faster than usual fearing that the sky might fall out on me. Now I can move on with my day and not have the guilt associated with skipping a run.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Celebrating 27 Years

I'm sure that for most of you reading this it will be incredibly boring, but for me it is memories and thoughts that I don't want to forget. Thanks for reading!

Over the past week or so I have been thinking about where I have been and what I have accomplished in my last 27 years. I have been incredibly blessed in my lifetime and I hope that I can pass those blessings on to others every day.

I was born to two loving parents who have supported me through all of my ups, downs, and the in between. They have been there to cheer me on in all my endeavors and they are always there to advise me when I have a not so great idea.

First there was Elementary and Junior High School at Pantego Christian Academy. I still am not sure how my parents afforded this, but looking back I am so thankful that I was given that opportunity. My loving parents were there for me when I decided that I was ready to leave PCA and go to a public school. Looking back, I am not really sure why I wanted to change, but I know that I had a bad experience with one of my junior high teachers at PCA. Ninth grade was still at Junior High in Arlington, so I left Pantego in the second week of school and started at Bailey Junior High. I remember being really nervous as I walked up to the door on my first day. The only person I knew was Keri, so I was way out of my comfort zone. That was a tough year! In fact, after that year I went back to my correct school by our house, Martin High School. Again...I knew hardly anyone and I was so scared. I was seriously a little fish in a huge ocean. I never really fit in at MHS, so my senior year I transferred to Arlington High School. This was probably the best decision I made throughout the dreadful teenage year. I loved my senior year and ended up having a great time! I have to think that I grew a lot as a person through my teenage years. Those are not easy years for sure! Awkward...yes!

Next came college...of course I only wanted to be a Red Raider...and that is just what I was and I still am! I loved college. I still miss college at times. Everyone says you make lifelong friendships at college, and I did. Those were really simple times, but still held moments of heartache. I pledged Kappa Alpha Theta in my freshman year and made lots of friends...spent a lot of Thursday nights at Midnight Rodeo with Kerm...Made the pom squad after not making it because I wasn't physically fit enough?...Fell in love...fell out of love...had my heart broken...maybe broke a few hearts along the way...and then Graduation. Wow! I felt like my world was ending and not beginning. I was scared! I didn't really know what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be. I thought I would never fall in love again and I would be alone forever. Everything was more dramatic than it probably really was in reality. I moved back home and my parents probably didn't know what to do with me. I was a mess!

That first job came. I was in rental/sales of construction equipment. That didn't last....Then the second job came. I was a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines. Then I fell in love and I fell hard! After 3 dates, I knew that I had met "The ONE"! What I didn't know was that 2 months after meeting him I would be kissing him goodbye as he headed off to Iraq for what we anticipated being a 6 month deployment. Well, that ended up being a 15 month tour, but we made it. Just 7 months after meeting Mark, he came home for R&R and we got engaged and 11 months after that we said "I do". It was a really long and hard 15 months, but the Lord taught me a lot! I learned that I have to lean on him for EVERYTHING! Contrary to what I would like to think sometimes, I am not in control. My life is in HIS hands, and he has a good plan for my life. Did I mention that I have been blessed with the most amazing husband? He is everything I every hoped for and more. He loves Jesus....he is compassionate and kind...he is selfless...he is so smart...he is funny...he is HOT!...and so much more!

Fast forward to now...since November 2007 we have moved to Georgia, moved to Washington...and now here I am in Texas and Mark is back in Iraq. I feel stronger this time...I feel wiser this time...and I am more faithful this time...I know that I am here for a reason and that Mark is away for a reason. Reasons that are so much bigger than I can understand. So what does the next 27+ years hold? Only God knows, but I know just like the last 27 years...there will be great times and there will be horrible times, but I am thankful that the good Lord that I serve will get me through all of them and he has a grand plan for my life. I hope that I am a good wife, and a good daughter, sister and friend. I hope that I am blessed with children and that I will be a good mother. I hope that I always remember those that are less fortunate than me and that I do all that I can to help them. I hope that I will have the courage to boldly profess my love for Jesus. I hope that I always live life to the fullest and I hope that I always remember how important it is to love people...

This is my favorite verse! (Jeremiah 29:11)
11
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Girls Weekend

Last weekend was awesome! Kerm and I took a roadtrip to Austin to see Whitney, and it just happened to be my birthday weekend. We got in on Friday night for a late dinner at Chuy's. Don't worry...we waited an hour and 20 minutes. I think they forgot us, but the hostess said they didn't. Saturday morning we woke up early...had coffee and a scone from Starbucks...lunch at Guerro's...tea at Panera...Movie!!! (All about Steve)...Cheesecake Factory...Presents(Check out the adorable Coach wristlet!)...and Girl Talk! Sunday, Whitney took us to Chez Zee for brunch and it was the cutest little place ever. They had live piano music and precious decorations. Thanks Whit for having us!

Friday, September 11, 2009

God Bless Whitley Cake


Here is my latest cake for a Baby Whitley! I am not sure if it a Christening or if she is just being presented to the church? It is vanilla almond cake with buttercream icing and fondant accents.

Happy Early Birthday to Me



If you have been reading my blog for a while, you probably know that I really want to take up photography...just for fun. I love taking pictures and I have really been wanting a nice camera. Since my wonderful husband is away for my birthday (for the 4th year in a row...but who is counting?)...he told me to go out and buy myself the camera that I want!!!! Well, since I always do exactly what he tells me....I headed out immediately and bought my camera! I LOVE IT! It is a Nikon D5000...I have had enough time to figure out how to turn it on, put it on auto and push the button. I have a lot to learn, but I am so excited!!!!! Daisy was my first subject...she is a great model!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009

Busy Busy


We are already 5 weeks into this deployment! Yippee! It seems like it is going by quickly, but on the other hand it seems like forever since I have seen Mark. Everything is going good, but I have been pretty busy the last couple of weeks. I started teaching dance on Mon, Tues., and Wed., and I am planning on subbing Thurs. and Fridays. Up until now I have been working at my Mom's office to help them out and to earn a little extra cash until I go to the sub orientation.

Last week started out a little rough, but by the end of Friday things started looking up. I heard from Mark last Monday and then he didn't call again until Friday! That was a long 5 days. Also, during the week we got news that 2 soldiers died in a non-hostile accident...which made the days even harder. I cried a lot. It made me remember that Mark is in a WAR, which sometimes I really like to forget. Since Friday I have been able to Skype with him at least 4 times!!!!! That alone made this an amazing weekend! Nothing makes me happier than seeing Mark's adorable little face smiling on my computer!

So, other happenings...Thursday night I went to a Frisco Roughrider game with Kerm. It was great to spend time with her and her sweet mom and sister. I finally got to see her house, which was ADORABLE! The game was at a really cute little stadium, but a lovely storm blew in and caused a rather long rain delay and the lights went out at the field. We hung out in the restaraunt for a bit, and then decided to go. Friday night, KK and I went up to Chimy's for a Sangria Swirl and some mud. Mud is a delicious dip with queso, beef and guac. Tasty!!! Saturday, Mom and I made a spur of the minute trip to Canton and have nothing to show for it, except some business cards for things that I plan to purchase at later dates. The remainder of the Holiday weekend was spent mumming. Is that a word? It is now...I will post pics of the finished products on Thursday after Kayse sees hers...just in case she ever reads this. :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Love in a box...or 2

Can I just tell you that war really stinks. Day after day I read that another soldier or 2 or 4 has been killed in either Afghanistan or Iraq and it just hits too close to home. I try to forget that my husband is in a war zone and pretend in my little imagination that he is just on a business trip...a very very long business trip! But...it is hard to do that when it just seems like the wars are never going to end. My heart breaks for the families dealing with the loss of a husband or a dad or a son and I just continue to pray that the Lord will protect all of the men and women that are serving. :( Sad day!

Anyway...I really try to stay positive and focus only on the GOOD things. Good thing today: First 2 packages of love and goodies sent to Mark. It took 3 weeks to get an address, so I have been collecting items that I knew that he would be needing or wanting. I sent a comforter, sheets, pillow, coffee maker, coffee, creamer, sweet n low, pens, pencils, notepads, marker board, markers, chap stick...that is all I can remember...but there was more. 2 huge boxes and $50 in shipping= the little big I can contribute to Mark while he is in Iraq. It just never seems like enough. I really want to make sure he is comfy cozy and has all of the little creature comforts that he likes. Thankfully his FOB has sweet tea. That only will make him happy as a clam.

We tried to skype this morning, but it didn't work. :( I need to see his face! It makes me happy!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Trey's 18th Birthday Cake


All About Trey!

I got home today from all of my "To Do's" and checked the mail...there were my little baby brother's senior pics. Ok...so, he isn't really little, but he is my baby brother. When did he become a senior in high school? How did that happen? So I totally sound like an old lady right now, but seriously...I remember the day he was born like it was yesterday. He was my little baby doll!!! Now he is a senior!??! CAN'T. BELIEVE. IT. Anyhow, this boy is destined for greatness...I believe in him. My parents have definitely had their share of ups and downs with this boy, which is only to be expected since he did follow in a perfect sister's footsteps. Ha! I'm far from perfect, but you know...Hopefully this year will be full of UPs and not a lot of downs. I am glad that I get to be a part of all the excitement, even though I would rather have Mark here with me. I am writing this blog as I wait for his 18th birthday cake to come out of the oven, because tomorrow is his 18th birthday. He is still in Italy for the Youth Olympics in Reggio Emilia. My mom heard from him one time this entire week, so I guess he is doing good. I can't wait to hear all about it when he gets here tomorrow. Things I know...they went to Venice and they won the gold!!! Things I don't know...if he took pictures to show us. Below is a picture of him catching at an exhibition game in Italy against a semi-pro team of 25-30 year olds. This is the only game they lost, and it didn't even count...it was just for fun.



I took this pic the night before he left in his awesome USA jersey! I am going to put it in a shadow box for him along with his medal.While he was frolicking around Italy, my mom and I were slaving away in the heat to paint the masterpiece below. That would be his Senior parking space. He painted the background and the outline of his initials before he left and my mom and I finished it. I'm not thinking it is totally done yet, because he wanted to add a Texas flag and maybe something else. I think it is pretty cool so far...hopefully he likes what we have done.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I love technology!

This morning is off to a most wonderful start!!!! Mark and I had a skype date set for 8:30 this morning. (Skype is a webcam/phone service that you can talk online) Of course I had to have on full makeup and somewhat fixed hair and then I began to wait...Because anything can happen and then he might not get to call because of reasons out of his control. But...not today!!!! He really called at the time he said and the webcam worked on both ends! Amazing! So yeah....good start to a Wednesday...hopefully more of that to come.

Maybe next time little Daisy will cooperate more. She didn't understand where his voice was coming from, so she ran around to the back of the computer. So cute, but such a little stinker.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Weekend Update

One weekend with Mark away down...only approx. 51 more to go! That is a lot! Maybe they will all shape up to be just as eventful as this one was. Friday night was super fun! Hanging out with KK and others for a get together and cookout. Fresh fish tacos and dove/jalapeno snacks=Delish! I wasn't quite sure about the little dove snacks, but they were so yummy...I couldn't stop at just one!

Saturday morning run went as well as I would have expected. We were hot, sweaty, and tired, but we did it! 6 miles down...KK is still faster, but it is ok....I will catch up. I need to remember my hat next time, because the sun was brutal. We started at Hoffbrau on University and ran west down the Trinity River 3 miles and then back to the car. Thankfully there is a Panera Bread right next to where we parked and we were able to grab some cinnamon bogels (Yes, bOgels, not bagels...they are little tiny bagel bites) and a strawberry smoothie to refuel. Saturday afternoon was spent doing errands with Mom and Trey for his Italy trip and then drove to Southlake to meet up with Kerm for Cheesecake Factory and a movie.

The Red Velvet did not disappoint. It was my third time to get it and I will be back for more! The movie was so so. We saw the "Time Travelers Wife." I haven't read the book, so I really didn't know what it was all about. I was highly confused most of the movie and I really didn't like the end very much. After the movie we made a mad dash to Charming Charlies for a quick little shopping trip. That store is AWESOME and I will be returning as soon as I earn some money to spend.

Today, I went to Alvarado for Mark's Dad's Birthday celebration. It was a good little visit and it was great to see Mark's family. Nana made some tasty cheesy spaghetti and I filled them in on the latest from Iraq. Good times!

Update from Mark: He is finally going to be taking a command of a company this November or December. Yea!!!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

New Shoes...Again

The little lines contained within the black rectangle in the photo above are the reason I must buy a new pair of shoes. Apparently, this means that the shoe is breaking down and will not support my foot properly on my runs. Since I obviously do not want to have an injury in the last months before my first race, I will be purchasing a shiny new pair of the exact same shoes. Unfortunately, the running store in Arlington doesn't carry this exact shoe, so I have called all the running stores in the area and I will be picking up the new pair tonight in preparation for our 6 mile run in the morning. Tomorrow will be my first run with my running buddy, KK, and she is already faster than me...so, I don't need worn out shoes to slow me down even more! Check out the extra gear I just had to have when I stopped in the running store. This handy dandy water bottle attaches to your hand and the gum is supposed to quench your thirst. Between my shiny new kicks, my trusty water bottle and my magic gum...I should have a GREAT run!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Keeping Busy Passes Time Quickly

Lunch yesterday with one of my old college roomies, Moorman (The name...not the religion), was really fun, but way too quick. I haven't seen her for at least a year and we had a great time chatting and catching up. We are already trying to plan a quick trip to San Antonio to see our 3rd Roomie from Ashton Pointe, Ginna. Can't wait!!!!

This weekend is already taking shape too. Friday night, I will be attending a cookout with KK, and Saturday I am meeting up with Kerm...BFF from college! So, fun times ahead. Not so much today though...still trying to get organized around here. I am surrounded by boxes at this point! I better get to work.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I run

Will I ever get use to running in this climate? Holy moly!!!!! It isn't even that hot or sunny yet today...maybe 85 degrees? I'm trying to get back on my running schedule, because it has been severely out of whack over the last couple of weeks. So, KK has kindly agreed to repeat last weeks training plan so I can catch up and hopefully acclimate to a Texas summer. I had good intentions to head out running at 5:30 AM...Did Not Happen! I did go at 7:30 though and I am glad I did. It felt great to get back in to the swing of it, but I am still sweating nearly one hour and a shower later. Only 3 months left until the first race! 5 months of training down! I think it is almost time to treat myself to new shoes! :)

Other stuff: Going to lunch with my old college roomie and one of my besties for lunch!!!! So excited!!!! It has been way too long since we got together...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Back to TX

Well, 5 days and 2,600 miles later, I have arrived in Texas. Wow! What a super long trip, but it was quite a lovely trip. I already wrote a little and posted pictures, but left out most details due to my level of sleepiness. Here are a few of the highlights...Top Ten of the trip...in order in which they happened.

1. If you know me at all, you know that I never miss a meal...that might be why I always am a healthy weight...so, while traveling through Oregon my mom starting calling various restaurants to see what type of food they served. She called a "Bar and Grill" to see if it was a sports bar typish place...their response "This is a Mill Bar, we serve Blue Collar workers..." We didn't go there. Last I check we don't work in mills or wear blue collars.
2. Visiting with relatives in Northern California. It has been a lot of years since we have seen my Uncle and his family. It was a really good visit...we enjoyed some local Mexican food and checked out their paintball playing fields...pretty cool.
3. Golden Gate Bridge and the whirlwind San Fran excursion
4. Starbucks in Monterrey and a quick trip to Carmel by the Sea for a quick walk on the beach and a look at Pebble Beach.
5. Vineyards as far as the eye could see in California...oh, how I would loved to stop and try out the local wines! Drinking and road tripping??? Not advised so no stopping! :(
6. MOUNTAINS....I had no idea there were so many mountain ranges in this great country...let me assure you...we saw them ALL!!!!!
7. Another quick visit with loved ones in Palm Springs. I ate a rather tasty grilled cheese and we got some visiting time in and then a VERY quick sleep.
8. 16 hour drive in one day! What the heck????
9. Dancing man on the street in Midland.
10. Quick visit with friends from way back in Merkel. Shannon use to teach me dance and then I taught her daughter dance when they lived in Arlington. She is in 7th grade now!!! I feel old!

To keep the time passing on the trip, I read to my mom. It was role reversal, because she use to read to me as a little girl....so, now I got to read to her. Pretty fun! I read the last half of the Josh Hamilton story to her. I'm not even sure what the book was called, but it is touching. I pretty much cried at least once per chapter. Seriously! After we finished that, we immediately started reading The Shack. I had already read it once, but I thought my mom would like it. We didn't finish it yet. Hopefully she will finish it up, or maybe I can read her to sleep at night. :)

In other news...I am back in TX and it is really setting in that Mark is not here with me. I am sure you are all well aware that I miss him more than words can express! I actually try not to think about it, because my heart hurts so much, but when I do slow down I start to think, and then well...I get sad! Really sad! A piece of me is not here and it is hard! Okay...enough of my emotions spilling out for tonight. The nights are harder than the days, because that is when I miss him the most.

For the record...I love Pandora on my iPhone.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Roadtrip America

Quick post...so sleepy. Here are a few pics from the adventure so far. Yesterday we left WA, made it to Roseburg, OR. Woke up this morning...went to Corning, CA to visit Mom's brother, Lane. Good visit and then to San Francisco for a whirlwind dinner on Pier 39 and a quick trip to the Golden Gate Bridge. Getting some shut eye in Santa Cruz and then back on the road in the morning. We are having lots of fun...laughing, chatting, singing...more to come later. :)






I just love him!


Not much to post...just like the pic...I miss him!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Do you like it?????

So.....notice anything different?! I love my new blog layout! Thanks to Jen Gets Fancy for an amazing job...and she is so fast!!!! If you are in need of an update, she is your girl! Hope y'all like the new look as much as I do! :)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Kenny Chesney in Seattle

This is our last weekend in WA for about a year, so last night we went to Seattle for the Kenny Chesney concert. It was so much FUN!!!! Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Montgomery Gentry and Sugarland were his openers and they were all GREAT! I LOVE Sugarland, but they played for the shortest amount of time. Apparently, she has been having vocal chord issues, but the songs they did sing were amazing! Kenny Chesney came on around 9 and played for just about 2 hours! Non-stop! He played lots of oldies but goodies and a few new songs. I understand why he has been entertainer of the year for 5 years...he is just that good!!! I posted a few pics from the concert, but we weren't sitting that close and I can't zoom very far with our little camera. Also, since the show was at Qwest Field...of course they were selling the evil garlic fries. And I mean EVIL!!! This things linger on your breath and skin for days! Normally Mark gets them and I complain of the stench, but last night I decided that if he was going to stink...I would join in on the stinkiness. Steer clear of us today...we seriously smell like a fresh bulb of garlic.


Kenny!!!!