Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful week 3

For the sake of it being 130am, I'm going to jump right in.

15-I'm thankful that it's almost Christmas time. I love Christmas music, I start listening to it in October, sometimes earlier. I love the decorations, the season, what it means.
16-Can you be thankful for an awesome hairdresser? I mean, I am. She makes my hair look great and I get to spend 4 hours kid free while she does it. I always leave feeling beautiful so that counts for something, right?
17-I'm thankful to be another year younger! I turned 31 today and spent the day shopping with my favorite 18 month old. I'm thankful that he tolerated trying on boots and jeans so his 31 year old fashion forward momma could sport the latest trends successfully. We wouldn't want to get arrested by the fashion police, now would we?
18-I am thankful for our SUPER soft bed. Getting that bed was a fiasico. It's a good story really. It's Feburary 2008, Jason's home on R&R and we are out to blow some money (that what R&R really means). This time we are blowing it on things that we REALLY need. A front loading washer, dryer and a new bed to replace the one that's OVER 20 years old and we've been sleeping on for the last 5. We go to Sears. We purchase the washer, dryer and a top of the line Stearns and Foster mattress. We were told to hold no bars when it comes to bedding, sleep is PRICELESS! So, we set up delivery and day after day ticked by and it was always SOMETHING wrong, no drivers, wrong address, wrong products. It was a bit ridiculous and the DAY before Jason left we really got serious and later that day, they showed up with the washer, dryer and 2, yes 2 boxed springs. Yep, kinda hard to sleep on that. So, after so much confusion, I went to cancel the order and reorder the mattress. A few days after the cancellation, a delivery guy calls and says they have it ready to deliver. They set it up and it's wonderful. Then, a few more days later, I get a message that says they will be delivering my mattress later today. Well, sure enough, later that day, a Sears delivery guy pulls up with ANOTHER mattress. I'm way too honest and I told him, "you know they've already delivered this mattress to me right?" and he says, "Ma'am, I just deliver what I'm told, please sign here." I waited a few days to see if they would want it back and that was all I ever heard from that. We ended up with not one but 2 fabulous mattresses. All for the low low price of NOT having your husband sleep in it with you for nearly 6 months. Poor Jason, I had this fabulous bed that he paid for and he still slept on a cot. Ahh, yes, I like my bed!
19-I'm thankful for coffee. Mostly I love it on mornings when sleep had eluded me for some reason or another but sometimes I just love it for it's sweet, creamy, warming qualities. I'm speaking of the coffee in my cup. It's more of a kahaki coffee with lots of cream and some sort of flavored creamer. I like to mix it up but coconut cream and peppermint mocha are my tried and true favorites. It's like a little piece of heaven right there in my hand. It's like the calgon of the morning. It's one big starbucks mug of HAPPINESS in the rush, rush of morning routine.
20a-I'm thankful that Jen and I successfully ran 10 miles today. It was a TOUGH trail race and my knees and ankles curse me for ever making that decision. Today, I am one step closer to running a half marathon and at the 9 mile marker, when I turned my ankle one last time and nearly cried, I decided, I'd RATHER run 13 than tourture myself with another long trail run so Nashville Marathon, here I come!
20b-I'm SO thankful for my neighborhood girlfriends. Most of them know and feel the same way but I don't know where I'd be without this neighborhood of Army wives/SAHM's that I've befriended over the past 7 years. Some of us have come and gone but each of them has play a special role in my life, in raising my children and in enduring some of the hardest trials of my life. There have been more playdates, walks, jogs, and dinners than I could possibly count and it seems they always know just when you need them. I don't know if I'll ever find this kind of circle again. It's a rare gem, but I love the wives of Northridge Plantation. (hey, that's catchy, maybe we should start reality show!)
21-12 hours DONE! Drive to ALABAMA, DONE! It was a terribly long and boring ride. It always is but it's DONE and I'm finally in Alabama. I'm enjoying Mama, full time daycare and chicken stew. And tomorrow, I'm going to enjoy the freedom to sleep late since I chose to stay up until 2am and hopefully entertain you with this longwinded blog.


I'd like to introduce you to my new best friend, Ree Drummond. We became friends back in April when she decided to spill her guts about her love story to me late at night when Jason was still away. I still owe her BIG for helping me pass that time. Then when Jason did finally get home, she showed me how to WOW him with some amazing dishes. Some possibly even too delicious for words. Then she went on and developed some rad photoshop actions for my personal use and I just love them. She is always willing to share her recipes with me and tell me all her cooking secrets.

Yes, she's my new best friend.

Except she doesn't know it yet.

She may never know it.

She's the pioneer woman and I very well may have a female crush on her. It's probably to the point of stalker if she lived any closer.

Lucky for her, all I've got is her fabulous blog and the faint idea that we really are friends...one day...a long time from now.

The recipes that I've successfully checked off the list include:
Chicken Cacciatore

Ginger Steak Salad

Olive Cheese Bread

The Best Lasagna. Ever.

Braised Beef Short Ribs with Goat Cheese Polenta

The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake. Ever.

and last but not least...

Cinnamon Rolls

So first, I should thank my trusty friend Mari, who introduced us. I owe you big, like 6 pounds of butter big!

I've made new friends with these recipes. Everyone wants to eat at our place and I have the neighbors offer grand favors just for a taste of these cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven.

These recipes are GOOD, easy and easy to find. Sometimes, I even have everything to make it!

I did go out and buy one of those fancy dutch ovens. I like it and it makes me feel more like Ree. Told you, SWF, that's me.

I would like to highly recommend if you would like to stay up all night long and read one of the best love stories since Song of Solomon, then you should really read hers. It's that good, for real!

And if you think about it, we really are friends...

on Facebook anyway.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thankful by the week-2

Did I mention I think I'm too lazy to blog every day about being thankful? I can conquer thankful by the week though (I hope).


8-I'm thankful for my hubby. He works hard, long hours. He always takes good care of us and makes wise financial choices. He is always willing to help me with the boys and is the greatest father to them. I'm thankful he wants to eat lunch with me(like today!) from work and thankful I'm available to eat with him.

9-I'm thankful for good insurance (for now). I can hardly believe I'm saying this. I've rarely had good things to say about TRICARE. They can be a REAL pain sometimes but when they come through, it's fabulous and I've never paid a DIME for medical care issues. So I guess I'm saying it's worth the headache. This week I had a dermatology "check-up" because I'd never had one and I was seamlessly referred and seen by a dermatologist free of charge. Now, the ordeal was that I had to dress in fancy paper drapes and clothing while chasing Lincoln around an exam room. I should have taken friends advice and took it all off and laid it on the floor for him to color on. It would have served a better purpose.

10-Maybe one of the things I'm MOST thankful for, My Parents. They flew in tonight to see us and the boys, ok, just the boys. Either way, they hardly let a month go by without seeing them and I'm thankful that they have made such a big impression in their lives. Even 700 miles away, my kids know them and love them. Almost as much as I do!

11-It wouldn't be right if I wasn't thankful for my veteran and all the veterans past and present who have fought to make this country free and great. This is a special day for us because we have walked in those shoes and personally know those who have paid the ultimate price for this freedom we have. I'm especially thankful for 3 safe returns from a war zone and continually pray for the safety of the friends we have still there. God Bless America!

12-I'm thankful my mom is a photographer. Do you know the copious amounts of money Jason would be out if I didn't have this little luxury? I LOVE photographs. I like BIG canvas photos all over my walls. I like to have a picture of my kids in nearly every outfit they own. Christmas is coming. I need Christmas cards. Mom came to the rescue and we painfully made photos of the boys. You can read all about it here . So thanks to mom's photographer eye and my mad photoshop skills, we have a few (like 4) photos to choose from for the highly anticipated Christmas Card.

13-I'm thankful for 4 day weekends. We will soon be leaving the military and all the woes it's responsible for but there are a FEW things I will miss about this life. Truth be known, there are MANY things that I will miss but that's another thought. These 4 day weekends don't come as often in the civilian world and I'm thankful we have them together.

14-I'm thankful for a night away! My birthday is soon and we took mom and dad up on some babysitting to spend the night in Raleigh. Jason found us some friends to hang with and a GREAT little sushi place in downtown Raleigh. We then went to The Oxford for drinks and dessert. I had a fabulous chocolate chip cookie dough tiramisu. We sat around for several hours watching college students and reminiscing of our younger days. It was fun, for a night but I that we're passed that phase!

Friday, November 12, 2010

It ain't easy...

Making Christmas card photos has always been a part of my November. My mom was making Christmas card photos of us back in the early 80's before photo cards were even cool. I will never forget some of the dreaded Christmas card photo shoots. Some were at the mall in front of tons of people, others in cold outdoor locations or best ever was us posing in our pajamas and being forced to be nice to my younger sister. Well, I'm carrying on the time honored holiday tradition by torturing my boys with uncomfortable photos in public places with the promises of candy, playgrounds and ice cream. Believe me, you do whatever it takes when the perfect photo is at stake. Yes, I know I'm lucky enough to have a MOM for a photographer and that she travels 700 miles to help me with this endeavor. Even with the help of mom, and my dad, it's still an enormous undertaking to get just ONE good picture of the boys, together, with smiles on their faces. So, just know, these seemingly fabulous photos certainly come at a price. And for the full effect, I'll show you what MOST of the photos look like and then a few of the better ones we were lucky enough to get.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Back to the Future-Halloween Edition

This year we celebrated Halloween for nearly a month. Jackson LOVES Halloween so I decorated JUST for him. I hate spiders and scary things but we did the whole, orange lights, pumpkins, spiderwebs all over the front porch. He loved it. We listened to a Halloween CD so much inthe car that even Lincoln could sing some of the Addams Family song. We went to 3 "trunk or treat" events and even "trick or treated" twice. It was candy OVERLOAD.
Jason and I were invited to an adult Halloween party and had fun choosing our costumes. I was Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile and he was a Roman toga wearing Cesar. The boys were the future part. Jackson wanted to be an astronaut and I was lucky enough to have a friend that offered a cool nasa suit and another friend let us borrow an awesome helment. He was quick to tell me that the helment is actually worn with the WHITE suit and a ball cap is worn inside the ship with the orange suit. Well EXCUUUUUSE me. Lincoln was an adorable alien from the Toy Story 3 movie. We watched that movie the day it came out and loved it. We bought the only costume I could find and it was for 12-18 months. I'd say it was more of a 12 months since I had to PIN it on him it was so short. Either way, I was lucky too go get at least one cute picture of them in the costumes. Jason helped. He's learned I won't give up until everyone is crying so he tries to make it quick and painless. So without further ado...here's the photos of the festivities.

Thankful by the week-1

So I've wanted to join the "thankful" bandwagon for a few days now but it's either busy or lazy or possibly both that have prevented me from it. This morning I had a revalation. I'm more of a once a week blogger so I could blog ALL my thankfulness into a weekly blog. It counts right? I just hope I can keep it up throughout the month. I found it easier and more intresting to do it by the day of the month so I'll start with the 1st of November.

1-I'm MAJORLY thankful that today my husband was promoted to MAJ in the Army. To most this means bigger jobs and more responsibility but for us it mainly means a temporary pay raise before we get out, which is much needed AND appreciated!

2-I'm thankful for sushi. Trivial, yes, but I really love it and I love to find friends to enjoy it with. I used to HATE seafood and HATE sushi. I was totally missing out and I'm happy to have had Jason push it on me until I now love it more than even he does.

3-I'm thankful for Christian friends to talk and have fun with. My MOPS moms, who help me parent in a more Godly way and share all their mothering secrets.

4-I'm thankful for hourly care on post. I had a dentist appointment to get a cavity filled and I knew I'd feel like crap when it was over. Not only was it a miserably rainy day but I was also miserable with a numb mouth and I didn't have to deal with a miserable baby with a cold for a whole 5 hours. And at 4.00 an hour, I know it's a steal for us both!
BONUS: I'm thankful for internet on my phone. I depend (sometimes a little too much) on internet access, I google things, I cook dinner, I get world news thorough Facebook of course! Well, my dinosaur modem went out and I had to get a new one. At least I had my phone to keep up with all the most important celebrity gossip and facebook happenings. I wouldn't want to miss what all my friends are having for dinner!

5-I'm thankful for FREE medical care. As much as I sometimes complain about the Tricare insurance, I'm so thankful that when I have a kid coughing all night and wheezing in his sleep and I decide to take him in to have something done only to discover there is NOTHING they can do for him, at least it didn't cost me $30 or MORE for them to say that. I walk out and the only thing it cost me was a little time.

6-I'm thankful for my dedicated running partner Jen and the sheer ability to run. We ran an 8 mile on saturday in about 78 minutes in preparation for our 10 mile trail run comming up. Jen and I have been running off and on for about 4 years now. As of late, we get up in the 5 o'clock hour and run anywhere from 4 to 8 miles and it's a fabulous way to start my day. Me time, adult conversation and miles behind us.

7-I'm thankful for Target. I know, they don't always have the best reputation for a chain store but they always come through when I need to waste a few hours and usually I come out with something useful to add to my wardrobe. Many a pair of "depoyment shoes" have been purchased at Target. I think this is called retail therapy. Try it, it works!

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle?

This morning, we went on a walk with our good friends Mari and her Caroline, Anabelle and baby Grace. Monday morning walks are always exciting because we might get a glimpse of the trash truck. There's always the chance in a military town of discovering some sort of treasure in the trash. I guess things are more disposable when you move every 3 years. Today we happened upon some great storage containers in perfect condition, some odd cups/silverware and a large piece of styrofoam. To the kids, you might have thought Santa came. For nearly an hour those odd treasures kept them busy in the driveway. We have moving plans for the storage containers but the kids treasures luckily made it to our trash right before the trucks came by. That's reusing, right? I'm thankful for Mari, the only friend that wouldn't give a second thought to recycling someone's trash with me! I'm going to miss her when CA calls her home.