Monday, August 31, 2009

Nephew-ness

These are the only pictures I took this weekend, but I had so much fun with JJ! He is such a nut. I also saw my nephew Brandon, but he is a little younger and doesn't quite know how to play with me and JJ yet. ;)















Sunday, August 30, 2009

Learning about friendship

I'm not sure where to start. This blog has been in my head for days, and I've been dying to write it. So now, even though it's almost 11PM on a Sunday night and I have to work tomorrow, I think I'll put on some Norah Jones and start writing.

I've been thinking lately about friendship. A lot has happened in that aspect of our lives lately.

I'll be honest; I had a much nastier blog to post on this subject. However, after just writing it out I felt better and decided not to post it. My husband also had a long email to send, but didn't. Personally, I am trying to deal with hurt and frustration differently than I've done in the past, and not continually argue meaninglessly over things that have happened years ago, or things that have no relevance to the subject at hand.

I have to say, after giving myself a weekend to think and enjoy company with my friends and family, I realized how trivial and petty the things I wanted to say were. Do I still wish I could say those things and would I feel justified in saying them? Of course. How I wish they knew how I really felt. But it doesn't matter. There are more important things in life - such as drinking wine and eating pizza with a good friend... chasing my nephew around for hours on end... and having lunch with a friend I've known for years, catching up on each others lives. One decision at a time I hope to become a better person.

It's amazing how bitter and angry one can be... and how quickly this ruins friendships... from long-term friends of 13 years to new friends of a year or so. It also amazes me that someone can claim to be a friend (best friend, even) and yet refuse to listen, hear both sides, and and work out conflict. There are two sides to every story, and no one person is ever fully justified to point fingers and place blame.

I'm finding that Facebook has an evil side. It becomes a sort of altered-reality for a lot of people... people who think that by clicking "delete friend" that friend is somehow erased from their life. Really, all you've done is bring your friend count down by one. True reality will never allow that friend to be erased from your life.

I'm also learning how much I would regret saying a few choice words to someone, if tomorrow happened to be their last day. Fights, disagreements, and past problems fade into oblivion when put into perspective of the fragility of life. Really, being in the military we should feel this truth even deeper than most. Absolutely nothing is more important than relationships when you no longer have an opportunity to mend them. I have been opening my eyes beyond my own hurts and realizing there are oh, so many more places to focus my energy. I for one, know I would regret hurtful words I said in the heat of the moment; so I just don't say them.

As my friend wisely reminded me, "You will never regret not sending a letter written in anger."

I don't think I am better than anyone, nor do I look down upon anyone. I only live my life and purse things I'm passionate about. I have never purposefully tried to one-up anyone, nor do I belittle anyone. I make my own decisions and live with them. As do you.

I love my husband, and our life together. We are happy. We have friends who are supportive, encouraging, and as committed to the friendship as we are. There is nothing more hurtful than a one-sided friendship. True friendship exists where there is committment to work through issues, to talk to each other, and to swallow our pride and bite our tongue.

I've been learning a lot... a lot about myself, about people I know, and about human nature. It's not exactly pretty, but it's enlightening.

"The friendship that can cease has never been real."
- Saint Jerome

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Warning:

I feel a blog coming on. I have a lot to say, and it may not be pretty; because unlike you, I am honest with myself.

So be prepared! (I wouldn't want to go behind your back or anything)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ramblings...

Well, my husband has been in Texas since Saturday. I have mixed emotions about him being gone. The good part is, we made a little vacation out of it. Since he drove there, I'm flying out next Friday to meet him, and we're taking a little road trip back home over Labor Day (I took Tuesday off as well). I'm really looking forward to that!

The bad part is, this really has made me realize why I was so excited for him to get out of the military in the first place. I HATE it when he's gone, and I miss him so much! I feel like a baby because I miss him a lot after only 3-4 days, when I know that I've gone through 6 months without him before. But the feelings never change - you just learn to cope differently after a while. The money you get while he's on a deployment is good, but at about month 3 or 4 of him being gone you're ready to give it all back in exchange for your husband being home. It's a tough thing, this military wife job. Overall though, I do enjoy it, and I can't complain. The last deployment was a great thing for our marriage, but it also presented it's challenges for us. If he does re-enlist, I'm sure we'll be doing it again at least once or twice. But I'm not crossing that bridge until we come to it.

In other news, my puppy Amira has been such a good girl latley, and I've been leaving her OUT in the house while I'm gone at work. I never thought that day would come!! However, she is almost a year and half, and being in her crate up until this point has trained her as to when she can go potty. I'm crossing my fingers that this lasts, because I hate keeping her penned up all day. She is so cute when I leave for work. We have a sliding glass door that faces the front of our apartment, and whenever I walk out of the house, I turn around and see her little face peeking out of the blinds watching me leave. I just love her to death. :)

I went shopping this past weekend and got some new clothes (finally!). I probably spent more than I actually had "alotted" to me, but that's ok. Hehe. Each paycheck Eric and I give ourselves "spending money'" that we can use on whatever we want. Usually I spend a little here and there, or get my hair/nails done... but this time I kept it all just for clothes!

I CANNOT believe next week it will be September!! But I'm uber excited because Fall is my absolute FAVORITE time of year. I've already put out a few decorations, but I'm waiting until September to put out the rest. :) I wish we had a whole house to decorate, but for now, I'll just keep collecting and eventually I'll be able to use everything I've gotten over the years.

Ok well, this is my rambling post for the day. I'm back to work now. My boss (the CEO) is leaving for 3 weeks today so it has been super busy and I'm really trying not to drop anything important! I'm headed to Tampa this weekend to see my friend Jen and have some girl time... can't wait!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friendship

"Friendship... is not something you learn in school. But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven't learned anything."

- Muhammad Ali

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pet Peeves

So lately things have been good, but I just wanted to air some annoyances I've had.

- "Friends" who get bent out of shape, don't talk to each other, give the "silent treatment" and then play the blame game. Seriously, grow the f*** up. No, I'm not talking about MY friends - they are the bomb. This is for everyone else - you know who you are.

- CEO's with veto power on a company-wide contest. If everyone votes on their choice, then the CEO says "I don't like any of them", suddenly the contest is over. So how was it a contest to begin with?

- The Air Force, who send husbands out of town for two week trainings in Texas

- Neighbors on the 2nd floor who party until 4AM

- Facebook not loading on the computers at work

- Missing out on the annual "incentive payments" at work because they are paying them earlier this year, and my annual review is 2 months too late. It would've been great if they'd pay them in December like they normally do... but of course, this year, it's in September.

- Drama queens, especially of the male variety.

- House and Grey's Anatomy not being on TV.


So, I suppose I should balance the negativity with some positive points:

- Losing 2 pounds this week

- Glasses that don't give me a headache anymore

- Finding and MAKING recipes so good, my husband wants the leftovers the next day

- Being able to fly to Texas over Labor Day to have a roadtrip back to Florida with my husband. I get a 4-day weekend and only have to take one day off!

- Having more website work lately

- I'll still get SOME sort of incentive pay, but just a couple hundred vs. a couple thousand I would've gotten the normal way. (I guess that's a negative and a positive?)

- Army Wives is on TV

- I have a husband who loves me more than his own life, and who shows me that every single day. He's not passive, over-emotional or overly-sensitive. He has the perfect balance of strength, emotion, and confidence that I need. He works hard to take care of me and our family, and plans for the future. He listens to everything I have to say, and values it. I love him.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Lasik adventure

My husband now has 20/20 vision thanks to Lasik! We went to NAS Jacksonville to get it done (military paid for the whole thing) on Thursday, and left Friday morning.

The poor guy couldn't open his eyes for almost a whole day, so I led him around the BX on base while we waited to check into our hotel. Everyone thought he was blind and injured in Iraq. One lady was so sweet, even though I couldn't stop laughing about it later, came up to me and said, "Did your husband serve in Iraq?" "Ummm... yes he did.... but he just got Lasik." I still thought it was very sweet of her to talk to me. She told me thank you, and also that her husband served for 20 years. The military is such a big family, I love it.

We waited about an hour in the car, after I refused to walk around with him anymore - too much attention from everyone! haha.















His seeing eye wife.















Some ridiculous truck in the parking lot. Can you say "I need attention"?















That night he was feeling better, and I was tired of eating fast food on base, so we found this nice BBQ restaurant about 20 minutes away, called "Sticky Fingers".















The sauce was so good, we bought some.















See his red eyes? Believe it or not they didn't hurt him at this point. It was less than 10 hours later he could see 20/20!
















So that was our lasik adventure. The next morning at his follow up they found some fiber in his right eye, so they had to re-open the flap and rinse it out, so he was in pain all over again. We got home a little late, so I decided to take the whole day off and take care of my hubby. (Woohoo - that made it a 4-day weekend!)

Today Eric threw all his contact paraphernalia away, and now has as good of vision as I do! Amazing procedure, and better yet, free. Thank you, US Air Force. :)

This is a glimpse of our 4-day weekend:















He likes Mikes Hard Lemonade more than I do. Ugh.















Kisses















Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Wine from around the world

I love a good glass of wine. I enjoy browsing through bottles and finding something I've never tried. I tend to stick to light, sweet, fruity wines - not that heavy, dark stuff - unless it's a Port wine. Over the years I've collected quite a variety of wine, from many different countries.

Here are some favorites in my collection.

Spain:


Portugal:



France:


This is a special bottle from Paris, France. Eric and I bought it when we first met in Paris, and decided to keep it for a few years... for a special occasion. I'm not sure that we'll ever drink it ... it's more sentimental than anything else.


Australia (never been there, someone gave it to me):


And then, of course, there's my old faithful, my favorite all-around wine, White Merlot:


Most of my wine I keep for aesthetic value only...haha.


So there you have it, a view into my "hobby" I guess you could call it. Sometimes I buy wine just for the bottle. I have to say, by far, the best wine I've ever had was in Portugal. I bought this amazing Port wine over there, and it lasted me forever because I'd drink it as a dessert, a little bit at a time. It was like drinking sex in a glass. Uh-mazing.

If you ever come across a good bottle of wine, especially if it's sometime unique (like from a local winery or from another country), let me know and I'll give it a try. :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Little luxuries

Did I mention how amazing my husband is? I walked in the door last night and he had these flowers and VS lotions for me, just because. He is so good at telling me all the time how much he appreciates me and loves me. He is truly the best! I love him more every day.





"For hearing my thoughts, understanding my dreams and being my best friend, for filling my life with joy and loving me without end, I do." (Unknown)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Oh, the possibilities

Lately I have been thinking about the possibility of Eric re-enlisting for 4 more years when his contract is up in October of 2010. Up until recently I've been very much opposed to the idea, and so has he. However recently on our trip to GA we were discussing it, and he told me he would be able to fill out what is called a "dream sheet" of the top eight bases he'd like to be sent to after re-enlisting. I didn't realize this, and suddenly got terribly excited at the possibilities.

I've been itching to go back to Europe for a while now. I miss it a lot, and love it over there. The idea hit me that Eric could request to be stationed at a base in Italy or Germany if he re-enlists. That means we could LIVE in Europe for a few YEARS!! Heart be still! That would be a dream come true.

Poor Eric -- for the rest of the drive to GA I was talking about all the pros and cons of living overseas. He is still not sold on the idea, because he is really wanting to become a civilian cop. I want him to have that opportunity too ... 5 years from now. :) I'm such a supportive wife, huh?

Here are the cons:

- We may not get stationed where we want to. There's about a 70-80% chance he'll get what he wants, but that 20-30% leftover scares me a little bit. What if we got sent to Minot, North Dakota? Or Anchorage, Alaska? I would sooner die. But it's a risk I think I'm willing to take. Another way to try and avoid this is to fill up your list of eight with ALL European bases... that way at least you'd have a much higher chance of getting over there. But it's still the military we're talking about here, and when push comes to shove, they'll do whatever they damn well please and whatever is best for them. I am well aware of that.

- We plan on trying to start a family in 2011. If he re-enlists and we move, we'd be far away from grandparents, aunt, uncles and friends if we have a baby. I'm sure they won't be too excited about that possibility. And I would miss the free babysitting!!

- He could get deployed while we're overseas, which would leave me all alone in a far away land. Haha. The options are I could fly home while he's away and have a 6-month vacation, or, stay there and explore on my own (scary).

- Re-enlisting in general means putting up with the military BS for a few more years. But it also means receiving their benefits... which brings me to the pros!

Pro's of re-enlisting:

- Where do I start? :) The biggest positive would be the experience of living in Europe for an extended period of time. Every person I've talked to who's been able to live there has nothing but positive things to say. I used to work with a guy who was a Sr. Master Sgt. in the Air Force and lived in Italy for like 6 years or something. That's what I'm talking about... how fun would that be?!?

- We'd have a guaranteed income for a few more years (and no pay cut - which he would take if he got out and became a cop) and Eric would have the opportunity to test for Tech Sergeant, which equals more money. I'm not in it for the money, but there are unbelievable benefits out there for military members, and I'm not naive to them. Plus Eric might get his Bachelor's degree and go to the officer side.

- If we did start a family, the military covers everything medical 100%. No worries there. Plus, I could fly back to the states for a baby shower, and then after the baby was born and stuff. It's do-able. Oh yeah, and the baby could be a dual-citizen if they wanted to. :)

- Once you're in Europe, traveling to other countries is like traveling to another state in the USA. It's so easy and fast. We could definitely have the opportunity to see all of Europe, which is something I've been dying to do for years. How many people do you know have the opportunity to do that while they're still in their 20's?

- If we were sent to a large enough base, I could get a part-time job on base, probably doing something similar to what I do now. Or, I could just get a mindless job like bagging groceries in the BX. I could do whatever I wanted.

- If you're stationed overseas as a military dependent, they will pay for your schooling 100%. So basically I could come back with my degree completely paid for. Insane! Oh yeah, and I told Eric that depending on where we got stationed, I would buy the Rosetta Stone software and learn the language, just for the fun of it. :)


As you can see, I am terribly excited about the possibility. Of course, I am being realistic and fully aware that we could also not move anywhere and stay here at Patrick forever. I'm ok with that. That would be fine, as I could keep my current job and we'd still be close to family.

The way I see it is, why NOT? Why not try when you have the opportunity to see the world for a few years and get paid for it? It's only 5 years, and then we'd move back to Florida and Eric can do his cop thing. I may be crazy, but the whole thing is exciting to me.

We obviously still have just over a year to decide. A lot can happen in a year, so we'll see.

I know my friends and family might be opposed because I'd be far away and the whole grandkid thing. But think about it from my perspective, and put it in context. It's not forever, and it's a great opportunity. Plus, it's just an idea in my head right now. A million things could happen between now and then.

I still excited. :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Etsy jewelry

I'm loving this Etsy shop!
Kathryn Riechert - Limited Edition and Custom Sterling Silver Jewelry
These are my two favorites...





I'd order them now, but I was planning on using my spending money this paycheck for some new clothes. Decisions, decisions. :)

But OMG! I can afford this now! Way too cute!
I found it at aandboriginals Etsy shop. Amira would be stylin'.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Road trip to Georgia

This past weekend Eric, Amia and I drove up to Georgia for my cousin, Taylor's, college graduation. I am really glad we went... it was a lot of fun seeing my family and celebrating a little bit. Amira made a new BFF - my Aunt and Uncle's dog Lobo, a larger-than-average chihuahua. (who I didn't get any pictures of). She was so sad to leave him.


Our fearless driver, who got us there and back with no speeding tickets!



At Taylor's graduation ceremony w/ my Uncle Steve and Aunt Miriam



Taylor's in there somewhere



Us with the graduate :)



Of course we had to party afterward!







And he's out



The end :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Exploring

So I still haven't figured out if there is a way to 'search' for blogs I'm interested in by keyword. However, I've stumbled across several just by links on my friends blogs. I found some really cute stuff that has inspired me to be more creative on my blog.

I love trying new drink recipes, and I found some here:
Summer Cocktail Recipes {Celebrity Style}

I also love wine, and I am tempted to try some of these summer wines. I wonder if some place like World Market would have them locally:
9 Summer Wines Under $15
{via The Nest}

More to come later. :)

P.S. I hope you like the new blog look! I think this gorgeous pink background is more my style. :)