Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What Are You Reading?

One of my deployment goals is to read a lot of books, so I'm looking for some great recommendations from all you readers.

What are some great fiction and non-fiction books you've read recently? Any favorites that I have to read?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Winter Scenes

While I've been back in Oklahoma I've tried to take advantage and have been taking massive amounts of pictures. It's quite the running joke in my family that I take pictures of everything. I've told them all if I ever get famous they'll be sorry they made fun of my photography because I'll make them buy prints at retail price.

Because for the last couple of days we were pretty much snowed in, I used the time to take some pictures of the birds that frequent our yard. The snow made a wonderful backdrop to the birds and this is one of my favorite shots.

Not having Photoshop to edit pictures is driving me nuts though. I seriously feel like it's an addiction. Must. Buy. New. Laptop. and. Photoshop!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Miss You!

I was inspired recently by Ayla over at What? Mermaids? with a picture she had holding up a Miss You sign for her husband who is deployed.

I decided I'd start doing "I Miss You" signs for Sean while he's deployed. Some will have me in them, some will be for places I go and some will just be everyday tasks or things that remind me of him.

Here are my first two.

Has anyone else done any little projects like this while their significant other is deployed?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Gifts Galore!

How was everyone's Christmas?

Mine ended up being pretty good. Our plans at one of my Grandma's house were indeed cancelled for Christmas Eve, but we've postponed until next weekend.

I got some great items for Christmas. That pink Old Navy coat that I've raved about was one of my favorite gifts. I also got an unabriged Italian dictionary (I know I'm a geek) a season of Designing Women, some Passport to Europe DVD's, some Corningware and a ton of other great stuff.

However, I'd like to show you one of my not so favorite gifts. Now let me just say I'm not complaining about gifts. It's just that my Aunt always gives weird gifts and often tells us (like she did today) that she found it in her closet. Ok..if you are finding these items in your closet, why are you telling the gift recepient that? Oh and let me just say ignore my hair. I swear it looks cute now, but I had it up because of all the wind yesterday.

But, without further ado:


Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you all! I hope each and everyone of you has a wonderful day and if you are sans husband/significant other because of training or deployment, I hope you at least get to speak with them today.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

White Christmas?

Looks like Mother Nature is packing a punch for the Midwest this Christmas.

We are forecasted to get anywhere from 4-8 inches snow give or take with "blizzard like" conditions. Although I like White Christmases, I'm not welcoming this one. This White Christmas has the potential to ruin my Christmas Eve plans, which isn't sitting well with me. Right now it's just raining and the wind is blowing like a hurricane. Later today this it's supposed to turn into snow.

I just want to have Christmas Eve at my Grandma's house as planned and see my extended family. Is that too much to ask?

Now...for a happier portion of my post. Ever had Cream Cheese Clouds? If not, you're missing out. My Mom made them for breakfast this morning and I always look forward to them.

That's what these delightful creations look like.

And here's the recipe:

Cream Cheese Clouds

1 can buttermilk biscuits, refrigerated
1/2 cup sugar (give or take)
1 Tbsp. cinnamon, ground
1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese, cut into 12 cubes
1/2 stick butter melted

1. Separate dough into 12 biscuits; press or roll each into 1/4 inch thickness.

2. Mix sugar and cinnamon in shallow dish. Dip cream cheese cubes in melted butter, then roll in the cinnamon sugar.

3. Place 1 cream cheese cube in center of each dough circle; gather up sides of dough to enclose filling. Press edges together to seal. Place seam sides up in lightly greased muffin pan. Drizzle with any remaining butter; sprinkle with any remaining cinnamon sugar.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 min. or until golden brown.

I promise you won't be disappointed!

Merry Christmas Eve!!!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Tree Explosion

First of all I'm sorry I haven't been on blogger much these days. Home is keeping me quite busy, but I'm having a great time. So great in fact, that I tire out by around 9p.m. and have to go to bed.

In other news I got to talk to Sean for the first time since he's left on instant messenger. Having a "live" chat was so much better then just sending messages back and forth and it was something we both really needed.

Now..for the Christmas Tree explosion. Let me begin by saying my parents have these friends they've known for quite awhile. When I got home last week, my Mom told me she wanted me to take me to their house, as they have something in there she wanted me to see. That something is over 100 Christmas trees of various sizes, colors and styles. I was in awe. They are themed trees and they are amazing. There is an I Love Lucy tree, a flip-flop tree, three patriotic trees in red, white and blue, a Mickey Mouse tree, a Christmas Story tree, a Snow Man tree, a Santa tree. It's literally unbelievable. I took pictures of a ton of trees, but they aren't that great as I can't edit any of my pics since I'm lacking Photoshop or even a laptop for that matter. However...here are a few of them I took.

The Mickey Tree

Some of the ornaments on the Marshmallow Tree

Three of the Patriotic Trees

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Crab Empanadas and a little Catch-Up

So..the other night I made a new recipe for my family, crab empanadas. I got this recipe from my good friend Jess, who got the recipe from the newest issue of Glamour. I was looking for a new recipe to take to my Grandmother's house and so I wanted to try it out first. Survey says? Delish!

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients you Need:

6 oz crabmeat (you can get it in the can or in the pouch, I used in the pouch)
2 Tbsp. Sour Cream
1 tsp. Dijon mustard ( I about 1/2 teaspoon more)
1/2 cup diced green onions
Salt and pepper for seasoning
1 package puff pastry

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Combine crabmeat, sour cream, mustard and green onions in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Lightly dust a surface with flour and lay one sheet of puff pastry on top.
4. Use a 3" round cookie cutter or an upside down mug (I used a mug, worked perfectly) to cut out pieces of the puff pastry.
5. Fill each piece with 1 tsp. of crab mixture, then fold each piece in half. Use the back of a fork to seal the edges.
6. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray surface with cooking spray. Place empanadas about 2 inches apart.
7. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown. ( I baked mine for about 16 minutes)

Serve them with guac, cheese dip or sour cream. They are awesome!

Other than trying out new recipes I've been trying to keep busy. I've visited some friends and family, bought a few presents for others and a few presents for myself, enjoyed food I've waited so long to have again. Hello chili cheese coney from Sonic! I also got my hair done yesterday. It's been a year since it's been done and it looked horrible. Thank goodness it looks good again. I had her cut off around 3 inches to begin with. My hair was sadly out of control.

I've heard via Facebook that I'm missing out on snow in Italy. I'm not too sad about it, but it would have been cool to see. I also miss Sean and Boomer terribly, but at least I know Boomer is having a good time with Becca. Sean...not so much on the good time.

At least we'll all have Christmas together next year.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tales from the Tarmac

Well ladies (and gentlemen if there's any out there that read this blog) I made it home!!!!

I landed in Hometown, Oklahoma last night around 11:00 and got to my parent's house around 12:30. I was so glad to be back that once I saw the city skyline from the airplane I got a big lump in my throat. It's been almost a year since I've been home and I must say that I've missed it.

My travel day yesterday was...interesting.

For starters I stood in the wrong line at Airport Number 1 for about 10 minutes and then was directed to the correct line. My first flight, which was the long one was ok, just so long! 8 and a half hours is a long time to sit in a seat. Especially when there are crying babies all over the plane. I don't fault the babies for crying, but after awhile it gets loud.....and annoying.

Oh..and who can forget the couple in front of me with a baby that left a used diaper in the seat while they were exiting the plane. Totally grossed me out. Throw it away!

My travel tip to the wise? NEVER fly into JFK with less than two hours to make your connecting flight. Getting through customs was relatively quick, it was waiting in line to drop my bag off and then going through security that took forever. About five of us who were going to Atlanta next, seriously thought we were going to miss our plane. I ended up running through the airport with them a'la Home Alone style. Not fun. But I did make the plane!

That Iced Chai latte with nonfat that I bought as soon as I hit Atlanta made up for it though. How I've missed you Starbucks!

The highlight of the flights though were the people sitting next to me on the flight to Oklahoma. They ran some sort of trucking company, but were trying to pretend they were "well to do" as they were just returning from a trip to NYC. One of the women remarks to her friend that they should have gone to that Hell's Kitchen in New York (she points to it on a map). "You know..Gordon Ramsay must operate that, how fun would that have been to eat there?" It was all I could do not to tell her that Hell's Kitchen is a neighborhood in NYC and that was what she was pointing to. Guess they aren't as cultured as they liked to pretend they were!

I'm seriously glad to be home though, I have a lot of people to see and a lot of food to cram into this visit. Only thing that would make it better? Having my husband and dog here with me.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Catch You on the Flip-Side

I just wanted to let everyone know I won't be around much for a couple of days, as I'm going home for the holidays.

One of these days I'll get back to commenting on all your blogs like I used to, I feel bad being a one-sided blogger.

Can I just say how excited I am to be going back to the states for a visit? Taco Bueno and Hobby Lobby here I come!!!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Military Wife Don'ts

Inspired by events that transpired yesterday, I'm now bringing you my first post of Military Wife Don'ts.

1. This one is kind of a don't for all woman-kind. Ok, let me be the first to say that I love Uggs. Yes, they are ugly, but they are warm and I love my knock-off version from Target. I also wear them under my jeans as I think they look best that way on my body.

Now..to the don't. Please don't EVER wear your Uggs with a sleeveless, white, obviously summer dress that has eyelet and a sweater. You look like a MORON in December in this get-up. It's 40 freakin' degrees outside people, get a clue.

2. My second don't is a little more serious. Please, please if you're a military wife try to observe OPSEC when posting on your blog. I can honestly say there are no violators of this in the military wife blogs I read right now. None. But yesterday I was browsing and found an Army wife who is stationed where I am, has her full name, her husband's full name, her baby's full name prominently on her profile/blog and where she is stationed prominently on her blog. She also goes into detail about deployment issues, Army memorandums and where their FRG goes, etc. I don't find that safe and it makes me nervous that anyone out there can read it. I'm not saying people have to never mention anything about the military or where they are at, but just be smart about it.

That is all!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

But I Don't Want To!

Work that is. Ok let me just clarify by saying I do like to work. I honestly do. What I do not like is working for other people. I mean, there are times you get great bosses and I've had a few in my day, but then on the other hand you also can't get really craptastic people and I've had one or two of those recently.

My mom keeps mentioning me looking for a job around post and finally I told her yesterday that I really didn't have an interest in finding another job while we were here. In all honesty I'd rather work on my Masters and work on my photography.

I'd rather not work for someone again, unless I'm working for a school as a librarian. I don't want another part-time or even full-time job where I'm unhappy with the hours or my job duties. I think I've come to the point where I'd rather just have my own photography business and be my own boss. Sure..it's a lot of work, I'm not kidding myself there, but I think I'd rather take on extra work then have a crappy boss in a job I'm not passionate about.

So looks like unemployment and I will be friends for awhile longer.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I Love Christmas: Movies

I'm plugging right along right now. Basically I'm trying to keep busy, but at night when I write in my journal I get a little weepy. However, I figure that's an improvement over crying whenever I would see laundry of Sean's or even his razor.

I've been watching a lot of movies and TV series, working out, doing errands, cleaning the house and what not. But enough on me...time for a fun Christmas post.

Here are my Top 5

1. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
2. Elf
3. Rudolph (The Claymation one)
4. It's a Wonderful Life
5. Miracle on 34th Street

Coming up very close behind those would be: The Grinch, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Home Alone, Love Actually and White Christmas. There are so many good one's out there!

What are your favorites?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thank You!

I'd like to say thanks to everyone for leaving me comments yesterday. I was overwhelmed by your kind words and good thoughts. That seriously made my day so much better!

Today I'm doing better. I haven't cried yet and I've even worked out. I'm actually on-post right now so I can use the computers and get a few errands done. Trying to navigate the internet using our PS3 was not fun. I mean it works...but I prefer to use an actual computer.

Since I'm in better spirits I thought I'd share a thought that came to me last night when I was talking to my best friend.

Am I the only person who wonders what Dolly Parton looks like without a wig?

Please tell me I'm not.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I am going to make this short and sweet because I am writing this using the internet on our PS3. Sean left today. I didn't cry in front of him,but have been a sobbing mess ever since. Please tell me this gets better.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Few Opinions and Observations from Yours Truly

Currently we are in the holiday season and to be honest I wasn't sure what to expect when it came to Christmas in Italy. To say I'm surprised is an understatement. After Thanksgiving, more and more Christmas lights started appearing in our neighborhood and even Santa figures appeared outside clinging to balconies. Sean and I went downtown last weekend and the whole main part of Vicenza had lights strung across streets. It was gorgeous! I plan on taking pictures of all of this before I leave next week. The only thing I regret about not spending Christmas here is missing out on all the Christmas markets. Perhaps next year.

I picked up a book at the library yesterday. I love to read about other people's military experiences (hence why I love reading all your blogs out there) but this book was sort of a letdown.

It's called Standing By: The Making of an American Military Family in a Time of War by Alison Buckholtz.

Don't get me wrong, there were parts of the book that I enjoyed, but it wasn't something I'd read again or even recommend to someone. At first I couln't put my finger on why I didn't really like it. I thought perhaps it was because I couldn't identify as much with the family situation, because I didn't have children myself and didn't have to face a deployment alone with children, but I don't think that was it. In all honesty I felt like the book was a little repetitive and relied a little too much on passages and opinions from other military texts. It just wasn't my cup of tea.

Oh...I put this on my Facebook last week, but I wanted to share it on here too. Let me say I'm not really a cat person, but I've watched this video like 10 times. I laugh hysterically every time!

Last, but not least I've rented a bunch of movies to help entertain and distract me this week and weekend. I picked up Night at the Museum 2, Julie and Julia and disc 1 of Season 4 of Weeds. Also my Christmas present from Sean came in yesterday. Can I just say how much I love Twilight Zone and I cannot wait to watch all.six.discs of it?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday Musings

I swear our landlord is an idiot and I'm convinced the people in the housing office may not be much better. As I've posted, we have a mold problem in our apartment, but just on one wall that happens to run the length of three rooms. On Saturday, our landlord brought someone to check it out. His advice? To open our windows for an hour a day and then run our air conditoner for 2 hours each day.

Umm...what? Pretty sure that's going to do jack-crap as mold is still continuing to grow. The stupidest thing is that if our apartment were as humid as they are saying it is, then we'd have mold everywhere....not just on one wall in the house. I asked housing today to send out their inspector to look at it. I want documentation of this, so eventually when this mold doesn't clear up and I want to move out I'll have it all on paper. It's just so frustrating!

In other news...I'm leaving for Oklahoma next week! I'm excited, but I feel like a bad dog mom because I'm not taking Boomer. I just hate traveling with him and I'm always paranoid something is going to happen to him. Luckily, the lovely Becca has agreed to take in Boomer for the time I'll be gone. I know he's in good hands with her, so I'm not worried about him, but I sure will miss him!

Last, but not least I wanted to say I won't be posting much between Wednesday and when I leave for Oklahoma. I will not have my laptop and therefore will have to blog at the library. I think most of you know the reasoning behind this.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Army Positives

Even though I'm a military wife, I don't feel as if I blog a lot about military related topics.

Today though, is an exception.

I'll be the first to say I have a love/hate relationship with the Army. I go back and forth daily whether or not I want us to make a career out of this or to get out and lead civilian lives.

However, since we've been in Italy, I've been quite pleased with the company that Sean is in. Never before have I met a commander who is so interested in the lives of his soldiers and families. He always has a kind word for me when I see him and he individually hand-wrote letters to all of the wives in the company before this deployment to tell them how much he appreciated attributes of our husbands and our support.

Sean's 1st Sergeant is much the same way. I'm worried enough about this deployment as it is, but I feel 100 times better knowing Sean has such great leadership. Believe me...not every company on this post has it together like the company we are in. I've heard some horror stories.

Although I've not really become close to anyone in our FRG, I will say that we have a good group of wives. I've yet to see any bickering going on and there isn't a person that rubs me the wrong way. Our FRG leader is great too. Whenever she sees me around post she always calls me by name. Trust me...not everyone does that. That's something that is very important to me.

Last but not least, our Rear D guy is awesome. He's actually the guy who picked us up when we first got to Italy last year. I have complete confidence that if I have a problem while Sean is deployed that he will take care of it. In fact, Sean has already discussed with him our mold problem and the possibility that I will have to move during this deployment. He's assured Sean that if I have a problem, he'll be going to bat for me.

I feel lucky having this group here. I know not all units or companies are run this way and I'm sure somewhere down the line I'll have a bad experience with the Army and who's in charge of us, but for now I have no complaints!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas Tidbits

Time for another Christmas related post!

I've compiled a list of some Christmas facts about my family, feel free to share some of your own in the comments.

1. I believed in Santa until I was in the 2nd grade and our teacher asked when we stopped believing in Santa. Needless to say it was a rough day.

2.One of our family traditions is to open one present on Christmas Eve. It's always new PJ's.

3. At one of my Grandma's we never have a sit down dinner. Instead we all bring snacks, it's one of my favorite traditions we have. My Grandma makes homemade candy too. It's heavenly!

4. One of my most memorable Christmas gifts was a Barbie dreamhouse. Second to that would be a horse.

5. My family watches National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation every year. We've watched it so much my Dad and I have most of the lines memorized and like to throw them out at family events.

6. When I was little I always wanted a White Christmas. That ended one year when we got one and we had to cancel Christmas Eve at my Grandmother's because the snow was too deep.

7.One of my favorite Christmas treats is Mexican Pinwheels, they are the perfect appetizer. One of these days I'll share the recipe with you.

8.Last year I had Christmas ringtones for every person on my phone. To say I love Christmas music is an understatement.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Weight Frustration

I'm having a girly "I'm depressed about my weight" day today.

To explain, I'll be the first to say that since Sean got back from Germany at the end of September I haven't been doing well watching what I've been eating or exercising as much as I had been. Somehow, my weight was maintained and no negative effects came from it.

However, today when I got on the scale it appears that it's caught up with me. In two weeks I've gained about 4-5lbs. My clothes don't fit differently and I've reguarly been eating well and working out for the past two weeks.

Sean says it's muscle. I'm not sure if I believe I put on that much muscle in 2 weeks. My only other thought is it's water weight for what's going to happen in a week or two.

I know people always say you shouldn't worry about what the scale says, but I can't help feeling defeated. I just don't want all the hard work I did previously to lose weight to be all for nothing.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas Shopping and an epic fail

I'm excited to report I have the majority of my Christmas shopping done. I only have about six presents left to get and the majority of them I will do once I get back to Oklahoma. Can I just say how easy on-line shopping has made my life? Thank you Amazon, Snapfish, Ebay and Touch of Whimsy for providing me with good quality presents this year!

I'm also pleased that I got my tourist passport in yesterday. The downside of yesterday was that I rode with Sean to work and went to the gym, as is my normal routine. Normally I shower at the gym and take extra clothes and make-up. Well..I had an epic fail yesterday and forgot my make-up. So...I had to walk around post for about five hours yesterday sans make-up. Let me tell you...not a pretty sight. I was too cheap to buy make-up just for that day, so I made the best out of using my sunglasses to cover my under-eye circles.

One last thing to share with you. I have a new magazine favorite. In real life this person is kind of annoying, but her magazine is awesome. Seriously...it is. I highly recommend it. Any guesses who I'm referring to?

Yep. Rachael Ray. Don't knock the magazine until you've read it. I'm pretty sure you'll like it!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My Day

Well...my day consisted of a few interesting tidbits.

1. I found a Cartier watch in the cupholder of the treadmill I was using. It was very pretty, but I did the nice thing and turned it into Lost and Found. In all honesty, I'd want someone to do the same if they found something nice of mine.

2. Went to the housing office with Sean to discuss our mold problem we are having in our apartment. See...against the north wall of our house we have our two bedrooms and one bathroom. All three of them are growing mold on the ceiling and the back wall. It's the worst in our bedroom. Yesterday I moved our wardrobe and found a ton of mold. I'm talking about two square feet of green mold. When the housing office called our landlord his response was that we weren't airing out the apartment properly. Um....I lived in Louisiana which is humid as all get-out and we NEVER had a mold problem. Pretty sure it's our crappily built apartment.

So...looks like I might be making a move while Sean is deployed. I'm not really stressed about it, just sort of a hassle.

2 weeks until I go to Oklahoma for Christmas!