Friday, April 15, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

I've been quite the absent blogger lately. Sorry! Life in general has been INSANE, so I'm just trying to hold on tight and roll with the punches. This does not leave much time for blogging.
I do always have time for a MilSpouse Friday Fill-In!
Go over to Wife of a Sailor and link up!



With PCS moves happening every few years, do you take the time to paint and decorate your home? submitted by Life as Mrs. JPT
I always decorate our house but I have yet to paint, which makes me sad. I am SO tired of WHITE WALLS! Mr. I and I made a pact to paint our next home, I can't wait!

If you could live in any home on a television series, what would it be? submitted by Standing By Him

Does Real Housewives of New York count as a televison series? If so, I would want Luann's Hamptons house. I could become friends with Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa, anyone?) and she could make me food and pick me fresh hydrangeas from her garden.

What inspired you to start your blog? submitted by Pink Combat Boots

Reading other blogs inspired me to start my own blog and also the idea of having a place for me to release my thoughts and receive feedback from others.


What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen on base? submitted by Adventures in Life

I remember a few months after the first time I lived on post I was waiting in line at the post office. It was the holiday season so it was a long line. There was a mother with two children (ages 7 and maybe 9). The little boy accidently bumped into me and his mother got extremely upset with him and made him drop and do 20 pushups in front of everyone in line! He had to call out the number he was on and it was awkward to say the least. To this day, it has been one of the weirdest experiences I've had on post.

Which historical figure (politician, writer, artist, scientist, actor, etc…) would you like to have dinner with? submitted by Army of Two

Umm, Gerard Butler just so I could undress him with my eyes and listen his charming Scottish accent ;)


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Update and What's Your Song? Link-Up

I know. I've been stackin' but I have a good excuse.
I've had three tests this week.
One graduation test, one precalculus test and one statistics test.
What is this? Midterms all over again?
Apparently, it's three-quarter-terms.
Anyway, I'll be back to blogging tomorrow. I have some updates and I also need some advice and opinions.

But before I go I had to link up with Goodnight Moon in her What's YOUR Song? Link-Up!

I heard this song on the way home from school today and fell in love with it.



Sunday, April 3, 2011

Deployment Woes

Yesterday at around 10 am the power went out. This was not surprising for me since the power has gone out quite a bit since we moved here and it was windy yesterday. I decided since I couldn’t use my computer I’d read the assigned chapters for this week’s assignment instead. Not a big deal.

About three hours go by and I’m getting tired of reading, plus I have a “date” to chat with Mr. I at 4pm. At this point, I’m also starting to get a bit nervous because the electricity usually comes back on by now. I figure I’ll go next door ask the neighbors if their power is on, drive by the housing office on my way to Panera to have dinner and talk to Mr. I. The neighbors aren’t home and the housing office is closed. I thought to myself, “Oh, well. I’m sure it’ll be back on by the time I come home.” So, I go to Panera, I get to talk to Mr. I and I drive back home. My neighbor meets me at the front door and at the same time we both ask each other if we have electricity. The obvious answer is no. Then she proceeds to tell me, “I think the electrical box caught on fire.” HUH?! What?! I follow her to her side of the duplex and sure enough the box is covered in black soot. Her husband is on the phone trying to call anyone and everyone. It is Saturday and the housing office has closed early. I guess they got a hold of them before they closed but the person working there earlier in the day to ask about the outage but they didn’t know who to call…don’t get me started. He ends up calling the emergency maintenance number and the electric company. They came out about an hour and a half later.

It’s about 7:00pm and it’s getting cold and dark! Apparently, the electrical box didn’t catch on fire but the wires under the ground were rubbing up against the foundation of the house which caused them to spark and inevitably shoot black soot all over the box. They didn’t get done replacing the wires until almost 10:00pm. We did have a lot of great conversation and learned that the guy working on fixing everything has been in the business for 37 years.

Now, I can add “exposed electrical wires and 12 hour power outage” on my list of deployment woes.

Friday, April 1, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

I am extra excited about this MilSpouse Friday Fill In because one of my questions is featured this week!
If you want to participate head over to Wife of a Sailor, say "Hi!" to Wifey and get this week's questions.
Simple as that.


Now, onto today's questions...

1.What romance movie scene reminds you of your s/o or spouse and the LOVE you share? submitted by Simply Sunshine and Daisy’s

I would say at the very end of You've Got Mail when Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan meet at central park. That movie moment always reminds me Mr. I and I...the love, the dog, meeting on the internet.

2.If you were allowed to deploy with your husband to a war zone would you and why? submitted by I & J

Oh! I can't believe Wife of a Sailor chose my question, I'm feeling awfully special this week :)
Anyway, back to the question...HECK YES!!! I think if we had children that would make this more complicated but since we don't I'd love to go with him on deployments. I'd want a job though, even if it was working in the PX or something. I couldn't just be kicking rocks around and waiting for him to come back from a convoy. I would go crazy.


3.Have you ever done anything (intentionally, or unintentionally) to embarrass your spouse/significant other in front of his military cohorts? submitted by Marrying the Navy

Hmmm, no I don't think so. Mr. I is super laid back though, I could say something totally stupid to embarrass him and he'd probably just laugh it off.

4.What is your most irrational fear? submitted by Eights on the Move

Dark water. I think sharks or snakes are going to attack me lol It's possible but HIGHLY unlikely.

5.If you could only live in one kind of climate for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? submitted by Many Waters

I'd like to live in a place that has all the seasons but summer are dry heat not filled with humidity. I've lived in a tropical climate (Hawaii) and hated it. I've lived in no seasons weather (San Diego) and its alright. I lived in a semi-southern climate (Virginia) and hate the humidity in the summer, bleh! I'm hoping Colorado will satisfy the climate I'm yearning for.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

AHHHHHHH!!! First Blog Award! Woot! Woot!

I got my first blogger award! It truly made my morning.
Thank you so much Ashley from over at A Half a World Away!
Now, this award comes with some rules, here they are:  
  • Thank and link to the person who gave you the award. (check)
  • Tell 7 random facts about yourself. (check)
  • Pass on the award. (check check)
  • Tell them the rules. (check)

 

7 random facts about myself.....

  1. My eyes are two different colors. One eye is about 3/4 brown with some blue and the other eye is all blue. 
  2. I don't like going to the movies. The other people in the theater drive me crazy! They text, their baby cries (I know I'm a horrible person), they cough (again, I know I'm a horrible person), they chew their popcorn loudly and for a $10 ticket and $10 drink I'm paying to put myself through this? Nah, I'd rather Netflix it in 6 months. I can wait.
  3. I LOVE bargain hunting! Give me a flea market, thift store, Target clearance section, or any store clearance section for that matter. I love it. I love it. I love it!
  4. I would rather sweat it out in 100 degree temps than freeze at 30 degrees.
  5. I watch the show Coming Home even though it makes me brawl my eyes out and makes me look like I got punched in the face the next day.
  6. I must have a cup of tea a day.
  7. I'm a board game fanatic.  

 Now, onto passing the award on to other bloggers...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It's the Little Things...

Whoever came up with the idea of chocolate dipped Peeps made me a very happy lady today.
'Nough said.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Is the Army Giving ME a Logistics Test?

Often times I wonder if the Army is giving me a logistics test...

The Army Gods: "You know I feel like we should test Jessica just to make sure she is commited to this whole college thing. Ahhh, you know what we should do? We should give Mr. I the report date of October on his PCS orders, you know, right in the middle of a semester. That way we'll see just how savvy and logisticly inclined this milspouse student can be. MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

Me: "F You!"

Many of you don't know but I started college in Hawaii (at the ripe age of twenty-one because I thought I was too cool for school at eighteen). Mr. I put in for an extension to stay in Hawaii for an extra year because UH had an AWESOME accelarated program where I could finish my BSW in three years. I would have been willing to stay an extra six to eight months to finish.

Well, the Army had other plans. Instead of extending Mr. I the retention guy "messed up" and Mr. I somehow got orders to Virginia...and his report date was a month from when we received the news. Needless to say we were PISSED! Oh, and the orders were only for a year and a half...I know, completely weird.

Anyway, I tried to take this as a sign and forced myself to look for the silver lining. I researched and found a great school in Virginia that had one of the best programs in the country. Being that I don't qualify for financial aid (booooo), I decided to take my undergrad courses at a community college to save money. I figured since we were only going to be here 1.5 years I might as well get my A.S. because it would transfer to any four-year university. I looked at it as a college insurance plan.

Mr. I was suppose to deploy 6 months to Haiti for relief efforts and be back in time to PCS. All weekend we waiting for the call for him to get on the bus and ship out. We waited....and waited...and waited. We never got the call. Here I am thinking, "Yay! He might not have to go!" I should have knocked on wood when I said that. Mr. I calls his higher up and asks what's going on. He was told to report to formation first thing Monday morning....uh oh! The next morning Mr. I was off to formation and I impatiently waiting for him to come home. He came through the door and things didn't look promising. He sat next to me and said, "I'm deploying to Iraq for a year." SILENCE. "Okay," I said hesitating and thinking a million thoughts a minute. I was in shock. This wasn't how it was suppose to be! Then again, when is it ever?!

The next day Mr. I goes to formation again and comes home. "I'm going to Afghanistan for a year." NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! At least that's how I felt inside. I said, "Okay," again and immediately started crying.

Needless, to say Mr. I is almost done with this stinkin' deployment. We have been here for almost 2.5 years now and I'm finally graduating with my A.S. in May and attending that wonderful school, I researched about back in Hawaii, this summer.

Now, back to the logistics test. The Army decided it would be a good idea for us to PCS in October, right smack dab in the middle of the semester! I contemplated moving ahead of the report date in order to start the semester on time but I couldn't do it, especially with Mr. I returning from a deployment. So, I finally accepted my fate that I would have to take the semester off. My reason for not wanting to take a semester off is because I REALLY want to finish my BSW and MSW in Colorado. I DON'T want to move again without finishing. I will have already attended FIVE schools by the time I'm done with my master degree...that's just not normal!

So, this weekend I was stalking the college in Colorado website and found they have something called "2nd session". It goes from OCTOBER 10th - December 11th! I think this was made for me...okay, probably not but it's nice to think about :) So, my plan is to apply to said college, register for those courses, find a home, unpack an entire house and attend classes at the same time. I can do it!

I've actually done it before. The move from Hawaii to Virginia I took four online classes while PCSing across the Pacific and the continental United States. It was also January and I had to do our taxes...without internet...and mind you we lived on tumbling mats for three months while our household goods traveled across the ocean on a boat and road across the US on the back of a semi. Oh, the glamous lifestyle we live! And you ask yourself, "why didn't you just buy a bed?" BECAUSE WE WERE POOR!

The story could go on forever but I won't bore you with anymore details. The point of this post is...

HA! Army you will never defeat me! Logistics test or not I shall prosper!

Too much? Yeah, I think so too.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Some Iron and Wine


What's YOUR Song? Link Up @ Goodnight Moon!

When I first heard this song, I thought it was happy...
then I listened to its lyrics towards the end and its a bit sad :(
But I still like the song.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring Break OVER


Yeah, I've been doing a lot of that ^ lately.
Last week was my spring break and we had some amazing weather!
I pretty much spent my days doing yard work, reading in the sun, talking with neighbors in the backyard, cleaning out the cars, playing with and taking Navarro on walks.
I didn't solve logarithmic equations, or analyzine statistical data.
It was a warm, sunny, quiet, relaxing week.
I really wish it could have lasted longer.


*That picture was actually taken in November when I went on a cruise with my mom.

Friday, March 18, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

As usual I am participating in the MilSpouse Fiday Fill-In. Go over to Wife of a Sailor to check out more.


This week’s questions are:


1. What are some of your ideas for staying connected with family…you know, those people we moved thousands of miles away from? submitted by Live it. Love it (or not). Write About It.




We keep in touch mostly by phone. We all have Verizon and get to talk as long as we want for free.


2. What’s the most romantic gift you have GIVEN? submitted by Painting My Canvas

Hmmm, I honestly don't know what would be the most romantic because usually our gifts are extremely practical and usually planned or hinted at lol. Oh! I just thought of one! About a month ago, Mr. I asked me if I could send him something with my perfume on it. He suggested a pillowcase. I remembered that our ACS makes pillowcases with a photo on it for soldiers and their families that are deployed. Well I got a picture of us during R&R and put it on there and sent it to him for Valentine's day and of course strayed my perfume on it for him. He absolutely loves it and sleeps with it every night.



3. Would you encourage your child, if they came to you and wanted to join the military? submitted by Perfectly Imperfect

I wouldn't encourage it nor discourage it. I would want them to research all options and decide for themselves.


4. What is your least favorite bill to pay and why? submitted by A Little of This, A Little of That

I hate paying for cable even though its only $20 a month. I just can't live without television it helps me unwind after a long day.



5. What is the proudest moment you’ve had as a military spouse? submitted by Our Okinawa Life

My husband's last homecoming ceremony. It was a loooong 15 month deployment and we had gotten married during R&R. I had never been to any military anything before that day. I was so overwhelmed by all the signs, and people, and being on a military post in a hanger. When I saw Mr. I walk in with his unit my breath was taken away. I cannot wait for this deployment's homecoming ceremony!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

ABC's of Me!

I'm linking up with Gris over @ A Little Piece of My World. I figured this would be a great way for everyone to learn a little bit more about me.

{a} age: I'm 24

{b} bed size: Queen

{c} chore you hate: Cleaning the tub, it is such a pain and it grosses me out.

{d} dogs: Yep, I have one dog. Isn't he cute?


{e} essential start to your day: COFFEE!!!!

I have this bad boy at home. I need a latte to start my day or I'm a witch.

{f} favorite color: Black



{g} gold or silver: White gold



{h} height: 5'10"



{i} instruments you play: I don't play any instruments but Mr. I is an awesome guitar and bass player. We have about four guitars and one bass in our home and Mr. I has a bass over in Afghanistan with him. He wants to teach me when he comes home, I agreed. Hopefully I'll be jammin' with him soon :)


{j} job title: Student, Volunteer, and Independent Contractor

{k} kids: Not yet, but definitely in the next couple years. I have baby fever like crazy though.



{l} live: I currently live in Central Virginia.


{m} mom's name: Rhonda :)


{n} nicknames: Jess, Sweetheart, Sunshine, Babe, Mrs. I
{o} overnight hospital stays: Hmmm, I don't think I've actually stayed overnight in a hospital before. Well, besides after I was born, does that count?


{p} pet peeves: People who talk crap about FRGs but have never attended more than one meeting. People who are late, especially those who are consistantly late.


{q} quote (yeah, I altered it, shhhh): "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." - Albert Einstein
I love this quote because Precalculus has been kicking my ass this semester and when I read this is makes me know I'm not stupid, it's just not my expertise. That's for sure!

 
{r} right- or left-handed: I'm a righty. Mr. I is a lefty.



{s} siblings: One sister. She's five years older and we're like night and day.


{t} time you wake up: Usually somewhere around 6:00am-7:30am. I like waking up early.




{u} underwear: Uhhh, what exactly are you asking here? Yes, I wear underwear...




{v} vegetables you dislike: FENNEL!!! It makes me want to gag. \


Ha! I think I need this!



{w} what makes you run late: I'm pretty much never late ((knock on wood)). If I am its usually caused by traffic associated with a car accident or construction I didn't know about.


{x} x-rays you've had: I've gotten my upper body X-rayed when I swollowed a toothpick lol! I've also had my hand x-rayed when they thought I might have fractured it. I think that's it...





{y} yummy food you make: Everyone raves about my spinach artichoke dip, and my mexican tamale casserole. My husband pretty much raves about everything I make :)




{z} zoo - favorite animal: Giraffes. Here at the Richmond Zoo they let you feed them by hand without any extra cost! I thought that was so cool because growing up in San Diego, the SD Zoo is world renowned and they will charge you an arm and a leg for something like that.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 5 of 30 Day Challenge: Song for Your Mood

With this deployment almost coming to an end (don't get too excited we still have awhile to go), I have been reflecting on what this deployment has brought us: the good, the bad and the ugly. 
There have been causalities.
There have been injuries.
There have been ambushes.
There have been awards.
There have been promotions.
There was R&R.
Everyday, I am more and more amazed by my husband's bravery, dedication and selflessness.
Whether he is home every night for dinner or 8,000 miles away I fall more in love with him everyday.

The song I chose is Marry Me by Train

This song warms my heart.



"Promise me you'll always be
Happy by my side
I promise to sing to you
When all the music dies"



Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 3 of 30 Day Challenge: My First Love

My first love was Mr. I. Sure I liked guys, but I was never in a relationship with someone. That’s right everybody I never had a boyfriend before I was with Mr. I! I know, I’m some kind of freak but that’s alright I ended with Mr. I, so if I have to be some kind of freak to end up with Mr. I than I don’t want to be normal :)

Mr. I and I “met” when we were 15 years old. We met online that is. We were both into writing poetry and short stories and met by posting on the same website. There was a chat room on this site and one night we started talking and eventually we moved the conversation to instant messages. We would talk almost every day and this went on for about a year. Eventually “real life” got in the way and we stopped talking and lost contact with each other.


Fast forward three years later, I was 19 and Mr. I was 18 (I’m 6 months older :)). At the time I was working in two coffee shops/internet cafes. One day while at work I was checking my email and came across a new message saying I had a new message on the site that Mr. I and I met on. I thought that was weird since I hadn’t been there in about three years. I clicked and checked the message…it was Mr. I! He had forgotten my email address, so he figured the best way to get a hold of me would be on the site.

Well it worked! We wrote emails back and forth for about a week and then I gave him my phone number. We literally talked for six hours straight during our first phone conversation. We began talking everyday and eventually I ran up a $1200 phone bill. I’m not kidding. Twelve. Hundred. Dollars.

Anyway, that was around the same time Mr. I told me he was thinking of joining the Army. My reaction? DON’T DO IT!!! And that’s exactly what I told him. He was jobless, living with a friend and had already signed up at the local college but he wasn’t happy with the way his life was going. By that point we had gotten really close and I told him to move to California and to come live with me! He said he wanted to be the best man he could, be able to provide for his family and he wanted to serve his country, so against my wishes he joined. I wasn’t mad but I was concerned, I mean it is dangerous! A few weeks later, he left for basic training. It was difficult for both of us, but we made it through and we came out the other side stronger.

Mr. I promised me he’d come visit me in San Diego after he graduated. He kept his promise and in December 2005, he flew out to San Diego. We made a promise to each other that no matter what when we first met face to face we’d kiss each other. So, when I walked into the airport I was so nervous my knees were shaking! I knew his flight had just landed and I was searching all over for this 6’5” soldier. I swear it was like a movie, the crowd parted and there he was…ACUs, huge green bag and all. He walked up to me, I smiled (I think I might have said hi), and he pulled me close and kissed me. In that moment the world just melted away and it was just him and I. I had never felt anything like that before. I knew I loved this man, but actually seeing him there and feeling his lips against mine, I knew this was more than words could explain. Everything just felt right.

We spent the next four days and nights laughing, joking and me showing him around San Diego. I had to work the next morning (6am-12pm) because, well, I needed to in order to pay rent. So, I went to work and came back and there was a sign on my apartment door. It said, “When you get home knock before entering.” What the hell? So, I knocked. He said, “Hold on…” all frantic. I heard things moving around and his feet running across the floor. I began giggling to myself. He unlocks and opens the door with a big grin on his face. Candles are lit, a huge round table was in the middle of my apartment (I lived in a studio…I didn’t own a kitchen table! There was no room for one) with a dozen long stem roses, romantic music was playing in the background, the lights were dimmed and the aroma of food cooking was enticing. I was shocked! It was amazing :) He made me a wonderful meal and while we were talking and eating I noticed something was sticking out of the roses. It was a dark green stick and I poked it.

Mr. I said “don’t do that” I laughed, “why not?” I poked it again.

“Because we need to have dessert!” he said standing up and rushing to the kitchen.

“Oooookay,” I said thinking he was crazy but we had dessert and I thanked him for such a fabulous meal.

He said it wasn’t over yet and stood up. At this point I was stuffed and couldn’t eat anything else if I had wanted. He reached into the flowers and that stick I poked moved out of the flowers. It was a rose shaped ring box. He got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him (I know he said other stuff before the actual question but I don’t remember any of it because I was so shocked). I said yes!

About an hour later, I had a sense of fear rush over me when things started settling in. I am 19 years old! I just met this guy in person for the first time 4 days ago! I love him but what do I know about love?! This is too much too soon! He could sense something was wrong and I wanted to express everything I was worried about but instead I told him I couldn’t marry him and actually broke up with him. Looking back I don’t know why I broke up with him I just blame it on fear! He was heartbroken and left the apartment. He was gone for hours! I was worried sick because he didn’t know the area that well. He finally came back and pretty much didn’t talk to me for the rest of the night. It was awkward to say the least. The next day we kind of made amends but things were still off. I was questioning my reaction but I figured I shouldn’t press the issue.

The next day he left and reported to AIT. I went back to my apartment and found the rose ring box sitting on my desk. Inside was a note that said, “Jessica, Keep this. I’ll always be around. My letters will never stop. And I won’t quit loving you. Mr. I”*I immediately knew I had made the wrong choice. I wanted him back and I wanted to be engaged to this man. How did I manage to ruin this whole thing?!

I called him and left messages but Mr. I didn’t pick up for the first week or two. I don’t blame him but eventually he did and I apologized over and over again. Quickly, our relationship went back to where it was before the fiasco. I went to visit him in Kansas when he had to do his hometown recruiting. And after that trip was done, he reported to his first duty station in Hawaii.

A couple months after arriving at his duty station Mr. I was told he would be deploying to Iraq. I had to see him before he left, so we agreed to meet in Kansas, so he could also see his family at the same time. We had been in Kansas for a few days and Fourth of July was here. The fireworks are shot off over the river, so Mr. I headed down to the river where the whole city is basically there. As soon as the fireworks started Mr. I leaned over and asked, “Will you marry me?” I had the biggest smile on my face and shrieked “YES!!!!”

Mr. I left for Iraq less than a month later. We agreed to get married during R&R and I planned a wedding in less than six months. Everything was perfect and he showed up on time! Thank you Army! We got married 1/4/2007. Our wedding was perfect. We had about 50 people and we got married in a chapel at a resort in San Diego. We had a penthouse reception (just our style) with light hor d’oeuvres and lots of champagne ;) Our cake was beautiful, my dress was beautiful, and everything was just perfect I wouldn’t change a thing :) We never had a honeymoon because there was no time. He left a couple days after our wedding and I did not see him again for another nine months (he was extended three months before he was supposed to come home for a total of a 15 month deployment). I moved to Hawaii the day before he came home and the rest is history.





*This note was dated 1/1/06. Mr. I left 1/1/2011 from R&R. I went to double check the note to ensure I got the exact words. I started balling when I noticed it was dated on the first. Also, the note said “Good Morning Sunshine!” across the top of the paper. To this day Mr. I still says, “Good Morning Sunshine” to me. I immediately broke into tears when I read the note. I also kept the ring box :)

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

I know, I know, I'm suppose to be doing my 30 Day Challenge but don't worry I'm working on it. In the mean time I am doing the MilSpouse Friday Fill-In! Thanks Wife of a Sailor!

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In


This week's questions are:



1. During military separations (whether short or long) how do you keep yourself positive and motivated? submitted by Married/Single Parent



My first tool of motivation is the Donut of Misery. The name is not pleasant but the concept is. It is an excel spreadsheet that calculates the percentage of the deployment you have completed and the percentage until you reach the end of the deployment. It also shows the days, weeks, minutes, seconds etc. I love it because everytime it moves a percentage point I get so excited! It's a nice way to see the progress you've both made.


2. What is your favorite concert you have ever been to? submitted by Young but Not (Completely) Dumb



My favorite concert was when Mr. I and I went to see the band Heart perform in Virginia Beach. It was AWESOME! They sounded even better in person. One of my favorite memories with Mr. I.


3. What do you miss most about your “hometown”? submitted by A Florida Girl and Her Soldier



FOOD! I'm a total foodie but I didn't realize how much I would miss the taste of my hometown. I miss the delicious Mexican food, tofu sandwiches at Whole Foods (we have Whole Foods here but they don't make the sandwich here :( ), protein style cheese burger from In-N-Out, and Yogurt Mill (I don't know why but frozen yogurt is non-exsistant in central Virginia. I also miss the HUGE farmer's markets.


4. If you could run in any race, which charity would you choose to support? submitted by Wookie & Co.



If I had to choose one charity it would be the Wounded Warrior Project. These soldiers and their families sacrifice so much, they deserve all the support in the world.


5. You find out Willy Wonka is your father, what 3 course meal do you INSIST he create in that stick of gum? submitted by A{muse}ing Mommy on a Pink Park Bench



First of all, if Willy Wonka is my father...there is a lot of explaining someone has to do. BUT back to the question. My appetizer would be esgargot in garlic butter served with gluten free bread. My main course would be a whole Maine lobster with a side of crab legs and clarified butter. My final course would be banana ice cream with gluten free brownies mixed in. Mmmmm.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Silence and New Neighbors

One thing (of many) that I hate about my husband being deployed is the silence in our home. When he’s home, he is constantly cracking jokes and making me laugh until my stomach hurts. He also keeps a guitar in almost every area of our house. When he has an extra minute he’ll stop, play the guitar and sing…it’s amazing. He just brings so much life into our home. This isn’t something I just noticed but it something that has been scratching away at the surface. It’s just another painful reminder that he is not here and won’t be back for awhile.


There comes a point in a deployment where you feel like you’ve suffered enough, that you just want to say, “Okay, we’ve done enough, now give me back my husband!” Yeah, I’m at that point.

In happy news, I got new neighbors! The house was only empty for about a week, and then they moved in. We kept missing each other and then today when I pulled into the driveway they were sitting outside as the movers were putting things in the garage. So, when I got out of the car I walked up in introduced myself.

I like knowing my neighbors. It builds a sense of community. I also like the friendly neighbor waving to you when you get your mail or drive past them down the street; it’s very Mr. Rodger’s Neighborhood-esque.

I met them today and they are extremely nice. The husband is in school here and they’ll be PCSing the same time we are. We agreed to hang out soon and I am excited to learn more about them; they seem like a very nice couple.

All and all, the good seems to be outweighing the bad. I just need to hang on for XX days until Mr. I comes home. We’re so close!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Day 2 of 30 Day Challenge

Explain the meaning behind your blog name. Well, this will be a short post!

I&J is simply my husband's first initial and my first initial.

For some reason it reminds me of that cheesy pick up line: If I could rearrange the alphabet I would put I and U together.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Day 1 of 30 Day Challenge

 In today's challenge I must introduce myself, post a recent picture and give 15 interesting facts about myself. I'm only doing 10 because 15 seems excessive. So, here we go!


Above is a picture of me from a week ago. I took it to show my husband how beautiful the flowers were that he sent me. They were so huge they couldn't all fit in the picture but my husband insisted I had be in the picture. 

I'm 24 years old. I label myself as a wife, a momma to our sweet dog, Navarro, and as a student. I enjoy volunteering during my free time. Unfortunately, I had to put my volunteer work on the back burner this semester because my course load is outrageous. I normal volunteer as a patient companion for a local non-profit hospice. I enjoy working with the elderly above all others and they bring me more joy and wisdom than I could have ever expected getting into this field. My major is social work and I one day hope to work for a hospice, or for the Department of Veterans Affairs. I am the treasurer for my husband's company FRG group and I enjoy supporting other military spouses. When I'm not working, volunteering or doing school work, I like to practice yoga, and take my dog on long walks around the neighborhood. I also enjoy cooking.

Interesting Fact #1: I just started drinking cow's milk for the first time in probably 15 years last year. I'm not saying I didn't eat things that contained milk (i.e., yogurt, cheese, etc) I just didn't drink milk straight up. The smell. The taste. The look. It all grossed me out. My husband is a milk-a-holic and after watching waaaaay too many documentaries one week I decided to switch him over to organic. I brought home the milk while he was at work, and when we came home he poured himself a cup to go with his dinner and took a sip. I asked him what he thought; he looked at me like I was crazy.

"What do you mean, what do I think? Think of what?" he was confused.

"The milk."

"What about my milk? What did you do to my milk?!" It was like he thought I replaced his milk with some kind of placebo. Was this another one of my crazy experiments again? I've been known for sneaking in all kinds of "weird" things into our meals, i.e., "veggie cheese," fake meat etc. This no longer happens since I'm now gluten free.

"I switched you to organic, how does it taste?"

A sigh of relief came over him, "Oh, ok. It tastes good..." he takes another sip like he's sampling a fine wine, "actually it tastes even better than the regular stuff. Wanna try?" He tries to hand me his glass. I pause. A shiver runs up my spine.

"Umm..." I pause again, "...ok." I hesitate for a moment, and then take a sip. To my delight it was good. Really good! And so from that day on I have been drinking milk.

Interesting Fact #2: My husband was my only boyfriend I ever had. I know. It’s crazy, right? I’ll have to tell the full story one day.

Interesting Fact #3: I had never heard of or tried greens until 2006. This was a shock to my Midwestern husband (then boyfriend) who grew up with his southern stepmom’s cookin’ (you have to say it like that when referring to southern cooking…or at least I have to lol).


Interesting Fact #4: I haven’t been back to my hometown since I left in 2007. We’re planning a trip for next winter.

Interesting Fact #5: I love waking up early.


Interesting Fact #6: I’m pretty tall for a woman. I stand at 5’10”. One of my friend’s actually gave me the nickname Ginormica; she’s 5’1” so it makes sense. I love being tall and I love helping the short people out in the grocery store reach the things on the top shelf…I’ve been doing that since I was 10 years old but then it was library books.

Interesting Fact #7: Because I’m so tall I have ridiculously large feet…size 10 or 11 to be exact. This has always been fun…NOT! It seems shoe stores only like to carry one or two pairs for each style.

Interesting Fact #8: I pretty much never pay retail price for anything. Exhibit A: My Dyson I bought about a month ago. It retails for $399.99 and higher. I got it for $216 with a 30% off coupon and a gift card.

Interesting Fact #9: I have always disliked cartoons. It shocks people that I have never seen a full episode of the Simpsons or South Park. Even when I was little I didn’t like watching cartoons, I preferred Sesame Street, Lamb Chop, and Mr. Rodgers. I guess I didn’t have a problem with puppets lol.

Interesting Fact #10: My favorite flowers are lilies, preferably white lilies.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I'm Hopping on the Bandwagon!

That's right...I'm doing the 30 Day Blog Challenge! I think its just what I need to get through this blogging frump I've been in. I'm excited! Here's the questions I look forward to answering:


Day 0: The 30 Day Challenge Explanation and Description


Day 1: Introduce, recent picture of yourself, 15 interesting facts

Day 2: Meaning behind your blog name

Day 3: Your first love

Day 4: Your parents

Day 5: A song to match your mood

Day 6: A picture of something that makes you happy

Day 7: Favorite movies

Day 8: A place you've traveled to

Day 9: A favorite picture of your best friend

Day 10: Something you're afraid of

Day 11: Favorite tv shows

Day 12: Something you don't leave the house without

Day 13: Goals

Day 14: A picture of you last year - how have you changed?

Day 15: Bible verse

Day 16: Dream house

Day 17: Something you're looking forward to

Day 18: Favorite Place to Eat

Day 19: Something you miss

Day 20: Nicknames

Day 21: Favorite Picture of yourself ALL TIME Why?

Day 22: What's in your purse?

Day 23: Favorite Movie

Day 24: Something you've learned

Day 25: Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs

Day 26: Your Dream Wedding

Day 27: Original Photo of the city you live in

Day 28: Something that stresses you out

Day 29: 3 Wishes

Day 30: a picture of yourself this day and 5 good things that happened since you started the challengeDay 1: Introduce, recent picture of yourself, 15 interesting facts

Day 2: Meaning behind your blog name

Day 3: Your first love

Day 4: Your parents

Day 5: A song to match your mood

Day 6: A picture of something that makes you happy

Day 7: Favorite movies

Day 8: A place you've traveled to

Day 9: A favorite picture of your best friend

Day 10: Something you're afraid of

Day 11: Favorite tv shows

Day 12: Something you don't leave the house without

Day 13: Goals

Day 14: A picture of you last year - how have you changed?

Day 15: Bible verse

Day 16: Dream house

Day 17: Something you're looking forward to

Day 18: Favorite Place to Eat

Day 19: Something you miss

Day 20: Nicknames

Day 21: Favorite Picture of yourself ALL TIME Why?

Day 22: What's in your purse?

Day 23: Favorite Movie

Day 24: Something you've learned

Day 25: Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs

Day 26: Your Dream Wedding

Day 27: Original Photo of the city you live in

Day 28: Something that stresses you out

Day 29: 3 Wishes

Day 30: A picture of yourself this day and 5 good things that happened since you started the challenge

Monday, February 28, 2011

Midterms



I'm stressed. I'm lacking sleep. I'm living off caffeine and quesadillas. I have not left my desk in three days unless I am eating, sleeping or going to the bathroom. Luckily, it will all be over by Wednesday and I can go back to my "normal" life...whatever that is.

Friday, February 25, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In


Ok, I know. I know. I've been MIA. School has been crazy and so has life in general, but I swear I'll be posting more (don't we all say that?)!

Anyway, here's my MilSpouse Friday Fill-In answers...thanks Wife of a Sailor!

1. Aside from no deployments, what is one thing you would want to make the MilSpouse life “perfect”? submitted by Oh How Delightful
I think being about to choose where you live and for how long would make it "perfect." Even though we all know the military would still find ways to mess with us.


2. Just how many peppers did Peter Piper pick? submitted by Married into Army

I'm guessing not very many unless he was getting paid to do it.


3. If you could have any career in the world with nothing holding you back, what would you do? submitted by It’s My Party and I’ll Cry if I Want To

I want to be a social worker and work for the Department of Veterans' Affairs. I'm currently in school working towards my BSW and I will continue school until I receive my MSW. I really hope I get the opportunity to work for the VA, it would be a dream to help veterans on a daily basis and get paid to do it.


4. Do you have a service oriented tattoo and if so what is it. If you don’t what would you get? submitted by The Squid’s Accomplice

No, I don't have a serve oriented tattoo and I wouldn't get one.


5. Imagine a block of time has opened up in your busy day for you to take a class in anything you like. What subject would you choose? submitted by To The Nth

I already take at least 4 classes per semester but if could take anything I would take a yoga class :) Since I've started yoga, it has given me so much peace and relaxation, and not to mention a great workout.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I Hate This Part of the Deployment


I hate this part of the deployment. The part where we've come nearly 3/4 of the way on this year long deployment to still have a few months left. You feel like you've been run over by a semi truck and still have to crawl your way to the finish line. I feel defeated and weak. I just want to have a tantrum and yell, "I don't wanna do this anymore! I want to get off this crazy ride! I want off!"

I was talking to Mr. I this morning and I was telling him about this awesome music festival that is coming to our area this summer. I heard about it on the radio and it sounded like so much fun. You camp at this campground for 4 nights and during the day you enjoy five to six different performers. When I looked up the dates, I realized it would be a Wednesday through Saturday night type of thing and Mr. I's command thinks it would be better to "hold off their leave until school gets out" so he'll still be in-processing and "working" during that time. I literally started crying (yeah, I'm telling you people, I'm losing it).

I wasn't crying because we couldn't go to this festival...it was deeper than that. I was crying because so many times me and my husband have wanted to do things and couldn't because of the Army. We have never had a honeymoon, and we've never been on vacation...we really haven't done much. Between my school schedule, the cost of my school, and the Army, I feel like we never get to do anything. We both work our butts off to make a better life for ourselves and our future children, but we need a break for ourselves.

A couple months after Mr. I gets back, we're going to PCS. I feel like its a vicious cycle. Like we're never going to win (whatever that means). I feel like this is how our life goes:

He works. I go to school. I work. He trains. We move. He works. I go to school. Iwork. He trains. He deploys. I work. I go to school. He comes home. We move.

I just want to go somewhere warm, and sunny, that has a beach where we can enjoy just being with each other; no Army interuptions, no assignments due, no distractions. I really, really want that and I think that was the reason I started crying today.

I'm just trying to crawl my way to this deployment finish line the best I can but some days are harder than others...today was one of those days.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Yoga and Salsa Verde



Yeah, you read that correctly. I said, "Yoga and Salsa Verde." Those two things have kind of been consuming my life for the past couple days. I made a big 'ol batch of some kick ass salsa verde. I practically put it on EVERYTHING! Especially chicken quesadillas (corn tortillas, of course, gotta keep the tummy happy). I'll put the recipe at the end of the post, so you can all indulge is the green goodness.

Now to the yoga part. I've never really done yoga before but some of the poses were always incorporated into my exercises. I've always loved aggressive sports and I continuously thought of yoga as a cool down, not necessarily a complete exercise.

As the years have gone by high impact sports have become increasing more uncomfortable. I guess 10 years of soccer, 4 years of cross country, and 3 years of softball can do a number on your joints (especially my knees). This past winter my knees were not doing well in the cold, so I quit running and started using my elliptical more. Let me just say, I don't like ellipticals, the movement is so awkward for me, the only thing I like about them is how many calories they burn.

One of my other passions is kickboxing, I took the classes for a few years and LOVED it! I stopped doing it once we moved to our last duty station because there wasn't a gym close enough that offered the classes. One day, I would LOVE to join a kickboxing gym. It's one of those dream goals that I have for myself. We're moving again in like seven months, so nows not the time for me to fall in love with a kickboxing gym but I'm definitely going to look into it at our next duty station. But my point of writing about this is because at the end of every class we would do yoga for the last 10 or 15 minutes and it was so nice and relaxing and I completely enjoyed it.

I've thought about the relaxing aspect of it a lot lately, especially while Mr. I has been away in Afghanistan. I could use all the relaxing techniques I can get! So, I was talking to Mr. I on Wednesday and somehow yoga got brought up. I was telling him how I've been wanting to try it out.  I also mentioned thinking about possibly purchasing a DVD (I'm too chicken to take a class without testing the waters first). My smarty pants husband reminded me that he added Netflix to the Wii while he was here on R&R and that I could probably find a DVD there to follow. DUH! I don't know how I forgot about that, but I did. So, I searched Netflix and VIOLA! There were a bunch of DVDs and I actually found one that was called "Yoga for Health: Gastro-Intestinal Disorders." Oh, Yoga, you know me so well!

I did some "Crunch" video on Thursday. I don't think that was necessarily the best choice because it started out nice and easy then all of a suddent it became hard as hell quite challenging. I did the "Yoga for Health" one today and really liked it. It actually flew by and didn't even feel like I did an hour at all. Today I'm a teeny tiny bit sore which I like because then I know its actually doing something.

I'm really excited about trying more videos and eventually attending a class (they have them here on post). I'll let you know how it goes once I get enough courage and perfect this pose ;)

And if you've made it this far(you're awesome and certainly deserving), here's the salsa verde recipe:

Ingredients


2 chicken breasts
2 cups chicken broth

1 small white onion

3 clove garlic

2 teaspoons salt

2 pounds fresh tomatillos, husks removed

4 anaheim peppers (you can use jalapenos or serrano peppers if you wish, I just prefer the taste of the anaheim)

fresh cilantro (however much you like)


Directions

1.In a saucepan, combine chicken breast with chicken broth, half the onion, two cloves of garlic, and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, and then boil for 20 minutes.

2. Prepare the tomatillos by removing the husks and giving them a rinse. Now its time to prepare the peppers. This is when you control the heat of the salsa. If you want it crazy hot throw in the peppers whole. I personally don't like my salsa verde screaming hot so I cut them open and take out the seeds and the ribs. This will remove all the heat if you do it correctly.

2.Now place the tomatillos and anaheim peppers in a pot with water, enough to cover them. Bring to boil, and continue boiling until tomatillos turn a different shade of green (from bright green to an army green color). Strain tomatillos and chiles, and place in a blender with the other half of  the onion, 1 clove garlic, and some cilantro (or not, if you're not a fan).

3. At this time the chicken should be ready. Reserve broth, set chicken aside to cool, and discard onion and garlic. Shred the chicken with a fork (or two :)).

4.Pour in reserved chicken broth into the blender Blend all ingredients until they are completely pureed.

And there you go!

It should look something like this, and taste like heaven.

 
 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Trying to Find the Silver Lining

I've had a rough week and I don't feel like whining and complaining about it, so instead I am going to force myself to search for the positive things that have happened in the last seven days.

  1. I got a much needed, new vacuum on Sunday. A Dyson DC23 Turbinehead and I love it (and no, the Dyson people didn't pay me to say that).
    2. I deep cleaned my entire house on Tuesday and it felt amazing. Cleaning is somewhat therapeutic for me, it gives me a sense of control and makes me feel calm. When my house is completely clean I can fully concentrate on the other things I need to get gone.

    3. I'm struggling through my Precalculus class and my textbook didn't come with the access code for a tutorial website (I bought it used), so I was desperate willing to pay for the access code from anyone who would let me. Well the following conversation took place with a fellow classmate: 

Me: Hey, did the access code come with your book? 

Classmate: Yeah. 

Me: Do you use it? 

Classmate: No. 

Me: ((dying with excitement but playing it cool)) Can I buy it off of you?

Classmate: You don't need to buy it off of me...you can have it. 
(he hands me the access code)

Me: Noooo, I can't take it. 

Classmate: Yeah, you can. You can have it.

Me: Are you sure?! I will pay for it!

Classmate: ((laughs)) No. Don't worry about it. It's all yours.

And I thought to myself, "Wow, there are still generous people in the world!"

Sometimes when you've had a bad day (or week) you feel as if humanity has gone down the drains. Then, the universe comes and smacks you over the head with a great gesture from a good sameritan and the world is good again!

4. Mr. I came back from his last two mission safely. I am so very thankful for this.

5. I found out that next week will be in the 60s. That is fabulous news! I need to dethaw and I think my Snow White skin could use a little sun.

6. I made the Pioneer Woman's Fettuccine Alfredo this weekend and it was to DIE for! No, really. It's butter, cream and cheese...you will die if you eat it. Hahaha, but what a way to go! I'm just kidding.
But seriously, it was so easy and it was soooooo good! I used half & half, since that's what I had on hand and, of course, I used gluten free pasta and even with the changes it was delicious! I can't wait to make it for Mr. I.

7. A perfect stranger gave me a compliment the other day. It made me feel good :)

This actually did make me feel better. Cheers to the silver lining!


Monday, February 7, 2011

Dear Winter


My skin HATES you!

Because it looks and feels like 


I cannot wait until warm weather comes.

Not only because I need some warmth and my poor skin needs

 some moisture

but it also means I will be a couple months closer



 to welcoming my LOVE home.

Friday, February 4, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In



So, I have never done one of these before but many of the blogs I read participate in it, so why not give it a shot?! Head over to Wife of a Sailor to learn more and link up!


Without further ado...the Milspouse Friday Fill-in.



1. Since most of the country has had nasty weather, what has your weather been like this week?


We live in central Virginia and the weather has been in the mid 30s most of the week except for Wednesday which was in the mid 60s. It was completely bizzarre but I loved the warmth and humidity even though it only lastest less than 24 hours.



2. What is/are your best money saving tip(s)?

-Making meal plans and going to the grocery store only when you have a list.
-Using coupons at the commissary and with sale items.
-Using self check out at the commissary can save you a few bucks each trip since you don't have to tip the baggers and in addition its burns more calories!
-For students I always suggest buying used textbooks from online (half.com, Amazon, Ebay, and craigslist).
-I also save a lot of money by buying regular items off Ebay such as Wii remote controls, handbags, perfume etc. Now, there is an art to buying off Ebay successfully. You have to make sure its a reliable seller (check their ratings), double check the shipping costs (because sometimes their unreasonable), check for warranty or guarantee, and you want to check the pictures as well as condition. I pretty much only buy brand new items.
-Don't swear by your credit card. For big ticket items (usually only electronic for us) we use a credit card which has no interest for X amount of months, then we stick to our "pay off plan" which we created before we even purchased. Other than that, we only put things on a credit card that we will pay off monthly.
-Don't buy things that are unneccessary. Live simply.




3. What was your favorite vehicle you’ve ever owned?

I've only owned three vehicles in my entire life...1998 Honda Accord, 2001 Toyota Corolla, and a 2007 Dodge Caliber. I would say my favorite is the Caliber but if I could put the Accord's engine in it lol.


4. What is a question you’d like to see asked in a future fill-in?

If you were allowed to deploy with your husband to a war zone would you and why?




5. Fill in the blank: You might be a MilSpouse if…

Your husband talks all in acronyms and you understand him completely.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"I miss the way you smell..."

Those were the words from my husband. He is strange in the sense that he doesn't normally want care packages because he's thinks they are a waste of money. He says he has the bare essentials out there and that is all he needs. But when he said, "I miss the way you smell, could you send me something with your perfume on it?" I knew he was having a rough time.

Our ACS (Army Community Services) has something called "The Pillow Case Project." They offer deployed soldiers and their families two free pillow cases with a picture of their loved ones on it. When Mr. I asked me to send something that smelled like me, I immediately thought of this program. I picked up our pillow cases this afternoon and this turned out fabulous!

I'm going to make it a Valentine's Day care package with a couple cards, some treats and I'm gonna write "100 reasons why I love you." It will be a totally cheesy care package but I think Mr. I needs that right now.

I will mail it out tomorrow. I can't wait until he gets it!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I am a Jelly Bean



For anyone who has watched the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (my guilty pleasure) knows that a "Jelly Bean" is someone who is jealous. I think jealousy comes with the territory of deployments. You don't mean to be jealous, and you certainly don't want to be jealous but you are. I have been jealous of friend's husbands for not having to leave the FOB (forward operating base/base they stationed at while deployed) throughout their entire deployment. I have been jealous that people get to Skype with their husbands everyday when all we can do is instant message a couple times a week. I went five months without hearing my husband's voice while some people got to hear theirs everyday.


Now don't get me wrong, I am thankful for ANY and ALL communication we get because that is comfort in knowing my husband is okay. I was angry for awhile due to the jealousy I was feeling, but eventually I began to let it go. I kept reminding myself that there are spouses out there that don't hear from their husbands longer than me and there are spouses that will never be able to talk to their husbands again. I also reminding myself that this is only a temporary situation and that we only have a third of this deployment left.


There are so many emotions and phases of deployments that you don't even know which ones are coming when. I can only speak for myself but I've had feelings of "this will be okay" to "I can't take this anymore!" I have felt sad, angry, jealous, frustrated, empty, exhausted, lonely, happy, determined, and numb. I have seen two soldiers driving down the street in their Class As and had my heart stop. I've been in a crowded room of couples and felt completely alone. These are things you cannot prepare for. You prepare for your soldier to go out on missions and you prepare for not hearing from them for a while but you cannot prepare for these other scenarios.


 I always find the last part of the deployment to be the worst because it feels like it is going by so slow. So, for the next few months my goal is to survive. To take one day at a time and make the best of it. Some days will be rough and others will be easy but I will allow myself to feel these emotions and to carry on.


Editors Note: Most jelly beans are gluten free!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Studious Maximus

Have I told you I'm a student? Well, I am. I'm currently finishing my last semester of my associate degree. I've chosen not to walking at the commencement ceremony; Mr. I will still be in Afghanistan and quite honestly, this isn't what I've been working so hard towards. I'm really working towards my bachelors degree and by getting an associates makes it easier to transfer. My major is social work and I cannot wait to start the social work program at my next school!

Mr. I and I are moving at the end of the summer. We're moving to.......drum roll please......Colorado! We have both been wanting to live there for a long time, and that wish is finally coming true! We are both ecstatic. I have images of us hiking the beautiful mountains and rafting down the Arkansas River. We will actually be able to spend holidays with family! I cannot wait!

 Anyway, I must get back to my homework!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

It's wheat, it's barley, it's rye...oh my!!!

 So, the post before last was from June of 2010. I talked about how I was having health problems and was worried what it might be. Well, after numerous tests and vials of blood taken I found out I was gluten intolerant. What is that you say?  Basically, its an allergy to wheat, rye and barley. My body cannot process it and it has caused me digestive issues for years.


For the past seven months I have been reading articles, medical journals, food labels and experimenting with flours I didn't even know existed. Finding substitutes and trying my hardest to resist temptation in the mist of special occasions and holidays. 

Have you ever tried gluten free bread? Its sad. Its very dense, has a different flavor and you usually find it in the frozen section of the grocery store. I hate freezing anything and double hate defrosting anything. I miss fresh, warm, crusty, artisan bread.

Now, being gluten free isn't all bad. I feel amazing now that I don't suffer from digestive problems. I lost 20 lbs over the course of four months. There are a lot of delicious foods I can have. And again, I feel wonderful!

I'm now facing a challenge...I need to find meals that my husband will like. For me, becoming gluten free was a challenge but going gluten free for him would be almost impossible. He loves everything fried, greasy and breaded. Those are obvious no-nos in the gluten free world. I have about four and a half months left until he comes home and I need to hurry and find dinners he'll like! Wish me luck on this new quest...I'll need it!