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Category Archives: California

There’s No Place Like Home For The Holidays…

This was made painfully aware to me this afternoon as I drove down Main Street here in Fallbrook. They were preparing for their Christmas parade and the street was already lined with chairs! EMPTY CHAIRS. It was about 1:30 and main street closes to traffic at 3pm.

When I got home and told hubs he said “cue the John Cougar Melloncamp Music ‘I was born in a small town, live and die in a small town!'” It’s no exaggeration that Fallbrook is a small town… it’s not even a town, it’s an incorporate of San Diego County. Who knows who runs all these parades they have if there is no local government in charge of doing it!

On my way home I snapped a few pictures to show Hubs and then I saw a sign “Kringle Corner” It wasn’t Kringle, I forget the name, but it was a family area. It immediately reminded me of St. Patrick’s Day and the parade in Ocean View, VA! Our family had a corner where we would all gather. We would hang out for hours before the parade started and we would have chairs up on the corner waiting for us.

I know this will sound awkward, but last year Hubs was deployed and I guess I stayed in more than I wanted to admit even to myself, because the fact that I was alone for the holidays was not made painfully aware to me until Christmas day when family began calling. This year, there are lights up, and people celebrating, and parties… I HAVE my husband home with me, and I feel more alone than I did last year.

How do adults so it? How do you move away from your hometown and get through the holidays? How do you celebrate in a town where you know no one, but that town is now “your home“? Today I learned Fallbrook is definitely not our home. We have this Christmas and two more in town. Maybe next year we’ll go to the parade and see what the hometown fuss is all about.

Oh, and the chairs? Here ya go::

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A Long December… Please!

It is December and I feel like time is running away from us. This weekend we have Hubs’ departments “Christmas Party”. One of the chiefs in the department is retiring, so they are also honoring him and they were going to host it at the Chief’s Club on base. It would have cost $40 per person and the feedback numbers were too low so they are hosting it at a restaurant in one of the local casinos. It will be a change from the command events to just departmental. Such is life in the Hospital, I suppose!

This weekend we are also having a pre-deployment photo shoot. The date is sneaking up on us, friends. I feel like I won’t have enough time with him before he goes. He got a new set of orders, specific to his training. DRUM ROLL PLEASE… part of it is right here at Camp Pendleton, but they are on Lock Down, which means he will be right around the corner and we can’t have dinner or weekends together. I know he will be at training, but it would be easier if he were not right here on base! Word on the streets is they have wi-fi, so we can face time every night! Silver lining? We also have gotten word that there is a “graduation” type ceremony once they get through training that family can go to. Of course I want to be there to help welcome my Sailor to the Army!

Right now he is doing intense training on-line about customs and behaviors to avoid. Things like not giving a thumbs up because it’s offensive. Not accepting cigarettes (which he doesn’t smoke, so no worries there) but never turning down coffee or tea. Different things that can be considered insulting to the people over there.

It’s so much to take in.

We’re trying to enjoy each other right now and the time we have left together. We are booked with exciting things throughout the month to celebrate our first Christmas together as husband and wife! We are planning a pre-deployment get-a-way for a few days, a day trip up to Big Bear, and a night at the ballet to see The Nutcracker (which neither of us have seen live!) so each time I look at my planner, it is increasingly filling up!

For now, I’m off to decorate some more and get excited for our final month together!

The Little Things:: Like a HUGE dinner!

Happy “Coma day” friends! I hope you didn’t eat so much that you are still feeling it today! I know I kept it in moderation and was so proud of how differently I ate this year compared with Thanksgivings past! Hubs and I had a wonderful day full of little things that made it amazing!

We got up early and got everything ready and a cookin’! This jump of the gun led to us having “dinner” at about 1:30. We liked it better as Thanksgiving lunch (I was aiming for around 3-4, so we weren’t that early) and I think that is what helped our tummies not go to bed so full!

I love the smell of celery cooking! About to add the onion to complete for the stuffing addition!

While I let that sweat it our in the skillet, we were able to sit down and enjoy tradition we started a few years ago: Panera for breakfast! Talk about yummy:

Yummy cranberry walnut bagels with cranberry orange cream cheese 🙂

We of coursed watched most of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade… before we realized our turkey was almost done!!

Back in 2009 we bought this roaster when we hosted Thanksgiving in our tiny little apartment and knew a turkey just would not fit in the oven. It produced the best turkey then, and this year was no different! Thank you Rival, for helping make Thanksgiving that much easier!

There of course were Naps::

My boys napping during the parade!

Then it was time to get ready for a delicious feast and celebrate all the things we have to be thankful for:

I knew the counter space in our dining room would eventually come in handy! Also, notice that awkward three dish buffet? Another thing to be incredibly thankful for! All our food stayed nice and warm!

Then the turkeys came out and cooled down! Yes, we went with two tiny turkeys, didn’t even eat one, and have plenty of leftovers! I was not juggling a huge turkey though!

Don't they look pretty on our Turkey Plate?

Of course, I was most thankful that the table was able to be set for two with our Thanksgiving plates that were in storage in VA last year, and our nice glasses! It was so special to share another Thanksgiving with my amazing husband!

This is one of the most beautiful things to be thankful for: Dinner with my husband!

Then of course we have our world class carver::

He is a Pro... for the most part!

The funniest thing to happen all day happened while he was carving away! You can kind of tell the electric carver is plugged in on the wall behind him. All of a sudden it stopped working and Hubs said “That’s awkward!! It must have overheated!” All I could think of is “Well, why don’t you use a regular knife? It’s a five-pound turkey for heaven’s sake!” We bantered back and forth and then at the same time realized and said “Oh, it’s unplugged! Problem fixed!

Of course, no Thanksgiving is complete without dessert! We went the cobbler route::

Deliciousness in a bowl!

I hope you enjoyed your day, friends: wherever you are and whoever you were with! I’m off for breakfast with my love (which will consist of cookies in the kitchen) followed by Pilates and DECORATING FOR CHRISTMAS!

Follow me on instagram (TheYoungRetiree) to see it all go down live 🙂 Have a happy weekend! Don’t forget about 30% off in my shop until 11pm tonight with “BLACKFRI30” then 25% tomorrow with “THANKS25”!

Fit and Flab-u-lous Through Pilates!

Happy {almost Friday!} Thursday friends! Let me tell you what: I have been slacking on my fitness and am happy to report I am getting down to business and using deployment as the perfect time to submerse myself into Pilates! (Deployment goal #2!)

This morning I headed up into Temecula to an amazing in-home pilates studio and was completely won over my brand new Yoda! Sandee does personal training in pilates, spin and barre, but she also does small groups (maxing out at 5 clients) throughout the week. I am signed up for three more sessions for the rest of the month and then will be going to three times a week in December! Come deployment I fully intend on heading in Monday through Friday to get myself off the couch and out of the house! Maybe even going in the morning and sometimes back in the afternoon if she succeeds and gets me into the Spin craze! 

I was amazed at the muscles I felt working during our mini-introduction session this morning. She was so informative, letting me know why we were doing each move, what the benefits of them were, which regions I should be feeling it in and where I should not be feeling it! She gives such attention that I think it will be a blessing having her in my life.

My goal: to need a smaller wedding ring by the time deployment is over! My engagement ring might be able to be resized… but our wedding rings are stainless steel and can’t be. Yay for new ones!

OH, plus I get to wear these super awesome pilates socks::

 

And yes: I am still all about the instagram and you all will be sick of it before I am!

On a much less healthy note I am having a new chicken recipe tonight for dinner. Sandee gave me a diet plan and I am not quite sold on the extreme change from where I am right now. Our dinners usually consist of a meat, rice and a veg. Her meal plan has just protein and veg for dinner. This is the first change I am going to attempt. Oh, and pre-bed protein shakes instead of pretzels and juice. So, stopping at GNC today on our way home. In the meantime, a post-pilates nap is in order!

I am really excited about these new changes and accountability Sandee provides me with. When you’re paying as much as I am for it, you don’t not go! I’ll be sure to share the journey with you all!

(oh, and I will share how my fatty garlic chicken recipe goes too!)

Deployment Goal Two :: Work It Out

While I currently have about 6 things on my deployment goals list, I’d like to talk about the second thing: PILATES! A while back Dr. J suggested I do pilates since it is so easy on the joints while being very beneficial for the body. Well, time and money just “weren’t there” and I never contacted the woman he suggested. Let’s be honest with ourselves for a quick minute. Both time and money were there, I just spent them both on other things.

Time passes and I had all but forgotten about pilates. We had been using the track as our form of exercise and then we fell off even that bandwagon! When I mentioned to him I was thinking of joining a gym during deployment to motivate me to get out of the house he said “No, I don’t want you joining a gym!” I’m sorry, what? I simply figured the financial attachment to something would motivate me more to actually have any kind of follow through! That’s when he brought back up the Pilates and it all came rushing back to me. I thought about it and decided I was not waiting for deployment to come around; I was going to make the call and get the ball moving right now!

I called and left a message yesterday afternoon with a personal instructor/trainer and was pleased to get a call back last night! We set up my introductory appointment for next week! I am thinking of looking into a package that would not only include pilates (and the possibility of yoga, barre or spin classes) but also includes nutrition counseling! Let’s be honest, there was a whole lot of pizza rolls eaten during our last deployment and nutrition counseling could be just the thing to ensure I can stick with eating healthy during deployment!

I am really excited and looking forward to talking with my “Guru” and setting a plan into motion! The best part: It is an in home studio! The pictures I have seen on the website are amazing of her studio. I definitely know I won’t be too nervous since there won’t be tons of “juicing gorillas” all around me!

I can’t wait to tell you all how it goes (and how shattered I am after the first meeting!) and what my definitive plan is!

Take The Last Train To… Boot Camp?

This two months of pre-deployment prep are going by too quickly for my liking. The fun part is spending time with Hubs and of course, documenting this separation in our life with an awesome pre-deployment photo shoot! I have been giddy planning this shoot! Oh, and of course running thoughts through my head for one upon his safe return (which of course is going to be in his Army uniform-duh. We think it will be ACUs?)!

Our engagement pictures were jeans and white button downs. We did the Coronado Ferry Landing last deployment with the San Diego skyline in the background. Hubs in his dress uniform and me in a pretty tweed dress (which was actually my homecoming dress from the previous deployment!). We have our awesome beach pictures from this summer. I wanted something different and reflective of the time of year: AUTUMN! Oh, and a little bit of Christmas since we’ll be doing them in early December. We are going to be taking them in an old train station in San Juan Capistrano! Hello amazing architecture!

This morning with the help of some awesome facebookers I worked my way through our thoughts (argyle sweaters, bright funky colors, peacock accessories, flannel and cowboy boots, among others). I ultimately decided on my go to black dress for me with a red three-quarters length sleeve sweater and some amazing shoes I bought about 4 years ago and just unpacked from our HHGs. I’m thinking gray dress pants for hubs with a black or gray shirt… (or perhaps his really pretty purple one?) with or without tie.

I was at the thrift store today arranging a pick up of some of our old furniture when I saw the most adorable accessory across the room::

Only $3!!!

A lady bug found me taking pictures and definitely gave it her seal of approval! Eeeek! I am so excited! Even more exciting is since we’ll be doing them in early December, we will definitely be doing this to send out with our Christmas cards! The hunt now begins for candy canes that big!

Going out in our Christmas cards! Except... of us!

I can’t wait to have the shoot and show you some of the pictures!

Makes Me Want To Take A Back Road!

This past Saturday Hubs and I travelled out to Julian, CA! The thing I love about living here is you can go from the beach, to the mountains, to the desert all in one day, and all in one county! The journey for us was about an hour and the scenery along the way was breath-taking! We passed through two or three Indian reservations and were out in the mountains in no time. We saw the change in topography from palm trees, to dry sandy rocks, to evergreen trees! Along the route we had to stop to take in some of the beauty that is California!

 

A beautiful view!

As bloggers, most of you stop to take pictures of strange things, what you eat, what you wear, and like this, beautiful scenes. I photo document everything. Hubs just doesn’t get it, still! When I ask him to get out of the car for a quick picture, this is what I get:

He will learn one of these days, and that's why I love him even more!

He awkwardly stands on the side of the road, in the middle of a patch of brush on a turn about, as I try to capture pictures for our amazing memories! He does it even though he thinks it’s odd, and I love him for that! We do not have a tripod and these moments are exactly when I tell him I need one in my life! Instead, I balance the camera on the roof of the car and snap a picture of us, in nature, enjoying God’s beauty!

That awkward couple on the side of the road that you drove by!

Taking those back roads that twist and wind makes the trip that much more enjoyable. Being able to see things we never thought we would is such an amazing experience! What might seem like hills to those who grew up in the “real” mountains are enormous works of God’s creation to me! When we got to Julian, we of course stopped at the Julian Pie Company and grabbed a slice of pie and then it was off to the California Wolf Center! More on those later!

For now, spill it:: where is the most awkward place you stopped to take a picture for the memories or for your blog?