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Category Archives: Thanks To The Navy

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::

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!

Dinner for …? :: PCS Gems

It was the summer of 2009 when Hubs and I pranced around Bed, Bath & Beyond equipped with the magical scan gun that placed every item we wanted onto our wedding registry! I wish I could link it to you without giving away my personal information, but alas, I can’t. Take my word for it though, it’s a doozy! Apparently I thought we were the Gatsby’s and would be hosting these lavish parties with tons of people. It’s awkward since we’ve been without our HHGs for so long, and married going on two years, to just be getting all of our wedding gifts! We obviously have not been hosting lavish parties and won’t be for the next year. It’s hard to remind myself that one day we just might have to have ten people over for dinner and I will be more than pleased with our 12 place settings of our autumn dishes. Yes, our autumn dishes.

12 dinner plates and 12 salad plates. We only got 4 bowls.

We went a little crazy in the fall of 2009 when we were hosting Thanksgiving in our tiny apartment before we moved away. We got some gorgeous plates at Target… and we liked them so much we went and got 12 dinner plates and 12 salad plates just knowing one day we would have a house full of people for Thanksgiving! I am slightly regretting this decision as I try to find cabinet space for them all! Not only do we have these, but we have our “everyday” plates (which we scaled down and only have a set of 6:: dinner plates and salad plates and only three bowls. I guess I need to finish the set.), we have our Christmas dishes (set of 8:: dinner plates, salad plates, soup bowls, and mugs) we have our budding china set (set of 6 from the 12 we registered for:: dinner plates, salad plates, bowls. We also have 4 pasta bowls from the 12 we registered for and a few serving bowls. Finishing our China set is on my deployment shopping list!) we have “summer” plates (set of 6 smaller salad plates we use for everyday dining on the patio in the summer as well as several various sized platters for the grill).

I think it’s safe to say we know a certain gal who enjoys mixing up her table settings. Am I the only one? I also have Christmas china back at Nan’s house! Where in the world did I think we would be storing all of these place settings? Oh, and don’t get me started on the glasses! That’s a whole new post of its own!

How do you protect your precious dinnerware collection in moves? I wrapped every plate in bubble wrap myself and placed in small boxes and our china was still in the boxes from the store. The next time we move, nothing will be in their boxes! Do you buy those containers to keep your dinnerware in, trust the packers, or do it yourself?

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!

A Cake Topper and My Wedding Shelf :: PCS Gems

When the movers came to deliver our HHGs I just had them drop things in the living room, since we have a big open space in front of our fireplace. They stacked a big box (I think it was a crock pot or something) , then a little box… then a pretty big box (one of those tiered serving dishes). I stood there and my heart broke. I said in the most monotone voice I had ever used: “I think that small box is my cake topper.” The poor guy who was moving things stopped and asked what a cake topper was. I told him the bride and groom that sit on top of wedding cakes, and in this instance a hand blown glass sculpture.

I know it would be broken since the hateful packers we had left it in the box I put it in after the wedding. I figured they would at least put it in a larger box! I mean, we’re talking a cake topper… the box wasn’t that big!

I sat the box on one of our shelves and have been staring at it for days. I couldn’t find the courage inside of myself to open it just yet. I know things will break when we move. I know it is inevitable. We got married and two weeks later my husband deployed. We’ve been without our household goods and I have been unable to appreciate any of the gorgeous things we had from our wedding. I didn’t know if I could handle something so symbolic being broken.

This morning I faced my fears head on and I opened the box. It was breath-taking and gorgeous… and in one piece! I was able to set up my “wedding” shelf!

The most gorgeous thing I own!

On the shelf with it I also have our unity candle holder with the big candle right now, I have to get the smaller candles out, and our champagne flutes. It is gorgeous to sit here and look at it, and it will only get better! I have about five frames I need to get pictures printed up for and can’t wait to have it be complete. Got now, I’m just happy the cake topper made it through this PCS.

The unity candle holder on the other hand has been in the box for two years, and could use a good cleaning! I just need to find some polish and it should look brand new!

Weigh-In Season In Our House

If you are a military family you know all about weigh-in season. If you are not, allow me to explain. Twice a year (for the Navy, is it different in other branches?) active duty personnel have to complete their PT test and pass a weigh-in. There are height weight requirements set in place to keep members fit and healthy (and looking damn fine in uniform).

Every six months my house gets turned upside down at weigh-in season and I may as well be living with a high school wrestler. You’ve seen pictures of Hubs, he’s no fatty in the eyes of popular society but he is built mighty awkward. He is short and kind of stocky. He would pass every time if he were about an inch or two taller with absolutely no problems. He is not an inch or two taller and as a result he has been eating a banana for breakfast, and apple and banana for lunch and salad for dinner.

One year when we were first dating he was given 2 days to lose about ten pounds and weigh-in again. He lost about 12 pounds in those two days by drastic measures similar to those of high school wrestlers and worse, some of which were endorsed by his command and shipmates at the time. I feel it is inappropriate to write about these methods but it involved saran wrap, gel, a homemade sauna and little to no nutritional intake as well as a few other drastic measures.

Hubs passed his weigh-ins this week and a weight was lifted off my shoulders! I could now commence my regular cooking schedule and he could resume eating like a normal person. I won’t buy $14 dollars worth of beef only to have it go bad since we never got around to making that stew, since we were too busy eating salads or chicken!

He will never change: about a month to two before weigh-ins he hits his PT schedule hard (for him) and tightens the purse strings on his diet. He is a snacker… more a “grazer” in the snack aisle… and I have not seen him snack in I could not tell you how long. I guarantee tomorrow he’ll be back to it.

He does pretty good and keeps himself in check… I just wish we could stretch those legs an inch for him! How do I motivate him all year long instead standing by and watching the torment during the season? Deployment goal #1 set: join a gym. If I’m paying for it, I’ll use it and maybe he’ll join in when he gets back!

Oh, You Want To Sleep On That Bed? :: PCS Gems!

January 2010

22 Months Ago

We were newlyweds and Hubs was deployed.

I had movers come to the apartment and move us into storage. It was pretty painless as I had packed most everything in the apartment. (I forgot about all the bubble wrap until I started unpacking everything!) All they had to do was move the furniture really, and stack things in their artful way in the storage unit. Easy day, right?

Cut to October 2011

Household goods delivered

We decide to get our “guest” room in order. Once the bed is together we can store things underneath it and go back to using that room for storage.

Hubs had some pretty sturdy furniture from This End Up. You know, the wooden couches and tables? He had two love seats and a bedroom set which is now our guest room. He went into the room to start putting the bed together and asked me where the screws were. All the furniture I ever had growing up just kind of slid together so I had no idea what he was talking about.

We have a bed… and no screws to put it together. I vaguely remember the two kids who moved us asking me for a bag to put them all in, but they didn’t tape that bag to the furniture. Who knows where it is! Worst case scenario we try to order just the hardware from This End Up! Two years later it could be in any box, and without doubt will be the last one we open! On that note… let me get back to unpacking!