Thursday, December 26, 2013

Holiday Leave - Day 7

Merry Merry Merry to you all!!  December 26 can be such a depressing day, a beautiful month of days filled with preparation and shopping and cooking and joy, leading up to one spectacular day, and then... no more Christmas carols, no more presents... except... I enjoy the whole 12 days of Christmas mentality.  Christmas isn't over until New Years Day.  This is the great thing about having more than one family, Christmas keeps going and going.

Today is a bit of a bummer though, after a wonderful Christmas day, I endured a very sleepless night sweating out a 101.2 fever.  Yuck.  I think I may have disturbed my husband's sleep what with the shakes, sweats, and general restlessness.  Apparently I just had too much yuletide cheer.  So I'm a little cranky today, on this dreary, dreary post-Christmas day.

I'm wearing one of my Christmas presents, my sparkly, beautiful earrings from my husband.  I miss him today, but he needs a day alone to get some things done and hopefully play with some of his new toys.


Monday, December 23, 2013

Holiday Leave - Day 5

Merry Christmas Eve Eve!  Today I am competing for the worst wife ever, award.  My poor husband is driving two hours to get his own birthday cake, which we forgot about yesterday.  I wish I didn't have to work today so I could help!  We left the cake at the church where we performed in a Christmas concert yesterday, which is almost two hours away from our house... the thing is I KNEW we'd forget about it.  And in the bustle and joy of yesterday, we did.

I'm being remiss, it's been awhile and I haven't given you a proper update.  My sneaky soldier SURPRISED me on Thursday, coming home a day early.  I came home from a long day of work, fully prepared to get a manicure and bake some cookies, when to my surprise, my husband was HOME!  It was the best surprise a girl could ask for, almost as good as him surprising me a year ago with an engagement ring.  He was all dressed in his uniform and it was amazing to have him home.

It took about a day for us both to acclimate to him being home again, which I think it normal, we both had settled in to a new routine.  Eventually, we got back in to our own groove I am completely content.  We had an amazing weekend, we saw The Hobbit, had dinner, saw A Christmas Carol, walked around Reading Terminal Market, and went to NYC to catch up with our music family and sang in an amazing Christmas concert.

Today is my last day of work, sort of, before two glorious days off for Christmas.

And I fell crappy that my husband, who has Christmas shopping to do, is driving in this crappy weather... grrr.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Week 4 - Day 3

One week until Christmas.... 2 days until my soldier comes home... and I just found out today that I don't have to work Christmas Eve!!!  This is just a great day, despite the fact that it started off with a doctor's appointment.  If you remember I was in the ER for a gastro issue, I won't bore you with the intimate details of my bowels, but the general verdict is... I need more tests for any kind of diagnosis.  Surprise surprise, blood work and an MRI in a month or so.  So that's that, the other good news is that I can resume a normal diet.  Bring on the salads, chocolate, whole wheat, and alcohol!  Haha.

Also, I finished my continuing education EMS credits today woohoo!!!  Getting my license back.  It's so funny, I've been a certified EMT for.... wow, almost 7 years, is that possible?  Wow, yeah, since my junior year of college.  I've held certifications in three states at various points, and I only really practiced as an EMT for 2 years?  Barely.  I've never worked on a truck, but I still feel my skills, I feel confident in my knowledge.  I hope one day I will be able to use those skills for work again, I miss the feeling of helping.

Today was a little crazy, I drove to work because of the doctor's appointment so I drove home from work and ran a bunch of errands, Michael's for some last minute wrapping stuff, and New York & Company to make an exchange.  I was running through the mall to make my hair appointment on time, which I wasn't.

It's so nice to spend some quiet time getting your hair cut, it looks to much better now, it was looking a little scraggly.  When I finished my hair appointment, I ran over to get some candy for the gingerbread house, and look!!



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Week 4 - Day 2

3 days... oh my goodness I have so much to do before my soldier comes home.  Messy corners to clean up, a gingerbread house to finish, groceries to buy, presents to finish wrapping, etc...

Oddly, today has been such a slow day at work, I'm sitting here just listing all of the stuff I need/want to do also looking at the radar hoping there is no impending weather which will prevent me from running any errands.

The major achievement of today was finishing my gingerbread house.  Turns out the mortar (icing) consistency is very important.  I was a little worried it wouldn't turn out right because I didn't have enough confectionery sugar, but I altered the egg white proportions and I think that helped.  I ended up having plenty.  And the house stands!!  It looks a little messy, but the house looks like it had a heavy snowfall.

The next step is to decorate the CRAP out of it with candy, woohoo!  That will most certainly be the fun part.



1) Get a Christmas Tree
2) Decorate mantel shelf
3) Go see the Nutcracker Ballet
4) Attend a Christmas tree lighting ceremony
5) See the Macy's Center Light Show and the Comcast Holiday Spectacular
6) Visit the Holiday Garden Railway at Morris Arboretum
7) See A Christmas Carol at Walnut Street Theater (I bought tickets for us 12/21, shh don't tell him it's a surprise!!)
8) Make a Christmas ornament wreath 

9) Sit by the fire and drink hot chocolate
10) Sing Christmas Carols - Singing in a holiday concert (with my husband) on 12/22
11) Volunteer and donate
12) Finish my Christmas shopping/wrapping before husband gets home

13) Bake Christmas cookies
14) Go ice-skating
15) Make a gingerbread house



1)      Work out, work out!!
Now that my health is more under control, more or less, I am going to start this up again.
2)      Write to Adam every day
3)      Learn one new aria
Nope.
4)      Audition for local community theater
I have two auditions scheduled for after New Years.  Even though the shows are not my top choices.  At least they are musicals.
5)      Lose 8 lbs.
Surprisingly, halfway there, 4 lbs down!
6)      Finish decorating the apartment
7)      Reorganize
I have done a lot of reorganizing, but I was recently informed that my husband will be using his super army techniques to reorganize my sock drawers.  Awesome.
8)      Finish sorting thru wedding stuff
9)      Complete Christmas Bucket List
Almost done!
10)   Finish EMS Continuing Credits
2 credit left!!!
11)    Finish designing this blog
Nope.




Monday, December 16, 2013

Week 4 - Day 1

Another weekend filled with Christmas activities and family.  It has been so wonderful to have my family nearby to help fill the voids left by my husband's absence.  Filled with cookies, tree trimmings, unsound architectural structures made out of gingerbread, babies, food, and love.  I'm very lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life.

Sunday was brunch at my Dad's house, cuddling with my niece, decorating the tree, and stuffing my face with waffles.  (My Dad makes the best waffles.)  I also came home and wrapped almost ALL of my gifts.  Was I watching Christmas movies whilst a-wrapping?  Nope.  Grey's Anatomy reruns, I just love watching fake surgeries.  No judgement please, there was a Santa hat and a roaring fire involved.

I'm waiting for a few more gifts to arrive and I need some more gift wrap stuff, tags, etc.  But I think I'm going to be done before my solider comes home!

Today after I work, I volunteered with MANNA.  MANNA is a non-profit organization that cooks and delivers meals  and provides nutrition counseling to neighbors who are battling life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, renal disease and HIV/AIDS.  I spent 2 hours working with cooks prepping food in their kitchen.  It felt so nice to be able to contribute something positive that really makes a difference and even for a bit of time embody the true spirit of Christmas.

As I was on the train home, I realized, one year ago today, my husband proposed to me.  I'm a little embarrassed that it took me the entire day to realize this, but happy that I had an entire train ride to think about it.  I wanted to ask him what he remembers about the day, because I'm sure he has so many more memories of what we did earlier in the day than I do.  He proposed to me during our annual Christmas concert that we both sing in.  The whole thing is on DVD and I can't watch it still, it makes me cry.  Happy tears.  

My husband worked so hard to put together that proposal and surprise me.  I wish I could spend today with him talking and laughing about it.  Instead, I look to my left hand and smile remember the first time I saw that ring, except I didn't really see it at first, I was too busy looking at my husband.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Week 3 - Day 6

I got an early start today, out the door by 9:30 am pre-snow, filled the car up with gas, got some holiday stuff at Michael's, last minute cookie ingredients, and the liquor store for some Christmas gifts.  I love the mini liquor bottles for stocking stuffers, shh don't tell!  Michael's was having a huge sale, I got some great wrapping stuff for not a lot of money.  It was great, I am pretty much done my Christmas shopping.  Just a few more little things.

I was so happy to get a bunch of Christmas cards this week, thank you all so much. My card ribbons are getting filled up I may need to put up another one.  I love getting Christmas cards in the mail.

I'm sad my class was cancelled since there was no snow in the morning, but I had a great day.  It was cookie baking central in my apartment.  Starting with my family recipe of Butter Cookies.  I tried out my cookie press and it worked really well for me.  I think they turned out really nice.

Gingerbread was next, I cut out all of the house shapes first and then cut them into the gingerbread using my pastry cutter.  I'm not convinced the butter-cream I had leftover will hold up the house enough, but I guess we will see...

Butter cookies

Gingerbread house pieces

Gingerbread cutouts

Gingerbread house (before it fell apart)

After the baking frenzy, I started getting ready to drive to my Mom's house for dinner, at that point the snow wasn't coming down that hard yet, just a light dusting.  Luckily, my Mom convinced me to pack a bag and come over asap.  Thank goodness I did, even leaving then the drive was treacherous, halfway there I wanted to turn around the roads and weather conditions were so bad.  Visibility was bad and I had to go 20 miles an hour the entire way.  It was pretty scary.  But, I kept my head, stuck to major roads, and made it to my Mom's safety.  Someone was looking out for me, I have never been so happy to arrive at a destination.

I ended up staying the night which was fun, we had pot roast, tree decorating, and a Christmas movie.  Nice and snugly while it was cold and wintry outside.





Friday, December 13, 2013

Week 3 - Day 5

7 days until my husband comes home, well, technically it's more like 6.5 since he's coming home in the morning, but still.  It's so soon!!

Welp, so far this day hasn't improved.  As of this morning the gingerbread making class that was supposed to take place tomorrow is cancelled "due to inclement weather" aka 1 BLOODY INCH OF SNOW!  I'm so ticked off!  Oh but it's rescheduled for next weekend, which I can't do.  Uggggghhhh.  Which means I'm going to have to bake my own damn gingerbread house.  Time to raid the candy store for roof shingles.

Today was our department office holiday party, for which I baked delicious cupcakes.  There was a ton of food, my goodness!  I squirreled away one of my own cupcakes so I could taste my handiwork.  I'm happy to report that I am a cupcake master!  I have to say, I think the secret to amazing baking creations is patience, monitoring the cooking time, and knowing your oven.  And the key to amazing frosting?  A KitchenAid standing mixer.  I'm so thankful I got one for our wedding, it's my new favorite thing.

Office party food

The best cupcakes
Tonight I am going to see my Mom play with her band (concert band not rock band) for a Christmas concert.  My Mom, for those of you who don't know, plays the flute.  She's very talented, both my parents play/ed multiple musical instruments.  No surprise I turned out musical myself.  I miss my time playing in a concert band and a jazz band.  I used to play the trumpet in high school and college and I was pretty decent at it.  Once in awhile I'll pull my horn out and honk a few notes out.  All the calluses in my mouth are gone though so it's pretty shaky.

I think playing a brass instrument messes with the voice too, because of all the tension and movement needed with the tongue.  Once I stopped playing, my voice improvement significantly.  Could also be because I had more time to devote...

1) Get a Christmas Tree
2) Decorate mantel shelf
3) Go see the Nutcracker Ballet
4) Attend a Christmas tree lighting ceremony
5) See the Macy's Center Light Show and the Comcast Holiday Spectacular
6) Visit the Holiday Garden Railway at Morris Arboretum
7) See A Christmas Carol at Walnut Street Theater (I bought tickets for us 12/21, shh don't tell him it's a surprise!!)
8) Make a Christmas ornament wreath 

9) Sit by the fire and drink hot chocolate
10) Sing Christmas Carols - Singing in a holiday concert (with my husband) on 12/22
11) Volunteer and donate - donated a toy for tot - volunteering 12/16 with MANNA
12) Finish my Christmas shopping/wrapping before husband gets home

13) Bake Christmas cookies - this weekend!
14) Go ice-skating (including getting my ice skates sharpened)
15) Make a gingerbread house - TBD.... curse you snow!!!!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Week 3 - Day 4

Well kids, I skipped a blogging day.  Waddaya gonna do about it?  Hmm?  I thought I'd spare you the boredom of trying to come up with something witty about the series of events: woke-up, freezing, work, freezing, home, dinner, Top Chef, bed.  I know you're disappointed in missing out on the chaos that is my life.  The only thing of note that happened was I missed a phone call from my husband that I was supposed to get this morning, which I sort of did, if you count a 1 minute phone call asking me to confirm his travel arrangements.  It was incredibly formal and annoying.

Today I am tasked with baking cupcakes for our office party tomorrow.  The tricky part is timing my baking since I have a doctor's appointment right smack in the middle of the baking time.  I ended up baking the cupcakes before I left for the doctors and making the icing afterwards.  Unfortunately I completely forgot that I hadn't moved my car in several days and the de-icing task made me 20 minutes late for my appointment.

This was the only thing that went right today:




I hope these taste as delicious as they look because these may be the most perfect cupcakes I have ever baked.  These are for my office party tomorrow, I will let you know what the verdict is, but, they almost don't look homemade, so we'll see!

This has been sort of a hellish week for things going wrong, I lost my only pair of glasses and my December train pass which is too expensive to replace mid-month.

And then today, when trying to shlep five heavy bags of groceries (the majority of them filled with unsalted butter haha), and because my door is annoying and I can't open it with one hand, nor does the door stay open, when opened, and as a result, my Christmas ball wreath fell off the hook and crashed to the ground breaking 1/3 of the ornaments.

So after picking up the shards of Christmas spirit, I now have to figure out how I'm going to fix this darn thing.  Luckily most of the balls that broke, broke cleaning off, but some of them still have hot glued shards still suck on the wreath.  I have to get those off before I can add new ones.

Tomorrow needs to be better, Friday the 13th or not.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Week 3 - Day 2

It's the kind of morning you wake up and it's still dark, even though it's past the point where the sun came up.  You're burritoed tightly in your bed, with sheets, blankets, comforters, all mashed together in a chaotic dance around you, keeping you ideally warm, but not hot.  The dent in the pillow molds perfectly to your head which is heavier than normal.  You turn sideways glancing out  the window, praying for a snowpocalypse that will prevent you from having to move.  At which point you see the alarm clock out of the corner of you eye which you know will go off in 3...2...1... snooze.  It's definitely a pants and sweater day.

Then you get to work and are greeted with FREE SOFT PRETZELS and COFFEE!!!  Win!  And that meeting you thought you'd be late for because you had to take the later train because your bed was so alluring?  It's not for another hour, woohoo!  The trains were so sparse this morning, our offices were definitely open, but I can't imagine.

And then.... we are closing early today because of the snow!!!!!!!!!  WHAT A TREAT!  I came home to powdered sugar trees and after a lot of digging in our storage closet (hopefully my husband is up to the task of putting his army organizing info to the test because it got a little crazy in there) I found my advent calendar!


It was fun putting up all the back-dated numbers, but this is the only one I care about these days:


10 days to go... 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Week 3 - Day 1

The good thing about not writing blog posts over the weekend is that I was too busy having fun to have time!  I had the best weekend I've had in a long time and it was full of holiday activities and checking things off of the old Christmas Bucket list and my actual list of non-holiday things to accomplish.

The one great thing about being a child (or rather adult-child) of divorce) is double the fun with your parents.  I spent Saturday with my Dad and his girlfriend and Sunday with my Mom, sort of a girl's day out.  The last time I was local during the holiday season was the Christmas before I leave for college, I was 17.  Also before my parents split up.  After that I moved far away for college, I didn't usually come home until after finals which was 3/4 of the way through December usually.  Then after college I was in NYC which still isn't super close.  Being nearby my family has allowed me to enjoy the mundane holiday traditions that I haven't enjoyed for awhile.  Even enjoying these things solo has its own advantage to it.

I had asked my Dad if he would help me with getting my Christmas tree.  I'm more than comfortable dragging a mini Christmas tree down the street on foot, believe me I've done it, but this is the first year I could fit a substantial sized tree and I was worried I might not be able to handle it on my own.  He volunteered and we trekked out in the cold to pick a tree.  I ended up with a beautiful Fraser fir.


Lucky I had help from my Dad, it was tricky to get the thing on to my dinky little tree stand.  With a little engineering, we got it up and it looks GOOD!  I can't get over how huge it is, I love it!  After we got the tree, we drove over to the Morris Arboretum to see the holiday trains.  It was so neat!





It reminded me a little bit of when we used to have trains set up around our Christmas tree when we were kids.  My Dad would set them up and my brother loved them a lot.  It makes me want to carry that tradition on with my kids, I don't know what it is about trains and the holidays but they are festive.  We stayed there for about an hour and then went home for dinner.  So that was Saturday, oh, and when I got home, I put lights on our beautiful tree!


Then yesterday, it was a girls day with my Mom.  I walked in the glorious snow to the train station, thank goodness, the roads were bad!  It was so serene outside.  Completely peaceful.  I met Mom at the station and we went to the Comcast Holiday show.


It was super cute.  Full of music and snowmen and a Nutcracker preview.  It was funny because it "snowed" inside and it was snowing outside as well.  Very Christmasy.  Christmasy, the word of the week!  After the show was walked around in the show until we arrived at the tea house.  Few things in life are sweeter than afternoon tea... we could have used more sandwiches though...

Then we moseyed over to see The Nutcracker.  It was so wonderful.  We went last year and it really gets you in the holiday season.

I came home late but we still in the mood to listen to more Christmas music and start decorating the tree:


Can't wait until my husband sees!!!

1)      Work out, work out!!
Due to recent health issues, this one is definitely one hold until I go to the doctor
2)      Write to Adam every day
I am definitely accomplishing this and now he can finally start getting my letters!
3)      Learn one new aria
Nope.
4)      Audition for local community theater
This one may have to wait until after the holidays, I just haven't found a show I'm interested in yet.
5)      Lose 8 lbs.
Surprisingly, halfway there, 4 lbs down!
6)      Finish decorating the apartment
7)      Reorganize
I have done a lot of reorganizing, but I was recently informed that my husband will be using his super army techniques to reorganize my sock drawers.  Awesome.
8)      Finish sorting thru wedding stuff
9)      Complete Christmas Bucket List
See below.
10)   Finish EMS Continuing Credits
I gotta get moving on this one, I have until the end of this year to complete 24 credits, 19.5 down....
11)    Finish designing this blog
Nope.

1) Get a Christmas Tree
2) Decorate mantel shelf
3) Go see the Nutcracker Ballet
4) Attend a Christmas tree lighting ceremony
5) See the Macy's Center Light Show and the Comcast Holiday Spectacular
6) Visit the Holiday Garden Railway at Morris Arboretum
7) See A Christmas Carol at Walnut Street Theater (I bought tickets for us 12/21, shh don't tell him it's a surprise!!)
8) Make a Christmas ornament wreath 

9) Sit by the fire and drink hot chocolate
10) Sing Christmas Carols - Singing in a holiday concert (with my husband) on 12/22
11) Volunteer and donate - donated a toy for tot
12) Finish my Christmas shopping/wrapping before husband gets home

13) Bake Christmas cookies - this weekend!
14) Go ice-skating (including getting my ice skates sharpened)
15) Make a gingerbread house - 12/14 :-)



Friday, December 6, 2013

Week 2 - Day 5

I GOT MY HUSBAND'S LETTERS AND ADDRESS YESTERDAY!!!!  I think the last time I was this excited about getting a letter it was during college acceptance season my senior year of high school.  I was on the phone with my Mom and I squealed as soon as I saw all FIVE letters for me.  It was a magical moment.

The first letter I opened was from the army telling me what his address was and his unit, etc.  The rest were all from his first week there, and I cried so much reading every word.  It made me miss him so much more, but I'm so HAPPY he can finally start getting mail.  I restrained myself and mailed 5 of my letters and 1 card.  I'll send more each day, it took even more restraint not to just send the whole pile of mail in an envelope 1st class overnight.

It was bittersweet hearing about my soldier's experiences, I'm pretty sure my favorite part of the letters was hearing that his Drill Sergeant's nickname for him is "Tenor."  Innocuous, and yet not, haha.  The Drill Sergeant also made him sing for everyone after learning his MOS, his comments about the experience were, "you can guess how that went!"  Which means he pulled the Star Spangled Banner trick.  When the Star Spangled Banner is sung, all military company must salute for the entire time, even if it's sung really... really... really... slowly.  Go Hubby!  I'm glad he's sharing his fears with me about the experience, it keeps up connected in important ways.

After my letter bliss, I sat down and "enjoyed" the Sound of Music Live.  Suffice to say, it was okay, Audra McDonald completely stole the show.  The rest was meh.  I cooked myself a little dinner and relaxed while writing more letters.

This was such a perfect day and unfortunately it was ruined by some family drama which I don't want to go in to in detail because it's actually not important at all.  Suffice to say, I wish I was an only child and am not so confused as to why my digestive system is in the crapper (no pun intended) with all the external stress.  It's so hard to let go when you see the people you love making the wrong choices, but sometimes, for your own health and sanity, you must let them make those decisions.  I am definitely guilty of being a  meddler and not filtering what I say, and I need to stop and focus on my own life.

Hopefully, I will get a little bit of relief from the drama over the holidays, even if it means spending them somewhere else.  I've been accused of having a bad attitude and being negative, but part of that has to do with being around negative situations.  I need a break from it, I don't have time for, not when my solider and I are working so hard for our future.

1) Get a Christmas Tree - going tomorrow
2) Decorate mantel shelf
3) Go see the Nutcracker Ballet - going 12/8
4) Attend a Christmas tree lighting ceremony
5) See the Macy's Center Light Show and the Comcast Holiday Spectacular
6) Visit the Holiday Garden Railway at Morris Arboretum - going tomorrow!
7) See A Christmas Carol at Walnut Street Theater (I bought tickets for us 12/21, shh don't tell him it's a surprise!!)
8) Make a Christmas ornament wreath 

9) Sit by the fire and drink hot chocolate
10) Sing Christmas Carols - Singing in a holiday concert (with my husband) on 12/22
11) Volunteer and donate - donating a toy for tot
12) Finish my Christmas shopping/wrapping before husband gets home

13) Bake Christmas cookies - in two weeks! - got my cookie press yesterday, almost there!
14) Go ice-skating (including getting my ice skates sharpened)
15) Make a gingerbread house - 12/14 :-)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Week 2 - Day 4

T-minus 14 days until my husband comes home!!  We are more than halfway there... wooooahhh we're halfway there, woaaaaaoh livin' on a prayer... okay I'm done, I promise.  It's crazy though, the limited contact, it's messing with me.  I keep looking at my wedding pictures and my ring and thinking, "I know this happened, but did it?"  It all feels a little like a dream in someways.  It's bizarre.

The good news is, I am having a BALL planning all kinds of fun activities for us to do when he gets home.  For example, I know that one of the first things my husband will want to do when he gets home is... no get your mind out of the gutter... go see the Hobbit Part 2.  So that's what we are going to do Friday and some kind of restaurant, I'm thinking Ruby's for burgers and milkshakes.

Serious time, I'm going to admit something to you all, because I feel like we're gotten close and I can share things with you.  I'm kind of nervous to see Adam again.  Don't get me wrong, I'm excited, but I'm pretty much the same person he'll be coming back to, plus or minus a gastric disorder.  I've pretty much had to lay off the diet/exercise concept until I get seen by a doctor, so those goals are shot.  I know he'll be happy to see me, but he's going to come back half a soldier.  He's learned so much by this point, is probably in the best shape of his life, and has something to be extremely proud of.  I am thrilled he has all this, but I hope it doesn't make me feel less about myself.  Yes, this is a stupid irrational fear, but there it is.

Plus he's going to look scary without hair... I might need to get him a wig.  Although, I can then refer to him as Gollum as a new pet name... hmmm... maybe this will be fun.

Another day in the life of a low-residue diet, and I had to throw out 2/3 of my lunch.  Stupid pre-prepared tuna with icky carrot and celery bits and WHEAT crackers.. ERG.  Honestly, I may lose weight just trying to do this damn regime.  Exercise is definitely out though considering every time I take the stair I run the risk of getting a headache.

Still no news on the letter front, no address, no unit, no nothing.  According to the website I should except this information 10-14 from "my soldier's ship date" so Thanksgiving messed everything up so hopefully I will get this info today or tomorrow.  I feel bad because he's going through this alone and not getting any mail.  Even though it's partially his fault for not just giving me his address when he called like he was supposed to.

On tonight's agenda is watching the Sound of Music, LIVE!  I really wish I could drink alcohol while watching this... hopefully it's enjoyable.



Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Week 2 - Day 3

I would like to begin this humpday post,
By describing an annoyance that I hate the most.
This "getting older" concept while nature's plan
Makes me feel like an old woman.
A crick in the neck, a twinge in the spine
Whatever happened to feeling just fine?
I curse you old age, and spit in your eye,
You won't get me down or get me to cry.
In truth, I'm a child in spite of your tries,
So go off and bother some other young lass,
Because this one is ready to go kick some ass!

Yes I'm aware I'm in my twenties, but I woke up with a stiff neck and I'm feeling grumpy about it.







Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Week 2 - Day 2

Nothing like kicking off a Tuesday with some fun stuff!  I officially have New Years Eve plans!!  I got two tickets for us to attend a Black Tie optional party in Philly which is only a couple of block from where I work.  So, I can store the car in a garage nearby, have a place to get ready, and a short walk!  (Since I will be working New Years Eve).  I'm very excited.  I hope my husband will be excited too.

I have also rented a fabulous sequin dress for the occasion.  Since the site I use Rent the Runway, extended their Black Friday sale, I saved $10 on shipping and got 20% off.  Woooo!  Not too bad Tuesday, not too bad.  Hopefully I will be able to drink alcohol by that point, pending an okay by the doctor.  Otherwise, that's a lot of expensive soft drinks I just bought.

New Years has always been special for us.  When we started dating, our first New Years was spent together attending a friend's party.  We had only been dating, sheesh, 2 months, I thought it was longer, but yes, two months, and since my roommate at the time was away for that weekend.  New Years Eve that year was on a Thursday, making New Years Day a Friday, and thus leaving the rest of the weekend.  My husband was actually supposed to work New Years Eve but he got out of it so he could spend it with me.  We had the entire weekend to ourselves playing house, cooking pork New Years Day (it's good luck) for our hungover house guests, and just being delightfully domestic.

When he had to leave, it was one of the hardest times for us.  I remember wanting him to stay forever, knowing even then, that I didn't want to be apart, I wanted to live together, and be together as long as possible.  Luckily for me I got my wish.  I think on that time and how hard it was to be apart during the early times of our relationship, back and forth, him living over an hour away, and how much it made our time together that much more amazing.  I know that when he comes home, those 2 weeks we have together will be like a second honeymoon, and for that I'm grateful and excited.

Tonight was an evening of pizza, watching The Biggest Loser, and enjoying not having a headache.  It's the simple things in life... oh, and getting my Christmas card OUT in the mail!  I'm an early bird with those, I know.  All in all a satisfying day.  No word from the army yet, hopefully soon.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Week 2 - Day 1

Ugh, Monday. Ugh headache inducing medication.  Ugh, not allowed to take Advil.  UGH!  I'm convinced there is a minion behind my eye poking my eyeball with a tiny sledgehammer.  Not a cute yellow, twinkie shaped minion, probably green, scaly, and mean.  According to spell check, the word "twinkie" doesn't exist.  Ugh.

Behold the highlight of my day:

Office cube decorations










My head got progressively worse and worse, until I could finally stop staring at a computer screen and hawl my butt home.  I then proceeded to fall asleep on the train and miss my stop.  Awesome.  Once I got home my bags dropped on the floor landing where they would and I got in to a nice bath and took a 3 hour nap, waking up to a much better state of mind.


I stuffed a few more Christmas cards before calling it a night.  Hopefully I will be able to sleep...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Week 1 - Day 7

Hard to believe two weeks ago I was getting ready to say goodbye to my husband and start a stint of "single life." (Single life without dating that is of course!)  I won't say it's gone fast in it's entirety but it hasn't been completely miserable.  I have been enjoying my family and friends and a little bit of time to get to know myself again.

In Army news, no mail or contact from the solider man since Thanksgiving.  I am supposed to be getting a few letters soon as well as a letter from the army telling me where to send my 100,000 letters that I've been writing.

The Friday after Thanksgiving I attended my annual tree lighting ceremony in Btown with my Dad.  We have started this new tradition where, the day after Thanksgiving, we decorate his apartment Christmas tree and go to the tree lighting.  It's pretty fun, it's a great way to kick off the season.



We also walked around the town and went in to a few shops, looked at some holiday ornaments, and in general enjoyed the merriment of the impending season.

I can't believe it's December already, unfortunately I'm experiencing my first bought of married person missing items.  I can't find my advent calendar and I know that Adam knows where it is.  I was hoping to find it before the work week started but alas.  I did spend the weekend decorating and cleaning though.  I don't have my tree yet, that's coming next weekend, as in this coming weekend, but I think the place looks great!


My mantle!

I added these ribbons to my cabinet for impending Christmas cards
 I also made my first ever ornament wreath this year.  Total DIY arts n' crafts project which I had a blast doing.  Luckily, I have the best dad ever who gave me leftover Christmas ball ornaments that he doesn't use so I had a great place to start.  Using this tutorial from LiveLoveDIY I ended up with....



Before balls...

Tiny balls...

After LOTS of hot glue...

Woo-hoo, it's a wreath!
I think it looks pretty spectacular myself.  My Mom helped add a wire to the back to hang it (I didn't use the wreath holder from the tutorial).  

Oh also this weekend I started stuffing my holiday cards and finished up a few remaining wedding thank you notes.  I think I'm finally done with most of my post wedding stuff, minus the whole name changing thing.  Unfortunately, I can't finish that until my husband sends my documents back.  *Sigh*

All in all, I think I'm doing pretty well here!

1) Get a Christmas Tree - going 12/7
2) Decorate mantel shelf
3) Go see the Nutcracker Ballet - going 12/8
4) Attend a Christmas tree lighting ceremony
5) See the Macy's Center Light Show and the Comcast Holiday Spectacular
6) Visit the Holiday Garden Railway at Morris Arboretum - planning this with my Dad
7) See A Christmas Carol at Walnut Street Theater (I bought tickets for Adam and I 12/21, shh don't tell him it's a surprise!!)
8) Make a Christmas ornament wreath 

9) Sit by the fire and drink hot chocolate
10) Sing Christmas Carols - Singing in a holiday concert (with my husband) on 12/22
11) Volunteer and donate
12) Finish my Christmas shopping/wrapping before Adam gets home

13) Bake Christmas cookies - in two weeks!
14) Go ice-skating. (including getting my ice skates sharpened)
15) Make a gingerbread house - 12/14 :-)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Week 1 - Day 5

Happy Thanksgiving!!  It has truly been a day of things to be thankful.  I have been MIA for a few reasons.  Tuesday I ended up in the ER for stomach pain, for those of you who know me, know that I have a pretty high tolerance for that.  I drove myself to the ER and surprisingly got in and got a bed right away.

I had the nicest nurse, PA, and doctor.  Long story short to spare you the gory details, I am okay.  I was diagnosed with an inflammation of my ileum in my small intestine.  I know, lovely.  It could be an acute cause or it could be from something more chronic.  I have to go to the doctor to get more information.  I'm on medication to heal this up and I have taken time off work as per request of my doctor to let myself heal.  Thank goodness I did because the meds have been giving me some less than enjoyable side effects.

So I have been resting and trying not to move too much.  I'm on a special diet now too, but luckily turkey and mashed potatoes were still on the menu.  I should be good to go back to work on Monday.  Never a dull moment here.

I got my phone call today!  Fifteen whole minutes.  My husband seems to be doing really well.  He mentioned that he rolled his ankle and sprained it a couple of days ago but that it was feeling better.  He mentioned that they did get a Thanksgiving dinner and he hoovered it in under 10 minutes so he must he eating quick meals.  He also told me that he getting close to be part of the Alpha group in his unit, in terms of his physical achievements.  I'm so impressed and happy that he's succeeding.  He sent me a couple letters which I can't wait to receive which give me tons more details and hopefully I will get his address soon to send him my letters!  I caught him up to everything that was going on with me as well.

I loved getting the phone call, but it was so short and it made me miss him so much more.  It's probably the last phone call I will get until I see him next month.  *Sigh*

I'm pissed because this whole intestine bullshit is halting my progress on loosing weight because of the stupid diet and I can't expertise or really exert myself much on these meds.  So I may have to amend my list a bit.

Right now I am thankful for my family, for my husband, for the holidays, and for the wonderful ER folks who are making a difference every day.



Monday, November 25, 2013

Week 1 - Day 1

Ugh.  Woke up this morning with a stomach ache.  Nothing to make a Monday morning more Monday, than feeling like garbage.  If I had a sick day today, I'd take it, but I have no more time to take off.  Thus I sit here, in pain, waiting for the chance to go home and potentially hit up an urgent care center around dinnertime.

This weekend was full of radio silence from my solider.  I'm disappointed because he seemed to think he would have some extra time to call me and chat.  Alas... nothing.  I still can't believe it's only been a week since he left, it feels like it's been the entire month already.

It's pretty shitty to be alone when you're sick, even when you feel awful, and look awful, it's wonderful to have someone who loves you rub your back, make you some soup, and let you everything will be okay.

This better be a 24-48 hr bug, because I have a date with turkey on Thursday.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Week 0 - Day 6

Well this is definitely a day I felt like spending in a snuggie on my couch all day.  I resisted as much as possible though, I started the day off finishing a few letters and putting away some laundry.  I spoke with Adam yesterday and he intimated that he would have some time to call me this weekend since he would most likely had more free time.  Unfortunately, this lead me to make a decision about my plans today which I'm not super proud of.

I was supposed to go see one of my best friend's performance in NYC today which I said I would go see and had already purchased a ticket.  In the end, I made the decision to stay home, primarily motivated by not wanting to miss an important phone call and also motivated by the stack of dirty dishes and overflowing laundry hamper.  It's hard to have to say "no" to things sometimes, and I felt pretty guilty for the majority of the day, but in the end, I think it was the right decision for me and what's going on right now.

In my defense, I did not give in my snuggie hibernation, I did a lot of cleaning.  I hung up a new wedding photo that I had converted in to a canvas.


It's a blurry pic my photographer shot at our wedding and I loved the color and the outline of us, we almost look like a heart.  It goes really well in our purple bedroom.  It's a little crooked I think but it looks good, I think Adam will be able to help fix it when he gets back, the canvas is a little big for just one person.

My bedroom is pretty clean now too and whilst looking around my closet, I found THIS!!!


It's from Adam, it's a giant bulldog and he needs a name!  Suggestions?  He also got me an elephant which I named Armie.

Ultimately this was a very productive day, I also sorted through a bunch of our wedding stuff and put the keepers in a box to put in storage.  Perhaps I will leave the apartment tomorrow...

Friday, November 22, 2013

Week 0 - Day 5

Some updates from my soldier!  Of course, I MISSED his call yesterday!!!  Major, major sad face.  I must have read every existing army wife/spouse/girlfriend blog on the planet and all of them warned me to keep my phone on me, on the loud ringer, at all times, in case you get a phone call.  The 90 minutes I was in getting a much needed massage, he called me right at the tail end, so in theory, if I had heard my phone, I definitely would have answered, despite the lavender, drugged state I was in.

Sidebar, if any of you are looking for a good Christmas present for me, I would love a lavender scented microwavable heating pad.  I had one over my shoulders while waiting for my massage yesterday and it was heavenly.  I highly recommend it.

So I missed the phone call, but I got an extra long text with some new details.  He says that I should book his Christmas vacation transportation soon (which I sort of already knew and was told to wait by him and now airfare is all jacked up, but whatever) as well as a "bus" from the Fort to the airport.  Not sure how that's going to happen, although I'm tempted to get him a limo... anyone want to go in with me to get him a limo?

He gave me the details of his pay, and told me that because he is a higher rank than most of his peers (he's E4), he's getting more responsibility and respect.  I'm so happy he is getting leadership experience and thriving with it.  Those of you who know my husband know that he tends to be more of a follower than a leader, however, he has the ability to command attention and command a room so his potential to lead is very great.  With being a leader comes the fear of failing and making mistakes which is a big one for him so I am so thrilled that this experience will give him some positive growing points and help him conquer some of those fears.

I was also told that he would have more time to talk since he started official basic training TODAY!  So yay for more phone calls.

On the home front, my house is getting messy.  I always appreciated how he would be home to help with general apartment upkeep, but I'm really appreciating it now.  The downside of trying to have a life (which I feel like I've been doing well so far) is I'm never home.  As it is, my weekend is almost completely booked up.

Here's how I am doing with my lists:

1)      Work out, work out!!
So far I am really sucking at this.  There is a yoga class today at 12 pm.  I will make an effort to do this today.
2)      Write to Adam every day
Four letters down... waiting for an address to send them all, I will let those of you know if you want to send him something.
3)      Learn one new aria
0% complete
4)      Audition for local community theater
There are auditions coming up in Chesnut Hill for some straight theater also I submitted for two local auditions via e-mail.
5)      Lose 8 lbs.
I'm going with too early to tell.
6)      Finish decorating the apartment
Yesterday, a wedding photo I had blown up was delivered so I'm on my way...
7)      Reorganize
 Nope
8)      Finish sorting thru wedding stuff
Nope
9)      Complete Christmas Bucket List
 No updates
10)   Finish EMS Continuing Credits
Completed another credit course yesterday.  4.5 down 19.5 to go...
11)    Finish designing this blog
 Nope.





Thursday, November 21, 2013

Week 0 - Day 4

I did not get a phone call from my soldier yesterday, poor guy had a headache, but I did get a lovely text and this gem of a picture:


That's my husband.  He looks so severe to me, and I also got some pictures of his newly shaved head.  Ick, not my favorite.  He looks good in his fatigues though.  So proud.

I'm feeling kind of melancholy today.  I think maybe because this is our 2-month wedding anniversary.  Luckily, I don't have a lot on my agenda accept a much needed massage tonight.  Going to have to force myself to cook some kind of meal.  I should probably add "don't get take-out" all the time to my list of goals, but I'm trying to be moderately realistic here.

After yesterday's post I got two more great Christmas bucket list ideas which I am now going to add to the list:

13) Bake Christmas cookies
14) Go ice-skating. (including getting my ice skates sharpened)
15) Make a gingerbread house (more to come on this soon!)

I have some great things planned for the weekend so I'm excited about that.  I have also been very diligent in writing a letter every night.  I'm trying to keep Adam up on some of the shows we watch but certain shows are a little complicated to put on paper.  Maybe I should just print up a synopsis from somewhere on the Internet... cheating?

I also need to start writing my Christmas list to Santa.... I swear this gets harder every year.  As a kid, it was the easiest list to write in the world, heck, I could start it in July.  The only thing worse is trying to get my husband to give me a Christmas list.  I'm hoping to get a letter soon with some ideas!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Week 0 - Day 3

The time after Halloween and before Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year.  I love the crisp feel of the air as fall takes over for summer, the beautiful leaves changing colors, and the smell of winter with a hint of smokey bonfires and frosty dirt.  Where I now live, on my walk back from the train, I get the most beautiful views of foliage that I never got living in New York City.  You never really got that country fall smell either.  Somehow, Fall in NYC is still amazing, just different.




Here in the 'burbs I feel just like a kid again with the feels and smells I grew up with all around me.  This time of year is wonderful also because of the anticipation building up to Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Not to say that I approve of all the over zealous Christmas marketing in NOVEMBER, but there's a certain something in the air that you don't get the rest of the year.  Christmas and Thanksgiving seem to make the coming of Winter more bearable, cozy not cold.

This time of year is tricky with the emphasis of family and holiday spirit, it's a tough time to be alone, for anyone.  Luckily, I am no where near completely alone and I have the wonderful support and kindness of my family, my in-law family, and friends to keep me company.  There's something about an empty house during this time of year that is especially depressing.  Of course Ebeneezer Scrooge hated Christmas, it's hard when you're all alone.  Therefore, I plan to keep my spirits up, and enjoy as much wonderful holiday stuff as I can.  Even if it's not 100% with my husband.

I was lucky enough to get a phone call from my husband yesterday when I was out to dinner and he sounds a little nervous but he said he was feeling much more confident today.  He's adjusting to the new order and the way that all of the soldiers are responsible for each other.  He had his physicals, dental and eye also, apparently he's more blind in his right eye, haha.  He also got his uniform clothing, shirts, boots, etc.  He's waking up and 4:30 am and working on drill formations.  He hasn't gotten his official unit information yet, probably next week.

So here is my Christmas bucket list that I hope to accomplish:

1) Get a Christmas Tree
2) Decorate mantel shelf
3) Go see the Nutcracker Ballet
4) Attend a Christmas tree lighting ceremony
5) See the Macy's Center Light Show and the Comcast Holiday Spectacular
6) Visit the Holiday Garden Railway at Morris Arboretum
7) See A Christmas Carol at Walnut Street Theater (I bought tickets for us 12/21, shh don't tell him it's a surprise!!)
8) Make a Christmas ornament wreath
9) Sit by the fire and drink hot chocolate
10) Sing Christmas Carols
11) Volunteer and donate
12) Finish my Christmas shopping/wrapping before Adam gets home

 I will probably add to this list as things get checked off (hopefully), but what is on your Christmas Bucket list this year?  Is there anything important I'm missing?