Thursday, December 30, 2010


I had heard this before "1st deployment is always the worse, 2nd is the best, 3rd and more just suck" and didnt quite believe anyone who would tell me.  After all, you think the more times it happens, the easier it will be.  Now some cases I would believe that, such as having to take care of children that you didnt used to have during previous deployments but that isnt OUR case so I dont know why exactly that statement still rings true to me.

As mentioned in other posts, 1st deployment was torture...I spent most of my time crying! I was a big ball of pity and was very "woe is me".  In a nut shell, I was miserable and nothing was going to change that until Kale was back with me. This is a picture of a hoodie that I wore all the time...February was (obviously) homecoming

Second deployment was a 180 from the 1st one.  During the 7 months in between him coming home from first deployment to him deploying to Afghanistan, not only had I made a lot of military spouse friends but I moved down to NC.  Moving down and being with people in the same situation as me didnt allow me to pull my "woe is me" crap anymore.  So I stayed very positive, was very busy with school and friends and the months really flew by! I also had Coop, who loved helping me make carepackes!

 When word came that deployment #3 was in the works, I thought "no sweat".  Not only was he going on a MEU which meant he would most likely not have to see combat but I am used to him being gone for long periods of time so it should be just as easy, if not easier this time around.

Nope...I am so over this deployment.  I dont know what it is but I was so proud of how well I was doing last deployment and really surprised myself at how positive and upbeat I stayed.  Now that I knew that I could act that way, I was just expected to.  So now, its almost as if I wont have that major personal accomplishment like last deployment which makes me feel so over it.  Thats the only way I can describe it...I am OVER it!

Now, Im not complaining per say about this deployment but just my attitude about it.  I wish I had a better attititude about the whole thing...but I dont see it changing any time soon but its something that I need to get used to because I highly doubt that will be our last deployment...

Can it be homecoming time again so I can do this...
and this....

and last but not least lots of this...

This concludes my whiney, annoying, complaining post about me being whiney, annoying and a complainer!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Peppermint Trees

My Mom is funny, she always sees really cute crafty things but somewhere between seeing it and executing it, something goes wrong.  She was watching HGTV and saw this clip about how a cute craft project would be to get those Styrofoam cones then glue peppermint candies to them.  It seemed easy so we went and got the cones, peppermints, and Styrofoam glue because that is what the show called for...

She tried, and failed...the glue didn't work, then she tried spray adhesive, again fail.  She then let them sit out for 2 weeks, her 2 rows of gooey gross peppermints and then I arrive in Erie.  My first statement about it wasn't the most pleasant but then I ask "why didn't you just use a glue gun?"...her response? "It would melt the candy!!" I just kind of stared at her and shook my head then after wrapping my mind around her last statement I simply said "no it wont! Ill show you!" 

I went to my car and pulled my handy dandy glue gun out of my glove compartment...yes, seriously, and no I don't normally keep it there but a friend borrowed it and gave it back the night before I headed up to Erie so it never made it back into my house...and within less then 20 minutes, I had one complete.

All you do is simply glue and stick! I think they look super cute too...the ones that Mom saw on HGTV were placed on top of wide candle holders and they looked adorable, she didn't have any of those we still need to figure out where and how to display them.

We ran out of red so Mom went to the store to get more, and came back with 2 other kinds...the green ones and she found red, white,and blue ones so I made a green one real quick and I still need to make our "patriotic" one still.  It takes a lot more peppermints then I expected, the small ones took a little over 100! I didn't even bother to count the bigger ones! 
If you just plan to keep them for this holiday season, I would say you could display right away but if you are going to want to save them and use them next year, I would spray them with a protective clear finish so that bugs wont be attracted to it! 

Fun, easy, and a fast little craft project (if you use the right equipment!)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Favorite Christmas Memories

I was thinking about Christmas pasts and thought I would share some of my favorite memories of all times!

Our family (as in aunts, uncles, and (pictured)cousins) celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve.  For as long as I can remember, we have had Christmas Eve at my house, we have a big dinner then sit around a fire, and open presents from each other.

When I was 4, Santa called me.  This was the time before cell phones so my Uncle went in the other room, dialed the house number and hung up...once my Dad picked up, my Uncle re-picked up the phone and my Dad told me that Santa was on the line and he wanted to speak to me.  We had a lovely little chat and I so vividly remember that wonderful conversation with a man I was so excited about!

Then when I was 16, it seemed to be the Christmas that everything went wrong.  First off, our oven broke so we had to go to a family friends house to finish cooking the ham.  Then as we were passing out presents, the tree toppled over when my cousin bumped into it getting the presents for my aunt and uncle.  Kale had pink eye, so I couldn't get too close to him! Last but not least, the normal Christmas caroling CD we listen to during it started skipping and stopped playing. 

But you know what, when the tree fell down, so did a lot of ornaments...we then as a whole family decorated the tree together, something we had never done.  Then when the CD went out, my uncle put in the Budweiser commercial CD in (the "real American hero ones, heres to you Mr...") as a joke but we ended up sitting and listening to it for 2 whole hours and laughing until we cried...

Its the special moments that make Christmas special to me...I could care less about what I get as presents.  That being said, I hate that Kale seems to miss Christmas a lot.  This will be our 7th Christmas as a couple but we have only gotten to spend 3 together due to deployments and training.  I cant wait until we can make lots of holiday memories together that actually involve us being in the same place and hopefully with a family (not next year since even if I got pregnant right when they get back, we wont have a bambino by the time the holidays roll around)...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Darn you hot glue gun! Ornament Wreath Tutorial...

Call it stupid, or my OCD when things aren't perfect but when I would hot glue something into place and realize a nanosecond later that it wasn't lined up correctly, I would reach and grab the molten glued mass without hesitating...that is, until my brain registered the burning pain then I would, repeat that at least 20 times and you've got what I did last night...

I decided to try my hand at an ornament wreath, Ive read some different tutorials and figured that I could wing it from there so, that I did...

What you need:
- hot glue gun
- ornaments in different sizes
-hanger or thick wire that you can use as the base

* the ornaments I got were from the dollar section in Target, I got 3 tubes of small ones, 4 tubes of medium, and 1 of the BIG bulbs...I didn't use all of them but I was going with a "better safe then sorry" mentality. *

Step One: Fight with Hanger

- Take your hanger and form it into the closest thing that will resemble a circle...I could only manage to get mine into a oval shape, that could be because I am weak and was tired, I would totally make Kale form it next time! Then untwist the top part (I did it by hand, I would suggest pliers).
Step 2: Glue ornaments to the tops
-In order to make sure that the ornaments stay put, I glued the lip/lid/thingy to the ornament bulb.  It made it so then if I put it outside, the wind wont blow the ornament off of the lip that is then glued to the wire...basically, an extra level to preserve your awesomeness....
Step 3: Making the wreath
-Thread the bulbs and glue them, try to position them so that you hide the wire and the glued on bulb tips, this seems easier said then done! It took me QUITE a while to do this so that it looked correctly.  Then I re-twisted the top, bent it so it was a mini loop and covered it with some ribbon to hang it from. (Pictured is the back side)

Step 4: Admire.
- Once your all done and let it dry, hang it up! For some reason it photographs really lopsided looking, but in person it doesn't look like that...
Step 6: Make another for your friend! I used more traditional Christmas colors for hers.

Not too shabby if I do say so myself! Less than $5 per wreath!!! Now to go ice my poor lil burnt finger tips...

Monday, November 29, 2010

So many blogs, so little time...

How the heck did I get lost into "blogger world" for over 3 hours? How!?!? I'll tell you how, its because I am a giant sucker for craft projects!!!!

I spent so much time looking at different fun projects then I would check out different crafty blogs that they referenced and just kept going and going and going! I have so many craft projects written down it isn't even funny..I have recipes, Christmas decor, regular home decor, quick easy crafts, present ideas ranging from Christmas all the way to baby showers, party ideas, etc.  If I would have let myself, I would still be looking!

So many ideas, not enough time!! I hope to get to use some of the amazing tutorials that I discovered in my blogging-ness and will keep you updated on if I do make anything!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake

I don't like pumpkin ::gasp:: i know, so un-American.   In my attempt to make a dessert that I would not pick at all afternoon, I chose pumpkin cheesecake and even for someone who doesn't like pumpkin- this looks amazing!! So not only will I keep my waist line thin, but the single Marines who are stuck in the barracks will get dessert!

I looked at a lot of different pumpkin cheesecake recipes and ended up making my own and according to the empty pan- I say its a hit! Yes, I said pan- as in a throw away pan.  I didn't have a spring form pan like you normally use to make cheesecake so I just used a throw away cake worked fine...

What you need-
Crust: Instead of a normal graham cracker crust- I did a gingersnap crust!
-1 3/4 cup gingersnap crumbs (about 30 cookies)
-6 tablespoons butter, melted
-3 tablespoons brown sugar
-3/4 cup ground pecans
- caramel drizzle

- 3 blocks cream cheese
- 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree (not the pie filling!!)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice (more if you want more pumpkin pie flavor -gag-)
- caramel drizzle 

-whipped cream (homemade or store bought)
-caramel drizzle
- chopped pecans

Making the darn thing...
1. Pre-heat oven to 350
2. Making the crust- ground up gingersnaps (i used a blender because I broke my food processor but if you don't have either, you can smash them up real fine with a rolling pin), grind up pecans, mix ground gingersnaps, pecans, brown sugar and melted butter together until combined.  Press into bottom of pan (whatever kind you are using) and up the sides slightly.  If you want (trust me, you want) drizzle caramel on top of the crust.

Next, onto the filling! I used my kitchenaid mixer- an electric mixer would work just as well...
1. Beat the cream cheese and the white sugar together until combine.  Add the eggs, pureed pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice slowly until incorporated into batter. 
2. Pour over the crust.  If you want (again, you will) add "plops" of caramel then take a fork and swirl it into the batter.  Smooth it all out. The picture is when I was half done smoothing it out...

3. Put cheesecake pan into a water bath (a bigger pan that once the cheesecake pan is in, is filled halfway up with warm water so it will help to keep the cooking of the cheesecake even) and bake for about 60 minutes.  It should just be a lil giggly in the middle when its done.  Put it on a cooling rack until completely cooled then chill in the refrigerator over night...or as long as you can stand it but try for at least 8 hours!

Last but not least- the topping!!
1. Before serving, cover cheesecake with layer of whipped cream.  Drizzle caramel over the top (as much as you want) then sprinkle with pecans!

Because I didn't use a normal cheesecake pan- I ended up with a lot of leftover batter, so I made the crust again in a smaller quantity and made mini cheesecakes...I once again proved to myself that I have the inability to not make a mess when using cupcake tins!

I only baked them for 15 minutes then shut off the oven and prop the door...they were perfect (as Ive been told...)


P.S.- Maybe pumpkin will be on sale since its after thanksgiving but you can totally get away with serving this a whole lot more times then just Thanksgiving! So yummy AND cheap dessert! 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Home Makeover...In the Making!

I have a lot I want to do to our house, I have since we moved in...but this being our first home, we were kind of just living in it and not making it what WE wanted because we always have the thought of "will renters want to live in this?" which now I think is stupid but whatever! 

So after living here for a year and a half, its time to get serious! I need to do some serious makeovers in all of our rooms! Don't get me wrong- we have done SOME things to our house- before I even moved in (Kale was deployed still...I lived here for a month before homecoming), I hired painters because the colors were AWFUL! Even the Realtor couldn't hide her distaste for it! Besides painting though, we haven't done much and even with the painting, it didn't turn out how I wanted it too- paint chips totally lie! They turn out way lighter then the color on the card!

I thought it would be nice to post pics of what the house was, what it looks like "now" (and by now i mean when it was first painted", and write what I want to do to that room! I figure if its in print, I will need to stick to my word! 

Outside: Before- this is the day of closing

Outside after painting: He painted the front door black which really makes it pop and repainted the shutters! Also, not pictured is we took the shrubs out of the front yard and seeded grass since it was just like straight weeds growing...
 Future: I want to paint the scones on the garage black to make those pop more, I also want colorful shrubs/flowers in the small flower beds right in front of the house but because controlling weeds is so difficult, I want it to have a stone overlay so the weeds wont pop up as easily as they do now through the dirt.

Living Room: Before: the color doesn't look *too* bad in the picture but it made the room feel SO tiny...
Living Room after being painted: It looks double the size...I wanted a medium tan color and its really really light tan- almost egg shell color. Ignore the mess please...
Future- because the walls are so light, they show dirt super easily and when you have lots of dirty Marines touching your walls, it ruins them pretty quickly so I want to paint it a darker tan color.  Also, I really want a coffee table, a lazy boy and end tables for this room, and not pictured (i would have been standing right in front of it to take this picture) is the fire place, that needs a mantle.  I think it can be a great "statement wall" but I don't have a clear vision for it yet...Oh and last but not least,  I want the snap together hardwood flooring...that is our top 5 things to do when Kale gets back since he doesn't seem to trust want me to deal with it alone while he is gone.

Kitchen- Before: OMG, it was burned your eyes looking at it....don't stare too long...
Kitchen after painting: This was not the color I envisioned, I even had the painter triple check they gave us the right color...they did, but it looked nothing like the swatch, it photographs even worse though...Oh and do you see that white chunk toward the middle of the floor...that is where Best Buy ripped a chunk of the cheap but I didn't notice until after I had signed the release- the guy was standing on top of the rip so I didn't see it, coincidence? I think not...Also, my loving dog Cujo has made the hole bigger....oh and we replaced the lighting with a white fan/lighting combo that Kale's grandpa installed! flooring
Future: I want to repaint, badly! I think I want a shade of blue but the trick with this is that after the kitchen is a long hallway so whichever color I chose has to be continued down throughout the hallway and even with that green it looks dark so I need to either 1. add brighter lighting to the hallway or 2. pick another lighter color that will not make it look so dark! I also want to get flooring that is more realistic- I would like the fake tiles where you just snap them together but they still feel like the expensive kind! Kale is going to see if his Dad wants to come "visit" aka help install flooring!

Well, those are the big main areas that I really want to re-do...I have smaller projects that need done but most include cleaning/reorganizing! I failed miserably at being motivated enough to do Kale's UK themed guest bathroom but I am going to get it done by the time he comes home, I think I'm actually gonna work on it starting next weekend! This post is so old (see how unmotivated I am was? but its what I want done to the guest bathroom- Kentucky Bathroom

Ill post pictures as we slowly make this house our home...better late then never right?

Friday, November 19, 2010

6 years!

Today- November 19th is 6 years since Kale and I started dating! I was 16, had just gotten my license a few days before- and almost killed both of us with my sucky driving multiple times (I'm better know, I swear...), obviously wasn't looking for anything serious....and now...

Here we are! We have survived high school at rival schools,boot camp, being long distance while I was at college and he was at Camp Lejeune for 2 years, moved in together before we got married, got a puppy, survived 2 deployments, bought a house while he was in Afghanistan, got married, got another puppy, got pregnant, Kale deployed for the 3rd time, lost the baby, and now we are here! I wouldn't want to be any other place...

We started dating during my junior year, his senior year...This is from Kale's high school graduation (all pictures before that aren't on any computers, Ill have to scan some in!), the day before I had gotten a spray tan, and wouldn't you know it even though I followed the directions of the tanning lady perfectly- I CAME OUT was awful....dont laugh too hard...
After graduation, Kale went to a local Penn State campus so he was still in Erie! This is from my senior homecoming dance- I love this picture, its one of my ton 10 of him and I! I wish I was that blond, tan and tiny again!! His sideburns crack me up...he loved having them super long!
Then Kale shipped out  to boot camp a month before my high school graduation...I was so naive then, I had myself all convinced that they would let him leave boot camp and he was gonna surprise me at the ceremony...I know have a big ol' laugh at myself for ever thinking that...but that night I was so devastated that he wasn't there...but a week before heading off to college, he graduated, and I was able to go! Such a great day- but he was SO different then when he left...I was so worried how this was going to affect us! 
1 year, and 1 week later, he deployed...I cried for hours...for days was awful, I made myself miserable!! I learned a lot about myself that deployment....the first is deployment day and the second is homecoming!
After first deployment ended, I had one more semester at UK before I transferred to a college in NC and moved into our first apartment together! We had both never lived "on our own" before- I was always at my parents or a dorm and he was either at his parents or the barracks....Our apartment was a mess for like a month trying to sort it all out!
Then, 6 months later, he deployed, Afghanistan...7 looooong months later he came back! 
Then we got married on July 11, 2009, what an amazing day! 
We re-enlisted for 4 more years in the Marine Corps and Kale committed to doing at least 1 more deployment with his current unit...he left at the end of August...
Well, that's us in the last 6 years! Now if only he could get his butt home so next year when its 7 we have something else to add (cough bump)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

2 weeks down, around 25 to go!

No not of deployment...I would die if I was only 2 weeks down, I'm almost to the 3 month mark actually! But I'm talking about my work outs! My fitness plan...

After my miscarriage, I may have stifled my emotions by shoving any type of food in my mouth at any given time...I had managed not to gain any weight during my actual pregnancy for those 9 weeks but in the 4 weeks after, I managed to gain a couple pounds...I was already above where I wanted to be when I got pregnant so overall...I really hated my body! Exhibit A on the love of food...

So after I got over my food-induced comfort, I decided that I am not gonna sit and wallow with my Ben and Jerry's but I'm gonna get my body into SMOKIN' shape so that when Kale gets home- his jaw WILL drop and he will be dying to make us another baby! 

For the last 2 weeks, I have been going to the gym 6 days out of the week, the few days started a little slow but now that I have my ever wonderful workout buddy- Ive stepped it up! We have tried different classes at the base gym and I found that, for me at least, I work way harder while in a fitness class then when I just work out on my own...I think I might try to take classes 4-5 times a week then my 1-2 other days do it on my own!

The scale says I have lost 4 pounds already...I don't see it anywhere, to me I look exactly the same...I think I will need to wait until I lose some weight in my face for it to be noticeable for me...and I'm an idiot and didn't take before pictures, i weight myself every morning but nope, didn't think to take a picture...I think each month though I will take a bikini picture to see my progress.  I may or may not subject you to see those unsightly pictures for the first few months..

My goal is so that Kale doesn't see many pictures of me until he sees me at homecoming....I know, sounds crazy but I mean like me in tight fitting clothes mostly! Since winter is knocking at our door, it will be easy since I will be bundled up in layers, then early spring is still a little nippy so I think it will be perfect timing for a great reveal! Give or take a couple weeks (since we don't have a homecoming window) I have about 25 to achieve my goal!

You better believe I will be in the cutest, tight, little dress I can find for homecoming! I figure since I cant be 9 months pregnant at homecoming anymore that being as fit as possible is the next best thing!

So, bug the crap out of me, keep me sticking to my plan...I want to update every 2 weeks, maybe once a week through the holidays....keep me honest people!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Crockpot Sala-Blackbean Chicken

I dont have pictures... I suck, Im time I promise...but that being said....follow these directions very carefully...its very difficult to mess this up so mentally prepare yourself! Ready?

1. Dump some salsa- like a lil over a cup into the crock pot.
2. Open and rinse a can of black beans and dump those suckers in the crock pot
3. Plop about a pound of chicken (i use whatever I have on hand- thighs, breasts)
4. Mix it around a little then turn the dial to either low (for 6-8 hours) or high ( 4 hours)
5. EAT IT!

OMG! Its so simple and yummy! There is so much you can do with it...I made this earlier in the week and simply ate the leftovers all week but in different ways! Ive served it over white rice, I shredded it and made nachos with it, I shredded it AGAIN and made tacos, I also have made burritos too....or you could be healthy and serve it over lettuce...

Such a simple go-to meal with a ton of options! Eat it, LOVE it!

Monday, November 15, 2010

2 letters!

I got two letters in the mail...from Kale!!!

If anyone knows Kale- this is a jaw-dropping statement! It was torture at boot camp- not because of all the PT or the crazy guys yelling at you all the time but because he had to ::gasp:: write letters to communicate with me!!

Kale not only has freakishly tiny writing so that when he writes for more then a few sentences his hand start to cramp but his mind goes way quicker then his hand so more times then not he will leave some very important chunks of words out of a sentence so it makes no sense.  Ive gotten to the point in almost 6 years (our 6 years is on Friday!) that I am able to figure out what "I love cook pasta you!" actually means is "I love to cook pasta with you" and that is an easier example...some take me a couple minutes to figure out!

Anyway- he opened the letter with a paragraph about how he TYPED the letter into a word document to correct his spelling and to make sure he had complete sentences an then from that point hand wrote it onto the paper that he sent, all so that I couldn't make fun of him for skipping so many words and all was so funny, I totally would have made fun of him too! He knows me so well..

Its funny how we talk almost every day through email and AIM but getting an actual hand written card (even if I do need a magnifying glass to read the tiny print) is just so amazing!! It totally made my week!!

These letters spurred me to go and find my boot camp letters that he wrote me...I want to put them in like a bound book or something- or at least some of them...

Anyway, YAY! That is my excitement for today!!! I was gonna write about my weekend trip to DC but that will have to wait!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Psh, You're Old!

The Marine Corps that is! Happy 235th Birthday!!!! I feel so blessed to have met some of the most amazing people in the last 5 years and it is all thanks to the Marine Corps! I have people who I can count on in any situation...

I love the fact that not only has my husband been given tons of men that he can call his brothers, but that I can call them family as well.  These guys would do anything to help, in any way they can and I am so blessed to have such an amazing Marine Corps family.  If Kale is at training or deployed, I will have people that are on the remain-behind party call to make sure that I am okay and if I need anything.  Guys who have since gotten out contact me to not only check on Kale but to see how I am doing...its amazing having such a great group of guys who always have my back!

Not only did I gain a ton of brothers, but the amount of sisters that I have is truly remarkable.  I'm on an online forum of Marine isnt the normal catty, rude, fighting over everything forum that seems to be the "norm" these days...I can truly say that I am in the company of amazing women when I am on there.  A while back I posted about my friend Chrissy who's boyfriend was killed in Afghanistan...she is apart of the forum I belong to and the response that occurred afterwords from the members really cemented the fact that we truly are sisters.  I cant imagine navigating the Marine Corps without them...I know that no matter what I need, I will have someone there to help. 
I dont always love the Marine Corps but I will always love what they gave me- a family.  Happy Birthday Marine Corps- 235 years and you are still as great as ever!!! 

I am proud to be a Marine Wife! Semper Fi!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Some of my time-tested, me-approved rules

In one of my first blogs I mentioned how I have "rules" that I follow during deployment, and I thought I would share them with you!

Now, I'm no expert and I am only speaking of what is best for ME, during deployment...everyone has their "rules" that they follow, some will work for others while some wont....Don't be upset if I say something that you disagree with because they are MY rules for MY deployment....

1. As much as they want too, your family will not understand! If I am having a horrible day, I pick up and call a military friend, not my family.  I know my family will always support me and is there for me...but they don't understand what it is like...So, I don't talk to them about the emotional side of the deployment, its just easier and less explaining as opposed to calling a friend saying "its one of those days" and all I get is "I completely understand, I'm coming over with the margaritas!" I love my family, but there are just some things that no matter how hard they try, they wont understand.

2. Based on how many months he is gone, I get 1 day per month to throw a pity party for myself.  So, last deployment Kale was gone 7 month- I allowed myself 7 days to lay in bed and throw a full blown "my life sucks" day...I could use them whenever I wanted but once I reached 7 days, no more! I used 3 in the first month last time, mainly because I was super stressed with finals as well.  After that, I didn't use another...I kept "saving" them for when I would need them later in the deployment but never did...Knowing that I only had a limited number of allowed days to be miserable really made me think about how bad my life really was, and most of the time, I would realize I was just being dramatic.  

3. Have a family! I had a group of girls that I saw about every other day.  We would go work out together, go out to eat, make dinner for each other, just go watch a movie at someone's house, etc.  We were each others family.  I felt so much support that the time FLEW I make it a must to keep my military friends close during deployment so that they can become that extra family that we all need.  

4. Never let them see you sweat- I have had multiple people come up to me throughout deployments and say "You are always smiling!", and that's because I am! Misery loves company...but its the wrong kind of company.  If you are smiling, you are going to encourage others to smile and its contagious! If I was at a unit event, I wouldn't sit there and complain about the deployment, I would talk about the positive stuff that I had done recently.  Even if I was in a bad mood, putting a smile on your face, even if it is fake, will eventually turn into a real smile...FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT! 

5. EAT! Pretty self explanatory, but I love cooking for Kale so much that when he is gone, I don't really feel the need to cook, which results in me not really eating.  I would go all day without eating anything then at 11pm I would be starving and makes me happy...thus, I need to force myself to eat meals, even if they are small! Although I much more enjoy cooking for Kale, actually taking time to prepare a meal for myself is still pretty is a relaxing thing for me to do so when I do force myself to cook, I'm usually happier because of it!

6. Get out of the house!! I cant just sit in my house all day, I would go crazy, especially when there is no one coming home at the end of the I make sure I get out and do something.  I look forward to different classes to take at the gym, get together with friends, anything that keeps me looking forward to the day does the trick! My puppies also love the walks they get taken on too!!

7. Embrace Holidays- Holidays without your significant others can really suck, both deployments that Kale has done have revolved around him being gone for the big holidays -Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years.  And, this deployment isn't any instead of dreading them, I do thinks that make them exciting! For Thanksgiving, I don't go to my parents house, instead I have a pot luck with all the other wives.  Who ever hosts cooks the turkey (with lots of advice from the other wives since it is usually who ever hosts first time cooking one!) and everyone else brings the traditional fixings...then we dig in and enjoy each removes the stress of traveling, which for me would be a 12 hour drive both ways! Christmas I take joy in creating AWESOME care packages for Kale and love knowing that he gets joy after opening that package.  

Just yesterday I spent all day baking for the care package! I think I'm gonna make a post of different packages that Ive made later on....

8. I finish each phone call with "See you soon", because after saying it a couple dozen hundred times, you actually start to believe it! I don't care if it is day 1 of deployment or the day of homecoming, as we say goodbye I always say "see you soon" because its a reminder that this deployment WILL end, it wont go on forever, I promise...

So those are some "rules" that I live by...its things that keep me sane during deployment....and as we all know, adding sanity into a deployment is a much needed added bonus!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

How are you?

Ive gotten that a lot lately, and although i know they mean well and are making sure that Im okay because after all- miscarrying is difficult, miscarrying while your husband is deployed is even harder, 99% of the time- Im telling them a lie.  "Oh Im fine" comes out of my mouth all the time...but I dont quite believe it.

One of my "guilty pleasure" shows that I love watching is Guilianna and Bill, they always crack me up.  This season though, is them dealing with a miscarriage.  Although it makes me really sad to watch it, at the same time, it also helps.  This weeks episode actually really helped me and Im so glad I tuned in (it airs at 11pm, way past my bed time!)...

I had been feeling pretty alone.  Kale is all about moving on, looking into the future, not dwelling on what happened but rather looking forward to another pregnancy, another chance to be parents.  He is so motivated toward the future, I feel left in the dust...Im still stuck.  Im stuck in the past, its been 5 weeks since the miscarriage but it feels like 5 minutes.  It still hurts just as bad as it did that day- not physically but emotionally.  im not crying at a drop of a hat anymore but I think thats a mixture of my hormone levels being back to under control and the fact that I just hide it and save it for later.

I am always a happy person, I dont know if I had been raised that way or if I taught it to myself but either way- I am always happy, at least on the outside...I dont like when people are upset for me, it makes me feel bad because someone, somewhere, has it worse then I do.  So, i fake it, a lot...I catch myself staring off every once and a while and hope that no one noticed but me but for the most part- I have a smile on my face and am just chit chatting like nothing ever happened...Heck, I even made a facebook status of how nice of a time I had in Vegas with my Dad- was that true? Kind of- I enjoyed Vegas with him very much, until I started miscarrying then it turned it into a total nightmare of a trip but I knew that my Dad felt bad enough that me publicly acknowledging how nice it was for him to take him would make him feel less guilty...Its just how I am, I would rather other people be happy and feel okay even if its at the expense of how I feel.  I dont want people to feel uncomfortable around me because Im being a giant downer, I'd rather just be a giant downer in my head and a happy person to the world...

Anyway, I got kind of off track there but back to the show...Bill was doing the same thing that Kale was- focusing on the future...while G was just like me- focusing on what went wrong, what could she have done, why did this happen to them...It was exactly Kale and I, it made me feel not so alone...Guys just deal with things different and its hard to accept that...Its funny how silly reality TV shows can truly change your outlook on situations.  I dont feel as much as a crazy person for not healing as quick as Kale is, its different for everyone and as much as I would like to be looking to the future right not, Im just not ready to embrace it yet.

I really look forward to the day where I can either answer truthfully to the infamous question "How are you" -"Im crappy, I hate what Im going through, its just not fair and I dont understand it" or even more that my "go to" answer of "Im fine" really is the truth...

I know it will happen one day, but until then I need to just keep working on being able to open up more about my true feelings.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cake in a jar! Take 2!!

So my first attempt at making cake in a jar was a total fail...I blame my inability to follow directions...but my second attempt was a success (well, more of a success then last still hasn't made it to Kale so we will see....)

Anyway, some people are probably wondering what the heck I am talking about...well, I'm talking about cake in a jar people!!! That's right, you bake cake in a jar...then you seal it with the lids so it has a long shelf life! Sounds not at all...its actually really easy! 

Step 1: Gather could make it from scratch but there was a sale on the cake mix for .80 a box, I couldn't pass that up! So since this is for his Thanksgiving care package, I did a spice cake! Then you just follow the other ingredients on the back- I needed oil, water, and eggs! I thought it would be 4 jars, but it was actually enough for 5...

Step 2: Mix it all together! On a side note- I'm obsessed with my mixer! Yes, I could have easily beat the batter by hand but this is just too much fun to use! I even have the paddle that scrapes down the sides while it rotates so it mixes bridal shower present!!
 Step 3a: Pour batter into jars, about half way- any higher then they will rise above the rim and then you wont be able to seal them.
 Step 3b: While pouring into jars, get cake batter all over your counter and mixer...then once you made a giant mess, whip it up, and while you are at it, whip the outside of the jars clean if you got batter on them, its a lot easier to get the liquid batter off then when its cooked...
 Step 4a: Bake them! I baked mine at 350 degrees for 45 minutes
 Step 4b: While the jars are in the oven, boil the lids and screw-on cap thingys...I just put enough water so it was just covered.
 Step 4c: Stare intently at the jars, I was so amused by them! One thing that I did realize was that the recipe I had called for them to bake for an hour but I found that at 45 minutes they were done...
 Step 5: Once done, take one out and put the lid on, repeat with all the jars.  I placed mine on a cooling rack since they say as they cool and seal you will hear a "ping" and I was impatient so I thought I would speed along the cooling process...I only heard 1 ping but couldn't tell which one it was so as I lightly touched the tops to see which one had sealed, all the other ones "pinged" and sealed properly...
And there you have it! Cake in a jar!! After they cooled all the way, I wrapped them in fall print tissue paper and lined them with softer treats as padding (rice krispies and granola bars) then added store-bought icing to the package (do not frost cakes yourself! They will go bad!), I found Pillsbury cream cheese frosting so I went with that since it sounded like a good topping for spice cake and then shipped them off...Ill update with a taste report after Kale gets them (mail has been taking about a month...)

Oh, and I know some of you are had 5 jars, only 4 are shown at the bottom...yeah, I got sue me! It was delicious!!!!!! 

Oh and my mistakes for the 1st time I made them include- not boiling the lids so they didn't seal properly, and just the look of the 1st ones grossed me out...I made funfetti ones and even from right out of the oven, because of the colors- it just looked like little mold spots ALL over...not the most appetizing thing to open on your birthday in Afghanistan (sorry Jordan!)