Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ready for Christmas

I am ready for Christmas to get here this year, more than ever.  It means getting quality time with my husband and to have our little "family" together again for a couple weeks, as well as getting to see family of ours that we don't get to see as much of as we'd like to.

I'm always one who looks forward to this time of year, but this year it's even more special.  To celebrate, I decided tonight to go ahead and put up my little 3-foot Christmas tree.

The hubby loves real trees in the house, but unfortunately it's a little difficult for me to obtain and setup a 7-foot fir on all on my own this year, so I decided to go ahead and break out my old little tree.  Now I just hope that the pups and our cat don't decide to eat the tree during the night while I'm asleep!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thankful for Time

For Thanksgiving this year, I'm thankful to be married to my best friend and to have had the opportunity to spend the last four days with him.  It was absolutely wonderful to be able to get all of that time with him and do things at our own schedule, not having to worry about returning him to base until it was time for me to head to the airport to catch my plane home.

We had our Thanksgiving meal at the dining facility on base, which wasn't half bad by any means.  And you could tell that the workers there are used to feeding hungry soldiers every day as the amount of food on my plate could have easily lasted me for about two or three meals.  Thankfully my husband was still hungry after eating all of his and finished off my plate as well so none of it went to waste.  He showed me around base, and most of the time I felt like I was just driving around in circles with how the roads all wind around and intertwine with each other (though by yesterday I had finally learned my way around enough to be able to find my way to the PX, commissary, and his barracks from the starting point of the main gate without him having to tell me where to turn).  We then spent most of our time hanging out in our hotel room, out shopping at various malls and stores, and filling our stomachs full with lots of yummy food that neither of us had really eaten in a while to the point of wanting to pass out from food-induced comas.

I sure did love hearing him say how much happier he was and how much better his days were by having me there with him.  I don't think either of us would have traded that time together for anything.  We've now got just over three weeks until we're together again, but this time it will be for two straight weeks.  Let the countdown to his Christmas leave begin!

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Loss of a Legend

The Bulldog Nation lost a great one last night with the passing of our legendary former announcer, Larry Munson.  He was an unapologetic Bulldog fan who threw objective play calling to the wind, and opted to call it as he saw it.  He was generally pessimistic in his calling of our games, except for the moments when amazing plays were made and points were scored, at which times his noted and widely quoted remarks would become forever etched in the minds of the Bulldog faithful.  You will forever be missed Larry!
"Glory glory to old Georgia.  Heroes have graced the field before you, men with the hearts, bodies, and minds of which the entire bulldog nation can be justifiably proud.  A tradition of unbridled excellence demonstrated by these individuals and many others spans more than a full century.  And now a new breed of bulldog stands ready to take the field of battle; to assume the reigns of their Georgia forbearers and continue that tradition understanding that there is no tradition more worth of envy, no institution worthy of such loyalty, as the University of Georgia.  As we prepare for another meeting between the hedges, let all the bulldog faithful rally behind the men who now wear the red and black with two words.  Two simple words, which express the sentiments of the entire bulldog nation: GO DAWGS!" – Larry Munson

Friday, November 18, 2011

Is Everything Really Bigger in Texas?

I've heard from many other spouses who have been through this before that typically you do not find out where you will be stationed until towards the end of AIT, often times just a week or two before graduation.  So you can imagine my surprise when my husband's company all found out this week the duty stations they're all assigned to once they graduate in March.  Well, at least their assignments as of now -- nothing is definite until you have paper orders in hand, so it could easily change at some point over the next four months.

When he created his "wish list" during reception, he got to select one stateside location and three overseas.  For stateside, we were hoping for a base in the Virginia/DC/Maryland area so we'd be near some family that we're close to but don't get to see as much as we'd like, as well as to have greater job/grad school prospects for me, so he selected one of the bases in that region as his one stateside pick.  For overseas, he selected Germany, Italy, and Japan.  We were really hoping to get Germany or Italy, because we think that would just be an amazing experience to get to live in Europe for a few years (especially while we don't have children yet).  We also figured we would have greater odds of getting overseas since he was asked to select so many more of them compared to stateside.

As of now, it looks like we're heading to Texas!  We're a little disappointed we didn't receive something on the official wish list (or even something on our personal extended wish list like Fort Lewis in Washington, or Fort Carson in Colorado), but we still feel pretty good about getting the base we've been assigned.  Out of the three Army bases in Texas, it's certainly the best one.  And we'll be right in a major city with a lot to do and see.  Plus there's always the huge plus that my husband feels good about the unit he's assigned to and that he'll actually be able to do the job he's training for, rather than being assigned to some random infantry unit like is common with others in his MOS.  The planner in me certainly finds comfort in learning this so early on, but then there's still the discomfort of knowing that this could easily change.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Not Soon Enough

While overall this past month since I last saw the hubby has been easier than the two and half months he was in basic, I've had a bit of a difficult time these last several days.  At first I thought my kind of down and out and just overall bad mood that I woke up with Saturday morning was due to womanly hormones mixed with having to drive a couple counties over for the day for a dinner I was told I "must attend" but didn't care to be at.  But when it continued for all of yesterday and through to this morning and tearing up while making my morning coffee, I accepted the fact that I have entered a bit of a depressed state.  I'm trying my best to think positively and keep myself busy in hopes of pulling myself up, but it's been hard.

One thing that I've found today that is helping with this melancholy is the Train inspired station I've created on Pandora to listen to while at work... Train, Matt Nathanson, Michael Buble, Anna Nalick, and more wonderful voices to serenade me all day helps make for a happier me!  All I need is for Thanksgiving to get here so I can have four glorious days to spend with my husband.  A week and a half just seems to be too far away still.  I'm just glad that the hubby received a good pick-me-up on Friday in the form of a surprise off-base pass for volunteering to march in the Veteran's Day parade and got to enjoy hitting up the mall and Best Buy, eating out at Chili's, and wearing regular civilian clothes for the first time in over three months.  He really needed that day and the sense of normalcy it gave.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

'Tis the Season for Pumpkin

Every year when fall rolls in and the holidays near, my desire to bake heightens.  I especially love trying new recipes at this time, perhaps possibly due to the fact that stores discount many of my favorite, and sometimes pricier, baking supplies.  I'm super excited about the new Publix ad that starts today that has Ocean Spray Craisins on sale B1G1 so I can pick up a few bags at half-price for this awesome Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chip cookie recipe of mine that is perfect for Christmas-time.  Coupons for baking items also tend to increase during this time of year (for example, I just found out about a coupon for 50¢ off any Gold Medal flour product, which means much cheaper flour once it doubles up to $1 off).

This weekend I attempted two recipes I've been wanting to try for a little while and combine them into one tasty treat.  I LOVE pumpkin in baked goods and have had many pumpkin cupcake recipes sitting on a shelf just waiting to be tested for some time and decided to just go for it after my awesome trip to Publix on Sunday.  While I do enjoy creating baked goods from scratch, I am not opposed to using cake mixes for simplicity's sake.  I found the recipe for this cake from Kraft Foods and decided to use just the cake portion of the recipe as I wanted to try my hand at a different icing recipe.