Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Happy Administrative Professionals Day

Today is administrative professionals day, which means it's "my" day at work.  Where I work, you're either faculty, a researcher, custodial staff, or one of thousands of administrative professional staff.  Given that there are over 10,000 employees at the university, nothing is really done on a large scale to recognize all of us who work behind the scenes to keep this place running day-in and day-out, other than the hosting of a workshop & luncheon that you have to pay over $100 to attend.

Thankfully my department head in the current department I work for recognizes all of the work we do here in the office and likes to show his appreciation.  If it wasn't for us, people wouldn't get paid, wouldn't be able to hire new employees to assist with their research, wouldn't get reimbursed for travel expenses, wouldn't have a simpler process for purchasing supplies & equipment, wouldn't have easy access to technical support, and wouldn't have students in their programs to advise & teach.  Each year, he shuts down the office for about 1.5-2 hours and takes us all out to lunch (or gives us his credit card to treat ourselves if his schedule won't permit him to join us).  Last year we opted to go to an all-you-can-eat Asian buffet & hibachi restaurant.  This year I believe we have decided to go with Olive Garden.  Those yummy breadsticks are already calling my name!

To all of the other administrative professionals out there, I hope you enjoy your day!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Project 52: Week 13

Week 13 Theme: Blue

Blue is my favorite color, which is why I selected it to be my first color-themed week for my year-long project.

 1) My church, 2) A care package, 3) Bag holder on my dog's leash, 4) Bright blue spring sky

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Project 52: Week 12

Week 12 Theme: Technology

Technology is something that I really love, though it is scary to think about what life was like before all of these modern conveniences and how reliant we are on them today.  But I am thankful to be old enough to remember how things were before I ever owned a computer or a cell phone -- both of which were purchased my senior year of high school to have for when I went to college.


While there are certainly downfalls to the effects that technology has had on our lives as far as less personal communication/interaction with others, it will be a lifesaver when it comes to this deployment!  One thing's for sure, hubby and I are going to be getting our money's worth out of our stock of Apple products (yes, I own a MacBook Pro, iPad, and iPhone, as hubby does too... I admit, I have an Apple addiction) and will be using them to FaceTime with each other like crazy whenever he's got wi-fi access.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

And Just Like That...

He's gone.

Deployment #1 has officially begun.  And it started a week early, might I add.

The Friday of Easter weekend, hubby found out that his pre-deployment training would be wrapping up earlier than expected, though he didn't know what exactly that meant for his deployment date.  Then Wednesday morning I received a phone call from hubby telling me he'd be leaving a week earlier than expected.  I immediately dropping everything at work to go spend his last couple days in the states with him, and before I knew it we were saying our goodbyes.

Overall I'm just feeling kind of numb at the moment as the reality of everything sinks in.  It's just weird to think that he's currently half-way across the world, while I'm sitting at home, back to the same "normal" life that I've been living ever since he first left over 8 months ago to begin basic training.  It's different now though, because now he's no longer just several hours (or several states) away, in the protective little bubble of a stateside Army base.  Thankfully I have a laundry list of items I need to take care of around the house in order to keep myself occupied for a little while right here during the beginning, though I know soon I will likely run out of distractions.

One fun item on my to-do list during his deployment is to finally take the cake decorating class I've been wanting to do for some time now but have never been able to work into my schedule.  I also have plans to get this house more organized than I ever thought possible, in addition to doing a little redecorating work on some rooms.  Then there's also things like finish reading The Hunger Games series (I just started book 2, Catching Fire, this weekend) and finally attempting to cook/bake lots of the yummy recipes I've stockpiled on Pinterest :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter Weekend

For our time together this weekend, hubby and I decided to drive up to Virginia to visit with his step-mom and brother & sister for Easter.  We always enjoy spending time with them and had been looking forward to this weekend ever since we made the arrangements for it.

We enjoyed some quality time with hubby's brother and our future sister-in-law after getting into town late Friday night, spent Saturday morning walking around their college campus with his sister, and then joined up at lunch time with the rest of the family, to also include hubby's step-mom and her boyfriend (hubby's dad and step-mom are no longer together, but she's been such a good mother to him for the majority of hubby's life that there's no way he'd let the fact that she's not with his dad anymore ruin their relationship -- she's also honestly been a better mother to me in the 4.5 years I've known her than my actual mother has been in the 28 years I've known her).  Saturday included a lot of eating, drinking, and floating around to various places around town having a good time socializing and spending quality time together and enjoying ourselves.

For Easter Sunday we went to church and then headed to a winery about an hour away in the Virginia mountains for a nice brunch, where we all ate way more than we should have.  But it was oh so tasty!

We had a really great time and loved our weekend with family.  Other than some drama we were facing with my parents, the only real damper that was placed on the weekend is the fact that it might have been hubby's and my last weekend together before he deploys, as he found out on Friday that he could be leaving much earlier than originally expected.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Project 52: Week 11

Week 11 Theme: Anniversary

As the celebration of our anniversary didn't exactly lend itself to the taking of many pictures, this week's Project 52 selection is a little slimmer.

While tradition is that you are supposed to eat the top tier of your wedding cake on your first anniversary, hubby and I decided to do things our own way and instead actually ate the top tier of our cake together at home right after our wedding.  We had decided we thoroughly wanted to enjoy our anniversary cake and decided to get the top tier of our cake replicated.  Our actual wedding cake top tier looked better than this one (better decorated and also wasn't leaning due to shifting on a 5 hour car ride), but it tasted exactly the same!

When hubby and I got married last year, it was a rather small ceremony/celebration with about 25 guests that we planned fairly quickly because we found the perfect date that we just loved and didn't want to wait any longer in order to get our "dream" wedding.

Quick story about our April Fool's Day wedding date: I had always wanted a springtime wedding, sometime between mid-March and mid-May.  We had then decided when we first started talking about getting married a couple years ago that we wanted a Friday wedding.  Then one of my old co-workers had told me about a friend of hers who had a surprise wedding the evening of what was supposed to be an engagement party, because she and her guy didn't want to wait and deal with the whole planning ordeal and the headaches that often come.  I thought that was a great idea that hubby and I actually toyed around with for a little while, for simplicity's sake.  Then another co-worker of mine noticed that April Fool's Day was going to be on a Friday last year and suggested that date knowing my husband's love of humor and jokes.  I suggested the idea to my hubby, and he LOVED it.  Originally we were hoping to do the whole big traditional wedding on this day, but after some tough times with his job situation at the time, we couldn't move forward with our plans for the North Georgia vineyard wedding we had wanted.  In January of last year we began talking more seriously about how we didn't want to wait any longer and didn't want to lose this perfect date, so we decided to just go for it and planned our small, intimate ceremony.  Several people thought we were trying to pull an April Fool's Day joke until they saw that we actually went through with it, which we found hilarious.

Since it was so small and quickly arranged, we never created a registry, as we asked people's gifts to us simply be their presence in helping us to celebrate this special day.  Well, a year later we now have a registry thanks to my step-mother-in-law who insisted that she wanted to buy us some nice china or other nice registry type item for our anniversary, and coerced us into creating a full registry after about two weeks of persistence and not wanting to listen when we told her that we don't need anything.  After we created a small registry at Macy's, she immediately made a purchase, and then sent an email to the rest of my husband's side of the family with a link to our registry.  Over the span of two weeks, we received many gifts and my spare bedroom now looks like a department store threw up in it.  So now one of my first big projects to tackle when hubby heads out and I'm no longer running around like crazy and heading out of town each weekend will be to incorporate all of these items into my kitchen and get rid of a lot of our old mismatched items that we still own from our college days.

Friday, April 6, 2012

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #70

Linked up @ Wife of a Sailor

1. What's one thing in the past month you would have changed?  I would have taken my car elsewhere for its scheduled maintenance service last week in hopes that I wouldn't keep getting the run around from the guys in the service department -- yesterday marked the 4th time in the past week I had been in to see them.  Went last week for my scheduled inspection, and then had to go back in on Monday because my service engine light came on when hubby and I were driving around this weekend, then scheduled an appointment for Wednesday to have them fix what they didn't catch during last week's inspection, and then went back again on Thursday so they could fix the de-programming they did to some of the on board computer features that display on my instrument panel (i.e. read outs for outside temp, miles left on my gas tank, mpg, etc.) when they reset my service engine light.  I'm just thankful we're getting this all ironed out before hubby leaves so he can at least call up the service department and chew them a new one when they screw things up.

2. What was your favorite thing that happened in March?  Other than getting time with my husband myself, seeing the reaction of our two dogs when they got to see him again last week for the first time in three months.  The look of excitement in their faces was just priceless.

3. Check your phone... who was the last person you called and what is your favorite thing about them?  Shouldn't be much of a shocker here, but the last person I called was my husband.  I love just about everything about him!  I guess some of my favorite things are how he knows exactly what to do to cheer me up when I'm down, how he's the kind of person who has never met a stranger (helps to offset my shyness around new people), and just how protective he is of me and likes to make sure I'm taken care of.

4. If you were a crayon, what color would you be and why?  Some shade of blue, probably because it's my favorite color.  I just love how calming it is.

5. What are you looking forward to in April?  My husband finally beginning his deployment -- the sooner it begins, the sooner it will end, which means the sooner we'll finally be reunited and living together again.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Project 52: Week 10

Week 10 Theme: Sleep

This week's Project 52 pictures are brought to you by Comfort Inn.  While my loved ones were busy snoozing on Friday night & Saturday morning, I was having fun playing with the cameras on my phone and iPad to snap some pics without their knowledge :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

One Year

Yesterday was hubby's and my one year wedding anniversary (yep, April Fool's Day).  While it has sucked to no end having to spend 2/3 of the year away from him, it has still be great being his wife throughout this time.

I went to see him this weekend now that he's only a 5-hour car ride away from me for a few weeks before deploying.  Our two dogs came with me on the drive so they could see daddy before he leaves, and their reactions when they saw him were priceless!  We were expecting a big reaction out of them when hubby came home for Christmas, however while they were happy they definitely weren't over the top excited.  Well, this time around we got the reaction we had been looking for then.  When hubby got into the car, Kiba immediately jumped up into the front seat and made her way into his lap, while Saki tried to leap over hubby's shoulder and just started licking the side of his face.  They were beyond ecstatic to see their daddy again for the first time in three months.

As a whole, we kept our anniversary weekend pretty low key.  We had planned on going to a pet-friendly family 5k walk/run on base Saturday morning, but upon waking up we discovered it was raining fairly steadily outside and decide to nix that idea.  Not only did we not want to have two wet pups to deal with, but we also didn't care to deal with that whole mess ourselves either.  Instead we opted for running some errands at the PX, picking up some yummy Chick-fil-a for lunch, and then went to see The Hunger Games.

We both started hearing a lot of buzz about the books around Christmas, and then when all of the hype about the movie release began we both became rather curious about the series.  Hubby nabbed some copies of the e-book version of the series for us to start reading, and then we decided to go ahead and see the movie this weekend (even though we were both only about 5 chapters into the first book).  We really liked the movie and are now super excited to finish reading the book (along with the rest of the series), since the book is always better than the movie.

For our anniversary dinner, we kept it casual and tried a local brewery & chophouse restaurant in town that many people had recommended.  We didn't receive the best service by any means, but the food was all really good.  Hubby got a nice filet that he said was seasoned & cooked perfectly, and I got a lobster mac & cheese dish that was heavenly!  It was made with an asiago & brie cream sauce, mixed with lobster, bacon, & grape tomatoes, and topped with panko breadcrumbs & parmesan.  OMG I could eat that dish every day!  We then headed back to our room where some cake and wine were waiting for us.  Instead of saving the top tier of our wedding cake, we decided to go ahead and eat it last year and then have a replica made to eat this year for our anniversary so it would be nice and fresh.  So we both enjoyed a couple slices of the cake along with a bottle of sparkling wine we had saved from our wedding to have on this occasion.

It definitely wasn't a super exciting weekend or anything, but as always it was nice to have the time together.  And I'm heading back his way this weekend to pick him up before ultimately ending up in Virginia for a couple days to see some of his family, which we're both really looking forward to (these are my awesome in-laws who have always been very supportive of us with everything we've ever done).