Sunday, August 29, 2010

I Haven't Disappeared....

There are so many different things going on right now and I just don't have time for it all. I have to pack and clean the house, say goodbye to our friends, get all of our records that can only be gotten here like Aiden's birth certificate, plan a going away, etc.

We still don't have a definite place to live yet. As of right now we are going back to Texas, but Ethan has informed me that that could change up until the last minute. We will be staying with my mom until we can figure out what's happening next. If Ethan gets into the AR then we will only be there for like 2 months, if's gonna be longer and then we'll find an apartment.

Our house is slowly starting to go from a home to a pile of boxes. It makes me sad to see the boxes in the corner with Aiden's toys all around. It's like time is moving backwards.When we moved to North Carolina it was just Ethan and I. This is the only home Aiden has ever known. It's weird to me to be leaving, even though I know it's what happens with the military.

I won't be posting as much until we get settled at my mom's house in Texas. I haven't left and I'll definitely be posting about that insane move that's about to take place with myself, two toddlers, a lazy brother-in-law, my bestie, and my husband. A 26 foot moving truck and a compact car with me and Ethan as the only's gonna be interesting.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Random Thoughts Between My Crazy/Obsessive Cleaning

1. I can't remember the last time I ate meat. It's been at least two weeks and I have to say, I'm very proud of myself. I can feel that my body is more energized and I feel.....lighter. Plus I think the stress is making me lose weight. Haha oops!

2. Ethan is about 2 weeks away from his EAS and we still don't know where we're going yet, but housing has told us that we have to be out 2 days before his EAS....we got screwed a little?

3. I tried on my ball gowns on yesterday for the first time since my surgery and they don't fit. I can't believe how much my body has changed. It is amazing to me and makes me feel so good.

4. I hosted my first baby shower this weekend. It completely poured the whole time, but it was fun and my friend was super happy. I surprised her by getting her family involved from 1,900 miles away. She cried :-) I also made my first diaper cake. What do you think? For my first one ever I think it looks pretty decent.
don't mind the messy table...

5. It doesn't matter how clean your house is, when you're packing and getting ready for an inspection at the same time it all of a sudden becomes the grossest house in the neighborhood and all your thoughts rest on getting the house spotless so you don't get charged $250 for a "dirty" house.

6. I definitely cried for 20 minutes today after I packed up Aiden's baby stuff I've been saving. All of the baby shower cards, his first outfit he ever wore, his going home outfit, his first Halloween costume, my favorite little onesies he always wore....he's growing up too fast. I feel like I missed half of his newborn days during my PPD. Where did the time go? When did my angel get so big?

2 1/2 weeks old

2 1/2 years old

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Vegetarian Wednesday - Gotta Love A Philly!

I have to say that I am not much of a mushroom lover. I usually tend to find mushrooms slimy and that really throws my taste off. However, Ethan LOVES mushrooms. He puts them on everything. It's because of his love for mushrooms that I found this recipe on the internet.

I wearily made them, all prepared to end up eating a bowl of soup or something once they were cooked and I deemed them not for me. Oh how I was wrong. I couldn't even taste the "mushroominess" at all. In fact if there had been more, I might have even made a second sandwich for myself. Monster ate half of his own sandwich, and Ethan's brother, Isaac, doesn't like onions, bell pepper, or mushrooms and he still found it quite tasty. Yeah they are that good!  AND I forgot to add the spices, so they are normally even better.

If you end up making these let me know what you think of them. Now that I have the method down I'm definitely going to be putting my own spin on them.

Portobello "Philly Cheesesteak" Sandwiches:
2 tsp    extra virgin olive oil
4 lg    portobello mushrooms - stems and gills removed, sliced
1 lg    red bell pepper - thinly sliced
1/2    onion - thinly sliced
2 cloves    garlic - minced
2 tsp    dried oregano
1/2 tsp    fresh ground black pepper
1 Tbsp    all-purpose flour
1/4 c.    veggie broth
1 Tbsp    soy sauce
4-5 slices    provolone cheese - thinly sliced
4    sub rolls - split and toasted

- Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion  and garlic and cook, stirring often, until soft and beginning to brown, 2-3 minutes. Add mushrooms, bell pepper, oregano, and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are wilted and soft, about 7 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low; sprinkle the vegetables with flour, and stir to coat. Stir in broth and soy sauce; bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat, lay cheese slices on top of the veggies, cover and let stand until melted 1-2 minutes.
- Divide the mixture into 4 portions with a spatula, leaving the melted cheese layer on top. Scoop a portion onto each toasted bun, and serve immediately.

It's always easier to pre-slice everything before you start cooking

Kind of dark cause my kitchen, well sucks.


My First Blog Award!

I woke up from an unexpected nap to an unexpected first award!!

Here are the rules for the award:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
Thank you so much Long Distance Love for my first award! I'm your newest follower and I look forward to reading more about you :-)

2. Share 7 things about yourself.
♥   I used to fluent in Spanish, but since I moved to NC I've lost a lot of it.
♥  I almost never wear make up. I come from a hippie city and my mom is legally blind so I never really learned how to put it on.
♥  I love to sing! My husband wants me to go on American Idol, but I think the show is rigged so I never will.
♥  I like the way linens smell when they've been in the closet or a drawer for a while.
♥  I used to want two sets of twins when I was little so that I could have 4 kids, but only have to give birth twice....Since having a kid myself I've changed my mind :-)
♥  I don't like anything orange flavored except for tic tacs and Sunny D.
♥  I love all things vintage and I have an obsession for classic pin-up models.

3. Pass the award to 9 fellow bloggers who inspire you.

4. Let them know about the award.  

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Life Letter #11
"A deceased person you wish you could talk to"

To My Favorite Grandpa -

It has been almost 7 years since you passed away, but I still remember that day. I remember the way you looked so shrunken from the cancer and yellow from your liver failing while you laid in the bed I saw you reading and sleeping in since I can remember. I remember everyone was whispering and holding each other close. I remember walking into your room and telling you goodbye one last time. I remember the awful rattling sound as you took your last breath. I was 13 years old and I had never seen a dead body before, and I remember that I couldn't stay in the house after you had passed.

You were the rough Grandpa that spoiled me because I was the only girl. You had three sons who had only boys. I don't think you really knew what to do with me, but I know that you loved me. I wish you could have seen me grow up, watched me become the woman I am today. I wish we had had more time.

I wish you could have been there on my wedding day. It would've been so wonderful to see you sitting with Nana as Daddy walked me down the aisle and gave me away. Ethan is a Marine, like you. I hope that makes you happy. He's a good man, like you too. I hope that makes you smile. I can't wait to have at least 42 happy years of marriage, like you and Nana did.

I have a little boy now, Grandpa. He is the most wonderful gift God has ever given me. He is smart and funny. He likes to laugh and tell ridiculous jokes that only he understands. He is very outgoing like I was when I was little. He looks just like his Daddy, but his reactions towards things remind me of myself.

The three of us went to visit your grave when we were in Sabinal before Ethan deployed last year. I knelt down and touch your headstone and I let the tears come. I saw Aiden walking around the plot with Ethan following him around while I had a moment to myself and my memories, and all I could think about was that I hope you were watching us. I hope you can see how well I've done for myself. I hope you can see how much I've grown and changed. I hope you're so proud of me.

I love you so much.

Until we meet in heaven,

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Vegetarian Wednesday - It's A Pizza!

So I'm going to start trying really hard to remember to start taking pictures of the food while I'm making it, or at least before it is eaten, so that you can see how delicious this stuff is. This pizza recipe can be either vegetarian or not, depending on your preference.

Spinach Alfredo:
2/3-1 c.    roasted red pepper alfredo sauce
25-30 leaves    fresh spinach
1/4-1/2 c.    shredded mozzerella cheese
1/4-1/2 c.    shredded Italian blend or Parmesan cheese
1/2-1 tsp    minced garlic
1/2-1 tsp    onion powder
1/4 tsp    fresh ground pepper
small pinch    rosemary
    olive oil
    pizza dough
    additional toppings optional

- Roll out pizza dough and place on pizza stone or baking sheet. Poke holes with a fork into the dough. Brush a very small amount of extra virgin olive oil over the dough. Spread a small pinch of dried, crushed rosemary evenly
- In a small bowl, add minced garlic, onion powder and black pepper to the alfredo sauce.
- Spread the sauce around and out to the edges, and then lay the spinach on top of that, making sure not to overlap the pieces of spinach. Sprinkle cheeses on top and add any additonal toppings {sliced mushrooms, artichoke hearts, etc.}
- Crack a little pepper over the top of the cheese and bake at 475 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or according to the dough package.

 recipe - sp alf pizza

I also have plenty of non-vegetarian recipes if you would be interested in me adding some of those. Just let me know!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Things I'm Going To Miss (Pt. 2)

Things I'm going to miss about being a Marine wife:
The understanding and "sisterhood"
There is just something about being a military wife that only other military wives can fully understand. We know what it is like to deal with training and deployments, being single mothers at times...we've all been there (or will be there) at one point in our husband's career. We understand that while we are their wives, the military is their mistress, and we have no say in what that mistress has our husbands do. We as military wives understand and have come to terms with the fact that we may be apart more of our marriage than together. We understand that the military doesn't care about anniversaries or birthdays, pregnancy or the birth of our children. I can't talk to my civilian friends about any of this because they usually just don't get it. "I don't know how you do it." or "You're stronger than I could be." isn't something I hear from my military friends. Instead it's "Here's some things that helped me out when he was gone." or "Have you tried doing this?"

The pride 
It's not every woman who gets to watch her husband and know that he is part of the greatest military force in the world. He is a hero and every day he puts on his uniform it makes me so proud to call him mine.

Things I'm going to miss doing:  
Shopping at the Commissary/MCX

I've recently done a food budget and I have to say that, surprisingly, the commissary is cheaper than a lot of the Great Value (Walmart's cheap brand) items. Plus I love the fact that you don't pay sales tax. You can get some really great deals if you pay attention!

Going to the Marine Corps Ball 
That is definitely something I'm going to miss a lot. I love the whole tradition of the ball. I love getting all dressed up one night a year and celebrating. Plus I love any time I get to see my man in his dress blues. :-)

Living in on base

I know a lot of people don't like living on base, or maybe they just don't like the fact that there are stricter rules that come with living on base, but I love it. I love the fact that Ethan and I were just starting out as a couple and we could live in a 3 bedroom house with a nice yard for our dog, and eventually our son, to play in. I love the security of living on base, especially when Ethan was deployed. I like the fact that if anything breaks in the house that maitenance will be there to fix it. 

Going to the beach
We are originally from Austin, Texas. Back home, the closest beach to us is about 4 hours away. In North Carolina, we live about 30 minutes from the beach. If we feel like it we just drive out there after work for a quick swim or to let Aiden play in the sand and find seashells. I must say I have fallen in love with the ocean.

Things I'm going to miss having:  
The Naval Hospital
Living on base gives us the added advantage of having the doctor's office within 5 minutes from our house. We all go to the same place, the pharmacy is inside as well and even the Urgent Care (although I really hate going there) is right there also if we need something after regular hospital hours.

While I don't really like Ethan's work, I do like the fact that if something happens he is so close to us. He has been lucky with SNCOs and higher ups that let him come to Aiden's doctor's appointments and stuff.

Health/dental insurance
Both Ethan and I grew up without health insurance and while we were both pretty lucky about getting not getting sick and stuff it was still a big thing to have to go to the hospital every time you needed a prescription. I am very glad that we don't have to worry about that with Aiden. I had a pretty big surgery back in February that has really helped with my quality of living. Tricare deemed it medically necessary and covered it, but if we didn't have health insurance we wouldn't have been able to pay for the surgery. Aiden also had surgery when he was a little over a year old to fix a blocked tear duct he had had since birth, and although it was a small 30 minute surgery the bill was not small at all. I'm very thankful for Tricare taking care of us. 

I think this is what I'm going to miss the absolute most. No matter what happens, with the military we will always have a paycheck coming in to pay for food and bills. We will always have a roof over our head. We will always have health insurance. There are no layoffs or job cuts. 

Things I wish I would've done while being stationed in NC and/or being a Marine wife:
We have been stationed in North Carolina for almost 3 1/2 years and we have hardly been as far outside of Havelock as Greenville (1 1/2 hours). We've gone to Raleigh, which is about 2 1/2-3 hours away, only to take people to and from the airport and we went once for a concert. We went to the mall there once. We have gone to Greenville quite a few times because that is where I had my surgery and my post-op appointments. We've actually spent time in Greenville (that wasn't for a Dr's appt.) all of twice in 3 years
Hello, we live on the East Coast!! There are so many places that are within a reasonable driving distance from here that I've always wanted to go to. Myrtle Beach, Disney World, Busch Gardens, Wilmington VA, Washington DC, New York City....etc. We have gone to Florida once with some friends to Ft. Lauderdale and Miami when Aiden was about 2 months old. We haven't gone out of state, except to go back to Texas, since. So if there is anything I wish we would've done while we've been in the Marine Corps and stationed here, I wish we would've gone more places. Followed friends home during a 96...anything to get out of this tiny town we have trapped ourselves in.

Until recently I didn't even know what this was. I've heard people talking about LINKS, but I had never taken the time to actually find out what it was. I really wish I had gotten involved in this when I was a newer wife to help me to adjust to the Marine Corps. I didn't honestly have that hard of a time, but it would've been nice to get to know other girls around here. Sometimes it is really hard to find the right kind of people, especially with the drama that can be associated with living on base. Now I wish I could have had more time to maybe even take the volunteer classes to help other girls. I love helping people and I think this program would be a good use of my time.

I'm sure there are about a hundred other reasons I have, but thinking of them all off the top of my head is a little hard so this is what I'll leave you with for now. I am a blonde (although my natural hair color hasn't been seen in a loooong time) so I do tend to be quite forgetful. Plus I now have the mommy brain so I'm always scatter-brained. If there is anything that you think I should add, or anything that you know you would miss, feel free to tell me.





Things I'm Going To Miss (Pt. 1)

The Back Story...

My husband has been trying to re-enlist for about 10 months now. He doesn't particularly like the MOS he is in right now, and so he is trying to lat move. Before he deployed last winter he was training to go into EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal). He tried to do the screening interview before he left for the sandbox, but he didn't have time between his pre-deployment training.

While he was in Afghanistan he tried to do the interview again, but by the time he got ahold of the people in charge, there wasn't time to do the full interview. When Ethan got back to the states in early spring he once again talked to EOD and finally was able to set up an screening interview again.

He passed! He passed with flying colors and very high recommendations from the COs of both his unit and EOD. I also met with the people running his interview and the explained to me just what the MOS was about and how things work there, what to expect during his schooling, etc. He was so happy because this was what he really wanted to do the rest of his career, and I was happy for him.

He went to his career planner to submit his re-enlistment package and it was out of his hands, but he was pretty confident he would get it. Two weeks later the career planner told him that the MOS was closed out and he couldn't re-enlist into EOD. There are only like 2 jobs left for FY10 and one of them is Counter Intelligence, which is what Ethan has been trying to do for about 3 months. If he passes the interview he'll be able to re-enlist. If he doesn't, then he will have no other options and he will be out of the Marine Corps in early September (yes a month away)

So Ethan asked me to make a list for him of things that I will miss about the Marine Corps lifestyle if he does have to get out. He wants to know what I'm going to miss about being a Marine wife. He wants to know what I'm going to miss doing that can only be done because of, or if you're in, the military. What am I going to miss having due to him being a Marine? Also, now looking back on it, what are some thing I would've done differently or done more of while he was in the military.

This is getting to be a pretty long post so to spare you from taking 4 hours to read this whole thing I'm going to split it up. Pt 2 will have my answers to these questions my husband has asked me to answer.

But it has me curious...If your husband was forced to get out of the military tomorrow, what would you miss the most? What would you wish you'd done more of?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Vegetarian Wednesday - Easy Fettuccini

Fettuccini with Garden Veggies and Greens

12 oz    fettuccini
3 Tbsp    extra-virgin olive oil
1 sm    onion - very thinly sliced
2 clvs    garlic - chopped or sliced
2 med    zucchini - cut julienne or matchsticks
2-3 sm    firm eggplants - peeled and cut into batons (about 1 pound)
1 sm    red bell pepper - seeded, round ends trimmed, thinly sliced
1/2 c.    Pecorino or Italian cheese - shredded
generous handful    fresh basil leaves - shredded
8-10 leaves    green or red leaf lettuce - shredded
salt and pepper

- Bring a large pot of water to boil over medium heat. When boiling, salt the water and add the pasta. Cook until just shy of al dente.
- Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. add the onions, garlic, and veggies as you chop them. Season veggies with salt and cover. Cook until tender - about 10-12 minutes.
- Just before draining the pasta, add about 1 c. starchy cooking water to the veggies. Drain the pasta and add it to the vegetables, tossing to combine. Stir in the basil and the cheese and a little black pepper to taste. Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl and top with shredded lettuce. Serve with an extra sprinkle of cheese and a drizzle with the remaining 1 Tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil.