Saturday, December 31, 2011

Party over here!

It's just not a birthday any more without 50 Cent.  I absolutely love this mash-up.  Did I post this last year?  Probably!  Oh well, party on!

DH and I have been laying in bed this morning, just being lazy.  Little FB here, little blogging there.  Pretty soon I'm going to get my butt out of bed and go make pancakes and an angel food cake for later.  I'm so over rich, heavy, chocolate-y desserts that I decided I'd do an angel food cake with a berry glaze for my birthday.  Nothing too crazy, but delicious all the same.

Other than that, nothing crazy today.  A boatload of coupons expire today, so I have a feeling we'll be hitting the commissary.  Heading over to Trinnie's later to chill and grub on some dip.  No sweets today, I'm feeling the savory!  I have a feeling we'll be back home before midnight, since we've been crashing fairly early lately.  Doesn't that sound wild and exciting?!  Well, that's usually how my birthdays go, especially in my older years.  Time to go running around the house like a crazy person.

Giveaway Winner!

We have a winner!  I tried to stay up until 11:59 last night, but DH passed out and I figured I'd better go to sleep already, so I'm not a slug on my birthday.  I compiled a word document of all of the entries.  Three entrants were eliminated - one had tried to enter twice under two names/emails, the other didn't "like" Shabby Apple on FB.  Core Values, folks - Integrity First!  Ok, that was your lecture for the morning.

The list ended up being exactly 31 entries, how ironic and appropriate!

I handed DH my computer, as John did on his last contest, to have him determine the winner.  He was directed to put the min of 1 and max of 31 into the widget on, while I turned my head and looked away.  This is what he came up with:

Congratulations Allison!  Allison is an AF spouse who blogs over at Allison Lee - check her out!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Giveaway - one more day!

Almost giveaway time!  This lovely bracelet is going to find a new owner come December 30th at 11:59 PM MST!  Make sure you've entered!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @
lowercase letters Ugh, Monday night, you've found me.  You know I have to be up at 0600 and go into work again tomorrow.  Well, it was a nice three day weekend.  Big week ahead of me!

1.  Christmas has come and gone.  I have mixed feelings, like my girl Erinn.  Let's just say we had a similar experience.  Well, about Christmas Day.  Long story very short, all of my Christmas decorations came down in an emotional haste.  The plus side to that?  They're all put away, even the boxes, although it does make my living room look a little lonely now.  One less thing to worry about this week!  Sometimes I've left them up until my birthday.  Taking it down on Christmas Day was definitely a first.

2.  Christmas Eve on the other hand was amazing!  If you remember, I had volunteered to help out at NORAD Tracks Santa.  I showed up early, in true and appropriate AF fashion, and peeked into the rooms where volunteers were either manning computers or phones.  I knew for sure that I wanted to be on the phones, to get the full experience.  I'm so thankful that I did.  They were non-stop, from start to finish.  That was the fastest two hours I've experienced in a long time - there wasn't even time to hydrate in between calls.  The best part is that I had a note with my exact extension written down, so I was able to FB and tweet that to my friends and family.  I had a number of calls from loved ones, which was a huge treat, including my dad/uncle/grandma from Mexico.  I had my fair share of priceless questions and callers, including the little girl that told me, "I feel bad for Santa - everyone's stalking him."  I had a few kids tell me they were leaving chocolate covered pretzels out for Santa.  What wasn't super appreciated was the (adult) guy who called to ask if Santa wore chonies or went commando.  Really dude?  Maybe get off the phone lines so a real kid can call through.  We didn't have a script, but I had to keep it as professional as possible.  We also tracked where our calls came in from - I had a ton of kids from New Jersey, and southern kids are always my fave ("Make sure you set out your cookies and get into bed!"  "Yes ma'am!").  Definitely doing this every year that I'm in town for Christmas!

Source: via Erin on Pinterest
3.  I finally made something off Pinterest!  Yes, these are as amazing as they look and even DH was asking me to go back downstairs to bring him seconds.  Chowed down on them and watched "The Family Stone," my favorite Christmas/mommy movie.  Followed that up with "The Help."  Someone pass me the Kleenex...

4.  We opened gifts on Christmas Eve, according to tradition in my family.  We have been very blessed with generous, loving family and friends, so it was a great Christmas.  I got a number of items to keep me running and keep me motivated (iTunes g/c and Runner's World subscription from Trinnie, Lululemon l/s shirt, new (replacement) shoes, and a replacement heart rate monitor from my dad), some chocolate treats and a cookbook from the spouses' club in Korea (to counteract all of the running progress), and an unexpected surprise from John and Jillian - a personalized Erin Condren planner!  I've seen them on a few of your blogs, but oh my goodness...I'm now officially drinking the Kool-Aid!  When I saw that she made teacher planners too, I about squealed.

5.  With as rough as this year has been for DH and I, I am looking forward and thinking positively about 2012.  I really think this is going to be the turn-around year for us.  We're paving the way for good fortune - trimming the fat where we can, trying to get our financial situation in order, and seeing positive results.  A generous gift from my Grandma this holiday season has enabled me to purchase a Living Social escape to the Rochester Hotel in Durango, CO, which was built in 1892 and has a western cinema theme.  Come May, DH and I are finally taking a vacation!  Keep your fingers crossed that nothing jinxes us.  We've been married 4.5 years and have never taken a honeymoon, and our last attempt at a vacation resulted in cancellation due to a death in the family.  I was able to time our reservation to coincide with the  opening of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Guage Railroad season, so we will most definitely be taking the train when we're there.  These are two of my favorite towns in Colorado, so I'm ecstatic to show DH what I love about this state.

You still have time to enter my Golden Birthday Giveaway!  Ends 12/30 at 11:59 PM!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Are you golden?

Have you entered my Shabby Apple jewelry giveaway yet?  Why not?  Let's do this!

Contest ends December 30th at 11:59 PM MST!

Oh, How Pinteresting! Wednesday


Check out Michelle's Pinterest link-up - my, my how it's getting popular!  Lots of miscellaneous stuff to share with you this week!  Nevermind the formatting issues, I can't see to work with it.

I've always loved this quote.
Could really go for some berries to offset the chocolate!
A dual military sign!  Game on!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Winter Break?

Oh hi, blog readers!  I'm lounging on the couch right now, putting back far too many Peanut Butter Blossoms, and watching a Vince Vaughn/Kevin James b-movie.  It's been a long day, and it'll continue to be a long break.

I found out today that I'm orders for the entire week, and all of next week.  It's counting as part of my Annual Training (the two weeks out of the year that Reservists have to put in).  I wasn't expecting this, so it came as somewhat of a shock to me.  I expected to "help out" for a day or two, nothing more, especially with the budget issues.  

Positive Side
  • Active duty pay for my days at work - whoo hoo!
  • Finally getting onto the computer, into a really key program to do my job.  Being able to get some hands-on experience with the program, prior to the next UTA.
  • Being given study time for my CDC test next week.  I just need to make sure I carve out that time, and don't let myself get bogged down with my other tasks.
  • Getting CBTs (Computer Based Testing) done at the office, rather than at home on my own time, or during short UTAs.  I was exhausted just from watching them, and promptly came home and took a nap.  I didn't even finish, I have to go back for more tomorrow.
Negative Side
  • So much for sleeping in and lazing away throughout the break!  I'll still have my weekend, and the day after Christmas, but the rest of the days I'll be up early.
  • Guess I won't be running during the day, but it will put me in a position to hit the gym more often, if I get my stuff together. 
  • I need to make a list of stuff I intended to get accomplished during break, since I'm going to be limited to evenings and weekends now.
Overall, I am glad to have this opportunity, although it's taking some getting used to.  I know if I were active duty this would be my life, so I try to keep remembering that.  I'm fortunate to be able to serve our country, and I do so gladly!  

Monday, December 19, 2011

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @
lowercase letters

1.  Winter Break is staying up late to bake, digital scrapbook, and then sleep in until 9-10ish...and not shower until around noon.  Some tweeps were even encouraging me not to shower.  I had two Magic Cookie Bars for breakfast.  Heck yes, it was a great start to the day!

2.  Happiness is USAA paying me a day early with my direct deposit, and a December paycheck that brings lots of extra hours from tutoring, and a "bonus" we got.  Haywee and I were both doing the happy dance.  I've been waiting on this bonus so I could renew our registration on three vehicles, and also spring for new Air Force plates for my vehicle!  Super excited for them, you don't even know.  DH has the Army ones on his truck, so we look like a nice and confused household now.  :)

3.  I had a few AF-related emails this morning.  The good news is that I get to go in to work tomorrow to help out in the office.  Our ART (Active Reserve Technician, a full-time position) asked if I wanted to come in and help out with some of the things we can't get to during normal UTA weekends, and I gladly accepted.  The other news is that my CDC test was moved up a day, to the 29th.  Time to get studying!

4.  A friend of mine from tech school may join us for Christmas.  I really hope that she does.  She's only stationed three hours away, and she's not going home for the holidays until after Christmas.  Hopefully we get the word that she's able to come down.  I would love to make her a stocking, buy her some gifties, bake her some treats, and just make her feel welcome (and loved)!

5.  This song came on the radio today, and I hadn't heard it yet this season.  This is my kind of Christmas!  Oh, Mexico!     

Friday, December 16, 2011

Dual Military Photo Shoot

So, DH and I are finally taking our Christmas New Year's card photos tomorrow!  We weren't going to make a Christmas deadline, and I'm fine with doing something different and fun for the year.  I haven't figured out which card from Shutterfly is going to be the winner, but it depends on how the photos from tomorrow turn out.  Isn't this one fabulous though?!  If we have a good, single shot, I could see myself doing it.  I would love to do a collage of a few, but we're going to be outside with big backdrops, so I don't know how many extreme close-ups we'll get.

The lovely and talented Randi of Hitchcock Photography will be taking our photos.  She's a long-time friend and Colorado native, former milspouse (husband is prior service Army) and a teacher to boot!  I can't wait to see what she's able to accomplish with us tomorrow.

We'd decided to do a dual military photo shoot, him in ACUs, me in ABUs.  I decided [because really, we all know who coordinates these sorts of things] on taking photos at the Peterson Air and Space Museum.  They have a really nice airpark that will give us great backdrops for our photos.  I already have a couple of planes in mind, but I've never been to the park, so I'm open for other ideas.  Sadly, they don't have a C-130H on display, which is the plane my unit flies.

What makes a dual military photo shoot different from a normal lovey-dovey couples shoot, besides the outfits?  Well...
  • No PDA while in uniform.  That means no kissing, hugging, arm around the shoulder, and no hand-holding photos.  Loving gazes and smiles, here we come!
  • No need to fuss with hair or makeup!  Hair has to be pulled back, not touching my collar, per regulation, and makeup has to be minimal.  Less stress for me! 
  • Extra holiday weight?  Not a problem, that ABU top will cover it up, no problem!  No need to suck in my stomach!
  • Cover up!  We'll be outdoors, so a head covering is mandatory.  DH will be rocking the beret or PC (patrol cap), and I'll be in my hat.
DH opted not for dressier uniforms - he hates his Class As - so ABUs and ACUs it is.  I haven't taken a photo in full service dress since I've graduated BMT, so I wouldn't have minded it.

I'm really excited for tomorrow, as you can imagine.  I would love an amazing, canvas-worthy shot for our walls, and I know Randi can deliver! 

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #66

Last MFF for the year!  I think I remember last year's MFF skipping over my birthday, so I'm happy that this one has a New Year's/NYE theme!  Head over to Wifey's to go through the blog roll or to join in!

1.  One of my New Year's resolutions is to continue training for my next running goal, a half marathon.  The winter is kicking my you-know-what right now, and throwing off my training schedule.  This is the first full winter I've been through, while trying to keep up with my running.  If the gym was closer, I'd go more often.  I need to start jump roping more, and I'm definitely planning to get out more during winter break.  I'll go ahead and throw another goal in there - to finish my 5-level in a timely fashion and to start ALS [Airman Leader School, a requirement for my next promotion].

2.  One thing I'd like to happen next year is to pay off more debt and feel more stable financially.  I'm not asking for miracles, I'd just like to not freak out everytime I pay bills.  Heck, I'd really like to take a vacation too.  I'm not asking for anything ridiculously exotic, just a nice weekend away.

3.  One thing I'm looking forward to next year is my husband having a steady job.  The company he's working for is really loving him and his work ethic.  I'm so thankful that he's finally found a place that he enjoys working for and that appreciates him in return.  He has a normal, 9-5 type schedule, and he doesn't have to work weekends.  I'm looking forward to our lives "normalizing," whatever that entails.  ;)

4.  One change I'd like to see next year is our finances.  You've heard that enough, but it's true.  I'd like to be more comfortable.  I'd like to dine out with DH more often.  I'd like to get away for a weekend.  I'd like to reduce our expenses.  I'd like to have less debt.  I'd like to make smarter choices.

5.  My plans for NYE include not much!  Sure, it's my birthday, but I don't tend to do much in my "old age."  When I was younger, I used to cough up the cash to go out drinking, dancing, to a show, etc, but paying extra because of the calendar date doesn't jive with me anymore.  I shouldn't have to pay out the nose to have a nice birthday dinner simply because it falls on NYE.  If I feel like eating out on my birthday, I typically go out for lunch and not dinner.  Last year we wanted to go to Rudy's for BBQ but their water pipes broke and they were closed!  Couple that with a good sized snow storm and we ended up at Trinnie's.  I think we may have gorged ourselves on appetizers and desserts, and played the Wii. 

Golden Birthday Giveaway!

It's a Golden Birthday Giveaway!  Yes, in a mere 15 days, I will turn 31 on the 31st! 

What timing it was when Shabby Apple contacted me about doing a jewelry giveaway!  Most of you have seen the buzz abou them around the blogs - they're a boutique specializing in vintage-inspired garments, jewelry, and accessories for women and children.  Shabby Apple appeals to that part of me that will never let go of my Rockabilly, mid-century, vintage-loving self.  I may not don those duds every day anymore, but I still love classic, timeless style.  I can't imagine fussing with my appearance the way I used to - I want easy, comfortable styling that works with my life.  Shabby Apple meets those needs!

So, back to birthday fun!  Who doesn't want a little bit of birthday bling?  Plus, my birthday is on New Year's Eve, so a little sparkle never hurt anyone.  Shabby Apple let me take my pick of their jewelry and offer it to you, my dear readers!  What did I pick for you, for my birthday gift giveaway?

Dark Secrets of Wonderland

This lovely bracelet is described as "gun metal multi-chain bracelet with gun metal charms and lobster clasp closure."  Charms include, "clock, scissors, hour glass, cross, and various sized gun metal heart lockets."

I love a good, loud, jangly charm bracelet!  It's an attention-getter, and not for the shy, which is why they resonate with me.  I love the fact that this one is gun metal in color, which gives it dress-up/dress-down versatility.  As a bonus, how perfect would this be for Valentine's Day?  I hope you love it as much as I do!

Contest Rules and Ways To Enter 

This contest will run through 12/30/11 at 11:59 PM, MST.

The winner will be chosen by the random number generator on  Entries are numbered in the order of comments.

The giveaway is open to US readers only.  [Sorry international friends!]

You may enter up to four times total, based on the methods below.  Please post a comment for each entry.

Entry #1 - Like Shabby Apple on FacebookThis is a mandatory entry! 

Entry #2 - Follow Shabby Apple on Twitter.  Your comment here should include your handle.

Entry #3 - Follow the Shabby Apple blog.

Entry #4 - Check out the Shabby Apple website and link me to your favorite item!

Happy winning, everyone!  Hope you've enjoyed what I've picked out for you for my golden birthday!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Gifts for Teachers

Teacher gifts!  I didn't get into the profession for them, but they sure are nice!  Or at least, I imagine them to be nice!
Teacher gifts are a funny thing.  Haywee reminded me today that we got into the wrong age bracket if we wanted teacher gifts, when I was talking about a friend of mine making one of those cool crayon monograms for her son's teacher.  I can imagine that's true, since buying a gift for one teacher is much more economical than seven teachers.

It also seems to be a socioeconomic thing, and a cultural thing at that.  My mom had gifts for our teachers every year, but that's probably due to the fact that she was a teacher too, and understood.  It was never anything crazy expensive - maybe a personalized ornament, or in our later years, a loaf of artisanal cinnamon raisin bread from a local bakery.

The school we attended (and my mom worked at) is 74% Asian and per, only has 11% of students on free or reduced lunch, if that gives you an idea of the crowd.  Megan Dub-Yuh recently noted that in Korea, she gets gifts from students and parents all of the time, for non-holidays as well as holidays, and she teaches older students.  That was on par with my mom's experience.  She used to bring home a box or two (maybe even three) of gifts from her students.  BOXES.  Like, as in the kind you get reams of paper out of!  I used to go through it all, help her unwrap, and try to cherry pick (you can imagine how well that went over).  She used to get mugs, dolls from Asian countries, bath and body products, boxes of See's Candies, and even a $50 g/c to Nordstrom one time.  She hauled.  But she'd been teaching since 1976 and was well-loved throughout the school community.  Couple that with a good 150 - 180 students and she was bound to clean up.

That sort of experience doesn't happen in my world.  In California, I had a significant number of students from lower income families, and since leaving, I have high numbers of either military or low income families.  Throw in the fact that I don't have large class sizes (in comparison to general education teachers), and you can see why I don't tend to get gifts.  The funny thing about that is that we put more time and effort into your child as their case manager than a general education teacher does, since they only see them 50 minutes a day.  SpEd teachers have to build a relationship with a student and their family, in order to better serve them and meet their academic, social, and emotional needs.

No matter though.  There's many things I'd rather have than a gift you felt obliged to purchase.  As a teacher, I'd rather have:
  • A student with good work ethic - every day.
  • A student who keeps trying, even if they need encouragement some days after defeat.
  • A student who was taught manners - please, thank you, ma'am, etc.
  • A student who comes to school prepared to learn - with a pencil and a willingness to participate.
  • A student with respect for authority and rules.
  • A student with a positive attitude.
  • A heartfelt, genuine sense of appreciation from parents who recognize that we do have their child's best interests at heart.
That's what I'd like, not only for the holidays, but for every day.  If you can't spring for seven Starbucks giftcards, no matter.  Give me the gift of a well-raised child, and I will be thankful, even when they're struggling academically and need more than an extra bit of help.

More Blogger Rants

I'm trying the new template...whoa, this is weird.  The post isn't about that, though...

I get a decent amount of blogging time in at work, and I've seen many posts where I'd love to reply and I attempt to do so.  If your comment system is the standard, in-page Blogger variety, it'll pop back and tell me that I don't have permission to access that page and tell me to log in (even though I'm already logged in).  When I attempt to log in again, it already recognizes me as being on.  Very annoying.

Interestingly enough, if you're using the sort of Blogger comment system that pops up the small window, I can leave a comment no problem. 

Anyone else having these issues?  Blogger just doesn't like me.  I hate it because by the time I get home, I forget to go back and comment, or I just give up.  If you tweet, I'll typically just reply to you on there.

New friends?

Ok Blogger, for a piece of social media, you're not very friendly.  I used to be able to click on pictures of my followers and it would take me to their profiles, where I could see if they had their own blogs.  I like reciprocating - if you're a blog writer, reading my blog, I'd like to check out your stuff too!  Apparently that's not going to be an easy process anymore.

That being said, if you're a newer reader/blog friend and you have your own blog, please leave me your link below, that way I may read and thank you! 

What's YOUR song? Thursday #??

Haven't seen a link-up for this week, but I'm posting a song anyway!  Hello Guilty Pleasure!  This morning I caught the tail end of this song on the way to work - don't you hate when that happens?!  I wish the radio had DVR-like functions, where I could rewind it to hear it from the beginning.  This is going to get downloaded soon, no doubt.  Love her or hate her, Taylor Swift makes catchy music.  I'm guilty of singing this one loudly and clapping along in the end.  Super cute video, I had never seen it before this morning.  Love a good motivational song!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dear Santa...

Ok, fess up, who's still making a Christmas list around here?  I don't do it because I have unrealistic expectations or feel entitled, but I do have to think of something when my dad starts asking what I want for Christmas.  Plus, I've got a birthday six days after the fact.  This year, Pinterest has made list-making oh so much easier!  Just send him the link and he can link directly to the websites through the pins!  Genius!  Anyone else do this, or am I the only goober?  It's a great way to remember what I would love to save my pennies for too.  I pin reasonably priced items and extravagant "not a chance" type gifts.

Who's up for sharing their wishlist?  Just a sampling, no need to get crazy.  Let me begin!

1.  Aveda's Rosemary Mint gift set, with shampoo, conditioner, and soap.  I got to try this when I stayed at the Renaissance in Nashville two summers ago and I still dream of how heavenly and luxurious it is.  The scent is divine and it made my hair so soft.  I keep saying I'll splurge on them, but I never do.

<>     <>  
Crate and Barrel "Classic Century"
2.  A new dinnerware pattern.  Why am I dreaming of dinnerware and china?  Who knows.  I'm a goober like that.  I pinned all of my "One Day!" patterns so I can keep them handy.  Unrealistic, financially, although the pine cones seem more attainable.   
Stetson "Pine Cone," circa 50s-60s
<>    <>    
Buffalo China

3.  A Kindle.  I actually got one of these last year, but I had also gotten an iPad, so when my grandma expressed an interest in reading on a Kindle, I handed it over.  I may have even gotten a little emotional later, not because I was a whiny little child, but because it came from my dad and he addressed it to his "Reader Rabbit," which is what he and my mom used to call me as a child.  Fast forward a year, and clearly I'm not reading much on my iPad.  I would love a dedicated e-reader with no bells and whistles.  Give me not the option to play Words With Friends, and I may actually read!

4.  Running gear!  All sorts of running gear!  I have gloves, tights, a long-sleeved shirt, a hydration system, a replacement heart rate monitor, replacement shoes, fancy "race day shoes," trail shoes, a nicer looking RoadID for everyday, you get the idea.  Love me some running gear, especially if it motivates me to get outside on a chilly Colorado winter day!

5.  New sage boots for my ABUs!  A practical gift, and may not seem like much fun, but I've tried them on and they feel amazing.  If I'm on orders for a lengthy period of time this summer, I may have to buy them.  In the meantime, I have two pairs of issued boots that serve me just fine.  If I were active duty, you'd better believe I'd own these things already.  One weekend a month doesn't necessitate new boots though, so I'll just covet in the meantime. 

And what's my super large, "never gonna happen" item?  Why yes, that would be a new car!  Say that in your best Bob Barker voice and imagine the music, noises, and excitement.  If I were in the market to replace my vehicle, I'd be looking for a Chevy Traverse.  Doesn't need to be new.  I'll gladly take a loaded, pre-owned vehicle.  :)


Christmas is All Around

I haven't watched it this season, but it's coming!  Love Actually is one of my most favorite holiday movies!  Ensemble cast and British humor at its best!

I absolutely love:

"There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus?"  That costume was TDF - I love the bubble wrap on the underside of the octopus tentacles too!

The scene where Hugh Grant dances to The Pointer Sisters.  There's a reason why that song is on my iPod.

Mr. Bean gift-wrapping.  'Nuff said.  Reminds me of my good ol' days at Williams-Sonoma!  We weren't that fussy, but they definitely have standards for wrapping styles.  I would gladly pay for wrapping if it were Mr. Bean behind the counter!

I cry every time I watch the scene where Jamie proposes to Aurelia.  So, so sweet.

I love the version of "All I Want For Christmas" they do at the end of the movie.  Trumps Mariah Carey's any day! 

Billy Mack?  Game on.  I start singing from the get-go.

Who else loves this movie?  Such an amazing storyline.  I love how so many of these ensemble cast movies try to come close, but never quite make it.  Can you believe this movie is already 8 years old?

Right Now

I am...

Watching: Nothing.  Unless you count the letters zooming across my laptop screen as I type.  Wheeeee!!!

Eating: Nothing.  I'm at school.  Breakfast was a serving of vanilla Light & Fit yogurt and a bowl of Smart Start cereal with 1% milk.  That's how I roll in the morning.

Drinking: Nothing, although I'm kind of kicking myself for leaving my bamboo water bottle in my classroom.

Wearing: An argyle print fleece pullover from Lands' End, khaki pants, and a 3/4 length green top.  Oh, and don't forget my chartreuse P.F. Flyer high tops!  Yeah, it's that kind of a day.

Avoiding: Doing something more productive, like working on an answer key for the 10th graders final, or cleaning out my email inboxes.  I'm supposed to be here for tutoring, and I'm not avoiding that because no students are present.  *twiddles thumbs*

Feeling: Headachy and ready for a nap.  Two and a half more days to go until I'm on winter break!

Missing: My muffin and our warm bed.  Go ahead and add Mexico to that list too.  Did I mention that my Colorado family is heading on a cruise to Belize that leaves from New Orleans this week?  Yeah, I wish I was going on vacation.

Thankful: For opportunities coming our way.  I'm thankful for DH's new job, which is keeping him busy.  He misses his downtime, but I'm thankful that he's employed.  I'm thankful that I get a winter break, and that I can do with it as I please.  I'm thankful for amazing friends, whose generosity and love never ceases.

Weather: My temperature gauge said 10 degrees on the way to work.  It looked like it was going to snow again last night, but the skies are clear now.

Needing: I'm pretty content right now, but I could go for a nice, long nap.  I also need more notecards to work on my CDC flash cards.  I need to find time to wrap a few presents and make a WalMart run too.  You can imagine I'm not racing to go there anytime soon, but I need to.

Thinking: About how much I wish this week would fly by.  I'm done with all of my responsibilities for the week, so I'm really just waiting for the students to hand me their completed finals so I can input their grades and be on about my way.  I'm also thinking about how I haven't heard from my unit as to whether or not I may have orders for break.  I need to follow up on that.

Loving: Revlon's Lip Butters.  If you haven't tried these yet, you need to snag one at the local drugstore.  Doesn't matter if you're a high-end makeup wearer or not, these are fantastic!  I found a stocked display at the local PX and picked up Peach Parfait and Tutti Frutti and they live up to the hype! 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters1.  A student in my 5th period class called out, "Oh!  It's December 12th!"  It hit me - on this fateful day, six years ago, DH and I moved into our first apartment together.  We didn't have much money [Gee, that story sound familiar?], we had been denied on our first two attempts, and we'd finally found a place that would accept our application on my salary alone.  It was a humbling experience and we were thankful to have a place to live, together.  I hear it was something in the neighborhood of 650-750 square feet.  It had one bedroom, one bathroom, a single carport, and a single open parking space.  While we swore it would be temporary, we stayed for three years.  It just made sense, especially when DH left for Korea and then Bragg.  I loved that little apartment - everything fit perfectly.  We've been moving up to bigger homes at each home since then, but I miss our smaller spaces.

Source @ Sephora
2.  Today has been yet another productive Monday, despite a headache I've been battling since the morning.  I think it may be my perfume - anyone ever had that issue?  I was thinking over the weekend that I needed to start using up some of my older perfumes that I never wear.  So much for that idea.  The perfume in question?  Nanette Lepore.  The rest of the week should be smooth sailing, but I'm going to cross my fingers and try not to jinx myself.
3.  DH and I had a great weekend together.  He finally got paid at his new job, and while it wasn't much just yet, we were able to have a couple nice date nights in at home.  Subway and Redbox?  I'm game!  We're cheap dates.  I'm eager for winter break, so we can do more of that.  We saw the final Harry Potter, 30 Minutes or Less, and Water for Elephants this weekend.  I even got to catch up on my DVR!  I watched the Sons of Anarchy finale last week - anyone else disappointed?  I wasn't that impressed with how it ended.  I thought we were supposed to get five more episodes, due to the issues between DirecTV and FX.  Hopefully they'll beef up next season.

Torres Mazatlan @ VI Resorts
4.  As we're getting closer and closer to winter break, I'm trying not to think of the fact that I'm staying home this holiday season.  My Christmas is typically spent south of the border, in Mazatlan, Mexico.  The (family) group heading down is dwindling, down to three people, despite the fact that our accommodations are huge this year.  I wish DH and I had the money to go down.  He hasn't been there in years, and fell in love after his first visit.  It just doesn't make sense for us financially, and I don't want to go without him this year, since he's home.  A quick search on KAYAK reveals that it'd be $575 a person right now - yeah, that's not happening.  *sigh*  Hopefully next year!

5.  I mentioned before that we're not buying presents this year...then I remembered that I purchased my official AF photos for the grandmas and my dad, and we found a little sum'n sum'n for my dear friend Trinnie.  Their family does so much for us, it's hard not to want to gift the boys.  I even saw a "My Auntie is the Best" onesie for Baby Tony!  It was really difficult to stick to "the plan," which was footed pajamas.  I love having wrapped presents under my tree - maybe tonight I'll bust out the paper.  :)   

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Milspouse Friday Fill-In #66

Things have calmed down a bit, so here I go, joining in on the MFF fun!  Head to Wifey's to get in on the action.

1.  My favorite song of the season is Wham! "Last Christmas."  Seriously, best song ever!  I'm also a big fan of "Christmas Shoes" because it makes me cry and reminds me of my mom, and the Love Actually version of "All I Want For Christmas Is You."

2.  My mom is someone who inspires me because she was a remarkable woman.  She was an amazing teacher who touched everyone who walked into her classroom.  She balanced being a mother and having a career effortlessly.  She was fun, classy, and respected.  I tell people she was "like me times ten," but maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part.  ;)

3.  If I had $100,000 to give to a charity, I'd give it to Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, Wreaths Across America, and the USO.

4.  If I had a theme party, I'd make it a 70's/80's roller skating party!  Trinnie and I have been wanting to have one forever now.  Our DJ would be spinning nothing but the jams, and you'd better come in period costume!

5.  If I had one wish for my kids/future kids/some young person I care about, it would be that they set high expectations for themselves and never falter in their drive to achieve and pursue their passions.

Vintage + Marine Corps = Awesome Giveaway!

My good friend John @ Vintage Engineer Boots is giving away this beautiful Korean War-era USMC Vandegrift jacket as a giveaway on his blog!  I know DH would love to add this jacket to his collection, and it would make a fantastic Christmas gift.  Here's hoping I come up lucky!

If you're a Marine family or a vintage lover (particularly men's workwear), you're going to want to check out John's blog.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Best Military Assignment EVER!

Well, a volunteer assignment, that is, and only for a couple of hours!  Yes, on 24 DEC from 1600 - 1800, yours truly will be sitting here:


If you can enlarge that picture you'll see that I'll be an official NORAD SANTA TRACKER!!  Yes!  I got an email over UTA that told us about how we can volunteer to be one of the people who answers the phone when kids call in to check in on Santa's whereabouts.  I'm beyond ecstatic about this prospect.  DH had just asked me what I wanted to do for Christmas, but knowing how he is/we are, I knew we wouldn't have much in the way of plans.  I can't think of a better way to get into the holiday spirit.

Apparently they do a lot of live news briefs, and I put myself down as being willing to be interviewed.  As a service member, I have to come in my duty uniform as well, although it seems they allow us to wear Santa hats with our uniform.  AFI 36-2903, be damned!  ;)

Ok, off to do the happy dance!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @
lowercase letters
So much to say, so little time!  It's been an eventful few days since I last blogged.  Let's get started!

1.  Thursday was our Lady Antebellum concert and meet 'n greet, courtesy of the Air Force Reserve Get1Now program.  DH ended up having to work that night, so I took Haywee instead.  We had an amazing time, even if the meet 'n greet itself was an assembly line-type procession - very much a "shake, shake, shake, smile, go."  Sure made for a great photo though!  The best comment was when a student asked me if that was my husband.  :)

2.  This last weekend was UTA for both DH and I, which made for an awesome photo opportunity before we left the house at oh-dark-thirty.  I'm eager to take our Christmas photos with my friend Randi, as we're going to do a dual military photo shoot.  There's an awesome area near the museum on base where we can pose near various planes, including one that has a set of stairs leading up to the door of the plane with the phrase "Welcome to Peterson AFB" on the side.  I have all sorts of images in my head about how well it could turn out.  It may end up being a "New Year Card" versus a Christmas card, but it's all good.  I'm really after a great shot of DH and I that I can put on the wall.  We haven't had a good professional shot since his deployment homecoming, and that was a chance happening by the local newspaper.

3.  UTA was uneventful to a certain extent because I quickly realized that I wasn't going to be able to log onto the computer.  Over the last two months, every time I've come into the office, I've had more and more restrictions.  Last time I could get on the computer, but I couldn't load Internet Explorer or open my email.  My big joke was that by next UTA, I won't even be able to get on base - they'll probably send me away at the gate.  I've spent so much time on the phone with the helpdesk, it's been frustrating.  I just want to do my job already.  I mean that too!  Let me get on the computer, access the programs, and do my friggin' job already!  In the meantime, I've been filing tons of papers and trying to earn my keep.  I've been doing a good job at networking, and I'm thankful for that.  I know it goes a long way in any field.

4.  My supervisor wasn't in this weekend, which was really concerning initially, but I was able to schedule my CDC test after all!  I found out I didn't have to take it over a UTA weekend, and I could do it on any Monday or Friday, so I scheduled it for the 30th, the day before my birthday.  I figured it would be an awesome gift to myself if I could be a 5-level for my birthday.  Too bad I found out later that this was only the first set of my CDCs - I still have a second part, another three volumes.  Boo!  Oh well, at least I'll have this first set done soon, and I'll ensure that I finish the second set before summer (and seasoning training) hits.  There's also a chance I may be able to pick up orders for a day or two in the office over my Christmas break, to help them get things done that we don't get done during normal UTA weekends.  I'm really hoping it goes through, since it'd be good for me/us all the way around.

5.  Sunday was a special day for me, as I was recognized at the wing Commander's Call for my Distinguished Graduate status at tech school.  I hadn't been to one of these commander's calls yet, so I didn't realize what a huge crowd it'd be.  They didn't prep us much either, so I just channeled all of my good military bearing and discipline lessons from BMT.  It's funny how those skills escape people over the years.  Yes, I'll admit, I was watching officers and SNCOs struggle with facing movements.  As a result of being honored, I left with this coin from the commander, which I will proudly add to my collection!  DH teases that he still has more than me, but give me time, especially if I get deployed!   

Hope everyone has a great week!  Eight and a half days until I'm on winter break!