Wednesday, September 18, 2013

And Then There Was One

I am in the sort of odd (and sad position) of really being the last of my friends to have their husband's return from Afghanistan. Some are already back, and some have homecoming dates weeks before I will see Lane. Now, I completely understand that in the long run a few weeks is not a big deal. However, telling that to the jealous side of my brain has been really difficult. 

I am legitimately happy for them. I understand that their husbands' return has nothing to do with when I will see mine again. But it is still weird. We have been existing as a little happy group of single ladies for eight months. Now, people are getting back to their normal married lives. It isn't even about jealous, it is more that the routine we have developed is falling apart. Routine is the greatest source of strength during a deployment. Dealing with Lane's absence is much harder when my normal schedule is disrupted. 

My greatest mantra during this time has been "A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats". One person's happiness lends itself to the greater happiness. I know that at the exact same time that I get my husband back, one of the other brigades will be deploying. It is futile and frustrating to constantly compare your situation to those around you. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Parent's Visit

Hello Blogging world. I am still a terrible blogger, but I wanted to get up all the details from my family's visit to Fort Drum before I forget. 

My parents decided in August that they were going to fly up with my siblings for a week. We met in Syracuse a midst some terrible rainy weather. Over the week I tried to show them the highlights of the North Country. 

This included: 
1. Brunch at Tin Pan Galley in Sackets Harbor 
2. The Boldt Castle Tour in Alexandria Bay 
3. My awesome house
4. Burrville Cider Mill 

We also made a quick trip out to Niagara Falls. We had an awesome time and got totally soaked multiple occasions. 

We stayed at the Comfort Inn which was ridiculously close to the falls and very cheap. They do a military discount and were very sweet to my family. I would highly recommend staying there for anyone who just wants clean, simple no fuss accommodations. As soon as we arrived we set out to do the Maid of the Mist boat tour. I feel like this is the quintessential Niagara experience. We got drenched and then headed over to the Cave of the Winds which is a walk down the bottom of the falls. It is really amazing to see the sheer amount of water pouring down basically on top of you. 

We woke up Thursday to an overcast sky. I was very glad that we got all of our water based activities done in the 98 degree heat of Wednesday. Thursday we got up and walked across the Rainbow bridge to Canada. We strolled along the Canadian side for a while down to horseshoe falls. I will definitely agree that the view is better from the Canadian side. They also have much better landscaping and coffee options. However, the U.S side has more park rangers available to answer your questions. I think that everyone should really try both. 

I would definitely make a trip back next summer once Lane is back. Going in September was perfect. Much shorter lines, but still warm enough to enjoy getting soaked. 

Anyone else been to Niagara? Have any other recommendations for my next trip? 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Deployment Week Ending 8/31

Can I just get an Amen that classes have started? I know that school is stressful for all of the students coming back, but it is also a complete hot mess for those of us who work in administration. I have done so many schedule adjustments this week that my head started spinning. At one ( very low and tired ) point during the day I might have accidentally started looking at the course schedule from last spring trying to find open classes. Low point. 

However, this week is over and stress free living is right around the corner. Next week I am only working a few days, and get to watch my battle buddy welcome her husband home from Afghanistan. Cannot wait =) 

Happy Picture 

Random picture from the summer of 2009. I was getting ready to start my last year at UGA and we spent some time at the lake that summer. This summer was also the first time we really lived together, even for only a month. 

Deployment Gratitude 
1. I am grateful that on-post housing has a whole maintenance department. It is so very nice to just call someone and have them come out and fix whatever has gone terrible wrong in my house. This week is cracks in my tile floor which hurt like crazy if you catch your foot on the side. 

2. I am grateful for the end of the busy season. The money has been fabulous, but I am ready to slow down a little and spend more time preparing for homecoming and seeing friends and family. 

3. A job that I love. Even on the crazy days where I want to mainline caffeine, I really do love what I do. 

Deployment Projects 
I still can't remember to take pictures of my completed furniture. The coffee table is done. Now all I really have are cleaning tasks that need to be accomplished before Lane returns. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Deployment Week Ending 8/24

Alright, I am going to crank out these posts like a machine. I know I let myself get totally behind, and Lane rightfully reminded me that I will be very sad not to have these memories a year from now. This deployment has seemed never ending, but marking our progress each week makes it seem much more manageable.

This week, like the last few has been dominated by the gym and work. I am pushing it hard these last weeks to make sure that I look and feel my best when Lane gets back. That means quite a few workouts that look like the above picture. Here are some of my favorite combinations: 

100 foot rope pull 
25 meter suicide 
250 meter row 
100 jump rope reps 
X 4 

10 push ups 
25 meter sled push @ 130 lbs 
10 air squats 
X 4 

In terms of my feelings about this deployment, I am a little mixed. Thoughts that his homecoming date might have been earlier than previous imagined were crushed with a more definite window. This is awesome because it makes the return more real in my mind, but it also cancels out that little voice that had hoped he would be returning early. Writing this today, I feel much more positive and motivated to knock out the rest of this deployment. If Molly from February could see me now she would be furious. She was looking at 8 months to go, I need to soldier up and be thankful I have less than 2 left. 

Happy Picture 

One our engagement pictures taken in front of a random house's garage in Georgetown. Can you tell from my face how I much I love that boy. 

Deployment Gratitude 
1. Amazing internet access for Lane in Afghanistan. I am constantly grateful that Lane has access due to his job. I know many women who go much longer without talking to their husbands. Also, my job has me in front of a computer all day. This means I can sneak in and chat with him in between appointments. 

2. North Country summers. We went raspberry picking on Sunday and it was absolutely gorgeous. I will say it 1,000 times. The summer and fall in Fort Drum more than make up for the winter. I can't wait for corn mazes and apple picking with Lane after his return. 

3. My parents are coming to visit. I can't wait to take them to my favorite places and let them experience my life here. We are going to take an overnight trip to Niagara Falls and I can't wait. 

Deployment Projects 

I finished my little bench. It will eventually go at the foot of our bed, for now it is in the living room. I love how the bright blue fabric looks with the robin's egg blue legs. This was a super quick and easy project. The corners need work, but I am happy for now. I also am almost done with my chair and coffee table. Those need to be done soon, because I want the living room more finished before my parents arrive. 

Deployment Week Twenty Seven

So close to thirty weeks! I feel like that is going to be a big milestone. I have been saying for months that he is coming home in the fall, and now the fall actually seems pretty close. I am expecting August to have it's own stressful aspects, but overall I am just ready to get more concrete planning done. 

Week twenty seven was pretty self indulgent. Shannon, my deployment battle buddy, was gone. That meant lots of solo gym trips and lots of other play dates for Asha. Work felt really manageable, which is a nice change of pace from feeling totally overwhelmed a few weeks ago. I do miss my part time hours, but the dent we are putting in our student loan dent makes the extra hours worth it. I watched a season and a half of Supernatural, and plan to plow through the last three seasons before Lane comes home. 

Happy Picture 

My cousin snapped this while we were waiting for formal portraits. I was just so excited to be married!

Deployment Gratitude 
1. I am grateful for lovely weather. Summer in the North Country is really gorgeous. I am ready for it to get cool, signally the beginning of fall. However, I am going to soak up these long warm days while I can. 
2. I am grateful to modern medicine. 
3. I am grateful for on post housing at Fort Drum. I am so lucky to have my house, and I love my neighborhood.

Deployment Projects 
So many are nearing completion, and I will share more soon. 

Oh Hello

So I haven't even looked at Blogger in a month. It's not that I am not terribly interested in everyone's life ( I absolutely am) I just haven't had the time or inclination to be on the computer. College advising kicked into full gear and I have been working like a crazy person since the beginning of July. After spending all day on the computer, the last thing I want to do when I get home is type some more or even look at a screen. 

However, I do want to keep up with this. I want to finish my deployment week by week posts, which are horribly behind. We are entering the home stretch of this deployment, and I can't wait to share our homecoming pictures and the like. 

In case you are feeling Molly withdrawals, you can always see what I am up to on Instagram at MrsMollyP. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Countdown Work Out Complete

A few weeks ago I posted that some of my friends and I would be doing a workout series counting down from 100. Well my lovely readers, we are finished! We completed a list of 25 exercises starting at 100 reps and counting down to 1. 

Here is the list: 

Jump Rope

Push Ups
Sit Ups
Slam Balls
Overhead Press
Wall Balls
Box Jumps
Chest Press
Plank (seconds)
Air Squats
Pull Ups
Kettle Bell Swings
Back Extensions
Walking Lunges
Cherry Pickers
Calf Raises
Dead lift
Wall Sit (Seconds)
Run (Meters)
Tricep Dips
Side Plank (seconds)
Bicep Curl
Barbell Row
Jumping Jacks

So we rotated through this list four times, all while counting down from 100. It took us about ten hours total, but we did the last 25 sets in 26 minutes. Considering that we raised all the weights ( including dead lifting our body weight) this was a pretty big accomplishment. 

Call us crazy, but we are thinking about doing another one for 50 days left. I think this is probably the healthiest and best way to countdown the days until our husbands return. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Deployment Weeks Twenty Five and Twenty Six

I feel like I stop thinking about blogging for just a second, and two weeks fly by. I will try to be better, but honestly my heart just hasn't been in it recently. Work and dog sitting have taken up a lot of my time, and I would rather spend the remaining bits out in the sunshine.

I am going to do another combined week post for my deployment updates. These are important to me, as I want to remember everything I accomplished and felt while Lane was gone. 

After the 4th of July holiday, I really jumped into work. This is peak advising season, and my mind is starting to think in only 55 minutes increments (the length of one of our MWF classes).

Shannon and I finally made it out to Alexandria Bay, and basked in the gorgeousness that is the Thousand Islands. I cannot wait to get back out there and enjoy the water. I just need to find friends with boats. 

I had heard that this point in the deployment can be rough. You are close enough to start thinking about homecoming, but still too far away to really make any plans. I am definitely getting a little more frustrated. It isn't even sadness or anxiety. I am just annoyed that he isn't back yet. I know that after six months this is pretty pathetic considering other women have gone eighteen months. But nonetheless, that is how I feel. I know we are so lucky to have had such great internet access, and I will always be grateful for that.

Deployment Gratitude 
1. Playing on a swing set with with a vanilla chocolate swirl ice cream cones on a gorgeous Sunday night.
2. Days when Lane can get online for more than a few minutes.
3. I am grateful to be less than three months away from seeing my husband. I can't wait for September to arrive, and I can really start preparing for homecoming.
4. A job that I truly love. Even on days where it is overwhelming and stressful.

Happy Picture

This is from our Christmas card picture a friend took for us last fall. I love how alert and excited Asha looks.

Deployment Projects
Yay progress!
My MIL made me the most fabulous pictures for our living room. Here is a sneak peak of the fluffiest member of our family cuddling on top of them.

I also got some serious work done on our new coffee table and chair. Wood filler and my hand sander have been my best friends. More pictures are forthcoming.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Bike Time

So I have reached that point in the deployment where we are started to actively plan activities for when he get's home. It feels slightly like tempting fate, but I am willing to stick in my baby toe. A few weeks after his theoretical return date, we are taking a motorcycle safety class in preparation for our next big purchase. Come November we will be the proud owners of a Harley.

 My mom thinks I am crazy, but it was actually my idea. We don't want another car payment. We also don't want to buy another car that will only seat five people ( really three if Asha is coming along).We can get a bike in awesome condition for the price of a really junky used car. Our plan right now is to stick with the bike and our current car for a few years. Once babies start coming along, then we will think about getting another (larger car). 

Any other motorcycle owners? 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Deployment Week Twenty-Four

*I do these posts each week to keep track of the time while my husband is deployed. They usually include a happy picture, my gratitude list, and updates on deployment projects*

This was a truly fabulous week. Maybe it was the three day work-week. Maybe it was a double dose of fireworks. Maybe it was the family packed weekend in CT. Whatever it was, I wish every week could be like this. 

Happy Picture 

This is from the second time we visited Scotland together in 2010. Lane flew over and met me in Edinburgh after I finished my semester in England. We had an absolutely blast together visiting friends and spending time together. 

Deployment Gratitude 
1. A wonderful extended family.
 It is truly amazing how perfectly I fit in with Lane's family. We all love board games, trivia, cartoons, every conceivable nerdy topic, and book stores. We are all competitive, exuberant, and fiercely addicted to coffee. 
2.Perfect weather on a Sunday night 
We headed into Sackets Harbor for dinner on Sunday and there was perfect patio weather. Coupled with my equally perfect mojito made for a really good time. 
3. Fireworks
Nothing is better than fireworks on the 4th of July. Well, fireworks with your husband would be better, but I'll be happy with what I can get. 

Deployment Projects 
Ehhhhh let's pretend I have made wonderful progress on all of these things I've wanted to do. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Weekend in Connecticut

Wrong name on my Starbucks, but happy to be flying! 
I love family, but I really love family who have their own airplanes. Lane's uncle flew up on Friday to bring me down to CT for a family weekend. I had an absolutely blast. My weekend consisted of: 

At least six trips to Starbucks in three days 

One night spent watching the local theater put on Caberet. Walked away scandalized and depressed, just like you're supposed to. 

Reading both Divergent and Insurgent in two days (Is it October yet?) 

Three rounds of board games with the most competitive family ever. 

And the best part....

One surprise Skype session with Lane. 

I had talked to Lane earlier about skyping with his whole family while I was visiting. I stepped into another room to get the call set up. I asked his mom to look at my computer to get her opinion on fabric for the pillows. Instead of pretty samples, she saw Lane's smiling face instead. She immediately burst into tears. We all got to chat for an hour and it was wonderful. I love weekends like this. I was pretty exhausted by the end, but it was awesome to soak up so much time with them. 

Hope everyone had a fabulous holiday weekend. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Summer Bucket List

Patriotic Puppy loves the 4th of July 
Summer is a little off for me this year. Lane's return this fall means I am already praying for the days to get shorter and air to get cooler. However, I know I should enjoy summer while I can. In an attempt to do better, I put together a short bucket list of things I want to do before the leaves start to change. 

1. Fireworks 
2. Strawberry Picking 
3. Boldt Castle Tour 
4. Take Asha to walk around the Sacket's Harbor battlefield 
5. Raspberry picking in August 

Any other North Country suggestions? Or just summer activities that you can't live without.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Patriotic and Pretty

I finished my most recent wreath and absolutely love it. I knew I wanted something for the 4th of July, and I can reuse it when Lane comes back this fall.  I followed a few tutorials I found online for making the burlap wreath (here) , and then just wrapped the ribbon around, tying the ends in a knot. I had the stars left over from Christmas and stuck those on with hot glue.

I really like how it turned out. Because nothing is really glued in place besides the stars, I can made some changes if I need to before the fall rolls around. I wanted something that was still patriotic without being too gaudy or over the top. I think I hit the perfect balance with this wreath.

 I highly recommend buying the burlap garlands with edging. The raw edges fray horribly when you wind them through the wire frame.

I am excited to add a few other touches to make it our homecoming wreath too. Probably something across the middle that says "Welcome Home". What do y'all think? 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Deployment Week Twenty Three

*I write these posts to keep track of the weeks during my husband's deployment. Each posts includes one happy picture, what I am grateful for each week, and updates on my ongoing projects*

Almost on schedule with my weekly updates. I have been all over the place with these, but theoretically I would like to post them every Saturday. This week had some hard moments. I have been dealing with some horrendous stomach pain that flares up every time I eat. According to my horrifying time with WebMD I am either dying, have gallstones, or just eat too many acidic foods and drink too much coffee. This definitely put a damper on my weekly goals of working out and eating well. I finally started feeling better on Friday. I hit the gym on the Saturday and we did the first round of our countdown to homecoming workout.

Those 99 push ups were brutal. I am heading back today to knock 95-90 out of the way.

Happy Picture 

This picture is from about two weeks after our wedding. I was dropping Lane off for Ranger School. I would see him again in a few weeks for his eight hour pass, and then not again until December for graduation. I was really nervous dropping him off, but I am so proud of how well he did (no recycles!). 

Deployment Gratitude 
1. I am grateful for July! Turning that calendar every month is awesome. I love seeing the time fly by. By the end of this month we will be less than 3 months away. Cannot wait for that homecoming. 

2. I am grateful for Asha. She has been very cuddly recently, and I love her sweet face. 

3. Surprise evenings. Saturday night we had been planning on seeing a movie, but found out that a local theater group was putting on a musical. Our friend's son was in the play and we had a fabulous time. 

4. I have been on the hunt for protein powder that wouldn't be all grainy in smoothies and mixed with almond milk. I finally found some and absolutely love it. I am excited to replace my fruit smoothies with these. Twenty grams of protein and almost no sugar. 

Deployment Projects  
I have really just been focusing on my chair. Once that is complete I will move on to the ottoman. My MIL is making pillow covers for me and I will get them this weekend. 

Things to Buy: 
Bookshelf for the office 
Love seat for the living room 

Weekend Bliss

This weekend was one of those perfect ones. Balanced between the right amount of relaxing and on the go. Friday night was spent watching Doctor Who and just recovering from my week of feeling crummy. Saturday I ran my normal errands, and we headed into Watertown for a play that night. 

A local theater program put on The Mystery of Edwin Drood. It is a musical based on the last novel by Charles Dickens. The most interesting part is that Charles Dickens died before he finished the novel. Therefore, no one knows how the story was actually supposed to end. So part way through the second act, the audience gets to vote on their ending of choice. It was really funny and much better than just going out to a movie. 

Sunday was one of those perfect days. The sun was shining and I was crazy productive.
 I worked in the garage sanding my chair ( it looks awesome). 
I had a coffee break on the Starbucks patio with Asha. She behaved perfectly and charmed everyone sitting around us. 
I went to the gym and put my legs through a grueling squat and leg press routine. 
I ended the night with beers on my friend's front porch looking at the view above.
I talked to my husband for over an hour on facebook chat on Sunday afternoon.

Overall it was heaven. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Deployment Week Twenty-Two

*I write these posts to keep track of my weeks while my husband is deployed. I try to include one happy picture, what I am grateful for, and any progress on my giant list of deployment projects* 

I think it is probably a good sign that weeks are passing more quickly than I can get these updates done. Week twenty-two went by in a blur. It was my first week back at work, and the first with almost double my normal hours. I had Tuesday off and was able to squeeze in getting the car fixed. Happily, and with a new compressor installed, I am back in the world of air conditioning. I was pet sitting for most of the week, so Asha had lots of playtime with her two best buddies. 

Happy Picture 

This was back in 2007 during our trip to my parent's lake house. This was one of our first grown-up trips. My parents let us use the house without them there. We had a blast with four other friends who drove down with us. Also, if you can't tell, Lane was a bleach blond at this point. It was such a fun week. I got a horrible sunburn, we ate almost entirely burgers, fished, swam, and played to our hearts' content. 

Deployment Gratitude 
1. I am grateful that the air conditioning could be fixed without spending an outrageous amount of money. I am also grateful that I have the resources necessary to fix a car problem. 
2. I am grateful for a job I really like. I often feel challenged, but I love helping students and soldiers sort out their schedules. I go back and read posts from last year, and I was so miserable without a job. I am a better friend and wife when I feel like I am doing something worthwhile.
3. I am grateful for the occasional slow day at work. It is sometimes nice to feel like you can relax, maybe blog a bit, and not be rushing from appointment to appointment like a crazy person.
4. I am grateful for a wonderful FRG that provide constant support. I am really really lucky when it comes to the other women in our group.

Deployment Projects 
I busted out the hand sander and went to work on my Grecian chair. This upcoming weekend is all about priming and painting. I am so excited to make some serious progress on the chair and my coffee table. There are a few small cracks that need wood filler, but progress is definitely being made. 

Wednesday and I'm In Love

I didn't think I would get a chance to blog today, but two appointments in a row have been no-shows. So I am going to share some of the things I am loving this week, linking up with Jaime at This Kind of Love

1. I am loving early morning chats with my husband. He has been able to get online right around 7:30-8:00 AM my time. I linger in bed and chat online before I start my day. It is wonderful and makes getting up for work much more pleasant. 

Photo: Ty-Asha time
With her buddy 
2. I am loving having puppy day-care for Asha. I don't feel like I have to sprint home from work because she has been in her crate all day. She gets exercise and to socialize while I am gone. It makes both of us much 
much happier. 
WEN® by Chaz Dean - Sweet Almond Mint Re Moist Intensive Hair Treatment
Buy at Sephora
3. I am loving mint. I have been putting it everywhere and on everything. I throw some mint leaves in my water bottle every day. I'm also in love with this almond mint hair mask a friend gave me. By the end of the summer I might have just turned into a giant mint leaf. 

4. Less than 100 days till October 1st. Whoo hooo! I can't wait to power through the rest of the summer and start planning for homecoming! 

What are you loving this week? Go link-up with Jaime and let us know =) 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Dexterous and Deadly

Last week I helped out a friend and watched her dogs while she was out of town. They are good buddies with Asha and I just kept them at the house most of the time. However, having three dogs sleep over ended up being a total disaster. The second night I kept them till fairly late and then walked them home. Asha is pretty good at getting doors open, so I made sure to lock the garage door behind me. She was not a fan of me taking away her boys, and I could hear her fussing as we were leaving. 
Now it is maybe a five minute walk, there and back, from their house. I dropped them off and headed back home. As I approached my garage, I could see the house door cracked open and Asha's nose attempting to open it further. The inevitable has happened; Asha unlocked a door. She somehow used her little paws to turn the lock from vertical to horizontal. I am so relieved that she didn't actually get out of the house. Given another ten seconds she would have been free and clear to roam around as she pleased. 

This makes me even more determined that crating is the right option for us. She is very happy to snooze in her crate while I am at work. I am scared now that left free in the house she would decide to take herself for a walk. 

Anyone else have freakishly clever dogs?

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Hundred Day Mark

Our "See You Later" Almost Six Months Ago
In the next month many of my friends (and myself) will hit the 100 days-left-in-this-deployment mark. I am beyond excited for this point. I can't wait to be in double digits! Days 200-100 left have seemed to take quite a while. We have been thinking of ways to mark the occasion, and have decided to do a week long workout series. For each number from 1-100, we are doing that many reps of a certain exercise. Now coming up with 100 exercises is tricky, so I think we are going to shoot for 25 that we can repeat four times. Here is the list of exercises so far: 

Jump Rope
Push Ups
Sit Ups
Slam Balls
Overhead Press
Wall Balls
Box Jumps
Chest Press
Plank (seconds)
Air Squats
Pull Ups
Kettle Bell Swings
Back Extensions
Walking Lunges
Cherry Pickers
Calf Raises
Dead lift
Wall Sit (Seconds)
Run (Meters)
Tricep Dips
Side Plank (seconds)
Bicep Curl
Barbell Row
Jumping Jacks

So we will do 100 reps of jumping rope, 99 push ups, 98 sit ups etc. I think this will take us more than a few days to complete, mostly because those first couple of 99 push ups and 89 pull ups is going to be painful. I think this will be an awesome way to celebrate the 100 days mark. 

What do y'all think? Am I crazy or just motivated? 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Deployment Week Twenty-One

The final update of my crazy vacation! I arrived back in Virginia over the weekend and decided to turn right around for the drive back to Fort Drum. The best moment of the whole week was seeing Asha again. I missed her like crazy during my time in D.C and Atlanta. When we pulled up I could see her face looking out through the glass door. It took her a second to register me, but then she was jumping around like a crazy person. She followed me around diligently for the rest of the night.
We left the next morning for the drive back to Fort Drum. Part of the reason I wanted to get back was that the Fort Drum community lost three soldiers over the weekend. One of whom was a former member of Lane's unit. We had FRG responsibilities and I wanted to get back as soon as I could. 
I didn't go back to work immediately, which was a great decision. This gave me time to get back settled into the house and run some errands around Watertown. The week of stay-cation was fabulous and allowed me to ease back into my routine here. 

Happy Picture 

This picture is from Lane's promotion. I was so happy that I was able to be there to celebrate this milestone with him. It was cold and snowy that day and we had to trudge through a field to get to where the promotion was being held. Oh goodness I miss him. 

Deployment Gratitude 
1. I am grateful that Asha had such a wonderful time in Virginia. She got lots of exercise and spent lots of time trying to find the woodchuck that lives under their shed. 
2. I am grateful that I have a job which allows me a serious amount of scheduling flexibility. Even though I don't get paid time off (boo) I do get to essentially make my own schedule. 
3. I am grateful for great sales. I might have done some serious damage at the VS Semi-Annual Sale. 
4. I am grateful for friends who help me with Asha. It is so nice to have people who also love her. My wonderful friends here can pop over to check on her if I get stuck at work till late. 

Deployment Projects
I was really excited that I was going to have something for this section. I found these fabulous end tables on clearance at Target. However, when I brought them home they were way too small for the space. I saved one of them to use as a side table in the bedroom, but returned the other. The hunt continues for matching end tables for my living room. 

Deployment Week Nineteen and Twenty

In order to get these done before I forget everything, I am going to combine weeks nineteen and twenty. So after I luxuriated in the gorgeousness of my in-law's farm, I hopped a plane to Atlanta Tuesday morning. Leaving Asha was really hard. I have gotten so accustomed to having her around that it felt very strange when she wasn't there. I  missed my crazy fur ball. Atlanta was glorious. Just a few days of hanging out at home and visiting with friends. Including a fabulous lunch at Leon's in Decatur. If any of y'all are traveling through Atlanta, I highly recommend a visit to Leons. The chickpea cherry salad is one of my new favorites. 
Friday we headed up to my parents' lake house. I already talked about visiting there in this post. I can't wait to get back. I plan to spend as much time as possible at the lake when we move back to Fort Benning. 

Then on to D.C in week twenty. I am still waiting for my sister to post pictures, so I plan to do a whole update about that later. Honestly, traveling with my family was great. We are all museum nuts, and happily spent most of our time wandering through the various galleries and monuments. I absolutely love hanging out with my parents and siblings. We just have a blast together. 

Happy Picture 

I adore this picture. We did portraits the day after the wedding and it was lovely. We had brunch in the morning and then lazed around on the deck until it was time for pictures. It was fun to get all dressed up again, albeit a little more casually, and take more pictures. 

Deployment Gratitude 

1. I am grateful that my parents took us to museums as a kid. It is pretty remarkable that my fourteen year old brother and sister are perfectly happy and enthusiastic about hanging out in the National Gallery for three hours. Kudos to my parents. 

2. I am grateful for having no regrets. I made a choice to go to graduate school in D.C and postpone actually being with my husband for another year. It was hard at the time, but I am so grateful that I did it. Every time I go back to visit I am reminded how proud I am of everything I went through for school. Also everything that Lane and I went through to be together.

3. I am grateful for pistachio macaroons. Oh Sweet Lobby in Eastern Market, you are so dangerous. 

4. I am grateful for my family. Y'all, I won the genetic lottery. We were able to see so many cousins and family members along our drive to D.C, and they are all the most interesting, dynamic and passionate people. I love it. One of my cousins is working on an organic farm this summer. My uncle just got back from a cruise through Europe where he taught European history classes to the passengers. I love hearing about all their adventures. 

5.  I am grateful for time with my siblings. I left for boarding school when they were only four, so I have missed a lot of their lives. It is always nice when I can reconnect and spend time with them.

Deployment Projects
Nope, none, zilch 

Foodie Fridays

Since I normally have Fridays off, coming into the office today was rough. Like, hit the snooze button four times rough. However, now that I am up and here let's celebrate the end of week with Lauren's link-up, High Five for Friday. 

1. High Five for eating healthy and grilled pineapple
In the past two weeks I have been trying to truly focus on eating really well. Paleo has been slightly modified, and my new focus is really just on eating clean. I feel really good, and wasn't even tempted by the receptionist's birthday cake today at work. Normally all that neon icing and layered sheet cake is my kryponite.
I am pretty sure that the simple act of throwing some pineapple on the grill is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. I have been just baking the pineapple with chicken and then throwing it in a hot pan to sear instead of actually getting out all the grill stuff. It is good on everything. My new favorite is to make a quinoa bowl with grilled pineapple, caramelized onions, mango and baked chicken. So good and so easy. 

2.  My new obsession is lemon blackberry water.
 I muddle a few blackberries at the bottom of my tumbler and then add some lemon juice. Add some water with ice and you have a delicious and refreshing summer drink.

3. High Five for calm mornings. I managed to sneak out the door twenty minutes early on Thursday. I was working on Main Campus which is blessedly right across from a Starbucks. I have a lovely period of relaxing and reading before launching into my crazy day.

4. High Five for busy schedules. I am working significantly more hours this summer and so far I love it. Hopefully the business will make the weeks fly by. The extra money is pretty nice too.

5. High Five for really awesome husbands 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The One Year Mark

Hello Wednesday. This is my first week of full time advising and kind of miss my free time. However, I think the super busy schedule will help the next two months fly by. Here are some of the things that I am loving this week. 

1. This week marked the one year mark of bringing our sweet girl into our family. In June of 2012 we drove down to Mexico, NY and picked her up from the nice family with a few husky puppies. She was so small and nervous. I can't believe it has been a year since that day. She has driven me totally crazy so many times, but her sweetness makes up for it. I can't believe how tiny and grey she was when we first got her. 

2. I have gotten sucked into a show on Netflix called the Borgias. However,it is a bit of a love/hate relationship. I am by no means a prude about television, but I seriously have to leave the room for some of the violent parts. I should just stop watching, but I don't. Full confession; the ridiculous hotness of the actor Mark Ryder is possibly my main motivation for watching. Anyone else have a guilty pleasure they are embarressed that they like?

3. My workouts. I have been really good this week about getting to the gym. I have been focusing on incoporating HIIT (high intensity interval training) into my daily workout. I feel like it does more to increase my heart rate and ramp up the sweatiness.

They are the sweetest together
4. I am pretty sure this is here every week, but I am loving my husband. I am so very ready for him to be home. It's not that I feel like I can't handle this deployment, or that I am miserable. I am just done. I know I can handle his absence, I just don't want to any more. I miss him like crazy.

What are y'all loving this week? Go link up with Jaime and let us know. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Cotton Anniversary

Lane and I have decided to try to follow the traditional weddings gifts for each anniversary. We pick out one thing together to celebrate another year of marriage. Our courthouse wedding was in May and our big white wedding was in September. We try to purchase the gift somewhere in between. The traditional gift for your 2nd year of marriage is cotton. We could have gotten shirts or something that we wanted, but I ended up finding the perfect choice.

handprinted muted royal blue hessian union jack flag cushion with  logo thistle overlay
Helkat Design on Etsy
This pillow has been on my Etsy favorites list for quite a while. I showed it to Lane for a totally unrelated reason and he loved it. It just so happens to be made of cotton. Scotland and Great Britain have a special place in our relationship and were equally represented at our wedding. Lane wore a full Scottish kilt in his family's tartan, and I had thistles in my bouquet. I absolutely love it and think it will be the perfect addition to our home. 

Are any of y'all following the traditional gifts? What did you do for your 2nd anniversary? 

Friday, June 14, 2013

First Friday Loves In Forever

Happy Friday! I can't believe June is almost half over. I was counting on my vacation with my parents to make June fly by. That is definitely the case, and I couldn't happier to see July right around the corner. Today is my last day of official vacation and I will be back at work on Monday. To celebrate the end of vaca, I am linking up with Lauren at The Lauren Elizabeth for High Five For Friday. 


1. Halfway Done
The best thing that happened (not this week but earlier this month) was that we passed the 50% point of this deployment. I am so relieved to be over the half-way point. I know it's not all downhill from here, but I am feeling good. I am ready to have my husband back. Boo Afghanistan, hooray homecoming!

2. High Five for healthy eating. 
I totally fell off the wagon during my vacation, and this week has been all about getting back on the healthy track. I am focusing on just eating clean, and then turning back to full paleo later in the summer. This salad is one of my favorites. I mix lettuce, strawberries, grapes, carrots, cucumber, almonds, and goat cheese. I stir pesto into oil and balsamic vinegar for a super tasty dressing. 

3. Happy to be back with my main girl 
Y'all, two weeks without Asha was way harder than I thought it would be. I missed her like crazy during my trip. She and I are very happily back in NY. I feel like we are back to our normal schedule. We've had dog park trips, play dates and a huge amount of cuddling. 

4. High Five for awesome communication. 
One of the benefits of not working is that I can lounge around and talk to Lane pretty much whenever he is available. On Thursday I woke up to a message notification, then proceeded to stay in bed and chat with Lane for two hours. It was heaven. I know this is short lived, but oh my goodness it is awesome. 

My favorite member of the U.S Army 
5. High Five for the U.S Army's Birthday 
Today the Army turns 238. Happy Birthday to the nation's oldest military branch. I love being an Army family and being a part of this wonderful tradition. Here's to 238 more 

What are you celebrating this Friday? 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Deployment Week Eighteen

These are going to be odd updates concerning they are all from weeks ago. However, these posts are mostly for me to keep track of what I have been doing and how I'm feeling throughout the course of this deployment. 

So during week eighteen I worked half on Main Campus and half here on Fort Drum. This was actually really fun and the work days in the regular advising office were way easier. Civilian students tend to be significantly less complicated than soldiers. However, I find helping soldiers with their education to be one the most rewarding experiences imaginable. I left on Saturday morning and drove straight to Northern Virginia to spend time with Lane's parents. I love their house. I love walking around their land. Asha loves it there, but between the horses, sheep, alpacas, and deer she is constantly trying to chase something. 

Happy Picture 
Lauren From I Love You Much Photography
This is one of our Day After Pictures. It was so relaxing to take all these fun awesome "Yay we just got married pictures". I love this one because we are both laughing and look so happy. 

Deployment Gratitude (Retrospectively)
1. I am grateful for cold weather while I was driving down to Virginia. The air conditioning is broken in my car, and the cooler weather made it much more pleasant to drive down. I can suffer through driving in hot weather, but my fluffy friend Asha is non so lucky. I was dreading putting her through seven hours of eighty degree heat. 

2. I am grateful for wonderful In-Laws who love me and love Asha. They took care of her while I was in Atlanta and during the rest of our travels. 

3. I am grateful for conveniently placed Starbucks. They make the drive much more pleasant. 

4. I am grateful for friendships that have endured time, distance and all of life's changes. 

Deployment Projects 
Nada since I was traveling. 

Oh man I keep to step it up if I am going to catch up on these. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My Heaven

Photo: At my favorite place, just missing my favorite person.

While I was in Atlanta we drove up to my parent's lake house for the weekend. This is where we got married and I haven't been back since the wedding. We were lucky enough to have gorgeous weather on Friday and Saturday. I was able to swim and read on the dock. We took multiple walks around the lake and listened to my dad play music with his buddies. 

Honestly, just being there makes me happy. It was a little harder than expected to be there without Lane. I went back to the very spot where said "I Do" and sat in the sun for a while. I thought about our marriage and everything that has changed since the last time I was on that field. Of course I snapped a picture to send Lane. 

Getting out of my routine made it harder to deal with deployment. I have become so reliant on my friends, gym time and schedule up here to maintain my sanity. The stress of deployment seems so much harsher when you're not in your normal environment.  Although seeing my family was wonderful, the lack of routine was difficult for me. 

Anyone else notice that things seem much scarier when you're out of the familiar? 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Back In Business

Hello blogging world. 
I am safely back in NY and relieved to be in my own bed. I had an absolute blast visiting family and my old stomping grounds in D.C. To summarize my crazy journey, I first drove to Northern Virginia and spent some time with my In-Laws. I then hopped a plane to Atlanta and basked in my old favorite coffee shops and restaurants. 
We headed north and drove through North Carolina and Virginia visiting family along the way. My mom rented an amazing townhouse which made the whole trip much more relaxing and enjoyable. Being able to use a kitchen and relax in a living room was awesome. 
Overall my trip was amazing, but oh my goodness I am glad to be home. I left Asha with my In-Laws and I missed her so much. 
I am thrilled to catch up with blogging and read all about everyone's adventuress since I've been gone. I am way behind on my Deployment Week by Week, and have some fun topics to cover in the next few days. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Hello Friends 
I am happily spending the week at home visiting family. I will catch back up with blog stuff when I am back in NY. In the mean time you can follow along with my traveling adventures on my Instagram feed. 

Follow me at MrsMollyP

See y'all soon with loads of pictures from my travels =) 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

What I Have Learned

Today's prompt for Blog Every Day In May is "Things You've Learned That School Won't Teach You"
I learned lots of things in school yesterday. In fact, I actually used algebra yesterday in a real world situation. I felt like I should call my old math teacher and say thanks.
However, many of life's greatest lessons I have learned from experiences outside of the school house.
1. You can't always control what happens to you, but you can control how you react.
This has been a big lesson to me in the past few months. I have tried to focus on finding the positives during my husband's deployment, and choosing to be happy regardless of a crappy situation. Whether it is the car falling apart or just general life events, I have been focusing on reacting in a positive and calm manner.
2. Marriage is really really really awesome.
3. You choose what standard you want to live up to. In the end you are only accountable to yourself.
I have always heard that integrity means doing the right thing when no one is looking. In same vein, the quote "you are what you repeatedly do" has always hit home for me. We make choices which together comprise who we are as people.
4. Take off you eye makeup at night.
I usually forget, but just do it.
5. Good things come to those who work hard.
People always say how lucky I am to have a great job up here. Maybe luck is involved, but I also worked insanely hard for four months trying to find something. I came back to my (now) boss' office every week for a month before I was eventually hired. Don't wait for the perfect thing to fall into your lap. Hustle!
6. Cilantro will last a lot longer if you put it in a cup with water, cover it with a plastic bag and stick it in the fridge.
What have you learned? Go link up with Jenni and let us know.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Everything seems so tiny in comparison to what is going on in Oklahoma. I am heartbroken over the pictures of parents and teachers carrying children out of the schools. I was working at a summer camp during a tornado in 2007. We had to get all the kids to the shelter and hang out till it was safe. Luckily the tornado didn't come our direction, and no one was injured. I am so sad that Moore, Oklahoma can't say the same thing.

However, you can still find moments of happiness and hope. I saw this video this morning and might have starting crying at my desk.

Hug those you love (especially your dogs) 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Deployment Week Seventeen

Hello middle of May! The next time I write one of these I will be soaking up the Virginia sun. I can't wait to hit the stupid twenty week mark. I am definitely out of my rut that consumed last week's update. I had a fantastic Skype session with Lane on Friday to celebrate our two year anniversary. It gave me the boost I needed to have a wonderful weekend. I am excited to power through this week and get on the road to Virginia. 

Happy Picture 
This was from Lane's short lived bleach blond phase. We went back to our high school in 2007 to watch some of our friend's graduate. It is hard to believe this was six years ago. 

Deployment Gratitude 
1. I am grateful for a truly incredible husband. We had our wonderful Skype session on Friday. I got a wonderfully sweet e-mail to further celebrate two years of marriage. Then he took care of some car paperwork stuff all the way from Afghanistan. I am so grateful that he took care of this onerous chore I had been dreading. I love that he can still be completely there for me from 6,700 miles away. 

2. I am grateful for muddy feet and dirty hands. I spent some time working in my yard this weekend and was reminded of the therapeutic powers of walking barefoot in the grass and digging in the dirt.

3. On that note, I am grateful that my grass is growing back. I have such a black thumb that I am surprised anything is actually growing. I have been filling in all of Asha's lovely digging and trying to coax new grass to cover the bare spots. 

Deployment Projects 
I have been planing on making a padded coffee table/ ottoman and got an old gorgeous coffee table from my neighbor. I just need to get some fabric, batting and foam. I am excited to add this coffee table to my living room. 
I am also excited because my MIL is going to help me make some throw pillows for the living room. She is a sewing wiz and I am excited to make a few to add to my couch. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Busiest Week Ever

Yay for graduating!
This week holds several huge anniversaries. On May 15th 2011, Lane commissioned as an officer in the U.S Army. One day later he graduated from VMI. The day after that we ran off to the courthouse for our first wedding. It is so hard to believe that all of that happened two years ago. In some ways it feels so much longer. I feel like we have been married for eons, but Lane's time in the Army has passed in a blink. 

We have been together for 9.5 years, and for us marriage didn't change very much. We were still maintaining a long-distance relationship and I was still in school.  We didn't live together for the first few months after our courthouse wedding, and Lane left for Ranger School a week after our big family wedding.

 It wasn't that different from the rest of our relationship. Now, I absolutely love being married. I would marry him every day if I could. I haven't talked a lot about our first wedding, but it was private, short and unbelievably perfect. He left a few days later for IBOLC, continuing our pattern on long distance.

It has been really nice to focus on everything that has changed since this week in 2011. I have moved from Virginia to Georgia and then to New York. We got married (twice). It seems fitting that our two year mark in the Army comes at about the same time as the halfway point in this deployment. It is the perfect time to reflect on how far we have come and everything that we want to do going forward. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ten Little Things

My mantra for this deployment has been to choose happiness and be proactive about happiness. Now, this has been tested a little bit in the past week. I just felt out of sorts. This deployment felt like a giant weight on my shoulders. I was just an unhappy camper. I am trying to get myself sorted out, and today's prompt for Blog Every Day In May is perfect for that.

Ten Things That Make Me Happy

1. When Asha and I sit on the floor and she rests her head on my shoulder. It's like our little version of a hug.

2. Whole Milk Lattes

3. Raspberry smoothies

4. Seeing the little green icon next to my husband's name on FB chat. 
Nothing is better than seeing that he is available to chat. 

5. When one of my students graduates. 
I get all giddy watching one of my students complete their degree program and get their diploma. 

6. Paying off one of our student loans.
 We still have a looonnnggg way to go, but it feels good to have one finished. 

7. Surprise letters from my family. My aunt sent me this gorgeous photograph of my grandmother.  

8. This may sound terrible, but I really love the occasional no-show for appointments. 
Having that little breather during the day makes everything so much easier. I can deal with administrative stuff and grab a quick second to eat lunch. 

9. It is Farmer's Market season in the North Country. I absolutely love spending a Saturday morning wandering around the markets in this area. I am especially excited for the local honey. 

10. Seeing my friends welcome their husbands home from Afghanistan. I can't imagine the level of excitement they must be feeling. 

What is making y'all happy today? Link up with Jenni and let us know =) 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Deployment Week Sixteen

I could barely catch my breath this week. Work was quite hectic which meant that chat time with Lane was severely diminished. This week had some hard moments. We are on the cusp of the half-way point, which usually makes me feel awesome. However, Friday I hit a bump on my road to perpetual motivation and optimism. I just couldn't believe that I have to do the same thing again. All of the time that has already passed, which seemed to take a lifetime at some points, I have to do again. I just can't believe I have to do this whole damn thing again. I feel a little bit better today, but I just had a hard time over the weekend. One bright shiny spot in the weekend was that Lane called on Sunday. They all got free phone access since it was Mother's Day and after he called his mom I got a phone call too. It was really nice to hear his voice. It usually makes me tear up at first, but then we just talked about books, Asha, movies and possible job changes for both of us. 

Happy Picture 

This is from VMI's Ring Figure dance during Lane's junior year in 2009. They get their class rings and it is a huge deal. I had a blast and miss heading to Lexington to visit. 

Deployment Gratitude 
(This was not a super positive week so I am digging deep for these) 
1. I am grateful that I found a job I love. I am grateful that I make a positive difference every day. Even if I am having a bad day, even if I don't feel great. I end every work day knowing that I helped soldiers get into college. That is an awesome feeling. 
2. I am grateful for calls from Afghanistan. 
3. I am grateful for how easy it is to make quinoa and red curry. It has become my go-to meal that I can still feel vaguely healthy about. 

Deployment Projects 
I went shopping for end tables for the living room but didn't find anything that I liked. I also have started hunting for a new bookshelf for the office. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

What I Miss

(This was supposed to publish yesterday)
Well this is probably the easiest question ever for the Blog Every Day in May. 

What Do You Miss? 
See You in the fall 
I miss my husband. I miss hearing him come home after PT. I miss watching our favorite TV shows together. I miss all those little moments that together paint the picture of your life together. We still have our life together, just  colored with Skype, fb chat, and sweet letters that take a month to arrive. 

There are other things I miss, but they are dwarf in comparison to how much I miss Lane. I miss my parents. I miss our cabin in the North Georgia mountains. I miss my high school days in boarding school. 

Man I really didn't think this post would get so sad. I miss all of those things, but they are still present in my life. They just aren't there as often as I want them to be. I am so excited to be going home this month! I can't wait to soak up time with my parents and enjoy my hometown.

I am linking up with Jenni at Story of My life

Friday, May 10, 2013

Military Spouse Appreciation Friday

Hello weekend =)
Work was fully crazy this week with everyone getting ready to start the summer session. I can usually squeeze in some blogging at work, but that was just not a possibility this week. Hence all of the super short posts. I am linking up with Lauren to celebrate all of the awesome things that happened this week.

Today is also Military Spouse Appreciation Day. I can't tell you how much I love all of my other milspouse bloggers. Y'all have been some of the best supporters during this deployment. Lots love to all of you!

1. High Five that I made it to the gym every day this week.
Every muscle in my body hurts and my palms look like someone took a cheese grater to them. However, it feels great that I pushed myself this week and did some serious work on pull ups.

2. High Five for being ahead of the game
I was under the impression that Mother's Day was last weekend. So I might have sent out my cards out a week early. My mom and MIL both got theirs last week. Even though they were way early, I'm glad they got there on time.

3. High Five for fitness goals. 
I back squatted my body weight today at the gym. It was so much easier than I thought it would be. I got up to 135 and knew that if I could manage that, it was just a short jump to my body weight. (Sorry y'all not quite brave enough to post my weight on the internet). This wasn't one of my initial goals, but it felt awesome to hit that milestone.  Oh, I also held an unassisted handstand for much longer than I ever have before.

4. High Five for well behaved dogs.
Life is so much easier when Asha is not acting like a crazy maniac.

5. High Five for good friends.
Shannon and I surprised our friend with a mom's day out. I am taking her out for coffee and TJ Maxx shopping while Shannon watches her kids. I can't imagine going through deployment with children. It is hard enough with just myself and Asha.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Southern Cards DIY

Sorry for the terrible picture quality 
I have been waiting for this link-up to come back! Today for Saw It, Pinned It, Did it, I am posting my most recent DIY. I have been these hanging wire frames all over Pinterest, but finally decided to take the plunge when I got these adorable Southern greeting cards from Southern Weddings Magazine. I purchased a square wooden frame from Michaels and just used a staple gun to attach wire to the back of the frame. I purchased tiny little clothes pins as well, and used them to hang the cards. 

I posted this to Instagram recently (username: mrsmollyp) and SW Magazine actually re-posted my picture. I felt a little bit famous.
 This was a really easy project. I think greeting cards can made wonderful art for your home. They tend to be way cheaper than full sized prints. How cute would one of these be for your Christmas cards or wedding invitations?

Come link-up with Stephanie and Katie and show off your projects. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...