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. 

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