Saturday, December 31, 2011

End of the year.

((I know technically there is one day left in 2011.. but seeing as how my sister and one of her friends decided about an hour ago that they are for sure coming to hang out here tomorrow night.. I'm not sure I will be sitting much tomorrow.))

How 2011 started.

This year has not always been cheery, beautiful or spectacular as it should be.  But given the circumstances (as I find myself saying more often than not..) it was a success.

I learned a lot about myself like you do each year you grow older.  As Rob and I grew in our marriage, I learned more about being a parent, friend, daughter, sister, in-law and employee.  I'd say I've successfully fallen into my roles (for the most part) by now.  Life is a learning process, and while I can say it's been a successful growth opportunity, I also feel like it is never a done deal..

This year has taught me many things about myself:

-I am strong.  When I have to be.  When I have no choice but to be strong for the dog, or my husband, then I can do it.  With Rob deployed it wasn't an option to be a strong woman for my family, it was life.. there were no choices.

-Sometimes I have very little patience.  Although I am sure some of my family (cough Dad) would say that this has ALWAYS been the case.  Which may be true.. but my "little patience" was tested more than once with a certain dog.

-I was far too critical of my parents house and how clean it was kept.  It was/is/will always be comfortably lived in.  My apartment is the EXACT same way.  Yes, I try and keep it clean.  But working 4 days a week all day, going to school full time and having my little family are bigger priorities then my apartment always looking spotless.

-I have awful anxiety issues.  This seems to have developed after Rob left.  But I will think all day about the oven being left on, a fire in the apartment building, someone intruding while I shower, etc.  Crazy situations.. but once I have thought about it, I can't get my mind off of it.  It's nuts.

-I'm very defensive.  Of my family. My friends.  Even my acquaintances.  You want to talk bad about them, then I will tell you my two cents.  Every time.

-I'm learning everyday to just roll with it a little bit more.  I try to suppress getting upset and angry as my first instinct.  Granted this doesn't always happen, but it is getting a little bit easier.

-Hobby Lobby is a serious weakness.  Not so much for the crafts, but the holiday decorations on sale so far in advance.. if I walk in there.  I'm done for.  I'm leaving with SOMETHING.

-Being a wife will always be my first job and biggest priority.  No matter where my husband is.  It's a crazy, hectic, tiring job sometimes but it's so rewarding to know that someone loves and relies on you as much as mine does.

As for the new year.. I'm not sure I am going to write down resolutions.  I mean I have things in my mind I'd like to accomplish.  But I'm not going to get mad if they fall through like they do every year.  I'm going to do everything in my power to achieve what I want this year.. but at the end of the day.. as long as I am alive and well.. 2012 will be a success.

I wish each and every one of you a very happy New Year.  I hope it is safe and that it starts out on a great foot.

Always,
Amanda

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!



Puts things in perspective today, huh?

It's been a busy 24 hours for us.  As Piston and I came over yesterday at 3, and are still here today at 3.  Between mass, Christmas dinner, presents, a way too short night of sleep, Santa presents (yes I'm 21 and still indulge in "Santa"), some movies and overall keeping Piston entertained.. I haven't had a whole lot of time to think about what is missing this year.  But that thought sits there in the back of my mind.. my husband is not home.  That's the one thing I wish different about this year.

At the end of the day it has been a success.. new toys for the dog that have left him sprawled across the floor sleeping.. hard.  Some wanted gifts (Snooki slippers anyone??) and some needed gifts (a fireproof safe).  Lots of laughter about the most random things.  Some alcohol and family time.  The most ideal kind of Christmas.

So on this day I'd like to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas.  I hope it is a safe one and that if you are by chance separated from those nearest and dearest to you this year, I pray that they come home safely to you soon.

Our countdown to R and R has started. =)  But the festivities of today are not over.. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Four point oh!

Exciting news!!

That 4.0 from last session at DeVry?  Still there!!

I was a bit worried.. why you ask?  I had the worst professor EVER.  I mean this is only my second session at DeVry but this guy was like halfway there but kind of not really.  As a result he never posted in discussion threads, never provided feedback on homework and never answered questions in a timely manner.  Well by week seven of eight I had pretty much had it with this dude.  I was still missing about half a dozen grades in the gradebook.  Luckily I was not the only one getting fed up with homeboy over there.  There were tons of e-mails going back and forth between classmates as everyone was scrambling and freaking out and discussing what to do.  Well anyway... I completed my final test and then basically washed my hands of it all..

Until I got one of those grades that was missing back.  He has taken 10 points off of a 60 point assignment and he told me four things when providing me with feedback.. "sketchy, ill developed and lacking color... more like a highly developed thumbnail."  Seriously dude?  I followed the directions word for word.  Did what I was supposed to do and now you are just going to take random points off?  So I may or may not have fired back and said that it would have been nice if he would have helped and then suggested that he reconsider next session considering how this one went.

Ooopss... in retrospect, probably not the smartest move.

So then I spent 3 full days stressing about what could make or break my session.  And regretting posting so hastily (ever have one of those moments?)  Thank goodness he decided to not be a total prick and passed me with an A.

Carry on 4.0.. carry on.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Need to get this out of my system.

First I'd like to start by saying it was a WONDERFUL weekend here.  Friday I helped my sister move out of her sorority house and into a house house.  Saturday I got ALL my Christmas shopping done with one of my frannns..  Today I got to see Trans Siberian Orchestra and the Chiefs woooooooped some butt!  Hell to the yes.  So good weekend?  Most definitely.

But one thing has been driving me nuts all weekend.  This "celebration" of the war in Iraq being over.  Yes, by all means that is an outstanding reason to celebrate.  We no longer have troops there.. one less unstable place for our men and women to be occupying.  BUT.. those troops aren't home.  Some, yes.  Not all.  And the media/president/leaders want Americans to believe that these troops are going to be home for the holidays and on safe ground.  WRONG.  The majority are temporarily in Kuwait.  Some will be heading home.. but a lot will just be reassigned to Afghanistan.  For those of us close to the military, that is not a reason to celebrate.. at all.

Sidenote, I've been kind of emotional lately.  I don't know why.

I just want to shout at the top of my lungs that what we see/hear on the news, is not necessarily the real deal.   Some people are just so naive and take what they hear as the truth and don't ever question it.. and it kills me.

Please let me know if you know/sympathize with what I'm saying.


And one more thing while I am getting some ranting out of my system.  I HATE bandwagon people.  For example.. last weekend the Chiefs had 23958221987 million negative status' about them.  This week they beat the undefeated Packers, and now all of a sudden EVERYONE loves them again.  Shut up, no you don't.

I love the Kansas City Chiefs.. Monday through Sunday.. 365 days a year 24/7.  Yeah they have their suck weekends.  And yeah they piss me off, but you'll NEVER hear me say that I'm not a fan or that I hate them.

Just to be clear.

Oh.. and FINAL thing.  It frustrates me so much that the only way I have to communicate with my husband is through technology.  If for whatever reason, technology is out on either end.. then we are S.O.L.  If the technology is sucking big time, oh well.. can't do nothing about it.  Don't get me wrong, I am thankful for the technology but I miss rolling over in bed and having my husband there, or looking down the couch and having him there.  Over this deployment stuff.

I cried when they thanked the troops at Trans Siberian Orchestra today.  And I'm not ashamed to admit it.

(Like I said, EMOTIONAL.)

End being negative nelly over huuuuuur.


I have one of my grades back for this session.  94%. Waiting on my other class still.. but I'm feeling pretty dang confident about that 4.0 carrying through another session. =)

It's the week before Christmas.  I'm actually not dreading this week quite so much.  I feel it will go fast and then it will be time to load P's kennel up and jet off to my parentals for a SLUMBER PARTY/celebration.  Maybe I'm finally starting to feel in the mood?

Now just presents to wrap.  An apartment to clean.. and a few days of getting up way earlier than I like to and I can say I survived Christmas.

Whose with me?

Friday, December 16, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

Hosted by Wife of a Sailor.

1. One of my New Year's resolutions is to maintain my 4.0 GPA.

2. One thing I'd like to happen next year is for Rob to return safely and our next move to be smooth and easy.

3. One thing I'm looking forward to next year is moving again.  I'm anxious to get out of this apartment, especially since we will be looking for a HOUSE with a backyard for our next rental.

4. One change I'd like to see next year is my body going back to semi normal.

5. My plans for NYE include nothing. That's right I'm 21 and more than likely I will be ringing in the new year with my dog.  And possibly (if he isn't working) my hubby over skype.

always,
Amanda

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Card Stats.

In the midst of trying to catch up on my week plus of blog posts to read... I came across this post by Adventures of M-Squared.  I may or may not have gotten a little bit excited thinking about my own demographics for the Christmas cards I sent out this last week...  So this evening I sat down and here you go folks:

One card was sent overseas. (Kuwait, obviously.)
29 cards were sent to people/families in Kansas.
5 cards were sent to some friends in Maryland.
3 cards were sent to Florida.
3 cards were sent to Oregon.
2 cards were sent to North Carolina.
2 cards were sent to Texas.
And Missouri, California, Virginia and Georgia all received one.

For a grand total of 49 cards sent to 10 different states and one other country.

All because...
(a little note Mom included in her latest 'checking in' card.)

=) And I may be the only person in the world that gets enjoyment out of sending cards to friends and family.. but I know that if I can cheer just one person's day up by getting a card on a less than stellar day, then it's a good day for me.

always,
Amanda

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

On day xyz...

Christmas caught up with me.

It's been 10 days since I last posted.  10 excruciating days for you all I am sure.  But have no fear.. I have not been sitting on the couch watching TV rather than blogging.. I've been doing other things.. Yea that's right.  Other things.

Like decorating the apartment.  This year we are using my Grandpa's little old tree.  It's perfect for the size of our apartment.  Holds all my favorite ornaments too!  Along with the tree, our stockings our lined by the chimney bookshelf with care.  And a few strands of lights adorn our balcony and doorway.. it's perfect.  Enough to give me that I love winter/Christmas feeling when I wake up in the morning and come into a softly lit living room with a tree standing proudly in the corner.  One thing I will always remember about Christmas at my parents house.. it's just this feeling I can't even describe.



Like helping my parents decorate their house.  We spent an afternoon in the chilly rainy drizzle looking for that perfect tree.  In reality we were satisfying the same quest we go through every year.  Several Christmas tree farms followed by finding the prefect tree already cut leaning up against a wooden frame somewhere.  Another afternoon was spent fiddling around while the mess of Christmas decorating overcame my parents living room.  And at last Brindi and Roxie, found the spirit of Christmas on a blanket waiting to go back to college with my sister.



Like making the Dean's List at school.  Pretty self explanatory.. but my first semester at DeVry and I ended with a 4.0 and this letter in the mail... I'm proud.  To say the least.



Like playing in the snow dusting with Piston.  He's a fan.  A hardcore one.  He doesn't care whether it's a dusting or a 2 foot pile.  He sticks his nose in it and pushes it around.  All the while his tail wagging a million miles an hour.  I stand there next to him and you can't help but smile and laugh along with him.  (And then you get in the car and drive to work and your 15 minute commute takes an hour..)

(please notice the tail going a million miles an hour.)

Like visiting my in-laws.  This last Saturday was spent driving down to see my second family in Springfield, MO.  But I was not alone.. my parents accompanied me.  They got to meet even more of Rob's family and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. ;)  The only thing missing was Rob, of course.

(Rob's step-mom Amy, dad Mark and brother Daylen.
Not the best picture.  Texas Roadhouse hates me.
I NEVER get good pics from there.)

All the while working, finishing up my last week of school (Winter break starts in 3 days.. but whose keeping track?) and putting off Christmas shopping as long as possible.  Please don't make me go into elaborate details as to why the shopping is being put off.  The general gist is... Christmas drivers make me mad.  People in a rush make me mad.  Not finding what I want/need makes me mad.  Next year I WILL be shopping from home.. online... in October or something ridiculous.

It's just under two weeks to Christmas.. there is so much going on.. but first I must get this final report submitted and test completed.. then it's home freeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Hope all my dandy bloggers are doing great!  (I'm trying to catch up on readings.. I'm a week behind though.  YIKES!)

always,
Amanda

Saturday, December 3, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In


Hosted by Wife of a Sailor.



  1. If I could be on any reality TV show, I'd want to be on... IF I had the talent.. Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.
  2. This past Thanksgiving was great.  I loved seeing my extended family and spending time with my parents and sister.  But I missed my husband, a lot.
  3. I'm looking forward to December because it's one month closer to seeing Rob again.
  4. One thing I'd like to accomplish this month is getting an A in my Advanced Design class.. if only my professor would grade my homework so I know where I stand.
  5. To me, winter is better than summer cause I can always add more layers!


Stay tuned for pictures of my casa dolled up for Christmas.

always,
Amanda

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Christmas Survey.

This is how I looked today...



I had time to not only wash my face, brush my teeth, put some make up on, apply deodorant, put my contacts in and get dressed... but to ALSO straighten my hair, perfect this outfit and talk myself into rocking it all day.  Totally out of the norm.

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In other news...

Maybe my not-ready-for-Christmas feelings towards Christmas music, shopping, decorating, etc will vanish once I complete this survey...

Found this fun Christmas survey over at The Adventures of M-Squared.


Egg nog or hot chocolate? Oh hot chocolateeeee. [[In my head I just said that as choc-oh-lattè]]  Love it, but hate the burnt mouth I get 99.75% of the time.

Colored lights on tree/house or white? I've always liked white lights.  My family has always done crazy amounts of colored lights.  This year I plan to intertwine the two... majority white lights with a red/white pattern on my balcony railing.  Candy cane anyone?

Do you hang mistletoe? Noooope.  Nobody to kiss under it this year. =/

When do you put your decorations up?
Usually the week/weekend after Thanksgiving.  Normally we are out of town for Thanksgiving [[like this year]], but I plan on getting them all out and up this weekend.

What is your favorite holiday dish?
Green bean casserole!  Rolls!  Ham!

Favorite holiday memory as a child?
Oh geez, so many.  My parents truly made Christmas special for us every year.  From the adventurous trips to find the perfect tree, to opening presents on Christmas Eve after mass and dinner, to the pajamas that are without fail under the tree to wear to bed that night hand picked by my Dad, to Santa presents along the fireplace Christmas morning, and everything in between.

When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
You'd have to ask my parents that one.  I can't say I recall.  Santa presents always arrived in the same wrapping paper and handwriting that my Mom used though.  ;) My parents still do Santa presents to this day though.

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We open all of our gifts on Christmas Eve.

How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Well last year was the first year I had my own tree.  We decorated with the stuff the USO gave us for free.  Unfortunately our tree came down before Christmas even because the dog was a bit too curious and driving us both insane.  This year I am just going to do a small tree and add some yellow bows to it.  It will be up through February so I am going to try and keep it neutral.

Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love it IF I can have the day off to do nothing but be cozy on my couch with the dog.  Dread it if I have to go out in it.  It definitely doesn't feel right to not have snow though.

Do you remember your favorite gift? I can't say I have a favorite.  Each year my parents generally tried to get us what we wanted/needed.  Example, this year I am asking for a safe box of some kind for our important junk.  I can say one of my favorite "gifts" was my parents making Christmas as special as they could every single year.  And even though the trip up was always dreaded, one of my favorite gifts was them bringing Grandpa home to stay with us for a week every Christmas.

What is your favorite holiday dessert? I can't say I have one.  Mom  usually sets out some Hershey kisses or M&M's and I generally like those more than pie.  I do like cookies though.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?
The pajamas Dad gets us every year.  Generally Mom, Erin and I go to bed matching.  And I know it's something my Dad enjoys doing for us.

Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?
I have like one a year.  I don't really have an opinion about them.  Not my favorite, but I don't hate them either!

Favorite Christmas movie? I'm not really a movie person, much less a Christmas movie person.

Saddest Christmas Song?
Christmas Shoes.  Gets me every year.

What is your favorite Christmas song?
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Our 2010 Christmas picture.



always,
Amanda

Monday, November 28, 2011

I survived.

Thanksgiving weekend with my family. =)

This picture should be in color.. cause that's a sunset.. 
but my camera jacked the colors all kinds of up.

Kidding, but not kidding.  It was a good time, truly.  I love my family to pieces and I was beyond grateful I got to spend this Thanksgiving with them.  But I was reminded why living in my own place is so nice sometimes. =)  Love you Mom, Dad and Erin!

We had a super busy few days.  Lots of shopping (aka Walmart, downtown Colby Kansas and the craft fair in Oberlin Kansas), driving to and from various towns, extended family gatherings and a whole bunch of little things thrown in.  Tons of great food!  [[In fact, that 5 pounds I've lost.. gained about 2 and a half back.. AWESOME!]]  Plus laughter and memories that will live on forever.  Red Solo Cup anyone?  Theme song to our whole trip.

This year was different though.  In the fact that next year chances are I will not be here to spend the holidays with my family.  Unless by some slim chance Rob gets approved for leave during that time [[judging from the past, a very very slim chance.]] I will be spending the next few years with him, wherever that may be, before we settle outside of the Army.  I guess it's a hard reality of growing up and starting your own family and traditions.  It makes me sad to think about though.  Very sad.  For 21 years I have known nothing but the green bean casserole my family specializes in [[and devours]] and the trip west to see the rest of the family.  Known nothing but spending the day being thankful with my own blood line [[last Thanksgiving was spent with Rob's side of the family, but for Christmas I flew home to visit.]].  And next year it will be a bit of a wake up call to spend the holidays away from family.  I know it is time to start our own traditions... but it still makes me feel unprepared and sad to move on from the "known".

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End of heavy stuff. Promise.

Does anyone have some super magical advice for dry skin?  I have the world's driest skin right now and it's driving me insane!  Not to mention my skin is sensitive to break outs when I use "too much" product.  So I am kind of losing this battle with keeping my face hydrated and healthy looking.  Any and all advice would be GREATLY appreciated. =)

The other dilemma I have is... I read all my comments (and love and adore them!) but I am not sure how to respond to them without going back to someone's own blog and leaving some random comment.  Does anyone know how to solve this problem?  There is no respond button on the comments.  Is that my blog or other people's settings?

Otherwise... tomorrow I get to sleep in.  That makes me smile.  I love sleep.  It does great things for me.  But I also have to get up and tackle that dang DMV.  Ughhhhh.. makes me cringe just thinking about it.  So I'm off.. happy week all!

always,
Amanda

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving all!!

I love this holiday!  A time to be thankful and a time to appreciate all that you have.  All the while enjoying good company and good food.  I am currently doing just that in the middle of nowhere Kansas... I hope you are doing that too (maybe minus the middle of nowhere part).

This year I am thankful for many things.  Including--

My husband.  Even though he is wayyy too far away from me this holiday, he still reminds me everyday that I have a ton of things to be thankful for.  I am thankful that I picked him up from the airport in December of 2008, I am thankful we got married in March of 2010 and I am thankful for the year we got to live together in Maryland.  I am thankful we have decided to take on this crazy journey of life together, by each other's side for the rest of time.  I am thankful to be blessed with a man that is not afraid to put his country before himself and I am thankful for each day that I get to be with him..


My family.  I haven't been the easiest on my family in the past year, but they have stood by me none the less.  I am thankful that they were able to look past certain things and open their arms to both Rob and I.  I am thankful my parents raised my sister and I the way that they did with so much love in one household.  I am thankful to be a Ritter by blood and to know that I always have their support no matter where life takes me.  I am also thankful for my in-laws.  When I married Rob I got a whole other family to call my own.  They've accepted me and welcomed me as one of their own and I couldn't be more appreciative.


My dog.  Where would I be without him?  Piston is keeping me sane (well sometimes when I am talking to him I find myself thinking I am insane.. better than talking to myself I guess.) and laughing with his crazy antics.  He is also keeping me on my toes, but I am so thankful to have his furry warm body while Rob is away from us.  I am thankful to have someone excited to see me when I come home from a long day of work.  And I am most definitely thankful that he knows when I just need some loving.


My friends.  Over the years many people have drifted in and out of my life.  There are a select few that know me better than I know myself.  They've been there for me when I've needed them the most and haven't passed one ounce of judgement.  I am so thankful to have these people in my life.  They don't mind a text message full of crazy rambles or a last minute invitation to go to dinner.  They just accept me as me.



My job and good fortune.  I am thankful to be able to go to work during the week and bring a paycheck home every couple of weeks.  It provides me with many luxuries that not many others can afford during this economy.  I am thankful to be 21.. married.. going to school still.. but enjoying life how I want to.

And you know how the rest of them go... the roof over my head, food, my health, etc.




I hope you all have a fabulous day full of scrumptious meals and tons of laughter with your nearest and dearest.
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What would YOU do?

So I had a situation this evening that has left me wondering what everyone else would do...

This evening I tackled the crazy amounts of laundry that had piled up and needed done ($18 later.. but that's another story).  The apartments I live in have a gym/laundry facility on the other side of the complex.  They are two different rooms with the laundry room nestled in the corner of the gym but open via windows to the whole building.  If that makes any sense.  Anyway, I was picking up the last of my laundry and I could hear this commotion coming from out in the gym area.  It's a small gym (couple treadmills, an elliptical, some bikes and lifting equipment sum it up) and there was only a couple of people in the whole building (me, another guy doing laundry, a 5 or 6 year old, a man and a woman [I believe were with said child]), so it was pretty obvious where it was coming from.  The man was yelling and cursing at the little boy.  I'm not sure what exactly was going on.  The child was crying and the man was telling him he had to stay on the treadmill.  It seemed a little inappropriate for public but I didn't see the man touch the child (thank goodness) so I didn't interfere.

When I went to go load my car.. the other man that had been doing laundry was outside smoking a cigarette.  I was mumbling something when I came outside, a bit upset at what I had just overheard.  We made small talk about how weird/awkward that was and I even went as far as saying, "I debated whether I should call the cops or not".  I decided not to.. but it's kind of left me a bit unsettled.

Like I said the man didn't touch the child (that I saw), he just seemed very verbally abusive.  I'd hate to be the one that didn't call when I should have and helped that child out of an unfortunate situation.  I'm not a parent, and I know that sometimes you just pop.  But that seemed far more inappropriate than it should have been.  And it sickens me to know that the woman let the man pop off like that on such a young child.

The thought I can't quit thinking..


What would you guys have done in the same situation?
How do you handle a situation like that when you are in public and someone "disciplines" their child in a way you don't think appropriate?
I'm sure I shot them some dirty looks but that is about it...
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Monday, November 21, 2011

From one wife to another...

This post is an honest view from someone directly affected by the choices made in Washington.  If you have time I suggest you check it out.

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So I went MIA.

Yikes, blogging got away from me for just a second.

Things on my mindddddd:

-I love long weekends.  And right before another long weekend too?  I will most definitely, certainly take that boss lady.  Thank goodness for her taking vacation a week early and Thanksgiving falling on a Thursday!  (Not that this weekend has been all that productive, but it was still a long one.. and it ain't over yet.)

-I've decided the most awful situation anyone ever has to endure is going to the DMV.  Actually scratch that.. going to the DMV for something that should take five seconds.  Long story short, I ordered a personalized plate when my Dad officially gifted my car to me.  That was in October.  A few weeks ago I got the letter saying that it was in!  So on Wednesday I drove up the place I ordered it from.. to find out it's not there.  It's at a different one.  Friday I go to the other location.. and it's a 2 HOUR and 45 MINUTE wait.  What?!! To pick up a plate I already ordered?!!!  Needless to say.. not sure when I am going to have close to 3 hours to wait at the DMV to pick that up...

-Saturday's weather was GORGEOUS here in Kansas.  Almost 70 degrees.  We had windows open and music going, and Piston and I were LOVING it.  And then it went to about 30 degrees in under an hour.  Oh Kansas, you love to play mind games with me, huh?

-This week has been kind of stressful gearing up for next week at school.  I am going to be out of town most of next week.. somewhere where internet is not an easily accessible commodity.  Go figure this would be the week that one class has a group project.  How nice.. huh?  I explained to my professor my situation and she told me to go to a library.  Uh lady.. the closest ANYTHING is 30 minutes away, and I'm not kidding.. so then she was like well one year I was in Texas and I was surprised to find internet at a gas station and a coffee shop... oh really?  That'd be nice.. minus the fact there isn't either of those for probably even farther than 30 minutes.  Apparently she doesn't get Kansas. ;)

-I stepped on the scale today and it was five pounds lighter than when I started focusing on weight November 1st.  My biggest change believe it or not is eating more fruits and veggies and cutting out almost all pasta and replacing it with grilled chicken.  Not to mention not drinking soda except on occasion and instead drinking tons of water.  It's amazing how much better I feel already.  I've also cut portion sizes, without even realizing it.  I just naturally eat less and feel full faster and I've been telling myself to stop before I eat that last little bit that I'm not hungry for.  I'm a bit worried about the holidays, but I am going to try walking more.. around the farm, and with family.  In return I am not going to worry about indulging on Thanksgiving.  I just don't want to be someone that beats myself up over eating crummy one or two days.  It's not worth it.  But I am at a much better place right now, and on my way to happiness when it comes to my body again.

-So I have a minor rant... I'm getting annoyed with coupon-ers.  I mean more power to you.  I do it on big items and should probably do it on smaller ones too.  I'm not annoyed with the ones that do it for what they need.  I am annoyed with the ones that do it for stuff they don't need just because they can.  What exactly does it solve having a ton of febreeze bottles sitting around?  Not only that but it clears off a shelf of items that people are going to pay for and use.. I don't know why, it just annoys me.  Or maybe the pictures of a huge stock pile are what really annoys me...  End of soap box.

-I discovered a setting that had a bunch of the blogs I read on anonymous subscriptions.  So if I have been to your blog lately and commented but you didn't see me following until now, I APOLOGIZE!  I promise I've been reading all along!


Well it's one in the AM and that's all I can think of. =) Off to go read everyone else's fabulous blogs!  Probably won't be around much this week as the aforementioned trip is coming up here real soon!  But regardless, happy Monday to all!
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Season change.

So I don't know about you all but I know that my LEAST favorite part of winter is the fact that it gets dark at 5:30.  Five thirty?!! I'm not even off of work yet.  And that's just this month... the days are going to get even shorter before they get longer again!  I'd be perfectly fine with winter if the days were as long as summer days.  I have no problem with the cold (you can always put more layers on!) especially since 9 times out of 10 the days are nice, and the nights are cold.  At least here in Kansas that is. ;)

But the other thing I don't like about winter is that depressed feeling that can sneak up on people when they go to work right after they wake up and come home after dark.  Do that four to five times a week.. and you start to get down.  I'm terrified that this year that will be an issue for me since Rob is gone.  I can't say I've ever battled with depression or anything of the likes, but I can say that I have battled feeling really lonely since Rob deployed.  It's only natural I assume.  I'm not the biggest fan of living by myself.  Granted, I do have the dog.  But when you eat all 3 meals alone during the day, and have no one to talk to BUT the dog... it gets to you.  Reminds you how lonely you truly are.  I don't know how the wives do it that go through multiple deployments AND have to be the strong one for their children.  My hats off to you ladies.

This winter I vow to make plans with my friends and family so that those feelings don't sneak up on me.  I vow to make the most of my lunch break.. opening the window shades, taking Piston for a walk or cracking the window just a tad in the car.  I vow to laugh when I feel like crying and to make the most out of this adventure. I vow to never forget that although I think I have it bad, someone almost always has it worse.

And I am ever so thankful for those that do check in on me everyday.  Especially my parents.


Well.. Monday is over, and cheers to the rest of the week.
I leave you with a picture from this weekend:


P.S. I am happy to inform everyone that Piston has gotten better since this weekend.  He had to go without food for a bit, and then eat some yummy rice and hamburger mixture, but he survived, I survived and more importantly things are pretty much back to normal.

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Done.. earring holder, my way.

Well this weekend was spent going to lunch with an old friend, cleaning the closet, getting winter clothing out, doing homework, spending time with my family... AND completing one of the crafts I had been eyeing.  No idea why it took me this long to do it because it was super easy.

In case you missed it, here is my post about this craft.
(My version is not painted though)

Supplies needed for MY version:
-one spool of ribbon
-cheese graters.  I found mine at Walmart for less than $2 a piece
-hot glue
-scissors


1. Cut the ribbon down to the length of the handle.  As you can tell I picked out ribbon that matches the color scheme in our bedroom, but you can pick out any color or design.  (And ideally if I had the money for it, my sheets would be made out of this silky material in this pattern!)

2. Run hot glue down the length of both edges of the handle and press the ribbon on.  Hold for a few second to let it dry.  Don't worry about the edges being a perfect fit for the length of the handle as you are going to cover it later.


3. Cut long strips of ribbon and tie into bows.  I did four so that I would have one for each size and two for each grater as I was making two of these.  I also folded the ends of the ribbon and cut to make the edges fancy.


4. Glue the bows onto each end of your ribbon strip.  I glued the bows directly to the ribbon instead of the grater itself.  You have to hold these for longer than you did the ribbon on the handle, otherwise they will not hold.


5. Add earrings!  I arranged all mine by color.. but here is just an example of what it looks like.


And I already LOVE having this around.  This morning I wore a pair of earrings I always forget about when they were just all bunched together.

Did you all do anything crafty this weekend?

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Late night musings.

I should really be going to bed but I'm freaking out over Piston.  As usual..

[[warning, going to get a bit into the TMI zone.]]

About a month ago I took him to the vet for this wheezing coughing sound and he was diagnosed with kennel cough.  So we put him on an expensive antibiotic and waited it out.  I noticed that he started having soft poop.  Okay.. no big deal.  Probably a side effect of the antibiotic.  Well here it is a month later and he has been off of it for about 2 weeks now and he still has nothing solid in his poop.  In the last 24 hours it's turned to straight liquid... it doesn't seem to phase him otherwise, but it drives me nuts!  Looks like tomorrow I will be purchasing some canned pumpkin to try and kick this dilemma in the butt..


In other news, I did some retail therapy.  I must admit I'm addicted.. ... to purses.  I've actually done really well considering my husband is not around to supervise.  Have resisted the urge to even look for weeks now.  Today that trend came to an end.  Say hello to my latest find:

The purse... I'm addicted to hardware.  I'm not sure why.

And wallet.. that is pretty darn close to matching.

The funny part about making a new purchase such as this one is that I am always so eager to go and buy something, just so I can go digging through my purse and then pull my card out of my new wallet.  Maybe that's just me...

How bout you guys, what's your addiction?

P.S. If anyone has any advice related to the dog, do share please.

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Friday, November 11, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

Hosted by Wife of a Sailor.

  1. Freedom is not free.  So many individuals have sacrificed over the years for me to be able to sit here and write this blog.. to feel safe in my apartment.. to have pride in this country.  It's taken for granted far too much these days.
  2. Veterans are amazing individuals who at one point or another sacrificed their time for this country and put their life on the line for this country at one point in time.  Whether it be the little old man proudly sporting the Veteran hat or the 18 year old fresh out of basic.  To me they are all Veterans.
  3. This country is lost in its own glory sometimes.  Many Americans forget the ideals that this country was founded on years ago.  But it is a great nation, where women have rights, opportunity is around every color and a few days a year we celebrate that beauty.
  4. Veteran’s Day means honoring all those that have served, are serving or will serve this great country.
  5. A hero is an everyday person that does un-ordinary things.  Whether it be a service-member, a fireman, a police officer or the average joe that puts his life on the line each and every day.



Happy Veteran's Day everyone! 
 I know today I am missing my husband extra hard, but I swell with pride knowing that he is out there doing his job, keeping this country safe.. and that just this one day a year he is thanked and honored for doing that.  Thank someone today.. whether it be a past or present service-member, they deserve to know the gratitude this country has for them.  I thank each and every one of you who has put your life on the line for this country.  And you wives who stand by them.. you deserve a huge thanks too.

Keep strong and carry on.



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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Blog Reader.

So, I was informed that my posts are not/were not showing up in my reader's feeds.  I think I fixed this problem.  But I really don't know.  If you follow me... could you do me a favor and let me know if my posts are showing up in your feed?? Just comment right down there.. Thanks all!

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What if?

Found this over at GI Joe's Wife.

What if I were to get pregnant? Well that would be a Virgin Mary sort of deal considering my husband is thousands and thousands of miles away.

What if I could have any job in the world? Ideally someday I will be a stay at home mom that runs a design business how of my at home office.  That way I'd get to raise my children and somebody else wouldn't have to do it for me, and I'd get to use my degree for something.

What if I had a day all to myself? I have those ALL the time.. unless you count Piston as me not being by myself.  My days tend to consist of running tons of errands with the occasional pampering session thrown in. By occasional I mean few and far between really.

What if I could get married all over again? If I could do it all again huh?  I want the big ceremony and stuff, but I feel the way that we did it was the best for us at the time.  The one thing I would change is having my family and friends there with us when we eloped.  Someday in our future we will have a vow renewal that will be the ceremony I've always wanted, but there won't be that "now what" phase after.

What if I could live anywhere in the US? I love Kansas. But I also love many other parts of this country. I'd be fine living anywhere if my family or Rob's family was there as well.

What if I were to have more children? More? Maybe I should have one first? We are contemplating getting another fur baby.  It will be exciting, and make it so my house is constantly bustling without human children.  Piston would love every minute of it though considering we plan to get him a sister when we get him a backyard as well.

What if I could have any talent in the world? I'd be one of those people that works out everyday.  Doesn't have to talk themselves into it, just does it.  If only...

What if you met me in real life? You'd think I'm awesome.  I'm super easy to talk to (or at least I think) and I'm not judgmental at all.  In fact I've been known to talk and talk and talk.. especially when I am tired.. You'll learn that if I consider you a friend, I will go out of my way to do things for you.  And you'll learn that I love to love things, people, life.

What if I went back to school? Already doing it.  =) So proud of myself.  I took a semester off, changed degrees 3 times but I am still getting it done.

What if money weren't an object?  I'd pay off my student loans.. now and future.  I'd set up college plans for my someday children.  I'd drive a newer car.  I'd own a house.  I'd be a regular donor to charity..

What if I could meet one celebrity? It might be fun for like a few minutes.  But then I would realize just how weird their life is compared to mine.  I'd like to meet J.R. Martinez though.. he is such a huge inspiration.

What if I could only shop at one store for the rest of my life? Target.  I think I could manage only shopping there.

What if I could choose an animal/pet? I think Rob and I already have.. his name is Piston.  He has crazy energy.  Yes, he is named after a car part.  We also have a beta fish named Rodney.. Rod for short.  So we have Rod and Piston.. if you know anything about cars.. you'll get that.


What if I could go on a trip right now? I'd go to the Bahamas.  With Rob. It's my dream vacation to stay at the Atlantis and live as though money is truly not an issue.

What if I had to choose between a house cleaner and professional chef? I'd have to go with chef.  Then he could teach me how to cook, better.  Once I learn.. wallah, I fire the chef and get a house cleaner.  Then I sit back all day everyday and do nothing.

What if I had the option to get plastic surgery? I don't know.  I'd think long and hard about that one...

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Monday, November 7, 2011

In my mind.

I've got my eye on these crafts right now.

I've got all the supplies bought for this one.. but instead of painting it and putting feet on it, I am going to wrap some ribbon around the handle part and tie it with a bow.  I purchased some ribbon that matches our bedroom and now I just need to put it together.

How cute is this?  Reminds me of a wreath.  Probably going to crank this out for my holiday cards.  (Or two or three.. IF I get that many.)

What are you guys in love with right now?

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Being an adult is overrated.

Or so the whipped cream commercial says.  The same commercial that directly reflected my family at Thanksgiving every year of my life thus far.  The "adult table" and the "children's table" was the norm.  Wait, what? It's Thanksgiving time already??? I'm not sure I am ready for the holidays this year.  But it keeps catching me off guard just how quickly it's come around this year.  I guess that's one way to keep me out of the stores though... put up Christmas before Thanksgiving even pasts.

How gorgeous is this table?

I'm lucky though.  I don't have to worry about planning Thanksgiving dinner or anything.  That's what the adults are for. :)

We did decorate for Thanksgiving around here though.. we decorated, but didn't clean up.  It's like half decorated, half messy.  It's lived in

Other than the holidays creeping up on us...

-grades came back.  4.0 for my first session at DeVry.  Now to keep it up.

-it has finally rained here.  A steady rain since this afternoon.. including thunderstorms.  Kind of strange for November, but we will take it!

-4.7 magnitude aftershocks in Oklahoma?! What exactly is going on?? I can't say I'm one that has felt it though.. my dad thinks that is because I am always sitting on the couch when it happens.  I guess I'm just not an experienced earthquake person.

Well I woke up this morning with some mad drainage in my throat.  Progressively feeling worse as the day goes on.  =/ No good my friends.. I pray it doesn't develop into something worse.  Boss lady needs me at work tomorrow!  So evening plan? News. Shower. Warm bed.

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So proud.

Well it's been awhile y'all.  But I FINALLY got my blog looking how I want it to.  Along with the new look it also got a new name and a new focus towards helping military spouses, showing off my creative style and in general keeping things real in the blog-osphere.  So it will be a little less personal, but you will still get a look into my life.  As Amanda... the Kansan, military wife, mother of a fur baby.. the woman.. in general.

If you visit and notice something not working or looking funny on your end, PLEASE let me know!

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Changes.

Well I have some changes in mind for my blog.  New layout, new idea/theme, etc.

Instead of this being a personal blog for family and friends.. I am going to turn it into more of a "people-who-don't-know-me" friendly blog.  I am going to try and write less about what I did over the weekend and more about events that get me thinking, crafts/unique ideas, my life as a mil spouse.. etc.  Hopefully it will get me over that 4 person follower hump.

SO bear with me while I kind of re-invent this. =)  May be under construction for a bit.

Don't worry though, it will still have me written all over it, and for those that do know me personally you guys will still know what is going on in my life for the most part.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Remind yourself.

A good friend once sent me this...

Huge hurdle.

I am proud to announce I have completed my first online session of school at Devry.  =) Only 4 semesters to go.  Which is 8 sessions.. if I'm doing my math right.  It might be 4 semesters and a session.  Need to chat with those advisers again and get the dirt.  Regardless, I feel so relieved . I have a 3 day break and then the first session of the fall semester starts.  Quite a lovely break.  Hopefully the one after this will be longer?  That would be nice!

It is cold and late.  I will update when I have exciting news to share (like grades!!!!).
Until then, HAPPY WEEKEND... mine has already started.
It's okay to be jealous.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Should of would of..

Definitely SHOULD be heading to bed right now..
but I WOULD have liked a shower first.. haha.

Just finished taking my final for my math class.
An hour and a half later... hopefully (fingers crossed) I did good.. or well enough to maintain my grade.

Tomorrow I have to tackle the visual design final project.
Thus why I should be going to bed..
Cause I also have to do laundry..
And shower, since I probably won't get to that tonight.

Sometimes being an adult sucks.
But on the bright side.. I'm almost done with my first session at Devry!!! =)
Going to get this degree knocked out.. and be done with school.
Although I think I will miss it.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

One of those days.

It was a good one, but at the end of the day I am left missing my husband a lot.

It seems most days tend to go like this though.

I can be out all evening.. even appear as though I'm having a great time, but at the back of my mind I can't stop thinking of how much better everything would be if my husband was with me.. or waiting at the house for me to get home.  Not every day is like this.. but the days that are hit me like a ton of bricks.

Whether it be a movie that has a love story line.
A wedding.
Or some random chick talking about what she wants in love..

Lets just say I am MORE thank thankful that I at least have Piston to come home to.  How do the wives that don't even have a pet get through it??



Things have been going here.. I work all week.. which is more than welcome as it seems like once I leave a weekend, I turn right around and it's weekend time again.  For the most part my weekends have been fairly busy.  For example this weekend, went and saw the new Footloose with my mom.  Which I highly suggest!  Attended someone from church's wedding and reception.  Met up with some people I used to work with for some drinks out on the town.. and I still have tomorrow.  A trip to Emporia for a chilifeed is in store.

:) Speaking of which, I better go shower and hit the hayyyy.. I don't have to drive but I do have a house I'd like to clean before Monday and a couple of homework assignments to finish!

Happy weekend everyone..

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I've noticed.

That I sometimes have a knack for over sharing.

I have NO problem talking about birth control or periods.  I'm not going to hide the fact I had a drink or two the night before.  If I haven't paid the bills yet because I just haven't felt like dealing with stupid bill service phone systems, I will tell you I haven't paid the bills yet.  If I find out juicy information about someone I know, more than likely my husband, parents and best friends know too.

Rarely do I just hold it in.  Maybe that's why so many people were shocked to find out Rob and I have been married for longer than it's been on Facebook.  I'd like to chalk that one up to the fact that we lived in Maryland.. and almost everyone else lived in Kansas among other places.

But I find myself wondering if I should censor myself at work.. my boss seems to share just as much with me.  But I don't want to sound like I am constantly complaining or really unhappy.  Or worse not responsible!  There is one thing I've had to censor myself with constantly when I'm at work.. my living location after next summer.  How it will more than likely not be in Kansas.  I want her to treat me as though I am going to be here for longer than a year, even though that's probably not the case.

Maybe I am the only one aware of what I say these days.  I definitely would not say it's a bad thing.  I'm just hyper aware of it anymore..

Monday, October 10, 2011

We've changed.

All of us from high school have grown up and changed.  Recently I have been back in touch with some friends from high school that grew apart after graduation.  Some of us are married, others have kids, others are in their last year of college, we almost all work, and the majority of us are in relationships.  It has both it's good and bad moments reconnecting with someone you knew when you were 18 and younger.  The person you walked the halls of high school with is not necessarily the same person today.  For the most part, yes.  But as they grew up and took their own path in life they also changed, or we could call it matured.  It's kind of fun thought to see where everyone is at this point in their life.  At the end of the day we are all the same age, but each one has their own life story.

Sometimes I wonder what old friends and acquaintances think of when I tell them I'm married.  My husband is in the Army and currently half a world away from me.  What did they see me doing with my life?  I'd like to think I am doing everything I always said I would do.  I'm about a year and a half away from being done with my Bachelor's degree.  I left Kansas.  If only for a year, I still left.  And I will leave again.  I wonder if it shocks people to hear that Rob and I are married.  Anyone that knew us in high school knew we had our good and our bad days.  Leaning more towards the bad days the majority of senior year.  In high school we were two totally different people.  Now look at us.. we share a life together.  (And it's a beautiful one!)

I know that sometimes I find myself getting caught up in what other people are doing with their life.  I really shouldn't.  But sometimes I guess you could say it's interesting and fun to learn that someone that never wanted to be a parent, is now raising a child all on her own.  Or the person that changed degrees every semester practically, finally settled on one and is 100% focusing on it.  I'd like to think positively for everyone I've met or will meet and what their future holds for them.  There are people from my past that I never want to have anything to do with, but that doesn't mean I wish bad things on them in their future.

Guess they call this growing up.  Being able to be mature about the past, the future and the present.  I'm content with where my life is.  Sure I wish my husband was here with me instead of in Kuwait.  But I can't change that.  So I will make the best of my life right now as it is, and write this chapter moving forward every day marching to my own beat.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Why is it..

That I feel like everyone else in this world is so negative?

A baby girl is missing in the Kansas City area.  The first thing people online from out of state think of is.. this is a scam.  After seeing the baby girl's father on the news, people think.. he doesn't seem sincere and upset enough.  Don't they realize everyone handles grief differently?  Can't they think that maybe for just one moment he composed himself enough to get through a TV interview?  Can people not just assume the worst of EVERYONE and think that maybe for just one minute this baby girl was snatched from her own bedroom, without anyone hearing by a complete stranger...

I feel like the only person these days that doesn't assume the worst.  I wasn't convinced Casey Anthony was responsible, knew Amanda Knox was not a murderer, wished for Troy Davis to be released just hours before his scheduled execution.  But everywhere I go everyone is so negative.  They assume the opposite of the positive outcome.

Call me naive, or call me dumb.  I guess I just see good in everyone and don't automatically assume guilt or fault.  I don't believe what the media always has to say.  I can come to my own conclusions based on the facts presented through the media.  It's just so crazy to see everyone jump to the worst conclusion possible.  Why the hell do we do that?  Is our society so screwed that we can't see good in anyone anymore?


I shake my head at all those willing to pass judgment so early.  All those not willing to see good..

Friday, September 30, 2011

A Fall night in..

"The monkey married the baboon sister.
First he smacked his lips and then he kissed her.
Kissed her so hard that he made a blister.
And that was the end of the baboon sister."

I started this post several days ago as thoughts of my grandfather just kept swirling through my head.  For those that know him and got to be blessed by his presence, consider yourself lucky.  He is one person that will never slip from my memory.  Just like my Grandma Ritter.  They both raised my parents, who in turn raised me, and I'd like to think that in some ways I am much like my grandparents would have raised me to be too.  The quote at the beginning is not a quote, but rather a song my Grandpa used to wake us up to when we stayed at his house in Concordia.  He thought he was a hoot, and we thought we'd sure like some more sleep.  Now though as I remember him and who he was in my life, this song tends to sum it up.  He was that one person that wasn't afraid of what others would think of him.  He had his views and he stood like a rock when it came to them.  He loved his family unconditionally.  A thought that many people brought up at his funeral.  Even in his last few months he would still crack jokes about the most random things, but it was a sign that life was still in him.  I don't think I would have known my life the way I did without my Grandpa in it.  He was at every major event in my life and he never missed a holiday until he was moved to the nursing home when it came to sending cards.  He was predictable and familiar in my life, and after last weekend I realize that now he is out there watching over us but on Earth he is buried under some fresh dirt.. still so hard to accept...

As I mentioned, last weekend Mom and I spend some time in Concordia.  Luckily there was so much going on that we didn't really have time to dwell on the fact that one month before we were going through a funeral right there in that same town.  This time instead of meaning the loss of someone great to us, it was a fun weekend spent making new memories and laughing at how some people never change.  We saw the parade, walked around the festival, attended a dance (which was basically just a bunch of bikers drinking beer and listening to some pretty good live music), lunched with some of Mom's old classmates, donated money for the library to get new carpet and in return, Mom got to sign the old carpet, attended the demolition derby, saw some family, devoured some good food, lunched with Mom's best friends son, shopped and at the end of the weekend we were more than just a little bit worn out.

After such a quick and jam packed weekend, this last week has actually gone by fairly quickly.  Minus the hiccups here and there.  Like Piston getting diagnosed with kennel cough, although the vet isn't sure where he got it.  Now his daily pill regime is bigger than mine.  Like me being sick as well.  It's either a head cold or just really bad allergies.  So bad that I stayed in bed until about 4 today and told my boss further training for work would have to wait.  Like having an exam at work.  Basically I have two funky spots in my neck and shoulders, as well as half way down my back and my right hip is a bit messed up.  Good to know.. now lets fix it!  Like the house being a total mess but the Halloween decorations being put out (come on people it's a month and a day away!).  Like the weather going from hot to cold.. in hours.  Basically that's a Kansas fall in a nutshell.  The giant moths on the other hand, Piston and I could do without.  I've killed two tonight alone.

But today we got to celebrate my Daddy's birthday.  Another year older.  It means a lot that I got to celebrate it with him this year.  As last year I was in Maryland.  We went out for dinner and walked around Bass Pro.  Simple yet just right.  I hope he had a marvelous day, as he truly deserves it.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Thankful.

Tonight I am reminded of the need to feel thankful.

I am thankful for my husband.  No matter how far away he is, he can make any day better just by telling me he loves me.  It's such a great feeling to know that he chose me to spend the rest of his life with.  I love knowing that if/when things get rough, he will be right next to me going through it all with me.  Today I was reminded things can change in an instant.  My lunch break was when I received word that Rob had had an accident while playing for the company soccer team.  5 to 10 minutes not remembered, a ride in an ambulance and the discovery of an arachnoid cyst later and the headache still lingers.  Hopefully no MRI's show anything more.. I can't imagine where I'd be without him.  He IS who I want to spend the next 60 to 80 years with before moving on to Heaven (hopefully) to spend eternity with.

I am thankful for Piston.  It's amazing how that little fur ball can make me smile so much one moment and make me so frustrated the next.  I can't express how hard it is to take care of him by myself, but I wouldn't change it for the world.  Sunday night I spent the evening without him while he was still boarded and his presence was missed.  Greatly.  All of his little quirks remind me of how much I love him.  And it helps to know that someone is waiting anxiously for me at home.

I am thankful for my family.  I'm 100% positive one of the best decisions I made was moving back to Kansas for this deployment.  I've been battling feeling lonely a lot lately and it's great to know that I can call up Mom or Dad and grab some dinner, or come hang out at the house for an evening.  Even just being back within driving distance of my sister is a great feeling.  We may not all always get along, but we do love each other at the end of the day.  Sometimes you take for granted having that love around, and when you live so far away, you wish more than anything you could just drop in for an afternoon of chit-chat.  Now that it's just 20 minutes away from me.. I'm soaking that love up.

I am thankful for my friends.  They are few and far between, but they know who I am and what I stand for better than the average person obviously.  It's amazing how quickly I turn to Allison for advice or a quick vent.  She could probably tell you how I am feeling before I even finish my statement.  And vice versa.  Even though we don't get to see each other that often, when we do.. it's like we see each other everyday.  Closer to home there is Kara.. someone who can come over and just drop in for some drinks and some Sex and the City and feel content in going through old memories and laughing at new ones.  And whenever I need a break from life's daily routine I can meet up with Lindsay for dinner and an evening of catching up.  Perfect for us married ladies.. where would I be without the support of these main 3?  Even lonelier.  As we grow up, sometimes different people enter different phases at different times which makes things hard on a friendship.. the key is to know when to fight for it and when to let it go.  One of the decisions that will never be easy for anyone.. but part of life I suppose.  I wouldn't even be able to list all the people that have made an impact in my life over the years and left that lasting impression that molded me into who I am today.

I am thankful for my life and being able to live it in freedom.  I've had my fair share of learning experiences over the years.  I don't regret any of these things, but I promised myself I would learn from them.  Most days I feel I have done an extraordinary job at this.. I can look back at the last 21 years and pinpoint obstacles I've had to overcome, memories I care to not remember and those little events (Dec 20th anyone?) that led to how my life is today.  This life is what you make it.. I am so thankful for what I have and who is in it.  At the end of the day I am who I am and I am not molding to fit any certain model of who I should, would or could be.  I am just Amanda, but I have so much to live for, and I am beyond thankful for what God has blessed me with in this life, here and now.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Laughter, weddings and memories.

Once again the week passed without so much as a blip of fun.  I guess that's what it is like to be a working person these days.. your weeks... SUCK.  But then again it was only 3 days versus the usual 4.

Friday I introduced my families to each other.  As in my parents and Rob's grandparents.  We went to a new diner out here in Olathe and then over to my parents to drink some wine and play pool.  Everyone got along great.. it was super special for me.  Just wish that Rob could have been there like I know he wishes he would have.  But there are years and years in our future where we can make new memories with our families together.  I just have to remind myself of that. =)

Saturday I dropped the dog off and took off for McPherson, KS with my family for a cousin on my Moms sides wedding.  It was fun.  I love weddings.  Even though they are sometimes hard to get through, being a part of another person's big day is special.  Just reminds me of how much I want to have a special something some day!

We ended up staying the night down there in a hotel.  Then took our time coming back today.  Stopped at some historical sites along the way and met my sister's new special friend.  Finally rolled back into KC around 8.  Too late to pick my sweet boy up from the kennel.  So I'm sitting at home tonight without him, and it's weird.  Hard for me to think of how much he has become a part of my life.  Especially with Rob gone.  Piston is definitely my best friend, house mate and rock.. I just miss him tonight.

But as I sat here just a few minutes ago watching Rob get ready for work, I'm reminded of how hard this day is for so many across America.  I was only 11.  Barely old enough to realize what those attacks on America meant back then.  Now that I am 21, I have a bit more insight into what it meant.. especially since my husband is serving in the Army and I am constantly around people that can acknowledge what that day meant so many years ago.  It changed us.  It didn't ruin us, but it changed how America operated.  All I know is, I am ever so thankful that President Bush was the president in the office at the time.  I can't imagine how others would have handled it, but I KNOW he did a fantastic job, given the circumstances.  Many years from now we will all remember that day.. eventually it will act like Pearl Harbor to many, but this is our generations same event.  I pray that future generations don't have to deal with the effects of a terrorist attack on their homelands, but it is a real issue to be worried about.  Each and everyday we must remember how many people it takes to make our nation the way it is.  And we must be thankful for it.

So tonight as I tuck myself into this empty apartment, I remember all those lost, all those left to grieve and all those who help contribute to how my life is today.. and I will send an extra prayer up to those departed.  They know they aren't forgotten.