Monday, December 31, 2012

Another year has gone...

"For some today is the end of the year...
And hopefully the start of a new beginning.
For those more fortunate,
It's just another perfect day."
-Unknown

Although I am not really entirely sure where this last year went exactly... I can look back over the last 12 months and see the events that made this the year it was.  The ups and the downs.  The highs and the lows.  But I'm alive.  I'm free and I am healthy.  I really can't ask for much more.

But a quick recap:
  • January---My husband was still deployed.  I gathered more information about my blood disorder.  I attempted meal planning and the Couch to 5K progam (was successful until R&R!).
  • February---My husband was still deployed but came home on R&R!  I joined Pinterest.  I wrote one of my favorite blog posts about not being a typical military wife.  You can find that here.  I turned 22.  Rob turned 22, 3 days later. I got my first tattoo.
  • March---My husband was still deployed.  I celebrated our 2 year anniversary with me in Kansas and him in Kuwait.  Piston also turned 2!
  • April---My husband was still deployed.  This here blog was nominated for a Military Blog Award.  I enjoyed spring break at the lake.
  • May---My husband was still deployed.  I went to several concerts with some of my favorite people.  Celebrated my best friends single-hood.  Congratulated my high school friends for graduating college on time.
  • June---My husband was still deployed.  We announced our move to Georgia.  My best friend got married.  Went to a country music festival with my sister.  I ran my first 5k... actually lets be real, I walked.
  • July---My husband came home!!! I celebrated July 4th with my family.  Our move began with a clean empty apartment.  We left for Georgia.  We got accepted for our gorgeous CURRENT house.
  • August---We got the keys.  We moved in.  I got deployment coming home pictures back.. you can see them here.  I got my second tattoo.  My parents came to visit us.. and were our first (and only so far!) visitors!
  • September---We adopted Klutch.  I started giving a tour of our new little adobe.  The garage was the first stop.
  • October---Rob reenlisted and the decision was mutually made to make a career out of this military thing.  Somewhere Over the Camo joined Facebook!  We celebrated our first Halloween IN A HOUSE... where kids trick or treated.
  • November---Somewhere Over the Camo became it's own domain!  We bought a boat.  We celebrated Thanksgiving in Tampa with Rob's family.
  • December---We got a big ole Christmas tree.  We decorated it.  We went to an amazing country concert.  I wrote my second favorite blog post ever.. about how I'm not perfect.  We celebrated Christmas.. together for the first time as a married couple.  I took an overnight trip to Myrtle Beach with my cousin (just got back today!).  I reached 100 followers!!! A number I never imagined seeing. (Thank you, thank you, thank you blog readers, friends and family!)
And now I'm saying goodbye 2012.. hello 2013.  I can't even begin to imagine what is in store for me and my little family.

Happy New Year's friends!


Always,
Amanda

Friday, December 28, 2012

And the mail rolled in...

This Christmas was made extra special with the assistance of a couple new blog friends.  New blog friends that sent some awesome holiday packages my way that consisted of items so perfect for me you'd think we are everyday real world friends.

A few months ago I signed up for a 12 Days of Christmas swap hosted by Chaotic Goddess Swaps.  I was paired up with Kenzie from Life and Lemons.  This girl seriously rocks.  We are so similar which made it super easy to shop for her.. and everything she sent me was just so darn cute!  There are no other words.. so here is the photographic evidence:


The second swap I signed up for via this here blog was the Secret Santa swap hosted by Wife of a Sailor.  Again so fun to shop for the blogger I got to be Santa for.. and even more fun to get mail back from my Santa, who also goes by Lisa and blogs over at Must be Doin' Somethin' Right.  [That is such a classic love song.. btw.]  This lovely lady sent me two of my favorite things, chocolate and a Kristin Hannah book [best author EVER.].  I'm Lisa's newest follower and I seriously LOVE her blog.

And last but certainly not least... the Holiday Card Exchange I hosted right here at Somewhere Over the Camo.  Almost everyone sent cards.. and it was so exciting having them come in over the last month.  I also signed up for a card exchange hosted elsewhere and together this display was created in our kitchen:
If you signed up and did not send cards... I will be e-mailing you in the next week.

Happy Weekend beauties!  Last one of 2012!


Always,
Amanda

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Our First Christmas. TOGETHER.

Matthew 1:21-
"She will bear a son, 
and you shall call his name Jesus,
 for he will save his people from their sins."

Rob and I have been married for almost 3 years.. but this year was the first year we got to spend the whole holiday season together.  Our first Christmas I was in Kansas while Rob was in Maryland.  Last Christmas Rob was deployed.  So this was our year...

And it was great.


My husband is seriously the most handsome man ever.. especially when he gets all suited up for Christmas Eve mass.  After mass we opened presents.  (Because the day was for celebrating the birth of Jesus I have decided I won't be posting anywhere on the web about our gifts that we exchanged.)
The boys loved it.  And Piston found his way into the Christmas wrapping paper just like last year.
2011.
Then we snuggled up in bed and woke on Christmas day with child like excitement (or at least Rob did.. I'm still not a morning person, Christmas day or not.)!  Rob cooked.. and we ate.  And we raved about how marvelous the meal was.  We watched movies and spent the whole day together, as a family.
Ham, green bean casserole, potatoes and Texas Roadhouse imitation rolls and butter.
And then.. just like that today rolled around.  The trash found its way to the curb... the leftovers will be heated... Rob pulled on his ACUs for another half day and it goes on...

It was a very...
great birthday celebration for Jesus..
and a merry Christmas to share with my loved ones!


Always,
Amanda

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!!!

From us here in Georgia, to you wherever you are:



We truly hope that your holiday is as merry as it should be.. because each and every one of you deserves  the very best this time of year and always.



Always,
Amanda

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The most wonderful time of the year...

So maybe things have been a bit heavy around here.  I hate that.  I don't want my blog to be me complaining about not having friends, talking about tragedies or focusing on the real me. ;) I mean who does?  Haha.  Just kidding... those are all important things.

BUT.

It's Christmas time.. I want to talk about Christmas!

My finals are done.  The Christmas cards are mailed off.  Cards have filled my box almost all month.  Presents are starting to get wrapped and placed beneath the tree.  Shopping is done.  It snowed rained and it's cold [ish].  Holiday half days have started for Rob.  And just five days from now we will cook the feast, sing the songs, praise His birth and celebrate Christmas TOGETHER.

So in light of the holiday... some fun questions from Jane at Taingamala... aka the girl who is so much like me it freaks me out.  [[Today she posted about not being perfect.. so you should definitely check that business out!]]



When do you start decorating for Christmas?
Nine times out of ten.. when I have energy/motivation/feel like it.  Haha.  Rob and I are trying to start a new tradition of doing it the weekend after Thanksgiving.  This year we did it the weekend after the weekend after Thanksgiving.  If that makes any sense?

The fireplace.. back door and Klutch. :D
Please ignore the horrible picture quality.


Christmas attire, casual or dressy?
Dressy.  Especially for Christmas Eve mass.

Best gift you ever received?
Every year there are tons of gifts that each have their own special meaning and importance behind them.  I love all of the ornaments my Mom selects and gifts every year.  Back in 2008 just 5 days before Christmas I got a pretty good Christmas present.. my husband asked me to be his woman. :)

Worst gift you ever received?
I can't say there has been one.  Like I said before each present has its own meaning and purpose.

Snow, love or hate?
Love.  During the holidays at least.  Rob and I were just talking about it the other day.. snow was falling during a football game we were watching on TV.  It is just so strange to have the holidays without chilly temps or snow/ice.

Favorite Christmas song? Least favorite?
I love all of the church Christmas songs.  All of the old caroling songs.  My least favorite would be the Christmas Shoes song.  I love the song and the purpose behind it.. but it ALWAYS makes me cry.

Best Christmas movie? Worst?
Elf hands down.  Otherwise not a huge Christmas movie fan.

Christmas tree, real or fake?
Real real real.  Never had a fake my whole life and never will.  Actually I take that back, last year I had a fake tree.  My grandpa's old little 4 foot tall tree.  Which was perfect for our third floor apartment and lack of husband because of deployment.

Our 8 foot beauty this year.. Please ignore the awful dining room light that hangs in the way...

Do you have a favorite ornament?
Many.  My new favorites are becoming the yearly ones I get personalized for our little family every year.


Family traditions?
Pajamas on Christmas Eve.  Christmas Eve mass, dinner and then presents.  Christmas morning parade watching and stocking/Santa present opening.

The easiest and hardest people to buy gifts for?
Easiest.. my parents and sister.  I can usually pick something out for them I know they will love and appreciate.  Hardest is hands down my husband.  When he wants something he usually gets it.  He doesn't build a Christmas list throughout the year... and he definitely doesn't sit around and wait on certain presents until Christmas day.

Do you open presents Christmas Eve or Christmas?
Christmas Eve!

Clear or colored lights?
Clear.  We have clear on our tree and the ones we have for outside are the blue white lights.  Although I am not entirely sure that those lights will get put up this year..

Travel or stay home?
Stay home.  Starting a new tradition this year and carrying it on.  I will no longer be traveling back to Kansas for the actual Christmas day unless by chance Rob can come with me.  I love to travel during the holidays, like Thanksgiving but want to spend Christmas with my husband.

Themed or homey decorations?
Homey.  Ones that mean something.  Like someone gave me this this and this.  Or we made this.  Or I picked this up at a flea market and made it our own.  Not that there is anything wrong with themed!


If you signed up for the Holiday Card Exchange... your cards should have been mailed today at the latest!!!  I know I still haven't received a few...


Always,
Amanda

Sunday, December 16, 2012

And then Friday happened...

I'm not a parent.  I don't live in Connecticut.  I have no association with Newtown.  I didn't lose a family member.  But somehow, I feel so deeply affected by the tragedy that happened Friday morning.

Last night I lay awake as images that have been described on almost every news channel flashed through my mind.  Graphics and visuals that have been described.  Actual images of those reacting to the news.  The memorials and pictures of the school itself.  It's all too much for me to comprehend.

I'm not normally one to be so affected by what I hear on the news.  Sure, I cry at sad things.  I tear up with pride when a heroic story is described.  But for some reason my mind is sitting at Sandy Hook Elementary School no matter what I do.

I wonder how long we will hear about this in the news.  Hear about that one lost soul that destroyed so much so quickly.  Put names with the faces of the innocent victims.  Praise the heroics of those teachers that did what they are so gifted at doing.  Is it wrong to not want to piece together every aspect of that fateful morning?

Is it wrong to want the news and other media sources to not focus on it?  Is it wrong to expect the media to not turn this individual into an everyday household name?  Is it wrong to want this tragedy to stay a tragedy and not a political jumping off point?

For me it's about remembering those who lost their lives doing what they do each and everyday.  They led ordinary lives.  They were mothers, daughters, sisters and friends.  They were children barely old enough to even comprehend the fate they encountered.  It's about keeping the family members and friends left behind in my prayers as they learn how to cope with this change in their life.  The unexpected turn in the wrong direction.

As a nation we also must figure out how to deal with what happened in that small CN town.  Honor those lost, not praise the one at fault and protect ourselves from such evils that unfortunately do exist.

My first step is to shut the TV off.  Not watch every last rehashing.  Hug my husband a little tighter and move on, move forward but not forget...





Always,
Amanda

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I'm young and friends are wanted.

"Live fast, die young and leave a good looking corpse." 
-John Derek

One of the hardest things I have had to deal with in regards to moving from Kansas to Georgia is leaving my friends, my family and the known, again.  Georgia is great.  Being with my husband and dogs in our own little house is great.  But not having friends to call up last minute and go get drinks with or my parents around to help with the dogs if Rob and I want to take a day trip.. among so many other reasons... is hard.

When I moved from Kansas to Maryland to join Rob.. I was fortunate enough to kind of walk into a great group of friends.  We had our differences.  Many of us didn't have children.  Almost everyone was under the age of 30.  Rob had already been in Maryland for over a year, so he knew many of the husbands already which made it that much easier for the wives to naturally get along.  I had that support needed.  In fact I was at a company FRG meeting when I found out one of my grandpa's had passed away.  If you've never seen a group of Army wives come together when someone has an emergency, then you haven't been around the military long enough.

So maybe I had my expectations set really high about moving here.  I thought, it can't be THAT different.  Oh yes Amanda, it can.  I've kind of touched on this before.. but Fort Gordon is a rather large base (bigger than Meade at least) that consists of a lot of AIT students and a lot of higher enlisted/officers.  Which poses a problem because you can't all intermingle.  So I can be friends with the AIT students wife, but our husbands can never hang out.  I can be friends with the officers wife, but our husbands can never hang out.  Makes it kind of hard to do normal married couple with friends things.

The other issue that I've noticed in regards to this is age.  I'm 22.  Rob is 22.  He enlisted straight out of high school and has 4 years under his belt.  At one point he was one of the youngest if not the youngest person at his rank in the entire Army.  So when you look at other 22 year olds... they are either fresh into the military as a student or at a lower rank.  Or they have kids.  Not that I hold anything against those women for starting a family young... it's just not me, yet.

Where do I fit in then?  A married 22 year old with 2 dogs, no kids and a husband on the fast track to making his military career above standard.  I want to build that support I have in Kansas.  The support I had in Maryland.  But I'm just not finding it here at Ft. Gordon yet and we've been here since July.  I've tried clubs on post and Facebook pages associated with post.  I have gone to lunch with a few different girls.  Out of all of my effort I have one person from post that I can go to lunch with and talk to.  But she won't be here forever as her husband is done with AIT soon.  Then what am I to do?

I'm just at a loss.  I made friends easily in high school.  Then made friends easily at the community college I went to.  When I left Kansas I made friends easily at Ft. Meade.  Heck I even made friends when I lived in Kansas while Rob was deployed... but now here I am six months into this adventure at Fort Gordon and I am not making friends like I have in the past.

I guess it is just something you learn to deal with.  I can't obviously change the fact that I am young and my husband is a superstar (not that I would want to!)... hopefully shortly after the new year I will land a job to preoccupy my mind.. so I don't spend days like today thinking about all that I wish I had here in Georgia.

Regardless of who I can consider a friend though.. I am thankful to have my husband.  I can call him my best friend and mean it.  He knew that so far this twelfth day of the twelfth month of this twelfth year of this century (tongue twister much? Had to incorporate it!) was not going quite how I hoped and he swooped in and took me out to lunch.  I am blessed and I know it.

But being young and not having a huge Georgia support group is really weighing on me.


P.S. I'm sending a special shout out to the one cousin I have here in Augusta.  She's great and I am thankful she is here.  When our schedules work out the same way we can go shopping, get food and just hang out.  I know many military individuals don't get this luxury so I'm soaking it up while I can and trying not to think about the fact she won't be here forever.  (Wait, neither will I!)

Always,
Amanda

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The truth is.

It dawned on me the other day that what I portray on my blog is not always every little aspect of who I am.  Not that I believe everything in my personal life should be portrayed on a very public blog.. there are just several parts of my personality that aren't shown on my blog.  Why?  Let's face it 95% of all bloggers are perfect.  Or pretty close at least.  Or pretend to be.  So when you aren't perfect.. you stick out like a sore thumb.

What do I mean by this?

Well...

I cuss, a lot.  Especially when I am drinking.  Which I also enjoy doing.. and I don't always drink wine either.. I like beer.  And rum.  My house is hardly every completely clean.  I try my hardest to keep the living room and kitchen clean because that is what people see.. not the master bedroom or bathroom (which I just cleaned this weekend after well. a bit.  It was not fun, at all.)  I love outdoorsy country things.. but lets face it. I was raised in a suburb.. and I don't always wear camo and cowboy boots.  I do however always listen to country music.  Always.  I have a crafts closet.  But I couldn't tell you the last time I actually crafted.  I'm still not always 100% sure about my major.  At this point though I am just powering through to be done with it.  I'll use it, just not absolutely positive how yet.  I love to think about working out.. but when I have the opportunity to do it, I don't because it requires me sweating.. and then showering.. and by the time I'm done with all of that two hours have gone by.  It literally is that lame of an excuse.  I'm horrible at being anywhere on time.  In order to make it on time I have to give myself close to 15 minutes extra time.  I'm sarcastic and a wise-ass.  Love it or hate it.  Before we got Piston, my parents didn't think I was responsible enough to have a pet.  Probably because every time I got a beta fish my mother had to take care of it.  I have tattoos and piercings.  I was born and raised a Catholic, and still identify as one.  But I question things every once in awhile, and I'm probably the worst Catholic ever as a result.  I'm scared to raise children away from my family in Kansas.  So far my life has not turned out how I figured it would, at all.  I didn't go to a 4 year university straight out of high school.  I didn't graduate college before getting married.  I didn't get a degree in teaching.  I don't live in Kansas anymore.  I didn't have a big wedding in a church with a party after.  But you know what, it's better than I expected.  I have horrible skin.  Not only am I a redhead that burns easily, my skin also breaks out a lot.  The only saving grace is my burns do turn to tans.  I love my handwriting.  I'd rather write in agenda, carry an address book and write a thank you then use my phone calendar, phone contact book and e-mail to thank someone.  I still can't quite see myself as a mother.  Someday.. like when I'm pregnant maybe... but not now at this moment.  I don't want to trade my car in because it's a stick shift and my next car will be an automatic.  I won't be unique anymore.  Everyone complements my hair color, but it's not always been peaches being a redhead.  Pretty much every guy I've ever met has called me a name associated with it.  And that is not an exaggeration.  I have road rage.  Like screaming at a car like they can hear me road rage.  I can't cook.  I don't have a desire to cook.  There are very few foods I like.  Cause I'm picky.  I'm ambidextrous.  Write, shoot a gun, fish and eat with my left hand.  Use scissors, vacuum and throw a ball with my right hand.

In a nutshell.. I am far from perfect..

Why is it that we try and portray ourselves as perfect when we aren't?





Always,
Amanda

Friday, December 7, 2012

Honey, I'm home [BATHROOM edition]

Getting close to the end of our new house tour.  Yay!  Which also means I am "getting close" to being done decorating and what not.  Today I am bringing you two little rooms.. and saving two bedrooms for later.  Because.. well maybe... they aren't quite done yet.  My bad.


Today we are looking at the bathroomS.

Yes we have two, and yes I freaking love it.  Like for real.

First lets take a look at the guest bathroom.  Which is actually I think almost a bit bigger than the bathroom we had in our townhouse in Maryland.  Yeah, that's sad.

The blue rug is Klutch's sleeping area.. every once in awhile you will find him randomly curled up on it snoozing away.
P.S. This picture makes that rug look off colored.. and I'm not sure why that is.. it isn't.. for the record.
I took all of our decorations from the bathroom in the apartment in Kansas and put them in this bathroom.  I love it.  So a run down on where I got some of the items... the clock is a dollar general find.  The towels were found at Marshalls two years ago.  The rug with a design on it is from Hobby Lobby.  The bathmat is from Target. This was the first room done in our whole house.  Bathrooms are easy like that. ;)

Then we have the second bathroom.. THE MASTER BATHROOM ENSUITE.  Yes, you heard that one right.  It's like heaven in a bathroom.  Probably going to be mandatory for every house from here on out.

Because I am a brat like that.

Kind of an overall picture of the bathroom.. there are double vanities, a big tub, shower and separated toilet area with the closet at the end.


Big ole tub.. that I haven't used.. lame.

Shower and closet.

Toilet area.

Closet! My side... there is more stuff in there now.  These pictures are a bit old.

Rob's side.. which also has more stuff!
Pretty standard, awesome bathroom. :)  I went with gray and cream with pops of yellow/green for this bathroom.  I picked up the fish on the counter from Cracker Barrel last summer.. as well as the picture frame over the toilet.  The towels and all rugs came from the PX.  The gray tray on the counter is a basic wood one from Hobby Lobby that I spray painted gray.  The clock is from Dollar General.  I may add some more rugs in front of the sink area.  Otherwise, it's staying how it is.

As for the closet.. like I said those pictures are a bit old.  But you get the general idea. :)  Because we have/had (Rob kind of fixed them) broken dressers the plastic drawers have served as a sort of makeshift dresser.  I also store all my jewelry in the smaller plastic drawer set on top of the big one.  The shoe organizer I got from a consignment store around here for like $15 and it happens to fit perfectly beneath the built in shelves.

That's that. :)  Kind of a sneak peak sort of at our master bedroom!

[Kitchen]
[Office]

Be on the lookout for the guest bedroom and master bedroom sometime in the future.


P.S. Happy weekend to youuuu all!!!

Always,
Amanda

Monday, December 3, 2012

Oh what a weekend.

Happy late Sunday or early Monday you all!!

Just wrapping up another crazy few days.  And there isn't a darn thing wrong with that.. ESPECIALLY when the whole week is spent at home, alone.  (Yes, that was my one whining moment.)

Thursday we got our Christmas tree.  I don't know about you all.. but we are real tree people!  This year they gave away about 400 trees on Fort Gordon through the Trees for Troops program.  We ended up with an 8 foot beauty.  Luckily our dining room has high ceilings, or when Rob said "I want the biggest tree you got" I would have freaked out.. more than I did at least.
Unfortunately we haven't had a chance to decorate yet.. so this is exactly how it sits.  Untrimmed and undecorated.  Soon though.

Friday was BUSY.  I went with the spouses club on post to Madison, Georgia.  Aka my future retiring community.  The houses were gorgeous you guys.  Like I'm talking late 1800 early 1900 style houses, refurbished and decorated straight out of a pottery barn catalog.  I can think of more than a few of my blogger friends that would have really enjoyed the Holiday Tour of Homes we went on.  There were 8 homes.. decorated for the holidays.  I was so in love.  There was a loft an artist owned, a little cottage decorated to the nines, a gorgeous huge house that I'm not kidding was just like being in a pottery barn magazine and then my personal favorite.. the one on a bit of land with the wrap around porch and everything.  Unfortunately Rob isn't quite on board with my retirement plans yet... we've got time though.
Hello, even the county courthouse is the cutest darn thing EVER.

The cottage.. imagine the inside now.


Why yes this is exactly how dogs in Madison behave..
not sure Piston and Klutch will fit in.. but just like Rob, they have time.
OH you know.. just pretending I live there and all..
Then it was a mad dash home to get ready because Rob and I were off to Columbia, South Carolina for a real true date night.  Let me tell you something.. we've been married for almost three years, and our date nights are just right for the two of us.. but they usually just consist of dinner and running errands.  SO when I heard three of our favorite artists were coming "near" us.. the date was set months in advance.  Rob was on his best behavior.. showed up from work with the mail.. which included this little cross bracelet I had been eyeing on Amazon. [Find one similar.. here.]  Then we were off for the hour long car ride to dinner.  Texas Roadhouse is the ultimate date night around these parts.. and unfortunately Augusta doesn't have one.  So we arrived with enough time for some fine dining.  Finally it was concert time... Eric Church, Justin Moore and Kip Moore = perfection.  Seriously the best concert I've EVER been to.  Not even kidding.  We had such a blast.  Sang/screamed and danced my little heart out.  By the time we got home at 1 am we were exhausted.. but it was so worth it.  Best date night ever, and best husband ever.  Seriously.
Cross bracelet from my main main.

Justin Moore.. this was one of my favorite parts.  If you know his music.. you know he sings "If Heaven Weren't So Far Away".. during this part we all turned on our cell phone lights as dedications to those in heaven.
Eric Church.  For some reason my Church pictures turned out better than the others...

"These Boots".
Favorite. My handsome husband.
Saturday was when I planned to decorate the tree.. but I woke up feeling AWFUL.  Like sore throat, headache, upset tummy, runny nose awful.  SO there was a lot of sleeping and not doing anything.  Which kind of found it's way over to today (Sunday) too... after a nap though.. I was able to be a little bit productive today.  Or I did my homework that was due today at least.  If you count that as productive.  Haha.  So there was a lot of:
I die every time I catch him sleeping like this.

this...
 and this...

"Ruff" life, can't you tell?  Anyway.. I'm on the mend.. and it's late/early Sunday/Monday.  I just went out to grab something from the kitchen and found this...
My cue to hit the hay.

[[Sorry for the dog overkill in this post.. I just love my sweet little fur babes!]]



Always,
Amanda