Tuesday, April 28, 2015

What's Up Wednesday v3.0

Happy Wednesday friends!

So excited to be linking up again with Ashley, Katie and Shannon for What's Up Wednesday.  THIS Wednesday I am your guest host.  What, what!

What I loved about the past week//
Seeing my cousin again and meeting her sweet baby boy for the first time! (Technically this week?  Since they were here Sunday night to Tuesday morning... but that's just the fine print.)  We didn't do much... but it was just enough.  Poor Cam is teething though so hopefully he will not give his momma a run for her money as his daddy is out to sea (is that it Navy friends?).

Awesome quality cellphone picture for you..

What I'm looking forward to//
Thursday night!  Going out. By myself!  Well, with Rachel technically.. but Rob is on Grace duty and I am going out to an event called the CSRA Signature Military Spouse Appreciation Event.  A night out to celebrate military spouses in our area.  It's my third year going and I am pumped!

What my latest obsession is//
Besides vacuuming?  (It has gotten worse my friends...) Definitely my gold Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge that I just got over the weekend.  It is so pretty, but I am terrified I am going to break it.

What I've been daydreaming about//
Getting orders to our dream place Fort Sill.  I know, who wants to go to Oklahoma?!  We do!  Close to Kansas for my family and Missouri for Rob's.  (I know Riley is closest, but we hope to go there once we are done having children.. in case we only get to go there once.)

Always thankful for our military family though..
^^from dinner over the weekend - out on the patio!

What I'm watching//
One Tree Hill.  I've got a season and a half left.  Love me some Naley.

What I'm listening to//
The dryer and the computer.  Otherwise the house is completely silent.  Yay for nighttime free time!

What I'm craving//
Nothing really.  Oddly enough.  I had been craving a caesar salad so I had one at lunch today.

FGSCC Board Brunch on Monday.

What I'm doing this weekend//
Running the FGSCC table at the Dragon Boat Races.  Not 100% sure I can tell you WHAT that is.  But it is a Goodwill event and they are letting us set up to promote for free.  So I will be out there in the morning for sure.  Otherwise I am hoping to get the rest of the bushes out front trimmed.  Which is a chore by itself because of how out of control we let them get!

What else is new//
We have reached the busy time of year around here.  End of April and the month of May are FULL of events and what not.  I am excited, but getting ready for the month of May to be over.  I am tired and it's only April 29th!  But it is fun too because it makes the days and weeks go by faster.. plus the month of May hopefully means orders!  !!!! Which I've been impatiently waiting for since like February.  I'm just ready to know where we will be after September.. kind of hard to plan when you don't know.

So that is my Wednesday.  What is up with your Wednesday?

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Caliber Collision raises Military Support

Valerie is here today to tell you about Caliber Collision and the impact they are having on veterans and current military families. They are doing good stuff and I am so excited to share this with you all today!

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve.” Here at Caliber Collision, our team is driven by serving our veterans and current military families. Many of our employees are veterans, and we appreciate the sacrifices these brave individuals make for our country. We have over 300 collision repair locations in the United States, and we are committed to using these centers to continually make a difference in the lives of our military heroes.
Most Americans drive over 10,000 miles a year, and can you imagine how hard your daily life would be if you did not have a properly running vehicle? We understand this burden, and we are trying to eliminate this stress from military families. In order to fill this need, we created Recycled Rides, and it is easily the pride of our company. Our team refurbishes vehicles and gives them to veterans and military families. These vehicles make such a difference in the recipients’ lives, and it is our honor to award the vehicles. When we hand over the keys to the deserving hero, there is never a dry eye in the room.
In 2014, our Caliber team was able to gift 20 vehicles to military heroes, and in 2015, we have over 25 scheduled vehicles. It is truly a labor of love for our team, and we are thankful to have this program as a way to give back. We believe in using our company to assist others, and we are proud to have created Recycled Rides. This program is available to those in the Austin, TX, and Dallas, TX, areas, and you can nominate yourself or a deserving hero through this form.
Serving our military heroes is more than just monetary support…we believe in raising awareness too. Carry the Load is a national relay designed to raise awareness for our fallen military, law enforcement, firefighters, and rescue personnel. The 27 day relay will walk from West Point, NY, to Dallas, TX, and will pass through cities including Washington, DC, Charlotte, NC, Atlanta, GA, Nashville, TN, and Little Rock, AR. Participants can join at any point, and registration is encouraged to allow for enough supplies. Money raised will go to support various non-profit organizations that support the military, and one of the main goals of Carry the Load is to restore the meaning of Memorial Day. Our Caliber team is sponsoring the Austin Memorial March in Austin, TX, and the Dallas Memorial March in Dallas, TX, to conclude the relay and raise support for our heroes.
For our Caliber team, supporting our military heroes means helping them find careers in the civilian workforce. We have partnered with 3M Hire our Heroes to help returning veterans secure jobs in the collision industry. Through this partnership, we are able to work with the Collision Repair Education Foundation to provide scholarships for auto body repair training and employment opportunities for these veterans. We also work to fund rehabilitation for the wounded veterans through Operation Comfort’s Automotivation program which allows veterans to learn skills in a new way. We are proud to participate in Hire our Heroes, and many of our shops seek to hire veterans.
Our motto is to restore you to the rhythm of your life®, and while we can never completely restore the rhythm of their lives, it is our hope that these programs allow us to help our military heroes in any way we can.

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

My Military Child.

April is an important month around these parts.  It is the month of the military child.

If I had to define a military child other than the very obvious (born to a military service member) I think you would find such words as: strong, resilient, independent, able to thrive in any environment, loved and admired.

Being the mother of a military child I know first hand that they go through more than the average child does.  Separations away from parents, years spent nowhere near extended family and the constant uprooting just when they feel comfortable. I know it will not always be easy for Grace to grow up in the shadow of the military but I know she will experience life in a whole new way - a way I hope she learns to appreciate some day.

Five years ago I made the decision to join this lifestyle when I married my husband.  Grace?  She was born into it.  She doesn't have a choice in the matter.  To me - she is someone our nation should thank.  So today I am taking a moment to thank and appreciate all the military children nation wide that silently endure this lifestyle sometimes their whole life.  They make coming home easier for our service members and the service members being gone easier for the spouses.

I am proud to be the mom of a military child.

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Monday, April 20, 2015

A smell and smoke.

I'm exhausted.

Early Saturday morning we had a situation at our house that left us catching up the whole weekend (and here I am at 2:40 in the AM blogging... why?! Because my schedule is all jacked up!)... thankfully all is okay but it very much could have gone another way.

I was still awake around 1:45 Saturday morning picking up the house.  I am naturally a night owl and that is when I tend to do my chores.  Piston came out of the bedroom and was sniffing all around.  Which was odd... because he is most definitely a bum after a certain hour.  All of a sudden, I smelled it too.  I turned around and the kitchen was filled with smoke.

So I immediately woke Rob up.  We checked some rooms to see if we could see anything, we didn't but I grabbed the baby and headed out to sit in the truck anyway while Rob got Piston and called 911 -- at this point the alarms had gone off just briefly and there was still smoke.

A police officer rolled up first.  He didn't go in but he looked around the house to see if he saw anything.  He was quickly followed by two firetrucks.  They hopped out and walked in - and didn't reemerge for a bit.  I told them what had happened when they did come back out.  Initially they could not find the cause, but I explained to them I saw smoke coming out of the vent over the stove top and I remember hearing the air conditioner fan running, even though the a/c was turned off.

Which led them to the cause.  Our electrical panel that goes with the air unit had burned up.  I heard the fan because it basically tripped everything - which might have been lucky because it may have put the fire out itself (although Rob thinks the FD put it out.. I'm not sure they ever said there was an actual fire..).  They turned everything off so it could not turn itself back on, opened some windows to help get the smoke/smell out and positioned some fans before leaving around 2:30 AM.

We were up until almost 4:30.. and I have had a hard time catching up.

But I'm thankful.  It could have been SO much worse.  There was no damage to our stuff.  Sure, we have no a/c unit and who knows when it will get fixed (they were just out here roughly 2 weeks ago to replace the coil in it.. which they debated on just replacing the whole thing...).  But the weather has been cooler with lots of rain.  Plus - we have good friends here local that are willing to open up their house to us as needed.

We are alive.  We are well.  God is good my friends.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

NVW2015 and being a military spouse.

I've mentioned a few times here on this blog how I volunteer in my spare time.  I'm the membership chair and webmaster for the Fort Gordon Spouses' and Civilians' Club.  I'm also the creator (along with my cousin) of a Facebook page that organizes gatherings for ladies affiliated with Fort Gordon (that door hanger painting party? An outing for that group!).  I helped with the FRG (Family Readiness Group) for the Brigade Rob was in before he went to Warrant Officer Candidate School (since returning for the rest of his schooling (WOBC), he is now in an entirely different Brigade here on Fort Gordon).

I mention all of this again because it is National Volunteer Week (April 12-18, 2015).

And volunteering makes being a military spouse that much easier.

When you marry someone in the military, you marry into a lifestyle that often takes you away from family and friends.  Takes you out of your comfort bubble to places with monograms and lots and lots of bugs (or drifts and drifts of snow?!).  It takes you somewhere where you may only know your spouse. Being an adult and making friends is hard.  Am I right?

So what's a girl to do?

That was me in 2010.  I had just graduated with my Associate's degree and moved from Kansas to Maryland to live with Rob.  We adopted a dog.  So I had Rob and Piston.  We didn't live on base.  And I found making friends a bit of a challenge.  I was fortunate that Rob had already been there for a year and had started forming friendships with some of the husbands.  But what really helped me make Fort Meade a home away from home was volunteering on base.

I joined the Enlisted Spouses Club and it kept me busy.  I didn't land a job while we lived in Maryland, but I was okay with that as I was able to throw myself into volunteering on base.  I also helped with the FRG that was being set up while we were there... and I was busy.

It made being away from home easier.  It made the days pass a little quicker.  And I MADE FRIENDS.  I knew people.

These days I say yes when a volunteer opportunity comes up.  I like to see my hard work pay off.  I like knowing that I'm doing a little bit of good.  Being Grace's mom and Rob's wife are my primary jobs.. but right behind that?  Volunteering.

I don't get paid, but it is so so worth it.  And I definitely encourage any military spouses trying to find their way in their temporary home away from home - go volunteer.  Believe me, the opportunities are there when it comes to the military community.  Find them.  You will not regret it.

Happy National Volunteer Appreciation week my friends!

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Spring Pictures

It is Sunday night and I am feeling content.  It was a good PRODUCTIVE weekend and I am beyond tired here at the end of it.  Spring cleaning is legit happening in our casa.

So how about I share our spring pictures to go with all the cleaning?

I'm in love with them.  For real.

Thanks A.Looper Photography for your talented, as always, work.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Let us rejoice, and be glad.

First off, happy Easter to all of my sweet blog friends and readers!  I know it's a (few) day late, and a dollar short, but it's the thought that counts.  I hope everyone had a safe and happy weekend.

Our Easter?  Was pretty darn good.

Holidays with your own children apparently never get old.  This year was especially fun because Grace was able to participate more than past years.

So what did our Easter festivities consist of?

An Easter egg hung on post and seeing the Easter bunny.  The hunt itself was kind of a bust because of how they laid it out.  They had an open field and tried to group off the different age groups.. but they didn't have any actual dividers to separate the ages.  So the older kids got way more than the toddlers.  Grace (Rob) was able to get one egg, but I think the whole thing kind of overwhelmed her.  And the bunny?  Totally freaked her out.  Which I don't blame her.. it was creepy.  When I walked up to set her down, it spoke, and it sounded like a robot... hoping we didn't scar her for life.  BUT we got a good laugh out of it.

I played Easter bunny for Grace and Rob.  I put in Grace's Easter basket, an Easter book from last year, a bunny my parents sent her, a personalized duck, chalk, bubbles and a Little People camel.  Rob got a kite, a reusable red solo cup and lots of jelly beans.  I got myself chocolate and some flowers Easter morning.

We went to Easter mass.  I'll admit, we've been slackers when it comes to mass.  But I am going to try harder.  We go to this sweet little Catholic church in the heart of Augusta.  There's lots of polos, a few Masters logos, sunglasses hanging by chords around necks and smock dresses on babies - but it makes me feel so comfortable!  (Which is funny because I am from Kansas where few golf, sunglasses go on heads, nobody really cares about the Masters and smock dresses and monograms just don't happen..)  Abby, Nick and Logan joined us for mass.  Grace almost made it through mass, but got a bit frustrated with us and would not sit still, so Rob ended up walking around outside with her.  Regardless, it was a beautiful ceremony and lots of beautiful churchgoers!

After a day of prepping it seems, we hosted Easter dinner at our house.  Unfortunately Rob's smoker had a malfunction halfway through smoking the ribs.. so those didn't exactly turn out as planned.  It was a good meal regardless - ham, ribs, macaroni and cheese, corn, green bean casserole, rolls and sugar cookies.

We also did an Easter egg hung in our backyard.  Rob mowed and everything!  Grace was into it for the first like 5 eggs, and then she just wanted to play with them.  The empty eggs and her Easter basket kept her entertained the rest of the day though, so it was definitely worth it.

Being away from family is always hard during the holidays, but it is made just a little bit easier when you have good friends to spend it with.  Rob, Grace and I are so fortunate to have Nick, Abby and Logan as friends courtesy of the Army... it is like spending the holidays with your second family. And for that I am thankful!

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015


Because we've celebrated all the birthdays in our house, and our anniversary... & the excitement that is Easter has not yet started... here are some things I am enjoying right now in our life.

The weather.  Warm, almost hot, but not sweat-dripping-down-your-back humid yet.

Piston and his fifth birthday Monday.  The fact that he is a five year old and not a puppy has gone unnoticed to him... he's still a puppy in the way he acts and I just don't have the heart to break it to him. ;)  Happy fifth birthday my sweet boy!

Our spring pictures.  I've gotten a few back from our lovely photographer, Ashleigh, and I can't wait to see the rest... seriously, CAN'T. WAIT.

That my husband fixed the vacuum to the point that it at least sucks stuff up again.  Vacuuming is so fun y'all.

The door hanger painting party we had last weekend.  It was so much fun to get out for a bit and get my paint on.  I wish I had more time to do stuff like this at home.. but a certain busy body keeps me from actually focusing on anything for any amount of time.

This video from yesterday.  Grace basically gave herself a bath in Piston's water bowl... it was hilarious.

The month of April thus far.  Yes, it is day one, but I'll take it.

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