Well our vacation has been going great and is still on-going as Chris hasn’t returned to work yet. His tentative plan is to return next Monday after spending a week bumming around the apartment with me and playing all the video games his heart desires. We had a great time skiing with Mom, Dad, Andrew, Danielle and Aaron and have lots of stories because “we do things are different on the mountain”. If you want to know, just ask …but it is a good bet that we are never going to ski at Snowshoe again. The best part was just hanging out with family and a good game of Apples to Apples. After the ski trip we returned to Ohio and spent some time at my former place of employment and then stayed with Chris’ sister Danielle where we admired her newly refinished dining room and bedroom hardwood floors. The best part about being at home was spending lots of time with family and friends. Luckily for us, Easter fell during leave and we were able to see 99% of family in one day! While home we also went out to dinner with Chris’ Grandparents, watched my brother Andrew get Confirmed, helped Mom paint a bedroom and took care of loose ends (ex. Taxes, new drives license). Chris also spoke to the kids at my Mom’s school about being deployed in Iraq. After two wonderful weeks, we decided to come back to NC with a couple of stops on our journey to visit Bryan, Kim and Kayleigh and to visit the WEJ in NC. Both families were gracious enough to let us spend the night and we had a blast catching up them. Since being home Chris and I have organized the guest room (someone can actually stay in there now!) to make it comfortable for guests and set up a craft area for my new sewing machine. We also finished hanging some artwork around the house and reorganized the furniture to fit better in the dining room. Chris would like to get out on the golf course and grill outside but it’s been raining since we returned on Sunday so he will have to settle for more video games and college hoops until the clouds clear.
Chris and Sonya on the lift at Snowshoe.
Chris speaking to a class at Donnel Middle School.
I know that many of you are anxiously awaiting our return to Ohio so you can see Chris and welcome him home from his 15 month tour in Iraq…we are on our way! This is our TENTATIVE itinerary for the next few weeks:
Saturday March 15 LEAVE OFFICALLY STARTS 6am Chris and Sonya leave NC for Snowshoe, VW where we will be skiing for a couple of days with my parents and Andrew Stop at Tanna and Allan’s to drop off/pick up a few things Tuesday March 18 Leave Snowshoe and make our way into Ohio Stop in Columbus to spend time with Danielle and Aaron, see Danielle and Tim’s new house Wednesday March 19 Marsala-visit my old place of employment and say hello to all friends Drive home to NW Ohio Friday March 21 Out with Friends…Bubby’s and Sonny Jack’s anyone? Saturday March 22 Dinner with Chris’ family Sunday March 23 Easter, spending the day with family of course! Monday March 24 Dinner with Sonya’s family Tuesday March 25 Leave for NC??? Road trip with stops along the way?? Possibly through Wilmington, OH and Cinci to see friends, we aren’t sure yet!
While home we are looking forward to spending lots of time with friends and family. Please make sure to give us a call when we are in Ohio, we can’t wait to see you!
Chris is very generously giving me a sewing machine for my birthday (in part so I can make curtains for our apartment) and I’m having a tough time deciding how many “extras” that I need. Most of my projects are household related: curtains, pillows, quilts, ect. I’m fairly certain that I want a Bernina but beyond that I’m not sure. Does anyone have any advice? New or used, does it matter? I’m currently looking at the Bernina Activa 240 but it is a little more than we want to spend. Any suggestions?
This weekend has been extremely busy for us…and a lot of fun! It all started on Thursday evening when we attended the Task Force Falcon Formal Ball at the Crown Coliseum with about 900 other members of Chris’s Task Force and their dates. It was a great chance for me to meet so many of the people that Chris spent his days and nights with in Iraq. We spent a lot of time mingling with his friends and enjoyed dinner with his CO (Company Commander) and his new wife Ellie and his First Sergeant and his wife Debbie. The night consisted of social hour, video presentation, traditional Army toasts, fallen comrade ceremony, dinner, 82nd Chorus performance, guest speaker and dancing. After the ball, we met friends at a local bar for a drink and then headed to another friend’s house to finish out the night. We got home around 1:30am so it was a good thing Chris had Friday off of work.
At The Red Room
Sonya and Jackie
On Friday we kicked around Fayetteville and spent some time getting a few more things for the apartment and then packed up and drove an hour to Raleigh for the evening. Chris, myself and Grant met my friend Jackie and a couple of her friends at a tapas restaurant called The Red Room. The food was good, the atmosphere was great and we had fun hanging out and catching up! After that we moved on to Bogart’s for some dancing. We were waiting for Major Lamm (one of Chris’s former bosses) and some other friends (Justin, Matt and Mika) to join us but by the time Major Lamm’s flight arrived from Florida it was closing time and we just went back to the hotel to get some sleep. After breakfast and spending some time catching up with everyone, Chris and I found the outlet mall where we spent the afternoon wandering around shops and had lunch. Chris was even nice enough to buy me a wallet and two tops at the Banana Republic Factory Store. He also picked up the new Stephen King novel that was just released, Duma Key, which I will not be reading as his writing scares me to death!
At the Beach
On a whim, we decided to head to Wilmington, North Carolina and spend more time with Major Lamm and the gang because his flight arrived so late the night before. It was a good thing we took the TomTom with us, it made getting to the hotel a breeze! We stayed at the Holiday Inn SunSpree located right on the water. After we checked in, we ran into another pair of guys who came to Wilmington to see Major Lamm, Rich and Mika (yes a second Mika). We went down to the beach after we checked in and it was super windy and cold….not exactly beach weather! Lucky for us the hotel had two pools, one indoor and one outdoor, and three hot tubs so we decided to go find some swimwear at Wal-Mart, we didn’t think to pack any (or enough clothing) because we weren’t intending to end up there. Once we returned from our Wal-Mart trip (once again, thank you TomTom!) it was time to get ready for dinner. Our hotel had a shuttle that took us to our restaurant, 22 North for free. Chris and I both decided on seafood since we were at the ocean. I had the Pecan Crusted Atlantic Flounder and he had one of the specials Citrus Zing Mahi Mahi, both were excellent. The Mahi Mahi came with fried oysters, which gave Chris and I a chance to try them and we both were not crazy about them. After dinner and the longest cab ride ever, we arrived in down town Wilmington for some dancing (Major Lamm really likes to dance so we made it a point to go somewhere he could cut a rug). After a couple of attempts, we found a suitable place: Level Five. It was a rooftop bar that overlooked the downtown skyline. There was a fairly good DJ so everyone was happy. A bachelorette party was taking place in the bar so the guys kept getting approached to help the bride complete her “tasks”. Rich had to take off his shirt, Chris gave her his phone number (work number, not our home number and I gave him permission) and one of the other guys gave her a piggy back ride around the bar…all in all it added some excitement to the evening. Once Major Lamm had danced his fill (including a couple of dance offs that included break dancing), everyone was ready to go back to the hotel….unfortunately so was everyone else in the bar and getting a cab prove to be a challenging task! It was about 30 degrees outside and it took about an hour to find a cab, even though we called several times. Finally we made it to the hotel and into bed around 3:30am pre-time change.
On Sunday, we drove home after enjoying Waffle House and have been enjoying some down time after our busy but fun weekend (we have been napping on the couch while Chris watches the race). We have about a week to recover before going skiing next weekend and then home to Ohio for Easter and to spend time with family. Chris has Monday off but Tuesday returns to full work days for the four days before leave starts.
Chest of drawers for Chris (his Dress Blues Jacket hanging on the front)
Sonya's "girly dresser"
Our new bed
The good news is we are no longer sleeping with our mattress on the floor! The funny thing is with the bed frame, box spring and mattress I almost have to jump to get into bed now. While Chris was in Ohio for his weekend rendezvous (I have been encouraging him to blog about his weekend getaway but it hasn’t happened yet) with friends and family I purchased bedroom furniture. Don’t worry, we visited numerous stores and had it narrowed down to two sets before he left so he had some input. Both of the sets were stained a dark wood color but one was more modern with a solid headboard and one was more traditional with a slatted headboard. After much deliberation on my part, we decided to go with the more traditional of the two sets because I thought it was more classic looking and wouldn’t go out of style as quickly and for about the same price it included another dresser. We are all about getting a good deal! We had the set delivered and set up on Tuesday afternoon and I just love it. I have the “girly dresser” as Chris calls it, the one with the mirror, and he has claimed the tall chest of drawers and the night stand. It’s only fair that he gets the bigger dresser because we have two closets in our bedroom and I have taken possession of the larger one, due to more clothing of course! But to make it more fair, he does have a shelf in my closet for sweaters…not sure if they will get much use here but that is beside the point. What do you expect from someone who has worked in retail her entire life?!?!?!
I know, I know it isn’t fair to brag about the weather for all you Ohioans who have been dealing with snowstorm after snowstorm but I just can’t help it. It has been sunny all but a few days since my move here three weeks ago and it’s only rained two (yes two!) days. Being from Ohio, I expect the weather to change at a moment’s notice and to have some sort of precipitation at least twice a week. On Monday night, Chris and I decided to take advantage of the nice evening temperature of 60 degrees and played some Bocce Ball. We both love the game and are pretty competitive about it, though he usually wins. It is also a great way to meet some of our neighbors and we are considering getting a tournament together at some point. All was well until I had an unfortunate throw that landed one of my red Bocce Balls into the parking lot, where it bounced off a car tire and rolled straight into the sewer drain. Chris decided immediately that he won that round but he didn’t come of the game unscathed either, when we were playing down by the pond one of his blue Bocce Balls rolled into some goose poop but he did end up winning the game! (Goose poop and all) PS. If anyone knows where we can purchase just one red bocce ball, please let me know. Thanks!
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I wanted to say GOOD LUCK LADY JACKETS and congrats on making it to the State Finals in HS Girls Basketball after beating St. Wendelin 62-42. This truly shows how much the girls wanted that game because they lost previously to St. Wendelin twice in the regular season. Here is the link to the local paper for the full article: http://www.advertiser-tribune.com/page/content.detail/id/504175.html?nav=5012 and they quoted Jackie as saying: “This is amazing. I would never have thought this at the beginning of the season,” Reinhart said. “It feels so great now. It’s amazing. It was so hard not playing at the beginning [of the season], and now, being able to go to state is unbelievable. It’s awesome.“We just came out with so much more intensity. For me, I was in better shape, and I was able to stay in longer. We wanted this so bad. I know they did, too. We just knew how to handle it. It was crazy.”
Feltner, Dave (2008, March 2) Jackets Headed to Columbus. The Advertiser Tribune. Retrived March 3, 2008 from the World Wide Web: http://www.advertiser-tribune.com/page/content.detail/id/504175.html?nav=5012
Over the weekend (and after much research) Chris and I purchased a new Washer and Dryer for our apartment. This was “my project” as Chris called it and I was in charge of the research and deciding on which appliances we wanted. After spending a couple days checking out reviews and pricing around Fayetteville and on the internet, we choose the Whirlpool Duet Front Loading Washer and Dryer. Chris and I bought the pair at the AAFES store on Ft. Bragg, we got a great price and they were running an incentive with gift cards for purchasing Whirlpool. We decided on the 3 year warranty that covers parts and labor as well. Luckily, Chris’ friend Grant was able to come pick them up for us in his truck to save on the delivery fee. We choose the front loading washer because it is more energy and water efficient, something very important to me. We haven’t been able to try them out yet because we need to purchase HE laundry detergent, but it’s on my list of things to do today!
Sonya with the new washer and dryer Chris working on the new dryer
Chris getting the new washer ready for it's home in the laundry room