Sunday, May 18, 2008

Army Marriage-What a ride!

I think the title says it all…over the weekend Chris and I attended a married couples reunion retreat in Myrtle Beach sponsored by the Army. The retreat was focused on bringing couples who had been separated by deployment together for some relaxation and inspiration to build a “forever love”, as the Chaplin called it. It happened to be “Bike Week” at the beach so there were lots of motorcycles and bikers around, it also lead to the theme for the retreat. We checked into our ocean view hotel room on Friday around 6pm, went to dinner and then attended the welcome session for the retreat. After that, we were free to enjoy the evening as we pleased so Chris and I took a walk on the beach and listened the sound of the ocean.

On Saturday, we had a morning of sessions focusing on love and respect, followed by a BBQ on the beach and then were free for the rest of the day. Chris and I packed our beach bag and spent the afternoon lying in the sun, walking on the beach and playing Frisbee. We even ventured into the ocean to do a little wave riding and splashed around a bit. It was awesome to just hang out together in such a beautiful setting and enjoy each other’s company. Chris and I both sunscreened up before going to the beach but we didn’t do a very good job of making sure his fair skin was covered completely and he ended up with splotchy sunburns on his arms, chest and neck. After getting cleaned up a bit, we ventured out to the outlet mall and both ended up with a pair of shoes…the Puma store got us! Chris got a pair of golf shoes which I’m sure he will put to good use as he’s been golfing quite a bit lately and I got a cute pair of run-around shoes. After doing our part to stimulate the economy, we went to Melting Pot for dinner. For those of you not familiar with Melting Pot, it’s a fondue restaurant where you cook the food at your table. The booths are cozy and private, perfect for a romantic dinner for two. We ordered the Signature Dinner which included a Gouda cheese course with vegetables and bread, salad and a coq au vin (chicken and wine) broth to cook our meat course in. We both really enjoyed the dinner and we had a great waiter who walked us through the courses.

Sunday started with breakfast and catching up with a couple that we met on our Pre-Cana Course that we took before the wedding, then a worship service and wedding vowel renewal ceremony. That was the end of the retreat part of the weekend so Chris and I packed up the car and decided to spend a couple more hours on the beach before the 2 ½ hour ride home. Overall, we really appreciated the retreat and the time we spent at Myrtle Beach.
At the Melting can tell we've both been in the sun!

At the Beach

At the hotel

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hair Cuts!

Today after work I received my first North Carolina hair cut. My last cut was in Ohio in Februrary before I moved so it was defiantely time for a trim! Due to Tim and Danielle's wedding in November, I'm attempting to grow out my hair so I can wear it up if I want...but I'm a fan of short hair so we will see. At the recommendation of a friend at work, I went to Megan at Tangles and she did a great job! This hair cut was a "test" of sorts, I had to make sure she could do a good cut before I get into highlighting and all that other stuff. She listened to me, knew exactly what I wanted to do and was able to make the growing out process look cute.

As for Chris, he gets his hair cut pretty much every single week to keep it at the required airborne length...which is short!

Test Driving some of the Wedding Gifts

Over the weekend Chris and I got adventurous and tried out some of the wedding gifts that we haven’t gotten a chance to use yet. Now, if you are thinking how could they possibly not used all the wedding gifts after 1 ½ years being married, what’s up? We decided that we wouldn’t use any of the wedding gifts until Chris came home from Iraq so everything would be new for both of us when we moved in together…well that took 15 months to happen so in the last three months we’ve been happily using most of the gifts.

On Saturday night we had some friends over to use to deep fryer and the ice cream maker. The weather was beautiful here so we “borrowed” a picnic table from another part of the apartment complex so we could relax outside. Luckily, we had a friend who was able to help Chris carry it over here because that thing was too heavy for me! Chris’ uncle John sent chicken wings from his bar down when Chris came home, thanks John! We wanted to share them with friends so we fried them up along with French fries, cheese sticks, onion rings and cauliflower. Chris was in charge of manning the deep fryer and he did a great job! He tossed the wings in three different sauces (traditional hot sauce, mustard and teriyaki) after cooking them and they turned out great. I believe the mustard sauce was the crowd favorite but I stuck with the traditional because I don’t like mustard.

We also decided to get out the ice cream maker that attaches to my KitchenAid Mixer. To make ice cream, we put a special mixing bowl into the freezer for 15 hours and then made the ice cream mixture (and cooked it, no raw eggs here). We put the mixture in the ice cream maker for about 30 minutes and it came out great! We did a traditional vanilla ice cream with fresh strawberry topping. Everyone enjoyed the food and we enjoyed having friends over for great fun and conversation.

On Monday we broke out another wedding gift, the crockpot. Chris decided that he wanted a roast so I put it in the crockpot with some onions, garlic, celery and carrots Monday before work and let it cook until I got home at 5:30. The roast was plenty done and a little bit dry so I made gravy for it and the mashed potatoes. It was nice to have relatively little to do to prepare dinner instead of working on everything when I get home and I think Chris enjoyed it.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sewing Projects

About a month ago, I worked on a baby blanket for my friend Abby who is expecting her first baby, Molly Jane, in June. Her baby shower on May 3rd was hosted in Georgia, where Abby and her husband Ed are currently stationed so I mailed the gift to them. Abby has now opened the gift and I’m happy to say that she liked it! When I asked Abby how she was decorating the nursery she said lots of colors and animals but NOT all pink so that is what I tried to do for her! I wanted to add some feminine touches so I added some bows and flowers but kept it pretty simple. (Don’t worry; I made sure everything was secure for the baby!) I hope that Abby and Molly find this quilt to be a source of comfort as they get settled into their new home in Colorado! Here are so photos of the quilt:

View of the whole quilt

Close up of the fabircs and some of the details

I used the different stitch options on the machine to write out Molly's name on the back of the quilt.

Here it is but I couldn't get a very clear photo.

I’ve also been busy working on curtains for the apartment. JoAnn Fabrics was having 50% off home interior fabrics so I stocked up. I had Chris hang the curtain rods a couple of weeks ago to motivate me to finish the curtains and get everything into shape before we start getting guests this summer.

Dinning Room

Dining Room
I used 1 1/2 inch grosgrain ribbon for the tabs at the top
Dinning Room

Guest Bedroom
I still need to work on curtains for the living room and pillows to match but overall, things are really coming together here.