Tuesday, December 8, 2009

He's Home!

Chris arrived at the airport around 11:30am...about 30 minutes BEFORE his flight was supposed to land so I missed seeing him at the gate. We met at baggage claim and now are home.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Our New Rug

Here are a few photos of the rug Chris purchased for our living room in Afghanistan. I love it and think it looks great!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Getting Excited...

Clearly, Max and I are really excited that it's almost time for Chris to come home.

Friday, December 4, 2009


December dog walks in Ohio are much, much colder than December dog walks in NC! I'm glad Chris will be home soon to walk with us!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Scholarship for military spouses (even grad school)

The National Military Family Association’s Joanne Holbrook Patton Military Spouse Scholarships range from $500 to $1,000 and are awarded to spouses of Uniformed Service members to obtain professional certification or to attend post-secondary or graduate school.

The scholarship funds may be used to assist with tuition, fees, and school room and board, and are paid directly to the accredited educational institution involved. Applications are due by midnight, January 31, 2010. This year, we are pleased to offer three scholarship categories – Spouses of the Wounded, Spouses of the Fallen, and for all military spouses.


Time for Pretty Toes!

Mom and I went for pedicures tonight...because I'm sure the first thing Chris will do when he gets home is check out my toes :) I choose Merry Midnight by OPI, it's a very fun and festive purple color with shimmery flakes. Should be nice for the bachelorette party this weekend and Aaron and Angie's wedding in a few weeks!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

This blog every day thing is getting old....

it's a good thing Chris will be home soon!

Amish Friendship Bread

A couple of weeks ago my aunt Rita gave me a start of Amish Frienship Bread. It grows and you add ingredients to it over a period of 10 days and then you divide it to give away and bake the rest. The bread is filled with cinnamon and sugar and is really yummy. I decided to send mini-loaves of it in my care packages to Afgahnistan for the holidays so I didn't give any of my starts away. Well last night I made four recipes of the bread resulting in 4 regular sized loaves and 21 mini loaves for my care packages. Now I have 16 starts of bread to give away because I'm so tired of having it around...anybody want some? Mom and I are each taking 8 starts to work to get rid of!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Hooah Mail ???

Today I received an email about hooah mail....

"Beginning 1 December 2009 the Army will launch "HooahMail" as a pilot program for fast, easy, secure, letter-style correspondence to OEF
deployed Soldiers. Based on a proven system used by the Marine Corps since 2003, HooahMail brings another method to keep in touch with
military members in Afghanistan. From Stateside, HooahMail offers a computer based process which will generate a printed, sealed, letter-style document for direct delivery to forward operating bases throughout the OEF area of operations. This one-way system will allow secure download capabilities at selected OEF remote sites. These letters will then be printed on special equipment which will print, fold, seal and address the envelope for free delivery to OEF Soldiers. HooahMail will be distributed just like regular mail through unit mail-rooms. At sites which don't get daily postal mail service, HooahMail will offer a free, convenient way to communicate. This method could reduce delivery time in some cases from 14+ days to remote locations to same/next day service, with an average 4 days to all other locations in Afghanistan. HooahMail will augment traditional postal letter mail service.

Funded by Department of the Army, and supported by the current postal command structure, HooahMail offers a new and exciting way to strengthen communications to our OEF Soldiers. For more information about HooahMail
visit their website at www.hooahmail.us."

It's definitely something I'll look into using!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Maxi's new sweater

I was discussing Maxi's wardrobe with my Grandma about a month ago, specifically the fact that it's hard to find clothes that fit his long silhouette and keep him warm. She decided to do something about it and knitted this awesome sweater for him, thanks Grandma!

The Holidays!

Just a few photos of our holiday weekend so far!

Yummy Chocolate Pecan and Pumpkin Pie:

Max with BLUE FUZZ hanging out of his mouth:

Christmas baking for the troops:

Me and Max:

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Holidays are here

Today we did all things holiday-shopping in the morning (like 9am not crazy 3am) and holiday baking. I'm completely wiped out so now we're watching our annual holiday movie: Miracle on 34th Street.

Chris and I have a holiday movie tradition as well, we watch the 1954 classic White Christmas with Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney. I'm sure we'll be watching it soon!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Max and I spent our Thanksgiving enjoying family and food! We had three family Thanksgiving dinners to attend and they were all great! I was able to catch up with family that I haven't seen in a while and Max became acquainted with some my cousin's kids (they were chasing him). All in all, it was a great day. The only thing that would have made it better was if Chris was here to share in the fun!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


This year, like most, I have many reasons to be thankful! I am married to a wonderful man who loves and supports me. We are healthy and happy. Although we don’t get to spend time together, we are able to communicate frequently via phone and email. The distance between Ohio and Afghanistan has made our relationship stronger; we have had to work harder to stay close. Every day I am grateful Chris, while deployed, works in a command center rather than on the battlefield and remember that many, many soldiers put their lives on the line for our freedom and protection every single day. Chris and I are both blessed with fantastic families who are healthy and happy. They are so supportive and always available when we need them. We have amazing friends around the world that would do anything for us. We are enjoying becoming homeowners for the first time and being closer to our families. In these tough economic times, we are both working and have job security, health insurance, a roof over our heads, food on the table (and in the dog dish). Max is my constant companion and Chris can’t wait to see him soon. Truly, we are blessed.

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A tired puppy!

Here are a few photos of Max after a busy day on Sunday. He was whipped and no one was sitting down to cuddle with so he made do with a pillow.

And one of Max curled up in his bed "nose to butt" as Chris calls it:

Don't let all the sleeping puppy photos fool you, he's getting to be very vocal (bossy) when he wants something and isn't getting it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Upload Error

I wanted to post a few pictures of Max napping but I was having issues upload issues :( Sorry Chris.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

1/2 bath quick fix

I'm at a loss as to what to do with our little 1/2 bath. I think the wall paper is going to come down, just not sure when. Until then, I just gave it an update. Also, the space is TINY so there isn't much to change.

Before (those framed sketches of the underwear came with the house):


A little bit Christmas

I realized that I have four (!!!!) days at our house in Columbus, at the most, before Christ comes home so I started on Christmas. I know, it's a bit early to put up the tree but I wanted to make sure it got done. Enjoy a sneak peak of our house, holiday style.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Closet for Chris

When we moved in, I just left all Chris's things boxed in the closet until I had time to put them away properly...since he's coming home soon I thought I should get to it. Now he just needs to come home to wear them!

A portion of the many, many t-shirts he owns:

Neat and tidy closet:

Friday, November 20, 2009

Max & Eddie

Just a few photos of Max and Eddie hanging out in the back yard while Tim installed our new 95% efficient furnace. The weather was great and the boys had fun playing!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

BR open on Thanksgiving...yuck

As many of you know, one of my favorite places to shop is Banana Republic. Both Chris and I love their style and I can find everything from clothes for work to jeans there. I was in over the weekend while doing a little Christmas shopping and I noticted a sign on the door stating they will be open on THANKSGIVING! As a girl who's worked many retail jobs, I'm dissapointed that they would do such a thing. This is one of the two holidays where most businesses are closed and employees can focus on the things that matter, family and friends and enjoy some much needed time off.

What's next, open on Christmas????

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Stripes.com Hosts Free Holiday Messages

Great Information from Stars and Stripes!

Stars and Stripes is currently hosting its annual FREE Holiday Message posting service online at Stripes.com until December 18.
The greetings submitted by November 27 will be published in the December 19 editions of Stars and Stripes (Europe, Pacific and Middle East) just in time for the holidays. All messages will be viewable online at Stripes.com.
To send a free message, visitors may click here, or go to Stripes.com and click on the Holiday Messages button, any time between October 30 and December 18. Messages will be available for viewing at Stripes.com, as they are uploaded and approved.
Visit Stripes.com for more information.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Boris the Bumble Bee

This just makes me laugh, Cari's dog Boris wearing his bumble bee Halloween costume!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Working at Home

Today was my first day ever working from home. I had 2 doctor's appointments in the morning, a check-up and an emergency dentist visit because a cavity filling came out last night while flossing, so I spent the afternoon setting up my home office (also known as the guest room) and calling vendors. I have A LOT of work to do and the place looks worse than when I started but I'm working at home again tomorrow so I should be able to get everything in it's proper place.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

This N That

Here are few photos of the house and the small updates I've made recently:

Our fall wreath on the front door (it used to be an inside wreath):

New throw pillows on the couch (larger and down filled, much nicer!):

My Alaska print framed and hung (I couldn't get a show without glare):

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Largest Man-Made Hawks Nest?!?!?!

While visiting my friend Cari a couple of weeks ago, we stumbled across one of the oddest things...the world’s largest man-made hawk’s nest. We thought this was strange and intriguing so we had to check it out! Apparently, conservation groups are working to revitalize a ravine to make it into wildlife habitat and a nature trail and someone thought a giant man-made hawk’s nest would be a great educational experience.

The hawk's nest from the road

Incubating the eggs:

Friday, November 13, 2009

Home-made heating pads

Over the weekend I made some home-made heating pads that I'd used while at a spa over the summer. Here's a photo of the bags I made:

They are really easy to make, sew bag for filling to whatever size you like, I made mine to fit around the neck. Then I filled them with (uncooked dry)rice seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. To use just spritz with water, pop them in the microwave for a few minutes and then enjoy!

Salaam wa Laikum, chitor astaid (Hello, how are you)

This is one of the few phrases that I have learned in Dari for my new job working directly with the Afghan National Army. As most of you have heard from me or Sonya I have moved to a new job over here in Afghanistan. I used to work in the Main HQ for the eastern part of Afghanistan which is run by the 82nd, but at the beginning of October I moved out with a small section from the HQ to work directly with the ANA’s 201st Corps headquarters.
I have moved from Bagram Airfield to a small base outside of Kabul. It is a Coalition base called Blackhorse inside of an ANA base named Pol-e-Charki. The group that came down here has reps from all the staff sections: Operations, Intel, Supply, Commo. I am the representative from the Current Operations section so I work with the ANA soldiers here in their TOC (Tactical Operations Center) to make sure they are tracking all of the operations and events that happen in the battlespace they control.
It has been interesting working with the ANA on a daily basis. I get to see a lot of things that I didn’t when I was living in my little isolated bubble in Bagram. Sometimes it is frustrating and sometimes it is fun but regardless it is always something different.
I look forward to seeing everyone in a few weeks when I’m back for R&R. Until then I hope everyone is doing well.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What I’m reading

While in Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago, a few weeks ago I borrowed some new reading material from my friend Cari by author Jen Lancaster. I’ve read “Bitter Is the New Black” and I’ve just started “Such a Pretty Fat”. I find the writing incredibly funny and find myself laughing out loud at Lancaster’s very wicked sense of humor and writing style. You can check her out HERE.

FYI, if you couldn’t have guessed from the titles they are complete chick books.

Oh, do I get bonus points for having two blog entries in one day?

Let me tell you about my Monday…

Normally my days start pretty smoothly,after all it's just me and Max, but not Monday! I was in Columbus still for a doctor’s appointment and then was driving back to NW Ohio for work. My issues started when I went to back the Jeep out of the garage, more precisely when I tried to use the “unlock” button and nothing happened. Okay, dead battery not a big deal IF I could reach it to charge it which I can’t because I pulled it in the garage not backed it in. So I decided that I can take my car, I didn’t really need the Jeep this week. I need it to haul my Christmas tree and Chris’ Christmas gift (hint: it’s too big to fit into my Jetta) but that can wait another week. So I drive to my doctor’s appointment, once there I find out my doctor is sick and no one called to let me know. Once again, not a big deal IF another doctor in the practice can see me which I find out they can’t and I have to reschedule for next week. By the way, I didn’t even get an apology from the receptionist for the fact that I came in for an appointment that was cancelled but no one bothered to tell me. Seriously, if I offered customer service like this, I would not have a job! There is a Starbucks located next to my doctor’s office so I decided to treat myself to peppermint mocha after the rough start to my day, not a good idea when all I’ve had was a protein shake 2 hours ago since I my stomach hurt the entire ride back. In the grand scheme of things none of these issues are major they just made for a bumpy start to my week!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank You Veterns!

As today is Veterns Day, I want to say THANK YOU to all of those who have served our country and those continuing to serve. I think the shooting at Ft. Hood has brought our military's service and sacrifice to the front and center of American's minds. My thoughts and prayers are with those families who have lost and all veterns and their families today.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Finally Framed!

I bought a frame at Hobby Lobby tonight for my Alaska print. I'm hanging it this weekend in our bedroom!

PS. Sorry for the poor picture editing, I don't have any editing capabilites away from home.

Monday, November 9, 2009

70 degrees in Nov.

The weather was just awesome this weekend, 79 degrees and sunny...it was more like NC than Ohio. Max spent a lot of time hanging out in the yard and Ryan and I raked leaves.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

New Shades

Yesterday I started my Christmas shopping in Jeffersonville at the outlet mall. I was able to find a few gifts, a few things for the house at the Pottery Barn outlet and these fun red sunglasses at Kate Spade.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Final Countdown!

Chris is scheduled to come home in ONE MONTH for his 15 day leave from Afghanistan. I'm going to attempt to blog something everyday until he gets here so let me know if you have any ideas for topics :)

New Art

I finally got our two year anniversary photos framed and hung...it only took a year! Our friend Chelsa took them for us last year, you can check out her work here. Here is the final product:

And here is Chris' RCA print that used to hang above the fireplace, I moved it to the stairway:

Friday, November 6, 2009

New Hair!

I went in for a cut/color a few weeks ago and here are the results.



Nothing too drastic just a trim and covering up summer highlights.

Max's Winter Gear

The weather in Ohio has turned chilly and Max has been getting cold so I'm trying to find him the right gear(don't pass judgment about him wearing clothes, you'd get cold too if you were only 9lbs).

Here is a coat that I bought him last year that was too big but I think with a little altering will fit this year:

I bought him this coat this year but he didn't like it so I took it back. He wouldn't/couldn't bend his front legs so he walked with straight front legs while wearing it...comical, but not pratical:

I liked the coat we had for him last year because it was windbreaker material so he didn't get wet and it reflected light so cars could see him but he's outgrown it this year. I'm still searching for a good replacement for him!