Monday, November 28, 2011


 We had a great Thanksgiving...and hope you did too!  Chris and I are blessed with large, close families so in our usual tradition we attended FOUR Thanksgiving dinners (thankfully spread over a few days).  Needless to say, we get our fill our turkey, mashed potatoes, pie and all the rest.  We really enjoy the time spent catching up with family and spending time with the ones we don't get to see very often.  We hosted a small dinner at our house on Thursday (nine adults, two babies and four dogs) and everyone got a chance to hold the twins.  So thankful for a few days off to spend with family!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful-Day 16

Okay, I fell a little behind sorry!  Both of my classes are a few weeks away from finals so that means A LOT of time spent on papers, presentations, take home tests, in addition to work and getting ready to host our first Thanksgiving dinner (with help-thanks Sharon and Danielle).  Both of my classes require extensive group work this semester and I'm so thankful for good groups!  Everyone I'm working with this semester is pulling their own weight, willing to work together and respecting each other's opinions.  I'll be even MORE THANKFUL Dec. 8th when this semester is behind me (and I'll only have ONE more class before graduation in the spring....YAY!)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful-Day 15

I'm thankful for our parents.  Chris and I have great parents that are always there for us and are so supportive.  They are both willing to pitch in and help us out by watching the dogs for a week, helping us with yardwork or giving encouraging words.  We were both oh so lucky to be raised in warm, loving homes.  We love you!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thankful-Day 14

Today I'm thankful for my education (both formal and otherwise) and the challenge that it is currently bringing to my life.  I think that we have the opportunity to learn something EVERY SINGLE DAY about the world around us and ourselves.  I've been in my job 2.5 years and I'm constantly learning something new, which keeps things exciting and never boring...that's for sure.  I've been working on my MBA for a few years (3+) now (you can read about taking the GMAT here and staring school at East Carolina University here and then going back to school here).  I'm thankful for the professors who've shaped my view of the world, my classmates who've helped me through it and my family for understanding that it just gets crazy sometimes!  And, THANKFULLY, graduation is next spring.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Spicy Caramel Corn

Looking for a recipe for a quick, popular and EASY treat that is easily portable?  That's when I break out this recipe for spicy caramel corn...I'm sure I've made it hundreds of times.  We've taken it tailgating and to parties. I've sent it to both Iraq and Afghanistan (many, many times because it travels well) when Chris was deployed because guys really seem like the kick of the cayenne pepper and the way it offsets the sweetness of the caramel coating.  Seriously, it's delicious and easy (as in, you use the microwave) so give it a try:

Spicy Caramel Corn:

2 batches of popcorn (popped) in a brown grocery bag
1 stick butter, melted
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white corn syrup
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1/2 t. baking soda

Combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and salt in a microwave safe bowl and microwave until boils.  Continue to microwave for 2 minutes. Stir in baking soda, cayenne pepper and cinnamon, mixture will become "fluffier" (this will make sense, I promise).  Pour over popcorn in bag and shake to distribute.  Fold over top of bag and place in the microwave on side.  (I turn my microwave down to 80% here...each microwave is different you may need to adjust) Microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds.  Remove from microwave and shake bag.  Place back in microwave on the other side and microwave for 1 minute and 15 seconds.  Pour caramel corn onto foil and allow to cool.  Once cool seal in an air-tight container and enjoy.  If you have kids or don't like heat, feel free to skip the cinnamon and cayenne pepper but if you like spicy add some extra!  I used to double the cayenne before sending to the guys deployed... you know, because their lives weren't "spicy" enough!


Thankful-Day 13

Today, I'm thankful for those who understand technology and keep it working for me (um, this would be my gadget-loving husband).  He's been in the process of updating the backup systems on my computer so don't have to worry about loosing the thousands of photos and years of grad school work on it.  He also was kind enough to set up my new iphone for me a few weeks ago even though he really wanted it for that's love!

Are you tech-savvy or do you have help too?

Thankful-Day 12

Today, I'm thankful for this crazy (but beautiful) November weather we've been having in Ohio.  It's been un-seasonably 70 degrees!  And sunny!  So nice!

What's the weather like where you are?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thankful-Day 11

I'm thankful for weekends!  It's so nice to be able to sleep in (until 7am or so but that's still two hours later than usual for me), spend time with Chris and the dogs, do homework and just relax.  We usually hang at home on Friday nights and clean on Saturdays.  My Sunday routine includes spinning class, church, homework and doing some cooking, which is relaxing for me.  And in a few short months, no more homework! Yay!

What's your favorite part of weekends?

Max and Lila relaxing and watching Sunday afternoon football

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thankful-Day 10

Today, I'm thankful for my job.  I'm thankful to have a job in these economically tough times AND to work for a company that is growing!  I have the best co-workers who are fun and work hard and care about each other.       I'm thankful for a job that I enjoy and that takes care of our family financially (and with important).  I'm thankful for a company that allows me the freedom to make the best choices for my clients and that is very ethically we say "we do what makes sense".  I love that!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thankful-Day 9

I'm thankful for our veteran's and the sacrifices that they make in order to protect our freedom.  Their jobs are not easy and I can speak from personal experience here as I'm married to a vet and I'm proud to count many of them as friends and family!  They have this sense of duty that runs deep and they are motivated to serve.  They leave their families for months upon months at a time to work 12-14 hour days, 6 days a week sometimes because that's what's needed.  And they don't complain about it (I'm sure that I would).  They travel thousands of miles from home, missing birthdays and holidays.  And they don't complain about it (again, I'm sure I would).  So please, take a moment today to say thank you to our veterans!     
Prayer for Veterans Day
God of peace,
we pray for those who have served our nation
and have laid down their lives
to protect and defend our freedom.
We pray for those who have fought,
whose spirits and bodies are scarred by war,
whose nights are haunted by memories
too painful for the light of day.
We pray for those who serve us now,
especially for those in harm's way.
Shield them from danger
and bring them home.
Turn the hearts and minds
of our leaders and our enemies
to the work of justice and a harvest of peace.
Spare the poor, Lord, spare the poor!
May the peace you left us,
the peace you gave us,
be the peace that sustains,
the peace that saves us.
Christ Jesus, hear us!
Lord Jesus, hear our prayer!
Austin Fleming
Military Ball, 2008

Home from Iraq, 2008

Home from Iraq, 2008

Home from Afghanistan, 2010

Grant and Chris, Dress Blues 2010

Ben's Wedding, 2010

Chris in Iraq, 2008

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful-Day 8

Today, I'm thankful for our home. Chris and I became homeowners 2 1/2 years ago and it has been an adventure!  Part of that comes from owning a house built in the 40's with a "Bexley Basement"...which means it floods sometimes.  We do enjoy our cozy 1400 square foot home, even though we know that some day we'll need to move due to the space constraints but for now, it's perfect for us.  We have a great kitchen, which allows me to get creative when cooking, a beautiful backyard and I LOVE that we can paint the walls any color we want (which is refreshing after 6 years living in apartments with white walls) and we have!  The dining room is now chocolate brown and the bedroom is now a deep tan/yellow and the bathroom is sage.  I'm thinking about the tiny bath next....     

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thankful-Day 7

Today I'm thankful that we live in a free country that allows personal freedoms.  Politics seem to be at the forefront with election day yesterday and we should all be thankful that we are able to express our views without fear of government interaction.  I'm also thankful that most people seem to be respectful of other's views as well!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thankful-Day 6

Today, I'm thankful for the fact that we are healthy.  Our bodies treat us well and have allowed us to do things such as skiing in Colorado, jumping out of planes (Chris in the Army) and running marathons!   

2011 Columbus Marathon and 1/2 M

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thankful-Day 5

Have I mentioned how great our friends are?  Well if I haven't, I'm sorry because they are AMAZING and I'm so thankful to have them!  Here are some photos of our friends over the years...  

Sonya and Kelly, 2007 Marathon

Kelly, Annie and Sonya, NYC 2008

Sonya, Grant and Lea, 4th of July 2008

Chris, Matt, Zak, Heather and Jamie Savannah St. Patrick's Day 

Sonya, Chris and Grant, Charleston, SC

Alison, Sonya, Missy, Lea, Caitlin, Christie

Brian, Patton, Bryce and Steve

Sonya and Jenni

Caitlin, Lea, Missy and Sonya, Slip N Slide

Grant, Chris and Yonel, London 2010

Nicole, Rachel and Sonya Homecoming 2000

Eric, Zak. Chris, Sonya and Aaron OU Halloween
These are just a handful of photos of all the fun we've had with our friends...can't wait to make more memories with you over the years!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thankful-Day 4

Yesterday was our 5 year wedding anniversary (time flies!) so I'm going to do a I'm thankful for Chris, my husband, and the five years that we've been married AND our beautiful wedding.  Many of you know our wedding story, but for those who do not, it's a great story (as my Mom likes to say, one to tell your grand-kids about someday).  Chris and I got engaged about 6 months after graduating college, right before Christmas.  He was in-between OBC (Officer's Basic Course) and moving to his first Army assignment, Ft. Bragg, NC.  We decided that we wanted to get married in a year so the planning began.  To make a long story short, when you're in the Army, they have first priority in your life, so about two months before our original wedding date we moved our 400 person wedding up about 3 weeks because Chris was leaving for Iraq.  Invitations has been printed (but THANKFULLY, not sent) and everything was in place but after a few days and a lot of phone calls (thanks Mom!) we were able to get everything rescheduled to November 5th.  We still sent out the invitations with the wrong date with cards with the correct information so event the ones we have framed in our house aren't correct.  Even with all the deployment excitement, everything turned out beautifully and we had so much fun at our wedding.  We are so THANKFUL for our friends and family who were able to spend the day with us and make it so memorable and special.  What are some of your wedding memories?  

Our wedding, 2006

4 year anniversary photos
4 year anniversary photos
Here's how we've spent a few of our other anniversaries: year 2 photos and year 3 flowers and year 3 post and year 4!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thankful-Day 3

Today, I'm thankful for Max and Lila, our dogs.  They are so much fun to have around and are great companions.  I think I've spent more time with Max than Chris during our marriage due to deployments, ha!  Although they are the same breed (mini-dachshunds), they each have their own distinctive personality.  Max loves to play ball, sleep in and likes to be petted on his terms.  Lila likes to cuddle, is ferocious to the mailman and thinks her place in on an open lap.        
Dog Park Agility Course...still needs some work!

Their favorite perch, on the back of the couch.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thankful-Day 2

Today I'm thankful for family.  Chris and I are both blessed with large, wonderful families who are so supportive of the choices that we've made that have brought us this far (living the Army life, two deployments and now being grad school students).  Both sets of our parents are still married after 25+ years of marriage, a great example for us to follow.  We are lucky to be close to our siblings and we enjoy spending time with them.  Yep, we've got great families!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


For the month of November, my posts will be on the theme of Thanksgiving.  I want to take time to show gratitude and to acknowledge the blessing in our lives.

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord,
and to sing praises unto thy name, O most high:
To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning,
and thy faithfulness every night
— Psalms 92.1-2

I'm so thankful for my partner in this life, my husband.  We've been married almost 5 years and it truly has been adventurous!  We've moved twice in three years and have spent about as much time apart as together.  He makes me laugh everyday, is so caring and understanding.  I'm so lucky to share my life with him.  I love you Chris!

Before the Ruckus Race and the broken hand, July 2011

OBX Trip, June 2011

Please join me this month, post comments about what you are thankful for!