Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Life Ain't Always Beautiful

Life is too short to be taken for granted.  I was reminded of this all too clearly today with a simple phone call.  Fiance found out today his former platoon sergeant and the first NCO he really worked with passed away very unexpectedly.  His PS really mentored and helped shape fiance into the soldier he is today, and they worked very closely from preparing to deploy and most of deployment as well.  Needless to say, we are both very stunned and saddened by this loss.  He left behind a toddler and very loving wife who included me in the FRG goings ons, even if I was "only a girlfriend" to other ladies.  It has been a rough evening with lots of long silences on the phone.  Fiance said it so well; you prepare your mind for the possibility of losing soldiers when you are deployed, not at home and not working on post. 

So, 161 CAV boys, I’m thinking of you.  And ladies, if you could keep this man’s family in your thoughts and prayers I’d really appreciate it.  You'll be missed soldier. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Under the Knife

Ugh, so ready to be done with school and this semester.  I'll be lucky to squeak out a 3.0 this semester, statistics is kicking my butt!

Anyways, yes, I am getting surgery.  Friday to be exact.  For what? Something I've wanted for a long time now (no, not boobs, those showed up a few years ago :P) but LASIK! I don't have terrible eyesight by any means, but enough that's bothersome and I have a driving restriction since I cannot read road signs without glasses or contacts.

I'm going in on Friday to have pre-op testing and hopefully the actual procedure as well.  I'm very fortunate to have amazing insurance through my parents that covers a majority of the procedure.  Once I'm married, I did my research and tricare won't take care of it and my insurance won't cover it after the new year.  Thus, sparking the need to get it done sooner rather than later! I usually throw my glasses on after a long day of school, but I have to be in them for 5 days prior to the procedure and they are driving me up a wall.  Here is to hopefully being glasses free in the next 48 hours!

In wedding news: bridesmaid dresses are in, and I big pink puffy heart them! Honestly, if one of my girls doesn't like them, I'd totally buy it back from her :) They are a deep sapphire/royal blue in duchess satin with a v neck and have a belt cut on the bias to cinch in at the natural waist.  Very flattering, at least I seem to think so.  They also have a pencil skirt to look modern and cocktail like.  I found them from an amazing online boutique Ariadress.com.  They were a dream to work with, and I cannot wait to show everyone photos :)  Wedding ceremony music is decided, just need to find the musicians to play it! Trying to decide between string trio or piano.  It's hard finding musician, and ones that will return emails/phone calls, harrumph.  It'll be 6 months until wedding day on Sunday- eeek!! Still so much to do :)

This year will also be the first time I making thanksgiving dinner.  Fiance and I are going to be by ourselves in the Kentuc-essee region so I'm going down there for a week to wedding plan, rewrite my thesis, and start our own traditions as a couple.  This year I have classes/finals until Dec 21st, so that puts a damper on my holiday planning and shopping.  So the two of us may brave some shopping together before thanksgiving just for the sake of time.

Anyone have fun Thanksgiving traditions they started as newlyweds? Any advice for someone making their first dinner?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New Roommate!

Not the only roommate I'd love to have *cough* soldier *cough* but still something kinda snuggly!
Ignore post workout attire
I got a baby hedgehog! Her name is Laurel, and she is about 10 weeks old.  We're still getting to know each other, and I'm slowly getting her to trust me.  She gets a little cranky sometimes since she is in the process of quilling and has some irritated and itchy skin.  But yes, my little buddy now :)
Yes that's a worm, but it's freeze dried and dead.  She thinks they are like crack.
Isn't she stinking adorable? I just can't get over that face.  Now if only she could figure out her exercise ball haha.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

New Title, New URL

Many of you may have noticed that the URL and name have changed.  I really hope this move hasn’t screwed up any followers, it still shows everyone as there.  Let me know if there are any issues with this move! It was pointed out to me recently that my URL said military girlfriend, of which I am not anymore.  Instead, I feel the change to Aud Army Life hits on my education and career aspirations and that some times Army life can be rather “odd/aud”.  Ear humor, just let it happen :)

In short, I’m back.  It’s bee quite a busy few months since August.  I spent much of August on the road; going to Colorado for a conference for a week, then to TN to spend time wedding planning with fiancé and attend a wedding, then STL to visit the BFFs all before school was set to start up yet again.  My poor car has hit 110k miles, I’m just hoping she holds up until I finish school and have a big girl salary. 

Once school began, I’ve been hitting the ground running.  While this semester has been not as full course wise, this is certainly busier than I anticipated. My research project is kind of stagnant, and my advisor who’s wife just had a baby, is now going to be out with foot surgery for 2 weeks.  While he is off his feet for awhile, at least he will have time to read papers and make changes.  I’m still really hoping I can get my paper and everything together to get to do my prelim next month.  This is going to be a CRAZY weekend of parking it in the library, but I’m feeling the pressure to get this done. 

Wedding stuff has been going fantastically! I’m pretty good with where we are time wise.  I’m still behind on finding ceremony musicians, but I have some contacts that I need to get in touch with.  Save the dates are sent out and engagement photos are done, so I’ve started to look at ordering prints to actually hang things on walls!  I’ll be sure to share a few at the bottom of this post.  The dress I'm wearing in the uniform photos is actually one I won from Shabby Apple! I won a $75 gift card from Stetsons, Spurs, and Stilettos'  giveaway, and I'm obsessed with that dress.  I can wear it professionally, or I can glam it up for a night on the town.  Now I just need to find another occasion to wear it.

In the internship arena, I’ve had 2 interviews and still waiting on a few more to be scheduled.  I’m really hopeful for one near the fiance even though he won’t be in the TN area again.  We’re in the awkward SFAS limbo, along with Captain’s Course.  Yes, fiance made the Captain’s promotion list!!! We’re excited, and interested to see where Army life is taking us next.  He hasn’t officially promoted yet, but we think next month may be it.  I get to put on his new bars this time, so I’m beyond excited! I was present at his commissioning  but this might be the only promotion I'm a part of unless he decides to stay until Major, but that's a looooooooong ways away. 

So- now for the wedding related photo bomb:

Save the Dates, all 125 of them!
Outside our HS we attended.
By the old lockers we used to slip notes into
Of couse, uniform photos!
One of my favorites, we were at a castle here.
Such a fun moment
And a little saucy ;)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Blogger 411

1.How long have you been blogging? And what got you started on blogging? Has your blog changed?
I've been blogging for just over a year now. It started as a way to connect to the military community while boyfriend deployed and I was starting grad school. Now my little corner has turned into wedding planning and life planning along with the army!

2. Did you go to college? If so where, and what did you study?
Oh boy, I've been in school far too long! I did my undergrad degree in a small school in MO where I studied Communication Disorders, minored in Psychology and an emphasis in Disability Studies. Now I'm working on my Doctorate in Audiology at Illinois. I CANNOT wait to be finished, hurry up May 17, 2014!

3. Where have you traveled?
All over the US minus the southwest and the northeast states. Internationally, I've only been to the Bahamas, but should Captain's Course not start until next June, fiance and I may be fixing that with a week long honeymoon in Europe.

4. If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would buy?
I wouldn't buy much of anything to start with, I'd pay off my loans, and save the rest to finish up school and live off of during my internship year. Anything left over would go to setting up a retirement/investment portfolio and financial cushion to recover from grad school. Maybe a splurge on my fiance as a wicked wedding present and a 'new to me' car once mine needs to be replaced. Not fun stuff, but totally necessary. Anyone want to give me a winning ticket??

5. What are your 3 biggest pet peeves?
Intolerance of others, people chewing gum loudly, and scuffing shoes while walking (seriously how hard is it to pick up your feet!?!)

6. What is your favorite movie?
Young Frankenstein (pronounced Frank-en-schtein)

7. What is your drink of choice; wine, beer, or liquor. Or Water, Soda, Tea?
Favorite wine: Francis Ford Coppola Shiraz, Beer: Spotted Cow by New Glarus Brewery, Liquor: Vodka, any and all kinds.

8. What is something you enjoy to do when you have me time?
I like to cook a fancy new meal, maybe a recipe from pinterest, do my nails, and enjoy a movie with a glass of wine.

9. If you could have a $10,000 shopping spree to one store, which store would it be?
Tough choice, but probably Target. They have everything there!

10. Share with us an embarrassing moment of your past? Or present.
One of my more embarrassing stories, this happened while I was in HS. I was on a girl scout trip with my troop, and we were driving to Chicago. I should also mention at this point, I didn't drive on highways/tollways due to parental restrictions. We were going through the automatic toll booths, when I asked, "Do I have to go through the manual lane because I drive a manual transmission?". Needless to say, I've yet to live that one down.

11. What day would you love to relive again?
It's a tie, homecoming and engagement day. Both days I never though I could ever be happier.

12. If your life was turned into a movie... what actor would play you?
I've been told I kind of look like Julia Stiles, so I'd go with her, I also love her sassy character in 10 things I hate about you.

13. What are the jobs you had in high school/college/the early years?
My first job was working as a summer custodial assistant at my high school. We went through and deep cleaned all the classrooms, painted, and did other odd and end jobs to get the school ready for fall. It was far from glamorous, but 40 hours a week minimum and no evening or weekends for a 16 year old was a pretty sweet deal! After that I worked at a summer camp for 4 years during college. I loved my co workers and getting to spend my days with some awesome kids outdoors.

14. Show us a picture from high school or college.
My senior prom together, scandalous dancing of course.
15. If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go?
I would LOVE to go on an African Safari, going on jeep rides through the savannah and seeing tons of wild animals.  I also heard of a few resorts that have luxury tree houses to stay in, how freaking cool would that be!?!

16. Show us the most current picture of you or you, or your family, or anything of meaning to you.
Photo from the wedding reception this past weekend with the man that means everything to me
17. Where do you see your life 5 years from now?
I hope to be a fully licensed and board certified Audiologist, maybe working in a hospital or VA center. I will still be madly in love with my husband, and maybe we'll have some furry paws running around our house :) Who knows where we'll be with the Army, but I might still be an army wife.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Wedding Update and Test Info

So, some of you may remember the big nasty test I took in early June that had me panicked... well results came in today- I PASSED on the first try :) I'm beyond excited!!!  Next step, national exam, finishing classes/project, and year long internship- then I'll finally be an audiologist.  May 2014 better hurry up!

Wedding update: dress and veil- check! venue- check! photographer- check! officiant- check! bridal party-check!

I'm making a lot of wedding progress.  It really helps having the fiance around to do things together.  Our vision for the day is really starting to come together.  I just wish I could share a photo of my dress, I'm so very much in love with it and cannot wait to wear it.  It'll kill me to have to wait 6 months for it to even come in.  I'm keeping the dress under wraps until the wedding day, only close friends and family have seen it thus far. 

My to-do list is ever growing, but this weekend the fiance and I have a wedding to attend for my good friend.  It'll be our first one together, and I'm a bridesmaid so that'll make a fun but busy weekend.  We also have 2 cake tastings scheduled on Friday- yay for cake.  I'll be sure to post pics from my b-maid adventures.  I'm slowly trying to ease back into blogging at my usual rate.  I think once block leave is over, and I'm done driving to Chicago every week I'll finally have more me time yet again. 

I'm still reading and commenting away, but don't worry, I am still around this little corner of the internet.  I'll post pics once I get my camera again, I left it in Chicago like an idiot last time I was at clinical rotations.  Well, my thesis is a calling me again, back to work for me.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Finding My Voice Again

I could apologize for the lapse in blogging, but I'll just leave things where they lie.  I've been struggling lately, I'm so over the moon about wedding planning and where things are at in school, but I can't silence this feeling that I'm losing my 'voice' of my blog.  I don't want this blog to turn into a wedding planning or grad school bitching only kind of blog.  I think I'm just trying to figure out where this is going, and how it all fits together. 

Things are also so all over the place with fiance's career.  He was selected for some really special training, and I'm nervous where this path will take us.  At the same time, we're waiting on news of a promotion and the accompanying course.  There are so many good things in our lives right now, and I just need to keep on recognizing how blessed we are, and let the limbo continue. 

I don't know if it's still adjusting to this new phase in my life, one where I am actually mostly excited about the Army and where things are going, or if I am still waiting on the other shoe to drop with wedding planning.  I'm TERRIFIED that we will go through all these steps and have the Army change our plans last minute.  A military clause has been added to all contracts and thankfully everyone has been really understanding.  We were really trying for a memorial day weekend wedding, but everywhere was all booked up.  We officially set the date of May 18th, 2013, at the venue we both loved (335 days to go!).  So far, I'm just chugging ahead trying to navigate family wants and what we want our day to be like as a couple. 

On the wedding front: venue- check! Bridal party- check! and that's about it, ha! I've been doing lots of research, so once fiance comes out of the field and goes on 2 week block leave we'll be hitting the ground running together.  Photographer, DJ, registry, cake, finalized guest list, and save the dates are on our to-do list.  Here is to hoping things come together. 

Maybe some 'me time' to get back into the swing of things will help with finding my voice again.  I'm just getting started on my LAST summer semester with classes so hopefully I can get into a routine and find myself again. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Off the Grid

Sorry for being a ghost, I've been trekking all around the Midwest and attempting to study for my comps.  The remainder of this week and weekend will be a whirlwind trip to spend time with fiance's family and back just in the knick of time to start up another semester.  I'll be back to more regular blogging next week.  I have lots of wedding updates to add, giveaways I won to thank everyone for, and some school news as well.

New followers- feel free to introduce yourself, I love getting to know you and finding other blogs as well, but make sure your reply email is set, I reply to all my comments :)

Off to cram at the library with my classmates, here is to hoping tomorrow goes well!

And just because I hate posting without photos:  some adventures when visiting fiance for 2.5 weeks.
Castle at the TN renaissance fair
Touring the castle in 90+ degree weather

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mil Spouse Blog Link Up

Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Day!

Well hello! I hope it’s not presumptive that I’m participating in the spouse blog hop, seeing as how I am about 12-15 months from being a spouse.  
Homecoming, August 2011
I’m Dani, and I’ve been with my solider for 7 years.  We are high school sweethearts that have been together long before the Army was a possibility.  We are also newly engaged, I said yes just over a month ago while vacationing in the Bahamas. So right now we are in the thick of wedding planning along with the Army and their constantly changing schedules.  

Military Ball, November 2011
I am a full time graduate student currently pursuing my doctorate in Audiology.  I love ears! I just finished up my 2nd year, so officially halfway there, and 2014 will be here before I know it.  So right now we are still distance, but hopefully that will change in the next 12 months.  

I said yes, March 2012
I started this blog to connect with other milie girls while fiance (then boyfriend) was deployed to Afghanistan.  He came home in August and it’s been quite an eventful several months.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Almost there!

I'm checking back in after a long week of finals, clinicals, a field trip, and lots of relaxing time.  I'm still not 100% done with my take home test, but I still have until 6pm tomorrow to turn it in.  Procrastination at its finest ;)

I rocked my clinicals this semester, and so far grade wise, I think I'm sitting really good.  I know I have a B in one class, but in my others, I have A's or A-'s, which I am more than happy with in grad school.  I just may get my cumulative GPA above that 3.5 level again.  We'll see how this take home goes, but I'm pretty sure I can pull off an A no problems. 

In other news, fiance is acting as the company commander this week and next week- so he's getting a taste for Captain life.  We'll see how he likes it.  At least I'll be down there in a week or so, so that'll be good for the two of us. 

We were talking tonight about wedding stuff and we may kinda sorta have a tentative time frame in mind!!! I'm so beyond excited to start looking at venues and hopefully nail one down by June.  Then comes the dress and all the other fun stuff :) things are moving along quickly in the future department, which is a nice change. I'm still not holding my breath, the Army may change things suddenly on us, which is why every place I look at I ask about their reschedule policy.  Most have seemed pretty nice, but a few said that we'd have to pay 2x the deposit if we had to cancel then reschedule.  Ugh, annoying but I understand where they are coming from. 

Anyways, I just wanted to check in for a bit, I'll be back to my normal bloggy self next weekend.  And hopefully fiance and I will have some fun trips and activities planned while I'm on post visiting for 2.5 weeks! Including another race and some small weekend getaways :)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Wedding and Race Update

So- the race, that 10k I signed up for.  I came, I ran, I conquered!! In training I didn't go over 5 miles, but instead focused on training in intervals for speed and I think it paid off.  My goal was 01:15:00, and I finished in 01:02:43 chip time.  I'm pretty stoked, and it looks like I managed my 10 min mile pace pretty easily.  Who knows, maybe next year will be the half :)  I have a few more races planned this summer, so maybe I can work on getting my time down.  I have no photos because my running partner flaked on race morning, but then I got to run the race I wanted to.

Now onto wedding news. I'm hoping I don't turn into a blogger that is all about the wedding, but I had to gush for just a little bit tonight.  I'm making some hasty progress despite not having a date yet.  Fiance and I are still waiting on some more news from the Army, but hopefully we'll get that in the next month or so.  As of right now, we're planning on setting a date while he is in his Captain's course then honeymooning when I graduate from school.  In the mean time, the moms and I are going to look at several venues while I am home for a few days.  I've got them all picked out and now comes the fun part of setting up appointments.  The plan is to take photos, get quotes and then have info to take back to fiance so we can make a decision together.

My future MIL has been interesting.  She has some thoughts and opinions, and some of them are helpful. She is REALLY pushing for me to look at 2 venues in a small town about 20 minutes from the hometown. Unfortunately there are no hotels anywhere near by and also, they just don't do anything for me.  I am still going to look at them to appease her.  I think we'll just have to put our feet down on what is important to us, and include her in other things that aren't so much. 

I'm also going to go try on some dresses for the first time with the Moms.  There is a bridal store where my mother and grandmother both bought their wedding gowns near by.  Naturally, for tradition's sake I want to go check it out.  I'm just planning on trying on dresses and seeing what style/shapes I want to further look into.  I think I know what I want, but I'm terrified it'll look horrible on me.  So here is to an open mind :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

100th Post!!

To start off my post, I said I'd answer some question and Mel asked me:
1. What is your dream job when you finish grad school?
I want to be a clinical audiologist, primarily working in a hospital or medical setting, but NOT and ENT practice (pre and post surgical testing for an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor, or as they like to say "pumping pure tones for The Man").  I would love to see all age groups, and I also love working with children and their families.
 The nice thing about audiology is that it is super varied, and you can see newborns all the way to centenarians every day for a variety of needs. As long as I can do diagnostic hearing and balance evaluation and fit hearing aids, I'll be a happy girl :)

2. Coffee, tea or soda?
Yes to all of the above! I'm a regular coffee drinker in the AM, warm tea on some evenings, and iced tea all summer long.  I've been trying to kick my pop habit, but if it has some alcohol added I usually say yes :)

3. What is your go-to music when you are studying? When you need a pick-me-up? When you're happy?
In terms of music I am all over the place.  When studying, I usually rock my solo piano pandora station. For pick me ups, I go to my country music, the classic Garth and George Straight.  My happy go lucky music is my Frank Sinatra/Michael Buble combo.

In other news:
This weekend, I am also running my first 10k! It's going to be a crazy day, but I'm so excited.  Stay tuned for photos and I'll be sure to let everyone know how it goes.  I feel so much more prepared than I did for my 5k this time last year. It's amazing how interval training plus light lifting can shave so much time off runs.  I overall feel strong and confident my body can do this.  My goal is still to finish without walking, but I'm also aiming for finishing in under 1 hour 20 minutes.  I think I'd be able to manage around an hour easily, but I'm giving myself some flex time.

Also, finals week has arrived!  I have 2 presentations next week, a final on Thursday, and a take home due on the following Monday.  A few days of clinic, then home for a few days! While I'm home I'm going venue hunting and dress shopping with the moms (my mom and fiance's mom), so that will be lots of fun.  I'll be back at school for graduation and some of those festivities, and then down to spend time with the fiance.  I have 3 weeks off from mid-May to early June to study for my comprehensive exams and also to work on my first draft of my thesis proposal for my Doctoral Research Project (DRP).  While he's off playing Army, I'll be spending quality time at the library and we'll have evenings and weekends together :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

100th Post Coming Up!

Thank you all for your kind words and for sharing your stories on my last post.  Time and time again I'm reminded why I started this blog, the camaraderie that exists among military SO's. 

In honor of my 100th post, I'm opening the floor to you readers for questions.  I've seen other bloggy ladies do Q&A posts and I thought I'd give it a try.  So, next post I'll do my best to answer any and all questions you pose.  So go ahead, ask the things you've always wanted to know about me.  Also to new followers, feel free to introduce yourself and I hope to get to know you better as well.

In case you hadn't noticed, I now have a blog button!  Sue over at Hello. Also, I love you was ever so kind to create one for me.  Check out her blog if you haven't already, she is super sweet and is a milie spouse living in Japan, how cool is that?


Finally, I had a video to share.  I can't stop giggling when I watch this. I'd say about 85% of this is true for me.  Minus the school and getting married parts haha.  So if you are also 24-ish, give it a watch, it made my day. 
The Official Anthem for 24 Year Olds

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Weddings and the Army Life

I'm sure this is not something that is new to other milie bloggers out there, but man oh man is wedding planning plus army not a good combo.  Currently we are still hoping to set a date in the next few weeks, just have to hold out for some SF information.  Captain's course is coming up, and the fellow says we may just have to throw darts at a calendar, which I am SO not a fan of. *shrugs* but what can you do right?

I also did not realize how much weddings freaking cost!! We are hoping to invite just family and close friends, and already the guest list is spiraling past the 125-ish I wanted to stay around.  Yes, many of them may not be able to attend, but yikes does it get expensive reallllly quickly.  Both our parents are being fantastic and offering significant help, but it will still involve some contribution by the two of us.  And by the two of us, I mean the fiance, because paying for a wedding with student loans is never a good idea. 

The more and more we talk about it, the more and more appealing eloping sounds.  I know that we may regret it and we're just saying that for all the wrong reasons but yikes that would reduce the stress immensely.  It also doesn't help that we've resigned ourselves to spending our first year of marriage apart while I am interning and he is off doing Captain things, reporting to a new unit, or even deploying again.  I just keep repeating to myself, in the end we will be married and that's the most important thing.  It doesn't matter what I wear, where it is, or even what time of year it happens.  The most important thing is the commitment we are making to each other for the rest of our lives.   Just have to keep that in perspective and it'll all turn out just fine. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

How Forever Feels

I thought I’d make a post about our engagement story, plus I’ve had a few requests :)

It happened on Wednesday March 21st.  We were in the Bahamas and had just gotten back to the condo from a National park and Cave tour.  We also got to see the beach where some of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies were filmed, Gold Rock Beach.  It was beautiful and I loved spending time on another beach.

We decided to go check out the port again and see what was happening in the Lucaya area.  We started off by walking along the beach to the big resort nearby.  Walking around we scouted out some potential dinner areas, and also found out the hours of the local liquor store.  You now, priorities. 

We were walking around by the marina and had mentioned checking out Taino Beach, and you have to take a ferry to get there due to the canal system.  We were walking around and talking about going there.  Then, we saw the ferry pull up and decided to go for it on a whim.  Why not, the ferry was already there, right?
Canal View of some condos
Yacht Club, fancy
We got to the ferry area, and started walking around the area trying to find our way to the beach.  It is actually on the Ritz Carlton property, so we navigated our way there after enjoying the lovely canal tour.  We decided to walk along the beach and check out the area.  Taino Beach is supposed to be one of the most beautiful beaches on the entire island, and I’d have to agree.  It was nice and secluded and very serene.  There were not a lot of people around, and we started walking around the cove. 

After walking to the end of the beach and glancing at tide pools we decided to turn around and head back.  I may have also been whining because my flip-flops were not the best shoes to be wearing on the rocks.  Once we got back to the sandy area we stopped to rest and just enjoy the beach for a moment. 
The rocks and tide pools
Absolutely breathtaking
At this point he started really sweet things like how I am the best thing that happened him, and since deployment his life was really put into perspective and what was important, and then he said, “vacation wouldn’t be complete without one more thing.” He dropped to one knee and pulled out the most beautiful ring I’d ever seen and asked, “Dani, will you marry me?”
Right after, and all smiles
Close up of the ring, it is perfect!
My answer was of course, YES! My exact words may have been "yes, yes, oh hell yes, forever, yes." We went to celebrate the exciting news with a drink at the Ritz (holy fancy batman) and waited on the ferry back to Port Lucaya.  Once there, we hit the liquor store for some champagne and a cigar for him.  Then came the fun part of calling family via Skype, and they were all SUPER excited.  Apparently, fiancé had asked my parents for their blessing at Christmas, and had the ring since January.  How sneaky!
Celebrating with champagne after dinner
So we are now planning a wedding around the Army and my classes.  Right now, the hard part is waiting to find out when/if he has Captain’s course and where we’ll be PCSing to after that.  Here is to hoping for a Fall 2013 wedding! No date set, but we're looking at some venues this weekend.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Guest Post by Sue

Hello everyone, I'm Sue and I blog over at Hello. Also, I love you. My blog is about my life. I write about everything in my life, although my husband Aaron, my puppy Twink, and living in Japan are my main topics of conversation. I've also recently made my first vlog. It was a little awkward but I decided I liked it and now I have plans to start a vlog link up. I really try to be honest and open with myself and anyone who decides to read my blog so you'll find a lot of that over there. In January I wrote a particularly honest post about myself to let people know a little bit more about who I am and how I got here. Even though I've been through some difficult things in my life I treasure love and happiness about anything.

I absolutely love to write. I can tell stories all day long. I write about whatever is on my mind, but sometimes the things on my mind are too much to write about so I don't. If ever I'm absent from my blog for a few days, it's usually because there's things going on in my head that I'm still wrapping myself around. It can also be because I'm busy writing things that are not yet for the public eye! I believe that writing should come from inside you. You can push yourself to excel at writing but if you've got nothing inside then the writing can't come out. If you ever sit down to write a blog post and you simply can't think of what to write about, my advice is this: Go out and do something! Make a mistake. Fall in love. Kiss a stranger. Help a friend. Do something worth remembering and then you'll have something worth writing about.  

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

“Welcome to Bahstan”

Continuing with my guest bloggers is Julie! She is so very sweet, and we hit it off right away via our blogs and through emailing.  She was actually the first blogger that I met 'in real life'. Her husband is in the same division as boyfriend, so I'm hoping we can do another Starbucks date again soon!  Anyway, here is her post and be sure to show her some love :) 
Hi! I’m Julie from “When Your Feet Don’t Touch the Ground.” That is way too long of a title I know. I am a twenty-something girl living in Tennessee, but I grew up in Massachusetts. When Dani needed a guest blogger for her spring break and conference time, I decided to volunteer and try to do something new. Since she is going to be spending time in Boston, I decided to share some info and things I love and hate about the city. Here goes!
Boston, the wonderful capital of Massachusetts, is home to many things including the Red Sox, the original Boston Tea Party, frappes, Ben Affleck, a lack of the letter “R”, and much more. I have a love/hate relationship with the city. After moving down South, I miss the certain things the city has to offer that I now have to drive far to find. The food is absolutely amazing. You can go almost anywhere in the city and have decent to fantastic clam chowdah with fish ‘n chips. While we have some chain restaurants, we have more individually owned unique establishments. There is just about every type of food you can imagine. I’m a big fan of the North End Italian restaurants and Gaslight in the South End. Don’t even get me started on bakeries. Visitors must stop at Mike’s Pastry for a cannoli or find a Rosie’s bakery to try a chocolate orgasm. Yes, that’s the name and yes, the brownie deserves that name. I love the sports fans here too. We may be a little too obnoxious, but in the past few years, don’t we deserve to be? Between the Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, and Patriots, we have a few teams to brag about. As geeky as it may be, I love the history of the city. Visitors need to walk along the Freedom Trail to see many historic sites that played crucial roles during the American Revolution.
I can tell you one big thing I hate about the city. People are not too friendly. Everyone is in a rush and a big fan of car horns. The up side to this is people in Boston are honest and will not sugarcoat things (something I have found in the South). I also despise the accent. It makes us sound dumb. Not everything is “wicked pissah” (translation “really awesome”). No matter how many times people ask me, I will not park the car in Harvard Yard. Finally, I hate Cambridge and Haaaaavahd, but that’s a topic for another day.
Enjoy your conference in Boston Dani! Tell the city I miss it!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Back for a few days!

Well hello bloggy-verse. I am back from the fabulous Bahamas! We arrived back yesterday evening, and a long night of laundry and cleaning/prepping for today went on.  We had a 3 hour layover in Miami, so lots of Kindle time was had :)

Some of the highlights from the trip via photos. I took what seems like a gazillion, so choosing less than 20 seemed hard!

Spending an entire week together.

Toes in the sand.

Snorkeling for the first time.

Getting lots of sun, while wearing sunscreen of course!

Playing/swimming with dolphins.

Amazing food and drinks.

Watching the sun rise over the ocean.

Turning 24 on the 24th and celebrating 7 years together :)

And my favorite of all: saying "YES" to marrying the love of my life!

All in all, an AMAZING week and a HUGE thank you to my guest bloggers :) Stay tuned for two more lovely ladies this week!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Guest Post by Mel

I want you all to welcome Mel from Head in the Game, Heart in the Sand.  She is a fellow grad student (a law student at that!) and a newlywed military spouse.  I was a guest poster for her recently, and she so graciously agreed to do the same for me! So leave her some love, and I think this post should resonate with all of us.
Adapt and overcome.  In Army life, we hear that phrase a lot, often in response to bad news or a last-minute change of plans. Those words mean different things to different people and everyone has their own way of “practicing” the motto.  For me, a child of divorced parents, with no money, living in the city, those words meant something deeper before I even realized it.
The dictionary defines adapt as: to adjust oneself to different conditions, environment, etc. and defines overcome as: to get the better of in a struggle or conflict; conquer; defeat; to prevail over (opposition, a debility, temptations, etc.); surmount
I lived in 13 houses and attended 5 different schools before 6th grade. I spent a lot of time in daycare, shuffling between parents on the weekends and riding city buses to school.  Just when I would make friends and settle into a routine, we would change course again. My mom did what was necessary to pay the bills and that often meant going where the jobs were or finding a cheaper place to live. Usually, I’d put my belongings, comprised almost entirely of books, into a small suitcase, grab my sister’s hand and give my mom a smile.  I didn’t know it at the time, but I was learning to adapt and overcome.
I started dating my husband four years ago while he was 1400 miles away serving in the Army and I was working and applying to law schools.  We have been long distance ever since and during that time we have experienced a year-long deployment, a short engagement, 3 intense years of law school, a wedding we planned in two weeks and a PCS to a whole new state.  We have experienced every up and down the Army could throw our way and we’ve come out stronger and better for it.  Adapt and overcome. 
Some days, I hear these words and I roll my eyes.  They make me feel angry and vulnerable; quiet and frustrated. Another cancelled trip because of last-minute duty. Another birthday/anniversary passes with a heartfelt apology.  Another late night sitting up waiting for the phone call that never comes.  It’s okay, just adapt and overcome.
Other days, these words make me feel inspired and powerful; resilient and proud.  Another year together, strong and in love, having battle all the ups and downs the Army could throw our way.  Another step towards the career of my dreams, with the man of my dreams by my side.  See that honey, all we have to do is adapt and overcome.
Whether I like it or not, this phrase is at the core of who I am. It has to be. I know that no matter what, come hell or high-water (or deployment or law school) I can handle it. We can handle it – with a little work and a lot of prayer – we, together, can adapt and overcome.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Guest Post

As many of you know I'm off on vacation (just landed yesterday) and I'm hosting Sam as my guest blogger today.  She was one of the first ones to respond to my call for guest bloggers, and she picked today! We are both Army girlfriends and doing the whole graduate school thing, so it's been nice to find another kindred spirit in the bloggy world.  Leave her some love/advice and I hope you all enjoy.

 Hey y'all! My name is Sam, from Steady as we Go. I am an army girlfriend, and an athletic trainer (see my blog for that one), and will soon be going back to school to get my masters in kinesiology/athletic training. My boyfriend N. is currently in the Special Forces Q course and we have been dating long distance since before he joined the army. When I saw Dani was looking for guest-posters, I figured I would take the plunge and write my very first one. I hope you guys enjoy it.

     Now on my blog, I do not talk about the Army too much; maybe little fragments here and there but I have never written a full post on anything related to it. I think this is the perfect opportunity to do so.

     Come Monday, N. will be off to train on lockdown for three months. He will miss so many things from the end of my time here in NC to holidays to birthdays and anniversaries and so on.  Yes, yes, I am used to this, and no, it's not a deployment, but this does bring up several reminders of past and future absences. He has and will miss many more holidays, birthdays, and life events. Even when he is not in training, or even before he was in the army, he missed these things due to the nature of our relationship. Before I moved to just three hours away, we only saw each other about once a month.

     I remember clearly last year, while he was just beginning the pipeline, he missed several things. Thanksgiving, Easter (we're both catholic, so it's an important holiday), My senior formal, my college graduation, my birthday, and HIS birthday, among many others. Let me tell you, I was not happy when my sister's boyfriend was at my graduation and mine wasn't. And being just a girlfriend makes things all the more complicated. Especially when you throw two VERY busy schedules and years and years of long distance into the mix. It has definitely brought disappointment and strain upon our relationship on many occasions.

     So what I want to pose to all of you is, how do you deal with all of these missed occasions? What do you do to make them special even when your man (or you!) can't be there?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Boyfriend and I are all checked in, he is still doing laundry and packing.  We went shopping and he got new clothes for the first time in what seems like 2 years.  Shirts, shoes, pants and shorts- oh my!  It was fun shopping for him when he is in the mood :) Here is to hoping we can manage to get some sleep tonight because it looks like we'll be up all night getting ready to go.

I also got my first shellac manicure, and let me tell you... it is all that is awesome-sauce!  I cannot stop staring at my nails and marveling how they haven't chipped.  We'll see how they hold up once we get to the beach.  My one complaint is that the lady that did them didn't get super close to the cuticle, so on my thumbs they look slightly grown out.  Oh well, I did pick a color that I have a similar bottle of to do touch ups if need be. 

Well, we are off! I hope you enjoy my lovely guest posts I have arranged, and be sure to leave the girls some love! I'll try to post a picture or two when I get the chance :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Liebster Award!

I was tagged by Meagan over at Local at Last for this award.  I do love her blog oh so much, and she will be living in the CU with me quite soon.

Here are the rules:
1. Choose five up and coming blogs to award the Liebster to. Blogs must have less than 200 followers.
2. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
3. Post the award on your blog. List the bloggers you gave the award to with links to their sites. Leave a comment on their blogs to let them know they've received the award.
4. Share five random facts about yourself.

So here go my facts about me:
1) I am currently obsessed with Mad Men, from the fashion, the television show, and the line of clothes at Banana Republic.  I seriously wish I had the occasions to dress up every day like a modern version of the clothes.   The same goes for Pan Am, I just cannot get over how classic the era was for fashion!

2) My parents just found a picture of my and my friend who is hearing impaired at about the age of 7.  In it, I am wearing an FM system that was connected to her hearing aids to help her hear my voice.  It seems like I was meant to be an Audiologist from a very young age. 

3) I am excited/nervous to have my first shellac manicure tomorrow.  I've heard really good things, but I've never had a professional mani before.  I figured with the beach, sand, and outdoor activities a regular manicure doesn't have a chance of lasting through vacation.

4) My hometown is a small area about 3 hours north of where I go to school.  We actually had a ribbon cutting for our 3rd stoplight when it came into town.  We were also the kind of school that had drive your tractor to school day.  Yeah, it was a great way to grow up, certainly a memorable area.

5) I keep hearing about the buzz for The Hunger Games and I cannot wait to tackle the books while on the beach.  I just got a huge floppy sun hat, and plan on spending at least several hours a day reading on my new Kindle Touch- Happy Early Birthday to me!

Bloggers I am tagging with this award:
1) Julie at When your feet Don't Touch the Ground
2) Sam at Steady As We Go
3) Alyssa at Confessions of a Dreamer
4) Sue at Hello. Also, I love You
5) Our Little Fam

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Military Girl interview

Well, the post is up so I thought I'd finally add a link!
I'm being featured over at Melissa Jaine's blog that she does about military girls.  I first heard of her blog when I won a print of hers through Chambanachik's Christmas giveaways.  The prints are adorable- you should check them out if you haven't already. 

Here is my interview, and to anyone that is a new follower through there welcome!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Guest Post

Anyone want to do a guest post for me? As many of you know, I'll be out of town for much of March thanks to spring break and the national conference I am attending.  After I come back from spring break I'll be sure to post a few photos, and if I have some time I'll do a full post or two about the trip. (Holy crap, that means my 24th birthday and 7 year anniversary are coming up in 2 weeks... eeeeek!!)

In the mean time, I'm looking for 3-4 guest posts to schedule while I am away.  Just shoot me an email or comment if you are interested :)

Also, stay tuned, I have an interview that will be posted tomorrow! I'll be sure to post the link when everything goes live.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Things I miss...

I miss this sweet man...
Not the most flattering, but I couldn't resist taking a sneaky photo while he was napping so adorably.

Who writes these sweet nothings...
It says: To the love of my life (Dani, just in case you weren't sure)

Can it be vacation time yet?

Friday, February 24, 2012

First Guest Post

Hey all! I just wanted to let you know that I had my first ever guest post today! I was nervous as all get out to write it, but feel free to check it out and let me know what you think! You can find me over at Mel's blog today. 

Anyways, I'm off to enjoy some ice cream and quality TV time after a long week.  I finally have a weekend of relaxation and paper writing ahead so here is to hopefully being productive this weekend.  I'm finishing up my draft of my outline for my thesis, so here goes nothing :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

And We're Officially in Barfy Couple Territory

This weekend was heavenly, just pure bliss.  Boyfriend was in town for 5 WHOLE DAYS. Ahh! Somehow we didn't manage to kill each other so I call the weekend a success ;)

However, during all the movie watching, canoodling, and cooking time nicknames were acquired.  I'm not talking cute, I'm talking barfy, disgustingly adorable, and terrifyingly mushy nicknames.  He is now the 'snuggle monster', and I'm the 'cuddle monster'.  He even went as far as to dub our couple-dom as "snuggles and cuddles".  Ugh, when did we become that couple!?! It is at the point he even texted me "RAWR! that is monster for I love you!" Oy vey. I'm hoping if I don't acknowledge this, it will go away on its own time.  The only reason I'm sharing this is because I hate being 'that couple' and try as we might we seem to slip into it on our own.  Thankfully, it rarely comes out in public or until I blog about it :)

But on a much better note, I made my first lasagna!!! I've always been nervous as heck to try because I know there are a lot of steps that can screw up a lasagna.  I used a modified recipe found here.  I think the pine nuts would have added a lot of flavor, I just couldn't find any around here.  I added in sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, and onion to the vegetable mix because I love my veggies.

I also found a recipe here for pull apart cheesy garlic bread.  Again, I cheated a bit and used a prebaked baguette for times sake.  I can promise it is every bit as amazing as it seems.  I only had shredded cheese on hand, and I think sliced would work much better.  My baguette was rather on the skinny side, so next time I'll try with a larger one.  Overall dinner was a success!! It was boyfriend's valentine's gift from me along with a bottle of wine and some chocolate dipped strawberries I got super on sale thanks to post valentine's sales.

Some photos of dinner:
Bread, vino, and lasagna- perfect Italian meal!
My veggies slid a bit, but still tasted amazing!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Our Love Story Link-Up

I saw this on another blog I read, and I thought it was super cute :)  Maybe this will get me in the mood for Valentine's Day celebrations, and not focusing on the two papers and big meetings I have coming up on that day.  So grab a button and link up with From Mrs. to Mama!

1. How long have you and your significant other been together?
It will be seven years on March 24th.  What can I say, high school sweethearts :)
2. How did you meet? {What's your "love" story?}
We'd known of each other for awhile, the joys of going to a small school and we always ran around in somewhat similar social circles.  He was the football player, and I was the dance team and track kind of girl.  We had gym class together and were selected as racquetball partners by my gym teacher (I still think this was intentional, but she denies it).  I remember we were in the championship match for the class and it was final serve and we ended up losing on a technicality.  Afterwards we wanted to play singles so we started another match.  At this point, I went to serve, and smacked him right on the back of the head.  He said he started seeing stars then, and I say he hasn't been right since :)
I asked him to the Sadie Hawkins, and the rest was history!
My senior prom.
3. If married, how long have you been married? If not, is this the guy you hope to marry? {do tell}
Not married yet, but I know he is the guy for me.  Things will happen when they happen.
4. If you are married, where did you get married at? Big or small wedding?  If not, where would you like to get married? And will it be big or small?
When the day comes I want a small to medium ceremony of just us and closest family and friends, probably a max of 150 to 125 people.  Something small and romantic outdoors.  I don't think he'll want a military ceremony, but maybe we'll take some military engagement photos.

5. Do you have any nick-names that you call one another? Do share!
We just call each other babe, honey, love, nothing too specific.  Sorry to be boring!
6. Name 3 things you love most about your honey.
1) I love how he is the peanut butter to my jelly, he balances me out so much.  2) He also can make me laugh no matter how terrible of a mood I am in.  3) He pushes me to be a better person and accomplish goals I never thought were possible.
7. Tell us how he proposed? Or your ideal proposal?
I just want to be surprised when it happens.
8. Is he a flowers and teddy bear kind of guy for v-day, or strawberries, champagne, and rose petals?
Totally strawberries, champagne and rose petals.  I think he'd be happier if it was wine and raspberries though.

9. Are you a sunset dinner on the beach kind of girl, or pop a movie in and relax on the couch?
I do love a little romance, but anymore I like just quality time together watching a movie and cuddling.
10. Tell us one thing you'd like to do with your significant one day. If you could do anything? Go anywhere?
I want to see Europe together (I'm thinking Italy, Germany, France, UK, Ireland, Spain, and Austria), maybe backpack through it for 2-3 weeks and see as many sights as I can in that time.  Having a chance to see everything would be the trip of my dreams.
BUT, we are going to the Caribbean in just over a month and a half, so we can cross off something from our travel to do list!
11. Tell us what you plan on doing on this Valentine's Day. 
On the actual day I'm going to school, I have a few meetings and some work to do.  The weekend after boyfriend will be in town and we're just going to do a nice evening out and maybe a movie or other fun activity.  Nothing too wild and crazy this year because we're going on vacation shortly.
12. Are you asking for anything this Valentine's day?
Time together.  After deployment, that's all I ever want anymore.  Things aren't important, the memories are.
13. Give us one piece of advice of keeping a relationship strong and full of love. 
Keep the communication lines open and never hold back your feelings.  I really think because we are good at communicating we've managed to still grow as a couple despite all the separation.
14.  Show us a picture of what love means to you.
One of my favorite recent photos together.