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Mar 31, 2011

...I'm Goin' To Carolina

Can't ya feel the sunshine? Can't ya just feel the moonshine? Ain't it just like a friend of mine, hit me from behind. Yes, I'm gone to Carolina in my mind.

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Except I'm not just going in my mind. I'm actually heading home to NC as soon as the hubby finishes some of our "Germany" errands around base. Hallelujah! I'm going to consider this a mini vay-cay since I need some time away from all things military and Germany related. It's gotten a bit overwhelming lately. So, as I said in one of my answers to last week's MilSpouse Friday Fill-In...what do I do when things get to be too much?...I pack up the hubs and the pup and head home to Mommy! D and I need time to clear our heads and re-group. Did I mention we are also taking half our yard sale stuff too? Yeah, the car is filled to the brim with yard sale goodies and we still have at least one more load awaiting transport in the basement. How the heck did we acquire so much junk in less than 4 years of marriage?! I guess that's one nice thing about this military lifestyle...moving every 3 years forces you to purge all your useless crap when PCS season rolls around.

Anywho, off we go! I'm SO looking forward to some of Mom's and my MIL's home cooking! I don't think I've ever been this excited to go home. Ahhh...home, sweet, home.

Mar 29, 2011

Construction Criticism

**I apologize in advance if this post seems erratic and just plain hard to read. I'm writing exactly how I'm feeling right now and I've pretty much turned my filter off.**

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I love living on base. I really do. It provides such a sense of security (especially when the hubby is gone) and it's close to everything I use on a regular basis (gas station, commissary/BX, gym, running trails, car wash, library, etc.). But lately, I've developed a short fuse for base living. Why, you ask? Construction. There are TONS of construction sites all hammering and drilling away on base. At least 4 of these sites I speak of are within steps of my home. Two, in particular, are right outside my back door and they are driving me CRAZY!

I wake up to bulldozers and yelling men in hardhats every morning. I wish I could say that this is something that has just recently started up. Construction on base housing has been going on since this past June. Almost a year of it. Construction/remodeling is what kicked me out of our old home just 7 HOUSES DOWN THE STREET from our current home in the beginning of my husbands first deployment last August. Granted, the AF moved all of our things (since we were being forced out by the renovations squad) and they upgraded us to a fabulously remodeled and much larger home than we had previously. Thanks. But can you imagine the headache I endured because I did it all alone? It was miserable. Weeks before we moved out of that house into our current home, construction workers were swarming around our home renovating the homes beside us. It was an uneasy feeling having all those men just steps outside my door, day in and day out, for at least 2 months. Then, finally, they moved us into the fabulous newly remodeled home down the street. I started to get settled and began loving the new place when I get a knock at the door. It was the housing office again. They wanted to ask me if it would be alright if they could use my water hook-up on the side of my house because they were going to start renovating the house beside mine and the workers would need the water for the concrete pouring. WHAT! MORE CONSTRUCTION?! Right next door. Again. I almost died. The next day, construction workers everywhere. More hardhats, bulldozers, and they brought music. A nice little boom box to keep themselves entertained. I was fuming. I called the housing office and made a stink about it...yes I did...and they politely silenced the boom box. At this point, I'm just thankful for small victories.

I only wish this is what was outside my door this morning.
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Now, the past few weeks, the construction had seemed to be dwindling. Mind you, they've been out there working away since September. SEPTEMBER. Just making sure you saw that. I had started to think that there was going to be an end in sight (right before we have to move again...how fitting!). Two weeks ago I wake up to the sound of an enormous KABOOM! Looking outside, I found that I had just acquired a few new lawn ornaments. A large cement sewer pipe and piles of concrete blocks. Awesome. That afternoon I got a letter on my door.

"Dear resident,
Blah blah blah...more construction to your back alleyway...blah blah blah...need to move your things out of your garage because we are going to renovate that now too...blah blah blah...should only take 5-6 weeks...blah blah blah...oh and we are digging up part of the alleyway so, can you park on the street now?...we appreciate your patience once again.
Big Stupid Contractor Man"

GRRRRR!!!! I am pretty sure I have some kind of construction hex on me and now all it does is follow me where ever I go. Today, I woke up to an entire back alleyway roped off with netting, a cherry picker, and lots of hardhat clad men standing around shooting the breeze. So it begins again. I just want to cry. I hate having my home surrounded with strange people. I hate being woken up at 7am every weekday when I could be sleeping in. I hate having to park on the street when I have a perfectly good parking spot behind my house that is currently being vacated by a bulldozer. I hate that Tucker, our adorable weiner dog, can't stop barking because of all the loud noises and refuses to do his "business" in the back yard because he's afraid of the construction workers. I hate how they let themselves in our backyard this morning to see if they could use my electricity hook-up and then left the gate WIDE OPEN...and when I let Tuck out to pee he ran out the gate and I had to chase him, in my Pj's around the construction maze until I finally caught him (no thanks to any of 7 men standing around doing nothing!!). And, I really hate there is nothing I can do about any of it.

(They break for lunch everyday at noon and I have a half a mind to go out there and drive that bulldozer into one of the airplane hangers so that when they come back from their hour long greasy cheeseburger lunches they won't be able to find it and they'll get in trouble and they'll have to take their burger wrappers and take out cups elsewhere!! Man, I wish I had some gumption!!)

All kidding aside, I am thankful that in two months we will be gone. Two months and a whole new adventure begins. I'm hoping it will be the breath of fresh air I so desperately need it to be.

Mar 28, 2011

Geographically biased much?

The past few days I've been seeing these map posts on the blogs of my daily must reads...so today, I decided I would see what my map would look like. Here are all the states I've visited (so far) in my lifetime:

Make your own here!

I 've never been so embarrassed to see this much white in a photo in my life! Well, except when I see a picture of myself after my summer tan is long gone, but that's another story. I look as if I totally hate the Midwest and West Coast altogether! I promise, I don't! I've just never had the pleasure of traveling in that general direction. This is precisely why I have the goal of visiting 5 states I've never been to on my 30 by 30 list. Shame on you, Air Force. I blame you! You send me allllll the way across the water to Europe before even letting me travel to a West Coast state! Ahem...NO TAKE BACKS! Hehe!

On a related side note, we finally made some progress with obtaining our MIA Germany checklist! D went to MPF today, turned in whatever random paperwork they asked for, and in turn, the nice lady told him he would have access to his checklist today! A major step in the right direction. So what if he's checked a bazillion times this afternoon and it's still not there? True military fashion, right? At least it's officially coming. We also got to check notifying the housing office of our move out date off our "To-Do" list. Whoop Whoop! These little check marks seem like giant blue ribbons for this OCD crazed girl! Did you hear that *sigh*? Yeah, it feels good to start having things put into motion. Houston, we have progress. :)

Mar 27, 2011

Missing Already...

As the hubby and I were going through our yard sale piles and pricing things, we started to think about how different our lives are going to be a little over 2 months from now. Instead of this conversation turning into a mental breakdown (as it has in the past), it took a turn into melancholy-ville. We starting spouting off the list of American things we seem to take for granted  we're going to miss the most. This is what we've come up with so far:

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Oh my good Lord I can feel the tears coming now! This was at the top of both mine and the hubby's list. We eat Chick-Fil-A often, probably too often. We should have our own parking space here...and at our next luxury...
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I can spend HOURS in this store just looking. But who am I kidding, I never "just look". I end up dropping half of my paycheck at this shopping mecca every month. I'm hoping shopping Target.com will satisfy me, although it's highly unlikely.

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Ok, now I admit, maybe this one shouldn't be considered an American luxury...but I can't count how many times this Southern staple came to our breakfast rescue after a night out of dancing and drinking with friends. That Cajun fillet biscuit, Cajun fries, and tall glass of sweet tea could slap any hungover college kid back to life in no time!

On the positive side of things, I have found a bit of silver lining that seems to cancel these 3 indulgences out. Or at least makes coping with their loss alot easier. Germany, and Europe in general, has LOTS of these:

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Eeeek!! Having one of these puppies within an hours driving distance is going to be lovely, just lovely! I'm a sucker for Swedish home furnishings.

Now, I don't want to be misunderstood. We are totally psyched about moving to Germany. We are well aware that there are going to be TONS of new and awesome things for us to explore and we will have the opportunity to travel to places we've only seen in history books. But it doesn't mean we won't miss bits and pieces about the country we've always called home. It's only natural, right? Our list of American loves was much longer than what I've listed so far. I'll probably post more later as time to leave draws closer. For now, I'm off to love on my sweet weiner doggie.

He's another thing I'll miss...more than words can say.
Story to come.

Mar 26, 2011

Bacon Jalapeno Deviled Eggs

I am not a deviled egg fan by any means. I absolutely can't stand traditional deviled eggs. You know, the ones with the tons of mayo, yellow mustard, and sweet pickled relish? BARF. I get the heebie jeebies just thinking about it. So, this next sentence is going to make no sense given what I've already written. Today, I got a craving for deviled eggs. No idea why (and no, I'm definitely not preggo), but I wanted a deviled egg. Knowing how disappointed I'd be if I actually went out and bought and ate a traditional one (because they are quite disgusting)...I decided to make my own version of a deviled egg that I think would be tasty. I do this from time to time. Play around with recipe ideas in my head then jump in the kitchen and attempt to bring my thought to fruition. Sometimes it's a slam dunk and sometimes I wonder how anyone would ever let me in a kitchen. It's true. I've made some ridiculous concoctions. But I have so much fun trying! So today, I introduce you to my newest culinary brain child...the Bacon Jalapeno Deviled Egg!

The idea came from how I like my omelets or even a hearty breakfast scramble. Salty and spicy with a touch of creaminess only a perfectly cooked egg can bring.  This deviled egg combines all those things in a perfect marriage of flavors. I have found my deviled egg. Hallelujah!

Here is what you need to get started:

Eggs, light mayo (because you can still eat these things and watch your girlish figure!), low sodium real bacon pieces, pickled jalapeno slices, a good spicy brown mustard, and french fried onions

I used 4 eggs in my eggsperiment (bahaha!) producing 8 servings. You can double this recipe for a party or if you are some kind of deviled egg connoisseur and you want to devour them all yourself. No judging here. Plop those suckers in a pot of water and allow the water to come up about 1 inch above the top of the egg for even cooking. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once the pot has reached a boil, turn off the heat, cover, and let the eggs hang out in the hot water for about 15 minutes.

When the 15 minutes are up, immediately drain and rinse the eggs with cold water. Now the fun part...peeling! Carefully peel the eggs, slice them in half lengthwise, and scoop out the yolk into a bowl. Hopefully your eggs will look as awesome as mine turned out...perfectly cooked, no ominous green yolk halo! What, what!

Next you will add these ingredients to the egg yolks and use a fork to mix together:
1/4 cup light mayo
1 tsp. spicy brown mustard
1 Tbs. chopped jalapenos
2 tsp. jalapeno juice (straight from container)
2 Tbs. chopped low sodium bacon pieces
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

You won't need to add any extra salt to these. The bacon and briny jalapeno juice add just enough saltiness. After everything is mixed together, start scooping a little of the yolk mixture into the hollowed out egg white halves. Then garnish with a little more chopped bacon pieces, chopped fried onions, and another sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper.

Voila! Bacon Jalapeno Deviled Eggs.

Don't they look scrumptious! These are not your grandmas deviled eggs, that's for sure! Give them a try and I'm sure you won't be disappointed. My hubby gave them two very approving thumbs up!

Bon Appétit!

Mar 25, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

1. What is your must have gadget? submitted by Flying High With My Flyboy
- My cell phone. I feel naked without it.

2. How does your adulthood compare to what you imagined it would be like when you were a little kid? submitted by L to the Third
-I wanted to be a rock star. I used to stand on the hearth in my parents living room and sing into my Mr. Microphone for hours upon hours. And if there was a video camera around, I was gonna stand in front of it and put on a show. Nowadays, I can hardly carry a tune in a bucket and if you get a video camera anywhere near me, I clam up.

3. What is your favorite chocolate recipe?  submitted by Our First Deployment
-I really don't have a favorite chocolate recipe, but I do have a favorite chocolate dessert! Ben and Jerry's S'Mores ice cream. This stuff is clearly sent from heaven just for me to devour. I know it's nothing I can make myself, but boy if I could!!! My mouth is watering just thinking of it now!

4. How do you deal with military life when it gets to be to much or to hard? submitted by Combat Boots And Pointe Shoes
-I pack up the hubby and the pup and we head home to NC for a little family time to get centered again. Nothing will shock you back to life better than spending quality time with your family and friends.

5. What piece of advice would you give a new Military spouse facing their first deployment?  submitted by The Albrecht Squad
-Talk about all your worries and concerns with your spouse before they leave. Lay all the feelings and fears out on the table and keep the lines of communication open. The worst thing you can do is push each other away before D day arrives. It's also a good idea to take some time to travel away together, just the two of you. This will give you time to decompress and enjoy each others company before the long months apart. Besides, this is what you'll have to look forward to:

D's Homecoming--January 2011

Mar 22, 2011

...You really like me!

So sorry to go all Susan Lucci on you all, but I won my first blogger award yesterday!!! My lovely new friend Erinn over at As it were or even if it weren't bestowed upon me this awesome award!

Thank you SO much Erinn! It made my Monday!

Now to follow through with the rules that come along with this award, here are 7 things about me that you may or may not know.

1. I have an unhealthy obsession with frozen yogurt bars. These places are dangerous for me! You pay by the weight of what you put into your little cup...and I'm afraid, one day, that I will walk out of there with $10 worth of frozen yogurt and toppings and eat...it...all!
2. I graduated college with a BS in Nutrition and Wellness and a minor in Public Health Education. Kinda makes the above fact even sadder, huh?
3. I traveled to Uruguay in South America on a mission trip with my church back home when I was in high school. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
4. My all time favorite movie is Step Brothers. You thought I was going to say Steel Magnolias, didn't you? Well, that one is a very close second!
5. I've been to 2 Backstreet Boys and 3 'NSync concerts in my lifetime. Embarrassed you ask? Nope. Just mad I never squeezed seeing Hanson into that boy band sandwich.
6. I miss having my parents basement back home clean enough for me and my sister to roller blade down there. We used to spend hours pretending we were Olympic ice skaters in that basement. Ahh, the simple life.
7. As mentioned above, I have a sister. A younger sister, but everyone thinks we are twins. We are about 3 1/2 years apart in age. Definitely not twins. What do you think?

Now on to the next part of my awardee duties...I must give this award to a few deserving chickadees myself! If they accept, they must also list 7 things about themselves and pass the award on to deserving bloggers!  I'm giving the award to Lacey @ Courage Is Not An Image and to Mateya @ The Best Is Yet to Come. I love reading your blogs ladies! Readers, please check them out! Have a lovely Tuesday everyone!

Mar 21, 2011

Avoiding The Language Barrier

Speaking German is something I am completely unfamiliar with. I would even go as far as saying that I have probably heard someone speaking German in person only a handful of times. Have you ever heard someone use the expression, "It's like they were speaking German," when describing someone who speaks too quickly and you can't understand them? If you have, it's probably because I'm the one who said it. German seems to be my go to language when describing someone who speaks too quickly. Now that we are moving to Germany, I feel as though D and I need to learn the basics of the German language so as not to seem like completely clueless Americans. So, Sunday afternoon we went to the library on base and checked out this nugget of learning gold:

Rosetta Stone Online Store photo

Rosetta Stone German Level 1! D and I were super excited to find we were able to rent it instead of having to buy it. That thing isn't cheap! So yesterday, after chowing down on some Taco Bell (we both had a craving...weird, right?), we popped that CD into the laptop and began our German journey. It's pretty easy to use...the Rosetta Stone program, that is...but German is proving to be pretty darn hard to learn. I couldn't tell you how many times D and I looked at one another with confused looks on our faces. I swear the German language has hidden letters in their words and that certain letters should not be placed where they are placed in the word. And instead of what sounds like rolling "r's" like in Spanish...it's more of a harsh sound coming from the back of the throat. This sound is one I'm going to have to work hard to master. It also makes my mouth hurt! Saying German phrases out loud numerous times makes my mouth tired and I keep getting tongue tied! I'm in trouble. I know it. What's even funnier, I keep wanting to speak Spanish! Every time I think of scenarios in my head where I'm somewhere in Germany practicing my German, I end up interjecting Spanish words into my German sentences! Can you imagine?! I can hear the locals now, "Look at that dumb American girl speaking SpaGerman to us!" Darn you, 12 years of Spanish schooling!!!!! You are making learning German that much harder!!

On a side note, there are some pretty funny sounding German words. For example:
Nurse= Krankenschwester
Wardrobe= Kleiderschrank

Plug these babies into Google Translator and listen to the pronunciation. You'll get a good laugh. We chuckle every time we hear them. But we're mindful that the chuckling should be kept to the comfort of our own home as not to offend any German people.

Please, someone, tell me this process gets easier. I sure hope I don't have to keep my mouth taped shut for two whole years. Oh, the adventures this new life is sure to bring! Auf Wiedersehen!! 

Anyone else have any experience learning a new language, German or otherwise?

Mar 18, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

Sounds like fun, so I'm jumping right in! Head on over to Wife of a Sailor to learn more and join the fun!

This week's questions are:
1. What are some of your ideas for staying connected with family…you know, those people we moved thousands of miles away from? submitted by Live it. Love it (or not). Write About It
--Living only 5 hours from home has been a huge blessing the last 2 1/2 years, so a quick trip to visit the parents, in-laws, and friends has become a once a month occurrence. In addition to the occasional drive home, I have a weekly phone date with at least 4 of my close girlfriends...and of course my mother (except with her it's almost daily!). I am also a self-proclaimed Facebook junkie, so I'd be lying if I said I wasn't on there at least 3 times a day! Facebook is a wonderful tool for staying in touch with loved ones. And seeing as we will be making a move across the Atlantic to Germany this summer, I'm hoping this blog will be a wonderful way for my family and friends to keep track of our crazy European adventure as well!

2. What’s the most romantic gift you have GIVEN? submitted by Painting My Canvas
--Ooo that's a tough one. I guess I'd have to say it was the gift I gave the hubby for Valentine's day last year. I surprised him 4th row tickets to see Michael Bublé! He's one of our most favorite artists, so I couldn't pass up an opportunity to surprise the Mr. and get to see that handsome Canadian in person! I guess it could also be considered one of the most romantic gifts I have ever given myself. ;)

3. Would you encourage your child, if they came to you and wanted to join the military?  submitted by Perfectly Imperfect
--Even though D and I don't have any children (yet), we have talked about what we would do if little Max or Sally ever decided to join the military. Seeing how the military has been such a wonderful blessing to us (so far), we'd be very supportive if our child were to decide to join. We know what it's like to move from place to place, go through family separations and lots of waiting and uncertainty...and it's not for everyone. So beforehand, we would lay all the cards out on the table for our child to see the pros and cons of the military lifestyle. No one should make a life changing decision without knowing what to expect whether it be good, bad, or ugly. And after being an Air Force brat, they'd probably have a good idea of what they'd be getting into anyways.

4. What is your least favorite bill to pay and why? submitted by A Little of This, A Little of That
-- It would definitely have to be my car payment. It's a hefty one. But with our pending move to Germany, we may be selling it! As much as I love my Murano, it will feel nice to have the extra $$$ in our pockets each month!

5. What is the proudest moment you’ve had as a military spouse?  submitted by Our Okinawa Life
--Wow, there are so many! His commissioning as an Officer, watching him put the medals on his dress blues before a ceremony, seeing him walk down the corridor of the airport terminal into my arms after 6 months of serving his country at GTMO...I'm proud of my hubby and what he does to serve our country everyday! But if I had to choose one thing, it would probably be the day he won CGO of the Year for his squadron! At the time, he was deployed, so it was a little bittersweet since we couldn't celebrate the way we normally would have. Regardless, he had been working so hard and I had been praying even harder that he would get it. When he finally gave me the good news I was bursting with pride! It wasn't my award simply because I put in no physical effort to deserve it, but what D told me as he raved about his award made me the proudest I've ever been. He said that if it wasn't for me and my support, he couldn't do what he does each day; that this award was just as much mine as it was his. *Tear*. Sweetest words I'd ever heard. It was just like I had won it as well.

Mar 16, 2011

Germany On The Brain

Hi, my name is Casey and I am a control freak, worry wart, and my OCD is constantly in overdrive.

Just a short introduction about the version of myself that I am currently battling with. This whole big moving to Germany thing is bringing out all the non-fabulous qualities about myself that I strive daily to keep tucked quietly away. I have this uncontrollable urge to get everything done NOW...actually, YESTERDAY...all the while knowing that these thoughts are completely unreasonable and ridiculous. It's how I operate. It's how I cope. There is no denying that I am beyond excited about moving to Europe, but there is also no denying that we have copious amounts of i's to dot and t's to cross before June 1st. I'll even admit that I've already had a little pre-Germany meltdown, complete with tears and irrational remarks. In my defense, it's mostly because there is an abundance of question marks and a severe lacking in check marks on my Germany To-do list. This is mostly because D has yet to receive his RIP (Reporting In Procedures). Along with this RIP comes the checklist. It's basically the military's version of what to do, how to get it done, and when it needs to be completed. I NEED this for my sanity. Once it's in our hands, we can really start making plans and moving along with our preparations.

For now, we've been making due with the resources currently within our reach. We spend our evenings together on the couch Googling everything German (romantic, right?). Car insurance, housing, electricity transformers, traveling...literally everything we can think of that might make us feel like we are being productive. Sitting around and feeling helpless is not an option. One comfort to this whole moving to Europe process is having friends already there that we can incessantly hound with questions! They've all been super patient with us and we've learned alot just from their experiences abroad. Having friends scattered all around the world is one part of the this military lifestyle that I absolutely love! There really is no better resource than "been there, done that!"

I must say, D and I did have a pretty productive Sunday this past weekend thanks to daylight savings! Although, our time at church had to suffer for it (we totally forgot to set our clocks forward and slept right up until the time church would have started...Oops). We ate brunch, took the pup for a long walk, and started making progress organizing the basement. We've made our TAKE, SELL, and STORE piles, and I already feel a sense of accomplishment! Just need to pinpoint a yard sale date back home in NC with the parents and we can move forward with that part of our checklist. It's funny though. I feel like everyday D comes home with yet another thing to add to our list. Check one thing off, add 2 more. But that's life, right? Just as you think there can't possibly be anything else to add, life throws a few more curve balls your way. It's all in how you come out on the other side of things that makes the ride worthwhile. For now, we are taking things one day at a time, one step at a time. I'm always striving to let go and let God do His thing. Let the chips fall where they may because I was never in control to begin with. I know this will prove to be yet another test of faith and patience for me. Oh, how He knows me so well!

Guess we did have a little fun organizing.
The ever-growing SELL pile!
I heard a song on our local Christan music station the other morning as I was driving to spin class and it made me smile. The song was Francesca Battistelli's "This Is The Stuff" and it couldn't have come on the radio at a more perfect moment. If you haven't heard the song or had the chance to read the lyrics, you are missing out. It speaks volumes of how we all get so caught up in what's wrong with our lives that we forget how blessed we truly are. In that moment it was like, "Hello God...nice to see you today...thanks for slapping that one across my face!" Don't you feel like that sometimes? Like He did that specific mind blowing thing just for you? To humble you? Well, that one was just for me that day. Dually noted, Lord. It's true...in the middle of my little {European} mess, I forget how big I'm blessed!

Mar 12, 2011

Pretzel Heaven

There are only a few people who know this about me, so at the risk of sounding like an enormous Fatty McButter Pants, I'm going to tell you the story of my love for a certain bag of delicious pretzel pieces.

I discovered these morsels from heaven while the hubby was deployed and everyday they saved my bland work time lunches. I seriously could sit on the couch and eat at least a half a 10 oz bag by myself. Sad, I know. But in my defense...this snack is awesome! Why is it such a big deal to me you might ask? Truth is, I hated pretzels. Before I found this kind of pretzel, I wholeheartedly despised them (except for the infamous soft pretzel...that's a whole other ball game). I never could understand how so many kids and adults in America enjoyed munching on them. They are bland, aside from the salt, and seemed like such a lack luster snack. No thank you. Give me a box of crackers, nuts, or Baked Lays any day.

Then, one day, while walking through the Commissary I spotted them. I thought, "Hmmm, a pretzel flavored like it was a potato chip." I can totally hop aboard that train. So I bought them. My first bag of Snyder's of Hanover Southern Style Barbecue flavored pretzel pieces. It was love at first bite. From then on they had become a staple on my grocery list. After about a month or two into my divine discovery, I started noticing that my flavor was occasionally missing from the Commissary shelves. No biggie. I'll go to another grocery store and pick some up. Fat chance! They weren't in any other grocery store within a 40 mile radius. And I couldn't justify driving 40 miles for pretzels. Ice cream, maybe. Pretzels, no way. The Commissary was my only hope. So every week during my routine shopping trip, I would round that corner of the chip aisle with baited breath. Were they going to be here today? Am I going to have the best lunch ever this week? Again, I was let down. They had stopped carrying my pretzels. The only pretzels I would ever eat. Devastated is an understatement.

Now, I mentioned previously that only a few people knew of my pretzel obsession. My good friend, Ann, was one of few. Ann had witnessed me melt down in the chip aisle numerous times during our grocery shopping trips together. I would even call her and tell her my disgust to find my pretzels missing from the Commissary shelves (I know, I've got a problem. Do they have pretzel AA?) So Ann was well aware of how much these things meant to me. The next part of the story is why I love her.

I had almost given up on my favorite snack item when a husky FedEx delivery man dropped this off at my front door.

Holy moly! We've hit the mother load! A magnificent box filled with 12 over sized bags of my scrumptious pretzels!!! I almost died, and I definitely cried. Yep, you read that correctly. I cried over a box of pretzels. I was in complete disbelief. Then I found the note. It read,"Hope this is the right flavor! Enjoy!"

Unfortunately, the note was without a signature. Who could have facilitated this amazing act of kindness? I immediately looked at D and asked him if he had written a letter to the company (I had been contemplating doing just that a while ago, but chickened out). He said, "No way, must have been your Mom." I thought, maybe. But I had another idea. Ann. Sure enough, it was my sweet friend Ann. She did some amazing recon and got me the most thoughtful gift ever. Ann's got a giant hug and an equally large Plaza Azteca margarita (on the rocks!) with her name on it. Thank you Annie Pannie! Now excuse me...I'm off to devour some deliciousness.

***Disclaimer: This is in no way an endorsement for Snyder's of Hanover or the delicious pretzels they sell. This is just a story of a girl with a problem. But don't send help.***

Mar 10, 2011

Babe, what does GERM mean?

Hurry up and wait. That should be the military wide motto. It's like I can hear them saying, "We're going to need you to do this, this, and this...but you'll have to wait an exuberent amount of time for us to hold up our end of the job and get you the info you so desprately need to run your life accordingly." Yep, that about says it all. It comes with the life we chose, so I shouldn't be surprised, right? But when you are waiting to hear news regarding where you'll spend the next 3 years of your life, all the waiting can make you go crazy! Or at least that's what it was doing to me. D and I knew that we were going to be PCSing this summer because we had popped up on the summer VML (Vulnerability to Move List). That meant sometime the end of February/early March we'd be finding out our next duty station. Sounded good to me! I had a time frame to work with so the waiting seemed tolerable. Sadly, the end of February came and went, but that wasn't the worst part. A few of D's buddies had already gotten their assignments! This is where my mind started running away with itself. Why hadn't we gotten ours yet? I tried to rationalize the whole process by thinking they must be notifying the servicemebers in some kind of descending alphabetical order and we just needed to wait another day or so for an email. Fat chance. That day or so turned into another week and a half. Talk about wanting to rip my hair out! And poor D, he had to endure tons of badgering phone calls and emails from me wondering if he'd heard anything new. Patience and worry is something I've struggled with all my life, so I knew this was God's way of teaching me to have faith in His timing and not my own. So we continued to pray...and wait.

Finally, we got the answer we'd been waiting (praying!) for. On Monday, D had a long and horribly busy day at work and never acutally got around to answering my daily "Good Morning, have you heard anything yet?" email. Like clockwork, D walked in the door at 4pm, threw his keys on the table and began to rant about his crappy day. I was sitting on the couch in another room, so I couldn't see D at all while he was talking. He came walking into the livingroom and as I looked up, I noticed a piece of paper in his hand. There he stood with a worryful look on his face and a paper in his hand. Uh oh, I thought. That's THE email. The email we'd been waiting for. This is how the next 30 seconds went:

Me: Is that what I think it is?
D: Yep. You want to take a look for yourself?

At this point, I started to get a lump in my throat and a pain in my stomach. The look on his face was reminiscent of the day he came home and told me he was deploying for 6 months. I knew that face and feeling all too well. He was about to blow me away again. Bracing myself, I took the paper, but try as I might, I couldn't read a word on it. It was like I was trying to look through a swimming pool. No, I wasn't crying (yet)...but every word on that page looked like a jumbled mess! What the heck was wrong with me! My head (and heart) were racing. All I could say was...

Me: I can't read it! Tell me what I'm looking for! It's like I've gone blind!
D: Calm down...it's in the top, right hand corner.
Me: Ok, ok, ok, ok.....blah blah blah...GERM? Babe, what the heck does GERM mean? Does GERM mean Germany??? Are we moving to GERMANY?!?!?!?!
D: Yep!

Cue tears, smiles, clapping, and squealing. I couldn't believe it! The wait was over and we are moving to Germany...in 3 short months!! And then came the shock. We're moving to Germany in 3 short months! Holy cow. We've got SO much to do and no idea where to start! All I do know for sure is that we are blessed. Blessed beyond belief. I still can't wrap my head around it all, but we are super excited! This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we are so grateful the Air Force deemed us worthy of the adventure. My lesson in patience came with a wonderful reward at the end. God never ceases to amaze me. His timing and plan is always better than what we could ever imagine for ourselves. I don't know why I worry so much that it won't be. He always provides and I am left in awe. So here we go! Here begins all the prayer and preparations. Come join us for the wild, European ride! Team Cote is moving to GERMANY!!!!

Mar 9, 2011

Let's give this a try...

I bit the bullet. I am going to try my hand at this thing called blogging. Quite frankly, I'm nervous and I seriously have no idea what I am doing. Nevertheless, I'm giving this kind of memory keeping a try! I'm still very new to the whole blogging concept. I just recently (as in the last 6 months) even started reading blogs. Seeing as my life as a proud military wife is ever-changing, I thought this would be a great way to keep family and friends updated as well as for my own life documentation. I must admit, it's fascinating (and comforting) reading about the lives of other people all around the world. And it seems to be a wonderful way to harvest ideas, gain new perspectives, and make new friends! Can't be that horrible, right?

So, welcome to my little slice of the World Wide Web! I hope you enjoy!

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