Newest Family Member

, Saturday, July 31 12:10 PM

I have not written in a while because my beautiful neice just arrived! She was born on July 22. She is healthy and so so sweet!

G.I. Joe and I could not make it the day she was born because we had a Batallion Social that evening. Here we are all dressed up:

We were able to leave the next morning and spend the weekend with my parents. My parents had the weekend job of watching Magellan so G.I. Joe and I were able to help out.
G.I. Joe and Magellan had a lot of fun together.

Magellan is learning the sounds that different animals make:

The reason he does the "Hut, hut" for the elephant is because "The Jungle Book" is his favorite movie, and the elephants are his favorite part. He runs to the TV before the scene even begins, start dancing, and saying "Hut, hut" on beat when the elephants start marching. So because of that movie, he thinks the elephant says "Hut, hut".

It's too cute for us to correct.

On Sunday, G.I. Joe had to come back home to go to work the next day. I stayed with my sister for several days to help her with transitioning to two babies instead of one.We ran some errands and just had fun with the two babies.

Magellan is really enjoying his little sister. He is ready to share with her:

One day, my sister and I were sitting on either ends of the couch. She was holding the baby, and Magellan was crawling back and forth between us. All of a sudden, he just reached for his little sister! So we set Jack down and let him hold her for a minute.

Every time we say, "Give Sissy some love," he puts his head to her head and says "Ohhhhh". That is what he is doing in this picture. After about 30 seconds, he handed her back.

He's going to be a tough but good big brother.

My sister is an awesome mom.


, Wednesday, July 21 8:15 PM

My house is incredibly dull.

Most blogs show these beautiful houses that are perfectly decorated.

Weclome to my blog.

Here is a picture of the view from our couch:

I can show this picture, though, because I am hopeful that it won't always be dull.

This is a Before and After event.

In my defense, we haven't even been married four months yet. And also in my defense, I have only ever decorated
a childish bedroom and a college dorm room/apartment.

Never a whole house, and never without Disney princesses.

G.I. Joe has been telling me that he really wants to see some pictures or something up
on the walls, but I am terrified of putting anything up! You would think with all of the
spackle experience that I have under my belt, I wouldn't be so afraid of holes in the

But I am.

Sometimes the only thing to do is to face your fears. My mom and sister can't come and help me because the stork will be visiting my sister's house any minute.

So I went shopping.

Adult decorating shopping.

No Disney princesses.

First I went to Tuesday Morning. One of the best stores ever.

I found this:

I love, love, love it.

(I love, love, love him too.)

I also found this adorable frame.

I am going to blow up one of our wedding pictures and put it in it.

My wish/dream/goal/plan is to get a pretty little table,
put it against a wall that I have picked out in our living room,
hang the gorgeous mirror behind it,
and put picture frames all on top of the table.

That means I have to find a table.

I also ran by Kirklands. Another great store. They just so happened to be having a HUGE sale

I got both of these for $35.00.

They were marked for $40, but the girl gave me a $5 coupon!

I love cool cashiers!

I hung them above our couch.

I can't decide if they need to go closer together, or if they need something in between them.

Like this amazing clock we got as a wedding present from the secretaries at my dad's church.

Hopefully, I will have prettier pictures to show you of our house soon...and no more blank walls!

That Kind of Night

6:01 AM

I am married to the most patient and incredible man in the world.
I have been suspecting that, but last night proved it.
Last night was one of those nights that is funny today, but we weren't laughing last night.

In case you haven't figured out the G.I. Joe reference, my husband is in the Army. He is a Second Lieutenant. He has been commissioned for a year now, so we are Army babies.

Last night, we had our first FRG meeting.
FRG = Family Readiness Group
The FRG is what keeps family informed about what is going on with their soldiers,
especially during deployment.

Our first FRG meeting was a picnic on post. The FRG leaders split up some of the food items as potluck. I was supposed to bring a side. So I made a watermelon basket.

I am actually pretty proud of it, just don't look to closely...

We had a lot of fun. I got to meet a lot of G.I. Joe's soldiers and commanding officers and their families.

Things were great until the picnic ended.

G.I. Joe was put in charge of taking the giant grill to get rinsed out, and to count and put up all the chairs. I had to drive separately to the picnic because G.I. Joe came straight from work.
So we had two cars there.

Being the adoring wife that I am, I didn't want to go home while G.I. Joe had to run around post cleaning off the grill and putting up chairs. I wanted to go with him. Mistake #1.

Since we are Army babies, we still have a hard time finding our way around post. The picnic was at a park just inside Gate 6. (There are a lot of gates to get onto an Army post) So we left my car at the park, and I hopped into G.I. Joe's truck with just my phone and keys.

G.I. Joe decided that he would go out of Gate 6 and head up the road to the next gate because he was familiar with that particular gate. Mistake #2.

As we were pulling up to the next gate, G.I. Joe says, "Do you have your ID?"

Okay, for those of you who know less about the Army than I do, let me stop and explain something.
Everyone who is in the Army or an Army spouse must get a military ID card. Not only does the military ID card get you lots of great discounts in stores and the movies, it also is a requirement to get onto an Army post. No exceptions.

When G.I. Joe asked, I realized my ID was in my wallet, in my purse, in the floor of the back of my car. On post. I was off post. Are you understanding the problem? Mistake #3.

So G.I. Joe turned around to go back to get it. Further complication. We can't even get back through Gate 6 without the card.
G.I. Joe had another guy waiting to help him count and put up the chairs, so we didn't have a whole lot of time. So G.I. Joe said, "I'll just leave you at Wal-Mart, take these chairs, get your ID, then come pick you up."
Great plan.
Except for I brought my keys into Wal-Mart with me.
Mistake #4.
After an hour of shopping at Wal-Mart (most of which I enjoyed by walking around and talking to my mom on the phone), G.I. Joe came back.
We went to Gate 6, but it was closed. Certain Gates close at certain times.

So we went to the 24 hour Gate. I had to wait inside the Guard Shack so G.I. Joe could go onto post, get my ID, and bring it back, so that he could then bring me onto post, and I could drive my car home.

I walk into the Guard Shack and sit down. And guess what I am still holding.
My keys.
Mistake #5.
I called G.I. Joe, and he answered by saying, "I know, the keys." He came back, I gave him the keys, and he left again. When he drove off the second time, I realized something else.

The whole reason that we had driven off-post in the first place was because we didn't know how to get from Gate 6 to anywhere else. Now G.I. Joe had to find Gate 6 in the dark, drive back to the Gate I was waiting at, and then Find Gate 6 again with me.
Oh, and the truck has no gas during this entire adventure. Just to make things more exciting.
Anyway, he finds Gate 6, gets my ID, comes back to get me, takes me back to Gate 6 to get both cars, and we started home.
As I am following him, the grill starts spitting out hot coals.

I took a picture.

(Don't think about the complications of my driving and taking pictures at the same time)

The arrow is pointing to the hot coals that had just fallen out of the grill. I quickly braked to miss them, so that is why everything is a little blurry.

Yes, the picture was that important.

Anyway, we finally got home. I kept waiting for G.I. Joe to explode at me for
1) insisting on going with him,
2) forgetting my ID,
3) taking my keys in Wal-Mart
4) taking my keys in the Guard Shack
5) just for being dumb,
but he didn't. We got home, and he kissed me and said, "I love you," with a smile on his face.
I said, "I wouldn't have blamed you for leaving me at the Guard Shack all night."
He pulled me really close, hugged me, kissed the top of my head, and laughed.
"I wouldn't do that."

He is incredible. Sometimes it takes that kind of night to appreciate what you have.

"We were both young when I first saw you..."

, Wednesday, July 14 9:02 PM

I have mentioned G.I. Joe in just about every post so far, but I have not explicitly said who he is. For those of you who are still confused, G.I. Joe is my husband. My fun, handsome, caring, adventurous, romantic, strong, sweet husband. Now that you are grossed out, I want to talk a little more about him. Actually, not just him, but our story. Yes, that horrible story of how a couple met. I am actually going to bore you with it on a blog. But, we happen to think that it is a really great story (especially because it ends with us and wedding bells!). Fortunately for you, I am going to stretch this out over several posts, intermixed with the everyday jazz. It is just too long for one post. So here it goes:

We both went to Liberty University as freshman in the fall of 2005.

Liberty has this cool setup for their boy and girl dorms - and no, they are definitely not co-ed. Each boy dorm has a "sister" girl dorm, and vice versa. Now you know what I am going to say. G.I. Joe was in my brother dorm. I honestly cannot tell you the first time we met, or even the second. He just became an immediate friend. Of course, I had no idea that he had intentions beyond friendship from the very first.

Pause. I have to tell a little about my roommate before I go on because she is very important to this story. My roommate and I, I'll call her Akeerisha, immediately became inseperable. She is still one of my very best friends. I would be much happier if we lived closer to eachother.

Go. So my roommate and I really enjoyed getting to know our brother dorm, but honestly were not interested in them except as friends.

Pause. G.I. Joe also had a roommate, who I will call Pics. G.I. Joe and Pics instantly became best friends as well. Pics also knew of G.I. Joe's secret intentions concerning me. (Pics is the one in the hat. G.I. Joe is in the middle.)

Go. Our brother/sister dorm was a very close brother/sister dorm. We did all kinds of things together. It also helped that Akeerisha, myself, G.I. Joe, and Pics were all prayer leaders on the leadership team of our dorms, which meant that we led small prayer groups every week. It also meant that we were even more connected to the dorm and were able to do even more activities with the brother leadership team. Hence, more time with G.I. Joe and Pics.

Every Christmas at Liberty is a very exciting time, not only because of the crazy Christmas convo (chapel) where everyone makes fun of the previous year's evangelists and happenings, not just because of the several weeks we get to go home, and not because the rot (the student's endearing name for the cafeteria) serves better food. There is one thing that stands above all else when Christmas comes to Liberty. That is Open Dorms. Open Dorms is the one time the boys get to go into the girl's dorms, and vice versa. First, the boys come and look at the girl's dorms. They have one hour to go to any girl's room they want. The girls have inevitably been spending the previous week decorating and cleaning and cooking to make their room the most memorable and exciting room. After that hour is over, the girls have one hour to visit any boy's room they want. The boys have been spending the previous week making their rooms as incredibly disgusting as they possibly can. (Okay, that's not true, but we wondered.) G.I. Joe and Pics, however, had been Christmas decorating. Their bedroom was covered in multi-colored Christmas lights, and their bathroom was entirely blue Christmas lights. Yes. Blue. I won't lie, their room was our favorite. Whether it was the Christmas lights, the hubcap collection on the wall, the fifteen million posters hanging, the pile of dirty clothes under the bed that was larger than the mattress, or the boys themselves, I could not tell you. But, I have a sneaky suspicion it was the last one.

We had no idea what was in store.

The Waiting Game

, Tuesday, July 13 6:48 AM

My nephew is one of my favorite people in the whole world. He is 16 months old. I will call him Magellan because he is the most curious baby and loves to explore! Here is a picture of him "exploring" my sister's bouquet at my wedding:

He is the first baby on both my sister's side of the family and her husband's side of the family, so he is very well loved. But, my sister is just about ready to have her second baby. This one is a girl. We haven't met her yet, so I don't have a name for her. As soon as I get a call from my sister, though, my camera and I will be on our way to the hospital! Then I will have more pictures of Magellan as well as the new little girl!

My Favorite Blog

6:06 AM

The whole reason I started a blog was because my mom started one several months ago and has really enjoyed it. My mom is the one in the cream and black dress in the picture. The other two are my incredible sisters. I will talk a lot about them in later posts, I promise.

My mom is so creative and such a great writer, so her blog is a lot of fun to read. She decided to tell about my blog on hers and even did a little interview of me! You can read it on doodlebug drama. She has a lot of really neat things on her blog. I am an avid reader of it!

"I smell frost on cotton leaves, and I feel that southern breeze"

, Friday, July 9 10:42 PM

G.I. Joe was given some time off work, so we decided to take a huge roadtrip. Johnny Cash was one of our many roadtrip sing-a-longs.

We went up to Pennsylvania to visit his family (both sides), saw our friends' play in West Virginia, visited with our newlywed roommates (the bride was my roommate in college and the groom was G.I. Joe's roommate), then headed to the outer banks for some camping fun.

To save on money, G.I. Joe built a tent-sorta-type thing in the bed of the truck out of PVC pipe and bungies. Which, sidenote, bungies are just about the most handy and versatile object you can possibly have in your car. Just saying.

This is my handsome husband next to the truck bed with the tent frame.

Here are pictures of the inside of our "tent".

Everything was going great, until the tropical storm hit. The wind was about 30mph the first night, then it rained (and I mean rained) the second and third nights. But, we were determined to keep a good attitude, so we figured on the second day, since it was raining, we would go see the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Originally, we thought it would be a good idea to leave the tarp covering the bed, like the pictures I just showed, because it would keep our bed dry for that night, and it would be easier to put up in the rain. Fail.

Here is G.I. Joe putting the tarp up in the rain on the side of the road:

And again:

Well, we got lost. I mean, we didn't get lost, the lighthouse did. We passed it (I have no idea how) and kept driving down Hwy 12 for at least 30 minutes before we realized we had passed it. So we turned back around and found it. When we pulled into the parking lot, we saw the hours and had 20 minutes until they closed. Which was okay, because we just wanted to run up, take a picture from the top, and then go. A great plan until we got out of the car. A "hssssss" sound stopped both of us in our tracks. In our rear tire was a nail, a massive nail, tilted just right to let the maximum amount of air out of the tire while still managing to catch a ride. So instead of racing up the lighthouse stairs, we jumped back in the car, after I begged G.I. Joe for one picture:

I think his face portrays our mood perfectly at this moment. Thankfully, there was a car parts place just outside of the Cape Hatteras park, so we were able to park under the awning of a gas station while G.I. Joe repaired the hole with a tire repair kit. The gas station also just happened to have free air, so the Lord was definitely taking care of us. We only had to fix the tarp once on the way back.

The rest of our trip went really well. We got to fly kites on Jockey's Ridge (my favorite part of the vacation):

play in the ocean:

and watch sunrises and sunsets:

We did quite a bit more, and I took plenty more pictures, but those will have to wait for another day. This post is already too long!

Here is one last picture to commemorate a great, if not eventful, trip:

My Version of Chicken Salad

10:49 AM

I love chicken salad - when it is made the way I like. For a long time, I thought I didn't like it because I had some pretty nasty versions, but Arby's changed my mind. Unfortunately, they do not sell their chicken salad sandwiches anymore (they were expensive, even for just the sandwich), but they inspired me. I decided that I knew what I liked in my chicken salad, and I could make my own. So I did. And G.I. Joe loves it. I made some today, and thought it might be a good thing to put on here. Pictures and all. This is not an official recipe so please do not get angry at the "pinch" and "spoonful" measurements.

Here is a picture of the ingredients:

(I love the bags of frozen chicken. They make my life so easy. I get the tenderloins because they thaw and cook faster and G.I. Joe and I don't eat all that much)

First I bake the chicken (about two or three breasts, five or six tenderloins) until it is tender enough to practically fall apart with a fork (about 20 mins at 350).

While the chicken is cooling, I chop up about two stalks of celery and about two handfuls of walnuts (pecans work well too, it is just whatever I have on hand).

Then, I cut (or tear) the chicken into small pieces.

I add in about three spoonfuls of mayo and about three spoonfuls of sweet relish. (Here is a "spoonful")

Everytime I make this, G.I. Joe's face lights up and it typically only lasts a day or two, no matter how much I make. It is good on sandwich bread, rolls, and crackers.

And this is how I like chicken salad. Burger King recently put up posters in their restaurants that explain your personality based on the condiments you choose for your burger. I wonder what mayo, sweet relish, walnuts, and celery say?

Life and Times

, Thursday, July 8 12:39 PM

There are a couple differences between who I want to be and who I currently am. 1) I want to be a better housekeeper. I would love to have a schedule for when I clean what room and stick to it! 2) I want to be a better cook. Side dishes are hard to come by and I'm getting tired of the rice and noodle packets. 3) I want to be a stronger wife. I want my G.I. Joe to be able to lean on me as much as I lean on him. 4) I want a deeper relationship with Christ. I want to depend on Him so completely that everything else is less important. 5) I want to be a better decorator. White walls just aren't cutting it. (I had to add this one because I just looked at the wall while I was thinking and shuddered.)

Creating a blog is not going to fix these things, and reading this blog will not change anyone's life. But, hopefully through this blog, I will be able to look back and see how I have progressed in these areas. Life is a crazy exciting journey, and God has already brought me through some pretty exciting and even tough times. This blog is to record the new adventures, yummy and failed recipes, decorating ideas, and life and times of this new wife.