Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I've entered a contest to win $1000 at Light In The Box.
We could really use the help as the ENTIRE wedding party has to travel, and My Sailor and I can only pay for so much!

How to help:
(You must have a facebook account)
"Like" Light in the Box's page
Find the photo of My Sailor and I in their photo album. Add a comment!  I've even included a handy link to our photo below!

YOU CAN HELP! First round of competition ends next week!

 Please go to this link (facebook membership needed) and comment on my comment about My Sailor and I!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Military goodbyes - 52 more days

 In a little under 2 hours, I'll be leaving the base to head to the airport, yet again. 
Saying goodbye to My Sailor is never easy. Each time I try to focus on the next time we'll be together. I've begun to think of the distance as "Training runs" for his deployments, where it's unlikely I'll even be able to hear from him for months at a time. But no amount of positive thinking makes leaving an easy thing.
Saying goodbye as often as we must would give any woman a moment's pause.

But being apart makes the time we have together sweeter,
even if it's just a walk down the street,
the exchange of a look,
or the touch of a hand.

In our time apart, I do have plenty to do. 
Staying busy has never been a problem for me.
There are boxes to pack, 
books to finish, 
work to do,
friends to meet with,
a dog to walk,
family to spend time with,
and workouts to do.

While none of those things will make me miss him any less,
I am confident the time will pass quickly.

My Sailor makes me proud every day just by being who he is.
Do I like saying goodbye to him? 
No. I suspect I never will.
But is it all worth it?
Without a doubt.

Stages and Changes

So lately I've entered in a new stage of life. It's one that just about everyone saw coming from a mile away.

I became the fiance to a Navy submariner.

Changes like going from a single gal to a married/engaged one is a big change. While I am who I am still, my location is changing, and becoming a military wife (even if it's only for his short 5 years) is a completely different world.

If there is one thing I've learned in life, it's that good friends can roll with the changes with you, and I've been blessed with some of the best. Even though I know traveling will be challenging for them, they have been there for me and are doing their best to be helpful and to make it work.

But not all relationships are ment to last forever.

And there is nothing like a life change to severe or strengthen some ties like a life change.

I have some great friends that I'm glad to count as my bridesmaids. My sisters-in-law-to-be will be standing with us as well, but these other girls are just like family as well. They have all been truely supportive, despite their own family situations. Two of them are of the Unmarried variety (divorced without children). One of them married her high school sweetheart (several years later) and is a mother. Another one is Unmarried (divorced) mother with adult children.

But there are a few friendships that have faded away or changed for both my fiancee and I. We're about to join the married person's club and someday the parent club.

It can be challenging to identify with people who aren't in the same stage of life. And while I can't identify with all of the unique stages and situations that make of the complicated lives of my friends, I can do my best to empathize, and return the favor that they've given to me.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Weekend in the South!

I'll be spending this President's Day weekend in the South!

Tomorrow I fly in to see My Sailor. After a night in Georgia, we'll be going to explore Amelia Island/Fernandia Beach and I can't wait. Going somewhere new with someone you love - who could ask for anything more?

Naturally, I've been looking into things I'd want to do on what might very well be my last trip to the lower Georgia state, northern Florida state area.

Here's what I've come up with so far:
St Augustine - Home to one of the oldest battle forts in our nation's history.
Amelia Island Carriage Ride - I'm a sucker for good old fashioned romance...Luckily, I already know this one is on the menu!
Cumberland Island and Amelia Cruises - I'd also love to do some walking on Cumberland island this time. It's not everyday I get to mingle with wild horses!

Now, this is supposed to be a RELAXING trip for both of us before the big relocation and weddings planning kick into high gear. So I don't want to be unrealistic and plan for us to run all over the place. I'm hopeful the weather will hold out so we'll be able to explore some of the historical sites and do a little hiking.

Even if we don't end up doing a lot of site seeing, I'm sure it'll be a great trip - and the last one to Georgia for a good long while! After this trip, My Sailor and I won't see each other until he joins me in Washington State in mid April. Then we'll FINALLY be in the same time zone and state! 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Relocation Nation - The Homestead visit

My parents were gracious enough to send me to Washington to look at the little place that I'll be moving into next month. Here's a montage to show you a bit of my experience. It was a very quick trip. Up and back same day, spending about as much time on the ground as I did in planes.

But it was a fun, remarkable day and I'm glad I got to explore this place a little bit. It really reminds me of my hometown (Escondido) about 20 years ago - if you stuck it on the water. I can't wait to get a bike and get it up and moving!

Without further preamble, here you go!


Very safe feel in the small neighborhood.
3 major grocery chains nearby.
2 sushi places nearby.
Great fitness center and amenities.
Rent is MUCH cheaper.
Old movie theater right around the corner.
Large bedrooms.
2 jacuzzis
2 dry Saunas.
Good basketball court.
Dog friendly (there are 3 other boxers on property).
Darker carpeting (Great for when you have a dog and the weather leaves the ground a little slushy).
Community Breakfasts every Sunday in the community center.
Very affordable area.
Apartment community is small.
Flexible lease lengths.
It's a small town.
They have a great community theater I can get involved with!


Actual apartment is smaller than I expected.
The town is a small town - meaning everything rolls up around 6-9pm. There isn't a whole lot of recreational stuff to do in town.
There are places where this town is showing it's age and rides the very fine line between "quaint" and "historic"... and run down. (But what city doesn't have a few run down areas?)

This was a very positive experience overall, and I'm looking forward to starting a new chapter of my life with the turning of the season.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Relocation Nation - Self Moving vs Moving Company

In all of my 11 moves since birth, I’ve never moved more than a few miles from one place to the next.  As far back as I can remember, we’ve always done our moves ourselves. Just grab a UHAUL and a few friends , day laborers, or (as was the case in my last move) Navy Corpmen, and viola! The move is in high gear and done before ya know it.
Moving up the coast is significantly different.
I’ve checked into moving companies and got a lot of very promising estimates. However, as soon as I call friends and family for references, I UNANIMOUSLY get “DON’T USE A MOVING COMPANY!”  Apparently nearly all of the big names have ripped off someone in my family/friends  over the years.  Many of them promise great rates at their estimate, but don’t live up to them, requiring a large amount over what was originally quoted.

Well, I don’t have an extra thousand dollars to throw around, so I’m probably taking the “self move” option.

But there are different stages of “self moving” that I’ve found.

There is the “Rent-A-U-Haul-And-Drive-It-Yourself-With-A-Dog-in-tow” option. This requires someone else to follow me and drive my SUV as I don’t trust mountain roads and my driving-while-towing or parking-while-towing skills (especially w/ a lovable, excited, yet confused boxer dog in the car with me).
There is also the “pod” option. The pod company comes buy and drops off a pod at my place. I load it for 2 days, and then they pick it up. I pack in my car (and maybe my brother’s truck) whatever I’ll need for about 2 weeks and we drive up. It’s about a 21 hour drive straight through (which I’m sure I’d take in at least 2 days). Once I arrive, I’d set up what I’ve brought up with me (which must include by work computer equipment, Clydas’ crate, a few changes of clothes, and whatever other odds and ends I might need. Then it’ll camping out in the new place until the Pod is delivered about a week and ½ later. Then I hire a couple of big strong guys to help unload it and viola! I’m all moved in! The pod option is more expensive (considerably) than the Uhaul option, however quite frankly it feels safer and simpler.
By this point, you’re probably thinking, “Huh? Why isn’t Your Sailor helping you out with this?” Well, he is, but he can’t physically be there. By the time he arrives in the same state, I’ll be all set up and (hopefully) a little familiar with the place. Trust me, he’d LOVE to be there (and I’d LOVE to have him there) but Navy wives are pretty self-sufficient bunch who know when to rely on friends, when to hire help, and when a little elbow grease will get the job done. I consider myself in training.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Relocation Nation - The Get-to-Know-You game

This Saturday, I'm off for a quick trip to Washington to check out the new digs! Things are really speeding along (hence my lack of blogging of late).  While we don't have My Sailor's orders yet, there is a very very very very good chance that he'll be stationed in Washington, so we're going for it (though we should know for sure with the next 4 weeks).  I've applied and been approved for a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom, Clydas-Friendly apartment on the Kitsap Penninsula. I am getting more and more excited for this new adventure as it gets closer.

But, did I mention that this trip will be QUICK?!

I'm flying there Saturday morning and flying back Saturday night. Talk about speedy, eh? Less than 24 hours on the ground in Washington state. Short of a layover, I think this is the quickest trip I've ever taken to another state.

I'm making the rounds with friends, calling different moving companies (more on that in another entry), and doing what I can to plan this wedding. Click here for the blog My Sailor and I will be updating. Expect more updates as the date gets closer. Right now, we're thinking early November in Washington, but, of course we can't plan anything for sure until we find out more about his deployment schedule.

Hopefully I'll find a coffee shop that has internet, so I can share some photos from what will be my new home town, but if not, I'm sure there will be an awesome montage in the future. ;)

Friday, February 4, 2011

What a crazy week!

I'll keep this one short and sweet.

Good stuff:
Lost the lb I gained back this week. Yeah!
Got my license renewed
Paid all rent and bills w/ some left overs. Yeah!
Got accepted to a new apartment complex in WA. (Yeah!)

Got flowers from My Sailor. (Click here to get to the new blog and sign up to follow!)