Tuesday, November 30, 2010


i got a letter today. 

... tomorrow is my first patrol. i'm not really nervous, maybe i should be, just seems unnecessary cause it won't help anything. the last few days we've spent cleaning up & organizing the other half of our base which will be where we'll eventually live. right now we're crammed into one side and they're building permanent quarters on the other side in the next couple weeks. it's tight quarters now as we're all in tents (20 of us in a 20x30 ft. space). we should be in 3-4 man rooms when our barracks are done. we don't have showers or laundry or anything now, so we only have to shave every 3 days, which is nice.

it's so dusty here. the ground looks like it has 6 inches of cocoa powder on it. if there's a breeze, it whips the dust up from guys walking, so thick in the air. the worst is when a helicopter comes in. if you're anywhere near, the dust and rocks are thick in the air. rocks pelting you, dust filling every orifice.

one nice thing we have is a fire pit that we made near our tent with benches around it. we congregate there in the evenings for coffee and to just hang-out. usually in the mornings, too. it's a nice place to relax a little and just feels like we're out camping. definintely glad to be out here instead of on a big base where everything is more uptight. supposedly they have a bunch of MWR stuff for us, like a pool table, ping pong table and a bunch of gym equipment. we just won't get it until the buildings are finished so we have a place to put it. they're still working on internet for us. that will be so nice when we have that so i can e-mail & skype with you.

you and the girls are constantly in my thoughts, always making me smile. i miss you a lot but am doing well. i hope time is going as fast for you as it is for me. i can't wait to see what you sent me. it seems like forever since we talked, though it's only been a few days. not too much else to say...

it's been nice to know we're in our home for a while, instead of in transit all the time. i can't wait to be able to send you some pictures so you can see what it is like here. i suppose i'll have a lot of blog posts to catch up on, too. can't wait to hear from you. i miss you all and love you like crazy. give the girls big hugs & kisses for me.


thanksgiving in pictures.
i thought it might be good to do something different this year because, well, everything is different this year. so, the girls & i packed up and headed for chicago. we stayed with family and had a fantastic weekend away.
it was my first big road trip alone with the girls and, despite a little freezing rain and a ton of crazy-wind, it was a great drive.
piper & the mighty mississippi:
me & the mighty sleepy face:
there were 12 of us staying in the same house. it was great. and chaotic. 10 of the 12 were female, so it took hours to get everyone showered and ready each day. tons of beauty products, tonics, tools and clothes. it was awesome! girly overload.

most of us spent thanksgiving day lazing around, poring over the black friday ads while uncle dan slaved away in the kitchen:
this is uncle nick. he's a pilot. and a kook. if you ever see him when you board a plane, be sure to request a different flight. wink! he had flown into chicago just in time for thanksgiving dinner. somehow he found time to change into this sweater. he had found it in the attic of his parents' house. sometime in the '80s, grandma bought him this sweater and, for some reason, nick never wore it. (?!!!?!) it still had the tags on it! it's a beauty; stripes, argyle, and pleather patches. isn't he handsome? ha.
somehow his gorgeous wife, leslie, puts up with his madness. even when he refuses to take that thing off for family pictures:
piper dozed while we waited for turkey: 

and quinn rocked her baby:
finally it was dinner-time.
creepy uncle nick disrupted the beautiful blessing before dinner, but we forgave him 'cause it was pretty funny. and, well, he's nick. we talked and ate and laughed. ate some more and laughed a lot more! i'm so lucky to be part of such a fun, quirky (okay, weird) family!
we attempted a "family" picture...
piper would only sit still when she was trying to pet scarlett...
scarlett is one patient cat.
we finished the night with delicious dessert (flourless chocolate torte! yummm) and a few rounds of things. stay tuned for our black friday adventures!

Monday, November 29, 2010


the stars, the moon,
they have all been blown out.
you left me in the dark.
no dawn, no day, i'm always in this twilight.
in the shadow of your heart.

i have so much to blogblogblog about, but i can't get this song out of my head...

even just typing these lyrics brings me to tears.
i can't see them or hear them or sing them without wanting to crumble.
it is exactly how i feel.
these days when people ask how i'm doing, i don't even know what to tell them.
 i've always been a person of extremes.
i either love or hate something. i either feel amazing or terrible. 
i'm either jumping for joy or claiming i'm going to die.

but now, my heart and my mind are a world away and i'm just left...
in this twilight.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


change of plans.
on friday night i got an out-of-the-blue text from my old friend miss k. (who i hadn't seen in weeks. awful!) she & T were downtown at a bluegrass/jam band/folk fest thing and wanted me to join them. i was just leaving a date with some girlfriends and was planning to go home. but the girls were safely tucked in bed at the in-laws, so i thought, why not?! i never get to be spontaneous these days. any plans (sans kids) have to be made well in advance. so it was really fun to just, drive in the other direction and have a really fun night of great music and dancing.

this is what i looked like at the beginning of the night...
and after a little spontaneity, this is what i looked like at the end...
this is what T looks like when he dances...
and this is euforquestra. the cause of all aforementioned dancing...

this is what i was wearing...

sweater: j.crew
t-shirt: j.crew
pants: old navy
flats: steve madden

on a totally separate note: i made a vlog that night, but can't get it too load. could it be too big? i know nothing about this stuff. what's the best way to load videos? are videos that are made with a point & shoot, too high of a resolution or something? (who'm i kidding, i don't even know what resolution means.) any advice? there's a really "special" ending to this video & i'd hate to never be able to share it with you!

Monday, November 22, 2010


thankful thursday monday.
remember thankful thursdays? yeahmetoo. it's not that i haven't been thankful on thursdays, it's just...okay, i haven't been thankful on thursdays.
but i'm thankful now. only, it's monday.

the past month has been...challenging. after an amazing four days with mr.a in october, i fell into a bit of a slump. just a few days after i returned, i had an outpatient surgery to remove some areas of precancer on my cervix. though my doctor told me not to worry, it was kind of scary and difficult to face without mr.a here. after that, the reality of this deployment really began to settle in. and so began my pity party. okay, not really. but i just felt sad. and lonely. and sad. and lonely. and...you get the point.

but, here are some blessings that have reminded me that it's okay to be sad, but i'm certainly not alone...

-i've been really sick for well over a week, but on monday my sweet momma brought me home-made soup and on tuesday another sweet friend brought over some comfort food (roasted chicken! mashed potatos! gravy!) it fed us all week long and it was so nice to not have to cook, when all i wanted to do was lay in bed and read blogs while i hacked up my lungs.

-a couple weeks ago, the youth group from our church came and raked our leaves!!! it was so cool to see all these teenagers in my yard, doing something nice for someone they hardly know. and we have a huge yard.

-one day this week i was completely worthless. i'd been up all night coughing and was so exhausted. the tv was on all day "babysitting" the girls. i was miserable and did everything i could just to keep my eyes open so they didn't burn the house down. my sister called to see if i wanted her to take piper to the playplace for an hour or so. since i knew she was coming, i decided to lay down in bed, just for a few minutes but was immediately out cold. meanwhile, she showed up and decided to take both girls! (did i mention that she has two boys the same ages as my girls? that's FOUR toddlers.) it was so nice to get a solid nap in and, honestly, i didn't even know they were both gone til i woke up a couple hours later!
(don't call dhs.)

-these guys. they do so much for military families. they have an incredible staff and group of volunteers who sacrifice their time to serve military families. they care about our kids, our husbands, and our marriages. i know they would do anything in their power for our family and other military families in need. it's amazing.

-since this deployment began, i've had to map out every paycheck down to the dollar. this week my brother-in-law helped me list mr.a's car on craigslist. it sold in two. days. amazing. it's enabling me to pay off some bills and have a little room to breathe. it'll also enable us to send mr.a some really fun stuff for christmas!!! yippeeee!

-i have my first sponsored series coming up on do.think.wear.see.love.dream! i'm not gonna tell you all about it yet (cause it's a long story) but i'm reeeaaallly excited about it.

-i have a secret friend out there that sends me anonymous cards that are so encouraging. i think i've received three so far. they always bring a smile to my face and seem to say exactly what i need to hear at the moment. if you're reading this, secret friend--thank-you so much!!!

-on thursday, my in-laws invited us out for the night. it was the first time i'd left the house in days. so i packed our bags and kept my fingers crossed that they would never send us home! ha ha. they live in a beautiful and relaxing setting and their home is always very quiet and peaceful. they actually run a B&B out of their home, so you can book a room and see for yourself how relaxing it really is! anyway, we spent the whole weekend there and it was a great break from my messy house. (not to mention a break from full-time single-parenting.)

-tonight, a family friend called and said their small group just wanted to help me with something. they'd heard my kitchen needs painting and wondered if they could do it for me! and it does need painting. mr.a taped & edged before he left, but that's as far as it has gotten. were it not for these guys, it would probably look exactly the same when mr.a comes home. can't wait to have a nice, bright kitchen!

i know there are other things that i'm missing, but let's just say it's been a really encouraging week. it's nice to feel like there are some things going right.


here are some other thursdays i was thankful...

Sunday, November 21, 2010


in which i fail the 30/30 challenge and beg for your forgiveness.

that's right. i've failed. or rather, given up on, the 3o for 30. here are my excuses...
-the clothes i picked were not warm enough for the weather we've had lately.
-i literally did not get out of my pajamas from last monday til thursday night. so sick. i mean me, not the pajamas. though they're not so hot either...
-i'm so far behind, kendi will be hosting her spring remix before i finish this one.
-there are "fall" clothes in my wardrobe that i won't even get to wear because it'll be freezing by the time this remix is over.
-i don't really need another challenge in my life right now. even if it's as silly as getting dressed each day.
-i'm a quitter. i just am. jr. high cheerleading, track, basketball, soccer, high school cheerleading, soccer a second time, golf team, hmmm...maybe i'm not a quitter--just not an athlete.
-i'm a dress-how-i-feel kinda girl. so if i feel like wearing my favorite cozy sweater or cowboy boots--i wanna be able to wear 'em!
-i have an aversion to rule-following. (don't worry, jill, we can still be friends!) 30 for 30 has lots of rules and i've broken every one of them. so what's the point?! 

are you mad at me? if not, i could probably give you a list of reasons why you should be... but let's not. will an outfit make it up to you? okay, hereyago:
i was looking at something really important on the ground next to me.
so...from now on you'll be seeing clothes from my 100/100.
i know it'll be a challenge, but i think i can do it. especially 'cause there are no rules.

jacket: gap
shirt: j.crew
scarf: anthropologie
pants: old navy
flats: steve madden

Friday, November 19, 2010


a slightly different vlog....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


"are you on your period or something?"*

i'm actually not. but these are the things that have made me cry in the past 24 hrs...

-four weddings on TLC. have you watched it? umm, totally not cry-worthy. but i did.

-a macy's christmas commercial with that song from rent. you know, the one about how many minutes make up a year. a-freakin-lot is all i have to say.

-an awesome time with friends last night.

-a moment of clarity this morning when i realized my husband is at war. wow. i rarely think of myself as an "army wife." not even when i'm with army wives. but it hit me this morning.

-wishing mr.a were here to take over with the girls while i'm sick.
it makes me feel alonelonelone.

-my little sister did the dishes. (okay, those may have been tears of shock. ha!)

things that didn't make me cry in the past 24 hours...

-zombieland. i love this movie. i love zombie movies and mr.a loves zombie movies. and we watched zombieland together this summer. we laughed a lot. oops...on the verge of crying again. gotta stop talking about the mr.

-hmm...that's all i got. let's just say i've been a big baby for the past couple of days.

*bonus points if you can name that movie.

edit: one more thing that made me cry--anything to do with "the royal wedding" as jill put it. isn't it interesting how infatuated we are with this couple? this family? i will never forget the moment i heard that princess diana had died. i was in 7th grade and my best friend at the time (beth spurgeon--are you out there?) and i were watching something on her teeny white tv up in her room when it was interrupted by the "breaking news". wow.

and one more thing that didn't make me cry--that crazy target lady commercial. i know she's sort-of pulling a kristen wiig here, but it's still pretty funny.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


yesterday i had the genius idea of doing a video blog. quick, easy, no editing or making something look/sound/seem better than it is. not that i would EVER do that...

the only problem with doing a video blog is...
a.) i didn't really have anything to say.
b.) i have a distractingly small upper-lip.
c.) do i really talk like that? seriously, people that know me in real life--
     do i talk like that??
d.) i say "ummm," "like," and "so..." far too often.
e.) i'm not really that interesting.
f.) my hair is so nap-a-licious. yipes! i could've at least worn a hat.
g.) i said "giterdone." wow.
h.) it took me 24 hrs. to figure out how to get it loaded.

but what do you think?
would you like to see regular "day-in-the-life" posts 'round here?
or, should i just keep my upper-lip and my nappy hair to myself?

p.s. my "chest-cold thing" has turned into a "i-can't-get-out-of-bed-and-don't-care-if-piper-just-ate-a jumbo-sized-bag-of-mini-m&m's-for-breakfast-cause-i-kinda-wanna-die thing." so, i've accomplished nothing today besides blowing my nose, hacking up phlegm, being gross (see "hacking up phlegm"), eating soup, and crying. my voice is almost completely gone. it sounds so ridiculous, piper has accused me of talking like elmo. and apparently elmo does not command any respect.

Saturday, November 13, 2010



it's funny that this outfit is 4/30 because i took this picture at 4:30 and sadly, that's about when dusk starts to fall these days. after two days of two girls taking turns puking, i get to have a "girl's night out" tonight and i
can. not. wait.
in fact, the only reason i'm blogging right now is to pass the next few minutes til i can drop the lil hellians off at my parents.
i'm sorry, but after two days of being stuck in the house with them--they are making me craaaaaaaaazy. like, whoa-crazy. like, the three of us were sitting on the couch together and those sweet little girls were annoying me so much, i got up and moved across the room so i didn't have to sit by them. isn't that awful?! needless to say, i'm ready for a quick break.

anyway, about this outfit...
even though i wear all of these components on a regular basis, i've never worn them in this combination. i suppose that's the point of the remix challenge, huh? anyway, i kinda like it, but the whole belt-adjusting thing will probably prevent me from wearing this ever again. oh well, ya win some ya lose some.

and now i'm ready to lose some. kids, that is. 
happy saturday!

denim shirt: banana republic, gift
t-shirt: j.crew, $15
belt: target, $4
scarf: urban outfitters, $20? (it's pretty old.)
pants: sanctuary, $55
flats: steve madden, $50

post-edit: i was looking over this post & decided that picture above is pretty bad. the color is weird because i had to use a flash. anyway, here are a few more that piper actually took. i think her photog skills are getting better!

Friday, November 12, 2010


reader request, vol. 4
a few of you have wondered about my necklace.
where it's from, what it means, et cetera.
so! today i'll fill you in...

i'd had my eye on a mom-ish necklace ever since i had piper. but, i didn't want the "typical" mom necklace. nothing against "typical" mom necklaces. they're adorable and special and i love them. but...i just wanted something different.
this spring when mr.a & i were in oregon, i found a "B" charm that i really liked. i thought, what better way to start a "mom" necklace than with a charm for the mom! that store in cannon beach also had a bee charm which means a lot to me because my dad has always called me "killer bee" and now my closest friends & family call me B.

the "s" is for my mr.a. aka: seth.
it was made by shelby anderson, a local artist.
she also made this "be strong" charm, which i treated myself to when mr.a left for his deployment. i think those two words are pretty self-explanatory.
this dove actually came on the tag of my favorite pants, but i thought the dove's symbolism for peace was apropriate, especially as mr.a fights in a war across the world.
about a month ago, my sisters and i attended a craft bazarre in east village. there were a couple gals with some really cute jewelry, and one of their display charms was this one...

it made me laugh and i had to have it. the perfect charm for a "mom" necklace. and i hope mr.a always considers me a milf. if you don't know what it means, don't worry about it. (especially you, mom!) i do not want to be responsible for exposing you to such smuttery.

while we were in mississippi, cindy took us to a cute jewelry shop. they had tons of great jewelry, and almost all of it was under $20. i found this "P" and hoped to snag a "Q" as well, (for piper and quinn) but they don't make Q's! seriously! they don't even make them. so, i'm still on the look out for a Q. if anyone out there sees a cute Q, let me know!
i love that our initial charms are all different and unique--just like us.
i love this necklace. i love how it represents different parts of my life; and i'm not done yet! i'll keep adding to it as i can. it's one of my favorite pieces of jewelry.

original chain with B charm: $24
bumble bee charm: $8
S charm: $6
be strong charm: $12
dove charm: free (kinda)
MILF charm: $5
P charm: $5

i guess when you add it all up, it's a fairly expensive necklace, but you can't put a price on memories and meaning.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


yep, that's me; cheater-cheater, pumpkin-eater. but i don't care.
i love pumpkin.
pumpkin pie, pumpkin pudding, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin coffee cake, pumpkin angel food cake--i. love. pumpkin.
and i. love. cheating. but only on the 30/30 challenge...that's it.
okay, i like cheating on diets, too.
today it was a bit more brisk than i anticipated, so i had to wear a jacket. a jacket that's not part of my 30. but!! i feel it is justified because i didn't technically wear the jacket all day. only when i was outside. so it wasn't a main component of my outfit.
am i right? or am i just a liar-liar justifier?
 jacket: topshop
stripes: j.crew
belt: j.crew
jeans: joe's, thrifted
flats: steve madden
scarf: target

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


two for two.

why am i sideways? i have no idea. ask blogger.
so far the 30 for 30 challenge has been good to me. i don't know why i was so freaked out about it. the limited clothing options actually makes getting dressed a bit easier. (though, today i still didn't get dressed until 1:30...) the only downside so far is that every time i see my mom she asks,
"is that from your thirty?" so far i've been able to honestly say yes, mom!
and then roll my eyes.
it's been a while since i've been able to give my mom a good eye-roll and, now that they're empty-nesters, i'm guessing she misses it.
cardigan: target, $22
striped tank: j.crew, $15
cargos: heritage, $25
bracelet: j.crew, $8
headband: forever 21, $5
flats: ebay, $55

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


glamour shots.

i've always taken my own outfit pictures (just me, my lil canon powershot, & the 10-second timer), but there aren't that many places in my house that are clean enough to be photographed. so...today i asked piper to take my picture.
besides cutting my head off,
i think she did a pretty good job!

don't worry, here it is...

and here is my first of thirty outfits...

cardigan: j.crew, $14
button-down: forever 21, $12
cargos: sanctuary, $55
flats: tory burch, $55
bracelet: j.crew, $8