January 26, 2010

Think about such things...

"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."  Philippians 4:8
When you pray for rain, do you carry an umbrella?

January 19, 2010


“The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, And all the sweet serenity of books." -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

January 15, 2010

Wannabe domestic diva...

Around my kitchen, I am often referred to (by myself) as a domestic diva. I cook, I bake, I do it all! However, I oftentimes ignore my little mishaps around the kitchen, such as almost setting the house on fire every time I try to fry okra, or giving us salmonella poisoning by undercooking the chicken, or (maybe worse) causing TMJ because I have overcooked the chicken and turned it to rubber. But sometimes one cannot ignore the signs of a wannabe domestic diva.

The Perfect Brownie pan is probably the only thing I have ever considered ordering after seeing the infomercial on TV. After countless attempts at baking my own perfect brownies (without the fancy pan) and failing miserably, I knew I needed help. Lucky for me, my mom bought me the "As Seen on TV" brownie pan for Christmas, saving me from the humiliation of calling a 1-800 number to order this kitchen gadget and, in turn, admit that I am not a domestic diva.

Unfortunately, the brownie "machine" (as Hubby refers to it) is not foolproof. Even with this gadget that assured me that perfect brownies would be awaiting me in my oven when the timer dinged (dang?), I managed to produce little brownie bricks. Actually, one large brownie brick with the divider stuck in the middle. I have been assured by Hubby that it was strictly user error and that I should give the "machine" another chance. I think that I should face reality. Baking brownies will always kick my butt, even with a foolproof Perfect Brownie pan.

January 13, 2010

Top 5 most amazing things the military has let me do...

Being a Marine wife doesn't bring too many perks, so when they do come I just eat them up and enjoy every second!
  1. Marry a man in Marine dress blues. Y'all know what I'm talking about! ;)
  2. Participate in spouses' day. TBS offered a warrior day where I got to shoot an M-16 and a grenade launcher. One squadron offered a taxi day where I got strapped into a plane and took a little ride around the runway. His current squadron also let me get into his jet, though sadly we didn't go anywhere.
  3. Meet the Commandant of the Marine Corps. All the married guys and their wives from TBS were invited to a cocktail party at the CMC's home in DC where we got to meet him and snoop through his house.
  4. Travel to Europe for (almost) free. Yup. We flew to Germany Space-A (click here to read about our experience) and enjoyed a ten day excursion through Germany and Austria.
  5. Move. As tough as a move can be, we actually enjoy the experiences that a move brings. So far, we have lived in four completely different towns, each of which we have learned to love for their unique qualities. If Hubby weren't a Marine, we would probably live in one city for our entire lives and miss out on living in and exploring all of these areas. With these moves also comes the best friends in the world! It creates a lasting bond with those friends even if our moves take us to opposite coasts.
Your turn! What amazing things has the military allowed you to do?

January 6, 2010

Consider rescuing an animal...

Hubby walked out the front door to take the dogs out for their last evening potty break. The sound of vicious barking from my own dogs outside startled me, and the next instant the front door flew open and the dogs were practically thrown inside. Just as suddenly as the barking first began, it picked up again with my dogs now viciously barking at the back door. To my surprise, there was a big, sweet puppy, happily wagging his tail, staring through the glass door while my dogs went crazy.

Confused, I immediately asked Hubby why there was a dog on our patio. He said he thought it was a stray and that the dog had just been sitting calmly in our front yard.

We immediately made our powder room into the new dog's temporary hotel suite by putting up a baby gate, covering his shivering body with towels, and offering him food and water. Then we began trying to figure out where he had come from.

By asking around, we discovered that he had been in our neighborhood at least since the previous weekend. Most of the neighbors had seen him, some had given him food, but none knew who he belonged to. We decided to keep him inside (near-freezing temperatures outside) until we could find a place for him.

After the first night, we took him to the vet to see if he had been microchipped. Unfortunately, if an owner doesn't bother to give him a collar, he probably hasn't bothered to chip him either. No information. We decided to put flyers around the neighborhood, realizing that we probably wouldn't hear from anyone. We then asked several people if they would adopt him (as well as posting it on facebook), but nobody was looking for this kind of dog.

The only other thing left for us to do was to take him to a shelter. After spending another night at our house, the next morning we loaded him in the car and took him to the nicest shelter in the area. They were completely full and would not accept him. We asked what we were supposed to do, and the lady at the counter handed us a list of all of the other local shelters to call, which we did. None of them had any room for another dog, and those that might have considered it refused when they found out the dog was a pit bull. We even offered to sponsor the dog by paying for his vet bills and food. He was still refused. Our final option was to take him to the city pound and pray that somebody would see this sweet boy as the perfect addition to their family. It was devastating to leave him there.

This situation has highlighted so many things that are wrong. To some, stray animals might seem to be a minor concern in comparison with other issues in our society. To me, it is heartbreaking. It is heartbreaking that there are so many homeless animals that there is no room for another at the shelters. It is heartbreaking that a handful of irresponsible people have forever tainted an entire dog breed (Staffordshire Terriers, a.k.a. pit bulls) so that they are not welcome at most places or by most people.

My plea to my readers is this: please consider adopting a dog from your local shelter. Give these animals a chance. If you are absolutely set on a specific breed, do a little research and find the breed's rescue organization, and adopt from there. Please do not go to breeders. For every dog that is bought from a breeder, another animal spends another lonely night in a shelter, and the cycle is perpetuated. If you are not looking for another animal, please consider donating to your local animal shelter.

This is our baby that we rescued from the shelter in June 2009. She brings so much joy to our family.

January 5, 2010


“The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have.” -Norman Vincent Peale

January 2, 2010


A new year inevitably brings about a time of examination. How have I spent the past year, and how can I bring about positive changes in the year to come? A new decade, on the other hand, begs for a deeper reflection. How have the last ten years made me who I am today?

Without giving my age away (a lady never tells), ten years ago I was in high school, hopelessly struggling with typical adolescent insecurities. I was painfully shy and spent my days reluctantly wading through the high school social scene. At home, my life appeared to be quickly crumbling, but through it I learned (and witnessed from my mother) an incredible sense of perseverance and strength within myself.

College was my opportunity to become the person I knew I could be, someone completely different from the high school girl that I was not fond of. I embraced the excitement and beauty of life. I experienced heartbreak and true love and all of the lessons that come with both. I was blessed to meet my BFF early in my college days, and we have enjoyed a wonderful friendship for many years. I was also blessed to meet my best friend and husband during my college years. We have spent half of this past decade together, with our love growing stronger and deeper with each passing day.

I experienced alienation and reconciliation with family and friends while simultaneously growing stronger relationships with those that supported me through those difficult times.

I graduated from college, was engaged, and became an "independent woman" (holla!) in the span of two days. I became roomies with my older brother and had the opportunity to continue our sibling friendship as "adults." I began my professional career which emotionally and socially stretched me far beyond my comfort zone, but learned valuable life lessons that still affect me today.

I rededicated my life to Christ, was rebaptized, and "will never be the same again."

Hubby responded to God's calling for his life and was commissioned in the USMC, beginning a pathway which has brought us where we are today.

I planned a wedding in a different city from where either I or Hubby was living. We had a gorgeous wedding but realized that the details of the "big day" were completely insignificant compared to the vows that we promised God and each other.

The USMC has made us move four times, but I wouldn't change that for anything. We have gotten to live and experience life in several parts of the country and have made some of our best friends through these journeys. Being forced into unfamiliar places and situations, Hubby and I have learned to rely solely on one another which has built a strong foundation for our marriage.

The past ten years have brought about life lessons learned (many times) the hard way, internal struggles, and God's ever-present guidance for my life. The past ten years have brought pain and feelings of hopelessness, but have also brought a greater happiness than I thought I would ever know.

"I could have missed the pain, but then I'd have had to miss the dance." -Garth Brooks

Here's to another decade of no regrets, of life, and the excitement of new and wonderful experiences to come.



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