Saturday, January 28, 2012

Things I learned during this deployment

Here are a few things I learned during this deployment.
  1. I am significantly stronger than I thought I was. When I moved to Abilene, I cried every single day. For the last 4+ months, I have not felt the need to really truly cry and sob and feel sorry for myself more than a couple times.
  2. My life is infinitely more exciting and fulfilling with C as an every day part of it.
  3. He is a really good influence. My health and exercising have gone down the tubes since he left.
  4. I am so incredibly proud of him. I am proud of what he is doing and his dedication to this country.
  5. I can make friends. I haven't had to make friends since I was a freshman in college, and even that was short lived since I moved home after my freshman year and went back to my home group of friends. In high school, I went to high school with my two best friends, so I had a nice cushion. I have had the same friends since kindergarten, with a few additions along the way! But I have met some incredible ladies here, and having them made this deployment much more bearable.
  6. Home is where your heart is, and home is where you hang your hat. I hang my hat here in Abilene, and my heart is all over the place. I realized it's not disloyal to Maryland to settle in and feel comfortable in Abilene.
  7. I can truly stand on my own two feet. I feel like a lot of the time, I am only strong when I HAVE to be. When I lived at home, I let my mom hold me together in one piece. And then I moved to Abilene, and C literally took over the same role. I worried when he left that I wouldn't be able to hack it......that I just couldn't do it all on my own. It's so empowering to know I can.
  8. I can do this! It's hard, but I can do it! And we can do it together.

What have you learned during deployments?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Another sewing project done!

I am by no means an expert sewer, and I still have a TON of learning and attention to detail to work on. But I love when I finish a project!

C requested a valance for his kitchen window months ago. We actually found a table cloth at Target that was the pattern he wanted. I held onto the table cloths for months until a couple weeks ago, I finally started making the valances.

The fabric is striped, so I was terrified to mess it up because it would be obvious. However, it also helps to have some lines to line up to each other.

This is the finished product! C should be home soon, so I figured it was the least I could do to get it done before he came home :)

Not the best picture, but a rough idea of the finished product! And let me tell you, getting the curtains up there by myself was also a fun task!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Year Ago

One year ago today, my Mom Mom died. And the day after she died, I got called about a job in Abilene, which ended up being the job that I took and still have, that got me Abilene. I'm pretty sure she pulled some strings for me as soon as she got up there  :)

We still miss her, but the year of firsts are over  and I know she is so happy up in heaven with my grandfather.

I think I'll have a drink to toast my grandmother today :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Advantages of my boy missing the holiday season??

........I waited until January 21 to finish my Christmas tree skirt, and my tree is still up to use it!

Since C missed Christmas, I kept all my Christmas decor up, and we will celebrate Christmas when he gets home. So this allowed me to be extremely lazy and not finish my Christmas tree skirt until now.

You may remember me talking about this tree skirt.......over 2 months ago. I got a little hung up because I needed piping for the edges, and could not find any in Abilene. However, I returned to Abilene on December 19th, piping in hand, and still waited another month to finish the project.

I started off with a pattern and two different fabrics. I cut pie pieces of each fabric and then sewed them together in alternating order and then ironed open the seams. This is always an important step, as my mom constantly reminds me, because ironing open the seams just makes everything lay nicer.

Then, I had to iron on fusible interfacing, which basically stiffens up the fabric, so that it will hold its shape when it's under the tree. For some reason, my interfacing didn't feel like fusing, so this part took some extra time.

That much of the project has been done since early December. Then, I needed the piping. I ended up finding some at home with my mom, in the sewing mecca that is Joann Fabrics. I so wish we had a Joann's here.

Next, I pinned on the trim and basted (loose stitches) it to the fabric. I had to use a zipper foot on my sewing machine, which isn't my favorite way to sew, but necessary for the thick trim.

And finally, I sewed the front to the plain white backing. I managed to break 2 needles on my sewing machine during this part, since I kept running into the cord part of the trim, and the needle couldn't handle the pressure.

But, it's finally finished! I have to say, I am pretty satisfied with my final product.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I have had nothing to say lately.

So instead of boring you to death, I haven't said anything.

I have several half finished DIY projects that will be great to post about......once I finish.

I have had my sewing machine taking over my kitchen table since Saturday. Clearly I eat at the table.

Otherwise, my life has been incredibly boring. I am just anxiously awaiting the arrival of my love from the sandbox!

Oh, and I am 3 books down for my 50 book goal for 2012! Win!

More interesting posts will come later. I promise.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy New Year: Colorado Style

Since this New Year's was a little depressing, since I was without my favorite guy, I made alternate plans to head to Colorado with some of my best friends, Shannon, Eric, and Jimmy.

As usual, I had flight issues getting to Denver, but luckily I made it only a few hours late. We hopped in the car and headed north for the night to stay at Eric's. We met a few of our New Years companions for dinner, and then settled in for the night.

The next day, we got ourselves ready to head to the mountains. Eric is an epic trip planner, so he had us all set up in a huge house in Frisco, CO. Frisco is not far from Breckenridge, and I think not far from Vail. The closest ski resort to us was Copper Mountain, which is where Eric shattered his leg two years ago.

We had a great time, although the altitude kicked my butt. We drank, we skied, we were merry. And we got to take in the gorgeous mountain scenery!

leaving Wyoming on our trek to the mountains!

we were wedged in the back seat together, cause Eric and Shannon's skis were in the other seat. It made for a......nice trip. 


at the top of Loveland Pass

Loveland Pass

Friday, January 6, 2012

Cake Pops!

Merry Christmas to me! I got a cake pop maker for Christmas from my mama!

I decided to make cake pops on Christmas day to take to the Christmas dinner my brother and his friends invited me to! They had a handle on dinner, but I decided to bring a little dessert!

Making the pops themselves was super easy. I put funfetti batter in a freezer bag, snipped the end, and piped it into each ball spot. I did a lot of experimentation on how much to fill them, so I kept winging it. Some came out better than others. One box of funfetti made about 60 cake balls.

Once I made the balls, I froze them for a couple minutes. Then, I dipped the sticks into chocolate and then stuck them in the ball, in an attempt to get them to kind of glue together. Freeze again after that! I think it worked, since I only lost two balls.

I also FINALLY managed to learn how to melt chocolate! I bought the Wilton's chocolate melting chips and  melted them in a bowl in boiling water in a pan. It actually worked really well and I kept a pretty constant melty chocolate deliciousness.

The chocolate felt almost too melty. It dripped off the balls a lot when I dipped them and they didn't make a very round shape. But they still tasted delicious! 

Here is the finished product!

At first, I tried swirling the ball in a bowl of sprinkles, while the chocolate was still wet. This made for weird shapes and melted chocolate getting left behind, so I moved on to sprinkling the sprinkles over the pops on the plate.

**Note: Do this on wax paper! I did my first batch on wax paper and the second batch on a plate.....which the balls stuck to. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hello 2012!

Hello blog friends. 2012 is here!

I am very excited for 2012. I think this is going to be a great year.

To start it off, I have begun another book challenge for myself! I made it to 46 books in 2011, and my goal was 50. Bummer. I have set a goal of 50 again this year, and I am already one down! (The Postmortal, it was really good!)

I also started off 2012 by making delicious veggie-ful turkey burgers! I am going to try to get myself refocused on being healthy.

I think the boy and I will be joining a gym when he gets back. I have thought about it a lot, and apparently he wants to go with me, even though he could go on base for free. I call that a win! We definitely motivate each other well, to get out of the house at least :)

That's all for now. I have some fun posts planned though!