Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Birthday 2012

Two years ago, in a time I refer to as BC (Before Christopher), I celebrated my birthday in Massachusetts. Last year I celebrated in New York. This year I celebrated half in Tennessee and half in Virginia. At this rate I'll be celebrating in Tanzania by 2015.
Here's a view from the Tennessee portion of the day. (There are no pictures of a Virginia view because the view outside our window is boarded up homes.)
It was a banner year for birthday cards. Half of them were from Christopher to make up for events when he forgot to give me any. He gave me eight and I loved every one. 
Elizabeth sent me this year and it had me laughing. I might not make it to 90 so I very glad someone had the foresight to buy me this card in advance! About 5 years ago I bought a 100th birthday card at the dollar store. I didn't knew anyone turning 100, but I COULD NOT turn down such a purchase. If I do happen to attend a centennial birthday party, I will be so prepared. 
My family mailed me a birthday box! Mom kept saying she was so disappointed I wasn't going to get it on my actual birthday (Memorial Day), but such is the price one pays when their birthday is a national holiday. Aaron knows me so well- he sent me a jar of bacon bits.  
When I was growing up, the birthday person got to use the special birthday plate while eating their birthday meal. I have carried this tradition over to our family, and while Christopher does not understand it ("It's just a plate! What's on the plate is more important!"), he goes along with it anyway. The birthday plates we bought last year are in storage (along with 96.2% of our belongings), so he told me he would make one instead. He put a printed sign under a pie dish and I nearly fell over, I was so impressed. 
The birthday girl with her giver of many cards and maker of birthday plates.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

about the time we went to the home of someone we met on the internet (and lived to tell about it)

Well hello! What's going on in your world? 

The Christopher/Sarah portion of the world is currently on the road, so this post is coming to you live from a hotel room. To be precise, we are house hunting/scoping out the scene at our next home. We didn't leave until Thursday night, a fact which promoted Christopher to say that he needed something to keep him awake. Naturally I suggested we have a sing-along. Being the director of the show, I appointed him the first singer. He sang a rousing rendition of "Three is the Magic Number" after which he informed me it was my turn. Using a sunglass case as a microphone, I attempted to sing "Bridge Over Troubled Water". It seems Paul Simon and I need a little more practice before we go on tour together. To make up for Trouble Water, I sang an African song. How many of the words were really African and how many were simply a odd jumble of letters is up for debate, but I thought it was beautiful. I guess Christopher didn't think so because he didn't ask for an encore. I can tell you that it was way better than the ENTIRE Justin Bieber song we listened to because we were too tired to reach up and turn off the radio. 

My favorite part of this trip has been meeting the ever funny and hospitable Jenn!! She has become my Fort Campbell Source with a capital S. She invited us over for supper last night and I was all sorts of excited. Not only would I meet her, I'd get to meet Sam the Man and Molly McCuteness too. I'm here to report that Molly's cheeks are even better in person. They really are larger than life. Sam wanted nothing to do with me at first (he said something like "AAAAIIEOENFEEEEEEERAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!" every time he looked at me), but when he discovered that he could sit on my lap while I bounced him up and down 548 times, he decided maybe I was cool after all. He helped me blow out the candles on the birthday cake Jenn made (wasn't that sweet of her?), so I think an enduring friendship is pretty much guaranteed.

We were clearly very coordinated when we took this picture. I'm looking straight ahead, Jenn's looking to her right, and Molly's looking off to the corner wondering why we're letting a photo op get in between her and her milk.
I am so glad to already have a friend when we move to Tennessee! Sam and I had a serious discussion about when we'll get together for play dates. Of course we'll let Jenn come along too. ;-) 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

cupcake class

This week in our cake class we decorated cupcakes. (Not to be confused with last week when we decorated a cake with a cupcake.)

I would like to point your attention to the cupcake at the top of the platter. Wilton calls with a "shaggy mum", but I call it a cupcake with a Cookie Monster wig. It really is the ugliest flower. The bottom cupcake was decorated differently that the others simply because I had no energy left in me to make another flower on wax paper then transfer to the cupcake. 
I had  a lot of trouble with this class so I'm glad I came home with one cupcake I like.
This cupcake is my pride and joy.
(The Cookie Monster cupcake is sort of the ugly duckling of the family.)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

a very American vacation

Last weekend we went on a special birthday trip to Washington DC! My birthday isn't until Memorial Day, but we went a week early. 

Our first stop was the Museum of Natural History. I love this elephant. If it wouldn't been completely inconvenient, I would have brought him home with me and set him up as living room decor. 
This little guy looked a little freaked out about something. I'd probably look the same way if I had to live across the hallway from a bunch of taxidermy bats. 
Here we have a necklace similar to the one Christopher will give me for my birthday. It's only 179 karats so obviously it will be the smallest of the gifts he gives me.
 The museum had a butterfly exhibit we could walk through! I loved it. 
Next we went to the Museum of Natural History.
The First Ladies exhibit was something I had wanted to see for years and years and years so I was excited to finally go!! The exhibit had dresses, dishes, jewelry and memorabilia from the different first ladies. One day my dress will be featured there. One of my life goals is to become First Lady. The fact that Christopher has no desire whatsoever to be president is just a minor bump in the road. This is the inaugural gown of my good friend Barbara Bush.
This is a very historic top hat. It was being worn by none other than Abraham Lincoln the night he was assassinated. 
I wasn't able to take a picture of it, but one of my other favorite exhibits was the actual flag Francis Scott Key saw when he wrote The Star Spangled Banner. It was HUGE. 

On Sunday we walked around The Mall. We saw the Washington Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial,
and the Lincoln Memorial.
 This is the closest I've ever been to a president. Too bad he's made of marble.
And thus concluded my favorite Washington birthday trip!  

Friday, May 18, 2012

Run, Forrest, Run!

In what may be one of the most shocking turn of events EVER, I have started running. I know. It's just unbelievable.

I needed another form of exercise for the physical fitness portion of the Congressional Award, and since I was already doing Zumba, I picked running. Zubma sidenote- I went to Zumba at the post gym and who do you think decided to join us for an hour of hip-shaking and arm-waving??? A drunk man. A drunk man and his sober but still slightly annoying posse of 7 other husbands who were there because they lost a bet to their wives. I can't even talk about it any more.

The first morning I went to the track was mostly uneventful. I don't like running when others are watching ("watching" means they are anywhere within 5000 feet of me even if they aren't paying attention) so I didn't do much actual running, but it was a start. In all honesty, the other people on the track weren't the only reason I didn't run 45 miles. I feel like I'm going to die every time I run and that's generally a feeling I like to avoid. I know people who listen to the Bible or sermons while they run, but the most holy thoughts I have while I run are prayers that I won't die. I'll die when I am meant to die, I'd just prefer to go in a more dignified fashion than sprawled out on a track while wearing my sneakers.

Things were getting a little better in the Running While Others Are Watching department until the day I almost LITERALLY bumped  into the Fort Lee marching band. I don't know where they came from because they weren't there then ALL THE SUDDEN THEY WERE. I've made a little illustration to demonstrate:
I slowed down to let them pass in front of me (I pretended to be very intent on staring at my ipod) but then, apparently obeying some command from Mr. Conductor, they slowed down to let me pass. That was not part of my plan. I had planned for them to cross the track over to the grassy part in the middle. So there we were, both walking   v-e-r-y  s-l-o-w-l-y so as to not interrupt the other party. Eventually I decided that unless somebody did something drastic, we were going to stay like this all day. I had no other choice but to run in front of them. I have always (always as in since last month) said that I wouldn't run in front of soldiers and there I was, running 85 yards 12 feet right in front of 16 of them.

It didn't take me long to realize that their direction of marching while they practiced matched my direction of walking/running. Each time I turned, they turned also. I just couldn't get away from them! I've made another illustration for your benefit.
I did very little running that day. 

At least I can comfort myself with the knowledge that I must have worked out hard enough because I certainly did not look cute at the end.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

cupcake cake

This week in my decorating class we decorated a cake.

I almost didn't have a cake to decorate because my first cake completely fell apart after I took it out of the pan.
Thankfully I had a second cake mix in the closet so I whipped that up and it came out of the oven no less than 10 minutes before I left for the class. I had some frosting issues that required me to remake that as well. In total, I used 4 pounds of sugar. 

I try not to think about my baking crises too much because when all is said and done, I think the cake is pretty cute!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

it's not every Friday you see a flamingo

I had every intention of putting these pictures up yesterday afternoon, but I had TWO medium-scale baking catastrophes within an hour so I never got around it. Not to mention that I have a well documented history of not posting about a weekend until we're almost at the next weekend. Can't break tradition.

Friday night we went to a baseball game. I can't attend a baseball game without taking pictures of the dugout, so without further delay I present Picture VII in my Dugout Series, Edition Team Black and Orange (subtitled I Don't Know Why the Guy in the Stripped Shirt Didn't Get the Memo).
I've been to many a minor league baseball game in my day, but never have I seen a man charge around the field in a pink flamingo costume while throwing hot dogs into the crowd. The phrase, "Wow. That flamingo guy can REALLY throw a hot dog." is not one you say everyday. 
Saturday we visited a lovely historic home on the edge of the Appomattox River. On our way home we stopped at Walmart. We had four items on our shopping list yet we walked out with no less than 28. Just goes to show that a) you shouldn't go grocery shopping when you're hungry, and b) one of us is not very good at sticking to the list.  

Sunday, of course, was Mother's Day. Despite the fact that I was mistakenly wished Happy Mother's Day numerous times at church, we didn't have any mother-related plans for the day other than call our mothers in far-off states. My poor mom got to spend the day at the hospital. I tried to cheer her up by pointing out all of the attention she was getting on her special day, but I got the feeling that wasn't the type of attention she was dreaming of. After lunch we explored a new park. We're big on exploring the area. I have a knack for wearing inappropriate (but cute!) shoes so we didn't walk too far, but it was nice to be out of the ghetto in the great outdoors. 
Self-portrait brought to you by Christopher and his handily long arm. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

just give it to your mother

Friday, May 11, 2012

me, myself and the military

linking up with Riding the Roller Coaster and Household6 Diva

1. How did you and your spouse meet?
Christopher and I met through Kelly’s Korner first Show Us Your Singles. Christopher’s sister Stephanie put him on the list and the rest, they say, is history. I wrote out the whole story in GREAT detail here and here so I won’t rewrite the whole thing again.

2. How old were you when you two met?
I was 21 and he was 27

3. How long have you been together?
About a year and a half. Sometimes we talk about “back in the beginning” like it was fifty decades ago.

4. Where are you and your spouse originally from?
I’m from the north and he’s from the south. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again- we continue to fight the Civil War every day.

5. How did you feel about him joining the military?
He was already in the military when we met so I didn’t have feelings one way or the other.

6. Where did your spouse go to Basic Training?
Fort Knox, KY. He told me the name of his barrack was Disney so they called it Disneyland, but it was a far cry from the Disneyland where all your dreams come true.  

7. Has your spouse ever been deployed?
He has, but before we were married.

8. Ever been to his promotion ceremony?
I was there at his OCS graduation and I plan on being there when he becomes a four star general.
9. How long have you been a military wife?
One year, one week and five days.

10. Did you marry him before or after he joined?
Didn’t we already discuss this?

11. How did your husband propose?
He calls me Button so he bought a bunch of fancy buttons at the craft store, wrote on them, then laid them all out on the table like this:

12. Where did you get married?
In a little white church near my brother’s house.

13. How old were you two when you got married?
I was 21 and he was 28.

14. Did he wear his uniform on his wedding day?
Most certainly! I always said I would marry someone in a uniform and I did. I would also have accepted an astronaut or a cowboy is their respective “uniforms”, but I didn’t have high expectations of either of them showing up. I used to say I was going to join the military (that would NOT have worked out well for anyone), but I changed my mind and said I’d marry someone in the Army instead.
15. Do you live on post?
Nope. We currently live in the ghetto. It’s as glamorous as it sounds.

16. How long were you married when you had to go through your first separation?
We were only married for about three weeks before weeks of field training started, but besides that it was the months while he was at OCS.

17. What is your favorite base so far?
I like different parts of both Fort Drum and Fort Lee so I can’t say that I have a favorite.  The area around Fort Lee is prettier and there a lot more things to do in the area, but I knew more people (hello, Allison!) at Fort Drum and I liked the commissary and arts and crafts center better there. I liked seeing all the trucks and tanks every time I’d drive around Fort Drum because it gave more of an Army feel than I get here. I saw a lot of military people out and about whenever I’d run errands in New York and I liked that too. That being said, you can’t drive into Washington DC for the day while living at Fort Drum.

18. Do you think your spouse looks good in his uniform?
There was a reason I always wanted to marry someone in a uniform. Yes, I think he looks good!!! Speaking of uniforms, he came home with a new service hat and it made me SO HAPPY. I love it. He was less enthusiastic about it.

19. Do you like the benefits you receive as a military dependent?
I do. I think my current favorite are all the discounts we can get at hotels, restaurants, museums, etc.It's not really a “benefit”, but I do like my military ID card. It makes me feel so important. Side note: I have a new favorite ID-checker at the gate. His name is Randolph and he does this fancy flippy thing with my card that is just like the conductor in The Polar Express. It’s very impressive.

20. Do you have a lot of military wife friends?
Not really. Most of the military people I know are guys, most of whom aren’t married. My best military wife (technically she’s a girlfriend, not a wife) friend is Kim. Her boyfriend and Christopher graduated OCS together and we get along so well. I kind of like Jenn too. ;)

21. What is the hardest part of the military life?
I don't like moving. I don’t like the process of packing, unpacking, getting settled, repacking, unpacking, settling, packing, unpacking. On the upside, by the end up the summer we’ll be doing our fourth move in just over a year so I’ve become somewhat experienced when it comes to fitting stuff in boxes.

22. Do you own military wife stuff?
Not too much. I have a shirt and sweatshirt, but my favorite things are my Love My Hero necklace and the military bear Christopher gave me before me we married. When it comes to patriotic decorations however, I have an abundance.

23. Do you support your spouse as a member of the military?
OF COURSE! I’m very proud of him and do all I can to support him. I wouldn't move over and over and over again for just anybody. I like to think that mentioning The Wheels on the Bus should be the theme song of the transportation school was very supportive. ;)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

wait til Cookie Monster sees these

I'm taking a cake decorating class! 
Our first class was Monday and we learned the finer arts of making icing stars on cookies. 
(Is that the technical name? Are they decorative peaks?)

My cookies are very sophisticated and intricate. 

Is the suspense building?
I like to think that the swirl is very geometrically correct. 
Christopher says the cookie on the left looks like a confederate flag. I assure you I didn't mean to do that.

If you need cookies for an event where you don't need to impress anyone, I'm your girl. ;)

In all seriousness, I was rather impressed with how well they turned out. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

from the both of us to the both of you

Happy 18th birthday, kids.
I'll still be calling you kids when you're 88.
I'll still love you when you're 88.
Happy birthday, favorite twinsicles.

Leave it to Hallmark to make an appropriate card.
Sarah and The Other One Christopher

Monday, May 7, 2012

oh shoot

Christopher recently decided it would be advantageous to get a concealed carry license.He found a shooting range that taught the required class, so Saturday morning found us listening to a man discuss (along with his opinion of how the world will end) the various state rules and regulations regarding shooting. After the speaking portion of the class, we moved to the actual shooting part. One of us (who shall remain nameless) apparently didn't have enough strength in her pointer finger to pull a trigger. She may or may not have held up the whole class until an easier gun was found.

 I now own a certificate from the National Rifle Association of America.
It's almost as if I don't even know myself anymore.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

'oh the places we live' map

As discussed previously on el bloggo (Have I ever mentioned I have my own version of Spanish? It's much more exciting than the real thing.) I mentioned that our anniversary gifts were paper related. Here's what I made Christopher.
The states we were born in, Georgia and Massachusetts, are in contrasting paper. I glued buttons to the states we've lived since we were married and have a whole bag of buttons for future moves. I hear Army people move a lot. 

If you happen to live in New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware or Washington DC, I apologize that the your portion of the country looks somewhat like a disformed claw. I had some technical difficulties in that region. 
I bought a wooden United States map at Toys R Us to use as a stencil. It was a labor of TRUE LOVE going in that store because I can't fully describe how much I dislike it there. It rattles my nerves to walk down the girls aisle and all the sudden have 200 dolls crying and laughing and making all sorts of unearthly noises while Hannah Montana states at me from an entirely too large poster. The boys aisles isn't much better. I don't even know what half the stuff in their part of the store is. It's all weird four-headed creatures that unfold from cars and speak alien languages. Not to mention that Justin Bieber is there and that's all I have to say about that.


It was so much fun making this gift and I was very pleased with how it turned out. Stay tuned for when I make an anniversary gift from coral or ivory. That's sure to be interesting. Hopefully whatever it ends up being will not require a trip to Toys R Us!