MilSpouse Blog Hop

Hello blog friends! Tonight I’m joining in on Riding the Rollercoaster‘s Military Spouse/Fiancée/Girlfriend Blog Hop. Check out her blog if you’d like to join. To all my family and friends who may read this (and eventually someday, Joshua)… a “blog hop” is just a fun way to meet other bloggers… in this case, military bloggers! All you have to do is post a brief bio and link back to Rollercoaster’s blog for the other ladies participating!

My blog is still relatively new (I just started it last month, so my first post isn’t too far back), but just to give you an idea of who I am and why I’m blogging…

I’m Dani and I’m 24 years old (turning 25 in less than 2 weeks!) I’m a graphic designer and I design food packaging for a supermarket chain in the upper northeast.

The love of my life, Joshua, is in the USMC infantry and was recently deployed to Afghanistan. This is our second deployment together and much harder than the first! We have little communication and his battalion has been getting hit hard ever since he first got over there.

We met while I was working in Cleveland, OH and he was home on leave. For me, it was a temporary position before I moved back home, and I truly believe that the only reason I moved to Cleveland was to meet Joshua… that it was fate. I was there for 6 months before finding a bigger and better job where I am now, and a month before I left, I met him! I worked with his parents and they introduced us.

We’ve been doing the long distance from New York to North Carolina for over two years now, including an Iraq deployment and this one to Afghanistan. He proposed to me last summer and right now I’m in the midst of planning our June 2011 wedding! I’m moving down to be with him once he’s home from Afghanistan.

I started this blog to help me through my fiancé’s deployment, and I’m using it as an outlet for all the things I love: Joshua, scrapbooking, shopping, music, books, family fun, design, my amazing girlfriends, movies, traveling, and wedding plans! And of course, even though I may not always *love* his job, lots and lots about the USMC, my life as a future Marine wife, and my acclimation to the military world!

So that’s what this is about… Hard Corps Love! Please leave a comment to let me know you’re reading! I’ll be following up on the blog hop to add new friends and readers later this weekend. Have a great night. ♥

Wedding Wednesday #4

So this is going to be a quickie since it’s late and I must get to bed! I sacrificed this evening’s blog for dinner with some friends from work, the gym, and creating care package #6 for my beloved! I know I missed my Wedding Wednesday post last week when I promised to post the final 2 color schemes and themes I’m considering for the wedding, so I’ll be back tomorrow for a Wedding Wednesday (Observed). My mom and I are going to look at bridesmaid dress tomorrow after I’m home from work, too. So much to share, and luckily I have plenty of time to do it… you’ll all be so sick of Wedding Wednesdays by this time next year (our wedding is booked for June 18th, 2011).

Tonight’s topic: wedding rings! Joshua and I bought our wedding bands before he deployed. It was just one of those things… we’d been looking together every time we were at the mall or passed a jewelry store, and when we found the ones we liked we snatched them up! I’m in absolute adoration of my band, as well as Joshua’s.

The band matches my engagement ring perfectly! The diamonds are exactly the same shape and color, and my ring fits into the little inset just right. It’s a gorgeous set and I’m so excited for it!

Both rings are Leo diamonds. My honey did his homework before selecting my engagement ring, and my diamond is oh so sparkly. I’d originally had other rings in mind for my wedding band, and Joshua indulged me while I tried them on at different stores and told me he didn’t think they were the best match. He’s the one who chose my wedding band at the jewelry store, told me to try it on, and had me completely sold the minute the rings were matched on my finger. True love, I tell you. For the man and the ring!

This is Joshua’s wedding band:

Isn’t is just fantastic? It’s black tungsten carbide with laser etching. It looks perfect on his hand. We picked it out together and I’m so happy he loves his band, too!

I’ll be back tomorrow for another post and to catch up on reading everyone’s blogs and leaving comments. :)

Breathing In & Out

First things first: after 18 days of pure torture, JOSHUA FINALLY WAS ABLE TO CALL HOME! It absolutely made my day/week/MONTH! It was nearing 3 weeks and I have been an absolute mess, but I finally got 8 minutes of heaven and it’s enough to know my beloved is both alive and well! And that’s using his words, too. He sounded wonderful, though he said he was extremely tired. He said, “I’m alive,” and I asked if he was hurt, and he said, “No, I’m not hurt baby.” Although I don’t think he’s allowed to tell me if he’s hurt, anyway. But YAY, I’m so happy I could burst! I didn’t get to ask him any of the questions in the little list book I keep for when he does call, nor did I get to tell him anything at all that I’ve been dying to talk to him about (wedding plans, getting my car fixed, Codey’s injury, etc). All I know is that he’s receiving my care packages (which ones, I do not know) and he received the boots at long last!

I can finally breathe, just a little bit.

He called while I was at work in my new office building, where the cubicles are all tiny and open and everyone can hear everything. I ran to an empty cube further away from the aisle and whispered the majority of our conversation, but it was a clear call (thank you, Satellite Phone Gods) and for the first time in many calls, he did not lose service!

I’m happy to say that I’ve been fairly productive thus far this week, and I’m moving forward and finally coming out of my deployment depression. Last evening after work, thanks to those of you that held me accountable, I went to the gym and tried the yoga class! I really was going to blow it off, because there are certain things I hate doing alone (Example: a new gym class. But like, the movies? I have no problem going to the theater alone. I’m so weird!). But I texted Felice prior to backing down, because I knew she’d tell me to go, and she did not let me down. In I went to the yoga room (after 30 minutes on the elliptical, oohrah!). I felt totally awkward and skeptical the whole time, thinking… “What the hell am I doing?” But then at the end, we were laying on our mats and doing a breathing exercise, and the instructor said, “Take a few moments to yourself…” and I thought, “What? A few moment to myself? Hmm. Okay!” And with the trickling water/wind chime music surrounding me, I felt so far away from everything happening at home and in Afghanistan. I felt peaceful, calm, and this assurance that everything would work out okay.

Needless to say, I’m going back to yoga!

Can I also just say that girls that do yoga have the hottest bodies? While I was waiting outside the classroom for the previous class to end, all these thin, shapely, toned women were standing waiting in their flip flops with yoga mats. I want a yoga body! I was seriously one of the biggest girls there… ugh. All the more motivation to go back though, yeah?

So of course after work today, I bought myself my very own yoga mat and mat bag. Shopaholic, remember? I was already headed to Target at 5pm to get the things Joshua asked for in his next package— more razors (the “good” razors), Febreeze, blueberry Special K bars, more socks— so I stopped by Marshalls and picked up a nice orange yoga mat for $12.99 for myself and a flower yoga mat for my momma. Then I went to Target and got a pretty yellow yoga mat bag for $19.99.

I can’t wait for my next class… I’ll have to check the gym schedule to see when it is. I didn’t know it was such a good workout… I am so incredibly sore today! My legs, my arms, my butt… it all hurts. Ow! I took today off but it’s back to the gym tomorrow. Must be a buff bride!

Oh So Nice of You

My blog has been awarded by some awesome blog chicas out there! Time to spread the love… First, thank you to Allissa at Hope Floats, Laura at Diamonds & Dog Tags, and Mrs. Ma’am at My Life as an Air Force Wife for the *Friendly Blogger Award*! The rules of the award are to post it to your blog, write five things you love to do, and then pass it on to five other friendly bloggers.

Five things I love to do:
1. I ♥ to scrapbook: After long weeks at the office designing on the computer each and every day, it’s so nice to be able to sit down and actually work with my hands and be crafty. Photoshop and Illustrator are great, but I miss glue sticks, stickers, and funky scissors when I spend too much time doing what they pay me to do! I love graphic design, but it’s also a job. Scrapbooking is just for fun and just for me!

2. I ♥ to make care packages: They make me feel closer to Joshua. I try to make them as personalized as possible, and I like to imagine his reactions when he opens the boxes and what he likes and eats or takes out right away. They just… help. And I like to think they help him, too.

3. I ♥ to LEAVE the gym! I hate going to the gym, I hate being at the gym, but by the time I leave the gym… I feel fantastic! Seriously, great feeling.

4. I ♥ to go to the movies: I know it’s expensive, but going to the movies is such an escape from reality. I love taking a break from the world to get lost inside a movie theater for a couple of hours, where the room is dark and everything around me smells like buttered popcorn and chocolate. Yum!

5. I ♥ to check things off my to-do list: I’m obsessed with to-do lists. Seriously, my day planner is my bible. I keep lists for everyday, every month, and even a list of life goals in there. I’m nuts, I know, but when I check things off (and date them, because I’m psycho), I just feels so GOOD afterwards!

Next, thank you to Allie at My Marine and Me and Steph at Watching Airplanes for the *I Love Your Blog* award! The rules for this one are to list 10 things I love and to pass it on to 10 other bloggers.

Ten things I love:
1. Joshua
I love my baby more than anything in the world. He absolutely completes me and is my hero and everything I want in my husband-to-be!

2. Shopping
Can you say… retail therapy? It’s a problem.

3. Long showers 
The shower is my only “me” time, when I can really think and just relax. I take my time in the shower and love it!

4. Wedding plans
Seriously, SO much fun. I wish I had my love with me while I move ahead with the planning, but it’s still a blast to scheme and dream and create our perfect day.

5. Burritos
Mmm. Joshua and I love burritos. I haven’t had one since he left because I feel so guilty that he can’t be here having them with me, since it’s kind of our “thing.” I can’t wait until he’s home again so we can go to Moe’s or Chipotle!

6. Makeup
I love eyeshadow, eyeliner, lip gloss, mascara, all of it. I like to use brushes and mix colors and play around. It’s like painting! Joshua hates makeup and always scolds me for putting on my “face paint.” Even though I usually keep it pretty light and natural!

7. Dresses
I hate pants, really. I love dresses. They’re fun, flowy, and feminine. If I could wear a dress everyday, I would!

8. My independence
I love having my education, my career, and my own life apart from Joshua. As much as I adore him and can’t wait to spend every second of the rest of my life with him, we both believe it’s important in a relationship to have our own interests and goals, in addition to those we have together. Not to mention, girl time with my friends!

Cha-ching! Money may not buy happiness, but it sure does buy a lot of pretty things. :)

10a. New military friends
It’s so nice meeting other girls and women going through the same crap I am right now. Not even crap, but just this new lifestyle I’m becoming accustomed to. I have my best friends from high school and college who know me inside and out and are constantly here for me too, but even they are glad I’ve met new friends online and through this blog to help me through this with a different perspective and understanding. Yay to new friends!

10b. My darling best friends
Because they’re just too awesome to not let everyone know I love them. I’m blessed with amazing girlfriends, it’s just too bad they all are scattered across the east coast and I don’t see them nearly as much as I’d like to!

10c. My family
My mom, my dad, my brother, and my cousins are incredible too, and I love them all through thick and thin. We’ve had a rough go lately, but we’ll still a family despite it all!

So, as far as giving these awards out… I’m going to mix it up and give both awards to FOUR fellow bloggers who started their blogs recently and have Marines deployed with Joshua. We’re all using our blogs as a coping mechanism, and they’ve been great friends through both blog and Facebook thus far… enjoy ladies!

Annie at simplify
Kristine at Sitting Waiting Wishing
Sydnie at First shot at this
Jessica at Jessikuh

These girls are great and I always look forward to reading their posts.

It’s 2am, I Must Be Lonely

Oh yeah. It’s definitely past 2am and I am still awake and here online. I definitely did not complete my to-do list, nor did I scrapbook today. But at least I cleaned & organized a bit, visited with my cousin Amanda, watched Army Wives, and started a new book. Moving forward, more than just going through the motions. Today is a new day and I have a cute outfit laid out for work and a backpack with sneakers and gym clothes so I go right after I get off at 5pm. I think the morning routine burns me out too quickly, so this week I’m going to give this a go. There is a 6:30pm yoga class I’m considering trying.

Tomorrow I’ll at least come by to post the two blog awards I was given recently (you all are just too sweet and complimentary!) and possibly to post an (Observed) Scrapbook Sunday? I’m slacking since I didn’t scrapbook last Sunday, either. At least I have LOTS and lots of wedding updates for the new few Wednesdays! Everything in between is just, well… what it is. I’ll try to post more regularly. It really does help when my Blackberry buzzes because my lovely new blog friends (and the few in real life who read) post comments on my posts and they go to my inbox. It’s like Christmas, really. :)