One Year Later



Last week, Joshua and I celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary. One year. Wow! So much has happened in the past year since we said our vows on Lake George.

We were in not one— but two more weddings. Felice & Christian and Nikki & Anthony.

We traveled— a lot. New York, Utah, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Ohio.

We moved— again. We went from a 3rd story apartment building to base housing here in Virginia.

We cut up all our credit cards— then got two new ones.

We got older— his 25th birthday last July and my 27th this past May.

He got promoted to Sergeant— and transitioned into a new position as infantry instructor to officers.

I started working for with a new company as a graphic designer— then switched positions to become a social media strategist.

He continued taking online courses toward his Bachelors— and changed his major to Homeland Security when he transferred to a new online school.

I designed six wedding invitation suites— two for close friends, four for new clients.

We gave our first puppy, Gypsy, to a family friend— and Ladybug turned one year old.

We got news that we might be moving— again.

We went to Kings Dominion— a bunch of times.

We ran through our new neighborhood late at night when everyone’s Christmas lights were up— for a whole month.

We discovered a mutual love— for Pirate’s Booty, Spartacus, creating new nicknames for Lady, nature walks, charcoal grills, and wedding cake.

We celebrated 9 holidays— together. No deployments, no training evolutions, no classes. 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, and Memorial Day.

We welcomed 4 baby girls of close friends & family into the world— Sage, Ari, Mia, and Zoe.

We went to the Marine Corps Birthday Ball— and saw Justin Timberlake there.

Firsts: I got my first tattoo— he got his first archery bow.

We ate a lot of Moes— on Mondays.

We figured out the best way to share our schedules & sync our calendars— after much trial and error.

He shaved his head— and I dyed mine platinum.

We got our first Christmas tree— and forgot to water it.

We downloaded Foursquare— and continue fighting to be the first to “check in.”

We upgraded to a queen size bed— with a pillow top, and it’s heavenly.

We drank too much Starbucks— and not enough margaritas.

Joshua: Cheers to another year, and dozens more after that. You’re my best friend & my better half, and I couldn’t imagine my life without you in it. I love you, baby!

*Wedding photography by the extremely talented Mitch Wojnarowicz.

Long Distance Love When You’re Broke

I know it seems like all I’ve been posting lately are links to my blogs on Military OneSource, but… that’s all I’ve been writing lately. As you know, my job comes before my blog (much as I wish it was the other way around!), and since writing for Blog Brigade is part of my real-life job… I get it done!

I do have a fun post planned to share all about my one-year anniversary this past week with hubby. Including whether or not to eat the top layer of your wedding cake after it’s been frozen. A do or don’t? Stay tuned!

For today, check out my post over at Blog Brigade about Love Distance Love: Weekend Getaways on a Budget. This could have also been titled Traveling When You’re Broke, Why Long Distance Relationships Cost So Much, or How Joshua & I Made 3-Years of Living 12-Hours & 6-States Apart Work. You can pick your favorite.

As always, if you’re a milspouse and you want to be a guest blogger at Blog Brigade, check out the Blog Call page. This month’s topics are Making friends when you don’t have children, What’s in your emergency kit, and Military culture shock. Looks like the deadline for these topics is 7/08/12.

Happy Thursday! Today is happy because tomorrow is Friday. And I welcome Fridays every week. Cheers!

Blogging About Blogging

Earlier this week, my second blog was posted over at Military OneSource’s Blog Brigade. Last month was the debut of my first post on Blog Brigade about navigating the job market as a military spouse… and this week, I wrote about What Milspouse Blogging Means to Me, and how it helped me find a sense of community when Joshua was stationed down in North Carolina and I was living upstate in New York.
I definitely recommend checking out the blog call for military spouse guest bloggers if you haven’t already! This week, the topics to submit on are Loving Being Alone, Things to Avoid on Payday, Summer Activities for Kids. Deadline for Submissions is 6/17/12!

I for one can think of a couple things to say about the first two topics— like how I can watch 4 hours straight of Teen Mom and Jersey Shore on Netflix when I’m alone, but never when the husband is home. Or how I avoid the commissary like the plague on payday… and for several days following. As for the last topic… hmm. I can think about what I’d like to be doing this summer if I were a kid… probably having lots of sleepovers with my girlfriends, camping out with my family, and spending lots of time by the lake! Oh, to be young again… and have the summers off!

Design Feedback, Por Favor!

Hey party people,

I redesigned my blog, finally. But help— I can’t decide if I like it or not?  I still need to add tabs to the top and a few items to the sidebar, but— I miss the RED! Ah!

I designed it to look like my wedding invitations. And wedding save-the-dates. And wedding countdown. We were married on a boat, and I just loved the navy & gold color combo. That’s where the idea came from…

But what do you all think? Like really, did you like the previous design better, if you come here enough to remember it? I kind of feel like it’s missing something— but what?

Feedback appreciated!

{Sneeky peeky for those of you who read via Google Reader}

Oh hello, June.

I am finding it mighty difficult to believe that tomorrow is June 1st and we are one month away from being halfway through 2012! How is this even possible?! I have so much to catch up on and so much ahead of me this month alone that I’m feeling a little stressed out. I hate feeling stressed out. It makes me jumpy, and I don’t function well when I’m jumpy.
Up for me this month:
+ Give the house a good late spring/ early summer cleaning. 
The whole place needs a good dusting, sweeping, and mopping. The clutter has to go, too. Time to take control of our house again!
+ Wrap up my two current freelance projects.
It’s looking like it’s time to take a break from Graphic Grace Design for a bit. I can’t give it the attention I need to this summer. Between traveling, working full time, trying to get back in shape, and all the miscellaneous projects I have going on, I think I’ll feel better if I can take care of all of that and return to freelancing this fall.
+ Catch up on Project Life.
Seriously. No, I mean seriously. I’ve let nearly 5 months of the year go undocumented, and it is driving me insane. I will feel so wonderful if I at least catch up a little bit. But the full 5 months would be nice, so I can spend the rest of 2012 up to date.
+ Lose 10 pounds.
I feel so yucky, and this is the most out of shape I’ve ever been in my entire life. Between discovering my wheat allergy and messing with my birth control and other medications I was on, my hormones are completely out of whack and I seriously need to detox and lose some major weight. I fully intend to make use of my new gym membership (at $50 a month, how could I not?) and to join my co-workers in a Jillian Michaels inspired challenge they’ve taken on. Onward!
+ Stick to the budget.
We have a few trips coming up this summer, so it’s especially important that hubs and I stick to our budget this month. There’s a long weekend in Upstate New York, a baby shower in New Jersey, a birthday weekend in Las Vegas (!), a blogging conference in NYC, and lots of other local things we’d like to explore. Budget now, fun later!
+ Catch up on reading.
Books, magazines, blogs, eBooks, you name it… gotta read ‘em, share ‘em, toss ‘em, or move on.
+ Take another look at my 2012 resolutions
It’s been so long since I’ve looked at them, I kind of forget what I’m supposed to be working toward. A good reevaluation is just what I need.
+ Blog.
Blog more. Blog anything, really. Comment on blogs. Finish redesigning this blog. Or finally decide to create a new blog and get on with things. I’m going to BlogHer in New York City this August, so I need to get things sorted out soon! So excited.
+ Be nicer to my husband.
I’ll be honest. I can be a pretty big jerk some days. I could blame my hormones, but really… I just need to be nicer, and try harder, and keep working at being a better wife and partner. I love him with all of my heart, but I let my emotions get the best of me sometimes. Not the good emotions, either. The impatient, nagging, sarcastic emotions. Blah. #wifefail
+ Celebrate our 1-Year Wedding Anniversary.
June 18th, baby! I don’t know how, I don’t know what… but I want to make sure we start off our wedding anniversaries with some kind of special tradition we can follow for all the years to come.
+ Create a family management binder.
I’ve seen a lot of these floating around the web lately, and I so love the idea of having everything in place. I’ll share more when I make something of it. ;-)
+ Back up all my digital photos onto CDs and my external hard drive.
I haven’t done this in about a year, and I have this serious panic that something might happen & I might lose all these photo memories that have yet to make it in scrapbooks or Facebook albums. This is a must!
Okay, I’m gonna say that’s it for now. My to-do list is a thousand miles longer, but if I can possibly get these tasks done, I will feel quite accomplished.