Hey, I just met you…

I just wrote a really long, awesome blog post… detailing where I’ve been, the direction my blog is going in, & more.

And then…

I lost the post.

So instead, because I’m totally annoyed and frustrated now…

I’ll leave you with this email photo my hubby sent me the other day.

Call me obsessed.

Listen to the song here.

April Highs

Dear blog,

I’m so very sorry I’ve been neglecting you this month year. But you see, my life has been so completely full of so many wonderful, interesting, & challenging things, that… well… there just hasn’t been the time.

I realized today that I haven’t really posted anything “personal” this year— no photos of the day-to-day of our lives, how we spend our time, etc. I’m tired of saying “I’ve been too busy to post.” This year has just been flying by, and while I’m loving every bit of us living it— and I need to make the time to document it. Transitioning back into a lifestyle blog (non-work, non-business) seems like the best idea!

April alone has been so much fun. Husband & I are busy bees, and on top of that I’ve very recently been forced to make some lifestyle changes (more on that later). But change is good, and it’s what I need right now. Out with the bad, in with the good. Out with the old, in with the new. Focusing on LESS (my One Little Word) of everything.

Let’s take a look at the highlights of April, shall we? Hard to believe we’re already halfway through the month… and over a quarter of the way into 2012!

Joshua & I have been satisfying our Mexican addiction & enjoying the warm (but fluctuating) Virginia weather by eating outside whenever it’s nice out. We’ve been terrible at grocery shopping this month, so our go-to has been take-out and restaurants.

Easter weekend, we had a quiet couple of days at home working, although we did venture out to Georgetown with Lady to go to the home of DC Cupcakes. We met my girlfriend Ashley and her boyfriend Thomas there, and we enjoyed a nice afternoon full of sunshine and sugar.

Those cupcakes, by the way? Seriously amazing. And so worth the line that wrapped around the block to get them.

I’ve mentioned before that we live in base housing. We were lucky enough to get a house with a fenced in yard for Lady. By “yard,” I mean a small plot of grass. Too small to purchase a lawn mower for… or so we thought. Then one day our yard became a jungle overnight. The grass grew taller than Lady, and suddenly… something had to be done…

Enter Husband. He went to Lowes & bought us a weed whacker, then proceeded to cut the the grass while I stood by and drooled at how sexy it was. Why does weed whacking attract me? It doesn’t, but I love my man in a white T-shirt & jeans… add to that his strong arms, rugged combat boots, and initiative to clean up our yard and well— I just love him, is all I’ll say. :-)

One of the biggest challenges this month was discovering that I have a wheat allergy. I went to the allergist on a whim (mainly out of curiosity), and asked to be tested for a gluten intolerance. Turns out, I’m not only allergic to wheat, but also dustmites, cockroaches (ew… you remember from my time living in North Carolina how I feel about these), cats, and dogs.

Okay, I knew about the cat allergy. But dogs? DOGS? Ha, ha. I may be “allergic” to Lady, but… she isn’t going anywhere. Ever. And that’s all there is to it. :-)

One of the BEST things to happen this month was that my family came to visit. My mom was here for 5 days from Albany, and my brother and his girlfriend were here for 3 from Philly. It was so good to have my family here! I miss them so much, all the time. Joshua & I took them to a local winery for a tasting and some delicious food. We all left with several bottles of vino!

We also took them to Kings Dominion, the closest theme park here to Quantico. What BLAST that was! We went on a bunch of rollercoasters, played some games, and got soaking wet on the water rides. It was the best day!

With the warm weather upon us (and my hair’s desperate need for a trim & some color), I’ve been getting creative with my longer locks. I’ve rediscovered my curling iron, learned a cool twist on YouTube, piled it all on top in a bun, and ditched the bangs with a skinny headband. It’s been kind of fun playing around… and now I’m debating getting lowlights.

While my mom was in town, I took her shopping with me to get new glasses. I love my mom’s opinion. She’s the best shopping buddy ever. A pair of prescription glasses and sunglasses later for me, 2 pairs of sunglasses later for her, and we were out the door.

My dear sweet husband’s Dell laptop finally gave up on him (a mere 2 years after he bought it), so we financed a beautiful new 17″ MacBook Pro for him— the same computer I have at work. He is in love, I was happy to teach him the ways of Apple, and all is well is our happy home. :-)

Ladybug the Westie

Today I’d like to introduce you to Lady, the love of our lives. I’ve posted photos here and there, but I don’t’ think I’ve ever explained how in love I am with our little Bug.
Once upon a time, when I was 10 years old, my family got our first dog— a West Highland White Terrier, or “Westie.” We named her Jessie, which my Mom, Dad, brother Sean and I chose from a baby name book. Westies hail from Scotland, and according to the baby name book, Jessie is the Scottish form of Janet. As Jessie got older, my family got another Westie, Jodie. We wanted two “J” names, so Jodie just came to be.
So you know what happened next… I grew up, went to college, moved out, got married… and always always always wanted a Westie of my own. Thank goodness I have the greatest husband ever, because when I found the ad in the Sunday paper last March that said Westie puppies were for sale, he was all for it!
When we first moved to Virginia, I had wanted a Westie but they were much too pricey. On a whim, we bought a little ChiPin (Chihuahua Miniature Pinscher mix) at a local pet shop. We called her Gypsy, which somewhat influenced what we named our next addition, Lady. Unfortunately, both puppies together were too much. Gypsy was a hyper little thing and our third-story apartment just didn’t give her the space & exercise she needed. Gypsy has since been re-homed to a family friend, and she is now in better hands. So now, it’s just us and Lady.

Lady after getting groomed — Looking pretty by the Christmas tree
Just the other day — In her Thanksgiving sweater
Passed out after an eventful Thanksgiving — Lounging with Jodie
Sporting a cute scarf — Sleepy on the cool tile

Lady is a puppy of many nicknames. Some of our favorites are Ladybug, Bug, Bug-a-boo, Baby Bug, and Lady Luck. But most often, she’s Ladybug. She can be quite the bug, but in the most affectionate way. Husband calls her my shadow… she follows me everywhere. She loves her toys, and she loves to play fetch. 
Sometimes, after we’ve cleaned house and put all her toys in her little toy bin, she will go into it, take every single toy out, and lay them all over the family room floor. She’s a silly pup. And yes, she likes the clothes I put her in. She gets all excited when I get them out— ears back, tail wagging, jumping at my legs. So there, anti-dog-clothes friends. ;-)
See how cute she was as a baby? How could anyone resist this?

First day home — Playing with a toy bigger than her head
Sleeping with her puppy paws in the air — Another fave toy
Cute & cuddly — Chilling out on the couch
Trip to Petsmart — All decked out for 4th of July

As you can tell, I’m a little obsessed. I do worry a little about how obsessed I’ll be with our future babies. As in, non-fur children. Probably a lot— I mean, I bought Lady an outfit for every holiday this year, and her stocking is more full than Husband’s and mine. Hehe. 
Since I got my dream dog, the next choice is Joshua’s. Although with the pup he wants, I’ve made it clear that we have to wait until we have a house, a big yard, and a child at least 6 years old to help with the puppy chores. His dream dog? A Doberman Pinscher.
And wouldn’t you know it? The breeder we got Lady from breeds two types of dogs— Wesites… and Dobermans!

Mil Life Lately

I feel like getting used to military life is a constant progression. Some things in this “world” are just so different than the civilian world. From the people to the lifestyle to the day’s activities in and out… it’s just it’s own little culture. 
And I love it. 
My lover & I recently moved into base housing. It’s something we’ve wanted to do for awhile, but there is always a long wait list to get in. We’ve heard all sorts of extremes about living on base— that it’s terrible and restricting, or that it’s wonderful and inexpensive, or that it’s just plain dirty, or that it’s simply a great way to save money as a military family.
Taking all this into consideration, we decided to “give it a try” since we don’t have kids yet & the housing here at Quantico just looked really nice. We figured if we didn’t like it, no harm no foul. Lucky for us, it’s working out well!

In terms of saving money, I’ll be honest… it’s only a hundred or so a month we’re saving. We lived in a nicer place out in town though, so maybe that’s why the difference is so little. It only took a few months for housing to open up for us (your name gets put on a list with the military and it’s either first-come, first-serve or based on your rank & family status). Then they just take the money they were giving you for housing out in town right out of your paycheck each pay period. The best part? All utilities are included. We only have to pay for internet & cable out of pocket. :-)
The first photo above is on our front steps of Joshua & my mom when she came to visit. We moved into our house in October and didn’t waste any time getting pumpkins and an American flag to liven it up a bit! The other photos are a few details of the rest of our house. Don’t mind the crazy blinds in the one pic… that’s when the previous family lived here and we did a drive-by and snapped a photo!
Another significant event was Joshua’s promotion to Sergeant! He’s worked really hard for this promotion and I was a very proud, happy wife to be able to go to his ceremony and watch him get pinned. Such a cool experience!

The ceremony took place early in the morning (before I had to go into work, luckily!) and 3 other Marines were also promoted. Doesn’t he look so serious? Love it.
Next: the 236th Marine Corps Birthday Ball! Every year, the Corps celebrates their birthday on November 10th, and a ball for every unit is held throughout the month. Our ball just so happened to be the ball Justin Timberlake attended. A lot of the Marines thought he was going to take away from their evening, but he was very respectful and tried to stay out of the limelight… despite us crazied wives who wanted a photo of him!

I got shooed away when I tried to catch a photo, resulting in a blur that is barely recognizable as Justin’s head. My friend Mel had her nice camera with her and was able to catch the shot above, of Justin dancing with his date Cpl. DeSantis! 
I had fun getting ready for the ball, even though I was pretty rushed because I ended up helping a friend with her hair and makeup… which took away from my time getting ready… but it ended up okay. My hair was a bit of a hot mess, but at least all my accessories coordinated, right?!
Finally, here are just a few pieces of our wonderful military lives lately. Our red, white, & blue themed Christmas tree; Lady the Marine Westie dog; poker night at the Ploscik house with friends; working on a project for Military OneSource from home on a Friday for my new job (check out the page I designed!); and lots of camo.

That’s all for now. Hopefully I can share a bit more soon. The holidays are always so busy, aren’t they?!

Have a great week, lovelies.