Thursday, February 25, 2010


...what's the deal with Formspring? Everyone is on it suddenly. I'm not really sure I understand the point, but ... just out of curiosity, I'm on it. I guess you can ask me questions ... if you want to. If not, I won't be offended.

I also promise not to post every single question and answer as separate blog posts. I also promise not to post every single question and answer in twitter. This is my pledge to you, my friends.

That being said ... ask away, I guess. I can't promise anything interesting.

Birthday Present

I wanted to take quick moment to share with you the birthday present my SIL Micah made for me! I took a few photos of it to send to Matt, and I thought I would post it here. I was so touched that she made something like this for me! I am really looking forward to putting it up somewhere in the apartment - still looking for just the right place.

Here's one with flash:
One without - you can see it a bit better here:
Aaaaaaand one with Awful Mad Kitty looking on with interest. Or is it anger? It's so hard to tell.
I am so lucky to have (so many) wonderful sister-in-laws - and they are just down the street!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Happy Face

Hello, friends! I am a big happy face tonight for a couple of different reasons. First of all, I got to meet this lovely lady on Sunday! Okay, it seems weird to say I just "met" someone I talk to pretty much every day. If anything ever happens to me, I'm almost positive that Lucy Marie will be the first person to worry. One day, I had a meeting in the morning and didn't get to my office until around 11 - I had a concerned email from her, wondering where I was and making sure I was okay. Probably one of my favorite moments of our friendship so far!

Anyway, we met up at the Cheesecake Factory in Indianapolis for some brunch with her husband, the FD. He really is fabulous, by the way - they were both sooooo much fun and we spent a few hours chatting and laughing and getting along like the old friends we think we are. :)
We are already planning our next visit - I am hoping to get up to Canada to visit sometime this summer ... i.e. when it's warm there!

Moving on to the next reason for my happy face ... Matt got his orders yesterday and is already at Redstone in Alabama! Whew, relief. Of course, it was not without a hitch - he got to the Columbus airport and his flight was cancelled, so they had to put him on a bus to Atlanta. Then, when he arrived in Huntsville, nobody came to pick him up and he didn't have any phone numbers of anyone to call. Thankfully, a nice woman whose BIL had recently retired from the Army at Redstone offered to give him a ride, and didn't end up being a serial killer. They had a nice chat (she turned out to be from Michigan!), and she gave him her business card in case he needs anything. I am so thankful she was there and gave him a ride!

He met up with the right person today who scheduled all of his courses and said he should be out of there in around 3 weeks. Whew. It seems like things are finally going like they should ... PLUS he has internet in his room and we got to video Skype today! It was so nice to see his face and his smile. Yep, he even smiled. He knows a bunch of guys at Redstone, some from his old unit in DC and others from EOD school, so it seems like he's happy to reconnect a little bit.

So! Happy face, my friend. Happy face! What's making you happy this week?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

On Education Budget Cuts

Sorry, my dear friends, about my Debbie Downer post the other day. I have promised myself that I will remain positive and this whole deployment, and really try not to let stuff get me down. I just hate seeing Matt used and abused and forgotten about down there ... it just seems so stupid. More and more, I realize how disorganized the military is and, well, it just sucks!

Sadly ... I feel as though I have another Debbie Downer post for today. Wah wah. I spent my Friday night at a four hour-long school board meeting last night, as the board voted unanimously to cut several district-wide programs. Like many other states, Indiana is experiencing extreme budget cuts in the field of education - our small district alone is facing $4.2 million in cuts to our school district.

The board last night stressed that the cuts they voted for are across-the-board cuts. But ... that's just not true. The cuts made primarily affect at-risk students and elementary-aged students. Among the programs/people cut are:
  • The alternative high school, which will experience a huge reduction in force and be moved into an existing high school, completely changing the atmosphere and amount of kids being served
  • The Teen Learning Center (TLC), where students go to take GED classes, take online high school classes for credit recovery, etc.
  • All elementary and junior high librarians
  • Elementary strings/music programs
  • The Youth Outreach program - for at-risk junior high students
  • The Healthy Schools Coordinator, who - besides being a friend of mine, writes grants and creates programs to promote a healthy, drug-and-alcohol-free lifestyle for teens
  • An entire elementary school
  • 75 teachers across the entire district, including 10 teachers from each high school
Friends ... I am just ill over these cuts. My already at-risk students are losing so many other supports and programs. I am so worried. They need as much help they can get ... and at this point, the only program remaining is ... mine. I wish people like good old Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana, realized that they are setting my kids up for failure. The less supportive programs for at-risk kids, the lower the graduation rate. And the lower the graduation rate, the less money the schools receive. The less money the schools receive, the more cuts will occur next year. As it is, we've been informed that this is a three-year process, and next year the cuts will be far worse.

Cutting programs like music and librarians - well, now we are taking away programs that allow students to feel as though they have an identity within their schools. Many studies have shown that school disengagement starts as early as 4th grade. 4th grade! The more seemingly extraneous programs we cut, the less opportunities students have to find their niche ... and the more disengaged they will become.

This is a vicious cycle and I am so worried about my kids. Please, Indiana, help our at-risk kids!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dear Army

Dear Army,

I wanted to take a few minutes to thank you for taking care of my husband the last almost-5 weeks that he has been away from home. He has had the privilege of spending time in the lovely and scenic Fort Benning, GA.

Since he left home he has had:
  • No heat
  • No hot water
  • No internet
  • Nothing to do
He arrived at Benning to spend two weeks doing paperwork and having the usual in-processing-related appointments. He has remained for three extra weeks to do ... absolutely nothing. He is so mind-numbingly bored that there is a good chance he's losing brain cells. He spends all day, every day, watching movies and tv shows that his friend burned onto a hard drive for him to take with him. He watches said movies and tv shows on his computer in his barracks room. His computer that cannot connect to the internet.

I certainly would much rather have him spending 5 weeks doing absolutely nothing away from home, than spending 5 weeks doing nothing right here with me. So thanks for that.

Thanks for making sure his day of staring at the computer is broken up by useless formations every 3ish hours. And thanks for sending pretty much every other guy off to where they're supposed to be ... except for my husband. He loves slipping through the cracks...he loves it so much that he's been forced to contact his old commander, and his old first sergeant (who is currently in Korea) for help in speeding up his orders.

Thank you for letting him sit for so long that Redstone Arsenal, his next destination, had to call Benning to inquire as to where in the hell he is.

Thank you for treating him worse on American soil than he will be treated once he actually deploys. Thank you for making him so crazy that all he does is wish for the day he gets on that plane to Kuwait.

In conclusion ... thank you. Thank you for your fine treatment of our country's soldiers. I know that I am personally thankful that I don't have to spend any time worrying about him as long as he's on American soil.

Monday, February 15, 2010


I had such a great time in Chicago this weekend! It was the great way to end my birthday week. Naturally, this will be a photo-heavy post. Deal with it!

I was very excited to finally meet Bacon this weekend. Here he is, in all of his fluffy glory!
He really is the most adorable puppy. He was on his best behavior for me, according to Lisa and Randy, and saved some of his devil dog behavior for after I went home. What a cutie! He even smiles for the camera.
Lisa and I picked up Jenny and went out to brunch at this lovely restaurant. Delish! We then met Jenn back at Lisa's apartment and started on our shopping/cupcaking journey. We first went to More, which Lisa and I had discovered on our lame chocolate tour in December. Here is a pretty photo of all the cupcakes:
And another pretty photo of Jenn taking a photo of ... me.
After that, we drove to Wicker Park for some shopping before dinner. We got out of the car and realized that we were right in front of a psychic's "office." And by office, I mean house. Jenn convinced us to get a psychic reading - a first for all of us, I believe! Here's a good photo of Jenn and Jenny in the "waiting room" i.e. living room at the psychic.
We learned lots of interesting stuff ... for example, I will have a miscarriage and Jenn has a tilted uterus, along with bad energy in zones 1-7. Fascinating stuff, really. Anyone know what zones 1-7 are? No? Me either. She did tell me that Matt will come home safe and sound, and after my first pregnancy ends in a miscarriage, I will go on to have 3 healthy babies. Interesting.

After some wandering around, we ended up at Hot Chocolate for dinner. AMAZING. We shared the garlic monkey bread appetizer with prosciutto and garlic olive oil (or something like that). Yummy!
Here's a cute photo of Jenn and Jenny!
Jenn, vamping for the camera
MMMMM dinner! I had the shrimp and grits appetizer as my entree, with a side of caramelized brussels sprouts. Everything was delicious. Yum yum yum!
I got a special birthday dessert - and it was amazing. It was something like ... an ice cream sandwich made with chocolate stout cake and chocolate ice cream, with some other stuff, and some hot chocolate fudgey sauce, and blah blah blah. Okay I really have no idea but it was literally one of the best desserts I have ever had!
Here is a not-so-great photo of me
Figuring out the bill was very complicated, so we left it to the person who understands math the most: Jenny.
The four of us (plus Bacon!) before saying goodnight. Yay! We had so much fun together...cannot wait to plan another get-together asap!
Here I am, stuck in Chicago traffic at 2pm on a Sunday. Gotta love it! Traffic is definitely one of the things I DON'T miss about living in a big city.
On my way home, I passed this farm with a gazillion windmills in Indiana. It was so neat! But very hard to photograph while driving.
And okay, don't hate me, but ... I'm at home with YET ANOTHER snow day today!!! Isn't that just crazy? This time we actually have crazy snow - there was quite a bit when I woke up this morning, and I took Oscar to play in the park. It's been snowing more and more all day, and the roads are awful. SERIOUSLY don't hate me, but I wouldn't be surprised if we had another snow day tomorrow. Crazy!
After the frolic in the snow, Oscar and I have been doing a lot of this. Enough said.
Hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's day!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

One Month!

I (finally) have some stuff to blog about (namely my AMAZING weekend in Chicago with Lisa, Jenn, and Jenny!) but today, I just have a few brief words.

It has already been ONE MONTH since Matt left! Can you believe it? I can't. It has truly flown by, and I can only hope that time keeps flying at such a rapid rate. How am I doing? To be honest...I'm doing just fine. Do I miss my husband? Absolutely. Every second of every day. But my life has been full - full of work, full of play, full of just staying home alone sometimes.

So, that's that! Happy Valentine's Day, everyone - I hope you are having a great day with your loves, whether they be significant others, friends, or family. I had a great Valentine's Day brunch with one of my favorite valentines, Lisa, and her boyfriend Randy.

Next up - photos from my fantastic Chicago weekend!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Anatomy of a Snow Day

Having a snow day on my birthday was just awesome! I slept in a little, took Oscar to play at the park, opened presents, ran some errands, took Oscar to play at the park with his girlfriend, and went down to my in-laws' for birthday dinner. What, you may ask, did I receive for my 28th birthday? My parents sent the hot pink camera I asked for (yippeeeeeee) and my sweet friend Anna sent a gorgeous purple patent leather kate spade wallet. I was (and still am) very excited about the new camera, so I spent lots of time yesterday taking photos of my one and only subject...Oscar.

He loves the snow and was so excited to go play at the park with his girlfriend, Jolie! But ... do you know how difficult it is to take a photo of two dogs playing? It's pretty hard. This is evidence of that:
Thankfully, after awhile, they got tired and I could actually get some successful photos of the two pups.

Imagine my joy and surprise when ... I had a SECOND snow day today!!! I slept in and lazed around in bed for hours, reading and talking on the phone. Then I went out in the living room to do some stuff. After a couple of hours, I thought ... where is Oscar? So I went into the bedroom and found this:
Please note snow-day-acceptable unmade bed, unpacked overnight bag I took to the in-laws' last night just in case, nightshirt, and ... big, lazy, spoiled dog.

That's when something at the window caught my eye:
My parents went to Maine over the summer, and brought back this stuffed lobster toy for Oscar. In no time, Oscar had oh-so-helpfully removed the stuffing, and now he carries around the floppy lobster with him everywhere. I found it hanging off the windowsill. Too funny!

Aaaaand Oscar's other little friend, Awful Bad Kitty, peeking out from underneath the bed. Oscar is intrigued. Obviously.
So, what does a snow day look like? This, apparently. Times two. I know a lot of you have had snow days lately ... what have your snow days looked like?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Big 2-8

Well friends, today is my 28th birthday! So far, it's been a great day (even though it's only 9:50am) - because I got a snow day! Yes, the storm that is hitting half the country hit here, and pretty pretty snowflakes are falling everywhere. Can you think of a better birthday present than a day home from work? Because I can't! Well, yes I can. The only thing that would top a snow day is being able to celebrate with Matt. Sad face! But what can you do.

I have a whole week of festivities planned ... starting tonight! I am going to my MIL's house to celebrate the big 2-8 with all of Matt's family, which will be lovely. Tomorrow, I'm going out to dinner with my friends Becky and Patty. Thursday, my office is having a little birthday party for me after school. And on FRIDAY ... I leave to spend my weekend in Chicago! I will be spending the weekend with Lisa, Jenn and Jenny and I am unbelievably excited. So, yay!

No matter how old I get, I still love celebrating my birthday. As my mom always says, getting a year older is better than the alternative!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Hi friends! Yes, I'm still alive. No, I don't really feel like blogging still. Just can't shake this funk. But I thought I'd share a funny, awkward moment from my day today.

Background information: I have a big, long, black puffy winter coat like 98% of all women. However, mine has a defective zipper that always gets stuck at the bottom. Half the time I just step in and out of my coat like a small child. One of Matt's husbandly duties involves fixing my zipper regularly. He tells me to "just pull on it" but I am never successful.

So anyway, my zipper got stuck again yesterday so I've been stepping in and out of my coat. Which I usually don't care about, since I'm in the privacy of my apartment or my office. But today, I was at a training. Slightly embarrassing. At the end of the day, as I'm stepping into my coat in front of a room full of my professional peers, I loudly proclaimed "See, this is the problem with my husband being gone. Matt is the only person who can really rip open my zippers!" *cricket, cricket*

No sooner had it exited my mouth than I realized what it sounded like. Hahaha. My coworkers burst out laughing and made comments such as "DOWN GIRL" and "ARE YOU THAT HARD UP ALREADY? YOU'VE GOT A LONG TIME TO WAIT STILL!" while I giggled nonstop.

Really, though ... I can't get my zipper unstuck. It's hard being alone these days.