Saturday, August 31, 2013

Songs that got me through the drive/move

So, while on our drive, there were a few select songs on the radio that really stood out to me. Some are brand new songs and some are instant classics of mine. These eight songs below got me through one of the hardest and happiest times in my life.
Citizen Way-Nothing Ever Could Separate Us
-This is my most favorite song right now! Everything about it is amazing! More than anything this song is for my family and friends so that they never forget that no matter how far away I may be, nothing ever could separate us! The people I love are never too far away from me! They are only a flight away
Chris Tomlin- God's Great Dance Floor
-This is Chris Tomlin's newest song and I love it so much! I heard this song so many times on the drive here and I am so glad. God is always reminding me that he is right there with me through everything that I go through! My favorite lyrics in the song are when he says "let the future begin, I feel alive, I come alive, I feel alive on God's great dance floor." When I hear those lyrics I really do feel alive. Let the future begin!
Mandisa- Over comer
-Oh my goodness I love Mandisa! Ever since I saw her on American Idol I loved her. She has done some amazing work since being on the show. Besides loving her songs "Stronger", "Good Morning" and "Waiting for Tomorrow", her newest song "Over comer" is so motivational! I feel like I can overcome anything when I hear it! I strongly urge you to listen to this video. It is so powerful!
Brandon Heath- Jesus in Disguise
-This song has been out for a little bit so I have been listening to it way before we got our orders to Alaska. It talks about how Jesus is everywhere. He is in the people we love, he is in the sky, the trees, the mountains, the oceans, he is everywhere! I heard this song a couple of times while I was driving around the winding mountains. Those mountains made me so nervous at one point and then this song came on and I realized that God was with me on the winding drive. He was keeping me safe even when I was really scared of the drive. I pictured him in the mountains and I felt so much better!
Lady A- Goodbye Town
-This is Lady A's new song too and I felt like it described me during the drive. Small town girl leaving everything that she loves and knows. It just made me think about the first time I really left family and moved to Virginia. I thought that was hard enough. Now I really had to leave my friends and family to move to a big winter type city. Every time I heard this song on the drive I pushed myself to keep on driving. I was leaving those small town towns for something bigger and better for our family.
Lady A- Hello World
-Another great song from Lady A. I love them so much. This song has been around for a while now and it has always been one of my favorites. I felt inspired by it when I got married and graduated college and I feel very inspired by it now living so far away from so much. This move has been a huge chapter in my life. This move symbolizes a fresh start for Jarrett and I and it feels like a whole new world being here. Being sent here opens up many more doors for Jarrett and I in many different aspects. Here we are saying "hello world!"
Carrie Underwood- I Will See You Again
-Oh my goodness I love this new song of Carrie's. Every time I hear it I tear up inside. This song makes me think about my family more than anything. I miss them so much already and I have only been here for two weeks. I heard this song so many times on the drive and it just gets to me. This song reminds me and the people that we both love that we will not live her forever. This is not where it ends!
Darius Rucker- This
-Jarrett loves Darius Rucker and he always says that this song reminds him of us and our life. We both went through so much to be where we are now, to be to "this!" I think we can all relate to this song. If all of those bad and terrible things did not happen, then we would not be where we are today. We would not have all of the amazing things that we have today without going through those hard things in life. I had my heart broken many years ago, but if that did not happen, I may not have met Jarrett and I may not have the amazing life that I have now. Sometimes we just have to be blessed by the hard terrible things in order to be blessed by the bigger amazing things!
No matter what you are going through, I hope you find these songs just has inspiring and encouraging as I have!
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Friday Five

1. Oh my goodness! The mountains here are amazing! Like out of this world amazing! I've seen mountains before in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, but I've never ever seen them like this before! I can literally look outside my front door and see them and it's so wonderful to get to see them every day no matter where I drive around town. They are always there and I love being surrounded by them at every turn. I only wish my family and friends were here to see them with us. They would love them just as much as we do!
2. Not too long after we got to Alaska, we noticed that Leo had some bites on his chest plus a huge sore on his lip that seemed to be spreading throughout his whole upper lip and nose. He had also had a really bad case of diarrhea not too long after we noticed the bites and sore. Naturally we got really worried, especially since we had put him through so much on the drive with sleeping in different places every night and having to have him go potty in so many different areas. So, we took him to the pet ER and he just had an upset tummy and the bites and sore were from something he came in contact with on the trip. The vet gave us plenty of medicine and cream for his skin. Now Leo is all back to normal except for his lip. The sore is slowing going away and hopefully it will be healed soon! Our poor little guy!
3. I still cannot get over our new house! It's insane! I also cannot believe how lucky we were to be able to get into a house one day after getting here. We fully expected to be in TLF for a month at the most, but we didn't end up there at all. We got here on a Saturday and then on Monday Jarrett went to the housing office just to see when a house would become available. I just sat outside in the car with Leo and boom, before I knew it Jarrett was walking back out to the car with house keys in his hand! I couldn't believe what I was seeing! We had a house. A big house. A house we could start a family in. A brand new house in an awesome neighborhood. No more living in a shoebox townhouse for us. Even though I am very thankful for our first little townhouse, I am overjoyed at us having an actual house! I have spent so much time dreaming of us having a house just like this one and this house is for sure a dream come true!
4. I got hired at the Hallmark stores here! Yay! I was hoping to go straight into another store here so I didn't need to find another part time job while looking for my full time career and it happened! It just so happened that they needed more people at all three stores and I got here at the right time. They were really impressed with all my experience and responsibility at the store in Virginia that they hired me on the spot! So now, I have a job that I am use to and can now really focus on my full job search! I plan to go to the spouse assistance center on base so that they can really help me with my job search! I am hoping that they can help me find exactly what I am looking for in a job. Apparently companies here really like to hire military spouses because of all of our job and life experience so I really hope to get lucky with a great job! Keep your fingers crossed for me!
5. And for my biggest news of the week... we bought a JEEP today! Yay! We bought a Jeep Patriot and I looooove it! Jarrett says it was made for me and that it fits me perfectly! I agree! I am so proud of us because this is the first time we have bought a car without one of our parents with us to do the talking for us. Buying a car is like playing a game of chess! You need to be ready to make a move when the salesman makes a move. We were ready. We were lucky because we had a wonderful salesman that didn't put us through any hoops. He really helped us instead of swindling us into a crappy deal. Now we have an Alaska vehicle that is four wheel drive and ready for winter. All we need to do next is get the truck ready for winter and then we will have two vehicles ready for the crazy winter weather!

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Going away parties #2 and #3

My older brother is very special
So is my little brother. Special special boys!
Kelly and my dad. A bunch of sillies!
Husband and I being silly too
So, as you can see, my family is a bunch of nuts, but I would not have them any other way. Jarrett and I are from Maryland, so naturally we would have a huge crab feast before our big move. Going to Red Roost has been a summer tradition in our family ever since I moved to Virginia. Every summer when the crabs are perfect, Jarrett and I would come home for the weekend and we would do a big crab feast with my family and even sometimes Jarrett's family as well. The perfect way to end summer and the perfect way to send us off on the big move. We had the best time at our dinner with my family. The food was yummy, the crabs were fresh and meaty, and everyone laughed until they nearly cried. Both of my brothers had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. When you get both of them together, it's like a whole comedy show all in one. I love them both so much. It was also nice to have my mom, dad and my dad's girlfriend Kelly there. We all had a hoot together! My dad also gave us a card with some gift cards in it too. I love the fact that we received a lot of gift cards because we definitely used them. Gift cards are the best thing to have on a long road trip for sure. It was the best feeling to have everyone in my family together one last time for a while. I miss them all so much already and I cannot wait to feed them Alaska King crab legs when they come visit for the first time.
Not sure how, but I forgot to take pictures at our going away dinner with Jarrett's family,
so I will post these pictures of us at Christmas instead!
Jarrett and I with his sisters and the dogs at Christmas
Me and my sister in laws. Aren't they gorgeous? I am so lucky to have gained three sisters, especially growing up with brothers!
Our third and last going away dinner was with Jarrett's dad's side of the family at Backstreet Grill. It was myself, Jarrett, Jarrett's dad and step mom and Jarrett's three sisters. It was a wonderful time celebrating with more family. We had delicious food, funny stories, many more laughs, a going away cake for us and a gift bag full of snacks and treats for the road. We have the best families. It was wonderful to see Jarrett bond with his dad about the Air Force, golf, hunting and guns. When he visits for the first time, they are going to have a blast hunting, fishing and seeing all the beautiful things that Alaska offers. I had the best time bonding with my sister in laws. I love those three ladies as if they were my real sisters. I have been so blessed to marry into a terrific family that I love and they love me. Same for Jarrett! He loves my family and they absolutely love him. We are so lucky to have it both ways!

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Saying goodbye to my best friends

It's hard to leave behind a great group of girlfriends. I am and have always been blessed with pretty awesome girls in my life. The three ladies above have been my best friends since early high school. We laughed together, cried together, played sports together and basically were together all the time. These ladies are my rock. They understand my life and just how different it is and they still love me just the same. It was hard enough to leave them when I moved to Virginia. Now, it is even harder being over 4,000 miles away from them and especially when one is getting married in four days and the other just had her first child not too long ago. I hate feeling like I am missing out on everything, but thankfully I have friends that completely understand. The third picture down is a little table set up I did with the gifts that they each gave me. No surprise that their gifts truly came from the heart with them each giving me a framed picture. I had to make sure that these gifts were properly displayed in our new house. Although I have had to leave these ladies not once but twice in the last three years, they have my back. They have my back and I have theirs. No amount of distance will ever change that.
This amazing lady is Rachel. When I moved to Virginia, believe it or not, I did not make real friends until I had lived there a year. Like I've stated before, I had it all planned out in my head that I would meet Air Force wives right away and that we would be just like Army Wives. No dice. I did, however, get really lucky when I started working at Hallmark. Rachel and I hit it off on the first day of working together. I felt like I had known her my whole life all in just one day of knowing her. It's amazing how that works sometimes. You meet someone and instantly you know them and they know you. Let me just tell you about this girl. She is amazing. She is beautiful, smart, strong, brave and hilarious. She has spent the night with me many times during deployments when I needed a friend to lean on. She has seen me cry and I have seen her cry. We have laughed so hard that we couldn't see straight. We have also eaten at so many different restaurants and tried way too many desserts together. We are foodies at heart! This girl made my experience in Virginia wonderful. The second picture is of the gift she gave me at our last lunch together plus a card that brought me to tears as I read it. She put together some of my favorite candies and three gift cards for the road. I loved it! A true friend knows the way to your stomach and this girl sure knows the way to mine. I am so lucky to have met her and to call her one of my best friends for life.

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Our life in Alaska so far

Whew! We made it! We are in Alaska. We legit live here. I still can't wrap my head around it. It's insane! Okay, done with my little freak out moment...for now anyhow! So, we are here and a lot has happened since we got here. We got here last Saturday and can I say that that was the most tiring, crazy, funniest, romantic, longest drive I've EVER been on. You will eventually hear all about it in my upcoming four part post about the whole trip. Just sit tight. So like I said, we got here last Saturday and my life has basically been in over drive ever since. Everything is happening so fast, but it's a really good thing all the same. To put it short, we got here Saturday, obtained our base house on Monday(which is absolutely fabulous by the way), moved into our house on Wednesday and today Jarrett started work again. We have barely had any time to really chill, hardcore site see and adjust to the move let alone adjust from the two week drive. It is a lot to get use to already. We are four hours behind all of our family and friends so that's easy to forget for us and for them. Right now, the sun sets at eleven at night, which is weird, but I know it's about to get even weirder in the winter. We live right by humongous mountains. I can see them out my living room window. It's like a dream looking out my living room window. They are gorgeous! Oh! Just to add to the weirdness, I heard through the grapevine that bears LOVE my neighborhood. I'm not sure about you, but that just gives me all warm fuzzies inside...NOT! We have yet to see any bears since getting here, but I'm sure they are coming. They will probably decide to show up for the first time when Jarrett is deployed. Oh yay! Anywhooo!
Our life is definitely different and I am already having those "I miss my mommy" and "I miss my friends" and "I miss Maryland and Virginia" days, but the only word that I can use at the moment to describe everything is "blessed." We are so blessed and lucky to live in a different part of the country. At the beginning of the year I prayed and asked God to please help me to get out of my comfort zone. If you really know me, you know that I am a comfort zone kind of girl. I hate change. I don't do well with it. I like structure in my life and I don't like my structure to change. When it changes, I freak out. This time has been very different though. I have embraced this huge change in my life. I mean, do I have a choice? Yes, maybe some of you would say that I had a choice when it came to living this life, but I say you're wrong. I never had a choice and other military wives would say the same thing. I embraced this life full on and I will continue to embrace it. Although this is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, I did it. I packed my life up once more and moved even farther away from everything I've ever known and loved. I helped my husband drive over 4,000 across the country. We slept in hotel after hotel room, drove eight or more hours every day for two weeks, ate tons of sloppy fast food, bickered at each other every now and then, killed bugs, over came swarms of bees, comforted our awesome little puppy through bug bites, drove on rocky roads, drove around winding mountains, ran into tons of wildlife and saw sites we would have never saw otherwise, and would I do it all again? Absolutely!
Please stay tuned to this weeks upcoming posts:
Tuesday: Saying goodbye to my best friends. I really want to dedicate a post to my closest girls because they have been so amazing and supportive of me through this transition.
Wednesday: Going away parties two and three. Jarrett and I had a going away dinner with my family and also had one with his family.
Thursday: Songs that got me through the drive and move. There are certain Christian and Country songs that really pulled at my heart strings and helped me to be strong throughout this change.
Friday: Friday Five: Alaska edition. Oh, you know it will be a good friday five.
Saturday: An introduction to our new home. Our new house is twice the size of our old town house. We have three bedrooms, three bathrooms, two living rooms, a garage and a pretty good size fenced in back yard, and I have no clue what to do with all of it.  I think I want to fill it with babies and puppies. Whoops, did I type that out loud?
Next week: Monday-Thursday will be our whole drive in four parts! You won't want to miss it!
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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Saying "see you later" instead of "goodbye"!

Tomorrow starts our first official day of driving to Alaska! Crazy, huh? Yeah I know, I still can't believe it myself! It feels like just yesterday Jarrett was deployed to Japan and called me while I was out running errands to tell me the news. I knew news like this was coming, but had no idea it was coming right then when my husband still had three months left in his deployment. Now here we are all moved out of our town home, my car already shipped from Portsmouth, all out processing done, already said "see you later" to everyone in Virginia and now having to do it all over again in Maryland. Since we got to Maryland last Thursday, we have been busy busy bees seeing our families and spending time with our friends all while preparing for our two week drive to Alaska. I'm pretty exhausted from all the people we've seen and had to say "see you later" to! I refuse to say "goodbye"! Why would I say that anyway? I mean, it's not like I'm never going to see anyone again. I will see my family and I will see my friends when it is meant for me to see them. God has it in his hands. Why should I worry? That's right, I shouldn't, and I won't! So for now, I will leave you all with a "see you later" as well. I will do my best to make blogging a priority while on this drive and will do what I can to keep everyone updated with my words and my pictures along the way. You can also keep up with me through my personal Facebook // the blog Facebook // Instagram // Pinterest // Twitter for all of my updates from state to state and for when we reach Canada and Alaska! See you all later!
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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Brooke's bachelorette party

It still bugs me that I cannot be in my best friend, Brooke's, wedding, but at least I was able to attend her bridal shower and now her bachelorette party. We had her bachelorette party last night and we all had the best time! Around three Brooke and I got ready for the night and then we ran some errands before the girls got to her house. It was so nice to get to spend some time with her just her and I before the party.

After the girls got to her house we left for dinner at Sobo's Bistro. We had a great time at dinner and the food was delicious! After dinner we took a ride to Lighthouse Sound where Brooke is getting married! I had never been there before so I wanted to see where she was saying "I do"! It was beautiful there and she is going to make a gorgeous bride! After our stop there we played mini golf in Ocean City! I am terrible at mini golf. I always have been. I knocked my ball in the water twice and hit it into a bush twice. Yep, I fail at mini golf! After mini golf we went back to Brooke's house and she opened her gifts which were all lingerie and pajamas! She got some cute stuff and some sexy stuff! We had a great time watching her open everything! It was a great time all around!

Have you been to any Bachelorette parties lately?
Any of them been pretty crazy?
Anyone going to any weddings soon?
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Weekend stuff

Hello everyone! How was your weekend? Mine was wonderful but bittersweet. It was our last weekend in Maryland for a really long time. I cannot believe we are leaving for Alaska on Wednesday! It's crazy how quick everything is happening right now, but I'm glad we are getting to spend time with our families and friends.
Two pooped puppies
Someone decided to lay in the grass instead of pooping
At our going away dinner
Mom and I at dinner

We left Virginia for good on Thursday and came to Maryland. Thursday we just relaxed at home because it was storming and pouring pretty bad when we got into town. My little brother came over and hung out with us for a while and then we ordered a pizza. I love ordering pizza when it's pouring down rain. Later on we went to Jarrett's dad's house and Leo and their dog Zoe ran and played in the rain. It was hilarious! Friday we went to lunch with mom then ran lot of errands and did a little shopping. We also bought ingredients to make taco pie for dinner. My favorite! Matt came over for dinner to eat the taco pie and then we went to Tutti Frutti for frozen yogurt! Yesterday we went out to breakfast and then later on I hung out with Brooke and then we had her bachelorette party! You will read more about her party in the next post! Today I went to church with mom and everyone prayed for Jarrett and I. It was wonderful to have everyone put their hands on me and pray for our journey and life in Alaska! It was truly amazing! Later on in the evening we had a going away dinner with my family at Red Roost. What better way to celebrate our move than crabs!

How was your weekend?
Did you eat crabs at some point too?
If so, what restaurant or crab house did you go to?
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Friday, August 2, 2013

My last day at Hallmark and going away dinner #1

Saturday was my last day at the store. I got to work with two of my favorites, Ashley and Sandy! Those two made my last day so awesome. I have been so blessed to work with such amazing ladies. I never thought I'd work retail again, but working at Hallmark was one of the best things I've ever done! Meeting these two ladies and all of the other ladies I worked with has been one of the biggest blessings since moving to Virginia. I had a really rough time when I moved to Virginia, but as soon as I started working with these awesome girls, I finally felt at home. I'm sure I'll meet plenty of people in Alaska, but they will never take the place of the friends I've made here! Sunday I had a going away dinner with some of the other ladies I worked with. Not everyone could make it, but that was okay, we still had fun. We ate yummy Mexican food and I received some adorable going away gifts even though I told them not to! I should have known better with that bunch! These ladies will be one of the biggest blessings that I will take with me to Alaska! I was so lucky to have met each and every one of them!
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Our life lately

Man oh man life has been hectic over the past two weeks! Last Monday the movers came and took everything and then we moved in with my in laws for the time being. We had an awesome time staying with them. I still worked a lot since we had moved in, but then I was done work on Saturday. Since I've been done with work we have been going to the beach a lot and just hanging out and we plan to do the same now that we're in Maryland! We had to stay in Virginia until Wednesday because we had Leo's last vet appointment then where we got his pet certificate to cross through Canada. After that appointment, there was nothing keeping us in Virginia so we were ready to go to Maryland to spend some time with the rest of our family and friends. It was hard leaving Jarrett's parents, but we were so grateful for our time with them over the past week and a half. We will be in Maryland for a week spending time and saying goodbye to everyone else and all though it will be really hard, I know we can all make it through this! We plan to say "see ya later" instead of "goodbye"!!!!

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