Friday, August 29, 2014

Trip to Savannah, GA

My ship took a trip to Savannah, GA a few weeks ago.  I have never been to Savannah, and was glad to get a day off to relax on my own.

I booked a room at a little boutique hotel called the East Bay Inn.  The Inn Keeper and staff was more than welcoming, and the room was perfect.  The details, comforts of home, and history behind the room make me want to plan my next trip...

I wandered through River Street and Bay Street, taking in the sights and sounds.  I stopped in Kevin Barry's, and had a cider..just watching the River traffic pass on by. The Hall of Heroes is worth the stop.  What an incredible tribute.  I stopped by the Savannah Candy Kitchen, and tasted some incredible pralines, which I of course had to buy.  I stopped in the cute independent artsy shops, getting caught up in the art work, the people, and the city.

I had dinner at Vic's on the River, and I kept recommending it to everyone!  The staff was welcoming, which is why I made the reservation there to begin with.   The scallops, biscuits, and pinot grigio is what made the end of a perfect night!

East Bay Inn

Great City Walks

River Street

There is a destroyer behind me.  I swear

My cozy queen room. 

City Market

Cotton Exchange

River Street after an amazing dinner at Vics!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wedding Wednesday

So ladies and gents..I had my wedding shower a few weeks ago.  It was a whirlwind trip to Chicago, and I almost don't remember anything from the day. 

As my wedding planner stated, "The reason you hire a photographer and videographer is because the day is such a blur.  You get to relive that day with those great memories." 

She is right.  I literally had to lean on Mike for the whole day, because it was overwhelming.  I am normally not overwhelmed by groups of people.  But that day I met a lot of Mike's family, and saw a lot of my family.  The amount of people, amazing food, and generosity of family and friends was what really made me overwhelmed.  I guess it was because I was nervous about not talking to people enough, not saying thank you enough..etc.  I am so lucky to have a great future Mother In Law and bridesmaids who made the day incredible.

I don't have any pics of the day other than this one.  I didn't take any myself.

Until next time..

Monday, August 25, 2014

Quick Trip to Chicago

I had my last trip before the wedding a few weeks ago.  Yes.  I am crazy.  Planning a wedding from Florida/the ocean. has to be done. :)

I got to Chicago on Friday night, and Mike and I had our standard date night.  Our fav sushi place.  We caught up, and just relaxed. 

The next morning, his mom took me to get my dress altered.  Yep.  The lady there freaked when she found out my next/last fitting is going to be just days before the wedding.  Woosah.

Mike and I then went to a family party, as a cousin of mine is headed off to start college this week.  He met that side (mom's side) of the family for the first time. 

The next day was the wedding shower...stay tuned for a Wedding Wednesday post about the details!

And finally..the day I left.  We met with a general contractor for the home remodel we are planning.  I can't wait to get it done:) 

Short, quick, and sweet update.  Stay tuned for more:)

Such a great family party!

Saturday, August 23, 2014


So I have been busy with work.  I know we all are. 

It has taken a toll, since I have only been home about 5 days this whole month.  Looking forward to November with each passing day!

Today I am trying to get caught up, address wedding invitations, write thank you notes for the wedding shower, and just perhaps relax a bit. 

We shall see.  Time is flying..

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Blessings in disguise..

This past year has been a whirlwind of emotions.  I am in a difficult job, a job which all of my former bosses and mentors refer to as "the best and worst times of their lives".  A job I took on, knowing the challenges.  A job which a new mentor stated last week "I lived each day as if I was going to get fired", because honestly, that is really how you feel.  Sometimes people ask me if I regret signing up for this ride, and there are moments that I do regret.  But overall, no. I don't regret it.  I try to look at the good times.  I try to remember the times that tested my courage, both in terms of bravery and in morals.  Moral courage is one thing that has gotten me through the past 3 years, and it is something that not everyone has.  Luckily, SWO guilt is like Catholic Guilt.  Very similar.  Very, very similar.  Right Sister Margaret? On those tough days, one of my mentors told me to read, and remember President Roosevelt's' Man in the Arena speech.  That speech got me through the tough times.  The times that you sail alone on the sea, feeling like every ally you have has given up on you, and that you can't give up-because you have a department of 50+ Sailors that depend on you.   That speech was bitter sweet this month, because the Chief who ran my department told me after I was selected for O-4 (LCDR), that I was in the arena. 

I am proud to be serving in the role that I am in, as a Department Head on a Destroyer.  It is amazing.  I have met some great people.  From day 1 in the Navy, to today.  Friends that will last a lifetime.  People that you can see after 5+ years, and pick up where you left off.  Folks that you will have crash on your couch, eat pizza, and stay up all night talking with. 

I met my fiancĂ© a short while after I resigned my contract.  We were together for only a year before I moved away.  I have been gone for 3 years.  It will be a total of 4 before I move back under the same roof as him.  That is a sacrifice we made, and got through.  It can be done.  With phone calls.  Emails.  Skype (especially overseas).  Texting.  Post Cards.  Care Packages.  Frequent Flier Miles.  It can be done.  It isn't easy.  It hasn't been easy.  But it is all worth it.  I have a dear friend who did the same thing, and I asked her for advice in the beginning.  She told me to do all of the above, and it worked.  I love having her in my life, because she is an inspiration. Not sure if she reads this blog, but hugs and love to you Sarah!

I can't wait for what the next year has in store for me.  I resigned my commission so I can live with my future husband.  I get married very soon, and I can't wait to be married to my best friend.  Shortly after the wedding, I will move home, and we will be under one roof.  The same roof, and we will make a house, into a home.  It has been difficult, planning all of these big changes with out some very important people present in my life.  I am lucky that despite not having my parents physically here with me, I know that they have played a big part from above.  They taught me basics in life.  How to be good.  How to love.  How to treat others with respect.  Remember that Catholic Guilt mentioned previously.  Yes.  I got that from them.  I worry if I am doing good enough, and I just pray that I am making them proud. 

The past four years have been difficult.  I have had my ups and downs.  I have had my disappointments.  I have had success.  I have had failures.  And I have to look at each one, in the moment, and afterwards, and see how each of those moments have helped shape who I am today, and how I will act today.  Sometimes, I think of all of these things as blessings in disguise!  

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Invitations

Yes...the dreaded moment of when you get the invitations in the mail.  I was excited and nervous when I answered the door for the FEDEX lady. I am tackling the invitation process..
1. I got 3 quotes, and looked at different styles.  This way, I wasn't just dead set on something too expensive, or too cheap-just right!
2. I made up mocks of what I liked and got them delivered.  I did different papers, colors, fonts, etc so I could make the final decision.
3. I made the final decision.  I wanted something simple and elegant.  I probably should have taken more time on this, but I like what I ordered!
4. Make a spreadsheet and number each guest.  This way, when you number your RSVP cards and return envelopes, you can keep track of them easier when they start pouring in from all over America:)  Then you can call those you don't receive.  My sister had a few guests who forgot to write their names on the card, thus the numbering system is there to take out the guess work!
5. Hire a calligrapher, or learn yourself.  I used to be extremely proficient at calligraphy as a kid, and bought some new pens and ink to address the invites.  I plan to do a few each night, and not get too overwhelmed! 

All the cards numbered and ready to go!  If you are wondering what the back of the RSVPs say, it asks for any dietary restrictions for our guests so we can accommodate! 

Monday, July 28, 2014

July Goals...Accomplished!

Well.  I blogged a few weeks ago for my goals for July.  Honestly, I am glad I did, otherwise I would have forgotten/not hold myself to it!

  • Order wedding invitations  (done!)
  • Clean the closet, and organize (done with round 1, def need round 2)
  • Donate Clothes (2 bags of clothes to goodwill)
  • Put other clothes/purses/etc for sale (waiting for round 2)
  • Organize magazines (did 1 stack of mags)

Now to think of some goals for August!!!