Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Traditions

Merry Christmas everyone! 

I had to think a lot yesterday on where I have spent Christmas since I have joined the Navy.  Everyone was talking about traditions..and I have to be honest, I don't really have any. 

2007-Oman (Deployment)
2008-San Diego
2009-Yokosuka, Japan
2010-Bremerton, Washington

The one tradition I usually keep is visiting my brother and his family wherever they may be for the holidays.  Honolulu, San Diego, Yokosuka, Bremerton were all travels to visit family. 

I really hope I get to spend next Christmas in Chicago with my best friend next year.  I missed him so much yesterday, but was glad to know he was surprised to find gifts under the tree from me!  Here is to making new traditions!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Twas the Night Before Christmas..

Twas the night before Christmas, the ship was out steaming,
Sailors stood watch while others were dreaming.
They lived in a crowd with racks tight and small,
In a 80-man berthing, cramped one and all.
I had come down the stack with presents to give,
And to see inside just who might perhaps live.
I looked all about, a strange sight did I see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stockings were hung, shined boots close at hand,
On the bulkhead hung pictures of a far distant land.
They had medals and badges and awards of all kind,
And a sober thought came into my mind.
For this place was different, so dark and so dreary,
I had found the house of a Sailor, once I saw clearly.
A Sailor lay sleeping, silent and alone,
Curled up in a rack and dreaming of home.
The face was so gentle, the room squared away,
This was the United States Sailor today.
This was the hero I saw on TV,
Defending our country so we could be free.
I realized the families that I would visit this night,
Owed their lives to these Sailors lay willing to fight.
Soon round the world, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate on Christmas Day.
They all enjoyed freedom each day of the year,
Because of the Sailor, like the one lying here.
I couldn't help wonder how many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve on a sea, far from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.
The Sailor awakened and I heard a calm voice,
"Santa, don't cry, this life is my choice."
"Defending the seas all days of the year,
So others may live and be free with no fear."
I thought for a moment, what a difficult road,
To live a life guided by honor and code.
After all it's Christmas Eve and the ship's underway!
But freedom isn't free and it's sailors who pay.
The Sailor say's to our country "be free and sleep tight,
No harm will come, not on my watch and not on this night.
The Sailor rolled over and drifted to sleep,
I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours, so silent, so still,
I watched as the Sailor shivered from the night's cold chill.
I didn't want to leave on that cold dark night,
This guardian of honor so willing to fight.
The Sailor rolled over and with a voice strong and sure,
Commanded, "Carry on Santa, It's Christmas, and All is Secure!"

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving at Sea..

Happy Thanksgiving from the..ocean :)

I got to sleep in this morning, which was amazing.  I stayed up late last night to bake some of my famous Pumpkin Spice Bread for the Wardroom.  I hope everyone enjoys it!
I am about to eat brunch, then go on watch..have a late dinner. 

This week, I reflected a lot about what I am thankful goes:

  • My Family.  I have the best brothers and sister a girl could ask for.
  • My Faith.  My faith keeps me strong, even on the worst days out at sea.
  • My friends.  No matter where they are in the world, they know how to make my worst days better.
  • My dog, Bella, and all the love she has to give to me, and everyone she meets.
  • My hometown, Chicago.  The rich history, the amazing food, and the sports teams..even the Cubs. 
  • My job, even when it takes me 6,000 miles or more away from those I love.
  • The ocean.  So vast, and so beautiful.
  • My shipmates.  They challenge me and make me a better person.
  • Fresh Fruit.  I miss fresh fruit, food, and milk. 
  • My own bed.  Comfy sheets, pillows, and a Bella make for better sleep.
  • Coffee dates with friends.  A cup of joe with friends makes all the worries in the world go away.
  • Mail and care packages.  Makes 9 months fly by!
  • Email/phone calls/Skype.  Allows me to call my family and boyfriend, curbing homesickness
  • My guy.  My best friend.  I couldn’t be doing this 9 month deployment with out him supporting me every step of the way. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Veterans Day

Today was Veterans.  A day like any other day out at sea.  Wake up, go stand watch, rinse, repeat.

Today was a little different.  I spent time reflecting on life, and how much I am looking forward to going home next year.  I  have learned so much the past 5 months, and continue to learn and appreciate the American way of life.

God Bless America, and thank a Veteran today!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Whooah, we're half way there...

..Livin' on a prayer!

That is right folks, we have already completed half of our deployment.

9 months is a long time to be at sea.  You don't get days off out here.  You work 18 hours a day most days. If you get sick, there are no sick days (unless you are realllly sick).  You eat the same food every 21 days.  You get mail maybe every 2 weeks.  You pull into port for 1 day off approx every 30-60 days.  Email can be intermittent...and the list goes on.

Things I miss the most right now in no particular order:
Fresh fruits and veggies
Real Milk (we drink UHT)
Bath tub
Hugs from my guy
Kisses from my pup
My own bed
NCIS (only tv I watch)

I have definitely learned to appreciate life much more while out here these past 5 months.  I will blog more about that later..

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.  Hoping this last half of deployment flies by as fast as the first half!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Greetings everyone! 

I am writing to you from Dubai, UAE. We pulled into port for some R&R.  Had fun, but definitely need more rest!

Here is to being halfway there!  I can't wait to be back pierside in Florida!!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

3 Months Down..

Deployment has been one wild ride so far.  I am completely exhausted right now, and am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed again!  

I just spent Labor Day weekend with Mike in Germany, and I am writing to you from a cafe in France! 

Thoughts and prayers are much appreciated as we continue our mission overseas!

Much love,

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Greetings from Europe!

Hey everyone!  I have been on deployment for 2 months now.  We are currently sailing around, conducting various maritime missions.  

We have had some great port calls, including Menorca, Spain; Rota, Spain; Riga, Latvia; and Tallinn, Estonia.  I hope to update pictures and stories soon, but it may be a while. 

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers!

Monday, June 18, 2012

I'm On a Boat

By the time you all read this..I will be setting sail on a boat.  A U.S. Warship that is.

I am deploying for a long time with a Carrier Strike Group.  Looking forward to the adventure, but already missing my family and friends.

Love you all...hope to keep you posted on my travels.  See you when I get home!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dear Dad

It has been 16 years since we celebrated Fathers Day.  I honestly don't remember that particular day, but I do know that we usually celebrated with a BBQ.  Grandma, Aunts and Uncles would come over, and we would BBQ, exchange gifts, and enjoy the start of a great Chicago summer.  This would kick off one of many BBQs for you.  I loved seeing you in your baseball apron, in the backyard grilling dinner.  You were the best behind the grill and in the kitchen.  You taught me how to cook.  I still brag about your skills.  You taught me so much about being a good Catholic, a good person, and about life in general.  I remember so many great things about you.  Me beaming when I saw you at any school events.  Me loving each meal you made, because I knew you traveled throughout the city to find the ingredients.  I was talking to my roommates today about TomTom Tomales.  If they only knew.

I set sail this week for an adventure of a life time.  I will be gone for so long, and have one hell of a responsibility.  I hope that I can count on your wisdom, guidance, and love to get me through this.  I have gotten this far because of you.  I still choke up every Fathers Day when I think of you.  How I wish I could spoil you with stuff I know you would never buy yourself, despite needing it.  So today I will honor your memory.  Pray for you, think of you, and love you that much more.  I just wish I could get one more big bear hug.  Those were the best.  I love you Dad.  Always.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

What Inspires You..

I have had a pretty rough week at work.  I think I have rolled with the punches quite well.  At least that is what my Captain said.  His opinion is the one that matters.

I have had a lot of kinks in plans, but I have overcome many of the issues.  Nothing multiple 70+  hour work weeks can't fix.

Yesterday was especially terrible.  Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.  Most of my support staff were not in the game.  This made me go into overdrive.  I was spent by 4pm.  Just dog tired.

Then one of my Chiefs asked me to re-enlist him yesterday.  I said of course.  I was honored to.  He has been such a blessing for me since I reported onboard, showing me the ropes.

I was his re-enlisting officer.  Normally I would administer the Oath Of Enlistment, but he had a different idea.  I asked him what his plan was...and I was smiling ear to ear after he told me.

We gathered at the 5 inch gun mount, which is the gun he is responsible for.  His wife and kids met us out there for the ceremony.  I was introduced to his beautiful family: wife, two daughters, and two sons.  Then he told me that his kids wanted to swear him in.  They each had a few lines of the Oath, and took turns re-enlisting their dad. It was a sight to behold.  They were dressed in patriotic attire, and were so happy to be there, supporting their dad.

This made all the negative energy, bad things, etc from the day just disappear.  It was nice to see what inspires my Chief to come to work, and excel on a daily basis.  It also made me realize what I have to be thankful for, and what inspires me.  My family, my guy, my friends, and my Sailors inspire me every day.  If it wasn't for all of those folks, I couldn't do what I do each and every day.  It also made me miss my guy that much more.  He has been in Europe for over a week.  It is tough not being able to see how his day was, but I guess it is just preparing me for the next year.

I just hope I am this optimistic in the next coming months.  I need more moments like yesterday.  Those are the great ones.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Moving Day..From Hell

So I was super excited to see my stuff once again.  I lived in a furnished place in Rhode Island, and am currently in a furnished house.  Thus, I have moved my stuff from storage in one place, to storage in Florida.  I have some stuff, clothes etc here at the Florida house, but majority of my items went to a storage place until after my deployment.  I am lucky to have some amazing houses that I have, and am living in!

Today was the day that most military members fear.  Moving day.  And this is why.

I woke up, lucky to have the day off to do this.  Slept in til 6..don't tell my boss.  I showered, got ready, and drove to my storage unit.  Got some DD coffee, and called the moving company.  Fail #1.  They did not call me yesterday to give me a window for delivery times.  The nice lady on the phone said the truck was being loaded, and would arrive shortly, at least before 9.

I sat in my car, taking work phone calls on the cell.  9 am passes.  930.  10.  WTH?!  I call the nice lady again.  They were around the corner.  Nice.  Sigh of relief.  1030.  1100.  #$%@!  I call the HR company who set up my move.  I am livid.  I have sat in my car for over 3 hours waiting.  1130 I get a call from the moving truck.  They arrive at 1135.

Holy moly, not a good start.  Then the fun begins.  They are all pissed off because they got lost. If they had called me to begin with, it would have never happened.  Whatever.  Lets get this party started.  Then the unloading starts.  Checking items off the bill of lading.  Box #222.  Got it.  Box #226.  Got it.  You get the idea.  Then, as we unfold a mysterious looking furniture pad, I see it has a broken leg in it.  A leg that belonged to a new dresser.  #%*@!  Seriously?   So then I get even more suspicious of everything.  I check the condition of all the items off the truck, but woah.  Then they bring up a mattress.  A soiled, urinated on, pepsi stained, holy bodily fluids everywhere, nasty mattress.  Mine was months old when they packed it, IN A BOX.  This was wrapped, and had no # on it.  I told them it was't mine, and spent 15 minutes convincing him.  At least I keep good files, so I can prove which one IS mine. No box spring either.  Lost both!

So a broken dresser, missing mattress and box spring.  Here comes the couch.  It was wrapped and sealed in plastic.  The plastic was ripped, and mold covered the bottom of the couch.  OMGoodness!  It just kept getting worse.

I just tried to keep my cool the whole day.  Tried valiantly.  So I ended up doing some $400+ in retail therapy at Target.  Stocked up with toiletries and other items necessary for deployment.

Tomorrow is a new day.  A day where I go to work, and start my claims process.  Looks like I am getting some new furniture.

Moving Day!

Today is my moving day.  Not sure how it is going to go, but hopefully quickly!

Trying to run an insane amount of errands because I have the day off to do all of this.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Goodbye Party

I went to Chicago last weekend for a quick trip back home.  I have been working my booty off at work, and was given a 3 day pass.

I needed it!

It was good to see family and friends.  I am going to miss them, I just hope email and snail mail is enough for when I am gone.

I was able to sleep, spend serious quality time with my guy.  Just what I needed.

Saturday night I had a going away drinks/dinner with friends at Fado.  Here are some group pics from the night.  Didn't include all of them..just a few good/funny ones!

I am lucky to have such good friends that came out.  Seriously.  Thanks for the well wishes and prayers!

Me n my guy.  Plus the best photo bomb ever.  

Southside High School best buds.  Love you guys!

Navy crew!

M and M.  

Monday, June 11, 2012

A week in good ol Virginia

After a horrible bout of food poisoning, I finally began my drive down to VA.  I got there in 12 hours from Newport to Virginia Beach.

I was able to see some amazing friends.  Liz, Brad, Bogie, Sarah, and I just relaxed with the folks in my class.  I am lucky to have such good friends all over the country.  Living in VA, I forged some great relationships.

We went to Harpoon Larrys, Greenies (a few times), Taste Unlimited, Press, Hells Kitchen..

My old haunts as I like to call them.  Something about a day/night at Greenies that just makes it feel like home.  Beer, beach, live music.  No judgement, just cocktails.

Gibbs would be jealous.  A boat on a porch!

Me n Liz

Typical night at Hells.  Met some NHL coaches too.  No biggie;)

USS Wisconsin BB-64

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Graduation Re-Cap

It has been forever since I have been able to post photos.  So here is a mega download.  Don't worry, I won't bore you with silly stuff.  Just the meat and potatoes.

I graduated on May 10th, and life has been non stop since then.  I moved to VA for a week, then moved to Florida.

I was happy to graduate, but it was bittersweet.  I was able to reunite with old friends, and make new friends.  So fortunate to have learned so much, and build relationships that I will have for the rest of my life!

My first Commanding Officer and I.  He has been an amazing mentor.  Glad he was there to cheer me on at graduation!

Me and Katie.  I have known her since 2001.  One of my best friends.  

Saturday, June 9, 2012

These Past Few Weeks..

Have been a blur.  I have been incredibly busy at work, learning my job, ordering supplies, meeting new Sailors, and preparing for our deployment.  I have been working 12+ hour days, every day of the week.  I knew I had to take this weekend off, or I would get too burnt out.

What makes it all worth it?  All of my Sailors have specialties.  They are incredibly talented, and are extremely hard workers.  This week I had to work one on one with a particular Petty Officer, and she gave me a great compliment.  I had ordered her 2 things she needed to do her job.  These two parts didn't cost a lot of money, and were readily available, but no one else listened to her about why she needed these things.  It took me 5 minutes to help her.  Sailors need tools to do their job, but we as leaders are usually the first ones to yell at them because they couldn't do it, and not even ask why.  She told me after we had finished for the day, "Ma'am.  I really like you.  You haven't been here long, but you treat us well, listen to us, and change what needs to be changed.  Thank you for that."  I was blown away by that comment.

It is amazing what you can do as a leader. If you have a problem, find a solution.  Find multiple solutions.  It was a pretty stressful week, but that comment made it all better.  I know my Sailors have had similar weeks, and just a simple "I appreciate you working "x" amount of hours on that, you really did a good job", can make a huge difference.

I am looking forward to this tour of duty.  I am sure the next few weeks and months will be just as stressful, but I am eager to learn my job better, and continue to become a better leader.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Today is a day to give thanks to the men and women who have gone before us.

I remembered Memorial Day as a kid.  I was usually at a Knights of Columbus annual convention with my parents, whether it was Chicago or Saint Louis.  A weekend full of mass, INDY 500, swimming pools, and BBQ.

Today, as an adult, I remember my shipmates who have gone before me.

LCDR Chris Williams
ENS Jeremy Drag
CSCS Lee Allen
MM2 Hercules

I served proudly with these 4 men.  These 4, among many others, is why I do what I do every day.  Why I hold my Sailors to a high standard, why I work on weekends and holidays.

So today, if someone asks what Memorial Day really means, think of these 4, and other great men like LT Michael Murphy, 1st LT Travis Manion, and LT Brendan Looney.  Every time I ever complain at work, I think back of the sacrifices these officers made.  My grievances then seem so minute compared to the bigger picture.

God Bless my friends deployed today, so that I can be safe tonight.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


The number of hours I worked this week.  No lie.  First week at work.  Worked my booty off, but worth every minute.  Got to meet new people, learn new things, and learn my job.  I feel at home.

Hoping this week is a bit easier, because I am mentally and physically exhausted.  I sprained my ankle on day two.  Silly silly me.  At least I could walk on it.  I just need to slow down a little and not act like the Roadrunner!

Today has been my only day off.  Relaxing and waiting out the tropical storm heading our way.  Deployment is around the corner.  It will be a long one, but I am hoping I can still stay close to my family and friends!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Sunshine State

It is official.  I live in Florida.  I started my drive at 6am Saturday morning.  I love to drive, mostly if it is by myself.  I get to control the pace, the music, etc.  Don't get me wrong, I love a good road trip, if time is not an issue.

I got to Jax around 4pm, which was pretty amazing time. I got to hang with my new roomies, and they made me dinner.  So delicious.  I got up early this am, shopped for necessities, and got a pedicure.  Much needed pedicure.  I also bought groceries so I can make a nice Sunday dinner.  Caesar salad, baked ziti, and garlic knots.  Yum!

I start my new job tomorrow.  Wish me luck!!
Took this at the Florida Welcome Center.  Free OJ too!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Navy

The US Navy has some great Facebook pages.  The one titled, US Navy, has photos of the week, every week.  Some amazing pictures of what Sailors do, day in and day out.  Feel free to follow US Navy, and be proud of what your Navy does throughout the world!

Here is just one of the photos.  Reminds me of when I watched Taking Chance.

US Navy file photo.  RIP LT Mosko.

Friday, May 18, 2012

On the Road Again...

What a whirlwind week.  Finally done with school.  Been in non stop training since August of 2011.  Looking forward to great things ahead! 

I will post more about my travels when I get to my final destination.  Looking forward to sun, beaches, and a new adventure!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mothers day..

 I will never forget how proud you were of me during those long days of my first deployment. I wish I could have spoiled you rotten today. It has been a long time, but trust me, we will never forget how lucky we were to have you as our mom.

Please watch over us and keep me going during this next deployment. I'll try to keep making you proud.

Mothers day is a day that I always dread.  I always hear my friends talk about this, that and the other with their moms, or complain about their moms.  I sit there mum about the topic, because I am a bit jealous that they get to take their mom to that pedicure appointment, have lunch, you name it.  My only advice to anyone is cherish every moment you can with your mother.  I know I did.  I miss her greatly, but I know she is happy.  She has awesome kids who just keep on succeeding at what they do.  Cutest grandkids on the face of the planet.  I know I am not the only one who feels this way on Mother's day..or even Father's day.  For me it is a day of remembrance and honoring her.  This year I relaxed at the beach bar I took her to in Virginia when she came to see me on my ship.  We toasted her memory, and watched the waves crash ashore. 
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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Virginia is for...

Lovers so they say.  Back in the good old commonwealth.  Glad to be here after a rough couple of days!  I got food poisoning the day of my graduation.  Walked the stage white as a ghost, and disappeared for a while so I could recover.  Drove to Virginia from Rhode Island in the middle of the night so I wouldn't get stuck in traffic.  Crazy right?  I made it in less than 12 hours, stopping a lot because of the food poisoning.  I prayed it was a hangover.  No such luck.  I finally feel better this morning, 3 days later.  I can't wait to get my hands on some good seafood, and see some friends. 

I am staying with some dear friends, so this way I am definitely making the most of my stay.  This is going to be a great visit.  School, friends, beaches, some drinks, and some of my favorite haunts. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Farewell to the Ocean State

It is that time to say goodbye to Rhode Island.  Time has surely flown by since my post in October.

It has been fun.  I have seen the sights, eaten great seafood, made great friendships.

I was able to host friends visiting, make brunch for friends, have District 9 (aka barracks) dinners, walk Bella on the ocean, sing karaoke at Celtica, savor food and drink at White Horse Tavern, enjoy burgers at Pour Judgement, the typical pumpkin beer at Coddingtons, amazing seafood at Scales and Shells, the list goes on.

I hope to visit again, and perhaps buy a timeshare here.  I loved living in Newport.  I wish I had visited more of the New England area while here, but school kept me rather busy.

Onto my next adventure, the next state.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sweet Home Chicago

I was able to sneak away this weekend for a quick getaway to Chicago.

  • Dinner @ our fav sushi restaurant
  • 1st Birthday for a dear friend's son
  • Drinks downtown with great friends
  • Lunch with the family
Didn't do much really, but cherished every moment.

Love this guy.  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Puppy Love

I went to my family's house this past weekend.  Here are some pictures of the dogs.


Gorgeous yard.  I am not used to seeing cows in the morning, and stars at night.


Ellie Mae and Spanky

Ellie Mae.  Photogenic pup.  

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

5 States in 4 Weeks!

Fist state: Missouri.  Great visit.  Pictures and recap will be posted soon.
Second State: Illinois.
Third State: Leaving Rhody for good.  Will be bittersweet.
Fourth State: Virginia.  Another bittersweet stop.  Looking forward to catching up and learning at school.
Fifth and final State: Florida.  I can't wait to get there.  It means I start the next chapter of my life.

So..if I don't post a lot on here this next is because I am flying and driving a few thousand miles.  Looking forward to the adventure!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

It is...

that time again.  Moving time.  I confirmed that my moving company will be here next Wednesday and Thursday.  Holy cow, time flies!

I have been packing the essentials from my "how to" series.  You can read my madness here.  Today I concentrated on the clothes and uniforms part of it.

I need to do the admin, other, bathroom, stuff, etc.

I feel okay I guess..but with a final exam in between all of this, the stress factor goes up a bit.  Just trying to stay on a roll today, and get as much done as possible.  Thank goodness I am in a furnished house!

I just have to go through the stuff that has to go with me to Florida, and the rest goes into storage.  So sad that I haven't seen my stuff since last July, and I won't see it until next Spring.  It will be like Christmas morning unpacking my storage unit!

I will post all of my lessons learned on here later!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Atlantic City in Pictures!



Supporting local law enforcement


Compass Rose

Freedom Is Not Free

Partying it up for the Bachelorette!

Weekend Recap

What a whirlwind weekend!

Pics will be posted after I sort through them..

  • Drove to AC..Atlantic City for short
  • Got stuck in NYC traffic
  • Made fun signs saying "At Least it is Friday" on an IPAD to cheer up our fellow drivers
  • Listened to some jams
  • Laughed.  A lot.
  • Gambled in our resort.  Woohoo penny slots baby!
  • Walked on the boardwalk
  • Basked in sunny, gorgeous weather
  • Ate at EVO.  Great salad, better convo, stiff drinks.
  • Walked around some more, enjoying our "Jerseylicious" scenery
  • Gathered our group of 6 to go to dinner at Caesars
  • Went to a male review
  • Laughed even more.  
  • Stayed up and chatted about work and life
  • Drove to a Jersey diner
  • Laughed some more
I realized I am blessed to have opportunities like this to travel to a new place for a weekend, and spend it with some close girlfriends.  Half of us deploy soon, the other half later.  One standard is we will always have each others backs, no matter what. 

To the Bachelorette:  my lady.  Love you tons.  I have known you for 12 years, and we run into each other so much in our careers.  I have decided that it is fate, and I am so glad we got to spend this one last crazy fun weekend together!  

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Travelling with a Pet

Has anyone flown with a dog before?

I ask this question, because I have to move my lil precious pup soon, and it has been a total friggin nightmare.  I almost cried on the phone because I was so frustrated.  All of the customer service reps from the airline are not from the US, so I can't understand them, and they wouldn't book her.  I was on the phone with the "pet people" for that airline for 1 hour, each day for a few days until finally someone answered.

I don't have hours to be wasting waiting for someone to answer a phone!  I missed a ton of stuff that I have to do, including studying for my final.

Has anyone flown with a pup, or have any recommendations in the future?  The moving, new job, deployment is stressful enough without having to worry about the welfare of my best bud.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Project Life

I love to scrapbook, make photo albums, etc.  This process always took me forever.  Then I found a few bloggers that use Project Life.

I am hooked.

It is easy, fun, and I actually make 2 pages for each week.  Sometimes it is tough for me to figure out a layout, but that is because I am a perfectionist.

I showed my binder to some friends, and they love it.  I wish I had thought about this "easy" way to scrapbook earlier.

I am looking forward to documenting the every day on my blog and with Project Life.  I also make photo albums on snapfish that encompass every year.  I tried a few other websites, but Snapfish is my favorite.  Easy to use, and great service.

Which reminds me, my 2011 book still isn't done..ah hem.  That may be a project soon!

Do you use Project Life or any other format of scrapbooking?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Weekend Recap

I had a wonderful, low key weekend in Newport, RI.

  • Laundry
  • Baked tilapia and steamed veggies
  • Watched an episode of Blue Bloods
  • Made baked blueberry and banana oatmeal for breakfast
  • Cleaned the house
  • Revamped my closet.  Making sure I only take what I need to Florida.
  • Washed Bella
  • Took Bella for a billion walks (ok, maybe 5)
  • Snuggled with Bella (she moves away soon )
  • Had birthday drinks with a dear friend
  • Sushi take out.  Love me some 007 rolls:)
  • Baked oatmeal and vanilla biscotti coffee for breakfast
  • Cleaned the car  (upcoming roadtrips)
  • Walked around Newport enjoying the weather
  • Watched Midnight in Paris
  • Reminisced about my summer in Paris
  • Made pot roast, garlic mashed potatoes and roasted veggies
  • Read my book.  I need to finish so I can start the next book.  
Just a low key, must needed, recharge the batteries, weekend.  I am traveling a lot and moving soon.  Just trying to take one day at a time!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Today in Photos

Bella.  Megan Gill 2012
Easter Flowers.  Megan Gill 2012

Bella.  Megan Gill 2012

Sun Bathing.  Megan Gill 2012

Perfect.  Megan Gill 2012

April Flowers.  Megan Gill 2012

Murphy.  Megan Gill 2012

Good Boy.  Megan Gill 2012

Delilah.  Just hanging out.  Megan Gill 2012
I love my new camera, and figuring out new settings, and new ways to capture every day life.  I was lucky enough to have a gorgeous day out, and neighbors with photogenic dogs.  Bella has to pose every time though.  She loves sunbathing in the nicer weather.

Port Tenderloin

I made my sister in laws famous Pork Tenderloin recipe for Easter dinner.  The recipe is below.  I guarantee you it will not disappoint!

1 Pork Tenderloin
1 Package of Phyllo Dough/Puff Pastry
1 Package of cream cheese, softened
Green Onions, chopped
4 oz mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 egg for egg wash

Preheat oven to 425, and bake tenderloin for 30 mins.  Allow to cool.  Prepare the stuffing for the tenderloin, saute the onions and mushrooms in the butter.  Mix the saute mixture with the softened cream cheese.  Coat the cooled tenderloin with cream cheese mixture, and wrap with phyllo dough.  Coat with egg wash, and bake at 400 for 45 mins or until brown.  Cool for about 10 mins to allow cream cheese stuffing to cool.

Finished project.  I made two of these for Easter.  

Thursday, April 12, 2012


April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  This month the Navy is ramping up a campaign to spread awareness of sexual assault.  I am glad that my shipmates and I are getting this training, because one assault is one too many.  The Navy's PAO office is putting out a lot of these videos to augment the training.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Family and Faith

I was definitely stressed out last week.  You ever have those days where everything goes wrong?  I mean, literally everything?  I hate those days.  The days where you want to just sit in the tub and soak it all out.  The negativity, the drama, you name it.  I am so lucky that I could call someone to vent.  My brother listened, understood, and let me just hash out why I was upset.  I am so grateful to have family like him in my life.
I don't like venting to my friends sometimes because I feel like since they are going through similar stuff, it is just drama.  Luckily for me, one of my ladies listened, and gave me a huge hug.  She knows that it isn't just "drama", it is my life.  I took my future schedule to heart last week when I realized my timeline for "life" got a little shorter.  The deployment preps sped up a bit, and it took me by surprise.  I am so excited to go to my next job.  New place, new people, new challenges ahead.  I know God has a plan for me, and I am excited to see where it goes.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Weekend Recap

I had an amazing weekend with one of my best friends from Chicago.  So glad she came to visit!  

Zoomas, O-Club, walks around Newport, shopping, Alex and Ani, lobster sightings, Black Pearl clam chowder, Wine tasting and tour, Rhumbline, Easter mass, White Horse brunch, Easter dinner.  

Bowen's Wharf.  Thames St. 

Newport Vineyards

Tasting after the tour

Meghan and Megan


I was so happy to have had such a wonderful weekend after such a stressful week.  Nothing beats spending a holiday with friends, especially friends that have become like family!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal

I found this recipe on  So unbelievable.  You can find the recipe here.  Pretty easy, healthy breakfast, perfect for a Sunday morning.

I have made this twice in the past two weeks.  Can't wait to make it again.  It tastes great as leftovers, and my friend Meghan taste tested and approved it!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

I have a lot to catch up on posting (recipes, restaurants, photos), but I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Easter!  May your Easter be full of great food, great people, and even better memories to come!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Keep Calm and Freak out a little bit..

I came to a realization today.  I am moving.  Soon.  I am starting a new job.  Soon.  I am moving to 2 different states in a week.  Ugh.  Plus, I can't see my family like I wanted to. (I.e. vacation was cancelled).   Enter freak out moment.  I am used to separations.  But not like this.  Seems like this one will be about a year, and that is unusual op-tempo for what I normally do.  The Navy has started a steady strain on longer deployments.  This is tough because of the 24-7 nature of what we do out at sea. So, my response was freak out.  Breathe.  Plan.  Trips booked, calender sent out to family.  Now I just have to finish my organization and what to pack in my car.  I am only taking what I can fit, so I have to be smart about it!  Bella won't fit, so she is flying to my brother.  I won't see my girl for a year, but when I get her back, I am sure I will have an awesome place in Florida for her to come back to!

I am off to class once again.


Saturday, March 31, 2012

Arugula Salad

I found this amazing salad recipe on  You can find the recipe here.

The recipe was super easy, and fresh.  I love a fresh salad, which is why I remember the two best salads I have had this year (Hotel Viking and Castle Hill).  Both of these restaurants ensure they have the freshest ingredients in everything they make.

Arugula Salad
I am definitely using the leftovers to make another fresh salad today.  I used freshly grated Parmesan cheese, because that is all I had in my fridge.  I really hope this go around on WW helps me lose weight.  You will see me post a lot of recipes from Gina's site because the food is amazing.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

On a Roll

Do you ever have those days, where you get so productive, that you just don't want to stop?  I went to school, planned my move, planned my deployment logistics, and did my taxes today.  Wow.  I wish I had tomorrow off to facilitate more of this "roll", but I will have to settle for a half day. 
I think I may buy a lottery ticket today.  Seriously.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Weekend Recap

Due to some random days off of work this past week, my guy came out to Newport, RI to visit.  What an amazing weekend. 

Buskers, La Forge, Tennis Hall of Fame, Act of Valor, Hotel Viking, many walks with Bella, Tour of Marble House, lunch at Pour Judgement, dinner at White Horse Tavern, homemade brunch, complete with mimosas. 

Sunday Brunch

Bella getting some sun on the deck. 

Me n Bella on the pier. 

USMC Memorial out in town.

Marble House.  Backyard Tea House

Me at the beach

Tennis Hall of Fame

Monday, March 26, 2012

Chicken Florentine

I decided to try some of the Philadelphia Cooking Cremes the other day.  I made my enchiladas with the container, and was very impressed.  I thought, I'll try another recipe.  Enter the Savory Garlic 10 oz container.  I just made the recipe on the back, and it was awesome. 

Here is the recipe.  I used some whole wheat penne pasta, ready made chicken from Purdue (need shortcuts on busy days), and yes, I actually bought the pine nuts.  This pasta reminds me of my favorite dish from an Italian place in Chicago, so splurging on pine nuts was not an issue. 

If you need a meal that tastes like home this week, try this.  It was pretty damn good. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I am "it" !

Victoria tagged me!  I would tag all you crazies, but I am exhausted and want to upload the billion pics I took this weekend!
My Questions:
1.What always makes you laugh out loud?
My classmates.  They do or say silly things that make me laugh.  I snort when I laugh, so this generally causes even more laughter.
2.Which celebrity(ies) can you just not stand?
Anything Kardashian or any other celebrity that jumps on a bandwagon.  I don't like people who are all about themselves and are just generally selfish.
3. Do you chew gum;what kind?
Yes, teeth whitening. 
4.What is your favorite tv show?
NCIS.  I heart Gibbs
5. Where in the world would you travel?
I have been all over the world.  I want to go to Petra, Israel, Ireland, and a few other crazy remote locations.
6.What is one current fad/trend you just won't participate in?
Duck face.  WTH is it?  Why? 
7.Which celebrity(ies) do you adore?
Don't really adore any of them.  Eh.
8.What is your favorite chocolate/candy?
Love all chocolate. 
9. Do you watch "reality" tv? What shows are your favorite?
Beyond Scared Straight.  Love reality shows that have a purpose.  Not just fluff. 
10. What is your favorite snack?
I love fresh fruit. 
11. What is your favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving.  Hands down.

What are your favorites??

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Weekend Recap

I had a fantastic weekend in Rhode Island! 

Friday I went to Providence to go to a spa.  Then treated myself to dinner @ Zoomas, and stopped by a local bakery (Scialo Brothers).  Delicious food all around!

Fruit Tarte from Scialo Brothers.  Amazing!

Saturday I attended the Newport St Patricks Day parade.  Had fun with my friends!

Me and my girl K

Navy Band!

Navy Fire Truck

Dancing Cop.  He was Hilarious!

Never Forget.

Sunday I relaxed, cleaned, did laundry, and ran a ton of errands.  Have to prepare the house for next weekend!

How was your St. Patricks Day?