Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!!

With the holiday season in full force, I won't be on here as much...but here is a picture from my travels thus far!!  Merry Christmas everyone!!

Bella

Friday, December 19, 2014

Holiday Partay!!

We had our holiday work party this week.  I always love the change from folks in cammies to dress up clothes!!!  

Last holiday party for the ship, just a little bittersweet, but one step closer to home:)

Obligatory Selfie. Dress is WHBM, jewelry is Versona.

Dress WHBM, Shoes Payless, Jewelry Versona, Purse Nordstrom Rack




Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner

We had a fantastic Rehearsal at Assumption Church, and an amazing dinner at Maggianos.  I swear, there is always so. much. food!

It was such a blast to hang out with my family and friends, get caught up and prepare for such an amazing step in our lives!

Liz and Me.  Love this gal!

So there was a cardiac convention in town.  Had to pose with these guys!
Bridesmaids and I at Maggianos!

Me and my love

Great Menu courtesy of my awesome in laws!

Monday, December 15, 2014

1 Month!!

I have been married to this guy for a month now..and I couldn't be happier!  I can't wait to see him soon for the holiday.  Living apart sucks, but it is worth the final out come; being under the same roof very, very soon.

Thanksgiving at Capital Grille

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Bridal Party Nails/Lunch

I am not in Chicago much, so I asked my wedding planner for some ideas for a good nail spa to go to the Friday before the wedding.  My bridesmaids (sans MOH as she was midflight), my SIL Anne, and my mini me Sarah got our nails done at Polish and Pour in downtown Chicago.  We had a great time just relaxing and getting pampered.  We cracked up when another, far more obnoxious party came in for the same thing.  That is when I realized I needed to up my game;)

We ate lunch at D4, where I am fairly certain I have never had better sweet potato fries in my entire life.  That is saying a lot.

A perfect start to a perfect weekend!

My mini me and me!

Ellen and Meghan

Me and Tara

Anne and Me

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Day That Will Live In Infamy..

We all know those famous words spoken by an incredible president.  President Roosevelt, after the attack on Pearl Harbor.  I wrote a great post back in 2010 here.

What bothers me today is something I read on Facebook.  Friends of mine are stationed in Japan said a gentleman told them today "Happy December 7th".  They were pretty upset, since this gentleman was perpetuating the idea of hate.

I told them not to worry.  As long as their little girls have parents like them to teach respect, kindness, and love-they have nothing to worry about.  Hate will not overcome.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Hi My Name Is...

Megan.  This week I was able to go to work for an entire week and be known solely as Megan.  It was a bit liberating, frustrating, educational, etc.

I took a transitioning class from military to civilian life, and I am glad I took it, even though it is mandatory.  It is mandatory due to the ever growing number of homeless vets in the US.  I took away many great tools to search for a job, as well as all of the info needed for the VA.

I am looking forward to this step in my life.  Being Megan, being a wife, being back home in Sweet Home Chicago!


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Bridal Party Gifts

Well folks, I want to get to the other details after we receive more photos, and our professional pics!

We really thought out our gifts for our friends and family, and this is what we came up with!

Flower Girl bracelets.  Perfect for adorable little girls!

Personalized Bottle Openers/Corkscrews and wine for the groomsmen

Pearl Necklace and Earrings for the bridesmaids that I bought on deployment

Hankie for my oldest brother who walked me down the aisle

Hankie for Mike's momma

Cufflinks for Mike's dad, brother, and my oldest brother

We bought my other two brothers who were ushers some good beer and cigars.  Perfect for a celebration!

We put all of the gifts in some personalized bags and handed them out at our rehearsal dinner.

I think www.etsy.com was a life saver in finding great gifts!

What did you get your bridal party?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Musings..

So I have been lucky enough to have my husband around for a few weeks, before he leaves and my life returns to..eh..blah.  Just have to finish my time in the Navy in Florida.  Luckily it is only a few more months.

I made him these recipes when we were home.  I can't wait to try some new ones on him when I move home!

Megan's Meatloaf with all the fixins.  Steamed veggies, garlic mashed potatoes, and some crescent rolls.

Tilapia  with steamed veggies!

Crockpot Mushroom Barley Soup and some good hearty wheat bread

Bite Sized Apple Pie dessert with the meatloaf.  Yum!

Crockpot Tortellini So good.  Especially with my pesto rolls!

Roasted Turkey Panini Fantastic sammich with some macaroni salad

Mexican Salad Made this one with some chicken strips for added protein

This guy was incredibly spoiled here!  Can't wait to make some more delicious home cooking!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Virginia is for Lovers

While travelling for work...aka..sailing on the Atlantic..we stopped in VA for over a week.  I put in for leave so I could see my baby, as we hadn't seen each other in over two months.

Leave approved!!

I picked him up after my duty day, and we hit up my favorite dive bar, Greenies.  Then, we checked into our hotel, the Marriott at Waterside.  Thank goodness for Meghan for setting that up for us!

We had dinner at Shulas..amazing!  Then we met up with friends at my favorite bar in downtown Norfolk, Hells Kitchen.  I love me a purgatory.

Sunday we spent the morning with some great friends from Department Head school.  It was nice to catch up!

That evening we saw some Chicago friends, and were able to catch up with them over some great dinner and wine in Virginia Beach.

It was a short, whirlwind weekend, but much needed with my love!

General MacArthur and me.

Love this girl!


Love him!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!


This photo says it all.  I am always fortunate that when I am either at work, or at home, I am with "family".  I am looking forward to sharing today as our first holiday together as husband and wife.  Forever grateful to those who stand the watch.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Days at Sea

I have recently spend a lot of time at sea.  A lot.  It was quite the feat accomplishing all of the wedding planning, including getting back home on time for the wedding.  That is another post, for another time!

Here are some amazing photos I took in September and October while out at sea.

Steel Beach Picnic.  
Waiting to shoot the 5 inch gun!

Gorgeous Day at sea!

Underway Replenishment with USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71)




"My soul is full of longing
for the secret of the sea,
and the heart of the great ocean
sends a thrilling pulse through me.” 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Trip Down Memory Lane

Back in August..I know..I know..this post is late..I took a trip to my first ship, the USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7).  I was stationed onboard this ship in Norfolk, VA, and she just home port shifted to Mayport, FL.

So many memories of that girl.  I spent my first two years as an Officer onboard that ship, and grew as a professional, a woman, and as a friend.

Here are some incredible pictures from my visit!

I created this wall with another Officer back in 2005.  So amazing!

Suribachi Room.  Turns out my friend's grandpa donated the poster on the right!

Seriously.  One of the most proud accomplishments in my career was making this wall. 

I spent many early mornings practicing fire drills in Repair Five Main.

Monday, November 17, 2014

I Got Married!!

Yes folks, it is true.  The count down is off the blog, and I am a married woman.  I'll share 1 picture with you, as I have to go through loads of laundry, and get caught up on sleep from partying!

Love this man!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Land Ho!

Well folks.  I am back.  Dry land it is.  First order.  Wine.  Then Laundry.  Then the rest of life.  


Here is a pic to fill my quota.  I had to take the dreaded XO duties for the underway while he was on travel.  Captain told me a "picture in the chair was needed.  I did the job, thus-you get the chair".  Felt good.  For a minute.  Looking forward to April of 2015.  Going from LCDR Gill to Mrs. Gill!





Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Invitations!

Well, I finally did it.  I mailed the invites.  I feel like this was one helluva task, especially because I had a Congressional inspection during the middle of this project.  Yep, that was a bad idea.  I am great at multi tasking, but not that great!

I can't wait for Mike to get all of the RSVPS, so we can make our seating chart.

Now onto the small details, like wedding guest bags for hotels, and the like.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Flawless Future Powered by Ceramide Caplet Serum: Influenster Vox Box

I received another Influenster box recently, and my favorite product was from Elizabeth Arden.

The flawless future serum has done wonders for my skin.  I highly recommend this product to any woman in their 30s and 40s who needs to get more radiant skin!

Flawless Future Sample!  Complimentary to Review from Influenster! 

Results! 
From the Dillards counter.  So many Flawless Future products!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Medifast Pumpkin Shake

One word.  Yummy!

So I have been getting a bit bored with my diet.  I mean, I have been doing it since March 1st.  I lost 20 pounds, and have kept it off.  With my work schedule, and craptastic food at work, it is just tough.

I have been trying to make a play on meals, and this one recipe had me at pumpkin.  I love all things pumpkin, and I couldn't wait to try it.

Ingredients:
1 Medifast Vanilla Shake
1 condiment: pumpkin spice, I used pumpkin flavor (King Arthur Flour)
cinnamon
1/2 cup of cold water
4 or 5 ice cubes

Blend, and enjoy!

If you would like to read my first post about this diet loss, take a look here!

Best Breakfast I have had in a long time!

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.  But..it 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

Saturday

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. 

So..how 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!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Round Here...

Well folks, it has been an exciting couple of weeks.  I have been off work because I haven't been feeling too great lately.  You would think I would blog with all of that free time;)  I mostly slept and got my body back to normal. 

Looking forward to the final stretch here with wedding planning and work.  Just a few months left of both!

See my next wedding post on Wednesday!!!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Woosaahhh

Well folks, I had to take a couple of weeks away from the good old blog.  Had a long couple of weeks at work, and honestly, this was my last concern. 

I had to find time to sleep, eat, etc.  Thank goodness for protein shakes in the morning, otherwise I'd never have time to eat breakfast! 

On the good news front, I found out when I was in my semi-self imposed exodus, that I was selected for promotion!  So exciting.  I honestly didn't expect it, but am very happy!  I am so grateful for my family and friends who have been my biggest supporters in getting to where I am.  This next year has so much in store!  Weddings, promotions, and new jobs!



I am off to drink a ton of coffee, in my own apartment, and catch up on life.  Thank goodness for Saturday mornings!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

July Goals

Well.  I have a few goals this month, and I need to air it out there, otherwise I will not get it done.

  • Order wedding invitations
  • Clean the closet, and organize
  • Donate Clothes
  • Put other clothes/purses/etc for sale
  • Organize magazines
Anyone have a good method of selling old designer clothes?  I have so much in my closet that needs to go!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Fourth Of July

So folks, I had the chance to go to Virginia to visit my oldest brother for the weekend.  It was such a great trip!

Quick Recap:
Pizza Puffs! 

Pool Side.  Chirish.

Texas Caviar

Patriotic Fruit Pizzas.  Yummm. 

Wine Tasting!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Vow Vox Box

So some of you may have seen my last Influenster post here about some great free products I received from Mary Kay. 

I was surprised to see that I was eligible for another Vox Box, this one having a wedding theme!

I hurried home from a 2 week work trip to open up a box filled with goodies!  The box contained Sally Hansen nail polish (something blue), Olay Regenerist Luminous Tone Perfecting Cream (love), Riley and Grey website (I already made mine, otherwise awesome), Pure Silk Shaving Cream (omg), Eco Tools Pure Complexion Sponge (yes, yes, another love), and Tide to Go (perfect for my survival kit, and for work-hellloooo, Sailors wear a LOT of white!) 

My two favs are of course the face cream and the shaving cream.  I am for sure a fan, and will buy these two products again. The shaving cream is a mere $2.19 at the store, which is wayyy cheaper than the stuff I normally use (gasp..$36..long story there.  don't judge). 

I would wear the nail polish, but my job has super strict rules on color, so I will wear on the toes soon, just can't wear it on the hands.  This was a great, simple VoxBox, full of stuff I can use, and definitely need!  I really can't wait to get another one...:)

Oil of Olay.  Simple, and awesome.  #BestBeautiful

Seriously.  Awesome Shaving Cream!  That is the Eco Tools Face Sponge..incredible!