Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Music

Whilst we are deep in the throes of wedding planning, music is coming to be a topic of conversation.  My guy is friends with our DJ, which is a good thing and a bad thing.  I don't want this to be my guys favs from the 90's, or anything that is just ridiculous. 

I am curious to see if everyone loves/hates the same songs.  There are just some I refuse to play, even if it is 1 person's favorite song.  I want the wedding to be fun for everyone.  Sorry Cotton Eye have to go!! 

Here is a rough list of Do Not Play..

  • Cha Cha Slide
  • We are Family
  • YMCA
  • Chicken Dance
  • Macarena
  • Anything from the DISCO era
  • Locomotion
  • Limbo
  • No Kid Rock
  • No break up/depressing songs
  • No Electric Slide
  • Can you tell I hate line dances/group dancing.  Ugh
  • Cupid Shuffle
  • Nothing vulgar..I know I am a Sailor, but really?!
  • Cotton Eye Joe...again
So...ladies..what was on your DO play list and DO NOT play list?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

This is one of America's most solemn holidays.  Not just a day off.  Just a day to unwind, but also a day to remember those that gave all. 

I have lost some Sailors and Marines.  Some to the war, some to training, some to suicide, some to cancer...the list goes on.  Whenever I start to feel sorry for myself, or just get down, I think of them.  Think of the sacrifices they made.  Remember them.

This Memorial Day is especially solemn, as we remember a dear friend who left this earth far too soon.  I hope that when I return to Chicago, I can run the Soldier Field 10 miler each year in his honor.

If you know of anyone who is interested in donating to his children's college fund, the link is here:


Sunday, May 25, 2014

MK Glam Vox Box

I decided to sign up for Influenster, and I am so happy I did!  I received my MK Glam Vox Box in early May, and I love everything in it.  The mascara is my favorite, and I wear bits and pieces of the box every time I go out!

#voxbox #mkglam #nofilter

I'm Back!!

April and May have been hectic months for me at sea, but I am back for a bit. 

Looking forward to catching up with the world..and laundry.  Lots and lots of laundry.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

I Drink To Make Other People More Interesting

No truer words ever spoken-Ernest Hemingway.

So this is part two of my Key West trip.  I had a great time there, and had an extra, unexpected day there.  We started out the day at Havana for breakfast.  Amazing crab cakes benedict. 

We walked around, did the touristy stuff, like walk by Hemingway's house, looked at the "buoy"..and walked back to the ship.  We almost set sail again, and..surprise!! An extra day in port!

The guys and I went out and about, and walked around Bahama Village.  We heard that was where you get the best food, and man-were they right!  We literally stumbled into one of the best restaurants, Blue Heaven.  Amazing live music, great food, and roosters everywhere.  Yes, I said it, roosters.  Apparently roosters are protected and kind of a big deal in Key West.  They provided great entertainment during dinner. 

After our dinner at Blue Heaven, we went to a cigar bar.  I had some amazing coconut ale, a cigar, and just relaxed.  It was a great time on the island!!

Breakfast at Havana

Roosters aplenty

Me being a nut!

I love the Keys!

Dinner at Blue Heaven

Famous Key Lime Pie

Cigars with the girls.  Such an amazing garden we hung out at!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: How We Met

I still can't believe I met my guy 4 years ago!  Seems like yesterday.

May 7th, 2010 I travelled to VA to hang out with my Matron of Honor.  I had lived in Norfolk, VA for years, and I went to visit her and attend a retirement ceremony for my former boss.  It was a great weekend!  May 8th, we went to wine fest..a standard tradition.  I received a phone call from Chicago, but missed it.  It was a call from a guy I met on EHarmony.  I was pretty stoked.  He was cute, and seemed sweet.  I made sure I called him Monday when I got home from my trip.  I mean, I was at wine fest! 

We talked for hours each day that week.  Talked a lot.  I finally asked him when his next day off was, and he said Sunday.  So I naturally asked him to meet me for a drink on Sunday.  May 16th.  2010.  That was the day we finally met!

I carefully picked out my outfit. Jcrew Jeans, Gap long sleeved Pink shirt, Jcrew black open cardigan, cute jewelry and black ballet flats.  I walked to Wilde, one of my fav bars in the neighborhood.  I was so nervous.  And we almost walked in at the same time.  We sat at the bar, drinking Magners, what seemed like minutes, but was almost 4 hours.  I had to work the next day, so he drove me home.  A whole two blocks, but was 11pm.  I didn't want the night to end.  I really didn't.  I was so nervous, but I thanked him for the ride home, and gave him a quick kiss..and ran up to my apt.  I had so many butterflies.  I wondered when..or if he would call me again!

I went to work the next day, and of course my Maid of Honor grilled me with 20 questions.  I was on cloud nine.  It got even better when I got a text from him that afternoon, saying he had a great time, and wanted to see me soon!  I was looking forward to our next date.  We went to Goose Island, and I watched more of the Blackhawks Stanley Cup Playoffs, than him. :(  At least he learned I was a sports nut then.  No need to keep that a secret!  It was still a great date.  The third date was sushi..and I think after that we officially became "we".  We always had our date nights..always had our long conversations. 

I was scared to death to move in August of 2011..but I had to for work.  Luckily for me, he was patient.  He was kind, and we made visits a priority.  He saw me in Newport, Philly, Florida, Germany...I went to Chicago.  A lot.  And as fate would have it, on one of those trips back home..Dec 20, best friend asked me to marry him.  4 years down...many more to go!

Bears vs Packers.  MNF 2010. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mile Marker Zero

So as luck would have it, work allowed us to have a little detour to Key West for a day. 

What an amazing day at that.  Believe it or not, Key West is different from Jax.  The grass is greener, the water is may sound silly-but it is true! 

We didn't get to leave work until about 730pm, so the ladies and I went to a Brazilian steak house.  The atmosphere was just what we needed, and the cocktails weren't too bad either! 

We stopped at two other bars that night, as it was Cinco De Mayo.  Might as well celebrate in the Keys!  Hog's Breath Saloon and Fat Tuesday's had great music and drinks!  Was glad to get out. 

I am looking forward to going back...with Mike!!

Sunset, Key West

Brazilian Steak House.  Yum!!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Dear Mom

It has been 8+ years since we celebrated Mothers Day.  I honestly don't remember that particular day, but I do know that we usually celebrated with lunch/dinner, a treat just for you.  That particular year, we had lunch at the cafe in the hospital....when I got there.   I couldn't make it home for the last one here in this world, as I was out at sea.  I sent you a Coach Purse from where I was stationed at in Virginia- an attempt to make up for my absence.  I was glad you enjoyed it when I visited a few weeks later before deployment.  You never really enjoyed us spoiling you when we were growing up. When I finally had a job right out of college, buying you something nice-just for you- was what I wanted to do.  We never got to go out and really hang out during my last visit, as you were in the Cancer Ward at University of Chicago. The nurses set up a cot so I could stay there with you during my visit.  Have a sleepover, talk, and gossip about everything and anything.  But I will never forget your strength, your hugs, and love.  You hated being there, but you did over come the cancer for a short time after my visit. I only wish I was there to see it.  To take you to Huck Finn, or just a walk around the neighborhood.  You were scared because I was deploying for the first time.  I tried my best to keep you calm.  It was just 6 months on a ship.  No big deal.  I had a "mini" deployment before-humanitarian relief in New Orleans post Hurricane Katrina.  I showed you pictures from Katrina during that visit, and told you how well I was doing at work.  I was about to get promoted a week later.  Taking on more responsibility.  I had a boyfriend in the Navy at the time, he had just returned from Iraq.  Life was good.  Life was really good.  I was excited for this journey.  So so excited. 

Just about a month and a half into the deployment, I called you one night.  Just to see how you were.  I had a feeling.  A feeling you were worried.  So I asked my boss if I could use his phone.  That was the last time I ever heard your voice.  As I comforted you saying "It is ok, mom.  My boss let me use his phone..I know you see us on the news..but we are ok..."  2 days later, I received the message that you were sick, and I had to get home.  Unfortunately, I didn't make it back to say goodbye.  I was at the airport with 10+ junior Sailors who were scheduled to rotate back home.  We were in Italy, waiting to get on a plane, when I called home, and got the news.  I will never forget how they saw my face on the phone, the moment I found out I didn't make it home in time.  They all came over to me, and gave me a group hug like no other.  They didn't know why I was flying home-they just figured it out.  I felt so much love at that moment, and was so blessed to have those Sailors there with me on my trek home. 

8 years later, I am returning from sea this Mother's Day.  I have done so well this week.  Planning evolutions, doing things you probably never had the wildest idea that I could ever do.  Seriously-me, the third in command of a warship?  You probably never imagined that 8 years ago.  Having a great job, and a great future ahead at work and at home.  Boyfriends came and went, and the latest one stayed-thank goodness.  He is now my fiance, and you would love him-he is perfect.  I tell him quite often.."if you could have only met my mom-she would love you!"  Planning a wedding and a future with him is awesome, and it is even better knowing that I grew up with the ideals and morals that you and dad instilled in us all!

The hardest part about mother's day isn't the fact that you aren't here anymore-it is trying to live and dance to your legacy.  I hope that I can count on your lessons and handle all that comes my way with as much poise, love, and grace as you.  I think of you often, pray for you and dad..and hope you both continue to watch over me as you have these many years. 

Love you always-