Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thankful Thursday

It's Thursday! Again?? Where has the time gone? Last week, I was so excited and busy for Christmas. This week, I am procrastinating on putting away Christmas decorations and feeling completely overwhelmed at work. However, I know I always have something to look forward to on Thursdays. I feel blessed that I have at least a few minutes to focus on all my many, many blessings (one of which is the sweet cat currently sitting in my lap).

As I think about all the amazing and hidden blessings in my life, I am reminded most of the Lord's presence in my life. Don't worry, I'm not going to sermonize. But, my social worker heart must also recognize and feel blessed for the family and friends who believe differently than I do and celebrate different reasons for this season. No matter what you believe, I am blessed to have you in my life - to love me, challenge me, and provoke deep thoughts. Thank you.

Okay, enough of the random deep thoughts. This week, I am thankful for:

New pearl earrings from my Coastie.

A successful Christmas dinner with lots of good food and friends.

A Christmas morning Skype date with my mom, sister, and brother-in-law.

A husband who can fix cars (and looks handsome while doing so!).

Walks at sunset.

Transforming leftovers into yummy meals.

Homemade fudge.

Books on cd for the long commute to work.

My new kitchen accessories.

A sweet first Christmas with my Coastie.

Cool mornings in Florida.


Sweet, sweet friends who bless me in ways they could never imagine just by being alive.

A good night's rest.

I hope you can take a moment, count your blessings, and feel thankful for something or someone in your life today. Be blessed!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Our First Homecoming

It sounds strange, but since we had a long-distance courtship, I was never present for one of my Coastie's homecomings. Since the Coast Guard patrols are so much shorter than say, the Army or Navy, our homecoming's aren't as extravagant. However, they are no less emotional or beautiful. Here are some photos of our "first" homecoming on the crazy ride we call the Coastie life.

The boat coming into view. Such a beautiful sight to know he is safe!

Getting closer...

Almost to the pier!

Found him with the zoom on the camera! Holy moly, but he is handsome. 

The hardest part is waiting for the boys to disembark. They have to pull up to the pier, tie up, do some checks, and THEN they are allowed off to hug us. It took about an hour. The boys were just as impatient as those of us waiting on the pier!

Our sweet friends, the Edwards.

Here is a snapshot of the crowd trying patiently to wait for their Coasties. Not all the wives or girlfriends could be there, so we try to welcome everyone home as best we can.

By this point, I was so excited and overwhelmed to see him, that I forgot to take a picture with our camera. So the cell phone camera had to make do! I was shaking so much that it is a fuzzy shot, but you get the point. He was HOME!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Super Late in Posting

One of my techniques for staying busy is supposed to be writing this blog. However, I seem to push that aside when I find something else to do that feels less like paper-writing in graduate school (i.e. finding new recipes, Skype-ing with friends). Anyways, I thought I should finally post pictures of my mom's visit to Florida. She stayed in Orlando for about a week and then came over to the coast to hang out with me. We tried a new gluten-free, organic restaurant that was to die for, went to a sand sculpting art show, shopped in a quaint old-fashioned village square, and had a beach day. She is one of my best friends and I felt so loved that she came to visit me for such a long visit. It certainly breaks up those long weeks of being alone!!!

I can't wait for you to visit again, soon, Mom!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday's Favorites

So, again this week, my favorite product for the day is something that spoke to my frugal heart.  I was having a wonderful conversation with a friend about our newfound love of green/organic products, but our hatred of the expense. She mentioned that she had just bought a wonderful new deodorant, but could no longer use it. She had recently begun experiencing the pregnancy side effect of a sensitive sense of smell. She said that even thought this deodorant had a very slight fragrance, but she couldn't stand it. So, lucky me! I got to try it!

Arm & Hammer Essentials Natural Deodorant. 

This is paraben free AND aluminum free! It works so well, too. I thought surely it wouldn't work through my long days of 6 a.m. yoga, work, errands, cooking dinner, and an evening of whatever strikes my fancy. But, I was pleasantly surprised. It feels great and has a very, very light scent that is pleasant.

Try it while doing some yoga stretches and see what you think!

Happy Friday! Thanks to a fellow Coastie wife, Jenny, for the great product, conversation, and friendship.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

We went to HP World

I have the BEST husband. Seriously, I do. I've been telling him for a year that I wanted to go to "Harry Potter World." Now, the rest of you may call it Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure, but to those in the know... it is Harry Potter World. So, we saved up and treated ourselves to a spectacular date at Islands of Adventure a few Saturdays ago.

Here are some of the photos:

The Adventure Begins...

I can see it! I can see it!

But we went through other "Islands" first.

Great book!

My goofy husband mimicking the carving of Poseidon.

We're here!

Yes, oh yes.

Hogwarts. Inside is a simulation ride that is pretty intense (for me) because of the spiders and dragons that pop out at your face. But you get to walk through some Hogwarts-inspired classrooms, see moving paintings, and go through Dumbledore's office while you stand in line.

Our attempt at getting our picture in front of Hogwarts (without asking a stranger for help).

Take 2.

Take 3.

We were pretty tired after walking all day. We rode a lot of rides, saw a show, and shot little kids with water guns on a water ride. Overall, I would definitely go back - lines were so long in HP World that I didn't get to see and do everything I had wanted. 

The most interesting part of the experience was that my Coastie watched 3 Harry Potter movies in the following 1.5 days... I think I've got him hooked. *wink*