Monday, November 30, 2009

Jesse's Promotion, FRG Stuff, and Paint!

Today Jesse got promoted to a first lieutenant!!!  He hasn't gotten pinned yet, but he will in the morning by his battalion commander.  He says he will send me plenty of photos.  I'm going to hold him to it.

I FINALLY got contacted by the new FRG (Family Readiness Group) of Jesse's battalion.  We've been trying to get in contact with them for a while (other FRG leaders, Jesse and his resources overseas, and me).  I finally got an e-mail.  Now, I just gotta make sure that this is where I absolutely need to be.  We shall see!

My day overall hasn't been very eventful.  Mom, dad, Stryker, and I went out to the new place to try and get some more painting done.  We still aren't finished but we are confident we will be done friday.  Thank goodness!  Dad and I are going to go out and get some paint tomorrow; I have a long list of stuff to do since it is my day off.  Maybe I will get it all done.  Who knows.  More pictures will follow!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lazy Sunday

So, I am hoping that this week brings me much happier things!  Today I'm taking the day to relax from my crazy week.  I almost wish this weekend wouldn't end, because this week will be the first solid week of Christmas shoppers.  Should be fun.

Yesterday we spent all day painting.  We brought the dog with us to keep a good eye on him.  I can give him benadryl so I did that so he could get some much needed rest.  He was doing pretty well until the very end - leaning against a wall of fresh paint.  Twice.  Good job, Stryker.  I'm posting photos at the bottom here with painting photos.

Last night I went out with some friends for some drinks.  Lets just say that I had a little too much to drink.  Normally I am VERY good, I've only drank to the point of sickness twice in my entire life.  And the last time I got sick was at Jesse's house when he lived in Lakewood.  We're talking 2004.  Yep.

Jesse should be at his somewhat permanent FOB by the end of the week.  I should have an address to give at this time.  It looks as though he will be a platoon leader (PL) of an armor platoon.  They don't believe that this will hurt his career in any shape or form.  The FOB he goes to will also have a lot of amenities that the current FOB he is at doesn't have.  I know he's excited for that.

Thanksgiving for him was good, I hear they had lots of beef, ham, and turkey.  All of it was cut off of the bone.  They had all the fixin's, including lots of pies and cakes.  It sounds like he ate his heart out!

As for me, I'm going to working, painting, and trying to get things in line for the house.  Hopefully everything goes smoothly for me this week.  I'm making a long list of things to do.  We need quite a few new things, we did toss some stuff after this move.  I plan on focusing on these things come the new year.

I also have some new photos from Jesse which are also posted.

Our House on Ft. Lewis

Jesse Overseas

Friday, November 27, 2009

BLACK Friday

This day sure does live up to it's name!

I swear my week is in some crazy downward spiral.  So, I go to bed last night late.... Later than I should (again).  I got woken up at three o'clock in the morning from my husband's phone call.  Not too bad, right?  Well, I had some crazy splitting headache (discovered once I woke up) which made me sick to my stomach.  I was trying to carry on a conversation, but it was so hard.  Jesse at three in the afternoon his time was ready to chat it up!  He wasn't quite so happy when I didn't talk enough.  We got off the phone, I popped two ibuprofen and tried desperately to go back to sleep.  My head hurt so bad I couldn't even lay down without it hurting.  Then and there I decided no Bed, Bath, and Beyond in the AM.  I would still trek out to Freddies (for my socks of course) but I needed more sleep.  My alarm went off at 4:15.  I turned it off.  My mom came in to wake me up (thinking I fell back asleep after my alarm), I told her I'd be getting up soon.  Jesse then e-mails me (which goes to my phone) at six AM.  I finally get up and talk to him for a little while online.

My dad was up early this morning, and so I talked him into going with me on my shopping expedition.  A little bribery from Starbucks doesn't hurt!  We picked up stuff we needed and went back home.  I immediately called the vet and got Stryker back in.  I did a few things then took him to the in, and the vet told me that our next step was to get a biopsy on my dog's nose.  GRAND.  So they use a "punch" (I know they call this that to remove moles off humans... Don't ask how I know this) on the dog to do that.  And lets just say you DON'T want to know how much that costs.  So we went ahead with the biopsy, and I left him behind while I tried to keep myself composed as I left my baby at the vet.

It wasn't long after I got home that my mom got home.  We headed to the house, decided on paint colors, went to JoAnn's, came home.  Then we went to pick the dog up.

The dog has an infection.  A really bad one, not one that is going to be able to be treated with regular antibiotics.  It's an infection that gets in the skin and hair follicles and "doesn't normally just pop up out of no where"!!  So my dog had to be put under anesthetic, his face biopsied, got stitches, and woken back up again.  When we picked him up, he was still groggy.  We have the "cone of shame," the same antibiotics (they'll change them when we get the full results from the biopsy), pain pills (which I had to get from the human pharmacy), and benedryl.  I believe I only give him pain pills and allergy meds when he looks like he needs it, but LORDY that is more pills than I've ever taken at one time in my lifetime!

So Stryker got home and went to sleep.  Dad and I went and got lunch for tomorrow, animal food, meds, and paint.  I still have to get everything together to go to the house tomorrow (for painting of course) and everything else.  Oh and I desperately want to go to sleep.  I have got to get some rest sometime here!

Photos will be posted of painting and Jesse's deployment probably tomorrow.  I'm going to bed.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


467,499 pounds of turkey that was delivered to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan along with:
61,813 pounds of stuffing mix,
13,231 cans of sweet potatoes,
107,832 pounds of corn and green beans,
8,952 cans of cranberry sauce, and
51,652 pies

Just in case you wanted a glimpse in the life of our men and women overseas this Thanksgiving!

First of all I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

I don't believe I mentioned a couple of things that I did yesterday, so I'll go over those.  Work wasn't slow, but people aren't buying a ton right now.  I have a feeling when all the SBCT's (Stryker Brigade Combat Teams) come back from their units in Iraq and Afghanistan business will be booming...  Two-thirds of Fort Lewis soldiers are currently deployed.  I'm absolutely positive things will pick up a ton this weekend, thank GOD I'm not working!  I did make some sales the other day - more than I probably should've.  But either way I'll get a little extra cash for Christmas.

Jesse had called me on the way home, and I was bombarded by my brother when I walked through the door.  I got to talk to Jesse for a little while, which was longer than normal.  I know I already mentioned what was new with him in the last blog, so I won't keep you reading about that!

After I talked to Jesse we went out to get some pizza and some things to make cider for my brother.  We finally convinced him to jump on the crock pot bandwagon, and he was itching to make this cider.  So, we picked up supplies for him while we were out too.  I could tell that Fred Meyer had already started gearing up for Black Friday, one place I am going to try and hit up tomorrow.  We headed home, ate pizza, and watched the Biggest Loser special.  I stayed up way too late, which I decided I need to get under control.  With my future work schedule I'm going to need all the extra sleep I can get!

Today I got up and gave Stryker his meds.  He seemed to be doing okay -- not as well as I would've liked.  Mom and I went out to our house on post to check out some paint stuff, which took a bit longer than we would've liked.  We had to stop at the store, made a pit stop at Starbucks (I had to get Jesse a travel mug), and came home.  By then my dad and brother had already gone to Paul and Jeanne's (where we were doing Thanksgiving dinner).  I almost had a panic attack when I saw Stryker's nose.  Dad had taken him out for a walk with the other dogs and his nose was huge.  It is getting worse, and I'm trying my hardest not to go into a panic.  Why does it always get worse at the worst times?  So, his new bed is taken away, no more rough housing at the park, we're going to be vigilent with his meds, we're going to be getting a "collar of shame" (for those of you who have seen the movie Up), and I'm calling the vet tomorrow.  I'm doing hot compresses on his nose off and on (recommended by the veterinarian), which doesn't seem to be doing anything.  He's also bleeding more from the abscess.  Ugh!

So we went to Paul and Jeanne's, they had already started dinner (thanks to my father who didn't tell us they were going to start eating).  They had a lot of food, which was good, and we did get some to eat.  I would like a pumpkin or pecan pie here at home; I think mom is going to pick one up at a later time.  I thought I might hear from Jesse, but I know he had a lot to do today (it is Black Friday there already).  I stayed for a little while but was getting so worried about Stryker that I wanted to come home.  Since I drove, Taylor and I headed home.  They were just watching a ton of football anyway.

I am slacking on my Christmas cards.  I have considered not sending a Christmas letter this year, I don't like the fact Jesse isn't here to help proofread everything.  Not that I can't write a letter, but sometimes I don't get the acronyms right.  We'll see how that goes.

Next project for me right now (that doesn't involve a lot of thinking) is a Christmas layout for the blog!

If you're going shopping tomorrow - good luck, and if you're traveling - be safe out there!  Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New House, Dog Update, and Deployment Update

I skipped yesterday in updating the blog... To be absolutely honest I think the events in my life finally came to a head... Add in some stress and emotions from this week combined with a deployed husband that doesn't feel like being very pleasant and I was pretty pissed off!  Anyway, I went into work today, venting a few frustrations (mainly of my poor dog) and I treaded through the day.  Well, I might as well start from the beginning of yesterday to give you a low-down on how everything came together to this point.

Yesterday I got those keys!  I posted photos yesterday on Facebook, I will include the photo album at the end of this blog.  The house wasn't a lot like the show house we saw weeks ago, but I have to admit I'm pleasantly surprised.  I liked some of the other houses they had on post because of the way the kitchen/dining room/living room was set up, but the house we're going to be living in has raised ceilings, a decorative ceiling in the living/dining room, wood floors downstairs, and a very large master bath.  We're the third family to live in this house.

I turned in my prorated rent and met the housing people at the house to do the walk through.  It was like a walk through I had never done before, because the guy that did the walk through could've done it without us there.  He seemed to make good notes about the "damage" to the house, they were very general.  So hopefully "scratches on the floorboard" won't come back to haunt us, even though my family and I will likely do our own walk through to make sure they got everything (my dad and I did do a little walk with the housing person too).  We have 10 days to notify them if need be.  I then looked at some paint samples, double checking colors.  I am definitely am doing some revisions to my previous pain selections.  I then snapped some pictures, we unloaded the CRV, locked all the doors, and headed out.  We went to the PX and got paint supplies, and then went to the Commissary and picked up a few things we needed there.  I have to say the PX was dead, while the Commissary was keeping their normal reputation of being busy.

Dad and I headed home and I did some stuff at home.  My mom and I decided that we were going to go to JoAnn Fabrics so I let the dog out to use the bathroom.  Now, I know I mentioned in my one of my last posts that Stryker's face was swelling.  Well, it was fine monday.  Tuesday, not so much.  His nose, eyes, and lips were swollen when I let him in from outside.  Not only that but his nose was bleeding - not from his nostrils but from the top of his nose.  It was almost seeping - like from an insect bite.  I called the vet and then made an appointment.  I instructed dad to keep an eye on the big boy while mom and I went out (I bought fabric to make Jesse an Oakland A's blanket), and we came back home in time to take him to his next appointment.

On a dog-related note, he weighs 85 pounds, not 95 like we thought.  I don't know how that works or if a dog can even have his weight fluctuate that much, but regardless he's not as heavy as we thought.  Stryker got his temperature taken and then the doctor came in.  I have to say I like this veterinarian because he was nice; sometimes you just get a veterinarian that just isn't too pleasant.  Mom and I have had pretty good luck at this place though.  He swabbed Stryker's nose, looked at it under a slide, and came to a conclusion.  Stryker had eaten or come in contact with something that was irritating his skin AND there was something else.  He believed Stryker also was developing a nasal "infection" of sorts - apparently a common (possibly genetic) infection among German Shepherds.  This infection can progress quickly and if bothered and/or treated can lead to scarring and hair loss.  So basically they gave him a shot and some antibiotics.  If we run out of antibiotics before the infection is completely gone we will have to get a new prescription.  The antibiotic can also make the boy sick.  I feel horrible for my dog right now!

This morning things didn't go well for me either.  I'm not going to get into that....  Too tired!

I did talk to my husband yesterday and today.  He might be moving FOBs (Forward Operating Bases), but nothing is one hundred percent at this point.  But basically he will be "detached" from 2/1 and "attached" to another unit.  He's doing well, he likes in battalion commander, he knows a couple more people who are going to be heading out to his unit (from IBOLC), and he's had a lot of time in between things to watch movies!  They were supposed to have a pretty decent dinner tonight for Thanksgiving, since there it is Thanksgiving morning.

I am tired from all the craziness so I'm going to head to bed.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving and I will probably post more tomorrow!

Monday, November 23, 2009

One Day

I only have one more day, or more like 16 hours, until I get those keys in my hand!  I can't say how excited I am, I hope that all the house stuff keeps me well occupied into the new year.

Today I woke up and then immediately checked on my dog.  His swelling had pretty much gone away, and I figure that whatever had gotten him must have passed.  I will continue to keep an eye on him and his activities, making sure the swelling doesn't come back or happen again.  Then after I did that, I jumped into putting together Jesse's care package.  I quickly figured out that I couldn't fit everything into one box, so I made sure to take anything "breakable" out of the box.  I made sure everything was packed tightly and taped it up;  I reinforced the corners, taped all the way around the box on all sides, and made sure the tape was doubled up so it couldn't open.

Then I realized that I missed my dentist appointment I had today, which made me stress out.  I quickly called and rescheduled it, but turns out I can't get in until January.  Not even January, but the END of January.  Oh well I guess, there is nothing that I can do about it now.

I recruited my father to go out with me to mail Jesse's package and got a money order from WaMu (known now as Chase which I'm still not willing to accept) which was free.  Dad and I grabbed a coffee (me a carmel brule latte and dad a peppermint mocha) and headed home.

I helped dad do some cleaning before mom got home, and did some stuff on the computer.  My mom and I ended up looking at paint samples for the house.  I'm still trying to figure out what color I want to do in our bedroom, something that looks good with a rich red color.  Wish me luck!  I want to do a pink in the laundry room, possibly a blue in the kitchen, a tan or green in the living room or dining room, a tropical blue in a bathroom upstairs, and possibly a red in the master bath.  We'll see how that goes, I'm struggling a little bit because I'm not really able to look at my furniture in comparison.  So I might just buy two different colors of paint, and start there.  Maybe wait until we move everything in before I decide everything else.

Dad and I loaded up the CRV with stuff to move onto post.  It's going to be an early morning tomorrow, since I need to go on post and give them some cash before move in.  I can't WAIT to see the house and post photos.

That reminds me that I need to charge my battery to my camera!  I hope that all of you had a great monday and you have a great week!

I wanted to quickly mention something that was on the news today about ILT Brian Bradshaw (a friend of Jesse's) that was on the news tonight because he died in Afghanistan, here is the link if you are interested:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday Morning

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So today I woke up to a dog jumping on my bed.  As soon as I realized it and my head hit my pillow, my alarm went off.  I turned my alarm off and decided to go back to bed.

When I finally woke up an hour later, I looked at my phone (which the first thing I do when I wake up). My friend Stacy and texted me to see if I wanted to go to breakfast.  I have to say my timing was pretty good because I had noticed the text almost 15 minutes after she sent it.  So I we worked out a time for breakfast, and I got ready for the day.

We tried this place downtown, which was new to all of us.  It was a pretty decent place, you could tell that it had been around for a while.  I forget the name of it, but it was good.  After that we went to Target (Stacy bought a sweater for her cat Tini, which was funny).  I bought some more stuff for Jesse's care package, which of course has far exceeded the amount of goodies that a sane person would!  We headed back to my house to work on my project of the day.

I made all the stuff I planned on making:  pumpkin bread, orange cream cookies, and peanut butter cookies.  I watched probably 2 disks of CSI while making cookies - it seemed to take forever!  I also arranged, cut, packaged, and vacuum sealed everything to send.  I am very tired.

Then I realized that my dad left my dog out for an hour unattended, and I only realized this when he "pawed" at the door (it sounds like he ran into the door with his head).  I let him in, and then was getting a good look at him.  I had to wrestle around for his feet to clean them off, and I've been noticing some strange things happening to his face.  I realized today that I wasn't crazy, his face was swollen!  It's around his eyes, nose, and lips.  It's nothing too crazy, but noticeable nonetheless.  So, my first task tomorrow morning is getting the big boy into the vet to likely get a shot.  I don't know what he stuck his face in, or when, because I noticed he seemed to be developing a bump on his nose yesterday.  Only today did I notice his hair and lips look quite strange, and feeling it with my hands I almost panicked.  It doesn't feel like anything big like cysts, but it is very bumpy.  It scared me!  He's not lethargic or having any issues with food (if anything he's eating more), so I'm not rushing him into an emergency vet.  But it has moved to the top of my priority list tomorrow!

I hope everyone has a great week this week, I know for many of you it is only a 3-day weekend.  Have a great week, and I will be posting often!

November's album is updated!

November 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

End of the Week

So today is the end of a pretty boring week.  I can't say how excited I am for the week ahead.  I have much going on, and this is a run down on my daily schedule:
  • Sunday:  COOKIES!!  I am making Orange Cream cookies and Otis Spunkmeyer Peanut Butter cookies for Jesse's care package.  I already bought him an air mattress and razor blades that he needs, so that will go into the package.  I'm getting the feeling as of right now I might have to send two separate care packages... We'll see.
  • Monday:  I need to get my money order for on post housing (Fort Lewis won't let you write a check or do cash, let alone a debit card).  I also am planning on sending one package and getting more customs forms to mail out future packages.  New customs form from the USPS are coming in to fill out so they are even more of a pain in the behind!  I also will be loading the car to get some stuff out of the way from my parents house.
  • Tuesday:  I have to be on post early to hand in rent money, then off to the house!  I will get my keys, do the walk through, and move a small amount of stuff in.  I plan on snapping some photos (which I will post here and Facebook) and then dad and I will likely make a trip to both the Px (we might buy some paint supplies) and the Commissary for some Thanksgiving  Day supplies.
  • Wednesday:  I work all day.  Yuck.
  • Thursday:  Thanksgiving!  We may take a trip out to the new place for both mom to see and to make sure that I have a good idea of colors to paint the house so I can pick that up!  Then we'll be doing dinner over at a family friend's house, which is the Stagner residence.
  • Friday:  Or should I say, Black Friday??  I will probably make it out early in the AM to Fred Meyer's Sock Sale.  The have half off of socks!  I can't resist.  Maybe I will go shopping somewhere else too -- but we'll have to see.  I will most likely be picking up some coffee at Starbucks too!  Then that afternoon/evening I will be picking up any needed paint and paint supplies.
  • Saturday:  Painting!  If you would like to help, please let me know!  E-mail me via Facebook or gmail.
So that's that!  Keep checking the blog to see photos.

Today I went out to Petsmart and bought Stryker a new Christmas toy (photos to be added to the November photo album) and then we went to Walmart.  I needed more supplies for Jesse - including the air mattress I mentioned above.  I also got more Food Saver bags to vacuum seal cookies in, along with some ziplock baggies to pack stuff for Jesse.  Again I've said it once, I've said it a million times... I am obsessed with Jesse's care packages.  It's a little scary sometimes... haha.  Our friend Stacy also came over tonight, and gave me a Christmas card to send in the package.  I know I've mentioned it before, but I'm going to mail Christmas cards to Jesse that are mailed to me here at home.  So if you'd like Jesse to get a Christmas card, note, picture, photo, or letter feel free to send it to me.  I don't know when I'm going to have an address to give to everyone!

Another thing is I'm considering getting those new shoes from Reebok, the Easy Tones.  I like the look of them a little bit better than something like Sketchers.  I do know that losing weight and/or toning up doesn't just happen with wearing some sneakers, but I think that they may not hurt along with an exercise routine.  Anyway, I'm thinking about it.

I hope that you all have a great week, I will keep you posted with information and photos as I have it!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Stir Crazy

I noticed that this month I will far exceed entries than past months.  I find it a challenge of sorts to try and beat my last month's "record."  Today I feel indifferent, almost unmotivated to write a blog for today.  Today I don't have much of anything to update on Jesse.  All I have to talk about is myself.

Yesterday I started to get a bit stir crazy being in this house.  It is a different experience moving back with mom and dad.  Some days are better than others.  That is something that rings true in my day to day life, and something that is expected in being a military spouse.  By no means am I naive to this fact, but the last few days have been tough.  Not as tough as I believe that they can be, but tough nonetheless.  For a distraction yesterday I decided that I would go with my mom to Costco.  We looked around for a while, and I am amazed with how many samples they give out in the middle of a day on a week day!  Not only that but I'm starting to notice a holiday buzz... There were a lot of people there - especially for the middle of  a week day.

I managed not to spend a lot of money at the store (a surprise for a store like Costco), purchasing a Cooking Light book - "How to Cook Everything" - and a new dog bed for Stryker.  I'm sure Jesse's going to be thrilled with the fact that I bought Stryker a new dog bed, but Stryker keeps sleeping on a dog bed in my parents room.  His bed is very fluffy and round, and he seemed SO excited when he got his new bed.  I had to pull the tag off and then I called him into the bedroom where I dropped the bed onto the floor.  He was wagging his tail as much as Stryker wags his tail when he's excited (which isn't much) and immediately laid down on the bed.  It was SO cute.  The rest of the evening he followed me around, almost like he was thanking me for his new "toy."

I was thankful last night for the Thursday night TV to come on, then I watched a couple of episodes of other shows on for fun.  I had a splitting headache (which I seem to be getting more often lately) so I laid in the dark and tried not to stress my eyes out too much!

Today I was determined to do something.  I tried to talk my dad into going shopping at Lowe's or Home Depot, but he quickly talked me out of it.  So, as he did some of the routine cleaning he does before my mom gets home, I flipped through my brand new cookbook to find something to make for dinner.  As flank steak sounded like a good idea, I decided against it.  I decided on chicken with cider and bacon sauce along with brown and wild rice, broccoli, and bread.  Dad and I went to the grocery store, took a little drive, and came home.  Mom was home examining her new cookie press and was itching to use it.  So we decided to make chocolate spritz cookies.  After we were finished (I guess I should probably say my mother finished because I didn't help out that much) I packaged up a dozen and vacuum sealed them to send them to Jesse.

After that I shooed mom out of the kitchen and started to make dinner.  We ate and then I returned to my room to watch some Dateline mysteries on tv.  I also got some flat rate boxes in the mail, and am slightly disappointed with the size of the boxes.  But I guess that's the deal - you get a flat rate but probably won't be able to package everything you want.  Oh well I guess.

Next week is going to be a busy week, and I hope that everything goes smoothly.  I really hope the week flies by.  I am looking forward for the holiday season to be over, if I could skip it this year I would do so.  In the new year I plan on taking on cake decorating and doing some more intermediate classes with the doggie.  Maybe I can get him to learn how to walk well on a leash before Jesse gets home?  Maybe I'll take on some knitting or crocheting too.

Which brings me to another thought - Stryker is in need of a new collar.  I found this website a while back that sells collars,  I bought Stryker an Ezy Dog collar ( after the two of us had adopted him.  And it smells.  Bad.  Don't get me wrong they're great products, but its time for a change!  The new collars that they make at Dublin Dog are more of a rubber material, water doesn't get into it at all.  I'm thinking that the collar I like is a camouflage pattern but is white, yellow, and black.  I think it would look kinda cool on an all black dog.  We'll see what I end up doing!  I'm sure I'll keep everyone with pictures of the doggie and his new collar.

I'm going to start a new album with photos of our new place.  I will post that as soon as possible, I plan on documenting everything for Jesse and you to see.

I added more photos to the November photo album of Stryker's new dog bed along with some photos of our chocolate spritz cookies:

November 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hooah Mail, Holiday Mail for Heros, and my new reading

First, I am eager to tell you about a specific mail program they are starting for soldiers called "Hooah Mail." Please note this program starts December 1st! It is a program that was created for family members and friends of deployed soldiers which allows you to go to a website ( and submit letters to troops overseas. Oh, and it's FREE. Gotta love that, right?? Here's how it works:
  1. Visit the website (listed above) and register. 
  2. Add the recipient to the address book (please don't forget if you need rank, by December 1st Jesse will be a 1LT!). 
  3. Compose a letter. 
  4. Add photo if desired. It will print in black and white. I HIGHLY recommend this! 
  5. Send the letter. 
This is how it works in country:
  1. The letter is sent to a secure server. 
  2. The designated Army Post Office downloads the letter to a special machine which prints, folds, and seals it. 
  3. The letter is delivered to the soldier through the unit's mail call. 
For more information you can visit:

Please let me know if this link doesn't work or you have any questions regarding Jesse's unit.

Also, I know many of you are itching to send care packages! Chances are if you want to send a package to Jesse for Christmas it's not going to be possible. I highly recommend sending something to a much lonelier GI if you have this itch! One reason why Jesse became an officer was because he wants to be able to teach, share, and help fellow soldiers. I know how that he believes that you always need to take care of your soldiers, and a great way to do that is to visit the Red Cross:

This site makes sure that our troops get much needed encouragement. This is a time of war and polls show morale is down among our troops. I'm sure many of you say to yourself that I need to put my money where my mouth is.... And I want to let everyone know I have a personal list that I received from the Brigade HHC (Headquarters company) FRG (Family Readiness Group) of injured soldiers from 5th Brigade which I have sent Thanksgiving and Christmas cards to at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. If there was a way for me to make every one of our troops happy -- especially over the holidays -- I would do it!

Next I wanted to talk about the new book I received today from Military One Source. The book is "I'm Already Home...Again." It's a guide to "keeping your family close while on assignment or deployment." I think that every so often I'm going to post a blog about something in this book. I know many of you that read this blog have or will have a family member or spouse deployed, and this book gives some cute ideas to keep things fresh. I absolutely know for a fact if you send letters, care packages, e-mails, etc to your deployed family member they will absolutely brag about you to everyone possible!! This goes over especially well if you're a girlfriend/spouse/fiance. So keep it fresh!!

Okay that was a little more me than the book, but I will share excerpts from the book every so often... Especially if there's nothing else going on!

Oh and FIVE more days until we get those keys!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Jesse Fishing....And Crabbing... And fishing some more!

So I realized just now I have NO album of Jesse fishing.  Whoops.  I don't really have anything to update at this moment.... Except 6 more days 'til I get the keys!  Yay!

Here's the album for Jesse and his fishing adventures:

Jesse's Fishing & Crabbing Adventures

Monday, November 16, 2009

7 Days!

It's one week from tomorrow that I get keys to the new place!!  I'm excited!!

So, I've already making a list of things I need to bring to the new place before we do any moving or painting.  They are:

  • Paint samples.  I need to pick my paint out before black friday.
  • Towels for hand washing
  • Toilet paper!
  • Hand soap
  • Some of our stuff we had to put in the garage (it's hindering dad from storing firewood in the garage).
  • My camera!!!
I'm so excited to share photos with everyone and Jesse!  I will post pictures of the house probably empty,  while we're painting, moving, and putting away.  Hey, Jesse's not here so I have to make sure he feels here, right??

Other than that I talked to the man yesterday -- I know he told me that he couldn't call me one day this week, but I don't know if it was his time or mine.  Being 12 1/2 hours behind can be pretty confusing!

He did tell me that his battalion commander is appointing him to help out some fellow LT's.  He didn't have any emotion either way about it, but I figure it's a good thing.  His battalion commander seems to be a pretty down-to-earth guy too, which is nice.

I have already figured out what is going to be in his next care package too.  And since I know he never reads this blog, I can mention it here so it will be a surprise!  My friend (and co-worker) April's daughter was selling Otis Spunkmeyer cookies (YUM!) and we bought some peanut butter and some m&m cookies.  I picked out the m&m cookies, so I'm going to bake up the peanut butter ones and send them.  I'm also going to bake these orange cream cookies, which I hope are reminiscent of the orange creamsicle cookies that he likes so much in MRE's.  Then I'm going to be sending him TONS of junk food, along with his Army Times, People magazines, and something he actually needs:  razor blades for his razor.

For those who are curious about what they eat there, Jesse is pleased with their chow hall.  On fridays they have "themed" days, one day was surf and turf.  Jesse said they had steak (which he ate) and king crab legs (which he didn't eat).  They also got Baskin Robin's ice cream.  I'm not quite sure what they do on holidays, but will probably find out soon.  They also get free calls on holidays, but they get limited to 20 minutes a day.  They also have long lines, computer time is very much the same if not longer of a wait.

Also -- I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but there is a reporter embedded with 5/2, 2-1 (Jesse's battalion) from The Washington Post.  It is NOT Jesse's company, but is an interesting read:

I hope everyone has a great week!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Taylor

I just wanted to write a quick blog about my brother Taylor.  He celebrated his 22nd birthday last thursday, and he decided to come home this weekend for his celebration (and as I say, presents).  We watched the movie "Up" friday night over some Papa Murphy's pizza, then went to bed.  Yesterday we did our traditional birthday gig:  Dinner.  We went to Duke's Chowder House (my mother, father, and brother all love their chowder) down on the Tacoma Waterfront.  This is also the same place we went to for our "last supper" here in Washington before we went on our adventure to Georgia early in the year.  I tried their lobster chowder -- which was interesting.  I don't think I'm much of a fan of chowder, unless of course it is salmon chowder.  I love my salmon!

After Duke's we went to the Melting Pot for an untraditional dessert.  We had dark chocolate fondue, with an array of crazy dippers which included small pieces of cheesecake, marshmallows, chocolate covered marshmallows, strawberries, bananas, and rice crispy treats.  I seriously think that the Melting Pot has the BEST dark chocolate EVER!  We then headed home for gifts.  He got a Crock-Pot and toaster (both of which he didn't have at his apartment), a tie, some Starbuck's VIA instant coffee, a coffee mug (which has a nifty little compartment to store the coffee packets), a flannel shirt, and a cookbook in which I supplied him with some of our favorite recipes.  Who doesn't like a man that cooks??

Today has been relatively uneventful thus far, I have heard from Jesse even though we both thought our conversations would be few and far between for a while.  I really need to start writing stuff down to remember to tell him!  I always feel like there is nothing to talk about... Then when we get off the phone I suddenly remember.  I'm a major fan of lists.... Jesse told me that I would be ok when he left because I would make all of my lists of stuff to do and get things done.  He's such a goofball.

It still will be probably another month before we get a decent address for him.  There is also a really good chance that once he has a change in venue he will not have access to phone or internet AT ALL.  I'm thinking there is a possibility that he might get access every three weeks or so, but we will see how that goes.

That is all for now!  I will post November photos soon -- possibly later tonight after we drop my brother off in Seattle!  OH -- and the countdown is almost on --  Just a little over a week until we get keys to our NEW HOUSE!! Yay! :)

November 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

...With a little help from my friends

So my days tend to be pretty uneventful, but yesterday was a good day.  I worked yesterday, and got a text message from our friend Stacy.  I have known her since junior high, she met her boyfriend, Alan, in high school.  The two of them got engaged soon after.  It was almost three years after graduation that they met my then boyfriend, Jesse.  Her and I had kept in touch every so often after high school, but started to become close again after Alan was diagnosed with cancer.

He thankfully got through it, and Jesse got dubbed as "cousin Jesse" in Alan's family.  I needed a change in my job, and applied at Hoya Vision Care in Tacoma where Luann (Alan's mom), Bobbie (Alan's sister), and Stacy's dad all worked.  I got the job there, and Jesse and I have since kept in contact with everyone.

And back to yesterday... I got a text message from Stacy telling me that she wanted to make an apple pie and asked me to help.  Needless to say, I came home from work, changed, then headed over.  Stacy made dinner (which were delicious egg rolls), we went out to the hot tub in the apartment complex (it was an indoor hot tub), and made an apple pie.  Of course me not considering that I would be running around in a bathing suit, I didn't bring sandals.  So, I got a pretty good laugh when Stacy saw me in a bathing suit and furry boots.  The apple pie making was interesting too -- but what happens in the kitchen stays in the kitchen!!

I do have to say that I really appreciate having great friends such as Stacy and Alan, and that they are able to make time for me with their busy schedule!  I am very thankful for them.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day & Update on the House

This Veteran's Day I want to thank all of our military personnel past and present for their service to this great country.  They are in my thoughts and prayers!

I haven't spoken to Jesse yet today, but by the time he calls me it won't be Veteran's Day for him anymore! I did wish him a happy Veteran's Day yesterday though.  He is my hero!

On another note, my father went with me on post today to sign the lease for the house.  I got a copy of the lease and everything, but won't have keys still until the 24th.  I drove by the house so that dad could see what it looked like and the people who live there already have a U-haul truck parked out front getting ready to move.  I'm guessing on post they need a good 2 weeks to fix up the house because that was about the time they needed at Fort Benning.  I have a briefing that I'll have to go to, I have to register our animals on McChord along with getting their microchips updated to the correct address.  Then I'll have to go and get a digging "permit" to put up a 4-foot fence for Stryker.  In all, I should be pretty busy after I get those keys!  And you can have up to 4 animals on post in your house.  Hmmmm....  LOL.  That's not going to happen, don't worry.  It is awful tempting though!

If you are local here, we're going to be doing some painting in the new place the 28th.  If you're interested in helping, please let me know.  My e-mail is  Also if you live in this state, tonight at 5 PM they're going to have a special from Ft. Lewis talking about our units based there.  So, you may want to tune in!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Articles Worth Reading

I know that it's nearly Veteran's Day and I am going to dedicate a blog tomorrow to our veterans of this great country, but I wanted to shed light on a couple of articles that I found today.  They come in my newsfeed to this blog (currently located on the right side of the page), and I saw some positive words that I felt were uplifting to me personally.  I wanted to share them with you.

One article is about support for our troops overseas from our local community, and more specifically Puyallup.  I highly encourage you to visit to "adopt" a soldier!  This article goes to show the impact that you can have on a soldier, a VETERAN's life.  The link to this article is:

Second is an article I feel embodies the feeling of many of the military wives (and even some of the military serving overseas) that I know.  How true I feel that this is!  I do have to say that I don't believe everyone feels this way, but I want to share the article from a spouses point of view of the war:

I hope everyone has a great day, please keep the members our armed services, allies, and veterans past and present in your prayers this Veteran's Day!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Care Package & New FRG

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So today was a pretty busy day for me, I have a temporary address for Jesse at the moment, in which I sent a ton of things he needed to.  We don't feel as though we should share the address with anyone at this time, just because this address is a temporary one.  There's a good chance in the next few weeks he should have his new one, and with the time it takes to get a care package, it has the possibility of missing him.  So, as I said before, I went and sent him some stuff that he needed, along with some stuff that he didn't really need... But they were fun.

Above I have a photo of my stationary that I am going to write him on (along with some care package items).  All this stationary is different colors, and have different colored envelopes.  I'm pretty excited about that... Even though I think I'm the only one between me and him!

Other than that (which I spent most of my morning doing) I got ready for work and headed out to the Tacoma Mall.  I called my friend Katie (my friend from Fort Benning and IBOLC's FRG) on the way out there, it was nice talking to her!  It feels like it's been forever!

In other Army news, I am getting placed in a Headquarters Company FRG (Family Readiness Group) of 2-1.  I'm very excited about that, finally getting more to where I would like to be in the FRG.  Jesse is excited too, happy that I'll be in the loop of the happenings of the battalion.  It's exciting!

There's going to be a lot going on this week and the week of Thanksgiving for me (and my family) so I hope time just flies!  I will post plenty of pictures for all of you to see.  My brother's 22nd birthday is on Thursday and he's coming home for the weekend.  We'll be going out to dinner along with doing cake and gifts.... Which reminds me I have to go shopping!

Goodnight everyone, and don't forget to remember a veteran this Wednesday!

November 2009

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Quick Update...

Again I've been changing the background on the blog, and I can't make a good decision!  I'll probably change the background again.

I wanted to make a note that I got to talk to Jesse a little bit ago, and we probably won't have an address for about another month.  So, it's gonna be awhile until we have any place to send stuff to!

That is all for now!  I'm tired and am going to a Southern Living Party and then off to work tomorrow (or should I say this?) afternoon.  I probably won't post more until at least Sunday.

I will post the new November photo album soon!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Jesse's Care Packages: What TO do and what NOT to do!

First of all, I would like to say that my thoughts and prayers are going out to Ft. Hood tonight.  How horrible that was!  It's very tough to see soldiers turning on soldiers in the worst way possible.  Being a spouse of a soldier it hits so close to home.  There is enough danger and worry as a spouse (or a close family member or friend) to someone in the military, and its even worse to hear of this type of situation.  Its hard thinking that this is the first time something like this has hit a military base, and it adds salt to the wound to find that this tragedy was created by people who live, eat, and breathe this same life as Jesse and I do along with many of our friends.  It is just heartbreaking.  It should be interesting to see if this event changes security measures on our posts nationwide.

Here at home my mother had off today and decided to do some much needed cleaning and decorating (for Thanksgiving) and my father got home early from work.  He did get laid off, an event that happens quite often in his career as an ironworker.  It is good to hear the economy is picking up, for they are expecting more work again in January.  So there is that possibility that he may not have a job through this Holiday season.

He and I took a trip to the store (I'm a little obsessed with finding stuff I can send to Jesse), and bought a lot of stuff.  Or at least probably more than I need to buy at the moment.  But, I feel good enough about it.  I also was on the hunt for some very large cardboard photo mailers for some large photos I'm going to be sending out around Thanksgiving.  Most everyone that follows this blog will likely get a photo of Jesse in or with their Christmas card this year.  I also mailed my Thanksgiving cards today, which I know seems a bit premature, but I had a couple people I wanted to get them out to sooner than later so I just sent them all!  I also stocked up on my stamps, I'm gonna need 'em!

So, my point to this blog today (other than my aforementioned updates) is to try and give you some do's and don'ts for Jesse's specific care packages.  I also will offer some suggestions.  I know many of you remember Jesse's last deployment and sent things to him then, but I may bring up some points you want to consider.  I also may bring up some stuff that may be cheaper and easier to do.  All things I am discovering myself through this deployment along with Jesse's experience with his past deployment!

DO's & DON'Ts:
  - Keep in mind Jesse will have to likely carry around anything you send him.  Many sites recommend sending "fun" stuff like mini Christmas trees, decorations, etc.  Most likely that is something Jesse will not do, for in the Infantry they often times don't sit at a desk, they are going out and doing missions.  If you send something like that Jesse (nothing against the person who sends/wants to send the gift) will throw it away.
  - Try and avoid sending things/packages that aren't disposable or that you wouldn't want thrown in the trash (ie cookie tins).  I personally will be sending goodies (such as cookies and other food related items) in small, sturdy boxes within a bigger box which will prevent the goods from being crushed.
  - If you send cookies/goodies/food, it's best to send everything with (or in) a ziplock bag.  I'm probably going to use a food saver and include a ziplock bag with them so he can transfer them from the food saver bag (which keeps the food fresh) into something he can carry around and seal (to avoid sand/dirt).
  - To keep things fresh I've been told adding a piece of bread to the cookies to help with moisture issues is a good idea.  Like I said before, it can take up to 22 days to get to him.
  - Sending candy is fine, as long as it won't melt in high heat.  I wouldn't send chocolate for that reason, even though chocolate chips in cookies and such should be fine to send.  Besides that, Jesse doesn't really care for chocolate candy anyway, he prefers things like Mamba's, Swedish Fish, Sour Patch Kids, Skittles, etc.  Include a ziplock bag with anything like that you send!
  - Postage is like sending something stateside!
  - Letters & drawings/pictures from kids would be a good morale booster for Jesse!  He may not hold onto them for a long period of time but I know he would appreciate them!  Please don't send anything that you would NOT want to be thrown away.
  - I am going to send any Thanksgiving and Christmas cards that I receive onto Jesse so that he can see them.  Please let me know if you need my address.  If you want to send cards to Jesse that is fine too.  I likely will be sending him packages bi-weekly and letters daily.
  - USPS offers FREE boxes, larger envelopes, and priority mail tape to military families (and probably friends too).  This includes 10 boxes, 10 customs forms with envelopes, 10 shipping envelopes, and a roll of the tape.  Call (800) 610-8734 for this "Mili-Pack."  It does take money to ship the box but it's a flat rate.  You can visit and look up "Supporting Our Troops."
  - Also, make 100% sure you send it addressed to Jesse specifically.  When I get the address I will post it EXACTLY how you need to send a package to get to Jesse.  If you are interested in sending a care package to any soldier, visit, do NOT send it to an address with the name as "Any Soldier" or anything of the like.  It will not go anywhere.

I may add/subtract from this list so I don't keep posting stuff about care packages on every blog.  So if you need a reference it'll be here!  I do not have an address for Jesse yet, I'm thinking I will by the end of the weekend!

Sites that I found interesting with care package information:

There ARE restrictions to what you can send.  Please take note of those, even though I don't believe anyone will send most of the things they list!  Please e-mail me with any questions.  My e-mail is:!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Shipping Overseas

No, I don't have an address yet!  But I wanted to post some information about shipping, shipping restrictions, etc.  USPS does have a flat-rate box you can buy specifically to shipping to an APO address.  They also list restrictions and such here:

I am going to check with Jesse on a few things before I talk about suggestions on what to send him and what not to send him.  A few tips:

-  Do keep in mind that it can take up to 22 days to get a package.  If you are on the East coast, it will probably be quicker.
-  Regular letters and items requiring regular postage will likely be quicker than packages.
-  Keep in mind that they have hot days.  Anything that might melt or be damaged more than likely WILL be damaged.

I am going to send him some stationary for Jesse to use to mail to people (and myself of course) because chances are e-mail or anything computer wise will be difficult to do.  Computers there are also VERY slow and there are time limits.  I don't really think Jesse enjoys that much so he probably won't be contacting anyone much that way.

I will post an address ASAP.  On another note, things with me are still fine, I've been busy.  Yesterday I worked on our Christmas cards close to all day, my mom and I took the dogs for a walk, and then we worked on my Army no-sew blanket.  I will post photos of the blanket, it's a hit among all of our critters.  Daisy, Luna, Spuz, and Gwen have all slept on the thing!  I rolled over on Spuz this morning because I didn't know he was there (he never sleeps on the bed anymore).  Oops.

Today mom and I went to Scrap'n Book, Aaron Brothers, and a paint place to do some shopping.  I think I've decided that I want to paint one room pink (probably the laundry room) but we need to see inside of the place before we make any concrete decisions.  I can't wait to see that house!

Please e-mail me if you have any questions about anything!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Jesse Has a Battalion!

Jesse called me and let me know that he does have a battalion now.  He hasn't linked up with them as of yet, but should be with them in 1-2 weeks.  He is going to be with 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment (also known as 2-1)!  We are both very happy, and it really does take a load off because 2-1 is a battalion that hasn't been making the news as often as some other battalions.  So it's very exciting!!

He doesn't have an address or a platoon, and probably won't have either for a little while.  He also does not have good access to internet.  So, talking or contacting him through Facebook or e-mail is probably not really going to happen much or if at all.  Land lines also are hard to come by, there are a few phones but not many and usually there are a lot of long lines.

For me today was an interesting day, my brother had come home for the weekend and we drove him back up to the University of Washington today.  We swung by the Apple Store in the University District on the way home to check out some stuff.  Then my dad and I went by the storage unit to check on our household goods that are in storage, and changed out the damp-rid in there.  I made some mental notes on how much stuff we have in storage and what I might be able to move in our CRV.  After we came home and I went with mom out to the store.  We looked at all kinds of cute stuff, I picked up some candy here and there to send Jesse.  Also since Jesse is going to be gone for such a long time, I've been stocking up on baking supplies and stuff, and with the holidays coming up everything is on sale so I say, why not?

Other than that, like I did say earlier, Jesse won't have an address for a while yet.  I will make sure to post it when I do get it.  I already have a box ready to start packing for him!

That is all for now!


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