February 26th - 28th, 2011

Alright, after tonight my hall pass is pretty much up. I had to basically fall asleep (for three hours) after my (awesome) party on Saturday, and then drive for sixteen hours on Sunday. So, I'm posting three pictures today. Enjoy!

February 26th:

My friends threw me a very awesome dinner party to celebrate my nuptials - we eloped in a true army ceremony. This picture is my favorite of the night, because: one, it's awesome, and two, it does not contain me, and I'm not loving my extra weight these days.

February 27th:

Melissa gave me my new favorite picture in my new favorite frame. It looks like we're doing the shocker - but really we're practicing our Matt Hardy gang signs. Which look like the shocker.

February 28th:

Two awesome things happened today: we went to Mexico Lindo, and Daniel got a medium fade haircut. I'm not a fan of the high and tights and now I don't have to look at one every day. Some of this jargon may make no sense to non-military folk. So, in short, he had a haircut I did not like, and now he has a haircut I do like.

February 23rd - February 25th, 2011

Another photo dump. Tonight is my last night in Chicago, so I'll try to be better at posting every day soon.

February 23rd:

Colleen got her hair highlighted - and it was doing the wave.

February 24th:

I saw my dad and also got to eat the best pizza in the whole world. Don't even talk to me about Gino's East - Little Villa is always better.

February 25th:

First night out at America's Bar (local bar) in probably 5 months. I had another opportunity to actually dress up, and more importantly see my friends and have a ton of fun.

February 19th - 22nd, 2011

I have had a busy/not-so-awesome couple of days. Thus, time for a photo dump.

February 19th:

On the way to Chicago, we passed Springfield, Illinois - former home of Abraham Lincoln, but, more importantly, my sister. I opted a tiny detour to take a picture of her former house. I definitely stood like a creeper taking this picture, and her former neighbor drove past me, and looked at me in a very judgmental manner as I snapped pictures of a house that was not mine - like a creeper.

February 20th, 2011:

Today was a day full of surprisingly quiet children (there were two small infants who did not cry at all for four hours) and baby shower goodness. My cousin (pictured above) is mommy-to-be, and her baby shower was a good excuse to see family and win awesome hand soap (won at a game that awards women for having too much crap in their purse - I am certainly guilty there).

February 21st will have to be a lost day - and a not-so-awesome one at that. So, no picture. Sorry kids, but such is life.

February 22nd:

Barnacle's first day in the snow started cautiously and ended with running around the backyard. Honestly, he had no idea what to do with snow, but eventually he spazzed out in it. He's good at that.

February 18th, 2011

It's pretty cool driving through mountains. I honestly didn't know Arkansas had mountains - I'm not a geography buff. We veered a tad off course on our way to Chicago because I read that a highway through Arkansas was pretty. It was, but the mountains weren't the most interesting view of the day.

This was.

No one was hurt. Rather, there was a crowd of people standing a ways away on the shoulder watching their car burn up. There were about eight people, so I don't know how they were all in the same car - maybe they called friends to watch the show. I think one was eating popcorn.

I'll admit - it's gotta suck watching your car go up in flames. But, it's also pretty entertaining. Those had to be some conflicting emotions for that car owner.

The fire actually went on for a while before the firemen put it out. It actually looked like they were watching it like everyone else was, just waiting to see how far it would go. Eventually they put it out and let us drive past, and the front of that car did not look so good. It was singed black and one of the tires was melted on the pavement.

So, driving through Arkansas was worth it. Not every day you see a car engulfed in flames.

February 17th, 2011

Daniel made dinner.

He IMed me at work saying he wanted to make cheeseburger subs. I didn't know what that was, but I said Ok, because I really didn't feel like cooking. Now I know that a cheeseburger sub is basically a log of ground beef on a sub roll. I also know that he made them because we didn't have any hamburger buns.

They were good, it was basically just a long burger. However, it felt like a whole different meal. So, if you want to trick your family into eating something "different," make the cheeseburger log. It's delicious.

February 16th, 2011

Yes, it's another picture of my dog. It has nothing to do with the fact that my life is sometimes staid and boring and Barnacle's antics are the most exciting part of the day.

Somehow Barnacle got his dumbo ear to flip not inside out - but twist around itself. Not much else to day.

February 15th, 2011

Today was a pretty awful day. Nothing catastrophic happened, more of just everything piling up on top of my head, threatening to break my neck. Anyway, there was a saving grace.

Daniel and Barnacle talking.

Basically, when Barnacle has to go to the bathroom he whines and bats at us. Well, Daniel decided to let it go on a bit - to the point where Barnacle was jumping on him and bay/barking. So, like any logical pet owner, Daniel's reaction was to respond with sarcasm and mocking. "Oh, you have to go out?" "Oh, so you need me to let you out?" "Oh, you can't open the door yourself?"

This went on for three minutes until I burst out, "Oh my God, just take him out!"

You know - after I finished taking my picture.

February 14th, 2011

Since our Valentine's Day date took place on Friday, real Valentine's Day was more low-key. However, I now have a favorite food dish.

Stuffed Zucchini. It's zucchini stuffed with ricotta and parmesan cheese and awesomeness. We had other sides - and the steak was good, but the zucchini was magical. I could make it with every meal we eat and be totally fine with it.

I know it looks like pickles with cream cheese on it, but it's seriously amazing. And tastes nothing like pickles and cream cheese. Actually, I'm only pretty sure it doesn't, because I've never eaten pickles and cream cheese.

February 13th, 2011

Unfortunately, there are no insane Barnacle pictures to post today. Although, never fear - he is still, in fact, insane. He's currently chewing one of the 45 half eaten bones he has strewn across the house.

The big things of the day: went to work (yes on a Sunday), made lunch for my husband and I, went to see Just Go With It (surprisingly good), went to Walmart, and fell on the couch in a heap. But, the really cool thing that happened today was I noticed that almost all the lilies in my Valentine's day flowers are blooming- just in time for Valentine's day.

I love them all, I wish they wouldn't die. But, silk flowers blow.

Sidenote: While taking the picture - standing on a chair over the flowers, bending and twisting to get different angles on the blooms - I heard Daniel say this to my dog.

"See, Barnacle, now I'm going to have to take her to the Emergency Room."

February 12th, 2011

Daniel and I went on our Valentine's Day date tonight. We went to the hibachi place that we had our wedding dinner at. The food was delicious, filet mignon is Awesome - for those of you who have never heard of it. We actually prepared for leaving the house by wearing respectable clothing - there were no cartoons on our shirts. The date was lovely.

However, the highlight of the night was watching Barnacle play with his new yellow ball, and laughing at the pictures I got of it.

This was the best action shot. He looks a little bit psychotic. Probably 'cause he's a little bit psychotic.

February 11th, 2011

Since Daniel was awesome enough to give me my present early, I gave him his present early, too.

His laptop died a little while ago, he's been living off of his iPod touch - like a savage. So, I asked if he wanted a laptop, but he insisted he wanted a netbook. So - a netbook he got.

It's seriously tiny, but also convenient and lightweight; it'll be easy to take with to Germany - which was my prime directive. I selfishly want him to have it so we will be able to easily communicate once he leaves me in rural Louisiana all by myself. No, don't detect any bitterness there.

He is currently using both his iPod and netbook at the same time, because he is infinitely strange. But, he says "I like to multitask."

February 10th, 2011

Barnacle is a creepy stalker.

As I am in the kitchen, preparing dinner in my apron, heels, and pearls, I get that eerie feeling that someone is watching me. I look out of our picture window into the living room and find Daniel watching TV, not me, so I go back to cutting up chicken. After awhile I glance at the kitchen doorway and find no creepers lurking.

Just as I was deciding my house was haunted, I turned around to see a stalker in my midst: my dog, just sitting and staring at me. As soon as I saw him he turned and ran away. So I went to get my camera to catch him in the act, like to catch a predator. Except, almost nothing like that.

I put the camera up on the counter and waited for the click-click-click of his stalker paws on the tile floor creeping up behind me and as soon as I heard them I spun around and took this picture. He looked down as if to hide from view, but he failed. This is his first mugshot in the creeper hall of fame.

February 9th, 2011

My husband was in a good mood today.

So, he decided to have Valentine's Day early.

He called me love monkey earlier in the day, I can only assume this monkey is why. He got me an assortment of lilies - because they're my favorite flower. He also got me an awesome purse - since my current (old) purse was falling apart at the seams.

It was a nice thing to come home to, after having to deal with the army thinking I could transform computer graphics to work on a different program they aren't designed for. Lilies balance my chi. Well - they do now. So do pretty purses. And my husband.

February 8th, 2011

Unlike my husband - I require more pampering when I'm hurt.

My husband got a staple in his head and insists that it doesn't hurt. He is quite literally the black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. "It's just a flesh wound."

Today, Barnacle ripped through my flesh with one of his kraken fangs, really he just accidentally bit me while playing, and I immediately washed the wound, coated it in neosporin, and wrapped it in a bandaid.

I don't even need stitches and I'm making more of a fuss than my husband and his stapled head wound.

February 7th, 2011

There's nothing like a trip to the ER to end a Monday.

Daniel cracked his head on the corner of a cabinet. He now has a staple in his head - like Frankenstein.

The adrenaline rush you get when your husband calls and says, "You need to come home, like now. I hit my head and need to go to the hospital," is pretty wicked. I drove all the way home from work sitting straight up, my knuckles turning white from my hands gripping the steering wheel.

I got home to Daniel clutching one of my blue dish towels to his head, said towel is now in the biohazard garbage bin at the hospital. He had dried blood on his head (obviously), and also on his hand, his eyebrow, eyelid, and nose. I get queasy at the sight of blood - so I had to steady myself a little bit.

Of course, he tells me it doesn't really hurt, but we need to go to the hospital because it bled a lot. After waiting FOREVER, he finally got seen by a doctor who told us that he once poked a similar wound and a fountain of blood squirted at him. I almost threw up on him.

Finally, Daniel got one staple put in, and the sound of staples going into a head is enough to put you off your lunch. Luckily, I didn't see it, 'cause if I had, I think the medics would've had to fetch the smelling salts. (Do they still use smelling salts?)

February 6th, 2011

On the way to take Barnacle on an illegal walk, we drove past something you don't see every day.

A herd of wild horses.

I have heard tale of these horses since arriving in Fort Polk, but had never seen one until today - when I saw a whole bunch. Apparently the base paid a lot of money to get these horses off post, mostly because they cause traffic accidents. However, I'm kind of glad it didn't work, because it was really cool to see them.

It's things like this that make me glad I'm such a camera nut, because I was able to capture something I probably won't get to see after I leave here - and maybe ever again. It's also nice to have a picture on my 365 that isn't of my dog or a furniture unit, to prove that I don't actually sit in my house like a hermit all day long.

Oh, also, these horses were in a field next to a two-lane highway, and further up the road - on the other side there was a flashing sign warning "CAUTION, WILD HORSES." I firmly think it should have said "HEY, WILD HORSES!! WILD HORSES!!! GO LOOK!!!!" But, maybe that's just me.

February 5th, 2011

I didn't post this blog last night because my husband and I went to bed at 10:30 pm. On a Saturday.

In an attempt to save mine and my husband's reputations and prove that we are not, in fact, old fogies, today's picture is exhibit a (and my only evidence, really).

We put together this monster shelving unit last night. It was a lot of work, and involved a lot of hammering and swearing, and it basically took all the wind out of our sails - hence 10:30 bedtime.

The unit was labeled as a book shelf, but those would have to be some big ass books. We obviously thought it would be smaller, neither one of us read the dimensions before buying it, because we're absent minded.

I'm kind of glad it was bigger because I finally have a place to display all of my shot glasses. Laugh if you will, but I enjoy my shot glasses - though only about 15% of them have been used for measuring alcohol. They basically just look really cool, and are one of my few attempts at decorating.

But, mostly they're just an obnoxious way to display how many places I have been.

February 4th, 2011

After my weekend plans were ruined by an inch of sleet, my husband and I made a spontaneous (necessary) purchase.

New living room set! A couch and love seat, plus a coffee table and two side tables (which you can't see, but they're there.

Ski and I went to a furniture store just to look at dressers, and wound up with a living room set. We found a sofa set that was less than one couch would normally cost. Seeing as our former couch and chair were on their last legs, literally, it seemed like a deal we couldn't pass up.

These couches are sturdy and super comfortable, and I loooorve them. The coffee and end tables are much better than the plastic shelves we were using as a remote/drink/computer cord holder we were using.

The best thing about the tables and couches? I didn't have to put them together. Score.

February 3rd, 2011

Beside the fact that it was my awesome sister's (Renee's) birthday, not a whole lot happened today.

So, I thought I would document my new found love affair with caffeine free Dr. Pepper.

I cut way back on my caffeine about three months ago. Now, I have one or less beverages with caffeine per day. I also stopped drinking Diet Coke, pretty much completely.

This is pretty much an amazing feat for me. Up until three months ago, my blood was 46% aspartame. I dreamed of floating down Diet Coke rivers. I invented Diet Coke fountains to replace water fountains (patent still pending). I swam in Diet Coke pools. Well, when I spilled it on myself.

Long story short: I loved Diet Coke. It became a symbiotic relationship I had to end. It was hard, I spent a few nights trying to call Diet Coke. I would ask everyone, "Do you think Diet Coke is thinking about me?"

"I don't care, I'm not missing him,"  I'd quickly say.

I would open the refrigerator door at my last two abandoned diet cokes left and the song "How Do I Live Without You" would begin to play. I would see a condensation tear running down the Diet Coke's aluminum can and would quickly slam the door and run to my bedroom.

It took a good two weeks to completely stop drinking Diet Coke. I switched over to Minute Maid Lemonade, which is delicious, and after awhile I forgot why I was so in love with Diet Coke, why I would dream about it, have panic attacks when I didn't have one. My love affair seemed very strange and ridiculous in hindsight, as many past romances do.

I was happy for awhile, drinking my lemonade merrily all day long, until my love for pop in general came floating back into my brain.

I craved the bubbly sensation running down my throat. I missed the popping sound of the can opening - the plasticky sound a lemonade carton makes upon opening it just isn't the same.

So, I searched for alternatives that were caffeine free. I had a Rootbeer fling, but it left me hollow and unfulfilled. I flirted with regular Coke, but it never got very far. But, one day, I met the new love of my life, right in the soda section of the grocery store: caffeine free Dr. Pepper.

I've always liked Dr. Pepper, now I love it.

I am back to drinking too much pop again , my lemonade has been left neglected in the fridge. But, at least I'm not consuming a boatload of caffeine and aspartame along the way. Although, as you can see, I had to add some aspartame in to try and negate my turning into a cow from drinking too much regular pop.

I wonder how long my relationship with caffeine free Dr. Pepper will last. I don't want to jinx it, but I think this could be the one.

February 2nd, 2011

We have a deal in my house.

I cook - Ski does the dishes.

We mostly split the housework, he did the laundry today and swiffered the floors. But, he doesn't really do anything all day since he's clearing Fort Polk, so he can clean.

I admit this way of doing things works better than switching off cooking. I kind of found out I'm a micro manager when he tries to cook, and I'm not exactly Julia Child.

But, once he was making pork chops, vegetables and rice. I walked in after about 20 minutes and looked at the stove. There was a pot of violently rice threatening to overflow.

"How long has that been boiling?" I asked, turning down the heat.

"I dunno, 20 minutes?" Daniel replied.

"Did you even read the directions?"

"Pfft, who needs directions?"


February 1st, 2011

Louisiana knows how to ring in February.

With a severe thunderstorm and a 20 degree drop in temperatures.

The thunderstorm was pretty intense while it was happening - but it only lasted about an hour so that was a little disappointing. It was also disappointing to walk into work in short sleeves, and walk out shivering and racing to my car, and my sweater.

More distressing - it's going to stay cold here for a few days and the brand new coats I ordered for my husband and I will definitely not be here until next week.

As a sidenote, I took this picture while at work, and one of my coworkers saw me through the double-doors and gave me a look that said, "Why the hell is she taking pictures of the rain?"

I didn't say anything, I just looked down and walked back inside.