Thursday, July 25, 2013

Matchbox 20/Goo Goo Dolls Concert

Last night the husband and I got to go see the Goo Goo Dolls and Matchobox 20 live and it was awesome. I've always been a fan of these two bands and when hubby e-mailed me one day asking if I would like to go because his base was giving away free tickets how could I say no? So we enjoyed ourselves last night! I love the vibe I get from going to concerts. Everyone happy, singing, dancing, and having a good time. Hopefully we will be able to go to more in the future together. 
Check out my INSTAGRAM to see a couple videos I posted of our time there! I wish my iPhone took better pictures, but I'll post what I got anyway!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Work! (Military Monday)


Today I'm linking up with Eights on the Move and other MilSO bloggers and sharing about the topic of work and how it fits into the Military lifestyle. 

This MM's topic is WORK
Before moving out to California to be with my husband I was working full time, going to school full time and living semi-independently. I have been working since I was 14 years old. Steady jobs ever since. I started out as a busser at a local restaurant. I did that for about a year then I began working at Veterinary Clinic in my home town as a Vet Assistant for 4.5 years. As I prepared to move closer to where I went to school I then switched jobs and began a Direct Support Staff member at a group home caring for 4 women with mental disabilities for 1.5 years. Up until my move this is where I worked. Now, I am jobless and I graduated college in May so I don't have that any more. 
When it comes to finding work I use job boards both public and the ones the Military Base offers. I didn't find anything that I qualified for while searching the Military job boards though. It was all positions that needed Masters Degrees, which I don't have, or they were completely unrelated to my field or my interests. Not to mention there were only about ten listings on there. I didn't find it very helpful at all! I have been going on interviews and applying everywhere I am qualified for but after two months I still haven't found anything...until today. 
I had an interview this morning at an animal shelter as a kennel assistant. I take care of the animals, clean, and help adopters find a pet that is a perfect fit for their family. The interview went great and I believe it is a job I will really excel at. I have a job shadow tomorrow so I can get a better taste of what I would be doing and if that goes well I will most likely be employed! I was warned that at the beginning the hours stink because it's more of a trial period. So they vary from 20-25 hours a week, but I will get more as time goes on. Right now we are very stable money wise so I don't need this job to live, but the extra money will be nice, having something to do will be nice, and I want to be semi independent so my husband can have some extra spending money for himself too since he handles all the bills. I am hoping this job will be able to be full time someday so I can contribute even more to our finances. I really love working and not being able to has been killing me! I really hope I get this job! Fingers crossed!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

I Was Mugged

My best friend and I got together for the last night that I was home in MN. The night started off good. We went to our favorite restaurant, Old Chicago, had a couple beers, ate, reminisced. Then we headed out, got some hair dye, some beer, and returned to her apartment. Then I dyed her hair, she did mine, we laughed, had fun, then got ready to go out to the bars. We went out to our favorite bar which had dollar drinks if you bring a special mug that was previously purchased there. So we had a few more drinks, saw a few old friends, and hung out. One minor mishap there was that my friend got sick...and puked all over the table and floor inside the bar. She is a light weight and I always give her shit about it. So that was slightly embarrassing for the both of us and that was the sign that we needed to leave. At this point we are tipsy, but still able to do basic tasks such as walk the couple miles back to her apartment...alone...in the dark. The roads home are through neighborhoods and they are majorly used roads so we thought we would be ok. We thought we were being safe by not drinking and driving and we had walked around this town at night many times before with no issues. Well...that wasn't the case this time. 
About a half a mile away from her apartment a car pulled up behind us and out jumped three men. We guessed about 20-25 years old. They started following us. We linked arms and quickened our pace. The car then disappeared but we could still hear talking and giggling from three guys behind us. After about a block I pulled out my phone and dialed 911. Just as I was about to hit "call" one of the guys ran up to me on my left side and with a lot of force ripped my friends clutch right out of my hand that I was holding for her. It was at that moment that the car reappeared, the men jumped in and drove away. It all happened so fast that I couldn't get a good look at them, and I didn't get a good look at the car either. All I knew was that it was maroon and a beater. I dialed 911 immediately and within 10 seconds we had five cop cars coming our way. They stopped and took us in separate cars to give our statements.  They tape recorded what we said and tried to make us feel better about what happened. I was honest and told him that I had been drinking and I can't be 100% on the details of the car or the man that I saw. I stated that everything I said was to the best of my knowledge but it was dark and it happened too fast to gather any substantial information. What I did know was that the man that ripped the clutch from my hand was white with a white shirt and baseball cap on. I also told him what details I knew about the car, which wasn't much. After we gave our statements they gave us a ride back to her apartment but we were now locked out because her keys were in the clutch that was stolen.
 I was so happy and surprised with how professional and calming the police officer I talked to was. I was also surprised by how quickly they showed up after I had called. When the police officer asked for my address I had to tell him I was just visiting from California. He asked me if I was going to school there and I replied that my husband was in the Military and that I had moved to be with him. He asked what branch and I told him Marines. He then asked if he was stationed at "insert name of base" and I told him yes. Turns out the police officer was also a Marine and was also stationed at the exact same base! Small world if you ask me!!
Anyway, so inside the clutch was both our licenses, my friends bank card, her keys, and $20 cash. So theoretically they didn't get shit. We called the bank immediately and had her card cancelled. They didn't know where she lived because the address on her license was for her parents house so the keys are worthless to them. So all they made out with was $20. I was so glad that we didn't bring anything else with us! Once we got back we had to wonder how we were going to get into her apartment. She buzzed the manager but she didn't respond. She didn't have any numbers in her phone for the building manager or owner. This was the point where it hit me that we were just mugged and that we could have been injured or much worse. Up until this point I had remained calm while my friend was crying and calling a friend. That was when I started crying and I immediately called my husband to tell him what had happened. I felt bad because it was 3am MN time, and 1am CA time and he had to work the next day but I had no one else to call and no one else to calm me down and talk me through it. He did just that. Reminded me that the important thing was that we were ok and no one was hurt. Reminded me that all they got was two licenses, a cancelled card, and $20. Not a big deal at all. Not long after calling him someone came out for a smoke and let us in the building but we still couldn't get into her specific apartment. I hung up the phone with my husband and tried to figure out what to do next. We knocked on her managers door and got no response. We looked around for a phone number and I finally found one by the mail boxes. Luckily they had an emergency line so I got a hold of someone and they called her manager for us. Turned out her manager was at the hospital with a friend but she came back and let us in. After that we collapsed in bed and just lay there in shock of what happened. We went to bed quickly that's for sure. 
The next morning we went straight to the DMV, renewed our licenses, then I headed back to my parent's house to get some more sleep before my flight back to CA. Let's just say I definitely went out with a bang on my last night in MN. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Trip Home

The day after I got back to MN we went to the hospital to visit my dad. Surprisingly, that morning his doctor also decided to discharge him. He was high on pain meds and a bit goofy but he got to come home and he was very excited about that! My dad is a very active person, always has to stay busy. So laying in a hospital for a week was driving him crazy. I was glad to see him go home. He looked miserable in there, as the photos below show. When he first got checked into the hospital I was so upset because they didn't know what was wrong with him and he was very sick. The thought of losing my dad scared the crap out of me, especially since I was 1,500 miles away from home. By the time I did fly in he was already doing better and he was no longer sick...just recovering from surgery but I flew home anyway and I'm glad I did. 
Once he got home he slept a lot so I didn't really spend a whole lot of time with him. He was also uncomfortable and as a result very crabby. So I took my siblings and went to the beach two days in a row to give him some quiet in the house to relax. 
While I was having fun with my siblings and mom, I was missing my hubby and fur babies so much. Hubby let me know that the dogs were acting strangely and missing me. Broke my heart! Then he went and sent me photos like this which made me miss home even more! 
Last night I went out with my best friend and some very interesting things happened! You are going to want to read about that adventure for it involved sitting in the back of a cop car giving a statement about something that happened to us. I'm going to save that for a post of its own...which I will probably write up tomorrow. Right now I'm sitting at the Minneapolis airport waiting for my flight to arrive. I have two more hours of waiting. This is my first time trying to type up a blog post on the blogger app on my phone so I hope it works! Thanks for stopping by! 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Back to MN

Tomorrow I will be on a plane back to MN. Not to visit family and have a lot of fun. I'll be there for two and a half days visiting my dad who was rushed to the ER this weekend for an emergency Appendectomy. His appendix burst and an infected started in. He was very ill with a high temp and he was just plain miserable. So he had it removed and while they were in there they also found out that he has two hernias. But those are to be repaired later. So for about five days he has been and will be sitting in the hospital looking all sad and sickly. I joked around with him saying he just missed me so much so he went and got sick so I would come home. I'm happy to be going back to MN because I miss everyone a lot, but I am at home here and I'm starting to like it here more and more. I'm finally getting passed the feeling of wanting to go back. The husband was nice enough to spend a good chunk of money on my plane ticket so I could see my dad and I think it will be good for both of us to get me out of the house for a few days. 
So swollen it looks like two, the white matter is the puss. 
On a much happier note, on Saturday the husband and I went to the Botanical Gardens and saw some awesome plant life and animals. We also got our own Venus Fly Traps and Octopus Plants which we have been feeding ants and flies! They are pretty awesome. 
Yesterday we went into a shoe store called "Road Runner" and the husband got himself professionally fit for some new running shoes. It was really cool to see the process of that and apparently my husband runs really weird with his duck feet which is really bad for his ankles and apparently contributes to his back pain as well. So he got custom insoles made and got some new Nikes which are super colorful and pretty!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Penny's 1st haircut =]

It gets really hot here in CA and we are the type of pet owners who love doing things outside with our dogs. Such as going to the park, walks, runs, and trips to the beach. With that our dogs get really warm, especially our long hair Chihuahua because her fur is so thick. So we went by Walmart tonight, grabbed a $40 dog hair clipper and went to town! Pictures speak louder than words so I made sure to document it. The finished product isn't beautiful by any means but it was my husbands first time shaving a dog and it's more for comfort than show anyway!


Friday, July 5, 2013

Four Tips for a Stress-Free Move

Four Tips for a Stress-Free Move
Kate Reusink, on behalf of Richmond American Homes
  
Whether you’re headed across town or across the country, preparing for moving day takes some planning and foresight. Below is some helpful and time-tested advice for making your next move as smooth as possible.

Plan Your Move
If you don’t have a move date yet, block off two to three hours here and there a few months before even putting your house on the market to organize your belongings, said Laura Leist, owner of Seattle-based Eliminate Chaos and president of the National Association of Professional Organizers, in an article on realestate.msn.com. This will put you ahead of the curve if you get an offer on your house right away.

Once you have a move date, start planning out your strategy. First on the list is changing your address on all of your different accounts, including bank accounts, magazine subscriptions, home and car insurance and, most importantly, with the post office. Utility companies also need to know when you'll be leaving your current home and moving into a new place, so arrange turn-off and turn-on days to fit your schedule. If you're staying in the state or moving locally, you can often transfer utilities with a quick phone call or visit. 

Organize and Pack
Streamlining your home makes any move feel manageable, and it is sometimes considered an important step before packing. According to Laura Gaskill in 10 Best Ways to Get Organized for a Big Move, you can streamline by sorting through belongings, especially in garages, attics and basements, and donate or recycle anything you haven't used lately.
“If you can’t even remember the last time you wanted to use something, get rid of it,” Gaskill said.
And that’s just a starting point. If you want, you can pare down even more by taking infrequently used items out of the mix. You may have used that fondue set yesterday, but if you hadn't touched it for eight months before then, set it free to find a new home. When you donate, save receipts for tax time, especially if you're giving away items that have more worth, like furniture that you plan to replace when you move into your new place.
The next step is to start packing. It is a matter of timing, so you may want to leave items unpacked as long as possible so you can find your pots and pans for dinner, but find you also want to pack early enough to make moving day go smoothly. The solution: Label everything you can and leave it in place until closer to your moving date. A three-color tag system makes moving a snap by letting everyone pitch in without having to ask you where items belong.

You can use any colors you like, but the red-yellow-green system may make the most sense to anyone helping with the move. A green tag means the item is making the move with you. Write the room where the item should go on the tag as you place it. Yellow tags are for items slated for donation, and red means it should be recycled or thrown away.

When it's time to move, tagged items go straight to the appropriate boxes with a minimum of stress. Bonus: Unpacking in your new home is also easier when everything is tagged. 
Enlist Help
Once the boxes are packed and labeled, they need to be moved to your fabulous new home. The two main options for getting your prized possessions from Point A to Point B is to hire a moving company or move it yourself. If you decide to hire a moving company, how much you spend on your move depends on how far away you are moving. These are just approximate figures. When using professional movers, it is best to call for an estimate.

If you plan to move yourself, you will save money, but the time spent on the move may not be worth it. Go over the pros and cons of each situation with your family, and check out this
moving cost calculator before deciding between DIY moving and hiring a professional.  

Relax
The excitement of a move can keep you awake late at night, but getting enough sleep is important to your mood and mental clarity. Aim for a full eight hours of sleep the night before the move. Other time-honored stress-beating techniques include yoga, listening to up-tempo music and just taking a few minutes away from the bustle to relax. 

No matter if you are moving into a new home in California or a resale property in Maine, enjoy yourself when you get there, and have a happy moving day!

Special thanks to Kate Reusink for this great guest post! I know a lot of Military and non-Military families can benefit from these simple tips.  

 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

5 Love Languages Challenge

After reading so many great things about Gary Chapman's The 5 Love Languages I decided to read up on it. I am in the early chapters of the book right now, but it's already given me a lot of valuable insight on my marriage and how to improve it in little ways. So tonight I was browsing the website and decided to have my husband take the online quiz (HERE) to figure out what his Primary Love Language is. Turns out he had a 3 way tie with Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Physical Touch! Makes things a little easier because I now have three ways to make him feel loved instead of just one way! At the end of the quiz there was an ad for the 5 Love Languages Challenge App which I of course had to download. 
General Idea of the App
"Included in this app is the popular, Love Language Challenge, which creates a way for couples to love one another in the love language they speak through a 5-week challenge. Through this experience, participants are guided towards ways to share a more loving relationship by speaking your loved one's language. 
WHAT IS THE LOVE LANGUAGE CHALLENGE?
A 5 week challenge that helps you show love to your special someone by completing a weekly challenge. Each challenge will be tailored to your loved one's language and each week you will be reminded to complete your challenge."
iPhone Screenshot 1iPhone Screenshot 4iPhone Screenshot 5

For the first set of challenges I chose the category "Physical Touch". Our week one challenge is "Clear out a spot on the floor and sit back-to-back with your husband and talk about anything. The feeling of support and strength from leaning on your husband, meshed with the lack of visual cues sitting dace-to-face provides, will provide whole new communication pathways."  

I think this will be a fun little weekly challenge we can do together to bring us closer and have a little fun! If anyone else wants to try something new and find a way to get closer to their significant other I strongly suggest you try this out! At least have your SO take the quiz to see what fills their "Love Tank" the best. What do you have to lose anyway? I would love to hear what your SO's language is!

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