“Sunday Funday” – have you heard of this phenomena? I see people posting on Facebook’s about their Sunday Fundays. I don’t know about you, but Sundays are hardly fun around my house…
Here I am on the eve of Thanksgiving (well, technically it’s Thanksgiving already), and I’m feeling mopey. Browsing the Facebook profiles of my high school chums usually results in me feeling bad about myself, sad to say. I went to a college-prep high school where the majority of the graduates became doctors, lawyers, etc. A large percentage became teachers as well (shout-out to Kevin!), but I conveniently forget these folks when I’m in a mood like this.
Everyone seems so successful, and I just can’t say I feel the same way about myself. What do I have to show for the last thirty years of my life? I certainly don’t have a lot of money or assets. I don’t own a home. I have more bills and loans than I’d care to admit. I’ve found love, but it took a failed marriage to get there. I don’t have any children. Yes, I have a Master’s degree and a teaching career that I’m proud of, but I don’t think that’s the end for me. At least, I hope it’s not the end.
Where’s the excitement in my life? Where’s the adventure? I love normalcy, I love stability, but I want more. I can’t say I know what it’s going to take – what’s going to make me feel fulfilled. I don’t know where I want to go in my career, I don’t have a final destination in sight, although I have some faint aspirations.
I know in the milspouse world, I’m doing fabulously in terms of the career I’ve carved out for myself. I’ve managed to finish my education in a timely fashion and get some good experience and references under my belt. That’s a very difficult thing to achieve as a milspouse, living such a transient lifestyle. But I can’t help but compare myself to those I grew up with. In comparison with those folks, I feel so behind in my accomplishments.
The only one who can make me feel successful and accomplished is myself, I know that. Do these thoughts constantly plague my mind? Of course not. But they do make their way in there from time to time and make me question myself. I want more for myself and I want better for myself. I want to live life to the fullest, give of myself, and use all of my talents. I don’t want to feel like I didn’t take chances or that I missed out on opportunities for greatness.
|Thanksgiving 2009 – Arlington, VA|
Most of the time when I do Wordless Wednesday posts, there’s always a back story to go along with the photo. I can’t resist sharing this one. Instead of going home for Thanksgiving in 2009 (it was too expensive), I went up to Norfolk, VA to visit my brother (he’s on the Enterprise). I hadn’t seen him in at least a year, and we were finally stationed within four hours of each other. We made plans to spend the holiday weekend in Washington, DC. I’d never been, in all of my 29 years, so it was a first and I was really excited. DH was still in Afghanistan, so it was just my brother and I.
|Thank you Cracker Barrel!|
We went out the first night in Norfolk, to a local country bar. In my world, you’ve always gotta hit the local country bars! 🙂 The next day (Thanksgiving), we headed up to DC. Along the way we stopped at Cracker Barrel, where we had our Thanksgiving dinner – gotta love Cracker Barrel! No traditional fare for me, I opted for Chicken and Dumplings, my favorite!
We drove straight on through to DC, and after checking into our room at Fort Belvoir, we did the DC monuments at night. I can’t tell you how beautiful it was and I am so thankful that I got to see them like that. Yes, it was cold and a bit rainy, but it was peaceful and crowd-free. It was just my brother and I, wandering our nation’s capitol, with so much history illuminated only by spotlights.
Prior to this trip, we discussed my must-sees, since my brother had already been there before, multiple times. I wanted to see the monuments, the Holocaust museum, the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), Arlington, and the Marine Corps museum (which I put off until DH got back from A’stan).
On day two in DC, we spent the morning wandering around, going through NMAI (a little too fast, but I’ll get back there), and spent the bulk of our time in the Holocaust museum. That night we dined and danced at the O Club, something my brother wanted to experience.
|I had to have my picture taken in front!|
The last day in town we went to Arlington. We really got lucky there. A HOG friend of mine has a husband who was buried there and when you are there visiting someone, they give you a pass to drive through the gate. That made our trip a lot more efficient. I took pictures of her husband’s grave to share with her later. I was able to go to Section 60, where all of the new veterans and KIAs are buried. That was a really moving setting, especially when I spied a younger woman who was clearly crying and spending time with a loved one.
Thanksgivings tend to blend together in my memory, but this one never will. My brother was able to gift me with such a memorable trip and I am eternally grateful for the experience. May you all have a wonderful holiday this year, surrounded by loved ones! If you should be without your servicemember, I hope that you are able to make new memories with your family and friends!
…back about five to eight years ago. I was in the height of my lock-a-beery [read: rockabilly] vintage days. You know the drill – car shows, antique malls, eBay, weekenders, etc. Although I’m not nearly as cool as I used to be, I have some first loves that’ll never die. Luckily, FIL is a big antiquer and used to own an antique mall. He’s always game for antiquing and usually it’s his idea in the first place.
We set out today to visit the
Linens are another weakness of mine, particularly printed tablecloths. I actually own this Christmas tablecloth already – it’s one of my favorites – but this one is in better shape and was only $16! I bought it just to have it around in case my other one takes a crap. Plus, the gold metallic paint is always the first thing to go on vintage tablecloths and this one is still sparkly. The second tablecloth isn’t one I’d necessarily snatch up, but it pink and turquoise are my kitchen colors and pansies were my mom’s flower. We really couldn’t be the price and it’ll fit my longer table, which has been increasingly difficult to do.
Oh yeah, the cool pink and gold swirled vanity jar is courtesy of FIL, who picked it up after I admired it. I joked about having to wrestle it from him. Not sure what I’ll put in it, but it’s a great piece.
BTW, if you ever want to get lost in another blog that chronicles a girl with an amazing collection of mid-century vintage, check out Mary Deluxe!
|Do you hear the angels singing? Because they are!|
It isn’t often that I really miss things about home. I’m pretty good about adapting to new environments and “blooming where I’ve been planted.” Coming to Colorado from Fayetteville was a big step in the right direction, since it has more resources [read: my favorite stores]. Unfortunately, Trader Joe’s hasn’t made it to Colorado yet, due to issues with suppliers and liquor laws. I got used to not having a TJs when I lived in NC (the Raleigh one is a long drive), but trust me, it’s not by choice.
When I live in proximity to a TJs, I do all of my shopping there, aside from a name brand item or two that DH requests. The pricing is great, since they have house labels on most items. Here’s some of my must-haves that I picked up tonight:
- Spanish Olive Oil – This stuff has a better flavor than the Italian stuff to me. Working at Williams-Sonoma, I got to sample a lot of premium olive oils. I preferred Spanish because the flavor is more buttery and less grassy than the Italian varieties.
- Basmati Rice – I think basmati has a much better taste than Jasmine rice. I picked up two bags tonight.
- Bar Soaps – I tend to prefer bar soaps over shower gels, and I like splurging on a nice soap. I buy the TJs Tea Tree Oil, Oatmeal and Honey, Exfoliating Oatmeal, Green Tea, and Lavender soaps. These will last me for a while, thankfully!
- Caramel Corn – TJs makes a fat free caramel corn that’s to die for! Yummy snacking!
- Stilton with Apricots – One of my favorite cheeses. This is absolutely amazing on Wheat Thins. I bought this even though I’ll have to finish it before I leave.
- Advent calendar – Despite the fact that I can get these sorts of calendars at the commissary, I grew up on this calendar. I used to pop the piece of chocolate in my mouth while I got ready for school in the morning.
- Peppermint Joe’s Joes – Imagine an Oreo cookie with peppermint filling, as well as candy cane pieces in it. Um, yum!
- Peppermint hot chocolate – For FIL and I, since we enjoy a good cup of hot chocolate together!
- Gingerbread men – These are on the harder side, so they’re awesome to break off a limb and just let it melt in your mouth.
- Dark chocolate stars – Little star-shaped cookies dipped in chocolate and those little white nonpareils. Please and thank you!
- Peppermint Whoopie Pies – Seriously, if you don’t hear the angels singing now, you’re not listening hard enough.
Alas, I’m not talking about DH and I here. 🙁 If you’ve followed my story, I’m pretty used to being on my own and not having DH around to help me. FIL came to live with us in September and lives in our basement. I know some people are really hesitant about moving their in-laws in with them, and even my dad and his wife questioned the move. I never thought twice about having FIL come live with us, as he and I get along fabulously. He and I traveled from CA to Missouri for my wedding and to watch DH graduate from BCT. We’re great travel buddies and have similar vacationing styles. We like to go with the flow, we enjoy seeing the same sights and tourist traps, and we enjoy each other’s company. FIL is retired Air Force and has owned multiple small businesses over the years, including antique malls. Walking down into our basement is truly like walking down into his house, since it’s so different from our spaces, design-wise.
When I was putting up our Christmas stuff the other day (more pictures soon, I promise!), it was so nice to have FIL around to help! DH isn’t huge on holidays and I’m typically on my own when I end up decorating. This year FIL was here to carry boxes in from the garage, wipe down the boxes (which hasn’t happened in years), help me put the tree together and string the lights. FIL is awesome around the house. He is so easy-going and pretty much does what you ask of him (not that I put him to work on unreasonable tasks). It was nice to have much of our Christmas decorations go up quickly and easily with his help.
Fast forward just a bit to Thanksgiving. FIL’s brother (and partner and son) live in the Phoenix, AZ area and FIL comes down quite a bit. FIL’s brother-in-law has a background in culinary arts and cooks up a storm, so we had been planning to spend the holiday down here and get our grub on. Since I had a week off for Thanksgiving (go teaching!), it made for a nice chunk of time to get out of town. This drive would’ve been a two-day excursion if I did it alone, but with FIL we drove straight on through! He even took two four-hour shifts to my one. The drive was pretty uneventful, as we did 90% of it at night. We thought at times we were going to get some snow, but thankfully it never materialized.
That’s about all for now. After arriving at 0500, we only got about five hours of sleep, so my brain is kind of fried. We have plans to go outlet shopping, hit a local country bar, stop by Trader Joe’s (Colorado doesn’t have any), run down to Yuma to visit my Grandma (and uncle, dad, and dad’s wife), and hopefully jump on base to do some shopping at the MCX.
Busy week ahead of us! I already know I’m going to need a vacation to recover from my vacation! Hope you all are enjoying this short week!
Bored this weekend? Check out the Round-Up and catch up on your favorite milspouse blogs and discover some new ones! Enjoy!