Monthly Archives: February 2011

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters
1.  Happy Monday, everyone!  I can say it’s been somewhat productive for me today.  I’ve done a bit of paperwork, scheduled a couple meetings, had a fairly successful day so far in class, and it’s downhill from here.  I have some tutoring after school, then home to relax with DH and proceed with a couple new workout plans (Hundred Pushups and Two Hundred Sit-ups).  Dinner tonight is chicken tortilla soup that’ll be done by the time I get home, thanks to ye olde crockpot. 
2.  Today is DH’s first day back at school!  He’s going to a local community college, doing a Criminal Justice program while he waits for the law enforcement academy to begin.  He’s got quite the uphill battle and learning curve ahead of him, since it’s been forever since he was in school.  Did I happen to mention that 3 out of 4 of his classes are online and he doesn’t have much patience for computers?  Yeah, you can imagine how cheery the Every Branch household is going to be over the next few weeks.  Good thing Trinnie’s husband also attends this school and can help him with the technology piece if needed.  As a teacher, I love first days of school and fresh starts!  Luckily for DH, he has a built-in math tutor at home.  🙂
3.  Today (and March) is bringing us some financial ups and downs.  The most exciting news is that we paid off DH’s old truck today with our tax return (well, the feds, Colorado, and California)!  I can’t tell you how good it felt to see a zero balance online this morning – I’m sure some of you know the feeling.  That truck should’ve been paid off a long time ago.  We’re still awaiting a big return from North Carolina (well, I am), but they’re notoriously slow and their status checker doesn’t even have it as being processed yet.  NC is also one of the only states that doesn’t e-file, so I had to send in my forms by mail.  Really?  It’s 2011!  With DH getting ready for school, he hasn’t picked up any schools as a reservist and he is still job hunting, so we’re really strapped this month.  Come to find out that the money I thought I’d be getting for winter athletic duty isn’t going to arrive until next month, when we should’ve had it at the end of htis month.  Not good, I was counting on that money.
4.  DH is using his GI Bill to go back to school.  Do any of my readers have experience with this?  If so, I’d love to pick your brain!  DH came off of active duty, and he’s using chapter 30, whatever that is.  He hasn’t received his money yet, but the school is allowing him to start and they’re expecting his tuition once it comes in.  It’s my understanding that we’ll get BAH too, but DH isn’t sure and I don’t know either.  I’m really hoping that we do, as it’d be a huge help to us financially.  I think we could get away with filling the gaps and putting the rest to our debt, which would be a godsend.  I’m really hoping this is the case – and fast!
5.  We had a rough start to our weekend, but pulled it together in the end.  DH has been stressing about school and his job search, while I’ve been getting frustrated with the fact that I do 99% of the chores around the house (while I work full-time) and feel like he only wants to watch Netflix movies instead of do anything with me.  It hasn’t been fun, needless to say, and I think he feels neglected in favor of blogging.  Oops!  Ultimately, DH and I have a lot of love for each other and it’s a work in progress, as is any relationship.  It’s a challenge we’re still facing, trying to prioritize our relationship and each other in spite of stressful circumstances.  What’s your favorite free date?      

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #31 + MilSpouse Weekly Roundup #25

1.  Aside from no deployments, what is one thing you would want to make the MilSpouse life “perfect”? submitted by

It’s supposed to snow this weekend in Colorado (doh!), but that gives me a perfect chance to browse through participants in the MilSpouse Weekly Roundup!  Check ’em out!

All dressed up with nowhere to go!

Oh Colorado, why must you hate me?  I take a big girl step and trot my happy behind down to

New Balance 759

My fitting was quite the experience!  Of course, I had to call my dad (who’s gearing up for his third LA Marathon) and Noelle (who finished a half marathon back over Thanksgiving), my resident runners, along the way.  I also realized last night that my spring break starts the weekend of the marathon.  I can’t tell you how tempting it would be to fly out there for the event, although my dad already has two couples in town visiting.  I wonder if I would only make it that much more challenging (I’d need to be picked up from the airport).  Tickets are only $200 right now, which isn’t bad, but I should really be doing a getaway with DH before I leave for basic.

I arrived at CoRunCo in the last hour before closing, so I tried not to be too difficult.  They had me stand on this machine that measures my correct shoe size and measures the pressure points in my foot!  It comes back like one of those heat-seeking images – certain parts of my foot came up on the computer screen in red, other parts were orange, yellow, etc.  My feet came up normal, with a neutral arch.  The biggest lightbulb moment for me was finding out that I’m supposed to be wearing running shoes in a size larger than my street shoe!  Doh!  That’s helpful to know!

My sasquatch feet, as DH likes to call them, resulted in three pairs of shoes being brought out from the stockroom.  Even bigfoot likes to have options!  I had a pair of Nikes, Saucony, and New Balance.  I tried on all three pairs of shoes individually, then went outside for a walk in each.  The feel was fairly similar amongst the Saucony and the Nikes, so we ended up trying one on each foot.  Eliminating the Nikes, I went for a short jog outside in the two remaining pairs.  My saleslady, Jillian, really stressed that I wanted to find a shoe that felt like I had nothing on my foot, as opposed to the thinking that I need a lot of “support,” which is a word I gathered she didn’t like.  She pointed out that after long, strenuous activity, I would feel the shoe 10x worse, so I wanted a shoe that didn’t fee like anything.  Those shoes were the New Balance for me, and despite my uneducated belief that my foot should be cushioned, I took her advice.

Onto the treadmill I went, in my selected shoe!  They have you do a comfortable jog while they video tape your feet from behind.  My slowmo run came up on screen, and she measured the angle that my feet were hitting the surface, to determine if my shoes were a good fit for me.  Luckily, everything came up good!

My 15% military discount later and I was on my way out the door with a new pair of big girl running shoes – my go-fasters!
Too bad the snow had to go and spoil my opportunity of proving if I can really go faster today!  I’m eager to see how my shins are doing, given my pain on Wednesday.  Guess it’ll be another upper body night!

Things Students Say Thursday #1

It was time for another linky meme, and by golly, it was my job to get on it!  I decided we needed a teacher linky out here.  If you’re a teacher, or if you know a teacher, you know we have some downright crazy stories about what comes out of the mouths of babes!  Therefore, I bring you:

Things Students Say Thursday

This meme is not only for teachers – if you’re an educator (teacher, aide, paraeducator, volunteer) in a Pre-K through 12 setting, feel free to jump in.  I know Thursday’s almost over, but I wanted to jump on this now, while it was fresh in my mind.  A wee bit of fun for all of us, and to get us ready for that feel-good Friday!

No rules about this one, just post a funny/interesting/shocking story about something a student has said this week.  I don’t need to remind you all about the ethics of teaching – please don’t use real names or pictures with faces, and please use people-first language.


Things Students Say Thursday #1 – Testing!




One of my favorite things that students say to me (on a regular basis) is:



“Mrs. C, you’re wearing makeup!”



Now, this typically happens when I’m wearing something that’s a little more pronounced, like red-tinged lip gloss or one of my chartreuse eyeshadows.  My students are high schoolers, just as an FYI, so we can’t even blame it on their age.  My typical response is, “So-and-so, I wear makeup every day!”  I can talk makeup for hours, and I usually spare my students the full explanation of what I’m sporting on a daily basis, for the sake of instructional minutes.  You, blog readers, aren’t so lucky!  Bwah ha ha!



My Daily Routine (I do not benefit financially from the links below)

  • Primer (currently Smashbox’s Photo Finish)
  • Foundation (currently Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Light)
  • Undereye concealer (currently The Balm’s Time Balm)
  • Eyeshadow primer (Urban Decay’s Primer Potion)
  • Concealer for acne, as needed (TheBalm’s Time Balm Spot Concealer)
  • Oil-absorbing setting powder (Fyrinnae’s Fluff)
  • Setting powder (MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural)
  • Bronzer (I alternate between Estee Lauder, NARS Laguna, CARGO Matte Medium, and TheBalm Bahama Mama)
  • Blush (various TheBalm, MAC, Guerlain, and NARS shades)
  • Highlighter (currently Dior Amber Diamond)
  • 3-4 eyeshadow shades (never any less)
  • Pencil eyeliner (typically Clinique Cream Shapers or UD 24/7s)
  • Mascara (Maybelline Full & Soft is my go-to)
  • Brow Powder (currently e.l.f. Studio)
  • Lipstick or lip gloss (various MAC, CARGO, Lancome, etc)
Nope, not wearing any makeup!  

CSN Stores – $35 Giveaway!



I can’t tell you how eager I am for spring to get here.  Despite the 19°F temperature on the way to work, I was in a thin, striped cotton shirt, a jean jacket, thinner twill pants, and my brown flats.  Throw in some coral blush and lipstick, and I’m just ready for the heat!  Bring it!  Unfortunately, the Colorado weather is calling for snow this weekend.  Snow, really?!

Let’s bring on the next season with some spring cleaning and organization, shall we?  Even though Noelle’s visit has come and gone, I want to continue straightening up the house, especially the nightmare areas that are our office and bedroom.  Enter CSN with some assistance and a giveaway for my faithful readers!  How about checking out new flat panel tv stands for the TV I shouldn’t have put in our bedroom on top of my beautiful Heywood Wakefield Rio dresser?  Maybe one with storage options for all of the clutter that tends to pile up in our bedroom?  There is so much room for improvement in our bedroom and office, I don’t even want to scare you with pictures!  CSN has so many options for your home, I know I could pull it all together with their help.

So how can you get in on the action and grab $35 in CSN cash (valid at any of their stores) to put to your own spring cleaning/organizational projects?  Check out the rules below!


Contest Rules

  • This contest will begin today and run through Thursday, March 3rd, 2011, 11:59 PM MST.  I will announce the winner on Friday, March 4th, 2011.
  • You can earn entries the following ways:
    • Follow my blog.  Leave a comment with your email letting me know.  (1 Entry)
    • Tweet the following message: I just entered to win a $35 giveaway to @CSNstores at @USNsis’ blog “Every Branch!” http://bit.ly/gwgiGa #giveaway #milspouse  (1 Entry)
    • Blog about it.  Leave a comment with your email and a link to your blog post.  (2 Entries)
  • You may enter once using each of the ways above.

Thanks for entering and spreading the word!  Let’s get inspired to get organized!  🙂

WHW: Pansies

 It seemed appropriate to do a pansy post after the 10th anniversary of my mom’s death.  My mom was a Tri-Delt in college and she loved it.  She continued to mentor college girls when she was well out of college herself.  Their official flower was the pansy and she used to collect pansy items.  Needless to say, after I lost her I ended up collecting pansy stuff myself.  Pansies were a common theme in antique embroidery, so I have quite a few pieces of linen, as well as some hankies, salt and pepper shakers, and whatnot.  Along with hydrangeas, they’re my favorite flower.

MVP MilSpouse Award


Woot!  Nothing like a little love on my first day back to school after my three day weekend!  Thanks to Elizabeth @ City Lights & Camo Nights for this award!  I’m supposed to pass it along to five other bloggers, who can pay it forward!  My honorees are:

Natalia @ Army of Two
Darlene @ Creative, Crazy and Camouflage
Megan @ Megan Dub-Yuh
Erin @ The Life of e²
Holly @ Life as a Navy Wife & Everything Else

Guest Submission

It’s a little dated at this point, but one of my submissions to STFU Fertiles (a fabulous blog if you’re conception challenged) posted today!  Check it out if you’re in my shoes, or if you just want to raise your personal awareness.  So many people unknowingly/unconsciously make hurtful comments to those of us who have issues with fertility.  I deal with this damn near every day at work.  You can only imagine how many times I get asked/told:

  • “Mrs. C, do you have any kids?”
  • “Mrs. C, do you want to have kids?”
  • “Mrs. C, why don’t you have any kids?”
  • “Mrs. C, you should have kids.”

Little buddies, I can’t afford to have kids right now, as I’ve conceived and I’m about to birth the Air Force.  I’m due 31 May.  If I got knocked up right now, I’m looking at a discharge and a lot of disappointment in myself for failing to reach my goal.

On another note, I’m sure kids these days think it’s easy to get pregnant, a belief that 16 and Pregnant reinforces.  I know I thought it was easy at that age, and doubled up on protection because of it.  Part of me doesn’t want to be honest with them because I don’t want them thinking you can have sex and not get pregnant (not that my experience is any of their business).  Live in fear, my children, and stay away!  If you must, I’ll point you to the local clinic where you can pick up some protection. And for the love of Pete, please make smart decisions!