Friday, June 21, 2013

PCS update

First of all, thanks to all of you for the feedback on my last post.  A couple of you suggested a change to BlueDress Jes which I honestly had not even thought of.  It makes complete sense, at least as far at Twitter/Instagram go.  I felt like I has asked where my sunglasses were when they were on my head or where my cell phone was while I was talking on it.  It was one of those DUH moments.  Thanks ladies!  I'm still undecided about where to go with the blog but I'm working on it.

We spent the last week trying to get plane tickets, schedule our HHG/UB pick up (HHG is the bulk of our stuff that will be shipped to America and can take 60-90 days to get from door to door, UB is the small, fast shipment that will HOPEFULLY arrive in 30 days), book lodging, schedule vet appointments and make arrangements with the airline so Buster can fly with us.  Oh, and by we, I mean I.  Jason accompanied me to a few of the stops but mostly I was on my own.  After this week, I'm ready to say good riddance to the Army.  I swear they cannot make anything easy.  I had to make at least 7 trips to Transportation in order to get our plane tickets.  They gave us the run around the first two days then I had to get on the phone to United and basically make the arrangements myself, then go back to transportation and tell them how to do their job.  The day I tried to call the vet they just happened to be on a "stand down" for SHARP (the Army's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program) and weren't answering their phones so I eventually just went up to their office.  Wouldn't you know, they're closed the entire week before we PCS so the health certificate that we have to obtain within 10 days of our departure is going to be exactly 10 days out.  I'm praying nothing goes wrong while we're traveling or it could become a huge ordeal.  It hasn't been easy, but so far everything is falling being deliberately placed where I want/need it.

In between all the errands/phone calls my neighbor and good friend, Kristin, and I have been preparing to have a "yard" sale.  We've had to reschedule multiple times due to rain so we finally decided to book one of the community rooms available so we didn't have to rely on good weather.  This meant that I could no longer put off digging through all of our junk and getting it ready to sell. We know with almost certainty that our house/condo/apt. in San Diego will be significantly smaller than our house here so we need to downsize.  Drastically.

Look at all this stuff

At least a 3rd of it is ours.  I'm hoping I don't have to bring anything back into our house.  Jason's goal is to make enough money to buy a Roomba.  We borrowed our friends a few weeks ago and he hasn't stopped talking about it.  He NEVER wants to buy ANYTHING so I'm having a hard time telling him no.  Hopefully after tomorrow I won't have to any longer.

This week was very busy and very productive.  The next 7 weeks are going to fly by!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Social media new direction?

Over the past 3 years I've built a little corner of the social media world to be my own, mostly calling it "BleuDressNJapan".  Since I will obviously be leaving Japan shortly, that name is no longer going to apply to me.  (I must admit someone warned me about this years ago and I might have just brushed off the thought.  Now I realize that may not have been the best idea, I was just so excited to be living in Japan.)  I'm able to just drop the "NJapan" in some arenas but not others (the person who claimed @BleuDress on Twitter has NEVER tweeted...GRRRRR), so I'm trying to decide how to best remedy this situation.  We're moving to California, so I thought about changing Japan to Cali but that would just be a temporary solution as we don't intend on staying in California forever.

Along with that issue is this little blog of mine.  I'm still in love with the "BleuDress" branding but since Jason will be separating from the Army I'd like to remove the "Dress Blues" portion of my title, I just don't know what to replace it with, if anything!  He's going to be staying in the Reserves so leaving it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world but the Army will no longer be such a large influence in our lives and thus, this blog.  Although, if I'm honest with myself and you all, this blog hasn't seen much discussion of the Army.  I think in the beginning it was just a place I fit in and felt comfortable so it seemed like the perfect way to "label" my blog.  Recently I mostly blog about this blog has focused on traveling but that is going to come to a screeching halt when we ETS (Expiration Term of Service, or get out of the Army) and Jason is in school and I'm working full time so that doesn't seem like a great option.  I enjoy photography and cooking but I don't know how much time I'm going to have for those hobbies once we move.  I guess what I'm saying is I just don't know where I want to go with this site.  I love blogging and since we'll still be living far from family, I'd like to keep it going, I just don't know which direction to take it.  I'm in much need of a makeover here but I don't want to commit to anything until I've decided where I'm going with my blog.  

I like alliteration and word play.  Rhyming is always easy to remember.  I've considered

BleuDress Threads
Elements of a BleuDress
BleuDress Buzz
BleuDress Address
BleuDress Blog
BleuDress Confess
BleuDress Press
BleuDress Express
BleuDress Profess

Blah, I don't love any of them...ha ha, how about BleuDress Blah?  No, that's probably not the best idea.  I'm hopeful that something will just come to me and click.  I want something that I'm excited about and can get behind with some passion.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Go time!

We officially have orders.  In less than 2 months I will be living in San Diego settling into civilian (my husband will stay in the Reserves) life.  It's been crazy up to this point and now that we have that magic piece of paper in our hands it's only going to get crazier!

While we were living in Japan, we stored our POV car at my in-law's and now we're getting some run around on whether the Army will pay to ship it to Cali or not (one place says yes, the other says no because we didn't store it in a commercial facility).

We wanted to buy a condo in SD but now we're being told that Jason's post 9/11 G.I. Bill BAH doesn't count as income so we won't be approved for a loan since that will be about half of our income for the next three years.

I'm working on applying for jobs, something I haven't done in 8 years!  Luckily we have a wonderful volunteer here in our transition office that has helped me make my resume top notch so I'm feeling more confident in selling myself.

We've started to say our goodbyes.  Tonight we're having friends over for dinner.  One of them is a teacher and he will be going back to the States for the summer and won't return until after we leave.  Tomorrow my friend, Preston, who I went to college with and is stationed at a near by Navy base is coming over for dinner and some Settlers because he leaves for a deployment shortly and also will not return until after we've left for SD.

So many chapters here are starting to come to a close.

I received an award the other day for the 18+ months I served as the FRG leader.  I was surprised and beyond grateful.  I, for the most part, enjoyed my time in the position.  I wish I had been able to encourage more participation in and enthusiasm for some of the events but overall I think it was a very successful run.

Today we attended a ceremony for this adorable little pre-k grad.  It's hard to believe the first time we met him he was still in diapers and didn't speak a single word.  We've known him over half of his life and we absolutely adore his sweet little heart and have loved watching him grow and develop into a charming kindergartner! (his parents and his brother are pretty awesome too!)

This transition period is always the hardest for me.  As much as I want to stay in Japan, I'm ready to have my stuff packed and be on our way to what lies ahead.  I hate the limbo phase.  Here's praying it passes quickly (and smoothly)!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

30 while 30 {3 months}

Sorry about the unexpected 10 day hiatus I took from blogging.  Participating in two challenges last month kind of wore me out as far as blogging goes.  I'm already starting to miss it though so I'll be bringing you some long overdue posts this week.

3 months until I turn 31?  This cannot be true.  Someone turned time onto warp speed, I'm certain of it.  I don't even want to think about it because that means I have even less time left in Japan.  


Health/Fitness {2/4}
1} take a yoga class {DONE 10Jan13}
2} do 1 unassisted pull up
3} pass the Army PT test for my gender/age group
4} try something new {DONE 14Feb13, spin class}

Food {3/6}
5} eat one week strict paleo {DONE 1-7Jan13}
7}learn to cook 5 Japanese dishes from scratch {3/5 1. Nikujaga 2. Yakisoba 3. Sukiyaki 4. Nasu Dengaku}
8} master 5 go-to last minute meals (ie. quick to prepare & no need for a recipe using ingredients we always have) {1. ratatouille, 2. pretzel chicken, 3. stir fry, 4. crunch wraps, 5. stuffed peppers}
9} try 5 new foods {1.Snakeskin fruit 2.Mangosteen 3.pistachios 4.quail 5.Chai tea}
10} meal plan every month {9/12}

Japan/Travel {6/9}
11}visit at least 3 new sites in Japan { DONE 1.Tokyo Disney 2. Tama Hills 3. Okinawa}
12} visit Tokyo Disney {DONE 23Oct12}
13} ride an elephant in Thailand
14} see the Great Wall of China {Done 19Dec}
15} put my feet in the Indian Ocean {Done in Bali}
16}volunteer somewhere outside of the US {DONE 8-12Nov12, Ishinomaki, Japan}
17}take Jason to Red River Gorge AKA my favorite place in the world
18} print, frame and display at least one photo from each of our trips {DONE 15Mar}
19} visit at least 3 new countries {2/3 Indonesia, China}

Random {7/11}
20}watch all 100 movies off the AFI {American Film Institute} top 100 list {56/119}
there are actually 2 lists, we combined them and there are 119 different movies on the lists
21} contribute to savings every month {9/12}
22}volunteer somewhere at least once a month {9/12}
23} have new photos taken of Jason and I {DONE 16Sep12}
24} send 12 personalized "just because" gifts/cards {11/12}
25} revamp my resume {DONE 11Jan13}
26} complete a year long photo project {DONE 28Feb13}
27} attend an Army sponsored marriage retreat {DONE 22-24Oct12}
28} get a college degree {DONE 10May13}
29} VOTE in the Presidential election {DONE 17Oct12}
30} blog 100 times {DONE 26May13}

Monday, June 10, 2013

238 Army Birthday Celebration

On Saturday we celebrated the Army's birthday at Camp Zama.  Military balls seem to be one of those things that people either love or hate.  Since this was only my 2nd ball, I am still one of those people who love them, I like to play dress up.  Since all of favorite people here were attending this ball, I loved this one even more.  It was a tad stressful trying to find a dress over here but I found  an unbeatable deal on one that was so far out of my comfort zone and went with it.  I didn't love it but I got a lot of compliments and since it was dirt cheap ($45) I consider it a win!

With my love.

Prom pose with our favorites!

This is our main crew here at Zama.  We love these people and cannot get enough of them!

Apparently we didn't say "fun picture" loud enough for everyone to hear it.  I love that we're all so Japanized that "fun picture" now translates to peace signs.

Our men...we are some very lucky ladies!

The ladies

With some of our awesome neighbors.

I love these ladies!

This woman.  I cannot say enough about her.  She is my rock here and I don't know what I'm going to do without my daily therapy sessions on her couch.  Thankfully we are both leaving with in a week of each other so we're going through this whole PCS process together.  She is a great friend and a wonderful role model.  I am certain will be a part of my life forever!

The food was blah and the room was sauna hot so we didn't stay long but we still had a great night with great friends.  I'm so happy we had this time together before we PCS in 2 months (EEEK!!!)

Monday, June 3, 2013

May 30x30 fashion challenge {week 5}

This is my final post for the May 30x30 challenge.  I had fun but I can't wait to get some new pieces out this week, I'm tired of seeing the same stuff every day (and doing laundry).  I celebrated by not getting dress on day 31.  I wore my bathing suit/PJ's all day and it was glorious!

Here are my final 6 outfits.  I'm bummed I have a few repeats but when one sixth of your pieces are dresses, your options are limited!

Day 25

On vacation in Kyoto.

Day 26

Another day of sightseeing in Kyoto & Hiroshima 

(forgot to snap a photo of the outfit that day so I had to recreate at home)

Day 27

Finally visiting Miyajima, it's been on my Japan to do list since we arrived. 

(And a guest appearance by my husband because there are none of me alone)

Day 28

I love this outfit!

Day 29

It was chilly & rainy...blah!

Day 30

Super casual on day 30!

 The whole month, all together.

I am so thankful to have met an amazing group of bloggers by participating in this challenge.  I believe Kelly is going to do this again in August and since I'll spend most of that month living out of a suitcase anyways, I may try again now that I know how to make better choices!