Sunday, September 29, 2013

New Friends!

When you move every 3 years (or less), making new friends each time can be a daunting task.  It's not as easy as when you were 5 and you can walk up to a girl, say "Your shoes are pretty.  Want to be my friend?", and skip off together to the playground (I saw this happen once at vacation Bible school).  Luckily for me, Katie from Going Coastal took some of the stress out of friend making here in San Diego.  She rounded up a bunch of military spouse bloggers who are all relatively new to the area and organized a super fun brunch at Crepes and Corks.

I had a delicious chicken pesto crepe.  Everyone else ordered something sweet so I'll have to go back and try a sweet one next time.

We sat around chatting for two hours and probably would have sat there longer if our parking meters hadn't expired. (our server was definitely not a photographer!)
Katie {Going Coastal}

We're making plans to expand our group and meet up again next month and I'm already looking forward to it!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Wedding Day {Brad+Jamie}

Y'all my baby brother is MARRIED!  Part of me cannot believe it and part of me almost feels like they've been married for years already.  Jamie has been a part of our lives for over 7 years, almost as long as Jason and I have been together.  In fact, she's at more of the same family functions I am than my brother is because of his work schedule so it almost feels like she's family and my brother is marrying into the family.  Anyways, Jamie is awesome, my brother is totally lucky to have snagged her and we're lucky to have her in our family, officially now!

They were married on a golf course in Indiana so of course we had fun riding around in golf carts taking photos.  This was my 1st time driving a golf cart and I may or may not be a very good golf cart driver...

Some of the guys wore Bill Murray t-shirts under their tuxedos.

Brad and Jamie are both die hard baseball fans, so their wedding had a fun baseball theme to it.
Complete with a NACHO BAR!  This would have been the best wedding food ever if we hadn't had a Skyline bar at our wedding (wink, wink). 
So happy and in love!
Their first (and only) dance.  I love that her dress swallowed him up!
 Sisters, officially now! (photobombed by my awesome brother)
 That's better.  I could not have hand picked more awesome women to call my sisters!  I love these girls!
 My siblings and I, we're kind of awesome!
 I love this man!

 Then their wedding was Mr. Red Legs!  They had no idea he was coming, 2 of Jamie's cousins (the co-maids-of-honor) set it up and to say it was a huge hit would be an understatement.
 He pretty much consumed the rest of the evening.
 There was a bit of a dance off between Mr. Red Legs and one of my brother's best friends.
 He even got the bride on the dance floor.

 Jason even did the wiggle dance with him.
Then I cried because my throat hurt so bad and I was so tired I just couldn't stay awake any longer.  Then we realized our car wasn't there so we couldn't leave so my awesome mother agreed to leave a little early to take us to our car.  AND THEN we got to our car and my husband (that guy up there doing the wiggle dance with the Cincinnati Reds mascot) realized that our keys were in my brother's car back at the reception venue so I choked him thought about choking him but didn't have the energy to do it.

This illness was one of the worst of my life and it could not have hit at a worse time.  Luckily it has mostly passed now and my voice is almost back to normal.  Hopefully that was my one and only bout with bronchitis!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Speechless at my brother's wedding

For the first time ever in my life I was left speechless last week.  Literally.  Unable to speak a word.  IT. WAS. TORTURE.

So I woke up last Tuesday (the day our HHG were delivered) to a sore throat that I just knew was going to turn into something more.  I had no idea exactly how much more it was about to become.  I struggled through the delivery of all our stuff

before I passed out for a 4 hour nap while my AMAZING husband began the agonizing process of unpacking.
I woke up long enough to cook dinner and go right back to sleep.  The next morning, I left to fly back to Cincinnati for my brother's wedding.  Traveling while sick might be one of the worst things EVER but there was no way I was going to miss this flight.
OJ, water, and pretzels helped me survive the flights.
I immediately went back to sleep the moment I arrived at my girlfriend's house, not the reunion either of us had hoped for but a necessity for sure.

The next morning was go time!  Wedding prep was underway with or without me, so I joined in as best I could.  A relaxing mani/pedi with my mom, sister, and sister-to-be definitely lifted my spirits, if only temporarily.
 Then my husband's flight arrived and he sure did his part to make sure I had a smile on my face even though I felt like I was dying.  We found this bunny suit and he insisted on wearing the head around.
 Then we rehearsed...
and had fun doing it.  (that water bottle in my hand did not leave my side for an entire week except for the 20 minutes during the actually ceremony)
 After business was taken care of we went back to their house for dinner and they gave gifts to the wedding party.  All the groomsmen got jerseys, I was wicked jealous! (except my husband chose the dirty wings!  BOO that!)

We didn't make it long after dinner, that's when I really, really started to feel bad and I knew I had a long day ahead of me on Friday so we punked out early.  I'm going to skip the wedding, that will get it's own post tomorrow but that's the day I lost my voice.  Not being able to talk the day I saw most of my family for the first time in over a year was torture.  Good thing my sister is awesome at reading my lips/mind and understanding my gestures/sign language.

First thing Saturday morning I was at urgent care being diagnosed with sinus bronchitis, I let my sinus infection (I was almost certain that's what was wrong with me) go untreated so long it turned into bronchitis.  Not cool folks, not cool.  Don't let a sinus infection go untreated!  I definitely learned my lesson.  With an antibiotic Rx in my pocket I decided not to cancel my scheduled dinner plans with my best girl friends and I'm so glad I didn't.  It might have been difficult communicating with no voice but it was just nice to be in the company of women who love and support me.

I tried my damnedest to enjoy my weekend with friends and family despite feeling like crap.  I wish I could have been a bit more myself (ie. talkative) but it was nice to just be in the company of these people.  For a brief minute I felt a little sad that we didn't choose to move back to Cincinnati.  I miss the people so much it hurts!

Come back tomorrow for a recap of the wedding.  There were some amazing surprises you're going to want to see!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Bloody Mary's Count as a Salad Link Up

Welcome to Bloody Marys Count as a Salad # 12

Bloody Marys Count as a Salad

What's with the name?  We named it Bloody Mary’s Count as a Salad, because anything goes in this hop! Need to vent? Go for it! Need to say something snarky? DO IT!  Or do you just want to share your blog and/or a specific post?  We'd love to read it!  Anything you want to share, we want to see it!

And introducing a social aspect of the hop!  Each week we will feature a different social media linkup.  This week is Twitter!  Link up your blog in the first linkup and your Facebook page in the second linkup!  

Of course, there are a few rules, we aren't going for hop chaos here!

  1. Follow your hosts and each weeks special guest co-host.
  2. Link up your blog or specific blog post.  Whatever you’d like to share is ok with us!
  3. Visit 3-4 other blogs and say hello!  Try to be nice and follow those who follow you.  And don’t forget to say hi to your hosts if you are new!
  4. Grab the link up button and put it in your side bar, in your post, or put our link on your link up party page.
  5. Not mandatory, but we’d love to have you share our hop with others.  Tweet it, post about it, or share it on Facebook.  We’ll love you forever if you do… And it might help you grab a co-host spot next week.

Don't Forget to follow your Hosts and special Co-Host:

               A Girl                                                                           Erin                                                                        Kara
A Boy, A Girl, and the Marine Corps                 Unconventional Mommy Tails                             Ramblings of  Marine Wife

Special Guest Host: Jes- Bleu Dress and Dress Blues

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

California Love

So instead of doing another general life goal list for this year, I decided to make a list of things that we (I) want to do while we're living in California.  Some of them are local to San Diego and some of them extend to the south western portion of America, some are touristy and some are unique, but they're all things I want to do in the next 3-4 years.

In no particular order, here is my list.

1. Hike to the Hollywood sign (or as close as we can get without being arrested)
2. Camp at Big Bear Lake
3. Visit Mexico
4. San Diego Zoo
5. Redwood Forest
6. Overnight hike part of the PCT
7. Learn to Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP)
8. Napa Valley
9. Yosemite
10. Hike to Cedar Creek Falls
11. La Jolla seacaves
12. Carlsbad Flower Festival
13. Children's Pool/Seal beach
14. Point Loma tide pools
15. La Jolla cliff/coast walk
16. Salvation Mountain
17. Watts Towers
18. Salton Sea
19. Nazi Camp
20. Hike at Torrey Pines
21. Hollywood walk of fame
22. Ride the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner
23. Ride the Marvin Braude Bike Trail (Santa Monica Pier & Venice beach)
24. Grand Canyon
25. Slots Canyons of Anza Borrego Desert State Park
26. Sand sculpture competition
27. Sunbathe on the beaches of the Hotel del Coronado
28. Take a surfing lesson
29. ?
30. ?

Have you done any of these?  What would you scratch off this list, or what would you add?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Funkalicious Birthday

I have been in some kind of funk lately.  Blogging funk, photography funk, job hunting funk, just an over all life funk.  I think this happens every time we move.  There is so much built up excitement and anxiety over leaving behind friends and the familiar life we have created and the unknown we're about to face.  Then the nervous/excited energy fades away and that leaves me in this funk.  I haven't made the awesome group of friends (that I'm sure we'll find eventually), I haven't found the best way to occupy my time (usually volunteering, this time it means finding a job which I haven't tried to do in over 8 years and y'all, this is harder than I remember but that's another post for another day), we haven't found our church home and we haven't found our routine yet.  Once this all happens, the funk will end and I'll continue living life with the passion and gusto I usually do, but for now, it's a funk phase.

This does not, by any means, mean that we are not enjoying San Diego, we are. We've reconnected with friends and family in the area and we're loving our new neighborhood, I just feel like the spark of life is glowing really dim at the moment.  To be living in this ill lit world during the week of my birthday (which, if you remember, I typically celebrate for more than just one day) was not ideal but I didn't let it completely ruin my birthday.  My cousin, husband and I attended the San Diego Restaurant Week kick off party at Broadway Pier.  We had a fabulous night tasting many dishes from local San Diego restaurants and beverages from local breweries & wineries.  It was the perfect way to get to try a sampling of what is offered at some local restaurants.

Of course we got all dolled up, that's how we like to celebrate in our house.  I posted this photo on Instagram (if you're not following me, you should be @bleudressjes) asking which outfit I should wear, thinking that everyone would vote for the black dress and I could not have been more wrong.  You guys voted 14-0 for the orange dress and I'm so happy you did.  I felt a little pumpkin/traffic cone-ish when I first tried it on but you guys gave me the confidence to rock it and that's exactly what I did.
With my husband before dinner.

 With my cousin, Tina,  before dinner.

We were hungry by the time we arrived so we wasted no time diving in to the food.  This was a piece of freshly baked bread stuffed with pesto pasta, one my my favorites of the night...and the restaurant is just 5 minutes from our house!

Sitting on the windy pier with my cousin.

This is my "it's my birthday so I'll eat more of those delicious baked beans if I want to" face.  Seriously, I went back 3 times.  BEST. BAKED. BEANS. EVER!

It was a spectacular evening to be on the water.

Tina and Jason enjoying...I don't remember what it was, but I know I didn't try it so it must have been steak or pork!

This is what I get when I hand the husband my camera and ask him to take a photo for me.

Tina and I trying some flavor crystals.  The combination of cream and mini flower crystals on the spoon started out awful then evolved into something...delicious.  It was quite possibly the strangest thing I've ever put in my mouth, and not in a bad way.  It would be really fun to incorporate these into dishes for a dinner party.

Tina tried her first ever oyster.

We even managed to find me some "birthday cake" and a "candle".

As you can see in this photo, we enjoyed ourselves (and the food) so much that I had to ditch the belt!  If that isn't the perfect way to end a birthday celebration, I don't know what is!

Next week our HHG arrives (HOORAY!  7 weeks to the day that it was picked up from our house in Japan, not too shabby!), the couch we ordered will be delivered and we're flying back to Cincinnati for my baby brother's wedding.  It's sure to be an exciting week!  Hopefully I'll have some good content to share with you all when it's all over.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

30 while 30 {the end}

Today is my 31st birthday. I cannot believe an entire year has passed since I was celebrating my 30th birthday with my family!

 In an ideal world I would have 30 tasks checked off my list at this point, alas, I prepped for and executed a move across the world over the past few months which left little time for my 30 while 30 goals.  I am happy with the 22 goals I did accomplish though.  I'm not going to do a 31 while 31, instead I'm working on a very exciting list of goals to accomplish while we're living in California.  Hopefully I'll have that completed and ready to share with y'all in a few days.


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 {4/6}
5} eat one week strict paleo {DONE 1-7Jan13}
7}learn to cook 5 Japanese dishes from scratch {4/5 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 {12/12}

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 {10/11}
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 {12/12}
22}volunteer somewhere at least once a month {12/12}
23} have new photos taken of Jason and I {DONE 16Sep12}
24} send 12 personalized "just because" gifts/cards {Done}
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}

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Labor Day

I spent my Labor Day searching for a job.  How's that for irony?!  We did however enjoy a great Labor Day weekend with some family.  The last time we spent Labor Day weekend with our family was during our "big" wedding in 2009 so this was a nice treat for us.

My cousin and I started the morning by making our great grandmother's potato salad.  We had a blast in the kitchen together and we can't wait to try out some more of her, and our grandmother's, recipes together.  It doesn't look like much but it's the only potato salad I've ever liked!

Jason picked lunch, California Kebab and Beer Garden.  The food was delicious and there was a nice little view of the beach.  We'll be back for sure!

After lunch we spent a few hours on the beach with a million other people.

I get to call this handsome fella my husband!  He saw this photo and said "that doesn't even look like me".  That is because 1, he has a beard (I have to say, I feel like I'm kissing another man with that's weird!) and 2, I caught a genuine smile, not the fake smile that he usually gives me in photos.

My cousin, Tina, and I at Pacific Beach.

Jason's dad lives about 2 hours away so he came down for the weekend.  It is so nice to be close to some family again.

After the beach we went back to our place and grilled then introduced Tina to the awesomeness that is Settlers of Catan.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Labor Day weekend!