Primroses and great friends

This past weekend, we had a couple from church over for dinner.

I forgot to take pictures the entire night even though the camera was in reaching distance. We were having too much fun to take the time out for pictures! Since I didn’t take pictures, I will post the picture of us with them from the You Are Loved Banquet (they are on the left, obviously). Meet Doug and Angel…

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We talked a while, had homemade pizza, and played catch phrase. My Love, Angel, and Doug really enjoyed laughing at me and teasing me during catch phrase because they think I was crazy even though I have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about. It’s not like I was jumping up and down, talking really fast, and getting stressed out by the timer sounding faster and faster…

They brought sparkling grape juice and pretty pink primroses! Their last name is Primm, so it was very fitting! 🙂 I really hope my awful black thumb doesn’t totally kill them because they are already looking wilted.

We’ve slowly been getting to know them over time through church and the banquet, and we hardly knew this couple when they walked in the door. By the time they left, I feel like we’re great friends. We are definitely looking forward to our next get together with them!!!

 

How did you spend your weekend? Did you do anything fun?

Secret Sister Gift ~ February 2013

My secret sister’s gift to me this month was AWESOME!!!

102Yeah, you saw that right! It’s a $25 gift card to Applebee’s!!! We love Applebee’s! It’s the perfect after Sunday morning church meal.

She also bought me a little vase. I have it by my side of the bed to keep chocolates (most likely Reese’s cups) in for my first-thing-in-the-morning fix! Is my secret sister amazing or what?!

 

Secret Sister Gift ~ January 2013

I’m really late in writing this post, and in all honesty, I forgot. Oops! So…here it is!

I’m participating in the Secret Sister program at our church where the ladies in the program have a secret sister and one does/buys/encourages them throughout the year. I will be featuring what my secret sister has done for me through out this year.

For the month of January, my secret sister bought me a coffee mug with a hanging plaque, a snow globe (my very first!), and lots of tea!

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Mister laughed when he saw the mug because I already have so many. I think I might have a mug addiction, and I don’t even drink coffee!

Our Valentine’s Day Celebrations 2013

We had a fantastic Valentine’s Day!!! I decorated the house with lots (I forgot to count, but it was close to last year’s 150) of candles. We dressed up in our fanciest. The menu was salad, steak with baked potatoes and onion, and chocolate cake with hot chocolate served on our fabulous heart-shaped plates and bowls! I even made Mister a heart-shaped homemade marshmallow! It was delicious!!!

Two days later, we had our Valentine’s date day out. We had Deluxe for breakfast. They have the BEST donuts! I wish I could eat there every day!!! After Deluxe, we dropped off Noel at my parents’ so they could puppysit.

We arrived at the mall super early to see Safe Haven. We were so early that the ticket booth wasn’t even open yet, so we walked around the mall and I got an early birthday present–Hunter Hayes’ CD! I have listened to the CD non-stop since then. I love every single song on this CD which is a rarity for me since I’m very picky.

Finally the theater was open. Safe Haven was very good–different from the book but still good! After the movie we walked around the mall a little bit then went gun, book, and clothes shopping. I bought 3 books from Half Price Books and a new super cheap outfit from Plato’s!

We went to Olive Garden for dinner using our gift card from the banquet. Dinner was amazing! We ate so many breadsticks, chicken flatbread, and salad that we didn’t even touch our main course. That makes dinner for another day!

Overall, we had a great Valentine’s! We had so much fun with each other and are very thankful he was home this year!

What’d you do for Valentine’s Day?

Honor a Widow(er)

Many men and women have lost their spouse. Whether to war, cancer, suicide, or another way, it’s never easy to go through Valentine’s Day without their spouse. Seeing all the happy couples can be tremendously difficult.

As a military spouse, it’s difficult when my husband isn’t with me for Valentine’s Day; but I couldn’t imagine him not being here ever.

Here are some ways to honor a widow(er)…

1) Buy flowers/chocolates
2) Pay for a massage
3) Take them out for a special dinner
4) Surprise them with dinner at your/their house
5) Buy a gift card for their favorite store
6) Write them a letter and tell them what they mean to you
7) Give them a hug. A simple hug can go a long way!
8) Have a party/get together for all the widow(er)s
9) Pay for their groceries for a week
10) Offer babysitting so they can have some quiet time

There are many other ways to honor a widow(er) and make them feel special especially during a time when it’s all about couples. Get creative!

You Are Loved Banquet 2013

The night I’ve been looking forward to for weeks finally came! My parents’ came over to puppy-sit, and my mom helped me get ready!

Before for the banquet

Before for the banquet

Noel wanted to sit on our laps, so this is our family picture! :)

Noel wanted to sit on our laps, so this is our family picture! 🙂

We drove to Hartville Kitchen, and when we arrived, Forever Captured Photography was taking everyone’s picture in  front of the beautiful staircase. I’ll be sure to share when I have it.

We made our way back to the banquet room, and it was decorated in a “love birds” theme.

Our tables centerpiece. One lucky winner at each table took the centerpiece home.

Our table’s centerpiece. One lucky winner at each table took the centerpiece home. Each person received a small goodie bag of Dove chocolates!

The program for the evening :)

The program for the evening 🙂

"Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes."Song of Solomon 1:15

“Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes.”
Song of Solomon 1:15

We had special music…

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And a very interesting guest…

This act was hilarious! I don't think a single person in the room wasn't laughing!!!

This act was hilarious! I don’t think a single person in the room wasn’t laughing!!!

There were was a game…

Husband/Wife cake eating contest.

Husband/Wife cake eating contest.

The wives had to feed their husbands giant pieces of cake without looking. It was very funny and interesting!

Bro. Robbie Morrison gave a short, sweet message about marriage.

Bro. Robbie Morrison gave a short, sweet message about marriage.

Then it was time for the Are You Loved? game. It was along the lines of the newlywed game. This is the game we were participating in.

Going over the "rules"

Going over the “rules”

Pastor D discussing one of Mister's answer. The look on Mister's face is priceless!

Pastor D discussing one of Mister’s answer. The look on Mister’s face is priceless!

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We won the Are You Loved game! The prize was a $50 Olive Garden gift card. We (especially me) were so stoked!!!

Here are a couple pictures of us with friends after the banquet…

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Overall, it was a fantastic night!!! We are already looking forward to next year!!!

The Bigger Picture of Military Budget Cuts

Since I am a military spouse, all I’ve been hearing about lately is Panetta recommending troop pay cut right before leaving office as Defense Secretary. When I first heard this, I immediately started fuming. What in the world is he thinking?! Isn’t he supposed to be fighting for our military and their families?!

He recommended that troops salaries be limited to  a 1% increase starting in 2014. Sure he was just talking about pay increases, but those pay increases are essential for military families that struggle to pay the bills as it is.

A service member will receive BAH, BAS, “free” healthcare, along with whatever else that service member qualifies for. These “perks” are about to be taken away. If my husband were on active duty orders at the moment, that would mean over $1,000 pay cut. Could your family afford a thousand dollar pay cut?

Most military families live off post which means they don’t live in “free” government housing on post. Renters know how much BAH is, and do you think they put their rent price within BAH means? No way! A lot of renters will charge double BAH which means families are struggling even more. And let’s not forget all of the military families on government assistance because they can’t feed their family. Our military should be the last ones on government assistance.

But, but, but…K, the military budget needs to be cut.

OK-OK. Yes, the military budget needs to be cut, but there are plenty of ridiculous things in the budget that shouldn’t even be there. Don’t start with our troops pay!

Suicide and divorce rates are at an all time high, and financial stress will just make matter worse.

Think about this for a moment. My husband can’t get into any schools because of budget cuts. If our soldiers can’t get the proper training they need, what will happen? There will be thousands of under-trained soldiers which will mean thousands of lives will be lost.

The fact is we are still at war.

Have you heard about the military drawbacks? Thousands of soldiers are basically being laid-off. Stop calling it a drawback and just call it like it is: lay-offs. This means thousands of soldiers are losing all of their benefits and basic pay. Thousands will be out of a job.

Will this help our economy? Not a chance.

Along with the military lay-offs, small businesses around military installations will be losing a tremendous amount of business.

The fact is we are still at war.

There are deployments everyday. There are thousands of troops in harms way. Military budget cuts will affect force readiness.

Our military fights every day for us. Now, it’s our turn to fight for them! Don’t turn your back on military families when we need your voice the most. Your voice can help save lives. Your voice can help save marriages. Your voice matters.

I strongly encourage you to call, email, or write a letter to your Congressmen. Your voice will make a difference.

What do you think of the military budget cuts? Do you think the pay of service members should be affected? 

God is Love

Two days ago, I began talking about why I love Valentine’s Day and why I believe it essential for a marriage. Many know the origins of Valentine’s Day is a celebration of Saint Valentine and blah blah blah. But I have a reason beyond celebrating Saint Valentine and love for my husband and that is God.

I wear a ring on my thumb that simply says “love.” It reminds me that I am loved by an almighty God, my darling husband, and so many people. It also reminds me to love others the way God loves me. One of my favorite verse in the Bible is…

God is love
1 John 4:16b

These three words might look so simple at first glance, but when they are truly pondered, there is incredible depth to them. Without God, we wouldn’t have love for He is love. His love for us doesn’t fade over time. It never changes and is always strong.

The word “love” in the Bible, God’s love, is agape. Agape love is completely selfless, sacrificial, and unconditional. It doesn’t need chemistry or compatibility. It endures forever. Agape love isn’t an emotion. It chooses it’s passion. Agape love is redemptive and keeps our hearts pure and whole. It’s the utmost standard of love.

I don’t think we will ever be able to fathom the depth of God’s love. It’s beyond anything our minds and hearts can give on our own.

Of course, God’s love can be extended to all people, not just our spouse, but your spouse should be at the very top of your “To Love” list. When we struggle to love our spouse, we need to turn to God. He will teach us how to love because He is love.

During Valentine’s Day, while you’re showing love to your spouse, children, and others, remember Who loved us first and to love others with the same love as God’s love.

Why I Adore Valentine’s Day!

February is officially here! I’m ecstatic! During the month of February is a holiday that I love because it’s celebrating love! I love Valentine’s Day more than Christmas, and that’s saying a lot!

Many don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day because of it’s origins or commercialization. Who cares what the origins are. Who cares about the commercialization. Not this Mrs.!

I look forward to Valentine’s Day since December 26. No need to waste time here. I start preparing. Planning the menu. Planning our date night in. Planning our date night out. Planning the decorations. Fiercely digging all around the internet for fabulous Valentine’s Day ideas. Thank God for Pinterest even though I’m not a huge fan of it typically.

Last year, our apartment was lit with over 150 candles. Our favorite love songs played in the background. We ate my delicious sweet-n-sour chicken with Momma Wu’s eggrolls.

I can’t divulge this year’s secret plans because Mister will be reading this, and it’s a surprise as always! But I will say that we have at least two weeks of Valentine’s Day plans.

I love Valentine’s Day because of the love that fills the air. I welcome Valentine’s Day with open arms because if it reminds me to hug my husband a little tighter, to give him way more kisses than usual, to go above and beyond in caring for him, to love him more then I’m all for it!

Valentine’s Day is one of those maintenance times of year that I believe is essential to every marriage.

If you will, think of marriage like a car. A car needs maintenance often just like marriage. Filling up the tank can be the equivalent to date night. Valentine’s Day is like changing the oil. (Wait–did I just equate marriage to a car?!?!?! Mister is rubbing off on me, and that’s  not good! Haha!) I hope you get the picture.

I heard several times that the love shown on Valentine’s Day should be shown all year round, and I agree! But how often do we get caught up in life and forget to work on our love, the passion, for our spouse. Slow down. Take a day and remember why you love your spouse. Remember why God brought you together. Remember what vision you have for your marriage.

I love my wonderful husband more than I can ever describe, and Valentine’s Day is one of those times when I can do something really spectacular for him!

 

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Why do you love it? Or not?