Two of my favorite culinary items from this past weekend’s Army/Navy Football + Christmas party are pictured above: jumbo spiral cut ham and chocolate chip cookie dough brownies! I also loved the mashed potatoes, but they aren’t quite as photogenic 🙂

The party was a hit. It was pouring rain outside, but pretty much everyone we invited showed up. After the game (yawn), we played a rousing and hilarious game of Cards Against Humanity, and then played with the XBOX Kinect until our knees and joints ached. I never tire of Dance Central!! I looove that came, and of course – I always win 🙂

This is our last week before we head home to Virginia for the holidays! It’s pure admin before we go. Medical clearance for Japan, various appointments for government passports for Japan, random miscellaneous paperwork… you guessed it, for Japan. I feel so bad for poor Annie. Her past two Japan-centric visits to the vet were traumatic enough, but the worst is yet to come! Early January, she has to get a blood test that will require tying her up and restraining her, since they will take the blood straight from the jugular. They will ask me to leave the room 😦

Probably a good idea, to be honest. It’s gonna be heartbreaking!

Chuck and I ended up turning a relatively quiet Thanksgiving weekend into an impromptu adventure in Atlanta, with our friends Janet and Terry. We started at the Atlanta History Center, where we toured the Swan House, the Smith Family Farm (I fed the chickens!), the American Civil War Exhibit, and the Centennial Olympic Games Museum.

Then, we toured the SweetWater Brewery (the boys’ vote), where I sampled six different beers and learned how it’s made (go me!) I also befriended an adorable mastiff puppy with a gimp, named Ellie.

We checked into our lovely room at the Ritz-Carlton (milso’s, take note: military rate is amazingly affordable!) and freshened up for dinner at South City Kitchen and a performance in Midtown by the Atlanta Symphony and Cirque du Soleil. We wrapped up the evening at the delightfully stereotypical Havana Club for some dancing. We even learned to salsa!

Sunday we hit up the World of Coca Cola, which was more of a brainwashing/marketing overload than a true museum experience. It was pretty neat, but I think all of us are happy to avoid Coke for a while…

We got home later on Sunday – exhausted, but happy. It’s nice to get a taste of city life when we can… I have missed it!

Tuesday…

This is the first full week I’ve had in a while where I have nothing big coming up, and I’m not recovering from anything just past. The next several weeks should be like that, which is kind of nice. Here’s a small life update:

  • Friday, we went to the PX to stalk Sarah Palin (not because we’re fans, but just because.) She was in town for a book signing. I was shocked at how many people showed up, especially women. I honestly didn’t think that many people liked her…
  • Saturday, Chuck went to the Marine Corps Ball, and I stayed home and watched Miss Universe. We figured it wasn’t worth $135 for us both to go to a party where we know no one. We’ve been to enough parties lately. Even Chuck was anxious to slip away.
  • Sunday we went to a local ice hockey game with another couple from Chuck’s class. That was really fun! I didn’t want to get attached to anyone while I’m here, but I’m getting increasingly fond of those two. Dang it! 🙂 
  • I’ve been to the gym a few more times with Chuck, but not as much as I’d like due to his schedule. I’m not quite ready to go on my own yet. I’m still getting the hang of the exercises and the machines, and a military base gym is rather intimidating. Way too many men being all beefy and making me feel uncomfortable. 
  • I’m noticing lately that I’m falling more nicely into the stay-at-home-wife routine than I was before. I hope I’m not getting addicted to sleeping in, being accountable to no one, etc. But it’s better than being overly anxious about it, I guess!
  • Season 3 of “Homeland” is awesome.
  • Chuck’s monitor asked for our top 3 picks for next duty station. I wish we could see a list of options, so we can pick 3 that may actually exist, but the good news is that MAYBE we will know where we are headed next by Christmas! 
  • We took the plunge and got a grown-up, rewards-based credit card. I’m pretty excited about it, and have had fun revamping our financial plan and our approach to making purchases. I only wish we had gotten it months ago, before we dropped thousands on weddings and a DITY move. C’est la vie! Speaking of which…
  • French is finally getting harder, and I’m loving it!

That’s pretty much it. My brain is feeling kind of warbled today (been battling a headache since 2 AM!) so I’m not even sure I’m making much sense. I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week already – and Christmas is just about a month away! In some ways, time sure is flying…

Whirlwind Wedding Weekend

Wow! I made it through the busiest of my wedding weekends – the double whammy in Charleston and NYC. It was quite the adventure (I am still recovering), but I am so glad I was able to make both weddings. They were just so beautiful! Happy, fun, and simply romantic.

Friday night was my friend Laura’s wedding at the Legare-Waring House in Charleston. It was classic, feminine, Southern romance. The House was on Charles Towne Landing – a historic, plantation-like piece of land dripping in Spanish moss and old timey mystery. I got to catch up with a few girl friends from DC and even encountered an alligator – almost ran the sucker over. Laura was just stunning as expected!

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Early Saturday morning, I booked it to the airport and flew to LaGuardia for my friend Wendi’s wedding – “A Night in Brooklyn.” It was at the delightfully French Bacchus Bistro (umm… DELICIOUS…more tuna tartare, please). A few of the girls got together for bonding and primping at the Sofia Inn beforehand, and I spent most of the evening reminiscing with old college friends and sharing stories with newer ones.  Wendi was just ravishing. Her entire wedding was DIY! It came together so magically.

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The only “downside” all weekend was that Chuck couldn’t make it! The punk busted his knee the night before we were scheduled to leave for Charleston, and we spent early Friday AM in the emergency room. He has a torn MCL, and strained ACL. The weekend’s logistics were convoluted, so we thought it best to not risk bringing him along. It made for a slightly more convoluted set of logistics for me on my own – an extra six hour drive and a flight change – but at least my legs are in tact to make it work – thank goodness! 🙂

Anyway, congrats to my lovely friends, Wendi and Laura! xoxo

What a fun weekend down in Surf City! I’m glad the week is over though. With family and friends in town since last Sunday, all while sick and working, I am beat! I woke up at 3:30 AM this morning to see off a friend catching an early morning flight, so I am chugging the coffee and pounding the vitamins to keep from relapsing…

On another note, this is my last full week at the Chamber. I am sad to leave, but more ready than ever at this point. The mental detachment phase is fairly complete, and I have “senioritis” like none other! I’ve transitioned all my work to my replacement by now, so I pretty much just putz around. I have a lot of meetings this week though, so it shouldn’t drag too much. Regardless – I’m excited for one more week’s pay, no matter how slow it is! 😉

Friday Update

For those of you who were wondering, I got my speeding ticket reduced to 9mph over (about what it should have been in the first place), which means no points for me – even if I still had to pay. Seriously though, what a racket!

Anyway, the office closes at 12:30 today and I am ready for a fun weekend. Chuck’s family rented a beach house for the next week, so we will see them plus my friend Laura, who will be in town for the weekend visiting her mom. I think we’ll meet her and her fiance downtown for drinks Saturday night. I always love seeing Laura.

In other news, while hanging out at the courtroom all morning, I caught up on my Rick Steve’s Italy Guide and read all about Lake Como. Coincidentally, I also found a gorgeous photo of this scenic spot on Pinterest (which I promptly pinned to my Bucket List board, of course.) It is rather out of the way for my current itinerary, but now I want to find a way to work it in… it looks so amazing!

What a dreary day today! I stayed in bed with the Bean till 11:15 this morning, because a) I can, and b) what else is there to do? I must say though – it was kind of nice, and Annie sure enjoyed it. I got a few fleeting and choppy moments over Gmail with Chuck while I ate breakfast. I can’t decide if those choppy moments are worth it, or if I’d just rather wait to hear from him when we can actually have an uninterrupted conversation.

It’s supposed to rain all day, so I may try to work out and clean. Or, maybe I’ll just continue to do nothing 🙂 There’s a women’s social at Chuck’s old Captain’s house tonight that I plan on showing up to, if it’s not too gross.

Tomorrow is supposed to be 62 and sunny (YES!) so I’m thinking I will take Annie to the beach in the afternoon. Gotta get her annual beach trip in before the tourists come! 🙂 She’s so funny at the beach!