Saturday, June 30, 2012

Fun Day

Today, Dan and I got up early to head to Castle Rock for some outlet shopping. Just before we left, though, he got a text saying he had to check in at USAFA between noon and 2:00 since they had been all over the place since the Waldo Canyon Fire grew so big early in the week. That put a wrench in our plans, but it didn't stop us. We adjusted, and headed up to Castle Rock after he checked in.

We did some shopping for about an hour and a half and then headed to the 16th Street Mall area in Denver, where we went to a Da Vinci Machines exhibit, and that was pretty cool. Then, we had dinner at a Greek cafe, which was delicious, and went to see the Colorado Rockies play at Coors Field. After that, we had free ice cream cones from Burger King (coupons, yay!). Overall, it was a really fun day, and I will share pictures tomorrow!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Classroom, Gym, and Gymnastics

Today, Dan and I got started setting up my new classroom. It was exciting seeing what all I already have and what I need to get still. And what do I still need? Nothing. Yes, that's right -- NOTHING. I have more than ever in there, and I'm so ready to get started!

This afternoon, we went to the gym on Ft. Carson, and I ran on the treadmill while Dan lifted, and then he did some weird pull-up things while I did my ab workout, and then he helped me with some specific lifts that I want to start doing. I'm feeling good! :)

Tonight was the first night of the Olympic trials for women's gymnastics, and after watching it, I am absolutely STOKED for the London Olympics in just about one month! I love watching, and there is some excellent talent on the (future) US team!!!

Forgetful Me

Well, I forgot to blog again yesterday! Oops! At least it had been a while since the last time, but I still need to get on top of things.

Packing has commenced, and all of the bathroom supplies, the guest bedroom, and all of the winter clothes are officially packed up after just a few hours of packing. I'm feeling pretty good about that, and I guess it's good to know that it gets easier each time, since we'll be moving a lot with the Air Force in the future. ;)

Today, I am going to work in my classroom and start getting things set up. I'm excited to see what transformations I can do!

We are safe from the flames and smoke from the Waldo Canyon Fire, just so everyone knows. It's scary to watch, and it's horrifying, but we are completely safe!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Fire Is Burning...

Today has been a long day. I was up way too late last night watching news coverage of the Waldo Canyon Fire burning down several houses in Colorado Springs. It's now 24 hours later, and it's still going strong. This fire stated last Saturday, and it is now over 18,000 acres big. So sad. :(

I took these pictures yesterday evening at the Air Force Academy, but I was too distraught to post them last night when I updated.

This is the view from the Sijan Hall parking lot at USAFA

The Cadet Chapel at the Academy with all the smoke behind it

It's surreal watching the entire west side of the city burn down. It's horrific, and the pictures I have seen of the structures than burned to the ground make it look like a bomb went off and destroyed everything. Please keep the people who lost their homes in your thoughts/prayers! 

Shock and Disbelief

Colorado Springs is burning to the ground right now. I can't even figure out my own thoughts. I am terrified for everyone who is in the path of the fire, devastated for everyone who has or is going to lose their home, confused about why ANYONE would do something like this (no, it hasn't been proven as arson yet, but they did rule out weather as a cause, so what does that leave?!)... I love this city so much and would live here forever if the military would permit it. I can't believe this is happening, and watching all of the people on the news who have los their homes is just heartbreaking. The entire mountainside looks like it's one giant, red flame.

I am SO sick over this. I am crying and throwing up. My stomach is killing me seeing this happen. I wish there was something I could to do help.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 23 of 30

Wow, it's been so long since I've made a daily blog challenge post. I guess it's time because I really want to finish this challenge soon, just to have it behind me. If you'd like to read more about it, especially since it's been so long since I've done one of these, click here to read about it!

Today's Challenge: 23. List your top five hobbies and why you love them.

1. Reading. Reading always puts me at peace if I'm worried about something. It also allows my mind to enter alternate worlds. I love that I can read about anything in the world, and a new adventure always awaits me. I have enjoyed reading since I first learned how to before I was even in school. Books are the one thing my mom ALWAYS bought for me no matter what, and I have always been thankful for that. Reading is more than a hobby for me; it is a passion.

2. Writing. I've always been a writer. It probably has something to do with the mass amounts of books I read, but I always think I have a story to tell. I normally don't share my writing with others, but it's something I enjoy doing for myself. I wrote funny little short stories all through school, expository and research essays in high school, and decided to major in English in college, ensuring that I had PLENTY to write about. I love it. Nothing relives my stress like writing, which is part of the reason I started this blog in the first place. In 2010, I participated in NaNoWriMo (click here to read more about it), in which I wrote an entire 50,000+ word novel in just 30 short days. I still need to edit it because that's not the fun part. Getting my thoughts, my ideas, MY ORIGINAL STORY out there... THAT was the fun part.

3. Running. Running isn't something I have always enjoyed. I ran occasionally with my dad when I was young. I participated in many sports than involved running, and I always knew I had endurance... but to say that I enjoyed it would be a joke. Then, I joined cross country for something to do in middle school. I loved the competition aspect of it and how I could compete against others or just against myself. That gave me a rush, and I continued running for the rest of middle school and all of high school. I always felt confident about myself while running, even if it was a "bad run" day. Then, I stopped running, and that was the worst mistake of my college experience. No, I was never GOOD, and no, I would never have made a collegiate team, but I would have felt so much better about myself had I continued running just for fun. I have picked it back up, however, and I am loving the way I feel about myself. It relives so much stress, gives me time to think, assures a great cardiovascular workout, and allows me to participate in races!

4. Crafting. When I have nothing to do (or those times when I have plenty to do but convince myself otherwise), I craft. That can mean many things. Sometimes, I make things for my classroom, like these canvas letters, sometimes I make things for my friends, like this wine bottle project, and sometimes I make things for myself, like this collage of our engagement photos. Other times, I scrapbook. I have made three giant ones recently, one for my relationship with Dan that covers every picture we have taken together in the past three and a half years, one for my own college experience that covers all four years at the University of Central Missouri and focuses on my time in the amazing national honor fraternity, Phi Sigma Pi, and one of Dan's time at the United States Air Force Academy that I update each summer (and he's not allowed to see it until his graduation day, but he does know I am making one). Crafting, like my other hobbies, makes me happy. It relives stress and makes me feel good about myself because I am good at it (by my own standards).

5. Do I have a fifth hobby? I really can't think of one that I would consider something that I do frequently and enjoy as much as those other four. One part of me wants to think I am a boring person for only having four major hobbies. But the other half of me knows how deeply I jump into all of those other four, leaving no time for a fifth. Is it fair that I skip this part of the prompt? Probably not... but what's a girl to do when she honestly cannot think of another hobby? I guess you could say blogging is a hobby, but I would classify that as writing, which was Hobby #2. Oh well.

It's always fun writing about things I enjoy!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Fire, Cats, and Chinese Souvenirs

Today was Day Two of the Waldo Canyon fire that is burning just west of Colorado Springs, where I live, and has evacuated people from several towns around the area (Manitou Springs, Cascade, Chipita Park, Green Mountain Falls, and parts of Woodland Park), so that's pretty crazy. The fire is still zero percent contained, and it has burned over 3,600 acres, but somehow, not a single life or structure has been lost. It's surreal watching it all on the news, and it's wonderful seeing the city of Colorado Springs come together to help neighbors out.

The air smells SO bad, and I can't even breathe it in any longer. I was adamant about not turning on my air conditioner at all (I never had since moving to Colorado over two years ago), but I had to today. It was 100 degrees outside, and I had to shut all the windows because of the smoke / fire smell. My cats were so lethargic that even Dan was worried about them. They were laying on the small area of tile floor I have because it was cooler than the carpet, and they wouldn't move a muscle, even to get a drink of water. We kept picking them up and holding them in the giant freezer, but they weren't exactly fans of that, either.

In better news, Dan finally unpacked his suitcases from China, and he gave me SO MANY gifts/souvenirs from there. It's incredible. I didn't expect much more than chopsticks, but he bought so many things. I didn't take pictures of everything, but you will see a few of my favorites at the end of this post. :)

the fire from my balcony this morning

poor Gillian was SO hot in his thick fur coat

Dan got me this gorgeous new journal, training chopsticks (because I'm terrible with them), and a teddy bear from the hospital he worked for while there for a month (Beijing United Family Hospital)

my new tea set from Beijing :)

the "Lucky Cat" -- its arm moves repeatedly, and the story is that it grabs money/wealth from the outside and brings it in to your home... either way, it's cute :) 

I have so many different kinds of tea to try!!!

Dan bought this for himself, but it's so cool that I had to take some pictures of it. It's an airplane made out of bullets... neat, huh? 

Dan brought back so many other things, but these are the ones I chose to show for now. I am SO excited to have him home again, and we spend a nice few days together. He headed back to the Academy this evening, though, as he begins working Flying Team Upgrade at the Airfield tomorrow morning. It's nice knowing that he will be around for dinner, though! 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Back to Normal

That's right -- things are finally getting back to normal. Today, Dan got up early and made breakfast for us before he had to be at USAFA to check in for his next summer program, which happens to be working Flying Team Upgrade. He moved his stuff into a new room and returned back to my apartment in his ABUs, my favorite uniform to see him in.

During the day, I finished an online workplace course for my new job, scrapbooked 20 pages for Dan's USAFA scrapbook (that he doesn't get to see until graduation day!), and baked cupcake sandwiches (that I will share pictures of later).

When Dan got home, we watched the news about the massive wildfire that is going on just a few miles from home. It's really sad and kind of scary, but there's nothing we can do about it. Aaron (Dan's Prep School roommate, best friend, and Best Man) came over for dinner. I made salad, pumpkin gnocchi with butternut squash sauce, sauteed green beans with honey, a very fruity sangria, and the cupcake sandwiches for dessert. It was really good. Following dinner, the guys went outside on the balcony to smoke the cigars Dan bought for them in China and had their "man time".

All in all, it was a successful day! Enjoy these pictures from it:

the Waldo Canyon Fire that has burned 2,000 acres already

the lemon lime cupcake sandwiches I made with homemade filling

ingredients for the sangria

sangria for three :)

these two are such goofballs...

oh my! haha

I hope tomorrow is just as nice! :)

Friday, June 22, 2012


Today was a relaxing day. I went to the Academy with Dan so he could fill out his travel vouchers and ask some questions about the paper he is writing about his cultural awareness after his trip to China.

Other than that, I cleaned my kitchen and prepared a menu for dinner tomorrow, as our friend Aaron is coming over. I'm excited to make something yummy that involves trying a couple new things!

We have lounged around all evening watching Food Network. We are pathetic, but hey, it's summer. What can we say? :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dan Is HOME!!!

That's right! I picked Dan up at the Colorado Springs airport this afternoon, and we've enjoyed some quality time together since then.

I was so anxious that I got to the airport almost an hour before he got there (oops!), but it was well worth it. We went to Texas T-Bone for dinner so he could have the steak he'd been craving, and it was really good. We hadn't been there before, but we WILL be going back. :)

I'm so happy to have him back in Colorado and am excited to spend the evenings and weekends with him for the next three weeks after he works Flying Team upgrade during the days.

so happy!

I will write more tomorrow! :)

Bad Blogger :(

Im such a terrible blogger. I drove ten hours back to Colorado yesterday, and I forgot to update. Oops. It was a long, boring drive, but I made it just fine and then unpacked and did some laundry. That's all that really happened.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

We Have an Officiant!

Since getting engaged 11 months ago, Dan and I have not done much wedding planning. In fact, we talk a LOT about it but haven't had to to actually put anything into place. One of the main things we agreed on, however, was asking our friend Charles to officiate our wedding.

Unfortunately, Dan could not be here with me in Kansas City as I asked Charles officially today, but that's okay. I baked a cake this morning and then iced it. After that, I wrote on it in red icing: "Charles, will you marry me... and Dan?" Then I included three hearts and our wedding date, 5-30-14. I threw some blue sprinkles on top and called it quits.

No, I am not a professional baker or decorator, and no, it doesn't look great, but I found the idea a while ago and HAD to do it. When I met Charles and Ashley (college English Ed major friends) for lunch at Fazolis, I knew it had to happen, so I told Ashley what I had in my car so she could take pictures. It was a fairly humorous few moments, and in the end, he said YES!!! We can officially check one more thing off of our incredibly way-too-long list of things to take care of for our big day!

In other news, today was my last day in Missouri. I drive back to Colorado tomorrow, and I will be picking Dan up from the airport on Thursday afternoon as he returns from China after a month away! This week is just a tiny bit exciting for me! :) 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Feeling Better and Wedding Gowns

Today, I woke up feeling MUCH better. Since I did pass a small kidney stone yesterday, I suspect that is why. I'm not 100% yet, but I can move around, eat, and NOT take pain pills... yay!

After what seemed like forever taking me to look human again (remember, I had been curled up on the couch for three days...), I went to lunch with my mom and grandma. Then, we went to one of my favorite stores (World Market), where I stocked up on bottles of wine (since I can't buy them at the same place in Colorado due to liquor laws there). When we left, we noticed that David's Bridal was just next door. As a spur of the moment kind of thing, we went in, not knowing we'd be there for nearly two hours and that I'd find so many beautiful dresses!

I did find two in particular that I absolutely LOVE, and one of them is even better than the other. It's crazy how one dress can make everything better. No, I did not have that moment today where I yelled out, "This is the one!!!" No, I did not make any purchases. BUT, I do LOVE one of those dresses, and I have a feeling it's going to be the one I go back for! :)

No, no pictures on here. Dan reads the blog, and there is NO WAY he will ever see any of the dresses I try on JUST IN CASE. ;)

I decided to stay in Missouri for one extra day just to make sure I'm safe and feeling well enough to drive, so I will head back to Colorado with my cats on Wednesday and pick Dan up from the airport on Thursday! This week is full of excitement!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Just an Update

I passed one kidney stone today, but it can't be the one they found when I went to the ER on Thursday night. It is SUPER tiny, and I didn't even feel it when it passed. However, since then, I have felt better. The pain is still radiating throughout my body, but it has lessened. I haven't taken a Percocet in 13 hours now, and I am okay. I did take a few Advil about an hour ago, and that seemed to be enough to take the edge off for now. We'll see. Here's to hoping it's all over with within the next day.


Well, I guess I didn't post yesterday. Forgive me. I have been in SO much pain with these dang kidney stones. I get dizzy easily, and I've been throwing up like crazy. It's best for me to just stay away from the computer screen.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Kidney Stones

Last night, I could't sleep. I didn't know what was wrong, and all of a sudden I felt sharp, shooting pain on the right side of my abdomen. I got out of bed, threw up, and started Googling symptoms. I did NOT want to wake anyone up or go anywhere, so I tried to deal with the pain on my own for about an hour.

Finally, I couldn't take it any longer, so I woke up my mom (and I am so glad I'm at home right now and not all alone in Colorado), and she took me to the emergency room. They hooked me up to an IV, gave me fluids and pain meds, and did a few CT scans. I have a kidney stone. It's only 2mm, so they said I should pass it on my own. It's been almost 24 hours now, and NOTHING has changed. In fact, the pain has intensified, and the Percocet is making me REALLY dizzy and nauseous.

I knew it was only a matter of time, as my mom AND grandma both get kidney stones. I didn't dream it would happen so soon, though. It is the worst pain I have ever felt, and I just want this whole experience to be over with. I hate it. I hate throwing up. I hate being dizzy. I hate feeling so loopy. I hate the pain in my abdomen. Gah.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fun With Friends

Last night, I met up with Lindsy and Megan for dinner and a baseball game. Lindsy and I had dinner at Mama China, the place we hung out all through high school, and it was as great as ever. Megan then joined us, and we headed to Kauffman Stadium to see the Royals play (and dominate!) the Brewers. It was a blast! I love catching up with them, and we hung out and had dinner at Megan's tonight.

I took these pictures at the Royals game, though, and while we were there, I asked Lindsy to be a bridesmaid for me! I am so excited! (I had already asked Megan to be my Maid of Honor, and you can read about that by CLICKING HERE -- I had fun with it!)... now I have two people on my side for the wedding, and I am excited!

We had a blast together!

Lindsy said YES to my ring pop proposal!!!

The game was so much fun. :)

Today, I went to the Titanic exhibit at Union Station in Kansas City with my mom and grandma. It was really neat, and I am glad I got to go. At the beginning, they gave me a card that served as my boarding pass. It had a name on it, along with information about who I was. I ended up being a 47 year old female who was traveling alone in third class. At the end, all of the names aboard the Titanic were on a wall telling if they survived or perished. I died. Go figure. It was fun anyway, though! 

That's enough excitement for today! I need to get some sleep. I plan on going for a nice run in the morning to start the day off right! :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

More Royals

Just because I doubt I am home early enough or will feel like blogging later... I'm doing it now. :)

I just got home from shopping with my mom, and I'm heading out soon to have dinner with Lindsy (at Mama China, yay!) and then head to the Royals game with her and Megan. I'm excited for a fun night ahead.

I also have been gradually increasing the miles I run, and I am up to 3.9 now -- almost at 4! I'm happy with that and hope to soon be up to 5 and then 6 at a time. I'm worried that when I go back to Colorado, my body won't respond as well as it does here, which is a shame. The altitude STILL gets to me after two years of living there.

Well, I need to head out!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Royals Won!

This evening, I went to my first baseball game of the season with my mom and brother. It was a lot of fun being at the "K" again, and I'm happy to report that the boys in blue beat the Milwaukee Brewers (that ex-Royal Zach Greinke was pitching for).

It was a blast! They now have veggie hot dogs (yum!) and blue margaritas (double yum!), so I enjoyed them both. (Don't worry -- that's why I ate nothing but fruits and veggies all day beforehand).

Derek and me

Blue margarita in my souvenir KC glass!

Right after the Royals pulled off a big "W"!

I had so much fun, and I'm excited to go again tomorrow night with two of the best friends a girl could ask for! I can't wait to spend time with Megan and Lindsy. :) 

Monday, June 11, 2012

More of the Same

Today was just another normal day in Kansas City. I got a pedicure with my mom (my toenails are now blue and glittery -- go Royals!) and then took Panera to my grandma's house to eat for lunch so we could watch the gymnastics championship that she DVRed over the weekend. After that, I went for an amazing 3.5 mile run, in which I felt like I was flying. It was SUCH a wonderful run, and I am feeling so happy that I decided to become a runner again. It's just a great feeling overall to accomplish something I've worked hard for.

Tomorrow night AND Wednesday night I will be going to Royals games at Kauffman Stadium, and I am really excited about that. Tomorrow night I'm going with my family, and Wednesday night I'm going with friends! It doesn't get much better than that... :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Jupiter the Cat

This morning, I woke up extremely early (and was off by an hour -- oops!) to Skype with Dan. It was great seeing him again, and I can't wait until it's actually in person instead. After that, I went outside to read, and my old cat Jupiter (who I got in the summer between 8th and 9th grade and then left at home when I went to college four years later) wanted out. I decided to let her come out with me even though she is strictly an indoor cat. She had a bit of fun exploring, and I took a few fun pictures of her. :)

After that, she whined and whined to get back outside ALL day. Oops.

My grandma came over for lunch, along with my aunt and uncle. It was a lot of fun catching up, eating appetizers, grilling out, and tasting some new drinks. :) All in all, it was a fun (and hot) day in Kansas City, and the coming week will bring even more fun!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Day In KC

Today, I woke up at my grandma's house, had breakfast, and drove to my mom's place. We went to lunch at Cheddar's, where I had a big salad. It was delicious. Then, we went grocery shopping and picked up many yummy things to eat during the week that I'm here. :)

We went to a teacher supply store here in Kansas City because the only ones I know of in Colorado Springs are only for elementary teachers, which I am not. I picked up several good posters (you know... the cheesy sayings you saw in your middle and high school classrooms? Yeah, those) to hang up in my beautiful new room, and some of them were 50-90% off! YEAH! :)

After all of that, I went for a ~3 mile run. Let me tell you just how hot it is here. I went from running in Colorado where it's about 80 degrees with NO humidity to running in 95 degrees with HIGH humidity. It was TORTURE, but I didn't let myself walk or stop, and I feel SO happy about that right now.

Tomorrow, some family members are coming over to play games and cook out. I'm excited about that. I better get some sleep now because I'm waking up super early to Skype with my handsome fiancé!

Friday, June 8, 2012

I Made It Safely!

After a long day of driving, I made it to Kansas City. I'm at my grandma's house for the night in Raytown because my cats stay with her when I visit. They like seeing their "cousin" cat, Smokey. :)

I left at 6:45 this morning from Colorado Springs because I wanted to hear my three favorite radio shows that I listened to while drivin to work in Pueblo all year. All three involve a trivia segment, so of course I love them. Because of that early start, I got to KC right at 5:00, which meant that I missed rush hour through downtown almost completely. I have to say I'm not disappointed about that.

I have a lot packed into the time I'm at home, but I hope I am able to relax as well.

Wind turbines in the middle of Kansas

I am just fascinated with wind turbines. I think they are so pretty, and I took tons of pictures while I was driving today. Safe, I know. 

Well, I'm going to read for a little bit and get some much needed sleep.