Sunday, September 30, 2012

Air Force Football

I'm a sucker for football. I always have been, and I likely always will be. I happen to be the proud owner of season tickets to the Air Force Falcons football games. I don't know what I would do without football in my life, but I don't need to worry about that... for now.

Yesterday, the Falcons took on Colorado State University and creamed them 42-21. The score doesn't sound as bad as it actually was. And the weather was CRAZY. I read that it wouldn't get higher than upper 60s and that it was supposed to be cloudy. LIES. It was SCORCHING hot outside and bright and sunny the entire time... and I was DYING in my jeans and tennis shoes. Oops. That was probably the last hot game of the season, though, thank goodness! Bring on the cooler weather! :)

I really like when they jump with the American flag! :) 

I also LOVE when the mascot, The Bird, decides to jump! :)

The flyover wasn't too cool this time, but the Warthogs were from Whiteman AFB in Missouri, ten minutes from where I went to college and where Dan was working when we first met! :) 

The next home game is this coming Saturday, and Air Force is taking on Navy, so it's a BIG game and will be airing on TV. I'm excited for the game but not for the super early tailgate (7:30 or so!) 

USAFA Observatory Tour

On Friday night, I went to the Air Force Academy to go to an Observatory Tour that Dan was leading with a couple other cadets in the Physics Club. It was really cool seeing what he does behind the scenes and finally meeting some people he has been working with for two years.

Random pictures from Dan's dorm room

We started in the control room by turning everything on.

a giant, expensive telescope

isn't that thing COOL??

It was really fun watching the ceiling open up

The lighting in there was really awkward, but I had to get a picture anyway :)

The observatory tour was scheduled for Dan's own squadron, which was really weird because some of them didn't even know he was in the Physics Club. When he started talking, they were surprised. It was a really fun experience, and I'm glad that I was finally able to attend one! 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Book Review: Gathering Blue

Everyone has herd of the book The Giver by Lois Lowry. Most people have even read it at one point or another. But how many people knew it was the first book in a trilogy? I sure didn't until earlier this year, but I was excited when I discovered it. There's even more: it turns out that the author had a big shock in for everyone -- a new book in the series! It is now a quartet. Well, it will be in October, which is SOON. I have read the first two books, The Giver and Gathering Blue, and I have the third one ready to read next on my Nook; it's called Messenger.

Before I get started, if you'd like to read my review of The GiverCLICK HERE.

Gathering Blue did not disappoint me. In fact, it kept me wishing for more, so I'm glad there are two other books to satisfy that. The weird thing about this series is that it's not necessarily just chronological with characters, setting, plot, etc. I read somewhere online that the final book kind of ties all three of the others together, so I am anxious to see how that happens! 

In the novel, Kira, the main character, loses her mother in the very beginning. Her father had died before she was born, so now as a young girl, she is on her own. Not only is Kira on her own, but she also has a physical disability and is shunned by all of the adults in her community. Left with nothing but a friend who is a little boy, she petitions to be allowed to stay in the village she was raised in despite not being able to do a "real" job for the society. 

She is taken in and allowed to work with her hands creating garments when she befriends an old woman who dyes yarn. Kira discovers an entire new world outside of the one she has lived in, and this dystopian novel had me eager to read each night. I cannot wait to read The Messenger as soon as I finish the book I'm currently reading, and I hope to purchase Book #4 sometime this fall. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Blast From the Past: USAFA Parents' Weekend 2010

Shortly after Dan finished his final BCT, school started. One month later, Parents' Weekend happened, and this time, I didn't have to travel for it. I was already living in Colorado Springs, and that worked out beautifully. I had a wonderful time that weekend meeting other cadet girlfriends for dinner, tailgating before the football game, going to the game (and hanging out with more girlfriends), and then spending time camping (kind of...) off base for the rest of the weekend! It was a great way to spend a weekend with Dan, and it was the first step to him getting me to enjoy camping (it worked...)

Girlfriend get together at Red Robin the night before -- so many girls showed up! :)

Before classes... too early in the morning! 

You know me and my camera... always together.

Dan wanted to get ahead on some homework so he wouldn't have to do it over our weekend together. I took a nap in his bed while he worked, and I snapped this picture while he thought I was still asleep. ;) 

I went to an Engineering class with Dan. He was building a rocket :)

Dan's freshman squadron, 18 (the Nightriders), in the parade. He's in the very back on the side closest to the camera! :) 

I got to wear the fun "bus driver" cap before going to the football game...

Girlfriends! :)

Emily and I wearing the shirts I designed...

And the backs of our shirts... when we realized we have similar future last names!

Some of the 2014 girlfriends who met up at halftime... we were all looking at different cameras! 

A bunch of girlfriends (every class) got together for a picture under the scoreboard at halftime! :) 

I love this picture of us... especially the blue glitter under my eyes! ha!

I got to meet "The Bird"... yep, that's his name. Creative, right? 

After the game, we drove to Farish in Woodland Park. This may look familiar because it's where we're getting married in just 20 months! :) 

We stayed in this little cabin. Dan was easing me into "real" camping, which we now do.

At Farish...

We rented paddle boats and had a lot of fun in that lake!

When we came back from camping, we decided to go to a big arcade... and we FINALLY got a picture in a photo booth! We had been trying for a year and a half, but every time we were together and found one, it was broken. We were excited! :)

One last picture right before I took Dan back to the Academy!

We had a blast spending that time together, and we were so lucky to have been able to "go away" for a couple days of it, spending time in nature and away from the "real world". It seems crazy that it's already been two years since that wonderful weekend, and we have only one more Parents' Weekend to attend before Dan graduates and we get married! Yay! 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My New Journey

I have said for a long time that I want to get back in shape. Some people look at me like I'm crazy because they think that's impossible. Others look at me like I'm crazy because they think I already am in shape since I run 5Ks. Personally, I feel completely OUT OF SHAPE, and I have since I graduated from high school.

I've been waiting around just thinking somehow I'm going to change overnight. Well, it hasn't happened, and I have finally hit that point where I don't care what people think anymore. I am just going to do this. I'm going to do it for myself, and that's it. I don't care what anyone thinks of this plan. I don't care if people think I'm only doing it to prepare for my wedding. I simply do not care. I want this to be a lifestyle change. Yes, I am a vegetarian, but I eat a lot of cheese and a lot of pasta. Oh, and don't get me started on dessert. I love dessert, and no, I will not be giving it up. However, I will be limiting the number of days I eat sweets. I can't help it. It's in my genes. ;)

Tomorrow at 4:00 (right after work), I have my very first session with a personal trainer. I am pumped. It's going to be difficult, and I am going to hate it. But I am excited about getting my life back. I am ready. And I will be happy to leave my stress at the gym.

This is how I feel right now. I'm excited!

If you feel like it, please encourage me along the way. If not, whatever. It's no big deal. But do NOT stand in my way. :) 

Monday, September 24, 2012


It's Monday again, and today was a great start to the week! My students were well behaved for the most part, and the day went by so fast! I can't believe it's already the last week of September -- where is time going?!

In other news, I signed up for a gym today. Yes, this is the first time in my life that I have paid to work out. I have always been active, and since middle school, I have only worked out outside (running) or in my living room (workout DVDs)... so this should be interesting. I am excited, though, because I want wedding dress arms! I also bought three personal training sessions, so hopefully by the time those are over with (this Wednesday and next Monday and Wednesday), I will know how to properly use everything in the gym and know what is best for my body.

My goal is to run a half marathon next spring... sometime before Ring Dance. I don't know which one yet because most dates haven't even been posted. I wish they would get on that, though, because I need to set something in stone... make a concrete goal rather than an abstract one.

Here's to a healthier me...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Book Review: God Strong

Before Dan left for his trip to China in May/June, I heard about a book for military wives called God Strong. This is not the normal type of book for me, as I am NOT a military wife (yet), nor do I usually read religious books for fun. However, it seemed fitting because the reviews said the book was great for military wives whose husbands were gone, so I decided to give it a try.

Sara Horn, a Navy Reservist wife (and journalist), wrote God Strong, and while much of it did not apply to me, it was still a great read, and I have a feeling I'll be referring back to it in the future. Dan was in China, not in a war zone, so some of the comparisons I tried to make were a bit rough, but it was great reading about another woman's experience when her significant other was away. Sure, we have been long distance before, but the 11 hour time difference was a first. The most we'd be to date was two hours, and that was for a less-than-a-week trip. Other than that, our long distance relationship meant Colorado to Missouri, which is only a one hour time difference. This was HUGE for me to adjust to, and it was for an entire month.

In addition to Horn's personal experiences with her husbands deployments and TDYs (temporary duties away from home), she shares encouragement from the Bible to help get through those times. As I said, I'm NOT normally a big religious reader, but God Strong did actually help me feel a bit better when I went a few days in between talking to Dan. It was a good resource, and I'll keep it on my shelves for the future, but if you're not in a military relationship, this book is not for you.

First Day of Fall

Saturday was the first day of fall, my absolute favorite season. I'm so excited that I still live in an area that sees all four seasons. I don't know what I'll do if we ever live somewhere without seasons. I can't even imagine it...

In honor of the first day, I decided to make some Autumn Trail Mix! I've been making this for so many years, as I made it as a kid with my mom. It's so delicious, and you can only have candy corn for a couple of months, so why not, right?

After a great run around Memorial Park, Dan and I went to the store to pick up the ingredients and some things for dinner, and Aaron came over. We made Headless Horsemen drinks, which are made from pumpkin juice (that we cut up and juiced ourselves), apple juice, pineapple juice, and spiced rum (we used Sailor Jerry's). I also added pumpkin pie spice to mine, and it was superb... perfect fall drink! We grilled out, and I decided to try out a recipe I found on Pinterest earlier in the day -- grilled squash (homegrown from our backyard garden) stuffed with spreadable garlic and herb cheese. It was DIVINE. I also chopped up some fresh veggies (some from our garden) to dip in dill dip, and it was so good.

We had a great night eating yummy food and snacks and playing a fun board game, Smart Ass, that Joe and Ellie gave Dan for his birthday! It's not the same having game nights without them, though. 

Friday, September 21, 2012


It's finally the weekend, and I am so thankful.

I came home and made my lesson plans for next week for my Intervention class, but I haven't finished my regular Language Arts class yet. I'm almost done, though. :)

Dan and I found a hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint tonight, and it was fantastic. I enjoyed the food a lot, and the margaritas weren't too bad either.

Tomorrow, I am SLEEPING IN. Yes, I said it. I will NOT be setting an alarm, and I am SO looking forward to that!

I'll write a better post sometime this weekend...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Blast From the Past: Fall of 2010

Right after Dan got out of BCT in the late summer of 2010, I was ecstatic! Not only did we get to TALK again, but we got to SEE EACH OTHER again. It was fantastic, and the best decision I ever made was moving out to Colorado. It was great being able to go to little events with him, such as the Tops in Blues concert, soccer games, football games, and many others. 

We went to an AMAZING Tops in Blues concert in Arnold Hall :) 

One evening, I brought dinner to the Academy for Dan and some of his friends, and then we went to a soccer game. This is one of my favorite pictures of us EVER. :)

I made cupcakes to take to the football tailgate for Dan's squadron (then 18, the Nightriders)... they loved them, and they were fun to make! :) 

Dan had fun with the little parachute guys from the cupcakes! 

Dan with a couple friends, Jarod and Lindsey, enjoying some cupcakes...

Emily and I got copies of the US Constitution as we went into one of the football games... along with little American flags :) 

the giant flag was brought out at half time... I LOVE FALCON FOOTBALL GAMES! 

Well, I need to get some work done and get some sleep...