Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend

     So, for the Thanksgiving holiday, we invited over some friends of ours, their sister and her boyfriend, and some single guys from base.  Chad and I made the turkey.  We did a apple cider brine on the turkey, which we started the day before.  We also made sweet potatoes, wheat rolls, pumpkin pie, a pumpkin roll, fruit and appetizers.  From our guests we had, mac n' cheese, mashed potatoes, stuffing, salad, coconut cream pie and cinnamon bread.  Of course, we had TONS of left overs once it was all said and done.  Including ourselves, we had nine people here and three dogs.  There was a lot of puppy love.  Chad and I took the opportunity to break out the china and flatware as well.  We have it, we might as well use it.  Even though we only had 5 sets of the flatware and had to use our every day stuff to fill in the gaps.  It was a lot of fun having everyone over and we really enjoyed ourselves.
     We very well may have lost our minds after that because we decided to go with our friends to Black Friday shopping.  We met them at 8pm to drive to Toys R Us at 9pm to wait for the store to open at 10.  Chad and I were able to get our Toys for Tots shopping done there before we went to Walmart (shudder).  We did get some fabulous deals on movies there before we went on to Old Navy (flop, we looked around and left without getting anything), and Best Buy.  We also ended up going through JC Penny (we got the limited edition snow globe at the door), Sears and Palmetto Moon which is a local store that sells gear for the two main South Carolina college football teams and other local gear.  We ended at Lowes where we got a few sweet deals before heading home at 6:30am.  Chad and I went home.  They kept going ... their animals, I kid you not.  What did we learn from this experience?? Next time, have a list.  But we would definitely do it again.
     Since then we have been preparing for Christmas and recovering from the weekend.  We got our tree and put it up in the living room.  We also discovered that when I left CA I left my tree stand, my Christmas lights, the garland, the tree skirt and the tree topper there.  So we bought new lights, thank goodness Michael's had a sale, a tree stand, skirt and topper.  We may just borrow some exterior lights and garland from friends.  But other wise, that is all for now.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Work in General

So Chad is truckin' away at his training here on base.  We take him in at 6am and I pick him up at 7pm every day but Friday.  Friday he gets to come home at 4pm.  On Saturdays he's in there for at least 5 hours.  Hence, the reason I'm blogging on Saturday morning.  After seeing him off, I decided to do the internet thing, check e-mails, LivingSocial, and forward recipes that I've "discovered" in my grandma's 1972 Betty Crocker's Cookbook, before blogging.
This week I received a letter from his captain explaining that the program he's in is extremely challenging ... yaaaaa, I kinda figured that one out already... and that they need my support in helping my husband get through this.  Again, I had figured that one out.  I can assure you, United States Navy, that you will be hard pressed to find a wife who is more dedicated or concerned with her husband's success in this program.  For the last 4 weeks, I've been doing everything I can to make sure that he is fed, rested, and ready to take on his day.  Then to provide a place for him to rest and decompress at the end of every day. It was nice to receive a personally signed letter from Chad's command, encouraging me and giving me resources to help us if we need it.  I just had to laugh a little though.  Yes, it's hard, but Chad and I have each other, God, and amazing family and friends.  We've got this!
On a personal note.  I've been trying to work more through this.  Keeping myself busy and trying to contribute to out home.  I just finished a week long assignment in what is probably my favorite high school.  I was in the special ed department where I've had all of the kids for longer assignments before, so they all knew me.  It was a fabulous week and I was very sad at the end of it to say goodbye to the students again.  It's always good to be in the classroom.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Our trip to CA

     So on the 25th of October I (Cat) flew to California to visit family before our sister Heather's wedding.  It was one of those crazy whirlwind trips, but worth it.  I left Charleston at 9am, after getting up before 5am to help Chad get ready for work and get him on his way.  After going through Detroit and Salt Lake City I landed in Fresno where my brother picked me up.  First thing on the agenda, In & Out.  You just can't get it here.  
     After saying hi to family out there, I was off to Merced for dinner with mom and dad.  I was thankful for the chance to hang out with some of my best friends and family, Becky, Ashley, Noni, Nono, & Jim, while I was there.  I wish I could have gotten to more people, but there just wasn't the time.  
     Once I got back to Fresno on Thursday morning there was a whole new group of people to catch up with, Leslie, Allie & Jayden, Bryan & Sean, Amanda, Aunt Ellen, Uncle Jeff, Aunt Rose & Henry.  I think I ate my way through my trip.  I had Mimi's Cafe for breakfast (pumpkin spice muffins), Wassabi for lunch, Pete's pizza for dinner.  Caught up at the Riverpark Starbucks.
     On Friday I was able to get into my tattoo artist in Tower District, Monet at Bound by Tradition, before I met up with Heather to start wedding stuff.  I love what she did :) I'll have to get a better picture up later.  But after the tattoo shop I was able to meet with Heather and some of the bridal party to get our nails done before the rehearsal.  
     Chad found out on Friday morning that he could leave at 6pm to fly to CA for the wedding. I picked him up at midnight from the airport to bring him back to my brother's place where we were staying while he was out of town.  (Side note, it was totally weird to stay at my brother's house which used to be my place which he has totally decorated differently, and stay on his pull-out couch, which used to be my couch ...) So what was the first thing Chad wanted?? In & Out :-) a 4x4 with animal style fries and a chocolate shake.
     Saturday of the wedding Chad and I went to hang out with Heather and Cindy (mom) while Heather was getting her hair done.  I stayed with Heather the rest of the day through makeup, getting out to Engleman Cellars to get dressed, and wait for the wedding to start.  Heather did a fantastic job with the decorations and the whole wedding was a ton of fun.  Heather and Wes looked so happy taking pictures, greeting everyone and dancing through the night.  Chad and I wish them the very best and pray that their marriage is everything that God intended it to be!
     So, it was a very long week.  Especially with flying back to Charleston in Sunday at 6:30am and not getting to our home until 7pm.  But it was all well worth it, and we'd do it again in a heartbeat :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


     Chad and I have come to the conclusion that we are eating our way through Charleston.  On one hand, we feel like this is a shame because there are so many amazing things to see here.  On the other hand, it makes us very happy.  We are amateur foodies.  We love sitting down and savoring a meal with each other, friends, and family.  We aren't food critics.  We aren't assessing each dish, picking out individual ingredients, pairing it perfectly with our beverage.  Partially because we are not wine or beer connoisseurs either.  We don't freak out over our food pairings, but we love trying new varieties, wineries and breweries.
     In downtown Charleston we have established favorites.  Southend Brewery is our favorite for shrimp and grits, and she-crab soup.  They also have really good brisket, crab cakes, and a seasonal summer wheat beer.  But the best crab cakes are still from the Crab Shack at Folly Beach.  Our favorite happy hour is at the Social in downtown.  Monday through Friday from 4-7pm you can get house wine, bubbles, and draft beer for $3, as well as appetizers.  Now, their appetizers are not skimpy.  A margherita pizza is the size of a dinner plate, and the thick, house made potato chips covered with a creamy blue cheese sauce is quite a serving, or spring rolls, and more.  If we're in the mood for a unique burger we head to Sullivan's Island for Poe's Tavern, where thick hamburgers are topped with things like crab cakes, fried eggs, and pico de gallo.... But as for dessert, Kaminsky's on Market St beats all, hands down.  Their menu constantly changes (except for certain favorites, like their warm berry cobbler with ice cream) and includes pies, cheesecakes, and cakes like a double layer chocolate Reese's, Boston cream, or tuxedo.  Their chai tea is always amazing, and the cocktails are like another dessert.
     Recently, we had the opportunity to attend Taste of Charleston at Boone Hall Plantation.  With somewhere around 40 restaurants in attendance with samples of their food we were in heaven.  After sampling 12 new restaurants, and a couple of favorites, including 2 desserts, we headed home to enjoy our food comas.  Now we are looking forward to trying some of new places we found.

Southend Brewery   Kaminskys   Social   Taste of Charleston

Monday, October 10, 2011

Trying to be a Wife of Noble Character

     It's crazy to me how much marriage can change your life.  Now, I know that a lot of people say that.  That it's a huge commitment, taking two lives and combining them for better or for worse.  Everyone talks about how it's hard and how you have to work on it constantly, blah, blah blah.  Yes, that's true.  We had to prep for this, have long conversations, make sure we knew each other's expectations and what us getting married would entail.  From my end, that mostly meant that I was leaving California, my family, my friends, my church, and job.  It wasn't something to be done lightly, but I did, and I did it with joy and love.  Ever since then I've been amazed by how this has changed my life.  While Chad and I were dating I was in a women's Bible study where we went over Proverbs 31:10-31 A Wife of Noble Character.  I remember thinking "This is what I want to be for my husband...But how do I do that?"
     So, I'll be honest, nothing in me ever wanted to be a housewife before I got married.  All I could think of was that I would be soooo bored.  I mean, really? What would I do? Laundry? Dishes (EWWW!!)?  Cook for him?  In the mean time he gets to go to work and do something really useful while I'm trapped at home, waiting on him.  That's what I thought of it.  I would be free labor to keep the house up instead of part of a team, and that I would resent him for it.  Either that or I would think of the stereotypical idea of the woman who just didn't want to work.  Sitting at home all day watching TV and eating bon bons, not contributing anything to the home, just floating.  What would people think of me?!?  It was something that seriously bothered me.  I swore I would never be that woman.  That I would work.  That I would make my own way and pay for things myself.  I didn't want to depend on anyone else.
     Fast forward to me being a wife, a Navy wife at that.  I couldn't get a full time job in my career field here.  I'm not dependable with our situation.  There's no telling how long we'll be here and when we'll move.  So, I decided to be a sub.  But that meant I still had 2 months to just be a wife.  That's when I made the most amazing discovery.  I love being a housewife!  Now I'm trying to find ways to be the wife in Proverbs.
     I'm certainly not perfect.  I'm a sinner.  I get lazy sometimes and spend the day on the couch playing video games, and then ask if we can just order pizza for dinner.  Sometimes I do get lonely or bored and I get mad when my husband comes home and just wants to rest after work, but I'm full of energy and want to go out.  It is a lot of work, just like everyone says.  But what's making it easier for me right now is that I'm finding  my own joy in it all.  My husband makes that easy for me.  He constantly thanks me for what I do.  When he can, he helps me around the house and with the cooking.  Chad leads me in a way that makes it easy for me to follow him and be happy with this new way of life for me.  I'm changing what I want in life, not because anyone is making me, but because I want to.  I want to be a wife for whom it can be said "Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life."