Friday, May 28, 2010

Five Question Friday!

1. Is there something you've always wanted to try but just can't muster up the courage to actually do yet?

There's things I used to do but would like to do again, like mountain biking. I have this great mountain bike but still haven't hit any trails for fear of crashing and breaking body parts. When I was a kid, you could push me down a hill and I'd love it! Now... not so much...

2. If you had $100 handed to you in cash without your significant other knowing about it, what would you spend it on?

Can I tell him? Haha. I'd probably spend it on clothes, or maybe food... I love food.

3. What was your favorite piece of playground equipment as a child?

The swings, hands down. I still looooveee the swings! I loved going real high and coming back down. The momentum is great. Yep, swings are the best.

4. Do you prefer a sweet or hearty breakfast?

Sweet. My ideal, perfect breakfast includes lots of fruit and croissants. Maybe some bacon... is bacon sweet?

5. Are you a Neat Freak or a Messy Bessy?

Neat Freak. I get into a panic when the house gets messy (as it is now with our guests) and when it's clean, I feel at peace. I like having a clean, tidy house.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Well, I did have something to say...

And I forgot about it. I've been busy lately! Brandon's parents arrived on Tuesday so we've been entertaining them along with us both working (Brandon's CO took his leave away for the last few days) and the normal stuff we do. It's been fun though. Today we're going snorkeling in the morning at Hanauma Bay, then we're having burgers at The Counter, might go shopping at Whole Foods for a bit, and call it a day in the afternoon. Brandon has to get a DA photo done and I have a Pampered Chef party tonight that I'm super excited about.

You know, most times when I have nothing to say, I post a blog post so my mom can know I'm alive. ;) It's ok mom, I'm just busy!

Brandon's deployment is looming ever closer. We have two dates he'll probably be leaving, but I'm not allowed to say exactly when. Let me tell you, it's about a month or so. Ah! I hate to say that. I got my work schedule for June and seeing it all planned out like that just... frightens me. I think I'm prepared for it though, but I need to jump in head first and see where the current takes me.

We're getting professional photos done in a couple weeks. I really wanted some before his deployment and I'm finally getting it done!

Anyway, I'm not scared of him leaving. I have a great support system here, I have plans and vacations to look forward to, and I've done very mini-deployments that give me a taste. At work it's great that people come in who have been or are stationed at the same base Brandon is going to in Iraq. I love it! I ask them al kinds of questions and it soothes me to know that he'll be alright. The base he's going to, if he's still going to it, is a good place to be. For Iraq anyway...

The sad thing, though? I'm going to Canada in a couple months and people keep telling me they're excited to meet Brandon. I have to keep telling them "Nope, he won't be there. Just me this time." Oh well, that's the military!

Monday, May 24, 2010


Wow, four days since my last post! It seems I go through phases where I write, write, write and then... nothing. So hello, thought I'd see how everyone is.

This weekend Brandon had 4 days off as a pseudo "Memorial Day" weekend, since his block leave will be over Memorial Day anyway. Friday we had to wake up early because Brandon had to get an MRI of his foot (he's been having some difficulty with it), and then we chilled down near Tripler, getting breakfast and browsing stores. We then met a bunch of our friends (and their dogs) at the dog beach. Dexter loves it there! I love it because it makes him super tired. After a scuffle with a big boxer, we went home.

Brandon had some issues with his jaw after his wisdom teeth surgery so we went to the dental office. I ran some errands while he got looked at. By the time we go home we had been gone for like 9 hours and we were tired! But we ended up going to a friends house for some dinner.

Saturday I worked for 8 hours and then hopped over to Old Navy to look at their sale. They didn't have any shoes left, but I did buy a cute bathing suit and some shorts and a tank top, all essential for Hawaii. Oh, I bought a zip-up hoodie, they're my weakness. We watched Avatar (it was alright!) and then went to bed!

Sunday I helped a friend with her webcam baby shower, went grocery shopping, Target shopping, Verizon browsing (ugh, I want a new phone but can't get it until July 21), cleaned the entire house (the in-laws will be here tomorrow), and watched 5 and a half hours of Lost at night! That was pretty good! I still have questions...

Today is another day of work, errands, cleaning and getting ready. Brandon has staff duty but that just means he's on call, and I work 8 hours, so I'll be relying on him to get some work done here at home. Ok, this post got longer than I expected, but that's my update!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Have you heard?

Have you heard of a little blog called Six Sentences? If you haven't, allow me to explain. It's a blog that posts flash fiction, micro fiction, writing contests and more! Basically people submit six sentence short stories. Try to say what you want to say in six sentences.

Last week I got struck by an idea. So I wrote it down. I sent the result in. And today they posted what I submitted!

Check it out right here.

Tell me what you think! Part of me is very excited to be "published" here, and part of me is all nervous that people will actually see a snippet of my writing. Should I be proud? Embarrassed? I don't know! Anyway, I haven't mentioned my writing for a bit, so that's a little update that shows that I am working, don't worry. I'm writing a novel slowly right now as well as editing my big novel. I'm hoping to have that done by August 31 so I can bring it to the Hawaii Writer's Conference.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Discoveries

I've discovered... a new work ethic.
The last few weeks of starting my new job, I've had a hard adjustment. I came from not working for a year to suddenly working again, and I wasn't sure if I wanted to. Well, when we were at the marriage retreat, Brandon and I (ok, mostly Brandon) made a deployment budget, factoring in the extra pay he'll be making, my new paycheck and also the expenses along the way. In the end, it came out to a huge total we could have saved up by the time he returns. That changed my mind about working! Money does wonderful things, huh? So I decided to be happier about working. Except for today when I have to do dumb customer service training at another post normally half an hour away... but I have to drive there in rush hour traffic. I'm leaving an hour and a half early. Wish me luck...

I've discovered... Chagrin Valley Soap & Craft.
On a military spouse forum I post on, one of the ladies mentioned this to me. I went to the website and read the testimonials about everyone else who is fighting with acne. Well, I was sold. So I bought a bunch of all natural soap and can't wait to get it! I'm all over this organic and all natural stuff. Let's hope it works wonders. :D

I've discovered... Taking Charge of Your Fertility.
No, calm down, mom. I'm not trying to have a baby right now. With Brandon leaving so soon, that would be insane! Haha. But on this same forum, everyone touts the wonders of this book. So I bought it! I've read the first part and am so excited. Basically the book is about natural birth control, which I don't really care too much about. I'm reading it for its information about my cycle, fertility, ovulation, etc., etc., for when we DO plan on trying for a baby. What can I say, I like to be prepared. I'm excited about this book, though, and am glad I got it! I've already been made fun of by a few people about it... but I guess I don't care. It's my body, I want to learn all about it. :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

New Rule

This cat...

can no longer sleep in this room...

because he runs around, scratches the mattress and furniture, and makes this dog...

go crazy and hyper, making it hard for these guys...

to sleep. So from now on, Winston (aka: Winny, cat, kitty, that cat, freaking cat, El Gato), we will be closing our bedroom door so you can run around like crazy somewhere else and find another place to sleep... like here:

or here...

or here.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Marriage Retreat

Before I jump into all this, I have a couple things. First, does anyone know how to get those blog buttons done? I mean, I guess I can make one on my computer, but everyone has such pretty blog buttons I'd really like one! For this blog and my deployment blog, A Blog a Day While You're Away, which I'll be starting soon. Any help appreciated! Second, I have a lot of new followers, so if you haven't made yourself known, go ahead and let me know who you are! I love meeting new people. Third, I think I might be doing a blog giveaway once I hit 50 followers. Or maybe when I move to my deployment blog... hmmm....

Day 1: So we started the day at 4:45am. Yep. That's when the alarm went off. Brandon had off-site PT with the other officer's in his company (like 6 other guys), and since it was at Maunawili Falls (my favorite hike), he asked if I could go. Sure, I wasn't excited about waking up early, but I went and it was great! We brought Dexter with us and he had a blast. The hike only took half an hour each way because we're good hikers, though I am totally out of shape, so climbing the hills sucked, haha.

Here's a pic from the first time I went:

We rushed from Maunawili Falls, on the other side of the island, to the kennel to drop Dexter off. Then we hurried home to shower off the mud from the hike, change into nice clothes and finish packing. We were ahead of schedule but we ended up being a little late because of traffic. The marriage retreat part was kind of boring at first, haha. We were talking about communication and stuff like that. Anyway, we got out at like 1, so we have tons of time to hang out afterwards! We laid by the pool and read, swam, drank and went down the water slide a few times, hehe. We got a lunch and dinner buffet, which were pretty good. Since we got up so early, we passed out around 9 and slept well!

Handsome Husband!

Where We Were!

Day 2: We woke up to the sound of waves, went to breakfast, and then had a full morning of classes. Brandon was really into the financial one and spent pretty much the whole time working on a deployment budget for us. I can say that if all goes as planned, we will have a BUNCH of money saved up. I love this idea! Plenty of money for a down payment on a home. Anyway, the rest of the classes were about Issues & Hidden Issues, Communication, Forgiving & Having Fun. Brandon and I worked through a couple issues we've been having and I'm very grateful for it. :)

After the classes were done we headed down to the pool again! Funny how we live in Hawaii but we go to the pool, huh? Well, we go to the beach all the time, but never the pool! This time we spent reading for hours. It was very comfy. Around dinnertime we went back to the room to change and about 20 minutes before the sunset, found a spot by the ocean with a perfect view. It was amazing! It was a perfect end to the end. Oh, and as we walked to dinner, we saw a couple get engaged. Aw.

Let me mention that the food yesterday was AMAZING. The omelets at breakfast were fantastic, so were the croissants. Lunch was pretty good too! Dinner was so great I wish I could've eaten more. It was all Hawaiian food, so we have Poke, Lomi Lomi with Poi, Sushi, Kalua Pork, Prime Rib and the delicious Purple Sweet Potatoes.

Lounging by the pool:


Beautiful Sunset:

Day 3: Ok, today we were supposed to go to the beach, but decided we were tired... so we went home! We went to pick up Dex but found out he hadn't gotten his bath yet, so we went over to Borders while we waited for him. They had Bargain Books as BOGO so I had to get a couple! 4 bucks for two books? Yes, ma'am. Oh, and I got 2 books that I ordered from Amazon in the mail today too. It was great. Anyway, now we're chilling and catching up on shows before a Hail & Farewell tonight.

Overall, the marriage retreat was great. The classes were fairly fun, but most of all the free vacation was so fantastic. The resort was beautiful and I'm glad we got to spend some time together!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Blog Award!

Thanks Marissa at Living the Life of an Infantryman's Wife for giving me this wonderful blog award!

The only rule? Pass it along! So here you go...

Sarah at G.I. Joe's Wife
Manda at My explosive life... as an EOD tech's wife
Courtney at Cochran Family in Hawaii

So... congrats!

I'm having fun at the marriage retreat. Woke up to the sound of waves crashing on the shore. Beautiful. I feel like I'm on vacation, even though I'm only half an hour away from home. I love it!

Oh, and happy 200th post to me!


No, not the show. Or the other show. Nope, that's my puppy. I love him. It's probably some unnatural attachment to him because I watched him grow up in front of me (and heck, he's only 9 months old), but I love him. Oh my God, he pisses me off. He chews, he digs, he bites, he barks and barks and barks. But that dog has made me laugh, given me company while Brandon is away and cheered me up on gloomy days.

First off, I feel bad enough that I started a job and can't spend as much time with him. I mean, who wouldn't want to spend time with this guy?

Today we started a marriage retreat. It's been pretty cool! We're very grateful that the Army is paying us to stay at a beautiful resort, paying for all our meals and our room, and giving us some helpful marriage advice along the way. Goodness me, though, I hated dropping that dog off at the kennel. Now this kennel is top notch. He's basically in a "doggy daycare" sort of kennel where the entire room is open, he's not put in a cage, and he plays with dogs all day. Can't beat that! This morning we even went on a long hike with him. When I dropped him off he wanted to come with us and not go in the room with her. Broke my heart.

Look at him as a puppy and tell me he wouldn't break your heart:

When he was a baby, I could only take pictures of him when he was sleeping, he was always moving. Now, I can get him to sit still for the picture! He's a good boy.

The best part about this top notch kennel? It has webcams. Oh goodness, I am addicted. I can watch that dog of mine play with other dogs, or just sit there, or sleep, all from my resort. Yep, unnatural attachment. I can't even go one day without my puppy. I know he's a handful (he's a Border Collie puppy, what do you expect?) but he's my Dexter and I love him. Now how's about some more pictures?

His ear sticking up:

Laying around:

My puppy and I:

At the beach! A couple of my fave pictures of him:

Monday, May 10, 2010

A to Z - All About Me!

A few of the blogs I follow have posted this. I used to love doing these things and since I have a bunch of new followers, I figured I will do it!

Note the new "Check Out My Deployment Blog" button on the side. Sadly, the picture isn't square enough... so I need to fix that... but for now, you can click on it and it'll lead you right to my new blog A Blog a Day While You're Away.

A. AREA CODE: 808 right now, though a 719 in cell phone and in my heart!

B. BED SIZE: Queen. I like this size. I don't think we'll ever go bigger, and we definitely won't go smaller. I'd like a new mattress though!

C. CHORE YOU HATE: Folding socks. Just don't like it. Number two is unloading and reloading the dishwasher, just because I do it every single day.

D. DOG'S NAME: Dexter Ikaika Oke Leo, or Dexter. Dex and Dexy for short. I love him.

E. ESSENTIAL "START THE DAY!" ITEM: Gum. Always need gum.


G. GOLD OR SILVER: White gold :P

H. HEIGHT: 5' 2"

I. INSTRUMENTS YOU PLAY: I played the piano for a few months once...

J. JOB: I work at ITR! Yay! And I'm a writer.

K. KIDS: Not yet, but they'll be coming sooner than you think.

L. LIVING ARRANGEMENTS: 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home in Hawaii with Brando, Winny and Dexy.

N. NICKNAME: Chanty is pretty much the only one.

M. MOM'S NAME: Jan (Hi mom!)

O. OVERNIGHT HOSPITAL STAY: Not since... like my birth....

P. PET PEEVE: I have a lot of them. I don't feel like listing. Maybe when Brandon takes his clothes off and leaves them in the middle of the floor.

Q. QUOTE FROM A MOVIE: "Mr. Darcy, Mr. Darcy, Mr. Darcy..." from the end of pride & Prejudice.


S. SIBLINGS: 3 sisters, 1 stepsister, 3 stepbrothers

T. TIME YOU WAKE UP: Hm... usually between 6 and 7 am. More towards 6 these days.

U. UNDERWEAR: I need some new ones lol

V. VEGGIE YOU DISLIKE: I really will eat almost everything. I can't even think of one I don't like!

W. WAYS/REASONS YOU ARE LATE: Never late. Always on time. (Ok, sometimes late because of Brandon)

X. XRAYS YOU'VE HAD: Ankles, knees, teeth, wrists....

Y. YUMMY FOOD YOU MAKE: Oh, I make some good food. I make a mean meatloaf, banana bread, scalloped potatoes, spaghetti sauce, etc.

Z. ZOO ANIMALS YOU LIKE: I like the giraffes at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo!! They're fun.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day, Mommy

Dear Mommy,

Happy Mother's Day!

Thanks for giving birth to me, for changing my diapers, for carrying me when I couldn't walk and holding my hand when I just learned. Thanks for reading me books right before bedtime, letting us have fun toys in the bath, and buying me cool sheets for my bed.

Thanks for letting me cry when I needed to, yelling at me when I deserved it, and laughing with me in between. Thanks for helping me with homework, bringing us on awesome trips to Charleston Lake and Disney World, and buying us Super Mario Bros for the Nintendo.

Sorry for breaking lamps, breaking windows and hitting my little sister on several occasions. Sorry for the sick nights (even if I couldn't help it), for peeing in my bed, and for driving you crazy sometimes. Sorry for telling you to shut up a couple times as a kid, for being a mean teenager, and for not trying as hard in school (I guess I'm just lazy, lol). Sorry for being so talkative when I'm sure you just wanted to rest!

Thanks for being a loving mother. Thanks for talking a lot, because we always have good conversations. Thanks for not being too strict but not being too lenient. Thanks for letting me learn on my own.

I want to thank you for this deployment bracelet. When I opened it, saw who it was from and what it meant, I got tears in my eyes. You are so thoughtful and so sweet. I'm glad to know that you'll be here for me when Brandon isn't. You'll never know how much this means to me. I love you!

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Through another blog I found this:

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

This week's "Show Us Your Life" with Kelly's Korner is Baby Names! Now, this is right up my alley, I couldn't resist. I looooveee names. I ask people their names, I research names, I even am part of an online forum all about baby names. Yes, I'm a geek. Especially now that I'm married and will be starting a family in the next couple of years (that's a whole other topic that Brandon and I are excited about ;) ), I've been trying to find names that we both can like. However, it's hard with a last name like ours (that starts with the evil Sh-), and it's even more difficult with a husband who hates all boys names.

Anyway, this is what we've come up with.


Victoria Marie-Ange

Brandon suggested Victoria nn Tori and I kind of liked it. My contenders were Caroline Marie-Ange and Anna Rose. We like classic names. I think Victoria will be our first daughter though. Oh, Brandon also likes the name Olivia, and despite it's popularity, I do too!


Thomas Kyle/Brandon

We were laying in bed playing with names when I suggested Thomas and Brandon clung to it. He really likes it. Now I don't LOVE the double S's (Thomas Sh-) but when you say it fast enough, it doesn't really run together. We're not sure which middle name we'd use, but I know for all our children I'd like to use family names. This is the only name we can agree on for boys. Every boys name is either too Biblical, starts with a vowel, he knew someone with that name, or he just doesn't like it. My short list for boys, and Brandon hates all these, is Samuel, Isaac, Adam, Evan, Owen and Nathan.

So there you have it. Baby names. Let's hope Brandon doesn't back off on Thomas without an alternative!

Friday, May 7, 2010


Finally I'm getting around to entering these two contests I found. With my new job and with Brandon being around all the time, I can't find time to get a simple blog written! But here it is.

Contest #1

I just started following The Journey of a Navy Wife's blog when I stumbled upon this new Military Spouse contest!

I'm supposed to say what being a military spouse means to me, but to tell the truth, I don't know yet. I mean, it's been a way of life since I got married, though I entered this military spouse business a different way. Originally, we were both going to be military spouses! I was in Army ROTC and set on being an officer. However, I got injured and even though we tried to fix it, my feet were ruined and I couldn't continue on. This meant a whole different ball-game - I went from being the military member to being the spouse (my husband graduated ROTC a year before me).

What does being a military spouse mean to me? It means great benefits - health care, tax free shopping, living on post, a constant paycheck. It means great opportunities - tuition assistance, moving all over the country and the world, other programs and activities. It also means missed opportunities - my husband leaves for training every few months, he gets to be deployed this summer, and we've never had a full year together in the 4 years we've been a couple.

I love being a military spouse. I can't believe the wonderful women I've met so far. They are strong willed and strong minded, fun to have around and always ready for advice. It's such a unique and insane community I'm a part of. There's nothing like being a military spouse. It scares me when Brandon does get out because there is certainly not a community like this. Nobody is in the same situation as you. This military community is so unique it rivals all others.

I'm not saying I love being a military spouse all the time. Like I said, my husband leaves all the time. But that's how it works right? I know I've gotten a little thick-skinned when it comes to him leaving. Let's see how this deployment goes, huh? ;)

Anyway, I wish I could write something more insightful, more meaningful, but I'm still trying to figure out what it all means to me. I think it'll take me leaving this community to realize how special it really was to me. As for now, I'm going to try to concentrate on the positives and enjoy being an Army Wife!

Contest #2

This one is easy. The Life of an Army Wife is giving away an Emily Griffin book to one of her commentators! I, of course, am trying. So if you want to give it a try, head on over to her blog.

Oh, and Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Day!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Crazy Tuesday

Alright, so the day began at 4:45am when Brandon got up. He came back to bed after shaving and changing for a few minutes, then he was off to PT early this morning. However, because of his wisdom teeth surgery and a hurt foot, he didn't have to do PT. He was home at 6am! I didn't notice, I was passed out upstairs with the cat. Dexter went down to investigate, though. ;)

We relaxed all morning until we showered, I ate, and Brandon marched off to work. Again, he didn't have to stay because he had surgery today. Everything was going well! I wrote, I edited, he played games, Dexter ran around in the backyard, Winston slept, what a morning!

Around 11 we had to get up and moving. Our first stop was the kennel where we'll be boarding Dexter next week. He had to go today for a trial-run to make sure he'll be OK. They do an open-room kennel, so all the dogs are running around together, and we had to make sure Dexter would be OK. When we get there they first tell us we needed to pay for a bath because he was dirty. Seriously, his paws were a little brown from running in the red dirt outside, but do we really need to pay for a bath? He wasn't even that dirty! Then they ask if he's gotten the Bordatella shot. I was sure he had, but it wasn't on his records... sooo...

That was frustrating. We left him there and hopped off to Tripler. We had to wait awhile because they were backed up, so we sat in the waiting room. Then Brandon got taken back and I was sent up to get some medicine for him. I did a pit stop at the food court and grabbed a corn dog, macaroni salad, regular salad, yogurt and sweet potato fries for only $3.90. Score. Then I had to walk a mile to the outpatient pharmacy with a heavy backpack to get his pain meds and some mouthwash.

After I hiked back, I spent an hour or so in the waiting room studying for my Substitute Teacher's Course exam tomorrow, reading other stuff, playing games... and then they called my name. I went up and had to walk the mile back to the pharmacy to pick up some antibiotics. Ugh. So again, I trekked across Tripler to get him some meds. What we do for love!

By this time it's almost 3 o'clock. Mind you, I had to pick up Dexter by 3:30 and we're at least 15 minutes away without traffic. Yikes! Luckily Brandon came out shortly after 3. Poor guy was swollen, bloody and groggy from his surgery. We hurried through traffic and got to the kennel by 3:35.

Good news though: I figured out that Bordatella is actually the kennel cough vaccine, and Dexter has gotten that! He got it from another vet so it wasn't on his main records. Yay! Oh, and they didn't charge us to wash his dirty feet. Score #2.

Brandon is home now, hopped up on pain meds, but he actually looks good. He can open his mouth almost all the way and he's eating mashed potatoes right now. I expect a quick recovery. Heck, he isn't even that swollen. I'm sorta jealous that he's feeling so good when I didn't feel as grand after my surgery. :P

Monday, May 3, 2010

Wisdom Teeth!

Brandon is FINALLY getting his wisdom teeth out on Tuesday. He was supposed to get them out a couple weeks ago but when we got to the Schofield clinic they said they were only going to use localized numbing. Brandon was tempted to get it done then just to get it over with but I urged him not to. I'd rather have him happier and knocked out!

So he went down to Tripler for a pre-op appointment last week and made his appointment for tomorrow. We're loaded up with soup, jello, bananas, fruit for smoothies, and loads of potatoes for mashed potatoes. I did pretty well after my surgery (I do well after all my surgeries), but I haven't dealt with Brandon after a surgery... I suppose we'll see!

Today we both have the day off. We have some errands to run but I think we might go snorkeling if we decide the cloudy weather won't deter us. Tomorrow during Brandon's surgery Dexter goes to the kennel for a "test" for 2-4 hours to make sure he gets along with other dogs and can handle being away from us. I bet he'll be fine! Next week is our marriage retreat - we're super excited!

Have a good day everyone :D