Jan 29, 2014

Book 1 Review of My 2014 Reading List

So I told myself, while John is deployed I'm going to attempt to read a book a month.
Sounds like a pretty small task...but if you know me at all, when I start reading a book, if it doesn't catch my interest within the first few chapters I either give up or it will take me forever to finish.
Since Jan is coming to an end...I'll give you a recap on my Jan Book. (I actually read it at the end of Dec and alittle bit into Jan...so it counts right)
The Fault in Our Stars

The Synopsis by Goodreads:
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumors in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumors tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.
My thoughts:
A friend of mine, Jackie, who is a total book whore, had already read The Fault in Our Stars so I had a good idea what was in store for me.  And lets be honest, the story is about teenagers with cancer how do you not know whats going to happen in the end. Anyway, even though it was about teenagers, I really liked it.  It was a nice, fast, easy read. Definately a good book for me to start out with for my 1 book a month goal.
There was a point that one day at work I was asking Jackie about certain characters in the book and she refused to tell me what happened.  UGH....so I decide the next day to bring my Kindle to work and read durning lunch.  I'm not much of a cryer, so I did not cry durning the book. However, I could very well see where people could.
With out getting into too much detail about the book, my favorite characters were Hazel and Augustus. 
I would highly recommend reading The Fault in Our Stars.
Up Next...

The Synopsis by Goodreads:

The year is 1929, and newlyweds George and Serena Pemberton travel from Boston to the North Carolina mountains where they plan to create a timber empire. Although George has already lived in the camp long enough to father an illegitimate child, Serena is new to the mountains—but she soon shows herself to be the equal of any man, overseeing crews, hunting rattle-snakes, even saving her husband's life in the wilderness. Together this lord and lady of the woodlands ruthlessly kill or vanquish all who fall out of favor. Yet when Serena learns that she will never bear a child, she sets out to murder the son George fathered without her. Mother and child begin a struggle for their lives, and when Serena suspects George is protecting his illegitimate family, the Pembertons' intense, passionate marriage starts to unravel as the story moves toward its shocking reckoning.

Rash's masterful balance of violence and beauty yields a riveting novel that, at its core, tells of love both honored and betrayed
My thoughts:
I am only a few chapters into the book. The beginning is slow..but I have a feeling its about to start picking up.
Also on my reading List
 Ophan Train

The Longest Ride
Gone Girl

The Book Theif
Know of any other good reads? Let me know, I'm still looking for about 5-6 more.

Jan 28, 2014

Month 1 in the books

I decided a few months ago to give blogging a whirl.  
My life is nothing too exciting these days. 
Work and Family time with a little bit of adult time here and there.

One of the reasons I was going to take up blogging was to fill up my time while John is deployed.
I figured, little man goes to bed early...I could do a little catching up on reading and maybe doing a little blogging of my own, as my adult personal outlet.

I was originally going to do a weekly recap of John's deployment but decided not too. Figured that would be too long and drawn out. I mean 40-52 post on a deployment or me about to lose my marbles. So instead I decide on a monthly recap.

This is not my 1st deployment rodeo, this will be my 3rd. 
Each deployment is different from the next.
The 1st deployment was when I was married before. We were young; no kids, I had just finished up, my bachelors, I had my own military 17 week school that I had to attend and the ex was in the "green zone" so there wasn't a lot to worry about. Even though you still here the occasional explosions every so often on the phone. So needless to say my time was consumed.

Skinny Kira is on the far left. talk about throw back pic...lol

The second deployment, was totally different. We (my ex & i) had moved to Germany and my ex was being deployed. I had only been in Germany a few months before he left, we lived off post, so our interaction with other military couples was limited at first...and we were the married couple with no kids. I had a dog and he was like my kid.  Needless to say it took people awhile to get used to that one. 

Anyway, I had transferred over the the Reserves and continued to drill and work as a Family Readiness  Assistant for an Infantry Battalion in Germany. Oh the stories I could tell!!!

I of course traveled as much as I could. I LOVE traveling!!! Living in Germany opened so many doors to traveling that I would have never gotten to experience before if I hadn't of went.  I was lucky enough to have my parents come visit and even had a good girl friend from college come visit, Myla. You should check out her blog. She is like Martha Stewart, the Pioneer Women and Pinterest all rolled up into one.  

Myla & I durning our Champagne Cruise. That was a story all in its own.

When I would come back home people could not fathom that I could get in my car and drive 4 hrs to Paris, Amsterdam, or where ever just because I wanted to.  It was amazing, I miss it. I could flood this page with pictures from my trips, but I will refrain. 

Ok ok back to the deployment countdown...

I knew that this deployment was going to be different.  This time there are kids (2), dogs(3), work and my military obligations. 

So far it hasn't been bad. Graham knows what we talk/facetime to daddy on the phone every night. The kids, dog and work keeps me busy. I've kinda taken up running again...well at least doing races again. I have a goal to read a book a month..which I'm slacking on.

Well enough for now.

Jan 27, 2014

Master Bedroom Remodel, part 2

We knew this project was not going to be an overnighter (a 3day-er if you watch HGTV)…try like a year….yup we strung it out for a year. We weren’t in a hurry. We had our original functioning bathroom; everything we were doing was extra.

We started with tearing down the old closet and ripping out the old carpet and flipping the room. We moved the bed down and removed all the stuff from the far end of the bedroom and it stayed in this hot mess of a state…for awhile.

We eventually added the closet walls!!! Which I love…I actually have a real closet that holds more than 10 items!!!!

We would buy items here and there and work on little things.  We worked on the electrical over the summer and it went pretty smoothly.  We had to buy a few extra items because whoever wired the house before…WOW... I don’t understand their logic.

During the remodel we got engaged (you can read about the proposal post here). We got married Nov 9th and John was going to be deploying early Jan so he definitely wanted the bathroom to be functioning before he left.  John took off pretty much the whole month of Dec to get things done before he left.

That boy worked his butt off. He worked with his buddy, John, who was our plumber and they finished the plumbing right before Christmas!!!!  My mom would come up on the weekends and watch Graham so we could get some things done around the house. A 19 month old makes DIY bathroom projects hard.  But you can see he's such a good helper.

My mom, bless her heart, had decided durning one of her visits that she was going to buy us the rest of the items we needed for the bathroom. So on Christmas Eve, her and my dad were coming up to visit and she called and said "Meet us at Lowes, we're going to finish getting the stuff for your bathroom"  She didn't want to give us money because we would of probably spent it on bills.  Mom was so touched that John was working so hard she didn't want to see all of his hard work to go unnoticed.
So after a last min shopping trip to Lowe's on Christmas Eve, we were set and ready to finish up the bathroom. Well finish it up the best that we could before John left. I’m pretty handy so most of the left over stuff I can finish while he’s gone.
But that poor boy....worked until the zero hour. We had to leave for Chicago early the next morning and we worked on the bathroom and packed until midnight the night before he left.

I love the way everything turned out.  Not to bad for 1st timers if I do say so myself.

Jan 24, 2014

Master Bedroom Remodel, part 1

Good Morning fellow readers.
I figured today I'd talk about our DIY Master Bedroom Remodel. Disclaimer…we are still not 100% finished…but leaps and bounds from where we started.
We live in an older house (40-50's-ish style home) idk my husband bought it prior to us getting together. It sits on a little 2 acre plot in the country. We have 4 bedrooms (2 downstairs and 2 upstairs) and 1 bathroom!!!!
Yes, this is a NO-GO in my book. I hated that we only had 1 bathroom. When we had people over they'd have to wait to use the bathroom. If someone’s in the shower and you have to pee….you either wait or give the friendly knock before you enter (don’t act like you don’t do it too)  Needless to say it’s just a big pain in the butt.
So our master bedroom is quite large 12x26. Come to find out it used to be 2 rooms that was turned into 1 oblong room.  The closet space was minimal. We had 2 closets, both of which were very small. Like un-functional small. There was so much dead space it was ridiculous.
One day the hubby was at work and drew a sketch of what he wanted to do with the room. Walk in closet & add a 2nd bathroom!!! Ok, I’m sold where so I sign up?  We talked about it for a little bit and decided to go for it.  We had a plumber come out and look at the house to make sure it was do-able first before we started tearing down walls and ripping out carpet. I had an architect friend look at the sketch to make sure we had a freaking clue.  The plumber said it was totally doable, the electrician (family friend) say he would be able to run eclectic and our architect friend said that everything looked good in the sketch.
So as soon as you get the green light what do you do….Tear down walls and rip out carpet, duh.
Oh & start making a pinterest board of what you want to do & watch every episode of al HGTV DIY shows.
Since this project went on as long as it did, I have a feeling I should probably break it up into parts. So consider this Part 1.  I know the suspense is just too much. I promise more to follow shortly.

Jan 22, 2014

Bathroom Pallet Wall Tutorial

Hey Friends.

Tonight I wanted to give you all a tutorial of our pallet wall in our new bathroom. The hubs and I had posted some pictures on our facebook page and people have been asking about it since we posted it. So I figured I'd let you see 1st hand how we did it.

I scoured Pinterest and came across this pic as my motivation. I loved the colors...but wasn't 100% sure if those colors would work for us.

 I was lucky enough to come across an endless amount of pallets at work. So I took the truck to work and loaded up 2 full truck loads {about 50 pallets total}  

Then it was time for a little manual labor.  I've seen some projects on Pinterest that took the time and removed the nails on the ends and middle of the pallets or carefully cut them. I figured screw it and just grabbed the saw and started cutting.  Don't worry I had the wood burner going in the garage to stay warm :)  

 After cutting through about 30-35 pallets, I grabbed the sander and touched up the edges and the front of the boards if I felt that they needed it.  I grouped the pieces by width and some by length.

After all the pieces where sanded and grouped, we stared staining. Sorry I didn't take any pictures of the actual staining process, only a pic of the pallets drying. 
I went to Lowe's and purchased a 4 different tint-able stains {sangria, moss green, blue and brown}.  The stain was almost like a paint, which I loved because it washed off so much easier.

We also bought a $5 return gallon of a redish-brick paint to put on the bottom of the wall where the old wainscoting was. It worked perfectly.  We wanted a darker color to hide any gaps or imperfections in the wall behind the pallets. 

After painting...it was time to lay out the pallets. I stared by laying the rows out on the floor. Once I found my groove we started applying them to the walls.  To secure them to the wall we used some liquid nail & air nailed them to the wall. We hit the ends and the middle. Those boards aren't going anywhere :) 

The Hubs in action. 
We totally lucked out with piecing the wall together, there wasn't too much extra cutting to fit the boards.  John did an amazing job. I'm so proud of him.

The final project.  I was really not digging the blue when I was staining the wood, but LOVED the way all the colors turned out.  This might be the 1st Pinterest project that turn the way I was hoping.  

We still need to add some trim work to the bathroom but its totally functional. John did an awesome job. I'm so proud of him, he worked his ass off before he left to get everything running and functional.

Total cost for the pallet wall...
50 pallets= FREE
1 gal of Paint= $5.oo from Lowe's {it was a return gallon}
4 stains= $6.00/stain ($24 total)
2 tubed of Liquid nails=$6.00

Grand Total=$35.00 

 I'll take it.

Jan 15, 2014

My First Giveaway

Hello Friends!!!

Hope everyone is having an awesome week.  We're half way there!!!

So I've decided to host my 1st giveaway!!! Exciting Right?

I'm starting out small but hopefully there will be a good enough turnout that I'll work towards bigger
 & better giveaways in the future.
I will be giving away a $25 Starbucks Gift Card.

The winner will be selected on Monday Jan 20, 2014.
To enter is simple.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!!

Jan 13, 2014

Bucket List

Hi ya'll...by ya'll I mean the 1-2 people who follow the sad little blog.
Anyway...I was driving into work this morning listening to my morning radio show & they were talking about New Year's Resolutions and how many people have already stopped or a given up on theirs.  The conversation then turned to bucket list, which made me think...I still have my bucket list on my computer & it needs updated.
But before I go into my ever growing bucket list, I'm going to share with you my 2014 bucket list.
14 in 2014 Bucket List
My 2014 Bucket List...
1. Read a book every month
2. Work out more & eat less crap
3. Complete at least 1 Marathon (Little Rock)
4. Be better organized
5. Declutter the house
6. Do more meal planning
7. Pay off some Debit
8. Blog more
9. Meet new people
10.Stay in better contact with old friends
11. Enjoy the present
12. Send more snail mail. letters, cards, ect.

Now on to my ever growing Bucket List {aka...wish list}
1.       Learn to act within your sphere of influence and stop worrying about things which are not within your control
2.       Go on a hot air balloon ride
3.       Get a 2nd chance at marriage (with someone who puts a little thought and effort into a proposal)
4.       Start a family
5.       Complete at triathlon
6.       Take 1st at the Bataan Death March, Women’s heavy
7.       Go white water rafting
8.       Walk the Grand Canyon
9.        Go to Vegas
10.   See the Northern Lights (the Aurora Borealis)
11.   Learn sign language
12.   Finish my Master’s
13.   Make a difference….Discover my life’s purpose.
14.   Learn to play the violin and Harp
15.    Take dancing lessons with someone
16.   Go scuba diving
17.   Go on a cruise
18.   Travel as much as possible…Australia…great barrier reef , Greece, Bora Bora
19.   Visit every continent
20.   Visit Normandy Beach
21.    Touch a Killer Whale
22.   Ride on a Pedal Tavern
23.   Visit The Kremlin in Russia
24.   Start going to church more often
25.   The Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
26.   Go to a private concert
27.   Do more with my photography
28.   Take up more crafts…and finish them
29.   Become more organized
30.   Grow a garden (it didn’t turn out so well)
31.   Buy/Build a house….and make it “the perfect” house over the years
32.   Read every book your favorite author has written
33.   Learn not to take what others do or say personally
34.   Learn to say “no” without feeling guilty
35.   Make a difference in at least one person’s life
36.   Sell your original artwork or have it displayed somewhere
37.   Run with the Bulls
38.   Find inner peace and Learn to forgive
39.   See the Olympics in person
40.   Go to New York at Christmas time
41.   Ride a gondola in Venice
42.   Restore my ’69 Camaro
43.   Climb a mountain
44.    Learn to Surf
45.   Sky dive
46.   Relax…and let someone take photos of me
47.   A run a month for a year (almost there)
48.   Go on a Safari
49.   Watch wild mustangs roam
50.   Go to a NFL game
51.   Find a job/career that I really enjoy

Jan 8, 2014

OK...so I seriously have a problem. My name is Kira and I ‘m a Medal snob.
I am not a good runner, heck I really don't even call myself a runner. I finish races.
I've finished a several 1/2's and so far 3 full’s and a lot of 5ks. Anyway, I have never trained for any of them.
I'm not trying to be arrogant, you can hate me if you want to, I just get bored while running. It’s
weird I know. Many run because it is their outlet, blah blah blah.
I do it because I semi like it…not so much at the time…but I really do it normally for the medals. 
I’m a Medal snob!!! I pick races because of their medals. Other Than St Jude’s races, I do those for
the cause.
I blame my husband.  There are a few of us where I work that run/finish races. Well my husband (BF
at the time) was reading Runner’s World and seen an article about a race.  He looked it up and came
into my office and said…”we have to do this race…have you seen the medal?”  At the time I have
only complete 1 marathon (Bataan Death March) I rucked 26.2 miles in a full military uniform and a
weighted backpack.  I said that I would never do another race again….what can I say…the bug bit
Anyway, I asked him when it is...his response, "in less than 3 weeks!" are you freaking nuts!!! Less than 3 weeks to prep for a 26.2 run. Oh man this is gonna hurt. It definitely didn't feel good, but we finished.
2 years later…we were dumb enough to do it again.
This year...the medal is bigger than last year. I wasn't going to do it until 2 ladies that work in my office had decided to do it.  Dang it...I couldn't not have that big huge medal too!!! I had to ask myself,  "Self, could I pass by their office and see it hanging there in all of it's glory?"  Nope I sure can't!!!! So, I signed up for my yearly 26.2 mile race...8 weeks out.
Wish me Luck!!!! 
It's Super Hero themed this year....what should I dress up as?

Jan 5, 2014

Running Season has begun

Hi ya'll!!!!  Two post in the same day!!!!  
Yes I have much more time on my hands now that the hubs is gone. :(

I just wanted to take a moment and let you all know that I will be running the Rock & Roll 1/2 Nashville in April.  I will be a St Jude's Hero again and will be raising money for the St Jude's Hospital. 

My goal is raise $1,000. I don't plan on stopping there, the more the better.
If your feeling generous....feel free to click on the image below to visit my fundraising page.
Thank You.


Proposal Recap

Hello Friends!!!

I owe you all a recap of our wedding day and, trust me,  I'm working on that.  
One of my 2014 goals is to blog more.  The Hubby left for his deployment so I hope to blog more to fill up my time.  

I suppose I should start with the Proposal Story.  
We live in a small town in Central Illinois and for a small town,there are quiet a few hot air ballon hobbyist.  
We always see the balloons going up in the morning and evening going to and from work. I've mentioned in passing how I would like to go up in one, but I know the Hubs would never be up for it, because he hates heights.

On 08.15.13 we got home from work around 4:45 ish and needed to change and meet the in-laws and the Hub's sister for her B-day dinner.  The weather was nice and warm, so I through on some shorts and a t-shirt and john asked that I put on jeans and tennis shoes. I thought it was a little weird but I would wear yoga pants and a sports bra every day if i could :). 

We have to pick up the baby from daycare by 6pm and meet everyone for dinner at 6:15.
It was almost 5 and we needed to run by Walmart to get a b-day card and still run by daycare to pick up Graham.  I hate being late!!! It's a huge pet peeve of mine.  Anyway, I was ready to leave and John kept dragging his feet, which started to piss me off.  

We finally got to town, ran to Walmart.  John dropped me off at the door so I could run inside to grab a card.  A few mins passed and I get a text "hey i need to grab cash for dinner & i gotta run to the bathroom"  So I wondered around Walmart for a few mins until I got a text letting me know he was ready to go.

We got to the truck and John drove the longest way possible to get out of the parking lot and then drives into the bank parking lot near Walmart. I was for sure he was doing this all to get a rise out of me now. 

I asked him what we were doing now and he said he forgot the get cash.  It was 5:30...daycare closes in 30 mins!!! I'm starting to panic, lol.

He then pulls into a spot in the parking lot, and I lose it. I ask, "what the hell are we doing now? we're going to be late getting Graham!"

We get out of the truck and we starting walking into this flat open area and the next thing I know....he was proposing!!! The timing was perfect because the hot air balloon guys drove up.  He had planned the whole thing. He's plan was to pull in and have the hot air balloon waiting but they were a little late getting there which is why he kept stalling.  The kicker was he had look at my Pinterest boards and had our friend Amanda taking pictures in the bushes.  One of pins was to have a photographer hiding and snap pictures of the proposal.  Yea he's a keeper.

I'm trying to figure out what the hell is going on

Yep, that just happened

He just told me that Amanda was hiding in the bushes taking pics and all of our family was in the parking lot and we're taking a hot air ballon ride!

I can't believe he went up...he hates heights.


Jan 1, 2014

2013 Recap

Happy 2014 everyone!!!
I hope you all had a wonderful ending to 2013.  
Sorry I've been MIA over the last month. Between the wedding, the holidays and with John leaving I haven't taken much time to sit down and blog.
I was sitting here thinking about our highlights from 2013 and what I want to accomplish in 2014.
2013 was a busy year for us, it seems like between John & I, one of us where gone.

2013 Recap
Jan- Left for Florida for a 6 week course. I was nice to miss the IL cold for nice sunny weather but I missed my baby like crazy. Of course he started crawling when I was gone.
Feb- We had John's Mom's 60th surprise birthday party
March- John and I went to Little Rock to run the Little Rock Marathon.  Their medal is AMAZING. It's the only marathon I do because if I'm gonna suffer through 26.2 miles...I'm going to get an amazing medal out of the deal. I was (am) completely out of shape, I hadn't trained at all but decided to do this race all because of the medal. totally worth it.
April- Complete the Lincoln 1/2 marathon. again...no training but finished. I really need to apply myself to see what I'm capable of. 
May- My 1st real Mother's Day
June- Graham's 1st bday.  
July- Had our yearly 4th of July party at the house and Graham and I flew out to Colorado to meet up with a few friends. He did awesome flying. 
August- I had to leave for 2 weeks for work to Alabama. John planned a surprise proposal, it was awesome totally took me off guard. I'll post more about it later.
Sep- of course...I get home and John had to leave for a few weeks to Kansas to military training
Oct- John was home for about 4 days before he had to leave again for a month in Virginia. Graham and I flew out to see John and enjoy the beach.
Nov-John came home and we got married Nov 9th (i'll post more about it later)

Dec-flew by with the holidays and John getting ready to leave it happened all so fast.  We were able to visit with family and finish our master on suite!!! more pics to follow 
I got to meet some of my fave bloggers Holly, Melanie , Ashleigh  they are too funny, such an awesome group of ladies.