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Air Force wife. Photographer. Homemaker. Crafter. Twenty-something.

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28 December 2011

No Sweets?

I'm doing something I've never done before. 

I'm on a diet

After getting married, I put on a few pounds or twenty . . . five. I'm blaming it on the fact that hubby can eat whatever he wants and still stay thin, compounded with the two mall jobs I had last Christmas that sent me on multiple trips for Starbucks lattes (and I didn't even think to get them skinny) and Chik-fil-a peppermint shakes a week. Before last winter, I was consistently a small girl. Not super skinny, but small. Like 115-120 pounds at almost 5'3". It worked for me.

I had plans to start counting calories once we got settled into our new home to try to get back to my high school weight, but I got the idea from another blog (Better Life Bags) on Facebook to go sugar-free right after Christmas. Now, I'm not going all out, and I don't think I'll have to in order to see a difference. 

I'm allowing myself plenty of fruit (and lots of veggies, of course), honey, and a limited amount of artificial sweeteners. I already splurged on a diet lemonade at Chik-fil-a yesterday. 
I just can't eat any "sweets". You know what they are. I will, although, have a few preplanned exceptions.

Next Wednesday when we see my family in Mobile for our "going away-ish" party, there will be ice cream. I originally wanted a cake from the lady who did our wedding cakes, but we opted to spend that money on a fabulous shrimp boil instead (ohmygoodnessicantwaitimissshrimp!). So yeah, I'm eating ice cream that day. Then there will probably be some skinny lattes involved on our four day drive across the country. ;)And then probably Valentine's Day and then my birthday. 

My goal is to go clothes shopping on my birthday in March. And by "clothes shopping" I mean "smaller clothes shopping". So let the weight loss begin. 

I'll probably still end up counting calories a bit in February, and I'm going to try to find a yoga class (talk about some sculpting!) to get leaner and stronger. And hubby wants us to take kung fu. 

As of now, I'm at the end of my third day without sweets, and I really do actually feel a difference. I'm just a little more alert and a little less sluggish. I had to hide the pecan tassies at my MIL's house from myself earlier (that has been my biggest temptation so far), but it'll be worth it. I just have to remember that.

21 December 2011

So This is Christmas

"So this is Christmas. And what have you done? Another year over, and a new one just begun"

This song always makes me think about how the year really is over and the next one is starting. I try not to let it get to me, but it always does. I feel like this past year has just been one long pause, and in this coming year life will resume. Sure there have been exciting and joyous moments, but we really have spent most of this year waiting. Waiting on information. Waiting on graduation. Waiting on orders. Waiting to plan our life.

Christmas is a little different this year. It's not as jolly or special or pretty or . . . Christmasy. The biggest thing on our minds this year is moving (countdown alert: 2 weeks!!!), and it definitely detracts from the joy of the season. With all the commotion and confusion I knew would surround us right now, I chose not to decorate this year. Can you hear my heart breaking? Ugh. 

Next year I will decorate the mess out of some Christmas. Hubby doesn't know what he's in for.

We also won't be with my family this Christmas, but will see them on January 4 on our way to Abq. No, it's not along the way, but it's what we're doing. I so wish we had time to see all the places I love while we're down there, but it just won't happen in one night. Places like these:

Bellingrath Gardens. I took this two years ago.

I grew up going here. (Not my photo).
Us on D. I. two years ago. Isn't he handsome?

I kind of grew up with this fountain in Fairhope, too. This picture is from the same trip.

Downtown Mobile. Took this when we were getting our marriage license.


The Fairhope Inn and Restaurant. We got married here. <3 (Not my photo).

So now, a mere four days before Christmas, I'm simply looking ahead to the next Christmas. We'll have our first tree in our own home (hopefully in a place I'd be proud to call home). We'll fill our new home with new friends as often as we can. We won't be waiting. 

And I am stinkin' excited about that.

07 December 2011

First Snow

The first snow of the season here in Knoxville was wet, bulky, and short.





Studying Awesomeness

I haven't been nerdy enough lately. 

Let me explain. 

Growing up, I was always the good kid, the smart kid, the nerd. And I didn't mind a single bit. I actually loved it. I knew that by being good and learning things I would come out on top, plus I loved learning. I hated homework just as much as the next kid, but I loved learning. Not just one subject, pretty much anything. It all fascinated me how things worked together and subjects often collided (not until probably high school they didn't, but then that just made everything I learned more interesting). I even stayed after school to learn more through three different academic teams. MAJOR NERD. But it did get me on a LOT of field trips. I think I was averaging two or three a week by senior year. But anyway.

When I got to college, I decided I'd nerd it up just a tiny bit less. Actually, that wasn't the original plan. I went into Auburn as an aerospace engineering major (ha, yeah, you see how that turned out--I guess eventually I figured out that it would just be better to marry one instead), but after one semester I changed to Entrepreneurship and Family Business. Entrepreneurship kind of runs in the family. My mom's two brothers have always worked for themselves and done quite well, and my dad has owned his own business as long as I can remember. I can't help it, I want to work for myself. It's in my blood. But this new major was still pretty nerdy. I got to learn accounting stuff--and loved it--and economics and a slew of other subjects that I can't remember now. *The homework thing was a bigger problem in college than it was in high school, though.

I joined the Sailing Club sophomore year. I only went sailing once, but I really truly did want to learn to sail. Because it was awesome

I wanted to learn to fly a plane. Auburn has a program for that, and I knew I could never afford it, but still. It was awesome

I wanted to learn to kayak. I'd been once in Seattle, and it was awesome

I wanted (and still do) to learn to ride a motorcycle. That would be so awesome

I wanted to be awesome

If I crawled down a rabbit hole, I'm sure the Mad Hatter would tell me that I've lost my muchness. That sophomore year I met my rocket scientist and moved away from Auburn in May to be with him. Oh believe me, it was more than a fair trade-off, but it has been kind of hard. There's something I forgot to take with me:

My desire to be awesome. 

I'd come home from my job at the fancy-schmancy dry cleaner, or the daycare, or the mall, and he would be doing homework for some math class, and he would work a problem to a point where it was down to a calculus level. I could actually recognize it as something I used-to-could do. Or his little brother would be having problems with his math homework (ok, ok, I admit, I liked math. A lot.) and I could tutor him through it. Or hubby would explain to me some concept from orbital mechanics, and I would recognize enough of the components to understand. 

Little glimpses of my muchness. 

I used to love learning. I used to love knowing. It seems like the last two and a half years that I've been here, not in school, I've lost that. And that's a really big part of me.

It may sound silly, but blogging has brought a little of that back. There were things I had to learn to get started, and there are things I still have yet to learn to be more awesome. I mean, I had to learn some coding! 

I think that's a big part of why I'm so excited about this next big chapter in our lives. I have a plan to be awesome again. Maybe not in the same ways that I always wanted to be awesome, but in a different way. I mean, awesome is awesome, no matter what it looks like. And out there, with hubby working a "real" job, I have the opportunity to have no distractions from becoming awesome. As long as I'm working my Thirty-One business, I won't have to go out and get a job (you know, the kind where you work for somebody else? They're not my favorite). I'll be able to make my own schedule and push myself to do whatever I want to achieve. If I choose to go back to school, I can. I'll have a proper home (don't even get me started on our little apartment--I can't love a place if I never painted the walls. One day hubby will understand this), and a little cash to hostess a little more. I adore having friends over. The planning, the decorating, the oh-make-yourself-at-home-ing. But to be honest, I didn't put enough energy into making friends here. I have a very few here that are still a part of my life. That will be different in New Mexico. Because I will choose to be more awesome. 

Because awesome is awesome.

06 December 2011

I Won Something!

Actually, I won two things. One is a Liebster Award that I'm still working on finding the blogs to whom I want to pass it on, and will post about that soon. But the one I'm going to tell you about right now is that I won some free ad space from Nichelle on Vintage Wanna Bee!


Hooray for winning something! I'm honestly pretty surprised at how things are moving along, since I just started blogging less than a month ago. 
My hope and my goal is to relate to other women who just may need that in their lives, and people like Nichelle (and other fabulous ladies that I've connected with through this) get that. It's their goal, too. So, without further rambling, I want to say a big THANK YOU to Nichelle at Vintage Wanna Bee for hosting such a cool giveaway. Go check out her blog and shop!

04 December 2011

Orders!!!

Friday hubby finally got the email we've been waiting for . . . our orders! He had the afternoon off for doing some extra work on Thursday, so getting to spend some time together that afternoon just made it that much more special.

Ok, now what?

We took a printed copy to our apartment office to cancel our lease and that was about all we could do right away (I need to take it to the gym to cancel that, too). Now we're trying to figure out how to get a sponsor (an officer that will basically be hubby's guide to getting started out there, even helping us find a home), what kind of emissions testing our cars will have to undergo (we might have to make a few changes to our cars before that), who we call to let them know we're coming, and when we can get our "real" IDs. Actually, I don't have one at all, so I'm pretty excited about getting my dependent ID (hooray for military discounts!). Hubby will just get his fancy schmancy one with an embedded chip instead of his plain reservist ID he's been carrying around since his freshman year.

The actual orders themselves are just two pages that look like tax forms--boxes and boxes of stuff printed in them that don't really tell us anything. I'm not even on there. We're still not sure if I'm supposed to be. It does say that we are to leave on January 4 and be there by midnight January 8. 

Holy cow that's only a month away! 

We have so much to do, but it just doesn't quite seem real yet. We still haven't decided if we want the AF to just take care of moving all of our stuff, or if we want to do it ourselves (a PPM, or Personally Procured Move, as it's called). We already know for sure that we're going to have to go out of the way to avoid snow and ice, so we don't really want to be driving a U-haul or anything like that. The other problem is that we have belongings at two locations here in Knoxville (our apartment and my mother-in-law's garage), but the AF will only move from two locations once in your career, and we'd like to hang onto that free pass for a later time. Maybe a PODS? That way we could load everything up ourselves from both places but not have to drive it. Have any of you ever used one of those?

Anyway, I'll leave you with a picture of something I want to make when we get there, courtesy of Pinterest (oh how I love you, Pinterest).


03 December 2011

Towe Family Christmas Photos

Yesterday afternoon I had the pleasure of photographing one of my seniors that I photographed over a year ago. She's now in college and looking lovelier than ever, and this time I got to meet her brother, his girlfriend, and her adorable baby boy. 
Enjoy!











29 November 2011

Waiting . . .

I really really really really really hope we get our PCS orders this week. And by "we", I mean my husband. But I get to go, too, so it's "we". How long have we been waiting, you ask? 

Well . . . 
Hubby took five years to get his bachelor's degree (which, believe me, was completely necessary) in aerospace engineering with a load of ROTC on the side (why yes, I did indeed marry a rocket scientist, hehe). He basically graduated with a year's worth more hours than he needed for his degree, but they were all required for ROTC, which was required for his dream of being an Air Force officer. I was along for the last three years (his junior year, his senior year, and his victory lap as we not so lovingly call it), and it was really cool to see how dedicated (and sometimes not so dedicated) he was, even if it meant retaking a class during the summer or barely scraping by sometimes. 

Sometime in early fall 2010 (during that victory lap I told you about) we filled out a dream sheet. They gave us 8 bases and told us to choose our top 6 in order of where we would most like to go. Of course, our first choice was Coco Beach, Florida (You mean we could live at the BEACH??????). We got our third pick. Or maybe it was our fourth. Either way, they told us we would be moving to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Umm, ok. We can do that. Honestly, I'm just (still) excited about the whole not-living-like-college-kids-anymore thing. It has its charm while you're actually IN college, but that ship has long sailed by now for both of us. 

We wait. And wait. And wait some more. When April rolled around and we hadn't heard anything, we were pretty sure we wouldn't be leaving in June or July like we had hoped. Bummer.

Finally, May 2011 came! We'd already gotten married and had a cat and gotten credit cards and combined finances and all kinds of grown up stuff in preparation for grown up life. Graduation and Commissioning ceremonies commenced! My parents and his dad and grandma came into town for the festivities. A little fun and a little stress (aren't family gatherings the worst best?) was had all around. Although I had to admit, I got a little teary when he and 3 of his fellow new Lieutenants were brought on stage for a salute at the College of Engineering Graduation. I was so proud! And then I got to pin his bars on his service coat at commissioning. <3 However, still no word from the Air Force. 

Summer ended, and still we got nothing. The Air Force is supposed to wait no longer than six months after commissioning to have him enter into active duty (EAD--this usually refers to the date). Yeah, that was November 13. And we're still here. In Knoxville. And it's supposed to snow this week. Grrrrr. I hate snow and love the beach, and I'm pretty sure it has to do with the fact that I was raised on the Gulf Coast of Alabama where 40 degrees was freezing.  At some point in September, hubby emailed one of his cadre from ROTC to see if he could find any information on his EAD. He sent us a clip of a spreadsheet that said 5 January. DON'T THEY KNOW IT'S GOING TO BE SNOWING THEN??? Ok, we can do this, too. 
Now it's almost December 5, which is 30 days before his EAD. We are supposed to have at least 30 days notice, so we can flash those orders around and cancel all our contracts with everybody (apartment, gym, jobs, whoever we need to) without repercussions (fees). *sigh* Oh, I just can't wait.

Maybe it will be this week.

27 November 2011

Glitter Tipped Nails

Before

     
After
After my adventures on Pinterest yesterday, I decided to do something interesting with my nails. This would look even better on longer nails, but I'm pretty satisfied. Oh, and sorry for the crummy iPhone pics. I did try to dress them up a bit in Instagram. 

Here's how to do this:
1. Paint your nails whatever main color you want. I obviously chose a nude pink, but I've seen it with louder colors and it looks AWESOME.
2. Apply clear coat if you wish. I did, but I really don't think it will matter much. 
3. Grab your bottle of crazy glitter polish, and just do the tips as if you were doing a french tip. Don't worry about clean lines. Let dry, and repeat. 
4. After that second coat of glitter is dry, do the tips again. Except this time use a thinner amount on the brush and do it backwards, pulling toward the nail bed as far as you would like. A thin layer of glitter should extend above the tips. You can play around a bit with this to make it a smooth transition
5. Let that dry, and clear coat those puppies like crazy. Make sure you coat the edges of your nails, so they're less likely to peel off. 
6. Enjoy your sparkly nails. :)

26 November 2011

For the Love of Everything . . .

I just discovered Pinterest. I mean, I knew it existed, I had just never gone over there to take a look. I think deep down I knew I would be addicted. 

And boy am I ever! 

It's everything amazing and beautiful and helpful and clever all rolled into one website! My next home is going to be so awesome just because of everything I've found on there! At least, I hope so. I've found recipes and decor projects and organizing solutions and cleaning tips and . . . and . . . just EVERYTHING!