Friday, January 31, 2014

We Found Out Where We're Going -- Our First PCS!

Last night, Dan received his FIRST BASE assignment... it's where we will head after his graduation / our wedding this summer!

He has officially been chosen to complete Euro Nato Joint Jet Pilot Training at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas!!!

I have literally NEVER even stepped foot in Texas before... not even for a layover at an airport. It's going to be an entirely new world for me, but thankfully, it's on the Northern side of Texas, so that's still considered the Midwest, right? ;) 

Wichita Falls is the bright green star! I'm so excited that we'll be close to Dallas and Oklahoma City. That will be so much fun! 

While we're there (for a little over a year), Dan will be training in the T-38, which is a fighter trainer. It does not guarantee that he will drop fighters at the end of pilot training, but it helps, and it will be an amazing experience for him. He had the opportunity to fly in one this past semester for one of his classes when they traveled to Edwards AFB in California, and he fell in love with it. 

Has anyone reading this been stationed at Sheppard before? We are SO thrilled that we got our number one choice because I know that certainly doesn't happen often in the military. 
  • Where is the best place you've ever lived?
  • Where is the worst place you've ever lived?
  • Do you ENJOY moving, or do you hate it?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sick of Being Sick

Yep, I'm sick again. Actually, I have been. I thought I had kicked my sinus infection from last fall, but apparently it never went away.

When I had that diagnosed in October, I quickly started taking an antibiotic. A few days later, I had an AWFUL reaction to the antibiotic, so I stopped taking it. (The reaction, by the way, was EXTREME joint pain - think not being able to move your shoulder, elbow, wrist, finger, hip, knee, etc. all at the same time - for TWO MONTHS. It was on and off, at least, and at first the doctors thought I was allergic to the Penicillin {which still hasn't been completely ruled out}, but it's pointing more toward a sulfite allergy now... which is a major bummer because WINE. Every time I drank wine, I started feeling achey, and it seemed to exacerbate my symptoms. The joint pain finally subsided; I think the sulfites from the medicine finally got out of my system.)

Since I never finished the antibiotic, the sinus infection stayed. I grew accustomed to what that pain felt like, and it became my new normal.

After my nine mile run last Saturday (not this past one), I was sneezing like crazy (stupid allergies) and wheezing (I also have asthma... I am just the picture of health, huh?). It didn't stay for just one day. I couldn't breathe properly for five days before I decided to go to urgent care because it was getting scary.

They diagnosed me with a sinus infection AND bronchitis AND an acute asthma flare-up. All at the same time.

I've taken an entire round of antibiotics and steroids this time around (no sulfites, thank goodness), and I'm actually starting to clear up. I feel like I have more energy, and I'm not as congested (again, I thought that was normal after having it for so long).

Despite all of that progress, however, I am still struggling to breathe, so my doctor sent me home with a nebulizer breathing treatment system, and I do it twice a day now (down from three times). It helps, but it feels awful not being able to breathe properly on my own. Luckily, I've been able to get a few good runs in despite the whole breathing issue... I just make sure I take my inhaler along these days.

  • Have YOU been sick this winter?
  • What's the worst part of being sick to you?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Top Ten Food List

What would you do if you were told that you could only eat ten foods for the rest of your life? Would you panic? Or would you excitedly make a list of your favorite dishes? 

I think I would be a little sad knowing that I would never experience a new meal again, and it would be devastating not being able to list everything I REALLY love. That said, I do have several go-to foods that I will almost always happily devour. Ten of those foods, in no particular order are as follows:

1. Macaroni and Cheese - CLICK for recipe

2. Spinach and Onion Enchiladas

3. Chile Rellenos

4. Vegetarian Chili

5. Lemon Cake

6. Cheesy Black Bean Nachos

7. Broccoli Cheese Soup - CLICK for recipe

8. Zootskies (family recipe of sausage {I use vegetarian sausage} soaked in beer and cooked with lots of peppers)

9. Green Bean Casserole - CLICK for recipe

10. Baked Brie

It would be difficult to limit myself to those ten items, though, as I’m a big foodie. I love baking and cooking, but I especially love eating. Trying out new recipes for the first time is great, and I LOVE when Dan cooks for me. He’s great in the kitchen! I also adore going out to eat… there’s just something fun about not having to do the dishes! ;) 

PS - I only have recipe links for three of these. Expect the rest of them to have photos and recipes by the end of this year. One thing I want to work on is making more of my favorite foods and sharing the recipes with all of you.
  • What are your favorite foods? 
  • What is your favorite restaurant?
  • Do you prefer eating in or dining out?

Friday, January 24, 2014

2014 Reading List

I know we're already almost a month into 2014, but I have been wanting to share what's on my reading list for the year, and I finally have the time to do so.

These are not all of the books I will read this year, but they are the ones I have on my "want to read" list on Goodreads. Are you on Goodreads? If so, we should be friends on there -- here's my account!

If you click on the photo of the books, you will head to the Goodreads page for the synopsis of each one. Enjoy!

To see book reviews I've written, check out this page. To see my list of my top 15 books of all time, check out this post.

  • Do you enjoy reading?
  • What is your favorite book?
  • Do you have a list of books to read this year?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Are You a Dreamer?

There are two types of people in the world: those who can remember their dreams and those who can’t. Which type are you?

I am one of those who
CAN remember dreams. Now, I know I don’t remember them all. Definitely not. Most nights, though, I do remember at least one dream pretty vividly. 

Often times, it’s fun waking up after exploring something really cool that would never be possible in the real world. Other times, I have terrifying dreams (like a recurring dream I had as a child of Tony the Tiger {yes, THAT Tony the Tiger; don't judge} chasing me through the town I grew up in, waking up only when I have entered my grandparents’ house across town and slammed the door shut in Tony’s face, narrowly escaping a certain death. One dream that I will always remember, however, if the most awful one I have ever had.

When I was a senior in college in Missouri, I had been dating Dan for less than a year. He was attending the Preparatory School at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. I was taking an English class that focused on World War I literature and poetry, and the class as a whole was amazing. It was fun to read about that part of history, and I enjoyed it even more than normal since I had recently started dating a man in the military. One day in class, we read a poem called “An Irish Airman Meets His Death” by W.B. Yeats. It chronicles a young pilot who is flying in the war who KNOWS he is going to die while flying. It was creepy, but I got over it… until I dreamed about it that night. 

I woke up the next morning in a panic. I was shaking and crying, something that had never happened before and has not happened since. In my dream, it was Dan who had died while flying his plane in a war. It was absolutely the worst dream I have ever had, and it really rattled me. Of course, when I told him about the dream, he laughed. He still thinks I’m crazy. But I stand firm that it was an awful experience, albeit not a real one, and I hope and pray that the dream never becomes a reality.
  • Do you remember your dreams?
  • What is the best dream you've ever had?
  • What is the worst dream you've ever had?

Friday, January 17, 2014

My Magnets

I hadn't planned on doing this, but I need room! With my handsome fiancé actually being allowed to move in super soon (thank you, USAFA, for once!), I need to clear out some of my crafting space to make some room for his office.

I'll still be making products and selling on Etsy because I love it... but I do need to get rid of some of the stock I have now.

Because of that, I am having a 50% off sale on 25 sets of my magnets... I have some with Bible verses, some with motivational/inspirational quotes, and even some with military quotes! The sale brings the magnets down to under $1 per magnet - what a deal!

I wanted to extend the offer past my Facebook and Twitter friends to my BLOGGING friends as well! You do NOT need a coupon code, as the prices have already been updated.

Check out the sale in my Etsy shop, Two Cats Decorations.

Here are a few samples of the magnets that are on sale. These are not all of them, but also be advised that not every set in the shop is on sale. The ones that are have a "50% OFF SALE!" tag in the listing names.

Like I said, I'd LOVE to ship some of these magnets to you! :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Dating, Engaged, Married DIY Framed States

Today's DIY craft is something I've been wanting to share for a while. I made these last spring when I had a day off of work. However, life got busy, and I'm just now getting around to posting about them.

Since Dan and I started dating in Missouri, got engaged in New Mexico, and will be married in Colorado, I couldn't pass up an opportunity to make these ADORABLE prints to hang in the living room. 

I am SO happy with how they turned out, and people comment on them all the time, asking where I got them. 

To start, I bought some colorful cardstock at Hobby Lobby. I chose a textured teal color because it goes with the earthy tones in my living room but also stands out quite a bit.

Then, I picked out a patterned scrapbook paper (and bought a couple extras in case I messed up!).

When I got home, I searched on Google Images for the three different states I was looking for. I picked silhouettes and printed them on regular printer paper.

Then, I cut out the states.

After that, I glued the cut out states to the back of scrapbook paper and cut out the states again. New Mexico and Colorado were super simple, but Missouri was a piece of work!

Then, I made a template on Microsoft Word with one of my favorite fonts and practiced printing on a plain piece of printer paper to make sure it was spaced out right. Once it was, I printed the three on my teal paper. 

Now comes the glue! I actually used Mod Podge because it is sticker, and I'm used to working with it. I glued the states down as close to the middle of the teal paper as I could.

Last but not least, I added the small red heart stickers I bought for this project over the approximate location of the cities that these major events happened/will happen! 
  • So, what do you think? 
  • Would you make something like this to decorate your home? 
  • Did these three big life events happen in different places for you as well?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Marathon Training Update

Most of you already know that I am running a marathon in April. If you want to know details, check out this post

So far, training is going pretty well. I have stayed injury-free, thank goodness (*knock on wood*). I have been building my endurance on my longer runs and testing my speed on my shorter runs.

So far, the most I have run this time around is five and a half miles. That changes this weekend, though, when I run seven. Let me tell you how amazing I felt after my four mile run on Tuesday... until I realized I needed to add another 22 miles to it! WHOA! But I know I'll running 13, 18, 22, and then 26 miles before I know it, and nothing will give me greater satisfaction.

I am (for the most part) following Hal Higdon's Novice Marathon Training Program, but I am making a few alterations in mileage. I don't want my longest run before the race to be 20 miles, so that's why I'm tweaking it a bit. 

GORGEOUS path to run on during winter break in Oregon!

I was SO happy to finally be able to run with my friend Michelle! She used to make fun of me for running, and now look at her go! :) 

Yes, I have three pairs of Asics I'm training in... I plan on wearing the ones on the right for the marathon! :) 

I've been pinning to a board on Pinterest that I created called "Marathon Training". I'm using it for motivation. So far, I've been okay on my own, but I know days will come when I am exhausted, busy, etc., and I will need that extra push... so the quotes I have on my board are there to help inspire me. If you're on a training plan or just need a little motivation, feel free to follow my board by clicking here.

Each day when Lizzie and I make more plans for marathon weekend, it feels more and more real. THAT TERRIFIES ME TO MY CORE. However, it also invigorates me. I can't wait to prove to my college self that I CAN keep running and that I CAN achieve my dreams!

For some running inspiration, check out my "Why I Run" post from last year!