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Friday, August 20, 2010

Paradise: Should we or shouldn't we?

Since Mr. L is up in Charleston this week, he's had ample time to hang out with his master chief and see the sights of Charleston.  One of the times they were out for dinner, they had a conversation involving Mr. L's future in the Navy.  Essentially, he got some insight from his master chief that he wasn't exactly expecting.

For a while now, we've figured that for our next duty station, we'll have three or so places to choose from.  Those places are Augusta, Georgia, San Antonio, Texas, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and maybe Ft. Meade, Maryland, but at this point in the game, probably not.  We've been leaning towards Georgia or Texas for the past couple of months.  But Mr. L's master chief said that if Mr. L wants to make the best career move, then Hawaii is the only place he needs to go to.

Who wouldn't want to live there?!
His chief told him this because, since Mr. L has already been stationed at Georgia, he essentially wouldn't get new experience there, and there's not much at all for him in San Antonio.  This was definitely kind of a shock for me to digest at first seeing as how Hawaii has been number three on our list.

I've been looking around at housing options, and of course browsing through gorgeous pictures like the one above, and I'm starting to warm up to the idea.  I'm not, however, warming up to the "thousands of miles away from home" thing, or the "thousands of dollars to get BACK home" thing either!  It's such a huge decision!  On one hand, I want to stay near the comfort of my family, but on the other hand, I feel that if we say no to this opportunity, we'll miss out on three amazing years and end up regretting it.

We've still yet to seriously talk about it since he won't be home until tomorrow, but we're both adjusting to the idea, I think.  It could definitely end up being one wild ride.  So until a continuation of this post, I'll leave you with more "OMG THIS PLACE IS FREAKING GORGEOUS" gratuitous pics ;)

Can you say VOLCANO!
What a beautiful way to end the day...and this post!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My Hubby :)

I'm pretty dang proud of my husband right now.  This week, he's gone on a special trip to Charleston, SC to star in a movie!

He should totally get a star!
Okay, okay, so it's not a movie -- what they are currently filming will be turned into training software to help students learning the job he's teaching.  But in the world of his rate, he's practically going to be a movie star!  This software will be implemented into courses anywhere his job is taught, so his face will be recognized by anyone undergoing this particular training.  I think it's pretty cool.

He's having fun working with actors and hacking out a script.  He gets to work in front of a green screen, and he told me he had no idea how difficult it was to work in essentially a green room because it really throws off your depth perception.  He also said to me today, "I had no idea how hard acting is; it's really tiring."   He's so cute :)

I am totally in love with the fact that my husband loves what he does.  Sure, there are definitely some drawbacks to it, but when you hear him talk about it, it really makes it worth it.  I love knowing that he doesn't have to go to work and dread the day because he hates what he does.  Because he loves it, he's really good at it, too, whether he's off on a deployment or teaching in a classroom.  It really makes me proud to be his wife and to know him.  And now I'm even more proud because I get to show off my movie star eye candy husband ;)

I love you Mr. L!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Chicken Penne Casserole

As I am waiting on my wonderful dinner guests to arrive, I figured I'd go ahead and put up the recipe I picked for tonight -- Chicken Penne Casserole.  I found this recipe in one of the MANY cookbooks I received from my mother, and I'm telling you, I cannot WAIT to try it because my kitchen smells dang good.  Here goes!

Chicken Penne Casserole




Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked penne pasta
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup each chopped onion, green pepper, and sweet red pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp each dried basil, oregano, and parsley flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (I omitted this part since I didn't feel like buying it)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
Directions

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, saute the chicken, onion, peppers, garlic, and seasonings in oil until chicken is no longer pink.

In a blender, combine tomatoes and tomato paste; cover and process until blended.  Add to chicken mixture.  Stir in broth.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Drain pasta; toss with chicken mixture.  Spoon half of the mixture into a greased 11-in x 7-in x 2-in baking dish.  Sprinkle with half the mozzarella and Romano.  Repeat layers.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Uncover; bake 15-20 minutes longer or until heated through.  Yield: 4 servings.

Overall it was a relatively simple recipe to make.  I actually enjoyed cooking it, and I hope you do too!




Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hurry up, Navy!!

So it's August now, and way back before the wedding, Mr. L was told he would get the list of available jobs for his next tour by this June.  Yeah, definitely didn't happen.  And it still hasn't happened.  Come on, Navy, throw us a bone here!

I hate this mantra.
It's frustrating having to wait to see what jobs are available for him.  This is a big decision for us, and I'd like as much time as possible to ponder over our choices and ultimately make the right one.  We know "general" choices, but that doesn't mean we know which offers exactly will be on the table for him.

At the same time, I'm definitely thankful we have choices.  A lot of people are simply told where to go next.  We're lucky.  I just wish they'd stop draggin' their heels and get us some billets, grr!

Don't get me wrong; I really like it here in Pensacola and I LOVE Mr. L's job and hours.  It's a little inconvenient having him gone in the evenings, but it's way better than having him deploy!  So I'm not in any rush to pack up and leave, I'd just like to know where the heck we're going next.  I want to start looking at house rentals!

I also had an angry experience while on Facebook yesterday.  I saw where a girl (not one of my friends) commented on one of my FB friend's statuses, complaining that she and her kids only got to see her husband every two weeks, and he is "120+ miles away".  I was pretty much boiling with anger and spitting at my screen; Mr. L was looking at me very strangely until I explained to him what was going on.  I just do NOT understand how women can complain like that!  There are people with FAR WORSE separation experiences than a couple of weeks at a time or "120+ miles away."  Many husbands and wives are THOUSANDS of miles away from home right this very minute.  Some women and men have to live without their husbands and wives for over a year at multiple points in their lives, and even worse, some don't get their husbands or wives back.  It's those women and men that keep me from voicing my own personal complaints.  It's those women and men that make me thank God every day for this precious, precious time with my husband.  It's those women and men who keep me humble and grateful, and keep me praying for all of the military families across the globe.

So if you find yourself in a position like the woman who sparked my temper, just stop and think about what you are about to complain about.  Think about the spouses who've lost their significant others, and think about how hard it must be for other people (military and non-military) who have to become single parents for months/years at a time.  It really puts things into perspective, at least for me.