Thursday, July 29, 2010

A new perspective

You may have noticed that the photos on this here blog have improved.

I think it is probably best noticed in our Before and After Living Room shots. Take a look at the photo quality - both of which are unaltered because; a. I don't have Photoshop and b. Who has the time for all that for a blog?

Well, this change up is for good reason folks. We got a new camera!

For years, since I got it for Christmas from my loving and generous parents, this guy has been my ol' standby:

It worked for me, but it was getting older, and let's face it it was huge. To take it anywhere for just casual pictures meant I had to bring a large bag, etc.

Someday, of course, I want a nice big camera, like these babies:

but the Canon v. Nikon debate on these is enough to make my indecisive self....indecisive. So, there you go. Hasn't been purchased yet.

Plus, the husband may or may not think I am crazy for wanting one of these. Mainly because the husband is cheap. These are memories people! How can you put a price on memories? But, I digress.

In the spirit of compromise and portability for our big ITALY trip coming up. We purchased this guy:

It's so little and has some really nice features, all for a super reasonable cost (especially when you buy it at the NEX. TY United States Navy). It will fit in our pockets (read: husband can carry it for a change) and take album worthy photos of our trip, plus it is tote-able for everyday use, so you know what that means. More photos for this here blog that I am not embarrassed to post, since everyone and their mom has turned into an amazing photographer in the blogosphere here recently.

I think I'm in love.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Is he wearing manpris?

A few weeks back we finally got to utilize Austin's anniversary present and go to the John Mayer concert! Woo!

Please ignore the flat hair. It was 200* outside. kthanks.

Upside: Love us some John Mayer.
Downside: It was approximately as hot as the surface of the sun.
Upside: They serve cold adult beverages there.
Downside: They are $10 each.

Apparently we didn't mind.

We hung out for a while, met up with some of our friends for a cooling beverage and headed to our seats. John came out, the lights came up and Austin's first reaction - "Is he wearing manpris?"

Not only did John rock some plaid manpris, but he also rocked navy blue Sperry's. He dressed for the beach, people.

He also made some funny faces

The concert was full of great music and great people to judge (I am looking at you, parents drinking mexican beer who brought their one year old baby girl to a loud rock concert and got seats right up in front of the speakers clearly way past her bedtime when it was 200 degrees outside after the sun went down).

We had a blast.

Monday, July 26, 2010

An Almost Perfect Game

Austin and I had a super relaxing and awesome weekend with friends and lots of board games.

Why board games? Because it was hot outside. Super hot.

Like, our temperature display in our car read 106* at several points this weekend kinda hot outside. Blech.

The good thing about board games? you play them inside.

This, my friends, is a picture of an almost perfect game of Scrabble.

Please note the even distribution of words throughout the board, and that we used every letter. Not a single person was left with a letter on their tray. Amazing.

Also, we neatly filled the score sheet by rounding out our game in the last box. Besides the fact that we got to play with our super awesome friends, Dan and Lisa.

You can thank Dan and his years of education for the word "tit" in the upper right hand corner, which has induced almost enough embarrassment for me to not post this picture (let's be real). Please note he also got a triple word score out of that intellectual contribution.

Yes, I know there are multiple meanings. Look it up if you don't know them.

But you know which one he meant. Gah.

So this was our almost perfect game.

Why "almost" you ask?

Well, because I didn't win of course.

Coming in second to the master mind behind the pursuit of the word "taquito" (can you find where it could have happened on the board?) will just have to be enough for me.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Our Navy Bungalow: Fireplace Project

Welcome to this episode of "Our Navy Bungalow". (Just go with it).

When we moved in, the fireplace side of our living room looked like this:

{If you remember from this post, this is not our stuff. 

Except Dennis. He was our Realtor.}

After a few days in the house, I spent a few hours and a few brain cells applying 10 coats of chemical stripper and tons of elbow grease to remove 13 coats of paint on that mantle. When Austin came home, I made him stain it. Then one day I couldn't stand looking at that flat, gross, red color of the bricks and I painted it. 

I know! I know! Sacrilege. Anywho, it came out like this:

It still wasn't my favorite, but it was so much better.

Then, we painted the living room blue.

The fireplace still plagued me. The proportions were just so off. So, I designed a project.

Project code name: Mantle

Some of this...

A little of this...

And a little more, there...

and a fresh coat of paint on the bookshelves....

drum roll, please...

and we have, our new and improved...


{feel free to click on these for larger photos}

Le sigh. I love it so much more. What do you guys think?

Just for fun, one more Before and After side by side.

Friday, July 16, 2010

My Hunky Husband

Warning: this post may induce gagging in the faint of heart.

Isn't he dreamy?

Everyone who knows us knows one thing for sure - we love to tease one another. Giving each other a hard time is one of our favorite past times. You want to hear some snarky comments? Come hang out with us. You may have even gathered that from the tone of some posts on this very blog. But, when it comes down to it we don't really fight all that much.

Now, this is not to say that we don't have our squabbles from time to time, but the amount of knock down drag out fights we have had in almost ten years together {holy crap how did that happen?} can probably be counted on one hand. Maybe on two fingers. 

Last night, as we were in the car on our way to a wetting down, {where no one got thrown into the water, btw...a tradition I think is highly overlooked} we started talking about arguments, in general. We talked about how there have been a few men who have shown up at the ship, at night, when they are not on watch or duty, to sleep. It's sort of like the 'sleep on the couch' resolution - to the extreme. 

It's an unwritten rule in our relationship that we don't do things like that. No one has ever huffed off to go sleep in the guest room, or on the couch, and definitely not on the ship. 

Austin commented, "You know, you never really stay mad at me for very long."

To which, I shrugged. I don't hold grudges. I know that no matter what, at the end of the night, we are going to go up to bed. Together. And even if we haven't verbalized an apology, one of us will reach a foot out, or throw an arm over the other's side - and all will be well.

Sometimes that foot touch says more than "I'm sorry" ever could.

Besides, he's too cute to stay mad at, am I right?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Addition to the Blogroll

We have an addition to the blogroll!

Our friend has started a blog to review beers and provide thoughts from his "Man Room". 

{His man room is what convinced Austin he needed one, so thanks for that.}

He is "in the business" so you should probably heed his advice.

Reset Button

Do you ever have a meeting where you just need to hit the reset button? I do - often.

Today is one of those days, and though you have probably seen it before, this video always helps me choose the right attitude. So, I figured I would share.

Things to watch for:

  • All the kids, everywhere.
  • The pregnant woman in Brisbane
  • The guy laying it down in Dublin
  • The leather get up in London
  • The guy in stripes in Sweden
  • The guy in the orange Crocs in Munich
  • The whole performance in Gurgaon
  • The kid refusing to dance in Washington, D.C.
  • The super little kid to the left in East Jerusalem, West Bank
  • The weird bunny hop from the girl in Paris
  • The dog in Seattle

You can find out more about Matt and his adventures here.

Happy Tuesday.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Adventures in Automobiles

I am so behind on blogging. To make up for it, I have a hilarity inducing story.

Over the weekend of the 4th of July, Austin and I decided to hit up D.C. with some of our oldest friends. We had to wait until Saturday evening to leave for a few reasons.

  1. Our car inspections expired in June and we hadn't gotten them done yet (Whoops. Come on ya'll, I have been in Georgia for two years where no one cared about annual car inspections.)
  2. We had to pick up my pesky little sister from her ridiculously long globe trotting 30 day trip to Europe.

So, we got the car inspections done, picked up my pesky sis and were on our way. Please note that while the Civic failed inspection the Jeep passed with flying colors.

As we got such a late start we decided we would stop and grab some food so that our friends would not have to wait for us to arrive before eating. We stopped at a McDonald's in Dale City (Potomac Mills area). we loaded up with our Dollar Menu finds and headed back to the car - only for it to not start.

Clearly, this can't really be happening. We just had the car checked out this morning! Let's sit here and stay calm husband, and we will try it again.

Meanwhile husband is beginning to turn into the Incredible Hulk. (You won't like me when I'm angry...)

Austin chomps down his McDouble in approximately 2 bites, and tries again. Still no luck.

He swallows a fistful of fries, and his pride, and stomps across the parking lot to a man climbing into a very sporty Saab to ask for a jump. The man, being a nice and normal human being, of course agrees to try.

Fast forward twenty minutes while this poor man's nutritious meal is getting cold, we have had several failed attempts, and suddenly the engine turns over. Phew. Thank you so much, best of luck, happy 4th! etc etc.

Now, husband, knowing at least a normal amount for a man his age about car mechanics, knows that an alternator charges your car's battery. After such a lengthy jump attempt, we decide he had better sit in neutral with his foot on the gas for a bit to allow the alternator to work it's magic.

After 20 more minutes, we decide, we can probably let off the gas to shift into drive.

And it kills.

Insert photo of angry swearing husband I was too afraid to take at the time, but realllly wanted to, here. Oh, wait - I have a substitute.

Being the resourceful Girl Scout Gold Award winner that I am, I took a look at our surroundings. What is that I see over yonder? Is that a Kmart? Do those still exist? and since they clearly do since this one is staring back at me, do they sell car batteries? Please God.

We traipse down the hill to the Big K, well, I traipsed, repeating things like, We will totally laugh about this later, can't we just laugh about it now? and Austin stomped, on a mission, replying, This is not a laughing matter.

Ok, ok, geeze. We ran through the store, looking for the automotive section. I could have found it off the bat if it were a Target, or even if hard pressed in a Wal-Mart, but a Kmart? I am not familiar with this layout.

We finally found it and lo and behold they have car batteries. ThankyoubabyJesus.

After purchasing said battery and a wrench to install it with, we (read: Austin) carried that heavy thing back up the hill to the McDonald's parking lot. There, in the shadow of the Play Place neon lights, setting off minimal amounts of sparks, we installed our new car battery.

The car started right up, and we bought ice cream cones to celebrate.

In a strange twist of fate - I swear, you can't make this up - a young couple right across the parking lot was getting a jump as we left. We passed on word that K-Mart does indeed sell car batteries should they need one and suggested that ice cream would fix any residual feelings of distress.

As we pulled away from them and their good Samaritan, Austin started laughing.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"Parenting 101" or "Random thoughts of the Day"

Disclaimer: We are not, I repeat not, expecting a child anytime soon (sorry future grandparents).

For now this little guy is the apple of our eye: 

(apple of our eyes? does the idiom encompass a collective "eye"? who knows...)

But, we are talking about the type of parents we want to be when the time comes to add to the Gage family. We both agree that there were a lot of things that our parents did that we want to copy in our own parenting. Go Parents! Your first example of parenting after all, comes from your own parents or the people who are acting in place of parents.

{I secretly live in fear that my children will not obey me in public the way that we did growing up. How did my mom manage that? I don't even remember the option to public...but I digress}

In my newest "big girl" job I work with college students. 
Before this I worked with college students. 
Before that I worked with college students, 
and before that, I was a college student.

Working with college students affords an awesome opportunity to see a variety of parenting up close and personal. I have learned something from every parent encounter I have had, either a point in the kind of parent I hope and want to be some day column, or a point in the 'never in a million years do I hope to end up like this parent' column.

And you get to read awesome articles and books like this one about the parenting of college students. 

The book coins two phrases, "Parenting out of control" and "Parenting with limits". Though I haven't read the book yet, I think I hope to fall somewhere within the two. There are, of course, many different schools of thought and opinions regarding parenting, and there is probably no "one way" to successfully rear children.

{Yes, I did just say "rear children" and I may have thought about Knocked Up while doing it. And I may have left it in for just that reason and the fact that the entire movie made me laugh.out.loud.}

As our friends become parents {continually it seems, I feel like I have seen 120 newborn photos in the last month}, we learn from them too. 

Just the other day I ran into our backyard neighbor, also named Courtney. Her husband is also in the Navy. We chatted for a minute about how I always seem to catch her when I am walking our furry child by and she is trying to wrangle her two kids into the family van. On some mornings, I feel like I am in a movie where I am watching my own future.

She off handedly mentioned that parenting is basically trial by fire. Your friends give you tips and tricks, and you try them. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. You read the books, you employ some of those tips and tricks; some work, some don't. You figure out what works for you and what works for your kids.

So, basically what I have learned from my real world Parenting 101 lately is that parenting is a shoot from the hip sort of pursuit.

That sounds exhausting.

I think I need a nap.

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