• Allie and Ryan

    Allie & Ryan

  • Allie and Ryan 2

    Allie & Ryan

  • Allie and Ryan 3

    Allie & Ryan

  • Ryan and Allie 4

    Allie & Ryan

  • Ryan and Allie 5

    Allie & Ryan

Sunday, October 4, 2015


“Optimist: Someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it's a cha-cha.”

― Robert Brault

I am trying to be an optimist. I am trying to take my two steps forward, one step backward and make it into a cha-cha... but man it isn't easy. 

I know the importance of goodness and positivity. I just feel like every time I take a step forward lately I take two backwards. No stomach attack for six weeks? Let’s have three in four days and put her in the Emergency Room twice. Fertility cycle successfully tracked and used? Let’s have her period arrive two days earlier than anticipated and with a vengeance. Cast in a dream role in a Shakespeare play? Let’s have her work her ass off to have it cancelled at the last minute. Add in some stresses I choose not to blog about, stupid doctors who give me a snap diagnosis and tell me I should be on antidepressants to see if they help anything (when I am not depressed regardless of all this going on) just makes me want to hit something. I am not clinically depressed. I can laugh, I can feel happiness and joy and I am not in a fog of sadness and hurt hours a day. I am not sad. I am not depressed.

I am frustrated. There is a huge difference. 

Sometimes my frustration brings me to tears because that is my body’s uncontrolled physical response. But more often than not, I am just me. I don't dwell on these things all the time. I am how I always have been. I don't know how else to put it. I have been in that horrible fog before, my teenage years especially... I know the difference and how important mental health is to people. But I will not just take medication because one doctor who has spent five minutes with me and sees my medical issues happening and thinks I should, even if just as "preventative maintenance" because it is "only a matter of time at this rate."


So, as you can tell from my ranting things have not been easy around these parts lately. I cannot believe I naively expected to get pregnant as soon as I stopped taking my birth control over a year ago. I cannot believe I thought having my gall bladder removed would fix my stomach issues and make me normal again. I cannot believe certain things happen. I cannot believe I am officially the "someone else" certain things happen to, but never to you person. I mentioned in my 2014 Retrospect post how hard of a year it was and 2015 can only be better.... well I was wrong. Different sorts of awful can happen and be just as hard if not harder. Sometimes that makes me wish I was a kid again, this adult stuff is for the birds. Maybe next year will be better. Maybe October, November and December will be better...

All I can say is, I am working on my cha-cha as much as a rhythmically challenged girl can. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Not So Wordless Wednesday

On your birthday Starbucks gives you free drinks. The Starbucks on base doesn't use the app or whatever it is with the gift card reloadable thing (you can tell I do this a lot) but they still give you a free drink. I asked for a medium and the girl behind the counter told me to live a little, it was my birthday after all, so I ended up with a passion tea lemonade the size of my head! Plus they matched my new birthday present Ray Bans my mom found on major sale somewhere. So I took a rare selfie, especially since I had my hair curled, another rarity.

On 9/11 I didn't have work, so once Ryan came home we went to the 9/11 Memorial in Jacksonville. I am ashamed to say I didn't know it existed until that day and the base Facebook page posted about it, but I am glad we went. It is a piece of steel from the Twin Towers and you can see the notes and flowers people left throughout the day. We arrived just after it rained so it was just us for awhile in the evening sunlight. It was beautiful.

Football season started and I was super excited. Now both my teams are 0-2 and I want to bang my head on the wall. Sigh.

Last weekend my parents met us for lunch in New Bern and we tried a delicious restaurant called Persimmons, which we had never been to before. It was right on the waterfront and all of their food was made from fresh, local ingredients. Check out my fried green tomatoes (with regular tomatoes, goat cheese crumbles and balsamic reduction). Oh my gracious it was heavenly.

We walked around a bit then and just enjoyed the view and showing my dad New Bern since he hasn't been before. It was pretty hot so the breeze coming off the water was much appreciated.

I finally managed to snag something from The Enchanted Brush. I was way too excited and I already wore it! I ordered it Friday, it arrived Monday, and I wore it Tuesday. One day I will own a pair of her amazing shoes... when I can afford them!!!

I am back to the "Let's guess why your digestive system doesn't work game." with a new gastroenterologist. So far I like him, we have some ideas, but until I have an attack again they cannot do as many tests as they want. I am under instructions to go to the ER during my next attack and have a CT scan and blood work done... which should be fun. When I am in attack mode I can barely move or leave the bathroom let alone get myself to the ER in time, but we shall see. I cannot seem to go more than six weeks without an attack so maybe within a month we will know more. He did decide to test me for celiac's disease with a simple blood test after my appointment. I went to the lab and I told the young HN naval guy I have deep veins, just to give him a heads up. He felt around, said he found one and was good. He then stuck the needle in said, "Oh." and promptly pulled it out again. As blood trickled down my arm he went and grabbed someone else and said, "Can you tap her, I blew out her vein." Sigh. I warned you dude. Now I have a lovely bruise on my arm. The other arm where the other lady tapped me? Not even a mark. I also have a gastric emptying test scheduled for this Friday. I sincerely hope I get some answers anyway possible at this point. I am tired of these stomach issues... it has been nearly a year now! But I like this doctor and I feel like he actually listens to me, unlike the other one, so fingers crossed.

When I visited my mom over the weekend of my birthday I got a gel manicure that lasted me a full two weeks. My nails are never long so I wanted to keep it up if I could. I went to Target and got the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish since it was no light necessary. I really don't have the time to go get my nails done every few weeks so I was excited to try this. Sadly, it chipped in less than a day. My nails look a little extra ragged from when I removed the salon gels, but the chips weren't even in the same spots on some of my nails. So yea, kind of disappointed. I have done a touch up already and those have chipped too. Just in case you were wondering before you buy! It's a shame because the colors are gorgeous and they dry pretty quickly, but they sadly just do not last with me.

I am trying to get back to blogging regularly, so thanks for sticking with me and my random accumulation of thoughts... especially in this post in particular.

This is not a sponsored post in any way, all opinions here are my own in terms of restaurants, Etsy shops, and nail polish... just sharing what I experienced!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Sometimes life takes a sharp, unexpected turn to a place you never expect. It punches you simultaneously in the face and the gut and it is heart wrenching and awful... especially since you really cannot talk about it (or especially blog about).
But regardless of such things, life does continue moving forward. Birthdays happen even in the hardest of times and sometimes you just have to put on a sombrero and smile with whipped cream on your nose.
I was super fortunate to spend the weekend with my parents in their new house only a few hours away (2 and a half as opposed to the 7 it used to be). I got my nails done with my mom, and went out for Mexican food, and had home made birthday cake. So when you have all that, you really cannot complain.

Especially when you realize the restaurant your parents take you too habitually shove that pile of whipped cream in your face on your birthday and you learn sitting inside a booth is the only thing that saved you from that fate... a bit on your nose is totally ok.

And it is even better when your Dad agrees to wear the sombrero for a bit.
We spent time in the pool (salt water!) and the Dup absolutely loved it. If we were in, she had to be in as well, regardless of how tired she was.

Sunday I went to church for the first time since before my miscarriage. It helped. It seemed like the priest knew I was there and his homily was so direct to my heart and situation. There are no coincidences was part of the message. He also talked about Stephen Colbert (of all things, as well as JRR Tolkein) who lost his two brothers and father in a plane crash when he was eight years old, which I did not know. Colbert was quoted in an article saying "What she [his mother] taught me is that the deliverance God offers you from pain is not no pain—it’s that the pain is actually a gift." 
Pain is a gift. What a powerful message. Thank you.
Sunday night we had cake and presents before having to head back home since Ryan had work Monday.

But today I am 28 officially. I am at work, grateful for coworkers who come in on their day off to bring you Dunkin Donuts (thank you Lauren!) and for friends and family blowing up my phone and Facebook to wish me a Happy Birthday.
Life will keep moving forward.... just send some good thoughts/prayers my way if you can spare them please. And thank you Lord for another trip around the sun.

Friday, September 4, 2015


My faith is getting slammed again and again and again this year. I am trying so hard, but as soon as I get close something else happens and I am one step forward, three steps back. I am frustrated, hurt, overwhelmed and just tired.

Here is to going up from this point on. Please.


All images found on Pinterest. If other source credit is needed please let me know.

Monday, August 17, 2015


Sometimes your husband gets home from work unexpectedly early on a Saturday when he is in cycle and you decide to be spontaneous. You hop in the car and drive two hours or so while he snores softly in the passenger seat and head to Myrtle Beach, SC for a small change of scenery. Sometimes a random Saturday becomes a fun day full of firsts that you never expect!

We made our way south and got to Broadway at the Beach in the early afternoon. We were starving so after walking around for a minute we decided to go to Joe's Crab Shack, a place we'd seen in commercials for years but never actually went. I got a steam pot of deliciousness that came with a bib declaring I was the Queen Crab and Ryan was totally jealous of my bib.

One thing on my bucket list (and yes I do have a physical printed out list) is to ride in a helicopter. Ryan rode on one before when he was deployed, and he will quickly say that one was not really an enjoyable experience, but I have never been on one. Myrtle Beach has this company that advertises $20 quick rides and we decided to give it a go. We walked there from Broadway at the Beach (all Ryan's idea, I totally wanted to drive the mile or so since it was pretty hot) and eventually made it to the site. Helicopters were taking off and landing right over the fence from us and I got pretty excited. Once inside we decided to spend a little more to do the next price up tour so we could fly over the beach and have a slightly longer ride. Totally worth it!

First we took a golf cart over to the area where we would board the helicopter. We received instructions on who would board when, where to sit, and or brief list of what not to do (stay away from the back of the helicopter basically and do not take pictures until you are inside). It finally started to hit me that we were going to be flying in this tiny thing and I started to get a little nervous... but not nervous enough to back out!

Once we boarded and got strapped in we slipped on our headsets and met our pilot Scott. Before I knew it, we were off!! And it was amazing. I hardly believed we were really flying! We soared over Broadway at the beach and across the the beach. I could see the Sky Wheel, the wooden roller coaster, all the schools in Myrtle Beach, the Walmart, and the baseball stadium. Scott pointed out all the landmarks and kept the conversation flowing and we had a blast. I was so excited the entire time I probably looked a little manic!

The ride was definitely quick, but worth it in my book. Ryan keeps saying he is going to buy a helicopter and learn to fly it so he never has to sit in traffic again. I laughed it off a bit until I saw him googling helicopter prices later on that evening!

We walked around the shops a bit more before finding a dueling pianos bar. Since we are big fans of the dueling pianos we have seen in Jacksonville we decided to go in while there was still no cover and enjoy the air conditioning! The setup at our local dueling pianos is small but we always have fun.... this was huge! They had two teams that tagged in and out plus at one point they had a drummer and three piano players. The drinks were good, the music was excellent and the guys were really funny.

All too soon we realized it was getting late and we probably should go since we had a two hour drive home. The drive back ended up being a little much since we were both tired, but we made it home safe and sound and crashed into bed. Sunday we were pretty lazy as a result but for a spontaneous Saturday adventure it was totally worth it. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Weekend with Stefan

This past weekend my little brother Stefan came for one more visit before he leaves for college next week. Now that my parents no longer live in Western North Carolina, they are actually much closer, about two and a half hours north of us on the coast. So Stef had a much easier drive than normal! He came down Thursday and although Ryan and I had to work Friday he was quite productive, mowing our lawn and weeding our front walkway. I was pretty thankful! Two less things I have to do! We had some Buffalo Wild Wings one night, the boys' favorite, and sushi the next night... so I got a break from cooking too. Bliss.
We spent Saturday at the beach even though we were a little aprehensive about the weather. It looked gray and stormy at home but on the beach it had clear and cloudy moments. It was warm and we never once got rained on, and we were there for many hours!
The boys swam and used the skim board while I relaxed with a good book or two. We all found shark teeth too. I did have an awful stomach attack while they went for a walk, but it was mostly over by the time they returned. Normally my stomach attacks only happen in the morningbut lately I've been lucky and had them in the afternoon and evening too. Joy. I have another doctor appoitnment in the works, two weeks away since that was the Naval Hospital's next available appointment. Sigh.

It was cloudy at points and looked gorgeous.
After the beach we just hung out at the house and enjoyed each other's company, playing poker and rummy until Ryan had to go to sleep since he is still in cycle.

Dup loves her uncle Stefan, as she gets to sleep in the guest bed with him whenever he comes over. He is obviously also one of her favorite people in the world because if you even mention his name she gets pretty darn excited. It is kind of adorable.
When Stefan left it broke my heart a little. How is my little buddy going to college?! His school is six and a half hours away, back out in Western NC where they used to live, so I won't be seeing him too often. I remember going off to college like it was yesterday, but I cannot believe that was ten years ago. Goodness. I was glad for the visit and I know he is going to knock em dead at Mars Hill.

Friday, August 7, 2015

OBX 2015

Sometimes your husband has to work and you have to go do things without him. Over the years that has ranged from birthdays to graduations to funerals to trips. My parents' rented a house in the Outer Banks for a week and my Aunt, Uncle and three of my cousins joined all of us for a week of sun-filled relaxation. 

I wish Ryan could have joined The Dup and I, but sometimes some family time is just extremely needed. I had almost forgotten how awesome my cousins can be and what its like to pal around in a motley group and get into all sorts of shenanigans. And get made fun of for being "old" and talking like that!

My Aunt brought NJ Bagels (everything ones too!) just for me! I have some more in my freezer. Bliss.

The view from the top deck of our house showed just the slightest glimpse of ocean over the dunes. And it also showed some beautiful sunsets behind us.  We spent some hot mornings sitting on the faded wooden chairs as well as some cooler balmy nights.

The Dup was in heaven. Her Uncle Stefan is one of her most favorite people and she loves people. My Aunt Paulette quickly got in her good graces with some puppy cuddles, bum scratches, and long walks on the beach. Rylie girl is a true lab and loves the water and she went swimming a few times and chased the ghost crabs in the evening.

My cousins and brother built us fires on the beach most evenings and we roasted marshmallows and made s'mores. The boys even caught a crab or two and roasted them... and surprisingly they didn't taste too badly!

On one day we decided to take the ferry to Ocracoke Island. We didn't realize there would be a long wait, like almost two hours, but we stuck it out. I also was sitting in the trunk as my aunt, uncle, and one cousin bailed at the last minute taking the second vehicle with them. I wanted to go so my parents had me sit in the trunk. Luckily it is an open one to the rest of the vehicle! Normally the ferry ride is about 20 minutes but bad storms made the channel change and now going out and around takes about an hour. At least on the ferry we were allowed out of the car so I got some sea breeze to keep me cool!

View on the ferry
Once we made it to the island my brother, two cousins and I were excited to see the pony pens... thinking wild horses running on the beach. Nope. Wild horses in fenced in areas looking a lot like captive horses. We were a tad disappointed but we still hung out there for awhile. We then had a delicious lunch (crab cake sandwich for me!) before getting back on the ferry to go home.

The Dup got super spoiled. My Aunt had this blanket one night and Dup commandeered it!
We also took a trip to Kill Devil Hills one night to play some mini golf and eat at an Italian Restaurant. More so for the mini golf!! My cousins, uncle, brother and I had a blast. One cousin missed out since he had to go draft his fantasy football league. Sigh. Boys...

I may not have won but I did get the most holes in one (hole in ones?)! Three! Best I've ever done.

So my four days went by way too quickly and I had to return to work and the real world. I was definitely not looking forward to leaving, family time is too rare and precious, but I did miss Ryan! It was good to see him when I came home, slightly sunburned and a little weary from too much fun :P

Hopefully it won't be as long between my visits with extended family.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

I'm Still Here

I know this blog has dwindled, but I am still here.

Ryan was in cycle most of June, then had some leave in July. We needed that time for sure to re-balance ourselves. Of course once we get our footing he usually goes back in to cycle again, but that's just the way it is these days. We try and make routines, stick with them, and spend as much time together as we can. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law came and spent the 4th of July with us and we had some much needed family time.

Sparklers just make everything better.

We've gone to the beach a lot, not quite caring about all the shark issues in North Carolina these days. Don't swim near piers, don't go out too far or in murky water, and just be smart about it. Freak accidents may happen but sharks live in the ocean. That's just the way it is. Plus it has helped us find even more teeth than usual!

Those teeth were all from one trip to the beach last Saturday. It was pretty awesome. Ryan found the big big one, I found the next big one. Both were slightly worn down but still definitely worth keeping for our collection. The square shaped tooth at the top right is actually a sting ray tooth. I know this thanks to my Marine Biologist best friend who solved that mystery for me!

Our other big news lately is that we have a niece! My oldest younger brother Sean and his girlfriend gave birth to a little firecracker girl on the 4th of July, Adrianna Marie. I think she is perfect and I cannot wait to meet her. Ryan and I are officially someone's uncle and aunt.... a first!

So, some things are different, some things are the same, but I am still here.

Hopefully you are too.