• 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

Friday, September 12, 2014

Turning 27

On Monday, September 8th, I turned 27.

It was pretty low key, as far as birthdays go. My parents sent me Georgetown Cupcakes, flowers, and some clothes. Ryan, the smart man he is, got me gift cards to go shopping. My friend Donna got me some Coca Cola things for my Coca Cola Bathroom (a soap dispenser, a soap dish, and a cool metal tin that now holds my daily make up and hair things) and my phone blew up with well wishes from friends and family and Facebook.

So, thank you (:

I was off from work since I worked the weekend and I decided to go get my hair done. I last got partial highlights in March so after six months it was kind of driving me nuts.

 I went over to the mall and got them done... I love how they turned out but I was there nearly three hours. Bit much! But at my price I won't complain.

After I brought home some food and Ryan and I sat on the couch and watched television for a bit before we went off to spend my birthday giftcards. At Kohls I got a gorgeous red pea coat (with a hood!) since I have wanted a red coat for years. At Old Navy I got two long sleeved shirts, two tank tops, and a nice blue work shirt. At Shoe Carnival I got a gorgeous pair of grey boots that I cannot wait to wear.... so Ryan definitely did well for me for my birthday!

Then wen we went home to drop off my bags something unexpected happened....

A tornado warning! My phone started letting off a siren sound and we flicked on the television to see the red radar hovering directly over us. My husband quickly ushered the dog and I into our guest bathroom where we quickly realized we should at least look outside before we cower in the bathroom. Outside it was gray, not raining, but definitely did not look like tornado conditions. No green clouds, no rotation.... nothing! Fifteen minutes went by and the alert expired. I always thought a warning meant a funnel cloud had been spotted but the television never said one had been. Just have to keep things interesting I suppose!

Donna met Ryan and I at Ale House where I watched my Giants get their butts handed to them for their first game for the second year in a row. Sigh. At least I got a free dessert since it was my birthday!

All in all, a good, low key day. Let's hope 27 is a good year!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Accident

I have gone back and forth about whether or not I wanted to blog about this... I eventually came to the decision that to be true to this blog (which is about my life, marriage, and me) it is something that happened and I can do it and be done with it. Mostly. I will not discuss the details since the investigation and evertrhing is still pending but the basics can be known.
Labor Day Weekend was going to be a big weekend out for Ryan and I. His SDA starts at the end of September (something else I have yet to blog about) and I am currently cast in another show (ditto to previous parentheses) so we knew we would be entering a chaotic time and wanted to use this long weekend to spend time together. We had plans to go places in North Carolina we haven't visited yet and just spend it working on our relationship and stockpiling the joy for later use. Friday night after I got home from work we decided to go out for a drink, play some pool and then call it an early night... which we did. Saturday we wanted to wake up early and hit the road. Neither of us set an alarm and we woke up later than we planned, around ten am.
We got up, got dressed, packed a bag and got in the truck to drive about an hour to our first planned day trip, Fort Macon State Park. Well, we never made it to the state park. On our way we had a rather awful car accident that left our truck totaled, another truck damaged, and a car slightly damaged. We were the most hurt out of everyone and we were fortunate that our injuries were not severe. Looking at the truck at the accident and at the storage place later I cannot believe we walked away as unhurt as we did. Ryan's arm wen't through the driver's side window and left cuts up and down his left arm. The airbag burned his wrist (friction burn) and nearly cut his other arm. His toe was jammed/possibly broken and his leg was bruised. All of my injuries came from the airbag or the seat belt, which both did their jobs and saved our lives. Both my knees were badly bruised from the airbag deploying and the cover whacking into me, and my seatbelt left a string of bruises across my stomach, chest and shoulder.
But, like I said, we are so lucky that we walked away with just minor injuries. I debated posting the pictures of our truck but I will, just so I remember how awful this accident was and how lucky Ryan and I truly are.
At the scene.

At the storage facility later on.
Some of you may know this truck once belonged to Ryan's grandfather. After he passed away we purchased the truck from his grandmother. Ryan was very, very proud of this truck and took really good care of it and this accident was awful in every way, but adding the fact that it was his grandfather's truck on top of it all really hurt. I am convinced we had a special guardian angel watching over us.
My friend Donna picked us up after the accident, which I am very grateful for, and took us home. The rest of the day was spent mostly on the couch, icing our bruises and watching Star Wars.
One of the few strokes of luck we did have was that my parents happened to be nearby when this all happened. They decided to take a random, last minute trip to the beach for the weekend and we were able to meet up with them for dinner that evening. Ryan and I made sure we both took a turn getting into a vehicle and driving again even though we were a bundle of nerves. My parents offered to let us keep their minivan (since they have four cars for three people at home, the van has been kept for long road trips basically) until we get a new vehicle. We agreed and my parents rented a car to drive home Monday... a red Mustang that went my parents pulled up to meet my brother had him green with envy!
 Sunday we decided to go to the ER on base to get checked out... and by we decided I mean Ryan had to for work and said if he was getting checked out I had to be as well. It was a long, long visit, nearly seven hours but we both checked out alright. We had to be seen in separate rooms but we passed the time texting eachother, watching TV (Alton Brown and then Indiana Jones) until we got to be sent home.

I never knew how sore you could feel after a car accident. Sunday, when we woke up, my entire body ached. It felt like I had done a strenuous, full body workout the day before... every muscle and joint was just aching. Ryan and I were limping around for a few days following the accident as our bodies turned multi colored from our various bruises.

My big seatbelt bruise

Like I mentioned, we were very very lucky to walk away in the state we did. I have never been in an accident like this before and it was the loudest, most terrifying thing. We knew it was happening and there was nothing to be done at the time to stop it. All I could do was close my eyes and hold my breath and pray in my head until it was over. Our weekend did not turn out at all like we expected. Since then it has been nothing but talking to insurance companies, figuring out our next steps, looking for another vehicle, and waiting to see what the next step is. Our nerves our frayed and our tempers are a bit shorter than usual, but we will get through this. This too shall pass.

Thank you to everyone who checked in with us, asked if we were alright, and sent good karma and prayers in our direction. We really, really appreciate it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Orkin Prize Pack Give Away

The Orkin Scientific Back-to-School PRIZE PACK includes: - Clip-on Fisheye Lens (iPhone, Galaxy, Android compatible) - Orkin On-the-Go Drink Tumbler - Orkin Drawstring Bag - Orkin “Field Notes” Notebook w/ Pen

Do you know your bugs? Living in the south I have been exposed to more spiders, mosquitoes, and other creepy crawlies than I ever experienced north of the Mason Dixon line! I even got my first chigger bites this week, I kid you not. For as many bugs as I see, I usually hear different facts about them too...

“Daddy longlegs are poisonous.”
“Mosquitoes prefer adults over children.”
“Ants can survive underwater.”

You’ve heard the myths about bugs before I am sure, do you know what’s fact and what’s fake?

Take Orkin’s Scientific Fact or Scientific Fake™ Quiz to test your knowledge, and be sure to watch every clip for the scoop on these infamous bug myths.

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If you want to win the prize pack Rafflecopter will walk you through the process! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Orkin Fact or Fake School Pack via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

The prize will be sent via FedEx or USPS. No P.O. Boxes please. Please note that the assets included within this message were delivered to the author to promote Orkin LLC. All other opinions are my own as the author of this blog. I will be sent a prize pack for my participation but that does not effect my opinion in any way.

Friday, August 15, 2014

I Quit

Smoking that is.

I was scared to mention it to anyone at first. I was worried I wouldn't be able to do it. Ryan actually quit smoking almost a month ago. We fortunately did not quit at the same time (we may have killed each other if we had) and took our own steps and processes with it. Ryan had a fun night and decided to quit on a Sunday where he was slightly hung over and had no desire to smoke at all. By the end of that day he was sort of wanting one and the next few days he really wanted one, but he held out. Me? I wasn't ready yet. I was scared.

But last week something came over me.

I was ready.

And to be honest, unless YOU are ready to quit, I don't think you will be able to.


I am thankful Ryan didn't push me (much) and let me come to it on my own. I was courteous around him as much as I could be. I tried not to smoke in front of him during the hardest parts of quitting, but he surprised me by joining me outside a few times and then it not bothering him at all before long. Ryan told me quitting smoking was the hardest thing he had ever done. Harder than serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Harder than bootcamp. Which made me more nervous about quitting myself!

I know smoking is unhealthy. And expensive. We both did... but addiction is a powerful thing. And we were very addicted. Ryan has been smoking for ten years. I have been smoking for six years. Man, seeing that in print makes my head spin. Has it really been six years??? Ryan was usually a heavier smoker than me, but in the past year or so I caught up to him. We were both basically pack a day smokers. If we were out (or drinking) it was usually  more. We would go through a carton a week most weeks, if not more. It was time to stop.

So Friday night, I sat in my garage after we came home from bowling with friends. I had two left in my pack. I felt it in my heart then, these would by my last ones, this would be my last pack. Those thoughts ran through my head over and over again as I finished them and went to bed, throwing my empty pack away as I did so.

Saturday was hard.

I hoped to sleep in so I'd have less time to deal with cravings. Even though I went to bed late I was up early. I took it hour by hour. Let me make it until 9am... 10am... 11am... then I started watching movies. Make it to the end of this move. Then the next movie. Ryan eventually got up and found me practically shaking on the couch... I hadn't mentioned to him that I was trying to quit until that moment.

That entire weekend was extremely difficult. I cried more than once, literally sobbed on the couch as Ryan tried to help me through it. Nicotine withdrawl is no joke, I didn't feel like I could make it. I pushed myself just to make it until bed time. I downloaded free stop smoking ads on my phone. I played with silly putty to give my hands something to do. I tried meditative breathing. I drank green tea. I cried more. I paced. I prayed.

And I made it.

The first seventy two hours are the hardest... the most cravings and the strongest. The vivid nightmares and dreams are rough. Then it gets easier. Not easy by any means, but easier.

From my Livestrong App
Saturday should have way, way more cravings, but I didn't download the app until about five pm so the seven cravings I had occured between 5pm and 11pm when I finally crashed into bed. They are becoming less as in I am having less cravings and they are weaker and shorter. Thank God. This app has helped me so much. When I have a craving I hit the button on this app (after seeing my picture of my motivation) and it gives me encouragement statistics and such. I've made it through some major triggers too.... a work day (now week), traffic, driving/being in the car, having a large meal, leaving a movie theatre and others. The two major ones I have yet to encounter are being around someone or a group of people smoking and drinking alcohol. They will happen sooner or later and I feel like I can do it. I wanted to quit and I feel positive about it.

Ryan has been amazing through it all too. I am so proud of him for kicking this off. He read books about it (Never Take Another Puff by Joel Spitzer, a completely free book available online) and chewed gum to curb his cravings. He also switched from coffee to tea, which for those of you who know my husband and his coffee addiction, this is a feat in itself! We both went cold turkey, no patches, nicotine gum or chantix. I personally didn't even chew gum because I didn't want to pick up another habit. Yes I know gum chewing is hardly as bad as smoking but it works in my brain. We've started walking Rylie in the evenings so we don't just sit on the couch and watch TV. Changing our routine helps!

My latest stats from this morning. That's a lot for one week.
I was scared to mention it before now because I didn't want to let anyone down if I failed. Silly right? I know support is important and I am not out of the woods yet, but I am getting there slowly but surely. I made it through the hardest week and I can keep doing it.

If you smoke and want to quit, do it. When you are ready, you will know, and you CAN do it. The LiveStrong app and the QuitIt app (both free) have helped me immensely, especially the LiveStrong app and the community message boards. If you slip and smoke again, it's ok, just try again. Each time will get easier. You CAN do it. If I can, anyone can.

Thanks for reading all, wish me luck!


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Loss of a Legend

"You're only given one little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it." - Robin Williams

The only souvenier I asked for on my family trip to Disney that now hangs in our guest room.
Robin Williams has been my favorite actor for my entire life. People have poked fun at me for it (never in a mean way) about how he was always my top of the heap favorite, but I know I am not alone (based on the social media take over alone). The world lost a wonderful, talented man yesterday. I am not going to lie, I cried when I heard he passed away. My entire life I dreamed of meeting him, and my top actor dream of actually acting with him, will now never be realized. This brilliant man had demons darker than any of us knew and is now no longer with us. His wife is a widow and his children are without their father... and it breaks my heart.


On acting: "All the new people you meet, it's pretty amazing. The vampire needs new blood. And there is still a lot to learn and there is always great stuff out there. Even mistakes can be wonderful."

I remember being young, really young, and begging my mom to let me stay up for another episode of Mork & Mindy. She usually obliged for at least one episode and rolled her eyes more than once as I Nanu Nanu'd along with my favorite alien. One of the first movies I saw in a movie theatre was Aladdin, and I was ecstatic when my mom told me the Genie was the same voice as Mork.

That love always stayed.

From Mrs. Doubtfire (a movie that practically defined childhood for my generation) to Flubber to the serious movies... Jakob the Liar (being one of the most underrated in my opinion), Good Will Hunting and What Dreams May Come... his performances was awe inspiring and captivating. Dark or light, serious or comedic, he had a presence that was undeniable to even someone like me on the other side of the screen. Buzzfeed highlighted some good performances in this article too. He also was a huge supporter of our military and his USO shows were legendary. He has even been referred to as the Bob Hope of our generation for his work with the USO. The military community is even reeling from the loss.


Yesterday I was watching TV when my friend Donna texted me the news. I gasped out loud, probably scaring Ryan a bit, and googled it. It was popping up everywhere. He was gone, suicide.

"You have an internal critic, an internal drive that says, `OK, you can do more.' Maybe that's what keeps you going," Williams said. "Maybe that's a demon. ... Some people say, `It's a muse.' No, it's not a muse! It's a demon! DO IT YOU BASTARD!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! THE LITTLE DEMON!!"

His demons won out. His struggles with addiction and depression were not a secret, they've been a source of contention for him for years, and he spoke about them quite a bit. But I don't think anyone saw this coming. My adoration is well known in my family and friends so I had people texting me and facebooking me to check in and see how I was doing. Seriously.

Hollywood has lost some great talent in my lifetime, but none hit me as hard as this. I know it is silly to mourn for someone you have never met, but this man has made a huge impact on my life, both personally and as an actor. His talent is awe inspiring and no one will probably ever be able to come close to replicating it. It may be silly for me to dedicate an entire blog entry to this, but it's my blog, I'll do what I want. It feels like an extended uncle four times removed has died... someone who helped shape my childhood and my love of acting... and it sucks.


O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
The arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
Walt Whitman

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Lack of Blogging

I have had this blog for five years now. Five. Since 2009 I've been blogging about my life and my relationship with Ryan. I've used it to meet people from across the world, keep my family and friends up to date on life happenings, and talk about things that I need to get off my chest. I have blogged about Ryan's deployments, our engagement, our wedding, our four years of marriage, PCSing, acting, happy times, loss, sadness, job struggles... my life on a website.

And lately I feel like I have nothing to say.

My husband is home, we are waiting (once again) on the Marine Corps to tell us what is next (of anything at all), and things are basically routine. I have a full time job again where I do work some weekends and the time I am off I am basically spending with my husband. No big trips or exciting adventures lately... I am happy if we make it to the beach on our day off now... with our schedules and the weather being kind of crappy even that is rare.

I don't feel like anyone is interested in any of that anyway. Not anymore. The few times I have managed to write something lately I feel like it is just being sent out into the void. I miss the days when people would comment, start discussions... when my blogging friendships were a huge part of my life. These days I feel like all of the people around when I started have faded away for the most part. Some still blog, but I just wonder if I am clinging to something that should be let go.

Maybe something blogworthy will happen soon.

In the mean time, I am still here.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Man Crates

Is your husband (brother/father/son/uncle/insert any male figure in your life here) impossible to shop for? Mine is... he never wants anything! I have honestly given him socks for Valentine's Day and underwear for Christmas because they were the only things he needed or wanted. His wallet is untouchable, his cologne is never really used, he rarely wears ties (being in uniform 90% of the time) and he only wears a watch when he is in the field or deployed. I have tried to get him small, fun, creative things but mostly they end up not used or in a drawer somewhere. Sound familiar?

Well I was recently contacted by Man Crates and I think I now have a solution for my picky husband! Man Crates are trying to be the ultimate resource of gifts for men and so far I think they are nailing it. All Man Crates (unless otherwise specified) come literally in a crate with a crowbar to open it. Because tools and things like that are super manly, especially when you get to crack open a crate! They also do provide a military discount. It's a shame Ryan's birthday is in February and Christmas is so far away because I found a few crates I know he would love. Like....

 The Personalized Barware Crate. It comes with personalized pint glasses, coasters that are also bottle openers (which are also personalized), the crate and crowbar to open it, plus four different salty snacks to accompany his beer! My husband would love this. He'd also love the...

The Grill Master Crate. It is ridiculously awesome, I can't lie. It comes with a brass-knuckle meat tenderizer, a cast iron smoke box, a set of four steak thermometers, dried hickory wood chips and three different BBQ sauces/spice blends. Oh yum.

So when Man Crates contacted me asking what I would put in my own survival kit (my personal essentials if you will), I decided to give it a go. Now we are assuming my things needed to survive (food, shelter, fire, husband, the Dup) are all currently included. These are my essential frivolities if you will!

1. Chapstick. I seriously cannot live without it. If I forget to put it in my pocket or my purse I feel awful the rest of the day, like my lips are shriveling off my face. Yes, dramatic I know, but that's addiction for you.

2. Books. I need a large bookshelf in the corner of our survival hut that magically provides me with books on a constant basis. Reading is my ultimate escape and I thorougly enjoy it!

3.  Nutella. Because it is amazing. Period. I eat it out of the jar with a tablespoon if I am having a bad day. Or a semi bad day. Or a good day. It happens a lot.

4. I know I am supposed to be on a deserted island, but I get cold easily, so a fleecy comfy hooded sweatshirt is a must. I need to be snuggled up at night so let's assume my island can get a little chilly every now and then.

5. I'd love to have my very own DSLR camera. The island I am sure would be gorgeous and full of photo opportunities, so I plan on taking a lot of pictures to remember our time there after we are rescued. Gosh, I am optimistic today aren't I?

What would you need to have in your essential Blogger Crate if you were on a deserted island? Let me know in the comments below! And check out Man Crates for some fun guy gift ideas.

Note: All thoughts in this post are my own. Man Crates asked me to do a post but I was not compensated for my opinion in any way.

Monday, July 21, 2014


As many of you know I work at the base library. With my new job at reference I am interacting with hundreds of Marines daily.... literally. Then I go home to my Marine (he's my favorite for sure, I am definitely biased there) and life is good. Being it is a library there is a wide variety of Marines, all ranks and jobs and the like doing everything from printing leave requests to MarineNet classes to research papers. Sometimes I complain about being tied to the desk at the "computer" person (usually the first half or more of my shift) but I do love interacting with the Marines and I do enjoy helping them the rare times they need assistance with research or databases.

Since the sleeves went back to being rolled this year I've also noticed a certain accessory a lot of the Marines seem to be wearing these days...

Picture from this link via the AP
The KIA bracelets.

Maybe with the winter cammies and the sleeves down it never caught my eye as much... but with the rolled sleeves and the summer weather I cannot tell you all how many I see a day.

And to be honest that breaks my heart.

These Marines, easily from 18-50, have seen and done so much these past ten years. So many have lost collegues, friends, and brothers/sisters to the point that I can barely track how many I see each day... and those are only for the ones who wear a bracelet... I know plenty do not.

So although we hear in the media "the war is over" we all know the truth. If you have some extra thoughts to spare send it for these Marines. It is a rainy, cloudy morning here in North Carolina and the three hours I have been on the desk so far I have counted 43 bracelets and it is making me a little sad.

That's all.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Date Night

This is one of the weekends I am working unfortunately. It hasn't been too bad for the most part except for a few angry base dress code violators... NOTE: There is a base dress code. Look it up if you're not familiar with it. Camp Lejeune's is pretty clear... if you want to wear a tank top it must have a two inch strap. No spaghetti straps, not halters, no tube tops, no rips or stains or tears or profanity. Period. You need to look classy and perhaps a little more covered than the 95 plus degree heat wants. I hate enforcing it but there is no need to yell at me because I am informing you and offering you a free clean tshirt to boot. /endrant.
Sorry. I got away from myself there!
I got a text from Ryan as soon as the library closed at 6. Normally when I get a Hey sweetie...? text he wants me to stop and pick up something on my way home or anything of that nature. Hence my very simple reply. But I was stunned at what followed.
A date??? Heck yes! He even asked what time he should pick me up. I told him 7:30. When I got home he was cleaning out the truck (!!) and in a suit. Wow! He promptly gave me a kiss then drove away saying he'd be back in a little more than an hour. I took a quick shower, did my hair and make up, painted my toes and threw on a little black dress I have been dying to have an excuse to wear for over a year now (it's from eShakti for all those who asked) and was ready just as the door bell rang.

I hurried out trying to avoid getting Dup Dup hair on my dress and was shocked to see Ryan standing there with flowers! Seriously!!
I put them in water and we got into the truck to head for our date. I asked him where we were going.
Ryan: I am taking you to the best Italian Restaurant in town.
Me: Ryan.... are you taking me to Olive Garden dressed like this!?
Yes. Yes he was.
I had to laugh! I told him we may be a tad overdressed for Olive Garden but he shrugged it off. He said it is better to be overdressed than underdressed and I agreed, but I was a little self conscious for sure! We didn't have a long wait and when the waitress asked our special occassion we simply responded, Date Night.

We had a nice dinner and a drink or so and Ryan revealed he had movie tickets for us, already purchased. He said he wanted to get Jersey Boys tickets but the only later movie available was the new Transformers at 9:05. We had seen all the previous ones so that was fine by me! We enjoyed our dinner a little too much because I checked the time and it was 9:15! Oops.

I literally had to make him laugh to get him to give a real smile instead of his I'm smiling for a picture smile. Sad it came out blurry! But he looked so handsome!
We get into the movie at 9:25... and caught the last preview for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Wow. Talk about long previews! We were nearly 20 minutes late for our movie and missed nothing.I snuggled under Ryan's suit jacket (I get cold in movies) and enjoyed the non stop action that was Transformers. The one review I saw of it said, "Within ten minutes the action starts and it is both stupidly epic and epically stupid and continues until the movie ends."
Action action action humans are bad action action action redemption slightly action over.
In the form of about 2 and a half hours!
Ryan wanted us to walk around the fountain in the park but with my shoes it was just not happening, plus it was late and I had work today! We went home and walked around our cul-du-sac a bit before crashing in to bed around 1am.
It was a perfect date night (: 

Monday, July 7, 2014

4th of July Weekend

It has been a long but fun weekend! My sister in law Hannah was visiting us for the past week and a half so for the 4th of July she tagged along with us and some friends to celebrate. Naturally I got bit by the baking bug so Hannah and I made a Red White and Blue cake from scratch... the red and blue layers were regular cake (which sadly came out a little heavier than I like, less flour next time I think) and the white layer was cheesecake. Hurricane Arthur hit us Thursday night so we started baking the cheesecake then and the rest of the cake Friday morning. We even made the cream cheese icing from scratch! I don't think I've made a cake not from a box and icing not from a can in almost a decade! Not too shabby!
We then headed over to my friend from work Jo's house and hung out with her, her husband John and my other coworker Morgan until we left for the fireworks. Henry, their adorable pup, wanted to be in our picture too. 

We figured it would be insanely crowded on base so we left pretty early to fight traffic. We didn't want to go in the giant massive crowd, personally I was ok with missing LL Cool J, so we decided to drive to work and park there. Luckily with our husbands' active duty IDs we were able to go through the road blocks and park with ease! We could hear the performers down the street and we still had room to play frisbee in the parking lot. Sadly once it got later MPs started directing people to park in our area but most of them still walked down to the field so our view remained safe!

The weather got ominous looking but only one or two drops hit us. After the show we could see it rained elsewhere on base but it seemed to stop just shy of us and the fireworks! We had a good hour or so to tailgate and hang out and we all had a blast.

Boys being boys
Surprisingly the fireworks started early, maybe by five minutes, and they went on for a long time! It was a pretty long show, nearly half and hour, and had one of the longest finales I have ever seen. I am very impressed Camp LeJeune! We had a perfect view from the truck and I love fireworks. They are near the top of my Top Ten Favorite Things List (yes it is a literal list) hence the reason Ryan proposed to me during the Disney Fireworks at EPCOT.

Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays. I love the country I live in and that my husband serves and I love celebrating that. For my family and my friends and everyone who calls this great nation home, it makes me proud as punch!

I am a terrible selfie taker.
We took the back gate home and luckily there was basically no traffic. Thank Goodness! We all hung out a bit longer before heading home and falling sound asleep. Pretty darn good 4th of July if you ask me! Saturday was spent cleaning, playing tennis (my husband finally got a racket!) and getting Japanese food for dinner. We also took the Dup for her yearly 'furminator' bath to help with her ridiculous shedding. She gets a special bath in deshedding shampoo and conditioner and then at least an hour long brushing session. Even the groomer said she was pretty shocked by the amount of hair that kept coming off, and we brush her a lot too! Dup Dup's report card was glowing, they all said she was incredibly sweet to everyone who handled her and gave tons of kisses. That's my good girl! And she looks so cute! I cracked and got her a bandana (since the proceeds go to military service dogs I could not resist!).

It did wear her out though and she slept pretty much the rest of the day. Sunday we went to church, drove to Wilmington to meet my mother in law and her husband to drop Hannah back off with them, have lunch, run to the commissary and then home again to pack our lunches and prepare for the week. Then we went and played tennis again. Today I am pretty sore (helloooo out of shapeness) and quite exhausted. I look forward to going to bed early tonight.

I hope you all enjoyed your Independence Day!