Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Memories From This Last Year & More

I've got several blog posts written in my head, but haven't got them actually typed out. So here's one I can check off. Planning on blogging more but we have so much going on that I might not get a lot of chances too. But I'm working on it. : ) So here is the last year (plus a little more) in a summarized blog post, with pictures of course!

We have lived in Maryland for a little over a year now. In just 19 days we will be moving to the west coast. So much as happened to us in the past 2 years that I thought I would write down some of it so I can have it documented to look back on someday.

Before I married Matt, I had lived in the same house for my entire life. I didn't travel often unless it was to a surrounding state of Oklahoma, even though I really enjoy seeing new places. We spent most of 2011 apart since Matt was deployed to Afghanistan. It was a hard year. I was enrolled in college full time and working. College and work is stressful enough, but I worried about Matt everyday. He was literally moving to a new place in Afghanistan every week and I was so worried each time he headed to a new place. We got engaged when he was home on R&R in July. We honestly didn't talk about much about wedding plans because I hardly got to talk to him while he was deployed. I would get a 20 minute (sometimes longer) phone call almost everyday and once we were talking wedding plans were furthest from my mind. I just wanted to know how he was doing and we talked about what was going on in each others lives. Not to mention that our families are in different states and it would have been hard to coordinate a wedding with such distance between our families. So when he finally got home in December of 2011, all we knew was we were tired of being apart and just went to the courthouse and got married. My family threw us a wedding shower before we made the move to Maryland and I am so thankful for everything we received. It really helped us out a lot since we had nothing to fill up an apartment. Matt had only lived in the barracks on base and I lived in the school dorms. So we were just starting out with nothing. Now we have a lot of stuff that is not packed up yet even though we are moving so soon. Ha.

So once he was home and we were married, we made the move from Oklahoma to Maryland. 1,300 miles from the only place I had ever called home. Leaving my Mom was hard. I was home sick and sad leaving her and everyone else. I was so excited to start my life with Matt, but at the same time so sad to leave them all. Looking back, I can't put into words how thankful I am for my Mom. She's been SO supportive of my decisions and loves Matt and I so much. I couldn't ask for a better Mom and she will never know how much I appreciate her. 

We packed up Matt's jeep with everything it could fit. Literally every inch of that car was being taken up by something. I kept finding something I wanted to take and just shoved it into an empty space in the car. 

So here are some pictures from the last year..

When we got to Maryland we got the keys to our first apartment together. 
Right before we moved in our stuff
Valentine's Day 2012 Matt got me a puppy. I'd been wanting one for when Matt was gone on an FTX or had CQ duty so I wouldn't be completely alone at home. We adopted Bentley and he was the best present ever. He was with me on those lonely nights when Matt was gone and he's brought us so much joy. He's such a fun dog and we love him so much. 
Valentine's Day 2012

The first night at home with Benny
Watching TV with me while Matt was at work

In March we turned 21 together. Our Birthday's are only 10 days apart.

Trip to D.C. Summer 2012

Summer drive. He was loving the breeze.

Then towards the end of summer we visited family. I took a trip to Oklahoma by myself while Matt was on an FTX and then when I got back to Maryland we went to visit his family in Seattle for 3 weeks.

Love this city.  Seattle 2012

Out on the boat with family

Matt & his little sister Grace

Family Camping Trip. September 2012

Matt with their family dog. Buddy : )

Then when we got home, Matt and I began discussing him re-enlisting in the army for 4 more years. We talked about it a lot before he actually committed to it. He re-enlisted in the Fall and we knew we would be going to California but we didn't get official orders until around December.

Then Thanksgiving rolled around and we couldn't visit family since we had seen them just a few mother earlier, so we went to P.F. Changs. Haha.
I know the waitress loved our drawing on the receipt. : ) Who wouldn't?

Shortly after Thanksgiving we got an email from the man we adopted Bentley from. He told us they had some miniature dachshunds. 8 weeks old. We decided to meet up with him to see the puppies. We quickly picked out one and took him home. We didn't talk about the decision much. We just knew we wanted him, because he was so stinking cute!
One of the first pictures we have of Jax
We debated on names for about a week before we finally named him Jax. We got the name from one of our favorite shows. Son's of Anarchy. : ) But before we decided on that name we were debating Ollie. Then we realized that name was just a little to close to the my name. Molly. Ollie. Too confusing. ; )

We spent our first Christmas together as a married couple.
Christmas 2012

We received orders to California around the start of the year with our report date. Now we are working on moving and starting a new chapter in our lives. I'm excited. I am so glad I am doing all of this with my best friend.

Hopefully I will get the chance to post some more this weekend. Planning on relaxing since Matt didn't get a weekend last weekend. He had a 24 hour duty shift on Saturday, then he spent Sunday catching up on sleep. Hard working man. 


Friday, February 8, 2013


My husband designed a new header for my blog. I'm working on changing everything to make it better.  So slowly but surely things will be getting upgraded : )

Speaking of changes, we are going to be moving to California very soon. I've started packing a few boxes and getting ready. I've never made a move like this. I moved from Oklahoma to Maryland when Matt and I got married but we didn't have a lot of things, and we also didn't have 2 puppies. When Matt and I moved to Maryland we loaded up his jeep with whatever it could fit and hit the road. Now we are  moving an apartment full of stuff and taking 2 dogs along for the road trip. I'm excited but also a little anxious about everything. It's stressful figuring out everything and getting everything in order for the move.

We're stopping in Oklahoma to visit family and friends before we actually get to California. I'm so excited to see everyone. I haven't seen everyone since...August I think? It's bad when you can't remember the exact month. I will for sure be posting updates about our move. We love road trips so I'm sure we will have fun even if it's stressful.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!


Music I can't stop listening to...

For the past few weeks I feel like I have been listening to the same songs/artists. So I thought why not share some of my favorite songs with you? : ) I will just share 3 songs for now. I'm really into indie folk music right now and I realize not a lot of people share my taste in music. However, I really like ALL music. Honestly. I feel like people say that all the time, but I really have a little bit of everything in my itunes library. But lately I just can't stop listening to folk music...I don't know what it is, but maybe you will fall in love with it too after listening to these songs.

The first artist I want to share with you is The Head & The Heart. I first heard a song of theirs while watching Grey's Anatomy. I fell in love with them and bought their CD. My favorite song on their CD is Down In The Valley. Go watch the music video. Such a great song. I honestly love all of their songs. Maybe I love this song so much because it mentions Oklahoma, and I just miss oklahoma.

I know you have to go to youtube to actually watch this video, but I promise it's worth it.

The next artist is The Avett Brothers. I love all of their music, but this song is great. February Seven.

The last artist is Jake Bugg. I don't remember how I found him but I am so glad that I did. He has such a unique voice, and when I saw this video of him singing Someone Told Me I was surprised. I guess I didn't picture him looking the way he did. So young. I don't think his voice matches his body. But nevertheless, I love his music. Some of his songs are really different, but I really like them.

Enjoy! Let me know what you think : )


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Our weekend

Our weekend seemed to pass by so fast! I love spending quality time with my husband and enjoying the time he has off from work. He has a super busy work week so we welcomed the weekend with open arms, but then again when do we not? ; )

Friday when Matt got off work we went to run a few errands & do our grocery shopping, which actually took a lot longer than I thought it would. I had everything planned out perfectly. I downloaded a new app for my macbook & iPhone called "Evernote". Which basically lets you write anything you want and organize it. You can make different "notebooks" and then write things within each one, which makes it so nice to save useful information I have found online, rather than simply bookmarking things and then forgetting about them. I am also interested in the idea of going paperless (or even cutting back on the amount of paper we use in our house) and this seems like a great way to use less. But the reason I mentioned that is because I used Evernote to write down my meal plan & grocery list. The app allows you to put boxes next to items you write down, so when we got into the store I just pulled up the app on my iPhone and then checked things off as we got them. It was so nice not to have to carry around the stuff I usually do when we shop. It's just really convenient! I spent some time this weekend writing more stuff into my notebooks and organizing things I have saved on my computer. I am not sure if this app is available on other devices or not. I think it might be on androids but I have no idea. It's definitely worth checking out though. 

I also picked up this cookbook for only $10 at Bed, Bath & Beyond while we were out! It was such a great find. I highly recommend it if you are as obsessed with asian food like we are. : )

I loved it because it has pictures to each step so we know if we are doing it right or not. We had a hard time picking between crab wontons or beef pho, but in the end we went with the crab wontons. So on Saturday afternoon we went to an asian market to buy the ingredients. Once we arrived we realized that there was an amish market farmer's market right next door to the asian market we were going to. After we got the things we needed for the crab wontons we checked out the farmer's market and left with these goodies...

Some everything bagels, sandwich bread & chia seeds. We got inside the farmers market around 2:30 and they closed at 3:00 so sadly a lot of the fresh food was already being put away. We will be going back there again before we move to California though because I loved it!

Once we got home we used our new cookbook along with a cookbook that Matt's sister got us for Christmas and ended up making the crab wontons and some sushi. The sushi book was SO helpful. They wouldn't have turned out so well if it wasn't for the tips it gave in the book. One of the best things I read in there that helped us a TON is that you can dip you hands in a water & rice vinegar mixture before dealing with the sticky rice and it will not stick to your hands. However, Matt read that AFTER I already had rice stuck all over my hands ; ) haha

It was a great dinner and we both had so much fun making a new recipe together. It took a lot longer than I thought it would, but we were both happy with the results!
Let me know if anyone wants me to post this recipe with pictures of the process. 

 Then today we really just spent the day relaxing. I cleaned the house really well on Saturday so I didn't have much left on my to-do list for today, which was a relief! I did accidentally fall asleep for an hour in the late afternoon, which explains why I am still awake right now.

Here's a couple pictures I took this weekend..

Family picture with our puppies : )

I hope everyone else had a great weekend too!


Tomato-Basil Parmesan Soup

Last Sunday it was super cold and snowy so I took advantage of the cold weather and pulled out the slow cooker. I wrote down this recipe a while back in my recipe notebook and finally decided to try it. Not sure where the original recipe is from, but it is SO good. I already have it written down on my meal planning list for next week. I love making dinner in the slow cooker because once dinner time rolls around, the kitchen is already clean and dinner is ready to eat. It's perfect. We ate our soup with some garlic bread. Enjoy!

Tomato-Basil Parmesan Soup

2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced onions
1 tsp dried oregano or 1 T fresh oregano
1 T dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil
4 cups chicken broth
½ bay leaf
½ cup flour
½ cup butter
2 cups half and half, warmed (I am going to try using skim milk next time)
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 cup Parmesan cheese (I used shredded and then grated some fresh parmesan over the soup before serving)

1.  Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, oregano, basil, and bay leaf to a large slow cooker.
2.  Cover and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft.
3.  About 30 minutes before serving prepare a roux. Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add flour. Stir constantly with a whisk for 5-7 minutes. Slowly stir in 1 cup hot soup. Add another 3 cups and stir until smooth. Add all back into the slow cooker. Stir and add the Parmesan cheese, warmed half and half, salt and pepper.  Add additional basil and oregano if needed (the slow cooker does a number on spices and they get bland over time, so don't be afraid to always season to taste at the end).
4.  Cover and cook on LOW for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve.