Right before we left for Florida, we got a wonderful little gift. Mom and Dad B. bestowed upon us a camera. After some trial and error, the camera, a Canon G11, proved to be a technological defeat for them. Cameras aren't supposed to make you feel like you need a graduate degree to take pictures, so in the interest of simplicity, they traded us our digital point and shoot for the "big camera", as we've come to call it.
Well, friends, there is no piece of technology that will ever live to tell of its victory against R, so, almost as soon as it was in his hands, he was mastering it. We've found, (and by we, I most certainly mean R. I have no patience with electronic devises) that it has quite the array of features and capabilities that can make even the most inexperienced photographers (us) feel like Ansel Adams.
So, for your viewing pleasure, here are a few of the pictures we've taken with our new toy. Feel free to click on the pictures to see a larger image.
On the Purdue Campus.
At a Cubs game. A cool feature that lets you pick just one color, then everything else is black and white.
View from the Sears Tower. Same effect as above.
R driving on the way to FL, with me following behind.
By far one of the coolest. This is Brad and Val in our backyard. R did this by setting the camera on a prolonged exposure then using a sparkler to make the heart. We had lots of fun trying to get this just right.
We love our new toy and we're always trying to get better and better pictures and learn more about it's cool features. It's definitely one of our favorite presents and it's making documenting (and blogging) about our adventures that much more fun.
And just for the record, I mastered an electronic device long enough to customize the blog a little. Take that, technology. Now, if only R could explain how the DVR works...
As most of you know, my family is a Navy family and we haven't lived within driving distance from my two older siblings since high school. However, now that we're in FL, and Brad and Valerie are in Mississippi, we finally get to hop in the car and two and a half hours later, we're getting hugs from Noah. And that is exactly what happened last weekend. Brad and Val piled the boy and the dog into the truck and came for the weekend. We had a great time laughing and talking, getting snuggled by Noah, and showing them around to what little we know of Pensacola so far. We went to the beach, enjoyed a little taste of Wisconsin with beer and brats on the grill, and went to the Museum of Naval Aviation on base.
Now I have to admit...Usually Noah and I are pretty inseparable when we hang out. He wants to sit next to me, (or on me), he wants to show me his toys, he even seemed a little sad when I told him I had to go to bed in the other room. But let me tell you who his favorite was this weekend...Uncle R. The minute we stepped foot in the museum, it was Noah and R, best buddies. Every time Noah saw something cool or wondered what that button did, Uncle R was all over it. Uncle R was an absolute hero.
Mav and Goose.
Preparing for the dog fight in the ready room... Some of the pilots don't look so prepared.
I guess it was just a boys weekend and Valerie and I were on the outside this time. I mean, I get it. I can't make the good sound effects, I don't know how that throttle in the cockpit works, (if that's what its even called...) and when we play GI Joes, Noah tells me that "Joes don't wanna talk, Auntie Binky...They fight." Sometimes, I can't hold a candle to Uncle R, who, according to Noah, is an actual Blue Angel pilot.
My brother Brad and sister in law Valerie and my favorite nephew Noah came to visit this past weekend, so after two weeks of living in Pensacola, it was finally time to make our house presentable to guests. It was nice to have a reason to unpack, since up until then we were still living among our boxes. (We just sort of made a path around them or used them as chairs...) But throwing out that last box felt great and we finally feel like this is our home. So, without further ado, here are the pictures of our little home! We know these will come in handy for our Northern loved ones who have probably vowed not to come visit until the weather comes back down from the hundreds...
The view when you walk in.
Looking the other way. My little office area by the front window. My wonderful husband got me those flowers on the dining room table.
The kitchen. This is where I am channeling Paula Deen in my efforts to master the art of Southern cooking. Well, at least the desserts part.
The guest room/R's office.
Master bath. The most exciting part of our little home is the shower in the master bath. It's newly remodeled in all stone with dual shower heads! Very luxurious and spa-like.
Our backyard oasis, complete with R's brand new grill!
...one of our neighbors. We see these geckos and anoles all over the place. In fact, as I write this at my desk, I am being watched by a little guy in the top window while he chomps on bugs. It's like the Discovery Channel right outside our house. Do you hear that fellas? Outside our house...
So that's our house! We are really happy here and excited to finally be home. However, pictures don't show the very best part... air conditioning.
Besides my stash job as a computer geek, we are sometimes "volun-told" to do other little jobs. The other day I was called to set up for a symposium and banquet at the Naval Aviation Museum where there were some distinguished guests. Above and beyond the Admirals that were there, Neil Armstrong was a guest and speaker. Not only do I share an alma mater with the first man to step foot on the moon, but also the last man to do so; Gene Cernan of Purdue commanded Apollo 17. Both were there that night.
I know many aviation/space buffs would give anything to get the chance to meet and talk to not just any Apollo astronauts, but the most famous of them all. They each were extremely accommodating to take time to talk with me and a group of other students who were only supposed to be working behind the scenes at the dinner. It was an honor and very inspiring to meet these former Naval Aviators at this early point in my career. After they told stories of their time in flight school and flying in the Navy, my friend and I, also a Purdue alum, made sure to mention the university where we recently graduated. With a hand shake to say goodbye and thanks, Neil Armstrong told me to "Boiler Up," a motivating chant unique to Purdue...
Yesterday we celebrated our one week-iversary in Florida. We marked the big event with a trip to the beach! We made sure to take the sunscreen a little more seriously this time (we went for spring break last year and spent a little time laying out and we were fried crispy). It was beautiful. We laid on our towels listening to the waves, puttin gout feet in the sugary white sand and we just kept looking at each other and saying, "We LIVE here!" Maybe that Milwaukee mentality had us thinking any minute a cold front could blow in and freeze us. I guess you can take the kids out of Wisconsin, but you can't take the Wisconsin out of the kids.
We also celebrated with some news about R's schooling. Because flight school is so backed up (this is why we had to wait at Purdue all semester), all the new guys get assigned stash jobs to keep busy while they wait to class up. R got his stash job yesterday and it will keep him very busy... He is the NMCI Assistant (Navy Marine Corps Intranet), basically the computer lab on base. His duties include going into the lab for 2 hours once a week, then text mustering every other day. You heard me right, text mustering. He's already looking into buying golf clubs, dusting off his fishing pole, working on his reading list, and generally being retired at 23. Needless to say, there are some other people in this marriage who are green with envy... The good news is he thinks they may class up sooner than they were originally expecting. No dates yet, but it's definitely on the horizon.
Finally, the house is almost ready for it's blog debut! The yard is proving to be the big project. We found ourselves in the pest control aisle at Wal-Mart due to the multiple fire ant mounds infesting our little yard. Our method for finding the most effective product? We picked the bag with the angriest looking ants in the picture.
We'll update soon to let you know if our method worked.
Well, we are finally home! Pensacola welcomed us with what we thought had to be record high temperatures, but what we were assured by some locals as "real nice spring weather." We also had to wait for all our belongings and our water, but we survived and we couldn't be happier.
Yesterday, I exhausted myself by watching the movers while R checked in on base. While he waits to find out when he'll start school, he'll have the tough work of mustering every morning for an hour then coming back home. It's a rough job serving our country, but someone has to do it.
Other than that, we're just settling in to our house and enjoying all the wonderful little things about living in the South. Like getting sweaty when you walk out to your car. Before noon. Or deciding whether or not we want to join the NRA...now or later. Or slipping and saying "y'all". I suppose it's all worth it when we hear a jet fly by and R stops what he's doing and stares at the sky with the glazed over, dreamy look of a kid in a candy shop.
We are officially out of our apartment! It was a little bittersweet packing up our very first home as a married couple. Also, it's been bittersweet for R to say goodbye to Purdue. All the fun traditions and great memories will be missed. Our college days are officially over and now it's time to start our Navy life. We hit the road for Pensacola on Tuesday, so stay tuned for some road trip pictures.