Thursday, June 27, 2013

lady vacation.

When you are less than a week away from a much awaited homecoming, sometimes a little antsy-ness sets in. I anticipated this antsy feeling and convinced my Mom and my big sister to come out and visit me the week before R's arrival. That way, when I get butterflies in my stomach thinking about how he'll be standing in this house at this time next week, at least there are people around to squeal about it to. My plan worked and my Mom and sister have been keeping me busy with beach days and cocktail hours and they've endured their fair share of squealing from me. It's been a wonderful week of girl talk and wine and sun. 

When the women of my family congregate, cupcakes are usually involved. We consider ourselves connoisseurs that must taste test every cupcake we happen upon as a matter of duty. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it. 

I took them on my self-invented Norfolk Wine and Beer Tour. I've kind of perfected this little hopscotch through Norfolk that takes my visitors to the Mermaid Winery, O'Connor Brewing, Smartmouth Brewing, a dinner stop at an unbeatable Mexican restaurant  then a final stop at The Birch, or Beer Snob Mecca. So if you're in the area, please call me up and let me show you the beverage tour of Norfolk!

No trip to Virginia Beach is complete without a trip to the beach. I like to take people to to quieter beach on one of the Navy bases here. The first day we went, the waves were so strong, it was a workout just to stay standing in the water. We were exhausted and sandy by the time we got home and slept with the sound of waves still in our ears. 

Another must-stop local place I love here is Chick's. Virginia Beach's signature drink is the crush, a fruity concoction over crushed ice, and I think Chick's has the best. They also have the best patio, right along the Chesapeake Bay. I brought the girls here and we enjoyed a lazy, humid afternoon on the patio with steamed crab legs and icy cold crushes. Perfection.

My sister, Melissa, is a food blogger (you can check her out over at her blog, The Hungry Milwaukeeian. I warn you though, if you are hungry, to enter at your own risk...) and she takes unbelievably lush photos of food, like this lobster mac and cheese, and basically makes you want to drool on your keyboard. 

No girls trip is complete without a spa night. We popped some champagne, soaked our feet, did blueberry facials, and Googled cat videos. Because that's what relaxation is all about. 

Of course, the one boy around the house has been soaking up his fair share of attention as well. 

It's been really hot here this week, so we decided to wait until late afternoon for another beach day, to avoid the midday heat. We were rewarded with a deserted beach, glass like water, a storm rumbling and thundering way off in the distance, and a gorgeous rainbow followed by a picture perfect sunset. We each took turns floating gently on the boogie boards. It was the most beautiful beach evening and I was so glad to share it with my two favorite women in the world. 

Hopefully the next time I write, it'll be about how glad I am that my sailor is finally home! 

Monday, June 10, 2013

most likely to get me through deployment.

This weekend, my little tiny baby brother, eight years my junior and a good six inches taller than me, who I used to snuggle and watch Winnie the Pooh, who used to wear footie pajamas and have the *most precious* downy curls, graduated high school. And in addition to this achievement, he also got voted "Everybody's Crush" by his senior class in the yearbook. 

That got me thinking about senior picks. And the awards I wish I could give out in real life. And since this deployment is coming to an end (FINALLY!!) I thought I might give out my own, self proclaimed "cruise picks". Because why not? I mentioned in a previous post that this topic could take up it's own post. So, here's to a few of the pretty much awesome ladies that got me through the last ten months and preceding workups. Consider this your reward for all the long phone chats and glasses of wine. Cue the Pomp and Circumstance! 

Most Likely To Pull Me Out Of  A Funk: My Sister Melissa
My sister and I share the freaky sister-y wavelength that acts like a Bat signal to let each other know when the other is in distress. She calls at all the best times. She lets me swear gratuitously when I'm mad and doesn't judge my trucker mouth. She texts me misheard Beyonce lyrics which make me laugh in a way that almost nothing else does. My sister is unconditionally there for me and, maybe with the exception of that one time I had food poisoning, I always feel better after spending time with her, even on the phone. She's also a supremely patient woman who inspires me to be a better person... but if I never get there, I know she'll still like me. 

Most Likely To Talk About Anything Other Than This God Forsaken Deployment: My BFF's Katy and Megan
My two best friends from high school are pretty interesting people whose lives I like to hear about. Megan is pregnant with her first baby and she and her husband are generally a pretty enviously hip couple. And Katy is a pastry chef who lives in Brooklyn and always has lots of interesting sotries about weirdos on the subway. They do the hard work of making sure I don't forget that life exists outside of deployment and the Navy. They listen to me whine for the requisite amount of time that friends are required to listen to whining, then they change the subject and talk about themselves and they pretty much keep it real. Which I need and appreciate. I think everyone should have a Katy and a Megan. 

Most Likely to Let Me Whine WAAAAY Past The Requisite Amount Of Time: My Best Friend Erin
I like to think Erin was my friend before I was really even a real person. We've been friends since the tender age of 12, and she's pretty much been listening to me whine about my life ever since. (Are you seeing a trend here with my friends? I'm a whiner and they are kick ass for listening to me.) I think I hit my quota sometime around 2001, but she's a pretty great friend for letting me keep going. She's let me cry/yell/overanalyze/whine/bitch my way through this deployment and I will be buying her drinks for years to make up for it. 

Best Jesus With Tennis Shoes: My First Navy Friend Kristen
This term comes from something I read somewhere about being the kind of Christian who embodies Christ in a real life way. And I've experienced that with my sweet friend Kristen, who can share a bottle of wine or two and also doesn't judge my trucker mouth and in the same breath speak compassion and grace into my life in a way that is nothing short of refreshing. She's been a special kind of Christian community for me since we met way back in Pensacola, praying for me and making me laugh and helping me see that church can happen in living rooms through tears and with a glass of Merlot in hand. I'm lucky to know her.

Best Reminder Of Home and Least Likely To Be Rid Of Me Anytime Soon: My Homegirl Kristine
Have you ever met someone and tried to play it cool that you really wanted to be friend's with them? Yea. When I first met Kristine at our current duty station and found out she grew up 10 minutes from me and is a Wisconsin girl through and through, I tried to hide how much I wanted her to be my new best friend. Somehow I got lucky and weaseled my way into her life and now I hope she knows she's stuck with me for-evs. She has the best Wisconsin accent and she loves the Packers and Leinie's beer and pretty much she reminds me of home, which is a priceless commodity when you're shuffling around the country like a transient. Also our husbands were deployed together which gives her a special advantage in knowing exactly how to be there for me. She's been a life saver. 

Best All Around: My Mama
My Mom is the real deal. In addition to the fact that she discovered emoji's and sends me the most ridiculous texts, she also shoots real straight and she's a good friend. She sort of embodies a little of each of these other wonderful girls all in one wonderful Mama package. And sometimes she sends me homemade gingersnaps from WI just because she knows they're my fave. I couldn't get through a lot of life without her and this deployment is no exception. 

I am so excited to be in the final countdown and finally be done with this chapter of our lives. I have appreciated these girls so much in helping me get through the past year, but I'm really looking forward to being married again! Almost there!