Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in 12 Photos

Hello there world! I'm not a very good "celebrator" any more. I don't know how to throw very good parties and I don't get invited to very many. New Years from me has been sitting around alone, or tagging along as a 5th wheel. Needless to say, I've never had my "new years smooch". 3 Years ago I was stood up. 2 years ago, I was a tag along. Last year I was playing apples to apples with Elyse and Amanda. Fun fun!

This year looks no different. Chinese food, Netflix, Scrabble, and probably an early bed time. This year is particularly special because I'll get my first kiss at midnight!

I thought it would be fun to post twelve photos from this last year. One from each month. It'll be fun to look back on and remember what the year 2011 looked like for me. It was a big one! Enjoy :)

New years, sitting at the table with my phone and the scarf Dugan sent me from afghanistan. I took that scarf everywhere with me up until I made my build a bear. I don't have very many memories of January but I remember it was cold, I worked a lot, and I missed Dugan oh so much.

There's a moment when you realize that something life changing is about to happen and you cling on to your closest friend. February is the month I left Arizona and I knew I wouldnt be back for awhile. I had to say goodbye to Amantha whom I lived with for practically 3 years collectively. I said goodbye to Seth whom I hadn't spent longer than 3 weeks away from. I said goodbye to all my friends and it wasn't easy. Jessika(pictured above) was especially hard to say goodbye to because we had never known not having each other to run to. February2011 was definitely a very important milestone in my life.

Virginia! Nothing but good memories come from Virginia! I visited the Greenstreets and Hillary for all of March and some of April. I gained some good laughs with my sisters and I gained a new nephew along the way! March was a good month, but it sure strung along. Dugan was due home from deployment on April 18th and it felt like forever. March was the month of anticipation!

The ceremony, the anxiety, the proposal, the wedding, the house hunting. April 2011 will always be one of the most memorable months in my life. I welcomed best friend home, I married him two days later, we waited and waited for a home. It was hard and I admit, it was toughest for me dealing with all the change I took on all at once. But I'm glad I did! 

Boy, did it feel good to be home for the month of May! I clung to my family and friends like a bad cold. I was so happy to tell all about Dugan and I getting married. Dugan was thrilled to see his home again after a year in Afghanistan. In May, we bought our first vehicle, and prepared to take our first long road trip together!

The trip. 4 days. Little to no sleep. My already huge fear of semi trucks worsened on this trip, and I had way too many pickles! We signed off on our first apartment together on base and moved our small amount of things in immediately. June was full of work for Dugan and lots and lots of LOST for me :)

We saw fireworks at Alexandria Bay above the Castle, searched oodles of yard sales and thrift stores in hopes to fill our home. July gave us warm sunny days, swims in the lake, sun bathing, picnics with friends and board games every night!

Visiting home! Watching Julia and R.D. become man and wife. I woke up early and went to bed late. I enjoyed the sunshine and warm weather. I wore shorts every day and drank lemonade. We saw Lake Placid and conquered the wall. August was good to me this year.

We took a fabulous trip to Ohio. Saw Columbus and Cedar Point. We sat down and made the decision to adopt our most favorite little lady and we are so glad we did! September gave us Ramona, red leaves, home made apple cider, and pumpkin fudge.
I watched Andrew Bird in concert and got a visit from my dear dear friend Rachel. I did nothing for Halloween and I don't regret it. It was gloomy and rainy most of the time. New York began to show me what it was really like: cold and dreary.

We remembered a fallen hero, Blake Whipple. I hopped on a plane to Virginia, and Dugan followed for Thanksgiving. Threw a Mario birthday party, watched live dancing with Hillary and played Mario cart every other night. Seth surprised me and I will always remember how grateful I felt on Thanksgiving 2011.

Snow has yet to stick. But golly is it cold up here. December has brought me hot tea. It's brought be Arizona skies and Christmas with my family. December had brought me movies with Dugan. Ice cream and pizza. It's brought me blogging with my fuzzy blanket (what I'm doing currently). It's brought me late mornings and early nights. December2011 is where we spend the last 49 minutes together before 2012. 

2011 has been quite the year for me.
I am happy with life. I am happy with me. The only goal I think I have for 2012 are to keep myself tall until I find my next adventure.

Friday, December 30, 2011


Not saying a word about going home for the holidays was hard! Especially since that's all that has been on my mind for a long time! I was very pleased to pack up my things and head toward my home state. When the plane landed in Phoenix I was so excited i'm surprised I didn't split in two! So, here's what our Christmas in Arizona looked like (feels good to say that):

Day 1: Surprise!
Surprising my mama the morning after our arrival. The video is a little slow paced and dark. I apologize for that. I was just too excited for her to wait to come into the kitchen...

My beautiful mother in law happy as pie after getting a surprise visit from us.

Day 2-3: Fun with friends
Never gets old

Fun with a cluster of old friends. My favorite part of these photos is Seth in the photo on the left and the Fanizza brothers in the background on the far right of the photo on the right.

Day 4: Christmas Eve with family
The goofy kids. We were missing our Greenstreet cousins.
Best big brothers I could ask for.
Love love love my Amantha

Day 5: Christmas Day
The only other photo I have of my mom and dad together are from what looks like the 70s
HAD to get a photo of my parents together on Christmas morning.
Miss Holly on a Holiday!

The last few days I don't have any photos of because I couldn't find time in the day to take pictures. The whole visit, we were jumping from person to person trying to spend as much time as humanly possible with everyone. I am sad that I didn't get a lot of time with Seth due to conflicting schedules and Romeo and Juliet. But I will make up for that in the future. I am happy I got to say goodbye to him before we left on Tuesday night and he knows how dearly I love him and miss him.
Home is even better than I remember it. I can't hardly wait to come back. Merry Christmas everyone. I'll check back with you next year! :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Our Home, Our Safe-Haven

Decorating my first home has been nothing short of a super goal I have set for myself. We moved into this apartment over 7 months ago and the decorating is still not done. Ive been challenged with the obstacle of money and when it comes down to Yard Sale-ing and Thrift Store shopping, all your finds come down to luck and nothing else. I've had a lot of disappointing days where there's nothing worth getting and then I've had days filled with lots of good finds. Almost everything in our apartment except for our mattresses are all used.
The way this apartment looks has been important to me because not only is it my first place to myself, but it's where I spend the majority of my time and I need to love it in order to want to be home. Decorating is still in progress, and I'm unsure whether or not I will ever stop imagining what I want my dream home to look like.

So far, this is how far we have come. There are still a lot of changes I would like to make (repainting the kitchen table, getting a bigger couch, painting some walls) but some of those things might have to wait until we move into our next place. Here is our home so far:

Living Room: Before

Living Room: After

I fall more in love with our living room and dining area everyday. Our Christmas tree is blocking Clint Eastwood poster, but thats what is hiding back there. 

Bathroom: Before                                                                          Bathroom: After

Kitchen: Before

Kitchen: After


I'm trying to keep up with a green and black color scheme in the kitchen for the most part. It's going alright for now considering we can't paint any walls. We also got a new stove recently, so that's an improvement all on its own.

Hallway: Before                                                                         Hallway: After

Just got this rug at Ollies for $20. It's what our bland carpeting has been needing!

Bedroom: Before

Bedroom: After

New bedding set. We only paid about $80 for the set. I'm still looking for a matching bed skirt but they're almost impossible to find! This is my new favorite place in the house. I'm still anxious to find or create something to put on that blank wall behind the bed.

Our new Dresser set we inherited from our friends Seth and Emily. They just moved to North Carolina and didn't want to take these with them so we volunteered to take them off their hands. They match our nightstands perfectly and fill in the empty space we had perfectly. Thanks again, guys!

Like I said, it's all a work in progress still. I take pride in my decorating, and now that I have someone elses style to try and fit into my decorating, it makes it even harder. I can't have things too frilly or girly. 
We like our little home. Although 90% of everything we own is used and hand-me-down, we do with what we got. One day we'll own all new furnature but I quite enjoy making old furnature look new.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas: Celebrations, Spirit, & Photos

We were lucky enough to get a "facebook invite" to an Ugly Christmas Sweater party here on base that a friend of ours was throwing. I didn't spend too much time looking for ugly sweaters because I didn't care to win the contest and I didn't want to spend more than a dollar on each of them. Thrift store finds never let me down! We put on our ugly sweaters and took some nerdy photos in front of our tree with our kitty. The party was fun, we always enjoy spending time with friends!
This is our first Christmas together so I made Dugan help me put up the tree. It looks awful but I'm sure it will look better in years to come. We're excited to spend Christmas together although we both know where our hearts will be- home! I've never spend the holidays away from family or friends so this holiday season will be a struggle to get by, but we'll make it work. I love my life and my nerdy sweater photo.
Also, laugh at us all you want, our kitty is in our family holiday picture!

Happy Holidays Everyone! Ill keep up with holiday events and photos.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

I'm Not Lazy, I'm Sick

Let me be clear, I don't get sick often. But when I do catch something, It sticks for awhile. When it rains it pours. Started feeling bad Sunday evening and of course that was the night before Dugan was leaving for the field. So, here I am at home alone with a cold. I took a trip down to Rochester to lounge around with my friend Elyse and her family. Having her mom there to take care of me for a day and a half made things better. I got home made chicken noodle soup and a pound and a half of vicks vapor rub rubbed on my neck. I feel better today than I did Sunday and Monday and even yesterday but I sound horrible. I can't talk, it just comes out as squeaks. My manager from work called me earlier to see how I was doing and she knew the answer after I said "hello" which actually sounded like "h...*squeak*...ll..*squeak*...o"". She told me there was no way I would be able to take orders and it's best if I just try not to talk very much. Point taken.

Anyway, today I dedicate to laying around and watching Arrested Development and perhaps finishing my book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
This is the first time I've ever been sick and by myself in my entire life. I've always had someone around whether it be my mama or Amantha or Julia to make me soup or hot tea. Now I gotta do it myself and it's certainly twice as hard! I'm adding this to my list of "Reasons To Live Close to Family".

Saturday, December 03, 2011