Monday, July 30, 2012

And the south gets dirtier...

 Today we went to the oldest city in the United States, otherwise known as St. Augustine. Patrick and I had our first date at the St. Augustine lighthouse and it was sweet to go back. Caitlin and I frequented St. Augustine as our favorite surf spot back in the day so I showed Patrick some of our old digs. It stormed all day so we didn't get to make it to the Alligator farm which is number seven on our to-do list. We did happen check out the San Sebastian Winery though, which I'm glad we did. Basically, Florida wine isn't too great. It's way too sweet and I felt like I needed a root canal as soon as I tried the dessert wines. I don't really care for sweeter wines to begin with so that was torture. I learned that Florida started their vineyards about half-a-century before California did, so HA, Florida is good for something. We bought a Blanc Du Bois which was the best-tasting wine they had.
After the winery, Patrick and I headed back to my old stomping grounds at Mellow. It was lovely to see some familiar faces and we had a great time watching the Olympics and catching up with our friends. My biffles returns tomorrow and I am so excited to see her! She graduates on Friday and I am such a proud best friend. I found a bunch of adorable pictures at my parents house which I'll be posting eventually. Goodness I hope my kids are half as cute as my brother and I were. <3

Florida wine & Summer-time! Takes one and two.
Children don't get much cuter than this.
San Sebastian winery

My sweet puppy who isn't allowed in the hot tub.

Mellow & San Sebastian
Ohh the hilariousness.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Dirty South... Day One

Oh how I miss this entire area. The south is such a wonderful place. The crickets, the humidity, the hospitality. Patrick and I spent the night relaxing by the pool listening to jazz and drinking summer shandy while Jack and my dad splashed around. Right now the fiber optics are cycling and the golfers are strolling on by with their Arnold Palmers and their five irons. Tomorrow we're going to take Jack to Spring Park, last time he was there he almost slaughtered a squirrel, maybe this time he'll have a little more luck! It's starting to storm but pictures of today to come shortly! <3

Hardly here 20 minutes and he's already wanting to play.

Spending the next week with these three!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Jax in T-Minus 72 hours..

For those who may not know, I grew up mainly in two places, Australia and Jacksonville.  I lived in Australia for about 11 years, was born and basically raised there until I reached junior high. I had a very thick Australian accent. When we moved states-side I would say things and people wouldn't know what I was talking about. "Reckon, footy, this arvo, docket, Mackas," the list goes on. Every once in a while though, my accents rears itself, like when I'm frustrated or excited or drunk. I plan on digging through the box of photographs at my parents house this weekend while we're in Jacksonville to find some goodies.

Speaking of Jacksonville, we leave early Saturday morning and I am so crazy pumped to see everyone. I spent today and yesterday at the beach and there were tons of jumping dolphins. Tonight starts our women's league so now we have volleyball twice a week. The day after we get back from Jacksonville, Andrew comes.  He keeps telling me how excited he is, and we're very excited to have him!

Chicken Provençal & bread pudding!
This picture makes me laugh. He was actually looking both ways, not glaring.
Natural laughter at its best! This was taken Saturday night at dinner.
Seriously how freaking adorable is this? Jealousy-Jack rearing his head.

Friday, July 20, 2012

It's Official!

Officially a NASM Certified Personal Trainer! Passed the board exam on Wednesday.. This is an updated post.

Could barely contain my excitement long enough to take a picture!

 The exam was proctored at a random airport where you can learn how to fly little planes! That's going on my leaving Florida bucket list.  Learn how to fly a plane..... Maybe. I went into the exam pretty nervous and had the typical nervous dreams where I'm either late, naked or I fail. My lovah treated me to our favorite Vietnamese restaurant for dinner and we vegged on the couch the rest of the night. I was hoping to be at the beach the next few days, although it's not looking all too likely with these storms rolling in.  

Haha, so something that made Patrick and me chuckle Tuesday was seeing another fake profile - this time it was Instagram. When someone "follows" my friends and tries to make it look like they're someone I know, they should at least know which friends I lived in which countries with so at least it looks legit.  Not to mention, adding all of the pictures at once and having zero followers doesn't really add credibility to the profile, so I would suggest making it look realistic before trying to creep on me or my friends. Sheesh. 

On another note, thinking about the victims in the Colorado shooting. I spoke with Alina first thing this morning to make sure she was okay and it turns out she actually went to school with the suspect. Apparently he was a Ph.D candidate but was in the process of withdrawing. Such a tragedy. It's just a reminder of how short life is and how truly senseless and evil society can be. I can't imagine the terror that the victims went through. I hope the families of the victims get the answers they need and can find peace in this awful hardship.

Last night on our walk! Beautiful marsh.
Soaked. At our volleyball tournament in a storm Tuesday night.
Moi, Afghan all-star, Kelly and Dr. D is behind Ricky.
Yum! Chicken & pesto stacks with fresh mozzarella.
Do you like how stereotypical Florida this picture is? Palm trees and mini planes?

Monday, July 16, 2012


Listening to: Greg Maroney/Patrick whistling

I am housewife extraordinaire! For dinner I baked crab-stuffed salmon with a radish salad and a blend of wild rices - which were kind of ehh. I actually wrote the majority of this post earlier and forgot to publish it so I had to change some stuff up.  Patrick and I just got back from a long walk with bubba-Jack.  Recently we've been encouraging him to do some funny crap, literally, like pooping in bushes. The biggest inconvenience on our walks is when he stops to go in a spot no where near a trash can. One day he backed his big yellow booty up to a small bush and let it go. I was pumped! It was the greatest thing he had ever done. I feel odd writing about my dog's poop-status but he's been doing it so frequently lately that we now save money on poop-bags and hand sanitizer! Plus, it makes us laugh. After our walk, being such a manly-man, Patrick tackled a huge wasp nest that was stuck to the side of our house. A pretty funny endeavor, but alas, the nest is toast.
I accomplished something this weekend that I've been wanted to do for a couple weeks now.  The  squadron gym has a 330-pound tire that I had been dying to flip, I had been practicing on one that was slightly smaller and flipping it with no problem at all. I decided yesterday that I was flipping that damn thing! After the first couple tries (and three sets of bench later), I couldn't get it. I became rather frustrated and was ready to give up.  I think channeling the frustration into a strength exercise was beneficial because I then flipped it like it was nothing.  After the initial flip it was like cake to flip over and over again.  I'm probably the Hulk.
We had a fantastic weekend and we finally had the lazy-Sunday we've been wanting.
Saturday I discovered glass etching and now all of our Pyrex dishes say "Thomas," in lovely lettering.  I also etched our white wine glasses to say, "sip," "swirl," and "savor." So fun! Also Saturday night we took Jack to the beach and watched him chase and dig for fiddler crabs. He was filthy afterwards. The next couple of days should be eventful and I may even post two days in a row. We shall see.
I figured since I forgot to publish this that I'd add a couple more pictures and my tire video! 

HELL YES! I have been waiting so long to flip this badboy.
Hilarious watching him dig for crabs!
Found one! Isn't that yellow handsome?
Hermit crab! Took him forever to start crawling on me. This was tonight.
 Can you see bud digging in the background?
I'm in love with etching.
Grilling my first steak!
Voila! With thyme roasted accordion potatoes and my favorite veggie.

Fin <3

Thursday, July 12, 2012

What's better than...

The little things? Not a lot, really.  Not having to carry a cell phone because everyone I love is around me, rolling over and listening to Patrick and Jack wheeze when I wake up, because it means that he's home safe and not deployed. WineTime with Caitlin, WineTime with Linda while Patrick and Steve play Gran-tourismo, skyping with my sweet nephews and letting them read books to me, knowing that tomorrow is Friday and that I loved immensely and very supported by many people.

I don't really remember the last time I was outside at seven in the morning before today.  I walked outside with Jack to take him potty instead of letting him go solo like I usually do. It was dead silent. No traffic to be heard; only crickets, the creek flowing and birdies. Yeah, not a lot better than the little things.

I love to have company. Which is why I'm super pumped that Andrew is visiting next month! He'll be flying out the day after we get back from Jacksonville and staying for a week. It's always nice when the in-laws visit us during the year to avoid the grueling holiday crowds that we usually endure on our way to California for Christmas. I think this Christmas will be the first we don't go to California.  I'm thinking a destination Christmas this year.  Maybe it's too early to be thinking about Christmas? Mehh, I can't really help it. July makes me think of Fall and Fall makes me think of the holidays. Needless to say, I AM EXCITED! I'm more excited however, to spend time with my dad. I'm bummed that my mom won't be accompanying his visit though, unfortunately she is bound to a specific contract in Germany, the good news is though, that she will be finished in August and then it's back to Florida for the both of them.

A year ago at 11.6% body fat while Patrick was deployed. Measured this morning and I am the same!
My biffles!
WineTime number two, cheers!
Our favorite thing to do!
Reminds me of one of the first pictures we took together. I'll have to find that one!
Such a lovely picture.
We had a bubble blowing competition. I think I won.

Monday, July 09, 2012

The bearer

Caitlin recently broke news to me that Toby accepted a position in Mississippi.  He'll be leaving in about two weeks. Right now, Caitlin is contemplating a move to be with him. I completely understand what she is going through because I had the same questions, hesitations and excitement when Patrick asked me to move in with him.  What about school? What about my job? What if it doesn't work?  Luckily, I transferred schools with complete ease and graduated, transferred jobs and got married to Patrick! Caitlin will be starting grad school in the fall and I cannot be more proud of her.  She's been looking at Mississippi University and I think it would be a fabulous idea if her and Toby decided to move in together.
On that same note, I've been throwing around the idea of taking the GRE or MCAT, because in all honesty, I'm not satisfied with just Bachelor's degree. Having an RN as a mother, an aeronautical engineer as a father, a Pararescue Jumper as a brother and a soon-to-be Physician's Assistant as a husband, has set me up to strive for bigger and better.  Within a month I will be board certified in three different areas, but that's still not enough for me.  I took all honors classes in high school, was president of the photography club, vice president of the Spanish Honor Society, a member of Spanish Club and Future Business Leaders of America, was a part time nanny, worked a full time job at a gym, took three college classes AND still had a social life.  Needless to say I was a pretty distinguished kid.  How in the hell did I manage my time?! I can barely hit the gym, beach, study and cook dinner in a day now.  Kidding of course.
Saturday I got a much appreciated mani/pedi. My poor foot and ankle have been swollen because I got bit by spider or some insect of the like, while helping an old lady who had fallen in the woods near my house. She told me she feeds the animals left over breads. She was foreign and I'm assuming she either worked at a bakery or is a baker. She was obviously very upset so it was nice to help.
Patrick and I checked out SCUBA gear this weekend and will be ordering our own BCs and regs this week and I am so very excited for that! It's much nicer, (I assume) to dive with your own gear instead of renting. Only couple weeks left until we go to Jacksonville! We've made a "Jacksonville To-Do List," which I'll be posting within the next couple days, among other things. I feel like I have quite a bit to write about so I'll have to break it into a couple separate posts. <3
Such a cute picture. Patrick took this one.
Tonight's dinner. Chicken Bearnaise with a pinot grigio. 
They're so sweet!
Patrick snapped this one while she was looking down at him.
Love to eat clean! Alaskan salmon and tarragon lentils.
I love my decanter!
Thursday's dinner, chicken curry, spinach saag and cardamom rice.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Love a good storm, even if it's at 4AM

Well! Patrick and I have been awake since 4:00 due to the massive hail-producing thunderstorm that's rolling through! Fortunately he just fell back asleep so that leaves me wide awake and wanting to make use of time. Figured I'd post some pictures. Excuse any typos.

Milton, Florida.  Patrick and I spent the day in Milton on Monday and stopped by the farmer's market on the way home. It was lovely! We bought Hawaiian sweet potatoes, a yellow mango, a 25-pound watermelon and Cajun mix. The original plan with the 25-pound watermelon was to fill it with vodka, but we realized we'd need at least two handles of vodka to adequately soak the melon. So we went and bought a smaller one. At one point we had at least 35 pounds of watermelon. Also Monday, we saw the new Madea movie, had we been together, Caitlin and I would have gone to see it with each other. Naturally, however, since we're apart, Toby took Caitlin and Patrick took me. It was kind of like seeing it together!

Tuesday night of course was volleyball. We won two of our games and went into a third game rally. Wednesday was the fourth and we ate our vodka soaked watermelon at Patrick's band mate's house.  Once we got to the house it felt like Talladega Nights, kids everywhere!  The good news is, that it was a blast. Not to mention, the little girls adored me and played with my hair the entire time. The youngest boy had a red mow-hawk and thought it'd be a brilliant idea to pee on the side of the house. The same little girls that were playing with my hair wouldn't stop telling me how much they wished they were 21! Too funny.

Last night I baked poppy seed muffins with an orange butter glaze and you can trust that they were tasty. It looks like it's going to storm all day but since I'm up so early I'll probably make apple cinnamon waffles. Mmm. :)

I'm about to go INSANE with pictures. I wrote more than I thought I would.

Too bad this couldn't happen not at 4 in the morning.
Fourth of July on our dock.
Watching fireworks with my dudes.
Self explanatory.
Red, white and blue! Not bad for an Aussie, huh?
I'm thankful for pic-stitch, other wise there would be too many pictures.
The best afternoon southern martini!
Top is Linda's Chicken Tortilla Chili and bottom is plain ol' Minestrone. Made these the last couple days.
The watermelon literally made my legs lose circulation on the way home.

Monday, July 02, 2012


Wow, I cannot believe it's already July.  It's almost football season and the year is more than half way over, crazy. A lot has happened in this past year and I'm so thankful Patrick isn't deploying this year. We had a pretty awesome weekend despite the ungodly humid weather. Saturday we went out on Johnny's boat to dive, there were nine of us. We saw some dolphins and a huge sea turtle along with hundreds of Spadefish and Red Snapper. Thankfully there were no sharks this time because spearfishing with bull sharks makes for a hell of an adrenaline rush. The coolest part about spear fishing and while you're SCUBA diving is the fact that the farther down you go, the more colors disappear. Well, red is the first color to go and when you spear the fish they bleed green. Probably the most eventful part of the day was when we had the cops called on us! Apparently someone called the Coast Guard and told them we were spearing Grouper, which we definitely were not.  The cops showed up on the boat, made every single one of us pick up tanks, open all the containers and the live well so they could check for the "sacred" fish, lo and behold - no grouper. Had we actually had the fish, it would have been delicious and would have made some awesome fish tacos.

That night, sun-kissed and exhausted, we vegged out on the couch and watched the Olympic trials. I asked Patrick if he could do any Olympic sport what would he do, he said sprinting. Mine would be beach volleyball or butterfly. 

Sunday I made garlic-turmeric hummus, banana peanut butter muffins and rosemary chicken with roasted asparagus. Right now I'm drinking coffee, which is actually from one of the coffee shops Patrick and I frequent in Santa Rosa - and looking at the blue bird outside that's trying to harass the little finches eating out of the feeder. Patrick took leave the next few days so we're pretty happy about that! I'm thinking egg white veggie omelets with feta, berries and french bread toast for breakfast today. Yep. Sounds like a good day already.


I make perfect beach hair.

Momma dolphin and her calf by the jetties.
Atlantic Spadefish, yum!

Hummus, Toad Hollow, Dinner :)

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