Friday, August 2, 2013

I'm Back!

After almost a year long sabbatical from blogging (those two posts really took a lot out of me!) I'm back again, and I have a lot of catching up to do!

My cousin successfully married the man of her dreams, and the good news is, I didn't fall flat on my face on the sloped aisle of the church (if you saw that aisle, you would also consider this a huge accomplishment!). I also successfully married the man of my dreams, and while there was some minor drama immediately leading up to the big day, everything went off perfectly! If you haven't already experienced your own wedding, believe people when they tell you that it FLIES by! We spent a year planning and prepping, scouring thrift stores and craft stores, painting and placing, and there is this huge build up of momentum and excitement, and then the next thing we know we're waking up the next morning with an unopened bottle of champagne on the hotel night stand and I have a headache from the 146 bobby pins still poking my head because I was just too exhausted to pull them all out the night before! But I wouldn't have changed a thing, because also when I woke up that morning, I was married to my best friend, which really was the point of the whole weekend!

We spent the most amazing week in northern California for our honeymoon...we flew into San Francisco, and after a quick lunch at In-and-Out...drove up to Napa Valley. We toured winery and art room at The Hess Collection, which has the most AMAZING drive leading up to it's STUNNING property. We stayed at the most beautifully laid out Embassy Suites I've ever seen, and spent the next morning driving up Route 29, stopping at the very tip of wine country in Windsor, CA (yes, we did that on purpose!) at Martinelli Winery's tasting house, where we probably held the world record for time it took to complete a tasting (we spent 2.5 hours with the lady having a great conversation and enjoying the wine!). We stopped and had lunch at a place called Willi's Wine Bar, a very trendy and delicious appetizer and wine joint. We spent the rest of the week in San Francisco, doing some of the touristy things...rode the ferry to Alcatraz...went shopping...ate chocolate in Ghirardelli Square...rode the cable cars...Golden Gate Bridge...ate the most expensive lunch at a oceanfront restaurant on Fisherman's Wharf...more shopping...and well, you get it.

Now we're almost 5 months in and we're working through a lot of firsts! We're in the process of buying our first house...and we're beginning the countdown until our first deployment. We've already received an overwhelming amount of support from both of our families, friends, and our Navy family! I plan on using this blog to work through this next year and a half.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Bucket List

So...Brittany -my cousin, best friend, and sister I never had- is getting married tomorrow! Words cannot express the joy I feel knowing that she will be spending her life with the most amazing man I could ever have imagined for her. Sean and Britt- I love you both and wish you all the happiness life with each other can provide!

The other day when I was picking out my shoes for the wedding, I started thinking, "Man, I can't believe Britt's getting married!" After about ten minutes reminiscing the good ol' days, it was then that I realized just how fast the time does fly by, and not only in that cliche way of "time flies when you're having fun." Hypothetically speaking, if we live to be 100, at 24 & 26, we're a quarter of the way through our lives. As a girl, I had such huge expectations and dreams for the life ahead of me, and in the midst of my daydreaming about the future, I missed the part that my child self passed the baton to my adult self.

So, the past few days I spent some time putting together my bucket list. While some I've thought up on my own over the course of my life, I had help with others, through friends and via the web.

1. Take a romantic picnic lunch.
2. Skydive (or bunjee jump...)
3. Visit at least 5 countries not connected to the continental US
4. Meet a Hollywood star
5. Learn to Salsa..and Tango..and Cha Cha...
6. Become a parent
7. Run a marathon
8. Visit the Renaissance Fair
9. Attend a major sporting event
10. Become familiar in another language and culture
11. Fly a plane
12. Visit all 50 states (25 down! I only count the ones I've actually skimmed by on a highway)
13. Visit all 30 MLB Stadiums (4 down!)
14. Go to Las Vegas
15. Go to Disney World
16. Learn to play poker (and win!)
17. Take a cruise
18. Graduate college
19. Donate blood
20. Swim with a dolphin
21. Be a mentor
22. See the 7 Wonders of the World
23. Experience a sunrise on the beach
24. Watch the sun set from the beach
25. See the Mona Lisa (and other famous masterpieces)
26. Learn to bartend
27. Get kissed in the rain
28. Volunteer for a cause that means a lot to me
29. Ride the Top 10 Highest Roller Coasters
30. Try scuba diving or snorkeling
31. Experience the backside of a waterfall
32. Buy a house
33. Take a spontaneous road trip
34. Make someone's day...often
35. Find my life's passion...and pursue it
36. Try vegetarianism for at least 21 days
37. Climb the Statue of Liberty
38. Ride a gondola in Venice
39. Sing kareoke
40. Take a photography class

I also have a few unlisted personal ones as well as a few I have already accomplished. I feel like this is a pretty good list, that meets my wide array of interests, and if anyone has any other ideas or comments, please feel free to leave them :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Like a Virgin...

This will be my first "blog" since my Xanga back in high school. That's right..Xanga, for those of you who even know or remember what that is...the cool kids used it to post lyrics, or rants, or declare their undying love for the flavor of the week...and you could "pin" images and icons just like they were pieces of flair...the more the better! (And although it's changed a little bit, it's still around...I checked!)

Since it's been a while, it will take a post or two to get back in the habit of "publishing" my thoughts, so I'm just going to start by introducing myself and we'll just see where that leads.

My name is Amanda; I am currently 24 years old. I am the oldest of three, my two brothers, Travis and Tyler, are both in the Navy and are stationed elsewhere. I have tons of interests and hobbies: I love animals! I have two dogs, a 2 1/2 year old Pitt Mix named Penny Lane, and a 3 pound long haired Chihuahua named Abbey Road (aka, Penny and Abbey). Can you tell I also like the Beatles? My fiance, Ben, is also in the Navy. He has been my best friend for the past 4 years, and I can't wait to become his wife on March 16 of next year. I love photography, I wish I had more time for it. I love rumaging through thrift stores and making projects out of my finds. I love baseball (GO ROYALS!). Ben and I have been to the Royals' home opener every year together since we started dating, it's kind of a tradition. I love movies; I used to be a master at Name-that-Movie, but I've slacked off the past few years, I have a lot of movies to catch up on! Oh, and I love love love to travel!! Me and Ben have taken at least one vacation together each year, and recently we made it our goal to see a game at each of the 30 MLB stadiums. So far we've been to 4 stadiums together, and a fifth's parking lot....yeah I know, that doesn't count.

One of my most favorite qualities about myself is my ability to appreciate and take pride in the little things. Things such as the way the air smells in October; curling up in my chair with a good book and a glass of wine; seeing my girls (the dogs) run up excited to see me when I get home from work; hugs, from just about anyone; the smell and sound of bacon (and coffee!) cooking in the morning;  a genuine smile from a stranger; the lightness of snow falling on and around my face.
Now that I'm starting to sound more like a personal ad than a person, I'm going to call it a night. But I will leave you with a few pictures of some of my favorite people (and dogs!)
Benjamin and I

Ben, Me, Erin, Brittney

Ben performing a color guard at Royals' game. So proud!

Travis, Tyler. Good luck ever getting a good picture of these two, one or the other is always goofing off, if not both of them!
Penny Lane
Abbey Road