Life Lately

Life is a little crazy at the moment! We've been trying to plan the next couple months of our life and literally something huge changes every single day! Since we've received our orders the date that we have to fly to Japan has changed 3 times. So basically if I told you I was coming to visit you...don't count on it until I'm actually on the road.
The other huge stress factor is getting Winston over there. I am only reading horror stories about English Bulldogs dying in the cargo section of the plane. So I feel like I'm deciding his fate here. I'm currently looking into every single option possible. I even looked at charting him a private flight out there, until I found out that was about $150,000. Ha! I'm not that crazy. I still have a few ideas up my sleeve, so we'll see what I can manage! If I have to leave him in the states I am going to ball my little eyes out so hard. Who wants to be Winston's backup parents? (like for real)

Speaking of Winston-I'm sooooo grateful to my parents and little brother for watching him this summer! He's had a few illnesses which are never fun and they have treated him just how I would. So THANK YOUUUUU!!!!!

We're hoping to leave here on Sept 20, so it is officially crazytown over here getting things ready! There is apparently a lot to do when you move overseas with the military. BUT I'm taking it at day at a time. It's all gonna be fine. I just wish things would stop changing everyday! It also appears that Duke and I aren't going to be able to fly on the same flight due to Winston. That little booger better realize how much we freaking love him!

All of that aside, life is still goood. We are going to West Virginia this weekend to do some climbing/white water rafting/camping. So that should be fun. Yay for long weekends! Then my mom is coming to visit for a week and we'll be traveling around. And THEN, I get to go to NYC with a couple of friends. So I have some great things to look forward to! It will be exciting and crazy next couple months ahead!
New River Gorge- WV (my pictures won't be this pretty)

Myrtle Beach for our Anniversary!

We went ahead and celebrated our anniversary over the weekend. We went down to Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, which was double exciting because I got to check South Carolina off my states list! I love having an anniversary, because really it's just another reason to have fun and celebrate, and who hates that?!
Also, I would like to brag about my bargain hunting skills for getting hotels. I'm kind of the best at it. I may not be good at singing, or sports, or those other normal talents, but gosh darn it- I can find a deal! Just ask my family. 
Got fancied up for a fancy dinner. (You have to document those times you actually are not wearing pants! and a necklace!-thats a rarity around here)
 And more beaching!

This couple was sitting in front of us, and I couldn't help but think-I hope that's us in 40 years! 


2 years

"You are the finest, loveliest, tenderest, and most beautiful person I have ever known-and even that is an understatement." 
-F. Scott Fitzgerald.
And I'd like to add the that, most adventurous, funnest, silliest, awesomest person ever.
It really has been 2 wonderful whirlwind years. Never thought I'd be living in a hotel in North Carolina 2 years ago today. But that's ok, because I never know what's in store and I like that sense of adventure!


Exploring North Carolina--The Outer Banks

The last place we went with Duke's mom was to the Outer Banks. I have heard so many people rave about this place and was excited to go! I was super sad it was rainy and somewhat chilly and so we didn't really check out the beaches. Instead we checked out the Wright Brothers monument in Kitty Hawk/Kill Devil Hills area and found some fun sand dunes to run around and take jumping pictures. It was pretty fun all in all!
Sand Dunes! You can't tell, but from the road, they are actually pretty big. You're just gonna have to take my word for it.


Exploring North Carolina--Raleigh

whale skeleton
Raleigh is about 2 hours away and this was my first trip. I liked what I saw and will definitely be back. (well..if we have time!) We visited the Natural History Museum, Historic Oakwood district, and the capitol building. There is definitely more to do, but this is just a peek!
this skeleton is from an endangered whale that died and was prego :( (see the baby whale?)
 Ate at Irregardless Cafe-Highly recommend!!
 This berry/peach crisp was insanely good. I have been dreaming about it.
 Cute Houses from the historic district
 Love me a Magnolia Tree


Exploring North Carolina--Wilmington

I want to start this post by saying something about loving where you live. This has been a bit of a struggle for me in my married life. We've lived in small towns that really don't have a TON to offer. However, I have found that for me, loving where I live means going beyond the boundaries of my town. Jacksonville may be a dinky little town, but within a few hours there is lots to see and do!

Duke's mom was out here for a long weekend visiting and I got to play tour guide! I'm glad because it pushed me to explore the area a little bit more. 
We drove an hour south to Wilmington and explored the USS North Carolina. I read almost every sign (which I never do-I'm a skimmer) and all I really learned is that living on a boat with a bunch of Navy men/Marines sounds like prison. (Maybe worse-it's a close call). No thank you.
We visited the Bellamy Mansion and Popular Grove Plantiaton (below)
thats what tobacco plants look like^ who knew?!
My favorite part was probably these guys. They were cock-a-doodle-dooing and I loved it.
On our way to dinner I got to meet this guy. His name is Claude and the only thing he said was "apple".

Also if you are in the area we ate at two great restaurants- Chop Deli-awwwwesome sandwiches and The Basics. (I got the Green Fried Tomatoes and felt like a true southerner that day). I also can't say enough about how good Osteria Cicchetti is. SOO soo good.


Seattle Part II

 The rest of the time we were in Seattle we spent time with Hannahs family getting ready for the big day and trying to fit in some time to relax. The first few pictures are from the Seattle temple a few days before the wedding. Aren't Hannah and Tyler just the cutest?
 Admiring the Lims garden.
 I got a new lens right before I left for the trip. So Britt and Jules posed for me to practice a bit. I'm pretty sure modeling is the next career step for these two. ;)
 Oh helloo! We were a little camera happy that night. I'm pretty good at posing too. Obviously.
 Hannah's dad is from the Philippines and made us some traditional Filipino food one night. It was SO GOOD. Pictured below is Lumpia- the Filipinos version of the egg roll, we also had Filipino adobo, some stir fry, and some radishes soaked in a vinegar/sugar mix. Loved it all.