Life

Hello, Gorgeous.

 

Okay fine, I’ll accept that I’m not Fanny Brice (but a girl can dream, right? Rachel Berry does it…)

Or Ariel for that matter… What the heck, I’m blonde…

Anyway, it’s been a while. And by while I mean more than two months because apparently when a gal gets married these days, blogging no longer matters.

WRONG.

Just a little update:

  • I have a husband! HUSBAND. I mean he’s heading to our next base in 9 days, but who’s counting? (hint: me)
  • I’m working hard to get my fitness and nutrition in check (and by hard, I mean with the occasional cookie).
  • I finally quit smoking.
  • My husband (still can’t get over that word) and I replaced our Camel Menthol Silvers with these babies

PS, iTaste did not endorse me to say this, but, THESE ARE THE GREATEST INVENTION EVER. If your idea of an E-Cig is the crappy gas station ones that die after three days, I’m here to change your mind. There are endless flavor choices and you can gradually lower your nicotine intake. But hell, if I’m not smoking chemicals, I’m totally okay with being addicted to nicotine for the rest of my life. TheVaporChef has flavors like Nutella, Butter Beer and ‘Unicorn Poop’. I have only one word for these things — AMAZEBALLS.

You’ve probably read that my beautiful co-writer, Lyss, and her husband are expected a little peanut this Fall. I’m beyond excited for them! But we also found out we won’t be together when school is over, so that’s a bummer.

I’ll keep this short and sweet. I’m going to start blogging regularly again because my hobby habits are at an all time low. What’s a girl to do when she only has a week left with her new Hubby and will be apart for the first time since tying the knot?

Aside from that, life is good. I’m happy, healthy and excited for the new chapter in my life– and can’t wait to take you all with me.

Until next time, Gorgeous.

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Life

Confessions of a Wander Luster

People all throughout time have found passion and desire that come with international travel. Discovering new cultures, languages, food and sights has become one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever known. Not including vacations to the Caribbean with my family, most of the exploring I’ve done was in Germany. Connecting with my Western European roots and being on my own as a teenager was mesmerizing and now in my 20s, want nothing more than to continue on the road less traveled.

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My grandmother grew up in a very small house in an East-Berlin neighborhood. Her cousins lived down the street and they grew up with ration cards and limited garden space. My great grandma (we called her Oma) was the OG of single moms. How many women do you know that raised 2 kids on her own in post-WWII Germany? Probably not that many. Not to mention, the East side of the wall was not the place to be after the war. That part of the city has changed drastically since then. My grandma has been back, my mom has been back, and so have I. There are car dealerships, grocery stores, parks and boutiques. But the original cobblestones are still laying in the Straßen (streets) and you can still walk down to the Rewe to get groceries.

I knew exactly how I wanted to spend my life—exploration. Let’s be real, it’s 2013 and airlines love to charge the equivalent of a down payment on a new car to get one person across the world. Ain’t nobody got time (or money) for that. So naturally, I joined the Air Force. Little did I know, I ended up with a job that has the longest training and after more than a year, I have yet to see the world—with the exception of San Antonio and Monterey.

These are the confessions of my guilty pleasures.

 

Castles

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Dillenburg & Schloss Sanssouci are two of my favorite spots in the entire country to walk around. Hundreds of miles apart and completely different styles of buildings, I can appreciate the beauty in both. Dillenburg (top picture) is a very classic Prussian style castle. There are hidden passageways, winding stairs and rooms that were dedicated to crown jewels. Schloss Sanssouci (bottom picture) was obviously heavily influenced by the Italians. It literally feels like you leave Berlin and step into Sicily.

Being in two places at once

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As weird as this sounds, it is such a cool feeling. An iron and brick laden track runs throughout the city of Berlin to indicate where the wall used to stand. I always love to stand with one foot in each sector, no matter how old I get. The Berlin Wall separated Germany’s capitol for almost 30 years and it’s insane to me how different both sides of the city used to be, while currently being unidentifiable.

 

Spaghettieis

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I don’t know why this particular dish is such a big deal to me. Maybe because it’s not something I can buy or make while at home in America? It tastes just like every other ice cream sundae—yet somehow it isn’t. Compiled of vanilla ice cream “noodles”, strawberry compode “marinara sauce” and white chocolate “shaved parmesan”, adults and kids fawn over this stuff; and for good reason.

Cathedrals

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If you’re German, you’re either Catholic or Lutheran (or a Turk who’s family moved here from Istanbul and are a practicing Muslim, which is totally cool too). The gothic architecture of the southern parts of Germany are completely different from the romantic buildings of the North; both equally as beautiful. I can’t get enough. The Köln and Berliner Dom are definitely my favorites.

Bars

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Okay, obviously I think this is the best part because I’m not old enough to drink in America—but it’s not even to go out and get drunk. Having the ability to go out to dinner with friends and family and ordering a vintage wine, local stout or handcrafted cocktail is what I enjoy. I have a better nose for drinks than most people my age (outside of raspberry Smirnoff and lukewarm PBR). And let’s take a minute to appreciate Sky Bar that sits atop the 18th floor of one of the city’s skyscrapers and has panoramic windows for sightseeing. I did so while sipping a strawberry & balsamic martini—yum.

 

Family

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My parents have been divorced since I was in the first grade and we spent most of my childhood moving around. Until my brothers, mom and I settled in WA State, we hadn’t lived around family for a long time. When I’m in Berlin, so much of my family is within walking distance (or a short S-bahn ride). My Uncle Berndt owns a restaurant 3 blocks away from his house (where I usually stay with him and my Tante Hannelore) and I could stay there and drink beer late into the night just chatting; and I have. Plus, they have so many stories to tell and always have coffee and kuchen ready for me, how could I not love being around them?

 

Olympic Stadium

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I’m sporty. I like to watch sports, play sports, and read about them. Granted, Germany hasn’t had the best luck with hosting the Olympic Games. In the 30s, the Nazi regime held back colored athletes. In the 70s, there was a terrorist attack and athletes were kidnapped. But standing at the doors of some of the world’s most talented athletes is overwhelming. The structure of the building and vibe it gives off is just plain awesome.

Beach

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When you think of traveling to Europe, not everyone’s first thought is going to catch some rays. But everyone forgets the Baltic Sea; I like to call it the hidden treasure. Germany has an equivalent to Jersey Shore where 20-somethings go to Rostock and party 24/7. I spent some time at Warnemünde and day dream about going back all the time. Drinking beer and napping in the sand; it doesn’t get much better.

 

Tennis

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I had literally never once picked up a racket until I went back to Germany last summer. My grandma’s cousin Gerde and her husband Peter (the most adorable elderly couple in existence) have been part of the Berlin Tennis Club longer than I’ve been alive. They both have a killer serve and my Uncle Peter spent 4 hours last summer giving me some basic lessons.

Go out and experience things for yourself. These are some of my favorite spots, but don’t limit yourself. I have so many countries that I want to visit once I have the time. 

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Life

Mutti, Madre, Mère

We had to translate a sentence into English this morning on our quiz, “Mother’s Day is a special day and on it, sons present their mothers with a gift”—which got me thinking. Is that one random day in the springtime enough for 18+ years (hell, a lifetime) of hard work and sacrifice?

“As mothers and daughters, we are connected with one another. My mother is the bones of my spine, keeping me straight and true. She is my blood, making sure it runs rich and strong. She is the beating of my heart. I cannot now imagine a life without her.”

Kristin Hannah, Summer Island

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My mom is nothing short of heaven-sent. She has over 26 years of military service under her belt, raised 6 kids in a blended family and still manages to be a great wife and take care of herself. There is nobody I admire as much as her. If someone needed the perfect blend of loving and kickass, she’d be it.

You’ve been there for everything, even though you weren’t always physically there. You’ve let me crawl into bed with you when I was having nightmares and got me medicine past midnight if my tummy was hurting. You took me shopping for new clothes just because we could and braided my hair when I still didn’t know how. You played multiple roles—seamstress, co-fort builder, tea party guest, personal chef, lady in waiting when I was a princess, first aid assistant, teacher, personal stylist, hairdresser, guidance counselor, dessert taste tester, and countless more. We will forever tell each other to “shut your mouth” and squeal over the wittle baby dolphins. You put up with me no matter how bratty I got and without fail, always tell me to “get my fingers out of my mouth” when I go to bite my nails. You endlessly photographed my crazy eyes and always made me life size dresses identical to what my Barbies had. You were there to save the day when I accidentally shaved off my eyebrow and helped me cut a round brush out of my bangs—let’s not forget how much peanut butter you had to put in my hair over the years to get gum out. There isn’t anything you didn’t do for me, and there’s not a single thing I wouldn’t ever do for you.

At 20, not many people appreciate their mom as much as they should. During high school, I’m sure that’s an even larger number. I’ve always had a very close relationship with my mother. She’s my best friend, my number one fan and most importantly, she’s my mommy. Nobody will ever come before her on my ‘favorites’ in my iPhone—doesn’t matter who you are. I will always go to her first for advice and once I get rich, she’s finally going to get her private island (a woodsy one, of course; not tropical. There will be deer and bunnies and fog and chirping birds).

We’re both stationed away from home at the moment. She’s finishing up at the Senior NCO Academy in preparation for her promotion to Senior Master Sergeant. Somehow, in the midst of studying and writing speeches and running 5k’s, she has managed to plan practically my entire wedding from 5000 miles away from home. Every last detail has come down to her; she’s definitely made my life a lot easier. If I get stressed, she’s a phone call away to metaphorically rub my temples. Don’t ever underestimate your mom, they’re capable of some pretty amazing things—remember? They made you.

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Life

Things I’m Determined To Do In My Twenties

Today is my 20th birthday and while excited for the years ahead with my amazing husband-to-be, friends, family and coworkers—I can’t help but realize how adventurous and exciting my teen years were. Shouldn’t my twenties be even more so? I mean… I started driving, traveled Europe, graduated high school, joined the Air Force, fell in love and got engaged, so now what? How do I top myself?

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QUIT GIVING A FLYING FUCK

Well… to be more specific, giving a flying fuck about the opinions that belong to those who don’t matter to me. I spent a lot of time in my teens pining over how much people did or didn’t like me. I’m a grown ass woman with my entire career ahead of me—why should I care what petty little girls (or guys, for that matter) have to say about me? That’s right, I shouldn’t. And neither should you!

BE MORE HONEST WITH MYSELF

I will cut back on smoking. I’m going to run more often. I am definitely going to stop eating so many Swiss Cake Rolls. You know what? Maybe some days I don’t feel like going to the gym. That day may also happen to be the day where I smoke like a chimney and inhale a Little Debbie chocolate coated ball of glory. OH WELL GRANNY PANTIES GET OVER IT. I’m a generally healthy person—being as my job requires me to be. But we’re young. We have to live a little!

MANAGE MY FINANCES MORE RESPONSIBLY

Getting married is obviously going to shake things up a bit. Jason and I will get promoted within about a year of being married, which is good. More money is always good. And we’ll be getting BAH which is also good because we won’t need to use all of it for rent, and will just have more cushion – financially speaking of course. But that doesn’t mean we can live above our means; I have a car payment, he has credit card bills, we both have cell phones and we’ll start to live like real grownups! I want to have a large chunk of savings if anything were to happen to either of us, and so we can plan for kids in the future! My parents were always superb at keeping their budget in check. I only hope we can be like that!

RAISE A DOG AS OUR OWN

I know I mentioned children, but that will be a few years before we decide to have one. How do I balance that feeling? PUPPIES of course! Our job deploys a lot and we both spend 7+ hours away from home per day, but I recently discovered Pointadors. They may just be one of the most adorable breeds of dog I’ve ever laid eyes on. Growing up in a big family, I never really had an animal that thought of me as mom. It’s just a good feeling, you know?

I’ll just leave this here…

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Lastly…

BE THE BEST WIFE EVER

Jason is the best thing to ever happen to me. He is everything I’m not, my better half. Nobody has ever shown me how to love the way that he does. I am so lucky to have him and want to spend the next decade (and many more after that!) showing him how much he means to me. I can’t wait to cook dinner for him every night or rub his back after a long day at work. Seeing that our wedding is only 34 days away, I don’t have much more time to figure out how to be awesome. Luckily, he thinks I already am.

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Humor

What My Dorm Room Says About Me

Red Single Cup Coffee Maker

Obviously this implies that I am addicted to caffeine, but that goes without saying. Complete with mini Godiva flavored coffee beans; this glorious contraption keeps me sane in an environment that could easily turn me into a psychopath.

“Murray Better Hurry” Neon Poster

This will tell you that I am dedicated to supporting my cheetah-speed runner of a fiancé. Although, after we get married and I am waving it back and forth during the next Commander’s Cup, I’ll probably look silly since my nametapes will match the sign. So this might prove me to actually be crazy, despite my coffee machine.

Zebra Print Fleece Throw

I like to live on the edge but also be warm and cozy while I’m busy being exciting and adventurous (cuddled up on the couch while watching American Horror Story, of course).

Twinnings of London Extra Spicy Chai

This kind of just announces to the world that I know what life is about.

Honey

This could either denote that I get a lot of sore throats, or that I am sweet (yeah, let’s go with that one).

Pink Metallic iHome

Obviously this just screams “I like to party”. And by “party” I mean take extended naps to the tune of Ed Sheeran and The Shins.

Iron/Ironing Board/Faultless Heavy Starch

This practically shouts to the world that I care about what my clothes (and in turn, myself) look like! Well… maybe not clothes so much as my uniforms. And maybe I’m not really particular on looking awesome while in uniform, I just don’t want to get yelled at for looking like a shitbag.

Filigree Black and White Lamp

Clearly, I am just extremely courteous to my roommate while being stylish at the same time.

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