Wednesday, October 11, 2017

september: what we did this month.

September was a nice mix of fun and laid back. Some weekends were a little quiet, even for me, but I know that things are going to feel overwhelming once Jeremiah is back so maybe the quiet time was good for me? It's always a challenge to use that time toward resting well vs just being lazy, but I'm working on it.

I spent Labor Day weekend up in Waterloo camping with the fam, my usual for summer 2017 haha. It was the last weekend out, so we made the best of outdoor food and games. It was also the weekend sweet lil' Korban was born! When I got back I had a facetime session with Jeremiah and the Alsberries, where we caught up and solidified more of our European adventure plans! Clearly, it was a good weekend.
That whole next week/weekend I spent trying to keep up with both Jeremiah and my dad who were in hurricane Irma's path, yikes! Thankfully, the weather didn't hit as hard as expected, so all is relatively well in both Florida and Cuba. It did create a lot of extra work and stress for the pharmacy on base, so work days were long and busy for Jeremiah. He also had to weather it all out in a tin shack type of structure, which made it sound pretty intense. My dad's house had some minor damage to the roof tiles, pool screen, and trees. Those hurricanes are no joke.

Jeremiah and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary September 16! It was bittersweet not being able to spend it together, but we made the best out of it with some facetime? It was okay haha. That night I went up to Cedar Rapids where Kaylee, her roommates, and I made things out of flowers/plants. The menu? Mini caprese salads, fresh veggie wraps with a peanut dipping sauce, lavender cake, and lavender vodka lemonade served over ice cubes with edible flowers in them. Everything was delicious and looked pretty, win-win. We had double the hangs because the next weekend we went out for Thai with Holly, I've so enjoyed spending time with Kaylee since Jeremiah has been gone!

That's all of September's highlights! As work has severely slowed down for me, Jeremiah's work has progressively become more stressful and demanding. There was this article in the New Yorker published this month, which you might find interesting? It scratches the surface of why Jeremiah's work got a little crazy. All the more reason to be so thankful that he will back NEXT MONTH. 

I'm finally caught up on all the happenings of the last couple months, woo! Jeremiah and I decided to join in on Inktober, where we draw something from a prompt each day, fun right?! I'll start posting those as the month goes on, our artwork is mediocre so don't judge us too harshly haha. The rules just say that you have to use ink, but I've also been adding watercolors on some days. Here's the prompts for October... you'll have to wait to see what we've done so far!

Monday, October 9, 2017

summer recap: august.

August was pretty crazy with turnover and the ripples of madness that emanate from the first of the month. A nice balance of angry parents and people who are mad about charges that were taken out of their deposits... what can you do? The stressful work days were made better by not having to work Saturdays anymore, hooray! Real weekends until the fun starts again in January, so I took full advantage of them.

August was the month where....

... I spent a weekend camping with the Briden fam up in Cedar Falls. We spent most of our time outside being lazy and playing a lot of Rummikub, definitely my speed.

... I Watched the solar eclipse, the moon was considerate enough to wait until my lunch hour but it was also cloudy, so it was a little anticlimactic.

... the Thecker's purchased a lion mane for their cat and graciously allowed me to borrow it to torture Raleigh for a few days. Worth it. He's so needy that he can really only hate me for like fifteen minutes before he's demanding to be held again.

... Shea and I harvested grapes! It was a nice, cool morning which made it pretty enjoyable, one more experience to cross off my bucket list.

... I spent a Saturday crafting a baby gift for the newest little Bauer boy! I saw a pin on Lynn's pinterest and had an "I could do that" moment that I actually acted on!

... I gave up on my couch to 5k app because I'm weak and my body literally revolted. So that was neat. In the meantime I've just been doing workouts at home in the mornings, the view isn't as beautiful but I don't feel like death at the end, sooo... silver lining?

... I actually made dinner a couple times, haha. I never cook when it's just me, but I had Bijan and Matthew over for ghormeh sabzi (Persian) and I had taco Tuesday with Taraleh and Andrew.
 ... my d group started up, and I am excited about getting to know these ladies better over the course of the school year, they are such encouraging and sweet people.
Jeremiah's August? Nothing specific that I'm able to report, but his work gets crazier and more stressful by the week, so he has an ever increasing list of reasons to leave. He's powering through like a champ while keeping his always positive and chipper attitude about even the worst situations. (here's a photo from one of the times his a/c crapped out, it's literally missing from the wall, hah.)

Time is passing, WE ARE GETTING CLOSER!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

new lil' nephew, korban.

While I was up in Waterloo over Labor Day weekend my sweet lil' nephew Korban was born! I would have obviously gone up to visit either way, but he was so amiable to show up when I was already in the area haha.

Lynn asked if I would take some photos of them in the hospital, which of course I did! I loved being a part of the excitement and I was honored that they asked me to document some of it for them! I'm still figuring out my new camera, so bear with me... I took a lot of photos, but here are my faves....

I'm delighted for this family of five that is so close to my heart. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

summer recap, part 2: june + july.

Two blogs posted within two weeks?! Sounds like somebody has a lot more free time at work. (truth)

June and July were full months! I kicked off June at the Arts Festival with Kaylee and Shea, we gawked at all the neat artwork and surveyed food trucks to pick out the best lunch. Home Ec finished the display they made with all of our dioramas so we had to go see the completed project, there were so many clever and crafty ones! We ended our afternoon at Moss, and each purchased some sort of plant. I now have a marimo ball, it sounds nearly indestructible so :fingers crossed: I'll keep it alive.

Kaylee's hammock cafe the "Hang Cafe"
my "sunroom"
LISAGRACE CAME TO SPEND A WEEKEND WITH ME! Ugh, how many friends would fly halfway across the country to hang out while Jeremiah's gone?! She is the literal best. We enjoyed the time together without our husbands, which led to a lot of good and weird conversations. Typically, our husbands show up and we don't reach the weirdness, and also Jeremiah and Bryan are wacky enough for all four of us. We also spent some time planning our trip to Europe this winter! Ahh! Jeremiah and I started planning a European adventure a month or so after he left, it seemed like an appropriate response for having to spend nine months apart (treat yo' self)... then we invited our best friends to come with us! We facetime with them pretty regularly, but it's still fun to say that the next time we see them (in real life) will be in Iceland! I have spent my free time doing a lot of research, we are going to be so prepared! This trip has given me a welcome distraction and given Jeremiah and I something to really look forward to. The couple of months after he gets back are going to a whirlwind!
June brought my dad to Iowa too! My brothers came down and we spent father's day weekend being lazy, eating out, and watching movies, it was very chill. That same weekend was Jeremiah's birthday! I think his birthday went as well as it could have, he had his friends to spend the day with and they had a fun celebration. Next year we will party twice as hard. 

I spent the second weekend of July in Des Moines with Lauren and we went to a few 80/35 shows! (most importantly The Shins and MGMT) It was a weekend of having good talks and reminiscing about college and bucket list shows. I feel really blessed to have such sweet friends, friends that I'm able to pick right up with and talk about real life.

June and July were really busy and exhausting with work, turnover is no joke and kicks my butt every year. I was browsing through my phone looking for photos to post to the blog and found that 90% of the photos from the last two months are of filthy apartments. (shudders)

Other than work being busy, here are some other random events that happened:
- Iowa City had it's first Downtown Block Party, where we also celebrated Cheryl's birthday.
- house/dog-sat for the Bodin's for a night. it made me wish that I could have a part-time dog. like a part-time, three season dog? clearly, I'm not ready for a dog-sized commitment.
- went on a hike with Shea, out to Hickory Hill Park + Bur Oak Land Trust, we made it out (mostly) tick free. yikes.
- celebrated the 4th of July with fireworks at the Jazz Festival and in Shiloh with our connection group.
- a day at Lost Island Waterpark with our connection group. yes, our connection group is the best, although it definitely would have been more fun with Jeremiah there.
- time up in Cedar Rapids with Kaylee, we also braved a bike ride in the heat.
- had a summer pizza grill out at Sarah's charming home out in the country. we try to have these ladies nights once per season and I always look forward to it! I love the opportunity to catch up on life with such encouraging women. also, Sarah announced that she's expecting! so there were a lot of squeals and excitement.
- Bijan came down and we celebrated his birthday!
- my mom came down to spend the few days of turnover with me and help out, it was fun to get to spend more time together and for her to get to see me in action at work, also exhausting.

Jeremiah spent June and July trying to stay cool in the 100*+ degree heat of the Caribbean while trying to stay sane with work. There's only so much he can tell me, and even less that is going on the blog, but he is doing alright! He's a champion and manages to stay positive through most all of it. It's a tough job and he's very much looking forward to being done with it all. Luckily, he has a good support system down there that keeps him busy and social, which helps balance out the dark stuff.
My summer was full and friends kept me busy, but I'm so looking forward to all of the fun we will have next summer! We will have double the fun to make up for lost time.

Friday, September 1, 2017

summer recap, part 1: andrew + taraleh's wedding.

It's September 1 and I am *finally* updating you on Andrew and Taraleh's wedding. That was in May. May 6. I'm a procrastinator, but it is finally happening!?

This wedding was simultaneously the worst and the best wedding to have while Jeremiah is gone. It was the best because it was full of friends that we love and I didn't have a single moment of feeling lonely or awkward being by myself. It was also the worst because of said friends that we love. Andrew and Taraleh were both in our wedding and we love them dearly so it was sad to have Jeremiah miss such a big event in the lives of our closest friends. I know that there will be plenty of beautiful photos that will perfectly detail all of it, which is helpful, but there was some friendship and sweet dance moves that were missed.

This post might be more aptly titled "that time Andrew and Taraleh got married and all I have are photos of the rad girl gang I spent the weekend with" but that seemed... wordy? More accurate though. I had a great time with the bridesmaids, everybody was so sweet and helpful. We spent the nights before the wedding in the hotel pampering ourselves with face masks and treats Sora brought us from Korea and helping each other out with hair and clothes. So fun! It was kind of lonely spending Sunday by myself after non stop friendship.

The wedding itself was gorgeous! It was in a garden with trees and flowers blooming everywhere. I don't have many photos from the ceremony and reception, but just take my word for it that it was beautiful, had great weather, and everything was just perfect! Jeremiah and I are so happy for the two of them.

Now that work has slowed down I have every intention on updating our summer happenings, part 2 is hopefully coming sooooooon.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

may: what we did this month.

May ended a while ago, in fact, it is nearly JULY and I've been taking my sweet time to tell you about it. June has been fun and busy so far, so I have a good excuse?!

I spent part of my May weekends in Waterloo camping with my mom and Kevin, where I've started a for reals tan! 2k17 will be the year that I don't stay pale all summer. We split our time between the campground and the lake on their new (to them) boat! It was a good time to chill and eat all the camp food and drinks, essentially some of my favorite things.

Other than lazily spending my days camping and hanging on the boat, my discipleship group met for the last time! It was a growing year for all of us, and I really enjoyed getting to know each of them while walking through the school year together. Ashley and I also hit up the Iowa City farmer's market on a dreary Saturday morning, so it's been neat to see a friendship develop out of it all. 
Speaking of friendships, I've also had the chance to spend more time with Kaylee! This deployment has been a bummer, but on a positive note, I have had the opportunity to dig more into the other relationships in my life. Kaylee and I spent May building diorama's to be put on display at Home Ec. Fact: I will jump on any excuse to craft diorama's, sooooo it was perfect. Remember when we had diorama day with our friends?! It was so fun, and you can check it out here if you feel like reminiscing. I'll post completed photos next month, it'll add a little suspense to the blog. (I'm sorry that my cliffhangers aren't more exciting.)

Work has been busy, which is what happens in the summer, so I'm not surprised but I am already ready to have this summer and turnover OVER. People are the worst and the dirtiest and apparently not always the most rational, so that's neat. At least they make for good stories after the frustration wears away.

Of course! Taraleh and Andrew's weddingggggg! Which I still need to tell you about. Stay tuned but don't hold your breath because I have been the worst at blogging lately.

I started going out to Terry Trueblood to run (whhaaaaat?! right?!). I know, I know, Layla does not easily get out of bed, especially to do any form of exercise. And while I look completely pathetic following my couch to 5k app, I've had some pretty views, made some turtle friends, and I will admit that it is nice to get out early and wake up to some fresh air.  

Jeremiah? He has been working more and more nights, while still working days, so that's very chill and normal. (I wish I could more clearly express sarcasm in text) BUT he did advance on his last exam so he's been PROMOTED! So proud! The way the Navy promotes is confusing and he has passed a few times before without actually advancing, so it's great that it has finally happened because he has 100% earned it. The weather is always hot, the views can be beautiful, and he's been enjoying the creatures of GITMO from afar as the base is mostly filled with dragons, wild dogs, a feral dumpster kitty, and banana rats. He has been enjoying the friendships that he has down there, and that helps a lot!

We are very likely halfway with this deployment now! I'm trying to be an optimist, but inside I tend to be more anxious than trusting, so while we *should* be half way I'm trying to not get too hung up on dates. (shrug) But things are progressing and the end is getting closer!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

april: what we did this month.

I know these posts keep coming later and later in the month, and if I'm being honest it's because recounting these months apart is a drag. April came and went quickly, and for that I'm thankful, time can slow down in November but in the meantime let's keep it up.

Oh, friends, April was hard. You would think that as time progressed things would become more manageable, and in a way they are, but we have not managed to command this situation overnight. Settling into our new normal has been helpful, we typically know what to expect out of life right now and that is good. Still, dealing with life's diversions semi on your own can feel defeating. Don't worry, nothing awful happened last month, just a lot of little things that added to the general base level of stress that is this deployment. Learning to love each other well while being apart for so long has been challenging, although of course very much worth it. We do have "date night" once a week where we facetime while eating the same dinner (typically Subway, because the only other shared option is McDonald's) and we watch an episode or two of a show "together", and I'm grateful for those nights.

Aside from the emotional stress of April, we were busy! The month in Iowa City commenced with Mission Creek Festival. I only went to a couple shows but they were both amazing! I *finally* fulfilled one of my dreams to see Andrew Bird and he did not disappoint. He's so talented and puts on an amazing live show. In college, I spent most of my homework time writing essays listening to The Mysterious Production of Eggs and Radiohead's In Rainbows, so it brought back a lot of memories of sitting in the library at ISU bahaha. Jeremiah and I also listen to a lot of Andrew Bird while cooking, so it definitely also evoked some more enjoyable (and recent) memories. Oh, how I wish Jeremiah would have been here for that show. I also really wanted to see Kishi Bashi, so I went to that show by myself (is that weird?) and it was 100% worth it.
My birthday came and went, and thus begins my 30th year of life... yikes! I'm not bothered by my aging (other than the rate at which my hair is thinning), I'm more surprised by it than anything. Isn't it still 2009? No? Oh okay. I spent the weekend in Waterloo with my fam and boy was I spoiled this year! My dad gifted me a KitchenAid and my mom gifted me a fancy pants toaster oven, so my 29th birthday was the year I received fun and unnecessary kitchen appliances. Jeremiah also gifted me a new camera that's perfect and beautiful and makes me feel like I'm not cool enough/savvy enough to own it. Friends gifted me the sweetest things and so many of my connection group ladies texted me that day to make sure I wasn't spending it by myself (insert all of the happy sobs). I did spend my birthday missing my bestie, but I was showered with love from everybody, what more could I ask for?! In honor of being an adult who owns a KitchenAid, I made bread for the first time!
I also hung out with Raleigh a lot.... 
I helped throw Taraleh a bachelorette party! Woo! We splurged on food and drinks at Clinton St Social Club and ended the night with a slumber party, watching Bridesmaids, chill bachelorette parties are my favorite bachelorette parties. 
 My brothers came over for a Persian feast and we had a good time. It's been fun having them around.
Again, I can't tell you much about Jeremiah's life. He's on call 24/7/forever so he's worn out. Dealing with Navy shenanigans and people every day is exhausting and I'm not the type of person to take on all with a positive attitude, luckily Jeremiah is and he's making the best of it. He has some rad friends now, but life is still stressful and I know he's tired of that constant cafeteria food. One Saturday, while teaching the kiddos on base how to skate he may or may not have fallen and slightly fractured his rib. Even on deployment, Jeremiah manages to have his injuries come from skateboarding, which shows you he still very much himself haha. He also sees giant lizards every day and can hike to beautiful views, so at least he has some adventuring he can do to feel a little less trapped.
There's our April... and we are officially 1/3 done with this mobilization.