Friday, September 30, 2011

5 years

5 years ago on this day at 4:00pm Sohel and I said I do.
It was a great day, full of family, friends and lots of fun. We had a small wedding, about 36 people on N. Topsail Beach, NC {fact: we now live about 20 mins from where we got married, weird}. We planned our wedding in about 6 weeks. There was a bit of drama surrounding us getting married so we got tired of waiting and just decided to jump in head first.


We had a small budget, but I felt we did a lot with it. I didn't get an amazing dress or the perfect hair and makeup. The day was pretty stressful, since we {maid of honor, me, Sohel and our minister} did everything. But it was our day and in the end it was special and pretty darn fun!!
We had Mexican food, perfect for the beach right?!?, plus Sohel's mom made Indian food. Plus we had the best thing ever, a chocolate fountain!

Things went wrong, I lost my veil walking down the walk way {it got hung up twice and finally I just took it off}. We booked the house without seeing it in person and we didn't know there was a HUGE dune at the end of the walkway. I swear this dune was HUGE, my momma fell down the dune! She always makes an entrance, maybe not the one she wanted!! The worst thing that could have happened to me, happened, I got sunburnt! It was bad, my nose, chest and my arms. It was embarrassing but what can you do? Just laugh about it and hope it doesn't show up to much in the pictures.

Our "minister" was our friend Justin. He got ordained online to marry us. Sohel and I our 2 different religions. Not just 2 different types but very different. He is Muslim and I am Christian {hence the drama mentioned earlier}, so we asked out Jewish friend to marry us. We thought it would be funny and well cheap! He was so nervous that he read out vows for us and we didn't even get to say them!
Everyone who made the trip for our wedding was who we wanted there. Our wedding was a destination wedding for everyone including us. We had people from Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina and Georgia all make the trip.
Some of you may recognize the girl above, Karen, she has been my friend for 5 years! Ever since we met and exchanged a dog in a 7-11 parking lot late one night in between Richmond and Virginia Beach. We met on theknot.com and still keep in touch to this day! Her and Tim are some of the best people I know!

I case you are wondering my dress is from JCrew and so were the ties that the groom and bestman wore.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A-Z Lindsey

**update: realized there wasn't a T so I added it and answered it**
I saw this recently on one of my favorite blogs, Sometimes Sweet so I thought I'd play along, too!
A. Age: 28
B. Bed size: Queen - I'd love a King but with moving all.the.time, its best to wait until we are in our forever home.
C. Chore that you hate: I hate moping. Steam mop here I come!!
D. Dogs: Zero. We had 2 cats but with 2 kids we have decided that pets will need to wait many years. And even then I think it will be a guinea pig or fish. Nothing to time consuming. Plus I hate fur.
E. Essential start to your day: Cup of juice. Plus a "good morning momma" is always nice way to wake up.
F. Favorite color: Green. I've loved green for many years. The shades have changed over the years but I tend to always gravitate towards green.
G. Gold or Silver: Silver, although lately I've liked the look of gold.
H. Height: 5'3 3/4".
I. Instruments you play: None.
J. Job title: Stay-at-home momma, work-at-home momma & soon to be student.
K. Kids: 2, 3 year old Ethan & 18 (almost) Lily.
L. Live: North Carolina but have midwestern dreams.
M. Mother’s name: Sallie
N. Nicknames: Lindsey :) No seriously, I don't like being called Linds. I prefer my whole name. Same with my kids, we named them so their names couldn't be shortened. I guess its a pet peeve of mine.
O. Overnight hospital stays: Birth of my kids.
P. Pet peeves: passive-aggressiveness (This was Dani's answer and I agree 100%). I also can't stand rude people.
Q. Quote from a movie: {From Back to the Future} Marty McFly: Wait a minute, Doc, are you trying to tell me that my mother has got the hots for me? Doc: Precisely. Marty McFly: Whoa, this is heavy. Doc: There's that word again; "heavy". Why are things so heavy in the future? Is there a problem with the earth's gravitational pull?
R. Right or left handed: Right handed.
S. Siblings: None.
T. Time you wake up: 6am sometimes earlier
U. Underwear: um...yes, pretty much all the time.
V. Vegetable you hate: Onion, mushrooms, squash, I could go on...
W. What makes you run late: I am usually on time or early. I hate being late. But if I'm running behind its usually because of my children or husband.
X. X-Rays you’ve had: Dental, my leg after my cat bit me & stomach. I'm sure there are more.
Y. Yummy food that you make: I love to cook, but I have a hard time cooking for all the different diets in my house. But I love to make chili, soups, potato casserole & grilled cheese :). I love to bake more than anything.
Z. Zoo animal: I love the zoo. I love to see the elephants and monkeys.

So that's it! Simple. Happy Monday, y'all!

p.s. i linked up here, you should too!

a look inside: {insert your base}





Today we have no base or post to look inside of :( I had a Camp Lejeune post lined up but she wasn't able to get to it in time. If you are interested at all in writing a post for this feature PLEASE email me!!! I don't care if your "home" is boring or even if your not a milspouse anymore! I want to hear from all military spouses!!

If you or know someone else who would like to advertise their blog or shop or themselves for FREE please e-mail me!! lindseygilani{at}hotmail {dot} com



Tuesday, September 20, 2011

ethan turns 3!

Yesterday Ethan turned 3. I can't believe how fast it has gone. I swear just yesterday I woke Sohel up and we went to the hospital to have him.

Then he turned into a little man

I truly can't wait to see who he becomes over the next 50+ years. He is so funny and smart. He amazes me every.single.day.

Stats:
Weight: I'd say around 34lbs
Height: I'd guess around 38"
Words: Talks a mile a minute, we can have entire conversations through out the day. He still drops the 'S' off most words that start with S.
Bragging: He knows all his shapes, knows all colors and can count to 25 (granted its not always in order but he can still do it!). He can name most every dino you can imagine and knows all sorts of animals.

Yesterday we had a small birthday playdate for him with some of his friends. I did a dino themed party (of course). I kept it simple, unlike last year, just made goodie bags and food. I didn't make any decorations except my chalkboard banner, which I'm working on a DIY for that. We had 8 kids come over to play and survived without any drama and no injuries!

helping make cupcakes

opening his special dino shirt in the morning
(5:45am people, he ALWAYS wakes up that early :( )

some of the goodies + ethan begging for a juice box

After naptime we got to skype with daddy while Ethan opened his presents from his friends. We had already given him his big present when Sohel was visiting over Labor Day so today I just gave him a shirt, Mater Tales and a remote control fire truck (which was "from" Lily). But he made out pretty good from his friends! He needs to get started on his thank you notes ;).

skyping with daddy

And just because I can't help it


Have a great weekend!! (4 more weeks and he will be HOME!!!)

Monday, September 19, 2011

a look inside: MCB Okinawa, Japan

Konichiwa from Okinawa, Japan!

My name is Morgan and I moved to Okinawa about a month ago. My husband and I are originally from Grand Prairie Texas which is right smack dab in the middle of Dallas and Fort Worth. Our last duty station was Washington D.C and we definitely had mixed feelings about leaving there. I loved it but my husband…. not so much! I met some wonderful friends and made some lasting memories that I will cherish forever. My husband is a Marine and has been for a little more than 7 years. We were middle school sweethearts that lost touch over the years but reunited a few years back. We have been together for almost 3 years and will be married 2 years in December.

My husband has braces through the Air Force and originally had an extension to stay in DC until March 2012 when his treatment would be over with. Welllll Tyler got a new monitor that expressed his concern about his braces and said that if they weren’t considered a special case, he could be treated on other Air Force Bases. His doctor said it wasn’t a special case and that he was able to be seen by another doctor. Tyler’s monitor got the news and a few days later Tyler went into work with web orders waiting for him to Okinawa Japan. We got our orders mid May and they were for August…. Yes, 2.5 months from then! We had so much to do to get ready for an overseas move and honestly didn’t even have time to sit and think about moving so far away. We were happy, sad, excited, nervous but like I said, didn’t have time to even deal with those feelings because we had a huge move to plan for. After a summer full of moving, finishing work, and spending time with our family in Texas, it was time to head to Japan.

We landed in Japan on August 9 and immediately put ourselves on the housing list. We thought we had done that in D.C but were told they couldn’t do it until we were physically on the island and ready for a house. We were told that they didn’t have a lot of housing available and that there was a big chance that we could live out in town. We were worried because we really wanted to live on base! They said they would offer us one house and if we chose not to take it then we would have to live off base. Friends of ours came at a not so busy time and were offered three different houses to choose from. Luckily we got a call about a week and a half after being put on the list and were offered a two bedroom apartment in one of the towers on base. They only had pet housing available for us so we decided to take it. We didn’t come over here with a dog but are planning on getting one so it worked out perfectly. We did a walkthrough of the apartment and were very pleased. We gave them the OK and moved in about two weeks after we arrived on the island. There are a ton of towers on the bases in Okinawa and luckily we were offered one of the newer ones. We have wood floors throughout our house, a huge kitchen with lots of cabinet and counter space, huge balconies (yes, plural), and good size rooms. So far we haven’t had too many problems with the apartment. The building is made of cement (walls and all) so it is nice not to hear what our neighbors are doing but when it comes to trying to get cell phone reception in the house, the cement sucks! There is always a funky smell in the hallway (not sure if it is a mixture of people cooking, dirty apartments, being near the trash room, I don’t know?) but thankfully it never lingers into the apartment. Recycling is a big issue in Okinawa and everyone is required to do it because there is a shortage of landfills. They told us at our new comers brief that if you are caught not recycling you will be ticketed (not sure how they would catch you but whatever).

Here is a picture of the tower that we live in:

When we were given orders we were also assigned to a sponsor, someone that is supposed to help take care of things in Okinawa and make your move go as smoothly as possible. They are supposed to help book your hotel, pick you up from the airport and provide transportation until you get a car, help get your driver’s license, and anything else that may help you on journey to Japan. Some people don’t even get a sponsor and we may as well have not been assigned one because ours did absolutely nothing for us. Wait I take that back, he picked us up at the airport and took us to Subway and that was about it. Because he failed to help us book a hotel room, we were scrambling 12 hours before our flight to Okinawa to find a place to stay. We called numerous hotels and of course they were all booked. We reached out on facebook and found a few friends that were more than happy to lend us a place to stay until we got our house. We were so thankful to have them here because we would have been screwed otherwise. Another thing our sponsor didn’t do was help prepare Tyler for his driver’s license. There are a number of things that active duty members have to do and they should be done before arriving on the island so you will be prepared to take your driver’s license test at your new comers brief (usually scheduled on Wednesdays which was the day after we arrived for us). Dependents don’t have to do anything except provide their orders and area clearance and take the test. Active duty members practically have to jump through hoops to get theirs (at least Tyler did here on the island…. Not sure what it is like for people back in the states that are better prepared for the test before coming here). I took my driving test (which was a very easy 30 question multiple choice test) and obtained my license the same day. A few days later we went to one of the dealerships and looked at cars. We picked one out and went inside ready to buy it. Welll turns out that although I had my driver’s license, they wouldn’t let us purchase a car unless Tyler had his or a letter written by his command giving permission for me to purchase the car. Sadly Tyler and the rest of his coworkers were doing a two week exercise and all administrative stuff had to be put on hold. Once the exercise was finally done the drivers license stuff was put on hold for about another week. Finally one of Tyler’s superiors found out what was going on and said that it was unacceptable (nothing that he did but he was upset because Tyler had been here a month and had gotten nowhere with his license situation). He then took Tyler and got all of the right paperwork and the right signatures and Tyler was able to take his driver’s license test last week. We went and turned in our stuff to the dealership and finally picked up our car a few days later! Cars here are nothing like they are in the states. They are much much smaller so we picked out a mini mini-van type car.

Here is our Mitubishi Dion:

Because it took us so long to get a car, we have spent a LOT of time on base since we have been here. We have come to know the exchange and commissary very well. The commissary is your ordinary grocery store, nothing too fancy. It is an average size store that I wish was a little bigger. We were a little worried at first about eating the meat and produce here for fear of radiation from the main land. Luckily nothing comes from mainland and even Okinawa won’t buy their food from mainland because of the issue. Most of the commissary’s meat and produce actually comes from the U.S. All of the produce has a sign above it stating where the products were brought over from and the majority of it comes from America. The only bad part about that is it tends to go bad quicker so you need to either eat it or freeze it within a few days. I am not quite sure how the commissaries in the U.S work with couponing because I rarely shopped there in D.C, but these stores take coupons that are up to 6 months past their expiration date! There is also a personal services center that you can go and pick up a nice big envelope full of coupons that people have so kindly sent over from the states. If there are any you don’t want, you just drop them off in a basket at the front of the commissary and someone else can make use of them. The exchange is not anything special and is about the size of almost 2 CVS’ or Walgreens (maybe a bit smaller). The exchange on Kadena AFB is much bigger but most of the exchanges carry the same items so it’s really not worth the trip over there. Needless to say, Amazon has been my best friend since we moved here. I have ordered a bed set, sheets, mattress pad, and a ton of other stuff that I wasn’t able to find at the exchange. Amazon is one of the few places that will ship out here which has been wonderful. They won’t ship certain items like furniture, electronics, and other big items but have been great for finding smaller stuff. We haven’t been out in town to check out the shops but will definitely get out and do that soon. We also have only been to a couple of Japanese restaurants with friends so have been stuck eating the same ole stuff on base (Taco Bell, Popeyes, Subway, Pizza Hut, Burger King, etc.). We have been to the McDonalds out in town and that was a pretty cool experience. You walk in and the employees are all dressed very professional….. I would compare them to flight attendants. They are so nice and welcoming and take their jobs very serious. The food is also better quality and is not as greasy which is a big change from the McDonalds in the states. We try to stay away from the fast food places out in town because they are very expensive! Everything here is expensive but luckily we collect COLA while living here so it helps a little.

So far our experience here has been great and will only get better because we have a car now and can go exploring. There are so many different things that the island has to offer and I cannot wait to get out and try new things! We went hiking up a waterfall the first weekend we were here and that was a great experience. I have become obsessed with http://www.okinawahai.com/ because there are so many different things listed to see and do in Okinawa. Tons of different people post the activities they did and give lots of details (like directions to, hours of operation, what type of payment the place takes, etc.). Below are a few pictures of the island taken by a friend, Sarah Vaughn. All of the pictures in this blog post are from her except the crummy cell phone picture of my car. Because we haven’t been out in town much, we haven’t taken any pictures (booo I know!). Feel free to ask me any questions about Okinawa. You can find my blog at http://justuspriors.blogspot.com/. Thanks for reading!

View of the water from Camp Foster

The beaches here are beautiful!

Street signs in Okinawa

Lots of palm trees

Shisa Dogs- You see a LOT of these in Okinawa. People place pairs of shisa on their rooftops or flanking the gates to their houses. Shisa are wards, believed to protect from some evils. When in pairs, the left shisa traditionally has a closed mouth, the right one an open mouth. The open mouth wards off evil spirits, and the closed mouth to keeps good spirits in.

Okinawa sunset

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Thank you so much Morgan! I miss your sweet smiling face and hope to see you again soon!! Please go check out her blog and read about their adventure trying to get to Japan!!

Please let me know if you or anyone you know would like to write a post about your "home". Its a perfect and FREE way to support your shop or blog!