Monday, August 29, 2011

BrewFest 2011 and Mason's New BFF

Another week come and gone...I can tell this fall is going to be hectic, exhausting....and a ton of fun.  I feel as if we have finally adjusted to working life and are settling into a nightly routine that actually allows for some relaxtion.  Currently, the three of us (Chris, me, and Mason) are watching The Office at the end of a long Monday, recovering from an eventful weekend.

Before I get into the details of the weekend, I thought I'd share a couple of is a picture of my office.  There's not much to it...I really need to put a plant in there or something.  Right now all I have is my diplomas...I get a lot of comments from coworkers, all of which who are MSU or Bama fans, about all of my Auburn paraphernalia. That just makes me want to put up more, so I'm looking for a sign that says "Auburn Fans Only" :)
We used both our fantastic breadmaker given to us by Gayle, Clint, Kate and Campbell this week and our ice cream maker, both which were very successful.  For the bread, I made a cheddar beer yummy! The bread machine is soo easy. You just put the ingredients in there, and it does the rest.  Here is a picture of the rasberry yogurt Chris made with the ice cream maker given to us by Tammy and Greg:

Delicious and nutritious!

Here is something I found in a really cute store in downtown Columbus...if you have a special wine bottle that you don't want to throw away, but don't really know what to do with an empty wine bottle, we found these candles that you can use to turn the bottle into an oil lamp.  This is a bottle of wine that we got in Napa the day after got was from our favorite winery and you can't buy it in stores.  Now we have a different way to enjoy it! We love it!

I got the lantern at Pier One and the mason jar at the Base Exchange. We love candles (and I do mean we...Chris has actually discovered the joy of a Yankee Candle recently)

We think it's really funny that Mason has decided to make a lair underneath our kitchen table.  He drags his bed and toys underneath there (along with other things around the house that he finds and claims) and stays down there a lot.  It looks messy, but we just let him do it because it clearly makes him so happy and it's nice to always kind of know where to look for him.

So now that I've shared all of these random tidbits...we had a really fun weekend back in Auburn with Autumn and Jon...this was the weekend that they picked up their puppy.  It also just so happened to be the weekend of the Beer Festival at the Event Center.  So we made a whole weekend of it, and it was jam-packed. On Saturday I went to Publix to do some couponing...I am thoroughly disappointed at how ineffective couponing is at Kroger, which is really the only grocery store around here where I can do it! So I brought my cooler to Auburn and headed to Publix to spend $29 and save $55 on groceries.  Normally I had gotten to where I consistently saved twice as much as I spent, but its a little harder to do when you are buying for a man who requires to be fed certain things, such as meat (I could skip meat all together if I had to, and did so often in college because it is so expensive). So I missed the mark somewhat, but still think I did okay. We had lunch at Tammy and Greg's (mexican--my fav!) Then we all headed to the mall where Dillards was having an extra 40% off their sale I bought some stuff I didn't need and had a lot of fun doing it.

Jon, Autumn, Chris and I headed over to the Event Center around 6 and had equally as much fun, if not more fun than we expected to have sampling various beers at the Brew Fest.  We danced and ate BBQ and had tons of fun, then headed to the Irish Bred Pub for an interesting end to the evening...and I'll leave it at that haha

Here are some pictures:

Sunday we went to church, the first time we had been back to AUMC since the wedding (so we got to go to the church and the Event Center...lots of memories).  We then had lunch at my parents' house and then it was time for the main event...picking up the great dane pup from the breeder! It really is amazing to see how big is it going to be compared to Mason...when they are currently the same size! They are about the same height and length, but Mason weighs 8.5 lbs and Dubs (the great dane) weighs 17.5! Anyway...they made fast friends and cuddled the whole way home.  It was the cutest thing! We think that Mason will get used to Dubs before he gets big, and he probably won't even notice how much different they are in size.  We also thought it was funny to think about whether Dubs would think he was a pomeranian, since Mason is going to be his best friend.  Here are some pictures of the precious pups:

I can't wait to post next week about the first football game!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Are we finally...almost...done with the house??

I don't have much to share this week...just another week with us both at work, coming home exhausted, going to sleep early...etc. Wow, has life changed since college! My job is finally starting to get more interesting since I have gotten trained to do more work.  I stayed busy almost every day this week.  Also, I started carpooling, which requires me to get up even earlier (right now, 5:30) to be able to get in a short workout and meet in Columbus by 7:20.  But, it saves gas, and makes the commute pass by much quicker. Chris has started to like his job working with the fighter pilot trainees, and usually comes home with an interesting story or two.  He does everything from arranging the flight schedules to working at the bar (yes...each squadron has it's own bar that they drink at after being done flying for the day.  I thought it sounded crazy too!)

Friday night Jon and Autumn came over for dinner, then we adventured out into downtown Columbus where I partook in my favorite pastime, Karaoke. I sang Gunpowder and Lead by Miranda Lambert and Before He Cheats by Carrie Underwood.  The place we were at was filled with other pilot students, and it was actually a lot of fun. Here is a picture Chris took of me with his phone (which I can for some reason not rotate to be turn your head...), taking my singing career very seriously.

Saturday morning, Autumn and I went to the local Farmer's Market and got some super fresh produce.  I got some green tomatoes, and took a shot at frying one that afternoon.  Chris and I REALLY enjoyed them, and I think I am going to  fry the other one this morning.  I am definitely going to return to the farmers market, they had all kinds of good stuff.

Last night we checked out a new restaurant, called Huck's Place and sat right next to an Auburn flag, which made us fill at home (they have flags from all the SEC teams there). Our food was delicious and the atmosphere was really nice.

Today we are FINALLY almost finished up with the house...and I say almost because I don't know if I will ever really be done with it.  I mean, it seems like the more we do, the more we realize we could do.  And I swear, every time we set foot into Lowe's, we wind up with so many home-improvement ideas, organization ideas, patio ideas, yard ideas, stop the invasion of spiders/insects ideas, etc...well, I just don't know if we will ever truly finish! And it's not just me...I have been very pleased with the interest and pride Chris has taken in turning our house into a home, and he has been very helpful with coming up with ways we can improve it.

Well, we are off to run errands so we can finish up of which is going to be ordering prints of the professional pictures taken of us on our honeymoon.  Sandals had these people who walked around (kind of like Zaps at socials, for those of you who know what they are) and took "professional" pictures on the beach and at other places. We had a hard time finding any souvenirs we really wanted from Jamaica, so we wound up ordering a CD of some of our favorite pictures that were taken that week (we had about 60 to choose from!).  Here they are:

Next week we head home to Auburn with Jon and Autumn so we can pick up their Great Dane puppy and go to the Brewfest at the Event Center.  We look forward to seeing friends and family again, one last time before the craziness of football season begins!

Monday, August 15, 2011

First Full Week of Work and Visit to Auburn

I can't believe its already my third week of work (second full week).  Working all day is so exhausting! Someone please tell me I will get used to it.  I think I like my job, but the training continues...the more I have to do, the faster the days go by, so I hope to be trained and busy before long.  The worst part of working is the commute, which I didn't think would bother me, but really does.  I have to wake up at 5:30 in order to get a work out in before work, like a short run or trip to the gym, and I have to be out the door by 7:05.  By the time I get home at 5:45, I feel like all I have time for is dinner before I go to bed. I also wish I could go home during my lunch break, but I have found other ways to entertain myself, such as exploring Starkville...I found out that the Kroger in Starkville doubles coupons up to 60 cents (whoopie!), and they actually have a decent selection of meat and produce, unlike the Kroger here in Columbus.  I think I will go shopping there for the groceries that I don't get at the commissary.  Working out of town makes it hard to do any shopping after work. I also sit at work and do some couponing or read magazines during my break...I have to give my brain a little down time. Here is an ad I found in a Starkville magazine that really improved my day when I found it...

Chris also started work last week.  He is assisting one of the fighter pilot training squadrons.  He is satisfied with his job, and I'm happy he only has to work from 7:30-4:30.  He will be doing this job until he starts pilot training in April.

One thing I do enjoy about working is having the weekend 100% free and clear to myself.  This weekend we went back to Auburn with Jon and Autumn.  They were planning a trip down to see some great dane puppies, and they picked one they are going to get in a couple of weeks.  Yes, Mason's new best friend is going to be a great dane.  Right now the puppies (born July 9!) are about the size of Mason...but they will obviously get muchhh bigger than that! Here are a couple of them...
Visiting Auburn was very renewing and I feel refreshed after getting to see friends and family, as well as take a road trip with new friends.  Saturday, after meeting the puppies, we spent the day out on Lake Martin with the puppy breeder, Autumn and Jon, and Sara and Aaron.  It was awesome getting to spend time with everyone out on the lake.  Then that night I got to see some of my Clothes Rack girls at Kristi Reid's wedding shower, which was followed by drinks out with Lauren.  I wish I could have seen everyone, but it's so weird that "everyone" isn't in Auburn anymore! I guess I will get used to that, but I know how lucky I am to have grown up in my college matter if it is my high school or college friends, we will always have a place to reunite whether for a football game or the holidays!

It was also wonderful getting to see my parents and sister this weekend.  Jessica was busy with rush, but we spent the night at my parents house.  It's always great to come home! We also got to visit with Chris (Sr.) at his house and with Tammy and Greg over brunch at Amsterdams.  After Sunday Brunch, it was time to head home, but not after shopping as much as possible and taking advantage of being in the "city"'s so weird that I used to go to Atlanta or Montgomery to shop because they had "more" and now I feel like Auburn is like the be-all-end-all of shopping. What an eye-opener it has been to move here!

Anyway, we shopped for our puppies until we dropped at Petco.  Both of us couples bought so many treats, crates...and yes, clothes, for our puppies that we could barely fit ourselves in the car on the way back. Mason picked out this headpiece in honor of  our Jamaican honeymoon, I guess it made up for him not being able to come.

On the way back I was dead tired, and so was Mason...and we were in very close quarters, thanks to our shopping trip.

It was a good trip, but we didn't make it back until 10:30 pm...thus, here I sit on the couch, trying to recover from a typical Monday + intense house-cleaning and unpacking after work. Bright side...took a pit stop at Belk on the way home, and I was VERY pleasantly surprised at the selection! It is actually a pretty nice Belk...Columbus continues to treat me to pleasant surprises, and I am looking forward to seeing what's next.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hello, World!

FINALLY, I am able to post! Chris and I are moved in, pretty much completely, with the exception of a few boxes full of my shoes.  This is going to be a lonnng post, as I have been dying to update everyone with our lives. It has been rough living in a black hole of technology, but things are finally looking up, as we got internet and phone service last week.  I will start from the beginning of the move....

We have been here for 2 weeks and one day now.  The move=work work work! Let's just say my husband had his first lesson about the benefits of listening to his wife...the day we got the U-Haul, I told him, " stuff won't fit in there".  Chris insisted that there was no way I had enough stuff that it wouldn't fit inside a 20 foot U-Haul.  I guess he momentarily forgot who he married, because everyone who knows me knows I have a weakness for stuff.  Well, about 11PM on the night before the move, he came to the admission that the stuff...definitely wasn't going to fit.  He had to go to U-Haul at 6:30AM the morning of the move to get another small U-Haul. Here's two pictures of the big one:

Well, I'm sure there were many doubts as to whether all the stuff in these two U-Hauls would fit into our 1100 square foot duplex/house.  I am proud to say that not only did ALL of it fit...but there is room for more! So no reason to hold off on the Christmas gifts! (haha) The military does a great job of building houses with LOTS of storage.  We have 10 closets!

The trip to Columbus took about 4 hours.  My parents came down with us 3 Fridays ago and helped us paint.  This was a pretty big job since the walls were what I refer to as "armpit stain gray". Yes it sounds nasty, and it was. Also, I probably didn't buy nice enough paint because we had to use 2 coats everywhere except in the kitchen, where we used 3.  On Saturday, the troops came down in full to help, which consisted of Tammy, Greg, Warren, Lisa, Chris Sr., and well as two paid move-men. Everyone was such a huge help, and I would go as far as to say we all actually had fun moving in and spending time together. When everyone left Sunday morning, I was hard to believe that now, it was just Chris, Mason, and me. It's scary when you have the realization that grown up life has really begun...and I miss my friends a LOT.  Not having internet or phone service made it worse. But we have had so much fun doing "married stuff" that has taken my mind off of it...on our first night alone together in our house, I made dinner and we ate off of our fine china and crystal.

Chris and I have AT&T, so on the Monday after the move, we went to the AT&T store here in Columbus to try to get out of our contract.  Instead, they offered to give us a $200 device for free, which allows us to use our phones within our house with 5 bars of service.  Internet is necessary to get it to work, so AT&T told us they would come install the internet for us on that Thursday.  Long story short...didn't happen! We FINALLY got internet this Wednesday, and now I'm much happier because I can call and text people without having to drive off the base, and they can call me. And I can post to the blog!

Chris and I spent the rest of the time we have been in Columbus fixing up the house, and doing some exploring. We discovered a cool art gallery and a LOT of cute shops in Columbus.  Columbus really has a lot more than I thought it did initially.  There are even some bars downtown that we have heard are pretty fun, and we went to a great restaurant called J. Broussards for dinner last weekend.  There is an amazing sushi place in Starkville called Umi that was voted best sushi in Mississippi that is opening a location in Columbus.  The other day when I was getting a pedicure, I discovered an adorable dress shop that sells a lot of the things that shops in downtown Auburn sell.  There is also a farmer's market and a riverwalk that I hear I need to check out. And, sometime, I want to make a trip to the Harrahs Tunica, about 2 hours away, to experience the Paula Deen buffet! Chris and I have been socializing some,'s hard to make as many friends at the moment because we keep hearing that you really get close to the people in your pilot training class and their wives, and Chris won't start that til April.  But I went to a wive's club potluck the Tuesday after we moved, and there is another social this Tuesday that I am going to attend.  I met some really nice girsl there.  Of course, we have our friends Jon and Autumn (Chris knew Jon from the Academy, and they got married the day before us), and we hang out with them a lot, and across the street there is an Auburn couple that we have had dinner with a couple of times. So things are really looking up, and even though it was hard at first, I am loving this new stage of my life. Being married is so much fun, and I like living on a military base way more than I thought I would!

We had 2 Mexican nights where we invited other couples over...yay fiesta!
On the first night, we had a taco bar...which wan excuse for me to use practically half our wedding gifts!

Our friends, Jon and Autumn

 Here are some before/after pictures of the house...the before/after idea was a little difcult because they just did not want to arrange the way I wanted them they are out of order:

Hutch with our fine china on the top, then Christmas china on the bottom...pretty much everything in/on it, besides the Christmas china, were wedding gifts.

This is our curio cabinet.  The top shelf has an Auburn theme, the next down is Air Force, the next down is wedding memorabilia, the next down is mostly stuff from our travels, and the bottom shelf is mostly wedding gifts.

Chris and I painted those at Sips-n-Strokes!

Entrance hallway after
Bathroom after...not very good pics because it is teensy!
Bedroom after
Entrance hallway after...there will be a runner here when it comes in! We ordered one for the den and living room,  but it came in the wrong color so we are waiting on the correct one, which matches the wall...
Our kitchen table that we got cheap from Angel's Antiques...I hated it at first, but now that I have it fixed up with a rug underneath, I like it okay!

Wine rack and fridge (next to the curio cabinet) with a picture I painted at Sips-n-Strokes

Kitchen before

Kitchen after

Bedroom after...not quite finished with this one
Bedroom before
Our patio area/part of our fairly large backhard
Entrance hallway before
Shower curtain in our barthroom...bathroom is just too small to take good pics!

As I said...very out of order! I just couldn't figure out how...never mind.
Anyway, on Thursday I started my job, which has also proven to be a difficult adjustment.  Chris really hasn't had to do anything but check in and go to a couple of hours of meetings a day, so it is hard being at work knowing that he and Mason are at home.  Be Chris has been awesome about keeping the house clean while I have been gone, and even cooked dinner last night for me. I don't know if I will like my job yet, but I know I am going to stick with it while we are here...I just hate training! It's so boring! But I know once I get trained and have my own work to do, the days will pass a lot faster.  I have my own office that we are going to today to hang up my diplomas in, and I found out that I will be doing some travel to Birmingham.  My official job title is "Portfolio Analytics and Reporting Specialist".  I am okay with the commute, althit is a bit boring, but someone offered to carpool with me and I think I will take her up it.  It is a 35 minute commute each way. Also, there is an office in Columbus that I may be able to work some out of once I get trained. I have just got to get my body adjusted to waking up so early!

Anyway, this extremely long post is all I am going to share for now.  I hope to be a lot more current on my blogging now that we have common technology! We miss everyone and are looking forward to coming to visit the week of August for the Event Center's Brew Fest, as well as for the first two home football games.  That is as far ahead as we have planned for now.

I will leave y'all with two extremely cute pics of my men!

The Becks

P.S. Our wedding pics are up at  Go to Enter Site, then Gallery, then Amanda and Chris.  They are great!