After Chris' grandfather's funeral, which was really very lovely and, of course, quite sad, I returned to Columbus to host three of my very best girlfriends, Hannah, Sara, and Lauren, at our home for the weekend. I was so excited that they were willing to make the trip to my not-so-glamorous town just to see me and keep me company on Chris' and my first weekend apart. We had as much fun as expected...actually, probably more. I was a little worried about whether they would get bored in Columbus, but I should have known better...I think the four of us could entertain ourselves if we were stuck in a cardboard box...or jail, but luckily it hasn't come to that (yet!).
|Getting ready to head out onto the town :)|
|Taking the girls on a tour of the base|
|Mason is so excited to cuddle his aunties!!|
I took the next Friday off and spent the weekend in Atlanta visiting my friend, Tori, and her boyfriend, Bennett. I hadn't seen Tori since football season, and even then our visits were short. Tori lived with me in college...we are just about the same size all over, and sometimes I miss having access to her closet almost as much as I miss her! We went out to a really cool restaurant/brewery that Friday night that I know Chris would love. Saturday morning, Tori had to work, so I took Mason on his very first trip to a dog park. This dog park was super cute...it doubles as a coffee shop/restaurant/bar/dessert shop and is called "Coffee Unleashed". At first I felt weird being there all alone with Mason and all these other people who seemed to be there in groups. Then I realized a little something about "Dog Park Culture"...dog people bond with each other. At dog parks, apparently. At first, I stood over to the side while Mason (literally) kept jumping into my arms and shaking because he was so overwhelmed with all the dogs running around. Eventually, I decided that I would make him walk around the park once, and if he still didn't warm up, that we would leave. Before I knew it, Mason was running around the park with all his new dog friends, and I was chatting away with all my new human friends. By the time we left, my boots were dirty, Mason was muddy (and stinky), and he did not want to leave!
|This was a spitz mix that I thought looked just like a giant Mason (except not as cute, of course)|
|Luckily Mason's tongue wasn't long enough to reach the beer, because he isn't 21 yet in dog years!|
After Sweetwater, Tori and I (sans Mason) went to the mall...you know I can't pass up an opportunity for a little shopping when I go to Atlanta. We were planning on going out, but we were quite honestly pooped after the days' events, and wound up staying in and going to bed early. Sometimes I look at myself and think, wow...at some point or another, you really did start acting older!
Continuing my constant stream of entertainment, my mom met me in Birmingham on my way home from Atlanta and went back to Columbus with me. Monday was MLK day, so we did some shopping in Tupelo and went out to eat. It was nice having some company, especially since I had a whole day off. She stayed through Wednesday.
And then I was alone.
So, for almost a week, it has been entirely up to me to entertain myself! No worries...I think I've done quite well. Autumn and I have been doing some cooking for each other and keeping up with my many television shows that I have become addicted to since graduating college and having actual time on my hands to be a "real" American, i.e. couch potato. I've been keeping up with my training, too, and ran 10 miles last week, so I guess I'm not a total couch potato. I decorated for winter and am working on getting everything perfect for Valentines day. Autumn and I visited a coffee shop in Columbus Friday night and listened to a local musician...the coffee shop allowed you to bring your dogs so we brought Dubs and Mason. And, not that I need any new addictions since I already have TV, running, and blogging...but I discovered the most fantastic thing EVER last week....Pinterest!
|Winter table setting. My mom also brought me some cute silver "snowflake" chargers. Stay tuned for pictures of my Valentines decor.|
People have been telling me about Pinterest, a website where you make virtual "inspiration" boards, for a while, but for some reason it seemed really confusing to me and I didn't ever feel like trying it out. I don't know why I thought that, because it really isn't confusing. In fact, Pinterest has become my new "happy" place. In ways it's like Facebook, but the only things shared on there are ideas with accompanying pictures. It has really helped me get my creative juices flowing...especially when it comes to the awesome DIY ideas I have found on it! I'm not going to share any of them until I actually get them completed, because some might sound a little weird. Thanks to Pinterest, I am in a "decorating on a dime" stage, because I have seen so many ideas on how to take every day objects found in thrift stores, antique stores, or even that I may already find around my house, and turning them into unique and beautiful decor! More to come...now that Chris is going to be in pilot training he will be very busy over the next year or so. Time for me to get some hobbies!
Tonight, I decided to host a girls night. I am pretty excited because I haven't even met half the girls coming and this is a great chance for me to meet some new girls from the base! I am on the welcome committee for the student spouses club, so one of the girls coming is someone I have only met over the phone, when I called her yesterday to welcome her to Columbus. Two of the girls are friends of Autumns' that I haven't met yet. I will be sure to take some pictures to post. I'm making Blue Cheese guacamole...I hope it turns out well. It sounds promising. I found the recipe on Pinterest!
Enough about me (actually, MORE than enough). Many of you would probably rather hear about Chris' adventures in Colorado at IFS. Unfortunately, I feel like I have barely talked to Chris! He has been so busy with academics and 12 hour days, and has really needed his rest too much to talk to me on the phone for hours every night. I did get to talk to him for quite a while on Saturday and get updated. His flights have been going really well, and he got called out during one of his classes for having the best call signs (i.e. pilot language). He's been trying to take some double turns (flying twice in one day), so if all goes well, he should be home around the beginning of next week. He was actually supposed to have a double turn today, but the weather caused it to be cancelled. Actually, it seems they have been pretty lucky overall with the Colorado winter weather, and haven't experienced that many delays. He's been spending his weekends in Colorado Springs vising some of his old stomping grounds. He also decided to "surprise" me by growing a heinous mustache, which I believe he finally got too embarrassed to wear in public, so he sent me a picture of it with a message saying that he had decided to shave it. I am very glad, because that is NOT the kind of surprise I like to get! It made him look a little creepy, like someone you wouldn't want to walk by if they were sitting in one of those big vans with no windows. We are hoping that this week he will do his solo flight, at which point it's time to wrap things up and get ready to come home. Fingers crossed! Mason and I miss him!
One thing I have learned this month (and these are purely observations from my perspective) is that while living alone isn't the worst thing in the world, it really takes a lot of the joy out of every day life not having that special someone there to share it with---the good, and the bad. I haven't found my time with Chris being gone being depressing, necessarily. Like I said, I'm a pretty independent girl. But coming home to an empty house after working all day just isn't as nice as coming home to the one you love. Mason can listen to me talk, but he can't talk back...and having a dog alone can be a bit of a handful (especially one that's used to so much attention). Cooking for one isn't as rewarding as cooking for two. And let me tell you, when my to-do list has everything from taking out the trash to spraying for bugs to cleaning the dishes, and I've got it all to myself...things can look really bleak! Yes, I can be independent, and I'm glad to be reassured of that, because as a military wife, there will be times when I have to be. But I love good company, which is one of the many reasons I fell in love with Chris. He can talk to me about anything, and he enjoys experiencing the world with me, whether it be a new recipe I'm making or trying a new dish, like escargot, at a fancy restaurant; whether we are traveling to California or Jamaica or just watching the travel channel and talking about places we want to go. Sure, I could travel or try new things on my own...but it's just more fun with my hubby by my side! I'm looking forward to trying some new recipes when he gets home and having a welcome home dinner with some other couples in his class, as well as a romantic dinner for just the two of us...I'm breaking out all the fancy wedding gifts like fine china, crystal, and silver and we are going to celebrate! Because my man is officially on the road to being a pilot..woohoo! ;)
P.S. Our wedding announcement is online if anyone wants to check it out... you can find it at http://www2.oanow.com/lifestyles/2012/jan/18/wilson-beck-ar-3068895/