Friday, December 30, 2011

Help me pick my NYE dress!

I realize this is a bit short notice, but I just decided on what I'm doing for New Years Eve. I'm going salsa dancing. Mostly because there aren't a lot of fun safe things to do when you're flying solo. At the salsa club there will be a whole bunch of people that I know. I'm in the "scene" like that. haha. I guess.

Anyway. Three options to choose from and some pros and cons. Whatya think?

Pros: It fits the best of the three.
Cons: it's black. Not very salsa-y.

Pros: It's red, it's cute.
Cons: It might be a little too short for some salsa moves. I will be wearing shorts under as always just in case... but I am a lady, you know! No chaperone = hyper aware of showing off too much.

Pros: It's pretty, it's purple. No chance of any wardrobe malfunctions.
Cons: It's a bit long to be very functional for salsa. It's stretchy so it will work, but I can see it getting in the way for bachatta, backwards dips, large steps, etc.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Attempting not to be angry at their ingorance.

I had another post lined up and then I realized that I can't post it yet. So instead am going to very ambiguously rant. I can't go into details but once it has all panned out you can bet it will be up here. 

I was just asked to help pull an extremely distasteful prank on my husband. I was basically asked to give him some very false information in order to get a reaction out of him. I don't know what else they plan on saying to exasperate the knowledge of this "information". Needless to say I will NOT be aiding in such a prank.

Instead I lied, and gave them more or less, a "maybe" answer. I did this so that I could tattle on them and give Monkey the opportunity to choose his course of action. He can A. Smack them upside the head for even considering such a ridiculous thing AND for trying to get his wife to help them with it! -or- B. Prank them back and pretend I actually told him this false information, play along and see how he can freak them out. 

Personally I hope he goes for option A. Regardless, what ever happens I will be making a point to inform this person of the many reasons it's a terrible idea to pull this prank and even more terrible to ask someone's wife to help.

At first I was just really angry but then it was pointed out to be that this person suffering from ignorance and not stupidity. They lack the life experience to understand how distasteful this is. I'm still very upset, but I guess I can see how this person thinks this would be funny. I plan to inform him, sternly, why it is not. 

Anyway, we'll see how this pans out and I'll update when it does.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Boohoo/Hooyah - Week 13

Ok well, I'm not being that consistent with this as far as the day I post it, but at least I've got it going again.

It's time for another Boohoo and a Hooyah. It's super easy. It's a short-format way to vent about something that's not going right this week, and then follow it up with something positive you'd like share/brag about, etc. You can use Hooyah, Oorah, or whatever your appropriate battle cry may be. Then, link up here so we can all share. I always read and comment on every link.

So, go ahead. Grab the button, link up, and get your Hooyah/Oorah/Hooah on! 


Boohoo: Still haven't heard from Monkey. It's been 20 days now. I'm really hoping that Santa brings me some Monkey Mail!

Hooyah: I started taking Ballroom lessons again. I knew I missed it but I forgot how much I loved it. It's been tough finding out all the little stuff I've forgotten but I'm starting to get my feet back under me again. It's just too bad that I can't afford it after my intro package runs out.

I also found a new martial arts academy near my house that I can start going to on the weekends. They have a few classes I want to check out, including one called "tricking". That sounds fun, right?! Again, it's on a groupon, so I don't know if I'll be continuing that after the first package. 

Needless to say, I'm keeping myself very busy and it's definitely helping to keep me distracted for most of the underway. 

Ok, your turn. Link up below!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

So I went to the doctor this morning.

Turns out I'm vitamin K deficient which might explain why my legs look like a dalmatian after jiu jitsu practice.

I also have finally, after many many years, broken down and gotten an inhaler. Last week, when it was so hard to breath that my face started to get cold, I decided it was serious enough to look into. (For the record, it's never been close to that bad before)

Also,  Honest to goodness I had this conversation with my doctor this morning:
Doctor: Do you smoke?
Me: Nope
Doctor: *pauses* not even marijuana?
Me: Ha, No.
Doctor: Do you drink
Me: Hardly ever
Doctor: Geez, what fun are you?

Haha, thanks Doc.

Monday, December 19, 2011

One of "those" weekends.

Ever have one of those weekends? The ones where you are supposed to have a great uplifting time and you end up being emotionally drained and a little depressed? Yeah, I had one of those.

A couple of relationships that aren't what I thought they were. And, I found out some information about someone I just met that makes me not respect them any more.

My shoulder to mope on is somewhere under the ocean, and I haven't heard from him in something like two weeks...

Blah. I'll get over it. Just a little... blahaarrgggboohoo... this morning. Need to find a pick-me-up.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Is your man amazing?

I've been meaning to kick off my page entitled "Being Amazing... you're doing it right" for quite some time now.
This page is a dedication to our hard working men serving our country and, most importantly, our hearts.
Every so often I come across a post made by one of my mil-spouse ladies who's husband has taken the time to be absolutely amazing, romantic, sweet, caring, or otherwise awesome!

I'm posting links to those posts here so we can all smile and be romanced vicariously through the softer side of some of our warriors.

The plan was to collect these posts and link to them from that page. But, life happened and I haven't been able to sit down and collect enough to get started.

So, I'm asking for your submissions! Have you made a post any time in the past about something amazing/sweet/romantic that your military man has done for you? Leave the link in a comment or email it to me at monkeysducky {at} gmail {dot} com.

If I choose yours (and I will be choosing a bunch) you will also get a badge for your blog. Something to the effect of "My Military Man is Amazing" (You know, so I link to you and you link to me. Win Win and stuff)

After I get this going I will add new links as I come across them. (I will always message you and ask your permission first.) So, keep checking back for new stories of our soldiers and sailors and airmen, etc who have taken time from protecting our country to serve our hearts.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Boohoo/Hooyah - Week 12

Well it's been a while since I've done this link up. I'm using a new Linky tool because the one I was using just doesn't work any more and they have absolutely no way to contact them.

If you're new to my blog or have missed this in the past, here's how this one works. You simply give a "Boohoo" (something that hasn't been going well, or that you want to vent about), then follow it up with something positive, a "Hooyah" (or your appropriate battle cry, or Booyah if you like/are a civilian.) Then you link up here, below. 

Enjoy! I love reading these and always read and comment.

Feel free to grab the button for your post!
I'll go first!

Boohoo:Haven't heard from Monkey is while. And, I didn't get any warning this time. It's not the waiting; it's the not know how long the waiting will last.

Hooyah: I finally got my first degree in Jiu Jitsu. That means I get to put a stripe on my belt. I was supposed to get it a couple weeks ago but then our instructor found out that there was an opportunity for us to visit another studio and get our stripes from Professor Anibal Lobo. So, I had to wait for that. After the degrees were given out we were told that there would be open mat. We were told before hand that there was supposed to be a class. Disappointed, our instructor told Prof. Anibal that we were hoping for a class. He asked us what we wanted to work on and my friend and I (the only other girl there) ended up getting a 15-20 min semi private lesson with him! It was very cool.

Ok, your turn.
Link up below and share on your blog so everyone can join in!

Sailors go salsa dancing!

So, I discovered this draft post in my blogger just now. I think I was waiting to add photos to it and just never got around to finishing it. Entirely out of context, here is a random adventure from this summer.

Adventure 2 of 3:

A couple of Monkey's buds came down to go to a high ropes and zip line challenge course. They didn't call ahead so they couldn't go when they had planned. Instead, they went to the outdoor go-cart racetrack and had a blast with unlimited bracelets. I was at work so I have no pictures for you.

However, Monkey had talked them into going salsa dancing with us that night! Neither of them had been before so I was really excited to take them on their virgin salsa voyage. They both did really great! There was supposed to be a lesson before the dancing started but the instructor just happened to be out of town that night. So, Monkey and I gave them a brief lesson to get them started. They learned the basic and how to turn the lady. They were very brave and each danced a whole song with me out on the floor at least once. One of them even grabbed a girl he didn't know and danced with her.  It was such a great night!

Funny how, on their time off, they still manage to all dress alike!

Monkey giving Sailor E a salsa lesson.

Because, as we here informed, you can't just go to one place when you go out for an evening, we set off to find another bar before we called it a night. Mind you, this was a Thursday night, so we had a hard time finding a place that was open after midnight. We found a place close to home, and got our drinks only to find out that they closed in 25 minutes. Which meant that Monkey couldn't finish his drink since he was the DD.

Of course, on the way home we had to stop for some post funk drive-though food. By this point, both of our salsero sailors had decided that they were going to speak with British accents. So, they commenced ordering their chicken nuggets with said accents. Quite amusing, actually.

I had a ton of fun. I love getting new people out learning salsa! I know at least one of them said they wanted to go out and try it again.

The next morning they left to try the zipline place again and Monkey and I packed for adventure #3 – Lake Billy Chinook.

Look for the third Adventure installment soon/maybe eventually.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Monkey Mail

"Hey sweetie!

 Its been busy. Piloting, evaluation team and I'm also port and starboard on watch now, which means I'm on watch an average of 12 hours per day. Until someone else in my crew qualifies nav-watch. So its been super-busy. I got a whole truckload of your emails all at once, and i haven't had a chance to read them all yet. [...]

Anyways, like i said this is my only chance to get some sleep. I will be playing catch-up on your emails tomorrow. I got 1-25. There are 4 people in line behind me to use this computer.

Love you sweety!
Hope you are well!

" Hey beautiful girl! i sat down last night with a print out of all your emails in chronological order so i could straighten everything out. [...] As I was reading that print-out last night someone asked me what book i was reading, it was 25 pages long. I said it was emails from my wife for this patrol. He said something to the effect of, 'Damn... you guys must be friends'. I thought that was funny. (Of course we're friends. Best friends!)

 I got your package in the mail-drop! Very sweet - thank you so much.... Its a little after the fact but that doesn't matter. I am very much enjoying it,[...] Thank you so much for everything you do, you are such a wonderful wife. I'm keeping you. lol. (I'm glad. I think I'll keep him too. )  :)


  *kisses* "

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Stealthy-wife projects : Care Packages

Boy oh boy am I behind on posts. This one was supposed to come right after the boat blanket post. Anyway, here are the rest of my stealthy-wife projects.

Since he's on a boomer submarine they don't go into port, and as such don't get mail except the occasional unguaranteed mail drop. But our awesome FRG organizes for them to take care packages with them and distribute them to the guys on a specific day. I always theme my care packages. This time it was "warm and cozy". It took me weeks to collect all the pieces for it. And some of what I got didn't fit in the box so he'll get it when he gets home. I also collected small gifts and cards from a bunch of his family so he could get gifts and messages from them too since he won't be home for the holidays.
We are limited to a shoe-box sized box. I'm sure I am pushing it by using one of his size 12 shoes boxes. But that was honestly the only shoebox we had in the house besides a pointe-shoe box which wouldn't have even fit the beef jerky. Also, I had the hardest time finding this wrapping paper. If I would have known that "flannel" is actually called "gingham" it would have made things much easier! I had to order is online, but I was really disappointed that it came flat and folded so it already had crease lines in it. But, what can you do at that point, right?     
Lets see if I can remember what all was in this box now. As you can see, there is a beanie, some really heavy duty waterproof work gloves, and some warm socks with a pocket for some toe warmers. Also in that box is a miniature christmas tree, hot cocoa and some hot teas, a collapsible cup, two bags of jerky, cards and gifts from his parents, my parent's, his grandmothers and some of his family in California. Also, a few packs of hand, foot, and toe warmers.Oh, and a dvd of a fire place, lol. So he can turn on his fireplace, set up his little tree, and open presents. It may not be on christmas, but I wanted him to have as much of a Christmas as possible. There was also a "do not open till christmas" present. Though I have no idea if he'll get it before or after christmas. :) I think there was a couple more things but I can't remember now. I sent it off weeks ago before they left.


This was a great exercise in puzzle piecing. It took about three attempts to get it all in there. Besides being cute, there was a reason I tied the lid on.
I also included this poem that told him about everything in the box and tied the whole theme together.
A tight fit! But I got it all in there. It weighs a ton! Hope he has fun unwrapping it.

And then we did end up getting a mail drop which I packed as, basically, a dehydrated thanksgiving dinner. I know they serve one on the boat but Monkey is doing some super diet underway and he refuses to eat anything except his regimented diet plan. But, he said if I sent him something he would eat it. I don't think he was planning on my sending this, but, I got a little carried away. 

So this is his entire holiday meal. That was all fit into a gallon zip lock baggy (our size limit for mail drops). As you can see I had to make some creative substitutions. I could not for the life of me find any gluten free TURKEY jerky. It all had soy sauce on it. Plenty of regular beef jerky to be found but not turkey jerky. So I found, instead, some cured smoked salmon. Salmon... turkey.... almost the same, right? Well it's better than boat food anyway. So, then you can see I also sent some "cranberry sauce", and "Pumpkin Pie" etc. The mashed potatoes are probably the closest thing. They're the just add water kind. I had to take some of this out of it's packages and into smaller baggies to make room for everything. There were also some goodies and cards from his family to complete it.

I had to make and pack the big care package while he was home, so I had to be super stealthy. Lots of random errands to run, and lots of stuff coming in from internet orders. (He wasn't allowed to go in the closet if he was at the apartment) A couple of missed web cam sessions. I told him "Pre-deployments are like Christmas. When I have secret errands to run, you just don't ask questions because it's probably for you." The mail drop was much easier since he was already gone, but it still took me three shopping trips to find everything.

Friday, November 25, 2011

It's time for Monkey Mail!

After being gone for over two weeks I FINALLY got email from him. I actually got a couple super short ones a couple days after he left but they were about three sentences long and just said that there wasn't much to report. Understandably. But after that there was nothing. Nothing for two weeks!!! I was starting to get really antsy. But the night before thanksgiving, three emails showed up in my inbox, and then two more trickled in this morning. yea! I feel so much better now.

Below are excerpts from those emails.  (The stuff is green are my notes, anything in Brackets is omitted or changed for various reasons)
12NOV11 6:47pm

Hey mrs beautiful!
[...]There is not much going on here. Just a lot of time cleaning and watching... I have spent a lot of time on the gaming LAN trying to get is set-up. There are a couple less computers we can email on than there were last patrol. I keep an eye out for them to be open. I got emails 1-3 today and it definitely felt good. I always imagine your voice and its very relieving.

 Im going to start doing quartermaster UIs (Under-instructions) next week. Im already Dinq (delinquent until qualified) on it technically. But I should be able to catch up anyways. Other than that...... yeah... not much... its a boring steel tube.

 I realized that i forgot my micro SD card in my other laptop - so i have no music. If you have the time and money and wanna hook your Monkey up with a micro-SD card on the next mail drop... :-D Any size is better than none, but as big as you can go; if possible.

 The diet is going well. Im having a really difficult time drinking water - im just not thirsty. I think its just the boat water.. Its nasty.

Anyhoozle love, I hope you had a good day with [my friend "V"], and a good weekend... I love you and miss you so much. Know that I am thinking about you, especially when i curl up in the blanket you made me.

Love you!

15NOV11 3:17am

Hey you! I miss your beautiful face! Every time I go to sleep and put that beanie on I think of how good that last weekend was. I can't wait to come back home to you. Things are boring, as usuall. I'm still dinq QMoW but I'm catching up. I'm doing my UIs in my three hours between watches. This patrol is kind of busy in the end and not a great one for qualifications unfortunately just because of when we are doing certain exams and what-not. Kinda sucks but I think i can get it done. There Isn't really a lot to talk about though - flying under the radar mostly, not picking on A-Gang.... yet. I miss you so much.


Anyways love, I miss you, think of you all the time.

17NOV11 7:15pm

Hey beautiful love! I finally got to read an email from you! Its been days.... I keep getting this grouping of 300 emails about sports updates that I didn't ask for and they fill up my box. I got 1-3 and 9 of your emails so I'm missing a few in the middle there, resend them if you can in case they don't make it through the radio clog.

Things are getting a little more hectic or busy whatever you wanna call it. Things like focused after-watch clean-ups and drills and the like.

Love you baby!

Saturday 19NOV11 6:33pm

Hey there beautiful love! I just got to read number 12. So i have now received 1-3, 9 & 12. (This is really frustrating that most of my emails have gone missing. I hope they get this fixed soon, I don't like having to resend them all) Still not much to talk about today is likely to be hectic, I'm taking a sec while i have it. I won a 1TB external hard drive in the field-day raffle today. I caught a little angst because i have 10TB on board already. [...]

I find myself often wondering what you are doing at the moment I am thinking it. I miss you so much. I want to squeeze you. I miss my little Ducky.


I'm working on Quartermaster but its coming slowly at best. All the easy things on the card have been signed off so whats left is the experience-earned and heavy-reading check-outs. I think I will be able to get it done, but i have to work on Periscope in tandem which is really difficult to get practice on.

Anyways Ducky! I look forward to reading the emails I'm missing! Hopefully you get all of mine.

Love you so much!

23NOV11 12:52am


Mrs. Ducky, tomorrow is thanksgiving. I wish i could be there with you,[...]  Please spend it with family/friends though, I got the notion that you had plans which i was glad to hear. [...]

I'm holding on to Quartermaster by the skin of my teeth. I am nowhere near ready to stand it and I'm almost done with my card. My computer distracts me a lot. Not the computer itself but someone always wants something off of it. [...]

anyways mrs Ducky! Please have a WONDERFUL thanks-giving. I will be giving thanks for my wonderful wife, whom I adore and love to pieces. I give thanks for that every day though. I never feel like its enough. I wish i could send you flowers right now. Not just because I am not with you for thanksgiving but because i just want to send my beautiful wife some flowers.

I love you, need to sleep.
*hugs and kisses*

So, there you go. I really hope they get his mail situation figured out. I make a point to write him at least once a day. So it's really frustrating that they just get lost and he doesn't hear from me. But I will keep on writing.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Just checking in.

I'm just checking in, because it's been a while since I've posted anything.

The problem is that all my planned posts require pictures which are on my computer at home. And, by the time I get home I'm too tired to make the post. Here's what's on tap though:

1. Halfway box and Care packages
2. Anti Bullying and suicide prevention
3. Restarting the Boohoo/Hooya link up
4. Hopefully soon, some Monkey Mail

I'll be in Seattle this weekend with Friends for thanksgiving, just steps away from the Seattle Salsa Congress! But, alas it's waaay too expensive for me this year since I'm trying to save for my Mac Book so I can work remote next year. 

I've been getting back into salsa recently. Which is making me miss ballet and ballroom, a lot! I have Groupons for some different dance studios to use. I should start that soon. I find myself standing in front of the mirror practicing ballet lines while I brush my teeth in the mornings. It's time to get back into it. I love the muay thai and jiu jitsu, but I'm a dancer, and I miss it.

Ok, I need to get back to work. Just wanted to check in. Hope you all have a great holiday weekend!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Help a Special Education class - Postcard Project

I am passing along this request from a friend who posted on facebook. I know that I have many lovely readers from all over the world and am hoping you will help! I think this is a very cool and fun project.
Below is a request from the special education teacher at Caldwell Highschool in Caldwell, ID.

"I am a special education teacher at our local high school. I am going to start teaching a segment in geography and I am wondering if anyone would be kind enough to mail my classroom a postcard from the area in which you live. We are making a global map that will be attached to the cards mailed to my classroom. The class and I will discuss the information given on the postcard and the postcard picture Then it will be attached to the area on the map from which it came! I would love to receive as many postcards (from all over the world) as possible as my students enjoy receiving mail. Thank you in advance!"

Please address any post cards you send to the following address:

Caldwell High School
Room 137, Mrs. Castle
3401 S Indiana Ave.
Caldwell, ID 83605
Please comment below if you plan on sending a postcard!
Thank you all.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

And, here we go.

ok, as promised, a real update. It's long. I usually don't write this much but there is much to talk about.

Monkey is officially off on his next grand undersea adventure. *sigh* Which is why I haven't been blogging much. All I've had to talk about revolved around him getting ready to leave. I was a busy busy bee running around getting him ready, while secretly putting together his halfway box (hopefully next post), HoneyGrams - which are an awesome fundraiser our FRG puts together to arrange for hand written notes to be delivered on specified dates (he's on a sub, they don't get mail), and his boat blanket. 

The last two weekends I spent helping him sort 3 months worth of vitamins and supplements into individual baggies. And then packing up his barracks since he's being forced out of Geo-bach. He has a place for his stuff but not a place to live when he gets back. The place he was going to live fell through at the last minute. He has another friend and his wife who are interested so hopefully that get's panned out during the underway.

We thought that the weekend before last (the one spent moving him until 3:30 in the morning) was his last weekend, but then things got pushed out. Which turned out to be an excellent thing! If he had left when he was supposed to and my last weekend with him was spent just packing and moving, I would not be doing as well as I am now. Because, save for a small meltdown in the Wal-mart parking lot, we had an excellent last weekend. I was able to get in some really good quality Monkey time and get a real goodbye instead of the 45 second one I got the weekend before because he was running late to get to duty turnover. (I was not happy about that). 

Right now I am feeling a lot better than anticipated. I had hoped to make it at least through the weekend before the icky feeling set in. But, I actually thought it would take... eehhhh... two days. But, I'm feeling pretty ok right now. I mean, I definitely miss him like crazy, but I'm handling it MUCH better than last time. I think I'm getting used to this. Also, I started taking more supplements for my mood and focus, and I think that is really helping, too. 

I made a rule for all of my friends this time. I call it the "no pity" rule. Note, that there is a different between pity and compassion. They are most definitely allowed to care, and recognize that I may be sad some days and will need some support. But, they must follow these two simple rules. NO pouty faces in attempted empathy. NO responses such as "that sucks", "I'm sorry", or "I could never do that". I do not need to be reminded that deployments suck. What I need is; support and distraction. In general I'm just really tired of the pouty face reaction to "My husband just left." or similar/related statements. it's just so unhelpful and often presumptuous of my feeling at the time. Instead, I just ask that they say things like, "You are strong, you can do this.", "Let's go out"(and mean it). "How are you feeling?"(Listen to and care about my answer)  I have a couple of friends who are doing a very good job with this and it's also helping a lot. 

I know that the first weekend is always the toughest for me. It's always when I'll have the first completely unplanned day and I end up sleeping in way too late, I never get dressed, and don't leave the house. Then about 6pm I start to feel really lame that I just sat around and moped all day. So, my friend volunteered a girls weekend. She's been going through some of her own personal drama so we can both use the distraction.

So, this weekend we have scheduled: Saturday night - salsa dancing and a sleepover, Sunday - PJ breakfast then pedicures. Friday night I will be cleaning my poor neglected home. I've been meaning to do it for weeks but then ended up driving up to Bangor because he wasn't able to come down. Saturday during the day I need to go to Ross or some place inexpensive and find something to wear salsa dancing. 

Other than that I'm getting back to "gym-rat" status again. That's 2-3 hours a night, 4 days a week at the gym. I'll be working on my jiu jitsu, muay thai, and maybe adding Saturdays and getting back to Capoeira. And, I get to start my guitar lessons soon, too. There is one other thing that I will be doing as well, but that's for another post. This one is getting long enough.

See, I said this would be a real update! Here's hoping that this good mood lasts as long as possible. I know that  I will eventually, at some point, break down. I think it would be unhealthy if I didn't. But, I'm gonna stay happy as long as happy'll have me. And when I do break down, I've got my friends well educated on how to pick me back up again. I think I'm set. Deployment, I'm so ready for you!!! Uh, mostly. I think. I hope. Fingers crossed, anyway. :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

15% off at Shabby Apple

Ok, I swear I have more insightful things to post than another "click here to get" deal. (I really do, lots to talk about that I haven't been able to post about yet) But, I love love love Shabby Apple and I'm sure you do too. What? You haven't seen this adorably vintage-inspired line of clothing? Well go now, here's 15% off AND free shipping though this link!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Win free Photoshop for life.

AppSumo is running a sweepstakes right now to give away free Photoshop and upgrades for life to 10 people. Pretty sweet deal! I know that a lot of you lovely bloggers love you some Photoshop, so I thought I'd pass it along. Good luck!

Click here to enter:

Also, I get an extra entry if you enter, so if anything do it for me? The worst that can happen is that you win, right?!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Monkey's boat blanket.

So probably almost a year ago I saw a couple ladies make a quilt or boat blanket for their hubbies. Since then I've been saying "One of these days I'm going to make you a quilt." Every underway, "I should make you a quilt..." and nothing ever comes of it. Well, this time is the perfect time, if was ever to actually do it. So I started what was come to be known as "Project overly-ambitious".

What started out as a loving, fun craft project turned into an all consuming project for three weeks! I almost didn't get it finished in time. Thank you Mom for all your help! I couldn't have finished it without you! Also, while I was making this I had all my other stealthy-wife things to get together for him. (That's another post)

I had big plans for this blanket. One of which was to make a fleece-lined foot pocket. However, once I got the pocket made, I realized that i would have to quilt it to keep the lining from stretching out and sagging. And after 30 minutes of frustrated self bargaining, i eventually had to give up on the idea realizing that I just didn't have the time to do it right. So, the foot pocket was sadly, left off.
The features that did make it on though, include: a pocket from one of his old utilities shirts being used as a quilt square, ties/ribbons at the foot of the blanket so it can be bundled up all nice and neat for traveling and tidy stowing, a hand sewn heart on the back of the blanket so that "my heart is always next to his", also several patches and name tape and fish. 

In the end some things didn't go according to plan, but I took my time and wanted it to be good quality over anything else. I know it's going to get tossed around a bit on the boat and I wanted it to hold up. But, just in case, I'm sending him with an emergency repair kit so he could patch it up until he got home. I'm realistic, i know that it could very well get damaged during the underway. Though, of course I hope it doesn't.

As much as I enjoyed making this, it fought me the whole way, between the craft store cutting my fabric crooked, to my machine not being able to handle quilting the final blanket, to it just taking 4 times longer to do anything than I thought! I put in somewhere around 50 hours on this project. But it was worth it. I am very proud of it. And, it's super cozy!

Everything except the NWU fabric. I had to order it because he said I could have a pair of this pants (though he didn't know why) and then changed his mind. Did you know you could get the real deal online by the yard? I actually cut out most of this fabric while I was talking on the web cam with him. He just couldn't see what my hands were doing!

That's 140 squares of fabric. I had an evening to kill at a hotel room, so I ironed all my squares.

And then laid them out to find a "random" pattern that I liked.Do you know how hard it is to be completely random, on purpose?
I used one of the pockets from his utility shirts as a quilt square. So he has a functioning pocket on his blanket! Handy for his ipod or phone alarm, etc.

First Squares go together.

First two strips go together. yes, I use A LOT of pins! I just wanted it to be straight. I'm also a super slow sewer because I don't trust that the machine will go straight.

We had to come up with a color coded pin and numbering system because I had no choice but to work on it later in the evening, and we started messing up the order of the squares and strips because we (my mom and I) were so tired!

All the squares were sewn together. From here I added a border, then cut the back, basted the batting in place and sewed the front and back together. It was finally becoming a blanket! One of the patches was a hat patch. Tried my hand at sewing on the patches. Just to make sure they stayed on, even though they had an iron on backing. It did fine on all of them except the round one. (Which, I don't think i have any pictures of)

Finally all together. I think it's gorgeous. The batting I chose was really nice and it made it drape really nicely. It feels wonderful to cuddle with. Of course I tested it for a night. ;)
My sewing machine decided in the 11th hour that it was tired and refused to quilt more than 6 inches without breaking the thread and/or jamming. So, I had to give up and do the hand tieing method. They were trimmed much shorter than this and didn't look too bad when it was all done. They were actually barely noticeable. Here you can see the basting pins still in place, and the gold ribbons for tying the blanket.
I hand sewed a fleece heart to the backside of the blanket near the top left. So that no matter how far away he goes, my heart is always next to his.

And lastly, inside the pocket i tucked a little ducky and another heart, so he always has his Ducky Love with him. (Cause he calls me Ducky, or sometimes Ducky Love.)
The quilt all bundled up. So pretty.
Monkey seemed to be impressed. He said I did a really good job. We slept under it that night. I hope it keeps him nice and warm while I'm not there to hold him. And I hope it makes him feel loved when I'm not there to tell him.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I don't even know what to title this.

Man, where to start. It's been a hectic few weeks and a crazy last few days.

I've been running around in every free second that I had getting everything I needed for all my super-stealthy-wife-surprises that I've been working on. I cannot reveal them yet because I haven't given them to him. But, I have taken pictures and there (probably) will be sharing.

Two are done. The other is almost done, but has been giving me grief from the very beginning. It has taken me four times longer than I anticipated. I'm about 40+ hours into it. And if I could finish it the way I wanted to it would be another few hours on top of that. Unfortunately, my entry-level equipment can't handle this project. So, I have to finish it using a less than desirable (for my OCD) method. Already I've had to fore go a really cool feature because I didn't anticipate the characteristics of my sub-straight. (Am I being vague enough here?) So, because time is an issue and I'm going for quality over quantity, I had to leave it off. I might be able to add it on later, but it's not quite the same.

AND on top of all that personal rah rah, I've had a crazy crazy crazy last couple of days at work. One of our project managers up and left with no notice and it seems a bunch of account info and files went with him right before some big client deadlines. So, we're all in the midst of sorting that out. Also, it happened to be the last week that we had our freelance production artist in-house, and our creative director was out of the office at an event, so all of the crazy landed in my lap. 

Things have finally calmed down today. I have tonight to finish my stealthy-wife present. Deep breaths. 

More updates about other things are scheduled for later. I'll be back on here more coming up.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Early Christmas Present

Last night we were at a guitar store picking up some cables for Monkey's mixer and I spotted this pretty purple guitar. I have always thought that guitars are just beautiful and have purchased more than one just because I liked it even though I barely play. I used to take lessons in grade school but I never practiced so that didn't last very long. I've been meaning to get back into it but have never made time for it.

But, I was REALLY in love with this guitar. Monkey asked me if I wanted him to get it for me, but I told him I couldn't ask him to buy something like that for me. I couldn't justify getting another guitar unless I was taking lessons again. I think he could tell how much I was in love with it, so after a few minutes, he told me to go pick out a stand and some picks. He bought me the guitar and lessons for the whole time he's gone. :) I love this man.

My first order of business is to learn some Colbie Caillat. One of his favorite singers. I'm starting with "Bubbly". I'll have a few months to get pretty good and show him what I've learned when he gets home. Wish me luck!

Navy Birthday Ball

On Thursday I FINALLY got to go to a Navy Ball with Monkey. He's been in for three years and we missed all of them for one reason or another.

It wasn't as fancy as I'd imagined it would be. But, considering it was on base and on a Thursday, I suppose perhaps this wasn't one of the big ones? Sub ball is in the spring and I'm pretty sure we'll be able to go to that one. I'm told it's a bit more of a party, since it's all Submariners. And, I'm already all set so there will be no stress. (Well, LESS stress anyway) Since, I already have my dress for that one.

Anyway, we had tons of fun and even got to dance a little. We got in some cha-chas, a swing, a bolero, and a teeny bit of foxtrot. We would have stayed all night, but eventually the DJ turned the ball into a nightclub and there wasn't any "danceable" music. We got a few compliments, which is always fun. Sometimes people get annoyed that we're taking up a little more floor space than everyone else, so we try and keep it small. But, people seemed to like it this time. :) Plus, Monkey looked SO adorable dancing in his dress blues. Unfortunately, the only pictures i have of that are of him dancing with someone else's wife. He was teaching her to hustle. Next time though, i will make someone take pictures of us dancing.

Well, let's proceed with the pictures, shall we...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

And the winner is...

After polling my fellow bloggers and facebookers and family and coworkers and husband and possibly even my cat... I have made a decision on my dresses!

I am going with "Option A" and "Option B" (see previous post) but in a teal instead of pink. A lot of people said the same thing. That they really liked the dress but the pink was a bit much. So, I had them bring me over a teal one in the same dress from another store.

*pretend I'm smiling in the second one. Today's pictures were taken a bit more hastily. Just needed something to text to the hubby who was waiting from afar to give his feedback.

The dresses are now in the process of being taken in a teeny bit, hemmed, and having straps added to them. I know, I know! Why ruin a perfectly good strapless gown with straps!? Well, because I want to be able to dance in them. Like, really dance. Waltz, foxtrot... that kind of thing. And strapless dresses+small curves+raised arms = a show for the sailors! So, I'm having them add halter straps that will tie in a bow and have really long tails that run down my back. I think it will be very pretty and will make my shoulders look nice. The good news is, that they will be removable. So they are optional should i have a fancy occasion where there is no dancing. Or if I just change my mind on the whole strap thing.

Now all i have to do is figure out shoes and hair. Hair is going to be my biggest challenge. I've never had to do anything with hair this short. Guess it wasn't the best time to cut it all off! :) 
I'm very open to suggestions.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Navy Birthday Ball - Help me pick my dress!!!

I FINALLY get to go to a ball! He's been in the Navy for three years and we've never been able to go!

The Navy birthday ball is in two and a half weeks. And I need a dress! I went shopping today but I didn't have a shopping buddy and I am the most indecisive person in the world - so won't you all pretty please be my shopping buddies?

I'm going to buy two of them. One for now and one for Sub Ball just in case we get to go to that one too. Though, I don't even know when it is. Anyone know?

So, please give me your honest feedback, and maybe even which one you would wear to which ball - if you want. Any feedback I can get will help! (Except you know, like "you look like a big pink horse" or something.)

So here's some pics. Some awful cell phone pics... but none the less... here we go.

*right click on a picture > "open link in new tab" to see them larger in a new tab
Then on the new tab, click on the picture to enlarge even more

Let's call this option A

Option B

Option C

Option B
I love the neckline on this one. I'm just not sure if bright pink is too young - I'm 28, just FYI (Your thoughts?)

Option B

Option B
But, this dress is a little bit too small and it shows in the back.

Option C
I love this color and I love the front. But, I don't think it does my back any favors.

Option C

Option C

Option A
I wish you could see the actual color of this dress. It just doesn't come across in the picture. It's kind of shimmery and iridescent.

Option A

Option A
Leave your thoughts in the comments, please!