20 December, 2011

Pardon me...

But where did 2011 go?!?

 Part of me feels like I blinked and it was over, and the rest of me feels like it was a lifetime ago. It's hard to believe last Christmas I was just getting going with the wedding plans and now this year we've been married for 7 months and celebrating our "first married Christmas".

It's hard to believe that last year Stephen was still in tech school in TX and was only home for 2 weeks for Christmas. This year he graduated tech school, worked 6 months at his reserve base doing seasoning training, and is now working with a recruiter to start as an Active Duty Airman after the first of the year.

Last year I was finishing up finals, setting up an internship, and putting the finishing touches on my last semester's schedule. This year I graduated and have been looking for a full time job.

Last year Stephen came home just 3 days before Christmas and this year we've been together for the last 9 months. It's amazing what a difference a year makes!

I can only imagine what this next year will bring us! We don't even know now where we'll be in a year. It's kind of been a whirl wind in less than a week. But after talking with a recruiter Stephen learned that it is possible for him to go into the Active Duty Air Force. He had a meeting this morning that lasted a couple hours and has spent the rest of the day running around getting everything together. He has another meeting Thursday morning to turn everything in. The recruiter wants to have him up to MEPS by the first week of January. After all that comes back he can have his position lined up in a matter of days.

Right now the open positions include a crew chief position, a recruiting position, and an EOD position. If it's available he will have to take the crew chief job because that's what he's already trained to do. He's kind of hoping that it's not and he can take the recruiting job because he feels like he would enjoy that job more.

Either way we'll most likely be experiencing our first PCS very early in 2012. I couldn't be more excited! We've both lived here our entire lives and a change would be nice. Stephen doesn't like to talk much about it yet because he said he doesn't want to get his hopes up... but I can't help it. I'm a talker. I'm a planner. Mostly, I'm a day dreamer and I keep thinking of the possibilities of where we could end up... it will be an adventure no doubt, but we're so excited for this new chapter!

If all does go as planned and we PCS my plans are to get a part time job and look for a good school to study radiography or ultrasound. Can't really decide anything until we know more, but I will definitely keep everyone up to date as we learn more!

Prayers are appreciated for us over the next few weeks as everything gets straightened out. Prayers that everything goes as planned and as smoothly as these things can go.

Hope everyone is enjoying this time leading up to Christmas and isn't letting the stress get you down! Remember the reason for the season!

16 December, 2011

Let's be real.. and maybe even a little Grinchy

Ok, as most of my posts in the last few months start out, I haven't posted recently. This time it's not for lack of writing material, but the opposite. Just too much going on. I really hadn't wanted to say anything, but then I thought to myself:

A) I'm bottling up all of this stress and emotion and I will probably feel better to get it out


B) Blogs are supposed to be real. It's not just for sugar coating and only posting the happy. That's not good writing. If I'm going to share, I'm going to share the good, the bad, AND the ugly.

So, I'm going to break all of my Mom's cardinal rules and I'm going to discuss money.

*GASPPPP* I was raised in the south. We don't discuss things like that down here. Don't ask me why, I don't know. It's just how we are. Dont' get me wrong, everyone gossips and makes assumptions about people behind their backs, but nobody openly discusses when they're having troubles. Just a fact of life.

Really this whole blog thing kind of freaks my Mom out I think(Love you, Mama!) She does read it, but she doesn't understand sharing your whole life on the internet for other people to read. To an extent I agree, but I love blogging, so I'm just going to continue to do it until something changes my mind otherwise.

So here is the scoop in the Volheim household. We're both still floundering for "careers". Stephen enlisted as a reservist, so in October his year and 4 months of continuous orders finally ran up, and he's had to look for "what to do now". My Dad was busy with his company for a good while, so thank the Good Lord that kept him busy up until a few weeks ago, but with the holidays everything has slowed down. Let's face it a couple weeks before Christmas is not the best time to turn into a one income household!

In case you're new to my blog, I'm a college graduate looking for a PR job and working as a waitress in a struggling sports bar. The money is best described as inconsistent. Don't get me wrong, I make ends meet and have some left. Especially considering we're still technically in football season. But I don't make enough to cover for both of us.

We were smart and had a pretty healthy savings socked away while Stephen was on orders which is keeping me from turning into a complete nutcase. But I just can't help but feel so stressed out. We're both praying constantly. I trust the Lord with all my heart that he has a plan here. That He never closes one door without opening a window, but I am just not a very patient person. Waiting to see what he unfolds for us is making me crazy!

Thank God that Stephen actually already has a few very promising options to sort out hopefully during the next week. I love to day dream about "what if" things work out just like we hope they will, and he doesn't ever want to "jinx" anything or "get his hopes up". (We can be opposites!) So we've been irritating each other with how we deal with our stress this week. We can always laugh together at the end, but boy it just has not been easy and we're both on short fuses. But I know that these struggles are only making us stronger and bring us closer to each other and to God.

Needless to say, I've been a bit of a grinch this holiday season. It's not exactly the way I had pictured "our first married Christmas". At first I was super excited! We had Christmas card pictures taken. We went through the motions of putting up all of our Christmas decorations, but I have yet to post any pictures here or on Facebook which is very unlike me! (I will try my hardest to make myself post pics this week!!) I put off Christmas shopping as much as possible. Partly for budgeting reasons and partly for lack of any Christmas spirit. I usually LOVE shopping for other people. I go on the hunt for THE perfect gift for every single person. This year it took longer than normal to find that drive. I can at least say that I did accomplish my shopping list this morning and I'm feeling pretty good about it, so that's making me feel a little better. But overall I'm just not feeling it this year. (The 75-80 degree weather we've been happening isn't helping either!)

We went to two very awesome Christmas services last weekend, that helped to make me feel more in the spirit, but it's just hard to hang on to.

I'll share my other sad, embarassing, pathetic story for the week:

I had been stressing over Christmas cards since the day after we took our pictures. It's our first married Christmas. My AMAZING friend took some incredible fun family pictures for us. I just wanted to find THE perfect card to send. After a lot of looking at several different websites I finally settled on a design I liked best with one of our pictures from WalMart.(I wish I could show you the ones I had picked vs. the ones he made, but I'm not sure if the links will work)

LOVED them. I forgot to order them one morning before work so I called Stephen and asked him to just log in to my account and order 25 of the cards I had designed for 1-hour pick up so I could just grab them on my way home. He text me a little while later and said he had done it and they would be ready. I didn't think anything of it. I stopped at the store, picked them up, checked out, and was on my way out to the car. I opened the big envelope up eager to see the cards I had worked so hard choosing.

I opened the envelope. Those weren't the cards I had picked. I text hubs and said, "These aren't the cards I had made." He text me back and said, "Ya I know, I couldn't find them on the website so I just tried to pick one and make them pretty."

Y'all... I seriously burst into tears. Not little tears either, I sobbed in my car right there in the walmart parking lot. I hated the cards. I just wanted the ones I had picked. I couldn't even look at them(they're still sitting in their bag, in the envelope, because I can't bare to look at them!). I tried to cover it up so not to make Stephen feel bad because he had tried. But SERIOUSLY, why hadn't he just called me?!? Sadly to say, I sobbed the entire way home. I feel a bit ridiculous, but it's still bothering me! I can't bring myself to send them. I know they're not that expensive since they're WalMart cards, but we are on a pretty tight budget this year so I can't justify ordering more. So I've resigned to the fact that we will just be skipping Christmas cards this year. (Sorry to all of our friends and family who normally get one!)

I know it's silly, and I can laugh at myself, but I just feel like that's the way this Christmas is going. I have it planned one way in my head and life has another idea. It's not life changing but I had just wanted so badly for our "first married Christmas" cards to be perfect and instead just ended up not sending any.

Be brutally honest ladies, am I being ridiculous? Do you have holiday melt downs? Am I the only being a Grinch this year?!

Anyway... thinks for sticking through my rambling mess... Happy Friday y'all!

03 December, 2011

These are my confessions...

I confess:
  • That I haven't blogged much lately, partly because I haven't done much worth blogging about and partly because reading about all you mama's out there is giving me killer baby fever!
  • That I will be reading blogs to catch up for the next few hours while my Hubs studies for his CDC test.
  • That I have been job hunting like a fiend for the last few weeks without much success.
  • The lack of success in job hunting could be due to me being so picky.
  • I still don't know "what I want to be when I grow up". One day I think I love PR and want to do that, the next I think I wanna go to ultrasound school.
  • Sometimes I want Stephen to go AD in the Air Force so we can move around
  • Sometimes I want us both to find good, permanent jobs here so we can buy a house, settle down, and have babies.
  • Some days I think I want to have a baby very soon, some days I think I'd like to wait a few years to do some other stuff just as a couple first..
  • I LOVE CHRISTMAS!! But this year it's really stressing me out..
  • I'm working out/eating good lately, but intensely craving Fro Yo while watching football with the hubs tonight!
  • I HATE working out/eating good.. but it feels so good when I stick to it!
  • That I have no idea what I'm doing these days but I am enjoying each day and all the people I share them with!
Yes, I know. Randomness. But that pretty much sums up my life these days. I feel like we're kind of in limbo these days as  we both try and figure out "what's next" in our professional lives. Much less fun than it sounds! I have some really awesome cooking posts to share tomorrow or Monday, but tonight I thought I'd finally post our Christmas card photo shoot. I'm having a hard time deciding which one to use, so any input is appreciated!

OH! Side note: My very handsome Senior Airman was nominated for Airman of the quarter in his squadron. I'm one very proud wife! :)

Happy Saturday y'all!

21 November, 2011

6 months down...

That's right people, the Hubs and I officially SURVIVED our first 6 months of marriage! Today marks exactly six months since we said our "I do's". That means we're half way to our 1st anniversary(which means champagne and cake!)

(Ok, ok I confess I remembered that today marked 6 months because I had an email from the knot.com asking me if we "were pregnant, new parents or trying to conceive" sicne we had been married 6 months this morning. Why no, knot.com, we are not. Thanks for increasing my already ridiculous baby fever as I try to just enjoy our first few years of newlyweded bliss!!)

But I digress...

I text Stephen this morning to tell him we had survived and I loved him. :) (sweetest wife ever, I know!) And do you know what that sweet, wonderful man did? He stopped by the store on his way home to get me a treat!

That's right, when I got home from work he had a bubble bath complete with lighted candles, a new magazine, my favorite candy, and a sweet card waiting for me to relax! (Yup, I hit the jackpot! ;)

We've had quite an eventful first 6 months as a married couple, and I expect that we'll have plenty more stories in the next 6 before we reach that one year mark. Who even knows where we'll be! We're both still trying to decide "what to be  when we grow up".

I decided today to spare you the nitty gritty details of our first 6 months which most definitley included, love, hugs, fights, arguments, stress, bills, moving, changing, growing, cuddling, sharing, and so much more trials and successes(which many of you have already about here anyway). Instead, I'm going to just share our 1st 6 months in pictures with you.

Happy 1/2versary to my wonderful, thoughtful, handsome, sweet husband! I love you, Stephen, and I appreciate all you do for us! My life would be so boring without you

To many, many more!

Happy Monday and Happy Thanksgiving week y'all!

17 November, 2011


Alright, I know this disappointing, but tonight I'm going to take a break from my food blogging to try to amuse you a bit. (However, I have set a new record and cooked a new recipe every night this week! So I have two more to share with you tomorrow)

I have recently become more addicted to twitter. Hashtags are fun. One day I posted a silly tweet about work with the tag #waitressproblems only to discover that such tag was a MAJOR conversation if you will, on twitter. I read old #waitressproblem posts for the better part of an hour last night.

Then when deciding what to write about today, I just couldn't resist. Seems like most people I know have waited tables at one point or another and can relate to these little pet peeves of the restaurant business. (DISCLAIMER: this is not meant to offend, just to be funny. If you do any of the things listed, it's nothing personal)

For any of you that have waited tables and can think of more that I forgot please feel free to comment with them! :)


  • "Can I get 75% unsweet tea, and 25% sweet. Not half and half.. 75/25"
    • Really? You can tell the difference? (I like to make it 50/50 just to see if they really notice)
  • Making $25 on a 6 hour shift one day, and $150 in 4 hours the next
  • Waiting on a husband and wife when they're fighting... AWKWARD
  • Asking your table if they're ready to order, they say yes then continue to read their menus
    • Uhhh... I can come back if you'd like
  • The awkward moment when you can't decide if a couple is on one check or seperate
  • Same side of the booth sitters
    • No offense to all of you love birds, but it's just weird!
  • Verbal tippers: You know what I mean, the ones that go on and on the whole time about how great you are only to leave you a below average tip.
  • Mom:"Do you have chocolate milk"-- lady this is a sports bar, not McDonald's
  • On the same note: when parents let their kids run around the restaurant like it's a playground. NEWSFLASH: it's not a playground or chuck e cheese!
  • When your table splits everything(i/e: pitchers of beer, wings, nachos) but then gets upset because the check isn't seperate.. umm.. everything was together?
  • People that tell you over and over they're in a rush... (So why did you come out to eat? Wouldn't fast food make more sense then a sit down restaurant?)
  • People that show up to watch a sporting event on TV, order a water, say they'll order later, and then just leave when the game ends.
  • Similarly: When a customer takes up your table for hours working, chatting, internet surfing, etc. after eating their meal and then leaves $1...ya, thanks buddy, please come back again.
  • When customers ask if the money they give you is a good tip... like I'm going to say no?! AWKWARD!
  • Customers that get mad at the server when their food isn't right. I write it out, I explain it to the cook, I don't make it! Face it, the general restaurant cook population are either on drugs or prison work release, not the most reliable workers in the world!
  • Why yes I enjoyed waiting on your family of 3, making you 3 bowls of chili, bringing out entrees, refilling your drinks 5x a piece, so much that $1 tip on a $30 bill is sufficient! (I'm trying to pay bills here people and I make $4.23 an hour! We LIVE on tips- 20% people, it's not that hard!)
  • Mom to child: "What do you want to eat/drink?" Kid: "I don't know"... blank stare.. I do not have all day, you know what your kid eats, just order for them!
Any of you current/former servers hear me on this list?!?

Any I forgot that you want to add?

I must admit, I'm feeling much better after making this list about the crappy day I had at work. I think I'll survive another shift tomorrow. :)

Happy Thursday y'all!

15 November, 2011

Factor V and what it means to me

Ok, I've been a bit of a food bloggy this week, and I have to admit it's been fun to pretend to be a little bit of a Suzie Homemaker. But there's been something on my heart that I've been wanting to share for a few weeks now.

Part of my reason for writing this post is selfishness. I'm looking for anyone else with this or similar problems to compare stories with. My other reasons for posting are for education purposes and for you all to have a little more insight on me.

I'll back up and start from the beginning. I touched on this last week in my about me post, but didn't really get detailed. So here is how my story goes:

As I mentioned, I had moved to Auburn, AL in August of 2007. Just a couple weeks after moving I found a job working in the big bookstore right outside of campus. I went to work on my first day and it was pretty hectic. No one had time to teach me how to sell books or ring people out, so I was folding shirts and keeping the store straightened up as the whirlwind of people moved in and out. After just a couple hours, I began to feel really hot, then I started to feel dizzy. I walked back to my manager's office to tell him I wasn't feeling so good, but the next thing I know I woke up laying on the office floor with several other employees standing around me. Yup, I had passed out on my first day of work. I think I kind of freaked everyone out because they sent me home to rest. They called later that day and told me to just rest and not worry about coming for my shifts the rest of the week.( In short, they didn't need me)

I had only passed out one other time in my life so it sorta freaked me out too. I slept all that afternoon and then called my mom. She suggested I look for a doctor up there and go get checked out just to be safe. Well I called around and none of the Primary Care doctors were taking new patients at the moment. So instead I just went to one of the little urgent care facilities near campus.(We call them "doc in a boxes") The doctor checked me out, ran a few tests, drew blood, but couldn't find anything. Said it may have been a fluke but that I should consider "going to see my real doctor".. uhhh.. what are you exactly? As I was standing out the counter waiting to check out, I passed out again. Great. The doctor came back out, and encouraged me to go to my regular doctor to get a full work up. Why did I waste my time coming here then?

I was OK for a couple weeks after that. Classes started, I stayed busy and felt fine. The week before labor day weekend I got this shooting pain in the back of my right leg. It ran from glutes all the way down to my knee, most of the time it was pretty dull and just felt like I need a good stretch, but no matter what I did, I could not work it out. That weekend I was a bit homesick and decided to go home for the long weekend. By the time I made the 3-hour drive to Pensacola, my leg was killing me. I couldn't remember pulling a muscle or anything so I just ignored it for a few more days. It got worse and worse, by Monday when I was going to drive back to school I couldn't hardly walk on it. My mom took me to the urgent care here. The doctor looked at it and heard what had been going on and decided it was probably my sciatic nerve acting up. He wrote me a prescription for some loratab and told me to take it easy and not to drive back to Auburn just yet because sitting for that long could aggravate it more. So I stayed home.

It was a miracle that I had because by the next night the pain now felt like it ran from my leg to my chest. It felt so tight. It wasn't too bad during the day, but right after dinner it just got worse and worse. I couldn't cough, laugh, or breathe to deeply without being in excruciating pain. I couldn't move very much so I just say upright in the recliner and tried to watch TV and ignore it. By about 9p.m. I felt as though I couldn't breathe at all. I started crying and panicking and my mom rushed me over to the emergency room at the local hospital. Apparently my shortness of breathing didn't worry them too much because we sat in the waiting room for hours. Literally. It was about 3a.m. when they finally took us back to a room. By then I was exhausted and just in so much pain. Well apparently it was almost time for shift change of the doctors, so he seemed to be in a pretty big hurry to get us out of there. He came in listened to what was going on for a second(never took out a stethoscope, never ordered any tests) and decided that yup it was still just sciatica and some pain killers should fix it. He sent the nurse to get two injections of painkillers and wrote me another prescription of loratab. Well, I was so tired and in so much pain still that the thought of a needle being stuck in me was just too much, I sent the nurse away with the injections, and I thought my mom was going to kill me! We had sat in the hospital for hours and what was supposed to make me feel better, I turned down? I know it sounds crazy.

Well surprise, surprise, the loratabs didn't help. I slept sitting up in the recliner all night and was still in pain in the morning. I toughed it all day, but we talked to one of our friends who is a nurse and she said we should go see a doctor. So when the same thing happened again that night, back to the ER we went. This time we got a great doctor. He paid attention to what we said and then ordered chest x-rays and a CT scan(awful!) He came back to tell us that the reason the loratab wasn't helping is because I had pneumonia and would need a strong antibiotics and lots of rest. Finally some answers! So we took the prescription and went home where I was finally able to sleep semi-comfortably. Problem solved, or so we thought.

Early the next morning the ER called us to ask us to come back in. Apparently the radiologist got there and had gone over the tests from the night before and didn't think it was pneumonia. Back to the hospital and another CT scan(again, awful!). Well the doctor came back in to talk to us and it turned out she was right, I had blood clots in my lungs. (I've been known to be a bit of a hypochondriac and paranoid when it comes to health issues so this freaked me out) Not to mention that I had never been in the hospital for anything in my life, and the nurses were a little panicky too.

They started an IV and gave me an injection of blood thinners in my stomach. Those were awful. The shot itself didn't hurt, but the medicine burned for at least 30 minutes after the injection. At first they didn't want me to move out of the bed, there was talk of using a bed pan to go to the bathroom. I learned that blood clots can be ticking time bombs, if I moved and jostled one they could go to my heart and cause a heart attack or to my brain and cause a stroke. I eventually convinced them that I would be careful but I had to move. The IV they had gone was just fluids so I had to pee constantly! I ended up being in the hospital for about 6 days. They did a Doppler scan to find the blood clots had started as one large one in my right leg(known as a DVT deep vein thrombosis) and then when I was passing out I was probably throwing blood clots and they ended up in my lungs(called PEs- pulmonary embolism). While in the hospital I was seen by a hematologist who helped monitor everything. He was wonderful. He determined that no surgery was needed and the blood thinners would dissolve the clots. He got me released from the hospital(some of the other doctors wanted to keep me longer) and decided that I didn't need to give myself the blood thinning injections at home.

I continued to see the hematologist after being released. I took oral blood thinners(warafarin) for a year and a half after and had to go to the doctor's office once a week to have my blood checked to make sure it wasn't too thick or too thin. The doctor ran tests to determine what caused these blood clots since it was unusual for an active 18 year old to develop them out of the blue. As it turns out I'm Factor V Leiden(heterozygous). This means that I am genetically predisposed to blood clotting based on something in my DNA. I'm heterozygous which means I only got one of the genes for the disorder not both, which is very good news! I was on birth control at the time and it was determined that was probably the cause of the flare up. Hormone changes in your body, sitting for long periods of time, and other odd things can cause clotting in someone with this disorder.

Needless to say the birth control was discontinued immediately and I have never been given (nor can I ever take it) again. The doctor discontinued the blood thinners after about a year and a half since I'm heterozygous and pretty active. It shouldn't be a problem again until we're ready to have kids or if I travel a long distance.

Right now the only concern to me is pregnancy. We plan on trying to have our first baby in the next couple of years. I visited a doctor on base after enrolling in Tricare this year and she explained it further. (I last saw my hematologist at 20 and wasn't worried about pregnancy at that point so he never really went to in depth with it.) Basically I will be a high risk pregnancy every time. I will require the blood thinning injections everyday during my pregnancy and for six weeks after. (Not looking forward to that!) But the doctor on base told me that many people with Factor V have perfectly normal, healthy pregnancies with the injections and close monitoring. I just find myself praying that this is the case all the time now. We won't know until we try I guess, but my biggest fear is not being able to conceive or not being able to carry a healthy baby to term. I know I shouldn't be worrying about it now when we're not even trying, but I can't help but be a little apprehensive.

Now the real reason I'm posting all of this personal health information, does anyone else have this condition? If not Factor V leiden, does anyone have a similar condition? Has anyone had blood clots? What about pregnancies after blood clots or blood clots during pregnancy? I would love to hear from anyone who has any experience with any of these things. I have yet to meet anyone else with anything similar so I have never had anyone to talk to about it.

Thanks for taking the time to read my story!

I'm on a roll!

Hello Lovelies!

I'm at it again!

Not only am I on night numero dos of meal planning/new recipe success, but here I am blogging  2 days in a row!

I know you all must be impressed.

So what did I make tonight you ask? I knew you would be curious. I made another of my pinteresty finds.
Le potato soup:

                                                                                                Source: skinnytaste.com via Lauren on Pinterest

The exciting thing is that it's the skinny version. It's made with potatoes and cauliflower. SOOO delish, but also good for you! :)

(Shhh... don't tell my husband! He loved it, but has no idea it's good for him too.)

I followed the recipe to the tee tonight(I just left out chives, bleh!). It was VERY easy to follow and didn't take long at all. I served it with rolls, but it would have been even better with steaks on the grill... I just wasn't that good tonight! It would be perfect for a cold night, but we didn't have that tonight. Typical bi-polar Florida November weather. We had a really cold weekend, and the last 2 days have been in the 80s! (Feel free to cool off anytime now! I enjoyed having our A/C off.)

Here's what our dinner looked like:

Success #2 this week!

On a side note: Seriously, what did we do before pinterest? I'm OBSESSED! Just take a look at mine and you'll see. Recipes galore, I'm finally trying to try some out! Crafty things that I just keep meaning to try. Even my "Babies" board is full of ideas and we're not even TTC yet! It's just so hard to resist!

What are some good recipes you have found on pinterest?

If I'm not already following you on pinterest, leave me a comment with the link to your boards. I love finding new people to stalk follow for new ideas!

Still deciding what meal on my planning list to cook tomorrow night, but hopefully it will be as easy and yummy as the first two!

Happy Tuesday y'all!

14 November, 2011

It's Volheim, Chef Volheim

Ok, ok I'm a little silly tonight! But I wanted to share with you all just how awesome I am in the kitchen! :)

Again, I kid.

I really wanted to share this amazingly easy, but absolutely DELISH recipe with you!

I found it, where else, but on pinterest.com of course!

It's called Tuscan Pasta and it's to die. The hubs even gave me a 9 our of 10 for dinner.(He hates vegetables and I made a salad to go with it and guilted him into eating it.)
It seriously took me a grand total of 30 minutes.
I even altered the recipe a little. I added grilled chicken in the pasta to give us some lean protein. I just marinted the chicken in lime juice, grilled it, diced it up, and added it to the sauce(just a thought if you want to try it.)
And this is what we got:

Yumm-o! Let me know if you try it!

Now to match my silly mood.. here's a little bloggy game I've been meaning to play for a while :)
What if...
What if I were to get pregnant?
We would both be more than thrilled, but also a little anxious since we weren't really planning on having our own little bundle of joy for another year.
What if I could have any job in the universe?
I'd be a stay at home mom. I know that sounds a little sad, but that's really what I want to do. 

What if I had the day to myself?
With nothing to do? No cleaning, work, or errands? I would sleep in, go to the gym, lay out by the pool, get my nails done, and then get dressed up pretty and go out for a nice dinner with my husband 

What if I could get married all over again?
Whew! I don't know about all that.. Our wedding was INCREDIBLE, but a lot went into it. I don't think I'd want to go through all of that again! I think it's safe to say we had the wedding of a lifetime, and the memories will last us that long :)

What if I could live anywhere in the US?
Well we're currently discussing possibilities. We have no real ties at the moment, no school, neither of us really have grown up jobs yet, so we're exploring job opportunities in other cities. We're currently looking at Tampa and Jacksonville, but we're not being close minded!

What if you could have any talent in the world?
Hmm.. that's a tough one. I think I'd have a great singing voice so I could be a performer and make lots of money :)
What if I went back to school?
I have this thought pretty much everyday. I can't make up my mind. Get a masters? Scrap PR and get another bachelor's degree in something easier to find a job in? Go to cosmetology school? Go to nursing or ultrasound school?

What if money weren't an object?
Stephen and I have this conversation on a regular basis(we're dreamers, what can we say?). We like to play the if we won the lottery game... My answer is always the same, pay off all of our current debts, help our families out paying bills and buyig fun stuff, buy a big nice house and decorate it exactly how we want, have a few kids, and do a lot of traveling, volunteer work, and donating.
What if I could meet one celebrity?
I don't really have one I don't think...

What if I could shop at one store for the rest of my life?
I couldn't pick just one store! That would be boring! But I do love Forever21, CottonOn, and Charolette Russe

What if I could choose any pet?
I love my Natty dog, but I would get him an English Bulldog friend
Source: google.com via Emma on Pinterest

What if I could go on a trip right now?
Funny you should ask, I've been having 2nd honeymoon cravings all day! Maybe a cruise? Back to the bahamas? Italy? 

What if I had to choose between a house cleaner and professional chef?
House cleaner, no question. I don't mind cooking at all, but I HATE cleaning.

What if I had the option to get plastic surgery?
I may toy with the idea of getting a boob job.. but I'm not sold on that idea either.

Happy Monday y'all! Hope the rest of your week is quick and painless! I'm looking forward to two days off (in a row!) starting tomorrow!

09 November, 2011

Meet the Volheims: Lauren

Ok, finally going to continue with my sneak peek into the lives of the Volheim family. I was going to go with Hubby's story next. But I haven't had a chance to dig up any of his childhood photos, and well you just can't have a life story without the pictures to go with! I was just going to put off writing again until I found his pictures, but then my Aunt sent me a link to her online album. Apparently a couple weeks ago she had all of her old pictures electronically scanned so all of our old pictures would be on the computer now too. This seemed like a sign to me that I needed to share these! So here we go...

 Lauren Marie Novatka was born December 28, 1988 in Pensacola, FL to my parents, Mark and Lisa Novatka, and a large, tight-knit extended family. Ultrasounds weren't nearly as advanced back then, so it took my Mom 9 months, 18 hours of labor, and one emergency c-section before learning her first born was a girl.
(Interesting story: Just 12 hours before my Mom went into labor with me, my Dad's mom(my grandmother) passed away after a battle with cancer. At this point, they didn't know what my parents' were having, but all of our family members kept telling them that I had to be a girl now. Even though I never met her, that always made me feel close to her.)
Mom and Dad leaving the hospital with me
Going home from the hospital

When I was almost 3 my parents gave me my baby sister, Lindsay Marie.(Yes, we have the same middle name, cute huh?)

She was a terror when she was younger, but she grew out of it and we got a long pretty well. We rarely fought, but when we did it was only over clothes or the remote or something stupid. I have the best memories of my childhood. Close family, family dinners, family vacations every year.

Always have been a Nole!
We went to a tiny little private school from K-8th grade. I loved that school, and hope when we have kids I'll be able to afford to send them to private school too. (Fun fact: I've NEVER ridden a school bus. My husband thinks I'm weird.) I played every sport out there: volleyball, gymnastics, dance, basketball, softball, etc.. Basketball and softball were my favorites and I played both up until high school. I pretty much played a sport year round.
Junior prom

Sweet 16
My best friend, Ben and I after prom
When I got to high school I gave up sports and just went to school. It was my first venture into public school, and boy was I nervous! My goal was just to blend in. I did, but I had a lot of fun those 4 years and made good friends. I dual enrolled in high school so I finished with my high school diploma and half of the credits I needed for my AA degree.
My best friend Ben(you may remember him from my wedding posts) was a year older than me and had gone to UCF after graduation. After visiting him, I decided early in my senior year that's where I would be going to. I applied and got early acceptance with a scholarship.(I was kind of a nerd) I was psyched. But then things changed. I started dating a guy that went to Auburn second semester, and threw rationale to the wind. I was bound and determined to go to Auburn too. Ahhh, the stupid things we girls will do for a guy! I declined my acceptance to UCF and moved to Auburn at the end of the summer to go to the community college up there. Out of state tuition was out of budget. My plan at the time was to live up there for a year and establish residency while I finished my AA, then I would transfer to Auburn the following year to finish my bachelor's degree. Brilliance. Funny thing is, my boyfriend and I broke up before the summer even ended, but I had to stick with my plan.

I really did love Auburn, and had I done things differently I would have loved to go to school there. But that never happened. I lived in my cute little one bedroom apartment for a grand total of a month. I was homesick already, so I went home to visit for Labor Day weekend. I had been sick off and on at school. I had passed out a few times, and my right leg was so sore. Well long story short, I didn't end up going back to Auburn after that weekend. I wound up spending a week in the hospital after they found a blood clot in my right leg and in both of my lungs. Uber fun.

Luckily I was home at the time because I could not have gone through that without my family and friends. I was released from the hospital after a week and then took it easy for a few months. I was put on blood thinners for a year and a half and my hematologist ran tests to discoved I am Factor V Leiden(heterozygous). Fancy words meaning I'm genetically predisposed to blood clots. More fun stuff.

I never ended up going away to school again. I went to the Junior college here in town, went back to work waiting tables at the restaurant I had been my senior year(where I'm still working might I add), and then I met Stephen. (I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason!)

Initially, I was determined to go down to UCF for the spring semester. But then I just had way too much fun at home(and met my now husband, Stephen). I moved out of my parents' house and in with friends for a few months. I went to school, worked, and partied a little too hard. Good times!

I'll spare you all the gory details for now, but eventually Stephen and I moved in together. We slowly started to settle down. I finished my AA at PJC and went on to the local university, where as you know, I received my bachelor's degree in communication arts May of 2011. I got engaged and then eventually married, and the rest is history!
Now here I am, married almost 6 months, living out in East Milton, and still working waiting tables and substitute teaching! Not where I thought I would be by any means, but I love my life! I'm currently taking up my search for a PR position again(even had one phone interview and waiting to schedule the 2nd!), and enjoying married love to the fullest!

  • I'm still a complete beach baby
  • I still have the best family ever(and now great in-laws too!)
  • I still bleed garnet and gold
Hope you feel like you've gotten to know me a little better! I plan on going into details a little more on some of those stories, but for now, that's me in a nut shell! Until next time, I'm off to enjoy one of my favorite past times, family Mexican night!

Happy Wednesday y'all!

07 November, 2011

Our Halloween

Yes, yes... I'm a little behind again! But in fairness we had a crazy week last week and I wasn't feeling so good. But we had one of the best Halloween's ever, so I wanted to go back and share with you all(and have the memory here for myself!)

This year we moved into a subdivision with lots of houses and lots of families. I knew we would have trick or treaters! Last year we were in an apartment and the years before that our neighborhood didn't have many kids so we have yet to have trick or treaters since we've lived together.

When I was a kid Halloween was huge at our house! Not because we particularly love Halloween(because we don't really), but because we lived in the biggest subdivision. We always had 15-20 kids, plus their parents, and some grandparents over and trick or treating was an ORdeal! Since I've been an "adult" (I use that term loosely!) I've been to a Halloween party or two, but never really made a huge deal out of celebrating.

This year I've been counting down to Halloween since October 1st! Not for the parties, because I skipped the only one we had to go to this year, but for the trick or treaters! I hounded Stephen all month to change the burnt out light bulb by the front door "so trick or treaters would know we had candy". We went to Wal Mart the weekend before and I stocked up on what I thought would be more than enough candy(8 BIG bags)

On Halloween we both had to work so I made a big pot of chili in the crock pot. When I got home we carved our pumpkins(we were a little behind the game) and I got the chili mac ready. About 7 we took our big bowls of delicious chili mac, the bowl of halloween candy, and our beer and set up camp on the front porch.

It looked something like this:

(Our "ugly" pumpkins)

We had an absolute blast! The trick or treaters were precious and they kept us busy! At about 7:30 we were already down to the last half bowl of candy. I told Stephen we would need to run up the street to the store to get some more. He kept telling me nah the kids are probably almost donw and heading home since it's a school night. (I remembered our trick or treating days and it didn't matter if it was a school night we never came in before 10!) But I went along with him for a little while.

Finally I realized we were really low on candy and I could still see trick or treaters coming down the street. I left the hubs in charge of passing out candy, and I drove up to the dollar general for a few more bags of candy.

As I was standing in line to check out I got this text from him:

"Hurry dinner rush!!!"

I literally burst our laughing in the store!

The cashier said we must have trick or treaters. I told her we had a lot more than we had anticipated. She asked where we lived, and when I told her our neighborhood she just said "Ohhhh" and then she explained that's where everyone goes to trick or treat because we're really the only subdivision for a few miles. Ooops.

As I was driving home I got another text.
"I've had to resort to the Toy Story gummies in the pantry"

Again I was laughing so hard it was hard to drive!

Apparently after I left, they started busing kids in or something because the neighborhood got pretty busy and Stephen had a group of kids on the porch and ran out of candy. He felt bad so he went inside to see what he could find to give out instead. I had two boxes of Toy Story fruit snacks that I take for lunch sometimes, so he gave those out.

I was about half a block from our drive way when I got the last text:
"HURRY! I'm on to the swiss cake rolls!!!!"

Little Debbie snacks are Stephen's favorite and we usually have a few boxes in the pantry. He ran out of gummies before I got back so apparently he had to give out a few swiss cake rolls. TOO FUNNY! Picturing him rummaging in the pantry for something to pass out just makes me laugh!

I got there just in time and no one went without candy. We spent the rest of the night on the porch drinking beers, handing out candy, and reminiscing on childhood Halloweens and the good old 90's. Our friend Bryan even came to join us for a little while, and the three of us laughed and compared stories.

All in all it's one of the most fun Halloween nights I've had in years and I can't wait to do it again next year! I know it's a little late, but I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween!

(The hubs is working a night job with my dad tonight so I will most likely be posting again after he leaves and I'm bored. Two in one day, woo!)

28 October, 2011

This is ridiculous...

I'm sitting here finally watching Kim's Fairytale wedding that I recorded forever ago, and I'm crying. Like ugly crying. What. the. heck. I didn't cry at my own wedding! Not ok. (We'll blame it on the two glasses of moscato I just enjoyed while watching this.)

I'm not crying so much because of their wedding. But I'm thinking of my own. (I'm sure you're all tired of reading about it now, but hey, I'm still a newlywed! Cut me some slack!)

It's been just over 5 months already since we've said our "I do's."(We hit the 5 month mark on Hubby's birthday!) It already feels like we've been married for years! Not in a bad way, but in the way that I can't remember what it was like before being married. The wedding is become a foggy memory already. I remember bits and pieces. Mostly I remember being so calm. I thought I would be freaking the eff out, but I wasn't. I enjoyed the moments with all my girls before. I enjoyed the time with my family. I enjoyed primpin' and picture takin'. I enjoyed the whole day.

It did go by so fast! That's the thing I've told everyone that's gotten married since us. Blink and it's gone! Don't stress. By the time of your big day what's gotten done, is done and no one else will know any differently. Enjoy it! Those are your moments, on this day all of your friends and family are in this place to share the love of you and your spouse. Take full advantage of such a special time!

Ok, enough sappy rambling for one night! Here's a few of my favorite pictures from our special day and our wonderful photographer to end this night. Happy Friday y'all!