Monday, March 31, 2014

It's been too quiet around here.

I am sorry y'all for the long pause between posts. (Hehehe y'all)

After Gabe returned home from a month long training we found out that we will actually move one month early. So instead of the middle of May, we are now the middle of April. So, we are just over two weeks out from heading west for 3 months.

We are so excited for this next step in life, but that also means a busier month getting ready for movers and taking care of the logistics. When we moved to Columbus we had only been married a month and I wasn't involved really in any of the planning. Which was nice after planning our wedding.

This time around I get the joy of going through out processing with Gabe, then meeting with the travel office, booking our "hotel" in Little Rock on our trip west, applying for housing in Dover (we are 2 of 2... as of now), and so many more fun things.

So exciting for our stay in Little Rock. We will be staying with a fellow AF family that we had to say goodbye... I mean see you later... just after graduation. We have missed this family and their amazing kid.

Because we are moving in just over two weeks... I will be focusing my attention elsewhere and will try to post updates as I can.

We are crazy, so we will be trying to squeeeeeeze in a trip possibly over the next two weekends. I am pretty sure we are just doing this to ourselves as if moving wasn't stressful or exciting enough.

Here are some photos of all the fun we have been having since he got home:

Shooting skeet with some of our great friends... And watching planes take off in the background ;)

   Opened some Italian wine with said friends we went shooting with... But on a different night.

Finished my last of work for the school district and couldn't wait to celebrate with Zoe and Gabe :)



Thursday, March 6, 2014

Arts and Crafts

     Ever since I was little I have always loved doing an arts and craft project. I have tried my hand at scrap booking, crochet, knitting, painting, pottery, and even jewelry out of paper clips... I know that was a strange one but they looked really cool. 

     So it was only natural that when I had some time off of work I got creative. I had seen so many ideas on Pinterest and finally settled on this:

http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/600x/fd/6b/29/fd6b2956c7786601d8ed01b811af877d.jpg


     I loved the idea of doing a state, so after a trip to hobby lobby to grab a few things I printed off two maps. One for the state we met and married and the second is our first base. 

I printed off Colorado and Mississippi and decided to begin with the harder state... Naturally it would be Mississippi. I love how it turned out!


     The heart represents the city in which we lived. I chose to do a different hue of blue since Colorado was a navy blue. This is for many reasons... Blue and white for Air Force, the blue skies I so love in Colorado, and potentially the tears shed when leaving those we have come to know and share Life with. Or because it is a manly color and the husband would be happy with blue hues ;)

       Mississippi was hard with the placement of the heart so far to the top and the right. The right side was difficult since they all lined up to a few nails in the heart creating a thicker portion. 

      Upon completion I moved on to the Colorado map... This is how it turned out, also love it!


I loved the starburst affect of the Colorado Map. Pretty sure it happened because it is a square. 

Helpful tips:
- if you want a fuller looking piece place the nails close together, because I am somewhat OCD I used a crochet hook to ensure my spacing was even.
- use another nail to straighten any skewed nails after nailing them in.
- use painters tape to ensure the map stays in plays while nailing out the map. 
- make sure you do not cut off where you tie the string to begin with until you tie the ending when done... It makes tieing loose ends very difficult.
- if you choose to do a heart in the middle, make sure there are plenty of nails so that there are not any larger than necessary holes.
-leave room to paint the location, date, name, anything you want to remember your time at that location. When I have time I will be painting city, state and date. 
- when doing nails in a line watch out to not hammer them in too far or else the wood may split.... Totally talking from experience.

I cannot wait to complete one for Delaware and possibly Oklahoma since we will be there for three months.

Here are some things I have painted since my time in the south:



Happy Crafting :) 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

February Overview

       
       How is it already the middle of March?! Seems like just yesterday I was sending Gabe off for his first day of pilot training, now he is all graduated and is an actual pilot :)

        It's kind of amazing how busy January was and then February was just a calm, revitalizing month.

         A week after graduation I went back into work at the school district main office. I think I worked for almost two weeks and barely caught personnel up on their paperwork. Meanwhile, Gabe was finally able to relax, sleep in, and just veg after 6 years of either school at the academy or pilot training with minimal breaks in between.

        February also brought the beginning of TDY... Aka Gabe traveling solo for training. He has been in Washington State trying to evade capture while Zoe and I retreated to Florida with a wonderful spouse while we counted down the days till he returned.

        It was a blessing going to Florida because I haven't had to focus in Gabe being gone. Yes, I miss him so much, but know this is just another step before moving.  This is the first time we have been away from each other for a month since we have been married. This is a great way to prepare for the inevitable. I won't always be able to hang out in Florida, but knowing that I have an amazing connection of friends to help me through makes it that much easier to bare. Thankfully we are a little bit away from the inevitable deployments, so I will take in every chance I have with my husband (when he returns to us, hopefully in one piece).

                                 

      


         I mentioned my "official" news... No we are not expecting, but I have turned to a old form of supporting my body. Through essential oils, this is something I have never done before!  While in Florida I took countless classes from those in my organization, then I began getting messages from friends and family asking about what possible oils could be used for different things. I love looking through my "Modern Essential" book to learn more about essential oils, why they work, how they support our body, and where they come from!
 
          If you ever want to learn or hear more about dōTERRA essential oils please do not hesitate to contact me! Leave a comment or email me at sara.cleaver.paterson@gmail.com

           I will share these with anyone who will listen :) I am so excited about essential oils. Check out my post titled "it's official" to hear my testimonies :)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Atlantic Ocean Excursions

      After graduation we were looking into places to go. I had the opportunity to take Zoe to the ocean.

    Even though Zoe may be Labrador/ Border Collie mix, she doesn't enjoy the water. We have taken her to the lake on base and let her run around. All she does is sniff around the lake, trying to find anything smelly she can roll on. On occasion she would crawl into the mud surrounding the lake.

     Anyways, I was able to take her to the beach for the first time. I wasn't exactly sure how she would react to the waves, sand, and all the sounds there.

      It started out well... She was great on the sand and wanted to follow her dog friend towards the water. She wasn't sure what to do on the beach or with the water crashing towards her.

    She freaked out and ran away as soon as the white foam came close. She got her feet wet once and booked it out of the wet sand.

    After running to and from the water I was able to snap a few photos of Zoe. It was incredibly hot that day:


I think she had her fills worth of the ocean. Afterwards we took her to a hose and gave her a much needed bath before heading home.

She got to enjoy it with one of her good friends from Columbus. 


Aren't they adorable?


Monday, February 17, 2014

One month apart

       Recently Gabe left for one month to complete extended training in Washington State and Florida. Everyone that goes through pilot training has to do some version of survival. All a very exciting, fun training ;) only kidding. 

       The Washington training lasts about 3 weeks, then he flew to Florida for another week. What is a girl and her dog to do for a month while he is away? 

        About a month or so before he was expected to leave I got an invitation from another wife (whose husband was leaving the same time as Gabe). We went to Destin, Fl with this couple over Fourth of July and then to New Orleans over Labor Day. The couple are originally from the East Coast of Florida and she invited me to go home with her. Gabe and I talked it over and I was on my way to planning for a month long trip to Florida. 

        The beginning of our time apart was very stressful. The second snow storm that came across the south right before Valentines Day caused havoc on all the airports near us, including the one our guys were trying to leave. Gabe had 3 flights changed or cancelled until he finally got a flight out of Memphis instead of our local regional airport as well as Birmingham. It was 2 days of long phone calls with the military travel agency as well as the airline and his commander to try and figure everything out. 



     Thankfully Gabe was able to get a flight out in time to make the first part of his first training, whereas the other 4 people from his class they were going with had flights cancelled out of Birmingham on Thursday and no other flight was available for them to fly out on until Sunday. Thus, they missed the first part of the training and were told they had to stay a week later just to complete the final part of training.

        Ashley and I were planing on leaving Valentines Day, but because her husbands flight got cancelled we left the day after. We had an eleven and a half hour drive in front of us with two dogs in tow. Zoe and Ashley's dog, Dixie, love playing with eachother and will play nonstop. We were preparing for the worst.... At least 4 hours of them playing, then maybe settling down for the last 7 hours. However when I picked her up at 6:00 that morning the dogs said hello, then began to get comfy. We were blown away. Zoe is too curious for her own good, so she looked out the window for a good part of the beginning. Once we got to Florida they were ready to play... So we let them inside, had dinner, and enjoyed a two mile walk around the neighborhood.
 


       It was so nice to be at our destination at Ashley's parents house. They live on a pond and have a beautiful pool. I definitely was glad to have been invited to spend my month in such a beautiful place with the nicest family I know in Florida ;) During that month we ate all the key places: chipotle twice, Panera, Panda Express, a great Mexican restaurant, I made... MADE baked oysters twice. We would go to a place called downtown grocer and get a dozen oysters for only $3.50!!! Anyways, we went to targets, Starbucks, Ross, Marshall's, hobby lobby, Publix, a GIANT wine/liquor store and I managed to find wine from the town I stayed at in Italy! "Est! Est! Est!" is from Montefiascone. I was blessed to go to Italy for 2 weeks after high school and teach English Camp with 15 or so others from my local church. I was so ecstatic to see that wine! 

 We had many skype dates :)


        So, while Ashley and I were crafting, shopping a little, and sipping fine $3.99 wine, Gabe was going through whatever training the AF had for him. He went through different aspect of training with a group if people, he was able to be in the same class as his fellow classmates from UPT. Then on his off nights, Gabe was able to check out Washington State and release steam with 5 of his friends from pilot training. From higher end restaurants to trying his hand at blackjack ;) After 3 weeks he flew to Pensacola, Florida for water survival. Thankfully this was only 3 days and so much warmer than Washington State. Gabe actually knew someone stationed down there, so they were able to catch up and go out at night. 

      Thankfully the journey home was way less stressful that the trip to leave. Ashley and I drove the 11 1/2 hours back the day before Gabe was supposed to land. The dogs played in the morning and as soon as we got on the car they settled down for a long, much needed nap. There was hardly any traffic and we were so excited to be back in our own beds. I was able to unpack the car, then find everything a home. 



      It was truly a long month to be apart, but spending it with a fellow spouse made it so much better! We made some great memories and I will miss her greatly when we part ways in just ONE short month. They are going to go off to a fighter aircraft while we hit the heavies.... Maybe one day the Air Force will be kind enough to bring us back together for some reason or another. 

     


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Always waiting


Now that graduation is over we wait.... some more

We wait for dates
We wait for rips based on the dates
We wait for orders based on rips
We wait for more training- SERE and Water Survival
I wait for him to return from trainings
We wait for movers
We move and wait three months to move again :)

We are always in a season of wait...

It is what we do in that season of waiting that is important. I don't want to just sit around and be miserable waiting for the next thing to happen next week, next month, or whatever it is at the time. I don't want to just sit at home on the couch while gabe is training for a few weeks away.

I hope that this period of waiting will be impactfull in my life, use it to improve an area of life, spend time with fellow spouses, or take part in a hobby I enjoy. Something to keep me busy and my mind off of what we have to do next. A way to focus my attention on God and his faithfulness, instead of worrying about why the Air Force is taking their sweet time deciding our future and timeline.

I don't want to stress too much about what needs to be done before (fill in the blank) happens or why it isn't going the way I wanted it to go.

Since graduation we have been relaxing around the house (I went back to work at the school district). Gabe has some obligations still, but he has only had to go in Mondays and Thursdays. It has been so nice having him home more. It has also been nice having him make dinner while I work during the day and he makes some amazing meals. Salmon, steak, chicken, you name it (and have the recipe) and he can make it. I dare say he is better than me ;)

Another thing we have done is taken couple photos. We had the opportunity to have a fellow spouse take valentines themed photos a few weeks back. Gabe wasn't happy, but I wanted something to end our limited time here in Mississippi. Below I have included some photos. I loved how they turned out and am so glad we did it, even if one of us resisted slightly. We took them just at dusk at a local bed and breakfast. I had a blast getting them taken and cannot wait to order some prints and put up around our house.

We have looked into ways of staying distracted. We have talked about a vacation, since our last real (one week) one was our honeymoon almost 2 years ago, which how has it already been 2 years? We still want to go see different cities around us like Atlanta and Nashville. Not sure if these will happen, but looking forward to more time together before the next step.

Another goal of mine is to begin the decluttering and cleaning of our house in preparation for a move. When the packers come they will pack everything... And I mean everything. There are stories of packers throwing the trash can in a box and loading it up with the trash still inside. I am hoping that doesn't happen to us...

Whatever they pack, just means I have to unpack at the other end, so trying to limit the time it takes for finding a place for everything. So if I can minimize the knick-knacks than I will be well off once we get to Dover.

For now though we love spending time with eachother and cheering on the USA at the Olympics :)
















Monday, February 3, 2014

It is Official...

...you can call me a hippie if you would like :) 

      Over the past few months I have been trying out different combos of essential oils from a company called DoTERRA. There are hundreds of essential oil companies out there, some only for fragrance, therapeutic, and food quality. DoTERRA is in a smaller group called certified pure therapeutic grade, this means there is no synthetic/altered chemicals in these oils. It is all plant based and pure. Most essential oils that you can get at a health food store contain synthetic material/chemicals to create the oil or have a carrier oil in the bottle so that they aren't as potent.

    I am not one to sell things, such as cooking equipment, jewelry, makeup, or any of the other home businesses. However, after trying oils on several different occasions, I was hooked. And why not share something you are so excited about that can help someone's body, not just their appearance. I have heard several testimonies of moms using different oils on their kids to shorten the length of colds and even flu symptoms, help with kids stomach/gassy issues and fevers with oils, and used oils on their dogs tail (which the dog was biting at and pulling hair from).

These are some of my experiences with DoTERRA oils:  
-I used oils this past fall because my allergies were acting up and had heard of an oil combo that would help. I took the oils (lemon, lavender, and peppermint) in a shot glass with water and within 10-15 minutes my nose stopped running, sneezing stopped, and eyes were clear.
-Then a few weeks later I went to a DoTERRA informative class to hear about the company and had a headache... I got some peppermint oil and rubbed it on my forehead (carefully because it is very strong and eyes will water if you get the oil too close to your eyes) and on the back of my neck and again very quickly my headache was gone. No medicine needed, just oils.
-Another time I was helping a fellow spouse pack up her house for a move and got the dreaded feeling. The one you have where your throat begins to clog, neck begins to ache, and your head get cloudy... thankfully she had the oils and I took a col/fly bomb mixture. No kidding, within 20 minutes or less the feeling was gone and we continued to pack boxes the rest of the day. I never had any more symptoms or the feeling you have when a cold is setting in.
-Lastly, just this past week I was working 40 hours at a desk and computer and would get home with my back in so much pain and my neck throbbing. During the meeting last fall I heard of an oil for muscle pain called Deep Blue, so I reached out to fellow spouses and got a sample of it. I had Gabe apply it to my neck, spine, and lower back and within a few minutes again... the pain was fading and then finally gone. The next morning it was hurting again and I applied some more and the same thing happened again, the pain dissipated.
-I received a free oil (Wild Orange) during the meeting/class we had and I have loved adding it to my water. Citrus has been proven to lift mood and energize. In the news, the hospital at Vanderbilt was diffusing DoTERRA's lemon essential oil in their Intensive Care Unit and the nurses and doctors could tell a difference in both mood and energy.

     With all these events I was sold, now I want to invest in my own collection of oils along with sharing these with others so they don't have to solely rely on medicine for relief. Below is only 8 of the many oils that DoTERRA offers.


    I am writing this, not to sell anything, but to share my experience overwhelming excitement for these essential oils.  Not only was I excited about them after using them for allergies, headaches, and muscle pain, but excited at the anticipation for what I will use them for in the future. No more dreaded sick days, when you know a cold is coming on and you can't do anything about them or suffering through allergy season by either sleeping or sneezing through it. Also, with Gabe and I entering year 2 of our marriage in a few short months I know that the potential for kids won't be very long after that, maybe ;) and after knowing how newborns, infants, toddlers, and older react to oils, why not prepare myself for anything life may throw at me when we do start having kids. Not to mention, not being able to take many forms of medicine while pregnant, these will be a huge life saver. How to use oils for different ailments


    Since we are a military family we do get to be seen by a doctor on base for free and are able to receive several types of medicine free because of it. However, as a dependent it is often hard to secure an appointment when we truly need it. So, it is now nice to have another option instead of praying the med clinic has an opening, or wandering in the store to buy medicine. Another thing with essential oils is the ability to infiltrate cells and attack viruses and prevent them from multiplying, thus causing a cold or the flu from lasting days or weeks. Another way I am excited to use it, is for the husband (even if it is secretly). He is very skeptical about the oils and is not willing to try them at this point, but because he is a pilot now :) they are not able to take certain types of medicine because it could alter their alertness while flying, however because essential oils are pure and safe, he will be able to use them when feeling sick or I can diffuse them in our room if he is starting to get sick.


    That is my rant for the day :) Yes these essential oils are great, but if I need serious medical attention I will turn to doctors for help, but with the small day to day small emergencies it is nice to know I can turn to something other than medicine as my first line of deffense.

    If you have ever been interested in essential oil or are now interested in them, please contact me! I would love to share my enthusiasm with you even more and join with you in investigating even more. I look forward to using them in the coming weeks, months, and years.

*The photos are not my own, but are such a great resource :)