Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's been a long time since I've posted to my blog.  I love to read what is going on in everyone else's lives, but I have neglected to share any of the happenings in ours.  Many things have happened since March!  Easter came and went; Jared came home from deployment; we went on a cruise up and down the coast of Norway; visited Normandy and Paris France; we enjoyed a fun visit from my parents and Cindy where we went to Switzerland, Berlin, and many other places; we filled up our quarter jar, we just finished celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversay in London, England; and we have mourned the death of Jared's grandfather.  I will try to document each of these events in future posts as many people have been asking for pictures.

This year we started our Thanksgiving celebrations at  the Beck's house for the Night before Thanksgiving = Adults PIE NIGHT event.  Here's how it works: Most people get so stuffed from their Thanksgiving Feast, that the pies don't get the amount of attention and appreciation that they deserve. SO, one of our friends put together pie night the night BEFORE Thanksgiving so we can fully appreciate the PIE!   Here are the rules: 

1.  Each couple brings ONE pie to share.  I brought a Layered Pumpkin Pie Toffee Cheesecake (it is one of my new favorite pies)! 

Layered Pumpkin Pie Toffee Cheesecake from Our Best Bites!

2. If you have any leftover pie at the end of the evening, you MUST take it home with you.  Jared was worried that we would come home with half the pie, but it was actually gone before everyone had shown up to try it.
3. If you are not here to celebrate pie night with them next year, you must host your own, wherever you are!  I don't know if we will be faithful in keeping up this new tradition, but we had  a great time being a part of theirs.  Jared and I left there having eaten so much pie that we didn't care if we had any on Thanksgiving.

For Thanksgiving, we went to one of Jared's coworker's house.   We ate some good food, played some fun games, let out a few laughs, and came home stuffed.  However, it just wasn't the same as being home with our family and  living in America where you can watch an afternoon/evening game of football.  We are looking forward to going home to Idaho to be with family for Christmas this year.

This past year, we have had our share of trials, but we have also been very blessed!  I could write a long list of things that I am grateful for, but I will just name a few.  It has been wonderful to be back together as a family again, to have good health to provide for our needs, to have the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives, and to have such great family and friends who continually support us.


The Final Coke Jar Posting

I've had several people ask me if I ever got our Coke jar filled up, and the answer is YES!  It took longer than expected, but it did happen by the end of September 2011.  We were quite happy with the results too.  However, it was a tedious process to complete.  First, we had to stack the quarters into dollars, then into stacks to $10, and lastly put them into the paper wraps and take them to the bank to trade for dollars.  I was so excited to put all this money into a heavy duty back pack and haul it up three floors to turn in until I started working with the cranky teller.  Once I told her what I needed, she started getting mad at me--telling me they were about ready to close (there was 20 minutes), that I should be bringing this money in each month so it could earn interest (a whopping $0.50), etc.  By the time I left the bank, I drove home in tears.  I couldn't understand why the lady couldn't just be happy that someone was actually saving money.  I was glad that I did it, but it really dampered my spirit on wanting to start saving again.

Month 1 and 2
Month 3 and 4
Month 5 and 6
Month 7 and 8
Month 9 and Final product!

Any idea how many quarters this jar can hold? To our surprise, we came home with $2,000 and some change!! We decided to save half of it and went to London, England, with the half of it for our anniversary.


Monday, October 31, 2011

Trunk or Treat 2011

Halloween is one of my least favorite holidays to celebrate.  Dressing up is not something that I really enjoy doing, especially just to get some candy.  However, I didn't dare go trunk or treating at the church parking lot without dressing up because last year we attended the event and never heard the end of it.  Jared was gone with some friends to the gun range in the Chec Republic.  So I went to the Internet to look for easy dress up ideas and found something like this:

And believe it or not, I won the most creative award! But take a look at this little guy.  He and his twin brother won the overall award.  You wouldn't know it by this picture, but they were so excited over the flowers, it was hilarious!

Take a look at some of the best decorated trunks!

It ended up being a great evening because the company was terrific! 


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Deployment Homecoming!

Wow! The last month really flew by. The weather warmed up so I could do more outside, took my last few Saturday girl’s trips, and I got in a deep cleaning mode. Needless to say, I finished cleaning and decorating the last room in the house only moments before I went to pick Jared up from the Memorial Gym!

I couldn’t believe that DEPLOYMENT was finally going to be over and that Jared was coming back home for good! I was soooo excited to have him come back home but also a LOT nervous for how our reunion would go. We have both had several briefings where we have been advised that it could take time readjusting to one another’s quirks and personalities again. Even though we had regular communication with one another during the last year and were on the same page with how money was to be spent/saved, which goals we were trying to accomplish, etc., we have been living two completely separate lives and missing out on everything in between. We have missed out on an entire year of each other’s lives--(living together, eating together, making decisions together, the daily chit chats, etc. Would our reunion be EVERYTHING that we had hoped? 

First, waiting at the Memorial Gym for the soldiers to arrive!  Yes, the nervous jitters were there!

This is the quilt square that we submitted for Jared!

Me and my friend Merideth Marano

Second, the smoke and soldiers entering the building!

Third, waiting for the National Anthem to finish playing!

Finally, running to MY man!

Wiping away his tears!

Jared, me, and my batle buddies!

I must thank my friend, Dana, for coming to take these photos for me.  We will cherish these happy moments forever!


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Deployment Gift

To welcome Jared home, I decided to send him on a SMALL scavenger hunt.  At each point, I provided him with a little taste of home.  All of the clues had to do with our lives together.  I gave him the first clue as he left the Memorial Gym.  Below, are the clues along with what he received at each stopping point: 
  1. Welcome home Jared!  I've missed you so much.  I just want to welcome you home with a few of your favorite tastes of home.  First, go to the place where we had our first kiss (the car).  
  2. Now go the place where we first called home (our home).
  3. Doing good! You'll find you're first treat where you do most of your cooking (the grill).
  4. Very good.  Now go to the place that flooded after your first shower in your home (the ceiling in the living room).
  5. Aren't you glad it's now still dripping on us! lol  You're next refreshing treat will be found where you keep things cold (the firdge).
  6. Enjoy the Dew.  You're almost done. The next clue is found near the place where you first asked me to be your wife (A picture that relates to the Twin Falls temple). 
  7. I hope you've enjoyed this small walk down memory lane.  Your final gift will be found where you lay your head at night next to your wife (this is where I decorated our bed with little chocolates, gummy bears,  Happy Hippos, and the blanket).
As many of you know, I made Jared a welcome home quilt.  Several family and friends were given a quilting block to decorate and return back to me so I could incorporate them all into a quilt.  Originally, I was going to have the quilt be ARMY themed since that has been his LIFE.  But I decided that I wanted to personalize it to something that I know he LOVES, the Chicago Bears.  This is how it turned out.

A special thanks goes out to all the family and friends for helping me accomplish this quilt!


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Run*Walk to Remember

This morning, my good friend Dana Goodrich and I participated in the 1st Annual Run*Walk to Remember 5K.  This activity was to put together to remember the soldiers who had been killed in action from Vilseck, Germany, during the last two deployments.  They had a tremendous turn out for the event and you couldn't have asked for better weather!  And to top it off, there was a sense of excitement in the air as a group of soldiers were expected to return back from deployment later that afternoon!  YEAH...that means it's one day closer to my man coming home too!


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Overcome with Emotion

This week has been an emotional rollercoaster. One night I received an awesome phone call from Jared saying that he would be home within two weeks! His boss had suggested his name as someone who could be trusted to receive all the equipment that would soon be returned back to Germany. And besides, work would be a little slow and he may have extra time to spend with me before everyone else came back. As excited as I was with this news, I had just torn my house apart to begin a deep Spring cleaning before he was due to arrive home in June. What was I going to do?? And on top of that, Jared was in the middle of taking a Govt. college class in Kandahar. Would he be able to finish the class back in Germany and still receive full points??? Oh, and don't forget about the Norway cruise that I had purchased two months ago for our R&R in June that we would no longer be able to take since his R&R would now be in April. GRRR!

Leave it to the ARMY though. Within 24 hours, I received another phone call from Jared saying that his early return was no longer going to take place. Geez, I had just spent the last 24 hours being so excited and worried to being upset and relieved? Can those two emotions even go together??? I was upset about not getting him home earlier, but relieved that everything else would now work itself out. As much as I wanted him HOME in GERMANY, I knew that it wasn't meant to be yet.

Then as I was leaving post this morning to drive to church, I started bawling uncontrollably!! I was rereading the hundreds of welcome home signs that are hung along the main road for all the soldiers to see as they come home. The tears of joy started streaming. At that moment I was suddenly grateful for each individual soldier that was serving our country and offering their life as a sacrifice if that was what was required to keep their country and family safe. Don't get me wrong, I have always been grateful for the service of our service men and women, but until YOU actually are directly affected by it, it is almost impossible to understand what individual families go through during a deployment. I was also soooo excited for the upcoming reunions that would be taking place and tried to imagine how great that moment for be will be to see Jared again! While I'm very excited that this deployment is coming to a close, I'm trying not to think about it too much because Jared is in one of the last groups to come back. I don't want to start being bitter or jealous towards other friends whose spouses are back.