A move, travel, wedding, and back to work I go

First, why is the quality of everyone’s iPhone photos so much better than mine?? Is it because my phone is old, or am I doing something wrong with the settings??

You’ve probably noticed my blog posts over the last two months have been sparse. Our lives have been in upheaval -for good reasons- but it means I haven’t had a lot of time for blogging.

First, Hubby came home from training after eight months away. We immediately moved from the Hampton Roads, Virginia area up to the DC/Baltimore area. We stayed with family or friends for about six weeks, while we were waiting to get into our new home. We’re renting a beautiful little house from friends of mine, but they weren’t able to get into their new home as quickly as expected. So they were waiting to get into their new place, and we were waiting to get into their old!

Last week we finally moved in, but left just a couple of days later for my brother’s wedding near Detroit. It was a beautiful wedding! My new sister-in-law is from India, and although the wedding was Christian and western, it still had some gorgeous Indian touches, like the bridesmaids in lehengas and the food at the reception.

The photo below is of me, my two sisters-in-law, and my niece. My sister-in-law on the far left (Cheryl) is wearing a sari; my new sister-in-law (Naomi) is wearing a lehenga; and I’m wearing a lehenga as well.

A sari (or saree) is usually about 6 yards of fabric. You wear a petticoat and a blouse, and then wrap the sari around you, over and over, and then pin it in a decorative way. I’m impressed with how my sister-in-law Cheryl was able to wrap hers!

My new sister-in-law, Naomi, and I are both wearing a lehenga. We took the easy way out, hahah. A lehenga is a skirt, and the choli is the blouse. Then we took dupattas (shawls) and wrapped them around ourselves. My dupatta was very long and ornate, so I spread mine out and pinned it in the front, so people could see how beautiful it is.

Bathroom selfie! I wish I had a better photo of this, but my dupatta (shawl) drapes over one shoulder, then I loop it near my feet and tuck the end into my lehenga (skirt).
Here’s another shot of the dupatta draped over my shoulder, nearly to the floor, and then up and tucked into my skirt. I was twirling in this photo, and my facial expression is ridiculous, so I cropped it out, hahah.

And of course I have to share a photo of Little J from the wedding. Doesn’t he look debonair?

Now that we’re back home, it’s time to finish unpacking. I’m also going back to work. That’s right! This stay-at-home-mom is about to be come a working mom. I start in just over a week. Later today I’m going to make a grocery store run, cook like crazy these next couple of days, and stock up on freezer meals. Other than my Army Reserve training, this will be the first time I’ve worked since I had my son. I have no idea what to expect! My mother in law has graciously agreed to come stay with us for a couple or few weeks to watch Little J, until we’ve found a good daycare. BTW, any suggestions on what to look for in a daycare? This is new territory for me!

One perk of working again: buying a new wardrobe. More on that later…

And that’s it for now! I have a couple of review posts, that I hope to get up this weekend. I also want to share with you my experiences with the Garmin Vivofit, so keep an eye out for that. Although I’m going back to work, I still plan to blog.

What are you up to? Are your kids back in school already or starting next week?
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Review: Digital Camo Tungsten Ring #holidaygiftguide

The folks at TungstenWorld.com sent me a complimentary Digital Camo Tungsten Ring to review (well, really it was for hubby not me!).

Digital camo tungsten ring- Find it on My Life: A Work in Progress


Tungsten World is an online purveyor of- you guessed it- tungsten! They offer tungsten wedding rings and bands and tungsten carbide rings at competitive prices. The Beveled Digital Camouflage Wedding Band currently retails for $189. Available in either a 6mm or 8mm width, this durable ring is made with tungsten carbide and has polished beveled edges. The digital pattern is engraved on the flat center section. Laser engraving options are available. For information on their Lifetime Replacement Warranty, click HERE.

Our Experiences:

Hubby already had two tungsten wedding bands, so we’re familiar with this type of ring. The first was a band that I gave him, but whatever metal was alloyed with the tungsten gives him a rash on his finger. So he only wears that ring for short periods of time and bought another for wearing at work. With that in mind, we knew that this digital camo ring could potentially irritate his skin, and we’re happy that it has not. He’s been wearing it almost every day for three weeks.

We took the site’s sizing advice regarding Comfort Fit and, based on the rings he already has, we requested a 1/2 size smaller than he’d usually wear. J says the fit’s good, but the ring did fly off his finger a couple days ago at the grocery store. It was cold both outside and inside, so the cool air was probably a contributor. Tungsten World will ship a free ring sizer anywhere in the world, so I’d recommend going that route if you’re thinking about buying a ring from them.

J has noticed that the ring has not scratched while working on his ship. When J goes up and down the ladder well, he grasps the metal rails. Although the digital camo ring gets banged on the rails and other metal objects, it hasn’t gotten scratched and has maintained its shape. The photos I’m posting really don’t do the ring justice. The pattern is very detailed, and the ring is very shiny.

Digital camo tungsten ring- Find it on My Life: A Work in Progress

Other sailors on his ship have noticed J’s ring. At first they usually think it’s dirty, until they get up close and see the pattern. Then they’re all impressed with the digi pattern. One of J’s co-workers has a camo tungsten ring with a digital print, but it has a blue inlay. That co-worker actually likes J’s ring better than his own!

You can take a look at the Tungsten World inventory HERE. They offer a 5 percent discount for military. Click HERE for more info.

Do you like tungsten rings? What’s your favorite pattern?

Note: We received a complimentary ring to review. The opinions are my own (or my husband’s!) and may differ from yours.

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How my mother, my brother, a congressman, and a helicopter saved my wedding

I decided to share my wedding story with you all. Why? Because it’s the best wedding story EVER. I’m biased, of course. Some of you already know this story, so you can tune me out and move to the next post.

My husband was due to deploy in September of 2011. Up to that point, his ship was taking many mini-cruises in preparation. Some of these were weeks long. He checked with his command and was told that the end of August was the best time for him to schedule our wedding. So we did. August 27.

Well, all the military wives know this one: when it comes to the military, you need to expect the unexpected and be flexible. Added to this…as high-tech and modern as we’ve become in the U.S., we still can’t control the weather.

Our wedding was scheduled for Saturday, and my husband’s ship was supposed to come back into port on Thursday. It’s cutting it close, I know, but there was really no other option. Those of you on the Eastern side of the country may remember a little thing called Hurricane Irene. It was probably Tuesday of that week, when Jay told me that the storm might be affecting his ship. On Wednesday he confirmed that, telling me that all the ships in Norfolk might be ordered out to sea the next day. Which meant that his ship definitely wouldn’t be coming into port, even though it was close to shore. At this point, I was in Buffalo where our wedding was being held. The location was booked. The food was ordered. The flowers were ordered. etc. etc. If you’ve never planned a wedding, you may not know this: there’s no refund for all of that. You can’t just cancel your wedding and “try again.” I prayed all day Wednesday. There have been a few other times in my life where things seemed dire, and I prayed, even when there seemed to be no hope, and God answered my prayers in the way I’d asked. So I had faith. When I went to bed Wednesday night, I was calm. I was certain that between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, that God was going to move that hurricane’s path out to sea.

When I woke up Thursday morning, the first thing I did was check the weather report. There was no change. Hurricane Irene was still heading directly for Norfolk. I thought, “Okay, Lord, what are you doing?” I really couldn’t believe it. I really thought God was going to change the weather. Soon after that, I got a call from Jay’s ship.

“I have some bad news, I’m not going to be able to make it,” Jay said. His ship was being ordered further out to sea. What made this news especially bitter is that a helicopter had picked up several officers and took them to shore just a few hours earlier. The military can deny special treatment until they’re blue in the face, but all service members know that officers get special treatment.

At this point, we had friends and relatives already in the air on their way. My parents and I had driven from Florida to Buffalo. Everything was paid for and planned. Although I was devastated, I determined that I was going to hold my head up and be strong. We decided to hold a family reunion instead. I started calling friends and relatives and letting them know what had happened, and many said they were going to come anyway. I or my mom called the florist, I forget which, but I do remember talking to her myself at some point. The florist offered to make the bouquets into table centerpieces for the reunion, so that was neat.

While all this was happening, my older brother was not settling for the reunion. I have to say this about him. We fight. We fight every time we’re together. He’s soooooooo irritating. 🙂 But I can pinpoint many times throughout my life where he stood up for me. It’s what family does, right? He suggested to my mom that she call her congressman, Bill Young, back in Florida. His Web site indicated he was pro military. So the phone calls started. I also called my congressman. I’m not sure all of who was called, but I come from a family of attorneys, and they know judges, politicians, lobbyists…all those types. I spoke to someone from Fleet and Family Service or some other Navy types: and they were completely useless, of course. You’re not supposed to skip the chain of command in the military, but if you really want to make waves, you have to.

Bill Young’s office called back and said they had contacted the Navy, and that the Navy had said my husband’s ship was too far out to sea for a helicopter. I told them this was false, since I’d just been in email contact with Jay. He told me they were still within range of the shore. The numbers he gave me was a far, far shorter distance than what the Navy had told the congressman’s office.

Long story, short… a helicopter was eventually sent to my husband’s ship. They picked up my husband, another sailor who was also getting married that weekend, and several civilian workers who were supposed to have been off the ship at that point. I didn’t believe it was really going to happen, until Jay sent me a phone picture of him in the helo.

I heard later that Jay’s ship was contacted by several admirals, telling his CO to get him off that ship.

When Jay got back to Norfolk, there were no flights leaving for Buffalo, because of the weather, so he drove his car through the night all the way up North. He arrived Friday morning. I think he was a zombie through most of our wedding, hahah!

After this happened, somehow, the local news in Buffalo, and the newspaper back in Florida, got wind of it. I think my brother contacted one source, Bill Young’s office another, and I think there was a third person who told a news organization, but I’m not sure who. We were interviewed on TV and by newspaper.

The moral of this story is that God does answer prayer…just not always in the way we expect.

You can watch clips here (Meghan is my middle name, and Jay is short for Jeremiah):

Hurricane Irene Won’t Stop Sailor’s Wedding

Irene Can’t Keep Groom from Wedding

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