Wednesday, July 23, 2008

For the Record

Candace Parker is the golden child of the Tennessee Lady Volunteers. You will find no Lady Huskies discussed in this article. I'm just saying. You are free to make your own opinions on the matter.

What Do You Think?

This is something both my husband and I had strong opinions on when it happened. . . and now a 180 from the US Army. I just stumbled across this on Yahoo News, which does not have the most in depth reporting style, so I look forward to trying to read what's going on. I have to say, while I was against Campbell being allowed to forgo his commitment, I am much much much more against the Army jerking him around like this. It is no different than the IRR - telling you one thing up front and then changing their mind. (A quick note on the IRR - as I signed my IRR paperwork two weeks ago, I was assured that I would only be contacted in case of national emergency. Apparently those who issued my husband's orders did not read the definition of "National emergency". Yeah, there is a definition.)

Sorry, I got a little carried away, but the Army's actions never fail to create a strong reaction from me.

Try Again

The "Candy Apple" color is on backorder. . . what to do readers?? I can 1) wait, but I am knitting this sweater with a group and have a schedule to keep, 2) switch to a different color (see the listing in the first post) or 3) switch to a substitute yarn available in Old Town - see the colors here.

Help out readers - this is just like your own DWTS!! Except its sweaters. But kinda like it.

Staying at Home

I have been on "terminal leave" from the Army since Friday, July 11. This means I've outprocessed the Army but are using the last of my leave up before I am officially a civilian. I spent the first five days with my parents in Connecticut, relaxing and enjoying time up there. Since then, I've just been hanging out with the cat, getting ready for Andrew to come home on leave. Today I feel like I had a day I could get used to if I chose to not start working again in August and just decided to stay home, be a wife to my husband full time. I got up, did the dishes, watched some Bravo while drinking coffee. After that I called my mom, ran to the Vet's office to pick up kitty food. Met a friend in Georgetown for lunch then went to Del Ray to get cheese from Cheesetique (which if you live in the DC area you have to check out because its awesome) and steak from Let's Meat on the Street, the neighborhood butcher, all for dinner tomorrow. I came home, knitted and seamed my latest project, watched Giada and the Contessa on FoodTV. Yeah, I can definitely get used to this.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


For those wondering. . . and I know there were many. . . this is the color I went with for my sweater. I wanted to stay in the reds family and the yarn store I found to buy it from didn't have the Sedona Red color. (But they sold the yarn cheaper than anyone else on the Interweb.) This is Candy Apple, which certainly sounds fun. We'll see how it goes.

I spent the afternoon by the pool finishing up a baby hat for a certain new baby. I won't say who, in case she reads the blog, because I don't want to ruin the surprise. I'll post pictures of the baby set when it is all sewn together, probably tomorrow afternoon.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Race to Win My Heart

Having married a lifelong Redskins fan, and living in the Greater DC Metro area, I have begun a slight love affair with the 'Skins. I mean, they have a band, and a song and Chris Cooley. These are things that are hard to compete with - and if my heart didn't already belong to a team with people like Tom Brady and Tedy Bruschi, well then the 'Skins would have a chance at coming in first. But since they are in different divisions, I manage to cheer for both teams.

You may also know that I love television. The more awful the tv, the more I tend to love it. And my love of the Emmy nominated Dancing With the Stars is well known. Which is why I am so happy to read that JASON TAYLOR, yes AdorAble Jason Taylor is coming to the Skins. The Redskins are really making a run for my heart this year. I think its also common knowledge that I love Rock Cartwright and the name Colt Brennan (I have no real opinion on the man, I just think a child named Colt Brennan Exnicios is pretty awesome).

So here you go, a look at what's to come Redskins' fans. Hail to the Redskins indeed.

BTW, check out Chris Cooley's blog. I really think he is one of the more grounded and generous NFL players I'm aware of. (Mr. Taylor is very generous too, you may remember his love of jungle animals.) But Mr. Cooley is having a beard growing contest - and if he likes your beard, you win awesome preseason tickets. I would totally grow a beard if I could. I am also trying to convince my husband I need a Cooley jersey (NOT A PINK ONE) to wear when we're watching the Skins play. While it shouldn't be so, sometimes the Brady jersey isn't the most appropriate (sad but true.)

Puppy Search Continues

My husband decided this week that lab puppies are too cute to be out of the running for the first Exnicios family dog. Here is an adorable photo of someone's lab puppy named Berkeley. (It is what Google brought me in an image search of "lab puppy" - just a bonus his name was Berkeley.) I see what Andrew is saying - they are really cute - but I just worry what happens when they gain 80 lbs.

Doing Something Well

A suggestion to help make the deployment go by quicker - or at least make something of the time - was to pick something I wanted to learn how to do and then become good at it. Seemed like good advice. So I started taking both cake decorating and knitting classes. I will never make money at cake decorating - but I make a mean rose and now a good rose bud on a vine and honestly, those two talents will get you pretty far. I'm trying to learn how to basket weave and I am not very good with Royal icing - but Royal icing doesn't taste that yummy so why use that when you can make delicious butter cream roses?

My knitting is coming along well. While I may never make money from that either, its a talent I am really taken to, in no small part to my mom and my friend Jeniffer. Both are knitters and its been fun to share the art with both of them. Its been a great skill to have as our lives are sudden filled with babies (not our own) because who doesn' t love handmade knitted baby gifts. It keeps my hands busy and gives me something to focus on. This is my next project the Rusted Root sweater. I am itching to get started on it. . . I can't decide on the color. As you can see from the name, a rust color is suggested(or "Sedona Red"), but I've seen it in a delicious blue or a sage. I may go sage. . . but I don't have a lot of this reddish color in my wardrobe so maybe I will go with that. Here is the company's website, I'll take suggestions as to what color you think best, RSN readers. It will be my first project of "knitting in the round" so wish me luck. I will also be learning toe up socks on double pointed needles next month. I am pretty excited to be able to send my husband some awesome socks. After that, I hope to master the cable knit. Who doesn't love a big poofy cable knit sweater?

I'll let you know how the sweater goes and try to post some pictures of my finished stuff, so you can all oo and ah along with me and marvel at my talents as they grow.

Passing Time

One of the ways I've passed time during this deployment is throwing myself head first into catching up on tv I have missed along the way. This is no better illustrated than by my record breaking 5 seasons of One Tree Hill in five months. That may not sound that impressive but I did the last two seasons in about 3 weeks. Its all about dedication, people.

Anyway, once I finished OTH, left tortured by the summer break to find out who Lucas chooses to take to Las Vegas, I decided to try out a series my husband enjoyed and would soon be returning, Mad Men. I am glad I did, because I managed to finish all but two episodes before the Emmy nominations came out, so I could say that I enjoyed and watched the first season before it was cool to do so. The second season starts next Sunday, July 27 on AMC. You should check it out. I will try not to give plot line away in case you decide to go on a marathon Netflix DVD watching marathon to catch up, but some highlights. 1) Zoe from the West Wing is on it. 2) Don Draper is hot. He's a cad but he's hot and you understand how he has gotten away with it all these years. 3) There are almost no sympathetic or likable characters. I think the Drapers are the most sympathetic, but I find myself wanting to slap her too often. Don is, as above, a cad. 4) The smoking and drinking can turn your stomach if you watch too many episodes in a row. 5) The head writer, Matthew Weiner, was also a big writer on the Sopranos (HBO turned Mad Men down. . . ) but also on the sit com Becker. For some reason this fact amuses me.

There is not much else on right now, and you don't want to be that person on Emmy Night being all "I've never seen half of these shows" or voting for Lost just because it heard it was supposed to be good, (No offense Lost, you did totally rock this season.), so try to catch it in reruns this week or just pick up with it in season two. Its great writing, but not so dense you will never catch up. Or email me nicely and maybe I will provide a plot summary for you.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Another Favorite Blog

As you may know, June 21, 2009 will be our big "wedding reception" that Andrew and I never had. While our homespun wedding was fantastic, we didn't want to miss out on all the wedding fun all our friends got to have - and thought hey, we have $30,000 laying around that we have no other use for - and so we have always planned on having this Wedding Redux once Andrew returned. Our photographers have a great blog and they are one of the aspects of our reception I am looking forward to most. So take a look at the awesome photos that Eric and Brooke have taken and then think how awesome our photos will be, you know, even if we're already married. And yes, that is a gratuitous wedding shot above - fabulous photography courtesy of Uncle Neil. Who should totally have his own photo blog as well.

On the Other Side

Check out my husband's blog for an adorable photo of the newest Bardill - Abigail Rebecca who I will be meeting one week from today! Abigail's parents, Patrick and Alison, have been huge supports through this deployment for me. Talking to Alison about her pregnancy and now seeing new photos of baby Abigail has been a bright spot that helped distract me on some tough days. (Not to mention all the fun times I've had buying adorable baby gifts!) Traveling to see Abigail next week is something Andrew and I have had on our calendar for several months and will be the highlight of Andrew's leave at home.

Look for the photo of Megan and Wade and a post on their Emmy successes. While we love Megan and Wade dearly, I have to say they are not as adorable as Abigail. Sorry guys.

Army Wives

Since reading the book Army Wives was based on, I have tried to be a little fairer to the show. Some of the plot lines I thought were outlandish turned out to be based in fact - something I should have realized after my experience in Legal Assistance.

This week's ep had a plotline that at first seemed silly to me, but after more thought I realized that it was not only more true to life but that it was something I was a little familiar with. Denise, the Major's wife who is working as a nurse, has been seen with a doctor and people have begun to spread rumors because her husband is deployed. Now Denise's behavior may be a little inappropriate - driving on the back of the doctor's motorcycle - but thus far its been only a friendship. Now I avoided riding on the back of anyone's motorcycle while my husband was deployed, but I have seen that people hold very specific ideas as to how you should behave while your husband is deployed. The night before I was getting married, in a wedding that was sped along because of my husband's deployment, the Army Chaplain who was marrying us told me to not befriend too many males while my husband was deployed. He said I would be "lonely" and "weakened" by the deployment and being friends with other men would allow the door to be opened to other things that would be inappropriate for a married woman. Having seen the horrors that deployment can do to marriage and knowing that perhaps only the Chaplain sees more than a Legal Assistance attorney, I understood where he was coming from, but I was a little insulted since I had and have no intention of opening the door to anything else. More recently our office had an outing to a baseball game - one ticket was ordered for me and I asked for a second, a friend would be coming along with me. I was asked who was coming with me, my husband was still deployed. I explained another Army Captain, a male Army Captain, who was a good friend, would be coming. I was asked if that was appropriate. In the end I didn't go to the game because I didn't want who I brought to an office event to be a topic of discussion. So people jump to conclusions or get bored and look for gossip or maybe are just jaded from the tales you see in the JAG or the Chaplain's office.

Quickly, the plotline regarding the family care plan, the Army would have allowed her that Soldier to stay home until her care plan was reworked and if she could not have, they would have either delayed her deployment until her husband returned home or allowed her to get out of the Army. They would not have asked the FRG to find somewhere for her to place her daughter. It annoyed me because I worked with Soldiers on their Care Plans - and what happens when they fail - and thats not how it works.

So in this week's tally, I would score one for a realistic plot line and score one for completely outlandish and having nothing to do with Army life.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Puppy Update

I think we've narrowed it down to a beagle. And we want to rescue a pup, not get it from a breeder, because too many puppies need homes. So we're looking for a pregnant, homeless beagle who will give birth in about 10 weeks so that the puppy will be ready to come live with us just as my husband comes home. So pregnant beagles out there listen up! We're looking for one that looks like this little guy.

Check In With the Army Wives

So to start, I'd like to mention that I am a failure as an Army wife. I have only sent my husband home made cookies once during this deployment. And I have to be honest. It may even have been while he was in the field. . . not even when he was deployed. I sent Skittles. That's something. My husband appears to have lost more than 15 lbs while deployed, so maybe I should have sent him more cookies. We should probably all send cookies to him through the end of the deployment to be sure he doesn't fade away to nothingness.

Anyway, back on the Army Wives, Roxy's husband has come home. Notice how everyone's husband is injured on deployment, injured just enough to come home a month or two after deploying, but no real serious injury? I have to say, despite being completely unrealistic, the homecoming scene for Roxy's husband had me in tears. It doesn't take much these days with my husband due home in less than two weeks to bring me to tears - simply the thought of seeing my husband, let alone getting a hug, is pretty overwhelming at this point. I have to say, I wish that homecomings were really like the one on Army Wives - injured Soldiers definitely deserve a parade. And the idea that there would 1) be a backfill for someone on maternity leave is pretty preposterous and 2) the idea that they would come in to train up 5 months before needed is pretty ridiculous. I do think the idea that a garrison commander without a combat patch would raise eyebrows is the most realistic thing about the Army I've seen on this show.

The Dad from Wonder Years is doing a guest spot on the show. While its a noble role. . . one has to think that its a small role for a pop culture icon.

I just finished the book Army Wives is based on, Under the Sabers. It was an interesting read. The book is written about the rash of spouse killings at Fort Bragg around 2002 - right after the start of the war. But it followed the lives of several Army wives as well. I was going to go into some of the ways that the book was similar and how it differs. . . but maybe you want to read the book yourself, so I'll hold back. Its an interesting read, though I promise the stuff they say about officers' wives is a little overblown. There is no flag clothing in my wardrobe.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Theme Songs

I think everyone should have a theme song. A lot of life coaches tell you to chose one too. You are supposed to listen to it or hear it in your head before a big day or interview or when you need a little boost. I have a theme song - "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield. I swear the fact that it is the Hills theme song as well is a complete coincidence. It was in fact my theme song long before LC moved to the big city. I think my husband's theme song is "I Don't Wanna Be" by Gavin DeGraw. I don't think its a coincidence that his song is the theme to One Tree Hill. I've included the awesome One Tree Hill slide show video to I Don't Wanna Be here. The actual music video was on ITunes but this was so much cooler. Any other theme song believers out there?