Monday, March 31, 2014

Magic Show at Aviano Air Base

I don't know if you know this about me, but I'm a sucker for magic tricks. Growing up, a birthday party was automatically 100 times better if there was a magician there. My cousin got into it for awhile and tried to teach me, but I'd rather be wow-ed than be the wow-er. Plus I wasn't very good at it.

A couple weeks ago a friend of mine texted a group of us and asked if we wanted to join her for the magic show on base. It's been a good minute since I've seen a magic show so I was definitely in. We were some of the few adults there without kids, but that's okay. We're kids at heart.

It was such a fun show! I was thoroughly entertained and wow-ed. In addition to his incredible illusions, Rob Lake had perfect comedic timing and was a bit a flirt. He was also great with the kids and they all seemed to love him. There were quite a few opportunities for audience participation during the show. I didn't get picked to go on stage, but I did get to call out a suggestion for one of his tricks. He asked for a location for a dream date and I chose Hawaii. I normally wouldn't consider Hawaii a dream date spot since it's just plain old home to me...but Will orchestrated a romantic proposal there so now it's a special date spot to me.

He did a meet and greet after the show and stayed until every single person got an autograph and a picture. We would know, my friends and I were the last ones there. We figured the kids should all get to talk to him first so we waited patiently and it just worked out that we were the only ones still there by the time it was our turn.

Magician Rob Lake
My friends and I with Rob Lake

I'm so glad my friend invited me. Well worth the effort of putting on jeans and makeup.

Rob Lake:
Site | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | YouTube

Friday, March 28, 2014

No solo travel

Since Will goes on those special business trips all the time, I've been tempted with the idea of doing some solo traveling. My college roommate did it last year and met a lot of cool people and did a lot of cool things.

But then I remember...I'm not the kind of person who can travel alone. I don't mind doing things alone within my geographic comfort zone. But I get overly anxious when it comes to new places.

Ljubljana Slovenia
Walking in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Photo credit: My college roommate

Will is the same way. He has admitted on more than one occasion that if he weren't married to me, he wouldn't have done even a portion of what we've done.

But together? Together we're fearless and we'll go just about anywhere. I mapped out a two week roadtrip to 5 different countries and we're really looking forward to going on it. I thought maybe it was too much for us, but Will is sold and insists that we do it.

Rome Italy
Travel buddies in Rome, Italy. Photo credit: Mama

So for now I'll fantasize and plan more trips for the two of us to take whenever he gets back. If you have any good solo travel stories, please share them! I'd love to live vicariously through you.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What Will Does

It's hard to explain what Will does at work because he does so much and everyday is different. He's a crew chief...a maintainer for fighter jets. Right now he's on F-16's and he also worked on two different jets when he was stationed at Elmendorf AFB. It's kind of crazy (to me) that he's been trained to service three different types of jets....especially considering he's still technically a first-term Airman even though he's been in over 6 years. (He had to extend his contract to match his assignment to Italy.)

Anyway, here's a really short video of the maintainers that are TDY (temporary duty - usually means training away from their duty station aka home base) in Poland. Yet again, Will managed to avoid the cameras and is nowhere to be found. He might be in the background somewhere...or he's hidden from view in a truck. I love these promotional videos and pictures that the base puts out.

Edit: He is in it! In the first shot on the ground, he's in the back walking away and he turns for a moment to look at the camera over his shoulder. I didn't recognize him because his walk looks different and I rarely see him in his work coveralls. If he didn't point himself out, I never would have seen him.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Win a Care Package from Ech & Will

So remember when we went to Switzerland and bought a ton of chocolate? Well, I really shouldn't eat all of it and Will isn't here to eat it up for me. So who wants some? I'll throw in some goodies from Italy too.

Anyone can enter as long as they have a US mailing address.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, March 21, 2014

No Longer Down in the Dumps

My husband was very quickly and very unexpectedly sent off by the military. Logically, I know that this can happen and that I should be prepared for the possibility...but wow this one really knocked the air out of me. I think it was because I was so happy to get him back after the Portugal TDY. And then BAM he's gone again. According to the news reports, NATO had training missions planned for later in the year, but Poland requested to move it up to now. The base has been posting pictures on Facebook along with details of the training. They really get excited about joint training missions and international relations. I love it because I get to see my husband's squadron in action. They even made a video! I heard it's all over AFN...can any oversea people confirm? We don't have our dish set up so I can't check myself. But of course Will actively avoids the photographers so I haven't seen any pictures of him yet.

As always, it's blogging that keeps me sane. This time it wasn't writing mine, it was reading yours. All week I've been catching up on your blogs. Reading about your kids, travels, and daily lives has helped bring me back to a normal mental space. I was so negative and caught up in my pity party over being alone again, but it's hard to maintain that way of thinking when the bloggers I follow are so positive and upbeat. Thank you to all of you. You don't know how important you and your blogs are to me.

Even though he left with little notice, we were able to get a whole day to spend with each other before he left. It was after he had packed and we had all our errands done. We just lounged around, watched movies, and talked. Basically my idea of a perfect way to spend quality time with my husband.

Ech & Will
I snuck this while we were watching Brooklyn Nine Nine...hilarious show!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Will's Goulash Soup, My Food Envy

This little blogger is so proud! My husband took a picture of his food and sent it to me without my having to ask!!! You guys, this is huge! He's thinking like a blogger!

If you can't tell, I'm ridiculously happy to have Will actively think about contributing to the blog. Normally it's like wrestling with a stubborn bear to get him to take pictures or talk about what he's up to.

My mouth literally watered when I saw this picture:

goulash soup
Will's goulash soup

I'm experiencing some major food envy right now. If I were him, I'd be eating that every night. Of course when I asked him about it he was super descriptive, "It was good." UUUGGGHHH! Did you want to pour it into a pool, jump in, and eat your way to the surface? Or is it just a "try it once and I'm over it" kind of meal? Details, Man! Details!

But I'm just grateful that he thought to send the picture.

Oh, did I forget to mention he's in Poland? Yeah, stay tuned. Tomorrow I'll explain.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Ech & Will Quotes

We were at the commissary and my husband was pushing the cart. I handed him a bag of ground flax seed to put in the cart and he says very loudly, "What is this!? Are you trying to make me shit myself!?"

Will: "It's going to be three years!"
Ech: Sees where he's going with this..."What do you mean?"
Will: "September 18! Three years!"
Ech: "Three? You sure about that? THREE?"
Will: "Yeah, we got married in 2010 so it's going to be three years." ...starts counting the years on his fingers. "Yeah, three years."
Ech: Stares at him.
Will: Stares back.
Ech: "Four"
Will: Stares back.
Ech: "If we got married in 2010, then it's...."
Will: Squints and thinks really hard. "Oh...It's going to be four!?"

A couple weekends ago, I was trying to wake him up nicely with a back rub and kisses. He didn't respond so I told him, "I'm trying to give you love. Wake up!"
Without opening his eyes he whispered in an accusatory tone, "Next time I'm going to do that to you."
"What?" I asked.
He held out his cupped hand and says, "I'm going to give you air" and he tried to hand it to me.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

My struggles with being a military wife

I just read two posts by two of my favorite bloggers, each of them were struggling with the same thing I’m struggling with…we’re military wives. [Handling with Grace - Rambling and Struggling] // [Displaced Hoosier Hospitality - Getting Real] (If you get a chance go over and send them some love.)

I love my life and I’m madly in love with my husband, but I’m frustrated. You know my three best friends from Portland? One of them is getting married and is thinking about buying a house in the next couple years. One of them is currently looking at houses and has an adorable little girl. One of them recently had a baby and she bought a beautiful house. If we were playing the board game Life I’d be losing horribly.

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly grateful for the life that I’m living. My husband and I have done some amazing things and have so much fun together. It’s just…I’m turning 28 in June and we’ll be married for 4 years this year. I’m ready for the baby and the house. My husband is ready for the baby (his baby fever is almost worse than mine), but he’s not ready for the house. Meaning: he’s not ready to give up being a nomad and traveler. He loves that we get to move around. He loves that the military sends him all over the place for TDY’s. I love that about him. I love that he has that sense of adventure within him.

Everyone knows we’re leaving Italy next year. Plus his contract will be ending right around the same time. So you know we’re getting all the questions. “Where are you going next?” “Are you reenlisting?” “What are you going to do?”

We. Don’t. Know.

I hate saying that. It’s getting harder and harder for me to say that breezily with a “come what may” attitude. I want my husband to make a decision. I have a say but ultimately it’s his choice to make. He knows what I want and how I feel and he’s thinking on it. I’m trying not to push him. I’m trying to be supportive and understanding. BUT I WANT AN ANSWER OUT OF HIM! I need to start preparing myself now emotionally and mentally for whatever he chooses. It’ll take me a little time, but I’ll eventually be okay with whatever he chooses…as long as he gives me time to absorb it and think on it.

Okay. That’s off my chest. Shake it off. I’m going to distract myself with planning what we’re going to do this weekend. It’s supposed to be sunny and I don't want to waste it. I’m thinking Bled will be especially beautiful to visit again. OR there’s still some Carnevale celebrations going on in some nearby towns. That could be fun!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Lugano, Switzerland

While the mister was on TDY in Portugal, I was busy planning all kinds of trips for us. We're leaving Aviano AB next summer and we don't want to cram all our traveling in at the last minute. One of the countries we really want to visit is Switzerland. So when I saw a day trip pop up on the base's ITT site I jumped on it. The mister was feeling under the weather, but he toughed it out. Like a good husband, he passed on his death cold to me. But luckily I didn't feel the effects until we were on the bus ride back.

Our first stop was a chocolate factory. It wasn't in operation since it was a Saturday, so we made a beeline for the store and picked out presents for our family...and a moderate amount of chocolate for ourselves. I purposely limited what I picked out for myself because I knew if I bought a lot I'd justify eating 12 bars in one day. Unfortunately I started eating my candy before I packed up the boxes to send out so now I'm trying to talk myself out of sending everyone just a little bit less so I can have just a little bit more.

According to our guide it rarely snows or rains in Lugano and normally the weather is very mild. We got the one day that it decided to go against the grain.

Lugano, Switzerland
tour guide

It was foggy, raining, and cold..but not cold enough to snow. But I'm from Oregon and I taught the mister well. We put up our hoods and set out. Will was completely amused all day long because I was wearing fingerless gloves and a black beanie. He kept calling me his cute little bum.

Lugano, Switzerland

I loved our tour guide. He was a local and he was so enthusiastic about his town and what he was showing us. It's as if he was talking to his kids and grandkids instead of a bunch of tourists. I stuck close to him during our tour so I wouldn't miss any of his stories and factoids.

Chiesa di Santa Maria degli Angeli
Chiesa di Santa Maria degli Angeli
Chiesa di Santa Maria degli Angeli
Chiesa di Santa Maria degli Angeli
Lugano, Switzerland

Everyone split off on their own at lunchtime to do their own thing. I had packed us sandwiches so we wiped off a bench and sat on the waterfront for our lunch. It was an amazing view and kind of romantic since we had to snuggle for warmth.

Lugano, Switzerland
Lugano, Switzerland

The clouds were kind of starting to lift, but not enough for us to justify riding one of the funiculars up to the top of the mountains for a pretty view. I wish we would have risked it. By the time we left it was nice and clear and it would have been totally worth it. But that's okay, we spent the rest of our afternoon wandering around town and along the waterfront.

Lugano, Switzerland
Lugano, Switzerland
Lugano, Switzerland
Eros Blindfolded By Igor Mitoraj (Will is 6 feet tall so that thing was huge!)
Lugano, Switzerland
Lugano, Switzerland
My favorite picture of my husband.
Lugano, Switzerland
Lugano, Switzerland
"Come on!" He was losing his patience with my constant stops for picture taking.
Lugano, Switzerland
Waterfront park with modern art
Lugano, Switzerland
George Washington!
Lugano, Switzerland
Lugano, Switzerland
Just looking at these stairs makes me tired. No thanks, where's the funicular?
Lugano, Switzerland
"Stop looking at me, Swan!" (name that movie)

While we were waiting for our bus to pick us up, I couldn't help but notice a young couple dressed in cat onesies. The man on the right walked passed them and started barking (very loudly) at them. They responded by mewing (very loudly) back at them. They all burst into laughter, chatted a bit, and the man went along on his way.

Although we had a great time, the bus ride wasn't very fun. I didn't mind it, but the mister can't handle sitting in those seats for that long. He's too tall to be comfortable. I loved having someone else drive so I could relax and take a nap without having to navigate or keep Will company while he drives. But I guess we'll have to limit our ITT trips to less than 3 hour journeys from now on.