Keeping busy and another Fix

Hi there…

Since cutting Facebook ties, I’ve literally felt a monstrous weight off my shoulders. I’ve had more time to work on NEW projects for my shop and soon I’ll be debuting them. My shop’s main focus has always been centered on Military Pride, and I’m working on introducing some organizing tools that will help military families, civilian families too, keep things tidy on a day-to-day basis. I’m really excited to share them with you… stay tuned.

Speaking of organizing. I’ve been doing a lot more of it. I’ll be posting about that, hopefully, this week. Since we’ll be PCSing (Permanent Change of Station, a grand ol’ military acronym for moving) at the end of the year, we, and I really mean I, need to make sure we’re as prepared as possible.

Our little guy is growing up far too quickly, as they do. He doesn’t say much but he is plum full of mischief. He’s enjoying preschool and loves his teachers a ton.

 

My fourth fix arrived a bit later than usual this month because of a technical problem, but once it did arrive, I was very happy with it.  On to the Fix.

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A much needed moving vent…

I have to apologize now before you get any further in this post.  It’s going to be heavy on the whining and venting.  I may sound like a three-year old by the time this post ends so I do apologize.  Maybe it’ll make me feel better if I get it all out…  even if no one ends up reading it.  So here goes…

I want this move to be over.  NOW!!!!  Why can’t it be over and done??

(kicking and screaming on the floor)

I’m sick of the endless clutter on our countertops of stuff we need but that can’t truly be put away because the movers, for the second time, will be here tomorrow.  I’m tired of the nagging feeling that I’m forgetting something important.

I’m sooooo missing our nice comfy bed after sleeping almost a month on our Aerobed.   One or two nights, even three, would be ok.  My body is screaming at me for sleeping on it for close to a month.

I want our home back.  With all the blank walls and lack of furniture, the barking from our dogs is INSANE.  The constant echoes and volume is ear-piercing.

Thankfully it’s getting closer and closer to being over.

This afternoon, Matt takes his Jeep to Matson and I take the pups to the vet to get their health certificates for their flights on the 11th.

Tomorrow, the movers will be here to take whats left of our belongings (the not-so-comfy-after-sleeping-on-it-for-too-many-nights Aerobed, TV, kitchen essentials, toys, etc.).

Wednesday we take all of our suitcases, the pups and their crates, and the kid (of course) to the lodge on base, the Royal Alakai, where we’ll be staying until we leave island on the 14th.

In about a week the Hawaii part of the move will be done.  Then it’ll be onto the Maine part…

A visit with family in Sharon, MA, accepting our new temporary-home in Kittery, waiting for our HHG (household goods) to arrive, and then putting the house together again just to live in some form of normalcy for a short while just to turn around and do it all over again in about a year.  sigh.
For now, I’ll continue doing what I have been.  Take everything one day at a time and try not to stress about things I cannot do anything about.

I feel a bit better…

Are you moving/PCSing anytime soon?  What things do you hate about moving?
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11 days left in Hawaii

We’ve been without all of our HHG (household goods) since Dec 10th.  I’ve been without my Jeep since Nov 6th.

Let me just say how boring it gets without having all of my projects to work on.  It’s been nice having the break, but knowing I could be working on stuff for my shop makes me not only sad but also a tiny bit crazy.

What does one do without projects?

H and I have been spending a lot more time at the park, which we both love.  He enjoys going down the slide the most but the funny thing is, he only goes down the double slide with me right next to him.  He won’t go down the bumpy one of the squiggly one… it’s so cute.  He takes my hand and pulls me to the slide over and over and over again.

Dinner every night is a bit tricky.  I have to plan something really, and I mean REALLY, simple because again, I don’t have all my tools handy since they’re all on their way to Maine.

We only have 4 more nights left in our house and then we’ll be on our way to the Royal Alakai (read about our previous stay here).  Our final “express” pack out is on Tuesday and then we’ll do a cleanup of the house in time for our final inspection on Thursday.  It’ll be nice not having to worry about anymore pack outs.  We’ll bring the dogs to the airport next Saturday and then a few days later we follow them.

It’s going so very fast but I wish I could do a little wiggle of the nose I Dream of Jeannie style and just be there and settled.  How nice would that be?
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Feedback for new series needed

I’m working on putting together a series of posts about the military housing we’ve lived in.  The series will include pictures, layouts, and info about the housing offices, the move-in and move-out process and much more.

We’ve lived in housing in the following locations so far;

  • Groton, CT
  • Santa Rita, GU
  • Pearl Harbor, HI

and coming soon, Kittery, ME just across the river from Portsmouth, NH.

I’d love your feedback about the series.

Do you have any specifics you want covered?  Questions?  Concerns you’ve heard about a specific place?

I’d love to hear it…  All of it and I’ll do my very best to address all of your comments.
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A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!!!

With the end of a year comes a new one and with it, resolutions.

I always seem to have more than one resolution… and they’re perpetual.  In fact, they never really change much.  2013’s were;

1.  Budget

2.  Business

3.  Blog

While I think I did pretty well on two of the three (Budget and Business) I hope this year’s resolutions will help with the third, Blog.

 

And my resolutions for 2014 are….. drum rolling…..

 

1.  Spend less, save more.

2.  Organize.  Organize.  Organize.

3.  Work out more.

 

I know the first, “Spend less, save more.”, is almost the exact same thing as last year’s “Budget”, we have a ton going on in 2014, so I’m wording it a bit different.

Numero dos is one of my favorite things to do.  I’m a bit of an organizing junky.  Sometimes the keeping up with it is a bit difficult, especially with a 2-year-old and a husband that is in and out of the state, let alone the house.  Organizing is a circle though, not a straight line.  You have to keep up with it in order for it to work.

The third, is going to be a bit more of a challenge since we’re moving.  But I love a challenge.  Moving from Honolulu to Kittery and Kittery to Guam, will not only bring big changes in weather, we’ll also have endless schedule changes.  But again, challenges can be fun, right?

One of the many things I’ll be using to help me with my resolutions this year is a Erin Condren Life Planner.

 EC logo

I do love my iPhone and its great connectivity to my iCalendar & Reminders on my Mac Mini and iPad, I’ve always been the pen and paper loving gal too.  I end up writing to-do list after to-do list and use hundreds of post-its all the time.  Inevitably I end up frustrated because there are not only duplicates, but I second guess myself wondering “now did I write this down or did I put it on my phone?”.  That’s where Ms. Erin Condren’s Life Planner comes in.

If you haven’t been over to her website, ErinCondren.com, hurry.  Go… right now.  Well, not right now.  Finish reading this post first, then hurry on over.  And be sure to finish reading because there’s a money-saving tip below. 🙂

She’s got such Ah-Maaayyy-zing things going on over there.

calendars. planners. gift wrap. iPhone cases. acrylic boxes and trays. pens. stationery of all kinds. and SOOO much more…

I have literally spent hours on her site lately adding things to my wish list and putting together my planner.  You don’t have to spend hours, like I have, you can put something together pretty quickly… I’m just that picky.

While her stuff isn’t cheap, it’s wellll worth every penny from what I’ve seen on all kinds of reviews on YouTube, Facebook, tons of blogs, and of course my favorite social media site, Pinterest.  Every planner is hand-made right here in the good ol’ US of A too!!!  Yet another great thing I love about Erin Condren.  Too much merchandise is made outside of our country these days, so I love that I’m supporting another one of America’s own.  While Erin Condren has become very VERY popular, I love that she started small like my little business has.  I don’t know that {the little black boat.} or Jessica Fawn Designs will ever be as successful as ErinCondren.com, but knowing she did it gives me the drive to do better and better each and every day.

Now onto that money-saving tip I mentioned.  ErinCondren.com has a great referral program.

Here’s how it works:

When you click here and sign up for an account, you’ll receive an email with a $10 OFF coupon code to use on your first purchase.  Once you’ve made your first purchase, Erin Condren.com will send me a $10 OFF coupon code too.

Now that is a MAJOR “win, win”, right?

 

After I buy my EC Life Planner, I’ll be sure to post my own review and maybe an “un-boxing” video when the pretty-box-of-planning-life-goodness arrives at my door step.

I think I’ll do a giveaway with that post.  What do you think??  Would you like to win a little Erin Condren somthin’ somethin’.  🙂
With only 10 days left in 2013, I’ll say a very happy good-bye to a pretty amazing year and hope 2014 is just as great if not better!!!

 

A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!!!

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PCSing… again.

Hi there…  It’s been a while since I’ve written and thought, while I have a moment I’ll get right on that.

We’re in the middle of PCSing.  The house is a wreck and I’m currently sitting on “Aloha” furniture.  It isn’t our comfy couches but it’ll do.  It’s certainly better than the floor.

While I’ll miss my friends here tremendously, I honestly can’t wait to get to ME.  To have seasons again.  To have family an hour away.  To have change again.

Sadly it’ll be short-lived since Matt will be with the boat in the shipyard for about a year.  After that we’ll be making yet another move when she comes out of the yard.  She… yup, boats are always a “she”.

I’m really, REALLY, looking forward to getting back to a boat.  I’ll miss having time with the hubs of course, but there’s nothing like the close-knit family you always make with a boat.  Shore duty never EVER has that.  Being the COB’s wife will be different, but I think it’ll be great.  It’ll have its challenges, but everything does.  I hope to be a great COB’s wife and hope spouses will look to be as I have to all the COB’s wives I’ve known and loved.
Looks like the little guy is waking up from his nap.  Back to Mommy duty.

 

I hope to write again soon.  If I don’t, Merry Christmas & Happy 2014!!!!
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7 Rules of Life

I’ve recently stopped going on Facebook as much as I used to.  I find it a big time waster but I HAVE to have a FB page for my business, so my personal page stays.  I rarely post to it and the only time I log in and see anything on my newsfeed is when I log in to access one of my clients FB pages or my biz pages.

Today the first thing I saw was a post by my Grandma and I thought I’d share because every word is full of wisdom.

 

7 Rules of Life

  1. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
  2. What others think of you is none of your business.
  3. Time heals almost everything, give it time.
  4. Don’t compare your life to others and don’t judge them.  You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  5. Stop thinking too much, it’s alright not to know the answers.  They will come to you when you least expect it.
  6. No one is in charge of your happiness, except you.
  7. Smile.  You don’t own all the problems in the world.

 

Most of the rules, I follow, but one I need to do a bit better with, number 5.  It’s hard for me sometimes.  I’m always thinking to the future and wondering where we’ll be.  Clearly all the moves and changes that come along with them are always on my mind being a military family.

Do you follow these rules?  Do you have problems following any of them?

 

Happy Wednesday.
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… have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Hello…

It’s been a good long while since I’ve written and while I’ve been meaning to, time has just escaped me.  So just now I said to myself, “DO IT!”

Tomorrow is going to be a fun day for me.  Or night, I should say.  I’m going to dinner with some of my closest friends and then we’re going to the 10:00 premier show of Breaking Dawn part 2.  Of course you know, I’m a bit fanatical when it comes to anything Twilight, so I’ve been anticipating this day for a while.  As I write this very post, I’m listening to the soundtrack for the final installment of the Twilight Saga.  It’s bittersweet for me.  Very much so.

It sounds silly, very silly, but this series has brought me so many wonderful memories with even better friends.  I wouldn’t doubt if a tear or two is shed from my eyes tomorrow…

On a different note…

I’ve seen on Facebook & Twitter lately, so many people are posting about Thanksgiving and what they are thankful for.  While I’ve thought about it, I’m not clever enough to think of something everyday and I just can’t bring myself to post on social media everyday what I’m thankful for.  I just can’t do it.  So I’ll do it here, not everyday, but now, say my thanks.

There are tons of times when the words “thanks” or “thank you” just aren’t enough.  Does that make sense?  Like this week.  Celebrating Veteran’s Day.  While my husband isn’t a veteran yet, since he’s still actively serving in the military, I feel that saying “thank you” to him isn’t enough.  Saying “thank you” to the frail old man at the Arizona Memorial wearing a veteran’s hat isn’t enough.  I have to show them my thanks.  Not only on Veteran’s Day, but more often.  Every time I see a veteran  displaying that pride via a hat or shirt, my heart swells with so much gratitude and love.

During our visit with family in Florida in September, my mother-in-law, Diana, and I made a quick trip to the post office.  While walking in I saw a van in the parking lot with a large decal on the back window that said “Proud WWII Veteran”.  I walked past the van and noticed a sweet old man sitting in the passenger seat.  I got my flat rate boxes, walked past the old man with a wave and put the boxes in the back seat of our car.  Then I was compelled to go talk to this wonderful man.  I told Diana I’d be right back.  I had to say “thank you” to him.

I walked up to the van and asked, “Are you the WWII veteran?”  He smiled and said “Yes, I am.”  I told him I had to thank him for his service and told him a little about my husband being a submariner and about his Grandfather who served as a paratrooper in The War.  It was a short but very sweet conversation and I felt touched just talking to him.  What he went through, I will never know, but I hope our short exchange brought him joy like it did me.

As Thanksgiving approaches and Christmas after that, I find each and every year wanting to savor every moment with friends and family.  I want to soak in a few moments of alone time to look back at yet another wonderful year that is almost over.  Time goes far to quickly and I think to myself, each and every year, “How am I here already…. again?”.  It make me appreciate the time I do have with my husband, my little one, the hot cup-a-joe in the morning and the shrieking bark from the dogs.

While everyone is rushing around preparing for the holiday, I think it’s easy to forget that it’s a time to be thankful.  Take it in.  Be grateful for the little and big things in life.  Not just for the day or month, but like I said about Veteran’s Day, EVERY DAY.

Next week we’ll be spending Thanksgiving with family, which we haven’t done in what seems like forever, so I will be especially thankful for that.  It’ll also be our first Thanksgiving with Holden.  Our little love.

I’d like to thank you… whether I know you in “real” life or in the cyber one, thank you for stopping by my little piece of the big world-wide-web.

I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

 

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Oh, how we loved our trip…

Matt and I recently returned from a great visit to the mainland thanks to COTs (Continuous Overseas Tour) leave.  We hadn’t seen any of Matt’s family or my mom in close to five years, which is far far to long.

Our first stop was to FL.  We stayed with my father-in-law, his wife, Diana, and her son Nicky.  Matt’s Dad got married while we were stationed in Guam so we hadn’t had the chance to meet Diana, Nicky, or her daughter Amanda.  Amanda was in Orlando, so we were bummed that we weren’t able to meet her too, but we’ll meet her one day.  It was very exciting to meet Diana & Nicky though.
We were also able to see Matt’s Mom, his brother, Freddie, and Dave, my Mother-in-Law’s boyfriend.

While the visit was short, it was sooo nice to see everyone, it had been too long.

Our next stop was GA to visit my Mom.  She thru a baby shower for us, which was exciting.  I was able to see some of my family from my Mom’s side and my dear friend Jenn (she drove 4+ hours to come too).  The family I saw, I hadn’t seen in over eight years, yup, 8.

Here are some pictures from our first shower.  🙂

 

Our super cute cake…

 2011-08-25 2

Me and my Mom.

2011-08-25 1 All of my wonderful guests.

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Me and Jenn

 2011-08-25 5

Me and Matt

 2011-08-25 6

My Grandma and Me.

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My Mom, Aunt Angel, and Me.

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Opening gifts.

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So cute.

 

The next stop in our big trip was MA.  We stayed with Matt’s Aunt Jeri and Uncle Chick.  They are oh-so-dear to me.  We were able to see Matt’s cousin, Ami, her husband, Matt, and their sons, Sam & Max.  The last time we saw them, they were living in Alaska.  Since we moved to and from Guam, they have since moved to the same adorable little town as Aunt Jeri and Uncle Chick.  This makes us so happy, because if we happen to get stationed in CT again (our number one pick for our next move), we’ll be that much closer to more family.

After a couple days in MA we drove down to CT to see some of our closest friends, Bryan and Erin.  Since we saw them last, their family has grown.  They now have an adorable little girl, Addison.  She’s got to be the cutest little girl I’ve ever seen.  We were also able to see Abby and Emma, B & E’s dogs.  Emma is our Tess’ sister.  I always wondered if the pups would remember us after years passing… and they did, very much so.  It was amazing and made me smile.

After a couple days, we drove back up to MA to spend more time with family.

Our next and final stop was to our Nation’s Capital, Washington, D.C.

One of my best friends, Liz, and her husband, Paul, moved there from Guam about a year and a half ago (maybe closer to two years ago).  We spent a day walking around D.C.  and then another day or so just soaking up the time together before flying back to HI.  Before flying home, we were able to ask Liz and Paul to be Holden’s God Parents.   They said yes, which made us very happy, and once our little guy arrives at the end of this year, they’ll officially be family.

Oh, how we loved our trip, but it’s really good to be home.

 

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… if you’re PCSing to/from Oahu!

*UPDATE 8/31/13*  We’ll be PCSing off island soon and needed to make reservations again. Unfortunately, the phone number I had, had been disconnected.  BIG SAD FACE.  So I made a trip over to the Lodge and asked for the new number and if I could make reservations in person.  Two things have changed in addition to the phone number. (1) You MUST have orders in order to make reservations for the town homes as they are ONLY available to families PCSing in and out.  (2) Reservations are limited to 30 days for families PCSing in, and 10 days for families PCSing out.  I wanted to make sure everyone knew… 🙂  I hope this post will be helpful to all families PCSing to and from Oahu.  The new phone number for the front desk is (808) 260-1212.  You can make reservations using that number, or you can call the following number, just be sure to ask about the Town Homes at the Royal Alaka’i.  1-877-NAVYBED

 

Now onto the original post… Enjoy.

 

Matt and I are finally in Hawaii… well I say finally, but we’ve been here since Tuesday evening.

We landed at 5:55 PM after 7+ hours of flight time and 3800+ miles traveled.  We weren’t able to pick up Jack and Tess (our pups) until the next day, which made me sad, because the customs office was already closed.

We were greeted at the airport by Matt’s sponsor, our friends Marlo & Brandon with their daughters, and another friend, Phil.  Each of them had beautiful leis for us and placed them around our necks.  They smelled soooo good.

We soon were off to check into our hotel.  I made reservations at the lodge on the Air Force base but forgot we were a day ahead in Guam so our reservations wouldn’t start until Wednesday.  So we had to make a one night reservation at a different hotel.

... if you're PCSing to/from Oahu! | JessicaFawn.com
My boy and his new toy.

The next day we checked into the Air Force Lodge, picked up our dogs, and Matt’s new Jeep Rubicon, aka his Rubi.  Needless to say, he’s in l-o-v-e.  Since buying the Rubi, when talking about the “Jeep”, we have to specify which one we’re talking about, since he has his Rubi and I have my Jeep Commander.

The lodge has several different sizes of rooms and when we knew we were moving to Hawaii, Marlo highly recommended the Royal Alakai.  While it’s still part of the lodge system, it’s significantly different from what we’ve stayed in before, which was like any other hotel room, a bed and bathroom.  How different?  Well here ya go…

... if you're PCSing to/from Oahu! | JessicaFawn.com
This is what our building looks like from the street.  It consists of 4 townhouses, yup, townhouses.

... if you're PCSing to/from Oahu! | JessicaFawn.com

This is the pretty tree-lined street we’re on.

... if you're PCSing to/from Oahu! | JessicaFawn.com

This is us… there’s actually four entrances into the townhouse, which is kind of strange.  There’s these two (one on the far left and one on the right next to the windows) and there are two in the back.  We don’t use either of these entrances.  We use one of the two in the back, since it’s closest to the parking area.

... if you're PCSing to/from Oahu! | JessicaFawn.com
When you walk in the door above (the one on the right) this is what you see.  It’s so quaint.  The door in the picture goes to the back yard, which is small but fenced which makes it perfect for the pups.  That’s the door we use.
... if you're PCSing to/from Oahu! | JessicaFawn.com
Here’s a view from the other side of the room.  The kennel was in one of the closets.  The lodge requires pets be in the kennel when you’re not there, which is understandable.  Both of our dogs fit in this one which is perfect.
... if you're PCSing to/from Oahu! | JessicaFawn.com
You take two steps up onto a landing and then two steps down and you’re in the dining room.
... if you're PCSing to/from Oahu! | JessicaFawn.com
The table seats 6, which is more than enough for us.  The door on the right is the closet I mentioned before that held the kennel.  If you go to the end of the room, on the left is the other front door into the townhouse.  If you walk to the right, you’ll enter the kitchen.
... if you're PCSing to/from Oahu! | JessicaFawn.com
The kitchen is fully equipped.  It has a microwave, oven, dishwasher, fridge, washer/dryer, silverware, plates, bowls, pots, pans, cooking utensils, kitchen towels, even dish washing soap.  All you need is food.
... if you're PCSing to/from Oahu! | JessicaFawn.com
The door on the right is the fourth entrance into the townhouse.
... if you're PCSing to/from Oahu! | JessicaFawn.com
This is an alternate view of the kitchen.  The door that the shopping bags are hanging off of is a huge closet that goes under the stairs.  It has an iron and ironing board.
... if you're PCSing to/from Oahu! | JessicaFawn.com
Now lets head upstairs.
... if you're PCSing to/from Oahu! | JessicaFawn.com
When coming up the stairs and to your right there’s a bedroom and bathroom.  You can see Jack and Tess have been up here too, because their toys are everywhere.
... if you're PCSing to/from Oahu! | JessicaFawn.com
This room has two twin sized beds and three, yes, three closets.  The door on the left is one of the three.
... if you're PCSing to/from Oahu! | JessicaFawn.com
This is it.
... if you're PCSing to/from Oahu! | JessicaFawn.com
To the right of the beds is this one.
... if you're PCSing to/from Oahu! | JessicaFawn.com
And here’s the third, complete with a cot, should you need it.
... if you're PCSing to/from Oahu! | JessicaFawn.com
Here’s the bathroom at the end of the hall.  There’s a large linen closet behind the door.
... if you're PCSing to/from Oahu! | JessicaFawn.com
At the other end of the hall, at the top of the stairs, is the master bedroom.  It has a queen sized bed and a bathroom.  It’s huge.
... if you're PCSing to/from Oahu! | JessicaFawn.com
Here’s another view of the bedroom.
... if you're PCSing to/from Oahu! | JessicaFawn.com
Here’s the bathroom.
... if you're PCSing to/from Oahu! | JessicaFawn.com
And another view of it.  🙂
... if you're PCSing to/from Oahu! | JessicaFawn.com
And the closet.

Isn’t it great?!  Are you PCSing to/from Hawaii anytime soon?  If so, you’ve got to make reservations at this place.  It’s only $65 a night or $75 a night if you have pets, which is well below TLA.  There are only 8 of them available and they fill up fast.  You can reserve them for up to 30 days, which we did because the housing wait list is horrendously long.  If you don’t know how long you’ll be staying, reserve it for the whole 30 days.  If you don’t end up needing it for the whole time, they’ll just charge you for the days you’ve used it.  Be sure to make your reservations as soon as you know you’re moving as they get booked quick and don’t forget to mention you want the townhouses.  Here’s the number for the reservations desk, (808) 260-1212 or 1-877-NAVYBED.  I hope you enjoy your stay, like we are, if you’re PCSing to/from the beautiful Hawaiian island of Oahu!

 

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