Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 in pictures

January 10, 2009
We become husband and wife!

February 5, 2009
I create Fort Cox and post this picture:

March 26, 2009
Mark graduates Basic Military Training

April 7, 2009
We find out our first duty station: Langley AFB

May 17, 2009
I graduate with a bachelor's degree from WKU

June 30, 2009
I purchase our first car as a married couple!

July 3, 2009
I visit M for the 2nd time at Sheppard AFB

August 7, 2009
Piper joins our family

September 12, 2009
we move to Hampton, VA and into our first home

October 4, 2009
My family comes to visit!

November 25, 2009
We shock everyone and come home for Thanksgiving!

December 25, 2009
We celebrate our first Christmas as a family!

What a fun-filled, whirlwind of a year!
We've come such a long way since January...

but it's been sooo much fun
and I'm glad we've got to share (most of) it with you!

Happy New Year from the Cox's!
May 2010 bring lots of exciting changes and thrilling blog posts ;]

wordless wednesday: around the house








Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I think I forgot to tell you

I'm not sure how this happened, but I think I forgot to tell you my fun news:

I won two MckMama contests in one day!

I know what you're thinking:
Is that even possible?!
How did you do it?!
What did you win!?
Girl, you must be obsessed

And the answers:
Yes, it is possible!
I'm an avid reader of her posts -- past and present. And I'm a fast typer.
I won a book and a onesie.
Obsessed? Yep. Sure am.

Here's how it all went down (on Twitter):

  • At Big Mac's end-of-the-year preschool program a few years ago, what did Big Mac DO during the children's performance?

  • @mrsmarkcox wins the book "The Christmas Riddle" by Jess Elmquist. Congrats! Okay peeps, ONE last giveaway coming at the bottom of the hour!

  • Okay, it's time for the LAST Twitter giveaway of the night! The person who @MckMama's me with the correct answer will win a t-shirt from ...NachoMamas Threads here: The question? Coming in the very next Tweet! It's going to be HARD so get ready!

  • When we accidentally got the SAME order of delivered groceries sent to us TWICE, what BRAND were the pinto beans we received??

  • @mrsmarkcox wins a shirt from NachoMamas Threads. And whew! With that, we are done with giveaways for the night. See you all later!

Note: This is my second blog post of the day. Be sure to scroll down and read my Top 10 Favorite Things about being an AF wife!

10 best things...

Me? A military wife? Who would've ever thunk it? Certainly not me! Alas, here we are. Living on base. Living by the beach. And we even have a military wife magnet on our Jeep!

While there are so many great things about being a military wife (snicker, snicker), I decide to limit my list to my top ten favorite things about being married to an Airman:

1. Free housing: My very favorite thing! I mean, we don't live in a luxurious house (although we probably soon will), our house is sufficient with 3 bedrooms, and it's completely free. We have a refrigerator, dishwasher, and gas stove too! As far as I know, most professions don't give their employees free houses. Unless you're, like, the president, or something...

2. Random discounts at various stores: I've found this to be equally true in military & non-military towns. For example, in my hometown, I could get 50% off at Chick-fil-A.. oh yes! We also get discounts on different brands and products, which is always fun! It's like being a walking coupon. Kind of.

3. Free health care: Well, kind of. It isn't really "free" since my husband is working his butt off for it (ok, his job really is easy peasy, if the truth be told!). Also, we can generally get any procedure done for free. Mark, being active duty, can even get braces or lasik eye surgery. I can birth a baby for free! Sounds ideal to me, and our kids will have it, as well!

4. Job security: Mark never has to worry about being laid off, losing hours, or his pay being cut. Basically, he will only make more money each and every year, and that's a pretty sweet deal.

5. Everyone feels sorry for you: No really, they do. At least, in non-military towns, anyway! You do get quite a lot of extra attention once someone finds out that your husband is serving the country. You also get lots of handshakes and lots of, "Be sure to tell your husband I said 'thank you for serving our country!'"

6. Cheapo food and products at the BX and commissary: A 12-pack of Dr Pepper was only $2.75 at the commissary this weekend. We just couldn't pass it up. I can also get items like strollers cheaper, so that's always fun! I mean, I've never bought a stroller. But still. And, I wouldn't know first-hand, but one of my best friends gets cheap Coach bags from the military! Fun!

7. Getting to travel for free: They pay you for basically everything. For simply coming to VA alone and disrupting our lives, the government gave us $1800 for free. Just because I rode in the car and was disturbed, we got extra money. I'm not even joking, folks.

8. Vacationing for almost free: Thank you, temporary living facilities! aka hotels. In the future, we can go to a vacation hot-spot (Eglin AFB in Destin, Florida, for example) and stay there for super cheap, making our vacation easily doable! You can also fly for free (almost) using their Space A flights, but I don't understand it, and I'm too chicken to risk not getting a flight back home. Hard to explain in a blog post, but it's still a perk. If you're brave enough.

9. Tons and tons of time off for Mark: He already gets 30 vacation days each year, but he also gets a bunch more days off! He recently was given 10 days of free leave for Christmas -- how fun! He also gets to come home early on Fridays and works the best hours he's ever worked. Monday was "Military Family Day" so he had off -- I'm not really sure what we were supposed to do on this holiday, but we did have fun. Ha.

10. Meeting nice wives: Um, so this might possibly fall under the bad list, according to a lot of wives (snicker!) but I really have met some wonderful wives online. Unfortunately, we're all stationed at different bases. I'm not really sure how that happened (sigh) but someday two of us are bound to be stationed together! It really is like a tight-knit group. Sort of. Minus the drama and stuff. But in the end, we all really understand one another, and it's great.

and I'm going to give a little shout out of sorts to my AFW best buddies:
Tara at Shaw AFB, Stephanie at Travis AFB, Erin will be at Barksdale AFB, Mandy at Sheppard AFB (soon to be Whiteman!), and Maegan at Minot AFB!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Not Me Monday!

It's Monday, y'all! MckMama didn't do a NMM this week, but you can still head to her blog to see her delicious turquoise and pink dessert treats!

I haven't done a Not Me Monday in quite a few weeks -- I didn't really have any good material. And, to be honest, I didn't plan on doing one today. That was until 4:45pm, Eastern time.

My sister, who is off this week for Christmas break, decided that she and the boys would Skype me so we could chat for a little while! I was ecstatic -- I love seeing my babies! Hudsie was chatting up a storm and telling me all the new words he knows! He can just about repeat any word you ask him to - with the exception of Clayton, so he calls him "Bubba."

And, yes, my nephews do live in Kentucky, in case you were asking ;]

So while my pot of spaghetti sauce was cooking on the stove, I had a blast with my nephews and sister. We were in our own little world, and Clayton was telling me all about his new alarm clock. It was not me who forgot all about supper. Certainly not. I definitely did not forget to go check on it at all in the 30 minutes that we Skyped. Nope!

Meanwhile, I definitely did not ask Mark to go "cook some noodles" while I was busy Skyping with my family. Nope, I was not totally oblivious to my sauce..

Eventually we said our goodbyes, gave lots of kisses and waves, and logged off. I definitely did not wander into the kitchen to check no my sauce, only to find my sauce burned to a crisp. My beautiful, tasty, home-cooked sauce was not as black as the pot in which it cooked. I did not say "Oh no Oh no Oh no Oh no" over and over again, and Mark did not call into the kitchen, asking what was wrong. I did not say "Ohhh nothing!!" and try to save my sauce with 2 cans of water. Nope. I also did not do a little taste test, only to find that it still tasted like a parking lot.

Thankfully, that never actually happened. But if it had, our garbage can might look something like this:

Sunday, December 27, 2009

I recommend:

Staying up until 3am wasn't what I had in mind. I'm not positive, but it might just be the latest I've ever stayed up at night. I know, I'm such a party animal.

I wasn't at a party. I wasn't at a night club. I wasn't cruising the town or doing any risky business. My husband and dog were asleep beside me, and I was reading one heckuva good book:

Remember A Walk to Remember? (the movie?) It was fantastic, and nothing was sadder than seeing Mandy Moore with cancer. But I'd never actually read a Nicholas Sparks book -- until I saw the trailer for Dear John, and I ran to the base library immediately to check it out!

The book is about a soldier, John, who is stationed in Germany and is on leave for two weeks. While on leave, he meets a girl, Savannah, who is doing charity work for the summer. In two weeks they fall in love, but then he has to return to his base overseas. They write, call each other, and email, and then John is sent to Kosovo. Later, 9/11 occurs, and he's sent to Iraq. The book is about their relationship while he's in the military and the struggles that long distance relationships create. It is so good. I literally could not put it down. I just kept reading and reading, and I had to find out what happened.

But I will say this: It was one of the saddest books ever. The book isn't a mystery -- as John flat out tells you in the prologue that he does not end up with Savannah. I really recommend this book! I give it an A-, simply because it has a sad ending. Has Nicholas Sparks ever heard of a happy ending? I highly doubt it...

The movie comes out February 5th, and I can't wait!

In other news, one of my best friends, Tara, just created a blog! You should check it out -- she's so cute, I can't stand it! :)

my new years resolution

Update: After discussing this at length with Tara (:D) I've decided to make my own little blog carnival: Stingy Shannie Saturdays

Each Saturday, I'll discuss a way I've been frugal this week - and, if nothing else, I'll give you an update on how we're doing. Mark has this grand idea of only spending $200 each month on groceries, so that's our new goal. We don't get a local newspaper, so we just get a few militaryish coupons -- and they're mostly for pizza joints.. so we'll have to find a new resource for coupons! And, yes, I do know all the coupon websites, but I'll have to hook our printer up to get those in working order! I'll keep you updated!

-Signing off as Stingy Shannie

(doesn't that have a nice ring? I thought so too...)


I know it's a tad early, but I wanted to share my New Years resolution; I'm actually starting it today:

for the month of January, Mark and I will only eat out one time.

It sounds a little impossible, right? Mark and I love to go out to eat.. especially if Mexican food is involved! However, we spend so much money on eating out each month. If we just cooked our own food, we would save hundreds! Plus, it would be healthier for the both of us!

I blog daily, so I'll keep you updated on how it's coming along. I do love to cook, so this shouldn't be too hard. Maybe.

Tonight, for the first day in our challenge, we'll be having a frozen pizza. I know this isn't a typical resolution, but one of my best friends, Tara, is also doing it with me! We'll keep each other accountable, and it will be great!

I'm already craving chips and salsa -- is that a bad sign? ;]

Saturday, December 26, 2009

new housing

New base housing is going up! They're building a new neighborhood just behind our current neighborhood, and it's lovely! Eventually, they'll send us a letter 60 days before they move us out of our current house. Then they'll bulldoze it down. Quite a few families already live in the new neighborhood, and we're so excited!

One of the best parts is that the house generally all look different. They're different colors, different styles, and different sizes.

We really do love our current home.. mostly because it's absolutely free. But still, these new homes are so beautiful!! They can't give us a time-line or anything, but one lady did tell us that we might be moving out in the fall of 2010.. I sure hope so!


I rarely read fiction. Rarely. But then I discovered this new movie, Dear John, coming out February 5th:

A love story about a soldier. Where do I sign up!?

So the movie looked so fantastic that I had to go to the base library the very next day to check out the book. And, by golly, it was there! I'm 1/3 of the way through the book (my very first Nicholas Sparks book! I know.. I'm clearly not a girl, am I?) and it is so good. I really am not a fan of fiction (except Harry Potter and Twilight), but this book is SO good! I highly recommend it, and I highly recommend the movie, as well! Once I finish the book, I might do a little "book review" on my blog. I love love love reading. And when I find a good book, I just have to share it with you!

I'm not quite sure, but I think being a little librarian for 4 years* really rubbed off on me, didn't it?

I'm off to read more Dear John, because military romances are so sweet. And I might be partial because I'm actually in a military romance, but so what? :)

*A little unknown fact about me!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day

Christmas Day in photos:















Everything was a success! Except for making my sweet potato casserole was funny. And also burning my green beans. (How did I manage that!?) After eating our yummy feast, we watched movies all day long, and I took a leisurely nap! I hope each of you had a wonderful Christmas!

We love all of you!!