#1 at the Box Office

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Summer's OFFICIALLY here

Hot like the first sip of black coffee.
Hot like a nibble off a Chile pepper.
Hot like a lick of Sriracha sauce.

Hot like...Well you get the point. It's gettin' HOT out herrre! It seriously went from, "Oh I can stand 90 degrees" to a whopping 110. Which really isn't that NORMAL for here! Thought this summer wasn't going to be that bad. I think it's just JULY *crossing fingers. I think because of the heat, this weekend was slow in the baking biz. A couple things for friends. One being Summer's FAV dessert, strawberry short cake. Although I call mine "Not-So-Short Cake". Check that out!

It was seriously delicious. A cross between an angel food cake and pound cake. Not too heavy, not too light. Just right *sigh*. I will never make another kind. The strawberries were macerated in vanilla and sugar No water here! I don't roll that way- let the sugar do it's work!. Plus, don't forget the honorable mention here..the homemade whip cream. Store bought just can't touch that buddy. I don't care what you say. This served about around 30 people. Nice triangle slices with a small scoop of Kirkland vanilla ice cream. Looking at this picture, I think I can almost hear the angels singing. Wait for it... and there's the harp. Quick- look at the pic again. SEE?! I told you. Yeah, it's THAT good. Tonight is prep for a cookie cake for tomorrow. I love doing those, another SOOO good recipe. Gosh darn baking is fun!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Big "D"

The letter "D" stands for a lot of different things for a lot of different people. You live in Hollywood, it stands for Divorce. It's an epidemic there. In Alaska, where it's extreme weather and sometimes depending on where you are there in seclusion, it's Depression. Here, in the life of a military wife, it stands for DEPLOYMENT. Like I said before, we've been through a few, and every single one is different. I look back and can remember which emotion was the theme for each one. I'm a "hold it in" kind of person. I will stand there and take all of life's "pebbles" that get thrown at me. Until one day, maybe a couple months in, a big fat rock will flatten me to a crying emotional mess. That's where the "sub-husband" comes in to rescue the day! That's what I call my friends who fill in certain rolls CJ covered. I can call them any time of day, and know they'll answer, and they have just the right thing to say or do. It's not that others can't or won't, well maybe that's part true- everyone has a life too and it doesn't revolve around you just because yours is deployed. They are your: listener, babysitter emergency, movie buddy, drink buddy (LOVE YOU CAROL!), adventure mate, and good friend.
 The 2005 1st deployment theme: Alone. We were new (been at Eglin AFB 1 year) when he went for the first time to Qatar. I did have a tiny bit of help from other airmen/women in the beginning. But I seriously didn't have any "friends". Halfway through this Deployment, my future best friend in the whole wide Universe moved in. I've had friends all my life, but none could top her. Kind of like when you meet your future husband- you just know. My life changed that day. And not just her, her husband is a great friend- they come as a set :o) I think I need a sticker for my car that reads, "1/2 my Heart is in Japan". Miss you Sarah & JT! We were/are each others "person". *Yes we watched Grey's Anatomy together. It was our "thing".

 The 2006 2nd deployment theme: Sad. We were pregnant with our second child, and I found out a month after he left that I was going to have a miscarriage. No symptoms, just went in for the first ultrasound at almost 12 weeks, found out that the heartbeat wasn't there and basically the baby had stopped growing at 8 weeks. The very week 1/2 my heart went to Afghanistan. I was shocked, I cried a little bit, but ya know...it's life. You aren't the exception, things will happen to you that you never knew was coming. Again, I brushed it off and moved forward. I find it funny that months later I melt down about not finding a particular document that Taylor needed for daycare. That's when I crumbled and my emergency babysitter Sarah took over so I could collect my thoughts and regroup. The tough stuff I powered through...the measly little stuff sent me into a puddle of tears :o/ Weird, I know and own it. *Check out my honey doing what he does best! (person on the bottom)

The 2008 3rd deployment theme: Exhausting. Lauren was strictly breastfed and it wasn't fun. She was difficult with that (and eating) the whole time he was gone, Didn't nap right EVER. Not long enough, or at the times I wanted her to. HATED anything green. I literally had a list on a dry erase board in the kitchen and every time she liked something I added it to the list. Super short list at that. She was under weight as a result. Can you say stressful?? Bonus to all that, I was dropping 5 lbs a month! Yay! I was so happy when he came home, and that fall the ladies at church put together a cruise to Mexico trip (I paid $500 for 5 nights/6 days!!). I said, "Sign me up like yesterday!!" It was a blast, can I get back on the boat?! Now, it's not like he didn't appreciate all I do...But it was affirming to see him standing in the yard with all the kids when I came home saying, "I LOVE YOU AND I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU DO THIS EVERYDAY!"

The 2010 year to Korea theme: Fun/scary. Korea meant a new dream sheet (pick 8 bases you want the AF to choose from when giving you your new assignment/base). We knew we were moving to Edwards AFB in California, so we packed up and moved in with his mom (bless her heart for taking in 2 dogs, 2 kids, and her favorite Daughter In Law :o) her only DIL lol!) We had tons of fun, until we didn't hear from him and found out he was in the hospital with meningitis. No joke, he almost died. Kidney function down, delusional, fevers, just...not right. That is a story all in it's own, maybe I can get him to share it on here one day. After that happened and he recovered things were better and we were back to having fun. 
2013, So far this years TDY (as long as a deployment) theme: Fast/busy. 22 weeks total, and I swear he just left. Like yesterday. He'll be home in 3 1/2 weeks.  We're preparing for the move also. Buckley here we come! It's in Denver. You're jealous, I know. That feeling when you know the next 3-4 years are going to be the time of your life... I think I'm going to throw up from all the excitement. Pinterest has changed my life (haha) so we have quite a few projects in the works (that is why I can't sleep and there's a twitch in my eye all ready!)

I am above and beyond thankful for all of the people in my life here at Edwards. Never in my life have I had THIS MANY amazing people in one place supporting me when I need help. They filled in some of CJ's roles (shout out to the Platts and youth group kids, to Carol's husband Marc, and Angela's husband Jon who did my yard/garden!), and to the rest of you who have been my soundboard- I thank you. You have made this round so easy, fast, fun, busy, joyful, and humble. Go ahead. Pat yourself on the back, because you are awesome! Every gesture didn't go unnoticed :o) I thank God for placing you in our path. LOVES YOU!
So for all of you out there with the 1st deployment, or the 4th coming up or in the middle of- keep your chin up. You can do it, just raise your hand when you have a question, or reach out to someone. You don't have to bear it all, we are here for you whether you know it or not. Sometimes when you always put your happy face on and reply with "Doing fine" when we see you, we misinterpret. We think "Oh she's just fine, she doesn't need me". There will be a day when you think, nobody cares. We do, we just don't realize it at the time. I think "don't judge a book by it's cover" applies right here. And put yourself out there! Go do that thing you kept saying you wanted to do. Drive to that city an hour away and have lunch, window shop...shoot go ahead and BUY something. You'll still miss him. You'll still cry. You'll still be emotional. You'll still be you, and you are amazing. You got this.


Monday, June 24, 2013

FOOD. Good, hearty FOOD.

I have to admit it. Here, let me stand. Ok. (Raising my right hand) I have to admit, that I Courtney Coles, have fallen into the "I'm too busy to make a fantastic meal (hardly even weekly!!) for my children since you've been gone" phase. 

What. Is. Wrong. With. Me. Y'all know we love to cook. I especially love new recipes from my fav peeps over at FOOD NETWORK. Epic fail this TDY. I miss good, hearty food. Harlow is all, "What's this round green thing, lady?" I actually have a list of all of our favorite recipes from websites, our own, family, or friends. It's over 60 dinners. There shouldn't be a problem. Oh..except I have 3 kids, sports schedules, the cake business, and HE'S NOT HERE. Excuses, excuses...I know. Imma fixit tonight! Had some chicken legs that needed to be cooked up tonight. So I called up my mom in law, picked her brain, and went with a tried and true easy favorite. And it goes a lil sumthin' like this: 

Ingredients: 14 chicken legs, 2 cans of cream of mushroom (I had 1 with garlic), 2 cans of water, 2 cups O Rice, coarse pepper, Italian seasoning, basil, a splash of Mediterranean sea salt. 

Directions: Turn your slow cooker on LOW, add the cans of COM (cream of mushroom), water, rice, splash of Mediterranean sea salt and mix with rubber spatula. Open package of legs, sprinkle with pepper and italian seasoning. Use tongs to place chicken in the crock pot and make sure everything has been coated with the mix and all rice is below the surface. Cook on LOW for 6 hours. OPTIONS: Add carrots of green beans to the mix towards the end for a veggie. 

BOOM! Dinner is served. The dogs are going to be hovering tomorrow night, that's for sure. 

Just a side note: Go make Pioneer Womans Frito Chili Pie recipe. It is to DIE for! I'm thinking that'll be this weekends special Saturday night movie meal. AND we're only 74 days away from KICK OFF! Here's a 100 reasons to be excited for the Gators 2013 Football Season. Food is WAY important around here on game day. Good Lord...I'm drooling just thinking about it all.