June 21, 2013


Last Friday I dropped Rob off at his army base for two weeks of training. For the first time in our marriage Rob and I would be apart for more than a day, actually 14 days. My heart hurt as I hugged him goodbye in the parking lot. Friday night was the loneliest night I can remember. What made things worse is that he had barely any cell reception. Saturday we didn't even get to talk, I somehow missed his call and then he couldn't get enough service to call back. I was a wreck. I tried to tell myself that this was nothing compared to the twelve months we have coming up, but deep down this felt just as hard. It was like practicing something you never want to experience.

When people find out Rob is deploying for a year they try to say something that makes the situation seem more pleasant, 'oh, well with technology today it won't even be that hard', 'you'll blink and it will be over', etc. Then there are the comments that weren't thought out, 'well who knows, he might be in North Korea or Syria by then', 'oh he flies helicopters? they always crash in the war movies.' I honestly have started to just ignore the comments. I know people mean well, they try to relate, but there is just no way to comprehend it till your in the middle of it. I'm guessing I don't even understand what deployment means because I'm only approaching it, not living it yet. I know I have to be strong for Rob and myself, but there are moments when all I feel is sheer terror.

It's taken me marrying a soldier to understand what our military families sacrifice each year. Missing births of children, missing so many 'firsts' and holidays, just missing life with their families. It makes me feel guilty for complaining about pretty much anything. I've read Stephanie Howell's blog since before her 2nd child was born, and I thought I grasped the military life. I've cried reading her posts through deployment and returns, but now I'm not reading it, I'm living it and it's so much different. The only good part is I know that families make it through this and we will be one of them. I'm so proud of Rob and all that he does for me and our country. Each day he was been gone has gotten a little less painful and in a week he will be home.

June 11, 2013

Our January Wedding - Morning Of

It honestly feels like our wedding was years ago, but in reality it's only been five months. I miss Italy, I love how intimate our wedding was. I wouldn't change our decision to have a small wedding for anything. I remember every single moment of the ceremony and there was no pressure to out do anything previous. We wrote our own rules and created the perfect wedding for us. 

Rob and I chose not to see one another before the walk down the aisle. It was Rob's idea and I didn't have any objections. We were staying in an old palace in Lucca, Italy and the church was in Pisa, so we had to put a pillowcase over Rob's head for the whole entire drive so he couldn't see me. It looked like we had kidnapped my groom. I remember getting ready that morning and wondering if I was ever going to get my headband in the perfect spot. I was so happy that it was just the eight of us, and that I wasn't going to be seen by 200+ people when I walked down the aisle. As we drove to the church I had butterflies in my stomach, this is the day I will treasure the most, the day we make the biggest promise of our lives.

**all photos by Amelia Strauss Photography

June 1, 2013

Spicy Turkey Burger Recipe

I've found that anything I can pre-make and freeze is a win in our house. I like to do all the cooking for one week over one day, at least all the prep work. I found this recipe here and we eat it without the slaw, but add avocado. We use different hot sauces to change up the flavor as well, enjoy.

  • 1.25 lbs 93% lean ground turkey
  • 2/3 cup grated carrots (grate in food processor) 
  • 1/4 cup seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs 
  • 1 clove garlic, grated 
  • 1 tbsp red onion, grated
  • 1/4 cup Hot Sauce
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • oil spray


In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, carrots, breadcrumbs, garlic, onion, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Makes 5 'equalish' patties.

Then you just freeze or throw on the grill. We cook them for about 7 minutes on each side. Sorry for the horrible photo below, but proof that we do eat them!