Anchors Aweigh : 2013


Scenes From A Very Merry Christmas 2013

Hi friends! I took a small blogging hiatus this past week to really enjoy time with our families, and let's just say it's been wonderful. Sometimes it's good to just unplug and relax, and that is exactly what the Phelps trio has been doing. Christmas for us also translates to traveling, but it's a small price to pay to see the ones you love. We got to spend time with each of our families and are still on a high from how wonderful it's all been.

I am still working on getting back into a routine, but I wanted to share a few snapshots from our little Christmas as a family of 3. We always set aside a time to have Christmas as a trio before we jet set to be with family, and that usually means celebrating over a week early. Honestly, that is perfectly fine with me. As long as we get in that time together, I couldn't care less what date it is. Parker and I stuffed each other's stockings and of course stuffed Jenny's to the brim. She has been very good this year, after all!

We let Jenny "open" her stocking first. She received cheap-o toys since they will be destroyed in .5 seconds and a few tasty treats that brought out her gassy side. I think she'd say it was a productive stocking.

Parker graciously gave me a ped egg since I have the worst feet on the planet and a new season of Survivor to watch together. We are hooked, yall!

Parker finally received his Datevitation coupon book along with a few other goodies.

...And Jenny the toy hoarder is still having a very merry Christmas indeed.

Parker gave me a tripod for Christmas, so we tested it out and attempted to take a few family photos of our third married Christmas. We will need to practice with the whole tripod thing.

As this Christmas season comes to an end, we simply feel blessed. We loved giving goodies to each other and spending time with loved ones. We loved that a lot. But the best gift of all continues to be the gift of Christ, the whole reason we celebrate Christmas. We hope you had a blessed Christmas with the ones you love!

From Our Family To Yours

Merry Christmas!

Luke 2: The Birth of Jesus

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

That Was Rough... Our First Vlog

When Karla at Forever Newly Wedded came up with the Newlywed Game, Christmas Edition, I was all in. Parker and I have never played any version of the Newlywed Game together, so I thought it would be really interesting to see how well we did. I decided to take it one step further and make a video of us answering the questions. Hindsight is 20/20, but we should really leave the video making to the pros. Our first Vlog was a little rough, to say the least. We did one take, laughed at how terrible we were, and decided to publish it as is. So without further ado, here is a video of Parker and me attempting to play the Newlywed Game, Christmas Edition!

A couple of things to note...

- We filmed this on my laptop, so excuse the audio and video being a little off.
- We filmed this at my parents' house, so excuse the intermittent cameos from my dad and family dog.
- We hit "film" and just started talking. No practicing beforehand was involved, which is extremely evident.

If you made it through that 8 minutes of organized chaos, kudos to you! Obviously Parker and I need to go on a Christmas-themed first date and get to know each other. Thanks to Karla for such a fun idea, and thanks to Parker for so willingly participating!

Happy Friday!!

The Boy Behind The Blog: Christmas Edition

It's time for another round of questions for the boy behind the blog, and Parker has so graciously agreed to participate again. Last one of the year!

Questions and Answers (my responses to his answers are in blue):

1. What is your favorite cereal?
I don't have a particular favorite, but I do enjoy eating Frosted Shredded Mini Wheats, Resses Puffs,  Oh's, and Honey Bunches of Oats or its derivatives. 
Parker and I are big cereal people and eat it pretty much every morning, so we like to mix it up from week to week.

2. Pancakes or waffles?
I have a waffle maker we received for our wedding that has gone predominantly unused... Oops.

3. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Eating meals during the holidays with family
Truth! What's better than food and family?

4. Finish the sentence: All I want for Christmas is...
An official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle!
If you are familiar with the movie A Christmas Story, you probably recognized this quote right away. Is it terrible that I have never seen that movie? One day!

5. What was your best moment of 2013?
Every morning I got to wake up and snuggle my two girls
For the record, the second girl is the Jen pup ;)

That's all for now! Happy Thursday!

Road Tripping 101: How To Survive Holiday Car Rides Without Punching Your Significant Other In The Face

Is the title of this blog post a mouthful or what? It's a bit overboard, but the concept is as real as it gets. Parker and I had done our fair share of long drives prior to this year. We moved from Florida to Texas and drove back to Texas a couple of times during our time in Florida. We thought that was bad, but it was nothing compared to what we've done this past year. Moving from Florida to South Texas has been such a blessing. We are just 4 hours away from my parents, 4 hours away from our alma mater, and a few hours away from Austin, San Antonio, and Fredericksburg. We are so close to so many places and people that we love, but yall, that means countless hours spent in the car trying to get to these places. We had an amazing summer, but I look back on those few months and feel like we spent most of them in the car. It seemed like every weekend we were driving somewhere new.

Road trips became the norm, so we had to figure out how to make it through them without wanting to strangle the other one. Don't get me wrong, Parker and I love each other and appreciate the quality time long drives provides, but road trips can just be draining. If you're on the road for 8 hours, you are going to run out of things to talk about. You are going to get hungry, and you are likely going to get a little cranky. If you're like me, the hungry will cause the cranky, but I digress.

At this point, we feel like pros when it comes to road tripping. We drove 17 hours over Thanksgiving and didn't think anything of it. How did we master the art of road tripping while still maintaining some level of sanity and fondness for each other? Let's break it down:

How to Survive Holiday Car Rides Without Punching Your Significant Other in the Face:

1. 20 Questions: This is a game we recently thought up to play, and it is such a great way to pass the time. One person thinks of someone you both know/know of (family, friend, acquaintance, celebrity, etc). The other asks yes or no questions to try to figure it out. We enjoy trying to stump each other by picking out of the box people. I thought I was so clever using Jenny as one of mine, but Parker guessed her after like four questions! That was a disappointment, but 20 Questions is perfect for that long car ride.

2. Audio Books: This is a fairly recent discovery as well, but it really helps pass the time. The first audio book we listened to was Lone Survivor, and we were hooked! It was a great story and kept us engaged and interested the whole time. We also listened to The Hatchet by Gary Paulson, a nice easy listen that's perfect for road trips. When you run out of things to talk about after 6 hours in the car, pop on the audio book. If you are still having quality conversation after 6 hours, I salute you. 

3. Stump the Chump: This is a game Parker and I invented this summer. I ask him a question that he should know the answer to if he has listened throughout our years together, and he tries to answer it. Then he does the same for me. These questions can be as hard or as easy as you want. Some sample questions:
  • I had 6 cats growing up. What are the names of 3 of them?
  • What are my sister's middle names?
  • What sports do my younger cousins play?
  • What were the names of my high school tennis coaches?
  • I was on the chapter management team of my sorority in college. Name 3 other people who were on it with me?
Note: Do not play Stump the Chump if it will cause one of you to get upset because the other doesn't listen or doesn't know the answers. Parker missed most of the questions listed above, and I missed a lot of his questions. The rule of Stump the Chump is these questions are supposed to be difficult, so no hard feelings allowed!

4. Creative Questions: This is another questions game, but the great thing about this one is it sparks up some interesting conversation. I would ask Parker a creative question, and we would both have to answer. Then he would ask me a question for both of us to answer. Some sample questions:
  • If you could change your name, what would it be and why?
  • If we had a baby right now and the name was solely up to you, what would you name the baby?
  • Our future son wants to play football, baseball, and tennis equally and asks your advice. Which sport do you push for?
  • Would you rather win a million dollars or have the opportunity to give away a million dollars?
5.  Make It Fun: A road trip is as enjoyable or as miserable as you make it. Use this time to engage with your significant other. Plan fun stops along the way to restaurants or cafes you've never been to. You may be stuck in the car, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun! We were in the car for 8+ hours straight last month. We were only an hour or two away from arriving to our destination, but we decided to stop at the famous Czech Bakery in West, Texas to pick up some kolaches. It added time onto our drive, but who cares? Life's about the journey, not the destination.

What are your tips for staying sane during road trips?

Thumbprint Cookies

These cookies are a family favorite. We love the Peanut Blossoms I wrote about last week, but we also love these Thumbprint cookies. In fact, they are my all-time favorite Christmas cookie. Chocolate-flavored deliciousness becomes a dime a dozen at Christmas time, so I think the reason I love these so much is because they are different. Thumbprints are a refreshing change of pace and oh so tasty. These were also my favorite cookies to make as a kid. Why? Because your thumbprint is a key step in preparing these cookies! That's just a good time for the little minis running around your house.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup finely chopped nuts
2 cups flour
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites, slightly beaten
Strawberry jelly

1. Preheat oven at 325 degrees.
1. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg yolks. Add flour and mix well.
2. Roll mixture into 1 inch balls and dip each ball into slightly beaten egg whites.
3. Roll balls into chopped nuts until the surface is well coated.
4. Place balls on a greased cookie sheet and make a "thumbprint" or a small dent in the middle of each ball. Bake for 5 minutes.
5. Remove cookies from oven, carefully press "thumbprint" down again in the same spot as before, and continue cooking for 15 minutes or until golden.
6. Cool slightly and fill center with a small spoonful of jelly.



The other night, I was getting ready to make dinner and realized I didn't have one little ingredient. I was so annoyed to have to go all the way to the grocery store for a block of cream cheese. It seemed like such a waste of gas and time, but I needed it for my recipe. So off I went while simultaneously throwing myself a mini pity party. It was such a first world problem.

I saw this video, and I was ready to slap myself. We Americans have recently coined the term #FirstWorldProblems. We talk about having to go all the way downstairs just to get something to eat or get off the couch to go turn the ceiling fan on. In reality, we are richer than 98% of the world yet we still complain about these "menial" tasks we see as inconveniences. Take a look at this video...

So I had to drive all the way to the grocery store for one little ingredient. Do you know what that means?
- It means I have a car that works
- It means I can afford to put gas in that car to drive
- It means I can afford to buy the ingredient I need


Your job is wearing on you and you are tired of having to sit at a desk from 9 to 5
...but the fact that you have a job means you don't have to worry where your next meal will come from

Your kids are screaming and all you want is some peace and quiet
...but kids mean you were blessed with a full pregnancy or successful adoption

Your dog needs to be walked and it's cold outside
...but you have an animal that loves you unconditionally and can't wait to spend time with you

You had a long day and don't feel like cooking dinner
...but you have the means to cook dinner so you won't go hungry

The laundry is piled up from your husband changing clothes so often
...but laundry means your husband is home with you

Sometimes, perspective can be a beautiful thing. As I write this, I'm sitting in a warm house with a full belly and the television on. The people in the video you just watched would be elated just to be in the same situation. And yet, I still take what I have for granted most of the time. Many of us are blessed to call sitting in a warm house with a full belly "normal", but there is nothing normal about it for the people in this video.

We all have struggles in our lives. We all have inconveniences we have to deal with, but we are all so so blessed. Today, I'm focusing on the positives life has to offer. My life isn't perfect and I still face problems just like anyone else, but all it takes is a little perspective to see that most of my "problems" aren't really problems at all.

DIY Chalkboard Charger Plate

I have been wanting to do something with chalkboard paint for a while now. I kept seeing all these cute crafts on Pinterest and Etsy involving chalkboard paint and decided I'd give it a try! The great thing about the chalkboard art is you can use it for all seasons. I love that this can be a year-round decoration for Valentine's Day, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. I originally planned to use it as a Christmas countdown but who was I kidding? I'm too lazy to change out the number of days until Christmas every morning, so a simple Christmas message that would last until the end of the year was the answer.

I would love to say I am one of those people with picture-perfect handwriting on any surface, but that isn't all. I wrote out a message, erased, tried again, and after several tries decided it wasn't going to look perfect and that's okay. Thankfully Parker isn't a handwriting critic because he loved it when he saw it...bless that sweet husband!

Want to make one too? It's super simple and cost me under $5 to create. Here's what you need:

Plate charger (available at Hobby Lobby for $1)
Chalkboard paint
Foam Brush

1. Use the foam brush to paint your charger with chalkboard paint. It will take several coats to completely cover the charger. For your first coat, paint in a horizontal direction. Let dry an hour. Paint a second coat in a vertical direction, and let dry an hour. I chose to do a third coat in a horizontal direction and then be done. I would probably do a fourth coat if I had it to do all over again. The more the merrier with this project.
2. Once paint is applied and completely dry, lightly color charger with chalk. Leave chalk on the charger for 48 hours to condition the chalkboard. After 48 hours, gently wipe clean with a damp paper towel.
3. Grab your chalk and get to work on your latest masterpiece!

  • Don't press too hard when using the chalk on the charger. It may be harder to wipe clean.
  • Make sure your charger is completely dry each time you write on it.
  • All I could find at the store was the big chalk pieces, but buy the smaller ones if you can. They are much easier to write with!

The Christmas Card Debacle of 2013

This may be a southern thing, but my family has sent out Christmas cards ever since I can remember. When Parker and I got married, I was so excited for our first Christmas for many reasons. One was to send out our very own Christmas card to loved ones. Parker didn't necessarily share the enthusiasm right off the bat, but 3 Christmases into this marriage and I think I've about got him trained to care about the Christmas card. ;)

I wanted our Christmas card to reflect where we lived that year. Last year we took our picture at Pensacola beach, this year I wanted it to reflect Kingsville, and next year...I'm just praying we are still in America. Anyway, I digress. Kingsville, Tx is a small town, but Parker had a neat idea to take the picture on the Naval base next to a water tower that reads "Fly Navy- NAS Kingsville". I actually hated the idea at first, but I have got to learn to trust my husband because he is always right about these kinds of things. We enlisted my mother to take the picture, and she got a few good ones!

So here's where we completely overcomplicated things...

It was nearly impossible to focus the camera on the water tower while also keeping the three of us in focus, so Parker took some focused pictures of the water tower while my mom focused the camera on us.

This is the original picture we chose to use. That flyaway strand of hair on my head bugged me, so Parker saw an opportunity. You see, my husband happens to be a picture-editing ninja. He used Gimp and proceeded to spend the afternoon doing the following:

Original picture on the left, first edit on the right

Now that my hair was tamed, he went after the water tower. The water tower was visible in the picture above, but it wasn't very legible. Remember when I mentioned Parker focused a couple of shots on the lighthouse specifically? So he took this shot... (don't mind me as I smile thinking my husband is actually taking a picture of me and the dog)

...and placed it into this photo. Voila! No flyaway hair and a legible water tower!

After a little cropping, the original and the final version:

Pretty impressive huh? I have to give my husband mad props for this one because I could have never edited the picture like he did. If you have received a Christmas card from us, you may be shaking your head because the final version isn't the picture we sent out. Thankfully Parker enjoyed the editing and didn't feel like he was wasting his time, because after all that work...

We chose this one.

Are we ridiculous or what?! We had completely ruled this picture out originally because it didn't have the water tower and Jenny wasn't smiling. Here was our reasoning behind switching: Though Parker did a great job editing the picture, I felt like it looked as if someone had put us in front of a green screen of sky. Parker swears I told him to make it an all sky background (I have no recollection of this), but we women change our minds 50 times in an hour. When I put that picture into our card template, it just didn't look right. I also like that this picture we chose is just us. It's simple, but it's us. Third, though she has the greatest pupper life ever, Jenny is the most unimpressed pup around. Sending a picture of her smiling is almost false advertising.

So that was the Christmas card debacle of 2013. I know, we're ridiculous. We take our Christmas card seriously around here, apparently!

Carved Solutions Giveaway!

I am so excited to introduce Carved Solutions to all of you wonderful readers today! I don't know about yall, but I love giving personalized Christmas gifts. I think it shows you went the extra mile and really tried to pick out a thoughtful gift for your loved one. When I first came across Carved Solutions online, I found myself browsing through all of their unique gifts with a smile on my face as I thought of those I love receiving them. It's sort of a running joke between Parker and me that I tend to go overboard on the personalization thing by giving homemade scrapbooks, picture frames, shadow boxes, and the like way too often. Those gifts are sweet, but who has room to store a handmade scrapbook from every significant event in their life? We don't live in a mansion, so those gifts started to become more clutter than anything. I still loved giving personalized gifts, but there had to be a way to give someone something personalized that could also be useful. Enter Carved Solutions!

It's no secret that I love anchors. I've talked about it on the blog before. From being a Delta Gamma in college to becoming a Navy wife, anchors have quickly become one of my favorite symbols. When Carved Solutions sent me these sweet gifts to further fuel my obsession, I about did a double flip. I mean seriously, how cute are these soaps and candles?!

These would look absolutely perfect in a guest bath and I am politely asking begging our families to come visit us so I can show these cute items off. The candle burns of a cinammony goodness and the soaps will fool them into thinking I'm domestic and my house always looks this well put together. Winning.

Carved Solutions has a great online catalog to get those creative juices flowing. If you have friends about to get married, I encourage you to check out their monogrammed gifts. I would have absolutely loved to receive a monogrammed cutting board or ice bucket for our wedding. 

So guess what? Carved Solutions wants to giveaway a lovely soap and towel gift set to one lucky Anchors Aweigh reader! How perfect would this set be for moms, grandmas, sisters, cousins, neighbors, etc?! It's simply gorgeous and will make the perfect gift for a loved one or for yourself! Enter below and good luck!

Disclosure: I received these products in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Peanut Blossoms

When I think of Christmas, so many things come to mind. I think of putting up the Christmas tree and my mom reminding me to "fluff the branches". I think of my personalized Pooh Bear stocking stuffed with goodies at my parents house. I think of my very first Christmas as Parker's wife. All of these things give me that warm fuzzy Christmas feeling, but one of the first things that comes to mind when talking about Christmas is making Christmas cookies with my Nana. My sisters and cousins would all go to my grandparents' house, and we would proceed to make countless cookies under Nana's supervision. She is the biggest reason I know how to bake and cook.

One of my favorite cookies we make are the Peanut Blossoms. I am in the minority here, but peanut butter is not my favorite thing in the world. It's fine, but I can only do so much. These cookies have the subtle peanut butter taste that I love with that rich chocolate taste that beats it all. I can't say enough good things about them, and boy is Parker a fan! He couldn't stay out of them, and I can't blame him...neither could I. :) Make them for a cookie swap or a Saturday night. You won't be disappointed!

1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup Crisco
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 bag Hershey kisses

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except Hershey kisses. Mix on lowest speed with electric mixer until dough forms.
3. Shape dough into balls using a rounded tablespoon full for each.
4. Roll balls in sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheet.
5. Bake for 10-12 minutes until cookies are golden.
6. Remove from oven and immediately top each cookie with a candy kiss. Press kiss down so the cookie cracks around the edges of the candy. Let cool and enjoy!

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like...

I don't think I'm alone in saying I love Christmas decorations. It became a daily chore for Parker to convince me not to put them up in early November. There is just something so magical about it all. Decorated Christmas trees with wrapped gifts for loved ones, stockings waiting to be filled with goodies (even for Jenny), garland lining staircases or furniture... it all just puts a smile on my face. I thought I would show off a few details from some of our favorite Christmas decorations.

We decided to do something a little different with our presents this year. I have always been big into pretty wrapping paper and giant handmade bows. Parker came up with a really neat idea to make the presents we give out a little more personal, and I was all over it. He saved all of the flight planning maps from this past year's flights in Pensacola and Kingsville. The maps and routes change, so these maps become obsolete pretty quickly. He started tossing them in a drawer this past summer with the idea that maybe we could wrap Christmas presents with them. It's so different, but I love that we went through with the idea. Instead of the giant bows I usually make, I went with a simple twine to complete the look. We love them!

Tis the season!

DIY Invitation Ornament

Brides spend hours picking out the perfect wedding invitation. If you're like me, your groom couldn't have cared less (I don't even know that I showed it to him before ordering), but it was important to me. I love receiving wedding invitations from friends and family. Weddings are of course a blast, and invitations are usually a preview of the color scheme and style the wedding will have. I have saved some invitations I have received over the last couple of years and decided to get a little crafty. I loved the idea of making something out of the invitation to commemorate the special event around Christmas time. Thus, the invitation ornament was born.

The first one I made was for my twin sister. I gave it to her over Thanksgiving so she could display it on her Christmas tree this year vice having to wait until next year. The results turned out beautiful, and she just loved it!

Want to make one too? Here's what you need:

1 clear ornament with removable top
wedding invitation
ribbon (optional)
jute or twine for hanging (optional)
ribbon (optional)
monogram sticker (optional)

Cut your invitation into strips, line by line. Curl each strip around a pen or pencil. Place curled strips into the ornament. At this point, you can give the ornament as is and it will still be precious. I wanted to do a little extra, so I added a monogram sticker to the outside, tied ribbon around the ornament, and used a piece of jute to hang it. It's as simple as that!

This makes the perfect love gift for your recently married friends. I had most of the materials lying around from previous projects, so each ornament cost me about $1. I love giving special, sentimental gifts that won't break the bank, and this ornament was simply perfect. 

Not Our Will, But Yours

A few weeks ago, Parker and I were given an embracing reality check. Parker had a selection to determine the type of plane he will fly in advanced training and then fly throughout his career in the Navy. I didn't really talk about it much because honestly we didn't expect it to be a big deal. He wanted strike (F18s), and we all thought he would get it. He came home from his selection board with a blank look in his face and told me he selected E2/C2. Any planning we had done for the future was instantly wiped clean. Our future in the Navy was suddenly very different from how we imagined it.

Parker and I didn't talk much about this selection beforehand. Like I said, we felt like we knew how it was going to go. I didn't talk much about it with family or friends, and neither did he. A few weeks before he was supposed to select, I did begin to pray. I realized that each route would lead to a completely different experience in the Navy from here on out. It was way too big of a decision for us to think we could make on our own. There are so many unknowns about military life, and we knew that going in. However, with each step we wanted to feel 100% confidant that God had us right where He wanted us. Thus far, it's been easy. God's plan for us was also our plan. Parker wanted to commission and go into aviation, and God granted him that. Parker wanted to select jets in Kingsville, and God granted him that. It's been really easy to put our faith in God because God has given us exactly what we wanted. It isn't until God gives you the unexpected that your faith is really put to the test.

When I prayed those weeks leading up to the selection, I prayed the same phrase over and over again.

Lord, not our will, but yours.

I didn't feel qualified to ask God to allow Parker to select strike when I in no way know what is best for him or our family. I felt really at peace when the selection rolled around, and I know that peace came from God. Again though, I really thought I knew what was going to happen. Parker and I both did. We wanted God's guidance and perfect plan for our lives, but in our minds, we already knew what that plan was.

This happened a couple of weeks ago, and we are still adjusting to the idea. As silly as it may sound, the results of this selection changed our lives. We are going to be moving to places we did not plan on, and Parker will be flying a plane that was not his first choice. And you know what? We couldn't be more confident in what God has chosen for us. Looking back on it, it's so clear that this was His plan for us all along. There are so many little things leading up to the selection that played a hand in the results, some in Parker's control and others outside his control. When we examine those pieces, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is where God wants us. I prayed for God's will to be done in our lives and in this selection, and I know that it has been. 

Parker will be flying one of these planes in the fleet (C-2 on the left, E-2 on the right)

We may not have a magic ball. We may not know what the next few years are going to look like for us, but we know this: God has us right where He wants us. There is nothing in this world I would rather more than to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is guiding our journey.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope."- Jeremiah 29:11

This has been my favorite verse since I was a little girl. My twin sister read it at our wedding. Today, Parker and I are clinging to this verse and bursting with contentment over the plans God has laid out for us. Not our will, but His.

Thanksgiving 2013... That's A Wrap!

17 hours in the car, copious amounts of food consumed, and lots of hugs to go around... Thanksgiving 2013 was a success! Our Thanksgiving celebrations were really low key, and that is honestly all we wanted. Time with family and too much turkey stuffing and pie was just what the doctor ordered. Celebrating Thanksgiving twice means twice the amount of food consumed... I mean it would be rude to only eat once, right? ;) Needless to say, the half marathon training was less than enjoyable this past weekend.

My favorite part of Thanksgiving was simply sitting around the living room spending quality time with the people we love. The drive was fine and the food was delicious, but none of it compared to face to face conversation with our family. That's a rarity in the military world, so we savor it when it comes! We spent two days with Parker's family and two days with my family. It's honestly a little weird to say "Parker's family" and "my family" because I really just see it as "our family". Now, if "our family" decided to live in the same city, that would make holidays slightly easier, but we'll call living in the same state a win. :)  We decided to take Christmas pictures with each family, and of course being a blogger and picture fanatic, that was fine by me!

These people are one of the big reasons we have so much to be thankful for this year and always...

 I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and have recovered from that turkey coma!


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