Anchors Aweigh : January 2013



Like any girl, I had my bridesmaids picked out before Parker even proposed (I think that's fairly normal...maybe?). Each of these ladies got to watch our love story unfold as we dated and got engaged, so I was so excited to ask them to stand next to me as I said "I do" to the man of my dreams. I knew I wanted to ask them in a special way because they all meant so much to me for different reasons. I decided to write each of them a letter telling them why I love them and how much I value our friendship. I also gave each of them a different wedding movie as a fun little gift.

Danielle- Maid of Honor
If you have known me for longer than .25 seconds, you know I have a twin sister that I am incredibly close to. There was never any doubt in my mind that she would be my Maid of Honor. We have been through so much together, and to this day, she knows me in a way that no one else ever will. From woomies to roomies to best friends, she has been with me through it all, and there is no one else I would have rather had by my side. Fun fact, Danielle was not yet engaged when I asked her to be my MOH, but since her wedding was a month and a half before mine, she actually ended up being my matron of honor. For her movie, I gave her Made of Honor. That was fairly obvious, huh?

She said yes!

Natalie- Bridesmaid
Natalie is my younger sister by four years, but I look up to her in far more ways than I do most people older than me. She has always had such a heart for God and such a compassion for people. She is one of the kindest, sweetest people I have ever known, and I was so honored to have her there with me on our wedding day. I gave her the movie The Wedding Planner.

Faith- Bridesmaid
Faith is my youngest sister and is so much fun to be with. She is extremely considerate of others, but she is the life of the party and always has us laughing. There was a six year age gap growing up, but I am so thankful that now that we are older, we have a solid friendship. She's a mature 17, and I can talk to her about anything. She was the perfect little bridesmaid. For her movie, I gave her The Princess Bride.

Breanna- Bridesmaid
Breanna is Parker's sister and now mine as well. I always tell people I hit the in-law jackpot, and that includes inheriting another wonderful, perfect sister. Bree is so sweet to everyone she meets, and she has an energy and kindness that makes everyone want to be around her. I am so blessed for the relationship I have with her and that I got her as a sister. Her wedding movie was Wedding Crashers!

Jami- Bridesmaid
I think Jami might have been the reason I was supposed be a Delta Gamma. She is my little in our sorority, and we just clicked instantly. It was my job to be her mentor and to help her through her first year as a DG, but we developed such a tight friendship that I so deeply cherish. Even though we live far apart now, I know I can call her at the drop of a hat, and we pick up right where we left off when we do get to see each other. I am so blessed to call this girl one of my best friends. Jami's movie was My Best Friend's Wedding.

Whitney- Bridesmaid
Whitney was one of my first friends in Delta Gamma and to this day still one of my closest friends. She has such a kind and Godly heart and is just so much fun to be around. She has always been there for both Danielle and me, and I really value her friendship. We got to share an apartment senior year, and I have some of the best memories of just sitting on each others' floor and having girl time. Whit's movie was My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Anna- Bridesmaid
Anna and I had so much fun together in college. We lived together at the sorority house our junior year and had an absolute blast. She cares so much for other people and has the most infectious personality. I am so thankful that she was a DG as well and wish I got to see her more often! For her movie, I gave her Wedding Date.

House Party/Flower Girl
I had a few other friends that I really wanted to have a part in the wedding, so I had a house party. Kim, Kennedy, Amanda, Juli, and Taylor were in my house party, and I am so thankful that they had a part in our wedding! My cousins Amanda and Blake also had a part, and Parker's sweet cousin Ella was our flower girl!

 So blessed to have these girls then and now!

Jenny's Toy Box

Parker had some scrap wood left over from a project he helped our friend Troy with, so we brainstormed different things he could build for fun. Naturally all of our thoughts center around Jenny, and I suggested making her a toy box. We decided to go with the idea, and it turned into a really fun little project!

Parker has gotten really good at this whole building thing, so the entire box was constructed within an hour. We liked the idea of it looking similar to an old shipping crate, and that became the inspiration for the design.

Once Parker was finished constructing the box, I took it inside and painted Jenny's name on it. We put a clear protective coat on the entire thing since the wood wasn't treated, and voila! Jenny now has her own little toy box for all of her toys scraps of fabric that used to be toys.

Of course, Jenny is not impressed...

Chicken Pot Pie

I have been making this recipe since Parker and I got married, and it never fails. I grew up on this homemade chicken pot pie, and I am excited for future Phelps babies to enjoy it too! The recipe is slightly involved, but it's worth it.


Pie Filling                                                                 
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken                                        
1/2 cup milk                                                              
2 cans cream of potato soup                                     
1 can veg-all, drained                                                            
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp black pepper

2 cups flour
1 cup crisco
1 tsp salt
4 Tbs ice water

Not pictured: chicken- it was already cooking :)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all pie filling ingredients together, set aside. Begin making your crust by mixing flour and salt. Cut in the crisco with a fork, and add water 1 T at a time, mixing well after each. Rub flour on your hands so the dough won't stick together. Pat dough in a ball and cut in half with a knife for a top and bottom pie crust. The bottom crust needs to be slightly larger, so make one half a little bigger than the other.

Roll larger portion of dough onto a pastry cloth or paper towel with flour, and place dough in the pie plate. Pour mixed pie filling ingredients into uncooked pie shell.

Roll out remaining dough and add to the top of the pie. Place in preheated oven and bake 45 minutes or until crust edges are golden brown. Let cool 5 minutes and enjoy!

Note: The crust is what makes this recipe. It is a lot more work than just buying an already made crust at the store, but I promise it's worth it.

Our Proposal

I've decided to recap different aspects of our wedding over the next few weeks that I want to remember. We have been married over a year and a half, so there are already so many little details that I've forgotten. I figured I might as well start with the proposal, so here is our story:

Parker and I have been together since our freshman year of college. We knew within 8-9 months that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives with each other, but we also knew that we felt too young to be engaged or married at age 19 or 20. We had talked about it a lot, and I knew the proposal was going to happen between the beginning of senior year (August 2010) and Christmas 2010 because our plan was to get married that following summer. I still thought we were a few months away, so the day it happened (August 28th) was a complete surprise!

I received an email early in the week from the CO of Parker's regiment that there would be a dinner that Saturday evening for all of the COs and XOs of each outfit. The email requested that all of the girlfriends attend as well. I got excited because I was going to get dressed up but didn't think any more of it. The first part of Parker's plan was smart for two reasons: there was no dinner, but he had Robbie (CO of 2nd regiment) write the email since I would be able to tell Parker's writing style. He also included both COs and XOs. Logan was the XO, meaning Danielle would need to get dressed up and be there too. Smartie.

That Friday, my little in DG and one of my best friends, Jami, took me to get my nails done. I had no idea why, but I was all for some girl time and relaxation after a busy week of sorority recruitment. Saturday, Parker told me he was in meetings all day and wouldn't be able to see me until the dinner that evening (lies- he really was just too afraid he would say something to give away the surprise), so I hung out by the pool with my friends. That evening I got all dressed up in a new dress I had recently bought and waited for Parker to come pick me up for dinner. He finally called me to say he was running behind and was really frustrated and needed me to come pick him up so we wouldn't be late. At that point, I had a small idea. Things like the fact that I had gotten my nails done and the fact that I had to come pick him up were starting to seem suspicious, but I didn't really fully know.

I arrived to the place I always met Parker to pick him up, and instead of Parker, it was two sophomores from his outfit, Danielle, and Michael Brau (one of his juniors). Right away, I knew. Danielle started crying as soon as she saw me and nodded her head when I gave her the "Is this for real?" look, and the two sophomores jumped in my car and drove it to the nearest parking garage. Michael Brau and Danielle then escorted me to the Century Tree. All of our friends and family were there to watch, which made it incredibly special. When I saw Parker for the first time, I lost it. He was so handsome, and everything was so perfect.

I walked through the sabre arch to Parker, and he handed me a single yellow rose, which was significant to us. He sat me down on the bench and knelt down on one knee. He had a beautiful speech prepared about what he loves about me and how much he loves me. Then he said the words I had been waiting to hear. "Chelsea Victoria Benner, will you marry me?" Through tears I said yes, and he placed the most beautiful ring I had ever seen on my finger. It was perfect!

Our families and friends whooped and cheered, and we had a few moments to ourselves underneath the Century Tree. We then walked back through the sabre arch to our loved ones as an engaged couple!

Seeing so many people who love and care for us completely warms my heart
We took pictures and went to dinner to celebrate at Mr. G's, an old pizzeria in Bryan that is special to us. Everything about the proposal was perfect and straight out of a fairytale!

Delta Gammas!

All of the people involved in the sabre arch

Parker and his buddies!

The future Mr. and Mrs. Parker Phelps!

I am a cheeseball and made a little video from the pictures of our proposal right after we got engaged. You can watch it here.

TGIF- Randoms Throughout The Week

This week has been a fun one for the Phelps trio, so I thought I would share a few of the highlights!

First things first, I blogged a few weeks ago about our struggle to stay in our house until we move because our landlord is having to short sale the property (you can read about it here). Well, our landlord sent me a text saying we could sign another lease through the month of February! We know Parker will not complete primary by the end of February, but we are taking it step by step and praising God for another month in our home!

Tiffany and Darla came over for a play date Wednesday, and it was so great to see them! Tiffany is moving to Norfolk soon, so I am glad to spend time with them while we can. Darla has such a special place in our hearts, and it is so wonderful to see how close she and Tiffany are. You can read Darla's story here. How cute are these two playing together? Can you tell Jenny is on cloud nine?

We go to Chili's about once a week (sad but true), so why break tradition this week? We always do the 2 for $20, but I had a coupon for a free dessert, so we thought why not? Free is free! This is my favorite dessert at Chili's, and I haven't had it in a few years, so my inner fatty was in paradise.

Jenny has been loving this warmer weather. She likes to go outside and lay in the sun for 30 minutes to an hour each afternoon. Little cutie :)

I wanted to make a banana pudding for Parker this week because he loves it, and I totally messed it up. Essentially, I got careless and bought 10 oz of something instead of 14 oz, and it completely ruined the consistency. I really try to be the perfect wife and get so frustrated when I mess up recipes, but Parker is a genius and decided we could just throw the whole thing in the blender and have a banana pudding milkshake. Boom. Fixed. It was delicious.

Wrapping up, Parker has his aerobatics solo today and should start forms Monday, weather permitting. Slowly but surely, we are getting there! We hope everyone has a good weekend!

USS Alabama

Parker has been wanting to see the USS Alabama since the day we moved here, and Saturday was finally the day. Our friends, the Haby's, wanted to tour it as well, so off the four of us went to tour the USS Alabama! I am not the biggest museum/history person, but I love seeing Parker happy, so I had a good time. I do not have a four hour attention span, so I got a little crabby when we were going through slowly and reading everything, but Parker said overall I did a good job (fist pump!).

 The day consisted of three parts: touring the battleship, touring the aviation hangar, and touring the submarine. We all toured the battleship together, and it was really eye-opening to see how these people lived and functioned aboard the USS Alabama. The aviation hangar was neat and probably my favorite part since Parker is in flight school. Parker knew a lot about most of the planes and really just wanted to touch them all (I bet he made a precious five year old). He was more interested in where each specific plane had been and not the background on the type of plane since he can read that on Wikipedia, so we finished up a little before the Haby's and went on to the submarine while they continued in the hangar. We had fun on the submarine and enjoyed those in front of us who were having small breakdowns because of how tight the space was. I will let the pictures tell the rest, but here are a few notes that Parker wanted to make sure were included in the recap:

The nine 16'' turrets constitute the main battery of the ship. The turrets can hurl 24,300 lbs of steel at the enemy every 30 seconds to a range of 21 miles.

When a sailor got into trouble and needed to be punished, he went to what was called the Brig. It was more or less a prison cell on board the ship, and the sign read "This is the bin for bad apples." (Made us laugh!)

Notable airplanes on display included the A-12 and YF-17. Fun fact: the A-12 travels at 3800 ft/sec. The M-1 rifle bullet only travels at 2800 ft/sec. If the bullet could travel across the United States at a fixed rate of 2800 ft/sec, the A-12 could beat it by 7 minutes.

This was displayed in the battleship...I thought it was neat :)

Parker with one of the tanks outside near the battleship

Okay I am pretty ignorant on all things ships, but this is pretty cool right?!

Parker steering the ship

I couldn't get over the engineering and construction behind this monstrosity of a ship

Any day with you is a day well spent!
We had a great day, and I am glad we could check one more thing off our Pensacola bucket list! I am also glad we got to experience this with the Haby's! It was a productive Saturday well spent :)

Commanded to Pray

Yesterday, President Obama was inaugurated into his second term as president of our country. This has caused a lot of discussion, unease, and tension for many people, myself included. I will be the first to admit that I voted for Governor Romney and was upset on election night when the votes played out the way they did. I was frustrated and so was my family, but it's not my job to be frustrated. It's not my job to complain about the direction President Obama is taking this country, and it is not my job to speak ill of him and his leadership. It is, however, my job to pray for him.

"I urge then, first of all, that requests, prayer, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God our Savior." - 1 Timothy 2:1-3

God had His hand in this election, so who I am to question the result? God commands us to pray for those in power and to submit to authority. This next verse is the one that really did it for me:

"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God." - Romans 13:1

Republican, Democrat, Independent, etc. We are all commanded to submit to authority. President Obama is the authority Americans have been instructed to submit to and obey. It may be trying at times, but pray for this leader and for our great nation, and take comfort in the fact that God is ultimately in control.

Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgement." - Romans 13:2

Weekends, Why Must You End?

Well, it was another perfect weekend that went by way too quickly! I love when the clock strikes 5:00 on Friday because you feel like you have all this time, and then Sunday evening comes and you're sitting in bed wondering where the weekend went...okay, that's every weekend. Anyway, Friday night was date night! We decided it had been a while since we did a weekend date night, so we did the stereotypical dinner and a movie. It may sound a little boring, but that is our ideal evening. Good conversation, quality time with your best friend, a delicious meal, and a movie we both enjoy is hard to beat. We have a giftcard to Outback Steakhouse and tried to go there for dinner, but there was a 55 minute wait, so we opted for Buffalo Wild Wings so we would be on time to the movie. BWW never fails and was delicious as always. We saw Silver Linings Playbook after, and we loved it! Jennifer Lawrence is one of my favorite actresses right now, and she and Bradley Cooper were perfect. I highly recommend it!

Date night with this handsome guy!

Saturday, we toured the USS Alabama with the Haby's, and I will do a separate post on that later this week. Parker has been wanting to go since we got to Pensacola last January, so we finally went, and it was so fun to see him so excited. I will elaborate more later! We met some friends for dinner at McGuire's Saturday night and then headed out to Seville (bars). I am not really a big drinker so the bars aren't usually my scene, but I ended up having a great time. It was interesting to experience a bar scene other than Northgate. I forgot that people other than college students actually went out to the bars...cue the naivety. Our friends down here are so fun, so it's always a good time no matter where we are. (I forgot to take pictures... :/ )

Sunday included sleeping in, church, projects around the house, and a football party at the Stews'. I didn't even know who was playing before I got there. Obviously, I go for the social aspect. I had a great time hanging out with these awesome people and watching our dogs go nuts over each other. Jenny is the oldest in the group, and her seniority was really showing at the end of the night when everyone else was still playing and she was snuggling on the couch...poor girl can't hang anymore. Of course I forgot to take pictures with people, but don't worry, I managed to snap a few shots of the stars of the show...

Animal House

Jenny the snuggler

Rodney the dog whisperer

Happy MLK day! I unfortunately do not have today off, but enjoy the long weekend if you do!


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