Anchors Aweigh : June 2015


Baked Green Chile Chicken Tacos

For some reason, summer just makes me want Mexican food. Maybe it's that I want any and every excuse to serve chips and guacamole as an appetizer, but we have been doing Mexican food at least once a week lately. This was my first attempt at baked tacos, and I really liked them! I think we could do these baked tacos so many ways and am excited to mix it up in the future!

**1 lb chicken breast, cooked and shredded
2 (4.5 oz) jars of chopped green chiles
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese, divided
12 green onions, chopped
a pinch of salt and pepper
8-10 taco shells (Stuff and Stand version)

**To get the perfect chicken for this recipe, I throw my chicken in the crockpot with a little chicken broth and shred it with a fork.

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a 9x13 baking dish. 
2. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, green chiles, bell pepper, sour cream, half a cup of shredded cheese, and a pinch of salt and pepper. 
3. Place green onions evenly in the bottom of your taco shells.
4. Fill each taco with the chicken mixture and stand up in the baking dish. Once all tacos are in the dish, sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over the tops.
5. Bake about 15 minutes or until the cheese is slightly browned and bubbly. Watch your taco shells and don't let them get too brown. 


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Recent Reads: June

This month was a little crazy with the move, but I managed to squeeze in a some pleasure reading on the side! Reading has become something I really look forward to (never thought I would say that), and I am excited for the books I have lined up to read next. Here's what kept my mind busy this month...

by Jane Green

This was my first Jane Green novel, and I really liked it. It's broken into three sections and covers a woman who wants to have a baby to mask her problems, a woman who gets pregnant on accident, and a woman who struggles with her identity after having a baby. I liked the different angles and thought it was really well written. Great summer read!

Big Little Lies
by Liane Moriarty

Liane Moriarty does it again. This book was equally as captivating and addicting as The Husband's Secret, and I was still thinking about it days after I finished it. Definitely my favorite book I read this month! This author has such a way with weaving stories together and relating characters. Read it. Now. 

by Sarah Dessen

This was a really quick read, but it was also really unique. It's about a girl who falls for the wrong guy. Even though this guy is abusive, she can't seem to leave the familiarity of their relationship. It was heartbreaking and frustrating and I couldn't put it down. This was my first Sarah Dessen book, but I definitely don't think it will be my last. It was different from the typical chick flick sort of plot, and I really enjoyed that.

4 Years

Today, Parker and I celebrate 4 years since we did this...

It's hard to believe it's been 4 years since that magical day. It seems like so much life has happened since those two doe-eyed 22 year olds said "I do". This past year has easily been the most challenging yet rewarding year of marriage so far. This was the year that changed our lives forever when we found out we were pregnant with our first baby. Obviously losing Taylor Grace rocked our world, and it introduced a new dynamic into our relationship that we had never encountered before: grief. We had no idea what we were in for, and before this journey with Taylor, we really had no idea how the other handled grief. We quickly had to learn, and realizing that we were going to grieve differently was not something that happened overnight. 

Looking back on this past year, I am so proud of us. I wouldn't change anything we did, and I think we felt God working in our marriage and in our lives more this year than we ever had before. I think we handled all of this in the best way we knew how, and now more than ever, I feel like we can take anything life throws our way.

Of course, there were so many happy times too! This year, we bought a house, fell in love with our Darla girl, continued to obsess over that Jen pup we love so much, spent a weekend in Annapolis, found out we were pregnant, and found out Parker would be flying that C-2 plane that he's so obsessed with. 

Year 4 was so filled with blessings, and I can't wait to see what year 5 has in store. 4 years down, forever to go. "And I thought I loved you then..."

The Boy Behind The Blog: No Peeking Edition

I got the idea of a "No Peeking Edition" of the Boy Behind The Blog from Melissa and had a lot of fun coming up with questions I thought Parker should know if he pays attention. This was a fun little quiz. Try it out on a significant other if you dare, but don't hold it against them if they give the wrong answers! Okay, let's see how Mr. Parker does...

Thankful that wannabe mustache is no longer with us. 
Questions and Answers (my responses to his answers are in gray):

1. Name a place on my body where I have a freckle.
Your face? When you get a tan you get freckles.
I'll take it. Unfortunately it's been about a year since I've had anything resembling a tan.

2. On a typical day, what jewelry do I wear?
Taylor necklace, Aggie ring, wedding ring
Spot on. I usually wear a watch too that I don't actually look at to tell time. 

3. What items are in my purse?
Crap. Just crap. And then there's a couple more things of crap. I don't know, like a little wallet thing, a water bottle, mints, and crap. And pepper spray.

4. Name a blog post that went live last week.
He doesn't read the blog much anymore. Again, rude. His defense is "I catch the live version".

5. What did we do to celebrate our second anniversary?
We did a weekend trip to Fredericksburg
Yep! I had to throw in a couple of gimme questions. They're good for the male ego. 

6. What color is the dogs' water bowl?
Yes, but that was an educated guess. He walks past that water bowl every day, and on a good day he even fills it up.

7. What did the necklace look like that I wore on our wedding day?
P: A cross?
C: I didn't wear a necklace
P: Dangit, I didn't think you did. Well if you would have worn one, you would have worn a cross. 

No necklace. Boom.

Thanks for playing along, hubs. You did decently well, and I'll take it!

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What's Up Wednesday

Oh hey Wednesday. Depending on what time you are reading this, we are officially halfway through the work week. Here's what's going on, currently.

What We're Eating This Week... 

The last of Parker's birthday cake. Since I made it a few days late this year, we are still enjoying it. Italian cream cake is our favorite!

What I'm Reminiscing About...

Some couples feed each other the cake nicely. Others do this. To each his own.
Our wedding. In 2 days, we will celebrate 4 years of marriage. Someone asked us this week if it felt like we had been married for 4 years, and we both looked at each other and said it feels like we've been married forever. So much life has happened in these past 4 years. 

What I'm Loving...

Our new neighborhood. It's so friendly and active, and very few things make me more excited than a nice place to go for a run and walk my dogs. We are so happy here. The house hunting process was discouraging in the beginning, but God truly answered our prayers and put us exactly where we wanted to be.

What We've Been Up To...

Decorating. Okay, that's mostly me. I really love the new centerpiece for the coffee table. The plate was 80% off on clearance at Hobby Lobby and the "decorative spheres" (what else do you call those things?) were 50% off. This girl loves a sale!

What I'm Dreading...

Saying goodbye to Darla. She leaves this weekend, and I can't even imagine how hard it's going to be. I tear up just thinking about it. When we said we would watch her for a year while her mom was on deployment, I didn't realize giving her back would be so tough. 

What I'm Working On...

Spray painting old picture frames to reuse them in the new house. It's amazing what a little spray paint will do!

What I'm Excited About...

Our anniversary sailing trip! Parker and I don't do gifts for our anniversary and instead always try to do an experience. This year, we are going sailing. 

What I'm Watching/Reading...

Reading Dreamland by Sarah Dessen and watching Big Brother (it starts this week!).

What I'm Listening To...

The dogs play. They are both such loud, obnoxious players. They are about to be split up and have no idea it's coming, and that breaks my heart. 

What I'm Wearing...

Work-out clothes. I spend M-F in shorts and a tank top in the summer time. Working from home has its perks!

What I'm Doing This Weekend...

Celebrating our anniversary and going to the DWTS Perfect 10 Tour with a friend!

What I'm Looking Forward To Next Month...

Relaxation. Moving takes a lot out of you, and it feels like the trips to Lowes and Target are endless. I am looking forward to a weekend where we don't have anything going on!

What Else Is New...

I started incorporating smoothies into my routine and am loving it so far! I stocked the fridge with kale, spinach, and my favorite fruits and am drinking a smoothie every day at lunchtime. So far, it's pretty hard to beat the peanut butter banana smoothie.

Linking up with Mel and Shay

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Tex Mex Breakfast Casserole

We hosted our first visitors in the new house this past weekend, so I turned to my favorite foodie blog for a fun breakfast to serve. When I saw this recipe for Tex-Mex breakfast casserole, I knew I had to make it. We always miss Texas, but we especially miss the food. Tex-Mex and Mexican food are just not the same in VA. This casserole was perfect for the occasion and fed 4 people 2 mornings in a row. I even had a little leftover to put into breakfast burritos for the week!

I made this meal ahead and put it in the refrigerator overnight so it would be ready to pop into the oven the next morning. You can make and serve it immediately or refrigerate for later!

1 lb breakfast sausage
3 cups tortilla chips, lightly broken
6 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 (4.5 oz) cans chopped green chiles
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 inch pan. 
2. Brown sausage over medium high heat until sausage is cooked and crumbly. 
3. Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, soup, green chiles, chili powder, and 1 cup of cheese into a bowl. 
4. Layer sausage in the bottom of the pan and top with broken chips. Next, pour egg mixture over. Top with remaining 1 cup of cheese.
5. Bake uncovered in the oven for one hour. 


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Our First Visitors!

This weekend was really exciting for our little home. We had the pleasure of hosting Parker's grandparents (Daddy Pete and Nellie) in our new house! We are absolutely in love with where we moved and couldn't wait to show them what life looks like down here. 

They are such precious people and really went with the flow this weekend. As luck would have it, Parker had duty a lot of the weekend. Friday evening, the three of us went to our favorite local eatery for fish tacos while Parker finished up a flight. When he got home, they gifted us the BEST housewarming gifts!

I am excited to put my jewelry in that beautiful silver tray and beside myself about the guest book. Funny story: I was driving home from the grocery store Friday afternoon kicking myself for not ordering a guest book. I wanted a record of everyone who visited us to look back on one day and realized that no matter what, I wouldn't have one in time for Nellie and DP's visit. When I opened this gift, I gave Nellie the biggest hug! These gifts came from Lifeway, so naturally I thought of Bailey and her #lifewaylife. 

Saturday, Parker was itching to get in the shop with Daddy Pete. Parker adopted his love of woodworking from Daddy Pete and learned it all from him, so it was so neat to see them getting to work together. They didn't have time to build anything, but they had fun putting together the new jointer Parker got for his birthday. 

While the boys were busy, the girls went shopping. It's only natural. I was so happy to have Nellie in town to help me decorate! We scored some good finds at Hobby Lobby and had a great morning. When it comes to house decor, I really need someone to just tell me what to do. A decorator, I am not.

When we returned home, I got in some good time with my girls. Since I work from home, the three of us are so used to being together. I miss them when I am gone! Pathetic, party of one.

Saturday afternoon, Parker had to head to base to do some things, but it ended up working out perfectly. The three of us tagged along and got a tour of the base and the C2. No matter how many times I go, it never gets old seeing Parker in his element. Love that pilot man.

Parker wanted to show Nellie and Daddy Pete how all of the gear worked, so somehow I got volunteered as the model. Let's talk about how sweaty that helmet was. Actually, let's not. That might be a little gross.

All geared up and ready to fly!

The plan was to cook dinner Saturday night, but it ended up being too late when we finished at the base, so we took them to our favorite local restaurant... Chilis. We couldn't help it!

We had so much fun hosting them and spending quality time together. It was a very special weekend!

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Friday Confessions

It's Friday. God is good. As Forrest Gump would say, that's all I have to say about that. Let's get to a few confessions. 

I confess... Parker and I are constantly changing the AC in the car without the other one knowing. I am cold natured and he likes to blast the AC, so I'll turn it down while he's busy focusing on the road and he'll turn it up when I'm not looking. We can go through this process 15 times without either of us saying anything about it. 

I confess... Temperatures spiked to 101 degrees this week in good old Virginia. Honestly, I love it. I complained so much about the winter that I think I give up any and all right to complain about the heat, regardless of how hot it is. Love feeling that sun! Snow, please don't come back for a very very long time. K thanks. 

I confess... We are down to single digits in our time left with Darla and I want to cry just thinking about giving her up. She is currently laying next to me, sleeping so peacefully, and has no idea everything is about to change. I know her mom is ready to have her back, but we are not ready to say goodbye. 

Soaking up all the pupper snuggles I can get!
I confess... Parker and I went to the pool the other day. I lathered up with sunscreen, and he didn't have to put anything on. I got a small little sunburn with the sunscreen, and he got nothing but golden skin. The injustices of the world.

I confess... We are hosting our first visitors in the new home this weekend! Parker's grandparents are coming to stay with us, and we couldn't be more thrilled!

Yall have a great weekend!

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Favorite Dad Memory

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NauticaforDad #CollectiveBias

It's hard to pick a favorite memory when it comes to my dad because he's always been my anchor in this life. He's the first man I ever loved and has always put us kids first in everything he does. He's also pretty darn hysterical, so laughs are never in short supply when he's around. With Father's Day coming up, I thought I would share my favorite memory with my favorite dad. In a sea of so many great memories, this one will always stand out...

Our father/daughter dance at my wedding. 

While we were planning the wedding, I asked my dad to pick the song that we would dance to. I knew it would be way more special if he picked it than if I did, and I couldn't wait to hear what he chose. A few weeks later, he sent me the song he had chosen for us. My Little Girl by Tim McGraw. I was obsessed. I just love that song and four years later still get chills when I hear it and think of that special day.

I can't imagine how hard it would be to give your daughter away to be married. For 22 years, he led me, protected me, and loved me unconditionally, and now he was entrusting another man to do the same. Dad was always supportive of my relationship with Parker and thinks the world of his son-in-law, but I don't know if that makes giving your baby away any easier.

Before the song ended, my dad looked at me and said "You ready?". I nodded as I fought back tears, and he walked over to Parker, shook his hand, and let us finish out the dance. As you can see in the picture below, I was in tears (ugly crying face, party of one). I just love my dad. No matter how old I get or how many years I am married and living away from home, I'll always be his little girl. 

I was walking through Macy's the other day while I was waiting for my car to get an oil change (grown up problems) and came across this Nautica Voyage Gift Set. Since Dad has always been my anchor in life, I couldn't think of a more suitable gift. 

I've always had an obsession with anchors and anything nautical. I was a Delta Gamma in college and now am married to the Navy, so the anchor just fits (hence the blog name). The Nautica Voyage Gift Set screamed clear, confident, and inspired, which I think perfectly describes my dad. Not to mention, the set smells amazing! So clean and masculine. 

Here's where I found it at Macy's:

We are excited to host my parents in our new home in a couple of weeks, and this set will be waiting for my Dad when he arrives! Dad, thanks for being the dream dad and my real life hero. You are loved!

Nautica for Dad

Norfolk House Tour

Since we have officially moved out of our rental house, I thought I would do a little house tour of the place we called home for a year. Since we have moved so often (we just moved into our 6th home in 4 years of marriage!), I like to take pictures of each house so we can have them to look back on. 

Moving is always bittersweet. It's closing one chapter and opening another, but this has been the hardest house to leave. We are absolutely in love with our new house and neighborhood, but the house we left contains some of our most special memories. Any and every memory we have of my pregnancy with Taylor Grace happened in that house. I took the positive pregnancy test in the guest bathroom, I stumbled through the house to the dining room to show it to Parker, we went back into the bedroom to take it all in (he had been painting and wanted to get me away from the fumes), and then we went out onto the porch to take our first pictures knowing we were parents-to-be. Our time with Darla also happened in that house. That little pup taught me so much patience and love while we lived there. 

Okay, I could go on and on about how much we loved this house, but I'll save some time and just get straight to the pictures. The house was built in 1942, so it had quite a bit of character!

Front of the house

These are outtakes from our Christmas card photoshoot for 2014, but I wanted to get a couple of shots with the porch swing. We LOVED this porch swing! We sat out there in the evenings and watched the world go by. We could stay out there for hours if it weren't for all of the darn mosquitos.

Master Bedroom

This is definitely the largest master we have ever had. You can't tell from the picture, but there are skylights over the bed. We loved all of the natural light, but if you need it pitch black when you sleep, you would have hated it. It never bothered us though!

Parker's Office

Right across from the master bedroom was Parker's office. If an Aggie flag hanging over a window in place of curtains isn't a sign of a man cave, I don't know what is.


Gosh, I loved this kitchen! It was probably my favorite room. It was so open, and that island was awesome. It was the perfect kitchen for entertaining and had more storage than I knew what to do with. We are big fans of a white kitchen, so I really liked all of the white cabinets too! As you can see, Darla decided to make a little cameo.

Living Room

Jenny is not impressed. This is the room where we spent most of our evenings. We loved curling up on the couch and watching a movie or a TV show with the pups. This room had built ins to the right that were great for storing little knick knacks, or as Parker liked to call it "crap".

Dining Room

This room is right off the kitchen and where we ate dinners each night.

The We-Have-No-Idea Room

This room was right between the living room, dining room, and my office. The people who lived here before us used it as an office, but we didn't really have a use for it. It did, however, house the antenna, as you can see. There wasn't a great place to hide it in the house, but I'll take that over the cable bill any day.

My Office

This is where I spent each day working. I work from home, so it's nice to have my own little space where I can be productive. This room was probably meant to be a den with the fireplace, but it served as the perfect office for me! The wall next to the fireplace is where we took our bumpdate pictures with Taylor each week. We also kept Darla's crate in here. She just loves her crate. We call her my little shadow because she really does follow me around everywhere I go. We put her crate next to my desk so she could hang out with me during the work day in comfort. Jenny preferred the couch in the living room.

Guest Room

There was a second floor loft in this house that we dedicated as the guest room. My mom, Nana, twin, Parker's parents, and several friends stayed with us throughout our time in this house.

Guest Bathroom

This was the guest bathroom. Nothing too special about it, but it served its purpose.

Master Bathroom

This was probably my least favorite room in the house. There was very little storage which is difficult for a girl because we have a lot of "crap" as my husband agains refers to it.

So there you have it! We will always remember this house fondly. We had a great time living there!

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