Embracing It

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I am so happy that I got to come home for my favorite holiday. We're going to have Thanksgiving Dinner at my house this year. That is going to be a little bit strange. We've only eaten at our house one other time that I can remember, but I suppose traditions change as our lives change.

My mom cleaned all day yesterday and prepared for all of the cooking she had to do today. I helped with what I could and did as much cleaning as I could help with. Usually I'm better at making messes than cleaning them up though.

But after some hard work I finally get to sit down by the nice warm wood stove and blog.

I filled the cooler up with soda pop and adult beverages.  It's not a family get together without an adult beverage or two, that is for sure...

Or fridge is filled with pies, ranch dip and various side salads for dinner tonight. Of course, It's now 5 o'clock and the bulk of the guests have yet to arrive, so everything is still, quite literally, chillin' in the fridge.  Every year we go way beyond the usual mashed potatoes, green beans, and turkey. We always have way more food than we could possibly eat, but it gets eaten eventually.

This year, I  learned the secrets of the potato salad. In case you were wondering, I am now the potato salad master. It will undoubtedly be the best potato salad we've had in a while. I'm sure of it it. 

Soon we will fill up one of these mis-matched plates with too much food for us to eat, we'll pray as a family and we'll have another successful Thanksgiving.  I think that is what I'm most thankful for this year. Yes, our plates don't match. We don't have "company plates" and we had to clean from top to bottom to host this Thanksgiving Day meal, but that is what makes my family mine. 

Sometimes we don't fit together exactly as we're should, but that's okay. It's what makes us...us. 

I am so very thankful for everything that makes us who we are. I am thankful for all of my crazy experiences and up-hill battles. Even though things around here are changing more than I might have asked for It's going to be okay.  I'd rather embrace it than run from it. 

I'm thankful for all of my friends that have helped me get through all of my many trials and I'm thankful for this crazy, unpredictable life. 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Enjoy your time with your families and try not to die tomorrow on Black Friday. 

I Forget Everything

Please forgive me for my bad-blogger status as of late. I was getting good at posting every weekday, then this happened.

As it turns out, I was forgetting everything. I wrote a huge paper in a matter of hours yesterday and I've got 3 more before the end of the semester...Cool. 

But that is just the life I guess! I'll survive it. Besides, in about an hour, I'm going home!

I cannot wait to play with my lil' baby girl and eat home cooked food. I truly appreciate home so much more than I used to.  Even when I was in basic training, and AIT and all that, I wasn't really all that homesick. Occasionally I would feel like I missed home, but it wasn't constant. I was busy and I loved what I was doing. 

Here though, I think about home all the time and I just want to go be a part of everything that they're doing there. I can't wait to be there in just a few hours. 

Mostly, I just wanna play with this kid. 

I mean come on. Look at her. 

Well, I'm leaving here in a few minutes, so I had better go, but stay tuned for updates on the new blog and where to find me on December 1st!

Look out for some Black Friday Deals from my November Headliner!

The Fancy Version of Twinkie Filling

For some reason, I was reluctant to tell everyone here on the blog what I was doing this weekend, but now that the day has come and gone, I feel like I can talk about it.  

On Friday I took a little drive to California so that I could attend the Marine Corps Ball in Disneyland with a friend.  It rained and snowed my entire drive. I kept looking out into the distance hoping that the sky would calm down, but this is what I kept seeing....

It really didn't look promising, but as I was driving into the LA area, I looked out my window and saw the most beautiful sunset. I almost didn't mind the awful traffic. That is how gorgeous it was...It made me wonder if maybe I should make SoCal my new home.

Nah too much traffic....And the lines between the regular lanes and the car pool lane are seriously belligerent.  Do you really need four solid yellow lines and a white line to put the fear of god into people who dare cross it?

  The actual ball was quite the experience.  I had an idea of what the ceremony was like, but it was very cool to actually get to see it. Sort of. The table I was at was a little bit far away from the action, but I still knew what was going on and it was just a neat thing to be able to be a part of.  My date happened to be in the ceremony, so I was able to sit at the table by myself and socialize with the other Marines. Of course, I could talk all day so it wasn't so bad.

I won't lie, a part of the reason I was excited about going to this ball was getting the chance to buy a formal gown...After looking for a couple of days while I was home for Drill, we fell upon this lovely dress in a small dress shop in Sandy, Utah.  This dress isn't something I normally would have chosen, but I love it.  Hopefully I'll find more occasions to wear it.

For reals, guys, I even got my nails done. That doesn't ever happen.

My date was very sweet and looked quite dashing in his Alphas if I do say so myself.  I was sort of a bad blogger and didn't take too many pictures of the ball its self, but I at least took one of us at dinner.  The lighting in the ball room give us this lovely washed out look...So great. 
And check out the iPhone camera quality.......not. Please pardon the boobage or lack thereof, I suppose I should say.

Dinner was actually quite good, although dessert was thoroughly disappointing. My date liked it, but most of us at the table speculated about what it actually was half of the night. We concluded that it was the fanciest Hostess filling from Twinkies. Possibly made with coconut milk? Not so delicious, my friends...

My date wasn't really a fan of the dance floor, but I didn't let that stop me. By the end of the night I made enough friends that I felt I could head out there and dance anyway. Maybe it wasn't the most polite thing in the world, but my date was working the room and I wasn't going to just sit there bored and underage...unallowed to partake of the fruit of the vine.  Besides, it was so much fun and beyond hilarious watching all these druken and overly-confident Marines bust a move on the dance floor. I'm really glad I didn't have to miss out on that.

Overall, I had a pretty awesome weekend. It was truly an awesome experience. I am always up for new adventures and this definitely was one Now I'm back at school and thinking about all of the things I have expertly procrastinated and feeling super stressed out! Yay for procrastination...no...

So, Imma jam out to this lovely song on repeat for the rest of the evening and pretend that I'm doing homework. I suppose, in theory I'm working on my writing skills by blogging...but that is just me lying to myself so I feel like I'm actually being productive or some shit. I'm not.

Eating on Paper Plates Doesn't Make the Dishes Go Away

I made it to work today. My job is extremely difficult to do when I'm sick because it involves speaking very clearly. Of course, I have a lot of trouble with that when I can barely breathe.  Luckily though, I'm almost finished here.

Oh, that's right, I didn't tell you.


someecards.com - I can't believe I work this hard to be this poor.

I gave my two weeks notice last week and my last day is the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I wasn't planning on going home, because I really didn't feel like driving myself another 800 miles only a week after I had drill.  Lucky for me, my friend is going home and is letting me catch a ride. I am so happy. It so happens that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I really didn't want to spend it all alone.

someecards.com - I want to take you home for Thanksgiving to meet the people who made me turn out this way.

I have always loved that Thanksgiving is a day that my non-religious and dysfunctional family stands together in my grandparents living room and joins hands in prayer. We bow our heads and humbly give thanks, then we continue on with our lives. We eat a meal prepared by my mom's and my aunt's hands and we chat about meaningless things. 

We forget any fights that we were in previously and we eat dinner while talking over the TVs that are in in the kitchen and the living room.  We always have way too much food and we argue about who gets to do the dishes. Eating on paper plates doesn't make the dishes used to cook and serve go away!

By the time the night is over, everyone is stuffed and we might pull out Catch Phrase or Scategories.  It will be strange this year to not have my grandpa come out of his room and tell us to be quiet or smile at us because he can see how much fun we're having all together.

As we grow up our traditions change. We can't help it. All of our lives start to move in different directions and we just can't have everything we used to. Sometimes it's difficult to deal with, but I suppose that is just part of life.


I was doing so well with that whole blogging like crazy thing, but I sort of dropped the ball.

I had to go home for drill this past weekend.  I didn't say anything about it on the blog because I was surprising baby sissy for her birthday.

The weekend overall wasn't so bad. It's tough driving so 800 miles in a weekend, but I survived.  Also, I got to see my niece.  That always makes me happy.

I mean look at that adorable little face...She's beyond cute.

I had a pretty dang good weekend at drill too. Usually I just end up being incredibly bored, but I have some...renewed motivation and I'm excited to start working towards bigger and better things.
Photo: Sometimes I end up standing by for the entire time I'm at drill...

Now, I'm sick as sick gets.  I woke up on Sunday morning feeling like death.  By the time I was in the car driving back to school I thought I was literally going to die.  On Monday I dragged my butt to the urgent care and got some antibiotics prescribed. Have you ever had to get a prescription in a different state? It was a freaking nightmare. I almost ended up having to pay $98 for my medicine. I definitely don't have $98...it was a huge mess. I sat at the Wallgreens for over an hour waiting for the insurance to approve it.

I had a total of two emotional breakdowns last night, but I'm feeling a tiny bit better now that I have gotten some antibiotics in my system. It's a damn good thing too, because I've got big plans this weekend......

I'll tell you all about it in due time.  Until then, I'm going to hang out in bed, watch some Drop Dead Diva and eat Star Shaped Chicken noodle soup...

A Post About Nothing

So, this year is nearing its end....November is nearly half over already!  It feels like I was leaving for basic training just yesterday, when it reality, it was nearly an entire year ago!

A lot of changes are coming for me (I feel like I'm always saying that!) and I'm probably a little bit too excited about it.

Because I'm changing everything about my blog soon, I have now changed all of my user names on my social media platforms. Don't worry, if you're already following me, you have nothing to worry about, but if you aren't the social media icons to the right will no longer work.

Please feel free to follow me on Twitter and Instagram with the user name @kt_nay clever right?

After seeing my design live I am so so tempted to launch earlier than January...I may just do that!  I am also planning a post holiday/new blog launch giveaway. No matter when I launch, that giveaway will be after the New Year. I suppose I could get your opinion!

Are you ready to see the change? I know I am. Let me know what you think!

Other than that, I really don't have a whole lot going on right now. I'm busily working on some things for school as the semester is winding down, I'm spending countless hours in the gym preparing for a pending APFT and I'm getting excited to return home soon!

What are you all up to this fine Wednesday?

I'm a Square Peg

Veteran's Day.

I suppose today is a good day to reflect on my service in the military so far.

I, like so many others, found myself sitting across from a Marine Corps recruiter one fateful day in April. I stared down at these little tags that they make you put in order of importance to you and I felt...peace. I felt as if I was in the right place for the first time in my life.

I sat there thinking about myself and what he was telling me that I would have to be able to do. He explained what boot camp would be like and how hard it would be, but I wasn't even thinking about that. My heart was swelling with an overwhelming confidence that if I set my mind to it, I would be able to do it.

I went home and I told my big sister that I was going to be a Marine. That my life had just been changed forever. It wasn't about what my recruiter had said, it was about how I felt and what I knew about myself.  It was what I was supposed to do. I just knew it. All of my life I was waiting for this feeling.  I was hoping that some day, I would finally feel like I was somewhere that I belonged. There I found it.

I joined the Marines the day after I graduated high school. It was an amazingly exciting day. Throughout all my time in the Delayed Entry Program, I made some of the most amazing friends. In fact, I consider most of them to be my best friends. I created more of a connection with these people in a few short months that I have with any other people in my life.

Unfortunately, it was all too good to last. I decided to go out on one last innocent little bike ride that turned into an accident that completely changed the course of my life.  A little over two years ago, I had surgery on my arm and I cried. I cried for what I had lost. I was devastated that I would no longer be able to live out that dream and be that Marine I knew I was meant to become.

Lucky for me, about a year later, things changed. I found myself sitting across from a recruiter again but this time in an Army recruiting office. I had a stack of medical documents and high hopes that this would work out, that I would finally be able to be a part of the Military like I knew I was supposed to.

It didn't take long. I spent a couple of days with the recruiters filling out paper work, went to MEPS and that was it. I cried like a baby when the doctors on the med deck told me I was qualified. I raised my right hand (again) and I said the oath of enlistment and I was on my way.  I was an Army Reservist.

All of my training was...incredible. I tell everyone how easy it was and that it wasn't a big deal, but it was. I made life long friends and I just...fit there. I felt like I was finally good at something. For once in my life I didn't feel like a square peg in a round hole. I found a square hole that I fit in perfectly.

I'm finally a place that I belong.  Even when it really sucks.

Today I know a few combat veterans and TONS of service members. If I mentioned them all in a Facebook post, It would be over 100 of them. Most of which aren't from basic training or AIT. They're more veterans and servicemen around you than you may even realize.

So happy veterans day.

Time Now.

I think too much.

I have always thought too much.  I ponder and I muse and I wonder. All the time.

It isn't always a bad thing, but sometimes, it really is. When you think about any one thing a little bit too much, it turns into something that it isn't. I can't even count the number of times this has happened to me.

Over the past week or so, I've been having these great deep chats with my little sissy. I call her my little sissy, but she's a senior in high school and planning out her college career.  I still think of her as this lil' baby that I played Polly pockets for hours upon hours.

But she isn't. She's not a baby anymore, and she has actually had a lot to do with me coming to my senses over my "issues."  I have...a million issues. Just like everyone else in this world.  Sometimes they're old issues sometimes they're new, but they're there, and Megan, my lil' sissy likes to help bring them all into the light and dust 'em all off.

Today, I laid in my bed thinking all about the things I've discussed with Megan. Then it occurred to me...maybe I should stop all this thought.  I mean obviously, it's not realistic to try to stop thinking entirely, but it's possible that I'm giving all this time and energy to things that don't even deserve it.

I think the biggest problem with all this thinking, is that a lot of the time, another person is involved in all of the thinking and how the hell am I supposed to know what is going on in another person's head? I can't possibly know and now I've just allowed my imagination to create the worst possible scenario when maybe, just maybe, it was what it is.

I made a promise to myself a while ago that I would leave things alone.  I promised myself that I would live in the moment. I would be me and do me and not get all caught up in the trivial bull shit.

And I did just that. I got caught up and I let old things hurt me.  I had expectations beyond that of reality because I didn't just see what my life is for what it is. But that is about to change.

Time now.

Pizza is a food group, right?

I have had a significant amount of trouble coming up with something to talk about today.  I've been trying really hard to be one of those 5 days a week blog types that actually make it point to put pen to paper and say something big and important. Problem is, I can't really think of anything big and important.

So instead, I'll guess I'll just share some random things about me, because let's face it, I'm a blogger and I love to tell you all about me.

I have a slight obsession with Doctor Who but I'm refusing to watch the last season. I don't want it to end. And my English professor looks exactly like David Tennant. And he's British. And his name is David.

My new blog is going to be called "Chalk it Up to Better Luck" 
someecards.com - I get more cleaning done in the ten minutes before someone comes over than I do in a week.

and I'm not nearly as messy as a I used to be...

I believe that laundry doesn't need to be done until you have exhausted every possible wardrobe option and worn everything the maximum number of time until it must be washed.

I can literally watch Pitch Perfect every night for a month and not get sick of it.In fact, I'll probably just love it more.

I learned most of my life lessons from Mr. Feeney. And I'm not the only one
I will also get goose bumps and cry every time I hear him say this last line.

I have a wanderlust that will likely never be fully satisfied. 

I change my plans on a near weekly basis because  I change on a weekly basis.

If I'm listening to the radio in my car and a song comes on that may slightly relate to me, I feel like the universe is speaking to me. But get this...I don't believe in signs.

I will eat nearly any type of frozen pizza product...
I just barely figured out that you can embed IG images and I'm about to become an embedding fool...

I have an odd but undeniable love for vintage pyrex dishes...

I used to be able to read 300 page books daily.  Don't judge me.

I prefer a cold can of coke in the morning to coffee, orange juice or really any other beverage

See I told you, It's going to happen. I'm an embedding fool...

I get a ridiculous amount of satisfaction out of people re-pinning something that I pinned. The other day, I pinned something that received over 200 re-pins. You read that correctly. 200.

And I'm pretty sure you guys have got to be tired of learning all these random things about me, so I guess I'll let you go.

By the way, I think you should go over to Whitney's blog and check out her new blogging T-shirts. They're freaking genius...just sayin'.

Talking About Bright & Shiny Things

Well helllloooo there today, bloggy.

I think this might be the first Tuesday since I have lived in Las Vegas that I haven't woken up on the wrong side of the bed.  For some reason, Tuesday is just uglier than Monday, especially because it's the day that I have to go to work :P

I really used to love my job, but it has turned into a place that I don't like to be. Not only do I not like being here, but I feel like I am at a dead end and it is time for something new now more than ever.
someecards.com - You're due for a promotion this decade

But I woke up on the bright and shiny side of the bed, so I should talk about bright and shiny things instead of dull ones like worky work.

So for some reason that I am not quite aware of, pretty much e'ry one one of my Facebook friends is in love with this picture and I really have no idea why! I don't know what is so special about it. I snapped a selfie because I put a tiny bit of effort into making up my face yesterday, and then everyone goes liking this photograph...Otay. I won't complain.

I don't think I've ever had this kind of response to a photo of me. So there you have it, my face is a hit and I don't know why. 

What else...? Hmmm...I'm running 40 miles this month. Maybe even more!
I'm joining Hannah from Hannah, Here! in her quest to walk/run 40 miles in the month of November. I used to be a total PT stud and now I can barely force myself to run two miles. So I think this will help me out. 

While Hannah is taking beautiful nature walks, I'm running on a treadmill and a track more than I am outside. In fact, I'm kind of scared to run outside. Las Vegas is a scary place. But it is still a really awesome goal that I'm working hard to meet! Want to join Hannah and me? Use hashtag #40milesinnovember to track your progress with us!

I got to see my "inspiration board" for my new blog and I am so so excited about it. For a minute I was rethinking it. I didn't know if I should do it, and I was second-guessing myself all over the place. All of my apprehensions are gone after seeing the ideas for my design. I'm having Jane from Poppiness Designs create my look and I could not be happier with my choice.  

I think that's about it for today! 

But before I go, I think you should run over to Kylie's Blog!

Kylie Smiles

She is new to my sidebar! Head on over and give her blog a read. I would recommend starting with this post!  It's one of my favorites that I've read from Kylie.  She's from Arizona, but living in my home-state! She write awesome posts that are truly inspiring for me to read! I highly suggest you head her way and check her out. 

Don't forget about my November sponsor Metal Marvels! It's never too early to start your Christmas shopping! Put in your order today!

Katie's Declassified College Survival Guide

The other day I was thinking about my life before I started college. I did so much research and I pinned all sorts of little things about school and surviving the college life. Unfortunately there was a lot that I missed. There is so much that I have learned so far in my first semester of college that I want to share. 

I hope this can be of use to someone. I know that I would have liked to have some of these FYIs before I moved my butt to Las Vegas!

1. You're probably going to get sick.  Apparently everyone gets sick especially in their first semester. I thought I was immune because of the military. I was always in close proximity with people. Wrong. I got sick and it made me miss work and class in a bad way! Get some day/night cold medicine. Sleep. Use things like Airborne or EmergenC when you feel the sniffles coming on and wash your hands.

2.  You will likely feel an overwhelming urge to skip class. Don't.  Most schools have an attendance policy. If you skip class, it can really affect your grade. Not only that, you won't know what's going on in the next class and you're going to miss a lot of things that you wouldn't have if you had simply gone to class.

3.  Studying is hard. I took TWO years off of school before I started college.  I didn't know it would make such a difference, but it did. Turn off your phone close out the Netflix/Pinterest tabs and focus.  If you can't do it in your room or at home, go to the library.

Good Idea
4.  Time management is hard too. Use your planner. Most schools will give you one for free. A lot of the time, they have all of your school events in them though. It can take up a lot of space.  Walmart also has good, cheap planner. If you are someone who really needs some discipline or you are exceptionally busy, plan a time for everything to keep you from getting overwhelmed.

5.  College is stressful.  I thought that I would be just fine, but I, like so many do, got overwhelmed with stress.  The best thing I have found for this is to take a break or have some outlet for all the stress. I like to go to the gym, so I make sure to do that as often as I can and it certainly helps.

6.  You don't want a single.  What I mean by that, is that roommates are a good thing. My roommate isn't here most of the time. We aren't friends and I never see her. I may as well have a single and I think it has prevented me from making friends and really enjoying my college experience.  I may as well have a single. I don't have a built in friend, and trust me, you'll want one. Especially if you're like me and going to a school where you don't know a single person to start with!

7.  Sometimes  you will have bad luck.  Bad luck doesn't mean you're doomed though. I've had multiple experiences (Exhibits A & B ) since I've lived 400 miles away from my parents where the first thing I do is call my mom or my dad. It's okay. In fact, it was probably the best thing to do. Eventually, I took care of all the bad luck on my own, but it calmed me own and made me feel a whole lot better to talk to my parents about it before I made any decisions.

8.  Books are expensive.  Seriously. So expensive. If you can help it, avoid the campus bookstore and use other resources like Amazon or borrow from others! It is worth it to avoid the several hundreds of dollars spend on books, that a lot of the time, never get opened...

9.  Some of your professors are really going to suck. I have yet to really learn anything at all in my English class because we pretty much never actually do anything. It is crappy. I pay for that class and I want to learn something from it. I highly recommend using Rate My Professor when you are choosing your classes.

10.  College education is very expensive. Take advantage of your resources. Do you have any idea how many thousands of dollars of college scholarships go unclaimed every semester?! There are so many ways to get college paid for.  There is even a scholarship for being a blogger. I'm totally serious!  For me, I have many untapped resources that I've had trouble getting, but when I start again next fall, I'm going to have things figured out and I'm going to do it right and you should too!

Here are some additional resources that I either found helpful or wish I would have tried when I started college!

Free Apps that make college easier
How to save money
Staying organized
Greek Life
This Pinterest board!

Pay It Forward

Yesterday, I was walking out of my room to go to the gym (which was so empty and it was awesome) and my suite-mate, that's the girl I share a bathroom with, brought me a some M&Ms and licorice for Halloween. I instantly felt bad because I didn't think to get her anything.
I swear to you, I almost cried when I looked down at the candy.  I hadn't been having the greatest day. In fact, I had been feeling really homesick and downright sorry for myself because I didn't have a bunch of friends to go out and "celebrate" with.

On top of that, when I opened my door this morning, there was another bag of candy on my door, probably from my RA.

 It has sort of inspired me to try something this month. November is my favorite month, besides May.  I love it because of Thanksgiving, which is my favorite Holiday. I know that there is all sorts of controversy over it.  People talk about the true origins and mistreatment of Native Americans and all that. But to me, it's about the spirit of it all. 

For the month of November, I'm going to work really hard to do random acts of kindness. I know that there's link ups and challenges for this, but I'm just going to do it. 

The other day on my way back from dinner, I was walking up to my dorm when I saw this guy carrying a whole case of water and a bag with 2 one liter bottles of lemonade in it by himself. I heard him struggling behind me, and I took off my heels and turned around. I didn't ask him if he needed help I just walked up him and took the bag from his hand and said "here, let me help you" and I did. 

He looked so relieved. I have no idea who he is or where he comes from, but I know I helped him and that was all that mattered. I like that. I liked how he was so grateful and how good I felt about it. It was a silly little thing that meant a whole lot to him.

I want to be someone else's bag of candy and helping had. 

I'm going to pay it forward this month...and hopefully forever. 

Pin It button on image hover