Wednesday, April 30, 2014

While the Husband is Away

Monday night was the first night I've spent alone since my husband got back from Korea. I feel pretty lucky that we've spent about three months together without any interruption. It still didn't make it easy to sleep that night. It also didn't help that I had a restless kitty rolling around on my bed.

My husband would spend time playing with her every night -- to drain her energy. She's pretty crazy and I can't seem to play with her as rigorously as my husband. It certainly showed when she was all over the place.

Anyway, with my husband away, I'm able to do a lot of personal work. I've been putting together a professional website that showcases the things I've done and am doing...this is allowing me to practice my design and WordPress skills.

Besides that, I'm able to fulfill my Harry Potter craving. Gotta love binge watching one of your favorite series!

I'm also spending a lot of time thinking about my 28th birthday, which is this Saturday. Luckily, my husband is coming back from the field on Friday. Sadly, he has to go right back out after the weekend for TDY in Southern Virginia for two weeks (bummer!). It still gives us time to celebrate (or pretend celebrate) my birthday.

I'm still deciding on what to do...just thinking about a nice dinner -- and maybe a Potomac River cruise? I've been checking the pricing and it's really not that bad. We'll see!

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Biking Adventures -- The Mount Vernon Trail

Last week, my husband and I bought a pair of bikes. I haven't owned a bicycle since I was in high school! We used to go bike riding upstate, but I was using a borrowed bike -- and we only went a couple of times. Primarily, we would walk the hikes.

After learning about all the exciting trails here in Virginia, we thought it would be a disservice if we didn't get bicycles. There are miles and miles of beautiful scenery and trails! I shared one of the first trails we discovered already!

Because it was rainy here last Friday, we were on the hunt for paved trails. When we bought our bikes, we brought home a bike map from the store. They label all the biking trails and whether they are paved or not. It was great as we were figuring out where to go.

We found out the Mount Vernon Trail is all paved! It's an amazing trail that lines up and down the Potomac River.

My husband was always ahead...taking pictures. He out biked me on the hills...there were a lot!
The most difficult part of the ride (note the sign that says "STEEP Caution HILL").

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Nature Trails at Fort Belvoir -- Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge

My husband and I love to be outside. One of the reasons we enjoyed Fort Drum so much is because of the great trails. I mentioned it in my post about Fort Drum here.

Luckily, Fort Belvoir has countless trails at our disposal too! Last weekend, around our Easter celebrations, we decided to check out the trail that is right at the installation entrance. Going in and out of the post, we've noticed cars parked there and thought it would be worth our time. It's only five minutes away from our house...besides, I really needed the walk after our Easter brunch buffet!

The trail we found is called the Pohick Loop Trail. It's part of a bigger trail collection called the Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge, which is mentioned in the map here. We walked through Pohick Loop Trail -- and part of the Beaver Pond and Wetland Trails. Then, we decided to go to the entrance that is on-post to investigate the Basin Trail.

The cool thing about the trails is that they have little educational tidbits along the trail. What kind of wildlife is in the area? What trees live there? What do the watering areas mean to the wildlife? Etc.

It just made me so excited for warmer weather! It's nice out, but it's still a bit chilly. We're also excited to venture to new parts of Virginia for some camping!

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Marston's Easter Celebration

It was a big Easter for the Marston family -- because my husband got confirmed! He's pretty pumped -- and I'm proud of him for completing the journey.

The church service was great and we are really enjoying being a part of the Fort Belvoir community! I loved seeing my husband in a suit and it was literally the first time since my wedding that I wore heels. I bought a fun new over the shoulder dress (it got cold, so I had to cover it with a cardigan).

Anyway, the following day we had a special Easter Brunch at the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant. It was an amazing experience to brunch in such a historic place. When we were eating, classical string music was playing. The rooms were all equipped with traditional furnishings. I really hope it won't be the last time we dine there because the food is pretty amazing too! I ate so much that I was literally uncomfortable leaving the restaurant, but it was all so worth it!

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Friday, April 18, 2014

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling Twenty Two!

TGIF everyone! Once again, I'm super excited for the weekend!

Since leaving NYC, I've been working from a home office -- doing completely new and exciting things for my career development! I'm working with amazing people that have just motivated me even more in my decision to work remotely -- and even better, I've been meeting and partnering with more and more military spouses. It's awesome!

Read more about my decision to work remotely here. I also share a photo of my office in that piece! :)

It's weird what I do miss about working in an office. I miss the commute on the subway. In that 30 minutes each way, I'm able to just drown out the world and stare off into space. It's almost like my time of meditation -- and at the moments when subway performers would attention would go to them. Like this one time a magician came...

Anyway, I also miss the live human interaction. It really does help that I keep connected with people online though, so that is easily remedied. In addition, I have an awesome co-worker now...aka Xena...
...who sometimes sleeps on the job...but I forgive her.

The thing I ABSOLUTELY love about working from home is the ability to listen to music. I know, it's
crazy. It's not that I couldn't listen to music at my old job, per say, but nobody else did, so it just felt weird to do it. In my home office, I can put it on speakers and it doesn't bother anybody. Xena doesn't mind. Music is a positive influence for me. For people that don't know, I was a music minor in school. I played the violin for years (still do, more of a hobby now).

I'm going to go back to the title of my post. The theme song of the day is Taylor Swift's 22. :) Maybe I was feeling nostalgic as I was working today? The song came on my Spotify radio station -- and I couldn't help but break into song. I think it also goes back to my friend's visit last weekend. They were my college friends that I've still remained close to -- and were bridesmaids and sponsors to my wedding.

I also couldn't help but thing about my thoughts at 22 -- I never in my wildest dreams imagined myself here, in Virginia, a soldier!

Cheer's to the weekend everybody!

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Mount Vernon & Cherry Blossoms!

Remember the bucket list of D.C. area things? Thanks to last weekend two things are scratched off the list!

Also, it worked out that very close friends from Pennsylvania were visiting their cousin that lived in Arlington, so we were able to meet up throughout the weekend!

On Saturday, we went to Mount Vernon, George Washington's Estate (bucket list item number one of the weekend). Our friends already had tickets and we thought it would be an excellent time to visit the place too! Mount Vernon is literally less than ten minutes away from our apartment. It's nice to finally make our way there, especially when we see all the signs everywhere directing people to the monument. It's amazing that such a HUGE public figure's home is still preserved. This dude was the first President of the United States!

The property is BEAUTIFUL! It's right off the Potomac River and has great views -- almost unbelievable that it's so close to home! Aside from the historical element with the museum, the area had the Mount Vernon Trail, which we found out is a scenic trail that lines the Potomac River. It starts at Mount Vernon and we noticed another entrance by Arlington National Cemetery. We added biking or running the trail on our bucket list!

The next day was said to be the last day of full bloom for the Cherry Blossoms -- and I HAD to see it. We met up with our friends again at the National Mall and just walked down taking pictures. The weather was so delightful and we had a great time.

I was so happy to see my friends too! All in all a successful weekend! :)

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Arlington National Cemetery

Now that we're done putting together our home, we've decided to create a Fort Belvoir bucket list. There are a lot of things to do here in the Washington D.C. area and we want to be sure that we don't miss out on anything. Once we've actually crafted a list, I'm excited to share it with everyone! Do you know of any must-see places or activities in the area?!

Anyway, I mentioned that I really wanted to see the Cherry Blossoms. Because of the brutal winter, the blooms are a bit delayed, so we're holding off our Cherry Blossom trip till this coming weekend. They are supposed to be at full peak then!

Instead, we decided to take a trip to Arlington National Cemetery this past Saturday. It's on our short list of things we must see - and it just made sense to pay a visit sooner than later - especially to pay our respects. It was a first time for both of us and it was one of the most humbling experiences I've had in a long time.

In the morning, we drove down to Old Town Alexandria for brunch and parked our car in the Metro parking lot. We thought it would be easiest to take the Metro and parking at the Metro station was apparently free, so we wanted to take advantage!

The grounds are incredible. Rows and rows of our nation's fallen are buried there - from conflicts dating back to the Civil War. We walked around to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and JFK's burial site. I especially wanted to see the ceremonial changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The changing ceremony takes place every 30 minutes on the hour.

Here is a video I took from the ceremony:

I didn't want to take a video of the actual ceremony because I wanted to give them my full attention. So, if you're interested to see it for yourself, pay a visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier! You won't regret it.

Some of my Instagram photos, in case you missed it:

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Friday, April 4, 2014


I type this with a bit of a heavy heart. The tragedy at Fort Hood is in my mind and I wish I can do something to help the community, so I'm going to keep them in my thoughts and prayers.

Military families are constantly in my thoughts and prayers though. It goes with the territory, especially as a military spouse - and it actually started with me at birth at Shaw AFB, where I was born.

Everyone I've encountered here at Fort Belvoir have been so welcoming and kind. It's made me really appreciate the community I've just entered and excited to meet more people. They have made it easy for me to integrate to military life, especially missing NYC so much.

When I attended my husband's welcome briefing, we were actually the couple that has been married the least amount of time (even counting the first time we got married a year prior!). We won two tickets to see a movie at the post theater! That goes to show that spouses should attend welcome briefings because they only counted the people that brought their spouses. :)

I really wanted to go, so that way I can learn about what the post offers. It was very beneficial to me and I'm excited to try out everything I've learned!

I can't believe it's been almost three months since I've moved out of NYC. I'm still in shock (believe it or not) that I'm living under the same roof as my husband. It's like a dream that I see him every day, at least for now. He's already got a two-month TDY coming up at the end of this summer, but till then, I'm going to enjoy our time together. Two months to me is nothing after his yearlong tour....

Anyway, I've been delaying a bit on exploring the area and the post offerings. We've finally got things set-up at our apartment and I've put together a good work schedule for myself! I'm excited for the future!

We're hoping to explore D.C. a bit this weekend to see the Cherry Blossoms. Hopefully they'll be bloomed! Oh, on another exciting note, the wedding photos are ready! I'm just waiting for the disc to arrive via snail mail. The electronic copies are ready, but I can't save them without buying. We're already entitled to them all, so I'm just going to save them when we get it in...I'm SOOOO excited!

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