A Nick Update

Hey y’all! Thought you’d like an update on where Nick is in Flight Training. About a month and half ago he started Primary Flight Training! The set-up for this phase of training goes pretty much like this: Ground School, Flight Simulations, then real flight time in the T-6A Texan II. For the first phase he was in the front seat, but from now on he’ll be in the back seat, living the NFO life! He’s about 2 weeks in to the Instruments Navigation course, still in ground school.

Also…I’m not sure if I’ve explained what an NFO does, but I’ve linked the wikipedia page if you want to check it out. The way I always tell people is that he’s like Goose in Top Gun except for the dying part (spoiler alert!).

This is a pretty cool video that shows the NFO view in the T-6 (it’s a lot further along in training, but you get the idea). We just found this on YouTube, so of course we take no credit for any of it.


The Great Grocery Store Comparison


Today I took on a project that I’ve been wondering about for quite some time. With the frustrations of shopping at the Commissary on base (limited selection, ALWAYS busy, long lines and often unhappy/rude employees), I got to wondering how other grocery stores really compare; and I wanted to do the research myself, not just hear-say from others. So today, I visited the Corry Station Commissary, Winn Dixie at the corner of Hwy 98 & Blue Angel, and the Publix in Bellview Plaza on Mobile Highway. I used a generic list of items that I typically shop for on a regular basis, then I added in a few things that I buy less often, like paper towels and the great big box of Goldfish! I tried my best to compare exact products, but some were not offered at every store, so I chose a comparable product. Check out what I found!


Although Publix has the biggest variety of options and very nice employees, I still can’t justify paying over $100 more a month. For now, I’ll just suck it up and continue shopping at the Commissary and visit Publix for specific things that the Commissary doesn’t carry.

*Disclaimer: The 5% Commissary Surcharge is included. Florida does not have sales tax on food, so in this chart the average state and local sales tax of 6.62% is added only to the Starbucks K-cups and paper towels. No coupons, BOGO offers etc. are included. I realize that this is not an all-inclusive list or comparison, but I am simply working with what I have access to. This comparison is meant to give you a general idea of the differences between typical prices.

Where do you shop the most often? Why do you shop there as opposed to other grocery stores? Please leave your comments 🙂

Heyyyy Facebook!

Okay, so when I said I wanted to stay off Facebook until my birthday I guess I meant I wanted to stay off Facebook until my “6 months of being married” celebration. I admit it. I couldn’t do it. I like keeping up with my friends too much. But I did make some progress over the past 2 (was it even that long) days. Here’s what I did:

1. Started drinking coffee (so what if I need 2 scoops of sugar and a splash of milk?)
2. Bought mismatched/kinda matching nightstands to re-vamp.
3. Volunteered at an adoption event for the Humane Society.
4. Took a couple naps.
5. Watched the Pens win Game 5.

I consider this a win.


Adopt your new best friend

This week I started what I’ve been saying I want to do since we moved to Pensacola. I started volunteering at the Pensacola Humane Society and today we had an adoption event. The dog on the left in the picture is Wisteria, a 3 year old Catahoula Leopard Mix and bottom right is sleeping Dorothy, she’s probably dreaming of Kansas. She’s still a puppy at a year old and they think she’s a Terrier/Pit Bull mix. Such sweet dogs that will hopefully find their forever home very soon! Next time you’re looking for a new fur baby make sure to check out your local Humane Society. Adopted pets make great friends and are so appreciative of your love!


Bye, bye Facebook!

Starting today, I’m going on an official Facebook hiatus for an undetermined length of time. I say official because I’ve tried this before and it hasn’t worked, but this time I’m gonna make it work. I say undetermined length of time because I want to make it until at least my birthday, but I may see that I actually really like not being on it and go forever. Not that you probably care, but I’m doing this because I feel like I spend (read: waste) way too much time on “The Facebook” and far too little time doing pretty much anything else. So I’m going to take this chance to do other things like:

1. Stay caught up on my blog.
2. Maybe clean the house more often.
3. Focus on school, yep, I’m going back to school. For real this time.
4. Go to the beach, I do live in Florida ya know!
5. Rearrange my house.
6. Deepen personal relationships.
7. Post more on Instagram, because let’s face it, it’s way better than Facebook anyway. However, I will be sharing my Insta photos on Facebook, just not checking to see how many likes I have.
8. Write some letters.
9. Start my NEW JOB 🙂
10. Help Nick study EPs, Limits, Procedures, & Maneuvers. (yay!)
11. Read my bible.
12. Get rid of a lot of junk.
13. Organize all the junk we think we need to keep.
14. Maybe do a Pinterest project or seven.
15. Check out new restaurants.
16. Make lots of pointless lists.

Long overdue update (December to now)

It looks like I’ve gotten into a bad habit of only writing on here every two months, so for those looking for an update, I apologize, I’m trying really hard to get better about making more regular updates on here!

The holidays this year were pretty crazy. Nick and I both missed out on family traditions we’ve never (or rarely) missed, but we were able to make some great new memories. First we road-tripped (Crosby as well) to Alpharetta to spend Christmas day with the Bergerts! Thank the Lord for FaceTime, I was able to see and talk to my family and it almost felt like I was there. Then on the 26th my parents and Hunter were able to make a trip to Pensacola and spend a few days with us as well. It definitely wasn’t the Christmas either of us is used to, but being fortunate enough to spend time with our immediate families (most of them) was enough to make everything feel okay! Since Christmas Nick has finished IFS (Introductory Flight Screening; basically a civilian flight training course in a Cessna) and now he’s almost finished with the academic portion of API (Aviation Pre-flight Indoctrination; lots of studying in subjects like Aerodynamics, Weather, Navigation, etc). After academics he’ll be doing some different Survival Training, mostly in the water. As long as things stay on track, he’ll graduate API around the beginning of March. After that is Primary Flight Training which is in Pensacola for about 3-5 months. The aircraft he ends up on will determine whether or not we’ll be moving after Primary and where specifically we would go! Here’s a pretty cool look at what he’s doing now and where he could possibly go: So if you start from the left side, you can see that he’s completed “NIFS” and he’s currently in “API”. After Primary is the decision point!

NFO Training Pipeline


This website http://www.cnatra.navy.mil/training_officer.htm explains this picture in a little more detail, but it’s a lot of military jargon so good luck 🙂


The Navy Way

Wow, has it really been 2 MONTHS since my last blog post? Sometimes it feels like it was 2 weeks ago, and other times it feels like 2000000000 years ago. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating, but the past 2 months have been jam packed with activity so let’s get started:

9/13- Nick graduated OCS and became an Ensign in the United States Navy

9/14-We flew back to Oklahoma, caught a little tailgating action in Stillwater, then went to my parents house and packed, packed, packed.

9/16-Nick and Jim (my new FIL) started the journey from Skiatook, Oklahoma to Pensacola, Florida, 16 foot cargo trailer in tow (Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!)

9/17-They made it!


9/28-I got a SIL…My brother married a wonderful girl named Morgan! 9/28-10/26, was the time of 2 Morgan Ray’s and yes, it is still incredibly confusing!

9/29-Yes, the day after the wedding, I hopped on a jet plane and made my way to the Cradle of Naval Aviation, Pensacola, Florida! SUNNY, Florida might I add. 

10/22-Nick and I packed up the truck, hooked up the cargo trailer and headed back to Oklahoma

10/26-WE GOT MARRIED!!!!!!!!!

10/27-Nick flew back to Pensacola for work on Monday

10/28-On my baby brother’s 15th birthday, I started the long drive back to Florida, but I did have a driving buddy, this time Crosby got to make the trip! He’s getting used to everything and learning his way around our apartment complex pretty well! 

Was that really almost 3 weeks ago? Whew, what a ride already, but hey, the Navy makes it a fun ride at least. We’re finally getting settled in Pensacola, we have lots of great friends, I found my person (shout out to Jess Munro), I changed my name and got my military id so I can go to the commissary without Nick, and I finally got a part time job! Whoo hoo! We’re still waiting to find out when Nick will officially start training so we’re still looking at a lot of unknowns, but that’s The Navy Way! I’m going to try to keep y’all updated a little quicker now that things have settled down a little bit! Until next time…

Together again!! (with some interesting twists)

Yesterday I woke up at 4:30 am to head to the airport in Tulsa. I had very uneventful flights to DFW, Newark, and then Providence! I’ve never been further north than DC, so everything is new and exciting! I saw NYC from the sky and was completely blown away! What vertical cities are truly amazing!
Then after finding out my checked bag went to Dulles and not Providence, I finally got on the van that goes to Naval Station Newport (and around the city). THIS is where things got interesting. To start things off terribly the driver didn’t even work for the company, he was the owners friend (sketch). Then he’s swerving all over the road and I’m literally worried that I won’t make it to Newport alive. There are 2 other people on the shuttle, a Newport resident, and an Italian guy who’s a personal chef for the family that just bought the Firestone Estate…first stop we make in town is at a liquor store. The Italian guy comes out with one already drank beer and the Newport lady is cracking open a baby bottle of wine. Needless to say my anxiety level is through the roof right at this point. I think the driver could tell I was a little anxious because he asked if I had to check in on base at a certain time. I thought…”No, I just haven’t seen my fiancé in THREE MONTHS, but take your sweet time”. Instead I kept my calm and told him no, everything was fine. WRONG ANSWER. After dropping off the other lady he proceeds to take the Italian guy and me on a little tour of the city. That’s awesome, but not what I signed up for. At this point Nick is already waiting at the hotel and I’m crying silently in the back seat (lol). But it’s not over yet…when we finally get to the hotel where the Italian guy is staying, the driver gets out and starts yucking it up with someone he knows. We spent about 15 minutes there. FINALLY, I’m stuck in the van ALONE with creepy driver/tour guide guy. But, this means we’re officially on our way to Naval Station Newport. I think that last hour in the cab felt about as long as the past 3 months!
(Warning: Here comes the sappiness!) As we drive up I see Nick coming out of the lobby with flowers in hand, I drop my bag and run to hug him (definitely one of the most romantic moments of my life, even better than the proposal)! Once I got to touch him and hug and kiss him the hardest thing was getting myself together, letting go, and still having to talk to the hotel clerk to check in. We got to spend about an hour and a half together last night before he had to head back to Nimitz Hall, that was the next hardest part.
Today he’s busy with other things and I’m hoping to get to see him for a little while later this afternoon! Tomorrow is Pass In Review (the “parade” of class 16-13) and Hi Mom’s (the graduation reception)!

Until next time… 🙂

LIFE Archives: Circus City USA, 1947 {Hugo, Oklahoma}

Pretty cool article about my hometown. It does have its perks!

Quite Continental

What I love most about the LIFE archives, is how completely I disappear down a rabbit hole for hours.  Seriously.  Most times, when I take a stroll through, I’ll just start off with a single word query.  Could be a name, could be a place, or even just a year, it doesn’t matter — every single time I discover something amazing.

With Water for Elephants at the front of my mind, I wanted to see if I could find any old circus pictures for my Tumblr.  My first query turned up some lovely images taken by one of my favorite photographers, Nina Leen, in 1949 — you can see them here and here — but little more digging revealed a photo that was unrelated to Leen’s set, and amazing in its own right.

The image of this man so lovingly tending his tiny horse immediately drew me in.  Where…

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AHH so many exciting things happening lately! Yesterday I had my bridal brunch and it was amazing! My MOH (Megan) and her sister (Brooke), her mom (Rhonda) and my mom did such an amazing job putting everything together and making it all wonderful. We ate some delicious food, played a really fun game, and then I got to see what all my amazing friends and family sent us! Everyone out there: Y’all rock! We could not ask for a better support group! We love you!

Now the exciting part….I SEE NICK IN 2 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well now almost 1 because today is practically over! I think I might pee my pants a little! I head to Newport on Tuesday and since I’m a civilian he has to check me into my room at the hotel on base where I’m staying (pretty lucky break)! And then on Friday he becomes an ENSIGN! This is so exciting!

More great news: HE GOT HIS ORDERS! He will officially report to NAS Pensacola next week! We’re not sure when he’ll start primary flight training, but we expect it to be sometime in the next couple of months! Next fun bit: I’M MOVING TO PENSACOLA IN 21 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!! ZOMG!!!!!! Nick and I are total opposites, he’s lived in 5 different states, I’ve lived in 2, and I’ve been in Oklahoma for over 15 years! I’m super nervous but completely excited to start this journey FOR REAL now! Oh and did I mention that we found the cutest little apartment in Pensacola? I know I’m getting older because the things I’m most excited about are having my own washer and dryer and a garbage disposal in the kitchen sink haha!

And does anyone want to guess how many days it is until our wedding? I’ll give you a hint. It’s fewer than 49 days and more than 47! Everything really just feels like a dream right now!

One last thing: I think I finally made a career decision! I’ll start looking at NURSING SCHOOLS as soon as I get to Pensacola! I’m so excited about this next step in my education and since Nick will be in Pensacola for most of his flight training then I might (fingers crossed) have time to get pretty close to finishing a program!

So I want to know, what advice do you have on everything? Moving, military, wedding prep, nursing school, anything? I know the people who actually read this are the ones I look to for wisdom so please, give me everything you’ve got 

Until next time… 🙂