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A

Care Packages

80’s Birthday Care Package

October 4, 2017
80's Birthday Care Package

Oh my word, I am so excited to share this care package with you all today! I had A’s 80’s birthday care package planned long before he actually left on deployment and once I saw it finished, I knew that it was my best one yet. Keeping it under wraps until after he got it was so difficult, but now I can finally share it with you.

I really went all out on this box, starting with making my own paper for the flaps. After a pretty extensive search, I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for pre-made so I had to get creative. I purchased plain black scrapbook paper and neon paint, broke out a garbage bag and started splattering. I let it dry in a very sunny spot for a day and then used it just like any other paper. The result was exactly what I envisioned. I’ll definitely be more open to painting my own paper in the future!

80's Birthday Care Package

I kept the neon splatter paint theme going in the bottom of the box by using the same technique to decorate the birthday cake. It helped make the cake look like it fit in the 80’s birthday care package.

80's Birthday Care Package

But the flaps are definitely what I’m most proud of! There were a lot of little pieces and quite a few layers to get everything looking totally rad, but once the flaps were done? Oh my word. I was in love. I stuck to classic 80’s items like Pac-Man, cassette tapes, a boom box and a Rubix cube. My husband loved the sunglasses; apparently he had a pair himself. Now, I really want a photo of that!

80's Birthday Care Package

My favorite flap was probably the Pac-Man flap, especially the little ghost. Is that the right word for it? Pac-Man was not part of my childhood. Yes, my husband would be appalled.

80's Birthday Care Package

As much as I loved this 80’s birthday care package, I knew I couldn’t ship it empty! As tempted as I was to decorate all of the contents in 80’s themed stuff, when I found this wiener dog wrapping paper, I knew I had to use it for A’s birthday box. Their bright colored party hats tied into the neon colors of the rest of the box and it just fit our little family so well.

80's Birthday Care Package

I topped everything off with a few brightly colored birthday noisemakers. Hopefully A made his co-workers use them while he opened everything.

80's Birthday Care Package

Speaking of opening everything, here’s what I sent in A’s 80’s birthday care package. Most of it was pretty standard care package stuff, but the collectors edition Rolling Stone magazine was an extra little birthday gift from B and Ruger.

80's Birthday Care Package

I always feel a bit bad about not being able to really celebrate A’s birthday when he’s deployed, but I’d like to think that this 80’s birthday care package made up for us being apart. And that it arrived a few days late. Whoops.

P.S. You can check out my other care packages here or on Pinterest.

Marriage

Five Years Later

August 14, 2017

Five years ago today, I nervously picked at mac and cheese while trying to convince myself that I did not like the guy sitting next to me. He was older, in the military and basically everything I didn’t want in a guy.

Spoiler: he turned out to be everything I wanted in a guy and now we’re married and I write cheesy blog posts on our dateaversary.

It’s a little hard to believe that five years have gone by this quickly. In the time since that (slightly awkward) first date, we’ve built a life together: making it through multiple deployments, getting married, moving into our dream home, adding four-legged members of our family and traveling to new places.

Looking back at five years of memories, all I can think is: boy have we been busy! Seriously, so much has happened in the last 1,826 days. We’ve had so many adventures and our relationship has become so much a part of who I am that I cannot imagine my life without A.

I wouldn’t say that being with A has made me a different person, but over the past five years, I’ve grown as a person, largely because of him. He makes me brave enough to try new things, strong enough to face my fears and confident enough to pursue my biggest dreams.

Whether it’s quiet nights in or nights out on the town, I’ve loved dating my husband over the past five years. I still get butterflies every time he smiles at me and look forward to him coming home each night. Each deployment homecoming makes me feel like I’m back on that first date all over again.

So here’s to five years since that first date and the many more dates to come. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us!

Lifestyle

Guy Behind The Blog

May 2, 2017

You all hear from the dogs behind the blog quite frequently, but there’s another very important member of the Countdowns and Cupcakes family who doesn’t appear on the blog as often. Since it’s largely because of his career that this blog exists in its current form, I thought it was definitely time for a little Q&A with my husband!

What is work like when you’re home from deployment?

It’s definitely not the same. All you really want to do is get back on a plane and go do your job again. Obviously I’m excited to be home with my family, but being tied to a desk sucks.

Do you picture life after the Navy? What does it look like? 

I definitely do and know I want to be self-employed. I also want to be a dad extraordinaire and maybe a part-time professional fisherman, golfer, chef and stockbroker. The Navy taught me to multitask and I’m going to do it!

What’s your biggest goal for the rest of the year?

I really want to make senior chief and I want to finalize enrolling in school to complete my degree.

What’s your favorite hobby right now?

My favorite hobby right now is investing. Learning about finances and the way the economy moves is really fascinating to me. I also really like doing yard work; I like learning something new and then seeing the results when you do it well is very rewarding.

What is your favorite part of spring in North Carolina?

Watching everything turn green-especially my lawn!

I’m hoping to make this a regular feature so that A gets a little more blog love. If you have questions you’d like A to answer, leave them in the comments below!

P.S. don’t forget to enter my giveaway! Winner will be announced on Monday.

Lifestyle

The Man Behind the Blog: Meet A!

January 20, 2016

Last week, I re-introduced myself. But I would be lying if I said that I was the only one who made this blog a success. So today I’m re-introducing A, via a little Q&A. 

What are your top 5 hobbies?
Hunting, fishing, hiking/camping, cooking, boating

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Ooo, that’s a good one. (A long pause follows, indicating this is a hard one or that he’s watching TV.) Probably the mountains right outside Phoenix.

So far, this year has been __________ (fill in the blank)
It’s left me wanting. There’s all these good things happening in my life, but the journey to get there is kind of frustrating right now.

Who is your favorite musician?
Johnny Cash

If you could eat one food every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Hmmm. Anything with puff pastry and bacon. (Yeah, I don’t know that I get this one, although he does love bacon.)

What are your favorite sports teams?
Denver Broncos, Carolina Panthers, Arizona Cardinals, Clemson Tigers, Carolina Hurricanes, Arizona Coyotes

What’s a hidden talent of yours?
I guess I have the gift of gab. Although, it’s not really a hidden talent if I show it to everyone is it? (This is 100% accurate. He could literally start a conversation with just about anyone, and possibly even a brick wall.)

What are a few things on your bucket list?
Own my own business, go skydiving, get certified in scuba diving, be a great piano and guitar player.

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Deployment

Six Months Later

November 11, 2015

Roughly six months ago, 204 days to be exact, a very teary me left A at the airport.

Last week, a very excited me got to pick A up at the same airport.

The time that came between those two trips felt both very long and very short while I was in the middle of it and I was beyond ready for it to be over.  But as I pulled up to the airport, it still didn’t quite feel real that he was going to be home.

Of course, it all became very real as I saw him walk down the hallway. Luckily, I didn’t poke anyone’s eye out when I flung my sign and ran-walked to go meet him.

All those people had no idea just how big of a moment was happening around them. Take my word for it when I say that was the best hug ever.

A big thank you to all my sweet readers who have followed along with me the past 6 months, keeping me sane, reading my rants and even helping me narrow down sign ideas!

What’s next? Well, I’m off to celebrate every day that A is home after being separate for so long. We’ll mix in a vacation or two, celebrate our first wedding anniversary, take part in some great seasonal activities and spend lots of nights hanging out on the couch.  In short, we’ll just be together and that’s enough for me.

Have a great Veterans Day! Please thank the veterans in your life (and their families) for their sacrifices.

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