March madness & military life

March has been a wildly busy month – but I think I say that about every month!

It has been a month filled with learning, new projects, stepping out of my comfort zone, lots of coffee, family visits, & goodbyes to good friends.

Graduation & goodbyes

One of the main highlights of the month was B graduating from the Air Force Institute of Technology with a Masters in Electrical Engineering this past week! He has spent the last 18 months working so hard & learning SO much. His next assignment is {luckily} at this base so we don’t have to move. We realized last week how settled into our tiny house we’ve become. Moving is going to be hard whenever we have to do it next!

The graduation of this class of students from AFIT also means that many many many of my military spouse friends are moving to their next assignments all over the country this week.

It breaks my lil heart to see them go, but I keep reminding myself that, as people say, “it’s a small Air Force” and it’s likely we will be stationed with these same friends in the future. And for the ones going to the DC area, I can visit with them when I return to Virginia to see my family!

Friends moving away is something that is still new to me, seeing as I’ve only been an Air Force spouse for, well, 18 months or so. The more “seasoned” spouses have dealt with this for years, but I can imagine that it doesn’t get much easier to say farewell.

Being a military spouse means leaning hard on the community around you, making fast friendships, and sharing a special kind of bond with those who you might never have spoken to if it wasn’t for your spouse’s career. I don’t exactly know how to explain this connection to people who haven’t experienced it before. Being a military spouse is beautiful & terrible all at the same time.

You have to open your heart fully, knowing that it’ll be broken a little bit every time the PCS orders arrive.

But I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

In photo news…

I’ve been snapping away lately, as a few friends have asked me to take photos for them & their families this month. I’ve done head shots, a newborn session, a couple session {which I’m currently editing}, & countless test shots around the house with a new lens.

The newborn session was definitely stepping out of my comfort zone, as I had never done anything quite like it. I’m so grateful to my sweet friend for trusting me to take photos of her little one! & happy two week birthday, Ember!

My friend Elisa needed some head shots for her professional portfolio – she’s getting her PhD in English and is a professor! – and asked me to help out. We went “on location” to a coffee shop that has some good backgrounds – lots of brick & colorfully painted walls. Of course, the weather was rude to us and decided to be barely above freezing, but Elisa was an amazing sport and braved the cold!

For the love of books

Life update: I think I want to be a librarian. I don’t know what kind yet {school, children’s, YA?} but since taking this job at my local library, it feels like a pretty great career for me.

I’m working in the Youth Services department as an associate, which means I help the actual librarians in the department prep events, I do teacher collections, & random tasks like bulletin boards.

But it also means that I work the desk in the Children’s department, and answer patron questions all day long! It feels like the coolest treasure hunt ever to be given a random search criteria & come out with just the right book for the kid or a parent.

It’s not so great when a child asks you to find “the book I was reading a few weeks ago with stick drawings but I don’t remember what it’s about or the name of the book or the author but there was a gun in it.” I wasn’t so successful there!!

Alas, grad school is the next step if I really want to pursue this, and I don’t quite have the funds at the moment – but I am learning a TON in this job.

Goal setting missteps

Remember how I wrote that big long post about how excited I was about my new planner and using it to set TONS of goals and meet them all?

Yeah… more on that later.

April showers

Looking forward to April, it feels like it’ll be a bit of a calmer month for me. I may be jinxing myself just by saying that!

B starts his new job next week, so he’ll be going back to a regular work day, while I mainly work evenings at the library & weekends at the coffee bar. It’ll be interesting to see how we work this out and make time to see each other!!

I’m excited to slow down a bit and re-focus on my goals and on self-care. I also may have a giant pile of laundry I need to catch up on… #adultingishard

24 hours in Cincinnati

Now that I work two part-time jobs, weekends are not really a “thing” for me anymore.

If I get any days off, they’re probably not going to be on the actual weekend – but somehow, I had a whole Saturday off last week, and wasn’t scheduled to work until the afternoon on Sunday!

So Ben & I jumped at the chance to explore our little corner of Ohio a bit more, and booked a B&B in the cute neighborhood of Clifton in Cincinnati. We had just about 24 hours to spend in Cincinnati, and we were going to make the absolute most out of it.

Continue reading “24 hours in Cincinnati”

Dayton Coffee Crawl: A visit to Ghostlight Coffee

Ah, Ghostlight. You were the first coffee shop I visited in Dayton, the first one I found in my Google search, my first Dayton coffee love. Thus, I think it makes sense that it’s the first stop on my Dayton Coffee Crawl!

Let’s start with the basics…

Continue reading “Dayton Coffee Crawl: A visit to Ghostlight Coffee”

Dayton Coffee Crawl

I don’t think it really needs to be said, but I love coffee.

The first thing I do when I go to a new place is to search for a coffee shop to try out – & the second is to try to find a bookstore, so I think my priorities are set in the right places.

When I found out we were moving to Dayton, I was so concerned that for some reason, they wouldn’t know how to do good coffee in this random spot in Ohio. (I was spoiled by my east coast upbringing, I think) But after doing a quick Google search, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised!

Once we arrived in Dayton, we made pretty quick work of checking a few coffee shops I found off of my list. Somehow, though, I still haven’t managed to get to them all! Now that we’ve been here for over a year, I thought it would only be appropriate to do a series of posts that I’m going to call the Dayton Coffee Crawl – visits to every single local coffee shop in the area, with an overview and my thoughts on each one. Traditionally, “coffee crawls” are single-day tours of a number of coffee shops in an area, resulting in some SUPER CAFFEINATED people. But I don’t have the time for that and goodness knows my heart can’t handle too many shots of espresso in one day!! It’ll be a slow crawl.

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Happy fall, y’all

Fall is my favorite season, yet the leaves always seem to change color and disappear so quickly. So when it’s 20 degrees and snowy, or 95 degrees and humid, I think I’ll look back on these photos to get a taste of those cozy fall vibes! Plus, a lil cat pic for good measure.

Summer snaps – day forty five

Two posts in one day? Well, aren’t you lucky!

We celebrated our two year engagementiversary (that’s a word now, get used to it) by eating dinner at a local Irish pub, since we got engaged in Ireland! We’ve decided that going to an Irish pub will be our new August 6th tradition.

We went to the Dublin Pub in the Oregon District in Dayton (one more restaurant off of our list!) and loved it! Ben drank a Guinness, I drank Jameson & ginger. Ben got a super spicy chicken sandwich, and I had the bangers and mash. The taste of the dish brought me right back to eating dinner with friends at pubs in Dublin two years ago. We will definitely be back before next year and can’t wait to try more of their delicious pub fare!

Our Dayton Bucket List!

My husband, Ben, is an officer in the Air Force, which means we’ll be moving every few years as he gets new assignments. His last base was Hanscom AFB, right outside of Boston, and it was a perfect place for him to be stationed as a young officer when we were first dating. Boston is a city filled with young people and lots to do in the downtown and surrounding areas. We packed so much into those 4 years while he was stationed there and while I was in college at Wheaton. We even made a Boston Bucket List, but not until we had about a year left in the area, and between me finishing up college and us planning our wedding and move, we definitely didn’t check off as many places as we had hoped.

During the winter of 2014, we found out where he would be headed next – or should I say we, since we were engaged and planning our wedding. He had applied to AFIT, the Air Force Institute of Technology, what seemed like AGES ago, and got the call one evening that he had been accepted to a program to get his Masters in Engineering! We were thrilled! But then came the realization that we would be moving to Dayton, Ohio.

I’ve grown up on the East Coast and near big cities my whole life, so when I heard “Ohio” my mind immediately went to: Midwest, cornfields, empty, sad cities past their prime, economically depressed, old houses, no fun, nothing to do!

And while there are plenty of cornfields out here, I could not have been more wrong about Dayton. Continue reading “Our Dayton Bucket List!”