Thursday, December 1, 2011


williams sonoma peppermint bark
I love finding foods Jake loves and trying to replicate them at home.  So far I have made Red Lobster's Bay Biscuits and those puffy frosting-buried sugar cookies you can buy at WalMart and Target.

Both my copycat recipes turned out well, so when Jake started raving about the peppermint bark that Williams Sonoma sells for $30 a tin around the holiday season, I knew I needed experiment with making a homemade version.

I googled it, and of course someone had already created a recipe, so I used theirs!
my homemade peppermint bark
I think it turned out very well.  Delicious and so pretty.  Now all I need is an adorable tin with a cute dalmatian on the side! :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

After being in Minnesota for only a short teaser of a weekend for Thanksgiving, Jake and I have Christmas break on the mind. Then we will be in Minnesota for two whole weeks! 

Don't get me wrong, we love our life here in Alabama and it felt great to get back to our apartment and our pup, we are just always looking forward to the next time we get to see our friends and family back home. 

Without snow, we needed some Christmas decorations to help us get into the holiday spirit.  With lights and tinsel strung on the porch, the nativity scene displayed on a night stand, and Gumby-Santa hanging from a cabinet, we are ready for December!
colored lights and tinsel
please excuse the fallen king, eda evidently has a problem with him
gumby santa

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veterans Day!

Sending out a huge thank you to all the servicemen and women.
Oh how I love you, soldier.
I couldn't be more proud.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin Carving

Jake, Eda and I carved pumpkins this week and we are very proud of how they turned out. 

  Eda is by far the most proud....

Monday, October 24, 2011

Splish Splash

While Jake was at work today Eda and I took a little ride down to the Chattahoochee River.

Eda was thrilled.

Jumping fish.

Eda loved them all. 

It is a beautiful river with nice clay banks.  

Eda had a blast and took a long hard nap when we got home.  

Total sensory overload for this pup. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Getting to know her

Here are some things we are learning about our four-legged fur baby:

She is still a puppy.  As much as she looks like a grown lady, she throws temper tantrums, tests our rules and authority, and needs a lot of attention.

Eda gets so so so excited to see Jake when he gets home from work.  She wants his undivided attention and gets a tad jealous when we hug.  Sometimes she 'talks' to us about it, and sometimes she just tries to squeeze in.
Eda and Jake play a little tug-of-war.

She is afraid of the dock.  She likes water, and wants to go in the lake by our apartment, but she is absolutetly petrified of being on the dock.  When we walk near it, she puts on the brakes.  We've tried everything to lure her onto it, even treats.  Nope.  She has made up her mind that the dock is NOT somewhere she will go. We aren't yet sure if it the idea of being suspended above water or the gaps between the wood planks that she doesn't like.  I guess we will find out when we get her on a deck or in a boat.

As I told you in my previous post, she loves, loves, loves, toys that squeek.  The closer she can get to your face while she squeeks them, the better.
This is her favorite toy.  It has lost lots of stuffing and one of it's squeakers, even though i reinforced the stitches.

She loves tummy rubs.  Sometimes, the only way to calm her down is to flip her over and rub her tummy.  It puts her in a total tonic state.

She likes to hide things under the couches.  When she cannot reach them, she puts her paw on us and looks at us like, "help?"  The broom has been used more as toy-reacher lately than it has been for sweeping.

Speaking of sweeping, Eda sheds a TON. The broom isn't great at gathering up all that light, fluffy hair, so our new vacuum that we got as a shower gift from Jake's grandma has never been used more.  It is a lifesaver as it works great to pick up all the hair, even off the wood floor.

If the door to our room is open, Eda can be found laying at the foot of our bed.  Not sure if she just loves laying on the carpet, or the idea that it is special treat to be welcomed in.

Eda is a bug eater.  Gross.

Eda's favorite treats are peanut butter and pepperoni.  Jake said I better be careful not to make her overweight.  But who can deny special treats to a pleading pup with beautiful blue eyes?

She talks and "runs" as she sleeps. I like to tease that she has restless leg syndrome like Jake. 

She loves to chase and to be chased.  Our entire apartment (excluding our bedroom) is hardwood floor, making this game quite the slippery scene, usually resulting is hysterical laughter from Jake and I.

She has brought us so much happiness, and we hope we have done the same for her.  :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011


 We have added another love to our lives.  Eda is our newly adopted 8 month old Siberian Husky.  She is very friendly with other canines and people, sweet and cuddly, hilarious, and a bit sassy. She loves to "give kisses," sit, and come on command (unless there are other intriguing distractions, which there often are). She is extremely toy motivated, so we usually hand her a toy for a reward (saves money on treats, right?!) Oh, and the squeakier/ more annoying the toy is, the more she LOVES it.  Right now she weighs 45 pounds and we don't expect her to grow much more.

A few days after we adopted Eda, we noticed a wound on her abdomen and immediately brought her to the vet.  They were great with her, and scheduled surgery for the next day to make sure there were not left over sutures from being spayed causing infection.  When I dropped her off for her procedure, she was happy as could be.  She loves meeting people and greeting animals whether they would like to meet her or not. When I picked her up later that day, she was a different dog.  The incision was still painful, she had an uncomfortable drain tube sticking out of her wound, and the cone she had to wear on her head embarrassed and annoyed her.  The nurse flipped Eda over to show me her incision, and Eda cried out.  Then I cried.  I said, "Oh my, this is tougher than I thought.  What will I do when I have a baby!?" The nurse laughed at me and told me I would have to be strong, and that really Eda is quite the drama queen.  This cheered me up because it is sooo true.  In this short week we have had her we have found that, in Jake's words, "Eda is very expressive."

Eda is doing very well now, just a little "sassy" from being kept in the apartment all day and only taken out to do her business.  She gets her drain tube out tomorrow.  I'll have to put on my big girl panties and be tough.  She will still have to wear her "pretty necklace" (cone) and relax for another 7 days until she gets her stitches out. It is not the easiest to keep an active dog from being active, but it will pay off when we have a healthy, happy pup.  We tell her that we know it's hard, we know she's bored, we will make up for it when she is healed.  She understands.  She is one smart girly. 

Friday, September 30, 2011

Six Flags Over Georgia

Last weekend, Six Flags held military appreciation weekend, so park admission was FREE for Jake and I.  On Saturday morning we packed up our picnic cooler with sandwiches and Gatorade and made it to the amusement park before the gates opened.  It was a beautiful day to spend outside.
Superman In-Flight
This was by far the scariest roller-coaster I have ever ridden.  I screamed like totally crazy woman and Jake laughed at me and said "I thought you were tough?!..."

Thunder River
Something I learned about Jake: he LOVES water rides.  The flume, this crazy river ride, log rides... he so badly wants to go on them all.  I was unprepared for this.  We didn't bring changes of clothes, or even fast drying clothes.  The worst part: we were wearing tennis shoes.  So what did we do?? We went on this one... as the last ride of the day.  We waited in line for over an hour to ride, and drove the entire 2 hour ride home in sopping- wet clothes.  Was it worth it? Yes.  This ride was soooo fun and we laughed so hard.  But next time I will be prepared.  We will pack a few changes of clothes and flip flops.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mis Amigas

I am so thankful to have met some lovely wives of other officers down here.  Most of them had already been here for a month or so by the time Jake and I moved here and they were so helpful during our inprocessing.  They seemed to have all the answers to any questions I had. 

Now we have gotten the chance to spend a lot more time together.  It is so nice to have friends that know what you're talking about when referring to army things, and it's wonderful that they are so willing to explain army things to me that I don't yet understand.

They are a fun group of witty and friendly ladies who always keep me laughing. 

Alex (the singer) hosted rock band night last night. I need more practice.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Great Surprise

Last year on Labor Day weekend, I got the surprise of a lifetime when Jake asked me to be his wife.  This year I was treated to another wonderful surprise on Labor Day weekend.  My best friend, Tricia Rose flew herself down to Georgia to spend some time with me.

On Saturday, September 3rd Jake and I went to the Georgia Aquarium (AWESOME!) and then to the Coke Museum.  The Coke museum was a ton of fun, especially the tasting portion where you could sample a huge variety of Coke products from all around the world. Some were gag-worthy, and some were refil-your-cup-four-times-worthy.

After all our touristy adventures, Jake asked me to drive so he could give me directions to our next destination, which I was told was a surprise.  When we started following signs to the airport, I got butterflies of excitement in my tummy (and also tried to remember if we had made our bed, did the dishes, or taken out the garbage that morning).  When Tricia made her way up the airport escalator, I was thrilled to see my friend whom I had missed so much!  I repeated the line "I can't believe you're really here!" many times over the weekend.  That night we took her out to out to eat in Columbus and we had some fried pickles (welcome to the SOUTH!)

The weekend was very rainy, but we had a splendid time playing games, watching a few movies, cooking, eating out, shopping, and touring around.  The rain did not stop us from having fun, but it did delay our trip to the Wild Animal Safari.

I had heard about the safari from friends in Columbus.  One said, "It is by far my favorite thing we've done in Georgia."  So when Tricia came, I knew we HAD to go while she was here!

On Sunday we went to church, had some lunch, and were planning to go to the safari.  The tornado sirens sounded and flood warnings flashed on the TV screen, but this didn't stop me from getting everyone out the door in their rain-jackets.  I was determined to see some animals! When we turned on the radio in the car, the announcer stated that the storm was following right along the route we had to take to get to the safari.  Jake put his foot down and said it was too dangerous.  Yeah, his head is usually on a little straighter than mine.  So instead we headed away from the storm and showed Tricia around Fort Benning.

On Tuesday, before Tricia had to take to take her flight back to Minnesota we finally made it to the safari.  It was still rainy, but there were no tornadoes, so there was no stopping us.

We had rented one of the safari cars (luckily because the animals slobber allllllll over your vehicle) and drove through the safari with our windows part-way down and bags of animal food.  The animals FLOCK to your car, and some are HUGE!  They make crazy noises, try to get their heads in the car, and sometimes nudge the car if you aren't feeding them enough.

The screams, shouts, squeals, and nervous yelling of "go!" "stop!" "roll up your window!" and "ewww it slobbered on me!" made me laugh so hard you'd thought I had lost my cool. 

Imagine this coming at you...

Yes... those are his hooves.  He really liked me.

I loved these little guys.  They were a bit more timid than many of the animals.

This fellow was NOT timid.
Our weekend with Tricia was awesome.  I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful friend who planned a visit while being so busy with school, work, and moving.  She is such a generous, loyal lady.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I can count on my fingers the number of days we have left in Minnesota before our big move to Georgia.


These words just begin to describe the flood of emotions I have about leaving the comfortable closeness of living near my family and friends to travel to the peach state with my wonderful husband of 2 months.

I am looking forward to our adventure with great anticipation, but that doesn't make saying goodbye easy.

I am going to miss my mom's hugs and home cookin'.  I will miss my dad's shoulder rubs and seeing him search the house for his lost glasses and hearing aids.  I will miss that rambunctious little Willow.
I will miss my siblings.
Miss my nephews.
Miss my friends.

Y'all better be saving up your money for gas and plane tickets. ;)

In mere days I will be living down in the Georgia mud after never leaving the beautiful lakes of Minnesota for more than 3 weeks.  

I may not look like a southern belle, but my home is where his boots are.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


This is my parents puppy, Willow, at about 3 months old, biting Jake's finger (she is ALWAYS biting something).  I love the happiness she brings to the household.  She is so energetic and fun-loving.  When she is around, there is always laughter and random shouts of "Ouch Willow! No bite!" She is learning a lot everyday and I think she is a wonderful addition to the family.  I wonder when Jake and I will get our first pet?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Return of my Husband!

Tomorrow Jake comes home after being gone for weeks.  I am so excited to have him home, and to get ready for our big move together.  We have a few fun things planned with our family and friends for the next three weeks, and then off to Georgia we go! It will be hard to leave our families and friends behind, but we look forward to making a home together and meeting many more lovely people.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Penguin love

I love penguins and this picture makes me smile.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother dear

My mom is an amazing woman.  I feel SO blessed that God chose her to be one of my parents.  Let me tell you a little bit about her.

Ten Terrific Traits of My Mother
1. She is a woman of faith.  She loves the Lord with all her heart and I am so blessed that she taught and showed me his love while raising me. She continues to remind me of His goodness and faithfulness daily.

2. She gives the best hugs.  Sometimes they stop tears with their comfort and sometimes they bring out sobs of sorrow yet relief as her arms show you it is safe to cry. Sometimes they are just a loving reminder that she is there.

3. She is creative.  Grade school wouldn't have been near as fun without her assistance on innumerable class projects.  They made me teacher's pet, and made the other kids swoon over my project's detail and originality. (I'd post pictures, but all the teachers wanted to keep them to use as examples for upcoming classes) ;)

4. She has a heart of gold.  My moms heart is filled with love, mostly for God and her family, but also for people who need a helping hand.  She is a great volunteer, her one fault being that she can't say "no."  This is a trait I did not inherit.  I am fairly good at using the word "no," much like my father. :)

5. My mom values health.  She cooks wonderfully hearty and filling meals, but tries to keep them lower on fat, and higher on veggies and fruit.  I appreciate that she strives to keep her and my dad fit by going for walks (also so good for the spirit!), as we will need them here for many many many more years.

6. My mother has a heart for children.  She loves them.  It is wonderful to see her face light up when they laugh at her funny dancing, or when they sit on her lap for a good snuggling.  It's crazy to me that she once thought she didn't want to have children.  God had much different, and better plans if you ask me!

7.  My mom is generous.  She does not get very attached to things, so she is quick to give things away.  Only compliment things of hers that you truly like, because they may just become yours!

8.  My mom is a good talker! (Yes, I do mean this as a compliment!) I treasure many of the days spent with my mom because of the conversations that we have had.  The way she shares her advice, personal experiences, and asks questions lets you know that you are loved and cared about.

9.  She is a wonderful nurse.  No, she does not have a nursing degree, but there is no one else who I would rather have take care of me when I'm sick.  (I apologize in advance Jake, as I  may plead for you to fly my mom to wherever we are living when I get the flu).  I turn into the biggest baby when I'm not feeling well, and the only thing that seems to help is my mom sitting by me rubbing my arm with flat sprite and saltines nearby.

10. Her love is never-ending.  She is a great example of the kind of love that God has for all of us. I know I have done and said many foolish things that have hurt her, but even if she was angry, I have never doubted her love.  It is a wonderful feeling to know that no matter what, (really, no matter what) my parents will love me for me.

Happy Mothers Day, Mom. I'll love you forever, and I'll like you for always. :) xoxo

My brother and my buddy

My brother has always been one of my best buddies.  He was the best playmate growing up, letting me tag along with him, teaching me how to bat and skate, showing me how to whittle the best walking sticks, and always unhooking the countless slimy sunfish I caught.  
He is without a doubt a great man who I looked up to.  I am so proud that he graduates from college this week with a Biology degree (smarty, I know). 
I know that God has big plans for Brent, with his degree and his yearning for adventure.  
I can't wait to see what is in store for him.  

Friday, May 6, 2011

To Do

My to do list seems to get longer and longer everyday instead of shorter.... hmm.  I think this means I need to get my butt in gear before the wedding! (Which is LESS THAN a month away!) WOOHOOOOO!
I have been a busy girl lately.  Here are a few photos to show you what I've been up to:
I spent Easter weekend in New York with Jake (I love how we unintentionally got the recruiting station behind us).

I've been hanging out with my nephews.
Dexter, Dashiell, Diane and I went to the King Tut Exibit at the Science museum. Very fun and interesting!
Teddy and I went to the Elk River Library for story time, and he happily sat on my lap.  So sweet.
Jack is a baby angel.  He is happy, coos, and lets me hold him a lot (unless his mom is around, then she obviously has the prefered arms!)

I went to South Dakota for my "Nielson family" bridal shower.  It was AWESOME! They totally outdid themselves with the tea party theme.  It was planned down to every detail and the skit was hysterical.    

I've been wedding planning with Jake, daydreaming about the next time I get to see him (which is in 5 days by the way!)
I hope everyone is having a wonderful Friday!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


I am heading out east tomorrow to visit Jake for Easter weekend.  This will be our last weekend in the city while he is still a West Point Cadet.  Since we may not spend a lot of time in NYC in the future, we are going to hit up some of our favorite places where we have made some very fond memories.  The first is The Heartland Brewery (funny because we will be in the big city, yet hanging out in the most midwestern looking place we can find), and Havana Central which has amazing Cuban food and my favorite, mojitos!  We are also thinking about seeing a show, going to central park, going to the Easter parade, or maybe even hitting up the Manhattan Flea market.  We'll just have to see what time and our wallets allot.

I have never been a big fan of the NYC.  This could be because I picture Jake traveling through it every time he leaves MN and has to return out east :( , but really I think its just the hustle and bustle.  I like things a bit more peaceful and serene.

So you'd think NYC would be the last place we'd end up for our honeymoon, right? Well...wrong. Sort of.
We are going to be flying to New York the morning after our wedding, but we will only be there for a bit until our cruise leaves!  I suppose I can put up with the city one more time if it lands me on a cruise ship with my handsome husband, plenty of pools, and tasty treats. ;)

I hope you all have a lovely weekend! I know I will! I have been missing Jake and can't wait to see him and give him a big hug!
I will leave you with these pictures from the first time I visited Jake at West Point two and a half years ago:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Brides Coffee Invite

Today my formal invite to the Brides Coffee to be held at West Point during Jake's Graduation week came in the mail.

I am so excited for this event.  Jake's mom, LeAnne, and I will attend and meet other brides and Army wives.  I am sure I will learn a ton as they go over policies and etiquette.  
I am already mentally preparing myself as I know they will discuss what happens in the event of an injury or tragic death of one of our loved ones. (Sounds pretty uplifting for a morning brunch, huh?!)

SO... on a lighter note... lets think about the important things... ;)

Old Navy

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dog Pile

My dad is getting a much deserved, much anticipated puppy!  He has always had a HUGE heart for animals, and the Alcott residence has been without moving fur-balls for some time now.  It is about time to feel that love of a dog when you walk through the door, or to have a companion to walk by your side on a nice spring day like today. There is nothing that can replace the feeling of a caring animal that lays it's head on your lap when you cry, or who leaps up and down when you pick up the leash, or say the simple word "outside!"  Yes, having a puppy will be a ton of work, and it will be sad when it cries for it's mama and siblings the first few nights in our house, but soon it will be like family.  It wont be a burden or a stressor, but just another great part of the Alcott household.  It will be a dog that I will miss while I'm traveling with my new husband, but with the right persuasion I should be able to get my dad to send me tons of pictures and videos as the puppy grows up.  It is good to know there will be a sweet four-legged girl to take care of my dad when his little girl heads down to the southern border to start a life with the handsome 2LT Howell. God only knows what my dad would do without a little girl to take care of! ;)

Here are some photos of our first time visiting the puppies.  The mama dog had 9 puppies; 4 girls and 5 boys.  My dad will be getting a girl, but we don't know which one yet.  He wants to wait and choose after he can detect more of their personalities. (I'm sure he'll choose the wild one, so she can adequately fill my shoes) ;)