Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas 2008!

I know I haven't posted in awhile and everyone is probably wondering how our Christmas went with Chris home...very busy! With him only being home for a short amount of time, we've been on the go everyday.
Our Christmas was wonderful and we were both spoiled! Since Chris will be going to Iraq, we all wanted to get him things that will be useful to him in the next year. To name a few: a Nintendo DS with several games, a digital camera so he can keep me updated on shots in Iraq, new books for the LONGGGG plane ride, and movies. Chris spoiled me as usual...I received a GPS, an MP3 Player, a gift certificate for an hour massage, and a new brown winter coat to name a few!
All in all, we had a great holiday...the best present for me though was to have Chris here to spend it with. I'm very grateful he was able to come home and spend this time with me and the family.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

The Maderas wish you a very happy holiday, from our family to yours!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Home for the Holidays!

As you all are aware Chris has been gone for the past 6 weeks and let me tell's been a LONG 6 weeks! I'm very excited to say that tonight I will be going to pick Chris up and he will FINALLY be home for Christmas. He's not scheduled to leave again until January 2ND. I saved vacation time so I will be off with Chris the whole time he's home...we're very excited to spend this time together! So stay tuned, we have lots of that means, lots of pictures!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dressed to Represent!

As you all know, in the very near future Chris will be heading back to Iraq to serve his country proudly. I for one wanted to be ready and dressed to show off MY pride! As I've stressed before, I'm very proud of Chris, what he's accomplished, and where he's going. I want everyone to know that my husband is in the US Army and I'm a proud wife!

I'm sure by the end of winter everyone will be sick of seeing me in these shirts. Don't worry, once the warmer weather comes back...I have plenty more short sleeve shirts to pick from! :-)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Not Enough Time in the Day....

I know I haven't posted in awhile but I'm still hanging in there! There has been so much going on in the last week or's been crazy.

The kitchen remodel is still going strong, in fact the way things are going, I'm hoping this will be pretty close to complete around the first of the year! Since my dad's been off since Monday, he's been coming to our house everyday ALL day and working! As I posted before, with our house being older and so many people doing things to it over the years and not doing things necessarily the right way, some things needed fixed correctly. One of those major things was our walls. Since there were so many bumpy and yucky spots that weren't fixable we decided the best thing to do was to put all new drywall up. Since the back end of our kitchen was an add on, it's a pretty decent size kitchen and that means a lot of walls! Dad's been amazing at getting this done! In the next few weeks we're going to be painting, putting up new molding, a new back door, and new floors! It's going to be crazy...but definitely well worth the mess! :-)

Not only am I'm going through the kitchen remodel, but I'm still finishing Christmas shopping and working all day. I'm hoping to start wrapping this weekend!

And the best news for last....we're under the 2 week mark for Chris's return! Two weeks from yesterday and he'll be home. Neither him nor I can wait. As we talk on the phone, we find ourselves talking more and more about him coming home and everyday it makes it more real. People tell me how they could never do what I do and that they couldn't imagine being an Army Wife, but to tell you the truth...I love it! Don't get me wrong, the quite nights alone do get pretty lonesome and I would love nothing more than for him to be here with me. But aside from that, I'm so proud of Chris and all of his accomplishments. I proud of what he stands for and what he fights against. There's no better job and definitely no prouder moment then being a true Army Wife!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Another Busy Day....

With having done so much work around the house on Saturday, Sunday was no different. My parents came back over and lended yet more hands on the kitchen remodel!
Dad explained to me about the difference between the walls we have now and putting up new drywall. Well, because our house is older and there's probably been so much done to it throughout the years, my dad thought it would look the best if we put up new drywall in certain places. So while dad got busy with that, mom and I started to paint the ceiling.
Later Jen, Kevin, and Isabella stopped over to check out the progress we've made (I had a little helper with painting)!

Dad getting the new drywall to fit in it's place! It was a perfect fit...great job dad!

Sanding a few more spots before getting ready to paint!

Washing the was a lot dirtier then it looked!

Bella wanted to help stir the paint....she was a great helper!

Dad getting an outlet fixed!

Bella had to find the fun in all this mess! :-)

Mom bringing me the shirts to cover everything up!

The painting begins....

And of course, what 3 year old would not want to paint on the walls?!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

That Time of Year....

Today was another busy day. With my parents over last weekend, there were some jobs that were left unfinished in the kitchen that we wanted to get taken care of. So while dad was finishing those, mom helped me do my Christmas decorating.

Dad putting the finishing touches on our new drop light

Dad working away!

The finished project, a new light for over the sink and new blinds!!

Me fighting with the garland for the tree!

Finished project-far end of living room

Middle of the living room

Sometimes I hate the mess projects make, but I always love the end result. Check back soon for more of the kitchen remodel. Tomorrow my mom & I will be painting the ceiling! We also bought new flooring today that will be getting laid once Chris is home! Thanks mom & dad again for another accomplished day...I couldn't do it without you!

Just Because I Love You....

Today I was at home getting ready to do some things around the house and all of the sudden Zoe started barking at the door (which is out of the ordinary because Zoe doesn't bark at just anything). I go to the window and I see a lady holding something, I go to the door and she hands me....

Yes, Chris sent me a dozen red roses all the way from New Jersey just because he loves me. I've been bummed the last few days, especially with spending Thanksgiving without Chris, this defiantly put a smile on my face!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!

We wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family, friends, love, and laughter! I will be going to my parents later this afternoon for dinner with them, Jennifer, Kevin and Isabella.
Please keep Chris in your thoughts and prayers as he's still in training and not being able to spend this holiday with his family.

Happy Thanksgiving

Sunday, November 23, 2008

D.I.Y. Weekend!

This weekend was a busy one! Since Chris is gone that doesn't mean the home projects stop. Since we had moved in we really didn't do anything to our kitchen except install a new dishwasher and stove/oven. Not that we haven't wanted to, but it takes a lot of time...which these days we've been pretty short of!
Yesterday my girlfriend Cassi came over and pitched in. We finished taking down the Patriotic border that went around the kitchen, along with patched all the holes around the walls.
Today, my parents came over and we did a few more projects. My dad finally got some shelves hung up for me in our laundry room (they had to be put into cement block) and with that cleaned up and more organized it sure makes a difference! Then onto the kitchen... With a trip to Home Depot, we picked up some new lighting and blinds. The new lights got installed today, but due to a fan that did not want to corporate, the blinds and another light will have wait till another day.
Cassi and I also organized and cleaned up our computer room (which one day SOON will be painted and re-arranged).
So with a busy couple of days behind me...I'm pooped! Keep an eye out in the next month or so, I will be painting the kitchen and let me tell you...that will a project ALL in it's own!

Border half off over the sink

Border behind the refrigerator and microwave (UGH, we HATE wallpaper)

Time to get to work!

Break Time!

This is what I get for having my friends help me do home projects! Just kidding Cas!

Dad starting to install the fan/light

New light fixture in the far end of the kitchen (I LOVE this light)

New fan in the front part of the kitchen

Great job Dad...thanks for all your hard work! I know that fan took a lot out of you, but it looks great. Thanks to mom to for all that she did. I really appreciate the help! :-)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Laying Low....

I know I haven't posted anything in awhile...don't worry, I'm still here and doing okay. With Chris being gone, I'm taking one day at a time and staying busy. Between work, running errands and getting things taken care of for the next year, Christmas shopping, and hanging out with my friends...the days go by pretty fast. We've got about 5 weeks to go till Chris comes home, but who's counting?! I've also been without Internet at my house now for about 2 weeks. I have an appointment tomorrow morning for them to come out and hopefully fix the problem.
Stayed tuned for home project pictures...myself, my girlfriend Cassi, and my parents will be doing some things this weekend in our kitchen!

I hope everyone is doing well and staying warm in this lovely Ohio weather we're having.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Farewell Ceremony! :-(

Yesterday afternoon marked a very emotional day for me and my family. We all attended Chris's Farewell Ceremony for the 135th MP Company. The ceremony was absolutely beautiful. All the soldiers marched in and showed their pride, not only for themselves, but for their families as well. The ceremony consisted of many speakers from all over the state of Ohio, along with his Commander.
As tears ran down my face and my heart and mind full of so many different emotions, I try to stay strong for Chris. In fact, that's one thing I've learned from the Family Readiness Group and his Command is that our soldiers need their families to be stronger then ever right now. I for one know that's defiantly easier said then done!
I'm so proud of Chris and all of his accomplishments and I know he's going to go to Iraq and serve his country proud. My heart fills with such pride when I hear him talk about how he needs to be there for his soldiers, lead them and bring them all home to safety. I've asked him, who's bringing you home safely? His response to me was, having you to come home to and knowing that you're here praying for me!

This morning, I had to yet say good bye to my best friend and be strong for another 6 weeks. But as the tears once again rolled down my face, Chris said to me, Bay...I'll be home for Christmas and don't forget that I love you.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Chris's newest Tattoo!

With Chris getting ready to deploy after the New Year, there was really only one thing he wanted for Christmas...another tattoo. Since Chris will only be here for about a week at Christmas, we thought it would be best to get his tattoo now so it would have plenty of time to heal before heading to Iraq. So mom & dad, Jennifer & Kevin, and myself pulled together to get Chris his newest piece of artwork. Merry 'early' Christmas Bay...don't worry, he'll get more presents!

Just starting the outline & the words

As you can tell, Chris was in some pain. The ribs is probably one of the most painful places you can get a tattoo.

The finished product! The top says: I will be Strong and Courageous.

The bottom says: My God is with me wherever I go.

Since the War started Chris and I unfortunately have known a few people that weren't as lucky as us to return to their friends and families. In fact, just a few months ago, Chris and I lost a very good friend of ours. Chris felt this tattoo signified all of that and needed to have a piece of that with him when he went.

Just the two of us!

I'm happy to report that Chris made it home this week for another short visit. He returned home late Monday night and we had all week together. I took Thursday and Friday off of work and we went to the Mountaineer Casino & Resort for a 2 day mini getaway. What was nice about this trip was that it was only a short 1 1/2 hours away in nearby West Virgina, but we were still able to go do something fun and exciting. We left for our trip Wednesday afternoon and returned Friday early afternoon. I'm sad to report that we only won about $150, but we sure had a great time. It was really nice to be able to spend 'alone' time with Chris.

Outside of our Hotel (it was very nice)

In the lobby, they had old cars parked everywhere. Chris was checking them out!

Outside of the racetrack

Outside the River Poker Room

The Race Track!

Entrance to one of the Casinos

In front of the hotel lobby fountain

Rock sign of our Hotel

Chris and I being goofy!

Horsey on the Track!!

Race Track from a distance

Going through the town, we saw some interesting things....

I thought this was the coolest sign! :-)

And this....this was just in the middle of a courtyard, I thought it was so random and odd!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Election 2008!

Voting time is among us yet again!! Are you a Republican or a Democrat?
I for one am ready for a change, I know I'll be at the busy polls tomorrow. Make sure your voice is heard and let your opinion be known....VOTE!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

We hope everyone has a SPOOKtacular Halloween. Have fun & be safe! :-)

Happy Halloween

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween '08

Every year downtown Kent has their annual Halloween shin-dig and every year my friends and I dress up and hit the town...this year was no different. The only thing that was different was Chris wasn't able to come since he left again Friday. :-(
It was a fun night spent with good friends, plus it's always fun to see every one's costumes!
Hope you enjoy the video....

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Boo at the Zoo

Last night, Jennifer, Kevin, Isabella, Mom, Dad, Cassi (a friend of mine), and myself ventured off to Cleveland Zoo for this year's annual Boo at the Zoo. Mother nature sure was in effect, because it rained the whole time we were there. We didn't let a little rain damper our spirits though, we made sure to have fun for Isabella! With the rain coming down and the temperatures falling, we were only there for about an hour and a half. We then left and went out to dinner. Other then getting a little wet, it was fun to see all the little kiddos dressed up and having fun!

'Lil Stinker' heading into the zoo!

Meeting Stripes (that's her tigers name)

Inside the Hay Maze

Jennifer making Bella a caterpillar out of pipe cleaners

Me making Bella a key chain with beads

Showing off her new creature!

Creepy ghost band people :-)

Cassi and I trying to stay dry! :-)