Sunday, September 18, 2011

La Casa

We got a house! And I finally got around to taking a few pictures today :) I'll give you a little tour of the place...

Here is the outside. A little old school, but all brick!

The garden is on the side of the house. We have lots of tomatoes and peppers still if anyone wants some! Next year I'll be able to plant things I will actually use, ha ha.
Our little back yard. There are two peach trees with TONS of peaches. PLEASE COME GET SOME!
The front room in the house. Cute little fire place that I'm so excited to hang stockings on at Christmas time :)
This room is the far right of the living area/dining room/kitchen. Not really a full living room, but a couch to hang out on and chat while someone is eating or in the kitchen.
Dining area and kitchen. We have plans to update then kitchen when we aren't broke anymore ;) We just have a little tiny 4 person table but it's plenty for the two of us right now

The master bedroom. It's got lots of space which I LOVE! Two decent sized closets and a master bath with a jetted tub, his and her sinks, and a little vanity area. There are also two more bedrooms upstairs but they are currently filled with boxes we still need to sort through

Most of the basement is a two bedroom apartment we have rented out, but there is also another bedroom (where a friend of ours is temporarily living) a small food storage room, and the MAN CAVE! It's not set up completely, but Rich finally got "his TV" that he's wanted since before we got married and a place to display all of his man stuff. Really I just didn't want to hang up his guns, swords or shield anywhere else in the house ;)

See how much he loves it? :)

So there you have it. We are home owners! Tied down for the next 30 years ;)

This weekend was Rich's drill- MI ball/Governor's day. Our first date was three years ago at the MI ball. Rich asked me the day of, and I had to find a dress and get all dressed up and ready in like an hour. We didn't take a picture (It was a first date. I didn't want him to think I was crazy! I regret it now) but this was our first time back since then. There were two more that went by, but Rich was in Spain for the first one and Iraq on the second... He wasn't required by the military to go to this one, but he was required by his wife ;) We didn't take a lot of pictures, but here's one. His uniform isn't completely up to date.. he's missing a few awards and junk, but I think he looks good. Bow tie and all :)

I had never been to governor's day before, but it was pretty cool. SO MANY people in uniform! It was really neat. It rained the night before so the sky was really clear and just a little breeze blowing the flag. After the formal stuff, there were fun booths set up and lots for kids to do. We got some delicious breakfast food, AWESOME ice cream, stocked up on groceries at the commissary then headed out by the afternoon.

That's about it. I'll think of something else to blog about soon... maybe.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Rich is Home!

I'm a little behind, but Rich came home! He got back a little over a month ago now and it's been great :) My whole family was able to come to the air base to welcome him back.

The day consisted of carpooling up to Salt Lake, waiting, waiting, and more waiting. During the waiting, there was a band playing, food galore, and a lot of anxious kids and spouses. When the plane landed, everyone was rushing up to the front of the hanger to see their soldier first. They rolled up the stairs, opened the door to the plane and soldiers started filing out. I was standing on my tippy-toes and it's a good thing I have crazy good eyes cause I saw Rich from the second he stepped out of the plane. Believe it or not, I didn't cry! (I thought Kylie, a fellow military wife, would make fun of me... ha ha) As he was walking down the stairs and shaking hands, I weaved my way between banners and kids on shoulders out to the open where Rich was just shaking the last hand and heading right to me. Nope, still didn't cry... I was way too excited I guess. Nate, my brother, was my personal photographer for the day so we got some really neat pictures that will help us remember how happy of a day it was for us. I didn't think I would make it, but I did. So if you think, "I could never do that..." You could. I don't have super human powers that allowed me to do it, but if you love your husband and have any pride in your country, you could to it. It's just one of those things that people don't usually go looking for, but they just rise to the occasion when it comes. It for sure has made me appreciate the country that we live in and treasure the freedoms that we all just expect a whole lot more.

ANYWAY, since Rich has been home we've been up to a lot. We didn't go on any huge trip or anything, but we have been camping, out to Wendover, stopped at the salt flats, celebrated our anniversary by renting a wave runner out at the lake, went to my cousin's wedding, drove up to Logan for Rich's mom's family's reunion where I met a lot of his relatives I had never met before, um.... I can't remember what else. Oh yeah, we're in the middle of buying a house too :) We're kind of excited about that part. It won't be all finished until September 1st though cause the owners are moving to St. George and don't want to move there in the middle of the summer heat. That's ok though. We're not in a huge hurry. I'll post more pictures later if I remember to.

Hope everyone is having a great July! I wish there was a better way to keep in contact with friends and family, but it never seems to happen... life has been busy but we still want to make the rounds and visit :) Miss you all!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Something to Blog About

Sometimes I don’t blog because I don’t feel like there is anything going on in my life worth telling the world about at that moment. I usually wait till a big trip or family event before I post anything. I guess tonight isn’t an exception to the rule… I finally have something new to blog about

Last weekend I went back down to Cedar City to walk in my official graduation. Rich has been doing school online along the way while he’s been in Iraq, and he is currently finishing up his last two classes for his degree. He completed his graduation papers a while back, so we weren’t positive what ever happened with it all.

When the big ceremony on Friday started, I got a program as we all marched into the arena, and before I was where the audience could see, I checked for Rich’s name on the list of graduates. Lo and behold, there it was. Richard Jay Brandt. I turned to some of my friends who were in line by me and pointed out his name. It took me by surprise, and emotions were already on edge after marching through a whole group of teachers, family and friends applauding us for our accomplishments, so naturally, there were tears immediately. Even though he was half way around the world (and still working on finishing those classes, ha ha) we got to graduate from college together! It was really neat.

Later that day, I was talking with my parents, and we all kind of thought it would be cool if I could march in place of Rich the next day to get his diploma (well, the cover at least). Some of my friends who are married had arranged in advance to march with THEIR husbands in the School of Business ceremony rather than their own (Science for me), so I figured they would let me march “with” mine too… I was told to just show up on time the next morning, get Rich’s card for him, and let the person announcing the names know what was going on.

To make a long story not quite as long (it’s still not short.. sorry), the teacher who was introducing the graduates as they walked across the stage was one who Rich had JUST finished a class from, so he knew the situation already. He took my card, and after the girl in front of me shook hands with President Benson, he announced something like, “This young lady is here marching in place of her husband who is in Iraq and completed his degree online. Richard Brandt… accounting” Immediately, there was incredibly loud applause from the audience, and my tears that started before I even stepped foot on the stage doubled as I walked to the president. He gave me a huge hug. As I moved to shake hands with the next person in line, I noticed that the entire arena was up on their feet. Wow. What an incredible feeling.

Although I was the one walking across the stage that day, I know that all of those people were standing in support of Rich and the amazing things that he has been doing. I already know how awesome he is (ha ha), but to have that many people agree with me and show their support for him all at once is overwhelming. It was a nice reminder of how wonderful he is and how I should really appreciate him and all that he has done and continues to do.

I’ll have people ask me about Rich and when they find out he is deployed they’ll sincerely express their appreciation for him and the sacrifices that we’re both making, and I’ve also been in areas where a large group of military families are present and we are all applauded as a group. Never did I imagine having an experience so personal to just the two of us though… I continued on and had a red-eyed, makeup smeared picture taken, then took my seat back with the other graduates.

After the whole ceremony was over, I went and found my mom in the audience. She still had tears in her eyes, and as people I knew came up to talk to me, they all said that they were crying right along with me through it all. Even after it was all over, a few people started tearing up just talking about it again… The best way I can think of to describe it all is spiritual. I know that may sound lame, but to feel that kind of love and support from that many people is amazing. I know I didn’t do it justice when I told Rich about it later that day, but there’s not really any way to explain it without just being there. People I had never even met were in tears because of the united support shown for one of OUR soldiers and his accomplishments. Ugh, my eyes STILL water when I think about it.. There are so many amazing men and women who serve and support our country. It's kind of a breath of fresh air in the middle of all of the political debates that seem to always be going on.

Anyway, I guess it’s just time that I let everyone who reads this know how much I love my husband. :) I’m not usually one of those girls who publicly announce that, “I have the BEST husband in the world!” and go on to tell of the great things he’s done recently that make him better than everyone else. Although that’s probably great for his self-esteem, I don’t like making others question or compare the “quality” of their own husbands because I’m publicizing every little thing that mine does that’s good. I will, however, say that I love Rich very much. He has had so much come at him in life lately and he is still coming out on top of it all. He didn’t let a deployment get in the way of finishing school, and he hasn’t let it have a negative effect on our marriage either. Not only is he defending freedom, he is taking time to care about me personally and both of our families, AND getting a degree. I think a standing ovation was very appropriate :)

Thank you to all of you who have supported us this year. It really makes it all a lot more bearable to feel love and support from those around you. If you know someone who is deployed, send a letter or put together a small care package for them. It REALLY makes a difference just knowing that your friends and family still think and care about you. Those at home may hear it a lot, but I think it's important to tell the soldiers directly as well. Rich will be home soon, which means no more cyber husband for me, ha ha…

*and you thought your last blog post was long…? *

Saturday, March 19, 2011

New Awlins

Before I get started on this post, I just want to throw out a disclaimer. I was reading through my last post, and I was thoroughly embarrassed by my typos and the other mistakes I made throughout it. Like lunch. My parents don't take us to lunch for our birthdays... it's ALWAYS dinner. I have no idea where lunch came from. Basically, they're things that are no big deal, but when I was reading it, I felt like I was reading the blog of someone else, ha ha. The reason? I blog at work. (rough job huh?) And work is usually from around midnight till 8-ish am which means (like right now) I blog around 4am. Good enough excuse? I hope so cause I'm sticking to it.

Back to the post at hand. I recently went on a trip to Louisiana for the annual convention of a company I'm part of. It's kind of a random thing I guess that I'm even part of the company, but lets just say it's a fun time-filler while Rich is gone :) I don't really know what to say about the convention other than it was fun, informative, but kinda weird. I went there by myself and met up with a girl in Baton Rouge who I had never met. We just emailed and decided to share a room at the hotel. Good thing she wasn't a creeper, huh? Anyway, there are some women in the company who are really neat and fun to be around, and then there are the crazies who, well, we've all dealt with crazy people in our lives at one time or another.. you know what they're like.

It's probably more fun to just look at my pictures and I'll tell you a little bit about each one. This first one is at the welcome party. It was 80's themed.. can you tell? ;) This is me with the owner and founder of the company.

At the party, I also met KISS! You should have seen their shoes.. they had to be at LEAST 6" tall.
Oh yeah, and Michael Jackson came back from the dead to sing a few last songs for us. He shrunk a little.
There was an awards night where the ladies in the company who take their business more seriously than me won some awesome prizes and awards! We're talking trips to Hawaii and Disney Land, $1000's of dollars in cash, 14 cars were given away and a brand new Harley. The part that was the most fun for me was just dressing up :) It was a formal event. These are my roommates from the weekend
Bourbon Street. Pretty cool huh? They were good..
Although New Orleans was fun and all, It wasn't my favorite place in the world. If I'm going to go to a big city with lots of people, I'll go to Manhattan. I like it MUCH better. When I flew in, the girl I mentioned earlier picked me up from the Baton Rouge airport and drove me to where she was staying with her family till the convention started. It was family property and she was staying at her grandma's (doodah) where her great grandma (grand nanny) was also living. Her parents lived right next door and her aunt's house was down a little dirt road about 200 meters back. Basically, they all lived really close. This family was so cute and they were SO nice. Talk about southern hospitality. Spending time here was probably my favorite part of the whole trip. My flight didn't leave till Monday morning, so on Sunday we had nothing to do. Between the aunt's house and doodah's, there's a little pond that they like to fish in. They stock it with their own fish and feed them so they get really big. They're not really big yet though as you'll see below.

Here is our quaint little fishing pond :)

with little white flowers in the grass all around it
This is Samantha, my roommate for the weekend. I can't remember if that was her bait or what she caught ;)
They were little, but they were pretty
So what if I fished with a pink and purple princess pole.. ha ha
So all in all it was a fun trip. I have to say I didn't know a whole lot about Louisiana until I went. I couldn't even spell Louisiana! Doodah said if I come back I can stay at her place again. I may just take her up on that one day :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


R&R stands for rest and relaxation, but I think both of us were ready for some R&R after Rich's R&R! We did SO much while he was here and I loved every second of it! Here are a few pictures of some of the things we did for the two weeks that he was here:

Rich played indoor soccer a few times with two of our brother-in-laws. He loves any kind of sport and was happy to play.. even if he had to wear pink shin guards :) He also played in multiple basketball games both for a city league and church ball.
While Rich has been gone, he's gotten a new niece and a new nephew! He was so excited to meet them both. Here is Rich with little Jaxon

Lucky for me, Rich was able to make it in time for Valentine's day! We decorated cookies at my parents house and went out to lunch AND dinner to celebrate :)
Oh, and we also helped cupid deliver a Valentine to Parker at work :) He had quite the crowd following him.
We were lucky enough to have two free passes to Canyons so we spent a day out on the mountain. It was really fun other than it was a little windy at the top.. ok, it was REALLY windy. But still fun.

Rich's birthday was in January and we wanted an excuse to have everyone over to see him-so we called it a late birthday party and had cake and ice cream. The little kids loved the Army man cake :)
Everyone though we were crazy planning a cruise during leave.. Dates ALWAYS change with the military so we were really risking it. I was so set on a cruise cause I'd never been and being on a ship with all you can eat food, room service, entertainment and sun sounded like the perfect way to spend leave. Anyway, after some worrying of my own, it worked out perfectly! We went to Cabo San Lucas and loved it so much

After the cruise, we flew into SLC and just stayed there for the Linkin Park concert at the ESA. While we were there one of our friends just happened to be sitting a few rows behind us.. he is also deployed with Rich and was on his R&R. What are the chances? Anyway, I tried to be the crazy photo taking wife the whole time Rich was here cause I wanted to document the only two weeks we'll be together this year.. but I guess I'm not quite there yet. I forgot to charge the camera... so this was the only picture from the concert before it died for good:Oh, and Linkin Park is really good live but they didn't chose such a great band to open for them... Lets just say they weren't too creative with their choice of vocabulary :)

Although we had already had cake and ice cram, its tradition that my parents take out the birthday couple for lunch. Since Rich missed his, they had to make it up while he was in town. Turns out the best day to go was Austin's actual birthday, so we decided to do a combo. My parents didn't want to leave Heidi and Parker out however, so they talked and decided to celebrate Parker's birthday a month early! So we went out to dinner for the three son-in-law's birthday then had yummy cupcakes and MORE ice cream. The kids liked to help blow out the candles :)

Just a few days after that, Rich had to leave and go back for the last part of his deployment. I wasn't too excited about it, but he had to leave again before the countdown could REALLY begin. Not too much longer now and he'll be home for good! I can't wait for the day... Although we aren't perfect, I know that Rich and I are perfect for each other. We work together, and can correct each other when correction is needed. We can both be stubborn, but it just makes for a good laugh later ;) I love him so much and couldn't be more proud of what he is out doing right now!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Theme song for the last week :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Posting once every two months isn't too bad, right? Ha ha... shoot. I'll {keep} work{ing} on it.

Here are a few pictures of things that have been going on in life for Rich and I. They are in no particular order, but here they are anyway- Starting with Rich

Christmas time spent out in Iraq. I guess they decorate for the holidays out there cause they had something similar for Thanksgiving. Kinda cool :)

Rich's brother Joe had his birthday in December. Someone found out that it was that day and took the two of them on a helicopter ride. Only a 30 year old could grow a mustache like that... ;)
Rich got to spend some time off his usual base. This is in Baghdad. He said that it was almost a culture shock to see things growing. Where he is there is just sand. Kind of fun to be in a new area.
Rich's birthday was on January 26th. He also got to go on a helicopter ride, but not because someone found out it was his birthday, it was because he was traveling all day trying to get back to his base. Unfortunately he didn't get back for almost a week, so he didn't get to open his packages till later.

Some things that I have done.. graduated college! We had our pinning ceremony and got Pres. Benson to speak at it. My parents came down along with Rich's dad. My sister in law had her baby at the same time so Rich's mom stayed up with them. I don't have a picture, but Rich and I got a new nephew Jaxon Jacob Brandt!
Nate and Kacee came from Atlanta for Christmas. Some of their friends from GA came with them to go snowboarding over the break. I wasn't planning on going, but ended up finding a cheap day pass so I couldn't resist ;) When Rich comes on leave we're going to the Canyons. I got two free day passes at a military appreciation thing I went to a while back and have just been waiting around to use them!
My whole family got together for Christmas again. My mom usually volunteers to work a 1/2 day on Christmas so that those with little kids can be home. Because of this, we've been celebrating on Christmas Eve. It's nice because we're all married now and for those of us kids who have in-laws close by don't have to decide who they're going to spend the holiday with. ANYWAY, my dad had been working on a surprise present for my mom for months, and the plan was to take her out of the house while it was delivered Christmas Eve. We used it as an excuse to have all of the girls go get breakfast that morning. When we returned, my mom had this baby grand piano set up next to the tree!

The only other things that I did worth mentioning is- moved in with Heidi and Parker to their new house, ha ha, took the NCLEX and PASSED, and got my first job as an RN! I work for Harmony Home Health and Hospice doing pediatrics. It's not the kind of home health that you probably think of. What I do is stay at one home all night while the parents of the patient sleep, and monitor the child. For example, my patient I've been with has a trach and is on a vent. I stay by his crib and make sure he can still breath and is getting enough oxygen etc. Basically I get anxiety attacks all night long then try to sleep during the day... ha ha, fun huh?

Upcoming events: Rich is coming home for his R&R SOON! I'm not supposed to say exact dates for safety reasons, and I'm really terrible at keeping things like that to myself.. so please don't ask me, ha ha. Just know that it is soon and we will be spending Valentine's together unless something crazy happens! *knock on wood* We have a cruise booked so pray for good weather and that my passport comes in time (did you know when you change your name, there is no simple name change option for passports? You have to reapply and re pay the full price!)

Hopefully between things actually starting to happen in life besides school, and having a job where not a lot is going on most of the night.. I'll be able to keep up on this whole blogging thing a lot better! Keep an eye out-it might within a month that I update again! ;)