Sunday, August 28, 2011

Farewell, Fort Huachuca

The move is upon us! The movers come tomorrow, my brother dearest arrives on Tuesday, and we head east on Wednesday!

It's an odd feeling knowing that there's a strong possibility you may never be at a certain location again. Though we have enjoyed our time here in Arizona, both Ian and I agree that we would prefer not to be stationed here again. On our hike yesterday, I stood atop the hills trying to savor it all in... Southern Arizona sure does have some beautiful sights. We are already planning a night at our favorite pizza joint in Bisbee, Screaming Banchee Pizza, the night before we leave. Now that is one place we definitely will miss! I am definitely excited to arrive in Tennessee, but I can't help but feel a little melancholy at the close of another chapter in our lives. (And I definitely will miss the short hours Ian has had to put in while in class.)

There have definitely been some wonderful aspects to our short sting in Sierra Vista.

The Friends

The girlies - Halli, me, and Ashley

The boys - Ian, Cameron and Alex

My wine tasting buddy! 

Girls night! Royal Wedding slumber/viewing party 

The Family

Brother Jeff and I at the Tucson zoo

Wine tasting with Ian's side of the familia! They came for Easter and we had a wonderful time showing them ALL OVER southern AZ! 

With my side of our family! Ok, so this was in Idaho, not AZ, but it was for my bro's college graduation, which was a huge event while we were living here!

The Fun in the  Sun

There was a lot of great we're overlooking the Coronado Natl. Forest, which borders THE border! 

Tombstone! Me hanging out with my newest friends 

Somehow I got Ian to do TWO of these pictures!

Father and fur-daughter strolling on post

We had to go to a Diamondbacks game! (And eat ballpark dogs of course!)

No trip to AZ is complete without a stop at the Grand Canyon! 

Personal Achievements

I ran in my first 5k! Not generally huge, but huge for me!

Ian graduated his Captains Career Course! 

Lastly, there was one event in particular Ian and I both agree will not soon be forgotten... the wildfire near us! We won't soon forget the sights of the black smoke coming from the mountains behind our home or the smell of the burnt air, or how we kept checking the evacuation statuses and had some stuff together just in case. It was an image that is forever burned in our memories (pun intended). 

Bye, Arizona! Helloooo Tennessee! 

Butterflies and Geckos and BEARS, oh my!

In an effort to continue our procrastination from preparing for the move, the hubs and I decided to go on one last hike on our favorite trail here, Ramsey Canyon.

Ian taking in the view. 
It's amazing how green it is now!

Overlooking Sierra Vista

We saw a lot more butterflies this time around

...and a lot more geckos...

And a BEAR! 

We had been told on our way up to be on the alert for some bears but we hadn't seen any along the trails. We were nearly back when a squirrel came barreling toward us on an apparent mission. We were commenting how he was in a hurry when Ian looked up and said "Because there's a bear!" It was a young black bear, not quite full grown. Sadly, we tried getting a picture, but he was on the move and we decided we'd better be safe than sorry so we got a move on it! Apparently there are about three bears hanging around the area, most likely due to the June wildfires, displacing the bear family. 

Our last hike in Ramsey Canyon was definitely a memorable one :-)

Friday, August 26, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

I can't believe this is our last Friday here in Arizona! We will definitely try to make the most out of our weekend, but first I must partake in Wife of a Sailor's weekly survey!

1. The first thing I think of when I get up in the morning is Just five more minutes. Even when it's just Ian getting up, I tell him he needs five more minutes sometimes!

2. Lately I've been craving autumn because it has been summer here for the last six months it seems! I can't wait for cooler weather, pumpkin anything (bread, spice lattés, etc) and to wear boots!

3. Whenever anyone says the word Nickelodeon it reminds me of my childhood because I am convinced my generation had the best children's shows. Nickelodeon in particular had awesome programming...Remember Hey Dude, Salute Your Shorts, GUTS!, Double Dare, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Wild and Crazy Kids, and Legends of the Hidden Temple? I do! I really don't think kids today have anything that compares to these!

Recognize the blonde, third to the right? That's Christine Taylor - a.k.a. Mrs. Ben Stiller!

I remember a girl being stuck in an alternate universe, accessible through a mirror, so whenever she wrote it was backwards.

Did anyone else have Nickelodeon Moon Shoes or play with Gak?

I may or may not have broken my thumb because of these.. ;)

4. The happiest word I know is "redeployment" but "twitterpated" comes close! Not much else could possibly beat jumping into the arms of the one you love at the end of deployment, but being twitterpated is just the cutest description of crushing or loving on someone! (Yes, it is from Bambi!)

Twitterpation <3

5. My spouse may hate it, but I absolutely love Sex and the City! Ian cannot stand it but I have seen every episode several times over! He can even put up with my love of Real Housewives of... but he refuses to even be in the same room if Charlotte, Carrie, Miranda and Samantha are gracing the television screen.

Four of my favorite ladies 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Happy Day!

As of yesterday, Ian and I are officially proud first-time homeowners!!! Whoop!

We signed our portion of the papers on Tuesday afternoon here in Arizona and then had to overnight the packet to Tennessee.

Happy to be done signing what felt like 900,000 pages! 

Yesterday afternoon I got the call from our wonderful realtor, Nancy, that the packet arrived, the owner signed everything, and the title and loan has been placed in our name! The house is ours! 

Aside from this being a scary venture, we are both ecstatic! Now I really can't wait for next week to come so we can be on our way to our new home! 

Nancy emailed me this picture a little later yesterday, and it just makes me smile... 

"I belong to Kelli & Ian" 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Favorite Summer Reads

One of the perks of being a housewife is I have a lot to time to read...and read I do! Here's some books that have made an impression on me this summer.

Sarah's Key Quite possible one of the most touching, unforgettable books I have read in a long while is Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. It is a heart wrenching account of a young Jewish girl living in Paris during World War II, who makes a life-altering decision that, sixty years later, an American journalist finds she has a connection to. I highly recommend reading this - You. will. be. moved. Just make sure to have the tissues handy!

Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea  On the opposite end of the spectrum of touching the heart-strings, is Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea by comedian Chelsea Handler. This, I pray it's not all true autobiographical account of the comedian's life is, in a word, inappropriate. Make that wildly inappropriate. Yet I could not stop laughing! I even read this during a plane ride and had fellow passengers glance over at me because I was laughing out loud... a lot. I would not recommend this book for anyone under the age of 21 but for a fun, zany look at life, this book is great! *Warning: Do not let Grandma dearest read this! 

The Sookie Stackhouse Series I am a huge fan of the HBO television series True Blood, but am just now reading the novels it is inspired by! I say inspired by because there a lot of differences between the show and the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris. They follow the crazy, abnormal life of northern Louisiana's Sookie Stackhouse, herself a telepath, and her encounters with the "out of the coffin" vampires, especially Bill and Eric. Along the way she meets several other creatures, including shape-shifters and werewolves. Like the show, I literally cannot put these books down! I am almost through with the third installment, Club Dead. While they differ from the show, I like the changes because it keeps me on my toes and I am not sure what to expect! These books are intriguing, witty, and I'll be honest, quite steamy. But if you have seen the show and are a fan of Eric's Alexander Skarsgard, you won't mind! 

"Eric" - 'Nuff said. 

One Day Sometimes I read a book that reminds me to not judge by the first few chapters. One Day by David Nicholls is one of those. Slow to start and get in to, all of a sudden I found myself enthralled in the relationship between Dexter and Emma, curious where their lives would take them next. This book is unique in that each chapters is a different year in the lives of the main characters, on the same day in July. We follow Dex and Em from college to budding careers and beginning their families. By the end, I felt connected to the two, as if I knew them. It's a sweet, if not realistic, love story. A movie based on this novel is coming out soon, starring Anne Hathaway...though sadly, I have not heard the best reviews. I am sure I will still watch it anyway!

With the upcoming move, I finally convinced Ian to part ways with some of his ginormous book collection. I am going to take a bag of our books today to try and sell back to Hasting's. There are some books I refuse to give away, but for the most part I don't feel the need to save everything I read. My husband on the other hand, begs to differ. See this bag here?

A whopping THREE of those books belonged to the hubs. His only response is "blame my Dad, he taught me to keep everything!" So thanks, Colin, if you read this! ;-) 

As you can see, I tend to read mostly "girly" books, where the husband's genre of choice is non-fiction war accounts. He maintains that a fun game to play would be "Guess whose book this is" since our titles range from the Shopaholic series to comparing the Taliban to Russian war tactics. Some how I don't think the game would be too hard to win...

Monday, August 22, 2011


Though I am incredibly excited for our move to Fort Campbell, there is one thing in particular about Fort Huachuca that I will miss dearly...

~ The sunsets ~

There really is nothing quite like a majestic desert sunset. Pardon the cliché, but it really does look like a painting - with brush strokes of yellow, orange, red and purple. Our evening walks are always an enjoyment, to watch the sun set in such a beautiful fashion. I can only imagine that we will see gorgeous sunsets in Tennessee, but I have a feeling the Arizona desert ones will remain perfectly unique. I will remember them fondly. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Stairway to Heaven... I mean Bisbee

Ian and I had been wanting to participate in the annual Bisbee 1000 event here in Arizona, but it is held in October and we will be long gone by then. So we printed out the course and did it anyway today, just the two of us! It is a 5k course (feels more like a 10k) that winds you all throughout the city and hillside of Bisbee. Oh and did I mention that there's 1,000 stairs to climb in the process?  Well there is! Bisbee is an old mining town that is literally carved out of the mountainside and many of the homes only have access via stairway. It's crazy!

Oddly, the route never takes you on this stairway

Beautiful art adorned a cement wall

View atop one stairway

Great Saturday with my man!

The stairs just kept going!

A little "Rocky" celebration after out last stairway

Ian was the fearless tour guide - even though the map was a tad confusing

If anyone will be in the area come mid-October, I think this event would be a great time! 

Friday, August 19, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

Can you believe we are already nearing the end of August? I for one am very excited for fall, but that is probably because here in AZ, summer has been here for a long time. I have been told autumn in TN is gorgeous, so I am looking forward to it!

Here is this week's MilSpouse Friday Fill-In, courtesy of Wife of a Sailor.

1. My spouse and I rarely agree on girls names, but we always agree on boys names. No, I am not preggers, but what can I say, I like to be prepared :)

2. If I could use one word to sum up the way I feel right now, it would be pumped! We just got back from an almost 5-mile run and I beat my previous time!

3. One of the things my spouse does that grosses me out is he insists that his workout clothes can be worn more than once, they just need to air dry. Needless to say, I tend to throw them in the hamper when he's not around!

4. My readers may think I'm crazy for doing this, but I really love to:

Pack! I know, I'm nuts, but I love it! Be it to move or just a suitcase for vacation. It's like a puzzle to get everything to fit just right. I really wish the Army movers would let us pack, because it drives me nuts that I can't and have to witness their sporadic packing styles! (I am, however, thankful they do the heaving lifting and transporting of such boxes). 

I also LOVE to wrap presents! I often will wrap friends and family's gifts for others just because I like it so much :) 

5. Frankly, my dear, I don't ever want to deal with RE/MAX property management again!  If anyone is planning on moving to Fort Huachuca in the near future, I would avoid renting through them.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pantry Purging Recipes

Only two weeks left and we. are. outta. here!! I have officially begun the pantry and refrigerator clean-out process. I hate this part - especially seeing all our half-used condiments and opened goods going down the drain. We try to use or give away as much as possible, but not many people need a half-full bottle of teriyaki sauce!

Here are some yummy recipes we have sampled lately using the majority of items we already had stocked in the pantry but I think they are delicious!

Corny (like me!) Soup
Adapted from Cooking Light

1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup diced deli ham - cut extra thing (about 1/4")
3 cups fresh corn kernels - about 4-5 ears depending on size
1/4 tsp dried cilantro
1/2 tsp cumin (or more, to taste)
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 can navy beans, drained and rinsed
1 can white kidney/cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
28 ounces low-sodium chicken broth
1 (4 oz) can fire roasted diced green chilis (or 2 cans regular)
Plain Greek yogurt
Chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in dutch oven (or heavy-duty pot) and add in onions and ham. Sauteé until onions are soft and ham begins to turn golden, about 5-8 minutes.

I love my dutch oven! I got it as a wedding gift and use it all the time. 

Add in remaining ingredients. Bring to boil. Cover and let simmer until warm or ready to serve.

Garnish with freshly ground black pepper, Greek yogurt and cilantro.

I have a strong love affair going with Greek yogurt right now. I can't even remember the last time I used sour cream! 

Garlic cheddar biscuits
From the Reduced-Fat Bisquick cookbook

I love Bisquick. I grew up on it! From pancakes, to waffles, to biscuits and more, I have nothing but fond memories coming from that little box. These biscuits are super yummy and even easier to make.

2 cups Reduced Fat Bisquick baking mix
2/3 cup skim milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbs margarine or butter
1/4 tsp garlic powder
*I usually add chopped chives or green onions, but the refrigerator fairy failed to supply this time.

Preheat oven to 450°
Stir Bisquick, milk and cheese until soft dough forms. Drop dough by spoonful onto a lined or greased baking sheet.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Melt butter in microwave safe dish. Stir in garlic powder. Brush over biscuits. 

The hubby tends to eat these by the dozen! 

Mexican Pizza
I'm afraid I don't have any pictures of this dish...we gobbled it up too quickly! Ian didn't even save any for his lunch :) 

Boboli or ready-made pizza crust 
1 lb. ground beef or turkey
Taco seasoning (I like the reduced-sodium kind)
1 can Ro*tel Diced tomatoes with green chilis
1 can refried black beans (regular refried beans will work fine)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar/Mexican cheese
1/4 cup sliced onions
1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
 1/4 cup sliced black olives
Greek yogurt

Preheat oven to 375°
Brown and drain meat and add taco season according to package directions. Stir in Ro*tel tomatoes. Cover and keep over low heat to remain warm. 
Brush pizza crust with olive oil and place in oven for approxmately 5 minutes, or until crust begins to turn golden brown. Remove crust from oven. 
In microwave safe bowl, heat refried beans. 
Spread beans on crust, followed by a layer of meat and then cheese. Top with chopped tomatoes, onions and olives. Return to oven and bake for 5-8 minutes until cheese is melted and heated through. 
Slice and top with a dollop of greek yogurt. (Told you we rarely use sour cream!) 
*I think fresh avocadoes on top would be yummy too and I will have to try next time.