Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ellie Nova Ottati - 8 Months!

Growing? She now has 8 teeth!

New and Exciting? She figured out how to crawl and loves going after the cat. She can also go from her belly to sitting.

Loves? For some reason she loves to flip her bottle around and suck on the bottom of it. Then she gets mad because no milk is coming out! Her favorite food is green beans or peas. She is very interested in the dog food, electrical cords and the sharp corners of tables. Basically anything dangerous.

Hates? She doesn't like fruits that much and still hates waking up from naps.

Looking Forward to? Getting baby gates! 

Saturday, December 13, 2014


Well guys, I've gotten 5 more bags of donations out the door and three bags of clothes that just had to be trashed. This time it was mostly uniforms from work that I DON'T NEED anymore!
I can't believe it! I've been looking forward to this moment. It seemed like all my Army stuff just took up sooooo much space. Green socks, white socks, green shirts, grey shirts, jackets, pants, boots, gloves, hats, and even brown hair elastics were all invading my space. I even had separate underwear I wore with my uniform. Yes, that's weird, but trust me, you don't want to be wearing a cute thong under those cargo pants. Just not comfy. Anyway, it's all gone now! I only kept one full uniform set that I need for Monday morning when I finish up the last of the paperwork.

Last weekend I spent a lot of time organizing and going through my craft stuff. I even spent a few hours winding up my embroidery thread and storing it by color, as you can see. I'm most definitely a Virgo. I had more than four big plastic totes full of craft supplies to organize and the first thing I did was to say, "Hey, these threads aren't organized by color, let me do that first..." Let's just say I didn't get though all the other craft stuff like I was supposed to, but I got a good chunk of it done.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Major Life Changes!!

I'm still in shock. In 10 days I will be out of the military.

10 days.


I've waited so long! That five year contract just seemed like forever. Like it would never end. Let me tell you, I never joined the Army because I really wanted to. I got the idea when I was living in Guam. Wanna hear the story? Of course you do!!

I had been dating this girl for a couple years who was/is an alcoholic (I'll call her "B") Everything was pretty tough. The consequences of B's drinking made it so we could never stay in one place for long. We jumped around from El Paso to Las Vegas and back to our stomping grounds in San Francisco. I was trying to leave for a while, and long story short, there was no way she was going to let me go in peace. I had to formulate some type of plan, which ended up being that I would move to Guam to work "temporarily" but in reality I wasn't planning on coming back.

While in Guam I started seeing another girl who was in the Navy. She seemed like she had her stuff together. Since I really didn't have an idea of what I wanted to do after I left Guam it kind of put a little bug in my ear. The military was an option I never really considered before.

Island life!
I had mentioned joining the Army to B as a way we could both get things back on track, since B had always talked about it I thought it might work. She would frequently tell people that she was in the Army so she could impress them, but as it turns out she wasn't interested in actually doing it so much as getting the unearned respect for it. When you have a drinking problem like that it gets difficult to keep jobs or have any "discipline" as the military would put it. I think deep down inside she knew she would be great at it, but the idea of not being able to go out to bars all the time kept her from commiting. Also, Don't Ask Don't Tell was still a thing back then, but whatever.

San Diego nights
So upon leaving Guam I decided to move down to San Diego so I could stay away from the problems in San Francisco. I had saved my money like crazy so that I could get back on my feet. Unfortunately this was 2009, the height of the recession, so things didn't really pan out. Everyday I would walk down University Avenue looking for a job without luck. The only place that would talk to me was a military recruiting station... so that was that. My savings started to run dry and so I signed the papers and moved back with my mom for a month before leaving for Basic Training.

Studying for the ASVAB
Basic was OK. No, it was horrible, but horrible in an interesting way. It was in Missouri and was 10 weeks. It was so exhausting that you didn't have time to think, let alone be depressed about it. I was pretty proud of myself when I graduated and could move on. 

Graduation day. That's me ^^^^^

After Basic I still had to go to AIT, an advanced training for my particular job. Since I got a great score on my ASVAB test I got a petty nice job that required a lot of training. Seven months of training to be specific.

This training was WAY worse and so boring and depressing and LONG. At least we got to go out on the weekends! We partied hard on the weekends, for sure. I have memories of drinking gin in a cheap motel room and going out to trashy country bars. By the end I was so tired of the lifestyle in the barracks I would get a hotel room by myself and just hibernate away from everyone so I could get some privacy. 

Getting ready for the weekend.
I specifically remember my last day in Missouri (or "Misery" as we called it.) I had gotten up super early to catch a ride to the bus station. I sat outside on my duffle bag and thought to myself that it was the best day of my life. I was so happy to get out of there. Leaving AIT will forever be in my top 5 best days of my life.

Then I moved to Alaska.
Oh Alaska.

The radio didn't actually work...
Gas chamber.
I'm not even gonna talk about Alaska. I slept in snow. Froze my ass off. Sometimes it was cool to be there, especially after I got a car and an apartment with Joe! Anchorage was a pretty cool place and Alaska has a lot to offer. Things started to look up towards the end of my three years there. There was a light at the end of the tunnel, at least.

I started blogging in Alaska as a way to keep my chin up and to look at the bright side of things. I covered our epic road trip, which has been a highlight of my life in the past few years. I've talked about pregnancy and little Ellie. Moving down to Louisiana has been really great. Sure, this town is small and boring, but things really came together here. I'm happy to be leaving but I'll always remember this place fondly.

Little family!
The Army helped me get my foot in the door for a possible career, or at least helped me get my resume going in a good direction instead of being all over the place. I can go to school again and have it paid for. Lots of great things are coming from it. It was a rough ride but worth it in the end.

I am SO EXCITED to find out what's next! TEN DAYS, GUYS!

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