Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry (Belated?) Christmas

I hope everyone's holiday was cheerful, joyful, and bright! Steve and I were invited to a turkey dinner by his Gunnery Sergeant (aka his "boss") on Christmas Eve with one of the other Marines from the office as well as his wife and 2 little ones. Because we were invited to this event the day before (Dec 23rd), I whipped up some cookies and English toffee to bring along and rushed to Target at 5 pm 2 days before Christmas to pick up a couple last minute baking items and something to WEAR! After having a big garage sale right before we moved to Alabama, (I was in a "get rid of it, take it away mood") and hence don't really own much to wear that would make me presentable at a Christmas Eve party thrown by my hubby's boss whom I have met exactly once before. Sorry that was a long-winded. But I felt a little overwhelmed. In the end, we had a nice time and it was nice to get to know some of the people Steve works with every day.
Steve and I had a quiet Christmas at home. We opened/exchanged gifts and ate a spread of appetizers that I made. After the Thanksgiving dinner I made I didn't feel like doing a big hooplah-again. We both stayed in our jammies all day. :-)
All the squirrels have finally been caught! We got a total of 6 and the exterior opening on the side of the house has been patched so nothing else can enter. The hole in our wall has not yet been fixed, but it was Christmas 2 days ago, so I didn't figure they'd fix it this week.
We don't have any plans thus far for New Years, but the news tonight mentioned the possibility of snow for us on New Years day. (!!!)

That's all for now,

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

2 more!

Yessir! 2 more squirrels were caught today! We didn't just have a couple of squirrels in our wall, it appears we had a whole family! No WONDER it was so noisy. I'm supposed to listen for anymore squirrel noises so that if we got them all the land lord can get started on patching the wall.
Keeping my fingers crossed,

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

O Christmas Tree

Steve and I found a Christmas tree! It's a Scotch Pine and smells lovely! I also picked up 5 strings of 100 lights, only to run out of lights a little more than half way up the tree. Steve and I went out the next day to Target, Home Depot, and Wal-Mart looking for more lights but everywhere was sold out of white lights! And I couldn't have a tree with half white lights and half colored! That would look ridiculous! But then, at Wal-Mart there in the back of the shelf, half hiding behind all the left-over colored lights, 3 lonely boxes of 100 white lights! The last 3! In the whole store! Maybe in the whole city of Birmingham! Hooray! So yes, there are 800 lights on our Christmas tree. And I forgot how poke-y pine trees are when you are trying to put lights on them! I had little red bumps all over my hands and wrists.
Worth it though, wouldn't you say?

I also bought some plain Christmas bulbs and painted them. This one was easiest but turned out to be my favorite. Ooh-Rah!

I put my camera timer to good use!

This was one of those DIY shots. :-)
Squirrel Update:
The Squirrel-catcher came again on Monday to check if the live traps had caught anything. Since it had been a week and nothing, he put a "kill trap" in front of their hole. If any squirrel went in or out, SNAP! It looked something like a mini bear trap. The squirrel man said I might see a squirrel "hangin' up there." I thought "oh great that sounds lovely."
So this morning I go down to the garage to put in a load of laundry and success! The kill trap snapped the little booger! It's really kind of morbid, but I was almost happy to see the dead squirrel hanging up there. I called the squirrel man and he came this afternoon to get the squirrel and also said that one of the live traps he left up there caught a little squirrel too. Since I could still hear movement in the wall this morning he reset the kill trap and went on his way. We are finally beginning to get rid of our little squirrel problem. Phew!


Saturday, December 5, 2009


It snowed last night here in Alabama! We got a pretty good dusting too, enough to last well into this morning. Steve and I went out in it last night since it was his first time seeing real snow fall from the sky. Being from CA about the only "snow" we see "fall" is the stuff from the snow machine at the ski resort. And even that is really more like ice chips... Anywho I took some pictures and braved the snowy yard to take a picture of our house this morning. I hadn't taken any pictures of the house yet so I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to take some while it's all dusty white! I also finally got around to uploading the photos of our couch, and the Christmas decorations that I made! That's what I've been up to this week instead of blogging. Sorry. :-(
Steve calls these the "balls of jolly." Lol. I used 6 inch styrofoam balls and silk pointsettias and cut the stems off and glued them on with hot glue. Then I glued the leaves from the pointsettias in the empty spaces between the flowers and strung them all together with pretty ribbon!
I bought this plain wreath and glued Christmas pretties all over it. It's hanging on the front door but on the inside of the house because if I hang it on the outside our storm door smashes it and won't close. :-(
Here is our new couch and coffee table! Love it!

Snow Pansies!

Oh mushyyyy eeeeew!
Really cold...
The trees behind our house all covered in snow!

The berry bush next to our house.

Our little house all covered in snow! It looks charming! ;-)

Steve and I are going to go find a Christmas tree today! Happy weekend everyone!
<3 Hilabee

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Enjoying the new couch.

I'm sitting on our new couch! It's beautiful! It was finally delivered at about 9 pm last night. We got the delivery drivers' VERY VERY last stop of the night. I never even knew furniture could be delivered at that hour! We sat down on it to watch a movie and I promptly fell asleep on it. What better way to break in a new couch?!?!
(I have pictures but I am being too tired/lazy to post, sorry. Better luck tomorrow.)

The squirrels have infiltrated my dreams. All the scratching and noise-making caused me to have a dream that the squirrel escaped our board-and-box "wall" and was trying to attack me. Steve and I have moved our bed into the guest room (AKA the "box room" as it is currently filled with boxes to unpack). The exterminator who specializes in unusual pest problems comes Monday. Thank GOODNESS!
Bed time now, just found out tonight that I probably have to get up with Steve in the morning to go check in at his office since I'm his "family." Hehehe.
Goodnight and I'll let you know how it goes!
<3 Hilabee

Saturday, November 28, 2009


I hope everyone had a delicious, thankful, and pleasant Thanksgiving!
Steve and I are getting settled into our place! We found a nice house with 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, all hardwood floors, fresh paint, and a garage that fits both of our vehicles. We moved in on Thursday, November 19, so we've been here just over a week now. So far things have been coming together nicely. We had to get just about everything that anyone would need to furnish a home and was just starting out. We literally had Steve's TV, my bed, our clothes, and minimal kitchen "furnishings," (I guess you would call them...). So needless to say we had a bit of shopping to do. Woe is me. Hehehe.
We've since purchased a washer and dryer, a dining room table and chairs, a dresser, a TV stand, a desk, and we are waiting for our new couch to be delivered today!

Here is Steve admiring our new "espresso" counter-height table and chairs. My favorite part about our table is that the leaf to expand it is stored under the table top and comes out butterfly-style when you need it! How cool is that?

Here is the first meal that we ate at our new table. I made tilapia, rice, and butter beans.

Steve and I had read about butter beans before we moved to Alabama. We found some at the grocery store and wondered what all the hoop-lah was about.

Me, about to try butter beans for the first time. Are they any good?

Yes, they are!

They are an earthy-tasting bean with a very potato-like texture on the inside. The inside is even white like potatoes, like butter beans were actually potatoes in disguise. Or something. And, (amazingly!) they taste fantastic with butter on them.

Our table was delivered the day before Thanksgiving, and thank goodness because I decided 2 days before thanksgiving that "darn it, I want Thanksgiving dinner." So yes, I cooked a full-blown all-out Thanksgiving dinner for Steve and I that probably could have fed a family of at least 8. But it turned out well. And we still have about a half ton of leftovers to eat. I made my mom's cranberry relish, a pecan pie, a 12 lb turkey, a box of stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, veggies, rolls, and gravy! Yum yum. I was going to make a pumpkin pie too but ended up buying a pre-made one due to the "shortage" of canned pumpkin this year. :-(

Here is what our Thanksgiving spread looked like. Lovely on our new table!

Here's is my turkey! It was yum-yummy. :-)

So I'm sure, at this point you're wondering, so what does all this have to do with pesky woodland creatures? Well I'll tell you. Come to find out, it's nesting season for flying squirrels, and around this time of year many people have problems with them invading their attic. Oh yes, we definetly have squirrels, but they aren't in the attic. They decided to chew a hole in the side of the house and are now living in the wall in our bedroom RIGHT next to the head of our bed. SQUIRRELS ARE NOT QUIET! And become particularly ACTIVE at DAWN. We notified our landlord who had humane traps set out a few days ago, but the squirrels have proved to be smarter than we thought. :-(

Steve and I were listening to the chewing and scratching at dawn this morning, making sure to give the squirrels a few good bumps on our bedroom wall as a thanks for waking us up at dawn again. And then, Steve was listening to the wall and said "I think it's right here. And when he touched the wall, it broke! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! The squirrels had not only been chewing on the framework inside the wall, but also on the wall it self. To make matters more interesting, the squirrel was right inside the hole!!! So at dawn this morning, Steve and I are stumbling around the house in the half-darkness looking for something to put in front on the hole until we could call our landlord to have something done about it. "Put this cardboard and some packing tape!" "No the tape will take the paint off the wall." "There's a HOLE in the wall!"

There is now a board and a heavy box in front of the hole, because a squirrel has already stuck a nose, a bushy tail, and one teeny tiny paw through the hole into our bedroom. (We're convinced it's a squirrel-monster and it's trying to get us!!)

SEEEEE?!?!? Squirrel-monster!

I checked on the hole earlier and they (we think there are 2, actually) are having a grand old time making the hole in our wall bigger. It's all very interesting, LOL.
I shall continue to provide breaking coverage on this squirrel story as it develops.
<3 Hilabee

Saturday, November 14, 2009

We made it!

Hooray! We made it into Birmingham last night. We checked into a temporary living facility where they charge by the week instead of by the night like a hotel. It's a quaint little studio with a bed and a kitchenette and a bathroom, enough to get us though until we find a place to live. We searched online for the better part of the day today for houses to rent, and came across a few that looked promising. There are definitely some cute houses out here!
The remainder of our drive here was uneventful, by the last day I was so tired of driving I could hardly see straight. 4 days of driving 10 hours really wears on you. Alabama is definitely alot different than California. I think the food is the main thing, there is tons of butter and grease and frying used in alot (scratch that, ALL) of the food out here, and my stomach is just not used to it. I can't wait until we get into our home so I can start cooking again.
On another note, there are tons of beautiful trees out here, and they are everywhere!
Once we got into the eastern-most area of Texas there started to be less and less desert and more and more forest. There are also alot of rivers and lakes in the area, and there's this really clean and fresh feeling in the air. :-)
After Odessa, TX we stayed in a little town called Minden in Louisiana. Yesterday, our last day of driving, we left Minden and drove over the Mississippi river and through Mississipi. (I snapped a picture as I drove over the Missisippi, see my Facebook!)Once we crossed into Alabama it was only another 3 hours or so into Birmingham.
I saw a dead armadillo on the side of the road yesterday. Interesting looking little creature. I had no idea they existed out here!
I'm going to go relax with my hubby now, we've got a date with some wine and a goofy movie!
Ttyl y'all,
Hilabee ;-)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Hello again! Steve and I stopped to stay tonite in Odessa, TX. We made it over 500 miles again today. So far the trip is easy going. We've been blessed with beautiful weather both days. There are alot of oil pumps out here and they are right next to the highway. They have a smell unlike anything I've ever smelled before- it's like a cross between something burning and an earthy yet chemical smell. After a while it was starting to make my nose burn, like when you clean the bathroom and use to much bleach. Lol. I also saw a large male deer (buck) grazing about 5 feet off the side of the road today, which was odd because it was in broad daylight. My dad said it's mating season for deer roghtnow and it's got them roaming and acting strangely. Anywho, off to bed now, good nite!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hello from AZ!

Helllo! Steve and I left CA this morning for Alabama, and we made it to Benson, AZ tonight. We drove a total of about 9 hours today and averaged about 60 mph. Benson is about 35 miles east of Tuscon. We drove past Picacho Peak and Tombstone already and I wanted to stop both places! Anyway, we're going to have dinner at Denny's now and then get some rest.
Until tomorrow,

Monday, November 9, 2009

Packing & Moving, Moving & Packing

Hello there! As most of you know already, Steve and I were married in a small, quick, civil ceremony on Friday November 6. We had only close family there and we all celebrated with a sushi lunch afterward. Steve and I spent the weekend at the Hilton as a "mini honeymoon" before we got back to reality and got down to business on moving. When we got home on Sunday I immediately started packing again and Steve went down to see about getting a truck. He came back with out a truck due to a problem with the bank, but he went back down there this morning after talking with the bank and got one without a problem. He then went to his storage and got all of his belongings out of it and should be on his way over with everything so we can get my things loaded into it. I'm going to try my darndest to post daily while we're on the road so everyone can stay in the loop!
Ttyl y'all!
<3 Hilabee

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Well Well Well

Oh my! It's been a week since my last post! Well Where do I start...
Tuesday was my last day at work. My boss was very kind and wrote a letter of recommendation for me to give to prospective employers. :-)
Wednesday I did a bunch of running around, and my Grandma is visiting family in San Diego so I met her down there and stayed the night.
On Thursday morning we got up early and went down to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego for Steve's graduation from Recruiters' Course. Hooray it's over! And he looked handsome in his dress blues. :-) We all went out to lunch afterwards at Fillippi's and had some delicious hot-from-the-oven pizza! Yumm yumm!
Steve and I then had some running around to do but over the course of Thursday afternoon and Friday we:
Took my engagement ring in to be sized and repaired (one of the prongs was bent) and bought wedding bands.
Purchased a whole bunch of ribbons, buttons, and the like for Steve's uniforms that he'll need when we go to Alabama.
Went to his bank to add me to his account (no job=no income for me!)
Picked up our marriage license.
Reserved the hotel rooms where our parents will be staying the night before we get married.
Packed for our trip to Wisconsin.
And had a birthday party for me/going away party for us on Saturday!
Thank you to everyone who came to the party and to everyone who sent their happy birthday wishes! It was a happy birthday indeed!
We're off to Wisconsin for a week starting tomorrow. I'll try and keep posting!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are???

I took my 10 year old sister to see the new movie Where the Wild Things Are tonight. It was a favorite book of mine when I was kid and my sister has read the book as well. Except the movie wasn't at all what I expected. It was just so strange. I don't remember the book well enough to remember the exact story line, but I remembered enough to recognize the characters. It was just so unsettled in their little monster community. And when things went wrong they acted irrationally and child-like. One monster was even really violent throwing things and punching walls. It made me think: what kind of lesson is this for kids who go to see the movie? And then when the movie was over, I felt like there wasn't really a resolution to the problem. It was all just really bizarre. I thought kids movies are supposed to be happy?
My movie rating: Rent It.
Did anyone else think the same thing about this movie? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.
<3 Hilabee


My mom and I just finished up the yard sale. We did ok. Many people came by and we got rid of most of the big stuff. We had quite a bit of stuff left over, but we just wanted to get it out of the house and it's all been taken to Goodwill. We are both drained of energy though. It's about 94 today. Blahhhh.
Snack and nap time yippee!
<3 Hilabee

Friday, October 16, 2009

Yard Sale Weekend!

Hooray! It's always feels so cleansing getting rid of stuff you haven't used in months. I'll be hauling about 5 boxes of stuff up to my mom's house so we can have a big yard sale and get rid of some extra stuff so A) my parents' garage is not so full (I still have alot of stuff in there, but I'm getting rid of the majority of it!), and B) so I don't have to move stuff I don't need across the country. I'll be putting out some great stuff:
Calphalon toaster oven from college
10 galllon aquarium with lighted hood & some set up
25 gallon reptarium with locking screened lid and set up for a turtle
Hamster habitat
Costume jewelry
A few small lamps
A bed-in-a-bag (Full)
2 rugs
2 sheet sets (Full)
Laptop bag
A blanket
*Possibly* my snow board. I'm not sure that I want to part with it. :-(
Plus more of my family's stuff!
Woooo I cant wait to get up SUPER early hahaha!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

So much to do, So little time

I'm beginning to feel the pressure of all our upcoming events. I feel like I have so many things to take care of, and not enough time to do them in. But I guess that's life sometimes. I know in the end it's all going to be worth the effort, I just cant wait for that time to come!

Heather and Brock's photographer, Melissa Palomo, posted a blog entry with pictures from their wedding so check it out if you would like to see some of their professional photos! They are simply beautiful! A couple just made my breath catch and I had to remember to exhale... :-)
Melissa Palomo:

Tonight's entry is short but sweet, I need sleep!

<3 Busy-as-a-Hilabee

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Congratulations to Heather and Brock!

Oh man it's been almost a week since my last post?!?! Sorry for the slacking, I'll try to keep up better. :-(
Here's some pictures from Heather and Brock's wedding on October 10th! Congratulations you guys on your marriage and your wonderful wedding!

Me and my honey! <3>

Heather's last night as a free woman! Leah and Larry opened their cabin to the bridal party for the weekend. Thank you thank you thank you!

Let me just say, this has to be one of the most beautiful pictures ever taken! Heather looks so happy, not to mention the *perfect* lighting makes her look like an angel!

Saying their "I do's," they had a sand ceremony and exchanged rings in a short but sweet ceremony overlooking Lake Arrowhead.

Heather's bridal party from left to right: Jenny, Me, Brock's younger sister Brenna, Jax, Leah, Jr. bridesmaid Maddie, and Matron of Honor Heather's older sister Melissa, sort of cut off... sorry. :-(

Brock's guys from left to right: Best Man Steven, Heather's brother Adam, Brock's brothers Bram, Brian, and Beau, and Ameer.


Adam and Leah.

Jax and Bram.

Me and Beau.

Jenny and Ameer.


Jenny took over as bartender, the bartender was only hired for a couple hours.

Cutting the cake... they were very nice. No cake smashing on the face, just a little finger of frosting on the nose.

Heather and Jenny.

Yup we done it. Converse under our dresses at the reception! And thank goodness! SOOOOO much more comfortable!

Jenny and her hubby Nate. Expecting baby #1!

Joelle caught the bouquet!

Blowing kisses!


Oh man who had to go and ruin this perfectly good picture of Jenny?!?! I'll never tell... ;-)
Me and Jenny. :-)
I hope you all enjoyed the photos. Thank you Jenny for these pictures, as I was too lame to remember to bring my own camera to the occasion. Doh!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

An Update

Hello everyone!
I thought I'd take the time today to give everyone more updated information about me and Steve: about our engagement as well as our upcoming move to Alabam-y!

The Move:
Steve and I will be moving together to Alabama probably sometime mid-week during the second week of November (the week of Veteran's Day). We wanted to allow ourselves plenty of time to get into a place and get settled before he has to report for his first day as a Marine Corps Recruiter on November 30th. We are going to need to buy some furniture and get all of our stuff unpacked! I'm sad to be leaving so soon, but I'm also very excited for us to be starting a life together. I couldn't be happier. :-)

The Engagement:
Steve and I will be having a Justice of the Peace wedding before we move to Alabama. We are also planning to have a real wedding back in California in a year or so (perhaps on our anniversary) for everyone to celebrate with us.

Our decision for me to leave with him now is based on a few reasons and our options (or lack of, I guess) for our wedding.
1. We both agreed that we want to come back to California to have our wedding. While we discussed the option of me staying here for a few extra months to plan the wedding, he won't have an opportunity to take leave from recruiting any time in the next few months to come back to CA and go on a honeymoon. When it comes down to it, I just didn't want to be away from Steve for any extended period of time staying behind to plan the wedding.

2. It would have been near impossible, not to mention stressful, to throw together a wedding in such a short amount of time. I don't want to have a wedding that seems "thrown together" and would rather take the time to plan it exactly how we would like it. Now I realize it's going to be difficult to plan a wedding from across the country, but we've discussed choosing a venue before we move, and I have already had several offers for help with planning out here in CA.

In order to give us plenty of time to prepare for our move, I have already turned in my notice at my job, and my last day there will be OCtober 20th. Steve's graduation from recruiter's course is on the 22nd, and then we'll be flying out to visit my family in Wisconsin for a week on October 26th. After that it will be pack, get married, move! Yippee!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bachelorette Par-T for Heather

Hello all! Sorry for the lack of posts over the weekend, it was full to the brim! I went to Heather's bachelorette party over the weekend! We had a great time, and it was also Heather's birthday so it was double the fun. Jackie made us all sashes and used paint to write on them with pink and black and even designed pink cheetah hearts on them (Heather's favorite)! Here are of few of the most non-incriminating photos ;-)...


Here are our lovely sashes! Unfortunately most of them didn't make it to the end of the night.


Keeping Heather complany while she finished gettin ready. Tee Hee!


Us girls! "It's her birthday AND her bachelorette party!!!!"


Jax and I testing our short do's shake-ability. Yes, I'm aware that I appear to be smelling my armpit. Just in case you were curious, it was flowery-fresh. :-)


Busted! Haha these old-style cops were standing in front of the paddy wagon and happened to have a ball-and-chain!


Dinner at Hard Rock.


These stunna shades belonged to a guy in the group of Marines at the table next to us in the karaoke bar. They made the rounds.



Well that's it for today, I'm beat. I'll post again tomorrow!
<3 Hilabee