Thursday, December 17, 2009

Another Interview!

So sometimes when it rains, it pours! I had my interview on Tuesday and it went well. The office was really nice and the doctor was a decent guy. It is only 3 days a week (M-W)...this could be good and bad. Good = I would have lots of free time on Thursdays and Fridays. Bad = It is only 24 hours a week (8am to 5 pm) and therefore I would make less money than I did in PA.

I had a brunch yesterday with the Navy wives. It was nice to get to meet a bunch of new people. Afterwards, I got a call from another office and they wanted to have me come in for an interview. I went today...and it is a FABULOUS office! I really like them. I would be working Monday thru Thursday from 8am to 5 pm. This is my dream schedule...I will be able to be home early to have dinner and then take the pups for a walk! So I go on Tuesday for a working interview...that is a good sign that they like me. Hopefully it will all go well and I will have a new job!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I have an interview today! It is with a periodontist office. I have never really worked for a specialist before. The only time I have ever really been in one was during school. That was a long time ago!

So wish me luck...although I am trying to be optimistic, the job market is not great around here. And the fact that I don't have my NC xray certification is not in my favor. Oh well...think positive right?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I survived!

I got to experience my first command function (the 2nd Dental Battalion Christmas Party) and my first Camp Lejeune Officer Wives Club function (the Christmas Tour of Homes). I was a bit nervous for both...

The command party was actually kind of fun. Since we really don't know that many people yet, we sat with Lindsey and a couple of other people that work with Lindsey at Headquarters. The food was pretty good and then it was time for games and giveaways! There was musical chairs, decorate your human Christmas tree, and a scavenger hunt. The enlisted were having a great time with all the games and won every single one. During musical chairs, the CO's wife ended up sitting on the Senior Chiefs was hysterical! The CO came over to her and picked her up and carried her off to their table. Very cute! They had some dancing as well but by that time we were pretty tired and since it was on Thursday...BJ had FMF (Fleet Marine Force) training the next morning and needed to get to bed. Not a big deal! We were pretty much the last officers to leave...not sure if that was a bad thing or not. Meh.

On Friday I got to go to lunch with some new friends, Steph and Meg. They are both wonderful ladies and we had so much fun! Our "lunch date" turned into an entire afternoon...lunch and shopping! I think we could have hung out all night but Grey (Meg's little boy) was not having much fun towards the end. He was ready to go home and get some dinner! Poor little one...the three ladies wore him out.

Saturday, BJ and I got some decorating done in our new house. Our guest bath has lavender walls...our aqua/brown shower curtain was just not working in there. So we got a new shower curtain and a couple of accessories that go much better with the walls! So much easier than painting! And our stuff was over 3 years old...time for new!

After that adventure, I had to get ready for my first Camp Lejeune OWC event...the Tour of Homes. I got there on-time (yay for me!) and was chatting with a wonderful woman named Ellen. Her husband is a Major and she is from England. She went to get a drink before the tour started and they had us get into our groups. I stood next to this lovely blond...I introduced myself and she introduced herself...turns out she is the wife of BJ's CO. She was so excited that we were in the same group. They had us carpool and when I asked if I could ride with someone (BJ had dropped me off), she grabbed my arm and said "you can ride with us". not sure if I should but okay. As we were walking to the car, she pulled me close to her and said "we're riding with a General tonight". My mouth just dropped...I was pretty sure that this was not a good idea. Junior officer wife with CO's wife and General and his wife...usually frowned upon. But they insisted. Turns out the General is not just any old General...he is the Brigadier General of the 2nd MLG...basically BJ's CO's CO. Oiy!

In the end I had a lovely time with them and they were all very gracious. The homes we toured (there were 6 of them) were absolutely beautiful...if only I had the time, money and patience to decorate like that! I wished I had brought my camera but it would have been in poor taste to take pictures anyway. Trust me though...gorgeous! So after all the touring, BJ met me back at the O'club and we had a couple of drinks with our little tour group. We had a great time talking with the General and his wife and the others that were seated around us. Let's all say a small prayer that I did not step on any toes or break any etiquette rules during the evening...if I did I am sure that I will be the talk of the OWC!

So today was a lazy day.....we like those! BJ is enjoying watching his Eagles. They are currently ahead of the Giants...Go Eagles! And he was oh so happy that Dallas was beaten by the Chargers...if Philly can pull it off tonight they will hold first place in the NFC East. That will make for a happy hubby!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A day of exploring!

We took some time to explore today. Lindsey (our temporary houseguest) needed to go look at a couple of houses. So we went for the drive and to offer our opinions about the two homes. Our first stop was Snead's Ferry. The house was nice. It took awhile to get out there...glad we did not get a house out there. I need the civilization!

From there we drove through the back gate to the base. We decided to stop off and check out the LCAC. It is an amphybious assault ship. Lindsey and BJ got to ride on one Friday and the ships were going to be at the beach all weekend moving troops off the main ships and back to Lejeune. There was also supposed to be some unloading and loading of tanks...we thought it would be cool to see this. So we got to Onslow Beach and parked the car. Then we had to walk up to the secure area. A few minutes of the LCAC was coming towards the beach. We got to see one land(?)! The OIC came by and remembered Lindsey and BJ from Friday...he ended up letting us take a tour. It was so cool! Here is a picture of me and BJ standing on the loading ramp...

We took a little tour of the Onslow Beach is going to be so much fun in the summer! You should all come down and visit little cabins that you can rent out for the week, lots of beach space and tons of shells to collect.

So we then went over to Swansboro and looked at another house that Lindsey is interested in. It was a fun day and BJ and got to discover what we would like in a house if/when we ever buy.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Finally some pictures of the new house!

So it has been 11 days since we moved to North Carolina. On our first full day here, our household goods (aka our junk/stuff/shit!) arrived. This was a great thing since it meant that we did not have to be without things for very long. We chose to just have a delivery and not have them unpack us. I really wanted to wash/clean things as they got unpacked. Not really a big deal since we have a two car garage to stash all the boxes until they come to pick them up...which happens tomorrow! The downside was trying to find things in boxes that were not marked...such as our computer tower. Kind of important for regaining internet access. BJ had to have unpacked 10 boxes before finding the tower...that makes for a huge mess in the office! It is pretty much the only room left to be organized.

Our drive down was good. It took 9 hours and only one stop which was a combined puppy pitstop, BJ and Susanne pitstop, gas up and food. We have gotten smarter about our road trips! (Our first trip to South Carolina in 2008 we made lots of stops for each little thing.) We arrived at the house around 5:00pm (1700 for all you military friends and family!) and had a slight moment of panic. There was no electricity on! Thank goodness my wonderful husband is so smart...he checked the fuse box! Sure enough the main switch had been flipped off...easy fix. We already new that we had no water until Monday...long off to Wal-Mart to get bottled water and survival food. It was an experience!

BJ had to check into his command on Tuesday...found out this is a long process. He has a whole page of things/places he needs to get done/go to. Not really an issue except that it means he has to do a lot of running around on base. That means he has to have the car and leaves me stuck at home without one. As many of you know, I was in a car accident and the car was totalled. We are working on getting me a car but for now we have to share! Thanksgiving liberty (time off for holidays) started on Wednesday at 7:00am. We had Thanksgiving dinner at the Officer Club with BJ's classmate from ODS, Lindsey. The food was good and it was nice to just go eat and talk and not have to worry about cooking and cleaning!

The rest of the weekend, we spent most of our time unpacking boxes. That means we are all unpacked and now like I said earlier...just the office to organize and our bathroom needs some stuff put away. We did drive to Wilmington on Saturday afternoon...just to start spreading our wings and venturing out of our immediate area. It was a nice few hours and a great was a beautiful day. We are planning to go back soon (it is only about an hour away) and tour the USS North Carolina and walk the waterfront.

So here are some pictures.....

Our house from the street

The new washer and dryer...yay!

dining room

family room...and a start of the Christmas decor...that's another post coming soon!
So this is just a start of the pics...I will be taking more as we get rooms done and presentable for pictures.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Quick update...

Just letting everyone know that we are moved down to NC and getting settled into the house. I plan to take some pictures tomorrow and get them uploaded so that you all can see it. but for now just this quick note.....

Monday, October 26, 2009

We have a new house!

It's offical...we got our house down in North Carolina. I will attach the link to the listing but I am not sure how long that will be active.

But it is a great house and we are so happy that we got it! Lots of room for visitors!

Friday, October 23, 2009

This is what a totaled car looks like...

I knew the moment of the impact that my car was totaled. It was one of the first thoughts that went through my head. I guess you can call it one of those freaky "you just know" things. I thought I would share some of the pictures I took after the accident...

This is (of course) the front corner of my car. The point of impact.

The airbag that protected me from far worse injuries.

This is the driver's side. That is almost an inch gap that is not supposed to be there. This indicates that the frame is most likely bent. The picture below is the passenger side...notice there is virtually no space at all between the fender and the door. All this = not good!

I am going to miss this car. It was the first "major" purchase that BJ and I made in our marriage. We had planned to pay off both our vehicles and drive them for many years so that we could save the money we normally spend on car payments...guess it might be awhile before we do that.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

First and foremost....

I am okay.

Tuesday night I was in a car accident. The car is pretty banged up but I am perfectly fine minus a bit of soreness. I am still waiting to find out if my car can be repaired or if has to totaled. Should get that info later today...

Because of the accident, I was able to talk to BJ. I initially called LtJG Rodriguez (his recruiter) and he was able to contact a friend of his that is stationed at Newport and works with the ODS. BJ was able to call me back within 15 minutes! Talk about efficiency! It was a quick call and we really talked about the accident and the car. We made arrangements for BJ to get a POA (power of attorney) so that I can get a new car if need be. We have not made that decision fully yet but figured better to be prepared. I also got an email address for him while he is at ODS. (If anyone wants that just let me know.) I fully expected that the phone call would be last until next weekend.

At 10 pm last night, BJ called me again. He said his class lead officer had gotten him permission to call me and see how I was doing. We got to talk for about 15-20 minutes. And this phone call was more about how I was doing and I got to talk to him about what he has been doing. He said that Tuesday morning the drill instructors woke everyone up at 3:30 am and had them doing PT in the hallways. He said he was beat tired from the long day. Other than being tired, he is doing great. He passed the swim test yesterday...first time. This means he won't have to take it again and will probably even "tutor" those that are struggling with it. The class takes their first PRT (physical readiness test) today...he is hoping to do well.

Like I said he is doing well and is mainly just tired....he was never a morning person! I guess he might be now.

Monday, October 19, 2009

He's okay!

Got a call from BJ yesterday in the late afternoon. He made it to Rhode Island and got all checked in. His roommate got there a bit after him. His name is Ricardo Tubbs...although I thought BJ said his name was "Joe Scott". I had asked him how everything was going and he said "My roommate just got here." I heard it as "My roommate, Joe Scott, is here." So when asked while I was on the phone what his roommate's name was I said Joe Scott. BJ says to me on the other end of the phone..."Who is Joe Scott?" I said "your roommate" and he replied back "uh, roommate's name is Ricardo Tubbs." So from now on...his roommate will be know as Joe Scott. :)

So anyhow, he arrived safely and was going to get some dinner with Joe Scott before they officially began ODS at 8 pm last night. He said today would be an admin day and that he would be able to call me at some point. He sounded very excited to get the journey started and even gave me his address. If anyone wants that...just e-mail me, facebook message, or call and I will give it to you!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

BJ is gone... ODS!

I know it has been FOREVER since I posted. We have been very busy over the last 6 weeks or so getting ready for this day. It is now official...we are a Navy family!

BJ got commissioned as a Lieutenant in mid September and it has been non-stop getting everything done before he left and preparing for our move to Camp LeJeune, NC. We have a tentative house...just waiting for final approval and a tentative move date. BJ graduates from ODS on November 20 and we will be leaving for NC on the 22nd...right before Thanksgiving! I still have a ton to do before going to Rhode Island for his graduation and when the movers come to pack us up. Yay for me...I get to that all on my own! (note the sarcasm...)

Here a few pictures from his commissioning....

BJ taking his oath

Susanne pinning BJ's rank on him for the first time it will be to his uniform!

I promise...I keep this blog more updated. I probably won't hear much from BJ in the first couple of weeks but after that I should get a phone call every couple of nights. And if anyone feels like distracting me during this time...I have all the time in the world!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

So what do you think of North Carolina?

Yep that's right...we are going to North Carolina. Camp LeJeune to be exact. It is near the beach for all you beach lovers and we are hoping to get a house with at least 3 bedrooms (maybe 4!) so we will have lots of room for guests! Make your reservations now for Chez Volinski!

So here is the latest scoop to go along with this little announcement....

We got the official word about two weeks ago that BJ was fully approved to get commissioned into the Navy. That began the whole process of getting his comdocs (commissioning documents) together as well as starting on getting his orders all set.These two things were happening simultaneously but in separate locations. The detailer (the person who puts the orders together) called BJ and gave him our options.

Option 1.) A base in Washington state (not sure which one) for a year and then 2 years at Okinawa, Japan; 29 Palms, California or Yuma, Arizona. These would all be small bases and BJ's short-term goal with his Navy career is to get into a post-grad program at Bethesda Naval Hospital. In order to get into this program, you have to have letters of recommendations from 4 senior dental officers. It would be very difficult to obtain these if we were at small bases.

Option 2.) Camp LeJeune, NC for 3 years. LeJeune is a huge base. They have 79 dentists spread out through the dental clinics on base. This would make it very easy for BJ to network and obtain the needed letters of recommendation to get into the program.

So it was a hard choice to make but we had to put more weight on his career and less on the opportunity to live near my family. We are used to traveling to see my family and we will still do that at least once a year. Our time here in Pennsylvania is going to go by very quickly, we will be moving to North Carolina by the end of November...right around Thanksgiving! So come visit us before we move and of course afterwards!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pittston Tomato Festival

Every year in Pittston, PA (the town BJ works in) has a festival to celebrate tomatoes. The town has a high population of Italian-Americans and prides itself in that fact. BJ and I joke that it is a requirement that you be Italian to live in Pittston. Or at least faux-Italian! Pretty sure that they check your family tree to make sure!

So we have the Pittston Tomato Festival pretty much every year that I have lived year...with maybe the exception of one. It is usually a good time filled with lots of food and bumping into people we know...just like every other festival/bazaar in NEPA! But the one thing that this festival has that the others do not...the tomato fight!

We have never attended this part of the event. I guess we either had other stuff going on or did not really care to go. This year we went. I was encouraged by Katharyn that "we had to check this out" and since she and her husband and his boys were going...BJ and I tagged along. We started with the parade. We sat at the end of it so that we were close to Cooper's (the site of the fight) and only watched about a 1/3 of it. Then we made our way over to Cooper's and got a table in the cabana bar. We ordered some great food and waited for the fight to start. Once it started it was one of the craziest things I have seen! Mayhem and tomatoes flying everywhere. Neil's boys got to throw some tomatoes too and they were so thrilled to get to participate! Some pictures from the day!

us waiting for the fight to start

boxes of tomatoes waiting to thrown

participants in the designated area...waiting to start

notice the speedo guy!

the fight underway...CRAZY!!!!

the aftermath

the clean-up...front end loader and firehoses!

That, folks, was 5000 lbs of rotten tomatoes...don't anybody eat the marinara sauce today in Pittston!

Friday, August 7, 2009


My Aunt Michelle and Uncle Patrick stopped by our house last night on their way to Tennessee. They stayed with us for the night and we got to spend some time catching up with them. It has been 20 years since I have seen either of them! It is crazy to me that it had been that long...and they live in Connecticut! Literally 4 hours from us!

BJ made them his famous Chicken Francais and I made (yes I did!) a cake for dessert. In all the catching up we forgot to take pictures last night, so we took some this morning after breakfast. So I have only this one picture and you must excuse the fact that I am in my PJ's and not looking my most glamorous!

Aunt Michelle, Me, Uncle Patrick

They took a few more shots so hopefully when they get home from their vacation I will get those as well! She looks so much like my fact the first picture BJ ever saw of her he thought it was Grandma Esther! We are hoping to get to see them again before we move out of the area. And they are fairly close to Newport, Rhode Island, where BJ will be going for ODS.

Thanks for visiting guys and we loved having you stay with us! Maybe next time we will get a chance to show you around the area!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I <3 these shoes!!!!

I just got these shoes today. After a week of thinking about them....and obsessing about them. (I only mentioned them to BJ about 1 million times!) He got them for me as my anniversary gift. I LOVE THEM!!!!! Here is a picture of them.....

So they are Calvin Klein's and I got them at DSW. So of you may have heard me obsessing about them during this past week. They are so cute on and I think they will look really good with a maxi dress I got in South Carolina while we were on vacation! Oh and even though they have a high heel...super comfy to walk in!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Finally...a weekend with no big plans!

BJ and I have had a very busy summer so far. And the way it's going to continue to be busy. As it stands right now, every weekend in August has plans except one! Just give me some time and I am sure that I can fill that up! This past weekend was one of the rare ones this summer where we had no real plans and just kind of did whatever.

Friday we went to the Holy Cross at Buttonwood bazaar. Now for those that have no clue as to what this is the short version. Holy Cross is the church that BJ's grandmother (his dad's mom) attended before she died. Every year they have this big bazaar as a fundraiser. The church puts up a big tent and they have bands that play, dollar wheels, instant bingo tickets and games for the kids to play. But the more important thing is the FOOD! BJ's grandmother was one of the pierogi makers for many years and BJ and his family would always go to the bazaar to meet up with his cousins and pig out on all the fantastic bazaar food....pierogis, potato pancakes, haluski, wimpies (sloppy joes to us normal folks!) and funnel cake. Now that we are older this list also includes beer! :-) So the two of us went and hung out at the bazaar and ate and drank a little but it was pouring rain...this equals not so much fun. We left and headed to Rodano's to meet up with Kristen and the Brians. Who do we run into there? Cousin Diane, her fiance Paul and her three kids, Deanna, Mikey, and Mikayla (hope I spelled that right?)! It was nice to just hang out and catch up!

Saturday, we had a laid back day...dogs to the dogpark in the morning, hair appointment for me in the afternoon, bike ride after that and the relaxed for a bit until we went to Keri and Geol's for a get together. On Sunday, we slept in and then I went and had lunch with my friend Sandi. Came home and chilled out for awhle then we went to dinner at Texas Roadhouse followed by the bazaar again but with Kristen. This time we ran into BJ's Aunt Bev and Uncle Tom and his cousin Tammy and her fiance Gary and awhile later Tammy's two boys, Austin and Dawson. Again so much fun to catch up with them!

So now it begins another week...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I am an aunt (again!)

My brother James and his wife Jessica had their little girl today! It is their first child and they are very excited that she is finally here. BJ and I are, of course shamelessly, sharing the news as "the arrival of our god-daughter"...even though we had very little to do with any of it. Would it be in poor taste to send out announcements? Just kidding!

James sent me one picture so far of Olivia June. It was a text message picture so the quality is not the greatest but I am going to share anyways.

How precious is she???? My mom says she looks like James as a baby...I don't really remember what he looked like but I definitely see my brother in there and she does look a little bit like Jessica as well. My favorite describtion of how/who she looks like comes from my wonderful husband...."she looks like a baby, a squishy baby, a fresh squishy baby." Too funny! So I will let you decide here is a pic of James and Jessica from our wedding....who do you think she looks like?

Congrats to James, Jessica and baby Olivia! We can;t wait to come and visit you all! And just so it is on record....when we do come and visit, I get to hold her the WHOLE time! :-)

Monday, July 13, 2009

A video of the dogs at the beach

While we were in South Carolina, we took Tully and Kona along with Pugua and Koa (Billy and Christine's dogs) down to the boat launch area on the base. Tully was in all his glory...running like a crazy dog around the beach. Kona was her usual curious self...she was very interested in the crabs that were crawling on the beach.

This is the first time I have really taken any video with our camera...enjoy!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

An official unofficial announcement

Most everyone knows this but I am putting it out there for any of you who may not have been informed yet. BJ's status with the Navy has been moved to "pre-select officer candidate". Basically we are waiting on all of his paperwork to be signed off and then he will be moved to a status of "officer select". It is at that point that things will begin to happen for his commissioning and we will be on the home-stretch.

I have been hesitate to post this because I don't want to put the bad juju on anything but like I said most of you know this and this whole announcement is not new news to you. Right now it is typical "hurry up and wait" military stuff. It seems like it is taking FOREVER!

On a bit of an update...we celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary on July 1. It was kind of weird because it was our first one that we both had to work that day. We ended up meeting for dinner at Pazzo's (an Italian restaurant in Plains) and had a great meal. Much better than last year! I felt like we were going on a date. Too funny! Then a couple of days later we left for our vacation in South Carolina. We drove down to Billy and Christine's (thanks to both of you for letting all of us stay with you!) and stayed this past week. We had a bunch of fun and way too much drinking...slushies at Wet Willie's were insane! BJ, Billy, brother Brian and boyfriend Brian went golfing while Christine, Kristen and myself had a girl's day of mani/pedi's and shopping. We made the long drive home on Saturday and it only took us 12 hours and 8 minutes (a personal best for us) with only 2 stops for gas, food, and potty break for the pups!

Here are some pics of our trip.....

waiting for the fireworks to start on Parris Island

the guys golf day

BJ, Billy, boyfriend Brian, brother Brian

Brian, Kristen, Billy and BJ at Wet Willie's enjoying an adult slushie

There was a lot of Wii playing in the evenings.

Plenty of chillaxin' on the beach...okay really it was the beach bar but close enough!

and some of us struck the model pose...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Jury Duty

I finished up my civic duty yesterday. After only 3 days. Phew!

To go back a little....I got a jury summons in the mail about a month ago (maybe a little long). I was so excited! I have always wanted to have jury duty. I was fascinated by the legal system that we have and I really wanted to be a part of it. I think (and still do) that it should be an honor to serve on a jury. You are holding the future of someone's life in your hands. You are the one who will make a thoughtful and careful decision about this person's life. It really is kind of mind-blowing. So, anywho, I was summoned and it happened to fall on a week that I was already on vacation from work but was planning to just stay home because BJ still had to work. It could not have been more perfect. So I sent my summons back and waited for the day to arrive.

I had to report on Monday June 8 at 8:30 am. Me and about 150 others. I got up that morning and got ready. I wore linen pants and a short sleeve light weight sweater. I figured it would be a bit chilly in the courthouse because they would have the A/C cranked up. It was pretty humid and warm (not really hot though) and just walking outside made me sweat...even though it was mostly overcast. I stopped and got 3 magazines and a book for some reading material. I had been advised by others that this would be a good idea. I arrived on time, went through security and then they took my Blackberry away from me. I was so bummed! I had hoped to be able to play games and check in on Facebook and IM my friends and family...all in case I got bored. Nope!

After I left security with my claim ticket to re-claim my phone at the end of the day, I walked around the corner and ran into about a dozen prisoners being led to the elevators. They were shackled and in jumpsuits...scared the daylights out of me. I had no desire to stand and wait for the elevator with them, so I took the stairs. Huge mistake! The A/C was not running and it was so stuffy in the courthouse. By the time I got to the jury room...I was dripping. Thank God I had brought a bottle of water and had tissues. So I signed in and the waiting began. They called the first pool of 40...I was not selected. I went back to reading. Then about 30 minutes later they called another 40...this time they called my name. So the 40 of us filed into a courtroom and were seated at our given number. We were asked questions as a group. Things like would we be more inclined to believe a law enforcement official just because of his/her job. Some stood, some did not. The lawyers in the case made notes. After about 45-60 minutes, the lawyers finished their selections and the seated jury was announced. I was not selected. So off to lunch I went.

When I came back from lunch, another pool of 40 was selected. Again I was selected. Our group went into the next courtroom and were seated again. The whole process of questions was asked again. This time I was seated next to a very opinionated guy who also happened to have the worst body odor and nasty cigarette smell. Remember it was hot in the A/C...and by this time it was 3:00 pm. The guy kept fanning himself with his number and blowing it towards me. I thought "if the heat does not make me pass out...this guy's stench just might!" So again after a long wait (this time about 1 1/2 hours) the lawyers had made their selections. The called the numbers and they called mine...I was now seated as a juror.

Since it was very warm in the courtroom and it was after 4:00 pm the judge recessed us until Tuesday morning at 8:30 am. Before he let us go, we were given the instructions not to discuss the case with anyone and to not watch any local channels. This is so much harder than it sounds! So the next morning I was back at the courthouse. This time I wore long shorts and a nice tank-style shirt. I was determined not to sweat! All 14 jurors (12 plus 2 alternates) assembled in our holding room. When the judge and lawyers were ready, we were escorted in. the trial started. I won't go into all the juicy details but the jist of it was that this was a case of insurance fraud and the defendants were a husband and wife in their 50-60's. Their home had been foreclosed and all their belongs were locked into that home. When they were finally able to retrieve their belongings...things were missing. They filed a claim with a list of items missing totalling $121,000. Yes that number is correct. The insurance company did not believe the claim and in turn filed charges of fraud and that is how we got there that day.

We heard testimony from the prosecution's witnesses and then the defense started. We had to break for the day and return on Wednesday at 8:30 again. On a brighter note...the A/C started to work on Tuesday afternoon! So we came back on Wednesday and the defense finished up their case and we heard closing arguments. After being given the instructions on the law from the judge, we headed into deliberations at about 12:45 pm. The judge provided us with lunch and after about 2 hours we needed some clarification of the law. I should mention that I was selected as the jury foreperson by my fellow jurors. This basically meant that I had to make sure we stayed on task and then had to forward notes to judge when we needed evidence or had questions. It also meant that I would have to read the verdict at the end. So we did have to back to the courtroom for a quick clarification of the law and then it was back to deliberating. We decided to take a secret ballot vote as to our opinion at that point. We were divided. We discussed everything more and then took another vote. This time we all agreed. We let the bailiff know that we had reached a verdict and we were than taken back to the courtroom. I handed the verdict document to the judge and he signed off on it and handed it back to me. he gave me instructions on how to read it and then I had to stand and read the verdict. I won't bore you with the whole reading but we did find them not guilty on all three charges each (there were three different charges for both the husband and the wife). After that we were led into the judges chambers and he came in shortly after. He told us that we had done a great job and had to come to stay conclusions as he did. There was a major piece of evidence and testimony that was not given. Apparently the prosecutor had this witness on Monday but the witness was not available on Tuesday, therefore he never testified. More than likely had this person testified, we would have had a different verdict. The judge referred to this as the prosecutor's fatal flaw in his case.

So then we were free to go! All in all I am so happy that I was able to serve this civic duty and hope that others will feel the same way when they are called to serve. Personally I think they should change to selection process slightly and let people volunteer to serve jury duty. It would make the whole process more tolerable. I think people would be less pissed off about having to do it if they could select the week they were available, instead of being told you have to do this THIS WEEK. Doubt they will ever listen to me but oh well...can't hurt to try!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Back from vacation...back to reality

Our vacation was great. We had absolutely the most gorgeous weather during our trip to Seattle. We got the chance to go to Mt. Rainier on Thursday. Nothing more I can say but...breath-taking. Here is a beautiful picture of "my mountain"....

This was the first trip (We have been out to Seattle 5 times before this one.) that BJ was able to see the mountain so clearly and so up close. Our last trip out in February 2008, it made a brief appearance but it was a bit hazy. We got a picture of it from the top of the parking garage at Bellevue Square but this time was amazing.

We went with both my brothers and my mom and Margie. It was a fun road trip and we all had a great time. We got to play in the snow, see waterfalls and even a few birds. We capped off the day with a stop for dinner at Red Robin...mmmmm burgers!

The rest of trip was spent with family. We had my aunt's funeral on Friday, a baby shower for my sister-in-law on Saturday after that we went to my uncle's to have "Celebrate Liz Day" and then on Sunday we had a cookout at my grandparent's house. It was so awesome to see pretty much everyone in my family. Even my great-aunt came up from California as well as my other great-aunt and great-uncle.

The cap-off of the weekend was that my brother and his wife asked BJ and me to be god-parents for their first child, Olivia. She is due to born in mid-July and we were beyond thrilled for them to ask us. So now another trip to Seattle will be planned! A few pictures of right after they asked us...

BJ, James, Jessica, Susanne

Susanne and Jessica

Baby Olivia June

My sister-in-law is a beautiful mom-to-be! She really is all belly and other than the yucky morning sickness...she is doing great. Although she was not happy with me predicting that Olivia would be born on July 20...her due date is July 15! Hehehehe!

So after a long 12 1/2 hours traveling back home (yes that is correct!), we are back in the swing of normal life again. Work, play with the pups and kitties, and waiting to hear back from the Navy! We did find out that the next board review will be in 1-2 weeks. We had just missed the last one...of course.

Friday, May 15, 2009


I love rollercoasters. The anticipation as you climb the hill. The exhilaration as you travel down the other side. That feeling like your heart is going to burst out of chest as you hit all the curves. My stomach leaping with every crest. Just love them.

I do not, however, enjoy it when my life feels that way.

This has been an up and down week for us. It started out great...the countdown was on until we leave for Seattle. I had just bought a few new clothes to bring on our trip. Life was looking pretty good! Then I got "the phone call".

My aunt (who was like a second mom to me growing up) had been admitted to the hospital again. It did not seem so bad. She just needed an adjustment of her medications. She had been very sick for a few years, so this was not a huge surprise. But the next mom called me and BJ and told us that my aunt had passed away that morning. One week before we were supposed to leave for Seattle. One week before I was going to make a special trip to her home to go visit her...just in case she would not be able to make it to our family party later in our visit. She is gone and my world stopped for a moment. My heart breaks for my uncle and my cousins who are now left without a wife and mother. For her grandson who will never really know her like I did. When I needed her the most...she was there. She held my hand through the toughest times and for that I will be forever thankful. I love you Auntie Liz!

So then it was time to continue the ride.

We got word from BJ's recruiter that his application package is now at the selection committee. This is it! The board should meet sometime next week or the week after and hopefully we will know whether or not all this hard work has paid off. Will we get stationed in Washington state? Or somewhere new and different but equally exciting. I am beyond words excited for and proud of my husband. He has worked so hard to get to where he wants to be. I love you baby! So now we wait....

My vacation has started and I am so happy to not have to go to work until after Memorial Day. Hope everyone enjoys their holiday!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Last step

BJ got news that his application package is complete and is now being finalized for consideration before the board. We are still not sure when the May board dates are but are hopeful that we did not miss them. If we did then June it is! But this journey will coming to end (or a beginning!).

And to top it off...BJ got glowing reviews from both of his employers (current and the one previous one). He was worried that his previous one would be a jackass and either not send back the paper or write something completely untrue and malicious. We are so happy!

So that is it for now!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Good Odds

BJ found out from Lt. Bart (his recruiter for the Navy) that right now there are only 2 dentists listed on system. BJ and one other person! This list is Navy wide, so that is a great sign. He is listed as pending...which is basically that he is awaiting for the application to be approved to get sent to the board!

We went to Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Saturday for the running of the derby. We met up with Katharyn and Neil and then placed our bets. We have no really betting stratergy...just pick them out of thin air! I picked #3 (Mr Hot Stuff) because I liked the name, #9 (Join In The Dance) again I liked the name, and #11 (Chocolate Candy) because I saw Seattle Slew mentioned with all his info and the reminded me of home. BJ picked #12 (General Quarters) because he saw a story about the owner/trainer and he thought the story of how he got to the derby was really cool. Alas none of our horses won! Although my #9 was leading for a bit. Now hindsight being 20/20, I may have picked #8 because of the jockey...I remember him winning before and he has a pretty cool background. But we made our bets really fast and did not really look at the betting sheet until it was too late. Katharyn and Neil, on the other hand, won! They bet #8 to win...lucky ducks!

I enjoyed a Mint Julep...not the greatest drink but hey it was the derby and isn't that what you are supposed to drink? We even had fun betting between the four of us on the last two harness races. We eached picked our horse and then whoever's horse won had to buy a round of drinks. BJ "lost" the first race and then Neil "lost" the second race...we were laughing so hard and cheering for our horses to not win! People around us probably thought we were nuts...oh well!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

starting over

So I am starting over with this blog. I have been a bad blogger and not posted anything since January! Yikes!!! I guess time just away from me.

Here are the updates for those that are interested.

Air Force: BJ did not get in...due to the AF meeting it's quota of dental officers. They never even looked at his application packet...the one we spent months putting together. Kind of pissed us off but we quickly got over it. Sgt. Joe was less than steller...he came to our meeting (which he gave us the news of not being selected) wearing ripped jeans, a baggy sweatshirt and a skull cap. Not exactly professional looking. Anywho, we have moved on. BJ still wants to pursue the military so he looked into the Navy and the Army. He decided to put an application package together for the Navy and at this point it is in the final stages. We are hoping to know something by the summer.

Pets: All four are good! The pups are happier that the weather has been nicer recently and they get to go back to the dogpark...their favorite place! The cats as always wish the dogs would go to the park and not come back. Tiga has been escaping out the front or back door at every opportunity. Tinsley has made a few attempts but quickly realizes that it much safer in the house...I think being gone for 3 months showed him that being home is the smartest idea.

We have been doing a lot around the house. BJ planted some new grass seed, in hopes that our lawn will make a comeback. We recovered the ottoman with a fantastic fabric from Joann's. It is from their Big Kahuna collection and goes so nice with our island feel in the living room. I will have to take some pics and post them...I know, I know...promises, promises.

Hope everyone enjoys the nicer weather!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Still no news...

yep that's right, it is January 26 and we still have not heard anything! I am going crazy! We are still hoping to hear something in time for BJ to enter the March 2009 class....but it is a lot of hope and not much reality.

The suspense is getting to everyone , I think. All of our friends and family ask if we have heard yet...every time we see them. As a joke, I tell them "yes we did hear and he is in and we leave tomorrow...we just wanted to keep it a secret!" Of course we will tell all of you...we will be shouting from the rooftops! I am sure you will all be able to hear us through the wind.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Last Day of Vacay

So today is my last day of my Christmas vacation. It is the last time (hopefully!) that I will have a paid week off from my boss. It is kind of sad and exciting all in one. Sad that I will have to leave an employer that I do enjoy working for (most of the time) and exciting that hopefully in a few months we will be living in a new area.

I have been busy this morning and early afternoon doing my household chores so that I can go to the movies with Mom Volinski. We are going to see "Marley & Me", which I want to see so bad and she is afraid to see becasue she heard it was really "grap a box of Kleenex" sad. I will post and let you know what I thought of it.

I hope everyone is enjoying the new year so far....

Much love!

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Happy New Year to all of our friends and family!

We rang in the new year with some friends (Kim & Keith and Ruth & Jason) at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. It is our friendly, neighborhood casino. We hung out mostly at Bar Louie and had a great time. I think we all realized that we are getting old....some of the younger ladies had dresses on that were OMG-short. There is no way they could have bent over without showing the goods! It kind of made me happy that I am beyond that.

So with the new year, brings the old New Year's resolutions. I have decided to make them and I am going to do my best to keep them.

- I want to live healthier.
- I want to have a strong, lasting, supportive, beautiful relationship with my husband.
- I want to give time to myself.

I figure all three of these will make my life better and positive in many ways. And of course I will benefit from these changes by losing some weight and becoming less stressed. How can you not want to do that!?!