Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014

Aunie Sauce 2014

For the past two years, on New Year's Eve I've come on here and stated, "Last year was the best year ever!" But this year? I think this year really did it. Actually, it may not have been my best year (being that I was apart from Daniel for so much of it), but it was a year filled with excitement, travels, adventure, new jobs and learning experiences, and so much joy. Here were some of the biggest highlights of 2014:
  1. February: I posted about becoming sober. Going alcohol free during 2014 was a life-changing decision.
  2. April thru June: I attended Basic Military Training in San Antonio, Texas. Among some of my greatest accomplishments were finishing as an Honor Graduate, achieving Warhawk and Top PT Female, winning a 5k with a time of 19:17, and setting a record for the 5th fastest female run in BMT history, with a time of 8:47 for the 1.5 mile run. 
  3. May: My dad got married! I wasn't able to attend the wedding, but this has been a long time coming, and I couldn't have been happier for him.
  4. Daniel and I took several small vacations, exploring San Antonio, Texas and Redfish Lake in Stanley, Idaho in June, McCall, Idaho in July, Whidbey Island and Seattle, Washington in September.
  5. October thru December: I attended Personnel Technical School for the Air Guard at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi. Some of my biggest achievements included finishing top in my class as the Distinguished Graduate, winning a base-wide 5k with a time of 19:07, and singing on the worship team at church each Sunday.
  6. December: Upon coming home from Tech School, I transitioned to a new job as a Wellness Coordinator within our hospital. Finally—the job I went to school for!
2014, it's been a busy year. Many changes, many travels, many new experiences. It's been a year filled with lots of stress, actually, though "good stress," is the more appropriate term. I'm so grateful for each day that I had, but also grateful to move forward! 2014—whoa... and that's all I have to say about that.

2015... we'll see you tomorrow! Happy New Year's Eve!

Past NYE highlight posts: 20122013

Friday, December 26, 2014

29 Years of Santa Photos

29 years of Santa Photos, Family Santa Christmas Pictures

You can't really say "We've taken Santa photos every year for the past 29-years" and not do it justice by posting an example. I mean, look at that—matching Norwegian lusekoftse's (sweaters) and all.

My mom has a book that makes the rounds on Christmas morning each year that is filled with our family Santa photos for the last 29 years. Twenty-nine years... that's 29-years of coordinated outfits, waiting in ridiculously long lines, and paying for over-priced 5x7's to fill this little book of memories. But the memories—oh the memories. They're worth every penny, every minute, every bad and embarrassing outfit and hair style that's contained in that book.

We've told our mom that we'll keep this tradition up until we have kids of our own. And by the way things have been going, that doesn't seem to be happening for any of the Driflot kids anytime soon. So Santa still may get a few more years of wrapping his arms around us while we sit on his knees and smile for the camera. Lucky, lucky Santa.

Family Candid Christmas Photo

Hope you all had a Christmas filled with love & celebration yesterday. Sending lots of holiday cheer from our family to yours!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Merry Christmas striped Christmas card, Rowe Christmas 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Love ♥ The Rowe's and our favorite moments together after all the moments spent apart in 2014

Past Christmas cards: 2011 │ 20122013

Monday, December 22, 2014

Saturday Mornings

Corner Bakery Cafe Hazelnut Cream Coffee

I'd like to dedicate a post to Saturday mornings. They're my favorite day & time of the week. If it's not a drill day (the weekends when we have to go work out at the Air Guard), we have a pretty standard routine—sleep in, gym, brunch. It's perfect.

Now, truth be told, we don't truly sleep in—we wake up at 7:00 am, but compared to our weekday routine, that's sleeping in! After tossing and turning and finally deciding to get up, we get into our gym clothes, take our pre-workout supplements, and head off to the gym. After working out for 45-or-so-minutes, we start eye-balling each other and scheming about where our breakfast spot is going to be. Blue Sky Bagels? Rembrandts? Wild West Cafe? Bar de Nay? There are so many choices and we always leave with full, happy tummies.

But this past Saturday, we tried something new. And boy, were we impressed. Conveniently located in the same parking lot as our gym, we stopped by Corner Bakery Cafe—a brand new addition to The Village at Meridian. I know other cities across the US have this cafe, but it's brand new for us, and we are so glad it's here!

Surprised at how big their menu is, and bummed that they had run out of my daily breakfast staple of oatmeal (apparently, it's very popular!), I opted for the first breakfast item I could spot—the Anaheim Scrambler. It's loaded with goodies like avocado, applewood smoked bacon, and green onions... yum! Daniel ordered a plate of pancakes, scrambled eggs and bacon. Both of our meals were divine and I topped mine off with a big cup of their Hazelnut Cream coffee. It was all so good!

Corner Bakery Cafe
Corner Bakery Cafe Coffee
Corner Bakery Cafe, Bakery Display Case, Amazing homemade treats
Corner Bakery Cafe Pancakes and Anaheim Scrambler
Corner Bakery Cafe Breakfast

Thanks, Corner Bakery, for treating Daniel and me to an awesome breakfast and amazing service. I don't know who picked your Meridian staff members, but each of them was kind, helpful and truly caring. They made our experience great!

Next time I want to try a panini or one of their giant soup bread bowls. Several people ordered them while we were there and they looked so delicious! If you live near a Corner Bakery Cafe, be sure to stop in and try something on the menu. And if you're looking for a sweet treat, their bakery display case won't leave you hanging—they've got sweet and savory goods galore.

Yum, Corner Bakery. Just yum. I think I like Saturday mornings even more now that you're in town.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Coming Home To a New Job

Wellness Coordinator job, Health Education and Promotion Wellness Coordinator

Two and a half years ago, I wrote a post and listed 13 facts about my job as a Development Assistant for our local not-for-profit hospital. The 13th fact said,
"When I graduated college, my one goal was to work in the health promotion field at a hospital. I'm halfway to that goal [by working at the hospital], and not far from it at all."
Last Monday, upon my return to the civilian workforce from Air Force Tech School, I began a new job—I have finally accomplished my goal! I am now a Wellness Coordinator and will be doing employee and corporate health program planning for our local hospital. To say that this job is literally my dream job is quite the understatement. Not only did I go to school and earn my degree in Health Education & Promotion, but I live and breathe "healthy living" outside the office and can't believe that I'm going to get paid to do it as a profession!

It all actually happened really fast. I applied for the position about six weeks before leaving for Tech School. Four weeks before leaving, I had a first and second interview for the position. Two weeks later, I was offered the job and accepted within the same day. I worked my last day as a Development Assistant the week before I left and did a short four-day stint at the new office before packing my bags and heading off to Mississippi. And now I'm back. Full-time. Beginning a career that I've yearned after since beginning my studies at Boise State University. This is it. I am a Wellness Coordinator.

And now, after four years as a Development Assistant, I wanted to share a couple photos of my old office that I took in October before I packed it all into boxes, you know, for old time's sake. I can't believe how much my plants had grown and how much it changed over the years. Little office with the French doors, balcony, and time where I grew so much as a person—you will be missed!

Development Assistant, historic home office
Development Assistant, historic home office, large metal A wall decor
Wellness Coordinator for Employee Health, Aunie Sauce work and health promotion

Upon my departure in October, my Foundation colleagues spoiled me with a thoughtful farewell card and sweet cupcakes. It's so rare to work in an office environment like I worked before—an office staffed with the kindest, most genuine, supportive group of ladies. Leaving them was the hardest part. But in the end, it comes down to what's in your heart, so of all the cupcakes, I chose what I thought to be the most appropriate—"Do what you love!"

And just like that, we begin a new chapter in my story. Oh, the joys that lie ahead...

Monday, December 8, 2014

Personnel Tech School

Keesler AFB Personnel Apprentice Course

Hello! After a nice, long extended absence—I'm back!

I didn't mention it here or on social media, but my absence from blogging was due to spending the last 6-weeks at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi for Personnel Technical School. It was an experience that I'll never forget. I was given the best opportunities and got to break out of my comfort zone on many different occasions... all the while working toward a graduation certificate as a Personnel Apprentice. And finally... I did it! I graduated on December 3rd, and I'm now officially a Personnel Apprentice.

Throughout my time at Keesler, I met so many amazing people and made a lot of new friends along the way. Some of my favorite memories included: singing on stage with the worship team each Sunday, participating in a Warrior Challenge (and winning it with my amazing team of airmen!), seeing lots of fun sights around the Biloxi and Gulf Coast area, achieving the title of overall female winner for a base-wide 5K, working out at the sweetest crossfit gym each day, and eating delicious food, of course! I'm so grateful for each of the experiences that took me to my graduation day. See some of the photos from my time at Tech School below.

Keesler AFB Warrior Challenge
With my Warrior Challenge first place team. We beat out several other permanent party teams, including a team of combat airman!
Keesler AFB Vandenburg
With my buddies at the Vandenburg, also called "Club V" on the weekends.
Keesler AFB Beach
The beautiful Gulf Coast beach right off base.
Keesler AFB, Biloxi Mississippi
Touring Biloxi with my wingman from BMT who also happened to be attending Tech School at the same time.
Keesler AFB, 5K for AJ 2014
I was the overall female winner of the second annual 5K for AJ with a time of 19:07. It was an honor to run for that great cause!
Keesler AFB, 5K for AJ 2014
Best buddies at Keesler.
Keesler AFB Home Away From Home Thanksgiving
We spent Thanksgiving with a sponsor family as a part of the "Home Away From Home" program. We were so grateful to be given the best Southern hospitality by such an amazing family!
Keesler AFB Worship Team
On my last Sunday at church, I sang a duet to Revelation Song with my buddy on the left, and our friend on the right played guitar and sang harmony for us. What a neat experience that was!
Keesler AFB Personnel Apprentice Course Distinguished Graduate
I ended up graduating the Personnel Apprentice Course with a 98% and earned the title of Distinguished Graduate. It was my goal to achieve DG going in to Tech School, and all the studying paid off! The photo on the right is my Personnel class. What an amazing and talented group of people. Can't wait to see them all do great things in the Air Force.

So what's next? I now will be working as a traditional Air Guardsman at home in Idaho, which means one weekend a month and two weeks per year. I'm looking forward to returning to civilian life and getting back to my job at the hospital. But mostly, I'm just excited to finally be home with my husband!

The past 6-weeks have been unlike anything I've ever experienced in my entire life. They were awesome, but truly—I'm glad they're over. It's nice to finally be able to go home and stay home now that my the last bit of my initial Air Force training is out of the way! As they say at Keesler... HUA!!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Our Second Anniversary

Daniel and Annelise Rowe
Wedding Rings, Black Ceramic wedding band, Sapphire and Diamond wedding ring

Two years. I can't believe it's been two years. It doesn't seem like it can be here already, but as I look back over the year and all that has happened (attending Basic Military Training in Texas for 8-weeks, traveling around Idaho and Washington, attending Tech School in Mississippi, etc.), I'm blown away with how fast it has all gone. To be honest, it seems like I have spent more time away from Daniel this year than I've been able to spend with him!

As I type this post, it's the first time I've sat down and opened my blog account since mid-October. I've been in Mississippi for the past 6-weeks attending Technical School for the Air Force and simply haven't even had time to do anything except for study, study, study. Today on our anniversary, I'm almost 2,200 miles away from my husband, sitting in class, learning how to become a personnelist. I'm eagerly anticipating returning soon so I can wrap myself up in his arms.

This year, with BMT and Tech School, I will have spent about 4-months away from my husband. Compared to most military couples, that's nothing, but to us it has been hard. I miss him a lot. I'm very grateful that I've been able to talk to him daily through Tech School, but it doesn't take away the fact that it hurts my heart to be away from him. Our faith in God has been the biggest bond that has held us together. Without my faith and trust in God, this distance would have been much, much harder. Prayer won't bring me home any sooner, but it does help keep me at peace.

I'll be home soon and can't wait to hug and love on my husband. They say distance makes the heart grow fonder, and I'm not going to argue that point one bit. I'm ready to go home and appreciate him and the amazing man that he is. I'm so grateful for our time together (and apart!), and can't believe these past two years have happened so quickly.

Happy second anniversary, Daniel. I love you so much—you know I do. Sending you a million kisses from the Gulf Coast. See you soon, sweets!

Past Anniversary Posts: Year One

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