My goodness!   i am blown away by the support and encouragement I got regarding yesterday’s post.  A special thank you to my real life friend, DAR, who put the word out about my post.   Well, I ended up getting a bunch more photos so I will absolutely be doing a part II next Wednesday.  If you’d like to add, please send a photo, blurb and link to your blog (if you keep one) to ensblog@gmail.com.

I’m really excited about all of my new reads!  Thanks again, everyone – I’ve really enjoyed this post so I’m really happy to be doing it again next week :)

Again, I wanted to thank everyone who participated.  I truly loved doing this post and i’m so happy with how it turned out.  I did not edit or crop one picture or one blurb.  I wanted anyone who participated to decide their own significance.  I especially love that every ring is so incredibly different.

If you didn’t get a chance to participate or weren’t sure how it would turn out and now you would like to, please send a photo to ensblog@gmail.com and I am more than willing to do a part II of this post.  I loved it that much!

Here they are!

Patience:   I absolutely love my ring because Lenny designed it. It means so much to me that he took the time to create something so beautiful and perfect for me. I know it was a long process and he made many trips to the jeweler, but it is absolutely perfect.

JLS:  My engagement ring belonged to Scott’s grandmother.  The only change that has been made are the prongs being built up.  They had been worn down over the years, so my cousin (who owns a diamond jewelry store) built them back up so I didn’t risk losing the diamond.  It’s not the biggest or most dramatic ring by any means, but it is perfect for me.  And the fact that Scott and his dad would trust me and respect me enough to pass it on to me is such a huge honor.

Megan: Ok, well my ring(s) are special to me because my husband picked it out entirely himself. When we started talking about “getting married” I told him that I would not help him pick it out, not even one itsy bitsy little clue. This was a BIG deal for him. He’s such a simple kind of guy and the thought of wrapping my finger with a string and calling it a day would appeal to him. But he picked out a beautiful ring. Perfect for me! And I couldn’t be happier with his choice!

Beth: My late mother-in-law passed away in March of 2007.  After she died, my Father-in-law told my hubby that he wanted him to have MIL’s diamond for my engagement ring.  Hubby proposed to me 2 months later on the day of his graduation and commissioning in front of both of our extended families.  (I had picked out the setting a few weeks earlier, but didn’t know that MIL’s diamond was going to be used.)

Kate: my ring is special to me because it was part of the engagement that Dave did all by himself – we decided to get married beforehand so I knew it was coming at some point, but I was not involved in picking out the ring at all. He had some basic guidelines from my good friend (metal, basic design) but he did all the specifics himself and he did such a wonderful job. He put in so much time and thought and as a result I truly love and cherish my ring, and of course it represents our commitment to each other and all of those good things!

Steph: my rings are the most important piece of jewelry i wear; and i wear them everyday, all day.  my husband picked my rings out by himself.  i didn’t even know he was going to propose: hell, we were broken up when he popped the question.  i guess the fact that he took me completely by surprise when he did it makes it so much more special.  i had known we were going to get married, and had expected it for years.  i was expecting it two weeks after he actually did it (at ring weekend at west point–when all the graduating ‘firsties’ get their class rings), and i think he knew that. it was, by far, one of the best days of my life.

Katie: When my husband proposed he explained to me the reason for having the jeweler remove 2 of the diamonds and replacing them with blue sapphires. “The sapphires reminded me of your beautiful blue eyes.” When he bought the ring he bought it as a solitaire with the sapphires as an enhancement band so that I could choose if I wanted to wear it alone or together. The first thing I did was go in and get the rings soldered together- his meaning behind it was so sweet and special and I loved it! When it came time to choose the wedding band itself- I knew I wanted it to match. I like to think the engagement ring has 2 sapphires- one signifying each of us, and the band has 4- hopefully the number of children we’ll have!

Lola: I hate to admit it, but I never really had a preference for a ring style, except that I didn’t want something huge and gaudy. I really had NO idea that the proposal was coming [we had discussed getting married, but further down the road] and thus didn’t have any input. With that said, I was really impressed with what my hubby picked out. His mother has a ring that is in a Varna setting and I think I had made a comment that I thought the setting with its engraving/embellishing [not really sure what to call it] was really beautiful. He chose a matched Varna setting and wedding band and I was very pleasantly surprised! I think my favorite feature on the ring is the gold Varna heart beneath the main diamond in the engagement ring. I usually prefer simple designs, but I love how the embellishment on the band gives it a unique and slightly antique-ish feel. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the carvings help hide any scratches! :)

Loving Wife: Hubs proposed on Feb 15th, 2004. Yes the day after Valentine’s Day, one of the two in the now almost ten years we have been together.  I was completely oblivious at the time; even after he asked me for the promise ring he had given me before going off to “basic,” maybe at about sentence three did I start to realize what was happening. To this day I can’t remember what he said, I think I forgot it after a day or two, but I do remember squealing and saying “YES! OF COURSE!”

June 2, 2007 was the day we were married, a wonderful summer day with a huge thunderstorm with horizontal lightning, which I couldn’t see but could definitely hear the thunder.

Even though Hubs proposed with a promise ring, I wore it until I got the “real one” that I picked out with my mom at a local jeweler that made her wedding band (a molding of a champagne foil that my stepfather folded into ring shape and proposed to her with). I saw pictures of it in yellow gold (which I am sorry but EW I don’t like it), and was skeptical at first but really liked the natural look it had and it looked pretty close to what I wanted, something “low profile, that wouldn’t get messed up every time I shoved my hand in my pocket.” My mom gave us a beautiful diamond from a necklace that had been given to her, at first I was like HOLY CRAP this is huge, but in its setting it doesn’t look as big. Talked to Hubs about it, sent him a picture and we decided to go from there.

The next time I saw the ring it was the diamond set into bright blue wax, which has to do with the way that the jeweler makes the rings. It was BEAUTIFUL, I wanted to put it on, but would have messed up the wax. I also had him bring one of the lines farther down into the rest of the ring. A few weeks later I had a fitting and it was perfect!

I am not a gentle person with my ring, up close pictures with flash show lots of scratches. I rarely take it off, not to put lotion on, shower, swim, riding horses , rowing, painting (there is still some brown deck paint in there somewhere).

There is a whole story that goes along with this about the proposal and my now in-laws, but I’ll save that for a different day and post it so come see that sometime soon!

Stacie: I can’t express how much I love my engagement ring. I love my ring not only for what it signifies as the promise of marriage but because Jon picked it out by himself with no input from me. He somehow figured out (and how, I’m not sure) the ring I had always dreamed about and made it my own. It’s just another sign to me of how much he cares about me and knows exactly what I want and need, even before I realize it myself.

Lizzie: My H2B proposed to me this January with a platinum solitaire that had belonged to my mother – it was a perfect proposal but I knew that I wanted my own ring & thankfully the boyf was down with that & had already planned a lovely shopping trip. We looked & looked & looked for weeks until I was fed up with it! & in the meantime I had no ring as we’d discovered that my mother’s ring was very fragile with the diamond having 3 minute chips out of (how can you chip a diamond?!). So I stopped wearing it, not wanting to be the one to crack it & kill it for future generations.

After about 4 weeks with me not loving anything, I read about a diamond setter & jeweler in a local magazine. He lived in a gorgeous little village about an hour away from our house. Off we went one lovely Monday in February (having gotten engaged about 3 days after yourself) & there, in the window, was my ring :) The one i had dreamed about since I was about 15 & the one that i’d seen in a magazine in Chicago in 1999 & torn out & stuck in my diary. Obsessed – much?! We waited a month for it to have the band changed to be more angular & chunky & I can honestly say I am so glad I waited. I love it. Best of all, the USAF ex & the submarine ex are super-happy for me too :) We are getting married in November

Last but not least is my own.  I absolutely love my ring and i’m not kidding when i say it is so much more than i could have ever imagined.  Chris and I had been talking about getting engaged for a while and he asked me what i wanted my ring to look like.  He said he wanted it to be perfect and what i had always envisioned.  All I told him was that i wanted a solitaire and i told him 2 shapes that i didn’t like but the rest was up to him.  What I like the most about it is that when i got the certificate i was looking through it and there’s a little graph thing that shows you exactly where its flaws are.  Not many people have perfect diamonds (at least i dont think they do!) and mine has a little cloud inside.  You can’t see the cloud unless it’s under a super powerful microscope but I really love knowing it’s there.  Imperfections are what make all of us beautiful. Chris and I aren’t perfect but we’re in this for life and i think we make a pretty good team.  So believe it or not, that teeny little imperfection is what makes it so special to me.

Don’t forget!

To send in your ring photos!   If you aren’t sure what i’m talking about check out this post.

I want to showcase your engagement/wedding ring with a little blurb from you about what makes it so special and signficant.   I have a bunch so far, but there are always room for more!   It’s turning out to be a beautiful post!


This past weekend was probably one of the longest shopping weekends i’ve ever had.  In a 24 hour time frame I tried on more dresses than i probably thought even existed.   What was i shopping for, you might ask?  The dress for my bridal shower!

My mom and i decided, after much debate and *ahem* input from family *ahem* to have my shower here at our house.  I’ve mentioned before my love for “home” and how comfortable I am here so we just thought it was the perfect setting.  We’re having it catered and our plan is to keep it classy with lots of white linens, pretty flowers all over and just bright and spring-timeish.  I’m excited.

Well… finding the “perfect dress” was difficult.  My first stop was the outlets to hit the memorial day sales.. i figured “of COURSE i’ll find something…”  I found nothing.  I was actually so focused on finding a dress that I ended up with absolutely nothing and left empty handed.  lame.

Next Stop:  Banana

Here I found 2 dresses  and took photos of myself in the dressing room in an effort to consult with my co MOH’s.

this dress is actually very bright pink – i have no idea why it came out so orange.  Here’s what it actually looks like:


Here’s the second dress I tried on:

this was good but the material was incredibly thin and i wasn’t 100% sold.

Because of the holiday weekend, they gave a secret percentage off card and when you opened it you found out how much you got.  I ended up getting the highest amount at 25% off.. win!  So i walked out of the store with dress #1!    I really love this dress and if it’s chilly i can pair it with a white cardigan and i think it’ll still look cute.

It was a long day and i’m happy to say that shopping trip is o-v-e-r.  To end this with the words of miss Coco Chanel:

A girl must  be two things:  Classy and Fabulous.

Deployment Review I

Because this will be such a short deployment, I’ve decided to do my reviews biweekly.  Remember last deployment I did them monthly?   So here we go… in the past two weeks I have…

  • gotten our house sprayed for bugs, had the lawn mowed and got our AC fixed … all from 1200 miles away.
  • Had my big test on my gallbladder and the results were that i am a-ok.  great right?  Well kind of… it just means they still don’t know what’s going on with me.
  • we mailed my bridal shower invitations  and my wedding invitations came in (i’ll show those some other time)!

    this is what my shower invitations looked like – obviously my name isn’t kate allen and i didn’t register at Tiffany & co.

  • I ran in the Parker Road Race for the 2nd year in a row

  • Logged 21.8 miles running but now, due to injury i’m forced to hold off and rehab.  yuck.

  • Graduated from my Masters Program

  • Tried to read:

    This book was absolutely terrible.  I tried so many times to get in to it and keep reading but i made it about 60 pages and had to stop.  It’s like trying to read a schizophrenic’s thought pattern.  Torturous.  The paragraphs skip from present, to a memory back to present.. ugh, terrible. I quit.

That’s it for the first 2 weeks of deployment.  I survived once again but, of course, not without the support of Chris, my friends and family.  It actually feels like he’s been gone longer…

Sometime this past winter my reader deleted almost all of my blog feeds…. i have no idea how it happened.  Since then i’ve found a bunch of the blogs i used to read but lost a lot in the process….  WELL i just opened my reader – like i do every morning – to see 157 new posts…  holy hell!   It turns out they all just reappeared.   How is that even possible??

So if you haven’t heard from me in about 6 months and suddenly do, it’s because I’m catching up!  Happy friday, all


I’ve been really frustrated the past couple weeks… with deployment, my health, applying for jobs and getting no responses and things that are completely out of my control.  I think we’re all guilty of letting all those little things get the best of us from time to time..  Chris sent me a verse this morning which really helped put things in to perspective.

While I was at work today, I was thinking of things I’m grateful for and when I stepped outside to take a little walk, it was abundantly clear to me.

Welcome to my workplace – no photoshop here – I just know how to use my camera settings ;)

I am in love with this place… the last photo is what i see every single day when i walk out of my office.


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