Camp Lejeune Week of FUN!

After six weeks of living on base and seemingly not doing a single thing other than move in, unpack, organize, and be complete crazies, Keith and I finally decided it was time to set aside our to-do’s (if I can ever really do that?) and have some fun. I mean, life on base is fun, right? Surely. We wouldn’t really know, and we were ready to fix that. Thus was born our Camp Lejeune Week of Fun, our plan to discover the wonders of Camp Lejeune each night for one week.

Camp Lejeune, Home of II Marine Expeditionary Force

Camp Lejeune, Home of II Marine Expeditionary Force

As with any good Week of Anything, there must be a massive precursor event leading up to the Week. Our precursor event was actually a string of events, or classes for that matter, that culminated in Keith and I voyaging to the bottom of the ocean. Yep, we did a scuba certification here on base and to usher in our Week of Fun, we took an amazing trip off the North Carolina coast to visit the fish, see a discarded tin can (sad, isn’t it?), and a very cool starfish among other marine life. Oh, how I longed for an underwater camera. (I will need one, too, in the event that I see a mermaid. My niece made me promise to tell her the color of a mermaid’s tail’s when –not if– I see one. For that reason and more, I’m ready to plan our next dive.)

After exhausting ourselves learning all about scuba and venturing to the bottom of the ocean, Monday rolled around and our long-awaited Camp Lejeune Week of Fun began! Here’s how it went down:

On MONDAY, our friend and old neighbor, Megan, came over for dinner and brought along her dog Rosie (who, by the way, is very sweetly obsessed with attempting make-out sessions with Keith). Of course, I most enjoy stressing myself out by trying a new recipe when a guest comes over, but luckily this curry recipe turned out to be delicious. (I noticed that Megan pinned it later, so she must have been telling the truth when she said she liked it!) Afterwards, we took the pups on a walk and Megan helped us deliver our flyers in the neighbors’ mailboxes announcing a Saturday barbecue, which the mailman promptly stole the next morning …

TUESDAY brought an evening of bowling for Night 2 of Lejeune Week of Fun, and it also brought an evening with beer and nachos. We found that we were much better at eating nachos and drinking beer than bowling. I would like to proudly announce that I left after three games with a total of one strike, three spares, and lots and lots of gutter balls. Yes, I am a stellar bowler. Keith is better, but not by much.

We found ourselves on WEDNESDAY once again delivering flyers to the neighbors after hearing reports that they did not survive the journey from mailbox to home. OK, so maybe you aren’t supposed to put flyers in the mailboxes. Got it. But seriously? The mailman has it out for us! I am convinced our mailman was going to drive by on Saturday and giggle when we were sitting there barbecuing by ourselves. Thankfully, we gained the intelligence that no one received our flyers and delivered another round, this time straight to the door. After our second flyer delivery, we met our good friends and their adorable 1.5-year-old daughter at the restaurant, Smedley’s Café, and followed it up with a nightcap on their newly built deck.

On THURSDAY, we had grand plans to head on over to the movie theater to see Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows. Earlier in the week we went online to see all the movie options (we had to choose by day, since there is only one theater and therefore only one movie we can see in the evening). We settled on Dark Shadows since I’m not into violence and Keith isn’t into chick flicks. Good compromise. Except what we actually saw was Safe … once we realized it wasn’t just a really long preview. I wasn’t happy at first seeing as Safe is a movie I had explicitly vetoed, but it turned out to be entertaining at least. Lejeune Week of Fun was all about learning, and we learned that we need to pay attention to the date when picking our movie.

Our plan for FRIDAY was to go to the park for a picnic, but instead we found ourselves running around like mad to get ready for the neighborhood barbecue the next day. After a fun-filled evening at Wal-Mart gathering supplies, we ended our night with ice cream from the Baskin-Robbins on base. Not a bad swap!

Our big event for the week was on SATURDAY, when we’d invited all the neighbors over for a barbecue. After almost two months on base, we felt it was time to get to know more than just the neighbors on either side of our home. Mission accomplished. Our neighbors are so nice, tons of fun, and boy, can they cook! I didn’t eat a thing from the grill because there were too many other delicious foods to try.  I think my most favorite part of the barbecue was explaining all about my herb garden to my neighbor’s two-year-old, convinced I could turn her into a tree-hugger. I’m sure it worked. The party was definitely a success, and we were left debating whether the bounce house was more fun for the kids or the parents.

SUNDAY brought the conclusion to our Lejeune Week of Fun, and together with a few friends we cruised out on the bay to enjoy the water. Eventually I found myself hanging on for dear life on an inner tube next to my friend Megan (who, if you remember, had helped kick off the week). Yes, two grown women giggling like children as we tubed around the bay. That is exactly how a Week of Fun should end!

So after all that, I’d say base isn’t too bad a place to find a little fun. Keith and I think our Week of Fun at Camp Lejeune was a success – we met lots of great people, discovered some new places, and decided that parents definitely enjoy bounce houses the most.

Have you been to Camp Lejeune? Did we miss anything last week?

Favorite Pin Friday: Barbecue Party Accessories

What better way to get to know our new neighbors here on base than to throw a neighborhood barbecue! We’ve invited everyone over tomorrow night, so I’m busy finding cute ideas on Pinterest to help me plan. Here are a few that I’ll employ tomorrow evening:

Tin Can for Utensils (pinned to my Party Love board)
Any new use for something that otherwise might head to the recycle bin is a winner for me. Country Living provided the great idea of using containers for silverware – in this case, painted tin cans. Not sure yet if we’ll need silverware, but I can always corral the napkins with this idea!

tin cans for silverware or napkin holders

Use tin cans for silverware or as napkin holders

Drink Tags (pinned to my Party Love board)
Here’s the deal: most of us don’t know each other yet, so there will be a lot of names and I’m usually terrible at remembering more than a few. I’m sure I’m not alone. But who likes name tags at a barbecue? I’m thinking drink tags are in order, and they can serve the dual purpose of helping us all remember each other’s names. I like these tags as shown on Couture Events because they are large – we won’t have to awkwardly squint to read the name. These from We Are Not Martha are very cute too, but a little small for this purpose.

Drink Bucket (pinned to my Party Love board)
Style Me Pretty pinned this drink canoe, and if I had a spare canoe I’d definitely do this! I do have several spare metal tubs, so I’ll use those for drinks instead.

Here’s to hoping everyone has a great time!

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PS – Are you following me on Twitter? This week I’m talking about our Lejeune Week of Fun. What’s that? Well, follow me and find out! (Or, stay tuned for the next post.)

You might also like these party ideas:
Favorite Pin Fridays: Party Decor
Easy Picnic Tablecloth DIY
Mason Jar Lantern DIY

Some Military Dance Moves

Guess what? There are pretty much no days off when you are serving overseas in the military. Nope, not really. It is physically exhausting and mentally challenging. Finding downtime isn’t easy. And just because someone is serving overseas doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to step away from the stress for a minute and show off their dance moves.

Thanks to Eric Raum for taking his day off to give a little morale boost to Marines and soldiers, and to give us a way to cheer them on.

PS – Don’t forget to check out Eric’s website for beautiful video and photography, and get the story on how he came to create this video.