August 14, 2013

Adventure is out there!

Hello, from the Show-Me State

Due to our recent adoption of the military family lifestyle, we have officially become nomads. We will most likely be packing our life into boxes and relocating according to the Army's needs every 2-3 years, sometimes even shorter if Brad is only completing a training course as he is here for six months at Fort Leonard Wood for ENBOLC (Engineer Basic Officer Leadership Course). Rather than seeing this unusual lifestyle as unfortunate, I prefer to think of it as a grand adventure! How many newlyweds our age have the opportunity to experience so much of our country? I've also decided to just embrace it after discovering during the last two years of real adulthood in the work force that I do indeed thrive on change. Some people love it, some people hate it. Me? I'm loving it. Here are a few quick tid bits to give you a historical, geographic, and cultural flavor for where we are, or maybe help you win some fantastic prize on a game show someday, you never know!
  • Capital: Jefferson City
  • History: Missouri was acquired from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase. It was admitted as the 24th state into the union on August 10th, 1821.
  • Fun Facts: Missouri was the starting point for the Pony Express and the Oregon Trail as well as the departure and return point for the Lewis and Clark Expedition, earning it's nickname, the "Gateway to the West." Missouri is a friendly neighbor to eight bordering states, as is Tennessee; no other state in the United States borders more than eight other states.
  • Climate: HUMID (very bad hair days)
  • Geography: The Missouri River runs east to west, separating the plains of northern Missouri and the Ozark Mountains of southern Missouri.
  • Famous Natives: Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer are set in his hometown of Hannibal, MO), Maya Angelou, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Tina Turner, Cheryl Crow, and Bob Barker among others. Walt Disney founded his first artistic studio, Laugh-o-Gram Studio, which launched his successful career, in Kansas City, MO.
  • Fort Leonard Wood: Home of the United States Army Combat Engineer School, Chemical School, and Military Police School, Fort Leonard Wood was created in December of 1940. It is named after General Leonard Wood, a physician, medal of honor recipient, and Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army in 1910 under President Taft.
  • Holiday History: The popular Christmas song "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" was originally written for and introduced by Judy Garland in the play Meet Me in St. Louis. The original lyrics included the lines "Have yourself a merry little Christmas / It may be your last / Next year we may all be living in the past / Have yourself a merry little Christmas / Pop that champagne cork / Next year we may all be living in New York." Quite humerus considering we just came from the big apple!
  • Sights to See:
    • Rocky Ridge Farm (Mansfield): Historic home of Laura Ingalls Wilder where she wrote the famous Little House on the Prairie books.
    • Missouri State Penitentiary (Jefferson City): Once the largest prison in the U.S. known as "the bloodiest 47 acres in America." The MSP housed 5,200 prisoners at it's peak and is famous for it's paranormal activity. I've already started working on convincing Brad we should go on one of their ghost tours around Halloween!
    • St. Louis: Of course the Gateway Arch, the City Museum (described to me by a new friend as a "giant playground for adults"), a St. Louis Cardinals game, the St. Louis Zoo, the Anheuser-Busch Brewery (me for the Clydesdales, Brad for the beer), and definitely some Christmas festivities.
And those are just a few! As you can see, I've been doing my research. Whoever warned us Missouri would be a dull place to live must not have looked hard enough. Not to mention I've already made some spectacular friends here. We all have been previously warned prior to arriving that we would hate it here, so just to disprove the naysayers we've adopted a similar mentality that it will be what we make of it together. One of my new girlfriends, Kristin, married her husband Alex on the same day as our wedding and celebrated their honeymoon at the same resort in St. Lucia at the same time as us! As if that isn't enough proof that it's a very small world, check out this shot from Kristen's album of honeymoon pictures.

Look very closely...recognize anyone?

In summary, we are here and we are happy, healthy, and ready to explore. Much of the thanks for simply getting us here belongs to our parents. We are so grateful to them for helping us accomplish our first big move and settle into our new place. Brad's mom and dad bounced their way from Michigan to Missouri in a giant U-Haul for us on their anniversary weekend. It doesn't get more devoted and loving than that! And Momma Sue spent a few extra days here with me tackling every single box. I've decided she is the queen of unpacking and making a new house feel like home.

 New favorite cozy nook

I intend to follow through with this master blogging plan at each new post we find ourselves setting up a new home. Some fun facts, a few famous landmarks...what better way to stay on track with what we hope to see and do than to have the blog world anxiously waiting on the edges of their seats to hear more. You are on the edge of your seat, right?

After all, adventure is out there, even at Fort 'Lost in the Woods'!

Please note: Oliver and Lola are having a rough time adjusting to their new life here. They seem entirely uncomfortable and unhappy...

In all seriousness, they think life lost in the woods is just fabulous!