Storm over the State of Liberty

Check out these beautiful pictures of a storm brewing over the Hudson River and the Upper New York Bay last night. Thank you to my friend Samantha for sending these to me! I wish I could have witnessed this in person!

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Fort Benning: Another chapter down

Earlier this week my husband, two dogs (Scrappy and Eli) and I closed in on another chapter in our lives at Fort Benning. Ryan was there for the Maneuver Captain’s Career Course, and I was working as a journalist at the Bayonet & Saber newspaper in the Fort Benning Public Affairs Office. Fortunately, I can say that I was lucky enough to end my time there with one of the biggest events and stories of the year: The Lt. Gen. David E. Grange Jr. Best Ranger Competition.

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The Best Ranger Competition was the most interesting event I have covered. The competition involves 50 teams of two, who compete in a rigorous three-day, 60-hour event. It was so cool to see the kick off and the final buddy run at the end, and everything in between. I also met Capt. Kristen Griest, one of the first females to graduate Ranger School! I have now met both 🙂

I had the opportunity to embrace new adventures, too! I conquered my fear of heights and stairs and climbed the Ranger tower at Victory Pond. It was so worth it for the pictures and footage we got! (See below.)

I wrote two stories on the competition: Best Ranger Competition creates new challenges and National Guard team captures Best Ranger title.

Both stories were so fun to write. Acting Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy came for the awards ceremony, so that was so cool to hear him speak! He even retweeted a few of my tweets — he’s very active on social media! 🙂

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Acting Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy speaking at the Best Ranger Competition awards ceremony at Fort Benning.

I was also so excited to see Capt. Robert Killian win. His family spoke with me the first day of the competition and they knew it was his year. It was a perfect story.

Along with our team we have some amazing photographers! You can check out all their Ranger competition photos at www.fortbenningphotos.com. Some photos were featured in the ArmyTimes!

On that note, I was glad to end my time at Fort Benning writing such fun stories; however, I’m extremely sad to leave such a great team! All of my coworkers were so talented, smart and beyond funny! But I know we will all keep in touch!

Now on to the other exciting news in my life: I have officially accepted a position as a Web Specialist II with Syracuse University’s Institute of Veterans and Military Families. Working at SU was a dream of mine since I was young — it feels so surreal!

I’m so thankful to have had our wonderful and fun chapter at Fort Benning. I will miss all of our friends we have made — that is one of the hardest parts about being in the military community, you always have to leave your friends! 😦

But on a positive note,  I am also excited to start our new chapter in New York. It is bittersweet.

As my good friend Courtney said, “You may be going to New York, but you’ll always be a Georgia Peach!”

We are currently in Florida spending some time with family before we head up north. We are also going to New Orleans (my fourth time — it’s my favorite!) next week. I can’t wait!

 

Winter Storm Jonas

This is about a week late, but I finally had time to upload some Winter Storm Jonas photos my friends and family sent to me. According to The Weather Channel, “Winter Storm Jonas produced prolific amounts of snow in parts of the East, rivaling infamous snowstorms of the recent past. Snowfall totals from the storm topped out near 42 inches in West Virginia and at least 14 states in total received more than a foot of snow from the storm.”

This storm was one for the books, that’s for sure!

Many people sent me these photos since I couldn’t experience this storm for myself. My family and friends never let me down!

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We recently found out we will be moving back to Central New York this spring, and I can’t wait to be back up north to experience these crazy winters!

Winter finally hits Upstate New York

We didn’t end up having a “White Christmas” — instead it was 67 degrees — but I did get to see some snow and ice before I left town. Of course, now that I’m no longer there, the snow has hit hard and is staying (just my luck).

It had snowed a couple times before Christmas, but nothing stuck. So now that the snow is finally hanging around, I would say winter has finally arrived up north.

My friends, Laci and Dan, live on Lake Delta in Rome (as I stated in my Fall foliage on Lake Delta post). I had the opportunity to take some pictures after the storm hit Monday night into Tuesday morning, Dec. 28-29. Unfortunately the WordPress website isn’t allowing me to upload all the files at this time, so I picked a few photos from Christmas Eve and the storm and posted them below. The Christmas Eve photos were taken from my cousin’s house.There is nothing like fall and winter in Upstate!

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It was a full moon and 60 degrees on Christmas Eve.

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Ryan and I enjoying the warm weather and full moon on Christmas Eve.

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Foggy Lake Delta after the ice storm hit.

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Looking down the icy staircase leading to Lake Delta’s brisk, cold waters.

My next adventure is to New Orleans (for the third time in the past year and a half)! The “Big Easy” is one of my favorite cities I’ve been to. I can’t wait to go back and experience all the fun. I hope to get some great weather photos while I’m there!

Will you have a white Christmas this year?

Ah, it has been a little over a month since I last posted on my blog! While I am sad I have not posted, a lot of things have occurred in the last month that held me back from writing.

This past month I have been traveling to visit family and friends in New York and in Florida (since I was without a full-time job.. why not?!). But when I returned to Georgia from those adventures, I landed an interview with a local newspaper and was offered the job. I happily accepted!

I am a journalist for the Bayonet & Saber newspaper on Fort Benning. I have learned so much already, and I am having lots of fun so far. I have always been interested in working with a media company, so it has really been such a great experience. I get to contribute my marketing skills to the job, too! I really love marketing, communications, writing, editing, social media, etc. All of it truly excites me. While I really enjoyed working at a credit union/nonprofit, I am thankful for a different type of experience to enhance my knowledge in these areas.

With all that said, I have barely had any time to write and build my personal social media presence as much as I have in the past. I spend many nights working on stories when I come home from work. Once I get a good grip of my current job, I’ll be able to post more frequently.

Well, enough about me! Let’s talk about Christmas… will you have snow in your front yard this year?!

In the words of Bing Crosby, “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas.”

Temperatures have been quite warm for this time of year. Even my hometown of Rome, New York  has not had any snow (besides a few flakes back in October, but nothing stuck).

I will be going home for Christmas this year, and I am truly hoping there is snow on the ground for the holidays. I look forward to winters at home every year I can go!

Meteorologists say if there is at least one inch of snow on the ground on Christmas morning, that is defined as a “white Christmas,” according to The Weather Channel’s website.

“This year, we have one of the strongest El Niños of record in play. That and a persistently warm East and Midwest, along with a cold, wet West, is setting the table for what we may see Christmas morning,” the website’s article adds.

So, who will have the one inch of snow or more this Christmas? Below is the map The Weather Channel put together showing where snow is most likely to be on Christmas.

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It looks like I do have a possibility of seeing snow on Christmas! I’m definitely keeping my fingers crossed. Today it was almost 80 degrees here in Georgia, so I am really wanting that cooler weather so it feels more like the holiday season.

Click here to read more about the white Christmas forecast, and click here to read more about El Niños.

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Fall foliage on Lake Delta

Fall is my absolute favorite season. I love when the leaves change colors and the weather starts to cool down. I love to decorate for Halloween; it is my favorite holiday to decorate for! I’m not a big fan of the various types of pumpkin coffees and lattes, but I must say the advertisements for the drinks make me excited knowing fall is here.

It is still pretty warm here in Georgia. It was cooler, in the 60s, about a week ago; however, we are back to the high 70s/low 80s again. I had the opportunity last weekend to go home to Rome, N.Y. as our friends were getting married. I definitely took advantage of the time home by taking walks in the city and by the lake to take photos of the fall leaves, going to a haunted house with my friends, and several other autumn activities.

One of my best friends and her boyfriend, Laci and Dan, live right on Lake Delta in Rome. Everyone in Rome can tell you Lake Delta is one of the biggest attractions in the area. It is a place where everyone in Rome goes to gather on their boats to hang out and enjoy the water whenever they can. In the fall and winter, people go to local restaurants or country clubs and take part in events by the lake because the view is just so breathtaking during any season.

Anyways, the reason I brought up Laci and Dan’s house was because the picture below was captured there. It is just a simple reminder that New York has the BEST fall scenery in the country. I can’t wait to live up there again someday and enjoy all four seasons!

9/11: Never Forget

It has been 14 years since the tragic events of 9/11 happened. Everyone in America knows exactly where they were when they heard the news. For me, I was in 7th grade social studies class when the principal made an announcement over the speaker that all after school activities were canceled. Everyone in our class looked outside and saw beautiful, sunny weather and we didn’t understand why we weren’t allowed to go to our sports practices after school dismissed. Our teacher was very distraught and told us what had occurred. We were just learning of the attacks and we weren’t sure what exactly happened and why. I remember my mom picking me up from school and she was crying. We immediately went home and watched the news. We couldn’t believe all the heartless acts that took place that day.

My mom was in the Air Force and would often have to go to Fort Hamilton (in Brooklyn) several times a year. We would always go with her. We were lucky enough to go to the World Trade Center the year before 9/11. I remember looking out from one of the highest floors with my brother and couldn’t believe the incredible views of New York City. There was also a fun helicopter ride inside that gave you a simulated tour of the Big Apple. There was just so much to see and do in the Center and it made me feel excited to have visited such an amazing place. I then knew I wanted to visit the World Trade Center again, but didn’t know I would never be able to. Shortly after the attacks, my mom deployed overseas for several months. My grandparents and parents are retired military and my husband and brother-in-law are both active-duty military, so I have always had a very strong respect for our service members and for all they do for our country.

In November 2013, Ryan (my now husband) and I took our dogs and went to visit our friends in NYC. Ryan had never really been in the city besides going to Yankees games, so I was thrilled he was finally going to see it. We went to Times Square, Bryant Park, and several other sites. Our favorite, although the hardest to visit, was the 9/11 Memorial. We saw the new World Trade Center and looked at the beautiful memorials that were built in honor of those lost. It was so sad to see all the names, but it is comforting knowing that all of the victims are recognized and will never be forgotten. We hope to see the new World Trade Center and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum when we visit the city this December.

I noticed a nice touch that Fox News did on their programming today. Instead of having breaking news bulletins scrolling across the bottom of the screen, the names of the victims who were lost are being shown. What a touching tribute, Fox News!

Another remarkable tribute was what the weather did for New York City yesterday. Several people captured the shot of a bright, shiny rainbow over the city, touching on the World Trade Center. Below is one of my favorites that I saw posted Instagram by @flowkradd.

A beautiful rainbow shines bright over the World Trade Center the day before the 14th anniversary of 9/11. Photo captured by Tim Rice (Instagram: @flowkradd).

A beautiful rainbow shines bright over the World Trade Center the day before the 14th anniversary of 9/11. Photo captured by Tim Rice (Instagram: @flowkradd).

We will never forget the victims who were lost in the Pentagon, Shanksville, and New York City. We will never forget the heroes who first responded to the tragic sites. We will never forget the service members who fought for our lives. We will never forget 9/11. God Bless America.

Amazing Clouds on Lake Delta

One of my best friends, Paige, sent me these beautiful photos of the clouds over Lake Delta, NY this evening. She told me the pictures do not do justice for what her and our other friends, John and Sarah, could see in person. I wish I could have been there to see it live, but here are the pictures she sent me below…so captivating!

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Arctic Blast in Western New York

The snow came down hard last night in West Seneca, NY. My brave friend, Kelsey Wrzos, was so kind to me and went outside to take some pictures! Take a look at the crazy snow storm that hit her hometown!