Friday, March 30, 2012

Letter From a Student

This is why I do what I do...........

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pilot's Wife - Part 6 (the first year)

In the beginning of our marriage, we were together every day. It really was the “honeymoon stage”. Life was normal. I was a double major in elementary and special education, so I had to do 2 quarters (or 6 months) of student teaching, but I was still technically in college at the time. We lived in an apartment off campus and I walked to school if I needed to, as we were only 2 blocks away. We had great friends, knew how to relax when we got home from work every day, and really didn’t have too many responsibilities.

That summer, I decided to apply for any job I could get my hand on. I went to education fairs, looking for interviews and job openings. I even applied for a waitress position at our favorite restaurant. They told me I was “overqualified” for the position. Really? If I didn’t want the job, and felt I was too qualified, why would I have applied? I needed a job! By the end of May, the only job I had received was that of a “typist” at the local newspaper, typing up land sales in the business sections for $80 a week. It was a good thing that we had deferred loan debts, cars paid off, and a cheap apartment, because there was NO way I could make a living on that. We just recently looked at our tax return from that first year of marriage.  We barely made $23,000 - which was his "salary" as a flight instructor.  Not exactly jet-setting, right?

In July I remember I was sitting in the apartment eating lunch one day, while Josh was at work, when I got a call from a school district 50 miles away (that I do NOT, to this day, even remember applying for). They were offering me a job! Due to Josh’s work situation, I would have to commute every day (because we didn’t want to move away from our apartment and his flight instructor job). But, that was okay, I would have a steady paycheck and we would be able to save for the future.

Since we knew we would be there for a couple years, I decided to start my Master’s program in education and take 1-2 classes a quarter (which would take me 2 years to finish). In winter, Josh decided to start applying for jobs again and flying at the college got busier. In the Spring, he ended up getting the call! He had been hired by a regional airline! was in Chicago. We live in WA State and that was quite a commute.

In May and June, I started applying to districts within an hour of the major airport that we wanted to live by. We liked the area. It was close to family, the weather was good and the price of housing was in our budget. I got a call from the largest school district in the area, took a personal day, and drove the 3 hours to share my portfolio with them. I was hired on the spot. I told my current principal that next week and she said they wouldn’t let me out of my contract unless they found a replacement for me in my current teaching position. They didn't look very hard. In July, Josh left to go to training in Chicago.

By the time it was August, it was slim pickings to find good special education teachers, as most of them already had their jobs lined up. So, after many tears, we decided I would leave our college town and get an apartment/townhouse by myself in the city where my current job was. Good news, no commute and it had a tiny airport that Josh could easily fly into when he was home for 2 days a week. 2 DAYS A WEEK!  How was I going to survive?

The school year began and I was heartbroken at only getting to see him 8 days a month or so. I decided to coach fall girl's softball at my middle school to keep from getting bored.  (And, so it begins.......right, Danielle?)  I was still taking Master's classes at my college and the "Friends" DVDs were just beginning to come out.  So, every time a new one came out (about once a month), I would head to Costco and buy them for $20.  What a steal!  My new obsession with Ross/Rachel and the gang began and I have Josh's absence to thank for that one.

I cried many nights on the phone with him and he started to get to the point where he knew he would have to find a job closer to me and home. Luckily, I had my cousin, Nicole, close by and my friend Haley and her adorable twins living next door, or I think I would have gone completely crazy. But, at least I still got to see him every week.  I think of military families that don't get to see their loved ones for months/years and I have new respect for them.  I don't know how they do it! They are amazing.

As Josh filled out applications, he knew that there was only one airline in particular that would get our marriage the proper start: home together a majority of the time, a house, and a steady life. In the Spring of 2005, he got the call.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

1,000 Fan Giveaway - WINNERS!!!!!

Congrats!  Winners have been e-mailed as well.  If you are the winner, please contact the owner of the prize through facebook.  Let them know your e-mail address or shipping address (depending on the prize) and refer them to this link so they can see where I announced the winners.  Thanks so much for a fun "first" giveaway!!!!

Mary E Rice
1.  From Kendall’s AVON Place

Vibrant Glow Linear Earrings
Color: Orange
Beautiful candy colored earrings.
Free Shipping

Sue Steinman
2.  From: Kristie Koelker, Independent Jamberry Nails Consultant

Leneah Willis
3.  Bloomin BOWtique

Amanda Marie Roach
4.  From HankOrange

One waterproof pouch (reusable bag) customized with your initials on it!

Jennifer Reyer Young
5.  Creations by Jessica

(please contact K Tobin Video for the hat!)

Newborn Football Hat

Agnieszka InsiƄska
6.  Designs by Megan

Kim Bentz
7.  Loving Lightroom Actions by Amy

Set of 75 presets!
Holly Haun Lahr
8.  From AK Glam

$5 Gift Card

Jennifer Cashin
9.  DiamondHeart Photography

1.  Amanda Daye

2.  Christina Carpenter

3.  Becky Keithley
10.  Anna Hollister Photography
3 Headbands - will be 3 separate drawings

Kristie Koelker
11. Spells and Stilettos

Stephanie Smith
12.  K Tobin Video
30-60 Second Commercial for your website

(see my blog on advertising!)

1.  Holly Storm-Burge

2. April Turner
13.  K Tobin Video
2 “Mark” Make-up Gift Baskets

The Pilot's Wife - Part 5

If you are playing "Catch UP":  Here is Part 4

This year is our 10th anniversary.  And I am having such a great time remembering how we met and what our wedding was like.  This week, I share with you some of my favorite photos from that day 9.5 years ago!  Sorry about the scanner-quality photos :(

Me and Josh walking back down the aisle after we said "I DO!"
Our entire wedding party
My sister and Brother (who is now 21, by the way!)
My girls!!!!!

It's me!  Time to go work out again.....LOL

Josh with our ring bearers

My and my flower girls (who are graduating this year!)

My Pilot and ME (LOVE YOU BABE!)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Conroy Twins

This wonderful little family is the brother and sister-in-law of my long-running baby-sitter, Robin, who left me to go to college!!  But, I will talk about that some other time :)  So proud of her!

They have a beautiful little girl named Hannah who is 21 months old.  Due to insurance purposes, when they found out they were pregnant this time, they weren't able to get in to see a doctor until Brittany was about 6 months pregnant.  Much to their surprise, this was the first time they found out they were having TWINS!!!!!  They sprung into action with what little time they had left so they could prepare for these 2 little bundles of joy :)

Little Miss Hannah....such a character! 
The twins together!!!
2 weeks ago, little Triston (boy) and Skylar (girl) were born.  They were having difficulty breathing steadily on their own, so they were kept in the NICU here in Vancouver, WA. I noticed that Brittany hadn't been taking many photos other than on her phone, so I messaged her and asked if she wanted a couple of them while they were still in the hospital.  So, I went the next day after school and snapped a couple.

Skylar is still in the hospital, as she is having trouble eating on her own without a feeding tube.  Triston got to go home yesterday.  YAY!!!!   But, brother and sister need to be together again soon, so prayers would be MUCH appreciated for her ability to eat!!!

The entire family together!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Pilot's Wife - Part 4

If you missed the proposal last week: Pilot's Wife - Part 3

I grew up in a Christian home and one of the things that I believed was to “save myself for marriage”. In this endeavor, our youth group leaders told us to keep a journal for our future husband. I was HORRIBLE at this. I didn’t even start mine until after I met Josh. And, while we were dating, I only wrote one entry to him. It was:

“So, it’s girl’s night…everyone broke their “future husband” journals, and I realized that I haven’t done anything in mine for quite awhile, so I thought that I would start this as a journal and tell you about my thoughts, hopes and dreams…and give this to you at our wedding. Ok, that was the LONGEST sentence that I’ve ever written. Well, I realized that (in this girl’s night out), I missed you a lot. You are my light, my rock (besides Christ), and I love you with all my heart. You know how we always say we can’t think of anything to talk about? Well, every time I think of something I want to tell you, I will write it in here!”

The rest of the beginning of the journal was scrap booking different pictures, poems, and phrases that reminded me of Josh and of our relationship.

Guess what, I didn’t write in it again. This was the only journal entry I wrote in it before our wedding. AND – I don’t think I ever gave it to him. I kept it in a drawer in our bedroom and totally forgot about it until I found it last week. Just thought this would be an interesting place to confess...

While Josh and I were engaged, we were living in Ellensburg still because I was a junior in college (about 4 hours away from my mom, the organizing queen, and my hometown where we would be getting married). Most of the plans took place in fall 2001/Spring 2002 when I went home to visit Longview. My budget was $5,000. Josh says the only thing he remembers about planning is that I did most of it. He says that I asked him for advice, but he had NO idea what I was talking about (AKA Flowers), so he just made stuff up. My dress was $300 at a local store. Bridesmaid dresses were $100 each (lilac for the maid of honor and periwinkle for the rest). Flower girl dresses were white ($20) and their moms spiced them up with some tulle and flowers. By the way, my flower girls are graduating high school this year!!!!! Aren't they gorgeous? I'm so proud of them!

I get a high from saving money, so everything we did was on a budget and it made me happy knowing that we weren't going to be in debt (except student loans) when we got married. The reception was at the church. My photographer was a friend. I handed the family video camera to another friend (and yes, we STILL have that video!). The caterer was a family friend and all the food was bought from Costco. Ribbons and decorations were all bought at (I kid you not) Wal-Mart, the Dollar Store, and Jo-Ann Fabrics. Sorry to any of my brides if this is embarrassing to you! Just remember, I was 20 years old and this almost 10 years ago!!!! My tastes have since changed.

My bridesmaids were:
1. My sister, Danielle
2. My cousin, Nicole
3. My best friend since 3rd grade, Kelly Jo

And my two best friends from college:
4. Angela and
5. Andrea

I chose my best friend from high school, Michelle, to sing a duet with a family friend and my sister and her boyfriend's family prepared a music number as well.

We had to have pre-marital counseling with Pastor King, but because we were 4 hours away, we only had like 2 sessions with him. Most of our counseling was a packet that we had to fill out together and discuss. My take-away that I always remember is that Pastor said to never put down my husband in front of others. I have strived to always stick to that. Josh's take-away was not to look at other women and lust after them. He says he has done a really good job (as he is sitting here smiling at me). He also remembers Pastor King saying that when he first got married, he asked his wife Kay "Where's my lunch?" and she said "I'm not your mother. Go make your own lunch!" Now, if you know Pastor and Kay, this surprises me, but also sounds just like her spunkiness!

Now, if I can just get this scanner to work, I can't WAIT until next week to show you some pictures of the big day!!!!!! :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Book a party March 23rd until June 30th and look what you can get (if you are the host)!!!!!

I will be having a party on April 6th at 6pm at my house....

Who else wants one?? :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Pilot's Wife - Part 3

Just to catch you up:
1.)  Part 1
2.)  Part 2

Okay - now that we have those out of the way!!!!

I remember the morning of Sept. 11th just like it was yesterday. My cousin, who was also a student at our college, called me and woke me up (it was pretty early West Coast time). She said “I think someone ran an airplane into the White House!” The news was a little misinformed. You know the story of what really happened. Two airplanes hit the Twin Towers in New York; another one crashed into the Pentagon, and yet another one crashed into a field in Pennsylvania.

After that, people were afraid to fly. Even though security tightened and airports went on high alert, people didn’t want to take that chance. My personal thoughts are: the best time to travel is right after a disaster because the public is watching your company more carefully and you don’t want to make any more mistakes for fear of a PR nightmare.

Josh called me, mentally and physically shaken. It was as if he knew right then what this meant for our future. He wanted to make sure I was okay, but he was also worried about what was to come. You see, he had only proposed one month earlier.

I don’t think our parents thought our relationship was serious at first, but in July of 2001 when Josh asked my dad permission to marry me, I think they got the hint. Did you know that my dad told my pastor before I even knew? How could everyone keep the secret? On August 7th, 2001, it was my 20th birthday. I will let Josh tell the story now from his perspective:

“I’ve known for a longtime that she was the ONE. Then I just knew that it was time to ask. So I went shopping, picked out a ring I thought she would like, and then started thinking about what to do. Her birthday was on Tuesday August 7th, so I knew I had to do it then. I asked her father 3 weeks prior and received his permission and support. Then soon after that I knew what I wanted to do.

Karina’s birthday was on a Tuesday. I had told her I was unable to be there until that Wednesday. Well, I went home to Woodinville on Monday afternoon to get ready. I got her flowers and fake presents. I left my house at 7:30am on Tuesday and got to Longview at 10am and talked to her mom. I had spoken to her mother previously and had gotten her to pack things for an overnight trip. When I got there, her mom said Karina had no idea I was coming, so that was cool.

Her mom told me she wanted lunch there at Subway, so I just surprised her at work and brought her the flowers and said, "Happy Birthday, I’m here to take you to lunch." She was shocked because she thought I wasn't coming until the next day. It was her birthday that day so she was sad I couldn't come.

I took her out of Longview to Castle Rock (4 miles north on I-5) to go to Subway. She didn't think anything of it. She just thought I was spending more time with her by taking her farther away for lunch. Well after we were done, I was using her cell phone and "accidentally" got on the freeway North instead of South. She was like, “You're going the wrong way.” I repeated, "Oh I was supposed to turn south, huh? Whoops."

So we passed a couple of off ramps and she asked, "What’s going on here?" I told her she had the rest of the day off. She didn't believe me. I told her to give me her phone; I called her work and had her talk to her boss who told her she had the rest of the day off. I told her we were going to the beach. She said, "The beach is the other way!" "I know what I'm doing." I said. "We're going to Ocean Shores."

No joke, she headed straight for the glove box and got out her map to see where it was. She asked if we would be home in time for her to go out to dinner with her friends like she planned. I told her "Sure, just call them when we get to town.” We got there an hour or so later and rolled through town. I took her out of town along the beach, and pulled into the parking lot for the Caroline Inn.

She asked, "What's going on here?" I had her stay in her seat and went into the trunk and pulled out our suitcases and (seeing the shock on her face) said, "Its ok, your mom said so." (She said she will talk about her Christian Family in the next post). She then said, "We're not going to make it back for dinner are we?" "No."

We hung out for the whole afternoon just chilling and talking on the couch. We were hungry so we went to the grocery store to get stuff to make dinner. She cooked dinner. On her birthday. I am so lucky. She wanted to! I gave her the "fake presents" I had bought for her. I think there was a CD and some candles/soaps. She was exclaiming, "This is the best birthday ever!" I was thinking, "Its not over yet!"

It was around 8pm; the sun was just beginning to set and we went out to the beach. We walked around and talked a little and she started going on about why she loved me and stuff, setting me right up. I said it was my turn and started telling her all the reasons I was in love with her and how special she was to me. Well after about 5 minutes or so I kind of pushed her back and secretly pulled the ring box from my pocket got down on a knee and asked her to marry me.

She looked shocked, wiped the tears from her eyes, and (after an agonizing 5 seconds of silence) said yes. I put it on her finger and we hugged and kissed and had smiles all over our faces. It all went just as I had hoped. A lady was even walking past us on the beach and witnessed it and asked if we wanted her to take our picture. So, we have that event documented, too. We had so much fun that day, I know we’ll remember it forever!"

Okay - Karina again....If you know pilots, you would know that they are pretty technical, straightforward people. The fact that he just got a little sentimental and decided to help me by writing out the story of the day we got engaged really meant a lot to me. I just want to take this opportunity to publicly thank him for supporting me in all my crazy endeavors. So, thanks Josh!!!!

As for our future....Due to lack of air travel from Sept. 11, airlines stopped making money. Thus, they stopped hiring pilots. Also around that time, the FAA raised the mandatory retirement age from 60 to 65, so it gave pilots another 5 years to decide whether or not they were done flying. All of this happened the year that Josh had graduated, we had got engaged, and he was trying to apply for jobs. It was the absolute worst time to be a newly certified pilot. The rest of the year was spent just getting over the death of a work dream and realizing that we were kind of stuck in our college town while Josh instructed until the airline business picked up again.

As for me, it was the beginning of my obsession with weddings!!!!

If you haven't already, you can still enter our 1,000 Fan Giveaway!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Advertising Special for bloggers/facebookers

I thought it might be easier to explain on here than it is to explain on Facebook :)
Many of you know that I created a team for the Portland "Making Strides for Breast Cancer" walk in May...I had to cancel my March mini-shoot, so instead, I am extending an advertising special to my Blog/Facebook Family. All proceeds will go straight to our K Tobin Video Team at the walk! I will also give your business a shout out in an album on my Facebook page.  Here are the packages:

Here are some examples of commercials I made last night.  If you are not in the Portland/Vancouver area, and don't have video for me to edit, I take pictures and put them in a montage.

In order to donate, you just need to click on this link:

Please send me an e-mail at: after you have done so, so I can check that it went through and we can get to work on your designs!!!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

1,000 Fan Giveaway!!!

In order to enter the giveaway, you need to "like" all Vendor Pages on Facebook by completing the RaffleCopter!  Thanks!!  Only numbers 6, 7, and 14 are open internationally (besides the US and Canada).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Item and Vendor
1.  From Kendall’s AVON Place

Vibrant Glow Linear Earrings

Beautiful candy colored earrings.
Free Shipping

Color: Orange

2.  From: Kristie Koelker, Independent Jamberry Nails Consultant

Buy One, Get one Free!

3.  From Bloomin' BOWtique

$10 Gift Card

4.  From HankOrange

One waterproof pouch (reusable bag) customized with your initials on it!

5.  Creations by Jessica

Newborn Football Hat

Newborn Football Hat

6.  Designs by Megan

30% off a custom design

7.  Loving Lightroom Actions by Amy

Set of 75 presets

8.  From AK Glam

$5 Gift Card

9.  DiamondHeart Photography


10, 11, 12  Anna Hollister Photography

3 Headbands - will be 3 separate drawings

13. Spells and Stilettos

      Set of Make-up

14.  K Tobin Video
30-60 Second Commercial for your website

See two examples

15, 16.  K Tobin Video
2 “Mark” Make-up Gifts

Friday, March 2, 2012

Thy Plate Runneth Over

As if I don't take on enough.  Those of you that know me are going to laugh.

I wanted some free makeup.  So, today, I jumped into the deep end of the pool. I signed up to be a "Mark. Representative."  I will probably not do any parties unless people ask.

I will drop off the monthly order books at the teacher lunch tables and see if anyone bites.

I also posted a link to my online makeup website at the top of this page.  
See the tabs?  It's the one on the right.

So, if I make money, cool.  If not, no biggie!  
I just thought it might be nice to get some discounted makeup and freebies.

So, I will be giving away a couple freebies in my giveaway.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

1,000 Fan Giveaway Preview 2

We are at 910 fans, so we are almost ready for the giveaway!  E-mail me at: if you would like to donate items in exchange for fan promotion!!  Here are a few more goodies to get excited about:

Set of 75 presets!!!!!