What I’ve Been Up To/Rambles

Hi guys.


Things have been pretty mundane in the Benson/Wollinger household. But I haven’t blogged in a while, and I felt inspired to write. So, I apologize if this post becomes wordy, all over the place and maybe a semi recap/spill my guts session.

So, lets start with the recap…here’s what I’ve been up to:

Jim and I went back to my home town a couple of weekends ago for my Uncle Jim’s service. That service has a whole lot to do with things that have been running through my mind lately, but we’ll get there later. I didnt take too many photos while in my hometown, but we had a really good time spending the day with my brother and old friends out on the boat. Made some memories I certainly will never forget.


Before we headed back on Sunday, we took Jim’s Dad out to breakfast for Father’s Day, at our favorite spot, Red’s in Salem, MA. His little brother Andrew, sisters Karla and Amber and brother in law Rob were there too, so obviously we had to do a photo shoot.


THEN, my BFF Caroline who is the best person ever introduced us to the North Country’s version of a beach. Wasn’t half bad…still no comparison to the beaches back home….but the “lake beach” off Lake Ontario was pretty awesome. Any day is a good day when Caroline and the little dude are involved. ❤


Jim’s sisters, and brother and law made a surprise visit too just for a night last weekend! We had SO MUCH FUN. We had a family dinner together, with our friend Sean as well–Jim and I were freaking out we were so excited…we’ve never had that many people at our table. Jimbo may or may not have been our “DJ” for the night while we had drinks and played Cards Against Humanity…. and this is actually the only picture I got of the entire trip….caption it in the comments:


Sunday we went to Old Forge! For those of you who don’t know what/where that is–it’s a beautiful place in Upstate NY….basically what I imagined it would be like when I moved up here…but alas…you have to go about an hour and a half from post to see the true beauty of this place. We drove up jamming out to some classic rap songs until we lost service..and once we finally got there (Jimmy yells at me for not following the GPS….this kid took us like 20 min out of the way…don’t let him tell you any different..) we stopped for lunch at Walt’s Diner. We didn’t have too much planned, so we just walked around all the shops, and acted like the tourists we are.  I definitely got a cute little ice-cream shaped treat for my pup in honor of National Ice Cream Day! I actually didn’t have any ice-cream though! 😦


The banker side of me got REAL excited when seeing the Life is Good store had an old vault…though they did fill it with Crocs…haha


OH! That brings me to this! One last thing to catch you up on…..drum roll please….(for those of you that follow me on ANY social media, you already know)…BUT, let’s give an official blog fam welcome to CADENCE WOLLINGER!


Don’t mind my pants covered in fur..we had JUST picked her up, so the cats in the humane society were all OVER ME. 


We have been searching and searching for months for our forever pup, and we rescued this sweet girl from the Steven Swan Humane Society in Utica, NY. Her name was Candy (not quite sure if that was her name originally) and she was lovingly renamed Cadence. She has acclimated to the name very well…and as some of you know, back home we have a family dog named Lola..


She’s on the left, that sweetie on the right was her pup Cadence….so it was a tribute to her, as well as a tribute to our love for the US military. ❤ Cadence is a boxer mix, and she was a boney wreck when we got her. She had kennel cough and her nipples were basically dragging on the floor. We think she may have been used as a breeding machine, and dumped at the shelter…but she is in her happy forever home now..and boy does she feel it!


Ok…now that you’re caught up on some of the goings on around here…ramble time. I’ve had so much on my mind lately. So many things are coming up in my life that are pretty exciting/scary/just all the emotions. Some of those things include me going back to school at night to finish up my bachelors….that’s super exciting to me, but scary, because it’s going to be a lot with working full time, but ya gotta do what you gotta do as an adult–I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again! 🙂 My best friend Mariah has her wedding coming up, and I’m her Maid of Honor–so we’ve got lots of planning, and bridal showering, and things to get done before I fly to Savannah in December. THAT being said, there has been a lot going on personally that have been weighing on my mind. I won’t go into too much detail, but I can tell you that its making my heart hurt. I’ve seen some people I love recently just do things and say things…that just aren’t ok. It’s hard growing up and thinking that the world is one way, and believing in people so much, only to have your eyes opened to realize that people you thought you knew…aren’t who you thought they were. True, genuine, kind, loyal people, family members, aren’t very common. &The ones that are, need to be cherished. When I love you, as a family member, as a friend, as a significant other–I love with everything. I was raised that way. I love you with all my might, defend you till the end, but let you know when you are wrong, and expect you to do the same for me. Every big moment in your life, is a big moment in mine. Since my Grandpy and my Uncle’s passing…it’s been way too much. Because you see…Grandpy and Uncle Jim were two of those people that I loved so fiercely. &Seeing others agendas play out during a time of grieving is hard. But it’s a part of life, and another thing I’ve learned in this crazy journey as a 20 something. Life is short, spend time with those you love, celebrate the happiness, and smile through the darkness.

That’s all for now. &If you made it all this way…thank you for letting me ramble. I needed this writing session more than you could imagine. &I promise to get back to happy blogging. I’ve had enough moping around for a lifetime.


“You and your girlfriends need to stop calling each other ‘bi*ch,’ there is enough hate in this world, you young ladies don’t need to be talking like that.”-My Daddy



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I MOVED/Supah Long Catch Up Post



Long time, no wifi! I can’t even describe to you the excitement I had when the Time Warner Cable guy was blocking my garage yesterday morning! We got cable just in time for Opening Day, and now I can finally catch everybody up!

Hi, hello, hola! If this is your first time reading my blog, welcome! If you’re a long time reader…YOU DA BEST BBY. Okay…so, down to business..I moved! Jim finally finished all of his training, as I’m sure you gathered from my last post, and we emptied our storage unit, and made the move to upstate NY! I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle such a huge move. I went from being in my hometown I grew up in, two minutes from the beach and just 45 minutes from the city of Boston, to a very rural area, and of course, living on a military base is a whole separate ball game in itself, for someone who has no experience with it. I’ve gotten a tad homesick, but so far–I actually really like it! Mostly I just really like being around Jimbo all the time again..but the area is super pretty. Yay North Country!

Jim came home to help me pack up, and although we didn’t have as much time as we thought he did to spend in MA, we got to see some of our fam, but we’re lucky enough that he didn’t get stationed too far, and we can head back home for visits, and it’s not too far of a trek for our family and friends to visit us!



I did also have a super cute photo of Jim and his parents, but they were half asleep, so I promised not to post it 😉 I’m the paparazzi queen when it comes to pictures.

We haven’t done too many exciting things, because we’ve spent the past few weeks, unpacking, getting settled, I’ve been job hunting,  nesting like crazy–but some of the “super exciting” things we’ve done so far:

-Tried Tim Hortons


This may not seem like a big deal to most, but we don’t have Tim Hortons where we’re from, and How I Met Your Mother really hyped us up about it. It was ok….still prefer my Dunkies (and Heavenly Donuts) coffee. But my doughnut was pretty good!

-Popped our friend Shep’s Chipotle cherry


Yes! We have a friend! Well, for the sake of honesty, he was Jim’s friend first…they met during OSUT and both got stationed at the same place. But now this little sarcastic f***er is my friend by default! &Obviously as soon as we heard he never tried Chipotle, we HAD to take him to get a burrito.

-Jim’s first day of the “Big Army.”


Sorry Jim, I know I promised I wouldn’t show any one this “first day of kindergarten” photo, but I’m just so proud! Be lucky I didn’t make you hold a chalk board stating it was your first day. 😉 haha

-Visited the 3rd Largest Mall in the U.S in Syracuse! &Ate at Margaritaville!


I actually didn’t do too much damage here, although I’m sure that won’t hold truth for long. I never realized how large of a city Syracuse was. Still nothing compared to Boston and NYC, but definitely more Spankee fans there. *puke.*

-Bought some new home decor (although the house is still a work in progress)


-Actually did some damage at the smaller, much more pathetic Salomon Run Mall


Not sure if the sales are still going, but Pac Sun had adorable shirts 3 for $20 &Charlotte Russe had a sale buy one get one for $10 for dresses and shoes. I bought two dresses and a pair of shoes, and screwed myself. Bc I though the dresses would’ve been the buy one get one. If I purchased the shoes separate, I would’ve saved $20, or if I got another pair of shoes, I would’ve saved $10. Be wary when you see those deals!

-First Easter away from the fam!


It was very weird, and kind of didn’t feel like it was a holiday, but we had our first Easter away from home! We did get to FaceTime with everyone back home, so that helped. &I have to say, it was fun decorating and cooking (even though I almost burnt the house down a couple of times) but it would’ve been nicer to host the whole family. NEVER FEAR, I did have two very hungry, and VERY critical guys to feed.


Had to force them into this photo.

Also HOW ADORABLE IS MY NIECE!? I’m so obsessed with her, it’s ridiculous.



I was talking with a family member of mine yesterday about how social media can be used for many different things. Sometimes it tends to create drama. You see lots of political rants, cyber bullying, dirty laundry being aired out..but for me–I like to use social media as a tool to connect with family and friends I do not always see, and to socialize via inter webs with others who have similar interests, as well as most of us; I use social media to share my highlight reel. I like to keep my feeds positive. Showcase the happiness, the smiles…but sometimes, sad things happen. &I want to try to keep things real too. Recently I posted on my Facebook page, where all of my friends, are a bit more personal than on my other social media–asking for prayers for my Grandpy. He had a mild stroke. Things were looking dim, then they were looking up a little..but then the news was brought to me yesterday, that he is being sent to Hospice and will likely pass in the next few days. For most of my young adult life, I have been dealing with death. Friends, Uncles, my Nana, and my Dad. It doesn’t make this any easier. I made the decision not to go home until his service, because I do not want to see him in the state he is in now. I’m sure with sharing this on the internet, I will hear a lot of opinions on this. But for me, after seeing my Dad slowly get sicker and sicker, and saying my final goodbye to him, where he couldn’t respond..it’s not something I think I can mentally handle at this time. I want to keep it, that the last time I was with my Grumpy Grandpy–he was out to dinner with his family; my Momma, Jim, my brother and his girlfriend. He was happy spending time with the people who love and care for him. He was joking with the waitress in his Grandpy manner…and he knew he was in the presence of love. Grief plays out differently for everyone. In my fathers passing–it brought so much closeness within my family. It brought out people by the hundreds at his service. All of the lives he touched. You see who truly cares, when standing in the face of darkness. &That much has been true in this situation as well. I’ve been able to see everyone’s true nature. I’ve been reached out to, from those who truly care. My immediate family has banded together; Mom, brothers, in laws. Its a sad, and wonderful thing to see.

I will forever hold on to my memories with Grump. Running into his house as a little girl, to sit on his lap and read the comics in the paper. Tending to his tomato garden together. Endless trips to playgrounds, and lots of dollar bills snuck to me. My Grandparents taught me to read, taught me my times tables at age 5. As I got older, my Grandfather was always the first one to jump when I needed a ride, money, advice, help with homework…ANYTHING. I’m so happy that I had that relationship with him. &I am so happy, that he will no longer suffer. He will be with our maker..and our savior, Jesus Christ. I love you Grandpy. Now, and forever.


“Hey Aut–smile will ya?”-Grumpy Grandpy Shields



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