Living Outside the Stacks

Navigating through life away from the library


Happy Anniversary: How I Met My Husband {In the Family Room}

Today, the hubs and I are celebrating 19 years of marriage, so I thought it’d be fun to share the story of how I met my husband…

Anniversary {Living Outside the Stacks}

The year was 1994, and I was a sweet, innocent little soldier stationed at Fort Polk, Louisiana, about to celebrate my 2nd year in the Army. This is my story, I can tell it any way that I like, just rest assured that what I’m telling you is the whole truth.  Anyway, I was sitting in the personnel office updating some paperwork, when I see these two guys in a separate part of the office looking at me.  I acknowledged them and kept on talking.  And by acknowledged, I mean, I glared at them and shifted in my chair because they were staring at me.  So I finished my business, said good bye to everyone and started heading out of the office when I felt a tap on my shoulder.

Anniversary {Living Outside the Stacks}I turned to see one of the guys who was staring at me.  ”My friend would like to ask you out.”  I looked him up and down ~ you know that look we give trifling men ~ and said “Tell your friend if he wants to ask me out, step to me like a man and ask me himself.”  Then I walked away. I later found out that the hubs never asked his friend to say anything to me, the guy just thought he was doing his friend a solid.  I also found out that he’d called his mother and told her that he saw his future wife.  Ummmm, yeah, right….  Actually, I guess he was right.  Hahaha After that, I started seeing my future husband everywhere.  So much so that I seriously thought he was stalking me.

The future hubs started coming to the mailroom to pick up mail for this female soldier which irritated me to no end.   I was thinking, wait, wasn’t this man just trying to pick me up the other day?  Whatevs… I had a baby at home, I wasn’t in the mood for any foolishness.  I didn’t bother dealing with him, I had neither the patience nor the time.  Turns out, the girl he was picking mail up for was a single mother who was home convalescing and he was just helping out.

Anniversary {Living Outside the Stacks}Now I have to break right here to give you a little bit of background…  At the time, I was in charge of the Unit Mailroom and I had about 3 male soldiers working for me, who used to always have their buddies at the mailroom, so there were always vehicles parked behind my office.  However, no one ever parked in my parking space.  Ever. I’m very territorial about my parking spaces, ask anyone who has ever worked with me.

Now back to the story…

Skip ahead a few weeks later, and I pulled into the back of my office and saw this beautiful black Isuzu Rodeo parked in my parking spot. *insert side eye* The windows were down, the music was blaring…it was just begging to be explored.  So I got out of my car, hopped in the truck and started looking around.  Yes, seriously. My parking space, my rules. I had no idea who this truck belonged to but I was going through everything ~ the cds, AC/DC, really? the glove box, etc.  I would never recommend doing such a thing now but I was bold back in the day.  And I was fairly certain that I was safe because I was working under the assumption that the truck belonged to one of my soldier’s friends.  Anyway, I was sitting in the driver’s seat when who should come walking out but Mr. Helpful.  He walked over to the truck with this big ol’ cheese eating grin on his face, leaned in to the window and said: “My name is Sergeant Tucker and I don’t have any money ’cause you’re sitting in it.”  Swoon.  Yep, it was his truck.

Anniversary {Living Outside the Stacks}

And that, my friends, is the story of how I met my husband.

If you’d like to read what happened when I stood up him up on our first date, go here.  I’ll tell you this much, it involves a stalled car on a dark secluded highway, a trucker and a very forgiving man. cue Hotel California
Daenel T


2014 Daily Selfie: Week 10 {In the Dark Room}

Hi, you guys! How was your weekend? Mine was all kinds of fab. It was a celebration weekend: my birthday is today {41 years old} and my anniversary is tomorrow {19 years}. My family went out of their way to make me feel special this weekend… I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.

Here are a few pictures from last week:

Squeekerz {Living Outside the Stacks}

Squeekerz can find a ray of sunlight in the darkest night.

Coffee {Living Outside the Stacks}

The requisite coffee shot. It’s what fuels me, ya know?

Zoom Lens {Living Outside the Stacks}

My new zoom lens. A gift from the hubs. I’m so in love right now. With him. And the lens.

Birthday Cake {Living Outside the Stacks}

My birthday cake. I absolutely positively love ice cream cake!

#RocktheRedPump {Living Outside the Stacks}

Every year, I #RocktheRedPump on my birthday in honor of National Women and Girls HIV/Awareness Day.

Birthday {Living Outside the Stacks}

41 is gonna be a blessed year!

What was the highlight of your week?

I’m linking up with:

  • 2014 Daily Selfie ~ Instagram: I’m doing this with a few of my Instagram friends. “Selfie” is open to interpretation, as long as there is part of your body in the photo, it counts. Use the hashtag #2014dailyselfie.
  • Life Rearranged ~ Instafriday: Share the stories behind the filtered pictures. Link up on Fridays.

Daenel T


Fist Bump Friday: Parenting 101! {In the Cafe}

#FistBumpFriday {Living Outside the Stacks}

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know that I like to do a little something called “Fist Bump Friday”, where I encourage my friends to share something that made them happy during the week. Sometimes we get so bogged down with life and the crazy that comes with it that we forget to acknowledge the good things. So I thought it’d be fun if we all shared and celebrated together.

This week I’m happy that my family and I had an open and honest discussion about our emotional and physical needs. As parents, we never really know when or if we’re getting it right but I know that we’ve done the best that we can and I thank God there’s opportunity to do better.

So please, share your good news in the comments below. Remember, it doesn’t have to be big or earth shattering. If it’s important to you, it’s important to me.

Daenel T




Throwback Thursday: Easy Vegetable Lasagna {In the Kitchen}

In honor of Throwback Thursday, a repost from 6 March 2012. Enjoy!

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted about Meatless Monday, I guess because we’ve mostly been eating soups on those days but last night was totally different. I made a Vegetable Lasagna that was to die for… OK, truth, the girls and I loved it, the guys not so much. So while it may not be a total guy pleaser, I think it’s well worth trying.

Easy Vegetable Lasagna {Living Outside the Stacks}


4 Zucchini (sliced)

1 Green Pepper (diced)

1 Red Onion (diced)

1 Package Frozen Spinach (defrosted)

Mushrooms (sliced)

Garlic Powder

Salt & Pepper

1 Package lasagna noodles

2 (15 oz) Ricotta Cheese

1 Package Mozzarella Cheese

3 Eggs

1 (26 oz) can Hunt’s Chunky Vegetable Spaghetti Sauce (I love that stuff )

3 TBS Butter or Olive Oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook lasagna noodles according to directions.
  2. In a pan, melt butter or heat olive oil, add all vegetables except for the spinach and cook until tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. In a bowl, mix the cheeses, eggs and spinach. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Spread enough spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a lasagna pan to coat it so that your noodles don’t stick. Layer noodles so that the edges are touching. Add a generous layer of veggies, top with cheese mixture, top with noodles. Keep layering until you run out of veggies. Mine ended up being two layers. Pour sauce over noodles and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes.
  6. When you remove it from the oven, let the lasagna sit for about 10 or 15 minutes before you cut into it so that everything “sets”.

Just a couple of notes, I’m not a professional recipe maker~upper so these are just the amounts that I used. I also have a large family so you may need to tweak for your family. I would encourage you to use more veggies such as eggplant, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, etc just so that it’s heartier and has a little more color to it. I love colorful food. I just used what I had on hand so that’s why I didn’t add those things, but next time I definitely will be doing so.

If you try it, let me know what you think. I’d also be interested in knowing how you adjust the ingredients/recipe for your family.

Daenel T


Rock the Red Pump {In the Cafe}

#RocktheRedPump {Living Outside the Stacks}

“Change your shoes, change your life…”

Or change someone else’s. On Monday, 10 March, I’ll be rocking my red pumps {or cowboy boots} for a very special cause: The Red Pump Project. The Red Pump Project is an advocacy organization that seeks to raise awareness about women and girls who’re living with or who’ve been affected by HIV/AIDs. In honor of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDs Awareness Day, bloggers and every day women are being asked to “Rock the Red Pump” to help raise awareness about HIV/AIDs.

I know you may be wondering What does that have to do with me? I used to ask myself that same question. Then I realized it has a lot to do with me. I’m a woman, a daughter, a sister, a wife, and a mother. I’m also an educator. And, if you’re reading this post, chances are you’re one of those thing too. We are in the perfect position to raise awareness about a disease that is affecting women and girls on a daily basis.

Just check out some of the statistics:

HIV/AIDS in the United States:
  • There are currently 1.1 million adults and adolescents in the United States living with HIV.
  • Approximately 1 in 6 people (15.8%) who are infected with HIV do not know that they have been infected.
  • Since 2008, the number of new HIV/AIDS cases in the United States has remained constant around 50,000 per year.
  • New HIV diagnosis was highest among individuals aged 25–34 years (31%), followed by individuals aged 13-24 years (26%)
  • Top ten states with the highest rates of HIV/AIDS diagnosis are California, New York, Florida, Texas, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Georgia.

Women and HIV/AIDS

  • 1 in 139 women will be diagnosed with HIV/AIDS at some point within their life.
  • Every 47 minutes, a woman tests positive for HIV in the U.S.
  • High-risk heterosexual contact is the source of 80% of these newly diagnosed infections in women in the US.
  • From the beginning of the epidemic through 2005, almost 86,000 women have died of AIDS and AIDS-related complications.
  • The largest number of HIV/AIDS diagnoses during recent years was for women aged 15–39.
  • Seven of the 10 states with the highest case rates among women are in the South.
As women, we can make a difference. And as fashionistas, why wouldn’t we want to do it in style? So on Monday, 10 March {my 41st birthday!} I’m asking you to join me and stylish women every where as we #RocktheRedPump.
The Red Pump Project was started by Karyn of The Fabulous Giver and Luvvie of Awesomely Luvvie. The red pump symbolizes the strength and courage of women who’ve been affected directly and indirectly by HIV/AIDs.
I’m linking up with:

Please, ladies, protect yourselves, get tested, and know your status!

Daenel T

These statistics are from The Center for Disease Control’s website and the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Fact Sheets (which cited the CDC). You can get more information about the effect of the epidemic from these sites.

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