If you pay attention to the news, you might be aware that we are currently in the midst of a government shutdown.  For most of you, this probably has little to no effect on your life.  I hope that's the case anyway.  For us, however, it has had a big impact.  Clayton is active duty, uniformed military; so he keeps working, and the legislators in Washington have been nice enough to let him keep collecting pay while they decide how to fund the rest of their activities.  I, Brianna, am a low-ranking civilian employee, and as a "non-essential"*  worker am currently furloughed without pay.  

Please understand, I'm not about to go off on some huge political rant.  Nor am I saying this to garner sympathy.  My pay makes our lives a bit more comfortable, but by and large we depend on Clayton's.  As long as he's still getting paid, I'm willing to forgo some creature comforts to give our country a chance to get back on track.  

So why do I mention my mandatory vacation?   Because it gives me more time to do things like this!  I wish I had my pay back, sure, but it's also nice to hang out in sweatpants all day and clean my house, get caught up on laundry, and upload pictures to share.  Last week on my days off, I went to the aquarium, a party, a wedding, watched the first season of Game of Thrones, organized our comic books, and painted a table.  Don't worry, I'm about to add the pictures from those things.  Well, not the laundry.  

My friend Ariel is about to move to South Korea with her husband, Nick.  So when they invited me to come to the aquarium with them and their friends, I jumped at the chance.  We spent the morning at the aquarium, then we went into historic Beaufort to have a quick burger and browse antique stores.  The next day, Nick and Ariel invited me over to their house for a going away party.  There I met a bunch of their other friends and we played Can Jam and Settlers of Catan.  It was a fun time, with good people and good food and drinks.  

Saturday, I went to my friend Brittany's wedding.  Brittany and her husband, Robert, are another couple who got married quickly because of the whims of the Marine Corps.  Their wedding was already paid for (Brittany was embossing envelopes) when they got the news that Robert would be deploying.  Now that he's back, they finally got to celebrate with their family and friends, over a year after their first wedding.  I was so honored to be invited to what might have been the most beautiful wedding I've ever attended.  If you know me, you know that I have been to a LOT of weddings in the last ten years.  I can't begin to describe it all here, but I will share pictures.  I'm done writing for now, so if you haven't seen my latest pictures, go chec

*This means I'm not essential to the immediate support and defense of the country.  In the not very long run, though, we are considered essential to the morale and welfare of our troops and their families.  Anything that contributes to morale is officially referred to as a "Combat Multiplier."  In past shutdowns, the library workers were brought back to work relatively soon compared to other "non-essentials."  Basically, please don't inundate me with the "So why does your job even exist?" questions.

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