Friday, March 28, 2014

PRE Deployment Care Packages

I was asked about the PRE Deployment box pics I posted on Facebook the week hubby left. I thought I would share those ideas here as well.

Leading up to the deployment I had attended several FRG (Family Readiness Group) meetings. As a newbie to the ship life I thought it would be a great way to learn the traditions, share some experiences and gain some wisdom from fellow spouses. Those meetings did just that for me. One of the things that stood out in my mind the most was care package packaging. We were warned several times of all the mishaps that can occur, the damage the package may undergo, the potential losses that have happened, as well as acceptable and unacceptable content allowed. It saddened me to learn that some spouses had learned that after several attempts of mailing care packages to their sailor and putting forth the effort to make them special, those packages fell overboard or were undelivered and their sailor never received them. SO SAD! What I took away from that was not to send anything valuable, electronic or meaningful like a family keepsake. I also thought  to myself that wouldn't it be a shame if no matter what measure we took Daddy never received our packages. So, I instead thought about sending hubby on board with a box full of special surprises. I sent him a manilla envelope  for every month he would be away. Inside each envelope was a note from us, a funny joke and for fun silly mustaches he is to wear and take a picture with! There will be 2 for every month. It's fun for him and fun for our boys! I also sent with him a customized  calendar featuring all of our family's special dates; birthdays, anniversaries, vacation dates, etc. Each month features a picture of us from the year prior. So for example on Ty's birthday month, MARCH, I have a picture of him with his birthday cake and birthday hat. For October, our anniversary month, I have a picture of us on our date night last year. Within the calendar on the specific dates that are meaningful to us, I have inserted a special picture of momento. Then of course, on the LAST month, a countdown to when he's home! (the best month ever!!) And of course no care package is complete without some favorite tastes from home; a large jar of nutella, pistacios, almonds, beef jerkey and some assorted spices for the meals on the ship.

Also included in the PRE deployment care package is "Sailor Bear". Sailor Bear is acting as our version of Flat Stanley. He will accompany hubby on all his port stops and will have his picture taken and sent to the boys in an email or posted on Facebook (if there is WiFi). The boys are super stoked with that idea. Thankfully hubby has already been a good sport and posted some pics from his first port stop in Greece.

I got to see his reaction when he opened up the box before heading to the ship, unlike sending care packages in the mail. I can honestly say he loved it. In fact he did get a little choked up. (Kilgore brothers if you are reading this, you do not repeat that!)  And seeing him in the picture with Sailor Bear is also very comforting. He actually took him out and about with him, while going on guided tours with grown adults. Now THAT my friends is love!

So that is what we did with our pre deployment care package. I feel good knowing that even though we are going to send care packages to him throughout his time underway, there is always going to be something already there, waiting for him to read, smell or unwrap when he misses us the most.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Care Packages: 101

Sending love in the mail, sucks! I mean, the thought is nice. Being able to send something to your loved one to help them feel loved, missed, supported and valuable is great and all, but I would much rather give these things to them in person! You know what I mean?

Here we are a month and a half into this thing and it was time to send a care package. It's my understanding some other spouses have already sent one, maybe even two at this point, but I just didn't see the sense to that, yet. Hubby was really good about buying all his necessities and "must haves" before going onboard, so it didn't really leave a whole lot for us to follow up with.  That's the thing with him, he's very self sufficient. If he needs something, he gets it. It's super frustrating around the holidays too because there are not a lot of things he "needs" or "wants" as a gift because he takes care of himself. BUT we always do find our way around it and try to do something creative and from the heart. Same goes for this care package.

The boys, ages 9 and 11, had been asking to put something together for some time. They didn't necessarily have anything in mind, they just wanted to send something to daddy. So I went and got the box and the packaging and started collecting stuff. Some of it mail that came for him from his alumni association, some of it newspaper articles about his ship's deployments, and some of it the kids' artwork from school.

Then I had to really get creative and let him know we missed him and wanted to bring a smile to his face because we know what his days must feel like too, being stuck on that big grey floating thing for weeks at a time. He often referred to his ship life as "ground hog day". I can't even imagine the misery. As much as he loves the ocean, he much prefers to enjoy it from the beach!!! So we found some cool beachy themed scrapbooking paper and decorated the inside of it to hopefully give him a sense of home and happiness. Here is how we did that.

The boys measured the paper to fit all the flaps on the box and made sure that all corners were neatly glued. I was the glue gun operator, which for some of you I'm sure brings a smile if not a LAUGH out loud reaction! I'm no crafter afterall!

Once we decorated the inside of the box we wanted to write a message on it. So given that there were four flaps on the box, we wanted it to have four words. That was easy: WE MISS YOU DADDY.
We printed off the text from a word processing program and glued them on each flap.

Now came the fun part. THE CONTENTS! With each care package we wanted to include some cards, so we picked out three. One from me, one from each of the boys. We wrote our own personal message on them and put them inside. We also included some pictures of our perspective of the ship leaving the pier, some fun knock-knock jokes and jokes we have heard from school or from a current book we were reading and some chapstick! My oldest son picked out a goofy pair of socks, and bought them with his own allowance, and insisted we included them in the box. I wish I took a picture of them because they really were silly, but to him he thought Daddy would love the humor in his choice. So in they went! Then I added some of his favorite Starbucks instant brew pouches, some chamoile tea (since he has been having a hard time winding down after work and getting a good night's sleep), some chap stick, some magazines about Triathlon, retirement (an inside joke), and consumer reports (always a favorite). I also threw in a handerchief sprayed with my perfume in a sealed ziplock bag. He can sleep with that under his pillow case or just keep it in his flight suit/uniform. I recently just bought a new fragrance so I am going to have to send that one too. Some of his favorite snacks (pistacios, almonds, jerkey, nutella) and another bottle of spices so that he can use that on the "very bland" ship food! Just as I was about to seal the box, I found a cool little decor piece that read "Love you Dad" and just had to put it in. It fit perfectly and thinking about the size of his space on the ship, it would be a nice little reminder to put in his room.

I hate that we can't see his reaction when he opens it up or if he even cares about the silly stuff but it made the boys feel good about it and it helped me feel like I am doing my part at home. We're both serving this deployment. I may not be on the grey floaty thing, but I am doing the time too. I'm super proud of my husband and our Navy's efforts and this is why you will always see me in RED on Fridays and always see me wearing my wings until he gets home!

We're not loving life right now, but we're certainly making the best of it.  We always feel his absence but we just keep moving forward. ONE DAY AT A TIME. Sending the care packages help. Not just our sailor but us too.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I'm back!

I don't even know how many of my friends and family blog anymore, since we're all on Facebook. Hellloooooo??

Anyway, we're back in the "deployment" stage of our family's life path so I thought I would reinstate some Daddy diaries, Mommy diaries and some overall thoughts about the time and distance my husband will be away from us. We are facing a tough 25 months ahead so I can forewarn you know there will be plenty of b*tching, moaning, complaining and venting going on up in here! But it's healthy right? That's what they say. Talk it out....release it....and get over it. So that's my plan.

Currently we are three weeks into our move to Virginia Beach, VA. We moved here during the tornados that ripped through our prior home town, Oklahoma City. It was the most heart wrenching move I've ever experienced. We loved our six years in OKC...and made some wonderful friends and roots in the community, only to turn our back and move away from them.....during the most difficult time in HISTORY was ....brutal. Just brutal.

But we're here....and I am trying very hard to find our new normal.

The first week here consisted of us getting out of boxes and frantically looking for new pieces of furniture. It was no small task. But we wanted to get the bulk of our move-in DONE before hubby left for his six weeks of training. Thankfully he is close enough to come home on weekends, but still.....we wanted to get as much settled in as we could before he had to leave. Leaving him some peace of mind and me some small bit of sanity. Having the pool and the beach has definitely helped the boys find the "good" in this move....which also helps me not worry so much about them adjusting to this new city.

At week three the furniture is starting to be delivered, I am finding my way around better, and getting to know the neighbors. What was great about our first night here was almost all of the neighbors came over and introduced themselves to us. AND....they all had boys! So our house/pool/yard has become the central meeting place which can carry with it the good and the bad.  With hubby being away and feeling dis-ca-bobulated not having found a "normal routine" just yet, the LAST thing I want to do is offer free babysitting to all the neighbors kids! But at the end of the day, I know where my  kids are and that's what matters.

However, there has been some drama! Yes amongst boys. I hate stepping in and being "that" mom, but I will do it. And I have had to. I need to set my limits and the kids coming in and out of my house/pool/yard also need to know what will and will not be tolerated. I'm sure this is all part of the "adjusting" phase....and I can't wait for it to be over.

It's HUMP day so the countdown is one for hubby to return. I am sooooooooooooooo looking forward to seeing him. It's been a long week (yes, already).

So as we adjust to our surroundings and the upcoming FREQUENT deployments, you will be hearing from me. Just let me know you came to visit....leave a comment, a hug and / or a prayer. All are welcome

24 1/2 months to go......

Friday, March 30, 2012

Kids' Blogging Challenge: Day 4

So far this blogging challenge has been pretty uneventful. I'm waiting for these guys to bust out something completely random. I think THEY are taking this too seriously!

Day Four of this challenge is "What does mommy do to make you laugh?"

Zach, age 8

Me: "what does mommy do to make you laugh?"
Zach: " When you do stuff that is crazy"
Me: "what does that mean exactly?"
Zach: "Sometimes you dance crazy and say funny stuff"
Me: "dance crazy? When? Where?"
Zach: "whenever you play music and turn it all the way up"
Me: "Interesting. What funny things do I say to make you laugh?"
Zach: "When we were watching a Pokemon movie, every time they said Pokemon, you screamed "Pokemon" in a high pitched voice"
Me: (giggle). Ok, that is funny

Ty, age

Me: "what does Mommy do to make you laugh?"
Ty: "tickle me"
Me: "is that all?"
Ty: "when you say jokes"
Me: "which ones?"
Ty: "I forgot"

Thanks for participating!

(Man, I am boring!)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Kids' Blogging Challenge: Day 3

Today's Kids' Challenge is "what makes mommy sad?". This should be interesting!

Ty, age 7

Me: "what makes mommy sad?"
Ty: "me fibbing to you."
Me: "Yes that does make me sad. Can you think of anything else?"
Ty: "no"
Me: "Just curious: have you ever seen me cry because I was sad?"
Ty: "No"
Me: "good!"

Thanks for participating!

Zach, age 8

Me: "What makes mommy sad?"
Zach: "When we lie"
Me: "Yes that does make mommy sad. Can you think of anything else?"
Zach: "When we don't do the right thing?"
Me: "Do you mean, when you get in trouble? Making bad decisions?"
Zach: "yes"
Me: "So, let's try not to do that ok?"
Zach: "got it"
Me: "Have you ever seen me cry because I was sad?"
Zach: "yes"
Me: "Why was I crying?"
Zach: "because your friend Kristina left"
Me: "yes...I didn't realize you saw that"
Zach: "Was I supposed to see that?"
Me: "no but that is ok."

Thanks for participating.

Zach: "Ty....leave my legos alone"

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kids' Blogging Challenge: Day 2

Day 2 of this kids' blog challenge is "What Makes Mommy Happy?"

Ty (age 7)

Me: "What makes Mommy happy, Ty?"
Ty: "Flowers and roses"
Me: "why do you say that?"
Ty: "Because flowers are beautiful colors"
Me: "how often do I get flowers?"
Ty: "Not that very often"
Me: "so are you saying that I am not happy all the time?"
Ty: (giggle) "No."
Me: "what else makes me happy?"
Ty: (pause)
Me: "don't think too hard...."

Ty:  (long pause)
Me: "am I happy now?"
Ty: "yes..."
Me: "did I get flowers?"
Ty: "no..." (giggle)
Me: "so what is making me happy then?"
Ty: "Me staring at you"

Ok then. Thanks for participating! :-)

Zach, age 8

Me: "what makes mommy happy?"
Zach: "When we hug her"
Me: "who's we?"
Zach: "me and Ty....and dad"
Me: "That does make me happy. What else?"
Zach: "When we do the right thing"
Me: "you mean, not getting in trouble?"
Zach: "yes"...(giggle)
Me: "am I happy now?"
Zach: "Yes, I think"
Me: "did you hug me?"
Zach: "I will now"
Me: "but did you hug me before I asked you that question?"
Zach: "this morning"
Me: "so the hug from this morning made me happy all day?"
Zach: "Yes"
Me: "Yep, you're right!"

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Kids' Blogging Challenge ~ Day 1

I've started a new blog challenge. This is Day One. I am going to use each question on THIS as a daily blog challenge. Enjoy!

Today's first challenge is to ask the kids "what does Mommy always say to you?"

I started with my youngest, Ty age 7

Ty: "Clean my room".
Mom: "why do I always say that to you?"
Ty: "Because my room is always a mess"
Mom: "what are you going to do about that?"
Ty: "Clean it"
Mom: "when?"
Ty: "Today"
Mom: "So will I have to ask you to do it again?"
Ty: "No"

Time will tell......

Next up....Zach (age 8)

Mom: "What is something mommy always says to you?"
Zach: "Let the dog in"
Mom: "how often do I say that?"
Zach: "whenever she wants to get let in"
Mom: "is that the ONLY thing you can think of?"
Zach: "no, you also say do not sit on your knees on the chairs?"
Mom: "REALLY? I "always" say that to you?"
Zach: "Kind of"
Mom: "ok, thanks for participating ....."

Monday, March 26, 2012

A New Blogging Challenge

Before deleting my Pinterest account, I saw this and saved it. It's my next blogging challenge and it involves the kids. I can't wait to see their responses!

Monday, March 19, 2012

I'm a bad bad blogger! Blog Challenge Wrap Up!

I was on a roll there, with this challenge, and then! It just got in the way ~ ha! But that's alright. By the looks of the last few topics of this 30 day blog thing, I could wrap them all up into one.

Days 25-30 are actually inter-related for me. "The Kind of Person That Attracts Me", "A Problem I have Had", "Something That I Miss", "Goals for the Next 30 days" and the "Highs and Lows of this Month".

I like positive people. I'm not talking about those obnoxiously super positive and happy people who are CLEARLY faking it to make it. I'm talking about the kind of people who see the cup half full, the light at the end of the tunnel, and have the never-give-up-I will NOT be the victim types of people. Those are the people I am attracted to. My mom always used to tell me "you are who you hang out with" . At the time she used it as a deterrent to stay away from the wrong crowds of people and it worked. It has helped me look for people who will build me up and encourage me, rather than think then lead me down the wrong path. I also like to think  that I make investments in people.  I treat people the way I want to be treated. There is a pay off to that. 

I need all the good karma I can get.  What goes around comes around so I use that as my motivation to be a good person. It helps attract the same kind of people.  If you scratch my back, I will scratch your's, and who can go wrong with that kind of mutual appreciation? A simple philosophy, right?

A problem I have had in the past is that endless quest of wanting everyone to like me. I don't like hearing negative things about myself and so I tirelessly would work to please everyone; family members, school teachers, church goers and friends AND foes at school. I didn't want to say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing, wear the wrong thing. I was so consumed with thinking about what impression I just made with someone. OR if someone was upset with me, I just wanted to RESOLVE it. Even if I was the one initially upset and hurt and betrayed, I found I was the one apologizing just because I didn't want THEM to be upset with or think badly of me. Bizarre. I know. I was so insecure. For years, I allowed myself to live my life for someone else. Thankfully I outgrew that and got real tired of the endless quest of acceptance.  With age comes wisdom,  a stronger sense of self and tougher skin.  My priority now is just living MY best life. Not seeking perfection or acceptance from anyone but myself. AND not caring what other people think about it. And wouldn't you know, I'm a much happier person for it! :-)

What I miss is family. I grew up with my entire extended family all around me. I knew all my first, second, third cousins. Had all my grandparents, aunts and uncles all close by. Scott's siblings are like my own too. I dated him in high school so I've known his younger sisters and brothers for 16 years of my life. We grew up together in a sense. Even with having a sister in law 3 hours away we only see them, MAYBE, once a year. I hate that. The Kilgores plan a reunion every other year and so we get to see EVERYONE then, but again, that's every other year. My brother and sister both have kids around the same age and it would have been so cute to see our kids grow up together but we have to rely on skype or Facebook or the every-other-year trip home we make. And even then we don't get to see everyone. But we do the best we can. Despite all the drama a family can bring; family is family. Memories are golden. I so wish we had that for our kids. **family on both sides, if you are reading this, we need to make more effort staying in touch ~ just sayin** (Chrysta, you do not need to send me flowers or book a flight, the fact that you even read this blog is love to me...thank you! Love you)

Oh and I miss Kristina. The End.

My goals for the next month are just to stay active. I've been in such a funk lately with Kristina's move, my bad knee, my endless studying, the busyness the Dash brings, that I just don't feel like doing anything anymore. My heart isn't into it anyway. But I signed up for a bunch of stuff so hopefully that will get my butt back on track. Here's hoping.

I also want to get back to creating more green smoothies. I was on a roll there and then life happened. I need to incorporate more of those in my afternoons. They are such a great pick me up.

I want to blog more. It is therapeutic but it's also good to get the inside out. My poor running blog has not seen any action in months. It's time to get a blog challenge going over there too.

Lastly, I want to start reading FOR FUN starting this month! Now that I'm in a habit of reading (studying) I want to leave the text books on the floor and pick up something fun and easy to read. That is on my To Do list for the month. Any suggestions?

The highs and lows of this month are ongoing. I know by Day 30 I can qualify this as a month, but to me the month ends on March 31st. The Dash is the 25th and I am hopeful it's a high. I have another media date this week. Lots of Race Day activity this weekend and my DASHERS are running on Sunday. I am so stinkin proud of them. I don't even care how fast they go, I am just proud of them for committing!

My lows are that Kristina moved to Washington on Friday. My grandparents are both in an assisted living home (which is good and bad) but two of the three want to go home which puts stress on the caregivers around them (Dad and his sisters). There are lots of people I know who are sick or know people who are sick. God has heard a lot from me this week. And my blog challenge is officially over. That is a low too.

I am grateful to you for reading along with me. It's been a fun thing to do. I found another cute one I can do, which involves the kids which I will probably start on Monday just because life is quite literally insane right now.

If you all want to participate in the challenge, I encourage you to do so. It's SO FUN! Let me know if you do so I can read along with you.

Here are my blog entries per day in case you missed it. It's not overly exciting or anything. Leave me a comment when something appeals to you :-)

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9
Day 10
Day 11
Day 12
Day 13
Day 14
Day 15
Day 16
Day 17
Day 18
Day 19
Day 20
Day 21
Day 22
Day 23
Day 24

See you Monday xo

Monday, March 12, 2012

Blog Challenge: Day 24

I am way way behind. It's been a crazy week to say the least.

Day 24's challenge is to write about my favorite movie and what it is all about.

I like movies that catch my attention from GO! If it's slow moving, chances are I will get distracted or if I am watching it at home I will fall asleep.

I cannot think of a movie off the top of my head that would be considered my "favorite". Like the TV Challenge I wrote about earlier, I just like to veg out and not absorb too much. However, in general I like movies that evoke emotion in me; whether it makes me cry or laugh out loud or walk away with a stirring in my heart, I appreciate those types.

I suck at these types of challenges! LOL

Blog Challenge: Day 23

This is late, sorry! This should have been posted on Friday. It's been a little crazy around here.

The challenge today is to post pictures of 5 guys I find attractive. If you follow my Pinterest, you would find them there.

The top of my list, as it should be:



Saturday, March 10, 2012

Blog Challenge: Day 22

Today's challenge is definitely a topic I can write about; how I have changed in the last two years.

A lot has happened in the last two years. Spiritual, emotional, physical and personal growth. I have been able to look at the world from the outside in and prioritize things in my life better than I used to. I think with age comes wisdom and the ability to like yourself more.

I've gotten a little braver; doing things for the first time and finding that I an enjoying something new that I never thought I'd do. By doing that, I've also found a group of very supportive, encouraging and positive people to surround myself with. Who doesn't need that?

Parenting is getting harder now. Lots of outside influences trying to infiltrate into my space. But thankfully my husband and I are all about sharing the load and having that open communication and tackling these issues together. It has helped me be more open with my kids, admit faults, and be patient with them.

I love having a community to be involved with. It's been YEARS since we've been able to have that in our lives because of all the moves and circumstances behind our moves, to allow for that. But we're in a place now that allows me to share my gifts and talents and faith with a community wanting to hear them. I have loved being a part of our church, the Y and my kids' school. It really has grounded me and given me a sense of purpose.

I am slower to talk and quicker to listen.

Lastly, I'm too old to care about who is saying what about me. I used to get so wrapped up in stuff like that and go out of my way to make everyone like me; even a little. Ugh. Exhausting. I see life now more as a perpetual movement forward. I don't have the time to keep up with what he or she has to say about me. I'm too busy loving my life :-)

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Blog Challenge: Day 21

Today's "challenge" is to talk about one of my favorite shows.

I can't say with confidence I have one favorite show. I watch a variety of shows; many of which I think you would laugh at. TV is my escape. I don't want to watch something that is super serious; thought provoking; too engaging. It's very rare for me to sit and watch TV for any length of time, so when I do get the opportunity to sit down, I don't want to think. I just want my mind (and body) to go to mush. So, often times I will watch a reality show or watch a romantic comedy or something like that does not require me to "figure things out"! (like a detective or CSI type show)

But....if you were to ask me which of my kids' shows I like, hands down it would be Phineous and Ferb! Ha!

Blog Challenge: Day 20

Today's challenge is to discuss the importance of the value of education.

I've had this discussion a lot with my boys recently. No one in this house likes homework, so we've had to talk about how the more you learn something, the more doors will open for you. I've had to tell them that the more you learn, the better the job. And that life is always about testing you, quizzing you, and having you learn something new every day. They see that in Scott; he's always studying and testing for something at work, and lately myself with my PT cert studies.

Education is freedom. Education is valuable. Education gives you opportunities.

Gotta cut this short. Child needs bed changed. Grrr

Monday, March 05, 2012

Blog Challenge: Day 19

Today's challenge is to write about how I feel about disrespecting your parents.

When I was growing up, my parents did NOT know everything. They would push things on me, they were play favorites, they would accuse me of things I did not do, accuse me of things I did not say, and often times assume the worst of me. It was a battle for me, growing up, trying to prove I was not any of those things. There was yelling, there were mean things said, and it did affect my relationships with them. Some might think I was being disrespectful but to me at the time, that I did not appreciate anything my parents did for me. That because I was yelling at my mom, I was just being a typical teenager. When all I was doing was fighting to be heard and to be respectED.  It was rare to hear a compliment from them. I honestly think that because of that of that I have a hard time identifying with myself even as an adult.

But that was then. I've learned things over time as to why people do and say the things they do. I've learned that people do what they know and what they've learned. My parents' parents played favorites;  accused  the kids of multiple wrong doings; could not squeeze a compliment out of them or being acknowledged for work well done. I get it.

I am not meaning to bash my parents. They are awesome people. Well respected in the community and by us. Hard workers. Volunteers. They taught us great life lessons too. For one, I had a true sense of respecting my elders. That was definitely ingrained in us as kids growing up. We called everyone Mr or Mrs something. Even if they were our neighbors. We did not speak unless spoken to. You always used your "pleases" and "thank yous". We were to conduct ourselves orderly in public because "you are representing your family". I think those kinds of manners and courtesies have all been forgotten it seems.

Like I said earlier, we all learn something from our parents. Some good and some bad. But even the bad can be changed into something good. As a parent to two boys, well removed from where I grew up, I have decided that it's time to change the cycle. I don't want my kids to grow up with insecurities. I want them to be strong in character and proud of their accomplishments; big or small. I will not yell at them just to be heard because I know what it is like to live in a house of yellers. I will demand their respect and show my soft and loving side more times than my yelling side. They will respect their elders like I did growing up. Always addressing them as Mr or Mrs and never talking back to them. There will be consequences if they do. I think people look at how you treat your parents as a character  gauge. If you disrespect them, you will hold no other adult in high regard; and that will NOT happen in my household. I've learned well from my parents!!

Blog Challenge: Day 18

Today's challenge is to discuss my beliefs. This may take I will be brief (I am getting ready to head out to day #2 of a hockey tournament)

I believe in our Heavenly Father and in his son Jesus Christ our Savior.

I believe in love.

I believe working hard helps to open doors.

I believe in giving of your time and talent without expectation of anything in return.

I believe we're all stronger than we think/know we are.

I do not believe in abortion.

I believe in ghosts and spirits.

 ....I will add to this list. Must go to hockey.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Blog Challenge: Day 17

Today's challenge is to write about the highs and lows of the past year. I think I will do this in bullet form because it's 5:45am and I haven't had my coffee and I don't feel very wordy yet.

High: In the last year I competed in four triathlons. 2 open water and 2 pool swims. Each of them had their challenges but they were still fun. The world of triathlon has really been a highlight in my life. I've met some cool people; did some fun training events; and have challenged myself and become a better athlete because of it.

High: Another high was witnessing my husband do his first Ironman. There is nothing in the world like it. I'm telling you. It may be the longest day ever, but it's so incredibly inspiring. And just to wrap your head around the fact that he just did 140.6 miles. A-M-A-zing.'

High: I met some amazing IRONMAN pro athletes this year; talked with them, got photographed with them and are now FB friends. To us athletes they are our Hollywood stars and it's so amazing to see how normal they are! (and a far better example)

Low: My grandparents, on both sides of my family, are not healthy. My grandfather almost died a year ago and then my grandmother too. My mom's mom just had a heart attack and is hospitalized as well. Every time the phone rings, there is usually bad news on the other line. On top of their health, the family support for my parents is just not there. It's hard hearing about it from this far away and not being able to do something to help or visit them when I want.

High: My running club has grown to 35 kids. As chaotic as that can be sometimes, it's still pretty cool to see that many kids wanting to run and live a healthy lifestyle.

High: I got to go on TV twice in the last two months and will again this month. All for the love of the Dash. I can't say that I loved the experience, but it has given me an opportunity to challenge myself again in a different way. I've received a lot of positive feedback about it so that feels good

High: I was asked to be a guest presenter at a Race Director's Conference. I blogged about it in this post

Low: I learned the hard way that people have selective memory.

Low: My best friend's husband got a job in Seattle and they are moving in two weeks.

High: My kids respond well to being challenged as well. At the beginning of the year we set goals for them in their Accelerated Reader program at school and both of them have been pushing really hard to meet those goals. In fact, on Monday, Zach will write an AR test and surpass the goal we set for the year! So proud of them.

Low: My butt

Low: A ton of grey hairs I found in other areas of my hair

High: Facebook has been good to me. It's help me to reconnect with long lost friend, establish new ones and build on friendships with those I see regularly. I like being able to check in with people from my past and see how they are doing. Without Facebook I don't think I would have that opportunity. We don't go home often enough to see everyone I would want to do see. For a transient family like us, I have found that Facebook has made me feel more grounded and better connected with family.

Low: Facebook has also created an addictive behavior in me. So much so I have had to restrict my time on it. I removed the App from my phone and tell myself to check in to do work related things in the morning and evening and anything else in between is not allowed. With it being the season of Lent, I hope that helps keep me focused.


Friday, March 02, 2012

Blog Challenge: Day 16

Today's challenge is interesting. A little more thought provoking than yesterday's.

I'm to discuss my views on mainstream music.

I think a lot of our pop and rap music is just too vulgar. It's like listening to soft porn instead of viewing it; songs about booties, boobies, other body parts; what they want to do to those body parts and how they are going to do it. It's very suggestive and I think it gives young girls the wrong impression on how to act and behave themselves. The songs often have great beats and melodies which disguise the true meaning of the song a lot of the time. People are too busy dancing and having a good time, not realizing they are celebrating a song that is talking about a man beating a woman or about a man describing how he is going to have sex with a woman. And the language is so in your face too. There is no doubt what they are describing in their music. It's hard to find a song that I can listen to in the car with the kids. Most times we are listening to KLove or I am channel surfing.

Songs to me have moved away from telling a story and seeing the progression to having a song with the most shock value; what body parts can be mentioned, how can we rename them; what can we do to them; how can we describe it. However, I think that country artists are probably the only genre of artists that have stayed true to story telling. They even make it a point to be comical instead of shocking to listen to. I do find I laugh a lot more listening to country music than any other, I just wish it was something I could run to! (and those of you who do run to country music; you're crazy!!!)

I also find that country music artists do a better job singing songs about relationships; good and bad. I find the lyrics more heart felt and more relatable. And I don't know what it is about a sad country song, but I will end up in tears by the end of it. Must be the whiny guitar.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Blog Challenge: Day 15

Here we are, Day 15 of this Blog Challenge. There will not be much to read today. You may want to read my other daily challenges!

Today's challenge is to mention your Favorite Tumblrs.

I don't use the program, have never checked it out either, so I guess this does not apply to me.

End of blog today!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Blog Challenge; Day 14

Today's challenge is to write about my earliest memory.

I have many memories from when I was a child. Many. I can remember Laura as a baby and I can remember the wall paper on my bedroom walls as well as my bed comforter too.

I don't know how old I was but I remember  playing with my brother outside, making forts and fishing with dad. I also remember riding in the tractor with Grandpa. I remember picking out birthday cakes and asking Gram to make me a special kind. I remember "running away" from home, across the yard to Gram's. I remember announcing to my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Smith, that Andrew Kennedy and I were boyfriend and girlfriend! I remember having to do the "flouride" walk  on Monday mornings. Worst day of the week ever! But I honestly cannot say with certainty what my earliest memory was. There were so many.

I remember a lot about my youth. I wish  I could say the same for my adult years ~ I blame that on pregnancy brain! (how long can I milk that?) LOL

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Blog Challenge: Day 13

Day 13, almost at the half way point of this BLOG CHALLENGE.

Today's topic is to write about a place I'd like to move to or visit.

I cannot tell you how many times this topic of discussion has come up in our household. We are four years away from retirement in the military and at that point big decisions need to be made. The transient family will have to find roots and sit-u-ate. It's exciting and yet scary all at the same time.

Never in a million years did I ever think when we moved here that Oklahoma would be "home" to us, but I have to say it has really grown on us. We love the area we live in, our kids' school, the YMCA, the community, our church and you cannot beat the cost of living. On top of that Oklahoma City is growing, all the time, and it's becoming such a beautiful and grand place to live. It's a big city without all the high volume of traffic, which is also a huge plus for us. Not to mention we're only 10 minutes from the airport to greet family and visitors coming into town as well as 15 minutes from our door step to Bricktown. It's such an easy place to get around and such a pretty downtown area too. Lots of family friendly fun as well.

The problem? Visuals!! We miss trees, mountains, lakes, rivers and beautiful landscapes. Oklahoma is so flat and brown and boring at times. We miss the greenery of the north, and the tall trees and the mountainsides. When we went to visit my sister in Colorado Springs, we felt so at home there. There was so much to see and do, and the perfect landscape for the outdoorsy person (us) we knew we would be happy living there. We went so far as to look at model homes and to speak with some builders and check out lots of land. That's how serious we are about moving there. But we've done the same thing here too.

If we could just take our life here and transplant it somewhere pretty, we'd do it in a heart beat. But clearly that is not an option. We're still researching. Tennessee, North Carolina, Texas, Colorado, all those states have been discussed. Our options are endless really. It's just narrowing down the search to find somewhere the four of us will be happy with and enjoy retiring in and where the jobs are :-)

In terms of traveling destinations, take me somewhere with a beach and the sun and I'm happy.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Blog Challenge: Day 12

Today's challenge is going to be fun! Interesting, but fun. And it may give my husband and anyone else interested how a typical day-in-the-life-of me goes.

Today's challenge is to "bullet my day". Clearly I will be checking back in throughout the day as my day's "Plans" can always change.

  • woke at 5:45 to hubby getting into the shower
  • 5:50 read emails, FB and Pinterest
  • 6:00 let the dog out
  • 6:15 kissed Scott "goodbye" for the week :*(
  • 6:17 got some breakfast and my first cup of coffee 
  • 6:30-7 responded to emails, did Dash related emailing, worked on Dash Volunteer stuff. Updated Dash FB page.
  • 7:00 watched GMA opening news segments with 2nd cup of coffee
  • 7:30 doing morning dishes and starting first load of laundry 
  • 8:00 someone pee'd the bed (again)...changing the sheets, starting another load. Got upstairs and realized the boys' bathroom was trashed so I ended up cleaning their bathroom and collecting trash.
  • 8:15 got dressed for the gym
  • 8:25 Took the boys to school
  • 8:30 ran some errands at the school then headed for the gym
  • Met Kristina for a 4 mile run.
  • 10:30 Got home from the gym. Grabbed a snack, showered
  • 11:00-12:00 ate lunch and watched Y&R (don't judge me!) 
  • 12:00-3pm study intervals/snacking/dinner prep 
  • 3:05 stopped at Crest to pick up some fruit and veggies for the week
  • 3:30 Pick up the boys from school
  • 4:00 snack and homework
  • 4:30 finish up dinner prep
  • 5:00 eat dinner
  • 5:30 Getting ready for hockey
  • 5:45 Out the door to hockey
  • 6:30-7:30 HOCKEY
  • 7:40-8:00 ride home from hockey
  • 8:15 showers
  • 8:45 books and boys in bed
  • 9:00 study flash cards

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Blog Challenge: Day 11

Todays challenge for Day 11 is to put your iPod on shuffle and write down the first ten songs it plays. That doesn't seem like much of a "challenge" for me, but here goes.

  1. Who's that Chick ~ David Guetta and Rihanna
  2. Raise Your Glass ~ Pink
  3. Hello, Good Morning ~ Diddy
  4. Dangerous ~ Kardinal Offishall feat Akon
  5. Break the Ice ~ Britney Spear (don't judge)
  6. E.T ~ Katy Perry feat Kanye West
  7. Marry Me ~ Train
  8. Club Can't Handle Me ~ Flo Ride (feat David Guetta)
  9. Dynamite ~ Taio Cruz
  10. Love Story Meets Viva La Vida ~ John Schmidt

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Blog Challenge: Day 10

Day 10 on this BLOG CHALLENGE is kinda funny!

I'm supposed to discuss my first love and my first kiss.

I have to admit. I was pretty boy crazy growing up. I was always playing with boys, hanging out with boys and crushing on them too. The problem was, they looked at me as one of the guys and overlooked me a lot. So much so that they would ask me to introduce them to my friends. Nice.

My first real kiss was in seventh grade. I had always crushed on a boy named Corby and in seventh grade we were "going out". At recess when they were all playing ball hockey, me and my friends stood along the sidelines and watched. At one point we made our way behind the nets because we were getting in the way of the ball. When Corby scored a goal, he came behind the nets and kissed me. Full on tongue too! IT WAS GROSS!!!!!!! I was in so much shock from that, it was hard to actually enjoy it and to those who were around that day and say it I'm sure it looked an awful lot like this: (from 0:11 seconds onward)

Anyway, my first love was when I was 16. I had it bad for this guy. He was the brother of a friend of mine. He was a shy guy, kind of dorky and kept to himself. I found out from his sister that he liked me and then it kind of went from there. At 16, my entire day and thought process involved him. I think I was a bit psychotic when it came to him. I'm not sure what came over me but when we broke up it was magnified. Poor guy.  Sorry Jeff! :-)
Maybe that isn't love....hmmm..... lol

We're friends now, I think! HA!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Blog Challenge: Day 9

Today's challenge is not a whole lot different from Day 2, so I'm not sure what more to write but I will give it a whirl.

How do I hope my future will be like?

I want to remain happy, MARRIED, comfortable and productive. I never want life to get boring. I never want to get in a rut and let life just pass me by. I hope that life continues to offers us opportunities to seek out and explore; doors to be opened.

I hope my boys stay close and are best friends throughout life. I hope they marry girls that become my daughters and they have lots and lots of babies together! I hope my grandchildren have a close relationship to both Scott and I, and that our life allows us to live close by so we can do things together on a regular basis. My fear is that once my boys marry they will not "need" their mom anymore, so my hope is they value our relationship enough to stay in touch with me on a regularly. I hope they continue to be a big part of our lives.

I see Scott and I traveling. We've always talked about getting Harleys and road tripping. I can't wait for that! And lastly, when I'm in my eighties, I hope I am still doing triathlons. I will do my first Ironman then, so I can place in my age group and qualify for Kona! LOL

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blog Challenge: Day 8

Wow, I've completed a whole week of this Blog!

Today's topic is: a moment I felt most satisfied in my life.

I'm sure most people answering this would say something like "having children" or becoming a mother. Not me. As much as I wanted to have kids, being around them and being responsible for them was a completely foreign and scary concept for me. Bringing Zach home from the hospital was the single most frightening experience of my life. Obviously things have changed :-) but the initial introduction to parenthood was very very nerve wrecking, unpredictable and uncertain. So my answer to today's topic, without hesitation would be my wedding day.

If you refer back to my DAY 5 topic, you can see that that period in my life was the hardest. There was so much heart break, separation, loneliness, uncertainty, anxiousness and sadness. So much was happening all at once I never thought I would come out from under all the rubble. Longest year of my life, without question. 

Breaking up the way we did was never something I anticipated.  It was never discussed between us when we were dating because we were in high school and too young to talk about that kind of thing, but I always saw myself married to him. He was "the one". So to go from that feeling to "I'm leaving for boot camp and my family is moving back to the U.S so we're going to have to break up".....was absolutely devastating..... to say the least.

Thankfully he got his head on straight and butt handed to him in boot camp giving him the perspective he needed!!! Two years after the break up, we made our way back to each other. Without wasting any more time, we were engaged and planning a wedding in four months. On our wedding day when we stood in front of EVERYONE we loved and vowed to be together forever, I have never in my life been so certain about anything more than I was saying those vows. That moment in time was the most satisfying to me.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

**UPDATED** Mystery Solved!

Who sent these?

As much as I am loving the effects it is having on my husband, I need to be put  out of my own misery. I have asked those close to me if it was they were the ones who sent them to me,  and so far no one has claimed them. I do appreciate the thought and want to know who you are. If anything, please give me a hint! :-)

The lady at the flower store told me they were ordered online and that the person who sent them only left the message written above.

I am no longer stumped.....thank you SIL. I love you too

Blog Challenge: Day 7

Before I write today's challenge, I just want to say THANK YOU to the anonymous person who sent me tulips yesterday. Clearly it was unexpected and yet such a wonderful surprise. That was very sweet of you whomever you are.

Today's challenge is: to write about my zodiac sign and if I think it fits my personality. I'll be honest, I don't follow my zodiac too closely. I may glance at it on my birthday but other than that it doesn't have any bearing on my life! But because it's part of the challenge, I will do a little research and carry one. What I have noticed when reading my zodiac is that sometimes I am considered a Capricorn and sometimes an Aquarius. The cut off is usually on my birthday: January 20th. So I will discuss both.

By Wikipedia definition, Capricorn is "old fashioned, unconventional, frugal, traditional, conservative, diplomatic, rational, logical, humorous, ambitious, stern, disciplined, practical, nonchalant, wise, hard working, tenacious, overbearing, unforgiving, condescending, pessimistic, flexible". I think for the most part that can be me. 

By Wikipedia definition, Aquarius is "You put a lot of energy into forming opinions and hold to them strongly. Driven by two planets, each representing opposite principles you frequently display a ‘wild’ side, linked to planet Uranus and prompting eccentric leanings, as well as a structured ambitious hard working Saturnian side. You are most happy when you are doing something different in a big ambitious way. You are the thinker of the zodiac, your key phrase: “I serve humanity”." Although I like to serve and be a help to "humanity", I do not think I have a wild side I frequently exhibit or that I hold very strong opinions.

So in this case, I think I'm more Capricorn than Aquarius.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Blog Challenge: Day 6

Today is day 6 of the BLOG CHALLENGE.

Today's writing topic: 30 interesting facts about myself. I don't know if I'm all THAT interesting but here goes.
  1. I am early to bed, early to rise kind of gal. "Sleeping in" is if I wake up at 6:30
  2. When I get dressed in the morning I dress from the bottom up!
  3. I will only take one shower a day so when it's done, I will not participate in anything active for the rest of the day to avoid having to shower again; including swimming!
  4. My shoes have to match my purse in some capacity. If they don't, then I just carry my wallet.
  5. I have to be up to watch the beginning news stories of GMA every morning, ingesting coffee while watching!
  6. I do not put my seat belt on until the kids have their's one. I will purposely wait it out.
  7. I tell baggers at the grocery store what order to bag my veggies. 
  8. There is always a Plan A, Plan B and definitely Plan C when I plan something! :-)
  9. When I am expected to be somewhere you can guarantee I will be there 15 minutes early. If I am not 15 minutes early that means  I have my kids or husband with me. :)
  10. Chocolate must be consumed, even if it is just a little morsel, every single day.
  11. I wear a lot of the B colors: black, brown, burgundy, & blue
  12. My favorite veggie is broccoli
  13. My favorite fruit is blueberries
  14. My favorite dessert is ooey gooey fudgey brownies a la mode (no nuts or whip cream)
  15. My favorite flower is tulip and I have never been given a bouquet of tulips in my life.
  16. I taught my kids to hold the door for me, and they do without being prompted.
  17. I like mowing the lawn
  18. I hate gardening.
  19. I hate crafting
  20. I love taking pictures.
  21. I hate sewing
  22. I am on a temporary Facebook Hiatus so I can better concentrate on my studies
  23. Unfortunately I am not a strong test taker.
  24. Numbers, statistics and mathematical equations scare me ; I do not know why
  25. I only know my husband's phone number by heart; all other numbers in my phone are unknown to me!
  26.  I struggle with self doubt on a daily basis. I can literally hear the positive and the negative self esteem angels duking it out in my head. I wish I knew how shut them off and just be confident
  27. I graduated from U of O in 1997.
  28. A perfect date night to me is during the day; doing something active together, grabbing dinner, seeing the site, then coming home to put the kids to bed and just chilling together watching a movie.
  29. Unlike my husband, I am low maintenance.
  30. I am fearful that one day I will get cancer. It is eating my family alive.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Blog Challenge: Day 5

I'm on it this morning! Starting Day 5 of the BLOG CHALLENGE before my day gets away from me.

Today's topic is : a time when I thought about taking my own life.


There has been a lot of discussion lately in the media about teenagers ending their lives because of bullying or because of their sexuality. From these inner conflicts developed a movement : "it will get better". Hollywood stars started a campaign  of support as well as artists who wrote songs too. (Pink's "Perfect" comes to mind). Anyway, as an adult looking back on a time in my life when I had huge internal conflicts, I wish I had that support.

Instead I went through a time when I felt like the ENTIRE world was against me. It was the loneliest time in my life. All those close to me were no longer in my life, physically or emotionally. My high school "best friends" who were my freshman room mates, had teamed up with themselves and chose to not be apart of my life anymore.  The summer we all returned home after our freshman year, I knew we'd never speak again. On top of that the love of my life joined the military and was leaving for boot camp at the end of the summer and my mom was diagnosed with cancer. It simply was the worst time of my life.  School was out for summer and I could think about was ending my life.

I'm not sure why I didn't go through with it. It's all I could think about. I have never felt so alone on my life. That summer and that time in my life completely changed me forever and I can  say looking back "things did get better".

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Blog Challenge: Day 4

Today is the real DAY 4 of the BLOG CHALLENGE! I am officially caught up!

Today's writing challenge is: my views on religion.

I don't see this as being a controversial subject. Anytime anyone mentions the word "religion" or "religious views" people start getting defensive or argumentative. I simply see this as just another part of our life's jourey; faith.

I have always been a faithful person. I believe in God. Jesus Christ as our Savior. I grew up knowing nothing more than that however.

It was hard being a kid with so many questions, and not enough adults with the answers. I knew I was supposed to believe in God. I knew He had a Son. He was born on Christmas Day and died at Easter for us. But that was essentially it. (give or take a few bible stories told in Sunday School class)

But the practical side of me wanted to know how to GROW in Christ. How to BE a better Christian. How to USE the scriptures as my guide and be a disciple of the word. None of this really happened for us me until I became an adult. Having had married someone of a different faith, we had to find a common ground we could stand on and raise our children up in. I didn't want restrictions placed on me and he didn't want to be forced into going to church or being apart of church 5-6 days a week. So in doing our "church shopping" we found our home at St. Andrews United Methodist church here in OKC.

The church is bigger than what he and I grew up accustomed too. They don't play the classical hymns we grew up singing and are familiar with. They don't have someone scouting you out every week wondering : where you were the week before; why you aren't coming to such and such event; calling to see if we'd like to do A, B, C , etc etc. It was a refreshing change! :-)

Instead our church embraced us. Offered us things to do, at will (allowing you to be as involved or not as you want to), they offered AMPLE kids' programs for our boys to participate in (all of which they freely want to participate in). They offer ADULT Sunday School classes and bible study classes which has enabled Scott and I both to grow in faith without interruption of having to juggle our kids. It's a comfortable environment where others just like us are learning things for the first time too. It offers TONS of community service work (which I love!), and lots of FELLOWSHIP opportunities with people our age! :-)
The pastors of the church know us by name because we are involved with the church; not because we are not; they know our kids and care about their development within the church; they have laid blessings on us when Scott was deployed. This "big" church is now a lot like home for us. we're not just a number, we're family.

Now in terms of religion; I believe that everyone has the free will to practice their own religion. Not everyone has the same perspective when reading the bible or understanding our God. I do believe we are his children and its our life's mission to go out into the world and share our testimony of our faith with friends and non believers to draw them closer to him. I believe that in order to go to heaven, you must have a relationship with God. I do not place judgement on those who do not. It is their free will to choose to believe what they do and why. I do not have to answer for them one day :-)

Blog Challenge: Day 3

If you are just tuning in, I'm participating in a Pinterest BLOG CHALLENGE. This is day 3. (I'm a little behind because of a mini vacay we just got back from)

Day three's challenge is: my views on drugs and alcohol.

Personally I've "been there, done that" with the party scene, in the sense of drinking heavily. I did it when I was a senior in high school (it is legal in Canada to drink at the age of 19) and throughout college, as I was dealing with a break up! Drinking for me was just an escape from my misery and the very next day when I awoke in the morning all that misery returned along with a hang over. It was pointless. Alcohol did not change anything. That's not to say I don't enjoy a drink or two. Because I do. I am a very social drinker. I will have a beer or cocktail with a friend over dinner or appetizers, or just hanging out and then I cut myself off. I am too practical I guess. I know that anyone beyond that I will have the "after effects" which will interrupt my sleep and it will make me grouchy the next day and my kids will STILL wake up at 6:30 and I will STILL have to be mom for the day, so there is no point in starting the day off on the wrong foot with a hang over.

I think it's sad to see people using it as a way to be social or to be the life of the party because I know all too well that the alcohol is only disguising something bigger going on with them. We had a friend commit suicide because he drank away his grief when his best friend died. Suddenly one night in his drunken stuper, he decided he could not handle it anymore, and he shot himself. All of us felt responsible for that because we knew he was struggling but accepted him as the party animal instead of the grieving friend and didn't do enough to help him. It became all too real when my high school friends and I were attending his funeral on CHRISTMAS EVE. That whole series of events changed my perspective completely on how I view alcohol and why I make conscious decisions to not drink too heavily; especially when I am going through my own personal struggles.

As for drugs, I have never done them personally. As a teenager growing up, I knew plenty of people who had, but the practical side of me just didn't see the need to try it myself. In my opinion, I already had an outgoing personality and I could legally drink as a senior in high school, why add the downer? I just didn't get  why people would take it to the next level.

I still don't. But again, I use my common sense too much I guess! :-)

Blog Challenge: Day 2

I guess I should have started this BLOG CHALLENGE after we returned from our three day weekender, but the point of the matter is, I am sticking to it right?

Ok, so day 2 of this challenge is : where do I find myself in ten years.

In ten years I will be 47. My kids will be in high school and my husband will be ready to retire soon (again). We are counting down the days until we are in full fledged retirement. (not just the military kind). We've been making plans, and dreaming big, and envisioning things for our life-after-work lifestyle. Traveling (for pleasure, not for work), building a dream home, and settling down on acreage. Oh....acreage!!!!

But in practical senses, I hope my kids are well adjusted teenagers. I know there will be stumbling blocks along the way, and at least three more moves before the ten year mark, but I hope they manage them well. I also hope that they are focused, unlike me at that age. I hope they work hard towards something and are checking boxes and making their way to be successful productive kids.

I hope to be working as a PT and also volunteering when I can. I enjoy having the flexibility of being a stay at home mom and also having the expertise (per se) to pass onto someone wanting to make real changes in their life. I hope I am still building on my experience with my clients and also working towards some goals of my own.

I am amazed at what we've accomplished, as a family, in the last 6 years living here in Oklahoma. I'm excited to see what is to come!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Blog Challenge: Day 1

Day One of the BLOG CHALLENGE: Discuss your personal relationship.

I have to say I am blessed. It has never been more apparent than recently. So many of my friends are going through divorces, separations or are in loveless, unhappy,  and unsupportive relationships. I don't know if it's a mid life crisis thing or what, but I remain happy, in love and secure. My husband is my partner in life.  We do not have defined roles. He doesn't mind running errands, watching the kids or cleaning the house. He works hard at work and at home, and always makes us his #1 priority.  Everything is shared 50/50. The most cherished part of our relationship is that we share mutual respect and love for each other and often communicate our "I love yous" throughout the day. We support each other in all our crazy endeavors and believe in each other, maybe more than the other believes in themselves. He makes me want to be a better person. I am a lucky lucky girl and I know it.

A Blog Challenge

I found a 30 day Blog Challenge on Pinterest and thought I'd try it out. Anyone want to join me?

 DAY ONE was easy peasy!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sooooo Pinterest is a little addicting, eh?

Some of you may already get this....have adapted this into your own life.....and live by these rules. I just NOW got to that chapter.

Friday, January 27, 2012

I am going back on my promise....already

My Best Friend is moving to Seattle, March 16th.

That is all I can mutter right now.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I am a positive person....for the most part! :-)

I need to post happier stuff more. I was reading through my past posts and most of them are so boo hoo'y and negative. This blog is definitely not a true representation of who I am, that is for sure. So for those of you in the blogsphere who only know this side of me, I apologize!!!

I use this blog to vent. It's therapeutic for me. I'd rather use this space as my diary than facebook updates. It's more quaint....comfortable......and somewhat anonymous (when my family isn't reading it! LOL) I can vent more freely here.

So from this point forward I will try and post happier thoughts and events. There is more of that in my life than the latter and now that the WORST day of the year is behind me, it can only get better from here on out, right?

Don't answer that. Let me just lie to myself for a little while.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Things are better now

Hello my three faithful readers! Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Sorry for the rant I made the other day. It's pretty self explanatory why I went off like that, but wanted to report in that now that the day has passed I'm feeling a little better.

I have this bad habit of focusing on my weaknesses and the negative stuff but do need to be reminded (thanks Chrysta, Jess and Cheryl) of the good from time to time. I honestly do know I'm blessed. I have a good life; great husband; awesome friends. But man there are days....that just make you feel so B-L-A-H......and dark.....and well you know. You feel very alone and bad...and just pouty. It was, however, therapeutic to get it off my chest/shoulders/mind and just  blurt it all out there. That may be one of the reasons why I'm feeling much better about things.

Or it could be that I just did something pretty amazingly scary and walked away feeling pretty amazingly awesome! I was asked to speak at a Race Director's conference today; representing the Earlywine Dash (of course) but also speak on behalf of my experiences using social media (FB) as our marketing and promotions tool for our event. That is right up my alley right? SURE....if I don't have to speak in front of people it is!!! It is completely out of my comfort zone to go into a room, and command the situation and impart wisdom on people. I would much rather be the student, to be honest. But I was convinced it would be good for me; "character building" they called it, and good for the Dash to do this. So because neither of my Co-Race Directors had a FB account, I was pretty much "forced" to do it.

I made notes, did research, googled topics, in preparation of this presentation. I Youtubed tutorials on how to set up a page; created a power point presentation and made flash cards as references. You know.....big boy stuff. I'm a MOM....I don't do these things! This is FOREIGN territory for me. But with Scott's help and Kristina's counsel I was able to organize my thoughts on Power Point and voila....a slide show was made.

Rehearsals in front of Scott last night were horrendous. I tripped over my tongue. Could not get my thoughts out. Forgot what I wanted to say (even with my flash cards and power point slides in FRONT OF ME). It was a disaster. I went to sleep VERY nervous about the next day.

I "woke up" at 5am. I was tired of trying to sleep. I couldn't rest. I was so nervous about how inexperienced I was going to come off and how ineffective I would be. I went over my material a couple times and then just said "It will be, what it will be".....showered and then headed to the conference.

While sitting there and hearing all these "pro" Race Directors and super official people speak, I was now feeling COMPLETELY out of my element. I had NO BUSINESS being there. Oh boy...this was going to be a disaster.

When it was my turn I stood up and prepared my slide. I held my flash cards tight in my hand, (almost folded over they were that tightly rolled) and just talked......and talked.......and talked.....thoughts were coming so freely to me. Thoughts I hadn't written down or rehearsed. I was talking and talking and talking....and the nerves were gone. Then I looked at my watch....30 minutes had passed! WHew, it was time to wrap this up. I thanked everyone and opened it up to Q&A. Five people posed questions...and I actually knew the answers to it. Woo hoo, I was on a role...and I was in someone else's body.

As I was leaving (I had to be somewhere and was late already), a site director from who was there speaking as well, followed me out into the hallway and asked me to form my presentation into an article so she could PUBLISH IT ON SIGNMEUP.COM'S BLOG? 


Holy cow! I am going to get paid for this? Really?

Then Don, the organizer of the event, asked me to come back next year?


I am more than a mom? Really? Have I finally found an identity outside these four walls? (four walls that I love, mind you)

Today was a good day. I needed a good day and to be honest, there are more good than bad days. I just had a moment........ And I think next year, I will focus more on the good and less on the bad, the eve of the 20th!

Thanks Friends!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

It's the Eve of my birthday and BOY do I have a RANT/VENT whatever you want to call it

If you're in a good mood, don't read this.

I don't blog on a regular basis because I don't have the time or patience to be whitty. It doesn't come naturally to me like it does for most of the people that blog, so I rarely if ever come here to be impart any knowledge or wisdom or literary genius. But I do come here to vent....and to brag and boast about my kids and family......but today is a day to VENT

This will be a very random post and probably better suited with bullets because I will not be able to link one thought to the next

1) I hate January. Always have. It's a combination of things. Mostly because I turn older in January but also because it's the lull of post holiday crap. What makes matter worse living here in the US is that we have THREE months of holiday stuff : Cdn Thanksgiving, American Thanksgiving and then Christmas. That is a lot of entertaining and cooking and eating and merriment to only have a hush of post holiday blues follow it upon ripping down the Christmas decorations. I feel very blue after the holidays....I don't know if it's because we're away from family or if it's because we're away from family, but I'm pretty sure it has to do with the fact we are away from our family. So much is going on back home right now.....that Christmas to me is like a celebration of "one more year" but then January comes and the question becomes "will we get one more year?"

2) The "one more year" references are in regards to my sick family members, which is yet another reason why January sucks. My grandparents (the Van Dusens) have been sick off and on for some time. I'm in a constant state of "Is this THE phone call", know...the one where we get "the news" and then it's a mad rush to get home. I dread that call. I really do. I'm in denial about how old they are, how frail they are, how sick they are....because to me they are in their sixties and full of life. I hate being reminded every time I'm home at how much slower they are, how much more forgetful they are, and how sick they are. I hate it. Just recently they were moved into an assisted living residence. Both of them. I never thought that day would happen but it's for their own good (and my dad's to be honest). He has been taking on the brunt of all their needs and it's just too much for him right now. They are older now...and have lots of special needs, and even new diseases we didn't know they had. Ugh...I just hate talking about it....It makes me so sad...and worried....

3) which brings me to my dad. And his health. And how fragile he is. Did I mention he's stressed? Yes....he's stressed. About his parents, about his dad, about his mom, about his investments, about his business, about mom's health. I mean the list goes on and on. And he's not in good health himself....but does he take time to take care of himself? it all compounds into one massive problem which means....gulp....that one day, he may explode...and to me that means in a cardiac arrest. NOT KIDDING. I can see it on his face, in pictures posted on facebook. I don't even know where to begin on how much my siblings and I are afraid for him AND his health. ...... but what can you do? He thinks he's got things under control and that we're making a mountain out of a mole hill

4) then there's my mom. For the last 35+ years she's lived in inlaw hell. I won't get into too much detail here, but you would think after a certain amount of time, things would just be accepted as is and everyone would make nice. Nope.....when the going gets tough, people should come together right? NOPE>...they make matters worse for each other, which just makes things that much more SHITTIER for my mom and quite frankly I am about to roll some heads....why does the kid in this situation need to intervene to be the adult? I mean seriously......BY GONES gones. Grow up.....move on....and do it quick. 35+ is about all she can take.....and all I'm wanting to hear about anymore. And she has CANCER morons....CANCER. SHe is fighting for her life the days she's not taking chemo or radiatation treatments. So back off and for the rest of her life. She doesn't need it. She's got higher priorities in her life...and none of them have to do with YOUR ego and your latest hissy fit.

5) why do friends focus so much of their energy on relationships that aren't worth fighting for? Call me crazy, but if someone treats me badly, especially when I use my "3 strikes you're out" policy, I write you off. My heart is soft....and it cuts easily. My skin is tough though. It will take a lot of work to get me to open up, and it takes EVER more to let you back in if you do me wrong. Yet I see "friends" so concerned about so called "Friends" who give them no time or day. there is a message on the wall it....accept it.....move on. There are bigger and better things out there for you. why waste your time on someone who is clearly wallowing in their own self loathing/pity? What can that friend give you? What is it you want? I mean, look around you.....if you have friends standing beside you cheering you on....make your investment there instead. END OF THAT RANT.

6) why do men cheat? I am so tired of seeing my friends get treated like garbage. If you are unhappy in your relationship DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT WITHIN THE RELATIONSHIP. If you are falling out of love with your wife....tell her BEFORE you cheat. Stop making excuses for why you're late, or why you're in another city, or why you're buying a second phone, or why the credit card is being maxed out. BE A DAMN MAN and own your behavior. Your actions have consequences...and chances are your kids will suffer for it because you couldn't be honest with yourself.....or with your WIFE. You took a vow...own it. Respect it. FIX YOU first before damaging everyone around you because you were "going through a midlife crisis" or "not in love with your wife" anymore.

7) I should not have to discipline other peoples' children. Be responsible for your kids. Don't watch me lecture them and say nothing. Follow up please.

8) Stop being a tough guy. It's embarrassing. To you and everyone else. Just try to see the good in something FIRST before rushing into a verbal or physical assault with someone. And lower your voice....I don't care to hear your usage of the F word in every literary form. Thanks

9) get out of the left lane if you are driving the speed limit.

10) Open water swims frustrate my psyche. I want to be a good swimmer. Not professionally by any means, but confident in the water. I just want to be confident in the WATER....why is that so hard?

11) don't talk on your cell phone while on a cardio machine. If you can have a full conversation with someone while on the phone while "working out"'re not WORKING OUT. Plus no one cares to hear your conversation. Take it outside...or in the lobby....PLEASE!

12) why does it seem like no one cares about anything anymore, unless it has to do with themselves? It has astounded me at how insensitive people can be; whether they are trying to be or not.

13) make time for the friends that are important to you: no excuses. Work can can your family, if your friend is in know the difference....especially if you're friends. So read the cues, and BE THERE.

14) Passive Aggressiveness is not how you solve problems. In fact, you've probably dug yourself a hole that you will have a hard time crawling out of. So stop doing it to "send a message"....instead, have the discussion you've been putting off.

15)  why can't I just be CONFIDENT with anything? why do I second guess myself? Why do I question myself? Why can't I see myself the way Scott sees me? I love his impression of me! I don't know how that happened, but I love it. I'm pretty spectacular in his eyes.....when he says things about me....that I don't see. But why don't I see those things? What the heck is my hang up?

16) I'm done now. Sorry for all of that. I  have these moments, especially on the eve of the birthday. If you read this far, I love you. Thank you. If you didn't, I totally understand. NOBODY LIKES A WHINER....

Friday, October 07, 2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I'm Lost.

How many times have you heard me complain, whine, rant, vent about not having an identity? How many times have I told you that I struggle to be "someone" or "Something of importance" outside of being someone's wife and mom? How many? Too many to count right? Well you're about to hear how hypocritical I am in about 0.5 seconds.

Since 2003 I have been a SAHM. 8 years. For some of you that's nothing, but for me, it's been everything. Everything good, everything bad, every bit challenging, every bit rewarding, every bit frustrating, every bit maddening, every bit proud, every bit emotional....just EVERY THING. As hard as it has been at times, my kids have pretty much defined my days and who I am.....and even though I ranted about how that bothered me, I would not change a thing about the last eight years.

Fast forward to August 18th, 2011. First day of school for both boys. The difference? Both boys, yes BOTH are attending school all day. 8:40am 'til 3:30pm Monday through Friday. While I have dreamed of this moment, prayed for this moment, counted down to this moment, the last few months have been hard for me. The moment was was really going to happen...and I didn't want summer to end. So much was going to change. For them...and for me.

It seemed like over night the kids went from being little boys to "big'ger" little boys. I mean Ty actually said at dinner the other night, when I was complaining about the heat (all 50+ days of triple digit temps) that "football players just have to suck it up mom". Just like that, he defined himself as a football player. A big boy who tackles other  boys to the ground.

Zach told me that I could kiss him in the car, but he will only hug me in the school. So no more kisses at school because it's now "not cool".

And now after I drop them off, and then work out, and then shower....I have four more hours to kill. FOUR HOURS....four hours of not having to micro manage a body. Four hours of not having to tow a child around running errands. Four hours of getting groceries in silence. Four hours of hearing myself think (oh my gosh, scary)....and four hours of getting stuff done! I mean, that's a long time. LONG time. And they don't seem to care that I am having a hard time with this! LOL

It also makes me wonder if I did my job well as a SAHM. Did I teach them manners and how to be courteous? Did I help make them be responsible and productive young beings? Did we help teach them right from wrong and help them make safe choices? Was I fun? I mean seriously....was I FUN? It seems like all work....there was play right?

Parenting is the hardest job ever. It always keeps you guessing and you never really know how successful you are at it until much later in life. I know our job is not over, not by a long shot, but my role is certainly different now.

I know it's only the first full week of school, but it's definitely been a wierd one (for me only). Zach and Ty are both loving their classes, teachers and being back in a routine, I guess I just need to find my new routine and my new identity and know in my heart that I did do all I could to make them happy and brave and smart little but big'ger, boys.

Thanks for listening.