Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Resolutions: Part 2

I shared the inspiration for last year's resolution yesterday.  I love New Years resolutions.  I think it's a great excuse to set goals for yourself.  Even if you don't accomplish them, it's great to get in the habit of trying to improve yourself.  I think being self aware is one of the most important qualities a person can possess.

Anywho, last year my resolution was to become more FEARLESS.  I knew that I wouldn't be able to become completely fearless (and I'm not sure being completely fearless is a good thing), but I thought that trying to overcome some of my fears would be a good thing. 

I think I did a pretty good job with my resolution.  I overcame a lot of fears this year, and in a large part that is all because of my husband.  If Michael hadn't joined the Air Force and left for six months, I wouldn't have been forced to become more independent. 

I was FEARLESS when I drove cross-country by myself, with a two year old, multiple times.  I've never driven more than three hours away from home by myself before.  I was always afraid of traffic and getting lost.  In the past year, I've driven over a hundred hours in long-distant trips all by myself.  Now that I have a GPS, the fear of getting lost is completely non-existent.  And it's amazing how easy it is to get past your fears when you have no choice but to overcome them.  Now that I've driven in Dallas, I feel I can drive anywhere.  That crap was scary!

I was FEARLESS when I was a single parent for six months.  I had a lot of help from my awesome parents, but still.  I didn't have Michael to take over when the day was too long.  I didn't have anyone to help make important parenting decisions and choices.  I think every single military spouse is fearless because being a temporary single parent is just plain hard.  Bouncing between duel parenting to single parenting back to duel parenting takes its toll on everyone.  But I think I accomplished it fearlessly.

I was FEARLESS when Michael started working Mid-shift (third shift), and I was left alone every night.  If you know me, you know this is a big deal.  I usually can't sleep without another adult in the house.  I just feel vulnerable, and my nerves completely take over.  It was great practice for when Michael deploys, and I am so proud that I fearlessly went to sleep every night with only one light on in the house. 

I'm glad this is one New Year's Resolution that I stuck to.  I didn't overcome all my fears, but I didn't expect to.  I'm just proud that I was able to become more fearless in my life.  I'm more independent, and I'm more willing to take chances. 

Come back tomorrow to read this year's resolutions.  Have a happy and safe last day of the year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Years Resolution: Part 1

It's almost the New Year, and we all know what that means.  It's time to make some New Years Resolutions!  Last year I made a couple of them like I always do, but one was a little more unique.  It was based completely off this quote by Taylor Swift: 

FEARLESS is not the absence of fear. It’s not being completely unafraid. 
To me, FEARLESS is having fears. FEARLESS is having doubts. Lots of them. 
To me, FEARLESS is living in spite of those things that scare you to death. 
FEARLESS is falling madly in love again, even though you’ve been hurt before. 
FEARLESS is walking into your freshmen year of high school at fifteen. 
FEARLESS is getting back up and fighting for what you want over and over again… even though every time you’ve tried before, you’ve lost. 
It’s FEARLESS to have faith that someday things will change. 
FEARLESS is having the courage to say goodbye to someone who only hurts you, even if you can’t breathe without them. 
I think it’s FEARLESS to fall for your best friend, even though he’s in love with someone else. 
And when someone apologizes to you enough times for things they’ll never stop doing, I think it’s FEARLESS to stop believing them. 
It’s FEARLESS to say “you’re NOT sorry”, and walk away. 
I think loving someone despite what people think is FEARLESS. 
I think allowing yourself to cry on the bathroom floor is FEARLESS. 
Letting go is FEARLESS. Then, moving on and being alright…That’s FEARLESS too. 
But no matter what love throws at you, you have to believe in it. You have to believe in love stories and prince charmings and happily ever after. 
I think love is FEARLESS.

Tune in tomorrow for New Years Resolution Part 2!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

It's been a slow blog week, sorry folks.  But I have some stomach bug that isn't being very cooperative--and right before Christmas too!  We leave for our trip to visit family tomorrow so I'll see you all next week.  Merry Christmas!

Early Christmas in Kansas, the cutest dress ever, decorating Christmas cookies with friends, and painting.  A pretty productive week!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Milspouse Friday Fill In

Another week gone by.  Another Wifey's Milspouse Friday Fill In!  Have a great weekend everyone.  I'm getting together with the girls and we're doing some holiday baking! 

1.What is the best gift you have ever received or given? from Jessica Lynn Writes 
This is one hard question!  One of the best gifts I've ever been given I would have to say is my iPod Touch I got for my birthday from Michael.  It's way more expensive than we usually spend on each other so it was kind of a shock (even though I technically bought it myself!), and I love it because I use it every single day.

2. Do you celebrate holidays differently when your loved one is deployed/gone or do you keep tradition? from The Albrecht Squad 
Michael hasn't deployed yet so I have no clue.  He was gone for Easter last year since he was still in Tech School, and we celebrated it the same as always.  Evie and I spent the day with my family. 

3. If you celebrate Christmas, do you put an angel, star or something else on the top of your tree? 
We have a star on the top of our tree.  It's white and has white lights when you plug it in.  I love it!

4. What are your three favorite websites? 
Facebook, Amazon and my blog hands down.  I'm kind of obsessed with Facebook even though sometimes I wish I wasn't.  Amazon is fun for me because I can always find the things I want cheaper than anywhere else.  The wish lists help me keep organized with things I'm looking at buying for myself or Evie, and I really love organizing!  And I love my blog because who doesn't love their blog?  I love to write, and I love to read the comments people leave behind.

5. On your man do you prefer… boxers, briefs or boxer briefs? Or commando? 
Ha, okay.  This is waaaaay personal, but I'd have to say boxer briefs. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Where's the Chaos?

I've come to the conclusion recently that my life isn't truly a life without chaos.  I've found that I don't know how to live a quiet, predictable life.  I don't know how to live my life without some huge life-altering change just around the bend.  In essence, I'm pretty sure I'm bored.

Since I graduated high school over six years ago, my life has been on hyper-drive.  My first year of college, I went to school full-time as well as worked two jobs; all while trying to still see Michael (who was still in high school a half hour away) and aiming for some kind of social life.  We moved to Chicago for my second year of college.  Not only did I have over a two hour commute one way to school everyday, I had to work to pay my share of a tiny one bedroom apartment. While going to school full-time. Oh, and that social life again. 

The next year, we moved again...and yet another college transfer.  That year was a little quieter.  I didn't go to school Fall Semester because we moved too late so I just worked a lot.  And I didn't have much of a social life.  But I was back in school for Spring Semester, and during Finals week we found out we were pregnant.

The whirlwind really picked up then.  We moved back home, and I transferred colleges for the final time.  Once Fall semester picked up, I was going to school full time, volunteering for one of my classes, working, trying to buy a house, and oh yeah--I was pregnant!  It was a very crazy few months. 

I stayed home with Evie exclusively until the following Fall semester.  I didn't work thank goodness, but I went to school full-time, took care of an infant, and worked around the craziness that was my house-always-in-some-state-of-remodel.  That summer I finally graduated with my B.S. in Sociology, and was so very relieved to be done with that chapter of my life.  Maybe we would find a little peace?

Not a chance.  A week after classes ended, I started up an in-home day care so I could continue staying home with Evie.  The next month, we decided that Michael was going to enlist.  Now not only did I have small children to take care of during the day, I had to find time to pack and finish little projects around the house so we could put it on the market.

A few months later, Michael shipped off to BMT, I moved in with my parents, and my life got a little less crazy again...until June.  The house didn't sell until the day before we moved to Kansas--talk about perfect timing--so I was dealing with trying to move ten hours away and closing on the house at the exact same time.

I'm exhausted just thinking about those years.  I always managed the chaos quite well--even embraced it.  But now that we're settled in Kansas, there is no more craziness.  No more chaos.  No big event to plan for--unless you count a deployment that we have no clue the date for. 

I feel like I'm floating.  I can't really plan for my future because thanks to the Air Force, that's not really in my hands.  We have no clue how long Michael will stay in the military or where we'll live or anything.  And I don't begrudge Michael or the Air Force for any of that--I knew what we signed up for.  I just never thought I'd need chaos to stay sane.

I'm grasping at straws to keep myself entertained.  Reading bores me now.  I tried watching television, but that only lasted for a week or two before I was bored with that too.  My new thing is sewing.  I'm embroidering dishtowels and sewing stockings.  I'm even attempting a quilt now, just to keep myself from going stark raving mad.

Have any of you military wives dealt with this?  I don't even know what in my life I could change to make things better since I absolutely want to continue staying home with Evie until she's in school.

I guess giving an ambitious girl who lives for chaos a few uneventful months wasn't a good idea.  Who knew?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

It's another Wordless Wednesday, one of my favorite days of the week.  Probably because I'm always showing off my adorable toddler.  She's ridiculously cute, and I think it would be a real shame for the world to miss out on all that cuteness.

Evie's first encounter with Santa Claus went great!

Photo session with popcorn.  She insisted.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Burlesque: A Review


The girls and I went out this past weekend for a much anticipated new movie:  Burlesque.  I absolutely, one-hundred-and-fifty percent loved it.

Singing?  Check.  Dancing?  Check.  Hot guys?  Check.  Naked hot guys?  Check.  Is there anything else needed in a movie?  Pretty sure that would be ah,  no. 

This was a star-studded cast (Cher, Christina Aguilera, Eric Dane, Cam Gigandet, Peter Gallagher) which always helps.  Did I mention a naked guy?  In case you're wondering, it was Cam Gigandet.  And I promise you won't be disappointed.

Basically, the movie is about a girl from Iowa, Ali who wants more from life.  So she goes to Hollywood in hopes of singing and/or dancing because it's what she loves.  She stumbles across this club, Burlesque, which features tasteful dancing that doesn't involve stripping but it most certainly erotic in nature.  It's hot.

Since Ali is played by Christina Aguilera, it's obvious that singing is involved.  That girl has a set of pipes on her that still amaze me.  From the moment I heard "Genie in a Bottle" all those years ago, I was hooked.  I heart her.

Anyway, the owner (played by none other than Cher) finds out she can sing and suddenly the whole show now revolves around Ali.  There is tons of singing, sexy dance numbers, and of course romance.

Burlesque is kind of a cross between Coyote Ugly and Moulin Rouge--both of which I also love.  If you love singing and dancing (and hot, naked guys) you'll love Burlesque!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Stockings

Over the weekend, my creative juices started flowing again.  I mentioned last week that I've been feeling crafty lately and not in a book-writing-way.  In a working-with-my-hands way.  My newest project was Christmas stockings.

I don't have a sewing machine yet so I had to sew them by hand which kind of took forever, but that's okay.  I got to practice with choosing fabric and following patterns and improvising so it was a success.  It was definitely a learning experience, and I'd say by the third stocking I had it down pretty much perfect.

Michael's Stocking
My stocking
Evie's stocking
I'm ridiculously proud of myself for the finished outcome simply because I've never been in any way, shape or form considered artsy.  My siblings got that gene, not me.  But I think I picked great fabric and did a good job of making sure the best part of the fabric design was displayed.  I love sewing!

Here's how pretty they all look together.

Now I just need a sewing machine so I can start making more complicated things!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hey, It's Okay

It's been awhile since I've done this, but I thought I'd bring it back.  I got this idea from a fellow blogger who in turn got it from Glamour magazine.  Basically, any Thursday that I feel like, I'm going to write a list of things to be okay about.  Feel free to do the same on your blog--any day of the week!

Hey, It's Okay...

To wish I could keep my Christmas tree up all year round.  All the glittery bulbs and white lights make my living room look so pretty. 

To let Evie run around the house in a long sleeve shirt, panties and nothing else.  Evie finally decided potty training was something she was interested in, and I figure the less clothes to get peed on the better. 

To hope Kansas doesn't get any snow this year.  I really hate snow.  We'll have a white Christmas since we're going home to Wisconsin for a few days over the holiday, and that's enough for me.  I think I prefer the ugly brownness I see outside my window to a Winter Wonderland. 

To want to hide my scale until after the new year.  I love baking, especially Christmas-y foods.  I want to make gingerbread men and cut-out cookies and fudge and almond bark and...oh, now I'm hungry. 

To want to be Martha Stewart (sans stock scandal and subsequent jail time) when I grow up.  I've recently acquired this creative bug that has nothing to do with writing.  I picked up embroidering again, and really want a sewing machine for Christmas so I can expand my textile horizons.  I may be a feminist, but I sorta feel like Donna Reed too.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Sometimes I think, maybe I should take pictures of something other than my child.  Broaden my horizons so to speak.  But then I think, nah.  Why waste perfectly good memory space?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Squadron Holiday Party

Friday night Michael and I donned our slightly-more-than-casual clothes and headed off to our first official Squadron Christmas party.  It was held in a meeting room at a local hotel.

For our first military party, I think it went pretty well.  We didn't know many people there so we ended up sitting with a table of single Airman since Michael knew one of them.  Me, Michael, and seven single guys equals an interesting evening.  Of course, I was the oldest as always.

We had a surprisingly yummy meal.  And we had cheesecake for dessert!  I've heard the food isn't always great at these things so I was pleasantly surprised with the quality.  And did I mention cheesecake?!?

The rest of the evening was spent with dancing, karaoke, and the giving away of prizes.  The real reason people pay to go to events like this.  The prizes.   Alas, we didn't win anything. We don't usually have that kind of luck.

All in all, a decent evening.  We don't get to spend a lot of time alone out of the house so that in itself made it worth it. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Milspouse Friday Fill In

It's been awhile since I've participated in Wifey's Milspouse Friday Fill-In so I thought I'd jump back in the game.  I hope everyone has a great weekend.  Michael and I are going to our first Squadron Christmas Party tonight! 

1. If you were given $1,000 right now, how would you spend it? 
I would pay off the debt we have from buying Christmas presents first so I wouldn't feel guilty.  But then I'd buy a sewing machine (I really want one!), some books, and probably spend the rest on Evie.  She gets everything already, why deviate from the norm?
2. If you had to choose a movie title (a real one that already exists) for your life story, what would it be? 
This one was hard!  Michael said "Pretty Woman" which is sweet.  But I think The Pursuit of Happyness is more fitting.  That's what I'm really striving for in life--happiness.  I just want to be blissfully happy with absolutely no cares in the world.  And if that can't happen, that I guess I'll just have to settle with I am Legend because I want to make my mark on the world, and have my name down in the history books.  I want to be legendary! (And apparently Will Smith will star in my movie.)

 3. If you were a teacher, what subject would you like to teach? 
When I was almost done with my Sociology degree, I thought about continuing with school to become a teacher (and then decided no thanks!) so I've given this some thought already. I think I'd either teach English because I absolutely love reading and writing or Social Studies/History because I want to make the past fun for kids.  I've had some great teachers in my past, but I think that subject was always taught in such a boring way.  It's only since I've been out of high school that I've dedicated more time to learning about history, and realized how much I enjoy the subject.  

4. Has being a MilSpouse changed how you view holidays or how your holidays are celebrated? If so, how? If not, what hasn’t changed? 
This is our first holiday season as a military family, but I think it's pretty much setting the precedent.  I doubt we'll ever go visit family for Thanksgiving again because I'd rather go for Christmas.  This year we will be going to our hometown for Christmas, but I know that in the future even that may not be a possibility. 

Being a military family means we have to redefine how we think of everything--which of course includes holidays.  As long as I'm with Michael and Evie, I'm where I'm suppose to be.  And our friends wherever we are at the moment are our temporary families so we'll never really be alone.  It hurts a little to change the traditions I never thought would change, but we milspouses are strong!

5. What is your favorite Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate) memory?
I have a favorite tradition that is my favorite part of Christmas.  My mom comes from a very large family--she's one of twelve children.  Needless to say with aunts and uncles and cousins and their spouses and all their children, I have a lot of extended family.  Every year we all get together to celebrate Christmas.  It used to be on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day when I was little and spending time with that loud, large crowd was my favorite part of Christmas.  Even though the celebration is now held a week or so before Christmas and not everyone shows up, it's still one thing I look forward to every holiday season.  This will be my first year ever missing it, and I'm pretty sad about it.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Beautiful Kansas sunset!

Taking a break from cooking the Thanksgiving feast for a photo-op.

Oh Christmas Tree!