Thursday, June 30, 2011

Are You A Truebie?

There are a million things that make summer great.  Warm sunshine, lounging at the pool, beautiful flowers...and True Blood.

Yeah, I'm a full-fledged Truebie, and not ashamed.  The Southern Vampires series is one of my favorite book series so when I found the show, I was hooked.  And I actually don't hate that the show veers so far away from the original storyline of the books.  It keeps me guessing every week.

One of the reasons the show is so awesome is because of this sex-on-a-stick attractive actor, Alexander SkarsgÄrd.

Actually, you know what?  I think I'll just say it.  He is sex-on-a-stick.  I'm not afraid to say that.  He's gorgeous.  Plus, he plays my favorite male character of the book series.  So basically, it's a win-win. 

And Alexander isn't the only stud on the show.  The show is full of men I don't mind seeing naked every once in awhile.  Not that that is the only reason I watch the show.  It's just a bonus.  A hugely attractive bonus.

True Blood pretty much has the perfect formula for a winning television show.  A steamy cast, vampires, and steamy sex scenes.  Thank you HBO for making my Sunday evenings just a little steamier!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Becoming a Coach

I started week six of P90x today.  I just can't get enough of this addicting program.  I'm still as pumped about working out as I was when I started the program.  I can't ask for more than that!

Over the weekend I took my love for P90x and Beachbody in general to the next level.  I became a Coach!  They started a new promotion a week ago that allows active duty members and their spouses to become Coaches without any of the overhead costs.  All fees are waived!  And what makes it incredibly amazing is that I now get a 25% discount on all their products.

That was pretty much what brought me on board.  I decided to start ordering Shakeology--a ridiculously yummy meal replacement drink that is super chocked full of vitamins and minerals.  It is a little slice of heaven.  Most protein drinks, bars, etc are nasty at worst, tolerable at best.  I refuse to eat food that doesn't taste good, even if it's good for me.  But Shakeology really is awesome.  So now that I'm a Coach, I get it for a good price.  Without paying for any of the normal Coach fees.  Pretty much couldn't pass that up.

I'm not sure what being a Coach will mean to me yet.  I may just be a Coach for the discount or I may make it into a profitable business.  I'm not really sure yet.  I'm not nor have I ever really been a salesperson.

I'm just happy that P90x has started me on a journey that I never would have imagined being on.  I've never loved working out, and now I look forward to it each and every day.  It's a part of who I am now.  You can't change your mindset like I have, and then fall back into your old habits.  Life doesn't work that way--at least not for me.  

Friday, June 24, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

Another week of Wifey's Military Spouse Friday Fill-In!  I adore the questions asked this week.

1. Are you a different person than you were five years ago? submitted by Sisterly Thoughts 
Oh my goodness, yes!!!  Could anyone really say no to this question?  Five years ago, I was a newly engaged twenty year old college student, about to move from the Chicago suburb we spent a year in to a new home and school in Madison, WI.  I wasn't a parent yet or a wife so although I had some responsibilities, they pale in comparison to what I have today.  Five years ago, I would have laughed if you told me I would be living on an Air Force base right now with Michael deployed halfway across the world.  Under no circumstances was I okay with Michael being in the military back then.  If you had asked me then what I would be doing in five years, I would have said working with my Social Work degree.  I would never have dreamed of switching my major to Sociology or that after getting my degree, not actually using it.  A lot changes in five years.  It makes me excited for the next five!

2. If you could go on Amazing Race, who would you take with you as your partner and why? submitted by Thoughts from a Poekitten 
I've never watched this show before so I'm not exactly sure who I would pick.  I'd love to say Michael, but I think we would drive each other nuts.  Probably my cousin/best friend Pam.  We are practically the same person in two separate bodies, and we think alike--eerily alike sometimes.  We wouldn't even need to consult with each other on things because we'd be thinking the same thing anyway! Love you, Pam!

3. Does Facebook or Twitter actually bring more stress or good in to your life? submitted by Just an Arizona Girl 
I don't use Twitter, but I'm a Facebook addict.  I don't think it brings stress to my life at all, but that's probably because I absolutely refuse to be involved in drama.  I don't let other people's pettiness or immaturity seep into my life.  It's a great way for me to keep in contact with friends and family back home, especially when it comes to sharing pictures and such.  I'm also a part of a few privates pages for those of us women using Beach Body products (like P90x), and they are great motivators for me during my 90 day program.  Social sites are what you let them be.

4. June is National Soul Food Month- what’s your soul food? submitted by NH Girl Displaced 
I love food!  Right now all I can think about is carbs because I've had to cut them down drastically from what I consumed before.  I'm not following a low-carb diet or anything, but I'm learning to balance everything out and carbs were way too much of a presence in my life.  So my soul food is anything with a lot of carbs like pasta.  I miss pasta right now.  I want to go to Olive Garden and get a big ole bowl of some noodles and a huge basket of breadsticks, and just go to town.  Or any type of Mexican food.  I heart Mexican food. 

5. If you could live in any other era than the current, which one would it be & why? submitted by Sugar in My Grits
Love this question!  Even as a little girl, I felt like I was born in the wrong century because I just love daydreaming about living in the past. I would love to have lived in England during any era where royalty still reigned supreme.  That sounds like such a little girl's fantasy, but that's probably because it is.  It's a fantasy that never died.  But obviously there are caveats.  I'd want to have been born into either royalty or at least one of the more affluent families.  Experiencing the era wouldn't be as much as a scullery maid.  And I'd like to take a few things with me if possible.  Like a tooth brush.  And all known vaccinations.  It would suck to die of the chicken pox or some nonsense.  Although I love modern conveniences and hygiene and feminism, I wouldn't mind a slower-paced life sometimes.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Complete Disgrace

I try not to get controversial on here.  But today I can't help it.

Homes For Our Troops is an organization close to my heart because of the awesome blessing they bestowed on my cousin's family.  Disabled veterans need adaptable homes so they can live, really live their lives to the best of their abilities.  And yet, some people care more about themselves than the veterans who sacrificed so much for our freedoms.

SFC Sean Gittens was suppose to have his Build Brigade this Friday in Knob Hill Subdivision in Evans, Georgia.  He was finally going to have a home where he could really live.  But the snobs in Knob Hill decided they didn't want him.

At the last minute, the Board of Directors of the Property Owners Association decided the home HFOT wanted to build wasn't good enough for their subdivision.  They wanted it bigger.  And more than one story.  They wanted a specially-adapted home for someone in a wheel chair to be more than one story.  Obviously, they are idiots.

Even after HFOT met the Board's demands to modify the house to their subdivision requirements and they initially approved the build, they revoked their permission.  Because apparently this specially-adapted home for a veteran could decrease property value in the rest of the subdivision.

I really don't have a better word for them than idiots.  Maybe un-American.  That's a good word for them too.

You can read the article here.  And please, "like" their subdivision on Facebook long enough to tell them exactly how you feel about this matter.  If you feel strongly enough, make sure to email the President of the Board at  

We need to send a message that such treatment of our veterans is never, ever acceptable.  The "bottom dollar" should never be the biggest priority.  Ever.

EDIT:  The Facebook page is now deleted.  The local news station got wind of the atrocity, and apparently they didn't like all the negativity.  Try being grateful Americans, and maybe people wouldn't respond with such outrage!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

30 Days

Today is my 30th day of P90x!!!!

And yes, that statement did justify that many exclamation points.  I am so very proud of myself for making it this far.  I've now completed Phase 1 which means I am a third of the way through the program.

My life has changed so much in the last thirty days.  My mind frame especially. This isn't about dieting.  It's about changing my lifestyle.  This isn't *just* about losing weight.  It's about loving myself.  It's about achieving goals.  It's about taking care of my body because it's the only body I'm ever going to have.

In a society that tells you that the number on the scale is all that matters, it's disheartening to see that those numbers refuse to budge.  So I put my scale away.  Because this journey is not about that stupid number on that stupid scale.  It's about changing my life so I can be the healthiest person that I'm capable of.

As for the program itself,  I still absolutely love it.  I actually decided to change from the Lean version to the Classic version  in Phase 2 to hopefully see better results.  I was led to believe at first that the Lean version was better for women because we didn't need to bulk up, but after more research and plenty of advice from women who have done the program, I've changed my mind.

Classic P90x is definitely more focused on weight training than Lean P90x, but the more muscles you have, the more calories you burn even when you're sitting on your butt.  After a weight training workout, muscles continue to burn calories for most of the day, whereas calories are only burned for the few hours directly following a cardio workout.  I'd say weight training is my new best friend.  Who says it's just for men?

I'm loving the program so much that I may even start doing Doubles soon.  Adding Doubles means doing an extra CardioX workout on the days you weight train.  I do my workouts as soon as I wake up in the morning so adding another before bed would put enough time between workouts to be feasible I think.  I'm just loving working out that much!

My results in the first thirty days weren't jaw dropping, but they were enough to keep me going.  The fact that I'll go out in public in shorts and dresses on a regular basis is enough proof of that.  I've been a jean and capri gal even on the hottest days for as long as I can remember.

Thus far, I've lost one and a half inches off my waist, two inches off my hips, two inches off my chest, and two and half inches off my thighs (combined)!  I've also increased my right arm an inch.  You can't see definition in my muscles yet, but I actually have muscle to flex now.  Excellent!  The scale refuses to budge.  But I'm okay with that.  I know that I've lost fat but added muscle so I refuse to feel discouraged.

I can't wait to see what changes Phase 2 brings!

Friday, June 17, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

It's Friday already?!?! Here's Wifey's Military Spouse Fill-In to end another great week!

1. Underwear Parties, how old is too old? submitted by Wookie & Co.
Any age?  Bahaha.  But seriously.  I think they are pretty weird.  

2. What was your favorite class in high school? submitted by Adventures of M-Squared
Either English or Choir.  I was in Show Choir (read:  Glee Club) so I absolutely loved choir.  But I'm a big reader and obviously I love writing so English was always a favorite.

3. Have you ever convinced packers/movers to pack something they aren’t supposed to for a PCS? submitted by Ground Control to Major Mom
We've only PCS'd once thus far, and I don't think so?  Ha.  But I'm pretty sure they forgot to pack some things they should have.  Perhaps a couple of my Wii games that disappeared?  Yah, I learned many lessons about packers after that first moving experience.

4.  Blogging plays a growing roll in the media. If you were asked to embed as a blogger with a deployed military unit, would you go? What do you think your blog would be like? submitted by To the Nth  
Absolutely not.  I think Pamela said it best in Army Wives when she said "we can't have both Mommy and Daddy getting shot at."  Evie already has to deal with her Papa being gone for months at a time.  Plus, I'm not enough of a risk taker for something like that.  I stay as far away from danger as I can.

5.Do you think kids should attend year-round school? submitted by Marrying the Navy
No way.  How depressing would that be?  I'm sure once Evie's school-aged I'll have moments in the summer when I wish she was at school.  But kids need a break.  They need time to be kids.  I know they do this in other countries and it works, but I can't imagine depriving kids of summer vacation!  It's far too nice outside to be cooped up indoors all day.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Little Girls & Their Heroes

Michael has been deployed for a couple months now, and we've finally found a good groove.  Our days have a good flow to them, and I feel like these summer days may fly by.  But we're definitely missing our lost family member.

We're lucky to be able to talk to Michael a few minutes each day which helps keep our lives from feeling too separate.  This has helped Evie tremendously during this first deployment because he still feels like a constant presence in our lives.  He may be halfway around the world, but Evie can still see his face every day.

Deployments affect children the hardest.

A massive understatement if there ever was one.  Her friends Daddies are gone too which is sort of a silver lining because they talk to each other about the deployments.  It helps that Evie's friends are a year or two older because they can comprehend the absence a little better than she does.  It is the sweetest yet most heart-wrenching thing to listen to them talk amongst themselves about missing their Daddies. The children didn't sign up for this life, but it will affect them tremendously nonetheless.

Evie has been coping with the deployment very well.  Better than I had anticipated, actually.  It's not that she doesn't miss Michael.  I think it's more that she handles change very well.  She knows that he's off working on airplanes, and that he's "far, far away".  She knows that he'll be coming back one day.

When she talks about her Papa, you know that he's her hero.  I asked her if he was a Superhero, and she gave it serious consideration.  I could see the wheels turning in her little head as she tossed the idea around.  She even started to agree, that yes he was a superhero.  But then she decided that since he doesn't have a cape, there's no way.  And besides, superheros don't wear hats.  Duh, Mom.

But she did concede that he is a hero even if he hasn't been granted super status.  And it's obvious that she believes this wholeheartedly if you listen to her talk.

Her Papa can accomplish anything.  I can't find the outdoor push broom?  "My Papa will find it when he gets home."  Her doll's head fell off?  "My Papa will fix that when he gets home."  I tell her that drinking her pool water will make her sick.  "That's okay.  Papa will give me medicine and make me all better when he gets home." 

I'm not sure whether to feel offended that my daughter thinks I can't do anything by myself or just smile because she has unending trust that her Papa can do absolutely anything.

Not to mention all the fun things that Evie will get to do when Michael returns.  "I get to go to preschool when Papa gets home."  And "I'm going to show Papa the butterfly garden when he gets home" since she absolutely loved the Botanica gardens we visited last week--especially the butterfly house.

I may be the one cuddling her while we watch her favorite movies, playing Barbies for hours, and tucking her in at night, but I am not her Papa.  No one can ever fill the place of a little girl's hero.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Three Years and Counting

I've been married for three years today!!!

Since Michael is halfway around the world right now, it sort of feels like any other day.  We've had a lot of anniversaries in our relationship--this fall will be ten years together!--so they don't always hold a lot of excitment and pizazz.  But I have noticed one thing.

The years just keep getting better.  When we first started our relationship, we were so young.  We had our whole lives ahead of us, and we had no clue where we would end up.  We've gone through a lot of changes as a couple, and they've only made us stronger.  I'm beginning to really understand how two people can stay married for their entire lives.  There is always a new adventure around the corner, and what better person to spend those moments with than my best friend?

We've only spent one wedding anniversary together so far, and I'm really hoping this isn't becoming a trend.  But whether we're together or on different continents, our love will never die. 

Since our relationship started before widespread digital camera use (gasp, that really makes me feel old), I don't have pictures from the first few years of our relationship.  But here's us from the last six years.  Try not to laugh too hard.

 I love you babe! 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Real Sweat, Real People

Today marks the beginning of week four in P90x! Yay!

Can you tell that I am still ridiculously excited about P90x?  Never in my life have I stuck with a workout program this long.   I've always gotten bored or let life get in the way.  I've always found some excuse to just stop doing it.  That is so not happening this time around.  I am so proud of myself. 

I'm losing inches people.  Inches.  As in plural.  My hips, my waist, my thighs.  They are all skinner.  Skinner makes me happy.  I can handle skinner.

The scale?  Well, that still isn't doing anything exciting.  Technically, P90x really isn't a weight loss program.  It's a get-in-the-best-shape-of-your-freaking-life program.  Losing weight is just sort of a bonus.  I'm stoked about losing inches, but I wouldn't scoff at a decrease in that number on the scale.  I'm all for bonuses.

Now that I've completed three weeks of the program, I've almost finished Phase 1.  This week is sort of a "relaxation" and "recovery" week.  Basically, no weight training.  Though honestly, there isn't really anything relaxing about P90x.  Even the fifteen minute Ab Ripper workout tries to kill you.  It's intense, people.

I'm excited for this recovery week because it's chock full of my favorite workouts:  Kenpo karate, Cardio and a double dose of Yoga.  I heart Yoga.  I hate downward facing dog, but I still heart Yoga.  One workout I'm not excited for is Core Synergistics.  It's probably my least favorite workout because of all the pushups involved.  I have a bad wrist, and my wrist just can't handle pressure at a ninety-degree angle.  Thus, I hate the workout.  I feel like I can't BRING IT like I'm suppose to because of the pain, and that's frustrating.

Overall, I feel amazing!  Some days are a little tougher than others to get my butt out of bed to workout, but I'm hanging in there.  Whenever I start to feel my motivation lagging, I just remember all the reasons I'm doing this. And how great it feels to know that when I look in the mirror, I'm already seeing a new me.

And like Tony says, "this is real sweat, real people."  I am motivated each and every day by Tony and all the others featured in the workouts.  They bring it.  They do their best, and forget the rest.  And if they can do it, I can do it.

Keep pushing play!

Friday, June 10, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

It's Friday again, and you know what that means.  Wifey's military spouse Friday fill-in!  Follow the link to join along.

1. When you vacation what type of vacation do you like to take (beach, historic, adventurous, food oriented, etc.)? submitted by Megan Dub-Yuh 
I'm so excited for this question because we are in the middle of trying to plan a family vacation for when Michael gets home from deployment.  We've never been on a vacation together before (which is insane since this fall we've been together ten years!), and we just don't know where to go.  But we're definitely into more outdoor things like hiking or relaxing on the beach versus theme parks and such.  I can't wait to read answers for this one.

2. What is your best memory associated with a song (you know we all have tons!) submitted by Ramblings of a Marine Wife 
I love "How Sweet it is" by James Taylor because it's a favorite of both mine and Michael.  We always sing it to each other if it comes up on our iPod playlists.  We don't have the same tastes in music, so it's special for us to like the same song.

3. If you had six months with no obligations or financial constraints, what would you do with your time? submitted by Married to the Army 
Go on a long vacation with my family.  Michael and Evie would be perfect, but extended family along for the ride would be great too.  I think vacations are just on my mind right now, but I'm just ready for some relaxation time with my family.  I feel like we are always running towards something and never take time to really enjoy the moments we are in.  Six months of traveling the world or sitting on a beach or hiking through the mountains would be perfect.
4. What is one thing about you that people do NOT typically notice at first that you wish they would? submitted by Our Motto is Patience
I'm a great listener!  That's not really something you can notice about someone right away because trust is a huge part of sharing secrets or just our everyday lives.  Plus, I'm a huge talker.  But I am.  A great listener, I mean.  I don't think I need to solve everyone's problems for them so I don't feel the need to constantly give advice or add my two cents.  Sometimes, people just need to vent. 
5. It’s a summer of sequels, and if you had to live in one of each of the following “worlds” (there are three total) which would you choose and why? submitted by The Three Turners
Okay, I'm unsure if I'm suppose to a pick which world is the best or which situation in each world?  I'll just go with what I feel like since I heart this question!

–X-Men: Be a Mutant, what would your power be?
I would love to be a mutant! That sounds weird to say.  But I love supernatural stuff--way before it became cool to love it.  My power would be telekinesis.  I've always thought that would be a super cool thing to be able to do.  Second runner up is to see into the future.  That would be epic.  Yes, I said epic. 

–Harry Potter: Be a Witch or Muggle?
Oh. My. God.  What crazy person would say muggle?  Okay, sorry if you said muggle.  But for real?  I love the whole Harry Potter world, because as I said, I love all supernatural stuff.  I would give up a kidney to be a witch in Harry Potter's world for a day.  Meet Harry Potter and Ginny (because she rocks my socks off).  Go to a wand shop and let the wand pick me.  Drink butter beer.  A-freaking-mazing doesn't even describe how awesome that day would be.  A kidney well spent, I think.

–Twilight: Be a Vampire or Werewolf?
Definitely vampire.  I hate blood, and I can't imagine drinking it.  Eww. But turning furry?  No thanks.  Plus, vampires have always been my favorite of the supernatural world.  And yes, way before vampires sparkled.  And a vampire in the Twilight world would be way cooler than being a werewolf even though I do love Jacob.  And bottom line?  I want to be Alice's new best friend.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Why, Why, Why

Military spouses are always talking about Murphy's Law in regards to deployment.  As soon as our husbands leave, everything around us starts to break.  The car will refuse to start or the garage door will fall off.  Whatever our individual demons may be, Murphy will make sure they appear.  It is, after all, the Law.

Murphy struck in a unique way in my household.  With only one person to talk to day in and day out, Evie has found a new way to torture me.

The dreaded toddler phase has arrived.  I thought maybe I would be lucky, and Evie would never enter it.  But I was wrong.  Oh, so very very wrong. The most common word leaving her little lips right now is "why".  I'm investing in a pair of earplugs.  I'm kidding.  Maybe.  Possibly.

Evie is a pretty curious child and she's definitely intelligent, so why I thought she would skip this phase, I have no clue.  It was just wishful thinking I guess.  Apparently, I wished on the wrong star.  Because it is never ending.

"Why are you putting that cup on the counter" and "why do I need to eat my breakfast?" Oh, and "Why are we getting dressed, Mommy" (though this is actually a logical question because we don't always get dressed if we aren't leaving the house.  No judgment, people!).  Not to mention "why do I have to be quiet" and sometimes even "Why do you want to run away, Mommy?" 

Often times, she doesn't even ask a question.  It's just whywhywhywhywhywhywhy.  I'm really beginning to hate that word.

But as not to seem unfair, I will admit she uses other words occasionally.  Like "what are you doing" and "I don't know."  That last one is a doozy. 

Our conversations are pretty much scripted in my house right now:
ME:  Evie, what color is this?
EVIE:  I don't know.
ME:  Yes, you do. 
EVIE:  Green. 

All conversations are the same way.  I ask a question, she tells me she doesn't know.  I tell her that, yes you do indeed know the answer.  And then she proceeds to answer me.  Why can't she just answer the question the first time I ask it?  Life would be much simpler if three year-olds were logical.

I know this is a phase, and one day I will see the light at the end of this blasted tunnel.  But please baby Jesus, make it be soon.

Oh, and Murphy?  I hate you.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Vacation Food Shouldn't Have Calories

I think it should be a law that vacation food doesn't have calories.

I say this because I was just on vacation for three weeks and although I ate pretty well most of the time, there were moments when I wanted to devour the bad stuff and pretend calories didn't matter.  Mostly, because the bad stuff is comfort food that triggers my warm fuzzies.  The "I'm home!" food fuzzies.

If you've ever moved away from home, you know what I'm talking about.  Some foods are pretty localized, and you just can't find them to save your life wherever you move to.  For Michael, that's cheese curds and lefse.  If you aren't from Wisconsin, you probably think I just spoke gibberish.  But I promise, those are both types of food.

For me?  Specific restaurants offer my warm fuzzies.  Pizza from my favorite family-owned pizza parlor.  A tantalizing appetizer from a Northern chain that doesn't quite reach us here in Wichita.  And Oreo Cappuccino ice cream from a local shop that I managed to stay away from this trip. 

I go home, and I all I can think about is food.

And to make it all worse (for my waist-line), I attended two family gatherings while I was there.  You remember that large family I talked about yesterday?  Well, when we get together there is a ridiculous amount of food.  What else would you expect from a family that is trying to take over the world?  Wink.

There is nothing I love more than the food at family gatherings.  No event is complete without my aunt's taco dip, my mom's cookie salad, and my Grandma's baked beans.  Oh. My. God.  If you want to taste a piece of heaven, all you have to do is try those baked beans.  I kid you not, boys and girls.  Heaven.  With a mouthful of beans.  Weird, maybe.  But oh so very true.

At my Grandma's birthday party, the bulk of my sustenance was taco dip and beans.  Two plate fulls, I might add.  I didn't even eat cake because taco dip and beans were way more important.  Don't judge me.

I may have kicked some major P90x butt these past two weeks, and have already seen results.  But I know if someone had passed a law along the way that prohibited vacation food from having calories, my results would have been even more significant. 

Call your congressman, people!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Those We Leave Behind

This past Saturday was my Grandma's 80th birthday.  We had a big family party in honor of the momentous occasion.  And when I say big, I mean big.  Because my family is hugemongous. 

My grandparents had twelve children.

Those twelve children produced quite a lot of of their own children.

And those grandchildren are creating their own football team or two.  We aren't finished adding to the roster just yet.

It's hard to get this many people together in the same spot at the same time.  Even with the amount of people that came, a few families were still unable to make it.  Gasp.  I know.  It's hard to contemplate even more people belonging to my family.  It kind of makes you wonder if we plan on taking over the world someday or something.  Unfortunately, I can't divulge that kind of information at this time.

Spending the day with my large family made me miss living in Wisconsin in the worst way.  I'm missing watching my baby cousins grow up.  No family camping trips.  Or lunches with my closest cousins.  We knew when we moved away that the absolute hardest thing about leaving would be who we left behind.

And most days, it's worth it.  Because we have a fabulous life.  New adventures, new places, new people.  Financial stability.  We have a lot of things that we didn't have before.  I love our military life, and right now I wouldn't trade it for anything.

But leaving people behind is never, ever going to stop hurting.

Happy birthday, Grandma!