Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011!!

Well, another year is about to go into the history books and I'm so glad its behind us! 2011 wasn't exactly a bad year, not even a particularly long one, but its been one of the hardest (if not THE hardest) year of my life! I have always been proud to be an Army wife but never so much as I am after surviving a deployment with "2 under 2!"

I have learned so much about myself this year and become such a stronger person. I have made some amazing friends and sadly had to end two of the longest friendships of my life. But, these friends have all contributed to making me who I am, and therefore I am so thankful that all of them have been a part of my life!

Now that the hubby has returned we can focus on the future. I have a few very exciting events to look forward to this year, from dear friends welcoming their long awaited babies, to finishing my MAS... finally!! lol As I enter this year (my last in my 20s!)I am finally able to look back and be completely happy with the path I've taken thus far and with what I see for my family's future! Most of all I've learned some very important lessons from a very unlikely source, Kate Gosslin! (But to hear those you'll have to wait until I have the time and energy to write that blog! ha!)

Monday, November 21, 2011

I Must Be Crazy!!

From the time Will and I got married we agreed we only wanted two children! (I had grand plans of having twins- 1 boy and 1 girl so I could get it all out of the way at once! lol Talk about naieve!) Well, now we have two amazing little boys and I am so grateful that God has given me these little blessings. But, I've been coming more and more to the conclusion that I want another!

Its not so hard to understand why the Duggars have so many children. I  would gladly keep going and having children until I was officially cut off, but I am not nearly as patient as Michelle Duggar, nor are we financially able to afford that many children, especially with the military lifestyle! Could you imagine living in on post housing with even 8 kids?!?! I have friends who have 4 or 5 and its tight and they usually live off post just to have room for everyone! So, now I am working on getting my husband to agree to try for a third, and he's not putting up much of a fight! :)

I had a friend ask me today about us wanting a third, since she (as well as most our friends and family) knows we've always just wanted two. But, even after going through a deployment with "two under two" I have to say I want another. I figure that's the best indicator that I am not going to pass on this feeling!

So, we are currently looking to start trying again in about a year. It will give us about 3-5 months to get me pregnant before Will's next deployment. We are aiming for him missing most of the pregnancy and being home for the first year. (Since deployments are going down to 9 months!) We do know timing is everything and pretty much if I get pregnant any time other than the month he leaves then he will more than likely miss the birth, but we want him to be here for the first year! (And he wants to miss the pregnancy since I have reletively easy pregnancies other than the long lasting morning sickness and become mega-bitch!)

So, with this plan in mind, we have a year before we really have to decide if we are going to go for it and have number three. For now I will pray that God gives us the strength and wisdom to know what is right for our family!)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I'm Thankful For...

As we start the month of November and close in on Thanksgiving I am going to write something I'm thankful on each day of the month. I'll admit I'm not original in this as I had a bunch of friends do it last year on their Facebook pages, but I don't want to clog up everyone's FB, so I'll do it in a post here. I will update this every day this month with what I am thankful for each day! I'm sure they will range from sappy to funny, to sarcastic! But, here goes nothing!!

I am thankful for...

1. Having my husband home!! He arrived home on Oct. 22 and we are all adjusting to him being home pretty well!

2. Having amazing friends!! This morning we had a great breakfast get together and surprise baby shower and this afternoon I had girl time with one of my closest friends!

3. My Mothers! Today at Mops our devotional was about the story of Ruth and getting along with our mothers in law. If not for my MIL my husband would not have been born, so I am thankful for her giving me the gift of a lifelong love and friend!

4. Bedtime! I love my boys with all my heart, but some days they are a handful, like today! I am thankful for bedtime, when we go through our routines and calm down from the day. James still only has a very short bedtime routine, but Keirnan's is one of my favorite times of each day! We get his allergy meds, then read 3 books curled up together in his bed. He picks the first, and then we follow with "That's Not My Plane" and "My Daddy and I." We give each other a big hug and kiss and as I leave I hear "Night Mommy, see you in the morning!" There is nothing more darling thn hearing that from my 2 1/2 year old!!

5. Date Night! I am thankful for having some alone time with my hubby for us to reconnect and just be together! Tonight we are going to Umi's Japanse Steak House and wandering around Target to finish James' birthday shopping! I am excited to spend my Saturday evening in this way. It may be pretty tame, but it suits me just right!!

6. Clothes that fit and a good body image! I don't know how I've managed to, but I am overall very happy with how I look. There are small things I would like to work on, but when I look in the mirror I usually like what I see!!

7. Today I am thankful for the CDC. Its costing me $10 for a no show fee, since I scheduled the boys for the wrong day and didn't take them, but I'm glad we have the option for hourly care!

8. Today I am thankful that the Commissary is almost finished! Now I just need to figure out where they've moved everything!!

9. Having the money to not only buy diapers for my boys, but to reorder them when I get the wrong size!! (And that I got Keirnan's in the wrong size so James can use them instead of the other way around!!)

10. Today I'm thankful for healthy babies!! Keirnan is exactly 2 1/2 today! We found out a good friend is pregnant, and another finally had her gender reveal!! With all this talk of babies, we have of course, been talking about the possibility of going for a full house! (In other words, a girl!!) I am thankful for both my boys, and that God has blessed our family with them!

11. Girls Night! I am thankful for having a husband who is willing to take on the boys at their witching hour and putting them to bed so I can go out with the girls. I am also thankful for having friends to go out and have an enjoyable evening with!

12. I am thankful for treats! Even though I am so thankful for having the opportunity to take my boys trick or treating, I am so thankful we are down to one piece of candy, or as Keirnan says, treats! It is a new experience for us to have him go this crazy over something! And I am ready for him to understand that they are gone!

13.  That my boys are healthy! It is flu season and I have a lot of friends whose children are being knocked down by the flu. I am so thankful it hasn't reached us yet! I am being cautiously optimistic that it won't come through the house this year!

14.  Lazy days at home!! Today was a much needed rest day for all of us after James' birthday party yesterday! We did a whole lot of nothing and it felt great!

15. Today I am thankful for James having a good doctor! His 1 year appt was today and she was great! She said he is developing and looks great. The only worry is his height and weight have fallen off the charts. He is barely bigger than he was between 3-6 months ago! She said its probably just a high metabolism since he eats like a cow, but she ordered a blood test for him and put in a referral to see a dietitian to help me make the most of what he eats!

Wow, I guess I really slacked on that one! lol Oops! Well, overall I am thankfully for everything I have in my life; my husband, my children, my parents, and my friends! I am truely blessed!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Homecoming!! Aka Deployment Over!!

Well, we did it, we survived another deployment!! It has been such a wonderful day. The ceremony was at 11am and we were there with a friend of mine at 945. This was my first homecoming ceremony. Last deployment I was at Advance Camp (Warrior Forge) when Hubby's unit got home, so he elected to come home (to Germany) via the boat, getting in a month behind the main body. Time wise it made sense for us! Anyway, it was quit the experience to get to be there for it. Well, really it was nice having friends to talk to and the kids to watch play that last hour while we waited.

So, when we got there we were told to grab a seat in the floor seating section on the side. My first thought was "great, I'll never find him from the side/back!" BUT, how awesome is this, he ended up coming in and was right in front of us in formation! Not only did we get to watch him walk into the building and directly toward us, but then got to enjoy making faces at each other until the were dismissed! Thankfully, there were no long speeches or anything so it was all very quick!

My friend Kendra just started a photography business this past year and wanted to get experience in doing Homecomings and I needed someone to take photos for me, so we helped each other out and she got to watch her first homecoming ceremony! (Yes. She is a military wife also, but like me, circumstances have kept her from attending one before!) I am so excited to see the pictures!! She did the boys last pictures (Keirnan's 2 year and James' 6 month) and they were just amazing so I know these photos will be just as great! And anyone who really knows me will agree if not for having Kendra there, there would be no photos since I have an amazing talent for remembering to take my camera everywhere, but forgetting to use it! lol

The boys did great with Will from the get go! Keirnan was a little shy about it when I pointed Will out from our seats. He sat in his seat with feet dangling (so cute!) and just smiled a little unsure. But, when the guys were dismissed and Will started walking over I told Keirnan he could go get Daddy and he took off! Just like at R&R he gave Will the biggest hug and wouldn't let go for awhile! James did so well also. He went to Will right away and was happy to be held with brother and laugh at me making faces! He didn't even mind when he got squished between us in a hug!

So, after our hugs and waiting for it to clear out a bit so we could get the stroller back out the door, we loaded the boys up and drove across the parking lot to get Will's bags and give his special 'gift' to all his soldiers he could find. They were all very happy to receive a Bud and a shot of Gentleman Jack! (Jack for then, and the Bud to go!!)

Finally we got on our way and headed to Manhattan Chili's for lunch! Yum... The afternoon was spent at the train park for a little bit before heading home for naps! The evening has been a bit difficult as Will came home with a cold, and combined with the lack of sleep and his thrown off schedule, he isn't feeling so well tonight!

But, I have my other half safely home. So even sick, I'm thankful to have him. Especially since he came bearing gifts!! I now have a beautiful wool sweater from Ireland and the boys have Ireland rugby (I think) shirts!! My sweater is the good gift though, its just so pretty and I can't wait for it to get just a little colder so I can wear it! The company website is if you want to check them out!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Christmas Update!

Over the past few weeks I have been working on our Christmas trip and presents, etc. This is the first year that I am actually ahead of the game and have everything not only figured out, but paid for and ready ahead of time! So, for my own figuring and for the fun of it, here we go!!

Day 1:  Home to Mt. Vernon, IL (12/16/11)
Day 2: Mt. Vernon, IL to Marrow, GA (12/17/11)
Day 3:  Marrow, GA to Orlando, FL (12/18/11)
            - Check-in to Disney All Star Music
Day 4: Orlando (12/19/11)
            - Magic Kingdom
            - Chef Mickey Character Breakfast
            - Fantasmic at MGM in the evening
Day 5: Orlando, FL (12/20/11)
           - Sea World
           - Captain Jack’s  @ Downtown Disney
Day 6: Orlando, FL (12/21/11)
           -  Animal Kingdom
           - Character Lunch  @ Tusker House
Day 7: Orlando, FL to Clearwater, FL (12/22/11)
           - Check-out Disney Hotel
           - Character Breakfast @ Hollywood & Vine, MGM
Day 8: Clearwater, FL (12/23/11)
Day 9: Clearwater, FL (12/24/11)
Day 10: Clearwater, FL (12/25/11)
Day 11: Clearwater, FL (12/26/11)
Day 12: Clearwater, FL (12/27/11)
Day 13: Clearwater, FL (12/28/11)
Day 14: Clearwater, FL to Panama City, FL (12/29/11)
Day 15: Panama City, FL (12/30/11)
Day 16: Panama City, FL (12/31/11)
Day 17: Panama City, FL (1/1/12)
Day 18: Panama City, FL to Athens, AL (1/2/12)
Day 19: Athens, AL to Mt. Vernon, IL (1/3/12)
Day 20: Mt. Vernon, IL to Home (1/4/12)

• Disney Trip; includes Hotel, Tickets, and Dining plan. $950
• About $1000 for Gas and hotels round trip between Kansas and Florida. (3035 highway miles)
• Hotel in Clearwater: Queen Suite (Bedroom separated by door) $500
* The dogs will be about $600

Disney is completely paid for already and money has been set aside to cover the dogs and the hotel in Clearwater! That only leaves gas and hotels during the actual trip, which will come out of Will's TDY money and regular month pay.

As I have said before gifts are figured out all except for a few family members. But, I budgeted $100 to cover them and have found something for them that will fall within the amount and I think/hope they will all like! I just have to order it all! I think I am going to supplement the parents' gifts with similar items also!!

That leaves only figuring out what to get my husband!! I currently have to figure out his birthday gift as well! He wants the windows of his truck re-tinted so I'll probably tell him to get that done for his birthday! lol (I'm not even going to try to get the logistics of that figured out alone! Though maybe I'll enlist Ashley and Justin's help when they get here next week! Hmm...) Ok, still stuck on what to get him for Christmas!! Grrr.

We did get the Sears Heroes at Home gift, but we won't know how much that is for until the beginning of December, so its going to go to the boys' presents leaving that money to go towards Will's gift! Yay! Now off I go to start trolling the Internet for some idea of what to get my wonderful hubby!!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Recent News Story

Yesterday I saw an article, but didn't get to read it until today, that really had me shaking my head!
The article was about a teacher in San Francisco who apparently started docking points from his students' grades for saying "God Bless you." After reading the article, like so many other sites, there was a section for people to write their views and comments. This made me shake my head even more than the article! (I only read about the first 4-5 comments!)

The teacher's side of the story is that the he felt his students were disrupting class by continually sneezing and saying 'bless you.' He also felt there was no reason for them to be saying it since its original meaning and use no longer applies in our society. (Now its just good manners!!)

The other side of the story (I'm assuming the students) was that he was punishing them for doing/ saying something that is considered manners, and to many is so ingrained that it is a reaction.

The comments ranged from 'how dare the teacher offend the students' religious beliefs,' to 'how dare the media, etc. try to keep the teacher from controlling his classroom!' Really people think about it, most students have disruptive days. I remember being in classes where we would do something very much like this to the subs! (I don't remember an actual teacher pissing us off enough to disrespect them so much!) And I remember how upset they would get.

My dad always said there are 3 sides to every story; yours, mine, and the truth! And I think this is one of those stories! Common sense says the kids probably were being disruptive and took it to a level that upset the teacher, but instead of dealing with just the one outbreak, he punished the entire class, to include those who really sneezed and those who really were just being polite!

I think its sad that our society has come to such a point that this is actually in the news!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Hand in God's

I grew up in a Masonic family. As such, my childhood and teenage years are full of Rainbow memories. One of those memories is of one of our competitions, called God's Rainbow. It is a beautiful ceremony that includes a poem that runs through my head various times a week. It is something that I can recite by memory and often helps me in times where I feel like I am losing control of my life! For your viewing pleasure I give you:

My hand in God's

Each morning when I wake I say,
"I place my hand in God's today;"

I know He'll Walk close by my side
My every wandering step to guide.

He Leads me with the tenderest care
When paths are dark and I despair--

No need for me to understand
If I but hold fast to His Hand.

My hand in His! No surer way
to walk in safety through each day.

By His Great Bounty I am fed;
Warmed by His Love, and Comforted.

When at day's end I seek my rest
And realize how much I'm blessed,

My thanks pour out to Him; and then
I place my hand in God's again.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Homemade Chicken Fingers and Shepard's Pie

Yesterday we had pancakes for breakfast, and while I was making the pancakes I started reading the recipes on the back and side of the Bisquick box (the real stuff, not the just add water kind!) and found a recipe for chicken fingers. It looked so simple and easy that I just had to try it!

Well, it was beyond easy and turned out super tasty! The hardest part was cutting the chicken up! And I made it from beginning to end, with a friend stopping by and raiding my pantry for food for charity, in a half hour!! But the best part was that you bake them instead of frying them, so they get a healthy food bonus!! I totally redeemed myself after the disaster that was Shepard's pie last week!!

Oh, did I forget to say how that went!?! lol Well, it was pretty bad! Actually, it was easy to make, and I think it would have been pretty darn good if there hadn't been too much garlic in it! Now, here is what I learned about garlic: You don't use as much of the garlic powder as you do of fresh garlic!! When a friend told me that, it clicked in my head that I had heard that before. Apparently, it didn't stick! lol I ate my bowl, but the boys both made faces at it and the house smelled like garlic all night! Needless to say it was a waste of a lot of food, since the recipe I made was enough to feed us 2 more dinners at least!! But, I will try it again, just without any garlic since I'm not a big fan anyway!!


Well, we are coming to the end of our deployment, which means I won't have extra money to put onto the credit cards. Going into the deployment that extra money is always the silver lining! So, since I will be setting the extra for this last month aside to help us while we get balanced back out and use to having a lot less money with an extra mouth to feed and and extra vehicle on the roads, I figured now would be a good time to see just how much got accomplished this year!! (Plus, I'm having a bad morning, I need a pick me up!) So here we go:

Card 1:
   - Nov. 2010 had a balance of $20,018.00
   - Sept. 2011 has a balance of $14,239.00
Card 2:
   - Nov. 2010 had a balance of $8,071.00
   - PAID OFF in April
Card 3:
   - Nov. 2010 had a balance of $7,800 (about since I can't see that far back online!)
   - Sept. 2011 has a balance of $5,144.00   

   - Nov. 2010: $35,889.00
   -Sept. 2011: 19,383.00

That's $16,506 paid off this past year!! Yay us!! Now, we still have a good way to to go, but I've done really well at not using the cards, or if I do paying it off immediately. If we can continue to do so, and pay the amount I've set as my monthly payment goal, we'll have it all paid off in 5 years. With tax returns and any other deployments, it can be sooner!!
As I've said in a previous post, it is a large amount, but we knew what we were getting into when we charged it, and still both of us will say it was totally worth it!! And I am not ashamed to show these numbers because I know it was us who spent it, I will never say its not our fault we have such a huge debt, and we are consciusly working to pay it off!! But, now I feel better knowing what I have accomplished this past year!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Saying Bye to Credit Cards & Learning to Buy Wisely

So this past year while Will has been deployed we have been using the extra money to pay down our credit cards. This is a major feat seeing as how high they were. I am not ashamed to say they were around $30K since we knew what we were doing when we charged them up! I still consider it a very good investment! We had all the cards paid off when I got to Germany, but when we found out they were closing our base and we'd be heading back to the States within 6 months we tried to fit in as many 'must see' places as we could! Obviously, none of it was saved for, but seeing as we didn't know if or when we'd have such a great opportunity again, we went and put it all on credit cards!

No, we didn't spend $30K on travelling. After we moved to Washington, we bought a house and immediately started working on it for little upgrades. Then we found out I wasn't going to have such an easy time finding a job. This was for two reasons, lack of experience (Everywhere in my field required 5 years experience for an entry level job!), and the economy tanked within 2 months of our buying our house! We also were told not long after getting to WA that we wouldn't likely be able to have kids without major medical intervention. (IUI or IVF) All of a sudden we went from having a plan for getting rid of the debt within a couple years to having even more in the form of a brand new home that was suddenly seriously upside down and BAM, I was pregnant!!

Needless to say we didn't have all the extra money we were counting on to pay down the cards in the form of my having a career- they more or less just sat for 2 years! But, now we've gotten rid of the house, moved, had another baby, and are most the way through a deployment! And I'm proud of what we've accomplished this year! One card is paid off, one is down by half, and the last is even down a little! I'm paying them off/down in order by highest APR. This still leaves us with a considerable amount of debt, but we've gotten rid of about half of it! And if we can plan right and not use them, we'll have them all completely paid off inside 3 years! (unless we go through another deployment- then it would be shorter!) And best of all, without having to go without too much that we're use to having!

While I don't plan to go as far as to say we'll get rid of them and never use credit cards, I plan on using them for major purchases and only when I have a plan for paying each purchase off. In other words, they will be our own personal lending authority.

Now for how I've been learning to spend wisely. I am really proud to say that this past month or so I have gotten everything planned out for our trip home in December. While its not cheap, I'm pretty proud of how well I have done in planning so that we can have a great trip at a great price and without breaking the bank! So here's the breakdown:

We are driving from KS to FL. The trip is a little over 3000 miles round trip! Obviously with a 2 year old and a 1 year old, it will be a long drive, so we are breaking it down into 3 days each way. I have broken the trip down so I know about where we will be stopping each day and looked into hotels there, plus estimated gas prices. All together for the trip alone we are looking about $1000.

We will be boarding the dogs, which will be around $600.

 Our hotel in Clearwater is $500.

And our Disney trip all together, including our tickets, hotel, and most our meals is $900.
I know you're asking how are we doing 4 days in Disney, staying on the property for only $900. Well, Disney loves the military and this year's Salute the Troops is a 4 day park hopper pass for $160 or something like that, plus they are doing 40% off at any of their hotels!! Add Sea World's Salute the Troops is a free day admission, so we'll be doing a day there also!! Pretty awesome huh!?! We do love Disney and Sea World and couldn't manage going if not for these discounts!

That rounds out at about $3000!! Thankfully, the Disney part is already fully paid for!! That puts us down to $2000!! So, I have the next 3 months to save $1000, and the last $1000 will come from regular pay for the month of December and beginning of January. (I say beginning of Jan. because I pay for the dogs when I pick them up the first week of Jan.!)

Now, this does mean I won't be putting much extra towards the credit cards, but if I don't set the money aside now and choose to put the extra on the cards, we'll just end up putting part of the trip on the cards and being back where we are now at the beginning of January!! lol Did you follow all that!?

I have also figured out gifts for everyone and how we can get decent gifts for cheap! Here's the list minus what we're doing for the parents since I don't know if the Moms read this!
     - Keirnan & James: Keirnan is getting a Tag Jr, James is getting 2 fridge magnet toys. These total under $100. We're not going big for them since we're taking them to Disney and they are still both small enough to not know anything else. (I hope to actually keep them from ever expecting too much!)
     - Grandparents (x3 sets): Personal Calenders- free I have enough Pampers Gifts to Grow points to get 3 of these calenders from Shutterfly!
     - Parents (x3 sets): Free! Well, not technically free, but we paid for everything in pieces over the past year or so out of regular pocket money!
     - Other family and friends: Ok, I still have to figure it out, but I have a few ideas and if I start now it will come out of pocket money!

Overall, I'm really proud of how I'm pulling all this together! Add to it, I've already got the family's Halloween costumes and got them all on major sale and with a free shipping code, so the 4 costumes total out at about $100!

I also got the decorations and table ware for James' birthday party on clearance for $50! I still have to figure out what we're getting him for his birthday, have to get the goody bag stuffings, cake, and other food, but think I can keep that pretty cheap!

That leaves What to get Will for his birthday and Christmas!! He wants the front windows of the truck re-tinted because we had to take the tinting off in Germany. So I need to price that and then just figure out Christmas!! Eek!! He's the hard part! The rest is easy breezy!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

My First Attempt at Homemade Bread

I got this recipe from a friend of mine and was so excited to make it!! Well, I think I managed to lose count and put an extra cup of flour in! Oops. I think this because it was so dry I had to add 1/4 cup of water extra just to be able to knead it! lol But I figured I would go ahead and not waste the dough and see how it did with the minor modifications!

It came out a bit heavy and a little under done in the middle, but is still pretty good! So, besides eating around the under done section and only being able to eat a little at a time, I am really impressed with how I did with my very first ever by hand bread! I can't wait to try it again!! lol You can go ahead and laugh at me Sharon!!

I have really found an enjoyment in the kitchen I never thought I could or would! I figured I would be happily handing the cooking back to Will when he came home, but I think I will probably keep most of it for myself! Well, I kind of hope at least a few times a week it will be a joint effort! Especially since I still haven't managed to get the timing right on sides!! They always come out too late or too early compared to the main dish!!

Fall is Here... At Least for Now!!

What a beautiful day it is outside! Last night was girls night out and we went to place in Manhattan that I've heard a lot about, but never tried. It was super yummy!! James even stole a piece of my steak and gummed it to death!! lol Keirnan stayed at Jen's and got some 'man time' with her husband Dustin!! I was sure he would pass out on the way home, but nope- he was wired!! Apparently they had a great time!! But, we sat outside last night at the restaurant and it was just lovely out! A sign of what was to come!

This morning it was a bit nippy out when I let the dogs out, nice and crisp! I was so happy!! And about an hour ago I was able to turn of the a/c and open the window!! I think the high today is around 77!! I love this weather because I am both most productive and most relaxed on days like this!! So, this morning I made banana nut muffins for breakfast and had a nice chat with my mom!!

Now, we are skipping church today for the first time since the beginning of June, I'm quite proud of myself, but after our late night last night, I wanted James to get both his naps today and decided God would understand!!

When James gets up, we'll go to Sonic for lunch and they have a nice playground for Keirnan to run around on. Plus, I can get him a slushy to hopefully help his mouth a little! I figure we'll play there through lunch and until nap time before coming home! While the boys are taking their naps (Because Keirnan will take one today!) I am going to make some bread using Sharon's recipe!! I'm really excited to try it out! And I need to get some laundry done!

After nap we're having a skype date with Mom and Grandma, then dinner and a possible skype date with Will!! Its been a nice relaxing morning, gearing up for a busy, but good afternoon!! Now all I need to do is figure out what we're doing for dinner!! Since its Sunday and I need to make our meal plan for the week!!

I know this weather is suppose to stick around for most of the week, but I would so love it if it decided to hang around for the rest of the month!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sears Heroes at Home Program

First, this is an amazing program Sears does each year, where they give gift cards to registered military families to help with Christmas! I learned about this program last year after the registration was closed so this is my first year doing it! I am so thankful for Sears putting this program together, and to the people who donate to it!! I am not basing my Christmas around this, and if I don't receive it such is life, but it would be a big help!

This year, they did the registration this past Wednesday and apparently there were some issues and even though people were able to register, there were enough who bitched and complained to the point that Sears dumped that registration and re-did it this afternoon!

The issues this week with it made me embarrassed to be a military wife for the first time ever! These ladies got all over Sear's FB page and either bitched about it not being fair because they couldn't get through to register, or telling those that were bitching to be grateful because there are starving people in Africa, yada, yada, yada and taking a holier than thou approach. I personally feel that while the latter have the right basic idea, they are just as bad as the former for attacking the others!! Overall, it made me sick to see these ladies taking a gift that is being given to the military community as a whole and making it about them and expecting this gift! This is a gift, it is not a right, it is not anything that you should feel you deserve to get!!

So, today we went through the registration craziness again! In 25 minutes they had hit their 20,000 person limit and called a halt to registration!! Needless to say it was very hard to get through and a bit of a clusterf*uck!!

Now, here is the fun part!! lol First, Sears will go through the list and using the application time stamp from the Internet (gotta love technology!) they will pull the first 20,000 applications received. Second, they will match them up with DOD records to make sure the people are, in fact, military families. After this is done, they will send an email out saying if you are going to be getting this gift or not!! So, even though I got my application in, I may not get the gift card! And until the beginning of December I won't know how much I'm getting! (Last year a friend said they got about $200!)

So, it has been a fun first half hour in the military's favorite game- Hurry up and wait!! lol

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tally Ho! And off we grow!

Its funny the way things you hear when you're a child stay with you into adulthood! I have found myself using "tally ho" when we go places! And its too adorable when Keirnan says it! Now, where did I pick it up? I picked it up from my English grandmother. Even though I didn't get to see her much growing up, I remember certain events when I did very well! And for some reason that expression has stayed with me!

So, this post is actually about Keirnan and the joy I get in hearing him talking! He has started saying sentances in the past month and I can't get enough of the things he says! He loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, but his favorite character is Goofy, or as he says, "Goofs." I can't wait for him to get to see the characters in person when we go to Disney World in December! I got our reservation in for a Character Breakfast at Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary Resort just outside of the Magic Kingdom! Its at noon, so it will really be lunch, but I figured we could do breakfast for lunch, and its does fit with our usual lunch time, so my plan of keeping the boys on their regular schedule, even with the time change works out!

The other night he actually read one of his books to me before bed! It was of course, a Goofy book, and it was so stinkin' cute listening to him! It all reminds me how quickly he is growing! I can't wait to see what he'll be saying and doing in 2 MONTHS when Will comes home! Oh, and his singing is just too adorable for words!!

And to keep up with his brother, James is growing like a weed! He's still small for his age, but he is actually growing the same way/ rate Keirnan did, so I'm not too worried! This week he started letting go when standing. Of course, I now set him down standing and let him figure it out! Its such an exciting time for us! At this rate, he'll be able to walk to his Daddy in October!! I am just in awe of my boys every day, and so thankful for my little blessings!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

200 Sit-up Challenge

Well, now that I have finished the 30 Day Song Challenge and checked it off my Day Zero Project, its time to move on to something new! Next up is the 200 Sit-up Challenge. You can find it here: They also have links to the 100 Push-up Challenge, as well as a few other Challenges! I chose this one because my abs are my big problem area!

The program is 3 days a week for 6 weeks. I will be doing it in combination with actually using my elliptical machine! So, no matter how tired I am after Keirnan goes to bed M,W,F nights, I will be spending 30-45 minutes working out! (The program says about a half hour each day, plus I am going to do 15 minutes on the elliptical.) I know this isn't something major like P90X or anything, but lets face it, I'm out of shape and expect this to be a great start to getting back into shape! Maybe then I'll try P90X again!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Rest of Song Challenge!

See, I knew I wouldn't finish it within 30 days! lol So here are the rest of them!

Day 22 - a song that you listen to when you’re sad
I don't have just one song I listen to when I'm sad, I have many, and each one is dependant on the thing causing me to be sad. But the current song I listen to when I'm sad is Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood's Remind Me.

Day 23 - a song that you want to play at your weddingWell, since I've already had my wedding, here's an unusual song I had played at my wedding! Nick Lowe's I Knew the Bride (When She Used to Rock and Roll) Its a song I knew I wanted played from a pretty early age!

Day 24 - a song that you want to play at your funeral
This is one of the many very good songs in P.S. I Love You. While not the song played at the funeral, its still the type of atmosphere I want at my funeral- a good song with a shot for everyone in celebration of my life and to those I love!
Day 25 - a song that makes you laugh
This song, and especially the video, make me crack up! I think because its so true! Brad paisley is really one of my favorite singers because his songs hit so close to home for me! So here is Online!
Day 26 - a song that you can play on an instrument
Does the radio count!? I can't play anything on any instrument! Well, This is as close as it gets! I can play the chorus on the piano! I just learned it also! lol Old MacDonald Had a Farm!
Day 27 - a song that you wish you could play
I came upon this song when the Twilight movie was first getting ready to come out. There was a lot of speculation over what would be "Bella's Lullaby" and this song was apparently a very popular choice. The first time I heard it I fell in love with it! (And honestly think it would have been a better "Bella's Lullaby" than the song used!) I have loved piano music for some time now, but this just blew me away and pretty much sealed the deal for me!!

Day 28 - a song that makes you feel guilty
This song always makes me feel guilty. I think because its a cheating song and I feel bad that I love the song so much! lol Is it bad to love a cheating song so much? Because I have loved this song since it first came out! I love Lee Ann Womack's voice and the tune of the song is very pretty. So, here's my guilty pleasure! hehe
Day 29 - a song from your childhood
Daddy and I use to sing this all the time! Was Not Was' Walk the Dinosaur!!
Day 30 - your favorite song at this time last year
This was one of many very good songs last summer. I thought about going with one of the always good summer songs, but this one came at just the right time, Keirnan had just turned 1 and we had just found out we were having another little boy!! So, here is Brad Paisley's Anything Like Me!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Song Challenge Days 16-21

Day 16 - a song that you used to love but now hate
I am laughing at myself for this one, so you are welcome to join me! I used to love this song when it first came out years upon years ago, but now its just annoying! Ace of Base's All That She Wants!

Day 17 - a song that you hear often on the radio
Easy, Lady A's Need You Now. I don't mind hearing it alot though since I love it! They are a great group!!

Day 18 - a song that you wish you heard on the radio
As we are in the final quarter of this deployment, this song is on my mind alot lately. I wish they played it on the radio! I first heard it in the car on the way to the airport to pick Will up from his first deployment and of course never forgot it since it was so fitting at the time! SheDaisy's Come Home Soon!

Day 19 - a song from your favorite album
I know I'm a nerd for this, but my favorite albulm is the Twilight Soundtrack! I fell in love with it and got it while pregnant with Keirnan. I listened to it pretty much nonstop in the car, turned up really loudly, up until I had him! Needless to say, it is one of Keirnan's favorite CDs also!!

Day 20 - a song that you listen to when you’re angry
This is a song I listen to when I am angry, aggitated, pretty much upset in any way. In college I would take my bow either out back of my apartment or in the back parking lot of the ROTC building and turn up the volume on my Ipod to the Daredevil soundtrack and shoot for a bit! It was a real stress reliever!! This is my favorite song on the album! Evanescences Bring Me to Life.

Day 21 - a song that you listen to when you’re happy
I don't really have a song that I turn on when I am happy, but there are some songs that make me happy when I hear them. They usually have to do with love, family, etc since that is what makes me happiest! This is such a song, Blake Shelton's newest single, Gad Gave Me You!!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

My Bad Couponing Abilities!!

Well, as I mentioned in my last post, I tend to spend more trying to save than not! Yesterday I proved it! I had a couple coupons that were going to expire today so I braved a trip to Walmart with the boys! Let me tell you, Keirnan will get excited about anything! I said we're going to Walmart and he throws up his arms and says "Walmart!!" Its the cutest, even had my neighbor laughing!

Anyway, I had a coupon for Will's shampoo, BOGO so that was a total good buy, and a coupon that actually didn't say "excludes trial sizes!" Well, that was for shave gel, so I found some marked on the shelf at $0.97 and the coupon was $1 off!! Wahoo, I'm getting something for free!! There were a few others, but nothing too exciting! So, here's the poo: Of course, with the boys, I can't really pay 100% attention at the register and yesterday was no exception! The shave gel rang up as $1.47!! So I ended up paying $0.47 for the stuff! Considering it was a travel size, plus it had a disposable razor with it, its still a good buy, so I'm not upset by this one.

But I just wanted to show how bad I am at the couponing game, since it proved to be a great example so soon after mentioning my inability to save money!! :P

Friday, July 29, 2011

A Day in the Life...

Well, its only 1pm so I know you're asking how I can write this now when the day is barely half over. Well, its simple, I have the time and motivation and when the two combine I have to take advantage! lol

This morning we went to pick up the truck, which was in getting fixed at the post Firestone. Very nice guys there btw! They haven't once tried to oversell anything to me, and are honest with me! Even more, this morning the guy at the front counter was the guy who was there last week when I got the oil changed and found out what was wrong with the truck! He not only remembered me, but remembered our conversation!! So, after spending a disgusting amount of money, the truck is once again fixed!

Since the Firestone is right next to the Train park, Keirnan of course wanted to go play! lol It was pretty funny watching him decide if he was going to make a break for it! lol He was literally teetering between the van and the park! But, I told him if he was a good boy while we took the truck home and dropped off Will and Alyssa, we could go back for a little while to play before lunch! He's apparently at that age where he doesn't forget! He talked about the train the entire way home and about flipped out when we dropped the Coles off thinking we were stopping there! Needless to say the half hour at the park, playing on the train, was a success!!

It was lunchtime before we left so we stopped at McDonald's on the way home and brought home some lunch! James enjoyed his fries, I enjoyed my catchup only cheeseburger, and Keirnan had a regular cheeseburger, with all the stuff on it!! He ate it without a problem, though the first bite did cause an interesting face! I am just so stinkin' happy he isn't as picky as I am!!

James is taking a nap right now and Keirnan has decided a nap isn't needed today, he is coloring instead! He is coloring his train pictures, go figure!! The boy is obsessed with trains! I am puttering on the computer and working on planning our vacation in December! I am so excited that the way the drive down is working out, we can stop for a day in Huntsville, AL!! Keirnan loves "spaceships," so I think he'll love the Space and Rocket Center as much as I did when I was a kid!

This evening we were going to order pizza, but since we ate out I think we are going to have fish sticks instead. Ok, the boys will have them, and I will have popcorn shrimp! Its the Gorton's frozen stuff, so easy to make and not much clean up either, but they are great to have in the house for days where I'm just not feeling good, or like today, where I don't want to spend the extra money to 'eat out' twice in a single day!!

I am not the best at couponing or even saving, I have a tendency to actually spend more when I actively try to save! But I do try and the Gorton's, while not the cheapest, are much cheaper at a couple bucks per box (3-5 meals) than the $10-15 I would spend on pizza tonight, which would last for dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow!

Well, the boys are now in bed for the night, so I guess I can say how the evening went. lol It was crazy! I swear I only get a good morning or a good evening! James didn't stay down for his afternoon nap long, so he got a total nap time today of maybe an hour instead of his usual 2-2.5 hours and was grouchy by dinner time. He did love his introduction to fish though! (Even if it was processed fried stuff!) He ate about 2 fish sticks, plus half a tub of carrots mixed with rice cereal!

We attempted to vacuum the downstairs this afternoon also, which was a mess considering how small the room is! James loves to chase the vacuum and with Keirnan "helping" I just can't go fast enough to stay ahead of him! Needless to say, in this tiny room I had to stop and move James about 5 times!! (Not exaggerating!) Poor Keirnan, I ended up telling him to sit on the couch and stay out of the way while I finished. To make up for it though, I let him do part of the stairs, which he loved!

So, at least the living room and the bottom half of the stairs got vacuumed. I also got 2 loads of laundry done, have one in the washer, and one ready to go! I got the trash out, and the kitchen cleaned up a bit! I would like to get the diaper pail emptied, but that might have to wait until the morning since its already dark out and I don't want to fumble down my front stairs to get it into the trash can! :P

I love productive days! Tomorrow we are going to Walmart, which is always an adventure with both boys! But, I have a few things I need to pick up! I try to look at it as an adventure while knowing ahead of time exactly what I need and having a game plan for getting through the store!

Well, that's a day in my life! Nothing amazingly exciting, but I do love it! Now, off to enjoy my evening me time!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Song Challenge Days 13-15

Day 13 - a song that is a guilty pleasure
OK, the song isn't as much the guilty pleasure as the video! lol I liked the movie, but this part is my favorite and I can watch it a thousand times, whereas the movie got old quick! I love the song, actually the entire soundtrack, which is so far out of my usual tastes, so even that could be my guilty pleasure! I rocked out to it while pregnant with Keirnan and now its a favorite of his in the car! So, here is Muse's SuperMassive Black Hole in the Twilight movie!
Day 14 - a song that no one would expect you to love Would you believe this was a relatively easy one!? I love this song and it really moves me. I am working on finding my place with God. Its been a long and hard road this year, but one I fell is important for me. So, here is Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord!
Day 15 - a song that describes you
There are a couple songs that I hear on the radio and think, that is me! Of course, when you are actually trying to remember them, you can't think of a single one! lol So, I'm sure I'll hear something on the radio tomorrow that will make me say oh I should have picked this one, but for now this is what I've got! I am the thousand contradictions he mentions in this song and so many more! Brad Paisley's She's Everything!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Song Challenge Days 10-12

Day 10 - a song that makes you fall asleep Yes, another The Sound of Music song! lol Partly because I love the movie, and partly because my friend Kris's kids are in the play coming up here in town and we've been talking about it a lot. Either way, this is a song that runs through my head many nights as I am heading to bed! So Long, Farewell.

Day 11 - a song from your favorite band
This was a very hard question since I listen to so many different performers and they all have songs I love and songs I hate! But for now at least, this band I am in love with, Steel Magnolia, and this song is my favorite!

Day 12 - a song from a band you hate
This is a band I really liked until they opened mouth and inserted foot! After their bad publicity from it, its like they just couldn't pull together and make good music any longer! (I have never been a hater of the music just because I dislike the artist- Britney Spears is a great example! I've never liked her, but I've liked her music!) Dixie Chicks really screwed their music career up by their comments toward Toby Keith's Angry American song and while they are allowed to have their opinion, the way they said it and the timing was very poorly done. Dixie Chicks "Cowboy Take Me Away"

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Potty Training Fun!

So, last year before James was born, Keirnan had started showing the first signs you look for to start potty training- he was telling me when he went in his diaper! And then, James came and Daddy deployed and he stopped telling me! I figured he'd start again within a couple months, but nope! 8 months later and he still isn't doing it! BUT, last night he did start something new!

First, we got him a potty and started introducing him to it back then since we thought he was heading down that road! So, his potty has patiently been waiting in my bathroom most of the past year! It's apparently a great seat while I go potty because God forbid I get any privacy! lol

Then, last night Keirnan pulled his pants off, ran upstairs holding himself and repeatedly saying pee pee, and I ran after him to his potty while carrying the computer because we were on Skype with Will!! So I took his diaper off and he sat on his potty, and sat, and sat, and sat! Nothing happened, but I was so proud that he thought to do it!

Tonight he did it again, and again he sat, and sat, and sat, etc. lol We even brought the potty downstairs with us and I let him run around naked for about an hour, but nothing happened! I am still so happy and proud that he is even doing this! I know its still a long way off, but its a good first step!

And I know I have to be patient, and really I am. Actually, I am worried about doing it because of various things:
1. Will comes home in about 3-4 months, I am figuring my luck will be that Keirnan starts to really be ready right before then and its going to set him back again!
2. How do I potty train him with James getting into everything!? lol
3. Do I have to potty train him!? I mean I really don't want him to grow up!! I don't mind the diapers most days!! lol

Song Challenge Days 7-9

Day 07 - a song that reminds you of a certain event
Easy! My wedding of course!! So, though we didn't get to actually dance at our wedding, our song was John Michael Montgomery's version of I Swear! I'll even give you a double header! The second one was the song we came back up the aisle to, Nick Lowe's I knew the Bride (When She Used to Rock and Roll)

Day 08 - a song that you know all the words to
Yes, I recognise my utter nerdiness, but this is one of my favorite songs to sing! lol Do Ri Me from The Sound of Music!

Day 09 - a song that you can dance toIn homage to the nights we spent at the Rockin' Ranch, Cammack and I finally figured out the moves to it just in time for graduation, and now 6 years later, I can't remember a step! :P Rednex Cotton Eye Joe!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Song Challenge Days 4-6

Yes, I am cheating and doing this much faster than the 30 days! I know I won't get a chance to do this every day, so I'm doing a little as I get a chance! lol

Day 04 - a song that makes you sad
This is another easy one for me. This is a song I associate with my sister. I always thought of it as my dad's song for her. I don't know if he thinks so too, but it fits! So, here is Eric Clapton's Tears in Heaven.

Day 05 - a song that reminds you of someone
This is another easy one, Trace Adkins' Arlington. Its a very beautiful and moving song in itself, it has extra meaning to those who've been blessed to have known one or more of the many heros burried there.  A very good friend from college died in Iraq on June 7, 2005. This too is a song that make me sad, but without fail, I think of 2LT John S. Vaughan. He was more than a friend, like a brother to me, in a time of my life that I needed him most. He always was there with a sholder to cry on and could make me laugh when I needed it most! I won't sit here and say we had an easy relationship, because we hated each other for almost 2 years too! But, its the friendship that developed that means so much! I miss you John!!

Day 06 - a song that reminds you of somewhere
This song reminds me of going out on my grandparents boat as a child, (which I admit, there sadly aren't that many memories left!) all my scuba diving trips as a teenager, and how much I miss those easy days out on a boat enjoying the Gulf with my family and friends. So, here's to my own little piece of paradise via Zac Brown Band and Jimmy Buffet!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Song Challege days 1-3

Day 1- Favorite song
My favorite song usually changes as my mood changes, but there is always a song I go back to in each mood! But, with that said, I am saying my favorite song is the one that most often pops into my head or that I randomly start singing more often than others. So, my favorite song is Steve Holy's Good Morning Beautiful.

Day 2- Least Favorite song
My least favorite song was hard because I know a lot of songs I don't really like, but none that I totally abhor! But, this one will probably be a surprise to many people, especially coming from a military wife- I cannot stand Alan Jackson's Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning!! While its a nice song, they played it so often for so long, that I truely cannot listen to it anymore! The minute it comes on the radio I still change the station!!

Day 3- Song that makes me Happy
This is my first truely easy song to pick, no thought required! Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World. It not only is a beautiful song, but it brings back some great memories- Grand travels my first Grandie year!! No matter how hard a day I'm having, it reminds me how blessed I am and puts a smile on my face!

Monday, July 11, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge

One of the goals on my Day Zero Project is to do the 30 Day song Challenge! So, after looking at the list, I know I'm going to need 30 days to come up with some of them! lol So, here is the list, I'll post them as I figure them out and get the chance!!
day 01 - your favorite song
day 02 - your least favorite song
day 03 - a song that makes you happy
day 04 - a song that makes you sad
day 05 - a song that reminds you of someone
day 06 - a song that reminds you of somewhere
day 07 - a song that reminds you of a certain event
day 08 - a song that you know all the words to
day 09 - a song that you can dance to
day 10 - a song that makes you fall asleep
day 11 - a song from your favorite band
day 12 - a song from a band you hate
day 13 - a song that is a guilty pleasure
day 14 - a song that no one would expect you to love
day 15 - a song that describes you
day 16 - a song that you used to love but now hate
day 17 - a song that you hear often on the radio
day 18 - a song that you wish you heard on the radio
day 19 - a song from your favorite album
day 20 - a song that you listen to when you’re angry
day 21 - a song that you listen to when you’re happy
day 22 - a song that you listen to when you’re sad
day 23 - a song that you want to play at your wedding
day 24 - a song that you want to play at your funeral
day 25 - a song that makes you laugh
day 26 - a song that you can play on an instrument
day 27 - a song that you wish you could play
day 28 - a song that makes you feel guilty
day 29 - a song from your childhood
day 30 - your favorite song at this time last year

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Harry Potter and the truck

So, as its a week before the final movie comes out, I have of course, been re-reading the book! And today I am watching the previous movies on ABC Family. And I came upon an oops in the magical world!! In Prisoner of Azkaban, Lupin did not know Sirius wasn't the secret keeper for Harry's parents. But in the Deathly Hallows, a letter written to Sirius from Lilly says Lupin had just visited. For Lupin to have visited them while in hiding, the real secret keeper would have needed to give him the location, meaning Pettygrew! So, oops!!

Now, when am I going to get to see this upcoming movie!? I actually haven't a clue! I have both boys in the CDC on Friday but I have to pick them up at 1pm, and the earliest I could find is 11am. Its a 2.5 hours long movie, plus the inevitable previews! So, when do I get to see my movie?!

Now, what am I doing with this time all to myself- a first in months. (OK, well I do get my monthly couple hours out one evening for girls night out, usually just dinner!) But this is a block of 4 hours all to myself!! Well, I am going to be doing truck upkeep! Yes, my me time is actually doing yet another thing that needs to be done, instead of just relaxing and taking some time for me! Maybe I'll get lucky enough to get time to run by Walmart!

I told Will I plan on disappearing for a couple days once he gets home, and I actually mean it! I'm too cheap to actually go stay somewhere, so I'll of course stay home, but I plan on maybe going to a movie and dinner with just me, myself, and I! Maybe I'm harsh for looking most forward to my husband coming home from his deployment for the me time, but really, I need it! And this movie and my not getting to even find a time to go see it is just one way of showing how much I need it!

Please, don't get me wrong, I love my boys with all my heart, and I do not resent that my husband is gone. I knew what I was getting into when I married him, and am so proud of him! But, this deployment has been hard on me. It has shown me I don't really know who I am. I love being His wife. I love being Their mom, but who is that person? I have never had a chance to find out, and frankly I really want to know! Because the person I grew up planning to become is gone. The person I was in high school is gone. The person I was in college even is gone. I am a very different person! I realized this in various interactions with long time friends over the past few months. Its a blog I've thought about writing every day, but its one that I know is going to hurt. Its going to hurt me to put these feelings into writing, and its going to probably hurt the people its about, if they even read my blog! I don't think they do!

So, maybe one day I'll get a chance to figure out who I am, and stop living each day waiting for my life to start! Because I am missing so much just waiting, and I really want to be living!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What a week!

So, the plan is to cover a few points tonight. We'll see how far I make it! lol

1. This has been a major week for James. Sunday he said "dada" and Monday he took his first crawling 'steps!' Yay to two major milestones! I have to say I was more than a little excited, and to make it even better is that we were on Skype with Will when James started his crawling!! Last year, Will was very nonchalant about missing James' first year, but I know it has bothered him that he has missed some pretty major milestones, and most likely will miss a lot more in the next few months. But, I also know it was a major thing that he got to see that one milestone! I hope it made it a little easier being away!

2. I started P90X this week. Today was day 3 and I am so sore! I have muscles hurting that I didn't know existed. But this is the first time I have done an at-home, video type workout and even finished the first day, non-the-less continued into 3 days and am still excited about it! I think the major factor is that I don't feel silly doing it! So, I am still excited about it and hope I continue to be, seeing as I still have 87 days to go! lol

But, the biggest thing is the reasoning behind doing it. I am not looking to lose weight or anything, rather to tone up and get back into shape. I don't like how weak I feel all the time and want back that overall feeling I had back in college when I was working out regularly! Maybe I'll even get to a place where I actually like working out!!

3. I think I've mentioned before that living in the military community brings you together in a way most civilians don't get. I have friends who I haven't talked to in years, but they still matter to me, because once we were friends and helped each other get through some hard times. Because of the special bond developed between military wives, when something bad happens to a friend, even one you haven't talked to in years, you still feel pain for them.

Today, I found out a friend from our days in Germany lost her husband in Afghanistan this week. I didn't really know her husband, just met him a few times, but he seemed like a nice and reserved guy. I haven't talked to her since we left Germany almost 4 years ago. And now she is dealing with having to raise their two young kids on her own and live the rest of her life without her other half. My heart goes out to her and their family in this trying time.

But, I'm a big enough person to admit, but it is a very serious reminder that even when not being shot at, my husband is not safe while in his deployment. No matter how much I play off that he's in Iraq and that's not a 'real' deployment anymore, the fact is, that he is still at risk. So far his brigade has lost 7 people this deployment, the last five were asleep in their rooms, not out on a mission. Its scary having to deal with this fear on a daily basis. So, for me, I get through by ignoring the fear and believing "it won't happen to me!" (Which after John died, I learned very quickly, that's not true!) But, if I don't think about it, I'll make it with a minimum amount of breakdowns! And thus, far it has worked. Until days like today where I am Gibbs slapped back into reality and the harsh truth of what my husband faces daily is dropped like a glass of ice water right down my back!

So, for tonight, I will be an emotional mess, going back and forth between amazed at how quickly my children are growing and excited to see what they'll do next, to scared and sad worrying over my husband's safety. But hey, that's why I say its the Crazy Life of an Army Wife! And tomorrow, when the boys wake up, I will put my smile on and we will go about our day, as we count down one less day before Daddy is safely home where he belongs!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day Zero Project Starts Today!

Well, its been 5 days, but I finally got my list to 101 tasks I would like to complete in the next 1001 days! I think I covered just about every aspect of my life, and am really looking forward to checking things off the list! If you want to check it out, the link to my list is in my last post! I've added the list below also.  I think if I manage to complete every item on my list I will be a much better and happier person, wife, and mother!

1. Read 10 literary classics (0/10)
2. Try 5 new foods (0/5)
3. Visit three countries I have never been to before (0/3)
4. Graduate with my MAS
5. Get the truck painted
6. survive deployment
7. Visit Ireland
8. Start working out on a regular basis
9. Start volunteering on post
10. Take my boys to Disney and Sea World
11. Pay off credit cards completely
12. Read 1 book every month
13. Catch up both boys' scrapbooks
14. Ride a horse
15. Play at the beach with my entire family
16. Visit Alaska
17. Do at least 1 random act of kindness each month
18. take a weekend trip with just the hubby
19. Learn at least passable German
20. Read every book on my bookshelf
21. Visit the Grand Canyon
22. Get a tattoo
23. Go camping
24. Complete a 365 day photo challenge
25. Run a half marathon
26. Visit a state I've never been to before
27. Go to bed before 10pm every night for a week
28. Try a new recipe
29. Organize my itunes
30. Read the Bible
31. Find a personally inspirational quote and work it into a piece of art or home decor
32. Watch a Cirque du Soleil show
33. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter
34. Complete a Sudoku book
35. Have a romantic candlelit dinner
36. Blog at least once a week
37. Pick 5 people who have changed my life and write each of them a letter (0/5)
38. Assemble an emergency kit for the house
39. Color an entire coloring book
40. Fly in a helicopter
41. Do the 30 day song challenge
42. Donate to Toys for Tots
43. Donate $5 for each goal I do not complete
44. Donate my hair to Locks of Love
45. Treat my parents to lunch at a nice restaurant
46. Teach Keirnan the alphabet
47. Potty train both boys (0/2)
48. Take the boys to DC
49. Clean out the extra stuff in the house
50. Go to the top of Pike's Peak
51. Go to Garden of the Gods
52. Get a Friends of the Zoo membership
53. Go to a Ghost Town
54. Go Skydiving
55. Teach the boys to swim (0/2)
56. Take a Boat out on the Lake
57. Write a letter to myself to open in 10 years
58. Go to a concert
59. Stop Biting my Nails
60. Get rid of 100 things
61. Go bowling
62. Learn to snowboard
63. Send Christmas cards
64. Bake and decorate cupcakes
65. Join a sports team
66. Fly First Class
67. Play a round of golf
68. Make a Halloween costume
69. Find a community service project to be active in
70. Develop a workout routine
71. At least double amount in savings acct.
72. Attend Church Regularly
73. Send anonymous flowers to someone who is having a tough day
74. Back up all my music and pictures
75. Donate money to charity
76. Get a new mattress set
77. Learn to Control my Temper
78. Have a "Me" Day
79. Donate Blood
80. Play in the Snow with my Boys
81. See a movie in 3D
82. Inspire someone to make a 101/1001 list
83. Stop swearing for a whole month
84. Find and Buy my Perfect Little Black Dress
85. Make a weekly schedule of household chores
86. Get Passports for the Boys
87. Take a photo of a place through all four seasons
88. Write a love letter to my husband
89. Go to Universal Studios
90. Read Atlas Shrugged
91. Complete 7 goals in a week
92. Do the 200 Sit-up Challenge
93. Use the Wii Fit at least once a week
94. Make and follow a weekly exercise schedule
95. Cook 3+ Meals per Week for 3 straight months
96. Pay off my student loan
97. Have professional family photos taken
98. Bake someone a cake for no reason
99. Do a sponsored run / walk for charity
100. Go to a wine tasting event
101. Donate all my unwanted books to friends or to the local book store

Sunday, June 5, 2011

My Day Zero Project

A friend started this and shared, and I really like the idea, so am going to try it out! I am still in the process of making my list, but am excited to see if I can finish everything on my list in the next 2.75 years! Wish me luck!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

If you're lazy and you know it...

Well, just continue watching TV and playing on the computer! So, I am trying this for the um-teenth time this week! Lets see how far I get before the wonder baby wakes up! So, Will left awhile ago, or so I thought. He actually left under 3 weeks ago! Holy Crap, can time go any slower!? No wonder I have had such a short fuze lately!! The difference between the first half of the deployment and these first coule weeks of the second half are like night and day- complete opposites! (I am not attracted to this difference either!) So, here are the differences:

Half 1:
- Dinners were planned out and we actually ate pretty well. This in itself is a major feat for a variety of reasons. The most important being that I don't cook!! Seriously, Will has done the cooking in this family since he kicked me out of the kitchen while we were still dating!
- I kept busy and had something to look foarward to each month without really even looking for it!
- The housework was actually getting done immediately! Again, not one of my strong points, especially with two little monsters constantly demanding my attention!

Half 2:
- I made a plan for dinners the last two weeks, but only did about half of them!
- I have nothing in the upcoming months to look forward to as short term goals.
- The boys are driving me so ragged that getting the house picked up is about as good as I am getting! The only room in this house reletively clean is the kitchen because I just can't cook without a clean kitchen!

So, here it is we've started a real countdown at 5 months to go! I'm counting down to Halloween, knowing its a give or take sort of thing!

The boys are driving me insane. James has become pretty clingy, which I know is a regular stage, but with Keirnan crashing into the terrible twos, my hands have been full! Its gotten to a point where I feel like I am always on edge! So, now I am trying to get my deployment mojo back. I'm hoping one step at a time will get my groove back! First is figuring out how to get Keirnan to stop ignoring me!! Next, will be figuring out what to look forward to each month! Following steps and having a plan is the only way I get anything done. I seriously cannot function without lists!

So, please pray for my insanity! I am tired and starting to lose my train of thought to go any further! Maybe I'll go into more detail about the laziness I orionally meant to discuss later! Good night!!

Holy Texas Toast!

I've never used that one before, but Keirnan has developed a major attitude that I swear is the size of Texas!! So, here I am starting a third blog for this week and for the third time just as I start James decides to start making noise!! Seriously!? I think the boys are conspiring against me!! My parents will be here in a few days and I am so excited for the diversion! Since Will left its been crazy! No wonder why they say after R&R is the worst part of a deployment! I might pull my hair out by the end of the month! My new mantra is: Only 5 more months!! I swear I chant it to myself multiple times each day as I try desperately not to go berserk on the boys!! Well, off I go to get James from the evils of his crib!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Big Week!!

Yesterday was Mother's Day. I got lots of love from my boys and we went to the lake for a picnic with some friends. It was a beautiful day and Keirnan had a blast playing on the playground! He did skin his knee up, but was such a big boy about it! I guess its the first of many, I'm sure! For dinner I made a new chicken dish I wanted to try. It was easy and yummy, and Keirnan ate it!! What better present than one kid actually eating what I make, and the other coming off his growth spurt! (And thus letting me sleep!)

Tomorrow is a double special day, first up is our anniversary! We have been married 8 years! Wow, we are closing in on 10 pretty quick here! I am sad we won't be together for our day, but tonight we have a skype date and that will have to suffice until he comes home! Either way, I am proud that we have made it this far. There were so many who didn't think we would and each year we happily add to the count makes me so proud! My husband is my best friend, and when he isn't here, I am missing a part of me- the best part. What we have together is special, because I married my best friend!

Tomorrow is Keirnan's 2d birthday! I can't believe he will be 2! Boy, time flies! And sometimes I forget he is only 2! He is such an amazing little boy and I am so proud of the person he is developing into! Though he has his moments, and proves regularly that he has my temper! lol I love that little stinker with all my heart! We aren't doing anything special since we had his party while Will was home 2 weekends ago. It was a bit cool, but a pretty nice day at the park, and he had a great time on the train and playground with his friends! Everything turned out amazingly!!

Here is a general shot of the party! I took a regular "Happy Birthday" sign and printed off "Chuggington" pictures to put over the end and center pieces.

My own little engineer playing on the train they have right there in the park!

And this is the cake! It was super yummy! I got the edible icing picture from an Ebay store called OhToppers and the Commissary did the actual cake! I was in love with how it turned out!

I still need to get a picture of the gift bags, but they were blue and lime green paper bags with red and yellow tissue paper respectively, and a "Chuggington" picture on the front. I promise a picture will be coming eventually! :P

And Friday James will be 6 months old!! He started sitting up on his own right before Will left and has jut gotten better and better at it! He still over corrects and gets tired after a bit, both resulting in him falling over! But he really seems to love the new view!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Lost: My Butt! If Found, Please Return to owner!

So, I have been thinking most of this the past month or so, but it seems to be a very controversial view point, so if you start, please hear me out! I am fat- I am not obese, but I am fat! Yes, I know you are asking how a 5'4" female, who weighs in at 125lbs can be fat, but please hold all questions and comments to the end! Also, this is something I am putting here, because I can't really discuss it with many of my friends. I have a friend who has lost an amazing amount of weight by working out and eating right. While she may still have 40-50lbs on me, I know she can out run me, and out everything else me! Yet, she will still look at the two of us together and see me as the healthier person! (That is what is wrong with our society, its the pits!)

As you can tell, I have never had a problem admitting my weight. (even pregnant! Keirnan topped me out at 152, and James 148) I am proud that I am a small person. I am, however, not proud that I am a lazy person. Though, I have no problem admitting it! It is one of the things I hate most about myself!

So, James will be 6 months old next week! (Holy cow, time flies!) Well, I am back down to under my pre-pregnancy weight, but its all fat! I don't think I have any muscle beyond the bare minimums to function left in me! I do however have a decent amount of fat. My arms are small, but they flab when I wiggle them, what's left of my butt jiggles, and Keirnan has a fun new game that involves squeezing and wiggling my stomach flab! He thinks its great- me, not so much!

This is why I say I am fat, because everything on me is fat. And isn't that what qualifies a person as fat? I know I am not obese, and other than being jiggly and being about ready to call in the guard to find my missing rear end, I have a good self image. (In fact, overall, I like what I see in the mirror more now than I ever have before! Especially in my new jeans that seem to lift my thighs into the general vicinity of my butt and thus make it look like I have a rather cute one! Ah, the power of jeans!)

So, what all this tells me is apparently, though I didn't know it, I had one hell of a toned ass, since it is now MIA along with all the rest of my muscle, and that I really need to get into shape! So, Will's honey do list for R&R was very short- only 4 things! The top of that list was rearrange the family room to fit my elliptical in so I can be lazy in front of the TV! Now, isn't that the best idea?! I think so! Now, I just have to find time to get to use it! Since I am writing this tonight, maybe I'll try it out tomorrow while I watch my Thursday evening shows! See, told you I am lazy!

I am really looking forward to getting back in shape, and have been wanting to go to the gym, but with the boys, its a PITA. We do have a "Mommy Cardio Room," but its just cardio, with no room to do anything, like stretch! And since I have an elliptical at home, really what's the point!? So, I like to think, if Will were home I would be able to go for real in the evenings. It would give me some alone time and I'd get back in shape, but that can't happen for 6 more months! (BTW, we're half way through our deployment!!) And I really don't want to wait that long! So, my own elliptical it is. The goal is to tone myself back up, lose the wiggles and the jiggles, and either find, or replace my missing butt! I don't even mind gaining a few pounds in the process! After all, muscle weighs more than fat!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I am old!!

I remember when I was a kid, I thought 28 would mean I was a 'real' adult and make me old. I decided on this amazing age probably because it would be my age at my 10 year high school reunion! Who knows why I do anything, really?! Well, I have now been 28 for a whopping 2 months and a few days now, and boy was I right!!

I am old! Why, do you ask, do I think I am old? Well, it started with something happening this morning, I don't remember what, and my thinking "that will make an excellent blog topic!" I remember that happened three separate times today, but for the life of me I can't remember what the crap I wanted to share with everyone! Apparently, it was blog worthy at the time though. And I'm sure it will be again at 3am when I remember everything from the previous day while my son happily eats his midnight snack! But like a dream, when I wake up in the morning, I will once again be clueless as to what this amazing experience was!

People told me when I had kids my brain would just seep out my ears and fall to the ground. I think it more than likely got washed down the drain when I took my daily showers! As I was slowly losing the blond hair I grew up with, I apparently lost my mind also! I bet you don't hear that too often do you!? I got dumber as my hair got darker! But, its true and I did!

I now am told by other, more experienced mommies, that its "Mommy Brain" and very common. Well, ya think!? So this is my ramblings about how I don't remember what I wanted to share with everyone today.

But, since we're on the topic of my 10 year high school reunion... (You remember, we're on that topic, I mentioned it way up top!) I have to mention how a friend of mine from days long gone recently told me she never pictured me being the type to settle down and have a family, or to be a stay at home mom. Funny, I was always the mommy type, but I never did either. In high school, all my friends thought I should be a guidance counselor since they all came to me for advice, to vent, to mediate, etc. In college I was the "mom" of our group.

Dude, I remember!! Oh shit, now I forget! See this is how it works, my brain teases me. For a split second I remembered what it was I originally forgot!

So, anyway, back to what I was saying... I was the "mom" in college. Unless I was having a really bad day and decided to drink, I was always the DD. I was always the one to recognize a friend was having issues and force them to talk about it until they felt better. (part of that is I'm just nosy, but shh, don't tell!) I am a problem solver, I like to help people! Almost to the point where I need help! And, if you ask my friend Ashley, I even dressed like the mom. I've gotten better! (I am a lot like Kate Gosslin in that, my wardrobe has gotten better as the number of kids I have has grown!)

So, maybe back as a kid I wasn't the mother type, and I just didn't see the change because it was gradual. But, I did agree that I never pictured myself as a SAHM. I thought I would go stir crazy. Well, I keep busy and drag my boys everywhere so I don't! But, anyway, all this is just to say I was surprised when she made that comment. Because, even as a kid I knew I would one day grow up to marry a military man and be a mom, albeit a working one! I love my life, and though its nowhere near where I thought it would be, I love the course my life is taking! And I am proud to say I am an Army wife. Because, though its not the most defining part of who I am, it is the largest part of who I am!

So, those are my ramblings for the day. And they really are ramblings aren't they?! I don't do very good at staying on topic, hence ramblings! I also write like I talk. I used to have a lot of professors try to make me change that in college, but one actually loved my writing style. She said it was refreshing to read a paper that sounded like I was right there speaking to her! OK, see there I go again. Good night!