Monday, 20 October 2014

Because when I talk, I like to talk.

What I have I been up to? Well first I am determined to finish the kitchen. Yup, that is right, the kitchen IS STILL NOT DONE! I have many excuses, mostly that my weekends have been overbooked and my evenings were filled will monstrous homework from a horrible professor. I hate to say that but this last class was the worst class I have ever taken. Professors may be intelligent but that doesn't mean they are meant to teach entry level courses. Now that I passed that course by the skin of my teeth, I am trying to finish the last set of doors and be done with my 8 week kitchen rehaul.

Ace has been in town a little more than usual since his location has changed. It has been really nice. We actually got to use benefits and go to San Francisco for our one year survivingbutlovingeachother anniversary. I bought him a kick ass decanter and matching glasses with his signature on them and he got me a beautiful pendant with Gooses birthstone and diamonds. He has heard me complain several times that they way they mount Gooses birthstone is always so tacky. He put in some serious effort (with the help of other men to be sure) to find the perfect one. We had a great trip... with a fight or two of course. Does anyone vacation without at least one argument? I had my final during that trip and of course the horrid professor posted it late so I spent way too much time working on it. I was stressed to the max. Thankfully we got to our destination Friday night without any hiccups and came home Monday, at a decent time, with no problems. We even got to see the Blue Angles at Fleet Week, which we had no idea was happening when we arrived. Have you ever taken a civilian, soon to be USAF, pilot to or near a military air show? SQUIRREL!








I took a small break from work to recharge in conjunction with our mini vacation. As stated in my previous post, I have been stressed out. This week is me starting fresh. Goose and I went for a 2 mile hike yesterday and today I worked legs like a boss... with no weights. I felt weak haha. I have been working on my blanket and a ton of crafts. My mind has been all over the place. I have created wrapped wine bottles, scored wine bottles to be used as vases or pencil holders, body scrubs, worked on the blanket enough to finish a bale and a half of yarn. I have also re-created the frog terrarium. I have some serious ADHD going one at the moment.



The one thing I haven't done is blogged. I feel like I haven't talked to you in forever and I would like to apologize but I felt like what I had to say, I couldn't say. Now that I have it's pouring out, so keep an eye for most post, more often. Ace would say someone pulled my string hah!



Now you know

I want to tell you guys a secret. If there is one thing that is known about me it is my tendency to share, to be open; I never hide my soul. Till one moment in December 2013, I learned very quickly what it meant to have that dark place... that one corner of your soul that no one ever sees.

See I was raised by a few different people and my biological family was never one of them. I knew who my mother and father were, but the contact was sporadic. I never met my father and my mother was a junkie, in and out of my life, depending on her addiction at that moment. She never was a bad person, but she made a lot of bad choices. One of the best choices she ever made was to let go of my siblings and I. To this day my old brother and my younger sister have never met each other. I have met each of them, my sister once, my brother twice. My brother was raised by our father’s family and my sister was part of a closed adoption. Neither of them had any contact with our mother. The way she gave me up, allowed room for her in my life. I always considered myself strong, choosing a life much different than hers. Never making the same mistakes and always being leery of anything that could cause addictions.

She sobered up when I was 19. Since I was 5, she had a partner who always did his best to care and provide for her. They might have lived in hotels at times when his jobs were always changing but things really started to look up for them. They settled down in an apartment, she was clean and going to school, he was doing his best to manage his health... Then 5 years down the road his health started to fail and slowly he passed away. She lost a part of herself that day. I was so scared for her sobriety, but damn, she proved me wrong.

She couldn't work in a normal environment due to the years of drugs and her mental state. Don't get me wrong, she was smart as a whip, but easily aggravated and unable to control her attitude sometimes. Instead, she sold off everything she could, including his tools, paid off their car, got a job taking care of an elderly man and life was as good as it could be. She was still sober. She was a college student. She was experiencing the same frustrations over math as I was. Over those 7 years we bonded. That was something we had never had before. 2012 I was so impressed with her and her strength and I was back in the states, I wanted her to spend Christmas with Goose, his father and I. It was the first Christmas I had ever had with her. It was the only picture taken of her, Goose and I.  I bought her a kindle because of her love for reading and even got all the gadgets for night reading and a card to load it with the first few books. The look on her face when she opened it is something I will never forget. She cried tears of joy... something she hadn't felt in a long time.

After her visit, she went back home and the ward she was caring for started falling ill. It shook the very ground she stood on because not only did she care for him, she knew finding another set up like this was rare. To add to it her she started having issues with her thyroid and had to have it removed. Finding the right balance in hormones was difficult and the pain and such started messing with her mental health. She was struggling in school, missed her partner, didn't have a community in this new location to bond with, she even started to lose her faith a little bit. Then the icing on the cake happened. The ward she cared for went into a coma. She lost control of her will power and wrote herself checks from her wards account and went to the streets.

I knew something wasn't right because I didn't hear from her for a few weeks. Then I got a phone call from her ward that his daughters pressed charges for fraudulent checks and that she was in jail for a few weeks. When we finally talked I could hear the anger in her voice and her patience shortened when she asked me for money and I said no. She wanted to come to Utah and at that moment, I was in the middle of a divorce and custody agreements with my sons father. I also had my career and clearance to worry about so I told her that was not an option. We didn't speak again for a few more weeks and I was so angry with her for throwing 8 years out the window.

Then she surprised me again. She went to a shelter that had a work program and would house you for 3 months to help you get back on your feet. She was back in school again and I sent her a care package to try and encourage her despite my disappointment. When her 3 months were up, she had nowhere to go. She was house to house trying to get back into the home but there were issues with her trial, her charges and I honestly do not know what else. She found some man to stay with who turned out to be a controlling POS and that ended quickly. She was so scared of going to prison, telling me how terrible the food was and that she was better than that. I thought she wanted it.

I was still upset and harboring inside. I put her out of my mind when I wasn't talking to her, thinking she would figure it out like she always did. Then she missed my birthday. The first time in 27 years, she didn't call or send a card. A few weeks later, I got a text that she was okay and she told me about her case some and that was it. Then Christmas passed. Again, the first time in 20 something years I didn't hear from her. December 26th she called. She told me about how she was taking the bus across town when she could, back and forth to the shelter daily and looking for a new place to live for a while. She said it rained the day before and she walked in her shoes for a few miles and they fell apart, but don't worry, one of her friends was going to give her a pair to wear. I told her that maybe going to jail for a year was better than probation for 5 years. She would get sober, have a place to live, get some more schooling, and they would force her to get things together. We talked a little bit longer and then that was the last time I talked to her. I sent a text to Ace about the call and how I was just disappointed in her and there was nothing I could do at this point.

December 28th, my biological brother called me to say that the police had found her body on the side of the highway. My brother who had not seen her since he was 4 years old. My brother, who did not care one bit, got the call accidently through our biological father because he and I have the same name and they confused us. My world crumbled in. She was beaten, raped, and her neck was broken before being thrown out on the side of the road. I never knew I had mommy issues till that moment. I never had a panic attack till then. They found the murdered within a few hours. A trucker was about to dispose of the evidence as they found him. Her welfare phone had allowed them to track him down. He tried to kill himself twice once they brought him into the station. As they have investigated this guy, they found that he has rape charges, arson, fraud, assault charges and even possibly child abuse. This guy was a monster. As I hear about more women coming forward, I think of her death as not in vain. Even still, it has left me damaged.

I have lost my best friend, lost her partner who I considered family, lost my nephew who was like my little brother. I have suffered more in a lifetime than one can imagine but yet, I have always pushed on and grown from it. This, I tried so hard to bottle up after it happened that now I am exploding with emotion. Her ashes are in my home and I cannot bring myself to try and plan how to spread them. I cannot look at a box and see what a life was reduced to. A life of bad choices and wrong places. She left the world alone and it breaks my heart. I thought for a the longest time that she went out of the world thinking that I didn't love her or not being able to understand where my anger was coming from.

Then a detective sent me some of her belongings. In there was a journal of sorts and there were different homework assignments for sobriety she was working on. In one of those books there was a question about choices. She wrote that she understood that her daughter couldn't just forgive her and that she (I) needed time to heal too. I cried like a baby when I read that because she knew. She knew I was struggling with her choices just as she was. She knew I had a family to protect and that I couldn't allow for her to bring us down too. I see homeless people and I want to hug them all. I want to tell them someone loves them and that it might not be okay today but have a little faith. I smile when I can and donate if I have extra... but it doesn't stop my aching heart.

I want to hold on to Goose and never let him experience that life. I think about getting out of the military so that he can have a mother at home to raise him and provide that example of what a family is. I think I want to smother him with my love, I know. I am going to turn into that mother that all the girls hate haha.

I do not know what it is that I miss or that I think I am missing. Maybe it is guilt or maybe it is the unknowns of what we could have had as the years pass. I just know that the last few weeks have been rough. I don't talk about it with anyone other than my therapist (yay for getting help!/no shame!) but sometimes it is healthy to tell the story. To show some depth and let people in. Maybe you are a stranger reading this, maybe you are a friend... either way, now you know.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Hello? Is it me you're looking for?

Hey stranger!



I will tell you that this keeping up with the blog thing is hard work.



Mostly when everything hits you at once. This class I am taking makes me want to pull mine and the professors hair out. I also got hit with a last minute work suspense and then created some of my own waves in the work place.



I have found myself in one of those "sounding like my first supervisors" moments. I am not anyone's supervisor at this moment but I have a general idea of what it is suppose to look like and how it is suppose to work. From the top and the bottom. I threw the flag in on someone else court. Some would say I over stepped my boundaries but so far most people I sought advice from, agreed with my decision. I think it has created a ripple effect. Our senior leaders finally have light of what is really going on in our unit and are starting to get a handle on it and are addressing it.  I created some tension and I probably burned some bridges but what can I do now?



Ace surprised me this weekend. He was supposed to only be in town for 12 hours between trips and wasn't planning on driving up to my place. Instead, he came home a bit early (14 hours, watch out!) and came up for the night. Goose and I were both pleasantly surprised. Goose more than me I think. He is quite taken with Ace.



Goose had an accident today at school. While playing with his 2 best friends, they had a three stooges moment, with Goose taking the brunt of it. Goose now has a goose egg on his forehead. Typically when these things happen I take them well. The gentleman from the daycare that called to informed me unsettled me a bit. I came in like a tornado... and here is Goose running around playing like nothing ever happened. This kid.



I also tried something new. I have been playing with the idea of making my own soap for a while and took the plunge today. I found the recipe at Kathi Lipp Your Life on Purpose. I was so excited after I mixed all my ingredients, I stripped my uniform and washed right away. Now, I just have to wear these clothes for a few weeks and see how they hold up (and my skin) with the new soap.

I found all the ingredients at my local Wal-Mart. Right in the same section. Seriously, I didn't even walk a foot to find all of these items.



(1) 4 lb 12 oz box of Borax
(1) 4 lb box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
(1) 3 lb 7 oz box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
(3) bars of Fels-Naptha soap (or Zote)
3 lb container of Oxy Clean
1 container Purex Crystals



I underestimated the size of the container I needed to store this. I would say get a good 2 gallon bucket and one smaller one for what you need for say, the month. I used a cheese grater and really, it took me about 5 minutes tops to shave the soap. Others have talked about using a microwave to melt it and turn it into a power, others have used their food processer. I on the other hand just dedicated an old grater to the job and some elbow grease. Worked perfect.



You are supposed to use only about 2 tablespoons per load. I have an HE top loading machine. I removed the liquid dispenser to be able to use it for powder dispensing. I will monitor the machine for wear and tear. The 12ish lbs of soap this made I suspect will last me all year. With the amount that I spend on Tide/All Free products, I hope this works for the best.



Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Dating a Pilot

So say you stumbled across my blog because you want to know more about dating a pilot. You want to know if they all cheat. You want to know if they all fantasize banging their flight attendants. You want to know if the distance ever gets easier. I say that it is no different than dating a doctor. Yes, some date nurses, yes some cheat at work, but that doesn't make it the majority. Lawyers have paralegals, CEOs have hot secretaries. It is a close environment and it is the people they know and get. It is easy to date someone who is in the same profession. And yes, men and women become infatuated. I'll get to the distance part later.

If your man is a loyal one, then he will fantasize for a moment but eventually the infatuation fades and they are just another face at work. You cannot blame people for being human. I am sure that you have come across people that you have had a spark with and if given a large amount of time together, you may find yourself curious. But that doesn't mean you are going to act upon that impulse. Just like your pilot may not act upon them. Do not through them all into one bucket.

Dating a pilot can be fun. They are impulsive to a fault but that can be a good thing for you. If you were to get benefits you could fly anywhere for a few nights get away. Maybe just go to a theme park for a day, eat oysters in Seattle, and relax on a beach in Hawaii. They don't have work to bring home. Their time off is their time off. And when you spend so much time apart... there is a lot of making up for lost time to do :)

I remember when I first started dating Ace, I didn't care that he was a pilot. It seemed easy. He would be home 3 days, gone for 4, I could live like that. I love my own space and thought that would give us time to miss each other.

Then he got hired as a flight instructor. Which is in another state. This meant weeks at a time apart. First he had to get his new rating. That was 6 weeks of class in St. Louis. Now, after he got his rating and became a certified instructor, he spends anywhere from 1-3 weeks at a time there with very few days in between the next class. Sometimes we get lucky and have 7 days together.

There are so many things that can drive you crazy in this kind of relationship. Communication is the very first thing I can think of. It is easy to get caught up in your own life and put the other person to the side. It is also easy to be the person who is waiting all day just to hear from someone. No matter how strong you are, how secure you are in your own life, sometimes the pilot life gets to you. You hear the guys joking about so and so and the flight attendant he go busted with. You hear about those who lead two lives. You know there is plenty of room for one night stands in that kind of environment and it gets in your head.

What you have to do is evaluate yourself and your partner. Is your pilot the kind that makes you worry? If so, maybe you need to work on deepening your bond or really ask yourself if this is how you want to live. If your pilot never gives you reason to be concerned then you have to do a better job of getting out of your own head. We can create issues that are not even there just by simply over thinking and using our imagination. Your imagination is a powerful tool. You can think of a situation and raise your blood pressure, your body temperature and make your own heart race. You can cause yourself to become physically ill over something that hasn't even happened or may never even be plausible.

I have found myself all over with this. If I am feeling insecure, then you can bet that I am being a bat shit crazy woman for no reason. Then sometimes, I get so busy, I forget to make my pilot feel special. I think that if you are communicating properly and feeding each other's needs, then those insecurities subside and the balance is returned. If one person becomes to selfish and self-involved in a LDR then it is easy for the other person to feel hurt and neglected as well.

Ace and I have talked about love languages. We try to make sure that we are speaking those to each other. He likes words of affirmation and I like acts of kindness. Sometimes we may fall into physical or material but those tend to be if we are feeling insecure and are looking to fill our cup by any means necessary.

Even if you are feeling neglected, do not attack him. Respect him and talk to him like he is your loving partner, explain to him how you are feel empty and what you need. Do not point fingers or blame, after all you have been forewarned how hard this life can be. Be patient and be kind. It is hard on them too even if they do not show it.

One other thing I must mention when dating a pilot is you have to be independent. You cannot rely on him to come home and fix your sink when it breaks or be at blame because he wasn't there when you blew a tire. Become a strong woman who can turn a wrench, mow her own lawn, handle majority of the household crisis. I cannot tell you how many times Ace has told me how re-assuring that is to him. Even me painting my kitchen. He was talking to a group of pilots about it and they were in awe. Their wives/gf would never take on such a project by themselves. I ask, why not? You are just as capable and you find deep satisfaction knowing you are kind of badass on your own.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Hey you!

Here I am!

I faded out the last few weeks due to a few things. Goose and I both have been sick, I have some unknown inflammation in my ribs and nope, my kitchen is still not finished. I was able to get the frame and the back of the cabinet doors done. Now I just need to flip them and finish the front. I have also started Astronomy and this class is more than I bargained for. I finished my painting for Ace, it was a KC135. I got some inspiration from a few places online and of course mine didn't even come close to what I saw, but it still looks great. I originally painted it for his birthday but I am terrible at secrets and gave it to him early. He loved it! He swears he is taking it to UPT with him but that might be a bit embarrassing for him later down the road.


We made a trip up to Idaho this weekend to see Aces grandparents. Goose loves it up there and so do I. There are no stop lights, just stop signs. There are hay and potato fields everywhere and cows as far as your eyes can see. The scenery is beautiful too. This trip, we made it out to the City of Rocks National Reserve. This place is jaw dropping.

I am not sure many people even know this place exist. This place was many immigrants on their way for a bigger life through the California Trail. In 1852 almost 52,000 people passed through on their way to the gold fields. There is a rock called Camp Rock where many signed their name in wheel oil as they passed through. I took a many pictures of course and there was Goose in 90% of them climbing and exploring. Our stop was quick but we plan to come back and hopefully camp and explore more.










On another note... I have completely slacked in the diet and fitness section of my life. It is hard when Ace is home to behave. He often wants to take me out to eat rather than me having to mess the kitchen up. Or we like to unwind and have terribly sugary drinks together. It is an evil cycle. I don't have any specific goals in mind at the moment but the one I know I need to plan for is the winter. Winter is coming and with that so are the pies and bread and mashed potatoes I love so much. I would like to survive winter without too much damage. In order to do this, I have to get back to the hard work and dedication and remember that everything comes should be enjoyed with portion control. So to get ready for what is to come, I am working on small resolutions, one season at a time.




My fall resolutions:
Finish crocheting a blanket.
Work out at least 3-4 times a week. Go no more than two days without some type of fitness activity.
Lose another 2-5% body fat.
Blog at least 3 times a week.
Paint two more pictures.

That is what, 3 months to get it all done? Not too ambitious :)

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The State of Things

Well, my is kitchen still a disaster.

So. Many. Doors.

So. Many. Coats

The process has been extremely delayed due to a number of things. Paint is such a mess to take out each night, clean up and get to bed at a decent time. Then Ace surprised me Thursday and came home late that night. So Friday was work, then out to dinner and off to a friends house. Saturday was yard work and tons and tons of sanding. It took 8 hours to do 9 doors. The paint was just falling off so it took a lot of sanding to get things evened out. After using an 80 grit to get the paint off, I then used a sanding block to further even things out. I then had to clean the doors and fill in the hardware holes. That took two fills, on each side, sanding between and after. I didn't get to work as late as I would have like since Ace was home and had an early flight the next morning. Sunday rolled around and a girlfriend, who's husband is recently deployed, invited Goose and I to the playground. She has a 3 month old and a 4 year old. We spent quite a bit of time at the park and grabbed lunch. I made it home 3 hours later and got Goose down for a nap and hit the doors again.

I screwed up big time. I wanted to do magnetic and chalk paint on the inside of the upper cabinet doors. I shook the can for a good 5 minutes and got to work. I noticed that they were still very sticky after the recommended drying time. I re-read the can and stuck a stirrer inside and realized I hadn't broken up the materials that had settled in the bottom of the can. My hour effort of painting was wasted. I started over, got two coats done and before I knew it, it was time for dinner, bath and bedtime.

I have two coats of chalk on the backs left and the entire fronts left to do. My house looks like a bomb went off. There are dry paint brushes, tools, screws, drawers laying around. The counter and walls are still taped off and we are eating from paper plates. I can barely make it to the Kuerig. I need my kitchen back ASAP!

It is a long weekend coming up and Goose is with his dad. I am hoping to knock out the rest of it or at least have it all drying by Monday.

I am starting to think that hiring someone was the better way to go for my own sanity :)

Handbook for Life

I found this on another blog and I love it! I find myself needing to put these to practice more than I do now.

Handbook to Life

Health:
1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
4. Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy.
5. Make time to pray.
6. Play more games.
7. Read more books.
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
9. Sleep for 7 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minute walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

Personality:
11. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don’t have negative thoughts over things you cannot control. Instead, invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don’t overdo. Keep your limits.
14. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake.
17. Envy is a waste of time. Be grateful for what you have been given.
18. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
20. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
21. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away (like algebra class) but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
22. Smile and laugh more.
23. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

Society:
24. Call your family often.
25. Each day give something good to others.
26. Forgive.
27. Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.
28. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

Life:
31. Do the right thing!
32. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
33. God heals everything.
34. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
35. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
36. The best is yet to come.
37. When you awake alive in the morning, thank God for it.
38. Your inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

All I need is a few cats

Crocheting. I am still not sure why I pick up these projects. I have honestly only ever finished one item. But here I am again trying to take on a new stitch. My goal is to make a blanket to give to Ace for his dorm room at UPT. Kind of corny but he likes sentimental things like that and even in the past mentioned I should make him a blanket. So this will be my secret project. His birthday, our one year anniversary and Christmas are all coming up really soon. Sorting out what to buy and when to give it is already giving me a headache.


I am also already thinking of Christmas gifts for others. I don't typically do gifts for all of my family. It becomes quite expensive with all the sisters, nieces and nephews and shipping cost. I usually send out cards and a few small gifts for my parents and my best friend and her girls. This year we are spending Christmas with Aces family and they are big on gifts. It is difficult for me because I do not know where to even begin. So I am thinking that I could make some crocheted infinity scarves and some of my own homemade body scrub. I have some pretty ambitious crocheting goals, I know.

Oh and an update on the kitchen. I have 9 doors and 3 drawers left that must be started from the first step. Another 7 doors and 3 drawers that need the fronts painted. The bottom half of the counters need their final coat of paint and the tops have been primed and are ready. I plan to tackle this this weekend, as cleaning up paint every work night is just too much work. Elijah will be home so it should be interesting trying to get this finished in a timely manner.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

The only color I see is white

So I decided to tackle my kitchen while Goose and Ace are both away. I almost immediately regretted it! I read Virgina's instructions on her blog, LiveLoveDIY here and thought this would be a piece of cake. I had stain blocking primer left over from when I painted Gooses bathroom last year. I spent a total of $93 to get a new paint brush, a few small rollers, sand paper and an orbital sander. The sander was good for big pieces but I still prefer to hand sand and I have a lot of bevels and small doors.

Really this hasn't been that hard but the taping off everything and removing the doors and hardware is time consuming. Then I had to fill all the holes and sand and sand and did I mention sand again? I've just finished up two coats of primer on all the lower half of the kitchen framing and the doors. Next is paint but I thought I would show you a bit of my progress.

If you are thinking of doing yours, do it! Take the time to read up on everyone's experiences, tips and advice before you jump head first.

Here are a few other sites with instructions on painting your kitchen cabinets.

How To Nest for Less
YoungHouseLove 



 

Here is the starting point. From a distance you might think I am crazy for even wanting to paint these.
Then we get up close and personal and you can see the damage.

I believe that the last prep wasn't done properly or maybe it was cheap paint.
Everything is taped off and ready for work.
I removed all the hardware and placed them in a page so I do not lose them.
First round of primer
Two coats of primer and we are ready for one more round of sanding and then paint!
I think the rooms already looks brighter!



*I started with the bottom because I know I will not have time this weekend to complete the entire kitchen and Goose comes back Monday and my next college class starts as well.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Get in My Belly!

Meals!

What do I eat? EVERYTHING is feels like. I find that the harder I workout the more insatious my appetite is. I like the If It Fits Your Macros site - http://iifym.com/. I used this to calculate my needed calorie intake and input that information into MyFitnessPal.com. There is a lot of flexibility this way. I like food and I like delicious tasting food. If I were to restrict myself to baked chicken, veggies and protein shakes I would shrivel up and die from boredom. I am also trying to experiment with new food but so far Kale, Ezekiel bread and Greek yogurt have not found their way into my house. Quinoa is another one that I am not fond of. Something I was surprised by and was an easy switch is almond milk. I don't drink it straight but as a substitute in my shakes and recipes, it is easy on the stomach. A sample of foods I may eat through the day are *drum roll*

(2) Egg, cheese and Canadian bacon on a skinny bagel
Serving of Cottage Cheese
Home popped popcorn with seasoning
Gala Apple
Banana
(2) Eggs, 4 oz of chicken breast and 1/2 an avocado
Power crunch protein bar
Double chocolate protein shake w/almond milk.
Tilapia with seasoning and white rice
Small serving of yogurt ice cream or pop corn.

My diet is not perfect my any means and I have an extremely hard time incorporating veggies. I am kind of picky. I know I also need more protein but again, I have been at this for 18 months and it still a work in progress. You will not get it right the first time or even the 5th. It is trial and error and finding what your body responds to...sugar, salt, carbs.

One of the most important things to note is the calorie defict we create. If you are working out hard and often, you have to EAT to feed your muscles. You can cause your body to go into starvation mode if you are not eating enough carbs/protein/fat. This will cause you to not only NOT lose weight but also lose muscle. 1200 calories and working out vigorously 5 times a week or lifting heavy is not healthy. Use online resources to figure out your caloric goals based on your weight and your activity level. Track the calories you are burning and make sure you are meeting your macros each day to keep a healthy and balanced body.

I try and cook my lunches or at least the main protein on Sundays. I may cook up just chicken, soup, or even some rice and beans. My goal is to make it as easy as possible to throw together and it keeps me honest through the week. If someone invites me to lunch, I look at my lunchbox and feel guilty. I do not want to waste food and I do not want to waste $.

I also take a daily women's multi-vitiman, biotin, and CLA. I mix up a drink with creatin and BCAAs (Xtend Scavia) before each workout too. I find that it helps with muscle rehydration and I am not as sore as I would be the next day.

What tricks do you use? Do you have a transformation story to share? Is there something you want advice on? Ask away!

A Day in the Life and Fitness

An average day for me goes like this

0500 - Snooze.
0510 - Snooze again
0530 - Oh shit, get up and get ready for PT
0550 - Wake Goose up and get his clothes out, and breakfast ready.
0600- Cheer lead him to eat, get his stuff, kennel the dogs, shove 14 bags into my car
0615 - Head to base
0640 - Drop Goose off at the Center For Child Development (CDC)
0700 - PT
0800 - Shower, head to work
0900 - work. Or something like that.
I usually work through the lunch hour. Lunch is what I have I prepped on Sunday
1600 - mad dash for the gym
1700 - Pick up Goose and head to either his or my own Taekwondo class
1845 - Get home, throw dinner together
1930 - Clean the kitchen (maybe) and settle down and relax with kiddo. If I am in class, then I also use this time to hang out in the same room but do my homework instead.
2100 - Send Goose on his way to bed time prep. I have been blessed in that he likes his sleep but I have had to adjust his schedule a bit. He use to go to bed at 8 but would play and come out for more water or kisses or toys... Now an hour later, he tends to hit the sheets and stay there.
2130 - Shower and pack my bags for the next day
2230-2300- Hit the hay!

I am blessed right now that Gooses father is 3 miles down the road from me. We share custody and have a great working relationship. On those days that he goes to his dads, I still do TKD but when I come home I might do a light dinner and get on any project or homework I may have at hand. Sometimes I might even be able to catch up with one of my shows.

What do I do in the gym? Random stuff. Not the extreme random that you see those crazies dancing on the treadmill do. Actually, I think I can count on one hand how many times I have gotten on the treadmill for a legit workout. I hate that thing with a passion. I typically pick my work out from http://exrx.net/ or http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/workout/exercise.html. I try and plan my workouts depending on what we have done for PT. Sometimes I am too wore out and I can't make a second workout or I may have a sparring session with TDK coming up and I want to save my legs. I try to get weights in at least 3 times a week and then my cardio is covered by PT and basketball on Sundays.

Last year I weighed 170lbs at 5'3. I couldn't sleep right, my knees hurt all the time, I felt so gross. After I separated from my ex, I realized that I wasn't happy. Isn't that how it goes? I ramped up my time in the gym. I spoke to a nutrionalist and got a handle on my diet. I had previously worked with trainers so I took advantage of the tools I already had and applied them. Within the first two months of changing my diet and adding weights, I dropped nearly 20lbs of fat. I went and had a measurement of my body fat done in our local BODPOD. I was still at a 39%. I kicked it up yet another notch and added taekwondo to my life. I went from a size 13 to a size 8. I have done well to maintain the size 8 and lost another 10lbs of body fat. I think that too many people get caught up on numbers and clothing sizes but I tried not too. I saw the changes happening. I took photos and compared them side by side. I may weigh 150lbs but my body composite is completely different. I still carry fatty layers on my arms, abs and thighs. This part is the part that takes HARDCORE dedication which I have not had. Lets just say dating is terrible for the diet! So many great meals, movies with popcorn, nights drinking and BSing.

I have encouraged Ace to join me on my journey and we struggle a bit with creating a routine with his schedule but we are slowly getting there together. We have limited our alcohol intake and we try to be conscious of the food we are putting in our body. Though he spends most of his time in a hotel he is finding ways to eat healthy too! He purchased a small George Foreman and has been cooking his own chicken. Ace also purchased steamable veggies and rice to eat along side his protein. The hotel offers a breakfast and light dinner so he grabs oatmeal, eggs and fruit for the day and picks healthy choices at night.

Changing your life style is never easy but I am here to say it is totally worth it! I may have a little ways to go to hit my next goal but I am still going and that is what matters. No matter the excuses, no matter the set backs, so long as you are committed and continue to do your best, that is what counts.

If you cannot make it to the gym due to $$, time or children, there are plenty of online resources. Body weight exercises are a great starting point.

Say it with me, NO MORE EXCUSES!

Fitness Blender has a pletra of videos on YouTube - start here with an At Home Butt and Thigh workout w/Cardio - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2PKsIVIsz8

Maybe you would like PopSugar Fitness workouts instead - here is there 10 minute Anywhere Workout - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6t0quh8Ick

Zuzka Light Channel has a ton of her older videos that are quick, intense and can be done anywhere -
https://www.youtube.com/user/ZuzkaLight

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

How do you parent?

Someone asked me how I get Goose to behave so well. They see the constant stream of photos and videos of him on facebook and he seems so well mannered and disciplined to them. I am here to tell you, FB is all lies. We choose to create this image of the perfect life. So rarely do you see people posting the bad days, the wreckless behaviors, the failed plans. Why? Because we do not want to seem weak. Even though our audience may be 10000 miles away, we do not want to seem like we are not in control.

For me parenting is a pretty tough roll. I have found myself doing/saying things I swore I would never do. There are days when Goose goes to his dad's house and I am like "YES! A break!" then other times I miss him like crazy the moment I drop him off.

My son is wild,rambunctious, clumsy, mouthy. He is all boy. He is like those cartoons of a kid pinging around like a pin ball machine. It takes a large amount of daily patience to keep up with him. Goose is always on the go and he has a strong will. From the first ultrasound he was stubborn. He refused to show the goods even after juice, a monster and 20 flights of stairs. I was 9 days overdue (legit conception date) and he still refused to come out at induction. All 9lbs 10oz of him resisted the world. I remember the first time he decided he wanted solids. He was 4 months old at the table in his high chair while we ate dinner. He began to bang his hands on the chair and smack his mouth. I thought 4 months was too soon but the moment I gave him a bite of those mashed potatoes, he went wild and started banging for more. He has always been a kid who knows what he wants.

Because he was such a strong willed child from the start, I created boundaries for him when he was very young. I allowed space for independence and privacy. I pushed for him to play in his room or downstairs alone. There isn't a need to constantly be in each others space. It isn't that I do not want to do things with my child but there are things that I need to get done and I cannot do those if he is under my feet. I do not feel the need to compete with these Pinterst moms who are constantly creating new projects to entertain their children. I do not need to constantly stimulate my sons mind. He needs to do it too. Go outside, play with your imagination. Here are cardboard paper rolls, draw on them and make swords.

Over the last two years or so I have also created independence in the bathroom for him. He flosses, brushes and rinses his own teeth. I occasionally go in to help him or show him he needs to do a better job but it is his own responsibility to take care of his teeth or they will turn green and fall out (mean to tease, I know). I also have instructed him on washing his own body. I believe it is important for him to have his own personal space in that regard. Obviously I make sure he gets clean, but showing him how to take care of his own body creates a sense of personal responsibility. That is something I think many children do not have these days.

Goose also has chores that I call "responsibilities". I explain to him that he lives here and that it is his responsibility to help Mom out. He has to feed the dogs, take out the recycling, bring out the bathroom trash, help with the dishes, clean up his own laundry, make his bed and even pick up his own toys and room. It is not very often that I have to pick up his toys. I do not tell him it is because it is a mess, because really, messes aren't that big of a deal. I show him the consequences. I say the dogs will eat your toys if you leave them around. They will get broken if they get stepped on. The weather outside will ruin your toys if you leave them there. He understands those things and does not want his toys ruined so with that, he doesn't fight me to do it.

I do not reward him for these "responsibilities" but I do show my appreciation with words of thanks and a hug or a kiss. What I do reward him for is good behavior. He is rewarded for doing extra nice things that aren't ordinary. I believe this helps him understand that things aren't just given, you have to go beyond. Yes, he is 4 and you may think he doesn't understand and maybe he really doesn't, but the concept is there and it will be instilled in him as he grows older.

As he is getting older, he is starting to have an opinion and man, it is a strong one. When he acts up, talks back, misbehaves, I do my best to keep calm. Back talk from him is a big thing at the moment. It seems like he always has something else to say. Rather than just shut him down, I tell him if he has something else to say, take a deep breath and say it nicely. This rule applies for myself as well. If I am screaming, yelling and swatting, he is defensive and not listening and only trying to get away or scream over me. It doesn't get us anywhere.

If he gets out of control, he is ordered to his room. At this point, he knows he may not come out till he has taken some deep breaths and calmed down. Once he is calm, he comes out or I go in and we talk about what just happened. We talk about why the behavior/response was wrong and how he should have instead responded or acted. If it was because he wasn't getting his way, I do take the time to explain to him why my answer was no or why he cannot do it at this moment.

He will tell you if you are hurting his feelings or if something made him cry. It breaks my heart but I have to keep strong and not let that kind of manipulation change how I run things. Instead, I respond that it also hurts my feelings when he talks to me a certain way. Again, he is 4, but I want him to understand the reasons things happen. I do not want to just tell him "because I said no". If I communicate to him and he understands, he may be able to reason with himself before acting like that again. He may even remember why the answer was no last time and not ask for it again or go a different way about it. It is almost like prevention rather than response.

I have been trying to create a sense of respect in the way he talks to adults as well. Even as I drop him off at his dad, I remind him to mind his manners, talk nicely and do not argue back. I have also taught him if adults are talking, we say excuse me. That usually means he is standing there saying excuse me 15 times in a row but it's a start.

There are days when he acts 7 and we are having full conversations... then there are moments when his heart is broken, his world is crumbling and he is my little 4 year old boy. These efforts of mine don't always work. His will is not so easily broken and I do what I finds work for our personalities. You have to do what works best for you and your child... it may be time outs, it may be restrictions, may even be a swat from time to time. No two parents can parent the same just like no two kids can be parented the same.





Tuesday, 12 August 2014

What's love got to do with it?


Let me catch you up on the S/O in my life... Lets call him Ace. Of the 10 months we have been together we have spent 150+ days juggling a half way long distance relationship. It hasn't been the easiest of love and it hasn't been some beautiful, gag me, love story. Instead it's a true one, with pain and growth and that is what makes this (us) worth it.

Ace and I met online 11 months ago and he was one persistent guy. Almost scared me away! We agreed on a first date location and to be honest it was all wrong. It was thai to start with, not one of my favorites. Then here is this guy who is just a few inches taller than me with shaggy hair and a long sleeve button down shirt. I didn't even know where to start. Then we started talking... about me of course :) I picked at my dinner the best I could to avoid being a total brat. We finished up and headed to a local fun center. Well, he headed and I got lost. Thanks to my GPS I was headed to nowhere. 1 phone call, several text and 20 minutes later, I arrived. It was a short and sweet part II of the date with his token card not working and only one round of bowling. Ace had to fly the next day. I gave him the awkward side hug and hurried into my car. Online dates were always weird for me.

We headed our separate ways but for some reason, even with a mediocre date, I continued to text him through the night. The next date was dinner and movie planned by me. Again, I was late (DAMN GPS!) but he was a total gentleman and waited for me. I would have totally left me or any date that made me wait that long. After the movie we sat in his car and talked for hours. I remember the first kiss, the taste of his gum, how uncomfortable it was reaching across to do all of this (not that!) in his car. A little more kissing and a walk to my car, I decided it was time for the friend date. I introduced him to my closed male friend and his wife on our next date. It was a total hit. How this man, who is my complete opposite, won me over, I do not know. Shortly after that date we made things official.

During this time Ace started a new job as a flight instructor within his company. As if being a junior pilot wasn't afforded a crappy schedule already, this new job made it ten times worse. He suddenly was working a 9-5 between getting his new rating and and observing the new curriculum. And this 9-5 wasn't even in the same state!

6 weeks into dating, I was at thanksgiving with his family to include his grandparents, parents, siblings, aunt and cousins. It was one of the best holidays I had had in a long time. Christmas was celebrated with my the two of us and my son a few days late thanks to a less than favorable schedule. It was still really nice to celebrate together. Ever known a guy to buy a girl a handgun the first Christmas?

The end of December brought terrible tragedy for me. As I was going through this, I became closed off, bitter, and even a little bit crazy about wanting a family element of my own and what my future would hold. During this time Ace was as supportive as he could be. One of the things that I loved (and hated) the most about him is how he was always trying to peel my layers away. He always pushed for me to open up and be less defensive and let him into my heart. He didn't want me to shut him out as I dealt with my sorrows. After knocking on that door for so long, he got just what he wanted and more. I turned clingy and insecure and became this woman I had never known before. The hurt I was feeling was creating a spiral of deep issues for me.

Ace found out he was accepted to the Guard in the spring and it really didn't help with my anxiety. There were many differences of opinions on timelines, events, even our future. I felt that I knew it all because I was already in the military, Ace felt that he needed to hear it for himself from those in the unit. It is said that if you are dating a pilot you have to be flexible and know that plans always can change. That is how he lives. For me, I have to start making plans as soon as I get the slightest idea change is coming. I guess you could call me... less than flexible.

We continued to visit his grandparents and spend what time we could together but things started to shift and I could feel it. He became self centered and concerned only for himself when talking or making plans. I became even more needy the more he pushed me away. This, for anyone, is truly an ugly cycle. One Easter morning everything came to blows. After many tears and packing his things that were at my house... We broke up. For a moment.

We couldn't stay away from each other. I know what you are thinking, break up to get back together again?! WHHY?! Because we love each other and we weren't broken, just frustrated. Within days, he picked me up for a date and it was butterflies for both of us all over again. The pain I had felt during those days was something I had never felt before. The things that happened in my life, the people I had lost, my own divorce did not hurt me like the thought of losing Ace. We talked for many hours about WHY this happened and what really was going on. He was stressed about work and this new position and the toll it was taking on his personal time. I was going through being a bat shit crazy emotional woman and it was only feeding into both of our emotions. We weren't really talking to each other after a time and things just built up. Rather than talk about it or deal with it, the easy way was to walk away.

So many adults find themselves doing this over and over again. We resolved after a few more ups and downs that that wasn't the pattern we wanted to live. We love each other and deeply respect each other but our actions were hurtful and didn't reflect our true feelings. Communication, we found, is paramount. Now a handful of months later, we are not only telling each other when we are upset but when we are happy to. Something that Ace said that really made sense was that in love we have to serve the other person. He stopped doing that for me and I in return, did the same. That whole joke about happy wife, happy life really does mean something. Happy lover means happy lover. We feed each other and fill our cups. If our cups are empty we also become stingy. Nobody likes that guy :)

I have no idea what the future holds for us but I have faith that things will be okay not matter what happens.



Monday, 11 August 2014

Why Blog?

Deciding to start a blog is a choice to maintain my sanity the next 2 years.

Why two years? My S/O will soon be leaving to attend the Academy of Military Science (AMS) and then Undergraduate Pilot Training. During this time I will be a single parent to my best little dude, a homeowner, a pet owner, a painter, a carpenter, a landscaper and an Airmen. I fly desk for the Air Force while my s/o is flying multi-million dollar air craft.

Before I was a professional desk jockey, I was a crazy angry child who was just a product of her environment. After many heartbreaks, bad choices and hard lessons learned, I found my way into the Air Force in 2006. I have been to 3 duty stations, 2 deployments and countless TDYs.

I have found myself at a fork in the road after 8 years. I call it my mid career crisis. I love the Air Force but I love my son more. I love my partner. But our jobs will keep us separated and mine will constantly create challenges for me as a mother. Many women do the single parent thing in the military but I see a lot of family support in those situations. That is not true for me. My sons father is currently close but he too is AD and will be one day moving on to his next duty station. To think of ripping my child's life up constantly for the military just seems unfair. He will adapt of course but at what cost? I will also not be able to maintain a healthy relationship if I am moving away from this current location. My S/O is ANG and will be stationed here as well as based here with his commerical airline job. Asking him to commute to two different jobs would not be conducive to our relationship. This causes me a certain anxiety as the military is my security blanket. It is what I have known for 8 years. So the thought of leaving and pursing a civilian career has come about. That is one of the biggest steps in my adult life. I have the potential for a very successful military career but to leave it all behind for love?

Someone told me that "at the end of the day though, I think that we only live once and if you've found that person you want to be with, at one point or another you have to stop the madness of being geographically separated and make the final commitment to one another to be together. it's a tough choice, but an easy one if you know that you're supposed to be with that person"

What choice would you make?