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

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.

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.

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.

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


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!


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 - I used this to calculate my needed calorie intake and input that information into 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
(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 or 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 -

Maybe you would like PopSugar Fitness workouts instead - here is there 10 minute Anywhere Workout -

Zuzka Light Channel has a ton of her older videos that are quick, intense and can be done anywhere -

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?