Friday, December 30, 2011

Motivation...Hello Are You There?

As I've mentioned many times I struggle with my weight and my health. Now first off I will say that I know what I should eat and how I should exercise and I've seen results from this. However, I'm looking for my motivation...I'm not sure if it is in Zimbabwe or under the couch or down the street but it isn't with me. I know part of it is the holidays and part of it is J being gone but I need to refocus and work on getting healthy. I've signed up for an 8K in March so I need to work toward that because unlike a 5K you can't just walk up and do that. But my motivation is missing.

I have a membership to the Y, a membership to Twisted Fitness (a dance and exercise studio), vouchers to a yoga studio, and I have two dogs so I have no excuses. Well actually I can give you a huge list of them but none of them are good excuses. I want to lose weight and be healthier but I won't do that sitting on the couch eating junk so I'm hoping the New Year will bring a new level of motivation for me. 

Although I will admit cuddling on the couch with the puppies under a big mink blanket and eating Reese's Peanut Butter cups does sound appealing. It will end up with me not fitting in my clothes and although I love shopping I hate buying bigger sizes so here we come 2012 this will be our year of good health!!

So what about you are you motivated? Do you have changes you want to make in 2012?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

This Year in Blog Posts


Wisdom Teeth
I put off having my wisdom teeth pulled until I couldn't put it off any longer so in January I bit the bullet so to speak.

Girl Power and Why We Need to Claim It
I cannot say enough good things about Studio Rio (Now Twisted Fitness) it has empowered me in ways I can't explain.

Wounded Warrior Project 5K 
I set out to do at least two 5Ks this year. I've done three. And the fact that this benefited a cause dear to my heart made it even better. Also the fact that it was done around an old fort was pretty cool too.

Military Life from Alpha to Zulu
Riding the Roller Coaster hosted this and it was a lot of fun to come up with the list and to read others' lists.

Never the Same 
Family drama can hit you when you least expect it.

Hi there! I'm back
I had a great time in June welcoming home my hubby so I didn't post much.

My Heart Stopped ...Figuratively
As a military spouse you know that there could come a day when the men in dress uniform show up and I had a scare when they came to work for a funeral and my heart didn't connect with my brain at first.

Deployment Bucket List 
I decided to come up with a list of things to accomplish while J is gone.
Hello Irene!
Hurricane Irene hit and I hope I never have to go through that on my own again.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition - Preview Review 
My blog was chosen to get a sneak preview of the opening episode with Mrs. Obama.

Hot Yoga 
I tried Hot Yoga for the first time and determined that it was for other people.

I developed a new love affair with Teavana. My love of tea has been renewed.

Military Spouse Night Before Christmas

Now head over to Mama Kat's and link up!

A Christmas Recap...

Ok ok so I'm doing this week in a weird order. I should have done this post before the New Year's post. These things happen. So a Christmas recap...

Mom and I decided to keep it simple on Christmas Eve and go to IHOP for dinner before heading to our church service. I admit it was good and not too crazy. Then we headed to church for a Service of Lessons and Carols which is my favorite. The sermon was really good...the pastor related current events to scripture and the story of Jesus. The catch phrase of the evening was...what the world needs now is a stable influence. Very enjoyable! Then on to a friend's Christmas Eve party. Much fun was had by all!!

Christmas morning Mom went to church and I had intentions of going to my church but there is a quote about good intentions and a road. I ended up falling back asleep and not waking up until 1:00 PM. We had a reservation at 3:00 PM and I still had to pick up Mom so I flew through the shower and went to get her. Dinner was at a Colonial Tavern and it was heavenly! After dinner we came back to Mom's house to open gifts. (I admit this is still my favorite part.) A few of my favorites...

A lovely locket from my hubby (he sent Mom money to go shopping for me)
From The Enchanted Locket

A cool purse from my Mom

Harley Davidson 
And my absolute favorite a Black Onyx Rose Ring from Pandora also from my hubby

Santa (and Mom and my hubby) were good to me this year. What were your favorites?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man [or woman].  ~Benjamin Franklin

Every year I set New Year's Resolutions some of them reachable and realistic others not so much but there is something about setting them that feels right to me so I do it every year. So here are my resolutions for 2012.

  • To read the Bible daily and do my Bible Study daily instead of all in one day. 
  • To walk regularly so I'm ready for the 8K, 10K and possible 10 miler that I want to do in 2012.
  • To eat healthier and to start eliminating artificial foods from my every day diet.
  • To create a meal plan and to cook at home more often. 
  • To get our credit cards paid off.
  • To take some classes to expand my knowledge for work.
  • To continue yoga and dance classes. And to add weight lifting to my weekly schedule.
I'm sure others will pop up but those are my main focus. What about you what are your New Year's Resolutions?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Photo Card

Here is the card that is being sent out to my friends and family this year. With J gone and a lack of planning while he was home I have no pictures of us so I decided to go cutesy this year. And I admit they are going out in January because I'm behind. It happens...
Two Elves Holiday
View the entire collection of cards.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all a Merry and Peaceful Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Military Spouse Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,
there was a prayer being said by a military spouse.
Her husband was away this holiday season,
and she knew it was for a good reason.

He was protecting her freedoms,
and those of people who he never knew.
Although it was hard to have him gone,
she knew it was something he must do.

He stood not alone for many stood by his side,
men and women who would lay down their life.
Christmas would come as it did every year,
and those men and women still stand without fear.

Although families may be apart,
our men and women are always in our heart.
We have pride in all they do,
and we appreciate that you do too.

As we celebrate the birth of Christ our King,
with presents under the tree, and carols to sing.
Let us give thanks to God for His Son,
and for those who guard our home.

For peace on earth we still pray,
so our loved ones will no longer have to fight.
Until that day let us just say...
Merry Christmas to all...and to all a good night.

Written by  M. N. Collins

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Family Traditions and Stresses

At staff meeting on Tuesday my boss asked us to go around the table and share our favorite family tradition and what was stressing us. At the time I was focused more on work so I said the favorite family tradition was coming to Christmas Eve service and my only stress was there was something that I was forgetting because things seem extremely calm at work. (fast forward to today...we discovered a mistake in one of our Christmas Eve bulletins that has already been run so we have to rerun it)

But as I thought throughout the day I determined that honestly what was stressing me was my lack of family traditions right now. With J gone and my Dad celebrating with his new family I feel very unsettled family tradition wise. But then as I thought some more traditions can change and Mom and I are coming up with our own traditions. It may seem weird at first but they are fun. And growing up it was often just Mom and I so this really isn't that weird. It is funny how much point of view can change the way you think.

So what about you what are some of your family traditions? And what are your holiday stresses?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Observations About the Christmas Story

So in  honor of Christmas I thought I would include some of my observations about the Christmas story...

  • Mary was 14 years old, a virgin, and pledged to an older man. When she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit you can imagine some issues with parents and her betrothed. I can tell you I did not have enough faith at 14 to have handled all that as gracefully as she did. But she had faith.
  • Joseph always amazes me. He could have publicly humiliated her but that didn't cross his mind he was going to walk away quietly. But after the angels came to him he too had faith. 
  • I cannot imagine being pregnant. But I certainly cannot imagine being pregnant and riding on a donkey. Again Mary had faith.
  • Shepherds were considered to be low in society at that time. They were not people you would invite to your home let alone the birth of your child. And yet God felt they too needed to be part of the birth. It takes all kinds.
  • The Three Wise Men took risks to find the baby Jesus and keep him hidden from Harrod. They too had faith.
  • The inn keeper always tweaks me a little bit because I feel like he could have done more for them. And yet I realize that there was a point to Jesus being born in a lowly manger. Here was the King of Kings being born in a feeding trough. God always has a plan we may just not understand it at the time.
This time of year I think it is easy to get lost in the details of presents and trees and parties, etc. But I wanted to take a moment and share some observations I've had over the years about the Christmas story.

What are your observations?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Secret Santa Thank You!!

This year in my insanity (I only say that because of working in a church this is a very hectic time) I decided to participate in the Secret Santa Gift Swap that Wife of a Sailor was hosting. I received Jen of Jen and Her Marine (she has a great blog you should check it out). I had fun shopping for her gifts! And the post office wasn't too bad when I sent them.

I received a wonderful package from the Happy Wonderer over at For These Are My Mountains she and I share a love of Alaska's beauty since we both have lived there. She sent me a very cool book The Little Lady Agency by Hester Browne it's a chick lit book so far so good. And a very pretty glass hurricane with a pretty red candle. It looks lovely on my table! Thank you so much for goodies!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In # 66

I'm late to this because I thought it had published but it didn't so here it is...

1. One of my New Year’s resolutions is  to get healthier. There are a lot of health issues that run in my family and I'd like to avoid them.
2. One thing I’d like to happen next year is for me to develop a better self care plan as far as exercise. I know I need it but I give myself too many excuses.
3. One thing I’m looking forward to next year is my husband coming home to visit. And knowing that after 2012 we're down to single digits until he comes home.
4. One change I’d like to see next year is my job evolution continuing...they've been working toward getting me into more advanced communication but I still back up the phones. I'd like to see us hire a receptionist or at least a set of volunteers.
5. My plans for NYE include I’m not sure… probably going to a friend's New Year's Eve Party but not too late because I'm thinking of doing the Hair of the Dog 5K.

Now head over to Wife of a Sailor to link up!

Shamrock 8K

So my friend J and I have signed up to do the Townbank 8K portion of the Shamrock Marathon. I admit I'm a bit worried and need to get cracking on preparing for this walk. But I'm also excited. There is something incredibly fun about race day. Especially themed race days like this where everyone is all dressed up. It is just festive. So we are working on our outfits for race day. I'll give you a few previews of what I have in mind as I find them.

On a side note I'm debating about doing a 5K called The Hair of the Dog on New Year's Day. It doesn't start until 10:00 AM but I'm just not sure I'll want to drive an hour in the morning after being up late the night before. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

New Year's Eve (the movie)

I went to see this movie this past weekend. It is by the same director who did Valentine's Day and Pretty Woman. I liked those movies and I admit I like ensemble cast romantic comedies. I loved it! Yes you have to suspend reality about some of the story lines but you're ok with it. (or at least I was because it's a movie) I don't want to give any spoilers but there are story lines that can touch anyone and everyone can relate to. I recommend it if you are looking for a fun, good hearted, romantic comedy.

What movies have you seen lately? Did you like them?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Top Ten Favorite Things About Christmas

Working in a church Christmas can get lost and enjoying Christmas becomes trickier because we are running around like crazy people getting ready. So I decided to focus on some of my favorite things about Christmas are...

10 - Giving gifts...I love to see the expression on someone's face when they get something they really love.

9 - Singing Christmas Carols...I love singing Christmas carols of all kinds but my favorites are Angels we Have Heard on High and O Holy Night.

8 - Christmas lights...on Christmas Eve my Mom and I drive around and look at lights. We've added some other nights to our tour as well over the years.

7 - Santa Claus...I love the concept of Santa Claus and for that I believe Santa is real. He just gets some help along the way. Although I've always wondered about the Nice and Naughty list.

6 - Department Store Decorations...I love the decorations at stores because it is always so festive and it puts me in a better mood. Which is usually destroyed by my fellow shoppers.

5 - Christmas Movies...I love watching Christmas movies they help get me in the Christmas mood.

4 - Christmas Parties - I love celebrating Christmas throughout the month. And I love celebrating with my friends and family.

3 - Christmas a child I loved the wonder of seeing the tree and the presents. As an adult there is just as calm that comes on Christmas morning. All the world is right.

2 - Christmas Eve Service...I love the Christmas Eve service because it reminds us of what the holiday is about and I love lighting our candles while singing Silent Night, Holy Night. There is something magical about  that moment.

1 - The Christmas Story...I never tire of hearing the story of Mary and Joseph and the birth of Jesus.

What are some of your favorite things about Christmas?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Approaching 35

So on Friday I turn 35. But I'm not really too concerned about it. I'm good with it.

And although at times a December birthday can kind of stink I've had very good Birthday celebration luck. I received a coupon from Red Robin for a free hamburger, a coupon from BD's Mongolian BBQ for a free dinner, a coupon from Victoria's Secret for $10 off, and a coupon for a free movie at CineBistro.

This Friday I'm taking a dance class to learn a routine to Santa Baby. Saturday some friends are taking me to lunch and Mom is taking me to dinner. The only thing that could make it more perfect would be my husband being here but at least I should get to talk to him on my birthday.

In my family birthdays were celebrated at a moderate level nothing crazy but not too toned down either. Mom always made the cake of our choice which for years was what we called Waldorf Red Cake (in the south it is called Red Velvet Cake) and we got to pick our favorite dinner too. For years that was Sukiyaki our version of the Japanese dish basically it is a variation of stir-fry. And of course presents (in an effort to make sure we don't feel cheated by our December birthdays Mom and Dad would often give a number of gifts). 

In honor of my 35th Birthday I've decided to do a list of 35 things I've learned over the years...

  1. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. ~ Phil 4:13
  2. Don't judge others you don't know the whole story.
  3. Pets are children too.
  4. True friends are there no matter what the circumstances and love you anyway.
  5. There are people you thought would be with you all your life and they have left...that is ok.
  6. Sometimes a pedicure and a manicure can make the world feel right.
  7. Usually if you are nice to people they will be nice to you. (there are exceptions)
  8. Good things do come to those who wait (but not necessarily on your schedule).
  9. True love is worth waiting for.
  10. The military is a wonderful institution who works on their own schedule (and they will not consult you).
  11. Your parents can disappoint you in ways you could never imagine.
  12. Your siblings really are an important part of who you are.
  13. You are responsible for you and you alone. Do not try to be responsible for others. And you need to take responsibility for your actions.
  14. Every decision has a consequence some are favorable, some are not.
  15. There will always be more beautiful people, people with more money, and people who seem happier than you but you are a beautiful person and you can be happy. (the money you have to work for or have wealthy relatives)
  16. People (especially husbands) cannot read your mind. If you want something tell them what you want, do not hint, suggest, or otherwise assume. 
  17. Everyone has and is entitled to an opinion but it is ok to disagree with them.
  18. The right man will love you more than you can imagine.
  19. Anything that can break in your home will break the moment your husband leaves for 6 months (8 months, a year, etc).
  20. The song (poem) was right wear sunscreen and take care of your knees.
  21. Any project in your home will always take longer than you think that it should (and will often be more expensive).
  22. Be careful when setting your expectations...aim too low and you'll be disappointed...same thing if you set unrealistically high ones.
  23. Laughter really does work like sit-ups so laugh often.
  24. You should love your job but don't let it take away from your home life.
  25. It is ok to say no.
  26. You can't please everyone.
  27. Chicken on the kitchen counter is just too big a temptation for the dog (or cat).
  28. If you find a man who can heat up the kitchen and the bedroom keep him.
  29. There is always someone who has it worse than you.
  30. Don't tick off the trashman, the person who packs your parachute, or your cat there will be consequences that you don't like.
  31. Enjoy one on their death bed says I wish I dusted more.
  32. You need to get out of your box at least once it will help you grow.
  33. You do not have to put up with abuse (emotional, verbal, physical, etc) of any kind in a relationship regardless of the type of relationship or who it is with. 
  34. Above all love.
  35. Sometimes you have to jump and build your wings on the way down. ~ Unknown

Monday, December 12, 2011

Leg Warmers

I LOVED leg warmers in the 80s! I had them in different colors and loved them. In all fairness I lived in cold climates and liked to wear skirts as a child. It is a battle that my mother and I fought often so the compromise was leg warmers. I was in a photo shoot on Saturday and the photographer had me put on leg warmers for one of the pictures. It turned out so good. I loved it! So I went on Etsy and looked for patterns and I found some cute ones. But there is a catch...they are knitting patterns and I don't really knit. I know how to in theory but I've only knit small beaded purses I've never knit clothing. So I'll have to go to Mom and have her show me how again. But I bought these three patterns. I'm thinking of starting with the first one and we'll go from there. So wish me luck! So do you have any fashion items of the past that you wish would come back or are happy that they have come back?

Patterns by Faima

Natalya's Studio

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Yummy Stuff: Chobani Yogurt

Ok I realize that I'm late to the dance on this one but I didn't like Greek yogurt initially. But I decided to brave the fruit on the bottom version and I'm hooked. I love that it has more protein, is low fat, is all natural, etc. I admit I've decided it needs something crunchy so I'm going to add some granola to it in the future. But I'm in love with Greek Yogurt now. If you haven't tried it I encourage you to do so!!

Do you have any foods that when everyone else was raving about them you weren't so sure?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Surf & Santa 10 Miler & Frosty 5K

Right Before We Started
I woke up very early Saturday morning after being out til midnight the night before bright eyed and bushy tailed. The dogs and I got up at 5:15 AM. They went outside and had their breakfast while I got myself ready to go. I took a quick shower because I remembered my hubby's advice that a clean body regulates it's heat better and since it was supposed to be cold I thought that sounded good. And it might or might not have woken me up.

6:00 AM I headed over to Virginia Beach to pick up my packet and get ready. The nice part about this race is it starts and ends at the Virginia Beach Convention Center so I got to stay nice and warm until the start of the race. I picked up my packet and went to the lady's room. Then I discovered they had been given the 10 Miler shirt not the 5K shirt so I went to switch that out.

At about 7:30-7:45 I headed over to the start. They had four corrals as a walker and slow one at that I was in the 4th corral. So they had a moment of silence for those military men and women who were deployed this holiday season and for their families who support them at home. (I admit I got teary eyed) Then they had a chorus sing the National Anthem. Then they waved for the start of corral #1, and after each corral we moved forward until it was our turn to go. We started around 8:08 AM according to my watch. It took me an hour to complete the 5K which wasn't my best time but I think the cold, the wind, and my lack of sleep hindered me some. They called out my name when I crossed the finish line which I wasn't prepared for but it was kinda cool.

I forgot to take pictures of our bag of loot...I will have to add those later. It was a reusable bag with my shirt and a Santa hat. Then at the end of the race we got a medal, a hat, and lots of food. I bought a Christmas ornament and another long sleeve t-shirt. I admit the t-shirts and the medals are a good incentive!

A few observations:
  • Runners get priority. Which I appreciate because they are trying to set records and they are moving fast but a couple times it felt like we walkers were in the way. That and the runners got applauded we just got waved at.
  • Races will have miscommunication. On of the race volunteers told me to get to the left so the runners could be on the right. Then I was told to go to the right so the runners could be on the left. One lady got a bit snippy that I was on the left side but when I explained I was told to be there she softened some.
  • Holiday races bring out all kinds of clothing. Imagine Whoville, Santa Baby, Little St. Nick, etc all blended together. For next year I plan on decking myself out a bit more.
  • Big races are fun and I look forward to doing more of them including the Shamrock 8K in March.
So that makes 3 5Ks this year!! I may possibly do the Hair of the Dog 5K on January 1st I haven't decided yet. But technically that would count for next year. So now I want to work on improving my time for future races.  

Friday, December 2, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #65

1. If I could be on any reality TV show, I’d want to be on "Pit Bulls and Paroles" because I think the work they do with the dogs and the paroles is great and I think it would be a cool experience.
2. This past Thanksgiving was the second Thanksgiving with just Mom and I and it is still an adjustment to not have my hubby or my father involved.
3. I’m looking forward to December because I love Christmas and my birthday is in December too! Plus I get extra time off from work!!
4. One thing I’d like to accomplish this month is  to get my head back in the game so to speak regarding my exercise and eating. I realize this seems crazy with the holidays but I don't want to undo everything I've done so far.
5. To me, winter is  a long time of not fun weather and short days. Although I'm not a huge fan of the heat of summer I do love the sunlight. Coming home in the pitch dark isn't fun. (although after living in Alaska these Virginia winters are nothing)

Now head over to Wife of a Sailor to link up!

MilSpouse Weekly Roundup #61

Head over to Troop Petrie and link up.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I Understand the Grinch...

I'm not sure why but I'm not really in the holiday spirit. I'm hoping it will come but I won't be surprised if it doesn't. J is gone and we aren't able to talk much while he's underway. My father is spending his time with his new family so it is just Mom and I. Now don't get me wrong we have some fun things planned for my birthday (Dec. 16th) and Christmas but somehow I'm just not there excitement wise.

I'm trying to look at things in general that everything happens for a reason. I get held up at work so I don't get into the car accident because someone was in a rush. I don't get to spend Christmas with J so I appreciate my time with him more and I get closer with my mom. My father is in the life of his stepdaughter because she needs a good male role model (ok I admit I snicker slightly as I type that). But you get my point. I know God has a master plan and I just have to trust it. I know that faith doesn't always come with full understanding.

So I'm working on it but it is slow coming. And yet Christmas will be here before we know it. Now I'm off to work on a bulletin for another Christmas service. The joys of Church work!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Top Ten Favorite Holiday Movies

It is that time of year where every character that has ever been written about has a holiday movie. (Shrek the Halls) And some of them I love...some of them I can't stand. Today is my top ten favorites...

10 - Elf - I admit this was a reluctant one for me to watch because I'm not a huge fan of Will Ferrell but I admit I love this movie. Especially the end about Christmas spirit...gets me every time.

9 - The Family Stone - although I find parts of this movie hard to watch I do think it is a great movie for Christmas. The Christmas gift exchange gets me every time.

8 - Fred Claus - this was a cute movie and Paul Giamatti as Santa Claus works perfectly. Along with Vince Vaughn and Kevin Spacey they make the movie. I'm a sucker for the happily ever after.

7 - The Miracle on 34th Street (circa 2004) - I love this movie it is so sweet and cute. And Santa wins!! I love the end when the little girl figures it all out.

6 - Christmas Shoes - This is a toss up between love and hate. I love the story but it is so gut wrenching that it is a tough one to watch. I think Rob Lowe does a great job in this movie.

5 - Christmas Eve on Sesame Street - I watched this on TV every year and loved it. I could relate to Big Bird wanting to solve the mystery of how it all worked to get Santa down the chimney.

4 - Love Actually - When I first saw this movie in the theaters I was newly divorced but I loved the romance represented in this movie. And I love when the Prime Minister goes door to door. But the scene that gets me is when the guy delivers the message to his friend's wife. You want to hate him and yet you feel for him.

3 - White Christmas - I LOVE this movie!! I think it is a great movie! The end with We'll Follow the Old Man gets me every time. As I type this I get teary eyed thinking about it.

2 - A Chipmunk Christmas - As a child I loved Alvin and the Chipmunks (I still haven't watched the new versions) and I loved this movie. Although I love the record recording best I think this movie has such a cool story in that Alvin did something right and ends up almost getting punished for it. But he truly got the meaning of Christmas.

1 - How the Grinch Stole Christmas - I can almost recite this movie. (My husband can recite this movie including the songs) I love this movie because I love Dr. Suess, because I love the story, but most of all I love Max! The scene where he is on the back of the sleigh waving makes me laugh every time.

So what are your favorite Christmas movies?

Monday, November 28, 2011


A couple weeks ago Mom and I were supposed to go to the opera but due to horrible traffic we were hopelessly late and decided to go to a mall near the opera house. This mall has a wonderful place called Teavana. I admit our initial introduction was loud and chaotic so I wasn't sure what to think. Sadly it wasn't the customers being loud it was the employees loudly talking to each other about personal issues. And then they had so many employees that I couldn't take a step without a "hi can I help you?" Now don't get me wrong I like attentive employees but seriously this was nuts. I was ready to go when I saw their samples. One of the samples was Chai tea blend of White Ayurvedic Chai and Samurai Chai Mate. I LOVE Chai tea so I had to try it. I loved it so I went ahead and bought 2 oz of each of the teas (you have to buy at least 2oz of tea at a time). The "tea expert" proceeded to try and sell me an air tight container and German Rock Sugar. I appreciate suggestasales but she went slightly crazy on explaining the how and why I needed these things.

I admit I have since bought the air tight containers but less expensive versions of them. I also went back this past weekend bought some Earl Grey Creme Black Tea. I love it too with a bit of sugar in the raw and some cream...yummy!! I'm excited to report there will be one on my side of the water the end of January. I can't wait. So I encourage you to take a moment to check out their website or if there is a store near you check it out!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Peanuts by Charles M. Schultz
Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!! Let us remember to give thanks!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dancing with the Stars: A Testimony

J.R. & Karina dancing
First off...I've watched Dancing with the Stars for a number of seasons and I have never thought the finals were as well balanced as they were this season. To me J.R., Ricki, and Rob all deserved to win the mirror ball trophy. And I was shocked that Ricki was the 3rd place winner but all of them were so good.

Now onto my point. I am beyond thrilled that J.R. won! And here's why...he went through a horrific experience in Iraq having been injured during an explosion. He spent 34 months in recovery at BAMC and underwent 33 different surgeries including skin grafts and cosmetic surgery. He certainly  had his struggles in the recovery process. And I think his winning Dancing with the Stars (yes I know it's just a dance competition) speaks volumes about what you can do when you put your mind to it. Life certainly has it's share of stumbling blocks and J.R.'s has had some big ones but he has overcome them. I hope his acting and his participating in and winning Dancing will be an inspiration to others. I hope when people look at them they'll see that with faith, tenacity, and strong will they can do whatever they want to do. I really think he has a gift of inspiration and I hope other military men and women will be inspired.

For more information about his story...please check out his website.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Emotional Shopping and Pampering

So Saturday night I met my Dad's new wife and his 9 year old stepdaughter (more on this in a later post) so Saturday morning and afternoon I did what any "rational" person would do I went on an emotional pampering and shopping spree. Saturday morning I called my salon and asked if Jackie was available to color my hair. She was if I could come right then. I hopped up off the couch, got dressed, washed my face, and went out the door with horribly tangled mess of hair. Jackie graciously combed the tangles out, applied color and wet styled it.

Then I went off to get Mom so we could go look for lighting for her dining room. First we went to IHOP for breakfast then we looked at lighting. It was quite a productive trip!

Then I went and got a pedicure and a shellack manicure. Loved loved loved the pedicure. Not so thrilled with the manicure. It is much more expensive and when I got home I noticed I had the shellack on my cuticles, the sides of my fingers, etc. so as a former nail biter and picker this is bad because it gives me stuff to pick at. I will probably try it again but I'm not thrilled with the current result.

Then off to NY and Co for some earrings and a great wallet.

Then home to relax with puppies and to get ready to go meet the step family. I know that hair coloring, pedicures, and manicures are not necessities but they certainly made me feel better.

Any of you have emotional shopping or pampering or both?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Yoga Update

Hot Yoga is not for me but I love yoga. Hot Yoga is specifically Bikram Yoga which is a version of yoga that has been synthesized from  Hatha yoga by Bikram Choudhury. It is traditionally done in a room that is 105 degrees with 40% humidity. I tried it three times and I determined the following...(for myself only some people may take to it quickly)

  • The poses are very advanced for a beginner.
  • The poses are done at a very high transition rate that does not lend itself well to beginners.
  • The temperature of the room does help you get more flexible but it can also aggravate other health issues. So you have to be careful and very in tune with your body.
  • The way it was taught the instructor did not interact too much with the students so at times I felt like I was unsure of what I was doing without any guidance to fix it. And that I was in danger of getting into poses incorrectly and possibly injuring myself.
 I need a slower, cooler, more hands on instruction to start out. I signed up at another yoga studio for a Yoga 101 class that is a very slow, hands-on class led by a delightful instructor who encourages contemplative movement and intentional flow. I LOVE it!! It is a 6-week series so I'm enjoying the gradual increase. It is much more relaxing for me.

It's Beginning to Look Alot Like Christmas

It is hard for me to think that Christmas is just around the corner. But it really shouldn't be because...

  • The shopping areas are starting to decorate for Christmas
  • Local stations are starting to play Christmas music
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas has been on the TV
  • They are talking about Black Friday already
  • I'm getting my brother and his wife's Christmas presents ready
  • And in order to get them to him by Christmas...I've wrapped my husband's Christmas presents and will take them to the post office soon
So what about you are you feeling Christimasy or do you want to get through Thanksgiving first? I myself would like to be like Nordstrom and celebrate one holiday at a time. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Under the Weather

I'm a princess!
Last week I got back into the habit of walking the dogs. I was taking each of them on a 40 minute walk around the neighborhood. Well apparently I over walked Eva because she injured her right front paw and has been put on rest for this week. We have to go through a nightly ritual involving a nasty smelling (and tasting I discovered accidentally) spray where I spray her paw while Ares tries to help. It's great!! I can't wait til she feels better and we can get back to walking she gets a little grumpy without her daily walk.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Judgement vs Accountability

So I have been reading Resolution for Women and I went to see Courageous the movie. Both of them are very good and have had me taking a serious look at my faith and how I'm living it out. It has raised some questions for myself and brought about some conversations with friends.

The major one has been the difference between being judgmental and holding someone accountable. I think as Christians we are called to hold each other accountable for our actions. And my friends says that we are not to judge. I could argue both sides easily. Because we shouldn't judge others but at the same time as Christians if we see a fellow Christian going down a path of destruction I think we are called to call them back. It doesn't have to be in a judgmental way but sometimes it needs to be in a firm manner. Then she made an interesting comment that struck me...she said it isn't fair to be held accountable for things of the past. But I guess the way I look at it is I'm responsible for the past, present, and future of the life I live because they have been, are, and will be my choices. Then I wonder if I'm looking at this too cut and dry. Is there a grey area where we aren't accountable? Should we let people go about their lives and let them live the way they want? Is tough love outdated?

So this is the topic that's been running around in my head. How can we hold people accountable without being judgmental? 

Monday, November 14, 2011

I might be insane...

I've decided to set a goal to work up to a 10 mile walk (race).

There is a Santa 10 Miler in December every year over in Virginia Beach and I've decided to aim for next year. I don't feel I can get there yet for this year but I'm thinking of doing the Frosty 5K on the same day.

Then I'm thinking of doing the Hair of the Dog 5K on January 1st also in Virginia Beach.

And I'm going to work toward the Shamrock 8K in March.

And then I'm going to walk the Wicked 10K in October.

And I'll walk the NNSB 5K in November.

And of course the Coup de Grace...the Surf n Santa 10 Miler in December.

So there we have it in writing. I figure I have to have some accountability so you guys are it! (the only catch might be finances because these get expensive)

What are some of your goals for activity?

Friday, November 11, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #64

1. Freedom is not free.
2. Veterans are often taken for granted.
3. This country is a great country that gives us much to be thankful for. It has it's issues like everywhere else but we are afforded many freedoms that we take for granted.
4. Veteran’s Day means a time to take a moment and really think about the sacrifices men and women have made to give us our freedom.
5. A hero is someone who sets their needs and wants aside to stand up for those who cannot or will not stand up without asking for recognition.

Now head over to Wife of a Sailor and link up!

Milspouse Weekly Roundup # 60

Head over to FreeBorboleta and link up.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I Don't Like It...But It Works

I have discovered am discovering that there are a number of things that I'm not 100% fond of doing that are actually quite helpful to me when I do them faithfully.
  •  The Neti Pot - I will go on record that this is an uncomfortable and slightly disgusting practice. But it works wonders for sinus and allergy issues. Your sinuses feel violated at first but after they feel much better and clean.
  • Exercise - I know, I know you are thinking well duh. But exercise is needed in my life for me to lose weight. It also makes me feel good when I'm done. And if I exercise more I can eat a bit more so it's a win-win in my book.
  • Flossing - I hate flossing with a passion but it makes my trips to the dentist much better. And having had crazy under the gum cleaning I will floss all the time to avoid that again.
  • Doing the Dishes Right After the Meal - Again some of you may think this is a no brainer but I've been known to let them set for a bit and then clean them. It is much easier to clean as you go or immediately after the meal.
  • Using After Shower Spray - It makes cleaning the shower easier because it cleans as it goes. I don't always remember this if I'm in a hurry but I try.
  • Putting Laundry Away - I'm notorious for washing laundry and folding laundry and then leaving it in the basket. I've done this quite successfully for years. But it really does make life much easier in the morning if I put it away so I'm not digging through a basket. 
  • Menu Planning - I actually don't mind this horribly at the time it is the follow through that has issues. I enjoy planning and don't even mind shopping but on the night sometimes I want to throw in the towel and go get something.
What are some things you aren't too fond of but you do because it works or it is better?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

How Do You Mend a Broken Heart?

I have three friends who are grieving for different reasons but grieving none the less. And it is hard because you can throw out the cliches but you can't make it better. You can say I'm sorry but they still hurt. You can be there with your love, your prayers, and your presence but you can't take it away.

My dear friend S had been dating a guy on and off for a year. In July he broke it off when she confronted him about where it was or wasn't going. She was a wreck. We consoled her and listened to her and let her cry. We held our comments about him to a minimum. And we have been with her every step of the way since July helping her heal in whatever capacity that may be. She was doing better but deep down I think she held onto the hope that there might be a chance. Well on Monday night this guy invited her to a semi romantic public place to tell her that he was dating someone else. The wound that was mostly healed has now been torn open once again. S is taking time to herself to process and heal but it is going to be a rough time for her. And all the scriptures and cliches won't make her feel better right now.

My other dear friends P and M had to put their dog to sleep yesterday. He had been in their lives for the past 10 + years. He was their child, their best friend, their guardian, and their loved one. He will be missed. He was an amazing lovable dog who was always ready to play fetch and greet you at the fence. As I was taking my dogs for a walk this morning I saw the end of the mooring rope that my husband had given them for the dog to play with in the trash. They are cleaning out what was the dog's and I get that but it is still an emotional process. I think my dogs know because I was home from work yesterday with a migraine and my dog Ares was on me like glue.

I realize in the grand scheme these may not seem earth shattering but for these people their lives are forever changed.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. ~ Matthew 5:4

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Real Women Have Curves

I have been giving some thought to what weight, size, etc I want to get to in my weight loss journey. And here are some things I believe.
  • Every body has a weight that it is comfortable being - now this doesn't mean I stay at 200+ lbs because I don't want to work to lose weight because my body is far from comfortable right now. I am overworking my body right now. But I don't think I would be healthy looking at 108. I'm aiming for 140-150 and then I'll decide from there.
  • Thin is only beautiful if you're meant to be thin - I am meant to have curves. I will never be willowy thin. I'm ok with this.
  • Being Healthy is more important than being a certain size - I'm losing weight to look better certainly but one of my main goals is to improve my health.
  • Realistic Goals are important - refering back to point one I think it is important to set a realistic goal for my age, activity level, etc.
  • The scale is not the only measure - there are other milestones to measure including clothing size, being able to go longer on the cross trainer, being able to lift more weight, being able to go for a longer walk, being more flexible, being healthier, and how my close (one should not type when tired) clothes fit.
  • Strength and Beauty are in the eye of the beholder - what one person may think of as too big another may think is a perfect size. What I can do and what I can endure may be different from what you can do and endure and that is ok.
  • Healthy Role Models are a good thing - Christina Hendricks (of Mad Men), Sara Ramirez (of Grey's Anatomy) and Kelly Osborne (of the Osbornes) are some of mine. 
Christina Hendricks
Sara Ramirez
Kelly Osbourne

Monday, November 7, 2011

Shipbuilding 5K

NN 5K 2011
On Saturday morning I literally got up at o'dark early to take care of the dogs before my friend S and her co-worker D arrived to pick me up. It was cold and it was windy. Not a fun combination when walking. But we had agreed to do the 5K so I was going to do the 5K. It wasn't too bad because it was all on level ground. We walked in downtown along the water. It actually wasn't too bad. Now I'm a slow walker and since I hadn't done as much to prepare I was even slower so we made it in about 45 minutes but we made it. And as D said it doesn't matter if you walk a 6 minute mile, a 16 minute mile, or a 60 minute mile at least you're up and moving.

And now a funny...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Food Orgasms

Ok I admit it probably isn't healthy to admit food gives you something close to an orgasm. But when you're going without you gotta take what you can get...

Here are a few things that have recently given me a warm fuzzy...

These are Shari's Berries and they are a piece of heaven on earth. They have the most amazing chocolate wrapped around the most scrumptious berries. I had these at the Halloween Party I went to last weekend and I loved them. I had two because anymore would have been too much. They have all sorts of holiday and birthday themes to pick from and they deliver them to your door.

This one is a little healthier. At the Zenya Studio they have tea for you to have after class. It is Yogi Mayan Cocoa Spice tea it is like hot cocoa tea. Add a bit of milk and maybe a dash of sugar and it is perfect. It is also good straight. I've had other Yogi teas and they are really good so I recommend trying them all.

Well we all know the cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory is wonderful but so are a number of their entrees. I  had their Herb Crusted Filet of Salmon with green beans and mashed potatoes. It was amazing. The salmon melts in your mouth and the sides were a perfect compliment. The salmon wasn't too strong and had no fishy taste. I will definitely try it again.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November Goals

I've been inspired by The Life and Lessons of Rachel Wilkerson and Beth's Journey and their lists of November goals. So I decided I would share my November goals.

  • Clean up my of the dangers of your spouse being deployed is that it is easy to ignore things because it is just you and you are the only one who has to deal with it. My kitchen counter is slightly buried in mail, my bedroom has piles of laundry (clean and dirty), my carpet needs a vacuum desperately, and I'm tired of it so I am going to get it back under control.
  • Weekly Yoga Class...I have purchased some passes for local yoga places on Groupon and Living Social so I've been using them to take a weekly yoga class. I'm really enjoying it and I feel much more relaxed and energized following the class. Sadly Tidewater Hot Yoga Studio is closing at the end of the month but I'm hoping my experience at Zenya will be as good.
  • Weekly Weight Lifting...for both the yoga and my dance classes I need to work on my core strength as well as my upper body strength. Also I know that muscle is important in losing weight. And I feel good after I do it. My ultimate goal is two to three times a week but baby steps first.
  • Walking Two-Three Times a Week...both the dogs and I benefit from this. I am a person who cannot lose weight just on eating healthy alone I have to have exercise of some sort even if it is only 30 minutes three times a week. My dogs are high energy creatures who need to burn off their energy. If I take them for a walk I get two birds with one stone. (but don't mention birds in front of the dogs).
  • Fix and Eat More Meals at Home...I like to cook and further I like my cooking. I also find that when I cook I save money and calories. My goal is to make dinners that I can then bring for lunch. I have a crazy obsession with found many recipes online that I want to try including a pumpkin pasta recipe from Rachel Ray. 
  • Daily Bible Study...I saved the best/most important for last. I lead a Bible Study at work called Balanced Living by First Place 4 Health and it has daily Bible study lessons which I usually do in the two days before the Bible study class. I want to get back in the habit of doing them daily.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

5K - 4 Days Away

If found on ground please drag across finish line

So on Saturday I am walking a 5K with my friend S. I really haven't done anything to prepare for it. I got out of the habit of walking the dogs because Ares had surgery and my Achilles Tendon was rubbed raw by a defective running shoe. So I'm trying to fit some walking into my schedule between now and Saturday. I know it won't fix it but I'm hoping it will make Saturday a little easier. I really meant to walk regularly to get ready for it. Things happen.

There aren't too many 5Ks left this year so my goal is to pick one or two for next year and plan on working on my walking prior to it. I've thought about doing the Couch to 5K but I'm not really into running. I lean more toward walking events like that.

So have you ever had good intentions of getting yourself ready for an exercise related event and then it sneaks up on you?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!

In honor of Halloween, I was watching the movie The Rite with Anthony Hopkins but I admit I'm not a scary movie person and when it involves things like demons it freaks me out even more so I'm not sure if I'll make it through it. I like campy scary movies like Friday the 13th (no pun intended) or Nightmare on Elm Street because they are so over the top that the scary factor isn't too bad. But the creepy movies like the Omen or the Orphan those mess with me because the images will pop back into my head. I'm really more the It's a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown kind of girl.

What about you what kind of movies do you like?

As for Halloween plans, I went to a crazy Halloween party on Saturday and had a great time!! And tonight I plan to hand out candy if I get home in time.

What about you what do/did you do for Halloween?