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!