Friday, February 17, 2017

Back In The Groove

When I initially hurt my back I was unsure as to when I would be able to get out and really run again. It wasn't even just running, walking up the stairs and even standing up was extremely painful. My doctor suggested low impact exercises like the eliptical and yoga. Believe me when I say that these are not my favorite things to do but I did them. Well, it seemed to do the trick. After a few weeks of that I can run 100% pain free! I will continue to do yoga and the eliptical a few times a week just to ensure that I don't encounter anymore issues.

I'm not going to lie going from running almost daily to not being able to do anything really sucked. Running has been my saving grace for several years and to not have that outlet was hard. 

Now that I am getting back into my routine with running I can officially plan for races beyond Disney, which has me really excited. I found a series in Kansas called the Heartland 30k. It's three 10k races back to back to back. Kyle and I are going to do these together and I can't wait.


There are also 2 half marathons that I am planning to run, one in October and another in November. There are several other local 5k races that we plan on participating in. There is a 5k in early May (which will be our 70th race) that we will be running here, it's fun watching my list get longer with the addition of a new event. I know that I will likely to have to get new running shoes because mine are close to being spent, the Saucony Kinvara 8 are calling my name.

Speaking of Disney, my sister and I have put together our costumes for the races and we are so excited! She is still working on a few details on hers (Captain Hook and Wendy) but mine are ready to go. It's going to be so fun to dress up as Peter Pan and Mr. Smee and run through Disneyland/Anaheim.


I hope you all have a great weekend! Not much is planned here except a lot of playtime with E and schoolwork.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The "Wars"

Before I got pregnant with E, I knew there were such things as "mommy wars". It wasn't until she was born that I truly understood what that means. I have been blown away by the meanness that comes along with this.

As parents we are tasked with a unique responsibility of taking care of, nurturing, and molding these sweet babies into well-rounded and functioning members of society. The job is hard enough without adding in the constant criticism from others who are in the same boat.  I had no idea just how mean and catty some parents could be and mostly about what would seem like a small thing. I have seen some of the most eye-opening behavior from mothers and while I am not perfect, it blows me away when some will blatantly call out others and tell them what they are doing is wrong.

On multiple occasions I have been asked if Emmy sleeps through the night and every time I have answered honestly (albeit a little hesitant to do so) with a resounding yes and have gotten the same response, "don't tell that to other mothers!". I constantly wonder why, why should I be afraid to answer a question honestly when a question is asked?! It is the most frustrating thing. I cannot help if other babies/kids do not sleep through the night, there is nothing I can do about that. I am eternally grateful that E is a good sleeper but I certainly would not wish a non-sleeping child on others. That just seems cruel. Kyle has even been told the same thing and it just blows my mind. I'm not the type that goes around and tells everyone that she sleeps all night. But you better believe that if I am asked a question, I will answer it honestly.

There are other areas that I see so much tension. The subject of vaccinations, circumcision, breastfeeding/formula feeding, and sleep training are all hot button issues that seems to bring out the worst in people especially mothers. It makes me sad because being a parent is a wonderful gift. Yes it's messy, gross, stressful, frustrating, and sometimes angering but to me it will always be worth it. There has to come a time when parents realize that we are all in the same boat. Putting others down for what they may or may not be doing does not help anything. What other parents do is their business, it has nothing to do with me. I've seen friends of mine ask for advice on parenting sites and they have gotten ripped apart for no reason. It's awful.

I wish all parents could take a step back for a second and realize that we all are doing the best that we can and while it may not be perfect as long as the kids are happy and healthy that's all that matters. We often times put too much stress on ourselves to be perfect and everyone suffers when that happens. I obviously haven't been a parent for very long but in these few short 5 months I have realized a lot. At the end of the day what works for some may not work for others and that's okay! 

Being a parent is difficult enough without trying to compete with other parents. 


Monday, February 13, 2017

Life Lately

Happy Monday! I swear it feels like time if flying by, I can't believe that we are already half-way through this month.

For the last week or so we have been doing a lot of prepping for the upcoming move. We tackled the garage last week and it was nice to just get rid of things. I made Kyle go through his closet and I tackled mine and E's. These bags are full of clothes just from my closet. There are 2 other ones not even pictured. I also gave away my maternity clothes, it felt nice to pass those along to those who need them. It was also nice to get a lot of things organized. We have so many plastic totes in the garage that were open and it was driving me absolutely crazy. I feel like this move is sneaking on us quickly, June will be here before we know it.

I've also started getting all of the documentation we need to submit for housing when the time comes. Emma and Fishy were taken to get updated on shots, have copies of all the necessary documents, and the application is filled out. All we need is Kyle's orders. It feels good to be prepared.


I have also been reworking our budget that I had created at the beginning of the year. I knew that I would make tweaks once we received our tax return. That came in last week and we were able to make a significant principle payment on my car and with the new budget we can have it paid off in October instead of December, which is amazing!

I decided last week that Emersyn, Emma, and I would head down to Florida. So we hopped in the car on Friday and we have been enjoying time with my family. It has been awesome hanging out with everyone. My sister and I went shopping and to the movies yesterday which was a lot of fun. E gets lots of attention and love which is so fun to watch.


Kyle has been really busy with work as usual. It's a bummer but it makes us even more excited for our time in Kansas. He will have a relaxed schedule for the most part and it is going to be so nice to have more time together as a family. I have started researching races there and I already have a long list haha. He is such a good sport about that stuff, he just nods and smiles.

Not much else is happening around here,  just keeping busy and enjoying life the best we can! 

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Our Story

In honor of Valentine's Day next week I thought it would be fun to share mine and Kyle's story. It's always fun to reminisce. 

Our story starts back in 1996 in Las Vegas. We met in our 6th grade history class and while I thought he was a little nerdy he (well according to him) had a crush on me. We were pretty good friends all throughout 6th and 7th grade but lost touch when I moved to a new school. Our sophomore year of high school we met up again at a Key Club convention. We tried the whole dating thing but we went to different schools and it was a pain. Oh the woes of not being able to drive haha.


Fast forward to early 2008. I received a message from Kyle on MySpace, haha yes MySpace. We all remember that website that was so difficult to navigate. I had recently gone through a divorce so I really was not interested in any sort of relationship. We exchanged a few messages and got caught up on each others lives. He had recently gone through a breakup with his fiance' and was about to head off to Airborne School. Another break in communication happened.

I received a message from him once he got to his duty station and that is when we really started talking. It was difficult because we were living on opposite ends of the country but something felt different. He made plans to fly home to Vegas that April to see his family and so we could spend time together. This is going to sound cheesy but when I saw him at the airport everything changed, my life was instantly flipped upside down. We spent a week together getting to know each other again as well as each others families.


Not long after that trip we started talking about marriage. However, I made it very clear that I would not uproot my life ( I had a house and a good job) unless we were married.  Well he called my bluff haha he flew to Vegas that June, ask my parents permission to marry me. He proposed on a Wednesday and we were married that Saturday. When you know you know and nothing is going to change that.



We packed up my car the day after we got married and we headed off to NC. Our first year of marriage was really difficult and I'm not going to sugarcoat it, there were times when we almost called it quits but we worked hard to make things better. Having never lived together, me living in a new city knowing no one except Kyle, and him being gone all the time it was rough. It was all so overwhelming but I am so glad that we didn't give up.

It really is hard to believe that our story spans 20 years but it has been the most amazing adventure. I am so glad that we made the decision to take that leap of faith almost 9 years ago, I will say though that it hasn't always been easy but it has been worth every second. We fight hard but we love harder. I could not imagine spending my life with anyone else. He is the love of my life.

I am grateful for the life and family that we have created together. 


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Final Countdown

Well, I am finally on the downward slope towards graduating Grad School. I started my capstone course yesterday and it is going to be intense to say the least. These next 8 weeks are going to consist of a lot of writing but in the end it's going to be worth it. I was going through my syllabus yesterday and the requirements for the final Integrative Project Literature Review had me intimidated. I've written plenty of papers but 30-35 pages is a lot. I foresee lots of late nights with coffee and/or liquor haha.


I've had a lot of people ask me what I plan on doing after I graduate. I've gone back and forth between pursuing my PsyD or waiting until we move again next year and go back to work. I've already looked into a variety of PsyD in School Psychology programs and there are a few online programs that would work, they incorporate online work with field work in your location. 

As of right now, I would love to wait until E is old enough for pre-school and then go back to work as well as pursue my PsyD on a part-time basis. All of this is contingent on if we are in Kansas for 1 or 2 years. Of course this could change and I could decide to not pursue the PsyD and work part-time in the school system instead. On the other hand, I've had those who have questioned my decisions because I am a Mom. No matter what I decide, E will always be my #1 priority and I want to show her that she can do anything she puts her mind to and that she has no limitations. If we were to ever feel that she was suffering due to a decision we have made than we will make changes.

There are so many variables that go into these decisions but it feels great to have potential goals and to have a passion and desire that my husband supports. I am proud that I went from not having any form of degree 3 years ago to about to graduate with my Masters.

I'm proof that it's never to late to achieve your goals. 


Friday, February 3, 2017

Tips for Moving

As we prepare for another move with the military (as are many others due to the Summer move cycle),  I wanted to share some things that have helped us during the process. Especially when it comes to the military moving, I know quite a few people that have chosen to move themselves. I'm sorry but there is not enough alcohol in the world that would make me want to do that.

Here are just a few tips that I have figured out over our several moves with the Army.

Pre-Move 

*Keep all of your important documents in one place. I have a binder that keeps everything together, you have no idea how much time this will save you.

*If you have pets make sure you get all their vet records, that way when you get to your new home you will be ready to go.

*PURGE! Get rid of stuff that you don't need, especially with a military move. You are only allowed a certain weight and believe me you can hit that pretty quickly if you aren't careful.

*Shred any old documents, that way you aren't having random items packed and you will get rid of unnecessary paperwork.

*Keep any valuables with you especially jewelry, they likely won't pack it anyway.

*Take notice of any furniture that was already damaged before the move, that way you can differentiate between what was already damaged and what got damaged in the move.

*I bubble wrap important items, we have so many plaques and awards that I wrap just as an added precaution.

*Put all of your silverware and kitchen utensils in plastic bags. This avoids them just getting dumped in boxes.

*Put all of your sheets and towels into vacuum seal bags, this will keep them from smelling funny when you get to the new place.

*Pack up all your electronic cords and put them into a giant plastic tote. Our first move was a nightmare when it came to this. We ended up missing several important cords.

*Keep boxes to televisions (and other electronics), if you don't have them they will have to make one and it can be a pain.

*Vacuum seal formal dresses and uniforms. It makes me nervous that something will happen to my dresses and Kyle's dress uniform so I make sure to vacuum seal them so they are safe.

*Take down all curtains/curtain rods and pictures before the movers show up. They normally tell you that you don't have to do it but it makes things go so much faster.

*If you have the time take an inventory of all video games, movies and CDs. Just in case something goes missing you can identify exactly what those items are. Also keep track of serial numbers on high value items.

*Have your mail forwarded to your new home, if you don't already have a new place have it sent to a family member.
 
Mid-Move
 
*If you feel so inclined provide food and drinks for the packers/movers, this obviously isn't a requirement but it does help the process.

*A recent one I learned is use color coded tape to identify the boxes. That way in your new place you can tell the movers what boxes correspond to each room.

*If you are keeping items with you make sure you put them in a designated place. Preferably in a bathroom with a sign on the door. Movers get packing happy and will pack anything (including trash lol).

*Make sure you keep cleaning supplies and a vacuum. That way cleaning your soon to be old home is easy and you aren't trying to borrow things from friends.

*Make sure that walls and floors aren't damaged, if you notice damage let your transportation liaison know right away.

Post-Move

* Ensure that all items that were taken apart before loading are put back together. 

* Make sure that you notate any damage right away! Make the movers aware that you will be filing a claim. 

*Gather the proper documentation to submit to transportation and make sure to weigh vehicles (if you are doing a partial or full dity move) if you did not do so at your old duty station.

*Make sure you have your mail forwarded to your new address and change the address on all of your accounts. 

* Enjoy your new home!

I hope these tips have helped, not just for military moves but for moving in general. 

Any tips that have helped you when moving? 


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

A Fun Outing

Yesterday, E and I went to lunch with a dear friend of mine and we went to a cute new place in Leesville called Hazel's Tea Parlor. How cute is this place?!


This was actually the first time that I have went to a traditional tea parlor and it was such a fun experience. I really wish I had taken more pictures but you can check out their facebook (the link is above) to see more photos. They have the dining side that has 6-8 tables and a lounge side that has comfy couches and chairs.

I was a little nervous to take E because it was such a nice little place but they were so welcoming and wonderful. The waiter brought out a hot pink highchair for her and gave her some animal crackers. She was a happy camper and loved everyone. She smiled from ear to ear any time anyone looked at her.

Kim and I loved the food! I had vegetable soup, chicken salad tea sandwiches, and sugar cookies for a sweet treat. They have over 50 varieties of tea, I settled on the chamomile citrus and it was delicious. I will definitely be going back!

I wish I had thought to take a picture of the 3 of us but Kim snapped this photo of me and E. Excuse cranky butts face she was due for a nap haha.


I love outings like this, there may not be a whole lot to do in our little town but we make the most of it that's for sure.