Thursday, April 20, 2017

Why We Let The Military Move Us

 For those affiliated with the military you are given a few move options when it comes to a PCS move (Permanent Change of Station). I consider us very lucky that we are given these resources.

~You can opt to the have the military move you completely.

~Partial DITY (Partial Do it Yourself), which means the military would move most of your stuff but you can load your vehicles with necessities and move those items. You will be paid accordingly for the weight you move. 

~Full DITY (Or as I call it, a move that there is simply not enough alcohol in the world to make me do). This is when you move all of your belongings to your new duty station (unless it's OCONUS). You have the potential to make a good amount of money this way but as of late those numbers have been going down. 

Kyle and I have always been in agreement, Partial DITY moves are the way to go. Of course everyone is different, but this has always worked for us. Since we are only 52 days away from move #4 I thought I would share why we choose the Partial DITY option.

* I have ZERO desire to pack my belongings. Kyle and I both are control freaks. We know that we each have our own ways of packing, it is bound to cause some sort of disagreement. I will prep some things before the packers arrive but that's it.

*I don't want to drive a uhaul and neither does he. I would rather someone else take on that responsibility. 

*As I said earlier some people focus on the money you can make on a full DITY move, but it has been slowly decreasing over the years. With a Partial you can still make a little bit and not have the stress.

*I don't want to have to worry about finding people to help load our stuff into a truck or off load it at our new home. 

*If we don't have a home at our new duty station secured prior to arriving, the military will put our belongings in storage free of charge for 90 days. This is a HUGE help.

*This may sound silly but the movers will come back and take all of the broken down boxes and packing paper when you are done. Yes please!

*The packers/movers are professionals and they know what they are doing. Of course, we have heard some horror stories about moving companies but they have been few and far between. We have never had more than a few small items broken. Heck, that could happen if we packed our stuff but we wouldn't be reimbursed for it.

*Now that we have E, packing would be incredibly difficult. I want our moves to be simple.

*I actually like the idea of living simply for a bit. Since we take household items with us like a coffeemaker, tv, air mattress, gaming system, camping chairs we are able to "camp out" until our stuff arrives. We have had to do that a few times and it's actually fun. With the addition of E, she will still have toys and her pack n play. 

As I said earlier everyone is different and some choose to move themselves. Do whatever makes sense for you and your family. Kyle and I would like to get through a move with our marriage intact haha.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter Weekend 2017

How is the weekend already over?! Kyle had a long weekend so we headed down to Florida on Thursday night to enjoy a fun filled holiday.

Friday, we headed to my nephew's school for his class Easter egg hunt. It was adorable watching his kindergarten class get so excited to hunt for eggs and play.
That night the kids dyed eggs and it was so cute watching E being completely enamored by the dye. What you won't see a photo of is her grabbing one of the cups and getting red dye everywhere haha.  My sister had Kylie and Grayson try the whisk trick to dye the eggs and it was awesome!
Saturday, we loaded everyone up and headed to the beach in Destin! It was the first beach trip of season and it was so much fun. It was a bit windy but that didn't stop the kids from playing like crazy in the water. Of course, they always have Uncle Kyle throw them in the water. It was even more fun because it was E's first experience with the ocean. She was hesitant at first but she loved it. She kept trying to lick the salty air haha.

Afterwards we headed to lunch at Joe's Crab Shack and spent the rest of the day hanging out in the backyard enjoying the weather.
Easter morning Lisa, Kyle, and I got up and knocked out a 4.5 mile run before everyone else got up. It was nice to take advantage of the gorgeous weather.

We got back to the house and the egg hunting commenced. We hid plastic and real eggs, it was so fun watching the kids run around the yard searching for eggs. E got the hang of it and was grabbing for eggs, she of course loved being carried around.
That afternoon we had my sister's neighbors over for a BBQ and had a great time! We ended the evening by playing an Oregon Trail card game haha. It was so fun and I ended up dying from a snakebite lol.
I love seeing these 3 together! It makes my heart happy.

We had such an awesome time this weekend. Lots of laughs and good times. You can never go wrong with family, food, and fun!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

My Therapy

4 years ago I started a journey that changed my life in more ways than I ever thought possible. Ever since Kyle and I got married he had begged me to go running with him, and I just didn't want to do it. It wasn't something that interested me because it just seemed so tedious. 

After we moved from North Carolina to Texas, I saw an advertisement for a mud run and I thought okay this sounds fun, let's do it. Well, that event changed everything for me. I realized that running wasn't boring and that I actually enjoyed it. I mean who wouldn't like running through muddy obstacles and ending up like this:

After that race, I started running on a regular basis and made it a point to take that time as a way to focus on me. It was free therapy and also a way for me to lose weight. I was still struggling with significant weight gain from fertility treatments and I had a horrible body image. It helped me lose 50 pounds and finally have confidence again.

Since that race 4 years ago, running has continued to be my therapy and it has allowed us to participate in some pretty amazing events. We have met some wonderful people along the way and it is such a supportive community. I never imagined that this one race would lead to 71 total races and thousands of miles.

I ran until I was 36 weeks pregnant with E and I always chuckled at the funny looks I got from people, but at the same time it made me feel pretty awesome. 

I have dealt with injuries and pain along the way but I have done my best to listen to my body and not push it when I need to rest. Dealing with my back problems earlier this year was difficult but I knew I had to just take it easy. 

I also realized how my body has changed after having E, including my feet (which is something no one ever told me lol). I have been a Saucony fan since I was fitted back in El Paso but my shoes were killing me. I got refitted yesterday and went with Brooks this time. It's important to invest in good shoes, I never realized how critical this is.

I love being able to lace up my shoes and zone out for a few miles. Some days I run solo, sometimes it's me and E, and sometimes we go on family runs.

I don't run with music so taking in all the sights and sounds is one of my favorite things. I have to be able to hear what is going on around me. I am so grateful that I found this outlet that has allowed me to just decompress and relax. It has changed me in more ways than I could have ever imagined. I'm not the fastest runner but that's okay, speed has never been my overall goal.

What do you do to relax and recharge?

Monday, April 10, 2017

Never A Dull Moment

E and I arrived home from Florida yesterday and we had such a great time as usual. 

On Thursday afternoon, Lisa, Kylie, and I headed off to get manicures and pedicures in preparation for the concert. I have not had acrylics done in a long and I'm loving them! It's always fun to have a girls day, I can't wait to be able to include E in stuff like that.

Friday was the day our niece, Kylie, had been waiting for! We headed off to Birmingham and immediately hit a ton of traffic, go figure. A 3 1/2 hour drive turned into a 5 hour drive, but we made it and enjoyed dinner at The Cheesecake Factory beforehand. We arrived at the arena for the concert and we missed one of the opening bands which was fine with us but we got to see Misterwives who was really good (If any of you have seen the MTV show Finding Carter, they do the theme song). 

Panic! At The Disco! came on at around 8:45 and they were incredible! I was really impressed. Brendan Urie can definitely sing live and was a great showman. I like concerts with little talking and a lot of music, he delivered. Seeing Kylie so excited was the best, my sister and I were cracking up. She was singing at the top of her lungs and loving every second of her 1st concert. They played for about 90 minutes which was perfect to me. We had the best time!!! Definitely something I won't forget.

The rest of the time was spent relaxing, taking golf rides, going to Target, getting ice cream at my sister's neighbors shop, and just enjoying time together. 

I love having this time with my family! We will head back for Easter this weekend and this time Kyle gets to go. Woo! 

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

A Little Break

E and I traveled to Florida yesterday to spend time with my family. We were thankful to have missed the bad weather that was happening, it seemed that we stayed just a step behind it on the drive.

I'll be taking a few days off from blogging to enjoy the time with them! Today we have manicures/pedicures planned and tomorrow my sister and I are taking my niece to her first concert, we are going to be the 30+ ladies at a Panic! At The Disco concert haha. It's going to be a great time and I'm really looking forward to it. We wish Kyle could have joined us but we will all be back next weekend for Easter.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Family Fun

Let me tell you how nice it was to have Kyle finally home on a weekend. Being able to spend time together as a family is amazing. He was supposed to have Friday off but ended up having to jump for work (yes he jumps out of planes and helicopters for a living haha) which was okay because I had planned a fun day for Saturday.

We woke up bright and early on Saturday morning to head up to Alexandria to get to the zoo right after it opened. It's not a huge zoo so it can fill up quickly, we got there about 15 minutes after they opened and we had a blast. E obviously doesn't quite understand things like this but it was so fun showing her all of the animals.

I happened to snap this photo of E with a couple of Cougars haha. It still makes me laugh.

The weather was gorgeous and we had the best time.

Afterwards to headed to grab lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings and E made her presence known with lots of squealing and throwing her mum mums on the floor lol.

We ran a few errands before heading home. I was able to knock out my first run in April (my sister and I are doing a 40 mile challenge this month) and relax the rest of the night.

Sunday morning was spent lounging around the house and eating homemade waffles for breakfast.

I went back up to Alex with a friend of mine and thankfully we were able to get back before the weather got really bad. A few tornadoes touched down and caused a lot of damage. We also experienced a lot of flooding and some homes lost power on post. Hopefully we don't have weather like this again for a while. It's really scary.

Kyle has today off and we plan to run a few more errands and hopefully make a trip to our favorite burger place. We are trying to go to all of our favorite places before the big move.

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Midweek Musings

Well, a journey that began on October 5, 2015 is finally over. As of Monday I completed my last requirement for graduate school. Pending my final grade I will graduate on May 15, 2017! 

I said to Kyle that is honestly feels quite anticlimactic. I expected to have more of a sense of relief but I didn't. I think part of the reason is that I can't believe that I am actually finished haha. When I started school in 2013 to obtain my Bachelors, I had zero intentions of pursuing my Masters but I am so glad that I did. 

I am happy to be done so I can now focus on spending more time with E and Kyle (because lets me honest, school does cut into family time), enjoying trips to see family (which now includes a trip to Florida for Easter, yay!!!!), and prepping for the move. Speaking of the move, I had a new duty station sign made for our new home and I love how it turned out. A shop on Etsy called BeachBettyDesigns created it for me. I'm not creative at all so I'm happy to let others do the work. :)

I figured I would end this post with a few photos of E. She is almost 7 months old (this Saturday to be exact!!) and a total riot. She has discovered her voice and lets everyone know that she is in the room. 

She loves hanging out in her new playard, it is so nice to take it outside so she can enjoy the nice weather. Plus being able to get some yard work done in the meantime is awesome.

This is 100% her personality! She is so screamy but in the cutest possible way.

She loves food just like us and will happily smile with a face smeared with applesauce.

I am sure she won't be so happy today since she is getting the booster part of her flu shot. But then again she may surprise me.

Kyle actually has a long weekend coming (gasp I know!!!! lol) so we will actually get to spend time together as a family. Yay!!

Happy Wednesday, everyone!