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I'm a twenty-nine year old Army wife currently living near a large Army post. I have an unhealthy obsession with Dr. Pepper, the Internet, cloth diapers, and ridiculous TV shows. I'm a stay at home mom to two beautiful daughters, AJ and Amelia. We also have a 6 year old beagle named Abby who is as dumb as a box of rocks.

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

I'm So Tired

I've been busy lately. I've been really tired. Like, can barely move at the end of the day tired. I think that its partly due to the fact that I decided that I wanted to actually start pushing myself in my workouts. I came to the realization that I wasn't going to get any better if I didn't start trying harder (more on this in a minute).

I'm not going to lie, I went four days last week without running. Thursday was my rest day, and then Friday I wasn't feeling great. My parents were in town Saturday and Sunday, so running got put on the back burner. I think that I might have to start going to be earlier. I prefer to run a little later in the day, which normally isn't a problem because AJ and I go after her morning nap. I run into a problem when we have weekend plans. AJ still wakes up in the middle of the night, which makes it really hard for me to get up in the morning and get my run in, even when I know I have plans during the day.

Okay, back to the increased effort I'm putting into my workouts, I'm really happy with the progress that I've made with my running. Up until last week I was running all my training runs at about 10:30 pace and this week I've been consistently running under 10:00 pace. I think I realized that I was able to run faster than I was. I was slacking and I want to hold myself accountable.

I also decided that I'm going to get serious about following my training program. For example, yesterday I was supposed to run 4 miles and do strength training. I've been blowing off the strength training and I think that I was just expecting the running to strengthen me enough. Well, I can safely say that I can feel the difference. I feel stronger. I feel like its helping me run faster and feel better during my runs.

So far, this week has been going well, but like I said, I'm so tired! Please forgive me if I haven't been great about keeping up with my blog. As soon as I find some extra energy/exciting things to blog about, I'll jump back into it!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What's For Dinner This Week?

I don't know if I ever mentioned how much I love Fall. People, I love Fall.

Seriously, I have a love affair with the season. It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside to light pumpkin scented candles and wear jeans and sweaters. I love to snuggle into bed at night and finally need my blanket!

I also love the foods that become appropriate to eat in the Fall. Saturday I'm planning to make my famous Chili (recipe below). I'm hoping that I'll be able to talk some of D's friends into coming over and eating it so I don't eat it all week long! Here's the menu for the week:

Monday: We had Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
Tuesday: Chez Lorraine Baked Salmon and Garlic Broccoli Spears
Wednesday: Breakfast for Dinner
Thursday: Fajitas
Friday: Mexican Chicken and Black Bean Salad
Saturday: Chili and Cornbread
Sunday: Left overs

Here are a few of the recipes from this week.


Chez Lorraine Baked Salmon

4 salmon steaks
4 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp dill weed
1 lemon, sliced

1. Place each salmon steak on a piece of aluminum foil large enough to wrap it. Pour lemon juice over each steak, sprinkle with dill, arrange lemon slice on top.

2. Seal each steak in its aluminum pouch. Put the aluminum-sealed steaks in a Pyrex dish and bake at 350 degrees for thirty minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.


My Chili Recipe
(This is a recipe that I adapted from a chili recipe I found on AllRecipes.com. The original can be found here. Note that mine tastes a lot different than the original.)

2 pounds lean ground turkey
3/4 can tomato juice
1 (29 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1/2 can chipotle peppers, chopped
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp white sugar
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 c chili powder (sometimes I use more, just depends on how it tastes after its all mixed together)

1. Place ground turkey in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain and crumble.

2. In a large pot over high heat combine the ground turkey, tomato juice, tomato sauce, pinto beans, kidney beans, onions, bell pepper, chipotles, crushed tomatoes, cayenne pepper, sugar, oregano, pepper, salt, cumin and chili powder. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mamarazzi Monday!

Last week AJ, Abby Dog and I headed over to a neighborhood park to have some afternoon fun while the weather is still nice! To say that AJ enjoyed the swings would be an understatement. I think the pictures speak volumes.

Smiling at Mama!

Swinging!

She thinks she's big, but she looks so little here! Still smiling!

*By the way, if you want to participate in Mamarazzi Monday, head over to Household 6 Diva to link up!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I'm A Big Slacker

First off, I want to thank everyone who stopped by my blog from Kelly's Korner, as well as all of my regular readers, new and old! Thanks for stopping by!

We've had a pretty uneventful few days, so unfortunately, I haven't felt like I really had all that much to blog about.

The excitement for this weekend was that my parents came to visit! They have to drive through my brother's town to get here, so they stopped for dinner there Friday night and then my brother and his girlfriend also came over on Saturday.

We had a lot of fun just hanging around the house and watching football yesterday. For lunch we grilled out because the weather was beautiful! Last night we ordered pizza and salad from a local restaurant and just ate here at the house. We made it over to the PX to shop for a bit and then took my Dad to the Commissary with us when we picked up stuff for lunch.

Have you noticed that civilians are always very interested in going to the PX or Commissary when they come to visit? I guess I can kind of see the appeal, no sales tax and all, but its really just a grocery store! Not to mention the fact that it was Saturday, so the PX and the Commissary were both packed!

Yesterday afternoon we walked over to a local park and AJ got to swing on the baby swing and go down the slide with my Dad!

This morning we got up and met everyone at Cracker Barrel for breakfast before they headed back home today. We had a nice breakfast and AJ even had part of a pancake. She has just recently started sitting in high chairs when we go out to eat. She really likes to sit and be a part of the group at the table.

All in all, we had a great weekend and I'm really glad that we're close enough to home to be able to see our families more often. D's Dad is coming out in two weeks, so we'll probably have another fun-filled weekend then. For the time being, I think we are going to lay low at home next weekend.

I hope everyone else had a good weekend as well!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Master Bedroom: Army Style

This week featured room on the home tour hosted at Kelly's Korner is the Master Bedroom. If we still lived in our old house, I probably wouldn't participate this week because I really didn't like our room and it was boring. But now, we have a bed (finally) and a nice comforter and a few things hanging on the walls, and I kind of like it!

So without further ado, welcome to our master bedroom!

Here's the view when you walk into the room.

You may have noticed the bed. It's big. We like it. The real story of the bed is another post (or series of posts) for another day. Look for it to come!

And if you turn a little more to the right, you'll see D's dresser/nightstand and our pretty "paintings."

This is where D puts his boots on in the morning. Later I stand here and look at myself in the full-length mirror.

This is our giant bookcase that used to be in the office. We don't have an office anymore, so its in our room now.

I tried to take a step back, but the bed is right there, so here's a wider-view.

The view from the chair so you can see how big it really is!

And finally, what our bed really looks like on a day-to-day basis. Say hi to Abby, everyone!

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In...Or, Thank God This Week Is Over!

Seriously, this has been a bad week. Mostly in the sense that I feel like the world's worst mom and have been constantly questioning what crack D and I were smoking when we decided that we were ready for a baby. I just can't figure out why AJ doesn't want to nap and why she always wakes up 20 minutes after I put her down. We're currently working on Crying It Out (do not judge me) because nothing else works.

On a positive note, my parent's are coming to visit this weekend and my brother and his girlfriend will be here as well! I can't wait!

On to the post.

Head over to Wife of a Sailor to link up.

1. What characteristic about yourself has either been strengthened or weakened due to your experience as a Military Spouse? (from The Albrecht Squad)
Hmm, I guess you could say that my Type-A personality has weakened a bit over the course of D's career so far. Not much, but I guess I've realized that with the Army there is a lot of stuff that I just can't control. I still like to plan for things, but now I just make lots of Plan B's, and C's, and D's, and E's, okay, and Z's and sometimes none of those work out! On that same note, I think I've become a lot more flexible over the past 3 years.

2. What is your favorite vacation spot and why? (from 'Tis the Life of the Army Wife)
It was Hilton Head, but after our trip for Labor Day it has become my parent's place in Florida.

3. If you could have any fast-food restaurant in the food court on base/post what would you pick? (from The Only Pink in a House of Blue)
Um, here I guess Manchu Wok because I don't really like any of the sandwich places at the PX. At Ft. Hood it was Doner Kebap.

4. Where did you go on your honeymoon? (from Pennies from Heaven)
We didn't have a honeymoon. The week after we got engaged we went on a Caribbean cruise, but we didn't have a honeymoon after we got married. Unless you count D's all-expenses paid trip to Iraq for 11 months.

5. If you could have any job in the world regardless of money, degree or experience, which job would you have and why? (from Proud to Be a Navy Family and The Calm Before The Storm)
I think I would choose the job I currently hold, aka, AJ's Mama!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I'm not gonna lie, things have been pretty uneventful around here lately, hence my lack of posting. I just haven't really felt like I have anything interesting to say. I was going to post a video of AJ yesterday for Wordless Wednesday, but I wanted to edit it first and by the time I got it pulled up in the video editor, she was up from her 20 minute nap.

Seriously, this girl has been refusing to nap. I don't know what the problem is. When I put her down for a nap she will sleep for about 20-30 minutes and then wake up and scream! There were a few days where her nighttime sleep was shoddy as well, but we're doing better now. She slept from 7-7 last night and didn't wake up once! I just don't know what we're going to do about the naps, I can't get anything done during the day because she won't sleep and every time I walk out of the room she cries. Hopefully we can figure something out soon, our house is starting to look pretty scary!

Since the video still isn't edited, I will leave you with the unedited version. Please excuse the fact that the beginning part is just me video-taping the floor.


video

Monday, September 20, 2010

What's For Dinner?

I know that I always enjoy reading about what everyone is making for dinner. It gives me inspiration and I really like to try out the recipes that I find on your blogs! Sometimes I like to devote an entire post to sharing either our family's favorite recipes or new stuff that I've tried and we liked. If you want to read about our favorite Summer fare, check out this post.

Since Fall is (slowly) rolling in, I've started making some of our favorite casseroles and hearty dishes again. I thought you guys would like to know what they are in case anyone is lacking motivation lately!

French Onion Soup (via AllRecipes.com)

4 onions, sliced
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon white sugar
3 (10.5 ounce) cans beef broth
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup white wine
1 french baguette, cut into 1/2 inch slices
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

1. In a large pot over medium heat, saute the onions in the butter for 10 minutes, or until onions are tender. Stir in the flour, ground black pepper and white sugar to form a pasty mixture.

2. Now add the beef broth, water, parsley and thyme and summer for 10 minutes, then add the wine and summer for 10 more minutes.

3. Preheat oven to broil.

4. Fill individual oven safe bowls 3/4 full with the soup. Place a slice of bread on top of the soup and cover with the cheese. Place bowls in the oven.

5. Broil in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly.


Cowboy Skillet Casserole (via AllRecipes.com)

1 pound ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
1 (15 ounce) can black beans
1 tablespoon dry fajita seasoning
1 (8.5 ounce) package corn bread mix
1 egg
1/3 cup milk

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Crumble the ground beef into a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until beef is evenly brown. Drain the grease, and add the onion. Cook and stir until the onion is translucent. Add the red peppers, beans, and fajita seasoning; cook and stir until heated through. Spread out in an even layer in a large casserole dish.

3. Mix the package of cornbread mix according to the directions using the egg and milk. Spoon over the ground beef mixture, and spread evenly.

4. Place dish in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cornbread layer comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes before serving.


Stuffed Peppers (via AllRecipes.com)

6 large green bell peppers
1 pound ground sausage
1 large onion, chopped
2 (10.75 ounce) cans tomato soup
2 2/3 cups water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound shredded cheddar cheese, divided
3 cups uncooked instant rice

1. Slice tops off of green peppers; remove seeds and membranes, and rinse well. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add peppers and cook for 15 minutes, or until tender-crisp.

2. Place sausage and onions in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Reduce heat to medium and stir in tomato soup, water, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper; bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low, stir in 3/4 of cheese and simmer until cheese is incorporated.

3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

4. Prepare instant rice according to package instructions. Fluff with a fork and then stir into tomato mixture. Simmer for 30 minutes.

5. Arrange peppers in large baking dish and then spoon rice mixture into peppers.

6. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Sprinkle remaining cheese on peppers and place under broiler until cheese is melted and bubbly.


Garlic Rosemary Chicken (adapted via AllRecipes.com)

Whole chicken (about 5 pounds)
salt and pepper to taste
3 lemons, quartered
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons olive oil
24 cloves garlic
1/3 cup white wine
1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

2. Rub chicken with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Lightly season chicken with salt and pepper. Place lemon wedges and rosemary in chicken cavity. Arrange chicken, garlic, and remaining lemon wedges in a large, heavy roasting pan. Roast in preheated oven for 25 minutes.

3. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, whisk together wine, chicken broth, and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil; pour over chicken. Continue roasting about 25 minutes longer, or until chicken is golden brown and juices run clear. Baste with pan juices every 10 minutes.

4. Transfer chicken, garlic, and lemon wedges to a platter. Pour juices over top and serve.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we do!

Mamarazzi Monday

It's been a while since I've participated in Mamarazzi Monday and AJ has been knocking out milestones like crazy lately, so I really need to get back with the Mamarazzi!

The other day I walked into AJ's room after her nap and found this:

What?!?

Yep, that's my 6 month old, standing up on her own.

Look Ma, one hand!

Hey Mom, stop taking pictures and pick me up!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Training Update and Our Lazy Sunday

I haven't updated on my half marathon training lately and I wanted to let you all know that I have been really consistent. I am really happy with how I've been doing because I am starting to feel a lot stronger and even though running isn't "fun" yet, it isn't dreadful anymore either!

As always, my training plan is listed first, followed by what I actually did in italics.

Monday 9/13: 3.5 mile run (3.56 miles)
Tuesday 9/14: 2 mile run (Rest, it was raining)
Wednesday 9/15: 3.5 mile run (3.58 miles)
Thursday 9/16: Rest (2.02 miles)
Friday 9/17: 40 minutes cross train (Rest)
Saturday 9/18: 5 mile run (5.02 miles)
Sunday 9/19: Stretch and Strengthen (2.06 miles)

Total mileage: 16.24 miles

Over the past few weeks I've noticed that my biggest problem is that we get sidelined by rain. Well folks, no more excuses! I ordered a weather cover for the jogging stroller and it came yesterday, so next time it rains, we can still head out and run. I'm really excited about this because I love to run in the rain (especially since its still pretty warm here, about 80 degrees)!

On another note, I'm not sure that I mentioned that my little brother moved to the city near us. Well, today he came out to the boonies to visit with us and hang out for the day. I made homemade French Onion Soup and brownies (from the box) and we just relaxed and watched football and played with Miss AJ. It was a great day!

I also realized that its been a while since I posted pictures of AJ... so come back tomorrow for Mamarazzi Monday!

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Living Room: Army-Style

I'm going to jump on the bandwagon over at Kelly's Korner and post pictures of our living room in this house.

We've only lived here since June, but since we have moved so many times over the past few years, we're pretty pro at getting set up and decorated (we work with what we have, read: Army things) in no time at all! Our furniture is pretty much all mix and match because sometimes things go in different rooms and then at the next house its all in the same room together!

This is the view straight ahead when you walk in our front door. That's our "kitchen" table, "bookcase" which now boasts all our glassware and our back door.

This is the view of our couch and loveseat, along with the ottoman and end tables. I love the end tables, but the couch and loveseat are so close to wearing out their welcome that I can't wait to move and get new ones!

This view is of the sofa, looking to the left from the front entryway. The entertainment center and chairs on on the wall to the left.

There's the entertainment center that I hate, along with the two chairs that I "reupholstered" and the polka-dot Ikea pillows.

This is a view of the "kitchen" table from the sofa. We *heart* our table.

This bookcase is where we display all a small portion of our glassware. We do not display it because we think it looks nice or because its super practical to have an entire bookcase of glassware when you have a 6 month old who crawls *everywhere.* We display it because we have exactly 1.2 cabinets in our kitchen and those are being used for plates and other silly things like pots and pans.

Well folks, that's it! Our living room!

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

Head over to Wife of a Sailor to link up!


1. How do you spend your deployment money, do you save, pay off bills or enjoy the extra money while it is there to buy the things you do not normally have? (from Troop Petrie)
We usually save some and spend extra. Last deployment we bought a car with the money we saved.

2. If you could relive one occasion or moment, what would it be? (from Currently On Land)
Out of all the momentous days in my life I would choose my wedding day. The whole day went by in such a blur that I would like to just do it once more and really focus on remembering and living every moment of it. Even though everyone told me that it would be over before I knew it, I didn't realize how true that really is!

3. What's the worst job you ever had and if it was so bad why did you take it? (from Faith and Deploying)
The worst job I ever had was working for the parking department in college. The job was to sit in the booth and collect the money as cars left the parking garage. It was so boring. I thought it would be nice to just sit and do homework, but I couldn't stand just sitting there by myself for hours at a time.

4. If you could play any character on TV, who would you be? (from Many Waters)
I am not the type of person that would ever be on a reality TV show. The more I think about this question the more I realize that I wouldn't want to be an actress. I enjoy watching others on TV, but wouldn't want to be on TV myself.

5. If you could become the world's expert in something, what would it be? (from Army of Two)
I already am the world's expert in everything! ;) Just kidding, I don't know that I'd want to be an expert in anything. I kind of think that experts are annoying!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The DMV Is So Thorough

So we (and by "we" I mean AJ) were successful in getting the new license plates on Tuesday. We had no issues whatsoever and honestly, I was a little concerned by something that happened at the DMV. Here's the story:

I took my POA, the proof of purchase from when we bought the car, the current registration and a few other important pieces of paper. The POA I have is a special POA that specifically states that I am allowed to register, title, drive, sell, buy blah, blah, blah, basically do anything to D's vehicle in his absence.

So we walked into the building directly from having driven 2 1/2 hours to get there. I told them why I was there and took a number. A few minutes later my number was being called and we made our way over to the counter. I explained why we were there again and basically dumped the entire contents of my file folder out on the counter. The lady picked through and took the copy I had made of my POA and a few other things, then told me to fill out two forms.

After the forms were filled out and she had made copies of everything else she was going to need she told me how much I owed them and directed me across the aisle to the cashier. He made a copy of my POA for another reason (records, I don't know) and then informed me that there was a $4.07 surcharge for using my debit card to pay the $194 fee.

Seriously? The surcharge is wrong on so many different levels, the first being, who the hell came up with $4.07? Couldn't they have chosen a round number? Secondly, the $194 I'm paying your already can't cover the extra $4.07? Does that seem strange to anyone else? Anyways, on with the story.

The thing that disturbed me about the entire transaction was that they never once asked me for my ID. They didn't check to make sure that I was who I was saying I was. They also never checked to make sure that I was the person listed on the POA. I'm pretty sure that they didn't even cross check the forms with the POA to make sure that D's name was the same on both of them. I very easily could have walked in and registered someone else's car in my name and they wouldn't have noticed.

All in all, it was pretty uneventful, but the car is registered in D's name, AJ was fabulous in the car and afterwards we met up with my brother for dinner.

*I just wanted to let everyone know that I've been super busy with AJ lately (since her naps are hit or miss lately) and haven't really had time to read and comment very much. Hopefully this weekend I'll get back into the groove a bit!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I Make Plans, God Laughs.

So the big man upstairs must have heard that I was turning over a new leaf. I knew that it was going to be more difficult than just saying I was going to adjust my attitude, but really? How much can one girl take?! LOL

As many of you know, we are currently stationed in Missouri. One of the perks about living here is that we are only about 2.5 hours from our home state, and while our families live quite a bit further than that, we only have to drive about 150 miles to get to our state of residence.

This is coming in handy today, let me tell you! Here's the story.

A little over a year ago, we bought a car in Washington state. We registered it there because that is where we lived at the time and it was just easier than trying to register it in our home state. Well, as of August, our license plates are expired. Why, you ask? Because I attempted to register our car through the mail and the Department of Motor Vehicles never processed the application. I sent in the $194 check and all the paper work (after calling several times to make sure I was sending everything they would need). I waited the requisite 30 days (plus a few extra days for good measure) that they say it takes to process said application. I called yesterday and they have no record of it.

Seriously? How is it that things only ever get "lost in the mail" when there's a $194 check with my name and checking account number on it involved?

So, this afternoon AJ and I are getting in the car to drive the 2.5 hours to the closest DMV location to register the car in person. I am bringing my Power Of Attorney (because, yeah, I didn't mention that the car is only registered in D's name?), all the proof of purchase forms, the old registration, pretty much anything I can think of because I am not making this drive more than once!

So there you have it, folks. I made plans to be a more positive person and God thought that He should test me on it, right away. Well, God, I'm keeping a smile on my face for the whole drive, if it kills me!

Monday, September 13, 2010

A New {Positive} Outlook on Life

I'm not naturally a very positive person. If you know me in real life, this will not come as a surprise to you. For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of meeting me, this may be news to you. Some of you who are close to me may also know that I've dealt with depression in the past and am always wondering if I am exhibiting any symptoms.

I've found that since being here and getting involved in numerous activities including volunteering on post that I've been pretty happy with my life. I have several friends and find that the days I sit at home and do nothing are few and far between. This makes them a treat to me, instead of the norm. I think that getting involved and staying active, whether it is in organized activities or just with a group of friends really helps me to feel better about myself.

You might be wondering where this post is heading. Well, I have come to the realization lately after reading a few different (unintentionally motivational) blogs that the missing link needed for me to be truly happy is my attitude.

My reasoning is this.

I historically have a pretty crappy attitude.

I jump to conclusions and am quick to assume. This part of my personality is (understandably) not one of my favorites.

For example, D and I have been arguing a lot lately. I know, you're probably thinking, well, you have a baby, lots of couples argue a lot more during the "baby" stage. Well, sure, that's true, but then I sit back and think about what we're arguing about and I'll be honest. It's usually because I'm being ridiculous (sometimes its him, too, but its usually me). I read a post a few months ago that really put this into perspective for me. The author said something along the lines of, "when your partner does something that upsets you, stop and think about it. Did they do it to intentionally hurt you or make you angry? Probably not."

This advice really made me think about the reasons I get upset with D. Usually it has something to do with him loading the dishwasher wrong, or never remembering to take the garbage out. Does he do those things to make me mad? No. He does them because he doesn't think about it. Admittedly, this line of thinking has also made me reevaluate my Type-A personality. Is it really that important to me to have the dishwasher loaded in a certain way? I mean, as long as the dishes get clean, who cares?

I've also recently been reading several photography blogs and even though I'm not a photographer myself (and my camera is just a point and shoot), I find inspiration there as well. A few of the blogs just have this peace about them. The peace I find there inspires me to find the beauty in everyday things. It inspires me to look at things in a different light. It inspires me to stop and appreciate all that I have. It inspires me to focus on bringing calmness into my soul.

The most amazing thing about coming to this realization is the fact that I can already feel a calmness about myself. Instead of striving for perfection (which is bound to disappoint me, and who really needs their house to be spotless?), I will strive for peace, serenity, and contentment with the life in which I live.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Half Marathon Training Update

We're currently in the midst (of tail-end I guess) of week 3 (of 12) of my half marathon training. I think I've been doing pretty well so far. I only missed 2 runs in the past 2 weeks (which is pretty good), but at the same time, I'm really starting to get worried about running 13.1 miles without stopping in 9 weeks. Eek!

Here is what the past 2 weeks of training looked like (according to the schedule) and what I actually did (in italics).

Monday 8/30: 3 mile run (3.01 miles)
Tuesday 8/31: 2 mile run (2.05 miles)
Wednesday 9/1: 3 mile run (3.07 miles)
Thursday 9/2: Rest (Rested.)
Friday 9/3: 30 minutes cross train (3.06 miles)
Saturday 9/4: 4 mile run (4.18 miles)
Sunday 9/5: Stretch and Strengthen (Nothing)

Week Total: 15.37 miles

Monday 9/6: Rest (Rested. If you count traveling all day with a 6 month old to be resting.)
Tuesday 9/7: 3.5 mile run (3.55 miles)
Wednesday 9/8: 3.5 mile run (3.55 miles)
Thursday 9/9: 2 mile run (Nothing, it rained all.day.long.)
Friday 9/10: 4o minutes cross train (3.75 miles)
Saturday 9/11: 5 mile run (5.15 miles)
Sunday 9/12: Stretch and Strengthen (2 miler from Thursday)

Week Total: 18 miles

Making progress folks.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11

Although I don't have much to say on the topic that hasn't already been said more eloquently by other bloggers, I can't help but think back to September 11, 2001.
Someone else's picture.

I was sitting in second period Statistics my senior year of high school and remember when a classmate of mine came in and told us that the World Trade Center in New York City had been bombed. Obviously at the time we didn't know what had happened, but a school administrator (don't remember who) came on the announcements shortly after and explained what had happened.

I remember thinking to myself at the time that this would be one of those moments I would remember for the rest of my life. I would never forget where I was the moment I heard. I would never forget the person who told me (even if I don't remember a single other person from high school, Lauren Beck will forever be etched in my mind). I knew then, at 17, that September 11, 2001 would be a day to my generation that was equivalent to the day Pearl Harbor was attacked for my grandparent's generation or the day Kennedy was shot for my parent's generation.

I remember coming home after school and watching the news with my mom. We just sat there, crying. I think everyone cried that day. It sure felt like the country was crying. In my opinion, one of the most impressive things about that day? The way the country pulled together and developed an unprecedented amount of patriotism. For the first time in my life, we were all in it, together.

Sadly, we no longer see this degree of pride in our country. What happened? Have we forgotten the lives lost on this day, nine years ago? Have we forgotten the fact that we are still sending our husbands, wives, sons, daughters, fathers and mothers off to war? Have we forgotten that we are all still in this, together?

If you don't do anything else to honor the lives lost nine years ago, or the men and women who still put their lives at risk each day to protect our country, please, fly your flag. Maybe it will remind your friends and neighbors that we need to pull together and appreciate everything that this country stands for and those who make our freedoms possible.

I'll be flying my flag, will you?

Tag! I'm it!

Maranda over at My Camo Colored Life tagged me in this little meme, and I'm not gonna lie, I feel pretty cool about it! Maranda and I are stationed at the same post, have mutual friends, and yet we still have not met in real life. Don't fret, dear readers. We will meet very soon, I'm sure of it! Anyways, on to the post!

1. If you could have any superpower what would you have? Why?


Hmmm. I wish that I were like Mary Poppins in the scene where all she has to do is snap her fingers and a mess is straightened up. Is that sad that I really just don't want to have to clean anymore?! lol

2. Who is your style icon?

Well, apparently its hmb, but if I had to pick someone that most of you would recognize (aka a real celebrity, not that hmb isn't, but you know what I mean) then I would have to choose Reese Witherspoon. She usually looks pretty casual, but always looks nice, and she is typically wearing pretty plain individual pieces.

3. What is your favorite quote?

"Well-behaved women rarely make history."
-L
aurel Thatcher Ulrich

4. What is the best compliment you've ever received?

From my hubby. He tells me often that I'm a good mom (and his opinion is the only one that really counts).

5. What playlist/CD is in your CD player/iPod right now?

Its called "Beth's A Runnin'" and its my running mix. I listen to vastly different music when I'm running than any other time. The run mix includes classics like Bad Romance and others by Lady Gaga as well as timeless favorites like Crazy Bitch and Turn My Swag on.

When I'm not running (from the law, apparently,) I listen to lots of classic rock (like Billy Joel, Steve Miller Band, and The Eagles), soft rock (Michael Buble, James Blunt) and alternative/indie stuff (Green Day, Maroon 5, Barenaked Ladies, and Spoon, Manchester Orchestra, Modest Mouse, and Motion City Soundtrack).

6. Are you a night owl or a morning person?

I'm neither. I think this may have to do with the fact that I have a 6 month old baby, but I want to go to sleep at 7:30 pm and sleep until 10 every morning. Typically its easier for me to stay up than it is for me to get up, but once I'm up in the morning, I'm up.

7. Do you prefer dogs or cats?

Dogs. I grew up with dogs and our beagle, Abby, was my first child.

8. What is the meaning behind your blog name?

My blog name is a play on the title of the radio show "This American Life" on NPR. I feel that I'm a pretty patriotic person and with D being in the Army and all, well, yeah. The radio show itself has also played a fairly large role in our lives in the sense that we listened just hours after we were married in the county courthouse. The topic of the broadcast that day was actually the reason we named AJ what we did.

Friday, September 10, 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

Hey there!


Welcome back to another round of The Wifey's MilSpouse Friday Fill-In! If you haven't joined in yet, you should! It's super fun and also pretty easy, just copy the questions and answer them as best you can! Make sure to head on over to Wife of a Sailor on Friday morning to link up. If you have more questions, all the information is posted on her blog!

1. Do you set goals for yourself during deployment? What are some of them? (from Military Mommy)
I'm going to be completely honest here. Last deployment, no. I did not set any solid goals for myself. I had some vague goals that I wanted to accomplish (i.e. lose weight), but I didn't specify anything. I was really focused mostly on surviving. This laxidasical attitude obviously didn't really work since I did not particularly want my goals to include drinking lots of vodka and crying a lot.

Little did I know that setting goals probably would have made survival much easier. Eh, we live and we learn, right? Next deployment I'm definitely setting goals and I'm sharing them with all of you so you can hold me accountable!

2. What would you say to someone dating a military guy or gal? (from Mothering Off the Cuff)

My advice would really depend on the situation. Advice for a navigating a deployment would be much different than if the military member were, say, at BCT. However, my main piece of advice that wouldn't change would be this: "be flexible." That's not to say that you should let everything slide. Obviously there comes a time when you need to remain firm to your standards and hold the other person accountable, but understand that a lot of the time when the military member can't call or visit when they said they would, it is not their fault. The exception, however, is if the military member is a scum bag and really just isn't calling because they are playing you. I read something on someone's blog recently that really rang true. For the most part (with a few exceptions) he (or she) will find a way to call if he (or she) really wants to talk to you.

3. If you have children, how do you prepare them to move to a new place? (from The Random Ramblings of A Household 6)

We have not had to deal with this one yet. AJ was too little for our first move to really know the difference.

4. Name one hobby that gets you through alone time. (from My Sailor's Mistress)

I really enjoy reading. I also watch a lot of TV, but that's not so much a hobby as an addiction. Oh, and there's the obvious....the Interwebs.

5. What's the one food you don't ever get tired of? (from That Army Wife Life)

Wow... I am not sure there is anything that I wouldn't tire of eventually. I kind of go in waves where I eat something a lot and then I won't eat it again for a long time. For example, right now my go-to's are yogurt with granola for breakfast, a bagel sandwich made with sun dried tomato cream cheese, turkey, tomato, lettuce and red onion for lunch. For dinner I could eat Mexican Chicken with Black Bean Salad everyday but I don't because the hubs would probably get upset.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Happy 6 Month Birthday, AJ!

Today is my sweet baby girl's 6 month birthday! I can't believe that she is already 6 months old! The time seriously is flying by and I'm afraid that I'll blink and she'll be 16!

In honor of the sweetest, cutest baby girl ever, here are a few pictures to enjoy!
AJ at about a week old.

AJ last weekend in FL with D.

We're off to her 6 month doctor's appointment this morning and then I'm going to celebrate by getting myself some lunch!

Happy 6 month birthday, AJ!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Flo Rida (Pictures)

I know I mentioned Monday that we had an amazing time on our vacation and I really can't express how great of a time we all had!

Our trip started Thursday morning when AJ and I drove the 2 hours to the airport to catch our afternoon flight to Chicago, where we met up with my parents and brother at the airport. We were all on the same flight down to Florida and arrived at about 10 pm. D had an early morning flight Friday and arrived about noon.

AJ's ride to the beach.

Walking along the boardwalk to the beach.

Me and my sister on the way to the beach.

Hooray!

My Dad and brother heading out. We had great weather the entire time!

AJ's hang out with the clubhouse behind her.

Chillin' in her stroller on the beach!

The beach!

We had already been to the beach by the time D got to my parents' place. He wasted no time jumping right into the thick of things!

Chatting with my Dad (I cut the beers out of the picture!)

Friday evening we went out for a delicious seafood dinner at a local restaurant and had delicious vacation-y cocktails as well! Yum! There is really nothing I love more than a fruity drink and fresh seafood. I unfortunately did not take any pictures Friday evening.

Saturday we spent most of the morning at the beach, ate lunch at the beach-side bar and then hit up the pool after lunch. For dinner Saturday night we had a shrimp boil at my parent's house. It was so good! After dinner on Saturday night we headed back out to the beach to take some family photos and enjoy the beauty of the place!

D and AJ heading down to the beach.

My parents.

My family.

The whole group.

Me, my sister and my brother.
AJ chillin'.

My Dad being a creep.

AJ's acrobatic skillz.

Uncle Bill and AJ.

Aunt Abby and AJ.

I only have a few more pictures, but apparently I have reached my limit for one post because Blogger won't upload any more pictures in this entry. I'll get the rest of the pictures uploaded in a separate post tomorrow!

Monday, September 6, 2010

We're Baaack!

We're home from our awesome, amazing, wonderful, way-too-short vacation! We had a direct flight home (hooray!) and got to hang out with my brother before driving home from the airport this afternoon.

We have one tired baby on our hands tonight and she is sleeping now while her Daddy and I relax for the evening. We're getting back to real life tomorrow and hopefully getting some laundry done while D is at work. One of my goals for tomorrow is to get my pictures uploaded and share them with you all!

Seriously though, we had an amazing vacation and I'm kind of sad to be home! We already miss being in paradise with my family and relaxing all day long. We could not have asked for a better trip.

Friday, September 3, 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

Welcome back to MilSpouse Friday Fill-In!
Head over to Wife of a Sailor to link in!

1. What is a weird/funny superstition that you have?
(from A{muse}ing Mommy on a Pink Park Bench)
Well. I'm not superstitious really. Now that I think about it, I'm not really sure that I have one! Maybe I'll think of something after reading everyone else's posts tomorrow!

2. What are your hopes and dreams for the years AFTER the military? After all, we aren't in it forever!
(from Stetsons, Spurs and Stilettos)
I would like for my husband to continue to be happy in his work. Aside from that, I don't really have any expectations or details nailed down yet! We still have a long way to go!

3. Since [this] month is National Apple Month (no really!), I'd probably ask: What is your yummiest apple recipe?
(from NH Girl Displaced)
Well, my favorite recipe with apples is not actually a recipe and we haven't made it in a while since its summer, but here goes. Brown boneless pork chops in a skillet and then add chopped apples. Meanwhile make a package of Stovetop Stuffing according to directions. Layer pork chops and apples in the bottom of a casserole dish and top with stuffing. Cover and bake for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy!

4. How long have you gone as a military spouse without talking to your husband/wife during service?
(from A Navy Princess and Her Little Sailors)
The longest was when he was deployed and we went from right before Halloween until Christmas Eve 2008 without an email, phone call, letter, etc. You have no idea how great a Christmas gift it was just to be able to hear his voice again after 2 months!

5. I occasionally watch When I was 17... on MTV. So, what was something that was significant about your 17th year of life?
(from Ashley Amazing)
Hmmm. I was 17 in 2001, so I guess I'd say 9/11 was significant for me.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hooray For Vacation!

Today marks the start of our much anticipated vacation. I'm not sure if I'll be on the computer posting at all this weekend, so I wanted to let you all know that we're out of town (you know, so y'all don't worry about me and stuff)!

We'll be back Monday, so I should have a post up by Tuesday with at least a few pictures from the trip (depending on how tired I am).

I hope everyone has a great and relaxing Labor Day weekend! See you next week!