Thursday, July 22, 2010

One Month Down

As of this past Tuesday, I have been dieting for a month. I say dieting, but it really has become more of a lifestyle change. To me a diet is something you do for a short amount of time. It is a short term fix for something that may or may not have been a long term problem. For me diets have always come and gone. I have always lost weight, but I have always seemed to gain weight back. So I have really worked hard to make more of a lifestyle change.

So after 30 days of my lifestyle change the results are in...dun dun dun....18 lbs! I never thought it was possible to loose that much in a month but here I sit as proof that it can be done. My first weight loss goal is 20 lbs, and I have been waiting for about 1 1/2 weeks for that pesky 2 lbs to come off. It just won't come off. However, I figure in due time it will come off with I hope about 3 or more other lbs. :)

Tomorrow I'm going to do a Green Smoothie Only day again to kind of jump start my body again into loosing weight mode. I hope that by getting back to basics again, maybe I will start to loose some more weight. Maybe next month I can report that I have officially made it back to my wedding weight :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Oh My Word!

So yesterday was day 1 of Green Smoothie Detox. That was one of the hardest days in awhile that I have had food wise. I never realized how much I ate just because I just wanted to and not because I was hungry. It was funny how my stomach seemed to want to run me and not the other way around. I got to the end of the night, and I thought I was going to kill over from not eating all day. Most people would say something along the lines of anything is fine in moderation, and that I should have just eaten a little of something. However, it was important to me to make it through one day. I needed to make it one day. If I could make it one, I could make it two...or so I thought.

I spent the morning thinking if I really wanted to continue with this. I went to my Wednesday morning Bible Study. Some of my Smoothie buddies are in the Bible Study with me. I watched all of them sipping on their smoothies and wondered if it was so hard for them to resist the bagels, cheese, and meat over on the table. It couldn't be....could it?

When I finally made my way home, I just wanted to cheat. I wanted to be bad, and I wanted to eat something solid. Today in the plan we add in rice. I don't like rice, and I wondered if it would be something that'd fill me up. Most wait and eat it for dinner. I have to do a sleep study tonight, so lunch time rice it is. It isn't something that rocks my socks, but boy does it feel nice. :)

Before I ate the rice, I had a wake up call. One of my smoothie friends told me this morning that she lost 4 lbs in the process of yesterday and this morning. So before I cheat I get on the scale. I have lost 5 lbs in just the first day. With that knowledge, I decided to stick with it today. I do know that I'm going to slip off the Smoothie Detox a couple of times in the process. My husband and I have a couple of planned nights out, so I'm going to still do that. However, I hope that by the time we do something like that, I will have better control with telling my stomach to lighten up.

The Smoothie Detox lives another day!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

You Want Me to Drink What?!

About a year ago I saw a woman bringing her son into the childcare room with a cup. Upon further inspection of the cup, it looked like the most horrid stuff I had ever seen. I didn't know if she expected her son to drink that stuff or not, but I watched as he did. It looked like a dark green slime drink in a cup. I couldn't believe that this kid was drinking it.

As the weeks pasted, this woman finally mentioned something about these green smoothies. I was glad to know what they were, but it still didn't make them any more appealing to me. The idea of spinach, lettuce, or any other green veggie in a smoothie just didn't sound good to me at all. In fact I wondered how anyone could even stomach it.

Later on in MOPS, she did a smoothie demo for everyone. I tried one (with my eyes closed so I couldn't see the green goo I was about to ingest), and I wasn't too impressed. I just couldn't get past the fact that there were veggies in my smoothie. That just isn't natural. you aren't suppose to drink green slime stuff. You just aren't.

Well it has been a year since my first encounter with a green smoothie, and today I am starting a Green Smoothie Detox. This friend of mine decided a few weeks ago to send out an email and ask if anyone was interested. I don't know why I said yes, but I did. Maybe I was still jet lagged when I read it. She said in the email that if people do things as a group you are more likely to have good results, and I know she's right on that. So I gave into peer pressure and joined the Green Smoothie Clan.

I will keep people up to date about how the smoothies are coming along, and I will even posts some pictures as the days go on with my own concoctions of mixed greens and fruits. This mornings smoothie consists of spinach leaves, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, and water. I think I'm going to do some more of the same this afternoon. It's going to be a wild month while I'm doing this, but I hope that after all is said and done, my tastes have changed (for the better), and I am in more control over my eating and appetite.

So bring on the green goo! I'm taking you on! I can do this...I can do this...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Seasons of Live

Yesterday was one of those changing of the seasons days for me. A lot has been going around here, and it has been hard not reflect on the changes that are happening in my life. It's amazing how little things will trigger moments where you reflect on life and how you really got to where you are. I haven't been going that in depth with my refections, but I have had a few bittersweet days.

It all started several months ago when one of Genevieve's best friends moved away. This girl's mom and I were friends too. It made me sad to see a friend go. When you live the lifestyle we do, leaving friends and having them leave is just another part of life. It isn't something we enjoy, but we expect it. I have also learned that in the military it doesn't have to be goodbye. People often run into others down the road. With the new advances in the web, Facebook, e-mail, and other things make it so easy to stay in contact.

Anyway that one move started our season of change. By the end of the summer I will have 5 or 6 friends move away. I'm usually pretty good with people moving away and moving away myself, but this time it seems different. It seems harder to loose so many of the friends I have made in just a few months. I will still have some friends here, but loosing some always is hard. I told my Mom a few weeks ago that I felt like I wouldn't really have any friends when the summer ends. She then reminded me that she has NEVER know me not to have friends. She reminded me about a wonderful trait I have to be able to walk into a room and make friends with just about anyone there. She is right, and life moves on. To my friends that are leaving, I will miss you. However, like I said before, it's not goodbye, it's see you later.

Yesterday also brought about a new season in motherhood. I have embraced the season of having a toddler and a preschooler in my midst really well. I know that my kids will grow up, and that doesn't really bother me. I am looking forward to the upcoming seasons in life with them. However, I realized yesterday just how fast they come.

Genevieve cannot start Kindergarten this year. She won't be 5 until the end of November. They recently changed the cut off date to earlier in the year. Even without the change she is no where near the dates to enter this year. I was telling a friend of mine that I think most parents think their kids are smart enough to go ahead and go, and I'm no exception. I believe that Genevieve is at a place now, where she'd have no problems in school next year. However, I have decided that I'd rather just leave things be, and have her one of the oldest in her class. With our life right now, she will have a lot to deal with as a kid. If we keep on our current path, she will encounter moves, times where Dad is away a lot or for long periods of time, and many other things. I would rather her be more mature than one of the younger in her class dealing with these things.

She has been in a Part Day Preschool class for over a year now. She loves Ms. Susan's class. She has had so much fun at school. However, with her growing and learning so much, she is now too advanced for the class. Because of this, we decided it might be best to look for something new for her. We found something we think will be right up her alley. We have enrolled her in German Kindergarten. I went to see the school last week, and it is amazing. She is going to have a blast! I'm so excited because I know she will now be challenged in a new setting. She will be able to pick up another language, and she will learn to interact with a whole new group of people. She will also switch to an all day program instead of just a few hours a day.

I just think how if we were not in Germany, she wouldn't get this shot at something so neat. She will be able to tell people now that she went to a German school. How many people can say that? I'm excited for her, and I hope that she will love it as much as I think she is going to. Watch out German school, here comes Genevieve!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Deals, Deals, and More Deals

So I know I posted a few weeks ago about all the soap I got paid to take out of the store (and I actually got some more this past week). I don't want to make a habit of only blogging about deals that I get, but I have got a few these past couple of weeks, and I just have to share.

I am big on saving money when we can. My husband and I have worked real hard to get out of debt, and now that we are there, I'm pretty intent on staying that way. When I can find a deal or something that is a great buy, then I will take advantage of that. I scan the clearance racks, look at fliers before shopping, and several other things. I'm not as hard core as some other people I know, but I tend to think of myself as a pretty smart shopper.

First deal happened last week. It was totally by accident though. I really can't take much credit. I have a friend who let me use a portable DVD player for my trip home last time. She told me I could use it anytime I wanted. When getting ready for my trip coming up, I mentioned to her about her DVD player. It was bound to happen, and it did, that we would be gone at the same time. I loved her DVD player. Most portable players I have used only last about an hour or two before you have to charge them again. This does me no good on our long flights. This DVD player has a 6 hour battery. When you add in take off, landing, meals, snacks, and naps, that is about how much time I need a DVD player for.

Anyway, I took off last week to look at the store to see how many were left. It is a 190 dollar DVD player (worth every penny if you are flying with my son), and I wanted to wait until the last second possible to spend that money for it. When I went in last week, there were only two left. I knew my luck, and if I didn't go ahead and get it, it would be gone when I needed it. So I went ahead and picked it up. When I got up to pay, it rang up for 67 bucks! When I asked about it, they let me know that it was the right price, and that I got a good deal. It's not a good deal, it's an AMAZING deal!

Yesterday the deals came too. I went to the store to look for another set of PJs for Samuel. Carter's makes these wonderful sets that come with a t-shirt, shorts, and pants. I love them because they can be used in the Spring, Summer, and Fall. I get a lot of use out of them. I had already got one set, and I wanted to pick up another. A friend of mine had told me they were having a sale on shoes, so I went over to that area too. That's when I hit the jackpot. I got both the kids new shoes yesterday. Original price was 40 bucks each pair. I got Genevieve's shoes for 9.50 and Samuel's shoes for 8.45. I think I might actually go back and get another pair for each of the kids in the next size up. It is so hard to find velcro shoes for Genevieve's shoe size. These are, and I am so glad.

With all the deals that I have been blessed with, I'm ready to share some blessings of my own. I have a lot of toys (about 4 bags worth) that I'm needing to get rid of. I think I'm just going to drop them off at the recycle center instead of trying to sale them. I love the idea that maybe by me giving toys away, they can bless someone else. I hope that whoever takes the toys enjoy them the way my kids have.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Wine or Not to Wine?

Tonight, I think it's wine. I have had a LONG day. We all woke up early this morning. It wasn't a bad wake up early. Usually when my husband is gone, I sleep really bad. I stay up really late, and I have to get up early with the kids. I seem to get in a cycle, and I can't get out of it. However, with our schedule during the week, I have been trying to go to bed earlier. I don't mind going to bed before others, but I would much rather go to bed at the same time than later than my husband. Since he has to be up so early (thus going to bed early), I have started doing the same. I worried that with last night being the first night of him gone, I'd be up late. Not so much. I actually went to bed at a decent time.

Anyway, the kids and I got up early, and we did "morning baths." The kids usually take baths before bed, but sometimes when alone, I like doing them in the morning. I don't usually have to fight them as much, and only having one set of hands, sometimes it is easier when we aren't fighting with bed time. While the kids were in the tub, I got a phone call. I totally forgot that there was a MOPS event today.

Today we were doing an easy cooking night. We were going to have our Rachel Ray moments and demoing an easy meal. We all brought meals we could show or something already made. We then got to have our moments and show our dish. We then got to sample the dishes and eat. There was childcare, and we just got to hang out with our MOPS friends. I love these events because it is always nice to just hang out with other moms. I had an easy recipe that is a pasta bake. I can put it in my crock pot, and it doesn't heat up my whole house. In the summer that is a HUGE plus.

We got home late from the event, and it was already past the kids bed time. Of course they were acting like it, so it was a long hour or so until they went to bed. We did PJs, medicine, brush teeth, and Blue's Clues. Both are now out, and fast asleep. So it was with the day I had, I have decided that a glass of wine is in order. So here I sit blogging and drinking my wine. I think I will also go to bed early again so maybe I won't have issues with sleep while my husband is gone.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Couch Potato

I hate to run. I mean I HATE to run. I more than hate to run. I can't run to save my life. I have never been good at it, and I don't think I ever will be. I struggled in high school, when I actually WAS in shape, to run a 10 min mile. I was never fast, and I never enjoyed it. However, some changes need to be made in my life. I am taking charge of my health, and exercise is part of that new life. I don't always like to go to the gym, and I don't really want to build muscle right now. I just want to loose some weight. So drastic times call for drastic measures. I started running.

HOLD THE PHONE! That's right! I started running. Well I call it running anyway. If you saw me out there today, you'd have laughed. For some reason today was the day I wanted to start. I wanted to go alone, and I wanted to actually start something and finish it.

I found a program called Couch to 5K. It pretty much is interval running. It requires you to run 3 days a week, and by the end of 9 weeks, you are suppose to be able to run 5K. Lucky for me, there was an App for my iPod. I downloaded that bad boy today, and there was no day like today to start running. I am turning over a new leaf, and I want to make this a goal. I want to complete this, and I want to be healthy again. It's more than time to get going on this.

There was no day like today to start. I had the App, and I made a play list on my iPod of all my upbeat music and fun stuff to run to. I synced it and got some running clothes on. Little did I know that it was raining outside. I probably would not have gone a couple of days ago due to the rain. However, today I went. I just put on a hoodie, and away I went. I felt really silly only running for a min and then walking. I am sure people were looking at me funny. However, like I recently heard, "You don't get out of shape in one day, and it will take you more than one day to get back into shape." So today was the first baby step into getting back in shape. It is long overdue.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

For Papa

I want to tell you more about my Papa, but today I leave you with a story and a poem that my Papa taught to me when I was maybe 12 or 13 years old. Grams was so mad at Papa for teaching me this poem because it has a cuss word in it. However, Papa knew even then how much love I have for the arts, and he taught me this. My mom and I were joking that only I have the ability to remember silly stories and details that others would forget within a few weeks. I remember silly things in vivid detail. Often when I want to talk about something in the past I try and bring back all my memories. I have been able to tell my husband what we were eating and where when we had a certain talk 10 years ago. Who remembers this kind of stuff?! I'll tell you who. ME! So here's the back story before the poem. And yes folks, this is a true story, and the poem is one that was written for the feelings had by Uncle Joe.

There were a group of guys who would always meet up at the local store for coffee. They'd all drive in from their farms and from town to meet up and shoot the breeze. Well a man by the name of Old Dad Frad did not have a car. He lived out in the country, so he would walk to the highway, and one of the other guys would pick him up. He made a habit of cutting through a couple of fields on his way to save time. One of these fields belonged to Bradley Pigg.

Bradley Pigg got tired of Old Dad Frad using his field to cut through, so he told Old Dad Frad that if he saw him walking through his field again, he would call the cops and have him arrested. Dad Frad didn't think much of it, and the next day he went on to the highway through the field again. Bradley saw him and called the cops. Dad Frad ended up calling the coffee shop to have his buddies come bail him out. All the guys at the shop pulled their money together to get him out, and they brought him back to have coffee.

From that day on, someone always drove to get Old Dad Frad from his home so he wouldn't be arrested any more. However, the story goes, that anytime there was a lightening storm or thunderstorm with a lot of lightening withing a certain radius of Bradley Pigg's farm, somehow it always caught fire. ;)

So here is the poem by Uncle Joe about Bradley Pigg

I was walking through the cemetery one night,
Reading the inscriptions by the fading light.
There was Gene Brown, and Old Dad Frad,
A host of friends I once had.
Shit Pewee! Shit real big!
For there's the grave of Bradley Pigg.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Sun and A Sister's Love

You can tell summer is on the way here. The simple fact that the sun is in deed out shinning for longer bits of time isn't the only clue either. I have to say I have never lived in a more miserable place in my life than Germany in the winter. It is cold, no sun (not only because of the cloud cover but also because the sun doesn't come up until after 8 and goes down before 4), and everything is just shades of gray. Everything around you is dead and shows no signs of life. I have often joked with my Twilight friends that where I'm at is a perfect for Edward to live. :p I struggle with seasonal depression, and this place does not do me any good when it comes to winter.

However, like I said, summer is around the corner. The sun is now coming up around 6 am, and it isn't going down until closer to 8:30 now. Soon we will be in daylight all but a handful of hours in the day. Last year my husband and I laughed that they couldn't even shoot off fireworks on the 4th of July until almost midnight due to the sun being up so late. I often find myself outside soaking up every bit of sunlight that I can.

Anyway, on to what I was going to say before I got off on the sun. Summer is on the way. The weather is warmer, and all that is missing is a good thunderstorm (which we don't really get, but I miss due to growing up in Tornado Alley). Summer is a great season. It brings about a more carefree time in life. It seems like things are more laid back, and schedules free up just to be replaced with other plans.

This summer the kids and I are making a trip back to Nashville. My sister is finally making an Auntie out of me, and I couldn't be more excited. No one expected that we'd make the trip to the US this summer for this occasion, but I just couldn't help myself. I find myself on the phone making plans with my sister and talking about things we haven't ever talked about. It seems like we have grown closer in the months since she found out she was having a baby.

My sister and I have always been close. We have had to be. We moved a few times when we were young and at home. So we had to be each others friend. It worked out great until we got to middle school. Then our relationship took a bump.

My sister and I really didn't get along too well in those years of middle school, high school, and then even into college. I always held some resentment of the things that she was given. These were the same things that I had to work for. I felt really upset by these things, and it really put a wedge in our relationship. I don't even know if she knows about these things. It wasn't until recently that I heard something that really changed how I felt. We had started to mend our relationship before that point, but I think at that point I was able to let go and just move on.

That wasn't the only thing that really kept us from connecting. She told me once recently that until she got pregnant she never really got me as a person. She didn't understand why I didn't want to work. She didn't get why I felt the way I did about certain things. She didn't get what my life was about and why it appealed to me. It does seem like now we are more on the same page of life again. For the first time since those early years, we can say that we are truly understand each other. It's been a long time coming.

I have to say that being in Germany has made me really look at how much I really want to have my sister in my life. It is not easy or cheap for anyone to call me here. In fact, no one calls me from the US. I don't blame them either. So my relationships with friends and family fall to me. Sure there is email, and I am usually good at keeping up, but there is something to say about phone calls. I realized several months ago, I want my sister in my life. I want us to stay close, and I want our kids to know each other. I have always felt that way, but more recently I have felt the need to show her this. I have felt the need to lead by action and not just words.

All this said, I am so excited to go to her home and visit with her for several weeks. I am happy to get to spend some time with her right before the baby comes so it can be her and I. We can go shop, have fun, watch movies, and play Wii. I'm also just as excited to spend time with her after the baby. I can't wait to see her be a mom. I can't wait to meet my new niece or nephew. I can't wait to help her out in the ways she wants me to. I also can't wait to see my kids around their new cousin. Genevieve is really excited and can't wait for her new cousin to get here. I'm sure she will want to hold him or her and love on them.

I guess this is where I'm going to end today. I just want to end with this to my sister.


I love you more than you will know. You are a big part of my life, and I'm so thankful. I know God knew what he was doing when he put you and me together. I am so happy that you have been there for me even when I didn't deserve it. I am glad we have fought to keep each other in our lives even when it seemed like the other couldn't care less. You are an amazing woman, and I look forward to our relationship as the years pass us by. Thank you for putting up with me when you shouldn't have. Thank you for understanding (if even years later) that being apart of my life means the world to me. Here's to many more years to come!

Love you more than you know,
Your Sister

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Clean for a Year

That's right folks! You can all rest easy that I have enough soap (I think) to keep me clean for a year. I had given my talk at MOPS this past week about how to save money. I told them that I made a stupid mistake a couple of weeks ago. Usually here when they give out coupons you should hold on to them. It usually means (especially when they have the item up front) that they are going to put them on sale soon. I was so excited about the coupons, I went ahead and bought a box of the Swiss Ives bath soap with the coupons I gathered up. I paid $3.00 for the box of six. Really that isn't too bad of a deal in my opinion. However, in true fashion, the soap then went on sale for 49 cents a piece. The coupons I had were for 50 cents off. DOH!

I had been to the store several times after they lowered the price, and I kept kicking myself over and over for not holding on to the coupons. Well yesterday my luck changed. The coupons were BACK! They were giving the soap away by the case. I loaded up my cart and grabbed the coupons to go with it. Even with the amazing price tag, I couldn't take home every last box like I wanted to. I did show some restraint and only brought home 6 boxes of soap. Counting the one box I already have, I now have 42 bottles of soap. That's a lot of soap. Even if I go through a bottle a week, I have enough soap to get me through all by 10 weeks of the next year. What I like the most about it, I made 36 cents doing it :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pop Tarts and MOPS

Just like every Wednesday in our home, this morning was no different. I woke up far too early (for me anyway) to get ready for MOPS. I woke the kids up, got them dressed, and gave them a Wednesday morning Pop Tart for breakfast as we were running out the door. I am NOT a morning person. I never have been, and I don't think I ever will be. However, for MOPS, I will get up. This group has blessed me so many times that it is important for me to be there.

Today was a special day in our MOPS group. We were doing our semi-annual MOPS Clothing Swap. I love Swap day. Everyone brings in all their baby/kids clothes that they don't want, and after the meeting, you can go shopping for new clothes. I always take more clothing to the swap than I bring home, but it gets it out of my home. That's the important part. It's always a lot of fun though to get "new" stuff for the kids.

Today we also had a wonderful woman give a talk on home organization and cleaning. I asked her last night as she was setting up if she had read my blog. I told her that I had just talked about this here, and how I was really down about the fact that I felt so inadequate when it comes to that area of my home life. She had some really great points. She mentioned that cleaning is like exercise. You either love it or hate it (I of course HATE it). Just like exercise, you don't get back into shape overnight, so you can't expect to get into good cleaning habits overnight. Here all this time I thought I was a hopeless case :) She had some good ideas for making things easier, and now I'm thinking I need to convince my husband to let me buy a new laundry hamper for Samuel's room. Needless to say, I really think the things she talked about where things I needed to hear. I needed to hear that it's okay that I don't like to clean. I needed to hear that I'm on the right track just doing something new and mastering one thing at a time. I have found it easier to keep things clean now that we did the great purge and cleaning, but I fear that it won't always be easy. My husband is set to be gone for a couple of weeks. If there is any time that I slack, it's when he's gone. So I have been telling myself that I won't do that. I'm trying to really make myself not get into the mind set where it's okay to slack off. I need to get into a habit and make this work for me.

I also wrote the article for the newsletter this week. I got several comments about what I wrote, and it really made me feel good. I was going to write about something to go with the whole saving money thing, but I just couldn't get into it. So instead I wrote something about how I felt about being just a mom. I use to think that I had nothing to offer, and my job was no where near as cool as those of my working friends. In a conversation I had with a friend I learned (from my own words) that being just a mom is just fine. I don't have to do anything "cool" to be happy with who I am and what I do.

So I think this is where I will end. It's getting close to time for me to leave. I need to go wake up my sleeping child and go get the other one from school. It will then be a rush to get everything in between now and dinner time. After dinner is bath and bed quickly. It seems so far from now, but it really isn't too far off until bed time (for the kids). I am so glad that God will put people in my life to speak to me as I need it. As the woman said today, if we do these things with a joyful heart, our family and God will notice. So that's my goal for this week. To try and do everything with a joyful heart.

Friday, April 16, 2010

As Promised...Pictures!

As promised, here are the pictures of our living room re-do. It took a few hours to actually get the stuff in the place we wanted to get it. As you can see (I think) we have wood floors. I use to want wood floors like crazy. I would say, "If I only had wood floors." Now that I have them, I wish I didn't. Wood floors are suppose to look nice. I, for the most part, think they do. However, they seem to need more upkeep than any carpets (including the navy blue carpets in our last rental) we've ever had. Sweeping and moping didn't use to take much effort and work until we got the wood floors.

If you took a tour of our tiny apartment, you'd notice there are area rugs (nicer ones) everywhere. We have the two in the living area (as seen in the picture...the red rug is actually two rugs). In our kitchen, we put a very large rug under our table. If you ask my hubby, it was the best idea he ever had. Most of us know that men don't usually think of those things. My hubby loves to decorate, and does an amazing job at it too. He decorated, picked colors, etc for our place here. However, the rug under the table was my idea. I had been so annoyed with the chairs making awful noises when scooted up to the tables, cleaning, etc with the hardwoods. I begged him to get a rug. He finally decided he'd give in, and now all of a sudden it's his idea. Go figure :) On top of all those rugs that I already stated, we have one in each of the kid's rooms. Genevieve's is purple and HUGE. It covers almost the whole floor in her room. Her room is pretty small, so that helps. The one is Samuel's room is a lot smaller in comparison. It gets the job done, and it looks nice. We don't have a rug in our room because there isn't much floor space after you put our king sized bed, dresser, and night stands in there.

What I started off wanting to say was that wood floors are not fun because of the dust and dirt that collects under furniture. It's not like carpets where you can't see it, or it builds up the way it does on carpet. So as we moved furniture, we had to sweep and mop everything. The dirt and dust was horrible. We use to move our sofa and clean under it once a week. That was before we got our sectional. It's not as easy to move a sectional. So we had let that chore go. It looks like maybe we should put that back on the list for a once a month type job.

I think the pictures from here will speak for themselves. They show what we did, put up, moved, etc. I really like the new lay out, and I'm thinking we won't move it back when the winter hits again. Facing the window from this side of the sofa isn't fun right now, but in the winter, there isn't much sun anyway. So here you promised, the pictures of our room re-do :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dishes, Vacuum, and Laundry...YUCK!

If you ask me if I can keep this up, the answer is no. However, I want to try really, really hard to improve. What is "this" exactly? I want to work on keeping my place clean. It sounds like something stupid and trivial. I mean a 31 year old woman should be able to keep an apartment of this size (only around 900 sq ft). It is my weakness though. If you ask me to list something that I do well and something I need to work on, that would be what I need to work on. They say when you are asked that question in an interview you are suppose to make it something positive or spin it so it is that way. I usually respond with I'm always very punctual with time. I believe that being on time is late. You should always arrive somewhere 5 to 10 mins ahead of time to be ready to work on time. My negative I usually state is something like I care too much. That by making emotional connections with people I work for, with, and help, it makes it hard for me to be objective at times. This shows that I take a personal interest in my work. I take time to make relationships between co-workers, bosses, and those I work to help (usually children or elderly).

If I were answering the same question about being a stay at home mother, it would be a lot different than the last question I just answered. Something I do well in this roll is have fun with my kids. We do so many different things, and I'm always eager to get them into new locations and doing new things. My weakness, cleaning. I don't like to do it, I can't always see what needs to happen, and I am not good at it when I actually do it. I feel like I'm a failure. I can't figure out why my brain is not wired right for cleaning. My husband complains about this a lot actually.

So my goal as of right now is to try and keep the house as clean as I can. I don't know if I need to make a chore list, find some way to organize what I'm doing, or what will even work for me. I am at a loss. If anyone out there has any good ideas, please let me know. I'm willing to try anything just about right now.

Why now? Well for one I'm not getting any younger. I also want to be an example to my kids. I have been on Genevieve for a long time now about her room. I make her pick up her room every night. She is lost. It takes her forever, and she fights every step of the way. I realize that if I set an example for her, she might be more willing to follow. I don't want her to struggle with this the way that I do. So we are moving to being a good example and seeing if that helps. Lets hope it does.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spring is Here!

You can't tell by the weather here just yet, but Spring is here. My husband has had to go to the store to get allergy medicine, and the cleaning bug has hit. We knew when we got our new sectional that the way we set up the living room was only temporary. We had the long end of it in front of the window. We don't have central heating and air here, so we have to use portable AC units in the summer. Some people don't think it gets that hot here, but we like to have our place cooler than it is here. Our walls are made of concrete, and it really gets warm in her quick.

So this was the weekend to do it. We like to undertake big projects when we know we have several days to take care of everything. We happen to have a four day weekend this past weekend, so we went for it. We just didn't do something easy. NO, we had to change everything! It wouldn't be us if we just went for the easy way out. Now that we have everything done though, I really like the new layout. We have one wall that is really bare, but we will find something to add to it.

On top of revamping the living room, we also did the kitchen. We moved some stuff around, organized the cabinets, and cleaned everything from top to bottom. I was so happy that my husband said to move the silverware drawer. I hadn't told him (I knew I'd get laughed at) that I always went to our junk drawer to get my silverware. I am sure it is because in a friend of mine's house, that is where her's is. So now I can go to the drawer and not feel silly anymore.

As for other things, I think detoxing is going better. I have been feeling much better recently. I still think I have a ways to go, but I am getting there. I learned real quick during the last couple of weeks that I don't ever want to have to do that again. I really hope that some of this other medicine I'm on won't cause the same issues when we start to work on getting some of my other medicine on track. Good news for now is that I seems to be doing better.

Pictures to come of the place. I promise.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Detox BLOWS!

I think I mentioned that my meds were being changed around. Well, cold turkey was the way to do it, and that is what I did. I'm less than a week into my detox (will probably take up to two weeks), and this really blows. I have had really bad headaches every day, and I feel like I've been beat up, run over, hit with a bat, and a bunch of other things all at the same time. I am nauseous a lot, and I don't really have a clue when it will start to get better. If I just knew when I'd be over the top of the hill, I think it'd make it easier to deal with. Until then I will just pray that this is that day and hope for the best.

On a side note, today is the 2nd Anniversary of my 30th birthday. :) I told my husband this the other day, and it took him several times of me telling him to get what I was saying. He then proceeded to tell me that it was stupid, and I should just suck it up. I embraced my 30th birthday with ease and open arms. I don't really even mind being 31 either. I guess the big thing that I have trouble getting is that I AM 31. I don't feel even close to 30. I guess that's the issue. I don't feel like I'm old enough to be where I am in life. I don't even remember what I would have said when I were younger. All I know is that life is good, and I'm not complaining. So I again open my arms wide to my birthday, and I am hoping for an amazing year to come. I have learned that life is short, and it seems to speed up the older we get. For that, I am going to try and not waist a single day on the small things.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fools!

So I thought about being really silly and posting that I was pregnant with the twins everyone says I will have. However, I thought twice. Mainly because I know if I do that my luck it will really happen. So no April Fools for me. I just went on about my day like every other.

I find it silly that I'm about to blog about this, but oh well. My life hasn't really been much for blogging recently. I can't tell you how much I am loving my iTouch. I have wanted an iPod for YEARS. I think when they came out with the Nano that was like a small square. I think it was like the 3rd generation. I kept telling my husband I wanted one and would hint at it. He never got me one. I'd go and look and look and look. I always came up empty. He would always say something like, "You know, you probably wouldn't use it after a few days." or "We have a big CD with all this music on it or the DVD is on for the kids." I would always see his side and never push the issue.

We were lucky this year to get into the Sears Heroes At Home program. Every holiday season Sears asks its shoppers if they'd like to round up their total to the nearest dollar and contribute it to this program. I'm sure they get other donations too. They take this money, and they divide it up among all the people who they select for the program. We were amazed at how much money in Sears gift cards we got. Since we didn't really have anything we needed or wanted from there, I told my husband I was getting an iTouch. He didn't like the idea at first, but he finally said okay.

I am happy to report that since getting mine, I have used it at least once every day. I usually use it off and on all day. I got some small speakers that I keep in the kitchen. It makes doing dishes and cleaning up a little easier to deal with when you can listen to some good music. I also use it at bed time. I haven't ever been someone who can fall asleep without something going on in the background. My husband usually goes to bed pretty early due to having to get up so early. I can now watch movies and listen to my books before bed without bothering my husband. The best part is that I don't ever hear him say, "Can you turn it down?"

Like I said, not a lot going on in my life. I'm working with a new doctor to get my headaches under control again. She seems to think I need some different medicines. I guess one that I was on is not good for long term. In fact it can be known to cause headaches after you take them for so long. It was nice to know that maybe my spike in migraines was connected to something that can be fixed. I'm praying that the withdraw from this medicine goes smooth and everything else works out easy. Keep your fingers crossed.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Late Night Sickness

So why is it that just about every time a child gets sick it is at night? It's usually right before bed, and right when you need sleep the most. That is the time it hits. It has not been a good week in our home for sleeping or being well.

On Thursday last week, Samuel decided to break in his car seat in a way that hasn't been done yet. He threw up all in it. It was horrible. Not only did I feel bad for him, but it took a lot to get his seat cleaned. I got him up to the apartment, cleaned up, and put to bed. While he was okay and sleeping, I went down to clean the seat. As soon as I got it cleaned and upstairs, he was sick again all over his crib. That afternoon into the night he went through 7 outfits or PJs, and I went through 3 shirts and 2 bras. Thank goodness I had just bought a few new sports bras. Lucky for me, he finally calmed down and fell asleep for the last time at 9:30. After that he was back to good 'ol Samuel. Nothing else seemed to be wrong.

Tonight I was gone for about an hour setting up for my MOPS meeting tomorrow. I noticed when I pulled up to our place that the bathroom light was on. That is usually odd because the bathroom that faces the parking lot the kids use. We don't usually use it much. I get upstairs and my husband says, "Ohh just in time." I didn't realize what he was talking about until I walked in. Genevieve had just got sick and it was all over the bathroom floor. Yea me! That has been about 2 1/2 hours now, and although she is resting right now beside me on the sofa, she has been up several times to get sick. Change that, she just got back again from the bathroom.

While I don't mind being up with the kids when they are sick, it does make for a really long night, and an even longer next day. See the other one isn't up all night and will not want to sleep late like us. He will be up bright and early at 7 calling for Momma and his Pop Pop. I just can hope that he won't mind lounging on the sofa with his sister and I to watch cartoons or a movie.

Needless to say this is one part of the Momma job I hate. Until recently I hadn't been getting a lot of sleep. Samuel was up a lot, and I still woken up at least once a night. I hadn't had a full nights sleep since he was born. However, it seems like recently (maybe like for a couple of months) he has been sleeping all night. Nine out of ten nights I am not needed once the kids go to bed at their bedtimes. They go to sleep, I hang out with my husband for a couple of hours, we go to bed, and then we all wake up. It has been a great change. It is one I got use to very quickly. Now when I have to be up with the kids, it makes it ten times harder.

It's late now, and I just am going to go on and on about crazy things now. I will just end while I'm ahead (Genevieve laying next to me on the sofa asleep), and try and get some rest too. Sleep tight blogger world :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Right Place, Right Time

If you have been reading my lack of blogging for very long, you know that I feel that I usually end up where I need to be when I need to be there. We have always felt blessed with our duty stations (even if the job wasn't the best) for one reason or another. Even when being there deals us a blow or two, we have always trusted that God knows what he is doing, and we can handle it with his help.

I didn't come across this attitude on my own. My parents always felt this way when I was younger. My Dad decided to go back to school in the early 90s. He felt like he was being called into the ministry. So we moved from our home in Kansas, and moved to Texas. After that, my parents always said they trusted that God would put them in the right place. It really did work out to be that way. We were always in the right place for the time we were there. So by first hand experience, I too believe the same thing.

Needless to say, today was one of those days. It wasn't a move, but it was simply being put into a place to hear a few things I needed to hear. That's right, I went to church :p Church has been a touchy subject for us here. We usually find a church home wherever we are. However, since we have moved here, we have not. We have tried a couple, and they were just not a good fit for us. It's not like we can just go to any church due to the language issues. The churches we have tried so far have not been for us. That's pretty much the long and short of it.

Today we finally made the leap to try out the last church on our list. I am not sure why today was the day. I mean we have been here for almost a year and a half. Why today? Well I will tell you. Because God had a message I needed to hear today. I thought it was funny that when I showed up and looked at the hymns we were singing that my Grams' favorite song was on the list. It makes my heart happy when I hear her song. So I was already in a good mood and ready to listen a little more than before I showed up.

The message was one I'm very familiar with. I'm sure you are too. It was on the story of the Prodigal Son. I have heard this story so many times. I can tell you what the story is, and I can break it down for you too. However, today it was broken down in a way I haven't thought about before. The pastor really wanted us to look at the story from the point of view of the 3 main characters. Then he asked us to think how we could identify with them. I think it is easy to identify with the youngest son. I have been in places in my life where I have done things I'm not real proud of. I have been a person that I don't like. I have sinned and lived a life how I wanted even though it wasn't pleasing to God. I felt what it was like to hit the bottom. I felt what it was like to have to come back to the Father and ask him to forgive me. I felt the joy when I realized that no matter what I had done, God loved me anyway.

The part that really took me by surprise is when he asked us to look at and identify with the oldest son. Now I hadn't really thought about the oldest son much before now. I really didn't give him much thought. The pastor told us to think about if there was a time in our life where we had everything together on the outside. We have done everything we were asked of and done everything that we should. We have stood by our father and helped him no matter what the cost. Then all of a sudden your younger brother comes home, and all you have is resentment and anger inside you. Here you have done everything, and your brother shamed your family. He comes home, and now he gets a party. How do you deal with that?

Well I will tell you that I haven't been dealing with that well. I have carried some resentment in my life for a long time. There has been an ongoing situation in my life that I just could not let go. I would get angry just by the slightest mention of the situation. Now I see the story from a whole new light. I can really relate with this older brother. I know exactly how he felt. I tell you what...It sucks!

Then the pastor went on to say that we can change those feelings with remembering the grace we get. The father in the story told the oldest All that I have is yours. His work and loyalty were not taken away from him. His father was just happy to have his son back the same way God was happy to have me back even after all I had done.

So I have learned today that I need to let go of the resentment in my life. I need to remember that I once was the youngest son (and sometimes I still can be). I need to remember that while being in the shoes of the older brother too, that I am really thankful to have a Father who loves me unconditionally.

Thank you God for such amazing moments in my life!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Recently I have been thinking about the possibility of more kids. I won't ever tell you that I don't love little babies. I absolutely do. Little babies are my weakness. I love the cuddly little babies that just cuddle up to you. It's an amazing thing. My husband made the mistake of saying to me, "You know, if we had a little more money I'd love to have another baby. I miss having a little one around." *insert big eyes here* What?! I was always 100% sure he was done.

However, just like at the beginning, we are split on this. Before we decided to have Genevieve we'd switch off on who had baby fever. First he would and I couldn't even think about it. Then I'd wear down and really love the idea, he wouldn't want kids. It took us almost 4 years of marriage to be on the same page. We always knew Samuel would come quickly after, but never really planned on any more. I always liked the idea of more kids, but just like at the start, I have not worn down, and I feel like our family is complete.

A couple of days ago, we were able to eat lunch alone. I told him I was really surprised that he was feeling like he wanted to add to our little family of four. He said he had just thought about it from time to time. I explained to him that right now I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I can almost reach out and feel the warmth. I'm right there. It seems like the last step is to get Samuel potty trained. It would seem like then that the baby days would be over. I then told my husband that I wasn't so happy to jump back to the end of the tunnel and start over with the up all night, solids, sippy cups, etc.

I guess I could be talked into it eventually if he were serious. I do love those little ones so much to over look all that junk that goes with them. However, I'm looking so much to the future. I am ready for the next stage of our lives. I'm ready to move on with having young children at home and not babies. I'm ready for the days when we can travel without pack n plays, diaper bags, strollers, etc. I am ready to go have fun with my kids and do things that are harder to do with babies. I find this very selfish, and I'm not sure if I even care. I'm ready to move on to a new phase of life, and I'm looking forward to it.

So I will resort to holding other people's babies, and see where that gets me. Maybe I need to have a few over for my husband to hold too.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Having a Baby on a Plane

If we were playing Jeopardy the question would be, "What are two things that stink by themselves and would really blow together?" I came to this conclusion my last trip back and forth.

So on our most recent trip to the US, I realized that the long process of flying international with children (for me alone usually) was closely related to labor. I know what you are thinking. You wonder how two things that are totally different can be related in my head. Well it's your lucky day because I'm going to tell you :)

When I was in labor with Genevieve it was long (16 hours), hard, hurt, etc. Any woman who's been in labor knows what I'm talking about. It takes everything you have to get through it. It is so uncomfortable. I was in so much pain with Genevieve, I couldn't really sleep. My epidural wore off in the middle of labor, and I was dealing with the monster contractions I was having. However, when all was said and done, I had a beautiful baby girl in my arms and couldn't be happier.

When I had Samuel things seemed much easier. I wonder if it was due to knowing what was coming. I was only in labor about 8 hours, and a couple of those were spent just waiting for the doctor to get done with surgery so she could be there. They knew from the time before that once I started to push, it really didn't take long. So she wanted to be ready to go before I started to push. After my water broke, I had horrible back labor. It was one of the worst pains I have felt. However, once the epidural was in, I was fine. I got a few hours of sleep even. Like the first time, by the time it was over, I had a wonderful baby boy in my arms, and it was all worth it.

So how does this relate to my international flights? Well just like this. I realized this trip home that the trips home (on the planes) is like labor. It is hard, no sleep, it down right hurts at times. The trip is long. The trip is hard. The kids don't always sit well for that long, and who would. However at the end of the long day in airplanes, it is worth it. We are either to the US and can't wait to see family and friends, or we are home and ready to get back to our lives.

I'm hoping that as the kids get older the trips don't remind me of labor so much. I am guessing that will be the case. As I tell everyone, my saving grace is that Genevieve loves to fly, listens well, and really doesn't need a lot of one on one time on the plane. The fact that she gets her own TV, cool food that they bring her, and a seat to herself keeps her pretty much happy. For that I am very thankful.

We did make it home from our trip back. It was a long day, and I'm pretty much set on being in Germany for a few more months. I am NOT ready to get back on a plane anytime soon. :) We had a great visit with family and friends. It was nice to see old friends while I was home. I never really realized how much it stinks when you only get to see them once a year and sometimes less than that. All I have to say is thank goodness for the internet :)

For those that sent prayers and thoughts and vibes my way while I was traveling, THANK YOU. I could feel them on my trip. For the most part Samuel did as well as any 2 year old really could. He had his moments, but nothing like it could have been. I keep hoping that things will continue to get better with him and soon it won't be something I dread so much. Maybe it saves money this way because I'm never in a hurry to make that trip :)

I really wonder if I'm the only parent that feels this way? I don't know a lot of people who travel internationally. Some that I do know have given me great advice. However, I wonder if everyone else dreads flights as much as I do. I wonder sometimes if I am being a baby about it. People ask me all the time how and why I do it. It really is simple. I refuse to be held back. I want my kids to feel comfortable, and I want to be able to travel with the kids. I want to be able to do this no matter where I am. I don't ever want to feel like I'm stuck some place. It really is just that simple.

I also need to take a moment (even though I have no clue who he is, and I know he will never read this) to thank a nice man who helped me more than he knows. When we got to Germany, a couple of people helped me off the plane with my kids and stuff. When I got to baggage claim the man saw me again, and came over to load my bags on the cart for me. Realizing (and relieved I think) that I wasn't taking a train or anything, he offered to push the bags to the van for me. He helped me all the way out to our van. I really am thankful for people like this. I could have made it, but it would have been hard. He really made my morning, and I'm thankful for him.

Overall, it was an amazing trip home. We all had a great time, and we got to see and do a lot. All that said, I'm so glad to be home. I missed this place, my home, my friends, my HUSBAND, etc. I am resting up and trying to forget the long process so I will be okay buying my tickets and heading home in June. We aren't headed all the way back to family, but we are going to Nashville to be with my sister while she has her own baby. The kids are ready for a cousin (Genevieve wants to name the baby Peanut Banana Pants), and I'm ready to see and spend time with Sarah again.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Like Old Times

My trip has been fun so far. I have done so much in such a short amount of time. It seems like that is the way it always is when I'm visiting home. Of course I don't come home that often, and I'm not able to see people on a regular basis. That makes for time home to be full of visiting with friends and family. I like it that way because it makes the time go quickly. Thirty days doesn't always seem like a lot, but boy is it at times. When you pack it full of visits, trips, and fun stuff, it makes it go much quicker.

This past week was a blast from the past. A friend of mine came to see me. I haven't seen her in about 3 1/2 to 4 years. It's amazing how fast that time can go. It really doesn't seem like it has been that long. Her husband and my husband were stationed at Ft Riley at the same time. She lived in the apartment above me. We spent a lot of time together at first by default. Both our husbands were deployed at the same time. We would go eat dinner together (much nicer doing dinner with friends than alone), shopping, movies, etc. We were really close by the end of the deployment. We have stayed in contact for all these years (7 years).

My friend and I really enjoyed the time without the kids. We went to many movies. We had a total movie experience. We saw a movie the regular way, on 3D IMAX, and then in a luxury theater. They had big leather recliners, and they gave you $15 in food credit. Nothing beats dinner and a movie when they are together and in one place.

I still have a lot to do while I'm home. It seems like the kids and I have been back for a month already with everything we've done. We still have a couple of weeks to go. I'm ready to get home and go back to "normal." I am ready to have my husband back. I don't even need the help with the kids, I just want to have him around. I'm sure most of us can relate or understand. However ready I am to go home, I am still very excited for the rest of my time here. I can't wait to spend time with my best friend, and I still have a hair appointment left. I know it will be a bittersweet day when it is time to get back on the plane and make my journey back across the ocean to home.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Just for You (you know who you are)

So I was told by a friend that reads my blog that I need to do more updates :) I didn't realize anyone really read my blog on a regular basis, and I'm so happy that some do. So this one is for know who you are.

Things with our family have been good. After the crazy couple of months that include Thanksgiving, two birthdays, and Christmas we have calmed down a bit. We just got things at the house back to normal, and then it was time for the kids and I to make a trip back to the US. I know that those that know me know how much I hate flying. I really do. My husband was laughing at me this trip. He saw that I didn't eat much the night before, and he noticed I took a sleeping pill before bed. He said he honestly didn't realize that I hated it that much. Not only did I have the fear of the flight itself, but also the last trip with the kids back was still fresh in my mind even though it was over 8 months ago. I don't think anyone would forget a horrible trip like that. I was terrified of a repeat.

The morning went well at the airport, and we didn't have too many issues getting to our gate and on the plane. Both kids were really excited about the plane and getting on it. However when the jets roared to life, it scared Samuel really bad. He started to cry, but I got him calmed down pretty quick. A friend of mine let me use a DVD player she had. That thing saved my life. It had a 7 hour charge to it. The flight was 8 1/2 hours long. We didn't use it when he was napping, eating, or walking around. It saved just enough time on it for our second flight while we were waiting to pull back from the gate.

I still got off the plane tired, looking like I had been through a fight, and ready to be in a bed. The biggest change was that I did not have to deal with a child that was screaming the whole time. I keep hoping that it will be the same when we go back. I am hoping I didn't use up all my luck this trip.

We got back a week ago, and we have already packed a lot into a week. When we first got here, my cousin was here with her kids. Her older girl and Genevieve are the same age apart as my cousin and I. We watched the girls as they played and did stuff together. It was like looking at us when we were little. They really had a great time, and I wish we could get them together more often. We have also done a little shopping at those stores we can't go to in Germany (i.e. WalMart, Target, etc). We have had fun being with family, and we even made Pappy cupcakes for his birthday yesterday.

This week is going to be fun for me. I'm headed up to Kansas City to see a friend of mine. We are going to enjoy several days of kid free fun. I really can't wait. I will for sure keep you posted of what all fun we find to get ourselves into.