Tuesday, April 22, 2014

No Good Deed....

Goes Unpunished!!!

So I have disappeared for a bit... again.  It is a little hard to want to write when I spend my days writing about my day to Marc in letters.  I feel like that is journal enough and not everyone needs to hear about my everyday life.  It is quite thrilling and is filled with working, working out, and maybe a funny cat story.  My life is certainly fascinating!  However, I will have to post about working out though because I have some pretty fantastic news about that but it will have to wait until I get my newest test results next week.

So while Marc has been away at BMT (bootcamp), I have thrown myself into various projects to keep from going crazy.  This may or may not have been a successful adventure.  Anyway, one of my projects was being the best Air Force wife ever!  Not only was I going to write my husband every day but I would find those that were struggling and send them lovely words of encouragement.  I was able to get names through a Facebook group and Marc even sent me a list of guys he thought could use some encouragement.  Most of the names on the list were simply last names and I had to do some recon work to find first names.  I was only successful with a few.  One of the first names I found was Kortney.  I thought I immediately knew why this lovely lass would need some encouragement because being the only girl would be really tough!  I wrote this lovely phrase, "There aren't very many women brave enough to face that and I admire you for it."  Not only did I send an encouraging letter but I went above and beyond and recruited Melissa's family as well.  This girl was going to get 6 letters encouraging her on in her BMT experience.  I have been a little excited at just how supportive I was as an Air Force wife.  I was rocking it!

Tonight Marc got to call home and it was a short 10 minutes and then he was gone.  However, I will get to see him next week.  I was reading through the comments on the Facebook page to see how other phone calls had gone.  I was more than a little stunned to see that a mom wrote about how wonderful her conversation had been with her son and how proud she was of him.  This SON happened to be Kortney.  Yep..... I about crawled under a rock and died.  Thankfully, only my letter had arrived and I was able to cancel Melissa's letters before they could cause any real damage.  I will be writing an apology letter tonight and hopefully I will be able to get this permanent red coloring off of my face soon.  Yeah.... no good deed!

Friday, January 31, 2014

The 11 & The 19


            Yesterday marked the 7 month anniversary of a tragedy that struck my home community.  This is a day that I haven’t ever been able to write about or explain the feelings that I had.  The horrific events of that day left our community united, heartbroken, and desperate for answers.  For on June 30, 2013 19 firefighters from the Granite Mountain Hotshots lost their lives in the Yarnell Fire.  That morning I had been in the presence of one of those men’s fathers.  I typically don’t find myself in fire stations but on that morning I had to go because my finger had swollen to the point that my wedding ring needed to be cut off.  I was there mere hours before that man would lose a son, a boy that I had gone to high school with.  It was a devastating time for our community and yet it brought a unity that couldn’t be described.  Rather than three separate cities, we were one and were united in honoring those fallen men.  The rodeo and the 4th of July parade were used to honor those fallen heroes and many tributes still stand today.  There are still 19 purple ribbons tied to the fence of Chino Valley High School and there is a spot in the baseball dugout dedicated to honor Wade Parker. 

            I haven’t ever written about these events because I didn’t feel I could do the situation or those men justice.  These were men with families, wives, children, fianc├ęs, etc.  These were good men and we mourn their loss.  I didn’t write this because I suddenly felt like I had to the words to describe the situation, these men, my feelings, or any of it.  However, tonight I was able to pay homage to these men and I wanted to express those feelings.

            In June 1973, 11 volunteer firefighters lost their lives.  These men were from Kingman, Arizona and one of them was a principal at the time.  Last year Kingman opened a new high school and in honor of this man it was named Lee Williams High School and their mascot is the volunteers.  Tonight they held a silent night basketball game.  Though I have grown up around the sport, I was unaware of what that would even mean.  A silent basketball game????  During this basketball game the crowd is asked to be silent (no cheering, clapping, or any sound) until the team has scored 11 points.  Last year was the first time for this event and tonight marked the second.  I was curious because I wondered if a gym-full of people could really be silent and to pay their respects to those who have lost their lives.  I was amazed to find that they were silent, even the Lee Williams coach hardly made noise and would only direct the players if he absolutely needed to.  It was amazing to watch.

            I walked in thinking of the 19 men from my community and continued to think about them until the 11th point was made.  It was made off a 3 point shot with about 2-3 minutes left in the first quarter.  I could see the firefighters in uniform across the gym as the crowd erupted in applause.  And then I couldn’t see them anymore as my eyes misted over.  It was an incredible feeling in that room and something that I won’t soon forget.  It was an honor to be there tonight and it is with great respect that I honor those 30 men.  Their last call has come and gone but as we remember and honor them then they are always in our hearts.  God bless the 11 and the 19.

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Week Late

So my goal was to blog weekly but I think my new goal will be to average a blog post a week.  This last week has been crazy for our family and full of lots of new changes.  I started my new job today and am excited for this next chapter.

I spent a lot of time this week sewing and my straight lines are getting much straighter.  I got to impress Marc with my engineering and building skills.  I have epically failed at making one of the dinners for next week.  I have laughed and almost cried.  I have enjoyed the quiet moments and tried to make snuggle time happen more often.  However, the kitties have started sleeping under blankets and so sometimes snuggle time is ruined because I accidentally kick someone or sit on them when I get into bed.  I don't know why we have this new habit but we are trying to make it work for everyone.

I have finished Just Ella by Annette K. Larsen and I LOVED IT!  I am now reading "Bewitched" by Alex Flinn who is one of my favorite authors.  That means that I have finished by two books for January.  I am hoping to get our keyboard set up this next week so the piano practicing can start.  Next week I also plan on coming home from work and hopefully working out like an hourish every day.  I am super excited and can't wait to see what it does for my weight loss goals.  It has been a good couple of weeks and lets hope the next few are good as well.

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year's Resolutions

So once again our lives went on hold and I stopped blogging.

Marc finally has a contract with the United States Air Force and he will be working in Intelligence.  It wasn't the job we were hoping for but I think it will be really good for our family and we have grown to become excited about this new challenge.  Marc will leave for Basic Military Training on March 4th in San Antonio, Texas.  He will then do 5 months of training in Sierra Vista, Arizona and then 5 months Pensacola, Florida.  From my understanding I couldn't live with Marc during any of that time and so I will be waiting a year to see where our first post is.

However, I should be hearing at the end of this week if I have employment as an educational interpreter and that will be a journey all of its own.  It is the first time that I will truly be living alone and I guess we will see how independent I truly am.  I was worried about how I would spend my year and so I made a list of 14 goals for 2014.  These are things that I want to work on through out the year to keep me busy and maybe I won't miss my husband quite so much!

These are numbered though not in any particular order:

1 - Lose 70 pounds

I know it is tacky to list weight loss as a New Year's goal because everyone does that and no one ever sticks to it.  However, I have already lost 12-15 pounds and I want to keep the momentum going.

2 - Workout Regularly

I would love to work out 6 days a week and that will be my goal.  I will mix up some cardio and some strength training.

3 - Eat Better

I would like to eat clean but I need it to be doable eating.  So we will start small and try to stick to an 80/20 rule.

4 - Read the Book of Mormon

Last year I read the scriptures every day but I started with a smaller book.  This year I want to keep the momentum going.

5 - Read a Book or Two Every Month

I have some how lost the joy in reading a book.  School beat that out of me and so I want to get started again.  I technically cheated for the month of January because I finished two books on New Years Day.  I finished "The Four Agreements" by Miguel Ruiz and "Between the Lines" by Jodi Picoult.  However, since then I have read "Sleeping Beauty's Daughters" by Diane Zahler and I just started "Just Ella" by Annette K. Larsen.

6 - Make Friends

Over the last few years we have really struggled to make any real friends.  We don't fit the typical mold for what is expected in our culture and that can make things hard.  I am hoping that we are both able to find individuals that we click with over the next year and make some lasting friendships.

7 - Play the Piano

This has been a skill that I haven't used in quite awhile.  I was embarrassed by my lack of talent and therefore stopped playing and now I have even less of a talent.  I don't want anything huge or grand but I want to enjoy playing again FOR ME.

8 - Save Money

This has been something that we have worked on over our marriage and I am excited to put some of our plans into action this year.  I want to set aside some money for the future and I want to set aside some money for us to be able to play.  Marc and I want to go on a cruise for our 5 year anniversary and I want to see if I can make that happen.  (Especially because our 5 year anniversary will occur after we have spent a year living apart!!!)

9 - Enjoy the Quiet Moments

I want to take time every day to just be still.  No music, no tv, no phone, no distractions.  I want to enjoy the moments of holding a sleeping cat or listening to the birds chirp.

10 - Write Marc Daily

I don't want our separation to separate us.  So I plan on writing Marc every day.  It might be a letter or maybe an email but I want to be able to share as much about what is going on at home as possible.  I know he won't be able to write back daily but this is my goal!

11 - Blog Weekly

I don't want to hide anymore.  I always get scared when our lives are in the air but then I miss the little things.  I want to have a history of our lives and remember all of the times that we have shared together.

12 - Become Nationally Certified

This will be the most challenging goal this year and the one that I can't completely control.  But I can do my part and study and prepare myself.  This will be crucial to have before our first post so that I can work anywhere in the United States.  Right now I could do that in an educational setting (minus two states) but I want to have as many doors open as I possibly can!

13 - Make More Time for My Kiddos

I don't have any kiddos if you use the real world description.  However, I have lots of little ones in my life that I care about very, very much.  Some of these are my niece and nephews, some are my kitties, and some are kids that I have adopted through the library.  I want these kiddos to know how important they are to me and I can do that through giving my time.  It might be a FaceTime conversation or maybe a letter in the mail.

14 - Thrive in the Year Apart

I don't want this to be a year that I simply survive.  I want to grow and develop and thrive this year.  I want to try new things and meet new people.  I want to develop talents and enjoy working on the house.  I want to make this a very full year of wonderful things.

Wish me luck!!!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Working Out

Okay, so the average person doesn't understand what it means that I can workout again.  It has been three years of absolutely no exercise because of how badly my body reacts to it.  I don't mean getting flush and being sore but losing my ability to walk or other such fun side effects.  I quickly realized that one day of working out didn't equal three days of being in bed.  However, the medicine that I have been taking causes weight gain and I wasn't able to combat it properly.  It has really been a struggle for me.

However, some of my friends from high school were going to do a 90 day challenge starting in September and I didn't want to be left behind.  I didn't tell any of them that I was doing the challenge too but I couldn't stand being left out.  So I told Marc that I really wanted to do a modified challenge and then in 90 days I could start the real thing.  The first several days I took things really slow and I modified several exercises but I kept going.  I definitely needed DoTerra oils to get through the day (Lavender is my best friend!!!) but I could keep going.  Without too much time passing I was able to do the exercises for real and I started seeing results.  Today I completed day 47 of working out in a row.

Though I was seeing my size change I wasn't seeing the same thing happen on the scale.  So I started focusing on my nutrition and what was going into my body as well as my working out.  I have now easily lost over 5 pounds (after eating all day I weigh in at 5 pounds lost) and have been able to fit into jeans that I had given up on.  I still have a long way to go but I focus on today and what I can do in the moment.  Every night I check things off the list that I have completed and I have done a pretty good job of sticking to the rules that I have set.  It is really exciting to feel sore in the morning but from muscles growing rather than cramping all night long.  I am excited for this next chapter in my life and seeing what a difference it can make.  I can't wait to be in the best shape of my life!!!

As a side note, Marc started doing this challenge with me and was amazed at how hard it was!!  He has been the best supporter ever!!  However, now that he is working two jobs he doesn't do the workouts with me any more.  He does continue to ask about what I am doing and encouraging me to finish every day.  I sure love him!!

Loop Holes

Over the three years of our marriage (well particularly the last two and half) Marc has gone for different career paths with different departments.  We always prayed about each career move and felt really good about each one.  However, time after time we found ourselves going nowhere fast.  I was starting to question whether we were capable of getting revelation because we had clearly gotten it wrong so many times!  I mean how many times can you get turned down when knowing it was the right thing to do?  When Marc talked about wanting to go military I wasn't super thrilled but eventually got onboard with the decision.  I knew it was right for our family and though it wouldn't always be fun it would be worth it.  And the best part???  Once you actually sign the contract then it is a done deal.  Well Marc signed the contact and we just had to wait for the October jobs to roll out, waiting wasn't anything new so we waited.  And guess what..... the government shut down.  Seriously, it happened and guess what there were no October jobs.  I know that I can't take the credit for the government shut down but someone in heaven must think it is funny.  I must not have learned my lesson in patience and it must not have been highly looked upon that I was trying to find ways around being rejected again.  Really, all the shut down meant for us was more waiting.  Marc will still leave and this new life will still start.  However, I have learned that nothing is impossible.  So I will stop trying to find loop holes and maybe that will make things smoother in the future....

This ability to try and find loop holes also comes in us not having children.  All of our married friends that were married about the time we were either have two kiddos or just announced that their new bundle of joy is on their way (the last one announced tonight).  I am so happy for their families but I wish that I could have that same happiness in our home.  Marc and I have been married for three and half years now and thanks to my endometriosis we haven't had that miracle yet.  And in Mormon culture we have been married FOREVER and I constantly get asked about kids and our plans.  Now I can't express how grateful I am for the progress that we have made over the years.  Three years ago I spent most days in bed, unable to move, unable to care for myself.  I now am strong enough that I can workout again.  I won't be running any marathons any time soon but I can go for a run and not end up in bed.  Miracles have happened in our lives and progress has been made.  However, I am not patient as I wait for God's timing.  My heart aches every year as I watch the Primary Program (in fact some years I just stay home) or as Mother's Day passes (again the same thing!).  However, my little family is perfect the way it is and one day that perfection will include kiddos.  Until then, I will continue snuggling with the kitties and claiming other people's children as my own.  And I guess I should stop trying to find loop holes here too and find joy in the journey.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Waiting for Normal

I have finally admitted to myself why I haven't been able to blog for months and it is because I am waiting for our lives to get back to normal.  I was waiting for the school semester to be over and for Christmas Break to come and then Marc dropped the bombshell about the military.  I kept waiting for that to pass but it never did and after months and months of research we found a branch and a jobs that we liked and would fit our family.  But then I was waiting for a ship out date for BMT (it still hasn't come).  Then I was waiting until I had graduated again and our lives would slow down.  Then I was waiting until the kiddos came this summer and then I was waiting until the kiddos left this summer.  Then I was waiting for employment options to change and still waiting for the military.  First it was waiting for MEPS, then DLAB, and then October 1st.

But in all that time of waiting for some sense of normal and some sense of having a plan for the future our lives were still happening and I wasn't documenting it.  I have a few posts about Marc written up, things that made me smile or laugh.  But most of it will go undocumented and that is a shame.  I think our future is going to be filled with times that aren't normal or maybe that is the new norm for us and I want to write through those times, even when I don't have answers or plans.

Marc is doing really well.  He had a rough summer of mostly veggies and is finally back to eating somewhat normal.  My twig of a husband was declared "overweight" by military standards because he has too much muscle.  He had to lose 10 pounds and quick!  He has lost the weight and now works on just maintaining his weight.  He has recently started working construction and that means 16-17 hour days for him.  He is so cheerful regardless of the sleep he gets and dinner time has become very important.  He gets off of work about the same time I do, so we eat together and then he heads off to bed.  I try to work on the house or get things done while he sleeps but I also try to be as quiet as a church-mouse.  It is an interesting combo.  Marc has gotten a few new cuts and bruises from his work but he seems excited about his day again and I get to hear all about it.  IT IS FABULOUS!  We still don't know when he will leave for BMT but it is looking like after Christmas at this point.  We just keep being patient and know that there is timing in all things.  It will all work out like it should.  However, it makes planning things really difficult because we have no idea what will happen or when. Oh well!

This summer was awesome.  We spent every possible minute in Chino with the kiddos and Melis.  We did all sorts of fun things but also just enjoyed time together.  Melissa and I worked on some family history stuff, the kiddos showed me their cool tricks on the trampoline, we vegged, we played.  It was incredible and went by way too fast!  I definitely had withdrawals when they left but they are off on a new adventure now.

In other news, the rumor mill spread word that we had moved this summer.  Though we hadn't moved at all.  This has made "coming back" a little hard because several people had their feelings hurt that we didn't tell them we had moved.  But again, we hadn't moved.  No one seems to get that second part and we are working on getting back into the groove of things with our ward.  It will all work out.  I did learn that if you want to be released then you just fake move and it all works out!  A cool trick that I didn't know before.

We were also able to make one final trip to Utah before Eric left for the MTC.  It was a really nice couple of days and it was great to see the Dennis' again.  I got to participate in the very famous crochet games and I even won!  It was awesome to let Marc and Eric have some time together.  The two would stay up late and hang out every minute that they possibly could.  We got to go on a double date with Eric and the best part of the trip was going to the SLC Temple as a family.  That was an amazing experience that I will never forget.

I am doing good.  I have found some hiccups along the road to becoming an interpreter but I am still as tenacious as ever and haven't given up just yet.  This system definitely messed with the wrong girl!  I have finally been able to work out for the first time in 3+ years.  It has been hard coming back but it is so cool to feel muscles growing again and to be sore in a good way.  Occasionally I have to be careful with my workouts and I definitely listen to my body but it feels so good to be active again.  Marc has been right there by my side and we struggle through these workouts together.  Today was day 27 for me and I am definitely getting there.  I have lost a few pounds and a few inches already and as time continues I hope to see those numbers rise or drop depending on how you look at it.

The animals are all good.  In preparation for a military life we found Tucker a new home.  It wasn't fair to him to move it that often and he wouldn't have gotten the love and attention from Marc that he deserved.  It was a hard decision but it was right.  The dogs are currently at my parents house and have been for a few months now.  Mikkel really wanted another dog after Rowdy died but with him leaving for college in two years it just didn't make sense.  So he has ours for however long he wants them and then they can come back eventually.  The kitties are happy and don't even seem to notice not having the dogs around.  We are a happy little bunch.

Okay, so I will try to blog on a more "normal" basis but things are definitely not normal around here.  However, I don't want our lives to go on without being documented again.  I don 't want to lose the memories.  Wish me luck!