Friday, March 21

Writing Contest

So, during my blog travels last night around the world we know as the internet I stopped off at Jen Lancaster's place - Jennsylvania. I love to stop by and visit "with" her periodically because she absolutely cracks me up. I mean, snickering so loud in a waiting room (while reading her book) patients are commenting. Quite the comic genius in her writings.

Anyhow, evidently Jen was to sick to be her normally witty and creative self so she opened up a writing contest about a personal weight story - gained, lost, whatever. 500 words or less. I figured "What the Hay?" because the prize is an autographed copy of her newest book. And as I said earlier, she cracks me up. I have to try and I love her stuff.

This is my story. Definitely not motivational. It's not good or bad but somewhat indifferent. Kind of the way I've approached by weight.

I have always obsessed over my weight and here I sit writing about my non-committal attitude towards actually doing something about it. I haven’t always been overweight. In fact, I was a “string-bean” with knobby knees all through school and still I obsessed thinking I was too skinny. Now, the bigger boobs seem to act as a counterbalance so most people don’t notice the extra weight. I do.

Whether I’m conscientiously eating a nice healthy salad or downing an entire sleeve of Thin Mint cookies I constantly think about my weight. I think about what I need to do to get back on track and lose the 25 – 30 pounds I picked up along the way. I think about trying the “Mind Over Matter Weight Management System - Just think yourself thinner!” No I’m not an idiot, but I swear it’s happened before. When I was younger it seemed all I had to do was think about losing weight and, in the words of Emeril “BAM!”, the fat just fell right off. Nowadays the exact opposite occurs, I just think about those Peanut M&Ms and through the scientific process of osmosis those M&Ms somehow show up on my thighs.

Honestly, I have started to monitor my food intake because my doctor told me I’d probably have a longer, higher quality life without all the bread and cheese. Come on! I’m a Midwestern girl these things are dietary staples. All kidding aside, my cholesterol count was too high and my triglycerides were over the top. I’ve tried to cut fried foods out as much as possible and replace them with healthier alternatives. Other than the scheduled monthly chocolate requirement, snacks now include baby carrots, tomatoes and sugar-snap peas – sans dressing. Sadly, I haven’t lost much weight with my lower (complex)carb, lower cholesterol dining habits but I have to admit I do feel better and have more energy. I think I can even feel the blood flow more freely through my arteries.

Recently, I have been mentally (not yet physically) moving myself towards that four letter word… can I say it… EXERCISE! Wait! That’s nine letters. Anyway, I already have the elliptical, Pilates machine, exercise ball as well as a variety of exercise videos so I really don’t have any excuses. Except - when do I truly have time to exert this kind of energy and move my body? Full-time job, two kids, dog and cat aside, I suppose my nightly blog activity could be completed earlier in order to go to sleep at a decent hour thus enabling an earlier start to the day and take an early morning walk. It seems feasible.

So I guess it’s time to act, set the alarm a ½ hour earlier and start moving in some form or fashion. I really don’t have to like it I just have to do it. Hey! The morning walk may even tire my ever energetic, non-stop three year old son. Now that’s incentive!

Thursday, March 20

Questions, Questions, & More Questions

  1. What color is your bra? - Black w/frisky comments in fuschia, pink, purple

  2. Do you straighten your hair everyday? - No, it's bad to do it everyday

  3. Do you worry about the size of your boobs? - Not really. However I'd like to be able to button a blouse all the way - I have to wear a tank 'cause normal shirts just don't fit over these things

  4. What’s your favorite girly magazine? -

  5. Would you kill for chocolate? - No, but I would trip them, grab the candy & run

  6. Jeans or Skirts? - Jeans.

  7. Do you wear clothes/shoes/jewelry that’s uncomfortable? - Sadly yes. I'm such a slave to fashion - HA! But yes.

  8. Did you ever spend all day/night getting pretty for a guy? - Yup, my wedding day

  9. Did you ever cry during a romantic movie? - Of course

  10. Would you leave the house without makeup on? - Yeah, usually Home Depot runs

  11. Do you consider making out “unladylike”? - No way

  12. On a scale of 1-10, how fun is shopping? - Books are a definite 10

  13. Are you spoiled? - Don't think so

  14. Do you think lip gloss is the best? - Don't use it.

  15. Do you freak out if you miss your favorite show? - Ya - Jericho

  16. Do you yell a lot? - Embarrassed to say Yes. @ Ben mostly. Makes me sad to admit it.

  17. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? - W/shower 1 hour, without 40 minutes, w/Ben around anywhere between 1 - 3 hours (honestly)

  18. Do you wear sweatpants/pajama pants to school/work? - No. Pajama pants in public - come on, I'm an adult.

  19. Accessories make the outfit; true or false? - True!

  20. Is pink truly the best color in the entire universe? - I love pink, but no.

  21. Lip gloss a must? - Not at all

  22. Status? - Sleepy and stupid for staying up so late

  23. Have you ever dressed unlike yourself to impress a guy? - No.

  24. Do you often wish there was something you could change about yourself? - Yes, I'd like to finish something

  25. Gold or silver? - Both. As long as its white gold

  26. The guy that you like/love/whatever, what does his name begin with? - J

  27. Do you dress up too much for holidays? - No, though I wish I had the opportunity

  28. Do you like wearing dresses? - No, I'm with Sandi on this one. You have to sit like a lady with a dress on. Ugh!

  29. Do you write a lot of mushy love poems? - Uh, No(t anymore)

  30. What makeup could you not live without? - Bare Minerals Foundation

Tuesday, March 18

Greetings from Iraq!

Yea! Slept really well last night could be due to the blessing of wonderful dreams of Jerry =) Had warm fuzzies all day thinking of him. All in all a great day!

Praying for good dreams again.

Monday, March 17

Heart is Breaking Tonight

Recently, I have found it difficult to even visit some of the other Navy wives I frequest. Most times I receive support from their words of wisdom and even just knowing others are out there with the same circumstances is comforting. When a wife (or family) is in need I pray - I think its important people realize they are cared for and prayed over. But as I mentioned earlier, I have had a hard time visiting some of these posts.

The last few days visiting with these websites, I have come to miss my best friend even more. It seems that although I read stories from women around the country (even overseas) it makes the distances between Jerry and I so much more. More what? Real? Inconceivable? Far away? Expansive. I find it difficult to comment as I do not want my downward mood to effect others. Although here I am posting it tothe world.

I miss talking to him about the little stuff of life. The flowers blooming, the crack in the windshield, the rocks collected on walks. I think most of all I miss his presence. Just to know he was here in the house or just across the state line was bearable. An ocean? It's just too huge to comprehend.

It seems once a month (hmmmm... that seems kind of pattern like) it dawns on me how very far away he is. Sending a care package was even bittersweet. It's nice to know he will open the box and touch the same items I had touched. He'll enjoy the cookies sent and pictures Ben made for him. To see his expression when he pulls the picture of Ben's self portrait would be heaven.

This journal is my release and I'm hoping it helps enough to relieve the stress enough to enjoy a full night's sleep. Good night.

Sunday, March 16

The ULTIMATE Peep Show!

I had to keep the Peeps theme running around. I received this from one of my sisters at my work email and to see the Subject line, I was a little taken aback (same as Blog Title). I don't know who put this together but very clever indeed!

Enjoy the Peep show and check out those chicks - Wow!

Friday, March 14

I Just Knew It...

So guess what? My prediction for the spring forecast was correct (see previous blog) - I went & screwed it all up. We've been ranging the mid to low 80s for the past week(s) and its been kind of nice to work in the yard and work on some color before swimsuit season.

Weather person indicated during the news earlier this morning, "If you have outdoor stuff for the weekend, get it done on Saturday." Evidently, our high for Saturday will be around 78 and sunny (not altogether odd for AZ). But Sunday, high of 64, cloudy with chance of rain.

Maybe I should do the ultimate outdoor activity and wash my car just to clinch the inclement weather around the corner. I guess Ben and I will work on getting the backyard mowed and trimmed before grass & weeds are too high to deal with. (see the weeds over there under Ben's right hand - it's in his sandbox)

For those of you with temps below 64 - I do not mock our low temps or believe them to be even close to yours. I just don't want to give up my shorts so soon - I was kind of enjoying the shorts and tank weather.

Thursday, March 13

Spring Has Arrived

Now that I have absolutely jinxed the entire spring process for the Sonoran Desert...

It is spring here in the SW Desert known as Sonora. My job frequently takes me to different places throughout the state and I love this area. Yes, the summer is hot, sweltering hot but as they say it is a dry heat and as long as you drink lots of water survival is easy. Anyhow, my travels are very routine and frankly the sometimes 3 hour one way drives can get monotonous to say the least. I have taken to looking at the map and trying to differ my routes to various state highways and other roads.

Earlier this week, I took my camera with me and was able to snap a couple pictures of spring taking over the hills. Poppies cover numerous hillsides and bright purple, yellow and red flowers color the local roadways. I am always impressed by the palette of vibrant colors available for my senses to experience here in the desert. Aside from the recent cool weather (mid 80s), spring is the best time to experience the Sonoran Desert.

As I travel throughout the state, I will bring my camera and hopefully introduce my readers to the wonders of my home. Soon, our state tree, the Palo Verde (spanish for green stick) will start to bloom and I'll do my best to show them in their glory.

Wednesday, March 12

A Couple of Weeks Ago... (Part II)

(continued from March 9, 2008 posting)
So Ben and I climbed aboard a train earlier in the morning and arrived in Oxnard, CA later in the evening. As noted Jerry and I had wonderful Alaskan Cod from a small restaurant in Ventura, fell asleep and woke up the next morning together.

After Jerry headed off for another day of duty, Ben and I remained in bed asleep for a couple more hours. Rested, showered and dressed for a cool California day we awaited Jerry's return to our hotel room. He arrived later that morning and we all headed to the Santa Barbara zoo. Upon seeing the ocean and filling my senses with a cool ocean breeze all of the stress from the previous four months were blown away by that same breeze. I miss the smell and constant sound of the ocean waves crashing on the shore. Anyway, I digress.

Sadly, the day was cloudy, windy and from time to time fairly rainy. We strolled through the zoo enjoying the cool breezes and exotic animals prowling about. Giraffes, gibbons, leopards, parrots, elephants and numerous other mammels and amphibiens were on hand to attract the attention of our excitable three year old. Ben is partial to otters. We aren't sure why but he absolutely loves otters and it doesn't matter what zoo he's in the otters hold his typically sound-byte length attention.

My amazement was held by the lush greenery and tropical flowers through out the zoo. I couldn't get enough of the colors and waxy looking petals. In fact, the family was separated several times due to my photo safari through out the afternoon. In a matter of seconds my men would be around the corner and up the next hill before I even noticed they were gone. Hmmmmm.... alone time? Okay, I have to say I wasn't in a hurry to catch up. In fact, I wasn't in a hurry at all the entire time we were in California.

Once the rain started to fall a little harder and for longer periods of time we decided to pack it in and find a place to eat. But not before visiting the nearby beach. Ben fell asleep in the car so I kicked off my tennies, rolled up my pants and went for a walk. Jerry hung back in the truck just in case Ben woke up while I splashed in the cold surf. Again, even more stress was released from both body & mind.

Jerry drove us "home" to Ventura and he introduced us to Ericsson's Ventura, California. The restaurant itself is located on the boardwalk over the beach. From what I understand the restaurant was originally situated at the end of the pier but was beaten by the watery fury of mother nature. Waves. =) Anyway, our evening began on the deck of the bar with a couple of cocktails and some wonderful calamari (Ben's favorite). Once the restaurant opened we were seated at a window table in the corner - one hundred and eighty degrees of ocean beauty. Aside from the antics of an extremely tired 3 year old who refused to sit in his chair, dinner was wonderful.

Again, we ended up in the hotel room, as a family, getting ready for bed. We snuggled, slept comfortably until the next morning when once again we awoke... together.

FYI - for more pictures from our trip (and others) click here for photos by Just Laura. They are a little disorganized but there for enjoyment by all.

Tuesday, March 11

News from abroad

Jerry called this morning. He has arrived at his final destination since leaving the states 2 weeks ago. He is well but very tired. Long duty days. Chow is great where he's at. The ever loved iPod has gone missing after the long trip. Currently in tents but will be housed in 2 man rooms. Once he's at "home" he'll set up the computer so we can visit together via web-cam and read books to Ben.

Keep your prayers coming!

Get Well Soon

Virtual flowers for an online dot.comrade. From a real bouquet @ friends party.
Hope you are up and around the LemonadeStand soon.

Monday, March 10

A Couple of Weeks Ago... (Part I)

So... I lied. It is now March 10th and I'm just getting to this. My bags aren't even unpacked yet - does that help?

A couple of weeks ago Ben and I boarded a train @ 2:30 in the morning in order to visit Jerry for Family Weekend. At 2:32 we climb aboard the sleeper car with way too many carry ons, change for bed and sit to watch the moonlit scenery whiz past the windows of our car. Much to my disdain Ben is way too excited to sleep and keeps making comments about the view. In order to paint a better picture he is on the top bunk peeking through a one inch gap between his mattress and the window. Yak, yak, yak - I seem to recall a time when I was waiting (& wanting) my baby boy to say his first words. After several pleadings I have somehow cajoled Ben into remaining quiet for 20 minutes. Once an acceptable amount of time has passed and I'm positive he's sleeping, I relax enough for sleep to wash over me.

Jolted out of the falling asleep feeling is a tiny voice calling out "Mama, me sleep with you?". What can I say? My 24" bunk has way too much room for me to sleep comfortably. The rest of the night, I am perched on the edge of the bunk on my side while sleepy noises come from the foot side of my bunk. At least someone got a good nights rest - even though it was only for 3 hours.

Around 6:30 I woke up to a beach side view. Am I on the wrong train? No, we were passing by the Salton Sea - heard of it but never saw it before. Ben wakes up shortly after and wants to go for a walk. We dress and head to breakfast in the dining car. Fully re-fueled we are touring the train and take a rest in the lounge car. Ben is quite impressed with the full-wall windows rising into the ceiling. Took a nap in our car - both of us. Yea!

After switching trains in Los Angeles we begin the meandering trip up the coast in our commuter train. Stopping every 15-20 minutes and sitting in coach. At this point the train effect still has hold of Ben but he's definitely antsy. I liked our little room in which we could hole up & relax. Anyhow, we arrive in Oxnard around 4:30ish. Jerry picked us up and took us and all of our cargo to the hotel room.

Once Jerry was off duty we went to wharf in Ventura to order fish & chips. I have to say the fish would have been better hot but I must say this was the best fish I've ever eaten, even cold. Ben fell asleep on the way. Jerry and I fell asleep a little while later.

The best part of this first day was waking up with Jerry. Even at 0500 since duty calls early.