Monday, August 30, 2010

who knew

Who knew how much is involved in moving to another country! I sure didn't. We haven't even left yet (just a few more hours) and I'm already EXHAUSTED! I cannot wait to get on the plane and sleep the whole 10.5 hours there.

We received our flight info on Tuesday and haven't stopped moving since. Tuesday we (myself, Jason and one of my friends) went to the travel office to pick up and then change out flight schedule. They had us flying out of ATL on Monday and we did not want to make the drive back down there after spending just a few days in Cincinnati, so we paid an exorbitant amount of money for the convenience of flying out of Cincinnati. Then we made the 10 hour drive back to Cincinnati from Ft Benning. Wednesday was full of errands including buying some last minute necessities like a dog kennel. Thursday was spent visiting grandparents, dealing with Verizon and spending some time with my family. I decided Thursday it was not acceptable for me to leave without seeing my sister one last time, so I got a buddy pass for my friend (THANKS HOLLY!) and flew my sister home to see us. She was only in town from 8pm Friday until 6am Sunday, but it was worth every penny and every second of travel time! Friday I took some engagement photos for my brother and future sister-in-law =) Saturday was spent at our church with an open invitation to everyone we know to come by and say goodbye to us. It was much simpler than trying to drive all over seeing everyone individually. Sunday we left for Seattle where we had a 36 hour layover and now we're sitting at SeaTac waiting for our flight to Yokota AB.

We couldn't get a hold of our sponsor until Sunday, so that had me a bit panicked. I swear when I get to Japan I'm taking charge of this whole sponsor program and revamping it so that it actually functions like it's supposed to, even if I have to sponsor every single person that comes to Zama! I've heard nothing but horror stories about sponsors (does anyone have a positive story to tell?).

I have a ton more to share but I'm starting to get a headache so I'm going to rest my eyes for a bit before the flight. Next post will be from TOKYO =)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

post 100...big announcement!

I picked Jason up from Ranger school yesterday...we leave for Japan THIS WEEK!!!!!! (I had to laugh when I called the vet to schedule a time to get Buster's health certificate and the lady said "THIS XXXDAY?!?!?! That's not a lot of notice". Yeah, I know lady, thanks for rubbing it in!) I obviously won't be around for a couple weeks but once we get settled in, I will be back! I hope everyone has a great end of August!

Sayonara =)

PS. I am determined not to let this throw off my new love for working out... I will finish my last 3 crossfit sessions before we leave!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

can't sleep randomness

1st I just realized this is my 99th post!  Wow oh wow!  2nd, this is going to be the most random collection of thoughts, but here it goes...

My back felt a bazillion times better yesterday and I managed to complete the entire work out last night.  We did the same ridiculous "warm up" as Thursday.
400 meter run then 3x each:
18 lunges (3 front, 3 back, 3 side with each foot)
10 squats
10 dips
10 strict pull-ups (using a band for assistance)
10 ball turns (don't remember what they're called but you hold a medicine ball and turn side to side)

That is more than most people do for their entire work out and I wanted to die before our workout even started!  We learned the proper way to flip a tire yesterday...yay..right?

Our work out was 3 rounds of:
200m run
10 overhead squats (I didn't use any weight for fear of re-injuring my back)
10 tire flips

I was super proud that I managed not to walk any of the might have been the worlds slowest run ever, but I didn't walk!  I completed it in 9:05 which I was totally ok with considering the pain I had been in the day before!  Just to be on the safe side, I went home and took a muscle relaxer which knocked me out for 12+ hours.  Today I feel great!  I had the same pain last year and it lasted 3+ weeks.  I wonder if my new strength from doing CrossFit has anything to do with this.  My clothes don't fit any differently (and I'm not one to weigh myself) but I feel much stronger, mentally and physically =)  Plus, I think I'm addicted!  I worked out Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday this week and today I REALLY wanted to go to the gym.  Normally I'd be thankful for a day off, but I feel like my day isn't complete without my hour long ass kicking!


 My brother got engaged last week!  Yay!  Now both of my brothers are engaged to the 1st girl the ever seriously dated!  How stinking cute is that?!?!


Tomorrow is D-Day #2.  Jason leaves the recycle platoon and joins a new class of fresh soldiers trying to make it into Ranger school.  I'm 100 % conflicted on the outcome I want.  Jason has told me he will not sit through another 3-4 weeks as a recycle before Ranger school even starts.  It's just not worth it to him at this point.  He wrote in a letter this week that he "needs to get out of the mindset that he's coming home in a week and into the mindset that Ranger school starts next week".  So I don't know if he is as prepared as he should be.  I want him to do well in everything that he does, but if he doesn't do well, that means we won't have to be separated any longer, which I also want. If he doesn't make it into Ranger school, we could potentially be living in Japan by the end of the month!!!!!!!!!!!!  Yeah, I'm SO not ready for that!  I would love to be back together with him but I'm not mentally or physically prepared to leave the US right now. 


While driving to dinner with my mom tonight, she brought up something that has my mind doing all sorts of weird tricks.  She realized recently that she will be 53 this year, approximately 20 years from the age her parents died.  It's made her think about all the things she's never done in her life.  I've learned a lot about the person I am/want to be from my parent's mistakes and I think I'm going to add another piece to the puzzle that is my life.  I don't want to get to be her age and think about all the things I haven't done.  I want to be able to think about all the things I HAVE done when I get to that age, and anything else I get to do after that, will just be extra strawberries (I don't like cherries) on my sundae.  I don't want to make my bucket list at 53, I want it to be complete by then!  So I'm sharing my "bucket list" with you all (the ones with * have already been completed!)

1. visit every continent (or at least all but Antarctica)
2. watch a sunrise and sunset in the same day
3. travel to China
4. become a mother
*5. travel in Europe
6. spend a week in a national park
7. buy a polaroid or two before it’s too late
*8. go to a major league sports all star game (NHL 08)
9. read the entire Bible
10. ride a mechanical bull
11. learn to play a musical instrument
12. go skydiving
13. get out of debt (in process)
*14. get married
*15. exercise regularly
*16. lead a group
17. donate to a charity regularly
*18. attend a group exercise class
*19. read about something going on in another country regularly
20. ride an elephant
*21. send a care package to someone who is NOT deployed
*22. talk to my sister once a week
*23. drive across the US (Utah to Ohio counts)
*24. learn to be more resourceful/handy/creative
25. become fluent in ASL (American Sign Language)
*26. make time for more DIY projects
27. travel to every state in the US (only 11 left)
28. graduate college
29. keep up with my scrapbooks
30. pay for the next person in line
31. organize personal photos
*32. take a photography class
*33. meet Jason’s extended family (I LOVE THEM!)
34. visit the Grand Canyon
35. go on a mission trip out of the country
36. complete Project365
*37. donate hair for cancer wigs
*38. organize my iTunes library
*39. not be addicted to Coke
40. learn to speak a foreign language fluently
41. learn to sew (other than a button)
42. read 50 books in a year
43. learn a dance
*44. incorporate more organic food into my daily meals
*45. create a meal from scratch
46. learn about spices and herbs
47. make a meal using only ingredients I grew myself
48. do some kind of mission work (whether in town or not) every year
49. save up enough money to buy Jason a motorcycle with cash
50. have my photo taken with the Stanley Cup
*51. donate time &/or money to a natural disaster
52. grow my own produce
53. go to a Super Bowl game
*54. do something nice for someone I don’t know
55. get in good shape (working on this one now)
56. learn more about investing & invest more money
57. spend time with God every day
58. find out my blood type
*59. take a cooking class
*60. back up all old photos onto external hard drive
*61. keep up with bills/receipts once a week
62. get a facial
63. be a mentor
*64. contribute to the savings account every pay day
*65. document my life via photos & journaling
66. volunteer somewhere other than church on a regular basis
67. take a yoga class
*68. set up a recycling system in my home
69. no unnecessary purchases for one month
*70. go on a real vacation (not just a weekend trip)
*71. eat 5 fruits & veggies every day
72. learn to shoot a gun (again, it’s been a while)
73. go on a safari
74. photograph an Olympic event
75. learn to surf (at least try to)
76. design clothing and have it made and sold (or make it and sell it myself)
77. blow the whistle on a train
*78. meet the president (I shook George W’s hand at WP in 02, that counts!)
*79. organize and order wedding photos (in the process of doing it this weekend)
80. go whale watching
81. visit Disney World
82. see all 7 wonders of the world
*83. own a house
84. complete a 5K
*85. spend time with Jason in the “city of love” AKA Paris
86. become a millionaire
87. be paid for a photo
88. pray at the Wailing Wall
89. visit Jericho
*90. spend Oktoberfest in Munich
91. own a convertible
92. watch all the movies on the top 100 of all time list
93. go to a rodeo
94. learn to box
95. be in NYC to see the ball drop
*96. get CPR certified
97. experience Mardi Gras in NOLA
*98. be on the front page of a newspaper
99. learn to drive a stick
*100. create a blog and update it every week
101. donate $10 for each number accomplished

37/101  I still have a ways to go, but I'm also still young =)  I will have this list is finished by the time I'm 53!

And because I can't blog without a photo, here is a shot of the hubs and I knocking off #'s  5, 70 and 85 all in one trip =)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

CrossFit update

2 posts in 2 days!  woohoo!

So I missed a whole week of CrossFit while I was in NOLA but it sure didn't feel like it with all the work I did in the heat down there!  Monday I did a make up session with my trainer, Shaun, to go over all the skills I'd missed the week prior.  I thought I'd be good the next day since we didn't actually do a work out...I was WRONG.  Sore as usual on Tuesday!  Tuesdays work out was good, 3 rounds of 250m row and 10 thrusters, and I finished with a total time of 5:25.  I was hoping to stay under 6:00 (2 minutes per round) and I did, so I was super pumped.  Before I left for NOLA, I convinced a friend to start going with me!  It makes all the difference having someone to keep you motivated and vice versa.

We didn't take measurements/weigh-in before so it's not as easy to track progress as I would like, but I feel better and stronger, so I guess that's all that matters!

Oh, and I also caved and finally bought my 1st pair of Vibram's.  They felt great Tuesday and I'm excited to give them another try tonight!  My friends in Missouri have been telling me for at least 6 months now how great they are and my old gym shoes finally bit the dust, so I figured I'd give these a go.  Anyone else have them?  Love them/hate them?

UPDATE:  CrossFit today SUCKED!  Ran in the Vibram's for the 1st time, that's going to take some getting used to!  Plus, it was hotter than ever and I somehow managed to strain my lower back doing SDHP (Sumo Deadlift High Pull).  So me and this bag of ice are calling it a night, hoping to not be in pain when I wake up! (PS, I know I make an awful sad face...I don't know how some girls look so cute making a sad face, it doesn't work for me ha ha!)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


It's times like these I wish I were better at conveying my thoughts in writing.  I'm going to do this topic no justice, but I'll try.  I spent the last week in New Orleans, LA (NOLA) with 93 other amazingly selfless individuals from Cincinnati, Ohio.  As a group we worked with Habitat for Humanity and the St. Bernard Project helping build houses for those who lost their homes to Hurricane Katrina.  The week was draining, both physically and emotionally and I am still in recovery mode, so bare with me.  It is impossible to imagine the amount of work that still needs to be done down there, 5 years later (I think someone said, at the current volunteer rate/capacity, it will take 16 years to finish all the rebuilding that needs to be done...16 YEARS?!?!?!?!).   There are still close to 900 occupied FEMA trailers and around 8000 families still in temporary housing! 5 years in a "temporary" house is just unacceptable!  I was so exhausted at the end of each work day, but I still felt like I hadn't done enough, like I wanted to do more even though my body was screaming to stop.  It was nice to find out at the end of the week that the group I went with (Give Back Beyond Cincinnati) has donated 18,000 hours of work in the 5 years since Katrina.  That translates to 9 years of work if you look at a 40 hour work week for 50 weeks a year.  It makes me incredibly proud to call Cincinnati "home".   As exhausting as this trip was I am so glad I went and want to go back again.  Here's a little photo trip though the week...

Before we loaded onto 2 buses, we got a pep talk from our Mayor

after loading onto the 2 buses, we promptly set some ground rules on our bus

then got down to business

16 hours later we arrived in NOLA and set off for our 1st fun activity of the week

where the fabulous Harriet taught us to make some traditional Naw'Lins food

this wanna be chef gives the school 2 thumbs up!

then headed out to Bourbon street

where we may, or may not have busted out the Cupid Shuffle right in the middle of the street

Our 1st day of work was Monday. My team (TEAM AWESOMENESS) would be working on this house

where we mudded/sanded/installed dry wall ALL WEEK!!!!

 and sweat a lot, it was unbelievably hot in that house

and took some necessary breaks.

We didn't have working pluming in the house yet, therefore, no toilet.  With as much water as we were drinking to stay hydrated and cool, this presented a small problem.  Being the resourceful people we are, we started knocking on doors, in search of a nice neighbor who would let us use their facilities.  Upon doing so we met the family who lives in this house.  They not only opened their home/bathroom to us all week, they also shared their story with us.  In short, they stayed in their house during the storm.  Spending 4 days in the dark in their attic eating canned goods and drinking hot, but safe, bottled water, before they were "rescued" and told they must leave their home.  They were taken by a small boat to a barge that was transporting people out of the area.  They were unable to take their dog with them because they did not have a cage to carry him in so they kissed their dog goodbye and boarded the barge which was stocked with lots of ice cold water.  They returned 4 months later and were able to rebuild their house and move back in relatively quickly.  A year after the storm they got a call from their daughter who was living in Alabama saying she had found their dog in PENNSYLVANIA!  The dog was flown from PA to LA the next day and after a few days of getting readjusted, they had their beloved dog back at home with them.  It took everything I had not to break down in sobs while listening to their story.

one of my teammates listening to Rudy's story

At night, we ate sinfully good food

and partied like rock stars

 heard some amazing Jazz music

and ate more yummy food!

We worked hard, partied hard and ate even harder!

I couldn't have asked to work with a better team of people who will forever hold a special place in my heart

In about 3 weeks, a couple of senior citizens who are on a fixed income and cannot afford to replace the home they lost will call this house home.

I came home with a sweet souvenir too
(my feet the day I got home, and my feet normally)

Friday, August 6, 2010

crossfit day 1


I thought I might puke from exercise for the 1st time ever yesterday!  I might have pushed myself a little hard for day 1, but hey, you get out of it what you put into it and I'm determined to get my money's worth of butt kicking!  We has a warm up (that left me huffing and puffing), "learned" proper form for push ups, squats and "body rows" (basically a modification of a pull up using rings for people who can't do an actual pull up) then completed the WOD Work Out of the Day which was to run 200 meter (have I mentioned before that I do NOT run?!?!?! blah!) then do 15 each squats, push-ups, body rows, then do 12 of each then 9 of each and finally another 200m run and it's timed.  I set a goal to complete the work out in under 10 minutes and I finished in 9:25 so I was pretty happy with myself (plus I only walked 100/400 meters).  At the end of our 12 sessions I'll do the same work out again and hopefully shave a few minutes off that time.

After crossfit, I hurried to a friends to shower/change before heading to Indianapolis to celebrate a friends birthday.  So I only had the clothes I was planning on wearing and when I went to put my almost BRAND NEW Victoria Secret bra on, the stupid strap broke right off!
No $40 bra should break after just 6 weeks!  The bra that this one replaced was the exact same bra and lasted me almost 3 years, so I was pretty pissed.  Plus I didn't have a bra to wear!  Luckily I had some of my sisters old bra's in the car that were supposed to be going to goodwill that I thankfully hadn't dropped off yet!

Crisis was averted and I got to enjoy a fabulous show from these 2 amazing guys!

Ernie Halter (hello super cheese smile!)

the birthday girl thought this looked like a good place to stop, pop a squat and look at the photos on her camera (LOVE YOU!)

Time to go prepare myself for crossfit day 2 then birthday celebration round 2!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

travel bug

Last weekend I got to spend 2 fabulous days with some amazing people (one of my bff's and 2 Ranger school recycles, one of which is my sexy husband!)  I'm super bummed that he recycled, but so grateful I was able to drive to Benning with my girlfriend (she owed me a long road trip...remember a couple months ago when I helped my friend move home from Oregon?  yeah, she rocks and returned the favor!).  We are lucky to have lots of family that live near Columbus who were eager to have us stay with them for a few days.  Our buddy from FLW was also there as a recycle, so the 4 of us enjoyed 2 pass days together on a family farm in GA =) I also took Mr Puppers with us to surprise the hubs and I think he had more fun than anyone!
We relaxed in the pool

watched hummingbirds fight with wasps

hung out with some cows

watched my dog chase a turkey

then watched a cow chase my dog

Ate LOTS of watermelon fresh from the garden (probably should have had more of that, and less of the stuff cooked in Crisco, but who can resist fried okra that was picked that morning?!?!?!)

fell in love with this little pup

celebrated a birthday a few days early

and most importantly, spent time together as a family

I did not want to leave!  Even though I wouldn't be able to spend time with Jason, I didn't want to leave his family (it was his maternal grandmother's brother and his wife).  They were so warm and welcoming and introduced me to a lifestyle I know nothing about!  I am a city girl through and through but Jason and I have talked for years about retiring on some land (no more than 30-45 minutes from a major city) and having animals and a rotating crop and a huge garden.  Uncle Junior & Aunt Gloria have all of this and it was great to get a glimpse of what our life may be like in 15 years!  If I knew my mom's heart wouldn't break, I would consider spending my summer down there instead of at home (plus, I don't think my waistline could handle all the Crisco!)

Now I'm home for a few days (it feels weird to call Cincinnati home, it doesn't feel like home anymore) and packing for my next trip.  Saturday, I leave for NOLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I feel like I've been planning this trip forever and it's FINALLY here!  This is the 1st time for me going on a large group trip and not having a packing list.  We have some suggestions but no actually list, so I've been racking my brain trying to come up with a list!  I'm off to check it twice for the 10th time =)