Monday, January 30, 2012

The Beauty Challenge

This morning, a friend invited me to this Event on Facebook. It was one of several invites I had pending this morning, and I almost skipped over it. I'm very glad I didn't. The information is below and I couldn't help but thing this is a great idea. Abigail is still too young to know about stereotypical beauty, but as I thought about it, we have already instilled "pretty" into her vocabulary. I want both of my kids to know that beauty comes from within, and that we are all created in God's image. 

**The Beauty Challenge**
I know it'll be hard, but thats the point, we will change and we will help change the lie so girls can live the TRUTH..that we ARE beautifully and fearfully made!~
We will be fasting from makeup, jewelry (except wedding rings) and dressing up for a week to fight the lie that our beauty is found in anything else besides our Creator. To symbolize that we're learning how God is our source of beauty! Laurens (my daughter) college started this and I am SO proud that young women stood up and had this kind of courage..I am a Mom and therefore accountable to show how to live..I am standing up with them! Who will join me..Thursday Feb 2nd thru the 9th..(copy and paste and lets see how many will join in to change young girls view and beliefs about Beauty!

IF your IN! please say YES and lets defeat the lie..let His beauty be our confidence!~

For one week (starting today) through next Sunday night, I will not wear makeup, I will only wear my wedding ring, and I will make a conscious effort to dress for the occasion.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Never compare

A lot of women, in particular military wives, spend a lot of time talking about their struggles, sacrifices, and challenges. A few people may think of it as whining, but often its a combination of venting to friends and lending advice. Veteran wives often use their experiences as examples, or a how-to-deal manual for newer wives. Often we get caught up in "comparing" what our husbands do and how much we have been through instead of supporting each other. 

Its very important that we remember it is our husbands who do this job, not us. We are vital to our husband's career - but not to the military. How we respond to challenges affects how our husbands respond and deal with those same challenges. We need to be strong, supportive, and flexible. We need to be consistent, understanding, and level headed. But most of all, we need to stand together. We need to remember that the words we say to other wives, while they may make us feel better or make our husbands sound important, can hurt others. 

Usually, starting something with "I need to vent" sets the tone for the conversation. It lets your listeners know that you are not really complaining, you just want a listening and sympathetic ear. We all have that one friend who we can vent to about anything. It doesn't matter if her husband has been gone months and yours is working late, she'll understand, let you vent, and tell you what you want to hear. But not everyone will be that person, so venting to everyone may backfire. 

Bottom line: All military spouses know this is a hard life, and some days are harder than others. But as the picture above states, its not a competition. We have our own stepping stones in this journey and we all handle them differently. And, of course, don't equate a husbands job with their wife's feelings.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Update on January's "Resolutions"

I made myself simple goals for January. Read 4 books, Lose 5 lbs, Run 5 miles, and finish an unfinished project from 2011.

So far, I'm on track for most of them. I'm down 2 lbs (and that will be so much easier now that I have my very own elliptical machine in my living room!) and I'm in the middle of my third book. Running has taken a back seat to life, weather, daylight, but I'm hoping for a good long (to me) run this weekend.

I finished my first project of 2012. I've been sewing a lot, but I don't consider those projects, as they are usually something that can be done in one sitting. My mother-in-law gave me a cross-stitch kit that she had started and really wanted finished. Here's the completed project. I'm looking forward to completing my goals in the last week and making some new ones for February.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Pillowy Pinterest Morning

This was a very dreary, foggy morning and the kids were l-a-z-y. It was a great time for me to catch up on some sewing. Declan always wants to know what I'm working on, so today I made some things for the kids. 
This lounge pillow (I found on pinterest) is perfect for our family. 5 pillow cases sewn together and old pillows inside. Easy to wash and big enough to share.

Then I made the kids their own pillow cases. They each use a small pillow for their toddler beds, and those get washed so often, I'm afraid they'll fall apart. So, here are their new pillow cases.

Declan's was made from material left over after I made his new lunch sack. Abigail's is from an old crib sheet that lost its elasticity after so many washes. There's enough material to make a sheet set for her baby doll.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Declan's new lunch bag

Declan takes his own lunch to preschool every day. Due to space in the refrigerator, a traditional, insulated lunch box would not fit. Since September, he's been using one of the bags you get a Subway kids meal in. It has worked wonderfully. This weekend, I finally made him his own lunch sack.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bacon & Egg Toast Cups

I found this awesome recipe on Pinterest and had to try it.

Ingredients (makes 6 cups)

  • 6 slices of bread
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cut the bread to fit in your muffin pans.

Place bread circles in a greased muffin pan.

Top toast with halfway cooked bacon and a tablespoon of shredded cheese. Cook for 5 minutes at 400.

Add an egg to each cup. Drain off most of the egg white, and use just yolk. Cook for another 8-10 minutes. 

Pop out with a spoon and enjoy!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I was wrestling with dad and then....

The Doctor says, "Declan, what happened?" Declan replies, "I was wrestling with my Dad on the carpet and he picked me up and I falled down." 

Yup, that's exactly what happened Monday night. Tuesday morning, when I got him out of bed, the screaming started. Every time he moved his shoulder, he cried. It made for a very loud and frustrating morning. I managed to get the appointment line as soon as they opened and then made him an 8:30 am appointment. I was really hoping she'd say I over-reacted and a little rest and ibuprofen would make it all better. Not the case.

Next stop was radiology (at a different building, in a different city). And we did not have an appointment for that. By this point, Declan didn't want anyone picking him up because it hurt. I figured out a way to get him in and out of the car without jarring his shoulder. The tech said she saw a clavicle fracture, but they weren't sure about his shoulder, and that she wouldn't wait to see the orthopedic doctor. I had scheduled an appointment for Wednesday morning, but quickly rescheduled for 1:15 on Tuesday. While we were going from one doctor to the next, Declan's biggest concern was when I was going to eat lunch. I had packed his lunch for school and he was munching on his PBJ when he said, "Mommy, aren't you hungry? Let's find you some Chick Fil-A."

The orthopedic PA told us that it was just a clavicle fracture and that it would heal on its own. She predicted 4-6 weeks at the max, since he's so young. We'll be going back every 2 weeks for x-rays and to make sure the bone is healing completely. There are strict instructions to keep the sling on (which Declan was adamantly against) for 2 weeks and to stay away from playgrounds, bikes, swings, etc. Basically anything fun is out. This is one of those times I am so grateful Declan is a calm and somewhat rational 3 year old. He'll be ok with a lot of reading, coloring, crafts, movies, and snuggle times with me. I really hope we see some improvement in 2 weeks and he can start doing some more fun things.

Right now his biggest struggle was sleeping. He takes after me and is all over the place, and he had to learn to stay on his back, or at the least, not on his bad shoulder. 

Cross Fit - The Perfect Workout

I enjoy working out, for about 5 minutes. I get bored VERY easily. Running is still my main cardio, but the weather and darkness has put that on the back burner. I need something quick, hard, and weight training related to do almost every day I'm home.

Wednesday evening, I put my new kettle bell to work and did this work out.

Do you have a favorite cross fit/kettle bell workout? Please share!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2011 Running Recap

I started logging miles using Daily Mile in April of last year. Since then, I've been religiously logging every run, most workouts, and participating in more than a few challenges. 2011 was a wonderful running year for me. Here are some details:

Total Miles for 2011 - 161, about 4 miles per week (which was not accurate since I took at least 6 weeks off for an injury)
April - 15
May - 25
June - 17
July - 1
Aug - 20
Sept - 19
Oct - 14
Nov - 21
Dec - 31

I logged 115 workouts and burned enough calories to loose 7 lbs.

My 5k PR for 2011 was 42:00. My longest run was 3.5 miles. I ran 7 5k races in 2011. A good year!

Monday, January 9, 2012


Without a doubt, the hardest part about military life is leaving your old friends behind. The second hardest part is making new friends when you move. I've been very lucky here at Ft. Meade and have made so many awesome friends. This year, the playgroup (and scrap booking group) I am in, included me in their Secret Santa tradition. During the month of December, you give one gift a week. Then, after Christmas, we all went out to dinner and revealed who we had with an extra special gift.

For dinner we went to Rams Head Tavern in Savage Mill. The food was great and we had so much fun. Our (very patient) waiter took this wonderful picture of us to commemorate the evening.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Leading by Example

One of our goals this year is to save more money. Specifically, in January, we are not spending $1 bills. They are all being saved and put into our savings account at the end of the month. Declan loves putting change into our change jar, and now we are teaching him about saving money in general. The perfect opportunity came today from Sunday School.

Our church has a program to help children whose families live on less than $2 a day. For 2012, they are asking that the children bring in $2 each month for 12 months to help those other families. We decided to have Declan do this. We put an envelope by the calendar and on the first Sunday of the month, Declan will take his $2 and his envelope into church. I'm going to give him $1 bills that we are saving and have him put them in that envelope, explaining that we take part of our money and give it to the church and those who need it. 

Its as close to tithing as he can get. And it will be a wonderful reminder to us to make sure we tithe each week. I hope that by teaching Declan it is important to give, we are setting him up to be a charitable and giving man.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012: The Plan

All of you know I am a planner, almost to a fault. However, I don't always follow through on my plans, especially when it comes to plans for myself. I've learned that writing things down and publicizing them help me stay accountable. I have two big goals for 2012, and a bunch of smaller goals. I will focus on the smaller goals one at a time, starting a new one each month. Here are the first few....

2012 Goals: Run 500 miles and lose 52 lbs.

January - put every $1 bill in the change jar for deposit and lose 5 lbs
February - organize the garage, hit 6 mile long runs, and lose 5 more lbs
March - run a 10k in less than 75 minutes, lose another 5 lbs and purge the closets/storage for a yard sale

I also hope to do a lot more coking myself and purchase substantially less processed foods. I plan to make our own breads, frozen waffles, pasta sauces, etc in hopes that we have an overall more healthy lifestyle.