I'm just an ordinary girl doing ordinary stuff.

I just happen to be a single mom in the military.

My kids are part of the military too.

When I deploy, their heart breaks too.

They're strong little guys.

Being their mom is the most humbling experience I've ever had.

Follow the adventures

See if you can keep up with me as I serve my country holding my kids in my arms.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Being Alone

A friend of mine recently sent me an e-mail about his fear of being alone, of not having anyone to hold.  He may soon be a single dad, leaving his abusive wife.  His question: 

"As a single mom, how do you deal with being alone?"

So, in answer to his question and to all men who have exhausted all their efforts to improve their marriage but to no avail and have decided to leave... but are afraid of being alone, here is my response:

How I deal with being alone

It took me a while to get used to being alone.  Before I left my second husband, I had never been by myself.  It was scary.  I relied on friends and a therapist.  Both were awesome.  But I learned that what I really needed was myself.  And this was a journey that has completely changed my life and any future relationships.

I learned to spend  mornings by myself before the kids woke up.  I'd drink coffee and read a portion of my bible.  I'd spend a few minutes reflecting on it and how it applied to my life.  Then at night, after the kids fell asleep in their beds, I went outside for a cigarette and some wine.  I'd look up at the stars and think about how they looked to me when I was a child.  It is amazing how life changes your innocent perspective the older you get.  When I was a kid, I used to believe those stars were little secrets God placed in the sky for us find out when we went to heaven.  Now, how often do we even look at the stars in awe?  Spending time with myself gave me the opportunity to really go back into myself and speak to the soul I'd ignored for years. 

I took this while on a walk in the sunset.

I read books that were entertaining and books that were soul searching.  I learned that I loved photography and brought a camera with me almost everywhere.  I took up hobbies that I found and learned what I didn't like or what I wasn't good at.  I undid the co-dependency I had adopted from my childhood and discovered what kind of things I really liked and what I didn't like.  And to be okay with that.  The harder part of learning myself was learning those things I didn't like, the things that brought me into unhealthy relationships.

I found that I sought men as validation of my value.  And I hated that.  I felt like without a man, I really sucked.  On my own, my kids filled that void.  Being a good mom was almost an achievement that I could hold proudly for all to see.  I had to learn who I really was and like myself, love myself, without depending on men or my kids to prove I was valuable.  So I sought to discover my passions.  What did God plant in me? 

I discovered a few passions: children, animals, and the emotional and physical care they require.  Seeking ways to fulfill my purpose is a beautiful thing.  I've created art and written blogs about them.  I've read books and joined groups.  Pursuing my passions has fulfilled me immensely.

As for the physical stuff.... as humans, we crave it.  We aren't meant to be alone.  This was probably one of the biggest challenges.  I actually made a few mistakes in this regard.  I still managed to find a guy to sleep with.  It was fun for about a week until I realized what a fool I was.  I wasn't searching for love or even a friend in him.  And he wasn't either.  So I got my head out of my ass and ended that.  After speaking with the therapist about it, I learned to forgive myself and to give myself credit that at least this time I didn't wait until I married him before I realized my mistake.  I was much quicker.  Now I had to learn not to find intimacy that way.  It all went back to that one thing: 


Once I became comfortable and HAPPY with who I was and that as an individual, I was a great person, then I had to figure out what I wanted in a partner.  What are my boundaries?  What do I not like?  What will I NOT put up with?  No superficial stuff like forgetting to put the cap on the toothpaste or putting the toilet seat down.  I had to make boundaries that were important to me like loving kids and animals and treating their parents lovingly and having goals.  My potential partner must not have issues that they were struggling with that would compromise who I was as a person and how my kids would be impacted.  Even if I wasn't looking for a dad for them, I had to seek men who had good values and morals.

In the meantime, being alone without physical affection was really tough.  I had to deal with that the way an alcoholic would deal without a drink.  I had to learn to be patient.  And to keep that part special and to only share it with someone who was worth it.  In other words, until I found someone worthy of myself, I would need to rely on taking care of  myself in that regard!  Haha!  Sucks, but it was worth it emotionally.

"The worst thing in life is not ending up all alone, but ending up with people who make me feel all alone."
-- Robin Williams 

For the men

I know this is different for you in many ways.  For one, you are a man.  Men's needs are so different from women's.  Second, you may be a single dad.  Your time with your kids will be different than mine.  That might leave you with MORE time with yourself and more expectations you'll have as a single dad.  Your role to them is different than mine is.  Society's opinion of your role is different than it is on mine.  But one thing is not so different:  You need to find out what God put inside you and how you need to use that to find your purose.  That will determine the person you become, how you fulfill those things that are left empty when you become a single man, single dad, divorced man, etc.

The physical stuff--the importance of it is HUGE.  So you'll have to rely on self control to keep its value.

I found that the hardest part in becoming a single mom was not the alone part but actually walking out the door.  After that, the challenges were different and some seemed bigger than others, but none (even being alone) were as hard as actually making that step and sticking to it.  It is the most important part and the one thing that will lead to change.

Making the decision and taking that step
will guarantee one thing that is worth being alone.
Bettering you.
Thank you for reading today's post.
It is meant for those
who have decided that leaving a relationship
is the healthiest choice
for them, their partner,
and their children.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Why Christianity Is A Problem For Single Me

To some I am worth a kiss.
To some I am worth a one night stand.
To some I am worth only friendship.
To some I am worth monogamy.
To some I am worth a drive.
To some I am worth cheating on their wives.
To some I am worth a poem.
To some I am worth a picture.
But to none am I worth commitment.
To none am I worth marriage.
To none I am worth fighting for.
And I am not okay with this
as I once was.
And that is why Christianity is a problem.
Before Christ saved me, I was okay with eating the scraps off the table of relationships.  I was so desperate for "love" that I took whatever I could get.  But Christ revealed to me how valuable I am.  And I am no longer okay with sleazy men.  I am no longer okay with flings. 

Christ has cleaned my list of things I'm okay with.  He has made me refuse to settle.  And I'm left feeling as if no one in the world is left.  And that is my problem with Christianity.

But is it a problem, really?  Sometimes I think it makes being happy hard.  But happiness is conditional, so why settle for that?  Sometimes it makes me lonely.  But that is where my God has given me friends, family, and Himself.  Sometimes it makes me lose hope.  But God is working on a thing called patience and has promised that with patience comes joy - something that is not conditional... unless it excludes Him. 

I guess if Christianity is a problem, it is because it means I have to work toward my "one day" instead of settling for less and wishing I didn't.  It is a problem because less men will find me attractive... but if they haven't found God, then they haven't really seen me and how beautiful God has made me. 

I suppose it is only a problem because I choose to no longer be led by my skin.  My God loves me more than any man ever has and ever will.  And I feel that love more than I feel the sultry words of a love poem, more than I feel the excitement of a lustful kiss, and more than I feel in a lie that sounds as sweet as the truth I wish it was.

I am okay with the problem of Christianity.  Because my God has a love for me so big that it is unfathomable.  He has a love for me that I sometimes wonder why He feels I am worth it.  He has a love for me that no man can ever provide.  And as much as the loneliness can hurt sometimes, I believe that my Father is sitting beside me waiting for me to feel His embrace.

Christianity is my filter.  My faith helps me see through the skin in search of God in others.

I think Christianity is a problem... for mankind who cannot see past the fleshly desires of the world. 

"A woman's heart should be so hidden in Christ,
that a man should have to seek Him first to find her."
-- Maya Angelou

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Das Boots! 2 Sept 13

Today’s Blurb
Wow.  I have been having a heck of a time waking up lately!  I suck in the mornings.  So my alarm rang at 0430 and I was thinking “Wow, okay, let me get up at 0445 so I can get the day started nice and calmly.”  Nope.  It was 5 til 0600 before I jumped out of bed in a mad dash to getting the kids up and the day started.  So much for calm.  I don’t go crazy, though.  I remember going nuts once and I felt really bad because I was actually mad and the kids didn’t do anything to cause it.  So I apologized to them and told them I was really mad at myself because I woke up late.  After that, I always let them know if I’m in a hurry but I don’t take it out on them.  The boys are such good sports about it. 

On the way to the base, Caden told the car in front of us, “Come on, car, don’t you know my mom will be late?”  Lol.  I laughed and told him, “It’s okay, Caden.  It’s not their fault I’m running late.”  Then Sean said, “Well Mommy, is it YOUR fault?”  Sigh.

Then I got to work (right on time, which is late, right?) and made it to our first-day-of-the-week 0730 meeting.  Somehow I was able to spout off a list of agenda items for the week as if I had been thinking about it all morning long.  I almost patted myself on the shoulder for appearing all smart and on top of things.

Then I had coffee and spent the day typing away.  I even had a chance to make some creative side notes during a long meeting.  At the end of the day I rushed off to the dry cleaners to drop off some uniforms.

The first day of the week is always a bit hard, isn’t it?

Kids And Their Words

Yesterday, I was doing homework on my computer in the living room while the boys were busy building Transformers and creating fight scenes.  Well, Sean really really wanted to show me what he was doing.

Mommy, look, Optimus tore this bad guy’s arms off!
Aww (obviously engrossed in homework)
No, Mommy, it’s not “Aww”
(Turning to look at him)
It’s not “Aww” because the bad guy is a bad guy.
Just because he’s a bad guy doesn’t mean he’s bad… guy.  (My Wreck-It Ralph moment)
No, Mommy.  It’s not funny.  He’s really a bad guy and Optimus just tore his arms off.  So it’s like this:  Yeah!  Go Optimus!

Movie Review

The latest movie craze in my home right now is Van Helsing.  A little much for young kids, I know.  But that was a lesson fail on my behalf.  You see, Sean came up to me with the movie in his hand (he dug through the DVD binder) and told me he wanted to watch it.  I told him it was scary, and he said he wouldn’t be scared.  So I thought I won when he ran away during the opening scene.  Then he ran away during the Mr. Hyde battle.  Then he ran away during the were-wolf scene.  And then… Dracula’s brides came.  And they looked lovely.  He particularly liked the blonde that said, “Too bad, so sad,” in her sexy Transylvanian accent.  And Sean was hooked.  He quickly got over his fear and now he wants to watch the whole movie over and over again.

If you’ve seen the movie, you know it rocks anyway.  But, seriously?  Do boys really start that young?
Random Pic From My Camera
If you haven't noticed, I just love coffee.
I know as I get older, I will have to cut down.
But it makes everything just right.
Work bosses are tolerable.
Gossipers are ignored.
Life is good.
Highlight Story
We were at McDonald’s yesterday.  It was just the boys, a 1 yr old and a little girl.  Well, Sean decided the best way to entertain a 1 year old was to repeated run across the room and crash into a wall, dramatically falling down onto the floor.  I swear I wasn’t on drugs when I was pregnant with him.  The floor at McDonald’s scares the life out of me.  But that 1 year old sure did have a blast.  As did Sean – I think he just needed an excuse to go crazy.

Current Obsession
For years, I’ve had the Trail of Painted Ponies on my shopping list on Amazon.  I’ve never bought one because I’ve never been able to justify spending almost $40 on a decorative horse.  There’s always something else that needs to be bought.  But The Children’s Prayer Pony showed up on Amazon and I just fell in love.  It’s beautiful.  And he is sitting on my bookshelf at work right now.  I’m so happy I got him!

Featured Song
I love country.  I just do.  It’s romantic.  It’s fun.  And it’s just plain country.  Trace Adkins is a friggin country genius.  This song, Hot Mama, just makes me feel… like a woman.  What can I say?  Check it out—Moms, it’ll really make you smile. 

Featured Book
Silent To The Bone by E.L. Konisburg
This book captivated me from the very first page.  It is easy to read, but man is it deep.  It is about a teenaged boy who is accused of harming his infant sister to the point of putting her in a coma.  His best friend, Connor, doesn’t believe he did it but the boy is not talking.  It is a very touching book even in its simple words. 

Here’s the Amazon review:

What happened on Wednesday, November 25, 2:43 P.M., Eastern Standard Time, to cause Branwell Zamborska to become mute? All anyone knows is that he called 911 because his baby sister, Nikki, had stopped breathing, and when he was unable to speak to the operator, Vivian, the English au pair, came on the line to say that Branwell had dropped the baby and shaken her. His best friend, Connor, begins visiting him at the juvenile behavioral center, where he has been sent while Nikki remains in a coma at the hospital. Working out a code they both can use, Connor begins the long process of trying to communicate with his friend to find out what really happened. With the help of his own half-sister and some canny detective work, Connor uncovers a complex, multilayered tale of human desires, adolescent confusion, and a touch of menace.

In The News
From CNN

Painting bought as part of $46 job lot is a Constable worth $390,000

So this dude bought a cardboard box full of junk for $46 at an auction.  One of the items in the box was a tiny painting.  It hid in his drawer for, like almost ever, and well.... he finds out it's worth more than $390K!  It's a painting done by John Constable.  What the friggin heck.  I'm definitely picking up yard sale shopping again.

Money Saving Tip
Use a calculator while you shop!!  When you have a constant eye on how much you're spending, while you're spending, you become very cautious about your money.  I've cut my grocery bills in half just by doing this.  You'll start to really ask yourself if you really need what you're putting in that cart.  Or if you really need that brand.  Lots of store brand items are just as good-- and you can choose to go with a name brand item if it really means a lot to you.  But seriously, bring that calculator.  Try it.  I'd love to know your thoughts after you do!
Random Opinion
Facebook Isn't Everything
Would you say privately to another Facebook friend something you posted on Facebook?  I know, I know.  Ponder that one for me. 
I've been guilty of posting a rant about something another Facebook friend posted on their page.  I didn't use his/her name.  I didn't call them out.  But I knew damn well that if he/she read it, they'd know I was talking about them and if they confronted me, all I would say is, "No not you."  We all do it.  But I lost my friendship with someone because we both disagreed with each other about something and we both posted our opinions on Facebook as if we were debating without talking to each other.  Once I lost her friendship, I realized my childish mistake. 
It is a common behavior when it comes to social media.  So many people fall into this mindset that just because we're behind a computer, we can't be held accountable for our actions.  But we're wrong.  If we truly love and respect our friends and family, we need to stop.  If we want to be credible, we need to stop.
If you have a problem with a Facebook friend, confront them privately.  Otherwise, it's almost another form of bullying.  Actually, I think it IS a form of bullying.  Calling people out on Facebook without using their names is cowardly.  It makes others feel sorry for you and rally to your side and get you to feel validated, but that other person wasn't even given the opportunity to resolve the issue.  You have brought others into your two-person conflict.  The more I write, the more I do believe it is bullying.

Look, I love Facebook.  I'm all over it!  It is a wonderful way to connect with family and friends.  It's a quicker way to share pictures and precious moments.  It's a way to watch your nieces and nephews grow from afar.  But it is not everything.
Like I said earlier, it is not a good way to vent about things another Facebook friend is doing to you.  If you have a problem with that person, handle it privately.  By putting that on Facebook, you let everyone else know -- and not only do they not need to know, they are put in a really uncomfortable position of trying to console you without getting involved.
Facebook is not a good way to pick on your friends about why your beliefs are right and theirs are not.  Everyone has a right to their own opinions, beliefs and values.  These things are part of their character, it is who they are.  Why take that away from them?
Facebook is not a good way to seek therapy.  Your friends and family love you.  And it is good to ask for advice.  But if you continually post drama and don't take advice, it comes off as attention-seeking and people get tired of trying to take care of someone whom they really can't help.  If you really need help, seek a therapist.  They really do help!
I'm not perfect and I slip up too.  But I believe I have grown from making these mistakes.  And I really hope others do too.  If we truly want happiness, it is in our own hands.  We can change our lives.  Others cannot do this for us.
I guess I'll end this on an inspirational note with a quote from Thomas Chalmers:
The grand essentials of life are something to do, something to love, something to hope for.
Goodnight all.
Combat Boots Mama

Monday, September 2, 2013

Das Boots! 1 Sep 13

Labor Day started off funny this morning.  First, Bruce decided to chase bunnies on his morning walk.  The bunnies around the apartment are hilarious.  They aren't scared of anything and when Bruce chased them, they ran until he was at the end of his leash and then they just sat there staring at him.  I just know they were laughing. 

We're going to stay home today and clean the apartment.  The boys are happy with that as long as I let them out to play.  Then we'll be doing grocery shopping... if anything is open on Labor Day.  So in summary, we're not doing anything special but we're happy with that.

Bentley's Back
Bruce ate Bentley's food (Bentley is back for a week) and Bentley got all mad and stayed in the kids' room.  Poor guy.  He's probably thinking, "I HATE that guy."  Then Bruce sulked around the living room because I scolded him.

Movie Review
The kids and I watched Epic, which is an AWESOME movie.  I just love it!  The graphics were beautiful and the characters were great.  Ronin, the commander of the leafmen, is my favorite.  Beonce did a great job in her Queen character, too.  And to be honest, after watching this movie, I found it a little hard to step on the grass. 

Ferret Story
So, we're cleaning the home today.  The ferrets will be released and free to terrorize all as soon as the cleaning is over.  Well in the living room and dining room anyway. 

I've learned that putting a baby gate up to block off the kitchen only keeps the dog out.  The ferrets have found a way in.  Squish and Carrot squeeze their little bodies through the gate and Sammy climbs over it.  I can't win.

Highlight Story
Last weekend, my brother took the boys to a playground.  Caden sat on the spinning seat and spun and spun and spun.  Until he got sick.  He walked around like a drunken zombie and had to lay in my lap until the world stopped spinning.  Shade and water helped.  And then he got back on it again.  Crazy kid.

School has been a little rough for Caden.  He had a friend named Dante who attended the summer program with him.  They were inseparable.  Well, Dante doesn't attend the Before And After program at the Youth Center, so Caden hasn't seen him since summer ended.  Needless to say, he has not been wanting to go to the Youth Center and he doesn't want to go to school.
Nobody Plays With Me
The Youth Center teachers and I have been spending time talking to him about making new friends and adjusting to change.  It's been a week and so far he's been feeling better about it.  He talks about all the cool things he gets to do in school.  So I think he's gonna be just fine in time.

As for me and college, my class is going very well.  I got a 92% on my quiz.  I was disappointed because I got a 100% last week but I guess I'll just have to get over it.  I have a Forensic Discipline paper due this Sunday, so I'm researching and outlining.  I have to choose a discipline that interests me.  I'm going with Forensic Anthropology, which is the study of skeletal remains.  This field tries to identify the remains and possibly cause of death.  The kicker:  It requires a friggin PhD.  That is discouraging because I'm 32.  By the time I get my PhD I'll be out of the military, retired, and ... older.  I'll have to find a way to get over this one.

What's Happening On Facebook

Since I don't have my own horse and have decided that for now I will live my horse dreams vicariously through others, I follow Equipped Equine.

I follow Hiking Colorado for great information about the trails and mountain climbing around here.  This incredible pic was shared by them from  From The High Country.
What I'm Reading
When I was a teen, I just loved Christopher Pike's books.  One of my (and my lovely sister's) favorites of the author's books were The Last Vampire.  I downloaded it from Barnes & Noble.  Well, on my day off last week, I took a stab at reading it again and I have to say I had a little giggle about it.  The writing is a little on the amateur side.  However, it is still entertaining and I'm glad I bought it.  I love reading old books I used to love!
At five thousand years old, the vampire Alisa thought she was smart enough to stay out of trouble. But when her creator returns to hunt her, she must protect herself by befriending Ray, the boy who may be her only chance at finding her maker. When she begins to fall in love with Ray, all of a sudden there is more at stake than her own life. Originally published in 1994, this series netted more than 500,000 copies as individual titles and later as bind-ups. This hot new repackage will revive the series for today’s teen.

Writing Highlight
I used to write a lot more.  Lots of my stuff were dark, though, so I think it's a good thing I'm not writing as much!  My work can be found by visiting TheStormInside.webs.com.  For now, here's an oldie I did years ago:

Empty Promises
I passed you on my way to the daycare again.  My light turned green and I took the left, under the overpass.  The sky was gray and the traffic was as heavy as it normally was at five-thirty in the evening.  Impatience filled the streets.

I always expect you to be there, under the overpass.  My eyes always seem to seek you as soon as I get under.  And there you were.  Salt and pepper beard, so thick it reminds me of a dirty Santa Claus beard.  Like a beat up, crusty Santa Claus.  Covered in a dusty old olive-green jacket and some torn jeans, I see you shiver in the cold.  You stare at the cars as they pass you by.  Well, I don't know for sure if you're staring at the cars or just staring.  Deep in thought, inside yourself.

Like yesterday, the day before, and the days before then, I asked you in my  head, "Why do you live there?  How did you let yourself become a victim to the world in such a way?  Why can't you get a job?  Have you tried?  Will no one hire you?"

I asked you these things as I drove past you, wondering when I'm going to give you some spare change.  I never carry cash.  But if I had some, I'd ... what would I do?  Would I pull over under the overpass?  Would I really hand you money?

As I passed you, I focused on the traffic and fought my way to the right lane.  Trying to beat everyone else so  they don't cut me off first.  I forgot about you then.  I drove down the street and found myself at my son's daycare.  He filled me with warmth when I hugged him after missing him all day.  Little arms wrapped me around my neck as a tiny voice squealed "Mommy!"  He was the best part of my day.

On the way home, I passed you again.  This time, my toddler pointed at you from his car seat.  "Bye bye!" he called as he waved at you.  You didn't see.  Or maybe you did, but you were too cold to smile.  Too hungry to wave.

Next time, I thought in my head.  Next time I'll stop.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Manitou Springs Incline

I did not want to do it.
I argued against the suggestion.
Everyone else wanted to go.
Finally, because my brother wanted to do it and I wanted to spend time with him, I said FINE.

The Manitou Springs Incline is one mile in length and 2,000 vertical feet.  It is NOT easy.  In fact, before I did it, I thought anyone who climbed it was insane.  I wondered WHY.  Why on earth would anyone want to do this to themselves?

I couldn't understand it.  I mean, it's nothing but STAIRS.  Never ever EVER ending stairs.  At least if you did the stair climber in the gym, you wouldn't die if you fell over.  There was a young couple who kept the same pace as me and the poor girl kept needing breaks.  I heard her boyfriend (or husband, I was too blinded by pain to check if they wore rings) tell her "You keep stopping.  It's making it worse.  You have to just keep going."  I mean, the dude was a jerk.  Every time they stopped, the guy would sigh and look all bothered as if she was an inconvenience to him.  I wanted to push him over. 

I didn't want to admit that the farther up I went, the more accomplished I felt.  I'd look behind me at that awful, torturous line of steps and think, "Holy crap.  I am doing this.  I am climbing the FRIGGIN INCLINE."  I was starting to smile on the way up.  After a while, I didn't even feel like a weakling when I stopped for breaks.  I took in the beautiful site that was at my back as we climbed.

Finally, at the top, I was actually happy I did it.  It took me an hour to get up there.  My brother finished about 15-20 minutes before me.  But that didn't bother me.  He's in the Army and they do this kind of crazy crap all the time. 

On the way down, we took the Barr Trail.  It is about 3 (or maybe more) miles.  It is a really gorgeous, but can be a little dangerous if you don't watch your step, walk. 

In the end, I really was glad I did it.  And you know what?  I'd do it again.  If I could find a sitter.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Back To School!

Caden started first grade last week.  I am so excited for him!  His first day began a little rough for both of us.  He didn't even want to step into his class.  He was so shy!!  I saw tears in his eyes when he took a seat.  I thought of him all throughout the day.  I remembered what it was like being in a new class with a new teacher.  Being all alone in a room full of strangers.  But when I picked him up from the youth center, he told me he had a GREAT day!  He likes his teacher and there are several kids in his class that were in his kindergarten class.  I wanted to cry, I was so happy!  I guess the big-baby mom really is in me.

He wasn't the only one who started school last week.  Guess who else!  ME!  I'm finally back in the game.  I stopped when my divorce started four years ago and I am finally at a place in my life where I am comfortable with taking classes and working towards my degree.  And I am so friggin psyched!

I am pursuing my B.S. in Investigative Forensics and am about halfway there.  I started my Intro to Investigative Forensics class last week and had a TON of homework.  Oh my goodness.  The reading, the conference discussions, the homework assignments and the brainstorming for a paper.  All in one week.  I love it. 

So right now it is 1:32 a.m..  I've been working on homework.  I have one more assignment that's due by 11:59 p.m. tomorrow night and then I'm done.  This week I have to choose a forensic discipline I might want to work in and begin writing a paper on it.  There are only A LOT to choose from. 

Forensic pathology (dead bodies, cause of death, etc),
Forensic physical anthropology (skeletal remains, identification of corpses),
Forensic odontology (teeth, bite marks), Forensic toxicology (poisons)
and Forensic entomology (insects at death scenes).

It's challenging trying to juggle work, mommying, housework, pet care, AND school all at the same time.  But here I am blogging about it so I guess I found a way to make it work.  Yay! 

It gets the homework done.
That is all.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Eagle Peak

The first time I heard of Eagle Peak was when I was still new to Colorado.  One of my coworkers said, "Last year we climbed Eagle Peak."  I asked what it was and he pointed to a mountain.  I couldn't tell which one-- there are a bunch of them here.  I guess he noticed the look of confusion on my face because he said, "Yes, it's a mountain and yes we really did climb it."  He said "we" as in our unit. 

Now I like to work out.  If you follow my Facebook or Twitter, you'd notice I like bragging about how many crunches I'm doing and how I try to motivate other moms.  I like working out.  I like being fit.  But I don't like the idea of climbing a friggin mountain.  I mean, really, who the heck does that unless they're training to win some kind of medal or something?

So when our Big Boss sent out an e-mail to the staff announcing that we will be climbing Eagle Peak on Monday, I was a little ticked.  Why the heck do I need to climb a damn mountain?  I mean, seriously, I am perfectly fine with my life.  Climbing a mountain is not on my bucket list.  But I did a groan and kept my thoughts to myself.

We met up at 0700 as a unit and headed out on the trail.  I admit I started with a grumpy attitude.  I didn't growl at anyone, but I was pretty quiet and watched as everyone chatted excitedly amongst each other.  But it was only because I was scared as hell of what we were about to do.  I am not a mountain climber.  I am the girl who will run a mile and a half only because the Air Force tells me to.  And I hate it.  So as everyone else seemed to be skipping with their heads in the clouds, I was freaking out inside.
My attitude changed rapidly, though.  As soon as we entered the woods, my nerves quickly calmed.  The scenery was stunning.  I was in awe of the fact that just minutes ago I was grumbling as I walked a dirt trail and all of a sudden I was surrounded by... peace.  God's work.  The feeling was different, as if I entered a totally different world.  The sounds were that of nature, pure and uninfluenced by man.  Everything stood still, yet everything seemed to be watching us as we navigated these woods. 
Now don't get me wrong, it was not an easy hike.  It was uphill the entire time... okay, okay, I know, I know.  It's a mountain, duh...  It was actually pretty tough!  All the marathoners and younger folks were way ahead of those of us who were not cardiologically fit.  (Like how I just made up that word?)  There were huge rocks to climb over, some lose gravel, and an incline that didn't appear to give us a break.
And then to our surprise, an aspen meadow sprouted in our path and it almost made us forget we were climbing a mountain.  It was absolutely, incredibly tantalizing.  Flowers surrounded us.  Birds flew above us.  And the flat of the land gave our legs a break.  It was almost unreal.  I was scared it was going to turn out to be that meadow of sleepy roses that the witch in The Wizard of Oz got Dorothy to pass out in.  Nevertheless, we smiled and walked quietly through this meadow, welcoming the gift.  What we didn't know was it was really the calm before the storm.

The rest of the way was ready to get us back to work.  The incline seemed to rush at us and many of us were huffing and puffing, pulling ourselves up over even more rocks.  Imagine doing the elliptical ... only with a pretty view.  Once we got past the treeline, it dawned on me.  I'm CLIMBING A FRIGGIN MOUNTAIN.  Excitement swept through me.  I couldn't believe it.  I was really doing it.  Suddenly, I no longer paid any attention to my burning legs.  I felt closer to the friggin sun.

Heck yeah.  I climbed a mountain.  How the heck did I ever deserve such an opportunity!  Have you ever survived something so crazy that when you came out of it, you were so grateful for ... well, everything?  That's how I felt at the top of that mountain.  As if I was this lowly creature who had been given a gift.  I had to work my ass off to get to it, but holy crap would I do it again.  I felt as if I shed a little negativity on my way up and gained more appreciation for life in its place.  The feeling is incredible.

When we got back down to the bottom of the mountain, we all stood around in awe of ourselves.  We congratulated each other, high-fived each other and laughed at the fact that we just climbed a mountain.  Then, we noticed the sign.  Some of us didn't read it before we started.  We learned that we just climbed 1.25 miles to the top of the mountain, 1900 feet in elevation gain.  Crazy!!
I learned something important this day.
I can do anything I allow my body to do.
And so can you.
Some of us were super psyched to be at the top while some of us were simply still trying to take it all in.
I thought it would be fun to act like I'm meditating...IN THE SKY!
Flowers in the meadow.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Internet Is Awesome!

I love the internet.
I feel like there is always something I want to buy.

This is totally friggin awesome!  It's in my cart on Amazon.
So far it has a 4.5 rating by 16 reviewers.
Gonna totally get this.
The internet relates to me and I feel like I'm not alone.
I can stay on top of my bible reading because Facebook reminds me every day!
I can always find cool, cheap ways to grow veggies.  Even though I won't because the bunnies will eat them.
I can find all the amazing recipes in the world!
And finally...
It's full of friggin cuteness.

Saturday Catch Up

Wow, I've been really sucking at blogging lately.  I do have a couple of other blogs I work on.  I guess I hit a little block so I write in another blog, then I'll hit another block in that one, so I'll write in this one.  Writing is a lot of fun for me, so when I do get up the nerve to type something up, it's a really nice feeling.  Lately, I've been all about the dog though.

In Just Keep The Dog (aka JKTD), I write about... dogs.  That's a given, right?  It's pretty hard to write competitively, though.  I mean, there are TONS of dog blogs on the internet.  There are so many fun things to read about our four legged furballs.  So, like in this blog, I don't write to gain followers or sell things.  Not that those are bad... I'm just not one to compete.  I guess I'm a lazy writer.  Anyway, JKTD is a way for me to highlight Bruce.  For someone who can't speak to us humans, I believe he has a voice--and lots of really important things to say.  So I write for him.  And I have a lot of fun doing that. 

Then there's Seeking Dog Lover, my book blog.  I'm working on spreading awareness on dog abuse and neglect.  In Seeking Dog Lover, I tell Bruce's story about the life he knew before he joined my crazy family.  It's a fiction story based on only what I knew from his Owner Surrender paperwork.  I tell it in first person point of view so that readers are able to relate to a character that actually has thoughts.  I use no names, other than his and other animals.  And I describe the things that are happening the way I believe a dog experiences it.  My goal is to grow empathy in readers, change the mindset of those who don't see what's wrong with neglecting their pet.  I love writing it.

As for my real life, so much has been happening!!  I find myself so busy and filled with thoughts that I simply am too darn lazy to write about them.  So hopefully this will not only let you know what's going on with the Mama in Combat Boots, but give you something that will make you smile. 

Here it goes...

Yesterday, the boys had a fight on the way in to their daycare/youth center:
I'm tired of you saying that!
Well I'm tired of YOU!
I'm tired of your ENTIRE body!
I'm tired of your entire body AAANNNDDD your butt cheeks.
You said butt cheeks.
Bruce was... his usual self.
He has succeeded in being his usual super sweet self, posing for belly rubs and begging strangers for love as well.
His hips have been really bad lately, so he's also been getting some heat compress sessions and massages.  I tell him every day that I love him.
My best friend rescued a humming bird in our office.  The poor thing flew in and couldn't find its way back out.
So my little rescuer caught it gently in his hands and allowed me a chance to take a pic before he released it. 
I got to witness yet another miracle of God.  Something so small and fragile, yet so beautiful and powerful in its flight.  I love our Lord.
I am reminded every day that God is good.  My drive to work greets me with beauty every day.
And I do have to mention that I got scolded by my own troop that I am not being safe taking pictures while driving.  I have learned to control myself when I see a beautiful sky.
Obviously not for this pic, but....
Stride made my day when I opened the wrapper of this pack of gum only to be faced with an adorable face of a Boston's gigantic puppy eyes. 
I finally found out why my travel mug cover has been ending up under the sink.
My crazy trio has been stealing it and hiding it there... along with:
My kids' crocks, arch supports, rubber gloves, and kid toys.

We celebrated Fourth of July with my sister-in-law and friends.
Hot dogs and Chamorro barbeque-- OH YEAH BABY.

Not a day goes by without my beautiful boys giving me a hug that almost strangles me.
I love it every time.

I was visited by leadership who congratulated me on being selected for promotion to E-6.
It's about friggin time!!  I've only been eligible for SEVEN YEARS.
Woo hoo!!!!  I pin on the new rank August first.

Basic Cadet Training. 
This keeps us busy every summer.  Yay for working on weekends.

BCT can tire us...
If you follow my Facebook page, you get to stay up to date on my latest gripes and whines about them.  Hehehe
I've been bringing in Folgers Vanilla Biscotti coffee and Kona Vanilla Macadamia Nut coffee beans.  It makes work BETTER.
Despite the extra hours, I still get to enjoy the beauty in the job I do.
I'm pretty blessed, I think.
So that about sums it up.  Well, the big stuff I can think of off the top of my head right now, anyway.  There's always the usual stuff everyone deals with like reluctantly waking up every morning because I'm soooo sleepy, trying to keep updated on watching Lost (I know the show ended ages ago.. .I'm slow), dealing with weird neighbor kids who just HAVE to come to the porch to pet Bruce--which isn't so fun when I just want to relax, watching Forgetting Sarah Marshall and laughing my ass off, and many many many more common day-to-day stuff.
Have a GREAT Saturday!!  I'll try to write more.  Promise.