Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Workout update to be proud of!

This is one ugly photo that I'm pretty proud of!

Why you ask? Well, I'm sick (have a nasty cold, but you already knew that) and I'm EXHAUSTED (as part of being sick) yet I managed to clock my BEST MILE TIME YET this afternoon! I walked the dog at about 4mph for 1 mile to warm up and then dropped off the pooch and started jogging.

Most of my runs have more accurately been "run walks". Even then I was making progress:
Mile Time
June: 11 minutes, 51 seconds
July 17th: 10 minutes, 35 seconds
July 28th: 9 minutes, 20 seconds!!!!!!!!!
I heard a podcast (This Running Life - a personal favorite) where a famous runner was interviewed. He happened to mention that beginning runners often start out too fast and burn out. So I focused this run on starting out slower. It felt like I was barely going faster than my walking pace of 4 mph, but the stop watch does not lie! I must have been cookin'! Maybe cold medicine makes me faster? lol

So I focused on not stopping. Yes, I walked a bit, but no more than 2 minutes MAX. I was pretty happy with it overall, and it's got me looking forward to my next 5 K!

"All I Really Need to Know I Learned from the Mouse"

What populates my desk on a daily basis

So I have a little bit of a cold still and but I'm too busy to really be sick right now. Today I have 10 hours to work at my desk job, and another 3-4 hours of rehearsal. Add in a work out and some house work, and I have a pretty full day. My Sailor is on Duty until tomorrow night, so I'm looking forward to some bubble bath and a book time before bed tonight.

With all of that going on, I look for the little things that inspire me. Here's a few:
1) My Figment mug. What is a "Figment"? Well, according to his creator, he's "2 tiny wings, eyes big and yellow, horns of a steer, but a lovable fellow. From head to tail, he's royal purple pigment. And there, Eureka, you've got a Figment!" Figment is a purple dragon that's become "the character" of Epcot. Designed specially for the Journey Into Your Imagination attraction, this little dragon is a "figment of imagination".  He's one of my favorite characters. I've always seen the value in a healthy imagination, even when (or perhaps, especially when, you're an adult).
2) My "All I need to know I learned from the Mouse" Book.  It's a great little book that includes stills from Mickey cartoons along with a moral for the story. For example, a picture from Steamboat Willy shows Mickey yelling at Pete. It's captioned "Question Authority". I love it.

When I think about my love of Disney, I'm so glad that I have people around me that understand and enjoy it as well! You find Disney fans in the craziest of places, but I generally find them to the be fun, open minded, creative people who understand the importance of dreams, inspiration, and doing the impossible.

What "impossible" task will I conquer next? I'm not quite sure, but if we can pull off this Animal Kingdom wedding without a hitch, I'll be thrilled!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I'll have 1 pound of fat with a side of sniffles, thank you.

So this week, I'm down a pound! Yeah!
So that's the good news!

The bad news is... I caught a cold. Oy. All I want to do is sleep, but it's month end at work so I'll be working a lot - and I have an extra rehearsal this week. Oy Vey. 

Anyway, here's more good news:
I've been cleaning up some errors on my credit report. It's long overdue and just about done.
Other good news - We have family coming up to visit!

My parents will be coming up for opening weekend of the show, and My Sailor's Dad will also be coming up for a visit during the same time, so it'll be busy, but pretty fun, I imagine! I'm planning on working enough to get at least one of the days off, but I'm doing my best to save up time for next year's Disney World.

I think I may be suffering from a bit of professional burn out. I've worked at this job for this company for years now. While no 2 days are the same, I find myself frankly bored. Yes, I'm grateful to have a job that allows me to work from home and do other things on the side, but I'm looking forward to the day where I can cut back on "Plan B" and truly pursue my dreams. It's still probably over a year away, sadly. But it is what it is - and I'm grateful to have a job.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Climbing Adventure!

Remember this post where I talked about cutting my nails so My Sailor and I could go to the indoor rock climbing gym?  Well, we were too exhausted to make it to the gym that weekend, so we took a rain check and checked out Vertical World Saturday morning instead.

And MAN was it an awesome experience! I can add this to the list of "things other people made me do that have made me a better person" - right next to that first Triathlon Bon Bon made me do.

 Doesn't this place look intimidating?! Whew! But a few great discoveries came from this adventure. The first discovery showed me how far I've come in mastering a few of what were my major insecurities. No, a fear of heights was never one of them.

See, there were only a few other people in the gym, and we were by far the largest people there, weighing in at a combined total of 416 pounds. (We've been losing, but it's a slow and steady process.) So that made me the largest woman in the building. Now, a younger version of me, who hadn't completed (much less would have attempted) 2 triathlons, would have been too scared to go up on the walls. I could feel that insecure thought of, "Just sit it out on the bench and watch. You can take lots of pictures," pass through my mind. (If you've spent any significant duration of time obese or worse, then you know exactly what I mean.) It's the "inner fat girl" talking (or "stinkin' thinkin'" as my Dad calls it) that I'd chosen to believe FAR too many times in my life.

Since reclaiming my health, I stopped giving these thoughts the power I would have a decade ago. I trusted the other thoughts that were quieter, but present. The thoughts of: "If you don't try, you'll never know if you can do this." and "You already know you're capable of more thank you think you are." and "My Sailor thinks I can do this. Than I can. The employees will make sure I'm safe."  I chose to believe them instead, but that doesn't mean there wasn't a natural little fear there still. Having the encouragement of the coach and My Sailor was huge... But I'm getting ahead of myself.

We checked in at the front desk and got our climbing shoes and harnesses. We moved on to our first wall and I was nominated to go first (thanks, love).  The employee who was manning the ropes and coaching us explained the route system and we picked a beginner's route for me.

About half way through, I realized I wasn't breathing. But I was half way up the wall already!  I stopped for just a few moments to breathe and continued. When I felt like quitting, I just remembered what got me through the 2008 Disneyland Danskin Triathlon - my first. Whenever I had the overwhelming urge to quit (which was FAR stronger then than it has EVER been before or since), I just figured out what the next step was. As I focused on taking each step individually, I realized that I really could continue and was more capable than I thought (Gordon Harvey of my favorite podcast would call this The Central Governor Theory).  So I focused on where to put my foot next. With a little reminder from the coach to "Keep moving" (she was probably afraid that, as a noob, I would freeze up), I made it to the top of my first wall!

And then she suggested a 2nd wall (after My Sailor had made quick work of the route I took) with a more difficult route. I felt the changes, but again, I made it to the top, on my first try, without falling. (Even someone I didn't know in the gym was surprised at my quick progress!) Coming down covered in sweat and a great smile felt awesome. I cheered My Sailor on as he took a trail up that wall as well. It was much more difficult and he struggled with the start. The route was called "Tupac's Alive", you know it must have been hard.  

We moved on to the third wall. I spent a good half an hour trying to conquer this wall. And I'm sorry to say, it kicked my butt. Already tired from the first 2 climbs (hey, it was my first time ever) I seemed to have met my match. But ya know what? I was okay with it. I know I gave it my all. My arms were shaking so badly I couldn't grip anything. My last fall actually resulted in the grip ripping a few layers of skin from one of my fingers, and I developed a callus on the other hand. That didn't take long!

So I didn't make it to the top of my 3rd wall, but I'm actually very satisfied with my progress. I did more than I thought I could, AND I have a goal for NEXT TIME. That's right. There WILL be a next time. And then I will show that wall who's boss!

My Sailor is a strong climber! I guess beneath all of our chub are 2 very strong people!

It's "the next day" and my arms are feeling the work out. Parts of my arms I have trouble working out are sore, which is awesome. We talked it over and this is sure to become a regular thing, so stay tuned for updates!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sharing some good, fun news!

But I'm cheating. You'll have to check out the blog that My Sailor and I keep in order to check it out! Here's the link!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Starting the Day Snow White style

So today I sat down to work and popped Snow White in the DVD player. And ya know what? The Evil Queen has style. Seriously -who doesn't want to wear an amazing cape like that and swirl it out as they walk down a staircase? Snow White may be younger and prettier, but ya gotta give the queen props for having some style.


She's got to be in the runnings for the most fashionable Disney Villianess.

That said, I seriously miss being an hour away from Disneyland. Annual pass in hand, I'd dive into the parks with friends, or solo, often just to blow off some steam and take a break from the real world. I guess sometimes you don't realize how spoiled you are! Okay, I realized it, but I'm in a Disney mood today. Well, a stronger Disney mood today than other days.

Which is turning out not to be such a bad thing. With My Sailor off doing his duty for at least the next 48 hours, I'm flying solo. I've decided to do all the basic weekday stuff (work, work out, walk the dog, a household chore or two) and then relax to some Epic Mickey and some classic Disney movies and shorts with a big bowl of air popped popcorn.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A "typical" day?

 A fellow blogger asked, "What is a typical night for you as a couple?"

That brought me to the realization that I'm getting EXACTLY what I wanted out of my relationship w/ My Sailor. Delicious adventure coupled with day-to-day comforts. Now, one could argue that we haven't been together long enough to establish a "routine", but I think we're both just very busy, so we make the time we have count.  Being pretty independent people who have come together, we grow together but also have a remarkable oppurtunity to support one another in our pursuits. If you've followed my blog, you know adjusting to military life isn't entirely an easy adjustment, but at the same time, he's had to adjust to the lifestyle of a Not So Starving Artist. Meaning, if I'm not working my day job, I'm neck deep in theater, scrapbooking, writing, etc. I wouldn't describe it as "distracted", but more "full".

But there are pieces of our day that are fairly routine. For example, we get up at about the same time every morning (around 6-6:20am). He gets ready for work while I get dressed, walk the dog, and get breakfast ready. We do eat breakfast together every morning, at the table (when he doesn't have a 48 hour shift).  No tv on, no screens, and while there isn't a whole lot of conversation going on that early in the morning, it gives me time to collect my thoughts and find an upbeat thought to start the day with. (I'm not always a "morning person", but once I've given myself a chance to drink a glass of water and wake up a bit, I can usually find something positive to start the day off on the right foot.)

Other than that, the evening "routine" is mostly My Sailor's.

He makes his daily calls to family and friends in the car on his way home from work (I'm usually driving). That's followed by getting home and taking off the uniform, showering, and thus ends the routine. From there, we figure out what errands need to be run, housework needs to be done, and dinner needs to be made and go from there.

Tonight will be different, though. I have rehearsal before he gets off work, so he'll be taking the ferry and walking to the theater to pick up the car after work. I'll see him when I get out of rehearsal, probably around 8-9pm tonight. So we'll be fending for ourselves for dinner - unless I get off work early enough to make dinner and put something in the fridge for him - which isn't a bad idea... So I can make sure he has something health for dinner that he doesn't have to think about at the end of a long day (see our health/fitness blog here).

And it's consideration like that that keeps us linked. When I've had a long day at rehearsal (my rehearsals are on the weekends, so I work all week and rehearse all weekend), I'll often find that he did the grocery shopping (buying a bunch of the fresh stuff that I love) or the housework because I've been too busy to do it.

See, a big part of life, for us, is setting each other up for success. I know neither of us loves the fact that we are so busy and that it takes us away from each other so much. But it gives us a great chance to really "be there" for each other without being able to physically be there.

 I've always viewed life as an adventure.

But if you view life as a new adventure each day, or if you enjoy the comfort of the day-to-day routines, there is sweetness to be found every day in the littlest of things.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Start of a Very Productive Saturday!

It all started around 6am when I woke up to drop My Sailor off for work. From there it's been a whirlwind of awesome.

I treated myself to a petite vanilla scone and a skinny vanilla latte from Starbucks this morning and a leisurely trip to Walmart. I grabbed some new PJs for me and My Sailor (he's had his eye on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for him, Minnie Mouse for me) and the complete Toy Story trilogy on Blu- Ray (yeah for sales!).

Once I came home, I strapped on my running shoes and headed out to complete my virtual 5k for Team Voice!   I wouldn't have been able to do it tomorrow since My Sailor and I are going to the rock climbing gym in the AM, and then I have rehearsal until the cows come home.  I've decided I can afford to donate $10 to Team Voices Make-A-Wish fund for every 5k I run, since this is likely to be a monthly or bi-monthly event.

From then on, I've been neck deep in catching up on housework before I head to the theater to rehearse! I'm bringing a Luna bar and a Fiber One bar with me so that I can stay on track diet wise. I also have some fruit I can bring too.

I got to text a bit with my mom today! They got back into the states last week and it's been super busy for them. She's going to send me a photo of my wedding gown so that I can get a good picture of the colors. I'm really curious to see how it turned out (and how it'll look now that I have my peacock hair piece sitting on my dresser. SO EXCITED!).

As you can tell, today is a MUCH better day - lack of sleep aside. For once, I don't feel completely exhausted and drained. I have a few hours of work to finish after rehearsal and then I'm all done for the day.

BTW - Harry Potter Vol 7 Part 2? AWESOME. A great, satisfying ending to the series. Saw it last night in 3D and it was good. (Probably equally enjoyable w/o the 3D though).

Next on the MUST SEE movie list? Winnie the Pooh! Hopefully Tuesday (which is $5 movie day at the local theater).

Have a great Saturday! I'm off to fold laundry and finish cleaning!

Friday, July 15, 2011

So since my last post...

Once I admitted I was having a tough time adjusting - good things started to make me smile!

1) My order from Julian Bakery came in! I ordered 3 different types of bread from this bakery I discovered when I lived in California. They include 2 Carb Smart toaster breads and 1 loaf of Mana From Heaven. If you're interested in VEGAN friendly, low carb, zero preservatives breads, order one of these hearty babies!

2) My Sailor sent me the following goofy pictures he took while I was working out to Just Dance 2 about a week ago.

Might be a little bit down in the mouth....

First, the good news! I went for a mile run yesterday and shaved over 1 minute off my mile time! This makes me really excited for the virtual 5k I'll be running tomorrow! Team Voice is running a virtual 5k and I'll be putting in $10 for our Make-a-Wish fundraiser. I'm actually pretty excited about the challenge.

You know you're an adult when you have the chance to see a big name movie, but turn down a midnight showing so you can go to bed early.  Last night, the local drive-in movie theater that we love so much was playing the both of Harry Potter Volume 7 movies back to back for one night only. But with My Sailor's increased duty schedule lately, he's really tired lately - and I'm still wrestling with some exhaustion issues of my own. So we opted to go to bed early (like, the-sun-was-still-out-early) instead of go to the movies. Now, I'm not THAT much of a Potter fan, but I enjoy the films so we'll probably go see it tonight sometime, but it's funny how something like being tired wouldn't have stopped me a few years ago!

So the Down In The Mouth part I think I have to face that I might be wrestling with a tiny bit of depression/adjustment reaction to life right now. See, I'm a long term planner. With My Sailor's schedule right now, long term planning is out of the question and it's hard. Not to mention there is NO way to make EVERYONE happy. My family feels we should have a very small wedding in California or Washington. They are under the impression that either of those options would be less expensive.

Actually, they aren't less expensive. I've done the research.

Yes, if we got married in California in the San Diego area, most of my family and friends wouldn't have to travel, so it would be cheaper for them, however this would probably increase the attendance list, and make it more expensive for the couple throwing the party - namely, us. We'd still have to travel. (Nowhere around here is a)in our budget range and b) nice enough.) All of his family would have to travel.

Now, My Sailor is also against the whole California idea, largely due to the added expense for his family - but he wants to Honeymoon on a Mexican Rivera cruise - which all leave out of LA.

Does your head hurt? Mine does.

So we're back to being settled on Shades of Green, in Disney World, in the Fall of 2012.

But "fall" is a big time of year. Anything more specific, I don't know. Nothing is booked and we have no idea what his schedule will look like next year.

So we had a good heart to heart last night -
And I found out a few things that were really comforting.
I'm not alone in my frustration with our inability to set longer term concrete plans.

I mean, I would LOVE a vacation - but that isn't really in the cards until sometime next year.

Only a few more months to go until "next year"!

But at least all of this also helps explain my problem sleeping (or oversleeping)! I'm sure "this too shall pass". I really have such a good life that it's difficult to complain, but overall - I've been feeling a bit down in the mouth lately.

Hopefully tonight's date night/dinner w/ some of his Navy friends will boost my spirits!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Another Work Out Update!

So here's what's happened for the last month:

I've eaten under my calories (but over my 1200 min) all but 1 day in the last 40. I've worked out (walks of 30 minutes or more, or elliptical random hill training on a setting of 5-7 for 20+ minutes, or 30+ minutes of Just Dance 2).

Within the first month, I quickly lost 5 lbs, going for 211-207.
However, during the next month, with no real changes to my diet, I put back on most of that.

These measurements were taken on June 16th when I was at 210 lbs:
Here was June 13th - where I weighed in at 210 lbs that day:
Neck  13.5
Waist 40
Chest 42
R Arm 14
Hips 50.5 (UGH!!!!!! Applebottom Jeans anyone?)
R Thigh 29.5
R Calf  1

As of this morning ( a month later) I'm down to 208 and these are my measurements:
Neck 13.5 - No Change
Waist 36 - -4 inches!!!!
Chest 42 - No Change
R Arm 13.25 - -.75 inches!!!!
R Thigh 29.5 - No Change
R Calf 16 - -1 inch!!!!
Hips 48 - -2.5 inches!!!

Total change: -6 inches!!!!

So I lost half a FOOT OF FAT!!!! Though as of this moment, I'm only down 3lbs from my heaviest (211) last month. I've actually stopped really recording my daily weight, because I'm seeing a change in my figure. I can wear clothes that were uncomfortably snug, so it's paying off. I just wish it would pay off on the scale. But I'm sure if I keep it up, it will be in time.

While it hasn't really shown up on the scale, it's shown up elsewhere!  It's only a matter of time before it melts off!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I must love him... A LOT....

I just cut off my nails after FINALLY getting them long and even. While I'm not really a "girly girl", it was nice to have my nails in good shape - for a while.

Why, you ask, did I cut them?

Because I promised My Sailor that we'd do an indoor rock climbing wall this weekend.

Okay, so part of me is excited about taking on a new challenge. But that part of my brain that says, "YOU CAN'T DO THAT!" is screaming VERY loudly as well. I keep hearing it tell me that I don't have the upper body strength, that I'll fall and get hurt, that I'll hurt myself because I'm not conditioned for this, etc etc.

But you know what? That's just the irrational fear talking.

So what's the rational side saying?
"You completed TWO TRIATHLONS WITHOUT COMING IN LAST and survived, and you're afraid of THIS?! REALLY?! You're going to let fear hold you back from a SAFE little rock climb? I thought you were uber adventure woman?!"

Yeah - so I've clipped my nails and WE'RE GOING. Most likely it'll be Sunday sometime, but we're going - and oddly enough, I'm getting a little bit excited about this.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Blog question of the Week + a little weekend preview

First, the quickly - WEEKEND PREVIEW!

 My Sailor and I have had an AWESOME weekend. I ended up getting Saturday off of rehearsal for Into The Woods. We spent most of the day kicking around a mall in Seattle. I picked up new running shoes which were sorely needed and will no doubt be featured later.  We also picked up some Magic Cards and the Zombies board game. Once we got home, we played our new boardgames, but more on that in a later post.


Comes from The Less Than Domestic Goddess. "Do you like your name?"

I'll say that I'm used to my name - finally - after 30+ years. I was named after the Bionic Woman. In Washington, where most of the population speaks English, my name has proven to be far less of a headache, though it's misspelled on the regular. In my native land of Southern California, where a large portion of the population speaks Spanish, my name was FAR more problematic.

More than once I've been mistaken for a hispanic or Mexican guy just by people reading my name.

That's when the J came in. Instead of trying to correct people, I decided to just use my initial. A few old friends and family members still call me by my full name, but for the most part, "J" is what I'm known by.

On the upside, it's a unique name among people born in the 1980's especially women.
I can count on one hand the number of times I've another gal in my age bracket with my name.

However, I will NEVER name my child after a TV character.

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Few Minor Adjustments

Since I've moved to the North, I've noticed that I'm not only adapting, but I'm enjoying life out here for the most part. It's BEAUTIFUL, green, and cool! But I still haven't mastered this sleep thing.

For example, all week long I've been needing to take naps, because the 6-7 hrs I'm getting at night isn't enough. But these aren't the quick 15 minute power naps. I could literally sleep for a couple hours. In fact, 10 hours would be great for me. Today, I slept a restless 5-6 hrs last night, and then another 4 this morning!

I'm starting to think I'm fighting off a bug, but it's just hard to sleep when it doesn't get dark until after 10pm - which is about half an hour before bedtime! I'm used to Southern California summers, where sunset is no later than 9:30 most of the time.

I've added in daily working out, which is definitely helping the whole adjusting thing. Clydas walks with me nearly every day, and we've both lost fat! Which is great - though the scale hasn't reflected much of a change lately which is another argument for "fighting off a bug". But I know my body is changing. It's most obvious in my swimwear, but yesterday I was able to comfortably wear a favorite top that had gotten too tight a few months back, and I was able to wear a hoodie today that used to be too tight in the upper arms! Now, they are both comfortable additions to my wardrobe! I still need new running shoes BADLY, but I just hit payday and the trip to Michigan has been put off until September, so I'm going to grab a pair.

Speaking of September -

Me and The T, 2006

 I'm pretty excited to report that September will be my LAST PAYMENT on The T! (The T is a 2006 Pontiac Torrent, which is been an AWESOME CAR! Not a single major problem in over 110k miles!) I'm so excited to be one step closer of being out of debt. With an extra $476 to put on a few credit cards, there is a very good chance My Sailor and I will be out of our debts by the time we get to honeymoon next year!

But back to current day -

Clydas and I are flying solo tonight, so I'm looking forward to working out tonight and following it up with some great jacuzzi time with a good book.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Cure for The Blues

July 4th was nearly perfect.

I got to spend it seeing My Sailor and watching fireworks going off all over the penninsula. It was magical, if a bit cold.

But life has picked up and once again we're swept up in the business of being busy adults. It makes me long for the childhood days of summers off, playing out by the pool, or enjoying a good video game, and nights writing by candle light while sitting out under the stars (hey, child poets are a strange breed, what can I say).

The adult summer is filled with sunlit days spent inside behind a desk. The pool has been replaced with errands to run, and the starlit evenings are filled with dishes to do and laundry to fold.

The summer time blues begin!

So when I get these summer-time blues, the cure is right at my finger tips.

Or should I say, right in the back of my mind.

It's easy to sit and complain. Blogs are the perfect places to whine about what we don't have, to vent and complain. But ya know what?  Despite the fact that it's sunny and 80 degrees outside and I'm inside working away, I can't help but feel grateful for the way life as panned out for me. (And it's not even close to over yet!) Sure, there are things I'm still working on, but:

I have every window in the apartment open, letting in the beautiful sunlight and fresh air in.

I have this wonderful snoring boxer dog on the couch next to my desk.

I have an amazing guy that I can have fun with no matter the circumstances. I know I can openly love, respect, and be proud of him everyday.

I get to work from home.

I have a fridge full of fresh veggies and meats for meals.

I have a great little work out room in our gym.

I have family (and in-laws) that have wrapped their love around me.

I get to be part of a great Disney fan community - there is just something special about Disney fans.

I get to play Jack's Mother in Into the Woods - my favorite musical.

We are going to see Aladdin the Musical (the newest Disney musical, which just opened in Seattle) this weekend!

So it's really hard to be too blue when the world is looking up. :)

I highly recommend the gratitude list to help brighten up any funk.  What's on your list today?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day means more this year.

January 17th, 2011 -

My Sailor and I were walking around The Animal Kingdom in Disney World, Florida. We'd just gotten engaged the day before. It was pouring down rain and we were decked out for the weather. I had borrowed his rain jacket and wore the black baseball cap that said "Recruit" across the front of it. He'd sent it to me when he finished Boot Camp. He wore his black "Navy" hat he graduated to once completing those hard months in Chicago. We were on our way out of the park that afternoon, after having a great time with friends and being completely soaked through the skin, when a cast member ducked out of her shelter and stopped us.
"Are you really in the Navy?" she asked My Sailor, as the cool pouring rain quickly soaked her uniform.
"I am. She's not, but we just got engaged," he answered.
She immediately wrapped her arms around his neck and gave him a good strong hug. "Thank you for all you do. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you." She released him and wrapped her arms around me. "And thank you for keeping the home fires burning."
"I wouldn't have it any other way," I returned the hug - and will admit to being a little misty eyed as she left for shelter under a near by awning and I caught a glimpse of the pride and smile on My Sailor's face.

July 4th, 2011 -

 As I look around at all the people wishing each other "Happy 4th of July", it has a lot more meaning for me this year. See, I've always had friends who did the "military thing". Even my dad "did the Navy thing," though he rarely discusses any of those days. I considered doing the AirForce thing myself after High School.  But now that a large part of my heart is employed by the Navy (My Sailor), I finally have a deeper understanding of what it means to be one of those military families. It means not knowing when you can plan things, and when you can't. It means making just about any time together "quality", because you never know the Navy will call again. It means spending holidays without your loved one, but knowing that your hearts are together when it's physically impossible to be together.

I don't regret it for a minute. I'm very proud of My Sailor. We knew this was going to be hard, so it's not too much of a surprise. But sometimes it's harder than we thought. Having America safe isn't free. The cost can't be measured by dollars and cents. It's in all those holidays, birthdays, and special events missed by hardworking fathers and mothers. It's in the families who visit the graves of those lost to war. It's in the challenges taken on by our military and our law enforcement so we can listen to the music we want to listen to, wear the clothes we prefer, believe whatever we choose to, and live in relative freedom.

This experience has changed me. Even though I grew up in a town where Marines often made their homes, I still have a much deeper respect for our military and all they, and their families, give up.

The "Thank you's" we receive from time to time may seem small to those who say them, but they mean a lot.

So Thank You military men, women, and families. Have a safe and happy 4th of July.