Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Some Women Travel Pretty

Have you ever noticed that someone women manage to come out of those flying tin cans looking like they just stepped out of a salon? What is their secret?! No matter how much I primp or how prepared I am, I usuall end up looking more like a college kid on her way home from some foreign country after hours of hiking, rather than any of those perfectly groomed people. My hair is usually pulled back (because if it wasn't, static would make me look like a I just stepped out from a balloon convention). My face absorbs all traces of make up in a desperate attempt to maintain some sort of moisture. My eyes, no matter how much rest I get, resemble those of an insomniac, and my wardrobe is rarely a step beyond blue jeans or a loose fitting skirt. Forget "fit and trim". My stomach bloats no matter how much water or healthy food I stick to.  I tend to look a bit frazzled even when coming from the most fun-filled vacation ever.

How do you do it, Beautiful Airplane Babes?

My sunglasses are off to you.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valetine's Day 2013 and just a few scars.

Today is the first Valentine's Day spent w/ My Sailor. You'd think that means we'd celebrate in a big way but actually the opposite is happeneing. We're not obeserving the day at all really, other thn early morning "I love you, Happy Valentine's Day".

We'd rather do our Valentining during our Orlando vacation coming up next week!

I'm the consumate planner,and this trip I coming up so fast, I almost feel unprepared! But at the same time, it's more needed than ever.  Sure, we don't have our ADRs set up. Sure, we haven't exactly figured out a few key elements yet, but somewhere between 3 training sessions and 38 hours of work, it'll all get worked out.

Now, as for the training stuff!

I am definatey getting stronger and inches are melting off here and there. I'm not seeing any pound loss just yet, but hopefully that will change as I keep building muscle. I'm also trying to figure out if I'm ready for the Tower of Terror 10 mile race this October.

The crazy thing about this stuff is that it's also making me face and quiet some old demons again.

It turns out that, with things like a flattening belly, some new scars have reared their heads. Now, I'm no super model, and I'm well aquinted with my scarring disorder. It's always taken me some time to come to terms with new lasting (growing) marks on my body. These more visible ones are the scars from my laparoscopic oopherectomy (ovary removal for those not up on the medical lingo). I think they are a little extra disturbing because I know My Sailor would LOVE for us to turn up pregnant - and this is another reminder that my body has other plans. While I'm okay with that (as I've said before, I have absolutely none of the 'normal' burning desire to have someone who looks like me), it's a daily reminder that in an uncontrollable way, I'm letting him down.  Crazy, I know, but needeling and annoying.

BUT I'm very glad we invested in training! Scars or whatever may come, I'll be a happier, healthier me!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Cute guys and Disney Dining

My Sailor riding the Matterhorn for the first time

 My husband is cute.

Very cute.

He's definately the more impulsive side of our relationship, which is good for me - the consumate planner.

So when I mentioned last night that we have the Military Dining Plan hooked up for our upcoming (last minute) vacation, he didn't really understand what that ment and how that's changed our planning a bit.

Me and Sistah' Girl, my first Tequila
EPCOT - No reservations required

Like I said - he's cute.

Now, anyone who knows me, or has been to Disney World with me knows that I ideally take my entire year to plan a trip. I actually thrive off the planning process. Now, that said, the best things ARE NOT planned, but some form of outline seems to keep the trip moving more than "What do you wanna do now?" Standing around staring blankly at a map really isn't my speed.

Coral Reef in EPCOT w/ Sistah' Girl.
Reservations Required.
Dining in Disney World is certainly a highlight. Unfortunately, many of the best places require reservations 1-2 years in advance. Walking in and getting a seat isn't as easy as walking into a cafe in our tiny hometown. If you don't want to wait for hours or be turned away, making those ADRs (Advanced Dining Reservations, for those of you who don't speak Disney) is an esssential part of planning that gets me excited. Our last trip had decidedly few dining reservations, so we ended up spending a good chunk of time doing the "What do you want to do?" "I don't know, what do you feel like eating?" "I don't know; where can we get in?"

Carrot Cake Cookie to share
$6 cash. Snack Credit doesn't apply.
So with all that in mind, and knowing that he's just cute enough to not care where we go, I'm looking at how to make our dining credits count at places were there are LOTS of healthy options.

What are dining credits?Well, the Military Dining Plan includes 1 table service meal (entree, non alcoholic drink, and dessert), 1 counter service meal (for example, a combo meal), 1 snack credit (ex. popcorn, fruit, churros, and yes, Dole Whips) per person per day for $60/person/day. Since most entrees alone are nearly $30, this will allow us to do some no-brainer dining where we don't have to check our wallets to ensure we're covered.  BUT it does mean that we have to make sure we make the reservations, so we can get the most out of our goodies.

 For my Disney Fans reading this - what are some of your favorite last minute places to dine in Disney World?

Breakfast at Tusker House - 1 Table Service credit.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Adventure of a Lifetime.

.5% of the population of America actively serve in the US military. (That's kind of a scary number when you think about the size of our country.) Tinier still is the percentage that have worked on a submarine. Microscopic is the percentage of spouses and dependants who have been on a running submarine.

That's one microscopic percentage I am now part of.

A select few of us got to shadow them for a  few hours while as they worked. It was a remarkable experience. (No, I didn't bring a camera - so you'll will just have to use your imaginations. Pop over to Netflix and rent The Hunt for Red October if you really need a 'fix', k? )
Running on more excitement than sleep, I got up at the crack of dawn (arriving at the meeting spot about an hour early), got on a tug boat, and joined My Sailor in his undersea adventurous life for a few hours.

It was the adventure of a life time. Possibly several dozen lifetimes. Striving to top this will most likely be futile. I tried desperately to etch every sight, sound, and smell into my memory. But, as with most things we consiously attempt to remember forever, much of it as already faded into obscure blurs of ladders, water tight doorways, narrow staircases, and whirring machines - except for that moment of seeing My Sailor for the first time in far too long. For some reason, this was an especially challenging underway for us. I'm coming to believe that it's proof that it never gets easier to say goodbye to the love of your life for extended periods of time... It just gets 'different'.

But that one brief moment That I remember vividly. Even now, a few years into "us", his smile still goes straight to my heart. Completely sincere, charming, and contagious...

As much as it was the adventure of a life time to be sure - it was also incredibly insightful.

While it was supposed to be a 'rest day' (Sorry Trainer Guy!), it was worth every awkward life jacket ladder climb, and every extra second with My Sailor. (In fact, thanks to Trainer Guy, My Sailor had no problems giving me some of his gear to climb a ladder with on my way out! I'm getting stronger by the day- and I love that.) Getting a window into the world My Sailor works and lives in for nearly half the year plus some really helped me understand him and become more sympathetic toward his work. It wasn't that I wasn't sympathetic before, but now I think I understand it on a whole different level. There is only so much anyone can understand until they are neck deep in any given scenerio, and, while I wasn't exactly 'neck deep', I was at least ankle deep.

I saw how it takes a really strong soul to handle submarine life. Occasionally we'd stumble across an off-duty sailor playing guitar in some hidden, quiet corner of the sub, giving dimension to the constant hum and thrum of the engines. Actually seeing the tiny racks filled with Sailors things - tiny reminders of home and happier times, beacons of light inside one of the world's most powerful war machines/deterrents -  helped me envision what it must be like to get off a shift, lay down in there, and open a letter or a card from home...

It's a powerful vision...

Just after one afternoon, I see how the scenery never changes.

But I also bore witness to the dedication and brotherhood of the sailors, and marveled at each of them doing their job without hesitation or complaint.

Because of each of those dedicated guys (and gals on occasion), the ship runs smoothly and safely. Because of each of those people, I live in a country where I can own a house, work a job, drive a car, see a movie, own 2 massive beasts, show my hair, and enjoy my life. Because of each of those people, My Sailor gets to come home safe and sound.

Thanks, Shipmates, for the adventure of a lifetime.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

How Trainer Guy and My Sailor Made My Day

I hurt in places I didn't even realize could hurt today... but it hurts so good. Anyone who's ever done High Intensity Interval Training can relate, I'm sure. It never gets "easier". It just gets heavier... faster... and more awesome...

(So for those of you who were thinking some 50 Shades of Grey nastiness, sorry to disappoint. This post is so clean it practically squeaks.)

My Sailor, Still Makin' My Day - a Few Years Later
I thought Trainer Guy made my day when he complimented my form on the rowing machine. (He represented Scotland as a Rower - so there is nothing like getting a compliment from someone who really knows his stuff.)

Instead, after the work out he said my lifting form looked good. (Form is my special struggle, and one of the reasons why I benefit from a work out buddy to spot me.) It was when he said, "It's fun moving around heavy weights." I agree. Of all the work outs that make me feel accomplished, lifting is one of them, no doubt.

But My Sailor beat Trainer Guy to making my day.

At 4am, before he left for work, we decided where our vacation destination would be! Disney World! Honestly, I would have been thrilled no matter where we went, but this one makes a lot of sense. We know we'll have a fabulous time, and we'll be able to put a good chunk of our tax refund towards our debts, a chunk in savings, AND have a great vacation. It seems like a great way to get the best of everything.

So this morning by 5am I was making reservations at Shades of Green and Disney so that we can stay on property. Without needing to rent a car, I'm pretty excited! Next, dining reservations and airfare and we're set!

Friday, February 1, 2013

When Books are Written by Rabbits

"Do you think she remembers me?"

"Oh, she remembers. She will remember your heart when men are fairy tales in books written by rabbits." - The Last Unicorn

One fear I've been seeing a lot of this past week on Facebook boards has been, "What if he/she doesn't remember me when they get back from deployment?"

I've never worried about that for a second.

While we have no great love affair with deployments, it gives us the gift of time. Sure, we stay very busy, but there isn't a breath that's taken for granted.

It's so easy, in this work-a-day world, to take each other for granted. The media certainly doesn't help. Most shows are all about winning over the girl/boy, but those that show couples who marry and DON'T come to resent each other are few and far between. In fact, the Cosby Show is the last one that sticks out, and that was in the 1980s!

I'm sure there are others (I don't pretend to be up on current trends in TV land) but it's really just something that I thought I'd share. Our marriage isn't perfect. We have our hiccups and areas to work on. And we probably will until we die.

But forget about each other?! Ever?!


I wish I had the magic ingredient to pass on to others, or some profound words of wisdom, but I guess we live off a heaping dose of faith... and it doesn't hurt to like each other too. ;)