Wednesday, July 11, 2012

How do you define family?

Family has really been on my mind lately. Not overly surprising as we just attended a family reunion. It's been weighing on me, deeply, that I am truly lucky.

My family is close, kind of crazy but funny and they care about each other deeply. We're scattered but keep in contact. Loud and sarcastic but also kindhearted.

It's also not the family I was born into. It's my dad's family...but not my biological father's family. My parents have been married for more than 25 years, he IS my dad. He's the one that walked me down the aisle. He's the one my boys call Grandpa - and I know he could not love those boys more. He is the one who raised my sister and I. His family is mine. They are aunts, uncles, a zillion cousins. We share our sarcastic streak and love of playing cards. No one says step. Ever. It's not their way. Once you're a part of the family, that's it. The end.

My mom's family is great but it's quite small and definitely not as close as my dad's colorful clan. I love going to visit them but it's just different.

Perhaps that's why I feel so grateful that I have such a fantastic family. They could choose to not be so accepting but they don't.

Family isn't always defined by genetics or marriages. In this military life we often make little families wherever we're stationed for support since we're often thousands of miles away from "home". We may be scattered but I know there are members of my military family that I could call at 3am their time because I forgot about the time difference between us but they wouldn't care and would commiserate and cry with me or lift my spirits or whatever. They get things that few others would and for that I am forever grateful.

I've always had a hard time with people who want to slap labels on everything. Maybe it's the hippy artist in me. I don't think that you should be defined by a label someone arbitrarily slapped on you. As in, yes I am an Army wife however that is FAR from defining who I am. Why should family be the same? Just because genetics dictate that you belong to this family, who's to say that you can't create or become a part of another that is just as truly family (or more) than the one you are tied to genetically.

At the end of the day, I love my family. All my families.

Friday, June 29, 2012


Tragic Friday night. Wine party fizzled out early, Pinterest is down, and my Giants are losing. So this isn't really tragic in an actual tragic way. But you know, whatever.

So apparently all it takes to get me to write is a tragic night and half a bottle of wine. Weird, right?

I suppose I should go to bed. I do teach tomorrow. Granted not till the afternoon but you know, well rested and all that jazz.

This will be something I read tomorrow and regret. Kind of like shoe shopping sprees at 2 am. Not that I'd know. Really. Maybe. Ok this is inane enough to not regret, it's utter and complete fluff.

I'm fluffy.

It's a nicer way of saying "I'm not a size 0 *which shouldn't be a size*"

This is kind of going the way of stream of consciousness which could get scary considering my odd brain and bizarre trains of thought.


I kid, I kid. I'm not *that* random.

I need to new shoes.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Oh hey there....

Yep. I'm back. With little to no...ok, let's be honest there is absolutely no fanfare about my return. I'm an not going to say the cliched little sayings like "I'll be a better blogger" yadda yadda because I really don't feel like giving myself such expectations. I'd like to think that posting will become a more regular "thing" again. We'll see.



Is this thing on?

It has been nearly a year since I last posted here. A lot has gone on but I'm not going to bore most of my few readers follow me on twitter and have a vague idea of what is current with me.

The biggest "thing" that I haven't really said anything about is that I have been trying to get my own photography business off the ground. I decided a few months ago, I said "self, you need to utilize some of these artistic urges and use some of the copious artistic education." Right after that prophetic conversation, a job teaching painting fell into my lap. It is unreal and awesome and I just cannot describe how much I love it. I honestly never expected to use any of my formal artistic education and actually get paid a decent amount for doing so. Apparently nor did my parents. I called my mom about the job and first words? "I can't wait to tell daddy that we didn't waste all that money on college for you!" Nice, huh? But I have to say they've always been supportive to max even when they admittedly didn't "get" my art. So around that time I decided to use my fancy camera to start a little photography business. There is not a lack of photographers around here but I use that term loosely. Some are VERY talented...but most are fellow spouses that have a fancy camera that they have no idea how to use but have decided to declare themselves "photographers." I asked one at a casual meet up, what their favorite lens was and if they've mastered manual...their blank stare gave me my answer. So I have a slight advantage there heh. I'm working on putting myself out there more often, it's harder than I remember hah! I'm getting there though.

Most disturbingly, my boys have become BIG BOYS. I do not know how that transformation happened so quickly. My wee man still has a few vestiges of toddler-hood but they fade daily. He turned four recently and has really blossomed into a little boy instead of my wee baby.

This boy? Pure joy. He just turned seven and is far too grown up looking...and SMART! He's crazy smart, it's breathtaking! I am so proud of him, he's just a great kid.

And so I sign off. I have a feeling I will be a more regular poster from here on out.

Friday, July 1, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-in #47

Have you (spouse) ever considered joining the military and what do you think of dual military couples? submitted by Project Army Wife

I have the utmost respect for dual couples - in fact my brother and sister-in-law are a recently retired dual couple, they met in ROTC and amazingly managed to never get stationed apart in 20 years which is quite the feat. I've seen quite closely how difficult it can be just to be a dual serving couple let alone once you bring kids into the mix, it becomes insanely hard. I did NJROTC in high school and had some pressure to apply to the Academy but that was really not the direction I wanted to go. In fact I'd always sworn I'd NEVER even date anyone in the military...obviously that worked out well for me. Ha! I'm quite content to let the hubs serve.

What is your idea of a perfect Sunday afternoon? submitted by A Few of My Favorite Things

Napping on the couch would definitely be involved. I can't seem to nap any other time, I really think Sunday afternoons are made for stretching out on the couch while watching an old movie...and drifting off. 

What do you usually do for the 4th of July holiday? submitted by Anchor’s Away

Usually it involves some sort of explosives/pyrotechnics. I really REALLY like making things go boom. Probably a little more than is healthy. Alas this year it's SO dry here, there are none to be had wah wah wah. So we'll just do the BBQ thing with cold beer and chilled wine. 

If they could make an Olympic event JUST for you that you know you’d medal in, what would it be? submitted by Pants are Confusing

This is *my* question! I know how cool is that?! Even better? I never imagined it'd get picked so I never even thought of what my answer would be. Why yes, I *am* blond! :-) While I think I'd do well in competitive tea brewing, I really think my medal would come in bargain shopping. I'm not a couponer but if there is a bargain to be had, I *will* ferret it out. Either that or rummy. I play for blood hehehe 

What have you been doing to get yourself bathing suit ready for the summer? submitted byNot Just an Army Wife

This is actually a great one for me. While I've always been fairly active, I've really kicked it into high gear. Every morning I walk for about 2 miles and I've recently started running - I'm doing the couch to 5k. Why I decided to start running at the end of JUNE in the middle of TEXAS where it is roughly one BILLION degrees at 7am is beyond me but hey. I'm blond remember. I'm feeling pretty good, sore, but good sore. I don't have a specific goal in mind as far as weight loss goes, I'd just like to be in shape (that's not round). 

Friday, June 24, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-in #46

Are you a different person than you were five years ago? submitted by Sisterly Thoughts

Sure, I'm not all that different but I have grown and evolved. Five years ago I was still a relatively new mom slogging through that and trying to figure out how to, well, BE a mom or a successful one at least. I was also still a rather naive young Navy wife...still living in my hometown (thanks small Navy weather community!) Now it's a bit more old hat both motherhood and the military deal. Under it all, I'm still me. 

If you could go on Amazing Race, who would you take with you as your partner and why? submitted by Thoughts from a Poekitten

This is actually something we've talked about! we're avid fans of Amazing Race along with my sister - when we were all living in the same town, we'd have along with a few other friends, watching parties. Yes we are those people. My sister and I have actually talked quite extensively about submitting an audition tape. We work amazingly well together and both of us have traveled quite a bit. We'd be screwed for anything that involved skydiving but other than that I know we'd do fantastic! The hubs and I would probably kill each other lol but really my practical soul says one of us needs to stay home and watch the kids. 

Does Facebook or Twitter actually bring more stress or good in to your life? submitted by Just an Arizona Girl

Definitely more good however I use them differently. Twitter is more anonymous and more of my "let it out" place whereas Facebook is populated with my mom, siblings, pastor, assorted family members etc. It's wonderful for keeping everyone updated on the boys and just keeping in touch but I'm definitely more guarded and watch my opinions more on there. 

June is National Soul Food Month- what’s your soul food? submitted by NH Girl Displaced

Lefse. It's like a Norwegian tortilla but made of potatoes. My grandmother made it growing up and she's been gone for more than 15 years...the last few years my sister and I have started making it. It's like childhood in my mouth. It's my favorite food. Ever. 

If you could live in any other era than the current, which one would it be & why? submitted by Sugar in My Grits

I'm a history buff and while there are quite a few eras that fascinate me and I'd love to visit, I'm not sure that I'd love to live full time in any of them. I kind of love my modern conveniences a little too much lol. The 1850's of California have fascinated me, Victorian England, 1700's Scotland, 1940/50s Cornwall, really I could go on...and on. But I think I'll stick with where I'm at and be content with reading about my favorite eras. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

I hate you commissary bagger

While my sister was here we made a trip to the commissary. Not a big deal, she's not a normal house guest after all (she even lived with us for around a year when biggish first born) and really part of the fun of her visits is that they're really quite low key. We do some geocaching, goofing off, Scrabble playing, that's about it. But I we went to the commissary. Not exciting. What was exciting in my small world was having someone help wrangle my two small people. Which is when I got annoyed. Nay upset. No, that's not right either. Nope. That's when I got so mad that I seethed and then cried later. I very very rarely cry. I'm just not a crier but damn it all, it was rude and it HURT. 

If you've never been to a commissary then you may not know that there are baggers who work for tips only. They're frequently older Asian women at least in my experience they are. I usually don't have cash (damn this cashless society!) so I usually either take out my own or just use the self check out as to avoid the baggers however this day I used a bagger. I wish I had not and I probably will not any time in the near future. Yes it made me that mad. So we check out and all that jazz, the smalls are attached to auntie and are walking slower and showing her all kinds of things that are interesting to 3 and 6 year olds everywhere. I'm walking with the bagger and she asks me if the that was my nanny. I'm slightly befuddled as my sister and I look pretty darn similar - she's quite a bit taller (haha close to 6 inches, yes that was the bane of my existence growing up since she's younger) and I'm curvier. That's when the bagger said "huh well cause she so tall and skinny and you so fat." 


Did you just call me fat? You work for tips and you just flat out called me fat? I started shaking I was so upset. 

Yes I know I'm not the skinniest girl in the world (and for the record my sister is a runner and is in amazing shape but she's not even remotely close to stick thin either!!). I have CURVES! I'm 5' 6" and I am a story of averages, seriously. I am the average height of a woman, I am the average size of a woman. I wear a size 14. I've birthed and nursed two babies...and those puppies never shrank so yeah I'm a bit top heavy too.  I work out EVERY single day - we walk at least 2 miles a day every day. That hurt, weight is something that has always been a struggle for me. I've been dieting for basically 15 years...I don't eat crazy amounts of crap...although sometimes I want to and just give up and give into it but damnit I DON'T.

I reported her to management and didn't see her when I ran in yesterday. I don't want her to get fired but seriously hope that there were repercussions because I was in shock at the insane inappropriateness of her comments. 

But I think it's going to be a very long time before I use a bagger again....

Friday, June 3, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #43

Hey look it's not late at night and I'm actually doing this!! Gold star for me! 

  1. It’s now June (woot!)… what plans do you have for the summer?
This summer is going to be quite busy. Already my sister has been here for Memorial Day weekend which was an amazing visit. An old friend and her son is here now...this visit is, um, going less than steller. That's deserving of a whole other blog post but suffice to say this will be her last visitation...yes, it's going that well. Moving on, my parents are coming in a few weeks in their RV and they'll be "stealing" biggish for a grand adventure. Biggish is SO EXCITED! Yes, all caps excited haha as only six year olds can be. We'll also be going camping at some point.

What is your favorite summer memory as a kid?

Traveling! We'd pile into the RV and hit the road for a few weeks every summer usually for less than exotic destinations...think more midwestern and family reuniony. Or we'd fly to New Jersey and go to my grandparent's house at the shore. Yes my mom is from the Jersey Shore born and raised. No she doesn't have a poof or fist pump nor do any of my younger cousins (although one does do roller derby and she'll totally kick your ass if you ask hehe)...and yes people ask. I love traveling, I love that I've been able to give that gift to my kids. 

If wild animals could be made pets without fear of them ever being dangerous, what kind of exotic animal would you want as a pet?

A pygmy hippo or a penguin. What? They're cute! 

Is there anything about deployments that you do like? submitted by The Thrifty Military Wife

I guess just eating leftovers for 3 out of 5 days and just kind of doing my own staying in work out clothes all day and watching endless hgtv at night lol. 

I’m starting to run out of questions again… so please give me a question you’d like to see (off-the-wall will most likely make it because we seem to have used a lot of the “traditional” ones).

Hmmmm....I keep trying to think of questions, swear I do but man, this is hard! 

Other than something happening to your family, what is your biggest fear (like a phobia etc.)?
If they could make an Olympic event JUST for you that you know you'd medal in, what would it be?
Were you named after anyone?