Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Together on Tuesday.....What are you reading

So in the theme on 2013 (The year of no excuses) I am brining back my little blog for Together on Tuesday.  This week we have chosen “What are you Reading.  This topic is near and dear to my heart because I am what you would call a bookworm.  It has to be from when I was little….my parents always read to us when we were little and as we grew older we had “Quite Time” 30 mins before bedtime when we would have to read.  I loved this time as a kid and I also loved going to the library and when I got older going to the bookstore.  My favorite thing was when my dad would tell us yes you can each get a book.  I was so happy in getting a new book and I was one of those kids that could read the same book over and over again.  Now that I am older I still love reading.  It’s the one thing I have not let me crazy job take over in my life.  I read all day at work…emails, evaluations, awards, regulations the list seems endless so when I come home I love to find a quite moment and just read for a little bit.  I am one of the crazy people that can read a few books at a time so I have decided to just tell you what is on my Ipad and tell you why I downloaded the book. Here goes nothing. 

“Lies that Chelsea Handler Told me” by Chelsea’s Family, Friends and other Victims.  Okay I love Chelsea Handler she just makes me laugh.  So whenever I am in the need of a laugh I gravitate to her books. 

“Total Frat Move” by W.R Bolen.  So I was in a Sorority in college and pledged an elite group in Air Force ROTC so when I looked at the charts in ITunes under humor this just called out to me.  I started reading it last night and its funny that 11 years later I can still laugh at the crazy things the Greek systems does and how we as young adult justify it.  Last night when I should have been sleeping I kept saying just one more chapter…that’s how I know I enjoy the book. 

“Hopeless” by Colleen Hoover. This was another chance book I found on Itunes and I am so glad I did.  It’s a coming of age book about an 18-year-old girl and her finding out for herself what is real in her life and what is a lie.  Took a little bit to get into because I had no idea where the story line was going but yesterday I turned the music up on my apple TV and sat and read for over 3 hrs before going for a run and I am glad I did because the book came full circle.  I will defiantly be looking for more books by this author. 

“Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott.  By far one of my favorite books of all time.  I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have read this book.  It is the epitome of a classic book.  Every time I read it I wish I was a March sister and wonder how different the story could have ended up.  The other thing I find very interesting every time I read the book my “favorite” sister changes.  I think that is amazing that as I grow older I relate to a different character.  I might be hitting the road for a few long trips and I am pretty sure that I will be reading this book again during the long flights. 

“Most Talkative” by Andy Cohen.  Okay I hate to admit it but I love everything Bravo TV.  I know its crazy and the reality TV is out of control but I still love it.  Also, the nights show Andy’s Clubhouse has to be one on the best “talk shows” on TV.  I have always heard about the incredible story of how Andy Cohen worked his way up to the job he has now so I had to read it for myself and it’s a great story…..MAZEL

I could go on forever when it comes to books but I am sure I would bore just about all my readers except my Daddy.  My Daddy and I can talk books for ages…I am so glad he installed in me the thirst for reading.  

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Three Guilty Pleasure Movies

Pick three of your top “guilty pleasure movies”

Wow another challenging topic.  How do I limit it to just three…I love movies.  Movies are a way to escape the real world, the stresses of life, even for just a little bit.  But here we go

1. Sex in the City:  Anyone that knows me will not be that surprised by this.  I love the series so you would think I love the movie and I do but for some very interesting reasons.  First, it came out why I was deployed and my parents (yes my parents) went and saw it “for me” as my dad put it.  I will never forget the email when he told we they were going to see it because they wanted me to know that they miss me so much they are willing to see my favorite movie and give it a review.  When what I heard was, “HAHAHAHAHAH you can’t go but we can”

Anyway, why I love the movie.  Well its just picked up just like I thought it was.  Can being a huge fan of “Big” I wanted them together forever.  Of course life is not that easy and we all know that would be too easy for their relationship.  The part after he does not show up for the wedding and their cars pass in the street is one of the parts I can relate to more than anything.  As she got out of the car and started hitting him with her flowers, you could just see the pain in her face, that loss of you great love.  I have been there and understand exactly how she felt.  And then her friends came to the rescue it was great because I had friends that would do the same.  The ending was amazing.  They got married and he knew hoe important it was for her to have “the girls” there so he called them.  I love this movie and after every break-up I watch it and think there is hope for love at then end. 

2.  Princess Diaries (yes both of them): The reason I love this movie is not so much the movie but the reason.  One of my dearest friends and I would say this is our movie.   Every time Emily and I get together we have to watch these movies.  Its so nice to smile and laugh with her.  I can’t even count the number of times we have watched this movie thru the good, the bad, and the ugly times.  We also text or call each other when we see it on TV.  I will never be able to watch this movie with out thinking of my dear Emily and all the times we have laughed, cried and even slept a little thru these movies.

3. 21 Jump Street: So this is my feel good movie of the moment.  I think I have watched this about 10 times since I bought it on iTunes.  I laugh so hard every time.  With all the stress in my life right now I need a good laugh and I am not ashamed to say I have watched this movie back to back.  Yes I like it that much and I really hope the ending was set-up so there can be another one.  I need to keep laughing.  

A letter to your loved one...A letter to my grandfather

I know this is a little late but I have been writing this on my runs for four days now and I think I am finally ready to put in on paper.  This week we were to write a letter to our significant other.  Well as many of you know I am a single girl so I had no idea who I would write this letter to.  I thought about all my best friends that have been there for me so much over the last two years, I thought about my family and I even thought about an open letter to the people I work with since I do spend most of my time with them.  But none of them ever felt right.  And its crazy because I have written letters like this to them in the past.  Before every deployment I write a letter to the people I care about so if something happens to me there is nothing that goes unsaid and they have something to always read and remember me by.  Yes I know its morbid but its something I always do and they go somewhere safe so they have be given out.  Well every time I have come home so I have always shredded them.   So I thought this would be easy and it turned out to be anything but.  Then on Tuesday I lost my grandfather from this earth and gained another angel looking down on me.  So I decided to write one to my dear grandpa….


First let me tell you I am not sad that you are in heaven.  I am happy the last six months of you life were not how you wanted to spend them.  I cannot imagine what it was like to spend most of your time in a bed and not being able to move around on your own.  I also know that are now by grandma’s side and you are both whole again. 

What I am sad for is not bring able to spend time with you anymore, I am sad that my father has now lost both of his parents, I am sad that one day when I have children they won’t meet you and I am sad that I can’t pick up the phone and just call you.

I know that growing up we did not always live close by. But every time we saw each other you always made it count.  I remember sitting on your lap and you tickling me saying you were going to take away my “giggle-sticks” There was the time in Texas when Audrey and I were so sick but before you and grandma left you read us one more book and gave us great big hugs and said you were not afraid of our coodies. 

When you and grandma came to Germany you guys loved walking with us.  But I do owe you an apology.  I was so mad at you for being sick and because of that we did not make it to the Cinderella castle.  As an adult I realize it was not your fault and it is actually my parents fault for not making time for us to go before we left Germany like they promised (only kidding dad)

I can never forget all the summer spend at your house.  Looking back I sometimes wonder how you kept your sanity.  But I loved how we had the park down the street and the huge back yard.  I know everyone always told us that the backyard was not part of your property but I never understood that.  We would hang out on the deck drawing playing card game and running around the backyard.  If I had only one picture to describe my childhood I would probably just have a picture with all the “kids” playing that yard. 

Speaking about cards, I will never forget how you and grandma taught us how to play rummy and solitaire.  To this day every time I play rummy I think of you and smile.  Also, to this day I have solitaire on my phone and hate to admit I actually play it. 

There are so many more stories I could talk about…like how you loved grandma showed be how a man was suppose to love a women…like how once we moved to Indiana I loved that you came down for all the “important” events.  But there is one thing that bonds us together forever.  It ‘s serving in the Army during a time of war.  I always knew as a kid you were in the Army but I never really knew what you did or when.  I will never forget calling you for Christmas while deployed for the first time in the Army.  And you started telling me stories about your service during WWII.  It was amazing to hear them.  They were stories I never heard as a child and I know that deep down you were telling me because for the first time we had a bond that few people share and I could understand what happened.  And that was just the start of the “war stories” on both our parts.  Every time we talked or I got to visit we kept telling each other our stories.  What I reflect on the most is how when you boil down to it Soldiers during war never change.  That we lived the same things and played the same games. 

But by far my favorite memory happened the Christmas after I returned from AssCrackaStan.  You asked me to come visit you in my dress uniform because you never saw me all “dressed up”  So I made sure my uniform was updated and took in home for the trip.  I changed and came to your room.  Your eyes lit up when I walked into the room.  You were so happy to see me.  We got you in the wheelchair and wanted to go to the front to take pictures in front of the mantle and tree.  As I rolled you thru the hallways you said to everyone,  “This is my granddaughter and she just came home from the war.  She is in the Army.”  I was never so proud.  Then we were in the front room you grabbed my hand while we were taking pictures.  At that moment I felt how proud you were of me and I will never forget.  


is weeks Together on Tuesday topic is a day in your life.  How do you balance life and how do you fit it all in.  Also, at the end of the day do you go to bed feeling like you accomplished the majority of what needs to be done or do you think of all the things you’ve not completed.

I have been thinking about this topic for the last week and really struggled on what I should write.  How honest should I be to the people that read my blog.  This has been a hard entry for me.  All I hope is that I let you look into a window of my life.

Let me start by saying this topic reminds me the week the ladies did “Is the grass is greener on the other side.”  I think of this because I am going to show you the life of a professional 30 yr old.  So many people tell me oh some days I just wish I could be single again and I am sitting here thinking I wish I could have a family.  

How I have decided to “break down” this topic is to show you a few days of my Army life and then talk a little about my weekends. 

So yes I am a Captain in the Army.  I do Human Resources for a Special Forces Unit.  And this is the first time I have written this in public but yes I am the first female to be assigned to an all male combat unit.  So it’s me and about 400 of the most Alpha Males I have ever been around.  The best way I can describe it is that I am the little sister they never wanted.  They pick up me like I have never experienced and they have figured out the ways to get under my skin.  But at the same time they can be so protective of me.  It’s a nice balance.

So during the week I wake up about 0630 Tuesday-Friday and get ready to go to work.  On Mondays I get up at 0445 to I can get ready and be at the 0630 accountability formation.  The formation is just simply a “meeting” to make sure everyone survived the weekend and put out any important information of things happening during the week.   During the rest of the week my mornings are the same I have my routine and I don’t stray from it too much.  Get up take shower, blow-dry my hair, put on my make-up and grab a breakfast to go (lately it’s a whole wheat English Muffin and organic peanut butter with extra protein) and head into work. 

I try to get into the office about 0800.  I log on to my computer check my email and my calendar and try to make the list of things I need to get done for the day.  I also use this time to actually put my uniform on.  I don’t know why but with this job I hardily wear a uniform to or from work. 

Then around 0900 I have a meeting with my NCOIC (non-commissioned officer in charge) this is my right hand man that makes sure the kids (my Soldiers) have the correct focuses for the day. 

My morning is normally spend on Power-point making slides for what ever meetings we have the next day.  At about 1115 I change for my first workout of the day.  I head over to the gym and try to get in about 40 mins of Cardio.  Some days I am better at this then others.  After I come back to the office warm up my lunch and check my email to see what I’ve missed in the time I’ve been out of the office.  And then I go rinse off in the shower out my uniform on and get ready for the meetings I have.  I have no idea but the Army loves afternoon meetings.  So I try to pay attention and not fall asleep from being tired and board.  Sometimes this is harder than others.  Normally all of our meetings are done by 1530 and I have another quick huddle with my NCOIC to figure out what needs to be done before we all go home and what is in store for us the next day.  I try to leave the office by at least 1800 (6pm) every night…sometimes that is easy others make it very hard.  After work I come home grab a bite to eat try to relax by watching a tv show or movie and go to bed to start to do it everyday. 

But my favorite days are the days where I get to train with the guys.  You would think that being in the army would make every day a training day but not for me.  So I am going to tell you about the “training day” I had on a recent trip to Thailand.   We call them endurance events because it takes a lot of mental and physical strength to get thru them.  This was a team event so it was me and three of the guys.  So we started out by getting our weapons and putting on our gear.  Weapons of choice were the M4 and the M9.  The gear was our body armor, with plates you know we had to make it just a little heavier, magazines for our ammo, first aid kit, a hydration system (I used a camel back that I attached to my body armor, Kevlar helmet and gloves. So we started early and it was already bloody hot and added at least 40 lbs to our bodies.  And then it started….we had to run as a team for about 1 mile in the sun and up a few small hills…we were then old to stop by the “umpires” and we had to establish a perimeter to ensure our safety as we were told the first “action” we had to accomplish.  So we had to read a map and call in for fire support using radios.  So we figure it out and were able to move on to the next station….yep that means more running.  So we ran again for a little less than a mile and we see our next “station” there was a dummy that was serving as a casualty.  So we had to move him to the safety zone so we could call for a medevac.  Well we did not have any thing to carry the casualty with so yep that means we had to get it done.  Oh I also forgot to mention he had lost a leg so we had to carry that, all of his gear and keep a perimeter as we tried to move to safety.  So we got to the location called for a medevac but we used the wrong grid coordinates on the map so we had to move once again but before we could the “umpires” said we were stating to loose the casualty to we had to perform combat care under fire.  Once we had the patient stable we moved to the helicopter and dropped off the Soldier.  Then yep more running to the range.  Once we got there we all got 50 rounds for our M4 and M9s and had to begin shooting.  The contest was how many bullets hit the black zone.  So we took our time and shot.  Shooting is one of my favorite things.  Of course once we got done we were waiting for the results and in the end the “Officer Team” won….yep it came down to the shooting and we were the best…..but best of all I got bragging rites…on the world I work in that means everything.

So my weekends.  I start by sleeping in…getting up every morning so early makes sleeping in until 8 sound late.  I then get to have coffee make a waffle and enjoy the morning.  From there what I do depends on the weekend…last Saturday I went to the gym took a shower and went to a food and wine festival with friends went to dinner passed out woke up the next am and went to the gym. 

I guess all I can say is that I lead a life that can go from boring to a lot of fun.  Hope you enjoyed my stories.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Together on Tuesday (ToT) How much is music a part of your life

How has music influenced your life? What is your favorite song and or artist?  Is there a certain song that inspires you or just makes you feel happy, sad. Etc.

Wow, first Together on Tuesday (ToT) blog entry and I have so much to say.  I’ve been thinking about this all day (hey I just got the email this morning so I have one day to knock this out…..requires a lot of thinking) where do I even begin and how do I organize my thoughts.

First I have to explain how much music has been a part of my like.  I grew up in a military household (yes I am proud to carry the term Brat.) My dad was a DJ in the military and for a big part of my childhood we lived in Europe so only had one TV station.  But no matter what we had music.  My dad introduced all of us kids to music early.  We all had “boom boxes” and walkman to listen to music on car trips but I will never forget the day dad brought home the CD player that went with the household stereo that could hold SIX cds.   

As an adult music still is an important part of my live.  As many of you know I have taken a few lets say “extended vacations” to the remote parts of the world.  And every time I had my laptop and IPod (one of the best inventions of our time).  I could listen to my music and forget where I was and what was going on.  I could go back to a better time of memories that made me smile.  Sometimes it was bittersweet because it made me miss home so much but for a moment I could forget where I was. 

I am also a big runner (in big I define that I like to do it and don’t focus too much on speed or distance).  Unfortunately, due to an extended vacation and living in the Pacific Northwest I have become a treadmill junky.  And there is no way I could do an hour to 90 mins on the treadmill with out my music. 

As I start to think about my favorite song or artist I could never have one instead I think there is a soundtrack to my live and it’s the moment that determines my favorite song.  So I am going to list a few and tell you why at the moment they were the “soundtrack” of my life.

Yellow Submarine by the Beatles

Like I said before I grew up in a military family which means me moved around a lot.  Every time we would move to a new place we would ask my dad where are we going to live and every time with out fail he would bust out with the lyrcis from “Yellow Submarine”

We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine
We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine

It would always make us laugh and to this day the first time I pull up into my new driveway of where ever I have moved to I still think about my daddy signing this song. 

Mack 10 (The Rapper) Album: Based on a True Story

I have no clue why but me and my best friend must have listened to this album almost everyday driving into school our senior year in high school.  I am not a huge fan of rap but to this day we could hear a song off this album and laugh because of all the car trips we listened to this album.   I think the tape might have been stuck in the tape player when she went to sell the car…hahahaha

“Time of your life” by Green Day , “Piano Man” by Billie Joel and anything from Dave Matthews

These two songs define my time in College at Purdue.  From my sorority dances to ROTC both of these songs were played all the time.  Every time I hear them it take me back to great moments in college…you know the days when it would turn 60 and sunny in February so we would skip class hang out at a fraternity house with my sorority sister or house party with my ROTC buddies drinking cheap beer out of red solo cups and talking about how hard life was and we were so happy to take a day off.  I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Dave a few times in concert but on 1 Sep I have hit the mother load and I am seeing Dave at the Gorge with friends from work can’t wait for the tailgate where we will drink out of red solo cups playing flip cup and beer pong and it will take me back to years past. 

How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb by U2

On my first “extended vacation” I was going thru a hard time and trying to figure out who I was and where I wanted to be.  This album got he thru those six months and helped shaped the women I am today.  And I got to see U2 in concert last summer and I have to say one of the best concerts ever. 

Hey There Delilah by Plain White Ts

Veterans Day 2007 on my 2nd extended vacation I had the first on many responsibilities in honoring one of our fallen angels (SPC Ashley Sietsema).  This was my first and I was close with her unit.   The few days after that fateful date in November are a blur but this song is so important.  I along with her fellow Soldiers put together a video montage of photos of Ashley to play at her memorial ceremony.  We put her pictures to this song.   Even to this day I can’t hear this song with out thinking of the memories of those days.  Getting the honor to celebrate a Fallen Hero might by one of the highest honors but hardest memories that I have. 

I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas

I know I am sure you guys are thinking what in the world.  Well a few Christmas’s a go I was riding home from church with my mom.  I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas came on the radio and my turned it up and sang it loud.  She had such a smile on her face and twinkle in her eye.  I will never forget the way we looked at each other and enjoyed that special moment.  When my mom was diagnosed with cancer two months later with cancer this was the first memory that flashed in my mind.  I still have this song on my IPod and when I am sad missing my mom I play this song and smile and sign along like I am in the car with my mom again.

I’m on a boat---The Lonely Island

So I refuse to end my first blog on a sad note.  This song always makes me laugh.  It reminds me of my recent trip to Thailand and siting with the guys and laughing.  It reminds me of the gang I was deployed to the STAN with.  We would listen to music like this and just laugh.  And my favorite line…..I got my flippy-floopys on….for any of you know that know my love of flip flops you will truly understand this one.

I could go on more but I am sure this in long enough and I have already lost the few readers I have.  But music its just part of me and we all have a soundtrack to our lives.