Moon pies & valentines

We’ve had a fun few weeks with holidays, family, and new friends!  We survived our first Mardi Gras which, can I say is perhaps one of my new favorite things?  Because I’m pretty sure I won’t be satisfied by a regular parade anymore.  Who wouldn’t love a few hours of having free beads, moonpies, coozies (didn’t even know what these were lol), stuffed animals, teeshirts, and other completely random but totally awesome stuff thrown at you? Word of advice: don’t eat anything but the chocolate moon pies.  Trust me. I also made my first king cake and shared it with some our friends for the superbowl, and I got the slice with the coin so that means I’ll be making another one next year.  And possibly every year after regardless of whether or not we live in the South.  Despite all the crazy things I had heard about Mardi Gras (which I’m sure are all true), the family-friendly version ROCKS.

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And in other news, I’m back to loving on my sweets . . . valentine’s will do that to you.

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D’s parents came for a visit for President’s weekend, it was lots of fun showing them around town a little bit – we were able to visit the beach, farmer’s market, downtown, Joe Patti’s, the aviation museum on base, and of course lots of yummy Southern food.  This last Monday a storm went through – we missed the worst of it while out to dinner and came back to the neighborhood pitch black with lots of massive trees blocking the roads.  I’m feeling incredibly grateful this week that we missed the worst of the tornado and only had to spend a night without power.  My heart goes out to the familes that weren’t so lucky.IMG_2845

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Feeling most grateful for this guy, who finally officially started flight school! He’s in API (Aviation Preflight Indoctrination), which means lots of ground school classes, swimming, land survival, and dunker training.  What D has called “academic hazing.”  That means constant studying for him, and lots of time with the puppy for me.  The next few weeks will be pretty tough for him, but I know he’ll rock it just like anything else he sets his mind out to.  And I can’t wait to see him in his flight suit! (Okay I actually got a preview, but he didn’t have all the patches sewn on and it wasn’t official so doesn’t count.)  Also, looking forward to a few girls nights during the endless amount of study groups.

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A new year of new adventures

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It’s a new year, which means maybe more consistent blogging?  We’ll see about that.  I hope everyone reading this had a wonderful Christmas time with their loved ones.  This was our first year of Thanksgiving and Christmas without family, and we are so grateful for our Navy and church friends that we celebrated with.  Even though the holidays are my favorite time of year, I must say I’m kind of glad to have a month of a lot of nothing!  There are exciting things -my practice doubled this week, we’re making healthier choices, D’s flying again, and we’re getting a little more sunshine.  All have me in a bit better mood and excited for what 2016 holds in store for us.

So far this year the most exciting thing has been that we are doing our 3rd round of Whole30 this month.  If you haven’t heard of it, it’s basically 30 days of super “clean” eating aka only meat, vegetables, and some fruits and nuts.  No dairy, no sugar, no peanut butter, no grains, basically no processed foods either. (It’s amazing what they put sugar in).  Also no alcohol, but that part is easy since I’ve had 29 years of practice.  If you’re interested you can read more about it at whole30.com but this isn’t an advertisement for whole30.  Maybe I’ll post about that after we make it through this one.

Well anyway, after moving and eating out a ton and the holidays, it was time for a reset for D and I – besides January is the best time to change your eating since everyone is on a diet, right?  I’m also really excited to renew my creativity with cooking – clean eating kind of requires it,  and it’s something that I feel like I’ve been lacking since we moved here.  Hopefully after this month I can keep it going after with healthy meals and just enjoy my donuts and chips and chocolate a little less frequently (just a little).

Our recent focus on food and a comment in one of my magazines had me itching to write about something that has been on my mind lately.  It’s a little personal, but I think it’s important.  Up until a little over year ago when we did our first whole30, I ate whatever I wanted and have always been on the thin side.  People have made comments to me all my life about my weight, meant to be “positive,” and I think it was just this last summer that I realized how those comments have NOT been helping me.  I’ve been told people are “jealous” that I can eat whatever I wanted and not gain a ton of weight, not realizing that because of this, I developed some pretty horrible eating habits that contributed to major stomach issues, acne, and serious body aches and pains.  I never even tied those things to food because I wasn’t gaining weight.  My weight has mostly been determined by genetics. When I’ve taken steps to improve my health however, people have been discouraging because they don’t think I need to lose weight.  I did whole30 the first time because I knew I was addicted to sweets and didn’t want them to have so much control over me, but people’s responses were “you don’t need to lose weight” and “you shouldn’t do that, you’re too skinny.”  I didn’t want to lose weight, I wanted to stop having stomachaches every morning and being miserable after every time we went out to eat.  I didn’t want to look better, I wanted to feel better!  The first time I tried to take control of my eating was really difficult, and it would have been so much more helpful to hear “good for you for trying to take better care of yourself.”  I’ve written before about how I challenged myself to start running this year and one woman’s response when I told her I was starting to run was, “why would you do that?  You’re already skinny.”  I was shocked because running was about doing something I’d told myself I couldn’t do, something I was so proud of. It had nothing at all to do with my weight!  I didn’t lose a single pound while running but what did that have to do with how many miles I made it without passing out or giving up?  And then there’s been the comments my whole life about how “small” and “skinny” and “little” I am.  Which, by popular opinion has not built my self-esteem, but has only made me conscious of how very aware others (women, especially) are of my body and my weight.  Meaning, when I gain two pounds, I assume the entire world notices.  Because if they notice when I’m skinny, they must notice when I’m not.  I once got told that I had the body of a teenager – I don’t know about you, but when I was a teenager, I was weak, flat, riddled with acne and had no curves on my body whatsoever.   At 29 years old, I have no desire to look like a teenager!  It just amazes me how it’s become okay to comment about other’s weight and bodies so freely.  Let me be clear, most of these comments are from strangers or people I’ve just met!  I can’t imagine meeting someone and within five minutes I’ve said “you’re so fat” or “you should probably start running because you need to lose some weight.”  Now I don’t want to compare myself with what other women go through with judgment of their bodies, I don’t think I’ve got it worse than anybody else – but can we all just stop judging ourselves and consequently others?  Even if we think it’s a compliment?  Because how is someone’s weight – which is determined by a hundred different factors both in and out of their control – something that we should decide if it’s good or not? I’m not offended by these comments and don’t think anyone should feel bad about them, I don’t think anyone who has said these things to me or others means any harm.  I just wish our compliments could shift to telling each other that we’re beautiful, not that we’re a number on a scale or a measurement around a waistline. Beauty means so much more than that to me!  Let’s applaud each other for things that we can and should be proud of and learn to love our own bodies for whatever they are at this moment.  Just my two cents.  Now on to attempting to make homemade sweet potato chips.  That’s the same thing as Herr’s right?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

I started this month with a little bit of the blues, not sure why.  Maybe it’s the weirdness of wearing shorts and sandals in December.  But this weekend put me back in the Christmas spirit and I am so excited!  We had a few Christmas parties this weekend that left us stuffed to capacity of delicious goodies and full of cheer.  We had a blast at my friend’s awesome ugly sweater party and went in search of some Christmas lights after our church party (a success!).  There’s always so much going on December and I usually am stressed the whole month and looking forward to relaxing on Christmas day.  This year I’m doing a better job of learning to actually celebrate and enjoy the entire month rather than waiting for Christmas day.  I love filling my house with red and green, drinking gingerbread hot chocolates, having great excuse to bake, bake, and bake some more, getting Christmas cards in the mail from loved ones,  exchanging homemade ornaments with my family, listening to Christmas music nonstop, and peppermint snowflake pretzels.  I’m especially grateful this season for my knowledge of why this time of year feels so special.  I’m so grateful for the birth of the Savior and to know that He is “the light that dispels fear, provides assurance and direction, and engenders enduring peace and joy.”

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To anyone and everyone reading this,  I hope you have a very merry Christmas season this year!

Gratitude

As we head into my favorite season, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for how blessed we have been this year.  Last week we had Thanksgiving dinner at our house with a few of our military friends and it was so fun to share everyone’s traditional foods and enjoy each other’s company.  It was a good reminder to me of one of my greatest blessings – the many people that come in to my life.  We have moved 6 times since we’ve been married and I had moved somewhere around 20 times before that; believe it or not only 1 of those moves has been for the military!  While moving is definitely stressful, I actually love it.  The main reason is the amazing new people that come into my life.  Pensacola has not been a disappointment with this and I’m so grateful for the new friendships I’ve made!  I’ve been a little stressed the last two months with all of the traveling, hotels, moving, trying to get settled and prep for my business to open this week, getting used to my husbands erratic schedule while not having a schedule of my own –  but I’m starting to open my eyes again to how tiny these stressors are and how lucky I really am.  I pulled out my gratitude journal last week and realized I had not written anything in it since last Thanksgiving.  This year has been incredible with how many blessings we’ve had, yet I have not been taking the time to recognize them and express gratitude to my maker for giving them to me.  I hope that I can turn that back around this month and truly appreciate the wonderful gifts I’ve been given!

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Guests showing up almost two hours early (whoops!) meant this was the only pic I got of our splendor this year!  But let it be known, all of our friends are amazing cooks, even though my oven will be smoking for months with spilled Turkey juices my turkey was the most flavorful I’ve made,  and bringing cookie butter and speculoos cookies from Trader Joes with us from Oregon resulted in a fabulous s’mores pie.

Happy birthday America!

The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays!  I love blueberry pancakes and waffles, parades, fireworks, and seeing everyone’s patriotism!  It has also been one of my favorite holidays to celebrate with D.  Our very first Independence day we camped out overnight for the parade, decorated our bikes with streamers, ate delicious food and watched the fireworks at Stadium of Fire from my friends roof. Oh yeah, and also said those three little (aka GINORMOUS) words for the first time.  I remember it as pretty much a perfect day.  I was not looking forward to spending our first Independence day apart, but I ended up having a great time celebrating with my parents!  We of course made tons of yummy food, went swimming, and played games.  We were bummed that their usual neighborhood firework show didn’t happen, but went searching and got to see a few simultaneous shows from a hill by their house.

D is having a great time so far working with the new indocs!  He was actually worried about having to be mean, but is kind of enjoying it! (I told him to get it out of his system before he comes home 🙂 ) This week they had their capstone, a day of leadership training.  D said they had to lead people through minefields, attempt to save a sinking ship, carry each other after they’d been “killed,”  and jump off the high dive and swim around in the dark with smoke and make sure everyone was accounted for.  I’m sure his description sounded a lot cooler than my recap version, but he did say it was lots of fun and you can see below the smiles on everyone’s faces during their victory run!

My favorite part of this week has been getting to talk on the phone and text every day, we even got to FaceTime on Sunday!  It feels so nice to be able to be a more regular part of each other’s days again.  I can’t believe how close we are to graduation, we are SOOOO excited to see each other in 2 weeks!

Here’s my 4th of July pics through the years!  Unfortunately I didn’t take one in 2012.10330470_10101486151966519_8694633699054602311_nFullSizeRender-9FullSizeRender-8FullSizeRender-7 IMG_7143

In case your bored on these hot summer days,  I thought I’d let you find D in this weeks pics! 11217983_777133465737396_6864713020768040305_o 11708006_777133572404052_5285577622840121396_o 11722308_777133669070709_8345573617894858590_o